Thursday, January 17, 2019

Veteran's Administration Vocational Rehabilitation Pgm Broken!

VA Chapter 31 Voc Rehab Needs Overhaul!

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Veterans Administration Watch:

The story is many Voc Rehab workers pick and choose who they will help and hinder those who is not worthy of their time. Many veterans fight with VA Vocational Rehabilitation for years before figuring out that program administrators are straight up lying to them about what the program can do for any veteran.
Want to know what those lies are before you fall victim?
Thousands of disabled veterans apply for Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation every year. Some are successful in getting the benefits they deserve and some are not.
In my time researching and writing on the subject, there seems to be a common theme arising: lies. Many veterans are misled about what Voc Rehab can do for them even though policies exist that contradict what counselor say.
This leads one to conclude that either there are guidelines to excuses somewhere that Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors live by, or there is an underlying discussion between offices as to what excuses can be used to keep deserving disabled veterans from their benefits.
It reminds me of a period of my life when I spent a great deal of my recreational time researching the Bible. Living in England at the time, I used the ESV Bible, the Cambridge Companion to the Bible, the Nag Hammadi Scriptures, and a copy of The Living Buddha, Living Christ that my grandmother sent me. Over the years, scholars have found there to be such commonality between the New Testament Gospels that they came to believe there existed a fifth text referred to as “Q.” Q is believed by many scholars to be the first written gospel that contained many of the quotes and anecdotes of Jesus’ time on Earth.
In a similar way, one cannot help but speculate that there is a similar text that creates a common set of lies Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors tell disabled veterans when denying claims. In my searches for it, I seem only to find regulations that support veterans’ claims for benefits -- strange.

VOC REHAB BACKGROUND

Background. The Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (DVA OIG) ordered an audit of the VR&E program in 2007 and a subsequent survey sampling of 80,000 veterans to find out why so many disabled veterans never complete the program. While VR&E boasts a success rate of close to 75 percent to the U.S. Congress, the real number is much lower. According to the DVA OIG, the true success rate is closer to 18 percent. Most qualified veterans drop out of Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) before developing an Individual Written Rehabilitation Plan (IWRP). Many more drop out before finishing the program. VR&E has not been including these cases in their reported success rate.
In Corporate America, this is called “cooking the books,” for which people have gone to jail and been sued. Lucky for VR&E, the officials of this ENRON of the federal government are largely blanketed by sovereign immunity. The government has to agree to let you sue the government. Convenient.   See original story...http://usveteransvoice.blogspot.com/2018/11/va-chapter-31-voc-rehab-needs-overhaul.html

Saturday, January 12, 2019

School of Blues Wednesday Nite Pro/Am Blues Jam and Talent Showcase






For over three months, the School of Blues has  enjoyed hosting a new Blues Jam in Eugene every Fri Nite at the new Jalisco Family Restaurant location at 941 Pearl street, in downtown Eugene, Oregon. Working with our young aspiring musicians seeking more experience playing and getting mentorship from professional musicians, has been a very successful start to the overall program School of Blues is a component of, Project Pro Am (PPA). The downtown issues with parking, crime, and rising taxes and rental costs, has seen many new business owners struggle to stay in business. School of Blues went dark this last Fri Nite Blues Jam so  the Jalisco Family Restaurant owner could decide whether or not to continue being opened for dinners. It doesn't make financial sense, but a funny thing happened....he has fallen in love with blues music, and sees the value of helping his community youth have a safe space to get real world experience playing with the working bands and musicians that are featured in the first sets every Friday nite. Now, he has agreed to host Wednesday Blues Jams at the original Jalisco's Restaurant on W.11th starting January 30th 7pm sign-up 7:30 music start! Fri Nite blues Jam as usual every Friday Nite 7pm. 941 Pearl St. Eugene

                                      Marco Pena - 15 year-old Guitarist
School of Blues is very grateful to Jalisco's for their support and interest in keeping this great youth project alive. However, they need all the support from the Blues and live music fans of Eugene to make it financially viable as well. Please support these Jams and enjoy great mexican food, ambience, and at the W. 11th location there is a dance floor for dancing! So mark your calendars and put on your dancing shoes!

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PPA is a Non Profit Organization where professional artists and business people teach young people, both academically stable, and those at risk... to learn all phases of a Dinner Theatre and a collaborative Performing Arts Program. There will be a professional food and beverage component and culinary school training program that will prepare students to not only become skilled in all phases as workers, but also provide entrepreneurial training and hands on management opportunities. Then if desired, cross trained in Theatre Arts. And vice-versa. As an after school summer program, PPA will utilize family, community and school personnel to be involved with students internship and participation in PPAPPA will coordinate and liaise with family, educators, and any other relevant person or agency involved in student's counselling and guidance for future school and or job placement opportunities. 



Jalisco's has volunteered to be our first culinary kitchen, where their chef's will teach School of Blues students the art of preparing Mexican cuisine. One High School has already agreed to give credits for this internship opportunity. The students will also have a cooking segment on the TV Show now in pre-production at CTV 29 Community Television of Lane County.Image may contain: cameraThe students will also be involved with co-producing shows and becoming involved with community service with segments they will discuss and help the community become aware of important issues like Teen and Veteran Suicide Awareness, which had the highest increase in the nation. 
We are needing more youth involvement and adult volunteers to help with the events and projects that PPA/School of Blues is launching.
     For more info call (541) 517-5224

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Is Blues Music On The Wane?








Thursday, December 13, 2018

A Review: Blue Shimmay~Gypsy Jump Blues



Joe Simbari, Guitar and Vocals -Nancy Meston, Violin-Frank Tarantino, Bass and Vocals-  Arron Michaels, Percussion and Drums





 by Steven Masone

Music is therapy. I needed music therapy today more than I usually do. I actually had a speech to give at a luncheon today on music therapy. My car broke down and I had to walk several miles to get to my mechanics because no taxi was available in time for me to get to the luncheon. So I put my headphones in and played my favorite blues tune to de-stress and calm down my anxiety about not being on time. I hate to be late! I hate when others are late. But I made it to the luncheon on time and overcame my anxiety and hitched a ride back to my car where I was to meet the tow truck. However, my car started up and I got to my auto repair facility without using up my limited tows Triple A gives me. Four hours later my car was finally fixed. I rushed home to fix dinner for my fourteen year old and got ready to go to the Rainy Day Blues Society's Christmas party where Blue Shimmay was playing. I have worked with Joe Simbari, and Arron Michaels at several jams before and was looking forward to hearing their band for the first time live.



 I listened to their single..."You're the Sugar in my Coffee" which I loved! So when I arrived to hear them at the club, I realized I left my wallet and phone at home. It was one of those days where I really need some good music to straighten the rest of my day out. Blue Shimmay started with a nice tune that from where I was seated needed more volume. Then they switched gears and started playing their arrangement of Freddie King's "Tore Down." I felt "Tore Down" ...so I drove the few blocks home to get my wallet so I could get back and get me some music therapy to help me get my mojo back. They played a great "All of Me"..and the more I listened the more I was being resurrected from the day's tore down toll on my spirit. Joe Simbari was showing a tastier jazzy side to the excellent guitar work I have heard him do many times and the violin of Nancy Meston added a dimension and tone, to the very cool Gypsy Jump sound they have developed, carving out their own lane in the northwest blues scene. Arron Michaels on drums is as solid a drummer as there is and with Frank Tarantino on the stand-up bass, coalesced their rhythm section and sold their retro sound as authentic... where others would have fell short trying to pull it off with only a cheesy version. 
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If a girl came by with a box selling "cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos," I would not have taken a second look as this band is believable!  They will make you believe Their brand of blues is as powerful and exciting as the many blues bands who play at a much higher volume level... They will make you believe you can bluesify old standards yet keeping them true to the original magic  that we all love.  They will also make you believe you better keep an eye on them because the lane they are carving out has just begun and there is nowhere else to go but up for this very unique and very talented band of musicians!    see more at https://www.blueshimmay.com/about.html

Monday, December 3, 2018

School of Blues Presents: Guitars For Vets Benefit Blues Show!






School of Blues Presents: Benefit Blues Show!
First Fri Nite January 4th 2019, 7pm with Marco Peña & Resurrection Blues Band.
Jalisco Mexican Restaurant... 941 Pearl St. Eugene. Buy one dinner entree get next ½ price.. Show starts at 7pm Fri Nite Jam starts at 8:30pm Call (541)735-4772 for dinner reservations, (541) 517-5224 for show and jam .

Monday, November 26, 2018

Friday Night Blues Documentary Short

School of Blues Short Documentary

School of Blues Presents: Skip Jones @ Fri Nite Blues Jam Nov 30 - 7pm w/ Resurrection Blues Band! Jalisco Mexican Restaurant 941 Pearl St Eugene. Over the last 20 years, frontman Skip Jones has enjoyed working with such bands as: The Coasters, The Drifters, The Platters, Joe Houston & Bo Diddley. He toured with the great Canned Heat in 1985-86 holding down Larry Taylor’s bass position. , James Thornbury, James Bradshaw and Henry Vestine.

 Project PRO/AM  (PPA) & School of Blues

PPA is a pilot program where professional artists
and business people teach young people, both
academically stable, and those at risk... to learn
all phases of a Dinner Theatre and a collaborative
Performing Arts Program. The professional food
and beverage component will be a culinary school
training program that will prepare students to not
only become skilled in all phases as workers, but
also provide entrepreneurial training and hands
on management opportunities. Then if desired,
cross trained in Theatre Arts. And vice-versa.

As an after school and summer program, PPA will

utilize family, community and school personnel to be
involved with students internship and participation
in PPA. The Executive director of PPA will
coordinate and act as case worker as to students
progress, liaise with family, educators, and
any other relevant person or agency involved in student's
counselling for future school and or job placement.

PPA will initially outsource much of the class room

curriculum with established culinary and business
programs in local high schools and college/
technical schools where resources are available.

The Theatre Arts program will be a first phase,

where students will be involved with production of
a  musical chosen where the professional theatre
 company will have trained and rehearsed all
students involved as cast members, and all other
aspects of show. However, the professionals will
appear and perform in the shows that will be
competitively priced and staged like any regional
level Dinner Theatre Operation.

The student productions will then be performed and

produced by the students themselves  for
the amateur non-profit program. And where appropriate;
gratis pricing. ( As inducement for underprivileged
youth to encourage their participation.)

The long range goals of PPA will be to coalesce the

program into a School for the Performing and
Culinary Arts. The students will be challenged to
work towards completing their formal education
while gaining invaluable experience, skills, problem
solving, in an atmosphere designed to instill self-
confidence and social interaction and team work
with peers in a culturally diverse environment.

Students will learn valuable customer and human
relations, with cross training in the guest
relations aspects of Theatre, Food & Beverage
and Hospitality Industry.

PPA will use resources available to evaluate
students skill level and proficiency to assist in
capitalizing on their strong areas and develop
leadership skills with internships at participating
organizations and businesses PPA will partner
with.

PPA will utilize a mentor-ship model where college
level students will mentor the younger students
and tutor those who have need to bring their
academic scores to acceptable levels as "staying in
school" will be a requirement for participation in PPA. School of Blues is a Blues focused component for aspiring young musicians mentored by working Blues artists and educators.

Contact: Steven Masone stevemasone@gmail.com
(541) 517-5224