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Revitalizing Jamestown: New group hopes to bring life back to downtown

In Local News on April 4, 2021 at 11:29 am

By Gery Deer

Editor

Special Report – Revitalizing Jamestown, Ohio. Watch our feature story here!

April 4, 2021 – Jamestown, Ohio – The eastern Greene County village of Jamestown, Ohio, once had a thriving downtown. Over the years, Jamestown’s business district was home to a movie theatre, five-and-dime stores, hardware, and multiple restaurants. Historically, most of the town’s commerce was generated by farming and lumberyards. Gradually, however, as farming slowed and land was sold off, building and plastics manufacturers became the primary employers.

But in the early 1990s two fires ripped through the downtown area, an economic blow from which the village has never completely recovered. And, while some efforts have been made toward revitalization, only the Jamestown Opera House has been fully restored, thanks to the local historical society. As for the rest of the area, urban sprawl, deteriorating buildings, and overwhelming renovation costs have diminished hope for a full comeback. 

However, one local group of idealistic entrepreneurs is a bit more optimistic. Jamestown native Luke Linville and his wife Adrienne, both realtors, returned to the village a year ago and began working on ways to breathe new life into the decaying business district.  

Main Street Jamestown founders/board of directors:
Amber Trotter, Chase Trotter, Adrienne Linville, and Luke Linville

The Linvilles partnered with Amber and Chase Trotter, who were also interested in a revitalization initiative. Together, the group formed the board of directors for Main Street Jamestown, a non-profit organization intended to support local businesses and property owners through grants, donations, and fundraising events.

“There are a lot of people trying to do good here like the Lions Club. We want to make Jamestown a better place and we have a passion for it, having grown up here,” Linville said. “We are trying to make people aware that there are businesses downtown, that there are people who are doing really good down here.”

When the previous owner of Something New florist retired in 2019, Kristine Erwin purchased the building and started renovations. Located at 18 W. Washington St., on the southwest block of the downtown, the flower shop was one of the few structures to survive the fires along that strip, but not without some scars. 

Kristine Erwin, Owner of Something New Faith, Flowers, Finds in Jamestown, Ohio

“The fire took the second floor of this building and so the roof has been leaking for many years,” said Erwin, a retired Greeneview teacher who credits her faith for guiding her to make this new career move. “There was damage to the ceiling and a lot of mold along the outside wall and in the back. We have replaced the plumbing and the heating and next we will be working on replacing the electrical.” 

One of the major issues with the storefront, however, is the old, single-pane windows, which need to be replaced to help with heating and cooling as well as signage and window displays. Fortunately, Erwin met Amber Trotter, who had also opened a new photography studio right next door. Main Street Jamestown had its first project.

As an inaugural event, the group held a fundraiser on March 20th to help Erwin replace two, large storefront windows. Held in the Lions Club lot next door to the flower shop, Main Street Jamestown offered games, a raffle, food and branded merchandise, with all proceeds going toward the Something New window project. Despite a cold but sunny spring day, organizers said the fundraiser was a great success and raised more than $1,500. More information about something Erwin’s shop is available online at www.somethingnewfaithflowersfinds.com.

Linville and his team would like to support area residents as well as downtown businesses. “Of course it starts with the downtown businesses and goes out from there and we hope to help residents as well,” he said. “We want to help with a leaky roof or landscaping or whatever someone may need that we can do. Every effort helps Jamestown look more attractive to people so they will come here and the businesses and town will thrive.”

The organization is busy on social media with regular live videos and event postings, all in hopes of engaging volunteers and raising money for future projects. “Right now what we’re doing is spreading the word,” Linville said. “If you see us post on social media please like and share. The more people we can get to interact with us, the more people who live in the area will be aware of us; even those who come here visiting family or come to the lake (Shawnee Hills) in the summer.”

Main Street Jamestown’s next event is a downtown street fair slated for April 24; information is available on their Facebook page. The organization is also partnered with the non-profit group Greene Giving and tax-deductible donations can be made online at https://greenegiving.ejoinme.org/MyPages/MainStreetJamestown/tabid/1223992/Default.aspx.

For more information on ways to support Main Street Jamestown, contact them on Facebook @MainStreetJamestown, call 937-374-9424, or email mainstreetjamestown@gmail.com.

You can also support Main Street Jamestown by purchasing branded apparrel. The online store is open until April 11th! https://mainstreetjamestown.itemorder.com/sale?fbclid=IwAR0K-FfFdltryPey7pw0LcQY-tk4-ZxJrCUxDZWmLRIYLG-RxQxQsCRWzg8

Story, Photos, video and content copyright 2021 The Jamestown Comet.com and GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Do you have a story from anywhere in Greene County, Ohio? Let us know! Send to media@gldenterprises.net.

Liberals and corporate America must co-exist

In Business, Charities, Economy, Local News, Media, Opinion, Politics, Uncategorized on January 22, 2014 at 11:52 am

DIH LOGOIt wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that most liberals with a severe opinion of corporate America are primarily on the left-wing extremist end of things. But their voices are heard, nonetheless, and help to further expand the gap between left and right.

I recently posted to my social media page a paraphrased quote from a conservative business owner expressing her outrage over a liberal commentary on how businesses shamelessly promote themselves to generate sales. Her response was as follows, “Liberal bleeding hearts always seem to hate corporate America, right up until they want money for something.” Needless to say, the woman’s comment was not taken well by some of my liberal Facebook friends.

Regardless of how they want to think of themselves, liberal-based non-profits are, in fact, corporations in business. Although the term “non-profit” could be debated in many respects, they are still in business to create a product that generates revenue and pays salaries. In fact, they pay employees very well. The current CEO of National Public Radio pulls in about $1.4 million a year, a number that the network’s news commentators would likely find deplorable were it related to a commercial business chief.

So, how does one respond to a conservative business person who remarks, “If I advertise my business then the liberals call me vulgar? But it’s perfectly acceptable for them to go on TV and beg for money to keep their non-profit going. Why is that ok?” Seems like a simple question, but the answer is a bit more complex.

Corporate advertisers are regularly accused of manipulating consumers into buying. At the same time, non-profits (typically liberal causes or organizations) are just as manipulative when asking for “member support,” or however they decide to word it. Is there a difference? Not really. It’s actually more about perspective.

debt calamityLiberal non-profit heads will argue that what they do is for a greater good; people helping people, and so on. At the same time, they will accuse the conservative business owner of being interested only in turning a profit and getting rich. He, in turn, will refute the charge, saying that he’s offering a quality product for a premium price and doesn’t need to “guilt” anyone into handing over their money, all while employing people and keeping the economy going.

Mr. Conservative Business Man will also add to his statement that several times a year some non-profit knocks on his door wanting a handout, to which he responds with a nice, fat check. No one loses. People are employed, consumers get what they want – and if they didn’t want it, there’d be no product – all while the non-profit gets to keep its doors open.

The truth is, non-profits could not exist without big business. It just can’t be done. The majority of money given to public charities and social causes, as well as larger efforts like PBS, all comes from big business or charitable trusts created from successful corporate endeavors. To argue that people in corporate America make “too much money,” is also ridiculous, since the majority of U.S. companies are classified as small business, owned by middle-class people.

Several of the arguments against the Facebook quote I noted earlier focused on what one poster called, “a certain political persuasion speaking in absolutes,” and she couldn’t have been more accurate. This entire concept is based on black and white vision with no gray areas of mutual understanding. Fortunately, most people who are successful, either in business or non-profit management, understand that both have to co-exist to survive.

Corporate America has the responsibility to help those less fortunate but to do that they first have to be successful and self-sufficient. Simultaneously, non-profits have a responsibility to balance needs with wants and manage both budgets accordingly. We all have to do the best we can and work together so there will be good jobs, sustainable social programs and a strong economy.

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business contributor to WDTN-TV2’s Living Dayton program. More at http://www.gerydeer.com.

Evolve or die: More occupations are becoming extinct.

In Economy, history, Jobs, National News, Opinion, Technology, Uncategorized on November 6, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Deer In Headlines

By Gery L. Deer

What would you do if, not just your particular job, but your entire occupation was no longer needed – ever again? There are on dozens of job categories that are either slowly becoming unnecessary or have already suffered the fate of mechanized extinction.

operatorsAlready gone are the ice and milk delivery man (they were just men back in the day), the telephone operator, record player repairman, elevator operators, professional typists, and a host of others. Those occupational positions feeling the Grim Reaper nipping at their heels may include the gas station attendant, the postal delivery worker, video store clerk, department store sales person, newspaper delivery workers (the paper boy), travel agents and the old-fashioned barber.

Oddly enough even newspaper columnists, like yours truly, are fading away. Modern publishers can use syndicated filler columns or hire “bloggers” who often possess little or no journalistic experience – and pay pennies for the material if anything. Most of my freelancing colleagues have adapted to commercial writing or do as I have, by taking on a wider variety of work to earn a living.

Printing press operator jobs, once abundant in the Dayton, Ohio region are now all but gone. The more publications move toward fully electronic versions, the fewer press jobs there will be and the skill will be in higher demand with those companies still rolling out ink and paper.

As time passes, some of these occupations will have to either evolve into other forms or go the way of the door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman. Librarians, for example, may have been headed towards obscurity but now manage a variety of media, both on the shelf and online. But others may not be able to adapt to serve alternative functions and will simply die out, like the salaeratus maker (that’s someone from the 1800s who made baking soda). See what you can learn from Deer In Headlines?

So what is to be learned from all of this professional progression? Clearly, more education is going to be necessary and the market will adapt to the need. New types of jobs will be created as others fade away.

But are there any jobs unlikely to be replaced by technological breakthrough? Oddly, anyone who is required to create, build and repair that technology has a goldmine ahead of them. Let’s face it, the nerds rule the world and they’re not going anywhere! There are whole television shows about them now.

Incidentally, it isn’t merely technology that causes occupational evolution, but the economy and changes across a business sector, particularly where several types of industries overlap. Consolidation of responsibilities combined with changes in technology can result in the need for more highly-trained workers, but requiring fewer to do the same jobs.

Doctors and nurses will probably always be required, even though patients will pay more to see them less. Hospitals are in a constant state of change as well. Budget cuts and lack of necessity have long-since done away with the helpful but redundant “orderly” position. Today, nursing and medical assistants have taken the place of orderlies, having more education and medical training that can serve a larger need than merely as a gurney driver.

On-air radio professionals, once called “disc jockeys,” have had to evolve as well. Digital media and station automation have made these jobs scarce, but those who are surviving are evolving through other types of media like Internet-based entertainment and even creating their own online listenership.

Whatever the job, workers should make an effort to stay ahead of the game through personal enrichment, continued education and, above all, keep an open mind. Those people who are very resistant, even defiant, toward technology will have a much harder time adapting.

The bottom line here is that occupational evolution is a necessity of any economy. As technology changes and America continues its slow but steady recovery from recession, more workers will be needed while some jobs disappear because they’re just obsolete. *

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business contributor to WDTN-TV2’s “Living Dayton” program. Learn more at http://www.deerinheadlines.com