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Greene County Safe Communities Promotion Emphasizes Motorcycle Safety

In Children and Family, Education, Health, Local News, Media, National News, Sports News, State News, Uncategorized on May 23, 2012 at 7:45 am

Motorcyclist Fatalities Have Increased After Decline in 2009

XENIA Motorcyclist fatalities increased slightly in 2010 to 4,502, accounting for 14% of total fatalities for the year. This increase in motorcycle fatalities for the year resumes the unfortunate overall increasing trend over the last 13 years, an upward trend that saw only a single one-year decline in 2009, when 4,462 motorcyclists were killed. However, the greatest decrease in the estimated number of injured people is among motorcyclists, with an 8.9% decrease.

In response to this increase, Greene County Safe Communities announced today that it is joining with other federal, state and local highway safety, law enforcement, and motorcycle organizations in proclaiming May as “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.”  During this time – and during the rest of the year – motorists and other road users are reminded to safely “share the road” with motorcycles, and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe.  Changing the driving habits of motorists and motorcyclists alike will help decrease the numbers of motorcyclist killed and injured in crashes.  Motorcyclists are reminded to make sure that they are visible to motorists, and that they follow the rules of the road.  All road users are reminded to never drive, ride, walk or bicycle while distracted.

“As the weather improves, more and more motorcyclists are hitting the roads,” said Laurie Fox, Safe Communities Coordinator.  “And with that in mind, pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers of all vehicles, including SUVs, passenger cars and trucks, need to be extra attentive and make sure they ‘share the road.’  A motorcycle is one of the smallest vehicles on our roads, often hidden in a car or truck’s blind spot.  Every driver needs to aggressively look for them before changing lanes or merging with traffic.”

Motorists and bicyclists should perform visual checks for motorcyclists by checking mirrors and blind spots before they enter or exit a lane of traffic, and at intersections.  Pedestrians should also get into the habit of scanning for motorcyclists who might be hidden by other traffic.

Ms. Fox reminds all road users that, “Motorcyclists have responsibilities, too.  They should obey traffic rules, be alert to other drivers, never ride while impaired or distracted, and always wear a Department of Transportation-compliant helmet and other protective gear.”

Ms. Fox said that a motorcyclist is much more vulnerable than a passenger vehicle occupant in the event of a crash.  She said that research from DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are about 39 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in traffic crashes.

Ms. Fox offered tips for drivers to help keep motorcyclists safe on our roadways.

  • ·         Remember, a motorcycle is a vehicle with all of the rights and privileges of any other motor vehicle.
  • ·         Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width—never try to share a lane.
  • ·         Perform a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or exiting a lane of traffic, and at intersections.
  • ·         Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic.
  • ·         Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a mo­torcycle – motorcycle signals are often not self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn before you proceed.
  • ·         Allow more following distance – three or four sec­onds – when behind a motorcycle so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emer­gency.
  • ·         Never tailgate. In dry conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars.
  • ·         Never drive while distracted. 

Ms. Fox also said motorcyclists can increase their safety by:

  • ·         Avoiding riding in poor weather conditions;
  • ·         Wearing brightly colored protective gear and a DOT-compliant helmet;
  • ·         Using turn signals for every turn or lane change, even if the rider thinks no one will see it;
  • ·         Combining hand signals and turn signals to draw more attention to themselves;
  • ·         Using reflective tape and stickers to increase conspicuity;
  • ·         Positioning themselves in the lane where they will be most visible to other drivers; and
  • ·         Never driving while impaired. 

Our message to all drivers and motorcyclists is: Help to share in the responsibility of keeping all road users safe, and do your part by safely “sharing the road.”

For more information on motorcycle safety, please visit http://www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/Motorcycles.  For information on Greene County Safe Communities, please call 937-374-5669 or email lfox@gcchd.org.

“Pull for the Kids” Truck & Tractor Pull June 23rd

In Children and Family, Education, Entertainment, Local News, Media, Sports News, Uncategorized on May 23, 2012 at 7:34 am

XENIA – The Greene County Combined Health District (GCCHD) is holding its annual “Pull for the Kids” Truck and Tractor Pull on Saturday, June 23rd at the Greene County Fairgrounds.  This event is a fundraiser for the Greene Community Health Foundation.  The philanthropic arm of GCCHD, the Greene Community Health Foundation raises and manages gifts on behalf of the Health District.  The generosity of our donors allows GCCHD to continue the commitment to offer quality healthcare toGreeneCounty residents in need regardless of their ability to pay.

An antique tractor pull will begin at 10 a.m., a kiddie tractor pull at 3 p.m., and the big modified tractors and trucks begin at 5 p.m.  For those interested in entering a truck or tractor, entry fees range from $1 to $20, depending on the entry.  Cash prizes will be awarded for the winners in each division.  General admission is only $5.00 per adult and children ages 10 and younger are free.  Lots of family fun, food and drinks are on tap for all ages.

This event is sponsored in part by the Old Timers Club, Greene County FFA Alumni, Barker’s Towing, Greene County Dailies, Farm Bureau of Greene County, NAPA Auto Parts and Trophy Sports.  For more information, please contact Carol Sue Knox, Development Assistant at 937-374-5658 or by email at cknox@gcchd.org.

Not Enough To LIKE About Facebook’s IPO

In Business, Economy, Entertainment, Media, National News, Opinion, Politics, Science, Technology, Uncategorized on May 21, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Photo Courtesy Associated Press

By Gery L. Deer

Deer In Headlines

Unless you live in a cave someplace, you probably heard that the Internet social media leviathan Facebook hit Wall Street with their initial public stock offering (IPO) on Friday, hoodies and all. Amidst the rock-concert type excitement over the event, the stock’s dismal performance seemed to leave everyone scratching their heads – except me.

No, I’m not some kind of Wall Street clairvoyant, nor do I consider myself any sort of expert on the subject. I do know tech companies, though, and I suggested a few weeks ago in another article that the Facebook public stock release would be a lot of buildup with no substance. Facebook might be the flavor of the month, but just around the corner there’s always another Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook’s founder, or thief, depending on which story you believe).

Not much happened after Zuckerberg rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. Trading of Facebook stock was delayed until just after 11:30 in the morning and then watching the Facebook stock ticker was a bit like looking at the slow motion replay of a horse race. You know they’re supposed to go faster, but they just poke along.

The company issued 421.2 shares of stock at an initial price of $38 and never really got much past that. With an intentional sense of irony, just a few minutes into trading, I used Facebook to publicly record my prediction that the stock would not exceed $45 a share – and it never did.

The second day of trading was actually worse. When the market closed on Monday, Facebook stock had fallen nearly 11 percent finally ending at $34.03. To say it was disappointing to Facebook followers is an understatement.

I’m not a financial expert, but I have done my fair share of day trading and information was always the best tool for choosing a stock. I honestly believe many people don’t understand how Facebook, and other businesses like it, actually earn money, thus giving them value. They bought in to be part of the fad, and now they’re paying the price.

I also think one of the biggest mistakes made by the financial pundits was to constantly compare Facebook to Apple – literally apples to oranges (pun intended). While Apple does offer some web-based services, at its core (another pun intended) the company sells a product, in fact it sells many different products – physical, usable, manufactured products with an understood perceived value – iPhones, iPads, software and computers.

Facebook, on the other hand, is like a free newspaper or magazine in that makes a great deal of its money from selling advertising space. Add to that the fact that Facebook has yet to establish a solid, profit-generating business model for the long term and you get a company that’s far too volatile to be compared to the likes of Apple.

Hype worked for Apple, in fact, for many years, it seems that most of the computer giant’s marketing plan consisted of Steve Jobs, a black turtleneck and a big empty stage. Facebook tries, and fails, to emulate that kind of drama and we saw a great example of that during Friday’s IPO. As of now, everyone who bought in has officially lost money.

Social media sites like Facebook make their money through advertising and licensing of patented or copyrighted applications (custom programming based on the website content). But if too many major advertisers bail, the company loses steam. Just before Zuckerberg rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Friday morning, General Motors announced it was pulling all of its advertising from Facebook.

The exodus of the auto giant was bad news for the company’s bottom line, and shook its viability on the stock exchange. Losing GM cost the Internet behemoth much needed credibility and might have had an effect on the early underperformance of the stock.

In my humble opinion, the Facebook IPO was a publicity failure, but not necessarily a business failure. Still, Facebook will always be forced to outdo itself. But where do you go from up? We’ll have to watch and see. Oh yes, and don’t forget to LIKE me on Facebook!
Columnist Gery L. Deer is an independent journalist and business writer based in Jamestown, Ohio. More at http://www.geryldeer.com