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In this Issue: 4 New Grantees, MOP Presentation, California Grants Applications, Restorative Justice on the Rise. 
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BHC News July
July 7th, 2014

Greetings, friends of BHC!

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer weather!

We here at the Building Healthy Communities have some exciting news for you all. For starters, we just awarded 4 new grants to 4 community organizations for the the summer cycle! They are doing awesome work- from karate lessons for youth, to fitness clinics for children, to enhancing awareness of a healthier lifestyle. To keep up with their events & activities and other community events & news updates, scroll down through our newsletter!

As always , we would love to hear your feedback. Feel free to send questions, suggestions, events, etc. to BHCMerced@gmail.com. Even more, we would love to see you come out to any of our community events!

 
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Le Grand Farmers Market
Ace Overcomers Free Trauma Training on July 10th
Free Meals for Youth Through MCSD
Free Smog Repairs on July 12th
Classified Workers Free Chili Verde Dinner on July 30th
Golden Valley Health Centers is recruiting a number of positions for recent college graduates who are interested in pursuing a career in the community health and/or medical fields. Applicants should email their resumes to Community Health Program Manager Mary-Michal Rawling.
(CNCS) Corporation for National and Community Service is launching the Social innovation Fund for Success Grant Competition, which will provide $11.2 million in grant opportunities to help cities, states and nonprofits develop Pay for Success projects. We encourage groups, organizations, and profits with interest in the PFS project to apply. 

About Building Healthy Communities

Building Healthy Communities is a 10 year initiative where Southwest Merced & East Merced County residents are taking action to make where they live healthier.

The goal: to create places where children are healthy, safe and ready to learn.
 




 
Resident/stakeholders and Youth Voice Needed: 
 
The Merced County Board of Supervisors will be holding a public workshop on the morning of Tuesday, July 8th, to receive a staff presentation on draft "Safe Routes to Schools" and "Pedestrian Improvement Plans" perpared with the communities of Franklin-Beachwood and Planada Through a CalTrans Economic Justice Grant. We encourage community members/stakeholders to come out and express their support for these recommendations.
 
When: Tuesday, July 8th at 10:30AM
Where: County Board of Supervisors chambers. 
 
MUHSD School Board Proposed Policies:  Parent/Resident and Student Voice Needed
The following day, MOP, Merced Organizing Project is presenting a crucial proposal to the MUHSD Board of Trustees this Wednesday, July 9th. The presentation focuses on establishing policy changes to improve educational attainment and healthy youth development in schools. We encourage everyone to come out and support the cause to drastically improve our local school system.

When: Wednesday, July 9th at 5:30PM
Where: District Board Room Office. 3430 A Street, Atwater, CA.

Covered California has announced its intent to award up to $16.9 million in grants for the launch of its Navigator Program, the next phase in the agency’s outreach, education and enrollment efforts.
Covered California will award grants to educate consumers about Covered California health insurance plans and about how to obtain financial assistance to help pay for them. 
Read more here
Le Grand, Merced area high schools using restorative justice for discipline.
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In other news, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has declared a Pertussis epidemic in California for 2014. The Merced County Department of Public Health is providing updated pertussis assistance for health-care providers.
 
 
Upcoming Community Events

CASA of Merced County is having their Empowering Our Youth Fundraiser on Tuesday, July 29th. All proceeds from the event will go to improving the lives of abused and neglected children. 
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The Merced Art Hop is right around the corner and are seeking volunteers for their upcoming event on July 19th. Email Kimberly at Merced Art Hop for more information or check out their Facebook
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Castle Family Health Centers is having their 7th Annual Family Health Festival on August 9th. Go check them out!
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MiddleState Feminist is having their free sex-ed event"Respecticon" on August 9th, at Playhouse Merced and are seeking volunteers. For more information about volunteer opportunities or transportation, contact them at MiddleStateFeminists@gmail.com 
Copyright © 2014 Building Healthy Communities: Southwest Merced-East Merced County, All rights reserved.
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Building Healthy Communities: Southwest Merced-East Merced County
658 W. Main St
MercedCalifornia 95340

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BHC News & Events June

June 20th, 2014
Salutations, friends of BHC!

The United Way Day of Action is almost here! Come join us at United Way Merced on Saturday, June 21st from some free fun activities, face painting, and crafts. Bring the family, refreshments are provided!
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Our partners continue to develop useful tools for communities to use in their advocacy around LCFF . In order to keep students healthy, in schools, and on track for success. UC Berkeley's Center of Cities + Schools recently held a webinar around LCFF and LCAPs as an opportunity to advocate for schools facilities that are health and in "good repair". We've added a link to the webinar's PowerPoint presentation and video. 

In addition, Educators4Excellence has recently released a paper on school climate. The paper focuses on school climate within the movement toward equity and takes specific recommendations around ways to seize the opportunities that LCFF presents around school climate. 
 
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A big thank to all who participated in last Monday's march to the Civic Center. It was a fantastic turn-out involving over 60 youths and supporters speaking up for what they see as a priority in the community. While theoutcome of the final budget was a disappointment for the Invest In Our Youth Coalition, the effort is not over. 

We'ced Youth Media, Alyssa Castro's article on the discontinued youth of Merced has been included in the the National TCE Cal Endowment blog. If you have not read her powerful message, the link is provided above. 
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Covered California is offering a special enrollment period for qualified uninsured consumers across the state.  Click here for more details.
 
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Upcoming Community Events
 
From June 16th to July 25th, Merced City School District will be giving away free meals to the youth, ages 1 to 18 at different locations and time. Take advantage of this service and share it with friends. For a complete list of scheduled locations and times click here. 

On Saturday, June 21st, the Boys and Girls Club is hosting their "Totally Tejano Dance" fundraiser.  Contact their office for tickets and more information.

Feet Changing Lives is having their monthly Ceasefire Night Walk Safety Training Wednesday, June 25th. Come out and support what their all about!

Covered California is hosting an Outreach and Special Enrollment Fair on Saturday, June 28th.  Click here for the Spanish flyer / Click Here for the English flyer.

Ace Overcomes is holding a free Trauma Informed Training for BHC Collaborate Partners on July, 10th. Check it out and learn how childhood trauma can affect clients!

The Merced Art Hop is right around the corner and are seeking volunteers for their upcoming event on July 19th. Email Kimberly at Merced Art Hop for more information or check out their Facebook!  

CASA of Merced County is having their Empowering Our Youth Fundraiser on Tuesday, July 29th. All proceeds from the event will go to improving the lives of abused and neglected children. 

Castle Family Health Centers is having their 7th Annual Family Health Festival on August 9th. Go check them out!

That same day, MiddleState Feminist is having their free sex-ed event"Respecticon" on August 9th, at Playhouse Merced and are seeking volunteers. For more information about volunteer opportunities or transportation, contact them at MiddleStateFeminists@gmail.com 

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Other News / Opportunities

Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA) is hosting both English and Spanish Webniars about funding opportunities through their Living Cultures Grant Program. Join ACTA staff for an informational webinar to learn more about there funding opportunities.

The Coalition Juvenile Justice is hosting a youth video competition as part of their 40th anniversary of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquent Prevention Act. Youth from the ages of 13 to 21 are encouraged to enter. Contest rules and Regulations can be found here.

Every Tuesday from June until October 28th, check out the Le Grand Farmers Market - healthy food, entertainment, and more!  Follow them on Facebookfor updates about events and opportunities.

The Boys and Girls Club of Merced is still seeking volunteers for their summer programs - please help spread the word!

The City of Merced Office of Recreation is hosting 3 sessions of Summer Swim Lessons. The cost is only $10 a session!

Golden Valley Health Centers is recruiting a number of positions for recent college graduates who are interested in pursuing a career in the community health and/or medical fields.  Applicants should email their resumes to Community Health Program Manager Mary-Michal Rawling.

Funding for Community Grants is currently available through Dignity Health.  Letter of Intent Application / Brochure

For mothers with children under 12 months, please fill out this Mother and Baby Health Survey from the Merced County Breastfeeding Coalition.  Those who complete the survey are eligible to win a prize!
 
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Thank you for reading!  As always, if you have questions, concerns, comments, etc, please email our Hub Communications Specialist.

Sincerely,

Building Healthy Communities Merced, Hub Team
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Copyright © 2014 Building Healthy Communities: Southwest Merced-East Merced County, All rights reserved.
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BHC News June

June 6, 2014
Salutations, friends of BHC!

On June 16th, the Merced City Council is voting to adopt the 2014-15 city budget. That night is likely to be the last chance to give community input before the budget is approved.   Please join the Invest In Our Youth Campaign that evening in expressing to City Council the dire need for more opportunities for young people.  

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Schools

Measure M, a bond measure for school development, passed on Tuesday's election. Read all about it!

Neighborhoods
 
Two years ago the Neighbors United For a Better South Merced (NUBSM) group collected over 1,200 letters of support to have the City of Merced move forward on the development of a full service grocery store in South Merced.  Now, the city has annexed the corner of Canal and Childs as a commercial shopping district.  They have also developed a comprehensive community profile packet that is given to interested developers and retailers to help bring more businesses to the City of Merced.

If you are interested in attending any of the NUBSM meetings, they take place on the first Wednesday of each month from 5:30 to 7:00 PM at Golden Valley Health Centers.  

Prevention
Covered California is offering a special enrollment period for qualified uninsured consumers across the state.  Click here for more details.

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Upcoming Community Events
 
This Saturday, our friends at Merced Full Spectrum are heading to Fresno Pride.  Head on down to show your support!

If you aren't able to leave Merced tomorrow morning, feel free to join the great work being done by the Merced County Crawdads - this weekend they well be working to clean up Joe Herb Park.

In the early afternoon tomorrow, the Human Services Agency is hosting a freeCelebration of Fatherhood event, with prizes, food, photos and more.

Next week, Playhouse Merced's Summer Programs will be kicking off theirChildren's Choir workshop.  Call Miss Noelle at 209-761-5666 with the offer code "Choir" to get a cool deal!

The Merced County Fair is coming up next week - it's always a great time for the whole family!
 
On Thursday, June 12th, residents can head over to McNamara pool for opening day!  DJ Rasta and others will be heading up the festivities with food, music and fun.

That night, head over to the Merced College Theatre for an all-ages Festival of Dance.

On Saturday, June 14th, Tune In and Tune Up is providing free smog repairs for the first 500 attendees in Los Banos.  Don't miss out on this excellent opportunity to save money and clean up our air!  Click Here for Spanish flyer/ Click here for English Flyer.  

That afternoon, the Merced Brown Berets are hosting a meeting for a youth program that intends to "provide a healthy alternative to gangs and drugs."

Later that evening, the Merced Multicultural Arts Center is screening "The House I Live In" in partnership with the UC Merced Center for the Humanitiesand the UC Merced Library.  This award winning film investigates the American drug war.

In Modesto on June 14th, Sierra Vista Child and Family Services is hosting Bloom - A Tea for Hope, a fundraiser for support of foster youth. Space is limited!

On Sunday, June 15th, the Merced Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is hosting a free Salsa at the Lake event.  There will be dancing, youth activities, food and more!

On Saturday, June 21st, the Boys and Girls Club is hosting their "Totally Tejano Dance" fundraiser.  Contact their office for tickets and more information.

Covered California is hosting an Outreach and Special Enrollment Fair on Saturday, June 28th.  Click here for the Spanish flyer / Click Here for the English flyer.

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Other News / Opportunities
 
On June 21st, United Way is hosting the United Day of Action.  They will be celebrating all month with a kids book drive.

On July 10th, BHC Partners have the chance to participate in a free training on childhood trauma.

Every Tuesday until October 25th, check out the Le Grand Farmers Market - healthy food, entertainment, and more!  Follow them on Facebook for updates about events and opportunities.

The Boys and Girls Club of Merced is still seeking volunteers for their summer programs - please help spread the word!

The City of Merced Office of Recreation is hosting 3 sessions of Summer Swim Lessons. The cost is only $10 a session!

Valley Crisis Center is hiring a full time Shelter Coordinator.  Applicants must submit a cover letter and application by June 12th to Denise@alliance4you.org.  

Golden Valley Health Centers is recruiting a number of positions for recent college graduates who are interested in pursuing a career in the community health and/or medical fields.  Applicants should email their resumes to Community Health Program Manager Mary-Michal Rawling.

Funding for Community Grants is currently available through Dignity Health.  Letter of Intent Application / Brochure

For mothers with children under 12 months, please fill out this Mother and Baby Health Survey from the Merced County Breastfeeding Coalition.  Those who complete the survey are eligible to win a prize!

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Thank you for reading!  As always, if you have questions, concerns, comments, etc, please email our Hub Communications Specialist.

Sincerely,

Building Healthy Communities, Merced, Hub Team
Follow on Twitter    Friend on Facebook    Forward to Friend 
Copyright © 2014 Building Healthy Communities: Southwest Merced-East Merced County, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in at our website.

Our mailing address is:
658 West Main Street
Merced, CA 95340
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BHC Merced Newsletter
* Calendar
* In the News
* From TCE
* Grantee Videos
* Upcoming Events, Workshops & Valuable Information
* BHC Merced's Health Happens Here Campaigns
* Ways to Get Involved
* BHC Connect

April 16, 2013 
Building Healthy Communities, Merced!
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can change the world.
 Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

~Margaret Mead~
Above, community parents, youth and concerned community residents celebrate the reinstatement of four morning-only school bus routes for
Merced Union High School District.
Thank you to everyone ~ students, parents, concerned residents, Merced City Council, The California School Employees Association members, and the Merced Union High School District Board of Trustees!! 

This would not have happened without your support!

Please note the highlighted statements in the Sun Star article below.

In the News!

 

Friday, Apr. 12, 2013

Four morning-only school bus routes restored in Merced, other areas

By DOANE YAWGER

dyawger@mercedsunstar.com

More school buses started running morning routes in Merced, Beachwood-Franklin, Atwater and Winton areas this week and it has been a cause for celebration by parents.

Leonard Kahn, assistant superintendent for business services of the Merced Union High School District, said about 100 students have been riding the buses daily since the service resumed Monday morning.

Buses manned by substitute drivers have been making pickups in the early morning hours about a half-hour apart, taking students to Atwater and Buhach Colony high schools in Atwater and Merced and Golden Valley high schools in Merced.

Kahn is optimistic the right amount of service is being offered now.

A year ago trustees dropped service to students living within five miles of their high school campus and furloughed 15 drivers.

This action, which saved about $1 million, is believed to have been instrumental in the defeat of two incumbent trustees in November's election and lead to the threat of a lawsuit from the California Rural Legal Assistance group.

The board's March 27 decision to restore four morning-only routes covers service this month and May. District Superintendent Scott Scambray said trustees are likely to consider transportation additions for next fall in June when the finance picture is clearer.

But resumption of the morning service led to a "school bus celebration" party Tuesday night by about 35 people at the Merced Organizing Project office at 18th and K streets.

Since the bus curtailment a year ago, Steven Walters, the parent of a 17-year-old Merced High School student, repeatedly pressed trustees to reconsider their actions and said he is very pleased with resumption of service.

"We want all school buses to run," Walters said. "Students shouldn't have to walk home. We're happy as a group; a year ago we were told there would be no buses and a lot of the time it looked like nothing would happen. And now there are half."

The Walters family lives near the Home Depot store off Highway 140 in west Merced. During the year Walters and others went door-to-door to muster support and marched in several parades.

Walters pays $45 a month for his daughter Mysti to ride Merced Transit System buses home from school and doesn't believe students are as safe as they would be on a school bus.

Trustee Dora Crane, who defeated incumbent Mike Carpenter in November, spoke at the celebration, praising parents for their efforts in pushing to restore school bus service.

"Sometimes you've got to get off the couch and do something else," Crane said. "It's wrong for kids to be walking in the dark. I wish this (restoration) had happened before April 8; when I saw cuts in transportation I threw my hat in the ring and was told I wasn't going to win. But the message came through; I am nothing without all of you."

Now is not the end, Crane said, as the fight to restore full bus service for the next school year begins soon.

Scambray said top district administrators were deployed Monday to observe all the new bus stops and said the process went well. He said over time ridership will increase.

Wynn Simon, the district's director of transportation, said ridership numbers are relatively low. As few as six students and as many as 40 have been riding some of the district's 84-passenger buses.

The union representing school bus drivers made concessions in its new labor contract with the district allowing the hiring of part-time bus drivers. Advertising for these part-time positions ends Friday, Simon said.

Elyse Gittens of Merced said her family was caught off-guard a year ago when service was cut back and relatives had to scramble to get her 15-year-old great-niece, Delvina Johnson, the 4.6 miles to Buhach Colony High School.

"No parent in the community has a child to spare," Gittens said at Wednesday's celebration. "There are more things we can improve on. I'd like to see improved communication between the school board and the community."

Cindy Walters said it's 3½ miles from her house to Merced High School. She termed restoration of morning service a start and said parents would work on getting afternoon routes down the road.

Michelle Xiong, a youth coordinator with the Building Healthy Communities advocacy group which is affiliated with United Way, praised parents for their efforts. "We want to celebrate this monumental occasion," Xiong said. "People did something and made a difference. I thank you all for your efforts."

Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or dyawger@mercedsunstar.com


Merced Youth Get (Back) on the Bus!

by Brian Mimura
Program Manager, Southwest Merced/East Merced County
Apr 02, 2013

“I never thought I would have to worry about how I would get to school.”

Those are the words of Delvina Johnson, a young high school student in Merced. Delvina  and dozens of other residents and young people have been speaking out since the local school district eliminated bus transportation for students living within 5 miles of Merced High Schools. 

Delvina and her peers want to focus on succeeding in school. Not merely getting there.  

Thanks to their successful community organizing and persistence,  the school board reinstated four of their morning bus lines! 

Congratulations to everyone who made this happen! 

Click on the "Speak Out" picture above to read a study on behavioral adaptation among youth exposed to community violence: a longitudinal multidisciplinary study of family, peer and neighborhood-level protective factors.  

 Click the title below to...
 
Watch Children First: Safe at School

Hosted by Margot Kim and Jason Oliveira

Recent tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and Taft High School in Kern County have parents wondering if their kids are safe at school. ABC30 will air a half-hour special on measures valley schools are taking to keep our kids safe.


Discover what local educators are doing differently with campus security. See how technology is crucial in a crisis situation. Learn about the special training educators are undergoing that can help them fend off intruders on campus. Child experts give parents advice on the best way to talk to kids about school violence. Prevention is key. See how Restorative Justice is changing hearts and minds on school campuses.

RESOURCES


OSS
Organization of Self-Assured Schools
www.ossweb.org

ALICE TRAINING
http://www.responseoptions.com/index.html

TIP NOW
http://tipnow.com/products-services/tipnow

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE
http://disciplinethatrestores.org/index.shtml

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can change the world.
 Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

~Margaret Mead~
Upcoming Events, Workshops, &
Valuable Information!
Click on the flyer below to access the TAG Application at www.bhcconect.org 
Click on the flyer below to access the Registration Packet at www.bhcconnect.org!
The above event is not a BHC sponsored event.
Find out what BHC Merced's
Evaluation and Learning Team
have been talking about!

Click below to view the presentation.
Watch for an upcoming RESTORATIVE JUSTICE video very soon from IMPACT!
Le Grand is making all sorts of things happen!
Get involved today!
Like us on Facebook  
facebook.com/BHCMerced
Follow us on Twitter
twitter.com/BHCMerced

Check out BHC Connect!

You can find BHC Merced's agendas, minutes at
BHC Connect!


 

Join Merced Organizing Project's 
Educational Committee
1st & 3rd Wednesdays of each month.
Noon-2p.m. at MOP's New Office
415 W. 18th Street 
(the old post office)

MOP will form an
Immigration Committee
soon.  Watch the following video that will "Change the Conversation on Immigration".  
V.O.I.C.E.S.
Voices of Individuals Creating Endless Success is a solution-oriented group where youth unite to advocate for the betterment of our community by inspiring others. Through our voice and actions, we will build respect for youth.
V.O.I.C.E.S. meets every Wednesday from 4:00-6:00p.m. at United Way.  Please call Michelle Xiong for more information: 209-580-6090.
The Local Child Care and Development Planning Council (LPC) is a great forum for the community to address concerns related to child care and development services and/or early learning opportunities. 
 
SAMANTHA C. THOMPSON, MBA 
Early Education Special Programs Manager 
Early Education Department
Merced County Office of Education

1460 West 18th Street, Merced, CA 
Phone: 209-381-6719
 Fax: 209-381-6745
BHC Connect is an online collaborative environment intended to help our
14 hubs organize and interact with one another as well as their communities.


BHC Connect is very user-friendly.

YOU can find the BHC Merced Calendar on the BHC Connect website as well as
important documents, videos and photos!

Check it out TODAY & let yourCommunications Specialist know
If you have any events, activities, or other information to add.


http://www.bhcconnect.org
Copyright © *|2012|* *BHC Merced|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
BHC Merced at United Way
658 West Main Street
Merced, CA 95340
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All New BHC Newsletter-JUNE

April 2, 2013 
Building Healthy Communities, Merced!
Policy & Systems Change

Congratulations to the
Walk Your Talk Coalition! 


Thanks to the advocacy efforts of students, parents, and community residents, on Wednesday,
March 27th 
the Merced Union High School District (MUHSD) voted to partially reinstate busing for High School students!

 Reinstatement of morning bus service could start as early as next week ~ April 8th! 

Thanks to all who persisted and will continue to fight for full reinstatement for High School transportation! 
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can change the world.
 Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

~Margaret Mead~
MUHSD Board Member, Dora Crane and
BHC Youth, Amanda after the vote!

In the News!

 

From Merced Sun Star
Saturday, Mar. 30, 2013

Our View: Merced board's action on school buses is a good first step

Merced Union High School District trustees Wednesday night voted to restore some student bus service to Beachwood-Franklin, Atwater-Winton and Merced areas, starting early next month.

Morning-only bus service is due to resume April 8 on four routes for the rest of the 2012-2013 school year, which ends in June. Decisions on extending these part-time services for the next school year could come at future board meetings.

While community activists, parents and board members praised the effort to restore at least some bus service this year, a long-term solution must be worked out before next school year.

This week's decision is a good first step, but it must be followed up with efforts to keep buses rolling in the years ahead. If the current plan is the template for a permanent fix, then it was more than worth the effort. If not and no other solution can be found, it's an unacceptable stopgap to quiet those concerned for student safety.

Those parents and their supporters must remain vigilant to ensure the board follows through. These residents demonstrated their power at the ballot box during the last election and that remains an effective tool for them going forward.

Providing bus service isn't cheap.

Leonard Kahn, the district's assistant superintendent for business, said adding the four part-time routes will add no more than $200,000 in costs for the current school year. He estimated adding 10 part-time bus routes and restoring service to a 2½-mile radius of the student's campus could cost an additional $600,000 for the next school year.

And in difficult budget times, wisely managing taxpayer dollars is essential. While the approval of Proposition 30 doesn't mean all financial issues have been resolved, it carries with it expectation that some slashed services will be restored.

Besides, the price of not getting kids to high school who clearly want to go is too hard to contemplate.

Districts everywhere pull out all the stops to convince students and parents just how important attendance is -- not just to school funding, but to academic attainment and future career success.

Asking those same folks to send their children on foot through sketchy neighborhoods or forcing them to negotiate traffic hazards -- putting their safety at risk -- goes counter to that go-to-school message.

All the school board and the administration has to do is the very thing it routinely asks of students: Develop a creative idea that solves a problem while making sure the numbers add up.

It won't be easy, but then few important assignments are.


Wednesday, Mar. 27, 2013

Merced High board votes to restore 4

morning school bus routes


By DOANE YAWGER

dyawger@mercedsunstar.com

ATWATER Merced Union High School District trustees Wednesday night voted to restore some student bus service to Beachwood-Franklin, Atwater-Winton and Merced areas, starting early next month.

The board's 4-0 vote during a 40-minute meeting in the Atwater High School library was met by sustained applause from parents. Morning-only bus service is due to resume April 8 on four routes for the rest of the 2012-2013 school year, which ends in June.

Decisions on extending these part-time services for the next school year could come at future board meetings.

Trustee Dora Crane said she was very happy with the outcome of Wednesday's vote, saying it is beneficial for students and will keep everybody safe. She said the action was a good starting point in keeping communication open with parents.

Leonard Kahn, the district's assistant superintendent for business, said adding the four part-time routes will add no more than $200,000 in costs for the current school year. He estimated adding 10 part-time bus routes and restoring service to a 2½-mile radius of the student's campus could cost an additional $600,000 for the next school year.

Board President Ida Johnson said safety is the board's top issue and trustees would address the transportation issue again.

Merced High parent Steven Walters, who has spoken out repeatedly against the board's curtailment of bus services nearly a year ago, thanked trustees for their action.

"Your actions show you take the matter seriously," Walters said. "We want to continue to work with you and this was a good first step."

Last year the board furloughed 15 bus drivers and limited bus transportation to more than five miles from the student's home campus. Two incumbent trustees re-election bids failed last November, and the Merced City Council and an advocacy group pressed the board to reconsider the cutbacks.

Community activist Rachelle Abril praised the board for bringing back bus service, saying it's needed. She said the safety of youth is the "number one thing."

Michelle Xiong, a youth coordinator with the community activist group Building Healthy Communities, called adding the buses an important first step. She said students' stress and anxiety over busing affects their health and ability to succeed in school. She hopes suitable alternatives will be found for the next school year.

Phoebe Seaton with the California Rural Legal Assistance group said difficulties with transportation cutbacks occurred when the public wasn't sufficiently engaged in the budget process. She urged district officials to push for more school funds now that the Proposition 30 funding measure was approved.

Frank Abarca, a parent, thanked trustees, staff members and California School Employees Association members for their help with reinstating bus service and reducing risks to students.

"It's a step in the right direction," Abarca said. "I hope to see continued collaboration; we are all in this together."

Parent Joseph Zamora urged school officials to make multiple attempts to keep parents informed about busing additions or changes.

Kahn showed where district buses would pick up Beachwood-Franklin students at the El Tagreb Market near Santa Fe Drive at 6:45 and 7:15 a.m. Another bus for Atwater High School students would pick up students at the same times at the Winton library.

A bus for Golden Valley High School students would stop at 6:45 a.m. and 7:15 a.m. at G Street and Gerard Avenue. One bus is due to pick up Merced High School students at Stephen Leonard Park at 6:45 a.m. and a second bus could be added if there are more students, Kahn said.

Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or dyawger@mercedsunstar.com.


 
 
Watch the vote on

ABC Action News 30!

Click on the picture below to
READ ALL ABOUT IT!

We'Ced Youth Magazine reports on BHC's Community Circle around Transportation!
TODAY!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

3:00-5:00p.m.
&
6:00-8:00p.m.
Operation Ceasefire, Lifeline for Healing
Merced

From The Merced County Times

Night walks to begin in high-crime city blocks

By Jonathan Whitaker
March 21, 2013

A diverse group of Merced residents, activists, clergy members and at least one high-ranking city official — Mayor Stan Thurston — met at a small church in South Merced on Tuesday night and set a date for an anti-crime initiative that's unlike any other this city has ever tried.

Operation Ceasefire Merced has been gaining momentum since the idea was brought to citywide attention during a townhall meeting last year.

In the program, community leaders and law enforcement officers target and contact specific individuals known to be involved in deepening criminal activity — such as gang violence, gun violations and drug dealing.

But the high-profile part of the strategy happens when residents actually go out on "night walks" in high crime ares of Merced to let people know that the community is demanding safe neighborhoods, and that there are services in town that change lives for the better.

All this starts next Thursday, March 28, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., near 21st and K streets, when groups target areas around the Merced Amtrak Station. One thing to remember, however, is that all "walkers" need to have gone through a short training program, and all are led by team leaders.

"There is safety in numbers," said Eugene Drummond, a city recreation supervisor involved in the effort. "All of us here are here because we care about our community. These neighborhoods are our problem. They're our kids. We're not trying to be heroes. We're not vigilantes. We're not out there to take any bullets. We are out there to be positive ... find solutions ... and work for a better Merced."

Experts say the program won't end all crime in Merced, but it has been successful in places like Oakland and Sacramento for reducing gun violence and recidivism rates among younger gang members.

A quick look at CrimeMapping.com, will show that Thursday's target area (or a half-mile radius around 21st and K) is a standout for police calls and criminal activity. As of Wednesday, and over a one-year period, there has been one street homicide, 29 reported incidents of weapons violations and shots fired, 70 incidents involving drugs, and 154 reported assaults and domestic violence situations.

Nevertheless, this diverse area is also known for its beautiful historic homes, the nearby main Police Station, County Administration Building, the Superior Court complex, school district offices, YARTS bus trips to Yosemite and the A & M corner market. Many prominent residents live in the area, including District Attorney Larry Morse.

Ceasefire organizer Rev. Don Ramsey said he expects the effort to grow with two to four street walks in different areas of the city on a weekly basis. The Loughborough neighborhood is another spot on the group's short list. Ramsey is calling on other clergy members to get involved in the cause.

Another training session is scheduled for April 18 at 6 p.m., but the location has not been set yet. Contact: Reverend Ramsey: 676-9824 or e-mail: myck2497don@gmail.com.


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can change the world.
 Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

~Margaret Mead~
Click on the picture below to watch the newest video by Venice Arts, Merced

"Planada Rising"
Upcoming events & announcements!
BHC Hub Committee 
Next Meeting
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Merced County Office of Education

Meeting Agenda
Meeting Minutes

 
Find out how YOUTH are being engaged & becoming leaders at BHC Merced!
Click below to view the presentation.
Click on the picture below to read the full report!
 
Watch for an upcoming RESTORATIVE JUSTICE video very soon from IMPACT!
Le Grand is making all sorts of things happen!
Get involved today!
Like us on Facebook  
facebook.com/BHCMerced
Follow us on Twitter
twitter.com/BHCMerced

Check out BHC Connect!

You can find BHC Merced's agendas, minutes at
BHC Connect!


 

Join Merced Organizing Project's 
Educational Committee
1st & 3rd Wednesdays of each month.
Noon-2p.m. at MOP's New Office
415 W. 18th Street 
(the old post office)

MOP will form an
Immigration Committee
soon.  Watch the following video that will "Change the Conversation on Immigration".  
V.O.I.C.E.S.
Voices of Individuals Creating Endless Success is a solution-oriented group where youth unite to advocate for the betterment of our community by inspiring others. Through our voice and actions, we will build respect for youth.
V.O.I.C.E.S. meets every Wednesday from 4:00-6:00p.m. at United Way.  Please call Michelle Xiong for more information: 209-580-6090.
The Local Child Care and Development Planning Council (LPC) is a great forum for the community to address concerns related to child care and development services and/or early learning opportunities. 
 
SAMANTHA C. THOMPSON, MBA 
Early Education Special Programs Manager 
Early Education Department
Merced County Office of Education

1460 West 18th Street, Merced, CA 
Phone: 209-381-6719
 Fax: 209-381-6745
BHC Connect is an online collaborative environment intended to help our
14 hubs organize and interact with one another as well as their communities.


BHC Connect is very user-friendly.

YOU can find the BHC Merced Calendar on the BHC Connect website as well as
important documents, videos and photos!

Check it out TODAY & let yourCommunications Specialist know
If you have any events, activities, or other information to add.


http://www.bhcconnect.org

March 19, 2013 
Building Healthy Communities, Merced!
HAVE YOU APPLIED?! 

Grant applications are due THIS FRIDAY before 5:00p.m.
APPLY TODAY!

 
BHC COMMUNITY GRANTS
Policy & Systems Change

On Monday, March 18th Merced's city council voted unanimously to hold Town Hall meetings in the community at least twice a year as requested by BHC partners!

This is a PERMANENT POLICY CHANGE!

Congratulations to the
Merced Organizing Project! 



Also at last night's meeting, BHC partners asked the city council to "Prioritize Youth!" and set aside at least 3% of the city's discretionary funding for
youth services & programs!


The city council seemed to hear that youth should be prioritized in the upcoming budget decisions. Thank you to those who suggested 3% of the discretionary funds going toward youth services & programs!
 
YOUR INPUT IS NECESSARY!

Additional Budget Sessions are scheduled for the following dates:
  • May 13th (Presentations will be made on discretionary funds used by Public Safety)
  • May 14th (Presentations will be made on discretionary funds allocated for areas other than Public Safety - including youth programs & services)
  • May 22nd & May 29th with a VOTE on the budget scheduled for June 3rd
  • Most likely, meetings will begin at 6p.m., but possibly later…
 Way to go, Everyone!
 
The Youth Advisory Commission will be coming up soon.
BHC YOUTH are interested in meeting with the city council members to answer any questions  and listen to suggestions they may have.  

A few BHC partners are ready to apply!
 
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can change the world.
 Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

~Margaret Mead~
Tony Ramirez speaks at the Merced City Council meeting about being a youth leader for Building Healthy Communities and the opportunities that have given him more confidence.
Tsia Xiong, Merced Organizing Project's Lead Organizer / Director had many requests last night:
  • Allocate 3% of the city's discretionary funding to youth services & programs (not salaries) for free & low-cost activities, opening the pools, offering swimming lessons, and the continual funding of safe, supervised spaces for young people
  • A transparent budget analysis for the community
  • Greater collaboration between the city and community groups 
  • The formation of a Youth Advisory Council/Commission.     
Marilyn Mochel, Registered Nurse and Building Healthy Communities Partner
talked about the link between a city having opportunities for the youth of a community and the health of a community.  

Marilyn quoted from a study out of Pennsylvania that states, "Programs focused on youth empowerment that provide opportunities such as mentoring, intervention, support and education, tend to save, on average, $5.00 for every $1.00 spent."
Michelle Xiong, BHC Youth Coordinator, spoke about having more opportunities for young people to get involved and make good choices.  She reiterated the fact that the city council needs to hear from youth on a regular basis.  
Andres Reyes, Program Manager of WE'CED Youth Media, said, "Young people who are connected to their community make a healthier community."  

In the News!

Wednesday, Mar. 13, 2013

Merced Union revisits decision on busing, says deal with drivers' union a must

By DOANE YAWGER

dyawger@mercedsunstar.com

 

Restoration of at least some busing for area high school students could be in the works if Merced Union High School District administrators and the union representing bus drivers can agree on a revised contract.

The trustees then would have to approve those details at a special meeting.

Although trustees took no action Wednesday night after hearing a report on possible busing options, the stage was set to follow a March 20 bargaining session with the California School Employees Association, which represents bus drivers.

The current contract with the district prohibits drivers from working part time.

More than 60 students, parents and community residents crowded the Golden Valley High School library as trustees weighed options to restore bus service, which was cut back dramatically nearly a year ago.

Gloria Coulombe, CSEA Chapter 252 president, said the union is close to reaching an agreement with the district for its 2012-13 salary and working conditions package.

She said the union, which represents 340 classified or nonteaching employees, is open to allowing part-time school bus drivers.

There are six bus routes left for the district covering Merced, Atwater and Livingston campuses and six remaining drivers. Last year, 15 bus drivers were furloughed when trustees eliminated busing for students living within five miles of the campus they attend.

Board President Ida Johnson wants to see bus service restored as early as next month rather than the next school year. She added she is willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen.

She suggested lobbying the CSEA to change the part-time contract prohibition and scheduling the special board meeting once a union agreement is reached.

Parent Steven Walters once again lobbied trustees to restore bus service.

"Our kids are still in danger," Walters said. "The only safe solution is to reinstate busing. We (parents) did our part on Proposition 30."

Proposition 30 increased taxes on earnings over $250,000 for seven years and sales taxes by ¼ cent for four years, to fund schools

He criticized the district's paying employees for out-of-state travel to conferences and workshops, saying that money could be used to bus students. He was told training sessions are required and funds for the travel comes from other sources.

Leonard Kahn, assistant superintendent for business, said the state has not been increasing funding for school bus transportation for decades. He said the supply of available bus drivers is thin in Merced County.

Merced City Councilwoman Mary-Michal Rawling and fellow council members sent the district a March 4 letter urging that school bus service be restored.

Rawling told trustees Wednesday she hoped the letter wasn't perceived as bullying. The city and district have worked well in the past, she said, and they can work together to tackle the transportation issue in current tough economic times.

Trustee Dave Honey said the district is paying $130,000 to police departments for school resource officers and next year will have five officers, pointing out that is enough money to restore transportation.

"It's kind of a two-way street," Honey said. "There is only so much money and the costs keep going up and up. It really isn't the responsibility of the district to do that (provide officers on campus)."

Trustee William Snyder said the quicker the issue is resolved with the CSEA, the quicker trustees can act.

Trustee Dora Crane said the special board meeting is needed after the March 20 bargaining sessions with CSEA representatives.

Kahn displayed a chart showing it would cost $124,500 to add one part-time bus driver for the next fiscal year, or $233,500 for three part-time drivers. To add six part-time drivers would total $397,000; nine part-time drivers would add $560,500 in costs.

The district has 28 school buses, eight of them the old-style Crown type and the others newer Bluebird-type buses, Kahn said.

Melissa Kelly Ortega, a parent, thanked trustees for starting the conversation about restoring bus service.

"I know that all of you want to get our young people to school safely, on time and ready to learn, so I know you are carefully considering all the options," she said, "even one or two that haven't been presented to you by staff tonight, to ensure all of our children get the quality education they deserve and desperately need."

Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or dyawger@mercedsunstar.com.

Click here to listen to the Merced Sun Star's "Off the 99" podcast on this topic.

Or click here to watch it on
ABC Action News 30!


Watch for the Merced County Times article coming out on Thursday
& prepare to attend the Special Board Meeting as early as next week!
Community residents and BHC Partners packed the Merced Union High School District board meeting on Wednesday, March 13th at Golden Valley High School.

Top Left: Concerned Parents & BHC Hub Committe Member, Jennifer Mockus

Top Right: Heather Gonzalez, Merced College Teacher,
BHC Partners & families affected by cuts.

Bottom Left: Veronica Garibay, Concerned Resident 
Cindy Walters, Concerned Parent 

Bottom Right: John Cardenas, Concerned Parent 
Rachelle Abril, Distinguished Outreach Services & BHC Partner
Tatiana Vizcaino-Stewart, BHC Hub Manager
Mary-Michal Rawling, Council Woman, City of Merced
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can change the world.
 Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

~Margaret Mead~
Upcoming Events, Workshops, &
Valuable Information!
Watch for a survey coming out later this week that will gather input around transportation & the Transportation Forum that took place last Thursday in Planada.
Distinguished Outreach Services is still in need of TOY donations to go in each basket for the
Easter Block "N" Grow happenign on Saturday. 
If you or your organization can help, please call
Rachelle Abril before Thursday, March 21st.
209-947-8827.
Thank you!
Nominate a Leader  

Tell us about someone who is improving California by nominating him or her for a 2014 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award.

The Leadership Awards recognize individuals who are advancing innovative, effective solutions to significant issues in California. Nominees may be working in any field – such as education, health, public safety, economic development or the environment – in the public, private or nonprofit sector.

Please take a moment to tell us about a leader with a breakthrough solution for California. The deadline for nominations is April 5, 2013.

Please Submit Your Nomination by April 5, 2013.

The Foundation provides each award recipient with $125,000 to support his or her work benefiting the people of California. At least $100,000 is designated for core support of the leader’s project or organization, and up to $25,000 may be used for professional or organizational development.


Find out how YOUTH are being engaged & becoming leaders at BHC Merced!
Click below to view the presentation.
Watch for an upcoming RESTORATIVE JUSTICE video very soon from IMPACT!
Le Grand is making all sorts of things happen!
Get involved today!
Like us on Facebook  
facebook.com/BHCMerced
Follow us on Twitter
twitter.com/BHCMerced

Check out BHC Connect!

You can find BHC Merced's agendas, minutes at
BHC Connect!


 

Join Merced Organizing Project's 
Educational Committee
1st & 3rd Wednesdays of each month.
Noon-2p.m. at MOP's New Office
415 W. 18th Street 
(the old post office)

MOP will form an
Immigration Committee
soon.  Watch the following video that will "Change the Conversation on Immigration".  
V.O.I.C.E.S.
Voices of Individuals Creating Endless Success is a solution-oriented group where youth unite to advocate for the betterment of our community by inspiring others. Through our voice and actions, we will build respect for youth.
V.O.I.C.E.S. meets every Wednesday from 4:00-6:00p.m. at United Way.  Please call Michelle Xiong for more information: 209-580-6090.
The Local Child Care and Development Planning Council (LPC) is a great forum for the community to address concerns related to child care and development services and/or early learning opportunities. 
 
SAMANTHA C. THOMPSON, MBA 
Early Education Special Programs Manager 
Early Education Department
Merced County Office of Education

1460 West 18th Street, Merced, CA 
Phone: 209-381-6719
 Fax: 209-381-6745
BHC Connect is an online collaborative environment intended to help our
14 hubs organize and interact with one another as well as their communities.


BHC Connect is very user-friendly.

YOU can find the BHC Merced Calendar on the BHC Connect website as well as
important documents, videos and photos!

Check it out TODAY & let yourCommunications Specialist know
If you have any events, activities, or other information to add.


http://www.bhcconnect.org
Your text caption goes here
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Copyright © *|2012|* *BHC Merced|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
BHC Merced at United Way
658 West Main Street
Merced, CA 95340
Use this area to offer a short preview of your email's content.

Tuesday, Mar. 05, 2013

Merced City Council letter to voice concerns over cuts in school bus service

By JOSHUA EMERSON SMITH

jsmith@mercedsunstar.com

MERCED The City Council unanimously approved on Monday sending a letter to the Merced Union High School District expressing concern for student safety resulting from last year's high school bus cuts.

Mayor Stan Thurston made a motion to table the issue at the request of district Superintendent Scott Scambray. However, he withdrew the motion after members of the public and the council voiced concern.

"No one listens to the public more than I do, so I withdraw my request to postpone," he said.

The superintendent's request is a "bit of a smoke screen," said Councilman Bill Blake. "It's time to vote on it tonight."

The city and the community need to work together on this issue, said newly elected Trustee Dora Crane, who campaigned on a platform of addressing the effects of bus service cuts.

"Citizens of Merced have asked for your support, and I want us to work together," she said. "We can't pick and choose when we're going to work together."

Councilman Josh Pedrozo questioned the motivation of the district's request to table the letter. "I feel this is kind of crazy that such a bland letter has elicited such a response from the superintendent."

The superintendent wasn't specific on his reason for wanting to stop the letter from going out, said City Manager John Bramble.

"He called and indicated there were some discussions going on and he asked that, if nothing else, that it be delayed," Bramble said. "That's all he said."

The superintendent could not be reached by the Sun-Star's deadline Monday night.

Last year, under budget constraints, the district's board of trustees voted to cut busing for Merced, Atwater and Livingston students living within five miles of campus.

Over the past year, parents continually have demanded that district trustees reinstate busing or come up with an alternative solution.

City officials said the letter was drafted in response to concerns voiced at a recent town hall meeting.

In part, the letter reads: "(T)he City Council does share the concern of our citizens related to student/pedestrian safety especially in areas that have especially heavy traffic volumes, speeds or unique geographical situations that pose challenges for students to safely walk to school."

The district's decision resulted in the laying off of 15 school bus drivers, and has affected hundreds of students.

After supporting the cuts, trustees Mike Carpenter and Kurt Kollmann were voted out of office in November. Both defended their decision, arguing that other cuts would have been just as unpopular.

The cuts saved about $1.4 million last year, according to the district. However, district officials said that, depending on state funding levels, they could faces up to a $2 million shortfall this year.

Reporter Joshua Emerson Smith can be reached at (209) 385-2486 or jsmith@mercedsunstar.com.


 

Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013

Youth services at top of council to-do list

By JOSHUA EMERSON SMITH

jsmith@mercedsunstar.com

MERCED The Merced City Council held its annual priority and goal-setting public meetings Friday and Saturday.

Council members said they heard a wide range of messages from the community, with concerns for youth services at the top of the list.

"The dominant message coming out of it was that they want more funding for youth services," said Councilman Bill Blake. "As we do our budget session, I think we'll be aware of that.

"I've had more people come to me after meetings lobbying for more money for youth programs," he added.

The message is nothing new, but this could be the year to fix it, said Councilwomen Mary-Michal Rawling.

"We've heard that since our budget process started last year: 'Where we're putting our money is not prioritizing activities for youth,' " she said. "I hope we can start."

This is about what the community wants, said Tisa Xiong, executive director for the Merced Organizing Project.

"We just want to make sure that youth services are improving this year," he said. "Because if you look at last year, youth services has been basically zero on the budget. Not just parks and rec funding; what we're talking about is money for providing youth-positive development."

Several ideas were floated, including bringing back an advisory commission for youth services.

"If someone has other ideas, please bring them forward," said Mayor Stan Thurston. "But this annual battle to get together woefully insufficient funds for these things has to stop."

Alyssa Castro, a youth mentor with Venice Arts in Merced, expressed some frustration that city officials didn't commit to increased funding for youth services.

"People wanted answers about how much specifically of the budget was going to be spent on youth," she said. "The city didn't really give those answers. The city made it clear that they were willing to help, but there weren't a lot of details."

The mayor suggested instituting a property tax to help pay for youth and other community services.

"Here's the idea: Study how we can obtain reliable, consistent funding for the senior center, the youth center and youth services, the arts center and the zoo," he said.

However, the idea might lack public support, Rawling said. While she said she would have to see the specifics, she didn't rule out supporting the idea.

"I think if people get behind it and the details get worked out so it can be a successful, long-term source of funding, then I'm not going to stand in the way," she said.

Councilman Mike Murphy expressed some skepticism about a tax to support youth services.

"I'm waiting for the actual proposal to come forward," he said. "The devil's in the details. There'd have to be a really strong reason for me to support it."

The meeting was held in the Sam Pipes room of City Hall. The setting was informal, with audience members making comments from their seats.

The event was facilitated by former City Manager Jim Marshall. City department heads were in attendance.

Reporter Joshua Emerson Smith can be reached at (209) 385-2486 or jsmith@mercedsunstar.com.


 

Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013

Health care reform still a mystery to most

One question: How will the Affordable Care Act work at the local level?

By YESENIA AMARO

yamaro@mercedsunstar.com

ATWATER Some health care providers in the area say they have more questions than answers about the federal health care reform.

They also say they haven't heard many concerns expressed by patients -- yet.

"There's a lot of questions that we have," said Peter Mojarras, director of operations at Castle Family Health Centers. "How is it going to impact us? There's a lot expected."

Some estimated 20,000 people in Merced County who currently have no medical coverage will become insured when the law is fully implemented in January 2014, Merced medical officials said. It's unknown how many of them will get coverage under the Medi-Cal expansion.

Mojarras said care providers want to know exactly how everything will work at the local level. For example, they don't know if patients will be able to keep their same providers, he said.

"We have not received enough information," he said.

Regardless, area medical officials are doing their best to be prepared for the big change and help educate the community as the date gets closer.

The Golden Valley Health Centers has organized several forums and more planned to help educate the community about what the law will mean for people, said Christine Noguera, interim chief executive officer.

Golden Valley is already also looking at expanding the hours of operation Monday through Saturday, and possibly also being open on Sundays. "We do foresee increased demand," she said.

Still she said, one of the biggest challenges along with that, is the shortage of physicians in the area. "We can only expand as much as our provider is available to help us with those expansions," she said.

But there's a shortage, especially of primary care physicians, she said, and that shortage will only increase with the additional patients who will become insured.

"It's very competitive because there's a demand across the United States for primary care," she said.

Another concern is that not many doctors in private practice take Medi-Cal patients, Mojarras said. But health centers, like Castle and Golden Valley, have a mission to serve that population.

That will create a burden for the health centers and emergency rooms, Mojarras said. Castle has already seen a 15 percent to 20 percent increase in Medi-Cal patients in the last year.

"There's more patients coming into our clinics because they have less choices and the health reform should be about choice," he said.

Hospitals, like Memorial Hospital Los Banos, also don't expect things to be as smooth.

"Under federal health care reform, the government plans to provide health coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans," said Karen Garner, spokeswoman for Sutter Health, owner of the hospital.

"The costs will be covered in part by paying health care providers -- like Memorial Hospital Los Banos -- less in the coming years," Garner said. "In fact, we estimate Medicare's reimbursement reductions to the Sutter Health network to be nearly $2 billion over the next decade."

Merced resident Maria Hernandez said she hasn't been following health care reform.

"Honestly, I haven't hear much about it," she said in Spanish.

But she was not the only one.

Merced resident Angelina Rico said she hasn't sought information about the law and how it could impact her. She said she will get up to speed on it once the implementation gets closer.

"I'm OK with everything right now," she said.

Merced resident Analilia Lopez said she currently has Medi-Cal, but she only gets coverage for emergencies. She said reform will help by providing people on Medi-Cal with more health care services.

Lopez said people who don't have full coverage, like herself, don't get routine care because they can't afford it. The law will "be good because it can help prevent illnesses," she in Spanish.

Reporter Yesenia Amaro can be reached at (209) 385-2482, or yamaro@mercedsunstar.com.


 

Monday, Feb. 18, 2013

Curbing criminal activity in Merced at night

By JOSHUA EMERSON SMITH

jsmith@mercedsunstar.com

Merced Sun-Star

JOSHUA EMERSON SMITH/jsmith@mercedsunstar.com Rev. Don Ramsey with St. Matthew Baptist Church on Friday (2-15-13) at the Merced Organizing Project offices located at 415 West 18th St. where he volunteers.

 

MERCED By the end of next month, the Rev. Don Ramsey said, he will be walking the streets of Merced at night in an effort to empower the community and curb criminal activity.

"We need the crime to stop in this city," said the St. Matthew Baptist Church reverend. "This is something that could work."

Ramsey, a volunteer with the nonprofit Merced Organizing Project, has spearheaded an effort to bring "night walks" to Merced, a component of the nationally recognized CeaseFire program.

Ramsey, in conjunction with the organizing project, has been calling on community leaders to walk the streets in violence-prone neighborhoods, a strategy designed to help residents engage their community.

"Over the last couple months, he's been working with the clergy and public officials," said Tisa Xiong, executive director of Merced Organizing Project. "I think they are starting to get the idea that building the relationships across culture and region is the way to go."

The theme of the walks are "ownership," Ramsey said.

"You said when you moved here, you were going to plant your roots, raise your kids and support this community?" he said. "Well, you support it in the good times, and you support it in the bad times."

The idea of brining the CeaseFire program to the city of Merced picked up momentum several months ago with support from law enforcement and the City Council.

Then members of the Sacramento CeaseFire program visited Merced to talk about the program, stressing the need for funding and contracting with a data specialist to identify the most serious offenders in the community.

It's not clear if the city will prioritize all parts of the strategy, but Ramsey said he's dedicated to carrying out the night walks.

"He took the lead to get this started," said the Rev. Phil Jenkins with New Canaan Missionary Baptist Church in Los Banos. "He's doing an awesome job to get the community and clergy together."

Getting people in the streets can give the CeaseFire effort momentum, Ramsey said.

"It opens up the door for them to ask for funding from the state," he said. "If we don't walk, they don't have a program. If they don't have a program, then all they're going to continue to do is talk about what could be."

The idea has garnered some attention in neighboring cities. Ramsey said he's met with community leaders in Atwater who are interested in the program.

There's been talk of bringing the program to the Westside. Los Banos is looking seriously at implementing CeaseFire and the night walks, Jenkins said. "We really need to rally around this project and support it," he said. "I would love to see it happen, and it's off to a pretty good start."

The next meeting to organize the upcoming night walks will be held on Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. at St. Patrick's Church, 671 E. Yosemite Ave. in Merced.

Reporter Joshua Emerson Smith can be reached at (209) 385-2486 or jsmith@mercedsunstar.com.

EDITOR'S NOTE: 'Merced Matters' appears every Monday. In it we will tell the stories of Mercedians -- ordinary people doing extraordinary things, extraordinary people doing ordinary things and a lot in between. We hope you like our effort to let you know more about others in our community, and we welcome your suggestions. Please contact Victor Patton atvpatton@mercedsunstar.com or (209) 385-2431 with your ideas for 'Merced Matters.'


 

Wednesday, Feb. 06, 2013

Youths' location can limit options

Fewer opportunities available in poorer areas, study reveals

By JOSHUA EMERSON SMITH

jsmith@mercedsunstar.com

Merced Sun-Star

JOSHUA EMERSON SMITH/jsmith@mercedsunstar.com Members of the Kirwan Institute based out of Ohio State University, present a new report, Moving Merced Communities Forward on Monday (2-05-13) at the Merced County Office of Education.

 

MERCED A report backs long-standing concerns that economic and educational resources for youth in and near Merced are concentrated in certain geographic areas, leaving many neighborhoods struggling to succeed.

"This data validated what we've been hearing over and over again from community members," said Tatiana Vizcanino-Stewart, hub manager for Building Healthy Communities in Merced. "We finally have something in writing with maps."

The report -- Moving Merced Communities Forward -- looked at several socioeconomic indicators, including proximity to toxic sites, access to parks, public transportation and educational opportunities.

Conducted by the Kirwan Institute based at Ohio State University, the report looked at the city of Merced, Le Grand, Planada and the Beachwood-Franklin area. The study was funded by the California Endowment.

About 35 percent of youths in the studied areas lived in poverty, according to the report. At the same time, twice as many Latino children were living in poverty as white children.

"Latino youth represent the majority of youth here in Merced," said Jason Reece, co-author of the study and director of research at the Kirwan Institute. "That's the majority of the county's future adult population.

"This does not bode well for the economic future here if we're not doing things for those kids to grow and develop and prosper," he said.

The study ranks south, central and northwest Merced, as well as Planada and Le Grand, as having low to very low levels of "opportunity." Northeast Merced raked highest, with the fewest barriers for youth success.

The communities facing the most barriers to economic and health well-being consistently experienced a lack of recreation, a need for higher quality education and limited access to healthy food, according to the report.

One significant disparity detailed in the report was between north and south Merced's access to safe recreation.

In the city of Merced, people living north of Highway 99 have access to 25 times more park space than those living south of the highway, according to the report.

Anecdotal evidence, collected by those who conducted the study, suggested that north Merced parks were safer than those on the south side of the city.

Residents living in high-crime areas experience high rates of stress, which can result in significant health problems, Reece said.

"We're seeing some pretty serious health disparities between ZIP codes here in this community," he said. "We can see big differences from place to place in terms of the life expectancy of folks living in one community versus another."

However, he added, they found a significant number of youths interested in trying to improve their neighborhoods.

The data in the report will help residents make their case for a greater allocation of local resources, Vizcanino-Stewart said. "We can refine our united vision of where we want to go with this information and spark the conversation with the elected officials."

Reporter Joshua Emerson Smith can be reached at (209) 385-2486 or jsmith@mercedsunstar.com.


 

Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013

Merced City Council hears worries of residents at town hall

By YESENIA AMARO

yamaro@mercedsunstar.com

 

 
 
 

MERCED About 65 Merced residents packed Tenaya Middle School's gymnasium Monday night during the Merced City Council's second town-hall-style meeting.

The council took questions from the public and heard residents' concerns over the lack of jobs in the city, lack of interpretation services during the meetings, stray dogs wandering the streets in south Merced and the increase in the city's crime rate, among other issues.

During the meeting, the council also heard a presentation from Fire Chief Mike McLaughlin on the Merced County Emergency Notification System. It also heard a follow-up report from the town hall meeting held last April at Sacred Heart Community Center.

City Manager John Bramble went over a few economic development projects the city is working on. Those included a grocery store at Canal Street and Childs Avenue as well as projects at the Airport Industrial Park.

Bramble also provided a brief update on Operation Ceasefire, a crime-prevention program modeled on efforts around the state. He said the project could start in Merced in the spring.

Frank Delgado, who has lived in Merced for 42 years, was among those in the crowd. He said residents hear of many projects, but nothing seems to get accomplished.

"The south side has not changed," he said.

He said there is violence and that people are living in fear. "There's a lot of fear here in the south side of speaking up," he said.

Councilman Josh Pedrozo responded by saying something has to be done "to make sure people are not afraid to speak up."

Delgado also said people can't find employment.

The council stressed that they are working hard to bring jobs to Merced.

Another concern was the language barrier with which many in south Merced struggle.

South Merced resident Cecilia Mendoza, through an interpreter, said the announcement for the meeting was done in English, but the majority of the residents in that part of town don't speak the language. She said there need to be more interpreters at such gatherings and more effective outreach to get residents to community meetings.

Mendoza said she has attended meetings in Sacramento and that interpreters are always available.

Mayor Stan Thurston said that was a good point. "We need to look into that very seriously," he said, adding that the interpreter Monday night had been hired by Building Healthy Communities.

Isabel Sanchez said stray dogs are another problem for south Merced. There are always dogs -- big and small -- roaming the streets, she said, and residents want to know what the city can do to help with the situation.

"They chase us when we are walking, and they also cross the streets when we are driving," Sanchez said.

But not everyone at Monday night's meeting asked the council to fix a problem.

Lee Pevsner said that if people want a great community, they need to do their part to make the community great. As an example, he cited the effort with which the community got involved last year to reopen McNamara Pool.

"If we want something to happen to us, we need to get involved," he said.

Reporter Yesenia Amaro can be reached at (209) 385-2482 or yamaro@mercedsunstar.com.


 

Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013

'Wait and see' approach taken with busing fix

By DOANE YAWGER

dyawger@mercedsunstar.com

 

 

 

MERCED Several options are being considered to remedy large-scale cuts in busing for local high school students, but it may take a while before a solution is reached.

Last spring, Merced Union High School District trustees cut busing in the fall for Merced, Atwater and Livingston students living within five miles of their campuses. Transportation cuts may have played a role in the defeat of two trustees in last November's election, and the issue continues to smolder in local communities.

Leonard Kahn, the district's assistant superintendent for business services, outlined several options but cautioned that a decision may not come until at least May, when the nature of state funding for schools is more certain.

Kahn mentioned the possibility of one bus making three runs a day in the mornings and afternoons between the Beachwood-Franklin area and Buhach Colony High School in Atwater. Another possibility could be partial bus service, either to or from school, along with working with county transit officials to reduce fares on The Bus for students.

The annual cost of operating a school bus is estimated at $116,000 a year. Last May, when 15 bus drivers were furloughed and bus service was cut back to five miles, it was estimated the moves would save the district about $1.5 million.

"The biggest issue is how much revenue will be restored by the governor's May budget revision," Kahn said. "This will be the primary driver in any decision, including transportation. We will have to wait and see until we know what the revenue picture looks like."

The district is looking into establishing early morning campus activities, which would allow working parents to drop off their students before school starts, Kahn said.

Enid Picart, a Modesto-based community worker with the California Rural Legal Assistance Inc., said the district is being responsive to residents' concerns. However, protests continue.

A group of parents calling themselves "Walk Your Talk" are due to take part in Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade through Merced. They will be marching with yellow shirts to call attention to the bus cutbacks, Picart said.

Several months ago, the CRLA demanded that trustees restore bus service and meet with disgruntled residents. She said the CRLA is doing its own research on the transportation issue and wants to resolve it without court action.

Last fall, The Bus began offering introductory half-price bus passes at $22.50 a month for students. This semester, the rate reverted to the regular $45 monthly fare, said Rich Green, manager of Merced County transit. He said he's not sure about the possibility of future student discounts.

Green said it's obvious the county's bus service isn't an equivalent alternative to school buses. The county's bus system must recover at least 10 percent of its costs through the fare box.

Kahn met with about three dozen people a week ago in a two-hour meeting at Joe Stefani School in the Franklin area. Picart, who attended the session, said parents still are against the cutbacks, even after a detailed explanation by Kahn.

Trustee Dave Honey said the district is trying to work with people to find a transportation solution. He defended last year's cutback decision, saying the budget is $2 million in arrears for the year and that cuts had to be made someplace.

Trustee Dora Crane, who defeated incumbent Mike Carpenter in the November election, said the district is listening to parents' concerns about transportation. She said no significant increases have been seen in student tardiness or absences in the first 60 days of the current semester.

Trustee Will Snyder, who defeated appointed incumbent Kurt Kollmann in the November, said the district is working on options to get the situation is resolved. He said the district will do everything it can to make sure students are safe and able to get to school.

About three of the parents attending the meeting at Stefani School were assisted by Norma Cardona, who works with the district's homeless transition program. Cardona gave these parents applications for free bus transportation for their children.

Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or dyawger@mercedsunstar.com.


 

 

Thursday, Jan. 03, 2013

Program aims to help youth gain job skills

By YESENIA AMARO

yamaro@mercedsunstar.com

MERCED Jesika Lopez, who grew up being judged by others, wants to prove people wrong.

"I was a statistic," the 23-year-old Atwater resident said. "I was always shut down."

But Lopez is not letting that stop her from pursuing her ambitions. She will participate in a new program for at risk-youth in Merced designed to give them jobs so they can gain work experience and skills.

They'll be paid $8 an hour by residents who hire them to do tasks ranging from house cleaning and laundry to yard work and repairs.

Besides making a little money and gaining the on-the-job experience, the youth will be able to benefit from a program that's focused on keeping them out of trouble.

The young participants will get help from mentors to avoid making bad decisions -- the kind that can end up sending them to a place such as juvenile hall, said Rachelle Abril, co-founder of the Distinguished Outreach Services, a nonprofit in Merced.

Her group is dedicated to educating and empowering community members to take advantage of available tools and resources. It recently launched the Mentoring Odd Job Organization Project. Also known as the MOJO Project, it targets young people between the ages of 15-23.

"Our main goal is to engage youth in the community, because they are going to be our tomorrow," she said of the new program.

The program will provide job skills and training, counseling, résumé writing assistance and help in getting high school diplomas or GEDs for participants who don't have either.

"They will be doing jobs, from anything domestic around the home, with businesses, local churches," she said. "Any type of odd job that needs to get done."

 

Hands-on experience

 

Lopez said this will give her the opportunity to get hands-on experience at different jobs, adding that she's willing to do anything. "We can do something more than just run the streets," she said.

Lopez wants to use the experience that she gains from the program to push herself. Eventually, she hopes to use those skills to find a good job, save some money, attend a vocational school and become a medical assistant.

She wants to stay connected to the program so she can remain active in the community. "I would actually like to stay even after and be able to mentor young kids that are coming in," she said.

The program held an orientation meeting Saturday, and about 15 youth showed up, Abril said, stressing that young people don't have to pay any fees to participate.

There will be another orientation session in about a week, and interested youth are welcome to attend, she said.

" 'At-risk' is not just a troubled child," she said, explaining that young people from stable backgrounds can be at risk of making bad decisions.

Abril hopes the community will help support the program by donating items that may be needed to keep it going. She needs residents to open their homes so young people can help with laundry, painting, fixing bikes or any other tasks that need to get done.

Sometimes people want to get things done, she said, but they don't have the time.

The program will partner with the Boys and Girls Club of Merced County, Abril said. Tony Slaton, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Merced County, was not available for comment Thursday.

Reporter Yesenia Amaro can be reached at (209) 385-2482 or yamaro@mercedsunstar.com.


 

Watch "Breaking the Cycle".  
A Venice Arts Merced video
regarding substance abuse.


 BHC COMMUNITY GRANTS
are available to you!
Click here to download & apply!

Due March 22nd!


BHC's Community Circle happens
March 14th, 5:30-8:00p.m.
in Planada!


JOIN the conversation as we discuss some of the most serious transportation issues affecting our areas!  Some of you will be invited to be panelists!
Please attend the BHC Hub Committee meeting at Franklin Elementary School on Wednesday, March 6th from 6:00-8:00p.m.
2736 Franklin Rd.
LInk to AGENDA
Link to MINUTES
Get involved today!
Like us on Facebook  
facebook.com/BHCMerced
Follow us on Twitter
twitter.com/BHCMerced

Check out BHC Connect!

You can find BHC Merced's agendas, minutes at
BHC Connect!


 

Join Merced Organizing Project's 
Educational Committee
1st & 3rd Wednesdays of each month.
Noon-2p.m. at MOP's New Office
415 W. 18th Street 
(the old post office)

MOP will form an
Immigration Committee
soon.  Watch the following video that will "Change the Conversation on Immigration".  
V.O.I.C.E.S.
Voices of Individuals Creating Endless Success is a solution-oriented group where youth unite to advocate for the betterment of our community by inspiring others. Through our voice and actions, we will build respect for youth.
V.O.I.C.E.S. meets every Wednesday from 4:00-6:00p.m. at United Way.  Please call Michelle Xiong for more information: 209-580-6090.
Golden Valley Health Centers
Golden Valley Health Centers
invites YOU to GARDEN!

One of the most important events happening in 2013!
The Local Child Care and Development Planning Council (LPC) is a great forum for the community to address concerns related to child care and development services and/or early learning opportunities. 
 
SAMANTHA C. THOMPSON, MBA 
Early Education Special Programs Manager 
Early Education Department
Merced County Office of Education

1460 West 18th Street, Merced, CA 
Phone: 209-381-6719
 Fax: 209-381-6745
BHC Connect is an online collaborative environment intended to help our
14 hubs organize and interact with one another as well as their communities.


BHC Connect is very user-friendly.

YOU can find the BHC Merced Calendar on the BHC Connect website as well as
important documents, videos and photos!

Check it out TODAY & let yourCommunications Specialist know
If you have any events, activities, or other information to add.


http://www.bhcconnect.org
-Grant Opportunities
-Youth Opportunities
-Leadership Opportunities
-Community Engagement
-Collaboration
-Communication
CAUTION: 

Read at your own risk! 
The following email is full of valuable information that will help create a healthier community!  
March 4, 2013 
Building Healthy Communities, Merced!
Please attend tonight's City Council meeting.
7:00p.m.
678 W. 18th Street
Merced
Watch "Breaking the Cycle".  
A Venice Arts Merced video
regarding substance abuse.


 BHC COMMUNITY GRANTS
are available to you!
Click here to download & apply!

Due March 22nd!


BHC's Community Circle happens
March 14th, 5:30-8:00p.m.
in Planada!


JOIN the conversation as we discuss some of the most serious transportation issues affecting our areas!  Some of you will be invited to be panelists!
Please attend the BHC Hub Committee meeting at Franklin Elementary School on Wednesday, March 6th from 6:00-8:00p.m.
2736 Franklin Rd.
LInk to AGENDA
Link to MINUTES
Nominate a Leader  

Tell us about someone who is improving California by nominating him or her for a 2014 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award.

The Leadership Awards recognize individuals who are advancing innovative, effective solutions to significant issues in California. Nominees may be working in any field – such as education, health, public safety, economic development or the environment – in the public, private or nonprofit sector.

Please take a moment to tell us about a leader with a breakthrough solution for California. The deadline for nominations is April 5, 2013.

Please Submit Your Nomination by April 5, 2013.

The Foundation provides each award recipient with $125,000 to support his or her work benefiting the people of California. At least $100,000 is designated for core support of the leader’s project or organization, and up to $25,000 may be used for professional or organizational development.


Check out all the events coming up!
Watch for an upcoming RESTORATIVE JUSTICE video very soon from IMPACT!
Le Grand is making all sorts of things happen!
Get involved today!
Like us on Facebook  
facebook.com/BHCMerced
Follow us on Twitter
twitter.com/BHCMerced

Check out BHC Connect!

You can find BHC Merced's agendas, minutes at
BHC Connect!


 

Join Merced Organizing Project's 
Educational Committee
1st & 3rd Wednesdays of each month.
Noon-2p.m. at MOP's New Office
415 W. 18th Street 
(the old post office)

MOP will form an
Immigration Committee
soon.  Watch the following video that will "Change the Conversation on Immigration".  
V.O.I.C.E.S.
Voices of Individuals Creating Endless Success is a solution-oriented group where youth unite to advocate for the betterment of our community by inspiring others. Through our voice and actions, we will build respect for youth.
V.O.I.C.E.S. meets every Wednesday from 4:00-6:00p.m. at United Way.  Please call Michelle Xiong for more information: 209-580-6090.
Golden Valley Health Centers
Golden Valley Health Centers
invites YOU to GARDEN!

One of the most important events happening in 2013!
The Local Child Care and Development Planning Council (LPC) is a great forum for the community to address concerns related to child care and development services and/or early learning opportunities. 
 
SAMANTHA C. THOMPSON, MBA 
Early Education Special Programs Manager 
Early Education Department
Merced County Office of Education

1460 West 18th Street, Merced, CA 
Phone: 209-381-6719
 Fax: 209-381-6745
BHC Connect is an online collaborative environment intended to help our
14 hubs organize and interact with one another as well as their communities.


BHC Connect is very user-friendly.

YOU can find the BHC Merced Calendar on the BHC Connect website as well as
important documents, videos and photos!

Check it out TODAY & let yourCommunications Specialist know
If you have any events, activities, or other information to add.


http://www.bhcconnect.org
Your text caption goes here
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Copyright © *|2012|* *BHC Merced|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
BHC Merced at United Way
658 West Main Street
Merced, CA 95340
BHC Merced's Upcoming Events
January 28, 2013 
Building Healthy Communities, Merced!


Click on the Calendar below
to stay updated on all the events taking place.
Below, you will find many ways to become more involved in
building a healthier Merced!  Please take the opportunity to not only read / skim this email,
but to take ACTION! 


Thank you!
Get involved today!
Like us on Facebook  
facebook.com/BHCMerced
Follow us on Twitter
twitter.com/BHCMerced

Check out BHC Connect!

You can find BHC Merced's agendas, minutes at
BHC Connect!
If you would like something to change,
be sure to attend the meeting TONIGHT at Tenaya Middle School!
VOICE YOUR OPINION & BE HEARD!

"Everyone please share and take the time to come tell your City what you need.
If you don't tell them then you can't really complain that they aren't doing what you want." ~ Janie Medak Schuesler 
No one knows your thoughts, ideas,
or vision unless you VOICE IT!
Tell the City Council!
It's a good idea!
They want to hear it!
R.S.V.P. Required
for the African American Women's Health Forum
Supervisor Pedrozo invites all Merced County residents
to voice your questions and share your comments about
Merced County issues.

Register TODAY!
Click on the page below to register!
It's free & easy!
V.O.I.C.E.S.
Voices of Individuals Creating Endless Success is a solution-oriented group where youth unite to advocate for the betterment of our community by inspiring others. Through our voice and actions, we will build respect for youth.
V.O.I.C.E.S. meets every Wednesday from 4:00-6:00p.m. at United Way.  Please call Michelle Xiong for more information: 209-580-6090.
Click the picture below & sign up today for the Hoop for Kids!
www.mercedcomvip.org 


One of the most important events happening in 2013!
The Local Child Care and Development Planning Council (LPC) is a great forum for the community to address concerns related to child care and development services and/or early learning opportunities. 
 
Public Member representation is needed. 

Interested individuals should, please, contact Samantha Thompson. 

SAMANTHA C. THOMPSON, MBA 
Early Education Special Programs Manager 
Early Education Department
Merced County Office of Education

1460 West 18th Street, Merced, CA 
Phone: 209-381-6719
 Fax: 209-381-6745
BHC Connect is an online collaborative environment intended to help our
14 hubs organize and interact with one another as well as their communities.


BHC Connect is very user-friendly.

YOU can find the BHC Merced Calendar on the BHC Connect website as well as
important documents, videos and photos!

Check it out TODAY & let yourCommunications Specialist know
If you have any events, activities, or other information to add.


http://www.bhcconnect.org
Watch for upcoming videos created 
by our awesome youth video team!

Copyright © *|2012|* *BHC Merced|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
BHC Merced at United Way
658 West Main Street
Merced, CA 95340
unsubscribe from this list   update subscription preferences 

BHC Merced's Upcoming Events
CAUTION: 

Reading this entire newsletter may entice you to become more involved in your community! 

Too much information? Take the short survey here to assist us with our communication efforts.  Thank you!

January 15, 2013 
Building Healthy Communities, Merced!

Click on the Calendar below
to stay updated on all the events taking place.
Get involved today!
Like us on Facebook  
facebook.com/BHCMerced
Follow us on Twitter
twitter.com/BHCMerced

Check out BHC Connect!

You can find BHC Merced's agendas, minutes at
BHC Connect!
Confused about the 
Affordable Care Act?
Check out the
Henry Kaiser Family Foundation
"YouToons" video.
*Click here to find out more.*
Golden Valley Health Centers
Golden Valley Health Centers
invites YOU to GARDEN!
Meet Martha, Sheena, and Isidro (below).
They are part of the AmeriCorps team at
Golden Valley Health Centers.
Contact Martha if you are interested in learning more about gardening!
209-385-5260
Healthy South Merced Updates
A word from Andres Reyes...

WE'CED Youth Media's second issue is finally available! After a short hiccup with our printers, we're very pleased to finally be able to share with you a hard copy of our magazine. Our local young people have worked very hard to bring you stories that are of relevance to them and their communities. Inside you will find stories on:
 
  • School Transportation
  • El Capitain--Merced's Newest High School
  • Undocumented Students & Higher Education
  • LGBT Harassment
  • Teen Depression
  • School Discipline
  • Adoption
  • Foster Care
  • and more!
It is currently available at United Way in Merced along with other local businesses and public places like Merced County LibraryDepartment of Public HealthUC Merced's Student Life Center as well as local businesses like J&R TacosCoffee Bandits and more. 
 
If you would like a copy mailed or delivered to you, please let me know and we can arrange something. Also, If you know of a place that could carry WE'CED, please feel free to reach out to Andres by calling: 
(209) 761-2199.
 
Any and all feedback is welcome.  Thank you!

*Clicking on the cover above will link you to the WE'CED website.*
 
Andres Reyes
Coordinator
We'Ced Youth Media 
WE'CED Youth Media's Website
WE'CED on Facebook
WE'CED on Twitter
(209) 761-2199

Apply today!
There are currently three openings for WE'CED writers!
Find all four pages of the application by clicking here.
circles banner
Campaign to End Poverty: Circles Merced County

 2013 BOARD MEMBER SEARCH

 

The Circles® Campaign Board of Directors is searching for leaders in our community to serve as additional members on our Board of Directors for the Circles Merced County Campaign.  This unique search offers an opportunity to engage the most needy residents in our community and contribute input at monthly director meetings.  

  

The high level of generational poverty in Merced County is well documented, as are the negative effects of poverty upon young children and their families. It should also be noted that Merced County has a number of strengths that make it a likely county for a successful Circles® Campaign. Two noted strengths are the commitment level of its residents. Families tend to live in Merced County for generations, and are therefore invested in the community. Additionally, Merced County has an exceptionally strong network of social service agencies, businesses and educators that are actively working on a multitude of issues

 

 

The mission of the Circles® Campaign is to transform communities by building relationships that inspire and equip people to end poverty. The vision of the Circles Campaign is that: Everyone in America has enough meaning, relationships and resources in his or her life to thrive.
  
Visit our website www.CirclesMercedCounty.org for more information. 
 
 
                                                    circles logo
  
Resumes and requests for consideration may be sent to:  
                
Gregory Nelson, Executive Director

Circles Merced County
658 W. Main Street
Merced, CA 95340  
                                                                     

Phone: (209) 230-9589 (office)

           (209) 761-8799(cell)

 
  Thank you for getting involved.
  
Rosalind Mitchell, MD
Board Chairperson                                    
Circles Merced County
 
 


One of the most important events happening in 2013!
The Local Child Care and Development Planning Council (LPC) is a great forum for the community to address concerns related to child care and development services and/or early learning opportunities. 
 
Public Member representation is needed. 

Interested individuals should, please, contact Samantha Thompson. 

SAMANTHA C. THOMPSON, MBA 
Early Education Special Programs Manager 
Early Education Department
Merced County Office of Education

1460 West 18th Street, Merced, CA 
Phone: 209-381-6719
 Fax: 209-381-6745

NOTICE

CALL FOR PRIORITIES

2013 ONE VOICE PROGRAM

 

Dear Community, Jurisdictional Staff, Elected Officials and Partner Agencies,

 

Over the past several years, One Voice delegates have made annual legislative visits to Washington, D.C.  The purpose of these visits is to seek funding for projects of regional significance or policy changes; to build relationships with federal representatives, their staff, and key agency personnel; and to learn more about programs and the legislative process. 

 

Our representatives have repeatedly encouraged us to make face-to-face visits.  Not only are we able to educate more decision-makers as to the needs of Merced County, but also helps our representatives to better understand the finer points of our priorities so that they can improve their advocacy on our behalf.  With that encouragement in mind, we are in the midst of launching our 9th annual One Voice endeavor.  The visit is planned for May 7-8, 2013.

 

This year, responses to this Call for Priorities, will be presented to the public for input.  As in past years, a One Voice Steering Committee has been established that will be responsible for making a recommendation to the MCAG Governing Board regarding the final legislative platform.  The Steering Committee consists of one representative from each jurisdiction, agency, organization or business contributing financially to the One Voice Program.

 

The Committee will select priorities that have been submitted on the official 2012-13 One Voice Priority Fact Sheet - blank copy attached and two examples included within the Call for Priorities.  Fact sheet(s) must be submitted to MCAG no later than 5pm on January 18th

 

Priority selection criteria require that:

·         Request must have a specific “ask”

·         Request cannot be detrimental to another agency or jurisdiction

·         Sponsors (responders) must be in attendance to speak on behalf of their project in Washington, D.C. on May 7-8, 2013

·         Request is a benefit to the region

 

 

This email (and attached notice) are intended to serve as a Call for Priorities.  Please contact Lori Flanders at lori.flanders@mcagov.org or (209) 723-3153 x308 if you have questions.

 

Attachments: Plan Schedule, 2011-2012 One Voice Project Priority examples and blank Word copy

 

Additionally, please respond if you intend on participating in this year’s visit to Washington, D.C. on May 7-8th

 

Happy Holidays!

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Lori Flanders

Public Information Officer

Merced County Association of Governments

(209) 723-3153 ext. 308

www.mcagov.org


Check out this Infographic created by Merced's own
Jamie Swenson!
Find out more about Jamie by clicking here.
Find interesting infographics & reports below.
Adventure Risk Challenge (ARC)
shared the following report
during this month's
YOUTH COLLABORATIVE!

Click on the cover below to read the full report.

Like ARC on Facebook & Follow them on Twitter!

The BHC Merced Youth Collaborative meets
the 2nd Thursday of every month, 12:00-2:00p.m.  
Contact Michelle Xiong, Youth Coordinator, to find out more.
209-580-6090
Click the picture above to see what
policy and systems changes are happening through prevention
in neighborhoods &
in schools.

 

Teaching conflict resolution, one playground at a time.

*Please read Peter Goldmark's article by clicking on the picture below.*

Check out PolicyLink's information on
"Getting Equity Advocacy Results"

 

Just and fair inclusion. An equitable society is one in which all can participate and prosper. The goals of equity must be to create conditions that allow all to reach their full potential. In short, equity creates a path from hope to change.
Tracking the progress of equity advocacy is important, and it does not need to be complex or daunting, despite the inevitable twists and turns of policy campaigns.

With the right benchmarks, frameworks, and measurement strategies, advocates can:

  • strengthen the effectiveness of equity advocacy
  • identify opportunities to drive change
  • obtain feedback for improvement
  • demonstrate results

Getting Equity Advocacy Results (GEAR) draws from the wisdom and experience of seasoned advocates and action researchers to provide useful benchmarks, frameworks, and tools for measuring progress in equity efforts for policy change across a range of issues.

Learn more: dissect the major components of equity advocacy and associated benchmarks, explore GEAR in action, or view resources related to measurement strategies.


BHC Connect is an online collaborative environment intended to help our
14 hubs organize and interact with one another as well as their communities.


BHC Connect is very user-friendly.

YOU can find the BHC Merced Calendar on the BHC Connect website as well as
important documents, videos and photos!

Check it out TODAY & let yourCommunications Specialist know
If you have any events, activities, or other information to add.


http://www.bhcconnect.org
Watch for upcoming videos created 
by our awesome youth video team!

Copyright © *|2012|* *BHC Merced|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
BHC Merced at United Way
658 West Main Street
Merced, CA 95340
unsubscribe from this list   update subscription preferences 

 Building Healthy Communities, Merced
December 18, 2012
Check below for new updates, events, and happenings!
Get involved today!
Like us on Facebook  
facebook.com/BHCMerced
Follow us on Twitter
twitter.com/BHCMerced

Check out BHC Connect!

You can find BHC Merced's agendas, minutes at
BHC Connect!
Happy Holidays from Dr. Ross &
The California Endowment!
Click the photo above to view the TCE Annual Report.

 

Venice Arts Merced
Job Opening
Assistant Photographer
Teaching Position
Position Description: Assistant Teaching Photographer
 
Documentary Photographers / Media Journalists: Venice Arts  Merced is seeking a qualified, professional documentary photographer and/or photo-media-journalist interested in working with youth on an independent contract basis.
This position will assist Lead Photographer, Roger Wyan, in training youth in documentary photography and multimedia.
 
Qualifications: Ideally, experience and strong commitment to documentary
photography and photojournalism. Prior experience teaching youth, and familiarity with participant photography and visual storytelling, a strong plus. Must be expert working in digital media, including image management.
Must be available two days per week during after–school hours 3:00PM-7:00PM and occasionally on weekends for possible fieldtrips.
 
Contact:
Send cover letter and resume to:
Project Manager Roger J. Wyan
Roger@Venice-Arts.org
Or call for more info:
209.631.6692
Starts: Mid to late January, 2013
BHC Merced's 
December 18, 2012

Calendar
Click on "Calendar" above to see 
Merced's BHCConnect Calendar online.
Click here to see the ABC Story,  
"Grassroots effort in Merced
to bring buses back."
Golden Valley Health Centers
WE'CED Youth Magazine
2nd Edition Release Party
Planada!
Next BHC Merced
Hub Committee Meeting
January 2nd
BHC, Merced Hub Committee Meeting
Wednesday, January 2, 2012
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Merced County Office of Education
Clark/Newbold Room
632 W. 13th Street 

South Merced

Check back for the meeting agenda here.

Check back for the finalized minutes from
December's meeting by clicking here.


Golden Valley Health Centers
invites YOU to GARDEN!
One of the most important events happening in 2013!
The Local Child Care and Development Planning Council (LPC) is a great forum for the community to address concerns related to child care and development services and/or early learning opportunities. 
 
Public Member representation is needed. 

Interested individuals should, please, contact Samantha Thompson. 

SAMANTHA C. THOMPSON, MBA 
Early Education Special Programs Manager 
Early Education Department
Merced County Office of Education

1460 West 18th Street, Merced, CA 
Phone: 209-381-6719
 Fax: 209-381-6745
Check out PolicyLink's information on
"Getting Equity Advocacy Results"

 

Just and fair inclusion. An equitable society is one in which all can participate and prosper. The goals of equity must be to create conditions that allow all to reach their full potential. In short, equity creates a path from hope to change.
Tracking the progress of equity advocacy is important, and it does not need to be complex or daunting, despite the inevitable twists and turns of policy campaigns.

With the right benchmarks, frameworks, and measurement strategies, advocates can:

  • strengthen the effectiveness of equity advocacy
  • identify opportunities to drive change
  • obtain feedback for improvement
  • demonstrate results

Getting Equity Advocacy Results (GEAR) draws from the wisdom and experience of seasoned advocates and action researchers to provide useful benchmarks, frameworks, and tools for measuring progress in equity efforts for policy change across a range of issues.

Learn more: dissect the major components of equity advocacy and associated benchmarks, explore GEAR in action, or view resources related to measurement strategies.


BHC Connect is an online collaborative environment intended to help our
14 hubs organize and interact with one another as well as their communities.


BHC Connect is very user-friendly.

YOU can find the BHC Merced Calendar on the BHC Connect website as well as
important documents, videos and photos!

Check it out TODAY & let yourCommunications Specialist know
If you have any events, activities, or other information to add.


http://www.bhcconnect.org
Watch for upcoming videos created 
by our awesome youth video team!

Copyright © *|2012|* *BHC Merced|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
BHC Merced at United Way
658 West Main Street
Merced, CA 95340
unsubscribe from this list   update subscription preferences 

BHC Merced's Upcoming EventsView this email in your browser
 Building Healthy Communities, Merced
December 4, 2012
Get involved today!
Like us on Facebook  
facebook.com/BHCMerced
Follow us on Twitter
twitter.com/BHCMerced

Check out BHC Connect!

You can find BHC Merced's agendas, minutes, and
the Community Grants Committee's recommendations at BHC Connect!
BHC, Merced Hub Committee Meeting
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
6:00-8:00p.m.
Le Grand High School
Cafeteria 

12961 East Le Grand Road

Find the agenda for the meeting here.


Find the minutes from
November's meeting by clicking here.


Le Grand High School
Check out what's happening with our
Healthy South Merced partners!
Golden Valley Health Centers
invites YOU to GARDEN!
California Rural Legal Assistance 
The Local Child Care and Development Planning Council (LPC) is a great forum for the community to address concerns related to child care and development services and/or early learning opportunities. 
 
Public Member representation is needed. 

Interested individuals should, please, contact Samantha Thompson. 

SAMANTHA C. THOMPSON, MBA 
Early Education Special Programs Manager 
Early Education Department
Merced County Office of Education

1460 West 18th Street, Merced, CA 
Phone: 209-381-6719
 Fax: 209-381-6745
BHC Connect is an online collaborative environment intended to help our
14 hubs organize and interact with one another as well as their communities.


BHC Connect is very user-friendly.

YOU can find the BHC Merced Calendar on the BHC Connect website as well as
important documents, videos and photos!

Check it out TODAY & let yourCommunications Specialist know
If you have any events, activities, or other information to add.


http://www.bhcconnect.org

Copyright © *|2012|* *BHC Merced|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
BHC Merced at United Way
658 West Main Street
Merced, CA 95340
unsubscribe from this list   update subscription preferences 

BHC Merced's Upcoming EventsView this email in your browser
Get involved today!
Like us on Facebook  
facebook.com/BHCMerced
Follow us on Twitter
twitter.com/BHCMerced
BHC Connect is an online collaborative environment intended to help our
14 hubs organize and interact with one another as well as their communities.


BHC Connect is user-friendly and interactive.
Get ready to blog, comment, and connect  with others around the BHC Merced site as well as
the other 14 BHC places throughout California.

YOU can find the BHC Merced Calendar on the BHC Connect website!
Check it out TODAY & let yourCommunications Specialist know
If you have any events, activities, or other information to add.

Hope to see you (and your comments) on BHC Connect!
http://www.bhcconnect.org
Doctoral Program Informational Meeting

Thursday, November 29, 2012

5:30-6:30p.m.

Merced County Office of Education, Newbold Conference Room

Next Cohort - Begins June 2013

Dr. Kathryn Bell McKenzie, Director will be available to provide information and answer questions about the Ed.D. program.

For more information, contact Shellie Machado at: simachado@csustan.edu
(209) 664-6564
SAVE OUR YOUTH 
COMMUNITY-BASED LEARNING
FINDINGS RELEASE

 
Where: The Boys & Girls Club of Merced County, 615 West 15th Street, Merced, CA

When:  Saturday, December 1, 2012
8:30a.m. - 12:30p.m.

Join The Boys & Girls Club of Merced County as they release of findings and recommendations from the three year study, "Save Our Youth Community-Based Learning".
Our findings and recommendations address: 


1. Family decline
2. School Failure
3. Delinquency
4. Lack of Employable Skills Sets
5. Poverty

At the Building Human Assets Meeting, results of this study will be released, participants will learn about the findings and help prepare more youth and young adults to learn how to develop his or her labor as a service and respond as a product to improve their home, school, neighborhood, and workplace networks through further human systems research. 

For more information, call:
209-722-9922.

Golden Valley Health Centers
invites YOU to GARDEN!
The Local Child Care and Development Planning Council (LPC) is a great forum for the community to address concerns related to child care and development services and/or early learning opportunities. 
 
Public Member representation is needed. 

Interested individuals should, please, contact Samantha Thompson. 

SAMANTHA C. THOMPSON, MBA 
Early Education Special Programs Manager 
Early Education Department
Merced County Office of Education

1460 West 18th Street, Merced, CA 
Phone: 209-381-6719
 Fax: 209-381-6745
(Unofficial)
Building Healthy Communities ~Merced 
"Meme" Contest
A "meme" is a virally-transmitted
cultural symbol or social idea.
A meme, which rhymes with "team", behaves like a cold virus, traveling from person to person quickly, but transmitting an idea instead of a lifeform.  

How to enter:
1. Upload a "meme generator"
2. Find your favorite BHC Merced picture
3. Use the Building Healthy Communities / "Health Happens Here" slogans to create your meme
4. Email your BHC Merced "meme" to the Communications Specialist.

 

Copyright © *|2012|* *BHC Merced|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
BHC Merced at United Way
658 West Main Street
Merced, CA 95340
unsubscribe from this list   update subscription preferences 

BHC Merced's Partners Upcoming EventsView this email in your browser
Get involved today!
Like us on Facebook  
facebook.com/BHCMerced
Follow us on Twitter
twitter.com/BHCMerced
BHC Connect is up and running!
Check it out today!

This is the NEW & IMPROVED way to connect with BHC
and the statewide Building Healthy Communities initiative!
User-friendly and interactive!
Blog, comment, connect to Facebook & Twitter!
It's fun and exciting! 
Hope to see you (and your comments) on BHC Connect!

http://www.bhcconnect.org
 
Golden Valley Health Centers' 
Gardening Class
 
Please join us for the next community gardening class at Golden Valley Health Centers.
 
Tuesday, November 13th at
Golden Valley Health Centers.  

GVHC Demonstration Garden in front of the Medical Suites. 
737 W. Childs Ave.
Contact Martha Serrano for more information: (209) 385-5260.
 
Boys & Girls Club 
Annual Fall Fizz
Omelette Brunch

 
Buy your tickets early at The Boys and Girls Club of Merced County.
615 West 15th Street, Merced.
Omelette Brunch
Sunday, November 18, 2012
9:00a.m. - 1:30p.m.
Tickets:
Adults $15.00
Children 10 & under $5.00


BHC Merced
Hub Committee Meeting
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Franklin Elementary School
2736 Franklin Road, Merced, CA
Contact Tatiana Vizcaíno-Stewart, Hub Manager, for more information.
tatiana@unitedwaymerced.org
(209) 580-6067

Find the agenda for Thursday's meeting and Hub Committee minutes from October at:
http://www.bhcconnect.org/sw-e-merced-home/bhc-merced-documents
 
ZUMBA at FARMDALE ELEMENTARY
Mondays, Tuesdays, & Thursdays

YOGA or Hip-Hop at Farmdale Elementary on Wednesdays.

6:15-7:15p.m.
Farmdale Elementary School
100 Winder Avenue, Merced, CA
Call Claudia Corchado for more information:
(209) 777-4323
Merced County Transit
"The Bus" 
Gathers Information on the County's Unmet Needs

Don't miss an opportunity to talk about your transportation needs throughout Merced County.  
Contact Terri Lewis from the Merced County Association of Governments for more information and to become more involved.  
YOU can help make public transportation a viable choice for community members.
If you are unable to attend one of the meetings, you can submit comments. 
For more information or to submit comments, contact Terri Lews at: 209-723-3153 ext. 318 or email:terri.lewis@mcagov.org.
Please consider attending.
SAVE OUR YOUTH 
COMMUNITY-BASED LEARNING
FINDINGS RELEASE

 
Where: The Boys & Girls Club of Merced County, 615 West 15th Street, Merced, CA

When:  Saturday, December 1, 2012
8:30a.m. - 12:30p.m.

Join The Boys & Girls Club of Merced County as they release of findings and recommendations from the three year study, "Save Our Youth Community-Based Learning".
Our findings and recommendations address: 


1. Family decline
2. School Failure
3. Delinquency
4. Lack of Employable Skills Sets
5. Poverty

At the Building Human Assets Meeting, results of this study will be released, participants will learn about the findings and help prepare more youth and young adults to learn how to develop his or her labor as a service and respond as a product to improve their home, school, neighborhood, and workplace networks through further human systems research. 

For more information, call:
209-722-9922.

Copyright © *|2012|* *BHC Merced|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
BHC Merced at United Way
658 West Main Street
Merced, CA 95340
unsubscribe from this list   update subscription preferences 




Ċ
Julio Zaldivar,
Nov 8, 2012, 2:28 PM
Comments