Rick Dancer

Behind The Scenes: Don’t Be Ashamed of Selfies

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I think the negative press surrounding “Selfies” is absurd and we need to fight back. I myself have been called “The King of Selfies” and wear that badge with honor. Not everyone can take a picture of themselves and have it come out looking great.

I don’t know when I figured out the art of “Selfie” photography but perhaps because I videotape myself a lot I’m comfortable pointing and shooting a camera at my own mug. My kids sometimes make fun of me for shooting pictures of me, me and my wife, me and your wife or even politicians I spot shopping for a tie at the Rack (Ron Wyden)

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We recently produced a video explaining our position on “Selfies” and I’m asking people like you to send me a “Selfie” so I can put it on the Rick Dancer TV show. I believe “Selfies” are an important cultural issue. I’ve heard parents concerns over the “Selfie” but for goodness sakes there are far greater issues to tackle out there than kids/adults or even people like me who take one-handed pictures of themselves.

I’m supposed to use these “Behind the Scenes” blogs to talk about the Rick Dancer TV show so before the editor of Eugene Daily News tries to fire me (Kelly Asay) I’d better get back to topic.

For the month of June we are digging through our archives finding our favorite stories to re-air on the show. Its fun to go back and look at what you’ve done and think of what you want to do differently in the future. We’ve created some amazingly important content over the past six or so years and I hope you enjoy what we’re dusting off and bringing back.

We are also adding many new things to the show, a new helpful tips piece from Womenspace on how to talk with your kids and A-1 Auto Glass begins a new series of spots about Rock Chip Repair and the importance of getting your windshield replaced by a reputable dealer, like A-1.

One of the greatest things about my job is I learn so much from my clients. I’m excited to share some of these A-1 facts with you over the next few months. Some of them deal with safety and we’re all better off understanding how our cars operate and the importance of the windshield when it comes to safety.

If you stayed with me to this point in this blog you win the big prize. You can now go online and watch the Rick Dancer TV Episode for Sunday June 1st.

If you choose to wait, you can watch it live on KEVU Sunday at 4:30pm.

To Think is a Dangerous Thing

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As I sit here drinking my morning coffee looking out at seven beautiful snow covered mountains my mind is developing some ideas on development.

No Change/Slow Change

When I come to Central Oregon is see growth and change. I see communities committed to making this a better place for people to move to. There is a feeling over here that discussion is important but so is growth and getting things done.

Whole Foods:

We needed food so we stopped by Whole Foods Grocery and had a blast walking, eating and drinking our way through the store. As I exit I think in my head, yes that was a little expensive for everyday grocery shopping but it was fun, it fills a need and in Eugene we have people fighting this. Why, because they are out of state, big business and they charge too much.

New Blood Infusion:

I’m a native Oregonian and wonder if people like me are part of the problem. We have that Tom McCall attitude that wishes Oregon would stay the same and never grow. I think a lot of folks come here from places where overgrowth destroyed their town and they don’t want to see the same thing happen here. In their well-meaning attempts to protect us they really limit our vision. I don’t want over growth but I also don’t want to limit change. When we do that we miss things because we all have blind spots.

In over protecting our little corner of the world we are also stifling it and hindering our own growth as a community and as people.

Bustling Little Place:

I know the economy is tough on this side of the mountain (Central Oregon) but I see growth even in places like Prineville, where Face Book and others have changed their little world. Riding my bike through the downtown it feels a lot different than when I came here during my campaign for Secretary of State.

Change is Difficult:

Change is difficult for people and communities but it has to happen or we get stuck in a fog. I think Eugene and even Springfield to some extent are stuck in a fog. I wonder that our little corner of Western Oregon is too comfortable with what it is and is fearful of becoming something more vibrant and different. We say we want growth but over-talk things to death and kill as much business as we lure. Eugene is talking of this Sick Pay ordinance at a time when small business is struggling just to keep the doors open. I want to ask those considering such a measure if they’ve ever owned their own business? What I really want to ask them is “What in the world do you think you are doing?” (Okay I’ll get off that topic for now or the trolls will surface and miss my real message and instead get focused on something they can argue over)

Oh, and I do care about those who don’t have sick pay and I understand how they feel. I am a small business owner who has no sick pay and must either work or lose money when I’m sick but I don’t see the city coming to my rescue.

It’s an Attitude:

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It really is an attitude, an attitude and a lack of doing our homework. We are afraid to grow. We are protecting something we can’t protect. I’m all about smart growth but when games are being played behind the scenes to prevent new development that’s where I draw the line. Do your homework before you start killing Fred Meyer and other projects like it. Find out who’s fighting it, find out why, look at their motives and then make an educated decision not some judgment based on fear.

We are becoming an area that is choosing who gets to come in and who doesn’t. If we don’t like a certain type of business, they don’t get to play here. If you stand back and really listen to that mentality you will begin to see how dangerous it really is.

What happens if I can get enough people to stop all corporate broadcasting companies from buying what used to be locally owned TV stations? I can paint them out as the bad guy, write letters to the editor and complain about what they are going to do to the local television market and limit my competition at the same time.

A Better Option:

The other option is to get in the game. Instead of chasing them away I can get more creative, look for better solutions, find new ways to do television and spend my time fighting to win rather than crying because someone bigger is playing in my sandbox. And if it doesn’t work out for me I can find a new sandbox. This is called life my friends and we need to live it rather than trying to control it.

What if we decide we no longer want businesses owned by a certain political party to come to our community? Or, a religious group tries to open a store and we as a community don’t agree with that religion so we chase it away. This is a slippery slope and we’d better step back and look at the bigger picture or vibrancy is going to reach the rest of Oregon while our little corner at the base of the valley sits idle in a fog of fear.

Please Read This Clause:

If you don’t like what I have said that is fine. If you’d like to make a comment offering “your opinion” you are welcome to do so, but do it in a constructive way and play nice. Some of you will try to take each word and rip it to shreds and I understand that. Some will try to lure me into a debate and I will read your comments but don’t expect me to answer back I don’t have to it’s my article. If you want to educate me with your facts do it in a way that causes me and my other readers to want to listen or your efforts are a waste of time.

Behind the Scenes: I Have This Thing About Death

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I have this thing about death. Since being diagnosed with cancer in 2010 death doesn’t own me the way it used to. Don’t get me wrong I still don’t want to die anytime soon but once you face death straight on, some of it’s power seems to diminish.

I have this friend named Laura Caldwell. She died a few weeks ago. But she knew she was going to die and she decided to die on her own terms. I love that whole idea. Someone who is brave enough, and thinks ahead to understand this life is just a fraction of what we really get.

We did a couple of interviews with Laura right after she found out she had just a few more “earthly moments left”. What struck me most is her bravery. I know deep down inside she didn’t want to die but she weighed her options and figured the afterlife was better than more poison in her body to keep her alive.

Years ago, right after the so-called “Death with Dignity” measure passed in Oregon, I did an interview with a man who had a terminal disease and was planning to kill himself with medication the next morning. The whole thing fascinated me. I’m not a proponent of suicide, in fact I think death is probably something God should decide for each one of us. I’m a guy who thinks those last moments of life can be the best if we trust and leave it up to God. But that said, this man made his choice and I wanted to find out why.

He was at peace with his decision. I aired the “WaterCooler” one night and the next morning he took his own life.

When I visited Central America a few years ago it surprised me to see coffins in the streets and funerals going on, in town, on a regular basis. It seems to me that other cultures understand death is part of life but in the United States we try to hide it in a mortuary or a hearse and bury the dead ignoring the fact that we too will end up in the same place.

This week on Rick Dancer TV we will again show you the story of my friend Laura Caldwell. I ask that you pay close attention to her words. Listen to the joy and the pain as she quietly says goodbye. If death is too much for you I encourage you to watch it over and over again and remind yourself that how we die is as important as how we die.

Since you have decided to read all of my deadly words here is the Rick Dancer TV show for this week, early, as a reward. Take a little time to pass it on to those you love. Show those who you care about that death is not the end it’s actually a silent beginning.

Behind The Scenes: It’s Not All About the Show

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I’m supposed to write this article to promote Rick Dancer TV and I must say this weeks show is really good but do you mind if I tell you about something even bigger in my life at this moment?

I wasn’t the best student and had a tough time in school. My grades were bad, I didn’t hang out with the “Right” people and socially I was a misfit. Somehow in college it hit me I had to change or I was never going to have a vision I would just simply live a bad dream.

I Fit In Here

I think that’s why I love the “Turn Around Awards” so much. Each year, every middle and high school in the area picks a student to honor, who has turned their lives around. Colleen and Mike Bellotti brought the idea to Lane County almost 20 years ago.

I emcee the event for them every year. Today I watched child after child walk forward and get to tell their life story. Most were really short but some were so deep it hurt. I sit on the stage and look out at all the people in the audience and watch as tears fall and eyes are wiped.

There was a boy whose mother died, two in fact. There were kids who had few people in their lives and so many obstacle in their lives there is no way they could turn their lives around and yet they do.

A few years ago I watched a young man with multiple disables stand in front of a screen, hit a button on his computer, and a speech he had written was read by the computer. He talked of his feelings, his ideas, what he knew and to look at him you would never imagine all of that was locked inside him. As he stepped away from the stage my eyes were like faucets as I took at least a minute to regain my composure. The first thing out of my mouth was: “What in the Hell just happened here?” “Did you all see what I just saw?” “I knew it was true, I knew that folks like this young man feel and think all the things we think and now we have proof.” I told the audience: “Do not forget this day because you will probably never witness anything like it again.”

But each year we do witness amazing lives, amazing stories and see amazing students turn their lives around.

What does any of that have to do with my show this week? Nothing. But it has to do with my life and find it something I really want to share.

Now, here’s this weeks show.

Behind The Scenes: Brew & Cue Needs a Media Break

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I had one of those ah-ha moments the other day. The owner of a local tavern called the Brew & Cue called me to ask for my help. The Brew and Cue got in the middle of a murder story but the murder didn’t even happen there. None-the-less the owner says the media attention is killing his business.

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HERE’S WHERE I COME IN:
Honestly, after our conversation I had a soul searching moment. I think back to all the stories I covered in my career, all the business inadvertently involved in a crime, that I put on the air and never thought about them. It’s a fine line we walk in the media and I’m so glad I don’t have to walk that walk any longer.

MISSING COW:
Also, in this weeks show we are still looking for Aretha the kidnapped Lochmead Farm cow. Here’s a little clip of her disappearance.

JUST IN TIME
On this show you will meet my barber who is also a recovering meth addict. His mother is starting an organization called “Just In Time” to help addicts, reconnect with the world, once they leave jail.

TURN AROUND AWARDS
And finally, Colleen Bellotti, Coach Mike Bellotti’s wife tells us about the Turn Around Awards, given to middle school and high school students who turn their lives around. This is a great program and I encourage you to listen to the interview.

Tune in to KEVU this Sunday at 4:30 to see the show. For channel details go here: http://rickdancer.tv (at the bottom). For a pre-air viewing, check back here after Noon today (Friday).

Behind The Scenes: Kidnapping in Brownsville

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Rick Dancer TV doesn’t normally “break stories” but this week on the show we’re investigating a year old abduction near Brownsville. Last week we visited the town and talked to all sort of people. There are posters up in Brownsville and Junction City as Lochmead Farms steps up its search for a missing employee.

Eugene City Councilors are expected to take up the issue of a Whole Foods Market locating in downtown Eugene and we’re using our Soapbox to bring voice to another piece of the conversation. Since first airing this SoapBox on social media we’ve had hundreds and hundreds of hits and everyday someone walks up to me and whispers in my ear: “Love the Whole Foods Soapbox.” Why do they whisper? I think people in this area are afraid to speak their minds because opponents tend to make villains out of those who disagree with them. We find this to be true with many of the Soapbox features we produce.

And this Sunday we are bringing back some of the stories we used to produce while working at KEZI TV in the news department. KEZI owners gave their archives to the University of Oregon’s Special Collections Department so those stories would be saved forever. We’ve worked out an agreement so we can re-air them on Rick Dancer TV.

For those who bothered to read this entire blog your reward is you don’t have to wait until Sunday to watch this show on KEVU at 4:30. You can click the link below and watch it right now.

Voters Pamphlet: Now That Should Come in Useful?

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A long time ago, in a far away land, I was a registered Democrat. I’m not exactly sure why I registered that way but in college I thought Democrat was the way to go. The older I got and the more I began to understand, the more I realized I wasn’t a D so after moving to Eugene I re-registered as a Republican. Living in this community I realized I wasn’t a far left and the only other direction I could go at the time was the far right.

During my run for Secretary of State in 2008 I realized the Republican Party was not me either so now I am a Non-Affiliated-Voter. To the D’s and R’s that means I’m one of the growing number of people who can’t make up their mind. Party hardliners really think you have to choose one or the other or you are fickle.

What I’ve learned is more and more of us are not relating to the two major parties, in fact in Oregon more people register non-affiliated or Independent than are registering D or R. The NAV’s and the Independent parties together are a growing block of voters in Oregon.

So why is it when I get my Primary Voter’s Pamphlet there is basically nothing in there for me. I literally can vote on maybe two issues because they are outside the party line.

My tax dollars are used to pay for the Primary election and yet I can’t participate. Does that sound like taxation without representation to any of you? Sure does to me. If the D’s and R’s want to keep me from participating in the primary or as they call it “Their Primary” then perhaps “They” should start paying for it? Rather than sticking the bill for “Their” primary to all taxpayers in Oregon, let the Secretary of State’s office issue a bill to both parties following each Primary Election.

The real answer to this problem is Opening the Primary in Oregon. Right now, the Unions and both major parties fight these efforts, Why? They have a lot to lose….power. But if We the People want to see more candidates that look like us, more “Moderate choices” the change has to happen.

To all of you NAV’s or Green Party or Independent Party members, remind yourself of these facts as you cast your limited vote in May. Remember that you are blocked from participating in something that’s important and that you are helping to pay for. When you get angry enough, perhaps you will actually do something about it?

Oh, and as for the Voters Pamphlet, perhaps we should stop allowing candidates and their friends to pay to put BS in a document that should be limited to the facts. We already have enough media sources out there offering opinions I don’t think we need anymore.

Behind The Scenes: April 27th I Like Being Sandpaper

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I like being compared to sandpaper. We live in a fear-based culture that’s afraid to speak up, even in a nice way,to offer an opinion. I guess when you spend most of your life working on the news and having to keep your opinions to yourself, when freedom comes, you realize how much you missed out on. I think having cancer is a big part of it too. If someone doesn’t like something I say I don’t lose any sleep over it because “I had cancer and what could be worse than that?”

On this weeks show we’re introducing you to a series we are producing for Lochmead Farms about Chocolate milk. I work out a lot and didn’t know, until researching the subject for Lochmead, that Chocolate milk is one of the best muscle recovery drinks money can buy. The other great thing about milk is I can pronounce all of the ingredients which is not so much true with many of the alleged “Sport Drinks” you find on the market today. Most of them have so many added ingredients I’m not sure I want some of that “stuff” in my body.

We’ll also introduce you to a former Meth Addict who is in recovery right now. This is a very honest interview that I hope you will listen to seriously. I learned so much about the difficult the road to recovery is from my friend Justin, who also happens to be my barber (he’s really good).

We’re doing something really special for our next show. Monday we will be at Trader Joe’s in Eugene. They’ve agreed to give us a bunch of flowers for a project called “Flower it Forward.” This campaign started with an innocent request and a dying woman who you’ve met on RDTV a few months ago. I”d tell you more but I’d rather wait for you to see the video.

For those of you who read this entire article here is your early look at the April 27th Rick Dancer TV show. Hey, feel free to push this message forward to your friends and co-workers. We love to get more people involved in the conversation.

Behind The Scenes: Pushing the Edge

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This weeks Rick Dancer TV show is one of my favorites to date. It’s not as fast-paced as some and in the big bad world of television it may not keep the attention of every viewer but we’re not after every viewer we want people looking for change.

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I’m producing a video for an organization in town called Just In Time. It was named after my personal barber Justin by his mother. The idea of the program is to offer treatment to Meth Addicts when they get out of jail. What is different about this program is it is not 28 days or 10 easy steps, Just In Time focuses on a more holistic approach. In other words, they are treated the mind, body, addition and the soul to give the addict a fighting chance and staying in recovery. On this show I put together pieces of the interview with Justin for you to watch. It’s a bit in your face and I love it. I hope it challenges your assumptions and gives Justin the voice he so desperately deserves.

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We’re also doing something new with musicians. This is our first real artist profile for RDTV and I really like the young man you will meet. His name is Jobe Woosely and the words to his songs are deep. I meet Jobe shooting a video for Womenspace, an organization that works to end domestic violence. Jobe and his mother lived a short time in a Womenspace shelter.

Also on the show is a Soapbox. This is my chance to gripe a little about culture. Recently someone sent me an email that got me thinking about intolerance. It seems people love to throw out that term when someone doesn’t agree with them. I find that to be intolerance and to be name calling a little hypocritical. So that is what I get on my Soapbox to talk about.

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I especially like the ending. I ran into an old friend who reminded me how disgusted I was with television news and why I do what I do today. I hope you’ll watch. I hope the show makes you smile a little but more than anything I hope it causes you to think, even if after thinking you and I don’t agree.

Since you’ve made it this far, here’s your early access pass to the show:

Behind The Scenes: Time To Get Outdoors

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We’ve produced more than two dozens Rick Dancer TV shows to date and there’s something really special in this show that airs Sunday the 13th of April.

I’ve spent my whole life in front of a camera, on TV and in the public eye while my wife stays quietly in the shadows, where she prefers to be. When I say shadow I don’t mean she hides or that she is less than me in fact, when you watch this weeks show you will see how amazing she really is.

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Kathy is coming on the show to talk about the Pedal for People bike ride that’s coming up on May 10th to support the Oregon Supported Living Program. Kathy is on the board of this wonderful organization because she cares about people with disabilities. The reason is very personal and when I ask her “why” in the show it almost makes me cry to hear her talk about the other man in her life that she loves so deeply (Her Brother Chip)

I think what you will see is an amazing woman who needs no attention for what she does and actually didn’t want to do this at all and wouldn’t have if it weren’t for the organization and her brother.

You will also see her interacting with Emma, my co-host on the show and understand why Emma is such an important part of not just this show but our lives.

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We will take you on bike rides and a trip to Florence and even show you the first of a new series of video’s we are doing on the new Elite Sports drink, Lochmead Chocolate milk.

But the highlight of the show for me is my wife joining me on the tube, showing her compassion, lighting up because of the love she has for her brother and showing you don’t have to be a show-off to be good at television.

If you took the time to read through this entire article I think you deserve to see the show before everyone else.

So, here it is:

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