“SAVING GRAND CENTRAL STATION “

A COLUMN BY: OHIO SUPREME COURT JUSTICE PAUL E. PFEIFER

It was only a train station, but it was perhaps the most beautiful building in New York City.  Pennsylvania Station.  The architects who designed it wanted to recreate “a jewel of a building from ancient Rome.”  In fact, they wanted to improve upon the masterpiece of Roman architecture—the Baths of Caracalla.  And those who saw Penn Station declared that they had succeeded.

In 2003, Alistair Cooke, the British-born American journalist and broadcaster, wrote about Penn Station.  When it was done in 1910, Cooke said, “It was opened to the public who came in awestruck droves to gaze at the block long line of stately Doric columns, which led to the vast waiting room,…with its splendid vaulted ceiling…and from there you passed into the great concourse,” where the architects “had produced a creation of glass arches, domes and fan vaulting with the new steel.”

Americans who weren’t even taking any train came to marvel at the station.  It was an international tourist destination, and there was every reason to believe Penn Station would be dazzling people for generations to come.

But then the 20th century happened.  As Cooke pointed out, “fashion in architecture, as in everything else, changes and can sometimes change drastically.  By the mid 20th century the European intelligentsia came and looked at Pennsylvania Station and remained to chuckle and to sneer.”

What changed people’s perception about Penn Station?  It was mostly a rebellion in architecture—led by German architect Walter Gropius—that rejected frills and all forms of classical romantic building design.  Gropius invented the “international style:” buildings that looked like a monolithic, large upright plank of concrete.  He sought to create structures “free of untruths or ornamentation,” and because of his influence, the style gained popularity.

But not with everyone.  Frank Lloyd Wright called Gropius-style buildings “faceless, characterless, god-awful rectangles of concrete and steel.”  Nevertheless, by the 1950s, the style was so pervasive that it “became almost compulsory for any city contemplating a new airport, a city hall, a big business about to bloom” to build a Gropius-type of structure.

This wave of construction led author Tom Wolfe to write in the 1960s, “There had never been a place on earth where so many people of wealth and power paid for, put up and moved into glass box office buildings they detested.”

In such an atmosphere, Cooke wrote, “there was only one thing more ridiculous than designing a Victorian or Georgian house and that was retaining the huge absurdity of a recreated Roman classical building.”

And so the unthinkable happened.  In 1963, a mere 53 years after its awe-inspiring opening, the wrecking ball demolished Penn Station.  Gone “was the last reminder in New York of the grandeur that was Rome.”

There had been virtually no advance notice.  As the building was falling, a New York Times editorial called the demolition “a monumental act of vandalism.”  But it was too late.

There was, however, a silver lining.  In 1965, prompted by a popular outcry over Penn Station’s destruction, Mayor Robert Wagner signed into effect the New York City Landmarks Law to protect the city’s significant structures, and still retain their ability to be properly used.  The law created The Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The commission had already saved several iconic buildings when Penn Station’s eastside counterpart, Grand Central Station, was threatened with demolition.  Opened in 1913, Grand Central was a majestic building in its own right.  By the 1960s, however, Penn Central—the building’s owner—was facing declining revenues and the grand old station was deteriorating badly.

But this time concerned citizens, led by the Municipal Art Society, joined forces to save the building.  And they had help from one very important woman—Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Jackie sent a letter to the mayor urging him to help preserve the station.  “Is it not cruel,” she wrote, “to let our city die by degrees, stripped of all her proud moments, until there is nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children?  If they are not inspired by the past of our city, where will they find the strength to fight for her future?  Americans care about their past, but for short-term gain they ignore it and tear down everything that matters.”  Her involvement helped make the cause even more popular.

Nevertheless, the railroad wanted to tear down Grand Central, or build a Gropius-style 55-story skyscraper on top of it.  Several such proposals were advanced.  The Landmarks Commission rejected them all.

Penn Central then filed a lawsuit against the city, arguing that under the New York Historical Preservation Law, it was entitled to a reasonable return on the value of its property, which it wasn’t getting with the current building.

The case eventually went to the United States Supreme Court.  Penn Central asserted that the city regulation had taken its “air rights” above Grand Central, which had been designed to accommodate a building on top of it.

The Court disagreed.  It concluded that the Preservation Law did “not interfere in any way with the present uses of the Terminal.  Its designation as a landmark not only permits but contemplates that appellants may continue to use the property precisely as it has been used for the past 65 years: as a railroad terminal containing office space and concessions.”

The court held that, because the regulation didn’t interfere with Penn Central’s reasonable investment-backed expectations, the city’s restrictions did not amount to a taking.

Summing up the case, Alistair Cooke wrote: “In 1978 the Supreme Court decreed that Grand Central was to be immortal and never to be subject to the jackhammer and the wrecking ball.”  Years later, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority assumed responsibility of the building and, with public funds, restored the grand old station to its original splendor.

Today, the main entrance to Grand Central Station on Park Avenue is named after Jackie Kennedy, the former First Lady who helped lead the fight to preserve a resplendent landmark when the wrecking ball was poised for destruction.

Chowline: Ham probably cooked, but read the label

Most ham sold in the U.S. is “city ham,” which is wet-cured with brine and often smoked or injected with smoke flavoring……..

We’re having ham for Christmas dinner this year. I believe ham is already cooked, but when I was growing up, I remember my mother always put a glaze on it and baked it in the oven for several hours. Do I have to do that, or can I just warm it up before serving? 

Most ham sold in the U.S. is cured and fully cooked, but even in that case, it can still take several hours to warm in the oven. At 325 degrees F, a 6-pound bone-in cooked smoked ham would take nearly 2.5 hours to heat to an internal temperature of 140 degrees. That’s the temperature recommended for reheating most precooked ham sold in the U.S.

But be forewarned: There are many different types of ham. Your best bet is to always follow the preparation guidelines on the label. Some types of ham might have all the looks and appearances of being ready-to-eat, but aren’t. In that case, the label will prominently say “Cook thoroughly” or something similar and will have cooking instructions. You don’t want to miss that.

 

Most products labeled as “ham” come from the hind leg of a hog, anywhere from the middle of the shank bone (that’s the round leg bone you might see — and have to cut around — in some hams) up to the hip bone, which is called the “aitch” on hogs and cattle. The upper part, the butt end (which is exactly what you think it is), has more fat and so it’s often thought of as more flavorful.

If you find yourself with a “picnic ham,” you’re really eating pork shoulder that’s been cured so it tastes much like regular ham. If you ever buy a whole hog for the freezer, you’ll get two whole fresh hams, which is ham meat that hasn’t been cured and is more like pork than traditional ham. And, of course, you might also see turkey ham at the store, which is a bird of another feather altogether.

Most ham sold in the U.S. is “city ham,” which is wet-cured with brine and often smoked or injected with smoke flavoring. Cooking may occur during this process, but, again, it’s important to check the label. Country ham, on the other hand, is dry-cured with salt, then is hung to dry for several months and often smoked as well. Country ham is much saltier than city ham and requires soaking in water for hours to let some of the salt leach out before cooking.

A spiral-sliced ham is safe to eat without reheating. If you do want to serve it warm, be careful not to dry it out. Cover it with heavy foil and heat it at 325 degrees for about 10 minutes a pound, until it reaches 140 F. Leftovers, or spiral ham that has been repackaged outside of the original facility, should be heated to 165 degrees F.

A boneless ham is a product that undergoes more processing than other types of ham. It is made by chopping or sectioning the meat into smaller pieces, and, like other types of processed meat, it is tumbled and massaged to allow the pieces to stick together in a particular shape.

Any ham that’s not ready-to-eat needs to be cooked to reach at least 145 degrees F internal temperature, and allowed to rest at least three minutes before cutting and serving.

For more details, go to fsis.usda.gov and search for “Ham and Food Safety.”

Chow Line is a service of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and its outreach and research arms, Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Send questions to Chow Line, c/o Martha Filipic, 364 W. Lane Ave., Suite B120, Columbus, OH 43201, or filipic.3@osu.edu.

THE OHIO SUPREME COURT’S VISITOR EDUCATION CENTER

COLUMN BY: RETIRED OHIO SUPREME COURT JUSTICE PAUL E. PFEIFER…..

In February 2004, the Supreme Court of Ohio moved from the Rhodes Office Tower into its new home on South Front Street in Columbus, marking the first time in its 202-year history that the court had a permanent home completely separate from the other branches of government.

Actually, its “new” home wasn’t new at all – it was the magnificently restored, 15-story Art Deco gem that used to be called the Ohio Departments Building when it first opened in 1933.

It’s no exaggeration to say they don’t build them like this anymore.  In the building’s public spaces, the detail and ornate flourishes offer a surprise around every corner, and the entire structure is a tribute to Ohio’s history.

The Grand Concourse on the first floor is an architectural delight.  Harry Hake, the building’s architect, intended the concourse to be a “hall of fame” for Ohio governmental leaders.  The marble-lined walls of the two-story tall concourse run the full length of the building, and feature bronze relief sculptures of Ohio’s eight presidents, nine United States Supreme Court justices, and two speakers of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Ground Floor lobby – with its intricate mosaic ceilings, carved elevator doors, ornate window grills, bow-and-arrow light fixtures, and bronze relief plaques – pays tribute to the great American Indian chiefs who called this land home.

The courtroom – where we conduct oral arguments – is a grand, stately walnut and marble, gold-trimmed feast for the eyes.  A series of murals depicting the states that were carved from the Northwest Territory adorn the ceiling, and smaller murals that line the top of the walls depict significant milestones in Ohio history.

Regrettably, in the years following its 1933 opening, the building fell into disrepair.  Decades of cigar and cigarette smoke, wear and tear, and benign neglect had dulled the murals and taken the sheen off the glitter; the building was more eyesore than landmark.  By the 1990s, it had reached a crossroads – it either needed to be torn down or fixed up.

Enter Tom Moyer – Ohio’s chief justice from 1987 to 2010 – who had a vision of what the place could look like fully restored.  After years of trying to get others to see what he saw, and then more years of renovation and construction, the grand old building reopened in all of its former glory.

I’ll admit, I was one of those who couldn’t see the beauty in the beast that the building had become.  But thank God Moyer did.

 

For the past twelve years, those of us fortunate enough to work in the building that now bears Moyer’s name have been the beneficiaries of his determination.  Sadly, Chief Justice Moyer died in April 2010, just months shy of completing his final term and heading into retirement.  But he saw the restoration of this building to its completion.  And he experienced the joy of presiding over the dedication ceremony, which featured William H. Rehnquist, the Chief Justice of the United States, who traveled from Washington for the event.

In addition to seeing what the building could be if restored to its original splendor, Tom also imagined what our new home could mean for telling the story of Ohio’s court system.  He envisioned a place where people of all ages, particularly school kids on field trips, could learn about the important role of the judiciary as the third branch of government.

Just one year after we moved in, the Supreme Court of Ohio Visitor Education Center opened on the ground floor of this building.  The 4,400 square-foot space consists of four distinct areas: the main gallery that focuses on Ohio’s courts; a smaller gallery that spotlights the art and architecture of this building; a full-scale mock courtroom; and a rotating exhibit space.

As its name suggests, the main gallery is the main draw.  It contains a number of eye-popping exhibits, including a model 9-foot cannon, a bathroom sink and the back end of a late-model car protruding from a wall.  The exhibits all review the basic facts of a case that made its way through the court system.  Visitors are given a chance to decide how they would rule on the case before comparing their decision with the actual opinion.

For instance, the model cannon illustrates the case of Hugo Zacchini, the “human cannon ball,” whose act included getting shot out of a cannon into a net 200 feet away.  When a Cleveland television station broadcast his entire act on the news without his permission, Hugo went to court, claiming that the station stole his thunder and owed him $25,000.  The case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, which ruled in Hugo’s favor.

In another area of the gallery a small, mock courtroom gives students the chance to take a seat and play the role of judge, prosecutor, defendant or juror.  The facts of a real case are provided at each seat.  The case progresses to the Ohio Supreme Court, which is also presented as a mock courtroom for role playing.

Two videos supplement the information presented in the courtroom settings.  “Myth v. Reality” challenges the misconceptions about courts that have been popularized in movies and television shows.  And “A Day in the Life” takes viewers behind the scenes for a close-up look at the workings here at our court.  Other interactive exhibits and videos throughout the center further the story of Ohio’s courts.

Over its lifetime, the center has won several awards for its excellent design and creative displays, including the top award from the Ohio Museum Association and another from the American Association for State and Local History.  And, since its opening, more than 150,000 students have passed through its doors.

When the visitor center opened, Tom Moyer hoped that it would help people learn “that the law touches their lives.  It protects their freedoms and defines their responsibilities.”  He wanted everyone who visited “to go away with some knowledge they didn’t have” before.

I think his hopes have been fully realized.

Raising Children to be Affectionate

Offer and accept affection freely……..

Tip—Parents must work to build and preserve the value of affection in their children.

Psychologists and physicians agree that human beings need affection and loving touch in their lives. We’ve all heard of research documenting that some infants who didn’t receive affection and touch failed to thrive or even died.

Our culture, however, places so much value on independence and a certain rugged individualism that it serves to diminish the value of affection overall. Psychologist and author Harriet Heath, Ph.D., points out that instead of carrying babies close to our bodies, we often put them in hard plastic carriers. Speaking harshly to and spanking children is common in our culture. Boys in our society often withdraw from expressing affection at all. Doesn’t sound very warm and cozy here, does it?

Don’t get too depressed. Being affectionate is a value that can be consciously instilled and fostered in a family. Heath comments that all children have the capacity to be warm and affectionate; once their physical and safety needs are met, their social needs for being loved and giving love will motivate them toward being affectionate. Parents need to be aware of opportunities for showing and teaching affection throughout their development.

Tools—Heath offers tips on instilling affection in children in her book Using Your Values to Raise Your Child to Be an Adult You Admire.

Link to book description
  • Baby: Hold, touch, cuddle and pay attention to your baby. Within the first two months of life, you should see your baby looking for affection and responding to smiles, cooing, and snuggling.
  • Toddler: As toddlers become more independent and mobile, they use that mobility to explore and then come back to you for hugs and kisses. Offer and accept affection freely. As they begin to talk, teach them to use kind words and a pleasant tone of voice. A fun book to introduce at around age 2 is Loving Touches by Lory Freeman; it talks about different kinds of affectionate touch.
  • Preschool: Point out to your preschooler how others are feeling. Establish routines of affection, such as goodbye hugs and goodnight kisses. Continue teaching him how different tones of voice sound and how to control his own.
  • School-age: Consider making goodbye hugs and kisses private at this age, instead of in front of other children at the bus stop—but don’t stop giving them. Look for other times to offer and receive affection—while reading, watching TV or just snuggling on the couch. Let her know that hugs and kisses are important to you. A shoulder rub, stroking a child’s hair, or even just holding hands are also ways to show affection. Continue to help her hear herself so that she learns how a demanding tone makes others feel put down.
  • Teenage: Continue the above. Teenagers very much need to receive and give those hugs. They must be appropriate and kindly. Kind communication can be difficult at this developmental stage, but try to keep the idea subtly present.

You’ll find more practical tips you can use right now in Using Your Values to Raise Your Child to Be an Adult You Admire by Harriet Heath, Ph.D.

“…AT FEARFUL COST”

by retired Justice Paul Pfeifer, Ohio Supreme Court……..

Throughout my years of traveling around this state, I have gained an appreciation for Ohio’s county courthouses, the architectural jewels that are the crossroads of life in our towns and cities.

It’s no accident that the courthouse is usually the grandest, most prominent building in a county seat, often occupying a stand-alone square at the center of town.  Our courthouses, many over a century old, were constructed as a lasting testament that says something very important about the people who built them.  They speak of the belief in the rule of law and its central role in the life of a community.  They symbolize stability and order over chaos, and they represent the triumph of justice over inequity.

Several years ago I had the honor of speaking at the rededication ceremony for the newly renovated courthouse in Washington Court House, the county seat of Fayette County, about halfway between Cincinnati and Columbus.

Since 1885, the magnificent building at the corner of Main and Court has stood guard over that quiet town.  But on the evening of October 17, 1894, the quiet was shattered, and the courthouse became the epicenter of a frozen moment that left a permanent mark.

The drama began to unfold on October 9, 1894, when Mary Catherine Parrott Boyd – a 53-year-old widow – was physically and sexually attacked.  Mary was white; her alleged assailant – William “Jasper” Dolby – was a 19-year-old black man.

Dolby, who had fled, was later apprehended in Delaware, Ohio.  Upon capture, he confessed to the crime and expressed regret for his actions.  When he was brought to the Fayette County jail, Sheriff James Cook quickly realized that an ugly state of unrest was fast developing in town.

Dozens of townspeople – convinced that Ohio’s criminal penalties weren’t sufficient – began gathering around the Courthouse Square demanding that Cook release Dolby to the swelling crowd.  Cook heard rumblings of a lynching.

Believing that his forces couldn’t protect Dolby, Cook called out the local unit of the Ohio National Guard on the evening of October 16.  As the crowd increased, Cook contacted Governor William McKinley for additional troops.  Reinforcements soon arrived from Columbus under command of Colonel Alonzo Coit.

On October 17, Coit and his troops managed to move Dolby from the jail to the courthouse for arraignment, although there was a skirmish along the way.  By the time the court proceedings ended, the crowd had become an angry, determined mob.  It was impossible to move Dolby back to the jail.  Sheriff Cook immediately wired Governor McKinley for more troops, declaring that he couldn’t handle the crowd with his present force.

Recounting the event several decades later for the Dayton Daily News, Howard Burba wrote that Colonel Coit “mounted the front steps and addressed the mob.  He urged all those assembled to disperse, assuring them that there would be no delay in legal proceedings and that they could be sure that justice would be meted out to the prisoner.”  He warned that if the doors were breached, his men would fire.  But his pleas went unheeded.

While Coit and his troops guarded the entrances, deputy sheriffs and militiamen surrounded Dolby in the grand jury room, determined to make their final stand there if the mob made it inside the courthouse.

Just after Coit finished speaking to the crowd, there was a forward surge, and soon the people were “grappling hand-to-hand” with the National Guard.  “They were repelled.  But they were not overpowered.”

Compelled by an irrational frenzy that overtakes a mob, there was another surge forward at the south entrance, those behind pushing the ones in front.  Colonel Coit raised his hand and gave the command.  The troops fired through the door.

A newspaper account written at the time reported that, “Immediately there was a deafening and continuous volley from two score of muskets.  A pandemonium of yells and curses and a dense smoke filled the corridors.”

Five men were killed; more than 20 others were wounded.

“Within an instant the spirit and purpose of the mob had been changed,” Burba wrote.  “Where a moment before the volley it had sought” Dolby, now it clamored for Coit and his men.  There were threats to dynamite the jail and courthouse, and vows that Coit wouldn’t leave town alive.

At around that time, Elmer Boyd – Mary Boyd’s son – pushed his way to the entrance and asked permission to speak.  He begged the mob to disperse and let the courts mete out the proper punishment.  “His pleas were met with hoots and jeers.”

Gradually, however, cooler heads prevailed.  Governor McKinley arrived early in the morning, and more troops reinforced Coit’s beleaguered force.  They managed to get Dolby on a train to Columbus.  Coit made it to the depot too, under protection of his men.

Dolby was sentenced to 20 years in the state penitentiary.  He was released after 13 years.  A newspaper account reported that Dolby “celebrated the event by procuring a license to wed Marie Ross.”  The paper noted that Dolby “has been a good prisoner.  A tailor is making a fine suit of clothes.  His sweetheart is patiently awaiting the day of his final discharge.  She made his acquaintance behind the walls.”

Dolby’s “total capital after being released was 41 cents, besides the usual 5 dollar bill given to each inmate when discharged.”

It was a different story for Colonel Coit.  Having been thrust into a volatile and difficult situation, he was later indicted for manslaughter.  But, after a trial, he was acquitted.

Governor McKinley was not apologetic.  “The act speaks for itself,” he said.  “Troops were sent to act in aid of the civil authorities, who were powerless to quell a mob that was seeking to overthrow the law and its orderly administration.  Lynching cannot be tolerated in Ohio.”

The south doors of the courthouse were never replaced or repaired, leaving the bullet holes as a reminder of a night where, as McKinley said, “the law was upheld as it should have been…but at fearful cost.”

Chowline: With alcohol, stopping at one or two is best

The science is pretty clear on this one: The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for me

Editor: This column was reviewed by Carolyn Gunther, specialist in Community Nutrition for Ohio State University Extension.

Have you said: “During the holidays, I have to admit that I tend to drink more alcohol than usual. I think I could use a reality check.” When you’re out with friends or at a party, how much is enough?

The science is pretty clear on this one: The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

Unfortunately, some people interpret that as an average, but it’s not. If you consume alcohol only on Saturday night, it’s not OK to imbibe seven drinks all at once — or 14 if you’re a guy. It’s not even recommended to partake in that second or third drink (again, depending on your gender). “Moderate drinking” has defined limits, and that’s what they are. Note that pregnant women, anyone under age 21, and people who have certain medical conditions or who are taking certain medications are among those who should not drink alcohol at all.

It’s also important to know what constitutes “one drink.” It can be 12 fluid ounces of beer (5 percent alcohol), 8 ounces of malt liquor (8 percent alcohol), 5 ounces of wine (12 percent alcohol) or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor (40 percent alcohol, or 80 proof).

chowline-alcohol-toast-pixabay-copy

For many people, the one or two drink per day maximum might seem overly restrictive. But there are good reasons for the recommendations, and the CDC does a good job explaining them (cdc.gov/alcohol). Alcohol consumption above these limits is associated with a variety of short-term risks that most people are aware of, including car crashes, acts of violence and sexual risky behaviors. It’s also linked with an increased risk of chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure and cancers including mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon and breast cancer. For some conditions, the risk increases even with very low levels of alcohol consumption — in fact, the CDC says, for breast cancer and liver disease, there is no safe level of alcohol consumption. And, although past research indicated moderate drinking might be good for the heart, more recent studies suggest maybe not.

The lower limit for women is not simply because women normally have a smaller body size than men. Differences in body chemistry and composition also play a part. Muscle is better at metabolizing alcohol (breaking it down and removing it from the body), and men typically have more muscle mass than women. So, given the same drink, women may experience the effects of alcohol more quickly and for a longer time than men, and it’s more likely that drinking will cause long-term health problems in women.

If you think you can’t have a good time at a party without three, four or more glasses of alcohol, then you’re right, it’s time for a reality check. Try enjoying a glass or two of sparkling water with a twist before pouring that glass of wine. At the very least, space out drinks to enjoy no more than one per hour, sipping water, iced tea or other non-alcoholic beverage in between. And focus more on the friends and family that you’re gathering with instead of what’s in your glass. You’ll feel better, and without all of the empty calories that alcohol provides, you might look better, too.

Chow Line is a service of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and its outreach and research arms, Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Send questions to Chow Line, c/o Martha Filipic, 364 W. Lane Ave., Suite B120, Columbus, OH 43201, or filipic.3@osu.edu.  

“Habits Habits Habits”

An NBXpress Devotion from Pastor Ralph J. Mineo………….

I’ve begun to read the 25th Anniversary Edition of a book: “Care of the Soul” by spiritual writer Thomas Moore. When I read the book 25 years ago, it was quite helpful for my spiritual journey. At one point, the author spoke of how busy our world is. Since we’re busier now than we were 25 years ago, caring for one’s soul certainly important in today’s world.

The author teaches that an essential way to care for the soul is to pause in the busyness of life. To be spiritually healthy, we need to take time to be aware of the soul, and of the divine within us, around us, above us. Jesus once said, “the Kingdom of Heaven is within you.” It’s spiritually healthy to tend to such an essential part of who we are.

So we need to pause everyday, and often during the day. Halting the busyness everyday, even for a few moments, is a habit that will keep our souls synchronized with God.

mineo-spiritual-habits

I’ve been suggesting, for years, that there are many opportunities (triggers, if you will) that can help keep our souls healthy. For example, whenever I hear a siren, I stop and pray for whatever is happening. I try to remember to pray when I’m waiting in line to make a purchase in a store. This is a great time of year to pray for those shopping for those working, and especially for those grieving during the holiday season. As often as we find ourselves waiting for a train, we could pause and pray!

It’s an ancient practice to care for our souls by pausing before every meal and give thanks to God. We take care of our souls when we read from the Bible everyday, even if it’s one verse a day. Write down a favorite verse or two and place it someplace you will see it daily. Some people find it helpful to go to a cemetery to pause and remember, to focus the soul on love, goodness, God’s gift of life, and God’s promise of eternal life.

I recently thought of a new time to pause a moment and tend to my soul: when I turn off the television, my computer, or my tablet. I’m trying to develop the habit of taking that brief moment of silence to turn to God in prayer. Weekly worship is certainly an ancient, and God-ordained time to pause, remember, give thanks, pray, sing, and experience God’s presence.

Such spiritual habits help keep our souls synchronized with God.

Parenting Press–A Relentless Stream of Questions

Give children rules to help them establish boundaries……

Tip—Household rules can go a long way toward helping children establish conversational boundaries.

One of our authors reports that a friend recently called to ask for help with her 8-year-old son’s constant demand for attention. “It seems to be part of Jason’s personality,” she commented. “If I’m in good shape, I cope with his constant questions pretty well, but if I’m tired or stressed, I don’t handle him well at all. Sometimes he’s so wound up that he fires new questions at me while I’m in the midst of answering the last one! And to make things worse, the neighbors are beginning to complain about being pestered.”

Jason’s temperament fits squarely within a personality style psychologist Linda Budd calls “Active-Alert.” These children are very physically active, quite intelligent, often intrusive, and notice everything. Although many of the characteristics that distinguish an Active-Alert turn out to be wonderful adult qualities, they are typically hard on parents. An unending stream of questions and conversation reflects the child’s blindness as to how he affects others. This lack of “boundary awareness” is a hallmark of the Active-Alert temperament. As Budd puts it, “The child doesn’t know where he stops and others begin.”

Tools—Because these children are “red light/green light” color-blind, parents need to work in a focused way to teach them how to recognize social “stoplights.” Budd recommends giving children rules to help them establish boundaries. For example, our author suggest that her friend tell her son, “I love you and like to talk to you, but I get tired when someone asks me too many questions at once. You may ask me two questions, but you must wait for me to be finished with my answer before you talk again.” If he forgets and peppers her with further questions or other conversational ploys, she can say calmly, “Remember our rule. That’s all I have energy for right now.”

She can also teach him to observe the two-question rule when he’s dealing with neighbors or other people. Budd points out that listening does not come easily to Active-Alerts. To these children, the point of discussion is to simply exchange words. It is very common for those around them to get worn out quickly.

Related to this issue is precocious questioning, that is, questions on a topic too mature for a child. Because Active-Alerts are extremely bright and also extremely observant, they often ask their parents questions that are difficult or even inappropriate to answer. Budd says the solution to this is simple: If you are not ready to explain, be careful of exposure. Limit your child’s exposure to media and take care that she not overhear adult conversations.

You’ll find more practical tips you can use right now in Living with the Active Alert Child: Groundbreaking Strategies for Parents by Linda Budd, Ph.D.

 

Chowline: Healthy eating— The gift that keeps on giving

Adopt a “water first for thirst” policy……..

My grandchildren are coming for an extended visit over the holidays. I’ve been concerned about some of their eating habits, but as their grandma, I don’t want to make a big deal about it. What are some subtle things I can do while they’re here to encourage them to eat a little better?

What a great grandma! You deserve kudos for noticing potentially damaging eating habits developing in your grandchildren and caring enough to nudge them in a healthier direction.

Here are some ideas to try from youth nutrition specialists with Ohio State University Extension:

  • Adopt a “water first for thirst” policy. When the grandkids ask for something to drink, pour a nice big glass of ice water for them instead of high-sugar soft drinks or other beverages. Experts generally recommend children 4-8 years old drink 4 cups of water a day (without added sweeteners), and that increases to 7-8 cups for ages 9-13, and 8-11 cups for ages 14-18. For teens, that translates into drinking enough water to fill a 2-liter bottle. Lowfat (unflavored) milk also is a nutritious option. However, limit 100 percent fruit juice to less than 8 ounces a day, and avoid sweetened drinks altogether. Consider dressing up water by adding strawberry and orange slices or cucumber slices and mint.
  • Start a tradition of making healthful smoothies for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Just pack the blender full of fruit, such as bananas, strawberries, pineapple, peaches or mandarin oranges, plus ice cubes, yogurt and juice. You could even add fresh spinach for green smoothies. No need for extra sugar or ice cream. For thicker smoothies, try using frozen fruit.
  • Speaking of fruits and vegetables, keep a good variety on hand and make it as easy as possible for your grandchildren to eat. Depending on how old your grandchildren are, try slicing fruits and vegetables into bite-size pieces. In one study, younger elementary-school students said they found whole fruit to be too cumbersome to eat comfortably, and started eating much more of it when fruit was sliced for them. For preschoolers, be sure to cut grapes and cherry tomatoes in half before serving to be sure they aren’t a choking hazard.
  • While you’re at it, double up on vegetables both for snacks and during meals — most children don’t eat nearly enough. For snacks, consider having a large clear bowl in the fridge with ready-to-eat baby carrots, celery sticks, bell pepper strips, cucumber slices, and broccoli and cauliflower florets.
  • Other healthful snacks to consider keeping around include nuts, whole-grain crackers, rice cakes and air-popped popcorn.
  • Pay special attention when you’re eating out, when it’s very easy to overconsume empty calories. Try to steer them away from fried and breaded foods, even fried fish, chicken and vegetables. If french fries or potato chips come with a meal, ask if it’s possible to substitute a salad, fruit or soup.

Chow Line is a service of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and its outreach and research arms, Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Send questions to Chow Line, c/o Martha Filipic, 364 W. Lane Ave., Suite B120, Columbus, OH 43201, or filipic.3@osu.edu

REAGAN’S THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATIONS

Guest Column……by: JUSTICE PAUL E. PFEIFER

The Thanksgiving holiday is one of America’s oldest traditions, predating even the birth of our nation.  It was always intended to be a time for us to pause from the hectic pace of life to count our blessings and give thanks to God.

Unfortunately, that central theme has gotten a bit lost over time.  Years ago the Friday after Thanksgiving became the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season.  Nowadays, more and more stores are open on Thanksgiving Day, not even waiting until “Black Friday” to begin the frenetic retail traffic.  The “pause” has given way to a mere tap on the brakes.

Thanksgiving, of course, has its roots with the Pilgrims in 1621, but the national holiday we now celebrate didn’t truly get started until much later.  George Washington, who was “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen,” was also the first to issue a presidential proclamation calling for a national day of thanksgiving.  But even that wasn’t really the beginning of Thanksgiving as we know it.

It really started in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, when President Lincoln issued a proclamation setting aside the last Thursday of November as a “day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”

He followed up with another proclamation the next year, and a tradition was born.  Since Lincoln’s first in 1863, there is an unbroken chain of Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamations that has been maintained from one president to another, through natural deaths and assassinations, no matter the party or ideology of whoever resides in the White House.

It’s a shame that the proclamations aren’t better publicized because they are thoughtful, sometimes quite beautiful, and always appeal to our better angels.  And they reflect the personality of the men who wrote them.

It’s no surprise, then, that President Reagan’s proclamations are steeped in the tradition of Thanksgiving, and unabashedly illustrate his deep faith and love of country.

For his first proclamation, Reagan invoked the memory of the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving, and emphasized the “giving” part of Thanksgiving.  “Clearly,” he wrote, “our forefathers were thankful not only for the material well-being of their harvest but for this abundance of goodwill as well.  In this spirit, Thanksgiving has become a day when Americans extend a helping hand to the less fortunate.”

You can easily hear Reagan’s voice in this next part.  “Long before there was a government welfare program, this spirit of voluntary giving was ingrained in the American character.  Americans have always understood that, truly, one must give in order to receive.  This should be a day of giving as well as a day of thanks.”

 

Reagan’s abiding love for America and his belief in its exceptional place in the world came through loud and clear in his 1982 proclamation.  “Above all other nations of the world, America has been especially blessed and should give special thanks.

“I have always believed that this anointed land was set apart in an uncommon way, that a divine plan placed this great continent here between the oceans to be found by people from every corner of the Earth who had a special love of faith and freedom.”

In 1983, Reagan used his proclamation to address the issue of religion and its place in the public sphere.  He harkened back to Lincoln, whose first proclamation was written just days after his speech at Gettysburg.

“In his remarks at Gettysburg,” Reagan wrote, “President Lincoln referred to ours as a Nation ‘under God.’  We rejoice that, while we have maintained separate institutions of church and state over our 200 years of freedom, we have at the same time preserved reverence for spiritual beliefs.  Although we are a pluralistic society, the giving of thanks can be a true bond of unity among our people.  We can unite in gratitude for our individual freedoms and individual faiths.  We can be united in gratitude for our Nation’s peace and prosperity when so many in this world have neither.”

He returned to that theme in 1987 – in what was perhaps the finest of his eight proclamations – as he recounted how much the founding of our nation was intertwined with religion and faith.  He wrote, “Through the decades, through the centuries, in log cabins, country churches, cathedrals, homes, and halls, the American people have paused to give thanks to God, in time of peace and plenty or of danger and distress.

“Acknowledgment of dependence on God’s favor was, in fact, our fledgling Nation’s very first order of business.  When the delegates to the First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia in 1774, they overcame discord by uniting in prayer for our country.  Despite the differences among them as they began their work, they found common voice in the 35th Psalm, which concludes with a verse of joyous gratitude, ‘And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.’”

After quoting scripture, Reagan returned to the words of George Washington’s first proclamation.  “As we thank the God our first President called ‘that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be,’ we have even greater cause for gratitude than the fresh triumphs that inspired Washington’s prose.”

In his closing words that year, you can hear President Reagan’s wonder and awe of America.

“We have seen the splendor of our natural resources spread across the tables of the world, and we have seen the splendor of freedom coursing with new vigor through the channels of history.  The cause for which we give thanks, for which so many of our citizens through the years have given their lives, has endured 200 years – a blessing to us and a light to all mankind.”

There it is, summed up so beautifully – “the splendor of freedom…a blessing to us and a light to all mankind.”  What better reason to pause and give thanks this day?

Happy Thanksgiving, Everybody.

 

CAPTAIN AMERICA AND “TAKINGS”

Weekly News by soon-to-be-retired Ohio Supreme Court Justice Paul E. Pfeifer……………….

by Justice Paul Pfeifer, Ohio Supreme Court

Marvel Comics has introduced dozens of superheroes into the popular culture – Spider-man, Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America – and that only scratches the surface.  In recent years, the characters have jumped off the pages of comic books and onto the big screen.  Marvel has tapped into a gold mine, cranking out one superhero blockbuster movie after another.

In June 2013, the Marvel universe came to Cleveland.  A company called Vita-Ray Productions, L.L.C., was there to film scenes for the movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier. 

Vita-Ray applied for a permit to close a portion of West Third Street in downtown Cleveland for 16 days.  The city approved the permit, determining that the closure was necessary to enable the filming.  The city also reckoned that the film production would bring jobs and tax revenue, and would positively promote Cleveland to potential visitors.

But not everybody was happy about the decision.  A company called Cuyahoga Lakefront Land, L.L.C. (“Lakefront”) owns a parking lot downtown known as “the Pit.”  The Pit abuts both West Third and West Ninth Streets, with entrances on both streets.

With the street closure, one of the two entrances to the Pit was inaccessible.  Lakefront claimed that this loss of access caused a substantial impairment of its business and its property rights.

However, Lakefront was able to continue operating the Pit during the closure.  Customers entered the lot through its West Ninth Street entrance, and signs were placed in the area directing drivers to the alternative entrance.

In addition, the production company contracted with Lakefront to pay for 325 spaces in the lot for two days during the closure, at a rate higher than the revenue per car that Lakefront’s damages expert used in his calculations of its claimed lost profits.

Lakefront’s expert witness nevertheless found a loss of revenue for June 2013 – plus losses during the following six months – that he attributed to a reduction in business because of the closure, for a total claimed loss of revenue of $61,399.

Lakefront engaged in multiple legal actions regarding the street closure.  It filed two suits in court during the closure – one against the movie studios that were producing Captain America and one against Cleveland.  Lakefront reached a monetary settlement with the movie studios.  After that, Lakefront voluntarily dismissed both cases.

Later, however, Lakefront filed an original action with the court of appeals, arguing that the temporary closure of the street caused a “taking” of its property without just compensation.  The court of appeals concluded that Cleveland had, indeed, “taken” Lakefront’s property without just compensation and issued what’s called a “writ of mandamus.”  The writ ordered Cleveland to commence proceedings to determine how much compensation was owed to Lakefront.

Cleveland appealed that ruling, and the case came before us – the Ohio Supreme Court – for a final review.

To be entitled to the writ, Lakefront had to establish a clear legal right to the requested relief, a clear legal duty on the part of Cleveland to provide it, and the lack of an adequate remedy in the ordinary course of the law.

In making its argument that the street closure was a “taking” of its property, Lakefront maintained that the closure violated Article I, Section 19 of the Ohio Constitution.

The purpose of the takings clauses in both the Ohio and United States Constitutions is “to prevent government from ‘forcing some people alone to bear public burdens which, in all fairness and justice, should be borne by the public as a whole.’”

But over the years, determining what constitutes a “taking” has proven to be a complex issue.  Courts at all levels have examined the question, and even the United States Supreme Court has “been unable to develop any ‘set formula’ for determining when ‘justice and fairness’ require that economic injuries caused by public action be compensated by the government, rather than remain disproportionately concentrated on a few persons.’”

Lakefront correctly asserted that access to a public roadway abutting a property is an elemental right of real property ownership.  In previous cases, our court has held that a property owner has an easement to the public street on which the owner’s property abuts and if that easement is substantially, materially, or unreasonably interfered with by the government, even if there is another access point to the land, the owner has a right to just compensation.

On the other hand, we have also recognized that mere circuitry of travel –necessarily and newly created – to and from a piece of property does not of itself result in legal impairment of the right of access to and from such property, “where any resulting interference is but an inconvenience shared in common with the general public and is necessary in the public interest to make travel safer and more efficient.”

In Lakefront’s case, access to an abutting roadway was cut off.  A majority of our court concluded that the closure resulted in “mere circuitry of travel,” an inconvenience shared by the general public and by many other businesses.  The property was still accessible to the public but customers had to take a different route to access it.

The majority noted that the restriction of access to the Pit was temporary – lasting only 16 days – rather than permanent.  Ohio courts have held that temporary interference with access to property during highway construction or repair does not rise to the level of a compensable “taking.”

The majority also maintained that the temporary loss of Lakefront’s access to West Third Street during the filming did not substantially, materially, or unreasonably interfere with Lakefront’s easement and did not create a compensable “taking” of Lakefront’s property under Ohio law.

Therefore – by a six-to-one vote – our court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals.

I dissented because I would have affirmed the court of appeals’ judgment that the street closure – which resulted in the loss of revenue – was a “taking.”  But I needed the superpowers of a Marvel hero – Captain Persuasion, maybe – to convince the majority otherwise.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The case referred to is: State ex rel. Cuyahoga Lakefront, L.L.C. v. Cleveland.  Case No. 2015-0839.  Opinion Per Curiam.

Chowline: ‘Tis the season for sweet treats

Some sweets are definitely worth the indulgence, but, let’s face it, others aren’t………….

I don’t usually have much of a sweet tooth, but during the holidays I tend to go overboard on cookies and other baked goods at parties and when people bring treats to the office. This year, it seems to have started already. Any ideas to help me keep in control?

Actually, it sounds like you may be a step ahead of most people. According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, about 70 percent of U.S. adults and children consume more added sugars than recommended — and not just during the holidays.

The guidelines say to keep added sugars to less than 10 percent of daily calorie intake. That means if your recommended calorie intake is 2,000 calories, your goal should be to keep sweets to a maximum of 200 calories a day.

It’s hard to estimate how many homemade gingerbread cookies or slices of pecan pie that might be. But since you can find added sugars in many types of foods and beverages, including salad dressing, yogurt and energy drinks, it’s a good idea to do what you can to limit the holiday treats to a reasonable amount — one or two small items a day, at most.

chowline-christmas-cookie-640

You’re probably thinking that, during the holidays, that’s easier said than done. But here are some thoughts to keep in mind as the celebrations begin:

Decide in advance that you’ll choose only the treats you will truly, deeply enjoy. Some sweets are definitely worth the indulgence, but, let’s face it, others aren’t. Give yourself permission not to sample items for fear of insulting the baker (even if it’s your supervisor at work or your very best friend), and make up your mind now to pass on the items that aren’t your very favorites. And for those treats that are worthwhile, imagine taking one modest portion from the platter and slowly savoring each bite. Many dietitians recommend this mindful approach to eating not just during the holidays but all year round to reduce the extra, empty calories we often mindlessly consume.

Find ways to cut back on other added sugars in your diet this time of year. Sugar-sweetened soda, fruit drinks, coffee and other beverages account for nearly half the added sugars that Americans typically consume. Opting for ice water, sparkling water, or plain coffee or tea instead of high-sugar drinks most of the time can go a long way to allowing you to feel just fine about indulging in an iced butter cookie or slice of pumpkin roll. And beverages are just one aspect of the diet to consider. If you normally have cereal with added sugars or toast with jelly for breakfast, for example, choose unsweetened alternatives during this time of year.

At holiday gatherings, position yourself so the goodies aren’t in your line of vision. Remember the old joke about the “see-food” diet? It’s true — visual cues are often hard to ignore. But you can make this work for you, too. Keep a fruit bowl on your kitchen counter to make it easy to grab an apple before you leave for a party. Filling up on fruits and vegetables always makes it easier to blithely decline an extra treat.

Chow Line is a service of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and its outreach and research arms, Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Send questions to Chow Line, c/o Martha Filipic, 364 W. Lane Ave., Suite B120, Columbus, OH 43201, or filipic.3@osu.edu.