Where is the Debate on Junk Toys

Where is the Debate on Junk Toys

(from Fat Brain Toys – by Kristen Stehli) Many of us as parents and grandparents have heard the message of how junk food is ruining our children. We watch what we feed our children and do our best to buy organic or healthy foods. But Kristen from Caution Twins at Play explains her experiences with junk toys – and how they can have a damaging effect on children. Check out her site for great reviews and parental advice. Parents often worry about their kids eating junk food. Whether it’s too many carbs, sugar, whole milk vs. non-dairy, or processed foods, are all legitimate concerns. But what about putting junk in your child’s playtime and mind with bad toys? There is such a thing as junk toys, just as there is junk food. If you don’t want your children eating junk food, why would you want them to play with junk toys? Maybe we don’t realize the effects that junk toys are having on your children, or even yourself! I am constantly hearing Moms complaining about their kids’ toys running all over the place, and how they can never keep their children or their toys in order. I also hear a lot of moms complain that their children can not keep busy for very long during play, or do not want to play with their toys very much at all. Maybe it’s time to take a closer look at what kind of toys children are playing with. When kids have mostly all “wow factor” toys and not enough open-ended toys, it creates big messes in their play space. Why? Because...
How Kansas City’s Trees Are Saving You Money And Cutting Pollution

How Kansas City’s Trees Are Saving You Money And Cutting Pollution

From KCUR.org | by CODY NEWILL The tree and shrub population in the Kansas City metropolitan area saves residents nearly $14 million a year, according to a new study. The United States Department of Agriculture’s Northern Research Station (NRS) examined plant life in nine counties in the Kansas City metro area. The NRS found that by blocking winds in the winter, shading buildings in the summer, and providing natural evaporative cooling all throughout the year, trees and shrubs significantly cut down residential energy costs. Kansas City’s trees and shrubs also help combat climate change by capturing nearly 72.8 million tons of carbon dioxide, which the NRS values at $411 million in environmental savings. “As trees grow, they store more carbon by holding it in their accumulated tissue,” the authors write in the study. “When trees die, using the wood in long-term wood products or using wood to heat buildings … will help reduce carbon emissions from wood decomposition.” The NRS estimates that the Kansas City metro holds nearly 250 million trees, a relatively high number for an urban area. In comparison, the Chicago metro only holds about 150 million trees and lags behind Kansas City in regrowth rates when invasive insects destroy tree...
Prairiefire, the sexy new development in Overland Park, is a hot destination

Prairiefire, the sexy new development in Overland Park, is a hot destination

(By JENEÉ OSTERHELDT – kansascity.com) Big-box stores and suburban sprawl come to mind every time another strip mall sprouts up. There might be a stylish indie boutique or a major brand that’s hard to find, but overall, you just don’t think of these shopping centers as hot destinations. Let alone summer musts. Until Prairiefire, the sexy new development at 135th and Nall in Overland Park. It’s worth the drive. There’s something fresh and spirited about it. We could give credit to the Museum at Prairiefire, because being the little cousin to the American Museum of Natural History in New York is a little more than cool. But it’s more than the museum that makes Prairiefire the place to be this summer. It’s less about shopping and more about things to do. Cinetopia and Vinotopia, the movie theater and farm-to-table restaurant, open today. You can go to Rock & Brews, owned by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of Kiss; try out Pinstripes, the bowling and bocce bistro; or relax at Cocoa Dolce, a chocolate lounge. There’s also a handful of restaurants including CocoBolos by Michael Smith. And if you’re looking for a taste of Kansas City art, work by both Scribe and Alisa Ross is sprinkled throughout Prairiefire. A few highlights: Cinetopia Owner Rudyard Coltman has been dreaming of Cinetopia at Prairiefire for three years, but he says it’s even better than he imagined. He has been running a small chain of theaters in Oregon and Washington, but this is his first venture in the Midwest, where he is committed to bringing the most state-of-the-art movie theater around. It’s designed for...