April 11, 2014

No Campaign Funds for Criminal Defense

POLITICIANS FACING criminal charges would not be allowed to use campaign funds to pay their legal bills under an amendment Senator Jerry Hill said he plans to introduce in the wake of the indictment of his colleague Senator Leland Yee on charges of corruption and conspiracy to traffic weapons.

Under current law, politicians have wide latitude on how they spend campaign funds. Expenses have to have a legislative, governmental or political purpose, but can be used for everything from hiring campaign consultants and TV ads, to travel and paying legal bills.

Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2014/04/no-campaign-cash-for-fighting-criminal-charges-says-jerry-hill.html#storylink=cpy

April 10, 2014

North Fair Oaks Forward: A Community Project of San Mateo County

NORTH FAIR Oaks Forward is a multi-partner collaboration that is planning, designing and developing enhancements to the North Fair Oaks neighborhood and working on implementing the North Fair Oaks Community Plan. Supporting that work are county outreach specialists (take a look at their busy work area) whose job it is to invite community members to join the conversation and help make the decisions that will impact the community in the future in significant ways. 

For more info contact itorres@smcgov.org.

April 9, 2014

San Mateo County Creek Named One of America's Most Endangered Rivers

SAN FRANCISQUITO Creek has been named one of America's most endangered rivers by the non-profit American Rivers. But the designation is really focused on the future of Searsville Reservoir and Dam, a 122 year-old structure that begins the 14-mile path of San Francisquito Creek through the heart of Silicon Valley.

The future of Searsville is but one of the complex issues facing this creek. Because it divides cities and counties, the San Francisquito Joint Powers Agreement was formed to reduce a proven flood threat, enhance habitat for endangered and other species, and generally convert the creek from a divisive liability into a unifying asset.

The SFCJPA is working with Stanford and others to ensure that a decision regarding the future of Searsville, which will impact many communities downstream, is made in the context of these related regional issues.

The SFCJPA is an independent regional government agency founded by three cities and two countywide agencies divided by San Francisquito Creek and united by its watershed and floodplain. The JPA leads projects along the creek and S.F. Bay that reduce a proven flood threat, enhance ecosystems a
nd recreational opportunities, and connect our communities. Funding comes from East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, San Mateo County Flood Control District and the Santa Clara Valley Water District as well as federal, state and private sources.

Read the narrative on San Francisquito Creek and why it's considered "endangered" in American Rivers.

April 8, 2014

Conclusion of the First Enrollment Period for the Affordable Care Act

MARCH 31 was the deadline to sign up for subsidized health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. At the local level, both the Health System and Human Services Agency reported high interest at enrollment sites where staff assisted many residents to complete the enrollment process with extended hours at key dates leading up to the deadline.

According to the County Manager's report, we do not have final data to share with the Board since the enrollment period just ended, we know that more than 32,000 residents have enrolled in new ACA coverage during this historic first open enrollment. This includes almost 14,000 residents newly eligible for Medi-Cal and enrolled as of April 1 and more than 18,000 residents enrolled in a private health plan through Covered California as of March 1. We look forward to updating these data with the results of the high volume of residents whom County staff assisted during the month of March.

An indication of the additional enrollments expected is that as of March 5, San Mateo County received 14,273 Medi-Cal applications. During the final week of March, HSA's call center received 5,609 calls for applications so we know the number of applications is going to rise once we have final numbers.

Covered California has announced an extension for some residents to enroll past the deadline. This is to address the problems that the Covered California enrollment system experienced during the final days as it was overwhelmed and residents had difficulty completing the process on their website. For residents who were unable to create an online account due to technical difficulties and for those who didn't complete their full application, they have until midnight on April 15 to complete their applications. 

April 5, 2014

Teen Digital Media Lab is a Winner

THE TULARE County Library now provides a new way to engage teenagers and prepare them for the future by providing digital resources and guiding them to be creative and think for themselves. It's no wonder the Teen Digital Media Lab is becoming a big hit with Tulare County teens!

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