New report details 45 years of wildfire trends in 11 Western states, predicts a fiery future.
2015 was the worst year on record for wildfires in the United States, with over 10 million acres burned.
PRINCETON, NJ – Climate change is producing conditions ripe for wildfires across the American West. Temperatures are rising, snowpacks are shrinking, and summers are heating up, drying out forests earlier in the season. Combined with abundant fuel in many locations, these climate-driven changes have produced startling increases in acres burned and the number of large fires across the West.
A new report by Climate Central details 45 years of state-by-state wildfire trends on U.S. Forest Service lands and provides the first-ever, state-based projections of the increase in high wildfire risk days by 2050. The report, Western Wildfires: A Fiery Future, may be found here: http://www.climatecentral.org/news/western-wildfires-climate-change-20475.
And in the not-so-distant future, there will be many more days with high wildfire potential, particularly in Southwestern states. Climate Central’s analysis of localized projections from 29 different global climate models found that in most Western states the changing climate will dry out forests and produce substantially more days in the next several decades with high potential for wildfires:
“As spring and summer temperatures in the West have gone up and alpine snowpacks have gone down, the potential for wildfire has been steadily increasing, at tremendous risk to our health and the economy,” said Alyson Kenward, Ph.D, wildfire expert and Vice President of Research at Climate Central. “Our study predicts that climate change will continue to exacerbate these conditions between now and 2050, putting more land — and people — at risk.”
State-by-state wildfire data is available in the report, including ranked lists of Western states with the most residents vulnerable to wildfire and states that have seen the biggest increases in wildfires.
In addition to the report, Climate Central has created a first-of-its-kind Wildfire Tracker tool, using satellite monitoring to track, in real time, major fires currently burning across the Western United States. The tracker’s unique “smoke visualization” feature reveals the true extent of how far the plume of a wildfire can stretch, potentially impacting air quality for millions of Americans.
Spanish Translation: Dos Camiones de Bomberos Un Regalo Por Vida
Stockton, CA – During the morning of Monday March 28, two retired fire engines roared for the last time in Stockton as they headed south to a new home in Empalme, Sonora Mexico. The obsolete engines, “were first line 15-years ago,” explained Captain Jonathan Smith adding, “today the engines are estimated at a $5,000 dollars [each],” scrap metal value.
While the engines may not be suited for U.S. Fire Engine standards, “the two units will make a huge difference to the lives of Empalme Residents,” noted Louie Gonzales who has seen firsthand the need for the firefighting equipment at the sister city. “My wife [Lucero Gonzales] and I, visit Empalme at least once year,” Gonzales recognized that the nearly 100 thousand residents have limited equipment in a city known for its dry and warm weather.
“Two years of hard work, raising funds, completing paperwork between two governments; the project has finally become a reality,” said Rosalinda Galaviz, Chair of the Stockton-Empalme Sister Cities.
Fire Captain Dan Morris remembered the conversation when representatives of the Sister City tour Stockton’s Fire Station 2 and the question was brought up, “what do you do with your older engines when you are done with them?” Morris answered, “They go to auction,” to which rose the question, “is there a way we can get them?”
“It’s a great feeling to know that the engines will be put to good use,” said Captain Morris during a 45 minute departure gathering by community members. The engines are estimated to have more than a decade of functionality and “the two units are compatible; which will be beneficial for parts in the future when one of the two breaks down,” said Morris.
Members of the community gathered to appreciate the City and the Department’s donation. Stockton Catholic Dioceses’ Bishop, Stephen Blair, blessed the drivers, the engines and their journey before the two engines departed to their new home.
While the two volunteer drivers; Tracy Firefighter, Clarence Marquez, and Retired Firefighter Roger Gray will meet their Empalme Counterparts in Tucson. The fire engines will be accompanied by Stockton residents all the way to the destined fire district in Empalme. “I am excited to be the designated drive on heading the caravan,” said Susana Dominguez who will be accompanied by Rosalinda Galaviz and Ana Zapien. They are expected to reach Empalme by March 30, 2016 midday.
Bilingual Weekly (BW News) – Your source of local news covering topics of Latino interest in Stockton, California; and San Joaquin County.
Stockton, CA — “…Bless the workers and bless those who are in power…” said Stephen Blair, Bishop Dioceses of Stockton as he blessed the field workers and working families. The blessing was during the Cesar Chavez Prayer breakfast during the morning of March 26, 2016.
Annually the Mexican Heritage Center and Gallery hosts a breakfast in observance of “Cesar Chavez’ birthday and to honor the hard work of field workers with a prayer,” explained Gracie Madrid, President of the Mexican Heritage Center and Gallery (MHC&G); adding, “often young people think of Cesar Chavez as the boxer, not the civil rights activist who built a movement for field worker rights.”
“My parents wanted us to live here [In the U.S.] because they wanted a better future for us…” Explained Roberto Valdes Sanchez artist exhibiting at MHC&G, and keynote speaker. Valdez remembers learning about Cesar Chavez in 1983, “To me he is the most influential leader in U.S. History… He did more for Latinos than any other person in the history of the United States.”
Jose Lopez, Youth Programs Coordinator of the Diocese of Stockton remembers Cesar Chavez when he saw him in south Stockton’s McKinley Park. “He told us, ‘newborn puppies open their eyes during the first 3 days and when will you do it?’ those words will forever be remembered, because he was inviting us to wake up and to fight for our rights,” Chavez’s words are, “embedded well and are very important.”
For Tatiana Garcia, 11th grade student at Venture Academy the conversation and the art, hits close to home. “My family has been working on the fields, Cesar Chavez’s work impacted our family as well as many other,” Garcia appreciated the program and Valdes’ art. “He has a lot of talent. I am impressed by his pencil work.”
MHC&G is open all year with different monthly exhibits by artist, community members and educational programs. The Gallery is located at 111 S. Hunter Street, Stockton, CA 95202.
Stockton— “Educational Workshops about credit and debt in our community will benefit our residents,” said Rosalinda Galaviz, Community Advocate in South Stockton.
“I have seen cases of individuals who cannot find an apartment or a house to live because their credit is hurting them,” Ms. Galaviz elaborated, “in the case of a Stockton resident, ‘I know,’ she is living with a friend by renting a room because her student loans as well as some medical bills are hurting her credit…”
During the morning of March 8th, —at the Kennedy Center located on Southeast Stockton— Housing and Economic Rights Advocates and local Officials released information of a new monthly workshop series aim to educate local residents about mortgage and debt collection issues.
“We’re excited to be bringing more of our energy and focus into the Valley, and we’re starting with San Joaquin County,” said Maeve Elise Brown, Executive Director of HERA.
San Joaquin County Officials praised the plan, “I think HERA can help fulfill a need,” highlighted San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney, James Lewis as he acknowledge underserved residents in the community.
Monica Hernandez is looking forward to the information because, “my ex-husband has drown my credit.” Hernandez has been looking for help on reestablishing her credit as she would like to become a homeowner in a near future.
“Having the workshops southeast Stockton is great!” Galaviz acknowledge that some residents may encounter transportation issues; but, “by bringing the clinic to the neighborhood it helps.”
The series is underwritten by a grant from San Francisco-based van Löben Sels/RembeRock Foundation and the presenters will be offered by the Oakland based, Housing and Economic Rights Advocates.
HERA is a not-for-profit legal service and advocacy organization dedicated to helping California residents —particularly those most vulnerable. The organization has been building a safe, sound financial future, free of discrimination and economic abuses, in all aspects of household financial concerns.
The San Joaquin County Human Services Agency and HERA are working together in elaborating the workshops and legal clinics calendar which will soon be published. Anyone may obtain more information about the workshops by contacting Erté Boyette, Community Program Manager at (209) 468-1549 or by contacting HERA at (510) 271-8443.
Bilingual Weekly (BW News) – Your source of Local news covering topics of Latino interest in Stockton, California; and San Joaquin County.
STOCKTON — On Wednesday January 6th, More than 250 business owners and corporate representatives gathered at the University of the Pacific’s DelaRosa University Center to learn at the 2016 Business Forecast Conference.
The Conference organized by the San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce offered four speakers with different insight to 2016’s economic outlook.
Jeffrey Michael, Director of the Center for Business and Policy Research at University of the Pacific projected that San Joaquin’s prospects may be brighter than the rest of the nation expects the 3.4 percent job growth of San Joaquin to reach 3.7 percent in 2016.
“Stockton is the 4th in job growth in California; Stockton is doing better thank Sacramento,” highlighted Michael.
However, Bob Gutierrez, Director of Government Affairs for Food 4 Less, and the Hispanic Chamber’s President Elect, highlighted a list of State laws which that will increase business regulation and cost.
Scott Anderson, Chief Economist of Bank of the West, projects throughout that, “education, health, professional services, and transportation” are among the industries to excel in the upcoming months.
Last year, San Joaquin County’s 1.6 percent growth population was at the forefront when compared to the rest of the state, “That’s a significant recovery from we were a few years ago,” said Michael adding, the areas hardest hit by the housing recession are coming back strong.”
Michael projects gains in the construction industry as it has been recovering from the 1,000’s during the recession to last year’s 1,700 dwelling and projected to be at 2,200 new units in 2016.
Bilingual Weekly (BW News) – Your source of Local news covering topics of Latino interest in Stockton, California; and San Joaquin County.
San Joaquin County — On Thursday December 31st Governor Jerry Brown announced the appointment of Moses Zapien as the representative of the 3rd District in the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors. The 3rd District became vacant when former Supervisor Steve Bestolarides was appointed, by a 3 to 1 vote, to County Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk on August of last year.
Zapien —who earned his law degree from the Laurence Drivon School of Law— was first elected to represent the City of Stockton’s 4th District in November of 2012. Last summer, he announced his candidacy to the higher office of County Supervisor rather than seeking a second term at City Council.
Born and raised in Stockton, Moses Zapien is the son of immigrant parents “who taught him the value of hard work and service to the community,” reads his campaign literature.
In August 2015 Zapien was appointed Deputy District Attorney to the San Joaquin County Superior Court. At the time, he wrote on his Facebook account, “I’m excited to be rejoining the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office and being part of a team of dedicated professionals, committed to the cause of Justice and to serving victims of crime.” However, Stockton’s Daily Newspaper, The Record, informed that —given the Supervisor’s post is a full-time job— “he has resigned from the position Thursday, December 31st.
In his website he cites “jobs, safety and openness/transparency” as his top three issues at the County Board of Supervisors. Zapien was not available to comment by the time this edition closed.
BW News – Your source of Local news covering topics of Latino interest in Stockton, California; and San Joaquin County.
New program at Teachers College of San Joaquin allows transitional kindergarten teachers to obtain certificate required by change in law, SB 876
The San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE) Teachers College of San Joaquin (TCSJ) announces that enrollment is open for the new Transitional Kindergarten (TK) Certificate Program that will allow teachers to meet new requirements for teachers following the Kindergarten Readiness Act.
Under a recent change to state law, teachers first assigned to a TK classroom after July 1, 2015, must complete 24 units in child development by Aug. 1, 2020. Recognizing the need, TCSJ developed a program allowing teachers to complete those units while also giving them the option to pursue other educational and professional goals through programs already offered at the college.
“We have worked hard to make the program attractive to a variety of teachers by developing it in such a way that teachers are able to choose multiple pathways, including the pursuit of a Master’s Degree,” said Kimberly Ott, a program developer and SJCOE coordinator of TK support services.
Classes begin in February.
The new certificate requirement comes from Senate Bill 876. The law follows the Kindergarten Readiness Act, which made one year of voluntary, high-quality TK available to every 4-year-old in California to ready them for success in school.
For more information about the TK Certificate Program at TCSJ call (209) 468-4926 or visit: teacherscollegesj.edu.
Teachers College of San Joaquin: Founded in 2009 by the San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE), Teachers College of San Joaquin (TCSJ) is the first WASC accredited institution to be housed within a county office of education and serves graduate students from across Northern California, including teachers and administrators who come from both elementary and high school settings. This year, TCSJ has over 1,000 students enrolled, including new TK teachers.
BW News – Your source of Local news covering topics of Latino interest in Stockton, California; and San Joaquin County.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an expansive tax package that will make permanent improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) enacted in 2009. Together, the EITC and CTC help to dramatically reduce poverty levels for Latino families each year. NCLR (National Council of La Raza) applauds lawmakers for their efforts to make sure that hardworking low-income families can get needed tax relief. Alone, these changes would represent a laudable win for the Latino community; however, some lawmakers in Congress were still determined to use this opportunity to target immigrants and included restrictive language in the agreement that NCLR doesn’t support.
“The expansions to the EITC and CTC in 2009 have since helped millions of working families make ends meet. Congress making these expansions permanent now is an important step for our community. We are pleased that lawmakers recognized the proven success of both anti-poverty programs and chose to act,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR. “Investing in measures that reward hard work is the key to building a healthier, more robust workforce that can strengthen our economy.”
The EITC amounts to as much as $6,143 per family, while the CTC can add up to $1,000 per child. Only people who are working are eligible for these programs, which are especially valuable for Latino workers, more than 40 percent of whom earn poverty-level wages.
Congressional action on the EITC and CTC is a result of the hard work and commitment of NCLR Affiliates and partner organizations in the business and progressive communities. Following countless letters, local events, op-eds, and a national poll, lawmakers responded to the advocacy efforts of Latinos across the country, who showed overwhelming support (91 percent) for making improvements to the EITC and CTC permanent without delay.
Unfortunately, some lawmakers cannot pass up an opportunity to attach anti-immigrant language to any measure and did so once again. The agreement will single out immigrant taxpayers specifically and bar millions who receive a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) from accessing these vital tax credits in the future. Additionally, it will create potentially significant barriers for immigrants who file taxes using an ITIN.
“The House of Representatives took an important step today and millions of American working families will benefit. We are thankful for that. But Congress has once again singled out immigrant families for restrictions in legislation that has nothing to do with immigration policy. We cannot allow our community to continue to be targeted this way,” Murguía added.
Looking ahead, NCLR is committed to working with Congress and the administration to make sure that these restrictions do not harm children that tax credits do not lose their value due to inflation, and that childless low-wage workers may benefit in the future.
BW News – Your source of local news with a bridge to National action.
State of California — The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) reminds California’s employers and workers that effective January 1, 2016, the state’s minimum wage will increase to $10 per hour.
“This increase in the minimum wage is California’s second increase in 18 months. Those earning minimum wage will now have a bit more to take home every paycheck,” said Labor Commissioner Julie Su. The Labor Commissioner’s Office is a division of DIR.
Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation on September 25, 2013, raising California’s minimum wage to $9 per hour on July 1, 2014, with a final adjustment to $10 per hour on January 1, 2016. It marked the first increase in California’s hourly minimum since 2008, when the minimum wage was raised 50 cents to $8.
State law requires employers to post information on wages, hours and working conditions at a worksite area accessible to employees. Notices for the wage orders in English and Spanish can be downloaded and printed from the Workplace postings page on the DIR website.
Almost all employees in California must be paid the minimum wage as required by state law. Workers who are paid less than the minimum wage may file a wage claim with the Labor Commissioner’s office.
DIR protects and improves the health, safety and economic well-being of over 18 million wage earners, and helps their employers comply with state labor laws.
DIR’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), also known as the Labor Commissioner’s Office, enforces prevailing wage rates and apprenticeship standards in public works projects, inspects workplaces for wage and hour violations, adjudicates wage claims, investigates retaliation complaints, issues licenses and registrations for businesses and educates the public on labor laws.
Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR’s Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734). The California Workers’ Information line at 866-924-9757 provides recorded information in English and Spanish on a variety of work-related topics.
BW News – Your source of local news covering Latino News of the State of California
Stockton, CA —The echo of a rope hitting the ground, constant punches to sand bags, and echoes of men and woman on boxing training mode fill the Yaqui Lopez Fat City gym walls — a gym under the leadership of Alvaro “Yaqui” Lopez.
Yaqui Lopez, is remembered for challenging the World Light Heavyweight Boxing title five times; although he did not succeeded as the title holder, he was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame on Saturday, October 13, 2007. “I am pleased to be among the champions who have been inducted into the hall of fame,” shared Lopez.
Today, Lopez’ focus is outside of the ring. He has a vision to help younger generations reach their goals. Lopez now trains and stands at the ring’s corner as Jack Cruz, his late father-in-law and manager, did during his 12-year career.
“I know that this guys have the potential of climbing the boxing later, I know they have the potential to reach their goals,” Lopez highlighted the hard work of each of the participants and what that means to him.
“I started training very young,” explained Abel Carreon, Stockton resident, who spends a minimum of two and a half hours training and runs an average of 10 miles a day. Fat City has kept him out of trouble, “I come from the streets, being here keeps me healthy and out of trouble,” Carreon recognizes the positive impact of Yaqui Lopez’ vision. Similar to Carreon’s story there are others who prefer spending their time training rather than to be in the streets.
The gym is open to the public with a nominal fee to keep the equipment running. “We don’t get paid for all the work we do with the kids,” Lopez is grateful of the support he receives from several volunteers who help him keep and maintain the gym. Lopez explained that, “we ask for a small contribution to maintain the equipment and to get other training equipment needed.”
Fat City Boxing Gym is constantly replacing damaged equipment as its natural boxing use tears and wears many items fast. Many have stepped up to helping Lopez with equipment, and funds, “We operate as a not-for-profit organization; so, we constantly encourage our community to help.”
If you or someone you know is interested in joining Yaqui Lopez’s Fat City Boxing Club you may reach their office at (209) 800-2977. The gym is located at 835 E. Miner Avenue, Stockton, CA 95202.
BW News – Your source of local news covering Latino News in Stockton, California
Stockton, Ca —”I am very thankful for having a warm meal today,” said Juan, a dislocated worker, who became homeless after his former landlord sold the house he rented for more than 8 months. Juan received a Thanksgiving meal at Saint Mary’s Dining Hall.
The following morning while many rushed in hopes to get black Friday deals, members of the Knights of Columbus volunteered at the kitchen of Saint Mary’s Dining Hall. “Since many families are tired or shopping today, we figured we would come out and help,” said Al Espinor, 2nd Year Trustee of the Knights of Columbus, speaking on behalf of the group.
Edward Figueroa, Executive Director at Saint Mary’s Hall expressed his gratitude for the many volunteers that visit to support the agency throughout the year. “We have 45 staff members; however, we need approximately 100 people a day to reach the service level needed in our community.”
“They [Saint Mary’s Dining Hall] need help all year; that’s why we come out once a month, to lend a hand,” highlighted Espinor while serving clients. He explained, “Today its a special day because of Thanksgiving and the initiation of the Holiday season.”
Like Juan 9,000 persons receive breakfast meals in a single month; and demand rises by lunch. In October of this year an estimated 12,000 lunch meals were served and, “We are now serving 10,000 dinners a month,” said Figueroa.
During the Holiday season the organization, “raises approximately one third of its budget,” Figueroa explained, “We are fortunate to live in the central valley; and, we are thankful of the many farmers and businesses willing to help.”
Edward Figueroa encourages community members to visit, the Dining Room has special tours for visitors. “people tend to think ‘its them… its their problem’; we encourage everyone to understand ‘it’s us’ we are all a community.”
To learn more about St. Mary’s Dining Room you may visit http://www.stmarysdiningroom.org or call Rebecca Glissman at (209) 467-0703.
SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Due Process for All Ordinance went into effect Friday, limiting responses by local law enforcement to immigration hold requests. The ordinance was signed last month after two unanimous votes by the Board of Supervisors.
BOXER DENOUNCES STUDENT LOAN DEAL THAT WOULD COST STUDENTS MORE THAN CURRENT LAW
New Plan Offers Initially Low “Teaser” Interest Rates—Recent History Indicates that Tying Rates to the Market Will Cost Borrowers More in the Long Run
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) spoke out on the U.S. Senate floor today against the student loan deal that will cost students and their families more money in the long run.
You can view video of Senator Boxer’s floor speech here.
“We have a stark choice to make… We can go with that deal that puts debt on the backs of our students, an additional $715 million worth of debt. Or we can go with the Reed-Warren alternative,” Senator Boxer said on the floor. “This is what we’re talking about: the deal will take $715 million out of the students’ pockets over the next ten years… This $715 million is going right on the backs of our families.”
Today, the Senate debated legislation that would tie student loan interest rates to market rates, offering low “teaser” rates for a few years, mortgaged through rate increases on future students. The legislation would link student loan interest rates to the 10-year Treasury bond, and if the last 30 years of the bond’s interest rates are an indication for the future, we can expect borrowers to pay well over the current interest rate of 6.8 percent.
For example, a student who borrows $30,000 to go to school and pays it back over 25 years could pay almost $8,500 more in interest under this legislation than under current law.
Senator Boxer also spoke in support of alternative legislation by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) that would ensure no student, now or in the future, is harmed by higher interest rates. The alternative would set interest rate caps at the levels in existing law – 6.8 percent for all Stafford loans and 7.9 percent for PLUS loans, compared to the currently proposed 8.25 percent for undergraduate, 9.5 percent for graduate and 10.5 percent for PLUS loans.
WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs has launched a new hotline — 1-855-VA-WOMEN — to receive and respond to questions from Veterans, their families and caregivers about the many VA services and resources available to women Veterans. The service began accepting calls on April 23, 2013.
“Some women Veterans may not know about high-quality VA care and services available to them,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “The hotline will allow us to field their questions and provide critical information about the latest enhancements in VA services.” Continue reading
I-5/French Camp Road Interchange Reconstruction
(Stockton, CA)—Beginning today, April 25, 2013, to accommodate work required for reconstruction of the Interstate 5/ French Camp Road Interchange, the inside #1 lane on the northbound off-ramp at the interchange and the inside #1 lane on the southbound off-ramp will be closed indefinitely. At least one lane at each off-ramp will be open at all times.
This work is subject to change due to traffic incidents, weather, availability of equipment and/or materials and construction-related issues.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Slow for the Cone Zone.