Monday, June 30, 2008

Neighborhood Grants

[h/t to lifeindayton from daytonmostmetro.com]

Neighborhood and business associations, as well as Dayton Priority Boards, may apply for mini-grants intended to boost the perception and marketability of Dayton neighborhoods. Up to $2,000 will be awarded by the Division of Housing and Neighborhood Development to help neighborhoods achieve improvement and awareness projects such as public spaces, home tours, communications programs and more. Applications are due by July 18. Awards will be announced August 1, and awarded projects must be complete by July 31, 2009.

Kate Irvin, from the Creative Catalyst Team also pointed out that the deadlines were extended, so good deal there. Check out the cityofdayton.org site for more info.

Endings are new beginnings

This is an expanded version of my letter to the editor published today. If you haven't read that yet, read it first.

Every problem is an opportunity in disguise. Without difficulty, we stay in the same patterns, no matter where they are taking us.

I was born in West Virginia, a state that was primarily known for coal and poverty. It was only when the price of coal fell that the state began to diversify into tourism and began developing technological centers.


Dayton is in the same sort of situation today. When General Motors announced its plans for the Moraine plant, area leaders seemed stunned. They suggested plans of doing the same old things: attracting another automaker or trying to woo GM back. It seems to be a great tragedy and setback for the community. They are right - and they are completely wrong.


We have never had a greater opportunity.


Now is the time for our regional communities and universities to work together. Our region has been investing in capital - that is, in buildings, and things. But we have neglected investing in the people who live here. Whether through scholarships, subsidies, tuition breaks, secured loans, or some other innovative means, we must immediately invest in our neighbors and ourselves. Even if it means temporary debt for our governments, this is an investment in our future. By investing in ourselves, we will create the human capital to go with the development already under construction.


When investing, it is important to get the most "bang for your buck." Those in industries affected by GM's closure are the best candidates for scholarships and subsidies to pursue higher education in the Dayton area. Keeping those workers as students as students at local colleges and universities keeps that money in our local economy. After graduation, those older students and workers are more likely to stay in the local area. They will become the highly skilled workforce of this region, making it more attractive for businesses.


As transportation costs rise, this highly skilled workforce - along with Dayton's strategic geographic location - will prime us for success. We have the skills, creativity, and expertise to rework this city's industry into fields that will boom in the twenty-first century. We will not need to attract a creative class - it will be us.


That future success will allow local communities to make back what they have invested in their own people. It will be tough, expensive, and hard work. But it can be done.


This kind of idea is risky. It is not the kind of investment made when everything is going well. But things are not going well for the region - and that is exactly why this must be done now, quickly, and cooperatively. The opportunity to remake ourselves is here, but will not linger at the door.


This is a regional issue, and must be tackled by all cities, towns, and municipalities in the area. No person or industry will be unscathed if we do nothing. We will all thrive if we succeed. This is a time-critical issue. Our citizens are real people, with real, immediate needs. We do not have the luxury of bureaucratic debates and political wrangling. We face a real, immediate threat to our region, and we must face it together.


A family friend has already made plans to leave the area. Despite having spent their life in this area, their jobs in Moraine will soon be gone. They are leaving their home, their friends, schools, and community. They see no other option, and no future here for their children. Right now, they are right.


It is the job of our communities, our local colleges and universities, and our citizens to show them that they are wrong.

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Vote Dayton (more info) and 12 July Neighborhood Walk

I mentioned Vote Dayton! about a week ago, but they've got their own website up now.

Vote! Dayton is a coalition of faith communities, neighborhood associations, labor unions and other community organizations committed to:

  1. Injecting issues of poverty and social justice into state and national elections
  2. Increasing voter turnout in urban precincts with histories of low voter participation
  3. Recruiting and training volunteers to engage in neighbor-to-neighbor non-partisan voter education campaigns on an on-going basis
  4. Maximizing the political power of disenfranchised communities
  5. Protecting the right to vote



There's a neighborhood walk - these can be considered non-partisan informational canvassing:

We will be talking to our neighbors about
  • the importance of voting
  • the pressing issues in their community
  • how we can work together to make a better Dayton.


This one in particular is particularly important:
We are poised to make a significant difference in our community. As we have researched the foreclosure crisis, we discovered there is no coordinate, comprehensive response. So, on July 12, we are inviting elected officials to join us on our neighborhood walk and then we will ask them to increase
their leadership by commissioning a working group to develop a comprehensive plan and to report back to the community (us).

July 12 - Walk - 9 am - 1 pm - Corinthian Baptist Church - 700 James McGhee - Dayton
Confirmed: Dan Foley, county commissioner; Peggy Lehner, chair - first tier suburbs group; Dean Lovelace, city commissioner
Pending: Rhine McLin
Goal - 125 volunteers
We will work in five teams in 5 neighborhoods - Hilltop, Residence Park,
around Mt. Enon, Five Oaks, and Huffman


Friday, June 27, 2008

My Experience with "Ohio Premier"

I've been posting this (and reposting it) pretty much whenever I get an e-mail from someone letting me know they've been contacted by this group. This is, of course, merely my experience, YMMV.

Back in October 2007, I was contacted by "Ohio Premier" for a potential business opportunity in the health and wellness industry. They would not tell me much about it over the phone, preferring that I instead come in to their office and talk to them. Ohio Premier is located at 195 Byers Road in Miamisburg, Ohio. It is a suburb of Dayton. (If you’ve ever thought about doing a work-at-home plan about selling “health and wellness” things, you should read on anyway.)

I could find nothing about Ohio Premier on the Internet, which was a warning sign in and of itself. (That is part of the reason for this write-up.) A co-worker's husband (who also attends the university I do) had been contacted by Ohio Premier, but he had not followed up.

So I went.

Ohio Premier is a front for Symmetry ( http://www.symmetryinternational.com/ ) a direct marketing company that has a multi-level marketing component. (You sell to a few people, then you get a cut of the people they refer, and so on.) They sell herbal supplements, including "Genesis", laughably labeled "the infused Bible juice". As the CAI points out (link at the bottom), 99.96% of the people who get involved with Symmetry LOSE MONEY. Only 0.04% makes money.

When you first walk into 195 Byers Road, there is no sign for Ohio Premier, just "Suite 101". You see a receptionist's desk, a few other office desks in the back, and several well-dressed professional types in the "U" shaped open office space. There are no - repeat, NO - hints of Symmetry or what you will be doing when you first walk in. It is not until the entire group is ushered around and sat down (about 16-20 people) that you see the supplements. The professionally dressed people made sure that they sat down with the newbies.

What followed was a very slick hour-long sales pitch. The planted workers responded to everything the presenter said, so you got the opinion that others agreed with him. The video presentation was hypnotically fast - but full of things about past trends that other people got rich from. "Wouldn't you get in on those trends if you knew about them?” "Facts" were tossed out so fast that it was hard to catch what was said - and often times, the facts were not relevant. For example: "One report from an Ivy League University was printed in 509 newspapers!" Except, of course, that it was only one report. Apparently, they had never heard of AP or Reuters. Many of their facts were correlations at best, non-sequiturs at worst. Yeah, buying stock options in Microsoft in 1985 would have been a good deal - but that is not the same thing as the (saturated) supplement market today. But the plants in the crowd were quick to support every thing the presenter said.

There were MANY rhetorical questions, especially at the beginning, that were designed to get you to agree with the presenter. "Do you like making money?" "Wouldn't you like to work less and make more?" And so on. Getting into a pattern of agreement like that is a well-known brainwashing (my term, not theirs) technique. One woman left, and was made fun of throughout the rest of the presentation. Another asked very pointed questions - and she was made fun of to her face. Especially when she tried to ask questions about marketing and the cost of the supplements. Not surprisingly, her questions were dead-on. (The basic pack is $160 dollars, up front.)

The sneakiest (and most bastardly, IMHO) technique was this: "This opportunity isn't for everyone. I am not trying to convince you. Some people just can't get it. Not everyone is able to see the chances in front of them, or is wise enough to ..." You get the idea. High SOCIAL pressure techniques in a group setting... even as they said, "I'm not out to convince you."

Of course, there "just happened" to be ANOTHER hour of training right afterwards for those who were motivated - and a special trip to Chicago that leaves... TOMORROW. (That costs $300. Only two seats left!) Enticement both by scarcity, a "money back guarantee" (not in writing), and more social pressure ("if you're serious about making money and not having to work so hard...") So you would be quickly uprooted and put into a hotel FULL of other people like this? Starting to sound like a cult, anyone?

Look, these techniques - and using so many of them so brutally - could not have been happenstance. To the best of my ability to discern, Ohio Premier is a multi-level marketing scheme front for Symmetry Direct. Their "interviews" are hour-long brainwashing sessions. It was *hard* to resist them for the whole time. Knowing the techniques they were using (and identifying them as they used them) helped a lot; not actually needing the money or job helped more. Even still.... That feeling you get when watching infomercials, where you start to wonder if maybe it actually IS worth buying? It was like that - only much, much more intense.

I do NOT repeat do NOT recommend anyone else even bother going to an "interview" with them. The sales pitches are slicker than you think they are - and they want you to commit right away, before you have a chance to go and check them out.

Ohio Premier (and yes, I'm repeating the name and address on purpose so that others who Google it can find this report) at 195 Byers Road in Miamisburg Ohio is a front for Symmetry Direct.

They do not call themselves a Multi Level Marketing scheme or MLM scheme, preferring the term direct sellers. But, as the CAI points out: "Avoid falling for the semantic trap of chain-selling promoters who say they are not MLM, or multi-level marketing. If the program pays on more than one level of participants, it is multi-level or MLM. If you get paid only for selling directly to customers and get no override commissions (other than a small referral fee) for recruiting more than one level of participants, it is single level compensation and could be considered true direct selling."

Cockeyed.Com's 27 unsuccessful Herbalife (a similar company) stories:

http://www.cockeyed.com/workfromhome/epilogue/unsuccessful/unsuccessful2005.html

His basic primer on pyramid schemes is here:

http://www.cockeyed.com/ebay/scam/laptop_pyramids.html

MLM Watch is here:

"Accurate information about multilevel marketing is not easy to get. Few publishers, editors, and broadcasters are willing to examine this topic in depth. Most reports reaching the public express what the companies and individual distributors would like people to believe. Nearly all MLM companies selling health-related products exaggerate their value, and the vast majority of people who become distributors do not make significant income."

http://www.mlmwatch.org/

Consumer Awareness Institutes 5-step DIY evaluation of MLMs is here:

http://www.mlm-thetruth.com/Symmetry.htm

CAI's profitability report is here:
http://www.mlm-thetruth.com/COMPARE12MLMs-vsSellingvsNPSvsVegas-2p-6-06.pdf

And apparently, Ohio is not the only place where Symmetry has a front organization:
http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/173/RipOff0173038.htm

Ohio Premier does have a BBB listing that lists Symmetry as their website.
http://dayton.bbb.org/WWWRoot/Report.aspx?site=51&bbb=0322&firm=699

And here's a site I reviewed back in June 2006 for my homeschool resource list:

http://www.skinnyshoestring.com/reviews/

"You want to make money in an at-home job. That makes you a sitting duck for scam perpetrators who just want your money. Plenty of people online are willing to take your payment, while promising you big returns that they cannot deliver. And you just can not know what works and what does not unless you try, right? Wrong."



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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Considering the Obvious

I hope this is a case of vague reporting, not vague government:

GM task force starts planning
Dodge and the task force have identified five areas to work on: retention of the plant and/or redevelopment of the facility, workforce and support services for the affected workers and their families, analysis of the greater effect of plant layoffs and/or closing, open communication between support services, community members, and affected workers.


I mean, duh. The Lt. Gov, who only attended by phone, had more specific statements about retraining and repurposing. And the regional task force achievements so far? A "presented report includ[ing] a manual of retraining options", financial workshops, and a social service hotline. The last two make sense - but only in the way disaster services make sense. There is no sense of looking forward, or making new options - just coping with what some higher-up mucky-muck hands down.

Bah.Technorati Tags: , , ,

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dayton Regional Barack Obama Meet & Greet

Come meet the newly arrived Obama staff, organizing fellows, and other area Obama supporters and find out how you can be a part of our movement for change here in Dayton.

Tuesday, July 1 at 7:00 PM
Duration: 1 hour
Location:
Montgomery County Democratic Party Headquarters (Dayton, OH)
131 S. Wilkinson St.
Dayton, OH 45402

Register for the event!

What the GOP stands for

AP Newsbreak: GOP considers daughter of Christian activist
The daughter of a conservative Christian activist who helped spearhead Ohio's ban on gay marriage is among candidates the Ohio Republican Party is considering to run for attorney general in the November election.


Because, y'know, if there's one thing the GOP stands for more than intolerance and prejudice, it's cronyism.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Counties could accept foreclosed properties

Law would let counties accept foreclosed property
A proposal to make it easier for the counties to take control of foreclosed properties is being touted by Cuyahoga County Treasurer James Rokakis, who visited Dayton Monday, June 23, to talk about the idea to community leaders.

Legislation is being drafted, but the idea is complex and will take some time to sort through, said House Speaker Jon Husted, R-Kettering.

"I think it's an interesting idea that deserves our attention and we're trying to look at this as an alternative," Husted said.

The proposal would expand community improvement corporations, allowing them to accept foreclosed properties. Typically the properties would be rehabbed or demolished and groups of cleared parcels combined for redevelopment.


This is a potentially excellent idea that could lead the way to foreclosures being an important key to revitalizing the area.Technorati Tags: , ,

Monday, June 23, 2008

Vote Dayton!

WYSO: Vote Dayton begins campaign to turn out the vote (2008-04-28)
While November is still several months away, the presidential election is on the minds of one local group. Vote Dayton is a non-partisan organization of religious communities in the Miami Valley, and they want to stimulate voter turn out. Recently they held their first canvassing meeting and went door to door trying to register new voters and hear what issues matter to them. WYSO's Emily McCord has the story.


There are several upcoming voter registration walks in the next month:

June 28 - Walk - 9 - 1 - Fairview UMC - 828 W. Fairview Ave.
July 12 - Walk ~ 9 - 1 - Corinthian Baptist Church - 700 S James McGee Blvd
July 26 - Walk - 9 -1 - TBA Aug 9 - Walk 9 - 1 - TBA Aug 23 - Walk 9 - 1 -
Aldersgate UMC - 5464 Old Troy Pike - Huber Heights

Additionally, there will be vote registration at the Cityfolk festival:

July 3 - 5 - Voter Registration
Fourth of July Celebration & Cityfolk Festival

What better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than registering new Technorati Tags: , , voters!!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Housing Values and You

The Dayton Daily News has a rather scary article today about housing values:

Values decline in urban, suburban neighborhoods
But housing value declines are not limited to areas such as Miller's Lower Burkhardt neighborhood in East Dayton, where the average value of a house is $32,000, down from $41,000 last year.

Half of the residential parcels in Montgomery County dropped in value, according to Montgomery County's new six-year property reappraisal, which is awaiting final approval from the State Tax Commissioner.


Of course, the article does a lot of running back and forth between local situations (where a resident describes a skanky couple doing the nasty on the back porch) to vague national generalizations ("Economists are saying we haven't near hit bottom," which doesn't specify which economists, talking about what area (Dayton, this region, or the US?)).

Add to this the horribly useless infographic (even the "zoomed" version is horribly vague) and you don't know what to think. More after the image....



Plus, there's a huge difference in the import here between people like myself (who view a house as a place to live, and will only care about being "upside down" if we decide to move) and people viewing their home as an investment.

Still, if you want the skinny on your area, there's a wonderful tool the DDN didn't note. It is the Montgomery County Real Estate Tax Information site. And not just because of the picture of Karl Keith. ;)

This site provides access to the real estate, tax record information, and GIS maps of Montgomery County.


It isn't updated with the 2008 numbers yet - they haven't been officially approved - but you can search by street, number, and more. You may not want all that info (and you don't have to see it all if you don't choose to), but I like having the option.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cityfolk's Coming - 3-5 July 2008!

You will, of course, be coming to Cityfolk, right?

CITYFOLK Festival
Thursday, July 3 (5:30 - 10:30 PM)

Friday, July 4 (1 - 11 PM)

Saturday, July 5 (1 - 11 PM)

FREE, family-friendly Festival with three stages of multi-cultural music and dance, free activities for kids, performer workshops, a wide range of ethnic and festival foods.


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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Looking for Funding...

This is a really interesting article - but probably not for the reason you think.
Panel to create Montgomery County financial plan
The committee had to determine how much money to keep in reserve and how much to spend on strategic projects. The largest of those projects — RiverScape, the Schuster Performing Arts Center and Fifth Third Field baseball stadium — received $28.5 million in county funds.

But now the county is in difficult financial straits. The county must make cuts to avoid projected deficits of $8 million to $14 million annually for the next five years, Feldman said.


So check out those three projects. The first serves (AFAIK) the public, especially those who don't have a ton of extra money. Considering how many Dragons devotees there are, I'm wondering how or why 5/3 Field hasn't paid back any investment into it. (That is how investment works, right?) But Schuster... well, let's just say that I make over the average national income, but I can't afford tickets to the Schuster but on a very very rare occasion.

Hmmmmmmm.....

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tooting my own horn

I'm among this list of winners and honorable mentions, so hooray on me. Of course, I'll link to the full text once it's up.

The winners of the Short Story and Poetry Contest
After many hours of reading, discussing and thinking it over, our staff judges have arrived at the winners for the 12th Annual Dayton Daily News Short Story and Poetry Contest.

Winning poems and stories will be published in the Life section of the Dayton Daily News next month, and also on DaytonDailyNews.com.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Serving Community

I saw a recent Onion article:  "Closing Of Homeless Shelter Leaves College-Application-Padding Students With Nowhere To Turn".  While funny, I've actually had a few conversations with people at my work and school who were looking for places to help out in the community.  For some it was a need to buff up a resumé, with others a desire to help out.  Regardless of motive, here's several local opportunities in the Dayton area.  If you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments!

One of my favorites is Catholic Social Services which offers 10 different service opportunities - anything from a food pantry to respite care.
http://www.cssmv.org/volunteering2.htm

St. Vincent Hotel is a homeless shelter that does some great work
http://www.stvincentdayton.org

The Catholic Social Action office helps educate on social justice issues. At some of their events, they offer opportunities to connect with various organizations
http://www.catholiccincinnati.org/socialaction/

United Way's Volunteer Connection is a member of the Points of Light / Hands On Network, the Ohio Volunteer Center Association and the Miami Valley Association of Volunteer Administrators. United Way's Volunteer Connection links adults, youth and groups to volunteer opportunities throughout Montgomery, Greene and Preble Counties.:
http://www.dayton-unitedway.org/volunteer.php

Idealist isn't limited to the Dayton area, but non-profits can put job postings, and you can limit your search by several different criteria.  You can also have them e-mail you when listings matching your search options becomes available.
Idealist.org

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Need Donations of Clothing

While I have huge problems with the Salvation Army's anti-gay stance, it's far better to donate needed items than to just throw stuff in the trash or let it just mildew in your closet.

Agency desperately needs adult clothing donations
The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Dayton reported Thursday, June 12, it has a desperate need for donations of clothing.

Rebecca Rowley, donation development coordinator, said while the stores often receive a lot of donated kitchen appliances and furniture, "we just don't get the clothing and shoes, especially men's clothing."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Kickoff Dump the Pump Week - 16 June @ Noon

Considering that I bought my bus pass earlier this week (and that a Dayton monthly pass costs the same as filling my tank once), this sort of thing just warms my heart. Despite my occasional griping over bureaucratic nonsense, I really do like the RTA. Don't forget your Dump the Pump challenge kit (PDF link), and stop by the official Dump The Pump Day site Technorati Tags: , , , , for a whack-a-pump game, resources, and more.

June 16 ~ Dump the Pump
Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority; Courthouse Square, Third and Main Sts.;
12 Noon-1 p.m.
Join RTA and the folks from Drive Less Live More on Courthouse Square for the kick-off of the American Public Transportation Association’s national “Dump the Pump” week. Learn more about alternative transportation options and register to win great prizes. Free. 425-8374.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Foreclosure Crisis

Family 'reaping the results of years of bad business'
The home foreclosure equation seems pretty clear-cut to Cheryl Owens as she sits inside the modest subsidized apartment her family moved to after losing their house to foreclosure.

"When you foreclose on these houses, it's profitable for the few and harmful for the many," said Owens, 54. "We are reaping the results of years of bad business."


I really don't know what to say about this. The whole mess (which was eloquently explained by This American Life a few weeks back - you can still listen to a stream of the broadcast) is one where everybody shares some of the blame.

But assigning blame isn't going to fix things on the ground, now. And there's one trend mentioned here which disturbs me greatly (emphasis mine):

It saddens the Owenses to see so many of their former neighbors lose their homes. Their house sold at sheriff's auction to the bank for $34,000 in November 2005. The same day, the bank resold the property for $35,000 to Hank Richardson of New Paris.

Richardson owns at least 72 Montgomery County properties, many of them on streets hard hit by foreclosure. Richardson, who could not be reached for comment, owns six houses on Annapolis.


Having had to deal with absentee owners and landlords in the past, I have a very, very skittish attitude towards them. Perhaps Mr. Richardson is a good guy (though not very web savvy). Still, if he's such a good guy, why not turn around and rent these places back to the people who were already in them? It's an income stream for him - he's already got a steal on the house (the one mentioned dropped $10K in price)... Technorati Tags: , , ,

Perma-Fix: Meeting 10 June, Comments through 20 June

Public may comment on Perma-Fix plans
Drafts of state and federal permits for hazardous waste operations and air emission controls at the troubled Perma-Fix of Dayton plant are now open to public comment.

In addition to sending letters or e-mails, the public can attend a hearing on a renewal and modification of the plant's state hazardous waste permit this Tuesday, June 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the Jefferson Twp. Trustees Building, One Business Park Drive, Dayton.


Aside from the really short notice to attend the meeting in person, you can send written comments:

Ohio EPA will accept written comments about its draft permit and modification through June 20. Comments can be sent to: Ohio EPA, Division of Hazardous Waste Management, Attn: Regulatory and Information Services, PO Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049. Or they can be faxed at (614) 728-1245 or sent by e-mail to hdwmcomments@epa.state.oh.us.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Turning coal into Gems in the Gem City

YouTube - Mowers to Plows - David Sparks for Dayton City Commission

Dayton - like many cities these days - has lawns that it is responsible for. Whether public areas or lawns of foreclosed homes, quite a bit of manpower - and gasoline - is spent taking care of these plant-covered areas.

David Sparks (though he takes a while to get to it) has an idea that echoes and builds on what I suggested about a month ago; that we not only "get used to" the idea of transportation costs being high, but also use that information to innovate and do things in new ways to help ourselves.

That is the American way, after all.

There's a link to Dave's blog in the sidebar. Check it - and his video - out.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Community Garden coming to Wayne Ave.

Community garden, art showcase planned on Wayne
The corner of Wayne Avenue and Fourth Street, now a vacant lot bordered by rusty chain-link fence, will be transformed into community gardens bejeweled with mosaics and outdoor art.

The Dayton City Commission, on Wednesday, June 4, granted The Dayton Circus Creative Collective a two-year lease of the former industrial site for $10 a year.
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Twin Valley is Dayton's

This isn't the best possible news, but it's good nonetheless. This could be a great opportunity for the region - both for inpatient care and for providing a base for outpatient care as well.

State gives Twin Valley to local board
The state will give ownership of Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare to the Dayton community and provide up to $4.5 million for a "crisis stabilization service" for the mentally ill after Twin Valley closes on June 30, officials said Thursday, June 5.

In a meeting Thursday between local and state officials, state leaders said they would give Dayton "first priority" for $2.5 million in capital funds and up to $2 million in start-up funds to operate the crisis service, said Joe Szoke, director of the Alcohol, Mental Health and Drug Addiction Services Board for Montgomery County.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

First Friday

June 6 ~ First Friday Celebration
Oregon Arts District, East Fifth St.; Cannery Art and Design Centre, 434 E. Third St.; 5-10 p.m.
All the galleries in the Oregon Arts District as well as restaurants, retail shops, bars and club will be open. Just a short walk from the Oregon Arts District, the Cannery Art and Design Centre will present “Colossus,” a collaborative exploration of all things big and small by 12 Wright State University students. RTA will offer free service on its Wright Flyer trolley between the two locaitons. Free. 228-2232.

Troy Strawberry Festival - This Weekend

Got a healthy appetite? Try Troy strawberries
At this weekend's Strawberry Festival along the Great Miami levee, fresh berries will be sold by the local Lions Club along with strawberry lemonade, strawberry burritos, strawberry pizza, strawberry doughnuts, chocolate dipped berries and strawberry salsa, among other offerings.

Short-sightedness

Apparently, other than panic, it's hard for officials to conceive of anything other than "the same old thing, only a little bit louder." Even an undergrad can think of some other ways to stimulate economic development...

Fight begins to try to save plant
Michael Davis, Moraine's director of economic development, said city officials are continuing to provide information on work force development, quality of life, utilities and other subjects to GM so that, if it decides to invest somewhere, it will consider Moraine.

Davis said Moraine's first choice would be to persuade GM to assign a new product to the existing plant. If GM ultimately says no to that, other options would include helping Moraine attract potential new employers and investment or even drawing GM customers or suppliers to set up shop in Moraine, Davis said.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Middle School Ballroom Dancing

Middle-schoolers showcase skill at ballroom dance competition
On an otherwise sleepy Sunday afternoon, seventh- and eighth-graders from Dayton Public Schools brought the Dayton Masonic Center to life at their annual ballroom dance competition.

With hundreds in a cheering crowd packed around the dance floor and ringing the upstairs railing, the 56 two-person teams did the rumba, tango, merengue, swing and hustle in formal attire with plenty of teenage enthusiasm.