Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"Section 8 Piglets"???

There is a home in Lorain that has gotten some negative press coverage recently.  You know the one, on 21st St, with the 35 year old grandma and “neglected” children.  There have been both print and TV stories about her.  I understand the push to make people accountable for their actions and I’m a vocal proponent of responsibility and accountability and I have no issue with the stories being in the news.  I also have no problem telling the grandmother that she needs help. Whether it be from her family or whoever, she needs help…for the sake of those children.

The reason I’m bringing this whole story up though is a tirade Councilman Dennis Flores went on regarding the children that live at that residence.  Here is what he had to say on Facebook after linking a recent story to his page:

"Unfortunately, for most of the children in Lorain it’s an inherited way of life, to be the worst of the worst malfeasance. I feel sorry for the neighbor you worked hard all your life, you retire, keep the grass clean, cut, have a beautiful home and you get stuck living next to this pigpen, Miss Piggy and the section 8 piglets. Just despicable!"

Now I understand Dennis going around and photographing the run down homes of “adults” and I have no problem with Dennis making a comment regarding the adults in that situation.  He has an opinion and he’s entitled to it.
What disturbs me greatly though are the labels “malfeasance” and “section 8 piglets” coming from an elected official in regards to children who have absolutely no control over the adults in their lives or their situation.  Some of those kids are in diapers.

Many children in Lorain have it bad, we all know that and being poor or on section 8 should not be nailed to a child’s chest as a badge of dishonor. For someone who was elected by the citizens in his ward to degrade “most of the children” in Lorain as he has needs a reality check and he needs it now.  As adults we can have a problem with parent a: or parent b: but to lump our children together as he has is a disgrace to his ward and to the city we live in.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A "Glee"ming Opportunity

My son Lukas became a "Gleek" over the summer. I was tormented through Netflix of episode after episode and drama after drama.  Eventually, even though I was not "hooked", I was at least capable of enjoying an episode now and then. They did touch on some serious subjects from time to time plus both of my daughters were in Drama Club at Admiral King so at least I could "relate".

The recent death through the abuse of drugs and alcohol of Cory Montieth, who played character Finn Hudson was both tragic and senseless at the same time. One of the creators of the show, Ryan Murphy had this to say last week:

"One of the most gratifying things about Glee is that when the show is at its best, it has helped young people and given them information about the human condition that moves and informs them. What we've been talking about in the writer's room is that maybe the way we deal with this tragedy might save the life of someone."

That second sentence is probably one of the most sensible statements ever made by a Hollywood elite.

Through Cory’s death, Glee and their writers have been handed the opportunity to save countless lives through the way they portray Finn's drug use and death. As parents we should use his death as a teaching moment for our children; even for our younger children, like my 10yr old Lukas. The abuse of drugs and alcohol kills thousands upon thousands of young people in this country every year and ruins the lives of tens of thousands more.

We have an opportunity to plant a seed in the hearts and minds of our children and teenagers right now using this tragedy, let's hope we get it right...