Wednesday, June 30, 2010


New at Cornells in Downtown Newark, Ohio.
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Sarah Wallace, First Federal Savings, Wall Street Journal

I have probably infringed on The Wall Street Journal's copyright regulations, but thought it was worthwhile to be posted:

The End of Community Banking
Creditworthy borrowers will be denied loans as small banks devote more and more energy to regulatory compliance.

The comprehensive financial reform agreed upon by the House and Senate on Friday, along with all the new regulations of the past year, could signal the end of community banking. The new reforms will give more power to the Federal Reserve to regulate how my bank and others like it do business.

What does all this mean for our customers? Less credit will be available, costs will increase, and we will be less able to make loans to regular people who were creditworthy in the past. This is the perfect storm for the small retail banking customer. We will start to see more small community bank failures and mergers because of voluminous regulation.

I have served as the president and now the chair of the board of directors of First Federal Savings and Loan Association in Newark, Ohio, since 1980. First Federal is a $200 million, federal mutual thrift. We were created to provide people a safe place to deposit their money, and loan that money back into the community in order to meet housing needs. Additionally, we utilize a significant portion of our profits to give (yes, I said give—not lend) to worthy community organizations and projects.

Our business model is narrow. We have 55 employees. We are mortgage lenders and providers of retail deposit services. We have always been a major housing lender for low and moderate income workers in our community. Our borrowers work in government, agriculture, manufacturing, education and the medical profession, like any small community in the United States. For 76 years, this business model has served us, and most importantly, the people in our community very well.

Here is the problem as I see it. First Federal lends to creditworthy folks who for decades have been well-served by bankers who understand their market and can think creatively to structure credit appropriately. It is what community bankers do. Going forward, we will no longer be able to evaluate loan applications based solely on the creditworthiness of the borrower. We will be making regulation compliance decisions instead of credit decisions. This is not in the best interest of the consumer.

I have said to our employees many times, "We are in the business of helping people!" Sometimes, bad things happen to good people, people we see in the grocery store and at Little League baseball games. We used to believe that if someone hit a bump in the road of life and came to us for financing, we could often figure out a way to help them. I fear this kind of community-oriented banking will end. There will be creditworthy borrowers who will no longer be able to get loans.

Recently, a couple came to us wanting to refinance their home. They were paying a relatively high interest rate (by today's standards) to a competing institution. They had reasonably good equity in their residence and owned a couple of rental properties, also with good equity. One borrower worked in the construction field and had experienced a reduction in income over the past couple of years, causing some recent slow payments on their credit report. After verifying the income and assets of the borrowers, an idea not new to us, we decided to deny the loan.
An argument could have been made to grant the loan because of the good equity position and due to the fact that we would have been lowering their monthly payment. However, fear of regulatory criticism through the federal examination process and potential money penalties associated with noncompliance were the overriding factors, causing the loan to be denied.

I had another customer stop in my office the other morning to ask how I thought the new bill would affect bank fees on checking accounts. My short answer was they will become more expensive, due in large part to the change in interchange fee regulation. It is estimated that banks on average will experience a 75% reduction in interchange fee income. In small banks like ours, interchange income offsets the expense associated with providing the service of electronic banking. Institutions will be faced with one of two choices: Either increase fees on checking accounts and continue to offer electronic banking, or stop providing the service altogether.

We all know the employees needed to provide banking services to deposit and loan customers: the manager, the teller, the back-office folks who balance the books, the loan officers and the customer-service representatives. In order to comply with the volumes of new regulation—and small banks are required to comply with the same consumer regulations that apply to the Wall Street banks—we will need to have a proportionately higher number of employees working day after day to interpret and implement all the new federal rules. This in itself, because of the sheer volume, has the potential to destroy community banking. Large banks have entire departments devoted to regulation compliance on a full-time basis; we have one employee, like most institutions our size.

The safety and soundness of our nation's small financial institutions is dependent on our being able to be profitable and add to our capital base. Small community financial institutions care about the people in their communities. Unfortunately, the new financial regulatory reform bill will greatly inhibit our ability to help them.

Mrs. Wallace is chair of the board of directors of First Federal Savings and Loan Association in Newark, Ohio.
Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Thank you to my sister Robin for sending this and to the Wall Street Journal for publishing this editorial.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


As Rodney Dangerfield quipped, “When I told my dentist my teeth were going yellow, he told me to wear a brown tie.” Personally, navy, blue, green and some red ties all look terrific with our yellow shirt, as does a blue blazer, a blue or grey suit, and many old tweed jackets.
White: 48%
Blue: 38%
Pink: 9%
Yellow: 5%

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Thank you to Chat with the Chamber for publising the following:

. . . these things about the businesses in Licking County?

Licking County is an economic powerhouse. Licking County hosts Central Ohio's largest manufacturing corridor with 11 million s.f. of buildings, 1,000+ acres, rail/inter modal, manufacturing-oriented, capacity for growth, and four of Central Ohio's 25 largest industrial parks.

Licking County is a haven for the advanced materials industry in Ohio. In an area defined by I-70, SR 16, SR37 and SR79 is a diverse presence of the advanced materials industry with polymers, steel, aluminum, micro electronics, wood, ag/bio, organics, food, foam, silicon and other advanced processes.

Licking County is where many global products are born. Product development for next generation manufactured goods is found in abundance here. Owens Corning, Momentive Performance Materials, Bayer MaterialScience, Holophane, Boeing, Goodrich and Screen Machine are among the companies that are engineering and producing next generation products in facilities found in Licking County.

Many unique-to-the-world capabilities are found in Licking County's backyard. Kaiser aluminum's plant in Heath has the only hot roll aluminum process in the world. Boeing's AWACS-ESM anechoic chamber is one-of-a-kind. NATO tried to duplicate it once and couldn't. Samuel Manu-Tech has North America's only heat treat line that uses bizmuth to anneal steel instead of lead.

Licking County has defied the axiom that people won't relocate from the sun belt to the so-called rust belt. Boeing moved a workload from Dallas, TX. They have also attracted key leadership from California and Georgia.

For those who live and work here, this should make you stand taller. For those who don't - why don't you?

Thanks Rick.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Downtown Newark Ohio Final Friday

Celebrating "Going to the Dogs" even Vietnamese Pot Belly Pigs invited also.
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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bruce Humphrey

The first photo of myself ever to be published in the Newark Advocate, was taken by Bruce Humphrey. I must have been about 3rd grade, the photo of myself and a girl (who I have wonder who she was) was publicity for the Newark Area Jaycee's upcoming Pancake Day.

Seeing Bruce for the first time, I thought he looked like a "beatnik" or a Maynard G. Krebs type due to his hair cut and beard. Throughout the years, he has always been very visible around town, during the past five or six years his blogging in the Newark Advocate and his personal blog site (click here) I read.

Never agreeing with his thoughts on how the city, county, federal governments or school systems should be operated. In fact he always gave me ammunition to argue with and raised my blood pressure once in a while. But, he was not scared of saying what he thought be it right or wrong.

His part of Licking County history was published today via his obituary, click here to learn more about Bruce.

Monday, June 21, 2010


It's true. Men aren't looking for exactly the same things women are when they go home shopping.

ZipRealty surveyed 1,000 home shoppers and concluded that while about an equal number of men and women sought green features, 27% and 35% respectively put a high priority on a home office. Both sexes did agree on the biggest turn-offs: structural damage, bad odors, a busy street, and an awkward floor plan.

Here are the top 10 features most desired by men:
Garage or designated parking space, 85.5%
Master suite, 79.8%
Ample storage space, 71.2%
Guest bedroom, 70.2%
Large closets, 64.2%
Outdoor entertainment area, 63.4%
Gourmet or updated kitchen, 59.1%
Breakfast room or eat-in kitchen, 55.2%
View, 44.5%
Large yard, 43%

Here are the top 10 features most desired by women:
Garage or designated parking, 87.7%
Master suite, 77.8%
Ample storage space, 72.7%
Large closets, 68.7%
Outdoor entertainment area, 64.2%
Guest bedroom, 63.9%
Gourmet or updated kitchen, 61.8%
Breakfast room or eat-in kitchen, 56.1%
Large yard, 43%
Wood floors, 40.9%

Reprinted from REALTOR Magazine Online with permission of NAR. Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day Golf Outing

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Thursday, June 17, 2010


FRIDAYS 3:00pm to 6:00pm


Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Several weeks ago I made a special day for myself, I spent a good portion of the day with the crew of Medflight #1 at Don Scott Field in Columbus, Ohio. Medflight with eight helicopters located throughout Central Ohio is the main medical helicopter service transporting patients to trauma centers and medical facilities in our part of Ohio. On their last shift MF-1 flew six times in 24 hours. Tuesday was different.

I arrived at my assigned time, watched a 20 minute video of how to jettison the windows in case there would be 'issues", how to open and close doors, operate the seat belts and many other safety techniques. Right off the bat we had a run, but due to the fog not lifting in Knox County we were canceled. The six runs in 24 hours was a myth today, I never sat in my assigned seat to watch the flight nurse and medic do their magic in very tight quarters.

It was not a totally ruined day, I learned a lot and was able to spend several hours with some excellent people. I was also able to respond to client's calls and emails from a very comfortable leather couch while watching a weather map and discussing many interesting issues with the Flight Nurse. I was ready, they were ready, but know one needed us today, which is a good thing.

Below you will see a photo of Pilot Lee, Flight Nurse Jan & Flight Medic Mike with proof that their chest patches are of reflective material.

Monday, June 14, 2010


"One of the greatest lessons kids can learn from sports is
how to act when you win and how to act when you lose.
Gracious in defeat and humble in victory.
At the end of a game, the kids line up and walk past each other. "Good game" is repeated between each player. This is where sportsmanship is taught."

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Gary Baker is a true Rotarian, during the past several years he has been on a mission to make sure a small African Village could create a water supply.

Gary introduced the program for our meeting this past Tuesday. Afterward I asked Gary for his introduction of Sunny Akuopha to share and then Bill Cost for one his photos with Gary and Sunny. Most important, this project represents what an improved infrastructure and schools can do for a community, please make sure to read the last paragraph:

Past President Sunny AKUOPHA PHF+4 Saphirs Is a Technical Economist , working for Mali's World Bank Independent power development agency for Rural areas of Mali. He also works for The Netherlands Int Cooperation for Renewable Energy Projects ( Solar, Wind and Bio Diesel Production) in Mali.He occupies the post of Clubs projects Director in his local Club Bamako AmitiƩ, he is his Multi District 9100 WCS committee Member and Mali Country Chairman 2007-2010. He has been designated to take of His District World Community Service Chair ( WCS) 2010-2013, at the crucial period of New Future Vision Plan for Rotary of which his District in one of the pilot districts.And also charged by his DGE 9100 to be his special representative for and create during the next Rotary year 5 more clubs for Mali, Sunny has now 8 new clubs on his drawing board.

He does fund raising activities for several local Mali NGOs with the Plymouth-Timbuktu Charity rallly from the UK every year since 2007. He is very famous in Cumbria - the Lake District of North West England which he guided their famous Pink ice van from Cumbria to Timbuktu.Sunny has 2 children and has adopted 4.A life Rotarian who came into the Rotary Family as a Rotaractor 24 years ago. He served as a HOC ambassador during the last RI convention in Birmingham , he was at the END POLIO Stand happily seeing Rotarians peeling off I MADE DREAMS REAL OR END POLIO and signing their names on the board with £5 to End Polio funds .

Why he is here….
Koulouniko, Mali, Africa. As of March, 2009, the water well reservoir system is distributing fresh, clean drinking water to 3000 villagers. Funding for the $25,100 project was provided by a Rotary International Matching Grant, District 6690, the Bamako Amitie Rotary Club and the Newark Rotary Club. The Bamako Amitie Rotary, our international partner, managed the construction and is currently monitoring the maintenance of the well. Our rotary club contributed $10,000 to this, our first Blue Ribbon International project.

Sunny Akuopha thanked Nelson for the opportunity to speak to the Newark Rotary Club. “Our clubs have a life long friendship because of our effort to build the water well in Koulouniko. For more than 40 years, many people asked the government for clean drinking water for the villagers of Koulouniko and no one came. But Newark Rotary was like a dream from heaven. Koulouniko is located just 30 kilometers from the capitlol city of Bamako and is negelected because of its location. Since the installation of the well, a school has been built. The problem now is that too, many people want to move to Koulouniko because of the water and the school.” Mr. Akuopha offered an African piece of art work that was bought by Glen Able. Mr. Akuopha expressed his gratitude for allowing him to visit the Newark Rotary club.

Way to go Gary and the Newark Rotary Club for helping once again.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


"Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius."--George Bernard Shaw
What makes a garden grow? Daily attention. Observation. Watering and weeding and minding the weather. Slow and steady, with an eye on the pests, you bring a garden from a seed in the ground to a bush full of ripe tomatoes. Sure, you can make it as complicated an endeavor as you like, investing in expensive technology and expert advice and experimental nutrients, but if you're not consistently hitting the basics, tomorrow's salad bowl doesn't have a chance.
What makes a marathon possible? Putting on the shoes and running. Incremental mileage increases. Attention to injury, rest, and nutrition. You can buy that Garmin 405 and invest in cutting edge shoes and hiring a running coach, but unless you're dedicated to the common sense tenets of training, you'll never cross the 26.2 miles to the finish line.
So why do we often seem to think exceptional client service is any different? If you truly want to work by referral, it's not a rocket science marketing program you need... you simply need the basic tools and presence of mind to consistently reward your clients and remind them (both past and present) how much you care. A note, an interesting article shared, a small gift out of the blue... they all serve to make you a remarkable professional in a sea of "next shiny marketing trick" amateurs.

All of the tools and tips we feature should be applied in service of the common sense basics of uncommon client care. Add up enough common sense and it starts to seem like genius.
When the world seems to be moving too fast to keep track, keep in mind that the underlying principles of great building exceptional relationships has never changed. You have the power to grow your garden and go the distance.
Thank you to Scott Levitt

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Last Christmas I received a remote control helicopter about the size of a good cigar as a gift. Christmas Day I flew it around the house a couple of times, trying to land it on the coffee table, top of the TV etc.

Tonight was the time to fly outdoors, two trips on the roof and I figured it was time to hang it up once again.
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Thought about mixing some things up with my list of different blogs to the right of my main page. Came across Unabashedly Prep several weeks ago, really good photographs, advice etc. I also could never figure out why the blog favorites always had the wrong date, instead of one day old it would say one year old and so on. Removed the date and now it will show the author's last post title.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Game will start soon!

More than a two hour delay, finally allowing the teams to warm up.
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Wednesday, June 2, 2010


“Success is not always being better than everyone else...
it is being better than you have ever been before”
Thanks to Todd Harrold for passing this along.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Cultural Offering posted a beautiful video of the interior of the Vatican's Sistine Chapel this past weekend. It is the best I have ever seen, one is not allowed to shoot photos in the Chapel due the flash causing possible deterioration. This is a photo of the entrance through the ancient stone walls surrounding the chapel and Papal Museum.

Click for the video, move your mouse around the screen to take a good look of this not over rated piece of Italy's history.