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Archive for January, 2008


Me for President/WryBaby We worry about families who put their babies in “Obama Baby” or “Huckabee for President” T-shirts. What, we wonder, are the ethics of plastering political slogans on a tot too young to debate health care or NAFTA? And what if it backfires? Your fine Republican family could end up with a Green rebel. So we were delighted to discover these “Me for President” shirts ($34, sizes 0-6 months and up), thanks to one of our favorite blogs, CoolMomPicks. Wonder if the shirts come in adult sizes too…

Posted on Friday, January 25th, 2008
Under: Other | No Comments »

MT. DIABLO IMPLODES, Antioch Goes Hawaiian & Other News

Slide 1 Fiery headlines are coming out of the massive Mt. Diablo School District. First, the district’s teachers issued a no-confidence vote in superintendent Gary McHenry. Then, two board members called for McHenry’s resignation, citing fiscal mismanagement, ongoing payroll errors (more on why that’s important in a moment), and a morale crisis so severe, some of the district’s highest ranking schools are trying to secede. McHenry’s acerbic response: “Let’s negotiate the terms of the buyout, and I can move on. I don’t need to be subject to public ridicule.” The usual trustee triumvirate – Mayo, Treece and Allen – are offering the embattled supe their support.

Meanwhile, discussion boards are lighting up as outraged readers, teachers and parents duke it out online. According to a Times online poll, 71 percent of the 525 people who have responded so far said McHenry needs to go – and 51 percent said they didn’t care what it cost.

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Posted on Friday, January 25th, 2008
Under: Schools | No Comments »

WEEKEND reminders

Toddler by Rick Nease, MCT Direct Two quick reminders – The East Bay Moms are hosting their tenth annual Preschool Fair in Oakland tomorrow at the Scottish Rite Center from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Check it out – and come find us at our booth!

And if you’re facing any kind of family law difficulty – mold in your rental home? foreclosure? – or know someone who is, check out Childhood Matters this Sunday morning at 9 on 98.1 KISS-FM or 105.1 KOCN-FM. Host Rona Renner, RN, is bringing on Paul Cohen, exec director of Legal Aid of Marin, and immigration attorney Maria Rivera to answer questions. By the way, Rona was one of several people who offered up some great advice to last weekend’s “Big Q: What Would You Do?” question about potty training, and you can also download the podcast from her show on the topic (or any of her shows, for that matter) online. Great free resource.

Posted on Friday, January 25th, 2008
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »

SLAP COREY: Wild Party Boy Goes Pro

Remember the story about the Aussie teen who hosted a rager while his parents were out of town? By the time police arrived to break up the party and arrest the 16-year-old host, Corey Delaney’s 500 guests had trashed the surroundings, causing $18,000 worth of damage.

Now, the kid has hired a celebrity agent to help him launch his career as a professional party host.
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Posted on Thursday, January 24th, 2008
Under: Just Bizarre | No Comments »

FAB FIVE: For the Weekend

It may be drippy outdoors, but there’s plenty to do in the Bay Area this weekend:
1. Louisa May Alcott’s beloved book, “Little Women,” comes to life at the Julia Morgan Theater in Berkeley now through Feb. 3. ($14-$18)

2. Gawk at the stars at the Chabot Space & Science Museum’s Lunar Lounge – it’s science with live music and catered snacks. Great for families with tweens and teens. This Saturday from 8 to 11 p.m. ($10-$15)

3. The renowned Kronos Quartet performs a family matinee Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Herbst Theater ($10-$18)

4. Kick up your heels with the Barbary Coast Cloggers at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito Saturday at 11 a.m. as part of the museum’s cool “World on Stage Ethnic Performance Series.” ($7.50-$9.50)

5. Or how about a newt hike at Sunol Regional Wilderness? Sunday morning at 8:30. Free.

Posted on Thursday, January 24th, 2008
Under: Fab Five, Family Outings | No Comments »

MAGNETISM & Toy Recalls

Recalled magnetic blocks We hadn’t heard too much about intestine-piercing toy magnets of late, but they’re back in the headlines this afternoon. The Consumer Product Safety Commission just recalled 125,000 of these Magnabild Magnetic Building System, because magnets can fall out, posing a serious health risk for small children. Swallow two or more magnets, and they migrate through the body (and through organ walls) to find each other.

Hey, we saw that “Grey’s Anatomy” episode, and it was really gory. (It also affirmed our undying devotion to Miranda Bailey, but that’s another topic.) And by some strange coincidence, that episode is on TV tomorrow night so if you’d like a graphic representation of what happens when you swallow magnets — or sleep with your married best friend, with whom you have no romantic chemistry — it’s 9 p.m. on ABC-TV. Meanwhile, check your toy box.

Posted on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008
Under: Toy Recalls | No Comments »

FRONTLINE’S ‘Growing Up Online': Reading Romeo and Juliet in 5 minutes

online Check out Frontline’s Growing Up Online, which aired on KQED Channel 9 Tuesday night and repeats several times this week (TV listings). Although the program slipped into the clichéd dangers of the internet at times, it had some interesting nuggets on how this generation is different.

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Posted on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008
Under: Kids & Tweens, Parenting Issues, Teens, TV | 1 Comment »

GREEN BABY: Stanford doc’s advice

Doctor's bagSharffen Berger chocolate
Dr. Alan Greene, a pediatric professor at Stanford University and author of “Raising Baby Green,” is doing a cool Q&A session on the New York Times web site  this week, and providing some really interesting responses to questions a lot of us have had, such as — the FDA has banned over-the-counter cough and cold medicines for the tot set (and its experts warn against their use for kids under 6 too), so what do we use instead?

Greene’s answer: honey is just as effective as cough meds … and so is dark chocolate. Chocolate!? *cough *cough … pass the Scharffen Berger, please.
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Posted on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008
Under: Babies & Tots, Health & Safety | No Comments »

FAIRYLAND auditions this week

Children's Fairyland Got a young thespian at home? Oakland’s Children’s Fairyland, the nation’s oldest storybook theme park, is holding auditions this weekend for its year-round theater program. They’re looking for 30 enthusiastic kids, ages 8-10, for a gig that includes 50 hours of free professional training — acting, singing, creative movement, and ethnic music and dance — plus performances at Fairyland’s new theater, Aesop’s Playhouse, and other events. The deadline to sign up for auditions is TODAY at 5 p.m. Grab a phone and call 510-452-2259 or 510-238-6878, ext 3., to reserve a spot. The auditions themselves are Jan. 26 and 27 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Beacon Day School,  2000 Dennison Street in Oakland. (Note new address)

Posted on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008
Under: Family Entertainment | No Comments »

ANTIOCH MUSIC: School board should let students go to Hawaii

Update: Antioch trustees approved the trip. Antioch’s “Music Masters” are Hawaii-bound.
Music depression ILLUSAntioch Unified School District is set to decide Wednesday whether 27 Antioch High students can miss four days of school for a music competition trip. Music Masters Director Ron Molina shortened the trip from six missed days, but that still may not save the excursion to Hawaii. As board member Claire Smith noted in a Times article by Rowena Coetsee, “If the children are not at school, they cannot learn.” OK, with that, I take exception. Schools have put such an emphasis on college preparation, that enrichment programs have gotten short-shifted to the point that perhaps we are profoundly hurting our children’s education. I know, because while honors and AP classes prepared me for college, it was the enrichment end of my education that prepared me for my career.

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Posted on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008
Under: Schools | 4 Comments »