May 14, 2018
Do you have a family member, friend or neighbor who recently lost his/her job; had to reduce their number of hours at work due to health issues; pay more than 30% of their income on housing; or lost 50% or more of their income due to the death of a spouse, divorce or unemployment? If so, most of them will probably be evicted, face foreclosure, miss housing and utility payments, receive public assistance, etc. Obviously, it’s important for residents to know that these results not only affect the households of their families, but the community at large.
May 7, 2018
I recently was asked to facilitate focus groups for a social service agency as a beginning step in their strategic planning process. Focus groups are very familiar to me, but most of the participants of these groups were not familiar with the purpose of focus groups or how they may be beneficial to them or the agency. Some of their questions may also help you when deciding how to gather information.
Apr 27, 2018
Perrysburg remains Wood County’s most economically diverse and thriving community and is one of Northwest Ohio’s best magnets for economic and business growth. It remains one of the best places to own real estate in the county and region.
Apr 12, 2018
Vacant parcels and abandoned properties are a big problem for many of Ohio’s cities, some that have been shrinking for decades as a result of sustained population loss. Blighted properties that litter the urban landscape can cost cities millions in lost property taxes, foreclosures and demolition costs, not to mention opportunity costs to local economies.
Apr 9, 2018
My brother Bill’s birthday is approaching. He’s three years younger than I am, but probably 10 years wiser. He’s my best friend… and often keeps me balanced when things get crazy. (Think: overscheduling, kids driving, etc.) In addition, he is really good at bringing perspective.
Perspective is defined as “a particular way of regarding something.” In drawing or painting, it’s a way of portraying three dimensions on a two-dimensional surface by suggesting depth or distance.
Mar 29, 2018
We now live in a world driven by access to instant information. In fact, it is estimated that as of January 2018 roughly 95 percent of Americans own a cell phone, including 77 percent of Americans owning smartphones. If you own a smartphone, you likely receive numerous notifications ranging from missed calls, texts, email messages, social media posts, meeting reminders, news alerts, and scoring updates from your favorite team. However, have you ever received a notification of high energy prices?
Mar 23, 2018
Spring is just around the corner, and for many of us that means it’s time to get our fishing rods, reels, and lures in order (and buy a few more, just in case.) Lake Erie is widely known as the Walleye Capital of the World, and the upcoming season looks like it’s going to add to that reputation. At the recent Ohio Charter Captains Conference hosted by Ohio Sea Grant, the Ohio Division of Wildlife told captains that 2018 would be excellent for the tasty fish, both for numbers caught and potential trophies.
Mar 8, 2018
Dodging potholes, bumping across a road that is as grooved as a washboard, and watching the cloud of dust in your rear view mirror is the road traveled by many rural Ohio residents. Fast forward 5 days to that same road as a solid, smooth chip and seal surface. Beware of the caution signs on this thoroughfare to success, as there are months of preparation before the actual surfacing project. Hop in and ride with me as we journey through this process.
Mar 5, 2018
For many of us, we have choices regarding our health: access to fresh food & clean water, options for household location, and access to green space or nature, for example. But for some communities, these choices of individual and family health are far more limited and create a culture of survival rather than enjoyment or experimentation of a healthier lifestyle. Perhaps not surprisingly, policy decisions can play a large role in these choices. And in some cases, policy from days gone by oftentimes continues to affect communities in present day.
Feb 22, 2018
Not all problems are created equal. Using one’s intuition or past practices might work for solving very simple problems. Yet our past and our view of the future may limit our solutions. When we are facing an issue or challenge that requires a fresh solution and has many interrelated components — perhaps several different constituents are involved or can be affected by the solution — a more robust process will bring you a clearer, more novel solution. Based on Snowden’s (2007) research, there are four levels of problems – simple, complicated, complex and chaotic.