Community Capacity, Extension, and the Geographically Dispersed

first_imgIn recent years the military has reshaped its deployment methods in order to adapt to the demands of disparate global conflicts.In the course of Operation Desert Storm, Reserve soldiers comprised just 25% of deployed servicemen (Department of Defense Appropriations for Fiscal Year 1992, 1991).Due to the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the subsequent troop surge of 2007, this number of deployed Reserve and National Guard soldiers accumulated to 40-50% of deployed servicemen (Defense Manpower Data Center, 2009).At no other time in history has such a large population of Reserve and National Guard units been deployed.This adaptation in deployment methods is significant because families of these soldiers are located in geographically dispersed civilian communities, not traditional military installations where important services to support the stresses of deployment are readily available. team of Michigan State University researchers and extension professionals provides an excellent assessment of this situation, and provides clear recommendations in their recent Journal of Extension article titled Meeting the Needs of National Guard and Reserve Families: The Vital Role of Extension. Using representative data from the Michigan State University Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR State of the State Survey (SOSS), the researchers explore family-related issues and post-deployment needs  (IPPSR, 2008) and consider the implications of their work, with focus upon the characteristics of the Extension system that position professionals to assist military families and communities through difficult transitions. Today’s Friday Field Notes features this paper.According to Ames and colleagues, “while National Guard and Reserve families live in every state and territory, this article examines the case of Michigan with the goal of providing implications for Extension professionals across the United States… unlike states such as Texas, Florida, Arizona, or Virginia, Michigan does not have a large military base, and therefore it lacks the traditional infrastructure to address the needs of soldiers and their families (e.g., access to commissaries, health care facilities, and social support). Even though there is no military base, the Michigan National Guard and Reserve force operates with 19,151 members (National Governors Association, 2008), and these soldiers and their spouses and children account for 44,581 Michigan residents (National Governors Association, 2008).”  The authors point out that other states likely encounter similar challenges, especially in the absence of large military installations.Perhaps the most important finding of this work is the perception that the responsibility for addressing issues related to National Guard and Reserve deployment and transition rests at the national and family levels. However, the study authors point out, “there appears to be a disconnect between these two levels, and neither is equipped to address the complex needs of NG soldiers and their families on its own.” They go on to point out that the 2009 National Leadership Summit on Military Families recommended shared responsibility between the family support community and families, and that Cooperative Extension is a key component of this “family support community.”Further, the research team observes that it appears that state and community system resources are being overlooked. Again, referencing the  the Leadership Summit, they point out that participants expressed concern that many families often are unaware of supports in spite of available resources and growth in program opportunities (National Leadership Summit on Military Families, 2010)… that there is a need to coordinate and build capacity in states and communities in order to bridge multiple sources of support.Extension, Ames and colleagues argue, has an important role to play in this coordinating and capacity-building effort. “The Extension system provides a presence within all counties across the country, which allows it to reach the dispersed population of National Guard and Reserve families. Extension provides research-based information to promote the welfare of families, and it has proven its commitment to serving military families (Carroll et al., 2008). Extension also is well suited to build capacity through community and economic development initiatives.”We encourage you to have a look at the entire article, or to reach out to one of the research team members, listed below.Barbara AmesProfessor and Graduate Program DirectorDepartment of Human Development and Family Studiesames@msu.eduSheila SmithExtension Program Leader, Children, Youth, Families, & CommunitiesMichigan State University Extensionsmiths20@msu.eduKendal HoltropGraduate Research AssistantDepartment of Human Development and Family Studiesharrin72@msu.eduAdrian BlowAssistant ProfessorDepartment of Human Development and Family Studiesblowa@msu.eduJessica HamelGraduate Research AssistantDepartment of Human Development and Family Studieshameljes@msu.eduMaryhelen MacInnesAssistant ProfessorDepartment of Sociologymdm@msu.eduEsther OnagaAssociate ProfessorDepartment of Human Development and Family Studiesonaga@msu.eduMichigan State UniversityEast Lansing, Michiganlast_img read more

Boogie Cousins overcomes nerves in 1st game with Warriors

first_imgCJ Perez shrugs off rookie jitters to deliver PBA debut fitting of top pick View comments Durant said: “Hopefully that’s the last time we give him a standing ovation when he fouls out.”Cousins credited his teammates for making his return “as smooth and easy as possible.”“They all love him,” Kerr said. “He’s a really good teammate. He’s an emotional guy but he’s loved because he cares about us.”And the Warriors feel the same way about their new big man.“This is not the end of the story,” Kerr said. “It’s the middle and there’s a long way to go.” Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant, left, pats center DeMarcus Cousins, center, on the chest as forward Draymond Green smiles during the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)LOS ANGELES — DeMarcus Cousins was nervous. His stomach felt tight and filled with butterflies. He grabbed his phone and fired off texts to family and friends. He talked to his brother and sister.Golden State coach Steve Kerr and the rest of the Warriors reassured Cousins it wasn’t just about Friday night’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “It was like poetry,” teammate Stephen Curry said.Cousins was called for two fouls in the first three minutes and sat down.“I’m just glad to know I can still dunk,” he said. “That felt good.”Cousins joined the lineup at a time when Golden State has won seven in a row and an NBA-leading six straight on the road. Friday was the start of a five-game trip that will take the team back East, giving players time to bond.“It’s good for him to come in at a time we’re playing well and things are calm,” Kerr said. “It allows for an easier re-entry.”ADVERTISEMENT It’s about the rest of his career.Making his Warriors debut after being sidelined for nearly a year, the big man called Boogie scored 14 points before fouling out of a 112-94 victory.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“It’s been a long journey,” Cousins said. “This was probably one of the best days of my life being back on the floor playing the game that I love.”After missing his first shot, Cousins announced his presence with a one-handed slam off Kevin Durant’s bounce pass for the Warriors’ first basket.center_img MOST READ SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño As if the Warriors weren’t potent enough with Curry and Durant, Cousins’ return made them the first team in 42 years to start five All-Stars from the previous season.“We’re not going to drink our own Kool-Aid in terms of understanding that just because he’s back, it’s a totally different team,” Curry said. “We still have things we’ve got to work on. We still have details we have to focus on. These next four games on the road are going to be tough, so it’ll test us right out of the gate with DeMarcus in the lineup.”Against the Clippers, Cousins shot 5 of 11 from the field. He was 3 of 4 on 3-pointers to go with six rebounds, three assists, one steal and a block in 15 minutes before fouling out. He became the first Warriors center to hit at least three 3-pointers in a game since Anthony Tolliver on March 17, 2010, against New Orleans.“This is almost like training camp for him,” Kerr said.Cousins played his first game since Jan. 26, 2018, when he ruptured his left Achilles tendon with New Orleans. He missed the rest of the season, including nine playoff games for the Pelicans. The Warriors signed him in July.“We haven’t even really practiced together, so we’ve got a lot of growing to do,” Cousins said. “I still don’t feel like my rhythm is where I want it.”After getting his fifth foul 30 seconds into the fourth, Cousins hit consecutive 3s, throwing up three fingers as he ran down court.“He does so many things well for them,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “The post game, which he didn’t have because of rhythm, but he made a couple of 3s and he just knows how to play.”When he got his sixth foul a few minutes later, instead of his usual scowl, Cousins smiled and high-fived his teammates, who gave him a standing ovation.“Probably the fakest love I ever received in my life,” he said. TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola?last_img read more

Government Making Home Ownership More Affordable

first_imgThe 33-year-old customer service representative says the changes have placed him in a better position to access benefits.“I (have) always aspired to own my own home; it’s one of the many things on the (life goals) checklist that I have,” he shares.For Melanie Whyte, who is a renter, investing in her own home is now a reality.She says she has long wanted to make the switch from paying rent to putting her hard-earned money into something she can call her own.“When you are paying rent, while you have somewhere to reside, that place belongs to someone else. On the contrary, when you are paying towards your mortgage, that house will be yours in the end,” she tells JIS News.The Government has also provided a $150,000 grant to NHT mortgagors with disabilities or those who reside with and care for family members with disabilities. The grant is to be used to retrofit/upgrade the dwelling to make it suitable to serve their needs.The individual with the disability must be residing at the mortgaged property and registered with the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD).Contributors who are disabled and earn $30,000 per week or less will borrow at a rate of zero per cent.Meanwhile, contributors earning below $12,000 weekly and who have been contributing for over seven years, will be able to access up to $2.5 million for an NHT home grant.By combining their mortgage loan and the home grant amount, these contributors should be able to purchase a unity equivalent in value to an NHT studio. Previously, contributors benefited from a maximum home grant of $1.5 million. Story Highlights For many Jamaicans, owning a piece of the rock, a home, which they can pass down to future generations, is one of the most important life goals.The Government is making it easier for persons to realise their dream by implementing a raft of measures to make home ownership easier and more affordable.These include increasing the National Housing Trust (NHT) loan ceiling, reducing the interest rates on mortgages for lower-income groups, providing 100 per cent financing for all NHT units, improving home grants, and establishing a special grant for persons with disabilities to assist with retrofitting their houses.Since July 1, thousands of persons have been able to access more funds to purchase houses on the open market and NHT-financed scheme units, and build on own land, through an increase in the loan ceiling from $4.5 million to $5.5 million.In addition, the loan limit for the 15-plus loan category has been increased to $2.5 million from $1.5 million.This is for contributors who want to repair, improve or expand an existing mortgaged property or those who want to purchase or construct a residential property once the beneficiary is no longer a homeowner.With this new policy, two qualified NHT contributors can co-apply and access up to $5 million for home improvements.In addition, the house lot loan limit has been increased to $2.5 million from $2 million.The NHT now offers 100 per cent mortgage financing for all housing units it produces. This means that the Trust will lend qualified contributors the full amount required to buy NHT units, providing that they can afford the monthly loan payments.A number of persons are welcoming the new policy measures.Eduardo Ferguson tells JIS News that the move by the Administration is a commendable one, as it is ensuring that all Jamaicans, not only those from the upper echelons of society, are provided with an opportunity to own a home. For many Jamaicans, owning a piece of the rock, a home, which they can pass down to future generations, is one of the most important life goals. Eduardo Ferguson tells JIS News that the move by the Administration is a commendable one, as it is ensuring that all Jamaicans, not only those from the upper echelons of society, are provided with an opportunity to own a home. By combining their mortgage loan and the home grant amount, these contributors should be able to purchase a unity equivalent in value to an NHT studio. Previously, contributors benefited from a maximum home grant of $1.5 million. NHT contributors are taking advantage of the new policy measures, with Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, announcing recently that the entity is set to deliver a historic 8,000 mortgages this financial year.This will amount to approximately $28 billion of housing loans.The Prime Minister said the NHT is delivering on the mandate set by the Government to build more houses.“We are not just building houses in the high-income category, we’re not building houses alone in the middle-income category but we are building mostly housing solutions for persons above minimum wage,” he notes.The Prime Minister says the Government is ensuring that the required infrastructure is in place to meet the demands of a growing population.The NHT housing programme for the 2017/2018 financial year will see the commencement of construction of almost 6,000 housing solutions across Jamaica. The target is 15,000 over the next three years.Housing developments under construction include Ruthven Towers in St. Andrew; Colbeck Castle 1 and 2 in Clarendon/St. Catherine; Longville 2A and Monymusk 2 in Clarendon; Barham, Darliston and Masemure in Westmoreland; and The Estuary and Cashew Grove in St. James.The NHT is an entity set up by the Government to lend money at low interest rates to contributors who wish to build, buy or repair/improve their houses or who wish to buy or build on lots.The NHT also develops housing schemes for sale to contributors and provides low-cost financing to private developers.last_img read more