All posts by muddyback

Local hero remembered for bravery, service to community

Paul Matthew Brown – Sept. 15, 2017

Kevin Barlow, 34, a Vancouver native and local hero died doing what he loved Tuesday riding motorcycles with his friends.

Barlow was hit by an allegedly drunk driver who drove through the stop sign at the intersection of Cortez Avenue and Alton Road.

Barlow, a Marine Corps veteran and local police officer is remembered for his devotion to service, and his altruism.

“It made perfect sense for him to become a police officer,” said his sister Dorothy. “He saw his job as a way of helping the community—putting the bad guys away, keeping the streets safe for children, mothers, and the good guys.”

Three years ago, he was named the police department’s “Officer of the Year,” and was second runner up for the state’s “Officer of the Year.” Additionally, Barlow was awarded the “Medal of Valor” his department’s highest honor, when he singlehandedly saved a mother and her four children from a burning building, despite receiving second-degree and third-degree burns.

“Officer Barlow was very committed to the community. All in all, he was an excellent officer,” Police Chief Barry Koperud said. “A better person you’ll never meet.”

Barlow’s funeral is scheduled to be held at Woodlawn Funeral Home at 2 p.m. Saturday, with visitation from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. Barlow is survived by his partner, Seth Bernaiche, his parents; Stephen and Harriot, and his three sisters; Molly, Jennifer and Dorothy.


GE to close Louisville Facility

FAIRFIELD, CT (Nov. 3, 2016) – General Electric Appliance announced the closure of its GeoSpring™ Hybrid Water Heater Manufacturing facility at Appliance Park in Louisville, Kentucky by December of this year.

The decision to consolidate domestic manufacturing resources and reduce operating costs while providing the same high level of sales and service to customers came as a response to a thorough analysis of the depressed market conditions that have hit other regions.

The closure will affect approximately 200 employees, but GE is commitment to relocate its employees.

“Our Louisville team has always demonstrated extreme competence and high value, so this consolidation is unfortunate,” President and CEO of GE Charles Blankenship said. “We care for our people and will work hard to help those unable to relocate to one of our other facilities to find comparable work.”

“Kentucky has always had a good relationship with GE, so news of the closure is saddening,” said Governor Steve Beshear. “General Electric brought a lot of value to our region however, so I wish those folks the best when reminding them our doors are always open.”

“We concluded that in order to do that in a way that least affected customers nationally, we would unfortunately need to cease operations in Louisville,” said Blankenship.

For more information on GE Appliances, visit

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook at or follow on Twitter at




Kim Freeman

Director Public Relations

Appliance Park


Louisville, Kentucky 40225



Public Affairs Key Messages

October 27, 2017

Steel Sharpens Steel: National Peer Mentorship Center

Key Messages

Veteran Integration: Five critical points

The United States has hit a wall of war fatigue. There is a lack of interest in foreign affairs. Domestic issues are now at the forefront. With this focus on domestic issues and the pressure on government funding for programs on the home front, it becomes more and more likely that over time, we will begin to see a gradual downsizing of our armed forces as the populace continues to question a need for such a large military force. This potential coupled with the manifold veterans who have participated in America’s wars on terror returning to the civilian sector mean it is critical to ensure our vets successfully transition into the roles of productive and goal oriented citizens the Steel Sharpen Steel National Peer Mentorship Center remains committed to working toward this goal and assisting in the decrease of veteran homelessness and suicide.

  1. Know yourself and seek self-improvement

Steel Sharpens Steel (S3) takes pride in providing peer mentoring for veterans. As such, our primary goal is to assist our vets’ continuing journey to know themselves so that they may more effectively self-improve. This step is critical, as many vets often lose a piece of their sense of self direction when leaving their goal-oriented team-focused lifestyles and enter the open sea of civilian life. Knowing one’s self and constantly improving one’s self is the only way for that individual to effectively be of use to others and fulfill whatever purpose they choose upon entering what many vets consider a listless and wide-open private sector.

  1. Listen to and know your team

Our vets are accustomed to operating within team-oriented environments. Our mentorship program continues to push veterans to identify their goals and thus, identify the team with which they will operate in order to work toward their own goals.

Teams will inevitably consist of a diverse array of people from differing backgrounds who have different perspectives. Knowing others and knowing your team is a priority to any vet who desires to ensure unit cohesion.

As our vets begin their peer mentorship, they are expected to share the lessons they learned, that they may benefit from the successes and follies of their peers and expedite their mutual improvement.







  1. Respect and expect

S3 understands that receiving earned respect is important.  Likewise, we understand that our veterans can be extremely capable and adept when given the opportunity. Ergo, we reinforce the motivational pride of our peer mentors by laying out somewhat daunting yet achievable expectations in order to grant one another the opportunity to rise to the situation given. This creates the opportunity to earn respect and offer due respect in return and fosters an environment of pride and drive.

  1. Courage

It’s rare our veterans are granted the opportunity to push themselves out of their comfort zones in the ways they may have become accustomed to while serving in the armed forces: an environment where this was likely a weekly requirement. Our mentors work with our vets to build a regimen of benchmarks that will push our vets to once again get outside of their comfort zone and grow as human beings and members of society.

  1. Commitment

S3 pushes our mentors and vets to commit to an escalating series of measurable and achievable goals. A goal oriented lifestyle coupled with the accountability that comes from the desire to maintain a mutual earned respect with our peer mentors assists our vets in once again regularly feeling that sense of accomplishment that was once so common in our veterans’ lives. This sense of commitment and accomplishment isn’t only good for our veterans’ senses of drive and pride, but is also beneficial to their local communities as their goals and benchmarks eventually move away from matters within and deal with matters without.

About Steel Sharpens Steel:

S3 is a national peer mentorship center that connects veterans to their community of fellow vets and lays the foundation for effectively transitioning vets into civilian life—a jarring culture shock for many. We connect them with a peer who both matches their own professional background to an extent and who is farther along in their journey into the civilian sector. These peer mentors understand the hurdles that come with this transition and are trained in our online leadership and mentorship regimen through our various online courses and annual meetings. All of our veterans are granted the opportunity to become peer mentors themselves once they reach certain benchmarks in our program and receive the free training that counts toward college credit in both business and education, thanks to our generous donors and relationships with accredited universities across the country. With this opportunity, S3 hopes to assist in offering our vets the opportunity to once again join the fold and become a part of something greater than themselves, and improve themselves while they do it.




Online Copy

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News Cast

Story Slug: Twitter

Reporter: Bleep Blorpensen

Date: October 13, 2017

Duration: 65 sec


TRAX: Twitter responded to outrage over suspending Actor Rose McGowan’s account after she violated its terms of service Thursday.  [:10]


McGowan has been calling out her peers in the industry over potentially enabling the alleged sexual misconduct uncovered in the recent Harvey Weinstein controversy. Twitter informed users in a series of tweets that the decision to temporarily suspend her account was solely because she apparently revealed someone’s phone number. They added that Twitter was not attempting to censor McGowan and understand its platform is often used as a tool to tell important stories. The social network concluded its statement by promising to be clearer about its policies and decisions in the future.  [:45]


McGowan has returned to the platform and has picked up where she left off in her campaign against abuse. More to come next week, I’m Bleep Blorpensen. [:10]



Video games superior to partying for university students, it’s science

Paul Matthew Brown – Oct. 8, 2017

If you are at all as disorganized as I am, the midpoint of every semester isn’t unlike being strapped into Emperor Nero’s torture rack (aptly named “the rack,”) and being pulled in all directions while some underdressed behemoth audibly pants in glee. Some studies suggest that upon finally busting out of that figurative madness and finishing all of one’s required work, students should probably ignore their cheap beer and play a video game instead.

I can understand the allure of having forgettable conversations with random people, throwing a ball at a cup, and subsequently getting “wrecked.” Despite the obvious shallowness of partying, many still do in order to satiate basic desires. Consider Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs: Once we satisfy our physiological and security needs through work and school, we tend to desire to fulfill our need for love and belonging, and esteem needs. We socialize, create interpersonal relationships, and find a place within our chosen groups.

These needs can be met through both activities, though one has negative consequences while the other provides surprising benefits. First off, gaming has been linked to higher civic engagement for those who play with pals in the same physical location.

In a 2008 study led by Amanda Lenhart, senior research specialist of the Pew Internet Project, it was found that teens who play video games with other people in the same room are 5 percent more likely to seek information about politics and to being civically engaged than those who did not. Additionally they are 5 percent more likely to raise money for charities. Though not much of a difference, every minor boob helps.

On the other side of the coin, partying is solidly tied to less engagement in, well—most things. Binge drinking is defined by the National Survey on Drug Use & Health as consuming five or more alcoholic beverages on the same occasion on at least one day in the past 30 days. If this sounds like something you have done, please consider the following.

In the same 2004 study discussed earlier, Donald W. Zeigler, et al. found that that among 14,000 students at four-year colleges, 31 percent of occasional binge drinkers and 62 percent of frequent binge drinkers, reported missing a class respectively. This is in stark contrast to the reported 9 percent on non-binge drinkers who report having missed class.

For those of us who think, “well I can handle it,” please know you (we) are still statistically much more likely to struggle in school. Of these same light and heavy binge drinkers, 26 percent and 46 percent, reported falling behind in their schoolwork, respectively. Unsurprisingly only 10 percent of non-binge drinkers reported falling behind in their studies.

On a less obvious note, gaming can have cognitive advantages as well. In a 2013 study published in Molecular Psychiatry, it was found that playing a platformer, like Mario 64, for 30- minutes a day over a two-month period increased the players’ gray matter and improved spatial navigation, strategic planning, working memory and motor performance. The study even suggests that such “training” could be used to help treat post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia and neurodegenerative disease.

On a more obvious note, video games seem to lack the delightful yet brain killing poisons found in your drink of choice and result in 100 percent fewer hangovers. It’s science!

In a nutshell, alcohol is inarguably bad for you and gaming is arguably a more productive pass time.

I love to get my drink on as much as the next college student. It’s an easy way to unwind after hours of listening to doctors preach knowledge and writing countless notes. Unfortunately it is antithetical to why most attend university: to learn and improve in multiple facets of life—which is exactly what playing video games with friends bolster.

So unless you just enrolled at university to party, which would be silly because those happen everywhere and for much less than $6,000 plus a semester, consider putting down the bottle and picking up a controller. In doing so, we can still make friends and have a good time while avoiding the legion of pitfalls caused by excessive alcohol use.

Oh, and on a side note: drinking under age is illegal, so there’s that too.


To: All Adidas US Employees

From: Mark King

Subject: Recent Allegations

Date: September 29, 2017

As I am sure you are all aware, one of our team members is currently under investigation. I’d like to address potential concerns and ensure all our teammates are aware of the avenues available to them in the case any of you have specific questions or requests regarding this topic.

Investigation. Adidas is proud to be a trusted leader in our community, and in the lives of the athletes we work with, customers, and of course, our team. As such, we will be assisting law enforcement officials to the best of our ability in order to uncover [finish sentence here]

Media. Please keep in mind there is an increased likelihood that one of you may be approached by news media who would like more information or for your specific opinion. As far as information regarding any of our employees or the investigation, I request that you refrain from offering speculation, as misinformation can easily evolve into baseless rumors that won’t necessarily be useful for media outlets, our company or our team. Instead, please direct them to our media relations Madeline Breskin or Maria Culp. Their contact information can be found at the bottom of this memo.

Please remember, you will be perceived as a representative of our company by our community and customers, so I ask that you simply continue to present yourself in the respectful manner for which I’ve come to know you.

If you have any concerns, suggestions or requests, please feel free to inform you managers, as we are always looking for ways to improve and best ensure you and the rest of our team continue to thrive.

Media Relations Contacts:


Madeline Breskin

Adidas PR Manager – Basketball

United States



Maria Culp

Corporate Communications

United States





Mark King

Hall of Fame inductee CEO of Edelman warns communication professionals of new trends

Paul Matthew Brown – Sept. 22, 2017

Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman—a communications and marketing firm—was inducted into the hall of fame, [LC1] and offered his peers advice on how to best adapt the communications profession to current global context. Need some mention of Arthur W. Page.

Edelman challenged the room full of marketing and public relations leaders. “I actually believe we need to move the communications role into a much more mission critical one,” Edelman said. He fired off a detailed list of trends to which his fellows in the audience should adapt. This list started by noting the lack of trust in government and increased trust in companies, namely their employees rather than their chief executives.

The second trend, he said, is a general increase in overall complexity for people brought on by globalization and technological advancement. He made note to his peers that the developments they’re pushing are, “paralyzed by arguments that rely on emotion and perception of risk,” and that, “…the new ambition for business has to be license to lead, which means societal approval of innovations, because we listen and adapt.”

This need to quickly adapt was brought home when Edelman reminded his audience that brands are now acting for communities. “Brands are no longer just billed through tangible benefits, they also inspire people through causes and content sharing,” Edelman declared to the other communications professionals in the room. He brought this point full circle [LC2] by reminding them of Don Sterling’s racist remarks causing 13 sponsors to immediately pull their support from the Los Angeles Clippers.

Edelman then dug into the evolving state of media as a trend. He noted that the readers are now content creators and advocates. “Smart companies are creating their own news rooms,” he said. “With more people now discovering content via social media than by search, our material has to be substantive and social.”

Edelman wrapped up his list of trends by focusing on complete company and communication integration in order to maintain a reputation.

“Consumers today care far more for how the components in their food are made, and since they all have smart phones, they’re willing to share that information everywhere,” Edelman said. “If you don’t talk, you’re screwed.”

Edelman brought his plea for more emphasis on communication-based operation of business when he emphasized to his audience that, “Marketing can no longer do it alone. The solution to every problem is not a new advertising campaign, because we need real action to solve today’s complex problems, and that is inspired by communications thinking.”

Leading with Grace: A Q&A with Grace Moe

Paul Matthew Brown—Sept. 13, 2017

Grace Moe, 17, President of the Associated Students of Clark College (ASCC) and Washington Community and Technical Colleges Student Association (WACTCSA) Representative for Clark College is slated to graduate both high school and Clark College with the class of 2018. She, along with her fellows in student government, are beginning their training for their year-long terms in office. I approached her to inquire as to what her plans are and where her initiative stems from in order to highlight young people who strive to improve their lives above and beyond their peers.

Q: Let’s start with the current aims for student government. What are some of the initiatives you guys will be working with this year?

…Last year they decided this year’s ASCC should have food drives, so we’re gonna start doing food drives in October to get students to bring food, know more about how they can help or how they can utilize the penguin pantry resource, which is just open to students..

The other thing is textbook availability… we’re really trying to make textbooks more available to students who can’t afford them, maybe lowering prices if we can.

Q: What made you get involved??

A: I found out that Clark has scholarships, they have food available to student, tutoring, all those different resources—and then I found out that not that many students actually know about those resources.

So that’s why I wanted to join student government—to really make sure that people found out about how Clark can actually help them while they’re on campus. Many students simply go to class, and then they go home.

Q: Can you tell me how you got interested in student involvement in the first place?

A: Last year I did a committee called the S and A Fee Committee, and that’s kind of what got me started with the whole planning of Clark Resources. And that was really interesting because we found out how the money was being used from the students’ payment throughout campus.

Q: What made you curious enough to do that, because that’s a nice little bit of initiative—what are you looking to major in and do?

A: I’m majoring in business, and so I like following the money. I like to know what’s going on with my money, where is it being taken—and so knowing where the money was being put and knowing how I can utilize those resources was really important to me, because I don’t want to just put money into student life, and all those different clubs and organizations and not know how I can utilize them.

I thought about minoring in mathematics because I really like math and I think it would help if I was going into finance, as that would really help. I thought a little bit about psychology if I was going into marketing, because those two work really well together

Q: Long term, what are you looking to gain from a personal development sense in doing this?

A: Honestly, long term for this job, I really am interested in developing my leadership skills. There’s a lot of high school and college jobs that are more just like kind of temporary and you know your employees but you really don’t know how to work with them. I thought being on student government would really help me build how to be a team player, and make sure everyone’s needs are being met—that was really the biggest thing. Also, just having this on my resume is a huge deal to me, because I really love building my resume and letting future employers know what kind of experience I’ve had.

Q: What’s driving you in this direction, as it seems atypical for a person of your age?

A: …I was always really interested in infomercials and stuff. People always flip through their channels, but whenever the things like the “shark master” vacuum came out and I was like, “Oh my gosh, yes!” I think it’s just really interesting how you can promote products and sell them to people…And I like watching money and where it goes and everything. It all just really relates to business…I love love love math, but I’m just not a science person, so engineering and all that wasn’t really my thing. So business really just stuck out to me….

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add, perhaps advice for people who are also looking to improve?

Something that really just pops into my mind is: Get involved. There’s just so much benefit to getting involved. Wherever you are, whether it’s your job, your school—everywhere! There’s just no downside to getting involved…and being organized.