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Greene County Safe Communities Traffic Fatalities Update

In Children and Family, Education, Health, State News, Travel, Uncategorized on November 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm

The Greene County Safe Communities program reports that as of November 27, 2012, there have been a total of sixteen (16) traffic fatalities in Greene County.  This compares with a total of eleven (11) traffic deaths for the entire year of 2011.  Five of the sixteen fatalities were teenagers.  Car crashes continue to be the number one cause of injury and death for U.S. teens 15-20 years of age, accounting for more than one in three fatalities for this age group (CDC, 2010).

The top five (5) causes for the majority of these crashes that have resulted in death and/or injury in Greene County are unsafe speeds, improper lane change/passing/off road, failure to control, following too closely, and distractions (i.e. cell phone use/texting).  The Coalition reminds everyone to put down the phone, avoid all distractions, drive sober and obey all traffic signs and signals.  Members of the Safe Communities coalition will continue to work with schools, businesses and the general public to provide educational materials and information to keep Greene County citizens safe on the roadways.  The coalition also reminds parents to talk openly with their new teen drivers about rules for safe driving including the number of passengers allowed in the vehicle, the dangers of speeding and distractions.  For every teenage passenger in a vehicle driven by a 16 – 17 year old, the chances for a teen driver fatality increase (AAATeen Driver Risk in Relation to Age and Number of Passengers).

The safety of our Greene County residents while they are traveling on the roads is our biggest concern. As we are now heading into the winter months, Safe Communities would like to remind all drivers – new and seasoned – to buckle up, park the phone and drive responsibly or secure a designated driver.    

The Safe Communities program was developed to help communities decrease traffic injuries and deaths, increase safety awareness, decrease the amount of money spent on traffic-related injuries, and increase the number of people involved in keeping communities safe. 

 The next meeting of the Greene County Safe Communities Coalition is Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 at 9 a.m. at the Greene County Combined Health District in Xenia.  The public is welcome to attend.  For more information, contact Laurie Fox at 937-374-5669 or email lfox@gcchd.org. 


Notice: The Jamestown Comet.com posts local health and safety information as a public service to our readers.

Apocalypse Now & Then: Aunt Margaret and the Mayans

In Children and Family, Economy, Entertainment, Health, Media, National News, Opinion, Politics, psychology, Religion, Science, Senior Lifestyle, sociology, Technology, television, Uncategorized on November 26, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Case in point. The graphic is actually the AZTEC calendar, commonly misused to represent the Mayan version. Misinformation is only part of the problem with the doomsday scare.

By Gery L. Deer

People seem to have a bizarre, and sometimes irrational, fascination with the end of the world. So far, however, concerns about ominous apocalyptic events have been little more than the babblings of high-profile conspiracy nuts, money-grubbing religious fanatics and an over abundance of exaggerated media coverage. Still, the idea of impending doom must generate some money for someone because every few years, there’s a new disaster on the horizon.

In November of 1999, at the age of 91, my Great Aunt Margaret was still a smart woman, if not particularly personable to some, and she’d lost most of her eyesight to Glaucoma. A retired school teacher, she had spent more than three decades living alone in her old, block house at the foothills of the Appalachians, surrounded by other even more isolated senior citizens.

I was standing with her outside the house, watching my dad do something to her garage door, when I felt her frail, thin hand take my arm as she said, calmly, “Gery, what’s this about the world ending or everyone losing all their money because of a problem with all the computers?” Catching me somewhat off guard, I had to think for a moment on how to explain to her the Y-2-K issue in a way she’d understand, considering she knew nothing about computers. Her home still had a manual television and rotary telephone.

“Well,” I began, “old computers only allowed for two digit year notations in their programming so when they roll over from the year 1999 to 2000 on December 31st, they’ll think it’s 1900.” I went on to explain how some software would generate miscalculations but it really wouldn’t cause as big a problem as the media had blown it up to be. Satisfied with my understanding and explanation of the problem, she nodded and dismissed it. But for a time, she was frightened, actually scared she’d lose all her money and that the electricity and water to her home would stop flowing to her isolated home in the hills.

The idea that she and her elderly friends were so frightened by disinformation legitimized by a panic-loving media really angered me. A short time later, laying my technical and writing careers on the table, I published an editorial denouncing Y2K as little more than techno paranoia. As it turns out, unsurprisingly, I was right, but now we’re faced with a similar problem in the form of the Mayan calendar prophecy and other end of the world predictions set for December of this year.

Just like their Y2K counterparts, religious and survivalist extremists from all over the world are out there touting an imminent doomsday of Biblical proportions, stirring up baseless fear and panic. As the stories continue to be blown further out of proportion petrified people pointlessly buy everything from survival books to bomb shelters in an attempt to protect themselves. But experts say there is nothing to fear. The misunderstood Mayan prophecy is based on a calendar that restarts, marking a long period of time the way we might catalog a century or millennium.

Of course we could still fall victim to our own stupidity and blow ourselves up over petty arguments about who owns the world’s resources or whose god is the ‘real’ one. We’re human and we’ve been killing each other since the model was introduced so that’s not likely to stop. But the idea of a cataclysmic natural disaster destroying all life and civilization on earth is pretty far out. Is it impossible, no; staggeringly unlikely, yes.

In any case, if something that big happens there’s nothing that any of us can do about it. All the lunatics out in the woods with a few boxes of dried beef and lots of guns will be just as dead as the rest of us.

Sadly, my aunt passed away several years ago, well into her 90s. But, for all the other “Aunt Margarets” out there, frightened by all this apocalyptic nonsense, please count your blessings, sit back, relax and enjoy the holidays. I promise you, like I promised her; the world isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Live Reading of Holiday Stories By Local Authors In Beavercreek Dec 7

In Business, Children and Family, Entertainment, Food, Local News, Senior Lifestyle, sociology on November 22, 2012 at 11:44 am

BEAVERCREEK, OH – On Friday, December 7th local authors of the Western Ohio Writers Association (WOWA) will present a live reading of short holiday-inspired short stories and poetry at 4 Starters Coffee Café, 2495 Commons Blvd. in Beavercreek, Ohio. An author reception will begin at 6 pm and the live readings will run from 7 pm until 9 pm. The event is free and open to the public.

Known as Beatnik Café, the relaxed, informal format of the evening pays homage to the hole-in-the-wall poetry cafes of the 1960’s in a more contemporary style. The public performance presented several times a year by members of the Western Ohio Writers Association, a resource group that provides support, education and professional assistance for writers in southwest central Ohio, eastern Indiana and northern Kentucky.

Writers in a variety of genres attend monthly WOWA critique and educational meetings where they can hone their skills and have their work reviewed by fellow scribes. Professional freelance commercial writer Gery L. Deer of Jamestown is the founder and coordinator of the organization.

“Outside of a college class or expensive writers’ conferences, there was no consistent support available in our area,” Deer said. “We started the WOWA to provide critique and networking opportunities to local writers of all genres, both amateur and professional.”

As a special addition to the event, two children’s authors, C. C. Christian, of Yellow Springs, author of The Legendary Tales of Sharktooth and Hammer, and Teasha Seitz, of Moraine, author of Little Leah Lou and Her Pink Tu will be reading original holiday stories and selling and signing copies of their books. Sharktooth is an ideal book for kids age 9-12, and Little Leah Lou is a picture book for pre-school through age 7.

“The public readings give people the opportunity to hear from some of the most talented writers in the Midwest,” Deer continued. “We invite everyone to come out and meet our writers and enjoy the atmosphere provided at 4 Starters.  It’s an ideal place to hang out, read and enjoy the work of our writers.”

The Western Ohio Writers Association events are sponsored by GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing concierge business writing services. For more information, go online to http://www.westernohiowriters.org.

Starve A Cold and Stay In Bed

In Business, Children and Family, Education, Health, Opinion, psychology, Senior Lifestyle, sociology, Uncategorized on November 20, 2012 at 9:28 am


By Gery L. Deer


When I was helping to care for my mother towards the end of her life, my cousin and I did everything we could to limit her exposure to even the slightest sneeze or sniffle. Everything from the bed rails to the wheelchairs was repeatedly and regularly wiped down with antibacterial solutions to prevent her from picking up a random bug that, in her weakened condition, could possibly be life-threatening.

Of course, we couldn’t protect her from everything. From time to time, we would have to take her out of the controlled environment of her home for doctor visits, family functions and sometimes just to give her some fresh air. But what I grew increasingly paranoid of was the amazing number of people who would go about their day suffering from severe colds or other illnesses, seemingly ignorant to the potential dangers they posed to others.

Despite other achievements, medical science is still remarkably ignorant of the common cold and its associated contagions. Doped up on symptom-hiding chemicals, people plod blearily through the day without a second thought to the fact that they could make others seriously ill just by being the last person to push a door open or use a shopping cart.

More mind-blowing are the numbers of healthcare workers and restaurant servers who go to work sick and are allowed to remain at their post. This is just ridiculous. I understand that it’s hard to take a day off when you’re working hour by hour but by staying home you may be losing a few bucks but you might be keeping someone else from becoming deathly ill, and getting yourself back to health a bit faster.

So how do you know when you should call in sick? On Tuesday, November 20, Dr. Holly Phillips, on CBS This Morning’s Health Watch, offered these suggestions for knowing when you should stay home. “It’s hard to know when you should call out sick,” she notes. “A fever, particularly in the 101 – 102 degree range, accompanied by aches and pains, might signal the flu, and you should definitely stay home.”

“A milder fever, sore throat white patches on tonsils indicates a strep infection and it’s probably time for some antibiotics, so a doctor visit is recommended,” she says. “A low grade fever coupled with a cough and sniffles mild signal a mild cold, so it’s your choice to stay home or not. But if you choose to go to work, be kind to your co-workers and wash your hands often and cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and don’t handle food.”

Researchers say that the common cold costs American business more than $25 billion every year. More than $17 billion of that loss is attributed to people who go to work sick and are therefore less productive. In my opinion, wives tales and ignorance are also major contributors to that loss.

For years, people thought a cold or other infections illness came from being outside in the rain or by not wearing a coat outside on chilly days. These behaviors lower the immune system, but colds and other diseases come from other people through some kind of contact, either person-to-person, or person-to-object. We spread these things ourselves, no divine intervention is required. In the end, it’ll be our own ignorance that kills us.

I’m not a doctor, but I can tell you from my own experiences that the number one part of preventing colds and flu is in sanitation. Maintaining a clean sink and toilet, using liquid instead of bar soaps, paper towels or air dryers and, when you can’t wash, antibacterial wipes and gels.

An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. If you do have a cold or some other issue that has you sneezing and coughing all day, please consider those around you. Had we not been so proactive, my mother could have died much earlier from complications of what to some people are just minor respiratory issues.

If you work in food service, stay home. If you work in medical care or around kids and the elderly, stay home. And as they always say, get lots of rest and drink plenty of liquids.



Small Business Saturday on WDTN’s Living Dayton, Nov 23.

In Business, Economy, Education, Local News, Media, television, Uncategorized on November 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Entrepreneur Gery L. Deer and Living Dayton co-host, Nathalie Basha.

Jamestown entrepreneur featured to discuss buying local.

Dayton, OH – Jamestown writer, entrepreneur Gery L. Deer will be the expert guest on WDTN-Ch2’s Living Dayton program beginning at Noon, Friday November 23rd in a special segment focusing on  Small Business Saturday. As the program’s resident business contributor, Deer will discussing the background and importance of how the November 24th event will generate awareness and sales for local companies.
American Express started Small Business Saturday in 2010 as a way to encourage consumers to support community businesses. The event takes place on the Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the two busiest shopping days of the year. Last year, according to Forbes Magazine, more than 100 million consumers shopped local stores and small, online storefronts. The company is providing free logos and marketing materials to participating retailers and a $25 statement credit to their customers who enroll qualified cards and use them to shop at local merchants.
“Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity to spotlight local merchants,” says Deer, creative director and owner of his copywriting, public relations and entertainment firm, GLD Enterprises in Jamestown. “It includes brick and mortar stores as well as locally-owned, online retailers as well.”
Local merchants can take advantage of the program by simply adding the logo to their websites, shop windows and advertisements, to let customers know. Deer also recommends providing an incentive to shoppers. “Providing a discount, free products or other perks to reward them for their patronage. This is a unique opportunity that comes with a national advertising campaign provided, in part, by the publicity generated by American Express.”  However, Deer also emphasizes the importance of patronizing these businesses year around, including professional services and other companies that may not be retail based.
“Shopping local is not merely something we should do during the holiday buying rush, but a regular practice that helps to strengthen the region’s economic base and protect it from national fiscal problems,” Deer says. “We also need to remember that there are hundreds of non-retail businesses in our communities that can provide us with everything from insurance to electrical contracting. They have competitive products and services to benefit everyone.”
Gery L. Deer also serves on the board of advisers for the Fairborn Community Center and as Secretary Treasurer for the Greater Dayton Professionals Chapter of BNI based in Beavercreek, Ohio. Viewers can see his regular business segments airing the first Thursday of each month on Living Dayton live weekdays from Noon until 1pm on television or streaming live from the station’s website at http://www.wdtn.com/generic/video/living-dayton-live-stream.

Thanksgiving Travelers Encouraged to Buckle Up.

In Children and Family, Education, Health, Local News, Media, psychology, Science, sociology, State News, Travel, Uncategorized on November 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Every Trip. Every Time.

Xenia, Ohio – The Thanksgiving holiday period is one of the busiest travel times of the year, and the Greene County Safe Communities Coalition wants to remind all travelers, whether they’re traveling across the country or just across town, that one of the best ways to ensure a safe arrival is to buckle up, every trip, every time. 

“During the long Thanksgiving travel weekend, many more people than usual are on the roads visiting family and friends,” says Laurie Fox, Safe Communities Coordinator.  “And we want to alert everyone that perhaps the single best thing they can do to save lives and protect themselves and their passengers on our roadways is to insist on the regular and proper use of their seat belts.”  

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belts saved more than 12,500 lives nationwide during 2010 alone. In fact, research shows that the risk of fatal injury to front seat passenger car occupants is reduced by 45-percent and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50-percent, when seat beats are worn correctly. 

Yet, too many people are still not getting the message.  Fifty-one percent of the 22,187 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed in motor vehicle crashes during 2010 were NOT wearing seat belts at the time of their fatal crashes.

“It’s a simple step that each of us can take to protect ourselves and our loved ones.  Yet, too many people are still not buckling up — especially in the hustle and bustle of holiday travel,” says Fox. 

During the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday (which ran from 6 p.m., Wednesday, November 24, to 5:59 a.m., Monday, November 29) 337 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes nationwide, and 55-percent of those were unrestrained at the time of the crash. 

“Unfortunately, the overnight hours prove to be the most dangerous on our nation’s roadways, not only during the Thanksgiving holiday, but throughout the year,” says Fox. 

Nationally in 2010, 61-percent of the 10,647 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes during the overnight hours (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the fatal crash, compared to 42-percent during the daytime hours.

During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, 64-percent of nighttime fatalities involved unbelted passenger vehicle occupants, while only 41-percent of daytime fatalities involved unbelted passenger vehicle occupants.

“Every day of the year, but especially during more dangerous travel times like the Thanksgiving holiday and at nighttime, we are working hard to remind everyone to always buckle up,” says Fox.  “Seat belts save lives, so please buckle up, every trip, every time, and so you can give thanks this holiday season and enjoy the time with your loved ones.”

For more information about traveling safely during Thanksgiving, please visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov.  For more information on Greene County Safe Communities, please call 937-374-5669 or email lfox@gcchd.org.  The Greene County Combined Health District is a grantee of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Office of Ohio Criminal Justice Services, Traffic Safety Division.

There’s No Place Like Home. Again.

In Business, Children and Family, Economy, Home Improvement, Jobs, Local News, Media, Opinion, psychology, sociology, State News, Uncategorized on November 13, 2012 at 12:39 pm


By Gery L. Deer

Economists suggest that the Great Recession is over, but the aftereffects are still quite apparent. Along with record unemployment and a troubled political landscape the fiscal meltdown left one more frightening thing in its wake … junior, who came back home to live in your basement.

According to a February 14, 2012 story in Time magazine, more than 25 million adults returned to live with their parents because they are either unemployed or underemployed, or for a variety of other reasons, primarily economic. Another piece in a recent edition of USA Today quotes Paul Taylor, director of the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends project.  “This is a case of families adapting to difficult circumstances,” he says. “Family is the ultimate social safety net.”

A temporary social safety net, yes, but it shouldn’t be indefinite. Most of the adults, single men and women between the ages of 22 and 34, moved back in with Mom and Dad because he or she could not find work in the same field or at a previous level of employment. With rent and other necessities becoming more difficult to manage, they end up on the doorstep of their family home hoping for a fresh start.

Unfortunately, because of lackluster employment growth in America, there seems to be very little light at the end of the tunnel for those empty nesters who invited kids back into the fold with open arms, but many of whom who were also ready to settle in and enjoy retirement. Instead, they’ve been returned to the days before the kids shipped off to the ivy covered walls of college.

Practical society places great importance on financial and personal independence and the idea that your job defines you. For most people moving back to the family home is a last resort and can often have a profound effect on the ego and the social life; a state to be avoided if at all possible.

For others, however, it’s just a cheap way to get out of having to actually look for a job. If you’re a parent whose children have returned to overstay their welcome, the main question now is when to show Maynard G. Krebs the door. Since you’re home with your adult kids, you can explain who he is after they read this.

It’s hard to say when it’s time to cut the purse strings. The lack of self-esteem brought on by unemployment and social rejection can really have a crushing effect on your child’s motivation to change a comfortable, safe situation.

After a time, gentle encouragement might be ineffective and you may need to use stronger, more direct measures. You might try saying something like, “Junior, it’s time for you to take whatever job you can and get back out there.” If that doesn’t work, try “Get out.” Just kidding; unless you think it would work then feel free to use the quote.

Kids, when you come back home, be respectful of the fact that it is still your parents’ house and you need to do whatever you can to make your stay effortless for them. Do your own laundry, cook, buy your own food, help with bills wherever possible and, by all means, be grateful!

Things will get better out there. There has been some improvement and there are jobs available. Sometimes it’s necessary to swallow one’s pride and take whatever work comes along, always striving to get back to wherever it is you want to be. Just keep at it and don’t give up.