American Heart Association Collaborates to Create Healthier Environments for Children in Early Child Care

By American Heart Association  |  2018-05-15

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Several child care and children’s organizations in California have collaborated with the American Heart Association (AHA) and joined the fight to create healthier environments for children by supporting funding allocation for programs that follow well researched healthy early care standards.

Currently, there is no state funding allocated for child care providers who wish to implement healthy early care standards. Thirty-three percent of providers stated they did not have enough money to make the healthy changes they wished to incorporate in their site.

AHA wants California to establish funding for dedicated technical assistance and grant opportunities for child care providers in low-income communities to implement healthy activities such as healthy eating, physical activity, and screen time limitations in their center or home.

“Early childhood programs can establish healthy habits for preschoolers like less screen time and more physical activities, which in turn will improve health outcomes,” stressed Jessica Sims, MD, Board Member, American Heart Association Los Angeles and Regional Medical Director, AltaMed Health Services. “Child care providers want to provide healthy environments for children, and they must be supported with resources. This is the opportunity,” Sims added.

With 433,000 California children spending a large part of their day in early care and education programs, such as Head Start, child care, Early Head Start or pre-kindergarten, many child care providers know the importance of caring for children properly and creating and reinforcing healthy habits.

Providers and parents want standards that will help all children grow up at a healthy weight. They want kids to:

  • Have access to healthy meals and snacks full of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains;
  • Be served more water or milk instead of sugary drinks like fruit drinks, sports drinks, soda, and sweetened waters;
  • Be physically active; and
  • Limit time spent watching TV or in front of a computer or tablet. 

Quality early care education can help shrink the achievement gap, improve health outcomes, and increase lifetime earnings. To learn more, go to http://www.heart.org/HealthyECE.

About American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Relax at the Sunflower Saddle Ranch During the Sacramento County Fair!

From Sacramento County Fair  |  2018-05-14

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sunflower Saddle Ranch will be calling your name during the 2018 Sacramento County Fair! Take a break during the Fair and relax under the olive trees as your children stay occupied with several fun and educational activities at the Sunflower Saddle Ranch. The children become the stars of the show while they compete in a fast-paced and action-packed pedal powered tractor pull.

The Sunflower Saddle Ranch is all about agricultural education. From learning to roping a cow to milking it, kids will learn the ins and outs of true rural farm life. The Sunflower Saddle Ranch will also feature several exploratory stations about agriculture and farming.

“The Sunflower Saddle Ranch is just one of many fun and educational activities that families can partake in at the Sacramento County Fair. Adults are free to let their kids play and learn while they take break under the olive trees at the Fairground. It’s a great little section of the fair that the whole family can enjoy,” says Pamela Fyock, CEO of the Sacramento County Fair. Kids Ages four to 12 years-old are welcome to join, play, and learn at the Sunflower Saddle Ranch!

Aside from The Sunflower Saddle Ranch there are numerous other family friendly activities taking place at the Sacramento County Fair. While you are there, be sure to check out the Great American Duck Races, A Walk on the Wile Side exhibit, Mind Works, the Great American Petting Zoo, and much more! The fun and excitement will take place from May 24th – May 28th on the Fairgrounds.

Tickets for the Fair and Grandstand events will be available for purchase online at www.sacfair.com or at the Sacramento County Fair office. Adult tickets are only $6.00, kids 12-and-under are FREE, and select events are discounted online until May 23rd. Join over 100,000 guests and experience more than 30 carnival rides, dozens of free exhibits, musical guests, and activities all Memorial Day Weekend.

As an added bonus this year, the Sacramento County Fair is partnering with Make-A-Wish® Foundation to host Terrell and his Adopt-A-Wish® sponsors, Sutter Health. Terrell, 14, who battles leukemia, wishes to have his very own carnival, so the Sacramento County Fairgrounds will open one day early so Terrell’s wish can come true.

Not only has Terrell has shown bravery by fighting his critical illness, but recently he was recognized as a local hero for saving neighbors in their apartment building after it caught on fire in Stockton. At his carnival, Sutter employees will be there to support him in his wish coming true as well the Stockton Fire Department to recognize him as a local hero.

“Wishes would not be possible without the collective support of our local community,” said Jennifer Stolo, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish® Northeastern California and Northern Nevada. “Because of Adopt-A-Wish sponsors like Sutter Health and lending lands from the Sacramento County Fair, Terrell’s wish is going to be a magical experience for him and his family.”

For more information on the Fair and a daily schedule visit www.sacfair.com and #ShareTheFair on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SacramentoCountyFair/, Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/saccountyfair, and on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sacfair

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SBA Disaster News - One Month Left to Apply for SBA Disaster Loans

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Director Tanya N. Garfield of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West today reminded California small nonfarm businesses in Alameda, Amador, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties of the June 13, 2018, deadline to apply for an SBA federal disaster loan for economic injury. These low‑interest loans are to offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by excessive rain in San Joaquin County that occurred Oct. 1, 2016 – May, 1, 2017.
 
According to Garfield, small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. “Economic Injury Disaster Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact,” said Garfield.
 
“SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the applicant suffered any property damage,” Garfield added.
 
The interest rate is 4 percent for businesses and 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
 
By law, SBA makes Economic Injury Disaster Loans available when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. The Secretary declared this disaster on Oct. 13, 2017.
 
Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency about the U.S. Department of Agriculture assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration.
 
Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - A record number of Californians were diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease (STD) in 2017, according to a new report released by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). More than 300,000 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and early syphilis were reported: a 45 percent increase compared to five years ago.

Particularly concerning, in 2017, there were 30 stillbirths due to congenital syphilis in California. This is the highest number reported since 1995.

STDs can cause a number of serious health problems. If left untreated, chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pelvic pain. Syphilis can cause permanent loss of vision, hearing and other neurologic problems.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea rates are highest among people under age 30. Rates of chlamydia are highest among young women, and males account for the majority of syphilis and gonorrhea cases.

“STDs are preventable by consistently using condoms, and many STDs can be cured with antibiotics,” said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. “Regular testing and treatment are very important for people who are sexually active, even for people who have no symptoms. Most people infected with an STD do not know it.”

CDPH is collaborating with local health departments and organizations throughout the state to raise awareness. CDPH is working with the California Department of Education and community groups to implement the newly enacted California Healthy Youth Act, which mandates comprehensive STD/HIV prevention education in schools.

Other state efforts leverage innovative strategies such as courses for medical providers and teachers, expedited partner treatment to local clinics, and free and low cost online ordering options for home delivery of condoms and STD test kits. For more information, visit the CDPH Sexually Transmitted Diseases Control Branch.

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California Kicks Off 2018 Summer Travel Season in Record Numbers

By AAA  |  2018-05-14

According to AAA’s first travel forecast of the summer, nearly 5.2 million Californians are projected to travel over the upcoming three-day weekend.

Nearly 5.2 Million Californians Will Travel Over Memorial Day Weekend

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner, and Californians are expected to kickoff the unofficial start of summer in record numbers.

According to AAA’s first travel forecast of the summer, nearly 5.2 million Californians are projected to travel over the upcoming three-day weekend. This is an increase of 5.3 percent from last yearand the highest number on record for the holiday. AAA projects that 41.5 million Americans will travel nationwide, nearly 5 percent more than last year and the most in more than a dozen years.

“The highest gas prices since 2014 won’t keep travelers home this Memorial Day weekend,” said Michael Blasky, spokesman for AAA Northern California. “A strong economy and growing consumer confidence are giving Californians all the motivation they need to kick off what we expect to be a busy summer travel season.” 

By the Numbers: Memorial Day Travel Forecast

  • 2018 will be the seventh straight year of state growth and fourth consecutive year of nationwide growth during the holiday period.
     
  • More than 4.3 million Californians will drive to their destinations, an increase of 5.2 percent over last year.
     
  • Nearly 528,000 Californians are taking to the skies this Memorial Day, increasing air travel by 7.5 percent over last year. 

Outsmart traffic by avoiding worst times to hit the road
For those traveling by car, INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, in collaboration with AAA, predicts drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion on Thursday, May 24 and Friday, May 25 – in the late afternoon as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers. Several major U.S. metros, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, could experience double the travel times compared to a normal trip. 

Although these travel times might look daunting, be glad you're not driving through the core of the Big Apple: The largest delay in the nation is expected to occur in New York City, where a normal 23-minute commute on I-95 West is predicted to take 2 hrs & 18 minutes, 506% higher than normal
 

 

    Name          

Region Peak Normal Travel Time Predicted Travel Time Delay % Delay Speed (MpH)
I680 N San Francisco Bay 5/25/2018
3:15 PM 
53 mins 1 hrs & 7 mins 13 mins   25% 12.6
US101 N San Francisco Bay 5/23/2018
4:30 PM
31 mins 59 mins 28 mins 89% 16.7
US101 S San Francisco Bay 5/28/2018
2 PM
16 mins 43 mins 27 mins 172% 23.2
CA37 E San Francisco Bay 5/24/2018
4:30 PM
52 mins 1 hrs & 30 mins 37 mins 71% 11
CA37 W San Francisco Bay 5/25/2018
3:30 PM
20 mins 34 mins 14 mins 69% 28.7
I80 S San FranciscoBay 5/29/2018
7:45 AM
36 mins 40 mins 4 mins 12% 22
I80 N San Francisco
Bay
5/25/2018
5:30 PM
41 mins 45 mins 4 mins 10% 19.3
I680 S San Francisco
Bay
5/24/2018 5:15 PM 13 mins 18 mins 5 mins 41% 45.3

The top domestic destinations for Memorial Day weekend, based on AAA travel bookings, are:

  • Orlando, Florida
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Anchorage, Alaska

Higher gas prices not deterring travelers
The 88 percent of travelers choosing to drive will pay the most expensive Memorial Day gas prices since 2014. California gas prices are nearly 70 cents higher compared to last year, due to expensive crude oil, record gasoline demand and shrinking global supply. 

Lower hotel, airline and car rental costs make up for higher gas prices
Travelers can expect some relief in their wallets when paying for car rentals and most mid-range hotels. According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, the average daily cost of a car rental this Memorial Day is the lowest rate in the past four years and 11 percent cheaper than last year at an average at $59. Travelers will also save on AAA Three Diamond hotels, which are trending 14 percent less expensive than last year, with an average rate of $186 nightly.

Before setting out for Memorial Day, download the free AAA Mobile app. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find the lowest gas prices, make travel arrangements, access exclusive member discounts, request roadside assistance and more. Learn more at www.AAA.com/mobile.

The 2018 Memorial day holiday period is defined as Thursday, May 24 to Monday, May 28.

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit. The London-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. 

AAA Northern California offers a wide array of automotive, travel, insurance, DMV, financial services and consumer discounts to its 4 million members. AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers since it was founded more than 117 years ago.  Visit AAA.com for more information. 

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It’s Time to Spruce Up Your Sprinklers!

By Sacramento Suburban Water District Staff  |  2018-05-11

Top 5 Sprinkler Problems to Watch for This Spring

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Most of the water we use goes to watering our yards and landscapes. By checking your sprinklers on a regular basis for problems and fine-tuning their performance, you can make sure every drop counts.

Here are some of the top problems:

Broken Sprinklers

At least monthly, run your sprinklers one zone at a time and look for any broken sprinklers and replace them as soon as you find them.

Clogged sprinklers

Dirt and debris like grass clippings and twigs can clog the nozzles on a sprinkler leading to a blocked or uneven spray.

Misdirected sprinklers

Sprinklers can sometimes be bumped when the lawn is mowed and end up watering the driveway, sidewalk or even your house. Walk your yard and look for sprinklers that are not pointed in the right direction.

Broken Connections

If you notice a sprinkler isn’t working and there’s a large wet or soggy area in your yard, it’s possible you have broken sprinkler line or leak.

Run-Off

After you run your sprinklers check for water running into the street and storm drain. If you see excess water, shorten your sprinklers’ run time.

And don’t forget, Sacramento Suburban Water District is here to help you keep your sprinkler system operating at its best. Call us today at 916.972.7171 to set up a Water-Wise House Call. Our water efficiency experts will adjust your sprinkler timer and troubleshoot any problems. They will also let you know how to apply for rebates for sprinkler system upgrades and WaterSense-labeled weather-based irrigation controllers.

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Statement From FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on the Trump Administration’s Plan to Lower Drug Prices

FDA Statement  |  2018-05-11

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Today is an important day in the Administration’s collaborative effort to address the rising cost of drugs. We know that the high list cost of drugs can adversely impact peoples’ access to medicines. People rely on medicines to improve their quality of life, manage chronic conditions and treat life-threatening illnesses. Access to prescription drugs is a matter of public health. I applaud President Trump for making this one of the Administration’s priorities and introducing a bold plan that puts patients first in advancing actions to address the rising list prices of prescription medicines. The FDA shares the goal of ensuring that American patients have access to quality and affordable care that meets their needs. This is why we’re prioritizing actions to encourage the timely development and approval of generics and biosimilars.

To date, we’ve taken a number of steps as part of our Drug Competition Action Plan (DCAP). We’re helping remove barriers to generic drug development and market entry in an effort to spur competition that results in lower drug prices for patients, and greater access.

One key aspect of our role is to strengthen and enhance the overall generic drug review process. We’ve committed to timelier generic drug reviews to reduce the cycles of review that generic applications typically undergo. In 2017, we approved a record number of generic drug applications—more than 1,000 full or tentative approvals. We expect to beat that goal this year. And although the FDA doesn’t have a direct role in drug pricing, by ensuring that regulatory requirements are efficient, predictable and science-based; we can help reduce the time, uncertainty and cost of generic and biosimilar product development.

In addition, we’re calling out abuses of the system that impede competition and doing our part to fix them. The agency is committed to adopting strong policies and taking action, when necessary, to reduce gaming of statutory and regulatory requirements to help ensure that drug companies don’t use anticompetitive strategies to delay development and approval of important generic drugs.

Our efforts have included taking significant steps to support complex generic drug development and application review; prioritizing the review of certain generics; publishing a list of off-patent, off-exclusivity branded drugs; and enhancing the efficiency of certain aspects of the submission process for generic drug applicants.

The President made it clear today that we all need to play a role—including the FDA and its sister agencies like the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services—to put American patients first by taking bold actions to help patients have access to affordable medicine. The FDA will continue what it started with DCAP by taking new steps to address the significant health challenges we face and extend that momentum to implementing new measures as part of a forthcoming Biosimilar Action Plan that aims to facilitate the development and approval of biosimilars—which will help address patient access to costly biological products that can treat a range of chronic and life-threatening conditions. We will also be taking additional steps to address some of the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) “gaming” abuses that can delay the entry of generic drugs.

These are among some of the new actions that we’ll be taking in the coming weeks. The FDA will continue to work to promote drug competition and access for patients, to advance our public health goals.

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