Archive | April 2012

Have you ever been bullied?


I would like to hear your story. You might play a role in a movement that is going to change the world.

 Chances are, if you are over the age of thirty, only one in twenty of you had that misfortune. However, if you are a student today, most of you have experienced some form of bullying at one time in your life. You might be suffering right now.

 I have been a strong advocate for anti-bullying for years. Part of my passion may stem from my own experiences, as the target of a ruthless bully. The other part is my strong sense of wrong and right. The fact is that no one has the right to abuse another human being- or any living creature, for that matter!

 I had been planning to consult with the experts and put together a training program. The first will be for teachers, then one for parents and another for the students. These sessions will teach them how to recognize bullying behavior, the different types of bullying, the steps to take when they encounter this behavior, and resources they can call upon for help.

 I knew that bullying was running rampantIn factI wrote a short handbook, ‘The Bullying Epidemic-the guide to arm you for the fight’ last year. I offer it free of charge on Amazon. However, it was only recently that I learned that, like an infectious disease, bullying has spread beyond the students. The people that we thought were protecting our children are becoming the perpetrators.

 It was revealed in the heartbreaking story of Aiken, the ten year old, autistic boy who was tormented by his teacher and teacher’s aideSuspecting that something was wrong, his frustrated father, Stuart Chaifetz, put a wire on Akian. He recorded the staff in Akian’s class at Horace Mann Elementary School in Cherry Hill, NJ. They were calling the child “a bastard,” talking about vomiting that morning due to a hangover, and apparently teasing the autistic child to the point where he had a “half-hour meltdown.”

 This is horrendous! It is unthinkable. However, it gets worse. Mr. Chaifetz said he has discovered that the teacher of his son’s class, Kelly Altenburg, was moved to another school and not fired, while a teacher’s union official told Wednesday that Altenburg “basically was exonerated.”

Mr. Chaifetz now has a website and a petition.

 It is unbearable to think that this is anything more than an isolated incident. Surely, the teachers are keeping an eye on things. If a teacher saw a child suffering at the hands of a bully, they would step in, right?

 The sickening reality came to light last night. I was at my nephew’s birthday party. He just turned ten. There were about a dozen kids in attendance- ranging in age from five to 16. I brought up the topic of bullying and could not believe the overwhelming response. I asked them if they had heard the horrible story about the ten-year-old autistic boy who had been bullied by his teacher and aids. They all had a story. Most of them had experienced bullying at some point. One of them denied it, but later, his mother took me to the side and asked if he had shared…Apparently, he too, was a victim of bullying, but was reluctant to admit it.

 What chilled me to the bone was the common thread they all shared. They all agreed that their teachers ignore bullying behavior. None of these children believed that they would get help from a teacher.

 This is an emergency,  people!

 Education is the key!  Everyone needs to be educated. The teacher, the parents, and the students all need training. I am going to film a documentary. I am reaching out.  I need help from mental health professionals, religious leaders, students, teachers, parents, and anyone who wants to be part of the solution.

 We are on the ground floor of something that is going to grow tall and change the world. Are you up for the challenge?

 You can contact me directly at anirishpatel (at) gmail (dot) com


Monterey County- an experience of a lifetime!

ImageMonterey County is legendary for its breathtaking views and incredible wildlife.  The way that weather, earth, and ocean combine together make it a dream come true for nature lovers or anyone who just wants to slip away into the area’s quixotic charms. There’s more to the county than one might think at first glance. Sure, the cool ocean breezes, evening fog, and moderate temperatures are all staples of the area, but to view the region as all following the same weather pattern would be far too simplistic. Diverse soil types, varying amounts of wind and fog, as well as generally increasing summertime highs from north to south, mean the appellation has the ability to produce a wide variety of wines.

Commercial wineries have flourished in Monterey beginning in the 1960’s The Grand Blue Canyon, as Monterey Bay is know in wine circles, has a great influence over the viticulture of the region, which covers a great area, stretching from the edge of San Luis Obispo to the top of Paso Robles. In between, there is a great amount of variety, and those who grow grapes, have taken full advantage of it. There are currently 42 different varietals being grown within the nine different American Viticulture Area (AVAs) of Monterey County. Each AVA has its own unique set of growing conditions that contribute to the county’s Thermal Rainbow. In the north, it’s generally cooler and more heavily influenced by the bay. Down south, closer to Paso Robles, the temperatures are generally warmer, with the bay’s influence coming in the form of afternoon breezes. We’d like to share the “personality” of each AVA so anyone unfamiliar with the region can start to understand just what a one-of-a kind place Monterey County is and just how many different wines there are to try when you travel along the Thermal Rainbow

Over time, certain areas of Monterey County have been found to have their own distinct characteristics. Within Monterey County, there are now eight smaller AVAs (American Viticultural Areas), each one with its own unique identity, giving visitors a chance to compare and contrast the types of wine each produces.

Today, approximately 85 vintners and growers are established throughout Monterey County, between them growing over 40,000 acres of wine grapes.

Link to wine map:


The Blue Grand Canyon

  • One of the world’s deepest marine canyons
  • Only marine canyon that directly impacts a major wine growing region
  • Deep, cold waters influence weather throughout Monterey County

Hidden beneath the surface of the Monterey Bay is an enormous submarine canyon that is sixty miles long and two miles deep. The largest and deepest on the West Coast, this canyon is also unique in its close proximity to the shoreline. Comparable in size and depth to its more visible counterpart in Arizona, this Monterey geologic wonder has been nicknamed the “Blue Grand Canyon™.

From jellyfish and sea otters to oak trees and grapes, everything in Monterey County is directly influenced by the Bay and Canyon. The wines of the Blue Grand Canyon are no exception.

Formed two million years ago, the Blue Grand Canyon’s influence is felt from the coastline at Del Monte Beach to inland San Antonio Valley. The wines of the Blue Grand Canyon deliciously express their birthplace – their style and structure are a reflection of their vineyards’ “sense of place” in relation to this unique meeting of land and sea.

Eight Primary Soil Types

  • Over eighty percent of the vineyards are comprised of eight, optimal soil types
  • Soils: Oceano Loamy Sand, Lockwood Shaly Loam, Chualar Loam, Garey Sandy Loam, Arroyo Seco Gravelly Sandy Loam, Rincon Clay Loam and Placentia Sandy Loam
  • Alluvial, porous, granite and limestone rich-perfect for grapevines

Thermal Rainbow

  • Forty degree temperature variance, north to south, on a summer day
  • Ocean air/winds act as an “air conditioning system”, mitigating temperatures and extending growing season
  • Dictates the proper varietal planting choices for each sub-appellation

The Thermal Rainbow gives a succinct, visual representation of the Blue Grand Canyon’s™ influence on the temperatures and subsequent varietal selection throughout Monterey Wine Country. The coolest districts are to the north, closest to the ocean and the warmest areas are to the south of the county, furthest from the ocean.

This is an experience not to be missed!