- June 7, 2010
Lawrence resident Craig McCauley browsed from booth to booth Sunday afternoon at the inaugural Hoops for Men’s Health event at Allen Fieldhouse.
McCauley checked his blood pressure and oral health, and received recommendations for local physicians. His family made him go, McCauley said, admitting to a strong aversion to annual checkups.
“I’m horrible about going to doctors,” said McCauley, a vocal music teacher at West Middle School. But he said Sunday’s event was a fun way to take some time and focus on “regearing” his health plan.
And it’s that occasional health “regearing” that men sometimes need more than women, said Kathy Clausing-Willis, vice president of Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
“We need you to be healthy,” said Clausing-Willis, adding that the women in a man’s life are often the peer pressure that gets them to make important health changes.
Numerous health screenings were offered free of charge, including blood pressure and glucose checks, body fat analysis, and even consultation in how to strengthen a golf swing. During a luncheon at the fieldhouse, Kansas University athletic director Sheahon Zenger provided encouragement for men looking to improve their health.
Sunday’s event also used a bit of trickery to increase attendance, as Clausing-Willis said organizers used the competitive nature of American men to their advantage. Many showed up Sunday for the free throw contest, where teams of four competed. The hoops at the fieldhouse were filling up all afternoon, and proceeds from the $25 entry fees benefit the LMH Endowment Association.
Lawrence resident Dana Parfitt had some ambitious garden plans growing as she collected more and more seeds Saturday at the second Kaw Valley Seed Fair.
“Wow,” said Parfitt as she thumbed through the small packets of asparagus, watermelon and zucchini seeds, just to name a few.
Parfitt, a Kansas University graduate student who recently moved to Kansas from Arizona, also chatted with some of the older, more experienced gardeners at the event, picking up tips about what will grow well in Lawrence soil.
“I’m still learning,” said Parfitt, who joined hundreds of garden enthusiasts at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, visiting vendor booths, listening to speakers and swapping gardening stories.
Dianna Henry, one of the fair’s founders, was all smiles when asked about the turnout. “When we did it last year, it blew us away,” said Henry of the 300 visitors who stopped by for the inaugural event. Just a couple of hours into this year’s fair, Henry said it was clear they’d easily exceed those numbers this year.
“People are waking up to growing their own food,” she said.
The activities at the fair were designed to garner interest in local food, Henry said, as well as promote the Kaw Valley Seeds Project’s mission of building a reserve of local seeds for future generations. The group has garnered several local seed varieties, including white flower corn and pink plum tomato, and it hopes to continue building the reserve.
The project gained some supporters Saturday, such as first-time seed swapper Parfitt. After gathering some seeds and knowledge, Parfitt said she’ll head home and start her plants indoors in preparation for the growing season.
It’s definitely a lot more work than simply buying plants at the store, but Parfitt said she’s looking forward to the challenge.
“I think that this is more satisfying,” she said. For more information about the Kaw Valley Seeds Project, visit kawcouncil.wordpress.com/kaw-valley-seeds-projectimg_3877.
In 2009, there were 86 robberies reported in Lawrence, a 23 percent increase from 2008 and the most in the city in more than a decade.
An analysis of reported robberies for the first four months of 2010 shows a decrease from the 2009 numbers.
Between Jan. 1 and the end of April, there have been 21 robberies reported to Lawrence police, and none reported on Kansas University’s campus. Those early numbers put the city on pace for 63 in 2010, a 27 percent decrease from 2009 and slightly less than 2007 and 2008.
While there are fewer robberies occurring, statistics show an increased use of weapons in such crimes continues.
A Journal-World analysis of Lawrence robberies published on Feb. 14 showed that more robberies are being committed using guns.
In 2009, 27 reported robberies involved guns, compared with 11 in 2008 and 16 in 2007.
Of the 21 robberies reported in the first four months of 2010, seven involved guns, putting the numbers on pace to again exceed 2007 and 2008.
I was at the gas station the other night, and a woman in the car next to me waved me over.
She was crying, and had what looked like a 2-year-old in the backseat.
She said, "I just got beat up by my husband, and I need $16 more for a night at a hotel."
The woman told me she called the police, then called the Willow Domestic Violence Center, formerly Women's Transitional Care Services. She said the shelter was full and couldn't help her until the morning.
Obviously, my "scam radar" goes on alert whenever someone tells me a story like this, so I decided to call her on it. I told the woman I would drive to the hotel with her and pay for a room.
Part of me thought maybe she was using her child and the story for some alcohol/drug money, but part of me thought, just maybe, she was telling the truth.
I began following her, when she stopped in a parking lot. She told me her brother had called and agreed to pay for the room. She thanked me and drove off.
Again, she was either telling the truth or not, but either way I wanted to find out if it's even possible that the only domestic violence shelter in Lawrence would turn people away. Could it really be that a woman could get beat up by her husband, have a child, and no way to get to a safe place to stay other than by flagging down helpful-looking citizens such as myself?
I'll never know for sure if I was being scammed, but according to Sarah Turwell, director at Willow, the woman's story didn't hold up.
Turwell informed me that Willow will always find room for area people in need of help for area people victimized by domestic violence.
Refreshing to know.
Shaun Hittle Reporter Lawrence Journal-World/6News