Tag Archives: Economy

A Lesson For Us All

meomMidnight came and went on September 30th.  The federal government shut down (partially).  How did this happen? Why did this happen?

Probably the easiest answer is because of partisan difference.  However, I think we’d be fools if we didn’t acknowledge the take away for all of us is so much bigger.  Let our lawmakers unwillingness and inability to work together be a lesson for us all.

How many times have we as “everyday” folk allowed our greed, pettiness, hate and jealousy filter to through our work, home and other aspects of our lives?  Our actions and emotions have a way of spreading.  Were you  cruel to a co-worker or someone at church?  Who knows what you could’ve accomplished TOGETHER if you hadn’t offended so-and-so.

Hopefully Washington will get it together soon enough.  In the meantime, we should put our own lives under a microscope  and examine what kind of shutdown we’ve created and the fall out we left behind.

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Chew on This…

workforceI was out recently doing a story, when I ran across a woman who was job hunting.  No big deal.  She was in her mid 60’s.  No big deal.  She was having a tough time finding a job and she felt it all had to do with her age.  Very big deal.

While I’m still in my 30’s, age discrimination is something you’d have to be hiding under a rock to not know it’ s happening.  It’s increasingly becoming more of a problem too as older Americans have to go back to work in order to keep up with the cost of living.  Someone very close to me is currently at the receiving end of a younger managers constant rant and scrutiny all because of their age.  Shame on them and shame on you if you are trying to make someone’s life miserable because they’re older and therefore you deem them incompetent.

For heavens sakes,  these people are quite competent.  Some, yes, may move a little slower, they may not be as tech savvy.  However, they are full of wisdom, full of experience and quite frankly, they have a better work ethic than my generation and the ones that follow.

The next time you decide not to hire someone simply based on their age or mistreat them in any other way for that matter, remember, these were our babysitters  growing up.  These were our teachers and swim coaches.  These are are mom’s and dad’s and one day it’ll be you!

WDBJ at the White House

Hollani Davis interviews President Obama at the White House. Someone get me a box to stand on. I’m 5’1 1/2. The President is reportedly 6’1 1/2.

Recently I had the opportunity to travel to Washington, DC with my news director and one of WDBJ7’s award-winning photographer’s.  We were invited to the White House to interview President Obama.
Before I go any further let me say this.  Yes it is an election year, and yes, we are very much aware that the President is trying to garner support.  I will also say, that our station would have also accepted an invitation to interview Mitt Romney if he was occupying the Oval Office.  But guess what?  Romney will be in Salem, Virginia on Tuesday, June 26th and we’ll be there!

Preparing for the 6PM Live Shot on the South Lawn. Gotta read over that script. No fumbling!

No matter your politics (and I will not divulge mine), going to the White House is an experience.  For me, it was a long and rewarding day.  7AM -12PM.  There was very little downtime.  Between touring the residence, going on a garden
tour, interviewing the president, meeting with several of his cabinet members and other staff, having lunch with his advisers, attending an afternoon press briefing, cranking out 4 stories, you didn’t know if you were coming or going.

Bo KNOWS how to bring in the crowd!

WDBJ7 Photographer Rob Chewning. Getting things set up! He’s the best!

Oh, and I forgot to mention the excitement of Bo (the presidential dog) coming out onto the White House Lawn twice!

Whether or not you like the President and his policies, being in the White House is incredible.

It’s American pride at its best.  You feel like you are watching history unfold right before you, and maybe that’s because in some aspects, you are.  White House staff aids, the Secret Service, even the kitchen staff are always on their A game.  By the way, shot out to the kitchen cooks.  The meal they served for lunch was incredible.

Hampton University alumna Danielle Crutchfield. We met freshman year. Today she serves at the pleasure of President Obama.

New Years Resolution #1

Bedford resident Barbara Scott stakes out a street corner encouraging local citizens to buy American made products

So, I know I still have about a month to go, but this has been on my heart for the past few weeks.  I am really going to make more of an effort to start “Buying Local” or American made.  I was inspired last month when I did a story about a woman who was urging people in her community to shop at locally owned stores and/or buy local gifts for the Christmas holiday.  Then again today, another reporter did a story about another lady who is on a one-woman-crusade to encourage people to support the American economy.

I’ll be the first to admit, other than my food, buying local isn’t something I think about too much.  I’ve been impressed with the series “Made in America” on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer.  Through that, I’ve learned there are so many products like nails, beds and sheets that are Made in America.  You just have to look!  True, it may take a little more time to find and it might cost a few cents more; however, if we all did our part, how many people could we put to work here in our country where unemployment is a resounding 8.6%.?  I’m so tired of people blaming the President, Congress and even Wall Street for that matter.  While they all do share in the responsibility, so do we.  Why is it that we as individuals want to be so quick to pass the buck?

Let me be realistic.  I’m not going to buy only things made in this country, but I will do better.  I challenge you to do the same!

Will the Real Alumni PLEASE Stand-up?

If money makes the world go round, can't the same be said for money and Higher Education?

I had the opportunity this weekend to facilitate a panel discussion about how many college students aren’t giving back to their Alma Mater.  The national president from my alumni chapter (Hampton University) was on the panel, as well as a representative from Virginia Tech and Roanoke College.

It seems, older alumni (The Baby Boomer generation and beyond) have no problems writing a check to their institutions.  It’s we younger folks who aren’t giving back.  I am guilty…until now.

I’ve always said, oh next year, oh next, year.  However, for many of us, our financial situation may never be “RIGHT” and guess what?  Our schools need the money now!  This couldn’t be more true for private schools and especially HBCU’s.  Believe it or not, tuition (as high as it is)  doesn’t even begin to cover all the basics.  Schools are still struggling to keep adequate programs in the classroom.

Here’s the thing, you don’t have to write out a $1,000 check each year.  $10 a month will suffice.  What’s really important is for these schools to be able to prove they have a large alumni donor base.  That way, when they go to big corporations asking for money or grants, they can show former students are invested too!  How can we ask someone to invest in something that was beneficial to us if we won’t even invest in it?

For me this recent discussion was beneficial and now I’m asking all of you, no matter what school you went to:  Will the real alumni PLEASE stand-up?

Is Your Mail Going Where It Should Be?

This past week I did a story about a new crime that has moved in to the Roanoke area.  Thieves are getting desperate and bold!  Nearly three weeks ago, someone reached into one of those big blue mailboxes in front of the main post office in Roanoke and stole some mail. 

I spoke with one of the victim’s a few days ago who had his $515 mortgage check stolen.  The culprit cut off the victim’s routing number, made a new check for $850 and went on a shopping spree at the Lynchburg Walmart.

(Click here to check out the story)

Without giving much away, I’ll only say that the criminal(s) are rigging the mailboxes so when you drop your letters in, they don’t fall to the bottom.  It gives them easy access when they drive up behind you and pull your mail out.

Since the story aired, I’ve had a couple of phone calls (from viewers who are simply paranoid – but with good reason.  At least one person however says his insurance check went missing the same day the first victim’s check was stolen.  Fortunately, he had enough sense to cancel the check about a week later.)

It’s unclear how many folks have been impacted by this stunt.  The postal hierarchy won’t know per say until people come forward. It’s a crime though that all of us could easily fall victim to.  I guess it pays to look into your rear view mirror — even at the post office.

What is the World Coming To?

It’s not the first time we’ve covered free health clinics in the news or these come-get-your-blood-pressure-read-for-free-events.  What’s disturbing though is how these “clinics” per say are growing and not just by the truck load…the semi-truck load.

Take for instance the Walgreens healthcare deal.  A tour bus was in Roanoke for several days last week with medical professionals administering cholesterol, blood screenings, you name it.  Pharmacists were also on site ( I know …my sister is one) and most days they averaged 200 people and counting. 

In Wise, Va. this weekend…another health fair.  Four thousand treatments (dental, medical and vision) were administered by a group of volunteers that target rural and often poor areas. 

To me, it’s just a prime example of what’s wrong in our world.  People can’t even afford a check up and so they wait for events like this to take prime advantage.  It’s great don’t get me wrong, but when people are walking around with nerve damage in their mouth because their insurance isn’t adequate for a dentist visit (or they don’t have insurance), I have a huge problem with that.  When people turn up in the parking lot of one of these things and the doctor says, we need to call an ambulance, you’re a stroke waiting to happen…jeez!

It’s one more example of how people are pinching pennies to make ends meet.  But making ends meet like this?  How much more extreme can you get when you have no choice but to sacrifice your health. 

On the other end of the spectrum, I know people who are making $45k and $60K a year and also dread going to the doctor’s office.  Insurance just isn’t what it used to be and that co-payment sometimes can spur on another heart attack.  Just my observation as a journalist and one that is getting under my skin more and more.