Professional technologists: Learning to love networking.

As a journalism student, I’m not going to lie-we have to read a lot of boring articles and stories. Occasionally, we are rewarded with a gem. It’s like being on the Discovery channel and Bear Grylls may or may not do something that violates society’s acceptable standards of what to eat or drink or how to survive. It’s an adventure and until you find yourself submerged in it-you never know what will happen next. Networking is similar to that concept-unknown. Possibility and opportunity go hand in hand if you are willing to step out of your “tent” and explore. Recently, an instructor at my university offered this article about LinkedIn, and I feel that it is a great one to share.

Starting to use LinkedIn as a professional tool can in the beginning be a bit overwhelming. I opened a LinkedIn account about a year ago at my husband’s request. I entered minimal personal information and then never checked it again until recently. I have found that LinkedIn is not the easiest site to navigate without a little insider information to help you navigate more efficiently. I actually learned that there are widgets to help you do a variety of things that enhance your profile. I definitely appreciate the opportunities to create a business page for my company (once I’m finished with school) and hope that when reading this blog, more of you will explore LinkedIn and expand your social network too!

The site offers the option to post events (FREE ADVERTISING!!!), join groups about topics you are interested in, look for a new job, and network. LinkedIn can provide opportunities and contacts that can enhance your professional standing and notoriety. Basically, in our www life, we have to start putting in the time and effort to reach a broader audience. The way that professionals handle themselves in marketing strategy is completely different from the Mad Men days. We have to be willing to participate in an adventure that will help us learn how to survive in a digital climate. LinkedIn provides a gathering place for you to post a link to your blog, or twitter, or company website. It gives you the opportunity to enhance your social networking experience, while utilizing free (or pretty inexpensive) tools to reach a broader spectrum of the market and resources.

Event Planning and Management can be extraordinary or it can lack the imagination and creativity that can only be showcased with not only raw talent, but also exposure to the world. The more you see, the more you personally experience, the better event designer you can be. Reach out-expand your network, experience and observe new options, take your professionalism to a new height, put in the time and effort required to expand your personal and professional brand, and then enjoy the opportunities that surround you like rays of warm sunshine.

As always, I welcome comments or questions. If you have articles or sites to share, please feel free to do so!

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Design and Technology, Hold hands.


This morning while on the internet I came across a great story showcasing functionality in design. Snarkitecture has taken utility to a new level of cool. Daniel Arsham’s apartment is a small loft space made of gray and white ping pong balls. The space is accessible by ladder, above the employee restroom. It is an oasis of modern design located in Brooklyn, where adding any extra space is like winning the lottery.

We can learn a lot from this design. In event planning the ultimate goal is to have a successful event that meets the clients needs/wants/exceeds their expectations. Design can come in all forms, it can be something as simple as a sculpture made with ping pong balls, a Statue of Liberty made of jelly beans, good spatial layout, or even a cake to die for! Event planning isn’t just party planning-it is enhancing a space to create a lasting impression, to give hospitality and welcome to all guests.

As professionals it is important to keep a cache of ideas at our disposal, not necessarily to recreate but rather to garner a smidgen of inspiration from. Utilize the technology available-ideas are limitless with the internet. Search engines are your best friend when stuck on how or what plan of action to take. If a company like Snarkitecture can use the internet to showcase a designer room, thus bringing hits to their site and expanding their brand name, I think as event planners we can take a hint from the hip computer nerds, and learn to expand our visibility by using social media and a network of billions of people and ideas.

The possibilities are limitless when using search engines, joining specialized sites( like The Event Planners Association), using social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, technology can work miracles as you build your company and personally brand yourself.

I welcome feedback from my readers and hope to hear from you! Do you have a site that you find helpful? Which search engines are your favorites? Do you have a blog or website that you follow and would like to recommend to others? Let’s build our online community!

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Hello to those of you who are just joining my blog. I use this blog for school related assignments and any extra curricular writing that I may need to do. I live in Oregon and attend the University of Oregon as a journalism major with an emphasis on public relations. I am finally a senior and will graduate with a BS this summer (after I take the dreaded math classes I have been putting off FOREVER!!) I am still unsure about what kind of position I hope to attain after graduation, but I’m confident that I will find something I enjoy. I hope to work as an events coordinator and volunteer with a major non-profit agency. I am a life long Oregon resident (webbed feet and all), a mother of three, a wife, a pet-parent, an avid movie watcher, and I adore spending time with my family. If you want to know more about me-just ask! Oh, and I should tell you that I love it when my readers leave comments on my blog! So comment away 🙂
On that note–
May you have a great day, wherever you are, whatever you are doing!

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The battle continues as Newport decides the fate of the “Red Zone”

The storm brewing in Newport Oregon is as frothy and filled with flavor as a Rogue ale, but the beer isn’t the point of contention between two groups as they face off over what the best choices are for the city council to make.

The city is proposing updating hazardous zoning maps, making homeowners within these zones liable for their own property, limiting future residences, and property owners are fighting back at the prospect of monetary loss.

In 2004 city officials working in conjunction with the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) requisitioned a field map of the eroding Newport coastline. At that time, no further action was taken and the updated map was shelved, even though it showed greater amounts of erosion from the last state mapping done in 1970. After the maps were brought to the city council’s attention in November of 2009 the city began pursuing a proposal to update the zoning and building codes based on the most current map available (from 2004). Concerned citizens decided to fight back and formed the Central Coast Home & Business Owners Association (CCHBOA) to fight the city.

The main concern that all parties involved can agree on is the economic factor and how it will affect the city, and property owners who would now be deemed “Red Zone” (because it is estimated that within 100-years the land will have eroded to unsafe building conditions). Once labeled with as a “hazardous zone” the property owner will no longer be able to obtain a normal mortgage and non-conforming mortgage rates start at over 12% if a lender can be found willing to loan to a property owner in a non-conforming zone. The land is immediately devalued and becomes a massive liability rather than the asset it currently is.

Real estate agents are extremely concerned about laws governing them to disclose the current “hazardous zoning” proposal to potential buyers of properties, and many feel that they have already lost sales because of the status of the proposal.

The city has just as much to lose. Without an influx of new residents and businesses it could easily suffer huge population losses and in this downturned economy that is not an acceptable option to anyone. The city is trying to balance the needs of its residents with the needs it has as a branch of government designed to protect and ensure the safety of the residents of the city. Without putting new zoning in place and limiting future structures the city could face future lawsuits due to negligence. The city has proposed that residents will have to file a liability waiver with the city, thus protecting it from any future lawsuit liability that may arise. The city council is taking great care to listen to both sides and fairly put into place an agreement that all parties can find mutually acceptable. Residents, in an effort to protect their rights, have asked the city to have the DOGAMI do a LIDAR (most current form of laser mapping) mapping of the area before making any final decisions. The city is considering it, but does not have the budget in place to proceed.

The CCHBOA has currently raised over $25,000 to begin a legal battle with the city if the proposal is passed. The city council is holding meetings every month as it further explores the options while trying to finalize an acceptable plan and trying to avoid litigation. The CCHBOA has posted flyers, put up a website, and is recruiting property owners support. The people are uniting for a cause they believe in. They have asked for grandfather clauses, no mandatory “red zoning”, or to have independent studies done before the council makes a final decision.

DOGAMI stands behind its maps and feels that they need to be put into use immediately to protect people and the environment. If the maps are not utilized to protect the environment massive amounts of damage are expected with further expedited erosion patterns coming to previously unseen levels. DOGAMI is open to using the new LIDAR mapping technique and has said the program is more accurate than the previous field method used in 2004.

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“Redzone; How will it affect the Newport community?”

Profile 1-Stakeholder

Newport Coastline

“Redzone; How will it affect the Newport Community?”
Stacks of brightly colored toys line well stocked shelves in the cozy old-fashioned toy store located in Newport Oregon. Each item, carefully chosen by long-term owners Sue and Bill Taylor is a reminder of traditional and contemporary trends that children and parents amuse themselves with. The stock includes many educational games and items, puppets, dolls, dress-up items, and science toys. They pride themselves on serving the population of Newport and the many visitors that pass through this wonderfully charming coastal community each year. The shop came from a dream that Sue had one night about 12 years ago. She woke Bill up at three in the morning to tell him “we are going to open a toy store.” Bill thought she might have been a little crazy at that point, but always supportive of each other-he agreed to follow her dream, and thus the Sandcastle Toy Shop was born. Bill and Sue originally started out in what they describe as a “shoebox” sized toy store and now have grown into a thriving downtown location near city hall. However, they have begun to question whether or not they will be able to sustain Newport’s première toyshop if the proposed hazardous zoning changes are put into effect by the city council. The toyshop they have successfully run for over 11 years, their dream, is fast becoming a daily worry, as the council looms closer to making final decisions.

If the council approves the changes to zoning and building codes it could affect community life in multiple ways. The negative impact on property value, the skyrocketing insurance costs, and reduced coastal “redzone” building areas could potentially cause the migration of residents away from Newport in an already downturned economy. Schools will see continued declines in enrollment, meaning less funding, and over half of the children attending public schools in the Lincoln County already receive free or reduced lunches. Shops will suffer as fewer customers purchase items, and as a novelty store the Taylors worry what will become of their business. They pride themselves on having multi-generational Newport families buy from them, the joy they get out of being a mom-and-pop shop, knowing most of their customers, and bringing quality toys to children and parents alike. “I enjoy focusing on the human aspect of the business,” Bill said “It’s like inviting people into our home: be sure to say hello and goodbye to everyone who comes into the store, and be sincere. You’ve got to put your heart into it, that’s really it. In 11 years, we’ve seen a whole generation of kids grow up and move on; some drop by occasionally. It’s an enjoyable job, and there’s a certain amount of quality of life that’s important.”

While the Taylors understand the necessity of updating the zoning laws, they also have a stake in whether or not the laws are put into effect. They are hoping that some kind of compromise can be reached between city council members and the property owners who will be most affected by the outcomes. Their livelihood depends on it.

Profile #2 Non-stakeholder
George Priest of DOGAMI (Department of Geology and Mineral Services) knows all too well the impact that his reports will have on entire communities. He takes his job very seriously when making recommendations and advises lawmakers on the best choices for the environment. His job may seem like a “walk on the beach”, but it can be far from that as he explains the mapping techniques and risk reports that he is responsible for. Priest B.S./M.S./PhD., an experienced geologist, professor, conference presenter, and published author; now works for DOGAMI. Priest’s report is the leading cause for the city’s push to rezone Newport’s coastline and his concerns about the building that has previously occurred and will in the future, he considers to be potentially hazardous to the environment and structures.

He specializes in coastal erosion, with a specific emphasis on normal erosion (as opposed to large storms or tsunami erosion). He began working with the state in 1979 and is advising the City of Newport on the proposed building code changes. Ideally he would like to see the city use the new and improved laser mapping technique named LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging). It is much more accurate than the previous method, but may cause the need for even more zonal changes if used. He has instead recommended the use of the maps made in 2004 as a way to update the zoning laws from 1977, but not bring further dispute over the amount of land that should be re-zoned. He has compassion for what it will do to property values, but his concerns over erosion and safety outweigh the sure loss that property owners will face.

He has introduced the council to the three zones augmentation and two types of shorelines. High, Moderate, and Low risk areas and dune-backed beaches and bluff-backed shorelines. On dune-backed beaches the high-risk areas range from 138-510 feet width. Moderate risk is from 279-772 feet and Low risk areas were identified as ranging from 316-928 feet. Priest listed what are considered to be the most severe warnings possible and the waves accompanying those measurements would be substantial. It is more likely that the bluff-backed model is a more accurate predictor of the future erosion pattern.

Bluff-backed erosion High risk was assumed over a 60-year period and would only range from 20-30 feet wide, greater erosion if the slope were steeper. Moderate risk was assumed at 60-100 years and ranged from 40-225 feet depending on the type of geology. Low risk was assumed as a gradual retreat over a 100-year period and ranged from 60-420 feet in width. Priests biggest concern with all the mapping practices that have been done by he and his team, is that the public is informed and that trained licensed professionals are making sure that “the work is actually done” and “that all the assessments on the property are done properly.”

Priests advice and experience have not fallen on deaf ears, as the city council weighs the cost between property value and environmental protection.

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Life in the Redzone

Coastal landslides create hazardous conditions.

Stockton, Maine is familiar with the damage that a landslide can accomplish in a designated “redzone”. Recently three houses slid into the ocean and a railway nearby is becoming dangerously close to a very slippery slope.

Coastal landslides are becoming a problem all over the world, but it is the job of the city council for each town to prevent and promote better building practices in order to protect not only the landowner but also the environment. The City of Newport is taking a strong and very unpopular stand on trying to implement better building practices as well as making current homeowners aware of the perilous position they have built a life on.

The resistance has been strong and a group called the “Central Coast Home & Business Association” has raised over $25,000 towards fighting the city. The group has posted anti-measure flyers and has reached far into the coastal community for support. Some residents have written very strong letters against the proposed changes and have indicated they will seek legal action if the measure is approved. Jonathan Allan, a coastal geomorphologist with the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, has been to the city several times mapping and reviewing data. It is the recommendation of the DOGAMI that the zoning changes are put into effect to educate and protect. Citizens however, are extremely worried about property values declining once these laws go into effect. It is a continuing battle that will be resolved within the next few months as more board meetings and negotiations take place. The City of Newport is diligently working to provide a solution for both the landowners and the environment and they are confident that there is a workable agreement to be had.

For more information please follow the below listed links:

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J202- Assignment 2

Safety over Dollars

The city of Newport fights to update zoning laws.

There is a battle ensuing as landowners fight to retain the current hazardous zoning laws in order to protect the value of their land; both current and future dwellings could be affected by the proposed changes that may be approved by the Newport City Council as early as June. The city council views the problem differently; it’s primary goal is to update the zonal maps from the 1970’s to a survey done in 2004. The city also wants homeowners to file liability waivers and disclosure agreements to protect both the city and future dwellers from liability. Coastal storms can wreak havoc on properties, but so can updating hazardous zoning laws.

For more information please visit:

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Assignment #1-Loggerhead Turtle Article

Recently in my journalism class, we were given an assignment to read an article on Loggerhead turtles and summarize it for our readers (you) to enjoy. We were also asked to include three links for expanded information. Here is my summary and links to other Loggerhead turtle articles that might be of interest. Listed below my summary is the original link to the Loggerhead turtle article. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions for me. Enjoy the story.

Proposed Protection for Loggerhead Turtles

Loggerhead turtle populations have declined and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing rule changes to ensure their survival.

Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service issued a proposal to separate the Loggerhead population into nine separate protected status populations. Key names would be changed to accommodate this new classification system . The proposed changes are in direct correlation to the nesting decreases that are between 41-87%. The turtle’s would move from the “threatened” to “endangered” status.

The proposed regulatory move is expected to take effect this summer. Fisherman and interested parties are concerned about the effect that these new restrictions may have on the North Carolina waters where the Loggerheads are predominantly found. There should be little or no change to onshore procedures, as many communities already encourage and respect nesting practices. An attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity assured the public that there would not be a ban on fishing, and that this is to protect the environment while finding a correct balance for all creatures.

However, offshore practices may be altered but to what extent is still up in the air. The Environmental Defense Fund expects these changes to be minimal. The goal is to encourage the populations to return to acceptable numbers so they can eventually be removed from the “endangered” species list. The biggest changes to current policies would be to offshore development and fisheries using more “turtle friendly” nets and equipment.




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