November 2014 Newsletter
There's a lot to be proud of about the San Diego economy. We're one of the world's 40 "megaregions," - areas composed of two or more cities producing billions, and sometimes trillions of dollars in economic output. Our "Cali-Baja mega" is a great example of how megaregions tie together human creativity on a large scale and produce a large share of the world's scientific and technological innovation.
Nearly 29,000 square miles of San Diego County, Imperial County and Baja California in Mexico comprise the Cali-Baja mega trade corridor. Globalization of the world's economy means we need to think about job growth and our economy in a united way across this megaregion, especially through improving trade and commerce efforts with regional investments in transportation for both people and commerce.
This is why I championed Senate Bill 1228, recently signed by Governor Brown, which continues the state's Trade Corridors Improvement Fund (TCIF), facilitating investments for transportation and trade corridor infrastructure improvements. Such investment will lead to improved goods movement across San Diego's economy and throughout California. SB 1228 keeps California competitive and keeps San Diego's megaregion well-positioned to compete for funding for our trade corridor improvements. Working together - across our region, and up in Sacramento - is the best way to grow our economy, create jobs and bring prosperity to the people of San Diego.
Switching gears, this month our Community Spotlight shines on Abraham Retana. A life-long resident of El Centro, Mr. Retana has been in media for over 20 years. As a current Univision Yuma-El Centro Station reporter, Mr. Retana took home an Emmy Award last month for his work alongside Producer Fernando Gutierrez for an environmental series on the Salton Sea, which aired on Univision-KYVE. The Salton Sea is an important issue to me and I appreciate Mr. Retana keeping the community informed about this significant asset in our district. Please join me in congratulating him for his notable work!
As always, please feel free to contact my office with any questions you may have about our legislative process or about the information that you find in this newsletter. To read more about our megaregion, pick up this week's Star-News community paper where I provide more detail on the matter in an opinion piece. You can also find it online at http://www.thestarnews.com/opinion/investing-in-trade-corridor-is-critical-to-job-growth-in-san-diego/.
Community Spotlight: Abraham Retana
A life-long resident of El Centro, Abraham Retana started his career in media as a radio broadcaster for Radio Bilingue 88.7 FM in the Imperial Valley. After eight years in radio, Mr. Retana became a Production Assistant for Univision in 2000 and was quickly promoted to chief cameraman, a post he currently holds.
In 2003, Retana took his vast experience as a cameraman to the local NBC Affiliate KYMA where he became the proud recipient of two Emmy Awards for the work he did with the station. In 2007, he found his calling as a Spanish Television reporter not only for the Imperial County, but also for the whole border region of Southern California. Since then, Retana has covered important national leaders such as Mexican Presidents Felipe Calderon and Enrique Peña Nieto, to former U.S. President George W. Bush.
Mr. Retana has won 4 Emmy's in his television career. His most recent Emmy, in the category of best environment special series, was won for a report on the Salton Sea. That series aired on Univision-KYVE.
Abraham Retana is doing an outstanding job keeping our community informed. Thank you and congratulations Mr. Retana for providing coverage on topics of importance to our district!
To watch the Emmy award winning three-part series entilted "Salton Sea - Un Oasis Muerto" (held in Spanish), please go to:
http://youtu.be/7eL02l54-DM (part 1)
http://youtu.be/NjJxEXjpZKI (part 2)
http://youtu.be/kRWz6R4aIRQ (part 3)
CALENDAR: Event Reminders
American Diabetes Month
Lung Cancer Awareness Month
Native American Indian Heritage
National Family Caregivers Month
Daylight Savings Time Ends - get ready to set your clocks back one hour -
Election Day -
Veterans Day -
Great American Smoke Out -
Thanksgiving Day -
Tonantzin Award from La Cooperativa Campesina de California, Sacramento
I want to thank La Cooperativa Campesina de California for honoring me with this year's Tonantzin Award for my contributions to agricultural and farmworking communities in the Imperial Valley and California. It was truly an honor to have been bestowed this recognition.
La Cooperativa Campesina de California is a statewide association of agencies implementing and administering farm worker service programs. Collectively, La Cooperativa's member agencies operate more than 80 locally-engaged, bilingual offices. Their collaborative model enables them to gain the trust of rural communities, which is essential for the delivery of rural services. Their member agencies operate a range of one-stop centers, mobile service units, and other service access sites throughout California, primarily in agricultural counties.
For more information, please visit: http://www.lacooperativa.org/
Chula Vista Adult School, Sweetwater Union High School District, Chula Vista
When Chula Vista Adult School students came to my office asking me to support adult school program funding, they were preaching to the choir. I have tremendous respect and admiration for these programs and wholeheartedly support their efforts. Adult day programs provide important educational services for our community. Adult learners use this program to improve their English skills, prepare for U.S. Citizenship, train for a new career or earn a high school degree.
After this meeting with students, I felt it was important to visit the Chula Vista Adult School this month where Principal Wes Braddock provided a detailed tour of the campus. During this trip, I had the opportunity to participate in a few classes with students in the Medical Assistance Program, English Language Development and Citizenship courses. I even had the distinguished honor of cooking alongside students from the Culinary Arts Program. As many of you may know, I love to cook. Therefore, joining this class was a wonderful treat for me.
Read more about the Chula Vista Adult School at: http://cva.sweetwaterschools.org/
$11 Million Bond for El Centro Aquatic Center, El Centro
After a long wait, the City of El Centro can now begin construction on their community aquatic center thanks to an $11 million bond that I helped secure this year in coordination with the Department of Finance. With this funding, the City of El Centro can carry out its plans to build out the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sports Pavilion/Adams Park area with an aquatic center, replacing the Plunge, the old city pool demolished nearly 10 years ago. I am so very of proud of this accomplishment and pleased to have had the opportunity to help facilitate this effort. Knowing that this project will create jobs and give our children access to a safe place to play during the hot summer months brings me great joy.
Meet our Jr. Constituent Dominick Palacios, Boy Scout Troop 1194 and
Future Community Spotlight Recipient, Otay Mesa
I normally know what to expect when I go on interviews, but when Boy Scout Dominick Palacios-Fuerte, requested an interview, I had to ensure I was adequately prepared to deliver a great presentation. My 11 year-old correspondent is a sixth grade student at Finney Elementary in Otay Mesa. In earning his "Citizen in the Community" Merit Badge, he decided to interview me and eagerly prepared questions like, "If you could be President for a day what would you do? Growing up who was your mentor? When you studied abroad as a student in the Ukraine, did you like it? Did they have Mexican food there?"
Thank you Dominick for your involvement in the Boy Scouts and your contribution to our community. As a former Scout Master, it makes me very proud to see young kids working hard to make a difference in our district. Dominick will be sharing his report with his Boy Scout Troop 1194 at the end of November, and we hope to receive a copy of it as well.
Southern Caregiver Resource Center, Caring for the Caregiver Informative Workshop, San Ysidro
Our office is partnering with the Southern Caregiver Resource center for an important event entitled "Caring for the Caregiver" scheduled for Wednesday, November 5, 2014 from 5:30p-7:30p at:
San Ysidro Adult Day Health Center
3364 Beyer Boulevard
San Ysidro, CA 92173
This workshop will be held entirely in Spanish in collaboration with Sonata Hospice, Accredited Home Care Services and the Department of Public Health Services. Representatives from our office will also be on hand and available for questions.
This is a free event providing information about available resources for family caregivers and those providing services for the elderly. The workshop will also cover communication techniques and much more. Again, the event will be held entirely in Spanish.
For more information please call the Southern Caregiver Resource Center at (800) 827-1008. For Spanish please dial (855) 730-3703 or go to http://caregivercenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Cuidando-al-Cuidador-ESPANOL-San-Ysidro-11-5-14.pdf.
California's Ebola Preparedness
In the wake of the Ebola virus reaching the United States, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), with guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has launched an Ebola informational website in order to dispel misconceptions, inform the public and enforce additional safety standards.
Currently, there are no cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in California. State officials report that they are working with health care workers, hospitals and first responders to prepare for that future possibility. Governor Jerry Brown recently met with emergency responders and health care providers to discuss Ebola readiness in California.
In September, more than 1,100 health care and public health workers gathered in the state in order to assess their Ebola readiness. CDPH officials held a teleconference with health care providers discussing proper guidance when handling suspected Ebola cases and Cal/OSHA distributed information on the use of personal protective equipment to control possible infections. Within the last few days, the CDC updated its information for healthcare workers when taking care of hospitalized patients.
According to the CDC, the 2014 Ebola Epidemic is the largest in history, killing more than 4,500 people primarily in West African countries such as Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. There have been some travel-associated and localized cases in Nigeria, Senegal, Spain and the United States.
First discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ebola is a deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains. There are five identified Ebola virus types, with only four known to cause disease in humans: the Ebola virus, Sudan virus, Taï Forest virus and Bundibugyo virus. The Reston virus does not cause sickness in humans. Researchers believe the virus is animal-borne, with bats being the most likely reservoir.
Please visit the following pages for more information:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Ebola Virus Page
Cap and Trade Program will Result in California Climate Credit on Most Utility Bills
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the California Air Resources Board are reminding consumers that in October, during National Energy Awareness Month, 10.7 million California households will see a credit averaging $35 on their electricity bills thanks to the State's cap-and-trade program to fight climate change. This is the second time consumers will receive the climate credit, as they also received it this past April, resulting in an overall total credit of $755.5 million to California households.
Households and small businesses do not need to do anything to get the credit. Households will see the climate credit on their October/November and April/May bills each year, regardless of energy consumption or bill amount. Small businesses will receive the climate credit every month, as a credit related to the amount of electricity used. Those customers include commercial, industrial, and agricultural customers, as well as nonprofits and schools that typically use less than 20 kilowatts of electricity each month.
The dollar amount being returned per utility in October is as follows:
- Pacific Gas and Electric Company: $29.80
- Southern California Edison: $40
- San Diego Gas & Electric: $36.24
- Pacific Power: $194.37
- Liberty Utilities: $48.31
The Climate Credit is one of many programs developed as a result of landmark legislation called the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32), which puts California at the forefront of efforts to battle climate change by requiring that greenhouse gas emissions be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020.
Customers of the state's investor-owned utilities will receive a Climate Credit that is designed to help California fight climate change and clean the air. The credit comes from payments by power plants and industries that, under California's climate program, purchase permits when they put carbon pollution into the air. The credit is calculated according to rules established by the CPUC.
Consumers can find more information about the Climate Credit by visiting the Energy Upgrade California website, which also provides ways to take action to save energy, conserve natural resources, and make informed energy management choices at home and at work. Energy Upgrade California is the State's initiative to educate residents and small business consumers about energy management.
California Highway Patrol - El Centro Area, Safety Tip
Prepare for potential inclement weather by leaving early, allowing plenty of time to get where you're going. Make sure your gas tank is full. Always leave ample distance between your vehicle and the one ahead. Check to see that your windshield wipers are in good condition and don't forget the law requires you to have your headlights on anytime the windshield wipers are operating continuously.