Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Long-awaited removal of East Panther Creek Dam completed by Foothill Conservancy and local contractors

The Foothill Conservancy has worked for restoration and protection of the Mokelumne River and its watershed since 1989. On November 3, 2016, that work took a great blast forward with the long-awaited removal of East Panther Creek Dam in Amador County east of Pioneer, as Copperopolis contractor California Drilling and Blasting dynamited the main body of the dam.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Foothill Conservancy Vice-President Pete Bell, whose efforts led to the dam removal. “We’re really happy to see this project finally come to pass.”
Originally built by PG&E in the 1930s, the East Panther Creek Diversion Dam spanned a tributary stream to the North Fork of the Mokelumne River, diverting water to PG&E’s Mokelumne River hydroelectric project. The dam had not been in use since it was silted up in the 1997 floods.
In 1999, as PG&E was negotiating terms for a new federal hydroelectric license with state and federal agencies and nonprofit organizations, the utility agreed to Foothill Conservancy’s request to breach not only East Panther Creek Dam, but to also breach nearby West Panther Creek Dam and remove the Beaver Creek Diversion. Ceasing diversions from the smaller creeks had very little effect on PG&E’s hydropower production, but a proportionally large benefit for streams and fish. Breaching the two larger dams reconnected fish populations that had been separated for decades, benefited local rainbow trout genetic diversity, and moved sediment downstream to the North Fork Mokelumne River, whose natural sediment load has been reduced by Salt Springs Dam upstream.
In 2003, PG&E breached East Panther Creek Dam, completely removed West Panther Creek Dam and dismantled the diversion works on Beaver Creek. But the removal of East Panther wasn’t accomplished until this year, when funding became available from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.  The drilling and blasting of the dam were followed by debris removal carried out by Campbell Construction of Sutter Creek.
“We were really happy to hire local contractors to do this work,” said Foothill Conservancy Watershed Conservation Associate Reuben Childress. “Since we’re a community-based conservation organization, we prefer to work in ways that benefit our local communities and economy. It was great to have people who know and fish this creek play such a key role in the restoration project.”
Removing part of the dam’s old diversion structure proved to be a larger challenge than expected, so a portion of the dam adjacent to the creek bank was not removed. The Conservancy plans to complete the project next fall when the creek again returns to its lowest seasonal flow.
The dam removal agreements were part of a larger, national award-winning settlement agreement for the PG&E Mokelumne River Project. Parties to the agreement and participants in its ongoing Ecological Resources Committee include not only PG&E and Foothill Conservancy, but the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Division of Boating and Waterways, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Natural Heritage Institute, American Whitewater and Friends of the River.
Childress recently completed a short film on the history and process of the dam removal. While the Conservancy planned to show the film in Sutter Creek on December 2 at the special screening of river restoration film, DamNation, technical difficulties intervened. Now everyone can see the video on YouTube, at
You can also read more about the East Panther Dam removal on PG&E’s Currents website:
For more information, contact Reuben Childress,, 209-223-3508.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Millerrail Farms challenges growers to support non-profit Rail Road Flat group

Friends of Rail Road Flat School (FORRFS) thanks Millerrail Farms in Rail Road Flat for their recent $3,000 donation. Out of the many programs that the non-profit implements to provide enrichment at the Rail Road Flat School, Millerrail Farms chose the Music Programs and Preschool Programs to benefit from their donation. The services of FORRFS are vast, and they welcome donors to choose a specific program. Without donations such as this FORRFS could not maintain our average yearly operating budget of $20,000.00. FORRFS operates solely on donations, grants, and fundraising. A spokesperson says she’s grateful that Millerrail Farms ”sees the value in sustaining our group and helping us continue providing services to the students and community. “

The FORRFS mission is to preserve the right of children to be educated in the community in which they live. FORRFS is comprised of parents, teachers, community members, and school alumni providing programs that give students a broader education that will result in increased student success. Additionally FORRFS provide community support in various ways including wellness workshops, free community meals, counseling, “Makers Place” workshops and more. FORRFS operates independently from the Calaveras Unified School District as a community based non-profit 501(c)(3) organization operating under the auspices of Blue Mountain Community Renewal Council. EIN #68-0346108.

Millerrail Farms would like to challenge all growers to support the community groups that support the towns they live in. The District Two area of Calaveras County surrounding RRF School has seen a dramatic population influx, largely compromised of Cannabis Cultivators. Without groups like FORRFS, these small towns would struggle to keep viable . To make a tax deductible donation to Friends of Rail Road Flat School, checks may be sent to P.O. Box 223, Rail Road Flat. CA 95248.

The School Open House is scheduled for May 25th and will be a good time to see the FORRFS Enrichment Program offerings first hand. Additionally they offer a farm to fork free community meal the last Thursday of every month – open to all to come and dine with the students.

For more info or to donate:
Rochelle Sweet (209)754-3054
Or Autumn Andahl (209)304-8932

Friday, December 2, 2016

Amador Child Abuse Prevention Council - December 2016

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It's our job as adults to keep kids safe.
CAPC Newsletter                                                  December 2016
New mini-grant funding opportunities through 
the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Amador.
Click HERE for all the details!
What Would You Do?
The holidays - though a time of celebration - can often induce many added layers of stress for families. That stress is sometimes directed at children in the form of verbal or physical abuse in public spaces, such as stores. Though it is difficult to witness, there are steps that can be taken to ease these stressful situations. Most importantly, remembering to treat the parent (or caregiver) with dignity and respect is key; empathetic statements of how difficult it can be to be a parent are always in order. Prevent Child Abuse America has shared this article about the difficulties of stepping forward and intervening on behalf of children. We hope that it will offer insights as to what each of us can do to keep all children safe.

Lack of Awareness about Abuse Keeps People on the Sidelines
Even when they want to help, people often hesitate to step in when they suspect a child is being maltreated, according to a leading child abuse expert. The subject of intervention was explored in a recent posting. The article, which was prompted by a viral Web photo taken by a woman confronting a father in a department store over his treatment of his daughter, offers a number of suggestions on how to address potential abuse, including always treating the parent with dignity and avoiding being confrontational.
 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Would you step in if you saw a child being harshly punished?

While almost everyone can say it's important to prevent child abuse, it's not quite clear what to do when it calls for taking action. Many of us have walked past a situation that left us uneasy, thinking it was not our place to intervene, or not knowing the right thing to do or say. A recent incident in Texas has brought this issue to light again.
Last month in a Walmart, Erika Burch took photos of a man pushing a shopping cart with his daughter's hair wrapped around its handle. The girl looked distressed and the man did not stop after Burch tried to intervene three times, Burch had said. She then called the police. The local police and Child Protective Services conducted an investigation, and did not file charges in this case. The incident hit national news once Burch posted about it on Facebook.
Would you have done anything in this situation? Learning what might motivate someone to help a child is important to Prevent Child Abuse America and we commissioned a study by The Montana Institute to use the science of 'social norms'- rules or expectations that govern behavior in a group or community-to shed light on this topic.
In this national sample, the research found 57 percent of the respondents took action when they suspected a child was being abused, but only 3 percent of them believed that their peers would do the same thing! This tells us that there seems to be a social norm that assumes most people would not take action for a child at risk. We need to ensure that the public knows that themajority of people would take action to help a child who appears to be at risk, so being an "up-stander" or a proactive bystander is not breaking a social norm.
Our research further illuminated why people don't intervene. The most common reason was the fear of making things worse for a child. You can reduce that possibility by treating the parent with dignity and respect; empathic statements of how difficult it can be to be a parent are always in order. In the Texas incident, Burch appeared to be more confrontational with the dad, which is not recommended by experts. Enraging or humiliating a parent with statements or deeds could feasibly make them angrier. If a parent seems out of control, don't hesitate to call law enforcement.
One-third of the respondents shared that they didn't take any action because they didn't know what to do. While it can be difficult, here's advice on how to do it in a safe and respectful way:
"Everybody has a role to play in protecting kids from abuse. One person can't solve the big problem, but each of us can do something to help. When "ordinary people" step in to help a child or support a parent, they become part of the solution. It really does make a difference." - Beth Bitler, program director, Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance. The Alliance partners with local organizations to offer Front Porch Project sessions to help community members support children and families.
"Find one kind word to say to the parent to defuse the situation, but it's not as easy as it sounds. The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia offers "One Kind Word" trainings which guides someone through a series of steps when they encounter this type of situation."
- Flaura Koplin Winston, MD, PhD, scientific director, Center for Injury Research and Prevention at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
"If you come across a parent punishing a child, I always suggest doing something I remember my father doing more than 50 years ago, and his common wisdom holds true today. Simply offer to help the parent, 'It looks like you are having a hard time, can I help you?'  You can offer to hold the door, carry the packages, watch the other kids. Any offer to help will stop the actions and give you an opportunity."
- W. Douglas Tynan, PhD, director integrated care, American Psychological Association
Know that you're in good company when you intervene for a child at risk, the majority of adults in the United States would do the same thing. Speak up on behalf of a child, reach out to an over-stressed parent, and play a role in making your community a safe and supportive place.
Rosenzweig is also author of The Sex-Wise Parent  and The Parent's Guide to Talking About Sex: A Complete Guide to Raising (Sexually) Safe, Smart, and Healthy Children.  For more information, read her blog and  follow @JanetRosenzweig on Twitter.
Helping Children (and parents!)  
Cope with Holiday Stress
Whatever your special holiday, the holiday season can cause stress in young children. Children respond to stress in their own ways: crying, tantrums, clinging, excessive energy, temporary regression such as thumb sucking and many other ways.
These tips can help reduce stressful situations!
* Establish predictable routines. Eat regular meals. Make sure that children get enough sleep. Plan for rest times.
* Take time to explain the day's activities. Children need to know what is going to happen.
* Prepare ahead for a hectic day. Plan for snacks. Quick, take-along snacks such as crackers, veggies, and fruit require no refrigeration and can be shared when shopping lines are long or hunger makes tempers flare.
* Slow down. If the family is always rushing, consider cutting back on the number of planned activities or schedule them over several days.
* Allow time for children and you to play and move. Most shopping activities are boring to children. Allow them time to use some of their endless energy!
* Set a good example yourself. Avoid overextending yourself by trying to do too much. Plan quiet times and "get away" activities for yourself.
*Share humor in difficult situations. Take a "step back" and relax. Breathe.
*Express positive appreciation for cooperative behavior. Provide LOTS AND LOTS OF HUGS!
Child Abuse Prevention Mini-Grants Now Available 

We are pleased to announce that CAPC has funding available for child abuse prevention mini-grant proposals for the 2016-17 fiscal year. One-time mini-grants will be awarded up to $2,000. For all the details and an application click on the links below. 
Upcoming Events
NEW!  Free Mandated Reporter Training  
The second Thursday of every month*, from 10:00am - 12:00pm, the Child Abuse Prevention Council is holding free mandated reporter trainings.

Open to parents, child care providers, teachers, the community, staff or colleagues needing a refresher course, or new staff with no previous training, give us a call, (209) 223-5921. For the flyer with all the information, click HERE
*There will be no December meeting, see you after the holidays, January 13th

Mom to Mom 
Second Saturday of each month, 2:30-4:00pm
975 Broadway, Jackson. Call 257-1092 for free child care. 
(The last meeting of this group will in December. For additional support and resources, please call (209) 257-1092.) 
Next CAPC Meeting
Monday, January 30, 10:30am 
975 Broadway, Jackson
About CAPC
Our Vision
All children know how they are valued; all families receive the support, education and tools necessary to give every child a safe, healthy, and nurturing home; and a community that actively supports the health, safety, and education of its children.
Our Mission 
CAPC is committed to preventing all forms of child abuse in Amador County through community partnerships, free trainings, education, and family-centered events that value children, strengthen families, and engage communities. 
First 5 Logo
Investing in Our Youngest Children
Stay up to date on all the latest news and information for the youngest children in our county! Sign up for First 5 Amador's monthly e-newsletter HERE!
Child Abuse Prevention Council of Amador, Mail: PO Box 815, Jackson, CA 95642,Location: 975 Broadway, Jackson, CA 95642

Sutter Creek Lions donate to Parker's Pediatric Oncology Prom

Thursday, December 1, 2016

First 5 Amador - December 2016

As a parent, you are your child's first and most important teacher!
Ready ... Set ... Grow!
December 2016
Like us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter  
Upcoming Events

This month join us at First 5 Amador's Children's Holiday Festival. Friday, December 95:30-8:00pm
975 Broadway, Jackson 

Children's Holiday Festival
Friday, December 95:30-8:00pm
975 Broadway, Jackson
Mom to Mom
Perinatal Wellness Support Group for Pregnant and New Moms 
Second Saturday of every month, 2:30-4:00pm
975 Broadway, Jackson. RSVP for free child care, 257-1092.
Mark your calendars, the last meeting will be in December. 
Third Wednesday each month, 6:00-7:30pm
Sutter Amador Outpatient Bldg, Mountain Room. Call 257-1092 for more information. 
Playgroups follow the ACUSD calendar.
Click for the schedule of times and locations.

For more listings, please visit our Calendar.
15th Annual 
Children's Holiday Festival 
Winter festivals around the world...  

This year j 
oin us for our 15th annual Children's Holiday Festival onFriday, December 9, from
5:30 - 8:00pm, First 5 Amador, at the Margaret Dalton Children's Center, 975 Broadway, Jackson.

There will be face painting, crafts to make, healthy snacks, and free photos with Santa. Visit up to 20 booths representing different countries from all corners of the world. Bring the whole family to this free event. Child-friendly food donations for the Interfaith Food Bank are encouraged, such as:canned fruit, pasta, boxed meals, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, cereal, rice,
and cereal/granola bars, and diapers.  
Dad and Me Every Month!

Celebrate being a dad every month at our Dad and Meoutings, held at fun venues around the county.
This month join Dad and Me at First 5 Amador's
15th annual Children's Holiday Festival!

Click HERE for the flyer with all the information.
Donations to the Food Bank!

The Interfaith F 
ood Bank could use your help to feed families! Items that are helpful for families year-round with children includ

canned fruit, pasta, boxed meals, macaroni and  
cheese, peanut butter, cereal, rice, and cereal/granola bars, and diapers

During December, the Food Bank is looking for these top 10 NON-PERISHABLE items:
stuffing,veggies & fruit (canned),cranberry (canned), 
yams (canned), soups, stews, chili & pastas, cereal,
peanut butter, rice, tuna and canned beans

AND always - they could use PAPER BAGS! 

Click the link here for more information about perishable food items for December and also about how you can get involved:

Feed Amador
readingtipsQUICK TIPS of the MONTH 
Healthy Holiday Snack   

Tempt your children (and friends and family too!) with fun and colorful snacks this holiday season. Here's a quick one to get you started.

Pita Tree Wedges
4 flavored or plain pita folds or pita (pocket) breads (about 6 inches in diameter)
16 thin pretzel sticks, halved
1 cup guacamole
1/4 cup very finely chopped red bell pepper
1. Cut each pita fold into 8 wedges. Insert pretzel stick half into center of bottom of each wedge to 
    form "tree trunk."
2. Spread about 1 teaspoon guacamole on each pita wedge.
3. Blot bell pepper with paper towel to remove excess moisture. Sprinkle about 1/4 teaspoon bell
    pepper on each wedge or arrange to form a garland. If desired, cover and refrigerate up to 8 hours
    before serving.

 Bon appetit! 
   Calling all children 0 to 5 years of age.   
Join Amador's favorite reading club!
Imagination Library Logo
Over 800 Amador kids and counting! Get free books for your children! Sign your child up today and start receiving one free book every month from the Imagination Library! This is a free program, available to all Amador County children aged 0-4 (from birth until their 5th birthday).
All you have to do is read to your child!   
For more information click here. 
It's Our Job as Adults to Keep Kids Safe

Stay up to date on all the news and information about keeping our kids safe from abuse and neglect. Sign up for the Amador Child Abuse Prevention Council's monthly e-newsletter HERE!
First 5 Amador | (209) 257-1092 |
PO Box 815 / 975 Broadway | Jackson, CA 95642
First 5 Amador supports and designs programs for children 0-5 years old and their Families. 
For more information call us at (209) 257-1092, visit our website,and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
Like us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter
First 5 Amador, PO Box 815 / 975 Broadway, Jackson, CA 95642