From the daily archives: Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Underage drinking is taking center stage at over a hundred Town Hall Meetings across California to raise awareness and generate discussion about this health risk during April –National Alcohol Awareness Month. The meetings bring together youth, parents, teachers, politicians, law enforcement, business owners, community leaders, and substance abuse service providers.

Alcohol is the most widely used substance of abuse among America’s youth. Among children and adolescents, alcohol use starts early and increases rapidly with age. In 2008, nearly 16 percent of 8th graders, almost 29 percent of 10th graders, and more than 43 percent of 12th graders reported drinking an alcoholic beverage in the month prior to taking a National Institute on Drug Abuse survey entitled Monitoring the Future: National Results on Adolescent Drug Use—Overview of Key Findings, 2008. (http://www.drugabuse.gov/PDF/overview2008.pdf)

“Too many young Californians are dying from binge drinking, too many are severely injured in accidents and too many suffer long-term medical and social consequences as a result of alcohol,” said Director Renée Zito from the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP).  “These Town Hall Meetings throughout the state will help increase community understanding of underage drinking and its consequences. Our youth are asking for direction and these meetings offer excellent forums in which to find answers for this serious problem.”

The Town Hall Meetings are sponsored and funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Friday Night Live Partnership, the Governors Prevention Advisory Council and local community organizations.

This year’s Town Hall Meetings have increased significantly in number from those held in 2008. Most notably, more young people are taking charge to plan and execute meetings in their own communities.

For more information and to find the location of a Town Hall Meeting in a community in California, visit http://www.stopalcoholabuse.gov/TownHallMeetings/map/eventlist.aspx?id=6

 

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is warning small businesses to use caution if they are contacted by firms offering to help them apply for funds available through SBA programs.
SBA and SBA’s Office of the Inspector General (SBA OIG) have received several complaints from small businesses about abusive marketing practices, scams, and exorbitant fees charged by firms offering to help them obtain a loan, grant, or other federal funds, from SBA.
Some of these complaints include:
Firms charging small businesses high fees to provide assistance applying to SBA funding programs.  Some firms allegedly guaranteed that the small business would obtain SBA funding if they paid the fee.  SBA does not endorse or give preference to specific private companies or their clients.
Firms charging small businesses for services never requested after the small business gave bank account and routing information to a caller claiming to be a firm offering assistance. SBA recommends that small businesses never provide social security numbers, bank account information, or credit card numbers to anyone; and, never over the telephone.
Firms alleging that a small business would be issued a “forfeiture letter” that would make the small business ineligible for any SBA funding for three years if the small business refused to use the firm’s services.
When electing to use a third party to apply for SBA funding programs, small businesses should also bear in mind:
Small businesses can get free assistance in person or by calling one of SBA’s 68 District Offices and from information on SBA’s Web site (www.sba.gov). They can also get assistance from Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, Veterans Business Outreach Centers and SCORE Chapters, either free or for a reasonable fee. Location and contact information for the centers can be found on SBA’s Web site.
Small businesses should ask for references and confer with trusted colleagues and institutions, such as the Better Business Bureau, when selecting service providers.
Small businesses should clearly establish and document:  1) What they are being charged; 2) When they will be charged; 3) What they must do; and 4) What services they will receive.
SBA’s Office of the Inspector General will investigate and respond to all complaints.  SBA encourages anyone with knowledge of a misrepresentation regarding SBA Business Loan Programs, or any other SBA proram, to contact SBA OIG by calling the OIG Hotline toll-free at (800) 767-0385, or submitting an online report at the SBA OIG Web page (www.sba.gov/ig), and click the link for “Report Fraud Waste or Abuse.”
Anyone who has a question regarding an SBA loan or any SBA program, may contact their local SBA District Office, the SBA Answer Desk at 1-800-U-ASK-SBA (1-800-827-5722) or e-mail answerdesk@sba.gov.

 

In honor of Women’s History Month, Senator Denise Moreno Ducheny (D-San Diego) announced her selection of the 2010 Women of the Year. This year Senator Ducheny selected two women from the 40th District to be honored.

The women being honored are Lupe Quintero from El Centro, CA and Brenda Wise of Potrero, CA.

“Both of these women are pillars in their respective communities,” said Senator Ducheny.  “Throughout my entire tenure in the Senate I have witnessed their determination to serve others.”
“Lupe is a champion throughout the Imperial Valley and the State as a tireless advocate for farm workers, the economically disadvantaged and marginalized communities,” Senator Ducheny added. “Her work this year to ensure that we have an accurate Census count is very important for the valley.” Senator Ducheny stated that Brenda Wise, a certified as a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member, “is a catalyst for disaster preparedness in the back country region of San Diego. She has been there for the two major wildfires that hit San Diego, and without her leadership it would have been very difficult to support the impacted communities.”
Lupe Quintero is a local hero from the Imperial Valley. In 1970, she began working part-time at California Rural Legal Assistance in El Centro, Ca. During the summer of 1971, she began volunteering with the United Farmworkers Union at their office at “El Hoyo” in Calexico. CRLA hired her full-time as a Community Worker circa 1976. Anyone who has experienced problems with access to food stamps, unemployment, housing, health services, educational equity, and human rights has met Lupe and found her to be tireless in her drive to find resolution and justice for her clients. In 2000, she played a critical role in implementing the US Census locally and is at the helm again in CRLA’s Census efforts.

 

Issued by The National Weather Service
Phoenix, AZ
2:53 pm PDT, Wed., Mar. 31, 2010

… WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT MST /MIDNIGHT PDT/ TONIGHT…

A WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT MST /MIDNIGHT PDT/ TONIGHT.

* TIMING: WINDS WILL BE STRONGEST THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF THE AFTERNOON HOURS INTO MID EVENING AND SHOULD WEAKEN AROUND MIDNIGHT.

* WINDS: SOUTHWEST AND WEST WINDS BETWEEN 25 AND 35 MPH… WITH OCCASIONAL GUSTS OVER 45 MPH HAVE BEEN OBSERVED ACROSS SOUTHEAST CALIFORNIA AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE POSSIBLE ACROSS SOUTHERN ARIZONA.

* IMPACTS: SUDDEN WIND GUSTS COULD MAKE DRIVING CONDITIONS DIFFICULT PARTICULARLY ON NORTH SOUTH ORIENTED ROADWAYS DUE TO STRONG CROSSWINDS. AREAS OF REDUCED VISIBILITY IN DENSE BLOWING SAND AND/OR DUST ARE ALSO POSSIBLE. AREAS OF BLOWING DUST WILL BE OF PARTICULAR CONCERN ACROSS SOUTHEAST CALIFORNIA AS WELL AS ALONG INTERSTATE 10 BETWEEN CASA GRANDE AND PHOENIX.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT SUSTAINED WIND SPEEDS OF BETWEEN 30 AND 40 MPH ARE EXPECTED… OR WIND GUSTS OF BETWEEN 40 AND 58 MPH. WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT… ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. IN ADDITION… STRONG WINDS OVER DESERT AREAS COULD RESULT IN BRIEFLY LOWERED VISIBILITIES TO WELL UNDER A MILE AT TIMES IN BLOWING DUST OR BLOWING SAND. USE EXTRA CAUTION.

 

Berkeley College President Dario A. Cortes, PhD, is proud to announce that Brando Ramos of Imperial in Imperial County, CA, a student at the Westchester Campus in White Plains, NY, has been named to the Dean’s List at Berkeley College for the Fall 2009 Quarter.

“Berkeley College is proud to recognize Brando for his outstanding academic achievement,” said Dr. Cortes. “Students who reflect this level of dedication to their studies become our future leaders.”

Berkeley College students who achieve a grade point average of 3.50 or better with a minimum of 12 academic credits qualify for the Dean’s List.

A leader in business education for 79 years, Berkeley College maintains an enrollment of more than 8,000 students, including 665 international students in its Baccalaureate and Associate degree programs. The College has two New York campuses in Midtown Manhattan and White Plains, an Extension Center in Lower Manhattan in the Wall Street area, and four New Jersey campuses located in Woodland Park (formerly West Paterson), Paramus, Woodbridge, and Newark. In addition, the College offers Berkeley College Online and Corporate Learning Partnerships.  Concentrations are offered in more than 20 career fields, and all campuses are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The College’s website address is www.BerkeleyCollege.edu.

 
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