Image by HeatherPaque from Pixabay

How American giving shifted amid 2018 tax changes and stock market losses

Una Osili, IUPUI and Sasha Zarins, IUPUI

The sweeping tax reforms that took effect in 2018 meant fewer Americans could itemize their taxes and benefit from the charitable deduction. Has that brought about any dramatic changes in charitable giving? We are the lead researcher and an author of Giving USA 2019: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2018, which the Giving USA Foundation releases every year in partnership with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Overall, our team found, total giving was virtually flat in 2018. It increased by 0.7% in current dollars to US$427.71 billion.

Blacks, Latinos still facing barriers to accessing formal mental health support

African Americans and Latinos face barriers that prevent many from seeking mental health treatment and often rely on more informal networks for support. “The number one barrier I would say centers around the stigma of mental health,” said Dr. Patrie Williams, a clinical psychologist with the El Paso Veteran’s Affairs healthcare system. “I think it’s both historically and culturally.” Instead of seeking professional help some African Americans and Latinos look elsewhere for counseling. “Therapists were not always people who had degrees.

Fathers need to care for themselves as well as their kids – but often don’t

By Derek M. Griffith, Vanderbilt University and Elizabeth C. Stewart, Vanderbilt University

If you had to choose, which would you rather have: a healthy father or a good father? Studies suggest men often choose being a good father over being healthy. Becoming a father is a major milestone in the life of a man, often shifting the way he thinks from being “me focused” to “we focused.” But fatherhood can also shift how men perceive their health. Our research has found that fathers can view health not in terms of going to the doctor or eating vegetables but how they hold a job, provide for their family, protect and teach their children, and belong to a community or social network. As founder and director of the Center for Research on Men’s Health at Vanderbilt University and as a postdoctoral fellow from Meharry Medical College, we study why men live shorter lives than women, male attitudes about fatherhood, how to help men engage in healthier behavior – as well as what can be done to reduce men’s risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Fab Lab presenta al primer humanoide filosofo Aristoteles

CIUDAD JUÁREZ — Aristóteles, el primer humanoide filósofo fue creado con la idea de conversar y debatir al nivel del pensamiento de un humano. Ingeniero Mecánico Electricista Marco Barraza de 65 años, construyo el robot en Fab Lab, un laboratorio de creación de prototipos a pequeña escala en Ciudad Juárez. “Aristóteles es probar los algoritmos de inteligencia artificial la idea es que razone, escuche y hable como un humano, que vea casi como un humano, que vea y reconozca un objeto, reconozca personas y puede interactuar con una persona”, dijo Barraza. Conforme a esto, Aristóteles puede hacer casi todos los movimientos de la cintura, caderas, brazos, cabeza y ojos como un humano y leer una variedad de artículos al día. “Ahorita por ejemplo puede leer 25 mil artículos en día y hacer cerca de entre 300 a 500 mil fichas en un día, entonces va a ser un robot de conocimiento”, dice Barraza.

Today’s border reality: River hazards, refugee child trauma; an end to migrating wildlife

There are many perils for humans and wildlife crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, from the hazards of navigating challenging terrain to the trauma of being detained by law enforcement. As tensions rise with each newly erected section of border wall, the impact of hardline policies can be seen taking a toll on the mental, physical, and environmental health of the borderland. Rising waters threaten migrants crossing Rio Grande

Risks to migrants crossing into the U.S. near El Paso have increased with the annual release of Rio Grande water from upriver in New Mexico. The release replenishes the borderlands and allows its farmers to irrigate, but the surge of water and migrants is a potentially deadly combination. Migrants who bypass barriers at U.S. ports of entry to seek asylum by crossing the Rio Grande risk drowning in the high water of the borderland canals.

EPCC, UTEP fight student hunger with food pantries

EL PASO — One in four college students does not have enough to eat according to the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness. College food pantries help students cope with food insecurity. “A lot of students are going hungry, a lot of them live paycheck to paycheck and we wanted to address this issue by opening a food pantry.” said Bryan Mena, president of the El Paso Community College student government association. “We want to make sure every student knows that it’s an option for them.”

In the past five years, student government at both EPCC and the University of Texas at El Paso’s created their own on campus food pantries to offer free food to students and staff in need. The EPCC and UTEP pantries offer a variety of nonperishable food items for their students and staff ranging from canned meats, beans, soup, cereal, to a variety of canned vegetables.

Community Cats: How El Pasoans are using TNR to live alongside feral cats

Three years after the City of El Paso switched from its policy of euthanizing feral cats to instead supporting a trap-neuter-return program, El Pasoans are finding ways to coexist with community cats. Community cats, or feral cats, are ownerless cats that live outdoors. They make their homes, often in small colonies, in neighborhoods. While some can be friendly towards people, most are not socialized and cannot be adopted. “The cats are our neighbors, we just have to learn to live with them,” said Patti Hack, director of the Cats Spay/Neuter program at the Humane Society of El Paso.

Borderland fishing club reels more desert dwellers into the sport

El Paso’s desert climate is not stopping anglers from finding a local fishing hole in the borderland thanks to the El Paso Texas Fish & Game fishing club. “El Paso is not known for fishing, but there are lots of spots where you can go cast a line and catch some fish,” said El Paso Texas Fish & Game founder Pete Chavez. What started off as a simple Facebook group for locals interested in fishing, has turned into one of El Paso’s most well-known fishing organizations. El Paso Texas Fish & Game brings together men and women, anglers, not only to enjoy fishing in canals, rivers, and lakes around the borderland, but to also give back to the community. “We are in a desert, but there are a lot of us out here who love fishing and the acknowledgement for what we do makes us love what do even more,” Chavez said.

El Paso embracing electric car trend with more charging stations

EL PASO — Electric vehicle programs are popping up across the U.S. Southwest, but the border region has been slow to embrace the trend with some notable exceptions. “Electric is coming, don’t kid yourself,” said Royal Jones, owner and CEO of Mesilla Valley Transportation based in Las Cruces. The company is a six-time recipient of the EPA SmartWay Carrier Excellence Award, which is awarded to businesses for leading their industries in improving freight efficiency and contributing to cleaner air within their supply chains. “My original reason for being green was because I needed some money.” Jones said about his goal to build up a more efficient fleet.

The Kentucky Derby has a secret Latino history

By E. Gabrielle Kuenzli, University of South Carolina
This Triple Crown season, which opens on May 4 with the Kentucky Derby, horses with Latin American bloodlines are among the top favorites. Two 2019 derby contenders – Vekoma and Game Winner – are half brothers and the offspring of Candy Ride, one of Argentina’s most famous thoroughbreds. Now retired, Candy Ride shares his winning genes freely – well, for a stud fee of US$80,000 – at Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky. That two top Derby contenders have their roots in Latin America is no surprise for those who study, as I do, the history of the sport. Many past Kentucky Derby champions hailed from the region – as have their trainers, owners and jockeys.