We always wondered why one of our classmates in grade school wasn’t buying comic books, soft drinks and candy bars like the rest of us.
We thought maybe he didn’t like to read, had a health condition we weren’t aware of, or didn’t have money (which at that time, was less than a dollar for several of each of those items mentioned above).
But the truth was that his parents taught him about making the best use of his finances. He was banking on the future. And let me tell you, he’s successful today because of that lesson.
That time of my life came to mind last week when the following news release came to me in an email. It has some very valuable information in it, so I encourage you to read it carefully, think about it, and see how you can use the suggestions for your children.
The release noted that having “the talk” with your child is more important than ever. “Teaching financial responsibility is the new ‘birds and bees,’” it said.
“There are certain life lessons that every child eventually learns with or without the guidance of their parents, but financial literacy is one talk that parents shouldn’t avoid or delay. Many of today’s youth aren’t equipped to deal with the complexities of life, including money management. For parents, having ‘the talk’ about financial responsibility with their child is a critical step in preparing kids and teens for their future.”
The release noted that studies show parents play an important role in teaching children how to handle money responsibly. In fact, a 2011 survey of high school seniors found that 87 percent said their parents were their primary resource for information about money management and personal finance issues. Interestingly, however, only 22 percent said they talked to their parents about money management frequently.
“Much like the birds and bees talk, children desperately need guidance from their parents in order to learn appropriate money management skills,” said Becky Franklin, EVP/sales manager at Arvest Bank in Oklahoma City. “Arming our kids with this type of information now will guide them well into adulthood, so start these conversations early.”
When is the best time for these youngsters to learn about money management? A Junior Achievement/Allstate Foundation survey found that 81 percent of teens say kindergarten through 12th grade, Franklin’s release said.
That same survey, she said, found that nearly 50 percent of the teens didn’t really know how to use a credit card effectively. But get this. Twenty-four percent still think they should get their first credit card when they are high school age or younger.
“This illustrates the disconnect between their desire for more education and the amount of actual financial knowledge of many teens,” Franklin’s release said.
She said a basic financial responsibility discussion should consist of these areas of focus for parents to frame their conversations:
· You need money to buy things. It seems simple, but reinforce that it is important to earn income and live within those means. This may include waiting to buy until the money is available and often involves making difficult choices about how to spend money.
· Savings is important and takes practice. The sooner they start saving, the greater progress they’ll make towards building good habits. Encourage that they put money into savings frequently and help them with setting realistic savings goals.
· Credit should only be used when necessary. Ensure they know a credit card is like a loan, interest will cost them more in the long run, and they should only use credit cards when necessary. Discuss wants versus needs in using credit for purchases.
· Protect your financial identity. It can be costly and dangerous to divulge personal and financial information online, in-person and over the phone. Providing this information too easily can expose them to identity theft and financial loss, so it should be done with care.
· Life is expensive. For older teens, make sure they know how necessities like taxes, insurance, utilities and interest on credit cards and loans are unavoidable costs they should be prepared for. These are often overlooked and less obvious than just the rent, food or car payment.
“Helping your teen gain actual experience in money management while still living in the home can be very valuable,” Franklin said. “Many banks have savings, credit and prepaid card products available specifically designed for parents and teens to use together to start building lifelong money management skills.”
She said that in order to teach children the appropriate financial lessons at the correct age, Arvest recommends that parents and educators start by using the following resources to get more information to prepare for “the talk” with your child:
1. arvestmoneyskills.com — The site contains financial education tips and lesson plans for Pre-K through college and for those with special needs.
2. whatsmyscore.org — This financial management website is geared toward teens and young adults and provides relevant information on transitioning from high school to college, including how to rent an apartment and how to buy a car.
3. mymoney.gov — A guide for any life-changing circumstance, this site provides financial information based on where you are in life – from the birth of a child to retirement. You’ll also find a list of resources and useful tools.
Bank on it. And to learn more about personal finances, check out the resources in KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/MONEY-OKLAHOMA
Observances from numerous recent trips through Bricktown:
* There’s a lot going on down there and things continuously change. It just keeps getting better, in my opinion.
* It’s easy to spot those who aren’t familiar with the area. They generally are looking up, or side-to-side … even when the traffic lights change and they are just stepping off the curb.
* If you can’t find a place to eat in Bricktown, you aren’t being observant. Just about anything you want can be found in a very short distance.
* There truly is some fine entertainment in the Bricktown district. It may be a little thin for some age groups, but there’s still something there for most people.
* It really isn’t hard to drive through the area, but you need to pay attention to what is going on around you. It could be pedestrians, it could be a horse-drawn carriage, it could be another motorist. But you have to watch out.
* There are several businesses in Bricktown to check out, in addition to the food sites. If sports, movies, live music are for you, stroll through and enjoy. Plus, there are spots where you can find items ranging from trinkets to clothing.
* There is some interesting scenery. From the canal to the artwork, from architecture to history, just look around.
But I have to tell you. I’m not the only one who would like to see a better deal on parking. When the price to park is equivalent to a menu item at a decent eatery, that’s a bit much.
Overall, it’s certainly worth the trip, and it’s only going to get better.
Learn more about Bricktown events and specialties by going to http://wimgo.com/oklahoma-city-ok/ or http://knowit.newsok.com/oklahoma-city.
Most people aren’t aware of them, and you can bet that a very small number — at best — have felt them, but there’s been quite a shaking going on recently under Oklahoma’s landscape.
At least, that’s what the Oklahoma Geophysical Laboratory in Leonard has registered. For instance, the office, which is part of the Oklahoma Geological Survey, had recorded 15 earthquakes this month by this afternoon. All of those were in three counties: Seminole, Lincoln and Oklahoma.
That’s 15 in one week. The strongest on that list was a 3.0 at 5:47 a.m. Tuesday in Seminole County, near Paden. That came nine hours after a 1.8 in Seminole County. These were the third and fourth this month in that county, according to the OGL list.
Lincoln County has had the most recorded quakes thus far this month, with six. Oklahoma County has had five.
In July, there were about 50 recorded quakes in Oklahoma, most in the 1.5 to 2.5 range. Those who monitor these events say they aren’t unusual and they’re not issuing any kind of alert. But they are collecting information from anyone who felt a quake or noticed any damage from them.
This information is important to their research and analysis.
“This information represents the most current information available, but should be considered preliminary,” OGL officials say on their web site. “As such this information is subject to change at any point. Max MMI is the Maximum Modified Mercalli Intensity based on felt reports recieved by the Oklahoma Geological Survey.
“This data is also available as a GeoRSS Atom feed which means you can subscribe to this information from your favorite news reader which supports GeoRSS. Simply copy the link and subscribe to this link: http://wichita.ogs.ou.edu/cgi_bin/featureserver.cgi/recenteqs/all.atom”
You can learn more about Oklahoma earthquakes by going to HTTP://WWW.OKGEOSURVEY1.GOV/ and scrolling through the various resource information.
Meanwhile, if you have do feel a quake, be sure to report it. You can make a valuable contribution.
I certainly don’t envy anyone who HAS TO be out in this heat. Just the opposite. I feel for them. It’s miserable out there.
It’s also very dangerous. When the heat is this extreme, it can take only a few moments for you to get in trouble.
Forecasters say we MAY see highs of “only” around 100 later this week. But until you see it, just hope for it. Right now, we’re looking at 110-plus.
You’ve most likely seen numerous stories in print, online, or on TV about the dangers of extreme heat and exposure to the sun. I’ve said before that if you have access to a computer, you can go to KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/SEVERE-WEATHER-OKLAHOMA for some vital information and good advice on beating the heat.
As one caller noted today, even his large box fan wasn’t helping all that much because it was just moving the hot air around and blasting him with it. That happens if the fan is in a non-shaded area or where there is no avenue to circulate cooler air.
Pay attention to heat advisory messages you hear on the radio or on TV. All news media are trying to get the word out about how to stay safe, stay hydrated and check on shut-ins and others who have need of assistance.
Meanwhile, the American Red Cross, American Red Cross, Central and Western Oklahoma Region, has put out a list of Cool Zones you can visit to stay cool during the heat.
If you or someone you know needs help, here are places you can go to. Print them off and keep them handy. They could be lifesavers.
In Oklahoma City: http://www.oge.com/community/CommunityPrograms/Documents/OGE%20Cool%20Zones%206%2015%202012.pdf
Outside the metro area: http://www.oge.com/community/CommunityPrograms/Documents/Cool%20Zones%20outside%20OKC%20area.pdf
For more help, call the Red Cross office at 228-9581.
A former neighbor told me one summer he was working hard to have the best-looking lawn on the block. He said he was determined to have a colorful yard.
He was succeeding.
But when others were using everything they could find to make their lawns a nice shade of green, he was fixed on yellow.
It was intentional, he said, and it probably was. He intentionally avoided any and all yard work, so, he allowed his grass to burn up.
He attributed part of his “success” to a mandatory water rationing plan by the city. His neighbors reminded him that on the even-odd system, he still could water. He laughed and said he always had trouble remembering which he was, “even or odd.”
We all agreed “odd” was most fitting, and he never picked up on it. But we did convince him the odd-numbered address on his curb meant he was allowed to use water on odd-numbered days. Still, he let his grass burn.
It only took his young son dropping a lighted match on the grass to finally convince him that his idea wasn’t the best. The next year, he bought a sprinkler.
When the grass is so dry it crinkles under your feet, it’s time to act. It’s amazing how fast a grass fire can spread, threatening more than just a lawn. It could cost you your home.
There have been large several grass fires recently around the state, though none have come close to those west of here that have brought death and destruction.
None have been close to those of the past few years that charred thousands of acres of landscape, took numerous buildings and caused deaths or injuries.
But the potential is there. Weather officials note that the drought that has gripped a large part of the country is not letting up. If we’re lucking, we’ll get a break before fall. But it could be there won’t be much relief.
So, we need to do what we can to reduce the risk.
Fire officials advise keeping your lawn cut short and dispose of the clippings.
If you have dead tree limbs or other debris lying around, get rid of it, too.
Don’t leave flammable materials where they can cause of accelerate a fire.
Be careful with your outdoor grill.
And whenever possible, wet down the grass.
There are many other ways you can help avoid a fire problem. See the resources listings in KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/SEVERE-WEATHER-OKLAHOMA for more information.
And consider green rather than yellow as the color for your yard.
My mild-mannered friend and former classmate is gone, thanks apparently to gang violence in which he had no involvement.
An innocent man lost his life because he and his young daughter were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were looking for a birthday present for his wife in a Tulsa business when a stray bullet crashed through a store window and struck him in the chest.
His daughter lost her loving father, a loving husband to her mother. Outside the store, another man, this one with a past of criminal activity, also died. Police say that man was the target of the gunman. My friend’s death was totally unintended.
As of now, the shooter remains at large. His image appears on surveillance video at the time of the slayings. Authorities believe there are those who know him. Authorities, along with my friend’s family, have asked for assistance from the public in locating the killer.
Unfortunately, this incident, which resulted in the death of former Ponca City resident Wesley Brown, is one of many similar events that have made news recently, too many of them. Often, it is an innocent person, such as Wesley, who dies.
For those who knew Wesley, this incident is unfathomable. We remember him as a cheerful, intelligent individual, always smiling, always kind. His personality was warm and generous.
Unlike the individual responsible for his death, Wesley didn’t harm people. He helped them. I remember him as a good student, a friendly sort. He wasn’t big into athletics, but rather more into intellectual challenges.
After we graduated from high school, I didn’t hear much from him until we hooked up again on Facebook. But I hear and read that his interests were about the same as they were when we were in class together and young friends: family- and community-oriented.
I can only hope his family, in particular his young daughter who was with him at the time of the shooting, will recover from this tragedy. I hope the individual responsible for his death will be caught before someone else is harmed.
See the resources area of KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/MENTAL-HEALTH-OKLAHOMA for information on the grieving process and how to cope with the loss of someone close to you.
I call it “being curious.” Some call it “being snoopy.” But I’ve always been interested in what’s on everyone’s mind. After all, that’s what people in my business are supposed to do: find out what people want to know about and give them as much information as you possibly can.
Sometimes, it’s easy. You can start with weather. Especially in Oklahoma, the weather plays a big part in most everything, from business to pleasure, from life to death. Weather is a factor.
You always can talk politics. This is an election year and, no matter how hard you try, you can’t escape hearing or seeing someone voice an opinion on who is and who is not doing the right thing, who will or who will not win in the November general election, who ought to stay, who ought to go.
One of the most significant freedoms we have it the right to state our opinion, and the right to agree or disagree, whether you do or don’t want to hear it.
Now that the Thunder’s season has ended, there’s a break. Right? To a degree. There are still the Thunder players participating in the Olympics, which, by the way, is another topic that will be even bigger soon.
We’re just a few weeks away from the start of the new football season. The predictions and expectations already are there.
Money always is an important topic, from how to make it to how to spend it, or how to save it. Add to that the cost of anything, which always seems to being heading upward. Who has money, who needs money and how to help those who don’t have enough to adequately survive also get attention.
Vehicles have been popular topics since the first ones were invented. You can expect that to continue until we don’t use them anymore.
Health matters — yours or those of someone else, how to avoid them and how to treat them — are important and often discussed.
Items relating to the military, particularly in a state like Oklahoma where it has such a presence, affect many people.
You also will read, see, or hear about such topics as children, pets, religion, travel, recreation and cultural events.
Plenty, huh? And there are many more.
Each of the topics mentioned above is in at least one of our “know it” topics. It may be a story, it could be a photo, or it might be in a topic’s resource material. Then again, it might be in more than one, sometimes several.
That’s why they are there: To give you information. And you can contribute as well by sending news releases, notes of praise, or other tidbits to the online communities.
Visit HTTP://KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/ and look them over.
I’ve always enjoyed a good fireworks show. I like the high aerial displays, with the wide spread of brilliant streams of color. You know, the kind that fill the sky with bright, multicolored patterns.
I don’t necessarily need the loud boom, but it does serve as a punctuation for the display, so I accept it as just part of it.
In my years, I’ve heard plenty of “oohs” and “ahs” during Independence Day celebrations. I’ve also heard a variety of “ouch” and a few other exclamations. In fact, I’ve issued a few of them myself.
That’s one reason I’ve gotten to the point that I actually would rather watch a display than participate in one. Just say I had a few lessons learned.
I’ve seen what happens when someone is careless with fireworks. From burns on the body to burns on the earth to burning houses to glowing auto interiors and other unintentional blazes, I’ve seen, heard, or felt what happens when things don’t go as planned.
I’ve also been involved in reporting on beautiful displays done right, as well as things gone bad, where people and property suffer.
Like most, I enjoyed fireworks from one perspective as a youngster, and have learned to enjoy them from another way as an adult.
Besides, I don’t run as fast these days, so if a projectile comes my way, it takes a little longer to dodge it.
Give me a cool drink, a comfortable chair, friends and family and a great view, and I’m ready to watch the show.
It’s generally safer that way.
Have a great, happy, safe Fourth.
The extreme heat has set in and forecasters say it’s going to be around a while. So now is a good time to use caution and act appropriately with steps to battle heat-related situations.
EMSA officials have these words of advice:
* Remember, PRE-HYDRATION is key in preventing heat related illness. Drink plenty of water or electrolyte replacement drinks several hours prior to long exposure to the summer heat.
* Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and a wide-brimmed hat if working outdoors and take plenty of shade breaks.
Kids in Cars
There is no “safe” amount of time kids can be left in a hot car. How quickly a child becomes ill varies widely based on a number of conditions, including:
* The child’s hydration level to begin with the temperature in the car (which can vary based on car interior, temperature outdoors, whether there is shade, etc.)
* The child’s weight
* The child’s overall health (diabetes and other chronic medical conditions can make a child less able to tolerate the heat), and any medications the child may be taken.
The Centers for Disease Control presents these key points:
A heat advisory or warning has been issued. Now what do you do?
* Stay indoors and avoid extreme temperature changes. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to a shopping mall or public library — even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
* If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine.
* Keep your electric fans running.
* Drink cool liquids often, particularly water, even if you do not feel thirsty, to help your body stay cool.
* Avoid alcoholic beverages, which dehydrate the body.
* During heavy exercise in a hot environment, drink two to four glasses (16-32 ounces) of cool fluids each hour.
* Eat small, frequent meals. Avoid foods that are high in protein, which increase metabolic heat.
* Keep pets indoors; refill their water bowls frequently.
* If you must go out, wear lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect the sun’s energy.
* Slow down, avoid strenuous outdoor activity. If you must engage in strenuous activity, limit exposure during mid-day hours.
* Cover all exposed skin with a high SPF sunscreen, and wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and head.
* Drink plenty of fluids.
* Never leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car.
* Continue drinking plenty of water.
* Never take a cool shower immediately after becoming overheated. You may cool too quickly and become ill, nauseous, or dizzy.
* Know the symptoms of heat disorders and overexposure to the sun, and be ready to give first aid treatment.
These are just some of the ways you can combat extreme heat. For more information, go to KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/SEVERE-WEATHER-OKLAHOMA and click on the INFORMATION area in the header.
Oklahoma City has receiving more accolades for a recent addition. Here’s the news from Kristy Yager of the City of Oklahoma City:
“Oklahoma City SkyDance Bridge, a public artwork and pedestrian bridge commissioned by the City of Oklahoma City has been named as one of the 50 best public art projects by the 2012 Public Art Network Year in Review by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education,” she wrote in a news release.
“The annual Year in Review program recognizes the most exemplary, innovative, permanent or temporary public art works created or debuted in the past year. The 2012 Year in Review awardees were chosen from more than 393 works from 147 cities across 40 states and three countries.
“Three independent public art experts—Jean Greer, principal at The Public Art Collaborative; Daniel Mihalyo, architect/artist at Lead Pencil Studio; and Celia Munoz, artist—curated the 2012 Year in Review. Their selections were announced on June 7 at the Americans for the Arts Public Art Preconference in San Antonio. The artists and commissioning organizations involved in creating and supporting these public art works received letters of congratulations and certificates from Americans for the Arts.
“The 380-foot-long Oklahoma City SkyDance pedestrian bridge and sculpture spans Interstate 40 near Harvey Avenue. The bridge’s soaring architecture was inspired by Oklahoma’s state bird, the scissor-tailed flycatcher. The pedestrian walkway is 20 feet wide, bridge span: 380-feet long, with a height of 192-feet above the highway. It is located at the heart of the future MAPS 3 downtown park, which is expected to begin construction next year.
A member of the design team, Stan Carroll, had this to say:
“SkyDance Bridge exemplifies what public art should be for a community. It’s a great example of pride from the design professionals to the multi-disciplinary teams, to the contractors and the public.”
Other design team members are Hans Butzer, Laurent Massenat, Ken Fitzsimmons, Chris Ramseyer, David Wanzer, and Jeremy Gardner.
“By creating a sense of identity of places we inhabit, public art makes an enduring impact on our lives,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “We congratulate the artists and commissioning groups of the 12th annual Public Art Year in Review and look forward for honoring more great works in the coming years.”
Kristy adds: “Since 2000, the Public Art Network Year in Review has annually recognized outstanding public art projects through an open call submission and juror selection process. The Year in Review program is the only national award that specifically recognizes public art projects.
“Previous Oklahoma City Public Art Projects recognized by the Public Art Network include the Oklahoma City National Memorial by Hans Butzer, Torre Butzer and Sven Berg in 2000 and The History of Bricktown (mosaic murals outside Bricktown Ballpark) by Susan Morrison.”
So congratulations to all who helped SkyDance become a reality.
Read more about what’s happening in Oklahoma City at KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/OKLAHOMA-CITY.