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Jamie Butow, Californian community engagement coordinator.

I'm back from vacation, where I decompressed and disconnected, and am now ready to roll. I'm a big proponent of getting out of town for a change of scenery every so often.

For this particular vacation I was lucky enough to escape to Silver Lake where we camped, rode horses, hiked and participated in my cousin's wedding.

I recharged my batteries, and it wasn't a moment too soon. School started this week and my fourth grader is off and running. So am I, by default.

Fourth grade brings about a new rule in our house: No iPad or video games Monday through Thursday. Period. No exceptions. Even if your homework is done.

Mean Mom? Maybe. But he won't die. I'm almost sure of that.

Why the hard line on gaming, you ask?

Last spring the school district hosted a very informative meeting for the parents of students going into fourth grade and I was floored at all the changes. I knew it was a longer school day, but also learned that there is specific science and social science curriculum this year. There is more time dedicated to music education, a state test where they have to handwrite an essay, and participation in district sports, the science fair and oral language fair.

Homework will no longer come home as a weekly packet; it will be daily from multiple subjects and the student is responsible for writing down the assignments each day. This is a huge jump in responsibility for kids and I'm crossing my fingers my son is on the ball.

All this plus nightly reading, chores, baseball and anything needed for Cub Scouts. Since we don't get home until 5 p.m. and I'm over arguing about his homework being done right the first time and chores being done throughly, I decided to remove iPad and video games from the equation.

If it isn't an option, there will be no temptation to rush through work to play Minecraft. He can read a book, play outside, or clean something. The television never comes on in our house until 30 minutes before bed, if at all.

I'm optimistic this will bring a new level of harmony to life. I hope.

Popular on Facebook

The demolition of the PG&E power plant was incredibly popular on Facebook, showing just how social big news is in a community.

The most popular post from that incident was the Aug. 3 photo of the implosion. It netted 242 likes, 69 comments and 73 shares, for a total of 9,832 people reached.

Equally impressive is last Friday's post on school bus safety garnering 58 likes, six comments, 75 shares, and 5,320 people reached.

Close behind that is Thursday's post linking to the article on bus service to LAX being canceled at the end of the month with 37 likes,70 comments, 29 shares, and 5,288 people reached.

This data gives us good insight about what the community's interests.

Roadrunner Rundown

The athletics department at Cal State Bakersfield is preparing for the upcoming year, and has incorporated the all-new Roadrunner Rundown into the schedule.

Much like our own BVarsity Live (which will begin again Aug. 29), Roadrunner Rundown streams live each week.

Corey Costello, CSUB athletics director of new media and broadcasting, hosts each week with his guests. This week he'll have head volleyball coach Jolene Shepardson and Athletics Director Jeff Konya in studio.

He'll also have an interview with Utah Jazz Head Coach Tyrone Corbin who's son, Tyrell, will be playing basketball for the 'Runners this season.

Roadrunner Rundown is at 10 a.m. each Tuesday on You can find archived shows on

BWell Live

If you're interested in local health issues, be sure to check out our new online show, "BWell Live with Lisa Krch."

The hour-long program expands on our popular BWell Magazine, taking a deeper look at local health and fitness issues.

This week's topics include the air alert that was issued for this week and what it means for kids heading back to school.

BWell Live is at 10 a.m. each Wednesday on You can find archived shows at

Jamie Butow is the community engagement coordinator for The Network. Email her at Follow her at, and on Twitter@JamieButow.