Keene BearCat Featured on Colbert Report

(Header image © Comedy Central)

KEENE, NH – With the events that have unfolded in Ferguson, Missouri, over the past several weeks, the spotlight has once again fallen on the subject of police militarization in America. As someone who has historically taken the side of police in most conversations, I confess that I have found myself unable to articulate any type of reasonable case for why our civilian police units require the type of advanced military transport systems and weaponry normally reserved for the active battlefield. As a Boy Scout in my youth, our motto was always, “Be Prepared.” But I wonder if “preparation” ever has a limit? In an episode of his popular television show, “The Colbert Report”, humorist Stephen Colbert confronts the same question.

The passions on this subject run high and, in my research, I find little in the way of middle ground when it comes to the opinions on each side. For the police, this is about public safety, quality of life, and effective preparation in the face of increasing violence in our communities. They wish to be protected from all conceivable threats while responding to incidents involving an unknown number of perpetrators and an unknown level of potential threats. It’s understandable that they would seek to be as well-equipped for such events as possible.

Wall Street Journal, February 07, 2014

Jefferson County Sheriff John Burns said the vehicle hasn’t been used, but it gives him some peace of mind. Thirty years ago, he rarely saw standoffs or hostage situations, but they now happen fairly regularly, a trend he attributes to population growth. “I agree it’s big, it’s intimidating, but again, it’s going to save lives,” he predicted.

Image of Manchester BearCat
A Lenco BearCat that the Manchester, N.H., Police Department has owned since 2007. Thomas Roy/New Hampshire Union Leader

For the opposition, it is also about public safety and quality of life, but with an added element: the desire to be free of the fear of an over-reaching police presence – otherwise known as a police-state. The fact of the matter is, violent crime is declining in America.. However, following the events of September 11, 2001, our citizenship has faced the biggest threat of its entire existence – the gradual and voluntary erosion of our most basic civil liberties under the guise of enhanced “protection”. Gone are the days when a police officer required justifiable cause to detain you and require you to identify yourself. Gone are the days when you were legally protected against unwarranted searches. Reading through the news every day, it is clear that more and more police departments are taking the stance of “Better to ask forgiveness than permission”. More and more police officers are becoming adversarial in their approach to the members of their community, seeing each person they encounter as a potential threat (no, I don’t have facts and figures to back this up – just good, old-fashioned anecdotal evidence from reading hundreds of news stories every day from all over the nation). We have created a policing system of “us against them” and that is an unfortunate – and potentially dangerous, as seen in Ferguson – dynamic to have in a community.

Image of Lenco BearCat
A Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter-Attack Truck by Lenco, Inc. © Lenco

But, to the issue at hand. Is military equipment truly necessary in small-town America? The answer, to me, is a resounding “NO!” Tax-funded acquisitions of military hardware by civilian departments that is then used against the very taxpayers who pay for the services provided by police departments is unacceptable no matter which way you slice it. Rather, we should have a centralized tactical response unit to be called in ONLY under the most extreme situations. Make no mistake, the average police officer is already an individual of great courage, high intelligence, and above-average training in tactical operations, firearms, and hand-to-hand combat. This is their job. This is what they are trained for. And, under pressure, they are virtually unmatched. The average criminal, on the other hand, is desperate, panicked, and not much of a tactical match for police. Very rarely do police come up against a modern-day Professor Moriarty. Very rarely are they facing the kinds of pre-planned, strategically-sound and indefensible criminal acts portrayed in every summer’s blockbuster movies. Kidnappings, hostage-taking, robberies, drug deals….The threats of today, in reality, are not much different than the threats of sixty years ago when police did their job with little more than a revolver and a squad car. So, just because the equipment is there, doesn’t mean it must be used – especially against civilians.

However, because the equipment is there, it gets used. And it gets used in the worse ways possible. Under the guise of “crowd control” in Ferguson, as a show of force in Toronto, as a response to a simple non-police-related shooting in Manchester, NH. The manufacturer is on the record as stating that these personnel carriers “save lives”…

(Huffington Post, 02-16-2012)

When a Lenco Bearcat shows up at a crime scene where a suicidal killer is holding hostages, it doesn’t show up with a cannon. It shows up with a negotiator. Our trucks save lives. They save police lives. And I can’t help but think that the people who are trying to stop this just don’t think police officers’ lives are worth saving.

…but you can’t help but wonder why the negotiator has to show up in a tank, for crying out loud.

Fortunately, here in my small town of Goffstown, New Hampshire, our local police are very community-oriented. From annual “Night Out” events, to hosting an Open House at the station, to the bicycle officers who stop to chat with people on the street, we’re very blessed to have an open and fair department helping to protect our community. But not every community is so fortunate and it is time that we, as a citizenry, took a united stand and reminded the police that they are civil servants charged with operating in the service of the citizens. Let the military be the military. Let the National Guard be the National Guard. And let civilian police be civilian police.

About the Author: is the Senior Marketing Strategist for 603 Media Group. Primarily tasked with the challenges of keeping our small business running, Jeremy also occasionally branches out into public speaking, blogging, website design and raising his son to not be another one of “those damn kids”.

2014 Fight To Educate is Almost Here!

(Photo by: Jeremy Jones)

MANCHESTER, NH – The 13th annual Fight To Educate charity boxing event will be held Thursday, September 18th, at the Verizon Wireless Arena and 603 Media Group is proud to once again be covering the action!

Not familiar with the Fight To Educate? You should be! As described on the FTE website:

The Fight to Educate is a unique charity event that will be held on September 18th, 2014, at the Verizon Wireless Arena in downtown Manchester, NH. The event combines a love of sports with the vision of assisting children and the less fortunate. This concept of networking and marketing sports and charity together is a win-win situation for the athletes, the sponsors and most of all the children and the less fortunate benefited through our charities.

Pro boxing right here in Manchester and all to benefit a great cause? What’s not to love?!

This will be our fifth year covering this event right from the side of the ring. We’ve had the pleasure of capturing some stunning shots of both local and national boxers doing what they do best. Here’s a few samples from prior years as we look forward to this year’s line-up. For more boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA) photography, visit our portfolio!

Image of Danny O'Connor at Fight To Educate
Pro boxer Danny “Bhoi” O’Connor takes a jab at his opponent’s head during the 2013 Fight To Educate charity boxing event. (Jeremy Jones photo)
Image of Medina vs Acevedo at Fight To Educate
Pro boxers Jose Medina (white) and Anibel Acevedo (red) slug it out during the 2011 Fight To Educate. (Jeremy Jones photo)
Image of Amateur Boxers at Fight To Educate
Amateur boxing is also well represented each year at the Fight To Educate. (Jeremy Jones photo)
Image of Demetrius Andrade at Fight To Educate
Pro boxer Demtrius “Boo Boo” Andrade gets attention from a fan at the 2012 Fight To Educate. (Jeremy Jones photo)
Image of Christopher Duffley at Fight To Educate
Special Fight To Educate guest Christopher Duffley performs “Proud To Be An American” at the 2013 event. (Jeremy Jones photo)
Image of Demetrius Andrade at Fight To Educate
Pro boxer Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade delivers a gut shot to his opponent during the 2012 Fight To Educate. (Jeremy Jones photo)

We hope you’ve enjoyed this look back at the previous years’ events. We’re looking forward to covering the 2014 bouts and will share the results after the event!

About the Author: is the Senior Marketing Strategist for 603 Media Group. Primarily tasked with the challenges of keeping our small business running, Jeremy also occasionally branches out into public speaking, blogging, website design and raising his son to not be another one of “those damn kids”.

James Foley Reportedly Beheaded in Iraq

(Photo by: Jonathan Pedneault)

Video footage released earlier today appears to show New Hampshire journalist James Foley – missing since being kidnapped by ISIS extremists in 2011 – being executed. According to his Wikipedia entry:

Foley was a native of Rochester, New Hampshire.[2] He graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 2008. [1]

He was captured in Syria in November of 2012, and was out of contact until August of 2014.

Although the National Security Council is, as of the time of this writing, attempting to verify the authenticity of the footage, it does appear genuine. This is yet another barbaric act of violence perpetrated on neutral journalists who put their lives in danger each and every day so that the world can see and hear the realities of global events. Unfortunately, the ISIS extremists are continuing to hold another journalist, Steven Sotloff, hostage. They claim his execution is pending a response from the Obama administration to their demands that the United States cease all military action in Iraq.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of James Foley tonight. We offer the same to the family and friends of Mr. Sotloff and we hope that his rescue or release can be effected very soon. We know that New Hampshire, the journalism community, and the civilized world at large stands strong with the families of these two brave men.

About the Author: is the Senior Marketing Strategist for 603 Media Group. Primarily tasked with the challenges of keeping our small business running, Jeremy also occasionally branches out into public speaking, blogging, website design and raising his son to not be another one of “those damn kids”.

Photoshoot with Pulse!

We had the pleasure of shooting Connecticut River Valley’s fan-favorite classic rock cover band, Pulse!, last week. The band has teamed up with local classic car club, Car Nutz, to perform at a benefit event this fall. Car Nutz provided the beautiful rigs that were used as backdrops for the photoshoot and club President, Wayne Boardman, graciously allowed us the use of his facilities to work in.

The guys were quite the characters, hamming it up for the lens and barely able to keep a straight face.

Image of classic rock cover band, Pulse!

When it did get time for the serious shots, though, they pulled it together…but only just!

Image of classic rock cover band, Pulse!

All in all, it was a fun shoot with a great group of guys and we look forward to hearing more of their music as they play out more gigs in the region….

Image of classic rock cover band, Pulse!

Image of classic rock cover band, Pulse!

Image of classic rock cover band, Pulse!

About the Author: is the Senior Marketing Strategist for 603 Media Group. Primarily tasked with the challenges of keeping our small business running, Jeremy also occasionally branches out into public speaking, blogging, website design and raising his son to not be another one of “those damn kids”.

Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photo Walk – October 11, 2014

MANCHESTER, NH – 603 Media Group is proud to announce that we will be leading the Manchester, New Hampshire, group of photographers out into the field for Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photo Walk 2014 on October 11th. Registration is FREE and open to photographers of ALL skill levels. Sign up, today!

We will start our walk in Arms Park and make our way into the city grabbing photos of landmarks and many hidden gems along the way. I know the city quite well and have done photo walks around it in the past but I also welcome participants to present ideas and possible routes in advance so that we can have the best experience possible.

Also, although I have planned this initially as an evening walk in order to best capture the lights and vibrant nightlife of the city, I am open to a change in the time if enough participants require such. Let’s have that discussion if needed….

Thanks for your interest and your participation and I look forward to meeting my fellow photographers in and around the greater Manchester region!

About the Author: is the Senior Marketing Strategist for 603 Media Group. Primarily tasked with the challenges of keeping our small business running, Jeremy also occasionally branches out into public speaking, blogging, website design and raising his son to not be another one of “those damn kids”.

Market Basket as The Epitome of Hive-Mind Community Destruction

Image of Market Basket Protests
(AP Photo)

With the ongoing saga of Market Basket protests still in full swing – and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick now entering the fray -, it may be time to remind Arthur T. Demoulas and his supporters of what Spock said to Captain Kirk as he sacrificed himself to save the USS Enterprise in Star Trek II: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few….” To which Kirk replies: “Or the one.”

It was a quaint idea when it first began: Employees supporting the founder of their company following his ouster. Good. Great, even. I applaud that, I really do. However, if their willful abandonment of their job duties as a form of protest costs them their employment, then that is THEIR choice and theirs alone. They, in their masses, made the decision to start this protest but, what they either do not realize or do not seem to care about is the impact their actions is having on the tens of thousands of people who relied upon a thriving Market Basket chain for their livelihood. Truck drivers, grocery suppliers and their employees, small-town produce suppliers and their families, taxi drivers, the list goes on and on.

The number one problem with the Market Basket situation – and the reason it must end immediately – is that entire communities are now being adversely affected thanks to the selfish actions of both the Board AND the employees. New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan has indicated that many Market Basket employees in the state may be eligible for unemployment compensation. She also made it clear that this would most likely negatively impact our state budget. Folks, that money comes from us, the people! Out of our already-strained pockets! It does not come from some magical, never-ending pot of gold. Whether it be through employment insurance fees paid by companies (and then passed to customers through higher prices) or through straight-up taxation, we, the people, are now on the hook for effectively bailing out the WILLFUL unemployment of these protesters.

Additionally, other businesses that share building space with Market Basket stores are being hit hard. Look at the very sad example of Aubuchon Hardware in Warner, NH. Situated right next to a deserted Market Basket, the store has had to lay off several workers and predicts having to lay off more in the coming days. This tragedy hits a small town like Warner (population only 2,700) very hard. And their story is not unique during this saga.

What started out as a strong employee reaction to the firing of company founder, Arthur T. Demoulas, has snowballed into a catastrophe that is now affecting entire local economies outside the Market Basket family – and it is time that it STOPPED. Our entire economic system is based on rules that are remarkably similar to those that constitutionally govern our personal lives; i.e. the right to make decisions as we see fit for the betterment of our business. Boardrooms are marriages. When the marriage isn’t working, it enters into divorce. In divorce someone almost always wins and someone almost always loses. Such is the nature of these things. However, if somebody came to you during your divorce and told you that you do not have the right to divest yourself of your spouse but that they (this 3rd party) were going to take away all of your assets, anyways, you would consider yourself to have been unduly violated and illegally taken advantage of. Well, oversimplified though the analogy may be, this is exactly what is occurring with Market Basket. Look, it doesn’t matter if the Board’s business objectives are divergent from the company’s prior mission. The fact remains, a company’s governing body is free to do as it wishes within the bounds of the law and who is ANYBODY to say otherwise while saying with a straight face that they are not then being hypocritical?

Here’s the reality: Many of those Market Basket employees – and nearly ALL of those non-employees who have jumped on the hive-mind social media bandwagon – have never personally met Arthur T. Demoulas nor do they actually know a thing about the man beyond what someone they DO know has told them to think. Yes, he made personal visits to stores. Yes, there are some long-term employees who do have the benefit of knowing the man. But do you really believe that the thousands of young high-school kids working as baggers and cashiers in these stores actually have a vested interest in Mr. DeMoulas beyond the “cool factor” of belonging to a social trend? Yes, that’s a bold statement, and, yes, I will receive plenty of hate mail for it. But when the haters calm down and look back through clearer eyes, it will be seen as truth. For those adults who DO have a vested interest in their employment at Market Basket, how much leadership are you displaying by encouraging these young employees, so new to the workforce, to voluntarily commit financial suicide?

And, as for the people who jumped on the social media trend and boycotted the stores in their OWN communities, well…you may still have a job and the money to buy food at another store, but what have you done to those who relied on Market Basket? Those are YOUR neighbors. YOUR friends and/or family. But, now, they are OUR financial burden. Hive-mind community destruction. Please end this saga, now.

(Ed. note: It has been brought to our attention that Arthur T. DeMoulas is actually the son of the chain’s founder, and not the founder, himself, as stated in the piece. Our apologies for the error.)

About the Author: is the Senior Marketing Strategist for 603 Media Group. Primarily tasked with the challenges of keeping our small business running, Jeremy also occasionally branches out into public speaking, blogging, website design and raising his son to not be another one of “those damn kids”.

Processing for Commercial Photography

Hiya’, folks! In today’s video, we cover some pretty easy methods for turning a bland photograph into something that really pops. Sometimes, the weather just refuses to take into consideration the fact that you have a big shoot scheduled. That beautiful sky and lighting that you were hoping to capture are as nonexistent as a teetotaler at Mardi Gras. But, if you can’t re-schedule your shoot, there are at least some skills you can bring into play to make your photographs look their best. The techniques covered in this video include:

1. Boosting tone and color ranges through selective use of Topaz Adjust plugin;
2. Working with layers and layer masks;
3. Sky replacement;
4. Adding headlights and marker lights to vehicles, and;
5. Adding lens flares for dramatic effect.

We hope you enjoy this video and learn a few tricks to help you improve your skills. Thanks for watching, from all of us at 603 Media Group and 603 Shoots!

It’s Alive!!!

Much like the mechanic who does so well fixing everybody else’s vehicles but never has time to work on his own, we have finally put some effort into our own digital presence….

Introducing the NEW 603 Media Group online experience! Featuring updated content, an all new photography portfolio powered by Zenfolio, integrated WordPress blog (hint: you’re reading it!), dynamic images and so much more, we are pleased to finally have a digital experience our clients can take confidence in.

So, what are you waiting for? Explore!

When [Delete] Really Doesn’t….

Tossing out that old MicroSD card from your phone? Selling your old laptop but you’re just positive you deleted all your personal photos and videos? Might want to press [Pause] on your plans for a moment. Here’s why:

UPDATE (09/02/2014): The recent hacking of multiple celebrities’ digital storage accounts sheds light on a problem not addressed in this blog: cloud storage. If you are going to use cloud storage for backing up your files, you should do so with caution and make sure that your storage service provider has multiple security redundancies in place to prevent such a hack from happening to you.

(Original Post): Can you honestly say you’ve never done it? Really? You’ve never stepped out of the shower and thought, “I look rather good at the moment….”, grabbed your cellphone and *click*…captured that moment for yourself (or, perhaps, for a loved one)?

It’s okay to admit it, even if only to yourself. But what happens when you hit that shutter release on your camera, cellphone, or built-in laptop cam? Where is that data stored? More to the point of this article, what happens when you think, “Nah…maybe I don’t look so great, after all.”, and hit the [Delete] button? That’s the end of it, right? Well…unfortunately for you, no. And, in this age of instant over-sharing, more and more people – predominantly women and young ladies – are finding this out the hard way when they wake up one morning and find their private pictures being shared online.

When data is created and stored on a drive, the operating system automatically maps a path to that file. After all, you have to be able to tell the computer where to physically retrieve that data from the storage device when you click on the icon, right? An entry is made in the system’s registry and the file is listed in something called the Master File Table. Conversely, when you decide you want to delete a file, the computer basically wipes away the path to that file. Mark that wording: It deletes the PATH to the file, NOT the file, itself. The file remains in the same place it was created but the file’s spot in that Master File Table is now marked as “re-usable”. This means that, as more data is added to the storage device, there’s a good chance that, at some point, that section of the storage device will be over-written.

Take note of those caveats: “good chance” and “at some point”. The overwrite process is not instantaneous. Nor is it even guaranteed on a large storage device where it’s likely a user will not even fill up half of the device’s capacity. It can take quite a bit of time and, sometimes, several actual overwrites of that storage sector – particularly if the file you “deleted” has been stored for a while. We won’t get into all the technical reasons why this is the case, here. It has to do with file indices, registry entries, master file table allocations, etc….Suffice it to say that the lovely image of you in all your birthday suit glory does not, in fact, disappear into history just because you pressed [Delete].

So how do you and your friendly-unmentionables become fodder for unwanted internet attention? Free and user-friendly software such as Recuva is available that, once installed and ran, can scan a storage device’s data, locate files that are still intact – just no longer mapped to the user interface area – and recover those files for easy access. Once that process is done, the original files can be used just as easily as any other file. They can be recovered to any drive or storage device and, more concerning, they can be shared online.

On the other hand, such recovery software can also be quite useful when catastrophe strikes. When your cat finds your keyboard nice and warm and accidentally deletes those work reports you’ve spent days compiling. Or when you break up with your loved one and delete all your cute vacation selfies only to get back together the next day and realize you behaved rashly. These are the kinds of reasons such software was created. However, like all good things, there is always a shadow on the sunniest days. So be careful. When you’re absolutely certain you want to delete data, use a secure deletion tool (a simple Google search will provide you with dozens of great software products for this), and educate your loved ones on this important topic before they simply toss out or give away their data storage devices.

About the Author: is the Senior Marketing Strategist for 603 Media Group. Primarily tasked with the challenges of keeping our small business running, Jeremy also occasionally branches out into public speaking, blogging, website design and raising his son to not be another one of “those damn kids”.

Is Your Business Rockin’ Google’s Search Results?

With all the focus put into SEO these days, one of the expectations is that a properly-managed SEO campaign will automatically take care of your actual presence within the search results (i.e. how dynamic those results are). Unfortunately, however, this is not an assumption any business owner should make lightly and there is still some back-end work you should be doing to give your customers the most complete information about your business in the most direct way.

Working within Google for this example, let’s take a walk through what a customer sees when they search for our business, 603 Media Group:

As you can see above, there are a number of elements that are represented within these results. Each of these elements is controllable and configurable by you and your search engine optimizer.

The first listing you should see when doing a direct search for your business name is your OWN website – not a social media page, referral link site or business listings aggregating site. After all, you don’t want a customer to look for your business and then lose that potential conversion to a competitor because the result they click on gave them – ack! – choices….

Underneath your website listing, assuming that your website has been properly coded using the “title” and “description” tags, you will see neatly listed and described summaries of different pages of your site. This is especially useful to potential clients because it allows them the opportunity to jump right to the product or service they are seeking without having to first navigate through your site. Remember, design for quick conversions and short attention spans!

The next thing you want your customers to see is your Google Places information. Now, you’re a business owner so, of course, you’ve already created a Google account, uploaded and updated all of your information, added photos, hours, services offered, etc…right? Right? If not, we would strongly encourage you to talk to your optimizer and get the ball rolling on that.

One of the things that Google has been very clear about this year is the importance of using their social media platform, Google+, if you want to improve your rankings within their search algorithms. Their goal is to seamlessly integrate all of your Google-based activity into one comprehensive user experience. So take advantage of that! In this example, you can see a snippet of the last blog we published and shared on our Google+ account just a few hours before this screenshot was taken. We’ve accomplished two things with this: Our search results now contain dynamic content that engages our customers before they even leave the results page and we are turning that engagement into increased traffic towards our blog. Win-win!

Finally, the next several results that you want to see under a direct search for your business is as many of your social media channels as possible. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Flickr, Instagram, etc. With frequent use of your social media channels, you can improve the ranking of content that is directly related to YOU, thereby providing customers with a better and more engaging search experience and hopefully turning those searches into sales.

As you can see, with the right application of time and effort, you can ensure that your customer engagement within Google’s search results page is as dynamic as possible. And, if you need a little help…give us a call! It’s kinda’ what we do.

About the Author: Jeremy Jones is the Senior Marketing Strategist for 603 Media Group. Primarily tasked with the challenges of keeping our small business running, Jeremy also occasionally branches out into public speaking, blogging, website design and raising his ten-year-old son to not be another one of “those damn kids”.