The Consumer Vision
Editor-in-Chief/Publisher, Bob Branco
CD Production: Bob Zeida
Treasurer: Gail Teixeira
Advisory Committee: Clement Beaulieu, Dan Germano, Marianne Martin, Lisa Saulnier, Bonnie Schachter, Charles Soforenko and Gail Teixeira
Would you like a free subscription to The Consumer Vision six times a year? If so, and if you are not yet on our mailing list, please contact our office at 508-994-4972 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Consumer Vision is available in print, Braille, CD, cassette and email.
The Consumer Vision magazine accepts editorial contributions and letters to the editor at the above address. Contributors agree to, by virtue of their submissions to grant The Consumer Vision magazine the right to publish submissions. They also grant The Consumer Vision magazine the right to make any appropriate editorial changes, if deemed necessary. Contributors also verify by virtue of their submissions that they own the right to publish work submitted. Any claims of copyright infringement will be referred to the contributor, who will also be responsible for any and all costs associated with said claims. Advertisers are responsible for all claims made in their ads. The Consumer Vision is not to be liable in any way for claims made by advertisers. However, readers are encouraged to report any problems with our advertisers.
-Table Of Contents-
By Bob Branco
By A. Rivers
By Dr. Clifford Robbins
By Marcy Scott
By Jean Marcley
BY EDWIN COONEY
By Jake Joehl, Evanston, IL
By Allison Vigna
My Experience with Jury Duty
By Bob Branco
For years, blind people have fought for the right to sit on a jury. It is believed that it would be difficult for a blind person to serve because he cant see evidence or facial expressions, making it hard to reach a fair conclusion. However, the lack of sight does not hinder our ability to make a fair dicision. We can hear testimony, reactions, attitudes and other aspects of a court case and still consider ourselves objective observers.
Since I was practicly old enough to vote, I have been receiving
jury notices every three years. Despite my blindness, I not only believe
I can sit on a jury, but would be proud to. I have listened to thousands
of court cases over the years, real and fictitious, so to me, the process in a
court trial is easy to understand. This year, when I received my jury
summons, I was finally given the chance to actually be in the court.
Usually when I call the jury information line on the business day prior to the
date of my jury service, Im told not to appear because they dont
need me. This year, things were different, and I went. On July 14,
I reported for jury duty at New Bedford Third District
Gas prices: A blessing in disguise
By A. Rivers
Ms. Rivers is a former New Bedford resident majoring in political science at Northeastern University. She lives in Cambridge.
June 21, 2008 6:00 AM
High gas prices have halted my spending toward many resources, and although I've found different ways to cut back, I'm optimistic about the high prices and find it to be a blessing in disguise.
As a result of the price hikes, Congress and the president will be forced to be more diligent and focus on energy efficiency as a core issue. Indeed, there will be gimmicks that many of those who favor continuing our addiction to oil will attempt in persuading people in a negative way.
For example, regarding offshore drilling, President Bush and Sen. John McCain will speak in support of these efforts and find a way to frame our thinking that this will benefit us immediately toward lowering gas prices, but it won't because consumers won't reap rewards until five years from now.
What have people done to cut back? They have taken an extra job, canceled an extra bill (cell or home phone or cable), gotten rid of one car in a two-car family, or dumped the SUV for a hybrid car. Ridership on public transportation has risen, many folks are purchasing mopeds, and people are biking and walking more.
Sadly, there have been negative effects from the price hikes: job loss, especially with the closing of SUV plants, airlines and gas stations; and many folks will become jobless because they won't be able to afford going to and from work or even be able to search for a job.
Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama differ on their energy policies.
The lurking question for most folks is: "How is Sen. Obama going to pay for his programs?" Folks had the same concerns about Gov. Deval Patrick during his gubernatorial run in the fall of 2006, yet Gov. Patrick proved many people wrong by passing a balanced budget during his first fiscal year, and a lot of people were shocked because they assumed that Democrats were tax-and-spend.
Sen. Obama's plan to pay for his proposed programs will be ending the war in Iraq, closing corporate tax loopholes, and reversing the disastrous tax cuts that President Bush instituted for the top 1 percent of wealthy folks.
Remember, when Bill Clinton was president, there was a balanced budget and rich folks were happy. Sen. Obama plans to roll back the tax cuts that were installed during the Clinton administration.
So, for folks who keep saying that he won't be able to pay for the programs, Sen. Obama has assured a "pay as you go" method. Programs won't be initiated unless he can fund it. Sen. Obama has talked about the importance of fiscal responsibility, and he doesn't want to run a tax-and-spend presidency.
So You Want to Start Your Own Business
By Dr. Clifford Robbins
Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network
Did you quit your corporate job to become self-employed because you want a balanced life? Do you want a full-time or just a part-time job? Dont kid yourself. There are 168 hours in a week. Use 56 for sleeping, 56 for personal time, and 56 for working and getting your business started. But youll be free to pick and choose the schedule yourself and make time for things that are time sensitive and important to you.
Self-employment is all about being happy and feeling fulfilled working for yourself. But theres a learning curve that's steep, both in practical skills and in learning to be self-employed. Here's the scoop:
· Busy & Stressful. Be prepared to work really hard and live with constant pressure to get things done, while you grow your business and technical skills. It's very stressful.
· Cash Flow. Youll need some money in the bank to pay the bills while you move over from your regular corporate job. Without the cash to cover the time to get the business going, it is almost impossible to make it.
· Skill Growth. There are many new skills you will learn when you become self-employed. The greatest growth areas are your skills in marketing, sales, time management, and planning. It takes a lot of forethought to plan how to do each task and project, estimate how long it will take, and plan out your work time. If you underestimate the time, it throws off all your other tasks. So you work later to catch up -- but that can come at a price of not getting enough rest. It's so easy to work all available hours, but fatigue eventually catches up. Finding a work/rest balance can be hard the first six months. Besides, didnt you want a balanced life?
· Self-Discipline & Focus. Another two essential skills are self-discipline and focus of mind. It is so easy to "just relax" while you are at home. The trouble is very little work will get done. You have to make the billable hours to meet your income goals -- no work means no pay! Hopefully the direct experience and consequence of your undisciplined actions should bring about improved self-discipline, plus the need to focus your mind and get the work done when planned. You have to meet the delivery times promised to your customers, as well as handle the administrative and marketing tasks at hand. Self-discipline and focus of mind are essential to being self-employed.
· Control of Destiny. Learning and growing are the greatest joys of self-employment, as are being in total control of your own destiny; no one else is calling the shots. Success depends 100% on what you do, having a good business plan and working it.
· Work/Rest Balance. When you have complete flexibility you have to be mindful of working when your mind & body are freshest. I've found the best time to work for me is mornings, then taking a physical break around 3pm, when I'm at my lowest. With this break during the day, I often find myself working into the evenings, which is dangerous -- if you don't have some down time before going to bed, your mind doesn't switch off for the day and you wake the next morning feeling mentally tired and not rested.
· Cabin Fever. Working at home all day? Beware of cabin fever; you have to get out of the house. One of my great joys is going for an afternoon walk on the beach at the nearby ocean; seeing the water, sand dunes and sky in the light of day. Its things like this that let you know you made the right choice in self-employment -- for you are free!
Youve become an entrepreneur for three reasons. First, you have bills to pay: food, housing, etc. So you need a job. Second, you deserve to make a profit for the risk youre taking. And third, you should have an asset to sell in the future. Its a big commitment but if youre successful theres nothing more rewarding!
I would like to tell the "Consumer Vision" readers about a
The Consumer Vision is also looking to sell additional ads in
order to keep
By Marcy Scott
They're being organized and held all over the place, and for a
Jobs for the Blind
By Jean Marcley
I have been legally blind since about age 10. My eyesight has
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2008
BEYOND THE REASON WHY
BY EDWIN COONEY
Like most everyone else, almost any time I hear of a tragedy, the first reaction that enters my mind or crosses my lips consists of the wordwhy? Very often, however, the question why just isnt enough.
The tragedy that has recently gripped my attention happened during the third week in January in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania about six miles from Center City, Philadelphia. Fifty-three year-old Barbara Killian -- blinded from an accident when she was a baby -- and her little white lap dog A-Rod died in the basement of their home by the hand of Barbaras eighty-four-year-old father Robert Killian who then turned the gun on himself. Mr. Killian had just been released from a local hospital having been treated for advanced cardiovascular disease. Convinced that he didnt have long to live, Mr. Killian apparently believed he had to provide a permanent solution for what he perceived would be Barbaras troubles in his earthly absence. Thus, believing, as he did, that Barbara would be both alone and helpless in the world, he decided that her life should end with his. So, sometime between Tuesday, January 15, when Killian was released from the hospital, and Saturday evening, January 19 at six pm, Robert Killian shot Barbara, their little dog, and himself to death in the basement of their home on Cheswold Road.
According to the sum of all reports out of Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania: Barbara and Robert Killian had lived alone since the death of Shirley, Barbaras mother and Roberts wife, in 2001; the Killians minded their own business; Robert Killian was extremely protective of Barbara; and, finally, there was a lot of love in the Killian home as evidenced by Mr. Killians constant devotion to Barbara.
So there you have it: the who, the what, the where, the when, and, superficially, the why of the story. Surely, however, knowledge of these guidelines which every news reporter knows brings one no satisfaction. If youre anything like me, perhaps you need to pause and take it all in before reading on.
In the emotional wake that occurs as one learns of this tragedy, there is the natural tendency to be outraged, not only with Killians murder of his daughter, but even more with what was clearly his demeaning attitude about Barbaras very existence as a person with blindness. There are reports that neighbors called area social services from time to time to complain that Barbara was being held captive by her parents in her home, the response to which caused the Killians to retreat further into seclusion with their daughter. Inevitably, one wonders what exactly went on in that household upon Mr. Killians January 15th return from the hospital. How long had Robert Killian contemplated this irrevocable deed? What religious or moral matters did Mr. Killian consider before taking Barbara to the basement of their home to meet her death? Did Killian tell Barbara in advance of his intention or was there a reasoned or even gentle pretext to the basement visit? Did Robert Killian see his act as one of love or one of despair?
Information out of greater Philadelphia regarding Barbara Killians existence is sketchy but still revealing. A 1973 graduate of Overbrook School for the Blind, Barbara was shy, intelligent and fun loving. She was a baseball fan of the Yankees, especially Alex Rodriguez whom she had met through an organization for the blind. Thus, she named her little dog A-Rod.
What happened to Barbara Killian has to be very personal on some level to everyone who lives with a disabilityespecially those who live with blindness. All of us, whether born able-bodied or disabled, are vulnerable to our parents individual environments, values, and attitudes. Even more relevant to the Killian family tragedy is the strong parental instinct, the overwhelming need to protect our children from the worlds many outrages.
While were certainly justified in our righteous anger toward Robert Killian, that anger alone is as destructive to you and me as Killians thirty-eight caliber pistol was to Barbara. It would be more helpful, I think, for us all to re-examine what it means to love and protect one another as well as ones children.
It would be arrogant for any of us to question Mr. Killians love for his daughter. However, Robert and Shirley Killians love for Barbara was clearly misdirected as evidenced by their decision to reject a college scholarship, choosing to have her stay at home instead of broadening her horizons. Their legitimate mission was to protect her life and to empower others to ensure her security after they were gone. Its quite apparent that Mr. Killian was more overwhelmed by his fears than he was sustained by the better angels of his nature.
Nothing we can say or write, no wish we can wish, no prayer we may pray can undo what was done to Barbara Killian by her father. Love is a powerful force. As such it can nurture, sustain, encourage, and therefore foster growth and even greater love. However, if love is administered with jealousy or fear, it can destroy. It appears that the Killians powerful love for Barbara went awry and, hence, it destroyed.
Sadly, Robert Killian believed that the world wasnt sufficiently trustworthy to match his love for Barbara, hence he took her with him for her own protection.
Happily, most of us know that the world is worthy because you and I are worthy of the kind of love that sustains and nurtures.
So, in the words of a hit song from the 1970s: Let your love flow
Hi Bob. I'm glad the email version of "The Consumer Vision" is not
Catch a Vision
By Allison Vigna
I am going to respond to a question that I have recently been asked several times and that is: "Who is Jesus Christ?"
I have 50 statements that I have compiled according to the Word of God. (Aka... The Bible).
If there are any questions or comments please email me @
Please do your homework on this subject matter because if you are not seeking him for oneself then one cannot find.
The Word of God says SEEK and YOU SHALL FIND.
Thank you to all the readers
GOD BLESS YOU
The Consumer Vision Trivia Contest
Here is the answer to the trivia question submitted in The Consumer Vision, May/June edition. On the soap opera, Days of Our Lives, Steve Johnsons nickname is Patch. Congratulations to the following winners:
Sharon Costa of New Bedford, Massachusetts
Jan Colby of Brockton, Massachusetts
Gert Moore of New Bedford, Massachusetts
Valerie Morris of Westfield, Massachusetts
Emily Wong of Dartmouth, Massachusetts
Brandi Bills of Monoma, Wisconsin
Retha Reed of Harrisonburg, Virginia
Mary Reis of Fall River, Massachusetts
And now, here is your trivia question for the July/August edition of the Consumer Vision: Who is the sister of tennis player Venus Williams? If you know the answer, please email us at email@example.com or give our office a call at 508-994-4972.
This is a simple dish to make, but if you are going to make more than four portions, you should give yourself three hours to prepare the salad and three hours to cool the salad in the fridge. So you may want to prepare this dish one day ahead of serving.
You can make a semi large potato salad and use it over a three or four day period.
On Average, you can figure on: 2 medium to large potatoes, 1 egg and a quarter of an onion per portion. So, for six portions you would use about 12 medium to large potatoes, six eggs and a quarter of an onion per person, or 1 and one half good-sized onions.
The day you are going to eat the salad, you mix in the mayonnaise into the portion you are going to use or you can put in the mayonnaise for the entire recipe.
Ingredients for six portions:
About 12medium to large potatoes, or two potatoes per person,
6 eggs, or one egg per portion,
A teaspoon of mayonnaise per person,
1 shake of salt for each person and one twist of black pepper.
And 1/2 teaspoon of bacon bits per person optional.
You can buy the bacon bits at your grocery store, or make them at home.
The bacon recipe has been given to you under a triple recipe, which included pancakes, bacon and syrup and melted butter in Your October 2007 edition of this magazine.
I use a cutting board inside a cookie sheet to cut up all of my ingredients so as to limit my mess to the interior of the cookie sheet. Because I am lazy, I do all of my chopping at the kitchen table sitting down.
One semi large saucepan with cover,
Medium bowl for your eggs,
One small bowl for your onions,
One small container for your bacon bits,
One large container or bowl to mix the entire salad and store it in the fridge,
Piece of foil or Saran wrap to cover your bowl of salad.
1. Check to make sure you have all of the needed ingredients and utensils.
2. Take your eggs out of the fridge to partially bring them to room temperature.
3. Fill your pan half full of water and put your burner on high. Also cover the pan.
4. Begin washing your potatoes under running water and take out the eyes if there are any.
5. Fill your large bowl with water and, at the sink, start peeling your potatoes and putting them in the bowl with water.
As a rule, you should keep raw potatoes under water so that they will not turn brown.
6. When your water begins to bubble gently, drop your eggs in to the pan so that they will not break.
7. Now, set your timer for 7/8 minutes.
8. Return to peeling your potatoes.
9. Now cut your potatoes in to bite size pieces and keep them under water
10. Peal and chop your onions. If pressed for time you can use your food processor to chop your onions,
But it is better if you chop your onions by hand, but finely.
11. By now your timer should have rung. When it does pour your eggs gently into a colander in the sink.
12. Refill your pan half full of water and put your heat on high in preparation for your potatoes.
13. After your eggs have cooled somewhat, crack them on the edge of the sink and remove shells..
You can save your eggs shells for your compose pile, if you have one.
14. Go back to chopping your onions.
15. When your water begins to boil, bubble gently pour in your potatoes so that they will not splash and burn you.
16. Set your timer for 15 minutes and put your heat on medium high.
17. Now begin chopping up your eggs in to small pieces and place into a bowl, which you can put temporarily in the fridge.
18. When your timer rings, get out your slotted spoon and spoon up some potatoes. Then carefully bring your spoon to the sink and put on some cold water to cool your potatoes so that you can taste them for their "doneness".
You want your potatoes cooked but not soft.
You will get the hang of it after a few tries.
19. You now pour in all of your ingredients into a large bowl. Only some at a time, so they will mix well. Use your squarish rubber spatula to do the mixing.
20. This is the time to mix in your shakes of salt and twists from your peppermill One shake or twist per serving.
21. If you prefer to only mix in the mayonnaise just before serving, you just spoon into a separate bowl the amount of potatoes, eggs and onions you plan on serving that day.
22. I am lazy so I mix in all of the mayonnaise at one time and keep the salad well covered in the fridge until I finish eating it in the next four or five days.
23. Regardless, You now mix in your teaspoons of mayonnaise. The recipe calls for one teaspoon per portion, you will probably want to use more than prescribed, it is a matter of taste and everyone's taste is different.
24. Optional, after mixing in my mayonnaise, I mix in my bacon bits a half a teaspoon per person or portion.
25. As noted above you can keep this salad for 4 or 5 days in the fridge, if it is well covered.