How do local parents feel about Local Control?

Students, parents, and school officials gathered with local community members to see how the district is using the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and the school districts funds. The night was dedicated to inform  and get feedback from community members about the Local Control Accountability Plan, which proposes a breakdown of new school spending. “I’ve been apart of the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) for 3 years, and have yet to go into a meeting about LCAP that allowed us, as parents, to critic this formula and give free range to hear how this is [affecting] our children.” Read what parents had to say, on Access Sacramento.

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Virgen de Guadalupe and the environment

Residents from the Eastern Coachella Valley gathered for the Virgen de Guadalupe processional, this time to bring awareness to the environmental issues facing their communities. High School students carried signs reading, “Save the Salton Sea,” “We Need More Parks,” and “We Need Clean Water” – just a few priorities declared by the group. “We are supposed to be ‘criadores de creacion,’ (people who care for creation) and so creation is a very important aspect of our lives. We need to care for one another, and we need to care for the environment.” See more on Coachella Unincorporated.

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Children of farmworkers give youth majority on Arvin council

The Arvin City Council is about to become much younger. Two young women, ages 28 and 24, were sworn in to the city council last week, joining another young member who was elected at age 19 in 2012. “For me, it was more about my desire to do well for my city and our youth. Working at the high school, I see a lot of kids who are not proud of where they are from. I feel that it might be because the city doesn’t offer them anything.” The two new council members speak about their backgrounds and their priorities for Arvin, on South Kern Sol.

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Digital divide in high school

Catory Goodman doesn’t have a computer at home, a lack that hampers her academic progress at school. What does a student have to do to overcome the “digital divide” at school? Hear about navigating school without a computer in the technology-centered era, on Youth Radio.

Cancer survivors move forward in wellness classes

The Adelante (Let’s Go) program is part of a community-based initiative to help cancer patients and survivors recover from suffering hard treatments and the emotional pain that comes with cancer. Adelante takes a holistic approach to address those needs that go beyond the doctor’s office. “There was a clear gap of resources for cancer survivors in our local neighborhoods.” Read about it on Boyle Heights Beat.

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PSA: Playgrounds promote play

Along with clean air and good schools, children need playgrounds for a healthy childhood. Some information about the benefits of playgrounds are in a public service announcement produced by Media Arts Center.

Composting program expands to businesses

The company that handles Richmond sanitation has expanded the residential food scrap program to include scraps from businesses in Richmond and surrounding cities. Under the program, businesses collect food waste like stale bread, chicken bones, coffee grinds and produce along with food soiled paper products and place them in large green bins on the curb for pickup by sanitation workers. “It’s pretty beneficial for us because it gives us extra space in our dumpster, and at the same time we’re giving back to mother earth and not just throwing stuff in the landfill.” Read more about Richmond’s progressive environmental programs on Richmond Pulse.

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Hundreds protest at Walmart in Long Beach

Allies joined Walmart workers outside the stores on Black Friday to protest wages and working conditions at the large chain. See more at Voicwaves.

A thriving lake, in memory only

Lake Success was a peaceful site for Fresno families to escape the summer Central Valley heat. Established as a reservoir, the lake has diminished over the years due to drought, leaving more of a mirage than an oasis. “[T]he lake that had been huge in my mind’s eye didn’t match the tiny pond sitting before me. Of course, most things from childhood seem to grow smaller one grows taller, but this was different. The lake didn’t just seem smaller, it was smaller – and by a lot.” One Fresno youth reflects on the significance of the shrinking of Lake Success, on The Know.

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Police relations not just a black, urban issue

Distrust of law enforcement is not unique to Ferguson and New York City, but present in communities of color across the nation. Yet discussions of police misconduct in mainstream and social media sometimes characterize the problem as one that exists only between blacks and whites in urban areas – African Americans on one side, white officers on the other. Youth reporters in rural, predominantly Latino areas of California surveyed people in their communities about how they perceive local law enforcement. “In the immigrant community here, that distrust is definitely there … in terms of seeing the police department as something that is supposed to protect and serve the community. I know local law enforcement is making an effort to change that, but it’s still the dominant view of them.” Read more responses on South Kern Sol and Coachella Unincorporated.

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