Monday, December 16, 2013

Training opportunity: Adding meta-data to music CDs.

A training opportunity for persons involved in the indy production community.  The training will introduce participants to CD music recordings and display of meta data.

The continuing education program is designed to be of use for musicians, managers and producers.

The next presentation is Monday afternoon February 3, 2014.  Location will be provided to those who register at wcrxlp@yahoo.com prior to COB the Friday before the training session.

A registration fee of $3.00 is required.

Ohio Public Media Cooperative meeting set for February 3, 2014


Ohio Public Media Cooperative meeting at Bexley Public Radio set for 3:30 p.m. Monday February 3, 2014.

The meeting location will be announced on the prior Friday morning to individuals who RSVP by the prior Thursday.

Community residents are welcome. 

Admission is $10.00 per person.

Cash, check, money order and ID.

Please RSVP to wcrxlp@yahoo.com or voice mail to (614) 235-2929 no later than the Thursday prior to the meeting.

Ohio Public Media Cooperative is a public  committee of
Bexley Public Radio Foundation
2700 E. Main St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43209

WCRX-LP Community Programming Advisory meeting set for February 3, 2014.


WCRX-LP Community Programming Advisory Committee meeting at Bexley Public Radio set for 4:30 p.m. Monday February 3, 2014.

The meeting location will be announced on the prior Friday morning to individuals who RSVP by the prior Thursday.

Community residents are welcome. 

Admission is $5.00 per person.

Cash, check, money order and ID.

Please RSVP to wcrxlp@yahoo.com or voice mail to (614) 235-2929 no later than the Thursday prior to the meeting.

WCRX-LP Community Programming Advisory Committee is a public  committee of
Bexley Public Radio Foundation
2700 E. Main St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43209

Bexley Comedy Writers Guild meeting set for February 3, 2014.


Bexley Comedy Writers Guild meeting at Bexley Public Radio set for 4:00 p.m. Monday February 3, 2014.

The meeting location will be announced on the prior Friday morning to individuals who RSVP by the prior Thursday.

Community residents are welcome. 

Admission is $28.00 per person.

Cash, check, money order and ID.

Please RSVP to wcrxlp@yahoo.com or voice mail to (614) 235-2929 no later than the Thursday prior to the meeting.

Bexley Comedy Writers Guild is a public  committee of
Bexley Public Radio Foundation
2700 E. Main St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43209

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bexley, Ohio. Residential Tax Abatements for Use of Authentic Materials.


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One of the charms of Bexley is the residential architecture of the community. Design, materials and construction work together with superior landscaping to present pleasant vistas in the twenty seven neighborhoods of Bexley.












Small pleasant cottages grace many Bexley streets and neighborhoods.

Other Bexley neighborhoods have houses that look large and comfortable, timeless with quiet, unobtrusive architectural fittings of bygone eras.

Then there are austere Bexley mansions that amaze our eyes with architectural elegance, craftsmanship and fine materials.

An important component of these pleasing domestic buildings is the materials used in the original construction. Slate roofs, copper gutters and down spouts, quarried stones, bronze fittings, wrought iron fittings and hinges. All of these are subtle attributes that compliment the architectural features and landscaping of the homes of Bexley.

Sometime on a walk, focus only on the materials used to construct Bexley residences. You will soon recognize the houses with authentic materials. These are not loud pronouncements. They are quiet nuanced fittings that whisper “quality, skill, excellence."

Many of the materials used in contemporary additions and restorations are not authentic. Brass-plated steel replaces solid brass hinges; asphalt shingles replace slate and so on.

In small increments, perhaps only infinitesimal increments, the charm of Bexley residential architecture is being eroded.

A brass-plated steel hinge is substituted for a solid brass hinge. It’s not a major change. But the substitute is a small erosion of excellence. One hinge this year, one next year and then a plastic mail box replaces the wrought iron mail box.

Does anyone care that authentic materials are disappearing?

Of course practical household finance determines some of this erosion. Authentic materials are expensive, and sometimes not available. Sometimes, repairs are practical problems that surprise a budget. More often repairs are not ocassions for aesthetic reflections and so we choose the practical solutions.

As a community, should we encourage decisions that favor authenticity? How can we encourage the use of original materials in new construction, restorations and repairs?

Should the municipality take some action to encourage a market in Bexley for authentic materials?

In Bexley, real estate tax abatements have been granted for commercial, mixed retail and multi-family residential structures. Some of the tax abatements have been granted to buildings that imitate period architecture.

These same buildings use modern materials that give the impression of authentic period materials. But a moment’s glance tells the sad story of deception that these fake materials express.

The public tax abatements did not purchase something authentic for this community.

There are advantages to the modern building materials. Obviously.

But the advantages, whatever they might be, have nothing to do with aesthetics.

And living in Bexley is all about the aesthetics of daily life. Beauty in all that is quotidian.

Is it time to to subsidize things that bring beauty to our community life each day?

When families improve their houses and pick up the expense of authentic materials, should the community offer those families real estate tax abatements for their choice to preserve the beauty and the authenticity of their repairs and restorations?

Contact us.
WCRX-LP Editorial Collective
Bexley Public Radio Foundation operating as
WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio
2700 E. Main St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43209
Voice (614) 235 2929
Fax (614) 235 3008
Email wcrxlp@yahoo.com
Blog http://agentofcurrency.blogspot.com

Bexley Public Radio Foundation operating as WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM is exempt from federal taxes under IRC Section 501(c)(3). Donations are deductible from federal income taxes for individuals who itemize. Checks may identify the payee as Bexley Public Radio Foundation WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM.

Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Bexley Public Radio Foundation.

[where: 43209]

Security Cameras in Bexley.


Security Cameras in Bexley (Originally broadcast September 17, 2009).

Camera #1
Does Bexley need more video cameras as a deterrent to petty property theft?

In a recent broadcast interview with Bexley police chief Larry Rinehart, Bexley Public Radio senior correspondent John Matuszak asked about property theft in Bexley. The chief reported that during calendar year 2008, there were more than six hundred property thefts in Bexley. In the Monday morning Dispatch newspaper, the chief is quoted as describing Bexley as "a city in peril" because of this property crime.

A two hundred dollar bicycle stolen from a Bexley garage isn't a peril for the city but the editorial collective understands the chief's point.

Six hundred thefts, mostly petty thefts, is a large number for sure but not significantly different from the property crime frequencies in Dublin, Gahanna, Upper Arlington, Westerville and Worthington.

For sure, the dollar value of stolen Bexley property is greater than these other suburbs because, well, it's a matter of quality and taste.

Sperling’s Best Places publishes crime rates in American cities on a scale of one (low) to ten. Dublin, Gahanna, Upper Arlington, Westerville and Worthington are rated at eight and Bexley alone is rated at nine. Still all of these communities including Bexley are in the same fourth statistical quartile.

Camera #2
If the average theft involves stolen property valued at $500, there is an economic impact of $300,000 each year on Bexley residents. If the average is $2,000, then the impact is $1.2 million. If damage to door frames and windows averages $1,100, there is an additional $660,000 in economic loss to residents in the community.

Those dollar amounts help to set a range for how much money might be spent prudently to respond to the problem of property theft.

Equipment needs might be eighteen network digital recorders (at $900 each), one thousand infra-red digital night video cameras ($700 each), connecting cables for each camera and installation ($350 each) for a total of $1,066,800. Operations, staffing and repairs will add another $180,000 each year. AEP, Verizon and AT&T will want some compensation when the best camera location is on a utility pole.

Bexley police chief Larry Rinehart is promoting the formation of neighborhood block-watch teams in response to the number of property crimes suffered by Bexley residents.

Camera #3
The Bexley Public Radio editorial collective wonders whether neighborhood block-watch volunteers can be assisted by video cameras.

Currently, video cameras are used in some Bexley retail stores, banks and residences. Should video cameras be installed in all commercial locations in Bexley? Should video cameras be required at all residences?

Should the city install cameras in all of the alleys and along all of the streets?

How should installation be prioritized? Does the Bexley police department analyze property theft by location? Does the police department know which neighborhoods have the highest frequency of property theft? Should frequency of theft be used to prioritize installation?

Camera #4
Does the police department know how many businesses and residences use video cameras? Does the police department have a map of Bexley that shows what views are currently recorded. Banks, CVS and carry-out convenience stores obviously use video cameras currently.

Should Bexley adopt saturation coverage by digital video cameras as part of its response to unacceptable levels of property theft?

Do Bexley residents really want video cameras recording vehicular and pedestrian movement in the neighborhoods? What happens to privacy in our neighborhoods? Is this too much a Big Brother proposal?

Camera #5
Who should own the cameras, computers and discs recording digital data? Should the city own them?. Should the property insurers that carry the property risks in Bexley own the equipment? Should a Bexley property owner cooperative be formed to own the equipment? Should ownership be on a block by block basis?

Installing video cameras everywhere in Bexley sounds like a good stimulus public infra-structure program.

Listener thoughts are welcome. Email to wcrxlp@yahoo.com.

Contribute to Bexley Public Radio now!!!

This WCRX-LP editorial collective comment was first published February 15, 2009.

Bexley Public Radio Foundation broadcasting as
WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio
2700 E. Main St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43209
Voice (614) 235 2929
Fax (614) 235 3008
Email wcrxlp@yahoo.com
Blog http://agentofcurrency.blogspot.com

Camera #6
Bexley Public Radio Foundation is exempt from federal taxes under IRC Section 501(c)(3). Donations are deductible from federal income taxes for individuals who itemize. Checks may identify the payee as Bexley Public Radio Foundation or WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM.

Design is copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Bexley Public Radio Foundation. Text is copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Bexley Public Radio Editorial collective.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

DOD Announces Transfer of 2 Guantanamo Detainees


American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2013 - The Department of Defense today announced the transfer of Djamel Saiid Ali Ameziane and Bensayah Belkecem from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the government of Algeria, according to a DOD news release.
As directed by the president's Jan. 22, 2009, executive order, the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force conducted a comprehensive review of these cases, according to the release. As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, these men were designated for transfer by consensus of the six departments and agencies comprising the task force, the release said.
In accordance with congressionally-mandated reporting requirements, the administration informed Congress of its intent to transfer these individuals, according to the release.
The United States is grateful to the government of Algeria for its willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, the release said. The United States coordinated with the government of Algeria to ensure these transfers took place with appropriate security and humane treatment assurances, the release said.
Today, 162 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay, according to the release.

Friday, November 29, 2013

DOD Wraps Climate Change Response into Master Plans

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 26, 2013 - The effects of climate change are already evident at Defense Department installations in the United States and overseas, and DOD expects climate change to challenge its ability to fulfill its mission in the future, according to the first DOD Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap.

John Conger, the acting deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment told American Forces Press Service the roadmap was completed in 2012 and published early this year.

The document "had us do a variety of things," Conger said. "But the piece that I think is the crux of the report is, rather than creating a stovepipe within the DOD organizational structure to deal with climate change, [the document says] we are going to integrate climate change considerations into the normal processes, the day-to-day jobs of everybody."

Such language is going to be integrated into various guidance documents, he added, "and we've already started doing that."

The department's action is part of a federal government effort to address the global challenge. In June, President Barack Obama launched a Climate Action Plan to cut carbon pollution, prepare communities for climate change impacts and lead similar international efforts.

Across the United States, local communities and cities are updating building codes, adjusting the way they manage natural resources, investing in more resilient infrastructure and planning for rapid recovery from damage that could occur due to climate change.

And on Nov. 1, the president issued an executive order on climate preparedness directing federal agencies to modernize programs to support climate-resilient investments, manage lands and waters for climate change preparedness and resilience, and plan for climate-change-related risk, among other things.

The order also forms an interagency council on climate preparedness and resilience, chaired by the White House and composed of more than 25 agencies, including the Defense Department.

The foundation for DOD's strategic policy on climate change began with the defense secretary's publication in 2010 of the Quadrennial Defense Review. The QDR, produced every four years, translates the National Defense Strategy into policies and initiatives.

In 2010, the QDR for the first time linked climate change and national security. It said climate change may affect DOD by shaping the department's operating environments, roles and missions, have significant geopolitical impacts worldwide, and accelerate instability or conflict.

The QDR said DOD also would have to adjust to climate change impacts on its facilities, infrastructure, training and testing activities and military capabilities.

As the acting deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment, Conger also is the department's senior climate official, and his first job is to manage the installations and environment portfolio.

"That includes over 500 bases and 300,000 buildings and 2.2 billion square feet of space," he said. "The infrastructure has a plant replacement value on the order of $850 billion. There's a lot of stuff out there that is all going to be impacted by changes in the climate."

Conger said the department has to plan for the contingencies that climate change poses just as it would plan for any other contingency, driven by any other force in the world.

"As I look at managing the infrastructure, I have to think about risk as well in that context," he said. "What is climate change likely to do? What are the major changes that will occur that will affect that $850 billion real property portfolio?"

The obvious threats are things like a rise in sea-levels, storm surges and storm intensity, but there's also drought and thawing permafrost that affects bases in Alaska, the deputy undersecretary added.

"Similarly, on our installations we have over 400 endangered species," he said. "We manage those species through documents called integrated natural resources management plans and we manage [them] not through some degree of altruism ... but the fact is that if we don't manage those species effectively and they do appear more threatened, then other regulatory agencies will put limits on what we can do on our property and that will impact training."

Conger added, "We said, 'Take climate into account. Make sure you have planned for this. Make sure you have thought about it and addressed it in your [installation management] plans.'"

"These are all, in my mind, sensible, reasonable steps that don't cost very much money today and just require a little bit of forethought in order to reduce our exposure to risk tomorrow."

The president's June Climate Action Plan categorized recommendations for action in terms of mitigating or eliminating emissions that cause climate change, adapting to climate change, and working internationally on climate change, Conger said.

DOD has been looking at mitigation, or the energy problem, for a long time, the deputy undersecretary added.
Energy and climate are tied together, Conger said, because energy and emissions are tied together.

"We are working very hard and diligently to reduce our energy usage, to reduce our energy intensity and to increase the use of renewable energy, which doesn't have emissions," he said. "And we have done each of these things not because it is good for the climate or because it reduces emissions but because they provide mission and monetary benefits."

Conger says the department's $4 billion annual utility bill drives the search for energy-efficiency, renewable-energy development projects and more. All have benefits from a mission perspective first, he said, and also turn out to be good for the environment.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Senate Hearing Targets Predatory Lending Practices


Senate Hearing Targets Predatory Lending Practices

By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21, 2013 - While programs are in place to combat predatory lending practices that target service members and their families, better rules and enforcement are needed, witnesses told a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee yesterday.

Predatory lending practices impact not only a service member's financial readiness, but also mission readiness, witnesses told lawmakers in a hearing about the lending practices targeted towards the military.

As a former military spouse and assistant director of the consumer financial protection bureau, office of service member affairs, Holly Petraeus recalled the history and subsequent changes of predatory lending.

"I've lived on or near military bases my entire life, and seen that strip outside the gates, offering everything from furniture to used cars to electronics to jewelry, and the high-cost credit to pay for them," Petraeus said. She said an "alarming increase" occurred in the early 2000s in businesses offering payday loans and corresponding increases in service members taking advantage of "easy money," often without the ability to repay what they borrowed.

"The Pentagon took note that indebtedness was beginning to take a serious toll on military readiness, as did the media," Petraeus added.

The Defense Department, she said, published a report in 2006 on predatory lending practices directed at service members and their families. It found that predatory lending "undermines military readiness, harms the morale of troops and their families, and adds to the cost of fielding an all-volunteer fighting force," Petraeus said.

The result was the Military Lending Act of 2006, which caps the rate on consumer credit to a covered member of the armed forces or a dependent of a covered member at 36 percent and creates other consumer protections, she said.

DOD wrote the MLA's regulations and defined "consumer credit" as only three types of loans that were narrowly defined, Petraeus said. They cover payday loans, closed-end loans with terms of 91 days or fewer for $2,000 or less; auto-title loans, closed-end loans with terms of 181 days or fewer; and tax refund anticipation loans which are closed-end credit, she testified.

"For those products that fall within [DOD's] definitions, the law has had a positive impact," she testified. "But the concern now is that lenders have easily found ways to get outside of the definitions."

The spouse of a wounded warrior who took out an auto title loan of $2,575 at an APR of 300 percent was one example Petraeus gave in her testimony.

"The finance charges on the loan were over $5,000. The loan was not subject to the MLA because it was longer than 181 days," she said.

She also acknowledged concerns about the existing rule's effectiveness, which has led to renewed interest from Congress.

"This morning, the bureau announced an enforcement action against a large national payday lender, Cash America, which had made loans in violation of the MLA to hundreds of service members or their dependents," Petraeus testified. "As part of the enforcement action, the lender refunded loan and loan-related fees for a total amount of approximately $33,550. It also put additional compliance mechanisms in place and agreed to increase training on the MLA for its customer service representatives."

She called that action "a great example of what can be achieved through the combined efforts of the bureau's supervisory and enforcement areas," and a significant change in a large payday lender's appreciation of and compliance with the MLA.

Petraeus said she still harbors "real concerns" about the ability of lenders to easily evade the existing MLA regulations.

"The original rule was effective for those products that it covered, but over the past six years, we have seen significant changes in the type of products offered and the contours of state law," she said. "And I think it's critically important to ensure that the MLA protections keep up."

Petraeus said she believes any approach with strict definitions that define individual products will fall victim to the same evasive tactics that are plaguing the existing rule.

"I also believe that from a military financial readiness point of view, it makes no difference whether the loan is made by a depository institution or a non-depository institution, nor does it matter whether the loan is structured and open- or closed-end," she said. "A loan with a sky-high interest rate and burdensome fees has the same adverse impact on military financial readiness no matter who offers it."

The underlying goals of protecting military and financial readiness that led to the MLA are as important today as they were when the act was originally passed, Petraeus said.

"I think we should all be indignant when we hear of service members trapped in outrageous loans and realize that there is little we can do under the current regulations because they are just longer than 91 days or structured as open-end credit," she testified. "We owe it to our service members and their families to do the best possible job of crafting rules that properly implement the intent of the Military Lending Act."
Dwain Alexander, legal assistant attorney at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., said the Navy is taking steps to educate its service members.

"Education will help avoid many debt traps," Alexander testified. "However, some problems like arbitration and the Servicemember Civil Relief Act waiver, and aggressive debt collection, are beyond education."

He said his office is working on videos to educate sailors and families on consumer issues while they're in waiting rooms and similar environments, in addition to providing education to those returning from deployments.
Alexander said other awareness measures to avoid predatory lending being used in the Navy include mandatory military training on payday loans.

However, he said, some issues cannot be addressed such as the service member's waiver and arbitration being in the contracts, because they are legal.

"We need help with that," he said.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Changing World Challenges U.S. Intelligence Community



Changing World Challenges US Intelligence Community
By Claudette Roulo


American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21, 2013 - In the past, intelligence personnel wouldn't be found participating in open forums, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency said yesterday at a Brookings Institution discussion on defense intelligence.

"I think that's a sign of the times for the kinds of things that we are involved in, particularly ... [in] this open world," Army Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn said. "There's so much transparency going on between the intelligence community and all others, and there has to be. There has to be more of it."

The immense volume of open source information has increased commanders' intelligence needs and changed what sources they use, he said. Ten or 15 years ago, intelligence briefings were primarily composed of what is traditionally thought of as intelligence -- human intelligence, signals intelligence, imagery intelligence -- with a little bit of open source information thrown in.

"Today, it's almost 180 degrees flipped," Flynn said. "The open world -- and the knowledge that exists and is available to all of us at the push of a button -- [is] really smart. This is some really smart analysis that's out there that's being written by people that are on the ground, seeing it for how it is."

Whether that information is posted on a blog or on Twitter, he said, "We cannot sit idle ... and not pay attention to that."

Freely accessible information is just one of the two driving factors behind today's intelligence imperatives, Flynn said.

The international fiscal situation is forcing intelligence agencies to evaluate their priorities, including how they collaborate and how they invest in current capabilities versus the next generation of ideas and capabilities, he said.

Four "mega-trends" influence these factors: economic, resources, information and population, the general said. "For the most part ... these are trends that we can judge pretty accurately," he noted.

Of these four mega-trends, the rapid changes over the past 100 years in information and population trends are having the most impact, Flynn said.

Those changes were "stunning," the general said, and the world hasn't yet come to grips with many of them despite already being nearly 15 years into the 21st century.

Flynn said that about half of DIA personnel are working on the "edge" of the enterprise -- in combatant commands and forward environments -- and for him, the question is how to leverage those resources. "How do we make the edge the center?" he asked.  

It's important to understand what is happening at the edge, he said, and to make it the place where the best, most relevant and most timely knowledge can be gained. "Then you bring it back to help shape the conversations that are happening [in Washington, D.C.]," Flynn added.

The general said he expects that the nation's need for special operations forces, cyber capabilities and intelligence will only increase in the coming years.
Special operations forces will not only continue their counterterrorism mission, but will become increasingly involved in foreign internal defense operations and building the capacity of partner nations, he said.

In some defense communities there's still a belief that cyber is a function of intelligence, or that intelligence and cyber are the same, but that isn't at all the case, Flynn said.

"Cyber is a capability that allows us to understand an operational environment far better," he said. "It allows us to see each other. It allows us to communicate. It allows us to defend. It allows us to exploit. It allows so many other things."
And whenever possible, Flynn said, the United States' cyber capabilities should be used to help partner nations.

"I think there's a tendency to think [cyber] is all about war fighting or some negative," he said, "and we have to look at it as how it can be turned into a positive."

For the intelligence community to succeed, it must be agile and integrated with other agencies and partners, Flynn said, and it must have a firm grasp of the operational environment.

That includes developing an understanding of social issues, he said.
"Some of the regions that are out there in the world are facing extraordinary challenges, and we have to have a much deeper operational understanding of that. That means understanding the culture, understanding just the humanity that's out there," the general said.

"I think the last key to success is about technology," he said, "but it's not to lose sight of the human being in the loop."

If intelligence's role is to provide the kind of information leaders need to be able to make better decisions, the intelligence community must not let itself be pulled along by technology, Flynn said.

(Follow Claudette Roulo on Twitter: @RouloAFPS)
Biographies:
Army Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn