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Your hometown weekly newspaper

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  • This Week

    FOR MOVIE TIMES SEE PAGE 5A

    Plus: Business .............................21ACalendar ............................ 23BClassifieds ......................... 15BCop Logs ............................17AEntertainment ................. 11BFood .................................... 12BHealth & Beauty ................ 8BMilestones ........................ 10BOpinion ..............................16AOutdoors .............................6ASports ................................... 1B

    Foster care gets a helping handNext year, an estimated

    6,000 California foster-care youths will be emancipated from the state-run system. For many of these 18-year olds, new-found freedom is often fraught with fear and uncertainty. But now, thanks to a bill signed into law last week, California foster youth will be offered a helping hand into their futures.

    Its great, a great thing, said Oakley resident Sue Hobbs, who is completing her doctoral degree in psychology at the Center for Public Policy Research at UC Davis. We (supporters of the bill) believe that if foster youth can stay in the system with families for longer, they will have more time to mature and transition. It will be a lot less fearful for them.

    For many of the adoles-cents in the foster-care sys-tem, being forced out on their own when they turn 18 leaves

    them without a support net-work, few life skills and few-er prospects. Its the hope of proponents of the bill that the extend time in the care of the foster system will make their eventual transition smoother.

    The voluntary extension program slated to begin in 2012 will be offered to youth who are not mentally or physically disabled and are in school or working at least 80 hours per month. The new law

    will allow the state to draw on federal funds to replace the more-than $52 million of state money now being used to place foster children with relatives. And while partici-pants will still be in contact with social workers and the juvenile court, their relation-ship will be less stringent and more flexible.

    Many of these foster youths come out of the system without the basic skills such as how to balance a checkbook, how to pay bills and how to apply for college or find a job, said Hobbs. Many fos-ter youth move from home to home and neighborhood to neighborhood. We know they have problems with mental health, welfare and unem-ployment, and were looking for ways to help.

    One way might be the im-plementation of the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD), a program man-dated under the provisions of

    Oakley resident Sue Hobbs, front row right, is part of a team of researchers at the Center for Public Policy Research at UC Davis. The Center is helping to assemble the National Youth in Transition Database, which is aimed at improving foster care through a survey of youth preparing to leave the system.

    Photo courtesy of Sue Hobbs

    by Ruth RobertsStaff Writer

    see Foster page 22A

    Residents to be polled on fire issues

    The East Contra Costa Fire Protection District will soon ask residents what kind of fire service they want, how much theyre willing to pay, and how that money should be collected.

    The ECCFPD Board of Directors this week voted to spend $40,000 on a poll to help give it direction in dealing with chronic under-funding that could see the 250-square-mile district run out of money by late 2011. Board Chairman Erick Stonebarger said the poll will probably be conducted af-

    ter the November election, but in time to analyze the data and put a possible tax measure on the ballot next June.

    It has to be all-encom-passing, Stonebarger said, adding that he wants it to an-swer questions such as whether residents want paramedics on the engines, are in favor of two levels of service suburban

    in some areas, rural in others and what type of tax they would prefer, if any.

    We need a snapshot of what the community wants in the way of service, he said. Its not just about how much we can get passed. Its about finding out what kind of ser-vice people want and then put-ting a package together to get

    them what they want.The poll is expected to

    take about 15 minutes to com-plete. The questions will be brought to the board for re-viewing and tweaking, if we deem it necessary, prior to the poll going forward, Stone-barger said.

    Stonebarger said that if the district chooses to put a tax measure on the ballot in June, he wants voters to also have a chance to begin directly electing board members.

    If were going to go ask for more money, then you have to let the people elect the peo-

    by Rick LemyreStaff Writer

    see Fire page 22A

    Its not just about how much we can get passed. Its about finding out what kind of service people want and then putting a package together to get them what they want.

    ECCFPD Chairman Erick Stonebarger

    Natio

    nalAwardWinning Newspapers

    Your Hometown Web Site www.thepress.net

    Vol. 10, No. 41 YOUR HOMETOWN WEEKLY NEWSPAPER October 8, 2010

    Falcons get goal-oriented

    Freedoms supprting cast water polo team is evolving into a squad thats less reliant on one superstar. Page 1B

    Big fans off campus

    The City Council honored a fantastic Falcon and NFL Teacher of the Year. Page 12A

    Untanglingthe Web The citys upgraded website will help residents navigate Oakleys information highway. Page 3A

    Online Now!

    www.thepress.netYour Hometown Web Site

    Towering trees mark one of the worlds great sanctuaries for the spirit.

    Magnificent Muirgo to news/WebExtras!

    The countys Aviation Advisory Committee is looking for a crew member.

    Take a seatgo to news/press releases

    A car and bike show highlighted a bash thrown in support of vets and their families.

    Troop Festgo to multimedia/videos

  • OCTOBER 8, 2010 COMMUNITY THEPRESS.NET | 3A

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    Real Estate Agent

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    Condo 1 bdrm 1 ba, 611 sf. Offers pool and security gate. Centrally located complex, close to schools and shopping.

    $93,400

    Two story, 3 bdrm. 2.5 bath, 1805 sf home has hardwood floors, real open floor plan, granite counters and cherry counters. Coming Soon

    Two story 3 bdrm. 1.5 bath, 1200 sf condo with bright open floor plan and updated kitchen. Has hardwood flooring and nice patio for entertaining. Well maintained grounds with pool. $320,000

    Single story 3 bdrm., 1 bath, 1022 sf home nestled in the heart of Brentwood. Walking to schools, shopping and parks. Hardwood floors. Great starter. $160,000

    This 5 bdrm 3 ba home is in Garin Ranch close to schools. Has open floor plan and inground pool with automatic cover. Backyard set up for entertaining. $319,000

    2827 Monument Blvd, Unit #22, Concord

    755 Oak Street, Brentwood 748 Craig Court, Brentwood.

    Nice 2 bdrm 2 bath, 1026 sf bottom unit with oak cabinets, neutral colors, ready for new owner. Family room has lots of natural light and cozy fireplace. $324,500

    Nice 2 bdrm 2 bath 1280 sf home. Lot size about 7651 sf. Needs a little TLC. Backyard has golf course view. $340,000

    226 Canyon Woods Way, Unit E, San Ramon

    1671 Bluebell Drive, Livermore

    Beautiful 3 bdrm, 2 ba, 1388 sf corner lot home with front and back landscaping. Contemporary design, must see. $133,850

    Visit Yogurt Jungle! Now Open at 761 2nd St., Downtown Brentwood.

    PREFERRED VENDOR: Dan Peterson, Home Mortgage

    Consultant, FHA Specialist with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. at 5611 Lone Tree Way, Suite 150, Brentwood. Please call his office

    at 925-516-3367.

    Cute 2 bedroom. 1 1/2 bath, 1,036 sf condo with private patio. Quiet neighborhood and great views. Park-like setting. $198,550

    54 Dowitcher Court, Pittsburg 1825 Gordon Verner Circle, Stockton

    2401 Eilers Lane, #1003, Lodi

    1562 Ashwood Drive, Martinez

    2539 Twin Creeks Drive, San Ramon

    Two story 3 bdrm. 2/5 bath, 1501 sf condo. Open floor plan. Granite counters, black appliances. Close to water feature. Great commute location. $312,500

    6156 Forget Me Not, Livermore

    City finds new ways to stay connected

    Some residents dont have time to at-tend Oakley City Council meetings, but now there are new ways to keep in touch with whats new in the city and its just a click away.

    Oakley recently launched its renovat-ed website, www.oakleyinfo.com, with a brand-new interface that makes accessing information easier. Reggie Decker, pub-lic information coordinator, said the new site has been enhanced to make navigating simpler so residents and potential Oakley visitors can effortlessly fi nd the informa-tion theyre looking for.

    The new site features a welcom-ing photo montage of Oakley highlights. Navigation buttons on the left plus drop down menus at the top right connect users with department, services and recreation links. While the site is more user friendly, the city is taking online communication a step further by dabbling in online network communities such as Facebook and Twit-ter. According to Decker, Facebook has surpassed Google as the most-visited site on the planet, managing 7 percent of all Web traffi c.

    We wanted to improve the website so that we have a way to get the latest in-formation out to our residents as soon as possible, Decker said. We redid the sites design to improve navigation, but

    weve also entered the online social net-works by creating Twitter and Facebook accounts. Its easy and its free, so we can get updates out to the public quickly s