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Do your homework before voting this election.

In Jobs, National News, Opinion, Politics, State News, Uncategorized on September 29, 2014 at 11:26 am

DIH LOGOHere we are in election season again, when liberals and conservatives alike spend millions of dollars trying to convince voters to either keep them in office or replace the incumbent.  As always, when they’re not kissing your baby, they’re stealing his lollypop. With so many candidates running who are essentially, “the lesser of who cares,” how will you decide at the ballot box?

A common theme of election strategies is the tired old, “let’s bash the other guy,” method, which is exactly as it sounds. In the months and weeks preceding the election, voters are inundated with television commercials, fliers and post cards all declaring the treachery of the opposing candidate, regardless of the validity of the claims. The goal is to “scare” you away from that candidate for fear he or she will bring about the end of democracy as we know it.

Another popular method of political marketing is the “two chickens in every pot” promise. The goal here is to simply convince you that no matter how you are living now, vote for “me” and I’ll make your life better, and the themes follow trends.

In the years following 9/11, for example, candidates promised better homeland security. After the recession hit, they promised banking reform and more jobs. In reality, however, politicians have little to do with any of that.

When you read about a lower unemployment rate, chances are it’s because many jobless simply stopped reporting their status or benefits have run out. Unemployment numbers fluctuate, organically, not because some politician changed the face of the workforce with the swath of a pen. Please try to keep this in mind: government does not, has not, and never will create jobs in the real world. Regardless of how much they hype job-creating policies, no politician can create jobs in private industry.

Probably the most famous photo of Truman. (Photo by W. Eugene Smith//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Probably the most famous photo of Truman. (Photo by W. Eugene Smith//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

In fact, the majority of political interference just impedes business and slows workforce development – unless you have a nice, fat check to send them at election time. Then you get all the help you want until your money runs out.

The rest of the time, business owners must contend with the result of what these self-serving bureaucrats do best. Invasive regulations, ever-increasing taxes and other legislative roadblocks usually just muck up the works and prevent small businesses from growing – or hiring.

Local government interference can make things even worse, because that’s where the real decisions are made. When local politicians have a “pal” in a particular industry and a competitor comes in to try to set up shop, it can be harder to get official processes pushed through, like location approvals, licensing, and so on. It does happen, and far more often than you might think.

What gets even more annoying is the level to which some politicians try to convince people they are “regular folks,” when most of them are millionaires many times over. Great examples are Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Congressman John Boehner, and many of their compatriots, on both sides of the aisle, each of whom are super-wealthy and many up for re-election. None of them have a clue what it would be like to have to survive paycheck to paycheck like so many of their constituents.

Whatever the ploy, a politician is a business selling a product in the same way that any company would try to get you to buy their brand of soap or corn flakes. It’s all marketing, and knowing that people make political decisions emotionally rather than based on any logic or facts, the more frightening the ad campaign the better.

The same goes for choosing to approve or deny the various ballot issues. Just because they send kids to bang on your door with big sad eyes and a long sad tale of how the children will suffer without passing a tax increase (while the kid has no idea what they’re shilling for, because they’re kids), that doesn’t mean you should pull vote “yes.”

Best advice, ignore the advertisements. If every voter did a little homework on the candidates and issues instead of voting a party line or from fear or guilt, there would be a marked improvement in the quality of our leadership.
The Jamestown Comet.com editor / publisher, Gery L. Deer, is an independent columnist and business writer. More at gerydeer.com.

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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

It’s not what you read, but why.

In Books, Children and Family, Literature, Opinion, Senior Lifestyle, Uncategorized on August 11, 2014 at 12:10 pm

DIH LOGOAs a professional writer, and the executive director of the Western Ohio Writers Association, I am often asked what books I read or what I’d recommend to someone. But, over the years, I’ve learned that it’s not so much what you read that’s as important as why you’re reading it. Let me try to explain.

For example, it would be pretty short-sighted to read bestselling novels simply because they made the list, rather than because of their actual content. Just because a book or movie is popular, particularly with critics, by no means guarantees its quality.

The same could be said of reading only one genre or restricting your choices to only a couple of authors. Science fiction buffs, for instance, might really enjoy a good political thriller – I know I do – but rarely does one give the other a chance.

I tend to go take risks on books or lesser known writers. Since I work with so many unknown authors, I have the advantage of being exposed to material you’ll probably never see listed in the New York Times but which is still of outstanding quality and entertainment value.

I tend to ignore online reviews considering, instead, the recommendations of friends or family. A great many reviews today are pretty unreliable since they’re often paid for by the book’s publisher, or even the author, to boost the book’s visibility and increase sales.

"Flights of Fancy" is an anthology of stories set in southwest Ohio by local authors from the Western Ohio Writers Association. It will hit shelves in mid-April 2013 and features local talent and production.

“Flights of Fiction” is an anthology of stories set in southwest Ohio by local authors from the Western Ohio Writers Association. Click the cover art to order!

Local authors are also a favorite of mine and I’m always surprised at how people rarely give them a chance until they’ve hit the big time, as if they’re not good enough yet – nonsense. Remember, talented writing does not require residence in a high-rise loft in Manhattan. Helping a new writer break ground is part of my job, but I also enjoy having a connection with the author. Even if you don’t know the individual, however, chances are you’ll have a greater appreciation for their work if they’re from your hometown.

The format of the book is also less important to me than the content. I like e-readers like Kindle Fire and Nook because they make reading convenient, but I still buy hardbacks when I want to collect a book or have it autographed.

So, having said all of this, I will break my rule and answer those questions for you, starting with my favorite author: Douglas Adams, the British author of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” series of novels. I’ve always loved Adams’ satirical style of storytelling and his ability to say precisely what everyone else is thinking but won’t speak aloud. You don’t have to be a science fiction buff or a fan of Monty Python to enjoy his work.

If I had to pick a periodical I read regularly, it’d probably be split between “The Writer,” a magazine for – you guessed it – writers; and “The New York Times.” As a former editor and long-running op-ed writer, I enjoy reading the work of my fellow columnists. It’s interesting to see all of our different approaches to the same subjects.

Lastly, here is a list of books I’d recommend. I won’t say why I’m recommending them, however, because that would spoil the reader’s personal discovery of their value.

In bestselling fiction I can recommend, “Hit Man,” by Lawrence Block, as well as “Camel Club,” “Simple Genius” and “Stone Cold,” all by David Baldacci. If you’re looking for work by local authors, I suggest “Pretty Girl 13,” by Liz Coley, and “Flights of Fiction,” an anthology of stories set in and around the Dayton region by member authors of the Western Ohio Writers Association. For non-fiction I would propose “Lucky Man: A Memoir,” by Michael J. Fox; “I Will Never Forget,” by Elaine C. Pereira, and “The Art of War,” by Sun Tzu.

There you have it. My recommendations, at least up to this point. There are others I could suggest but these are the top of the list. So put down the video game, turn off the TV and pick up a good book. See you in the library stacks!

 

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and executive director of the Western Ohio Writers Association. More at westernohiowriters.org.

 

 

Gainsay of Gaza school bombing not anti-Semitic

In history, National News, Opinion, Politics, sociology, Uncategorized, World News on August 9, 2014 at 2:50 pm

DIH LOGOThere’s an inherent problem with “political correctness” when it extends to speaking out against bad policy or horrific acts against the innocent. When the super-sensitive “left” can’t accept that people can dislike someone’s opinion without literally hating them, any hope of long-term, productive dialogue or constructive discourse is totally squelched.

When President Obama was elected, people became so obsessed about his being our first African American president, that to even mention a disagreement with his policies labeled one a racist. Naturally, that’s ridiculous. But, for the majority of his first term anyone who argued against him was considered to simply be hateful and bigoted.

We’re in a similar, uncomfortable, situation now with the problems going on in Gaza and the alleged bombing of civilian targets by both Israel and Hamas. There is no question that what’s going on there is terrible and it’s a given that Israel has suffered its share of problems in its short existence as a nation. But, criticism of their tactics in the current conflict does not make one anti-Semitic.

Because Hamas is seen by many as a “terrorist” organization, it is therefore more acceptable to criticize them publicly, but that’s not the debate. It’s not anti-Semitic to state, “It’s wrong for Israel to bomb civilian targets and kill innocent people, including children.” Anyone who thinks that it’s ok to bomb kids regardless of the purpose may be hinging on sociopathic mentality.

Many United Nations officials condemned the bombing of a UN-run school in Gaza, including  Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, seen here.

Many United Nations officials condemned the bombing of a UN-run school in Gaza, including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, seen here.

After a United Nations-operated school was bombed in Gaza City last week, killing 20 and wounding dozens, including children, The Washington Post reported that the U.N. officially condemned Israel for the bombing with UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl saying, “I condemn in the strongest possible terms this serious violation of international law by Israeli forces. This is an affront to all of us, a source of universal shame. Today the world stands disgraced.”

There are, of course, those who have accused the U.N., as an organization, of being anti-Semitic since its inception, but this is not an indication of that. This is a statement from the commissioner-general communicating that the world group disagrees with the Israeli tactic and would prefer they try to find a peaceful solution.

Considering that the GPS coordinates of the school had been reportedly sent to Israel at least 17 times, at this point it’s Israel’s own actions drawing negative opinion and squelching sympathy for their cause. Still, it’s seen as distasteful to speak against the Jewish nation without being labeled racist and therein lays the problem.

Will it always be that with any minority or historically trodden-down group, negative opinion or public critique will draw for the speaker undo hatred or have them forever labeled racist, anti-Semitic or worse? Is political correctness always this blind, even in the court room? Yes. It always will be. Take, for instance, mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes here in America.

Statistics suggest that the vast majority of drug criminals in the U.S. are African American. Since there are often mandatory minimum prison sentences on the books for various levels of possession, sale and use of street narcotics, by the logic of some, which makes mandatory minimums racist. Are they? That’s a debate for another time, but the same logic is at work here as well.

There seems to be a belief among modern liberals and conservatives alike that freedom of speech is a wonderful thing, so long as you only say what they want to hear. Anything that goes against the grain on either side of the aisle will earn a swift retribution for the originator of the message. Oddly, it’s always been that way, but now, with social media, the Internet and an instant news cycle, there’s just more of a platform for argument.

Speaking one’s mind about an atrocity is the purview of any conscientious observer. Whether someone is doing so from a racial bias is another matter entirely. However, if those committing the atrocity expect sympathy in some way, it’s unlikely that they will achieve any of their goals by fueling the fires of hate through horrific actions, regardless of whether they believe it to be the means to the end.
Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer syndicated by GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing. More at gerydeer.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Long-arm quilting services now available at Crafters Lodge in Sugarcreek Plaza

In Business, crafts, Education, Entertainment, Senior Lifestyle, Technology, Uncategorized on July 15, 2014 at 9:05 am

By Gery L. Deer

IMG_7258 Sugarcreek Twp. – A homemade quilt can be a treasured and very personal family heirloom. From the earliest American settlers, the craft of quilting has been passed down from one generation to the next, each adding a new creative style to the process. Once the top of a quilt is completed, it must be stitched to the back with batting in between – a detailed and painstaking process if done by hand. Fortunately, Crafters Lodge in Sugarcreek Township now offers long-arm quilting services and certification classes for those who wish to learn to do the work personally.

A long arm quilting machine is an industrial sewing machine similar to those used in the mattress industry.  It moves along a track or rails and sews the three parts of a quilt together. “We have the American Professional Quilting Systems (APQS) Millennium or Millie as it’s also known,” says Crafters Lodge co-owner, JoBeth Bryant. “The Millennium is the top of the line long arm quilting machine.”

JoBeth Bryant of Crafters Lodge demonstrates the Long Arm Quilting Machine nicknamed, "Millie"

JoBeth Bryant of Crafters Lodge demonstrates the Long Arm Quilting Machine nicknamed, “Millie”

Bryant says the store currently has two certified long-arm operators on staff and walk-ins are welcome. “When you bring your quilt top to us it will be measured and checked for any issues that may affect the quilting process.  Then you can choose the type of quilting you want done and the thread color.”A fifty-percent deposit and signed contract are required at time of drop-off.  Customers can also choose any additional services they may want, such as binding, a hanging sleeve, or a label.

To make the process go as smoothly as possible, Bryant notes that customers should properly prepare the work. “Make sure the backing is square, backing must be at least six inches wider than the top,” she says.  “There are some materials, particularly generic brands from chain stores, which may not be suitable for batting, and they must be clean and odor-free. Check with us for details on acceptable batting and backing materials, both are available in our store.”

Certification classes are also available for those who wish to learn to use the long arm machine and handle the IMG_7254quilting job personally.  Students are given expert instruction on how to load a quilt, threading the machine, wind and load bobbins, access the various features, use of the pantograph, and how to create basic “meander” quilting pattern.

Crafters Lodge is located at 6056 Wilmington Pike, just behind Fazoli’s in the Sugarcreek Plaza in Sugarcreek Township. Regular store hours are 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.

Reward yourself for a job well done.

In Business, Economy, National News, Opinion, Uncategorized on June 3, 2014 at 8:28 am

DIH LOGODo you hate your job? You might be surprised how many people despise their work. Even those making upwards of six figures can find the grind most tedious and would do nearly anything to change it. So why don’t they? Chances are, especially at the high end, people have locked themselves into a lifestyle that requires a certain level of money and position that becomes inescapable, or so they think.

If you were one of the millions of folks displaced from a job during the recession, you’re just counting your blessings and dealing with whatever unpleasantness comes along at work. Whatever the reason for staying, there are many reasons why people hate their jobs.

Much of what causes people to dislike their jobs has to do with a lack of obvious appreciation or recognition for your efforts. It takes more than a paycheck to feel fulfilled in your profession and most people don’t get the recognition they feel they deserve for hard work and dedicated service.

Recognition can also come from promotion and a change in responsibilities which can offer more challenges to your day, as well as a better paycheck. If you don’t have opportunities to grow within an organization, you’re likely to feel stifled and unproductive. That will eat away at you over time.

Another reason for someone might feel badly in their job is when they feel they’re meant to do something else or went to school for something entirely different. We all have had moments when we thought we should be something else. I grew up thinking I was going to be a doctor. When I finally enrolled in a pre-med program, I found I really didn’t like it and transferred into an engineering track.

girl_bookDespite what the academics would like us to believe, very few people really know what they want to do at the age of 18 when society is telling us to choose a lifelong career. The fact is we’re just not that grown up yet and, if we think we are and choose a direction, it often change with age and experience.

So what do you do if you are one of those who is just plain unhappy at work? First, it might be a good idea to try to find another job. Don’t wait until you lose the one you have to be looking for something better. Knee-jerk reactions to an employment crisis rarely bring about good change in life, instead just leading to more of the same mediocrity. Get out there and start looking and interviewing for the kind of work you really feel like you want to do, provided it meets your financial and professional qualifications.

Secondly, if changing jobs isn’t a practical option right now, try to provide yourself with some self-rewards and do things throughout the week to make your situation more enjoyable. As an independent worker and small business owner, I don’t get “rewards” for what I do all day. There is no employee of the month or chance for promotion. I’m as high up as I get and, unless the cat learns to use the printer, it’s doubtful I’m going to receive a certificate for outstanding performance anytime soon.

I still need to stay motivated, though, and so do you. So set up rewards for yourself throughout the week. For example, say you have a big project coming up that may test your patience and tolerance of others. Instead of going home stressed every night, establish yourself some rewards for hanging in there. Schedule a special lunch with a friend or ice cream after work. Go to a movie with your significant other in the middle of the week or even plan for a day off if possible.

These observations merely brush the surface of why people might hate their job, but it’s a start. Having a plan to help yourself better enjoy your work will reduce your stress level and increase your productivity. It will also make you less dependent on others for personal growth and self-worth. More importantly, developing a system of self-reward is something you can take with you.

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer based in Jamestown, OH. More at http://www.gerydeer.com.

Possible meth lab explosion in downtown Jamestown

In Dayton Ohio News, Local News, National News, News Media, Uncategorized on March 21, 2014 at 8:42 am
Jamestown home at 10 S. Buckles ripped apart by possible meth lab explosion. Photo courtesy WKEF-22 News Video.

Jamestown home at 10 S. Buckles ripped apart by possible meth lab explosion. Photo courtesy WKEF-22 News Video.

JAMESTOWN – Authorities say an explosion in Jamestown on Thursday was possibly caused by a man in a home-based meth lab.

Firefighters were called to a house at 10 S. Buckles St. in Jamestown  around 1:30 pm on Thursday, March 20 where an explosion had rocked the neighborhood. Police say Shaun Minney was air lifted to an area hospital to be treated for severe burns. Minney is suspected to have been cooking meth in the home when the explosion occurred.

Nearby homes were evacuated and streets blocked off as HAZMAT crews were called in to clean up the residue and firefighters are investigating the exact cause of the explosion. Residents were let back into their homes later in the evening.

Jamestown Police Chief Roger Tyree told WKEF-TV news, “They discovered there are multiple propane tanks inside the residence, which we want to err on the side of caution.  It’s not a normal situation to find 4-5 propane tanks inside someone’s residence. It’s a very scary thing.  We know that he’s doing something in there improper.  Normally you don’t have propane tanks inside your home.”

According to authorities, police were not originally called to the home for an explosion. Family members from the home were taken to an area hospital with suspicious burns and police were notified by doctors. Upon arriving at the home, they discovered the aftermath of the explosion.

At last report Minney was in critical condition and a full investigation is ongoing.

Resources:

What is a meth lab?

What are the potential hazards of exposure to a meth lab?

Jamestown native Fred Claire announced as special advisor to Baseball New Zealand

In Business, Dayton Ohio News, Jobs, Local News, National News, News Media, Sports News, Uncategorized, World News on March 18, 2014 at 3:16 pm
fredclaire1

Fred Claire

PASADENA, CA – Baseball New Zealand this week has secured the services of Jamestown, Ohio native, Fred Claire, former Executive Vice-President and General Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers Major League Baseball organization, as a special advisor to the organization.

Besides his long tenure with the Dodgers, Claire is a longtime mentor for many executives in the professional and international sports communities and Baseball New Zealand CEO Ryan Flynn is one of Claire’s baseball “disciples.”

“We’ve just scored a large victory with the addition of Fred as a key advisor and stakeholder in our program,” said Flynn. “Securing the services of someone with such a lengthy baseball pedigree, someone as respected in the sport as he is a huge coup for the sport in this country.”

Flynn said Claire has been advising the country’s national body unofficially for some time, but added that the program is now at a critical juncture and the timing is right to formalize this key relationship and take it to the next level.

In a distinguished 30-year career with the Dodgers, Claire served the team as a publicity director; vice president of public relations, promotions and marketing; Executive Vice President in charge of day-to-day operations; and Executive Vice President and General Manager in charge of player personnel.

A shop keeper’s son starting out at the tail-end of the Great Depression, Fred Claire was born on October 5, 1935 in Jamestown, Ohio. His mother, Mary Frances Harper, was born and raised in Jamestown where her father operated Harper’s Drug Store.

Ironically, given the town’s modern history, his grandfather’s store was eventually destroyed by fire. Claire’s father, Marston, later opened another drug store on the opposite corner of the village. “My Dad’s drug store was simply known as Claire’s Corner Drug Store,” Claire said.

As a young boy, he lived in the apartment above the store with his parents, his brother Doug and one sister named Lynn. With his family, Claire enjoyed fishing trips to Canada and nearby Indian Lake and began his business career as a young entrepreneur. “My brother and I trapped muskrats,” Claire recalled. “And I had a newspaper route delivering the Xenia Daily Gazette.”

Claire suggested that his passion for sports came from early summer mornings in Jamestown when friends would throw pebbles at his second-floor apartment window. This was, according to Claire, “the indication that it was time to get up, get the baseball equipment and head out to the diamond at Silvercreek School.” He was referring to the historic school at the corner of SR 72 and South Charleston road in Jamestown which was razed in 2013 but, for many years, served as the Greeneview primary and junior high building.

Claire joined the Dodgers in 1969 and he proved to be an award-winning executive at every stage of his career. Claire was directing the team’s marketing efforts when the Dodgers first hit the three-million mark in attendance and established a period of record-setting attendance figures.

In April of 1987, Claire was named general manager of the Dodgers and when the team won the World Series in 1988 he was selected Major League Baseball’s “Executive of the Year” by The Sporting News. Claire became the fifth Dodger executive in the team’s history to win the award, following Larry MacPhail (1939), Branch Rickey (1947), Walter O’Malley (1955) and Buzzie Bavasi (1959).

Since his departure from the Dodgers in June of 1998, Claire has maintained an active schedule as an educator and as a consultant to a variety of businesses in addition to an on-going civic involvement. He is a partner in the baseball analytic company AriBall.com.

“Having someone on board with the experience and expertise that Fred Claire has is a huge win for this country and our fast-growing baseball program,” Flynn said. “Bouncing ideas and strategy off of a man with a great history of baseball experience and successes in the game, plus his ability to bring key people and organizations together, will pay dividends for many years for Baseball New Zealand, and we couldn’t be more fortunate with this development.”

“I’ve always had an interest in growing the game of baseball and to have the opportunity with Baseball New Zealand and to work with Ryan Flynn and his group is very exciting,” said Claire. Claire had made a trip to Australia in the late 1970’s and helped to set the stage for a connection between the Dodgers and the Australian Baseball Federation.  Dodger coaches Monty Basgall, Red Adams and Guy Wellman traveled to Australia a few years after Claire’s visit to give clinics and promote baseball.

“I liked the fact that the baseball officials in Australia were growing the game from the standpoint of placing an emphasis on youngsters learning and playing the game  and this is what I see happening in New Zealand today,” said Claire.

During his 12 seasons as the Dodger general manager, the team signed pitchers Hideo Nomo from Japan and Chan Ho Park from South Korea. Nomo was one of five consecutive National League Rookies of the Year during Claire’s tenure, joining Eric Karros, Mike Piazza, Raul Mondesi and Todd Hollandsworth.

For more on Fred ClaireReference: Fred Claire, “30 Years in Dodger Blue”

Jamestown Chamber informational forum Tuesday March 4

In Business, Economy, Local News, Uncategorized on March 3, 2014 at 6:49 pm

JAMESTOWN –  The Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce (JACC) and the Southern Ohio Chamber Alliance (SOCA) invite the public to attend tho 2014 Informational Forum from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm onTuesday, March 4, at Greeneview High School, 4710 Cottonville Rd Jamestown, Ohio 45335.

The objective for the forum is to inform chamber members, area businesses, and individuals about the chamber’s activities, their role in advocating businesses in the community, and the benefits available through the JACC and SOCA.

The event is designed to answer questions and provide information regarding :

  • Chamber and SOCA member benefits
  • Affordable medical, dental and vision insurance for your employees
  • Starting and setting up a new business
  • Affordable ways to market and grow your business
  • Staying current and complying with HIPAA laws and regulations
  • Where to find a qualified accounting firm
  • Help with Worker’s Comp claims
  • Having an online presence without creating a custom website
  • Document storage and secure destruction
  • Computer networking and maintenance
  • Design, display and printing services available locally
  • Registration and sponsoring information for the 2014 Chamber Golf Outing
  • How you can support local businesses and the community

Chamber members are invited to set-up a table and promote their business. For more information, please contact the chamber membership director, Cory Newhouse at 937-675-6841, or at cory@jtchamber.com.

Jamestown music group dazzles the BellHOP Cafe

In Children and Family, Entertainment, Food, Local News, Theatre, Uncategorized on March 3, 2014 at 5:27 am
The Brothers & Co. at the BellHOP Cafe.

The Brothers & Co. at the BellHOP Cafe.

BELLBROOK, OH – As part of their whistle-stop tour of the Miami Valley, The Brothers & Co. Variety Show appeared last Saturday at Bellbrook’s,  BellHOP Café. The show really started with the arrival of the group’s tour bus, which somewhat dwarfed the venue. The 40-foot, Silver Eagle coach has been restored over time to suit this unique group’s style of family and fun.

Playing to nearly a full house, The Brothers & Co. featured four-part vocals by pianist Gery L. Deer, bass player Jim Karns, guitar and banjo man Ed Jones and percussionist Gary Deer Jr., all in matching black, western outfits. They covered songs by George Jones, John Denver and their main inspiration, The Statler Brothers, as well as their comedy original, “Bingo Night,” and Ed Jones’ ballad, “Sweet Days.”

IMG_6759The Brothers & Co. Entertainers are an Americana act started in 1995 and best known for their 1960s variety show style and family-friendly content. Each show features covers of The Statler Brothers, The Monkees, John Denver, and George Jones as well as many original pieces.

This performance celebrated a particular milestone for The Brothers & Co., celebrating their 18th year on stage alongside the recovery of their bass singer, Jim Karns, who suffered a serious health scare in early February.

Gery Deer (left) and Jim Karns entertain with "Comagic," comedy magic routines during the Brothers show.

Gery Deer (left) and Jim Karns entertain with “Comagic,” comedy magic routines during the Brothers show.

“We put a modern spin on an old kind of entertainment that’s nostalgic and originally presented all at the same time,” said Karns, who joined the group in 2004, also providing comedy and magic. “If you’ve never seen a live variety show, this is something the whole family will really enjoy.”

The show’s manager would like to hear from local venues interested in hosting a Brothers & Co. performance in the coming months. Contact information, photos ,video clips of the show and more are all available at the group’s website, www.thebrothersandcompany.com.