October 20, 2014

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First responders need your location PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jack Dominic   
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 2:11 PM

The number of people giving up their home land line telephone service continues to increase.

Many look at the monthly bill from Cincinnati Bell or other phone companies and decide that what they are getting is not worth the price.

For example, many traditional phone companies charge extra for making long distance calls.

Long distance service is usually included at no extra cost with mobile phone plans and most of the internet-based home phone services.

It may seem easy to decide to just dump the hard-wired service, but a little investigation could save more than your money.

First responders have expressed concern about the increased number of calls coming into the 911 dispatch centers from mobile phones.   Many of these calls come in without an automatic location indication of the caller.

If the person needing help is disoriented, confused, or perhaps from out of town and not familiar with the local area, they may not be able to provide the exact location of the emergency and their response may be delayed.

Calls coming in from traditional land lines automatically indicate to the 911 dispatcher the location of the caller.

There has been proposed legislation at the Federal level requiring all mobile phones and carriers to have location software installed on all phones.

To date it is not required and the mobile phone lobby is fighting the requirement.

But it is not only mobile phones that have this issue. Many households have given up the traditional land lines and opted for an internet-based service.

Providers like Vonage, Time Warner, majicjack, basictalk, ooma and others use your existing telephones and wiring in your house, but instead of connecting to a traditional telephone company network like Cincinnati Bell, they use your internet connection to place calls.

These Internet phone services are often much less expensive and a can be a good option.

This setup identifies the specific location of the telephone to any 911 operator.  A traditional land line automatically is set up to identify the phone’s exact street address.  So, when you first install the new service be sure to activate the 911 option.  It could save your life.

The convenience of mobile phones and the cost effectiveness of internet-based home phone services are very attractive. Before switching, be sure that you understand all the limitations. For example, when calling 911 from a mobile phone, don’t presume that your phone has provided the location to the operator.  Give the exact location of the emergency just to make sure. 

Jack Dominic, a Harrison Twp. resident is Executive Director of the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting and an adjunct professor at UC. You can read previously published articles at www.jacksnotesandbits.blogspot.com

Snail mail moves as fast as a steam train PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terry Viel   
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 2:07 PM

Shall we take yet another trip back in time to explore a little more of Harrison’s history? This article takes us way back to 1891, sometimes referred to as the “Mauve Decade” because a newly developed dye of that color was the fashion statement at that time.

All of the ladies were wearing their new lavender gowns around town. Also, this time in our history was known as, “The Gay 90s.” This term, then under the definition of the word “gay,” simply referred to merriment and frivolity. I’m sure some Harrison-ites had their own good times and frivolity in 1891. Wink – wink.

If you look closely at the envelope pictured in this article you can see clearly that it was postmarked in Harrison on July 17th, 1891. July 17th happened to be a Friday in that year.

The letter is addressed to a Cincinnati lady, Miss Alice Sickles, on John Street in Cincinnati. Now look more closely at the envelope front and back and you will discover that the letter was postmarked at 7 a.m. on the 17th and arrived in Cincinnati the same morning at 10 a.m., just a three-hour trip.

How in the world did that letter make it to Cincinnati so quickly? There were no cars or interstates, no big brown trucks delivering mail and packages, no “Par Avion,” aka airmail. That didn’t start until after WWI around 1918, when the Army initiated delivering mail in their “Jenny” Bi-Planes.

Special delivery, via courier, was available for letters in 1891, but only a few post offices offered that service. Also the cost was a whopping 10 cents, as opposed Miss Alice’s envelope which is bearing the standard 2 cent, George Washington postage stamp.

The answer to our question is simple; the letter was transported to Cincinnati via the Iron Horse—steam engine train. The letter had to be taken along with other mail from our Post Office in the Town Hall, down to the depot on the Indiana side to catch the train.

The postal bag was put on the 7:21 train leaving Harrison, arriving at 8:42 in Cincinnati. There, a Cincinnati postal worker would have picked up the bag and taken it to the Cincinnati Post Office, where it was received and postmarked at 10 a.m. the same day, July 17th.

Since the letter arrived at 10 a.m. in Cincinnati the letter would have been delivered to Miss Alice on John Street the same day it left Harrison.

Today we cast aspersions on our current mail service by calling it, “snail mail.” Well, you can see clearly in 1891, snail mail via the train was quite efficient and quick.

For just two cents a letter was sent from Harrison, received and delivered the same day in Cincinnati. Does this sound like “snail mail” to you? We shall never know, but maybe the letter to Miss Alice said, just like the song, “Here I am baby, signed, sealed and delivered for you,” love Harold from Harrison!  xxxoooxxx

Terry Viel is an avid Harrison history buff who collects and restores vintage Harrison photographs.

My name’s Jim and I’m a turkeytarian PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jim Robertson   
Monday, October 13, 2014 2:12 PM

I am a turkeytarian. Interesting term. Found it on the Butterball Web site.

You can even get an app now to help you with your turkey selections.

Turkey bacon, turkey sausage, turkey burgers and select cuts in gravy are talked about on the site.

Need to give someone a turkey for a gift? They can handle it. Recipe and instructions for cooking all of these various turkey products are also available.

Can’t figure a cooking problem out? Call the Butterball hotline at 1-800-butterb(288-8372).

Hopefully, the caller has already figured out that the turkey in question should be dead prior to trying to stick it in the oven.

Of course, nothing beats those old family recipes.

If it can be used to stuff a turkey, it’s been done.  Local regional stuffings feature products grown locally.

A lot of southern dressings feature corn bread and   Castle stuffing but haven’t had to cook the big traditional meal for a long time.

Of course, the original Thanksgiving was a feast which lasted for days, featuring just about anything that the early settlers found to eat.  The Native Americans had come to the aid of the whites, teaching them to plant maize and other crops so as the story is told, that first feast featured a lot of corn, which you can make into about anything.

Here were roasted ears of corn, which if you left them on the fire too long gave rise to the birth of popcorn. Corn pudding, corn stew, cornbread and a special kind of succotash made without beans.

In fact, there was so much corn at the feast that I wonder if that had something to do with the name of the so called “Horn of Plenty” that serves as a decoration this time of year. After all it is called a Corn-ucopia.

Speaking of turkey, it’s time for the annual St. Jacob’s turkey dinner in idyllic Blue Creek. Serving takes place this Sunday, October 19th, from 10:30 to 1:30.

The price for adults is $10 and children $6.  Turkey and all the fixin’s including some wonderful homemade desserts. Carry outs are available.

It’s a little trickier this year getting to the dinner from Harrison with the bridge over I-74 on Route 46 out.  If you are exiting at the St. Leon exit (Route 1), turn left and go to the flashing light by the BP station.  Turn right and drive past East Central High School and turn right at the stop sign.  Go to the flashing red light which is Route 46.  Turn left and proceed as usual to St. Peter Road in scenic Lawrenceville and follow the signs to the church.

See you at the feast. I’ll save you a seat. We are not serving succotash without beans.

Jim Robertson is a longtime Harrison resident, a member of Harrison City Council, and a weekly columnist for The Harrison Press.