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[San Jose Mercury] School salad bars at the heart of 5k race
Jan 21, 2015 |

[San Jose Mercury] School salad bars at the heart of 5k race

The inaugural Heart and Soles race funded 56 salad bars at 53 schools in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Alameda counties. That's a healthy start toward race organizers' goal to fund 116 new school salad bars in three years.
[Orange County Register] Dinner is served: O.C. schools expand program to serve after-school supper
Jan 27, 2015 |

[Orange County Register] Dinner is served: O.C. schools expand program to serve after-school supper

As the sun began to set, an after-school worker rolled out carts onto the courtyard to rows of students and started handing out meals – salami, turkey and ham sandwiches, baby carrots, ranch dressing and fat-free milk. The children cradled the food packages, usually resting milk cartons on top, and took them to covered picnic tables at Mann Elementary School in Anaheim. The 120 or so students would finish dinner before going home. This school year, Anaheim City School District campuses began serving weekday supper to the elementary students in the after-school program – a way for the campuses to assist the mostly low-income families.
[Oakland Local] Mentoring is a two-way street
Jan 26, 2015 |

[Oakland Local] Mentoring is a two-way street

Children in West Oakland face many challenges, including unstable home lives due to poverty, incarceration and substance abuse. Their parents, many of whom lack functional literacy skills and did not complete high school, are often not well equipped to help them succeed. Boost! West Oakland is an exceptional program that provides intensive academic and social support to over 100 students every year in grades K-5 by matching each student with their own designated volunteer tutor/mentor for 1.5 hours or more of support each week. Moreover, they do so with outstanding results, thriving from the one-on-one relationships. They demonstrate improvement in academic performance, self-esteem, motivation, and willingness to take on new challenges.
[AccessLocal.TV] New Urban Agriculture Group Seeks Help From the Community
Jan 30, 2015 |

[AccessLocal.TV] New Urban Agriculture Group Seeks Help From the Community

For every abandoned lot in South Sacramento, there is someone with a vision to put that lot to good use. Those visions, however, need the support of the community in order to become a reality. For residents of Oak Park who wish to be a part of the change they want to see in their neighborhood, here is their chance. Oak Park Sol Community Gardens is an initiative that seeks to put those vacant lots to better use, and they will be holding their first fundraiser at Insight Coffee at “We are essentially a ‘green space’ organization that is focused on working directly with residents and neighborhoods to identify and access vacant or underutilized lots,” says Randy Stannard from Oak Park Sol, “then transform them into productive green spaces that meet the needs of those residents who live around them.”
[Fresno Bee] Joaquin Arambula: Fresno health care: forget politics, focus on people
Jan 30, 2015 |

[Fresno Bee] Joaquin Arambula: Fresno health care: forget politics, focus on people

As an emergency room doctor in a small, rural Valley community, I work the front lines taking care of the sick, the elderly, and the poor. I have a moral and legal obligation to see every patient that comes through our doors, and am proud to do so, without regard to where they were born or their ability to pay. I am a healer and have taken an oath to provide care to all my patients. Since the 1980s, Fresno County has helped provide this specialty health care to hard-working and tax-paying Valley residents through the Medically Indigent Services Program (MISP). But last year, the Board of Supervisors voted to end the program.
[Bakersfield Californian] Coalition brings clean drinking water to rural Kern County
Jan 30, 2015 |

[Bakersfield Californian] Coalition brings clean drinking water to rural Kern County

Clean drinking water is something many Americans take for granted, but in areas such as south Kern County access to safe water is not guaranteed. A new program called Agua4All is attempting to address that. At a ceremony Thursday in Lamont, the California Endowment, the Rural Community Assistance Corporation and the Community Water Center unveiled the first of what eventually will be 60 water bottle filling stations in the area.
[The Modesto Bee]  Middle-schoolers reinvent the farm for Future City life
Jan 26, 2015 |

[The Modesto Bee] Middle-schoolers reinvent the farm for Future City life

The future looks bright for urban farming, full of skyscrapers laden with veggies and smog-free renewable energy. Cows graze in a giant greenhouse, fertilizing at will, every whiff of methane captured to produce electricity. Hunger is history. Recycling is second nature, and stadiums get top billing. Such options sit just a tantalizing moment away for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade Future City planners competing at the Northern California championship Saturday at California State University, Stanislaus.
[Los Angeles Times] Most major California school districts pledge to reduce suspensions
Jan 30, 2015 |

[Los Angeles Times] Most major California school districts pledge to reduce suspensions

The state's landmark school finance law has prompted most major California school districts to pledge to reduce student suspensions, hire more counselors and use positive alternatives to deal with misbehavior, according to a study released Wednesday. The study found that the state's 2013 law, which overhauled how schools are funded, has made a discernible difference in setting districts' spending priorities. The law requires districts for the first time to specify goals, actions and funding in eight priority areas -- including academic achievement, access to fundamental educational services and school climate, as measured by student suspension and expulsion rates.
[Coachella Unincorporated] Agua 4 All Campaign Launches in the Eastern Coachella Valley
Jan 30, 2015 |

[Coachella Unincorporated] Agua 4 All Campaign Launches in the Eastern Coachella Valley

THERMAL, Calif. — Agua 4 All, a pilot project that aims to bring clean drinking water to rural communities across California, launched Wednesday at the San Jose Community Center in Thermal, Calif. The project will fund the installation of water bottle refilling stations, or “taps,” in schools and other locations accessible to community members in rural parts of California where access to clean drinking water is often scarce. The eastern Coachella Valley is the first location to pilot the tap program; a similar program is being replicated in South Kern County. Sergio Carranza, executive director of Pueblo Unido CDC, said this project will aid 150,000 residents in the eastern Coachella Valley and South Kern County who lack access to safe drinking water in their communities due to high levels of naturally occurring arsenic found in their groundwater. “Today, this initiative marks a historical event and a new initiative where we are focused on creating new resources, leveraging more opportunities and working together with the community to change the way we receive water,” said Carranza at the morning press conference. “We are changing the culture of drinking water; we are creating a new habit of drinking water.”
[KERO-TV] Critical water bottle filling stations in Lamont for South Kern County residents
Jan 30, 2015 |

[KERO-TV] Critical water bottle filling stations in Lamont for South Kern County residents

LAMONT, Calif. - The California Endowment, along with the Rural Community Assistance Corporation and Community Water Center, unveiled the first round of installations of new water bottle filling stations in South Kern that will provide safe water access for thousands of local residents. Ready for usage at Lamont and Rexland Parks, the stations, or “taps,” are a part of the Agua4All project , which aims to provide and promote safe water access in California’s rural communities. The taps were unveiled in a ceremony at Lamont Park on January 29 at 10 a.m.
[Eastern Group Publications] Students Shine at Festival
Jan 30, 2015 |

[Eastern Group Publications] Students Shine at Festival

An initiative to promote health and wellness in eastside area neighborhoods and schools, celebrated its 5th anniversary Saturday with a festival at Wellness Center in the Historic General Hospital. The $1 billion, 10-year Building Healthy Communities-Boyle Heights initiative is a community collaboration of over 36 community-based non-profit organizations, residents, and public agencies, that is funded by The California Endowment Saturday’s “IluminArte” was an effort to bring the initiative goals to area youth, using music, song, and carnival-style workshops to expose students to ways they can better their physical, mental and emotional wellness. They also learned how to request more funding for their schools.
[New America Media] Agua 4 All Campaign Launches in the Eastern Coachella Valley
Jan 30, 2015 |

[New America Media] Agua 4 All Campaign Launches in the Eastern Coachella Valley

THERMAL, Calif. — Agua 4 All, a pilot project that aims to bring clean drinking water to rural communities across California, launched Wednesday at the San Jose Community Center in Thermal, Calif. The project will fund the installation of water bottle refilling stations, or “taps,” in schools and other locations accessible to community members in rural parts of California where access to clean drinking water is often scarce. The eastern Coachella Valley is the first location to pilot the tap program; a similar program is being replicated in South Kern County. Sergio Carranza, executive director of Pueblo Unido CDC, said this project will aid 150,000 residents in the eastern Coachella Valley and South Kern County who lack access to safe drinking water in their communities due to high levels of naturally occurring arsenic found in their groundwater. “Today, this initiative marks a historical event and a new initiative where we are focused on creating new resources, leveraging more opportunities and working together with the community to change the way we receive water,” said Carranza at the morning press conference. “We are changing the culture of drinking water; we are creating a new habit of drinking water.”
[Ventura County Star] UCLA Report Could Serve as 'Baseline' To Measure ACA Effects
Jan 29, 2015 |

[Ventura County Star] UCLA Report Could Serve as 'Baseline' To Measure ACA Effects

The report -- " The State of Health Insurance in California " -- was funded by the California Endowment and the California Wellness Foundation and based on data from the 2011-2012 California Health Interview Survey. It outlines trends in employer-based health coverage, uninsured rates and other elements of the state's insurance market. A release notes that the data were collected before the ACA went into effect, so the report's findings "will serve as a baseline to gauge the effects" of the health reform law. Overall, the report found that nearly 50% of Californians under age 65 had work-based health coverage throughout 2012, either through their own job or a family member's plan. However, those rates varied significantly by county -- San Mateo County had the highest rate of residents with year-round work-based coverage, at 70.7%. Lake County had the lowest rate at 26.9%.
[Desert Sun] New 'taps' bring clean drinking water to east valley
Jan 29, 2015 |

[Desert Sun] New 'taps' bring clean drinking water to east valley

The new technology that got people buzzing in Thermal Wednesday morning wasn't the latest iPhone. It was a silver machine on the wall at the San Jose Community and Bea Learning Center that was dispensing clean drinking water. "Water has been an issue in this area for the last 25 to 30 years. The biggest obstacle is political representation. Other, more affluent communities have more priorities about investments and projects," said Sergio Carranza, executive director of Pueblo Unido. "These are mainly rural communities — mainly Latino, mainly farmworkers — and there is little investment here compared to bigger cities." The California Endowment, in partnership with Rural Community Assistance Corporation and Pueblo Unido Community Development Corporation, on Wednesday unveiled seven bottle filling stations across the eastern Coachella Valley. Advocates of the project argue the filling stations, or "taps," are vital to quickly providing water access to rural areas of the desert.
[Huffington Post] Big Food Dominates the School Nutrition Association's Latest Conference
Jan 27, 2015 |

[Huffington Post] Big Food Dominates the School Nutrition Association's Latest Conference

If there's still any doubt about where the School Nutrition Association's (SNA) allegiances lie, their recent School Nutrition Industry Conference (SNIC) leaves no uncertainty. The annual conference, which this year ran from January 11 through 13, is "where school nutrition directors and industry representatives [came] together to build successful partnerships to better serve the nation's children," according to the SNA's website. But a review of the conference agenda, speakers, educational sessions and sponsors paint a far different picture -- one of an overwhelmingly industry-driven event heavy on the promotion of food and beverage offerings from major processed food corporations. That's bound to happen when the SNA taps the food and beverage industry to financially sponsor a conference. Food behemoths Domino's Pizza and Jennie-O Turkey Store were listed as $5000-plus sponsors of SNIC. Other Big Food corporations donating between $500 and $4,999 included ConAgra, Five Star, General Mills, Kellogg's, Sara Lee, Barilla, Kikkoman, Land O'Lakes, PepsiCo, Rich Products and Schwan's.
[Los Angeles Times] Immigration action will boost California's economy, White House says
Jan 27, 2015 |

[Los Angeles Times] Immigration action will boost California's economy, White House says

The White House said Monday that President Obama's executive actions on immigration could boost California's economy by as much as $27.5 billion. In a public relations blitz in advance of the rollout of Obama's expanded deferred action program, White House adviser Cecilia Muñoz said the president's move to give work permits to millions and ease restrictions on high-skilled immigrants will increase wages and productivity in the nation's largest economy.
[Youth Radio] Applying For Health Care As A Former Foster Youth Not So Easy
Jan 27, 2015 |

[Youth Radio] Applying For Health Care As A Former Foster Youth Not So Easy

Shortly after I emancipated from Foster Care I lost my Medi-Cal. For the last two years I’ve paid my medical expenses out of pocket, but I didn’t actually need to. I work at a gym doing maintenance, IT and sales. When my glasses shattered I went to work blind for 10 months. I strained to make eye contact with people, just 20 feet away. I couldn’t tell if the surface was dirty or not. Finally, I paid $400 for new glasses that didn’t irritate my skin allergy. I could have spent that money on electricity or groceries–costs that are often hard to cover. Most importantly, I could have saved it to buy a car and cut down my long bus commute. The Affordable Care Act recently made it possible for former foster youth, like me, to qualify for free Medi-Cal until we are 26. But very few people know about this benefit. Even I haven’t gotten around to signing up yet because the paperwork seems so daunting
[The Hill] Budget office lowers ObamaCare price tag by 20 percent
Jan 27, 2015 |

[The Hill] Budget office lowers ObamaCare price tag by 20 percent

The total price tag for ObamaCare’s insurance programs will be 20 percent less than expected, the government’s budget office said Monday. The law’s insurance provisions are now expected to cost $571 billion through 2019 — a drop of about $139 billion from the government's earliest estimates five years ago, according to new estimates by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The drop in spending is largely due to the smaller-than-expected subsidies load because enrollment in health insurance through ObamaCare has been slower than expected. The CBO had initially expected 13 million people to sign up for health insurance through the exchanges by the end of this year, though it since revised that figure to 12 million. The enrollment tally is still far higher than the Obama administration's new target of 9 million people this year.
[Los Angeles Times] This conservative op-ed confirms the immorality of repealing Obamacare
Jan 27, 2015 |

[Los Angeles Times] This conservative op-ed confirms the immorality of repealing Obamacare

Rarely do conservative opponents of the Affordable Care Act acknowledge the real human consequences of their campaign to overturn the healthcare reform law. But an astonishing op-ed published Friday by the Washington Post does just that. Its author, Michael R. Strain of the American Enterprise Institute, argues that even though the result of repeal is that some Obamacare beneficiaries may die from losing their insurance, that outcome is moral. As the Post's editors succinctly and accurately headlined the piece: "End Obamacare, and people could die. That's okay."
[Sacramento Bee] California can end school-to-prison pipeline with more choice
Jan 27, 2015 |

[Sacramento Bee] California can end school-to-prison pipeline with more choice

As the nation focuses on the state of the union and how we make ourselves a better nation, one fact is inexplicably never addressed: If we are to get people back to work, we need to not only have jobs available but trained workers available to take those jobs. Unfortunately, too many policymakers have failed to draw the incontrovertible link education plays in fostering the school-to-prison and welfare pipeline. The United States spends $228 billion on criminal justice because we badly spend $595 billion on our abysmal schools. In California, 70 percent of prison inmates do not have a high school diploma. We need to alter the discourse and directly address how both our public education and criminal justice systems affect poor and minority youths.
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