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.

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—-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.

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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.

 

 

 

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.

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 26

What is a Podcast, Pseudocast and Noncast? A Local and Regional Podcast Sampler today on the Mahoning Valley Podcast.

To support this Podcast go here and become a sponsor through Paypal or buy something from Amazon, or sign up to get more Twitter Followers, or get more great Audio Products from Learnoutloud.com or Consider hiring me for Freelance or Contract Work. Plenty of ways to support this Community Project for the Mahoning Valley of NE Ohio.

Do you want to subscribe to this podcast? Then visit Podomatic here.

Do you want or need different kinds of Audio files to download? Then Get it here from the Internet Archive.

Prefer to listen to this or follow me on Soundcloud? You can download it there too.

I am such a fan of podcasting. It gives nearly anyone the opportunity to produce audio that can be listened to anywhere you have a smartphone, tablet, or computer. It seems to me that some other people around here are starting to see the potential, so I decided to show them some love with some samples of their work.

We also have some people who are reaching for podcasting, but have not quite gone all the way. Those people are pseudocasting or noncasting. Either they are calling something a podcast and it is not. Or they are simply recording some stuff and not technically “casting” it anywhere.

podcasting-or-not

We have had a number of podcasting efforts here too. But for whatever reason the producers stopped producing episodes, but you can still go to these websites and download past episodes some of which are pretty good. I will give you a sample of some of these as well today.

But I figured since this is a community effort and the Mahoning Valley Podcast is a community project, it would not hurt to at least give people a chance to up their game. So if you are pseudocasting or noncasting, listen up and we will get you up to speed today.

I am going to start with the people and organizations that are actually publishing content that you can listen to on demand currently and work down to the folks that are still trying to get here. I highly recommend that you give them a listen. I did not put these in any specific order so if something interests you, click on the link and subscribe and show them some love.

randomsampling1

We have a decent music podcast hosted by a fellow who goes by the name of Jimmy Fro. He enjoys discussing music with local musicians. Recently he did an episode with a couple of local musicians who call themselves the SuperBabes. Let’s give a listen. Naturally you can click on the link above to subscribe or find out more information about the Jimmy Fro Show. You can also click the link and go like the SuperBabes.

We also have another Music Show produced by YoLive Radio that concerns itself with hip Hop and Rap Music and bill themselves as purveyors of the underground scene for this genre. They have a pro account over on Spreaker. Click the link above to hear some more from them. But let’s give em a listen.

Now if you are interested in Guns and Shooting there is a podcast based up in Garrettsville called the “Eye on the Target”. It looks as if they are also running some live broadcasts as well. I have never heard of podcast garden where their podcast is hosted, but it requires a little tech knowledge to actually listen to their stuff On Demand. If you want some pointers on how to download their episodes, just let me know. And let’s see what they have to say for themselves.

We actually have two marketing podcasts here in the Mahoning Valley. I have a preference as to what it a better effort and the primary reason that I feel this way is that one is obviously self promotional and one is actually educational without the obvious self promotion. We will listen to a little of both and you can decide who you like better.

estrat-gia-foco-e-assertividade-para-o-marketing-15

First Ross Morrone’s This is Marketing

Then George Farris’s podcasts.

Podcasts that call themselves podcasts but cannot be downloaded easily or not at all without a special app are really pseudocasting. They say they are podcasting but in reality they are only recording files for people to listen to when they are found on the internet. Many people are not familiar with the idea of downloading a file from a web page. And they are not sure what to do with it once they do. That is why all my episodes provide multiple options for download in a number of formats. Because not everyone has a ipod. Or a Macintosh Operating system. Nor do they want to install Itunes. So that means that if you are only offering your psuedocast on Itunes or Stitcher, you are leaving people out of the wonderful experience of listening to your show when they want to, where they want to, and how they want to. It is a pseudo experience and presentation. Here are few pseudocasts.

Meals on Wheels Mahoning Valley PSA If you have free time then put it to good use, please.

city-of-you

The City of You falls into the pseudocast category. Mainly because it cannot be downloaded. These guys are working off a grant so I am guessing that they are content with recording an interview and posting it on soundcloud. And that is great. But there are no notes or links on the show. And the episodes cannot be downloaded. That makes it a pseudocast.

The Nursery. A comedy and story telling “podcast” on Stitcher. Stitcher seems like a good idea and is moderately popular in the podcasting world; however you have to download the app to actually listen to anything there.

nursery

So although it is technically on demand, it is also proprietary. Meaning if that is the only place you make your “podcast” available, many people will never hear it. As such, I was unable to download an episode to give you a sample. It is mildly entertaining to me, I would rate it a 7. You may like it more if you want to give it a listen and let me know what you think. I am always interested in people’s opinions.

Vindy Radio Someone obviously buffaloed the management of the Vindicator into thinking that they are doing podcasts. Again, these are pseudocasts. There is not a distribution mechanism and very sparse show notes. But it is the lack of distribution that makes these a pseudocast. And that is kind of sad because one of my favorite local Radio Personalities hosts these shows.

We do have another pseudocast that is sponsored by WYSU and a Business Development Officer for Humilty of May Health Partners that is still being produced called “Doing Good”.

doing-good

It seems to be focused on spotlighting people who have and are doing good things here in the region. Although it has been around for a couple of years now, it is still not really a podcast in the sense that if you want to listen to it on demand, you have to know how to download it. Again, if you need some help with downloading the episodes, just let me know. It is not that hard, but does require a little tech knowledge. But let’s listen to the last episode as these are all only a few minutes long.

Defunct Podcasts you can still listen too by clicking the links below would be considered noncasts. As they quit. They are not producing current content. And they may also fall into both categories of pseudocasting and noncasting. Because they do not produce content that is distributed properly and they quit producing current content.

Mercy Health Podcasts. Actually not out of the Mahoning Valley, but the organization does have a presence here so I included a brief sample. They also are still reaching for it, because they have not syndicated their episodes. Unless you know how to download a file from a web page, no podcast for you. But give a listen. Good production values anyway.

WYSU was for a short time making some of their shows available in the form of on demand audio as well in fact they actually had four different shows going at the same time, but it looks like they quit producing episodes in 2015. You can still go there and listen in. Just follow the links.

Looking Out is a forum for community leaders to come together and discuss national and global issues from often unexplored angles. This round-table discussion covers many topics ranging from the economy to foreign policy, and ecology to education. Here is a sample.

Life on Life’s Terms, was developed to address issues of chemical dependency in the minority community. The show addresses concerns that are unique to the minority population by inviting special guests to share their addiction recovery stories with the listening audience. Guests provide real-life testimony and disseminate information about educational opportunities to our recovering listeners, women, African Americans, Latinos, youth, and parents who are affected by the societal concerns of alcohol and drug abuse. Education and information at the grass roots level is the goal.

Crisis assistance is available through Help Hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just Dial 211. The telephone numbers given by this pseudocast are:

In Youngstown: (330) 747-2696 Warren: (330) 393-1565 Toll free: 1-888-317-2169

If you need additional information or want to share your views and opinions about the program or addition recovery, please feel free to write: Here is a little sample of the last episode in November of 2016. And you can click on the link above to send snail mail.

wysu-tricia-perry

There are more of them on the WYSU Website here. Well produced but again, not distributed or presented properly. Click on the Programs Tab on the Main Menu you will find a plethora of files you can listen to and download.

Mahoning Valley Podcast Episode 20 Transcript

Please listen or download here.

I started drinking when I was 14. I started by stealing liquor with my friends from my dad’s liquor cabinet. Initially the first time, like so many people who start drinking, it felt dangerous and completely different. There was an element of fun and laughter at how challenging it was to walk and hide the activity from my parents. We thought we were so cool.

Before long, I was also using tobacco. The two seemed to be like brother and sister. Take a drink, have a smoke. My parents did not want me smoking or drinking though. They were and still are nice people who were thoughtful and responsible parents. And of course, it is not like I was trying to do it in their faces. I was sneaky as were my friends.

It is important to note that my use of alcohol and tobacco did not start in a vacuum. I had peers who encouraged me and shared my predilection for getting high. We also had older people in our lives who thought that drinking and smoking was cool. These were the 1970’s. And much of society was engaged in the escapism that drinking and taking drugs provided. It was normal in a lot of places for the people who were just little older to smoke weed and drink.

And I stress that it was my own choice to get involved in this activity. Although my friends and the older children and young adults were doing it too, ultimately it was my own choice. And that is where it starts. It is possible and some recovery programs will start with the premise that alcohol or drug addiction is a disease. And it may well be. I do not want to to debate that issue. I can simply say for me that starting the abuse of alcohol and drugs was a choice for me. And I made it. Likewise, getting sober and leaving drugs and alcohol behind was and still is a choice. A daily one. Sometimes, and hourly one. But it still requires that I choose. And choose to be sober.

If you are thinking that it has been some easy road through drunkenness and impairment, I will tell you; it has been a very difficult and lonely road that has resulted in the loss of many things. The loss of relationships. The loss of opportunities. The loss of resources. The loss of time. Much of which there is no guarantee I can ever get back. I know the time I have lost to partying is not something I can get back. Time can only be spent once. And I have wasted a good portion of what was allotted to me chasing a drink or a joint.

I have gone through healthy relationship opportunities and cannot recover some of them. Friends and family who loved me and who I loved have moved on. And there may not be a chance to recover those relationships.

I have gone through jobs and opportunities that will not be offered again. That have passed for good. And now face a time in my life where I have to deal with the fallout. I have damaged my body, perhaps permanently and have to deal with the loss of my personal health. The cost of the party has gone far beyond just what it costs to buy a drink or a bag of weed. And now I may have to go to my grave long before I would have if I had made better choices when I was younger. Long story, short; It has not been a party. It has been a nightmare. But there is hope.

So if you are listening to this or reading this transcript, I want you to know that today you have a choice. Just as I do. I am choosing to stay sober. To deal with whatever comes today in my right mind instead of trying to run away into a bottle or a joint. That is my choice and it is a choice that you can make too. If you are thinking to yourself that it is too hard to face life without a drink or a joint or a pill: I want to encourage you. Yes, it is painful and sometimes difficult. It can even look impossible. But it all begins as a decision. A choice to seek help. And find a way back to a life that does not have the weight of substances as a crutch. You can do it.

Make the choice to start back now. And the first thing you can do is call someone. Call someone you miss. Call someone you love who you know is sober. Call 211. Pick up that phone. Turn this off and make that call and tell the person that you want help. That is the first step. Although it is your responsibility to keep your commitment to living without drugs or alcohol; you do not have to go at it all alone. There are resources to help you start and help you keep at it. But it all starts with you letting someone else know that you want to change. You want to win.

Here are a few phone numbers if you do not want to call your family right now. If you prefer to start this process and then seek support from your friends or family, you can start here. Call 211. Three easy numbers. 211.

211 is an easy to remember three-digit telephone number assigned by the Federal Communications Commission for the purpose of providing quick and easy access to information about health and human services. Professional Information and Referral Specialists work with callers to assess their needs, determine their options and provide appropriate programs/services, give support, intervene in crisis situations and advocate for the caller as needed. 211 is currently available to 93.4% of residents in the United States. Here in the Mahoning Valley, 211 is available to anyone in this area.

Admitting that you need help can be daunting. And is not something that you may want to do. We all think at times, that asking for help is a sign of weakness. But it is OK. You are loved. And we want to help. We want you to get what you need right now. And there are people who are in your life today or have been a part of your life who want to you get what you need. And want you to come back from the dark and loneliness place of substance abuse. We will welcome you with open arms, if you just decide that you want to come back. Call us, whether it be your mom, or your dad, or your brother, or your friend, or if need be call 211. But know that we are here for you still. We forgive you and want you to heal and recover.

One of the things that have and still does help me is having something else to do besides drink. Giving myself a healthy alternative to partying. For me, it is doing this podcast and finding people to help online and off. Making it my personal mission and penance if you will, to help people. If you want help with some problem you are having with the internet and your desire to use the internet to communicate; then I want to participate. I want to help you from a place of experience and knowledge. I do not know everything about using this here internet thing, but I know some things and I know people who know things I do not. If you want to put us to work on your problems or challenges online, just let me know.

You can call me at 330 519-1205 or reach me on my website. I would love to talk with you about using the internet to communicate.

Meals on Wheels PSA with Mario Andretti

By now anyone who listens to this podcast knows that I like free events. Tomorrow, Laura Schroder of YSU will be discussing the Saga of the Mahoning River at YSU. as part of the Spring Semester Speaker Series on Energy and the Environment YSU CUSHWA B112. Free and open to the public. There is ample free parking at the on-street metered-parking spaces along nearby streets. Anyone needing assistance getting to the room should call the YSU Student Security Service at 330-941-1515

This will be a part of the Lecture Series on Energy and the Environment at YSU going on through April Click the link here to find out more.

Back to the Mahoning River:

According to a story on the WKBN Website, The Mahoning River has been part of our area’s history since day one. It was how John Young got here, arriving on the river’s bank, to land that would eventually bear his name. But mention the Mahoning River around Youngstown today and it’s more infamous than famous. Youngstown of the mid-1940s was the poster child for industrial pollution. The steel mills fouled the air and dumped their waste directly into the Mahoning River.

I am fairly certain that Ms Schroder will be discussing how far our community has come in restoring the River to a balanced and healthy waterway. In fact, the good news is that this once dangerous and polluted waterway has recovered so that when the weather breaks if you want to; you can kayak down the river and see the Valley from a whole new perspective.

Just a couple of years ago, our own Stan Boney proved this by kayaking down the river with a guide. According to WKBN, On Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014 WYTV 33 News anchor Stan Boney was part of the first TV News crew to ever kayak down a stretch of the Mahoning River, which was once considered among the most polluted streams in the United States. What he discovered is that this river, which was once a centerpiece of America’s industrial might, is now being used for recreation.

His trip down the Mahoning River began at the kayak launching dock at the B&O station adjacent to downtown Youngstown. He was joined by Christine and Gerald Hurayt, a father and daughter from Austintown, and April Shirilla of Warren, a co-worker of Christine’s at Delphi in Michigan. Their guide was Chuck Miller.

“Water is low and very forgiving today. The level’s about 3 foot. It is recommended for beginners to go at this level,” Miller said.

Chuck Miller has made the 8-mile run to Lowellville 100 times. He did a small video on Youtube here to give you a little taste No offense to Mr. Miller, but you may want to turn the sound down just a little if you view this. This is of course is Mahoning County, but Trumbull County also offers many opportunities to put in and a few different locations.

According to The Trumbull County Metroparks Website, there are six different locations where you can launch your kayak to traverse the River. Click on the link above to find out more. You can also meet with some of the Friends of the Mahoning River at an event this Friday coming up.

According to their calender, Eclipse of the Hunger Moon on Fri, February 10, 7:00pm – 8:30pm at 7574 Columbiana-Canfield Rd., Canfield, OH, 44406, United States

February’s Full Moon AND a Lunar Eclipse! Hope for a clear sky as we walk beneath the only lunar eclipse visible here in 2017. Meet at Kiosk at MetroParks Bikeway Trailhead at MetroParks Farm. Call Ford Nature Center for details. Easy, 1.5 mi.

You can also join the Friends Facebook Group here.

Congratulations to the Lowellville High School Band who has been selected to play at the Ohio Music Education Conference on Saturday in Cleveland.

According to the Vindicator, Bob Antonucci, Lowellville’s high school band director, sees an upcoming showcase as the culmination of decades of work.

The Ohio Music Education Association has selected the band to perform Saturday at a professional-development conference in Cleveland.

Lowellville’s band submitted a recording last May to OMEA. The state association, which is an affiliate of the National Association for Music Education, selects the ensembles it will feature via a blind audition process.

“What OMEA has realized is that they’ve been focusing on the big schools from the suburbs of the big cities – the school districts that have thousands of kids, tons of money, tons of teachers,” Antonucci said. “They’re realizing that there’s good things happening in school districts that don’t fit that. … So, this year they’ve made it a point to feature the top programs in rural and urban school districts, as well.”

About 3,000 music-education professionals will attend the OMEA conference this week. Lowellville’s band, which comprises about 65 students, will play six pieces from a variety of genres.

Like the OMEA Facebook Page here. For more information about Classical Music Events and Opportunities, Like the Orchestra Players Page here.

Adopt US Kids PSA

Mahoning Valley Podcast Episode 14 Transcript

Listen here.

I don’t even have to quote a mainstream media source for this segment. By now, anyone who has access to media either print, tv, radio, or of course interactive media like this knows that YSU Football failed to bring home a championship last Saturday. And that is OK. It is OK that people sometimes fall short of their goals. It is OK to drop the ball. We still love our University. And our university teams. And our university faculty and staff. And yes, even our university president.

Failure and falling short does not negate love. In fact, sometimes when people fall or fail or suffer it causes us all to remember that we are all people. We are all human beings who have strengths and weaknesses. We all need each other to progress. Every person who you know is someone you need on some level to progress. If you are looking to do that. If you are looking for progress that is.

If you want to make things better for yourself and your neighbor. Then every single person you know on facebook or twitter can work with you. IF you are willing to work with them. And that is one of the things that I took away from YSU Footballs fumbles and turnovers and blocked kicks. IT was not those events directly that gave me the lesson. It was the Unity of the team after the game. It was how publicly there was no fingerpointing or blaming. There was none of that foolishness of if he did something different it would have been different.

There was only solidarity and kind words from the Coach and right down the line. There was only optimism that there can be another chance to improve. To progress. To move forward despite the fall. To find ways of making it better then it was. And quite frankly, that was the most incredibly positive and remarkable accomplishment of the entire season in my opinion. That as a team, they lost. But as an example for many people here in the Mahoning Valley, it was and still is a huge victory and a stellar example. Congratulations YSU Football Team and Coaches. You have set the bar for all of us here in the Mahoning Valley who are intent on working as a team to being good to our community.

Onto something that is easy for all of us to do as individuals. And that is embrace kindness. Let me first say that ever since I have relocated here from Miami Beach Florida in 2002, I have been impressed and pleased with all the kind acts I have witnessed and had the opportunity to participate in. Many people here do not know me and I did not grow up here full time. But it is time that you found out. I am actually from Pittsburgh by way of Miami Beach.

My family lived in Pittsburgh while I was growing up. First in Penn Hills and then Point Breeze during my high school years. And it was a wonderful place to grow up. Plenty of peers and people to interact with and plenty of opportunities to learn and grow. This was in the 1970’s. A time much different from today when if we wanted to call someone, we had to find a payphone or be at home. Or the office.

A time when as children we could have the run of the neighborhood without fear of being attacked or abducted. A time when our parents did not punish us by making us go outside, they punished us by forcing us to stay in.

I had a grandmother and aunts and cousins who lived in Northeast Ohio. For a time, my grandma lived in North Bloomfield. One aunt lived in Austintown with two of my cousins who were about my age and another aunt lived in Newton Falls. So I have always had family here in Northeast Ohio. And we did visit on a regular basis. So I spent part of my time growing up here as well.

But while the people who lived here may have felt that it was always the same old thing, when we got to visit NE Ohio, it was like a holiday. In fact, most of our visits were for the thanksgiving holiday. We would get time off from school. My parents would pack up the Station Wagon. We would crawl in the back of it and take the 2 hour drive northwest to Ohio. The land of holiday parties and feasts. The land of interesting and entertaining cousins. The land of a doting grandmother who loved to cook up all the thanksgiving fixins. And the land of freedom from our usual routines and friends. It was so much fun.

And so I fell in love with NE Ohio. Because for maybe as many as 15 or so years in a row, every thanksgiving my family and I would get to come here and celebrate family and love. And that is why when I was ready to leave Miami Beach, I wanted to come here and settle down. I wanted to come here and start a family. I wanted to see the snow and feel the cool breeze of a spring morning. And smell the cut grass in the Summer. And crunch through the leaves in the woods in the Autumn. Because here we have seasons. In Miami Beach, there are also seasons; 2 of them, wet and dry.

One thing that always impressed me when I visited here and after I moved back was the inherent friendliness and kindness of the people here. The good old fashioned Midwestern Values of God and Family and Hard Work. Of taking care of your neighbor and feeling bad if something bad happened to someone who lived in your community. Of wanting to pitch in and help. We still have a lot of these things here and these are the kinds of things that we need to continue to practice.

More so now then ever. Because our world has become increasingly hostile and divided by opinions. Sometimes we claim that we have the facts, and that may be true in part; but people have started to decide that their opinions are strong enough to be less than civil. And that if someone disagrees with you it is OK to block them. Or attack. So I have attached a graphic to this podcast to remind us of how to be kinder to each other. Not that we have forgotten entirely, but that kindness is one of the strengths that we can continue to build on here in our community. I have also linked to a facebook page and website that promotes kindness. I got this idea from one of the nicest people here in the mainstream media while listening to his show “Brainfood from the Heartland” Because staying informed can help us to practice kindness.

SCOURGE PSA

One of the most valuable resources we have here in the Mahoning Valley is the Public Library. When I first moved here to Boardman, I didn’t have any CD’s or DVD’s and one of my favorite things to do was walk over to the Library and borrow these types of media for my personal enjoyment. The fact is though that the Library is one of the most valuable resources that any community can have. Many of us may take it for granted, but there is a wealth of information and resources available to anyone free of charge. If you haven’t visited in a while, I encourage you to check it out. Here are few of things that you can expect to enjoy in a library and if you are in Trumbull County, your library is linked to here. Columbiana County yours is here.

In Mahoning County where I live for instance, The Columbus Children’s Theater will present the story of Lonely Jack, a foolish trade, and the giant who is ready for trouble. “Jack and the Beanstalk” was adapted by William Goldsmith.

Fun for kids of all ages. No reservations are needed.

Boardman Library, 11 a.m., Sat., Jan. 28

Meet and Greet Story Time with Youngstown Phantom’s Hockey

Meet the Youngstown Phantoms! Listen to stories and receive a special giveaway. No reservations needed for this special story time that will be fun for the whole family!

Canfield Library, 6-7 p.m., Tues., Jan. 24

Library Night with the Phantoms

Join the Library and the Phantoms at their January 27 game at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown. The theme is “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.” Watch for upcoming details in your local library and on the website.

This is a very small list of things that you can do with your friends at the library. Stay in touch with them on Facebook.

I know most people who listen to this podcast can spend money to entertain themselves. Or even spend money to help me keep this podcast coming out and spreading only good things about our Valley, but I still like to talk about Free events every now and then. I like free stuff. Most people do I think. Like for instance, I offer free initial consultations and assessments on your internet communication strategies. I don’t mind spending a few minutes chatting with you or even talking to you on the phone about what you have been doing and what you want to do. You can message me on facebook or twitter or even call me at 330-519-1205 to talk about it. Sometimes it is good to have an objective opinion. And I am here to help.

Anyway, back to free events. It may save you some time if I just mention a few free things that you can do with your family or friends and that way you can get back to work on that report for your boss or that term paper or research project or watching that movie or whatever you will do after you listen to this. If you want more information or need to get the details for these freebies, just find the transcript of this show somewhere. They are like everywhere. But mostly on my website. Or blog, Or other blog.

Let’s go do something free:

What: Book Discussion Group “Blackberry Winter” by Sarah Jio

When:Thursday, Jan. 12, 2 p.m.

Where:Warren-Trumbull County Public Library

444 Mahoning Ave.

Warren, OH

330-399-8807

What: Kidz Cooking Club Registration Required

When:Thursday, Jan. 12, 5:30 p.m.

All ages

Where: Liberty Public Library

415 Churchill-Hubbard Road

Liberty, Oh

330-759-2589

Young cooks will follow Master Chef Miss Jill’s lead using their math, science, and language skills to make a delicious creation. For kids in kindergarten to grade five. Registration is required by calling (330) 759-2589.

What: Music and Movement Registration Required

When: Wednesday, Jan. 11, 11 a.m.

Age limit: All ages

Where: Warren Public Library

444 Mahoning Ave. NW

Warren, OH

330-399-8807

Children learn language and motor skills through an energetic combination of music, movement, and books. For toddlers 19 to 35 months old with a parent or caregiver. Registration is required by calling (330) 399-8807 ext. 206.

If you can’t make it tomorrow:

Check out these additional dates:

Wednesday, Jan. 18 or

Wednesday, Jan. 25

Just because something is free does not mean it is not good. I know there are two sides to that coin. Some people may say, “you get what you pay for” or even, “something is only worth what it costs.” But other people say that “the best things in life are free”. Like for instance this podcast. It is free. I really have no ambition to ever charge anyone to listen to or hear about the good things that happen here in the Mahoning Valley.

I gather this information and write it up for you for free. Sometimes, hopefully I am entertaining or at least informative. I admit this project is a work in progress. So I do something for you the listener for free, and I need to ask you to do something for me and for this valley. If you think that there are ways to improve our Valley, please share them with me somewhere. On facebook. On Twitter. On the blogs where I post the transcripts. Please participate in this project.

If you have any vested interest in improving this community and helping all of us live up to our potential then spend some money on keeping this project going. It is really easy to do that. Head on over to the website and send some money. Easy. If you do that, and want to be mentioned or linked to, just let me know. We can also work out ways for you to advertise your business or organization on other podcasts. Or even make your own podcast.

We can talk about ways you can improve your use of the internet to communicate through any channels if you want. I did offer to talk to your for free initially. If you want to run with some ideas I have and have me implement them for you, great. I like to work. And I have been using this here internet thingie for a long time. I know a few things about it. Let’s work together to make it better and spread the good.