Rice One!: Doing Good in 2018

Was your 2018 New Year’s Resolution to get smarter? Give more? Well, if you don’t feel like reading or searching for the charity for you, here’s one possible solution: FreeRice.

It’s an oldie but a goodie.

Created back in 2007, the game has donated trillions of grains of rice, from the United Nations World Food Program, and millions of users have helped accomplish this. The “100% non-profit website” accomplishes two goals: 1) it provides free education; and, 2) it strives to end world hunger one free grain of rice at a time.

I used to play it in the computer lab instead of solitaire, galaxy pinball, Runescape or Kongregate like the other kids. With several game types to choose from on FreeRice, my favorite right now is “famous paintings.” Thanks, Google Arts & Culture.

During the Aughts, there were a lot of sites that did similar things for idle, maybe even educational, gaming, to support such causes as feeding dogs, giving flour or beans.

From websites to apps, some things have changed. The top hits from the list are the following two, for donating for activity, rather than per dollar. Donate a Photo, supported by Johnson & Johnson only asks a photo! Charity Miles may make you walk a bit, but hey, cardio that gives to charity at no cost? Nice!

What I like about this

Apps that do good things are great. Altruism doesn’t need to be an uncomfortable adventure with the Peace Corps or Habitats for Humanity anymore! Now you can be your own type of superhero right from the comfort of home! Or at the gym!

That’s all pretty wonderful, but the ease of altruistic behavior and doing good isn’t entirely what keeps me excited about things like this. It’s where things like this will develop. What’s the diachronic outlook here?

Look at 2007 to 2017! Our charitable giving can start from a larger screen, playing games, answering questions and ultimately donating grains of rice at a time, to taking a selfie or a landscape photo and donating money to a variety of causes. Things look to be opening up in the direction of doing good.

People want to not only simplify their budgeting but do good with their wealth too. Even if only with spare change, they want to save easier, retire securer, and invest in their futures. I’d love nothing more than to delve into how the world around millennials is changing personal finance, but that’s for another article.

Here, I would like to conclude on an idea that I brought up in talking about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It came up in that post and may make a milestone moment this year: Universal Basic Income. It’s a topic that, like finance apps, will need to be further expounded elsewhere, because the concept of free money, as Finland has proven, is better than it sounds.

A Universal Basic Income sounds awesome already, but it could get even better if it were integrated with the taxing system. Not stopping there though! Transparency is a must for personal finance and all parts of civil society.

The Universal Income (UI) and taxing software would need its own platform, like an app. The UI would need a fairly simple user interface, or (also) UI. In some of our minds, we may even imagine being able to move our money, plan, save, budget, and even decide how much of it is taxed and where it goes.

That would be the kind of future where getting involved and interactive means not only making money but budgeting and saving money and learning more about civics and taxes.

There’s another upside to it also: Say you don’t want to support war. Well, you can open up your UI app and would be able to set your taxes so none of your money went towards the military budget, and instead goes to the education budget or the highway budget. That would be the day, right?

We could use more organizations like OneTreePlanted too.

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FISA: Surveillance Program Extended

#AceNewsReport – Jan.11: Editor says as this was due to happen Congress Is About To Vote On Expanding the Warrantless Surveillance of Americans: This was reported on Wednesday: Group of bipartisan lawmakers says blanket collection of the communications by Americans is unconstitutional. @RonWyden @RandPaul @RepZoeLofgren among lawmakers who want reforms to FISA 702 before voting […]

via (WASHINGTON) #FISA Latest: Congress Vote Expanding Warrantless Surveillance of Americans Data: Bipartisan lawmakers says blanket collection of the communications is unconstitutional. @RonWyden @RandPaul @RepZoeLofgren among lawmakers who want reforms to FISA 702 before voting to reauthorize it #AceNewsDesk reports — Ace News Services

Port: 2018’s First Common Council Meeting

 PORT JERVIS, N.Y.— Monday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of City Hall at 20 Hammond St, regular Common Council meeting hours began again for the new year.

A familiar face returned: Dominick Santini IV. The Port Jervis Republican who ran in 2017 for the First Ward replaced the city’s resigned predecessor, Sarah Hendry whose comments on leaving can be found here.


“I too would like to welcome my new partner in crime.” 

Regis Foster

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Save-a-Lot and nail salon are both coming
to the strip mall by Burger King and Rite Aid,
by Mar. 31 of this year.

Kelly Decker

After the youth report, a short discussion about dog parks in the city, the “Great American” building’s progress report and the Christkindlmarket discourse between Mayor Kelly Decker and a resident, public comment concluded with a reading of a seven-minute open letter to the city, elected officials, and most of all, the Fourth Ward.

2017 Fourth Ward candidate for Common Council and local activist Jill Lindner read the letter during her time at the podium for public comment. In her piece, she outlined the benefits and importance of a community-owned garden that not only revitalizes the aesthetic of a neighborhood but would educate and feed neighbors, making an area taken off the tax rolls worthwhile in doing so. You can read the full letter here, courtesy of Ms. Lindner and BriennaParsons.com.

What can’t be read in Lindner’s letter, yet she spoke of at the meeting, was that residents of the Fourth Ward who she had spoken to about the idea, were in support of not allowing the Salvation Army to simply purchase the plot and remove it from the tax rolls. Lindner also said that the North Street community garden in the Fourth Ward, that Siegel had suggested later in the meeting was slated for clearing, to make room for the Waterpark Project, and that the garden idea had been receiving a negative spin from the representative since her meeting with Decker and Lisa Randazzo, urging her to consider the Front and Seward cross street corner property which is planned to be demolished.


“Not sure that site would be in the best interest of anybody.”

Stanley Siegel

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Following the outset of the meeting with public comment, minutes were approved and the council jumped right into committee reports. Beginning with Siegel and following to pay the bills ($296,913.29) with the Third Ward’s very own Finance and Insurance Liaison, Kristin Trovei concluding with numerous. resolutions of gov housekeeping.

  1. Designating Officers
  2. Newspapers, Radio & Television — The Times Herald-Record is where official documents will be publicly published.
  3. Banking and Depositories
  4. Standard Workday and Reporting for Retirement Benefits
  5. Dual Signature Requirement for Disbursements
  6. Community Development Agency Shared Service

Full resolution documents or details
should be made available through the city website.

Of notable news, Christmas tree pickup is continuing, parking is still blocked from streets until Apr. 1, as well as the Department of Public Works pickup calendar — should similarly be made available through the city website. Additionally approved during the report by George Belcher, councilman for the Second Ward, were the project resolutions for the bridge over the Neversink River and roadway to the city line. A multi-million-dollar cross-funded project to re-engineer the highly trafficked street.

Regis Foster, a councilman for the First Ward, reported for the Police Committee and rattled off several impressive policing statistics.

Mayor Decker moreover updated the council on an upcoming Deerpark-Port Jervis Annexation meeting. “The old Dick’s Concrete” location is to be annexed by the city. This meeting will certainly be covered by this journalist. 

The State of the City Address
is set to be held
in the Council Chambers,
January 24

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Afterword a section called old business was held, in it, many condolences were expressed to Councilman-at-Large, David Bavoso. His family is in a period of bereavement. Many “well wishes” came from roughly everyone.


Port Jervis is “a community
and there’s always something to rally around.”

David Bavoso

Besides in old business, Fourth Ward Common Council representative Stanley Siegel, regarding the award ceremony for the Patriot Pen, Voice of Democracy contest at the VFW Naval Ship said that it was “really great,” with youth speaking about democracy, “to listen to their vision of America.” Port Jervis not only has been hosting the event since 1970 but the venue is the only one like it in the country confirmed by Decker and Siegel.

Siegel ended his OB segment with a note on local activism. On Saturday, “two dozen” people met to protest for an accessible train station, with Siegel calling on Senator Chuck Schumer directly to no avail. He also had a note an upcoming taxpayer’s group with details coming in the following days, and an update on the warming station which needs volunteers and supplies.


This journalist is also a recognized Voice of Democracy, receiving commemoration for her Patriot Pen January 17, 2010.

Fun Fact About the Author

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