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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
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
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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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