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Restaurant Bans Kids 18 and Under

Restaurant Bans Kids 18 and Under

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A Virginia restaurant has decided to ban all kids, from babies to teenagers

A couple of years ago several restaurants made headlines by banning kids under 6 years old, citing noise complaints from non-baby-having customers, but this year another restaurant is taking it a step further.

Sushi restaurant The Sushi Bar in Alexandria, Va., has announced that it is officially banning kids 18 and under, making it an adult-only sushi bar (Note: there's no mention of adult-only décor or anything like that). Instead, the owner Mike Anderson just wanted to give parents a break.

"We thought, 'These poor parents — they’re helicopter parents, God love ’em — they’re always doing this and that with their kids, and we thought, they need a break.' Not so much a break from their kids, but adjoining kids," Anderson told

Of course, other restaurants have banned kids in the past, but usually the ban is directed at toddlers and babies. Instead, Anderson has banned all kids 18 and under so couples can have a chance to reconnect, without dealing with surly teenagers or fussy babies. "We thought it might be nice to have a place where young parents can come down and reconnect," Anderson said. The restaurant officially opened, and the no-kids policy has already caused plenty of commotion online, but the business plans to stay its course.

After the soft opening Saturday, Anderson says the feedback has been 90 percent positive; "Couples have been loving it — we think we’re on the right track."

5 Reasons Junk Food Should Be Banned

It’s not a secret that fast food is bad for you. I don’t think I just blew your mind by writing that. I do, however, think that people believe that there’s nothing wrong with eating fast food in moderation. It really comes down to ignorance being blissful.

I love the analogy that our bodies are like vehicles. You want the best fuel for your car, but do you always provide the right fuel for your body? The fast food industry gives that option to people, giving you regular when your gas-guzzler requires premium.

The main reason fast food should be foods to avoid is an obvious one: it can lead to many health problems such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Fast food consumption is probably one of the most common addictions that nobody talks about. The addiction leads to disease.

People talk about the seriousness of alcohol and smoking addictions however, how many fast food addiction help centers are there? It doesn’t appear to be a big concern because people have to eat. And, if there were public service announcements about how you should limit your fast food consumption, how do you think the big corporations would act? Let’s just say it’s not going to happen anytime soon.

The solution is about making informed and healthier choices. A lot of people realize that the Big Mac is causing health problems, but do they relate that mouth-watering meal to why they are angry at the world or are getting divorced? When you realize the role fast food plays on your health and on society, you may discontinue your daily or weekly trip to your favorite burger or pizza joint.

Arkansas Becomes 1st State to Ban Gender Reassignment Surgeries in Children

Arkansas has become the first state to outlaw gender reassignment surgeries and hormone treatments for children under the age of 18, after lawmakers enacted the measure following Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s veto.

The Republican-led House and Senate both voted on April 6 to override the veto.

The bill, known as House Bill 1570—or Arkansas SAFE (Save Adolescents From Experimentation) Act—will become law 90 days after the Arkansas General Assembly goes into recess on April 30.

It would prohibit physicians and health care professionals from providing gender transition procedures to people under 18 years old, or referring the minors to other health care professionals for the procedures. Medical providers who violate the law could face disciplinary actions from the appropriate licensing entity or disciplinary review board.

“It is of grave concern to the General Assembly that the medical community is allowing individuals who experience distress at identifying with their biological sex to be subjects of irreversible and drastic nongenital gender reassignment surgery and irreversible, permanently sterilizing genital gender reassignment surgery, despite the lack of studies showing that the benefits of such extreme interventions outweigh the risks,” according to the text of the bill.

As he vetoed the bill this week, Hutchinson, a Republican, argued that signing the bill would be “government overreach,” saying that it would be “starting to let lawmakers interfere with healthcare and set a standard for legislation overriding healthcare.”

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson in the senate chamber of the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., on April 8, 2020. (Tommy Metthe/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)

“If this was just to ban gender reassignment then I would support it, but those who are taking treatment are not grandfathered in, this is not the right path to put them on,” Hutchinson added. He said that fewer than 200 children are using the treatments in Arkansas.

But the Arkansas-based group Family Council said the state Legislature’s move was “the right decision.”

“This is really good news. Gender-reassignment surgeries can leave children sterilized and scarred for life. Medical researchers do not know the long-term effects these procedures and therapies can have on kids. That is why many people equate them with experimenting on children,” the group wrote. “This good legislation will protect Arkansas’ children from sex-reassignment procedures. We appreciate their leadership, their moral courage, and their resolve to do what is right. This is historic legislation. Arkansans ought to be proud of their leaders for doing the right thing by passing the SAFE Act into law.”

Pro-transgender organizations such as Arkansas-based group inTRANSitive had initiated a campaign to pressure Hutchinson into vetoing the bill. Some progressive groups have also opposed the passage of the bill.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said it would file a lawsuit to prevent the law from being enforced.

ACLU of Arkansas Executive Director Holly Dickson said in a statement that “this fight is not over,” adding, “We will be filing a lawsuit to challenge this law in court.”

UMass food truck to serve summer meals to kids

The Baby Berk food truck at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst will begin serving kids summer meals this month, Mass Live reports.

Kids 18 and under will be able to receive the free meals every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from June 25 until Aug. 10. The university is working with the USDA and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to fund, develop, regulate and monitor the program.

The university will receive a small reimbursement for each meal to help fund the project, and aims to serve an average of 560 kids per day from the truck.

Photo courtesy of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Things to do with Kids in Phoenix

We wanted to help you do that this summer by rounding up a fair share of fun things to do with kids in Phoenix. Most of these are a wonderful way to spend a long, hot summer without spending a fortune.

Car & Auto Shows

Check out an ongoing list of FREE Car Shows around the Phoenix area – if your kids love cars (Classic cars too!) this is a GREAT way to take them out to appreciate the vehicles with a chance to meet the drivers, and even (in some cases) have a chance at sitting in the car for a photo opp!

FREE Hockey

Little Howlers Hockey is an on-ice youth hockey program hosted in cooperation with the Arizona Coyotes Hockey Development Program, Arizona Amateur Hockey Association, One Goal and local hockey rinks. The program consists of four one-hour sessions designed to provide kids ages 4-8 a risk free introduction to the sport of hockey.

Each child receives a FREE set of One Goal rental equipment to be used during the four-week clinic including a FREE pair of rental skates provided by the rink. There is an equipment fitting session before the first on-ice clinic to ensure all parents and children are aware of the proper manner in which to dress the child. The ice time is donated by each local hockey rink, so the only cost associated with the program is a small monetary deposit (which is returned at the conclusion of the four weeks if all equipment is returned).

Bass Pro

Has fun things planned for kids on Tuesdays! Every Tuesday participate in their Kids Night event where they will have crafts, games, archery, and food for everyone! Events run from 5 – 8 p.m.

Check your local As you Wish – they often have days with free studio fees – or you can buy a family studio membership for much less and have fun with the kids!

Movies in the Park – Tempe

Enjoy Friday night Movies in the Park – starting at approximately 7 pm ( Dusk) you can see a different movie… every Friday throughout May in the north soccer field of Kiwanis Park, Baseline Rd. and Ash Ave.

PlayGrounds Fun Zone

Located on Union Hills in Glendale, PlayGrounds Fun Zone is a 3,500 sq ft indoor park for kids – it’s open from 8 – 5 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays and 8 – 2 p.m. on Saturdays. It’s great if you have one child (admission is $6 per child for a limited time so it can add up fast if you have multiple children!)

Open Swim Days at Hubbard Swim School Check their site for frequent Open Swim Days, $5 per Swimmer (3 and under are FREE), $15 max per family. Skateland

Follow their summer schedule for FREE Skating opportunities – each location will vary, but you can see the schedule for Skateland Mesa HERE. Don’t forget that your POGO Pass will ALSO score you 2 FREE Skateland visit per month, too!

Storytime & Craft Hour at IKEA Tempe Restaurant

The Tempe Library Youth Libration will read to kids of all ages on the first Saturday and third Sunday of every month.

WiggleWorm Adventures, Gilbert

Located at the McQueen Park Activity Center, take your kids 5 and under (max of 4) for play, Friday year round, from 9 – 11 a.m. Cost is $1.50 for Gilbert Residents and $2 for Non-Gilbert Residents.

Discounted Swim Lessons

Enroll your children in swim lessons – find a list of discounted opportunities across the Valley by heading HERE.

Bass Pro Shops – Feed the Trout

Weekly – at 1:30 p.m. Take the kids in to feed the Trout. Great for those HOT days where being outside is too brutal!

FREE Swim Babies Water Class

Head over to SwimKids USA to join in the FREE Swim Babies Water class at participating times/dates. Registration is required.

Michael’s Passport to Imagination

Starting in June, take the kids to Michael’s for weekly activities and crafts – just $5 for one session or 3 sessions for $12.00. Flyers are already out at your local store.

FREE Baby Swim Class

Head to Hubbard Swim School in Riverview for FREE Intro to Water Babies Swim Class 8 weeks to 5 months in age. Pre-register before heading over.

Family Swim just $1 or Less

Desert Oasis Aquatic Center in Chandler has $1 Family Swim from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Weekly during the summer (starting in May) – kids are $.25, and adults are $.75 – head over HERE to read more.

You can also find swim opportunities at Escalante and McClintock Pools in Tempe. Check your city website for swimming opportunities in your area.

Schnepf Farms

In the far Southeast Valley, Schnepf Farms is a really nice place to bring the kids. There are train rides, a petting zoo, play yard, and hay rides out to see the deer.

You can find the farm by heading South on Ellsworth from the US60, left on Rittenhouse at the Train Tracks, then about 5 more miles on the right side – just before the second set of train tracks.

Visit your Local Library

You’ll want to make sure you register your kids for the Summer Reading Programs at your local Library MANY libraries will have events that you can take the kids to, including story time. Check the calendar of your local library branch for more.

Goldfield Ghost Town

Take a trip out to Goldfield Ghost Town in the far East Valley it’s just down the road from the Lost Dutchman State Park, which is just a few dollars entrance fee for a single day.

The Ghost Town is a wonderful place to take kids of all ages – it gets pretty busy on the weekends, but if you do visit on the weekends you can see the gunfights every hour from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Freestone Park

Located in Gilbert, Freestone Park is 88 pure acres of FUN for kids – they have several play areas, volleyball, tennis, softball and even fishing. They have a small amusement park (that is relatively inexpensive), and even multi-use trails. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon – take a picnic, kids can play, and then hopefully snooze as you make your way home. Sign up HERE to get savings delivered to your inbox.

Summer Movie Programs

Take the kids to a movie as low as FREE this summer – there are a TON of Summer Movie Programs – across Arizona and the U.S. Check out the list HERE to see times and dates for all the theaters nearest to you.

Cerretta Candy Company Tours – Glendale

The Candy Company offers 2 FREE tours per day, at 10 a.m., and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. You will need to call in advance to let them know when you are planning on attending.

Peter Piper Pizza

Has Kids Events starting in June, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. each child is $5.49 – it covers 2 Pieces of Pizza, a 12 oz. Soda, 5 Tokens and a Make & Take Craft. Visit them on Facebook HERE – the schedule will be posted sometime before June 1st.

Williams Gateway Airport

If your kids love Planes, or military, or BOTH you can head out to the Williams Gateway Airport Viewing Area – on Power & Ray. Head South on Power to Ray – and then hang a left. You’ll wind around down Sossaman. Just past Tahoe, you’ll see the viewing area on the left.


Kids 18 and under can score 3 FREE games of bowling this summer at Brunswick through September. Shoe rental is not included. Simply register HERE and coupons will arrive via email.

Kids bowl FREE this summer at AMF, with 2 FREE games of bowling each day. Head over HERE to see the AMF Promotion – shoe rental is not included.


Are you planning on going fishing this summer? Head on over here to check out when your states FREE Fishing Days are! Arizona’s National Fishing Day is in June. A Free Fishing Day is an ideal time to schedule, or take part in, an event that includes boating and fishing activities. In general, Free Fishing Days allow the public to fish without a license. Be sure to check your state regulations.

USA Youth Fitness Center in (Gilbert or Queen Creek)

FREE Baby Dance Class and FREE Baby Tumbling Class with a parent during the week – head HERE and reference the lower left corner.

Museum Visits – Blue Star Museum (Military)

If you are military you can score FREE Admission to participating Blue Star Museums this year. First launched in the summer of 2010, Blue Star Museums once again are offering free admission to military personnel and their families starting around Memorial Day, and going through Labor Day. To see a list of participating museums in Arizona take a stroll on over HERE.

Stuffington Bear Factory Tours

Kids in Phoenix can take a tour of the bear factory, Monday through Friday. They run tours at various times – you can see more by heading to their site HERE. Admission is $13 and they can make a bear while they are there as well.

Home Depot

Take the kids to a Home Depot Workshop – each month on designated Saturdays. The events are geared to ages 5 and up.

Lowe’s Build & Grow

Your kids can keep busy in monthly Lowe’s Build & Grow workshops – on Saturday mornings. The workshops are geared to ages 5 and up, & are completely free. Registration is required.

East Valley Splash Pads

Are you an East Valley mom or dad? If you are, head over to East Valley Mom Guide (follow their page while you are there) – they have a comprehensive list of East Valley Splash Pads – all free of charge.

One of our favorite Splash Pads is in the Eastmark Community of the East Valley. … per their site here it is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Kiwanis Park has a new splash pad opening on 6/15, too.

Challenger Space Center

Located in Peoria, the Challenger Space Center is a great way for the entire family to have fun – they have simulators and games, and special programs that are available all year long.

Superstition Farm

Are you in the East Valley? Superstition Farm is a real working farm in the East Valley – they not only have a petting zoo, but they also do wagon rides too. It’s a fun place to bring your kids.


Located just south of Phoenix off the 1-10 and Wild Horse Pass, Rawhide is an Old Western Town complete with a Candy Store, Steak House, and gift shop. They ALSO have a zip line, and petting zoo – as well as a Blacksmith.

They aren’t open daily but only 3 days a week:

Parking is $5 (cash). .. some activities are a cost.

AZ Musical Instrument Museum

Each week .. you can visit various events for Youth at the Arizona Musical Instrument Museum. It’s probably not too cost effective to bring a large family, but if you have 1-2 children, it would definitely be less expensive. See their event page HERE for upcoming opportunities to take your kids.

Green Pastures Raw Dairy

Raw Dairy is such a nutrient-rich food. Here in the Valley, you can check Green Pastures Raw Milk Dairy just outside of Casa Grande and set up a time to visit – watch them milk their beautiful, grass-fed brown swiss cows and see the calves. Watch the milk go from cow to chiller tank where it chills to 35 degrees F in just minutes.

Find out how they bottle their milk and pick up a gallon of fresh milk to take home with you while you are there!

Lakeshore Learning

We have 2 locations in Phoenix and each has events on Saturdays, for kids 3 and up. The events run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Summer Splash Days at Desert Ridge

These days run from early June to mid-July – grab their event schedule by heading here.

The Children’s Museum

Score FREE Admission the first full weekend of every month if you are a Bank of America Customer/Cardholder. You can read more HERE.

Kiwanis Rec Center

Located in Tempe, the Kiwanis Rec Center is a great place to take the kids for an afternoon – visit the Wave Pool for a FULL afternoon, or join mid-afternoon for a better and lower price. They have a number of theme days as well that will score admission for even less in some cases.

McCormick Stillman Railroad Park

Located in Scottsdale, this park is open 363 days per year – they have rides in which you can purchase tickets for your kiddos. Children 3 and under are FREE to ride with paying adult. This is also great place to take a picnic for the afternoon, my kids love to hang out and check out the Railroad Exhibit. See more information on their site here.

Barnes & Noble

Check your local store for Story Time each week – and special Children’s Events. You can grab a bite to eat at the Cafe too. See their recurring schedule for more details.

Japanese Friendship Garden

Join them for their First Friday Event on the first Friday every month when the garden is open, runs from 4:00pm until 6:00 pm (until 7:00pm for spring and summer time). The Japanese Friendship Garden will offer live music, performances and much more!

Check Groupon

Groupon can sometimes be a GREAT place to find discounted kids Activities. Sometimes you can find deals on everything from movies to dance classes, Science Museum Membership & more.

Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix

FREE Admission the second Tuesday of every month – great for taking the family (even just the kids!)

Enchanted Island Amusement Park

If you have kids ages 1-10, Enchanted Island is PERFECT for them! They have boats, arcade games, and more.. your kids can take a trip on the train, head to the splash zone, red baron or bumper boats. It’s perfect for little kids too, as they have a carousel. Unlimited ride wristbands are $8.50 for kids. OR.. if you have a POGO pass, you can visit 4 times for FREE .

Grab a Culture Pass

​A Culture Pass gives a library customer FREE admission for two people at participating arts and cultural institutions. Passes are available on a first-come, first-served basis. They cannot be renewed they cannot be placed on hold.

Customers are limited to one pass per family at any one time, up to two passes per month.​ You can see participating institutions (17) HERE … they include:

Superstition Mall in Mesa Kids Club

This is every Thursday at 10 a.m. – if your children attend, then they can see a movie at the Picture Show for FREE. This program does not run through the summer, so check the last day of the season (which is sometime in May).

Hole in the Rock, Papago Park

The Hole in the Rock is located inside Papago Park, just south of the Desert Botanical Garden. The 5-minute hike gives you a chance to see the beauty of the surrounding areas.

The area can be accessed by heading towards 625 N. Galvin Parkway… right next to the Phoenix Zoo… not to mention it’s FREE. Great for families with kids.. and a great (short) hike with kids.

Riparian Preserve, Gilbert

My kids love to visit the Preserve – which is in the East Valley on Guadalupe just East of Greenfield. They have lots of areas for them to run up and down the hills, and they can also walk around the Preserve to see the Ducks and other wildlife – it’s a great place to visit as it’s right next to the Public Library (Southeast Branch!) You could make it a really neat experience by packing a picnic.

If you are a family here with kids in Phoenix, you will want to invest in a POGO Pass – you will score FREE admission to over 20 venues for a 12 month period for just $39.98 using code CENTSABLE.

Our View: Thumbs up for local efforts in response to coronavirus, ‘Jeopardy!’ winner, moving gesture for a dying father

THUMBS UP: The coronavirus pandemic spreading across the state, country and world is doing far more than upending social plans. It’s leading to deaths, mass layoffs, tanking economies and so on, and it is showing no signs of stopping even in the next several weeks. The crisis also known as COVID-19, the disease caused by this coronavirus, is worthy of what would probably be the easiest “thumbs down” we’ve ever given. However, some responses at the local level have been reassuring, and so we’re instead giving “thumbs up” to those who are acting here in Carroll County to make things even just a little better for many going through tough times right now.

Carroll Hospital appears to have been the first in the state to offer drive-up testing for the coronavirus. The hospital has set up a specimen collection tent on the third floor of its parking garage to allow for the rapid testing of those suspected of having the coronavirus but are not yet showing symptoms. Those specimens collected are then sent to LabCorp for analysis, with results taking three to four days. Note that the testing is only open to individuals who have been screened and referred by their physician. The tent is open from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., then from noon to 6 p.m.

While schools are closed statewide, Carroll County Public Schools has offered meals for kids 18 and younger. The best part is they’re giving out meals to all, regardless of whether they are enrolled in CCPS. The Emergency Meal Distribution program now offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. It operates Monday through Friday, and children must be present to receive the meals.

And local eateries are adapt to the harsh realities of the coronavirus pandemic by adding or expanding carryout and delivery options. Liquor license holders joined in that approach last this week. Keith Benfer, chief inspector for the liquor board, encourages Carroll residents to buy from local businesses as they face a “very uncertain future.” He told us he’s urging the following: “Shop local. Help local businesses.” We urge all local residents who are able to do as he recommends. These businesses need our support, and they’re adapting to stay in operation while staying safe in the best way they can.

THUMBS UP: Westminster High School Principal John Baugher, and the staff of Anne Arundel Medical Center, helped make the best of a tragic situation last week. Andrew Pawlack Jr. desperately wanted to see the youngest of his nine children graduate from high school and on March 10 Westminster senior Sebastian Pawlack, with the help of Baugher, celebrated his graduation in the ICU. Doctors made it clear to the family that Andrew Pawlack had little time left, so Sebastian’s mother and Andrew’s ex-wife, Tina King-Myrick, called Baugher at about 6 p.m. He was at the hospital by 8, with a graduation gown and a diploma cover from the school. Andrew got to see Sebastian’s graduation recognized by the principal as “Pomp and Circumstance” played on a sister’s cellphone. Andrew gestured and smiled throughout the brief, impromptu ceremony, and gave his son the keys to his truck as a graduation gift. Baugher called it “touching.” King-Myrick told us, of Baugher: "He took sadness and changed the whole environment and made it a celebration for that moment.” She also thanked the hospital staff for their “amazing” accommodations. Andrew died two days later. A gofundme account was established to help Pawlack’s children with the expenses of his medical care and funeral at

THUMBS UP: Name an Eldersburg native who used knowledge gained in part at Liberty High School to win on “Jeopardy!” In the form of a question, of course. The answer is Andrea Dragan, who racked up winnings of over $19,000 in an episode of the iconic quiz show to earn a pretty impressive title. “So yes, I am the reigning ‘Jeopardy!’ champion, which is maybe one of the coolest titles I could ever imagine having,” she told us during an interview on Thursday morning. The reign was brief, as she finished second on the Thursday broadcast, but memorable. “I wanted to put out my best performance, and I certainly feel like I did that." Dragan said the highlight of her run on the show was meeting host Alex Trebek, who has publicly shared details of his ongoing battle against cancer. She called him “an absolutely wonderful, genuine person and extremely funny.” Dragan attributed her win to her acumen with her buzzer as well as to history classes at Liberty High. The longtime “Jeopardy!” fan plans to celebrate by traveling with her husband, but that will have to wait until after restrictions resulting from the global pandemic of COVID-19 have been lifted.

3 takeaways from the SNA’s Legislation Action Conference

Members of the School Nutrition Association came together virtually last week for the SNA’s Legislation Action Conference. Attendees heard from USDA representatives and talked with their peers about COVID-19 best practices and the legislative actions they would like to see in the coming year. Here are three takeaways from the event.

1. USDA is extending school meal waivers

Early on in the conference, it was officially announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended summer meal waivers through the end of September , allowing schools to continue to feed kids 18 and under at no cost.

Recently confirmed Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack spoke to attendees and said that the USDA is currently looking into extending the waivers through the next school year. “We hope to be able to make some decisions on that sometime in the month of April,” he says. “We'll be looking at this issue in great detail and we'll be providing more information.

2. P-EBT is expanding

USDA Acting Deputy Administrator for Child Nutrition Programs Sarah Smith Holmes announced that $10.7 billion in Pandemic-EBT benefits had been distributed to low-income families beginning last spring through the end of September 2020. P-EBT, which provides money to families whose children typically receive free or reduced-priced meals at school, was set to expire at the end of this September.

The latest COVID-19 relief bill signed into law by President Biden on Thursday will provide $5 billion in funding to maintain and expand the program to provide P-EBT to children during any school year in which there is a public health emergency causing access to school meals to be compromised.

3. Community partnerships will continue into the new-normal

During a session on lessons learned during COVID, school nutrition professionals shared the challenges they’ve encountered and best practices they’ve found in the past year. Brenton Lexvold, director of student nutrition services for Red Wing Public Schools in Red Wing, Minn., shared how he partnered with his local food pantry to provide food to community members in need, and how he thinks the partnership will last beyond the pandemic.

“Ultimately, I do see a partnership with them in the future, and hopefully we can connect school nutrition programs with our local food pantries to really try develop the food insecurities that our families are seeing,” he says.

Kristin Hilleman, foodservice director for Capistrano Unified Public School District in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., echoed his comments, saying she has worked with community partners such as the local library to hold book drives for students and families.

Sometimes teens simply want to sit somewhere fun and eat! Here are some of our favorite teen-friendly Nashville eateries:

  • Hattie B’s Hot Chicken – If your teen prefers their chicken NOT hot, order the Southern which is simply fried chicken without the spice.
  • The Loveless Cafe – Arrive early and eat all the biscuits and jam.
  • Biscuit Love – There is always a line, but it moves quick!
  • Pharmacy Burger – Try the homemade cream sodas too.
  • Hugh Babies – My favorite fries in Nashville.
  • Mas Tacos Por Favor – Because all teens love Mexican, right?
  • Five Points Pizza – And pizza!
  • Martin’s Bar-B-Que – A Nashville classic.
  • Five Daughter’s Bakery – For an incredible sweet treat morning, noon or night!

Don’t let children be the hidden victims of COVID-19 pandemic

NEW YORK, 9 April 2020 – “The world is currently united in a shared struggle against an invisible enemy. But while our eyes are firmly focused on how to avoid or treat COVID-19, the serious consequences that will challenge us far beyond the current pandemic – the hidden impacts – are not yet front of mind. This must change.

“Not only are children and young people contracting COVID-19, they are also among its most severely impacted victims. Unless we act now to address the pandemic’s impacts on children, the echoes of COVID-19 will permanently damage our shared future.

“According to our analysis, 99 per cent of children and young people under 18 worldwide (2.34 billion) live in one of the 186 countries with some form of movement restrictions in place due to COVID-19. Sixty per cent of all children live in one of the 82 countries with a full (7%) or partial (53%) lockdown – accounting for 1.4 billion young lives.

“We know that, in any crisis, the young and the most vulnerable suffer disproportionately. This pandemic is no different. It is our responsibility to prevent suffering, save lives and protect the health of every child. We must also ensure that risk-informed decisions on COVID-19 control measures are made based on the best available evidence in order to minimize and prevent any collateral damage, and to provide mitigation measures so the damage is not lasting.

“This starts with resisting the temptation, in times of potential global recession, to deprioritize investment in our future. Increased investments now in education, child protection, health and nutrition, and water and sanitation will help the world reduce the damage caused by this crisis and avoid future crises. The world will open up again, and when that happens, the resilience of the weakest health systems will be the gauge of how well we will do against future threats.

“Countries and communities around the world must work together to address this crisis. As we have learned painfully in the past two months, until there is a vaccine, coronavirus anywhere is a threat to people everywhere. We need to act now to strengthen health systems, as well as other child-focused social services, to keep track with global development priorities, in every country around the world.

“This week, UNICEF is launching our global agenda for action to protect the most vulnerable children from harm. The agenda has six pillars: 1) Keep children healthy and safe 2) Reach vulnerable children with water, sanitation and hygiene 3) Keep children learning 4) Support families to cover their needs and care for their children 5) Protect children from violence, exploitation and abuse and 6) Protect refugee and migrant children, and those affected by conflict.

"Without urgent action, this health crisis risks becoming a child rights crisis. Only by working together, can we keep millions of girls and boys healthy, safe and learning.

“In health, COVID-19 has the potential to overwhelm fragile health systems in low- and middle-income countries and undermine many of the gains made in child survival, health, nutrition and development over the last several decades. But too many national healthcare systems were already struggling. Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, 32 per cent of children worldwide with pneumonia symptoms were not being taken to a health provider. What will happen when COVID-19 hits in full force? We’re already seeing disruptions in immunization services, threatening outbreaks of diseases for which there already exists a vaccine, such as polio, measles and cholera. Many more newborns, children, young people and pregnant mothers could be lost to non-coronavirus related causes if national healthcare systems, already under great strain, become completely overwhelmed. Likewise, many nutrition programmes are disrupted or suspended, as are community programmes for the early detection and treatment of undernourished children. We need to act now to preserve and strengthen health and food systems in every country around the world.

“Likewise, protecting ourselves and others through proper handwashing and hygiene practices has never been more important. But for many children, basic water, sanitation and hygiene facilities remain out of reach. Globally, 40 per cent of the population, 3 billion people, still lack a basic handwashing facility with soap and water available at home – and this is as high as nearly three quarters of the population of the least developed countries. Let us ensure that every household, school, and health care facility has the means to a hygienic and healthy environment.

“In education, an entire generation of children have seen their education interrupted. Nationwide school closures have disrupted the education of more than 1.57 billion students – 91 per cent – worldwide. We know from previous shutdowns that schoolchildren, and especially girls, who are out of school for extended periods of time are much less likely to return when classrooms reopen. The closure of schools also eliminates access to school-based nutrition programmes, driving malnutrition rates upwards. An entire generation of students could suffer damage to their learning and potential. Redoubling our commitments to education, and our investments in it, has never been more urgent.

“The socio-economic impact of COVID-19 will be felt hardest by the world’s most vulnerable children. Many already live in poverty, and the consequences of COVID-19 response measures risk plunging them further into hardship. As millions of parents struggle to maintain their livelihoods and income, governments must scale up social protection measures – providing social safety nets and cash transfers, protecting jobs, working with employers to support working parents, and prioritizing policies that connect families to life-saving health care, nutrition and education.

“We know from previous health emergencies that children are at heightened risk of exploitation, violence and abuse when schools are closed, social services are interrupted, and movement is restricted. For example, school closures during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa from 2014 to 2016 resulted in spikes in child labor, neglect, sexual abuse and teenage pregnancies. And the most common form of violence children face takes place in the home. In a majority of countries, more than 2 in 3 children are subjected to violent discipline by caregivers. What happens when those children can’t leave home, cut off from teachers, friends, or protection services? And as millions of children turn to digital technology for a path to the outside world, how do we keep them safe from the risks and potential harmful consequences online? A social movement to stamp out violence and abuse of children, mirroring the movement to stamp out the violence experienced by women, is essential. The sooner it gets underway, the better our world will be.

“Children already living through humanitarian crises must also not be forgotten during the COVID-19 response. 2020 was already set to be a year with more people than ever before in need of humanitarian assistance, and the vulnerabilities of children in crisis-affected countries will persist and likely be further compounded by the consequences of this pandemic, exposing them to a double jeopardy. The Secretary-General has launched a Global Humanitarian Response Plan for COVID-19. It is up to the global community to come together in support of the most vulnerable children – those torn from their families and homes – to uphold their rights and protect them from the spread of the virus.

“Finally, defending children in the midst of this crisis means ensuring the availability and accessibility of life-saving supplies such as medicines, vaccines, sanitation and education supplies. The current COVID-19 outbreak is applying pressure on global manufacturer production and on logistics, and we are working with businesses on the production and procurement of essential commodities with fair distribution in mind. We want to support countries – particularly those with health systems under strain – to have equal access to supplies to fight COVID-19. We also need to make sure that travel restrictions, export bans and the current pressure on production capacity does not prevent us from sourcing and shipping essential supplies to support our interventions in health, education, and water and sanitation programmes, and in support of our humanitarian response.

“While we are currently focused during this lockdown period on the immediate concern of keeping ourselves and our loved ones healthy, we must also remember the millions of children who risk becoming the forgotten victims of this pandemic. What their world looks like tomorrow, and what their futures ultimately look like, is also our responsibility today.

Notes to editors:

UNICEF spokespeople are available for interviews related to aspects of the agenda:

'It takes a huge amount of stress off': Vancouver restaurant owner reacts to employee vaccine eligibility

The news that Vancouver Coastal Health had extended COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all hospitality and restaurant workers across the health authority came as a welcome announcement for Justin Tisdall.

The co-owner and operator of Juke Fried Chicken, Chickadee and Beetbox received the news in his email inbox on Thursday.

"I think the minute I got that email I forwarded everything to our staff contact list," he says. "[Being immunized isn't] mandatory for our team, but we're definitely telling people, 'We strongly suggest that you get the vaccine.'"

VCH announced May 6 that it would be expanding its vaccine rollout for priority front-line workers aged 18 or older through the Provincial Vaccination Program. Among those now designated as front-line and essential workers are "employees at identified at-risk businesses," educational staff working with students in Kindergarten through to Grade 12, first responders, child-care providers and grocery store workers, including those working in the restaurant industry.

Now, Tisdall says the majority of his approximately 35 employees across the trio of businesses have booked an appointment to receive their shots this week.

The team behind Juke Fried Chicken, Chickadee and Beetbox is largely comprised of 20- to 35-year-olds, Tisdall explains, meaning the employees who choose to receive a vaccine will be administered the shots weeks earlier than their non-front-line-worker counterparts. Currently, VCH's age-group-based vaccine rollout is inviting members of the general public aged 46 and up to book appointments.

The reaction from staff "was overwhelmingly positive," says Tisdall. "Everyone I spoke to personally seemed very into it."

It's a sentiment that Tisdall shares himself. "Mentally it takes a huge amount of stress off us, that's been wearing on us constantly for the past year and a half," he said. "It doesn't mean we take our foot off the gas at all&mdash we still practise all our safety measures&mdash but I just think it gives us another layer of protection that we haven't necessarily had in a high-contact industry."

He adds, "If restaurant workers are vaccinated and they open up dining rooms again, it just means that we can get a little bit closer to where normal was."

The partial protection that accompanies the vaccine's first dose is serving as a light at the end of the tunnel for B.C.'s restaurant industry, after enduring a series of pandemic-related challenges since last spring, from bans on indoor dining to being tasked with enforcing customers' mask-wearing.

While Juke, Chickadee and Beetbox have successfully evaded any major outbreaks, they did have one staff member test positive for COVID-19 last year, while on days off. Though health officials told the restaurants there was no need to shut down following the single case, "we decided to close for public safety, so we could make sure everyone on our staff was healthy, that we weren't transmitting anything. We thought it was the best decision for basically everybody," Tisdall recalls.

That said, one of the restaurateur and his business partners' main challenges throughout the last 14 months was ensuring their staff's safety "at all costs," says Tisdall. "That's our number one priority. Without staff, we can't service people."

Additionally, "Many of our staff live with their parents&mdashyou know, people have family members who are immunocompromised, so our big thing was just making sure we can make them as safe as possible."

With his own vaccine appointment just days away, he added, "I've got two kids under two-and-a-half at home, and being in close proximity with people on a daily basis, it just makes me feel more at ease."

Watch the video: Pennsylvania restaurant is banning kids under six (August 2022).