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Seminole voice
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00091445/00124
 Material Information
Title: Seminole voice
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Publisher: Community Media Holdings, LLC
Place of Publication: Oviedo, Fla.
Publication Date: 12-28-2012
 Subjects
Genre: newspaper   ( sobekcm )
newspaper   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Florida -- Seminole -- Oviedo
United States -- Florida -- Seminole -- Winter Park
Coordinates: 28.659722 x -81.195833 ( Place of Publication )
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UF00091445:00126

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Celery Stalks ......................................... 11 Stetsons Corner .................................... 11 Interests .................................................. 4 Calendar .................................................. 6 Athletics .................................................. 7 Ask Sandi .............................................. 10 Young Voices ......................................... 10 Classifieds ............................................. 12 Calendar > 6 The German American Society of Central Florida in Casselberry will host a New Years Eve gala, with festivities starting at 6 p.m. on Dec. 31. New milestones and improbable championships abounded. Athletics > 7 Calendar > 6 Heres our event guide for sports, New Years Eve and more. We count down the top stories that affected you in 2012. Interests > 4 Ex-military investigator Jack Reacher goes beyond the law to find the truth behind a violent crime. Opening this week: JACK REACHER O ur Letters to Santa contest winner wrote us from Winter Springs telling us that if she could be Santa, she would give the gift of her familys Christmas. Danielle won a free ride with Santa Claus on a re truck through Oviedo, plus a prize package courtesy of the Oviedo-Winter Springs Regional Chamber of Commerce. Heres her winning letter: The gift I most want to give is a chance to let a less fortunate family then mine come and celebrate Christmas with my family. The reason I would like to give this to someone is because I would hate to see a kid or family not have a good Christmas to look forward to. I would like them to come and spend the day at my house, buy for them and then play with the new gifts we all received. Most of all I would like to make happy memories for them so they have a jovial Christmas to remember and not a sad Christmas. This is my Christmas gift I would like to give. Danielle Monahan Letters to Santa contest winner The Voices BEST STORIES OF 2012 T his was a year worth remembering. A community rallied around a little girl with cancer. An iconic school was saved from ruin. Another school Take a look back with The Voice at what made 2012 memorable. There is something about walking into an actual piece of Florida history that seems to spark the students imagination, but its charming example of turn-ofthe-century school architecture and history was in danger of closing as early as August 2012 due to budget cuts. To save the museum, and open a Center of Public History for itself, the University of Central Florida stepped in to lease the space in January, giving the Student Museum a new lease on life. Read about it in the Jan. 27 story A new lease on life at tinyurl.com/StudentMuseum SEMINOLE COUNTY STUDENT MUSEUM GETS A NEW LEASE ON LIFE SEMINOLE SCHOOLS FIGHT TO STAY OPEN On Jan. 23, a standing-room-only crowd lled the cafeteria at Geneva Elementary School to nd out why one of the statistically best elementary schools in one of the statistically highest-performing school districts in the state was statistically the most likely to be shuttered within a year. Eight schools in the county dotted a list of potential closures to make up for a nearly $20 million budget shortfall that would no longer be shored up by federal money in the fall. Oviedos Carillon and Stenstrom Elementary schools and Winter Springs Keeth Elementary were also on the chopping block. Read about how local parents and teachers fought for their schools, and eventually won, in our Jan. 27 story Schools ght to avoid closure at tinyurl.com/ SCPSclosure COMMUNITY CHEERS FOR CAITLIN On Sunday, Jan. 8, 4-year-old Caitlin Downing was complaining of feeling cross-eyed and was turning her head sideways to read things her teacher at StarChild Academy in Oviedo was writing on the board. The next day she was diagnosed with an inoperable and incurable brain tumor known as DIPG. For the next 10 months, the Oviedo community gathered to support the Downing family through donations, events and good cheer. Caitlin passed away in November, but the light of the Cheering for Caitlin movement she inspired has continued to glow. Read more about Caitlin and how the community came together to support her and her family in our May 23 story, Cheering for Caitlin at tinyurl.com/CheeringforCaitlin CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 >>

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Page 2 THIS WEEK in history Dec. 30, 1853 The United States acquires 30,000 square miles of land in what is now southern New Mexico and Arizona for $15 million. The purchase settled the dispute over the location of the Mexican border west of El Paso, Texas, and established the final boundaries of the southern United States. Seminole Voice is published twice a month by Turnstile Media Group | POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Seminole Voice | P.O. Box 2426 | Winter Park, FL 32790 Publisher reserves right to edit or refuse all advertisements, announcements, articles and/or letters to the editor. Submission does not guarantee publication. Columnists opinions are made independently of the newspaper. All rights reserved. Seminole Voice 2012 TCraft@TurnstileMediaGroup.com IBabcock@TurnstileMediaGroup.com SWilson@TurnstileMediaGroup.com JGallagher@TurnstileMediaGroup.com jwfoley@att.net Sandi@ChristianHelp.org SundewGardens@gmail.com KPhillips@TurnstileMediaGroup.com Josh Garrick JoshGarrick9@gmail.com Brittni Johnson DSheehy@TurnstileMediaGroup.com Legal@FLALegals.com AShortridge@TurnstileMediaGroup.com Florida Press Association & Oviedo/Winter Springs Chambers of Commerce Seminole Voice is published by Turnstile Media Group. Founded in 1990 and headquartered in Orlando, Fla., Turnstile Media Group is also the parent of Golfweek, Golfweek Custom Media, TurfNet, Professional Artist, Winter Park/Maitland Observer, East Orlando Sun, Baldwin Park Living and Turnstile Connect. CHAIRMAN: Rance Crain PRESIDENT/CEO: Francis X. Farrell VICE PRESIDENTS: Merrilee Crain, Patti Green & Jeff Babineau Periodicals postage is paid at Oviedo, Fla. Notes B E S T O F 2 0 1 2 RETAIL RISES IN SEMINOLE In the economic rollercoaster of businesses coming and going, there was a new promise for hope of a turnaround this year, as the economy started switching from downturn to upswing, and new businesses made plans to move into the Oviedo-Winter Springs area. With the Ale House already open, and plans for a Panera Bread to kickoff Oviedo on the Park, the community is on the cusp of a business boom. Read the story we published June 8, Retail rises in Seminole, at tinyurl.com/Retailrises NEW SUPERINTENDENT FOR SCPS Bill Vogel pulled off his nametag for the last time in the early hours of July 1, handing his duties to successor Walt Grifn and saying goodbye to friends and coworkers. Hed worked in school systems in Central Florida for 40 years. Dozens of friends and fellow teachers and administrators turned out to the 11:59 p.m. changing of the guard, and to celebrate Vogels long legacy. Read the full story of Seminole County Public Schools changing of the guard at tinyurl.com/Vogelsaysgoodbye SEMINOLE WORKS TO RESTORE SCHOOL FUNDING He obviously needs no introduction, Seminole County School Board chairwoman Tina Calderone said. And then Stan Van Gundy told Oviedo its time Seminole County residents took more responsibility for their schools. Van Gundy endorsed a one-mil tax increase on the Nov. 6 ballot that would cost $1 per $1,000 in taxable value, but would raise an estimated $25 million for the school system that has seen a $73 million drop in funding in ve years. Read the full story of Van Gundys eventually successful effort to pass the increase at tinyurl.com/Magiclearning CITIES SET HEFTY RECYCLING GOALS Cecilia Heights garbage can is about onethird full when its picked up once a week, but her three recycling bins overow. Height, and Oviedo are setting the bar as top recyclers as 2020 guidelines loom that will make all cities have to drastically cut down on garbage. To read our full April 27 story Hefty recycling goals about local cities working to increase recycling initiatives, visit tinyurl.com/RecyclingGoals VOICE NABS AWARDS The Seminole Voice and its sister newspapers won seven awards against the best in the state at the Florida Press Association Better Weekly Newspaper awards on Saturday, July 7, in Destin. Editor Isaac Babcocks story American dreamer, chronicling two Northland Church missionaries ght to adopt a Namibian girl with spina bida, earned rst place in the faith and family reporting category. To read about it and other award-winning stories, visit tinyurl.com/Voicewinsawards OVIEDO INSTRUCTOR WINS TEACHER OF THE YEAR Valeria Brown has a long list of accomplishments valedictorian of her high school, bachelors degree from the University of Florida, two masters degrees and now Seminole Countys Teacher of the Year for 2013. Drawing inspiration from current events, movies, even video games, she keeps her students engaged and invested in what they are learning. More than just language arts, she teaches us life lessons, said sixth-grader Melanie Clark. Read the full story at tinyurl.com/ValeriaBrown Earth Origins Outlet to open NAI Realvest, working in conjunction with NAI Brannen Goddard in Atlanta, repre sented health food retailer Earth Origins Outlet recently in negotiations to lease 10,384 square feet of space in Oaks at Lake Mary Shopping Center. SSC professor awarded for excellence in math Martha Goshaw, a mathematics professor at Seminole State College of Florida, has been chosen to receive the Mathematics Excellence Award by the American Math ematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC) for her signicant contribu tions to mathematics and mathematics education. The award was presented at the AMATYCs annual conference taking place Nov. 8-11 in Jacksonville. Next generation of 911 NexGens Global Technologies has suc cessfully completed Beta testing of its new NexGens 9-1-1 technology with the UCF Police Department 9-1-1 Communi cations Center. NexGen 9-1-1 is a cloud based technology which allows the gen eral public to call in and speak to a 9-1-1 operator, after which they can be directed to send in photos, video and text to the Emergency Communications Center from their mobile phones. Oviedo wins budget award The city of Oviedo has won the Distin guished Budget Award for the seventh year in a row. The award is given to gov ernments that excel in budgetary report ing.

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Page 4 THIS WEEK in human history Jan. 3, 1924 British archaeologist Howard Carter and his workers discover the solid-gold coffin holding the mummy of the boy-king Pharaoh Tutankhamen, preserved for more than 3,000 years. 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. Tom Carey SundewGardens@gmail.comCommunity supported agriculture. Experience homegrown gardening: B E S T O F 2 0 1 2 A WALK INTO THE RECORD BOOKS Penny Gold threw away the rst pair of Converse Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers she owned, but shes spent the rest of her life making up for it. Seven hundred and thirty three pairs later, she may own more Converse shoes than anyone else in the world. A walk into the record books in the Jan. 27 Voice detailed the long journey between Penny Golds rst and most recent pair of Converse shoes, with a Guinness World Record thrown in for good measure. To read the rest, visit tinyurl.com/PennyGold LEARNING TO WALK AGAIN Life can change in an instant. One second a passionate dancer, competitive softball player or dedicated U.S. Marine, the next, theyre given no hope to ever walk again. In Learning to walk again, published Feb. 24, The Voice followed a group thats changing that in Longwood. Project Walk Orlando uses innovative techniques to get paralyzed patients moving again, even if they were told it would never be possible. With the help of an important piece of miracle-working equipment from the Maitland Mens Club, the organization is working some miracles of its own. Read about it at tinyurl.com/Learningtowalkagain GOLD IN THE WATER Rowdy Gaines won three Olympic gold medals in 1984. But being on top of the world in mens swimming translated to about $100. Today a swimmer would pocket about $100,000 after a year like that, and thats not including sponsorships. Daytona Beach native Ryan Lochte is set to earn about $2.3 million this year, CNN Money reports, thanks to contracts with the likes of Gillette, Ralph Lauren and AT&T. Whats the world of competitive swimming like on an Olympic scale? The Voices Jenny Andreasson got an exclusive interview with Olympic gold medalist, TV commentator and Lake Mary resident Rowdy Gaines in Gold in the water, July 27. Read about it at tinyurl.com/Goldinthewater RYANS BIRTHDAY WISH For his sixth birthday, Ryans parents decided none of his friends would be allowed to bring him presents for his birthday party. The next year, when his birthday rolled around, and every year since, it has been Ryans own idea to forfeit gifts and instead ask his friends to donate money to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. We talked to Ryan about his incredible giving habit in Ryans birthday wish, which printed Jan. 13 in The Voice. Its all at tinyurl.com/Ryan-swish

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Page 5 Oviedo VISION Center From our family to yours, Wishing you a safe and joyful Holiday Season! Dr. Gary D. McDonald and Dr. Jason R. Wallace Optometric PhysiciansLook Good and See Better...This Holiday Season!Fashion Frames Custom Contact Fittings Eye Exams for All Ages Designer & Rx Sunglasses Treatment of Red Eyes In-House Optical Lab Surgery Co-Management875 Clark Street,Suite A Oviedo, FL 32765 www.OviedoVision.com 407.366.7655 Fresh Fruit Vine Ripe Tomatoes Vegetables Thomas Produce110 Geneva Dr., Oviedo (Across from Ace Hardware) Get Healthy From the Inside Out! 160 East Broadway PO Box 622143 Oviedo, FL 32765 Phone: (407) 365-3722 Fax: (407) 365-7786 www.signman.net (Located at the base of the Nelson & Co. water tower) DEC. 30 On Sunday, Dec. 30, in place of the United Methodist Church of Genevas traditional nighttime Christmas carol ing, the Church is having a Christmas carol sing-along at 10:30 a.m. Come and enjoy some good fun music. Then at noon a new womens small group study will begin. They will be reading and discussing When Christians Get It Wrong by Adam Hamilton. JAN. 1 Another year is on its way! Make plans now to join your Geneva neigh bors for the third annual Peas & Plenty New Years Day Meal at the Geneva Community Center on First Street. The meal will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Jan. 1. Barbecued pork, chicken, sandwich rolls and beverages will be provided. Bring a traditional New Years Day side dish, or any family fa vorite side dish, and begin your New Year enjoying food, fun and fellowship. Call or email Wanda at 407-519-8838 or wanda_currie@yahoo.com, or Cindy at 407-312-2204 or tacybell@ earthlink.net with any questions. ONGOING The Holiday Kids Camp is open through Jan. 8 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Wirz Park; 806 Mark David Blvd. in Casselberry. Camp will be closed New Years Eve. The camp provides your child a safe, worry-free place to have fun during the holiday break, featuring arts and crafts, sports, holi day gift making, games, movies and more. Cost is $20 per day for Cassel berry residents and $25 per day for non-residents. Register online at cas selberry.org or call 407-262-7700, extension 1576, for more information. The city of Oviedo hosts a Special Needs Activity Program (SNAP) spe cically designed for ages 15 and up who are mentally or physically chal lenged the rst, second and third Wednesday of every month (next program Jan. 2). Participants must be accompanied by a companion. Enjoy the fun, games, craft time and mov ies. For more information call Jenette McKinney at 407-971-5591 or email jdmckinney@cityofoviedo.net From Jan. 2 to 8, the Christian Child Development Center (CCDC) at the Methodist Church in Geneva is having Winter Camp for elementary school children. For more information and to register your student, contact the CCDC through email at ccdc@fumc geneva.org. Weekdays Jan. 2 to 8, there will be a winter break camp, Wild Winter Won ders, at the Yarborough Nature Center on County Road 426 in Geneva from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Imagine a camp where you can have fun while learning about the natural world. Its an outdoor ad venture and environmental education program for children ages 7 to 12. Call 407-349-0959 or email lhartsock@ seminolecounty.gov. Go to semino lecounty.gov/parksrec/naturallands/ index.aspx for more information and registration form. Send submissions to ibabcock@ turnstilemediagroup.com Plan your weekend with The Weekender! Visit seminolevoice.com and click "Subscribe to Newsletter" LOCAL GIRLS GO LIVE I can say that since June with everyone always around and supporting me, its felt like my birthday every day, Robyn Ungaro said. I wanted the girls, even for just a few days, to be able to see what that kind of support feels like. When Chuluotas Robyn Ungaro found out she had rapidly spreading cancer, her friends made her feel like the queen of the world, even getting tattoos in her honor. The Voice told her story of hope and friendship in Local girls go Live! in the Feb. 10 issue. Though she passed away in November, her friends helped her have one great nal year, punctuated by a surprise trip to New York City to be on Live! With Kelly and to hang around for a week with TV and movie stars. Read it all at tinyurl.com/Localgirlsgolive GENEVA RESIDENT BEATS THE WORST ODDS On the night of March 5, 2010, Mary Smith was rushed to the emergency room at Central Florida Regional Hospital after her husband noticed that she was turning gray. An X-ray showed that her left lung was near collapsed and her right lung was not far behind. Swine u would paralyze Mary Smith, choke her, and nearly take her life. But by a miracle that deed a 99 percent chance of death, she survived and told the tale in a new book. Geneva resident beats the worst odds chronicled the serious nature of a killer disease and a multiple sclerosis patients improbable ght to overcome it. It printed Sept. 20, but you can read it here: tinyurl.com/Genevaswineu WINTER SPRINGS IS FIFTH IN THE NATION The rie ying through the air and back into Michael Drews hands moves in a blur before its caught with a shock of impacting metal. And with a split second echo, the terse report of halting steel repeats 12 times. Drew, 18, stares bullet straight, tension reining his reexes just beneath the surface. Winter Springs JROTC cadets shipped off to nationals in May and returned with a top-ve nish. On May 9 in Winter Springs is fth in the nation, The Voice let you know just how good they were. Read about it at tinyurl.com/WSROTC A CENTURY OF ST. LUKES Back in 1911, a group of Lutheran farmers from Ohio resolved to bring their families to Florida to create a better environment in which to raise their children. By the end of the year, they had purchased 1,200 acres near the village of Oviedo and made plans to relocate. Shortly after their arrival, a group of men from the settlement met on March 17, 1912, and organized the church that would become St. Lukes Lutheran Church. In A century of St. Lukes, published March 9, The Voice told the tale of one of the citys most beautiful churches. Read about it at tinyurl.com/StLuke-s100

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Page 6 Feld Entertainment 214099 FELD ENTERTAINMENTJob No.: Engagement City: Media: Insertion Date(s): Ad Size: Section:RD21409 Orlando, FL NEWSPAPER AD 5.875 X 10 ENTERTAINMENT Thu. JAN. 10 7:30 PM Fri. Sat. Sun. JAN. 117:30 PM+JAN. 1211:30 AM 3:30 PM 7:30 PMJAN. 131:00 PM+5:00 PM+OPENING NIGHT TICKETS $15!**Opening Night offer excludes Circus Celebrity, Front Row and VIP seats. Additional fees may apply. No double discounts.SAVE $5 on Tickets!+JAN. 10 13 Ringling.com+Valid for select performances. Excludes Circus CelebritySM, Front Row and VIP seats. Limit of six (6) tickets per order. No double discounts. Not valid day of show.3 Easy Ways to Redeem Your Savings:1. Go to the Amway Center Box Ofce 2. Call at 1-800-745-3000 and mention code 13SAVE 3. Log on to Ticketmaster.com and use code 13SAVE Meet the stars an hour before the show at the All Access Pre-show FREE to all ticket holders!Presented locally by Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome? If so, there is now an opportunity to join a new research study.Are you eligible? irritable bowel syndrome Abdominal Pain, Bloating, DiarrheaQUALIFIED PARTICIPANTS:Will receive investigational medication or inactive placebo, study-related testing, physical exams, and lab work at no charge. ADDITIONALLY:Compensation may be available travel).For More Information Call: 407 937-1036 r fnrtbtrr rfntbrfnrtbtrr rf rfntb f OF CENTRAL FLORIDA CELEBRATING OVER 25 YEARS SERVING YOUR COMMUNITYBernard S. Zeffren, MD Eugene F. Schwartz, MD Winnie Whidden, MSN, ARNP-CVoted Best Doctors of Central FL, Orlando Magazine for 7 consecutive yearsDiplomates American Board of Allergy and Immunology Evening Hours Available793 Douglas Ave. Altamonte Springs, FL 32714407-862-5824 2 locations in Seminole County7560 Ste. 2064 407-366-7387www.orlandoallergy.com Calendar DEC. 28 If the Mayans were wrong, the nal San ford Art Walk of the year will be celebrat ing the lack of destruction on Dec. 28. On the fourth Friday of each month, multiple venues in Sanfords downtown historic district showcase local talent along with opportunities to meet visiting artists. The event is free and runs from 6 to 9 p.m., mixing art, wine and music in one pleas ant walk just two blocks from the water front. For more info contact Mary Shaw at mary@jtfolkart.com DEC. 29 There is a Mens Breakfast and Leader ship Discussion at 8:30 a.m. at the Oviedo Diner. All men are invited to meet with the Geneva Community Church of God and Oviedo Presbyterian Church mens fellow ship groups for breakfast and a leadership discussion led by Paul Simpkins, a found ing partner in the John Maxwell Team of Certied Leadership. The Orlando Last Saturday Contra Dance is held the last Saturday of each month in the Secret Lake Park Dance Hall; 200 N. Lake Triplet Drive in Casselberry. The December dance will be held on Satur day, Dec. 29, and we will dance from 8 to 11:30 p.m. Lets dress up for the occasion by wearing our holiday nery. Please bring your leftover holiday goodies to share at the break. Visit orlandocontradance.org Come out to Jolly Gator Fish Camp for the last Blues on the River Open Jam of the year from 2 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 30. Jolly Gator Fish Camp is located at 4650 E. State Road 46 in Geneva. For more in formation, visit thejollygator.com DEC. 31 The German American Society of Central Florida will host a New Years Eve gala beginning on Monday, Dec. 31, at 6 p.m. in its clubhouse at 381 Orange Lane in Casselberry. For more information, visit gasocf.com Come ring in the new year at the Black Hammock! The Black Hammock New Years Eve celebration is an exciting eve ning of fun, food, drinks and dancing. To attend this event, purchase of a special admission ticket is required, which in cludes a three-course dinner, three drinks, cover charge, party favor and rafe ticket. Enojy music from Neon Dream 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the best place to watch reworks around Lake Jesup. To purchase tickets, visit theblackhammock.com JAN. 3 The Lake Monroe Amateur Radio Society holds monthly meetings the rst Thursday of each month at the Winter Springs Civic Center. (Jan. 3 this month) at 7:30 p.m. All interested parties are welcome to attend to learn about ham radio. Visit lmars.org ONGOING Join Panera Breads Hope for the Holidays campaign to help ght food insecurity in Central Florida. In partnership with its customers, Panera will raise more than $200,000, which will directly help Sec ond Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. From Dec. 26 through Dec. 31, Panera will award each donor of $5 or more with a free scratch gift card guaranteed to be valued between $5 and $200. The gift cards can be redeemed during future vis its to the restaurant. Send submissions to ibabcock@ turnstilemediagroup.com DEC. 28-29: Battle of wrestling champions The Zac Jarzynka Memorial Ironman Tournament, a nationally recognized high school wrestling tournament held annually at Oviedo High School, will take place on Dec. 28 and 29. This is an individually bracketed tournament of 32 teams from across the United States. Contact Tom Coffman at jetscoop@msn.com for more information.

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Page 7 THIS WEEK in sports history Dec. 31, 1972 Roberto Clemente, future hall-of-fame baseball player, is killed along with four others when the cargo plane in which he is traveling crashes off the coast of Puerto Rico. At the end of September, Clemente had gotten his 3,000th hit in the final game of the season for the Pittsburgh Pirates. 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 FOR LEASING INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT rffntb JOINING NATIONAL TENANTS NOW O PEN 130 E Altamonte Drive Altamonte Springs PictureShow Cinemas B E S T O F 2 0 1 2 SOFTBALL PLAYERS BALL ALL NIGHT Its 3 a.m. and theyre still playing. Hundreds of runs have been ticked up on the scoreboard; the bright spotlights shine on the now worn eld, bases smashed by dozens of cleats. Its the longest game of softball ever played in Florida. High school softball standouts from across Central Florida make up Americas Team, and worked to raise $56,000 to go on a July trip to Italy to play softball against local Italian teams. They hoped to raise $30,000 of that through a marathon softball game in Winter Springs, 24 hours of ball with 48 teams, and a score that keeps going with each pairings hour-long play. Read the full story of how they pulled the all-night event together in the Voices Jan. 11 story Ball all night at tinyurl.com/BallAllNight UCF BASKETBALL TEAM EARNS HISTORIC WIN Thousands of fans mobbed the court, lifted A.J. Rompza into the air, and roared the name UCF over and over again Jan. 18, victorious over Memphis for the rst time in school history. Seconds earlier the Knights scrappy team captain had stolen a ball bound for a nal shot attempt by Memphis as the score stood 68-67 with the Knights narrowly ahead. And as he turned with the clock ticking to zero and red a nal shot, the stands were already exploding with cheers. And as the clock ran out and Knights fans leapt onto the court to dance with their team, the Knights celebrated a victory that had been long in coming. In nearly a dozen meetings on the court, the Knights had never beaten the Tigers. To read the whole story on the Knights historic win on Jan. 18, visit tinyurl.com/Knightswin CHEER SQUAD TAKES STATE TITLE FOR THE FIRST TIME An Oviedo school had reason to cheer this February: its rst state athletic championship ever. The Masters Academys competitive cheerleading team brought home the gold on Feb. 3 from the FHSAA state championships in Kissimmee after tumbling their way through two minutes and 30 seconds of mesmerizing acrobatics and cheering. And in just that short time, they bested the rest of the state in the Class 1A Medium Varsity Competitive Cheer class to be the rst Eagles team to win it all. Read how this underdog team readied to win it all in our Feb. 6 story Cheer squad takes state title at tinyurl.com/Cheerchamps WINTER SPRINGS WRESTLERS WIN BIG Winter Springs may have seen higher rungs on the state wrestling championship ladder, but not by much. On Feb. 18 the Bears climbed nearly as high as they had ever been, setting team records in the process of placing fth out of 124 teams at the FHSAA championships. The kids had a great weekend, Coach Scott Gomrad said. They had a lot of fun. In this case fun means a state champion, state runner-up, a third place and a fourth place nisher among the teams ranks. To read more about honors won by the Winter Springs wrestlers this year, read the Feb. 24 story Bears win big at tinyurl.com/WSwrestlers

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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 10 Heres what kids at the Geneva Elementary Musical Mustangs per formance said about how they prepared and deco rated for the holidays. We had fun decorat ing our artificial tree and we decorated inside the house. Chocolate chip cook ies are my favorite. Well probably go to my aunt and uncles house on Christmas Eve. Kamron B. 10 years old We have a big tree with lots of orna ments! We made Santa cookies with green sprinkles. On Dec. 1 I opened the Advent calendar. Im in second grade, and Ive been good this year. Jamie D. 7 years old We hung up stock ings and wrapped green garland with lights on the stairway. It was fun learning our songs for this program, and the suspense of waiting for Santa Claus. Gracie D. 10 years old We have the Elf on the Shelf and lights inside and outside. We have an artificial tree and I helped decorate it. I like being with my family and any Christmas cookies, Jenna S. 9 years old I helped my dad get our Christmas tree out of the storage unit. I also have a LEGO Advent calendar and I get a new prize every day. This is the first time Im in the Musical Mustang performance. Jason S. 9 years old THIS WEEK in political history Jan. 2, 1980 In response to the December 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, President Jimmy Carter asks the Senate to postpone action on the SALT II nuclear weapons treaty. Carter feared that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan could lead to the USSR gaining control over much of the worlds oil supplies. I usually try not to make this column a commercial for my organization, but as we start to think about the new year, I just want to encourage you, if you need help with your job search, to reach out to us. employment counseling and coaching, resume assistance, and weekly job skills classes. Additionally, we have a program for professional job seekers called Boot Camp, which is a full-day intensive job skills workshop teaching you to market yourself to employers. Boot Campers also get a mentor to follow up with them for six weeks after the program. We are launching a new jobs initiative in January, which will include six classes focused on everything from creating a job search plan to how to be an excellent between. Many Central Florida employ ers are on board to interview our class graduates. Our Central Florida Employment Council division hosts an online job board with lots of job listings, resources, a blog, and great tips and information for job seekers. It also has a listing of events for job seekers. The website is CFEC.org We host six job fairs each year. The next one is on Jan. 23 at the Central Florida Fairgrounds from noon to 4 p.m. above. We usually have 60-plus employ ers at the events who are looking to hire. One other program we love is our community employment seminars. These seminars are presented by local human resources professionals, and are April 4 at College Park Baptist Church. Sandi Vidal is the executive director for Christian HELP and the Central Florida Employment Council, with more than 10 years of recruiting and human resources experience. For questions, please call 407-834-4022 ( fax 407-260-2949) sandi@ christianhelp.org or mail Ask Sandi C/O Christian HELP, 450 Seminola Blvd., Casselberry, FL 32707. TALK T O SANDI > EMPLOYMENT Ask Sandi Bone up on your job skills Health costs need to drop rst King Features Weekly ServiceDecember 24, 2012 nounced that President Obamas health lion more than previously thought, thanks to the Supreme Courts decision to allow states to opt out of the laws Medicaid expansion. Those savings may sound nice. But the law doesnt do much to address our coun trys chief healthcare challenge spiral ing costs. Health insurance is expensive because health care is expensive. The cost of insurance continues to rise cording to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Family premiums rose by 9 percent. insurance more expensive. The law levies new taxes on insurers, medical-device tably be passed along to consumers as higher prices. New federal mandates are also driv ing up the cost of coverage. Policies must cover all sorts of medical procedures whether patients want them or not. The law also limits out-of-pocket spending and annual deductibles. The law contains several attempts to rein in costs. But most are unlikely to work as intended. A prime example is the individual mandate, which requires every American to obtain insurance. The mandate has no teeth. The penalty for going without coverage is a lot smaller than the cost of an average insurance policy. According to the governments Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, annual in 2010. Assuming premiums increase at the historical rate of 6 percent per year, the for just 10 percent of an average premium. So instead of spreading costs across a wait to buy coverage when they need it. Consequently, those with insurance will gradually become sicker and more costly to insure. As prices for coverage go up, the Through this repeating process of adverse selection, health insurance premiums will Medicares reimbursement rates for healthcare providers are also driving health costs up. JANET TRAUTWEIN Guest Writer Spending in the program is projected insolvent by 2024. As more Americans enroll and Medicares expenses grow, the primary tool for controlling costs will be reductions in payments to medical provid Providers are concerned about these reductions. Today, physicians treating cent of the rate that private insurers pay. According to one survey, physicians top concern is whether theyd be adequately reimbursed by Medicare in the future. These worries have caused some doc tors to stop seeing Medicare patients. This year, the Texas Medical Association found that 12 percent fewer physicians were ac cepting new Medicare patients. Seniors wont be the only ones who care reimbursements may have to take on additional patients, slash visit times or raise prices for those with private insur ance. And with Americas population aging quickly, doctors patterns of practice in Medicare are likely to spill over to their larger patient pool. It doesnt have to be this way. There are several easy ways to alleviate the cost problems plaguing our healthcare system. Insurance brokers have a critical money-saving role to play as the health care law is implemented. Many individu market is only growing more complicated. A brokers expert counsel can therefore be invaluable. No less an authority than that brokers generate substantial savings negotiating premiums. And brokers pro vide ongoing assistance to make sure con fact, agents often get claims amounting to thousands of dollars paid on their clients behalf. the way Medicare reimburses provid ers should also be quickly advanced into actual use. Take bundled payments, which link payments for the multiple services pa tients receive during a single episode of care. This coordinated payment structure provides incentives to deliver healthcare Value-based purchasing represents an other way to reduce costs. This approach accountable for the quality and the cost of care that they deliver. access to insurance are admirable. But theyll be wasted if coverage remains cost drivers is crucial to preventing that unfortunate outcome. Janet Trautwein is CEO of the National Association of Health Underwriters.

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Page 11 I hope your Christmas holiday was wonderful and memorable. I know that my Christmases have been so loving and grand, being with the whole family on that special day good food and great gifts, and a lot to be thankful for now and in the past. I suppose it will stay a wee-bit on the cool side now that winter you are waiting for snow, best pop up North. The Oviedo Historical Society celebrated their Christmas spirit by having their annual Holiday Womans Club. Great enjoyment was had by all. Florida Horticulturist Tom MacCubbin is to address the Newcomers luncheon on Thurs Winter Springs Blvd. in Win ter Springs. Mr. MacCubbins presentation, Its Time to Think Spring Gardening, will provide seasonal gardening information, and hell also answer questions from the audience. A retired extension environmental hor ticulturist with the University of Florida in Orange Country, Mr. MacCubbin is the author of numerous gardening books as well as feature articles and question-and-answer columns run in the Orlando Sentinel. His popular horticulture reports air on Central Florida News 13, cable television and over Florida radio stations. Members and guests are welcome to the luncheon. Tickets open at 11:30 a.m. Advanced reservations are required. Please The city of Oviedo and Oviedo Citizens in Action will present a ebration on Jan. 19 and Jan. 21: Saturday, Jan. 19, will be a Ave. in downtown Oviedo. There is free admission, however dona tions will be accepted. Please On Monday, Jan. 21, the Mar tin Luther King Jr. parade will start at Oviedo High School at 10 a.m. and walk to Round Lake Park where there will be a Family games, karaoke, live entertain ment, vendors and food for sale. If you have questions, call Kathy Pappys Patch is now open and it is time to go picking those great fresh, delicious strawber times and directions. Of course if you have picked before, you dont need directions to the patch 434. See you there! St. Lukes Concert Series will St. Lukes Lutheran Church; 2021 State Road 426 in Oviedo. The se ries will feature the Orlando Con cert Band performing, as well as pianist Julian Bond in Rhapsody in Blue, plus a variety of other rich musical colors. Admission is free. For more information, please A thought Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depres sion. It is a business. Grenville Kleiser jagged pieces from the tragedy that befell Newtown, Conn. What parent, grandparent, teacher, neighbor, coach, school employee or volunteer has not played the mind, understanding that this nightmare could have unfolded in their own community. In an elementary school the relation ships, hopes and discoveries that radiate from each class and grade level are so unique. In addition to the victims families, the devas tation felt by those who knew these children as classmates, teammates and best friends is palpable. It gives us little comfort that there are 20 brand new baby angels in heaven this Christmas. Losing a child is devastating under any circumstance. Families are confronted with the dynamics of grief and the event itself, but also the accompanying emo tions that follow. All the families connected to this tragedy will need our prayers and support for many years to come as they walk through the valley of this terrible aftermath. I hope that they will reach out to organizations like New Hope for Kids in Maitland, which helps surviving children work through their grief. How do you plan a celebration were the dreams and wishes of these precious children, their last school picture now frozen in time, their list to Santa still their favorite colors, animals, Who were their favorite teach What were their favorite smells made them laugh, cry, hesitate or them happy, share a secret and Adam Lanzas weapon may intention and behavior was born years before. We need to admit that our culture has turned a blind-eye to violence in mov ies, video games and musical lyrics. Boys and men ages 10 to through an electronics store and look at the dark games that purposefully promote violence in a repetitive and addictive way. Its like nicotine that feels good now but changes our cell struc ture to feed an invisible cancer. Young users unconsciously blur fantasy and reality and slowly become desensitized to violence. I believe parents must intervene to stop this addiction. Too many parents have given up their right to draw a line in the sand, and in doing so have given up their children. We have a responsibility to disappoint our children when they demand these addictive products that have unintended consequences. Another element is how our culture tries to even out all outcomes. Our children are not taught to constructively deal with obstacles, disappointment, frustration and anger. We cannot solve these issues in 140 charac ters or less. Families, neighbors and communities need to take the time to admit to kids that life is not fair, and that they will not get a participation ribbon in the real world. The silent frustrations in young men that go unaddressed and build day after day, even tually erupt. And then are we Mental illness is no stranger to Gregory, known as Stetson, for whom this column was named, resident Alan Singletary who Alan Singletarys sister Linda Petree, and Seminole County and national level by reforming legislation to advocate for more legislation among the mentally ill population is far less homeless ness, incarceration, hospitaliza tion and arrest. We can only hope that the good that rose from our own Geneva tragedy will one day happen in Newtown. Please share your thoughts about Geneva at 407-221-7002, kphillips@turnstilemediagroup.com with Stetsons Corner in the subject line, or fax 407-349-2800. Thanks! This column is dedicated to Deputy Sheriff Gene Stetson Gregory, killed in the line of duty on July 8, 1998. Geneva will never be the same because of Deputy Gregory it will be better. TALK T O KAREN > CELERY By Janet Foley the Between Stalks Send word to Janet Foley about events and let her know whats going on around town by e-mailing jwfoley@att.net TALK T O JANET > Stetsons Corner By Karen McEnany-Phillips Our angels and demons sue, so heres one of his columns from the past to inspire your gardening as we enter the new year. A decade or two ago, with my the road toward college, I took a several year hiatus from growing my garden while pursuing a less risky career option (as an electrician at the Mousehouse). Upon my return to the daily dance with Mother Nature, the remnants of my garden were in dire need of refurbishment. Once the framework of fences, greenhouse, water supply, grow ing beds and other functional pieces were in place, the routine of growing crops commenced. routine, I began to innovate. After the basics are initially created, wanting to improvise and improve the garden are as much of the fun as sticking seeds seemingly repetitive work, the gears of my mind are churning to ing is free, but creation beyond the dream requires commitment and cash. The dedication of spending choices toward innova tion instead of merely reaping sainthood. Gardening is a labor of love for me, plus I would rather spend the cash in my backyard than at the mall. Innovating beyond success appears to be the problem behind many of the worlds symptoms. If a little fertilizer grows the plants to their full potential, why not ticed may control the holes in the beets, but spraying on a Monday and Thursday just in case now insect cycle. The feedback loop of innovation must be recognized as important as the implementation. Irrigation is an area where we can easily apply the principles of innovation. Never one to stand idly by while schlepping a watering can through the garden, a succession of sprinklers were tried and discarded. Based on the design and shape of my garden, I cobbled together PVC pipes and that waters several long grow ing beds in a few easy moves. Not leaving well enough alone, a timer on the hose allows me to tackle other projects and not to worry about wasting water and inconsistent soil saturation. But the timer valve constricted the the plants on the edges dry. Our civilization has more potential to innovate than at any other time in history. The blank canvases our gardens provide allow us to easily practice this esoteric science. Pick a project you love, immerse yourself in that project, and enjoy the art of innovating for its own sake. Do you continue to innovate after building your garden ? Tom Carey From my garden to yours Tom Carey is the owner of Sundew Gardens, a you-pick gardening business in Oviedo. Visit the Sundew Gardens Facebook page and email him at sundewgardens@gmail.com WHO IS CAREY > During long hours of seemingly repetitive work, the gears of my mind are churning to the point of distraction. Dreaming is free, but creation beyond the dream requires commitment and cash. We need to admit that our culture has turned a blind-eye to violence in movies, video games and musical lyrics. Boys and men ages 10 to 25 are the target audience. Walk through an electronics store and look at the dark games that purposefully promote violence in a repetitive and addictive way. Exciting January

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