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Definitely not the Weiner the world awaited

In Media, National News, Opinion, Politics, sociology, Uncategorized, World News on July 31, 2013 at 5:47 pm

DIH LOGO

Whoever holds the position as Mayor of New York City carries a level of political power that may be second only to that of the White House. It’s a daunting task requiring political savvy, brains and, eh-hem, character. If Anthony Weiner is the “best” option for that job, we have a sad political landscape in America today.

Regardless of his political accomplishments, this man has made himself into little more than a late night punch line. Perfectly named for receiving a repeated black eye from pundits, Weiner’s online “sextcapades” seem to have no end in sight.

When asked if any more of this material would be uncovered the guy actually said, and this is a quote, “I don’t know.” You don’t know? How can you not know? In the immortal words of Bill Cosby, “Has your head been with you all day?”

weinerismWeiner has become a complete laughing stock and there is absolutely no way he can win an election now. Yet, puzzlingly enough, Bill Clinton was re-elected for a second presidential term following his real-life trysts. In Clinton’s case, there was little more evidence than an accusation from a disgruntled intern – and a stained dress.

In Weiner’s situation you have to wonder how much more his wife is going to take before she walks. Her name is Huma Mahmood Abedin, and she happens to be a high-ranking aide to Hillary Clinton so I’m not sure that’s the best example to follow when it comes to dealing with infidelity. She could ignore Hillary’s playbook though. I’m hearing Tammy Wynette singing, “Stand By Your Man,” when suddenly the record scratches off and Abedin storms off the stage.

Whatever happens, if the democrats re-elect this guy to, well, any office at all, they really are crazy. Either that or they’re incredibly short-sighted and intend to definitively prove that liberals care nothing about character in their candidates.

It’s important to note, however, that there is nothing new about this kind of behavior from powerful executives on either side of the aisle. Expecting otherwise is probably about as unrealistic as thinking a cat is suddenly going to enjoy a bath.

The real issue, with regard to integrity, is that these men (and a few women) flat deny anything ever happened; at least until evidence surfaces to make liars out of them. Subsequently, they’re forced to come clean with a tearful apology and a carefully written statement from the safety of a podium, often with the humiliated wife standing nearby appearing to be supportive.

But as long as the American public keeps giving politicians a pass on this kind of behavior it will continue. Voters seem outraged one minute and re-elect them in the next. It makes no sense.

No one is perfect, least of all those who have chosen a life in the public eye, but when you are charged with representing the best interests of a constituency, you should at least behave like an adult, not an adolescent. Grow up, already.

Beyond that, voters need to have more integrity themselves. It’s time to stop choosing the lesser of, “Who cares?” Our local representatives have much more of an effect on our day-to-day lives than those in Washington and should live up to a much higher standard for that very reason.

But in order for them to be held accountable and to let them know that irresponsible behavior does have an effect on job performance, it takes a message sent from the polling place. There are many more “Weiners” out there, and smartphones and social media will be the professional death of them.

All we can do here on Main Street is try to convince people of higher sense of integrity and civic duty to run for office and help improve things one step at a time. As you visit the fairs and festivals going on throughout the end of summer and into fall, talk to those campaigning there and ask them the hard questions. We deserve better from our representatives but it will only happen if we demand it.

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer from Jamestown, Ohio. Deer In Headlines is syndicated by GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing. (c) 2013, GLD Enterprises / Gery L. Deer. All Rights Reserved.

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Navigating the Ohio Bureaucracy of Motor Vehicles

In Business, Economy, Education, Local News, Opinion, sociology, State News, Uncategorized on July 24, 2013 at 9:14 am

Deer In Headlines

By Gery L. Deer

???????????????????????Before I launch into the meat of this week’s column, it is important to point out that the majority of people I’ve encountered at the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles have been kind, courteous and helpful, and often apologizing profusely for the inconsistency of their employer’s policies. Most spend whatever time is necessary to help you sort out problems and do their best to make your visit more pleasant. But, as they say, one bad apple can spoil the whole barrel.

With the possible exception of going to the dentist or some invasive medical procedure, nothing is more agonizing than the thought of standing in line at the BMV. Trapped like cattle to slaughter in a snaking rope line, people wait anxiously; subdued by a system that takes in an unbelievable amount of money and possesses a level of control surpassed only by the Internal Revenue Service.

According to the Ohio BMV website, in 2012 the agency collected nearly $40 million from driver license reinstatement fees alone. At the same time, it processed more than 14 million vehicle registrations. No revenue figure was available on those services but at roughly $50 a shot, that number has to be dizzying. One would think with that much money coming in someone could spring for a customer service lesson.

Recently I went to the BMV to renew the registration for one of my father’s vehicles. Having repeated this procedure for several years in a row, I had all of the previously accepted documentation and waited patiently for over an hour. Once at the counter, I was told my power of attorney form, issued by the BMV authorizing me to make the transaction in my dad’s absence, was unacceptable.

“That one’s for the title office,” they spouted with fervent authority, like proud kings of their particular hill. The document in question has no markings specifying such information but instead contains wording that suggests it can be used for any and all BMV transactions as a legal POA. In addition, that same document had been accepted by that same branch for the previous two years for the same transaction, on the same vehicle.

When I attempted to explain these facts, I was quickly interrupted by one clerk who felt it necessary to demonstrate his dime store knowledge of the law as he described how a durable power of attorney should be configured. Really? Perhaps Mr. Matlock is in the wrong line of work.

As it turned out, the “acceptable” document is not even a POA and requires no notarization. With no official confirmation of the proper owner’s signature, I could simply have gone out into the hallway, signed my father’s name and brought it back in. Good to know that the BMV is on top of helping keep your identity secure. (Yes, that was sarcasm.)

Since I teach people how to handle business situations and deal with customers in a more fruitful manner, even when the customer is wrong (which seems an inevitable constant at the BMV) I offer this advice to clerks in similar situations. Since the document I possessed was a legal power of attorney for the vehicle in question, accept it as such.

Instead of showing me how powerful and rigid you are, ask that I fill out the new form in your presence and sign for the vehicle owner based on the permission granted by the notarized POA. Then say something like, “We can do this now, but here’s the new form you need for next time.” That’s all it would have taken to solve the problem.

To those of you about to make the painful trek to the BMV, knowledge is power so do your homework! The Ohio BMV website – www.bmv.ohio.gov – contains all the documents and information you need to be better prepared. Being a little pro-active can make your day easier when dealing with an unknowledgeable, control-freak teller, and demonstrates your understanding for those clerks who are doing their best to help you navigate an imperfect system.

50th Annual Annie Oakley Festival features unique Wild West performances

In Children and Family, Education, Entertainment, Local News, Media, Theatre, Uncategorized on July 22, 2013 at 7:51 am

AOWAS_1GREENVILLE, OH – Internationally famous Wild West performers from all over the United States will headline the 11th Annual Annie Oakley Western Arts Showcase for five live performances July 26-28 in Greenville, Ohio. Bullwhip artists, trick ropers, knife throwers and other experts in the Wild West arts will perform throughout the weekend beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday July 26 at 7 p.m. and followed by two Saturday performances at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. and two more shows at Noon and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Each show is free with the $3 regular festival admission.

The program is the featured western entertainment at the 50th Annual Annie Oakley Festival, a city-wide celebration of the Darke County sharpshooting legend’s life and times. In addition to exciting performances, Saturday afternoon’s matinee show will include the National Whip Speed and Accuracy Exhibition Competition, the world’s only Bullwhip Fast Draw contest and a couple of world record attempts by some of the whip artists.

Presented in the spirit of the stage-style Wild West shows of the late 19th Century, each production will include some detailed history about how these arts came to be and who still practices them today. Some of the players include Guinness Book World Record holders Robert Dante and Chris Camp (America’s Got Talent, The Tonight Show), champion knife thrower Kirk Bass, of Xenia, Ohio, and his daring wife Melodee in the suspenseful Bass Blades impalement show, and much more.

Gery Deer (left) with Jim Karns in "The Vanishing Bandana" - The Brothers & Co. Variety Show

Gery Deer (left) with Jim Karns in “The Vanishing Bandana” – The Brothers & Co. Variety Show

On Saturday evening at 6 p.m., the Grand Wild West Showcase will feature the regular cast hosted by the music and comedy of The Brothers & Co. Variety Show. “We pull out all the stops on Saturday night,” says Gery L. Deer, an award-winning whip artist, writer and the producer of the Annie Oakley Western Arts Showcase. “The Brothers & Co. Variety Show is a one-of-a-kind musical variety show from a by-gone era, full of comedy, magic, and some of the best four-part music on stage today. There will be nothing else like this anywhere at the festival!”

Often compared to The Statler Brothers or Oak Ridge Boys, The Brothers & Co. offers audiences a brilliant combination of four-part vocals and Vaudeville-style comedy and family-friendly variety routines. Of course, without talented performers, none of this would be possible.

“The Annie Oakley Western Arts Showcase wouldn’t have lasted eleven years if it didn’t exhibit the best western arts entertainment anywhere in the state with real practitioners of each skill,” says Deer, who started the event in Jamestown, Ohio, back in 2002 as a Midwestern convention of western artists. “These are talented performers with genuine ability, no fakery, no tricks. Everything you see in our show is real.”

The event is sponsored by GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing, The Brothers & Co. Entertainers, Culligan of Dayton, and the Annie Oakley Festival Committee. All performances are family friendly and are presented indoors in the upper level of the Darke County Fairground Coliseum, 800 Sweitzer Street in Greenville, Ohio. For links to the festival and sneak previews of the performers plus more information go online to www.ohiowesternarts.org or call (937) 902-4857.

Media distorts facts in high profile cases

In Education, Health, history, National News, Opinion, Politics, Senior Lifestyle, sociology, Uncategorized on July 16, 2013 at 9:40 am

DIH LOGOUnless you’re one of those people who can outwit the trivia nerds on Jeopardy!, you probably don’t remember the name, Stella Liebeck. It’s a sure bet, though, that you more than likely remember hearing of a woman awarded millions after spilling hot McDonald’s coffee on herself while driving – except that’s not exactly what happened.

In 1992, 79-year-old Liebeck sued McDonald’s Corporation after being severely burned by coffee spilled in her lap. Her case drew national attention to the idea of “frivolous lawsuits,” igniting a firestorm of conservative push for swift and devastating tort reform.

For those of you who slept through high school civics class, a tort is a wrongful act or infringement of rights leading to a legal liability. In other words, if someone hurts you in some way and they may be liable for the injury (physical, emotional, financial, or otherwise), that’s called a tort.

Torts exist to help protect the public from the negligence of others, whether the fault of an individual or a business. Without them, no one would ever be held legally accountable for causing accidents and injuries. Like other well-meaning legislation, sometimes greedy people abuse the system – or attempt to – just out to make an easy buck. The majority of, what might be considered “frivolous,” lawsuits die out in the first hearings or are settled out of court to avoid public scrutiny.

With rampant distortion of the facts in the Liebeck case, it’s easy to understand why people really didn’t know what happened and just assumed she was looking for a big payday from a huge corporation. Sadly, the particulars were lost in the hype, turning this poor woman into a media joke, even inspiring a groin-scalding episode of “Seinfeld.”

At the time, the media’s fractured reporting stated Liebeck was herself negligent because she was driving at the time of the spill when, in fact, she was a passenger in a stationary vehicle at the time. It really would have made little difference anyway, since the coffee in question was estimated to have been around 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Medical experts suggest that any skin in contact with liquid of that temperature for more than a few seconds would experience severe burns of, at minimum, second degree and potentially surpassing third.

As it turned out, evidence in the case showed that the fast food giant’s franchisees were required to maintain coffee at a sitting temperature between 180 and 190 degrees Fahrenheit. The searing heat of the fast food giant’s coffee had resulted in hundreds of documented injuries. Liebeck’s burns were located on her inner and back thigh and were so severe as to require a series of major skin grafts over several months and caused agonizing pain.

HERE IS A LINK TO PHOTOS OF MRS. LIEBECK’s INJURIES – PLEASE NOTE, THEY ARE GRAPHIC IN NATURE. PARENTAL DISCRETION IS ADVISED.

Initially, the Liebeck’s family wrote a letter to McDonald’s merely asking they cover medical bills for her treatment but with no response, they were forced to take legal action. In the end, the jury found McDonald’s liable for the severity of the injuries due to temperature policy and frequency of documented injuries.

Punitive damages (additional monetary punishment to the wrong-doer) were awarded by the jury in the amount of $2.7 million. That figure was later reduced by the judge to $480,000, but Liebeck eventually settled with McDonald’s for an undisclosed amount.

Sensational news stories like the Liebeck case should always be taken a dose of skepticism because. The court of public opinion can be devastating to a case like this, and like so many more recent ones. No media outlet is fair or balanced and no one reports all the facts because reporters are not privy to everything. Guilt or innocence should be based on the decision of the jury, not the news media.

Jamestown music festival to raise money for village park

In Charities, Children and Family, Entertainment, Local News, Senior Lifestyle, Uncategorized on July 16, 2013 at 5:10 am
Singer, Songwriter 15-year-old Gabrielle Shuh will be featured with The Brothers & Co. Variety Show, just one of the bands performing during Samson’s Summerfest fundraiser for the Jamestown community park.

Singer, Songwriter 15-year-old Gabrielle Shuh will be featured with The Brothers & Co. Variety Show, just one of the bands performing during Samson’s Summerfest fundraiser for the Jamestown community park.

 

JAMESTOWN, OH – Last year the small, community park at the corner of Adams and Sycamore streets in Jamestown was demolished by the village citing safety concerns. Now, a group of dedicated residents have banded together to raise nearly a half-million dollars for its restoration beginning this month with a summer music festival.

From 11:30AM until Midnight on Saturday, July 20th, Samson’s Summerfest will be held at D&D Farms, 2466 Sutton Rd. in Jamestown, admission donation $10 per car. In addition to the 7 bands performing throughout the day, there will raffles, hourly 50/50 drawings, and professional face painters. A Kids’ Corner is planned as well, $5 for 10 tickets, with prizes for every participant. A bonfire rounds out the evening once the sun goes down.

“I used to play there when I was a kid and I wanted to take my own children there when I moved back to the area but it was torn down,” says event co-organizer Nick Starns. “We only have about $3,000 right now but we need a lot more to replace the park.”

While there is no exact or official figure available, an unnamed source has reported replacing the park’s basketball courts, skate park area, shelter house and other amenities would cost approximately $300,000.

Musical guests include Chained to the Sky, Desalitt, Suicide Ghouls, The Brothers & Co. Variety Show with Gabrielle Shuh, Drifting Aimlessly, and many more. Promotional considerations are provided by D&D Farms and GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing. For more information contact Nick Starns by calling 937-347-7377 or Anita Cheney at 937-675-2383.

(Click here for a video clip from WDTN – Living Dayton featuring Samson’s Summerfest)  Samson’s Summerfest Music Festival

The Suicide Ghouls

The Suicide Ghouls

"Chained to the Sky"

“Chained to the Sky”

NOTICE: The community park benefit concert is a private undertaking by concerned citizens and is in no way endorsed, sanctioned, operated or supported by the Village of Jamestown, the Jamestown Village Council, or the Jamestown Community Park Committee.

Greene County Combined Health District Announces “Public Health Heat Warning”

In Children and Family, Health, Local News, Science, Senior Lifestyle, Technology, Uncategorized on July 15, 2013 at 3:02 pm

dog2XENIA, OH – The upcoming days are going to be dangerously hot and humid if you’re working or playing outside, or living without air conditioning.  The Greene County Combined Health District is cautioning that weather conditions are going to remain hazardous for a few days.

The primary reason for the public notification is that GCCHD expects a stretch of days with daytime heat indices at least in the mid to upper 90’s, coupled with nighttime lows in excess of 70 degrees. These types of conditions may cause those without air conditioning to experience significant physical and mental stress. When nighttime lows fail to drop below 70 degrees, the human body has a difficult time recovering from the ongoing heat.

Greene County Combined Health District officials are stressing that everyone needs to take precautions to prevent heat-related illnesses. Physical activity should be limited as much as possible. Individuals are also encouraged to minimize prolonged exposure to high heat conditions.

It is recommended that everyone pay particular attention to the following suggestions to prevent heat-related illness:

  • Drink plenty of water and non-alcoholic fluids. Put the alcoholic beverages away until cooler weather. Alcoholic drinks can increase a person’s risk to heat-related illnesses.
  • Decrease physical activity. This is particularly advisable for joggers and high school or junior high school athletic teams. Exercise activities should occur in the morning or early in the evening. Stay in the shade as much as possible.  Greene County agencies and jurisdictions that have heat mitigation plans should implement those plans now.
  • Use air conditioning, if available. Many public buildings, libraries, malls, and other locations are air-conditioned.
  • Wear loose lightweight and light-colored cotton clothing.
  • Eat light meals.
  • Cool down with showers, baths, and recreational swimming.
  • Adjust blinds, shades, and awnings to keep out the sun.
  • Use your basement, if it is cool, during the hottest hours.
  • Be a good neighbor and check on those who may need assistance.
  • Individuals with chronic health problems, such as heart disease or lung problems, should minimize activities because the heat will add additional stress.
  • Extra caution should be taken for the elderly and young infants and children to assure that they are protected from the heat.
  • Children and pets should not be left unattended in closed vehicles. Temperatures can reach dangerous levels rapidly.
  • Individuals on various medications should check with their doctor to see if the heat puts them at increased risk.

 

Background on heat information

High temperatures and humidity stress the body’s ability to cool itself, and heat illness becomes a special concern. There are three major forms of heat illnesses: heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke, with heat stroke being a life threatening condition.

 

Heat Cramps

Heat cramps are muscle spasms that usually affect the arms, legs, or stomach. Frequently they don’t occur until sometime later after work, at night, or when relaxing. Heat cramps are caused by dehydration. Although heat cramps can be quite painful, they usually don’t result in permanent damage. To prevent them, drink water every 15 to 20 minutes. Sports drinks that replace electrolytes help prevent a loss of sodium caused by excessive sweating. If nausea occurs discontinue fluids and seek medical attention.

 

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is more serious than heat cramps. It occurs when the body’s internal air-conditioning system is overworked, but hasn’t completely shut down. This condition can occur when you don’t drink enough fluids to replace what you’re sweating away. The symptoms of heat exhaustion include headache, nausea, weakness, dizziness, heavy perspiration and extreme thirst.  Somebody suffering these symptoms should be moved to a cool location such as a shaded area or air-conditioned building. Have them lie down with their feet slightly elevated. Loosen their clothing, apply cool, wet cloths or fan them. Have them take sips of water or sports drinks. If nausea occurs, discontinue fluids.

 

If vomiting continues or if little to no improvement after 30 minutes, seek immediate medical attention. Victims of heat exhaustion should avoid strenuous activity for at least a day, and they should continue to drink water to replace lost body fluids.

 

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is a life threatening illness with a high death rate. It occurs when the body has depleted its supply of water and salt, and the victim’s body temperature rises to deadly levels. A heat stroke victim may first suffer heat cramps and/or the heat exhaustion before progressing into the heat stroke stage, but this is not always the case. It should be noted that, heat stroke is sometimes mistaken for heart attack. It is therefore very important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat stroke and to check for them anytime someone collapses while in a hot environment.  The symptoms of heat stroke include confusion, irrational behavior, loss of consciousness, convulsions, lack of sweating, hot dry skin, and abnormally high body temperature. If someone is having any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately. Seconds count. It is vital to lower a heat stroke victim’s body temperature. Do not give fluids. Pour water on them, fan them, or apply cold packs until medical help arrives.

Beavercreek company celebrates second straight year of growth with grand opening of new location

In Business, Economy, Jobs, Local News, Technology, Uncategorized on July 9, 2013 at 3:54 pm
It was only a year ago that CT Beavercreek moved into their first commercial location on N. Fairfield Road. Now, expansion requires a change. (Photo by Gery L. Deer - The Jamestown Comet)

It was only a year ago that CT Beavercreek moved into their first commercial location on N. Fairfield Road. Now, expansion requires a change. (Photo by Gery L. Deer – The Jamestown Comet)

BEAVERCREEK, OH – It was only one year ago that Computer Troubleshooters of Beavercreek (CTB) moved from the home of owners Cliff and Genevieve Brust to their first commercial office on N. Fairfield Road. Thanks to the continued support and patronage of Beavercreek and the surrounding communities, CTB is growing again, expanding services and moving to a larger, storefront location at 3792 Dayton-Xenia Rd. Beavercreek, Ohio 45432.

Click to view the video clip from WDTN – Living Dayton.

To celebrate these great milestones, Computer Troubleshooters invites the public to attend an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony at the new location on Tuesday, July 16, from 4PM until 7PM. Visitors will enjoy free refreshments, door prizes and the formal ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for 4:30PM, hosted by the Beavercreek Chamber of Commerce.

Part of an international network of independently owned franchises, Computer Troubleshooters provides complete information technology (IT) support for residential and commercial clients. Services range from basic computer repair and managed business services to cloud computing for advanced medical documentation.

CTB President Cliff Brust is excited about the continued growth of his company. “We’ve been fortunate to find success in the Beavercreek area and we hope to continue to grow and improve to meet the ever-changing needs of our customers,” he says.

As technology changes, computer support companies have to make the constant effort to keep up through continued education, the addition of new services and increased expertise with current devices and software. According to Brust, CTB is doing just that by enhancing their product and service lines.

“Along with our state-of-the-art IT support services and computer sales, we are now offering customized training classes, technology recycling, digital photography and computer accessories,” Brust adds.

CTB’s new location is west of N. Fairfield Rd., situated between Knollwood Garden Center and Capitol Dry Cleaners. To attend the open house and ribbon cutting ceremony, RSVP by calling Genevieve Brust at (937) 458-2000 or email gbrust@comptroub.com. Further information about Computer Troubleshooters of Beavercreek is available online at www.ctbeavercreek.com.

Those thrilling days of yesteryear

In Children and Family, Entertainment, Media, Movies, National News, Opinion, sociology, television, Uncategorized on July 9, 2013 at 8:39 am

DIH LOGOThe Lone Ranger first debuted in 1933 from the studios of WXYZ radio in Detroit, Michigan. Created by station owner George W. Trendle and writer Fran Striker, the character is said to have been based on the exploits of Bass Reeves, a real life federal peace officer who worked in Indian Territory during the late 1870s. Accompanied by his trusty Indian sidekick, Tonto, and themed by the thrilling rhythm of Gioachino Rossini’s operatic William Tell Overture, The Lone Ranger became an immediate success.

By the time that last surviving ranger hit the airways Wild West lore had been incredibly popular for more than two decades, particularly in dime novels, on the radio and in traveling shows. Originally aimed at children, it is estimated that more than half the audience for the program were adults, many of whom had grown up with stories about western legends like Billy the Kid, Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp.

Unlike his historical counterparts who clearly had bad sides to their character, The Lone Ranger would be the ultimate good guy, with a mask to both maintain his anonymity and help confound corrupt government officials as to his true nature. In order to keep continuity for the character, the original writers created a set of guidelines that established who and what The Lone Ranger is meant to be. Some of the guidelines were a little silly, but others far ahead of their time.

For example, one of the rules stated that the Ranger would never be pitted against an adversary who was not American so as to avoid criticism from minority groups. In other words, it was already practicing political correctness. Another said that he could never drink or smoke and any “saloon” scenes had to be portrayed as cafes with waiters serving food instead of bartenders pouring drinks. One of the most interesting was a rule that stated he would always use perfect grammar and diction, devoid of slang and colloquialisms.

Many people who remember those days believe that actor William Conrad, star of the 1970s P.I. show, “Cannon,” was the original voice of The Lone Ranger on radio, but that is not so. In fact, Conrad voiced another famous western lawman, Gunsmoke’s Marshall Matt Dillon.

In 1949, the show made the ultimate leap from radio to the fledgling technology known as television, with Clayton Moore donning the famous mask and Native American actor Jay Silverheels as Tonto. After eight seasons on ABC, two of which with a different actor in the lead role, the show was cancelled in 1957. A year later, a theatrical feature was released starring the TV actors in a new adventure but the demand for the masked man never quite returned to its former pitch, though a couple of other failed attempts were made to return him to both the theatre and the small screen.

In 1981, a big screen version of The Lone Ranger was met with the harshest of criticism and dismal box office receipts. The movie failed partly because it was just a bad film, but mostly because the producers sued former star, Clayton Moore, to forbid him from wearing the signature mask in public appearances. Who says there’s no such thing as bad press?

The most recent incarnation of the Masked Man hit the silver screen this summer as a tongue-in-cheek Disney flick featuring Armie Hammer as Ranger John Reid (The Lone Ranger) and Johnny Depp as his trusted Indian partner. Unfortunately the campy tone that worked so well for Depp in the Pirates of the Caribbean series falls flat in this film, detracting from the nature of the characters and overshadowing the story.

Disney had the opportunity here to introduce two beloved characters of Americana to a new generation. But, instead of using the elements that made the show a success originally, they changed the formula and merely created another summer flop from a classic franchise. Hopefully, The Lone Ranger has not forever ridden off into the sunset and will get another chance to let audiences experience, “a cloud of dust and a hardy ‘Hi-Yo Silver!’”

 

Rise in Near-Drowning Incidents Remind Ohioans of the Need for Water Safety

In Children and Family, Education, Health, Local News, World News on July 1, 2013 at 11:33 am
Prevent near drowning injuries with proper safety. (Photo courtesy Ohio.com)

Prevent near drowning injuries with proper safety. (Photo courtesy Ohio.com)

XENIA, OH—A recent analysis of the number of children treated in emergency departments for near drowning incidents has officials at the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the Greene County Combined Health District emphasizing the need for safe water practices.

ODH tracks near-drowning incidents, which are reported to the state agency by emergency department personnel on a daily basis. The emergency department data show a clear seasonal trend in near drowning incidents from the months of May-August. Children and youth are at an increased risk for drowning during these summer months. Parents should  closely monitor their children’s play during water activities.

ODH also monitors death certificates to ascertain the number of drowning deaths. In 2012 in Ohio, 29 children and 69 adults died from drowning, according to preliminary ODH death certificate data. According to the Greene County Coroner’s office, there have been only 2 drowning deaths in Greene County in the last 5 years, one in 2008 and one in 2009.

While children can drown in water anywhere, young children (aged 1 to 9) are at greater risk of
drowning in swimming pools while older youth (aged 10 to 19) are at greater risk of drowning in
natural bodies of water and is the second leading cause of death in children aged 0-4 according to the CDC.

“Swimming and water-related activities are a great way to stay fit. There are risks, however, such as water-related illness, sunburn and the risk of drowning,” says Melissa Howell, Health Commissioner for the Greene County Combined Health District.

Here are some important water safety tips:

Fence it off. Install a four–sided isolation fence, with self–closing and self–latching gates, around backyard swimming pools. This can help keep children away from the area when a parent cannot supervise them. Pool fences should  completely separate the house and play area from the pool. If children can gain access to pools through the house or poorly-latched gates, they are at risk of drowning. Door alarms, pool alarms and automatic pool covers can add an extra layer of protection when used properly, but should not replace a fence and good supervision.

Never swim alone. Always have a buddy with you when you swim. It is also good to have a watch buddy as well in the event someone needs to contact emergency personnel.

Be on the lookout. Supervise young children at all times around bathtubs, swimming pools, ponds, lakes, and other bodies of water. Partner with other parents to take turns watching children at swimming pools. While parents often believe they will hear splashing or shouting, drowning is often silent and occurs quickly.

Begin teaching children to swim early. Experts suggest starting swimming lessons after age 4. Local YMCAs offer swimming lessons for children as young as 6 months (with a parent) to adults. Also, please note that water safety programs for infants and young children are not a substitute for good supervision.

Make life jackets a “must.” Make sure all kids wear life jackets (also known as personal flotation devices or PFDs) in and around natural bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers and ponds, even if they know how to swim. Ohio law requires children under the age of 10 to wear a PFD at all times on boats under 18 feet long, however older children will be safest when they wear PFDs too.

The PFD must be:

• U.S. Coast Guard approved Type I, II, III, or V
• In good and serviceable condition
• Of appropriate size
• Securely attached.

Learn CPR. Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and get re-certified every two years. Immediate CPR can help a child stay alive and reduce the chance of brain damage.

Install drain covers and safety releases. To avoid drain entanglement and entrapment in pools and spas, install anti-entrapment drain covers and safety vacuum release systems.
For more information on water safety and other safe and healthy summer practices, please visit: www.odh.ohio.gov. For more information about the Greene County Combined Health District, please visit www.gcchd.org.