Thumbs up/down for Monday, Dec. 2, 2013

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Thumbs up to Java Joint on 8th. Credit River Church in Delavan with starting a business that is helping fund a ministry while offering work experience, too. In 2008, the church started Take 2 to help homeless men get back on their feet. The ministry switched to serving women in 2011 because Walworth County has several shelters helping men but few serving women. The ministry’s one-year rehabilitation and mentoring program assists up to three women at a time. One aspect is helping the women gain work experience. To that end, and to raise money to support the ministry, the church has opened Java Joint on 8th at 337 S. Eighth St. Conveniently, Take 2 ministry operates right upstairs. So the church not only nourishes three souls who are down on their luck, it feeds customers with jolts of caffeine and baked goods created by Rachel Johnson. Hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Sunday. It is open as a community resource center and can host meetings from 6 to 10 p.m.

Thumbs up to agriculture ambassador Erin Daluge. The Rock County Agriculture Ambassador Program and its 10 committee members will work with this local dairy farmer to explain how food arrives at your table. Daluge will start by visiting classrooms to detail agriculture production, the hard work that goes into it and the economic and nutritional values. For example, she will point out why milk is a better choice than soda. The interactive programs will cover the beef, dairy, pork, vegetable and soybean and corn industries. In the process, she will focus on the three “F’s” of agriculture—food, fibers and fuel. The Ag Business Council of Rock County hopes to raise money to pay Daluge for her part-time role. Cost of visiting a classroom is $200, and their goals are to visit 50 by the end of the school year and branch out to the county fair and other events. It’s great to see this initiative. Agriculture is an economic driver in our region with room to grow.

 Thumbs down to “Cyber Monday” scammers. Online shoppers, are you sure about what you’re clicking on? This is Cyber Monday, the popular online shopping day. As USA Today reported, however, you can expect cybergrinches to launch an unprecedented number of clever tricks. Byron Acohido of USA Today says cybercriminals will flood your email, mobile devices, social media and search results with tainted web links that offer worthless product and pitches. Scammers have been planning all year for this and will send fake delivery and confirmation notices supposedly from companies such as FedEx, UPS, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target and Toys R Us. Click on them, and the attacker will control your computer. What to do? Acohido says realize that smartphones are the least secure purchasing platform. Use robust passwords. Pay attention to where you store sensitive information. Be skeptical and patronize only trusted Web properties. Finally, check out Hotspot Shield and TunnelBear for free security boosts.

Thumbs up to Ringing and Bringing. Mark you calendar. The annual charity drop-off will be from 8 a.m. 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at Blain’s Farm & Fleet on Highway 14 in Janesville. Residents are encouraged to bring nonperishable food, unwrapped toys, personal care items and cash donations to the parking lot collection point. Donations will benefit the church-sponsored charity known as ECHO, as well as the Salvation Army and the Good Samaritan Fund. It’s a great one-stop shop for all your donations during this giving season. Many families among us are still hurting as the economy struggles to rebound. Your generosity is appreciated.

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