Faith-based Outreach

Walk Tall, Be Safe

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Kathleen McGinn Spring were prepared for the

February 14,

2001 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Easy Video: Useful and Fun

Streaming media is a good news, bad news story, says

Douglas Dixon, technology leader at Sarnoff. "The good

news,"

he says, "is that for under $100, you can do video for the

Internet."

As in nearly everything technological, it is possible to spend more

— much more. But, Dixon says, "there are horrible, horrible

constraints to sending data over the Internet." Translation: Your

promotional video won’t necessarily look better if you spend big bucks

on equipment.

Dixon, a graduate of Brown University (Class of 1977), speaks on

"Streaming

Media: Fact or Fantasy?" on Thursday, February 15, at 8 p.m. at

Sarnoff, when he addresses the Princeton ACM/IEEE-CS Chapters’

free joint monthly meeting. Call 609-924-8704.

Businesses can now easily incorporate video into both their internal

communications and their promotional efforts, Dixon says. Not only

are prices way down, but installation has become a snap. "You

don’t even have to open the computer case anymore," he says.

Internal Communication. You shot an hour-long video of

the sales meeting or the CEO’s forecast talk. But how do you get

employees

to watch it? Gathering the troops in the cafeteria for 60 minutes

is going to produce little more than surreptitious napping. Edit that

same material down to a snappy little presentation and make it

available

on the company intranet and it becomes a lot more interesting, Dixon

suggests. "You can add titles, background music," he says.

It’s fun, and now it’s easy.

Promotion. Some products just look better in 3D. Now it’s

easy to showcase them with video brochures. A car restorer, suggests

Dixon, could get mileage out of a video brochure. Company background

information, and officers’ biographies, too, can move from paper to

the immediacy of video.

Stepping Up. Small businesses can do a lot with a $100

video setup. The reason it is not imperative to upgrade is that,

generally

speaking, images are only as good as the connection through which

they are downloaded. Wide bandwidth, delivered through T-1 lines,

perhaps, or cable, is still far from universal. Users accessing the

Internet through dial-up connections will not see a great picture

no matter what. Businesses that do want to upgrade their video

equipment

for the benefit of their bandwidth-rich clients can do so with an

investment of under $2,000, Dixon says. The iMac DV system coupled

with a DV camcorder is an easy-to-use system, he says. For PCs,

"there

are lots of options, as usual," Dixon says. Sony, he says, is

a good choice for video-friendly computers.

Get Ready for Wireless. Video is fun now — and useful

too — but just watch out, Dixon says, wireless will bring a whole

new dimension. "Desktop video conferencing never took off,"

he says. "It’s boring. Do you want to see someone sitting at a

desk?" With a video-enabled cell phone or PDA, however, things

get interesting. "It’s a little camera in your phone," he

says. "The salesman on the road can share his experience. `Look

what I’m seeing here!’"

Top Of Page
Faith-based Outreach

President Bush’s White House Office of Faith-Based and

Community Initiatives is new, but the concept of funneling social

programs through churches has been around for a long time.

Hazel Russell, director of Interfaith and Community Partnerships

of the New Jersey Department of Labor, says she learned from her

grandparents

that churches are important in reaching, and helping, those in need.

The Interfaith and Community Partnership office opened last September,

preceding the controversial announcement of the federal initiative

to channel government social programs through the nation’s

"faith-based"

institutions. Russell, who worked in corporate America before joining

state government as Governor Whitman’s deputy director of constituent

relations, was recruited to head the office. Prior to September,

Russell,

who holds a bachelor’s degree in management from Kean College and

a master’s in corporate and public communication from Seton Hall,

had been working on community education and outreach for the state

Division of Youth and Family Services.

Russell is on a panel that speaks on "Faith-Based Initiative

Project

— Learn How It Can Assist Your Program" at the Central Jersey

Job Developers Association on Thursday, February 15, at 9 a.m. at

the Elks Club on Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick. Call

732-985-9384.

Answering a question that has figured prominently in the national

debate on separation of church and state that surrounds President

Bush’s faith-based initiative, Russell says that churches "are

very aware that prayer is not part of the program. They deliver the

service; there is no religious component. We reinforce with them,

but they are aware." On another issue, whether churches will

discriminate

in administering state-funded social programs, Russell says they will

not. "When you speak with churches," she says,"they tell you

they take everyone who comes to them."

Russell, a congregant at the Second Baptist Church in Perth Amboy,

says faith is important in her life. An active volunteer at her

church,

she says she has seen how churches are valuable in reaching

populations

in need of social services. It is smart for the government to partner

with churches, because "ministers have a certain rapport with

their congregants," she says. "They feel information is

confidential.

They feel free to discuss issues they might not feel right about

discussing

in a state office."

Russell’s office does not dispense state funds, but rather works with

churches to help them partner with organizations or agencies with

which they can put together programs to help job seekers and

individuals

moving from welfare to work. These are some of the ways in which the

Interfaith and Community Partnership helps churches help the

unemployed:

Workforce New Jersey Public Information Network. This,

Russell says, is the centerpiece of the Department of Labor’s effort

to match employees with employers. "There are always more jobs

than employees," Russell says of the current employment landscape

in New Jersey. The trick is bringing qualified candidates to hungry

employers. Russell is most enthusiastic about the potential of

Workforce

New Jersey Public Information Network (WNJPIN) to do just that.

Residing

at URL www.wnjpin.net, WNJPIN contains reams of information for job

seekers — and for students and employers too. While this is a

fine resource, it is no help to those without computer access. This

is where Russell comes in, working with churches to bring in

Department

of Labor computer trainers or to find ways to purchase computers or

come up with the space for a computer lab.

Job fairs. Russell works with churches on job fairs where

job seekers can meet with employers. At one recent job fair at a

church,

"there were over 200 people hired," she says. Over two days,

700 people showed up at the job fair. "The first day, there were

400 people, mostly adults in need of jobs," she recounts. "The

next day, a Saturday, young adults came. They were professionals who

needed better jobs."

Training. Churches can take a role in preparing the

unemployed

for specific jobs, and the Interfaith and Community Partnership will

help. "A church is providing training to fill jobs in two New

Jersey malls," Russell says of one such program. She emphasizes

that her office, now with just two employees, does not fund projects

like this one, but rather helps the church identify possible partners

and sources of financial help.

Transportation and mentoring. In another program, a church

is providing young people with prison records with help in entering

the workplace. These young adults need transportation and guidance

from successful adults, and the church is providing these services

with help from Russell’s office.

Getting in the game. "In other instances," Russell

says, "we provide information on becoming a non-profit and

strengthening

their structure so they can carry out projects and link with

organizations."

All faith-based groups are eligible for these services, Russell

says. Early response to the Interfaith and Community Partnership was

overwhelming. "I was inundated," she says. Many of the

congregations

with whom she has worked are Protestant churches, but Catholic

churches

are showing interest too. On the road talking about delivering

employment

services through faith-based organizations much of the time, Russell

is planning outreaches to synagogues and mosques next.

Top Of Page
Walk Tall, Be Safe

Self esteem won’t just help you progress at work, it

could make the difference in whether you make it home from work

safely.

This according to Detective Sergeant Ralph Terracciano, a

veteran

of nearly 20 years on the Princeton Borough police force, who speaks

on personal safety to the Princeton Business and Professional Women

on Monday, February 19, at 6 p.m. at Tre Piani in Forrestal Village.

Cost: $31. Call Carolyn Hingher at 609-921-8324.

"Attackers look for people with poor posture, people who look

like they have poor self esteem," Terracciano says. Interviews

with criminals indicate, he says, that they tend to shy away from

those who "look like they know where they’re going and what

they’re

doing."

Terracciano, who has been a detective for 15 years, is a graduate

of Mercer County Community College and received his bachelor’s degree

in criminal justice from Thomas Edison College in 1996. Among the

safety strategies he addresses in his talk:

Park in a lighted area. If you know you will be working

late, move your car to a lighted area near the building before dark,

Terracciano says. Have your keys in your hand, and if you notice

anyone

lurking around your car, turn around and walk back to your office.

If someone is approaching from behind, "turn and look him in the

eye," Terracciano says. "Don’t stare at him, but let him know

you are aware he is there."

Be careful at ATMs. Muggers know why people go to ATMs,

Terracciano says, and it’s generally not to make deposits. "Use

the ATM during the day," he says. Choose one that is not

obstructed

by bushes, and be aware of who is around. After withdrawing money,

"put it away," he says. "You can’t argue with a machine

anyway," Terracciano points out, so there is no reason to count

the bills right away.

Carry a cell phone. "We encourage everyone to carry

a cell phone," Terracciano says. Not only will a cell phone enable

you to summon help if your car breaks down, but it also allows you

to call for help when you see other disabled cars. It’s not safe to

stop to help stranded motorists, Terracciano says, and calling in

their position frees you from being torn between concern for your

own safety and concern for your fellow man.

Separate keys and ID. Terracciano says it’s not a great

idea to carry a purse. It’s just too easy to put the thing down and

walk away from it. For those who insist, however, he stresses the

importance of carrying keys elsewhere. Otherwise, a thief has a

fistful

of documents bearing your address, and the keys that will get him

in your door. For the same reason, Terracciano says it’s a mistake

to give a full key chain to a car service technician or a parking

attendant. "He looks into your glove box, sees your registration,

and he has your address," he says. Copying the key to open your

door is quick and easy.

Stow your stuff. Don’t leave your leather jacket, laptop,

or CD player on your car seat. "I’ve interviewed hundreds of

people

whose cars have been burglarized," Terracciano says. "If

there’s

nothing there, the burglar keeps walking."

Carry pepper spray — maybe. Terracciano recently

removed

the pepper spray from his wife’s purse. "I have a two-year-old

son," he says. "We don’t need him spraying himself, or

us."

For those who do not have young children, the spray could be a good

idea, he says, "but only if it’s in your hand." Canisters

should be kept on key rings, he says, not buried in pockets. "Let

me tell you," the police professional says of predators,

"these

people plan their attacks."


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