Archive for November, 2007

Let’s Say Thanks… To Our Troops!
November 29, 2007

One of our morning producers, Amber Willis, found a cool website where we can send personalized holiday messages to our troops — the brave men and women serving our country, away from home for the holidays. Children across the country designed and submitted the postcards. Here’s what one looks like:

The group Let’s Say Thanks teamed up with Xerox & the organization Give2TheTroops to make it happen. “The postcards, depicting patriotic scenes and hometown images, were selected from a pool of entries from children across the country. All you have to do is click on your favorite design and either select the message that best expresses your sentiment or draft a personal note.”

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Should spanking be banned?
November 28, 2007

It’s a common debate between parents. Now the right to spank children is being debated by politicians in Massachusetts. Yes, lawmakers will look into banning parents from spanking their children.

How did this come about? A mother, who is also a nurse, created the the bill. Kathleen Wolf says her daughter told her that some of her friends were regularly spanked by their parents. Wolf wants to educate those parents and raise awareness about child abuse. Recalling her younger days when teachers disciplined students by striking them with switches, Wolf seems to be trying to define the line between good acceptable discipline and abuse. She was quoted as saying, “[The bill] would make it so that corporal punishment is not an acceptable form of punishment in Massachusetts, and hopefully from this would come education, communication and support.”

In 1999 The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled parents can spank their children, but can’t threaten bodily harm. Wolf’s bill doesn’t broadly criminalize all aggressive physical contact. There are exceptions, according to an op-ed piece in the Boston Herald, for “minor physical contact” and parents defending themselves. C’mon, kids are big these days! You can read the entire bill here.

We knew this story would get folks here in Texas talking, so we asked you to email your thoughts…

Here are the first few responses:

Deborah: “Dr. Spock came along when I was very little. My parents spanked me when I did something I wasn’t supposed to do, and it didn’t make me psycho. Back then, it was called discipline, which is something that has nearly disappeared today. I still think Dr. Spock is responsible for the trouble we have with kids today. And I think, too, that the increase in “bullies” has a simple cause and cure. It’s instigated by today’s “love” for COMPETITION. Not all human beings are cut-out for competing – I never was. And today, parents push their kids to compete and I don’t think it’s for the kids’ sake. These parents are too vain for their own good.

Phil:Spanking SHOULD be allowed. I got my butt spanked many times, at home and at school and it did not hurt me. I never got into any bad trouble growing up and I raised my children the same way. My children are grown and have never been in trouble and are leading very productive lives. The problem with kids now is a lack of discipline at home and at schools. SPANKING SHOULD NEVER BE BANNED!!!! Beatings are a different story….

Holly: “That woman must live in Mayberry. Let the parents decide what is appropriate for their children. I had spankings (quite frequently) growing up and I turned out fine. Do I think there are better ways to discipline children? Yes. However, it is certainly not my place to impose my thoughts on anyone else.Actually, I change my mind. I’m a high school teacher and I wish more parents would have spanked their children… Maybe even beaten the–“We get the point, Holly.

Judy:“Another stupid idea by a stupid person. Massachusetts…. Vaccinations for children forced by the State backed by armed police with dogs Massachusetts Nov 2007) another stupid idea. It is NOT the governments job to raise our children.”

Doug:“…As parents, we must provide stability and an example of good, honorable living. And part of honorable living is obeying the Laws of God, the Laws of Nature and the Laws of Man. Understanding, obeying and respecting the law begins in the home at a very young age. In the beginning, Mom and Dad are the law. Children must learn that if a law is broken, there are consequences to be paid! Respect the law and fear the consequences of breaking it!!! Young children cannot comprehend reasoning, bargaining or pleading. But, they do very much understand a SOAR REAR END!!In a short time, a child will be able to put together in their mind – “Hey, if I do this, then my rear end is going to be very soar and I don’t want that…”

Shani: “So, the woman wants to ban spankings? That is absurd. I am 25 and I was spanked ALL the time, and I turned out fine. I sometimes think I turned out better because of the spankings. To this day, I still don’t go into my mothers purse, LOL. I have a 2 year old son, who (if need be) will receive a spanking. The punishment must fit the crime. So if my child hits another child, it doesn’t make sense for me to hit him in punishment, but if my child steals, lies, getting into trouble,and all of the other 50 million reasons there are for a spanking, he will get one…”

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Pushin’ & Pullin’
November 23, 2007

A viewer sent us this link to complement a previous post of a cartoon cat “waking up” his owner!

As our Executive Producer Debbie Levy would say, “It’s super-cute!”

We are the Champions!
November 15, 2007

The Salvation Army kicks-off its Christmas Program, serving the needs of Houston’s less fortunate, with the annual Turkey-Carving Contest. Once again, my team took home top honors! So let’s recognize Chef Grant Hunter — Executive Sous Chef for Vic & Anthony’s and Executive Chef at Brenner’s on the Bayou — and David Nollsch and the folks from Devon Energy who brought tons of energy and a Turkey mascot to the event!

Last year, we won three or four awards. This year, we won the Grand Champions award and the award for Prettiest Bird! And after tasting Grant’s amazing concoction of ingredients, too bad there’s no taste award because we’d be a shoe-in!

But most importantly, the Salvation Army raised money for it’s Christmas Program. Think of all that money going into the red kettles… and let that inspire you to give at some point this holiday season.

NY
November 12, 2007

Pictures provided by: Dr. Forrest Roth

A couple weeks ago we had an amazing opportunity to go to New York to go back stage during one of Joel Osteen’s services at Madison Square Garden. We went to the Saturday night service but started our day at the Weekend Today Show.

I have to admit that I don’t get giddy very often, but I was as excited as a school girl with a new Barbie that morning! Like any girl in tv news, we all grow up dreaming of being on the Today Show. It was surreal to walk on to that set and be in the presence of the best in our business. Anchors Lester Holt and Amy Robach were working that morning, and both did a stellar job and are super nice. I knew Lester from his visit to Houston. He came and sat on our set for a story he was doing about Houston. He told us how much he likes Texas food, and we told him how much we (Owen and I) love Texas food, too!

During the day in New York, we walked around the city and went to the roof of the Hudson Hotel. It was beautiful day with a little wind but lovely. I had never been to a roof top garden in New York, so it was delightful to me.

The Event at Madison Square Garden was by far the most unbelievable part of the trip. We began shooting our story outside of The Garden a couple hours before the event started. I was blown away at people’s reaction to Joel Osteen and his message. You were hard pressed to find a single person outside the venue who didn’t say Pastor Joel had changed their lives. We talked for a while with a group of friends from Washington D.C. They spent 4 hours on a bus to get to the event and see Joel in person. They watch him every Sunday morning and are moved by his positive message.

About half an hour before the event, Joel and Victoria got to The Garden. Victoria and the woman in charge of the women’s ministry, Jackie Garner, arrived. They had been out to eat and were clearly excited to be in New York. Jackie is a dear friend of mine, and she has been truly a delight in my life. Victoria and Jackie are best friends and visibly have a wonderful relationship.

Joel and Victoria walked out of their dressing rooms through the halls of Madison Square Garden, then out on to the stage. They walked hand in hand. The way they look at each other could make any cynic believe! They were very welcoming to our crew, and we got amazing stuff there!

We’ve already aired the story where we went back stage with Joel’s ministry in New York. If you missed it, here it is to watch…Madison Square Garden.

We also brought you a story on Monday featuring Joel Osteen about the “Power of Positive.” It’s what so many people say draws them to him, but it also draws critics.

Join us for the next 2 Mondays for more Joel Osteen stories. The first focuses on “Faith in America” and the final piece is about Lakewood’s trasition into an international ministry.