Big Oil, ‘Unloved and On Sale’

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Sydney Morning Herald:Big Oil is under pressure, unloved and on sale.Energy giants from Exxon Mobil to Royal Dutch Shell are struggling back to their feet after a three-year oil slump, while also fighting to prove they can survive for decades to come amid an accelerating shift to clean energy.So getting dumped by the world’s biggest investment fund wouldn’t be welcome news.Norway’s $US1 trillion ($1.25 trillion) sovereign wealth fund said on Thursday that it wants to sell about $US35 billion of shares in oil and gas companies to make the nation “less vulnerable” to a drop in crude prices.Norges Bank Investment Management has nearly 380 investments oil and gas investments worldwide, the majority of which are in the US. If the strategy is implemented it will have an enormous impact on the market as the fund is amongst the top ten largest institutional investors in some of the world’s largest oil and gas companies. It holds stakes worth more than US$5 billion in Shell, US$3 billion in ExxonMobil, and US$2 billion in Chevron, BP and Total.Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis director of finance, Tom Sanzillo, said the move as a reminder that ongoing low oil prices were a continued risk.“The Norges Bank recommendation that the Norwegian Fund remove oil and gas stocks from its benchmark indexes reflects the long-term deterioration of these stocks,” Mr Sanzillo said.“Oil and gas stocks are no longer stable providers of cash or value added contributors to institutional investment funds. The bank’s decision now incorporates the risks from these increasingly speculative investments.More: For sale: $25 billion oil shares dumped by world’s biggest fund seek new owner Big Oil, ‘Unloved and On Sale’last_img read more

Trends are irrelevant in credit union website design

first_imgI was talking with a credit union marketer a few days ago who wants to redesign his website, but he’s facing resistance internally because some of his senior managers and board members say, “All the new credit union website designs look the same right now. So, let’s wait for the next design trend to come along before we redesign our website. That way, we can be at the forefront, instead of behind the trend.”“How do I respond to their concern?” he asked me. I told him, “In truth, design trends are irrelevant and sometimes even wrong.”Right now,  in the world of credit union website design, there’s a belief that being trendy is important, even essential. Many credit unions are eager to follow the latest and slickest design fad. In reality, it doesn’t matter what the credit union down the street is doing; paying attention to design trends is just keeping up with the Joneses.What really matters is design data. In other words, you should design your website based on what actually attracts members and borrowers, instead of designing based on what every other credit union is doing. By designing with data, you can create a truly superior credit union website that gives trendy sites the People’s Elbow (courtesy of Dwayne Johnson).  Below, I’ll tell you how you can get that data.Source: The New YorkerIs trendy the same thing as effective?Whatever generation you grew up in, you probably got caught up in a trend or two. Perhaps you had a killer mullet at some point. Maybe you couldn’t resist those ultra-low-rise jeans, or maybe you still love belting your favorite boy band songs in the shower. There’s nothing inherently wrong with trends, but if you follow them obsessively, you’ll end up with a goal that has a single result. If you try to be trendy, you’ll probably succeed—at being trendy. For example, many credit unions currently use sliders (aka carousels) on their homepages. Sliders are used to promote various credit union products and services, moving across the screen as visitors peruse your homepage.An example of a slider on To some marketers, sliders might seem like a good idea, but the data is overwhelmingly against them. Typically, 1% of people (or even fewer) will ever bother to click a slide. Site visitors dislike sliders because they are confusing, distracting, and resemble ads.Alternatively, data shows that you are much better served by featuring personalized or interactive content on your homepage, which increase engagement and keep visitors on your site.Aren’t the real goals of your credit union website to get more members, deposits, and loan applications? To best achieve those real goals, you’ll need to be more than just trendy, because if you simply follow trends you can run into major pitfalls—like the pitfall of the slider trend. Instead, when you use to data to make design decisions, you end up with a website that’s both beautiful and achieves your goals. How to design with data In order to design with data, you need to gather data. Fortunately, this is 2018 and you have thousands upon thousands of free resources at your fingertips. When you’re searching for an answer to an important credit union website design question, such as “how should I set up my forms?” or “what CTA would work best on this page?” you might check Google for an answer. Instead of going with the advice of the first blog post in the search results, make sure the article backs up the suggestions it makes. Double check that there’s actual data behind the claims, instead of just vague supporting text. We recommended using reputable, evidence-focused sites like and to learn data-proven design patterns. Their websites are chock full of takeaways, and even include juicy details on experiment setups and certainty levels.Detailed experiment data from GoodUI.orgYou can also gather your own data by conducting tests and running analytics on your own credit union website design. Here are few research-focused resources to help you get started:BloomCU’s Usability Testing Worksheet Without usability testing, users will hate your credit union website design 41SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Derik Krauss Derik is a cofounder of BloomCU, an award-winning website design agency for credit unions. His agency’s design work has received recognition from CUNA (Diamond Award),, and others. He … Web: Detailscenter_img A Beginner’s Guide To A/B TestingHow to Make Your Credit Union’s Site Navigation Completely IntuitiveGoing the extra mile to design with data is harder than following trends, but it’s incredibly rewarding in the long run. You’ll end up with a website that’s more engaging for your users and you’ll be a marketing rockstar. last_img read more

Top News of the Week, 7 – 13 August 2017

first_imgMHI Vestas Turbine Catches Fire at Østerild Test CentreAn MHI Vestas V164 wind turbine has caught fire at the National Test Centre for Large Wind Turbines in Østerild, Denmark.E.ON Wins Robin Rigg Dispute Against MT HøjgaardThe UK Supreme Court has ruled against MT Højgaard (MTH) in the Robin Rigg offshore wind farm dispute and in favour of E.ON Climate and Renewables.BEIS Okays Bigger Turbines at East Anglia THREEScottishPower Renewables has received planning approval from the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Greg Clark MP, for the East Anglia THREE offshore wind farm with an output capacity of up to 1,200MW.DONG Energy Sells Half of Borkum Riffgrund 2 to Global Infrastructure PartnersDONG Energy has entered into an agreement to sell 50% of the 450MW Borkum Riffgrund 2 offshore wind farm project to Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) for a total consideration of approximately EUR 1.17 billion.Venko Secures Offshore Wind O&M ContractFollowing a competitive tender process, Venko Offshore has been awarded an offshore wind farm framework agreement for maintenance and integrity services to an undisclosed blue chip client.last_img read more

Wisconsin defense stifles Minnesota in Border Battle

first_imgCornerback Antonio Fenelus (26) celebrates after a key second-quarter interception that put a stopper in the Gophers’ growing momentum.[/media-credit]MINNEAPOLIS – Eight years running.The Wisconsin football team proved it can win on the road in the Big Ten, gaining control of its own destiny and holding onto Paul Bunyan’s Axe for the eighth consecutive year Saturday after defeating rival Minnesota 42-13 at TCF Bank Stadium.Senior Nick Toon said it never gets old carrying the Axe around.“No, the axe represents a win, and that’s what you try to do every Saturday,” Toon said.As the final seconds ticked off, the Badgers ran to the sidelines to collect the axe and tote it around the field and eventually “chop down” a goal post – as per usual.Minnesota clearly wasn’t pleased, however, and quickly got chippy with the Badgers as they celebrated.“It’s a rivalry, so it’s bigger than a person or anything else,” senior safety Aaron Henry said. “It’s just a rivalry. We go chop down the goalpost just like if they were in Camp Randall; they would have chopped down the goalpost. We were going down there to chop down the goalpost – standard, routine, something that we had been doing for the last couple of years. I guess they didn’t like it. That ain’t my problem.”Defense dominatesWhile Minnesota was still able to put points on the board via a kick return and a faked field goal, Wisconsin’s defense was crushing. The Gophers only gained 156 total offensive yards, with 105 rushing and 51 passing. Minnesota didn’t get any first downs in the first quarter and only managed to gain nine the entire game.Senior defense tackle Patrick Butrym emphasized the importance of the defense’s performance and senior cornerback Antonio Fenelus’ interception.“It’s huge,” Butrym said. “Not technically a shutout, but the interception was so big because it was a point in the game when they started getting a little momentum and it was right before half.”“I think at the end of the day, it’s not really about statistics to us as a defense,” Henry added. “We just want to go out there and play extremely well and allow everybody else, to allow our offense to go out there and make plays. It’s just been a blessing so far.”Special teams struggles, againUW didn’t really want to address it after an otherwise great game offensively and defensively, but the Badgers are still struggling with issues on special teams.Each week since traveling to Michigan State, Wisconsin has given up some sort of big play on special teams in the form of blocked punts and kicks and lengthy kickoff and punt returns.Opening the second half, Philip Welch kicked the ball to Minnesota’s four-yard line. Minnesota’s Duane Bennett collected it and took it 96 yards the other way for six points. No Badger was even within an arm’s reach of Bennett as he sprinted down the field and scored Minnesota’s final points of the game.“We did a little bit of a personnel grouping, front side versus back side,” Bielema said. “We committed another two periods of practice to it, so we’ve got to get results. Again, it’s the inconsistency. … The first one of the second half, just can’t have it and we’ll continue to work and move forward.”Fenelus, who missed a touchdown-saving tackle on the faked field goal, said he expects a lot of hard work during practice this week and knows the coaches will put it into focus.“Kickoff, punt, we know we’ve got to do our job,” Fenelus said. “We’re going to stress it more and more during the week. The coaches are going to hit on it very hard because we know how important it is to put the defense in good field position.“All those have to be able to say ‘I want to make this play. I want to make that tackle.’ That’s the biggest thing.”last_img read more

Terror warning for L.A. malls is downplayed

first_imgLos Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief William Bratton on Thursday downplayed reports of planned terrorist attacks on shopping malls in Los Angeles and Chicago, saying the information was not credible and considered a low-level threat. At a news conference in City Hall, the mayor and chief said the FBI has received similar warnings every holiday season since 9-11. “We have very serious doubts about the veracity and source of this information,” Bratton said. “The information is unsubstantiated and uncorroborated.” Nevertheless, the LAPD and the Mayor’s Office reached out to mall owners to discuss the report. “Al-Qaida has made this threat with this intent of disrupting our way of life and damaging our local economy during the holiday season,” he said. “We have a responsibility to make sure they fail.” Laura Eimiller, an FBI spokeswoman, also played down the threat, saying raw intelligence is regularly shared with law enforcement, even when the value of the information is unknown. “In the post-9-11 era, sharing information is our top priority,” Eimiller said. “Al-Qaida messaging has clearly stated they intend to attack the U.S. or its interests. However, there is no information to state this is a credible threat. As always, we remind people to remain vigilant and report suspicious activity to authorities.” In the South Bay, shopping center managers and police said they were aware of the FBI alert. “We are committed year-round to maintain the safety of our guests and merchants and will continue to be vigilant through the holiday season,” said Laurie Koike, general manager of the South Bay Galleria. “Our comprehensive security program includes a complement of sworn officers as well as a security team that is capable of dealing with situations as they arise,” Koike said. Dave Crespin, a spokesman for the Torrance Police Department, which has jurisdiction over the Del Amo Fashion Center, one of the largest malls in the country, said officers are paying close attention to potential targets for terrorists. “Since 9-11, we’ve re-evaluated the safety of our schools, Torrance airport, our major shopping centers – such as the (Del Amo) mall, and our major businesses such as ExxonMobil,” he said. [email protected] [email protected] City News Service contributed to this article. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre Bratton and FBI Acting Director Pete Brust said the mall threat was contained in a routine intelligence information report when it was picked up by news agencies. The warning states that “as of August 2007 Al-Qaeda planned to strike U.S. shopping malls in Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California, during the 2007 Christmas season. Al-Qaeda hoped to disrupt the U.S. economy and had been planning the attack for the past two years.” Brust said the FBI distributes thousands of such reports in a year, “in an abundance of caution.” “The good that will come of this release today is that the citizens of Los Angeles will remain vigilant and report suspicious activities to authorities as soon as possible,” he said. Villaraigosa added that the report shouldn’t scare Angelenos away from malls. last_img read more

Epitaph: Dr. Henry M. Morris, Jr. (1918-2006)

first_imgThe man considered the “father of the modern creationist movement,” a prolific author, scientist and founder of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), died Saturday night at age 87 after a series of small strokes.  An announcement at Answers in Genesis said his mind was sharp till shortly before the end.    Dr. Henry Morris (PhD, hydraulic engineering, Rice University) and Dr. John Whitcomb awakened a slumbering church in 1961 with The Genesis Flood, a book that many have claimed marked the beginning of the modern creationist movement.  The book presented convincing scientific evidence against long ages and for a global watery cataclysm.  In 1970, Morris left Virginia Tech where he was head of the department of civil engineering, to pursue his creation activities full time.  With Dr. Duane Gish, a biochemist from UC Berkeley, Morris formed the Institute for Creation Research.  The fledgling work, begun on a shoestring, soon grew into the leading creationist research institute in the world and added a museum and graduate school.  Morris and Gish debated hundreds of scientists on college campuses across America and around the world.  His 50+ books, unabashedly Christian and literally Biblical but also very astute about science and the history of evolutionary thought, have had an enormous impact on generations of readers.    Gentle and soft-spoken in person but impregnable with a pen, Dr. Henry Morris was still writing things up to his final few days.  The breadth and depth of subjects he wrote about is remarkable.  His last monthly entry for the ICR newsletter can be read on the ICR Website as an example of his sharp mind at age 87.  The work at ICR continues under the leadership of his son John Morris, a PhD in geological engineering.  The institute has begun several new research projects including one in genetics, after the recent conclusion of its 8-year RATE project, an interdisciplinary analysis of radioactive dating by 11 scientists.    A little over three years ago, ICR hosted a large, well-attended conference at Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa called “Passing the Torch of Creation,” where Morris received a standing ovation after being introduced to speak at one of his last public appearances.  He will be missed by all who loved him and his work; indeed, even his pro-Darwinist enemies will probably pay their respects.  While denouncing his beliefs, they never could deny his personal character, integrity and influence.1  His many books, along with audio and video recordings, and not least the institution he founded, will ensure that Dr. Henry M. Morris, Jr. will remain near to the creation movement he revived.1For instance, Dr. Edward Larson, in the Teaching Company series “The Theory of Evolution: A History of Controversy” called Morris a “very sincere, honest and direct person” whose books and institute have had an “enormous influence”; in fact, Larson’s account is remarkable for its lack of any disparaging word about the man whose “naive literalism”2 has been so despised by evolutionists and liberal theologians.  This lecture series, by the way, is also remarkable for its fair treatment of the intelligent design movement, and its silence about any conclusive evidence for evolution.2It should be clarified what Biblical literalism means.  Dr. Morris believed that Scripture passages should be interpreted in their plain, ordinary sense when it was clear from the context that the author intended to communicate a historical narrative or factual statement.  Morris understood the Biblical “language of appearance” and was well aware of hermeneutical principles for understanding poetry and allegory; he just denied that Genesis 1-11 was such a passage.  A recent study of verbs in Genesis 1-2 by Dr. Steven Boyd, team member of ICR’s RATE project, demonstrated that the Genesis creation account does not fit Hebrew poetical style but matches Hebrew narrative verb usage at a 99%+ confidence level.Dr. Morris demonstrated how one man, committed to God and his word, can make a difference.  Almost every creationist leader today is indebted to his life and works.  In the 1960s there were very few books on creation.  Evolution dominated the textbooks and most churches, intimidated by science, preferred to avoid the issue.  Henry Morris’s first small paperback, The Bible and Modern Science, began to change things.  Then The Genesis Flood electrified a new generation of college-educated Christians.  Liberal churches had long since given in to Darwinism completely, and many Bible-believing churches had capitulated to long ages and uniformitarianism.  Assuming that science had proved deep time, they merely tried to accommodate it with compromises like the gap theory or progressive creation.    Morris and Whitcomb demonstrated that it was possible to look at the fossil record and the geological strata in a new way that corroborated the Bible record of a world-wide flood.  Not only that, they showed how the scientific evidence was superior to that of the evolutionists.  A new army of creation scientists launched into further investigations that continue to the present day.  New organizations, like the Bible-Science Association and the Creation Research Society, were formed and numerous spin-off clubs and societies have kept the creation movement growing in strength and extent around the world.  Almost all of them can trace some ancestry back to ICR.  We hope to have a lengthier bio on Morris for the March Scientist of the Month.    Henry Morris never boasted about himself but always sought to honor Jesus Christ and remain faithful to God’s word.  He was aware to the last of the crucial nature of this intellectual battle.  The battle has become more heated than ever (see next story).  Having passed the torch on to a new generation, he didn’t leave the field, but continued to challenge and encourage others to the end.  Dr. Morris has been the Moses of modern creationism.  His personal endurance, patience and integrity, and the wisdom of his books, need to inspire a new generation of Joshuas and Calebs to be strong and very courageous, and to take back the land, for good science and the glory of God.(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

A place to call home

first_imgRepurposed shipping containers and green building methods have provided the space to set up a caring and nurturing environment for 80 orphaned and abandoned children. There is also opportunity for dignity through the home’s environmental concerns. (Image: Dennis Guichard) 4 March 2014Repurposed shipping containers and green building methods have provided the space to set up a caring and nurturing environment for 80 orphaned and abandoned children. There is also opportunity for dignity through the home’s environmental concerns.Read more on Media club South Africa: A place to call homelast_img read more

Groundspeak Headquarters is on the Move

first_imgMoving day at GroundspeakRight now, about sixty Groundspeak Lackeys are in the process of packing up desks and loading up boxes. Groundspeak Headquarters, affectionately known as “The Lily Pad,” is moving… about two blocks. We’ll still reside in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, USA.The move will not affect performance on Our new offices allow the team to grow so that we can enhance your geocaching experiences.Groundspeak Headquarters cacheWe’d love for you to visit the new HQ. The Groundspeak Headquarters cache (GCK25B) will make the move too. The coordinates will be updated soon. Visitors to the new office should check out the cache page for instructions on visiting.The move will only take a day. We’ll be back at work in the new offices tomorrow.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedYour Virtual Visit to Groundspeak HQApril 8, 2011In “Community”An Open Letter to Groundspeak – from an 11-Year-Old GeocacherJanuary 21, 2011In “Community”The Lackey Geocoin: An Unexpected 26,000-mile, 5-Year JourneyJanuary 21, 2015In “Community”last_img read more

New Apps for Your iPhone and Android: February 2011 Edition

first_imgRole of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement iDisplay: This app turns your Android phone or tablet into a second screen for your computer (Mac or PC). ($4.99) ToothTag: The first demonstration of startup NeuAer’s “smarter smartphone” technology, this app lets you ‘tag’ wireless Bluetooth and WiFi devices and networks, then setup rules to automate actions on your smartphone, for example, your phone can play a tune when you walk by a coffee shop where your friends are hanging out. (Free) Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Viewdle: This company promises mobile apps that will analyze faces in the camera’s viewfinder and link those to Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and more. Its facial recognition feature learns the more you use it. Sounds a lot like the highly-anticiapted, then discontinued AugmentedID/Recognizr app from TAT. Our coverage here.Chute: Designed to be a simpler way to share photos with friends and family or upload them to various online cloud services, Chute will arrive in March to both iPhone and Android. Our coverage here.Route 66 + Navigation: Revealed at Mobile World Congress, this app uses TomTom’s navigation and combines it with an augmented reality view that shows you a virtual car you can follow to your destination. In 2011, we launched a new series where we round up some of our favorite new apps for smartphones (primarily iPhone and Android) on a monthly basis. With February now coming to a close, we’ve listed some of the new apps that caught our eye this month below. This month’s list includes both those that are available now and those we’re eagerly anticipating.Both iPhone & AndroidLiveShare: From Cooliris, known for their 3D browser extensions, LiveShare is new group photo-sharing. Like Beluga for photos, LiveShare groups can be public or private with no limits on number of friends. New features are coming soon, says the team. Also available for Windows Phone 7. (Free) SpeechTrans: A “universal translator” that provides both speech-to-speech and text-to-speech translation. ($19.99) Thwapr: Bypass iPhone’s 1-minute email/MMS video sharing restrictions with Thwapr which lets you send videos up to 30 minutes via an SMS link. Works with photos, too. (Free) Related Posts Sorami: This Android app (in beta) brings Microsoft’s SkyDrive service to your mobile so you can browse files, upload and download. (Free) Comic book store and reader arrives on Android and syncs your purchases from its other smartphone apps and PC. (Free).Zagat: Notable reviews service Zagat helps you find places to eat, stay and be entertained. ($9.99)RedBox: Video rental service RedBox now has an Android app that lets you browse the catalog and even reserve DVDs at a particular location for pick-up.PlayOn: Popular media center enabler, PlayOn now enabled mobile support for Android, providing access to Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, plus TBS, CBS, PBS, CNN, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and more. (Free trial, $39.99/year)MapQuest: Turn-by-turn navigation using OpenStreetMaps for those both inside and outside the U.S. on Android. Our coverage here. (Free)Bejeweled2: Stop with the clones – the official, addictive jewel puzzle game has arrived on Android. ($2.99)CNN for Android tablets: One of the first big names to launch on Android Honeycomb, the tablet-optimized version of the Android mobile operating system. Not only does it take advantage of Honeycomb specific features, including homescreen widgets, it’s also the first time CNN’s iReport is available in a tablet format. Silent Time: Silences your Android phone based on the time of day. Simple to set up and use. (Free) The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Clock widget: Another reason why you should be perusing the XDA-Developers site, this widget is only available in APK format from this thread. (Free) Hipmunk: Popular flight finder arrives on iOS devices for quick and easy flight searches on the go. When you find the one you want, you can even email a link to yourself so you can book it when you get back to your computer. (Free)center_img SnapTax: Intuit’s new application that lets you prepare and file your taxes on your mobile device. Launched earlier this year, but deserves a spot in this month’s round-up given that tax day is fast approaching! (Free to try, $14.99 when you file)LiveProfile: Like BBM for Android, iPhone and soon – yes – even BlackBerry, LiveProfile does real-time chat, lets you see when messages are delivered, read or when your friend is typing and it includes profiles, pictures and status messages. (Free) sarah perez Fipplr: An Android homescreen concept app that uses feeds and animations. No word on whether it will be released commercially or not. ElsewhereTwitter for BlackBerry (update): The official BlackBerry Twitter client launched into beta (version 1.1) and with it came new features: geotagging, new notifications, an improved UI and more.Foursquare for Series 40 (new): Popular checkin app Foursquare expands its reach to Nokia’s Series 40 devices. An S 60 version was already available.TeasedGoogle Movie Studio: It’s Google’s version of iMovie, built for Android tablets. Teased during a demo at Mobile World Congress. iPhoneKromath: Pricey, but worth it for professionals in need, this app lets you replace blue or green backgrounds with any photo of your choosing. A video version is in the works, too. (Sale: $19.99) Smartr: This app turns your Twitter feed into a newsreader so you can see what your friends are linking to. Supports Instapaper integration, too. ($2.99) RD Mute: This app lets you mute your Android phone just by placing it facedown on a surface or, optionally, when the GPS registers a speed of 31 MPH or more. (Free) Google Translate: In case you missed the news, Google Translate is now available on the iPhone, too. Our coverage here. (Free)TechDygest: A tech news aggregator like Techmeme, but for the iPhone. Our coverage here. (Free)Sneakyshot: Like the name implies, this app lets you take photos surreptitiously. Pretend to be talking on the phone and the app snaps 4 photos on the sly. ($1.99)AndroidZimly: An alternative music player for Android with an attractive UI and all the necessary features a media player needs. (Free) Facebook Messenger: Chat with Facebook friends and make free voice calls using this new IM/VoIP app for iPhone. ($0.99) Photopod: This app lets you manage, upload, download and edit your photos across a number of services including Flickr, Picasa, Facebook, TwitPic and Dropbox. (UK app store – £1.19) What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Argon: An open standards-based augmented reality Web browser developed by Georgia Tech. This app downloads AR experiences from Argon-enabled websites and has plans for 3D support in future updates. Our coverage here. (Free) Tags:#Apple#Google#mobile#web last_img read more

Building Healthy Military Communities – A Closer Look at New Mexico

first_imgLast week we interviewed Susie Galea, the BHMC State Coordinator in New Mexico, to discuss the project’s current work. This week we had a chance to look a little closer at some of the challenges facing BHMC in New Mexico and ask Susie a few questions about how the program proposed to overcome those challenges.  To find out more about Building Healthy Military Communities, and ways you can get involved, please visit: What is the Goal of BHMC in New Mexico?The #1 goal of the Building Healthy Military Communities program is Total Force Fitness.  What Mission Readiness looks like for each branch of the military may vary, but the readiness and resiliency requirements of reserve component members is the same of the active duty status component, regardless of unmatched resources.  Where there is a gap between requirements and resources is there is an opportunity to build upon community capacity.  A healthy local community reflects a healthy military of all branches and status, and that’s why the Building Healthy Military Communities program is not just going to benefit the service members, veterans, and their families in New Mexico, but this program will benefit all of NM through the “all boats rise” theory.There’s no other program, like Building Healthy Military Communities, and it is fitting that it is in New Mexico (only 1 of 7 states participating).  The new program is here to highlight the local achievements and best practices throughout New Mexico, share ideas statewide, recognize the needs of all branches and status’ of military members, veterans, and their family members, and coordinate mutual efforts while eliminating redundancies.Can you talk about how BHMC is connecting local resources and working to build community capacity?Partnering with community resources, like the Extension Services through NMSU, we can address gaps of services and community needs within every single county statewide.  Whether most are aware or not, there are service members living in their community, and if they are like half of the NM Guardsmen who have not yet deployed on federal mission for at least 145 days, those 2000+ service members do not have federal/VA benefits, and rely on local resources for overall health.  Amongst the 4 military installations in NM, there are also 15 Readiness Centers spread throughout the state.   Extension Services that are partners to BHMC domains:Family Health and Wellness (Cooking Classes and Fitness Training)Financial Health (Personal Finance and Other Family Resource Management)Economic Development (Veteran’s establishing or renewing farm lands)Working together, through a New Mexico Military Community Covenant, we New Mexicans will find the utility of partnerships that connect us at all levels of governments that didn’t seem possible before.  Together, we can remove barriers of health and welfare that we need to advance our families and economy into a future we share, while maintaining our culture.  Through the Building Healthy Military Communities program, which will expound upon our wonderful resources, we all will increasingly find our capacity to thrive with more ease for everyone in New Mexico.What are the first steps BHMC will take to create Total Force Fitness in New Mexico?My BHMC goal is to stand-up regional Inter-Service Family Assistance Committees (ISFACs) as soon as possible to create a sustainable statewide Joining Community Forces (JCF) that has great impacts for both identifying resources for NM Service Members, Veterans, and Families, and a great statewide team impact toward 2018 legislation that will strategically address our 8 domains of Building Healthy Military Communities for New Mexico’s present and future.I cannot do any of this without our formal partners – All New Mexico military leaders, civic leaders, community partners, and programs such as:Strong Bonds, NM Dept. of Veteran Affairs, Uniformed Services Blended Retirement System, Vets4Warriors, Tricare, Guard Your Health, Safe Helpline, Military OneSource, Ready Airman, Local NM Veteran Civic Groups, Indian Health Services, Community Action and Information Boards, AmeriCorps, all county Extension Services, and more.What is the #1 challenge facing BHMC in New Mexico?The main challenge for New Mexico is geographic dispersion. If you look at the map below, and the key, you can see that the majority of installations are not located within a convenient proximity to a Readiness Center. You can contact Susie Galea, state coordinator, at:[email protected] or [email protected] Can you talk more about the needs of the geographically dispersed population and how BHMC plans to address them?1. The number one need and gap in services for NM Service Members, Veterans, and Families is Emergency Financial Assistance. Here’s our plan to address this issue:A. Establish a NM Military Family Foundation (501c3) under the state of NM.Example of best practice: MN’s foundation raises $300k/yr, and is able to provide a one-time grant request for emergency financial needs (medical, housing and vehicle repair).B. Identify affordable child care that is licensed and accessibleExpand qualifiers and budget for the Child Care Fee Assistance program through CYFD. It has been an issue of Readiness and public safety when NM Guard/Reserve are unable to attend their one weekend/month training due to child care cost/availability.C. Unemployment and under employment of NM Guard/Reserve, Veterans, and their Families continues to be addressed by a myriad of BHMC partners.Without NM’s focus on community health, we cannot legislate ourselves enough new or expanded jobs in the state. Our workforce health, since the recession and decline in behavioral health care providers, has not been attractive to Fortune 500 companies. The $20M/yr state legislative economic incentives for new and growing businesses has not proven enough to override the need for reinvestment in workforce development.2. Access to behavioral health care providers is more than a statewide crisis, but is even more difficult for military members that utilize the Tricare medical insurance.A. The state of NM has reduced Medicaid medical provider payments for care. Those providers, without a diversity of clientele of a variety of insurances, leave NM to become providers in neighboring states.New Mexico and the ACA’s Medicaid expansion – Medicaid enrollment up 66 percent since 2013.Children make up 64.5 percent of New Mexico’s Medicaid population.As of 2014, 50% of NM population was either on Medicaid or Medicare.B. Tricare’s most recent contracted payer to medical providers, United Health Care, took up to 90 days to send provider payments for care. Which is not a sustainable medical business model.A majority of medical providers, that accepted Tricare 5 years ago, are no longer accepting the insurance that all active duty and some reserve component members use to access care.* BHMC is documenting the access to care challenge to provide supporting data for both increased State of NM payment ratio reimbursements for medical provider payments, and an improved Tricare payer contracting model for future payer contracts of Tricare beneficiaries.3. Increased opioid and illicit drug use and addictions is more than a statewide crisis. Random military member drug screenings reveal the growing self-medicating drug environments, where NM service members reside, is reflected.A. Treatment from Opioid Abuse cost NM $92 per-capita, as of 2015.B. Direct correlation between NM opioid abuse and the behavioral health care provider shortages.We need more local support for New Mexico medical providers who medically treat opioid addictionWe need state legislative support to actually fund the Governor’s Behavioral Health Initiative from 2016.The public health community can continue to collaborate on SAMHSA federal grant funding to increase both behavioral health providers and substance abuse treatment providers.C. The New Mexico labor force, of those abusing substances, creates a shallow pool of labor for existing and incoming businesses.NM has the highest unemployment rate in the nation (2017).4. Increased public safety concerns and statistics of rising violent crime rate, and of non-violent thefts and vandalism.A. Increased statewide crime rates are directly related to the increase in substance abuse and drug addictions.The behavioral health care provider shortage is a crisis.Address public education, behavioral health care, and substance abuse treatment gaps in services with state and local legislation and funding.B. Not enough public safety officers to recruit and maintain to meet the rising calls for public safety help.NM state retirement (PERA) legislation change and increased funding would allow trained and retired officers to maintain or regain their public safety officer positions while collecting their retirement pay.In the current NM environment of increased misdemeanor crimes and substance abuse, qualifying new public safety officers is the challenge. Our shared requirements and resources identify gaps in services to recruit new public safety officers as quickly as needed.C. Economic concern for local businesses, potential new businesses, and individual families throughout NM.Victims of crime often are financially hurt.5. Employment: Will more jobs and new companies come to New Mexico before we address our gaps in services, and current public health and workforce environments?A. NM has the highest unemployment rate in the nation. Are all those currently unemployed eligible for employment having no misdemeanors or substance abuse problems, and have obtained above high school education?B. We need more jobs, of a variety of technical fields, to come to NM where we have a competitive workforce.What do you need from the communities of New Mexico? Are you, as a New Mexican or want-to-be-New-Mexican, tired of hearing these statistics: NM has the highest unemployment rate in the nation, NM is short of behavioral health care providers, parts of NM have the highest rates of opioid abuse and over doses, NM has one of highest DWI rates and deaths, NM’s population growth represents an ‘Exodus’ to surrounding states, NM public education ranks 3rd to last in the nation, NM ranks last in child welfare, NM has the highest senior hunger rate, NM’s metropolitan non-violent crime rate has almost doubled in recent years with statewide police officer shortages, and NM’s state budget (our tax dollars) cannot afford the needed maintenance of our public schools and road infrastructure?To truly make this new program and resource beneficial to all New Mexicans, I need your help – New Mexico.  I need your ideas, I need more knowledge of the resources you find best beneficial, and I especially need your criticism.  That’s right, no idea is a bad idea, there is no door I’m afraid to knock on, and I know that conflict is sometimes needed to produce mutually desired progress.Service providers are cordially invited to be recognized in the network for service members, veterans, and families.  Please go to: read more