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Medford launches effort to remove lead from homes – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News

Medford City Council and Habitat for Humanity will work together to reduce lead contamination

Children exposed to lead-contaminated homes will benefit from a $2.2 million Medford effort to eliminate the poison.

Medford City Council on Thursday evening approved the program, which will be managed by Habitat for Humanity.

“We’re going to be able to help a lot of people,” said Denise James, the nonprofit’s executive director.

According to the Centers for Disease Control.

While children can be contaminated with lead directly from paint chips, it is more common for lead chips to contaminate surrounding soil or the ground where children play.

The program aims to remove lead from 78 homes in Medford.

Most of the funding for the program comes from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

To provide the required matching funds, the council donated $200,000 to the program, with an additional $40,000 from Jackson Care Connect.

The agreement with HUD expires on April 30, 2025.

The cleanup effort is part of the city’s 2020-2024 plan to expand and improve affordable housing.

Habitat is still preparing for the three-year program and recently hired Joe Berggren as project manager.

To qualify for the program, a home must have been built before 1978 and must have children under the age of 6 living in it.

Grandparents or other caregivers can also benefit from the program.

Priority will be given to homes where children under 6 have high blood lead levels.

Any homeowner or homeowner interested in participating in the program can call Berggren at 541-779-1983, ext. 102, or [email protected]

To qualify, a homeowner must commit to living in the home for at least three years after repairs to avoid reimbursing the costs, James said.

The household must be considered low-income according to the standards established by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

James said Berggren, which begins next week, will conduct an analysis of the properties to determine the extent of the lead contamination and what steps need to be taken to clean up the property.

In addition to lead removal, the program provides an additional $5,000 to a particular home to address other health and safety issues, such as asbestos removal or heating and cooling systems. air conditioner.

James said Habitat will work with licensed contractors for lead removal.

Habitat for Humanity helped restore other homes in the valley and built homes for residents affected by the Almeda fire.

The organization anticipates that many residents will apply to be part of the program, but if it does not receive enough applicants, it will contact owners of older homes, which are common throughout the city.

“If we don’t hear from anyone, we’ll dig deeper into the data,” James said.

Contact freelance writer Damian Mann at [email protected]

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Non profit living

Woman jailed for stealing from nonprofit Molokai | News, Sports, Jobs

WAILUKU — A Molokai woman is serving a six-month prison sentence for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from a nonprofit that employed her.

Eliza-Kay Vendiola, 41, was doing bookkeeping for the Molokai Community Service Council when she wrote fraudulent checks to herself and others from June 30, 2017 to December 12, 2019, court records show.

“We want to reiterate that we were truly hurt by this flight, and it was an ongoing process,” Karen Holt, the organization’s executive director, said when Vendiola was sentenced on Thursday.

Holt, who appeared with three board members by videoconference for sentencing in 2nd Circuit Court, said the theft was discovered after Vendiola wrote the last fraudulent check for over $4,000. .

“We have been very concerned about the future of our community’s ability to benefit from our organization,” Holt said. “She did a lot of damage to our organization and she also took the money that we had saved so that we could serve our community for years to come.”

While the restitution amount was still being calculated, Vendiola had agreed to pay $70,000, deputy public defender Jeffrey Wolfenbarger said.

She had pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree computer fraud and first-degree larceny. Forty-two counts of second-degree forgery were dismissed in exchange for his pleas.

The permanent resident of Molokai “chose to take money from her community and spend it on herself and her family,” said Assistant District Attorney JW Hupp.

He said she created a fundraiser for the Class of 1998 which was used for parties for her family. “And the other money was just taken and spent”, Hupp said.

“She always lives high,” he said. “It’s Molokai. She’s going on a trip. She’s having a good time, and the community lost all that money.

Wolfenbarger said there was a class reunion. “It was not a false event” he said.

He said that Vendiola had accepted responsibility for this “started a little small and snowballed” until she is “too deep”.

She had raised $1,000 and thought she could raise an additional $3,000 to $4,000 to repay the nonprofit that sponsored community projects, Wolfenbarger said.

A plea agreement between defense and prosecution recommended probation and no jail time for Vendiola.

“But a prison sentence should be imposed when there is an admission and there is harm to the community,” said 2nd Circuit Judge Peter Cahill.

“The ripple effect is not just the theft of funds, but the suspicion that any loss like this causes nonprofits,” said Cahill. “Donors become very suspicious that you don’t monitor your funds properly. If the funds come from government sources, these funders can sanction nonprofit organizations.

“The smaller the community, the greater the loss of reputation, because everyone knows what is going on. Finding that confidence is hard.

As part of his sentence, Vendiola was placed on four years probation.

Cahill said the defense could ask that Vendiola’s prison sentence be reduced or suspended if his family can pay the restitution amount or have a payment plan.

A restitution hearing is set for April 21.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at [email protected]


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History organization

Nuestra Casa de Sunnyside expands its services to people applying for citizenship | Local

Nuestra Casa, an organization serving Sunnyside’s Hispanic community, has increased its ability to help people become US citizens, which staff members say is a much sought-after service.

Executive Director Caty Padilla and Citizenship Program Coordinator Monica Romero-Castro became partially accredited representatives to provide legal naturalization assistance earlier this year, according to a press release.

The organization has been offering citizenship courses for many years. But speaking with community members, Nuestra Casa saw a need for additional assistance.

“We saw that there really was a need for naturalization legal services,” Padilla said. “Waiting times here to see a lawyer can be very long and sometimes that can put off applicants. It’s the last thing we want, so we decided to go there and ask for accreditation.

The Ministry of Justice granted Nuestra Casa accreditation in March 2020, with a representative.

“We quickly found that wasn’t enough,” Padilla said. So she and Romero-Castro began their own accreditation process.

The partial accreditation process took some time, Padilla and Romero-Castro said. They each had to spend 240 hours shadowing a DOJ-approved representative. And the pandemic has made it more difficult to find places where they can do their training.

Padilla said the organization receives at least five calls a day from people seeking naturalization. Cases that exceed the organization’s ability to help, such as those involving criminal histories, are referred to qualified attorneys.

Although the pandemic has slowed them down a bit, Padilla said the organization has helped around 25 people complete the naturalization process and another 15 are ongoing.

A long process

Obtaining citizenship is not a quick process, with high demand and a limited number of legal aid workers available.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services field office in Yakima can take more than a year to process a person’s application, according to the release.

Nuestra Casa offers citizenship classes to help people prepare for the process. A semester consists of classes twice a week for 10 weeks, said citizenship program secretary Ariana Vargas. Some people take the course multiple times.

Classes moved online during the pandemic, but staff hope to bring them back in person in the spring. Padilla said class sizes will likely increase when they return and there is already a waiting list.

The naturalization process includes written and oral tests with questions about the applicant’s American civics and background. Nuestra Casa workers hold mock interviews with candidates to help them prepare.

Naturalization can also be an expensive process. The app alone costs $725. Going through a lawyer can increase the final price.

Padilla estimated that most people who complete the process through Nuestra Casa pay between $800 and $900 in total.

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Nuestra Casa was founded to meet the needs of low-income immigrant women in the lower Yakima Valley, according to the organization’s website. Padilla said that over the years her reach has expanded to include more members of the Sunnyside community, including men and families.

In addition to naturalization assistance, Nuestra Casa offers classes in English as a second language, financial literacy, and understanding personal health.

Padilla and Romero-Castro said they were drawn to Nuestra Casa because of their own backgrounds. Both come from immigrant families and can understand the needs of their clients.

Romero-Castro became a citizen in 2019 and went through the application process on her own, she said.

“Sometimes when you don’t have that advice, you’re a little lost,” she said. “I think it’s made a huge difference to our community because now they have these tips.”

She is working on becoming an immigration lawyer to continue helping her community.

Padilla said citizenship is not the end of the job. Once people obtain citizenship, they feel more secure participating in their communities and making their voices heard politically.

“Ultimately, the more citizens, the more people who are civically engaged, the more we can work to improve our community,” she said.

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Non profit living

There are 600 Holocaust survivors in Queens, nonprofit to get big money to help them

A non-profit group with a strong presence in Queens is set to receive millions of dollars to allocate to Holocaust survivors (Picture: Selfhelp website)

March 3, 2022 By Michael Dorgan

A nonprofit group with a strong presence in Queens is set to receive millions of dollars to allocate to Holocaust survivors.

Selfhelp, a Manhattan-based nonprofit that provides a range of services to seniors, will receive nearly $31 million through the German government to help the organization care for elderly New York-area residents who survived the horrors of the Holocaust.

A portion of those funds will be used to support Selfhelp’s Holocaust Survivor program in Queens, which it operates from an office at 70-20 Austin St. in Forest Hills.

The program offers home care, financial management services, community support and social programs. There are about 600 Holocaust survivors living in the borough, according to Aubrey Jacobs, the program’s executive director.

Of the approximately 600 Holocaust survivors living in Queens, 125 of them live in Forest Hills, Jacobs said.

The $30.7 million comes from a global nonprofit organization called Claims Conference, which is working with the German government to secure the funds.

The Claims Conference has secured reparations for Holocaust survivors living around the world since the early 1950s. The organization makes annual payments to hundreds of nonprofit organizations, including Selfhelp.

The payments, which come every year, are the primary source of funding for Selfhelp’s Holocaust Survivor program, Jacobs said.

Jacobs said funding is vitally important to helping Holocaust survivors live out their final years comfortably. Many Holocaust survivors are frail and in their 80s to 90s, she said.

“The support we receive from the Claims Conference is critically important as it enables us to…provide the services, support and care our clients deserve to help them live with dignity and independence,” said Jacobs.

Funding received by the Claims Conference last year, Jacobs said, was also used to cover the cost of medical care, food, utilities and other emergency needs that Holocaust survivors had. need during the pandemic.

Additionally, Selfhelp social workers provided virtual programs, phone calls and home visits to help address the increased isolation of survivors during the lockdowns.

Jacobs said it’s difficult to gauge how much of the funds received this year will go to support Holocaust survivors living in Queens, given that Selfhelp runs other Holocaust survivor programs in the area. from New York.

Selfhelp’s programs for Holocaust survivors support about 5,500 Jews outside of Queens, she said.

Since 1952, the German government has paid more than $90 billion in compensation to victims who were persecuted by the Nazis, mostly through negotiations with the Claims Conference.

This year, Claims Conference is receiving $720 million from the German government, which it will distribute to more than 300 nonprofit and social service organizations around the world.

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History organization

RI Community Service and Educational Organizations Celebrate Black History Month

As Black History Month draws to a close, community service and education organizations in Providence and Rhode Island have held several events to celebrate and continue advocacy efforts for the Black community.

The Herald spoke to five organizations about how they commemorated the month.

Providence Children’s Museum

The Providence Children’s Museum presents an annual play “MLK: Amazing Grace,” which took place this year on February 19. The piece tells the story of Martin Luther King, Jr. and highlights the civil rights movement in a way that focuses on children, said Caroline Payson, the museum’s executive director.

“It starts from the perspective of a little boy trying to make sense of justice and injustice as he sees it,” Payson said. “Our hope for this piece is that they see themselves, regardless of background, as children who can ask questions about things in the world that might trouble them.”

The museum is also offering recorded books each week with its partnership with the Rhode Island Black Storytellers Association this month, Payson said.

“I want the kids’ experience at the museum to be what they need,” Payson said, whether it’s running up the ramp, exploring the laser cutters and 3D printers in the studio. innovation or to discover the story of a Dominican. immigrant through the reconstruction of the Fefa market.

The museum’s programming and exhibitions have been impacted by the pandemic. According to Payson, the museum had about 180,000 to 190,000 patrons a year before COVID, but currently sees 70 to 75 percent fewer visitors.

The day of the “Amazing Grace” play saw 725 visitors, the most on a single day since 2019, Payson said, but the museum would see double that before the pandemic hit. As a nonprofit that doesn’t have a large endowment, the museum is slowly starting to return to more physical exhibits and hopes visitor numbers will recover.

Redwood Library and the Athenaeum

Redwood Library and the Athenaeum in Newport, RI hosted a series of virtual Black History lectures in honor of the month, said Executive Director Benedict Leca, PhD’04. These included lectures by Rhode Island Civic Chorale & Orchestra Conductor Edward Markward, Wellesley College History Professor Brenna Wynn Greer, RISD Assistant Professor Christopher Roberts, and Stages of Freedom co-founders Ray Rickman and Robb Dimmick. .

The Redwood also opened an art installation Feb. 16 that features a sculpture by contemporary artist Nari Ward, Leca said. Ward redesigns large case clocks with West African wood carvings, and the piece is on permanent display in the library.

For both libraries, the pandemic has brought both downsides and upsides. Although unable to host in-person presentations, libraries quickly pivoted in August 2020 to using Crowdcast for online programming. They also created a YouTube channel and revamped their website. The Redwood also hosts an annual gospel choir concert with singers from two black churches in Newport, which was canceled last year for the safety of performers and audiences.

The Redwood and Athenaeum are both partially reopened, with reduced hours from the pre-pandemic schedule, but accommodations can be made for researchers who need access to equipment.

When it comes to Black History Month and the work of the library, “you celebrate accomplishments and you retain a certain element of criticality because the struggle isn’t over,” Leca said.

Leca added that she hopes visitors will make an effort to understand “the richness and intricacies” of the library’s collections.

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“You want to consider your sources…and weigh the material you critically absorb,” she said.

Providence Community Library

On February 24, Rochambeau Library Clerk Khamry Varfley led a Women in Business panel to educate attendees on the importance of supporting Black-owned businesses and giving entrepreneurs a platform to share advice and stories. COVID-19 has disproportionately affected Black-owned businesses. Supporting these businesses encourages other entrepreneurs, which helps diversify the economy, Varfley.

“I really want people to have a better idea of ​​how small businesses and black businesses work,” she said.

Systems Coordinator Dhana Whiteing runs the monthly Conversations Book Club, which features books written by people of color and marginalized groups. On March 16, the Mount Pleasant Library will host a Black Photographers Showcase featuring four local black photographers, one of whom volunteered at the library as a child, according to Whiteing.

“There just aren’t enough days (in Black History Month), but we’re doing our best,” she added.

Other events at the library include an annual jazz concert in April or May, a market scheduled for April 30, recurring author talks, and the Seed Program, which “highlights the leadership of farmers and educators of BIPOC,” according to the library’s website. The outdoor-focused market is designed to showcase small businesses and serve as a networking opportunity, said Varfley, who is also a small business owner.

It is also hoped that the increased number of events this year will attract more visitors and support for events in the future, and Patrons of Varfley and Whiteing hope to take advantage of the programming and resources available.

“Come to your local library,” Whiteing said. “It’s one of the few free places.”

Newport Historical Society

The Newport Historical Society strives to highlight archival research, such as with the “Know Your History” webpage. The webpage is a compilation of resources and blog posts that includes a collection of BIPOC history and heritage in Rhode Island. There was also a “Creative Survival” walking tour on February 20, which highlighted the history of POC in Newport.

“There’s no history without black history, so if we’re not telling it year-round, we’re deliberately excluding a central piece of our local history,” chief executive Ruth Taylor said. The band is also interested in trying “to highlight and uncover authentic POC voices from the past,” according to Taylor.

A group of scholars are currently working remotely to sift through archival documents and incorporate references to people of color from history into a database. According to Taylor, the goal is to construct biographies by cross-referencing in order to “speak more fully of the authentic experience of people in early Newport”.

“It’s an effort, but it pays off,” she said.

The pandemic has displaced some of the work being done by the NHS as more resources have been uploaded to the website. Online events and programs have also helped reach a wider audience, Taylor said, as it hosts around 200,000 people a year.

“I really hope the world starts to recognize that history isn’t a purely academic pursuit… understanding history, how we got here, can be hugely helpful in understanding where we’re going from here. ‘here, how we fix things,’ she said. . “History is like this gigantic database of human behavior, and why would we ignore that?”

Freedom Steps

Ray Rickman and Robb Dimmick, co-founders of Stages of Freedom, a heritage museum in Providence, hosted a virtual event with Redwood Library and the Athenaeum on “Disappearing Ink,” a newly released bibliography of writings by and about African Americans Who Reviews the Black Press. “We want to bring this story to white and black people here in Providence and inspire young people who are interested in journalism to consider starting their own newspaper,” Dimmick said.

Rickman and Dimmick also bonded with Amiri Nash ’24, who founded The Black Star Journal, The Herald previously reported. The first issue of the new publication is expected to be released on Friday.

Rickman and Dimmick spoke in five one-minute segments for public radio Martha’s Vineyard, with each episode spotlighting a prominent African American in Rhode Island. Rickman has also given two talks — one at Middlebridge School in Narragansett and the other at Barrington Congregational Church — on the Stages of Freedom’s Swim Empowerment program for black youth.

“Our theme is to really bring to the fore significant African Americans in Rhode Island and their contributions to shaping culture and discourse,” Dimmick said. The two email 12,000 people daily, highlighting events, resources and information about the pandemic. They are also providing 1,000 COVID test kits per week to the local community. Stages of Freedom is also continuing to work on a new museum, which is expected to open later this year.

Stages of Freedom has compiled the “On the Road to Freedom” database, a virtual guide to sites associated with black history in Rhode Island. The organization’s website features further information and updates on programs and events.

“What we really hope is that people see the breadth, richness and depth of African American history in Rhode Island, not limited to 28 or 29 days a year, but throughout the year,” Dimmick said. “The bottom line is recognizing that black history is a shared history.”

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Non profit living

‘Worthy to take up space’: Jennifer Lee ’23 founds nonprofit to support disabled Asian Americans

In June 2020, after months of doctor’s appointments and medical tests, Jennifer Lee ’23 was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Although she had many typical symptoms of the disease, Lee said her doctors were initially hesitant to consider Crohn’s disease because of its rarity in Asian Americans.

“From the beginning of my journey with a chronic illness,” said Lee, “I began to see how my Asian American identity influenced not only the way I perceived my illness and my body, but also the way which even medical professionals perceived the disability and diagnostic processes. ”

After his diagnosis, Lee sought out communities like the Crohn’s and Colitis Young Adults Network and the National Council of College Leaders of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. But even in groups with other young adults with disabilities, Lee felt her Asian American identity set her apart from her peers.

“I soon discovered that I didn’t see people who looked like me, and so for a very long time I thought that I was the only person who felt that way, that I had no one else to talk to. of the specificity of the cultural stigmas around disability, what it was like to be of two marginalized identities — to be both Asian American and disabled,” she said.

Although Lee may have felt lonely, she is one of more than 1.3 million Americans who identify as both Asian American and disabled. After meeting others who shared his identity during the American Association of Persons with Disabilities (AAPD) internship program in the summer of 2021, Lee decided to form a group dedicated to this intersection.

In July 2021, along with a coalition of Asian Americans with disabilities and non-disabled allies from across the country, Lee founded the Asian Americans with Disabilities Initiative (AADI), a nonprofit organization run by and for people like her who identify as both Asian American and disabled. Lee is now Executive Director of AADI and manages a leadership team of approximately 20-25 people at any one time.

“AADI’s overriding mission is to amplify the voices of Asian Americans with disabilities and provide the next generation of Asian Americans with disabilities with the tools, resources, and infrastructure necessary to thrive in a world which hasn’t always welcomed them,” Lee said.

In its short existence, AADI has already made great strides toward fulfilling its mission to increase the visibility of the disabled and Asian American community and provide resources on how to live in a world that is not not built to accommodate either group.

AADI started with what Lee calls a “three-pronged vision.” She hoped to publish a resource guide for Asian Americans with disabilities, host speaker panels and events with people involved in Asian American and disability advocacy, and build a community of peers. disabled and Asian Americans.

On all three fronts, AADI has made tangible progress.

On January 10, after months of preparation, AADI launched its Resource Guide, an 80-page document described on AADI’s website as a guide “to combat ableism within the Asian American community. disability through first-person accounts, extensive peer-reviewed research, and AADI event summaries.

The AADI Research Committee has compiled collections of academic research, alliance lessons, and profiles of Asian American and disabled activists for inclusion in the guide. AADI received support from the TigerWell Initiative and Service Focus in developing the guide.

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“We had recognized that in the academic field there is very little research that has been done on the intersection of disability and Asian American identity, and the reason it is so important is that this type of research directly informs and feeds into what policy looks like,” Lee said of the importance of the academic research section.

The audience for the research guide, and AADI as a whole, encompasses a wide range of stakeholders, according to Megan Liang, program manager at San Diego State University and AADI’s director of external relations. As an Asian American amputee, Liang got involved with AADI after seeing them highlighted on social media.

“Whether you are an Asian American with a disability, an ally, a social worker, or only identify as disabled or identify only as an Asian American, you can take away a fresh perspective on how this community is dealing with things and issues that they might face,” Liang said. “And even though it’s a small impact of change, I’m just glad we’re able to do that.”

AADI has held two speaker events so far. The first panel of speakers took place on August 13, 2021, featuring Lydia XZ Brown, Miso Kwak and Mia Ives-Rublee, three Asian American activists with disabilities. The event was virtual and included American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters and captioning services. More than 50 people attended the event, according to Lee.

“That panel kind of served as a starting point,” Lee said. “[The panelists talked] about the intersection of these two identities themselves, the difficulties our speakers might have encountered while navigating through space, as well as any advice they had for other younger Asian Americans and disabled watching.

Most recently, on January 29, AADI hosted another virtual panel focusing on the intersection of art, disability, and being Asian American. Comedian Steve Lee, poet Topaz Winters ’23 and dancer Marisa Hamamoto spoke at the event.

“I was on the panel with several other Asian American and disabled artists, so we talked a lot about how our Asian American identities fit into our disability rights work, as well as ‘to our artistic work,” Winters said.

“The three streams of my identity – being an artist, being disabled, and being Asian – aren’t really streams that intersect very often in my advocacy work or in my artistic work,” they added. “It was really special for me to be among a group of people who understood very well what it was and the unique challenges, but also the unique joys of existing in these three beautiful spaces, and simply expanding the definitions of what these spaces can be.”

The ultimate goal of forming a community of disabled Asian American peers has been achieved, so far, in a largely virtual setting. Most people involved with AADI have never met in person.

“It’s just about showcasing the community, and for me, part of what AADI does is show that Asian Americans with disabilities and our experiences deserve to take up space,” Lee said.

“I knew the second I found AADI, I had found a specific kind of community that I wouldn’t have been able to find if I hadn’t looked for it otherwise,” Liang said. “I hope we can do more community events in the future, because I understand how empowering it is to be among people who have shared life experiences.”

In the coming months, AADI plans to continue its outreach efforts and spread its mission of accessibility and inclusion for the Asian American and disabled community.

Jiyoun Roh ’24 is AADI’s Director of Outreach and is responsible for managing the organization’s social media. Roh’s brother has cerebral palsy and she became interested in disability justice after noticing how her disability had led to a lack of inclusion in the Asian American community.

“We want accessibility to be more than just a disability community,” Roh said. “We want it in other AAPI organizations.”

“We get a lot of collaborations with many other organizations and together with them, we want to build our own community because a community is made better by the people in it,” she continued.

Lee hopes the conversations started during the COVID-19 pandemic about racial justice and chronic disease will continue in the future.

“I think in this era of the COVID-19 pandemic, we face an extraordinary opportunity to redefine how we understand the experience of people with disabilities and how we understand the Asian American experience,” Lee said.

She looks forward to expanding the advocacy work AADI has done in the six months since its inception.

“The more we work in the disability, Asian American, and nonprofit space, the more our team realizes that there are many definitions of success in terms of what our mission can accomplish,” Lee said.

Naomi Hess is an emeritus editor who focuses on university politics and alumni affairs. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @NaomiHess17.

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Non profit living

Nonprofit Riverside helps those who were homeless or incarcerated regain their independence – Press Enterprise

Starting Over Inc. provides transition and reintegration services to people who have come into contact with the criminal justice system. The organization provides housing, employment, family reunification, recovery and mental health services.

Start Over housing services are available for those in need, including clients who are homeless, recently released from prison, or struggling with substance abuse. The organization has eight halfway houses in Los Angeles and Riverside counties. Transition houses provide sober living and harm reduction options. David’s House, located in Eastvale, is available for single women with children.

“We tap into the potential of people who may not have had the opportunity to succeed or give back,” said co-founder and executive director Vonya Quarles. “We offer people opportunities to give themselves, to learn and to grow.”

The organization believes that everyone is of equal value and helps clients who need help dealing with the immediate effects and root causes of homelessness. Case management specialists who have direct experience on the journey provide referrals and support to those in need. This includes immediate basic needs, obtaining health benefits, essential documents, employment, advocacy and family reunification.

By investing in prevention and addressing trauma, Starting Over believes the community will not need to invest in eliminating re-entry into the criminal justice system. Clients of the organization’s programs have gone on to form their own organizations, become advocates, work in health, and are present in the lives of their children.

Bobbie Butts, Associate Director of Family Reunification of Starting Over Inc, speaks at the Family Reunification, Equity and Empowerment (FREE) program rally in the state capitol to transform protective services in childhood. (Courtesy of Start Over, Inc.)

Community organizing and civic engagement are also a big part of Starting Over’s work. The organization has worked to elevate the voices of leaders affected by the system and build the pipeline of leaders who organize and build grassroots in the community. The organization’s Family Reunification, Equity and Empowerment (FREE) program supports families who are dealing with dependent child courts and the child welfare system. The program offers legal support, strategies for advocating for family reunification, and free resources.

On January 18, 2022, FREE held a rally in Sacramento at the State Capitol to Transform Child Protective Services. Working with CPS and other partners, Start Over helped pass SB 354 and is working to publicize the revisions it puts in place. The bill relaxes restrictions on placing children with relatives. There are 60,000 children languishing in foster care because parents are deemed ineligible for placement, Quarles said.

“I’ve met many parents who weren’t able to have the kids because of old, unrelated convictions,” Quarles said. “SB 354 opens the door to an individualized assessment to make a decision. Data shows that children placed with family members are much better off.

Recently, Starting Over received a grant from the IE Black Equity Fund through the Inland Empire Community Foundation. Start Over has grown from an all-volunteer organization to 21 staff members and welcomes contributions to support its work.

Currently, the organization relies on the help of 40 volunteers and is always looking for more. Those interested in volunteering can contact Ashley Williams, internship program manager and housing program manager for the organization.

Start Over tries to match volunteers with work that builds on their strengths. Opportunities include policy and advocacy work, writing grant applications and working with housing guests. There is also a need for fresh grocery donations for the bi-monthly Starting Over food drives. Donations of gently used clothing and accessories are also welcome and provided free of charge to accommodation hosts and the community.

“Opportunity is what we offer,” Quarles said. “Yes, we help provide direct services, but more broadly, we give people the time and space to reset and rethink their future.”

More information: https://www.startingoverinc.org or 951-898-0862

Inland Empire Community Foundation strives to strengthen the Southern California interior through philanthropy.

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Non profit living

Recognizing Local Charities for Nonprofit Appreciation Week | bloginfo(‘name’); ?>

February 10, 2022 0 comments

By Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

A small group of Dufferin County organizations will recognize the work of local nonprofits next week as part of a campaign for the first-ever Nonprofit Appreciation Week (February 14-February 20) .

In December 2021, the province passed Bill 9 to create Nonprofit Appreciation Week, a motion that received unanimous support from all parties. Beginning February 14 and continuing through February 20, the week is focused on recognizing those in the nonprofit sector whose work changes the lives of individuals, families, and communities.

Michele Fisher, executive director of the Dufferin Community Foundation, said the week of appreciation had been “a long time coming.”

“Most of the other helping professions are recognized for their impact. During the pandemic, for example, healthcare workers have been rightly praised for their efforts. But frontline workers in the nonprofit sector — many of whom were also deemed essential — have flown under the radar. That’s why we like to call them ‘invisible champions’,” Fisher said. “Nonprofit Appreciation Week is an opportunity for us as a community to say ‘Thank You.’ It makes visible all they do to help some of our most vulnerable and to strengthen our communities. I hope this will allow our nonprofit professionals to feel truly recognized for all that they do. »

In Dufferin County alone, there are over 150 non-profit organizations working within the community, ranging from social services, environmental/conservation organizations, arts and culture, recreation, health, mental health, community development, housing and homelessness, food security and much more. .

The Citizen spoke with some of the local nonprofits in Dufferin County ahead of Nonprofit Appreciation Week.

Alzheimer Society of Dufferin County

For people with dementia, a consistent routine can help them thrive. As a non-profit organization focused on support, programming and education, the Alzheimer Society of Dufferin County has taken on the challenge of maintaining this routine for more than two years.

“Over the past two years we have seen a significant drop in the availability of things like day programs, community support, personal support worker support. Basically anything that would allow a person with dementia and their family to maintain a consistent routine,” said Lindsay Gregory, Outreach and Education Coordinator. “Without this structure, we are seeing an increase in complex cases, an increase in behaviors and the burnout of caregivers.

To help address the lack of structure for clients brought about by the pandemic, the Alzheimer Society of Dufferin County has begun offering online training and education sessions as well as social programs, activities and social sessions. exercises.

One program, which Gregory points to as a proud moment in the face of the pandemic, is their Bring Back Box program.

The Bring Back Box program is a Montessori approach to dementia care where clients receive personalized activity kits based on their hobbies, interests, and memories that provide meaningful stimulation and engagement.

“We see a lot of people with dementia who are bored,” Gregory said. “It’s a really nice way to connect with people in an otherwise virtual world.”

The Alzheimer Society of Dufferin County has approximately 400 people on their active caseload and while their caseload has not increased since the pandemic, they have seen more admissions seeking access to education and support .

“We talk more often with people who are now at home with loved ones and who may be noticing this cognitive decline that they wouldn’t otherwise notice,” Gregory said.

Coming out of the pandemic, Gregory said after seeing how people have connected with them, the Alzheimer Society of Dufferin County will likely continue to use their virtual opportunities in a “hybrid model.”

Community Living Dufferin for over 60 years has been providing support to adults in Dufferin County who have developmental disabilities and when COVID-19 hit, rather than accepting a hiatus from all programs, Community Living Dufferin staff shows creativity.

“It could have been very easy for us to say ‘sorry, the building is closed and the programs are over, we’re just going to get by,’ but our staff didn’t,” Karen Murphy-Fitz explained, executive assistant. . “We changed our programs from those we operated in the main building to programs we offered in each of our homes.”

One of the ways they transformed, Murphy-Fitz added, was by distributing craft boxes in their homes, which contained games, science projects and art supplies.

“Residents had something different to fill their days,” Murphy-Fitz said.

Operating 14 homes that provide housing for more than 60 adults supported by the nonprofit, Community Living Dufferin was challenged early on by isolation as family visits were cut short.

Community Living Dufferin applied for and became the recipient of a number of grants allowing them to purchase smart TVs, iPads and Google Home units so they can continue to connect with families.

“It was huge for helping the people we support stay connected with their families, giving them the opportunity to see each other face to face,” Murphy-Fitz said.

Although Community Living Dufferin has learned, like many organizations, to balance the setbacks caused by the pandemic, it is the emotional impacts that continue to be felt.

While speaking with the Citizen, Murphy-Fitz held back tears as she spoke about their adaptation as hallways and rooms remain empty.

“It’s been hard not seeing people, and it’s going to be nice to have everyone together again.”

As the saying goes, the show must go on.

As a relatively young organization that began with seasonal programming, Streams Community Hub faced the challenge of bringing the arts, a naturally collaborative and in-person discipline, into the virtual space.

“We really spent several months, like anyone working in a space that deals with a lot of in-person programming, trying to figure out what to do,” explained Juli-Anne James, co-founder of Streams Hub. “It’s hard to put on a play without a stage.”

Although not fully equipped with the technology and staff to deliver virtual programs, Juli-Anne and Andrew James have found a way to bring the arts into children’s homes – through a stand-up competition.

The Word of Mouth Monologue competition launched in March 2021 and saw local young people aged 8-17 submit online performances of various monologues and compete in a live final.

“The monologue competition was a really great opportunity that we did after it turned out to be really awesome,” Andrew said. “It made us realize it’s a good outlet and now we need to keep doing it even when things get back to ‘normal’. We recognized the importance of helping young people have another way to express themselves .

Although restricted for a year to offering arts programs to young people, the James duo note that internal work was underway to deepen their roots in the community.

“We were able to see some of the needs in our community and see how we could better meet those needs,” Andrew said.

Streams Community Hub is preparing to open its first permanent location, tentatively scheduled for early March.

“We know the importance of connection, of being together in a space and that we can never escape that need or that want,” Andrew said. “Our show must go on, to move forward creating a bigger space not only for young people, but for the artist who also needs a place to express themselves in their art, while earning a living and teaching the next generation.”

Organizations that have worked to develop local activities in recognition of Nonprofit Appreciation Week include the Dufferin Community Foundation, United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin, Headwaters Communities in Action, DC MOVES, the Chamber of commerce of Dufferin and Dufferin County.

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Non profit living

Vancouver awards contract for 2nd Safe Stay Community to Living Hope Church

Vancouver City Council voted unanimously on Monday to contract with Living Hope Church to operate the city’s second Safe Stay community.

Brian Norris, associate pastor of Living Hope, said the organization has built relationships with the homeless population which will be an asset to the church while running the Safe Stay Community.

“They know where we come from; we know where they are (and) what their struggles are,” he said. “We want to see the best in people and we want them to see the best in themselves.”

The additional initiative from city staff came shortly after setting up its first site at 11400 NE 51st Circle, which operated for more than a month. Residents of the cul-de-sac in Vancouver’s North Image neighborhood have achieved many goals, said Jamie Spinelli, Vancouver Homeless Intervention Coordinator.

Three residents got jobs while others decided to seek treatment. A person has found his family; several residents have obtained their driver’s license; and some received essential medical care.

Outsiders Inn, a Vancouver-based nonprofit, operates the city’s first Safe Stay community. Adam Kravitz, executive director of Outsiders Inn, said community residents have already achieved milestones after more than a month of operation.

“Most of the time, success comes from people stabilizing,” he said.

Outsiders Inn is working on some issues, such as maintaining a continuous flow of essential supplies, including paper products, garbage bags and cooking utensils, Kravitz said. Some challenges require patience as the pieces fall into place, such as waiting for WiFi to be installed, he added. The organization’s staff shares their acquired knowledge and other general advice with Living Hope Church to ease their transition.

“We’re working very closely with them (to) help them get off the ground as smooth and easy as possible,” Kravitz said.

Spinelli said the added location will operate around the clock, connect residents to outside resources and provide peer support, just like the first site.

Living Hope Church operated a relief site early in the COVID-19 pandemic and operates the county’s only walk-in severe weather shelter. Volunteers also provide meals, a food and clothing bank, mobile sanitation facilities and other outreach services on a weekly basis.

Mayor Pro Tem Ty Stober said the community may question the role of a religious organization in running a municipal program and stressed that the church will abide by the Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Act. employment opportunities, which is described in the contract.

The city will pay Living Hope Church $552,212 per year to operate the site. Location and shelter options have not been determined.

Vancouver’s first Safe Stay community was included in its 2021-2022 budget, and additional communities will be funded with the first supplementary budget in 2022. The proposed second site and additional support sites may be funded through the Fund for the affordable housing, a sales tax on affordable housing. , and community development grants.

In the same motion, council members approved an updated administrative plan for the Affordable Housing Fund. The proposed changes allocate funds to meet changing community needs, such as the growing demand for temporary shelters during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Affordable Housing Fund initially allocated $300,000 per year for temporary shelters. The proposed update increased the amount to $1.66 million per year, which would support Safe Stay Community operations and the creation of additional sites.

The increase comes as the $3.96 million allocation for housing production and preservation has been reduced to $2.6 million, said Samantha Whitley, community development manager. City staff found that their goals had been met and that more investment was needed to help people in need find shelter.

“We’re nimble in responding (and) to the needs of our community, and this is a great way to do that,” Councilor Bart Hansen said.

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History organization

Professor named president of national humanities organization

Timothy Murray, a professor of Comparative Literature and Literatures in English, has been elected Chairman of the Board of Humanities New York (HNY), a nonprofit humanities council founded in 1975 that supports and advocates for public humanities. throughout the state.

Humanities New York is the only statewide partner and is supported by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. During the pandemic, it received federal funding to re-subsidize the field through the CARES and ARP Acts.

“I look forward to leading HNY’s engagement through the humanities with diverse communities across the state, expanding HNY’s grant program to local communities, and supporting HNY’s state and national initiatives in the sciences. humanities and the environment, incarceration and the humanities and democratic history and principles,” Murray said.

In addition to his professorship, Murray is director of the Cornell Council for the Arts and curator of the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell Library. A specialist in modern and contemporary culture, film studies, contemporary art and philosophy, he is the author of some thirty books, collections and exhibition catalogs in several languages.

Sara Ogger, executive director of Humanities New York, says Murray brings “exciting leadership experience not just in the humanities, but also in public programs, advocacy, and nonprofit governance” that will be important to the organization as it navigates the next phases of the pandemic.

Murray serves on the board of directors of the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC), is a member of the Carolina City Council, previously served as chair of HNY’s Nominating and Governance Committee, and served on the Boards of the National Humanities Alliance and the International Consortium of Centers and Institutes for the Humanities.

He is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, Fulbright Association, National Endowment for the Humanities, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Society for the Humanities, National Research Foundation of Korea, and Dalian University of Technology (China).

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Non profit living

Why is the demolition of a Marcel Breuer house important?

LAWRENCE, NY – “Are people going to care about a tiny house?” asked Elizabeth Waytkus, who had been alerted a few weeks ago to the possibility of a once-famous house by architect Marcel Breuer being demolished. She is the executive director of Docomomo US, a nonprofit organization that promotes the preservation of modern structures.

People cared, it turns out. She received an outpouring of dismay and grief upon learning that the 1945 Bertram and Phyllis Geller home in Lawrence, on the southwest edge of Nassau County, had been torn down without warning on January 26 by current owners, Shimon and Judy Eckstein, who Waytkus said had assured him just three weeks earlier that they had admired him and had no plans to take him down.

It was a beautiful composition of three single-storey, cedar-framed wings, which zigzagged among the trees and shrubs of a spacious site, each wing topped by a low-pitched roof which gave the house an undulating silhouette. . The house had been significantly, but not irreversibly, altered, according to images on a real estate website.

His question, however, raises a larger point. The Geller house was rapturously covered by the press in its early days because it appealed to an America obsessed with a better life after enduring the sacrifices of World War II and the gloom of the Great Depression. It was “one of the most famous houses of the time,” said Barry Bergdoll, an expert on Breuer, who teaches architectural history at Columbia University and was the chief curator of architecture at the Museum of Modern Art. However, he had fallen into a kind of obscurity, well known especially to aficionados.

Preserving single-family homes is difficult and expensive, Waytkus explains, primarily because they are private. Docomomo’s modest resources are primarily focused on preserving commercial, cultural, and civic buildings as they are generally accessible to the public. In large-lot suburbs like Lawrence, the loss of a single home is less shocking because it isn’t seen as part of a whole, as a row of Manhattan mansions or towering brownstones might be. .

Suburbs often resist local preservation ordinances, especially those aimed at mid-century modern or later buildings. The taste for modernism is not universal, and suburban officials often shy away from enacting historic ordinances that compel property owners to become unwitting stewards of an important cultural resource.

“There aren’t a lot of tools to help preserve these houses,” Waytkus explained. The best activists can do, she says, is promote the value of post-war architecture to the community, as well as vendors. Then try to find buyers willing to keep them.

The Geller House received a lot of attention during its construction because it confidently embodied the new values ​​of the suburbs: technological progress and an informal and discreet way of life around children, with easy access to games. and relaxation in the open air. It’s the emblem of an era that has completely disappeared: when post-war suburbs, at their best, were places of possibility, innovation and new ideas. The architecture of single-family homes expresses these aspirations and embodies this emerging way of life.

The Geller House has been described as binuclear, a rather significant way of emphasizing the primacy of childrearing which inspired the design. The visitor entered a closed covered passage which separated the wings reserved for family activities from a bedroom wing. Two of the children’s bedrooms faced a playroom that ran the full width of this wing, which opened directly onto a lawn for outdoor recreation.

On the other side of the breezeway, the kitchen, dining room and living areas came together in a relaxed way – emblematic of the greater informality sought by families. The owners didn’t treat the house like a showpiece. Joe Geller, one of the Gellers’ four boys, told Caroline Rob Zaleski, author of “Long Island Modernism: 1930-1980,” that his mother “didn’t bother us as young kids running inside out, and from room to room”. with all our

friends.”

The upward-sloping roofs in both wings lent a generosity to the modest dimensions of the rooms, as did the vast floor-to-ceiling glazed walls that projected sunlight onto the flagstone floors and opened onto the greenery outside. outside.

Marcel Breuer, born in 1902, left Hungary to study in Vienna, then entered the Bauhaus school in Dessau, Germany, where he would later lead the furniture workshop. He designed two famous chairs, the Cesca and the Wassily, both framed in chromed tubular steel and succinctly capturing the Bauhaus synthesis of abstract geometries and industrial techniques.

With the rise of the Nazis, Breuer, who was Jewish, moved several times, finally settling in Cambridge, Mass., in 1937, where he practiced and taught with Bauhaus colleague Walter Gropius at Harvard. Gregarious and charming, “Lajko” befriended many clients, including the Gellers, who hired him to design another house in Lawrence, in 1967. (That’s why the original Geller house is now known to curators as Geller I.) The house has been extended but remains largely as it was built.

In a series of houses with Gropius, Breuer would soften the sharp cubic forms, white plaster or metallic surfaces, and dramatic overhangs of his Bauhaus work. Geller was conceived as Breuer separated from Gropius and moved to New York.

In this house, Breuer merged his stylistic tendencies more completely with American building techniques. Conventional wood construction was clad in vertical cedar sheathing that gave a flat, sleek feel. Inside, he used thin panels of varnished plywood and contrasted them with expanses of saturated paint colors in the fashion of modern artists. Jackson Pollock made one of his first drip paintings – sold a long time ago – for the home.

Breuer anchored this light architecture to the earth with a living room wall and a massive fieldstone fireplace. Stone walls projected into the landscape to delimit play and relaxation areas. You could say the old-fashioned brickwork is reminiscent of the traditions Americans cling to – or the stone is simply a sultry counterpoint to the sleek planes of the rest of the design.

Many of the ideas Breuer had honed at Geller would appear in a house he had designed that was built in the garden of MoMA in 1949, spreading his ideas to an international audience. “The Geller and MoMA houses were meant to be replicable,” Bergdoll said, “a house that a local contractor could build.”

While many other architects, including émigrés like Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Richard Neutra, as well as the architects of the California Case Study Houses, brought new ideas to the rapidly expanding suburbs at this time, certain aspects of Breuer’s—and, by extension, Geller’s—MoMA design appeared nationwide, massaged to suit local conditions by talented so-called regionalists, in the Carolinas and Texas, California, and the North -western Pacific. A clean break from the past, homes celebrated the modesty and thrift people took away from the Depression.

I would argue that Geller House is more important today than it was when it was built, precisely because the qualities that made the era unique have largely disappeared. As the government endorsed suburban highways, towns emptied out, some returning later, largely by luring people to underappreciated neighborhoods, held together by those who didn’t leave, with stunning architecture but neglected. Ideas and optimism have started to come from the cities again.

The suburbs are now struggling to control traffic. Some have become impoverished. Thrift and modesty now seem antiquated. Land in desirable locations has become unaffordable and demolitions epidemic – in what were once middle-class suburbs as well as enclaves of innovative homes commissioned by adventurous clients – as the home as an investment vehicle triumph of the house as shelter. (In Lawrence, homes that appear to be three to four times larger than the longstanding mix of modest ranch homes and substantial summer “cottages” of the early 1900s rise along the coastal salt marshes and fairways of golf courses.) Zaleski, the author, estimates that more than two-thirds of the homes she showed in her 2012 book have been demolished or drastically altered.

As working from home frees people from commuting, the indoor-outdoor orientation and innate flexibility of House Geller and its ilk seem ideal, a reprieve for people glued to screens in dark rooms all day. Unfortunately, the lessons these houses teach are being lost as they become fewer and fewer.

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Non profit living

Sevastopol neighborhood group sues to stop safe parking program for homeless in motorhomes

A Sevastopol neighborhood group has sued the city to end a controversial safe parking scheme planned for the city’s north end for local homeless people living out of their RVs.

On January 21, Friends of Northwestern Sevastopol filed a petition in Sonoma County Superior Court seeking to force the Sevastopol City Council to reverse its decision approving the year-long pilot program on private land. at 845 Gravenstein Highway North.

“Friends recognizes the importance of safe shelter for homeless people. … Friends object to the entire burden of these encampments being concentrated on one neighborhood,” the petition reads.

The legal filing describes the group as representing the interests of “local landlords and tenants, parents of schoolchildren, business owners and operators, and landowners”. It was incorporated as a nonprofit on Jan. 5, according to filings by the California companies.

Sevastopol City Prosecutor and Director Lawrence McLaughlin said the city has hired outside attorneys and will “vigorously oppose” any attempt to block or close the parking lot.

Petition of Friends of Northwest Sevastopol.pdf

The hourly program that would provide support services and space for 22 vehicles is expected to be fully operational by February 15. A delay of more than a week could jeopardize the $368,000 federal stimulus grant package that will fund most of the pilot program, according to Sonoma Applied Village Services, the nonprofit selected to run the site.

“Any delay risks killing the project,” said SAVS president Adrienne Lauby.

SAVS, which is named in the petition with the city, plans to lease the land at a former AmeriGas propane store in the nonprofit St. Vincent de Paul Sonoma County.

Saint Vincent is also named in the petition. Jack Tibbetts, the nonprofit’s executive director and former Santa Rosa city councilman, said the charity had “every intention of moving forward” with the lease.

The secure parking scheme, approved by city council in November, came largely in response to health and safety concerns from neighbors and business owners about a long-running encampment with more than a dozen campsites -buses on Morris Street. The hope is to move as many people as possible from the unauthorized camp, where police have warned campers, to the new ‘RV village’.

The city is also considering an ordinance that would effectively ban RV parking on city streets during the day, alarming some homeless advocates. Council was scheduled to vote on the ordinance on Tuesday, but the item was moved to its next meeting on Feb. 15, city officials said.

Tony Francois, a San Francisco lawyer representing Friends of Northwestern Sevastopol, told The Press Democrat the group considers the secure parking scheme illegal due to a local ordinance prohibiting people from living in campsites. -cars.

Additionally, he said the city council failed to follow the proper permitting process, conduct an environmental review, and give residents enough notice to comment on the scheme.

“The way they proceeded deprived many of the project’s neighbors from exercising their right to comment on the project before it was approved,” Francois said.

City Council approved the RV Village in about a month to meet a deadline that would ensure SAVS received federal funding. Despite the quick turnaround, council members at the time said they aimed to do everything possible to hear residents’ concerns.

McLaughlin, the city attorney, said the program was exempt from the normal permitting process and environmental review because it is a homeless shelter.

But Francis argues that under state law, such a project is only exempt if it is on city-owned property or if the city itself leases the property.

McLaughlin disputes this interpretation. And regarding the local ordinance prohibiting living in vehicles, he said a secure parking program is exempt.

“All of the factual and legal allegations in the lawsuit are incorrect,” McLaughlin said.

Francois said the neighborhood group wants the city to reconsider the secure parking program through the normal permitting process and potentially create smaller RV villages throughout the city so vehicles aren’t concentrated on a single site.

The group plans to ask the court for a stay to immediately suspend the project while hearings are underway. But as of Thursday, Francis had yet to get confirmation that the petition had been officially received due to a lack of court personnel, he said, meaning it’s unclear when a first hearing could be held. be fixed.

You can reach editor Ethan Varian at [email protected] or 707-521-5412. On Twitter @ethanvarian

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Non profit living

Harvard Hillel Hosts Holocaust Remembrance Day Memorial | News

Harvard Hillel held a memorial service on the steps of the Widener Library on Thursday in observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Holocaust Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in 1945 and honors the lives of the millions of Jews and civilians who were killed. In his service, Hillel commemorated the life of Ita Warmund, a victim whose name was chosen from the database of Yad Vashem – Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.

College Dean Rakesh Khurana, Dean of Students Katherine G. O’Dair, Associate Dean of Students Lauren E. Brandt ’01, Reverend Matthew Ichihashi Potts, Rabbis Jonah C. Steinberg and Hirschy Zarchi each lit a candle in honor of the victims.

In his speech, Steinberg, executive director of Hillel, stressed the importance of remembering those whose lives were lost in the Holocaust.

“There is hardly a family represented here that has not been touched in some way by the Sho’ah – by the Holocaust – who does not have a wound, which is often a gaping hole, an absence,” Steinberg said.

Despite the loss and tragedy of the Holocaust, Steinberg said it was still important to work toward a “world of unity.”

“That doesn’t mean we go through life traumatized and scared,” Steinberg said. “But that means we go through life wearing that and figuring out how to live forward.”

Harvard Chabad Rabbi Zarchi said in his remarks that revealed knowledge of the Holocaust alone does not guarantee moral choices.

“Today we light a candle for souls with a candle of truth,” Zarchi said. “And perhaps that is what veritas teaches us – that there must be truth in our knowledge and in our wisdom to ensure that this knowledge leads to morality, to ethical living and to ethical choices. “

Addressing the crowd, Khurana said ‘remembering’ is one of the ‘most important human acts’ and stressed the importance of sharing the stories of Holocaust victims, especially with younger generations. .

“Their stories are an essential part of our common humanity, and those who are one, two or three generations apart are committed to understanding these horrific events and telling the stories to the next generation,” he said. . “The Holocaust not only altered the contours of world history, it also shattered the lives of countless families around the world.”

Khurana condemned anti-Semitism, citing the Texas synagogue hostage crisis and the harms of remaining silent in the face of oppression.

“We must not forget the lessons of the Holocaust and the dehumanization it depended on,” Khurana said. “And we must not forget that it is up to each of us, as humans, to decide whether to perpetuate good or evil in the world or remain indifferent.”

Hillel’s memorial was also intended to raise funds for The Blue Card, a non-profit organization that provides financial, emotional and physical support to Holocaust survivors in the United States.

The service ended with a reading from “El Male Rachamim” – a Jewish memorial prayer – by Noa D. Kligfeld ’24.

“May their memory endure, inspiring truth and loyalty in our lives. May their souls be bound by the bond of life. May they rest in peace. And let’s say “Amen,” Kligfeld recited.

—Editor Leah J. Teichholtz can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @LeahTeichholtz.

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International headquarters

United Kingdom – Program announced to strengthen trade ties with India

Ahead of the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, UK, a program of events designed to boost trade and investment between India, the West Midlands and the UK has been announced. The virtual program, due to take place during the Queen’s Baton Relay Birmingham 2022 in India (January 12-15), will bring together political leaders, Indian investors, business leaders from the West Midlands, the UK and India, as well as international cultural icons, all to mark the Commonwealth Games as a unique opportunity to advance shared economic ambitions.

As part of the program, a virtual showcase will take place, where key names from India’s business, tourism and cultural landscape will hear from UK government stakeholders including Alex Ellis, UK High Commissioner to the Republic of India and Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands. Discussions will build on the enhanced UK-India business partnership, opening up new opportunities for UK companies exporting to India and Indian companies investing in the UK.

The UK Department for International Trade (DIT), in partnership with the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), will host a high-level online roundtable bringing together UK and Indian business leaders. The event provides a forum to convene a cross-market dialogue on the main business opportunity in the future mobility sector – an important objective of the West Midlands local industrial strategy and represents an opportunity to increase trade and investment in the two-way in the existing West Midlands -Corridor of India.

The Queen’s Baton travels through 72 Commonwealth Nations and Territories for 294 days, connecting communities, businesses and cultures around the world. During the four-day visit, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), which is also the Commonwealth Games Association for India, will host events featuring inspiring people fighting for change in their community .

The activity marking the arrival of the Queen’s Baton Relay in India is only one part of a series of engagements between the West Midlands and India through 2023 and beyond. Indian businesses and investors will be invited to the West Midlands during the Games, followed by a mayor-led delegation to India in the fall of 2022 to promote bilateral trade and investment opportunities. The main areas of strategic focus will include the technology and creative, professional services, future mobility and data-driven healthcare sectors.

The West Midlands and India already enjoy strong trade links, with 57% of India’s investment in the UK in 2020 made in the West Midlands. The region is home to 76 registered Indian FDI worth over £ 3.5 billion in future mobility, creative technologies and modern business services, employing more than 13,000 people. The region’s strong commercial offering has already attracted some of India’s biggest companies including Tata Motors, State Bank of India, Infosys, OLA, Enzen Global, Suprajit Group, Elder Pharmaceuticals and more recently, BSA and Microland.

Dave Owen, Executive Director – Global Purchasing and Supply Chain at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “We are extremely proud to be both a member of the Tata family and a renowned global organization in its own right, with our roots proudly in the West Midlands. . The region is the hub of our international technology, engineering, R&D and manufacturing footprint, thanks to its enviable pool of specialist talent, excellent connectivity and transportation links, and high-performing industrial ecosystem. “

“The broader economic and social benefits of maintaining a strong relationship with India are compelling. Trade and investment create growth, jobs and regional prosperity, while strong ties with Indian businesses provide the UK with easier access to some of the world’s major players in technology, communications and software – which in turn benefit from the deep industrial expertise and capacity for innovation, for which the West Midlands are well known. “

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said: “The West Midlands are the UK’s main location for attracting FDI outside London, with a number of India’s biggest names in the automotive, manufacturing and financial services who choose to locate their UK operations here. The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games present a real opportunity for the UK and India to build on these strong economic ties, as well as celebrate the region’s vast Indian heritage, with a ‘living bridge’ up close. over 200,000 ethnic Indians who live and work in the West. Midlands. I look forward to speaking to the Indian business community during the Virtual Events program, celebrating the arrival of the Queen’s Baton Relay in India and showcasing all the West Midlands has to support businesses and investors looking to expand their international footprint. “

Alan Gemmell, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for South Asia, said: “I am delighted that during the week that the Secretary of State for International Trade is in Delhi to launch the comprehensive negotiations of the Agreement Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the West Midlands continue to deepen its relations with India. Trade between the UK and India in 2020 reached £ 18bn, with the West Midlands exporting goods and services worth £ 318m. Through our FTA and our support to businesses across the UK, we aim to double trade with India by 2030. 2022 will be a pivotal year for UK-India relations. This summer’s Commonwealth Games will provide a great backdrop and provide exciting opportunities to celebrate the West Midlands-India relationship. “

The online events were hosted as part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games (BATP) business and tourism program, designed to attract visitors, trade, events and investment to Birmingham, the West Midlands and UK from Commonwealth Nations and Territories including India.

With an economy worth £ 105 billion, the West Midlands is made up of three thriving cities – Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton, with Birmingham home to more international businesses than any other major English city outside of London. In 2019, the West Midlands generated an export value of £ 32 billion – the largest region in value outside of London and the South East.

Harjinder Kang, Transversal Director, Intellectual Property, Indian Procurement and Negotiations, Ministry of International Trade, said: “As the Relay of the Queen’s baton arrives in India, the Ministry of International Trade is delighted to represent ambition and leadership. rich innovation within the West Midlands to the Indian business community, in our fastest growing and most successful industries. The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and Business and Tourism program are a historic opportunity and aim to create £ 7million in additional export deals and secure up to £ 900million in new investment in the overseas in the West Midlands and the UK, with our international partners by 2027.. “

Indian investors in the West Midlands – case studies:

Tata Motors – India’s largest automotive company and owner of JLR

Tata Motors, India’s largest automaker, acquired British company Jaguar Land Rover in 2008. Headquartered in Coventry, UK, Jaguar Land Rover has firmly established the West Midlands as the engine of its operations, through a network of ‘production units and research facilities.

Jaguar Land Rover recently announced its new global strategy, Reinvent, a reimagining rich in sustainability of modern luxury, unique customer experiences and a positive societal impact. This marks the start of the company’s journey to become a net zero carbon company by 2039. Jaguar will be reinvented as a fully electric luxury brand from 2025 and Land Rover will welcome six pure electric variants during the course of the year. for the next five years, as it continues to be the world leader in luxury SUVs. All Jaguar and Land Rover nameplates will be available in pure electric form by the end of the decade.

TVS Motors – acquired iconic British motorcycle brand Norton

In January 2021, Indian automaker TVS Motors announced a multi-million dollar investment to move the UK headquarters of the Norton Motorcycles subsidiary to a new state-of-the-art facility in Solihull, West Midlands. The investment follows the prior acquisition of the iconic British motorcycle brand by TVS Motors in April 2020. The premises will be Norton’s most advanced and modern factory in its 122-year history and the hub of the brand’s operations. Providing a permanent base for all staff, the new headquarters will house the design, engineering, purchasing, sales, marketing and support teams, as well as the skilled production team that will take over the manufacturing of motorcycles. The company’s decision was inspired by the region’s internationally renowned automotive expertise hub, which is responsible for a third of all UK production.

Infosys BPM – a global business process management subsidiary of Infosys Ltd.

Infosys offers its clients integrated end-to-end outsourcing and transformational benefits through reduced costs, improved productivity and process reengineering.

Based in India, Infosys BPM operates worldwide and has recently set up a UK based delivery center in the heart of the West Midlands. The Rubery-based office employs around 150 UK staff and 45 Pune-based staff and has been instrumental in establishing a base footprint for Infosys BPM in the UK.

Focused on innovation and transformation, the Birmingham Delivery Center is committed to developing and meaningfully contributing to shared service networks across the UK by forging close links with several shared service forums and organizations.

Disclaimer: This content is distributed by Business Wire India. No HT journalist is involved in the creation of this content.

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International headquarters

Fitch warns overseas travel ban threatens Hong Kong’s trade status

International business groups in Hong Kong are begging the government to restart flights as a rating agency warned that a ban on overseas travel would deter companies from using Hong Kong as their regional headquarters.

Executives who returned home for Christmas found themselves stranded outside the Asian financial hub after authorities suspended flights from eight countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, to protect the city from the Omicron variant.

David Graham, executive director of the British Chambers of Commerce in Hong Kong, said the “unfortunate” theft ban had taken many by surprise.

“This will inevitably cause considerable disruption and inconvenience, especially for the many Hong Kong-based executives and employees who traveled to the UK over Christmas time to be with family and who were considering returning to Hong Kong in early January. “, did he declare. the Financial Times.

“We very much hope that the ban will be for a very limited period given the quarantine and testing measures already in place for those returning from the UK.”

Hong Kong, which pursues a ‘zero-Covid’ policy, has reimposed numerous social distancing regulations after an outbreak that was sown by the flight crew of Cathay Pacific, who had been exempted from traveler quarantine orders .

Flights from the eight nations were banned for 14 days on Wednesday last week. Other airlines, such as Air Canada and Virgin Atlantic, have temporarily halted flights because they were unable to meet the Hong Kong government’s quarantine requirements for crews.

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The government said tougher measures needed to be implemented as the city faced the risk of a “major epidemic”.

Fitch Ratings, however, said the new restrictions could dampen Hong Kong’s economic growth prospects. “We believe that the tightening of restrictions on international arrivals will create new obstacles to the territory’s ability to serve as a regional headquarters for foreign multinationals,” he said.

Hong Kong also recently introduced a mandatory seven-day quarantine for pilots and crews on cargo flights. The measure has wreaked havoc on flight schedules, with Cathay Pacific reducing its cargo capacity to 20% and passenger capacity to 2% of pre-pandemic levels.

The latest flight cancellations have prompted warnings of a sharp rise in food prices.

Those wishing to enter Hong Kong from most countries are already subject to three weeks of isolation in a hotel and, in some cases, a government quarantine facility.

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The restrictions prevented the deaths and strains on health systems seen elsewhere, but also cut the city off from the rest of the world.

At the same time, however, the city has failed to persuade very old people to get vaccinated, with just over 20% of those aged 80 and over vaccinated.

International business groups have previously warned that Hong Kong is risking its crown as the region’s top financial center if it does not reopen its borders.

“The flight restrictions add further stress, cost and uncertainty for business executives living in Hong Kong,” said Tara Joseph, director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, which represents 1,400 companies on Chinese territory.

“Some people are stuck, others are afraid of what will happen next, and there is no indication when it will end.”

The US Consulate in Hong Kong said there was a need for “increased dialogue and transparency regarding travel, testing and quarantine measures that affect Hong Kong as a place to live and trade.”


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Canadian army

As Covid policies divide America, Ontario doubles (again)

The verdict of the health experts: Too little, too late, told you.

Public health experts across the country had warned for weeks that Omicron’s outsized transmissibility would fuel a surprising new wave of infections at a time when Covid-tired families – boosted or not – were planning to come together.

Sabina Vohra-Miller, health advocate and co-founder of the Vohra Miller Foundation, was among those who sounded the alarm and called for advice and restrictions.

“We know people are going to get together over the holidays. And it’s going to cause exponential growth. I mean, there is already exponential growth,” she told POLITICO on December 15.

“We have to be proactive, not wait for things to get out of hand. It’s so much harder to take back control when it’s already past that point.”

At the time, Ontario had registered 1,808 new cases. Two days before Christmas the number rose to 5,790. On New Year’s Eve it reached 16,790.

Hints of a January crackdown, the kind of which seemed unthinkable just a month ago, have sprung just before the holidays. Canadians have been advised not to travel abroad. The schoolchildren were ordered to bring everything home.

The Liberals and New Democrats in the House of Commons shortened their in-person seats in mid-December, adopting a hybrid configuration as they warned of a dangerous new variant spreading like wildfire. The same parties quickly banned MPs from traveling abroad during the holidays.

In a nation obsessed with hockey, players of all skill levels have become canaries in a coal mine.

The December epidemics hit most of Canada’s NHL teams, whose games have been postponed. The annual World Junior Tournament, held just after Christmas in Edmonton and Red Deer, was called off after a handful of positive tests on multiple teams. The biggest youth hockey tournament on the planet, the annual Bell Capital Cup in Ottawa, was next on the chopping block.

Duty free shops have been reduced to ghost towns. “I’ve heard in some stores that they would make one or two sales a day,” said Barbara Barrett, executive director of the Frontier Duty Free Association. She blamed federal travel advisories for reduced traffic and “dismal” morale among its members.

Meanwhile, millions of Americans – and Canadians too – tuned in to dozens of college and pro football games attended by tens of thousands of unmasked fans – none were put off by the record number of daily cases across the country. (Ontario’s shutdown includes a cap of 10 on outdoor gatherings, down 66,829 from last weekend’s Orange Bowl.)

Innovative Research Group pollster Greg Lyle found in a december poll that Canadians were losing confidence in governments’ handling of Covid. But as fears of the virus escalated, respondents were “more likely to view provincial public health restrictions as too loose (34%) than too strict (23%).”

Lyle’s conclusion: “Clearly the pressure was on governments to do something, and something would include tighter restrictions. “

In Quebec, Premier François Legault has imposed his province’s second curfew against the pandemic – a last resort attempt to slow the skyrocketing spread that has unfolded like a lead ball among civil liberties advocates.

Quebec also called on the military to help with a booming vaccination campaign. Federal Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair confirmed Monday that members of the Canadian Armed Forces have been deployed to the province.

Most provinces are facing peaks in similar cases. Many have delayed the return to in-person learning. Alberta and British Columbia have postponed the trials. Newfoundland and Labrador reduced the capacity of gymnasiums and restaurants.

Prime Minister Trudeau’s response echoes what he has told Canadians since the start of the pandemic: “We support you. “

The PM has organized dozens of appeals with premiers since March 2020. He won an election in part by offering vaccine warrants for the federal public service and travelers on planes and trains.

Top federal ministers spent time on Monday tweeting eligibility information for lockdown support programs approved by Parliament in the final hours before a six-week winter break that ends Jan.31. Canadians who cannot work due to capacity restrictions can request weekly payments of C $ 300 – a revamped and targeted version of an old benefit of C $ 2,000 per month.

Trudeau’s critics say these measures do not address capacity issues in provincial health systems. The federal government gave billions to the provinces last year in the form of an expanded Canada health transfer, but premiers complained that a one-time increase was not enough. They called for sustained increases in annual funding to the tune of C $ 35 billion.

Provinces have fought hard against testing capacity limits. Ontario distributed millions of rapid antigen tests in December through its network of government-owned liquor stores, but government-administered PCR tests are harder to find. They are now reserved for symptomatic people at high risk. Anyone else who experiences symptoms is presumed positive.

Trudeau Liberals insist they are constantly buying and delivering rapid tests across Canada – a total of 112 million of them, according to the latest data available. But the provinces are always hungry for more. Alberta recently requested 30 million over three months.

Federal-provincial disputes over how to manage a pandemic often turn into disputes over jurisdiction and who is responsible for what.

The so-called Team Canada approach, in which Premiers mainly held their tongue instead of attacking Ottawa, lasted much of the first two years of the Covid era. But this wave of high-stakes infections is a test of tenuous relationships.

The skyrocketing number of cases and limited testing capacity virtually everywhere has sparked debate over whether the number of base cases should even guide decisions about the new restrictions. Amid the early data suggesting that most Omicron infections are relatively mild, there’s an open question around dinner tables: If it’s next to impossible to avoid Omicron, is it even that bad?

A key indicator is the number of hospitalizations, but even that produces asterisks. More Covid-positive patients are popping up in hospital beds for unrelated reasons and adding to the total – a gap that official Ontario calculators will soon be able to accommodate. Hospitalizations also lag behind infections, meaning the disease is still ahead of the data.

The real mark of Omicron’s impatience will likely be found in the intensive care units. Most civil servants are cautiously optimistic, the variant is significantly smoother than Delta, although their inevitable caveat is that a prolonged spike in cases could still overwhelm most health systems.

Ontario’s new restrictions take effect Wednesday. The province’s health advisers say they believe the wave will peak later this month. “We anticipate a very short, rapid and rapid approach to this epidemic and its impact on the health system,” Chief Medical Officer of Health Kieran Moore said on Monday.

A crumbling healthcare system is the worst-case scenario for any province, and Ford’s desperate appeal could save lives. But there is another factor at play.

Ontario voters go to the polls in June. The measure that matters most to the Prime Minister that day is at the ballot box. A disastrous wave of infections that leaves a helpless province searching for a culprit could spell the end of the Ford era after just one term.

While Ford’s shutdown saves lives, it could save its own skin, too.


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Canadian army

Prepare for America’s right-wing dictatorship before 2030, urges Canadian scholar

A Canadian political scientist urged his country’s government to prepare for the possibility of the United States becoming a right-wing dictatorship before 2030.

In an editorial published in The Globe and Mail Thomas Homer-Dixon, executive director of the Cascade Institute at Royal Roads University in British Columbia, on Friday warned his country had to prepare for the worst-case scenario.

“By 2025, America’s democracy could crumble, causing extreme domestic political instability, including widespread civil violence,” Homer-Dixon wrote.

“By 2030, if not sooner, the country could be ruled by a right-wing dictatorship. We should not rule out these possibilities just because they seem ridiculous or too horrible to imagine.

“In 2014, the suggestion that Donald Trump would become president would have struck almost everyone as absurd as well. But today we live in a world where the absurd regularly becomes real and the ugly banality.”

The scholar added: “The [U.S.] is becoming more and more ungovernable, and some experts believe it could escalate into civil war. “

Three retired U.S. military generals last month warned of the possibility of civil war if the 2024 presidential election results are not accepted by sections of the military.

In November, more than 150 U.S. academics wrote a public letter supporting the Freedom to Vote Act, which deals with voter registration and access, and has yet to be passed. These researchers warned that “democracy advocates in America still have a slim window of opportunity to act. But time is running out and midnight is approaching. “

In the editorial, Homer-Dixon detailed the reasons for what he called the “ongoing crisis” in the United States, writing that there had been multiple “warning signs” and the reasons for a changing political landscape.

Among them, he cited “stagnant middle-class incomes, chronic economic insecurity and growing inequality,” and a broadcaster such as the late Rush Limbaugh who he said had “hammered” the “moral authority of political institutions. American “.

He also pointed to “right-wing ideologues” stoking fears of a white “replacement”, the refusal of the rich and powerful “to pay taxes, invest in public services or create opportunities for vertical mobility” .

The editorial made reference to former President Trump, his administration and “Trumpism” 28 times.

At one point, Homer-Dixon wrote that “if Mr. Trump is re-elected, even under the most optimistic scenarios, the economic and political risks to our country will be innumerable. “

News week has contacted Trump’s rep for comment.

Discussing the “big lie” – Trump’s false claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen – Homer-Dixon said that if Trump were re-elected in 2024, the GOP leader would have “only two goals: justification and revenge “.

“A terrible storm is coming from the south and Canada is absolutely unprepared,” wrote the political scientist.

“Over the past year, we have turned our attention inward, distracted by the challenges of COVID-19, reconciliation and the accelerated effects of climate change. democracy in the United States.

“We must begin by fully recognizing the extent of the danger.”

Homer-Dixon advised the Canadian government to create a permanent, non-partisan parliamentary committee to “receive information on the state of democracy in the United States and make recommendations.”

The American flag flies in front of the dome of the United States Capitol on September 10, 2021 in Washington, DC. A Canadian political scientist has warned that his country should prepare for the possibility of an American dictatorship by 2030.
Drew Angerer / Getty Images


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Non profit living

Obtaining results awards: a year in review

ORLANDO, Florida – Each week, as part of the News 6 Getting Results Award segment, we spotlight people in Central Florida who are going above and beyond and making a difference for their neighbors.

The people and how they chose to help were as diverse as the communities they served.

As this year draws to a close, we thought it was a great time to reflect on their stories and the moments that impacted so many people.

[TRENDING: Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

We started the year in Brevard County, where Brevard Mask Makers volunteer Marsha Plog made masks for students and the elderly.

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Mary Ann Laverty spent her days driving across the county, delivering supplies and finished masks to those in need.

“We have so many talented sewers and seamstresses in our community who were willing to help, but they had certain limitations,” Laverty said. “We have made over 35,000 masks that we have donated to the community and we continue to be strong. “

It might be hard to remember now, but at the time, the COVID-19 vaccine was just starting to become available and people were struggling to get appointments through online portals.

Linda and Richard Griffing, who are retirees, tried several times, but each day the date schedule was full before they could register.

“You were going to the site and you couldn’t get anything,” recalls Richard Griffing. “Suddenly all the appointments are gone. Boom, end of story, ”added Linda.

But Mary Steele used her spare time and computer skills to help those who couldn’t register.

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“I just hope if it was my mom someone would help her,” Steele said when asked why she spends most of her free time helping others.

We visited the Greenwood Place Assisted Living Center. Mary Ann Ball has written to us to congratulate the staff there for keeping her parents safe and in a good mood during COVID security protocols.

“One day it was raining and the staff was there with umbrellas saying that was what we were doing,” Ball said. “Our loved ones need to see family.

We met a school resources manager who is changing perceptions.

Assistant Brian Jensen has been the School Resources Manager at Mollie Ray Elementary School for the past three years and wins over students and their parents, one semester at a time.

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“Kids who when I started here didn’t even speak to me in large part because of my uniform,” Jensen recalls. “Now they come to see me every day. “

From the moment he arrived on campus, Jensen made it his mission to get involved. Netisha Thornelant’s parents learned about it. Thornelant nominated him for the News 6 Getting Results Award.

“Well I sent the email because I know Channel 6 comes at a price for results and with everything going on between police interactions, especially with minorities, I think Deputy Jensen is someone who provides that good example of police interaction with our youth. “

We met Jerry Vaughan, a veterans advocate who goes to great lengths to honor the last wills of the men and women who have served our country.

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Vaughan collects vintage uniforms as part of his Dover Detail project. Uniforms are used for veterans who wish to be buried in the uniforms they wore while on duty.

“One of the last things he did was ask me to find a uniform for him so that when he got out he could go out however he wanted,” Vaughan said as we watched him put on a uniform. the WWII Navy to decorate it. veteran Philip Bradstreet, who died at the age of 94.

We were there the day longtime children’s champion Linda Sutherland retired. Sutherland was Executive Director of the Healthy Start Coalition of Orange County for 20 years.

She was nominated by her colleague Jarred McCovery.

“We made the decision to name Linda, it was a no-brainer,” said McCovery. “She’s just accomplished so much during her tenure here, everything she’s done for families, it made perfect sense to nominate her for this award.”

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We showed you horseback therapy at Freedom Ride Stables in Orlando. Every day for almost 20 years, riders of all ages have climbed these magnificent giant creatures and become one with nature. Staff and customers are eagerly awaiting the new facilities a few miles away.

We have witnessed the friendship in the alleys of the Villages. The Special Friends Bowling Club meets weekly to provide activities and socialization for village residents with special needs.

Ray Kleczowski has been organizing the meetings for over 20 years.

“There are no faults here.” Kleczowski said, as dozens of people played, laughed and cheered around him. “This is how life should be. “

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We saw Paddle With A Purpose volunteers cleaning up our waterways. The organizer, JR Tanhgal, is a leader with several non-profit organizations in the region.

“I don’t think people realize the magnitude of what he does,” said volunteer Briona Jones. “The amount of money he raised for different organizations. “

We have featured several people who dedicate their time to help feed their neighbors. Mike Hayes took advantage of his restaurant experience and opened a non-profit kitchen called God’s Table.

Shereece Mitchell turned her knowledge of healthy eating and exercise into a drive-thru pantry called Butterfly Lifestyle.

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Kelli Marks started Backpack Buddies to help feed children in their Orange City community.

And Deryl Ames helped build and stock a small pantry in his St. Cloud neighborhood.

Finally, with a new year upon us and hope for the future, we saw a special group of volunteers remember the service members we lost in 2021.

Volunteers from the Cape Canaveral Ladies were on hand for every funeral at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery while no other friends or family could attend.

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“There are times when I’m here where some of these services touch me and I find myself in tears,” Debra Griffin, president of the Cape Canaveral Ladies, told us.

The coming year will certainly have more surprises in store for you, but as we have seen, your neighbors never fail to “get results” and we will be there to share them with you.

If you know someone “Getting Results”, use the form below to let us know. You may see them featured in the coming weeks.

Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.


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History organization

Last minute plea tries to save Freedom House from demolition

In a residential pocket of Boston’s Grove Hall neighborhood, where Roxbury meets Dorchester, an old brick building sits on a fenced lot, its wooden steps twisted and rotted, peeling paint visible through the window frames in rusty metal.

The longtime Freedom House – now a decaying and neglected structure on Crawford Street – has played a vital role in the local civil rights movement, serving as a meeting place for equality and community advocates neighbor from the 1950s.

The Freedom House building at 14 Crawford Street in Roxbury, December 9, 2021

Tori Bedford / GBH News

One mile from the house where Malcolm X spent part of his youth, Freedom House founders Otto and Muriel Snowden appeared before Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders, local elected officials , anti-racism activists in Boston and President John F. Kennedy. Decades before a 1974 federal court order, social workers at Freedom House in Roxbury launched a Schools for Freedom movement and protests to fight segregation and racism in Boston public schools.

Currently slated for demolition, the building was constructed in 1900 and is a civil rights era time capsule that the city seems to have forgotten about – although a recent request to delay its destruction begs the question: is it too late to save Freedom House?

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Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. greets a group at a reception for him in March 1958. To the far left is Rev. Walter C. Davis of the Charles Street African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Photograph provided to Northeastern University by Freedom House

Katrina Shaw, executive director of Freedom House, said the nonprofit has spent a decade trying to get funding for renovations to save the old building.

“But people weren’t giving. People didn’t want to give, ”she told GBH News. “People love the idea of ​​Freedom House and what it meant for the city, but no one would really put their money behind it.”

In 2010, the state awarded Freedom House a million dollar challenge grant to restore his old house and renovate a new location across the street, a former branch of the public library where the organization currently operates. The managing director at the time, Gail Snowden, the founders’ daughter, appealed for help to raise funds to preserve the structure.

“Our love for the building has kept us there for so long at a financial cost,” Shaw said. “If we could preserve it, we would. But when it starts to cannibalize your own request to actually do the Freedom House mission, then I think you have to make some tough decisions, just like you would never choose your home over your child.

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Cameraman recording NAACP director Frank Williams speaking in his office at Freedom House, 14 Crawford Street, 1960

Photograph provided to Northeastern University by Freedom House

Last year, Snowden gave his blessing to Shaw and the current directors of Freedom House to sell the building. The historic site has been sold to a development company started by the late John Corcoran, a native of Dorchester, for $ 1.5 million, money that will go to programs at the new location, where the foundation focuses primarily on academic opportunities. , financial and social for university students. . Hoping to innovate in 2023, the developer plans to build mixed-income housing and a memorial on the site to honor the work of the founders.

“This decision was difficult to make and it was not made in a hurry,” said Shaw. “And if anyone wanted to give Freedom House like $ 20 million, I would restore it.” I’ll do that tomorrow. I’ll do it in five minutes. It had always been our plea to be able to fundraise, but we couldn’t. ”

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The new Freedom House building at 5 Crawford Street, Roxbury, December 9, 2021

Tori Bedford / GBH News

The old Freedom House building is just a few blocks from dozens of historic landmarks, Revolutionary War structures, and homes of English settlers and church deacons. It is one of the few monuments from the Civil Rights Era remaining in Boston and a symbol of the struggle for equal rights that may soon be extinguished.

“You know, it’s interesting, nobody called me about this,” Byron Rushing, president of the Roxbury Historical Society, told GBH News. “We respond to roughly the people who raise the issue. Can we save this building? What must we do to save this building? No one asked me that question.

Boston’s current segregation – and the racial wealth gap – leads to the neglect of landmarks in predominantly black neighborhoods like Freedom House, Rushing said.

“People don’t know this story, outside of Roxbury, and the new inhabitants of Roxbury don’t know the story,” he said. “If this building was on the Black Heritage Trail, we would have a lot more publicity about it. ”

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Otto Snowden and a Boston delegation led by Lieutenant Governor Elliot Richardson to and from Selma march for civil rights in Alabama on March 15, 1965.

Photograph provided to Northeastern University by Freedom House

Christopher Martell, a UMass Boston professor who lives in Dorchester, teaches his students about Boston’s educational history through a tour that begins at the former Freedom House, a major hotspot during the violent reaction to school desegregation.

“This is especially important because it tells a much longer story than the Boston buses,” Martell told GBH News. “Most of the students in the suburbs of Boston have no idea of ​​its history. They don’t even know much about the civil rights struggle in Roxbury and Dorchester in the 1950s and 1960s. ”

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A day of freedom, February 26, 1964.

Donation to Northeastern University Archives Dept. by James W. Fraser.

Last month, Martell wrote a letter to the Boston Landmarks Commission, pleading for the Freedom House to be preserved as a protected monument.

Shortly after Martell’s letter, the commission received a request to delay the demolition, citing both the importance of the Freedom House during the civil rights movement and the building’s use as a College of Hebrew teachers. from 1920.

According to a spokesperson for the commission, the commission considered Freedom House to be historically important. Once the municipal agency receives two alternatives to demolition, the applicants hold a public meeting of the community and the commission schedules a formal hearing.

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Mayor Michelle Wu meets with members of the senior organization Goldenaires of Freedom House, December 9, 2021

Tori Bedford / GBH News

A delay from the monuments commission does not guarantee the demolition will be blocked, but it could shed light on the problem, a development Martell hopes will help the city find an alternative solution.

“The Monuments Commission has only limited power,” he said, “but this is a place where advocacy is really important, as it would be more difficult for a developer to simply demolish the building s ‘there was a collective movement to push back this. ”

Shaw seems resigned to say goodbye, knowing that the main mission will continue, regardless of which building it is in.

“The spirit of Freedom House, the work of Freedom House, is here and it continues,” said Shaw, pointing to the bustling office, where students took classes on laptops and served lunch to the Goldenaires of Freedom. House, a program for seniors. Goldenaires coordinator Jumaada Abdal-Khallaq Henry Smith, a native of Roxbury who attended Goldenaires meetings with her mother in the old building, says she is sad to leave the space where she spent much of her time. his childhood.

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Goldenaires Liberty House, 1970

Photograph provided to Northeastern University by Freedom House

“I am a victim of a prominent estate so I cannot show my children where I lived because our house is no longer there,” Abdal-Khallaq Henry Smith told GBH News. “I hate to see the loss of something historic because my mom breathed that air, and all those Goldenaires, you know.” There is something about being able to hold on to something, for your children’s children to see.


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History organization

CMH faces upheaval as search for CEO comes to an end | News

TRAVERSE CITY – The board of directors of the Northern Lakes Community Mental Health Authority is finalizing a month-long search for a new leader, just as some in the community – including former employees and elected officials – say the organization is in turmoil.

A dysfunctional ‘culture of fear’ has hampered the region’s largest mental health service provider, some former employees say, saying these internal conflicts are at least partially responsible for the more than 60 positions available on the website. ‘organization.

“It’s supposed to be a place where you’re safe, and you go out to people to feel safe and to be treated kindly, and it isn’t,” said Stephanie Annis, who previously worked at the organization as case manager, therapist. and a social worker.

Annis was fired on October 1 for what records show the NLCMHA was listed as a billing issue, but Annis says it was in retaliation for her support of another dismissed employee.

“As soon as Karl got out, the culture of fear amplified,” Annis said.

CEO Karl Kovacs retired at the end of July after leading the organization since 2015, according to board records.

Joanie Blamer, a staff member of the organization’s leadership team, has been promoted to interim CEO by the NLCMHA board and is one of two finalists for the permanent position, members of the board at a board meeting on December 16.

The other finalist is David Pankotai, CEO of Macomb County Community Mental Health and past president of the State Section of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Final talks are scheduled for Jan. 10, and officials and community members say the new CEO of the $ 73 million organization will be tasked with repairing his reputation.

“I hope whoever accepts the position will begin to re-establish relationships with the entities with which Northern Lakes partners and also change the public’s perception of the organization,” said County Commissioner Penny Morris, who serves liaison with the board of directors of the NLCMHA.

One of those partners was the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office.

But after months of negotiations, a draft contract between GTCSO and NLCMHA to provide additional mental health services to those incarcerated in the county jail ended in stalemate.

Sheriff Tom Bensley and Prison Administrator Chris Barsheff’s captain made public comments at the December 16 board meeting, saying the organization appeared unwilling to tailor services to meet the needs of the prison.

Bensley said the experience of trying to negotiate with the organization was frustrating, and the NLCMHA refused to consider suggested programs for the prison that would meet correctional rules and standards.

“We, and many members of the community, have lost faith in the Northern Lakes Community Mental Health and current leadership,” Bensley said, in a Dec. 9 letter to Mary Marois, a member of the Northern Lakes Board of Directors. NLCMHA and chair of the CEO search committee.

“I think it’s time to get rid of the same old, same old and look outside the organization for someone who will bring collaboration and cooperation with local organizations,” Bensley said.

The sheriff told council he would be ready to discuss the contents of his letter and invited council members to contact him to do so.

None had done so on Thursday, he said. During the board meeting, President Randy Kamp told public commentators that board policy is to listen but not to respond during the meeting.

Marois addressed a reporter from Record-Eagle’s questions to Kamp and neither Blamer nor Kamp responded to requests for comment on the sheriff’s letter and other organizational challenges on Friday.

Deb Lavender, NLCMHA administrative staff, confirmed that the questions had been passed on to all board members.

Family members of those who receive or have received services from the organization have also started to speak out about how they feel best for the future of the NLCMH.

For example, Kate Dahlstrom, whose adult son was previously held in prison and received services from the NLCMHA, said she too supports a change in leadership.

The interim CEO has valuable institutional knowledge for the organization, Dahlstrom said, although new ideas are needed.

“Under current leadership, there has been a lack of proactive and forward-thinking initiatives, especially for the folks at SMI / SED,” Dahlstrom said in a letter to board members.

The abbreviation “SMI / SED” refers to people diagnosed with severe mental illness and severe emotional disorders. Another abbreviation, IDD, refers to people diagnosed with an intellectual and developmental disability.

Dahlstrom said she believes the NLCMHA should prioritize services for people with severe and moderate mental illness as well as people with developmental disabilities – not over each other.

“If you are committed to improving SMI / SED services, please make the necessary changes and decisions,” Dahlstrom said in his letter to the board. “Otherwise, I would recommend that Grand Traverse County leave the NLCMH.”

Under a 2003 agreement between the counties of Crawford, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Missaukee, Roscommon and Wexford, the NLCMHA is committed to providing “a full range” of mental health services to residents, in return for annual payments. per county resident.

The six counties have a current population of over 200,000 and the 68-page agreement also specifically mentions services for incarcerated persons.

It states that the NLCMHA will provide mental health services to county correctional facilities at no additional cost, as needed – a repeated sticking point between the organization and Grand Traverse County.

County commission chairman Rob Hentschel, who previously served on the NLCMHA board, said he has long believed the wording puts the NLCMHA in violation of the agreement.

Still, there are no imminent plans for the county to leave the NLCMHA, he said.

“Basically, the pain of staying the same was less than the pain of changing,” Hentschel said. “It is a monumental task to create a new CMH. Could the county be better served by partnering with Leelanau for a smaller CMH? This has been discussed.

Hentschel also said he believed the NLCMHA would be best served by bringing in someone from outside its ranks to serve as the new CEO, thus avoiding any perception of the organization as one of the decision-making. “Same old, same old”.

Others within the organization and who work in healthcare say the job should be Blamer’s job.

Letters of support for Blamer were sent to the board by Stacey Kaminsky, NLCMHA operations manager for crisis services; Deb Freed, Executive Director of Freed Communications and Terri Lacroix-Kelty, Director of Behavioral Health at Munson Medical Center.

They referred to Blamer’s work ethic, experience and knowledge of Michigan’s CMH system.

“Joanie has exceptional experience and a clear understanding of the CMHSP and the Michigan State Behavioral Health System,” Lacroix-Kelty said in her November 5 letter. “She has both the administrative and clinical knowledge that is an asset to the role of CEO. “

NLCMHA board members will conduct the final interviews with Blamer and Pankotai at a special board meeting on January 10, and a decision is expected shortly thereafter, according to board records. administration.

Annis, now a social worker at a nursing home in the area, said she hopes the board will consider how the new CEO addresses the “toxic” work culture she and others have witnessed.

Annis has filed complaints with the human resources department of the NLCMHA and the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, regarding her dismissal, according to the records.

She said supervisors falsely accused her of failing to counsel residents of adult foster homes assigned to her, while she contends the pandemic has required as many as 200 of those sessions via telehealth, what she did.

Former COO Rob Ordiway, whose records show he applied for the CEO job but was not a finalist, also filed an EEOC complaint against NLCMHA, according to the records.

Ordiway declined to comment, but records have provided Record-Eagle shows he was fired on or around July 28, following interviews by Grand Rapids attorney Keith Brodie with several colleagues Ordiway, including Annis.

Brodie has confirmed that he represents the NLCMHA, although he cited solicitor-client privilege when asked if he was also hired as a private investigator to investigate personal life Ordiway, as set out in Ordiway’s EEOC complaint.

“We were invited to a meeting to supposedly talk about how we were doing with COVID,” said Annis, of herself and several colleagues. “Then when we got there we were told the man was a private investigator, hired by the interim CEO, to investigate Rob about a possible affair with another staff member. “

Annis identified Brodie as the man who conducted the interviews.

Christine Saah Nazer, spokesperson for the EEOC, declined to comment on the complaints, citing confidentiality.

Blamer and Marois also declined to comment on specific questions from a journalist regarding the complaints.

Other current and former employees who spoke to Record-Eagle but declined to be named in the case due to fears of retaliation, said if they were substantiated, the EEOC’s complaints could have an impact on federal funding for the NLCMHA.

Records show that about 77 percent of NLCMHA’s funding, or $ 57 million in 2020, comes from Medicaid, much of which is administered by the northern Michigan regional entity.

Saah Nazer of the EEOC referred a reporter’s questions to Medicaid administration policy and Michigan state contract funding could be jeopardized by such complaints.

Terry Pechacek, who previously worked at the NLCMHA as a crisis team supervisor, said she believed it was one of the most important moments in the organization’s 18-year history .

“Think about what you look for in a leader of this organization,” Pechacek said, when asked for his advice for the board.

“Meeting after meeting is not productive,” Pechacek said. “Listen to the people who have an interest in this organization. Do you have the results you are looking for? If not, it might be time for a change.

Those interested in sharing their opinion with the board regarding the CEO search or other matters can contact the board through their public email address, [email protected]


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10 questions with Penn State Homecoming 2022 executive director Tim Nevil

Although junior Tim Nevil was appointed Executive Director of Penn State Homecoming in 2022 a little over a month ago, he already has plenty of ideas to help strengthen the organization in the months to come.

Also a member of THON, Nevil is extremely busy on campus and tries to stay as active as possible in both organizations. Despite his busy schedule, we found time to sit down with Nevil and chat about Penn State Homecoming, his favorite flavor of Creamery, and more.

Advanced state: What made you want to get involved with Penn State Homecoming?

Tim Nevil: When I got to Penn State I wasn’t sure much, but I knew I wanted to get involved on campus. Thanks to my involvement in another organization, I met several people strongly involved in Homecoming. They encouraged me to consider the organization. I came from high school with a relatively large homecoming for its size. I really liked the mission and goals of Penn State Homecomings to put the community and the ideals of the university at the forefront of what it does.

So, in my first year, I decided to apply for a captain position. After being a DJ captain, I decided to be a director in Homecoming. I held the position of Director of Distribution Management last year, which allowed me to see the organization and its events as a whole.

OS: As the Executive Director of Penn State Homecoming, what are some of your roles and responsibilities?

TN: My main role is to oversee the executive committee and help with decision making and planning of events and projects. I also act as the primary liaison between the organization and student / academic leadership.

OS: What are some of your goals or visions for Penn State Homecoming 2022?

TN: My primary goal and vision for Homecoming 2022 is to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for all members of our Penn State community. I hope to create a space where students, faculty and alumni can celebrate and learn about the rich tradition and history of our university while working to improve for the future to create a home in the state. for everyone.

In addition, I want to continue working to put diversity, equity and inclusion at the forefront of our efforts. This can be achieved by providing a platform to share the countless stories of the under-represented but endlessly impactful Penn Staters.

OS: What’s your favorite part of Homecoming weekend?

TN: I think picking a favorite event throughout Homecoming week is super difficult, especially knowing how countless directors and captains work throughout the year to make any event such a success. Still, I love the parade because it’s an amazing way to wrap up our series of amazing weeklong events.

OS: What has been the most rewarding part of my involvement with Homecoming?

TN: To see the hard work of all the Captains and Directors pay off during the week, and also seeing so many people in the community come together to celebrate our university is so special and rewarding to me.

OS: Are you involved in anything else at Penn State?

TN: I am currently also involved in THON as the Chief Safety Captain on the Rules and Regulations Events Safety Committee. In between, most of my time is chewed up. But, I have to say, I really found a home on campus thanks to these two amazing organizations.

OS: What is your favorite place on campus to study?

TN: I don’t know if I really have a favorite place to study. I am rather nomadic when it comes to studying the spots. It’s definitely a place with friends to break up the monotony.

Operating system : If you could choose any flavor of Creamery ice cream to eat for the rest of your life, which one would you choose and why?

TN: Cookie dough. I mean, who doesn’t love a good cookie dough ice cream, especially when it’s Creamery ice cream?

OS: If you could take any Penn Stater past or present to lunch, who would it be and why?

TN: Guion Bluford, because having lunch with someone who’s been in space would be an amazing experience. Hearing Guion’s stories of breaking down racial barriers in American space exploration would be a humbling and rewarding opportunity. His work has truly left an endless legacy on our country and our university.

OS: If you could be any dinosaur, which one would you be and why?

TN: Velociraptor. Why? I do not really know. To be honest, I did a Buzzfeed quiz once – and by once, I mean Monday – and it said I was a velociraptor.

Ryen is an early childhood education student from “just outside of Philly” – or to be exact, 23.0 miles outside of Philly. She loves all things Penn State and was a great Penn State girl before she could walk. Send him pictures of puppies, or hate mail to [email protected]


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BG enriches its rich sporting history | News, Sports, Jobs

Bright sun rays on good news:

Sport can generate pride, in school and in the community, and Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School has enjoyed a strong sense of pride for decades.

The Marauders added their fourth Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association soccer championship last week to go with seven women’s basketball championships and the two Pennsylvania Catholic Interscholastic Athletic Association titles won by the boys’ basketball team. from BG in 1967 and 1970.

The latest football title came via a 21-14 victory over Redbank Valley last Thursday at Hersheypark Stadium.

Credit goes to Head Coach Justin Wheeler, his coaching staff, BG support staff and, of course, the Marauders players.

The Mirror will feature a tribute section in this weekend’s edition (December 18-19).

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Meghan Sinisi of Altoona is representing Pennsylvania this week in the Miss America pageant.

A 2013 graduate from Altoona Area High School, Sinisi is only the second Altoona native to win Miss Pennsylvania honors, joining Jill Shaffer Swanson, who was crowned in 1981.

Residents are invited to a “Watch the party” at 8pm tonight at the Buccinese Club in Altoona to support Sinisi in what is the 100th anniversary of the competition.

The show will air live on Peacock, NBC Universal’s streaming service. The contest ends with a week of appearances and activities.

Sinisi has brought a lot of positive publicity to Altoona, and we wish him good luck.

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The Blair Central Recreation and Parks Commission made a good choice in selecting former Mayor of Altoona and former Recreation Commission member Bill Schirf with his Respected Citizen’s Award at his classic community dinner on the 26th. February.

Schirf has always had the city and its recreation programs at heart and has contributed to about 40 community organizations over the past 50 years, according to Mike Hofer, executive director of Blair Rec.

The dinner, which is accompanied by an auction, has always been the organization’s biggest fundraiser.

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Last month, a bridge on Route 1008 over Chest Creek in East Carroll Township, Cambria County was named after Pfc. Kenneth John Ivory, a native of Chest Springs who was killed during the Vietnam War.

Ivory was 19 when he was killed in action on October 18, 1966 in Thua Thien Province during the Vietnam War.

A 1965 graduate of Bishop Carroll High School, the Chest Springs native enlisted in the military in March 1966 and was a member of A Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division.

We salute Ivory for his service, VFW District 26 for his role and Senator Wayne Langerholc Jr., R-Cambria, who is also chair of the Senate Transportation Committee.

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To all the community organizations that mobilize at this time of year to raise funds and offer food and gifts to the less fortunate around us, we salute you.

The latest news today and more in your inbox


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Non profit living

New Mexico Legal Aid Makes a Difference for Highly Needed Clients | My opinion

New Mexico Legal Aid is a non-profit law firm that has provided free legal assistance to New Mexicans living in poverty for over 50 years. Inside our offices, the reception call center is fully loaded as soon as we open our doors.

It is very common for potential customers to start calling long before the opening, hoping to be the first when we start in the morning. Each month, over 1,000 New Mexicans living on the poverty line contact our lawyers and staff for help. In many cases, we are able to quickly resolve their issues within hours, but too often we have clients who are dealing with multiple issues at once such as evictions, unemployment, domestic violence and issues. income security.

These people are assigned to one of our advocates, who works in four specialized divisions: family, consumption, housing and economic security. They are stretched and process over 5,500 cases per year. But the high volume of cases is not as frustrating as when they are forced to turn down a viable case simply because we lack resources. For more than 100 New Mexicans per month, this is their reality.

Currently, nearly 400,000 New Mexicans live in poverty and qualify for our services, and we are already seeing that the demand continues to increase. In order to help more people, we need a stronger commitment from the legislature to increase funding for the Civil Legal Services Commission, which supports nonprofit civil legal providers in New Mexico.

We need to increase our staff and we need to be able to offer a competitive salary to a limited pool of available legal talent. A recent study by New Mexico Voices for Children looked specifically at New Mexico families and their income security. In its study, Voices for Children reported that 34 percent of children in New Mexico were food insecure in 2020, up from 24 percent in 2018. And nearly 30 percent of adults in households with children had little or no confidence in their ability to pay. their next rent or mortgage payment on time.

This study helps to put into perspective some of the reasons for the growing demand for help from our association.

Fortunately, we work alongside several other organizations that are equally focused and dedicated to the mission of helping people living in poverty by helping them with their legal issues. Each year, approximately 15,000 New Mexicans benefit from direct legal services offered by Legal Aid New Mexico, and thousands more benefit from our indirect services. When we are successful in helping a client, we keep a family at home, we improve the educational outcomes of their children, and we improve the health outcomes for the family.

We help these families to put down roots in the community, which in turn helps them to earn more income and ultimately to take root more deeply in our community.

Lewis G. Creekmore is Executive Director of New Mexico Legal Aid, headquartered in Albuquerque.


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Non-profit organization plans to build village of 50 small houses for homeless veterans at OKC

A Kansas City-based nonprofit focused on ending veteran homelessness plans to expand to Oklahoma City.

The Veterans Community Project announced last week that it will build 50 small homes, each under 300 square feet, on a property on North Phillips Avenue, between Northeast 26th and 28th Streets.

The property will also house a community center and an awareness center.

“What we are doing is we are really restarting the transition from military to civilian from day one,” said VCP Chairman Jason Kander. “No matter how long you’ve been homeless, no matter how long you’ve been fighting, let’s do this again. ”

In recent years, Oklahoma City’s homeless population has increased, according to a 2020 city survey. Veterans make up about 10% of the city’s homeless population.

“10% means 150, 160, 170 homeless vets on our streets or in our shelters every night,” said The Homeless Alliance executive director Dan Straughan.

The nonprofit model includes on-site services and transitional housing for homeless veterans. After receiving treatment and help, Kander said residents of the mini-houses were transitioning to permanent housing.

In Kansas City, Kander said 85% of their residents have moved into a permanent living situation.

Social, legal and other services help with their transition, which are provided by local groups and volunteers.

“A big part of the reason we come to Oklahoma City is because we have identified Oklahoma City as a place that has the capacity to provide this level of service and this level of passion to veterans,” Kander said.

A spokesperson for VCP said the nonprofit did not yet have a construction schedule.


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Secretary Antony J. Blinken at an Ocean Plastics event

MRS ANDERSEN: Thank you. I am very honored to welcome you, Secretary Blinken, to the United Nations in Nairobi. For almost 50 years – next year it will be 50 – we at the United Nations Environment Program have been proud to host in Kenya the only UN Headquarters located in the Global South, the nerve center of multilateral governance here for the environment.

Secretary Blinken, your presence here today is extremely important. Your presence here demonstrates that the United States wants to be part of the multilateral solutions that will keep environmental action moving. At UNEP, we have long enjoyed a strong partnership with the United States on environmental law, pollution reduction, promotion of the green economy, scientific leadership for the environment and , most recently, of course, in Glasgow on methane emissions.

Mr Secretary, we have just concluded the Climate COP in Glasgow, and if there is one clear conclusion, of course, for us and for the world, it is that we can keep 1.5 alive, we can make it happen. , but it’s gonna take us all to make it happen. And as we now rush to the United Nations Environment Assembly in February 2022 to be held here in this beautiful location, we must recognize that the work Member States are doing on plastic pollution has the potential to be a turning point. Meaningful action against pollution will force us out of our comfort zones, by engaging in numerous environmental agreements with business and finance, with cities, with civil society, with entrepreneurs and with people around the world. .

I am therefore very happy to welcome here the presence of the remarkable Kenyan entrepreneurs who are proof that the action is already underway, and our host country, Kenya, continues to focus on the transition to clean energy by 2030. , geothermal energy, wind power, solar home power, the successful ban on single-use plastic bags, green bonds, climate-resilient agriculture, and much more.

So, Mr. Secretary, UNEP will mark its 50th anniversary next year, and as we seek to work together to address a triple planetary crisis – the climate change crisis, the biodiversity crisis and the loss of nature, and the pollution and waste crisis – we have a real opportunity to rush towards environmental multilateralism that has an impact, a positive impact, on people’s lives. Because as the UN Secretary General has noted, success or failure is not an act of nature; it’s in our hands. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

SECRETARY BLINKEN: Well, hello everyone, and Executive Director Andersen, thank you very much for your outstanding leadership on this issue, for the work of the entire United Nations Environment Program team within the only United Nations Headquarters in the United Nations. southern country, and what seat it is.

Inger and I were just in Glasgow for COP26, and UNEP was a key partner in rallying countries to take the bold and urgent action needed to keep warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius and avert climate catastrophe. To give just one example, the independent and rigorous data tracked by the UNEP International Methane Emissions Observatory will bring greater transparency to the efforts of more than 100 countries now, led by the European Union and the United States. who signed the Global Methane Pledge. This commitment commits to reducing global methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030. This is just one important example of action taken by the international community in Glasgow.

Many countries, including in Africa, have established more ambitious national action plans to reduce emissions, and many have made significant commitments to invest more in adaptation, especially in vulnerable countries through initiatives such as the Africa Adaptation Initiative and President Biden’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience, or PREPARE, as the acronym says.

Now back to methane, if the world’s major emitters of methane join us, including China, that would be like taking every ship out of the seas and every plane out of the skies in terms of emissions. At the same time, we still have a lot of work to do. As Inger pointed out at COP26, we must now stick to the commitments we made, and we must continue to push for greater commitments and more action on adaptation and mitigation, because no one is under the illusion that we have done enough yet, especially as the damage inflicted by the climate crisis continues to worsen, as the brutal drought here in Kenya very clearly shows.

So today we are stepping up and intensifying our efforts to tackle another pollutant that threatens our planet, plastic, by announcing US support for multilateral negotiations on a global deal to tackle plastic pollution in the oceans. By launching these negotiations at the United Nations Environmental Assembly in February 2022, our goal is to create a tool we can use to protect our oceans and all the life they support from the growing global harms of plastic pollution.

It is crucial that the agreement calls on countries to develop and implement strong national action plans to tackle this problem at its source. Many countries, climate and ocean advocates, private companies have supported this effort for some time. We are grateful for the serious work they have already put into this effort and look forward to working with them. The private sector in particular will need to do more to reduce plastic pollution and invest in innovation. We recognize that different actors will have different capacities to act, but every nation, every community, and indeed every individual has a role to play, and let me say a little about why.

It is estimated that we add between eight and fourteen million tonnes of plastic pollution to the ocean each year. That’s about one truckload dumped into the sea every minute of every day, and the rate is increasing rather than decreasing. Plastic can take decades to millions of years to break down. Meanwhile, the waste is transported everywhere from Antarctica to the Mariana Trench. Some of it is caught in massive swirling ocean currents. The largest, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, covers an area three times the size of France.

The negative effects of plastic pollution on marine life and humans are serious. Much of the plastic at sea is broken down into tiny pieces that marine animals eat. These microplastics can tear animals’ organs, clog their intestines, and make them look full, causing them to starve to death. And because plastics absorb toxins, when we eat seafood, we are not only consuming microplastics, but toxins as well. In addition, plastic pollution can harm artisanal fishing and discourage tourism in coastal areas.

As we know, our health, our survival is linked to the health of our oceans. We must do more to protect them. Supporting the development of this new deal is just one of the ways we are working to make it happen, but it comes above many others. At the 2019 Our Ocean conference, the United States announced more than 20 new commitments valued at over $ 1.2 billion to promote sustainable fishing, tackle marine debris and invest in marine science. In February, the United States will co-host the next Our Ocean conference with Palau, where we will focus on the link between oceans and climate change and the importance of healthy oceans for the survival of small island developing states. .

This connection is at the heart of the SALPIE initiative that President Biden launched in March to increase U.S. economic cooperation with island countries and territories. This overall goal has strong bipartisan support from the United States Congress, which passed the landmark 2020 Save Our Seas 2.0 legislation. As this legislation recognizes, innovation is crucial, and on this point the United States leads by force of our example, like the Plastics Innovation Challenge of the United States Department of Energy, which invests millions of dollars. dollars of research in national laboratories, universities, and industry to take giant leaps in areas such as the development of new recyclable plastics by design.

Many of the most promising innovations do not come from government or industry, but from individuals, including as we have just seen here in Kenya. Indeed, before speaking to you, I had the chance to meet a duo of very inspiring entrepreneurs. One of them was Nzambi Matee, an engineer who, as some of you may have heard, started a business that turns plastic waste into sustainable, affordable bricks that can be used to pave roads. Her company produces between 500 and a thousand bricks every day, recycling 500 kilos of plastic waste using machines she designed here in Nairobi. The company has created more than a hundred jobs.

The other day the (inaudible) co-founder of a social enterprise that employs women and young people in Mombasa to model a new form of waste management, organized informal workers, trained them to sort recyclable waste of other waste, and put that waste to productive and profitable use.

So we face the monumental challenge of protecting our oceans, but if we are ambitious in our global and local efforts, if we can combine the efforts of government and industry with those of communities and individuals, if we empower approaches innovations which we have seen with partners like Nzambi and (inaudible), I am convinced that we can overcome this challenge, we can meet it – we can meet it and we can meet it together.

So it’s wonderful to be here to see the amazing work that UNEP is doing here in Kenya, but also around the world. We have a lot of work to do, but we have very strong partners to do it. Thank you. (Applause.)


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Avondale’s new workforce housing symbolizes hope and success for black residents

CINCINNATI – A workforce housing development is coming to Avondale, and residents have said they are thrilled with the hope and wealth the project is supposed to bring to the community.

The Avondale Development Corporation inaugurated the first phase of the Hale Avenue Townhomes project on Thursday. Seven new townhouses with two and three bedroom units will be built on land on Hale Avenue between Harvey Avenue and Hallwood Place. The units will cost between $ 230,000 and $ 260,000, prices suited to families earning 120% of the region’s median income.

“It gives families the opportunity to own property here in the community instead of just relying on apartment living,” said Terresa Adams, Treasurer of the Avondale Community Council.

Vince Terry, vice president of ADC, said the development is in Cincinnati’s second highest employment area, “so having the property here within walking distance of a lot of jobs is going to be amazing.”

The subdivision means many achievements for its leaders, almost all from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Townhouses are the first development led by black women in Avondale, with Maria Collins of ADC and architect Bridget Harris, president of BTH Construction Delivery, at the helm. The project is also notable for being primarily supported by entities owned and operated by people of color – Kaiker Development & Construction, owned by Kai Lewars, is the general contractor for the project.

“It has been wonderful working with the other companies and organizations who have all contributed professionally to this project,” Lewars said.

Lewars noted how rare it is for black businesses to have the opportunity to collaborate and make developments like townhouses a reality. The fact that this was a black-led development helped allay fears from onlookers who thought townhouses would lead to gentrification.

“From the community itself to the black professionals who have been under contract, whether under contract or volunteering, it took a bit of everyone to bring it to fruition – and I know the community has it. appreciates, ”Lewars said. .

“Being a minority woman leading this charge and being our first project as a non-profit organization, many people have questioned whether we would have the ability or the capacity to make it happen,” said Maria Collins. . , ADC’s director of real estate and community development. “I think that’s what’s really important in this whole process and why we encountered so many obstacles. We did not yet have a proven track record.

Still, Collins said a small group of people believed in the effort and helped move his team forward.

“These people have worked with us to make sure we can innovate on this project and I appreciate their support and partnership to date,” Collins said.

This is ADC’s first stand-alone project. There will ultimately be two dozen townhouses built on Hale and Hallwood avenues in three phases. The houses are particularly marketed to blacks and first time buyers. Organizers say they want to foster opportunities for aspiring black homeowners and provide them with equity in the neighborhood.

CDA officials note that only about 27% of Avondale residents are homeowners, while the remaining vast majority of residents are in rental properties. They hope projects like the Hale Avenue townhouses will continue to introduce more affordable housing to Avondale and surrounding areas.

“There just isn’t enough of that stock in Cincinnati and we’re excited to be able to provide it,” said Harris. “This is something that hasn’t happened in the past, and it makes it even more special that we are really here, that we are innovating and that this project is going to move and build. “

“We want to make a sizable difference in what it means to own a home here in Avondale so that when you think of this community as an owner, you think of it as a place where you want your kids to be, your grand- parents be. You want to be able to contribute to the community and make it a great place, ”said Royce Sutton, CDA Chairman of the Board.

These townhouses are part of a dramatic increase in major neighborhood improvements and investments in what was once a struggling neighborhood. Last month, Fifth Third Bank announced it was investing $ 20 million in Avondale as part of an effort to revitalize predominantly black neighborhoods across the country.

Nearby, the expansion of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and the development of the Uptown Innovation Corridor on Martin Luther King Boulevard are further signs of Avondale’s transformation in real time. Despite all the changes, leaders say they want all residents, new and old, to feel like they have a place in the community.

“Avondale is one of the most sought after communities in town right now,” said Tony Moore, chair of the Avondale Community Council. “What concerns us is: how do we get the current residents to stay who want to stay and get them to mingle with the new residents? It is our job: to keep what we have and to grow with what we will have.

Like Moore, Russell Hairston, the executive director of the Avondale Development Corporation, acknowledges the concerns of longtime residents who fear eviction due to the new development coming to the neighborhood. It supports affordable housing projects like the Hale Avenue Townhouses as a solution for the most vulnerable people to always find stability and a better quality of life in Avondale. He is also optimistic about the positive message this development sends to the community.

“When you’ve faced intergenerational poverty, when you’ve faced crime, when you’ve faced all the hardships that a distressed community has to go through, it’s uplifting to see the development. It’s uplifting to see homeownership. It’s edifying for kids to see that if they want to be an architect, developer, banker, or association manager, look: you can do it.

Monique John covers gentrification for WCPO 9. She is part of our donor-supported journalism program Report For America. Learn more about RFA here.

If there are any stories about gentrification in the Greater Cincinnati area that you think we should cover, let us know. Send us your tips at [email protected]


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Bezos Day One Fund Provides $ 2.5 Million to Family Life Center in Kahului, Maui

Family life center, Kahului. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Family Life Center, Inc., a non-profit organization serving the homeless on the islands of Maui, Moloka’i and Kaua’i, has been selected to receive a $ 2.5 million grant from Bezos Day One Families Fund, the largest grant in the history of the Family Life Center. .

This is the second year in a row that the organization has received a donation from the Bezos Day One Families Fund. In 2020, the association received $ 1.25 million from the same fund. The Family Life Center is one of 32 organizations in 21 states, and the only one in Hawaii to be included in funding allocations this year.

Launched in 2018 by Amazon Founder and Executive Chairman Jeff Bezos, the Day One Families Fund presents annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate and needle-moving work to provide shelter and support. against hunger in order to meet the immediate needs of young families.

“The Family Life Center is incredibly grateful to the Day 1 Families Fund, which has so generously supported our organization for the second year in a row,” said Maude Cumming, Executive Director of the Family Life Center. “Our Day One Families Fund 2020 grant allowed us to expand our reach beyond Maui and Kaua’i to reach Moloka’i as well. This year’s donation will allow us to improve and expand the services we offer on the three islands.

This one-time grant will allow the Family Life Center to continue expanding its services on the islands of Kaua’i and Moloka’i, where the homeless population is “very underserved,” according to Cumming. The organization also plans to develop a suitable shelter model for families, replicating a pioneering approach during the COVID-19 pandemic in Maui.

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Family Life Center was selected as a Day One Families Fund grant recipient by an independent advisory board of homeless experts with experience in politics, advocacy, racial equity, protection child and housing and service delivery, as well as direct experience of homelessness.

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This year, the Day One Families Fund awarded a total of $ 96.2 million in grants to dozens of organizations across the country.

“Without the support of the Family Life Center, my family and I may still be living in our car,” said a former client of the Family Life Center. “I am so grateful to have a home for our son. We will never be homeless again.

The Bezos Day One Fund has pledged $ 2 billion to focus on creating meaningful and lasting impacts in two areas: funding existing nonprofits that help homeless families and the creation of a network of new non-profit first-level preschools in low-income communities. .

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The Day One Families Fund presents annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups that do compassionate and needle-moving work to provide shelter and support from hunger to meet the immediate needs of young families.

Since 2018, the Day One Families Fund has awarded 130 grants totaling more than $ 398 million to organizations across the country that fight homelessness and help families gain housing and stability. The vision statement comes from Mary’s Place in Seattle: No child sleeps outside.

Founded in 1982, the Family Life Center serves the homeless in Maui County. The organization has grown to employ over 40 employees. As a primary resource for homelessness services in Maui County and a growing key resource in Kaua’i and Moloka’i, the organization has assisted over 1,271 families over the past three years.

The Family Life Center offers a holistic approach to meeting the needs of the homeless through a wide range of services, including outreach, shelter, shelter and prevention services.

Bezos recently purchased a 14 acre Maui beachfront estate at Keoneʻōʻio “La Perouse” in the Mākena area of ​​South Maui.

The Family Life donation is the latest in a list of contributions Bezos made to Maui this year. Other donations were made to:


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Equitable Giving Circle stimulates communities of color, giving without strings attached: Sharing Season 2021

The pandemic has put the life of most countries around the world on hold. But for Equitable Giving Circle, it was the catalyst that started it all.

Since its inception in the spring of 2020, the black women-led organization has collected weekly food boxes for thousands of families, distributed plants, and provided housing assistance and school supplies to families in the Portland area.

Driven by a philosophy of “give without conditions”, the organization’s mission is to economically stimulate communities of color and address inequalities created by institutional biases and discriminatory systems.

“We know the most ignored people are often the hardest to reach,” said AJ McCreary, executive director and one of the founders. “We wanted to take care of black and brunette people, women and women. “

McCreary said the group had evolved from pre-pandemic discussions about ways to support black and brunette women in professional settings. At an event called Black Growers Gathering, McCreary said, she met people who inspired her. The pandemic has prompted the organization to regroup more quickly.

“Farm-to-table produce has always been in fashion here,” she said. “And as business owners, moms, aunts, community caregivers, we were all worried about what was going on. So I said let’s buy CSAs from farmers in BIPOC and give them to black families. “

AJ McCreary is the Managing Director of Equitable Giving Circle.Randy L. Rasmussen / For The Oregonian / OregonLive

She and several others started fundraising and started delivering food in June 2020. The organization now delivers boxes of food to 325 households or families every week.

The nonprofit, beneficiary of the Oregonian / OregonLive’s 2021 Season of Sharing fundraising campaign, has an annual budget of around $ 1.2 million, with four and more employees of 50 volunteers.

> Donate to Fair Giving Circle or the General Fund of the Season of Sharing

The organization aims to provide three main services to BIPOC families: food, accommodation and welfare.

Every week, Equitable Giving Circle hosts a pop-up pantry where black and brunette individuals and families can pick up produce and packaged items. “We see an average of 75 families or households per week,” McCreary said.

The food comes from local farms and businesses. CSA director DeeDee Hopkins said she tries to get unique products every week.

“Bob’s Red Mill, Dave’s Killer Bread, Stumptown Coffee,” Hopkins said, “I got a lot more yeas than nays about what we do in the community.”

A sign reading "Fair Giving Circle"

The majority of Equitable Giving Circle’s funding in its first year was spent on food programs. But the organization is also helping families find stable housing and has provided backpacks and new clothes to more than 500 children.Randy L. Rasmussen / For The Oregonian / OregonLive

Although the organization has a social media presence, Director of Outreach Dyvisha Gordon said much of its work is spread through word of mouth and the connections it is already forming.

“I’m in the community, so we know what our community members need,” Gordon said. “It’s a very small BIPOC community, so we all work together and collaborate. “

Several founding members said that although they did not know each other before, they had heard about each other because they had all been active in helping their communities.

“We may be a new organization, but we’re not new to serving the Portland metro area,” said Housing Manager Lillian Green.

Leigh Bohannon of the Black Parent Initiative, a Portland-based organization that connects black families with community-specific resources and education, said that during the 2020 holiday season, Equitable Giving Circle has provided more than 150 gift baskets and boxes of food, including culturally specific foods, to families with whom his organization works.

“It tends to be a pantry problem that ‘you get what you get and you don’t complain’,” Bohannon said. “But you should feel valued. You shouldn’t feel like you are a burden or less than deserving of nice things because you need a little help. They made our families really feel special. “

The majority of Equitable Giving Circle’s funding in its first year was spent on food programs. But the organization also helps families find stable housing.

Over the past year, it has distributed emergency rents and three-month mortgage grants, which have helped prevent dozens of families from being evicted.

The organization hopes to expand the housing program.

“We really want a radical model of wealth and equity redistribution,” Green said. “We really want to buy an apartment complex and have cohorts of families – especially black and brown single parents – live there for a few years without rent, so they can live, heal, save and, in the end, have a competitive down payment. . “

Equitable Giving Circle has provided backpacks and new clothing to over 500 children. He also hosts a “Plant Jam,” distributing houseplants to community members by working with local stores like Birds and Bees Nursery and EcoVibe Style.

When buying food, the organization looks for companies belonging to BIPOC.

A man stacks crates of produce.

Pablo Muñoz, of Pablo Muñoz Farms in Dayton, delivers product for distribution by the nonprofit Portland Equitable Giving Circle on October 21, 2021 in Portland.Randy L. Rasmussen / For The Oregonian / OregonLive

Japhety Ngabireyimana, whose family owns Happiness Family Farm, said McCreary contacted last year and asked if they were willing to provide boxes of community supported agriculture. The experience prompted the farm to start its own CSA program and to seek partnerships with others as well.

“I think they do a good job supporting us as farmers and highlighting what we do,” he said.

Dr. Allen, co-owner of EcoVibe Style, said she appreciates the group’s commitment to BIPOC-owned businesses. His company has a “matching donation” program: every time a customer purchases a plant to donate to Equitable Giving Circle, EcoVibe Style matches that donation.

As the founders of Equitable Giving Circle seek to increase their impact, they are excited about the work they have done so far.

“I’m really proud of our intentionality in everything we do,” said McCreary. “I’m proud that we’re continually stretching organizations to be better and making those little pivots that really have a profound impact. “

What your donation can do

$ 55: Provides a box of local food to a food insecure family.

$ 250: Provides one month of local food (one box per week for four weeks) to a food insecure family.

$ 500: Provides two weeks of rent / mortgage support.

> Donate to Fair Giving Circle or the General Fund of the Season of Sharing

Read more Season of Sharing stories at oregonlive.com/sharing


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Vivalon ends the challenge of Marin’s paratransit contract

A VIvalon paratransit bus descends Bridgeway in Sausalito on Saturday, September 25, 2021 (Alan Dep / Marin Independent Journal)

A long-standing provider of transport services for disabled and elderly residents of Le Marin has decided not to challenge plans to transfer the service to a French company from next year.

Vivalon, formerly known as Whistlestop, has been providing paratransit service in Marin for over 50 years and has had a contract with the local transit agency, Marin Transit, for 48 years. More than 10,000 passengers used the service each month before the pandemic.

Vivalon’s contract will expire next year. Marin Transit has issued a tender for the three-year, $ 24 million contract. In September, the agency’s board of directors voted to award the contract to Transdev from February.

After two unsuccessful attempts to protest the decision, Anne Gray, Managing Director of Vivalon, announced that she would no longer continue to challenge the decision and would instead work to ensure a “smooth transition” with Transdev.

“After carefully considering our options for ensuring paratransit users the same safe and reliable service that they have enjoyed with Vivalon over the past 50 years, we are confident that Vivalon has done everything possible, other than hiring legal counsel. costly, to continue to provide the Marin Access paratransit services in Marin County, ”said Gray.

Gray previously said the contract could have been appealed to the Federal Transit Administration, but Vivalon spokeswoman Jennifer Golbus said the research needed would be too costly for the association.

“After careful deliberation and consultation with trusted advisors, we have concluded that the right decision for Vivalon and for those we serve is to focus on a smooth transition of paratransit services to Transdev,” said Golbus.

The paratransit contract is Vivalon’s largest, representing approximately $ 5 million of its $ 11 million operating budget. Most of the revenue is used to operate the paratransit service, but about $ 500,000 is used for other programs, which will force the nonprofit to find a new source of funding, Gray said.

Marin Transit staff and board members justified the decision to award the contract to Transdev based on federal restrictions on tendering. The Federal Transit Administration demands “fair and open competition” and prohibits agencies from favoring or excluding non-local bidders, said Nancy Whelan, executive director of Marin Transit.

A selection panel made up of Marin Transit employees and consultants rated Vivalon and Transdev in different categories, Transdev having finally obtained the best rating. Categories included project understanding, experience and qualifications; work plan and approach; innovation; and the granting of bonuses for bilingual staff.

Vivalon obtained a score lower than that of Transdev in terms of understanding, qualification and experience of the project; work plan and approach; and innovation. Gray said the categories were the most subjective.

Transdev said it would offer all Vivalon drivers a job with the company. Golbus said Vivalon hopes many of its drivers will stay with the nonprofit to work in its Vivalon Rides service, which will provide medical rides, specialized transportation, shuttles and other services.

“In addition to transportation, we have enormous opportunities to continue to serve our community with the many programs at Vivalon that impact the health and vitality of seniors and people with disabilities,” Golbus said. “We are particularly excited about the opening of our Healthy Aging Campus at the end of 2023. Vivalon has a very bright future as Marin’s hub for healthy aging. “

Whelan said Vivalon and Transdev have been “very cooperative” in the transition.

“There has been a lot of talk about this change,” Whelan said. “We all want everything to go well. We want to continue working with Vivalon. They are a highly respected partner in our community. We will continue to serve the same people and we want to partner with them in the future. It’s an important part of that relationship here.


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Lake Chamber presents awards to community leaders at fall dinner

It was a great evening for the Lake District Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber last week held its annual fall dinner and awards ceremony in Camden on the Lake.

Among the awards during the evening, the Boy Scouts Great Rivers Council was named Nonprofit of the Year.

“The scouts have been going well here at the Lake of the Ozarks. The Cubs, the BSA scouts all survived 2020 and I think we’re doing pretty well ” says BSA executive director Chris Harper on behalf of the Boy Scouts.

Other accolades include: Mike Smith of Precision Auto with the President’s Award, Morgan Crainshaw with Arrowhead Senior Living and Luke Hagedorn with Dog Days (and, of course, KRMS / 93.5 Rocks the Lake) sharing the honor of being a member of the Board of Directors of the Year, Sandy Waggett as Distinguished Citizen of the Year, Sam Beck as Young Professional of the Year, the Barrett Restaurant Group as Big Business of the Year and Ball Parks National as the small business of the year.

There were also 10 business members known to have been with the chamber for 25 years.

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Lake District Chamber of Commerce hosts annual fall dinner and awards ceremony

LAKE OZARK, Mo. – Over 200 members of the Lake business community gathered for the Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Fall Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 at Camden on the Lake Resort and Conference Center .

Seven prestigious prizes were awarded throughout the evening in the following categories:
Non-Profit Organization of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Large Business of the Year, Young Professional of the Year, Board Member of the Year, Emeritus Citizen of the Year and Awards Of the president.

The winners of the LACC Annual Awards 2021 are:

  • Nonprofit of the Year: Great Rivers Council – Boy Scouts of America
  • Small Business of the Year: BallParks National
  • Great Business of the Year: Barrett Restaurant Group
  • Young Professional of the Year: Sam Beck – Edward Jones – Financial Advisor
  • Distinguished Citizen of the Year: Sandy Waggett – MSW Interactive

Lake Area Chamber staff presented the Board Member of the Year award to Morgan Crainshaw with Arrowhead Senior Living and Luke Hagedorn with Dog Days Bar and Grill for their exceptional service to the Lake Area Chamber and the countless hours spent serving. Mike Smith of Precision Auto & Tire Services received the President’s Award in recognition of his outstanding service to the Lake Area Chamber and the Lake community.

Members of the Lake District Chamber of Commerce celebrating 25 years of membership were also recognized. These members include:

  • Central Bank – Lake of the Ozarks
  • Old kindergarten crochet
  • Instant signs and banners
  • S. Station management
  • Town of Linn Creek
  • Windows and more
  • Holiday Inn Express
  • StoneBridge retirement home
  • Miller companies
  • Lutheran Church of Christ the King

The Lake District Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit membership organization with over 590 members ranging from home businesses to large corporations. The House’s mission is to enhance economic and community prosperity in the Lake of the Ozarks region by providing services and advocating for businesses. To learn more about the Chamber, including membership, please contact Casey Alexander, Director of Membership, at (573) 964-1008 or [email protected]


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Lexington’s Blue Grass Trust Gets New Executive Director | Kentucky News

BY BETH MUSGRAVE, The Lexington Herald-Leader

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – One of Lexington’s oldest historical preservation groups has chosen a longtime historian and co-founder of an effort to preserve the city’s LGBTQ history as its new executive director.

Jonathan Coleman, who has served as deputy director and curator at the Mary Todd Lincoln House for the past six years, will become executive director of the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation on November 1.

The Blue Grass Trust, which has led numerous preservation efforts for over 60 years, has been without an executive director since March 2020, when longtime director Sheila Ferrell resigned.

Coleman, who received his doctorate in history from the University of Kentucky in 2014, has led many local history initiatives, including co-founding the Faulkner Morgan Archives, which chronicle the LGBTQ history of Lexington. Coleman is from Pike County.

Political cartoons

Faulkner Morgan has achieved state and national recognition, most recently from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, for his success in “Creating a More Inclusive and Polyvocal American History. “.

During his tenure at the Mary Todd Lincoln House, Coleman also led other initiatives, including “A House Divided,” a Kentucky Humanities Council-funded project that used Lexington Cemetery to explore the history of the civil war in the region.

“For over sixty years, the Trust’s mission to educate, advocate and serve has been vital to preservation in central Kentucky, and with the help of our donors, community partners and Trust leaders, I look forward to building on this incredible legacy, ”said Coleman.

Janie Fergus, chairman of the board of the Blue Grass Trust, said Coleman’s selection as executive director comes at a critical time in the organization’s history.

The association was founded in 1955 to save John Wesley Hunt’s home in Gratz Park from demolition.

“With many initiatives underway, Jon looks forward to moving the Trust forward to an even stronger position as a leader in historic preservation in central Kentucky. “

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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San Francisco housing complex gives victims of domestic violence a fresh start

Tucked away on her Chesterfield sofa, her power wheelchair close at hand, Rosemary Dyer examined the glittering peacock figures she had purchased on her first solo trip to San Francisco’s Chinatown after her release from prison, and admired the bright tablecloth with silk flowers in her new living room.

Dyer, an effervescent woman with a mischievous sense of humor, brought these and other prized possessions to Home Free, a new transitional apartment complex in San Francisco. It was designed for women who have been jailed for killing their abusive partner or being at a crime scene coerced by an abusive spouse or boyfriend. Dyer was convicted of murder and sentenced to life without parole in 1988 for the shooting death in 1985 of her eight-year-old husband, who abused and tortured her, at a time when expert testimony related to domestic violence and its effects were not permitted. in court in most states.

The insidious villainy that defined her life included being repeatedly beaten and sodomized with a loaded handgun. Her husband had dug a grave in the backyard, saying he intended to bury her alive.

Home Free – where Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2020 Dyer’s Switch is proudly hung on the wall – was created by Five Keys Schools and Programs, a statewide nonprofit that provides education, training professional, therapeutic programs and housing for inmates and new releases. The five-bedroom, two-bedroom apartment complex is the result of years of advocacy by survivors of intimate partner violence and the organizations that work with them. Their efforts have enabled women like Dyer to secure their release by pardon or by retroactively presenting evidence of their abuse to the state parole board or the courts.

“The fact that women who have suffered unspeakable violence against them have not been allowed to provide evidence of the abuse is the epitome of injustice,” said Sunny Schwartz, founder of Five Keys. “We are committed to creating a vibrant, dignified and safe home, a place that says ‘you are worth it.’ “

Previous transitional housing options for women were largely limited to those dealing with substance abuse. Home Free, on Treasure Island, a former naval base in the San Francisco Bay area, was forged during the pandemic last year with a tight start-up budget of $ 750,000, including staff. The once grimy apartments have been renovated with the help of nearly 100 volunteers – architects and landscapers, flooring and cabinet installers, plumbers, transporters, electricians and urban construction apprentices. They all gathered on this somewhat bizarre island originally built for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exhibition.

Interior design students at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco dedicated a semester to the project, joining mini-charettes on Zoom with Irving A. Gonzales of G7 Architects. They also reflected with the women, whose desires included full-length mirrors (they had been denied in prison to monitor their form for years).

“We wanted color! said Dyer, who visited the construction site while still in temporary accommodation. She and others had a particular aversion to gray, a shade associated with bunks and metal prison lockers.

A 69-year-old cancer survivor with congestive heart failure, Dyer has been using a wheelchair since she injured her hip in prison. A huge pirate flag – a nod to the Treasure Island theme – greets visitors as they arrive. Her accessible apartment adjoins a patio where she grows pots of tomatoes and radishes.

The landscape itself was designed by Hyunch Sung of the Mithun firm, who chose 10 different tree species. (Because the soil on Treasure Island is contaminated with industrial chemicals, the trees are planted in brightly colored containers.) Sung said she approached her work there as if designing for high-end clients. . “The idea of ​​beauty is underestimated for disadvantaged communities,” she said.

Nilda Palacios, 38, who lives upstairs, said it was “emotionally moving” to join the resort. She grew up with a history of abuse: she was assaulted as a child by an uncle and a stepfather, then raped at the age of 15 by a high school teacher. The teacher’s stressful ordeal made her dependent on drugs and alcohol (“I was trying to sleep my life,” she says). Palacios became distraught and suicidal. When a beggar cornered her one day, she said, she thought he was planning to attack her and “went on a rampage”, strangling her. She was convicted of second degree murder. Incarcerated for 17 years, she benefited from therapists in prison who helped her understand “how the depth of my crime relates to my story,” she said. “I confused someone who was not a threat for someone who was.”

Palacios was paroled. She benefited from a broader vision for Home Free, which now welcomes women like her, whose crimes were directly linked to their abuse.

Upon moving in, she was “shocked” at the prospect of a private room after years of sharing an 8 x 10 foot cell and cramming all her things into a six cubic foot box, with, as one inmate put it, current. , “your panties against noodles and peanut butter.”

“No way, is this my room?” Palacios recalled. “It felt like a real house to me.”

The idea for Home Free arose during a conversation between Schwartz, its founder, and the state treasurer of California, Fiona Ma, then the deputy of the state. Ma’s legislation, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2012, allowed women who had experienced domestic violence and been convicted of violent crimes related to their abuse the opportunity to have their cases heard again using Women’s Syndrome. beaten (as it was called then) as a defense. The law also gave them the right to present evidence of abuse by intimate partners during the parole process. It applied to persons convicted before August 1996.

The number of Rosemary Dyers still behind bars is unknown. About 12,000 women are currently incarcerated for homicide nationwide, said Debbie Mukamal, executive director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center at Stanford Law School and director of the Regilla Project, a three-year effort to study the frequency with which women in the United States are jailed for killing their attackers. Small studies, including one in Canada, suggest that 65% of women serving a life sentence for the murder of their intimate partner had been assaulted by them before the offense. The link between abuse and violent crime was highlighted by grim statistics in a 1999 US Department of Justice report showing that a quarter to a third of incarcerated women had been abused as minors and only a quarter to almost a half in adulthood.

Despite increased public awareness, “there are still a large number of criminal lawyers who do not understand how intimate partner violence creates the context for a crime,” said Leigh Goodmark, director of the gender-based violence clinic at the University of Maryland School of Law.

In New York State, the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act, enacted in 2019, was put to the test in the high-profile case of Nicole Addimando, a young mother of two in Poughkeepsie who shot and killed her baby friend and his father. children in 2017 after years of heartbreaking abuse (the case is dramatically captured in the documentary film “And So I Stayed.”)

Sentenced to 19 years in life for second degree murder, Addimando was entitled to a subsequent hearing under the law, where her allegations of abuse could be factored into a reduced sentence. The county court judge dismissed the allegations, saying she “had been given the opportunity to leave her attacker safely.” In July, the appeals division of the state Supreme Court overturned the decision, reducing the length of Ms. Addimando’s detention to 7.5 years.

For Kate Mogulescu, associate professor at Brooklyn Law School and director of its Survivors Justice Project, the case illustrates “the impossible burdens we place on survivors to prove their victimization.” Women are scrutinized by the courts in a very different way than men, she added. “With women, they are a bad mother, or promiscuous. The tropes are trotted on women and the punishments reflect this. However, so far 16 women have been punished in New York.

By far the most common reason that women who have been abused by intimate partners end up in prison are accomplice laws, in which a victim is forced to be at the scene of an abuser’s violence, like driving the getaway car, said Colby Lenz, co-founder of Survived and Punished, a national rights organization.

This was the case with Tammy Cooper Garvin, a victim of sex trafficking at the age of 14 and jailed for 28 years for being in the car while her pimp murdered a client. Her sentence was commuted and she was hired by Home Free as a residential coordinator.

Another advocate – and a guiding force behind the founding of Home Free – is another survivor named Brenda Clubine, who started a weekly support group at the California Institution for Women. Some 72 women quickly joined. Dyer was one of the original members, but until Clubine encouraged her, she was so terrified of life that she could barely speak.

Clubine herself had suffered years of abuse, including broken bones and stab wounds, by her husband, a former police detective. She hit her head with a bottle of wine and he died of blunt trauma. She served 26 years of a 16 life sentence. Her fierce retelling of the stories of the women in the prison group – which she sent to state lawmakers and governors – led to public hearings and the 2009 documentary “Sin by Silence,” which in turn inspired California laws.

Clubine’s close friendship with Dyer continued and is essential to Dyer’s rebounding confidence. At Home Free, Dyer now delights in making homemade noodles with chicken from his grandmother’s recipe. Clubine, his BFF, found that a safe and strengthening place for his “sisters” was long overdue. “I can’t say how full my heart feels that he’s available to them now,” she said.


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Conservative Koch Network Disavows Critical Bans on Racial Theory | Education






In this June 29, 2019 file photo, Charles Koch, CEO of Koch Industries, is shown at the Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado. As conservative political groups rally to ban what they call Critical Race Theory in schools, prominent support for Republican causes and candidates is notably absent. Leaders of the network built by the billionaire Koch family say they oppose government bans and efforts to remind school board members about teaching race and history in schools.


DAVID ZALUBOWSKI, ASSOCIATE PRESS


Thomas Beaumont Associate Press

MONKS – While conservative political groups are mobilizing to ban what they call critical race theory in schools, a prominent supporter of Republican causes and candidates is notably absent.

Leaders of the network built by the billionaire Koch family say they are opposed to government bans on teaching race and history in schools. While they note that they disagree with the ideas at the center of the struggle, they argue that government bans, now enacted in 11 states, stifle debate essential to democracy.

“Using the government to ban ideas, even ones we don’t agree with, is also contrary to basic American principles – the principles that contribute to social progress,” said Evan Feinberg, executive director of the Stand Together Foundation. affiliated with Koch.

This position is in keeping with the network’s long-standing libertarian streak. But it sparked new accusations of hypocrisy from critics of the megadonator. After spending years pouring money into conservative groups, Koch groups cannot distance themselves from the movement they helped build, they argue.

“They have this great position that they want to brag about from a public relations standpoint. But their money has gone to these groups which have the opposite effect on this program, ”said Lisa Graves, chair of the board of directors of the liberal watchdog Center for Media and Democracy.

The Koch organization made its position public last spring, as state lawmakers and conservative groups began to pass legislation banning specific concepts in classrooms, including the idea that racism is systemic in society and the American legal system.


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Leading Computing Center Marks Two Decades of Powerful Discovery

AUSTIN, Texas – Twenty years ago, a handful of computer experts with a Cray computing cluster began building the Texas Advanced Computing Center, or TACC, at the University of Texas at Austin in a research organization that today hui is at the pinnacle of university intensive computing.

On September 30, the center and its oldest partners – the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Dell Technologies – celebrated this milestone with remarks on the growing importance of advanced computing and the role of TACC in scientific and technical discoveries.

“Two decades ago, UT made a big bet on TACC and supercomputing. It’s an investment that has paid off, ”said Jay Hartzell, president of UT Austin. “And, given the proliferation of data science, AI, and machine learning across fields and across society, there is no limit to the impact of TACC over the years. Next 20 years. “

Throughout its history, TACC has fueled many notable discoveries, helped society, and enabled new approaches to answer humanity’s oldest questions.

  • Astronomers used TACC systems to analyze the data and confirm the very first image of a black hole from the Event Horizon telescope.
  • The TACC has devoted more than 30% of its IT resources to supporting more than 50 COVID-19 research teams, which has led to the first atomistic model of SARS-CoV-2 and the daily pandemic predictions that continue to guide people. national, local and national political decisions.
  • The TACC supercomputers have confirmed the first observation of gravitational waves by detectors of the Observatory of gravitational waves by laser interferometer (LIGO). The discovery opened a new window on the universe and led to a Nobel Prize in physics in 2017.
  • Physicists calculated the behavior of ‘magic angle’ twisted graphene using TACC systems and came up with a theory that a decade later led to superconducting materials that could enable quantum computing and electrical transmission. more efficient.

Since June 2001, the center has grown from a dozen employees to nearly 200, with emerging expertise in data science and artificial intelligence, life sciences, science gateways and STEM education.

The center now operates two of the most powerful university supercomputers in the United States: Frontera, 10th fastest in the world; and Stampede2, currently 35th – and over a dozen advanced computer systems in total. Tens of thousands of academics and students from across the United States use TACC’s supercomputers each year to advance all fields of science, from astronomy to zoology, and from the nanoscale to the cosmic scale.

“TACC’s growth has been remarkable and is a testament to the people who work here and the organizations that have supported us, including UT Austin, UT System, the National Science Foundation, the O’Donnell Foundation and Dell Technologies – our longest and longest. consistent champions, ”said Dan Stanzione, executive director of TACC and associate vice president for research at UT Austin.

Over time, TACC has become a critical contributor to emergencies, producing urgent storm surge simulations for hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and guiding first responders after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

“TACC’s resources have been of extraordinary service to science, ranging from its resource contribution to the COVID-19 HPC consortium, to its cultivation of new talent through the Frontera Computational Science Fellowships,” said Margaret Martonosi, Deputy Director of the NSF for Computer and Information Science and Engineering.

Support for the TACC has broadened in recent years to include federal agencies such as the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, as well as the State of Texas, the city of Austin, Microsoft and even Tito’s Vodka.

Throughout its history, the center has established close partnerships with technology companies, including Dell Technologies, to design systems and develop tools for the academic research community.

“At Dell Technologies, we are extremely proud to stand alongside UT and TACC as we continue to set the bar for high performance computing,” said Michael Dell, President and CEO of Dell Technologies.

The IT community has grown tremendously over the past two decades, encompassing entire new disciplines, from digital humanities to computational oncology and deep learning.

“Supercomputing has become essential to research in all areas of science, engineering and medicine,” said Dan Jaffe, vice president of research at UT Austin. “TACC has not only dramatically increased its computational capabilities, but also as a research partner and partner to the many researchers around the world who use it. I can’t wait to see what upcoming improvements to the machines and the TACC ecosystem bring in terms of new discoveries and even more impactful contributions to society. “

The center celebrated its anniversary with remarks from Hartzell, Jaffe, Dell, Martonosi and Stanzione.


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Woofstock, Wags & Whiskers events return this weekend

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Woofstock returns this weekend to Sedgwick County Park.

The Wichita Eagle

If you’re a dog or cat lover, free up your schedule this weekend for two fun outdoor events that organizers say are key to solving pet overcrowding and homelessness in the area. Wichita area. You can celebrate with other pet owners at Woofstock’s 25th anniversary on Saturday at Sedgwick County Park, then attend the Wags & Whiskers Dinner and Live Auction on Sunday night at Chicken N Pickle.

Two of Wichita’s biggest fundraisers for local animal rescue organizations are back in person this weekend after COVID-altered events last year. Both take place outdoors and both will continue their online components to expand their reach during what is described as a banner year for animal inputs at the local and national levels.

Christy Fischer, executive director of the Wichita Animal Action League, says a number of factors have led to an overcrowding problem that she and others are calling the worst they have seen in the wellness industry animal. Among the contributors: elective procedures, which included sterilizations and sterilizations for dogs and cats, were postponed to 2020 as hospitals worried about drug shortages for patients struggling with COVID; some owners have had to abandon animals for financial and housing reasons following pandemic closures; and an adoption rush in 2020 as people worked from home and didn’t travel.

“All of the rescues did a lot of adoptions over a fairly short period of time in 2020 instead of that number of adoptions spanning 12 to 16 months as we would normally see,” Fischer said. “So now adoptions are down across the board because people already have their pets and they’re not necessarily looking for another one. “

Wichita Animal Action League, or WAAL, is one of many state-approved rescue groups working alongside the Kansas Humane Society to help save pets from euthanasia at local shelters simply for want of space or funds for medical needs. KHS is Wichita’s largest privately funded nonprofit animal shelter organization. It cares for 16,000 pets each year through approximately 8,000 pet adoptions and provides spaying / neutering services for low-income people, end-of-life services and community outreach. WAAL is a foster home rescue and does not operate a full time facility. The group rescued approximately 1,100 animals in 2020 from overcrowded shelters and also conducts several community outreach initiatives, ranging from sourcing community pet food banks to approaching owners for neglect or neglect issues. cruelty.

KHS and WAAL said their fundraisers in 2020 brought in less dollars than in 2019 and they hope returning to the in-person events will help fund the community’s unprecedented needs. Here’s how to participate in either of these events:

Kansas Humane Society Woofstock

Woofstock, the Kansas Humane Society’s main annual fundraising event, has drawn up to 10,000 attendees in recent years and temporarily changed its format in 2020 to a drive-thru version of Woofstock and virtual activities. As they return in person for the 25th anniversary of the event, organizers expect the continued spread of COVID to keep attendance lower.

“We understand that not everyone is comfortable attending events right now,” said Ericka Goering, KHS Director of Marketing and Communications. “We’re an outdoor event and we have a big space, so people should be able to spread out. We recommend that those who want to go out, wear a mask and practice social distancing as much as possible. “

Woofstock is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2 at Sedgwick County Park, 6501 W. 21st St. Anyone 12 years of age and over pays $ 10 to access the festival grounds, which will have 80 vendor booths with freebies . as goods and services for sale, a beer garden, a dozen food trucks on site and live music: the acoustic duo Dangie Music in the morning and the rock band Tequila Ridge in the afternoon.

Dog activities include races, agility lessons and a costume contest. Planned human activities include a play clinic where kids can practice being a vet, raffles for gift baskets, stage contests featuring musical chairs and pet / owner costumes, photo booth and live demonstrations from the Wichita Police Department’s K-9 unit.

Also included in admission: A limited number of free microchips and dog vaccines are available on a first come, first served basis.

Five custom niches created by Commerce Construction Services Inc. will be on display at Woofstock; they are part of the Woofstock online auction which launched on September 20 and ends at 8 p.m. on October 4. or sign up for a VIP package. Tickets are also available at the door on October 2, but you’ll have a better choice of shirt size if you pre-register.

There are two VIP packages: $ 25 includes a t-shirt, event bag, dog bandana and entry to the event while a $ 40 package includes the Woofstock package plus participation in a walk launch at 9 a.m., breakfast, a Woof Walk t-shirt and early entry to the festival grounds.

Those who aren’t comfortable attending can still donate and receive freebies for the event, and KHS is promoting a series of activities online this week ahead of the event. Visit the group’s Facebook page (facebook.com/kshumane) to keep up with daily activity, from bad drawings of animals for a small donation to free photo contests with prizes.

WAAL Wags & Whiskers

This is the seventh year for Wags & Whiskers, the main annual fundraiser for WAAL, which began saving animals in crisis in November 2013. This year’s event was originally booked at a covered venue and the organizers decided to move it to the Chicken N Pickle outdoor area, 1240 N. Greenwich Road.

Doors open at 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 3 and the event runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets cost $ 75 per person and there were over 100 left at the start of this week. You will need to purchase a ticket before the end of the day Friday at WAALrescue.org/ww.

Admission includes vegan and non-vegan dinner options, beer and wine, a DJ playing music, and fun activities throughout the night. There will be a dog and cat toy raffle, wine raffle and live auction of 20 items with unique journeys and experiences.

Participants and those at home can bid on the silent auction, which is already live and has end times shifted to Sunday evening. You can register to bid using the same link above. If you can’t attend, Fischer said, consider fostering, volunteering, or donating in some other way described on the WAAL website.

More Upcoming Animal Rescue Fundraising Events:

ICT Dachshund Races, 2 p.m., Saturday, October 9, outside Historic Union Station, 701 E. Douglas: Held in conjunction with ICT Bloktoberfest, the annual Dachshund Races are great fun to watch and all proceeds go directly to Lifeline Animal Placement & Protection. LAPP is a non-profit animal rescue and adoption kennel based in Wichita; learn more about the group at lifelineanimalplacement.org.

In addition to the $ 5 entry fee per dog, funds are raised through a silent auction and raffles open to the public during the event, as well as merchandise. Registration and training from noon to 1:30 p.m. followed by a fancy dress contest for dogs at 1:45 p.m. and race from 2 p.m.

Who Let the Dogs Out 5K / 1 Mile Fun Run, Sunday, November 7, at the Sunflower Building at Sedgwick County Park: You can run with your canine running companion or just run alone; in any case, you will help reduce the overpopulation of pets in our region. This event raises funds for Spay-Neuter Kansas, a non-profit veterinary clinic located at 319 S. Hydraulic that provides low cost sterilization / sterilization to pets in low income households. Learn more about the clinic at spayneuterkansas.com. To register, search for the event name on Facebook and click Book Now, or search for the event on runsignup.com.

Online registration is $ 25 for the 1 mile tailwaggers event and $ 36 for the 5K timed chip event. This includes a t-shirt, a finishing medal and a raffle ticket for gift baskets. Dogs that participate will also receive racing gifts. Register by October 20 to guarantee your shirt size.

Fur Ball, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday, November 13, at The Vail, 210 N. Mosley: Fur Ball is the largest annual fundraiser for Beauties and Beasts Inc., a volunteer-run non-profit animal rescue organization that focuses on saving death row animals at shelters across the Wichita region and their placement in foster homes until adoption. Tickets start at $ 75 per person (beautiesfurball.givesmart.com) and include dinner from Culinary Catering plus two drink tickets. There will be silent and live auctions, photo booth, wine tasting and other activities. Learn more about the organization at beautiesandbeasts.org.


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New Life Village near Tampa offers new homes for foster children, new purpose for seniors

As the only intergenerational residential model in the state of Florida to do what they do, New Life Village in Palm River, just east of Tampa, is working to reduce the number of children in foster care. ‘welcome for over a year.

Founded in 2012, New Life Village is helping solve two of the issues plaguing the Tampa Bay area: affordable housing and a foster care crisis.

With their mission being to provide a “supportive environment, within an intergenerational community for children in need of a safe, stable and permanent family experience”, the association’s leadership works on their 12-acre campus which is currently about 1/3 developed.

Earlier in September, the construction of two new buildings that will house 16 families in about a year, increasing the village from around 100 to 170. The new buildings will add to the 32 already existing townhouses, plus a community garden. , paddling pool, swimming pool, playground and football field. Plans further are preliminary, but now include a multi-purpose program building and one-bedroom living spaces for the elderly.

“The community and its program are focused on healing children,” says Mariah Hayden, Executive Director of New Life Village. “We help them overcome their trauma and gain coping mechanisms.”

Seniors living in the Village are all 55 and over and are here for an intentional retirement. They serve as surrogate grandparents, guardians and mentors.

“It’s basically the village elders in the saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child,’” says Hayden.

Being in New Life Village, she explains, prevents these abandoned, abused and neglected children, who usually do not live with their birth parents, from entering the foster care system. This creates a safe place where they can call “home” with their foster family without being stigmatized for being adopted.

The program also works to address the negative outcomes associated with foster care systems, such as low education / graduation rates, homelessness, teenage pregnancy, incarceration, mental health problems and unemployment.

In a survey collected from residents in June 2020, 88% of children had improved their grades since moving in, 100% of children thought they were an important part of the village family, 99% of seniors thought they were leading a determined and meaningful life-in-the-Village project, and 91% of caregivers were convinced that the Village’s family environment was safe. Breaking the cycle of many of the main issues in the foster care system, New Life Village has a positive impact on a variety of issues associated with traditional foster care: a lack of support from loved ones. caregivers, a shortage of foster parents, the impact of trauma and the lack of affordable housing.

“The longer children are placed in foster care, the more they have a physical likelihood of very negative and traumatic outcomes,” says Hayden.

The average household change per child is around three placements per year. Whenever this happens, this child not only loses a sense of family and stability, but is again traumatized by thinking that no one wants them and that he has nowhere to go.

“Children have a need and seniors have a need. Children and the elderly provide for everyone’s needs, so it’s a beautiful yin and yang relationship that provides psychological and health outcomes for both groups.

Of course, there are going to be problems that arise from mixing the generations. “If we go to our grandparents, no matter who we are, no matter how old we are, there’s a good chance they won’t understand some aspect of our life,” says Hayden. “You have the standard and expectations of each generation, and each generation looks at the other generation through that lens. “

From phone etiquette to good manners and work ethics, kids today hold very different values ​​than their elders, she says.

“Our elders come from a generation where you stayed married all your life, you chose a career and it was your career your entire life. The older generation is really attached to the idea that you start a job and move up the ranks. You stay a long time, you respect your elders no matter what, and that’s what the job looks like to them. The younger generation is completely on the other side of that spectrum, ”says Hayden.

The challenges caused by technological innovations and changes in the workplace will never go away.

“Our grandparents had the same problems with their grandparents and so on. … It’s just that things change and that will always be represented in the generations.

What is unique is how a versatile pace of life is based on societal manners.

“Our generation, and I in particular, are still going a million kilometers an hour. I’m still multitasking and do 25 things at a time. It is a blessing and a curse. They are [seniors] not like that, so when they come to the clubhouse and we see them in the community, they stop, take a break and have intentional, very present conversations with you, ”says Hayden. “It’s such a great way to remember to be there, to listen to people and to talk. … It shows us that we have to slow down and be present with each other because life is short.

Living in this type of community is also good for older people, giving them purpose and keeping them healthy and active while participating in the various activities offered by New Life Village. It is not a new concept; the United States is just late. For years, Europe has designed similar communities by incorporating assisted living facilities with college students, bringing in the elderly to daycare centers, etc.

To better understand the need, consider these statistics listed on the New Life Village website:

  • Florida is 3rd in the United States, behind California and Texas with 22,781 foster children;
  • Hillsborough County is # 1 and Pinellas County # 2 in Florida for the number of children in foster care;
  • Since January 2020:
    – 2,366 children were in foster care in Hillsborough County
    – 2,484 children were in foster care in Pinellas and Pasco counties

By going to the Take Action tab on the New Life Village website, you can help them take it one step closer to the end of their construction campaign or make a donation. For example, $ 25 per month allows a senior to participate in their on-site wellness program year-round, allowing them to choose from weekly yoga classes, tai chi classes, trips to the theater, etc.

Being a part of this community has given Hayden the chance to watch these children grow, grow stronger, heal, and gain confidence in who they are.

“From a holistic perspective, it’s just great because it provides a holistic healing context for the elderly and families of children,” says Hayden.

It’s a beautiful blend of culture and perspectives that come with time and age, together in one safe place. In a house.

For more information, see their website, Facebook page, and watch their story on CBN.


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Nonprofit grants propel prosecutor against racial injustice

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – When Deborah Gonzalez took office in January as prosecutor for the Western Judicial District of Georgia, she noticed that too few defendants, especially black defendants, were eligible for a program that promised treatment for drug addiction or mental health, not jail.

Like many court diversion programs elsewhere, potential participants in the Athens-Clarke and Oconee counties programs were disqualified for certain prior charges or contact with police. People living in poverty also struggled to qualify due to the weekly program fees.

“My philosophy is that there is racial injustice and disparities in the way people are treated in this system. And we have to be intentional in the way we approach it, ”Gonzalez said.

With a grant from a national nonprofit criminal justice advocacy group, Vera Institute of Justice, and a local organization, People Living in Recovery, Gonzalez is redesigning the program to make it more accessible.

Many of the changes adopted by states after the death of George Floyd have focused on police tactics and not on racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Nationally, bipartisan congressional talks on overhaul of policing practices ended without a dealnegotiators on both sides said last week, despite promises of change from the Biden administration.

And now groups like Vera are targeting suburban communities to push through criminal justice changes without new laws.

Vera awarded 10 prosecutors approximately $ 550,000 to help reduce racial disparities in prosecutions. Prosecutors in Georgia, Virginia, Michigan, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Missouri, New York and Indiana – most of whom were elected in the past two years on progressive platforms – are reviewing agendas or policies in their offices that disproportionately affect accused of color.

Some prosecutors handle prosecutions for specific crimes or make diversion programs more inclusive. Others are looking for ways to keep minors out of the criminal justice system all together.

“There was a desire to do more right now, to tackle the system that continues to allow this to happen. So we started to wonder if there was anything more we could do with this unique moment to reimagine what a fair system looks like, ”said Jamila Hodge, former director of the Reshaping Prosecution program with Vera.

In Gonzalez district, for example, about 22% of the district’s total population is black. Of the more than 6,800 people indicted in 2019 and 2020, the majority were blacks. Fewer than 150 people were referred to the trial preparation program, and most came from a county that is only 5% black.

She hopes to double participation in her program by 2022 and will put in place controls to monitor as diversity increases.

Vera will provide assistance for 12 months. The hope is to reduce by 20% the disproportionate number of black and brown people prosecuted and imprisoned in the pilot areas. The grants require prosecutors to partner with local community organizations.

In Washtenaw County, Michigan, where Ann Arbor is located and just west of Detroit, prosecutor Eli Savit is working with a group called My Brothers Keeper to divert colored youth accused of non-violent crimes to a program. intensive mentoring. Savit, who took office in January, said he wanted to focus on interventions that occur with children who act or commit minor crimes.

“What we’re trying to do is come in early without the intervention of the criminal justice system, without creating a case that can hold them back. It can have this cascading effect on their lives. Job applications ask if you’ve ever been charged, not if you’ve been convicted, ”Savit said.

In Chatham County, Georgia, where Savannah is in the northeastern state, Deputy Chief Prosecutor Michael Edwards said an analysis of black men and boys in the criminal justice system revealed that they constituted a disproportionate number of people accused of possession of firearms.

The office, in partnership with Savannah Feed the Hungry, has developed a program called Show Us Your Guns that focuses on people between the ages of 16 and 25 who are in possession of a gun while interacting with police. . Until these young men have used these weapons to commit a crime, they are eligible for the program instead of being arrested or jailed. This requires that they return the weapon in exchange for their participation.

“We do this, knowing that guns are a third rail in conversations in the community. But we know it’s an important way to impact public safety and the lives of these minors and young men, ”said Edwards.

Edwards said the program will be tailored to individuals, seeking needs such as job training, education, mental health and addiction treatment and even partnering with the local YMCA so young men can take care of it. of themselves physically.

“Too often lawsuits are case-based, but we want it to be cause-based – looking at the underlying causes,” Edwards said.

For Shane Sims, the thought of prosecutors in all of these places making plans to consider everyone in front of them, and not just the crime they committed, gives him immense joy. Sims is the executive director of People Living in Recovery, which is working with Gonzalez in Athens, Georgia, to redesign its mental health and addiction diversion program.

He was sentenced to life over 15 years for his role as an accomplice in a theft which resulted in the death of a store clerk. He was 18 and it seemed like no one thought who he was or how he got there – that his parents were addicted to crack and that he was taking care of his younger brother on his own from a young age.

When he got out, after three guards demanded his release, he started working in the community.

“What we’re doing together is realizing that drug addiction is at the heart of so many people who enter the criminal justice system. Historically, minorities have the least consideration in deciding how to handle this, ”Sims said.


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Seiler promotes the benefits of living in the great outdoors | State and region

Melanie Seiler’s life is very much about wellness.

Having a little fun doesn’t hurt either.

In uncertain times like the Covid-19 pandemic, many have pointed out that being outdoors is one of the best remedies for fighting the spread of the disease.

“The Covid-19 pandemic was very difficult to navigate, but an extremely important time to continue health education campaigns and creative ways to keep people active,” said Seiler, Executive Director of Active Southern West Virginia. “We relaunched the organization in 2021 to bring the programs back in person.”

Although her mother Susie Hofstetter’s family is from Ohiopyle, Pa., And her father Bob Seiler’s family is from the Cumberland, Md. Area, Seiler grew up in Fayetteville. It allowed him to appreciate – and understand – how much outdoor fun can be discovered in southern West Virginia.

Prior to his affiliation with Active SWV, Seiler worked for Adventures on the Gorge following the merger of the family rafting business, Songer Whitewater with AOTG in 2011. At Songer, Seiler was responsible for the river for several years and responsible for the river. vacation cabin, and she also spent a lot of time dealing with accounts receivable and human resources.

She has also been a certified ski instructor for 20 years and a member of the National Ski Patrol for 10 years.

“Growing up in the outdoor industry made me feel like everyone had the opportunity to raft and paddle white water or meet friends on bike trails and rock climbing routes. She said. “What motivates me is to later realize the lack of access and interest in outdoor recreation on the part of my peers and my generation.

“I want to express and share opportunities to experience the benefits of being active in the outdoors. “

Her days at Active SWV currently include “a lot of paperwork to keep track of funding requests and reports,” she says. “I really try to provide my people with all the tools and resources they need to do a great job.

“I spend a lot of hours on my computer, but I love going out and talking to groups about our work and free events,” she said.

Active SWV has made huge strides in recent years, Seiler believes.

“Active SWV was formed in late 2014 with a non-profit status, then I was hired as a sole employee in February 2015,” she said. “We quickly acquired a member of the AmeriCorps VISTA service and took to the streets recruiting volunteers to run programs.

“The first two years were tough structuring each program area and building a brand, but it paid off and in 2016 we entered into a cooperative agreement with the New River Gorge National River (today the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve), many county parks and had a handful of children’s clubs in elementary schools in the area. In 2019, we had the highest number of volunteers with over 200 people across our four program areas: Community Captains, Kids’ Running Clubs, Workplace Wellness, and SWV Bike / Walk.

“I am very proud of the trusted partnerships, of the people who have improved their lives through the activity and of the staff who remain cohesive and dynamic,” she added.

As the battle continues to urge children – and adults for that matter – to stay active and not focus too much on computer or phone screens and adopt a more sedentary lifestyle, Seiler says that ‘Active SWV has made progress.

“Active SWV is seeing progress in youth through our Kids Run Club grant program. Surveys before and after show that children achieve the recommended amount of daily physical activity, have less screen time, and 75 percent report being able to get someone home more active with them.

“The progress we are seeing in the region is more collective resources from agencies, organizations and the faith community to reach underserved families and individuals. One collaboration being Adventure Fayette County providing substance abuse prevention and the Icelandic youth model combining survey data with programming solutions. It means finding populations at risk, understanding their challenges in accessing healthier choices, and creating programs with a strong group of volunteers and mentors.

“Throughout the pandemic, Active SWV continued to work with companies as members of the Active SWV Workplace Wellness program. We spend many hours of the day at work or on our computers working remotely. Implementing changes to policies, systems, and the environment to make healthy choice an easy choice has shown results in employee morale, productivity, and increased buy-in to other investments in well-being at work.

Each year, Active SWV – in partnership with WV Health Promotion and Chronic Disease – awards a series of workplace wellness capacity building grants to businesses across the state. This year, they searched for 20 workplaces, each of which will receive $ 1,000. The mission of these grants is to increase access to healthy foods, physical activity and other supports to improve employee well-being. The application period is closed and the winners will be announced on October 1.

The agency created the Kids Run Club program in 2015 with a pilot club, and the program has since grown to reach more than 30 schools and community groups across West Virginia, Seiler said.

“With our comprehensive Kids Run Club manual providing structure to all clubs, trained volunteers lead groups of children through the activities described in the manual,” she explained. “Through these activities, children acquire lifelong skills and strengthen their confidence in their physical activity abilities.

“The goal of the Kids Run Club program is for children to have fun with physical activity and have a positive team experience. It is important to Active SWV that the program is offered free of charge so that all children have the opportunity to participate.

To apply, go to https://activeswv.org/2021/07/fall-kids-run-club-mini-grant-is-now-open/.

Active SWV also sponsors an adult / family / multigenerational program known as the Community Captain program. This is a volunteer-led activity that usually meets once a week. Weekly programs in locations such as Summersville, Fayetteville, Oak Hill, Beckley and Williamson focus on running / walking, Pilates, youth disc golf, Refit, yoga, stand-up paddleboarding and paddling. cycling / walking.

For example, a Wednesday run group from Fayetteville that Seiler and his friends participate in will meet as a three-year free run group in December.

“We started the winter of 2018 thinking that we would come together every Wednesday in December to get through the dark days of winter,” she said. “So we started to meet at 6:15 pm when everyone got out of work and ran down the sidewalks of Fayetteville with the street lights and headlamps.

“Well, the group decided to continue meeting in January, then February, and so on. Every three months or so, we move to a different location and usually end up in a restaurant to eat together. Many people have joined the group over the years and we continue to welcome new people.

“Group responsibility helps keep people and myself,” Seiler said. “You know that your running friends are waiting for you and making the activity more fun in good company.

“Even when it rains and snows, we dress appropriately and go out anyway. Physical activity is good for the body and the mind, and the social connection is good for the mind.

To learn more about the Community Captains program, visit https://activeswv.org/community-captains/.

SWV’s active staff and volunteers have “made a difference in the lives of individuals and improved the health culture in Southern West Virginia,” said Seiler. “This was accomplished by normalizing beginner activities like walking and hiking, and having easy ways to volunteer increased the ways to be active.

“These efforts have been well received and volunteers find that their friends, family, neighbors and coworkers are helping each other remove barriers to an active lifestyle such as transportation, skills, equipment, child care. children and fear of injury. This work is even more important during the pandemic to help people stay healthy and active. “

Seiler, of Fayetteville, is married to Travis Hames and has daughters-in-law Kalila and Delaney.

His favorite outdoor hobbies are telemark, a skiing technique that combines elements of alpine and Nordic skiing; paddleboarding and surfing.

Her hobbies and interests also include raising chickens and adventures with her bird dog.

E-mail: [email protected] or follow us on Twitter @gb_scribe


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Haitians see the history of racist policies in the treatment of migrants

The footage – of men on horseback, appearing to use reins as whips to surround Haitian asylum seekers trying to cross into the United States from Mexico – sparked an uproar. But for many Haitians and black Americans, they are just confirmation of a deeply held belief:

US immigration policies, they say, are and have long been anti-black.

The border patrol’s treatment of Haitian migrants, they say, is just the latest in a long history of discriminatory US policies and indignities faced by blacks, sparking new anger among Haitian Americans, advocates black immigrants and civil rights leaders.

They point to immigration data which indicates that Haitians and other black migrants routinely face structural barriers to entering or living legally in the United States – and often experience disproportionate contact with the United States criminal justice system that can jeopardize their residence or accelerate their deportation.

Haitians, in particular, are granted asylum at the lowest rate of any nationality with a consistently high number of asylum seekers, according to an analysis of Associated Press data.

“Black immigrants live at the intersection of race and immigration and, for too long, have fallen through the cracks of bureaucracy and legal loopholes,” said Yoliswa Cele of the UndocuBlack Network, an organization national defense of the rights of current and former undocumented blacks.

“Now, through the videos capturing the abuses against Haitians at the border, the world has now seen for itself that not all migrants seeking a better future are treated equally when the skin color is involved. “

Between 2018 and 2021, only 4.62% of Haitian asylum seekers were granted asylum from the United States – the lowest rate among 84 groups for which data is available. Asylum seekers from the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, have an equally low rate of 5.11%.

In comparison, four of the top five American asylum seekers are from Latin American countries: El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras. Their acceptance rates range from 6.21% to 14.12%.

Nicole Phillips, legal director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, said racism has long been the driving force behind the US government’s treatment of Haitian immigrants.

Phillips, whose organization is on the ground helping Haitians in Texas, says it dates back to the early 1800s, when Haitian slaves revolted and gained independence from France, and continued for decades. decades of American intervention and occupation in the small island nation.

She said the United States, threatened by the possibility of its own slaves revolting, both aided the French and did not recognize Haiti’s independence for nearly six decades. The United States also loaned Haiti money so that it could, in essence, buy its independence, collecting interest while plunging the country into poverty for decades.

“This mentality and stigma against Haitians goes back to that time,” Phillips said.

The United States violently occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934 and supported former Haitian dictator François Duvalier, whose oppressive regime left 30,000 dead and forced thousands to flee.

While the United States has long treated Cubans with compassion – largely because of its opposition to the Communist regime – the administrations of George HW Bush and Bill Clinton have taken a hard line on Haitians. And the Trump administration ended temporary protection status for several nationalities, including Haitians and Central Americans.

Time and time again, the United States has passed immigration legislation that excluded black immigrants and Haitians, and promoted policies that unfairly undermined their legal status in the country, advocates said.

When they do manage to enter the United States, black immigrants say they face systemic racism in the American criminal justice system and American police brutality that is endemic for people across the African Diaspora.

The Black Alliance for Just Immigration, a national racial justice and immigrant rights group, largely defines black immigrants as people from countries in Africa and the Caribbean. Based on this definition, AP’s analysis of 2019 Department of Homeland Security data found that 66% of black immigrants deported from the United States were returned on criminal grounds, compared to 43% of all immigrants.

BAJI executive director Nana Gyamfi said crimes of moral turpitude, including theft or turnstile hopping, were used as partial justification for denying legal status to black immigrants. “We have people who are being kicked out because of train tickets,” she said.

Leaders of the Movement for Black Lives, a national coalition of black-led racial justice and civil rights organizations, have highlighted the treatment of Haitians at the border as a rationale for their broader demands for funding from humanitarian organizations. law enforcement in the United States.

Last year, following the murder of George Floyd, the coalition proposed sweeping federal legislation known as the BREATHE Act, which includes calls to end immigration detention, stop deportations due to contacts with the criminal justice system and to ensure due process within the immigration justice system. .

“Often in the immigration debate, black people are erased and black immigrants are erased from the conversation,” said Amara Enyia, policy researcher for the Black Lives Movement.

Ahead of a visit to the Texas migrant camp on Thursday, civil rights leaders called for an investigation into the treatment of black migrants at the border and an immediate end to the deportation of black asylum seekers.

The camp is “a catastrophic and human disgrace,” Reverend Al Sharpton said after an hour-long tour with several black American leaders in Del Rio. “We will continue to come back, as long as necessary. “

At the border and in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where hundreds of people had previously been sent on flights from the United States, Haitians said there was no doubt race played a role. major in their mistreatment.

“They catch people, they disturb us, especially Haitians because they identify us by skin,” said Jean Claudio Charles who, with his wife and one-year-old son, had stayed in a camp on the Mexican side. near Texas for fear of arrest and deportation to Haiti.

Claude Magnolie, a Haitian citizen deported from the United States this week, said he had not seen border patrol officers treating migrants of other nationalities like him and others were treated: “C ‘ is discrimination, that’s what I call it, they treat us very badly. “

And in Miami, immigrant rights advocate Francesca Menes couldn’t believe her eyes as she watched images of asylum seekers surrounded by men on horseback.

“My family is under this bridge,” Menes said, referring to a cousin, his wife and their newborn baby who recently met in a small town on the Texas border. It took Menes’ cousin two months to make the trip from Chile, where he had lived with his brothers for three years, to escape the political turmoil, violence and devastation in Haiti.

“It made me sick,” Menes said. “This did not happen with unaccompanied minors. You did not see people riding horses, essentially herding people together as if they were cattle, as if they were animals. . “

Menes’ outrage only grew, as did his fears for his family. When she overheard her mother on the phone with family members this week, Menes said she wanted nothing more than to tell them to return to Chile.

“We actually tried to discourage our families,” she said. “People are looking for a better life. And we kind of try to anchor our families: do you know what it means to be black in America?

____

AP staff members Maria Verza in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, Fernando Gonzalez in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jasen Lo in Chicago, and Elliot Spagat in San Diego contributed. Morrison reported from New York. Galvan reported from Phoenix. Both are members of the AP Race and Ethnicity team. Follow Galvan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/astridgalvan. Follow Morrison on Twitter: https://twitter.com/aaronlmorrison.



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Carl Nassib made history, but also a great game

One of the most significant cultural milestones in recent North American sports history has occurred with as much pomp and circumstance as a shrug.

No openly gay player had ever played in a regular season game in the 102-year history of the NFL until September 13, when Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib entered the field. as he had done in every game of his six years. professional career.

Amid the pageantry of a Monday night football game, Nassib’s barrier-breaking moment overtook the Raiders’ opening ceremony of their new $ 2 billion jet-black stadium to fans. . The greatest recognition of Nassib’s achievement came from some of the participants wearing his # 94 jersey, not some other orchestrated gesture.

On Sunday, he will do it again as the Raiders play against the Steelers, with Nassib and the team making a concerted effort to take what he accomplished in stride and leave it to others to discern and dissect whether a significant cultural change has occurred in the league.

Experts on diversity and inclusion in sport have said that is how it should be.

“I think the fact that it wasn’t a distraction is a very positive sign,” said Richard Lapchick, director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport. “It’s a sign of how much this has been accepted and that there hasn’t been a lot of noise.”

On June 21, Nassib came out as gay in a video posted to his Instagram account, claiming he had internalized his sexuality as a secret for 15 years. The one-minute video, filmed outside his home in West Chester, Pa., Sparked a wave of congratulatory messages on social media, including from his NFL peers, celebrities and the President Biden. Nassib’s jersey became the NFL’s top seller in 24 hours, according to Fanatics, the league’s e-commerce partner.

Before Nassib, 15 players in league history identified as gay or bisexual, according to Outsports, a news site that covers LGBTQ athletes and sports issues. But unlike Nassib, they either announced their sexuality after their playing days were over or had never appeared in a regular season game.

Before the start of the season, Nassib announced that he would donate $ 100,000 to the Trevor Project, a crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth. He contacted his organization about two months before his Instagram post to discuss a plan, said Amit Paley, executive director of the Trevor Project. In their conversations, Paley said Nassib wanted to raise awareness of LGBTQ issues rather than just focusing on himself.

Forty percent of the more than 60,000 LGBTQ youth polled in a Trevor Project 2020 survey said they had considered suicide, and 68 percent of those polled in another survey conducted by the organization released this month said they did not participate in sports for their school or community club. for fear of discrimination.

As Nassib’s message spread, traffic to Project Trevor’s website increased by over 350%, and the organization received at least $ 225,000 in pledged donations by the end of this week. .

“I think Carl really didn’t want it to be a big deal, and I hope someday it’s not a big deal when someone goes out,” Paley said in an interview. “But it was clearly a big deal to go out and be the first in this way.”

Things calmed down when training camp started a month later. Nassib’s jersey is no longer at the top of the league’s sales, but it remains in the top five of the Raiders’ players, according to Fanatics.

He declined several interview requests and only spoke publicly once before the first game. Against the Baltimore Ravens, Nassib played 44% of defensive snaps in a rotating role, making three tackles. But in overtime, he collided with Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson for a sack and forced a fumble that the Raiders defense recovered. The offense scored a touchdown to win the game, 33-27, two games later.

Nassib, now in his third team since the Cleveland Browns drafted him in 2016, led the nation with 15.5 sacks at Penn State as a senior and won the Lombardi Award for the country’s best lineman. He tries to remember things from every game, he said, but mostly he relished Monday night’s win.

“It was really special,” Nassib said at a post-match press conference. “I’m really happy that we got the victory on the day that made history a little bit.”

His teammates did not mention Nassib’s historic role in the victory. Coach Jon Gruden only complimented his performance on the pitch. Defensive end Maxx Crosby did it too, saying simply, “Carl is a ball player and I’m proud of the guy.”

ESPN, the network that broadcast the game, also subtly dealt with Nassib’s feat. He released a 28-second video in the third quarter with clips from his Instagram video and a few photos. On an alternate show on ESPN2 featuring retired NFL quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Eli Manning, former NBA player Charles Barkley appeared as a guest and wore Nassib’s jersey.

The cover’s nonchalant demeanor in some ways mimicked the reception of other male professional athletes who played their first games after coming out. Former NBA player Jason Collins received modest applause from the opposing crowd when he entered a game for the Nets in 2014, 10 months after announcing he was gay. But there was no other form of recognition inside the arena, and Collins and his teammates downplayed the media’s importance of the moment.

Robbie Rogers, the first MLS player to appear in a game when he was openly gay, said things looked “normal” in an atmosphere typical of a 2013 Los Angeles Galaxy game.

Nassib said in August that his teammates had supported him since his exit. The Raiders haven’t left any players available for comment, but quarterback Derek Carr, who said his record was just a few points behind Nassib’s, said during training camp that he had seen nothing to dispute it.

“When he walked in I just like to watch, and not a single person from my perspective treated him differently,” Carr said.

Amy Trask, the former Raiders general manager, said this fits in with the tradition of a team that has historically embraced diversity. In 1997, she became the first female NFL general manager Tom Flores, who is of Mexican descent, was the first Latino NFL coach to win a Super Bowl, winning two with the Raiders, over the seasons. 1980 and 1983. The team also drafted Eldridge Dickey, the first black quarterback taken in the first round, in 1968, when the Raiders played in the AFL.

Trask said she didn’t focus on the story she made on her first day or how her coworkers would change the way they act towards her. She’s not surprised at how Nassib and the Raiders fared last week.

“This is an organization that has a history of hiring regardless of race, gender or any other individuality that has no bearing on whether one can do a job,” said Trask said in an interview. “It’s very, very special, from my perspective, that Carl is a Raider.

“He came out and did his job, like everyone would want a player to do their job,” she added.

If he continues to do the job well, said Wayne Mabry, arguably the Raiders’ most recognizable fan, Nassib’s sexuality wouldn’t change the way he views the player. For nearly 30 years, Mabry, nicknamed “The Violator,” attended nearly every Raiders home game dressed as a pirate with black and silver face paint, leather boots and spiked epaulettes.

He said it was a tribute inspired in part by the team’s familiar reputation as the league’s “Bad Boys”. It is irrelevant, he said, that a gay player is part of a team with such a historically gritty perception.

“Warriors come in all shapes and sizes,” said Mabry, 64. “It’s about what you bring to the table. As long as he can help us win, he’s a warrior for me.


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Afghans are likely to find Georgia a more welcoming place than former refugees

Heval Mohamed Kelli, 11, believed his family were going on vacation after crossing the Syrian border into Turkey in 1996, when his father paid smugglers to take them to safety in Germany.

He was unaware at the time of the political persecutions his father, a lawyer, was facing in Syria or how life was going to change drastically as they mostly lived in resettlement camps for the next few years in a unknown country.

Kelli eventually settled in Clarkston in 2001, where he and his family still lived in poverty, but the opportunities for better education and professional mobility sparked optimism they did not have in the camps. German refugees. Two decades later, Kelli watches with keen interest as hundreds of thousands of Afghans flee their country after the Taliban declared control when the United States ended its role in the longstanding conflict.

Kelli was 17 when he arrived in America and did not speak English. He now works at Northside Hospital as a cardiologist. It’s a piece of the American dream that started small as a teenage refugee working as a diver to support his family. Now he is inspired to help refugees and others living in underserved communities in the United States.

Heval Kelli, center, a Syrian refugee whose family moved to Clarkston in 2001 watches with keen interest Afghan refugees waiting to find new places to live after US troops withdraw from their home countries. Kelli is a cardiologist at Northside Hospital, Photo credit Emory University

“These Afghan refugees come from a very unfortunate situation, it is so sad to see what is happening,” he said. “They are just happy to be in a safe place for them. But I tell them, I think this is the only country in the world where you could come here. I have lived in the Middle East and I don’t think I would have become who I am if I hadn’t been here.

Approximately 123,000 people have flown from Afghanistan and 50,000 are currently undergoing security screening at military bases in preparation for reintegration into American communities.

Tens of thousands of Afghans who worked directly with the US government started leaving the country a few months ago and many arrived after a August evacuation. The majority of these refugees have special visa status which will allow them to clear basic security hurdles more quickly.

The Associated Press reported this week that officials in the Biden administration have started briefing governors and mayors in 46 states of the number of people from the first wave of 37,000 evacuees to be expected in the coming weeks, including more 1,000 refugees expected to arrive in Georgia.

A coalition of Atlanta nonprofits, including New American Pathways, will likely begin helping individuals and their families find housing, employment and other supports soon, as many relocate. in apartments and rental homes in Georgia, primarily in the Metro Atlanta area.

Larger numbers of refugees will go through an even more complicated process as they have yet to apply for permanent status as they seek to pass a more rigorous background check.

Finding enough affordable housing for those allowed to relocate to the United States will be a major challenge that will also benefit from the kindness of strangers. While resettlement groups typically pay a few months of rent, Airbnb provides temporary housing across the country to 20,000 Afghan refugees.

The Biden administration has asked Congress for $ 6.4 billion for the resettlement of Afghan refugees, with targets of 65,000 by the end of September and another 95,000 by September 2022, according to the AP.

Over 90% of people served by American Pathways and other local groups pay their own expenses within six months. There is a strong system of support from the religious community and beyond in the greater metropolitan area and among ethnic groups that depend on each other, said Emily Laney, director of development for New American Pathways.

“Even before the 1980 Refugee Act, groups were resettling refugees in Georgia,” Laney said. “It’s really so intense. There have been a lot of really traumatic events in the last few weeks, and we have the resources to support them.

“The people who have gone through some of the worst things humanity has to offer, these refugees are strong, resilient and courageous,” Laney said.

The amount of resources spent on refugee resettlement has been slashed under the administration of former President Donald Trump through federal policy changes reducing refugees admitted each year to less than 23,000 in 2018 compared to plans last year. year of former President Barack Obama to admit 110,000.

During Trump’s tenure, Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East were among the countries targeted by tighter restrictions hampering the path to a green card.

According to the New American Economy, a nonprofit refugee research organization, Afghans made up less than 2% of the total number of refugees who immigrated to the United States between 2002 and 2018.

The Biden administration has raised its goal of admitting refugees to 125,000 people this year. It’s an unrealistic benchmark due to dwindling resources, but it’s a much better direction than the previous four years, according to Jeremy Robbins, executive director of America’s New Economy.

“It’s our biggest competitive advantage that people want to come here and work hard, but it masks the fact that it’s really hard to do if you don’t speak the language, if you don’t have the network, or if you can find a job by yourself. ” he said.

“Having a big influx of people from Afghanistan right now is something you can expect to have a backlash,” Robbins said. “But one thing that’s different now is that I think the circumstances in which this happened, seeing people who risked their lives to help us win this war all of a sudden hanging on the air libre has really brought about a big change that seems to be very bipartisan. “

Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp signaled his willingness to take in controlled Afghan refugees shortly after the Taliban took control of their country last month. This contrasts with the stance taken in 2015 by his compatriot Republican and former governor Nathan Deal against the resettlement of Syrian refugees fleeing a bloody conflict in their country of origin.

Witnessing current events was an overwhelming experience for Muska Haseeb, an Afghan refugee turned American citizen, as the Taliban regained control after two decades of sacrificing American troops and treasures and the dashed hopes of Afghans who sought more help. opportunities in their country.

Haseeb’s family moved to Phoenix in 2012 after spending six years in Pakistan as a refugee to escape the physical abuse her mother suffered in Afghanistan for working as an administrative assistant.


(left to right) Muska Haseeb, sister-in-law Madina Haider, brother Syed Haider, niece Marwaha, nephew Sultan and mother Haseeba Aria. Photo by Kulsoom Rizvi & Andrew Oberstadt / International Rescue Committee

Today Haseb’s mother is a social worker and her 27-year-old daughter runs her own fashion business and will soon be starting school at the University of Texas in a pre-medical program.

“I really wish they could do something about this in the future because nobody wants to stay under Taliban rule,” Haseeb said. “I’m definitely going to want to be a motivation for any new refugee, whether from Afghanistan or any other country. I want them to see that (the United States) is the land of opportunity and that we can certainly pursue our dreams and goals and that we can become something here.

Clarkston from Georgia to welcome remaining Afghan refugees

Clarkston, a town in DeKalb County where more than half of its 13,000 residents were born overseas, is likely to receive an influx of Afghan refugees via New American Pathways and other resettlement agencies in the coming months.

Clarkston became a home town for many refugees, earning it the nickname of Southern Ellis Island. It offers affordable rental housing and is small enough that newcomers can walk to schools or its small downtown area, while still providing enough public transportation to get around Atlanta’s two largest counties. .

Immigrants frequently take on low-paying minimum-wage jobs and other lower-paying positions as they adjust to life in a new country.

For some refugees who settle in Clarkston, this means daily trips to Gainesville to work in the chicken processing plants.

Yet Clarkston’s leadership was not so welcoming to foreign nationals and refugees settling in the city as recently as the past decade.

In 2013, the former mayor of Clarkston helped ban the resettlement of new refugees. A few years later, when Ted Terry was elected mayor, the moratorium was lifted. He has set in motion an attitude of acceptance within government that continues to push the community toward inclusion as more refugees become citizens, vote and run for office.

“I think we finally hit a kind of critical mass of voters who were like, in fact, we think refugees are a positive thing. And we don’t want to go back in the history of Clarkston. We want to look to the future and move forward, ”said Terry, who is now DeKalb County Commissioner.

Refugees are known to contribute to the economy of their new country almost upon arrival. Their crime rate in their community is generally low. And they own businesses or attend college at a higher rate than the average American.

Although Kelli lived in a poorer area of ​​Clarkston while he was finishing his studies, the town offered an enclave that could have been much worse for a Muslim family who had recently arrived in America shortly after 9/11.

“We always say we got scared more than anything,” Kelli said. “I think Clarkston was such a loving community that really offered protection from the harassment we might have faced.

With the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan now complete, Catholic Charities Atlanta will continue to help evacuated families find new homes, as it has done for the past 20 years.

“Rebuilding your life is not easy,” said Vanessa Russell, CEO of Catholic Charities Atlanta. “These brave families escaped with just what they could take. They are courageous, resilient and optimistic about their future. We will welcome these families with a grateful heart and help them integrate and thrive in their new home here in Atlanta. “


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Friendly Neighborhood ‘Dealer of Hope’ Fuels Federal Way

Louis Guiden is known as Federal Way’s “hope dealer”.

Since 2008, the Good Shepherd Youth Outreach of Federal Way has provided mentoring and character development skills to youth in the area. When the pandemic struck, the association pivoted its mission to tackle food insecurity among black and brown families in Federal Way.

“With their children at home, families are running out of food… it was the emergency for us,” said Guiden, 47, executive director of the association. “We have to respond to the need which right now is hunger. ”

Good Shepherd Youth Outreach of Federal Way is one of six finalists from the Western Region in the 2022 Chick-fil-A True Inspiration Awards competition.

The True Inspiration Awards began in 2015, in honor of Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy. The grant awards celebrate and support nonprofits dealing with education, hunger or homelessness that are run by black people or serve communities of color, according to the organization.

Voting began on September 4 and continues through September 25 through the Chick-fil-A app.

Good Shepherd Youth Outreach of Federal Way was founded by Guiden in 2008. The aim of the organization is to provide mentorship to youth of color through academic support, character development, life skills education and training. support for prevention and intervention.

Feeding Our Community was launched in April 2020. Since then, approximately 2.5 million pounds of food and over 28,000 meals have been served to local families from the Guiden drive-style weekly distribution program started at The Boys and Girls Club of Federal Way.

A team of about 15 people organize the drive-thru distributions each week, including young people from local middle and high schools who receive a stipend for their work, and additional volunteers from the community.

“It went from 15 to 20 cars a week to 120 cars a week,” Guiden said. The pandemic has allowed Guiden to refocus the mission of his program, moving to meet the most immediate needs of the community.

Black, Indigenous and Colored (BIPOC) families make up about 80% of those served by the association, Guiden said. Food is provided through partnerships with the Peacekeeper Society, Food Lifeline and Northwest Harvest.

Few food banks or distribution centers are run by Blacks or BIPOC, Guiden said, leaving a void in the provision of culturally relevant and culturally appropriate foods.

Guiden and his team understand the needs of the people to whom they provide food, and in return, there is a sense of understanding.

“As a black African American man living in Federal Way for 22 years, it really gave me a deep connection to my community, serving food,” he said. “It connects me to the community at large… The fight against food insecurity has given me so much hope, so much enthusiasm, so much love. ”

While Guiden and his team feed the community, people often drop off homemade meals, treats and other tokens of appreciation at distributors.

The True Inspiration Award nomination allowed Guiden to step back and realize the power of his work. If his nonprofit wins, the funds would be used to further develop the Community Empowerment Center, Feeding Our Community and Brothers Bout Business programs.

“It gave me the fuel I needed… I’m like, ‘What else can we fix in Federal Way? What can we do as an organization now to solve the problems of this community? ”

Moved from Louisiana to the Pacific Northwest in 1993, Guiden said he arrived with five dollars in his pocket. A work-related incident shortly after his move left him with a traumatic brain injury, an ankle fracture requiring 12 reconstructive surgeries and constant pain.

He found strength in his story through his faith and his wife. Guiden sees himself as a Sankofa bird, a symbol of his West African heritage that reminds people that “we must keep moving forward by remembering our past,” Guiden said.

By embarking on his own journey, he made sure to plant a seed to strengthen the capacities of future generations.

In its 22 years of mentoring and dedication to the youth of the community, Good Shepherd Youth Outreach has served over 180 youth and families.

“I’m the hope dealer,” he said. “I help people deal effectively with overwhelming pressures. ”

For more information or to get involved, visit www.gsyowa.org.

Local Federal Way youth are primarily responsible for the drive-thru food distribution each week.



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Local files | News, Sports, Jobs

Lt. Darryl Ng, Civil Air Patrol Commander of the Maui County Composite Squadron, will be the guest speaker at the Lahaina Sunset Rotary Club Virtual Reunion at 5:30 p.m. on September 21.

For more than 50 years, the 57th Maui County Composite Squadron has served the community, responding to Hurricane Iniki and famous Eddie Aikau research, according to a press release. Ng will share history and information about the squadron as well as its main mission and programs in Maui.

Club members and guests are welcome to attend the meeting via Zoom. To receive a meeting link, contact Joanne Laird at [email protected]

*****

Pizza Charity founder to speak to Rotarians

The Rotary Club of Kihei-Wailea will welcome Jonathan Yudis as a guest speaker at its virtual meeting on Wednesday at noon.

Yudis is the founder of the “Charity Pizza in Maui” community service project, which provides hot meals to homeless people in Maui.

The Zoom room will open at 11:30 am for communion. The Zoom meeting ID is 829 1334 8817; the access code is 081120.

For more information, contact Allan Weiland at [email protected]

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Shelter to host an adoption event

The Maui Humane Society will be hosting an adoption event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on September 18.

No appointment is necessary and there is no adoption fee. Prospective pet parents can participate in the Maui Humane Society’s 10-day Paws to Adopt trial program.

In addition to the animals that await their homes forever, there will be food trucks and live entertainment at the event. Social distancing and masks are mandatory.

For more information, visit www.mauihumanesociety.org.

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Bezos donates to Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity Maui received a personal donation from Jeff Bezos, Founder and Executive Chairman of Amazon.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support of Mr. Bezos”, said Sherri Dodson, executive director of the association. “We are in the process of expanding our home security repair and modification program for low income kupunas and / or homeowners with disabilities, so this donation could not have come at a better time. Sadly, so many of our low income seniors live in unsanitary conditions and just need a helping hand. This donation will help us build our capacities and allow us to continue our mission. Everyone deserves a safe and decent place to live.

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Children’s advocacy group receives donation

The Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of Maui received a personal donation from Amazon Founder and Executive Chairman Jeff Bezos.

“This donation comes at a crucial time for us due to the overwhelming increase in service requests we have received during the COVID pandemic, as well as the broader needs we have seen in the community,” said Paul Tonnessen, executive director of the Friends of the Maui Children’s Justice Center.

The nonprofit organization provides assistance to abused and neglected children, promotes the prevention of child abuse and neglect, and supports the Maui Children’s Justice Center, which is part of the State Judiciary. Hawaii.

For more information about the Friends of the Maui Children’s Justice Center, contact Tonnessen at 986-8634 or visit mauicjc.org.

*****

Bezos donates to boys and girls clubs

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui is one of many local nonprofits that have received a personal donation from Jeff Bezos, founder and executive chairman of Amazon.

“We want to send a huge mahalo to Mr. Bezos and his team for his support and for recognizing the incredible value that Maui’s nonprofits provide,” said Kelly Maluo-Pearson, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui.

The nonprofit said it would use the donation to continue providing its evidence-based programs that help young people learn, develop social skills, express themselves creatively and participate in events. sports.

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The relationship between race and well-being has never been so pressing | At the Smithsonian

This summer, Simone Biles, widely regarded as the greatest female gymnast of all time, shocked the sports world by retiring from the majority of her events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Citing her struggles with “twisties,” a mental block that makes gravity-defying gymnastics movements incredibly dangerous, the 24-year-old has received widespread praise for putting his health first.

Biles later said she took inspiration from Naomi Osaka, the 23-year-old tennis star who retired from Roland Garros and Wimbledon in order to prioritize her mental health. The two women, both black athletes at the peak of their sport, are part of a growing wave of black individuals “publicly [taking] their sanity in their hands in a way never seen before in elite sports, ”as NBC News reported.

Lonnie Bunch, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, says the example set by Biles, Osaka and others has brought the issue of “mental health through the lens of race” to the fore. This topic, along with the broader relationship between race and well-being, looks particularly timely in 2021, as the United States continues to contend with systemic racism and a pandemic that disproportionately affects people of color.

“Part of the fight for equity in America is the fight for equitable health care and access to mental health care,” Bunch said.

Race, welfare and wealth will feature prominently in an upcoming forum hosted by the Smithsonian’s Our Shared Future: Reckoning With Our Racial Past initiative. Scheduled for Thursday, August 26 at 7 p.m. EST, the virtually broadcast summit will put Smithsonian academics in conversation with authors, experts and activists. Planned programming includes sessions on the history and impact of race, the link between health and wealth, the role of race in mental health and trauma, and local organizations striving to reinvent a better future.

The Smithsonian announced its Reckoning With Our Racial Past initiative last summer, following the murder of George Floyd and the outbreak of widespread protests against police brutality. Funded with a $ 25 million donation from Bank of America, the goal of the campaign is to “confront race and highlight racism and social justice from a historical perspective,” Ariana said. Curtis, director of content for the initiative. Reckoning With Our Racial Past also seeks to emphasize the relevance of its topic today and to offer ideas on how to move forward as a nation.

The Smithsonian announced the initiative last June, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and widespread protests against systemic racism.

(Photo by Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images)

In addition to virtual and live events, the multi-year initiative will include town halls, digital resources, educational tools, immersive pop-up experiences, storytelling projects, fundraising efforts and more. This week’s event will be the first of three national forums.

“When I became a secretary [in 2019], what was important for me was to recognize that the Smithsonian had a contemporary resonance, that it had an opportunity, really a responsibility, to have value, to say basically: we are going to help the public by giving him tools to grapple with everyday life, from the challenge of climate change to race issues, ”says Bunch.

He adds: “When a nation is in crisis, its institutions must be strengthened. And clearly, this country is in crisis.

The Smithsonian’s collections and researchers represent a wealth of expertise, and its status as a beloved 175-year-old American institution means it is uniquely positioned to bring together people of different backgrounds and experiences.

“Our network includes other museums and cultural centers in the United States of varying sizes and missions, as well as community organizations, academics and activists,” says Curtis. “We are certainly not assuming that the Smithsonian is the first organization to think about these [questions of race,] but thinking of the power we have as a trusted institution to bring these [issues] to a larger and larger audience is really important.

The secretary envisioned the project as a way for the Smithsonian to “do what we do best”: namely, to make complicated subjects accessible to the public, provide a historical and cultural context that illuminates the present, and forge links between people who could not otherwise interact. . With the funded initiative, the Smithsonian could shed “some light” on a moment “fraught with misinformation, hatred and partisanship.”

The team responsible for developing the initiative focused its efforts on six thematic pillars: running and well-being; race and wealth; race and location; race, politics and ethics; race beyond the United States; and race, arts and aesthetics. All of these topics tie in with ongoing Institution-wide work of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s Care Package, an online exhibit of creative offerings released at the height of the pandemic, when the crimes of Anti-Asian hatred was in the news across the nation — on the NMAAHC’s Talking About Race portal.

“The term ‘systemic racism’ can seem unwieldy and overwhelming,” explains Curtis, “and so we wanted to think about how to make it knowable? How to make it understandable? How do you make it feel changeable? “

She adds that she wants the forums to give the public a sense of optimism: “We want people to think about a way forward. “

Covid-19 test

The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a disproportionate toll on people of color.

(Governor Tom Wolf via Flickr under CC BY 2.0)

The ongoing pandemic influenced the decision of the organizers to center the initiative’s first forum on race, welfare and wealth. But this week’s event doesn’t just focus on Covid-19. One session will discuss the development of race as a social construct and the lingering consequences of unsubstantiated claims that race is based on biological differences. “[This is] a time when people are trying to go beyond race as an identity and really want to question how race works, what race means, what role race and racism have in our lives today ”, Curtis explains.

Joi Lewis, founder of the Healing Justice Foundation; Monique Morris, President and CEO of Grantmakers for Girls of Color; and Diana Chao, Founder and Executive Director of Letters to Strangers, will lead a separate discussion on mental health and trauma, a topic explicitly linked to public statements made by Biles, Osaka and other black athletes.

“This particular conversation is intergenerational,” Curtis explains. “Younger generations of black women speak openly about their mental health in ways that would not have seemed acceptable or permitted to previous generations. Opening this conversation in public spaces is really important.

To ensure the initiative reaches a large part of the country, the Smithsonian is working with local partners, including cultural organizations, historically black colleges and universities, sports teams, and nonprofits. These groups will help organize pop-up events in cities across the United States, addressing issues through a local lens in recognition of the fact “that the race takes place differently in different places,” according to Bunch.

“It’s less about the Smithsonian saying we have the answers, and more about the Smithsonian as a facilitator,” he adds. “What I hope it will become [is] a driver of possibility, a driver of collaboration that… the Smithsonian can continue to do long after I’m no longer a secretary.

For Bunch, the initiative represents “an opportunity for the Smithsonian to demonstrate that it has value, not only as a place that looks back, but as a place that looks to the future.” He hopes this “will help a nation recognize that it has a common future even though race issues have always divided us.”

The initiative’s first forum, on the theme of race, well-being and wealth, will be held virtually on August 26 at 7 p.m. EST. Join Secretary Bunch and a panel of esteemed experts at oursharedfuture.si.edu.


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The Recorder – Regina Curtis is retiring as GCC executive. director of institutional promotion

GREENFIELD – Regina Curtis has amassed a 48-pound stash in thrift stores. From September 1, she will have more time to read them.

Curtis is retiring as Executive Director of Institutional Advancement at Greenfield Community College on August 31, after 16 years on the job. She coordinated the school’s legislative affairs and oversaw its grants office in addition to being the executive director of the GCC Foundation, the nonprofit fundraising arm of the college.

“Community college students stay in their community. They end up living and working within a 25 mile radius, usually. So we are really educating the workforce in this community, ”she said. “This college is exactly where it needs to be.”

Curtis, 62, said she turned legislative affairs over to her colleague Keith Bailey and new recruit Alexis Page took on other responsibilities. She said their abilities reduced her natural anxiety about quitting the job she had been heavily involved in for so long.

She previously worked for State Representative Stephen Kulik and plans to follow her former employer’s advice on retirement – don’t make any additional commitments for at least a year. She intends to continue serving on the board of directors of Rural Development Inc., a nonprofit organization created by the Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority, but wishes to spend more time walking, hiking, kayaking and visiting her son in North Carolina and her daughter-in-law. in Idaho. She would also like to relearn Spanish and knitting.

Curtis grew up in the Detroit area, but has lived in Franklin County his entire adult life. Warwick has been his home for decades.

She worked at the college for 16 years, serving on the Board of Trustees of the GCC Foundation for six years previously, including two as President. Prior to that, she was a campaign volunteer for the school. But that was not his introduction to college. She received her associate’s degree in commerce in 1986 at the age of 28, after taking evening classes for five years while working full time. The average age of a CCG student is around 27, she said.

Curtis then transferred to North Adams State College (now Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts) for another five years to earn a bachelor’s degree, graduating while pregnant with her son. She waited four years before pursuing her Masters of Business Administration in five years.

“I know women who… worked full time and went to school in the evenings with me and had a baby, but I couldn’t… think about that. So I waited until he was 4, then I started at Fitchburg State College (now the University) because, ”she said,“ I only attend public higher education institutions. from Massachusetts that are next to Highway 2. It’s like my jam.

“I never worked full time during all of this,” she added. “It’s just that the career trajectory was made possible thanks to the degrees I acquired along the way, which was possible thanks to GCC. … It is definitely the mission to make higher education accessible to all who want to learn. This is not the case for many colleges.

Curtis also said that many CCG students are, like her, first generation students. She said 48% of them transferred to four-year colleges and 25% were from Hampshire County.

“I’ve always wondered if there is a magical way to survey every employer in Franklin County and find out how many GCC employees (there are),” she said, adding that a third of Greenfield Savings Bank employees are GCC graduates. “It’s quite remarkable.”

Curtis also said that GCC will celebrate its 60th anniversary next year.

“GCC and I are about the same age. Funny – I never thought of it that way, ”she said. “We kind of grew up together. ”

Contact Domenic Poli at: [email protected] or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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We Make History in Natchez – Mississippi’s Best Community Newspaper

Historic economic development in Natchez – it’s time to say it.

Time to print it: Based on current economic indicators, Natchez is now one of the state’s fastest growing economies, and quite possibly the fastest growing per capita.

Consider only the last days:

  • This week we received our July sales tax payment of over $ 500,000. We’ve now passed $ 500,000 four straight months – a city record and quite possibly the state’s strongest per capita sales tax performance.
  • On August 11, we announced that a large Southern energy company, Delta Fuel, was moving its headquarters to downtown Natchez – more than 50 well-paying jobs. They are now embarking on a multi-million dollar renovation of the historic Callon building.
  • On August 16, we kicked off the million dollar renovation of the historic Broadway Depot, which will soon become the best farm-to-table restaurant on the cliffs of the Mississippi River.
  • On August 19, we celebrated the announcement of a $ 24 million renovation of the historic Eola Hotel in the heart of downtown Natchez, to include a parking garage, new retail space downtown and the development of new restaurants by renowned restaurateur NOLA Dickie Brennan.
  • Also on August 19, we met in Jackson with Governor Tate Reeves, his economic development team, and the CEO and vice-president of Velocys, an international technology company, to discuss an agreement that is currently underway to build a $ 1.5 billion biorefinery. -Belwood Industrial Park Plant – one of only two such facilities built in America to produce sustainable aviation fuel using timber resources.

Additionally, this week we had a very important meeting with one of the country’s leading consulting firms, the Horne Group, to discuss the final details of the MED Natchez marketing plan. Medical Economic Development, promoting Natchez as a regional ‘health center’, is about to take place, with a public reveal in September where we will release details of this sweeping plan.

We also met with officials from the Mississippi Department of Agriculture this week to discuss international timber exports using the Port of Natchez. A follow-up meeting will be held on August 30 with a visit to Natchez by Port of New Orleans Executive Director Brandy Christian and his staff. Working closely with Natchez Harbor Manager Anthony Hauer and the Adams County Supervisory Board, great projects and opportunities are ahead.

If we add to the fact that over the past year we have experienced record employment growth (nearly 700), record real estate sales (nearly 600), record growth in new business (more of 70) and new record building permits (over 250 worth over $ 40 million), these facts tell a historic story. Natchez is booming. And as previously stated, we are now among the fastest growing economies in Mississippi.

Words are insufficient to express my gratitude. So many individuals, groups, entities and businesses came together to make it all possible. And I truly believe that God’s favor is on our city because we make it a priority to work together and love each other.

Well done Natchez! Let us commit to maintaining this momentum.

Natchez deserves more.

Dan M. Gibson is mayor of the city of Natchez.


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Even if live concerts return, stream here to stay in Michigan

Just days before the pandemic interrupted life in the Detroit metro area and around the world in March last year, Stephen Wogaman, president of the Chamber Music Society of Detroit, was talking on the phone with his brother, a consultant. in computer science.

His brother asked what Wogaman was planning to do about COVID-19.

“I said, ‘Well, I heard about it,'” Wogaman recalls. “He said, ‘You have to be careful.’

Soon he was. COVID completely turned the Chamber Music Society season upside down, as it did all over cultural institutions, forcing them to quickly turn to streaming and webcast performances, which they never had. done before.

But that change – which involved quickly figuring out what equipment was best for streaming, perfecting the audio, and figuring out how to create the best quality webcast – was a step forward for the Chamber Music Society.

Even as he prepares for his 2021-22 season, which begins in September, they aren’t straying from the webcasts they’ve perfected during COVID. They will offer live performances but will stream them at the same time for those who wish to watch from home or from a distance.

“As we come out of this time – with caution – we see it as a way to expand our audience, to facilitate connections from audience members who may not be entirely comfortable coming back,” Wogaman said.

Concerts and live performances may be making a comeback in venues across the region, but streaming is here to stay in some venues, especially when it comes to classical, chamber and folk music. Some say they can reach an even larger audience far beyond Michigan through streaming or those with accessibility issues.

“It’s an important tool and access point,” said Marianne James, executive director of The Ark, a well-known folk music venue in downtown Ann Arbor that aired its popular folk festival in January. . “It doesn’t replace live performances, but it’s something that can really go with that and give artists and performances more reach.”

But could streaming concerts deter people from buying tickets to see shows in person, as some worry? Time will tell us.

Dinner with the DSO

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, a leader in webcast presentation, has offered digital concerts for years, but expanded its offering during COVID-19 to include its pop concerts. Anne Parsons, CEO of DSO, said several subscribers told her how much they enjoyed the concerts that were broadcast during the pandemic, sitting down to “dine with the DSO.”

“When we have these gigs, they’re one of a kind,” Parsons said, referring to the pop gigs. “They tend not to be captured and they should be – and shared with the world.”

For this year’s Concert of Colors, the Midwest’s largest free music festival that runs through Monday, the format was a mix of live, broadcast and broadcast performances. Last year’s Concert of Colors, which was fully streamed, recorded 162,000 plays and views.

“We don’t want to give this up entirely,” said Ismael Ahmed, longtime founder and director of Concert of Colors.

But like James at the Ark, Wogaman agrees that streaming is not an alternative to live music. He said there is “no doubt” that hearing music in person is the “superior” way to experience it, but the pandemic has caused bands like his to rethink their approach. in some ways.

“A webcast captures this incredible sense of collaboration,” especially when it comes to chamber music, Wogaman said. “And that brings you to the front row when you’re in your living room.”

Learning curve

Even before Wogaman got out of the car after that phone call with his brother – who works with Gartner, a well-known company that does IT consulting work – he was already thinking about the bedroom’s next steps. He called the manager of his next act in March and asked if they would rather broadcast their performance than perform live, offering to pay 40% of their fees.

“The following week, two days after the World Health Organization declared the pandemic, we had an audience of 3,000 people watching our first webcast,” said Wogaman, who noted that it was is five times the audience they would have had in person.

Three weeks later, they aired another show. In total, since COVID, the Chamber Music Society of Detroit has broadcast over 30 concerts to date with over 60 other music presenters across the country on its CameraMusic platform, reaching audiences of nearly 200,000 across six continents. .

The Ark also launched a series of live concerts during COVID called the Ark Family Room series. They broadcast over 100 live shows.

“People really appreciated having access to this,” James said. “It was a great way to keep performers and audience members together.”

But it has been a learning process for the sites. The Chamber Music Society of Detroit has invested more than $ 10,000 in streaming material – they now use a live video streaming platform called Resi – and Wogaman has even started broadcasting streaming services at his Episcopal Church in Birmingham to train more.

“Personally, I learned to do it all – all the technical webcast stuff,” Wogaman said. “It’s not that we hired someone. We bought the equipment, we learned how to use it, we bought the licenses for the streaming equipment.”

One thing they noticed with the Wogaman Church webcasts is that people who didn’t normally attend church, or who could be considered recluses, “were suddenly much more connected than they were. never have been. Because they were able to attend the service. “

This approach could also help aging clients who cannot attend live shows for all kinds of reasons.

“For me, the most exciting thing about this ability that we have spent hundreds of hours learning and tens of thousands of dollars obtaining is now that we are able to do things that we cannot do. ‘Never even imagined possible,’ Wogaman said. “We flipped a switch and there it is.”

Every program that the Chamber presents this year, they will also be broadcast. They will also sell digital subscriptions for concerts and something called Digital Plus which will allow customers to attend two concerts in person as well.

In fact, the Chamber Society of Detroit now has so much streaming equipment – which Wogaman has driven all over the Midwest and East to broadcast concerts – that they are creating a set that they plan to set aside for them. non-profit groups.

Blessing and curse

The DSO launched its on-demand digital archive of performances called DSO Replay in 2015, making it the first streaming archive of any American orchestra. The orchestra was already a leader in webcasting its performances.

But not all cultural institutions have turned to streaming.

Streaming performances are not yet something the Michigan Opera Theater has looked at, said Christine Goerke, MOT’s new associate artistic director, “but I think it’s here to stay on course.”

“There are things that were made especially for streaming. It’s a different animal,” Goerke said. “Creating a piece designed to be filmed as if you were watching a movie? There’s another art form. It’s different from what we do. Maybe we’re creating something brand new.”

The Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series shows its operas in more than 2,000 theaters across the country and in 70 countries around the world. But there is a downside to these HD shows, Goerke said.

“When these HD shows came on, it was a wonderful thing for people who lived far away, but it also reduced the number of subscribers,” she said. “They could just go to their movies instead of driving three hours to see a live show. It’s a blessing and a curse.”

James de l’Arche said the fear of deterring live audiences is something they also encounter with the artists they book. She said there was “general reluctance” on the part of some artists to stream their performances.

“Artists are really focused on wanting to be in a room with people” right now, she said.

Nevertheless, L’Arche is studying the performances it could still broadcast and the equipment it will need. He will likely begin with his free Artist Spotlight series when he returns this fall.

“We have learned so much and the public has come so far and accessed this technology,” said James. “A lot of people were reluctant like in ‘I won’t do this.’ Others have found that they really like this access. “

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A Q&A with The Wilderness Society’s New Mexico Deputy Director – High Country News – Know the West

Kay Bounkeua discusses Lao-Chinese childhood in the state, its connection to the landscape, and the future of the conservation movement.

In the mid-1980s, when Kay Bounkeua was a toddler, her family moved to Northeast Heights, a historically white-only neighborhood in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her parents had moved to the city from a refugee camp in Thailand more than a decade earlier, after war flooded their landlocked home Laos. When neighbors learned that a Lao-Chinese family was moving in, they signed a petition warning that immigrants would bring the crime with them and devalue local real estate. It was one of the many incidents of racial harassment that plagued Bounkeua’s childhood.

Growing up the way she did, worried about discrimination, financial hardship, and feelings of not belonging, Bounkeua enjoyed biking and hiking in the Sandia Mountains with her family. There they could just be themselves. She fondly remembers speaking with her parents in Lao and Mandarin while contemplating the desert landscape. They all found solace outside, she said. They didn’t worry about “speaking bad languages” and “eating bad food”.

In 2010, Bounkeua joined the Asian Family Center in New Mexico, where he later served as Executive Director. She has led initiatives to provide language access to newcomers and has championed community concerns in local and national politics. But over a year ago, she changed careers: she became the New Mexico deputy director of the Wilderness Society, focusing on working with underrepresented communities in the outdoors and in conservation. .

Heidrich photography

Recently, High Country News spoke with Bounkeua about his transition from social work to conservation, and what it’s like to be one of the few Asians in conservation in the South West. Now that the Biden administration is committed to the “30×30” plan and an inclusive and sustainable future, she believes this is the perfect time to bring diverse community perspectives into the mainstream of conservation. This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

High Country News: Can you tell me a bit about your past work with the Asian community in New Mexico?

Kay Bounkoua: In 2010, I came to the Asian Family Center as a program coordinator. At the time, it was primarily a direct service provider, providing intervention services to victims of domestic violence. Four years later, I became the managing director. As the organization grew and I dealt with what my family had been through, we created culturally appropriate programs. Just think of those who go from moving to relocating and trying to figure it all out as you build a new home.

I also thought about the future of the organization more from a social justice perspective. As young people who have felt, seen and experienced oppressive actions against our community became more politically engaged, the center has done more organizational and civic engagement work to help members of the Asian community. to exercise their right to vote. We have also started to discuss access to languages ​​in New Mexico. In this way, the Asian Family Center not only provided services to people in the community, but also implemented change at the system level.

HCN: Why did you join the Wilderness Society?

KB: Because I had my daughter, who is now 2 1/2 years old. This shift to parenthood got me thinking about the kind of life I want her to have and the kind of world we leave for our children. And I think this connection to land and place is critical.

As for my relationship with the land and what it means, I think a lot about Laos. When I visited Laos when I was little, before even going up a mountain road, we visited a shrine that people created at the bottom of the mountain, where you pray that the mountain spirits ask permission to cross the country. and guides you throughout your journey. This kind of spiritual connection reminded me that so many do have that spiritual connection with places here in New Mexico.

My dad always told me that the landscape of New Mexico is similar to that of Laos in that it is landlocked and warm. This vivid landscape made me feel connected to my parents’ homeland when I was young – but I’m afraid it will fade away and the ways I connected across the land of New Mexico are no longer. available so that I can share them with my daughter.

Kay Bounkeua and her young daughter hiked the Sandia Mountains near Albuquerque, New Mexico last winter.

Courtesy of Kay Bounkeua

HCN: How has your past community work inspired your conservation efforts at the Wilderness Society?

KB: To do conservation work, you cannot separate it from community work. We should consider the environment and its impacts on the health of communities as an ecosystem. For example, neighborhoods that have been marked in red have fewer trees and are more affected by heat waves. A higher urban heat index is also correlated with higher rates of violence. All of these contribute to the negative effects on the health of our communities.

HCN: What would you like to see changed in the Wilderness Society under your leadership to address the history of exclusion and discrimination in the mainstream conservation movement?

KB: I hope that we will continue to recognize the deep trauma suffered by communities while proposing solutions found within these communities. How can we examine environmental racism, environmental degradation and the root causes of these problems in our community? How do we invest money in Indigenous, Asian, Latin and other colored communities? For those who continue to be most impacted by climate and extinction crises, I think this is where the magic will happen. And a big part of that job is building trust and relationships, which takes a long time.

There is a lot of harm when we do not include people of color in the decision making process. So we began to conduct a series of 25 different hearing sessions with Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latinx and other people of color leaders and organizations to understand what “conservation” means to them and how to make conservation into the realm. New Mexico could be in a respectful relationship with them.

To do conservation work, you cannot separate it from community work. We should consider the environment and its impacts on the health of communities as an ecosystem.

HCN: To achieve a fair and sustainable future under “30×30”, what should policymakers and environmental organizations in the West do to involve more people of color in the movement?

KB: It is important to note that traditional knowledge and science can coexist. But so many times it feels like you can only do one or the other. If we create policies by looking only at Eurocentric science, it is a huge disservice to things that people have known for generations that could potentially support something that we are working on. And we need to welcome people who have been historically excluded from the environmental conservation movement so that they can give their opinion.

There are so many amazing indigenous led organizations across the state and across the country that we should just follow suit as they were the original and continuing stewards of this land. We can also learn from emerging groups, such as Outdoor Afro, Outdoor Asian and Latino Outdoor. They are so culturally based and understand these issues from a racial equity perspective and can provide many solutions to the issues that we are all trying to solve.

Wufei Yu is an editor at High Country News. Send him an e-mail To [email protected] or submit a letter to the editor.



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Jam to Low-Down Blues with Hurricane Jerry Loos at the Westerwood Blueberries and The Blues Concert

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug 4, 2021 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) – The Westerwood Senior Living Community is hosting a Blueberries & The Blues Summer Concert from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Friday August 13, 2021, featuring the local blues artist Hurricane Jerry Loos. Relax in the shade as you listen to soft blues and celebrate Columbus blueberry season with chilled blueberry limoncello cocktails and savory treats created by Chef Marshall of Westerwood.

“We are delighted to welcome Hurricane Jerry and showcase Chef Marshall’s culinary skills,” said Lisa Burkhart, Executive Director. “These events are a great way for us to showcase our great community. Participants will be able to meet residents and team members, and schedule community tours.

RSVP today for The Blueberries and The Blues concert by calling 614-368-1209 or visiting https://www.liveatwesterwood.org/events/. And be sure to enter to win one of four Fresh Thyme Market gift certificates and a basket full of all things blueberries.

Hurricane Jerry Loos began playing guitar in the late 1960s and worked for decades at local recording studios in Columbus Ohio. A versatile guitarist, Jerry has worked with a wide range of independent artists playing styles such as Gospel, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Jerry enjoys many styles of music but plays blues / rock in his band “Hurricane Jerry and Stormfront”

Listen to Hurricane Jerry on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaHC4215onQ.

Westerwood is also hosting a Resident Lifestyle Brunch at 10 a.m. on August 18, 2021. In addition to enjoying a delicious free brunch, residents and the dedicated team will share what makes Westerwood a great place to enjoy. the life. They will also share updates on the exciting new outdoor amenities that are being added to the 23-acre campus! RSVP today by calling 614-368-1209 or visiting https://www.liveatwesterwood.org/events/.

Westerwood, formerly Friendship Village Columbus, is a quaint 23-acre nonprofit retirement community rooted in northeast Columbus. It is minutes from downtown Westerville and the University of Otterbein. The active resident community enjoys lifelong learning, artistic pursuits, exercise, giving back and connecting with nature. Westerwood offers a full continuum of best-in-class care, including a Life Care contract.

This wooded oasis offers restaurant quality cuisine cooked from scratch, wellness classes with a personal trainer, an art studio, carpentry and gardens in a friendly atmosphere where ageless spirits can satiate their curiosity. . Westerwood is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit charitable community. It is classified as a community of choice by the Holleran group in recognition of an exemplary culture of resident engagement. Westerwood is SAGECare Platinum Certified, has received the Columbus CEO Top Workplaces Award six years in a row, and has received the Best of Business: Retirement Community award. Learn more at https://liveatwesterwood.org/.

#SummerConcert #HurricaneJerryLoos #OurCampusYourCanvas #SeniorLiving #ColumbusBlueberrySeason

NEWS SOURCE: Westerwood Life Care Community

This press release was issued on behalf of the information source (Westerwood Life Care community) who is solely responsible for its accuracy, by Send2Press® Newswire. Information is believed to be accurate but is not guaranteed. Story ID: 73980 APDF-R8.2

© 2021 Send2Press®, a press release and electronic marketing service of NEOTROPE®, California, United States.

To view the original version visit: https://www.send2press.com/wire/jam-to-low-down-blues-with-hurricane-jerry-loos-at-the-westerwood-blueberries-and-the- blues-concert /

Disclaimer: The contents of this press release were not created by The Associated Press (AP).


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Aro Biotherapeutics Expands Management Team and Plans to Move to New Philadelphia Headquarters to Drive Next Phase of Growth

PHILADELPHIA CREAM – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Aro Biotherapeutics, a pioneering biotechnology company in the development of genetic tissue-targeted drugs, today announced the appointment of three new executives, including Scott Greenberg as COO, Jeffrey Staiger as as Senior Vice President of Finance and Business Development, and Michael Tortorici, PharmD, Ph.D. as Vice President of Clinical Pharmacology and Non-Clinical Development. Mr. Greenberg recently served as Aro’s Commercial Director, while Mr. Staiger and Dr. Tortorici are new additions to the management team. The company also announced its intention to relocate its headquarters to Curtis in Philadelphia to accommodate the continued growth of its operations and staff.

“The expansion of our leadership team provides Aro with proven leadership expertise as we advance our first molecules into clinical development and continue to evolve our organization, ”said Susan Dillon, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Aro Biotherapeutics. “I am happy to welcome Jeff and Mike to Aro. They both have extensive experience in their respective functional areas which will bring great value to our organization. In his expanded role, Scott and his team will help us develop additional business capabilities that will support our future growth. ”

Mr. Greenberg joined Aro in 2019 from Roivant Sciences, where he most recently served as Vice President, Chief Operating Officer. Previously, he worked at Celgene Corporation in several roles spanning business development, project management, strategy, sales and marketing. He began his career in investment banking at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and received an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Mr. Staiger is an international leader in finance and business development having spent over 13 years with Celgene / Bristol Myers Squibb, in roles spanning finance, clinical development, corporate strategy, business operations, leadership alliance and business development. Mr. Staiger began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, becoming a Chartered Accountant, and held positions in finance at Quest Diagnostics. He received degrees in economics and accounting from Gordon College (MA).

Dr Tortorici, PharmD, Ph.D. has 15 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry in the field of clinical pharmacology for small molecules and biologics in a wide range of diseases. He was most recently Executive Director and Head of Clinical Pharmacology at CSL Behring, leading the team responsible for clinical pharmacology for all programs in the portfolio. Prior to that, he worked at Pfizer in clinical pharmacology. Dr Tortorici received his PharmD and Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Pittsburgh.

Beginning in October 2021, Aro will begin moving operations to the Curtis in downtown Philadelphia. The Curtis is one of the best places for the scientific community to develop and perfect life-saving therapies and attract world-class talent to achieve their goals. The expanded space will be customized to Aro’s needs, providing an ideal location for the development of Centyrin’s proprietary Aro platform – siRNA drugs. Aro plans to complete the move to The Curtis in the first quarter of 2022.

“We couldn’t be happier to move to the historic Curtis Building as we enter our next phase of growth, ”said Dillon. “Lab and office spaces will help us create a world class facility, and with other building amenities and attractions nearby, The Curtis is ideal for Aro to hire and retain top talent.

About Aro Biotherapeutics

Philadelphia-based Aro Biotherapeutics is a pioneering biotechnology company in the development of tissue-targeted genetic drugs with a platform based on a proprietary protein technology called Centyrins. The company is developing a wholly owned pipeline of Centyrin-based therapeutic candidates and is working with industry partners to leverage Centyrins for tissue-specific targeting of therapies for a diverse set of diseases. For more information visit www.arobiotx.com.


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Bloomington tent residents face ‘eviction’ as restaurant prepares to open

Jamie stands shirtless on a vacant lot on the west side of Bloomington. He is wearing jeans that his brother gave him. Behind him are flattened tents, blankets and clothing sprawled out on an asphalt, concrete and weed floor as the sun dries out these essentials after recent torrential rains.

The Indescribable Lot is what Jamie and about half a dozen other people call home. It will soon house a Panda Express restaurant. Bloomington City Council has approved plans to build the restaurant at the location along West Market Street.

The property runs along a busy highway not far from the highway. It is surrounded by gas stations, restaurants and other shops. It is not a residential area at all, with the exception of this tent city.

Some McLean County social service providers say tent towns have been a problem in Bloomington for decades. Advocates say the plight of the tent dwellers points to a bigger problem that has not been addressed.

As state and federal governments lift moratoriums on evictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, these residents will soon face their own type of eviction.

Jamie is 33 years old. He does not give his last name. He has lived in a tent in this vacant lot for almost three years.

Jamie’s brother checks him regularly and gives him clothes and a place to shower.

“He came over here and (said) ‘Jamie get in the car’, where are we going, Disneyland? ‘ Jamie asked. “No, we are going home. You’re going to get cleaned up.

Jamie said he was staying at the Salvation Army’s Safe Harbor shelter in Bloomington. He said he went to work in Texas and had to come back to Bloomington to help his brother. He said the Salvation Army would not take him back. Jamie has other people looking after him.

Her cousin Chris has been living in the camp for a few weeks. “I came here and found my cousin and I’m not going to leave him alone here,” Chris said.

Chris said he was worried about his cousin’s safety. He said he sent Jamie to the hospital three times due to seizures. Chris said there were always people looking for trouble there. Jamie said he had been doing drywall since he was 14 and believed he had a chance to return to work.

“I have my old boss’s number and he told me that once I got together and got my meds and stuff, he said he would put me back to work,” he said. Jamie said.

Jamie said he was taking medication for the seizures and for his mental health. Now he says his old boss no longer works for himself. Jamie is not optimistic, he will call back.

Jamie said he made do with his father’s monthly Social Security check and all the money he could get by begging. Jamie said he already won $ 80 in 20 minutes.

Bob is basically in the same situation as Jamie. Bob is 58 years old. He stands next to Jamie, sporting a graying beard, a face mask under his chin, and a vintage Chicago Cubs t-shirt. Bob said he had been living in the tent camp for a few years. He has done flooring for a living but cannot access the ground floor of the job market.

“Give me a rug, I can put it up,” beamed Bob, but said he couldn’t find a job either. He said shelters would not take him because of his criminal record. He said he received monthly disability checks. He said he needed a place to clean up for a job interview.

Homeless Services

These services are available at Bloomington-Normal, including from a religious organization that feeds them. Bloomington’s Abundant Life Church delivers non-perishable food weekly to the homeless population of Bloomington-Normal. The church also maintains a pantry and clothing and serves hot lunches daily.

Pastor Roy Koonce said he’s worried about whether those living in Tent City will have a place to go.

“That’s a great question and I don’t have an answer for what they will do,” Koonce said. “I know that if they come here, we’ll do our best to help them.”

Koonce said the church had no shelter but would offer all possible help to anyone who came to its door. Koonce said the church has rules but will not permanently reject anyone.

“I’m 68 and for the first time in my life, I feel like I have my goal,” Koontz said. “I like to do what we do. I like helping people. I like the success rate.

“It breaks my heart when I see someone who can’t.”

Bloomington’s two homeless shelters, Safe Harbor and Home Sweet Home Ministries, have said they don’t reject anyone who needs a place to stay, unless their history or behavior suggests it is. a threat to staff or other residents. But both shelters have had limited capacity for much of the past year due to pandemic restrictions.

Roy Koonce of the Abundant Life Church has said he would like the city of Bloomington to do more to help its homeless residents. He said the police are generally trying to avoid the problem.

“A lot of wanderers and homeless people sleep in the parking lot because they all get some heat to keep the ground from freezing (in winter). The police, all they do is go through there and chase these guys away. They don’t stop them, ”Koonce said.

Police intervention

Koonce suggested that an arrest would help some homeless people begin a process to seek medical attention and other treatment.

Town of Bloomington

Greg Scott

Bloomington Acting Police Chief Greg Scott said officers can’t arrest anyone if homeless residents don’t commit a crime.

“What they’re doing there isn’t specifically illegal,” Scott explained. “The State of Illinois and even the Supreme Court of the United States have made decisions that have said it is their First Amendment right to do these things.”

Scott said homeowners must file a trespass report before police arrest anyone. In the case of the proposed restaurant, Scott said no one had filed a complaint. Scott said the homeless population needs social services, not police intervention.

“It really doesn’t help anything,” Scott said.

Accommodation possibilities

A Bloomington City Council member said he would agree that jail is not the solution for people with no roof over their heads. Jeff Crabill said the goal should be permanent housing. Crabill said he was not sure what the city could do to better facilitate this, other than calling attention to the problem and encouraging more landlords to rent to people through a rapid relocation program.

“They just don’t want to have someone in their apartment or their house who is homeless. There is a stigma to this. I think some owners want to avoid this if they can, ”Crabill said.

Jeff Craybill speaking into the microphone

Emilie Bollinger

Jeff Craybill

The PATH Crisis Center in Bloomington recently launched the relocation program. The association secured funding from the CARES Act to provide short-term housing for people during the pandemic to limit the risk of the spread of COVID-19.

Karen Zangerle recently retired as Executive Director of the nonprofit group. She said tent cities have been around in Bloomington for decades. Zangerle said that there is often a certain culture in these wanderer communities that can make relocation difficult.

“People who live in tent cities like it because they don’t have anyone to tell them what to do, they have no responsibility to follow,” Zangerle said. “It’s a bit like a big camping trip.

Zangerle said PATH has asked outreach workers to meet with tent dwellers and other homeless people to discuss their options for a permanent place to stay. She said some will welcome the aid and some will not.

“What ultimately happens is that a certain group of them will find a new place and they will leave,” Zangerle said, adding that a large part of the tent city’s population is moving to the south when the weather gets colder.

Where to go from here

Bob, a resident of Tent City, said he plans to move soon, regardless of the restaurant’s schedule. “When it’s cold we have to go somewhere,” he exclaimed, but added that he was not sure where he was planning to move.

Jamie said once the proposed restaurant moves in, it will likely end up across the street behind the McDonald’s where he lives.

“It’s the only other place we can go,” Jamie said.

Jamie and Bob both laugh at the feeling that they don’t want help.

“We’ve tried and tried and tried and tried and they avoided us,” Jamie said.

“We’ll get there one way or another,” Bob said.

Where and how they will do it remains an open question. These two tented city dwellers think they’ll have to rely on their experience and survival instinct when their home from the last few years is uprooted for a fast food franchise.

It is not known when Panda Express plans to take over the West Bloomington site to begin construction. The company did not return any messages seeking comment.


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Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation Welcomes New Trustees – Network News, Press Releases

July 20, 2021

From left to right: Stephen Martinez, Tom Evans and Tom Geisel. Not in the photo, Behnaz Baker.

Hackensack Meridian The Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of Behnaz Baker, Thomas Evans, Stephen J. Martinez and Thomas X. Geisel to its Board of Trustees.

“These new directors are all great additions to our board,” said Clare Ward, Interim Executive Director, Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation and Vice President, Principal Giving, Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation. “Tom Evans and Stephen joined us at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and immediately stepped up to help Hackensack University Medical Center through its most difficult time in its history. Behnaz joins us as the pandemic appears to be ending, but she has been involved in medical center-related child-related causes for several years and is eager to use her time and talents as Hackensack University Medical Center continues. its expansion and recognition as one of the best hospitals in the country. Tom Geisel’s extensive experience in regional and national organizations, combined with his leadership experience, involvement in many leading industry associations and passion for extending his expertise to business organizations and the local community make him a wonderful addition to our board of directors.

Baker is the CIO and Executive Director of Integration at Riverside Medical Group, which is part of Optumcare. As a member of the leadership team, she leads several divisions of the practice to execute Riverside’s vision and strategy to provide the best possible care to New Jersey residents through partnerships with internal and external stakeholders. through growth and acquisitions. In 2018, Baker was recognized as one of New Jersey’s “50 Best Business Women” by NJBIZ. She and her husband, Omar Baker, MD, established the Dr. Omar and Behnaz Baker Patient Assistance Fund at Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health at Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital to provide financial assistance to children and families. faced with chronic health problems. Additionally, she was a member of the Hackensack Meridian Health Children’s Hospital Advisory Committee for the past two years. Baker resides in Manhattan with her husband and three children.

Evans retired from PwC after a 38-year career where he helped develop the organization’s best leaders and teams at all levels. He began his career at PwC in 1977 as a Chartered Accountant in the firm’s insurance practice before joining the Leadership & Development team to launch his industry-specific training efforts where he quickly rose to prominence. through the ranks, eventually becoming the firm’s first Chief Learning Officer, followed by the Development Leader for PwC West businesses in Canada, Brazil and Mexico, as well as in other Latin American and Caribbean countries. He is a member of the Association of the US Army (AUSA), the Association for Talent Development (ATD) and the AICPA. He is also very active in his community and is deputy mayor and commissioner of revenue and finance in his hometown. Evans lives in Nutley.

Martinez is an architect at RSC Architects, a full-service architectural firm specializing in healthcare, education and municipal works. Previously, he worked in New York for Kohn Pedersen Fox, an international architectural firm specializing in skyscrapers in New York and Asia. Martinez is a registered architect in the state of New Jersey and a member of the American Institute of Architecture and the National Council of Architectural Registration Board. He received his BA from Lehigh University and his MA in Architecture from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Recently married, Martinez lives in Ridgewood with his wife Burgess.

Geisel is President of Corporate Banking at Sterling National Bank, where he leads corporate banking strategic, innovation and execution activities. His responsibilities include strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, capital allocation and overall execution of revenue generation. In addition, Geisel is a member of numerous committees of the bank, as well as a number of major professional societies in New York and New Jersey. He was named one of New Jersey’s “50 Most Influential People in Banking” by NJBIZ and his ideas have been featured in many leading media outlets.

To learn more about how you can support the Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation, please contact Clare Ward, Acting Executive Director, Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation, at [email protected] or visit hackensackumc.org/givenow.


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Merrick Garland blocks federal prosecutors from searching for journalists’ files

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Merrick Garland severely limited the ability of federal prosecutors to obtain tapes of journalists’ contacts when they investigated leaks of sensitive government information on Monday, curbing a long-standing practice that had sparked offenders. criticism in recent weeks, especially from President Biden.

In a note to federal prosecutors, Mr Garland said the agency’s past policies had failed to properly weigh the national interest in protecting journalists from forced disclosure of their sources, saying they needed to such protection “to inform the American people of how their government is working.”

Mr Garland had vowed he would prevent prosecutors from seizing information from reporters after recent revelations that former President Donald Trump’s Justice Department secretly searched for and obtained 2017 phone records from Washington Post reporters , CNN and The New York Times while trying to identify their sources. This sparked outrage from lawmakers, press freedom organizations and Mr Biden, who said he would no longer allow such tactics.

Mr Garland, who as a federal judge has taken a strong stand in favor of journalists ‘rights and First Amendment protections, told lawmakers in June that the new policy would be the “most protective of journalists’ ability to do their job in history “. He has met with information officials to discuss their concerns at least twice in recent weeks.

The new policy includes exceptions for cases involving an agent of a foreign power or a member of a foreign terrorist organization, or where measures must be taken to “prevent an imminent risk of death or serious bodily harm,” said the memo.

The three-page memo also said the ministry would support legislation codifying protections for journalists into law, going beyond the efforts of previous administrations, and giving Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco the responsibility of consulting others to develop new regulations on the matter.

Such legislation has not been a priority for lawmakers in recent years and would face an uncertain fate in Congress. Without becoming law, any rules passed by the Justice Department under Mr Garland could be overturned by a future administration.

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Media advocates applauded the decision. “The Attorney General has taken a necessary and critical step to protect press freedom at a critical time,” said Bruce Brown, executive director of the Journalists’ Committee on Press Freedom. “This historic new policy will ensure that journalists can do their job of informing the public without fear of federal intrusion into their dealings with confidential sources,” said Mr. Brown.

Some former national security prosecutors said that while existing guidelines already made it difficult to subpoena journalists’ files and provided for the tool as a last resort, they expected the new memo to further limit such investigations.

“I think this will make leaks of classified information more difficult to investigate, but it was a compromise the department is prepared to make in order to provide greater privacy protection for journalists and their sources,” he said. said Kellen Dwyer, a former district attorney who was deputy. Assistant Attorney General in the National Security Division of the Department of Justice and now works at the law firm Alston & Bird.

For years, prosecutors have used subpoenas and court orders to obtain journalists’ files in leak investigations, often after exhausting other options to identify suspects. Under the Obama administration, for example, the Justice Department used the tool for investigations involving reporting from the Associated Press and Fox News. Several former government employees and senior officials have been sued by the Obama Justice Department.

In one notable case in 2010, former Attorney General Eric Holder personally approved the seizure of the phone records and personal emails of Fox News Channel reporter James Rosen, who reported on a secret government report on Korea. North. An FBI search warrant request identified Mr. Rosen as a possible criminal “co-conspirator”.

In response to a backlash from media advocates and others, Holder added in 2013 new hurdles that prosecutors had to overcome before they could get subpoenas and search warrants targeting journalists. The measures included requiring prosecutors to give notice to a media organization before a subpoena could be issued to seize cases, unless the attorney general certifies that doing so would interfere with the investigation.

At the start of the Trump administration in 2017, then Attorney General Jeff Sessions pledged a crackdown on classified information leakers and said the Justice Department would review policies on subpoena news organizations. At the time, Mr. Trump had repeatedly complained about leaks related to contacts between Russia and figures from his 2016 election campaign and the investigation by then-Special Advocate Robert Mueller, on these links. In June 2021, a Treasury Department official was sentenced to six months in prison for leaking sensitive financial information about former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and others.

Mr Trump’s second attorney general, William Barr, continued the practice, tasking a New Jersey federal prosecutor to work on the half-dozen leak cases he inherited.

Unsealed court documents last week show the Justice Department searched the files of three Washington Post reporters on December 22, the day before Mr Barr resigned, in a bid to identify sources in three articles . Prosecutors identified them by their publication dates: a May 2017 article detailing conversations between Mr. Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner and Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States at the time; a June 2017 report on the Obama administration’s struggles against Russian electoral interference; and a July 2017 story about conversations between Mr. Kislyak and Mr. Sessions, which had the discussions when he was a United States Senator.

Prosecutors said in their court order request that they believe a member of Congress may have provided the newspaper with details of Mr. Kislyak’s conversations.

Trump’s Justice Department also seized communications records from some Democratic lawmakers in 2018, a revelation that sparked outrage from Democrats. Lawmakers themselves were not the target of the investigation, the Wall Street Journal previously reported, and their records were obtained because they had been in contact with one or more assistants that prosecutors suspected of having. disclosed classified information to the media.

Senior Justice Ministry officials have long questioned how forcefully prosecutors should press for the files of journalists looking for the sources of the leaks. For example, even as Mr. Sessions stepped up investigations into the leaks, behind the scenes some ministry officials rejected a more aggressive stance, the Journal reported.

In 2017, for example, law enforcement discussed with Mr. Sessions whether to relax the requirement that investigators exhaust other options to obtain information as part of prior leakage investigations. to subpoena journalists’ files, the people said. Mr Sessions asked his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, to review the policy, which officials ultimately refused to change.

Telephone recordings

More WSJ coverage of Trump Justice Department policy, selected by editors.

Write to Sadie Gurman at [email protected] and Aruna Viswanatha at [email protected]

Copyright © 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8


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Oregon legislature’s resume under scrutiny before explosive resignation

Nate Monson, bottom left, addresses lawmakers at a hearing in April.

Screenshot / OPB

When he resigned last month, making explosive allegations upon his exit, the official responsible for handling harassment complaints in the Oregon Legislature had reason to believe he would be out of office any longer. .

Lawmakers and human resources officials had recently learned a number of concerning things they missed when hiring Nate Monson, according to documents released by the state legislature on Thursday.

This included the fact that Monson had distorted his work history and offered misleading references. He had also quit a former job in Iowa over concerns about harassment and financial mismanagement which were not communicated to officials in Oregon until nearly two months after Monson began working here in as Interim Legislative Fairness Officer.

“I am deeply disturbed by the information shared with me today,” wrote Jessica Knieling, Acting Director of Human Resources at the Legislative Assembly, in a June 8 memo released to the OPB and officials. from the Capitol. “Frankly, when I got the first email today, I had hoped it was just a misunderstanding.”

Nothing in the memo contradicts Monson’s claims when he resigned on June 15. In his own note to lawmakers, Monson detailed a history of unpaid legal bills, delayed investigations, unethical contracts, sloppy record keeping and lax responsiveness to the Office of Legislative Fairness. d resumed. The office, established in 2019, is a kind of clearinghouse for complaints about harassment, retaliation and other misconduct.

Related: In flashy outing, former Capitol Hill official expresses top concerns about how Oregon is handling harassment

“We want you to know that we take his allegations relating to the state of the office very seriously, ”wrote the four lawmakers who chair the Joint Conduct Committee, Monson’s direct supervisors, in an email sent to Capitol Hill Thursday. “We are now taking the time to gather all the relevant facts to verify the veracity of the allegations …”

But recently released records provide more context for Monson’s sudden departure, suggesting he knew he had little future on Capitol Hill as scrutiny intensified.

Monson declined to comment on the note on Friday, citing advice from legal counsel.

It is not known what due diligence the legislative administrators performed when hiring Monson. Records released this week show that they emailed at least one of his referrals. But a simple Google search would have detected a gap much earlier in the hiring process.

Officials began to learn much more about their new recruit in June, after a fact various city his resume claim that he worked for six months at the Iowa Coalition for Collective Change.

That was not true, as a call and email made clear to legislative administration officials from Coalition Executive Director Luana Nelson-Brown. According to the memo, Nelson-Brown explained that she had been “friendly colleagues” with Monson, and that “they spoke of him coming to work for the coalition, but never anything close to what he wrote down. on his curriculum vitae “.

Nelson-Brown further explained that his board would not allow him to hire Monson because of the “problems” he encountered while working for Iowa Safe Schools, an affiliate organization that Monson had led for 13 years before she was fired in 2020. According to the memo, Nelson-Brown suggested that Monson’s “oversight and racism” had become a concern in this role and that a financial audit by the attorney general’s office Iowa was underway.

“Nate might be good for certain roles in the Legislature, but Equity is not one of them,” the note said, summing up what Knieling reported hearing from Nelson-Brown.

As he delved into the matter, Knieling learned that not all Monson’s references were what they appeared. He had listed a reference as a board member of the Iowa Safe Schools, not pointing out that this person was a high school student who acted as a student representative, but had no supervisory authority.

Another reference, listed by Monson as a board member of the Iowa Coalition for Collective Change, had never been on that organization’s board of directors, a fact Knieling said he discovered with research. Google months after Monson was hired. In fact, the person had served on the board of directors for the Iowa for Safe Schools, she wrote.

As part of its investigation in June, Knieling also spoke with current leaders of Iowa Safe Schools, who said the organization severed ties with Monson in November 2020, but declined to provide many details. . Knieling learned, she said, that Iowa Safe Schools had “discovered financial irregularities,” but gave no details.

“The [ISS] The chairman of the board said she would have serious concerns about him in such a role, ”Knieling wrote in the June 8 memo, referring to Monson’s work as head of legislative fairness. . “I asked if he had engaged in unlawful harassment or discrimination. She said she wouldn’t say illegal, but that had been very inappropriate.

In interviews while considered for the role on Capitol Hill, Knieling wrote, Monson told officials he “intentionally quit” his job with the Iowa Safe Schools.

Knieling’s memo was written a week before Monson submitted his resignation. Monson’s direct supervisors, the chairmen of the Joint Steering Committee, suggested in their email Thursday that he was aware that concerns had arisen that would prevent him from moving from an “interim” role to a permanent one.

“Given the level of trust and integrity required by the LEO position, we, as the Co-Chairs, have decided to schedule a meeting of the Joint Steering Committee to review Mr. Monson’s employment in light. of this new information, “the lawmakers wrote. , the senses. Floyd Prozanski and Chuck Thomsen, and Representatives Julie Fahey and Ron Noble. “Mr. Monson has been advised of the plan to schedule a meeting and has chosen to tender his resignation.”

The substantive concerns Monson alerted lawmakers to on his way remain – and have sparked a great deal of interest in a legislature still grappling with how to handle harassment.

“When I started, there were no records, electronic documents, scheduled training, and unpaid invoices, resulting in investigations averaging 10 months in the past year.” Monson wrote in his June 15 resignation letter. “There have been outstanding cases where individuals have tried to file a case but have received no response. The gravity of the situation means that justice is not being served to those who have come forward and can cost taxpayers millions of lawsuits due to the liability of not having proper procedures, documentation and oversight. “

In their email to officials and staff at the Capitol, the chairmen of the Joint Steering Committee said they had “taken action” to address one of Monson’s concerns: that financial constraints had driven investigators stop work, delaying harassment investigations. They also suggest that the unpaid bills had not resulted in work stoppages, as Monson claimed.

The two outside investigators who do contract work for the legislature did not answer questions from the OPB about Monson’s claims.

The email sent Thursday suggests that the chairmen of the joint steering committee were widely releasing the note on Monson in light of media requests. The documents communicated to the OPB are more complete than what has been requested.

Despite the difficult end of his term, at least one of Monson’s former supervisors has positive things to say.

“I thought Nate Monson was the right fit for the job,” Rep. Ron Noble, R-McMinnville, told OPB last week. “There were some things he obviously felt he needed to move on.”

In a job that demands confidentiality – and whose activities are often shielded from lawmakers because of it – Noble has said he believes Monson is capable of acting as an auditor of some sort for the way the office was managed before his tenure.

“I don’t think the system is broken,” Noble said. “I think Nate’s arrival exposed some of the weaknesses in the logistics of the post and the supervision of the post.”

Lawmakers are in the process of seeking Monson’s replacement.


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Socrates Sculpture Park welcomes new ruler as search for permanent director continues – QNS.com

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Socrates Sculpture Park has a new leader – for now.

Suzy Delvalle has been appointed interim executive director, succeeding John Hatfield, who held the position for almost a decade before stepping down in October 2020. The search for a new director is underway.

The Artist Oasis on Vernon Boulevard was created by a coalition of artists and community members who transformed an East River landfill and illegal landfill into an open studio and exhibition space in 1986.

“John Hatfield has grown the organization in countless ways over his nine years here, including doubling the operating budget and staff size, and opening new exhibitions that have been critically acclaimed,” said declared Delvalle. “I look forward to working with the rich family of artists, staff and collaborators of Socrates, as well as the surrounding community. “

Delvalle was most recently President and Executive Director of Creative Capital, a national non-profit organization that supports innovative and adventurous artists across the country through funding, advice, gatherings, and career development services. She is known as an “ardent defender of art and artists”.

With over 20 years of leadership experience in the cultural sector, Devalle has dedicated his career to improving the impact of mission-based organizations and creating opportunity and equity in the arts.

“The board is delighted that Suzy is taking on the role of interim director during this important time for the organization,” said Ivana Mestrovic, secretary and treasurer of the board of directors of Socrates. “Suzy brings a wealth of experience working with artists and communities, and we have the utmost confidence in her ability to lead Socrates as we continue to seek a permanent executive director.”

As the second director in the history of Creative Capital, Delvalle has overseen some of the most dramatic changes in the organization’s two-decade history. Under his leadership, Creative Capital increased its annual budget by 20% and expanded the board of directors with 12 new active members while creating a National Advisory Board. It has also expanded its services to artists by instituting Creative Capital Awards and annual retreats.

“Suzy has been a valued colleague in the field for many years, and I am delighted to hand over the reins to her,” said Hatfield. “I am extremely proud of the progress of the organization over the past nine years and of all that the board, staff and I have accomplished together.

Hatfield will be joining NYU faculty in September to teach a course for their graduate program in Museum Studies.

While exploring other activities, he will continue to serve in an advisory capacity on the Socrates Capital Project to build a permanent structure in the 5-acre park, which sits on the ancestral land of the Lenape, Canarsie and Matinecock peoples.


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Chicago Palestinians have connection to distant homeland

Every time Fidaa Elaydi buys fresh falafel for $ 3.99 a dozen from a bakery in Palos Hills, she gives her three children a Palestinian cooking lesson.

Elaydi remembers longing for his father every time he eats sesame bread from Jerusalem, as it reminds him of his own childhood, when he sold loaves of this bread while living in the Gaza Strip.

“I try to make accessible to my children here the parts that were not accessible to my parents in the refugee camp, while helping them understand the nuance,” said Elaydi, 33, a Palestinian refugee from the refugee camp. third generation and an immigration attorney who lives in the southwestern suburb of Justice.

When she tells them about their Palestinian identity, she focuses on the beauty of the area her parents told her stories about when she was growing up – the oranges of Jaffa, the vastness of the Mediterranean Sea and eating figs and pomegranates. directly on the trees.

“I’m just trying to tie everything together … to strengthen their bond with their homeland,” she added.

Fidaa Elaydi with her daughter at one of the recent pro-Palestinian protests in Chicago.
Courtesy photo

This continued connection to their homeland was brought to light recently, when hundreds of people took to the streets of the Loop to show their support for the Palestinians in their conflict with Israel.

the Arab America website estimates that 85,000 Palestinians live in greater Chicago, representing 60% of Chicago’s Arab population.

The community is scattered throughout the metropolitan area, but Arabic road signs are so common in some southwestern suburbs – around Bridgeview, Oak Lawn, and Worth – that the area has been called “Little Palestine.”

“The Palestinians kind of settled in this area, and they chose to stay with each other and build this tight-knit community. If you drive into South Harlem you will see bakeries, dessert shops, jewelry stores, and small grocery stores – anything that cites the names of cities in Palestine, ”Elaydi said.

the Arab-American Action Network, a non-profit community center established in 1995 on the southwest side, is one of several centers for the community. Social services, advocacy work, education, engagement of women and youth, and cultural events are some of the outreach services and programs offered by the network.

This community is linked by a history of conflict and displacement. The region the Palestinians call home includes much of today’s Israel. American Palestinians living in Chicago are just one part of a larger network of Palestinians living in the United States and around the world who connect to their struggle through storytelling, activism, justice social and sometimes simply by existing.

Elaydi’s four grandparents were forced to leave their homes in 1948, a date known to some as Israel’s War of Independence but to others as the “Nakba,” in Arabic for disaster.

They ended up in a refugee camp in Gaza, where Elaydi’s parents grew up until his father, accompanied by his mother, moved to the United States as a student.

“Because Palestinian history is inherently a story of dispossession, displacement and exile, I never believed that my connection, or my Palestinian identity, was less than a Palestinian living between [Jordan] River and the [Mediterranean] Mer, ”she said.

Ahlam Jbara immigrated to Chicago in 1974 when she was two months old. She returned to the West Bank with her family in 1986. But the following year, six months after the first Palestinian intifada, or uprising, her family returned to Chicago.

“I always say that the two years I lived there shaped who I am today,” said Jbara, 47.

Ahlam Jbara speaks at an event organized by the Palestinian American Center at Oak Lawn in 2019.

Ahlam Jbara speaks at an event organized by the Palestinian American Center at Oak Lawn in 2019.
Provided

This 73-year conflict continues today and resumed earlier this year in Jerusalem, where Palestinians faced brutal Israeli police tactics at the Al-Aqsa Mosque during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in April.

This, combined with threats to evict dozens of Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem by Jewish settlers, was followed by the Hamas group firing long-range rockets into Jerusalem and launching Israel from it. heavy airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.

At least 230 Palestinians were killed, including 65 children and 39 women, and 1,710 people were injured, according to the Gaza health ministry. Twelve people in Israel, including a 5-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl, were killed.

The 11-day explosion of violence ended on May 20, with a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas.

During the conflict, American Palestinians and their supporters took to the streets of Chicago and around the world.

The sense of community connection here reflects decades of organization and institution building, said Hatem Abudayyeh, executive director of the Arab American Action Network.

Abudayyeh, the son of Palestinian immigrants, is also national president of the US Palestine Community Network – a grassroots group that is also part of the Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine, an umbrella organization for pro-Palestinian groups in the region, including including American Muslims. for Palestine, Jewish Voices for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine.

“We were able to react like we did with masses of people because we have institutions. Because we’ve established a tradition and history of community organizing in the city and in the United States as a whole for a long, long time, ”said Abudayyeh.

Coalition rallies closed parts of the loop as protesters demonstrated outside the Israeli consulate, waving Palestinian flags.

Aviv Ezra, Israel’s consul general in the Midwest, said the latest situation was not about the situation in Sheikh Jarrah, but rather the actions of Hamas, which he said “used every pretext … State of Israel.

Protesters hold up a banner for the Coalition for Justice in Palestine during a march through the loop on May 12, 2021. The coalition is an umbrella organization for a number of pro-Palestinian groups in the Chicago chapter.

Protesters hold up a banner for the Coalition for Justice in Palestine during a march through the loop on May 12, 2021. The coalition is an umbrella organization for a number of pro-Palestinian groups in the Chicago chapter.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times

In mid-June, the ceasefire was tested when hundreds of Israeli ultra-nationalists, some chanting “Death to the Arabs,” marched through East Jerusalem to celebrate Israel’s capture of the region in 1967. The Palestinians then sent incendiary balloons into southern Israel, causing several fires in parched farmland. Israel carried out airstrikes and more balloons followed.

About a week later, there were clashes between Palestinians and Jewish settlers in an area of ​​Jerusalem where settler groups are trying to evict several Palestinian families, officials said last week.

Thousands of people demonstrate in favor of Palestine and march through the loop, Wednesday evening, May 12, 2021.

Thousands of people demonstrate in support of Palestine and march through the loop on May 12, 2021.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times

The growing awareness of systemic racism in the United States sheds a different light on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for some Americans, says Wendy Pearlman, professor of political science at Northwestern University.

“This language of rights and equality also ties into Black Lives Matter and social justice protests in a way that, at least in the American context, people are starting to see in a new light that puts rights. of man in the foreground and it is difficult for Israel and its allies to delegitimize, ”she added.

Tarek Khalil, a member of the Chicago branch of American Muslims for Palestine, said the rallies are “cries for justice, liberation and equality.”

“It is worth it that I am an activist here, because the government that represents me is the same government that provides the same entity that is the source of the oppression of my people – $ 3.8 billion a year in financial, military and diplomatic assistance, ”said Khalil, 36, who grew up in Chicago and lives in Bridgeview but spent four years of his childhood living in the Silwan neighborhood of east Jerusalem.

“It’s personal but also political,” Khalil said. “It is essential that we pressure our government to formulate policies that are not contrary to the values ​​we preach every day.

Contribution: Associated Press

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$ 99 million in rental assistance for returned Floridians

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – About $ 99 million in unspent rental assistance to help Floridians living in affordable housing has been returned to the state after the agency overseeing the program struggled to shell out the money.

The Florida Housing Finance Corporation, which was established by the Florida legislature to help develop and support affordable housing, received $ 120 million in federal rent assistance funding last year as part of the CARES law. Florida used the money to create a coronavirus relief fund, intended to help tenants catch up on rent who live on properties that FHFC finances and have lost jobs or income due to the pandemic.

Taylore Maxey, press secretary for the non-profit organization, said she has distributed around $ 13.2 million to help tenants in 373 multi-family developments across the state. In total, FHFC said it received 786 requests for assistance but only 521 were approved. And about $ 99 million has been returned to the Department of Economic Opportunity to be reallocated to other pandemic programs.

“There’s no way to water it down: this strategy has been underused,” said Trey Price, executive director of the FHFC. “But all that considered, I think we did a good job with the time constraints we were facing and the resources given to us.”

Nonprofits that have tried to help affordable housing residents take advantage of rent assistance and push back eviction notices, including the Miami Workers Center and the Community Justice Project, said the problem is that some landlords will not participate in rent relief programs because of the requirements. they place on the owners.

To participate in the FHFC program, for example, landlords had to waive late fees and agree not to increase the rent until January 2021, while also pledging not to turn down lease renewals for late tenants. rent or report them to the credit bureaus. They also had to agree not to initiate new eviction requests and to suspend ongoing evictions for a period of time.

However, Price said he believed the biggest obstacle to disbursing the funds was that tenants had to pay 30% of their household income in rent to be eligible, a prerequisite which was later removed.

He said a separate program run by the non-profit organization, in which FHFC contracted with 119 local government housing offices to distribute rent assistance, was much more successful. According to figures provided by the association, $ 98.3 million in rent assistance and $ 18.1 million in mortgage relief were spent as part of this strategy.

Price said FHFC returned the unspent money before the deadline set by the CARES Act, which required all funding to be used by December 31, 2020 or returned to the federal government. Former President Trump ultimately extended that until the end of 2021 when he unexpectedly signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act in December.

He waited to sign the $ 900 billion COVID relief plan until December 27, just days before many provisions of the CARES Act expired, including federal unemployment and the paycheck protection program. . The moratorium on deportations from the country was also about to end.

Price said the uncertainty over whether or not Trump would sign an extension put the Florida Housing Finance Corporation in a difficult position.

“There was a real question of whether President Trump was going to sign or veto this bill,” Price said. “At this point, we needed to start moving (the unspent money) to the state of Florida. You don’t just snap your fingers and move $ 99 million. There was a bit of a rush. “

Christina Pushaw, spokesperson for Gov. Ron DeSantis, said the decision was made to “pull out” the unused money because this bill awaiting Trump’s signature contained $ 25 billion in aid to the government. dedicated rental, including $ 1.4 billion for Florida. Pushaw said the money returned by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation had been reallocated “to support the state’s ongoing pandemic response spending,” but couldn’t say exactly what it was being used for.

But it’s unclear why the governor’s office was confident he would receive this money, given Trump’s reluctance to sign the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which passed both the House and the Senate with bipartisan support. Pushaw did not immediately respond when asked for further details.

In a video posted to Twitter, Trump at the time called the bill a “disgrace” and called on lawmakers to “get rid of unnecessary and unnecessary pieces of this legislation and send me an appropriate bill.” , referring to the provisions of the 5,593 -page legislation allocating money to foreign aid, environmental projects and the arts and humanities.

“It’s called the COVID Relief Bill, but it has almost nothing to do with COVID,” Trump said, toppling lawmakers and even some of his own aides, who were in tense negotiations over the package. for months. Trump was also unhappy that the bill only included $ 600 stimulus payments for Americans and said he wanted to issue checks for $ 2,000.

However, Capitol Hill residents were quick to point out that some of the unrelated projects that received funding were programs that Trump included in his 2021 fiscal budget. His critics also ignored that Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s secretary of the Treasury, was the one who negotiated the figure of $ 600.

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Non profit living

Moratorium on evictions will expire at the end of June

In Together’s offices, the association is receiving more and more calls, as a federal moratorium on evictions is due to end on June 30. “So we see a lot of fear, a lot of panic,” said Together President and CEO Michael Hornacek. According to Hornacek, the organization has seen an increased need for aid since the start of the pandemic, from food to housing and utilities. “It’s all coming to an end at the same time. And I think we’re trying to do our best to prepare to respond,” he said. Hornacek said that not only are they seeing an increase in the number of people needing help, but the requests themselves are also different. “So instead of seeing a rent request of $ 750 to pay a month’s rent, we could see six to nine months, and the request is going to be $ 6,000 to $ 9,000,” Hornacek said. worried because homeowners may again file evictions, the fallout could happen quickly. “If we evict, you know, hundreds and thousands of homes in our community, where do these people go? Can the shelter system handle this? Are they going to be on the street? Will they live in their car? “Says Hornacek. Rental assistance is available, but requests can take time. Together works with the Metro Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless. MACCH is the administrator of about 20 million dollars in federal rent assistance. Executive Director Randy McCoy said there is still about $ 15 million to be made from this federal money. However, once the landlord and tenant submit the required documents, it may still take two to three weeks for the money to come out. late or if you are not sure how you are going to pay the July rent now, start an application early to avoid any kind of market instability. housing or loss of your housing, “McCoy said. In addition to this federal money, McCoy said, there are dollars available from private philanthropy and other grants. In total, McCoy said MACCH has already provided $ 10 million in aid in 2021. “So the need is still quite strong in the Omaha community. You know, we were hoping 2021 would be less in demand, but I say it’s at least on par with what we’ve seen in 2020, if not slightly better at this point, “McCoy said. The nonprofits are hoping landlords can give tenants some time to get this done. financing and paying the rent, before you evict them. ”You don’t really see it until it’s all over, and then all of a sudden this summer, if you see more homeless people on the streets or in cars, you’ll see it, but then it’s too late, “Hornacek mentioned.

In Together’s offices, the association is receiving more and more calls, as a federal moratorium on evictions is due to end on June 30.

“So we see a lot of fear, a lot of panic,” said Together President and CEO Michael Hornacek.

According to Hornacek, the organization has seen an increased need for assistance since the start of the pandemic, from food to housing and utilities.

“It’s all coming to an end at the same time. And I think we’re trying to do our best to prepare to respond,” he said.

Hornacek said that not only are they seeing an increase in the number of people needing help, but the requests themselves are also different.

“So instead of seeing a rent request of $ 750 to pay a month’s rent, we could see six to nine months, and the request is going to be $ 6,000 to $ 9,000,” Hornacek said.

He worries, as homeowners may again file evictions, the fallout could happen quickly.

“If we evict, you know, hundreds and thousands of homes in our community, where do these people go? Can the shelter system handle this? Are they going to be on the street? Will they live in their car? Hornacek said.

Rental assistance is available, but requests can take time.

Ensemble works with the Metropolitan Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless.

MACCH is the administrator of approximately $ 20 million in federal rent assistance.

Executive Director Randy McCoy said there is still about $ 15 million to be made from that federal money.

However, once the landlord and tenant submit the required documents, it can still take two to three weeks for the money to come out.

“If you’re currently late or don’t know how you’re going to pay July rent now, start an application early to avoid any sort of housing instability or loss of your home,” McCoy said.

In addition to that federal money, McCoy said there were dollars available from private philanthropies and other grants. In total, McCoy said MACCH has already disbursed $ 10 million in aid in 2021.

“So the need is still pretty strong in the Omaha community. You know, we were hoping 2021 would be less in demand, but I’d say it’s at least on par with what we’ve seen in 2020, if not slightly higher. at this point, ”McCoy said.

Nonprofits are hoping landlords can give tenants some time to secure that financing and pay the rent, before they evict them.

“You don’t really see it until it’s all over, and then all of a sudden this summer, if you see more homeless people on the streets or in cars, you will see it, but then it’s is too late, ”Hornacek mentioned.

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Non profit living

Collaboration Expands Quality Addiction Treatment Services at University of Miami and Across Ohio

DOWNTOWN, Minn .– (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – The nonprofit Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation provides addiction care, as well as recovery, family and educational services to Ohio residents, including students at the University of Miami, with its RecoveryGo ™ telehealth solutions, which are now available to anyone living in the state. A long-standing collaboration with The Haven at College, which has been providing services to the University of Miami since 2018, has helped facilitate Hazelden Betty Ford’s expansion in Buckeye State.

“Our virtual ambulatory care and other telehealth resources and services are proving to be effective and convenient, and have allowed us to expand access and reach more people as addiction problems skyrocket amid the crisis. pandemic, ”said Hazelden Betty Ford, President and CEO Mark Mishek. “Ohio has been at the center of the drug addiction epidemic, and we are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the University of Miami and other partners to help bring healing and hope to more. individuals, families and communities. ”

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is the nation’s largest nonprofit provider of addiction treatment, mental health care, recovery resources, and related prevention and education services, with sites across the country , extensive telehealth solutions and a growing network of collaborators across healthcare.

The Haven at College is a member of the Hazelden Betty Ford Patient Care Network and has provided outpatient drug treatment and recovery support services to students at the University of Miami in Oxford, Ohio, for over two years. Now refocusing resources in her home state of California, The Haven at College worked with officials at the University of Miami to ease the transition to Hazelden Betty Ford’s clinical services and ensure that students encountered no lack of access to professional help.

“It was really important for us to have a smooth transition with a quality treatment provider, and no one is better at substance abuse treatment than Hazelden Betty Ford, so we’re thrilled,” said Sharon Weber, co-founder of The Haven at University. In addition to her high-quality, evidence-based treatment services, Hazelden Betty Ford also provides extensive recovery, family and educational services, meaning Miami students and student service professionals will have access to even more resources than before. ”

Hazelden Betty Ford’s Intensive Outpatient and Insurance-Eligible Virtual Drug Treatment Services are now available for the first time not only to University of Miami students, but also to people from all corners of the world. Ohio, including rural underserved areas.

“No matter where you live in Ohio, if you have commercial health insurance and a computer, you and your family are now eligible to participate in therapy without traveling,” said Laura Adams , Hazelden Betty Ford’s Senior Director of Outreach for Ohio.

Designed to replicate her on-site patient care experience, Hazelden Betty Ford’s Virtual Substance Use Disorder Treatment Services combine group therapy and one-on-one counseling sessions via encrypted law-compliant video technology for more of security. To access Hazelden Betty Ford’s treatment previously, Ohio residents had to go to a facility in another state. Now they can access it directly from their homes.

Other RecoveryGo ™ resources and services now available in Ohio and nationwide include a free one-day virtual family program, available in English and Spanish; a virtual program for children; and many digital recovery support tools, such as mobile apps, podcasts, and an online peer community. In addition, Hazelden Betty Ford prevention experts seek to increase their support for Ohio’s school systems by expanding their services to graduate students; and its professional training consultants, already active in Ohio, are available to collaborate with more treatment centers, hospitals, health systems and recovery organizations, as well as public health leaders. from Ohio who want to implement virtual care and other evidence-based behavioral health solutions.

“By providing more opportunities for quality treatment and ongoing support, and working with others in Ohio who are also committed to reducing the negative impact of addiction, we can bring hope and healing to people.” underserved rural areas and others statewide, ”said James Ahlman, executive director of the East Hazelden Betty Ford region.

An industry leader and long-time provider of telehealth solutions, Hazelden Betty Ford moved all of its “outpatients” nationwide at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, to a robust virtual platform that includes a effective virtual drug testing system and other best practices to ensure the highest levels of confidentiality, security and quality. A year later, Hazelden Betty Ford has now provided virtual ambulatory care to thousands of people across the United States.

First results from the Butler Research Center show that Hazelden Betty Ford’s Virtual Intensive Outpatient (IOP) treatment is working well, with patients discharged “against medical advice” at a significantly lower rate than previous IOP patients on site – a good indicator of positive results in the field. long term results. Based on preliminary results at 1 and 3 months, Hazelden Betty Ford also observed little or no difference between on-site and virtual IOP patients with respect to: reported cravings, mental health symptoms, sobriety, confidence in sobriety, attendance and quality of life support group.

“Virtual drug addiction care is here to stay,” Ahlman said. “More than a stopgap solution during the pandemic, telehealth fills important gaps in the behavioral health care system, allowing many patients to take a first step that they would otherwise have delayed and dramatically expanding access. If these preliminary results hold up for the long term, virtual care is expected to create new transformative opportunities for the thousands of people in Ohio and millions across the country struggling with substance use.

See www.RecoveryGo.org or call 1-800-I-DO-CARE for more details and resources.

About the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. As the nation’s leading nonprofit provider of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient drug treatment and concomitant mental health care for adults and youth, the Foundation has 17 locations across the country, with extensive solutions. on-site and telehealth and a network of collaborators across health care. With a legacy that began in 1949 and included the founding in 1982 of the Betty Ford Center, the Foundation today also includes a Graduate School of Addiction Studies, a Publishing Division, a Center for Addiction Research, recovery advocacy and thought leadership, professional and medical training programs. , school-based prevention resources and a specialized program for children growing up in families struggling with addictions. Learn more about www.HazeldenBettyFord.org and on Twitter.

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