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Public Transportation Issues Expose Ignorance and Prejudice

In Business, Children and Family, Economy, Education, Jobs, Local News, Opinion, Politics, Senior Lifestyle, Uncategorized on June 26, 2012 at 10:22 am

Plans for public transportation service to local communities stonewalled by ignorance and prejudice. Photo courtesy RTA Dayton Wright Stop Plaza Transit Center

By Gery L. Deer

Deer In Headlines

Throughout most ofOhio, public transportation mainly consists of busses and commuter trains. But around the country, public transportation also includes cable cars, street cars, subways, ferry boats, and a host of other means, all of which are vital to the communities they serve.

According to the American Public Transportation Association, in 2010 Americans took 10.2 billion trips on public transit systems. The organization also reports that for every $1 spent on public transportation, $4 of economic return is generated.

Additionally, out of every dollar earned, Americans spend 18 cents on transportation and 94 percent of that money is used for maintaining a personal vehicle. People who use public transportation can save that money or use it for other expenses, providing further economic benefit.

So why are so many local government leaders in towns like Beavercreek and Tipp City resistant to the idea of placing public transit stops in their communities?  The answer is simple; the same things that tend to limit progress in any small community – ignorance and prejudice.

Regardless of how much positive information is provided regarding public transportation, some communities believe that unwanted elements outweigh any potential benefit. One argument leveled by critics is that buses will increase traffic problems. In reality, they actually ease road congestion by reducing the number of individual cars.

Proponents say that civic leaders want to block public transit stops so they can be more discriminating about who has access to certain neighborhoods. In the media both sides seem to be dancing around the concept that minorities, lower income people, the disabled and elderly, and even criminal elements are presumed to be the primary customers of public transportation.

Local officials and residents alike apparently believe that by restricting bus routes from higher-end retail areas they are somehow protecting the community from the less-desirable elements of society. How is that not racist or at the very least, discriminatory towards lower income people?

Of course dangerous criminals like drug dealers can ride into town on the local transit bus, but it’s likely that they already have a way in. Research shows that drugs are highly prevalent in upper income neighborhoods – just better hidden – and a bus stop is unlikely to have much of an effect on that problem, one way or the other.

Politically, government officials often take whatever side they think will appease the voters, regardless of what might be the right thing to do. Not everyone does this, but more do than not, unfortunately.

The indication here is that it’s not just the city councils that are uninformed, but so are the residents. After all, any hope of re-election rests with the brainless masses of the voting public. Remember folks that while your elected official is kissing your baby, he or she is also stealing their lollipop.

Regardless of the political implications, increased consumer traffic is good for local merchants and the economy. Public transportation provides more consumers with additional access to restaurants, malls, civic centers, post offices and other business routes. The money they spend goes into the local economy and increases the value of these businesses. When business values rise, so do those of the properties around them – commercial and residential.

In the end, none of the negative arguments hold much water. It still seems to boil down to snobby white guys (and gals) who are stonewalling public transportation expansions because they don’t want their neighborhoods to look like an inner city.

It might behoove these people to do a little research on urban decay before worrying that something like a bus stop is going to destroy their property value. Sometimes stupid is perpetuated by greed, prejudice and arrogance, and this issue is a perfect example of all three.

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The Key To Identity Theft Prevention Is Preparation

In Business, Economy, Education, Opinion, Senior Lifestyle, sociology, Technology, Uncategorized on June 19, 2012 at 7:35 am

By Gery L. Deer

Deer In Headlines

Apart from locks and security systems, one of the most basic things we can do to keep our homes and families secure is to take steps to prevent identity theft. When the bad guys get hold of critical private information it is not hard for them to start using your information to their benefit.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. Identity theft is the act of using personally identifying information, like name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.

The crime of identity theft may be perpetrated in various ways, from renting an apartment to opening a credit card. The thefts may actually go unnoticed for some time, often until the victim notes some kind of anomaly in his or her bank statement or credit report. Sometimes the victims do not find out until they are contacted by a debt collecting service.

So what can you do to prevent identity theft? Probably the single most effective weapon against this type of crime is knowledge. Knowledge of the methods used by these criminals to steal your information as well as a better awareness of your own records and personal financial information can help you beat many forms of this crime.

One thing you can do is to closely monitor your personal information, such as credit reports and monthly bills, to uncover any problems as soon as possible. Identity thieves depend on the inaction of their victims. Unless the total on a bill is outrageously high, often people just pay it, without scrutinizing the contents.

Another preventative measure against this kind of crime is to be mindful of where your old paperwork goes when it is thrown away. When disposing of any paperwork containing personal information, be sure to shred the documents completely – especially medical files, checks, and credit card statements.

Most people get credit card offers in the mail on a regular basis and just toss them into the trash. This is also something that could lead to an identity theft problem. Criminals will often scour trash for these papers and open credit cards in your name using those documents.

Also, be sure when buying online to use only secured websites and ask them about their security before buying anything if it seems questionable. If you notice anything suspicious on any credit reports, bank statements, or other critical documents, contact the creditor or company as soon as possible.

For those who enjoy making online purchases on a regular basis, create a ‘dummy’ email address at Yahoo or Gmail specifically to be used for these transactions. Retailers often sell email and other contact information to marketing companies which then flood inboxes with junk mail. Some of the incoming messages may come from illegitimate sellers using personal information to obtain passwords and credit card information. Using a different email address allows better control over incoming junk mail and limits the chances of clicking on a link that might inadvertently open the door to an identity thief.

If you have already been plagued by this kind of criminal action, you are not alone. First, contact the authorities. Most police departments now have an identity theft division or someone designated to help with this kind of crime.

Be ready! Keep, readily available, a complete list of all credit cards, online accounts, checking accounts, and so on, including any PIN numbers, passwords and customer service contact information. If something should happen, you can shut down these accounts quickly before more damage is done.

Stay diligent and continue to monitor your private information closely for several months. There is no way to really say how long the effects of identity theft can last.For more information on how to prevent identity theft or what to do if you think you may have been a victim, visit the Federal Trade Commission website at http://www.ftc.gov.

 

Jamestown Variety Group Heads Up Fundraiser at the Murphy Theatre

In Children and Family, Education, Entertainment, Local News, Media, National News, Senior Lifestyle, State News, Technology on June 12, 2012 at 8:29 am

(WILMINGTON, OH) – On Saturday, June 16th, the Murphy Theatre will feature The Brothers & Co. Variety Show at 7:30 p.m. This show is a fantastic tribute to the Grand Ole Opry style variety show with music and fun for the whole family. Tanya Snarr, Director of Development of the Murphy Theatre explains it as “a show that leaves adults reminiscing and children talking for days.”  This Murphy Theatre fundraising event is a product of the collaborative efforts of WYSO 91.3 FM and Brothers & Co. Variety Show. 

Based in Jamestown, Ohio, The Brothers & Co. Entertainers began in 1995 as a fully instrumental Bluegrass group made up of two sets of brothers from the Sutton and Deer families of southwest Ohio. Over the years, the group has changed but the younger generation of brothers remains, Gary Deer Jr. and his younger brother Gery. 

Today The Brothers & Co. Entertainers are far more than the average country band. They are a true entertainment group that draws from the fun of Grand Ole Opry style variety entertainment with original comedy, music and more.

The Brothers & Co. Variety Show is a wonderfully entertaining blend of music, comedy and variety performance which includes amazing four-part harmonies, rich instrumentals and old-fashioned, family-oriented humor all wrapped up in neat, 2-hour package! 

Their four part harmonies are often compared to groups like the Statler Brothers and the Oak Ridge Boys. The “Boys In Black” offer fantastic four-part vocals and outstanding musical performance skills.

Gery, Jim, Ed and Gary Jr. don’t just sing to a soundtrack – they play their own backup music. Gery: Piano and woodwinds, Jim: Bass Guitar and sound effects, Ed: Lead Acoustic and Banjo, and Gary Jr.: Percussion. A full sound or a quiet melody, The Brothers & Co. has everything to offer!

Our talented group of entertainers is well known internationally in many circles and has appeared on national television programs like America’s Got  Talent and The Bonnie Hunt Show!  Whip artistry is a dying art, but pianist/singer Gery L. Deer brings it back in a lively, fun performance during the show. Combined with comic magician Jim Karns, these routines offer an old-fashioned quality with a modern twist!

The Brothers & Co. Variety Show is perfect for any age group. The content of every show is family friendly and features music ranging from classic country to oldies and pop tunes, all performed in the unique The Brothers & Co. style. Details on the show at www.thebrothersvarietyshow.com.

Sponsors of the show are Xenia Shoe & Leather Repair, Gorman’s Specialty Products, GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing, Damon’s Grill and Sports Bar, The Patterry, Main Street Wilmington, and The Crave.

Ticket prices are $17 for Adults and $15 for Seniors and Kids under 12.  A Wilmington-themed gift basket will be given away to a lucky audience member.

They can be purchased online (www.themurphytheatre.org), at the box office at50 W. Main Street,Wilmington, or by calling 937-382-3643. Office hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are also available at Books ‘N’ More,28 W. Main St.,Wilmington.

Has America Become A Babysitting State?

In Children and Family, Economy, Education, Entertainment, Health, Local News, Opinion, Politics, psychology, Religion, sociology, State News, television, Uncategorized on June 12, 2012 at 8:17 am

By Gery L. Deer

Deer In Headlines

 

Did you ever wonder (thanks Andy Rooney) why we have so many laws designed to, “protect us from ourselves?” You know what I am referring to. Think about the laws requiring us to wear seat belts, no public drinking or smoking, fines for public profanity, mandatory motorcycle helmets, and so on.

With obvious exceptions, like distracted or drunken driving, very little of what we do affects anyone else. If I choose to risk my own death by not wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle on the highway, who does that affect other than me? It may be incredibly inconsiderate to my family or the poor guy who has to clean my brains off the pavement after an accident, but other than that, who does it really injure?

Of course, I’m exaggerating here. You’d have to be a complete idiot to ride without a helmet – sorry bikers, it’s just plain stupid – but it’s still your own choice and it shouldn’t be up to the government to decide. It can be argued that it costs the taxpayers more money to cover the medical charges of a rider who’s had a head injury without a helmet, but that point of view can be hard to quantify. Applying the same logic, however, tobacco should be made illegal for the same reasons.

Some laws don’t protect us from ourselves but are actually in place to pacify the moral majority. For example, no alcohol sales on Sunday, no cursing in public, television censors and so on. Decency laws require that every television network maintain a department of standards and practices whose sole duty is to ensure that no one says or does anything over broadcast TV or radio prior to 10 PM that might offend the religious right.

Many anti-drug laws, like those against the use of marijuana, are in place, not because of health risks but to satisfy the moral right. Tobacco use has immediate and long-term detrimental effects but is a regulated, taxable commodity. Marijuana, on the other hand, is said by experts to be no more dangerous than tobacco but is still classified as an illegal, Schedule I hallucinogen. Why? There are at least two possible explanations.

First, the obvious reason – hallucinogenic drugs are just bad. There’s no other way to say it. Long-term use of any substance like this is going to eventually be a health hazard. But the other reason is more sinister. The tobacco industry is huge, powerful, and wants complete control over your toxic addiction without competition from Mary Jane.

A great deal of money goes into congress from the tobacco big-wigs. They will always argue against legalized marijuana because it would eat into their profits, and therefore less cash would be available with which to line the pockets of public officials fighting their battle on Capitol Hill.

Understand clearly that I am in no way endorsing or advocating drug use. I think it’s idiotic and makes one stupid and unemployable. I’m simply pointing out that we are living amidst a realm of hopeless double-standards, of which alcohol and drug use is only a small example.

I don’t know whether these pointless and expensive regulations come from genuinely well-meaning people trying to help keep others from making dangerous mistakes or if they are the result of controlling, politically-motivated individuals. Either way, it really seems like we’re moving further into a babysitting state where the government controls everything down to what size soft drink I can buy at 7 Eleven.

There’s nothing wrong with regulating public issues – second-hand smoke is a health hazard to those around the smoker and the dangers of drunken driving are a no-brainer, but what these individuals do in their own home should be their own business – as with the pot smoker, the junk food junkie, or the watcher of reality television.

Personally, I think Americans spend far too much time worrying about what our neighbors doing and not enough time minding our own business. If they really want to regulate something to benefit the public, they should start by outlawing and reality television. Clearly the Kardashians are detrimental to society as a whole.

 

 

Empty Promises Headline 2012 Presidential Campaign

In Business, Economy, Education, Jobs, Local News, Media, National News, Opinion, Politics, Senior Lifestyle, Uncategorized on June 4, 2012 at 10:28 pm

By Gery L. Deer

Deer In Headlines
 

Remember when good oratory skills and talk of “change” at least seemed like a good start? The concept might have made a great slogan for candidate Obama’s election run, but there’s very little about it that would apply to his presidency. But would Mitt Romney have been able to achieve any greater success given the same circumstances? Probably not.

The president’s dismal job performance numbers and Romney’s complete lack of connection with those bringing home anything less than a seven-figure salary leave both of them a mediocre choice in November. So far, even the media can’t figure out what to say about these two.

In recent weeks, some of the biggest campaign headlines focus on relatively pointless issues like how much Obama is outspending Romney in advertising or the former governor sending hecklers to an event where the president was campaigning. It’s all fluff and no substance – again.

If something doesn’t happen to really define these candidates, the country may see a repeat of the 2008 election when many Americans were just tired of “W” and hisWashingtoninsiders. Most were happy see him gone but neither did they want a left-wing, America-downing liberal or even another Republican crony. So, who better to put in the White House but an untested, junior senator from Illinois?

As they say at Wrigley Field, “Swing and a miss.” Instead of the hopeful changes promised by the Obama camp, the country slipped deeper into recession and near depression-level unemployment which, incidentally, has yet to return to pre-Obama numbers.

But wait, there’s more. Challenging the president this fall is another millionaire – yes President Obama is a millionaire several times over – the Massachusetts Mormon, former Governor Willard Mitt Romney. Here’s a man so rich and out of touch he seemed in one speech to actually believe that every housewife has two Cadillacs and a summer home inCalifornia.

Why is Romney so out of touch? It might have something to do with that silver spoon sticking he always seems to be gagging on. Despite his profession of “humble beginnings” and being a “self-made man,” he attended Stanford, Brigham Young University in Provo, UT, and finally Harvard.

Given that kind of background, it’s highly unlikely he has any idea what it would be like to have to stand in an unemployment office or apply for some kind of welfare assistance after a layoff. But financial extremism is a problem for both parties in this election.

While the liberal left whines about conservative campaign funding from big business, the president is filling his war chest with least as much from the millionaire actors and studio execs inHollywood. Well, at least both parties are getting their cash from people who make a living off the public while pretending to be what they’re not.

 It’s likely that the 2012 election will come down to two things – the economy and jobs – something neither candidate has much to crow about. However, no one can really be congratulated for that. Many experts suggest that the economy would have eventually recovered in a natural progression without sinking billions of tax dollars into the problem.

However it plays out, in order to reach the voters, Obama and Romney will each need to stop the mud-slinging campaigns and tell the public how they will make things better. So far, all they’ve done is rail against each other. Without some real substance and a plan to get behind, the undecided voter will be stepping into the polls simply to choose the lesser of “who cares.”

Jamestown Entrepreneur on Living Dayton, June 7

In Business, Children and Family, Economy, Entertainment, Local News, Media, Senior Lifestyle, State News, television on June 1, 2012 at 6:28 pm

DAYTON, OH – Jamestown, Ohio writer, entrepreneur Gery L. Deer of GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing will be the guest expert on the business segment of WDTN-TV, Channel 2, daytime show Living Dayton, beginning at Noon, on Thursday June 7.

Hosted by Nathalie Basha and Zuri Hall, Living Dayton is a live, one-hour lifestyle talk show featuring a variety of news and entertainment information from around the Miami Valley. The show premiered in February of 2012, replacing the noon-hour news program on Channel 2.

Best known locally for his work as a freelance columnist and author of the weekly opinion/editorial series, Deer In Headlines, Deer’s entrepreneurial career started in 1993 when he established one of the area’s first on-site, computer support companies – Deer Computer Consulting.

“This month on Living Dayton we’ll be talking about branding your small business,” Deer says. “Every business needs to build a brand and identity. Often, small business owners do this in a makeshift fashion and rarely get to a cohesive, marketable brand identity that will attract customers and keep their company sustainable.”

Deer’s firm, GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing provides concierge (on-demand) freelance business writing, public relations and marketing consulting services. In addition to working with small business, the company also provides marketing and publicity assistance to independent, self-published authors. The small business segment featuring Deer as guest expert will air on the first Thursday of each month. For more information go online to www.gerydeer.com or visit the Living Dayton page atWDTN.com.