Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Neuhoff Audia: Stumbling upon Broadmoor preschool picnic is enlightning experience

The request from News-Herald Editor Tricia Ambrose was simple, take the senior shadows out in the community and shoot video.
Kyle Langdon of Mentor and Katie Lyden of Riverside, who are both graduating in a few days, joined me on an adventure all three of us were not expecting.
Our first stop was Veterans’ Park in downtown Painesville.
Our mission was to find people who would be willing to shoot a short video with us. Our question was simple, ‘What if your favorite festival?’”
Some people we approached were on their lunch breaks and simply didn’t have time to spare. One man told us, ‘No comment,’ which I thought was comical because the topic was so light-hearted. A handful were kind enough to work with us.
When we had enough videos, we headed over to Eleanor B. Garfield Park in Mentor to get more. Our goal was the same, find people and ask them to describe their favorite festival.
When we arrived at the park, our focus shifted from shooting videos to meeting and interviewing several people who were at the park attending the annual Broadmoor School preschool picnic.
Without realizing it, we had stepped into a great story. It was a perfect way for Langdon and Lyden to experience how a story unfolds from start to finish.
The first person we saw was my former colleague Bill Tilton. His 5-year-old daughter Lexi attends Broadmoor. He was kind enough to introduce us to the people from Broadmoor who were in charge of the picnic and Chardon High School health and physical education teacher Tim Armelli who had over 30 students from the school’s Actively Caring For People program there.
Broadmoor has been holding the picnic for xx years. According to Early Childhood Supervisor Linda DeRosa, it’s an event the students and parents look forward to every year. DeRosa spoke passionately when asked about the 72 students at the picnic, half of which are special needs students while the other half are typically developing.
In my new role as Community Engagement Editor, these are the types of stories I enjoy most. The ones that touch your heart and make you think twice. Stories that motivate, inspire and make you feel grateful for all you have.
After talking to preschool teacher Stephanie Ratino and DeRosa, I spoke to Joan Blackburn, a social worker at Chardon, Chardon senior Sara Jurgenc, a member of AC4P, and Armelli.
For the second year in a row, Chardon bused a group of students to the picnic to help entertain the preschoolers. Their assistance with the students enabled the parents to take a short break. Amber Meakin, who has two sons at Broadmoor, was one of the many parents who enjoyed the extra help which allowed her to talk to other parents about their experiences with special needs children.
“It’s just a very relaxing day,” she told me. “I know my two boys are super active and without the Chardon students here, there would not be any relaxing for me at all.”
When I talked to Blackburn, Jurgenc and Armelli, they spoke from the heart when they explained what it meant to help Meakin and other parents and students at the picnic. It was positive and enlightening — everything the deadly shooting at Chardon High School on Feb. 27, 2012 was not.
I was so impressed this group of administrators and students from Chardon were able to take something so negative and turn it into something so positive. I wondered where they got the strength to do that? I also wondered how it helped them with their healing process?
“It takes courage to step outside and do something different,” Blackburn said. “When you do something you normally wouldn’t do, it helps you develop skills you may have known you had.”
On May 20, I did something I normally don’t do.
I took two shadows out to shoot simple videos.
We returned to the paper with not only videos, but a meaningful story worth sharing.
It was an adventure Langdon, Lyden and myself were not expecting, but one we were grateful to find.

- Theresa Neuhoff Audia


Friday, April 18, 2014

How to fold a fitted sheet — and other organization tips

The first in The News-Herald's three-part series "Clean, Green Spring" took place April 15. Kim Croyle, who writes the blog Get Organized With Kim, shared some tips on how to get your home organized as you embark on spring cleaning.

First, a video: Learn how to fold a fitted sheet in 1 minute:

Here are some of the tips Kim shared during her presentation:
  • If you're not wearing it or using it, get rid of it — no matter if you've never worn it or it's in good condition. Donate it to someone who will use it.
  • No one wants to be stuck inside the house cleaning when the weather is nice. Take advantage of the weather by tackling your outdoor projects.
  • Create a dumping ground for when you come in the house, but set a limit for it. Everyone needs a place to put whatever they have with them when they come in the house, but you cannot let it take over your space.
  • If it goes in the garage sale, it does not come back in the house. If it doesn't sell, donate it or throw it away.
  • Everything in your house should have a home. If you can't find a place for something, consider whether you really need it. If you do really need it, find a permanent place for it.
  • When you're organizing your space, find a method that works for you. If an organization scheme is not a part of you, it is not going to stick with you. 

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Tweets from #HandwritingDay #mHDay

Friday, January 17, 2014

#Riccing with The News-Herald

We're having some fun on Friday and #Riccing around the building. Share your #Riccing photos by tweeting them to @newsheraldinoh, and we'll add them to our collection.

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Motormouths need to listen

Conversational narcissism.

There had to be a name for it. I knew it was far too common of a phenomenon not to have been marked as an issue and addressed.

Conversational narcissism is typified by an extreme self-focusing in a conversation, to the exclusion of appropriate concerns for the other, according to Communication Monographs, a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal covering research on human communication.

What prompted me to write this column is my unabashed incredulity when confronting a person guilty of self-yakkity-yak ad nauseum. 

I never fail to be stymied when finding myself relegated to the status of an info repository rather than a contributing entity within a conversation (i.e. exchange of ideas — emphasis on “exchange”).

When constantly “talked over” or tossed a quick, disinterested “uh-huh” after adding a verbal tidbit or two — only to be followed by more yada ... yada ... yada by the relentless rambler, I figure he or she just doesn’t get it.

Thus, my intense interest and cause for research on the subject. Basically, it bugs me and it’s just not polite.
What makes these yo-gabba-gabbers think their thoughts, opinions and life events entitle them to a talkathon rather than extending the courtesy of a two-way street? 

For goodness sake, it’s quite likely the other person has something interesting to interject. Wouldya believe it?

Thankfully, the Internet poured forth reams of insight on the subject that points to the fact that this is, indeed, an occurrence many deal with. Perhaps shedding some light on the topic will stir up some self-realization among the convo-hoggers — or not. One can only hope.

It’s my bet that those afflicted with verbal diarrhea won’t even recognize their awful ailment. But then again, it may spark a bit of soul searching and hopefully persuade these too often open-mouthed offenders to shut up and listen once in awhile. 

So what is it? What’s in the mix of creating such a trait?

In his book “Pursuit of Attention” sociology professor Charles Derber writes “During a conversation, each person makes initiatives. These initiatives can either be attention-giving or attention-getting. Conversational narcissists concentrate more on the latter because they are focused on gratifying their own needs …
“A good conversation is an interesting thing … It’s like a song where the rhythm is paramount, and each person in the group must contribute to keeping that rhythm going. One person who keeps on playing a sour note can throw the whole thing off.”

DO understand the meaning of the term narcissist. Narcissistic does not necessarily mean selfish or arrogant. A narcissist simply views the world and others in relation to himself. Everything is measured by the standard “How does this affect me?” Because of this, narcissists spend a lot of time talking about themselves.
DO change the conversation to neutral topics. This can be difficult because a narcissist will always try to find a way to steer the conversation back to himself. Make it obvious that your interest lies in a generic topic, like the weather. A narcissist will likely discuss the weather, even if only to attempt to impress you.
DO introduce topics of interest in the form of open-ended questions. For instance, don’t ask did you see the game last night? Instead, ask something along the lines of “What do you think of basketball? I heard the game last night was amazing.” This method of questioning gives the narcissist the chance to talk about his views on basketball, while you get to insert your own comments as well.
DO avoid the narcissistic person if all else fails. Keep in mind that, more likely than not, you will not change the narcissist in your life. His perception of everything is personal because he can’t detach himself from his surroundings. He perceives a dissenting opinion as a personal attack. He may even view therapy or counseling as bullying and disapproval.
DON’T take offensive comments personally. More likely than not, the narcissist did not intent to insult you. Again, a narcissistic person is unable to put herself in others’ shoes. Her comments are meant to boost her own self-worth, not hurt feelings.
DON’T try to argue or reason with a narcissist. Explaining to a narcissist that she is a narcissist is a lost cause. To understand the basis of your argument, she must see herself from your point of view, which is an impossible task for a narcissist.
DON’T allow a narcissistic person to go on long rants about herself. She may interpret silence from you as genuine interest. In the mind of a narcissist, why wouldn’t you want to hear about her day at the mall?

Bonchak is a Staff Writer for The News-Herald.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Painesville City Council Meeting - Oct. 21, 2013

Monday, October 14, 2013

Mentor construction projects wrapping up

A rash of vehicle break-ins, the status of several construction projects and a civil service test for the fire department — those items and more in the latest weekly Mentor city manager report to City Council:

Police Department
• On Oct. 9, three vehicles had their windows broken in the parking lot of the Mentor Ice Arena; nothing was stolen. Two vehicles’ windows were broken at Melt Restaurant; purses were stolen from each vehicle. One vehicle’s window was broken at TGI Fridays; nothing was stolen.

• Another incident involving a male and female team approaching an elderly resident on Bellflower asking about completing tree trimming services. The female suspect tried to lure the resident to the backyard, but was unsuccessful. The male suspect remained in the vehicle. The suspects left after the victim told them her son was coming home soon. The suspect vehicle was a grey or cream colored SUV. This matches the suspect vehicle description from the previous burglaries involving a male and female team.

• SR 306 Resurfacing (SR 84 to Kirtland Road) — Currently the project is approximately 40 percent complete. Placement of the asphalt surface course could be performed this week and may require daytime lane closures. Work remaining includes casting adjustments, curb work, loop detectors, guardrail and the asphalt surface course. The project remains on schedule for the Oct. 31 completion date.

• SR 306 Concrete Repairs (Bellflower to Adkins) — Work continues in the southbound curb lane. Currently the concrete work is over 35 percent complete. Once the southbound curb lane work is complete, work will continue in the second southbound lane. No work is scheduled for the northbound lanes. Traffic restrictions for northbound and southbound vehicles will continue throughout the project.

• Hoose Road Resurfacing and Culvert Replacement — Work is scheduled to begin this week. The contractor will first grind the asphalt surface to the required depth and then will perform full depth repair work at locations to be determined. Culvert work will occur while the remainder of the roadway is being resurfaced. Traffic will be maintained; however, delays are expected. Further updates will be provided as the project progresses.

• Beechwood Drive Storm Sewer — The storm sewer on the east side of the road has been installed. The contractor is working on road crossings for inlet basins on the west side of the road.

• The Munson Road Resurfacing Project — This is proceeding as scheduled. The Shelly Company is currently working on adjusting castings to grade, updating curb ramps to ADA standards and installing traffic loop detectors. The asphalt surface course is scheduled to be installed on Monday, Oct. 21, and Tuesday, Oct. 22. The project has a completion date of Oct. 26.

• Sanitary Backup Reduction Grant Program Update: 114 applications have been received to date; 81 applications have been reviewed; 53 applications have been approved; 22 applications are on hold until sufficient information from applicants is provided and 24 applicants have completed the work and have been approved for reimbursement.

Fire Department
• On Oct. 9 at 8:20 a.m., Squad 1142 was called to mutual-aid to assist Willoughby Fire with a motor vehicle accident on State Route 2 westbound. Mentor Paramedics treated and transported a male patient from the accident.

• On Oct. 9 at 10:27 p.m., the fire department responded to a rescue call where a male fell down the basement steps of a residence. He was treated and airlifted to Metro General Hospital.

• On Oct. 10 at 2:37 p.m., Mentor Fire was called to a business on Center Street to perform an elevated rescue of a person stuck in the bucket of a service truck approximately 30 ft. in the air. The worker was servicing exterior lights when the hydraulic controls failed on the truck.

• Oct. 6-12 is Fire Prevention week with this year’s safety message of “Prevent Kitchen Fires.” The department participated in several public educational visits over the past week to promote fire safety. The visits included a safety day at Home Depot and Kmart, as well as, several visits to schools and daycares where safety flyers were distributed to children to take home to their families.

• The Civil Service Commission is accepting applications through 4 p.m., Thursday for Career Firefighter/Paramedic for the upcoming candidate testing scheduled for Oct. 23.

Economic and Community Development
• Tom Thielman and Terry Botirus conducted an SBA 504 Loan closing with Parker Precision, Inc. on a $1.2 million equipment loan.

• The City, in cooperation with Lake1Stop, the Mentor Area Chamber of Commerce and Laketran, sponsored a holiday job fair on Wednesday; 30 employers and approximately 170 job-seekers attended.

-- Betsy Scott, BScott@News-Herald.com, @ReporterBetsy