Sunday, June 14, 2009

Six Flags seeks protection from creditors

Will treasured childhood memories held by my children and me turn to dust? Is the ride over?

Six Flags, the amusement park operator, has declared bankruptcy but says that it will keep its parks open, at least for now. According to the Washington Post, the company is carrying $2.4 billion in debt. According to the Associated Press, Six Flags reported 25 million visitors and posted record revenues in 2008.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Schools scramble to keep up with demand for free and reduced meals

Record numbers of American students getting free and reduced-price lunches, and many school districts are struggling to keep up with demand.

While the cost to districts averages $2.92 per free lunch, schools receive just $2.57 in federal reimbursement. That's according to the School Nutrition Association. Some states pitch in extra, but many schools are stretching budgets to make up the difference, as USA Today reports.

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ADT Alarm Systems

For 12 years, my family and I lived in a bungalow a few miles north of the city. I liked the community because it was quiet. A lot of retired people lived in the neighborhood, so I felt it had a lot of stability.

The families living next to me and across the street had home alarm systems, but I didn’t think it was necessary. I felt quite safe – until I came home one day and found that someone had broken in through my back door. I’m convinced that it was some kid in the neighborhood who knew my kids because most of the items taken belonged to my son.

Of course, I called the police and filed a report. After the officers left, I went outside to think. I felt so violated. Even worse, I hated to see the frightened looks on my children’s faces.

As I stood in my front yard, the signs in my neighbors’ yards came into view. They all had chosen the ADT Home Alarm. The neighbor to the right of me was a single mom with a daughter. She told me that she wouldn’t think of leaving her teenaged daughter at home alone without her ADT alarm. I got the point, but I learned it the hard way.

Things can be replaced, but no one can put a price on peace of mind and the protection of your family. That's the true value behind the ADT alarm system.

Protect your home while away on vacation

It's June, and if you're like me, your mind is on that summer getaway. If you're headed out of town, do your best to burglar-proof your home while you're away.

Here is a checklist recommended by many police departments:

  • Stop mail and newspapers, or ask a trusted neighbor to get them every day.
  • Put timers on several household lights.
  • Arrange to have grass mowed while gone.
  • Be cautious about whom you tell about your departure.
  • Make sure that everything is locked and secure. Double-check sheds, windows, garage doors and basement windows.
  • An unanswered phone might tip off a prowler that no one is home. Turn off the ringer and don't mention your departure on the answering machine.
  • Leave on an outdoor light with a motion sensor.
  • Remove all "secret" keys from outside. Leave blinds and curtains in normal positions wherever possible, taking care not to expose many valuables.
  • Stow valuables (important papers, jewelry, etc.) in a home safe or safe-deposit box.
  • Activate the alarm system and notify the security company about your vacation.

Do everything you can to give the illusion that someone is at home.

Source: Orlando (Florida) Police Department

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Open Meadows Foundation offers grants to women and girls

Grants for projects involving women and girls are available through the Open Meadows Foundation. Open Meadows supports projects that are led by -- and benefit -- women and girls.

Awards are made to organizations that:
  • reflect the diversity of the community served by the project in both its leadership and organization promote building community power
  • promote racial, social, economic and environmental justice
  • have limited financial access or have encountered obstacles in their search for funding

Maximum award: $2,000. Eligibility: 501(c)3 organizations with an organizational budget no larger than $150,000. Projects must be designed and implemented by women and girls. Deadline: August 15, 2009.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Studio RTA Network 1330X Computer Cart

I'm a self-professed workaholic who spends hours each day at her PC. I want my workspace to be comfortable and efficient.

Studio RTA has created an innovative computer cart that offers versatility and convenience. It's a space-saving solution for a computer work station. I like this cart because it compartmentalizes an office, while simultaneously creating space.

This workstation is compact. Its spacious compartments and sturdy steel base allow the casual computer user and the avid computer enthusiast (or workaholic) to enjoy their office space, regardless of size. The slide-out keyboard shelf and the various storage compartments maximize space and optimize organization.

The product comes in either a teak or cherry finish. Both finishes are stylish, but the cherry fits my personal style and office decor. The work station is ergonomic, another plus.

The Studio RTA Network Computer Cart has redefined the term “computer cart” in every sense, with its innovative practicality. For years, Studio RTA has been a leader in office furniture design.

Designs with consumer comfort in mind -- that's the kind of thinking that keeps any firm ahead of the competition.

Exploring Google Wave

Google Wave, which the Internet giant unveiled last week to much fanfare, is described as a communication and collaboration tool. However, those who follow IT trends believe the application has even more value.

Wave combines popular Web trends into a seamless application. Ben Parr, writing for Mashable, offers a reader-friendly explanation of what could prove to be a killer application.

Tags: Google Wave, Technology,

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Most states agree to push for common college standards

An aggressive timetable by most 46 states calls for college standards to be drafted and ready for public review by July, and grade-by-grade standards by year’s end. After a meeting in April, each state signed a memorandum of agreement committing to the process and development of voluntary, common standards. Four states are not on board -- Alaska, Missouri, South Carolina, and Texas.

Once the standards are agreed to, it will be up to the states to get them adopted. The signed memo requires that the common core must represent at least 85 percent of a state’s standards, and that the common core needs to be adopted within three years.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan is happy about the move, as Education Week reports. (Education Week provides free access to this premium article.)

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