Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Notations On Our World (Special Edition): Staying Cyber Safe

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Logo

On the eve of Memorial Day in the United States, a "Virtual Public Service" advisory for all:

05/20/2019 04:10 PM EDT

Original release date: May 20, 2019As Memorial Day approaches, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) reminds users to stay cyber safe. Users should be cautious of potential scams, such as unsolicited emails that contain malicious links or attachments with malware. Users should also be aware of the risks associated with online shopping and traveling with mobile devices.
CISA recommends users review the following tips for information on how to guard against these risks:

Friday, May 17, 2019

Notations On Our World (Special Friday Edition): On The Value of Education

This week saw the anniversary of another milestone in the history of America as the crucial Brown vs. Board of Education was decided.    Justice Felix Frankfurter wrote to Chief Justice Warren on it which we hereby present as a tribute to that day in 1954 when this major decision was made.   We also captured a note from the New York Times on the continued challenges of Education today exemplified by moves by communities such as Chicago to have free Community Colleges.     We view Education as the salvation and the opportunity for the future and our mission here in our Education Property will continue to help deliberate and to show case the trends...



The New York Times' David Leaonard Reflected upon it earlier this week: 

The version of “free college” that I find most promising is free community college.
Eliminating tuition at two-year colleges would send a message that Americans are supposed to continue their education beyond high school. It would also avoid a major weakness of the free four-year college plans that some Democrats are now pushing — namely, giving a big handout to upper-middle-class families, most of whom don’t send their children to community colleges.
Several places around the country have started free community-college programs, the most prominent being Tennessee (under a Republican governor) and Chicago (under a Democratic mayor). Yesterday, that mayor — Rahm Emanuel, who leaves office later this month — announced he was expanding the program to graduates of 12 Catholic high schools; it had previously applied only to public-school graduates. It’s a good move, because Catholic schools have long helped launch working-class Americans, and not just Catholics, into the middle class.
“Twelfth grade can’t be the norm,” Emanuel told me. “You’ve got to change the goal line. K through high school was the 20th century. Pre-K to college is the 21st century.”
Still, I have one big worry about free community-college programs, and I wanted to use the latest news as a reason to look at how well Chicago and Tennessee have been dealing with it. The answer is mostly encouraging.
More clarity, more grads
Community colleges can be inspiring places. They’re often filled with people who are trying to overcome big challenges — including lower-income students, war veterans, laid-off workers, students with disabilities and victims of domestic abuse. Unfortunately, the colleges also tend to be starved of resources, as Richard Kahlenberg of the Century Foundation has pointed out. Many have shockingly low graduation rates.
My worry about free community-college programs is that they will lead more students to enroll but not necessarily graduate. The programs could potentially even lead to a drop in the total number of college graduates, if students began choosing community colleges over four-year colleges but then failed to finish.
So I asked officials in both Chicago and Tennessee what’s happened to their enrollment and graduation numbers since starting their programs.
The first piece of good news is that, as intended, enrollment has risen. More than 64 percent of Chicago’s public high-school graduates enroll in a college — for two- or four-year degrees — up from 54 percent in 2010, before the program started. In Tennessee, the share of high-school graduates going to college jumped to 64 percent in 2015, the first year of its program, from 58 percent the previous year. It has since remained between 63 percent and 64 percent.
These increases are notable, because even before these programs began, federal financial aid covered community-college tuition for many students, as Sandy Baum of the Urban Institute (a skeptic of free tuition) often points out.
“Could a low-income student have gone to community college tuition-free before?” Mike Krause, who runs the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, said to me. “Absolutely. But they didn’t know that.” He added: “We have managed to bring clarity to a message that was in the past very complicated.”
The second piece of good news is that graduation numbers have also risen. They’ve done so because both Tennessee and Chicago have paired free tuition with a new push to reduce dropout rates.
Tennessee has signed up 9,000 volunteer mentors per year to work with students, Krause said, and to qualify for free tuition, students must take a full load of classes. Chicago has also taken steps to help students stay in school and graduate.
The results: In Tennessee, the three-year community-college graduation rate has risen to 23 percent from 14 percent. In Chicago, the graduation rate has risen to 24 percent from 11 percent. Many more Chicago community-college students are also transferring to four-year colleges.
Obviously, those graduation rates remain far too low. There is still a lot of work to do, including better funding for the colleges and more accountability for those that don’t reduce their dropout rates. And free tuition still doesn’t cover most living expenses, like food and lodging.
But on the most basic question of whether the programs in Tennessee and Chicago are working, I’d say the answer is yes.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Notations On Our World (Special Edition): On the ChristChurch Call

We here at the Daily Outsider made a commitment to be supportive of the ChristChurch call and welcome the support by the big five including Facebook, Amazon, Google along with Twitter (Both that we are quite active and quite supportive) as we hereby present the ChristChurch Declaration:

Monday, May 13, 2019

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): On Recovering from Activism Burnout

As we welcome all to our "re-branded property", please enjoy this courtesy of the team at TED--our team found elements of it quite interesting for our own journey:

Sunday, May 12, 2019


In honor of Mothers' Day here in the United States, Please enjoy the following courtesy of Jonathan Lockwood Huie & his Team--Happy Mothers' Day to All:

We leave our most profoundly positive impact 
on those around us by the nature of our lives 
and the example we set.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

The heart of a mother is a deep abyss
at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.
- Honore de Balzac

You can't live a perfect day without doing something 
for someone who will never be able to repay you.

- John Wooden

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): On The State of Homelessness

We hereby present the following on homelessness:

Point in Time Count Illustrates Urgent Need for Action
Homeless count in Orange CountyHello Mike, 

The results of the biennial Orange County Point in Time Count are in. It was a groundbreaking effort by the County of Orange, CityNet, 211 OC, as well as service providers, law enforcement and more than 1,000 volunteers using an electronic mapping system. We now have a significantly better handle on how many of our neighbors are homeless and where they are.

Bottom line? There are 6,860 people experiencing homelessness in Orange County. The count also shows that in the last two years that there has been an increase of 1,390 shelter beds into our system, and while this is good news we must remember that people need places to go after shelter so their homelessness can end.

This is why we brought local leaders together last year to form United to End Homelessness so that we, as a community, can work together to enact long-term, proven solutions. The count data shows that 52% of the unsheltered population are chronically homeless which reinforces the urgency and need for more permanent supportive housingin our community.

We will continue to help educate the community and build support for ending homelessness in Orange County. We will expand the Welcome Home OC program for apartment owners to make rental units available to people experiencing homelessness. And this new data will help the community coordinate the resources needed to bring customized services to those experiencing homelessness.

Now that we know how many of our neighbors are suffering from homelessness, it's time to shift into high gear in our collective effort to end homelessness in Orange County.


View 2019 Point in Time Summary
Homelessness in the News
Orange County Register

Nearly 7,000 are now homeless in Orange County, according to more accurate count

Read Now
Voice of OC

7,000 Homeless People in OC is a Wake Up Call, Experts Say

Read Now
Orange County Register

How are Orange County cities responding to new homeless count data?

Read Now

2019 Point-In-Time Count Results Released
As reported in my newsletter last week, Orange County partnered in January to complete the 2019 Point-In-Time (PIT) count of the homeless. Over 1,150 community volunteers, as well as nonprofit and faith-based organizations, all 34 cities, and County government representatives, including my office and I, worked in tandem to implement a new methodology and technology to ensure everyone was counted.

With my staff at the 2019 PIT deployment center at Family Assistance Ministries in San Clemente.
The data collected during our 2019 PIT count contains valuable information the County and community stakeholders will use to ensure resources are distributed to best serve those experiencing homelessness.
The extrapolation method we used is HUD compliant and entirely acceptable. To that end, the County created a unique identifier and used a survey on a phone app. Volunteers went to areas where homeless people were and filled out the survey, adding points to the GIS map.
The results from the 2019 Everyone Counts process provide the most accurate data on the scope of homelessness in Orange County to date, as 6,860 individuals experiencing homelessness were counted across the County. Of those, 2,899 were sheltered while 3,961 were not.
Approximately 2,200 people completed all the survey questions. This gave us much better accuracy of the data, and we also spoke directly with homeless individuals about their specific needs and barriers to resources. As such, we gained valuable information about our homeless population in a one-day snapshot, as this is a hidden population that moves around. For example, if we did a count today, they would likely be in different places.
In prior counts, volunteers only interviewed about 300 to 400 homeless people and extrapolated the numbers based on countywide demographics. A factor that could have increased the numbers in this year's PIT is we counted families differently than in prior count methodologies, so they were definitely under-counted in the past.
In the 2019 PIT count, we asked our family solution collaborators to connect with their clients who were homeless on the night of January 24. Results showed 110 families were unsheltered, as opposed to in 2017, when we had only 20 families, because we just don't see as many families in a street count.
Individuals experiencing homelessness were broken into different demographic groups, including sheltered and unsheltered, veterans, transitional age youth, seniors and families. In addition, those surveyed were able to self-report if they had substance abuse issues, serious mental health issues, and if they had a physical disability, as well as other demographic factors.
We learned that over 50 percent of our homeless have been in Orange County for more than a year. They also have community ties, such as family, school or employment. Those questions are locally driven. We added them to get a sense of their community ties, as many do have ties here.
Furthermore, seventy-three percent have their last permanent address here, and 92 percent spend most of their time here, particularly in the North and Central Service Planning Areas of Orange County.
Of note, Orange County saw a 121 percent increase in the number of emergency shelter beds from 2017 to 2019. This was an increase in 1,390 beds in all.
As previously stated, people familiar with the homeless populations in their respective cities volunteered for the 2019 PIT count, with familiar and trained volunteers counting over 800 square miles. We may have missed a few, but when homeless individuals said they had already been counted, we felt we hit a saturation point.

With the 2019 PIT volunteers in South County.
On behalf of the County of Orange, I would like to thank everyone who took time from their busy schedule to ensure that Everyone Counts. Your passion to bring solutions and awareness to ending homelessness in Orange County is truly commendable.
The final report on our PIT count will be submitted to the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on April 30. To view the press release and an infographic on the 2019 PIT count results, please click here.
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Homelessness in Orange County Update


Monday, May 6, 2019

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): @Keepod

We here at the Daily Outsider are keen to be supportive of any organization that is supportive of increasing access to elevate the level of education and engagement around the World.    To that end, we are keen supporters of Keepod and we hereby enclose their latest on what they're doing, ways all around the World can help and how non-profits can be supportive:

Made for students

Did you know that

With Keepod students can share computers with their peers while keeping their personal information private.

Bring Keepod to your community

A $7 PC for non-profit organisations and education institutes.

Ways you can help

For every product you buy, we give one Keepod to a student living without personal computing.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Notations From the Grid (Special Friday Edition): The Latest Out of MOAS

One of the organizations we keep tabs on is MOAS and the great work they are doing in supporting refugees around the World.   It is our pleasure to feature their latest update our team released and reviewed--as we hope all who visit consider buying their beautiful T-Shirt to support their work:


This month our training in Bangladesh has continued and we have now started our collaborative flood and water safety training with The International Organization for Migration (IOM) which will have even greater outreach and has become all the more essential with the approaching Cyclone Fani in the region.

Our pharmaceutical and famine relief aid deliveries have also continued their journey to Yemen and MOAS has successfully executed an supply delivery to the Alan Kurdi vessel, stranded with over 60 migrants off the coast of Malta. 
On Tuesday 9th April MOAS delivered food, water, blankets and medication to the migrants on-board the Alan Kurdi Search and Rescue Vessel which had been stranded off the coast of Malta for over a week having been denied disembarkation at both Malta and Italy.
Read more about this mission
Read our 2019 Magazine Online Now!
We are happy to announce that you can now read our official 2018 magazine online via the link below where you will find more information about our operational milestones from last year and more in-depth insights into refugee experiences.
Read Magazine Here
Xchange Foundation's Rohingya Survey 2019
This year our partner organisation Xchange returned to Bangladesh to conduct a survey with Rohingya refugees living in protracted displacement. To learn more about their findings take a look at the survey below: 
Read Survey
MOAS t-shirts
Our collaboration with artist Gianluca Costantini has produced more fantastic t-shirts to support our campaigning work! Buy your t-shirt today and support MOAS' goal to promote Safe and Legal Routes for those fleeing hunger, violence and persecution.
Buy Now

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