Good evening. The publication is a continuation of a series of segments based on youth violence. The issue is everywhere but this specific project is based out of Grand Rapids, MI. The video below contains a Keynote presentation regarding the breakdown of this project. It includes the cause of youth violence, some statistics, those who have dealt with it and those who seek to help stop it.
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By Ricardo — 6 years ago
I’m sure everyone remembers their first car. Whether it was a piece of crap or something decent, the vehicle is remembered because it was our first and it got us from point A to point B. As for me my first car was a 1983 Z28 Camaro. Yep, you read that right, a 1983 Z28 Camaro. Now, my family didn’t have a lot of money but they bought this for me so that I would have something to drive. Oh yeah, did I mention I was 13 at the time? I know what you’re thinking, “This kid was spoiled”, but that wasn’t the case. The car was purchased from a relative and the car had been in an accident. One of the sides was smashed in and it needed some work so it wasn’t all that great but it was completely awesome to me. My parents told me that if I continued to get good grades that they would slowly fix it up for me. I hit the books and during that time I had big dreams for that car. I would wash it almost every day and I would blast the music in the driveway.
Once the car was fixed I would drive it around where I lived. It only took a year or so to fix it so I was not able to drive it to town or anything yet. Now, look back where I mentioned driving around where I lived and think about how long it took it fix it. Can you see me in the car driving around? If not I can paint a picture for you. Imagine a 14 year old and his younger sibling in a jet black Z28 Camaro with the T-Tops down driving on the property only. It makes me laugh when I think back on it. Nando, my brother, and I would get in and reverse and then pull forward over and over and over. We were the coolest…or at least we thought so. One time we brought our younger sisters with us down a back road behind our home and down toward some dunes that Michigan Fruit Canners owned. We thought we were so cool until the car turned off and I couldn’t get it to start. I remember we started freaking out because it was almost time for our parents to get out of work and all I could see was my father pulling into the driveway and seeing the car missing. Horns would sprout from his head and smoke would billow from his ears and nostrils. I kept turning it over and I started praying. When it finally turned over I hauled butt home. Thinking back on this incident I can only compare it to Ferris Bueller trying to race his family home. Once we arrived I put the car back where it was and we started to wash it because it got dirty. It was the perfect cover since I was always washing it and my parents were none the wiser…well until they read this. With everything that happened with this car, this was the beginning of the hijinks between myself and my Camaro.
I went through a lot during the time I drove my it and it was also taken away from me many times. The first that I can remember involves a speeding ticket. I had left work early because of a family emergency and a Saugatuck/Douglas officer pulled me over. I was going 45 in a 25 and I got a ticket. What’s funny about this is that I used to see and speak to this officer all the time when I worked at Lakeshore Convenience. He would come in to visit at night and he knew one of my co-workers so they would talk for a couple minutes before heading out. Then a year later he’s pulling me over and I had hoped that he was going to remember me and let me off with a warning but he struck me with a ticket. When I got home I had my ass handed to me. My car was taken away from me for almost a month. Later on I ended up working for Meijer. I had saved up enough money to buy myself an excellent sound system and I was throwing down Bass with the best of them. Sad thing is that my car was broken into and everything was stolen. I think it was Labor Day and I was going to give my friend Christina a ride home. When we got to the car we found the hatch shattered and everything was gone. No one saw it happen but they were out there long enough to unscrew every bracket I had. I was definitely crushed but thanks to them the insurance company paid for something I couldn’t afford on my own.
After my ticket it was more random moments that involved my car. It was taken away from me when I was caught for skipping class (see prev post), I was pulled over by three State troopers and hassled for fitting the description of a known drug dealer (see prev post), and I loved to race people. One race that pops into my head is a race between my friends, Christina, Angie, and I think Laura, and myself. We were headed straight for the church and we were both about to turn at 56th st (I think) just passed the railroad tracks at 118th avenue and there was a spot where a store used to be and I cut the corner to pass them up. It was a very stupid move because we could have collided but I squeaked by them and I won. It was a pretty good time but yeah…it could have gone a different way. Finally I remember a time when I was at a friends house and I crashed out there. I had lost track of time and I was awaken by a horrifying yell.
“Richie!! Get your ass out here!”
I remember the sweat building up on my body and I ran outside.
“Give me your keys.”
“Dad, I fell aslee…”
“Shut up and give me your keys!”
Imagine your worst nightmare in loud horrifying tones and words. That was my dad yelling at me that night.
“I told you not to be out late didn’t I?”
“I said, yes.”
He climbed into my car and peeled off. I was left to hear the first tongue lashing from my mom on the way home. It was bad and I lost my car privileges again. It went like that for years. I had some excellent times in that car and some that I can’t mention here but those who were there know how great they were. I really miss that car and I like to talk about my first speeding ticket at work since the officer who pulled me over is one that I speak to every day. When I brought this up to him he laughed and said he felt bad for writing me a ticket. It’s all good “TR”, we’re cool. In the end my car was stolen. It was stolen about a year ago by some drugged out meth head who I would gladly beat with his own arms but I’m not a violent person. I’m sure the suspect will simply burn their lips on a pipe that feeds their addiction. I’m content with that. I do wish I had that car though. I had planned on giving it to my first born but it’s gone. It makes me wonder what kind of hijinks my kids would have gotten into with my Camaro. Maybe it’s better that it’s gone. So what do you remember about your first car? Did you experience anything close to my stories?Post Views: 65
By Ricardo — 2 years ago
Let’s be honest. I’ve been pretty excited since I found out I’d won the Within the Trenches continuing education scholarship. I live in a coastal, college town so summer starts in March. With the weather getting warmer – the calls are getting crazier. This was a good opportunity to step away and reframe things. I left work Friday, June 10 and packed for a flight that left Wilmington around 0700 Saturday morning. The 2016 NENA Conference was held at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis. The conference brought public safety employees and vendors- from telecommunicators to PSAP Directors; IT guys, network architects, and others – together to discuss the state of the industry and technological advancements in the field as well as future trends. Classes were offered in professional development, training, leadership/management, etc. Sunday’s pre-conference class, Cybersecurity in the PSAP, was by far my favorite. It took on different types of cyber threats that occur in today’s society and looked at methods PSAP’s can use to combat threats and keep their networks secure. Sunday night closed out with the Kickoff Celebration. Georgia St got shut down by NENA members and Wally and the Beavs! A food truck is one of my favorite things in the world. There was a diverse selection (I passed up barbecue for a killer Chicago style dog. I heard the OR Pulled Chicken was pretty good too.) It was nice to mingle with the crowd and get to know some faces. I was able to step out of my comfort zone and find some common ground with new people and gain perspective. We talked shop, television (there aren’t enough episodes of The First 48 to satisfy me), and compared how we do things. NextGen9-1-1 was a major focus. The technology that’s involved and the fact that we are soon going to be able to see videos, to add to the texts and voice we have now – it’s pretty impressive to see where things are headed. Keynote speakers included Jake Wood of Team Rubicon, Boston bombing hero Dr. Natalie Stavas, and Chief Rick Lasky, a career firefighter and chief who emphasizes the importance of family in public safety. To say it was inspiring is an understatement. I was able to take in classes to learn tips on how to work towards being a true leader – to lead by example. Stress management and resiliency also seemed to be common themes. It was good to learn some information I could take back for myself and share with my team. I managed to fit in a little fun here and there after classes too: an afternoon run downtown by Indy’s Canal Walk; Motorola’s reception at the Mavis Arts Center; A baseball game after the Young Professional’s mixer at Victory Field; a tour of Indianapolis’ Airport Authority AOC/EOC… the list goes on. One of the cool parts of the week was getting a chance to check out the vendors and exhibitors! Some of the products I use every day, that make my work easier, were on display. I saw some programs I wish I could get my hands on. An adult moment? Completely staring at a certain dispatch console setup: slick monitors, LED lights, stand/raised console and wishing I could have it (there was even a cup holder for my Venti blonde roast) Total furniture envy took over. INdigital’s own Indy car arcade game set up was a hit with members (made me wish I didn’t suck at video games. The Division makes me want to break things in my house). Even though they weren’t in their normal roles, people still stepped up to help others. The events that happened in Orlando occurred; it was heavy. At the blood drive, there was a line of folks waiting to donate blood. A white sign with a simple hashtag greeted those folks: #OrlandoStrong. The people at this conference save lives every day, why were these days any different? Opportunity. The word has presented itself so much lately. I was fortunate to get to attend a conference where I met folks that I aspire to be like. It made me realize how important what we are all out here doing REALLY is. We can have a broad reach if we work hard to educate people on the 911 system. This was my first but definitely won’t be the last. NENA 2017 in San Antonio looks pretty attractive! Here’s to Ricardo and the people at INdigital that made this possible – you’ve paid it forward. Time to keep it going.
To learn more about Leslie please listen to her tell her story on episode 111 of the podcast below.Post Views: 73
By Ricardo — 6 years ago
Good afternoon folks! The AudioVillains are back with episode of the JCast on Jabber Log. This episode took a couple takes because someone had their mic on mute and for almost 20 minutes of audio their was nothing recorded. It was funny stuff and always a good time recording at the Ingarden Studios. For this episode we dig deep into our past regarding what we went through growing up. A story is also shared involving alcohol, being hung over, and vomiting. The story is very funny and we visit the topic of Alpha Brain from onnit.com. Make sure to listen and share folks! I have also added a link on the right side for iTunes subscriptions. You can still find us on SoundCloud and if you have any questions or requests you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply click on the “contact” button on the left. Have a good one and enjoy!Post Views: 46