Please pass this on to your members and to the detachments. Please notify me of information on MCL member losses in the Southern California fires.
*****Here are good standard and well-known charities.*****
If you have doubts about certain ones listed here – check them on Charitynavigator.org or Guidestar.org.
Semper Fi Marines and Navy Corpsmen & Chaplains, happy 242cnd birthday! I hope all of you find yourselves in good health. So far, I’m doing OK in spite of my advanced years & aches & pains related to that inevitable condition. Lucky to get this far along, I suppose I should have taken better care of myself in my earlier years. Enough about me.
Many of our Brothers & Sisters and their families have been negatively affected by what seem to be relentless natural occurrences like hurricanes and floods in Texas , Florida and Puerto Rico and fires in California, as well as not-so-natural tragedies such as murders & mayhem in New York, Nevada and now a small community church in Texas. These really test our patience and resolve, and sometimes our faith.
We must try, as difficult as it is, to take these events in stride and keep in mind that, as Marines, we will meet the tests that try us and do what needs to be done. Adapt and overcome! And don’t forget to pray. Especially for those affected. Here in California we have fellow Marines that have lost homes in the terrible Napa Valley area fires, especially Santa Rosa Detachment 686 and Commandant Jim Loorya. They have devised a plan to vet those that may need assistance and some other Detachments and the Department have offered to aid when asked. (see link on homepage). Look for updates as events unfold.
As you all are aware by now the Department did not have a Fall Conference this year. This was adopted at the June Department Convention in Simi Valley last June, after much discussion and with reservation, primarily for financial reasons. As it worked out the tragic fires would have affected attendance negatively at any rate. I hope we can see our way to resume that Fall Conference in the future. The Spring Conference is still scheduled, however, and it looks like it will be a very productive and, hopefully, enjoyable one. More info is on the Department web page.
I intend to go to Marine Expo West at Camp Pendleton and the Southwest Division Conference in Oceanside in February 2018, as well as the National Midwinter Conference in Fredericksburg, VA in March 2018. At that Conference National intends to have the new National By-Laws drafted and ready for discussion so that they will be adopted at the National Convention in Buffalo, NY in August. Those changed by-laws will be a main topic of discussion at our Spring Conference later that month and will be discussed with guidance for action by our delegates in August 2018.
I think that’s enough for now. Stay well and Semper Fi !
Much of region 2 is in flames and many of us know of people who are or will be in need of assistance. Please remember your fellow Marines who have lost homes or loved ones in this tragedy that we find ourselves in. Look for ways to assist and remember your “Brothers” who are in need.
In Detachment 686 alone, so far, we have two or three members who have lost everything as their homes have been burned to the ground. I’ve seen the home site of our JA and his neighborhood looks like an “atomic bomb” was detonated. He will obviously need assistance in rebuilding/replanting and site cleanup. While I’m sure that insurance will cover much of that, it won’t cover everything. Fortunately the loss of life has been minimal. In the 4 counties surrounding the northern parts of region 2, as of yesterday, there are 10 confirmed deaths with many more missing.
In the meantime, these friends and brothers will be living “who knows where or how” and assistance that probably won’t be covered by insurance will be needed. Be ready to support them with food, hot meals, a place to stay (if possible), immediate cash, emotional support and work parties when needed. Above all else, remember them and their families in your prayers.
Criteria For Determining The Winner
- Solid content
Web browsers, computer processing speeds, and network bandwidth vary in every instance causing websites to download at different rates. Websites should accommodate for the least common denominator in each category. Thus the criteria of usability, accessibility, content, presentation, navigability, originality, portability, and load time are the judging categories.
Avoid using unsupported HTML elements, Java programs, images, etc., which may or may not work on some browsers.
Category 1. Content (0 to 30 points)
Your website is your professional showing to the rest of the world. Accurate, up-to-date information should be present. Proper grammar, spelling, and composition are important. As English is the primary language used within the MCL, the content will be judged solely using English. If you are planning to enter the contest, please make sure your website is written in English. To encourage international support of websites, the use of multiple languages may be awarded up to two bonus points in this category. Multilingual support means equivalent or near-equivalent presentation of all material in different languages.
Category 2. Navigability (0 to 25 points)
All links should be up-to-date and working. No “under construction” links should be present. Off-site links will not be evaluated, though a large number of broken off-site links may be a judging consideration (this is not to discourage you from linking off-site, just to encourage you to link to stable sites). Links to resources on Department and National sites are encouraged.
One large page is generally not easy to read and may also take a significant amount of time to load. Breaking the page into a multitude of smaller pages may require significant effort to retrieve the desired information. Thus, the logical structure of the website can result in a pleasant experience or a frustrating experience for your users.
Keywords used for hyperlinks should be logical and tasteful. For example, using an entire paragraph as a hyperlink is a poor design. A good website will have useful hyperlinks for material that should be logically hyperlinked. Excessive use of hyperlinks can be annoying for the reader (for example, hyperlinking every instance of MCL in a small document with several dozen instances of the term).
While many large sites have site maps, navigation bars, search engines, etc., to help the user find the appropriate information, it is by no means required. In fact, the use of these elements can backfire and create a website that is not visually pleasing or is highly complex to use. Many websites do well enough without these aids.
Remember to use relative links as much as possible to ensure easy site portability and mirroring. As an exception, use absolute links only when dealing with CGI script calls and the like.
Category 3. Originality (0 to 15 points)
Originality is somewhat subjective but is an important quality of a superior website. There are two types of originality; the first type is the content presented and the second type is the presentation of the content. Most MCL websites typically include information on their officers, MCL or the detachment itself, and so forth. This information could be enhanced by adding interesting information about your detachment, members, etc. The presentation of “boring” information, such as the board of trustees, in innovative ways can significantly spice up a website and will receive significant consideration in judging. Clearly, you do not want your detachment page to look like every other detachment page; your detachment is unique, and you should make your page reflect that.
Category 4. Overall Presentation (0 to 15 points)
Presentation will be judged not on its originality but on how well it “works” with the content to provide the user with a pleasant viewing experience. Use of good presentation elements, such as color, fonts, tables, etc., can enhance raw information on a website. Overuse of these elements (or improper use of elements, such as blink) can result in a website being an eyesore. Presentation reflects your style. Group information with heading tags, use bulleted lists, and use tables for data representations of content.
Graphics should be relative to the page and text. Header, footer, and other navigation images should be small. Typically, high-quality images (large files) for icons are not required. Unless the image (video, script, etc.) is an important part of the page, you may wish to keep the image at a small size and allow the user to select it as they desire.
Backgrounds should be small (using the lowest possible resolution that looks nice) and should be neat and readable. Uniqueness is always a plus. Backgrounds should be used intelligently. They can either demonstrate the author’s savvy or bad taste. Make sure the backgrounds do not fall into the “bad taste” category. Backgrounds that are “loud” make it extremely difficult to read the text on top of them. The same ideas apply to scripts, video, audio, and other multimedia elements. They should all be the smallest possible size and, most importantly, useful. Like backgrounds, these elements can make your site positively outstanding or a site to avoid. When possible, the users should be given the option to load multimedia elements and not be forced to view or hear something they do not want to.
Category 5. Portability (0 to 10 points)
Unfortunately, there is no “standard” web browser. Even the same web browser on different computers may result in significantly differing renderings of the same page. You should attempt to make your web pages relatively portable across different browsers, including both text and graphical browsers, and different screen sizes. The use of alternative text elements is encouraged, as this provides some amount of portability for images.
Different browser types, i.e. Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Lynx (text-only browser) may be used by the judges to evaluate your website.
Consider keeping the graphics within a small window width. Designing for the lowest common denominator is a must when it comes to website design. Creating graphics that fit on all users’ default screen widths is therefore a good idea. Fixed image locations, fixed tables, etc., are not portable and defeat the goal of HTML. These should be avoided if at all possible.
Portability will be primarily tested by resizing the screen and probably using different browsers to access the site.
Category 6. Load time (0 to 5 points)
Your site should take account of the fact that Internet connectivity ranges from slow dialup modems to fast, dedicated network connections and you should try to ensure that your website loads within a reasonable amount of time. Your site should be up and reachable during the evaluation period. Server load can affect load time, and you should make an effort to use a reasonably fast service that has a reasonable load (i.e. other web sites on the same server).
Using height and width elements can significantly enhance the way the pages load. If you use height and width elements, graphical browsers will know exactly how big of a “hole” to leave for the graphic before it loads and will continue displaying the text down the screen. This gives the appearance of the page loading faster, when in reality it still takes just as much time to load the entire page.