Monthly Archives: May 2013

Barry’s Blog Thursday 5-30-31

Volunteers have been highlighted this month, a well deserved recognition. I was told once by a Mason member: “All good things are done by Volunteers”! I have kept that thought in my mind for many years as I observed the fact he reported.

I interviewed Placer County Museum Administrator Melanie Burton yesterday who is retiring tomorrow after an 11 year career on the job, and as we walked through her life, it became clear that her main focal point has been volunteering time and talent to things that she has passion for, and truly shaped her career.

Many of us have shaped our careers by volunteering in the field we want to be a part of. There is also the time and talent we donate to our communities, churches, and organizations that are charted to commitments we feel passionate about. Melanie and I both are members of the ROTARY organization which is considered the first organized “Service” club in the USA. It also is the largest with a World Wide membership if 1.2 million members. She has been a member for 11 years, and I have served 49 years. ROTARY is dedicated to Education, Health and better living conditions, and serving each community’s needs, whatever they are.

There are many “service” organizations that serve: Lions, Masons, League of Women Voters, Soroptimist, Moose, ELKS, Odd Fellows, and Chamber of Commerce, to name just a few. Each organization has specific areas of focus but all have one thing in common, members are volunteers.

Also many residents give of their time and talent to serve as Police, Fire, Local Government, Medical, homeless and the Elderly.

And certainly we must mention our churches.

I believe my friend was right: “All good things are done by Volunteers”!

Have a great day and be kind to your self today!

BARRY’S BLOG Wednesday 5-29-13

Well, without much fanfare the NBA Board approved the sale of the Kings Basketball Franchise yesterday. The one sentence press release was almost un-noticed and appeared to be un-climatic. So now what happens?

Sacramento Mayor Johnson will now be really tested to see if the deal he has engineered sticks together. If the deal goes as advertised, then the face of Sacramento will change forever-more. The Skyline will change as the downtown mall will be leveled and a new high rise stadium will raise. Along with that is planned stores and new housing units. This will bring lots of construction jobs first, then staffing the stadium and other venue’s will put a lot of folks to work. Sacramento will also be in a position to become a destination city for conventions and other events that will attract visitors from all over the world. This increase in traffic will bring a lot of tourist dollars into town, and hopefully everyone will benefit. Sounds great!

Of course there will be the possible other side and things will fall short of expectation. Some cities have, and the financial hit to taxpayers and the economy has been hard.

Lets hope the area sees great benefits, and new management and ownership brings us a winning team. The rest is up to the brains and experience that appears to be on the team.

Have a great day, and be kind to yourself today!

BARRY’S BLOG TUESDAY 5-28-13

The current status of affairs in Washington is getting a lot of attention, and a fair amount of name calling between the parties, and this time, with the FBI involved in political infighting, and the Justice Department going after some members of the Press, there is a lot more coverage and certainly a lot of talk show hosts and “Experts” being on the air.

The National Debate that is now going on is causing some to be frustrated and somewhat scared that our Government is on the brink of collapse. Others of us look at the system, and I personally believe the constitution and our founders predicted this and freedom of the Press was a very well thought out platform to check Government when it gets out of control and abuses our basic rights. My observation of the press over the last 50 years is they became complacent, and lost their true mission to expose the Government when it misbehaves. Having one of their own targeted by Government abuse has stirred them up and like mad bees, are doing what they were franchised to do by investigating what the Government is up to.

Government’s by their nature try to act without transparency and attempt to quiet the press, shut it down, or attempt to control it. History has shown us in every case that when a Government goes rogue against its people, the first thing they do is crush the free expression of the press. In our free society, the Government quite often use “Leaks” to get exposure of wrong doing out into the public forum. This obviously makes the bad guys mad and they blame the press and try to retaliate.

So back to the constitution, freedom of speech and freedom of the press are corner stones of our system of Government For the People, and By the People. It’s when our representatives forget that, and attempt to BE the Government that the Press is supposed to tell on them.

Ben, George, John and the others understood this and so far it has sustained our Government as designed. There is always the fear that one day the bad guys will win and we fall apart. Pray that never happens!

Have a great day, and be kind to yourself today!

BARRY’S BLOG FRIDAY 5-24-13

Many years ago, when I was much younger, and had a great little sports car, an MGB, and was driving across the Hudson River and headed to West Point Academy to tour, and as I hit the toll booth, I said to the attendant after paying my toll: “Have a fun Memorial Day”. As I drove across the bridge, an emotional change came over me and I felt ashamed that I had made such a stupid remark on what is a solemn remembrance to the thousands of people that gave their lives to allow me to live free, do what I want, pursue any career I choose, and enjoy the rewards of my personal effort.

At the other side of the river, I stopped the car, got out, and walked down to the water side, sat on a great rock, and just let the water go by and sun hit my face for several minuets. My thoughts wondered back to my childhood and remembering stories from my uncles who had served in WW II in the Navy, Marines and Army. The told me of fighting, hardships, and great stories of hero’s and officers they admired and followed. They also shared with me the horror’s of killing another human being and the nightly fear of falling asleep scared they might not wake the next morning. I was pretty young, and didn’t grasp it all, but that day on the rock I did.

As I went on to West Point where my uncle had graduated from in 1941 and then served in the Pacific as a staff officer with General MacArthur, I started a quest to learn about the conflicts of our country and have enjoyed many years learning about great men and women who stepped up and gave their lives in the name of freedom, and our way of life in this country. To this day I still enjoy talking with people that served in WW II, Korea, Viet Nam and in the recent and current conflicts in the Asian Theatre.

I have witnessed the terrible way we treated Viet Nam returnees to watching travelers at the Atlanta Airport standing and applauding returning soldiers from Desert Storm.

As we enjoy the BBQ’s and get togethers this weekend, please remember the incredible price that has been paid by the people that sacrificed their lives and in many cases their health to allow you and me to enjoy our pursuit of happiness. I remember that day on the rock at the water edge of the mighty Hudson River when I finally “Got It” and want all of you that served or had sons and daughters that did, I so appreciate what you have done for me and all of us. God Bless, and know there are many of us who really care.

Have a great weekend and be kind to yourself today!

BARRY’S BLOG THURSDAY 3–23-13

I am running into more and more people who have changed their diet to a more fruit and vegetable fare. All of them say:” am feeling better and have lost over X pounds. Every one looks better, say they are exercising, looking at labels, etc.

I guess the message is getting through. Healthy life style is becoming more in vogue, and the shift that this will make is fascinating. If large numbers of (I see mostly Baby Boomers) people shift from meat and preservative protected foods, then grocery stores will start to shift their shelf stocking, farmers will have to shift their planting process, and buying habits will shift the entire food processing system. This will not happen overnight, but over time, the shift will take place.

Indicators appear to support my observation. McDonalds is selling less hamburger and putting more salads and chicken on their drive through menu. Soups and Salads are being more and more highlighted on high end restaurants. One chain is getting more and more popular with “endless Soup and Salad” offerings and the parking lots and waiting time are both reflecting the popular fare.

Another indicator I think I see is the increased floor space at supermarkets and super stores like Walmart and Target being occupied by fruits and vegetables, and increased space dedicated to local organically grown food.

I will continue to watch this shift as I get back to breakfast: Oatmeal, raisins, banana, natural honey in my herbal green tea, then strawberries and blueberries to finish before I head off to the gym at 9:00. By the way, I have dropped 12% of my weight and two inches at the waist since January. Wonder how that happened?

Have a great day. Be kind to yourself today!

WEDNESDAY 5-22-13

The hearings in Washington resumed getting high levels of coverage by the press this morning. Ms. Lerner has become the spotlight of attention this morning since she was the head of the IRS division that was administrating the “Tax Exempt” status of organizations such as the Tea Party. Her opening statement was as expected, her record of working for the Government and then took the 5th amendment to protect her from testifying before the House Committee. The Chairman challenged her and told her to seek council which she did, then restated she would not testify and left the committee hearing.

Most Americans now believe she is guilty, and this will become the endless debate between talk show hosts, with legal opinions, and lots of chatter from both expert and wanna-be-experts to fill the airways.

The other observation is that major scandals being highlighted in Washington involving the administration have at the forefront high profile women. Ms. Lerner at the IRS and UN representative Rice on lying about Bengazi affair. The protection of the President by the members of the administrative corps is very interesting and under scrutiny at many levels.

What is that old saying: “Just because you are paranoid…doesn’t mean that aren’t out to get you!”

Have a great day, and be kind to yourself today!

 

TUESDAY 5-21-13

Disaster’s like the Tornado’s that are hitting the city of Moore, Oklahoma in the mid west with high counts of deaths brings us all to realize what small parts of the earth environment we are. The force of a weather event like a Tornado, Hurricane, Flood, Wildfire or Earthquake always humbles us and focus’s us to the reality that the force of Mother Nature is far greater that anything we can invent or create.

These events also bring the best out of people as they unselfishly kick in to help in every way. Neighbors are the first responders followed by professional “First Responders” from Fire and Rescue who have trained to handle these disasters but also need support and help to deal with the emotional kick they suffer as they “just do their jobs” as they always say when interviewed. As I have said before here, these are the true hero’s in our society. The sadness of all the children being killed is hard to take for anyone. Our prayers go out to the Mom’s and Dad’s that must deal with this tragedy while also losing there homes as well.

Moore will rebuild, lives will return to somewhat normal, but the memories and emotions will shape the future of those affected, who’s lives will have been changed forever.

Monday May 20,2013

Well, the weekend is over and I am resting up from a great weekend in Reno NV, attending a Convention for ROTARY District 5190. Many do not know what or who ROTARY is. In one sentence, ROTARY is a world wide service organization, 1.2 million membership, non-political, non-religious, dedicated to better health, living conditions, and peace. The organization has an International President and staff, but they are members of their own LOCAL club. All Local clubs are dedicated to their own communities with projects and fund raisers that are invested back into the community in the form of Scholarships. The friendships that I have formed through ROTARY have improved my life by shaping my commitments and efforts by helping others and involvement into my community and state. Each convention reaffirms the results of our organization as we see and hear young people speak and perform music that is exciting and inspirational by demonstrating that our support to young people is a great investment into the future of our entire world. Am resting today, reflecting the incredible download of information and emotions, clearing the path to return to the air tomorrow at 6 AM as host of the KAHI Morning NEWS. I have definitely expanded my horizons and happy that happens every time I attend one of these.

Have a great day, and “be kind to your self today!”

BARRY’S BLOG WEDNESDAY 5-15-13

With all the investigations going on in Washington one wonders if there is any real work going on there. There is also some talk that maybe some of this is “Deflection” which is the art of creating activity in one area to deflect the press off another investigation. Whether the deflection works or not depends upon the press’s interest in a subject.

What I do is watch the source of the story. If it is a Government agency or an internal leak, like the IRS in this recent audit case, then I suspect “Deflection”. If it is a reporter or media, then I believe it was the hard work of some reporter.

Typically, the Press will select to cover the story that gets them the most viewership on the evening NEWS. Of course, more viewers, Networks can charge more for the advertising. Gee, it is all driven by money…..who would have thought about that?

Have a great day, be kind to yourself today!

BARRY’S BLOG TUESDAY 5-14-13

BARRY’S BLOG TUESDAY 5-14-13

Homeless in America……hard to believe. We are the richest and most caring country in the world, yet there is a percentage of our population that is living in cars, alleys, under Interstate bridges, and hallways in our cities. Our city and county governments are struggling with services for the homeless, however there are wide sections of this community that complains bitterly they can’t get doctor appointments, medications, help with shelter, etc.

The City of Auburn last night voted unanimously to approve two locations that will be zoned to allow a homeless shelter to be built. This action is a result of a state mandate by the State of California that started in 2007 and the City must be in compliance by October 31 of this year, or loose its power to approve building permits.

The emotional issue with dealing with the Homeless population runs full circle. Residents in neighborhoods don’t want them; businesses don’t want them; and some personnel working in government agencies being paid to work with these people not only don’t want them, they help to get them on Greyhound buss’s and send them to other states. This is called “Dumping”.

There is another side to this and it rests with dedicated people that attempt to care for this population by providing services and guidance with a goal to get the homeless back into the mainstream of getting a job, spiritual support, clothing, food, and housing. Much of this help is outside government services and is supported financially by gifts of money, food and clothing. There is support from many in the religious community such as the Salvation Army, 7th Day Adventists, and many churches here in Placer County open their doors in the evening hours providing a meal and a place to sleep. Over 40 churches are participating in this effort. Homeless are bussed by an organization called “The Gathering Inn” which also holds council sessions to help these folks get back into the mainstream of life. Major Grocery chains provide food, ROTARY provides fresh garden vegetables to the tune of 20 thousand pounds each year, and thousands of individuals provide clothing and money.

The County Government provides services: Medical clinics for regular and mental help; schools support educational support for homeless children along with some medical and food services.

So the obvious question is: With all these support systems, why are there any homeless people?

I am working on that, and hopefully will answer it for you and me soon!

Have a great day, and be kind to yourself today!