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Winter Park-Maitland observer
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00091444/00242
 Material Information
Title: Winter Park-Maitland observer
Alternate title: Winter Park Maitland observer
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 44 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: G.J.W. Munster
Place of Publication: Winter Park FL
Publication Date: 12-20-2012
Frequency: weekly
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Newspapers -- Winter Park (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Newspapers -- Maitland (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Newspapers -- Orange County (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Genre: newspaper   ( marcgt )
newspaper   ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Florida -- Orange -- Winter Park
United States -- Florida -- Orange -- Maitland
Coordinates: 28.596111 x -81.346667 ( Place of Publication )
 Notes
Dates or Sequential Designation: Began with v. 1, no. 1, Jan. 26, 1989.
General Note: Description based on: Vol. 4, no. 29 (July 16, 1992).
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 26271684
lccn - sn 92000170
issn - 1064-3613
System ID: UF00091444:00244

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With more than 1,000 highwage jobs already created in Mait land and a new agreement to bring in 400 more, Digital Risk is saying its in the city to stay despite being acquired by a billion-dollar company in India. Last week, the city of Maitland signed an agreement with Digital Risk, an independent provider of risk, compliance and transac tion manage ment solutions, to incentivize the company to add 400 high-wage jobs to its already 1,000-employee strong workforce in the Maitland Center. Digital Risk has grown very rapidly and very aggressively, Maitland Development Director Dick Wells said, introducing the second incentivized funding ini tiative sought by the company in three years. Their business is a good one. Good enough, he said, to have been acquired by MphasiS, a Hewlett-Packard company, head Our columnist gives the gift of a dramatic Christmas ction as a personal tale for the holidays. Page 15 Louis Roney Opinions Will the Mayan apocalypse destroy the Earth on Friday? Not if these Irish astronomers are (hopefully) right. Page 14 Healthy Living How to beat the holiday binge? These Winter Park businesses are taking matters into their own hands. Page 8 Calendar Take a walk with the artists as they explain the trials of an artistic couple in The Power of Two on Dec. 22. Page 6 CALL US TODAY FOR A COPY OF Your Guide to Social Security Bob@aSafeHarbor.com | ASafeHarbor.com(407) 644-6646 Learn more visit www.ss.vip2site.com When faced with stormy nancial waters, seek... Call us today for your guide to Social Security!404-644-6646 or visit www.ss.vip2site.com CALL US TODAY FOR A COPY OF Your Guide to Social Security Bob@aSafeHarbor.com | ASafeHarbor.com(407) 644-6646 Learn more visit www.ss.vip2site.com When faced with stormy nancial waters, seek... Call us today for your guide to Social Security!404-644-6646 or visit www.ss.vip2site.com Winter Park Recovery CenterExecutive Drug & Alcohol Treatment Services Suboxone Maintenance For Opioid Abuse Naltrexone/Acamprosate for Alcohol2056 Aloma Ave, Suite 100, Winter Park, FL 32792 www.winterparkrecoverycenter.com 407-629-0413 Maitland locks in biz boom To learn more about Digital Risk, headquartered in Maitland Center, visit digitalrisk.com SARAH WILSON Observer Staff Gay, lesbian and transgender teachers may no longer fear for losing their jobs, and gay, lesbian and transgender students will be protected from discrimination after the Orange County School Board approved protections for those groups Dec. 12. But not everybody was happy about the result inside the School Board chamber. Speakers were at times threat ened with ejection from the room as the contentious issue caused threats of a mass exodus of stu dents or a U.S. Supreme Court free speech case by those op posed to the law. Security guards repeatedly surrounded Apopka resident Linda Burnette after she pointed and shouted at the School Board. As far as what youre propos ing here, its not only vulgar and out of place, but unless youve seen real discrimination, you guys dont know what youre talking about, she said. majority of the kids who cant say I support marriage, Orlan do resident Larry Godden said, Suddenly thats hate. It took six hours of testi mony and deliberations before a vote that split 6-2, with Board members Christine Moore and Pam Gould voting against the change. Moore had earlier pro posed an amendment that would have stripped language from the change protecting gender expres sion and identity. That failed 3-5, with Board members Christine Moore, Pam Gould and Chair man Bill Sublette in favor of it. For Board member Rick Roach, passing the change, in cluding protections for gender identity, was seemingly an easy choice, one with precedent from hundreds of schools nationwide. He disagreed with dissent based on threats that schools would face gender-bending chaos in the wake of the vote. Theres been so much mis information tonightthats misinformation that people re ally believe that would happen if we pass this law, he said. We talk about suspending kids for disagreeing with their teachers, homosexual, heterosexual. Its Gays given protection in contentious vote ISAAC BABCOCK Observer Staff Please see COUNCIL on page 3 I do not believe they need to be protected from people who are simply different than they are. Martha Haney, Boone parent Please see SCHOOLS on page 2 Spirit of giving Tired of the consumer blitz of the holidays? This family is giving another gift this season: acts of kindness STORY ON PAGE 7 PHOTO BY ISAAC BABCOCK THE OBSERVER The Defeo family is getting in the spirit of the season by helping local neighbors and strangers around Baldwin Park.

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Page 2 (407) 514-0087 3.05% Certain restrictions apply. Rates may vary depending on deposit amount. We broker CDs for FDIC insured banks. Promotional incentive may be included to obtain yield.w w w .oldhar bor f inancial .c om Old Harbor FINANCIAL12 Mon t h CDAlso oer IRA Specials & free 401k ReviewsAPYHigher Rates for Longer Term r f r f n rt t b t r f n t f n t rfn tb t t f n b tf r f n f t b b r r n Winter Park City Talk BY RANDY KNIGHT CITY MANAGER Fre dlund Fine Arts These paintings make great Christmas gifts. Fredlund Fine Arts1143 Orange Ave. Winter Park 407-622-0102 fredlundgallery.comWinter Hours:10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon. thur Sat.For the month of December Over 20 artistsAnnual Small Painting show, over 50 paintings by Florida artists On behalf of the city of Winter Park, I would like to extend the happiest of holidays to you and yours. This time of year gives us the opportunity to focus on what is really important in our lives ple that mean the most to us. As your city managers, we do everything we can to pursue the citys vision To be the best place to live, work and play in Florida for todays residents and future generations, and we will contin ue to provide the highest quality of services to our residents. We thank you for your contin ued support of our city, and wish you happy holidays this season and all year long. Its a great time to skate on Christmas break! Dont forget the citys Win ter in the Park holiday ice skat ing rink in Central Park West Meadow is waiting for you! Yes, we are open on Christmas Eve, from noon to 6 p.m., but closed on Christmas Day. For more information, please call 407-599-3203 or visit cityof winterpark.org/WITP City Hall closed and no Waste Pro services City Hall will be closed Mon day, Dec. 24, and Tuesday, Dec. 25, in observance of the Christmas holiday. Normal business hours will resume Wednesday, Dec. 26. City Hall will also be closed New Years Day. There will be no Waste Pro ser vice on Christmas Day or New Years Day. Normal services will resume on the next regularly scheduled collection day. Dec. 24 City Commission meeting canceled In observance of the Christmas holiday, the Monday, December 24, City Commission meeting has been canceled. The next City Commission meeting will be held Vote for your favorite holiday window The city is proud to present its third annual Winter in the Park Holiday Window Contest and Wristband Promotion. From now until Sunday, Dec. 30, you can vote for your favorite window online at cityofwinterpark.org/ HWC Also, the Wristband Promotion encourages patrons of the Winter in the Park holiday ice skating rink to show their wristbands at participating merchants to take advantage of a minimum savings sible other special storewide sav ings. For information, please visit cityofwinterpark.org/WITP and click on the Holiday Window or Wristband tabs. Russell Athletic Bowl Parade of Bands The city will proudly host the sixth annual Russell Athletic Bowl Parade of Bands, featuring school bands from Rutgers University and Virginia Tech on Friday, Dec. 28, at 11 a.m. As a prelude to the p.m. at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium, school bands and mas cots will march through down town Winter Park and perform a Bandtastic Game Day Preview. The parade will start at 11 a.m. at the intersection of Park and Ly man avenues, going north on Park Avenue through downtown Win ter Park. After turning west onto ceed to Central Park where they will perform for all fans to enjoy. For information call 407-5993463. Visit the citys ofcial website at cityofwinterpark.org, nd us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on Vimeo. Im Sally. Thats probably one of the toughest decisions that would ever happen to a kid. Why in the world would you play with that? Orange County resident Pat rick Howell said that doomsayers were wielding negative hyperbole to frighten parents. They use scare tactics that propose scenarios that have never come to pass in the hundreds of school districts that have adopted this very similar language, he said. Please dont be misled. Parent Martha Haney said that it wasnt a question of restricting free speech or enforcing politics; rather than fearing them. Children need to be protected from those that would do them harm, she said. Sometimes they need to be protected from football coaches, and sometimes they need to be protected from troop leaders but I do not believe they need to be protected from people who are. SCHOOLS | Gender flip-flop fears rejected as ridiculous C ONTINUED FROM FRONT PAGE Santa Parker and friends PHOTO BY SARAH WILSON THE OBSERVER Parker the owl from ILuvWinterPark.com played Santa Claus at a special event at the Park Avenue clothing boutique Tuni on Dec. 5.

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Page 3 Every year the holiday season sneaks up on us and we are con sumed with the activities of the season. Its merriment and the gathering of family and friends; the year-end holiday season is a joyous time of year indeed, but, in residential settings. Included are civilian injuries and in some cases, loss of lives. Holiday trees and decorations According to a report from the National Fire Protection Associa NFPA estimates that Christ mas trees, both natural and arti in an estimated average of 240 per year during 2005-2009. These age of 13 civilian deaths, 27 civil ian injuries, and $16.7 million in direct property damage per year. During the same period, holi day lights and other decorative lighting with line voltage were involved in an estimated aver average of eight civilian deaths, 14 civilian injuries, and $8.5 mil lion in direct property damage per year. Cooking Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home struc while smoking materials remain deaths result from incidents re ported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. One-quarter of all home that started in the bedroom; 24 nating in the living room, fam ily room, or den; and 15 percent the kitchen. Almost two-thirds were present or in which smoke alarms were present but failed to operate. Candles Based on data from the U.S. Fire Administrations (USFAs) National Fire Incident Report ing System (NFIRS) and the experience survey, NFPA esti mates that candles were the heat source in an estimated average of caused an average of 136 civilian deaths, 1,041 civilian injuries and $471 million in direct property damage per year. Roughly onein the bedroom. More than half candle was too close to some thing that could burn. Candles used for light in the absence of electrical power appear to pose a 1990s but have been falling since the 2001 peak. Heating appliances In 2009, heating equipment was involved in an estimated 58,900 reported home structure vilian injuries and $1.1 billion in direct property damage. In 2005-2009, most home and injuries (66 percent) and half of associated direct prop erty damage involved stationary or portable space heaters. Space heating poses a much higher risk million users than central heat ing. SAFETY TIPS Holiday decorating decorations. Choose decorations retardant. decorations and other things that can burn. label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both. with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini light sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturers instructions for number of LED strands to con nect. lights so the cords do not get damaged. from windows and doors. Holiday entertaining and tell guests about your home away from lit candles. up high in a locked cabinet. cooking on the stovetop. side. Remind smokers to keep their smoking materials with them so young children do not touch them. smokers. Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding. Being careful and using the tips above will help ensure a hap for you and your family. All resource material provided by NFPA at NFPA.org Bart Wright, CFPS Asst. Chief/Administration Maitland Fire Department Maitland City Talk BY HOWARD SCHIEFERDECKER MAYOR Winter re safety quartered in Bangalore, India ear lier this month. But, determined to keep its presence in Maitland, the company sought to secure a Quick Action Closing Fund (QACF) incentive with the city pending its creation of 400 new jobs in the area. The Council unanimously agreed to approve the proposal, centives to the company over a bringing the new employees to Maitland. Orange County and the state of Florida will cover the re maining $800,000 of the incentiv ized agreement. In 2009, the city entered into gram with the company, Digital Risk agreeing to create 240 jobs in the city by 2014. Dick Wells said this QACF will supplement that, cant headway with the QTI re quirements. Digital Risk, said the company plans to rent additional space across from the building in Mai tland Center where it operates now to expand to accommodate its growing workforce. The Council spoke highly of the companys impact in the citys businesses community so far, thanking them for their continu ing commitment to Maitland. Were delighted to have you in our city, and delighted to have your employees in our city, COUNCIL | C ONTINUED FROM FRONT PAGE

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Page 4 FEATURING ...... AND MUCH MORE! A Premier Flooring Source r rfntbWe offer Full-Day Infant Care and Childcare Year-Round, Preschool Classes, Summer Camp, and much more! rfntbrn n n Find I LUV Winter Park merchandise and local art at ILUVParkAvenue.com407-539-3977 Business Briefs Community Bulletin Christmas tome On Dec. 14, members of the Winter Park Rotary Club visited students at Fern Creek Elementary to present the school new dictionaries. Each dictionary had a personal note from Rotary Club members to each student. Schools save lunch money USDAs Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act requires all school food authorities prove that menus, designed according to the new nutrition standards, are meeting re quirements. To qualify for an additional $0.06 per meal, which equates to $1.2 million in additional funds, the require ments include more whole grains, fruits and vegetables with specic nutrients and calorie ranges specic to childrens grade level. The Orange County Public Schools Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) program passed the USDA audit and received the Certication of Compli ance with Meal Requirement. Food driven Trinity Preps annual Thanksgiving Food Drive concluded on Friday, Nov. 16. The Upper School collected 12,871 cans, to taling more than 13,000 pounds of food. The Middle School also participated this year and collected 3,806 items. This year, in addition to donating to Second Har vest Food Bank, Trinity Prep donated 838 pounds of food to Bags of Hope. Spoils of war The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculp ture Garden is excited to share its new est acquisition with its guests, a bust of Woodrow Wilson created by Albin Polasek himself that was targeted for destruction by the Nazis. This extraordinary piece of American history, thought to have been destroyed in World War II, is now on dis play at the Winter Park museum. New OMA exhibits The Orlando Museum of Art (OMA) pres ents New Work: A Series of Bimonthly Exhibitions of Contemporary Art in a dedi cated gallery. Each month features new work by contemporary artists from Flor ida and around the country, emphasizing art that explores new media, installations and collaborative projects. As part of this series, Judy Rushin presents The Secret Social Life of Painting, through Feb. 7. Send submissions to ibabcock@ turnstilemediagroup.com Within the last month, Lamm & Com pany Partners has been awarded four new medical ofce building projects that broke ground in recent months. The Win ter Park Womens Health Pavilion is a new 22,000-square-foot, two-story medical ofce building that will be built adjacent to the Winter Park Memorial Hospital campus. Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A. is pleased to announce that its Founding Partner John F. Lowndes has been named as an Over 80 hon oree by The Kinneret Council on Aging for 2013. Each year, the Council honors eight octogenarians who continue to ac tively participate in and make signicant contributions to the community, defying stereotypes associated with older adults. Christopher Hurn, chief executive ofcer of Mercantile Capital Corporation, said the 10-year-old rm should close com mercial property loans to nance projects valued at a total of more than $450 mil lion in 2012. In 2011, Mercantile Capital closed $174 million in loans. Winter Park Womens Health Pavilion Trinity scholars Christine Monir of Maitland is one of Trinity Preps nominees for Stetson Universitys J. Ollie Ed munds Distinguished Scholarship, a prestigious merit-based award that includes full undergraduate tuition, books, fees and room and board for four years, as well as special advising and mentoring, study abroad opportunities, and a stipend for summer internships. Steven Schelling of Winter Park is Trinity Preps nominee for the Uni versity of Notre Dames HesburghYusko Scholars Program, a meritbased scholarship and leadership development program designed to produce leaders who will live truly transformational lives.

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Page 6 DEC. 20 This is your last weekend to see August: Osage County, a grand, gripping new play which tells the story of the Westons, a large extended clan that comes together at their rural Oklahoma homestead when the alcoholic patriarch disappears. Its playing at the Mad Cow Theater Dec. 2022 at 7:30 p.m. and nal day Dec. 23 at 2:30 p.m. DEC. 23 Learn your Jewish genealogy with the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Orlando. Members will help attendees with research techniques and success stories to help people nd their ancestry. The program starts at 1 p.m. Dec. 23 at the JGSGO. Visit jgsgo.blogspot.com for more details. DEC. 24 From Dec. 24 to Jan. 2 your child can have fun with the JCC with activities like Space Day, RDV Ice Skating, Jungle Adventures eld trip, Fun Spot eld trip, Sports Day, and Snow Day (yes, real snow!) For more information, contact gwenb@orlandojcc. org, call 407-645-5933, extension 249, or visit the registrar in the JCC lobby. The Maitland Senior Center will be closed Dec. 24 through Jan. 1 for the holidays. We will reopen on Jan. 2, at 9 a.m. DEC. 27 The Lettermen, the famous vocal male trio, are returning to St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Winter Park. Two concerts, presented by Homeless Heart, will be held at 7 p.m. on the evenings of Dec. 27 (Christmas concert) and Dec. 28 (Broadway concert). Tickets are $30 for general admission and $50 for reserved seating. Purchase tickets online at home lessheart.org Visit www.wpmobserver. com/events/search for more details. Send submissions to ibabcock@turnstilemediagroup.com www.lilylace.com Central Floridas most charming antique market makes it difcult to leave without a little something! Over 40 quality dealers in a truly welcoming atmosphere.Visit us todayand test your ability to resist temptation. www.lilylace.com www.lilylace.com Central Floridas most charming antique market makes it difcult to leave without a little something! Over 40 quality dealers in a truly welcoming atmosphere.Visit us todayand test your ability to resist temptation.www.lilylace.com www.lilylace.com Central Floridas most charming antique market makes it difcult to leave without a little something! Over 40 quality dealers in a truly welcoming atmosphere.Visit us todayand test your ability to resist temptation. www.lilylace.com Join Today! Get Involved!Winter Park Republican Womens GroupLuncheon Meetings held monthly at the Winter Park Racquet Club. Spouses welcome! Call 407-718-9355 for more information. Calendar DEC. 21-22: A very dark Christmas ick Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale tells a dark tale of Christmas. Its the eve of Christmas in northern Finland, and an archeological dig has just unearthed the real Santa Claus. But this particular Santa isnt the one you want coming to town. Its playing two nights only at the Enzian, at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 21 and 22. Plan your weekend with The Weekender! Visit wpmobserver.com and click "Subscribe to Newsletter" DEC. 28: Bowl parade up Park Avenue The city of Winter Park will proudly host the sixth annual Russell Athletic Bowl Parade of Bands, featuring school bands from Rutgers University and Vir ginia Tech Friday, Dec. 28, at 11 a.m. As a prelude to the Russell Athletic Bowl game at 5:30 p.m. at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium, school bands and mascots will march through downtown Winter Park and perform a Bandtastic Game Day Preview. The parade will start at 11 a.m. at the intersection of Park and Lyman avenues, going north on Park Avenue through downtown Winter Park. After turn ing west onto Gareld Avenue, they will proceed to Central Park where they will perform for all fans to enjoy. DEC. 22: Walk with the artists Its a Gallery Walk with Power of Two artists Martha Lent and Larry Moore. This group exhibi tion highlights some of Central Floridas most renown visual art ist couples. Explore with us what it is like to have two creative minds living and working together. Are these artists inuenced by their partners works? Do they create collaboratively or individu ally? Regular museum admission applies. A&H members receive free admission.

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Page 7 Lifestyles Family Calendar ST. DOROTHY CATHOLIC COMMUNITY is one of a number of valid branches of Catholicism, not under the jurisdiction of Rome, and not afliated with the Diocese of Orlando offering all seven sacraments to all who come seeking a relationship with Christ. So, if you have ever felt unwelcome in any church for any reason or a former Roman Catholic, we invite you to attend our parish community where EVERYONE is welcome. We cherish our members as family without regard to any division used to separate Gods children from one another. Love Without Judgment where ALL are welcome301 New England Avenue Post Ofce Box 485 Winter Park, FL 32790-0485 Lighting up the community for the holidays is about more than carefully hung Christmas lights and meticulously placed meno rahs in windows, Baldwin Park mom Courtney Defeo says. Its about lighting up faces and internal faith through giving rather than getting to create a hap py, healthy holiday season. A neighbor com ing home to a fresh ly swept porch and message of Christ mas scrolled on the sidewalk, the gar bage men getting a small gift card and sign waiting for them on the curb, overworked mall employees handed a candy cane and card by a smiling preschooler its the little thankyous during the holidays that are the least occurring and the most ap preciated, Defeo says. She started a blog out of her At lanta home in October of last year its garnered more than 150,000 unique visitors so far. She started thinking of shopping ideas for the holiday season, ideas of toys, treats and wants swirling through her two toddlers heads, and she got an idea she deemed Light Em Up. It wasnt revolu tionary Random acts of kindness had been promoted and performed for years. But market ing the idea toward moms and with a strong dose of faith, she watched as her 50 ideas to light up a commu nity with kindness country. It gets so ad dictive you almost dont want to do anything else, Defeo says with a laugh. A new neighbor in Baldwin Park, Defeo is now gear ing up for Year 2 of her Light Em Up holiday give-back project, and shes excited to share her light and cheer with the Orlando community. This December, Defeo expanded her list with 50 additional ideas and more free printable tips and tricks for families looking to light up the holidays. Of all the people were try ing to focus on, its about who we think we usually forget to thank, Defeo said. From the mailman to homeless, this years blog has ideas for ways to make an often-unappreciated neighbors day brighter. It can be as little with no budget, or as big as you want to go, she says. You can pay for a strangers layaway purchase at K-Mart, or the order for the man behind you at Starbucks. You can place gift cards in smile and card to workers. This year, Defeo has armed her car with an on-the-go box of feel-good surprises. There are umbrellas to hand out to strang ers caught in the rain and granola bars to give out to the hungry man on the corner. Always along for the ride are her two daughters, Larson and Ella. And watching and par ticipating in these acts of giv ing and kindness, Defeo says, is more of a gift to them than mal could ever be. I want them to know how good it feels to put other people before themselves. Even last year, they caught on to how contagious it can get. We cant wait to get up to see what the next day holds, Defeo said. FIVE random acts of kindness ideas from Light Em Up: 1. Stage an early morning chalk attack. Pick a street yours or another! and write a good morning or have a great day message on every driveway. 2. Find someone that is homeless and deliver them a warm blanket. 3. Visit an inner-city playground and bring a surprise picnic lunch for as many kids as you can. Think coolers of drinks, sandwiches and Christmas cookies for all. 4. Single moms rule. Find one and lighten her load. 5. Stand outside your childs classroom and give each child a single ower as they walk in. Then, as the children enter the classroom, have them hand the ower to their teacher. By the time class begins, he or she will have a vase full of owers. PHOTO BY ISAAC BABCOCK THE OBSERVER Larson Defeo, right, hands a candy cane to Jackson Werner (with mother Andrea), part of a random acts of kindness program that Larsons mother Courtney is practicing this season. Baldwin Park family practices random acts of kindness to spread holiday cheer this season SARAH WILSON Observer Staff To read Courtneys Lil Light O Mine blog and nd more information about her Light Em Up holiday program, visit lillightomine.com. On the site you can nd her 100 ideas for random acts of kindness and printable materials to help you light up your community for the holidays. getting Giving over DEC. 24 From Dec. 24-Jan. 2 your child can have fun with the JCC with activities like Space Day, RDV Ice Skating, Jungle Adventures eld trip, Fun Spot eld trip, Sports Day, and Snow Day (yes, real snow!) For more infor mation, contact gwenb@orlandojcc. org, call 407-645-5933, extension 249, or visit the registrar in the JCC lobby. Boys and girls ages 8-15 are invited from Dec. 24-28 to join JCC Bas ketball Director Whitney Tossie for a unique basketball experience, em phasizing skill development, sports manship, offensive and defensive strategies, and lots of fun. Sign up at the registrars desk for only $30 per day ($25 per day for JCC members). Our USPTA-certied tennis pros provide quality instructions in an at mosphere lled with fun, teamwork and discipline for boys and girls ages 6-12 with clinics on Dec. 24-28 and 31, and Jan. 2-4, offer non-stop ac tion, focusing on todays most popular sport. Sign up at the registrars desk for only $30 per day ($25 per day for JCC members). DEC. 27 The Lettermen the famous vocal male trio, are returning to St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Winter Park. Two concerts, presented by Home less Heart, will be held at 7 p.m. on the evenings of Dec. 27 (Christmas concert) and Dec. 28 (Broadway con cert). Tickets are $30 for general ad mission and $50 for reserved seating. Purchase tickets online at: homeless heart.org DEC. 28 The city of Winter Park will proudly host the sixth annual Russell Athletic Bowl Parade of Bands featuring school bands from Rutgers University and Virginia Tech on Friday, Dec. 28, at 11 a.m. As a prelude to the Rus sell Athletic Bowl game at 5:30 p.m. at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium, school bands and mascots will march through downtown Winter Park and perform a Bandtastic Game Day Preview. The parade will start at 11 a.m., playing in the park afterward. ONGOING Winter in the Parks ice skating rink will give you a winter wonder land all day for just $10, skates in cluded. The event continues through Jan. 6 on Winter Parks Central Park West Meadow. It runs from 3 to 9 p.m. MondayThursday, 3 to 10 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Satur day, and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday. See cityofwinterpark.org/WITP for holiday hours. Sign your children up for winter and spring sports leagues in Maitland, now through Jan. 13. Sports leagues are for ages 5-19, depending on league, ranging from soccer to ag football to baseball and softball. Visit Independencelane.com for a link with all the details. Maitland Public Library Happenings Weekly programs are canceled for the holidays. This week: Friday, December 21, Blood Pressure Check. Send submissions to ibabcock@ turnstilemediagroup.com

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Page 8 Every Tuesday morning since April, with a click of the mouse, 22 Winter Park businesses got a little bit healthier. From the brain of Corporate Wellness Consultant Mandy Nice, sent to the contact list of Winter Park Chamber of Commerce Senior Director Marisa Worley, and for warded from one human resource inbox to an entire company, healthy living Tuesday Tips have become a tradition. Each emails tips cover a topic geared to ward healthy living in the workplace. From nutrition in the break room to stress man agement in the boardroom, they provide each Work Well Winter Park participating business quick ideas on how to continue working well that week. Next Tuesday morning instead of an email, many workers will wake up to cookie crumbs left over from Santa, and the smell of the sizzling holiday ham already prepping for supper. This, Nice said, makes next Tuesday and the days surrounding it some of the most trying times for her tips all year. The holidays absolutely include and provide more challenges when it comes to staying healthy, she said, but they also provide more opportunities as well. Having spent most of the year teaching Winter Park workers how to live and work well, Nice, Worley and the 22-wellness co ordinators for Work Well Winter Park par ticipating businesses are working to keep their trainees on task through the holiday season and into the New Year. Its all about balance, Nice, owner and president of NICE Life Fitness in Win ter Park, said, and applying healthy living thoughts to your holiday traditions. Policies already established in Work tations, Worley said. No-sweets zones and healthy-only catering options help limit the lure of holiday party desserts she said, by making the healthy choice the easy choice. At home, Nice said, without policies like those at work in place, the challenge can 7 9 0 1 Kin g s p o in t e P a r kwa y S u it e 2 8 O r la n d o FL 3 2 8 1 9 O f f ic e : 40 7 -3 5 1 -1 5 7 3 Fa x: 40 7 -6 41 -9 0 9 0 AD PROOF LAS ER FO O T S U R G ER Y INS TITU TE LLC C o n t a c t Ag e n c y P h o n e Fa x (407) 341-7484 (407) 876-1963 Ext. Cell Ac c o u n t R e p MADELINE Proof carefully for spelling and general layout. We cannot assume responsibility for errors after this proof is approved. Please fax back or call with changes. X AP P R O VAL R EAD Y TO P R INT DR RICHARD M. COWIN DR RICHARD M. COWIN 1 1 0 1 1 2 ISSUE 1/4 AD SIZE $ 3 5 1 .0 0 TOTAL DUE FOR THIS AD THIS ISSUE 2069 Aloma Ave. Winter Park, FL 32792 762 E. Altamonte Drive Altamonte Springs, FL 32701(407) 691-3009 (407) 679-2135 Visit us on the web @ www.binsons.com r fntbt f rtt ftbt bt bnr nr rt b bb f b tb off trtnCoupon redeemable for cash, check or credit card purchases only. Not redeemable for insurance transactions. Excludes custom/special orders & nutritional supplements. May not be combined with any other dis counts. Coupon has no cash value. Working well to beat the holiday weight gain For more information about Work Well Winter Park, an extension of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, and how to get your business involved, visit workwellwinterpark.org The Chambers next lunch and learn session with partner Florida Hospital will be on Wednesday, Jan. 9. Dr. Timothy Spruill, assistant director of Behavioral Medicine at Florida Hospital, will discuss the concept of becoming more resilient. Find out how to apply resiliency to your life by looking at how personal outlook and practices can help you not only endure, but grow, in stressful situations. After spending the holidays with the in-laws, they say, you wont want to miss out. SARAH WILSON Observer Staff PHOTO COURTESY OF WINTER PARK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Getting out of a mid-day ofce rut can be as easy as a stretch routine, taught by Work Well specialists. PHOTO BY SARAH WILSON THE OBSERVER Tuba Christmas took over Winter Parks Central Park on Dec. 15, bringing an unusual sound to the season. Brassy Christmas for living well during the holidays TOP 3 TIPS Wellness Specialist Mandy Nice 1. YOUR PLANNER IS YOUR BEST FRIEND. Make sure that you schedule time to take care of yourself during the holiday rush. Whether its taking a breather with a book, or the quick calm of a walk around the block, quiet youtime can really count. You want to make sure you take care of yourself, so you can continue to take care of others. 2. HAVE FUN WITH IT. Try new things you might not have done on your own. While the family is in town, take on a new walking trail together or each pick a new healthy recipe and give it a go. The holidays arent complete without some reindeer games! 3. EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS. Take the stairs at the mall while youre shopping, and spring for an extra serving of veggies during dinner. Eat your dessert, but save that last piece of chocolate cake thats calling your name for another day. Give yourself credit for the effort, and remember that everythings a balance. Work to sustain healthy habits youve come to adopt all year long while enjoying a happy holiday season. Please see WORK WELL on page 11

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Page 9 at Winter Park Towers Your room is waiting for you if you need Pain and Symptom Management Hospital Follow-up Complex Treatments, or Crisis Care Referrals 866-742-6655#5019096 www.cornerstonehospice.org www.SeriousIllness.org/cornerstoneMedicare, Medicaid, most commercial insurances accepted Its not just about getting you back on your feet. Its about getting you back to your life. HCR Healthcare, LLC Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing rf ntbr rfrr rrr rff rrrr rfrtrrf rrtrf rrrr rrfrr rrrrr rbrfbrrr rbrrrb rr rbrr brrrrr rrrr rr rrrrAnticipate the Event rrbr rrrr rr trr brPlan Pleasures Other Than Food and Drink rr rrbrrrrr rfbrrbHave Reasonable Expectations rrr rrr rBuild in Ways to be Active rrrrr rr rrrrbr rr rr rrrr rrr r rbfrrrr rrrr r trr rbrrr rrbfrr (407) 644-3606Work Well Winter Park Savannah Court and Coe Excellence in Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation 1301 W. Maitland Blvd. Maitland, FL 32751407-645-3990www.SavannahCourtMaitland.comAssisted Living Facility License No. 8447 Skilled Nursing Facility License No. 1635096 At Savannah, it feels just like home. Its safe, convenient and the food is excellent. And of course, my mom is a huge fan of Bingo! Ernestine & her daughter PatriciaAssisted Living Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Care Variety of Apartment Suite Selections, some with Lake Views Restaurant Style Dining Laundry, Housekeeping, Maintenance Services Transportation to Outings and Medical Appointments Beautifully Landscaped Courtyard Call us today, stop by for a visit, join us for lunch, or all of the above. You are always welcome! A Senior Living Community where Hospitality is a Way of Life. Kids winter break activities abound Amy Schwartz Whats up at the JCC? School may be out for your kids this winter break, but it doesnt have to mean stress for you or bore dom for them. Bring your children to the Roth Jewish Com munity Center of Greater Orlando this winter break for two weeks of JCC friends. Heres the schedule: Day at the J Day at the J Day at the J trip Day at the J World at the J a.m. Pick up is available at the tion is available. New Years Eve sleepover Enjoy a grown-up-only New Years Eve this year, and your kids will enjoy a night of fun! at the JCC and count down the New Year with new friends. Kids The JCC welcomes kids and adults from all backgrounds. To register for any of these programs, visit the Roth JCC at land. For more information, call org Amy Schwartz is the marketing director of the Roth Jewish Community Center. The JCC welcomes people of all faiths. For more information, visit orlandojcc. org or call 407-645-5933. Plan your weekend with The Weekender! Visit wpmobserver.com and click "Subscribe to Newsletter"

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Page 10 Great holiday food? Big toe hurting? It could be gout. Gout used to be a disease of kings, but democracy changed that. Now we can all have food and drink rich in gout-causing properties, like red meats, turkey, gravy and beer. The holidays are full of such rich delights. Often gout is a pain toe. It might feel like a scorpion has taken over the tip of your foot. Gout hap pens when your body has too many uric acid crystals. Purines, which are found in most foods, break down into uric acids. Too much uric acid creates uric acid crystals. Normally, your body excretes the uric acid as a waste byproduct, no problem. But when you have foods high in purines or medicines that either produce uric acid or block your kidneys from excreting the uric acid, the crystals gather. Purines are in foods high in protein and fat, like vegetable oils, greasy burgers and purine are liver, kidneys, ancho vies, and the great American bird turkey. Gout is more common with beer than whiskey, and not associated with wine. Common medicines that may cause gout are some blood pressure medica tions and aspirin. Gout is more common among men, and those The crystals can gather in other joints, not just the big toe, doing silent damage. Uric acid crystals can also form kidney signs that your uric acid levels are too high. High levels of uric acid that do not cause symptoms can be damaging and need to be assessed and treated. The test for gout is a simple blood test to as sess uric acid levels. High level of uric acid is called hyperuricemia. Translation: hyper (high) uric (uric acid) emia (in the blood). The good news is that gout can be controlled by changing what you eat, and by medica tions. If you think you have gout, go see your health care practitio ner. Fortunately, gout can often be treated with generic medications, which tend to be less costly. For can be treated with a common over the counter medication such as ibuprofen, but you also want to be sure to get your uric acid levels down. Drugs to treat gout block the production of uric acid or improve your bodys ability to excrete uric acid. So if you are going to go easy on the turkey and the beer, whats left? Those side dishes fruits and vegetables have lots of potassium, which helps get rid of uric acid crystals in your blood. Bananas, avocados, spinach, potatoes, asparagus, beets and pumpkin are full of potassium. So you have a good reason to enjoy those sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. Antioxidant-rich vegetables like green beans, celery, corn, mustard greens, and red and green peppers can also help. Enjoy berries (strawberry picking time in Oviedo starts and plums. Cereals, rice, pasta, nuts, seeds and low-fat dairy foods are alternatives to purinerich foods. Also drink plenty of water eight to 12 glasses a day. It helps wash the uric acid out of your body. Maitland resident Nancy Rudner Lugo is a nurse practitioner and president of Health Action, offering workplace health consulting and nurse coaching. Visit www.healthaction.biz Got turkey? Beer? Gout? Dr. Nancy Rudner Lugo Health Action Gout is more common with beer than whiskey, and not associated with wine. Common medicines that may cause gout are some blood pressure medications and aspirin. The Observers e-newsletter has community news for WINTER PARK MAITLAND COLLEGE PARK BALDWIN PARK GOLDENROD Get it delivered to your inbox every week. Visit WPMObserver.com and click Subscribe to newsletter

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Page 11 Nibble on the carrots collected for the reindeer instead of Santas cookies. Walk the neighborhood to look at lights instead of driving. Concoct a healthier version of an old favorite recipe. With these policies already in place, when the holiday comes in, its already worked its way into a habit and easier to enforce, Nice said. Stephanie Watkins, wellness coordinator with Moss Kru sick and Associates, knows how heavy-hitting holiday snacking can be, and how little changes can Before her company joined Work Well, Watkins remembers gaining 10 pounds from the holi day season alone from all the sweets surrounding her at home the weight plus some and Krusick into Orlando Business Journals healthiest employer of 2012. Theres a healthier overall cul ture here now. If I eat a cookie, I hear about it, she said with a laugh. She credits her companys suc cess of cutting sweets and cop ing with stress to the policies put forth and provided by the Cham ber through working with Work Well and Mandy Nice. Everywhere I go and people ask me about my wellness pro gram, I always immediately talk about the Work Well program, Watkins said. From lunch and learns at the Chamber to Sneaker Friday after noon walks, she said she and her coworkers try to take part in every earning OBJs honor, she said, so We wouldnt be here without them, she said. last Fridays events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, I know that many people will approach Christmas The mass shooting of 20 children and seven adults has left our whole nation stunned and in mourning. I am sure that many of you have felt the impact of this personally within your own families and schools. Parents may feel the pain of the Connecticut parents and take a second look to make sure their kids are OK. Teach ers feel for their colleagues, and wonder if this could ever happen closer to home. Children may experience heightened levels of fear and anxiety over what theyve heard and what it means. There are natural emo tions at a time like this, and we need to demonstrate special love toward each other right now. This kind of incident seems especially cruel in the days just before Christmas, which is sup posed to be a season of cheer and goodwill. However, I want to remind you that the very purpose of Jesus coming was to shine as a light in the midst of darkness, not liven up a set of festivities already underway. Jesus was born into a tough, cruel world that knew its fair share of violence, even toward children. One of the least-read Christmas passages is the story about Herod killing the chil dren of Bethlehem when he was threatened by news of Jesus of one mans insecurity, the in fant boys of a whole town were wiped out. In supplying a quote from Jeremiah by way of com ment, Matthew was essentially saying that the cries over this tragedy could be heard through out the land and they could not be comforted very much the case with Newtown. A lot of people have already tried to interpret the cause of the crime at Sandy Hook Elemen tary. Several have cited mental illness. I am sure that the shooter was deeply disturbed, but what disturbs someone that much? The whole debate over gun control has reopened and that certainly needs to be explored. However, one of the most inter esting takes on the whole matter was from Mike Lopresti, a sports writer at USA Today. He sug gested that perhaps a contribut ing factor to the tragedy was an increase in rage throughout our culture: You wonder if we have created too fertile a breeding ground for violence. You wonder why the predominant emotion among so many of us so often is rage. He goes on to say that this communal rage doesnt make murderers of us all, but that it may contribute to the rage of the already disturbed. (See http:// usat.ly/RueUO5.) In the midst of such senseless ness, we continue to try to make sense of it all. I suspect we never will in a totally satisfactory way from a human perspective. But that is where Christmas comes in. In prophesying about the coming of Jesus, Isaiah wrote: The people who walk in dark ness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. The coming of Jesus was meant to not only help us un derstand, but deal with genuine evil. Because Jesus was born into a violent world in which He is not afraid of those places now. Over the next few days, I think you will see evidence of His touch in the stories that emerge from Connecticut, just a way of showing up when tragedy breaks out, and we need to look for Him and welcome Him. Thats how we can really celebrate Christmas, even in dark times. Rev. Jim Govatos currently serves as Senior Pastor at Aloma United Methodist Church located in Winter Park. A former atheist, Jim is passionate about helping people understand and experience a living faith in Jesus Christ. Please share your thoughts by emailing him at jimg@ alomazone.org Alert to Caregivers of Dependents with Special Needs: You May Need to Change the Beneciaries of Your Life Insurance, Annuities, IRAs or Other Retirement Accounts The process of special needs planning involves developing a total plan to provide for the dependents lifetime care. Ownership of assets must be coordinated with legal documents (such as trusts, wills and beneciary designations) to avoid the loss or reduction of any government or other benets for which the dependent may be eligible. Assets can pass from one individual to another individual in a variety of ways. Assets may be transferred by sale or by gift. At death, assets may pass through a will or under intestacy laws and be distributed by the estate. Assets may be distributed by trusts. Certain assets will be distributed through operation of law. These include assets held jointly (such as real property held in joint tenancy, or as tenants in the entirety) that avoid the probate process and go directly to another named person. Other assets can pass through operation of contract. These usually include life insurance policies, annuities, IRAs, and certain other types of retirement accounts that permit the owner to name a beneciary. These types of assets typically avoid the probate process (unless the estate is named beneciary), passing directly to the named beneciary. Even the very best plans can go astray if all the pieces of the puzzle are not pieced together correctly. Distributions specied in wills can result in money going directly to a person with special needs (for example, a provision that requires that the residuary estate be divided equally among the decedents children, with the share of any predeceased child being divided equally among that childs children or descendents of predeceased children). Payments made directly to a person with a disability can result in the reduction or even loss of government benets. How many caregivers of dependents with disabilities today have named their dependent as the beneciary on a group or individual life insurance policies, IRAs, 401(k) plans, prot sharing plans, or dened benet pension plans? How many people have forgotten whom they have named as beneciary? How many people never named a beneciary? When the caregiver dies, the terms of those policies and retirement plans will govern the distribution of the money usually requiring distribution to the named beneciary or, if none is named or living, to the estate. If the dependent with special needs receives the money, this could produce disastrous results. When planning for the nancial future of someone with special needs, all beneciaries of insurance policies, pension plans, IRAs, and annuities, need to be reviewed. If the caregivers have established a special needs trust for their dependent with special needs, the trust should be named as beneciary, so not to compromise their loved ones benet eligibility. One mistake, a forgotten policy, or a beneciary designation not updated, can unravel the best of plans!Due to the complexity of federal and state laws, you may require specially trained professionals to help you plan for the future of your dependent with special needs.. A Special Needs Planner can work with your attorney and provide the nancial and insurance products that may be needed to complete your planning. Call Special Needs Planner Charles Fisher at 407-393-6693 for a condential consultation. The MetLife Center for Special Needs PlanningSM, formerly MetDESK For more information about this and other related topics, visit our organizations website at www.metlife.com/specialneeds or call 1-877-638-3375. Pursuant to IRS Circular 230, MetLife is providing you with the following notication: The information contained in this document is not intended to (and cannot) be used by anyone to avoid IRS penalties. This document supports the promotion and marketing of insurance products. You should seek advice based on your particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. MetLife, its agents, and representatives may not give legal or tax advice. Any discussion of taxes herein or related to this document is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be complete or cover every situation. Tax law is subject to interpretation and legislative change. Tax results and the appropriateness of any product for any specic taxpayer may vary depending on the facts and circumstances. You should consult with and rely on your own independent legal and tax advisers regarding your particular set of facts and circumstances.Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 1095 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036. L1111221507[exp0114][All States][DC,PR] Charles FisherFinancial Services Representative Special Needs Planner MetLife of Central Florida 301 E. Pine Street, Suite 800, Orlando, FL 32801 Jim Govatos Reality Lines Expect to walk in darkness before seeing the light WORK WELL | C ONTINUED FROM PAGE 8 Theres a healthier overall culture here now If I eat a cookie, I hear about it.

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n the mall earlier this week I saw a young boy with someone I assume was his father. The boy was carrying a white envelope with the words Christmas Money carefully written across the front. He had a sparkle in his eye and was chatting easily with his father, as I followed behind him I heard him say, I know I have enough money, but do you think mom will like it or LOVE it. He earnestly sought his dads face for the answer. This boy has been on my mind all week long. What a great example of a young child learning the joy of giving. St. Francis of Assisi said For it is in giving that we receive and as we head into this Christmas season it is important not only that we celebrate Christ and His birth, but that we foster in our children the joy that comes from giving. Use these tips to help show your children just how fun giving can be. Dont wait for your children to make their own money to buy their own presents, start now! Help them save money all year long from allowances or birthdays to buy token gifts for their family or close inding a gift that will provide both immediate and long term enjoyment is so difficult that we will often finally settle for just getting that thing they really, really want. We do this with the awareness that before next year is half over, the gift will probably be forgotten. But there is one gift, more than any other, that will have tremendous long lasting value to your children. The best gift a child can receive is a healthy relationship between the parents. Is this on your gift list? Some parents have resigned themselves to a relationship of disappointment or disconnection, but change is possible. It is a gift you may still be able to give. I would never suggest that a healthy marriage can be realized by following a few easy steps. As a counselor, I know better than that. But I also know that change often begins with a few specific goals. So if you want to give this gift for your child, here are a three changes to consider: Spend less time looking back on the hurts and disappointments of your marriage and look more toward the possibilities of your future. Determine to settle unresolved issues that compromise your connection to each other. This will likely require some apologies and forgiveness, but be willing to do whatever it takes to turn your thoughts and conversations to the hope that is ahead rather than hurts that are behind you. If stress or conflict causes you to either move away from each other or against each other, commit yourselves to learning how to move toward each other As parents during the holidays, we often spend time and effort trying to come up the right present for our child. instead. Your child should be aware of disagreements without being exposed to battles. Set aside a weekly time when the two of you will privately check in with each other and work through any necessary issues. If you don't know how to resolve conflict, ask for help. Commit to making daily investments into your relationship. Give affirmation and affection to each other without waiting for it to "feel natural." Be intentional with your intimacy, even if that means you start by making a daily checklist of the things you will do or say for their benefit. friends. Even better, get creative as a family and make ornaments or other gifts and talk about who you will gift them to. Make it fun and something your kids will remember. Too often we can get caught up in the list making and getting of Christmas. This year intentionally set out to make it a year of giving instead of getting. This doesnt mean you cant buy your children gifts, just remember that our children are inundated at this time of year with commercials and magazine ads all with the newest toys or games that they want. It is tempting to spend time talking with your kids about all of it, instead shift the focus of the conversation to what they are giving. Talk regularly about who they want to give to and what they want to give. Get excited about it and they will too. Are you hurrying out to buy gifts when the kids are asleep or ordering online? Of course there is nothing wrong with that, dont forget your children are watching you. Try to involve them in some of the process of your brainstorming, purchasing, wrapping etc. Show them how excited you are to come up with a gift you think someone will enjoy, talk about it frequently. Give All Year: You do not have to stop giving just because Christmas is over, make it a point in your family to give all year, talk about the details over dinner or game night, let your children help in the decision making process. The more involved your children are in the giving process the more they will take ownership of it and feel the importance of giving. When opening gifts on Christmas teach your children how to say thank you, and not just the words. Talk over Christmas dinner about the people who chose their gifts, the thoughtfulness behind them and how it makes them feel to have received such a nice gift. Help them write thank you notes. In learning how to receive gifts in a thoughtful way children develop a greater understanding for the process of giving which then creates in them a more giving spirit. his month, Charis counselor Tim Tedder talks about the best gift you can give your child: A healthy relationship between you and your spouse. His downloadable GIFT GUIDE can be found on our Facebook page at OurLifeToday. Julia Jancek writes on Nurturing your childs spirit of giving, a timely guide to help your child make wise choices and Dr. Christopher Baur talks about the loss of a child. Sadly, a timely reminder of a recent tragedy and how fleeting this life can be. Dr Baur also gives us hope as we look at the profound question of Why God allows these events to happen. As we strive to include ever more relevant articles in todays hectic world, wed like to ask for your feedback on what you would like to see on these pages. Let us know what you think or let us know if you have any suggestions or questions for our writers. Wed like to thank you for writing to us with a for something to have with your coffee. We would even like to invite you to submit your own inspirational stories for possible publication to dy@OurLifeToday.Org. Ou rLife T oday I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. John 8:12 I know of only one starting place in the war against sorrow, and that is ...in the arms of Almighty God. Robert Williams Please share your thoughts with us OurLifeToday

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f you have a child, then youve probably had a sick child. Maybe your child was so sick you feared for his life. Worse yet, maybe you have lost a child to an illness or an accident. The tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut make us ask Why? Until we have children, it is impossible to imagine the depth of grief people experience when they lose a child. But some people have found a hope that heals in the midst of such great loss. Some people are certain they will see their child again. Asking Why? The quest for understanding. he quest for understanding is at the core of what it means to be human. It is perhaps the deepest, most basic human desire. We yearn to know the mysteries of nature and our universe. We brave untold dangers to discover every part of our world and to examine its treasures. Even greater, than our struggle to understand what and how, is our need to understand why. For what purpose did a situation arise? Why am I here? Such questions are made even more acute when the darkness of not understanding intersects with the apparent injustice of lifes most difficult circumstances. Many times in my life, I have reflected on Gavin and his family. Pain and sorrow may occur, but comfort can be provided even in the darkest time. Although Gavins story has always meant a great deal to me, its impact in my life has become greater as my experience has increased. With the ever growing realization that I am unlikely to fully understand the mysteries of purpose in tragedy and injustice, knowing that in our darkest hours he reaches out to us, we are better able to yield to the one in whom we place our confidence. Stories like Gavins give me great Hope. I do not need to know everything. I only need to know the One who does. My need for understanding may not be fulfilled, but comfort is offered and Hope is eternal. A deepening peace emerges and my faith relationship is strengthened. And that in fact, is purpose enough. by Christopher Baur, M.D. Even greater, though, than our struggle to understand what and how, is our need to understand why. n 1974, my four year old brother Weston was admitted to the hospital for surgery to repair a heart valve damaged by a congenital defect and made worse by infection. My parents gathered my sister Jennifer and me and told us about his condition and the surgery. Then they mustered their faith and courage and reassured us that he would be okay. I believed them, I had confidence in their word. The surgery went well and today Weston is a faithful husband, devoted father of three, loving brother, and is adopting an earthquake orphan from Haiti. Although the memories and lessons from Weston's illness are many, the one that sticks hardest in my soul and has grown greatest in it's impact upon me doesn't involve him at all. It is a lesson for the ages taught by a six year old boy who shared the same hospital room with him. Gavins mom clutched his dads hand tightly in dreaded anticipation as they waited for Dr. Dyer. When he arrived, Dr. Dyer would come to the point quickly, he wore enough wrinkles in his face to understand that there were no words, no matter how elegantly compassionate, to soften the blow when a child's life was on the line. Ted, Madeline, it's good to see you. I just came from the lab, Gavins white count is up to seventy six thousand and his hemoglobin continues to drop. The odds were four to one against him the first time he went into remission. We knew it would take a miracle for it to happen a second time. I'm sorry. With the doctor's words the forbearance of emotion could no longer hold the frozen waterfall. Madeline's stoic facade gave way to a torrent of agony. Gavin's slight frame barely made an impression on the firm hospital mattress. Blanket and sheet at his ankles, warmth was retained by the large plush bear which never left his bed. Ted and Madeline entered silently and Gavin's eyes opened. Did you sleep well, sport?, asked Ted in tones as cheerful as he could assemble. But swollen, red faces betrayed their grief. The shiny man said you'd be sad. Replied the small patient in a barely audible voice. We're not sad, lied Ted. What shiny man? followed Madeline, quickly. Was it Brian from the kitchen? Gavin attempted to sit up. His parents immediately assisted him by propping a pillow behind his low back. No, silly. Gavin smiled. The shiny man took a walk with me while I was sleeping. Ted and Madeline quickly sat. Ted took Gavin's hand and Madeline placed her palm on his cool forehead. Tell us everything the shiny man said, Madeline requested urgently. I never saw him before, but I told him you wouldn't mind if I talked to him because he didn't seem like a stranger. He said I was going to move to his house and you would be very sad. Are you sad? The pair's wide welling eyes answered without words. He told me to thank you for taking care of me and that he would take care of me now. He said not to worry, you can be confident in Him. by Christopher Baur, M.D. The death of a child is the most devastating experience parents can face. And a perplexing experience for their Christian friends. We all ask why .why the life of a child? But God has not left you alone with grief. If events in your own life or those in Newtown, leave questions in your heart, we urge you to talk with your pastor, a spiritual advisor or Tim Teddar or Julia Jancek at Charis Counseling. Call 407 894 5202 www.charisorlando.com You Are Not Alone. Please share your thoughts with us OurLifeToday

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Page 14 Opinions Of all the things Ive created in my life, many of the ones I remember most fondly are ones from when I was a kid. There were drawings I did of Disney characters, of an owl, things I wrote for special occasions. Ive been amazed a few times to things Id long forgotten but she loved and saved. Being reac quainted with such creations has helped spark memories of more crazy, fun and creative things my brother, sister and I did, such as decorating the house with all homemade items one year for my parents anniversary, including a lot of toilet paper streamers. Kids tend to see a world full of possibilities. As we get older, we tend to increasingly see it full of obstacles. Kids ask why? Adults tend to accept and deal. Childlike wonder comes with an innocent ignorance of not knowing where the fences and walls are sup posed to be. So much of what happens at an early age dictates, or at least place in it. Successes and person karate class, a dance recital or an art class can be the seeds of who and what we become later. A month or so ago, I did a column on my favorite local dog portrait artist, Gena Semenov, and learned of a program, Danc ers Dawn, to which her daughter focuses on providing dance op portunities for children. I met with Ivan Puig, who leads the group, recently on Park Avenue. His own daughter, proud, invested father. last year. Youve got lots of after school activities, I mean, youve got Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts, and youve got football, and all take part in, dance is one of those. The thing about dance is its Scouts, Girl Scouts, so not a lot of people try out for it. If your child wants dance, and they want to dance competitively, its 100 percent on the parents and theres really not a lot of support for them. So it was sort of born out of the idea that theres not a lot of support for the dance com munity. Our mission is to support young girls who want to dance, dance competitively, he contin ued. The group does not teach dance, but seeks to fund dance instruction for those who might Its hard I dont like blaming everything on the economy but when you have a situation in your family economy, one of the tunately, is dance. Sometimes its just bridging the gap for a few months. But thats our primary port. Dance can be a very expen sive extra, he explained, citing with ballerina tutus that can are directed at fundraising, from which the funds are then turned into grants provided to individual dance students. Dancers Dawn does not teach any classes, but does conduct art classes through Gena Semenov as a way of introducing their dance students to other art activities. In turn, the created works are then often turned into cards, which are sold to help support the program. Duvall Dance Academy in Long wood, where most of the students go, has supplied its backroom for the classes, as well as paid for paper and printing costs. In the last several months, the group has also launched a dance community, one of the things you do every year is you have to buy several costumes that your girls dance in; and, its really fun and special, but if you dance for twelve years you end up with two closets full of dresses, he said. I laugh and refer to the movie one woman. Yes, exactly, Ivan responds. He describes the dance costumes are sparkly and glit tery, and I imagine what such a closet must look like. The group now acquires dresses from those who will no longer use them, and lists them in items, having a single seller can increase views and, ultimately, sell through. Ivan says they cur costumes listed, with 200 more to add. Theyve already had two instances of the costumes pur chased by other members, though one of those was for a Halloween costume. Most are on consign ment, but some are donated. Our primary focus is in dance, but what we really want to do and this is not in the mission statement but what were trying to do is grow the performing arts as sort of an after school activity for young kids. Its a creative out In the future I think one of the things wed like to do is create periodic events in which kids can showcase their talent, and it doesnt cost them anything to do. Wed love to be able to do something like that for the kids, and include all types of perform ing arts. Clyde Moore operates local sites ILUVWinterPark.com and ILUVParkAve. com, and aims to help local businesses promote themselves for free and help save them money, having some fun along the way. Email him at iluvwinterpark@ earthlink.net or write to ILuv Winter Park on Facebook or Twitter. Check out his column on WPMObserver.com by navigating to Columnists > Clyde Moore Clyde Moore I LUV Winter Park We highlight local businesses that are utilizing and selling items made by other locals. Send submissions to iluvwinterpark@earthlink.net Local Luvn Local The Glam Hatter Got a special event coming up? Whether its a birthday party, a bachelorette party or just wanting to let someone know how special he or she is to you, go glam and go local! Sassafras Sweet Shoppe on Morse Boulevard has lots of fun special occasion hats for most any occasion, made right here locally by the Glam Hatter. Go Glam and youre already home! In the Northern hemisphere, the winter solstice will occur at 11:11 a.m. on Dec. 21. This marks the point where the sun reaches its most southerly point in its annual journey around the sky, and the shortest day of the year. ancient societies and cultures, as it marked the start of the days lengthening again, and the beginning of the return to the fol lowing spring and summer. The alignment of the great monument at Newgrange, in County Meath, Ireland, to the rising winter sol stice sun shows just how impor tant it was to that society. The end of the world? But this year the date has an the hype about the various pre dictions of the end of the world on that date. Why Dec. 21, 2012? It started with some dubious interpretations of the complex Long Count Mayan calendar. This is too complex to describe, but it is a linear calendar, and the long count consists of a 5,125year cycle based on a unit called a baktun. And this cycle, some say, will end on Dec. 21, 2012, marking the end of the world. Why are the Mayans sup posed to know something that the rest of us dont? Its because ancient wisdom (everything from the Sumerians to Pyrami dology to Atlantis, the Mayans and lots more) is much beloved by all sorts of New Age mystics, conspiracy theorists, etc. Add the fact that the Earth and sun will align with the center with the supermassive black hole there, on Dec. 21, and a hypo thetical giant planet called Nibiru heading our way to either hit us, or just miss, on that date, and you have the perfect recipe for Armageddon. The predictions of disaster range from total obliteration of the Earth by collision with Ni biru, to major shifts of the Earths axis, huge volcanic eruptions, incredibly violent earthquakes, gigantic tsunamis, magnetic pole reversals, major outbursts of ra diation from the sun, and so on. Should you worry? First, many reputable Ma yan scholars disagree on that interpretation of the calendar. Second, many say that the end of the Long Count would herald a good time, not a bad time. Third, theres no reason to suppose that another Long Count would not just follow this one. Fourth, the Mayans knew much less about astronomy and calendars than we do. Fifth, the Earth and sun have been aligning with the center of the Milky Way and its black hole every Dec. 21 for the last few hundred years, and nothing has happened. Both the center of the Milky Way and the black away; much too far to have any Sixth, Nibiru does not exist. Seventh, a major shift of the Earths axis is impossible. Eighth, a magnetic pole re versal, if it occurs, will be a very slow and gradual process, taking probably centuries to happen. Ninth, the Sun is actually at a comparatively quiet period in its cycle of activity now, and a major outburst of the type predicted, within the next few months, is so unlikely that we can ignore it. Tenth, none of the hundreds of other predictions of Armageddon were right; why should this one Of course volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis do occur, but theres no reason to expect one particularly on Dec. 21, and especially no reason to expect anything as violent as the doom-mongers predict. So its as near to 100 percent that we will still be here on Dec. 22. And after whatever the next doomsday prediction may be. Irish Astronomical Association A dancers dawn Art by Amaya Puig Winter solstice, yes. Mayan armageddon, no! ILLUSTRATION BY JONATHAN GALLAGHER

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Page 15 Chris Jepson Perspectives What now? Mr. Natales Christmas I did not deny Gods existence, but I doubted His absolute justice. Elie Wiesel, Night Ive been reading a few pages, each evening, of Night by Elie Wiesel. I can only take a few pages before I have to set it down. I inwardly shout, Get out! Leave! Now! Run! Night recounts Wiesels experience as a Romanian Jew during the Holocaust. It is profoundly sad. I can only internalize so much of his account before I become anxious and unsettled. When I heard of the Connecticut mas sacre, of 20 children dying (six adults, too) I was immediately sickened, physically nauseated by the senselessness of killing babies. You ask yourself, How can this be? How can slaughtering innocence ever be contemplated, let alone acted upon? Why would this happen? Thats really not the question needing asked. But rather, how was this massacre perpetrated? (Answer: see assault weap ons.) The timeless question for our species is why is man so prone to violence, so willing to hurt and humiliate? I was taken aback by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabees observation on the Connecticut massacre that, We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage? I found his comments both disgusting and surprising. Surprising from the perspective that I thought Huckabee, as an ordained South ern Baptist minister, would have empha sized that God is present everywhere and always. He suggests the contrary. That schools, what? Death and mayhem shall ensue? As a non-believer in a personal god, 2011, visually stunning movie, Tree of Life, a character observes, He sends course, is God. Its a legitimate observa tion to me. One, I imagine, discussed from church pulpits all over America last Sunday. It is a question that can only be Old Testament God does time and time again. It begs, however, the question, Why? I have questioned the existence of God ever since I was old enough to realize that really bad things happen to good people. Why? Where was God during the Holocaust? Or, during the Trail of Tears? Or, the Moro Crater Massacre? Or, Sandy Hook Elementary School? Was Gods attention diverted, busy creating other universes? Discussing whom to smite with Archangels Gabriel and Michael? Was God on vacation? I dont think that is the case because if I were an omnipotent, omniscient, foreveralways-present God, I would know that systematically execute innocence. These children had no choice of free will. If I knew humanity was capable of the Holocaust, would I (God) not reason ably tweak ever so slightly my design of mankind? Why were children massacred in New town? Because a mentally deranged man had ready access to assault weapons. He human behavior. No, a far better question is how was the act accomplished? To the degree we can identify and help the mentally ill is one issue, with what ease (how) we slaughter each other is quite another. Happiness is not a warm gun. John Lennon knew that. Mankind must remember that peace is not Gods gift to his creatures; peace is our gift to each other. Elie Wiesel What now? Jepson is a 24-year resident of Florida. Hes scally conservative, socially liberal, likes art and embraces diversity of opinion. Reach him at Jepson@MEDIAmerica.US In the palm-edged driveway, Mr. Na tale greeted the pale lad who stood there. Well, sir, what can I do for you? boy. I dont see why not got any tackle? A pole across the street, said the lad. I havent seen you around before. No sir. I was in the hospital. You all right now? Im OK. Were going back home up north tomorrow. What was wrong? A big long name I cant say. I got blood transfusions. Im OK now. Good, said Mr. Natale. The old man and the boy walked down to the lake. Sit on the end of the dock. Dig some worms here on the shore. There are big bass in there, nice bream too. My dad told me your name is Mr. Natale youre a great singer. Was, son wasa long time before you were born. You dont sing anymore, Mr. Natale? No. Why not? I couldnt do it anymore the way I wanted it to be. Well, why not? Guess I just got old, thats all. You could still sing great if you really wanted to. You dont honestly believe that, do you? Yes, I do. I know it. Well, well see. Have a good time. In the bank Mr. Natale said, Morning, Dottie, to the teller. He laid a check on the counter, and said, Id like to cash this.... Suddenly Giuseppe Natales mouth opened wide and began to sing. The words, Che gelida manina.... came out as clear and strong as they had when he sang La Bohme in the great opera the air. ed loudly. That was something, the teller said. Yes. Wasnt it! said Mr. Natale. Later at the supermarket Mr. Natale The cashier gave him a smile. Mr. Natale, will it be cash or check? He said, Ill pay... Then Giuseppe Natales mouth began to sing Celeste Aida. The people in the cashiers lines stared open-mouthed as he ended on a resound Rome and Paris. Wow, Mr. Natale, I never heard any thing like that! said the dark-eyed young cashier clapping her hands along with all the other people in the store. No, Rosie, I guess you didnt. Say, theres no price on this olive oil. his gas tank. Mr. Natale, want me to check the oil? asked Frank. That would be very And Na tales mouth launched into La donna mobile from Rigoletto. He held the high B at the end as long as he had ever had in Milano. Cars stopped people waved. Giuseppe Natale bowed low. At home, the little boy came up from the lake. I caught some, but I threw em back, said the little boy with a grin spread across his thin face. I just hadnt ever caught one before. Mr. Natale said, I sure wish you were Oh! I wish so too, Mr. Natale. The next day, on Christmas, the boy and his family drove away. Christmases came Christmases went But Mr. Natales mouth never sang any more songs. Merry Christmas! About Roney: HarvardDistinguished Prof, Em.UCF 2004 Fla. Alliance for the Arts award (Assisted by beautiful wife Joy Roney) Louis Roney Play On! Happiness is not a warm gun. John Lennon knew that. A smarter way to grade Americas high schools Everyone agrees that Amer icas high schools need to do a better job of preparing students to be collegeand careerready. But the big problem is: how do we get them to do it? One state has just come up with a bold solution that could serve as a model for education reform throughout the country. California recently passed a law that reduces the weight of standardized test scores for rank ing high schools. Now, crucial factors like graduation rates, attendance and student advance ment will play a larger role in grading the ability of public schools in preparing students to succeed after high school This law is a big step in the right directionand it paves the way for other states to pass simi lar reforms aimed at preparing students for college and beyond. every California public school has been granted an Academic Performance Index, or API, score based almost entirely on how its students fare on a handful of standardized tests. Other states are also reliant upon test scores to evaluate schools successes. These scores help determine everything about a schools future whether it receives fund ing, whether parents can move their children to a better school, even whether home values rise or fall. So the pressure to get a high score is enormous. The intention, of course, has been to hold schools account able for their performance and to give them incentives to improve. The problem is that the system puts too much emphasis on tests that dont necessarily predict how well a student will actually do after high school. In the end, students were being prepared to succeed on tests while they were in school, not beyond graduation. Sure enough, a closer look at the numbers reveals that, when based primarily on these tests, a schools API score can be an un reliable predictor of how well stu dents will perform in college. A 2012 study conducted by Educa tion Sector found that one school with the relatively high API percent to college. Meanwhile, The APIs true shortcom ing is revealed when the scores are applied to schools with a high proportion of low-income students. According to our study, schools with the lowest API overall in sending their gradu ates to college. And the school with the lowest API score had the highest postsecondary enrollment institution, 5 percentage points above the state average. Standardized test scores cer tainly provide one valid measure of student success. But it is clear that they are not entirely accurate a measure of if students are really ready for life after high school. And this problem has serious real-world consequences. Only 25 percent of high school students taking common college entrance exams in California are deemed collegeand careerready. And students must take remedial classes for basic skills before they can qualify for credit-bearing work. Our nations high schools have been failing to provide the requisite tools for students before sending them out the door. how California ranks its schools. scores can count for no more than and it says that the state superin tendent must add grad rates and measures of collegeand careerpreparedness to the mix. The reality of todays economy is that students must start prepar ing for life beyond high school early. Its our job to make sure that our high schools are helping them do just that. If we want Americas students to arrive at college ready for postsecondary work, we must improve our systems for evaluat ing high schools. California just put forward a great model for reform. What we need now is for the rest of the country to follow. John Chubb is CEO of Education Sector, an independent think tank, and is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. JOHN CHUBB Guest Writer

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Job placement assistance. Computer available. MEDICAL CAREERS BEGIN HERE Call 888-203-3179www. CenturaOnline.com 866-314-3769AIRLINES ARE HIRING Tom Carey SundewGardens@gmail.comEvery home should have a garden Experience homegrown gardening: KEEP UP WITH MAITLAND NEWS AND EVENTS!www.IndependenceLane.com Facebook.com/ItsMyMaitland OBSERVER Just Sold Homes 2505 Modac Trail, Winter Park, FL 32789 sold by Jim Mitchell, Melody Mitchell & Catherine DAmico 4848 Conway Road #3, Orlando, FL 32812 sold by Elim Cintron & Teresa Jones-Cintron 7826 Canyon Lake Circle, Orlando, FL 32835 sold by Sherri Dyer 2900 Parkland Drive, Winter Park, FL 32789 sold by Julie Bombardo 2681 Meeting Place, Orlando FL 32814 sold by Pamela Ryan 1732 Arbor Park Drive, Winter Park FL 32789 sold by Mary Ann Steltenkamp

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Page 32 Now to Dec. 22 Breakthrough Theatres Best Christmas Pageant Ever In the largest cast ever assembled by the Breakthrough Theater of Winter Park, couple struggling to put on a Christmas pageant for their church while coping with the most inventively awful kids in history. There is mayhem and fun as the kids and adults collide head-on with the Christmas story. Breakthrough Theatre is located at Dec. 20 to 23 The Nutcracker at the Bob Carr The ballet that is everyones favorite holiday entertainment brings its visions so much more to the Bob Carr PAC as the Orlando Ballet celebrates the holiday sea son with The Nutcracker. Presented in Nutcracker remains true to its classical traditions with an infusion of Artistic Di rector Robert Hills mix of choreography. And this season, The Nutcracker will be danced to live music from the Orlando Philharmonic. Tchaikovsky would be Dec. 22 and 23 The Nutcracker at the Convention Center productions in the entire nation by CNN Headlines News, the pyrotechnic Nut cracker will be presented by the Central Theater in the Orange County Convention Center. This presentation emphasizes the fairytale story of a Nutcracker doll coming to life as an enchanted prince who saves a pretty young maiden from distress. With keeps young male audience members just Dec. 22 and 23 A One-Man Version of A Christmas Carol Celebrating Charles Dickens 200th birthday, Southern Winds Theatre will present a One Man A Christmas Carol written and performed by David McEl McElroy creates everyone from Scrooge to Tiny Tim and the three Ghosts. This solo interpretation, created for adults and southernwindstheatre.com Dec. 22 to March 31 Glass sculptures at Orlando Museum of Art Through its new exhibit Contempo rary Glass Sculpture: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Studio Glass the Orlando Museum of Art will join a celebration of events at museums and galleries nation works by renowned artists including Dale Chihuly, William Morris, Christopher Ries, Therman Statom, Lino Tagliapietra and others, while works by young artists will explore how each uses the intrinsic charac teristics of glass for expressive purposes. Most of the works, selected from private collections, have never been in a museum exhibit before. The Museum is in Loch Ha omart.org Dec. 27 and 28 Benet concerts for homeless charities Two evenings of impressive harmoniz ing will provide help to Central Floridas homeless population as The Lettermen, the famous vocal trio, return to St. Mar garet Mary Catholic Church in Winter Park. The concerts, presented by Homeless homelessheart.org or at the St. Margaret concert include Bring Change, Covenant House, Family Promise, Idignity, Nathan iels Hope and others which are not large enough to produce an event such as this Dec. 29 The always amazing Toxic Audio Toxic Audio is a national treasure, which came to life right here in Central mimics a human juke box, their a capella of favorite songs from Michael Jackson to The Beatles that are amusingly synchro nized into skits. Most amazing, however, is that both lyrics and instruments are created Other sounds, such as a motorcycle rev ving and other noises, are featured. Their at the Wayne Densch PAC in Sanford. Call Josh Garrick is a writer, photographer, educator, and ne art curator. He is a member of the Curatorial Council for the Museum of Florida Art. Garrick can be reached at joshgarrick9@gmail.com or 407-5223906. Josh Garrick Culture worthy of your calendar 558 W. New England Ave, Winter Park, Florida 407-982-4319 www.ClassicIronBeds.com All iron & brass beds are made in the USA and guaranteed for 2 generations Order now in time for the Holidays Bob Adams President/ CEO A SafeHarbor, LLC bob@asafeharbor.com The Fiscal Cliff is shaping up to be a congressional showdown that might have you caught in the cross-re. Stay informed about the impact the Fiscal Cliff could have on your retirement plans for the years to come and what you can do about it. The Fiscal Cliff Everyone is looking for answers Let us help you! Call today!407.644.6646www.aSafeHarbor.com This week at Enzian1300 SOUTH ORLANDO AVE MAITLAND, FL 407-629-0054 WWW.ENZIAN.ORG @EnzianTheater Starring Academy Award Nominees Bill Murray & Laura Linney HYDE PARK ON HUDSON Fri Sun 3:45, 6:30, 9:15 Wed, Thu 6:30, 9:15 Tue 6:30 only Cult Classics: JACKIE BROWN Only $5! Tue 9:30 Midnight Movies: RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE Fri & Sat 11:59PM David McElroy as Scrooge



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With more than 1,000 highwage jobs already created in Mait land and a new agreement to bring in 400 more, Digital Risk is saying its in the city to stay despite being acquired by a billion-dollar company in India. Last week, the city of Maitland signed an agreement with Digital Risk, an independent provider of risk, compliance and transac tion management solutions, to incentivize the company to add 400 high-wage jobs to its already 1,000-employee strong workforce in the Maitland Center. Digital Risk has grown very rapidly and very aggressively, Maitland Development Director Dick Wells said, introducing the second incentivized funding initiative sought by the company in three years. Their business is a good one. Good enough, he said, to have been acquired by MphasiS, a Hewlett-Packard company, head-Our columnist gives the gift of a dramatic Christmas ction as a personal tale for the holidays. Page 15Louis Roney OpinionsWill the Mayan apocalypse destroy the Earth on Friday? Not if these Irish astronomers are (hopefully) right. Page 14 Healthy LivingHow to beat the holiday binge? These Winter Park businesses are taking matters into their own hands. Page 8 CalendarTake a walk with the artists as they explain the trials of an artistic couple in The Power of Two on Dec. 22. Page 6 CALL US TODAY FOR A COPY OF Your Guide to Social Security Bob@aSafeHarbor.com | ASafeHarbor.com(407) 644-6646 Learn more visit www.ss.vip2site.com When faced with stormy nancial waters, seek... Call us today for your guide to Social Security!404-644-6646 or visit www.ss.vip2site.com CALL US TODAY FOR A COPY OF Your Guide to Social Security Bob@aSafeHarbor.com | ASafeHarbor.com(407) 644-6646 Learn more visit www.ss.vip2site.com When faced with stormy nancial waters, seek... Call us today for your guide to Social Security!404-644-6646 or visit www.ss.vip2site.com Winter Park Recovery CenterExecutive Drug & Alcohol Treatment Services Suboxone Maintenance For Opioid Abuse Naltrexone/Acamprosate for Alcohol2056 Aloma Ave, Suite 100, Winter Park, FL 32792 www.winterparkrecoverycenter.com 407-629-0413 Maitland locks in biz boom To learn more about Digital Risk, headquartered in Maitland Center, visit digitalrisk.comSARAH WILSON Observer StaffGay, lesbian and transgender teachers may no longer fear for losing their jobs, and gay, lesbian and transgender students will be protected from discrimination after the Orange County School Board approved protections for those groups Dec. 12. But not everybody was happy about the result inside the School Board chamber. Speakers were at times threat ened with ejection from the room as the contentious issue caused threats of a mass exodus of students or a U.S. Supreme Court free speech case by those op posed to the law. Security guards repeatedly surrounded Apopka resident Linda Burnette after she pointed and shouted at the School Board. As far as what youre propos ing here, its not only vulgar and out of place, but unless youve seen real discrimination, you guys dont know what youre talking about, she said. majority of the kids who cant say I support marriage, Orlan do resident Larry Godden said, Suddenly thats hate. It took six hours of testimony and deliberations before a vote that split 6-2, with Board members Christine Moore and Pam Gould voting against the change. Moore had earlier proposed an amendment that would have stripped language from the change protecting gender expres sion and identity. That failed 3-5, with Board members Christine Moore, Pam Gould and Chair man Bill Sublette in favor of it. For Board member Rick Roach, passing the change, including protections for gender identity, was seemingly an easy choice, one with precedent from hundreds of schools nationwide. He disagreed with dissent based on threats that schools would face gender-bending chaos in the wake of the vote. Theres been so much mis information tonightthats misinformation that people re ally believe that would happen if we pass this law, he said. We talk about suspending kids for disagreeing with their teachers, homosexual, heterosexual. Its Gays given protection in contentious voteISAAC BABCOCK Observer Staff Please see COUNCIL on page 3 I do not believe they need to be protected from people who are simply different than they are. Martha Haney, Boone parent Please see SCHOOLS on page 2 Spirit of giving Tired of the consumer blitz of the holidays? This family is giving another gift this season: acts of kindness STORY ON PAGE 7 PHOTO BY ISAAC BABCOCK THE OBSERVERThe Defeo family is getting in the spirit of the season by helping local neighbors and strangers around Baldwin Park.

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Page 2 (407) 514-0087 3.05% Certain restrictions apply.Rates may vary depending on deposit amount. We broker CDs for FDIC insured banks. Promotional incentive may be included to obtain yield.www.oldharborf inancial.com Old Harbor FINANCIAL12 Month CDAlso oer IRA Specials & free 401k ReviewsAPYHigher Rates for Longer Term rfrfn rttbt rf n tfnt rfntbttf n btf rfnftbbrrn Winter Park City TalkBY RANDY KNIGHT CITY MANAGER Fre dlund Fine Arts These paintings make great Christmas gifts. Fredlund Fine Arts1143 Orange Ave. Winter Park 407-622-0102 fredlundgallery.comWinter Hours:10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon. thur Sat.For the month of December Over 20 artistsAnnual Small Painting show, over 50 paintings by Florida artists On behalf of the city of Winter Park, I would like to extend the happiest of holidays to you and yours. This time of year gives us the opportunity to focus on what is really important in our lives ple that mean the most to us. As your city managers, we do everything we can to pursue the citys vision To be the best place to live, work and play in Florida for todays residents and future generations, and we will contin ue to provide the highest quality of services to our residents. We thank you for your continued support of our city, and wish you happy holidays this season and all year long.Its a great time to skate on Christmas break!Dont forget the citys Winter in the Park holiday ice skat ing rink in Central Park West Meadow is waiting for you! Yes, we are open on Christmas Eve, from noon to 6 p.m., but closed on Christmas Day. For more information, please call 407-599-3203 or visit cityof winterpark.org/WITPCity Hall closed and no Waste Pro servicesCity Hall will be closed Mon day, Dec. 24, and Tuesday, Dec. 25, in observance of the Christmas holiday. Normal business hours will resume Wednesday, Dec. 26. City Hall will also be closed New Years Day. There will be no Waste Pro ser vice on Christmas Day or New Years Day. Normal services will resume on the next regularly scheduled collection day.Dec. 24 City Commission meeting canceledIn observance of the Christmas holiday, the Monday, December 24, City Commission meeting has been canceled. The next City Commission meeting will be held Vote for your favorite holiday windowThe city is proud to present its third annual Winter in the Park Holiday Window Contest and Wristband Promotion. From now until Sunday, Dec. 30, you can vote for your favorite window online at cityofwinterpark.org/ HWC Also, the Wristband Promotion encourages patrons of the Winter in the Park holiday ice skating rink to show their wristbands at participating merchants to take advantage of a minimum savings sible other special storewide sav ings. For information, please visit cityofwinterpark.org/WITP and click on the Holiday Window or Wristband tabs.Russell Athletic Bowl Parade of Bands The city will proudly host the sixth annual Russell Athletic Bowl Parade of Bands, featuring school bands from Rutgers University and Virginia Tech on Friday, Dec. 28, at 11 a.m. As a prelude to the p.m. at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium, school bands and mas cots will march through down town Winter Park and perform a Bandtastic Game Day Preview. The parade will start at 11 a.m. at the intersection of Park and Ly man avenues, going north on Park Avenue through downtown Win ter Park. After turning west onto ceed to Central Park where they will perform for all fans to enjoy. For information call 407-5993463. Visit the citys ofcial website at cityofwinterpark.org, nd us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on Vimeo. Im Sally. Thats probably one of the toughest decisions that would ever happen to a kid. Why in the world would you play with that? Orange County resident Pat rick Howell said that doomsayers were wielding negative hyperbole to frighten parents. They use scare tactics that propose scenarios that have never come to pass in the hundreds of school districts that have adopted this very similar language, he said. Please dont be misled. Parent Martha Haney said that it wasnt a question of restricting free speech or enforcing politics; rather than fearing them. Children need to be protected from those that would do them harm, she said. Sometimes they need to be protected from football coaches, and sometimes they need to be protected from troop leaders but I do not believe they need to be protected from people who are.SCHOOLS | Gender flip-flop fears rejected as ridiculous CONTINUED FROM FRONT PAGE Santa Parker and friends PHOTO BY SARAH WILSON THE OBSERVERParker the owl from ILuvWinterPark.com played Santa Claus at a special event at the Park Avenue clothing boutique Tuni on Dec. 5.

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Page 3 Every year the holiday season sneaks up on us and we are consumed with the activities of the season. Its merriment and the gathering of family and friends; the year-end holiday season is a joyous time of year indeed, but, in residential settings. Included are civilian injuries and in some cases, loss of lives. Holiday trees and decorationsAccording to a report from the National Fire Protection AssociaNFPA estimates that Christ mas trees, both natural and arti in an estimated average of 240 per year during 2005-2009. These age of 13 civilian deaths, 27 civilian injuries, and $16.7 million in direct property damage per year. During the same period, holiday lights and other decorative lighting with line voltage were involved in an estimated aver average of eight civilian deaths, 14 civilian injuries, and $8.5 mil lion in direct property damage per year.CookingCooking equipment is the leading cause of home struc while smoking materials remain deaths result from incidents reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. One-quarter of all home that started in the bedroom; 24 nating in the living room, family room, or den; and 15 percent the kitchen. Almost two-thirds were present or in which smoke alarms were present but failed to operate. CandlesBased on data from the U.S. Fire Administrations (USFAs) National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) and the experience survey, NFPA esti mates that candles were the heat source in an estimated average of caused an average of 136 civilian deaths, 1,041 civilian injuries and $471 million in direct property damage per year. Roughly onein the bedroom. More than half candle was too close to some thing that could burn. Candles used for light in the absence of electrical power appear to pose a 1990s but have been falling since the 2001 peak.Heating appliancesIn 2009, heating equipment was involved in an estimated 58,900 reported home structure vilian injuries and $1.1 billion in direct property damage. In 2005-2009, most home and injuries (66 percent) and half of associated direct prop erty damage involved stationary or portable space heaters. Space heating poses a much higher risk million users than central heat ing.SAFETY TIPS Holiday decorating decorations. Choose decorations retardant. decorations and other things that can burn. label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both. with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini light sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturers instructions for number of LED strands to con nect. lights so the cords do not get damaged. from windows and doors. Holiday entertaining and tell guests about your home away from lit candles. up high in a locked cabinet. cooking on the stovetop. side. Remind smokers to keep their smoking materials with them so young children do not touch them. smokers. Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding. Being careful and using the tips above will help ensure a hap for you and your family. All resource material provided by NFPA at NFPA.org Bart Wright, CFPS Asst. Chief/Administration Maitland Fire Department Maitland City TalkBY HOWARD SCHIEFERDECKER MAYOR Winter re safety quartered in Bangalore, India ear lier this month. But, determined to keep its presence in Maitland, the company sought to secure a Quick Action Closing Fund (QACF) incentive with the city pending its creation of 400 new jobs in the area. The Council unanimously agreed to approve the proposal, centives to the company over a bringing the new employees to Maitland. Orange County and the state of Florida will cover the re maining $800,000 of the incentiv ized agreement. In 2009, the city entered into gram with the company, Digital Risk agreeing to create 240 jobs in the city by 2014. Dick Wells said this QACF will supplement that, cant headway with the QTI re quirements. Digital Risk, said the company plans to rent additional space across from the building in Maitland Center where it operates now to expand to accommodate its growing workforce. The Council spoke highly of the companys impact in the citys businesses community so far, thanking them for their continu ing commitment to Maitland. Were delighted to have you in our city, and delighted to have your employees in our city, COUNCIL | CONTINUED FROM FRONT PAGE

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Page 4 FEATURING ...... AND MUCH MORE! A Premier Flooring Source r rfntbWe offer Full-Day Infant Care and Childcare Year-Round, Preschool Classes, Summer Camp, and much more! rfntbrn n n Find I LUV Winter Park merchandise and local art at ILUVParkAvenue.com407-539-3977 Business Briefs Community Bulletin Christmas tomeOn Dec. 14, members of the Winter Park Rotary Club visited students at Fern Creek Elementary to present the school new dictionaries. Each dictionary had a personal note from Rotary Club members to each student. Schools save lunch moneyUSDAs Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act requires all school food authorities prove that menus, designed according to the new nutrition standards, are meeting re quirements. To qualify for an additional $0.06 per meal, which equates to $1.2 million in additional funds, the require ments include more whole grains, fruits and vegetables with specic nutrients and calorie ranges specic to childrens grade level. The Orange County Public Schools Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) program passed the USDA audit and received the Certication of Compli ance with Meal Requirement.Food drivenTrinity Preps annual Thanksgiving Food Drive concluded on Friday, Nov. 16. The Upper School collected 12,871 cans, totaling more than 13,000 pounds of food. The Middle School also participated this year and collected 3,806 items. This year, in addition to donating to Second Har vest Food Bank, Trinity Prep donated 838 pounds of food to Bags of Hope.Spoils of warThe Albin Polasek Museum & Sculp ture Garden is excited to share its newest acquisition with its guests, a bust of Woodrow Wilson created by Albin Polasek himself that was targeted for destruction by the Nazis. This extraordinary piece of American history, thought to have been destroyed in World War II, is now on dis play at the Winter Park museum.New OMA exhibitsThe Orlando Museum of Art (OMA) pres ents New Work: A Series of Bimonthly Exhibitions of Contemporary Art in a dedi cated gallery. Each month features new work by contemporary artists from Flor ida and around the country, emphasizing art that explores new media, installations and collaborative projects. As part of this series, Judy Rushin presents The Secret Social Life of Painting, through Feb. 7. Send submissions to ibabcock@ turnstilemediagroup.com Within the last month, Lamm & Company Partners has been awarded four new medical ofce building projects that broke ground in recent months. The Winter Park Womens Health Pavilion is a new 22,000-square-foot, two-story medical ofce building that will be built adjacent to the Winter Park Memorial Hospital campus. Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A. is pleased to announce that its Founding Partner John F. Lowndes has been named as an Over 80 hon oree by The Kinneret Council on Aging for 2013. Each year, the Council honors eight octogenarians who continue to ac tively participate in and make signicant contributions to the community, defying stereotypes associated with older adults. Christopher Hurn, chief executive ofcer of Mercantile Capital Corporation, said the 10-year-old rm should close com mercial property loans to nance projects valued at a total of more than $450 mil lion in 2012. In 2011, Mercantile Capital closed $174 million in loans. Winter Park Womens Health Pavilion Trinity scholars Christine Monir of Maitland is one of Trinity Preps nominees for Stetson Universitys J. Ollie Ed munds Distinguished Scholarship, a prestigious merit-based award that includes full undergraduate tuition, books, fees and room and board for four years, as well as special advising and mentoring, study abroad opportunities, and a stipend for summer internships. Steven Schelling of Winter Park is Trinity Preps nominee for the Uni versity of Notre Dames HesburghYusko Scholars Program, a meritbased scholarship and leadership development program designed to produce leaders who will live truly transformational lives.

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Page 6 DEC. 20 This is your last weekend to see August: Osage County, a grand, gripping new play which tells the story of the Westons, a large extended clan that comes together at their rural Oklahoma homestead when the alcoholic patriarch disappears. Its playing at the Mad Cow Theater Dec. 2022 at 7:30 p.m. and nal day Dec. 23 at 2:30 p.m.DEC. 23Learn your Jewish genealogy with the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Orlando. Members will help attendees with research techniques and success stories to help people nd their ancestry. The program starts at 1 p.m. Dec. 23 at the JGSGO. Visit jgsgo.blogspot.com for more details. DEC. 24From Dec. 24 to Jan. 2 your child can have fun with the JCC with activities like Space Day, RDV Ice Skating, Jungle Adventures eld trip, Fun Spot eld trip, Sports Day, and Snow Day (yes, real snow!) For more information, contact gwenb@orlandojcc. org, call 407-645-5933, extension 249, or visit the registrar in the JCC lobby. The Maitland Senior Center will be closed Dec. 24 through Jan. 1 for the holidays. We will reopen on Jan. 2, at 9 a.m. DEC. 27The Lettermen, the famous vocal male trio, are returning to St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Winter Park. Two concerts, presented by Homeless Heart, will be held at 7 p.m. on the evenings of Dec. 27 (Christmas concert) and Dec. 28 (Broadway concert). Tickets are $30 for general admission and $50 for reserved seating. Purchase tickets online at home lessheart.org Visit www.wpmobserver. com/events/search for more details. Send submissions to ibabcock@turnstilemediagroup.com www.lilylace.com Central Floridas most charming antique market makes it difcult to leave without a little something! Over 40 quality dealers in a truly welcoming atmosphere.Visit us todayand test your ability to resist temptation. www.lilylace.com www.lilylace.com Central Floridas most charming antique market makes it difcult to leave without a little something! Over 40 quality dealers in a truly welcoming atmosphere.Visit us todayand test your ability to resist temptation.www.lilylace.com www.lilylace.com Central Floridas most charming antique market makes it difcult to leave without a little something! Over 40 quality dealers in a truly welcoming atmosphere.Visit us todayand test your ability to resist temptation. www.lilylace.com Join Today! Get Involved!Winter Park Republican Womens GroupLuncheon Meetings held monthly at the Winter Park Racquet Club. Spouses welcome! Call 407-718-9355 for more information. Calendar DEC. 21-22: A very dark Christmas ickRare Exports: A Christmas Tale tells a dark tale of Christmas. Its the eve of Christmas in northern Finland, and an archeological dig has just unearthed the real Santa Claus. But this particular Santa isnt the one you want coming to town. Its playing two nights only at the Enzian, at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 21 and 22. Plan your weekend with The Weekender!Visit wpmobserver.com and click "Subscribe to Newsletter" DEC. 28: Bowl parade up Park AvenueThe city of Winter Park will proudly host the sixth annual Russell Athletic Bowl Parade of Bands, featuring school bands from Rutgers University and Vir ginia Tech Friday, Dec. 28, at 11 a.m. As a prelude to the Russell Athletic Bowl game at 5:30 p.m. at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium, school bands and mascots will march through downtown Winter Park and perform a Bandtastic Game Day Preview. The parade will start at 11 a.m. at the intersection of Park and Lyman avenues, going north on Park Avenue through downtown Winter Park. After turn ing west onto Gareld Avenue, they will proceed to Central Park where they will perform for all fans to enjoy. DEC. 22: Walk with the artistsIts a Gallery Walk with Power of Two artists Martha Lent and Larry Moore. This group exhibi tion highlights some of Central Floridas most renown visual artist couples. Explore with us what it is like to have two creative minds living and working together. Are these artists inuenced by their partners works? Do they create collaboratively or individu ally? Regular museum admission applies. A&H members receive free admission.

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Page 7 Lifestyles Family Calendar ST. DOROTHY CATHOLIC COMMUNITY is one of a number of valid branches of Catholicism, not under the jurisdiction of Rome, and not afliated with the Diocese of Orlando offering all seven sacraments to all who come seeking a relationship with Christ. So, if you have ever felt unwelcome in any church for any reason or a former Roman Catholic, we invite you to attend our parish community where EVERYONE is welcome. We cherish our members as family without regard to any division used to separate Gods children from one another. Love Without Judgment where ALL are welcome301 New England Avenue Post Ofce Box 485 Winter Park, FL 32790-0485 Lighting up the community for the holidays is about more than carefully hung Christmas lights and meticulously placed meno rahs in windows, Baldwin Park mom Courtney Defeo says. Its about lighting up faces and internal faith through giving rather than getting to create a hap py, healthy holiday season. A neighbor com ing home to a fresh ly swept porch and message of Christmas scrolled on the sidewalk, the gar bage men getting a small gift card and sign waiting for them on the curb, overworked mall employees handed a candy cane and card by a smiling preschooler its the little thankyous during the holidays that are the least occurring and the most appreciated, Defeo says. She started a blog out of her At lanta home in October of last year its garnered more than 150,000 unique visitors so far. She started thinking of shopping ideas for the holiday season, ideas of toys, treats and wants swirling through her two toddlers heads, and she got an idea she deemed Light Em Up. It wasnt revolutionary Random acts of kindness had been promoted and performed for years. But marketing the idea toward moms and with a strong dose of faith, she watched as her 50 ideas to light up a commu nity with kindness country. It gets so ad dictive you almost dont want to do anything else, Defeo says with a laugh. A new neighbor in Baldwin Park, Defeo is now gear ing up for Year 2 of her Light Em Up holiday give-back project, and shes excited to share her light and cheer with the Orlando community. This December, Defeo expanded her list with 50 additional ideas and more free printable tips and tricks for families looking to light up the holidays. Of all the people were try ing to focus on, its about who we think we usually forget to thank, Defeo said. From the mailman to homeless, this years blog has ideas for ways to make an often-unappreciated neighbors day brighter. It can be as little with no budget, or as big as you want to go, she says. You can pay for a strangers layaway purchase at K-Mart, or the order for the man behind you at Starbucks. You can place gift cards in smile and card to workers. This year, Defeo has armed her car with an on-the-go box of feel-good surprises. There are umbrellas to hand out to strangers caught in the rain and granola bars to give out to the hungry man on the corner. Always along for the ride are her two daughters, Larson and Ella. And watching and par ticipating in these acts of giv ing and kindness, Defeo says, is more of a gift to them than mal could ever be. I want them to know how good it feels to put other people before themselves. Even last year, they caught on to how contagious it can get. We cant wait to get up to see what the next day holds, Defeo said. FIVE random acts of kindness ideas from Light Em Up:1. Stage an early morning chalk attack. Pick a street yours or another! and write a good morning or have a great day message on every driveway.2. Find someone that is homeless and deliver them a warm blanket.3. Visit an inner-city playground and bring a surprise picnic lunch for as many kids as you can. Think coolers of drinks, sandwiches and Christmas cookies for all.4. Single moms rule. Find one and lighten her load.5. Stand outside your childs classroom and give each child a single ower as they walk in. Then, as the children enter the classroom, have them hand the ower to their teacher. By the time class begins, he or she will have a vase full of owers.PHOTO BY ISAAC BABCOCK THE OBSERVERLarson Defeo, right, hands a candy cane to Jackson Werner (with mother Andrea), part of a random acts of kindness program that Larsons mother Courtney is practicing this season. Baldwin Park family practices random acts of kindness to spread holiday cheer this seasonSARAH WILSON Observer Staff To read Courtneys Lil Light O Mine blog and nd more information about her Light Em Up holiday program, visit lillightomine.com. On the site you can nd her 100 ideas for random acts of kindness and printable materials to help you light up your community for the holidays. gettingGivingover DEC. 24From Dec. 24-Jan. 2 your child can have fun with the JCC with activities like Space Day, RDV Ice Skating, Jungle Adventures eld trip, Fun Spot eld trip, Sports Day, and Snow Day (yes, real snow!) For more infor mation, contact gwenb@orlandojcc. org, call 407-645-5933, extension 249, or visit the registrar in the JCC lobby. Boys and girls ages 8-15 are invited from Dec. 24-28 to join JCC Basketball Director Whitney Tossie for a unique basketball experience, em phasizing skill development, sportsmanship, offensive and defensive strategies, and lots of fun. Sign up at the registrars desk for only $30 per day ($25 per day for JCC members). Our USPTA-certied tennis pros provide quality instructions in an at mosphere lled with fun, teamwork and discipline for boys and girls ages 6-12 with clinics on Dec. 24-28 and 31, and Jan. 2-4, offer non-stop action, focusing on todays most popular sport. Sign up at the registrars desk for only $30 per day ($25 per day for JCC members).DEC. 27The Lettermen, the famous vocal male trio, are returning to St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Winter Park. Two concerts, presented by Home less Heart, will be held at 7 p.m. on the evenings of Dec. 27 (Christmas concert) and Dec. 28 (Broadway concert). Tickets are $30 for general ad mission and $50 for reserved seating. Purchase tickets online at: homeless heart.orgDEC. 28The city of Winter Park will proudly host the sixth annual Russell Athletic Bowl Parade of Bands, featuring school bands from Rutgers University and Virginia Tech on Friday, Dec. 28, at 11 a.m. As a prelude to the Rus sell Athletic Bowl game at 5:30 p.m. at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium, school bands and mascots will march through downtown Winter Park and perform a Bandtastic Game Day Preview. The parade will start at 11 a.m., playing in the park afterward. ONGOING Winter in the Parks ice skating rink will give you a winter wonder land all day for just $10, skates in cluded. The event continues through Jan. 6 on Winter Parks Central Park West Meadow. It runs from 3 to 9 p.m. MondayThursday, 3 to 10 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Satur day, and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday. See cityofwinterpark.org/WITP for holiday hours. Sign your children up for winter and spring sports leagues in Maitland, now through Jan. 13. Sports leagues are for ages 5-19, depending on league, ranging from soccer to ag football to baseball and softball. Visit Independencelane.com for a link with all the details.Maitland Public Library HappeningsWeekly programs are canceled for the holidays. This week: Friday, December 21, Blood Pressure Check. Send submissions to ibabcock@ turnstilemediagroup.com

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Page 8 Every Tuesday morning since April, with a click of the mouse, 22 Winter Park businesses got a little bit healthier. From the brain of Corporate Wellness Consultant Mandy Nice, sent to the contact list of Winter Park Chamber of Commerce Senior Director Marisa Worley, and for warded from one human resource inbox to an entire company, healthy living Tuesday Tips have become a tradition. Each emails tips cover a topic geared to ward healthy living in the workplace. From nutrition in the break room to stress man agement in the boardroom, they provide each Work Well Winter Park participating business quick ideas on how to continue working well that week. Next Tuesday morning instead of an email, many workers will wake up to cookie crumbs left over from Santa, and the smell of the sizzling holiday ham already prepping for supper. This, Nice said, makes next Tuesday and the days surrounding it some of the most trying times for her tips all year. The holidays absolutely include and provide more challenges when it comes to staying healthy, she said, but they also provide more opportunities as well. Having spent most of the year teaching Winter Park workers how to live and work well, Nice, Worley and the 22-wellness co ordinators for Work Well Winter Park par ticipating businesses are working to keep their trainees on task through the holiday season and into the New Year. Its all about balance, Nice, owner and president of NICE Life Fitness in Win ter Park, said, and applying healthy living thoughts to your holiday traditions. Policies already established in Work tations, Worley said. No-sweets zones and healthy-only catering options help limit the lure of holiday party desserts she said, by making the healthy choice the easy choice. At home, Nice said, without policies like those at work in place, the challenge can 7 9 0 1 Kin g s p o in t e P a r kwa y S u it e 2 8 O r la n d o FL 3 2 8 1 9 O f f ic e : 40 7 -3 5 1 -1 5 7 3 Fa x: 40 7 -6 41 -9 0 9 0 AD PROOF LAS ER FO O T S U R G ER Y INS TITU TE LLC C o n t a c t Ag e n c y P h o n e Fa x (407) 341-7484 (407) 876-1963 Ext. Cell Ac c o u n t R e p MADELINE Proofcarefullyforspellingandgenerallayout. Wecannotassumeresponsibilityforerrorsafter thisproofisapproved.Pleasefaxbackorcall with changes. X AP P R O VAL R EAD Y TO P R INT DR RICHARD M. COWIN DR RICHARD M. COWIN 1 1 0 1 1 2 ISSUE 1/4 AD SIZE $ 3 5 1 .0 0 TOTAL DUE FOR THIS AD THIS ISSUE 2069 Aloma Ave. Winter Park, FL 32792 762 E. Altamonte Drive Altamonte Springs, FL 32701(407) 691-3009 (407) 679-2135 Visit us on the web @ www.binsons.com r fntbt f rtt ftbt bt bnr nr rt b bb f b tb off trtnCoupon redeemable for cash, check or credit card purchases only. Not redeemable for insurance transactions. Excludes custom/special orders & nutritional supplements. May not be combined with any other discounts. Coupon has no cash value. Working well to beat the holiday weight gain For more information about Work Well Winter Park, an extension of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, and how to get your business involved, visit workwellwinterpark.org The Chambers next lunch and learn session with partner Florida Hospital will be on Wednesday, Jan. 9. Dr. Timothy Spruill, assistant director of Behavioral Medicine at Florida Hospital, will discuss the concept of becoming more resilient. Find out how to apply resiliency to your life by looking at how personal outlook and practices can help you not only endure, but grow, in stressful situations. After spending the holidays with the in-laws, they say, you wont want to miss out.SARAH WILSON Observer StaffPHOTO COURTESY OF WINTER PARK CHAMBER OF COMMERCEGetting out of a mid-day ofce rut can be as easy as a stretch routine, taught by Work Well specialists. PHOTO BY SARAH WILSON THE OBSERVERTuba Christmas took over Winter Parks Central Park on Dec. 15, bringing an unusual sound to the season. Brassy Christmas for living well during the holidaysTOP 3 TIPS Wellness Specialist Mandy Nice1. YOUR PLANNER IS YOUR BEST FRIEND. Make sure that you schedule time to take care of yourself during the holiday rush. Whether its taking a breather with a book, or the quick calm of a walk around the block, quiet youtime can really count. You want to make sure you take care of yourself, so you can continue to take care of others.2. HAVE FUN WITH IT. Try new things you might not have done on your own. While the family is in town, take on a new walking trail together or each pick a new healthy recipe and give it a go. The holidays arent complete without some reindeer games!3. EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS. Take the stairs at the mall while youre shopping, and spring for an extra serving of veggies during dinner. Eat your dessert, but save that last piece of chocolate cake thats calling your name for another day. Give yourself credit for the effort, and remember that everythings a balance. Work to sustain healthy habits youve come to adopt all year long while enjoying a happy holiday season. Please see WORK WELL on page 11

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Page 9 at Winter Park Towers Your room is waiting for you if you need Pain and Symptom Management Hospital Follow-up Complex Treatments, or Crisis Care Referrals 866-742-6655#5019096 www.cornerstonehospice.org www.SeriousIllness.org/cornerstoneMedicare, Medicaid, most commercial insurances accepted Its not just about getting you back on your feet. Its about getting you back to your life. HCR Healthcare, LLC Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing rf ntbr rfrr rrr rff rrrr rfrtrrf rrtrf rrrr rrfrr rrrrr rbrfbrrr rbrrrb rr rbrr brrrrr rrrr rr rrrrAnticipate the Eventrrbr rrrr rr trr brPlan Pleasures Other Than Food and Drinkrr rrbrrrrr rfbrrbHave Reasonable Expectationsrrr rrr rBuild in Ways to be Activerrrrr rr rrrrbr rr rr rrrr rrr r rbfrrrr rrrr r trr rbrrr rrbfrr (407) 644-3606Work Well Winter Park Savannah Court and Coe Excellence in Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation 1301 W. Maitland Blvd. Maitland, FL 32751407-645-3990www.SavannahCourtMaitland.comAssisted Living Facility License No. 8447 Skilled Nursing Facility License No. 1635096 At Savannah, it feels just like home. Its safe, convenient and the food is excellent. And of course, my mom is a huge fan of Bingo! Ernestine & her daughter PatriciaAssisted Living Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Care Variety of Apartment Suite Selections, some with Lake Views Restaurant Style Dining Laundry, Housekeeping, Maintenance Services Transportation to Outings and Medical Appointments Beautifully Landscaped Courtyard Call us today, stop by for a visit, join us for lunch, or all of the above. You are always welcome! A Senior Living Community where Hospitality is a Way of Life. Kids winter break activities abound Amy SchwartzWhats up at the JCC?School may be out for your kids this winter break, but it doesnt have to mean stress for you or bore dom for them. Bring your children to the Roth Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando this winter break for two weeks of JCC friends. Heres the schedule: Day at the J Day at the J Day at the J trip Day at the J World at the J a.m. Pick up is available at the tion is available.New Years Eve sleepoverEnjoy a grown-up-only New Years Eve this year, and your kids will enjoy a night of fun! at the JCC and count down the New Year with new friends. Kids The JCC welcomes kids and adults from all backgrounds. To register for any of these programs, visit the Roth JCC at land. For more information, call orgAmy Schwartz is the marketing director of the Roth Jewish Community Center. The JCC welcomes people of all faiths. For more information, visit orlandojcc. org or call 407-645-5933. Plan your weekend withThe Weekender!Visit wpmobserver.com and click "Subscribe to Newsletter"

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Page 10 Great holiday food? Big toe hurting? It could be gout. Gout used to be a disease of kings, but democracy changed that. Now we can all have food and drink rich in gout-causing properties, like red meats, turkey, gravy and beer. The holidays are full of such rich delights. Often gout is a paintoe. It might feel like a scorpion has taken over the tip of your foot. Gout happens when your body has too many uric acid crystals. Purines, which are found in most foods, break down into uric acids. Too much uric acid creates uric acid crystals. Normally, your body excretes the uric acid as a waste byproduct, no problem. But when you have foods high in purines or medicines that either produce uric acid or block your kidneys from excreting the uric acid, the crystals gather. Purines are in foods high in protein and fat, like vegetable oils, greasy burgers and purine are liver, kidneys, ancho vies, and the great American bird turkey. Gout is more common with beer than whiskey, and not associated with wine. Common medicines that may cause gout are some blood pressure medications and aspirin. Gout is more common among men, and those The crystals can gather in other joints, not just the big toe, doing silent damage. Uric acid crystals can also form kidney signs that your uric acid levels are too high. High levels of uric acid that do not cause symptoms can be damaging and need to be assessed and treated. The test for gout is a simple blood test to assess uric acid levels. High level of uric acid is called hyperuricemia. Translation: hyper (high) uric (uric acid) emia (in the blood). The good news is that gout can be controlled by changing what you eat, and by medications. If you think you have gout, go see your health care practitio ner. Fortunately, gout can often be treated with generic medications, which tend to be less costly. For can be treated with a common over the counter medication such as ibuprofen, but you also want to be sure to get your uric acid levels down. Drugs to treat gout block the production of uric acid or improve your bodys ability to excrete uric acid. So if you are going to go easy on the turkey and the beer, whats left? Those side dishes fruits and vegetables have lots of potassium, which helps get rid of uric acid crystals in your blood. Bananas, avocados, spinach, potatoes, asparagus, beets and pumpkin are full of potassium. So you have a good reason to enjoy those sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. Antioxidant-rich vegetables like green beans, celery, corn, mustard greens, and red and green peppers can also help. Enjoy berries (strawberry picking time in Oviedo starts and plums. Cereals, rice, pasta, nuts, seeds and low-fat dairy foods are alternatives to purinerich foods. Also drink plenty of water eight to 12 glasses a day. It helps wash the uric acid out of your body.Maitland resident Nancy Rudner Lugo is a nurse practitioner and president of Health Action, offering workplace health consulting and nurse coaching. Visit www.healthaction.biz Got turkey? Beer? Gout? Dr. Nancy Rudner LugoHealth Action Gout is more common with beer than whiskey, and not associated with wine. Common medicines that may cause gout are some blood pressure medications and aspirin. The Observers e-newsletter has community news forWINTER PARK MAITLAND COLLEGE PARK BALDWIN PARK GOLDENRODGet it delivered to your inbox every week. Visit WPMObserver.com and click Subscribe to newsletter

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Page 11 Nibble on the carrots collected for the reindeer instead of Santas cookies. Walk the neighborhood to look at lights instead of driving. Concoct a healthier version of an old favorite recipe. With these policies already in place, when the holiday comes in, its already worked its way into a habit and easier to enforce, Nice said. Stephanie Watkins, wellness coordinator with Moss Krusick and Associates, knows how heavy-hitting holiday snacking can be, and how little changes can Before her company joined Work Well, Watkins remembers gaining 10 pounds from the holi day season alone from all the sweets surrounding her at home the weight plus some and Krusick into Orlando Business Journals healthiest employer of 2012. Theres a healthier overall cul ture here now. If I eat a cookie, I hear about it, she said with a laugh. She credits her companys success of cutting sweets and cop ing with stress to the policies put forth and provided by the Cham ber through working with Work Well and Mandy Nice. Everywhere I go and people ask me about my wellness program, I always immediately talk about the Work Well program, Watkins said. From lunch and learns at the Chamber to Sneaker Friday after noon walks, she said she and her coworkers try to take part in every earning OBJs honor, she said, so We wouldnt be here without them, she said. last Fridays events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, I know that many people will approach Christmas The mass shooting of 20 children and seven adults has left our whole nation stunned and in mourning. I am sure that many of you have felt the impact of this personally within your own families and schools. Parents may feel the pain of the Connecticut parents and take a second look to make sure their kids are OK. Teach ers feel for their colleagues, and wonder if this could ever happen closer to home. Children may experience heightened levels of fear and anxiety over what theyve heard and what it means. There are natural emotions at a time like this, and we need to demonstrate special love toward each other right now. This kind of incident seems especially cruel in the days just before Christmas, which is supposed to be a season of cheer and goodwill. However, I want to remind you that the very purpose of Jesus coming was to shine as a light in the midst of darkness, not liven up a set of festivities already underway. Jesus was born into a tough, cruel world that knew its fair share of violence, even toward children. One of the least-read Christmas passages is the story about Herod killing the chil dren of Bethlehem when he was threatened by news of Jesus of one mans insecurity, the infant boys of a whole town were wiped out. In supplying a quote from Jeremiah by way of comment, Matthew was essentially saying that the cries over this tragedy could be heard through out the land and they could not be comforted very much the case with Newtown. A lot of people have already tried to interpret the cause of the crime at Sandy Hook Elemen tary. Several have cited mental illness. I am sure that the shooter was deeply disturbed, but what disturbs someone that much? The whole debate over gun control has reopened and that certainly needs to be explored. However, one of the most inter esting takes on the whole matter was from Mike Lopresti, a sports writer at USA Today. He suggested that perhaps a contribut ing factor to the tragedy was an increase in rage throughout our culture: You wonder if we have created too fertile a breeding ground for violence. You wonder why the predominant emotion among so many of us so often is rage. He goes on to say that this communal rage doesnt make murderers of us all, but that it may contribute to the rage of the already disturbed. (See http:// usat.ly/RueUO5.) In the midst of such senseless ness, we continue to try to make sense of it all. I suspect we never will in a totally satisfactory way from a human perspective. But that is where Christmas comes in. In prophesying about the coming of Jesus, Isaiah wrote: The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. The coming of Jesus was meant to not only help us understand, but deal with genuine evil. Because Jesus was born into a violent world in which He is not afraid of those places now. Over the next few days, I think you will see evidence of His touch in the stories that emerge from Connecticut, just a way of showing up when tragedy breaks out, and we need to look for Him and welcome Him. Thats how we can really celebrate Christmas, even in dark times.Rev. Jim Govatos currently serves as Senior Pastor at Aloma United Methodist Church located in Winter Park. A former atheist, Jim is passionate about helping people understand and experience a living faith in Jesus Christ. Please share your thoughts by emailing him at jimg@ alomazone.org Alert to Caregivers of Dependents with Special Needs: You May Need to Change the Beneciaries of Your Life Insurance, Annuities, IRAs or Other Retirement Accounts The process of special needs planning involves developing a total plan to provide for the dependents lifetime care. Ownership of assets must be coordinated with legal documents (such as trusts, wills and beneciary designations) to avoid the loss or reduction of any government or other benets for which the dependent may be eligible. Assets can pass from one individual to another individual in a variety of ways. Assets may be transferred by sale or by gift. At death, assets may pass through a will or under intestacy laws and be distributed by the estate. Assets may be distributed by trusts. Certain assets will be distributed through operation of law. These include assets held jointly (such as real property held in joint tenancy, or as tenants in the entirety) that avoid the probate process and go directly to another named person. Other assets can pass through operation of contract. These usually include life insurance policies, annuities, IRAs, and certain other types of retirement accounts that permit the owner to name a beneciary. These types of assets typically avoid the probate process (unless the estate is named beneciary), passing directly to the named beneciary. Even the very best plans can go astray if all the pieces of the puzzle are not pieced together correctly. Distributions specied in wills can result in money going directly to a person with special needs (for example, a provision that requires that the residuary estate be divided equally among the decedents children, with the share of any predeceased child being divided equally among that childs children or descendents of predeceased children). Payments made directly to a person with a disability can result in the reduction or even loss of government benets. How many caregivers of dependents with disabilities today have named their dependent as the beneciary on a group or individual life insurance policies, IRAs, 401(k) plans, prot sharing plans, or dened benet pension plans? How many people have forgotten whom they have named as beneciary? How many people never named a beneciary? When the caregiver dies, the terms of those policies and retirement plans will govern the distribution of the money usually requiring distribution to the named beneciary or, if none is named or living, to the estate. If the dependent with special needs receives the money, this could produce disastrous results. When planning for the nancial future of someone with special needs, all beneciaries of insurance policies, pension plans, IRAs, and annuities, need to be reviewed. If the caregivers have established a special needs trust for their dependent with special needs, the trust should be named as beneciary, so not to compromise their loved ones benet eligibility. One mistake, a forgotten policy, or a beneciary designation not updated, can unravel the best of plans!Due to the complexity of federal and state laws, you may require specially trained professionals to help you plan for the future of your dependent with special needs.. A Special Needs Planner can work with your attorney and provide the nancial and insurance products that may be needed to complete your planning. Call Special Needs Planner Charles Fisher at 407-393-6693 for a condential consultation. The MetLife Center for Special Needs PlanningSM, formerly MetDESK For more information about this and other related topics, visit our organizations website at www.metlife.com/specialneeds or call 1-877-638-3375. Pursuant to IRS Circular 230, MetLife is providing you with the following notication: The information contained in this document is not intended to (and cannot) be used by anyone to avoid IRS penalties. This document supports the promotion and marketing of insurance products. You should seek advice based on your particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. MetLife, its agents, and representatives may not give legal or tax advice. Any discussion of taxes herein or related to this document is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be complete or cover every situation. Tax law is subject to interpretation and legislative change. Tax results and the appropriateness of any product for any specic taxpayer may vary depending on the facts and circumstances. You should consult with and rely on your own independent legal and tax advisers regarding your particular set of facts and circumstances.Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 1095 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036. L1111221507[exp0114][All States][DC,PR] Charles FisherFinancial Services Representative Special Needs Planner MetLife of Central Florida 301 E. Pine Street, Suite 800, Orlando, FL 32801 Jim Govatos Reality LinesExpect to walk in darkness before seeing the light WORK WELL | CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8 Theres a healthier overall culture here now If I eat a cookie, I hear about it.

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n the mall earlier this week I saw a young boy with someone I assume was his father. The boy was carrying a white envelope with the words Christmas Money carefully written across the front. He had a sparkle in his eye and was chatting easily with his father, as I followed behind him I heard him say, I know I have enough money, but do you think mom will like it or LOVE it. He earnestly sought his dads face for the answer. This boy has been on my mind all week long. What a great example of a young child learning the joy of giving. St. Francis of Assisi said For it is in giving that we receive and as we head into this Christmas season it is important not only that we celebrate Christ and His birth, but that we foster in our children the joy that comes from giving. Use these tips to help show your children just how fun giving can be. Dont wait for your children to make their own money to buy their own presents, start now! Help them save money all year long from allowances or birthdays to buy token gifts for their family or close inding a gift that will provide both immediate and long term enjoyment is so difficult that we will often finally settle for just getting that thing they really, really want. We do this with the awareness that before next year is half over, the gift will probably be forgotten. But there is one gift, more than any other, that will have tremendous long lasting value to your children. The best gift a child can receive is a healthy relationship between the parents. Is this on your gift list? Some parents have resigned themselves to a relationship of disappointment or disconnection, but change is possible. It is a gift you may still be able to give. I would never suggest that a healthy marriage can be realized by following a few easy steps. As a counselor, I know better than that. But I also know that change often begins with a few specific goals. So if you want to give this gift for your child, here are a three changes to consider: Spend less time looking back on the hurts and disappointments of your marriage and look more toward the possibilities of your future. Determine to settle unresolved issues that compromise your connection to each other. This will likely require some apologies and forgiveness, but be willing to do whatever it takes to turn your thoughts and conversations to the hope that is ahead rather than hurts that are behind you. If stress or conflict causes you to either move away from each other or against each other, commit yourselves to learning how to move toward each other As parents during the holidays, we often spend time and effort trying to come up the right present for our child. instead. Your child should be aware of disagreements without being exposed to battles. Set aside a weekly time when the two of you will privately check in with each other and work through any necessary issues. If you don't know how to resolve conflict, ask for help. Commit to making daily investments into your relationship. Give affirmation and affection to each other without waiting for it to "feel natural." Be intentional with your intimacy, even if that means you start by making a daily checklist of the things you will do or say for their benefit. friends. Even better, get creative as a family and make ornaments or other gifts and talk about who you will gift them to. Make it fun and something your kids will remember. Too often we can get caught up in the list making and getting of Christmas. This year intentionally set out to make it a year of giving instead of getting. This doesnt mean you cant buy your children gifts, just remember that our children are inundated at this time of year with commercials and magazine ads all with the newest toys or games that they want. It is tempting to spend time talking with your kids about all of it, instead shift the focus of the conversation to what they are giving. Talk regularly about who they want to give to and what they want to give. Get excited about it and they will too. Are you hurrying out to buy gifts when the kids are asleep or ordering online? Of course there is nothing wrong with that, dont forget your children are watching you. Try to involve them in some of the process of your brainstorming, purchasing, wrapping etc. Show them how excited you are to come up with a gift you think someone will enjoy, talk about it frequently. Give All Year: You do not have to stop giving just because Christmas is over, make it a point in your family to give all year, talk about the details over dinner or game night, let your children help in the decision making process. The more involved your children are in the giving process the more they will take ownership of it and feel the importance of giving. When opening gifts on Christmas teach your children how to say thank you, and not just the words. Talk over Christmas dinner about the people who chose their gifts, the thoughtfulness behind them and how it makes them feel to have received such a nice gift. Help them write thank you notes. In learning how to receive gifts in a thoughtful way children develop a greater understanding for the process of giving which then creates in them a more giving spirit. his month, Charis counselor Tim Tedder talks about the best gift you can give your child: A healthy relationship between you and your spouse. His downloadable GIFT GUIDE can be found on our Facebook page at OurLifeToday. Julia Jancek writes on Nurturing your childs spirit of giving, a timely guide to help your child make wise choices and Dr. Christopher Baur talks about the loss of a child. Sadly, a timely reminder of a recent tragedy and how fleeting this life can be. Dr Baur also gives us hope as we look at the profound question of Why God allows these events to happen. As we strive to include ever more relevant articles in todays hectic world, wed like to ask for your feedback on what you would like to see on these pages. Let us know what you think or let us know if you have any suggestions or questions for our writers. Wed like to thank you for writing to us with a for something to have with your coffee. We would even like to invite you to submit your own inspirational stories for possible publication to dy@OurLifeToday.Org. Ou rLife Today I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. John 8:12 I know of only one starting place in the war against sorrow, and that is ...in the arms of Almighty God. Robert Williams Please share your thoughts with us OurLifeToday

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f you have a child, then youve probably had a sick child. Maybe your child was so sick you feared for his life. Worse yet, maybe you have lost a child to an illness or an accident. The tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut make us ask Why? Until we have children, it is impossible to imagine the depth of grief people experience when they lose a child. But some people have found a hope that heals in the midst of such great loss. Some people are certain they will see their child again. Asking Why? The quest for understanding. he quest for understanding is at the core of what it means to be human. It is perhaps the deepest, most basic human desire. We yearn to know the mysteries of nature and our universe. We brave untold dangers to discover every part of our world and to examine its treasures. Even greater, than our struggle to understand what and how, is our need to understand why. For what purpose did a situation arise? Why am I here? Such questions are made even more acute when the darkness of not understanding intersects with the apparent injustice of lifes most difficult circumstances. Many times in my life, I have reflected on Gavin and his family. Pain and sorrow may occur, but comfort can be provided even in the darkest time. Although Gavins story has always meant a great deal to me, its impact in my life has become greater as my experience has increased. With the ever growing realization that I am unlikely to fully understand the mysteries of purpose in tragedy and injustice, knowing that in our darkest hours he reaches out to us, we are better able to yield to the one in whom we place our confidence. Stories like Gavins give me great Hope. I do not need to know everything. I only need to know the One who does. My need for understanding may not be fulfilled, but comfort is offered and Hope is eternal. A deepening peace emerges and my faith relationship is strengthened. And that in fact, is purpose enough. by Christopher Baur, M.D. Even greater, though, than our struggle to understand what and how, is our need to understand why. n 1974, my four year old brother Weston was admitted to the hospital for surgery to repair a heart valve damaged by a congenital defect and made worse by infection. My parents gathered my sister Jennifer and me and told us about his condition and the surgery. Then they mustered their faith and courage and reassured us that he would be okay. I believed them, I had confidence in their word. The surgery went well and today Weston is a faithful husband, devoted father of three, loving brother, and is adopting an earthquake orphan from Haiti. Although the memories and lessons from Weston's illness are many, the one that sticks hardest in my soul and has grown greatest in it's impact upon me doesn't involve him at all. It is a lesson for the ages taught by a six year old boy who shared the same hospital room with him. Gavins mom clutched his dads hand tightly in dreaded anticipation as they waited for Dr. Dyer. When he arrived, Dr. Dyer would come to the point quickly, he wore enough wrinkles in his face to understand that there were no words, no matter how elegantly compassionate, to soften the blow when a child's life was on the line. Ted, Madeline, it's good to see you. I just came from the lab, Gavins white count is up to seventy six thousand and his hemoglobin continues to drop. The odds were four to one against him the first time he went into remission. We knew it would take a miracle for it to happen a second time. I'm sorry. With the doctor's words the forbearance of emotion could no longer hold the frozen waterfall. Madeline's stoic facade gave way to a torrent of agony. Gavin's slight frame barely made an impression on the firm hospital mattress. Blanket and sheet at his ankles, warmth was retained by the large plush bear which never left his bed. Ted and Madeline entered silently and Gavin's eyes opened. Did you sleep well, sport?, asked Ted in tones as cheerful as he could assemble. But swollen, red faces betrayed their grief. The shiny man said you'd be sad. Replied the small patient in a barely audible voice. We're not sad, lied Ted. What shiny man? followed Madeline, quickly. Was it Brian from the kitchen? Gavin attempted to sit up. His parents immediately assisted him by propping a pillow behind his low back. No, silly. Gavin smiled. The shiny man took a walk with me while I was sleeping. Ted and Madeline quickly sat. Ted took Gavin's hand and Madeline placed her palm on his cool forehead. Tell us everything the shiny man said, Madeline requested urgently. I never saw him before, but I told him you wouldn't mind if I talked to him because he didn't seem like a stranger. He said I was going to move to his house and you would be very sad. Are you sad? The pair's wide welling eyes answered without words. He told me to thank you for taking care of me and that he would take care of me now. He said not to worry, you can be confident in Him. by Christopher Baur, M.D. The death of a child is the most devastating experience parents can face. And a perplexing experience for their Christian friends. We all ask why .why the life of a child? But God has not left you alone with grief. If events in your own life or those in Newtown, leave questions in your heart, we urge you to talk with your pastor, a spiritual advisor or Tim Teddar or Julia Jancek at Charis Counseling. Call 407 894 5202 www.charisorlando.com You Are Not Alone. Please share your thoughts with us OurLifeToday

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Page 14 Opinions Of all the things Ive created in my life, many of the ones I remember most fondly are ones from when I was a kid. There were drawings I did of Disney characters, of an owl, things I wrote for special occasions. Ive been amazed a few times to things Id long forgotten but she loved and saved. Being reac quainted with such creations has helped spark memories of more crazy, fun and creative things my brother, sister and I did, such as decorating the house with all homemade items one year for my parents anniversary, including a lot of toilet paper streamers. Kids tend to see a world full of possibilities. As we get older, we tend to increasingly see it full of obstacles. Kids ask why? Adults tend to accept and deal. Childlike wonder comes with an innocent ignorance of not knowing where the fences and walls are supposed to be. So much of what happens at an early age dictates, or at least place in it. Successes and person karate class, a dance recital or an art class can be the seeds of who and what we become later. A month or so ago, I did a column on my favorite local dog portrait artist, Gena Semenov, and learned of a program, Dancers Dawn, to which her daughter focuses on providing dance op portunities for children. I met with Ivan Puig, who leads the group, recently on Park Avenue. His own daughter, proud, invested father. last year. Youve got lots of after school activities, I mean, youve got Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts, and youve got football, and all take part in, dance is one of those. The thing about dance is its Scouts, Girl Scouts, so not a lot of people try out for it. If your child wants dance, and they want to dance competitively, its 100 percent on the parents and theres really not a lot of support for them. So it was sort of born out of the idea that theres not a lot of support for the dance com munity. Our mission is to support young girls who want to dance, dance competitively, he continued. The group does not teach dance, but seeks to fund dance instruction for those who might Its hard I dont like blaming everything on the economy but when you have a situation in your family economy, one of the tunately, is dance. Sometimes its just bridging the gap for a few months. But thats our primary port. Dance can be a very expensive extra, he explained, citing with ballerina tutus that can are directed at fundraising, from which the funds are then turned into grants provided to individual dance students. Dancers Dawn does not teach any classes, but does conduct art classes through Gena Semenov as a way of introducing their dance students to other art activities. In turn, the created works are then often turned into cards, which are sold to help support the program. Duvall Dance Academy in Long wood, where most of the students go, has supplied its backroom for the classes, as well as paid for paper and printing costs. In the last several months, the group has also launched a dance community, one of the things you do every year is you have to buy several costumes that your girls dance in; and, its really fun and special, but if you dance for twelve years you end up with two closets full of dresses, he said. I laugh and refer to the movie one woman. Yes, exactly, Ivan responds. He describes the dance costumes are sparkly and glittery, and I imagine what such a closet must look like. The group now acquires dresses from those who will no longer use them, and lists them in items, having a single seller can increase views and, ultimately, sell through. Ivan says they cur costumes listed, with 200 more to add. Theyve already had two instances of the costumes pur chased by other members, though one of those was for a Halloween costume. Most are on consign ment, but some are donated. Our primary focus is in dance, but what we really want to do and this is not in the mission statement but what were trying to do is grow the performing arts as sort of an after school activity for young kids. Its a creative outIn the future I think one of the things wed like to do is create periodic events in which kids can showcase their talent, and it doesnt cost them anything to do. Wed love to be able to do something like that for the kids, and include all types of performing arts.Clyde Moore operates local sites ILUVWinterPark.com and ILUVParkAve. com, and aims to help local businesses promote themselves for free and help save them money, having some fun along the way. Email him at iluvwinterpark@ earthlink.net or write to ILuv Winter Park on Facebook or Twitter. Check out his column on WPMObserver.com by navigating to Columnists > Clyde MooreClyde Moore I LUV Winter ParkWe highlight local businesses that are utilizing and selling items made by other locals. Send submissions to iluvwinterpark@earthlink.net Local Luvn Local The Glam Hatter Got a special event coming up? Whether its a birthday party, a bachelorette party or just wanting to let someone know how special he or she is to you, go glam and go local! Sassafras Sweet Shoppe on Morse Boulevard has lots of fun special occasion hats for most any occasion, made right here locally by the Glam Hatter. Go Glam and youre already home! In the Northern hemisphere, the winter solstice will occur at 11:11 a.m. on Dec. 21. This marks the point where the sun reaches its most southerly point in its annual journey around the sky, and the shortest day of the year. ancient societies and cultures, as it marked the start of the days lengthening again, and the beginning of the return to the fol lowing spring and summer. The alignment of the great monument at Newgrange, in County Meath, Ireland, to the rising winter solstice sun shows just how impor tant it was to that society.The end of the world?But this year the date has an the hype about the various pre dictions of the end of the world on that date. Why Dec. 21, 2012?It started with some dubious interpretations of the complex Long Count Mayan calendar. This is too complex to describe, but it is a linear calendar, and the long count consists of a 5,125year cycle based on a unit called a baktun. And this cycle, some say, will end on Dec. 21, 2012, marking the end of the world. Why are the Mayans sup posed to know something that the rest of us dont? Its because ancient wisdom (everything from the Sumerians to Pyramidology to Atlantis, the Mayans and lots more) is much beloved by all sorts of New Age mystics, conspiracy theorists, etc. Add the fact that the Earth and sun will align with the center with the supermassive black hole there, on Dec. 21, and a hypothetical giant planet called Nibiru heading our way to either hit us, or just miss, on that date, and you have the perfect recipe for Armageddon. The predictions of disaster range from total obliteration of the Earth by collision with Nibiru, to major shifts of the Earths axis, huge volcanic eruptions, incredibly violent earthquakes, gigantic tsunamis, magnetic pole reversals, major outbursts of radiation from the sun, and so on. Should you worry?First, many reputable Ma yan scholars disagree on that interpretation of the calendar. Second, many say that the end of the Long Count would herald a good time, not a bad time. Third, theres no reason to suppose that another Long Count would not just follow this one. Fourth, the Mayans knew much less about astronomy and calendars than we do. Fifth, the Earth and sun have been aligning with the center of the Milky Way and its black hole every Dec. 21 for the last few hundred years, and nothing has happened. Both the center of the Milky Way and the black away; much too far to have any Sixth, Nibiru does not exist. Seventh, a major shift of the Earths axis is impossible. Eighth, a magnetic pole re versal, if it occurs, will be a very slow and gradual process, taking probably centuries to happen. Ninth, the Sun is actually at a comparatively quiet period in its cycle of activity now, and a major outburst of the type predicted, within the next few months, is so unlikely that we can ignore it. Tenth, none of the hundreds of other predictions of Armageddon were right; why should this one Of course volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis do occur, but theres no reason to expect one particularly on Dec. 21, and especially no reason to expect anything as violent as the doom-mongers predict. So its as near to 100 percent that we will still be here on Dec. 22. And after whatever the next doomsday prediction may be. Irish Astronomical AssociationA dancers dawn Art by Amaya Puig Winter solstice, yes. Mayan armageddon, no! ILLUSTRATION BY JONATHAN GALLAGHER

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Page 15 Chris Jepson PerspectivesWhat now? Mr. Natales ChristmasI did not deny Gods existence, but I doubted His absolute justice. Elie Wiesel, Night Ive been reading a few pages, each evening, of Night by Elie Wiesel. I can only take a few pages before I have to set it down. I inwardly shout, Get out! Leave! Now! Run! Night recounts Wiesels experience as a Romanian Jew during the Holocaust. It is profoundly sad. I can only internalize so much of his account before I become anxious and unsettled. When I heard of the Connecticut massacre, of 20 children dying (six adults, too) I was immediately sickened, physically nauseated by the senselessness of killing babies. You ask yourself, How can this be? How can slaughtering innocence ever be contemplated, let alone acted upon? Why would this happen? Thats really not the question needing asked. But rather, how was this massacre perpetrated? (Answer: see assault weapons.) The timeless question for our species is why is man so prone to violence, so willing to hurt and humiliate? I was taken aback by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabees observation on the Connecticut massacre that, We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage? I found his comments both disgusting and surprising. Surprising from the perspective that I thought Huckabee, as an ordained South ern Baptist minister, would have emphasized that God is present everywhere and always. He suggests the contrary. That schools, what? Death and mayhem shall ensue? As a non-believer in a personal god, 2011, visually stunning movie, Tree of Life, a character observes, He sends course, is God. Its a legitimate observa tion to me. One, I imagine, discussed from church pulpits all over America last Sunday. It is a question that can only be Old Testament God does time and time again. It begs, however, the question, Why? I have questioned the existence of God ever since I was old enough to realize that really bad things happen to good people. Why? Where was God during the Holocaust? Or, during the Trail of Tears? Or, the Moro Crater Massacre? Or, Sandy Hook Elementary School? Was Gods attention diverted, busy creating other universes? Discussing whom to smite with Archangels Gabriel and Michael? Was God on vacation? I dont think that is the case because if I were an omnipotent, omniscient, foreveralways-present God, I would know that systematically execute innocence. These children had no choice of free will. If I knew humanity was capable of the Holocaust, would I (God) not reasonably tweak ever so slightly my design of mankind? Why were children massacred in Newtown? Because a mentally deranged man had ready access to assault weapons. He human behavior. No, a far better question is how was the act accomplished? To the degree we can identify and help the mentally ill is one issue, with what ease (how) we slaughter each other is quite another. Happiness is not a warm gun. John Lennon knew that. Mankind must remember that peace is not Gods gift to his creatures; peace is our gift to each other. Elie Wiesel What now?Jepson is a 24-year resident of Florida. Hes scally conservative, socially liberal, likes art and embraces diversity of opinion. Reach him at Jepson@MEDIAmerica.USIn the palm-edged driveway, Mr. Natale greeted the pale lad who stood there. Well, sir, what can I do for you? boy. I dont see why not got any tackle? A pole across the street, said the lad. I havent seen you around before. No sir. I was in the hospital. You all right now? Im OK. Were going back home up north tomorrow. What was wrong? A big long name I cant say. I got blood transfusions. Im OK now. Good, said Mr. Natale. The old man and the boy walked down to the lake. Sit on the end of the dock. Dig some worms here on the shore. There are big bass in there, nice bream too. My dad told me your name is Mr. Natale youre a great singer. Was, son wasa long time before you were born. You dont sing anymore, Mr. Natale? No. Why not? I couldnt do it anymore the way I wanted it to be. Well, why not? Guess I just got old, thats all. You could still sing great if you really wanted to. You dont honestly believe that, do you? Yes, I do. I know it. Well, well see. Have a good time. In the bank Mr. Natale said, Morning, Dottie, to the teller. He laid a check on the counter, and said, Id like to cash this.... Suddenly Giuseppe Natales mouth opened wide and began to sing. The words, Che gelida manina.... came out as clear and strong as they had when he sang La Bohme in the great opera the air. ed loudly. That was something, the teller said. Yes. Wasnt it! said Mr. Natale. Later at the supermarket Mr. Natale The cashier gave him a smile. Mr. Natale, will it be cash or check? He said, Ill pay... Then Giuseppe Natales mouth began to sing Celeste Aida. The people in the cashiers lines stared open-mouthed as he ended on a resound Rome and Paris. Wow, Mr. Natale, I never heard any thing like that! said the dark-eyed young cashier clapping her hands along with all the other people in the store. No, Rosie, I guess you didnt. Say, theres no price on this olive oil. his gas tank. Mr. Natale, want me to check the oil? asked Frank. That would be very And Natales mouth launched into La donna mobile from Rigoletto. He held the high B at the end as long as he had ever had in Milano. Cars stopped people waved. Giuseppe Natale bowed low. At home, the little boy came up from the lake. I caught some, but I threw em back, said the little boy with a grin spread across his thin face. I just hadnt ever caught one before. Mr. Natale said, I sure wish you were Oh! I wish so too, Mr. Natale. The next day, on Christmas, the boy and his family drove away. Christmases came Christmases went But Mr. Natales mouth never sang any more songs. Merry Christmas!About Roney: HarvardDistinguished Prof, Em.UCF 2004 Fla. Alliance for the Arts award (Assisted by beautiful wife Joy Roney)Louis Roney Play On! Happiness is not a warm gun. John Lennon knew that. A smarter way to grade Americas high schoolsEveryone agrees that Amer icas high schools need to do a better job of preparing students to be collegeand careerready. But the big problem is: how do we get them to do it? One state has just come up with a bold solution that could serve as a model for education reform throughout the country. California recently passed a law that reduces the weight of standardized test scores for ranking high schools. Now, crucial factors like graduation rates, attendance and student advancement will play a larger role in grading the ability of public schools in preparing students to succeed after high school This law is a big step in the right directionand it paves the way for other states to pass similar reforms aimed at preparing students for college and beyond. every California public school has been granted an Academic Performance Index, or API, score based almost entirely on how its students fare on a handful of standardized tests. Other states are also reliant upon test scores to evaluate schools successes. These scores help determine everything about a schools future whether it receives fund ing, whether parents can move their children to a better school, even whether home values rise or fall. So the pressure to get a high score is enormous. The intention, of course, has been to hold schools account able for their performance and to give them incentives to improve. The problem is that the system puts too much emphasis on tests that dont necessarily predict how well a student will actually do after high school. In the end, students were being prepared to succeed on tests while they were in school, not beyond graduation. Sure enough, a closer look at the numbers reveals that, when based primarily on these tests, a schools API score can be an un reliable predictor of how well stu dents will perform in college. A 2012 study conducted by Educa tion Sector found that one school with the relatively high API percent to college. Meanwhile, The APIs true shortcom ing is revealed when the scores are applied to schools with a high proportion of low-income students. According to our study, schools with the lowest API overall in sending their graduates to college. And the school with the lowest API score had the highest postsecondary enrollment institution, 5 percentage points above the state average. Standardized test scores cer tainly provide one valid measure of student success. But it is clear that they are not entirely accurate a measure of if students are really ready for life after high school. And this problem has serious real-world consequences. Only 25 percent of high school students taking common college entrance exams in California are deemed collegeand careerready. And students must take remedial classes for basic skills before they can qualify for credit-bearing work. Our nations high schools have been failing to provide the requisite tools for students before sending them out the door. how California ranks its schools. scores can count for no more than and it says that the state superin tendent must add grad rates and measures of collegeand careerpreparedness to the mix. The reality of todays economy is that students must start prepar ing for life beyond high school early. Its our job to make sure that our high schools are helping them do just that. If we want Americas students to arrive at college ready for postsecondary work, we must improve our systems for evaluating high schools. California just put forward a great model for reform. What we need now is for the rest of the country to follow.John Chubb is CEO of Education Sector, an independent think tank, and is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.JOHN CHUBB Guest Writer

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Page 32 Now to Dec. 22 Breakthrough Theatres Best Christmas Pageant EverIn the largest cast ever assembled by the Breakthrough Theater of Winter Park, couple struggling to put on a Christmas pageant for their church while coping with the most inventively awful kids in history. There is mayhem and fun as the kids and adults collide head-on with the Christmas story. Breakthrough Theatre is located at Dec. 20 to 23 The Nutcracker at the Bob Carr The ballet that is everyones favorite holiday entertainment brings its visions so much more to the Bob Carr PAC as the Orlando Ballet celebrates the holiday season with The Nutcracker. Presented in Nutcracker remains true to its classical traditions with an infusion of Artistic Director Robert Hills mix of choreography. And this season, The Nutcracker will be danced to live music from the Orlando Philharmonic. Tchaikovsky would be Dec. 22 and 23 The Nutcracker at the Convention Center productions in the entire nation by CNN Headlines News, the pyrotechnic Nutcracker will be presented by the Central Theater in the Orange County Convention Center. This presentation emphasizes the fairytale story of a Nutcracker doll coming to life as an enchanted prince who saves a pretty young maiden from distress. With keeps young male audience members just Dec. 22 and 23 A One-Man Version of A Christmas Carol Celebrating Charles Dickens 200th birthday, Southern Winds Theatre will present a One Man A Christmas Carol written and performed by David McEl McElroy creates everyone from Scrooge to Tiny Tim and the three Ghosts. This solo interpretation, created for adults and southernwindstheatre.comDec. 22 to March 31 Glass sculptures at Orlando Museum of Art Through its new exhibit Contempo rary Glass Sculpture: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Studio Glass the Orlando Museum of Art will join a celebration of events at museums and galleries nation works by renowned artists including Dale Chihuly, William Morris, Christopher Ries, Therman Statom, Lino Tagliapietra and others, while works by young artists will explore how each uses the intrinsic characteristics of glass for expressive purposes. Most of the works, selected from private collections, have never been in a museum exhibit before. The Museum is in Loch Haomart.orgDec. 27 and 28 Benet concerts for homeless charitiesTwo evenings of impressive harmoniz ing will provide help to Central Floridas homeless population as The Lettermen, the famous vocal trio, return to St. Mar garet Mary Catholic Church in Winter Park. The concerts, presented by Homeless homelessheart.org or at the St. Margaret concert include Bring Change, Covenant House, Family Promise, Idignity, Nathan iels Hope and others which are not large enough to produce an event such as this Dec. 29 The always amazing Toxic AudioToxic Audio is a national treasure, which came to life right here in Central mimics a human juke box, their a capella of favorite songs from Michael Jackson to The Beatles that are amusingly synchro nized into skits. Most amazing, however, is that both lyrics and instruments are created Other sounds, such as a motorcycle revving and other noises, are featured. Their at the Wayne Densch PAC in Sanford. Call Josh Garrick is a writer, photographer, educator, and ne art curator. He is a member of the Curatorial Council for the Museum of Florida Art. Garrick can be reached at joshgarrick9@gmail.com or 407-5223906.Josh Garrick Culture worthy of your calendar 558 W. New England Ave, Winter Park, Florida 407-982-4319 www.ClassicIronBeds.com All iron & brass beds are made in the USA and guaranteed for 2 generations Order now in time for the Holidays Bob Adams President/ CEO A SafeHarbor, LLC bob@asafeharbor.com The Fiscal Cliff is shaping up to be a congressional showdown that might have you caught in the cross-re. Stay informed about the impact the Fiscal Cliff could have on your retirement plans for the years to come and what you can do about it. The Fiscal Cliff Everyone is looking for answers Let us help you! Call today!407.644.6646www.aSafeHarbor.com This week at Enzian1300 SOUTH ORLANDO AVE MAITLAND, FL 407-629-0054 WWW.ENZIAN.ORG @EnzianTheater Starring Academy Award Nominees Bill Murray & Laura Linney HYDE PARK ON HUDSON Fri Sun 3:45, 6:30, 9:15 Wed, Thu 6:30, 9:15 Tue 6:30 only Cult Classics: JACKIE BROWN Only $5! Tue 9:30 Midnight Movies: RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE Fri & Sat 11:59PM David McElroy as Scrooge