Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Being Safe with Kidde

Logo_Versioning_TemplateMany of you know that safety is an important topic for me. While attending Mom 2.0 this past Spring, I met some representatives of Kidde. I think the first thing out of my mouth was, “I have one of your CO [carbon monoxide] alarms!” However, I wasn’t very familiar with the rest of their offerings. Kidde is the world’s largest manufacturer of fire safety products including: smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers and escape ladders. Recently, a member of the Kidde team e-mailed me to ask if I would be interested in writing about winter safety in the home. I said, “absolutely!”

I think I credit my parents with setting a good example for fire safety preparation. We had smoke detectors, an escape ladder and a plan for getting out of the house with a meeting point. When I was about seven, our neighbor’s house caught fire and the parents weren’t home. I remember my mom going over to get everyone out and call the fire department. One thing I did not grow up with is a carbon monoxide alarm. Although I knew about CO poisonings and deaths, having heard about them on the news, it didn’t really register that it could happen to anyone. That reality blindsided me when a college friend died of carbon monoxide poisoning, at age 27, in a home with a faulty heater. I will always have one in my home.CO infographic - high-res

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), most home fires and CO poisonings occur in winter. Someone in the United States dies in a house fire every three hours, amounting to 3,000 deaths each year. Besides heating appliances, seasonal activities such as increased cooking, using candles and decorating Christmas trees all add to the risk. I took the following quiz to see how ready I am. I encourage you to take it too. I’ll tell you how I did below.

Home Safety Quiz

One in four older homes needs to update fire safety equipment. How old are your alarms?

· Replace smoke alarms every 10 years. Replace CO alarms every five to 10 years, based on the model.

· Purchase an alarm with a 10-year sealed lithium battery, such as Kidde Worry-Free smoke and CO alarms, to receive hassle-free protection for a decade --no need to change a battery or hear a low battery chirp. Available nationwide at retailers like The Home Depot and Walmart, each alarm installed will save you $40 over its life in battery costs.

Seventy-five percent of homeowners don’t know where to install smoke alarms. Do you have one on every floor, and inside/outside all bedrooms?

· Choose alarms with room-specific features, such as an LED light in the hallway, or a voice notification for the bedroom.

· Place a CO alarm near sleeping areas and on each floor. Keep them 10 feet away from fuel-burning appliances.

Do your alarms incorporate the newest features and technology?

· A sealed-in 10-year lithium battery continuously powers the alarm for 10 years.  It’s tamper-proof and can’t be removed. 

· A digital display shows the level of CO in the air and updates the reading every 15 seconds.

· An intelligent multi-sensor responds faster to real fires and CO, plus it reduces nuisance alarms like those commonly caused by cooking.

· An end-of-life warning lets you know when to replace your alarms.

Do you need other safety products?

· Fire extinguisher – place one within reach in rooms where fires often begin: kitchen, garage, bedroom, living area

· Escape ladder – place in second and third-floor rooms as an alternative escape route

Have you developed a family escape plan?

· Practice it regularly. Know two ways out of every room and who will assist children and loved ones with mobility/health issues.

Do your children know their address and how to dial 911?

· Post your home address and emergency phone numbers on the refrigerator.

Are your appliances and chimney winter-ready?

· Have a professional inspect fuel-burning appliances to ensure they function properly and that they vent outside.

· Have a professional clean or inspect fireplaces annually. Birds and small animals can make nests and leaves can build up on top of the chimney, preventing carbon monoxide from venting properly.

· Have you created a 3-foot clutter free zone around fireplaces, space heaters or wood stoves?

LCD CO Alarm - packagedDid you take the quiz? Here’s how I did: My smoke and CO alarms are under 10 years old. I did not know that they need to be completely replaced every ten years. I have my CO alarm in my kitchen, however, I live in a ranch house so I think that placement is ok for my layout. My smoke and CO alarms are about five years old, thus they don’t have the newest technology. I love the 10 year batteries (in the Worry Free alarms) mean we don’t have to hear that beep (it inevitably happens in the middle of the night) telling us the battery is dying. Here is a link to the Worry-Free alarms product line. My CO alarm doesn’t have a digital display. Hmmm, maybe I should be upgrading sooner than I thought? We have two fire extinguishers. I know these do expire and should be replaced every 12 years. You should also check the pressure gauge periodically to make sure it is pressurized. Chip and Lulu do know their address and how to call 911. It’s something we practice with them. We had our chimneys cleaned about two months ago. I’d say I did really well! For more information and a downloadable checklist, visit worryfreealarm.com. I also highly recommend the Safety Made Simple area of Kidde’s site as a great starting point in your quest for home safety knowledge. I’m passionate about safety and I hope you will also be passionate about making your home safe this winter.

This is a sponsored post for Kidde. All written content is my own.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Orange County Moms You Should Know

Mary TranMy latest post on CBS Los Angeles is about my top picks for online moms in Orange County. The list provides a nice variety covering different ages and interests. These gals make being a parent in OC much easier! So head on over to read Follow These Savvy Mom Bloggers for Parenting Advice in OC

Mary Tran & Family of Let’s Play OC

Thursday, September 26, 2013

LA County Fair– final weekend

Blue_NoDate_000I have only been to the LA County Fair once. It was years ago, before we had kids. Since having kids, I have wanted to go, but something kid related always seems to keep us from getting there! I’m pleased to say, we are going this weekend. The last weekend of the fair…But there still is time! The fair opened on August 30 and closes this Sunday September 29. The LA County Fairgrounds are in Pomona, close to several freeways. If you aren’t up for driving, or traffic, I noticed you can take Metrolink Trains that run between Los Angeles and San Bernardino and take a free shuttle right to the gate.

longviewofgroundsOnce you are there, the variety of things you can do is rather mind boggling. You have to tell yourself you can’t do it all and try to make a plan. The hours vary during the course of the fair and depending on the day of the week. Saturday has the longest openingdeepfriedtwinkies hours, from 10am-midnight. Considering how hot it is this time of year, we are planning on attending at least part of the day when the sun is down. The fair’s website is extremely well done and includes lots of information. I recommend Free Fair Stuff from A-Z, Plan Your Visit, Daily Event Schedule, and Promotions & Discounts. There is also an LA County Fair app for iPhone, iPad and Android that I plan on downloading. It’s a kick that the site has a search function for type of food. I selected “Fried Food” from the pull down menu and before me appeared a comprehensive list of offerings and locations. I’ve decided I’m going to try to sample a deep friend cheesecake and/or a deep fried Klondike bar because they strike me as the most insane. Or maybe I’m just hungry right now…

Since I actually haven’t been yet, I can’t do a review. I decided to give links to posts from some of my favorite So Cal bloggers.llama Check out: Caryn Bailey on CBS Los Angeles, Tee on That’s It Mommy, Liz on Family is Familia and Jennifer on Toddler Trails. I discovered some great info on those posts! I’m most looking forward to seeing the animals. I remember having a blast at the petting zoo several years ago. I’m also hoping to get to see The Star Trek Exhibition, Wilderness Ridge and this weekend’s Asian Festival.

Disclosure: I was given tickets and parking for the LA County Fair

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Back to School–Back on Track

young school kidsBy now, everyone is back to school and the after school activities have been pinned down for Fall. The craziness of the end of summer and beginning of school often sets the stage for a disorganized start to the new school year. Today we have guest blogger and mom of three, Rebekah Rosales, with some tips to help get families back on track.

Create a family calendar in a central area, like the kitchen, where everyone can write down their activities. Either the night before or in the morning, discuss everyone’s schedule. Establish school-day schedules for homework, TV, baths and bedtime and make sure your child is aware of those times.

If your routine for packing lunches and snacks isn’t working for you—try switching it up. Lunches do not have to be made in the morning. How about doing as much as you can the night before? Or maybe you are already doing night prep but it is making you unhappy because you’d rather get to sleep. Try switching to morning lunch making, just make sure to allot the proper amount of time. Get creative with easy, healthy ideas for school-day meals on websites like Pinterest. If you think your child’s lunchbox won’t make it through the school year, pick up a new one now, while all the back to school clearance sales are going on. Putting a surprise note or picture in your child’s lunchbox will reassure your child during their school day that they are loved. If your child is older, have them help pack their lunch so you don’t have to hear the dreaded, “I didn’t want that!” If possible, plan out your dinner meals for the week ahead of time. That way you are not trying to figure what everyone is going to eat when the kids are hungry and cranky. Now that you realize you are in the car driving kids around during typical dinner prep time, menu planning might be something to try. There are websites like Allrecipes.com that let you search for recipes that contain ingredients you have on hand.

Now that kids are underway with after school sports and classes, take not of what is working or not working for you, the kids or the whole family. How are your children coping with homework and other commitments? Use this as a guideline for winter activities. You can always add more activities as the school year goes along. Make sure to leave enough time for family down time and unstructured play.

Rebekah Rosales is the owner of Beach Cities Domestic Staffing, located in Los Angeles. Are you looking for a helping hand? Check them out at BeachCitiesDomesticStaffing.com and on Facebook.com/BeachCitiesDomesticStaffing

Monday, September 23, 2013

My Visit to “Mom”– a New Sitcom on CBS

MOMLast week I had the opportunity to visit the set of “Mom” at Warner Bros Studios. Mom is a new sitcom premiering tonight on CBS 9:30 ET/PT. The stars are Anna Faris (Christy), perhaps best known for her roles in the “Scary Movie” franchise, and Allison Janney (Bonnie), who many recall played CJ Cregg on “The West Wing".” The sitcom centers around a multi-generation family: Christy is a newly sober single mom of two kids who works at a posh Napa Valley restaurant and is trying to overcome her past. Bonnie is Christy’s mom and a recovering alcoholic who reappears in her life. Other main characters are Christy’s daughter, Violet, her son, Roscoe, her ex, Baxter, her boss, Gabriel, the restaurant chef, Rudy and Violet’s boyfriend, Luke. Christy tries to remain positive as she pursues her new path in life, but she faces an uphill battle, surrounded by a dubious support system—and lots of dysfunction. I like that the show deals with real characters, with real problems and who have to actually work for a living. Chuck Lorre is the creator of “The Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men” and he is also the co-creator of “Mom” along with Eddie Gorodetsky and Gemma Baker. I actually lived next door to Eddie when I was a little kid and he was a teenager, in Providence, RI. I hadn’t connected with him for a few years and it was great to catch up with him a bit on the set. I was also able to tell him truthfully, that his show is funny. One of my earliest memories is of being about four years old and being lifted up to crawl in a small window because his mom was locked out of the house. What is my point in telling you this? I guess I have a few points: 1) be nice to your neighbors, you never know who they will become and 2) Hollywood is a very small town!

We got the chance to see Anna and Allison rehearse two scenes and, like I told Eddie, they were well written, well acted and funny! During a break in the shooting, we got the chance to sit down for a Q & A with Allison, Anna, Gemma and Sadie (who plays Violet). It was really fun to hear about their thoughts on the show. They were in the midst of their 7th episode with the show yet to premiere and we could really sense the excitement on set. Allison talked about how much she loves how live audience sitcoms are like the theater. Everyone agreed what great hours sitcoms are for actors. They really allow you to have a life outside the show during the shooting season. This is particularly important to Anna who has a one year old son. I look forward to watching the premiere tonight and I encourage you to join me!

Many of the castmembers will be live tweeting the show (on East Coast time), so if you are on Twitter, here are the handles:  @AnnaFaris, @AllisonBJanney, @sadiecalvano, @imnatecorddry, @mattjonesisdead, @frenchstewart, @sadiecalvano, @momcbs (show) @cbstweet (cbs). You can also like the show on Facebook.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Los Angeles Moms You Should Know

Jen Levinson of Jen's List and Family
Los Angeles is a big place to navigate as a parent. There are some key moms who are plugged in, networked and oversee online information centers. I have gotten so many tips, leads and ideas from their sites and forums. I am featuring some of my favorite LA go-to moms today on CBS Los Angeles in my post For Savvy Parenting Advice, Follow These Moms

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

LA Moms' Top OB Recommendations

In a place as huge as LA, choosing an OB can be overwhelming. I talked to power moms in all parts of LA to find out the local top docs. I'm over on CBS Los Angeles with the list: LA Moms' Top OB Recommendations

Monday, April 22, 2013

Guide To The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

I'm on CBS Los Angeles with my Guide To The Ronald Reagan Library. I encourage everyone to visit, the location and library are superb. There is something for everyone.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Podshare Hollywood

There is a new concept in the hospitality industry--overnight accommodation meets social media.  Check out my take on it....I'm on CBS Los Angeles with Podshare: A Modern Twist on Hostels.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Cavalia – OdysseO

Odysseo2This blog post is written by Jessica Cribbs of BurbankMom.com. I was unable to attend and was very happy that Jessica could go with her family and do a guest post. Thanks, Jessica!

The skyline in Burbank changed earlier this month as the world’s largest traveling show came to town to set up camp. Cavalia is back after three years with an amazing new performance, OdysseO. First of all, I’d like to thank Elizabeth for the opportunity to guest post on her site about it! She knew this was right up BurbankMom’s alley, so I loaded up the family in my minivan and headed over to the 8pm premiere with orders to report back.

The Cavalia tents, if you haven't seen them...or have no clue what they are, are gigantic. The Big White Top is 10 stories high and the stage itself is 15,000 square feet and features a real carousel and a magically appearing 80,000 gallon lake. The backdrop is the size of 3 IMAX screens. There are stables for all 67 horses, a warm up tent for the performers as well as paddocks for the animals to have time outside every day.

With all that being said, it’s not hard to imagine how spectacular this show was!

If you know nothing about anything Cavalia has done, think Cirque Du Soleil....with the addition of horses. Ok, so the horses aren't actually spinning on high ropes or performing acrobats, but they certainly perform and move you like the music or artists do. They are breathtaking.

The mind behind the show, Normand Latourelle, is one of the co-creators of Cirque Du Soleil. In an interview last week with Mr. Latourelle, he said to me that he had once done a show where he put one horse on stage with all of the performers and he noticed the audiences were watching the horse more than the people.

That’s when Cavalia was born.


From start to finish, this two hour show kept me drawn in. I have a hard time even comprehending not only the insurmountable creativity it takes to think of every detail, but the hours of dedication it obviously takes to train the horses. They are just some of the most magical animals on the planet. They are strong, powerful, graceful, stunningly beautiful and so very intelligent. Consider me equine-illiterate if you will, but I had no idea that these animals were capable of such memorized choreography and elaborate training.

Can we talk about the human performers for a minute? I swear they must be from another planet. The men and women who grace the stage with trick riding, acrobatics, tumbling, spring stilts and pole dancing (Yes, I just said pole dancing) are so spectacular, they simply must be related to Superman. The human body is so brilliant, and paired with horses, choreography and music, it all becomes poetic.

Louisiana native, Anna-Laura Edmiston provides the vocals for six acts in OdysseO. Her voice is absolutely majestical, etherial almost...what a perfect cast. It took me a while to even notice the orchestra was playing live above us, including Anna and her voice.

This is way more than just a horse show. To me, it was a piece of art that was breathtaking and full of  innocent wonder. I sat next to my children with the same amount of excitement on my face as they expressed.


OdysseO is a journey around the world. With every act, you are taken to a different place on our beautiful planet and you are taken there by horse. Fitting then, is the cast of people and equine that make up this show. There are 11 different breeds of horses from around the world and the artists are from at least eight different countries. The concept, the backdrop, the artistry, the choreography, the costumes and original score let you travel and experience the journey of man and horse as it should be...appreciated.

This is an absolute family must while it’s in Los Angeles!

OdysseO plays through Sunday, April 14th in Downtown Burbank, just off the I-5 freeway.
It’s conveniently located at 777 N. Front Street, Burbank, CA 91502.

For tickets and show times visit, www.Cavalia.net or call 1-866-999-8111. 

Jessica Cribbs is a wife and the mother of three and secretly loves the Valley. She is co-creator and producer of Expressing Motherhood and publisher of BurbankMom.com. Jessica also runs an annual charity event in the memory of her mother Rose, who lost her battle with breast cancer 4 years ago, called The Rose Run. You can also follow Burbank Mom on Twitter & Facebook.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Jamiel Andre Shaw II 12/22/1990 - 3/2/2008

Every year, since the second anniversary of Jamiel's death, I have reposted this. 2012 saw victories for the Shaw family. In the Spring of 2012, Jamiel's murderer was found guilty. On November 2, he was sentenced to death. We held our breaths for four days after. That was because there was an initiative on the California ballot to repeal the death penalty...Election Day, November 6. Thankfully, the initiative did not pass and Jamiel's killer remains on death row. Today is the fifth anniversary of Jamiel's murder and again Jamiel's family will be holding a candlelight vigil. In the five years since Jamiel's murder by an illegal alien gangmember, more Americans have been killed by illegal aliens. Our government continues to look the other way and even reward illegal aliens for breaking our laws. Although justice has been served, the journey continues.

I will keep posting this on the anniversary of Jamiel Shaw's death until Jamiel's Law is passed.

Jamiels 001Today I share with you a post I originally wrote for the now closed Los Angeles Moms Blog, exactly one year ago today. Even as I cut and paste and tweak something that “I’ve already done”. It’s as if I’m slammed backwards one year as I struggled to write this. If it weren’t for Jamiel’s aunt, Althea Shaw, patiently speaking with me over several phone calls, reliving her own tragedy with someone she didn’t know….I wouldn’t have gotten this piece done. I had the pleasure of finally meeting Ms. Shaw on a scorching hot day this past August in Beverly Hills at a political rally.  I rolled Lulu in her stroller through the crowds looking for her. When we finally connected, we hugged like old friends.

My friend Althea Shaw is taking action, right now, right here in Los Angeles.  She is running for Los Angeles City Council for District 10 to unseat incumbent Herb Wesson who has done nothing to protect young black men from becoming victims of illegal alien gang members. It’s clear Herb Wesson has an agenda that does not include following the law and/or protecting US citizens. In fact, in April 2008, when the Shaw family was planning to go before the LA City Council to speak about Jamiel’s Law, Herb Wesson sent out one of his representatives in advance to offer Jamiel’s father, Jamiel Sr., a “position on a board”—a bribe to get them to back off. Then when the Shaws actually arrived at the City Council meeting, Herb Wesson escorted them into his chambers to keep them from being able to speak during the Public Comment section of the meeting. He warned the Shaws that, “They were messing with a hornet’s nest.” It was ONLY due to the crowd assembled chanting “let them speak, let them speak” that the City Council was embarrassed into re-opening the Public Comments. I urge everyone who votes or knows anyone who votes in District 10 to get the word out to vote for Althea Shaw for Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday, March 8, 2011. Let’s take back our city with honorable, ethical people who look out for what’s best and do what is right.

I now present Jamiel Andre Shaw II 12/22/1990 – 3/2/2008, originally posted on The Los Angeles Moms Blog, March 2, 2010

Jamiel “Jas” Shaw was on his was home from the Beverly Center exactly two years ago today.  He jumped off a city bus with a buddy a few blocks from his house near the 10 Freeway, said goodbye and started to walk the couple of blocks to his house.  His dad called him on the way to confirm their plans to head out and buy him a new pair of running shoes.  He was a standout member of the varsity track and football teams at Los Angeles High School.  That morning Jas had participated in an invitation only weekend football training program. A program that prepared top high school football players for college football and even the NFL.  Scouts from UCLA, Stanford and Rutgers had inquired about him.  It looked like Jas was really going places.  Sadly, he did not make it home that afternoon.
Three doors from his house, Jamiel Andre Shaw II was murdered.  Shot twice, although there were three entry wounds. The first bullet went through his hand and then entered his stomach. The second bullet hit Jamiel’s head.  Jamiel’s alleged murderer, Pedro Espinoza, an illegal alien gang member from Mexico, belongs to the 18th Street Gang.  Espinoza had been released from jail on a firearms charge the day before he murdered Jamiel.  The Shaw Family has been continually thwarted in its demands to know how this was allowed to happen.

Jamiel 003
Jamiel’s mom, Army Sgt. Anita Shaw was serving in Iraq at the time of her son’s murder.  This aspect has been the most painful for me in preparing this piece.  I cannot even put myself in her boots.  Fighting for freedom in Iraq and receiving the news that her son was killed on his way home from the mall.  Jas also left a little brother, Thomas, now ten.

Jamiel 002 You’d think that a young, promising black teenager, killed by an illegal alien gang member would get all kinds of attention from leaders of the black community.  The Shaw Family couldn’t even get a return call from Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton.  How about the elected officials representing the Shaw’s district?  Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City Council member Herb Wesson, and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas have done nothing but throw up roadblocks.  Their Congresswoman, Diane Watson has also ignored them.  Clearly, there’s a mighty, mighty big elephant in the living room.

Where can we place the blame for the circumstances that led to Jamiel’s murder?  One prime culprit is Special Order 40.  A law put in place by the Los Angeles City Council in 1979 that prevents Los Angeles Police from obtaining immigration status from detained suspects.  This law was upheld in 2006 when Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa promised to make Los Angeles a “Sanctuary City for Illegal Aliens”.  Let’s take a look at Pedro Espinoza and his 18th Street Gang.  According to a 2005 report by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA),  “an estimated 80 percent of [the 18th Street] gang's members [in California] are illegal aliens from Mexico and Central America."

When Pedro Espinoza was arrested, among the tattoos recorded on his body were “BK” on his neck representing “Black Killer.” On October 30, 2007, the U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles announced he had indicted members of "The Florencia 13, a street gang," for "shootings of African-Americans in neighborhoods the gang claimed to control."  Mara Salvatrucha (MS 13) is another large gang founded in LA and now operating in other parts of the US and Central America.  It is clear that these gangs, moreover, do not limit their “code” to "traditional" crimes like extortion and drug-running: they endorse ethnic cleansing.

Some may ask: Well, is Jamiel’s murder an isolated case?  I’m afraid not.  Just last month, Ronald Barron, a black anti-gang activist with Ameri-I-Can was killed by a Latino gang member when he tried to stop him from tagging in the 5500 block of Pico.  On April 17, 2009, Marquis LeBlanc, an 18 year old black man was chased down a Pomona street by a group of Latinos, suspected gang members as reported by witnesses, and murdered.  Here I ask, what of the numerous unsolved murders in Los Angeles?  I don’t want to stir controversy unnecessarily, but can we get some answers?  How many unsolved murders of young black men are there in Los Angeles?  In a phone conversation with Jamiel’s Aunt, Althea Shaw, she stated that when Sheriff Lee Baca was asked this question in a news conference, he evaded answering.

We have a class of US citizens, young black men, who are being targeted by illegal alien criminal gangs and our politicians and law enforcement officials are unwilling to do anything about it.  The sad irony is that just a few months after Jamiel’s murder, our country elected our first black president.  President Obama, what say you about protecting our young black men?

For the past two years, the Shaw Family has been working very hard to get information, answers and to get Jamiel’s Law on the ballot.  The ballot initiative has been spearheaded by 2009 mayoral candidate Walter Moore, who gave Villaraigosa legitimate competition last year.  Jamiel’s Law, if passed, would permit Los Angeles police officers to arrest gang members for breaking U.S. immigration law. It would supersede Special Order 40.  To get information about The Shaw Family’s fight, please visit JamielsLaw.com and follow them on Twitter.com/GoJamielsLawGo
The Shaw Family invites the community to a Candlelight Vigil to remember Jas, tonight at the site of Jamiel’s murder, 2136 5th Ave. Los Angeles 90018
Photos courtesy of the Shaw Family
An original post for The Los Angeles Moms Blog
After Elizabeth takes a deep breath, she can be found over at her personal blog, Traded My BMW for a Minivan.
Comments (These are the original comments from the post on the LA Moms Blog)
Kirsten said...
Thank you for posting this. It's very well written and I'm glad to know about it. It's very sad. Best wishes to the family and for their efforts to stop this horrible violence, too.
Reply March 02, 2010 at 08:52 AM
Kim Tracy Prince said...
I'm feeling physical pain in my chest as I read this. I remember when this happened and I cried and cried for the lost life, the lost big brother, the lost son, the lost friend. You ask tough questions. I have no faith at all in our city or state elected officials to legislate the purchase of office supplies for schools, much less pass meaningful laws, so it seems to me there is less hope in that direction and more in community activism on the ground. Nonetheless, I hope this post gets some local attention and I will promote it myself.
Damn you. Now I'm sad.
Reply March 02, 2010 at 11:32 AM
Eunice C. said...
Once again, I find myself in support of vigilante justice. So sad.
Reply March 02, 2010 at 01:52 PM
erin m said...
so horrifying. really makes me sick.
i am disgusted by our mayor.
my hubby's cousin was able to make a bit of a difference in Orange County....www.allanmansoor.com.
Reply March 02, 2010 at 06:16 PM
Sarah Auerswald said...
This is so frightening and sad for so many reasons: the injustice and the lack of compassion at all levels of government. Thanks for telling the story.
Reply March 02, 2010 at 06:48 PM
carrie meadows said...
Is there a petition for the ballot, or an online donation site set up?
Reply March 02, 2010 at 07:39 PM
Elizabeth Peterson said in reply to carrie meadows...
Hi Carrie, thanks for your interest. This info is on the home page of JamielsLaw.com
To donate financially and/or mail funds directly to the Jamiel's Law Committee account.
The mailing address for the account is:
The Committee to Pass Jamiel's Law
USC Federal Credit Union
1025 W. 34th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90089
for further info:
Reply March 02, 2010 at 09:01 PM
Jamiel's Law said in reply to carrie meadows...
Official Website http://isupportjamielslaw.com/
Twitter Page - http://twitter.com/GoJamielsLawGo
Reply May 16, 2010 at 08:27 PM
Yvonne Condes said...
I remember when this happened. It’s a horrible and senseless tragedy. I can’t imagine the pain the Shaw family has gone through these last two years.
I don’t know, however, if Jamiel’s Law is the answer. If it becomes a law it will give the LAPD the right to arrest anyone who looks like an illegal immigrant gang member. That means any young Latino can be arrested for simply looking like they could possibly be illegal. It will stop illegals from coming forward when they have information about the perpetrator of a violent crime for fear of being deported. It’s racial profiling and that’s not the answer.
According to the LA Times, Special Order 40 wasn’t a factor in Espinosa’s release the day before the murder because he was arrested and released outside of LAPD jurisdiction. But that’s beside the point. I think the problem with gang violence has as much to do with the LAPD as with illegal immigration. There are not enough police officers for a city of this size. There are not enough resources in these gang-ridden communities to give young people any other choice.
Something has to be done to stop the gang violence that’s terrorizing this city. And we need to elect officials who are willing to do everything they can to make that happen.
Reply March 03, 2010 at 01:06 AM
April said...
I hope the Shaw family NEVER GIVES UP! Keep asking questions and demanding answers! Use the press to get them to be accountable for this very preventable tragedy!
Please check out www.numbersusa.com There are all kinds of facts and information on illegal immigration on this website. Also, on www.fairus.org We MUST speak out and DEMAND from our politicians to build the border fence and to crack down on illegals.
E-Verify is what is needed nationally. E-Verify is currently a volunteer program that employers use to "match" the documentation a new hire gives (only used after hiring). No match, no job. If this were implemented, within months, illegals would be self deporting. No job, no reason to be here! Americans like Jamiel Shaw should be able to walk down the street at any hour, and not have to worry that an illegal gang banger is going to kill you! God bless The Shaw family, and thank you Mrs. Shaw for serving your country. DON'T GIVE UP THE FIGHT!
Reply March 03, 2010 at 01:09 PM
Kathy said...
thanks for posting this. My heart goes out to the family of that poor young man. How brave of them to be putting their energies into something positive.
Reply March 03, 2010 at 02:16 PM
Michelle T Griffith said...
WOW...thanks for sharing. I'm really just about speechless. My heart just sank and I'm thinking of their family.
Reply March 05, 2010 at 06:00 AM
Sickofignorantpeople said...
I'm sorry, but not all Latinos are murderers, just as not all African American . If the Jamiel's law passes .. Simply put is that the Shaw family is encouraging racial profiling. I understand that they have hate in their hearts for a senseless act of ONE person, but there is no need to generalize all Latinos!!
How many times do African Americans murder Latinos or Americans ? And simply you don't see us all up in the media to try to pass a law to arrest every black person who walks down the street that may look like they are either from the crip or blood gang that sag their pants past their butts just to have them sent back to Africa ! Do I sound ridiculous ? Well, that's how this whole thing is being brought about.
To all: NOT all Latinos are Mexican . That's the ignorance of an uneduated individual . Read
about history before assuming and just because we speak Spanish does not mean they are Mexican !! I know that the famIly wants justice, but racial profiling is not the answer. And for Mr. Shaw to call Mr. Ridley Thomas a sell out simply because of his decision on not supporting the Arizona law on racial profiling is just plain wrong.
I just hope that the Shaw family's hearts heal and that it was a very unfortunate situation ,
but wanting to do is simply wrong.. Do they not remember the 1960's era.
It's a shame if they have forgotten on how it feels to be discriminated ?
And with that I have nothing else to say!
Reply June 08, 2010 at 03:01 AM
BlkWmSpeaks said in reply to Sickofignorantpeople...
First of all, need I define the word "INVASION" for you? Cuz that's exactly what's happening here .... illegal aliens are crossing our borders by the thousand each day.
So, it's not 'racial profiling' at all....it's PROTECTION for the Americans to enforce EXISTING immigration laws. According to federal law....immigrants are required to establish their immigration status [upon request...in other words....show "papers".....this is FEDERAL LAW .... "federal law" that "unfortunately" hasn't been enforced.
Likewise, Americans must show driver's license, car registration and car insurance "upon" request. What's the difference?? Why shouldn't Latinos show "papers", especially known gang members?
The illegal alien problem has gotten waaaay out of hand, it's "beyond time" to enforce existing federal immigration laws, however, if you have the necessary "papers" to establish your status..........what's the problem?
The majority of illegal aliens crossing the borders ARE Latinos [from Mexico]....there's no getting around that FACT.
The issue isn't about 'tit for tat' or "how many African Americans have kill Latinos" [as you so IMMATURELY put it] ... the issue is whether or not the Latino doing the crime is an "illegal alien".
Americans can't go to Mexico and do what the hispanics are doing here. please. Buy a clue. I'd rather the police stop every single suspicious Latino in town and enforce existing "federal immigration laws," if necessary...... than risk more loss of black life....our black youth are being gunned down by mexican "illegal alien" gang members [who, openingly, admit to ethnic cleansing].
Are we [Black Americans] supposed to stand by while these people kill MORE of our children....our people???? You must done lost your freakin' mind.
So, no, it's not racial profiling.....it's PROTECTION for americans [& black people ARE Americans] from INVASION .....from those who seek to kill us and our children. If anyone is ignorant, it's YOU......cuz obviously "you" don't know "your" history or federal law.
Every other country has rules, regulations, policies, and LAWS that are set in place to protect its citizens.....the US government has a moral & constitutional obligation to protect Americans from this [current] invasion from mexico.
And, before I forget.......YOU don't get to compare or minimize the plight of Black Americans [blk ppl. were FORCED here]........ to Latinos who come here "willingly" and ILLEGALLY on their own accord....those same Latinos can GO BACK TO MEXICO, if they don't like the laws here.
Go back to your own corrupted Mexican government [with it's hypocritical president]........cuz we all know.....the immigration laws in Mexico are a lot worse AND much harsher & strict. Yet, ya'll come 'here' and complain.
I ask you, dear readers, what's wrong with this picture? "eyeroll"
Reply June 11, 2010 at 10:05 PM
W. Martin said...
Jamiel “Jas” Shaw
I found this by accident and it brings me to tears.
To the Shaw family: I know your lives are forever changed but hope you have found strength through the pain. Jamile sounds like he was such a light with such a promising future.
I wish our government would listen to the will of the people. I believe they are all pawns of corporate greed. How can they see what is happening and not care? It's beyond me but money is the root of all evil.
We need a revolution.
Reply June 17, 2010 at 11:23 PM

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

From The Archives: Will You Be My Valentine?

I originally wrote Will You Be My Valentine? For the now closed LA Moms Blog in February 2009. I revisited it in 2011. The kids are older and Valentine's Day brings up many of the same discussions. Chip is now in first grade...The grade I was in for a pivotal moment in my Valentine's Day life experience. It seems only appropriate we re-examine the topic. I have been talking to a lot of people this week about Valentine's policies. I have also been observing how Chip sees things and how I see things...And how I saw things when I was his age. It's interesting to have childhood memories that you know are trapped in the brain development of that age....And maybe colored by the experiences you have had in the decades since.

Now, dipping into the Traded My BMW for a Minivan archives: Will You Be My Valentine?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Strawberry Shortcake Live!

strawberry shortcake stageI loved Strawberry Shortcake when I was a kid. I’m glad that Lulu loves her, too, because that isn’t always the case with things from my childhood. We were really excited to be invited to the Los Angeles show of Strawberry Shortcake: Follow Your Berry Own Beat. The tour will go to 32 cities in the US and Canada through March. We were treated to a pre-show party with yummy snacks including: strawberry milk and strawberry shortcake (of course!) and a meet and greet with Strawberry Shortcake and her friends, Orange Blossom, Lemon Meringue, Blueberry Muffin, Raspberry Torte, Plum Pudding, and Cherry Jam. I miss the prairie outfit that Strawberry Shortcake wore in my youth. However, I also appreciate the modern updates. I really like that the Strawberry Shortcake characters are “appropriately attired” and wear outfits similar to what their little fans wear.

Next we headed to the show at Club Nokia to find our seats. It turned out we had general admission tickets for the open area right in front of the stage. There were a bunch of area rugs covering much of the seating area. However, there was not enough space on the rugs for everyone. It resulted in many of us, including me, sitting directly on the hardwood floor. I found out from people sitting around me who had purchased their tickets, that they did not know they would be sitting on the floor. Many people were frustrated and unprepared, ie: not wearing clothes they would be sitting on the floor in, someone had a back injury, elderly family members, etc. I went with it, but I will admit it wasn’t very comfortable to be sitting on a hard floor. This got especially uncomfy when Lulu wanted to lean against me. I suspect this seating option isn’t going to be at all venues, but I recommend looking into the seating information before you purchase your tickets. [I also want to mention that I noticed people who were needing assistance were able to get help from the Club Nokia staff and in some cases I saw they were moved to seats in the next section] The show entertainment started with The Doodlebops as the opening act. They did a good job getting everyone warmed up for the main attraction.

12-5B432B9A-713494-800Then, Strawberry Shortcake and her pals took the stage….Suddenly I realized we were in a kiddie mosh pit as Lulu and all the little girls started dancing around. The Hub is a popular channel in our house and Lulu enjoys watching “Strawberry Shortcake’s Berry Bitty Adventures.” The stage show has a lot of the same songs from the tv show. It was fun for the kids to recognize the songs. The premise of the story is a musical adventure set in the whimsical land of Berry Bitty City where the whole town is buzzing with anticipation for the Glitzy Glaze Talent Show. There is plenty of action, group numbers and solos to keep the show humming along at a nice pace. I actually liked the show…And I can’t say that about every kid show…For sure! At the end, all the characters came to the front of the stage and Lulu and her buddies were there reaching up receiving handshakes from Cherry Jam and Blueberry Muffin! It was a total rock star scene and way too cute. If you have a Strawberry Shortcake fan in your family, I highly recommend going to this show. For the tour schedule with cities and ticket information visit, strawberryshortcakeontour.com/tour-dates/.

I have some more good news for you, Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Friends Forever is going to be released on DVD on March 5. It is available for pre-order now.

576Disclosure: We received a gift bag with Strawberry Shortcake merchandise as well as complimentary tickets to the show. All opinions and content are my own.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pete Rose: Hits & Mrs. on TLC

PETE ROSE: HIT & MRS.When I read the e-mail inviting me to attend a lunch here in LA with Pete Rose and his fiancee, Kiana Kim to talk about their new docu-series, Pete Rose: Hits & Mrs., my initial reaction was: no. Then I thought, well, maybe? Pete Rose, baseball great. Now banned from baseball for gambling. To understand my visceral reaction, it might help if I give you some background: My parents are sports fans and baseball played a big part in my childhood. I started collecting baseball cards, purchased with my father at the neighborhood corner store, when I was in nursery school. We went to minor and major league games. Winter vacations to Florida always had to occur during Spring Training. I was a baby when my father caught a ball at Candlestick Park—I was there—so they tell me. Baseball figured prominently and still does with my husband and kids. I guess I felt Pete Rose had let me (and a lot of the country) down.

I have an image of Pete Rose in my head, it’s from one of his baseball cards from my childhood. Pete permanently frozenPete Rose in an awkward looking bunt position. Fast forward a decade to the summer of 1989 and the announcement that Pete was declared “permanently ineligible from baseball” for betting on games. This means that Pete cannot work for Major League Baseball or anything associated with it. It also means being barred from induction to The Baseball Hall of Fame. You can look up Pete Rose and see his accomplishments and statistics. You can also look up The Dowd Report which documented Pete Rose’s “transgressions” against baseball. In the twenty plus years since Pete’s ineligibility, the country and the sport of baseball have been through a lot. Attitudes change and new controversies have hit the sport. Foremost of those is steroid use. Maybe you look at the cheating that comes from a player who uses performance enhancing drugs. Then maybe you look at Pete’s contention that he only bet on his own team winning while he was manager of the Reds and therefore never tried to lose a game. Pete had a gambling addiction. He was an addict. Addicts can overcome their addiction with help and determination. It gets harder to separate the wrong from the cheating from the damaging America’s game. I am not, thankfully, required to decide whether Pete should be reinstated. I can tell you that Pete wants to be reinstated.

I got a sneak preview of the first two episodes of the six-episode series, The Family Hustle and There’s No Crying in Baseball (click links to watch the full episodes online) which show Pete and his fiancee Kiana Kim raising Kiana’s two kids, planning to get married and Pete being all about baseball. He states clearly that he knows what he did was wrong and that he wants to get into the Hall of Fame. Kiana is pleasantly interesting to watch. In the episodes you see that she owns her own home, is focused on her kids and is smart. It is a reality show and Pete and Kiana’s reasons for doing it are probably numerous. I think one reason is that Pete wants to be heard.

Like any normal person, I crowd sourced the decision to meet Pete and Kiana. I took to Facebook with: “I'm debating whether to go meet with Pete Rose tomorrow.” The overwhelming response was: “go!” So, I went. It was a small gathering at Sisley in Sherman Oaks. Mostly sportswriters and reporters. We all gathered around a table in one of the private dining rooms. Pete and Kiana along with Kiana’s daughter Cassie sat in the middle of the long table. Italian food served family style. Pete talking away, answering questions while eating a salad. It was really cool. Yes, Pete wants into the hall of fame. He and Kiana tell us an upcoming episode shows them in Cooperstown (location of the Baseball Hall of Fame) with Pete staying outside while Kiana goes in. You can see Pete loves baseball. He has “Hit King” embroidered on his collar. He watches three games a day during the season. Regarding criticism of the show launching so close to the Hall of Fame balloting (which had taken place the day before and resulted in no one being selected), Pete said there is no good time of year. It’s either Spring Training or the regular season or the playoffs or the World Series or…So, mid-January seems fair. Pete told us he gets texts from players asking for hitting advice. He makes a point of watching their games and following up with them. I kind of pictured players passing Pete’s cell phone number around the locker room upon hearing a teammate say, “I gotta work on my swing!” As a mom who also works in Hollywood, I asked Pete and Kiana if they had concerns about putting Ashton, 11 and Cassie, 14 into the spotlight of a reality show at such typically “complicated” ages. This gave me a really touching insight into Pete and his relationship with the kids. He said that they talked about it and will continue to talk about it. That, “high school kids might make fun of you” and they will deal with it as a family. Kiana said that Cassie was homeschooled and chose to go to public high school. That Cassie is also interested in acting. Fair enough I thought. Pete took a picture with me and gladly signed two baseballs. One for me and one that I am donating to a silent auction to benefit public education. He signed them “Pete Rose #4256” representing his major league leading career hits. I love my Pete Rose signed baseball.

Pete was born the same year my father was. Kiana is closer to my age. They say wisdom comes with age. With life experience comes perspective and maybe Pete has benefitted from it. He genuinely cares about Kiana’s kids and seems to actively participate in their lives. You may come to the show because you want to see Pete or Kiana, but maybe we can all come away with some understanding and appreciation for a family who invited us into their lives. As for my decision to go to the lunch? I’m really glad I went to meet Pete Rose.

Pete Rose: Hits & Mrs. airs Monday nights at 10pm.