Showing posts from October 23, 2010

Kohl's Cares, But Not For Darby

Darby Elementary School in Northridge won! They won! They're going to get a $500,000 grant from Kohl's!!! Oh wait — no they're not. In a contest called "Kohl's Cares," the Kohl's department store chain -- a name that already evokes bitter memories for many Granada Hills residents -- promised to grant $500,000 to each of twenty schools, for a total of $10 million, who could propel themselves to the top of a vote-getting contest at the Kohl's website. Back in late August, someone posted a note to my Facebook wall imploring readers to vote for Darby Elementary School in the "Kohl's Cares" grant contest. My grouchy reply: "Encapsulated in this post is everything I most dislike about (a) America and (b) Internet contests that are really only tests of who can muster the highest number of votes. Tearing boxtops, snipping soup can labels, visiting the Kohl's website -- why must we constantly go begging to the corporate sector

Spooky Electonic Child Monitoring Device

As much as the idea of children stopping to check their smartphones during their Trick-or-Treat rounds gives me pause, I'm generally in favor of anything that increases kids' opportunities for (controlled doses of) freedom and independence, especially in a low-crime neighborhood like Granada Hills. Parents who are ready to give their kids this sort of experience, in a tethered, 2010 sort of way might want to check out the app "TrickorTracker," which is free of charge for Halloween (and can be purchased for $9.99 afterwards). The app installs on both the parent’s phone and the child’s own phone, but if your kid is too young to use a Smartphone, maybe they're not ready to trick-or-treat without an adult escort. The child’s phone has a special “Where Am I?” and “Where’s My Parent?” button, and the parent’s phone has a corresponding “Where’s My Child?” button. Messages can be sent to the child’s phone using a special code that is picked up and responded to via pre