Average Joe Buckeye Blitz cont. Stumped at M.R. Mack’s restaurant in downtown Logan, Ohio early this morning and talked with Logan Daily News columnist Edgar “Bud” Simpson. He said growing up in northern Maine he watched as clear cutting and pollution from the paper mills all but destroyed the Penobscot River. (He and his brother, as youth, used to fish in the small Mattawassuk cove there, which he said, seemed the only spot that wasn’t totally polluted. Sad story.) I told the Logan newspaper later that bad forestry management practices need to be reversed and commended the Chief Logan High School Forestry Management Team for their recent state championship… Staying with the environmental theme, I then traveled to Nelsonville, Ohio where I interviewed a Hocking College student who is majoring in eco-tourism. Mark Sdrang told me the thrust of eco-tourism is to take people to places like rain forests in Third World countries to educate. What’s more, some of the tourist dollars are then funneled into raising the standard (better water treatment, more food, etc.) of living in nearby rural villages, and so on… From Nelsonville I went to Athens, Ohio where I stumped downtown, and, at one point, was surrounded by two reporters from area papers, a photographer and a television camera man. I mean, it was almost a: “media event.” When asked what I had to say to the people of Athens, I told the news people that, although we don’t pander to anyone, the people of Athens (home of Ohio University) need to know the first thing I’d do when I get to D.C. is change the national symbol from the Eagle to: the Bob Cat (OU mascott). (I’ve got to stop doing that!) On a more serious note, the reporter from the Athens Times Messenger asked me about the economy. I said families should consider house sharing. This would halve expenses, which would allow for, say, more job sharing (20 hour work weeks). In turn, there’d be much more time for faith, family and community, I said… I then went to McArthur, Ohio, where I interviewed Penny Alzayer who spent 13 years living in Saudi Arabia. She said culture and religion are interwoven there and she was extremely impressed with the depth of spirituality in a majority of the people there when it came to helping others. For instance, she said if you get a flat tire there “100 cars won’t whiz by before someone stops to help.” She adde she’s concerned about the perception Americans are getting about the Arab world because of how it is being portrayed in a lot of the media with the recent conflicts. While in McArthur, I was also interviewed by the county newspaper. Afterward, I interviewed Tabatha Sexton there, who is a senior at Vinton County High School and involved with a “Marketing Class.” This class allows for students to work part-time, and the rest of the curriculum is geared to teach about the fundamentals of running a business, etc., for students who may not go on to college. This seemed to make sense, common sense. I then stopped at the Vinton County Chamber of Commerce where I interviewed Brandi Boggs who is heading up an eco-tourism project for the county. Ms. Boggs the project involves fixing up a series of covered bridges in the area (with area volunteers) to increase tourism to Vinton County, which is in the heart of Appalachia and one of the poorest counties in Ohio (17% unemployment rate currently.)… From McArthur I traveled to Wellston where I talked with Michael Morrow who regulary keeps up with politics, he said. Morrow said the country wasn’t founded on a party system, which he says he believes effectively “locks everyone else out.” I closed out the day, stopping in tiny Hamden, Ohio where I put up a flyer at the small grocery store there (my continued answer to the million dollar advertising).