ou won’t find a more committed guy than Jimmy Ray. This is the 20th time Eagle 97.3′s morning man-child has gone the distance for the March of Dimes.
10 On Your Side
For most of us reading a news article with the headline: “Rising gas prices aren’t as bad as you think”, does little to comfort the pain of having to pay more and more when filling up our car. In fact, as I found out posting this on Facebook, it makes some outright furious: not only with the actual prices of gas, but also with the assumption that we somehow aren’t affected as badly as we’d like to think.
About an hour after posting this article, more than a hundred of you commented. The vast majority of you posted under the sentiment: “Yes… we ARE feeling it!”. I read through the dozens upon dozens of posts. Some of you have made some serious changes to your routine. Tina posted, “We have altered our work schedules so that we can basically share the van because it has better gas mileage. I ride my bike to the grocery store when only getting a few small things, and carpool to the sports [events] more often.”
Pamela says she’s “trying to get in a carpool at work. I just buy less food unfortunately.”
Others say they’ve traded in their gas-guzzlers for more fuel-efficient options. Sheila wrote, “I traded my large SUV in for a more affordable Honda….” And James posted that he bought a gas-saving commuter car to drive to work instead of his truck. He added, “I would have never done that if gas prices didn’t go up.”
There’s another side to this gas debate. There are those who side with the experts cited in the CNN Money article. Jennie’s comment clearly shows where she stands on this issue: “ I personally laugh at the ones complaining about increased gas, but own smart phones, ipads, etc…. [T]hey have had no problem shelling out extra money for more apps, more data, etc.”
Jason suggested, “Record how much you actually spend (on gas), and you’ll find it’s not that bad unless you need to drive a lot. It’s about the same as getting a coffee every morning.”
Michael took on a more aggressive stance, claiming we in the U.S. don’t take fuel consumption seriously enough. He posted: “Stand at an intersection in Hampton Roads. Any intersection. Watch traffic. Look at the types of vehicles moving. Big, huge, gigantic gas-guzzling vehicles with only 1 or 2 people inside. People flooring the gas pedal when the light turns green. People tailgating. And these are only a few examples of factors that contribute to poor fuel economy…. So as prices go up, and you’re scratching your head at the pump as to why prices are going up, simply look around. The reason, is US.”
Stephanie agreed with Michael. She posted, “I love how everyone is saying, ‘I go to the store less often’ and ‘we carpool more’ like these are BAD things. You should be doing that anyway, regardless of what gas prices are! If you’re not then YOU are part of the problem. Like Michael said, the problem is not the prices, it’s your consumption.”
What if we had more public transportation options? I lived in Spain for several months and was thoroughly impressed by how easy it was to live without a car. It’s a luxury those of us in some parts of Hampton Roads would really struggle without.
Talking on Europe, Schonna posted, “… NO COMPARISON! They have incredible infrastructure. Buses and metro systems give everyone an alternative. Their cars are built differently in size and fuel economy. And you have local markets for everything you need in every town. When we have all that I would be ok with $9 a gallon for gas.”
Stephanie (same as above) countered Schonna’s Europe argument writing, “Funny how you all say that Europe has better public transportation and that’s why it’s OK for their gas prices to be so high… We pay at least a dollar more than you in Chicago but we also have great public transportation. But yet when they try to build a better infrastructure for you and create public transportation (light rail) you vote against it time and time again…. You can’t have it both ways – you have to either agree to improve your public transportation or pay the higher gas prices.”
In places with more transportation options, like Washington D.C., folks are noticing more passengers riding alongside them on the trains and metro. On my WAVY Facebook page, Carleigh told me she takes the train into DC everyday, “I have noticed that the trains have been a lot more crowded lately. I also read an article on the VRE (Virginia Railway Express) yesterday that mentioned the possibility of an increase in train fares. Their reasoning… gas prices.”
From what I’ve cleaned from these comments is that most of you simply feel the article is out of touch. As Stephen put it, “Whoever wrote this obviously doesn’t work with me. Where we haven’t seen even a cost of living raise in 5 years. The numbers on everything except my paycheck are constantly on the rise.”
I emailed the author, Steve Hargreaves at CNN Money. I asked him where he came up with the idea, and if he’s gotten a lot of reaction. He replied within just a few minutes. Here’s his unedited response: “Oh yes, there’s been lots of reaction to it – mostly negative. The idea came from an old S&P study showing that, thanks to higher wages and better fuel economy, people have to work half the hours now to drive the same distance as they did in the early 1980s. The study was done using 2006 numbers, but the general premise still holds true: Gas prices don’t hurt as much now as they used to.”
As of 8:15 a.m. Friday morning (3/23/2012), Hargreaves’ article was just short of 2,000 comments.
For the sake of privacy I’ve omitted last names from the comments that I’ve taken from the Facebook thread. Thanks for all those who took the time to reply to the thread.
We tell you stories like this one on a regular basis, but it’s good to have a reminder every once in a while.
One day last week I took a call from a viewer who received a letter in the mail along with a check stating she won a foreign lottery. When she called she said she knew the check was fake and someone was trying to scam her. She wanted us to get the word out so other viewers wouldn’t fall for the scam. She sent me the letter and I promised her I would post it. Below I’ve scanned the letter, the check and the envelope and highlighted some of the signs that prove this is a scam
First comes the envelope: The first thing I notice about this envelope is it is postmarked in Canada.
The second thing I notice is there is no return address, so it’s not traceable (sneaky scammers!)
Next comes the prize letter: Did you notice the return address on the prize letter is from the United Kingdom? So now, you have a return address on the envelope (above) from Canada and a return address on the letter from the UK (hmmm).
Also the letter states the recipient has won a Mega Lottery in the UK. Did you recently travel to the UK and while you were there enter a lottery? Chances are NO!
The third thing I noticed is that they want you to keep your winnings confidential until your claim has been processed. WHY?!?!?!? Are they trying to keep you quiet so someone doesn’t warn you that it’s a scam and tell you to throw the letter away? (YEP!)
Finally, the check: As with the envelope and the letter above, check the address on the check. This check is written off of a bank account in FL. (So now you have a return address in Canada, one in the UK and one in FL? Okay!)
Then look at the return address: Certified Manufacturing, Inc. A quick Google search tells me the business is a woman-owned small business in Holt, FL that is “an industry leader in electronics manufacturing and laser wire marking for the military and aerospace industries.” (http://www.certifiedmanufacturing.com) C’mon now, do you really think they have time to get involved in a Mega Lottery in the UK? (Umm, no!)
Here’s what you can do. If you receive a letter/check like this one look for the signs. Usually they are very evident and just take a few minutes to figure out. If the letter comes through the mail, you can file a complaint with the Mail Fraud Department . Also if any portion of the mailing is postmarked from Canada, you can contact Phone Busters, the Canadian anti-fraud department and file a complaint with them. Lastly, remember if it seems to good to be true… it is. Now throw the letter away and never look back!
It could be perched on a utility pole which it’s eye fixed on cars flashing through an intersection. It can render a judgment for police against a motorist who takes liberties with a traffic signal; or maybe it’s watching you stroll outside a public building, or its lens scans the concrete ramp of a parking garage after midnight.
Surveillance cameras are popping up in various public locations in Hampton Roads; a watchful eye against human misbehavior. Privacy advocates call it something else.
“ When the government puts cameras up in public places, like parks and sidewalks, we believe it is infringing on the individual right to privacy,” says Kent Willis, Executive Director of American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia. “The government has no right to track your movements unless it suspects you, individually, of being engaged in a criminal activity.”
Tracking criminal activity is the primary motivation of private business as it releases those grainy recordings of robberies, burglaries and other misdeeds that wind up on WAVY-TV. There’s no evidence to suggest surveillance in these cases “deters” criminals, but police say it greatly aids in the apprehension of those who commit these acts.
“I can say it helps us immensely as investigators,” says Detective Allison Erickson from Newport News Police. That city has seen a 33 percent drop in violent crime over the last decade. Police will not go so far as to say that decrease is linked to more use of surveillance cameras, but investigators say it’s been a help. “In cases where we may not have a witness, it gives us a witness,” says Erickson.
But the increasing presence of these electronic witnesses also concerns the ACLU.
“Keep in mind that while most cameras can now only be used to identify you in case of a crime, the way technology is developing, it won’t be long before those cameras can identify you by name. We are not far away from a time when the government may be able to know when you left your house, where you went and what you did. That should truly frighten us,” says Willis.
Mark Dionne who owns Eagle Security Solutions, a Chesapeake company which installs surveillance systems, sees it differently, ”Certainly if you’re in public, you have no expectation of privacy, and if you have no expectation of privacy, then I don’t care where you have a camera at that point.”
As long as you have a smart phone or tablet, basically anything that allows you to access WAVY.com on the go, you can now watch WAVY video LIVE. Our live video stream is now available via these devices. We currently stream all of our M-F newscasts as well as the weekend morning show. In between shows, you’ll be able to view a live Super Doppler 10 radar shot or our tower cam, maybe traffic cameras, who knows?
So, spread the word.
There’s a new e-mail scam plaguing many inboxes across the country.
Many have filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau claiming that they have received a e-mail saying that their “Fat Loss Monitor” is in the mail. One problem: The person never ordered that item.
This e-mail unfortunately contains links to check the status of the order, but those links make the recipient susceptible to an array of viruses.
View a sample version of this e-mail.
The BBB offers these tips when confronting this e-mail, and similar shipping fraud e-mails:
- Do NOT click on any hyperlinks. You should, however, hover over the link to see where the link will take you once clicked. Amazon links should always start with http://www.amazon.com. If the destination is anything other than the company sending you the e-mail, do not click.
- If you do click on these links too late, do a full virus scan on your computer.
- Good rule of thumb: If you aren’t expecting an e-mail, use caution before clicking on links or replying. Report to the BBB anything that looks suspicious.
- If you find that you have given a potentially fraudulent company your credit card information, take steps to protect your finances. Contact your credit card company and take their advice on any steps you should take.
- Beware of e-mails full of typographical and grammatical mistakes.
The Better Business Bureau provides a long list of scams on its website: http://www.bbb.org/us/scams
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) released information today about a malicious email circulating the country and warns businesses and consumers not to open the email.
The agency says the email appears to come from a Better Business Bureau employee about a recently filed complaint with the organization. The email tells the recipient that they must review the matter and advise the organization of their position on the complaint. The recipient is directed to a link which the email claims will take the reader to the BBB website, in fact the link takes the recipient to a 3rd party website. The email contains a dangerous attachment regarding the complaint itself. The agency strongly advises people to not open the email because the attachment and the link are both considered malicious and can put a virus on your computer.
The organization says the email did not originate from the BBB. It is important to note the Better Business Bureau does not send complaints as attachments via email.
Should a consumer or business owner receive the e-mail, the BBB asks that you disregard the email and report any information received to the BBB Scam Portal and then delete the e-mail. It is also suggested that if you click the link, you should immediately do a virus scan on your computer.
We’re hearing of a tax scam in Suffolk where victims (mainly senior citizens) are being told that they are entitled to a rebate of up to $4000. The victim is told to get the last three year’s worth of 1099 statements from Social Security. Using the statements, the scam artist prepares three years worth of tax returns for a fee, reporting false information generating a bogus refund. We’ve been told the filing fee is around $25 per tax year. In many cases, the IRS will catch mistakes and not mail the bogus refund amount. If the bogus refund is mailed and the IRS discovers the discrepancies later, the taxpayer if forced to pay the money back…interest and penalties included.
In the meantime, the scam artist has earned the filing fee(s) and can no longer be found.
The victim is not only out of the money they’ve spent on “filing fees”, but have also become candidates for identity theft.
Please warn your loved ones about this scam. It is so easy to become enticed by this so called easy money.
Labor Day may have represented the end of pool season, however, the danger of drowning for young children is real all year long. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 1 to 4. An April 2011 report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) indicates that from 2005-2009, there were about 660 submersion incidents involving children younger than five years old in non-pool and non-spa products. Bathtubs, buckets, and toilets are just a few examples of places around the home where a young child can drown if not monitored properly. The CPSC offers the following drowning prevention tips:
- Never leave young children alone near any water or tub or basin with fluid. Young children can drown in even small amounts of water.
- Always keep a young child within arm’s reach in a bathtub. If you must leave, take the child with you.
- Don’t leave a baby or young child in a bathtub under the care of another young child.
- Never leave a bucket containing even a small amount of liquid unattended. Toddlers are top heavy and they can fall headfirst into buckets and drown. After using a bucket, always empty and store it where young children cannot reach it. Don’t leave buckets outside where they can collect rainwater.
- Consider placing locks on toilet seat covers in case a young child wanders into the bathroom.
- Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). It can be a lifesaver when seconds count.
I hope your day started off smoothly. And I hope your kids made it safely, with no tears, to their respective classrooms. Summer vacation is officially over!
The morning commute, I know, was pretty hairy for a lot of people. How many days left until the next break? Just remember, this afternoon those buses will be out there once again to take the kids home.
Here’s what the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles had to say about the buses on the roadways:
Remember, when you see the flashing red lights and the stop bar, you must stop and allow children to get on or off the bus. Here are some other tips to remember:
* School buses are one of the safest vehicles on the road.
* Most school bus incidents happen off the bus, not on the bus.
* If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least five giant steps (10 feet) ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure that the bus driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.
* When the bus approaches, stand at least five giant steps (10 feet) away from the curb, and line up away from the street.
* School buses don’t have seat belts in them because they have a built-in occupant protection system known as “compartmentalization,” which is a system of seat height, seat length and padding, among other requirements. Compartmentalization is like an egg carton protecting a child.
We all need a refresher course on bus stop and bus safety. It has been a rather busy summer. Enjoy the start of the school year and have a safe one!