The Altitude of Gratitude

Cover Image courtesy of https://unsplash.com/@petekp

Have you ever heard someone say, “Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude?” It is one of those platitudes that bring understanding to the hearer. Because it makes sense. According to author Lewis Howes, “An attitude of gratitude means making it a habit to express thankfulness and appreciation in all parts of your life, on a regular basis, for both the big and small things alike.” As Howes puts it, “If you concentrate on what you have, you’ll always have more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you’ll never have enough.”

brian-tracy-attitude-of-gratitude

Naturally, at this time of the year; we start to look at our lives and ourselves and wonder to ourselves how we may improve our lot. Or at least our outlook on our lot in life. Because many people believe that it is not about what we have or what happens to us that defines us as people, it is about how we respond to what happens to us or what we have. What our response is to the world around us and the events that occur in our lives does create us as people. How we respond determines what we do next.

enough_introspectionWB

—-Image Courtesy of https://psychlopedia.wikispaces.com/Introspection

And what we do next determines if we gain any positive change or if we make things worse. I have seen this effect in my own life. I have had setbacks and disappointments. Failures and fallings. I have seen some troubles. And caused some trouble. In retrospect, I see that when I responded with gratitude even though I failed to understand my circumstances or the reasons for them; that I was given some clarity on what to do next. And peace over what I am experiencing. And understanding of how to avoid the same thing happening again.

That may be the most valuable thing that comes from being thankful. Sufficient understanding to avoid making the same mistakes over and over again. As George Santayana wrote so eloquently in “The Life of Reason”; Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Although I am not certain that anyone has ever said this, I am fairly certain that those who do not understand their past mistakes are going to make them again. And again. And again.

santayana quote

Where does gratitude place us then? Does it bring supernatural humanity to our difficult and challenging lives? Does it somehow bring Aunt Martha back to life? Or get you your job back? Or bring your spouse back? No. It really will not. Most times the tragedies and problems that we all face on this earth will not be reversed miraculously by being thankful for them. In fact, being thankful when your child takes ill or flunks out of school, or when you wife cheats on you or when you write a completely off the wall report that gets you fired seems counterintuitive doesn’t it?

Is it even possible to give thanks when you get the news you have cancer? Or when you find out that your best friend is moving away? Or your mom was just killed in an auto accident? Or if you find someone stole your identity and all the work you have done to bring prosperity into your life has been dashed causing you to become behind in all your bills and on the verge of foreclosure?

The answer is yes. It is possible to give thanks in tragedy and loss. When you disappoint yourself and those around you. When things start going badly and you have no control over it. It is possible.

Give-Thanks-to-the-Lord-1

Image courtesy of https://www.sunshinewhispers.com/about-me/

If you take comfort in the Holy Scriptures, and take the time to read them; you will see that people did give thanks. Even when God told them to do unthinkable things. Consider Abraham. He was commanded to sacrifice his own son whom he loved deeply. And he fully intended to obey God. He took his precious child to the place God commanded. He started the fire. He had the knife to his son’s throat. And God interrupted Abraham’s plan to obey. A burnt offering was provided and Isaac was spared.

If you look closely at this story in the Holy Scripture, you see that Abraham worshiped God despite what he was told to do. Within worship there is gratitude. Deep heartfelt and genuine gratitude. And although in this story, a miracle did occur; it was Abraham’s attitude that got him through this incredible test. His attitude was that God would provide. And God did.

So it may be that having an attitude of gratitude actually lifts a person above their circumstances. Creates an altitude of gratitude. Above the pain and disappointment. Above the grief and fear. Above the temporal things that sometimes seem so out of whack and confusing. Above the world and its schemes and petty concerns. Above it all.

Today, when you are giving thanks consider Him who has given us all things to enjoy. And who constantly seeks to bring us into fellowship and worship. Give thanks to Him who is Worthy. And rise above it all where there is order and love and peace. Give thanks to God Most High, for He is good. For His Mercy endures forever.

 

 

 

My Picks for November 2017 Election in Ohio

First off, understand that this post is not written to be grammatically or politically correct. It is written in a style of writing called “stream of consciousness”

That means that if you have some problem with how I have represented my thoughts on this election coming up, you are being judgmental. Who are you to judge my stream of consciousness?

If you have some ideas or opinions about the upcoming elections, please by all means share your thoughts or opinions.

We gots an election coming up in this piece. Mahoning Valley Votes yall. So’’s I decided I needs to weigh in on some stuff…

I gots my facts from two sources:

The League of Women Voters puts out this fine guide to the elections by county and I found me a copy and read up on it. I aint ginna bother speaking to no stuff that I aint voting for so ifin you is smart, you will get your own copy somewhere.

I gots mine at St E’s whiles I was visiting a friend who had himself all jacked up. But I am guessing if you call them, they can tell you where you can get yours. They is called the League of Women Voters. Ask your google or your siri or your mama, cause I aint your directory assistance— you know.

If you dont want to ask you mama or try to calls them get on over to ballotpedia.org I guess you wants me spell it for ya. Ballotpedia.org dang its. Sound it out if you gots to. Sheeeetttt…

If there is one thing you can do smart in this world it is get your arse out theres and vote. But don’t be a ponkass bitch about it. Find out whats you votin on first. Or if you is kinda preferrin to be a follower then just vote how I is going to vote.

YesonIssue2_400Pixels

There are two statewide issues on the ballot. One I knows everyone has been hearing about is Issue 2. We done heard so much about issue 2, most of us is thinking the whole thing is just number two. And it is too. We gots a bunch of lying pharmaceutical companies who is masquerading as people who gives a shit about anything other than money whos is buying all kinds of support from doctors and lawyers and indian chiefs tryin to look legit. They are against Issue 2 Passing. They created some special Political Action Committee and funded it real nice and then started trying to tell everyone that if Issue 2 Passes it is going to cause all kinds of problems and cost people more money.

That shizzit is outright lies. The only people gonna lose money is the people selling you your drugs. They try to make out that if it passes that the people who sponsored it are going to get all their legal bills paid. Well, that is misdirection. The fact is that the only legal bills that would get paid by the taxpayers are the ones that are created when the the pharma companies sue them for sponsoring the bill in the first place. I will be voting for Issue two to pass. Just cause in my view these pharma companies are not only fat and rich as it is and lying dirtballs. They also is partially responsible for the opioid problem in this state and every other place. So fuck them. They dont get no cred from me.

marsyslaw

Second Statewide is Marsy’s Law also known as Issue 1. This is one that everyone should be voting to pass. Essentially it is will give the victims of crimes some rights that they currently don’t have. Like being advised as to the status of a case against a perp who may have done something to them. And other helpful stuff. Crime Victims Rights are something that most states already have in place and Ohio needs to get with the times on this. So it is a yes from me.

I lives in Mahoning County. There are some renewals on levies that should pass. And to be sure, in my opinion unless you lives somewhere seriously corrupt like Niles or The City of Youngstown, most times when your trustees or whoever is asking for money to do something, it is cause they need it. And it will benefit your community. So I usually just go carte blanche on all that cause I live in Boardman and aint never really had no problem with how we been governed here. Or how much it costs. OR any of that shit.

boardman

We gots some people running for School Board here and trustee too here in Boardman. A nice place to call home. We gots three homies runnin for trustee. I aint quite sure what a trustee is but I am guessing that they must do something otherwise, why would we have to elect em?

So we gots Brad Calhoun– This dude is like in his fifties. I guess he has already been a trustee for 8 years up in here. So he gots some experience. And that is helpful I am thinking. SO he is probably gonna get my vote. Just cause like I said before, I aint got no real complaints about how shit goes here.

Then we gots some educational peoples looking to get elected. Mahoning County has an Educational Service Center. Funny thing is I aint never heard of this shit. But if you want to know what they do, Check this link. https://www.mahoningesc.org/Page/338

One of them homies lookin to get elected is an incumbent. That means he is already working there. His name is Scarsella. I guess he has been there since 2006. That means he gots experience and plenty of it. Odd thing is I cant figure no reason to make a change there. I guess cause I aint never heard of it and had to look it up it dont matter all that much to me. But it may matter to you. If you think someone else can do a better job, then vote em in. It aint my place to tell you how to live.

Then is Boardman we gots people wantin to be on the School Board. Again, it dont matter much to me., so I is probably just going to vote for the people who are already working there. Vickie Davis and John Landers. I need to pick another out of the four runnin so last but not least, Tracey Balentine. Why not Fryda? You may ask. Cause he aint got no experience with the schools that I can see. He is some business guy. That may be good in some circles. But, many times business people have ulterior motives when they is trying to get elected. Shoot just look at Trump ifin you dont believe that.

Like I said earlier, for the Tax levies, I figure to give em all a yes. We also gots some schools asking for money. I say yes again. Aint no harm in investing in the youngins. And then finally we gots some restaurants here in Boardman wantin to sell some hooch on Sunday and whatnot. Who cares really? May as well let em sell it here. Cause if people wants to drink on Sunday, they is gonna get their dranks. May as well be here at the local places.

So that is all for this election cycle. This is DM signing off for now. But if you gets on my nerves enough, I will definitely have something to say about it. And you.

Crappy Email Clickbait

Featured image courtesy of Steve Lovelace

Email is Content too. And if you have a list, then you want people to interact with your emails don’t you. You want people to open your emails. To take action. And if they don’t, you may want to look at your content. Your Subject Line. Your angle.

Email-button

I am not going to go off too much on this.

But who does not hate when you get email that causes you to have to visit the website because it is deceptive?

I suppose I expect more from EBay. They were one of the first ecommerce platforms. And I would expect that they can do way better than this.  Believe me when I tell you that it is really challenging to get people to respond to email these days.

You know this. Because if you are anything like me; you get a lot of email. If you think that competing on Social Media is tough, or SEO is competitive; then you never really thought how much of a challenge it is to get people to even open your email.

Let alone act on it.

What is my point? Today, I got this from EBay. And I think it is the one of the most obnoxious emails I have ever received.Crappy Click Bait Email

Why am I so miffed with this? And why am I posting about it?

This is a complete lie. Outright Deception. I did not buy anything from EBay recently. So, of course; I had to visit their website to make sure that my account had not been hijacked or hacked.

Of course, we all want people to interact with our content. To do something when we reach out. But, in my opinion this is completely the wrong way to go about it. Don’t lie to people. Ever.

Not if you value your reputation on line anyway.

Or you care about your audience’s feelings. Or about them in any way.

“Content”inental Breakfast Internet Content Analysis Sampler Two.

Here is some more Facebook Content Analysis to give you an idea of what you could expect from my Newsletter “Content”inental Breakfast when you sign up.  Please join me.
Let’s dive in a little.

Facebook Post The Future is Now1
Here we have a very popular Facebook Page entitled The Future is Now. https://www.facebook.com/thefutureisnowbymic

As of this writing, according to Facebook; 705 Thousand people follow this page.
Let’s look at the numbers.
First, of all those followers; only 205 Shared this post. 362 people reacted to it (liked or otherwise) and a measly 29 people commented on it.
So what do you think? Are these good numbers?
Based on the current Facebook Algorithms, it is neither good nor bad really. It just is. This is the kind of Organic Reach you can expect if you create a High Quality Video and have over 700,000 Followers.
All the components of a good video are there. Good editing, good writing, good sound, solid textual enhancement. And yet, not much reach really.
Why am I pointing this all out?
Because this video may have cost as much as $3000 to produce (I am guessing on the production budget) and yet it really did not do much.
Why is that do you think?
The topic or subject? The timing? Or is there something else going on here on this page that may have caused the reach to be slight, despite the time and effort it took to create this content?

“Content”inental Breakfast

Much of the content that we produce for the internet receives little to no feedback as to quality. But how can anyone improve without feedback? If we do not have someone step back and take an objective look at what we have produced? I regularly critique my own efforts and even ask other people to help me where ever I happen to be sharing it. That is because in my view, no one is going to reach their potential for a content producer in a vacuum.

For instance, I shared this article recently on Medium.com. Why the War on Opioid Addiction is being Lost. After I published it, a respected friend of mine looked it over and was gracious enough to help me edit it. So I made a couple of changes that tightened up the writing and presentation. That is why I am performing content critiques for people weekly in an email newsletter. So all of us can get better at what we are doing. And persuade people to enjoy, value and share our content.

This article is serving two purposes. First, to give you an idea of what you can expect if you sign up for the newsletter. But also to serve as an inaugural version of the idea of the “Content”inental Breakfast. Let’s get started.

Video is considered by most content producers as the most valuable and shareable content category. Let’s look at a video I produced for a Fiverr Gig I posted last year. Because I threw it together in about 30 minutes; the result was less than stellar in my opinion. And it turns out, it was too long and some people who have viewed it on Facebook seemed to think that the part of the script about the rates for Union Narrators came off as “snarky”. There were also some comments about the lighting needing improvement. What do you think?

Why Hiring me is a Good Idea

Now let’s have a look at a video posted on Facebook recently by Robbies of Islamadora It was shared also by the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce.

Today’s Forecast

When this article was written it was showing 1674 Views and 14 Shares. It may be gaining both as you read this. So what is good about this video? Why do you think people are sharing it and watching it?

My opinion? First the setting. Who does not like the subtropical environment of South Florida and the Florida Keys? Many people dream of being able to sit under a nice awning and drink cold beers next to a waterway in Florida. Especially one where the fish are swimming right up to the dock. So there is a lot to be said for where this video is set.

What else? This vid appeals because it is timely. We are entering the vacation season and many people are thinking of getting away. Aren’t you?

So what could have been done better? It is highly unlikely that the producer of this video did it just because they are proud of their establishment. Or because they wanted to make people envious. The organization that shared this video is a for profit tour agency.

It may have been to their advantage to post produce this video. It is pretty clear that someone shot this with their phone and then just shared it. And that is fine. Many people do this and get people to view and share their work. But had they taken some time to add a few items to it; it may actually drive more traffic to their website. But as their Facebook Page has a clear Call To Action, some people may say that driving people to their website is not necessary.

That is debatable. And getting into that discussion is not the purpose of this article.

I may still suggest some basic post production. There are ways of adding clickable links for instance to a video. So that while the person is viewing it, they can click a call to action in the video itself. There are also ways of adding text that could include a call to action such as a phone number. Or requesting that the viewer visit the facebook page and like it and call from there.

The soundtrack is non existent. No narration. No music bed. Many people can be influenced by the soundtrack that a video contains. Although we do not often think much about it, soundtracks in TV Shows and Movies are a large part of the overall presentation. And can move people to think. And once they are thinking, they may act. These sorts of details can take the effort of content production to a whole new level.

What do you think? If you were to suggest improvements to the two examples above, what would they be?

These are the kinds of things that I will be doing here on my blog and in the newsletter. So, if you are seeking to discuss and discover ways of bringing your content production to a new level, sign up. And discuss. It is my strong desire to help you take your content to a level befitting of royalty. I like to call it Kingly Content.

Is Your Content Kingly or Common?

If you follow or have an interest in Content Marketing, then you know that producing fantastic and engaging Content for the Internet is an important part of your strategy. But have you ever asked yourself where it is taking you. Or more precisely where it is taking your prospective customers and audience? Is your Content leading people to trust you and want to do business with you? Or is it just like everyone else’s?

There was a time not too long ago in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Circles when we would say, “Content is King”. And it was and still is crucially important to any Inbound Marketing or Public Relations Strategy. Driving people to your website so you can continue to engage them with your expertise and Unique Selling Proposition or messaging means the difference between being successful and just being here.

Look around and you will see that many people are here. And it is a certainty that many more people are coming. Wherever your content is on line it is in a fierce competition with a lot of other people’s content for attention. And every day more and more content is produced and stored here in the digital library we like to call the internet. In 2014, it was estimated that every minute:

  • Facebook users shared nearly 2.5 million pieces of content.
  • Twitter users tweet nearly 300,000 times.
  • Instagram users post nearly 220,000 new photos.
  • YouTube users upload 72 hours of new video content.
  • Apple users download nearly 50,000 apps.
  • Email users send over 200 million messages.

It was also estimated that 4.6 billion pieces of content are produced daily (Source: LinkedIn). Every day there are around 92,000 new articles posted on the internet. There are 83,000 blog posts published every hour. WordPress users produce about 35.8 million new posts each month. In 2014 alone, over 86 million sites were built with WordPress.

So how to stand out among the crowd? I propose that we set a royal standard. And here are some ideas to think about when you are creating content. Or having others help you or do it for you.

What causes a King or Queen to stand out among his or her subjects? Why does royalty influence people to pay attention and act where common folks like you and me sometimes need to work much harder for the same effect?

Announced Appearances

When royalty appears there is fanfare. It is accompanied by sounds and sights that signify it is coming. There are trumpets and announcers and a parade. Throngs of people hope for just a glimpse or a wave. When royalty appears in public, it is a big deal that produces its own attention. Usually, before a public appearance there are announcements and people know that the king or queen or prince will be in a certain place at a certain time. It is quite unusual and rare for royalty to just show up somewhere without any warning. And people who are interested in participating in the event have the opportunity to plan for it. To mark their calenders. Can you think of ways that your content creation strategy would evolve if you were to consider this?

Regalia

Regalia is defined as: the emblems, symbols, or paraphernalia indicative of royalty or decorations or insignia indicative of an office or membership. So when royalty is seen it looks like something special. Royals wear the finest garments. Everything surrounding them is the best and most attractive it can possibly be. The people surrounding royalty also look as well put together as possible. There is an air of sophistication and belonging that accompanies royalty. It causes people to want to be a part of the experience. To want to join the entourage. To jump on the bandwagon. So when you are creating content, what kind of things can you think of to make certain that it is accompanied by the regalia necessary to influence your audience?

Authoritative

Kings and Queens receive respect. Their words and actions bring results because they have authority. When you live within a kingdom, you either do what the king or queen or prince says, or you suffer unpleasant consequences. And that is something that kingly content conveys. The weight of authority.

Entrepreneur.com describes it this way: “Social tie-ins remain a must in terms of creating powerful, authoritative content. The key here is to create impactful content that catches the attention of influencers and inspires them to share your content. This will often resonate with your target audience more than anything else. Search engines are also utilizing social signals for validating authority. Bing, for instance, searches for social signals to determine whether an author is recognized, well-cited and considered a subject matter expert. This is where signals from LinkedIn can prove to be particularly beneficial.“

How can you create content that conveys authority? Will you content impress people sufficiently that your peers and those who have influence in your sector feel good about sharing it or quoting it?

Confidence and Poise

If you have had the opportunity to interact with royalty, then you may recall that in most cases; they had confidence and poise. The way that royalty interacts with others demonstrates a certain assuredness. And grace. Consider this description of poise.

Be humble. A person who’s unsure of themselves will try to overcompensate by bragging or showing off. A poised person has no need for validation from others, and can take criticism well.

Be calm. Being poised means being at peace. Stress and worry will cause you to come across as negative and frantic. Practice taking deep breaths when something starts to cause you stress, and take a step back from the situation. Analyze why you’re having this stress and what you can do about it.

Don’t rush. A poised person will never be seen rushing across the room to get the last seat. The mindset behind poise means slowing down, and being confident that you’ll get where you need to be eventually.

Be gentle. Your body movements should be gentle and careful. Put your cup down slowly. Don’t drop your books on the table. When you hug someone don’t try to squeeze the life out of them. Just use as much force as is necessary in most situations.

Ask yourself questions like this when creating content, Is my content bragging about me or my business? Am I relating my message in a way that may seem frantic or negative? Am I rushing my audience to make a decision about my services or brand? Am I producing content that gently leads my audience to conclusions that will add value to their efforts?

There will continue to be videos, podcasts, infographics, blog entries, and articles produced in staggering amounts. And much of it will be common. And will be overlooked. Just bytes taking up space on someone’s servers. But if you consider some of these ideas while producing your content, you can also make your content kingly. And expect the same benefits that royalty brings.

Mahoning Valley Podcast Andrea Wood Interview Episode 37

You can download this from SoundCloud here.

If you want or need different audio files to download, head on over to the Internet Archive

AW Portrait

Today we are talking with Andrea Wood the Publisher of the Business Journal Daily here in Youngstown. Thanks for granting me an interview today Ms Wood.

I understand you were a resident of Poland for a while. Please tell me about your favorite place in the Mahoning Valley.

The Central YMCA in Youngstown

The Central YMCA Youngstown Facebook Page

The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning Valley

2:35 I also understand that you and I have in common growing up in the Pittsburgh Area. I went to Central Catholic in Oakland, and you went to Fox Chapel High. Although it is not directly related to the Mahoning Valley, what was your favorite activity in High School?

Pure as the Driven Snow a Melodrama on Amazon

4:05 You started working in Youngstown for one of our local TV Stations WYTV Channel 33 as an investigative reporter and was promoted to chief anchor and executive producer. How did that come about? Moving to Youngstown?

Tokyo House

Affirmative Action

Michael Moliterno

Stacia Erdos

Tokyo House

11:04 What would you tell young people who are just starting out is the most important thing to remember when striving to succeed?

Youngstown Flea

Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation on Twitter

Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership on Facebook.

The Youngstown Flea

First Youngstown Flea in April on Facebook

14:43 As an investigative reporter, you must have come across some stories that may have put your life in danger, what do you think was the most dangerous story you have reported on? And why do you feel that way?

Joanne Elaine Coughlin Missing

16:45 Why did you decide to become a journalist? What was the impetus for that decision?

Penn State

Penn State

18:48 What was you inspiration to start the Business Journal Daily in 1984?

Meals on Wheels of Mahoning Valley Page on Facebook. Go ahead and give them a like.

21:10 Once you started the Journal, what was one of the things that you had to deal with that you never would have expected to happen?

22:09 Many people sometimes forget that people in the media have lives outside of the office. What is your favorite off hours activity?

Michael Dyson

Tears We Cannot Stop by Michael Dyson on Amazon

White Privilege

Kathy Miller Story on the Vindicator

Greg Iles Novels

25:08 I am sure you have met many very interesting people in your life, Who was the most interesting and why?

Dolly Parton

Dolly-Parton-in-the-1970s-442243

Dolly Parton benefit for Wildfire Victims.

27:52 If you could do anything tomorrow, anything at all; what would it be?

29:27 What do you most want to be remembered for after you are gone? Is there anything that you want people to think about when they hear your name?

33:24 Is there anything that you wanted to talk about today that I did not ask about?

Dwight Stickler

Easter Brunch at Kravitz in Fellows Riverside Garden

Mahoning Valley Podcast Episode 36

Download this from Soundcloud

Get different kinds of audio files from the Internet Archive.

Final Autism Run-registration-2017-page-001

You are invited to be part of an exciting community event. On April 22, 2017, the Autism Society of Mahoning Valley will be hosting the 4th Annual Valley Autism 5K & 2 nd Annual Family FUN WALK for Autism. Get over to their facebook page and show them some love.

2017 Valley Autism 5K & Walk Donation Packet 2-7-17

Event Poster 3-13-17 – Autism Society-5k run-flyer-2017

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recently revised its statistics on the occurrence of autism in America to state that one in 68 children (and 1 in 54 boys) are affected. There are more than 60,000 families in Ohio with children and adults and their families affected by autism; the largest percentage of whom reside in NE Ohio.

From the newly diagnosed child to the school aged children to the severely disabled autistic adult. These are all our families and they need our help.

The Mahoning Valley chapter of the Autism Society of America was founded by local families in 1989 to supporting families in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for families living with an ASD diagnosis, and to bring about community change and opportunities for individuals working through life with this disability. Our volunteers are dedicated to accomplishing this through information and referral, family support, advocacy, raising awareness and resource development.

What do we really do? Here’s a typical morning call: A mother is driving home having just received the news that her 3-year-old was diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum. She is scared and sad. She doesn’t know what this means short term or long term for her child. Where to send them to school? What early intervention therapies does he need? How do I get funding for therapies and other services? Are there other mothers I can talk to about this? What do I do RIGHT NOW?

This is where the Autism Society shines. In our role as the autism “bridge organization” we are uniquely driven to work with all of the schools, therapy centers, support groups, community organizations and government agencies to bring together the necessary resources for families. In addition to direct calls for information and referral, we host educational, awareness activities to shine a spotlight on the many facets of ASD and the issues faced by children, adults with someone one the spectrum.

These include:

  • autism family social events and neighbor-to- neighbor support;
  • Seasonal events like Caring Santa, Sensitive Bunny and Family Portrait photo sessions;
  • Collaborative programs like Sensory Nights at the Oh WOW! Children’s Museum and at area libraries;
  • Resource programs like Community Autism & Disability Resource Fair; and,
  • Camp F.R.I.E.N.D, our summer day camp, known for welcoming neurotypical peers and creating community
  • immersion for participants.

This is why we need your support. What can you do? Quality programming like this can cost upward of $75,000/year.

At this time we are seeking fun family prizes to motivate our community businesses and family teams to raise money as part of our event, much like a Relay for Life event. Businesses will create teams in order to show their support of our local families. Families will create teams to support and rally behind their family member with Autism. Prizes such as gift certificates to local restaurants, museums, trampoline parks, movie theatres etc. will be prizes for families who raise the most money for the event.

We also need donations of bottled water, granola bars, fruit, donuts or anything else that would be great for our 5K runners and/or for our families. We also are offering several levels of sponsorship if you would like to have a bigger presence at our event. Details can be found at ValleyAutism5K.com. If you’d like to contribute, but in a way not listed, please let us know. Any funds raised by this event stay local and support our families in need.

Community-Art-Logo-Web-2x-1

Tomorrow head downtown to the Soap Gallery for a community Arts Discussion. This discussion will be a town hall style discussion targeting the visual arts, related events, planned projects, and open discussion about arts in Youngstown. We welcome all Youngstown Community groups to discuss and present what they have going on currently and for the upcoming year.

If you plan to present during the talk please have your input written down and limited to 5-10 minutes.
Please invite other artists, community members, and those who have interest in the the visual arts in Youngstown. Street Parking is available in front of the Soap Gallery on South Champion.

Please message the Soap Gallery for any questions

Seniors in the Mahoning Valley need our help to eat today and every day. Join Mario Andretti and volunteer with Meals on Wheels Mahoning Valley. And please head on over to their facebook page and show them some love.

dress for success

According to the Vindicator, The Dress to Succeed Ministry celebrated its latest expansion with the grand opening of its showroom location at the Community Corrections Association building on the South Side.

Elder Rose Carter, founder and director of the ministry; Lola Simmons, executive director of the Home for Good Re-entry Resource Referral Center; David Stillwagon, chief executive officer of CCA; and Mayor John A. McNally, cut the ribbon yesterday for the latest boutique-style showrooms inside the Graphics Building of the CCA facility, 1507 Market St.

“The city of Youngstown fully supports these initiatives because once people come out [of prison], we don’t want them to come back in, and we want to give them the help they need,” the mayor said.

The ministry has been dedicated to providing donated clothes, shoes and other accessories for Youngstowners, with an emphasis on people returning from prison, since 2010. Carter said this addition further helps the goal of providing something for people who need it the most.

According to the Tribune Chronicle, Stephanie Parish said she remembers when she was a student at Niles McKinley High School, she competed in the Youngstown State University History Day event. Now as a social studies teacher at Windham Junior High School, she has her seventh- and eighth-grade students creating projects for History Day.

The YSU History Day will be 9 a.m. Saturday at Kilcawley Center and DeBartolo Hall at the campus. The 2017 theme is “Taking a Stand in History.” Program coordinator Dr. Diane Barnes and AmeriCorps Ohio History Regional Officer M. Carmella Cadusale are coordinating the YSU event

Schools in Ashtabula, Geauga, Mahoning, Portage and Trumbull represent Region 4 which will be part of the competition. According to their Facebook Event Page, Ohio History Day is a year-long research program for students in grades 4 – 12. Students who choose to showcase their work, compete at the school, regional, and state level with an opportunity to advance to nationals. Contests are free to attend and many aspects of the judging are open to the public.

TakingaStandinHistory_2017-1-282x300-282x300

Ohio History Day is an affiliate of National History Day (NHD), an exciting program that makes history come alive for students. Students learn history by doing history. Students conduct historical research that leads to imaginative exhibits, documentaries, original performances, websites and scholarly papers. NHD reinforces classroom teaching by rewarding students of all abilities for their scholarship, individual initiative and cooperative learning.

National History Day began as a small, local contest in Cleveland, Ohio in 1974. Dr. David Van Tassel and members of the Department of History at Case Western Reserve University created the program to reinvigorate the teaching and learning of history in elementary and secondary schools. The program quickly expanded throughout Ohio and surrounding Midwestern states. With support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, National History Day (NHD) became a national program in 1980.

Now, more than 600,000 students and participate in National History Day from every state in the Union, Washington, D.C. and the U.S. territories, and the program continues to expand internationally.

National History Day received the 2011 National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama. The National Humanities Medal is awarded to individuals or institutions “whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities, broadened our citizens’ engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans’ access to important resources in the humanities.”

NHD is supported by volunteers who coordinate its state and local programs. Thousands of people support the program by serving as contest judges, workshop presenters, mentors and advisers to students and teachers. On the local and state levels professionals based at colleges and universities, historical agencies and educational organizations serve as state and district coordinators to direct the History Day programs in their areas. The Ohio History Connection is proud to be the state sponsor of the National History Day program in Ohio since 1995.

According to the Tribune Chronicle, John Diehl knew there was something special about Sara Price’s basketball game. He saw her promise in middle school.

Price, a 6-foot-1 senior guard/forward, exuded that effort throughout high school, and it made her Northeast Inland District Player of the Year the past two seasons. She’s been the face of the Tigers girls basketball program and is heading to Ball State University next season.

best of the best

Before Price travels to Muncie, Ind., she’ll look back on her biggest honor to date — the Trumbull County Coaches Association girls basketball player of the year. Price picked up the wooden base with a golden basketball attached atop the award Monday at the 30th annual Trumbull County Basketball Banquet at Leo’s Ristorante.

Price, who averaged 21 points, eight rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.1 steals as a senior, is the eighth Howland player to receive the award and seventh under current Tigers coach John Diehl.

Bristol’s Jeff Kassan won the honor while Diehl coached the Panthers in the early-to-mid 1990s. Taylor Williams last won it for Howland in 2012.

“This is something I can go back when I have summer camp and say hey, ‘You can win this award if you work hard,’ “ Diehl said. “I can pick out the things that I think can win it when they get to this age. Sara could (do them) in the seventh, eighth grade. It takes a lot of work to win it.”

This TCCA title goes next to her 1,000-point basketball and the net she cut down when Howland won the All-American Conference, Red Tier Championship.

“Every time I look at it, I’m reminiscing in the past,” Price said of the TCCA trophy. “It’s amazing. It’s a huge, beautiful trophy. The fact that I have it, I can’t even put words to it. It’s such an awesome feeling.”

Diehl already knew Price was a special player before high school. She took the next step by improving her game her freshman season — learning to shoot.

“It’s the smoothness of her shot,” Diehl said. “She shot real low when she was little. She was coachable because she brought her shot up and got it above her head.

“The one thing too, that kids are coachable.”

Price knows this TCCA honor doesn’t solely define her legacy and future at Ball State, but it’s nice to have.

She listened to Monday’s guest speaker, University of Akron associate women’s basketball coach Melissa Jackson. Jackson spoke of the hard work she had to do to get through college and in her coaching career.

“Girls from college have these huge honors,” Price said. “They don’t know the amount of work they have to put in. I put a lot of work into it. I’m ready for it. It’s a job in college.

“Having this under my belt is a dream come true.”

Like my page on Facebook.

Mahoning Valley Podcast Episode 35

Download this episode from Soundcloud.

One of my favorite places, the Inner City Gardens are looking for help planting some heirloom Jamaican Peppers this weekend at 3411 Idlewild Dr in Youngstown. Come by at 11AM and help us get some sweet peppers started in the Greenhouse. Get a tour and see what Urban Farming can do for a inner city neighborhood. In conjunction with American Food Forest, this event is part of an effort to serve 100,000 meals in Mahoning County to the people here who need it most.

Youngstown Inner City Gardens

While you are at the Garden, make sure to find out how you can see the Youngstown Phantoms for free with the American food Forest and the Youngstown Inner City Gardens. On March 31 a big thank you to the Youngstown Phantom’s “Give Back” Program allowing us to help give Youngstown Inner City Gardens, Youngstown Food Forest and the Steel Valley Vineyard supporters for you and your family to go to a Free Youngstown Phantoms Hockey Game.

Just Like the Youngstown Inner City Gardens Page on Facebook.  Then Share the Event

Let us know how many tickets are needed (look for the poll).

Those who have signed up and have not gone in the past will not be eligible for any free tickets. We hope that you will create long lasting positive memories for you and your children. For more information please contact us via website. www.americanfoodforest.org.

If your group or persons would like to help volunteer here to feed as many people as we can here in Mahoning County, just let us know.

Jeff Hermann with the Mahoning Valley Podcast

How to Get Started with Video Marketing Using Your iPhone – Featuring Jeff Leo Herrmann. Free Webinar with Live Q&A on Apr 26, 2017 @ Noon – 1PM-EDT. Sign up today! Do you want to learn how to get started with a video marketing using your iPhone?

2017 is the year of video marketing and we all have direct access to our customers by leveraging amazing tools like Facebook Live, Instagram, and YouTube to drive engagement and business results. However, getting started is the hardest part. We’d love to have you sign up today!

Join us on April 26, 2017, at Noon-EDT as The DOYO Live webinar series will feature, Jeff Leo Herrmann, Founder and CEO of Madison, Michigan & Market kicks off with a webinar on how to get started with video marketing. Whether your business has a video strategy or you are just trying to figure it out, you are going to love Jeff’s energy and expertise.

This webinar will be moderated by DOYO Live Founder, Dennis Schiraldi.

Register Now with the Mahoning vAlley Podcast

You will learn how to build a strategy first and focus on the WHAT and WHY before the HOW. Getting Started with the 4P model – Plan, Produce, Publish & Promote. Tips to Drive Activation and Engagement. Get started with video, register today!

The program “Gardening in Deer Country” will be presented at Salem Public Library on March 29, 2017 at 6:30pm by Cynthia Druckenbrod of the Cleveland Botanical Garden. If those lovely deer treat your lawn and garden like a personal resort just for them you could benefit from Ms. Druckenbrod’s extensive knowledge.

Ms. Druckenbrod is Vice President of Horticulture at the Cleveland Botanical Garden and began her career there in 2000. Currently she oversees 10 acres of outdoor gardens in addition to duties as manager of the Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse.

She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Case Western Reserve University and a Master of Science in Entomology from Auburn University.

Registration is required to attend and may be done online at www.salem.lib.oh.us or by calling the library at 330-332-0042. This program is open to the public and free of cost to attend.

birdhouse building

Calling all parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles! Make plans to bring children to Salem Memorial Building, Room 23 on April 5, 2017 from 5-6pm to exercise their creativity and do crafts that are actually – for the birds! At this “Go Wild in the Park” program children of all ages can paint a birdhouse and create a bird feeder using pine cones, peanut butter and bird seed. All materials will be provided for these make it and take it crafts. Grownups, please make sure the children are dressed in clothing it is okay to get paint and peanut butter on! Registration is required so enough materials will be provided for the fun. Go online at www.salem.lib.oh.us , call the library at 330-332-0042 or call Shane at the Memorial Building at 330-332-5512 to register.

The “Go Wild in the Park” program series is provided through the partnership of Salem Parks and Recreation Department and Salem Public Library to provide educational and entertaining programming to residents of the Salem area. Each month at least two programs are presented covering a wide variety of topics. Each program/event is open to the public and free of cost to attend.

meals-on-wheels-logo_2

Our Senior Citizens in this Valley need you help. Like the Meals on Wheels Facebook Page and Find out how you can join Mario Andretti in supporting this fine organization.

Covelli Enterprises is congratulated by the Mahoning Valley Podcast for winning various awards from Panera Bread. According to the Vindicator, Covelli Enterprises of Warren, is the largest franchisee of Panera Bread, recently announced that it has received the “Franchisee of the Year” award from Panera Bread LLC. The award is the top award a franchise owner can receive in the system.

The award was presented Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn., at Panera Bread’s “Family Reunion” where thousands were in attendance. The Panera Bread Family Reunion is hosted every five years to highlight the growth of the brand, recognize successes and discuss the future direction with its employees.

panera-bread-logo

The “Franchisee of the Year” designation is given to a franchisee based on operational excellence, market/real-estate growth, cafe openings, market acquisitions and financial metrics. Covelli has more than 300 bakery-cafes in six states.

“I have never been so proud in my entire career,” said Sam Covelli, owner and CEO of Covelli Enterprises, in a statement. “I am humbled that Panera LLC honored our organization. This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our leadership team, our management and our associates.”

In addition to the “Franchisee of the Year” award, Covelli also received other individual awards for largest sales increases, most caf openings and highest cafe sales.

This is the Mahoning Valley Podcast and it occurred to me that there a plenty of people here who may want to do a segment. Who may want to have their voice heard on a Podcast. Maybe you have an event or cause or just want to say hi to the Valley. This podcast was never meant to be all about me. It has been a work in progress. Well, it is your turn. If you want to record a segment and email it to me, I will consider adding it to an episode.

Because this is a community project, you must be a part of the Mahoning Valley or have some connection to the Valley. If you want to talk about your grandma or how you grew up in Struthers or what you favorite restaurant is, or favorite gym, or favorite bar, or favorite band or anything. It just needs to be about something or someone in the Mahoning Valley.

Free Shoutouts with Mahoning Valley Podcast

You may be thinking, how much is this going to cost me. Nothing. Nada. Just record on your phone. Record with your friends. Record on your laptop or tablet. Save the file as an MP3 and send it over. Send it over with any links or pictures you want to include. This is all about everyone here in the Valley. So give it a try. It is easy and free and will get your voice added to the Mahoning Valley Podcast Archive. Send as many as you want. Any topic. BUT, no bad language. I look forward to helping you be a part of the Mahoning Valley Podcast.

According to the Business Journal, The 81st annual Juried Student Art & Design Exhibition at the McDonough Museum of Art will be held March 24 through April 7. The exhibit features works created by students in Youngstown State University’s department of art and is open to the public.

An opening reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. March 24, with an awards presentation at 7 p.m. Among the award categories are photography, painting, sculpture, interactive design and digital media.

The identity design for the exhibit was created by graphic design student Lorenzo Devine; Adam Welch is serving as juror. Welch has had several exhibits throughout the region and previously served as the curator at Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.

The McDonough Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parking is available in the M30 deck for a fee. Due to construction, visitors must use the Walnut Street entrance to the parking deck. For more information, call 330 941 1400.

Com_Star_LogoI had mentioned the Community Stars Awards sponsored by the Trumbull 100 and the Tribune Chronicle in an earlier episode and have placed a link to the Photo Gallery in the show notes for you to check out.

This Saturday March 25th at 8:30 PM is Earth Hour. Every year, hundreds of millions of people around the world switch off their lights for one designated hour to demonstrate a commitment to fighting climate change.

This year, Earth Hour takes place at 8:30 p.m. local time on March 25. There’s never been a more critical moment for the world to show solidarity for and a strong commitment to fighting climate change. By going dark, local government, cities, companies, landmarks, and individuals send the message that we will remain steadfast as we deliver on the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Momentum is on our side. The world is looking toward a renewable future. This Earth Hour, turn up the dark and get loud about climate action. Let the world know you’re all in.

EarthHour2017

Earth Hour Live: A Whole New Way to Participate. We’re asking musicians to share their love for the planet and resolve to fight climate change through their music.

WWF is inviting artists to broadcast live sets to their fans around the world during Earth Hour 2017. At 8:30 p.m. your local time on Saturday, March 25, through Facebook Live or a live channel of your choice, turn up the tunes using the hashtag #EarthHourLive. All day, we will be looking to share and amplify some of the best musical sets we see. As the world turns up the dark, we’re hoping that you will turn up the volume on climate action. Let us know you are participating and find out more about going live for Earth Hour.

earthhourlive-131129162147-phpapp02-thumbnail-4

The World Wildlife Fund is dedicated to preserving the earth’s ecosystem. Visit their website to learn more.