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For many, hearing the words “Super Bowl” conjures thoughts of fantastic football, fabulous food, fun with friends, and flamboyant commercials.  As for us Houstonians, hearing that “Super Bowl LI” is coming to our town may elicit these sentiments and some not so happy ones, like the thought of traffic at any hour given the growing construction!  Despite the numerous associations we make with this event, many of us would probably never link the Super Bowl to an issue like Human Trafficking. 

Whether or not a team you like will make it into the Super Bowl, there is an increased excitement surrounding the event, especially for us Houstonians. Many have been wondering if there’s an opportunity to cash in by renting a room in their home - or their entire home - to out-of-town fans here for the big game.

With 89.79 million viewers, a wardrobe malfunction, and a three-point game at the 2004 Houston Super Bowl XXXVIII, what will Houston Super Bowl LI bring us? Only a few days away and several games to watch before knowing our two opponents, the only thing we can be certain of is our safety and how we can prepare for one of the most anticipated weekends of the year.

Graffiti is from the Greek word to write; it’s what we call inscriptions or drawings that have been added illicitly on exterior walls or other surfaces within public view. It’s a practice that has existed for centuries, dating back to Ancient Greek and Egyptian times as well as the Roman Empire.... Here’s my problem – no matter what the reason, it’s illegal. And when graffiti touches public property with hateful speech, I have an even bigger problem with it. 

 

The existence of human trafficking in our world infuriates me to the point of action. I simply cannot sit still while there are people in slavery. This lucrative, criminal business is underground, so statistics are hard to capture; however, it is believed to be a $150 billion industry with 21 million victims worldwide. Every human trafficking situation looks different, which is why it is important to keep a sharp eye and open mind in order to dig deeper.

We take efforts to physically keep our homes and businesses safe. But what about the information that is accessible through the technology that runs our lives? I’m talking about cyber security as it pertains to your own home.

Data from 2014 shows that over 110 million Americans (an estimated half of all American adults) were hacked at some point during that year. In total, this included roughly 432 million accounts of various natures.

There’s a resolution for everything but there’s one I didn’t see and one I’d like you to think of: to be more safety minded. Of all the possible resolutions, this is one I hope you and your family will consider. 

Growing up, I loved Christmas – everything about it. The excitement of waking up early, rushing downstairs to see if Santa had arrived, running back upstairs to wake my parents and older sister and on and on. Opening gifts was fun but for some reason, the piece-de-resistance was the stockings. They were jam packed with candy and lipsticks and any and every other impulse buy that caught Santa’s eye . . .  and I loved it all.

As a parent, I still cherish those stockings. They seem like a bag of love that is wonderful to fill. But because we love our kids – no matter how old or young – let’s add a little “public safety” with these safety-minded stocking stuffers:

 

She should be making headlines for her incredible beauty but instead, Brandy Vela is gaining notoriety for being one of the thousands of teens driven to suicide due to cyberbullying.

All we do is read about criminal activity in Houston and the surrounding areas and study how to stop it. Case after case pours in . . . each is tragic but some hit you harder than others. That was the case this past week when we learned about the horrifying home invasion in the Del Monte area.