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Old Haunts Beatnik Cafe celebrates original Halloween stories by local authors

In Books, Children and Family, Dayton Ohio News, Entertainment, Holiday, Local News, Theatre, Uncategorized on September 11, 2015 at 8:37 am
Artwork by Michael Martin, WOWA Editorial Committee

Artwork by Michael Martin, WOWA Editorial Committee

Beavercreek, OH – Beginning at 7pm on Friday, October 16, author members of the Western Ohio Writers Association (WOWA) will take the microphone at Books & Co. to present the 2015 Halloween addition of their popular, “Beatnik Café” event. Writers from all genres will regale visitors with original works of poetry and prose to the theme, “Old Haunts.” The event is free and open to the public.

The live reading pays homage to the hole-in-the-wall poetry clubs of the 1960’s, but with a more modern style. Reading aloud from original work, each writer will take the stage for 10 to 12 minutes, dazzling audiences with short stories, poetry or who knows what. This is the 6th year for the quarterly event.

Barbara Deer is the co-founder of the organization. “WOWA was intended to provide a regular resource for peer critique, educational programs and networking opportunities to local writers of all genres, both amateur and professional,” she says.

Barbara Deer, WOWA co-founder.

Click to watch the video!

“Annual workshops are held all around the country, with two of the most well-known right here in the Miami Valley. But for most writers to thrive that type of support needs to come on a more regular basis,” Deer says. “Our group consists of professional writers and editors, college professors and everyone is ready and willing to offer help, a fresh eye and, sometimes more importantly, an honest opinion about the quality of the work – good or bad.”

 

Writers come from all around the region – southwest central Ohio, eastern Indiana and northern Kentucky – to attend monthly critique sessions, educational lectures and write-in events. Meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month at the Event Connections, 4140 Linden Ave. in Dayton, near the intersection of US 35 and Woodman Drive.

WOWA Logo 2Now in its seventh year, this talented group of scribes definitely have plenty to celebrate. In addition to the many individual members who have been published on their own, in May of this year eleven of them were featured in an anthology titled, “Flights of Fiction,” produced by GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing and published by Handcar Press (ISBN: 978-0-9885289-4-9). The book features stories set in and around the southwest Ohio region and is available in print and electronic formats from the WOWA website as well as Amazon and BN.com.

The Beatnik Café is a family-friendly, free, public presentation of WOWA and GLD Enterprises Communications. Books & Co. is located at 4453 Walnut St. at The Greene in Beavercreek. For more information, go online to www.westernohiowriters.org or call (937) 902-4857.

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Western Arts Showcase offers historic entertainment at Annie Oakley Festival

In Dayton Ohio News, Entertainment, history, Holiday, Local News, Media, Theatre on July 13, 2015 at 12:23 pm

AOF_3_GLD Greenville, OH – Jamestown Whip Artist Gery L. Deer and Xenia Thrown Weapons Expert, Kirk Bass, will lead a full troupe of whip artists, trick ropers, knife throwers and other Wild West arts experts during the 2015 Annie Oakley Western Arts Showcase during Annie Oakley Festival at York Woods, 6129 Reed Road, Ansonia, OH 45303. The event is free and open to the public.

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. Champion knife thrower Kirk Bass, of Xenia, Ohio, and his daring wife Melodee are among the performers to take the open-air stage for two shows on Saturday, July 26 beginning at 1 p.m. with a series of western arts perform the suspenseful Bass Blades impalement show, and much more.

Whip marksmanship competitions headline the afternoon show beginning with the National Whip Speed and Accuracy Exhibition Competition, the world’s only Bullwhip Fast Draw contest. Plus, there is a brand new contest taken straight from the big screen.

In 1981, a fedora-wearing, leather-clad archaeologist threw the crack heard round the world when he “whipped” a pistol from the hand of a jungle guide. At the beginning of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Indiana Jones demonstrated his skills with the holstered fast-draw of a 10-foot bullwhip, all while having to spin around to take aim first.

In the spirit of Dr. Jones’ proficiency, this year’s Showcase competition will include a special “blind fast draw,” where whip artists must mimic the move used in the film to turn, draw their holstered whip and shoot at a target with speed and accuracy. The first contest of its kind, the feat has never been attempted in a public event like this, even by the showcase’s producer, whip performer Gery L. Deer.

“With the popularity of Indiana Jones among western performers, particularly whip artists, it’s odd this hasn’t been done before,” says Deer, who holds multiple, national whip speed and accuracy titles and is the director of The Whip Artistry Studio, the only permanent whip training facility in America. Contests begin at 1 p.m., followed immediately by a matinee performance at 2:30.

At 5:00p.m., visitors to the festival will see the Grand Wild West Showcase hosted by the music and comedy of Greene AOF_6_GLDCounty’s own, The Brothers & Co. Variety Show. “We pull out all the stops on Saturday evening,” says Deer. “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!”

“Last year breathed new life into this long-running event,” Deer says. “Our goal is to provide a featured event for Saturday that will help draw more people on what is typically the busiest day of the festival.” For more information or to participate in the whip contests, contact the production office of GLD Enterprises at (937) 902-4857 or email, gdeer@gldenterprises.net.

“We have some of the best Wild West arts entertainment anywhere in the Midwest with real practitioners of each skill,” says Deer, who started the event in Jamestown, Ohio, back in 2002 as a Midwestern convention of Wild West arts practitioners. “These are talented performers with genuine ability, no fakery, no tricks. Everything you see in our show is real Plus all of our shows are in 3-D and high definition!”

The event is sponsored by GLD Enterprises Communications, The Brothers & Co. Variety Show, and the Annie Oakley Festival Committee. All performances are family friendly and presented on the grounds of the Annie Oakley Festival. For links to the festival and sneak previews of the performers plus more information go online to www.ohiowesternarts.org.

 

Join my #facebookfast and unplug for Memorial Day

In Children and Family, Health, Holiday, News Media, Opinion, Technology, Uncategorized on May 23, 2015 at 5:58 am

DIH LOGOOver the years I’ve done several articles and television interviews on the subject of going “off the grid,” when you put down the smartphone and tablet computer to unplug for a while. But some people simply can’t imagine letting go of their connection to the information superhighway, even for a few minutes.

Who knows what disasters might befall them if they miss that one, all-important posting that could quite literally change their lives forever. Of course, in reality, none of that stuff really matters.

It could be argued that political, racial and other social tensions might be less volatile if there were no social media to spread negativity and anger at the speed of light. Although it offers a positive outlet to promote social change, it also invites hateful rhetoric that can be distributed instantly and constantly.

Social media can sometimes even exacerbate depression in people already prone to the problem. True, it can sometimes elicit encouragement, support and sympathy. In my opinion, however, that level of support is only effective in the long term if it comes from in-person contact with people who really know you and care.

For the record, my job and my lifelong ties in technology leave me as guilty as the next person when it comes to maintaining my cyber connection. That said I still try to treat it like a tool – one for communication, maintaining a surface contact with friends I rarely get to see or just keeping up with my interests. But it can still be overwhelming at times and then I have to shut it off.

As it turns out, there is something called “social media anxiety.” Although it’s not recognized as a mental disorder (yet), from what I have read the problem results, in part, from this unrealistic sense of urgency with which we have endowed our virtual engagements. So, I think we all need a break.

Can you unplug for the #facebookfast?

Can you unplug for the #facebookfast?

If you’re one of the millions suffering from social media anxiety or just need a respite from the constant “Likes,” texts, tweets, pins and pokes, I’d like to make the following proposal. I’m inviting all of my readers, followers, and everyone else, to join me in what I’ve chosen to call, “The Facebook Fast.”

For 24 hours, we turn off all social media, going cold turkey on everything; no tweets, Facebook messages, or Pinterest posts – nothing. I considered suggesting a 48-hour-moratorium, but I thought that might send some people to a rubber room. The big question is, when?

The Memorial Day holiday weekend is always best spent with family and friends in the real world, so it seems the perfect time for a cyber-fast. Therefore, “The Facebook Fast” will kick off on Monday, May 25, 2015, at 12:01 a.m. and remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. the same day, so you even get two free minutes.

I expect this will be a challenge for a lot of people, me included. Because of the holiday, we’re all going to want to post and check in all day but we must resist temptation. If you can get your family and friends to participate too, it’ll be easier to hang in there.

Oh, I can almost feel the panic setting in at the mere thought of cutting the social media cord. But relax, consider it a “cyber cleanse.” Don’t worry; these particular DTs will pass quickly. And, in the event you can’t possibly imagine how you will stay in touch with the world for a whole day without social media, I have a few suggestions.

You could: read a book or newspaper, go outside, pick up the phone and actually call someone, meet a friend for dinner, go to a ball game, visit a local attraction, or any number of other activities that involve actual, human contact.

In something of an irony, the best way to spread the word about the fast is by using the hash tag, #facebookfast. I feel safe in guaranteeing to you that nothing bad will happen from ignoring social media for one day. The world will continue to turn and, if we’re lucky, it might also slow down just a little bit and give us all a moment to catch our breath.

 

Special Editorial Note: For fans of the late author Douglas Adams and his series of books from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” May 25th is also “Towel Day.” If you want to participate in the #facebookfast, just save up photos from Towel Day events and activities and post them at 11:59PM! If everyone hits it at once, “Towel Day” will trend on Twitter! 

 

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications. More at gerydeer.com.

 

 

Let go of the past, focus on tomorrow

In Education, Holiday, Opinion, psychology, Uncategorized on January 1, 2015 at 1:48 am

DIH LOGOAs we come to the close of a tumultuous 2014, I am reminded that, as a society, we seem to be obsessed with looking over our shoulders with barely a single glance toward the road ahead. Using contemporary terms, our most common mistakes as a people might actually be labeled, “distracted living.” We are so focused on yesterday that we forget to prepare for tomorrow.

Someone much smarter than I once said that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. The statement generally refers to preventing the recurrence of negative events. But if something good happened, it’s only logical that you would want to repeat that success. To truly progress, however, we must learn from the past while at the same time keeping our attention focused on the future.

Unfortunately, we are often more affected by the negative in life than the positive; a death in the family, lost job, financial struggle, and so on. People and events from the past have us constantly looking over our shoulders, dwelling on our sadness, sense of loss and nostalgia. But while they may provide momentary comfort, these feelings also tend to hold us in place and keep us from advancing to a better future.

clock-2As 2014 comes to an end, I implore my readers to look to the horizon and make an effort to work towards better things in the coming year. Life is all about making the best choices possible based on personal experience, the current situation, consequences of your actions and your own needs going forward.

Writers are generally encouraged to omit anything – settings, objects, characters – that do not serve to keep the plot of a story moving forward. To keep life moving ahead we must do the same thing by eliminating anything that keeps us stagnant.

First, you need to focus on yourself more. It may sound selfish, but it’s necessary. As someone who has had to help care for aging parents, I have learned that in order to help them, I have to keep myself going. Maintaining your mental and physical health is vital if you are to be of any use to anyone else.

Dismiss negative people from your life and don’t get mixed up in the drama of others. Some people exist solely in their own world, completely unaware of how their behavior affects others. If someone is literally exhausting you from drama or they’re incredibly high-maintenance, it’s time to cut them loose. You can’t move ahead if someone like this is always dragging you down.

Stop repeating pointless behavior while expecting a different outcome. Very often, we can get stuck in a pattern of useless behavior, always doing the same thing and hoping that “this time,” it will come out differently. But it never does and it never will.

Stop procrastinating. Yes, this is probably the hardest piece of the puzzle. How to do today what you can very easily put off until tomorrow. But if you’re someone who constantly complains about your situation yet does little to change it, procrastination could be a big chunk of the problem.

Most people find excuses to cover procrastination; “they’ll never hire me for that new job,” “that’s too hard,” or, “she’ll never say yes.” Get over yourself – and your fear – and take that first step forward. And yes, most procrastination is the result of being afraid, not of failure but success.

Finally, I’ve never been a big believer that writing down a list of goals does anything more than make you feel inadequate. “Self-help” nonsense puts so much pressure on goals that if you don’t meet the ones you wrote down, then you must be a failure and that can result in its own devastating effect.

Forget goals, but at least have an idea of what a better, more successful tomorrow looks like to you. In the end, the future belongs to you, no one else. Get off your tail and do something about it and stop looking backward. Happy New Year! Now get out there and make this one your best ever!

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer based in Jamestown, ohio. More at gerydeer.com.

E-commerce that supports local business

In Business, Economy, finances, Holiday, Local News, National News, Technology, Uncategorized on November 26, 2014 at 4:25 pm
GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing's "e-commerce kiosk," at Amazon.com

GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing’s “e-commerce kiosk,” at Amazon.com

JAMESTOWN, OH – Shoppers are being encouraged to buy from small, local retailers this holiday season, but did you know there was a way to support local business and still buy from Amazon.com? They’re called “Amazon aStores,” and they allow local business to set up a virtual storefront through Amazon.com and offer products of their own choosing.

Retailers can set up what is essentially a virtual kiosk inserted within the company website. Each item is selected individually and can be categorized for easy indexing. Shoppers can then visit the main website for the company, providing the owner with valuable marketing information about how often the site is frequented, and then click on the business’s amazon store to shop further.

The hosting business is then paid an advertising fee by Amazon for each product sold through its store. Such a store doesn’t generate a great deal of revenue, but it can provide some helpful cash flow, if people know to use it.

Gery L. Deer, owner and creative director fro GLD Enterprises of Jamestown, Ohio has three such Amazon stores in operation on different websites. “We do a great deal of work with local authors, and the Amazon store allowed us a way to market the electronic versions of books, as well as other specialized items, often unavailable from local retailers.”

Deer says this kind of pre-packaged e-commerce is a good way for small businesses to have an online sales presence, even if the company is not necessarily a retailer. “Our business is primarily a business-to-business marketing and copywriting agency,” Deer says. “As a service business, we don’t have retail sales, but the products we provide through our online store can benefit the customer by offering another way to both save money on shopping and support local business, all at the same time.” For more information visit Amazon.com.

Here are links to the Amazon stores managed by GLD Enterprises and its partner companies:

GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing Amazon Store: Features locally-authored books and related products. Some product sales benefits the Western Ohio Writers Association.

GLD Enterprises & Production: Features a wide variety of books, electronics, specialty items and locally-authored material.

Deer Computer Consulting, Ltd.: Books, software, electronics, and more “computer” related products.

 

 

For some, depression darkens the holiday season

In Children and Family, Health, Holiday, Opinion, Senior Lifestyle, sociology, Uncategorized on November 24, 2014 at 1:54 pm

DIH LOGOIt’s never great to lead off with a cliché, but there may really be a silver lining behind every dark cloud. The hard part is that it’s up to the individual to recognize and interpret it. During the holiday season, however, for some the darkness may become overwhelming and everyone else should be sensitive to those around them suffering from seasonal depression.

As the Thanksgiving Day holiday heralds in the Christmas season, it’s important to try to remember that not everyone is happy and cheerful during this time. Many people suffer from various types of clinical depression, exacerbated by the holidays.

Seasonal Affect Disorder, or SAD, is a seasonal pattern associated with a recurring depressive disorder. It’s a fact that people experience mood changes along with the seasons but some may actually experience an even more sever bout during the stressful holiday season.

According to Healthline.com, “Depression may occur at any time of the year, but the stress and anxiety of the holiday season—especially during the months of November and December (and, to a lesser extent, just before Valentine’s Day)—may cause even those who are usually content to experience loneliness and a lack of fulfillment.”

baileygeorgeNot surprisingly, depression during this time can result from loneliness. Healthline.com reports that a 1999 Canadian study of patients treated by emergency psychiatric services during the Christmas season, states the most common stressors were feelings of loneliness and “being without a family.”

Experts also suggest that part of the problem is a level of media bombardment, mostly advertising, that depicts cheerful holiday festivities, smiling families, and so on. The joyful, light-heartedness of the season might to a depressed person seem much more a requirement and painful nuisance than a genuine, heart-felt emotion.

The elderly often suffer from depression caused by any number of contributors including, serious medical problems, poor diet, loss of a spouse, chronic pain and more. Depression may worsen in the elderly, not expressly because of the holiday, but that it brings memories of happier, more fulfilling times, and it might be hard to spot.

Helpguide.org suggests that elderly patients suffering from depression might display rapid mental decline but memory of time and date, as well as awareness of the environment, remain. They may also exhibit more outward concern than usual about slipping memory and their motor skills may be normal but noticeably slower.

Regardless of age, depression is a painful illness to endure at a time of year when the sufferer is surrounded by the usual excitement of the season.  There are many ways to help combat depression.

Social isolation can be a major contributor to depression, particularly during the holidays.  Start by getting involved and being among friends and family wherever possible. Of course, sometimes, family can be the cause of stress. In those instances, it might be better to spend time with close friends or attend some kind of social activity, go to bingo at the local community center, or anything else to avoid being alone. But remember to feel free to leave an event if you feel uncomfortable. Adding stress to depression would be seriously detrimental to the purpose of the interaction.

Other ways to ward off “holiday blues” include, beginning a new tradition, volunteering at local charity centers, or get outside and take a walk or go on a bike ride.  Self-care is an important step to fighting depression. Even with decreased appetite, it’s important to remember to try to eat well, exercise and maintain a regular sleep schedule.

Seek medical treatment as well. General practice doctors can help determine what sort of specialized treatment may be beneficial. Depression is an illness with treatments available to help people live active, involved lives but nothing can happen without taking that first step. Proper treatment may help people have a happier, more meaningful holiday season.

On a final note, although it is a myth that more suicides occur between Thanksgiving and Christmas, those suffering severe depression might still be dealing with suicidal thoughts. Contact one of the local crisis lines, 24/7: Greene County Crisis Services: (513) 376-8702 or Dayton Suicide Prevention Center, Inc.: (937) 297-4777.


Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer based in Jamestown, Ohio. More at gerydeer.com

 

 

E-commerce shoppers beware price steering

In Economy, finances, Holiday, Media, National News, Technology, Uncategorized on November 17, 2014 at 2:28 pm

DIH LOGORecent surveys suggest that nearly 60 percent of shoppers will do their holiday buying online this year. That’s probably not too surprising to most people.  But did you also know that many e-commerce websites actually adjust pricing based on your personal information to get the most money they can from each shopper? It’s called “price steering,” and it’s perfectly legal. Here’s how it works.

Let’s say Bob goes online to buy a hammer using his smart phone. The e-commerce hardware site offers the item for $10 with a $2 shipping charge. From his desktop computer at work, John looking up the very same hammer on the same website, but his price is showing at $15 with a $5 shipping charge. The cost variation is based on data collected from each buyer’s Internet device.

Whenever you visit a website it leaves a “fingerprint,” on your computer, smart phone or tablet in the form of cookies, browsing history, and so on. For our example, let’s say Bob and John live in different parts of the country, work in different occupations, and have individual buying habits, so their computers, smart phones and other devices portray a very different “electronic personality,” or “E.P.”

The E.P. information is used to “steer” each buyer to the same product but with different pricing based on the collected data. That level of electronic tracking might sound a bit distressing, but it’s really been going on for quite some time.

Deer Computer Consulting, Ltd. recommends checking e-commerce prices from different devices.

Deer Computer Consulting, Ltd. recommends checking e-commerce prices from different devices.

Internet users receive a plethora of personalized information every day. As they go about their day-to-day activities, complex programming is used to sift through online profile data and previous online activity, constantly processing it through something called a “personalization algorithm.” If you’ve ever wondered why Amazon knows that you like country music or white tigers, and constantly offers you products related to those things, that’s how they do it.

A similar process is used at grocery and other retail stores, using a combination of product placement and special pricing. I often refer to it as “the milk effect,” because dairy products, meats and other essentials are positioned in the back of the store and shoppers must pass a myriad of floor and end cap displays to get to them.

This “steers” the shopper past all of the sale items, incidentals, and virtually everything else, as they make their way to the household staples. Unlike price steering online, however, this practice is fairly transparent and has few components to allow unique pricing adjustments for each buyer.

User data collection and manipulation may provide many people with better pricing but it can also be used to force others to pay more. A recent study by researchers at Northeastern University brought into question the level of transparency offered by popular e-commerce sites and price steering practices.

Price steering actually hap­pens every day and is well-advertised. In a standard retail setting, for example, senior citizens might get a dis­count at the movies or a col­lege stu­dent pays less for books. And, according to the university’s website, authors of the study note that there is nothing inherently sinister in the processes.

But before you click “buy now,” it’s up to you to make sure you’re getting the best possible price online. Here are a few simple tips to help.

First, clear the browsing history on your device and turn off tracking cookies. Websites can’t access your history if there’s nothing there to see. Be aware, however, that some websites require that cookies be allowed or the site will not work properly.

Next, view the website on different devices. Some of the data collected can tell retailers that you are using an expensive smart phone and may be more inclined to pay more at checkout.

If you’re a regular user of a particular retailer’s website, log out and log in as a guest through another device. Sometimes guests are provided with lower pricing to entice them to buy.

Finally, scroll around, making sure to check the very bottom of the web page. Lower-priced products may be displayed elsewhere besides the top of the page. Do your homework, get the best price and enjoy this holiday shopping season.

(TUNE INTO WDTN-TV2’S LIVING DAYTON AT NOON ON FRIDAY NOVEMBER 28TH FOR A SPECIAL SEGMENT ON THIS TOPIC PRESENTED BY DEER IN HEADLINES AUTHOR GERY L. DEER.)

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer based in Jamestown. More at gerydeer.com.

 

 

 

Local festivals must evolve to continue.

In Charities, Economy, Entertainment, Holiday, Local News, Media, Opinion on September 22, 2014 at 12:05 pm

DIH LOGOVirtually every community festival I’ve been involved with around Ohio this season has reported steadily decreasing attendance. Some of them have run for more than a half-century, others only a few years, but regardless of their endurance, the people just aren’t coming like they used to. Could it be time to mothball the town festival and pool resources into larger, joint events like county fairs?

Over the course of the last couple of decades I have participated annually in more than a dozen different festivals and similar community events. Since 2002, I’ve produced the Western Arts Showcase performances at the Annie Oakley Festival in Greenville, Ohio, an event that’s been running for more than 50 years. Sadly, I’ve watched the attendance at these events dwindle year after year to the point where even the vendors aren’t coming.

I hate the idea of our local festivals shutting down, but it’s not possible to perpetuate an event on good intentions. It must evolve with the times. With that in mind, and for those interested in trying to breathe new life into a long-running festival, here are a few ideas to consider.

First, whether you want to think of it this way or not, a town festival is like any other product you’re trying to sell to the public, from toothpaste to breakfast cereal. Consumers have options and getting them to choose your event over another takes effort and money.

Poor marketing on the part of festival organizers is common and usually the result of inadequate funding. It’s simply not enough to pin up cookie-cutter fliers that look the same year after year. Like any business venture, it takes real advertising and legwork to get the word out.

Could deteriorating attendance kill local festivals?

Could deteriorating attendance kill local festivals?

Community organizers should consider another question too, “What is the purpose of the festival?” If the reason is just to have one, then maybe that’s part of the problem. Every event should have an end goal, whether it’s charitable fundraising or increased awareness of what the community has to offer.

Successful events tend to seek out corporate sponsorships; not from local merchants but larger resources. For example, instead of going to the local Pepsi retailer, contact Pepsi’s corporate office and ask to speak to regional marketing reps or district managers. Tell them what you need and they can often direct you to the right department.

Those advanced funds should go toward better marketing and, most importantly, high-end feature entertainment, the real draw to any community event. Organizers should strongly resist the trend toward using the local bluegrass garage band.  Grants are also a potential funding option, but carry oversight burdens and restrictions on festival content.

Financially, local residents don’t provide enough of a revenue base to sustain an event year after year. To keep people coming in, you have to reach outside the area to draw attendees to your event with something to set it apart from all of the others – feature entertainment, unique exhibits, something. Let’s face the facts, there’s no difference between the funnel cakes at your event and those at any other.

Finally, one organizer I spoke to recently suggested that the major roadblock to growing his local festival was the old guard’s resistance to fresh ideas, complicated by an unbreakable, well-established good old boy system – a common problem in small communities. Organization committees are generally manned by those who show up or others who need to feel powerful. If that’s the case, and the argument given against change is often something like, “We’ve done it this way for 20 years and …” and nothing has improved! It’s probably time for new blood.

If no one is willing to change, it may be hard to maintain an event and people will just stop coming. If you belong to an organization that’s trying to decide whether to keep an event running, and few are open to change, ask this simple question. After the bills are paid this year, is there enough money left over from the event to cover start up costs on next year’s festival? If the answer is no, it may be time to hang it up. Remember, nostalgia won’t pay the bills.
The Jamestown Comet.com Editor / Publisher Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer based in Jamestown, Ohio. More at gerydeer.com

Remember this July 4th: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

In Children and Family, Education, Health, Holiday, National News, Uncategorized on July 1, 2014 at 7:02 pm

bottlekeysXenia – The Fourth of July is a favorite American holiday filled with fun, food, fireworks, friends and family. But celebrating can quickly turn to tragedy when people choose to drive after drinking. The Greene County Safe Communities Coalition is urging everyone to plan ahead this Independence Day. Designate a sober driver ahead of time.

“The Fourth of July festivities can be so much fun,” said Laurie Fox, Safe Communities Coordinator. “People make plans for the partying, but too many drivers don’t plan ahead to get home safely.” In all 50 States and the District of Columbia, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher. Even if you’ve had a couple of drinks, you shouldn’t drive. “We’ve seen that too many drivers around Greene County think that it’s OK to drive ‘buzzed.’ The truth is you don’t have to be completely wasted to get arrested for drunk driving. Remember: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.”

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) paint a grim picture of the effect drunk driving has on America. NHTSA reports that there were 10,322 fatalities involving drunk driving in 2012, accounting for 31 percent of the total motor vehicle traffic deaths for that year. That equals about one alcohol-impaired-driving death every 51 minutes.

Drunk driving fatalities are high year-round, but they typically spike during holidays like the Fourth of July. During the Independence Day holiday in 2012 (which ran from 6 p.m. July 3 to 5:59 p.m. July 5), 179 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes, and of these, 78 (44%) died in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .08 or higher. Unfortunately 2012 wasn’t a fluke; from 2008-2012, among all crash fatalities around the Fourth of July, 40 percent—on average—involved drunk
drivers.

Certain drivers are more likely than others to drive drunk. Younger drivers (ages 18 to 34) are consistently over represented in fatal alcohol-impaired-driving crashes. In 2012, almost half (46%) of the young drivers killed in crashes had a BAC of .08 or higher.

Compared to car and truck drivers, motorcycle operators are also over represented in the disturbing statistics from NHTSA: in 2012 fatal crashes, 27 percent of motorcycle operators were impaired.

Nighttime (6pm to 5:59am) driving is particularly dangerous because of drunk drivers—and the July 4th holiday is no exception. During the July 4th holiday period in 2012, the rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes was almost 2.5 times higher at night than during the day.

“Here’s what we want people to understand,” said Fox. “Alcohol not only impairs your ability to drive, it impairs your judgment about whether you can or should drive. Sure, you may think you’re ‘fine’, but you’re not. The best thing to keep in mind is simply: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.” Prevent drunk driving by only driving completely sober.

Follow these simple tips for a safe Fourth of July:

• Plan a safe way home before the fun begins;
• Before drinking, designate a sober driver;
• If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely;
• If you see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact local law enforcement; and
• Remember, Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving. If you know people who are about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

The Greene County Combined Health District is a Safe Communities grantee of the Ohio Department of Public Safety Ohio State Highway Patrol-Traffic Safety Division. To contact Greene County Safe Communities, please call 937-374-5669 or email lfox@gcchd.org. More information on avoiding impaired driving can be found at www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.

Crafters Lodge to host two-day t-shirt quilt workshop

In Business, Children and Family, Education, Entertainment, Health, Holiday, Local News, Senior Lifestyle, Uncategorized on April 16, 2014 at 1:20 pm

CLLOGOSugarcreek Twp., OH – Nearly every event a student attends as he or she goes through school is commemorated by a t-shirt. Crafters Lodge in Sugarcreek Township, is providing a two-day course on transforming those keepsake tees into a cherished family heirloom – the t-shirt quilt.

On Sunday April 27th and Sunday May 4th, Crafters Lodge, located at 6056 Wilmington Pike, just behind Fazoli’s, will host a t-shirt quilting class. The two-day class will provide complete instruction, from start to finish, for a fee of $35 for both days, not including materials. Participants must purchase their own supplies and costs vary based on the materials chosen.

A t-shirt quilt is made up of the artwork from cherished t-shirts commemorating everything from a student’s first day of school or high school prom to concerts and extracurricular events. The artwork is cut from the fronts and backs of the shirts and sewn together to make a quilt. Jo Beth Bryant is co-owner of Crafters Lodge.

“Registered students should stop by the store at least two or three days prior to the first class for instruction on how to prep the T-shirts,” Bryant says. “Having the shirts prepped prior to class will allow the student to begin the layout and design process sooner and thus finish the quilt in a shorter amount of time.”

Teaching the upcoming class is life-long needleworker, Wendy Crawford. A veteran of 4-H and Girl Scout sewing competitions, Crawford started making baby quilts while in junior high school.  She turned to hand quilting after inheriting a quilter’s estate and is now a certified Gammill (Long Arm) operator with more than 350 quilts under her belt. Today, she enjoys sharing her knowledge with the local community after an absence from teaching.

Crafters Lodge opened in September of 2013 and offers high-end supplies and expertise to the serious crafter. In addition to the t-shirt quilting course, the store also offers classes in fiber arts (knitting, weaving, tatting, etc.), tole painting, stained glass and more.

Registration for the t-shirt quilting class is limited and participants are required to bring their own sewing machines. Crafters Lodge is open Tuesday through Saturday 11:00 am to 8:00pm, Sunday noon to 6:00 pm and closed on Monday. For more information and a schedule of classes, visit the store’s website, http://www.crafterslodge.com or call (937) 470-2649.