Building Healthy Communities Kern in partnership with South Kern Sol youth media, have launched a new youth-produced webcast. “In the 661” will present stories, current events and good work happening in the community- all through a lens of health and racial equity.The show not only gives youth the opportunity to learn about what it takes to produce a video segment, but it also gives young journalists the opportunity to lift up issues that matter to them and might otherwise go untold.
There’s a lot of good work happening across the community, but rarely do organizations or residents who are working to improve community health have the opportunity to amplify their voice via mainstream media.
This show gives residents and organizations the opportunity to examine health in interesting and innovative ways. Health doesn’t only happen in a doctor’s office. Health happens where we work live and play. Health happens when people tap into their power, work together and change the odds in their neighborhoods.
The show will be aired weekly on “In the 661’s” Facebook page and will be shared widely on Building Healthy Communities Kern’s website and social media platforms.
The new show is produced by South Kern Sol youth reporters, Alejandra Alberto, Dean Welliver, Marilu Cisneros, and Veronica Morley and hosted by former KGET news anchor, Kiyoshi Tomono.
By Dean Welliver, South Kern Sol
Parents, students, teachers, and community advocates were among the attendees who packed the Kern High School District (KHSD) board chambers on the evening of Jan. 30 for the district’s second community forum on school climate, a condition of the discrimination settlement agreement, which requires KHSD, among other things, to hold two community forums a year where administrators must present data related to suspensions, expulsions and involuntary transfers. The agreement also mandates that the district celebrate Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month and allow students to celebrate these events.
Sahar Durali, directing attorney with California Rural Legal Assistance, which took part in the suit settlement answered a few questions about the progress the district has made with regard to school climate.
On Jan. 30, the Kern High School District (KHSD) will hold a community forum to update the public on student behavior and school climate. This is a great opportunity for parents, students and teachers to learn about what the district is doing to change its pattern of discriminatory discipline practices against Latino and black students.
“The presentation will include reports on fall 2017 semester data regarding suspensions, involuntary transfers, voluntary transfers based on a waiver of rights, expulsions, discipline and referral data, current school climate survey results, the status of the District’s Training Plan and staff development, and an overview of the KHSD policies, procedures and practices relating to Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports (PBIS), Multi-Tiered System of Supports, student behavior expectations and discipline,” according to the district’s website.
As a result of the settlement, the district is required to hold two community forums a year to update and share data with the public on school climate, this will be the first meeting held this year.
The community forum will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 30 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the KHSD Board Room, 5801 Sundale Ave.
By Chyna Patz, South Kern Sol
West High School has a bullying problem.
Walk around West High any school day and you can find somebody on campus who has been personally affected by bullying, or knows a student who has. I have tested this, and found that every student I had spoken to, had been subjected to bullying, at least once at West.
There have even been times when I have had to watch a close friend get called names, just for being gay. All I could do was hold them and tell them it would be alright.
I’ve had friends physically hurt by bullies, to the point where they felt unsafe coming to school.
I’ve personally been shoved by bullies in hallways and made fun of. I know how other victims feel.
Report after report had been filed by victims, but there was hardly any effort to change the culture until a student who felt their only option was suicide filed a complaint. That set in motion something that has been sorely needed — an anti-bullying assembly to be hosted Tuesday and Thursday.
Several health care facilities across Kern County are teaming up to hold enrollment events before the deadline on January 31 to help area residents navigate the process.
“We are coming together to provide community residents with an opportunity to find out about their health coverage options and to enroll into a qualified health plan before Open Enrollment ends,” Clinica Sierra Vista Chief Operating Officer Bill Phelps said.
Phelps added that interest is up this year compared to last year but does not have official numbers yet.
The community is invited to attend the next enrollment event, which will be held Saturday, January 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Valley Plaza Mall between Macy’s and JC Penney.
For more information call Clinica Sierra Vista at (661) 328-4245 or Omni Family Health at (661) 459-1900.
La fecha límite de la inscripción abierta es el 31 de enero
Varias instalaciones de atención médica por todo el condado de Kern se están reuniendo para celebrar eventos de inscripción antes de la fecha límite del 31 de enero para ayudar a los residentes del área a navegar el proceso.
“Nos estamos reuniendo para brindar a los residentes de la comunidad la oportunidad de conocer sus opciones de cobertura de salud e inscribirse en un plan de salud calificado antes de que finalice la inscripción abierta”, dijo el director de operaciones de Clínica Sierra Vista, Bill Phelps.
Phelps agregó que el interés aumentó este año en comparación con el año pasado, pero aún no tiene cifras oficiales.
La comunidad está invitada a asistir al próximo evento de inscripción que se llevará a cabo el sábado, 27 de enero de 10 a.m. a 3 p.m. en el Valley Plaza Mall, entre Macy’s y JC Penney.
Para obtener más información, llame a Clínica Sierra Vista al (661) 328-4245 o a Omni Family Health al (661) 459-1900.
In October, the California Environmental Protection Agency approved a plan to enforce pesticide buffer zones statewide. Our partners say that while this is a great step forward there is still more work needed to protect our children.
The new regulations cover most school hours, but advocates say the rule doesn’t consider after school or weekend activities held at schools, or the fact that pesticide drift remains in school grounds and on top of classrooms long after spraying.
“We advocated for some stronger regulations because pesticide drift doesn’t stop after class is over. The rule to limit pesticide use near schools from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.window is an improvement, but still not good enough,” said Valerie Gorospe of the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment and a member of Californian’s for Pesticide Reform. “We plan to keep pushing for more protections going forward, but this is a step in the right direction.”
Committee for a Better Arvin, Comite Progreso de Lamont, and Center on Race Poverty and the Environment (CRPE) reached an agreement with Recology over the company’s new operation of Recology Blossom Valley Organics, a composting facility outside of Lamont.
“This agreement signifies a new beginning for the residents of Lamont and Arvin in terms public health and safety, and a partnership between Recology and the local community,” wrote CRPE in a press release.
The community agreement will ensure the operation is safe, protects public health, and also makes significant financial investments in the community.
“Recology has committed to installing an aeration system that will reduce pollution by at least 80 percent, this commitment was a driving factor for the community groups to enter into negotiations,” read the press release. “The goals of the agreement are to maintain an open line of communication with the nearby residents of Lamont, Weedpatch and Arvin, improve neighborhood safety and livability, and ensure a high quality of environmental standards are met.”
The history of relationships between economically disadvantaged communities and industrial corporations is often one of conflict. This win is an example of how corporations can work together with residents and why it’s important that corporations engage community residents into business processes.