July 31, 2014

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Truth in advertising is tricky business
Written by Submitted   
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 1:05 PM

Find myself listening to a lot of radio these days, and there are certain commercials that raise the hackles on the back of my neck.

I know. I went to business school and my marketing and statistical classes showed us how to present our client or employer in the most favorable light.

No problem with that. Free commerce has always been based on the principle of Caveat emptor, or “buyer beware.”

My irritation arises from the claims that are made as though there is some sort of certification functioning.
Heard the one where a guy is buying a diamond for his girl?

They get into a dissertation on GIA (Gemological Institute of America) certification.  True enough. The stones are independently certified not the jeweler.

The seller says the gem is not GIA certified but that it is EG -cough, cough - I certified.  The cough, no doubt, inserted to keep them from being sued by the EGI which is another certifying body.  In fact there are five or so certifying bodies out there.

Based on my research, GIA seems to have the most stringent standards, but be aware that most of the time it will not certify a stone of less than a half carat or with a value less than $1,000.

So while not exactly lying, the advertiser certainly is implying the relative merits of buying from its store due to its GIA certification.

Any jeweler can submit a stone for grading. Stones that are already mounted cannot be thoroughly examined. GIA’s fees for this service are based on the weight of the stone.  Happy hunting.

Sleep tight
How old is your mattress? One advertiser puts forth the view that they are shot after eight years.

Funny. The most pessimistic outlook I can find online says the average life of your average pocket coil spring type mattress is 10 years.

But then all estimates, no matter who puts them forth, are subject to a range of years.

In the case of the lovely spokeswoman who is teaching her class to say words that end in “ate,” assertions are made about how much sweat is soaked up by the mattress and dead skin flakes and dust mites.

I’ve got a mattress that is probably about 25 years-old.

It’s amazing what a vinyl mattress cover will do to prolong that life by stopping the effusions of sweat and skin from soaking the main mattress.

It’s easier to wash bedding and a mattress pad then to lift that suddenly twice as heavy mattress to dispose of it.

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

Gratuitous TV, movie violence getting worse
Written by Bob Hyle   
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 1:03 PM

I’m amazed at the amount of bad, bloody behavior witnessed on television and in the movies, but I guess I’m to blame as much as anyone because I watch some of it.

We give filmmakers artistic freedom to show us a grittier lifestyle, but how artistic are the gallons of fake blood that show up on the screen.

Earlier this summer, I watched the TV series, Fargo on the FX Network, a network specializing in the grizzliest of violence.

The series was loosely based on the movie of the same name, and outdid the movie version in everything violent save the movie’s wood-chipper scene.

Next month, the final season of a series called Sons of Anarchy returns to FX. This is about a Northern California motorcycle gang with a modern take on William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

The bard could never have imagined the number of people his prince would murder in the course of 10 episodes. And he’s the protagonist.

The cartoonish violence on the recent return of  24: Live Another Day was incredible, particularly for a show on one of the broadcast networks, which have tighter rules thanks to the Federal Communications Commission.

Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer character threw two characters out a fifth-floor window in one episode.

Movies are even crazier
Movies, of course, are even crazier. I recently watched Olympus Has Fallen, and if the Korean bad guys killed one Secret Service agent as they took over the White House, they killed 100.

Villainy failed to triumph, though, thanks to one man who pretty much saved the world and killed 40 or 50 bad guys himself.

People don’t just suffer violent deaths on these shows, they are murdered in all sorts of ugly and sadistic ways.

A recent staple of this type of televised violence is the throat slit. This allows for blood to pour out all over the murder scene in all its redness.

It doesn’t seem so long ago that when someone was murdered on TV (murder has always been a staple of drama), they would be stabbed, shot, or poisoned.

Throats were never slit. Usually there would be a stab from behind, and the victim would go down with all bleeding done internally.

Gunshot wounds could barely be detected on the TV victim, but we knew they were dead because their head would flop to the side. You might see one or two entry wounds, but never a trace of blood.

Poison victims would gasp with eyes agog in disbelief that they were about to die, unlike today’s more graphic victims who gurgle out some white substance from their mouth as they twitch along the floor.

I’m not a prude. I’ve watched all the shows I have listed above, but there has to be some entertainment value to balance the under-appreciation of human life.

Don’t pay the guy
People die violent deaths every day but a police officer who killed a dozen criminals over a couple of years on the job would likely be looking for another line of work, or at least a good psychiatrist, not a continuing paycheck.

There is a time and place for violence on the screen, but does it have to be so graphic?

I don’t believe we will go back to the older days of TV violence, but it might be a welcome change to return to good detective work rather than a handgun with an improbable 100 rounds of ammunition in one clip, which you need if you are going to kill 25 or 30 bad guys in one scene.

Bob Hyle covers sports and writes a weekly column for The Harrison Press. He lives in Bright.

The Simmonds Family Dog Park: thanks to local generosity
Written by Joseph C. Seta   
Tuesday, July 08, 2014 3:12 PM

Recently, Great Parks of Hamilton County opened the region’s largest off-leash dog area - The Simmonds Family Dog Park at Miami Whitewater Forest.

The Saturday, June 14, grand opening was a big day with more than 1,000 people and their pets in attendance.

But an 11-acre dog park doesn’t just appear overnight. Its development was a result of many generous individuals and families from Hamilton County.

Starting with the late Mr. and Mrs. Earl Simmonds Jr., whose bequest of their 230-acre farm nestled along the Great Miami River created the perfect location for this project.
Then by members of the Simmonds family who, along with Mr. Jerry Lotz, made lead financial gifts for the facility’s development.

Guided by the leadership of the Great Parks Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, more than $900,000 was ultimately raised to see this project fulfilled.

The Foundation will manage the newly created MABLOTZ Fund, established by Mr. Lotz for the sole purpose of providing financial assistance to Great Parks of Hamilton County in the maintenance and care of the Simmonds Family Dog Park.

Everything about the Simmonds Family Dog Park is a testament to what true public-private partnerships can accomplish.

Because of the extraordinary generosity of our community, a fantastic new facility now is available.

On behalf of Great Parks of Hamilton County, I thank the Great Parks Foundation and all the many generous contributors who made this project possible.

Joseph C. Seta
President, Board of Park Commissioners
Great Parks of Hamilton County

Good luck Bill Baird and Mildred
Written by Nola (Hendrix) Bode   
Tuesday, July 01, 2014 11:37 AM


I would like to wish Bill Baird well and thank him for his columns in all their forms all these years. They have at times been outrageous, sometimes funny, and always entertaining. I have known him all of my adult life and he has always been quite the character (and I mean that as a compliment). The Press won’t be the same without him. I just want to say “ Good Luck Bill and Mildred”.

Sincerest Good Wishes
Nola (Hendrix) Bode