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Memorial Day Weekend Century Ride in Dayton to Support Wounded Warriors

In Dayton Ohio News, Health, Local News, Sports News, Travel, Uncategorized on April 12, 2021 at 10:57 am

Dayton, Ohio – April 12, 2021 – On Memorial Day Weekend, avid cyclists and casual riders alike are invited to participate in the Dayton Century Ride, a 50 and 100-mile bike ride to support the Wounded Warrior Project. This is the second year for the event and there is no cost to participate, however organizers are hopeful participants will encourage family and friends to sponsor their ride and donate to the Wounded Warrior Project campaign. https://communityfundraising.woundedwarriorproject.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.personalCampaign&participantID=3976

The event begins at 8am on Sunday, May 30, 2021 – Starting point will be at the Creekside Trail near the intersection of Springfield St and N Smithville Rd. Participants will follow the Creekside Trail to Xenia where it meets up with the Little Miami Scenic Trail.

Riders will continue south to Cartridge Brewing, located right on the bike trail and a perfect 50 miles, one way. Participants can either have friends and family pick them up at Cartridge Brewing after a well-earned rest around noon or head back north to complete the full 100-mile century ride.

“The first ride was completed in 2020 by a few Air Force officers while stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB,” explained Mark Adams, one of the event organizers. “We hope to make the ride a staple event of the Dayton area, growing in number and impact as the ride becomes better known. We hope you join us on this great ride for a great cause!”

All proceeds support life-changing programs that empower, employ, and engage America’s injured Veterans. Thanks to the generosity of those who donate, warriors and their families never pay a cent for these services.

For more information, please call Mark Adams at 815-307-5004, or email mark.adams@alumni.purdue.edu.

Starting Point:

Midpoint for Century or Endpoint for 50 …

GCPH Warns Residents of Scammers Posing as Public Health Officials, Sharing Information on Vaccine Availability

In Health, Local News, Media on February 11, 2021 at 11:35 am

GREENE COUNTY, OH – Greene County Public Health officials have been alerted to the possibility of people fraudulently contacting residents by phone, text or email posing as public health officials and sharing information on the vaccine or other topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This information is to ensure that our residents get the official information from our agency and are not scammed.

If you are part of Phase 1B and have pre-registered to receive the COVID-19 vaccine through our agency, you will receive a call from 937-347-5030 and the caller ID will read as GREENE COUNTY. It will be a recorded message stating the date, time and location of the next available clinic for you to come to receive your vaccine. If you provide your email on the online registration form, you will get an email from bbrooks@gcph.info. If you can not take the call at the time it comes in, it will leave a voice mail for you to check later.

The only place to register for a clinic provided by Greene County Public Health is on our website at http://www.gcph.info. Once on our site, you can click the center blue box that states: Click This Box to go to the COVID-19 Vaccine Sign-Up Page. Read the information very carefully and then click the link to fill out the form. Once you are on the list, you will remain on the list until you get the call to come to a scheduled clinic. It could take several weeks or even longer, pending vaccine availability, before you receive a call. As a federal asset, the COVID-19 vaccine is free to the public, however, we will attempt to bill your insurance for the administration of the vaccine. There is no fee for you and you will not receive a bill.

There are other vaccine providers in Greene County. There is no affiliation between Greene County Public Health and the other providers. Please visit vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov for the list of other providers which can be sorted by county. You are encouraged to get vaccinated in your home county as vaccine allotment to the counties is based on population. Pending vaccine availability, we are running clinics on Wednesdays from 10am – 3pm and Thursdays from 11am-5:30pm at the Russ Research Center, 2730 Indian Ripple Road in Beavercreek.

In addition, to avoid loss of personal information, we encourage you not to share a picture of your vaccination card on social media as it does contain personal information. For official information on Greene County Public Health, our response to the pandemic, and the vaccine rollout, please contact Laurie Fox, Public Information Officer, at 937-374-5600, ext. 5669 or by email at lfox@gcph.info. GCPH shares this information on several social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. You can also visit GCPH’s COVID-19 FAQ page at healthalert.gcph.info/COVID19.

Greene County Public Health Provides Vaccination Update

In Health, Local News on January 13, 2021 at 12:30 pm


Phase 1A Ongoing; Phase 1B To Begin The Week of Jan. 19, 2021 Pending Vaccine Availability

January 13, 2021 – GREENE COUNTY, OH — In conjunction with Ohio’s statewide efforts to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to Ohioans in Phase 1B starting the week of January 19, Greene County Public Health (GCPH) officials and the Greene County Emergency Management Agency (GCEMA) are partnering to lead the vaccination efforts. The combined knowledge and decades of training will allow these agencies to continue to serve our local community as we work to vaccinate Ohioans in our community.

Vaccination to individuals in the Phase 1A groups are currently ongoing. These groups include healthcare
providers, individuals with developmental disabilities and those with mental health/substance use disorders who live in group homes and residential facilities and staff at those centers, as well as EMS. Public Health is not providing vaccination to hospital workers or those who live or work in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. Those vaccinations are being provided by hospital systems and by local pharmacies.

Governor DeWine recently announced plans for the state to begin rolling out Phase 1B beginning the week of
Tuesday, January 19, pending vaccine shipments and availability. Below is the breakdown of the phase by date:

  1. Week of January 18: Individuals age 80 and older can be vaccinated
  2. Week of January 25: Individuals ages 75 and older can be vaccinated, along with individuals with
    severe congenital, developmental, and early onset of medical disorders.
  3. Week of February 1: Individuals ages 70 and older can be vaccinated, along with K-12 schoolteachers
    and staff only for schools that elect to be in person or offer a hybrid model by March 1.
  4. Week of February 8: Individuals age 65 and older can be vaccinated.

According to Noah Stuby, Deputy Health Commissioner for GCPH, “Our partnership with GCEMA and years
of professional training, developing plans, and preparations make us uniquely qualified to lead this effort in thecommunity. It is important that residents have the most up-to-date information available to make their own educated decision about getting vaccinated”. Rosanne Anders, Director of GCEMA agrees “Once our residents have the facts about the vaccine, it is our hope they will receive the vaccine to protect their health and that of their family members, friends and neighbors”. These agencies remind residents that the roll out of this phase will be very slow due to limited vaccine availability.

In order to make it easy to know when you can get your vaccine from Greene County Public Health,
please visit https://healthalert.gcph.info/COVID19/signup and click on Phase 1A (blue box) or Phase 1B
(purple box). You will then be notified by public health officials when and where there is a GCPH vaccine
clinic available for you to receive the vaccine. This is not for any other local providers that may be offering
vaccine, only those vaccines provided by GCPH.

Public Health officials will announce additional information on new phases as information becomes available through the local news media, our social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @GreeneCoPH and our website www.gcph.info. Public Health asks for patience as we work through the Phase 1A and 1B priority groups.

For updates on the vaccination process, visit: www.healthalert.gcph.info/COVID19 or
www.coronavirus.ohio.gov and click on COVID-19 Vaccination Program. For information about the vaccines
currently available, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines.html

Coronavirus and caregiving. Tips for keeping healthy during the COVID-19 crisis.

In Children and Family, Health, history, National News, Politics, Science, Senior Lifestyle, Uncategorized on March 15, 2020 at 5:49 pm

(Reprinted by permission from the Old Nerd in the Gym Fitness blog)

As of the time of this writing, COVID-19, known as the Coronavirus, has become a pandemic and lives and countries affected are growing exponentially with no end in sight. As government and private medical resources scramble for a viable vaccine, Americans struggle with the idea of social distancing and isolation. Some of the most widely affected are those who care for others – medical professionals and, in our interest here, informal caregivers.

The isolation already felt by caregivers can be greatly exacerbated by further restrictions on respite time or visits from friends and family. It is difficult to know with whom people may have come into contact causes and the danger to your family member is unpredictable. Even in-home care providers create a higher risk for patients and their caregivers.

For those with family members in a nursing facility, there is now a greater feeling of separation. Nursing care guidelines have restricted visiting hours or cancelled them entirely for all but hospice patients. Whatever stress caregivers face on a day-to-day basis are now greatly multiplied.

During this difficult time it’s important that caregivers remember to practice additional self-care. Here are some tips that might help. 


Protecting Yourself and Your Charge

First and foremost is protecting yourself and your family member from potential infection. Nothing is failsafe, but there are things you can do to minimize the potential hazards and it all starts with factual information. (Here is information provided by the Washington State Department of Health)

How is the novel coronavirus that can cause COVID-19 spread?

Coronaviruses are primarily spread through respiratory droplets, which means to become infected, people generally have to be within six feet of someone who is contagious for an extended period of time, and have droplets land on them. This is very different from airborne diseases like measles, so the public health response is different.

To reduce your risk of getting any viral respiratory infection:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
  • Stay at home away from others if you are sick.
  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.

Dealing With Isolation & Monotony

It might be tough to battle the day-to-day monotony and isolation of caregiving but now it’s going to be even harder. Respite becomes all the more important but, with social safety restrictions and countless event and activity closings, it will be fleeting at best. Rest and diversion are vital to mental stability and calm. 

Exercise. Find exercises you can do at home. Most streaming services offer some type of free exercise videos you can follow. Yoga and meditation can help too, or just go outside and take a walk, even if it’s just around the house. If you can, take your charge with you. Avoid contact with others, but open air is good for everyone. Try to find something to get your heartrate up. 

Food. Be careful not to overeat. Ignoring the potential for supply shortages, if only to avoid the infection risk at the store, boredom will invite snacking and the potential to overeat. When you do shop, avoid buying chips or other unhealthy snacks and keep fresh fruit and veggies on hand. Citrus and other fruits will help to shore up your immune system. Provide the same to your family member if they’re able. 

Proper hydration is also a concern during these trying times. As has been mentioned many times in the Old Nerd articles and podcasts, staying hydrated is vital to health. Be sure to keep health drinks like low or no-sugar fruit juice and water.

Sleep. Proper rest is critical to mental and physical health alike. It’s difficult enough to rest when your mind is full of worry and fear as a caregiver. Now, adding the virus concerns sleep will be even more fleeting. Still, make every effort. Avoid screens within an hour or so before trying to sleep and don’t watch the news. Read a book you like or play a game with your charge or other household member. Do something to take your mind off of everything before you try to sleep. Build a routine around it and do your best to hold to it. 

KEY TIP: Avoid Social Media

It might seem, during such isolated times, that social media would be a great way to keep in contact with the outside world. But Facebook, Twitter and the like are far too full of false information, non-scientific nonsense and just flat-out negativity. None of this will be helpful to maintaining sharp mental focus and a calm emotional state. Turn it off. If you want to talk to family and friends pick up the phone or video chat so you can see and hear them. That will comfort you, not the ravings of crazy internet trolls. 

Hang In There.

Everyone must be in this for the long-haul. There is no vaccine for this disease yet in sight, but professionals are working hard. Follow the CDC guidelines and be careful. Proper hand-washing and advanced self-care will see it through. 

We will be releasing more advice and information as available. In the meantime, here are some resources that might help.

SOURCES & RESOURCES: 

CDC Definitions and Information on Quarantine and Isolation: https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/index.html

World Map of COVID-19 Infections:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/world-map.html

Women’s Health & Pregnancy Resources

Women’s Health Care Physicians Practice Advisory for COVID-19, ACOG

Inpatient Obstetric Healthcare Guidance, CDC

Coronavirus Disease and Pregnancy, CDC

Guidance on Breastfeeding for a Mother with COVID-19, CDC

Drive Merry, Bright, and Sober This Holiday Season. Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving

In Dayton Ohio News, Health, Local News on December 2, 2019 at 1:03 pm

XENIA, OH — This holiday season, the Greene County Safe Communities Coalition, part of Greene County Public Health is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to remind all drivers about the dangers of drinking and driving. We’ll be working together to remind everyone of the importance of planning a sober ride home before heading out to enjoy the holiday festivities and en route to seasonal travel destinations. This holiday season and every day remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

“The holidays are a special time for every community, and it’s more important than ever for us to stress the importance of safe driving habits,” said Jillian Drew, Safe Communities Coordinator and Health Educator at Greene County Public Health. “We know everyone is rushing around, finishing those last-minute errands and attending various holiday parties. But before you ever head out to the festivities, make sure you plan a sober ride home, because driving drunk should never be an option. Help us spread the message: Even one drink is one drink too many. Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

According to NHTSA, 37,133 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2017, and 29% (10,874) of those fatalities occurred in crashes during which a driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of .08. In fact, 885 people lost their lives in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver during the month of December 2017 alone. The holidays prove to be extra dangerous to drivers, as more people — drivers and pedestrians alike — are out on the roads.

Drunk driving isn’t the only risk on the road: Drug-impaired driving is also an increasing problem, for men and for women alike. If drivers are impaired by any substance — alcohol or other drugs — they should not get behind the wheel of a vehicle. It is illegal in all states to drive impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Remember: Driving while impaired is illegal, period. The bottom line is this: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. It’s that simple.
Drinking and driving should never be combined. It’s essential to plan a sober ride in advance if the holiday celebration will include alcohol. The alternative could change your life, not to mention the lives of your passengers, of pedestrians, or of other drivers and passengers nearby.

This holiday season, the Greene County Safe Communities Coalition, Greene County Public Health, and NHTSA urge drivers to designate a sober driver before heading out for the evening. If you plan on drinking, plan on not driving.

Party with a Plan
First and foremost: Plan ahead. Be honest with yourself: You know whether you’ll be drinking. If you
plan to drink, plan for a sober driver to take you home. Is it your turn to be the designated driver? Take that role seriously — your friends are relying on you.
• Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic
beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home
safely.
• If you see a drunk driver on the road, report them by calling 1-800-GRAB-DUI or *DUI when it
is safe to do so.
• Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get
your friend home safely.
For more information about the Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving campaign, visit
https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/drunk-driving/buzzed-driving-drunkdriving/holiday-season.

For more information on the Greene County Safe Communities Coalition, call 937-374-5683 or email jdrew@gcph.info.
Greene County Public Health… Your Trusted Local Public Health Authority Since 1920

Jamestown Marketing Firm Produces Video Series Greene County Council On Aging

In Charities, Dayton Ohio News, Health, Local News, Senior Lifestyle on November 6, 2019 at 5:01 pm
Free Legal Chat educational series went live in October and includes a podcast companion.
Xenia, Ohio November 6, 2019Jamestown-based marketing firm, GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd., has produced a series of informational videos and companion podcasts for the Greene County Council On Aging. Titled, “GCCOA Legal Chat,” each program covers a common legal question affecting seniors and caregivers, ranging from wills and probate to guardianship. The videos are now available free of charge on the GCCOA’s YouTube channel and the audio programs can be found by searching for “Greene County Council on Aging” on most podcast streaming services such as Spotify and Stitcher. Direct Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCseUznkCiXQ_lUMgMQKN-xQ

GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. is a strategic, creative marketing agency founded in 1998 by Gery writer/entrepreneur Gery L. Deer. The firm provides everything from business consulting, public relations and branding to digital marketing, content creation and campaign implementation. The agency expanded in January of 2019 to include in-house audio and video production overseen by Julie Barth, who joined the firm at that time as Media Director.

“I’ve been a caregiver to both my parents over the last decade and I produced these programs with people like me in mind,” said Gery Deer, GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. Owner and Creative Director. “The Greene County Council on Aging does a wonderful job helping inform and educate seniors and caregivers and this series is just another in a long history of that commitment.”

The Greene County Council on Aging is a not-for-profit, county-wide organization that promotes independence and quality of life for Greene County senior citizens and caregivers. GCCOA was originally established in 1979 and is governed by a Board of Directors. The Council’s primary funding source is the 1.4 mil Senior Services Levy renewed in 2019.

GCCOA provides a broad range of services and programs, including the Partners in Care (PIC) care management program, the Kinship Navigator Program (for grandparents raising grandchildren and other individuals raising someone else’s child), educational and support programs for caregivers, a caregiver resource center, and service grants to area senior centers and other service providers.

Each video and podcast features GCCOA Benefits Coordinator, Susan Allen, speaking with Attorney Dave Cusack, of Cusack Law Offices in Beavercreek, Ohio. The series was designed to supplement the GCCOA’s live informational sessions to offer valuable the same information to those who are unable to attend in person.

ACE Healthy Products, LLC, of Dayton announces a deal with Cardinal Health for distribution of eco-friendly bed bug barrier/eliminator

In Business, Dayton Ohio News, Economy, Environment, Health, National News on August 13, 2019 at 11:04 am

Dayton Veteran / Minority-owned bedbug inventor/supplier lands national distribution deal.

ACE Healthy Products, LLC, (Ohio Sec. of State Entity #3962897) has announced Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE: CAH) will distribute its one-one-of-a-kind, Eco-friendly Eagle Watch™ BED BUG Barrier & Eliminator. After a 2-year vetting process, the company secured the distribution in May of 2019 and was featured at Cardinal Health’s annual product tradeshow this July in Nashville, Tennessee. The product will be available to more than 105,000 affiliates and partners in the Cardinal Health system in the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

Anthony Watson is ACE Healthy Products, LLC, founder, CEO and inventor of the Eagle Watch™ BED BUG Barrier & Eliminator formula. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force and after years of serving as a registered nurse and medical technician, requiring he go in and out of bases and other areas infested with bed bugs, he knew he had to do something to protect himself. In 2016, he did just that and developed, after much research and testing, Eagle Watch™ BED BUG Barrier & Eliminator.

“Our product was rigorously vetted and tested by Cardinal Health to ensure EPA compliance, effectiveness, FDA standards, pricing and quality,” he said. “It is unfair to have a calling to provide a selfless duty such as a nurse, or home care worker, but then to be forced into areas infested with bed bugs, without a real way of protecting ourselves.”

“Most commercial bed bug products are used in a reactionary state of elimination,” Watson said. “We are not exterminators. We needed to be proactive with a product that prevents the infestation from spreading in the first place.” The company is a Veteran and Minority-Owned Business.

About Cardinal Health, Inc. — Based in Dublin, Ohio, Cardinal Health, Inc. is a global, integrated healthcare services and products company, that provides clinically-proven medical products and pharmaceuticals and cost-effective solutions that enhance supply chain efficiency from hospital to home. Cardinal Health connects patients, providers, payers, pharmacists and manufacturers for integrated care coordination and better patient management. Backed by nearly 100 years of experience the company ranks among the top 25 on the Fortune 500.

      About Eagle Watch™ BED BUG Barrier & Eliminator Humans and animals give off a carbon dioxide signature that bed bugs prey on. They smell you, they wait, they bite, and they travel. Eagle Watch™ BED BUG Barrier & Eliminator spray provides a protective barrier and prevents them from being attracted and traveling with you, all using a combination of essential oils and other natural ingredients. Safe for skin, adults, children, pets, and fabric and other materials

Eagle Watch™ BED BUG Barrier & Eliminator Availability — Eagle Watch™ BED BUG Barrier & Eliminator is available for consumer and commercial purchase online at https://eaglewatchproducts.com or by calling 866-891-5338. ACE Healthy Products, LLC and — Eagle Watch™ BED BUG Barrier & Eliminator are trademarks of Ace Healthy Products, LLC in the United States and/or other countries.

Good Night, and Good Luck. The final installment of “Deer In Headlines.”

In Dayton Ohio News, Health, Home Improvement, Local News, News Media, Opinion, psychology, sociology, Uncategorized on May 2, 2018 at 12:32 pm

This edition of Deer In Headlines marks if you’ll pardon the dramatics, the end of an era, at least for me. The question I’ve been asked most often since announcing the end of the series is, “So what will you do now?”

Let me start by saying while an important part of my work over the last decade, this column is not all I’ve been doing, not by a longshot. I’ve run an ad agency, written thousands of published pieces on everything from public relations to marketing, and given lectures and workshops about the media and writing all around the region. I’ve covered a lot of ground and struggled with how best to say goodbye and then it occurred to me.

It has always been my goal to have readers to take something useful from my writings and I don’t want this final installment to be any different. Since it represents several hours a week in research and writing, in the hope of having a positive influence on the thoughts and lives of anyone I can reach, leaving this column behind is a big change for me.

For some people, change is the enemy, it throws them off their game and causes chaos and, for much of my life, it was the same for me. But in recent years, change has become more of a companion that walks through life with me, always nudging me in the side to never be complacent or stagnant either in my actions or my convictions.

We may not like it, but change is the natural order of things. Nothing stays the same for very long. As they say, “to everything there is a season,” and rather than fighting those changes, we should embrace them. It’s not easy, but it makes life more interesting and far less stressful.

It’s easy to see how change affects people in simple ways, like when a child graduates from high school or you move to a new town. We get caught up in happiness and sadness all at the same time, it twists our emotions and forces us to face new challenges and differences in our day-to-day lives. Of course, there are negative changes too, and we have to take the good with the bad. That’s just life.

We grow accustomed to how things are in our world and we’re thrown when it alters. We all know that person who has to have a cup of coffee at a certain time of day, with a specific amount of sugar, or just the right drop of cream. If those kinds of things aren’t met with an exacting order, he or she cannot function. The more flexible you are, the more enjoyable your life. Otherwise, you’re in a constant state of stress.

With that, I’ll take you back to the question of what I will be doing next. It is definitely a time of even more change for me. I’ve recently accepted a position as vice president of communications and public relations with a social internet company. That and caring for my father takes up most of my work time, but I have other projects as well.

I’m still doing television and writing for the print and online media from time to time. I’m concentrating my writing time on my fitness blog, The Old Nerd in The Gym (www.oldnerdinthegym.com). I’m hoping my work helps others who are new to fitness and more healthy living.

Life goes on and new challenges await. I’m just getting started. And that’s how you should feel today too. Treat every day as bringing new opportunity to learn, grow, and achieve, regardless of how great or small the accomplishment and embrace that change! Your future isn’t written yet, so get out there and make it a good one!

With that, it’s time for Deer In Headlines to pass into the newspaper archives. Thank you for indulging me every week and, whether you agreed with me or not, I hope you got something useful or insightful from my ramblings. So, I’ll borrow a classic sign off from a news hero of mine, Edward R. Murrow, and simply say Good Night, and Good Luck.

Can’t we all just get along?

In Health, history, News Media, Opinion, Politics, psychology, sociology, Uncategorized on May 1, 2018 at 12:14 pm

With only two issues of Deer In Headlines remaining, I felt that one of them should be dedicated to a discussion about civility and the destructive nature of hate. In short, we must try to get along better, regardless of political, religious, or socioeconomic differences.

Over the last few years, our country has become severely divided. There is a level of anger, hate, and mistrust out there now, the likes of which haven’t been seen since before the Civil War. Back then the division was primarily focused on slavery and states’ rights, but today Americans are arguing about a laundry list of issues from immigration to gun control.

Not that these topics haven’t caused discourse in the past, but now it’s fueled by an alarmingly, and continually advancing, level of anger and hatred. The radical right has become sickeningly intolerant to the point of disgust and the liberal left has grown increasingly less “liberal.” I mean you simply can’t say, “I’m liberal, and we love everyone, so long as they agree with everything we say.” Doesn’t work that way.

President Donald Trump took advantage of this divide and used it to gain traction in his run for the White House. Now, he waffles back and forth, blustering on Twitter about how great he is, while alienating even his own base at times with his ridiculous rants. Democrats turn their noses up at him and his cronies and their flagrant hypocrisy, all while crying in their soup about how he got this far in American government. Well, Dems, I’ll tell you who put him there, you did.

Political viewpoints have become so foggy that no one can tell who is for what anymore. The reason Trump won the presidential election wasn’t his winning personality, or Russian hacking, or anything else. It was because the Democratic base was so splintered and stubborn over Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders that they couldn’t just get behind one of them and move on.

That’s right Dems, as I have written before, you handed the White House to Donald on a silver platter. Remember that primaries and midterms happen this year and any failure to weaken Trump’s hold in Congress is totally in your hands. All you have to do is get out and vote!

All of that said, we must be able to return to a level of productive, constructive discourse. We should be able to disagree and have informed, intelligent debate on a topic instead of a bickering match. What’s the point of discussion with no purpose except to out-scream everyone else?

Much of the problem comes from the extremist mentalities once relegated to the fringe but which now seem to be in the majority. There is nothing wrong with liberals and conservatives cooperating for a common good. We can disagree yet still work toward the betterment of our society – but that doesn’t seem to be possible right now.

We are dealing with mass shootings made possible by the bizarre need of a tiny few to own military-grade machine guns should be something we can all agree is nuts. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead, our country is overwhelmed by people obsessed with these weapons and backed by a massively powerful gun lobby from the NRA. Clearly, money is more important to these people than our kids.

Execution of warped immigration policies based on ignorance and hate that mistreat productive members of society rather than helping them with a path to proper citizenship. We should be rewarding people for feeling our country is a safe home for their families, not punishing them. It’s all ridiculous.

The long and short of it is that we must find a way to get along better. If we don’t learn to dial back the extremism and let cooler, more diplomatic heads rule, our country is in big trouble. So, for what it’s worth, I think we’re capable of doing better.

But all of that requires that each of us learns to be more compassionate, more tolerant, and more thoughtful. Since I won’t be around to poke you in the side after next week, remember to be good to each other.

Plastic and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

In Economy, Environment, Health, history, Media, National News, Opinion, Politics, Science on April 4, 2018 at 10:43 am

Deer In Headlines
By Gery L. Deer

Did you know that somewhere in the Pacific Ocean there is a gigantic patch of garbage that’s been growing for decades? According to a three-year study reported in Scientific Reports this month, it has grown to approximately 1.6 million square kilometers, 16 times larger than previous estimates. To put that in more familiar terms, it’s more than twice the size of the State of Texas.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch – Photo courtesy http://www.critfc.org/

Scientists used a variety of methods to measure the patch including aircraft outfitted with special sensors, crisscrossing more than 300 square kilometers of the ocean’s surface. Surveys estimate that half of the so-called, “Trash Isle” is made up of discarded, or “ghost,” fishing nets. About 20% of it is debris from the Japan tsunami of 2011, and the bulk of the trash is made up of large, plastic objects.

That’s a lot of garbage. For most people, it’s an incomprehensible scale and it’s just floating around out there. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch has been on the radar of scientists and environmentalists since the 1970s.

Plastic is one of the lightest and most versatile manufacturing materials ever created. To say that it’s durable could be an understatement. But, while that can be an advantage when considering consumer products, it’s a detriment once the product is discarded.

For example, in the ocean, it can take more than two decades for a plastic shopping bag to decompose. Those disposable plastic water bottles everyone carries around are estimated to take 450 years to degrade, and the fishing line could be out there for more than six centuries. It could actually take a lot longer. The fact is, there is no way to know for certain. Click to watch the NBC News story.

What is certain, however, is that the world’s tenants need to do something to reduce the amount of plastic dumped into Earth’s oceans and slow the growth of these trash isles. Otherwise, they’re just going to keep getting bigger.

Managing the trash not only helps to protect the environment and marine life but the economy of regions affected by its presence. Fishing is more hazardous in these areas and tourism can be dramatically affected – who wants to go to a beach where this junk is regularly washing ashore? For some areas in the Pacific, tourism accounts for the bulk of their income.

While politicians, diplomats, and environmentalists debate toward no useful resolution, there are things that individuals can do to help reduce the problem. Plastic straws, grocery bags, and one-use water bottles are reportedly some of the items most frequently tossed in the garbage can.

Recycle plastic products whenever possible. Instead of dropping a water bottle in the trash, use recycling receptacles marked for plastic and other consumer packaging.

First, water bottles. Nothing’s worse than a flat of those thin, flimsy discount store water bottles. So, why use them? If every person in every gym in America chose a reusable water bottle instead of a throw-away, just one time, there would be thousands less plastic bottles in the landfills and tossed into the ocean.

Reusable water bottles are inexpensive, as little as $2.00, and can last for years. Hint – go with a metal bottle instead of plastic but avoid ceramic-lined thermal bottles for daily hydration. They’re heavy and break easily if dropped.

Next, when a store offers the option between paper and plastic shopping bags, choose paper. If plastic is preferred, keep them and reuse them as many times as possible. Try to avoid using them as trash bags, however, because they can slow the decomposition of their contents.

A better option is reusable cloth or nylon shopping bags. It might take some planning to get into the habit of reusing them, but they are much stronger than their plastic counterparts and they’re washable.

Lastly, drinking straws. Strange as it may sound, some cities in America are banning the use of plastic straws; Malibu, Seattle, Fort Myers, and Miami Beach, to name a few. Paper straws are inexpensive and decompose easily. One downside, most don’t bend, so if that’s a required feature, reusable silicone straws might be a better option.

None of these will totally solve the plastic waste problem. But it can certainly make a difference if everyone does his or her part.

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. More at deerinheadlines.com.