All posts by Emre Umar

How Addiction Affects People Entering Prison

If you have somehow managed to avoid the news for the better half of a year, you may not be aware – 2016 is a presidential election year. One issue has proven to be rather pertinent across candidates and party lines, and only grows more topical as each day inches closer to November. That issue is the criminalization of addiction. Quite frankly, the more people talking about it, the better. Addiction and those serving time for non-violent drug offenses at the hands of their illness is a persistent issue in need of resolve.

In 2014, over 1.5 million Americans were arrested on drug charges. Yet currently, there are states deliberating on the legalization or decriminalization of the very drugs those offenders were arrested for. Marijuana is legal in Colorado, for instance, while there are prisoners still serving sentences for possession. What is necessary is a reclassification of drug addiction to a brain disease altering behaviors, and in place of apprehension there must be effective treatment.

Currently, the approved course of action is to lock away an offender in the same manner as any other criminal. Yet incarceration does not equate to rehabilitation. Offenders require special attention to their treatment needs in an environment where the disease will actually be combated instead of ignored or ecouraged; drugs are notoriously easy to obtain even while behind bars. Treatment requires respect in a safe environment, and that is ground floor for what can be accomplished.

Mental Healthcare in Prisons

Over the last three decades, mental institutions as a whole have received a largely negative connotation in the court of public approval. Institutionalizing a loved one with a mental disability has become taboo as alternative care options are sought out, as more and more recognize mental health issues as something that cannot simply be shut away. This has not ended the shut-away process, however. While the country scrambles to find an alternative solution and Congress and the Senate debate the appropriate manners in which to aid the mentally ill, the de facto way of “handling” those with disabilities has instead become prison. A recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice concluded that more than half of all prison inmates have some sort of mental illness, in contrast to just 11% of the overall population.

 

Often, those in prison with mental illnesses find themselves in solitary confinement. Solitary for the mentally ill is intended as a protective measure from themselves. Depression and other mood disorders are feared as leading to self-harm, and solitary is far from adequate care. The real issue with healthcare for the mentally ill is that many enter prison undiagnosed, and symptoms do not reveal themselves until a victim is already incarcerated.  The immediate jump to solitary is little more than a severe form of punishment than care from the hand of a failing system.

Best Christmas gifts for the golfer in your life

In 2014 alone there were reports stating that more than 25 million Americans golfed. The game has stayed interesting for older generations, but now millennials are taking up the game. This holiday season, it may be a challenge to find the right gift for a new golfer or a seasoned pro. You want to make sure you aren’t missing out on something they really need. Below I have listed a few gift ideas that are sure to make the golfer in your life very happy.

New to golfing

Whether the golf lover in your life is new to playing or has always had an interest but never played seriously, golf lessons are a great way to improve their game. The gift can be given in the form of a certificate and they can schedule when they will go. They’ll be ready to take on the warm weather with a great game.

Rain Gear

If you have an all-year-round golfer in your life, golfing during certain seasons can be a challenge. Especially if you like in a city like Seattle. A golf bag rain hood will be able to keep all the clubs dry while they are golfing. A detachable hood that can snap on and off as needed and folds up to a small size so it is easy to store in the bag or in the car.

Custom Golf Balls

The price of this present will vary, based on how many you’d like to order, colors, designs, and, of course, which company you are ordering through. You can order it with initials, numbers, a full name, and designs in different colors. They will always know which ball is theirs! Because this is a custom job, always allow more time to order them before the holiday season. As with all orders during the holidays, delays can be expected.

New golf bag

Ordering a new bag to replace one that has been worn and torn through many holes on the green. An avid golfer will typically need a new bag every 2-4 years. You can even customize the bag to your loved one’s taste, the color, size, amount of pockets/compartments, and their name stitched on. A new golf bag will be a big present they will be happy to open Christmas morning.

Golfing is a becoming a more popular sport every year, more and more people are interested in playing the game. You can help your loved one have the best golf equipment to make all their golf buddies jealous.

Spencer Van-Etten Youth Assocation

It is immensely important to invest in the future.  A true visionary keeps his mind on the past and present, but focuses his eyes on the uncharted horizon ahead.  The children of today will be the leaders of tomorrow, and it is the obligation of the parents to instill them with the proper morals and values and mold them into successful, wholesome adults.  A great way to approach this is through youth sports.  Youth sports and club teams promote dedication and reward effort, while promoting sportsmanlike conduct, respect, and occasionally accepting hardships, acting as a microcosm of the “real world.” The Spencer Van Etten Youth Association is once such organization encouraging these ideals.

The Spencer Van Etten Youth Association (SVEYA) is a non-profit group operating in the Spencer Van Etten Central School District in Spencer, New York.  It is an organization for adolescent athletes in the district participating in youth sports, giving them an opportunity to come together in a safe environment to grow their skills.  Adherence to the mannerisms of good sportsmanship is binding.  By the Code of Conduct, growth must be “nurtured in an environment that is free of confrontation, poor sportsmanship, verbal and physical abuse among spectators, players and officials.”  Fair play is encouraged through integrity, and while competitive play is not discouraged, abuse is not tolerated under any circumstances and discipline is to be accepted without comment.

The most important real-world responsibility promoted by the SVEYA is control and maturity on social media off-the-field.  Children young enough to be in Middle School have the capability of being on popular social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and may not yet have the full sense needed for knowing what to share and post, and when to stop.  The net of sportsmanlike conduct within the Association is cast over social media as well, and no inflammatory or disparaging comments pertaining to anyone involved in the organization (be it a player, parent, board member, or coach) will be tolerated under any circumstance.

It is the duty of today’s parents and guardians to keep children maturing in a safe environment, for them to become fully-functioning, self-sufficient adults.  To donate and help provide for these children’s futures, or for more information on the Code of Conduct from the Board of Directors, visit the Spencer Van Etten Youth Association’s website.

Client Management: Why It’s Important in Business

Having positive relationships with clients is a necessity in business. Today, consumers have the option to choose between competitors that offer a variety of services. The level of customer service is usually the factor that decides whether they choose your company or Joe Johnson’s down the street. Maintaining a relationship with your client has never been more important. You are need to understand how you client thinks in order to establish a relationship but also to determine their wants and needs.

 

Client Loyalty

We all have to work with people—some are in the office, and some are clients. The best people to work with are those you like and get along with (which isn’t a surprise.) Developing interpersonal relationships with your clients makes for a better business relationship. You are both equally invested in the partnership working, thriving and growing. With a more personal relationship, you are able to understand your client’s thought process, and you can make smart business decisions for them, or with them, because of this information.

 

Efficient Communication

When you are connected with your client, the communication comes easier. You are able to address problems upfront and deal with them directly. You are also able to be transparent, which will create a trust between client and vendor.

 

Discussing Payment

Many people find it difficult to discuss money, whether it be with friends, family or business partners. However, if you are not open and honest about a budget or the cost of services, a relationship with your client can quickly turn sour. When you are able to discuss costs and address what is and is not doable, you are gaining a partner that is happy with the service and feels that you have their company’s best interests at heart.

 

Strategy Goals

While there is typically one goal in mind for both you and the client, there are different routes that could get you there. There will be times that you both disagree about a venture to get to the end goal, and you may need to hold firm in your position. It can be harder to hold your ground if the client becomes frustrated, and because you do not know them very well, you feel unable to reassure them.

 

Managing client relationships can be tricky, and sometimes you are required to be a jack of all personalities to understand the different wants and needs that various clients may have. At the end of the business day, a client that has a close relationship with you is happy and feels their business is in good hands.

The Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier, Inc.

The Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier (MHAST) is a private, non-profit organization devoted to improving mental health and wellness in the surrounding community. It is one of the oldest continuously operating Mental Health Associations in New York State and is one of 300 Mental Health Associations nationwide. MHAST is dedicated to enhancing the lives of every single community member by improving their mental health and wellness. They help community residents and their families find the correct mental health services and professionals to create partnerships, gain awareness, and start the conversation about the stigma of mental illness.

MHAST’s goals are achieved through advocacy services, educational presentations, prevention programs, and information and resource referrals. Their mission is to enhance the lives of all residents in their community by improving the quality of mental health and wellness through advocacy, education, and support. Mental health affects more people then we think. 1 in 4 American families are affected by a mental illness each year. It is estimated that over 27 million adults and 7.5 million children have been diagnosed with mental illness, outnumbering those diagnosed with cancer and heart and lunch disease combined.

There are many ways to get involved and help generate awareness about mental health and wellness. You can attend, sponsor, or donate to one of MHAST’s fundraisers—several are held throughout the year like the “Men Who Cook” amateur chef competition. There are also numerous opportunities to volunteer your time. Helping with fundraising events or assisting with administration is one way to get involved in this community based organization. Donations are always appreciated. For more information about mental health and wellness or how to get involved, visit www.yourmha.com.

Golf Tournaments

If you’re new to golf, then let us start by saying welcome to the sport.  The game of golf is a fun game that you can play throughout your lifetime.  The origins of gold date back to the Dutch where a similarly named game was first played with sticks and leather balls filled with feathers.  The game then found a great deal of popularity in Scotland but faced repeated banning’s by different Kings until around the 1700s when they finally began playing it themselves and started enjoying it.  The first golfing club and tournaments were held in Scotland and soon after England.  However, it wasn’t long before golf spread from to England’s colonies and became a sport played worldwide.

Since the game has spread a number of major tournaments have been developed, many of which involve playing 36 holes.  These tournaments are long, but rewarding and show which golfers are truly at the top of the game.  Check out Emre Umar’s Hole in one in the picture below.  Any newer golfer looking to enter the game should spend time watching the master’s tournaments.

Major Men’s Tournaments

Originally there were two British tournaments for the majors: The Open Championship and The Amateur Championship and two American tournaments: The U.S. Open and the U.S. Amateur.  Then the Master’s Tournament was added in 1934 and as golf’s professional circuit grew in popularity in the 1940s and 50s the Masters began including all of the above plus the PGA Championship.

April – the Masters Tournament is hosted in Georgia every year.

June – the U.S. Open is hosted on the 3rd Sunday in June each year and played at different locations in the U.S. each year.

July – the Open Championship is hosted at one of ten links course locations in the United Kingdom.

August – the PGA Championship is held the 3rd weekend prior to Labor Day weekend and played at various locations across the U.S.

Women’s Golf

Women’s golf has not seen the attention which men’s golf has, but that is changing and there are now major tournaments for women, too.  Currently there are five major championship tournaments for women each year.   The five championships are as follows:

  • ANA Inspiration
  • Women’s PGA Championship
  • S. Women’s Open
  • Women’s British Open
  • The Evian Championship

Before the era of five major championships there were four.  Right now, women’s golf doesn’t have the major sponsors like women’s golf does, but it is gaining more support each year and hopefully it will see the same attention as men’s golf eventually.