From the Publisher: Team Levine by Mike Waid

TEAMLEVINE_IMAGE2_WEBMany years ago, I had the honor of meeting a pretty cool young man. My family had gone to see a local performance of The Nutcracker during Christmas time and we saw this amazing, energetic and very talented boy named Dalton dance in the performance. Amidst a sea of adorable little girls, what seemed like thousands of them, Dalton beamed with joy as he gave his heart and soul to the performance.

As the years have gone by, I’ve watched Dalton grow from a cute blonde boy to a very accomplished and talented young man. He attended the same middle school as my oldest son and I would see him in the mornings during drop off. I also seemed to always run into his mom at King Soopers while grocery shopping on Sundays.

On September 15, Dalton’s world changed—and so did the world of all of us who know him. He and his family received the news that he has cancer and would need to undergo aggressive treatment immediately. For any of us, this information would’ve torn down any shred of strength we have, but not Dalton. While the news was surely emotional, he has taken this head on and is fighting this dreadful situation. His strength, faith, and love have helped him make it through two rounds of chemo and, at the writing of this, is preparing for his third. His determination to beat his cancer is inspiring and his strength is quite moving.

Today, I am asking each of you to please do me (and Dalton) a huge favor. This week, please skip your daily Starbucks or don’t hit the fast food drive through on the way home one day. Instead, please take that $5 or $10 you would have spent, or any amount you choose, and help Dalton’s family with the massive medical bills they are facing. Point your web browser to www.gofundme.com/TeamLevine and help them. Please also share this story on your social media or anywhere you choose and use the hashtag #teamlevine.

Together we can show an outpouring of love and support that will touch the heart of this amazing young man… who has touched the hearts of so many.

Thank you,

Mike

Clinical Pilates for Your Low Back Pain

CLINICALPILATES_WEBApproximately 85% of the US population will experience acute low back pain lasting 2-4 weeks. Let’s face it, we sit too much and move too little, which can contribute to weakness, stiffness and low back pain. If you are one of these people, you know the difficulties that accompany low back pain. Many people get better after 2-4 weeks, however, the pain may last weeks, months and years longer. If you are one of the few that are experiencing chronic low back pain, you may benefit from clinical Pilates.

Clinical Pilates is an approach that combines the benefits of Physical Therapy and Pilates- based exercises to turn on the deepest core muscles that are slow to rebound after an episode of acute low back pain. Instead of returning to normal looking and functioning spinal muscles they lose strength, reduce in size, and turn into fatty tissues. Fatty tissues do not provide the strength and stability to the bones in the back. Instead, the loss of ‘normal stiffness’ and strength of the spine allows unwanted, extra movements, causing wear and tear on the sensitive tissues of the bones, ligaments, joints, muscles and nerves in the back causing back pain. The back pain may eventually disappear, but the muscles haven’t regained their strength, size, stamina and stability without the proper deep core training.

Pilates works to strengthen the deepest core muscles of the abdominals and spinal muscles, returning the fatty, dysfunctional muscles to strong, resilient and stabilizing structures. When these muscles remain weak, you are more susceptible to reinjuring your back, or another body part, due to changes and adaptations as a result of the normal healing process. These movement adaptations are subtle and create compensations in how you move and your ability to properly access your deep core muscles. The subtle movement changes lead to tight, weak and deconditioned tissues setting you up for other injuries. Pilates helps identify the weak, tight and deconditioned tissues leaving you with a stronger, more flexible and balanced body.

Before beginning a Pilates program for back pain, check with your doctor or physical therapist. Once you are cleared to begin exercising, it’s always a good idea to work with an instructor who specializes in back pain. Some exercises may not be appropriate for your back based on your diagnosis, what movements alleviate and what movements aggravate your pain. For example, back pain due to a bulging disc may be made worse by sitting and forward leaning positions. For this reason, it is important that people who are experiencing back pain, are carefully assessed by a healthcare professional before starting a Pilates for back pain program.

Are you ready to reduce the wear and tear on your spine and create a stronger, more flexible and balanced body? Try Clinical Pilates…it does a body good!!

Dr. Rebecca Hoeck is a Physical Therapist and Certified Pilates Instructor. She is the owner and clinical director of Intelligent Motion Therapy, LLC. For more information, she can be reached online at www.intelligentmotiontherapy.com or at 303.808.9807

Girls Like That

GIRLSLIKETHAT_IMAGE2_WEBGirls Like That, by Evan Placey, will be the first 2014/2015 offering for the Legend High School Theatre Arts Department. The US Premiere opens Thursday, November 6th, and runs through Saturday, November 8th, at 7 pm in the school theatre. Tickets are $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for students. Tickets are available at seatyourself.biz/legendtitans or may be purchased at the door.

This modern new play explores the pressures that teenage girls face and particularly focuses on the issues surrounding technology and social media. When a naked picture of a teenage girl named Scarlett goes viral, she becomes the center of attention. Scarlett finds herself the victim of verbal and physical bullying from her classmates yet throughout the play she continues to remain silent.

Despite it’s exploration into the dark side of the life of the teenager, this play leaves us with the message that “girls need to stick together.” Senior Jake Taylor who plays one of the boys in the show says GIRLS LIKE THAT is “such a relevant show in our modern world, and it deals with things that all of us can relate to in some way.”   This show has changed our lives, and we can’t wait to see the positive, thought-provoking affect it will have on our audiences in Parker, Colorado.

The show has a cast of 30 people and a crew of over 70, and we have truly become a family. The Legend Theatre is a “home away from home,” as described by Senior Shannon Cooper. Senior Hallie Denman adds that, “we all get along really well which makes it easy to work together and build off of each other.”  The cast and crew are super excited to be a part the first performance of GIRLS LIKE THAT in the United States.

The production is under the direction of director Julie Lachance, who is assisted by students Will Engel, Hunter Johnston, and Michael Mathey. The set design, props, and all technical elements have been designed and created by students at Legend High School, under the direction of our new technical director, Ms. Bennie Palko. This production includes the advanced use of visual projections, which is a new technology for Legend Theatre. Come see this ground-breaking piece of theatre!

This play is not recommended for audiences under 13. For more information, contact Julie Lachance at 303-387-4500 or julie.lachance@dcsdk12.org.

Bookends: China Dolls—A Novel by Lisa See

1114BOOKENDS_WEBGrace, Helen, and Ruby meet in a nightclub in San Francisco in 1938. Helen was born in China, but lives with her family in San Francisco, in a giant compound with her parents and 7 brothers along with their wives and children. Ruby comes to Chinatown hoping to become a star, after leaving her family in Hawaii. Grace, leaves her family in Plain City, Ohio to find her dreams as a dancer in Chinatown.This is a time of great turmoil for all three girls, as well as the entire nation. They become fast friends, although all come from very different backgrounds and must protect their own secrets.

PAM: I have read many books by this author and was excited to see this book released. As with Lisa See’s other books, this one captured me from the very beginning. Becky, did you find yourself engaged with the characters from the beginning?

B: I enjoyed these characters but found it a little difficult to separate the three stories at the beginning. As the story progressed that faded and I enjoyed this tale. It was an interesting time in the entertainment world and I didn’t know much about the increase of Asian entertainment in the 1930’3 and 40’s. Have you previously heard about this type of nightclub?

PAM: I had not heard about this type of nightclub before reading this book. It was very interesting to look into the different characters, their backgrounds, and how they were brought together at the nightclub. As we got to know each of the characters, we saw that they came from very different family cultures. Was there a character that you felt most connected?

Becky: Each chapter is told through the eyes of one of the three girls. Although they are all represented in this style of writing, I felt like Grace told a larger portion of the story. In addition, she tells the first and the last chapter of the book so I feel like I know her better, and therefore connected more to her story than the other two. This book covers a span of time from 1938 to 1988. Did the author keep you engaged in the story as we traverse through a majority of their adult lives?

PAM: I did feel engaged throughout the time span. Many things changed during this time and they all had to adjust in their own ways. I was saddened by some of the choices they made and what it meant for the others and their friendships. Did you feel these were “necessary” choices that were required due to the circumstances?

Becky: Without giving too much away I think that the story was told in a realistic way. The choices were often fueled by selfishness rather than a commitment to their friendship so I would have to say that it may not have been necessary but it was believable. We have three young girls that come from different backgrounds and are trying to make their way in a challenging industry, during a difficult time in history. Did you feel like the author was able to reflect all of these aspects during this story or did she bite off more than she could chew?

PAM: I felt that the author was able to paint a good picture by using the three different stories. This allowed her to show three different perspectives with the varied experiences of the girls. I think she was especially able to capture the discrimination that these families faced during this time. In one part of the story, Ruby danced at the world fair in San Francisco. This was part of a daring show that takes place during the fair. Had you read about this type of show before?

Becky: The author provides a good description of the fair and it’s much larger than what I had envisioned prior to reading this book. I also thought that it was primarily entertainment for families, but there is another side that appeals to a more mature audience. Ruby was desperate for work and this risque dance hall not only pays the bills but gives her an opportunity to create a new future as Princess Tai, “straight from China”. Her new act, and fame, promotes her to a high class dancehall. The girls at this point have had a rocky time and are not close. Ruby offers Grace a demeaning job and desperate for an income she takes it. Do you think that Ruby was intentionally hateful to offer this position to her “friend” or was she providing a means of income as a favor to Grace?

PAM: I think Ruby was considering both aspects. I think she did care about Grace, but also wanted to humiliate her because of issues in the past. The girls all had love/hate relationships with each other and this drove many of the decisions they made during this time. I think they did truly love each other deeply, but were unable to completely overcome some of the things that were said and done during their lives together. Becky, did you enjoy this book? Will you seek out another book by Lisa See?

Becky: This book was a pleasure and I enjoy her writing so I would definitely consider this author again. I hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and join us next month as we get ready for the holiday season while reading, The Christmas Shoes by Donna VanLiere.

Local Author Spotlight: And Life Comes Back—A wife’s Story of Love, Loss, and Hope Reclaimed by Tricia Lott Williford

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When your life falls apart—through a death, a lost relationship, a diagnosis—you want more than anything to know that your pain has a purpose. And that beyond your pain, a new day awaits.

Tricia Lott Williford discovered this in a few tragic hours when her thirty-five-year-old husband died unexpectedly. In And Life Comes Back, she writes with soaring prose about her tender, brave journey as a widow with two young boys in the agonizing days and months that followed his death.

And Life Comes Back documents the tenacity of love, the exquisite transience of each moment, and the laughter that comes even in loss. This traveler’s guide to finding new life after setbacks offers no easy answers or glib spiritual maxims, but instead draws you into your own story and the hope that waits for you even now.

Parker’s Restaurant Review: Junz

RESTREVIEW_JUNO_WEBThe restaurant scene in Parker has changed quite a bit in the 15 years I’ve lived here. I remember back when my family and I first moved to Parker the choices were quite limited. As a non-food-coinsure that simply loves food, variety is key. Back in 2003, a great new restaurant opened in Parker and fulfilled the need for something different…something unique…something delicious.

Eleven years ago Junz Restaurant opened off of Dransfeldt. A unique combination of Japanese and French cuisine masterfully prepared by Chef Jun Makino made Junz known throughout the metro area. Over the years I have had the pleasure of enjoying their fare for both lunch and dinner during business meetings and family nights out.

During my most recent lunch visit, I decided to try the Beef Teriyaki. The deep smoky flavor of the rib-eye was prepared to perfection and had a nice compliment of teriyaki marinade…not too much, not too little. The accompanied vegetables were just as flavorful with a great crisp and clean taste. My lunch guest chose the Pan Seared Salmon and was very impressed with how the sauce was not overpowering while maintaining a great salmon flavor. Lunch was amazing and it was a great environment to meet a friend. However, my favorite time for Junz is dinner.

My wife and I decided on a date night at Junz and were not disappointed. Since I am a sucker for a good teriyaki sauce I enjoyed the Chicken Teriyaki while my wife ordered a variety of Sushi. I am a bit picky on where I will order chicken as it is normally not my first choice. However, Junz preparation is exemplary and the tastes are amazing. Again, the vegetables married very well with the entre. My wife very much enjoyed her sushi and made several comments on how fresh and well prepared it was. She also noted that wasabi was truly amazing and fresh.

If you have not yet had the opportunity to dine at Junz or if it has been years since you’ve stopped by, make sure and pencil them in on your to-do list. With a great central location and ultra fresh ingredients you will be happy you did.

Junz is located at 11211 S. Dransfeld Rd. They are open for lunch 11:30am – 2:30pm daily. For dinner, they are open Sunday through Thursday 5pm – 9pm and 5pm – 9:30pm on Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit them online at JunzRestaurant.com.