Monday, November 30, 2015

First 5 Amador - December 2015

December 2015

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Christmas at the HUB
Nov 27/28
Saturdays, Dec. 5, 12, 19
206B Main St., Jackson

For December, come to First 5's annual Children' s Holiday Festival for a fun Dad and Me activity! 
First 5 Amador
Friday, Dec 11
975 Broadway, Jackson
Grief and Loss Group for parents who have lost a pregnancy or infant.
Wednesday, Dec. 16
(3rd Wednesday each month)

Decorate Your Own Gingerbread House

Friday, Dec. 18 
The HUB, 206B Main St., Jackson

Preschool Developmental Screenings 
Save the Date:
Wednesday, Jan. 13
More details coming soon!   

Playgroups follow the ACUSD calendar and are offered on the following days:
Thursdays-Pine Grove

For more listings, please visit our Calendar.

Family Time and the Holidays
Remember, spending quality time with your children this holiday season is a priceless gift - your time and attention cost nothing and mean everything.

The holiday season means busy
schedules and than can mean it's a challenge to find time to spend together as a family. But quality time is important because when parents learn and play with their children every day, it boosts a child's self-esteem and helps kids develop positive relationships.  
First 5 Amador encourages parents as well as grandparents and caregivers to give the gift of quality time.  
  • Start a tradition. Plan a family meal at least once a week -- even more often if you can. Eating together provides a wonderful opportunity to talk with your children about their day and show them that they are your top priority. Get children involved by giving them age-appropriate tasks like setting the table, tossing the salad, and cleaning up.
  • Open a book daily. Help your child's imagination soar by reading favorite stories together. Point out fun things you see in picture books and let your toddler turn the pages.  
  • Host a weekly family fun night. On cold or rainy days, turn off the TV and computer, and get creative. Set up a row of chairs and role-play as a bus driver or train conductor; enjoy a game of musical chairs; or use everyday items like cardboard boxes, glue and cotton balls to create pieces of art.
  • Go outside for physical activity. Go for a walk, play catch, ride bikes around the neighborhood or visit the park. It's a chance to spend time together as well as squeeze in a healthy dose of active play!
  • Make every moment count. Above all, use every moment together to learn from and listen to your child, even when taking care of every day errands. Young children love to help -- take your children grocery shopping and let them pick out fruits and vegetables while you ask about favorite foods. When driving, point to colors and shapes, and ask your child to count trees or read simple signs.         

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News & Announcements

Children's Holiday Festival 
Winter Holidays Around the World  

This year join us for our 14th annual
Children's Holiday Festival on
Friday, December 12,from 5:30 - 8:00pm
at the Margaret Dalton Children's Center,
975 Broadway, Jackson.

(to print the flyer click HERE) 

Don't forget to bring a donation for
the Interfaith Food Bank! Items that are
helpful for families with children include:
canned fruit, pasta, boxed meals, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, cereal, rice,
and cereal/granola bars, and diapers.

Program Spotlight

Improving Children's Oral Health  

in Amador County

This month, Dr. Stone and Mindy Epperson of Sutter Amador Pediatrics and Nina Machado of First 5 were asked to testify at a Little Hoover Commission hearing at the State Capitol regarding Amador County's ideas for improving oral health services for children in a rural county.  The work of Amador's Oral Health Task Force including the new service which provides fluoride varnish at well-child checkups in the Sutter Pediatric office was shared with the Commission and a room full of individuals interested in hearing about and sharing strategies for improving the oral health of children and adults in California.

"Dental caries is the most common chronic disease in children in the United States. It is 4 times more common than childhood asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever."  (National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey)

Learn more about the Little Hoover Commission.

To schedule a well-child check-up and learn more about Sutter Amador Hospital Pediatrics click here.

For more information about the importance of preventative oral health care for young children visit these websites:
Children's Oral Health 
   First 5 Amador supports and designs programs for
children 0-5 years old and their families.

For more information please visit our website:
or call us at (209) 257-1092.
As a parent, you are your child's first & most important teacher!
Save money on books for your children--get them for free!  Sign your child up today and start receiving one free book a month from the Imagination Library.  This is a free program, available to all Amador County children 0-4 (from birth until their fifth birthday).  

All you have to do is read to your child!
For more information click here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

California's Support for K-12 Education Ranks Low - Webinar this Thurs Nov 19

California Budget & Policy Center
November 17, 2015

California’s Support for K-12 Education Ranks Low by Almost Any Measure
A new Budget Center fact sheet shows that California K-12 spending lags the nation using nearly any measure of school funding. California ranks 42nd among all states and the District of Columbia in K-12 spending per student, based on a new Budget Center analysis that adjusts the most recent spending figures for differences in states' costs of living. The fact sheet also shows that California ranks at or near the bottom in other key measures, such as K-12 spending as a share of the economy and the number of K-12 students per teacher. Read the fact sheet.
Don't Miss Our Webinar Briefing This Thursday
The Budget Center will hold a briefing on its analysis of California's support for K-12 schools this Thursday, November 19, from 2:00 to 2:30 p.m. PT. Senior Policy Analyst Jonathan Kaplan will highlight the Budget Center's findings and discuss what they say about the need for California to boost K-12 spending over the long term.
This briefing is open to the public as well as to the media. Register here.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Amador Community College Foundation - Thurs Nov 19

Please note that our last 2015 ACCF Board Meeting is Thursday, November 19 at 2:30 PM in Conference Room C of the County Administrative Offices.  Attached [below] you will find the agenda for that meeting as well as minutes from the October 15 meeting.

Amador Community College Foundation

DATE:                          Thursday, November 19, 2015 
LOCATION:                 810 Court Street, Jackson, CA          Conference Room #C
TIME:                           2:30 PM Open Session of Regular Meeting of ACCF – Public welcome

Discussion/Action Items 

1)       Public Comment:  Public welcome and introductions.  At this time the Board will hear comments from the public.

2)       Organization: Discussion and Possible Action to Approve                                                  
a)       Karen: request for approval of October 15th minutes – action item
b)       Russ: Report on bank balances
c)       Angelica: report on accounts payable
d)       Karen: Strategic Planning Meeting Details
i)         Survey
ii)       Dinner selection

3)       Curriculum Access: Discussion and Possible Action to Approve
a)       Matt/Janice: Update on Amador Learning Center activities

4)       Partnerships: Discussion and Possible Action to Approve
a)       Ken: report on research questions re MOU with Victory Village
b)       Frank: proposal from Volcano Communications Group re space and equipment
5)       Marketing/Finance/Fundraising:  Discussion and Possible Action to Approve
a)       Angelica/Karen: review of revenue and expenses from gala 2015
b)       Wyman: review of 2015 gala and suggestions for improvement
c)       Wyman: report on discussion with Jim Guidi of KVGC
d)       Karen: report on Teichert approval of grant revision

Committee Member Initiatives (Non agenda items reported/Suggested by members) 

ADJOURNMENT: Until Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 4:00 PM at Lone Wolf Private Dining Room – closed session for strategic planning.


Amador Community College Foundation Meeting Minutes
October 15, 2015

Karen Dickerson called the regular public meeting of the Amador Community College Foundation to order on October 15, 2015 in Conference Room A of the County Administrative Office at 2:34 PM. 
Roll call:
Board Members Present:
Paul Molinelli, Chair
Karen Dickerson, Secretary
Angelica Ervin
Lynn Morgan
Ken Centanni
Janice Davis
Frank Leschinsky
John Plasse, Ex officio

Wyman Dickerson, Public
Susan Allred, Human Resources Consulting

1.       Public comment:  Introductions were made around the table.

2.       Organization:

a.       Karen requested approval of September 24 minutes.  Janice moved.  Ken seconded.  Motion passed unanimously.

b.       Karen reported that the bank balance at El Dorado Savings showed an ending balance of $40,729.66 on October 15. 

c.        Angelica reported on accounts payables for the period of September 16 through October 15.  See attached reports.

d.       Karen presented the attached proposal for strategic plan facilitation submitted by Rosalie Escamilla.  Consultant will provide the following services for a fee of $400 (substantially reduced rate):
                                                               i.      Examine background and processes of ACCF
                                                              ii.      Prepare and facilitate January board meeting
                                                            iii.      Preparation of a summary report
Discussion ensued.  Board members requested the consultant prepare a survey to administer to the board confidentially on areas of concern including, sustainable funding, partnerships with business, grant seeking, and other topics.  Lynn moved, seconded by Janice to accept the proposal for strategic plan facilitation with the addition of the Board Survey.  Motion passed unanimously.
3.       Curriculum Access: 
a.       Matt presented the attached report on learning center activities.  Highlights include:  59 walk-in clients were served, 6 assessments were given, 4 initial meetings with coordinator, 7 new enrollments for a total of 76 registered students.  He reported on a new meeting structure for the monthly MHSA cohort meetings.  Students in the program will rotate leading the meetings thereby insuring the meetings focus on student needs and concerns.  A Facebook page was created specifically for use by MHSA students so they can have a communication mechanism for questions and answers between meetings.
b.       Janice presented the slate of iTV classes that were selected by committee to offer for Spring 2016.  See attached.  She indicated the basis on which the classes were selected mostly due to program constraints.  Classes need to be selected that did not require: proctors for assessments, staffing after 7:00 PM, or Thursday use of the ACTC conference room.  It was suggested that we take up the offer for radio advertising proposed by Jim Guidi of KVGC.  The plan would require contracting with KVGC for 6 months of advertising at $400 per month.  At the end of that period, if we had not seen an increase in enrollment in iTV classes, we would be reimbursed.  Wyman agreed to negotiate what the criteria for increased enrollment would be.
c.        Frank reported on the possibility of expanding iTV capability based on Shasta’s Tech Departments list of required iTV equipment for each classroom.  He noted the system was produced by Cisco and cost $7,500-$10,000 per classroom.  He recommended the board endorse multiple classrooms as a path forward.  John asked how portable this equipment would be as the Board of Supervisors may be asking ACCF to move the Learning Center out of the HHS Building.  This needs further discussion and investigation.
d.       Karen reminded board members of ACCF’s participation with AAUW-Amador Branch on Trek to New Heights slated for October 22.  It is scheduled from 6-7:30 pm and will highlight educational opportunities for women in Amador County.  Posters were distributed.
4.       Partnerships:
a.       Karen presented an MOU with Victory Village and the Amador Community College Foundation submitted by Jason Mulford for board consideration. The proposal states the following services be shared by the parties: media sharing, collaboration of services, outreach, and mutual advocacy.  See attached.  Questions were raised about the need for the MOU.  It was suggested that Terry Sanford, the County Veteran’s Services Officer be consulted.  Further, the board would like clarification from Jason Mulford regarding the benefits to ACCF.  Ken agreed to research these questions with Terry and Jason.  The board took no action. 
5.       Marketing, Fundraising and Finance:
a.       Karen submitted 2 proposals for a revision to the Teichert Grant on equipment purchases.  She indicated that Matt had purchased a portable smart board system at a significantly reduced rate, leaving the major balance of the grant funds unexpended.  It is important to notify Teichert of our request to change the scope of the grant.  See attached revisions proposal.  Version 1 was selected to propose to Teichert and Karen will submit to Teichert for approval.  Janice moved, Lynn seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
b.       Wyman, Gala Chair, gave a report about progress on the gala this past month. Ticket sales are significantly low at this point.  Wyman asked Board members to help promote ticket sales.  Karen reported that she has reviewed the gala budget and reports that ACCF should expect reduced revenues from the gala but reassures the board that it will not lose money. 
6.       Adjournment:
The meeting was adjourned at 4:30 PM.  The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 19, 2015 at 2:30 PM.    

Thursday, November 12, 2015

UC Cooperative Extension Central Sierra: "Are You Being Bugged?" Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Are you being Bugged?
By Mary Tran
A year ago we asked you, “Have You Seen This Bug?” It was an alert, to let you know that the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB), a new pest attacking many crops, might be coming to our county. There are plenty of BMSB in Sacramento and other parts of the state.  So far, there have been no sightings in our county. Whew!
The UC Cooperative Extension has actively watched for them since April, using traps set up in several parts of our county. No BMSB have been caught to date. Now that the weather is turning cooler, if there are any BMSB hiding out in our county they will be looking for nice places to spend the winter, such as your house. That means that the first person to spot one of these guys could be an innocent homeowner. The BMSB may arrive in large numbers, or just singly, through house cracks, tiny holes or clinging to windows, and they will stink if you try to sweep them or vacuum them up.
If you find any suspect BMSB clustering on trees in your area, or in your house, please try to collect a sample. Put it into a sealable plastic container (such as a baggie) and bring it to your local UC Cooperative Extension Office. For questions or help with samples, you can contact Mary Tran (  or Lynn Wunderlich, Farm Advisor, UC Cooperative Extension Central Sierra, (

Photo Credits: Baldo Villegas and the 2014 The Regents of the University of California. All Rights Reserved.

The brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys), a winged invader from Asia that is eating crops and infesting U.S. homes, is spreading and is expected to continue to do so. Adult (top) and fifth-instar nymph (bottom).

Aggregation of brown marmorated stink bugs, Halyomorpha halys, on a Chinese pistache tree limb.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Master Gardeners & Food Preservers Present: Growing, Harvesting, Curing, Preserving and Eating Olives - Sat Oct 17

Olive trees are native to the Mediterranean, grown in rocky soil without irrigation. Rocky soil without irrigation? Sounds like a perfect fit for Amador County! They are good drought tolerant landscape trees for our area and over the last few years many homeowners planted mini olive groves.

Planting olive trees comes with a major responsibility, even if used as part of a landscape. They can be messy and if you allow the fruit to rot on the ground you can get an infestation of olive fruit fly. Your fruit flies can travel to commercial olive groves, impacting their crop. To control the fruit fly, use traps and pick up fallen fruit. Learn more about controlling the olive fruit fly at

If you want to harvest olives for home use, they fruit best with deep monthly irrigation. Be sure to plant them in well-draining soil; they do not like to sit in wet soil in the winter. Olive trees need long summers, heat and full sun. Pay attention to winter temperatures; below 10 degrees will kill them, below 17 degrees will damage them and below 28 degrees will damage the fruit. Sunset Western Garden Book puts them in zone 9, but they grow locally in Sunset zone 7 with the preventative care used to grow citrus. Cold-hardy varieties include Ascalano, Mission, Arbequina and Picual.

Fall is the season to harvest olives, but olives aren’t a fruit you pop into your mouth right away. When I was a child my family lived in Michigan for a few years. We visited relatives in Winters one fall and my father picked fresh olives to play a joke on friends back home. He offered California olives, fresh from the tree – what a treat! His friends weren’t sure how to react when they tried to eat one; fresh olives are incredibly bitter. They didn’t know if they should be polite and eat this gift or spit it out. My dad would laugh and explain that olives must be cured to make them edible. Curing methods to leach out the bitter oleuropein compound include using dry salt, brine, water or lye.

If you want to harvest and cure olives for eating, different varieties are preferred for different curing methods. Manzanillo works well for a lye-cure; Mission is preferred for a dry salt cure; Kalamata is ideal for Kalamata-style water-cured olives; and Sevillano is best for Sicilian-style lye-fermented olives. UC ANR has a great free publication (#8267) on processing olives at

To learn more about how to grow, harvest, cure and preserve olives, join UCCE Master Gardener and Master Food Preserver volunteers from 9-12 Noon on Saturday, October 17 at the GSA Building at 12200B Airport Road in Jackson. The class is free and no reservations are required.  UCCE Master Gardener Debbie Hillel will explain how to successfully grow olive trees and UCCE Master Food Preserver Sue Mosbacher will demonstrate multiple curing and preservation methods.

UCCE Master Gardeners of Amador County are available to answer home gardening questions Tuesday through Thursday, 10 am to noon, by calling (209) 223-6838. Walk-ins are welcome at our office, located at the GSA Building, 12200B Airport Road in Jackson. You can also email your questions to UCCE Master Food Preserver volunteers are available to answer home food preservation questions by calling (209) 223-6857 or by emailing Visit both groups online at Both groups are also active on Facebook.