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City Hallways (Jan. 19) Meditation the new Lord's Prayer?

Meditate on this

A  Buffalo woman with a strong faith in God attended a recent council session suggesting that prayer be returned to the city's public schools.  Council members, as well as a  Buffalo school official attending the meeting, immediately  recognized the request as unconstitutional,  but seemed to understand the woman's sentiment that students struggling in school could benefit from a moment of reflection. If not  prayer, even a moment  of silence, she said.  Still dicey for the school to mandate, although individual students have the right to pray in school on their own, it was pointed out.

Then came another idea. Meditation. It's been a big success in San Francisco public schools, the speaker said.

When I got back to my office,  I Googled: "meditation and schools and San Francisco."

I found lots, including this: "Twice daily, a gong sounds in the classroom and rowdy adolescents, who normally can't sit still for 10 seconds, shut their eyes and try to clear their minds," wrote one San Francisco  publication, which went on to say "Students in the program report significantly less stress and depression, and greater self-esteem, than nonparticipants. . . . Grades rose dramatically, compared with those who weren't in the program."


Last week's Poll results:

Given the  Common Council's seemingly increasing interest in Buffalo schools,  City Hallways last week asked you, City Hallways readers, to vote on this question:

"Should the Common Council get more involved with city schools?"

When the polling closed, the vote was literally split down the middle with 46 percent voting yes; 46 percent voting  no, and 8 percent uncertain.

City Hallways also asked:  "Should the city raise taxes to  provide more money to city schools?"

The answer was a resounding NO, with 66 percent voting no; 26 percent yes, and 8  percent uncertain.

Quick  note: This is far from a scientific poll. Sixty three people voted on the  fist  question, and  65 on the  second. But it is  an interesting glimpse  of  what  City Hallways readers are thinking. I'm hoping more will participate in the  next City Hallways poll, which will be posted the first week of February.

Code Green

Here's upcoming meetings scheduled to give residents a chance to learn more about the city's proposed Green Code:

Niagara District - Elmwood focused:  6 p.m. Jan. 20 (tomorrow, Wednesday) at Richmond-Summer Center, 335 Summer St.

Niagara District - Niagara St. focused:  6 p.m. Jan.27, Rich Products, 1 Robert Rich Way.

Ellicott District - Downtown focus:  5:30 p.m. Jan. 25, Buffalo Place, 671 Main St.

Delaware District: 6 p.m. Jan. 28, North Buffalo Community Center, 203 Sanders Road

Fillmore District - focus  on Old First Ward, Larkinville, the Valley and Buffalo River Community:  6 p.m.  Feb. 2, Old First Ward Community Center, 62 Republic St..

Fillmore District - focus  on Broadway/Fillmore, Genesee/Moselle, Clinton/Bailey and  Seneca/Babcock  neighborhoods: 6 p.m. Feb.  4, Lt.  Matt Urban Center, 1081 Broadway.

Fillmore District - focus  on Allentown,  Lower West  Side  and downtown section of Waterfront: 6 p.m. Feb. 9, Allendale Theater, 203 Allen St.

Masten District: 8:30 a.m. Feb. 13, Delavan-Grider Community Center, 877 E. Delavan Ave. as part  of Masten District Stakeholders breakfast meeting.

Today's Events Calendar
Common Council meets this afternoon

In today's Buffalo News and buffalonews.com, I have latest story on the ongoing Joe  Mascia saga

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