Marin schools anti-vaping grant: Nearly $500K a year through 2022

As Marin students return to school, educators and health officials are hoping nearly $500,000 in state grants announced this month will help them curb the rise in youth vaping.

The Novato Unified, Tamalpais Union and Ross Valley school districts will share the award, which will be distributed annually for three years. The tobacco-use prevention education grants from the California Department of Education award Novato Unified $130,278; Tam Union, $224,100; and Ross Valley, $114,737.

“We’re thrilled three school districts were awarded grants, but this issue really affects all schools,” said Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County public health officer, in an email. “The plan is to spread the programs and tools developed under the grants to all school districts, to raise the bar countywide. These grants are really going to accelerate our progress.”

Vaporizers, also known as vapes or e-cigarettes, are battery-operated devices that heat up liquid nicotine to generate an aerosol that users inhale. Aside from assertions that e-cigarettes can birth a nicotine addiction that eventually can expand to regular cigarettes, vaping is being researched for possible links to a variety of health problems — including neurological damage and lung problems such as coughing or asthma.

Chemicals in vaping fluid also can cause acute lung injuries and contribute to eventual lung and cardiovascular disease, according to the American Lung Association. According to the California Healthy Kids Survey, youth vaping has increased from one in 10 to one in three students, Willis has noted.

Novato Unified, which received an earlier anti-tobacco state grant of $600,000 in December 2018, is launching a pilot project this year to install vaping detectors at its schools and has hired a school resource officer to help in education, counseling and enforcement efforts, said Amie Carter, assistant superintendent. With the new grant, the district also will hire a full-time educator to do outreach …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Health


Can California put cars in the rear-view mirror?

The story goes that Californians love their cars. But much of the time that relationship is dysfunctional, launching drivers into the teeth of traffic jams, fouling the air and spewing gases that undermine state policies to combat climate change. Most personal cars sit quietly at the curb or in a garage for 95% of the day, so why even have one?

With transportation — mostly passenger vehicles — responsible for about 40% of the state’s greenhouse-gas emissions, policymakers are ramping up efforts to uncouple Californians from their cars. As they nudge people into ride-sharing, public transit and housing built to enable both, officials are playing a long game. And they’re navigating a political and social minefield dotted with oil interests and drivers loath to give up cars without easy and affordable alternatives.

There’s also our clichéd romance with the automobile, long abetted by the state’s film, television and music industries with such tropes as the Beach Boys’ surfboard-toting station wagon and TV commercials showing drivers gliding up Pacific Coast Highway, convertible top down, gleaming hair whipping in the breeze, not another soul in sight.

One of the things those commercials don’t say: Cars cost nearly $10,000 a year to operate in California, more if you have an older one. And unless something drastic happens to get motorists into cleaner cars and to drive less overall, “we are never going to meet our greenhouse-gas goals,” said Assemblyman Phil Ting, a San Francisco Democrat who has sponsored a handful of bills to reduce transportation emissions.

Those emissions are actually rising, and numerous studies have warned that unless they are significantly reduced, the state won’t achieve its goal of lowering greenhouse-gas output to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. Coupled with existing state measures to encourage adoption of electric cars and reduce the carbon content of …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


Oakland’s Flora chef gives Green Eggs and Ham a fresh, modern update

Chefs find inspiration everywhere. At Oakland’s Flora, chef Rebecca Boice called upon an old memory when she was updating her brunch menu.

“Inspired by the Dr. Seuss classic and a hazy memory of a childhood friend’s mom putting green food coloring in her eggs for St. Patrick’s Day, I wondered what a modern brunch version would look like,” the Zuni Cafe alum says. “An open-face sandwich with eggs fried in fresh herbs and ham, of course!” she says.

This whimsical take on Green Eggs and Ham relies on a few easy tricks. It all starts, Boice says, with great ingredients — “I use local Fra’Mani ham (and) Kitty Dolcini’s eggs from Petaluma are my favorite!”

Add a “fistful” — about ¼ cup per serving — of your favorite herbs and greens. Boice uses parsley, tarragon, dill, mint and chives in the spring and summer, and rosemary, sage, nettles, spinach and baby kale in the fall and winter.

“Save your good extra-virgin olive oil for salad. A neutral olive oil is perfectly OK here,” she adds. And don’t add the eggs to the pan until the oil is hot. “You want to hear a little sizzle action when the eggs hit the pan.”

And when you’re ready to serve, add a drizzle of Salmoriglio, a simple Italian sauce made with olive oil, fresh herbs, garlic and lemon.

Flora’s Green Eggs and Ham

Serves 1


1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ cup of your favorite herbs and greens

2 eggs

1-inch thick slice of bread, toasted and buttered

3 or 4 thin slices good-quality ham

Salmoriglio sauce (see recipe) to garnish


Heat a small fry pan over medium heat. Add olive oil to the heated pan. Add the chopped herbs to the warm oil and cook for a quick minute. Crack the eggs into the pan.

While the eggs are frying, assemble the sandwich. Brush toasted …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


Hayward historical society to relocate, temporarily close museum

HAYWARD — Planning a visit to the Hayward Area Historical Society on Foothill Boulevard to learn a little local history?

Do it before Sept. 1, because that’s when the society’s Museum of History and Culture galleries will temporarily close so they can be relocated to the building’s second floor.

The financially strapped society plans to lease out its ground floor, where historical items and memorabilia are currently displayed, to help raise money as it continues to search for a buyer of its building.

“It was a very difficult decision that was not taken lightly. We had reviewed all the possible options,” Richard Patenaude, the society’s board president, said in a press release. “After careful review and planning, we determined this was the best way forward for HAHS to reduce the museum operations to a more sustainable size while generating some additional income by leasing the gallery spaces to a new tenant.”

The gallery size is just under 10,000 square feet. Interim Executive Director Diane Curry declined Thursday to say how much the society was seeking in rent for the space.

While the first floor is closed, modifications will be made on the second floor so it can house the research library, archives and staff offices, as well as displays from the shifted gallery.

“The space will be more intimate, but we are excited about the changes,” Curry said. “We will reuse, repurpose and reinvent exhibits to provide new experiences and stories for our audience.”

The gallery is expected to reopen sometime in the middle of next year.

The asking price for the building at 22380 Foothill Blvd. — which houses photos and archives from the Oakland Tribune and records of the San Lorenzo Pioneer Cemetery, in addition to papers from former Congressman Pete Stark — is $6.3 million.

Along with the Tribune’s archives, the society’s collection includes more than …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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