Connect with us

Family

Ulster Justice Center Opens With Ribbon Cutting

HUDSON VALLEY PRESS — Doors were opened to the public for the new Ulster County Restorative Justice and Community Empowerment Center.

Published

on

By The Hudson Valley Press

KINGSTON – Doors were opened to the public, at the ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday in Midtown Kingston, for the new Ulster County Restorative Justice and Community Empowerment Center.

County Executive Michael Hein was joined by judges, legislators and other members of the community.

The $3.2 million construction project renovated an aging former county DPW storage building, located adjacent to the county probation department offices at 733 Broadway. Previously, the structure was used as a discotheque.

Restorative Justice comes in response to the Raise the Age Law, passed in 2017, which took effect on October 1 of this year. The state legislation eliminates automatic charging of 16-year-olds as adults. Next year it will also include 17-year-olds, Hein noted.

“I know right now, today, there’s a 16-year-old that’s going to make a mistake,” Hein said. “Why? Because they’re 16 years old, and that’s what they do, okay? And instead of starting down a path that in many ways will define their life and ruin their life, we’re going to provide hope.”

“Everybody makes mistakes, and everybody should have an opportunity to change,” explained Kim Mapes, Youth and Family Engagement coordinator for the Center. “They could make a minor mistake, they could make a major mistake, but it shouldn’t hurt them in the long run; they should have an opportunity to turn around.”

Right now, Mapes is the only employee, she said. Online job posting describes the job as case management and advocacy for minors involved in the justice system, at-risk youth, and families. The center official opens for business on January 2.

Adding that the concept of restorative justice helps eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline, Hein said “the goal cannot and should not and will never be, to simply delay a young person’s entrance into the criminal justice system – the goal is to change lives. This isn’t just about generational poverty, it’s about generational opportunity. We acknowledge and react to the reality that some things may have helped cause these situations,” Hein said.

The center plans to utilize other county services, mentoring, higher education and job opportunities, to help break bad patterns and restore young offenders to a more positive future path.

This article originally appeared in the Hudson Valley Press

Advice

From the 1800s to Today: Empowering Veteran Business Owners

Amid the success of the family business, the McKindras never lost sight of the support they had been given—and the importance of passing it on to others in their community and society. Generations of McKindras have dedicated their lives to the military, including his grandfather, father, and brother (pictured right), and subsequently to their communities when they returned home.

Published

on

Three generations of McKindras pictured from left to right: Alex Jr. (West Point, Air Force), Q.R. McKindra (Alex Jr.’s grandfather, WWII veteran), Alex Sr. (career Army officer), and Marcus (Alex Jr.’s younger brother, Air Force Academy) (Courtesy photo)
Three generations of McKindras pictured from left to right: Alex Jr. (West Point, Air Force), Q.R. McKindra (Alex Jr.’s grandfather, WWII veteran), Alex Sr. (career Army officer), and Marcus (Alex Jr.’s younger brother, Air Force Academy) (Courtesy photo)

From JPMorgan Chase

From his years of service in the military to his current work helping former soldiers build their own businesses through JPMorgan Chase’s veteran initiatives, Alex McKindra Jr. is a veteran success story.

Moreover, as we celebrate Veteran’s Day this year, Alex’s story is a uniquely American one that veterans and members of the military community across the country can relate to. But, as he is the first to admit, his success story, like many, has a long history tracing back through generations of his family in the small town of Union Chapel, Arkansas.

Becoming a Cornerstone of the Community

In the late 1800s, Alex’s great-great grandfather, Reuben Frank McKindra, moved his family to Union Chapel, a town originally settled by freed Black slaves.

Working on their family farm, the McKindras made a name for themselves by demonstrating their resourcefulness and aptitude for hard work. Namely, the family utilized mentorship programs, as well as public and private funding, to not only start but grow their family farm.

Amid the success of the family business, the McKindras never lost sight of the support they had been given—and the importance of passing it on to others in their community and society. Generations of McKindras have dedicated their lives to the military, including his grandfather, father, and brother (pictured right), and subsequently to their communities when they returned home.

“I would not be in the position I am today if not for the opportunities that mentorship provided,” says McKindra. “The farm my family was able to start, through the support and mentorship of others, has helped to educate and put clothes on every generation of my family since the 1880s.”

Honoring a Legacy

McKindra chose to honor his roots by joining the service himself. He graduated from West Point in 1993 and then completed a tour of duty serving across the U.S. as Captain in the United States Air Force. He worked as a procurement officer, including on the B-2 Bomber Program, which allowed him to travel across the country, learning from and serving others. During that time, he also spent his nights and weeks pursuing an MBA from the University of Southern California.

Armed with the life experience and knowledge he gained from the service—and a freshly-minted MBA and banking internship under his belt— McKindra dove into the world of corporate finance. Quickly building a reputation for his intelligence, reliability and kindness, he rose through the ranks. Today, he works as a Managing Director for JPMorgan Chase Commercial Banking in San Francisco

Paying It Forward

Alex didn’t want the chapter in his family’s story to end with commercial success.  He wanted to help those who—like his great-great-grandfather Reuben—had risked their lives for the country and were now seeking to put down roots as civilians. With that in mind, he decided to co-lead JPMorgan Chase Commercial Banking’s veteran initiatives alongside Army veteran, Terry Hill. Alex, Terry and their team across the firm share a passion for mentorship and community building. Through various programming, they tap into their military backgrounds to connect with aspiring and current military-connected entrepreneurs to help them access the resources they need to be successful over the long-term.

For example, McKindra worked with JPMorgan Chase to partner with Bunker Labs, a national nonprofit that supports the ventures of veterans and military spouses, to build programs to help veteran business owners.

Today, JPMorgan Chase is powering Bunker Labs’ CEOcircle, a monthly peer accountability group for growth-stage companies looking to scale. Through this program, veteran business owners and their families gain access to the guidance and resources they need to succeed, including education, networking, and one-on-one financial coaching. This year, CEOcircle welcomed 71 new individuals to the program including Office Libations from Alameda.

The program uplifts businesses that will support military families for generations to come — businesses like the McKindra farm.

“If I’ve learned one thing from my family’s history, it’s that hard work and preparation aren’t always enough. Sometimes we need to create our own opportunities as well,” Alex says. “That is what we are hoping to do with CEOcircle, to create the opportunities and provide the support veteran entrepreneurs need to help them overcome systemic obstacles to business and professional growth.”

Generational Impact

Less than an hour north of Little Rock, the McKindra’s family farm still stands in Union Chapel. Today, the manicured green fields and trees remain a testament to the effort, determination, and community it takes to create a successful business.

“If my great-great-grandfather were here today, I would want him to know that what he built didn’t just support our family, it also instilled the values in us that would seed the acceleration and growth of hundreds of other veteran-owned businesses in the future,” McKindra says. “I know he’d be proud of that.”

If you are a veteran or know someone who is and want to learn more about how JPMorgan Chase support veterans whether through career advancement or small business support or anything in between, please visit: https://www.jpmorganchase.com/impact/people/military-and-vets

Continue Reading

Bay Area

A Labor of Love, Daughter Gifts Kidney to Her Father

After sharing the news of possibly going on dialysis with his wife and children, Rev. Chambers was moved and relieved at the show of support, love and sacrifice that his family, and his community, was willing to give in order to ensure his health. After well over a year of doctor’s appointments, testing and consultations, prayers and support, Rev. Chambers received a successful kidney transplant from his living donor, his daughter Candase Chambers on Friday, Aug. 26 at UCSF Medical Center.

Published

on

Rev. Chambers hopes his family’s experience encourages other families to support each other and always work together. “Working together works,” he said.
Rev. Chambers hopes his family’s experience encourages other families to support each other and always work together. “Working together works,” he said.

When Rev. Ken Chambers, Sr. first received news from his doctor that he may need to go on dialysis, it felt like a knot in his stomach after having gone through his share of health challenges in the past. He had experienced congestive heart failure, kidney failure, and in 2014, he successfully fought cancer.

After sharing the news of possibly going on dialysis with his wife and children, Rev. Chambers was moved and relieved at the show of support, love and sacrifice that his family, and his community, was willing to give in order to ensure his health. After well over a year of doctor’s appointments, testing and consultations, prayers and support, Rev. Chambers received a successful kidney transplant from his living donor, his daughter Candase Chambers on Friday, Aug. 26 at UCSF Medical Center.

“It has been a long journey with my health declining and having fought cancer three different times in three different places of my body,” Rev. Chambers said. “Not only were my kidneys failing but I was slated for dialysis. Once I got confirmation that a transplant was possible, I had seven people offer to be my kidney donor. What a blessing that all of my kids were willing to be a donor but in lieu of all the efforts, my daughter Candase matched up and moved aggressively to go forward with the transplant. It’s all been a part of God’s plan.”

For a year before the surgery, Candase had gone through multiple tests and doctor assessments to make sure she was healthy enough to be a kidney donor and to confirm she was a match to give her father one of her kidneys — the greatest sacrifice one can make.

“Once I knew I was a match, there was nothing else to consider. If I could save my dad’s life, I knew that was a choice I was going to make,” said Candase. “Recovery has been uncomfortable and a process, but seeing my dad regain his strength and energy makes it all worth it. It feels nice to at least be able to give back to a parent when they have already given so much to me.”

The journey for them both was not free of its challenges and possible setbacks. The surgery had been scheduled and postponed twice before, once when Pastor Chambers tested positive for COVID-19 and another when his heart test raised some concerns for doctors to ensure he was healthy enough to undergo the intensive surgery.

Rev. Chambers said, “Praise God the surgery went forward, and the transplant has been a success. My kidney started working immediately and I will be preaching my first sermon on Sunday, Sept. 18, three weeks and two days after the surgery. God is so good! My wife, family and community organizations all have been so supportive, I’m forever grateful.”

Friends of the Chambers family started a donation fund to support them with additional medical costs and care throughout the recovery process.

Rev. Chambers hopes his family’s experience encourages other families to support each other and always work together. “Working together works,” he said.

Continue Reading

Activism

Protesters Demand Further Investigation After Alameda County Grand Jury Report Ignores Flagrant Probate Abuses

Cathy Rodriguez was denied the conservatorship of her aunt, 88-year-old Mildred Rodriguez, despite sharing ownership of the mobile home they lived in. Mildred’s estate was handed over to a public guardian because of a dispute between Cathy and a cousin, Rose Rivera, who had placed the mobile home and Mildred’s retirement and assets in her name.

Published

on

Samantha Durrell shows before and after pictures of her mother under the “care” of her court-appointed guardian.
Samantha Durrell shows before and after pictures of her mother under the “care” of her court-appointed guardian.

By Tanya Dennis

The release last month of Alameda County’s Grand Jury report charging deficiencies in the Alameda County Probate Court system has set off a firestorm of activity by probate reform groups that say the report did not go far enough.

Affected family members and activists gathered outside of the Alameda County Supervisors Administration office Aug. 11 to protest the failure of the Grand Jury to address the families’ losses of their loved ones and their estates.

According to the protesters, the Grand Jury report failed to address the ongoing enrichment of court-appointed guardians or conservators to the detriment of conservatees and their families.

“Protesters want the presiding probate judge, Charles Smiley, the Grand Jury and the County Board of Supervisors to genuinely consider their complaints of guardianship abuse and reopen the Grand Jury investigation,” said Venus Gist of California Justice.

Samantha Dussell and Cecily Dussell were among those outside the courthouse. “I’m out here protesting today because my mother’s civil rights were violated,” said Samantha Dussell. She and her daughter, Cecily Dussell, had filed a verified petition to remove the public guardian from their mother/grandmother, Rosalie Hope Sifuentez.

“In every aspect of my mother’s life, there has been a lack of common sense and integrity and contempt for her that has been used in making decisions for her daily care, health care, emotional and spiritual needs and living environment,” Samantha said.

Also protesting was Doris Lilly who alleges that the estate of her aunt, 97-year-old Christine Williams, was taken and sold by the man who prepared Williams’ taxes.

Lilly said that Williams’ tax preparer utilized his access to Williams’ documents, changed her will, her power of attorney, placed his name on her accounts, then sold her $800,000 home for $605,000, gave $100,000 to two nephews and has not been held accountable by the court to report what happened to the $405,000 balance of her estate despite requests from the family.

Cathy Rodriguez was denied the conservatorship of her aunt, 88-year-old Mildred Rodriguez, despite sharing ownership of the mobile home they lived in. Mildred’s estate was handed over to a public guardian because of a dispute between Cathy and a cousin, Rose Rivera, who had placed the mobile home and Mildred’s retirement and assets in her name.

Rather than assist Cathy in returning the assets she shared with Mildred, the conservator reported to the court that Mildred did not trust Cathy, despite a hand-written note by Mildred that she did not like the care facility she was in and wished to live with Cathy.

Rivera, the Public Guardian, filed a complaint claiming Cathy’s behavior was disruptive and prohibited her from having any contact with her aunt.

“The system is abusing my auntie and keeping her in prison with no contact with the outside world,” Rodriguez says. In a video recording, Mildred states “I want out of here. I want out of this place. I don’t like staying here and being with these people, I want to live with Cathy.”

Continue Reading

Subscribe to receive news and updates from the Oakland Post

* indicates required

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Trending