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Tim Sontag retiring from Xenia Shoe and Leather after nearly 40 years.

In Local News on December 27, 2020 at 7:44 pm

Sontag’s last official day will be December 31, 2020.

By Gery Deer

Video: Tim Sontag talks about his life’s work and retirement from Xenia Shoe & Leather Repair.
Video courtesy of GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. – Copyright 2020, All Rights Reserved.

Xenia, Ohio – December 28, 2020 – Tim Sontag and Xenia Shoe and Leather Repair have been a dependable fixture in downtown Xenia. After 38 years, he has decided to hang up his leather tools and hand over the reins for a well-deserved retirement. As of January 1, 2021, the new owner will be long-time employee Matt Jopson.

“I found a great spot across from the Greene County Courthouse in downtown Xenia,” he said and opened his doors in June of 1982. At first, the shop was not exactly the warm, welcoming place it is today. “I remember spending the first winter working here,” Sontag remembered. “I was working over a little Kerosene heater fixing shoes because I was worried about the cost of heating it.” 

Tim Sontag (left) and long-time employee turned new owner, Matt Jopson.

When the store next door went out of business, Sontag acquired a Red Wing account and expanded into shoe sales. He later added Birkenstock and other brands to the line and began updating the repair shop into a high-end retail space. One of Sontag’s specialties has been in pedorthics, using footwear to help ease various types of foot, ankle, and heel conditions.

Originally, Sontag worked alone. But soon he brought in some part-time assistants who eventually became full-time employees. Some of his current employees have been with him for more than 20 years. “It’s been a gradual process of growing employee by employee, and customer by customer over many years.”

The independent shoe and leather repair shop is a dying breed, according to Sontag, but people are moving more toward keeping things longer and having them repaired rather than throwing them away. “I think we offer a personal service in repair and shoe sales and fitting that you just don’t see much anymore, helping people with problem feet or who are just hard to fit.”

That independent spirit has also offered Sontag some great opportunities over the years for custom work. Along with the usual flow of shoe and leather garment repairs, Sontag and his team have been involved in some unique projects over the years as well. 

“We’ve had many odd things over the years,” he explained. For example, “making a custom harness for an elephant, and gloves and mouthpieces for trapeze artists.” He added they have also made custom equipment for scuba diving, equestrians, and specialty designs for the whip training school in Jamestown.

As a lifelong craftsman, the work and the people are what kept him going. “I really enjoy the variety, I enjoy the sort of problem-solving of repair and the craftiness of it, and the satisfaction of the completed job,” he said.“Xenia and Greene County and the greater Dayton area have all been very supportive of us and I really enjoy the customers.”

In his retirement, Sontag said he and his wife would like to travel again, pandemic-permitting, as his two sons live one in Maine and the other in Denmark. He has one grandchild he would like to see more and he has siblings scattered around the country. “I love table tennis and I try to play two or three times a week,” he said. “And my wife and I will probably do more gardening and I love to work with my hands so I’ll probably do some woodworking.” He also hinted that he may return to the shop and help out from time to time. 

As for what’s next for Xenia Shoe and Leather Repair, Sontag and Jopson both agree that customers should not see much of a difference. Both noted there will probably be improvements but the store will go on, as is, with the same group of skilled craftspeople. 

Sontag’s last day as the owner will be December 31, 2020, and he offered this as a final word. “I want to give a huge thank you to all of our loyal customers over the years. We couldn’t have done it without great support from the community, the business community, and everyone who lives here and who has done business with us. Many of them make the conscious choice to support local businesses. All of us here owe a huge debt of gratitude to them, and I think Xenia Shoe and Leather will be a part of downtime Xenia for a long time to come.”

Editor’s Note

TIm Sontag with long-time customer and Jamestown Comet editor, Gery Deer. December 2020.

I first met Tim Sontag in 1989, when I was working on some specialized leather equipment designs and needed a highly-skilled craftsperson to build it. His skill, insight, and friendship over the years have touched so many people and so many parts of my world – including my father. Several years ago, Tim helped me find a special shoe my father could put on by himself given his Parkinson’s limitations.

I’ve also worked with pretty much every one of the talented people in the shop over the years. Each and every time, they’ve come through for me, in one way or another. Tim hasn’t just built a store, he’s created a legacy. He’s leaving his shop in good hands and a nearly four-decade legacy of craftsmanship and community service.

The entire Deer family and our friends and associates want to personally thank Tim for all of his years of great work and friendship. Good luck, sir, and congratulations.

Gery L. Deer, Editor / Founder

Exclusive Home Technology Help available without referral only until Thanksgiving!

In Business, Economy, Education, Entertainment, Senior Lifestyle, State News, Technology, Uncategorized on November 2, 2020 at 12:42 pm

Let’s face it, home technology has advanced by leaps and bounds over the last decade. The pandemic has driven even more changes no one could have predicted. Families who are still sequestered at home due to COVID-19 are increasingly dependent on the internet and all of the devices needed to make use of it. (CALL TODAY 937-675-6169)

In addition, a larger number of homes now use smart technology to manage things like security, heating and air systems, and, of course, entertainment. A typical home now has up 10 different devices connected to one wi-fi access point. Plus, more people working from home means exponentially increased requirements on bandwidth both upload and download.

If you’re having trouble with your computers, tablets, smart devices, or other internet-enabled equipment, we can help. Exclusive Home Technology Help is now available in Greene, Clinton, Montgomery, and Fayette Counties in Ohio.

We work primarily by referral, but from now until Thanksgiving 2020, you can get our exclusive, residential technology support service right to your door for as little as *$50.

EHTH works exclusively with residential clients and those with a home office. Services include: Computer Troubleshooting & Repair, Wi-Fi Signal Survey & Report, Virtual Meeting Setup Help, Home Automation Setup and Tech Support, and more.

We don’t have a website or a Facebook page. Why? Because every extra will cost you, the consumer, in paying our overhead costs. We have a landline phone number and an email address. Leave a message and someone will return your call within 24 hours. Hardware pick-up and drop-off are available for an additional charge.

SO DON’T WAIT – CALL TODAY! 937-675-6169! After Thanksgiving, you can’t get our services without a referral from an existing customer!

**Referral bonus: If you refer someone who ends up using our services, you’ll receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

*Starting service fee is $50 and then $35 for each additional hour.

**Referral Bonus applies to referred client spending a minimum of $150.

Jamestown Advertising & PR Firm To Discontinue IT Support Services June 1

In Business, Dayton Ohio News, Economy, Technology on May 21, 2020 at 12:29 pm

JAMESTOWN, OH – May 21, 2020 – GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd., a 22-year-old advertising and public relations agency, based in Jamestown, Ohio, has announced it will discontinue the IT and technical support arm of the business as of June 1st of this year. Existing clients will be referred to local resources for continued service or provided with appropriate instructions for in-house technical staff to take over.

GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. merged with its sister company, Deer Computer Consulting, Ltd., in 2015 and continued to service existing tech support clients. Started in London, Ohio, in 1997, Deer Computer offered on-site support for computers and related technology, throughout southwest Ohio. Services ranged from hardware upgrades and software installations to tech consulting and networking support for small businesses. 

Once merged, GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. continued to offer a limited technology service under the parent flag but has moved further away from that to focus more on content marketing, video and audio production, and public relations.

“Deer Computer started as one of the first on-site, in-home technology support firms in this part of Ohio and it’s been a difficult choice to completely phase out that end of the business,” said the founder of both companies and CEO of GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd., Gery L. Deer. 

“We have had some clients who were with us for nearly 20 years and we have always been grateful for their loyalty and confidence. It is our hope this move will allow us to continue to grow the creative production and content marketing side of our company in-part because of our deep technical experience.”

GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. technology clients can get more information on the change, by contacting their representative. Contact information is available on the company’s official website, http://www.gldenterprises.net.

Soaring Xenia Grunge Band Releases New Album

In Dayton Ohio News, Music, Uncategorized on August 8, 2019 at 3:21 pm

Xenia, Ohio August 8, 2019DesaLitt, the up-and-coming alternative rock group based in Xenia, Ohio, has announced the release of their newest album. Titled, “Useless,” the work is described as a roller coaster of emotions captured by the expression of the music and giving fans a sharp, new experience from a unique blend of rock sounds.

Alternative sound, a new album and new shows highlight local band’s rise.

About DesaLitt — With critical comparisons to such artists as Nirvana, Bush and Seether, DesaLitt’s sound is a mixture of grunge rock, hard rock and pop, with some new twists on those themes. The new album, “Useless,” is set for an August 9, 2019 release and available in digital form on most providers including iTunes/Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, Amazon, iHeartRadio, and more. Fans can purchase physical CD’s beginning August 10th through band members and at shows and from the website starting August 15th.

DesaLitt’s performing members include local talents Greg Crawford and David Anderson of Xenia, Nicholas Starns from Jamestown, and Steve Wick of Waynesville. The band’s first single, “Car Fire,” was a mix of blues and grunge with a pop-driven, new rock sound. Their second single, “learn What You Fear,” is darker, featuring a softer bass and lead guitar-driven verse mixed with a heavy Rock chorus.

“Our third single, ‘It’s Alright,’ is a very special release to us,” said DesaLitt performer and manager, Nick Starns of Jamestown, Ohio. “The song smacks the listener in the face with an acoustic guitar and keyboard intro paired beautifully with a grunge-based chorus.”

A full schedule of performances, video and links to purchase their music is available online at www.desalitt.com. Fans can also follow the band on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube by searching “desalitt.” For bookings or media information contact the group’s manager, Nick Starns by calling 937-768-2840 or email desallit.info@gmail.com.

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

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.