Posted by: Tony Brown | September 20, 2014

Single Men Beware

Since the beginning of the Internet and social media, there have been predators surfing the web to find a weakness in the armor. Anyone who has checked their junk e-mail folders can find the latest scam, the greatest get rich quick or the easiest way to boost your manhood. They prey and the week, heartbroken, down on their luck, and anybody who is naïve enough to send them money.

Those of us who have a Facebook page to keep in touch of our physical friends or virtual friends, know that we often find people who want to befriend us who we have no idea who they are. These are the ones I want to warn you about and and the schemes they try in order to rob us of our hard earned money.

I’ve had several years of experience working with law-enforcement agencies and have the training to spot things that are not consistent with someone’s stories. My present job gives me a responsibility to investigate theft and fraud.

Recently I had a very attractive young woman send me a friend request on Facebook. I had no idea who she was but I excepted her friend request. I have just gone through a divorce after and marriage of 18 years and updated my profile to reflect my status. This young woman’s name is Mary Auston, or it is an alias for whoever or whom ever this person or firm is. Shortly after excepting her friend request I received a text message from her in my Messenger appthanking me for excepting her friend request. The conversation went on from there as if she was trying to make new friends and to get to know me. But that was not her true intention as I add discovered that she was also sending these same messages to other single men.

I wasn’t really sure at first if she was a real person but shortly after the conversation started I began to note inconsistencies in the manner in which she spoke in text. This caused me to start investigating who she was and where she came from.her Facebook page stated that she was from Cincinnati Ohio and that she had attended the Ohio State University. She had stated that she was 31 years old but her birthday was not consistent with that age as she claimed to have been born May 2, 1982. She wanted a relationship with an older man because she said the guys her age were players. Not long after starting the conversation with her it quickly turned to a fast serious relationship in which she needed an iPhone so that she could communicate and hear my voice.

Now I’m no dummy and I surely am not going to send someone money or an iPhone for that matter without actually meeting that person in the flesh and getting to know them better. When she got upset that I couldn’t send it when she wanted to she started to get mean and demanding. This cost me to look deeper into her profile and found a gentleman who worked at the same company as I but in a different location who had also friended her and was going through the same experience.

Mary claimed that she was living in Yuma Arizona with her lawyers family because her parents had died in a automobile accident. That story wasn’t consistent with the story that she was telling the other gentleman but she was trying to get both of us to buy her a plane ticket to come to our I don’t know about any of you but I am not ready to buy a plane ticket or send money to a young lady in anyway without knowing them.when I suggested that I give her an iPhone when we meet up she replied that I should send the iPhone to her lawyer who mysteriously is now living in Maine.another victim and I decided that we would send similar messages to her and tell her that we had made arrangements to come out to her location and see her, but that wasn’t something that she wanted.

Now I warn you gentlemen not to fall victim to this conniving young woman if in fact this is a woman at all.  I have reported her to Facebook as a fraudulent Facebook site and from what I’ve seen she no longer has a Facebook page but it is unclear if she has started a new page under another alias.

So here’s a little information that she gave to me after I began crying her and acting like the hurt man that she was trying to call on.

This is a quote from her requesting that I send her lawyer and iPhone. This is the actual dialogue which she used in the style in which she wrote it from her Google Voice number of 928-351-7815.”Send my Attorney the iPhone instead of me, this is Address in Maine ….. 6 East Main Street Apartment 2 Dover Foxcroft Maine 04426.” Of course I wouldn’t send an iPhone to somebody’s lawyer who lives across the United States when this person says that they live in Arizona. This is a desperate person and the things that she is doing or illegal.

I received a text message on my phone that was plainly intended for some other victim and this is what she said, “You are hurting me so bad… and you know how it feel like when some one is getting hurt… I told you to go there your self and tell them that the pen given to you was wrong… Or tell them to track the money them self to assure you that they didn’t send the money to my attorney… They are just lying to you at the Western Union store… Just promise me you are going to do as I say in the morning??”

I feel sorry for the guy who fell for this if in fact he did send money to this person. Bottom line don’t fall victim to some young woman no matter how attractive she might be unless you actually know who she is and have had some semblance of a friendship or relationship and even then I would be careful about sending money.

Here are a few images to look out for.please know that this may or may not be the actual person, it could be images of a model that another individual is using and claiming to be Mary Auston of Yuma, Arizona.





Something to look out for when you fall into this situation are,
1. The individual is in a hurry to get what they want.
2. They ask you for money or item of high-value.
3. The grammar that they use in their text is not consistent with the identity that the individual is using, ie they are a college graduate but can’t spell the simplest words.
4. They use nicknames like babe or sweetie instead of your actual name.
5. They can’t identify simple landmarks around the area in which they claim to live.
6. When challenged they get defensive and will break off the conversation quickly.

If you come across someone that you suspect is committing fraud or is trying to scam you please report it to your local FBI office. If they have an account on Facebook you can report them to Facebook and they will investigate and find their account or remove it.

Bottom line is, don’t fall victim to someone you have never met.


Posted by: Tony Brown | March 10, 2011

Hollywood: Lights, Camera, Action

Hollywood is just a small portion of the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles, but it is a name known worldwide as the film capital.

“And that’s what dreams are made of,” said Sam Spade, played (Humphrey Bogart) in the film “The Maltese Falcon.”

These words ring through the ears of those that are seeking fame and fortune, hoping for their big break or standing at the arched gates of Paramount Pictures gazing upon the famous Hollywood sign ready for their close-up.

Hollywood is alive during the daylight hours with people and cars moving and bumping into each other like the blood cells coursing through their arteries.

Tourist from all walks of life, carrying cameras, filter in and out of shops and museums, taking pictures of the star-studded sidewalks and the wannabes who work the sidewalks of fame, hoping to get a glimpse at stardom.

Tourist have their picture taken next to the star of Muhammed Ali

The names of famous celebrities, both living and deceased, are immortalize in brass and terrazzo on the sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard, and Vine Street . Near the grand staircase in the Kodak Theatre mounted on the wall is the star of Mohammed Ali, the only star that does not rest on the sidewalks.

“I heard that he didn’t want his star to get walked on,” said Ana Martinez, vise president of media relations and the producer of the star ceremonies.

“His star was the only one not created on-site, but at the factory and presented to Ali on an easel.”

At night the city morphs into a different animal like a werewolf searching for prey. Music from night clubs that were once hidden away in light, come alive with music that flows out into the streets. Men and women now line the walkways waiting for their turn to be granted access into the clubs. The select few are given passage by the gatekeepers that guard the entrances.

The men are sharply dressed wearing mostly black clothing, standing with women wearing tight black outfits, who are constantly pulling at their clothes up and down to cover their barely-hidden womanhood.

In the early morning hours the air grows still. The heartbeat slows down and allows for a resurgence of vital nutrients that supplies the people with energy. Television and film production trucks move through the quieter city streets to locations unknown.

There’s a calming in the morning air while the city sleeps.

“The morning hours are like the breath before the plunge,” said Jacob Ontiveros, an employee at the Hollywood and Highland complex.

The shops are empty but the work remains as street cleaners work to clean the city before the giant awakens. People are asleep in their homes and beds, even those that have found a place in the recesses of a building or the ground, who huddle in their sleeping bags or layers of clothing.

A man and woman sleep on the sidewalk of North Gower St in Hollywood



Tinseltown is the place where dreams can come true and is also the same place where shattered hopes and despair fill the air like the smell of wet moldy clothes, discarded cigarettes and deteriorating cardboard.

Beyond the glimmer and glamour there is life that struggles everyday to survive with continue hopes that one day they too will make it in the place called Hollywood.

The lights of Los Angeles glow bright

At a glance;

Contact the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce at (323) 469-8311

Or online at

As of March 2011, there are 2,434 stars on the Walk of Fame, with Director Zuban Mehta being added in February. The stars are made of terrazzo and brass stars are embedded at 6-foot intervals over a combined 2.4 miles. There are five categories of the entertainment industry are, Motion Picture, Television, Recording, Radio and Live Theater.

Posted by: Tony Brown | December 6, 2010

Morning Glory gives a better look at network news

What would happen if you put Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric together on the same set? Well, that’s just what you’ll see in the movie “Morning Glory” starring Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton.

The movie is about a young television news producer Becky Fuller played by McAdams, who is given the opportunity to revive a struggling network morning show as the over worked, under experienced and under paid Executive Producer. After firing a crass and sexist male co-host from the show, Fuller is Tasked with finding a replacement and forces the job on the washed up hard edged news anchor Mike Pomeroy played by Ford. Pomeroy’s co-host is a one time beauty queen that is the center of her universe, Colleen Peck played by Keaton.

Pomeroy’s hard edge news reporting doesn’t mix well with the shows theme of entertaining the viewers and this leads to a surprisingly comical interplay with Peck both on the air and off.

Although the storyline was a bit played out and a little exaggerated the story was believable and entertaining. Anyone that knows people in the TV news world will tell you that it is a busy, demanding and cutthroat business where mistakes made by one person opens the door for the next great and often short lived talent.

All that said, I left the theatre with the feeling that audiences will enjoy this movie and that I would add this title to my home movie collection. At least that way I wouldn’t have to listen to the irate elderly man in front of me complain about his seat while he and his date wrestle with their plastic salad boxes that they smuggled in the theatre.

At A Glance:
For more information on this movie
and it’s cast, visit

Posted by: Tony Brown | December 1, 2010

Hatfield Exhibit gets a Makeover by LBCC Graphic Arts

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     The Hatfield Marine Science Center has given the LBCC Graphic Arts students an opportunity to give an otherwise boring exhibit a complete makeover.
     Mark Farley, the exhibit designer at the Hatfield asked the students to redesign the “Dive and Explore” exhibit, which is sponsored by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
     The current display is not much more than a grey box with three monitors that show a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) recovering a rumbleometer, which is also part of the exhibit. The rumbleometer is a large underwater instrument package that measures changes on the ocean floor and was deployed on the Axial Volcano off the Oregon/Washington coast.
     This is not the first time the graphic arts students have helped out at the science center said John Aikman, faculty advisor for the graphic arts department. Last year the students redesigned and replaced old and aging signage throughout the Science Center.
                              Exhibit model constructed by graphic arts students Jessica Bonnett, Morgan Ulrich and Jawann Venavle.                                                                               Photo Provided by Harold Wood                                          
     The process for the display started last spring when all of the 15 students where given the assignment to create their own version of the exhibit. The criterion for the display was that it had to be fun and educational. From the 15 displays five solutions where chosen based on suggestions from John Aikman, the student advisor and from Farley.
     The students where then divided into five groups and worked to design displays based on a common theme. From these five only two where chosen and presented to a panel of judges at the Hatfield, which is made up of, members form each department.
     “A selection will be made after the holidays’” said Farley, “After which a grant will be written and the displays will be built.”
     There’s not a definite timeline for the completion of the exhibit but the graphic arts students will be included in the construction and the new exhibit.
Posted by: Tony Brown | December 1, 2010

Brass Media Visits LBCC

          Brandon Goldner from Brass Magazine visited the journalism class at LBCC to share his views about journalism and his role at the magazine.

          Brass Magazine is a quarterly magazine which has two publications, one geared towards high school age students and the other geared towards college age students and distributed through credit unions. The magazine’s focus is to help students better understand money.

          Goldner expressed that you shouldn’t be afraid to take criticism about your work and ask questions. He stated, “your peers are a good source of what you can do better.”

          If you’re passionate about what you want to do then do anything you can to get your foot in the door. It is important to keep trying and never give up on your goals no matter what you’re striving to achieve. One of Goldners’ first jobs in journalism was working at The Commuter at LBCC as a editor and writer. He later to a position at the Albany Democrat Herald working part time at the front counter. While working at the Herald and going to school full time Goldner applied for an internship at Brass Media.

           “You need to find a balance in life,” said Goldner, “don’t burn yourself out.”

          If we really love to write then you have to put yourself out there and find opportunities to write. Put as much effort into what you want to do as you can. Even if you fail, keep trying and your efforts will pay eventually pay off.

          One very important point that was made was that when you are writing you need to research your subject in great detail even if it seems trivial to you, it can be an important detail to your readers. Be engaged during your interviews and follow up after your interviews with more research.

          “Let your stories adapt,” stated Goldner regarding writing your story and where it goes by the way the subject plays out.

At A Glance
For more information on Brass Magazine or becoming a freelance writer
contact Brass Media at:
Brass Media Inc
PO Box 1220
Corvallis, OR 97339
Tel/ (541) 753-8546
Fax/ (541) 753-8548

Contact Brandon Goldner at

Posted by: Tony Brown | November 23, 2010

Suprising facts about the business of NEWSPAPERS

Our journalism class took a tour of the Albany Democrat Herald this Wednesday to see how the news room and paper operate. The production of a newspaper can be very stressful but rewarding. The demands placed on reporters to get the story and finish it can at times be unnerving as deadlines draw near.

In the newsroom at the Democrat Herald this didn’t seem the case now that the paper has switch to a morning edition. Reporters and editor where still busy at work to write and edit stories but the demand to finish before going to press was more relaxed.

The Democrat Herald has two editions of the paper, one being of course the printed copy and the other is online. With the exception of breaking news, the online edition takes more of a back seat. Stories are posted online after the printed edition has been edited and gone to press.

“The last thing I want to do at the end of the day is post the online edition,” said Steve Lundeberg, one of the editors at the paper and our tour guide.

It suprised me to hear that the online edition was not taken more serious as the business of reporting news has made a shift to more electronic copy. “I feel that there will always be a need for local papers,” said Lundeberg.

The Democrat Herald also prints sales circulars for inserts and mail and the paper also prints the Gazette Times which corvers the news in Corvallis. The D.H. and the G.T. are owned by Lee Enterprises out of Davenport, IA.

In today’s economic standing, the main costs for newspaper are the newsprint and employees. A roll of paper can weight 900 lbs and the printing press can go through a lot of paper each day. Advertisements is the main resource to offset the costs of production. What used to be the biggest ads where car sales, real estate and career, have now dwindled with the start of web sites such as Craigslist.

The Democrat Herald has on a staff of approximately 100 employees which includes reporters, photographers, editors, printers, marketing, and other production staff. Some of the staff members are also responsible for covering events for the Gazette Times. What surprised me was that there are only two photographers at the paper and some times they have to cover for both papers. This makes for a very busy schedule.

Posted by: Tony Brown | November 12, 2010

Albany Honors Veterans on Veterans Day

Members of the National Guard marching band lead the parade

The streets of downtown Albany were lined on both sides by people numbering over 40,000 braving the cold morning in anticipation of the annual Veterans Day Parade on Thursday. 

The parade started at the police station on Jackson St SE and followed a route that took it over the overpass on Pacific Highway, then right on Lyons, left on 2nd to Ferry St., left to 4th, ending at the Linn County courthouse at 300 3rd Ave. SW.

The parade was lead by a very large group of motorcyclists and was followed by the Army Band. Many thanks and cheers went out by the crowd to the men and women of the armed forces as each group marched by.

A large group of motorcycles lead the parade
Some of the high lights of this years parade were fly-by’s from the Coast Guard with one of their HH-65C Dolphin helicopters and a fly-by of a F-15 Eagle from the 142nd Fighter Wing in Portland.

“I didn’t see that one coming”, one of the spectators said as the F-15 screamed overhead.

Local high school and middle school bands marched in the parade playing up-beat  patriotic music. Each marching band as well as groups from military ROTC, The Boy and Girl Scouts of America, Civil War reenactment groups and other clubs and auxiliaries, were competing for ribbons and trophies that were presented after the parade’s conclusion.
F-15 from the 142nd Fighter Wing in Portland flew over Albany during the Veterans Day Parade

Winners of the marching bands were the West Albany High School and the North Albany Middle School bands.

“The is the second year in a row that we have won first place”, stated Nicolas Anderson, a band member from North Albany Middle School.

West Albany High School band march down Ferry Street
North Albany Middle School Varsity Band marches

The city of Albany states a claim that Albany hosts the largest Veterans Day parade West of the Mississippi. Not a bad claim make given the parade is done completely by volunteers.

We must never forget that our freedom comes at a price and the service men and women of Albany has helped to insure that freedom.

Thank you.

Posted by: Tony Brown | November 1, 2010

Road Show Plays Showcase Talent of Youth

One night, four hours, 20 performances by ten youth groups at two locations. You think this sounds like an undertaking for the brave to take on? You’re absolutely correct. This was the challenge that the youth groups from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Albany and Lebanon area had to face in performing a road show on Oct. 23.

A road show is a fifteen minute performance that has movable backgrounds, props and must be performed in two or more locations. These shows are written, produced and directed by local youth and their leaders and performed by kids from 12 to 18 years of age. Each performance has a theme that is moral based and each group chooses their own theme without the knowledge of the other groups.

“Whatever you read, listen to, or look at has an effect on you. Therefore, choose only entertainment and media that uplift you. Good entertainment will help you to have good thoughts and make righteous choices”. This is quoted from the pamphlet, “For the Strength of the Youth” written by The First Presidency of the LDS church.

The LDS church has activities and functions for the youth members which give the youth a chance to grow their talents and to share them with the community. Each year the church has a major function for the youth. This year’s function was the road show.

You might think that with 10 groups, someone might choose the same theme or story but that wasn’t the case. Each group created their own costumes and backgrounds and scripts. Each performance shared a message that was uplifting, funny and thought provoking. The performances were judged for creativity, showmanship and how their story played out.

The Springhill youth group performs during the dress rehearsal.

 The opening act was based on a theme the Cookie Monster eating too many cookies and needing to add more fruits and vegetables in his diet. The act included music from the 80’s and choreographed dancing. The children in the audience gave loud cheers and laughter when Elmo, Big Bird, The Count and Oscar the Grouch came on stage.

A cast party was held on Nov. 10 in Lebanon where all the youth and leaders gathered to watch a video of all the acts and to receive their awards. The grand prize winners are the Springhill youth. Their act was titled “Hercules and the Quest” which was loosely based sketches from Monty Pythons “The Holy Grail” and Greek mythology. A boy named Hercules was mistaken for the demigod and sent on a quest to take a package to the king. His journey was met with danger and adventure while avoiding the town bully and his group of minions. The story was well put together and the climatic ending was entertaining and surprising.

Other acts portrayed characters from nursery rhythms like “Little Bo Peep” and popular musicals such as “The Wizard of Oz”.

“Everyone did a remarkable job and all the kids performed great considering some had little help and had to over come a lot of obstacles”, stated Diane Allen who was one of the coordinators of the road show. Allen also had children performing in the Springhill group and she did a lot of behind the scene work for them.

The groups have a warm up act called an oleo that gives them just a few minutes to set there stage and prepare for their act. The act opens, the curtain is drawn and the timer starts. Fifteen minutes and the act is over, the curtain closes and the stage is broke down and moved off so that the next group can set the stage for their act. One set of performances in LDS church Albany on Grand Prairie and Waverly and the other set of performances where at the LDS church in Lebanon on South 5th st.

“Our performance was much better in Lebanon then Albany”, stated Beth Young, one of the creative team of the Sweet Home group.

There is a short break between acts which gives the actors a chance to watch some of the other acts before a one-hour dinner break and travel time to the next location. Then the process starts over again.

These kids and leaders put on a fantastic show for the audience and judges and their parents have a lot to proud of. It just goes to show that hard work and lots of practice really pays off.

Photo by

Have you ever wondered what goes into printing a newpaper like the Albany Democrat Herald and how much technology has advanced the business of NEWS?

Technology has made it easy to report the news and publish papers and books but the process of printing hasn’t changed much. Gone are the typesetters of the past, replaced by computer word processing programs and page designers.  Each page is edited and designed so that the stories and ads fit the columns and pages and then sent to the print editor for print processing.

Typesetter lays out pages.
Photo provided by

Each page is then transferred to thin metal plates which are covered in a light sensitive  emulsion. These plates used to be made of precious metals such as silver and gold.

This is still the process used by newspapers and publishing company today like the Democrat Herald in Albany.

“We don’t use plates with silver anymore” stated John Rehley, the commercial press and pre-print supervisor at the Democrat Herald in Albany.

The plates are exposed using a laser and the put through the developing process.The images on the plate are seen as reverse images until they are printed.

The Linotype Model 3. Photo provided by

The plates are then put on the printers drum and transferred to a rubber blanket and then to the printing surface. This technique is called offset printing. According to Wikipedia, the first rotary offset lithographic printing press was created in England and patented in 1875 by Robert Barclay. This process was later developed in the 19th century to a printing press process called offset lithograph very much like the presses used in today’s publishing.

Page Editor at the Democrat Herald work to insure that the pages are ready for publication.

Page editors look over each page on their computer screens for errors and to make sure that all the articles fit the page. Mike Henneke is responsible for editing the obituaries as well as other pages for the Democrat Herald. “I make sure that each obituary is easy for family and friends to cut them out”, Henneke stated.

Printer technicians at the Democrat Herald inspect the newspaper for correct alignment.

Newspapers are stack and banded together ready for distribution.

 You would think that with the technology advances of today we could find a better way to publish books and newspapers but it goes back to the old adage of, “if it’s not broke don’t fix it”.

The Golden Rule should be first and foremost in everybody’s rule book so why can’t we follow it. As a reporter, in any aspect we have a longer list of rules that must be followed, that is unless your a tabloid reporter.

Here are my top three picks from Poynter’s “100 Things a Reporter Should Not Do.”

#1. Journalists should never stop learning. Even 15 minutes a day helps; learn a new skill or sharpen an old one.

Confucius says,”I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge; I am one who is fond of antiquity, and earnest in seeking it there”. In journalism, seeking knowledge and truth is paramount in writing the story. There is always something you can learn from others no matter how young or old they may be. Knowledge is golden.

#2. Journalists should be active community members. If you aren’t of the people, you aren’t by the people or for the people.

Benjamin Franklin was an inventor, a scientist, a signer of the constitution and a printer and publisher. Franklin founded the Pennsylvania Gazette in 1728 and in 1732 began the publication of Poor Richard’s Almanac. Franklin set the bar high for a journalist as he was for the people and extremely active in his community and his country.

Report the news and you become part of something different but something that helped establish this the United States of America.

#3. Journalists should know when stories are best told using words, photos, graphics, video, audio, data or a combination.

What impact does the words on a page give a story? Now couple those words with a photo and your reader is held captive by an image that they will never forget. An example of this is a simple photos taken in 1963 of a young boy saluting his father’s casket; that boy was John F. Kennedy, Jr.

September 11, 2001 photos of the World Trade Center attack where all over the front pages of newspapers all over the world, not to mention video of the attack by news agency’s and amateur photographers and videographers. This was an event that changed the lives of many americans and those images tell the story.

This is my opinion but I know that there are many people that would agree with me. Remember to do the right thing and don’t be evil. Tell the story!

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