Mahoning Valley Podcast Episode 36

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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Transcript Episode 16 of The Mahoning Valley Podcast

Listen, Subscribe or Download it here.

New Star from Youngstown. NIE, (Newspapers in Education) Outing the Mainstream Media Ownership in Mahoning Valley. Bits and Bites at the Mahoning Valley Historical Society. Sign Up to become a Change Bandit for Akron Children’s Hospital. And Opinion on the Trump Inauguration and Impending Presidency.

According to our local CBS affiliate, The star of the new show, “Hunted,” premiering this Sunday, January 22 on CBS, is a Mooney grad from Youngstown. While it might sound glamorous, life for Robert Clark started with everything stacked against him. His early years were nothing like that of a network TV star. Clark was born in Youngstown and raised on the tough streets of the south side, spending ages 4 to 12 in foster care. His father, Bobby Clark, operated the mob-owned Casablanca Night Club until January 15, 1980, when he was allegedly murdered. Robert Clark said his years as a high school student at Cardinal Mooney, Class of 1984, changed him. “They are a part of who I am. The motivation that I had to not just be different, but to be the difference that I want to see in the world,” he said.

Clark also played football at Mooney and was part of the 1982 state championship team under Coach Don Bucci.

Here is another story of people rising up to overcome adversity and history. Much like many of us here in the Mahoning Valley and indeed the Valley itself. Our Valley has a long and storied history of adversity and challenges. Struggles with our local economy, and struggles with less than scrupulous individuals who operated beyond the rule of law and spread fear and strife in our community. But some of us, myself included believe that those struggles can be things of the past. That it is possible to rise above the history of crime and corruption and face the challenges. If you believe that too, you should consider getting involved with this project. Even if you fail to see any reason to drop a couple of pennies in the coffers of this project to keep it going; you can like this and share it with your friends.

Here is something that many people who hear this podcast or read the transcripts may not be aware of. Free Educational Resources from the Vindicator.

For instance: Beyond Comprehension: The Newspaper and Critical Literacy
Dr. Sherrye Dee Garrett, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi
Introduction & Overview (mp3, 23 minutes) / Lesson Activities (mp3, 30 minutes)

Critical literacy involves the analysis and critique of the relationships among texts, language, power, social groups and social practices. It shows us ways of looking at written, visual, spoken, multimedia and performance texts to question and challenge the attitudes, values and beliefs that lie beneath the surface. (courtesy NAA NIE Conference) This is just one of the over 300 lessons designed to help your children learn about the world around you. And it is all free. Did I say that? Follow the link above and get in touch or start downloading and teaching them youngins.

Why would you want to download and listen to this particular item? Well, one reason I can think of is that many of your mainstream media outlets in this valley may be just about getting your money. No matter how much squawking they do about their local point of view, they may just be here to make money. Both our CBS and ABC Affiliates are not even owned by a local company. The people who run WKBN and WYTV and the other channels on these bandwidths like 27.2 FOX 27.3 ION and 33.2 and 33.3 live in other communities and have big fat paychecks so they can hire our local reporters and anchors and producers to act like they give a crap about this community. And the local people who work here probably do care about this Valley, but their employers may not.

Although there are a few local people who work for Media General and it is likely they do actually care about the Mahoning Valley; for the most part the editorial direction and personnel decisions are coming from another state and a big media conglomerate located over there in the fine state of Virginia.

Why am I talking about this? Because this company that owns a few of our local tv stations is a public company. That means they have no real interest in local issues or struggles. It means that they are beholden to their stockholders to make a profit and that is all. So that also means that anything they report to you should be taken with a grain of salt.

Let’s look at some other mainstream media companies here in the Valley so you can get an idea of where they are coming from too. The local Newspaper, The Vindicator and Channel 21 WFMJ. These two companies are owned locally. So when they say, “locally owned and locally connected”; they are not flat out lying. But they are also owned by a couple of wealthy people who live in Canfield and are about as connected to our community as a bank is to it’s depositors. As long as they are making money, they are as happy as they can be most likely. To be fair, they do employ some people here in this Valley and contribute economically in terms of taxes and fees and what not. But they also clearly have an vested interest in keeping up with the maintenance on their million dollars estates far removed from the struggles of the city.

Are you interested in knowing how to get in touch with these media mavens who run the show over there at the Vindicator and WFMJ? Here ya go. I figure if I let you know, and you don’t like the way they are doing it; then as a community we can hold them accountable. For the Vindicator, they are required to publish their names and positions and here they are. Keep in mind that Ms Jagnow and Mr Brown are also the people who own the company who holds the FCC License for WFMJ.

Whether or not the Mahoning Valley ever reaches its potential, or starts to grow and flourish due to their influence; that is the question that only they can answer for themselves.

And just so our neighbors in Trumbull County don’t feel left out, The Tribune Chronicle is published by a company out of Wheeling West Virginia. And for those of you in Columbiana County, the Morning Journal, also owned by a company out of Wheeling.

Our Radio Stations also are owned primarily by out of state corporations who are beholden to stock holders more then to our community. The two biggies are Cumulus Media and of course Iheart Media.

So although our mainstream media companies here do have a vested interest in the Mahoning Valley; with the exception of the millionaires who live in Canfield who own the Vindicator and WFMJ; our mainstream media is controlled by people who do not live here. And in many cases do not have any interest here in this community other then how much money they can suck out of us. So when you hear people talk about the media elite and the mainstream media as biased, it probably makes more sense.

I am actually an avid consumer of the media. Not just TV and Newspapers, but interactive media as well. I source much of the information for these podcasts from the local outlets. Sometimes I quote them to talk about the good things that are happening here. Well a lot of the time. That is because in order to talk about the good things that are happening here in the Valley,

I need to know about them. That is one of the things that you can do to help support this project. When you hear about something that is good, let me know. If you have an event that is not all about the money, then let me know. Or if you are doing events that do have a financial component to them like fund raising or raising awareness, at least send me a notice. Give me a chance to cover it here and link to it.

That is the difference between independent media, like this podcast and other independent information sources and the mainstream; I at least am not being enriched by this project greatly. I am doing this podcast as a community service that I have sentenced myself to do. Because I enjoy podcasting and publishing and I love this area. It is my home too.

FEMA PSA

I have received some feedback on content ideas for this podcast and most recently it was to discuss some history of the Valley. Well I got something even better for you if you are interested in the history of the Valley. A free discussion that occurs every third Thursday at the Mahoning Valley Historical Society.

This Thursday, you can join the Mahoning Valley Historical Society for the new Bites and Bits of History Lunch Program. Bring your lunch to the beautiful Tyler Mahoning Valley History Center on the third Thursday of every month at noon for a historical presentation. These free lunchtime discussions will cover a variety of topics and give you a chance to explore local history in a new way.

The daily parking lot on the west side of the building is available for $2.00. Place money in the numbered slot which corresponds to your parking space in the white box on the Federal Street sidewalk. Do not park in the monthly lot on the east side. Street parking in marked spots is free. Additional visitor information.

Bring your own lunch, or visit Overture for their $6 Bites and Bits Lunch Special. Call Overture at 330-744-9900 to place your order. Coffee, pop, and water are available for purchase at the History Center.

This Thursday, The People’s House: A History of the White House

Kimberly Kenney, Curator – William McKinley Presidential Library & Museum

Learn more about the history of the most popular historic home in America! This presentation will cover the design and major restorations of the house, and features an in-depth look at the rooms of McKinley’s White House from the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum archives.

I encourage you to help the Akron Children’s Hospital this year by signing up to become a Change Bandit. Change Bandits “rob” their friends, family and co-workers of spare change to raise funds for Radiothon.

Children, individuals and families register to participate here.

Schools, businesses, community organizations and hospital departments register here.

We’ll mail your kit to you in early January. It will contain complete, detailed instructions to get your Change Bandit program started, including how to set up an online fundraising campaign for your collection efforts.

Please contact Nicci Avalon at 330-543-8340 or navalon@chmca.org with any questions.

In a few days we will be swearing in a new president and vice president. Donald Trump and Mike Pence. Despite the fact that these good ole white boys did not actually win the popular vote in this county, we are going to have to endure another round of Republican Class divisionism. I know, that may not be an actual English Language word, but it does adequately describe what this country is in for now that the republicans are going to have a majority in the senate and the house and an executive to push through their let’s get ourselves and all of our buddies richer agenda.

Some people may think it ironic that me as a white male would be discussing this turn of events in such terms. In fact, some may think that it is a betrayal of my race or gender to even dare to call the republican party the good ole white boys party. But I just call it like I see it. It should not be called the GOP. It should be called the GOB. For Good Ole Boys.

I will clarify. According to the Wikipedia, this term can be positive or negative. Positive aspects: The term can be used for well socialized men who live in rural and generally Southern areas. If a man is humble and well thought of, he can be referred to as a good old boy, regardless of his age. It is also commonly applied to men from a family with multi-generational wealth or prestige, or to men who behave like a Southern gentleman.

Negative aspects: Pejoratively, the phrase can often suggest a man with an anti-intellectual bias or some other intolerant viewpoint. The phrase also can refer negatively to someone who engages in cronyism among men who have known each other for a long period of time. Collectively, these people are referred to by the slang term, good ol’ boy network (also known as an old boys’ club; however, note that in certain countries in the Commonwealth including the UK, an old boys network or club has a very different meaning involving alumni).

So if you don’t think that Donald Trump and Mike Pence and the Republican Party are a bunch of good ole boys, let me tell you as story. When I first moved here to the Mahoning Valley, I needed a job. Truth is, I probably still need a job, but that is not your problem. I started working at Infocision. One of the largest employers here in the Mahoning Valley.

If you are not familiar with Infocision, they operate call centers. They have a few here and a couple over in Western PA as well as over in the Akron Area. Large employer and actually not too bad as far as employers go. Decent wages back then and reasonable management with advancement opportunities. No they did not pay me to say this and that is why they get no link.

Anyway, I was initially assigned to the political division. Guess who was one of their clients? The Republicans. And a few of their various affiliations. And we called people. We called them at home, we called them at their offices, we called them from 8 AM to 12 AM seven days a week. We called them and told them all about how the republican way of life was under threat and how traditional values were going to disappear. We called them and lied to them about how they were the Business Person of the Year. We called them and tried to frighten them with tales of how the Second Amendment was going to be destroyed and they were going to have to give up their guns. We called them and told them anything we could to get their money.

It was and still is pathetic. In some cases it was exaggeration. In some cases it was outright deceptive. For instance, did you know that the only qualification required to be the Business Person of the Year is do be registered as a Republican and to donate money. That’s all the Republican Party needs you to do to be recognized as a Business Person of the Year. Some days I signed up 20 or so new BPOY’s. If that does not tell you something about this new administration, then maybe this will give you some clues about the kind of people we are going to be calling President and Vice President. Did you know that Donald Trump is still fund-raising? Yes, he is. He is running a store selling presidential bobbles and keepsakes. Inaugural Glasses and other trivial items. To raise money. HUH? No link to that either cause he is not sponsoring this project today.

I am not going to make any bones about it. I do not like modern American politics. I don’t like the democrats or republicans. I don’t like the tactics or agendas of either party. I, like many people think that national politics are not actually representative of my personal interests. But I am not saying we can just ditch the whole thing. As many people say, American Representative Democracy is an experiment. It was born in a noble ideal. That people should be equal and have liberty that is endowed from above.

That is a noble ideal. But it has been playing out like a good ole boys club. And the richer will keep getting richer. And the rest of us will be scrambling around trying to get a hot dog dinner for our families while we work 80 hours a week to put money in other people’s pockets. And trying to take care of our own. There is not a single shred of evidence that Mr. Trump’s Presidency is going to change things much for most of us. Sure, there will be changes. And many people may benefit. But most likely many people will lose too. And at the end of the day, our new President will likely get richer from his experience. And that is good for him. But is it good for you?

 

 

Episode 15 Transcript for the Mahoning Valley Podcast

Listen to and support this project here.

Or enjoy reading the transcript right now and then visit to hear it or download and subscribe.

Meet the New Police Dog. Sports with Western Reserve Radio. Honoring the Memory of Martin.

According to the Vindicator, A newly-acquired police dog will be introduced to the community at Saturday’s 7:05 p.m. Youngstown Phantoms hockey game at the Covelli Centre against the Sioux City Musketeers. The Youngstown Phantoms are assisting the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office in raising money for the training and care of the 2 1/2-year-old Dutch Shepherd named Phantom.

The Fraternal Order of Police will be selling raffle tickets for various prizes at the game, with proceeds to be used toward the costs associated with the dog. Phantom and his handler will be introduced to the community between periods of the game. Saturday is Free Youth Jersey Night for the first 750 young people attending the game.

So used to be afraid of Police Dogs. Well, German Shepherds anyway. When I was growing up in Pittsburgh; I had a morning paper route. I walked about 3 miles every morning no matter the weather and delivered papers. It was the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Most days, it was pretty light duty; but back then they also had the Sunday Paper. So 7 days a week, I was out there usually before sunrise delivering the News for my neighbors.

There was one house that had a German Shepherd. And most days it was in the house. But it did not like me walking up to the porch and dropping off that paper. Not at all. In fact, I think it was able to smell me. Sometimes, it would start making a ruckus before I even got there. And it was scary. It was a big dog and it barked loud. And it barked at me.

One morning for whatever reason, the owners left it out on the porch and it was untied. I started coming down the road towards the house and it started barking. And I saw it on the porch. I start thinking, there aint no way they are getting their paper today. As I got closer to the house, with the full intent on walking right by, it started coming off the porch and down the yard at me.

I nearly fouled my jeans. It was running up to me and I was scared. Seriously scared, thinking I was about to become dog chow. I stood there. Cause I knew there was no way I was outrunning this thing. So I start thinking, if I survive this; I am going to sue the pants off these people. It keeps coming, and I stand there frozen. Getting ready to try to beat it off me with my paper carrying sack.

It runs up to me and sniffs. It starts sniffing at my junk and legs. I am standing there waiting for it to take a chunk out of me. It keeps sniffing and then I slowly put my hand out palm up so it can smell my hand. He/she keeps sniffing and I start to pet it a little under the neck. I keep scratching and it starts to wag its tail a little. I start patting it on the head and it starts rubbing up against me a little. As it turns out, it was nice big dog who just wanted some attention.

Moral of the story. Sometimes the thing we are afraid of is the best thing for us. Sometimes we have to stand still and face our fears and hope for the best. That big ole dog was out a few more mornings, but those people always got their paper. Because I had a job to do. And their dog was a big puppy at heart. And now I was his friend.

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On Monday, we as a community and nation honor the memory of one of our great civil rights leaders. A man who was assassinated for his beliefs and commitment to equality. A man who was honored during his life and also after his death. And is still considered to be a beacon of light in a dark time in American History. When people refused to allow the fundamental values that our Constitution espoused. A time when for whatever reason, men and women had yet to see the fact that our Bill of Rights applied equally to all members of our society and citizens of these United States of America.

I will get to naming him momentarily, but not before I rant about the grievous evil that many people held so fast to. By now most of us know who I am talking about anyway. But this man had cajones and conviction. I think he had an understanding that his mission would likely lead to his demise. We never know when any of us are out of time, and he may not have been expecting to die on that fateful day when evil finally had it’s moment. What evil never knows in the moment is that it all works together for a greater good. That is why good always triumphs over evil. Because the greater good can use evil’s work to bring a greater good about. And that without evil never knowing it is coming.

This man though; I think he knew it may come someday. His assassination that is. He knew that he was causing narrow minded and selfishly blinded people to feel as if they were being encroached upon. He surely knew that in speaking out against wickedness, it would look for some way to get him back.

Yet, he was unafraid. He was stalwart. He was bold and spoke the truth that he knew. Because someone had to do it. Someone had to speak for those who had no voice. And this man that I speak of did exactly this. He took to the streets and told the truth. He took to the airwaves and told the truth. He would speak the truth whenever given the opportunity knowing full well that eventually it would be the reason that some sad lost soul would use to justify killing him.

So Monday January 16, we honor this man of courage and faith. Martin Luther King Jr. We are still honoring his memory despite the fact that he was killed nearly 40 years ago. And not only will we honor his memory but people will go out and do good things in his memory. That is a legacy. When people remember what you did and are still inspired to go out and do good.

The YNDC, one of my favorite non profits here in the Mahoning Valley will be working with one of our local communities of faith to get out into the streets of Youngstown and do some work. And I for one applaud the good work that these nice people are doing. Because in many ways, the YNDC and Family Life Ministries are exemplifying what I consider to be a good thing. Following the example of Mr King. Getting out into the streets and cleaning things up.

It is easy for me to sit in this nice comfortable makeshift recording studio and talk ab0ut doing things to help our community. I admit it. It is easy for me to do it. Don’t get me wrong, there is a bunch of work that goes into podcasting. But for me it is pleasant and easy work. Enjoyable even. Part of that may be because as most people who know me would tell you, I love to hear myself talk. I admit that too. I love the sound of my own voice.

But there is one thing that many people may not understand about a project like this. Not everyone likes what I have to say all the time. Sometimes, I am boring and preachy. Sometimes I may point my finger at someone I think is a sucky waste of space as a means of showing all of us what a bad example is or to show that to do wrong has consequences. Like in one of my earlier episodes I referred to some local officials as excrement. I was wrong. Even the most wretched sinners are still people too. And although I am glad they finally decided to give up and go home when their ringleader was indicted; I still could have been less derogatory and more respectful of their humanity. For that I am sorry and want to assure my listeners that it will never happen again.

So I am not going to cry about how much hard work it is to do these podcasts Because I do them by choice. But I am going to ask you to help me to continue to showcase the good things here in this Valley. For much the same reason that MLK Jr spoke out in his day. Because someone has to do it. Someone needs to focus on the good around here. We all know that this valley has a lot of good stuff going on all the time. Yes, we have problems. I have problems. But one thing that many of us can agree characterizes the Mahoning Valley and most of our citizens here is that just because there is a problem we don’t just tuck our tails between our legs and scamper off. We stand up for what is right and do what is right in many cases.

You, if you have been following this project have a heart to do what is good. And you want to hear about what is good here. And you know the value of telling people what is good here. And that it is important work that someone has to do. So partner with me and sponsor this project. It will be worth your while. I will make sure of it. Click on this link and make a commitment. If you have a non profit, I will make it worth your while. If you are an individual, I will give you credit if you want. If you want to remain anonymous and just do something to help our Valley; I will keep discretion and make it our secret. If you are a business owner or someone who is responsible for digital communications, take the idea to your boss if need be and get the money to keep these coming.

I am going to keep at it either way. I am not going anywhere. I am in it for the long run so join me and send some money to participate. Invest in our Valley and our community and we will make it better together. Thanks.

Why Sponsor a Local Podcast?

Naturally I am talking about the Mahoning Valley Podcast here, but here are some really good reasons to invest a few dollars to get involved whether you are a business, organization, or an individual.

Why Sponsor the Mahoning Valley Podcast?

1. Educated and Affluent Listeners. The average podcast listener is between 18 and 55 with access to time and resources. According to Rain News, Approximately 46-million Americans listen to podcasts at least monthly (17%), and an estimated 27-million listen at least weekly (10%). The weekly number represents a 25% lift over the 2014 snapshot. The podcast audience profile is markedly well-educated and prosperous. Forty-five percent of listeners have a college degree, and 52% are in $100k-plus households. This translates into your messaging being heard by people who actually can spend time and money to patronize your business or organization.

2. Positive Positioning of your message. When you sponsor the Mahoning Valley Podcast you are telling your audience that you care about our Community. The Mahoning Valley Podcast is filling a niche and a thirst for positive news and information about the Mahoning Valley. Although traditional mainstream media outlets do cover some very high profile events and people in the Valley; they have severe limitations when it comes to really reinforcing and showcasing information, news, and opinion that ONLY serves to show the good things that are happening. As most media consumers know, there is a lot of gloom and doom broadcast as news. With the Mahoning Valley Podcast, you become affiliated with the good things that happen. You don’t have to worry about your message being played after a News Story involving shootings or fires or national tragedies. Or having your message broadcast during a crime show or some show that is in some way denigrating traditional values.

3. The Trust Factor. Most consumers know that advertisements on traditional mainstream media are not vetted. If someone has the money, they can buy advertisements. So many enlightened consumers are turning more towards media they can and do trust. Reviews Websites and Social Media Channels are starting to become the trusted sources of information for Consumers and Businesses when they are ready to spend money. The Mahoning Valley Podcast does not accept sponsorships from just anyone. We actually try the services or products of our sponsors and make sure that they live up to our expectations. If you have been contacted by us for sponsorship it is because we already know about your organization. Our listeners know that we trust you and that is an implicit recommendation.

4. Customer Connection. People feel a sense of intimacy and connection with podcasts because it is right in their ears. Videos and Blog Posts (textual communications) do not foster a sense of connection like someone speaking into a microphone. Consider how when you hear a piece of music that you can relate to, or have listened to an audiobook or talk radio show and something that you heard resonated with you. It makes you feel like the speaker or musician is speaking directly to you. This sense of connection and intimacy brings with it a top of mind experience. Your message is easily recalled and brought to mind because it reaches inside you. So people remember what they hear. Your message is stored in their long term memory and people will remember what you have told them as a sponsor.

5. Portability and Longevity of your Messaging. Podcasts and Audio have the advantage of being on demand and portable. Most people are able to easily download a podcast and listen when they want. This means that they are already to hear your message. Because they have taken the time to listen. They are already engaged. Unlike TV or Radio where your message goes out one time and then it is gone, your podcast sponsorship is available forever online. Someone may hear it the day it is published, and other people may hear it a week from now and then even more a month from now and so on. That is not the only way that sponsorship brings people to you. Every transcript is posted on our website and a number of different blogs. We publish our transcripts and your links stay on line forever.

6. Digital Communications Strategy with a Local Partner. We publish the podcast in Boardman Ohio. Not in India or Great Britain or Australia. But right here in the Mahoning Valley. And we don’t just publish a podcast, but we also publicize it and distribute it. We conceived of the concept and set up all the distribution and Social Media Channels. We set up the blogs and accounts where the transcripts are published. And we are local. We are available to partner with you on your Digital Communications Strategies. Podcast Sponsorship with us is a tip of the iceberg when it comes to partnering with us. We don’t employ subcontractors overseas or rely on consultants in other cities or regions. We are committed to using local resources and building this community. And have a local phone number for you to talk to us personally about your challenges and goals. And we know other resources here to make your digital communications strategies succeed. We are here for the long term. Not some toll free number and post office box, but a real person in a real place to help you.

7. Commitment to Excellence. Our podcast and indeed all Digital Communications Strategies are works in process. We are dedicated to provide excellent service and advice. To provide excellent results and excellence in all of our efforts on your behalf. When you sponsor our podcast, you are committing yourself to excellence as well. You are gaining a valuable resource and a professional partner who is unrelenting in his pursuit of excellence. We all have much more to learn, Learning and growing together towards our potential is one of the things that have brought about this project in the first place. The idea that as a community we can all reach our potential together. And demonstrate an excellence for all of the world to see. Together.