New film to help students take action on global water crisis

- SurvivingTimes.com staff report

We take it for granted when we turn on the faucet and clean drinking water  appears and is plentiful.  Yet, throughout the world more than 1 billion people do not have clean drinking water.  The Thirst Project, an proactive student organization hitting the clean water problem head on, says  80 percent of global diseases are water-borne and result from drinking contaminated water.  These diseases kill more than 2.2 million people per year.

In a new movie, “Earth to Echo,” the stars of the film receive “distress signals” on their phones from someone who needs their help.

Students can join The Thirst Project and “Earth to Echo” to take action against the global water crisis without having to give, donate, or raise any of their own money. All you have to do is TEXT the keyword ECHO (in all caps) followed by your message for hope and encouragement to someone in a developing community without safe, clean drinking water to 51555. For every message we receive, the movie “Earth to Echo” will donate to The Thirst Project to build wells to give clean water to those who need it most. Not only that, but we will capture the actual messages we receive and install them on murals on the wells funded by this campaign. Then, go see the movie “Earth to Echo” in theaters everywhere July 2014. Visit www.ThirstProject.org/EarthToEcho to learn how you can get involved today!

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Occupy Our Homes Atlanta protests Fannie Mae executive at press club event

APC protest photo

An Occupy Our Homes Atlanta protester stood up during Egbert Perry’s conversation with Atlanta Press Club guests. – Survivingtimes.com photo

By Sharon Dunten, editor of Survivingtimes.com

Protesters from Occupy Our Homes Atlanta today crashed the Atlanta Press Club during a luncheon for Egbert Perry, Integral CEO and Fannie Mae board chair at the Commerce Club in Atlanta.

After the lunch and an introductory conversation with Perry,  APC facilitator and board member, Maria Saporta,  noticed the Occupy members starting to spreading themselves throughout the meeting room, standing in between tables and chairs, and also holding up signs and distributing printed materials stating, “Shame on Fannie Mae.”  Saporta asked the protesters repeatedly to sit down and remain quiet.

“What Fannie Mae has done to this country is criminal,” said the protester closest to the podium where Perry was speaking.   But not heeding her demand, she announced the program was over.  Perry was whisked away by his staff as Occupy members encircled him for a direct talk.

In his short stay as a highlighted speaker, Perry did say that the city of Atlanta has “an absent vision and is left with opportunities to cannibalize” both at the urban and rural levels in Georgia. He said Atlanta is not a city of collaborators, and leadership does not exist to make investments in infrastructures including transportation, education and water issues.  “The metro area (Atlanta) is separated by large distances,” said Perry in regard to the city’s public transportation system.

The city of Atlanta started discussing the MARTA system (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit System) in the 1950s, but the first bore hole was not made until June of 1979.  With $12.9 million in their pocket, the vision was to be Atlanta’s primary bus and rail transportation system.  By the 2000s, MARTA rail line only expanded to one stop north of Sandy Springs and as far south as the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. To the east, the last stop ended at Indian Creek and the western stops ended at Bankhead and another stop inside the 285 beltway

Egbert Perry

“It ought to be a ‘no brained,'” said Perry. As far away as the state of Connecticut there are effective transportation services to provide an infrastructure up and down the East Coast, he said.

A U.S. veteran, Mark Harris, also interrupted Perry’s conversation with APC guests.  He said Fannie Mae evicted him from his home. Literature distributed by protesters stated that Harris was only $100 away from a compromise to keep his property, when Fannie Mae evicted him.

The day in the life of a homeless person

Through the use of a 35 mm camera carried by a homeless person, viewers of HomelessGoPro can experience first hand what it is like to be Homeless.

Most Americans have never experienced what it is like to be homeless.  Through a San Francisco project called Homeless GoPro, photos and reports are developed to build awareness around homeless individuals’ daily interactions, as a way to experience them together and also address another aspect of homelessness – the empathy divide.

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How long will it take for the unemployed to find a job?

While market reports seem to be noting an upswing toward recovery in the U.S. economy, there are still many people who are unemployed that lost their jobs as a result of the Great Recession.  How long will it take for these individuals to find a job … a lasting job …?  The Brookings Institute Papers on Economic Activity reveals:

“The short-term unemployment rate is a much stronger predictor of inflation and real wage growth than the overall unemployment rate in the U.S. Even in good times, the long-term unemployed are on the margins of the labor market, with diminished job prospects and high labor force withdrawal rates, and as a result they exert little pressure on wage growth or inflation.”  See the study report here.

In addition, a FiveThirtyEight analysis says Americans who had the misfortune of losing their jobs during the height of the most recent recession in 2009 were more than four times as likely to end up out of work for a year or longer than those who lost their jobs during the comparatively good economy of 2007.  See analysis report here.

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Purdue shooting gives anti-gun advocate a first-hand experience

Purdue University students huddle in the hallways of classrooms after they received a text message to shelter-in-place because of shooting at the Engineering Building. Purdue University is located in West Lafayette, Ind.

By Sharon Dunten, editor of SurvivingTimes.com

West Lafayette, Ind. — Today marks the 35th school shooting since the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre in Newtown, Conn., Dec.14, 2012. Around noon on Tuesday, Jan. 21, Purdue University students and staff were placed in shut down as a lone gunman entered a classroom in the university’s Engineering Building and shot a man to death.

One woman, Julia Chester, took this shooting very personally because it touched too close to home. She is the Regional Manager for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which is a nonpartisan grassroots movement of American mothers demanding new and stronger solutions to gun laws and loopholes that might jeopardize the safety of U.S. children and families.

Chester is also Associate Professor of Psychological Studies at Purdue University.

In a statement released by Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action, Chester said for over a year she has worked with hundreds of thousands of U.S. moms to help stem the “tide of gun violence in America.”

“Today, I experienced the terror of an active shooting first-hand,” said Chester. While in her office at Purdue University, she was alerted through the university’s text messaging system that there was a shooting on campus. Along with her colleagues and students, she was alerted to shelter-in-place.

Shelter-in-place is an emergency procedure now used in homes, offices and schools throughout the country.   U.S. Homeland Security gives tips on what an individual or individuals should do during such an emergency.

“The fear and confusion on campus was palpable. No matter how many drills you’ve been through, panic takes its toll on logic,” said Chester.  She says she feared no matter how many doors you try to shut between you and the shooter, a bullet could find its way through even though the shooting took place a couple of buildings away from her office.

“We owe our children and ourselves a world where we don’t have to live by lockdown,” Chester said.  She said Americans need to call on Congress immediately to act on gun violence and pass new and stronger gun laws.

Again, one man died in the university shooting.  One man is in custody.  No motive for the shooting has been released by local law enforcement officials. Purdue University officials said all classes were cancelled today and Wednesday.

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Shriver Report website brings issues of women to forefront

The Shriver Report is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary look at how American families live and work today, giving clear insight into one of the most important social trends of our time: the emergence of women into all areas of society.  To view this new website, link here.

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Unemployed over age 55 face only 47 percent chance of new job, statistics reveal

The unemployment trend since the beginning of the Great Recession is to layoff workers over the age of 55. Many are joining the college graduates in search of career opportunities. Phys.org photo

At the beginning of the Great Recession and continuing today is the trend to layoff individuals over the age of 55. The layoffs or firings have nothing to do with job performance or loyalty to a business or corporation. Employees over 55 just cost to much. If you think about it, most 55+ are at the highest salary of their careers and are looking toward the end of the tunnel called retirement. Another reality check facing 55+ employees is their increase use of health insurance to cover medical needs as they grow older.  In return, those medical needs could possibly cost an employer more and affect their financial bottle line.

Read Tom LeCompte’s blog from Boston’s NPR news station website, WBUR, which discusses job loss statistics and why over 55 might mean delayed retirement and new career challenges.

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Today’s workforce schedule concepts are outdated for 21st Century

In rigid shift situations with “no-fault” attendance policies—through which workers accrue points for every unforeseen absence from work, regardless of the reason—being a few minutes late can cost someone his or her job.
elev8.com photo

By Sarah Jane Glynn and Emily Baxter, Center for American Progress

In the 1950s close to 20 percent of the workforce were made up of women.  Today, women make up 55 percent of the workforce.  For both male and female workers, life has changed since the days where mom stayed home with the kids and dad went to work to give allegiance to the corporate god.  In 2014, it might take two incomes or a single parent might face the load alone to  live above the poverty line or even reach the middle-class status.  But even though more than 50 years have passed, the workforce concept of strict schedules has not changed with the times. Families now face more daily childcare and older-adult care circumstances, mandatory overtime work hours and an unchanged living wage.  To read more about these workforce issues and possible solutions, link here.

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Research says without government benefits U.S.’s poverty line would be twice as high

realtruth.org photo

The war on poverty declared by President Lyndon B. Johnson 50 years ago might at first look like a failure while 15 percent of Americans in 2013 are living below the poverty line.  But without the armor of government benefits, a Columbia University study states America’s poverty line could have been as high as 31 percent.

New York Times:  In the War on Poverty, a Dogged Adversary

By Eduardo Porter, The New York Times

“… Without the panoply of government benefits — like food stamps, subsidized school lunches and the earned-income tax credit, which provides extra money to household heads earning low wages — the nation’s poverty rate last year would have reached almost 31 percent, up from 25 percent in 1967, according to the research at Columbia …”  To read the complete article, link here.

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