November 2013 Newsletter
November is upon us and the holidays are just around the corner. This can be a busy time of year for most and our office is no exception. We have already started our legislative planning for next year. My staff and I are actively meeting with local leaders and brainstorming on ways to improve our district. I am proud to have such dedicated staff on my team. Together we have been able to connect with residents, businesses and local stakeholders through community events. Our tireless team has responded to constituent requests and produced amazing results for Senate District 40.
I was recently honored to have been invited to play for the San Ysidro Health Center in their 13th Annual Soccer Tournament in observance of Health Awareness Month. Our team was undefeated throughout the tournament and we took home a beautiful trophy. It's rewarding to have had the opportunity to contribute to this important cause and to get healthy in the process.
I recently introduced a monthly appreciation program to highlight constituents who have enriched our communities within Senate District 40. This month's Community Spotlight recognizes Tracy Rascoe. Mr. Rascoe was a former leader in both the US Navy and Army and has demonstrated a strong commitment to our country and our community. He has volunteered his time helping veterans reintegrate into civilian life through job training programs. This Veteran's Day (November 11), don't forget to thank him and other Veterans for their time and dedicated service to our country.
As always, if you have any questions, our district office is always ready to assist. For now, I leave you with articles that I have found important for our constituents:
Community Spotlight: Tracy Rascoe, Imperial Valley, CA
Tracy Rascoe is the Post Commander for the American Legion Boyce Aten Post in El Centro. His experience as a former leader in the U.S. Navy and Army has made him a valuable asset to the American Legion, the nation's largest wartime veteran's service organization. Rascoe's leadership has helped promote The American Legion commitment to mentoring youth, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.
Mr. Rascoe presently serves as Board Member of the Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation and the SDSU Brawley Campus Renewable Energy Advisory Committee.
Mr. Rascoe, we salute you. Thank you for your tireless service to this community.
Ben Hueso Brings State Senate Leader to Imperial Valley
As Chairman of the State Senate Select Committee on California's Energy Independence, I had the opportunity to bring Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg to Imperial Valley for a tour of the Salton Sea where we discussed renewable energy investments in the area. Also participating in the tour were State Senator Bill Emmerson, Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez, local government officials, and other energy stakeholders. This event was quite an accomplishment!
The area surrounding the Salton Sea has the ability to produce over 2,000 megawatts of power through geothermal, algae, and solar projects. My goal is to continue to promote this resource to create jobs through renewable energy projects. I am committed to helping the region's economy and finding ways to save the Salton Sea.
San Ysidro Health Center in their 13th Annual Soccer Tournament Champions
It was a great honor to participate alongside incredibly talented community members. Thank you for including me in this important event.
November is also National Family Caregivers Month
According to the American Society on Aging, more than 65 million people in the U.S. provide some type of care for chronically ill, disabled or aged family members or friends during any given year. More at http://www.asaging.org/blog/november-national-family-caregiver-month.
Oldest and Youngest Driver Statistics
An interesting phenomenon is occurring on our highways and byways: fewer teens are testing to obtain their driver's license when they first become eligible to drive, and fewer elderly drivers are giving up their freedom to drive. Researchers tend to pay more attention to the youngest and oldest drivers because studies show that they are the most likely groups to be at fault when in car accidents. California has a number of rules targeted specifically at teens and older adults.
For 16- and 17-year-old Californians, those rules include a graduated driver's license program which prescribes when teens can drive, whom they can ferry in their cars and how much training they need before earning a partial and full license. Implemented over the last 15 years, the rules have coincided with a dramatic decline in young drivers: The number of 16- and 17- year old drivers fell almost 15 percent during the last decade, according to the latest figures from the state Department of Motor Vehicles. ImpactTeenDrivers indicates that many teens wait to obtain their driver's license in order to avoid restrictions.
California seniors over age 70 must take a written test and undergo a vision exam every five years. That differs from other age groups who usually can renew their licenses for up to 15 years without visiting the DMV. Despite the added restrictions for seniors, the number of drivers 85 and older has jumped dramatically during the last decade, largely because residents are living and staying healthier longer. Drivers over age 85, however, are the most likely to be at fault when a car accident occurs.
A number of resources are available to assist parents and family members as they face driving challenges with a teen or older driver including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the AARP and the California DMV.
For more information, please visit the following sites:
Steps to Help Prevent Identity Theft
With advanced technology, identity theft is becoming more common and more sophisticated. According to the California Attorney General, there were 12.6 million U.S. adult victims in 2012, or one victim every three seconds. That figure represents 5.3% of U.S. adults, including over 1.6 million Californians.
Identity theft is also expensive. The total cost of identity theft in 2012 was $21 billion. The average victim spent $365 and 12 hours to resolve the problem and clear up records. And, the number of victims increased 8% in 2012, up from 11.6 million in 2011.
The Attorney General's office provides a website with the Ten Top Tips to Prevent Identity Theft. Included in these tips are many things that may seem obvious, but may cost consumers' their credit safety if not followed. Also, the "Identity Theft Check List" is relatively easy to follow, and includes contact information to help victims recover their credit. More at http://oag.ca.gov/idtheft/facts/top-ten and http://oag.ca.gov/idtheft/facts/victim-checklist .