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home : blogs_old : ability and accountability December 17, 2014

Ability and Accountability
By Richard Haddad, Prescott Valley, AZ
rhaddad@westernnews.com
"[Children] don't remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are."
"Please watch out for each other and love and forgive everybody. It's a good life, enjoy it."

-- Two of my favorite quotes by Jim Henson

Woman kicked out of restaurant after taking blind man's money
On September 10, 2013 a blind man walked into the Dairy Queen restaurant in Hopkins, Minnesota unaware that he was about to robbed.
Wednesday, February 05, 2014
A radio station, a bomb and Kermit the Frog - why belief matters
On Friday March 22, 1996 a young man walked into a radio station and claimed to be carrying a bomb. His demand was to broadcast the original Kermit the Frog Muppet Movie version of the song "Rainbow Connection" nonstop for 12 hours.
Friday, January 10, 2014
The parable of the magic table (How tax credits help you and our community)
There once was a husband and wife who sat down for dinner in their modest home. They had prepared the meal themselves, having just enough in their pantry for a simple dinner for two.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Broadcast will honor virtues and values of Scouting in America
One of the last public appearances for legendary actor John Wayne was to benefit a land purchase for a Boy Scout camp.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Stand up for God's standard of marriage
On August 10, 1628, the Swedish warship Vasa set sail on her maiden voyage. At the time, she was the most powerfully armed warship in the world carrying 64 bronze cannons on two gun decks.
Friday, July 12, 2013
An almost unnoticed moment of honor at the Humboldt Cemetery
My wife and I want to thank the small group of men and women who quietly gathered at the Humboldt Cemetery at noon on Memorial Day to honor the fallen veterans that have been laid to rest there.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
10 out of 10 babies prefer life
Earlier this year, on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a new poll conducted by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal indicated that a majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
Monday, April 08, 2013
Defending the right to own guns and hummers in the U.S.
Two true (but very different) stories involving the controversially large military-style Hummer street vehicles...
Friday, December 28, 2012
What my grandfather taught me with a trick trombone
When I was 11 years old, I remember my mother asking me to sit with her at the dinner table to look through a catalog filled with musical instruments. As she turned the pages she showed me all the different kinds of instruments I could choose to play in school. She told me of the wonder, beauty and power of music - and not just with her words, for I could see it in her eyes.
Monday, December 03, 2012
Tobacco tax fight reveals what matters most to Arizona voters
In November 2006, during a booming economy, Arizona voters increased taxes on a pack of cigarettes by 80 cents to fund a program we may not remember or know much about today.
Monday, October 22, 2012
Halting suicides may start with sharing a sandwich
As often is the case with artists, James had a great capacity to love and feel emotion. But with the ability to love so deeply also comes the danger of acute heartache, which James had experienced when his first wife left him for another man.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
How do you get a boy to start reading?
I was not a very honest child. I can confess it now, but at the time I thought I was clever when I cheated on book reports. I fooled teachers for years - but at what price.
Tuesday, August 07, 2012
When is a good time to pull out a ukulele?
There was a young lady in the busy lobby also waiting to be interviewed for an upcoming event. I asked her about the ukulele on the couch next to her. What she did next surprised me.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Baby owl was worth saving
At about 7:30 p.m. the evening of May 15 my wife and I took the Glassford Hill exit off Highway 89A and were alarmed when we almost struck what looked like a stone garden statue placed in the middle of the road.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Who is responsible when a dog bites a child?
When I was about 9 years old, my 10-year-old big brother and I were standing outside a grocery store in Fort Collins, Colorado when we spotted something little boys often feel compelled to investigate.
Monday, May 21, 2012
What U.S. children do with 53 hours a week
Children in the United States, age 8-18, are now spending an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes each day using entertainment media devices, according to a report by The Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit research group.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Top 5 Dr. Seuss stories with life lessons
The Brooke Jackman Foundation released a list of the Top 5 Seuss books that contain more than meets the eye -- stories that also teach children how to handle challenging situations.
Friday, March 02, 2012
New video clip helps educate teens about Holocaust
I recently heard a group of local teenagers talking when one of them made a reference to Hitler and Nazi Germany. A young lady in the group asked, "What's a Nazi?"
Monday, February 13, 2012
Are Google camera vehicles a breach of privacy?
Imagine you just stepped outside in your bathrobe to pick up the morning paper when you look up and realize you are being photographed.
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
20 customer turn-offs every small business should know
A few years ago, I sat in a town council meeting and listened to a local business owner complain that he was going out of business because area consumers were not supporting his store.
Saturday, December 03, 2011
Why are Mormons celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible?
As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) I am often asked if we believe in the Bible.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Should wheelchairs be allowed in the drive-through?
What if you found yourself waiting behind a wheelchair in the drive-through lane of a fast food restaurant? Would you be angry? Would you honk? Should it be allowed?
Friday, September 16, 2011
A mysophobe walks into a burger place
When I first met my wife in high school it didn't take long for her to figure out that I struggled with mysophobia.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Overcoming failure and the little-known origin of Silly Putty
It was 1943 and World War II was raging. The U.S. industry was at the peak of a massive mobilization effort to support military troops overseas. There was an acute shortage of natural rubber, a compound vital to the success of the war.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Top 100 toys from the past very revealing
What do the following items all have in common: Buck Rogers rocket pistol, Gumby, fake vomit,
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
7 secrets for a lasting love affair
What's the secret to a long-lasting love story? How can we beat these odds and have something more at the end of our lives than six paragraphs of careers or diplomas? Here are 7 tips I received from couples married 50 years or longer:
Thursday, January 20, 2011
What makes an angel?
This time of year there are millions of youthful eyes searching the night skies for reindeer and sleigh, but there are just as many hearts turned to thoughts of angels and their existence.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Could a backpack have stopped this child abduction?
I watched a television news broadcast on You Tube featuring an interview with a man who invented something I wish was around when I was that obsessed, overprotective father. The inventor, Edric (Rick) Sizemore. What he invented is a backpack that at first glance looks much like any standard-sized backpack normally used by school children, high school and college students.
Friday, September 17, 2010
What's hidden beneath the surface of a man
This week I met a man named Jim Greenwood. At first glance he appears to be an average 57-year-old husband and father. Like most of us he works each day to scratch out a living.
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
What's it like to be old?
Have you ever walked by a mirror and caught the reflection of an old person glancing back at you, and then suddenly been struck with a confusing moment as you realize the old person is you? It can be disheartening.
Friday, August 20, 2010
The parable of the #2 pencil
In this day of computers and other high-tech gadgets, I have an affinity toward simple pencils. Maybe it's because I hope my life can be like a pencil.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Such a man is needed today
Almost everywhere I turn, I see young mothers struggling to raise their children alone. Too many of them are bearing the full weight of a broken home because of a man who stepped out of the picture and away from his responsibilities.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Creation and credit for life does not belong to science
This month the Ohio Senate passed State Bill 243, a ban on human cloning and human-animal hybrids. Because science has advanced to the point where DNA from animals and humans can be intermixed in scientific laboratories a number of states are drafting similar bills.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Bob Hope: a character, and a man of character
As men, we want to be brave and get the girl, but we don't always feel like we have what it takes to be a hero or a knight in shining armor. Bob Hope's humble characters showed us that we could.
Saturday, May 08, 2010
Sanctity of marriage must be protected
We live in a world in which the ever-swelling waves of political correctness threaten to erode the very foundation of the family unit.
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Decency should win over vulgarity and violence
I remember watching the 1999 MTV Music Video Awards when something surprising happened that has left a memory more than ten years later -- something I didn't expect to ever see on anything associated with MTV.
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
One person to stand up and say, 'Hey, leave him alone'
One of the greatest pains my heart has ever known is to see a child who has lost all hope. In desperate moments, when they feel utterly alone and worthless, some choose to end life.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Strengthening our communities through volunteering
I was recently asked to teach a class on what it means to be a good citizen. Many characteristics came up in our class discussions, but perhaps the most important quality that stood out was a willingness to get involved -- to anxiously be engaged in efforts to strengthen a community.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Linus reminded us ever so well
How many of us remember the small boy clutching his blanket as he made his way onto a quiet stage and began to recite these words?
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
For better grades, keep music programs in our schools
"I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for in the patterns of music and all arts are the keys to learning." -- Plato, philosopher
Monday, November 23, 2009
Wanted: Good role models
When I was a child my mother used to encourage me by telling me I might someday be the President of the United States, a U.S. Senator, an astronaut, or a famous musician or actor. She had a wonderful way of helping my brothers and me dream big.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
One nation under God, again
In November 2001, U.S.-backed Northern Alliance guerrillas took control of Kabul, the Afghan capital, and for the first time in five years, the people of that region were no longer under Taliban rule.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Allow prayer back in school
Not long ago my wife and I attended a school choir concert. We thoroughly enjoyed the performance, which included such faith-inspiring songs as "Amazing Grace," "Christ, Be Thine the Glory" and "Sing Joy."
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Take the U.S. flag etiquette quiz
A number of years ago my wife Debbie and I put together a brief U.S. flag etiquette quiz for a local Boy Scout activity. I found myself presenting the quiz for discussion at various speaking engagements. There's something special about this symbol of the United States that swells far beyond our borders. Even when America may be the target of criticism and ridicule, the U.S. flag rises above the clamor. Try your hand at this U.S. flag etiquette quiz.
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
When your daughter chooses a man
Who deserves your daughter? I recently stood in a sacred place and watched my only daughter become someone else's girl.

What do you look for in the young men that want to date your daughter? What qualities or characteristics do you think are missing in many young men today?

Monday, June 08, 2009
Honest answer about marriage should be praised
The crown for Miss USA 2009 was not placed upon the head of first runner-up, Miss California, but she can proudly wear a different crown - the crown of integrity and honor.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
When a baby laughed at the post office
Yesterday I walked into the post office to discover the usual long line familiar to many of us on Mondays during lunchtime. But what was not so familiar were the expressions on many of the faces as patrons waited more patiently than usual.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Abortion: Parents' rights should equal parental responsibility
If your 13-year-old daughter wants to have her ears pierced or even get an aspirin from the school nurse, the chances are she will need parental consent. But if she walked into a clinic and had an abortion last week, you may never have known about it.
Friday, March 13, 2009
A bicycle for a kiss and a broken promise
When I was 7 years old, I sat in a vacant lot across from my house and promised a neighbor girl my bicycle in exchange for a kiss. The girl, Stephanie Miller, was a classmate of mine whose smile once caused me to walk into a wall. (Four stitches.)
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Hate destructive in all its guises, even in our vocabulary
When I was young I met a girl who told me I used the word "hate" far too often in my everyday conversations. She told me that when people use the word "hate" so casually in their lives, they become immune to the damage it can cause, and they underestimate the destructive power of such an emotion.
Monday, February 02, 2009
What happened to teaching abstinence? The survey says...
Not long ago I sat at a table where parents were discussing teen sex and pregnancy. The conversation drifted toward which method of birth control parents would prefer their daughters to use, and how their sons needed to understand the importance of using condoms.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Hope has no limits for parents of a missing child
This is a personal message written with a heart full of concern for a little girl.
Friday, January 02, 2009
Does God still fit in America?
There is a disappointing movement in this country to take Christ out of Christmas.

But the pressure to dilute Christianity or acknowledge God in America doesn't stop there.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Two boys, someone invisible, and a revelation on gratitude
I left my office one evening with a dozen thoughts about work still lingering on my mind. With appointments to keep and children to feed, I paid little attention to what was going on around me. I found myself standing in line at a local restaurant looking at my watch and hoping I could hurry through yet another task.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Smashing pumpkins not a victimless act
On Halloween night a number of years ago I opened my front door to take the trash outside when I unexpectedly encountered a startled young teenage girl who was bending down to take one of my children's jack o'lanterns.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Celebrating marriage, faith and commitment
Shortly before our wedding day an older couple approached me, hand-in-hand, at church. The old man pulled me aside and explained that he and his wife had been married for more than 50 years. He asked if he might share a bit of advice ...
Sunday, October 12, 2008
What makes a real man?
What makes a real man? What characteristics should a good man possess?

A few years ago I was feeling somewhat testosterone-deficient as I sat in the bleachers of a rodeo event surrounded by a crowd of larger, stronger men of the cowboy persuasion.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Salesman or cheater, what I learned from an honest clown
When I was a young man I worked for a chain of magic and novelty stores called Zeezo's Magic Castle. The company slogan was, "We Only Sell Fun."
Friday, August 15, 2008
Proud of the grandmother who spoke up
Not long ago I witnessed a woman shopping at Wal-Mart with her granddaughter when she heard a volley of four-letter words spew from the mouths of two teenagers sharing the aisle.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
A bugle, a bus and a boy who thought he knew
When I was a young man, I joined the military shortly after high school. Like most 20-year-olds, I thought I knew plenty about life as I got off the bus at boot camp.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
A Poem for Father's Day: The Race
As Father's Day approaches I'd like to share one of my favorite poems by Dee Groberg. It's not only a poem about perseverance and the power of a father on earth, but it can also tell a story about purpose and individual worth as another Father watches his children running the races of life.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
What ever happened to May Day?
For centuries, May Day was a festival celebrating the reappearance of flowers during the spring. But the tradition was also a fun and memorable way to teach children and grandchildren about giving to others and being a good neighbor. It's time May Day had its own reappearance.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Sex offender awareness: Notices meant to inform, not frighten
There are at least 57 registered sex offenders living within town limits of Prescott and Prescott Valley, according to the state's official sex offender notification Web site.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Time to get tough on bullies - parents and the law
It happens every day at our schools. A child gets pushed, words are exchanged, it may come to blows, a student feels threatened and then some part of them retreats, emotionally or physically, into a place filled with anxiety and fear - a place overshadowed by a bully.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Reporting a DUI Parent: Are we as brave as a 13-year-old girl?
Last week a Michigan man was arrested on drunken driving and child endangerment charges after his 13-year-old daughter called 911 from the backseat of the van he was driving.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
A student video just for fun
This video is just for fun. Two of us from our Web division went to Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy in Prescott in January and presented a workshop on making videos.

The workshop was to give students in Mrs. Melissa Wagnor's Horror Intensive class a chance to have some hands-on experience making a video.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008
R-rated means, "Really think about it"
A number of years ago my wife and I took our children to a theme park in Florida. We found an attraction called Alien Encounter. After reading the warning signs about the frightening nature of the attraction, I decided to only take my two older boys inside. The experience featured a man-eating alien who breaks out of a holding cell and walks around the audience members, all of whom are strapped into their seats unable to escape.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
What my grandfather taught me with a trick trombone
When I was 11 years old, I remember my mother asking me to sit with her at the dinner table to look through a catalog filled with musical instruments. She told me of the wonder, beauty and power of music - and not just with her words, for I could see it in her eyes.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Spelling out success starts with reading
Anyone who has ever watched a national spelling bee competition knows it can be as challenging and suspenseful as any physical sport played on a field of grass or a wooden court.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Love the flag by choice, not by law
Like most veterans, I have vivid memories of my years in military service. But perhaps more important than memories are the emotions they carry, and how they change you forever. Sometimes the quiet moments are the most powerful.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007

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