Rancho Cielo loses out on grant

From the Monterey Herald: The Rancho Cielo construction program in Salinas has been called the "rock star" of the YouthBuild programs nationwide.

Yet when it came to funding the program, Rancho Cielo didn't getting paid to do another encore.

Officials at YouthBuild — a federal program where at-risk youth work toward their GED or high school diplomas while learning job skills by building affordable housing — have told Rancho Cielo that after two years it is "getting the best results, it is the most smoothly and most professionally run program," said Executive Director Susie Brusa.

This year, however, Rancho Cielo did not receive the $1.1 million U.S. Department of Labor YouthBuild grant it was expecting.

Purnell: Growing community, one soccer game at a time

Carissa PurnellFrom the Salinas Californian -- Since 2010, a free soccer program run out of the Cesar Chavez Library has taught young people the basics of the game, like passing and formation — and much more, including how to communicate and develop team rapport. Dubbed “Biblioteca Cesar Chavez Futbol Club,” [more information here (PDF)] the program was started by Carissa Purnell, the Salinas Library technology manager, with key assistance since the beginning from two CSUMB students.

It has become “an amazing thing,” says Purnell. In addition to playing soccer, “students develop English skills on the field, they develop writing skills through handouts and exercises, and they break territorial lines to join in a common cause.”

In the following interview, she describes how the club came to be and to grow, and the difference it’s making across the community.

Georgina Mendoza: Exposure to violence harms children

Salinas Community Safety Director and CASP Director Georgina MendozaFrom the Salinas Californian: We’re all horrified at the thought of children suffering violence directly. But what many of us don’t realize is that simply being exposed to violence can harm a child for life — and impose huge costs on the community.

According to a recently released report, childhood exposure to violence, or CEV, is a national crisis, affecting about two out of every three American children.

The report follows a year of work by the US Attorney General’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence, co-chaired by baseball great Joe Torre and Justice Department administrator Robert Listenbee Jr.

Among the members of that task force was Georgina Mendoza, Community Safety Director for the City of Salinas. In the following interview, Mendoza describes the urgent need to address CEV both nationally and locally.

Volunteer now for Castle of the Dead

Sun Street Centers and Salinas Girls Fast Pitch are hosting their 3rd annual Haunted House and Pumpkin Patch at the Storm House (behind the Rodeo Grounds), October 26th—31st, 2013.

You can volunteer to be an actor, a game operator, a costume or makeup artist, or to help with building!

Volunteer meetings will start in September.

For more information contact: Leslie Leach lleach@sunstreet.org 831.753.5150.

A downloadable flyer is attached.

Parents Can Help Prevent Gun Violence

The first in a series of what can be done to prevent and/or curb gun violence.  Stay tuned for additional actions that can be done by each and every one of us. 

As we know, little will change until we shift what we have accepted as normal and alter the culture that has been created to accept violence. 

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