Posts Tagged ‘Blanchard and Calhoun Community’

US Army’s Cyber Command to Fort Gordon

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

    The Army announced the Cyber Command will consolidate it’s network operations. Fort Gordon will be the new headquarters of the US Army’s cyber command. Fort Gordon and Fort Meade in Maryland were in the running for this honor. Fort Gordon will also have a Three Star General leading Fort Gordon.

 Augusta should be proud of the hard work that went into making sure the cyber command came to Fort Gordon.

Full details

Happy Veterans Day

Monday, November 11th, 2013

 Blanchard and Calhoun Salutes the Military Men and Women who  serve  our country. Thank You for protecting our freedom and trying to make this world a better place. Blanchard & Calhoun is honored to have Veterans who work for us, our thoughts &  prayers are always with you and your family.

God Bless America

Project Jackson North Augusta SC

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Since my decision to return to the CSRA in 1998 and move to North Augusta, I think I have earned a reputation as an above-average civic-minded individual with a proven and sincere interest in, and proven dedication toward, the betterment of our community. I get involved. I volunteer. I try to offer my opinion, my time and my sweat toward initiatives that promote a better future for our children here.

As a matter of fact, it is because of this precise instinct (drive, intuition, inclination, whatever it is) that I volunteered to become involved with Hammond’s Ferry and the city of North Augusta’s goal to connect its downtown with the Savannah River. After two years of volunteering my time, I was honored to be asked to work for the North Augusta River Front Co. in the actual planning and creation of this great vision. Today, I call Hammond’s Ferry home, both for my family and for two businesses.

My decision was made in large part because of Project Jackson and the promise that this plan holds for establishing a responsible and practical method for finally allowing the public/private partnership (that is the North Augusta Riverfront model) to realize the goals established with the public planning charrettes in the late 1990s. This promise is for a riverfront not only accessible to anyone, but equipped with all of the critical components of a city that allow businesses to thrive, and inspires families of all incomes to both live and visit. This latter promise is achieved through certain public and civic uses that will allow this riverfront to become a true national destination.

I desperately want people to clearly understand that there are very dedicated and trustworthy people working on all levels on behalf of this vision. There are of course people who have spoken out against Hammond’s Ferry, its density and its mixed uses from the very beginning. Unfortunately, the current Tax Increment Financing proposal (which is an amendment of an existing TIF) has allowed the same naysayers to re-emerge and say almost anything to disable the public/civic-minded focus of this plan, vying for exclusivity over inclusivity.

What I am afraid people do not understand is that everything that Hammond’s Ferry is today is because of joint public/private investment. Brick Pond Park, Center Street, the Riverfront Greeneway path, Boeckh Park and the docks – all public/private funding.

The private developer seeking to invest in North Augusta also was faced with naysayers in Fort Wayne, Ind. Upon the successful realization of that city’s public/private partnership for an almost identical mixed-use facility, that city’s News-Sentinel newspaper wrote in an Aug. 7 editorial:

“If we can find an idea as good as the stadium for the riverfront, that will become a success, too. … Studies can’t really get anything done. The best they can do is pave the way for people with good ideas willing to take risks. The best the rest of us can do is encourage those people and try to recognize the worthiness of a good idea when we see one.

“There was a lot of skepticism, expressed by this editorial page and elsewhere, of the idea of a new baseball facility when there was an adequate one already in use. The downtown boosters have proved the skeptics wrong the best way possible: by succeeding spectacularly.”

Any success at Hammond’s Ferry is because of responsible public input and investment as proposed in the TIF, which is triggered only when the private investors commit to funding all of the proposed entertainment facilities, hotel, apartments and housing – none of which is to be paid for with TIF dollars. Only the public-related parking and convention facilities will be funded with TIF.

To quote from the original city charrette: “The project is designed as a collection of walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods which extend the historic town of North Augusta, reconnecting the town with its riverfront. The project will contain more than 1,000 new homes, condominiums and apartments, as well as business and civic uses, and excellent new parks and public spaces fronting the river.”

So far we have kept to task. All the city asks is to maintain what it has started. All that families like mine want – and now countless others who are volunteering their time – is a new and better future for North Augusta and the CSRA.

Article written by Turner Simkins in The Augusta Chronicle August 20 2013

Ugh!!, What’s Wrong with My Garage Door ?

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Widespread problems involving garage door openers are now affecting the CSRA. The problem is affecting 40 million people around the country…and thousands of homeowners here in Augusta.

We have been tracking down information on this problem all day Monday and we learned that garage door openers use a frequency that is not licensed. That means…the frequency is up for grabs…

As part of the U.S. Department of Defense’s new state of the art communication system, the military has taken over the unlicensed frequencies which are mostly used by garage door remote openers, cordless phones, and even baby monitors. But, what’s deemed a help for military safety is a headache for local neighbors.

People in one typically quiet Augusta neighborhood have been clamoring over a problem that can’t be seen or heard…but it’s left a bad feeling.

“It was in the whole neighborhood. The guy up on the corner about two or three people in this block was complaining. Next door, the guy was complaining,” says homeowner William Bell.

Bell is among thousands of local residents who started having problems remotely opening their garages last Wednesday. It turns out, new frequency activity has rendered their remotes useless…shutting the door on their wireless access.

Garage door repair businesses like Overhead Door Company, in Augusta, were warned about the potential problem years ago. However, Steve Garrett says they were told WHAT could happen…but not WHEN…

“At the time that notification was sent out, we didn’t experience problems, so we thought we were fine. Since last Wednesday, we were swamped with several calls,” says Garrett.

We contacted Fort Gordon about the problem. In a statement, the command says, “Garage door openers operate on ‘unlicensed basis’ within the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations on radio frequencies, known as FCC Part 15 rules. Because garage door openers operate as FCC Part 15 unlicensed devices, they must accept any interference that may occur from the authorized users of radio frequencies.”

Garrett says the problem can be solved, though. “You’ve got two options: either use of an external receiver, or replacing the unit,” he says.

For neighbors, that means amplified radio signals at Fort Gordon will lead to amplified inconvenience at home.

“I got to get out the car to open the garage door when I usually mash the button and it flies up,” Bell says.

According to an FCC Public Notice, issued in 2005…”the garage door opener manufacturers will help consumers who are experiencing problems. In some cases…they will provide a replacement transmitter and receiver to operate on a different frequency.”

If you live near Fort Gordon and have been having issues with your garage door opener? Fort Gordon officials may know why.

Read the text of the release below from the Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office:

“Unlicensed garage door openers near Fort Gordon may experience problems as local military radio systems transition to a new frequency range

Land mobile radios (LMR) used by the military at Fort Gordon and around the world are transitioning to use new frequencies, often the same frequency range used by some unlicensed consumer devices, such as garage door openers. This gradual transition has continued across the Defense Department since 2004; Fort Gordon began testing the system on the new frequencies last week.

Fort Gordon intended to conduct widespread public notifications on this transition; however, testing began earlier than expected.

Garage door openers operate on “unlicensed basis” within the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations on radio frequencies, known as FCC Part 15 rules. Because garage door openers operate as FCC Part 15 unlicensed devices, they must accept any interference that may occur from the authorized users of radio frequencies. Some manufacturers of garage door openers, deeming that their risks of interference are generally low, have chosen to operate on frequencies between 380 MHz and 399.9 MHz that have been reserved for the US government and military services since World War II. DoD and the US military are fully authorized to use these frequencies, particularly for LMR systems that are necessary for force protection, law enforcement, firefighting, transportation management, and emergency medical first responders on military bases and installations.

Consequently, some consumers located near military bases may occasionally experience radio frequency interference to their garage door openers which can temporarily reduce the operating range of the wireless controls or cause the wireless control to stop functioning. This interference will not cause the garage doors to open or close by themselves, but rather they will temporarily simply not operate wirelessly. However, the installed hard-wired controls inside or outside of the garages will not be affected whatsoever by radio frequency interference, and will continue to electrically open and close the doors normally.

According to FCC Public Notice DA 05-424 of February 15, 2005, the garage door opener manufacturers stand ready to help consumers resolve any interference to their systems, including, in some cases, making available for consumer purchase, a replacement transmitter and receiver to operate on a different frequency than that used by US government or military services and mobile radio systems.

Consumers who experience problems with the garage door openers should contact their manufacturer or local repair shops for assistance.”
WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Thanks to our friends at WJBF News Channel 6′s and Dee Griffin for this story.

Thanks and Giving

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Thanks and Giving – that’s what this season is all about.  We at Blanchard and Calhoun have so much to be thankful for – great agents, employees and outstanding clients over this last year.  We are thankful to be able to provide families with one of their proudest material possessions – their  homes – where traditions begin and memories are made.        Blanchard and Calhoun loves to use this season of thanksgiving to also GIVE back.  We hosted our 2nd annual Blanchard and Calhoun United Way bowling tournament with over 160 bowlers that raised over $6,000 for the United Way.  See how much fun we had doing it through the photos on our facebook page

In keeping with the theme of thanksgiving, we are also so thankful for two of our own, Howell Beman and Brennan Simkins, who was featured  on The Today Show.  He is a four time bone marrow transplant recipient survivor, Brennan has beaten the odds and medical standards at St. Jude’s Research Hospital.  Miracles do still happen everyday.  Brennan is the son of Turner and Tara Simkins and grandson of our very own Susan Rice.  Brennan’s non-profit, PressOn  raises money for research for Neuroblastoma Research.

 Howell has ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Pupura). Howell’s anti-bodies attack his platelets, kill them off rapidly, and this results in a very low platelet count. (causing extreme bruising and bleeds) ITP puts Howell at a high risk of bleeding internally. There is no cure for ITP and no one knows how ITP starts. Howell has been diagnosed a chronic ITP patient.

 Howell and his family are supporting the MCG Radiothon held December 6 2012  . The Radiothon is a HUGE fundraiser for The Children’s Medical Center! There are several local companies and media entities that sponsor the event. These companies and sponsors have agreed to match whatever money the Beman’s raise.  100% of the money raised is used to provide better care at our Children’s Medical Center here in Augusta. Howell has received amazing care there and we feel that the doctors and nurses are the finest in our area. Without the children’s hospital, The Beman’s would have to drive hours for Howells medical care and maintenance. Howell is the son of Davis & Elizabeth Beman and the grandson of Hal Beman

We hope that you will take a moment to check out our fundraising page and support us in this venture. We have learned the hard way that MCG Children’s Hospital is a true blessing to us, our community, and lots of precious sick children. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers and donations

So, this thanksgiving, make sure you are especially aware of what you have to be thankful for and make sure they know it.