Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Amador County Library: Summer Reading Kick-off with the Ukemaniacs - Thurs June 14

Start your summer reading off with a fun filled musical time at your library. Listen to the Ukeamaniacs perform and learn about the Ukulele.
Thursday June 14th 2-3 p.m. Main Library Jackson (next to ACE Hardware)

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Amador Community College Foundation: "Cruising the Caribbean" - Sat July 14

Get your passports for Cruising the Caribbean at JacksonCasino.com or at the Cashier's cage at the casino.
All proceeds benefit Amador College Connect an their programs, specifically this year:
1 Develop Job Apprenticeship programs in Amador County
2. Expand student services and scholarships.
More info at: https://www.amadorcollegeconnect.org/

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Every 15 Minutes, Part III: May 21 & 22 at Amador and Argonaut High Schools

There will be a large amount of activity at both Amador and Argonaut High Schools on May 21 & 22. Traffic will be heavy at times and drivers should be aware of the possibility of delays. This is happening because the Every 15 Minutes program will be taking place and involves activities at both schools. This is a program sponsored by the California Highway Patrol and the Office of Traffic Safety to promote safe teen drivers and involves multiple local public safety agencies.

On Monday morning, May 21, there will be a simulated drunk driving crash staged at Amador High. There will be many emergency vehicles involved and traffic around the school will be heavy. Busses transporting students from Argonaut will add to the congestion. Motorists are advised to avoid this area if possible. On Tuesday, there will be an assembly at Argonaut as the program continues. Busses transporting students from Amador will be arriving and departing during the mid-day hours.

Most importantly, the public is reminded that this is a staged simulated emergency event and that no real emergency actually exists.  All emergency vehicles and air traffic are responding as participants in this safe driving program.

Photo courtesy the Ledger Dispatch

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Every 15 Minutes, Part II: What is Every 15 Minutes?

By Lori Halvorson

In view of statistics about the increased risk or injury or death for teen drivers and their occupants, a two day program was developed; first in Canada and then adopted in the United States. Entitled “Every 15 Minutes”, it alludes to the frequency in which a teen is killed or injured in an auto related incident. In California the program has been refined and supported by the California Highway Patrol and the Office of Traffic Safety. It generally focuses on high school juniors and seniors; challenging them to think about drinking, driving, personal safety, and the responsibility of making mature decisions. In addition to a decision to risk an alcohol-related, impaired, or distracted driving crash, it focuses on the impact that such decisions would have on their family and friends.

In Amador County, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Commission has taken the initiative to make this program available at our local high schools. Working with a wide variety of community leaders, interested agencies, parents, and with the financial support of local groups and businesses, the program will happen on May 21 and 22. It will involve all high school students in the County.

On the first day, a simulated fatal auto collision will be created at Amador High School. It will involve an impaired teen driver and a fatally injured victim. Emergency responders will arrive and conduct a re-creation of what actually happens during such an incident. All of the typical agencies will be involved, including police, fire, ambulance, coroner, public works, tow trucks and others. Actors will be suitably dressed and made up to add realism, and to make the simulation as authentic as possible. All high school students will be in attendance to witness the activity. Later, as the day progresses, a “grim reaper” will appear at the schools and remove a student every 15 minutes to reinforce the statistic. Those students will be taken to an overnight retreat and involved with activities related to the event.

On the second day, an assembly will be held at Argonaut High School. It will include a simulated funeral atmosphere. The students removed from class on Monday by the “grim reaper” will be reunited with their parents, family and friends. A video of the previous day’s activities will be shown. Several speakers will be offering their perspective on the activity and the true impact that teen driving decisions have on their family, friends, and the community as a whole. Following the assembly there will be a community picnic for students, school staff, and event supporters. Support services will be available at that time, as well as providing an opportunity for community engagement.

Initial funding for this program is provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety. Additional funding is being provided by generous organizations, businesses, and individuals. In-kind services are being provided by local governmental agencies and first responder organizations.

For information about sponsorship opportunities contact Loraine Davis at (209)304-5125 or loraine@suttercreek.com.  For more information about this program or other youth prevention activities contact Nadine Magana at Nexus Youth and Family Services. She can be reached at 257-1980 extension 102 or email to nmagana@nexusyfs.org.

Photo courtesy the Amador Ledger Dispatch.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Every 15 Minutes, Part I: The danger of impaired or distracted teen drivers

By Lori Halvorson

Accidents account for half of the teen age deaths in this country. One-third of those are caused by motor vehicle accidents; the leading cause of accidental deaths. The most recent statistics indicate that a teen driver or passenger is killed or injured in a traffic accident approximately every 15 minutes of every day.

The risk of a teen driver being involved in a fatal traffic incident is highest for the new driver. Lacking experience in conjunction with the risk-taking nature of adolescents has an adverse effect on safe driving behavior. 16 year old drivers have a crash rate nearly 4 times as high as drivers of all ages. It gets better with age, with 19 year old drivers having a crash rate only twice as high as that for drivers of all ages.

When impaired driving is taken into consideration, the trend reverses. As an example, the rate of accidents for drivers who “had been drinking” rises as the age of the driver increases; with 19 year old “HBD” drivers having accident rates twice that of drivers of all ages. The most common cause of fatal collisions for teen drivers is excessive speed, which also accounts for more than half of all citations issued to teen drivers. Perhaps the most concerning facts is drivers who survive a crash are one and a half times more likely to have a second crash than the crash rate of drivers as a whole.

Teen driving accidents are preventable. Irrespective of the natural progression of brain development in adolescents, teen drivers can adopt “minimal risk” driving habits and exercise them when they understand the adverse consequences. It really is worth the time and effort it takes to provide them with the tools and with an understanding of the reality of the dangers, as well as the joy, offered by the independence provided by having a driver’s license.

Amador County has not been immune to the problem and has had more than our share of sadness and heartache. We have several good programs to help address the prevention, as well as the negative consequences of teen driving fatalities. Two that have worked toward a safer driving community in our county are Amador Teen Driver and XX through the local office of the California Highway Patrol.

Part 2 of this article will deal with another local resource coming to our community.

Photo courtesy the Amador Ledger Dispatch