Author: LindaLee

Morning Feature: Helen Boosalis – A Life in Politics

She grew up working in her father’s restaurant, and became the first female president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Meet Helen Boosalis through her daughter’s eyes. (More) Helen Boosalis – A Life in Politics I’ve just finished reading Mayor Helen Boosalis – My Mother’s Life in Politics, by Beth Boosalis Davis. This is a biography written by a daughter of a wonderful progressive woman who always put people first. The sourcing and research is amazing and includes many references to newspapers of the day. It does a wonderful job of putting the events of Helen’s political career into the context of our nation’s history. Many of the issues we write about today were present throughout her career. She was the daughter of Greek immigrants and that too is a powerful part of the book. One can see our progressive values throughout her public service. We see the impact of the first energy crisis under President Carter on one city, Lincoln, NE. We see city government trying to use conservation and mass transit to assist families struggling with inflation and high gas prices. We see how one woman, often underestimated, got people involved in shaping government. She trusted “the people” to become involved and to make good decisions. We see how her core belief that it was “all about serving people” manifested itself in many, many ways. We see...

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Midday Matinee – Who is the Enemy?

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. My two oldest grandkids were running around the open spaces that surround the center stairs at their house. At almost 5 and 2 ½ years old, they are bundles of energy. As the speed and volume of their chase game escalated they were given a chance to tone it down which they ignored. They were given a time out. The oldest went to her room and the youngest was sent to sit on the steps. He went up to his sister’s room and they started playing together nicely and quietly. I made a comment about “nothing like a common enemy to build a team.” Their mother was holding their brand new baby sister and thought I meant that the new sister was their common enemy. My son started laughing. He saw both interpretations of my comment. He explained to his wife that I had meant that the older two had united against the parents. He also speculated that, if the older two thought about their new sister at all, they probably saw her as reinforcements for the kids’ team and not the enemy. Perhaps this analogy will have its flaws, but I view Fred as reinforcements for our team. Fred is not our enemy, even the Freds that didn’t...

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Midday Matinee – You’re Late!

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. Every family group and every work team seems to have at least one person who is chronically late. What is up with these people? Perhaps the late ones are just wired differently and it is a matter of understanding. Perhaps they are so present with and focused on the people they are with that it is really a strength that they forgot about the next commitment. Late ones represent the true power of a minority. If a group has decided to car pool to an activity that they regularly share and the same person is always late, the rest of the group is forced to wait on them. The group may moan and groan but they wait nonetheless. If this is a family unit the complaints range between grumbling and thoughts of rage. The on-time group spends their waiting time dishing the late one. In business settings, the ‘time is money’ argument always comes up. I have watched teams institute fines, lock the doors at exactly the stated start time, try to put timeliness in as an objective and thus hit them in the pocketbook and try to shame the late one to get with the program. None of these really work well for sustained behavior change. I have...

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Midday Matinee – Stuff

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. PBS broadcast a series based on the book Material World: A Global Family Portrait by Peter Menzel, Charles C. Mann and Paul Kennedy. The authors had representative families from around the world take all their possessions out of their homes and photographed them with their stuff. Clicking on the first link will show you the photos from China, India, Japan, Mali and the US. A certain amount of stuff may be necessary for basic survival. Backpackers today carry a kitchen, a shelter, bedding, extra clothing, a first aid kit and food. I can hike for a week starting out with 40 pounds and meet my needs in comfort if not in style. John Muir used to “take only a tin cup, a handful of tea, a loaf of bread, and a copy of Emerson.” It didn’t take him 40 pounds of stuff to walk the Sierras but then he knew about edible plants. Some of his jaunts lasted months. Life may metaphorically be a long journey, but most of us don’t want to take it as a long backpacking trip. Most of us don’t want to be the homeless person with what they own in a shopping cart. Which brings us to the questions, “How much stuff do we need?” and...

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Midday Matinee – Informed vs. Overwhelmed

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. I am a news junkie who was raised to believe that being informed about current events was part of being a good citizen. I am occasionally overwhelmed by the sheer volume of ‘news’ available. Thank goodness that I am not inclined to keep track of pop culture and celebrity news. I think tracking Charlie Sheen would do me in. I have found myself looking for news out of Japan that speaks to the volume of destruction and homeless people. In spite of their powerful nation status, they need our help. I understand that the nuclear reactors make good video and good disaster type news. I also understand that nuclear fallout plays into a set of fears that were nurtured in many of us with the atom bomb scare and duck and cover drills. Why else would there be a run on potassium iodine on the west coast of the US in spite of fairly consistent medical warnings against taking it prophylactically. Why did people stock up on Cipro during the anthrax mailings? There is something almost immoral about a news formula that scares the crap out of us and then brings on a medical expert to tell us not to be scared that way. Finding news that scares and overwhelms...

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