Archive for April, 2011

365 Things To Do In Knox County, Ohio

Adapted from Wikipedia's OH county maps by Catbar.

Map Showing Knox County, Ohio's Location Image via Wikipedia

Real Estate Agent, Sam Miller, is doing a blog series called 365 Things To Do In Knox County, Ohio. Sure, there are plenty of things to do in Licking County, Ohio, but if you want a short car ride in the country, there’s quite a few interesting things to explore in our neighboring county to the north.

I’m pretty sure if anybody could find 365 things to do in Knox County, it would be Sam. He’s spent most of his life in Mount Vernon, Ohio and he’s been in business there for more than 20 years. Will he have the time and energy to complete this series? Be sure to check in to find out and to see if he finds any ideas that you may not have known about.

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3rd Annual GMP Poker Run

Motorcycle Poker Run with benefits going to the GMP welfare fund. More information at – Let’s Ride.

Mark Birks Photography Class At Newark, Ohio Library

Mark Birks, a Central Ohio photographer, has announced on his website that he will teach a class at the Newark Public Library on June 23, 2011 at 7 p.m.

Learn to take better pictures with any camera.

Newark, Ohio Links April, 2011 Updates

In the quest to keep Newark, Ohio Links current with websites that are coming and going that are related to our area, once again, here’s an update. This update is a compilation of new websites. These sites are either new, new to Newark, or they’ve just reached a level of recognition in the search engines that have enabled me to find them.

In the Newark, Ohio entertainment category –

In the Newark, Ohio Alumi category –

In the Newark, Ohio Restaurant category –

  • Paco’s Tacos
  • Dal Cielo’s

In the Newark, Ohio Motorcycle category –

  • The Iron Pony – not in Newark, but the closest store of it’s type near us.

In the Newark, Ohio Plumbing And Heating category –

In the Wineries category –

In  the Agriculture category –

Coming to Newark, Ohio’s Retail Stores Soon –

It’s no surprise that alcohol establishments like the wineries are gaining ground in tough times. I did find it interesting that farms are increasingly using websites. Farmer’s have been quick to adopt many advantages that the Internet gives them to support their business, but they’ve been slow to add their own websites. I’m glad to see the trend reversing. As for the new retail stores, we’re glad to see them come, but everyone wishes there were more profitable job ventures being created. We can hope that the owners of these store are optimistic about the economic outlook for the area. They could be a sign that the situation is finally changing.

Links for the site can be submitted here. I’m happy to add anything related to Newark, Ohio. I’m hesitant to add links that are not directly related to at least the Licking County, Ohio area, but I will if the there is no local comparable service available.

 

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Spring Shopping Expo At Indian Mound Mall In Heath, Ohio.

The Indian Mound Mall in Heath, Ohio will have a Spring Shopping Expo. The following is from their post in Craigslist.

Plan to join us for the Third year of the SPRING SHOPPING EXPO! … An event where you can showcase and sell your products of fashion, beauty, hand made crafts & more!

We are currently accepting vendors/exhibitors that serve as retailers for jewelry, baskets, artisans/crafters, home-based business providers, & more! Register today if you specialize in anything from hand crafted jewelry, home décor, and photography, to fashion, floral design, framing, and everything in between! We operate first-class events, providing a very nice and spacious inside venue, as well as opportunities for guests that include delicious samples, many door prizes, and at times, product demonstrations.

“This wonderful spring arts/craft and commercial expo, will be held May 7, 2011 in the beautiful and historic towns of NEWARK/HEATH, OHIO, at INDIAN MOUND MALL, 771 S. 30TH Street, Heath, Ohio. It is the ideal time to select that special hand crafted or specialty gift for you and for all those special occasions. Experience the fine work of talented artisans from across Ohio who will showcase traditional, contemporary and country crafts, folk art and gourmet specialties. A small sampling of the show includes baskets, birdhouses, candles, cosmetics, pottery, photography, clay, flora’s, handbags, home and garden accessories, home improvement, jewelry and gourmet specialties including jellies, dips, sauces, vinegars and sweet treats. You are invited to visit with the exhibitors and enjoy the many offerings throughout the show.”
Your completed application and payment must be completed and returned to us by March 31, 2011! (Vendor Fees are due with completed applications and will only be accepted via PayPal Payment or in person to me. NO PERSONAL CHECKS WILL BE ACCEPTED.)

NOTE: Vendor space is limited and available only on a first-paid, first-serve basis. We look forward to working with you as we strive to make this the most fun, most exciting, and simply the very best Shopping Expo ever! Carrie Macala, Specialty Leasing Rep at Indian Mound Mall has supplied stats for us and they expect around 12,000 shoppers May 7th, 2011, the day before Mother’s Day!
Outside the Mall paid advertising will be done in 4 different areas and many FREE online areas of advertsing for this event in an attempt to draw in more shoppers.

We do not need any Jewelry vendors as the alloted spaces for jewelry has been filled. We need craft vendors from many areas!

LCJVS And C-TEC Reunion

The Licking County Joint Vocational School(old name) and C-TEC graduates are holding a reunion. More information can be found at their Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/ctecandjvsalumni

City Of Newark Converting Brownfield Area To Solar Power Farm

Newark, Ohio to build a similar solar power grid on a brownfield site.

Newark, Ohio planning to build a similar solar grid.

I found an interesting link about Newark, Ohio’s plan for a solar energy project at http://clean.ohio.gov/BrownfieldRevitalization/. The planned site is a brownfield site at 1357 East Main Street.

As I’ve pointed out before, Newark, Ohio is the city of grants and nearly ever project is tied to a grant. A position was made for Kimberly Burton, Newark’s Economic & Community Development Director(person who can put the correct language into a grant request), who’s name appears on every grant written. She’s a master of grabbing Federal money for projects that should be local matters. Democrat and Republican businesses alike adore her work. After the money is acquired from the Federal or state level, all that they have to do is compete(at least in a political sense of the word) for who gets the easy money. So before I start to discuss this solar project, you know where I stand on the use of grants. They are simply money that taxpayers have paid to state or federal governments for state and federal matters that are then redistributed to local municipalities. This bypasses the voters authority over use of the money and the results are projects that never would have happened under the scrutiny of the local voters.

The solar project looks great if you ignore the details. It’s a plan to use 24-40 acres that the EPA has deemed unusable for development due to contamination and place a solar power setup there. The power generated will be used for the city’s power needs and any surplus will be sold to a power company for profit. It sounds great until you consider it costs about 30 cents per kilowatt to produce solar power as compared to 4 cents for coal.

The articles I’ve read all have quotes that include nothing but buzz phrases about the benefits of the project. “It’s going to create jobs.”, is a frequent one. It will too! There is an incredible amount of technical expertise required to do the maintenance. How many jobs? Is the project going to create the profits need to pay the workers? Nobody’s answering that or referring to documentation that provides answers.

There will be private investors in the project, many of who are remaining anonymous at this time. It’s refreshing to hear that they’ve found someone that will have a little skin in the game and that it’s not all grant money. Keep a watchful eye on this project. There are many “green” projects that turn out to be nothing more than scams to funnel federal money into the hands of  “investors”. It’s an easy scheme to do.

  1. Create a “green” project that will confiscate money from the taxpayers under the guise of improving the environment.
  2. Get a group of investors that can share in the perceived risk.
  3. Build with select contractors, some of whom may be investors in the scam. The grant money is spent and gone forever at this stage.
  4. Before the project fails, investors in the know have sold their interest to others. Some of these investors have already gained their investment back when the profits from the build were paid. Unwitting investors don’t get out in time and it’s a loss for them.

One may want to consider why private companies are not investing heavily in similar projects. In this volatile market, why aren’t private companies investing in a solar farm that would cut their energy costs? If these systems were truly profitable, private entities would direct funds away from risky markets and invest in a solar energy solution that would immediately start providing returns with very little risk. Companies creating the solar grids would not rely on government grants for anything as there would be a high demand for their product. Keep an eye on this project. The city cannot afford costly mistakes. I can find no discussions of what the city is risking if this turns out to be a failure. Who pays if a hail storm takes the project out? Who pays if the power generated is not enough to cover the costs to create it? Who is going to manage the system and are the competent or just a well networked person? There are many unanswered questions.

Some related Documents –

  • Request For Consultants For Brownfield Redevelopment In Newark, Ohio.
  • BusinessFirst Article about Newark, Ohio’s solar project.
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Newark, Ohio Link Directory Update

Link Directory Updated

Newark, Ohio Links Updated. Many Bad Links Removed.

The goal of Newark, Ohio Links is to keep a local link directory that is accurate. It’s more difficult than it sounds because with the thousands of links many come and go all of the time. It’s by no means a vital effort. Search engines do a fine job of providing local links now. I keep this website going because it is interesting to see the general trends that occur as businesses attempt to utilize the Internet’s power. Sites range from  failing weak attempts to very well done and successful. If any local trends start to happen, I see them. There are numerous sources find what the big picture of businesses are doing, but none for our small local area.

Today I did my usual spot check. I hate dead links. There is software that assists, but manual checking is still required. A website can shut down and the domain can be bought by someone else that just utilizes it to post ads in hopes that a search will land an interested visitor. Manual checks are the only way to eliminate this. Even Google has controlling this and keeping searches relevant. When I do these checks, I see the sad realities of who went out of business, who abandoned hope and switched to a Facebook page, and who is succeeding.

I’ll talk about the bad news first. Who is going out of business? For the most part, small businesses that I would guess were personal dreams. Small specialty ideas are leaving at a very rapid pace. Websites for wedding planners, boutique style businesses, small spas, etc. are going. They offered unique services or products that failed. Also, some small contractors doing appearance types of work like siding are gone. Most of these efforts were lacking in their web presence. They had very weak websites. Many businesses with 1999 style websites that lacked any communication for the exception of an e-mail address were gone as well.

The next trend is small businesses that are using Facebook only. Don’t get me wrong, Facebook is a powerful and easy option to get connectivity. The problem is that when used for business, your competitors are advertising on the same page! A business lacks control and their efforts to communicate are used to promote their competitors. My suggestion is to only use Facebook to communicate. Save serious efforts for your own website and just link back to it from Facebook. Why put your efforts into advertising for others?

The good news is that many 1999 style websites are being updated. Businesses are finally realizing that websites have dropped in price to the point where any business can afford them. They’re constantly updating them now that website software makes the process as simple as a Facebook post. When they cannot find local companies to charge a reasonable amount, they’re discovering that there are many non-local web companies that can do a fine job. The technical expertise required to create and maintain a website has dropped dramatically. This is good news for businesses and consumers!

This routine check was only for maintenance. I’ll be looking for new additions soon. I always appreciate link submissions, so if you have them, feel free to submit. It’s free.

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