Thursday, February 20, 2003
Fight For Civil Liberties
On Thursday, Feb. 20, several community groups will host a forum about recent threats to civil liberties (hiding under the guise of the USA Patriot Act), and how American citizens' civil liberties may be affected locally.
The forum will feature information on government secrecy, domestic spying, secret searches, surveillance, government email monitoring, government access to library records, immigrant tracking and more. No, it's not an episode of the Sopranos. It's real, and it's in Monterey County.
The public meeting will begin at 7pm at the Salinas Community Center's Santa Lucia Room, 940 N. Main St. Featured panelists include Sanjeev Bery, Northern California ACLU field office rep; Juan Oliverez, professor of ethnic studies at Hartnell College; Michael Stamp, attorney and constitutional law professor at Monterey College of Law; Michelle Welsh, attorney and legal committee co-chair, ACLU-Monterey County Chapter. Salinas Mayor Anna Caballero will give a welcome address.
This community forum is hosted by The Monterey County Alliance to Protect Civil Liberties, The Salinas Action League, ACLU-Monterey County Chapter and the Peace Coalition of Monterey County.
March For Healthcare Justice
In 1994, Natividad Medical Center told the public "a lot will be changing in the future. But the most important thing won't change at all: our commitment to providing accessible, affordable, high-quality health care."
Today, facing a $12 million deficit, the County hospital may be forced to make cuts. If the Board of Supervisors votes to accept all the proposed cuts outpatient clinics could be shutdown. More than 50,000 people who use the clinics might not have healthcare. Hospital beds may be reduced by 15 percent. More than 200 jobs may be eliminates.
There is a healthcare crisis in Monterey County and it's a bug, huge deal. So do something about it.
On Thursday, Feb. 20, a community forum will be held at the Greenfield City Council Chambers, 45 El Camino Real, between 6:30pm and 7:30pm. It's an opportunity for local residents to voice concerns to the Board of Supervisors and Natividad Medical Center officials.
And on Saturday, Feb. 22, the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO labor contingent will march with community groups, public officials and healthcare advocates for healthcare justice in Monterey County. Join them at 11:30am, at Sherwood Park, at the corner of Sherwood and North Main near the Salinas Rodeo Grounds. The march to Natividad begins at noon.
Time Honors York Teacher
Nick Hart, physics teacher at York High School in Monterey, will participate in Time magazine's Future of Life Conference on February 20. According to Diana Pearson of Time, Hart, who teaches grades 8-12, is one of 10 high school teachers nationwide being recognized for their "ability to motivate their students to excel" and for having student winners in the Intel Science Talent Search--a respected high school science talent search also referred to as the junior Nobel.
Hart, who taught in England, Switzerland, Austria and San Francisco before coming to Monterey, will participate at the conference from 4:30-5:30pm Thursday in a special session called, "How Current Are Our Classrooms," with renowned scientists including Francis S. Collins, Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute for the National Institutes of Health. The session will discuss how teachers can educate the next generation of scientists on the new discoveries in life sciences. Hart will also meet with Dr. James Watson, Nobel laureate and co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, on the 50th anniversary of his discovery.
It's the first conference of its kind by Time, intended to bring together leaders in genomics and biotechnology from all disciplines, and the first award given to high school teachers by the magazine. "We wanted a core of teachers from across the country who could bring this information from the conference back to their students," says Pearson. "We said, 'gee, the students get recognition, but the teachers don't.'"
The teachers' session, which will be videotaped, will be available for classroom use, and to the public after February 26th at www.thefutureoflife.com or www.exploratorium.org.
Child Abuse Prevention Council Seeks Award Nominations
The Child Abuse Prevention Council of Monterey (CAPC), is looking to honor individuals, businesses and organizations who have made major contributions in the prevention of child abuse. Nominations for awards are due to CAPC by March 1, and the CAPC Awards Breakfast will be held on April 8 at Stillwell Community Center at the former Fort Ord from 7:30-9am.
David Maradei, director of CAPC, says that apart from giving out awards, a major goal of the breakfast is to raise community awareness on the prevalence of child abuse, and the steps needed to eradicate it.
"We have almost 5,000 referrals-per-year reporting child abuse in Monterey," Maradei says. "Out of that number, 70 percent are sexual abuse, 26 percent physical, 36 percent general neglect, and 10 percent at risk."
Maradei says that in order to prevent abuse, an enormous amount of education must reach the community, in particular on what is harmful to a child.
"In my opinion, it's a constant struggle," he says. "We are discovering things we never thought were abusive prove to be very dramatic in the development of a child. Domestic violence in a home does not necessarily have to be visited upon the child--just being in the environment basically alters the chemistry of the child's brain as it's growing."
Call 755-4737 for nomination forms. Tickets to the event will be available after March 1 for $15 and include a chance to win $1,000 worth of airfare.
--Jessica Lyons, Brett Wilbur