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Off the Top
NTSB seeks to lower BAC level to .05
In case you missed it, earlier this week, the National Transportation Safety Board voted to recommend to U.S. states they lower the blood-alcohol content threshold that determines drunken driving.
The current level BAC in all 50 states is .08. The NSTB is now proposing the BAC measurement, which yields the percentage of alcohol, by volume, in the bloodstream, be reduced to .05.
To be clear, no one, and certainly not our trade association, is supportive of any measure that would put more impaired drivers on our streets. But when do such crusades collide with individual liberties and making the right decisions? While this incremental step will not solve the issue of irresponsible actions by drunk drivers, it does, as one industry executive said: "Criminalize perfectly responsible behavior."
The Write Stuff
When I was younger, I withdrew treasures not from a bank, but from a library. I worry about the future of libraries and bookstores, but not so much about the future of financial institutions.
At AMOA, we have a treasure of pictures, show directories and other artifacts that chronicle its 65-year history.
But nothing tells the story of an organization — at least this one — better than its newsletters. For years, AMOA members received the "Location" newsletter in the mail each month. The accompanying picture is the first issue, published in April 1964, just over 49 years ago.
I can just envision the newly appointed-MOA (Music Operators of America) Managing Director Fred Granger, or office manager Bonnie York on his behalf, sitting at the typewriter at the La Salle Street headquarters in downtown Chicago and banging out the monthly two-page newsletter.
The "Location" newsletter morphed into a full-fledged magazine in the 1980s, then retreated back to a newsletter, before "retiring" in 1996-97.
AMOA, AAMA going to DC next month
The ongoing sequester fallout continues to be a major distraction to the "business at hand" for elected leaders and their legislative staffs in Washington, D.C. And yet, commerce continues to chug along, as does the need to protect, preserve and promote industry interests.
To that end, AMOA has re-upped to join sister association, the American Amusement Machine Association (AAMA), next month in a one-day advocacy initiative in the nation's capital.
Organized and directed by the Public Policy and Regulation Practice in the D.C. office of the Dentons, which serves as Legislative Counsel for both organizations, the joint industry effort will be conducted June 12, 2013.
65 Years... and Counting
At 65, an age when many are looking forward to becoming eligible for full retirement benefits, the Amusement & Music Operators Association (AMOA) is looking forward to many years of productive output on behalf of its members and industry.
While not a huge milestone, the 65 anniversary that AMOA is marking this year is noteworthy, inasmuch as it has managed to endure, outlast, survive and thrive during the six and one half decades of its existence.
Over the past 65 years, a whole bunch of people have dedicated a good portion of their professional lives trying to make us — operator members, the organization and our marketplace — better. While we can't afford to dwell in the past and celebrate the victories of yesteryear, an anniversary like this begs for some reminiscing and introspection.
Remembering Jerry Derrick
Editor's Note: On Tuesday, April 16, AMOA Past President Jerry Derrick passed away. He was 70 years old. The owner of Derrick Video and Music Company in Charleston, West Virginia, he worked at the firm started by his father for the past 52 years. This afternoon and evening, visitation is being conducted at Bartlett-Burdette-Cox Funeral Home. A service is scheduled there tomorrow at 1 p.m.
As the AMOA family mourns the passing of Jerry Derrick and reflects on his countless contributions to the organization and industry, it really comes down to this: Jerry had a lifelong love for the business and the people in it.
There are many stories about his work ethic, his loyalty to friends and dedication to AMOA. At a point in his life when many others were retired or delegating the work, the notion of slowing down was a foreign concept to Jerry. Coin-op coursed through his existence like water flowing on a river.
For years, AMOA has struggled to pinpoint the precise definition of a street operator. For anyone who ever met Jerry Derrick, there was never any ambiguity about his vocation. He was in the coin-op business. Jerry Derrick was the quintessential street operator. He loved being part of it, was proud to be a leader in it and was damn good at it, too.
Jerry served as president of AMOA in 1996-97, at a critical time in its history, as it started to consider the move towards re-establishing its own staff and infrastructure. He could look at a budget or balance sheet and sniff out the problem areas before anyone else. And he did that at the precise point in time when AMOA badly needed such a skill set.