Are all those 3D movies and video games affecting our family’s eyes?
America’s love for the movies is no secret, and the record number of 3D films that hit movie theaters and Blu-ray players every month is helping satisfy our cinematic appetite, transforming entertainment into a super sensory experience.
But as 3D continues to make its mark on our culture, many of us are asking what impact it is having on our eyes? Moreover, not everyone can even view 3D effects, say experts.
Some 3D viewers have found themselves experiencing eye strain, headaches or even nausea while watching 3D movies. While some attribute this to the 3D imagery, it’s actually more likely that the person may have an undiagnosed vision problem.
“About five percent of the population can’t perceive 3D because they’re monocular, which means they only use one eye to see,” says Dr. Roger Phelps, a private practice VSP Vision Care optometrist based in Ojai, Calif. “Another 25 percent of the population has borderline binocular vision, meaning they can use both eyes to perceive 3D, but it’s difficult for them because their eyes may not be working in synch together.”
3D movies present two different images on screen, separated by a certain distance to enhance the perception of depth. Without 3D glasses — which filter the light and present different images to each eye — the scene on screen looks blurry and unclear. And if either eye is not in excellent focus, or if the eyes have a tendency to misalign with each other, it may be difficult for that person to enjoy a 3D film.
So what’s a 3D fan with less-than-perfect eye coordination to do?
The first step is to visit your eye doctor, who will first make sure that both of your eyes are in the best possible focus. If you still have problems even with your best glasses, the doctor may recommend treatment with vision therapy — a series of special techniques that help you learn how to better coordinate your eyes. You can even seek out an optometrist specializing in binocular vision therapy.
Some of the techniques used in vision therapy include extended viewing of 3D images. While this can cause fatigue, temporary nausea and headaches, longer viewing times and special glasses can actually provide more comfort and enjoyment for the 3D viewing experience. Seeing your eye doctor can help determine any underlying causes of problems, and best ways to treat the issue so you can enjoy all that 3D has to offer.
To find an eye doctor near you, visit vsp.com.
As for the rest of us, Dr. Phelps recommends common sense when deciding how much 3D viewing is too much. While a two-hour movie might be fine at first, over three hours is more likely to cause temporary eye strain for many viewers.
Archive for January 2011
Are all those 3D movies and video games affecting our family’s eyes?
About two weeks ago, Dr. Robert Stark joined the staff of Smith Northview Hospital as its newest OB/GYN in Valdosta, Ga..
He joins his wife, Dr. Maria Castellano, a gastroenterolgist who has been working at the Valdosta hospital since September of last year. In fact, Stark now shares an office with his wife. They have been married for sixteen years and have three school-age children, the main reason they relocated to Valdosta…more educational and other opportunities for their children. Stark has practiced in the South Georgia area for the last six years, coming to Valdosta from Waycross, and says he has found the people of Valdosta to be very friendly and welcoming to him and his family, and he looks forward to building up his practice.
Chuck Roberts, Assistant Administrator of Support Services, and Director of Business Development and Community Relations, is also in charge of recruiting doctors for the hospital. However, in Stark’s case, “We’re very fortunate that they found us,” since they were already interested in relocating to the area. They had been looking at schools for their children and took a tour of the hospital as well, and “we started talking.”
The hospital has a new $2.5 million, 6000-square-foot addition to its labor and delivery division, meaning they now have three more labor and delivery suites and two more post-partum rooms, bringing the total now to five labor and delivery rooms and fourteen post-partum rooms. With Stark now on staff, they also have a total of four full time OB/GYN’s. In 2010, the hospital delivered over 650 babies, and now with Starke on board, they hope to bump that total up to over 700 for 2011.
Stark will be building up his practice and accepting new patients in the next few months. For an appointment, contact: 229-588-4419. For a tour of the hospital or other information, contact Chuck Roberts at 229-671-2007.
Submitted by Eddie Richie, Head Coach, Madison Cunty High School Varsity
Madison is currently 7-11. The record does not indicate the way we are playing recently. We have won 2 of our last 3 games. Our last loss was at home to East Gadsden 65-63. Let me give you all an analogy: East Gadsden is to basketball as Madison County is to football. We could have and should won that game. We missed a few gimmies and free throws that would have gave us a bigger lead in the final minutes. It was an intense game that left the players’ heart broken in the end. As a coach, there is no such thing a “good loss”, but this one wasn’t exactly bad. We learned that we can play with one of the best teams in the state, especially in 3A and they are in our district. The travesty of the game, besides the loss, was there was only about 100 people there to see real good basketball.
1/21/11 7:30 PM vs. Taylor County (Perry, FL) *(Madison, Florida)
1/22/11 7:30 PM @ Jefferson County (Monticello, FL)
1/25/11 7:30 PM vs. Baker County (Glen St. Mary, FL)
1/26/11 7:00 PM @ Lincoln (Tallahassee, FL)
1/29/11 7:30 PM vs. Suwannee (Live Oak, FL)(Senior Night)
2/01/11 7:30 PM @ Baker County (Glen St. Mary, FL)
2/03/11 7:00 PM vs. Melody Christian Academy (Live Oak, FL)
District Tournament is @ Madison Feb. 9-11
By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
The Madison County School board began its Jan. 18 meeting by recognizing Arturo Lora, a fifth grade student at Pinetta Elementary School. Lora is the Overall Winner in the District Christmas Art Contest.
Each year the contest chooses the artwork to go on Christmas cards sent out by the School Superintendent to all school district employees. This year, they were sent out as e-cards in order to save money. The competition begins in the classroom, where teachers select the first round of winners, then moves on to grade level, and from there, to a school-wide winner. One student from each school is recognized for the final round, and from that small group, the final overall winner is chosen – this year, Arturo Lora gets the top honors.
“That’s probably the best thing that happened,” said Jane Dickey, of a meeting that was otherwise quiet and predictable, “business as usual.”
The board members approved all items on the meeting agenda, including the DOE funded projects “Learning for Life” and “Race to the Top,” both of which were continuations from last year.
The board also agreed to joint use of in-district transportation with Boys and Girls Clubs to basketball games between the district’s elementary schools for January, February and March, and approved a contract for Club Z! In-Home Tutoring for Supplemental Education Services for eligible students.
My father was born Jan. 21, 1936, in the midst of the Great Depression to a family that didn’t have much money even during the good times. His father, Gene Bembry, was quite a bid older than his mother, Iduma Conine Bembry. Daddy was the second child born into the family.
Daddy’s older brother, Sam, moved away. As soon as he got old enough, he joined the Navy and later settled in San Jose, Calif. His widow, Ada, and their three children, Jeff, Kathy and Diane still live in the Golden State today. As a matter of fact, Daddy talked to Jeff on the phone the other day.
After Daddy, there was Frank, who was killed in a car wreck on an icy road in Bozeman, Mont. on his 30th birthday in 1968; Lewis, who died in Atlanta, Ga., in the 1990s; Sarah, who works as a nurse for the VA in Huntsville, Ala.; Horace, who worked for JB Davis and then the City of Jasper, who died in 2009; Carlton, who also died in 2009; and Nina, who lives in Lee. My father loves all of his brothers and sisters and he still misses the ones who have gone on before him. He, Sarah and Nina are the only surviving children of Gene and Iduma Bembry.
I believe that Daddy loved my mama more than he ever loved anyone else. I didn’t really see this until the times that Mama was sick in 1994 and in 1998. Daddy visited her bedside every day until her death on Jan. 16,1999.
Daddy also has a deep and abiding love for me, my brother and my sisters. We irritate him a lot of the time, but I think he knows that his love for us is returned to him.
My father has never had much money but he has given all his children love. I thank God for him and wish him a very happy 75th birthday.
CRENSHAW MOVES FORWARD ON COMMON-SENSE HEALTH CARE; VOTES TO REPLACE OBAMACARE WITH REFORMS TO HELP AMERICANS
Submitted by Rep. Ander Crenshaw’s Office
WASHINGTON, DC – Following through on his commitment to help enact efficient, effective health care reforms that do not hurt our economy, Congressman Ander Crenshaw today (1/20) voted to replace ObamaCare with common-sense reforms. The vote follows Wednesday’s (1/19) action where the U.S. House of Representatives voted, with Crenshaw’s support, to repeal the nation’s new health care law.
“Congress is leading be example, fulfilling its pledge to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with policies that make sense for all Americans,” said Crenshaw. “I’m proud to take votes that mean we’ve listened to our constituents and are acting on their behalf to repeal and replace this flawed law.”
“Floridians did not ask for more taxes, fewer jobs, and more mandates that only weaken our economy and eliminate jobs,” Crenshaw continued. “They did ask for health care that costs less. They did want to choose their own doctors and get the treatment need when they need it. And, they wanted to be in charge of their health care decisions, not the federal government. We are getting down to work right away.”
H. Res. 9, which passed the House of Thursday (1/20), provides instructions for the Committee on Education and the Workforce, the Committee on Energy and Commerce, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on Ways and Means, to each develop replacements to the health care law that would:
- Foster economic growth and private sector job creation by eliminating job-destroying policies and regulations;
- Lower health care premiums through increased competition and choice;
- Preserve a patient’s ability to keep his or her health plan if he or she likes it;
- Provide people with pre-existing conditions access to affordable health coverage;
- Reform the medical liability system to reduce unnecessary and wasteful health care spending;
- Increase the number of insured Americans;
- Protect the doctor-patient relationship;
- Provide the States greater flexibility to administer Medicaid programs;
- Expand incentives to encourage personal responsibility for health care coverage and costs;
- Eliminate duplicative government programs and wasteful spending; or,
do not accelerate the insolvency of entitlement programs or increase the tax burden on Americans.
By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
At Wednesday night’s Jan. 19 meeting, the County Commission voted 5-0 to deny a request from Nestle Waters to vacate three undeveloped subdivision lots the company had purchased from River Highlands subdivision. The three lots, five acres each, are contiguous to Nestle’s well field property near the town of Lee.
Kent Koptiuch, Natural Resources Director for Nestle, said that the company wants to extend its level of protection over the property and include the three lots in its forestry management plan to protect its groundwater system.
Commission Ellis asked if anything was preventing Nestle from doing that now, with property remaining as it was, undeveloped platted lots owned by the company. Koptiuch replied that there was noting stopping them, but that the company simply wanted to make it formal, the three lots becoming one contiguous lot instead of three separate ones, returning to acreage as if the lots had never existed. Ellis raised the concern about setting a precedent; other businesses have sometimes taken advantage of a zooming change that pulled platted lots out and reverted them back to an agricultural zoning.
“We’re in it for the long run,” said Koptiuch. “We don’t have an ulterior motive (except) protecting our investment. This is one more tool in our tool box to better protect that land.”
Jimmy Anderson, a resident of River Highlands subdivision, who lives next to one of the lots, protested the zoning change. Nestle attorney Austin Peele pointed out that the company had met all requirements for the request and had shown good faith in resource management so far.
However, because Nestle could continue its current plans without the change they had requested, the Commissioners voted 5-0 to deny the request.
Another item generating much discussion was the signing of the Community Covenant pledging support for military families in the Madison area. Rae Pike spoke for several minutes assuring the Commission that the covenant was nothing more than a statement of affirmation for active military personnel and their families, that the county was not going to be made financially liable for anything by signing, and that contrary to previous information the Commission had received, no “plan of action” was required before they signed the document at the signing ceremony, Saturday Feb. 5.
“This is a coalition, not a contract,” she said. “It is a promise of support.”
This public show of support, she said, is what motivates other people, other groups, to formulate the plans of action and the initiatives to provide help where it is needed. The Pentagon and Department of Defense has been actively encouraging small communitie across the country to sign these covenants, and if Madison signs, it would be the first community in the entire state of Florida to do so.
Since the Commission has on more meeting scheduled before the Feb. 5 ceremony, they agreed to put the covenant signing on the agenda for a vote at the next meeting, when they would have the new information documented for the county’
Madison Police Chief Gary Calhoun announces that the new Madison Police Explorer Post is having an Open House on Thursday, January 27 at 7 p.m. in the Criminal Justice Building (Building 35) at North Florida Community College.
This will be an informational meeting for potential Explorers (people from 14-20 who are interested in law enforcement). Parents are welcome to attend.
An explanation of the program and the requirement will be discussed along with an informational video. For more information, call the Madison Police Department at (850) 973-5077.
YOUR DAILY VOTE COULD HELP NFCC RECEIVE A $50,000 PEPSI REFRESH GRANT
MADISON, FL – Help North Florida Community College spread the word and gain votes for its Pepsi Refresh grant idea. Below is more information on how to vote and help NFCC be one of the top 10 ideas to receive a $50,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh project. If received, the Pepsi Refresh grant will help upgrade NFCC’s Van H. Priest Auditorium. Individuals can vote each day through Jan. 31. Each vote moves NFCC closer to becoming one of the top ten winning grants, so please help NFCC share this information with the community.
Please vote for North Florida Community College’s Pepsi Refresh grant idea each day through Jan. 31. NFCC has submitted a grant application to Pepsi Refresh for upgrades to the Van H Priest Auditorium. The goals for this grant are to:
- Renovate the theatre to provide state-of-the-art in-theatre tech booth
- Enhance the facility to attract high tech shows
- Improve quality of community productions
- Visit the Pepsi Refresh Website at: www.refresheverything.com/northfloridacommunitycollegevanhpriestrenovation.
- Click on Vote for This Idea on the right hand side of the site.
- Register, by typing in your email address and basic information.
- Once you are registered you will be able to login to the site each day and vote.
You can vote 3 different ways each day, online at the Pepsi Refresh Site, from NFCC’s Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/NFCC/96549977267) and from your mobile phone. To Vote from your mobile phone: Text* 105276 to Pepsi (73774) (*Standard text messaging rates apply.)
Please register now and vote each day. The voting ends Jan. 31.
NFCC YOUTUBE VIDEO
CRENSHAW VOTES TO REPEAL OBAMACARE; SUPPORTS REPLACEMENT WITH REFORMS TO LOWER HEALTH CARE COSTS, GROW ECONOMY
Submitted by Ander Crenshaw’s Office
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Ander Crenshaw today (1/19) voted to repeal ObamaCare and will fight on to replace the new law with reforms that will lower health care costs and grow the economy.
“Dollar for dollar the numbers didn’t add up when I opposed ObamaCare before, and they don’t add up now. Raising taxes, imposing new mandates, and increasing uncertainty for employers and entrepreneurs is not what we need in a time of double digit unemployment and massive debt,” said Crenshaw, who urged his colleagues to support repeal in a House floor speech. “That’s why I support this law’s repeal and back its replacement with common-sense reforms to lower health care costs and protect jobs.”
“My constituents did not ask for policy that would weaken our economy and eliminate jobs. They didn’t ask for mandates to stand in the way of economic progress. They didn’t ask for cuts to Medicare. And, they certainly did not ask for costly new taxes,” Crenshaw continued. “Yet, that’s what they have, and Congress is now in the position to brighten this stormy economic picture with policy that makes sense.”
“My focus remains on the positive: passing reforms that stimulate the economy, like tax cuts and less red tape; on making sure patients can choose their own doctors and get the treatment they need when they need it; and on making sure the government doesn’t control delivery of health care in this country,” said Crenshaw. “These are the types of policy changes my constituents told me they wanted, and I’m standing by them as we move forward.”
Congressman Crenshaw voted against the Democrats’, 2,000-page, budget-busting health care bill on November 7, 2009 and again on March 21, 2010. He has a strong record of supporting health care reform and supported the Republican plan in November, 2009. The Congressional Budget Office found that plan would lower health care costs, increases access, maintain Medicare benefits, end lawsuit abuse and preserve the doctor/patient relationship all without raising taxes.
Crenshaw has a strong record of supporting health care reform and has supported the following steps to cuts costs, increase accesss, and restore choice by:
• Erasing arbitrary rules that currently restrict consumers from purchasing across state lines.
• Prohibiting insurers from discriminating against a consumer based on pre-existing conditions, one’s health history or future risk.
• Making insurance plans portable so if you change jobs, you don’t have to change plans.
• Mandating all insurance providers describe their plans with plain language so consumers know what they are getting.
• Allowing small businesses, the self-employed, and others to band together and purchase health insurance at lower costs, resulting in more coverage for more people.
• Passing comprehensive medical liability reform that will prohibit frivolous lawsuits that cost our country $126 billion every year and allow doctors to freely provide the best care possible.
• Offering immediate and substantial financial assistance, through new, refundable and advanceable tax credits to the working poor.
• Promoting prevention and wellness by giving employers and insurers greater flexibility to financially reward employees who seek to achieve or maintain a healthy weight, quit smoking, and manage chronic illnesses like diabetes.
• Rewarding high-quality care, instead of encouraging health care providers to order more and unnecessary services.
Crenshaw has co-sponsored a number of common-sense health reform bills, including the following pieces of legislation:
- Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act
(H.R. 1086) – Medical liability reform bill that would limit non-economic damages and statute of limitations on lawsuits, and restrict attorney fees.
- Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2009 (H.R. 2607) – Small business health plan reform bill that would increase bargaining power of small businesses with insurance providers, lower costs by as much as 30%, and free small businesses from state mandates.
- Promoting Health and Preventing Chronic Disease through Prevention and Wellness Programs for Employees, Communities, and Individuals Act of 2009 (H.R. 3468) – Bill would provide citizens with a credit of up to 50% of wellness program and make competitive grants to eligible entities to plan and implement prevention and wellness programs that promote health and wellness and prevent chronic disease.
- Improved Employee Access to Health Insurance Act of 2009 (H.R. 3821) – Bill would prohibit states from establishing a law that prevents an employer from instituting an auto-enrollment process for coverage of a participant.
- Health Insurance Access for Young Workers and College Students Act of 2009 (H.R. 3887) – Bill would improve health insurance coverage of dependents by allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ plans until 25 years.
- Health Care Choice Act (H.R. 3217) – Bill would allow for the purchase policies across state lines.
According to the Perry Police Department, a viewer watching the news on WCTV identified John Woods and called authorities, who arrested Woods.
Woods was captured on Sunday morning, Jan. 16, after stepping off a Greyound bus in Perry.
The Berrien County, Ga. District Attorney’s Office issued the following statement on Sunday: “Due in part to the excellent job by the media in publicizing his absconding from house arrest, John Woods was recognized getting off a bus in Perry, Florida this morning. The concerned citizen who spotted him immediately contacted law enforcement, and he was taken into custody. We will, of course, seek to extradite him back to Georgia as soon as possible. On behalf of the victim’s family, I want to thank you all for your publicizing this matter, thank the alert citizen for his/her quick action and thank law enforcement for their tireless efforts and hard work.”
Chief Deputy Ray Paulk, of the Berrien County, Ga. Sheriff’s Office, said that John Woods had posted a $150,000 property bond and had been issued a tracking bracelet about a month after his arrest in 2009.
Paulk said that Woods had been granted small liberties, such as being allowed to leave his home to go to the doctor, but other than those, he had to remain at home.
On a Thursday afternoon in December, Paulk said that the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office had received a call from Woods’ mother that Woods was not at home.
Paulk said that the sheriff’s office had contacted Watchdog, a Douglas, Ga.-based company who provides the tracking bracelets. Watchdog said that they had gotten an alert on the bracelet around midnight on Wednesday morning, Dec. 29. For whatever reason, they had not contacted Berrien County authorities.
When asked if law officers had any indication where Woods might be, Paulk said, “No. I don’t think he’s anywhere around here, though. There’s no telling what part of the world he’s concentrating on.”
Details of the crime committed in 2009 were as follows:
On Oct. 2, a telephone call to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office resulted in the two-state murder investigation.
According to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, the caller reported finding what appeared to be charred human skeletal remains. Sgt. Randy Jansch responded to the location west of Highway 53 and south of Interstate 10 in Madison County. The remains were later identified as those of Travis A. Sauls of Berrien County, Ga.
Jansch called Capt. Mark W. Joost, the Chief Investigator for the Sheriff’s Office, to assist at the scene.
Sheriff Ben Stewart, Chief Deputy Epp Richardson, Sgt. Inv. Tina DeMotsis and Bill Pfeil, FDLE Special Investigator, also responded to the scene.
Within hours, John D. Woods, a 36-year-old white male resident of Ray City, Ga., was identified as a potential suspect in the homicide.
On Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009, Woods surrendered to the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office in Nashville, Ga.
The subsequent investigation revealed that on the previous Monday, Sept. 28, or Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009, Woods killed an individual in Berrien County, Ga. He then transported the body to the secluded area south of Interstate 10 in Madison County.
Woods was charged with concealing a death by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office.
By Ginger Jarvis
Greene Publishing, Inc.
Auditor Mack Waters presented two glowing reports to the Madison City Commissioners at their regular meeting on January 11. Both reports pertained to city finances in the fiscal year ending on September 20, 2010.
In the first report, Waters said, “The city does have assets, which is a good thing.” He added, “Compared to 2009, net assets did decrease.“ He said that water and sewage revenue was down about $100,000 and expenses were up due to some costly repairs.
“The city is in good financial condition,“ he said. He commended City Clerk Lee Anne Hall and the city staff for doing a good job with the records.
In the second report, he said he found no problems with compliance to requirements and rules. Both reports were unqualified, meaning he found no uncertainties in the records.
The commissioners unanimously approved acceptance of the audit.
In a related matter, Waters informed the board that the owner of the business which had provided software and support for the town’s computer system recently drowned while participating in a triathlon. “You do not have anybody to support your system because it is customized for you,” he stated. “It is important for you to do something.”
Waters recommended United Systems Technology, Inc., who can build a system according to the city’s wishes for about $3,000. Their license and annual support is proposed at just over $6,000. Other companies that he has checked would ask $40,000-60,000 for the same work.
In response to questions from commissioners, Waters said that United would provide eight hours of free training for city employees and that other customers are very happy with their work.
Mayor Judy Townsend asked City Manager Harold Emrich, “Can we find the money?”
He replied, “We shall.”
When Commissioner Jim Catron asked about bid requirements, Emrich said that the city could hire United through an emergency override.
The commissioners unanimously approved Catron’s motion to hire United to build and support the system.
In other business, the board tabled discussion and action on changes in three ordinances related to purchase, installation, and maintenance of backflow-prevention devices within the city. Emrich said that several local plumbers had requested a delay until they could meet with him and discuss the situation. (Prices for backflow preventers run from $316.48 to $803.08, depending on size. These prices include parts and labor.).
The ordinances will be on the agenda for the regular meeting on Tuesday, February 8.
At 12:43 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 15, Madison Fire and Rescue responded to a report of heavy smoke near the area of Hudson Street and MLK (Hwy 360-A).
Upon arrival, fire units found a private burn in progress that jumped one of the fire lines. The wind was also blowing flames toward three structures.
Assistance was requested and the New Home Volunteer Fire Department and the Division of Forestry sent personnel and equipment.
The fire was contained to the prescribed area and no damage or injuries were reported.
Submitted by Pat Lightcap
Sunday afternoon, January 16, 2011 was a busy time for firefighters in Madison County.
At 4 p.m., a structure fire was reported on Flowers Road, just south of Lovett Road. The Hamburg-Lovett Volunteer Fire Department responded with mutual aid from Madison and Greenville fire departments.
The Florida Highway Patrol, Madison County EMS and the Florida Division of Forestry also were at the scene.
A vacant structure called the “Drink Box Building” was destroyed. Because no electrical power was connected to the building the state fire marshal was requested to determine the origin of the blaze.
Within 30 minutes of that call, a brush fire on U.S. Highway 90, west of the City of Madison was reported and a third call caused a response from the Cherry Lake Volunteer Fire Department to a brush fire on State Road 53, south of Garden Street.
No injuries were reported at any of the fires.
Buescher feels that although the tax laws are very complex and ever-changing, opportunities exist through proper planning that can save tax dollars. “I feel that the more knowledgeable we are regarding our tax and business laws, the more we can use them to our benefit,” Buescher said. “I’m really excited about the weekly column. This is a means in which I can give back to our community.”
Buescher stated that this past year brought about sweeping changes with three major tax law changes and revisions. “These are the most sweeping changes since 1986,” Buescher said. He says there are pitfalls, and of course, opportunities, in each one of them. “Everyone needs to understand the effect each of these pieces of legislation may have on their individual tax situation and I will be offering information to help individuals and businesses understand and cope with them”.
Buescher and Ruff, L.L.C. is a local full service accounting firm specializing in tax preparation, business consulting and tax planning. Buescher has thirty years of public accounting experience in Valdosta and Madison and is dedicated to client service and satisfaction of their needs.
Buescher stated that he is grateful for the warm reception he has received from the Madison community since purchasing the firm in March 2010 from Frank Ruff upon his retirement. “I have been greeted with smiling faces and a warm welcome and have made many new friends,” Buescher stated.
In addition to his professional responsibilities, Buescher has had a strong desire to be very involved in the Madison community. He is a member of the Madison Rotary Club, the Madison Chamber of Commerce, and other community organizations. He says he plans on “rolling up his sleeves” and working with the United Way this year in particular.
In Valdosta, Buescher was a past President of the Valdosta area chapter of the Georgia Society of CPA’s. He was awarded the annual Georgia Public Service Award, presented by the Georgia Society of CPA’s, in 1993. Later, he was a National Semi-Finalist for the American Institute of CPA’s Public Service Award. In Valdosta, he was the 2009 Chairman of the Greater Valdosta United Way, a past president of the Boys Club of Valdosta, a former councilman for the City of Valdosta, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of First United Methodist Church and served on many other community boards and in various other positions.
He is also a Sunday school teacher and scout leader for the area Boy Scout Council. Buescher is a 1980 graduate of Valdosta State University and is married to the former Cathy Carter of Lakeland, Georgia. They have four children: Lane, Katie, Emma and Carter.
Buescher’s area of expertise is in individual and business tax preparation, business consulting, estate and retirement planning, business turnaround services, and cost controls analysis. He also offers computerized accounting services and payroll processing.
Buescher and Ruff, L.L.C. serves over 400 clients in the Madison, Lake City, Live Oak, Tallahassee and Valdosta areas. The firm consists of a staff of four experienced individuals, including Dale Stone, CPA, who has been with the firm for five years, Farie Blanton, a long time office manager at the firm for over 25 years, and Ashley Jones, a new staff accountant from Valdosta. Buescher and Ruff, L.L.C. may be reached at (850) 973-4034.
Two public hearings, a presentation on a new data system for the hospital and approval of a bid form for removal of deceased individuals will be on the agenda for the Wednesday, Jan. 19, Madison County Commission meeting.
The only item on the agenda under unfinished business is the approval of an Equal Employment Opportunity Plan for the county.
Under Public Works on the agenda will be a discussion regarding the purchase of a used excavator for the Road Department and a discussion concerning the paving of the interior area of solid waste collection sites.
Under new business is a public hearing to consider an application made by Nestle Waters to vacate certain subdivision lots in the River Heights subdivision. That public hearing is scheduled for 4 p.m.
At 5 p.m., a public hearing will be held to consider adoption of a ordinance concerning a large scale comprehensive plan amendment for the Suwannee River Management District to change land classification from conservation to agriculture-1.
Vicki Howerton will give a presentation on the new data system at Madison County Memorial Hospital.
Tim Sanders will present a form for businesses to bid on removal of deceased individuals. This would entail hauling corpses to the coroner’s office in Tallahassee.
A proclamation to recognize Hazardous Materials Awareness Week (Feb. 13-19) will also be presented to the board for consideration.
A budget amendment for an Emergency Medical Services building grant will be on the consent agenda.
Also on the consent agenda will be an amendment to the 2010-2011 contract with the Madison County Health Department.
A couple of weeks ago, an elderly gentleman approaching his 93rd birthday passed away quietly into the night in rural southeastern Pennsylvania. His name was Dick Winters. Like so many young men of his generation, Winters joined the US Army nearly seventy years ago. His leadership was soon recognized, so he attended Officer Candidate School (OCS) to quickly (they were called 90-day wonders) learn the skills of officership.
Now a 2nd Lieutenant, Winters volunteered for a new Army concept called paratroopers. Volunteer infantrymen would go through rigorous training and form units that would jump out of perfectly good airplanes behind enemy lines, then seize and hold key strong points, waiting for relief from stronger, conventional armor and infantry units. Airborne units, proven by the Germans in the first year of the war, were elite troopers. Winters not only volunteered for this type of duty, but he would be called to lead them into battle as a company commander.
In the US Army, a company is the basic fighting element. There might be 150-200 men in the company, generally organized into three platoons. Initially, Dick Winters was assigned as platoon leader. As he trained with his men, first in Toccoa, Georgia and later in North Carolina, the enlisted men recognized both his quiet demeanor and inherent leadership skills. Winters led from the front. He set the example and the troops appreciated that.
The first commander of E (Easy) Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the famed 101st Airborne “Screaming Eagles” did not enjoy the same loyalty as Dick Winters. In fact, the men hated his guts and vowed they wouldn’t follow him into combat. After they deployed to England and shortly before D-Day, he was replaced by Lieutenant Thomas Meehan who, like Winters, was well respected.
In the complex plan of the Normandy Invasion, the greatest seaborne assault in the history of warfare, the 101st Airborne along with the 82nd “All America” would parachute shortly after midnight into the Cotentin Peninsula behind the eastern flank of the invasion at Utah Beach. Since Utah was cut off from the other four invasion beaches, planners felt that the landing 4th Infantry needed to be supported from the rear. That was the job of the two American airborne divisions – to disrupt German defenses sufficiently to enable the 4th to get ashore and establish their advance.
Tom Meehan never had the opportunity to command Easy in combat – his C-47 with the headquarters element was shot down and all aboard killed as they approached the drop zone. The senior platoon leader, Dick Winters, assumed command and would lead the company into combat. In the darkness and early morning hours, he began to gather the scattered remnants of Easy from across the Normandy countryside.
On the afternoon of June 6th, 1944, Winters led thirteen paratroopers into an assault on a German artillery battery at Brecourt Manor protected by over fifty enemy soldiers. Winters’ squad destroyed the four howitzers that threatened the Utah landings and routed the enemy. To this day, the assault on Brecourt is studied by infantry courses and staff colleges as the epitome of a small squad attack on a fixed position.
Throughout the Normandy campaign and Operation Market Garden in Holland, Winters brilliantly led his company. In Holland, now Captain Winters stepped up to become the executive officer for 2nd Battalion. Later with a promotion to major, he became the battalion CO.
On December 18th, Easy and the rest of the Screaming Eagles were rushed to the Belgium crossroads village of Bastogne to block a major German assault — what we now call the Battle of the Bulge. In the worst winter that Europe had experienced in a half century, they hung on, alternately battling the Germans and frigid cold.
When the Germans demanded their surrender, the 101st commander General Anthony McAuliffe answered “nuts.” A week later when the 4th Armored broke through the German encirclement, Easy and their comrades were still hanging on. As the old saying goes, the starting position for a paratrooper is to be surrounded by the enemy. They never flinched.
The exploits of Easy and their great CO were recorded in 1992 by historian Stephen Ambrose’s best-seller “Band of Brothers.” The title comes from a verse in Shakespeare’s history Henry V; “From this day to the ending of the world, we in it shall be remembered, we band of brothers.” Later, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks turned the book into a ten part miniseries by the same title. If you’ve never read the book or seen the screen version, you should.
Did the members of Easy consider their service and sacrifice heroic? The answer was best summarized by one of its’ members response to his grandson’s query, “We’re you a hero in the war grandpa? No, but I served in a company of heroes.”
It takes a special leader to command such a group of brave men, and Dick Winters was an example of the finest company commander the Army could produce. On the evening of his first frightful day in Normandy, he vowed that if allowed to survive such horror and carnage, he would lead a peaceful life and never raise a hand again against his fellow man. Until his life on earth ended in early January, he kept that pledge. Now, he belongs to the ages. God rest, good and faithful servant.
A mother’s treasure is her daughter.
– Catherine Pulsifer
Friday, January 21, will mark the 16th birthday of my daughter, Brooke.
The driver’s license office will be the first stop of the day, but “normal” birthday celebrations will have to wait until Saturday, for Friday will be filled with school and basketball games.
16 – I can’t believe my “baby” has gotten that old. And if she is that old, then that makes me……
The ever-important age of 16; the age of a “real” driver’s license, dating, and being more and more places that I’m not.
Having/Raising children is truly a blessing from God. There is no greater gift, than that of a child. However, there is also no greater responsibility than that of raising a child. We raise our children, to the best of our ability, and we try to give them the knowledge and courage to stand on their own two feet, when we cannot be with them. The most that we can hope for is that when they are “on their own” some of that guidance, and knowledge, sticks with them and that they then can make the best decisions/choices, for themselves.
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
I am very proud of the young lady that Brooke is turning into. Her tender heart gives her the compassion and the ability to love everyone; her outgoing personality gives her the ability to make friends with anyone; and her love for life, in general, makes her a joy to be around. But most of all I am so proud of her Christian ethics and her moral values. She is truly beautiful on the outside AND on the inside.
Happy birthday, Brooke! I Love You and I’m So Very Proud Of You!
God blessed me well 16 years ago, and every moment since then!
Until then….see you around the town.