A driving force for anxiety

HomenewsHeadlinesMountain Iron man injured in motorcycle crashPoll: One in five Republicans want Trump to drop outFlorida police officer kills woman during training exercisePressroom Podcast: Imagine Duluth in 2035DFL voters pick candidates for two open seats in NorthlandsportsHeadlinesOlympics: Drop in alkalinity to blame for green poolWednesday Night at the Races cancelled tonightRio: Medal count after Day 4Phelps claims 21st Olympic gold medalUS women soar to golden repeat in gymnasticsfeaturesHeadlinesAn ice bowl can save the day when it too hot to cookSausage days of summerTIDBITS: Three new Oreos to choose from’Everyday Baker’ offers tasty tipsParty hardy with authentic Brazilian fare for the OlympicsopinionHeadlinesReader view: The country needs to get its act togetherReader view: Windstorm power outage pointed out need for backupIn Memoriam: Jack Rajala’s generosity and passion for forest restoration will be missedOur view: Rally for the balletReader view: Negative attitude tainted KISS reviewoutdoorsHeadlinesWisconsin sets cisco quota for Lake SuperiorWalleye quota reached on Mille Lacs, but catch and release season will stay openLate Summer Nice Fish Gallery 2016MN DNR Weekly Report for Aug. 8, 2016Minnesota high school clay target state championship drew 7,000 shooterscommunityHeadlinesHoroscopes for Aug. 10Horoscopes for Aug. 9Pets of the Week for Aug. 9Horoscopes for Aug. 8YourSports for Aug. 7, 2016My older daughter recently survived the most dangerous year of her life so far.

She turned 17 and she’s still alive after a year of driving.

As a reporter, lots of news releases crowd my e mail inbox.cheap jerseys When the first of my two daughters became old enough for a driver’s permit, I started paying particular attention to the ones having to do with teens and driving.

Sixteen year olds have crash rates that are three times higher than 17 year olds and five times higher than 18 year olds, according to Allstate Insurance Co.

Teens also face a higher than normal risk of dying in those crashes in their first year of driving. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety cites driver inexperience, distractions, nighttime driving, speeding and not using seat belts as the causes.

I’m the worrier in our family and my heart clutched whenever I read about teenage driving deaths or when friends told tales about their own teens’ fender benders. I wanted to make sure my daughter was well prepared for the perils of the road, so my husband and I gave her plenty of driving practice with us when she had her permit.

After she turned 16 and passed her driver’s license test, she begged to take my car out for a drive on her own. I swallowed my fear and handed her the keys.

I had read that it’s good to set limits on new drivers, so I told her she could have only one passenger and I limited her night driving. Now Minnesota law sets those limits.

The car she drives is as safe as they come it’s her grandpa’s big, old Buick that has air bags, antilock brakes and traction control. Still, in the first few months of her driving on her own, I worried until she was home safe.

One day last August the call came: “Mom, I had an accident,” she said in a shaky voice. While she was stopped in traffic on a rainy day, someone skidded into the rear end of her car. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

The older my kids get, the more I’m struck by how much they teach me. When your children are babies, one of your main jobs along with showing them lots of love is to keep them safe.

A Dream Come True

NIAGARA FALLS, NY Millions of tourists visit Niagara Falls every year.

The two young ladies traveled from different parts of the country to view the world famous cataracts, which is not unusual, as the Falls draws visitors from around the world.

Not unusual as well, was their reaction when they caught their first glimpse of them from Niagara Falls State Park.

pretty cool! exclaimed Katelyn Ferman, 15, of Wisconsin.

words can convey my feelings right now, said Shana Kassel, 29, a native of California now living in Arkansas. magnificent speechless, honestly,” she said.


What made the visit all the more special was that, while this was their first time seeing the Falls, it also may be the last time they ever see them in their lives least in the sense that most of us do.

Both Ferman and Kassel have degenerative, and unfortunately as of now, incurable visual impairments. And it is likely that at some point, perhaps in the not so distant future, they will lose their sight entirely.

That why they were brought to Niagara Falls by the New Jersey based Visual Experience Foundation (VEF).

With a mission somewhat similar to organizations which grant wishes to gravely ill children, the foundation grants opportunities for those who are faced with the possibility of soon not being able to see at all, a chance to see something they always wanted to.

And while they could have requested to see a variety of other places, Ferman and Kassel had Niagara Falls at the top of their list.

always wanted to come here and it just amazing, Kassel told WGRZ TV.


When contacted by the foundation, The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation saw fit to roll out the red carpet, according to VEF founder and Executive Director Michael Benson.

just feel totally welcome. They have been such a blessing, helping us plan, and they arranged for everything in the park to be provided (free) for the girls to experience here, Benson said.

have people losing their sight who want to see what we have in our back yard, said park spokesperson Angela P. Berti.

However, Berti also worked her contacts among other attractions outside the park, including Rainbow Helicopters, the Maid of the Mist, and the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corporation, in order to arrange for additional sightseeing opportunities for the VEF visitors.

part of why we exist at state parks, to help people like Michael and the girls, Berti said.


There is a very important purpose to the trips sponsored by VEF beyond sightseeing, according to Benson.

It involves a means of creating a lasting vision for participants, when they arrive at their dream destination.

shut out eyes, and we take about two minutes and to bring up all their other senses, explained Benson.

focus on experiencing the wind and the sun smells sounds of children laughing, or a bird, and of course here, the mist on our faces.https://www.cheapjerseysgty4.top Then we open our eyes and we say the words: it this fashion, participants, according to Benson, are able to (by replaying this in their minds) amazing memories beyond having physical sight, if indeed they lose their vision before technology can save it.”

Of Niagara Falls in particular, Benson noted that it is an amazing place to burn a visual memory. LASTING IMPRESSION:

one day they find a cure, said Kassel, regarding the Retinitis Pigmentosa and Cystoid Macular Edema which struck her ten years ago, and which now threatens to completely take her sight away.

But even if they never do, as long as water flows over the Falls, she will have a lifetime of memories “burned” a vision of moments frozen in time.

because I losing my sight doesn mean I have no vision, said Kassel. all of my other senses, I building a vision for life and for moving forward. this fashion, Kassel and Ferman will always be able to see Niagara Falls.

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