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Support your local county fair.

In Children and Family, Entertainment, Local News, National News, Opinion, Uncategorized on July 26, 2016 at 9:09 am

Deer In Headlines
By Gery L. Deer

Photo courtesy Jack Delano, a county fair in Georgia Taken in October 1941.

Photo courtesy Jack Delano, a county fair in Georgia Taken in October 1941.

As summer winds down, county fairs are an institution prominent since the middle 19th Century. For some families, the county fair is the highlight of the summer. It represents the culmination of the agricultural year in crops, livestock, and education.

As I was growing up, the fair signaled the end of summer and provided what was, for lack of a better description, my vacation. I spent my summers in 4-H, working on every type of project from beef cattle and bicycle rodeos to first aid and rocketry. The weeks leading up to the fair were always packed with activity for me and the benefits are farther reaching than just the immediate event.

Most regional organizations exhibit at the fair including Boy and Girl Scouts, Rotary and Grange, and, most notably for youth, 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA). The junior fair events were designed to showcase these organizations and meet the needs of farm families to help provide educational opportunities.

What most children love is the opportunity to get close to live farm animals. Youth exhibitors have their livestock boarded at the fair through the week either awaiting show times or auction. During that time, visitors can see and often pet the animals, with the permission of the owners, and ask questions about them.

While strongly focused on rural interests, the fair isn’t only about farming. Music and variety entertainment is in no short supply on the fairground. Multiple stages and grandstand events offer everything from local garage bands to big-name entertainers. And those with an artistic eye have plenty to see as well!

While some people might believe that the only artwork to be seen at a county fair consists of macaroni pictures, they’d be incredibly wrong. If it’s art you’re interested in, some of the most amazing hand crafted artwork hangs on the display walls at the fair. Fine art buildings on the fairground become temporary museums to local artisanship.

Anyone may submit for judging hand artwork, needlepoint, quilting, photography, pottery and a myriad of other artistic work. Contestants need not be part of the 4-H, FFA or other organized groups, in order to enter. The resulting exhibits are diverse and eye-catching, on display from hobbyist and professional alike, judged equally.

Those familiar with the PBS series, “Antiques Roadshow,” might enjoy a tour of the antiques exhibit. Each year, the fair hosts a contest of antiques from every category, including glass, metals, wood and rare items. As with art, the exhibitors are local residents, hoping for a little notoriety out of a family heirloom or favorite antique or collectable – all on display for the enjoyment of the patrons.

Strolling through all of these exhibits, visitors may notice colored ribbons. Each one represents the achievement level of the participant in his or her category of judging. The awards may not be the ultimate goal, but for someone who plans on a career in livestock demonstrating an award-winning history can go a long way towards securing a professional establishment later.

But the fair is certainly not just for the exhibitors. What good is all this effort if no one comes to visit? Offering everything from food and rides to shows and educational opportunities, the family entertainment value of the county fair is tough to beat.

Generally, admission runs under $10 for adults, less for kids, seniors and veterans, and weekly passes are often available at a discounted rate. Often, the gate ticket allows access to everything on the grounds, although there is generally an additional fee for high-profile grandstand events.

My home fair in Greene County, Ohio, opens July 31 this year and runs until the following Saturday. Having started in 1839, it is has moved locations several times, but remains the longest running county fair west of the Alleghenies. If you’re in the area, check it out. You can learn more at greenecountyfairgrounds.com.

If you have a county fair near you, take the time to spend the afternoon there this year. In addition to getting a great day of family-oriented fun, you are supporting the local community. Get out and enjoy the fair.

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

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Vent maintenance key to dryer fire prevention

In Children and Family, Education, Health, Home Improvement, Local News, Science, Technology, Uncategorized on April 15, 2015 at 5:07 pm

dryer_vent_3_ductzDayton, OH – According to the United States Fire Administration nearly 3,000 clothes dryer fires are reported each year, causing an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries and more than $35 million in property damage. Statistics show that the most common cause of those fires (some 34-percent) was failure to keep the traps and dryer vents clean and free of lint.

Many people proceed from the incorrect impression that the dryer’s removable lint trap will protect prevent major lint build up. Dryer lint can blow right past the trap and end up packed around the machine’s internal components and clog the entire length of a vent pipe.

Click to watch the TV interview with Larry Phillips on WDTN-TV2

Click to watch the TV interview with Larry Phillips on WDTN-TV2

Larry Phillips is the owner of DUCTZ of Southeast Miami Valley, a professional duct and vent cleaning service. “The most important reason to have the dryer vent cleaned is safety,” Phillips says. “There are some things you can do to help reduce your risk of a dryer vent fire.”

dryer_vent_2_ductzFirst, Phillips suggests paying close attention to the dryer’s operation. “If you notice that your clothes are taking longer to dry, especially if it’s more than 50 minutes, you should probably have your dryer vent cleaned, or even replaced,” Phillips says.

“Your dryer vent should be made of flexible aluminum and never a PVC pipe or plastic material. Plastic vent pipe materials may add to the fire hazard. Your dryer vent should also vent to the outdoors – never indoors, especially natural gas units. Gases vented during the dryer’s operation can be harmful to people and pets.”

Critters can be cause problems for dryer vents as well. “Outside dryer vents should be free of debris and any louvered cover must be able to open easily. Also, be sure to check the outside vent often, as small animals and birds often see the vent as an ideal place to make a home.”

dryer_vent_1_ductzFinally, Phillips advises to never use duct tape on a dryer vent, but metal foil tape. Most building codes restrict the length of dryer vent pipes to no more than 25 feet. Longer pipes with sharp turns or raised and lowered sections can be of particular concern because lint gets trapped in the elbows and is difficult to detect and remove.

For those who rent a home, Phillips offers this advice. “Ask your landlord what their dryer vent cleaning schedule is. Most landlords are required to have the dryer vent cleaned each year by their local government.”

For more information on dryer vent safety, contact Larry Phillips at DUCTZ of Southeast Miami Valley, (937) 399-8500. Online at http://www.ductz.com/contact-us/location-map/ohio/ductz-of-se-miami-valley/.

Greene County Treasurer a Panelist in National Legislative Conference

In Local News, News Media, Politics, Sports News, State News, Uncategorized on March 10, 2015 at 5:55 pm
Gould

Gould

Xenia, Ohio, March 10, 2015 — Greene County Treasurer, Dick Gould, served as a panelist educating attendees about county investment policies and practices at the National Association of Counties (NACo) annual Legislative Conference February 21 – 25 in Washington D.C.

Joining Gould on the panel were David Messerly, Director of Global Investor Relations for FHLBanks and Jim Powell, Senior Vice-President of Multi-Bank Securities, Inc. Included in the discussion were the impact of interest rates, strategies for approaching investment opportunities, policy restrictions, and best practices.  The session included a question and answer session with participants.

“For counties, interest rates are a double-edged sword,” says Gould.  “Given the historically low rates, investment income has decreased dramatically.  Yet borrowing costs are also down and the county has been able to restructure much of its debt to save costs.”

More than 1500 county leaders attended the national conference, which offered workshops featuring county officials and other leaders in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Vice President Joe Biden, who began his political career as a Delaware County council member, was the opening speaker at the event.

Dick Gould has been Greene County’s Treasurer since 2011.  He is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Master of Accountancy from Miami University, Ohio.

Don’t expect privacy at work.

In Jobs, Opinion, Politics, psychology, sociology, Technology, Uncategorized on February 23, 2015 at 2:49 pm

DIH LOGOPrivacy issues are some of the most complex problems facing Americans today. At home, we enjoy at least a certain level of privacy, but expecting the same at the workplace is, in a word, unrealistic.

According to information provided on the website of the American Civil Liberties Union, “Back in 1928, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote that the right most valued by the American people was ‘the right to be left alone.’” The site goes on to complain that private businesses are not limited by the constitution since, “the Bill of Rights addresses only state actions.”

In many parts of the country, advanced workplace privacy legislation is still being hashed out and may vary greatly from state to state. The ACLU has spent countless hours and probably just as much money arguing for workers, but, just for argument’s sake, let’s take a moment to see this issue from the employer’s point of view.

privacyNefarious intentions aside, why would an employer want to “monitor” the communications (phone, e-email, Internet) activities of employees while on the job? Usually, monitoring is performed for the security, legal liability and fiscal stability of the company and its employees. They’re not (or shouldn’t be) doing it to check up on your political affiliations or see how many cups of coffee you’re drinking before noon. Honestly, whatever you might think of yourself, your personal habits just aren’t that important.

With regard to using office equipment for personal communication, as a business owner, it’s not the employer’s responsibility to provide workers with the means for private conversation during business hours. Since the company owns the equipment and pays employees for work, he or she should have a right to monitor how it is used. If that seems unreasonable, consider the following scenario.

Suppose you hire a plumber to repair a bathroom drain. He starts work, then after a few minutes, asks to use your phone or excuses himself to use a cell phone to check in with the babysitter. As a compassionate person, you say, “No problem,” and go about your business.

Since he’s within earshot you overhear him fully engaged in a detailed conversation about something the neighbor did to the dog, which drags into a quarter hour, then a half. You are paying the man by the hour to repair your plumbing and, so far, that still hasn’t happened.

As he is in your home (private property, just as a business would be), using your utilities (if he’s using your private telephone) and you are paying him to do so, would you not have every right to monitor what’s going on and ask him to stop and complete his work? Even if he’s using his own cell phone, he’s still doing it on your dime. Does any of that seem fair to you? Of course not, but workers expect employers to put up with this same kind of situation on a daily basis.

The fact is that employees are there to work, not use the office communications equipment to order Christmas gifts online or have extended personal phone conversations. If there is an emergency, there are likely rules in place to cover those situations and provide a means of communication if necessary.

In order to keep personal communications private at the workplace, most experts suggest using your own mobile phone and (this is a big one) leave the premises to do it — at lunch or break time. To be clear, if you want to ensure privacy (from the employer anyway) never use only a phone provided to you by the employer, but a cell phone registered to and paid for by you.

For workers, expectations of privacy are usually outlined upon hiring or they’re included in an employee handbook, which almost no one reads. Otherwise, a human resources professional can answer any of these questions.

Private communication, whether by phone or computer, should be done on personal time, on personal equipment. From surveillance cameras to keystroke tracking software, an employer owns the property of his or her business and expects employees to at least respect that, even if they don’t agree with it. Ω

 

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

Greene County Amateur Radio Emergency Service offers licensing class

In Entertainment, Health, Local News, Science, Technology, Uncategorized on February 16, 2015 at 3:41 pm

The Greene County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (GCARES) is offering classes to help in obtaining an FCC amateur radio license. radiosStarting February 8, GCARES offers classes for all three levels of amateur radio licenses. The classes will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. each Sunday except Easter through April 12. A test for all classes of licenses will be given April 19 at 6 p.m. in the Training Room at Beavercreek Township Fire Station 61.

There is no charge for the classes and Morse Code is no longer required to obtain any amateur radio license. The classes are supported by the Bellbrook Amateur Radio Club (BARC), the Upper Valley Amateur Radio Club (UVARC) and the Xenia Weather Amateur Radio Network (XWARN) in addition to GCARES.

The entry level Technician Class course will be held in the Training Center at the Bellbrook Amateur Radio Club Clubhouse, Room 1 Sugarcreek Elementary School, 51 South East Street in Bellbrook. No experience is required and there is no minimum age required to earn a Technician Class license.

The General Class course and the Test Session will be held in the Training Room at Beavercreek Township Fire Station 61 located at 1298 Dayton-Xenia Road just west of Orchard Lane.

The Extra Class course will be held in the Training Room at Fairborn Fire Station 2 located at 2200 Commerce Center Blvd. just south of Dayton-Yellow Springs Road.

To register for a course or for more information, please contact Bill Watson K8WEW by email at wwatson4@att.net or by phone between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. at (937) 426-2166.

Xenia rock band to open for national headliner, Bobaflex

In Dayton Ohio News, Entertainment, Local News, Music on November 26, 2014 at 12:26 pm
Desalitt will open for Bobaflex Dec 5 at Oddbody's in Dayton.

Desalitt will open for Bobaflex Dec 5 at Oddbody’s in Dayton.

At 7PM on Friday, December 5, Xenia hard rock band, “Desalitt,” will take the stage at Oddbody’s Music Room, 5418 Burkhardt Road in Dayton to open for the national headliner group, “Bobaflex.”

Founded in 2008 Delallit features “Blazin” Dave Anderson on drums, Greg Crawford on rhythm guitar and lead Vocals, “Gravy” Shannon Ligier on bass and singing back up, Shug Hanson on vocals, and Nick (Samson) Starns on lead guitar. The group performs a variety of covers as well as their own original work. This is not the group’s first time appearing with a national headliner.

“Being from a small town, it is not every day you get to do something so amazing like open for a favorite national band,” says lead guitarist and Desalitt manager, Nick Starns. “I’ve been a musician for 15 years and counting and love every minute of it.”

Starns is fully immersed in the musical endeavors of his group, which also hosts an annual summer music festival in Jamestown benefiting local charitable causes. “The last 9 months with Desalitt has truly been outstanding for my musical career,” he said. “All that’s left is to start touring with a national act and I can begin to get paid for making/performing music. If Cecil Caudill was still around, he would tell me to keep rocking, so I’m gonna rock the stage for him and all of our fallen Brethren in Music.”

Local fans can take advantage of bus service to the show as well. Desalitt has fan buses available to ride to and from the show for $8 with pick up in Jamestown at 5:30 PM from Greeneview Elementary on SR 72 North, and at 6:00 PM in Xenia at the Old Kmart Parking lot. Riders are asked to arrive early as the bus will leave on time and no refunds are available.

Fans are asked to RSVP for bus service in advance via www.desalitt.com, the group’s Facebook or Reverbnation pages, or email nick@desalitt.com or call the Desalitt Hotline (937) 347-7377. Presale tickets for the Oddbody’s Music Room show are $10 for ages 18 and up (through the Desalitt Hotline), $15, at the door.

For more information and a complete schedule go online to www.desalitt.com.

Border crisis will become a local issue

In Charities, Children and Family, Dayton Ohio News, Local News, National News, Opinion, sociology, Uncategorized on July 28, 2014 at 11:33 am

DIH LOGOUnless someone is a true bigot, it’s hard to imagine why people don’t want to help the immigrant Mexican children being sent across the border without family, without supervision. But wanting to help is not the same thing as having the resources and infrastructure to do so properly, in a way that meets the ultimate goal which should be to see that the children have better life in America than they had in Mexico.

Unfortunately, people are so focused on the problem of the immigration process, they forget about what will happen once the kids get into the United States. Without a plan, infrastructure, money and personnel, it’s unlikely that these children will be living in anything less than squalor once they arrive and are processed.

Our government should do everything they can to help these kids, even if that means the best thing to do is to send them back home. Why? Because there are some vital questions still as yet unanswered. For example: Where will they live? Who will pay to feed and clothe them? Who will pay to educate them?

Each night in the United States, an estimated 611,000 people are sleeping homeless and nearly 50 million go hungry, according to the charity groups National Alliance to End Homelessness, and Feeding America. As unbelievable as it may seem in the most powerful country in the world, organizations such as these struggle each year to find the millions of dollars needed to provide food and shelter for people already living here, a great many of which are children.

(Photo NY TIMES)

(Photo NY TIMES)

When hundreds of immigrant children become thousands, they become refugees, not immigrants and caring for the kids will eventually land squarely on the shoulders of local government. The White House and congress might clear the way for an easier method of entry or grant them all amnesty once here, but then it’s the problem of Main Street U.S.A. to care for them.

Sure, there will be federal money – probably from new taxes that will overburden a still recovering Middle America – but it will be pennies per child, per day, leaving the remainder to be covered at the local and state levels. The current welfare system cannot handle such a fast influx of need, especially while still recovering from the stress of the recession.

Some local leaders, however, are welcoming the immigrants with open arms. Dayton, Ohio Mayor Nan Whaley recently stated that she would welcome the immigrant children to the area. It’s clear that Mayor Whaley, who previously served on the Dayton city commission, does not realize that what happens in Dayton affects the outlying communities of the Miami Valley region, both socially and economically. None of these suburban areas have the kinds of resources necessary to handle such a massive issue.

As expected, the democratic mayor’s comments drew a firm response from area republicans, led by Congressman Mike Turner. Turner sent a letter to President Obama signed by him and six local area leaders which states, “We are writing to express that our community does not support Mayor Whaley’s proposal and to further express that our community does not have the available resources to support such a proposal.” It goes on to point out that, while they are sympathetic to the issues related to the border crisis, the community is simply not in a position to offer assistance.

There is speculation that Whaley’s comments were little more than a publicity stunt, aimed at getting a sound bite on national news, which she accomplished without question. Others believe her intention was to gain more favor with Dayton’s large and ever-expanding Hispanic population. Only the mayor knows why she really made such a sweeping statement without discussing the concept with other local leaders.

These sentiments are playing out across the country in a constant battle. While there is an overwhelming feeling of obligation by most to help children and families fleeing poverty and abuse, there must first be resources in place to properly handle the situation without making it worse.

 

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

 

Xenia Lives: 40th Anniversary of the 1974 Xenia Tornado

In Books, history, Local News, Uncategorized on March 4, 2014 at 1:35 pm

tornado poster finalXenia, Ohio – This year marks the 40th anniversary of a tragic event that changed the course of history for the Xenia community. The 1974 tornado that devastated Xenia was a reminder of both the power of nature and the resiliency of our people. In recognition of this, the City of Xenia, the Greene County Historical Society, Xenia City Schools, and the Greene County Libraries, Xenia Branch are proud to present a month of remembrance and education.

Photo after the tornado of the main intersection of US 35 and SR 68, looking southwest from the lawn of the Greene County Courthouse

Photo after the tornado of the main intersection of US 35 and SR 68, looking southwest from the lawn of the Greene County Courthouse

Beginning in March 2014, special programming and events will be offered to the general public to learn about weather phenomena and severe weather preparedness, to understand the history of the 1974 tornado and its aftermath, and to recognize the efforts and leadership displayed in the recovery and rebuilding of our community. A memorial service will be held at the 1974 Tornado Memorial in front of Xenia City Hall, 101 N. Detroit Street, at 4:15 p.m. with a reception immediately following at the Xenia Branch of the Greene County Public Library.

Possibly the most famous (and ominous) photos of the 1974 Xenia Tornado.

Possibly the most famous (and ominous) photos of the 1974 Xenia Tornado.

“The April 3, 1974 event, while tragic, does not the define Xenia. What defines this community is our ability to rise from tragedy. It is our ability to overcome, to withstand these hardships, to transform destruction into a thriving community, to embrace friendship, and to be greater than our suffering, that makes us truly great,” stated City
Manager Brent Merriman. “We remember this day, and those we have lost; but reflecting on this event allows us to see how far we have come and how much farther we can go.”

More information and a complete schedule of events are available on the City of Xenia website, www.ci.xenia.oh.us.

Xenia design firm receives Best of Houzz 2014 award

In Business, Dayton Ohio News, Home Improvement, Local News, Uncategorized on February 7, 2014 at 5:15 pm
Xenia business owner Nancy Gentry of Your Space Your Sanctuary  (Photo by Mark Bealer)

Xenia business owner Nancy Gentry of Your Space Your Sanctuary (Photo by Mark Bealer)

Xenia, Ohio – The interior design firm, Your Space Your Sanctuary, LLC, has been awarded “Best of Houzz” by Houzz, a leading online platform for home remodeling and design. The Xenia, Ohio firm was chosen among the top-rated building, remodeling and design professionals based on an annual survey and analysis of more than 16 million monthly users that comprise the Houzz community.

Houzz.com provides people with an easy access to design inspiration, project advice, product information and professional reviews for home remodeling and design. The Best of Houzz award is given in two categories: Customer Satisfaction and Design.

Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2013. Design Awards are chosen based on the most popular of more than 230 million professional images saved by Houzz.com users to personal idea books, similar to Pinterest.

Badge_LargeWinners receive a “Best Of Houzz 2014” badge on their profiles, showing the Houzz community their commitment to excellence. The badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area listed on the site.

For owner Nancy Gentry, interior design began as a second career.  Following a lifelong passion for design, she returned to school to complete an interior design degree and opened Your Space Your Sanctuary in 2009. “My firm was born from the premise that every space should be a sanctuary,” Nancy said. “We help our clients create a place for inspiration, a space to relax and renew.”

One of the completed designs by Nancy Gentry.

One of the completed designs by Nancy Gentry.

“We’re delighted to recognize Nancy among our ‘Best Of’ professionals for customer satisfaction as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of community for Houzz. “Houzz provides homeowners with the most comprehensive view of home building, remodeling and design professionals, empowering them to find and hire the right professional to execute their vision.”

Users on Houzz can identify top-rated professionals like Nancy Gentry and determine whose work best fits project aspirations. They can also contact professionals directly through the Houzz platform, to ask questions about their work and review responses to questions from others.

According to Nancy, collaboration and communication are key components to professional success and her association with Houzz provides an ideal platform. “Your Space, Your Sanctuary takes pride in partnering with a team of professionals for every project and together, we create solid design solutions for happy clients,” she said.

“I’m glad our work has provided so much inspiration to others looking to harmonize their own space.” For more information contact Nancy Gentry at Your Space Your Sanctuary by calling (937) 545-1565 or see photos and reviews online at http://www.houzz.com/pro/nancy-pollack-gentry/your-space-your-sanctuary.

Horror author sets December tour in Greene County

In Books, Entertainment, Holiday, Local News, Print Media, Uncategorized on December 11, 2013 at 12:29 pm

howtosaveaworld-bookshot1GREENE COUNTY, OH – Beavercreek author Carl S. Plumer has been a writer since childhood, beginning with his own, single-issue newspaper. Now with the release of his second work of apocalyptic fiction, “How To Save A World From Dying: A Demon Apocalypse Love Story,” Plumer is visiting local bookstores in December to read, sign and talk about his journey from cub reporter to novelist.

Plumer will be visiting two Greene County bookstores beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday December 7, with Dark Star Books, 247 Xenia Ave. in Yellow Springs. On December 14th, from 2-4:00 p.m., he will stop by Blue Jacket Books, 30 S. Detroit St. in Xenia. Each event will include a reading from the novels, question and answer time and of course an autograph session.

The second in his series of, “Apocalypse Love Stories,” his newest novel is a loose collection of stories with different characters, plots, and locations. All share the same mash-up of horror, comedy, and love. Plumer said he wanted to inject some humor in to his favorite genre and, with the first book, wrote the title first, setting the stage for a new collection of horror.

Author Carl S. Plumer

Author Carl S. Plumer

“I’m a fan of horror movies and books; I love getting scared,” Plumer said. “When I first started writing, all of my characters (spoiler alert) died at the end. I think because I couldn’t figure out how to end the story, not because I was trying to write horror.” Plumer noted that there really is an important message he wants to convey to his readers, even amid all of the blood, gore and humor.

“I put my characters into dire situations – apocalypses; as bad as things get. But they rise above extreme adversity with grace, dignity, and a sense of humor. The plot may be adventure with a bit of gross horror, but my message is, ‘Carry on, regardless.’ Chin up, chest out, you know? It’s the British side of my ancestry.”

“Plus, I thought death made my stories seem cool,” he noted. “Turns out horror mashed with humor is where I’m most at home.” His first book, “Mad About Undead You: A Zombie Apocalypse Love Story,” has been on shelves for about a year. His third is planned for July 2014. Plumer’s books are released by Someday Press.

Both of Plumer’s current titles will be available for purchase at the events. For more information on his appearances and a complete synopsis of both novels, visit the author’s website at www.carlplumer.com. Watch for Carl S. Plumer on the WDTN-TV2 daytime program, Living Dayton, at noon, Wednesday, December 4th.