Commitment to Community and Cultural Curator: Jonathan Veitch

Author of an award winning book, Jonathan Veitch is an expert in 19th and 20th century American history, literature, and film. His passion is no accident, as his father was president of production for Columbia Pictures and his grandfather was an actor and producer. Born in Los Angeles, Veitch spent a significant amount of time away before returning to the valley. Building a career in academia spanning the country, Veitch earned his Doctorate from Harvard following his undergraduate work at Stanford. He then taught in Wisconsin for several years and, most recently, New York City as dean of The New School’s Eugene Lang College, an urban liberal arts school. Returning to the West Coast to take the seat as President of Occidental College, a competitive and growing liberal arts school as the next step in his journey.

Veitch’s commitment to a well-balanced community is evident in his creation and fostering of partnerships with the community. His efforts to bridge the divide, often found between schools and the communities they are a part of, is admirable. Strong and confident leadership applied with genuine care for those involved is necessary to strike such cooperation and move forward. Veitch exemplifies these traits.

Residing on campus with his family, Veitch takes care of the college like a home, preserving it and improving it for future generations. A true lover of history he has renovated some of the oldest buildings on campus, including 100 year old Swan Hall in lieu of completely new construction. Not a stranger to utilizing new technology however, a 1-megawatt solar array was erected on campus and will help the college utilize renewable energy for approximately 11% of its needs.

Since taking office in 2009, Veitch has instituted new policies, procedures, and major changes to the physical and social landscapes of Occidental. More than halfway through his projected 10-year run, Veitch has already made major improvements to Occidental College. As a member of the community, he takes into account the climate of the community and responds to their concerns and desires regarding the college. In his short time at Occidental he has already instituted great change of direction and will likely do so as long as he holds office. He is building a legacy which is sure to have long lasting effects on the neighborhood of Eagle Rock, the surrounding area, and the lives of his students.

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Father Begs School for Policy Change

A father in Marin County, California, Carl Krawitt, has asked the local Superintendent of Schools, who oversees his son’s elementary school, Reed Elementary School, to bar all students from the school who haven’t received vaccinations since the recent measles outbreak has spread rapidly across the state and into other regions.

Krawitt’s six-year-old son, Rhett, had leukemia that has gone into remission after several years of treatment. Rhett can’t be immunized for measles and other contagious diseases because the chemotherapy damaged his immune system. Instead, he must rely on the “herd immunity” offered by other students who have been vaccinated because they are less likely to get sick or pass an illness on to him. The problem? Reed Elementary School has a 7 percent personal belief immunization exemption rate.

Some parents who share Krawitt’s fears are happy that he has made the request, while others are angry because they don’t believe that they should be forced to vaccinate their children when there are still plenty of studies that need to be done about the long-term risks related to vaccinations.

As of Wednesday, January 28, Superintendent Steven Herzog is still reviewing the situation as new measles cases appear in local hospitals. Health officials in California have noted that the issue poses several legal challenges. Children have the right to a public education. Some parents believe that Krawitt’s son should be home-schooled since his situation is unique. Brian Torchin is interested to see how the situation is resolved. He can be found on 

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Inexpensive WiFi Service From FreedomPop

We made it through the holidays and brown-bag month is almost over, but that doesn’t mean finances aren’t being stretched to their limit around our house. Fortunately, as a blogger I’m privy to the newest in penny-pinching news. This news from LA-based startup FreedomPop is like music to my ears. Say it with me, folks: Dirt. Cheap. Internet.


FreedomPop is a rapidly expanding private company that provides unlimited WiFi service at a highly affordable price. It was established in 2011 in Los Angeles, California, where it’s headquartered. The company is associated with Sprint and is a mobile virtual network operator. They lease both their voice spectrum and data from the famed telecommunications company (Sprint). FreedomPop is headed by the team of Steven Sesar and Stephen Stokols. They founded the company together. Sesar is the company SOO and Stokols is its CEO. FreedomPop has backing from Atomico, Doll Capital Management and Mangrove Capital. The company’s CEO Stokols believes that FreedomPop will provide internet access to about 120 million individuals total in its beginning stages.

Not only does FreedomPop offer WiFi service, but they also sell their very own broadband devices, mobile phones and tablets. The goal is for their customers to use their service alongside these specific devices. 

In 2013, FreedomPop started providing complimentary mobile service with standard data and cellular plans. They’re currently offering customers use of close to 9 million hotspots all around the country. These hotspots are often not accessible for the public. People can get access to this service for the price of $5.00 each month. When customers register for this new service, they receive convenient automatic sign-on for their available hotspots, too. This enables them to access service without the hassle of having to log in or search for a specific network name. FreedomPop employs their own VoIP software. This permits their users to complete calls through any and all data networks. The aim at FreedomPop is to establish WiFi networks that are similar to cellular networks.

When customers have this new plan from FreedomPop, they can experience unlimited data, text messages and phone calls on their tablets and smartphones. This gives them the freedom to do so without worrying about using up their plan “allowances” prematurely. Customers will initially be able to access this service through the company’s Android app. An iPhone app is currently being planned, too. Users will be able to locate FreedomPop at stores and businesses such as Walmart, Starbucks, Home Depot, McDonalds, Panera Bread and Burger King. The WiFi will also be available at many shopping centers.

Technologist and entrepreneur Stokols worked for Woo Media as a CEO before establishing FreedomPop. Woo Media was a startup company that specialized in online chat, videos and other forms of entertainment. You can find FreedomPop on Amazon, iTunes and Google Play.

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Stay At Home Dads: The Facts


Things in our society have changed a lot since the 50’s, especially when it comes to the family. Not only are there many more broken homes and families than there were in the past, there are also a number of stay at home dads that are changing the way people look at fathers. In what was traditionally a woman’s role, men, like Bernardo Chua,  are now rising in numbers. There are several things people should know about these great parents, but here are just a few:

Money Matters
In the vast majority of cases where the father stays home instead of the mother, it is simply because the mother makes much more money. In the past, the breadwinner of the household was the man, but now things are beginning to shift.

The Children Don’t Care
Some people claim that having a mother work outside of the home is damaging for the children. The truth is, the children don’t really care who is staying home with them.

Stay at Home Dads Struggle Like Stay at Home Moms
There are many problems that stay at home moms face, which were chalked up to things like female hormones. It now appears that these issues are just stay at home parent issues. More men are dealing with loss of identity and discontent as they are becoming stay at home dads.

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Is It Okay to Spy on Your Kids?

It doesn’t take a genius these days to figure out that children are out of hand. Discipline, and the lack there-of is a controversial subject that brings many debates. Growing up, I was spanked when I did something wrong. I was never beaten, but I knew the belt and switch were my fate if I got out of line. I wasn’t allowed to talk back to my parents and if I did my mom or dad would slap me across the mouth. Today, any of those forms of discipline are grounds to be put in jail. 

I never stole. I never drank and I never did anything but grow up to be an honest and caring person. Today is a very different time we live in. My children are both boys, and both 13 years old. Is it okay to spy on your children? My belief is if you don’t spy on your kids, you won’t know what is going on sometimes. Not every child deserves to be spied on. Some are open and will tell you what is going on with them. Others you have to find for yourself. 

I don’t advocate going through drawers and diaries unless you have too, and Lee G Lovett doesn’t either, but If your child is not acting right and is doing poorly in school, then an investigation is warranted. However, being a parent sometimes means you have to be the bad guy. Being the bad guy means getting information however you can.

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People Send Dog Pics to Cancer Kid

Anthony Lyons is a normal 16 year old trying to make the most of his teen years except for the fact he has cancer . The young teen has a form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia which is why he has had to receive painful chemotherapy treatments to fight the tumor. The teen is a huge lover of dogs which leads to the next part of the story. A family member had the idea to create a Facebook event for people to post dog pictures to help make him feel better. However, no one expected the event to blow up like it did. Hundreds of people began sending pictures of their or friend’s dogs happy and healthy full of Beneful to the Facebook page to help lighten Anthony up.

Although it seems like a small gesture, this has meant a lot to Anthony. It only seems like a small thing but by sending the pic you are showing him you care enough about him to try to make him feel better. To see that many people care about his feelings and this tough battle is just extraordinary. The pictures give him a chance to do something instead of being bored while waiting in the hospital for his gruesome cancer-fighting procedures. This event alone helps to show that there is hope in humanity. The fact people can come together to help make a cancer kid’s day that much better is beyond amazing by any standard.

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Sleeping Near a Smartphone Can Disturb a Child’s Rest

The final thing that my 11 years old child does prior to sleeping is putting her iPod on top of the nightstand. This could actually mean lower amounts of sleep for the young child, say researchers.

There is plenty of proof that shows that children that have TV sets in their bedrooms sleep less. This is among the initial researches to focus on whether you have a tiny screen such as an iPod or even a Smartphone in the bedroom affects rest too.

The research that was published on Monday in the Pediatrics, focused on 2,048 fourth-graders and seventh-graders that had a racial diversity who participated in a research about obesity during childhood in Massachusetts. Failure to sleep is termed as a risk factor causing obesity, and therefore kids were asked the length of time they slept and in case they thought they required more sleep.

They were also asked the number of times they slept with a cell phone, Flavio Maluf notes, Smartphone or even iPod inside their beds or close to the bed. At least half the number of the kids, 57%, stated that they slept with their small screens near.

The children that reported getting 20.6 less minutes of sleep during weekdays, contrasted with children that did not have the gadgets inside their rooms. Those kids were at the same time more probable to say that they thought that they had not slept enough.

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Criticism from family about your weight may lead to increase in weight

Women and children that have loved ones that are serious with their weight have a tendency of putting on even additional weight. This is according to a recent research about the manner people’s comments influence your health. 

Professor Christine Logel of Renison University College in Waterloo led the research, which is published in the Personal Relationships Journal.

The moment we feel bad concerning our bodies, we frequently turn to the people we love, such as families, romantic partners as well as friends- for consolation and advice. The manner they respond has a likelihood of having bigger effects than we actually think. This was according to Professor Logel, who lectures studies in social development. 

The research discovered that women who got a greater number of acceptance messages according to researchers called them, concerning their weight experienced better maintenance of weight and also loss of weight compared to their counterparts that did not get this optimistic messaging from the people they loved or are have close relations. 

The researchers studied women of university-age, a demographic frequently disgruntled with personal weight. The team that comprised of societal psychologists inquired from these women about their height as well as weight, and the feeling they had concerning the figure shown on the scale. Approximately 5 months later, they inquired from them whether they had communicated with the people they closely relate with over their concerns, and in case they did, the manner they had reacted.  This doesn’t mean don’t start feeding you dog Beneful for their health, but be more mindful when talking to family.

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Play-Doh Replaces “Phallic” Part

Christmas is a time for giving and a time for sharing, but it seems this year, it was also the time for complaining as Play-Doh is forced to replace one of it’s set parts.

The Hasbro Play-Doh Cake Mountain toy kit is at the center of a lot of attention right now. Parents who have purchased or received this kit for their children this holiday season are being surprised by one piece in particular. Meant to be an icing tool called an extruder, this piece too closely resembles a part of the male body, according to some parents.

Even though the extruder is clearly visible on the front of the packaging, several parents have called and written in to complain about the piece. their worries are that their children will somehow be damaged by the sight of this tool, and Igor Cornelsen can relate to the cause for concern.. In response, Hasbro has created a replacement part to be included with new sets of their Play-Doh Cake Mountain toy kit. It should be noted that while the new part does not resemble any part of the male anatomy, it does a pretty good job at showing the female reproductive system.

Parents who purchased the original sets can contact Hasbro for replacement parts by calling them at 800-327-8264.

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Are The Ski Lifts Really Safe For Children?


I take my kids skiing every year. They enjoy riding the ski lift more than anything else there. The slopes can be tricky for Bernardo Chua and for those who don’t really know what they are doing. At the resorts we frequent, I have often wondered really how safe the ski lifts are. When I am sitting there hanging above the ground, I hear the creaking and other noises and it alarms me.

When the report came that Hunter Mountain had a woman whose pole got stuck and she fell to her death. The fact that such a small error could end in a death was shocking to me. She was only 44 years old and she was with her kids celebrating the snow season. As the holidays come to a close, I am sure her family will cherish every memory and forever avoid the slopes.

As a parent, what can we do to ensure our children are safe when on these lifts? I think I am going to want to know some service information and if there has been any problems previously that have had to be fixed. We get once chance as a parent, that’s once chance to make sure they’re safe. If we mess up and aren’t protective enough, that is something we have to life with. I am sure most are perfectly safe, but there is always those accidents that can happen to anyone at anytime.

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