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Rising Oil Prices Choke Economic Recovery

In Business, Economy, Opinion, Uncategorized on February 28, 2012 at 8:42 am

Gery L. Deer, Deer In Headlines

In July of 2008, gas prices hit an average all time high in theUnited Statesof $4.11 per gallon. By November of that year, however, the price of regular unleaded fuel fell to $1.79 per gallon. According to the auto club AAA, as of Tuesday, February 28, the average price of gas inAmericahit $3.71 and is still rising.

According to government officials, including statements made by President Obama, there is no one reason why fuel prices take us on this sickening roller coaster ride. And, though political candidates promise to change things, there is no clear way to lower fuel costs or prevent their upswing because there are too many variables causing the problem.

Some blame speculation in the market, when certain investors make a profit from the rise in prices of various commodities, like oil and grain. Politicians will lay the responsibility on their opponents or some middle-eastern government bent on crippling the Western World. Still others will blame the oil companies for the sticker shock.

Often an accident or shut down in a refinery is blamed for a price jump at your local gas station, but it ends up being more of an easy excuse for price gauging. Oil companies have so much fuel already produced and either in transport or storage it would actually take months for any change in their revenue to be felt so sharply as to require a price change at the consumer level. Oil companies will use any excuse to raise prices and enhance profits.

People have repeatedly asked the government to step in but not much is happening to that effect. Congressional power players, worried about donations to their next campaign, are unlikely to create any legislation that would anger the oil companies.

Oil and gas executives spend millions of dollars every year donating to the campaigns of friendly congressional candidates on both sides of the aisle – yes, Democrats take oil money too. Add to that the idea that members of congress get reimbursed for fuel and travel costs – by us – so it’s unlikely that any fluctuation at the gas pumps would even be on their radar.

Whatever the reason and however unwilling our government officials to act, we still have to get where we are going. And for most, ditching the minivan in favor of some over-priced, underpowered hybrid or electric car is simply not an option. So what do you do?

My best advice is to take some personal responsibility and try to drive smarter. Basic fuel conservation tips still apply today: don’t let the car idle any more than necessary, drive at the speed limit, try to consolidate your driving into round trips rather than short hops and keep an eye out for the best possible gas prices. In short, a little common sense can go a long way to stretching your gas-buying dollar. Also, if you have the option, leave the SUV or other large vehicle at home.

At a time when Americans are struggling to get a leg up after years of recession and record-breaking unemployment, the pain at the pumps is going to be felt in many more places than the gas tank. Gasoline, jet fuel and diesel are required in the production and shipping of every consumer product from toilet paper to a gallon of milk, so when oil prices rise, so does everything else.

Unfortunately, household incomes are not adjusted to this type of inflation. Families already struggling to make ends meet are pinched even harder and those out of work will have a tougher time getting to job interviews, all because of rising fuel costs. So, the economy remains depressed and any growth touted by the government is even more unrealistic than ever. What happened to that hope and change we were promised?

 

 

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Grand Ole Opry-Styled Variety Show at Jamestown Opera House March 10

In Entertainment, Local News, Media, Senior Lifestyle, Uncategorized on February 21, 2012 at 3:12 pm

The Brothers & Co. Variety Show on stage at the Jamestown Opera House March 10

The Brothers & Co. Entertainers take the stage in a 2-hour, music and comedy show for the whole family.

JAMESTOWN, OH – The nostalgic music and side-splitting comedy of The Brothers & Co. Entertainers Variety Show returns to the historic stage of the Jamestown Opera House beginning at 7:00PM, Saturday March 10. Tickets are $10 per person and proceeds benefit the Jamestown Opera House renovation effort.

Reminiscent of the Grand Ole Opry, Hee Haw and other stage and television variety shows of the 1970’s, the two-hour performance features classic country and oldies performed in a unique, four-part style and perfectly blended with family-oriented, interactive variety and comedy routines for all ages.

Nicknamed, “The Boys in Black,” by their fans, The Brothers & Co. performers, pianist Gery L. Deer and percussionist Gary Deer, Jr., both of Jamestown, acoustic guitarist Cousin Ed Jones, of Cincinnati, and bass guitarist Jim Karns, of Fairborn, have been a favorite at corporate events and music festivals all around the Midwest since 1996.

Dressed in formal western costuming as a tribute to their family’s century-long musical heritage, the group’s repertoire includes cover songs by country legends The Statler Brothers, John Denver and George Jones, as well as many original arrangements. In addition, the guys will perform award-winning classic comedy magic and precision bullwhip routines in a combination seen only in this show.

“Our show is unique and has something for all ages and tastes,” said The Brothers & Co. Entertainers director and co-writer Gery L. Deer. “We have put a modern spin on an old style of entertainment.”

The regional popularity of The Brothers & Co. Entertainers and tales of travel aboard their tour bus, “Noah’s Ark,” has even inspired a series of stories called The Adventures of The Brothers & Co. available to read free at the group’s website, http://www.thebrothersandcompany.com. Podcasts, videos and music samples are also available online.

To help promote the show, the group will perform on WRGT-TV’s Fox 45 in the Morning at 8:45AM, Tuesday, March 6. Check local listings for cable and broadcast channel. For more information visit the website or call (937) 902-4857.

Register Now for “Spring Has Sprung” Healthy Families 5K Run/Walk, March 17th in Xenia

In Health, Local News, Sports News on February 21, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Registration now open for “Spring Has Sprung” Healthy Families 5K Run/Walk, March 17th in Xenia

XENIA –  The Greene County Healthy Lifestyles Coalition is holding the 3rd annual “Spring Has Sprung” Healthy Families 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, March 17 at the Greene County Combined Health District in Xenia. This event will benefit the Greene County Healthy Lifestyles Coalition, part of the Greene County Combined Health District, whose mission is to provide and promote healthier lifestyle choices inGreeneCounty. This event is designed to encourage healthy lifestyles in Greene County and bring families of all fitness levels together for a fun event, even for those who have never participated in a 5K event before.  And this year, as the race is on St. Patrick’s Day, participants are encouraged to “go green” and celebrate in style from head to toe!

Registration and check-in will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the Greene County Combined Health District inXeniawith the pet- and stroller-friendly run/walk beginning at 9:00 a.m. The course features a flat terrain in and around theXeniaarea beginning and ending at GCCHD besideGreeneMemorialHospital. A special race for little ones, ages 5 and younger, will feature a 1 lap race around GCCHD beginning at 8:30 a.m. After the 5K, healthy refreshments will be provided and participants can visit with the various sponsors of the event.

Schools and businesses are encouraged to participate. The school or business with the most race participants will win a plaque. Schools, businesses or individuals registering a team of 10 or more may be eligible to receive a discount on race fees.  Interested groups should call Laurie at 937-374-5669 for more information. Medals will be awarded to the top 3 male/female in each of 12 age categories and a grand prize will be awarded for the top male/female overall.

The cost for the 5K is just $15.00 per person prior to March 9, which includes an event t-shirt.  After March 9, the cost is $20.00 per person. You can register online at http://www.active.com or visit http://www.gcchd.org to print, complete and mail in or drop off your registration with your payment to the Greene County Combined Health District located at360 Wilson Drive in Xenia.

Current confirmed partners for this event include WHIO-TV 7, Greene County Parks & Trails, WSU Mini University, Classic Country Radio WBZI, Farmers Insurance, Trophy Sports, Juice Plus, Cardiologists of Greene County LLC, Old Fort Banking, Lofino’s, KeySports, The Greene County Dailies, and XWARN.

For questions or further information about the 5K, please contact Laurie Fox, Development Coordinator, at 937-374-5669 or by email at lfox@gcchd.org.

America’s Political Landscape Stalled by Public Apathy

In Business, Economy, Jobs, Local News, National News, Opinion, Politics, State News, Uncategorized on February 21, 2012 at 10:42 am

By Gery L. Deer

Deer In Headlines

 

When considering the country’s currents political and economic state a great deal hinges on some pretty ignorant, uninformed and out of touch people – the American voters. People sit and blame the president, congress and their neighbor’s dog for just about everything that’s wrong with our country, but the best place to start looking for problems is in the mirror. After all, it’s the public who voted them in and only the voters can change the political landscape.

There is an unfortunate tendency in our country (and it’s growing) to want someone else to solve our problems for us. I’ve written countless times on the subject of self-accountability but people still want bailouts and tea parties to make the world right. And if you’re unhappy with what’s going on, but refuse to vote or choose to ignore the facts about candidates and issues, your problems are your own making.

When considering election issues or choosing a candidate, we tend to go with our heart, not our head. I realize that touchy and deeply personal issues like abortion, religious freedom and marital regulation are important to some people but I don’t believe they should be the leading factor that determines which lever to pull on Election Day.

Moral issues, while significant, affect a smaller percentage of the population at any given time than would the economy, civil rights or tax concerns. And, despite White House reports to the contrary, we’re still in the midst of continuing economic troubles and we would be better to first focus on potential solutions for those tribulations.

For example, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels recently signed the first right-to-work law enacted in the area known as the Rust Belt, a stronghold for union-represented work forces. The new law makes it illegal to force employees to join a union or pay union dues. Twenty-two other states have similar laws already on the books – andOhiomay be next.

The concept is an effort to make it easier to get a job and for companies to be able to afford to pay workers instead of being strong-armed by over-reaching unions. Some see it as an attack on unions and an attempt to diminish wages and benefits.

Whatever your point of view on the subject, right-to-work legislation is one of those issues that can affect a great number of people and in more ways than people realize at first. The trickle-down, economic and political repercussions from laws like this can impact entire communities, even the whole state.

At the water cooler, discussions about these issues tend to segue into confrontational debates over ineffectual politicians. Ironically, with all that debate, most people never learn one thing more than they’ve already decided about a candidate right up to the time they walk into the polling place.

Many people are voting for the lesser of, “who cares,” but in fact, we need to be more choosey about who we are sending toWashington. While Democrats are stuck with President Obama in the fall, Republicans should have stood up to demand better options than mud-slinging hairdos like Romney and Santorum. In my amateur opinion, none of the Republican frontrunners carries a strong challenge to the president in November.

Each of us needs to make the effort to separate our feelings from the facts and do our best to approve issues and candidates that will best serve the greater good, not just those that pander to the Left or Right to get votes.

In the end, the fate of the country depends on the voters; those diligent, savvy individuals who, more times than not, make the choice in the voting booth based solely on a commercial they saw on television the night before. Could it really be that apathetic a decision for some people? I think it is and that’s why we can only blame ourselves.

Jamestown Whip Artist Appears On “Living Dayton”

In Business, Entertainment, Local News, Senior Lifestyle, Sports News, Uncategorized on February 21, 2012 at 7:00 am

Writer, Entertainer Gery L. Deer with "Living Dayton" co-hosts, Nathalie Basha and Zuri Hall

JAMESTOWN – Writer, entertainer Gery L. Deer of Jamestown appeared Friday on WDTN’s new daytime lifestyle program, Living Dayton to showcase bullwhip classes available at The Whip Artistry Studio. Deer spent a few minutes on the live program talking about the whip with the hosts, Nathalie Basha and Zuri Hall, and gave them the opportunity to try their hand.

“We really just want to let everyone know we are here and we are local,” Deer says. “We have a great offering of whip lessons and performances available to just about any individual or venue. ”

The Whip Artistry Studio opened in 1998 providing the only permanent facility in the U.S. dedicated to the non-combative study of bullwhips and stockwhips for use in sport and performance art. The facility offers individual and group whip lessons for ages 8 and up, as well as providing specialty whip artistry performers for stage, film and television shows, school presentations and educational programs.

For more information go online to http://www.thewhipstudio.com or call (937) 902-4857. All activities are by appointment. The Whip Artistry Studio is an entertainment subsidiary of GLD Enterprises & Productions.

50 Years Later, Oh, That View Is Still Tremendous

In Local News, National News, Opinion, Politics, Science, State News on February 21, 2012 at 6:36 am

Col. John Glenn on his first orbit aboard Friendship 7 in 1962

By Gery L. Deer

Deer In Headlines

 

In 1958 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was commissioned to getAmericainto the space race and beat the Russians to the moon. President Kennedy had set a public deadline of landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960’s but no one even knew if it could be done. To make it happen, NASA had to invent new technology and learn new skills previously conceived of only in the pages of comic books.

To get things started, NASA established Project Mercury and seven test pilots were chosen from various branches of the armed services to be the first American astronauts. Sitting in tiny capsules atop converted ballistic missiles, these brave men learned how to break the bonds of gravity, achieve orbit, navigate and then return safely back to earth.

On February 20, 1962, Colonel John H. Glenn, Jr., a Marine Corps fighter pilot fromCambridge,Ohio, blasted off fromCape Canaveralto become the first American to orbit the earth. Only the second Mercury flight, Glenn’s Friendship 7 capsule and splashed down safely in the ocean after completing three orbits. The mission lasted only 4 hours, 53 minutes and 23 seconds but it was long enough to allow the United States to catch up to the Soviets.

Glenn’s mission was considered a great success especially considering it happed less than a year after Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard flew the firstU.S.space shot aboard his Mercury capsule, Freedom 7. Shepard and Glenn had paved the way for the future of theU.S.space program, and within a few years, Project Mercury had achieved all its objectives.

The next series of missions, Project Gemini, allowed the astronauts to leave the relative safety of the capsule and the new two-person spacecraft that was more maneuverable than the Mercury craft. The Gemini vehicles were also used to develop docking and rendezvous technology, vital to the lunar landings.

By 1967, however, NASA had hit yet another growth spurt. Project Apollo replaced Gemini and, along with a few of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, nine new pilots were selected. Things were moving at a feverish pace and NASA was making good time to fulfill Kennedy’s promise but that achievement did not come without a price.

Each and every mission had multiple objectives ranging from simple tests of new equipment to advanced flight evaluations. Whatever the purpose, procedures were established in order to minimize danger. Ultimately, however, space flight was dangerous and these men were test pilots and sometimes things didn’t go as planned.

In January of 1967, Apollo 1 Command Pilot Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Senior Pilot Edward H. White and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee died in a fire during a ground test of the command module capsule atCape Canaveral. The accident forced several design and safety procedure changes and delayed manned Apollo flights for nearly two years.

When the first manned Apollo mission launched in October of 1968, many in Washington felt the Apollo 1 accident was caused by haste and carelessness and pushed for the program to be shut down before more money and lives were lost. Work continued, however and today Neil Armstrong’s immortal words from the Sea of Tranquilitystill resonate across the generations.

Between 1969 and 1972, there were six successful moon landings. In 1973, NASA launched America’s first space station, “Skylab,” and by 1977, the first space shuttle, Enterprise, was ready for flight control and landing tests. The space shuttles were retired in 2011 after three decades of service.

 

None of these later accomplishments would have been possible without the bravery and fortitude of those first 7 space pioneers. Ironically, John Glenn was one of the first astronauts to leave the space program (to pursue a career in politics) but he is also the only Mercury astronaut to return to space after retiring.

In 1998, Glenn flew as a payload specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery at the age of 76 – the oldest human ever to fly in space. Here’s to John Glenn on the 50th Anniversary of America’s first orbital flight.

 

Appreciating the Buckeye State

In Local News on February 8, 2012 at 12:53 pm

By Gery L. Deer

Deer In Headlines

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Because of the different kinds of work I do, from writing to my involvement in film and television projects, I am asked regularly why I remain in Ohio, rather than moving to New York or the West Coast. The way people ask, it’s almost as if my skills aren’t worthy of recognition or my work’s value is somehow reduced because I choose to live where my family has its roots. In fact, if you pay attention to how Ohio is treated by Hollywood, one might think all we produce here are backwoods rednecks and serial killers. Of course, that perception couldn’t be further from the truth.

My diverse career has taken me from the stages of Las Vegas resorts to the decks of oil tankers. I’ve seen Hollywood Blvd. at midnight and worked alongside stars like Bonnie Hunt and Steve Harvey. I’ve watched as cranes placed the giant Oscar statues and workers rolled out the red carpets outside the Kodak Theatre the day before the Academy Awards. Suffice to say, I’ve seen a lot. But nothing has ever made me want to leave Ohio permanently.

I’ve known people living in the Buckeye State who can’t wait to get out of it, longing for the greener grass somewhere else; Florida, South Carolina, California. But they never seem to go. They just continue to complain. In fact, most of the people I know who behave this way have never really been anywhere else.

Most people forget what Ohio has produced since it was added to the Union in 1803. Even if we overlook the obvious contributions Ohioans have made, like powered flight, the advancement of minority rights, the first electric starter for automobiles and more U.S. Presidents than you can shake a buckeye branch at (8 in all), Ohio still has much to offer.

While we may not be surrounded by oceans or have perfect weather year around, Ohio offers some of the most amazing country anyone has ever seen. The name “Ohio” comes from an Iroquoian word meaning “great river” and that would certainly be hard to argue. The Ohio River connects the eastern states to the Missouri and finally the Mississippi, making it vital to trade and commerce for many regions. Other major waterways such as the Scioto and Great Miami Rivers also provided opportunities for growth to Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus.

Incidentally, everyone who just cleaned up after a Superbowl party owes a world of debt to the never-ending ingenuity of Ohioans. If not for Dayton engineer Ermal Cleon Fraze, your guests would still have been fighting over the can opener! On a sleepless night in 1959, “Ernie” Fraze invented the pop-top opener, now common on beer and soft drink cans.

With the Oscars coming up, it wouldn’t be right to ignore Ohio’s contribution to Hollywood, seeing as how that’s where most of the glib remarks about our fare state originate. Oscar winners Paul Newman and Halle Berry both called Ohio home, as did MASH’s Jamie Farr, comedian Drew Carey, film director Chris Columbus (Harry Potter),  Jerry Siegel and Joe Schumacher (the creators of Superman),  and Jack Warner, founder of Warner Brothers Studios. My father even grew up with country and western star Bobby Bare, not far from Roy Rogers’ childhood home near Portsmouth, on the banks of the Ohio River. The list is practically endless.

No place is perfect and, like anyone else, I have my share of complaints about how things are run here. In my experience there is far too much small-town, good old boy politics, and little doubt that the people we have sent to Columbus need to be reminded that they work for us, not the other way around, as seems to be the case lately.

But in spite of these shortcomings, Ohio is a good place to call home. We have weathered floods, tornados, a Great Depression and numerous recessions. But Ohioans are of America’s most creative, innovative and intelligent people and we always seem to come out on top. So the next time you start your car, pop open a soda or fly away to your favorite vacation spot, give a little nod to the Buckeye State, truly, the Heart of it All.