Most of us have swatted away marauding mosquitos, attacking from the sky—well now the mosquitos have to watch out for the air power too. In San Bernardino County, the Mosquito Vector Control Program is collaborating with the County’s Sheriff’s Aviation Division, and using state-of-the-art technology to identify potential mosquito breeding sites: unmaintained swimming pools.
In 2012, West Nile Virus – transmitted by mosquitos – was being reported at record levels. Dozens of cases occurred in San Bernardino County, where concerns were elevated over the fact that more than 18,000 homes in the County had been foreclosed. Many of these residences included unmaintained swimming pools, ideal breeding grounds for mosquitos. Unfortunately, the County’s Mosquito Vector Control staff was only made aware of potential s breeding site when they received a complaint. This limited abatement since staff had few ways to find green pools on their own since most aren’t visible from the street.
Clinical therapists are taking their jobs a few steps above and beyond the typical call of duty in Riverside County. In fact, they are taking them 39 feet beyond. That’s the length of each of the three mobile clinics that the therapists themselves drive out to different regions of Riverside County. It’s all part of the County’s highly successful Prevention and Early Intervention Mobile Services program.
These mobile clinics, which are specially designed recreational vehicles, bring mental health services to families with children up to 7 years old. The program meets a need to develop services outside the standard clinic model, according to Emma Girard, Senior Clinical Psychologist for Riverside County, who helps lead the project.
Kids who end up in Juvenile Hall have done something illegal. Why should their stay there be anything other than punishment? As the head of Sonoma County’s Juvenile Hall told me, “The kids in here today are going to get out, and they are going to be your neighbors, and your kid’s classmates.” Punishment is part of it, but so is rehabilitation. That’s why Sonoma County Juvenile Hall has formed a unique partnership with the Boys and Girls Club in their community.
“The Club” took over some space inside Juvenile Hall, installed some games, computers, and lightened up the institutional look with paint, posters and some comfortable furniture. They provide activities, fun, and a safe environment for the kids to play, to learn, and to be just kids for a while, instead of kids in “Juvi.” But the most important thing “the Club” provides is incentive. The Club is the carrot at the end of the stick.
Truancy is a major issue in many communities — and San Bernardino is no exception. Truancy can also have significant impacts beyond hindering education. According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, “Dropouts are poorly prepared to enter the workforce and require greater expenditures for social services and criminal justice process than do graduates.”
The San Bernardino County Public Defender’s Office was seeing the impacts of truancy first-hand. “Truancy is a big indictor on whether or not kids are going to continue in the juvenile justice system or are able to break out and get on with their lives, explained Assistant Public Defender Chris Gardner.” We had been looking for a way to get more involved, to partner with the schools to work on the truancy issue.”
When Faythe Arredono talks about Tulare County’s Teen Digital Media Lab, her eyes light up. That sparkle is only matched by the teenagers who participate in the program. Ask the likes of students Araceli Mendoza or Vincent Macareno and you can see why this program has such a positive impact.
Tulare County library staff knew they could do a better job of connecting teens through the library, but the question was how. “We tried some things. Some worked, some didn’t, but we could never really get anything off the ground,” explained County Librarian Jeff Scott. That’s where Faythe Arredondo comes in. She was hired in 2011 as the County’s first-ever Teen Services Librarian. Right away she started exploring ways to get teens engaged digitally. With the help of a grant from the California State Library, she was off and running.