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From Left Field

November 3, 2011

By BOB SHRALUKA
    Scott Miller says there are no significant bullying problems at Bellmont Middle School, and a new program introduced at the school is likely to help continue on the same course.
    "No, not at all," the BMS principal says when asked if the anti-bullying program used there was due to a problem. "We got this grant three or four years ago (the same grant funds the school resource officer) from the government and it required us to set up the Olweus program.
    "Part of the grant called for a kickoff and we did that last year with a program on respect, and we had Mr. Mojo (Travis Brown) for the first time. He talked to the middle and high school students; it was more of a motivational message."
    With some of the grant funds left over, it was decided to bring Brown back again this year, Miller said.
    Brown met with the middle school students and some St. Joe School students on October 12, urging them to step up and make a difference in their school and their world by being positive and encouraging to others. Later in the day, he met with a select 60 BMS students, encouraging them to be leaders and to stand up for what's right.
    Brown speaks nationwide on opposition to bullying and taking a leadership role.
    "We didn't have a real bullying problem here, nothing repetitive," Miller said. "Oh, you know, kids say things, but that's about it. We started the program, though, and now every Friday our teachers go over some things; life skills, etc.
    "Our kids have been great. They've been stepping up and doing things for each other. They've been doing the right things."
    The program used at BMS is the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. Its website says the program is designed to improve peer relations and make schools safer, more positive places for students to learn and develop.
    Goals of the program include:
    — Reducing existing bullying problems among students.
    — Preventing new bullying problems.
    — Achieving better peer relations at school.
Schools across the country and around the world have experienced positive results from the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.
    Backed by 35 years of research and successful, worldwide implementation, the website says, the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is a "long-term, systemwide program for change..."

It's your property, but...
    Bill Karbach, who along with veteran police officers Leonard Corral and Jim Franze, has done top-notch work with the city's Operation Cleanup, again reiterated at the latest city council meeting that the effort has not concluded with the end of the 175th celebration. It is an effort, by the way, which has been praised by more than a few city residents.
    Karbach, a member of the city's Board of Works and Safety, has some crazy tales to tell, including the one in which he couldn't get to the front door of a home to leave a warning message due to all the junk on the porch.
    In the main, he continues to say, the vast majority of residents have been cooperative and even courteous. But he pointed out that some folks have the mistaken notion that because something — a junk car, say — is on their property that it's okay and the city can do nothing about it. Not so, not if it violates a city ordinance.
    
A world full of wind turbines?
    Hey, we're all for getting off the foreign oil. (Yeh, like Exxon-Mobil and its buddies would allow that to happen.) What a grand day that would be.
    But a countryside of those monstrous wind turbines? Like the ones you can stand in Adams County and see miles away along US 30 in Ohio.
    Ugh!

 

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