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Katcho Achadjian | District 33
Katcho's Capitol News - District Edition
October, 2012 | Issue 12

Service and Sacrifice Mark Public Safety Events

With the closing of this year's legislative session, I am grateful for the opportunity to spend more time back in the beautiful 33rd Assembly District. I have had the pleasure of meeting with constituents, business groups, educators, and attended a number of worthwhile events. I have had the privilege of attending several ceremonies honoring those who dedicate their lives to public safety and service. These are the men and women who have served our country abroad, or who put their lives on the line every day to protect us on the home front.

One such event was the Public Safety Awards Night hosted by the San Luis Obispo Elks Lodge. Men and women from different departments were recognized for heroic acts and dedication in their service of protecting our communities. Honorees recognized at the Public Safety Awards night included: SLO County Deputy Sheriff Allen Barger, SLO City Fire Dept. Administrative Analyst Julie Cox and Firefighter/Paramedic Armando Gutierrez, SLO Police Dept. Communications Technician Christy Beckwith, CHP Officer Jason Butler, Morro Bay Police Dept. Dispatch Supervisor Pat Line, Cal Poly University Police Department Officer Frank Herrera, Camp San Luis Security Force Specialist Robert Dancliff, Cal Fire Captain Robert Gorman, and California Men's Colony Correctional Officer Damon Reynoso.

Cal Fire Captain Robert Gorman receives a certificate of recognition at Public Safety Awards Night.


BRAVO Company Reunion

In addition to the Public Safety Awards, I also had the pleasure of attending the BRAVO Company reunion in Pismo Beach. The BRAVO Company is a service unit which fought in the largest battle in Viet Nam, the Soui Tre battle. In that fight, the 450 BRAVO Company infantrymen were attacked by 2,500 Viet Cong.  Held at a different location every two years, BRAVO members, friends and families gather from throughout every part of the nation to attend their reunion. We give our upmost gratitude for their sacrifice, and it was an honor to be a part of this special event.

To view another photo from the event, click here.

Here I am greeting BRAVO Company members at the BRAVO Company reunion.


School Districts Observe Red Ribbon Week

Red Ribbon Week is here! Celebrated nationally during the last full week each October, the Red Ribbon Campaign is observed by hundreds of school districts to raise awareness of the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Students and parents alike can demonstrate their support by displaying Red Ribbons as a symbol of intolerance towards the use of drugs.

Public health and safety officials from every field emphasize the critical role of prevention efforts among our youth, especially in having substantive conversations around the abuse of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs. In support of these efforts our state assembly office was able to deliver over 20,000 certificates to several school districts in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties as part of the 2012 observance of Red Ribbon Week.

School site prevention coordinators provide leadership to students, teachers and parents in support of community based prevention efforts throughout the week. Each district and school site tailor activities appropriate to their students and location. At the end of the week participants receive a certificate from our office acknowledging their achievement in order to reinforce the preventive skills acquired during Red Ribbon Week.

Atascadero Junior High School is one of the campuses that will be participating in Red Ribbon Week. Here I am with the AJHS Leadership Class after I toured the campus and saw a presentation put on by the class.


Renewable Energy Projects Forge Ahead

Significant progress has been made on the Carrizo Plains for the construction of two utility grade solar projects. As one of the natural treasures of our district, the long-term sustainability of the stark environment and diverse native wildlife of the Carrizo Plains has been safeguarded through protections that have been part of both the Topaz Solar Farm and California Valley Solar Ranch. Biologists and environmental monitors closely supervise construction activity with the goal of minimizing the effects on plants, wildlife and neighboring projects. These projects employ hundreds of people from throughout the area and will generate electricity for hundreds of thousands of homes.

The California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones noted that the Topaz Solar Farms, LLC. , has recently drawn investments of $681 million from more than a dozen insurance groups as part of the Department's California Organized Investment Network (COIN) which attracts and leverages insurance company capital to fund investments that benefit California's environment, as well as low-to-moderate income and rural communities.

As part of my legislative package this year, I was proud to author Assembly Bill 2161, which Governor Brown recently signed into law. This bill adds San Luis Obispo County to a list of 14 other California counties which are eligible to receive grants from the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission. SLO County will now be eligible to receive grants to help facilitate new renewable energy projects.


Red Cross Receives Generous Donation from PG&E

I had the privilege to participate in the Red Cross Ready Neighborhoods Disaster Preparedness presentation at the Veterans building in Paso Robles. The program received a $100,000 check from PG&E for implementation of disaster preparedness trainings in five counties: San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, San Benito, Monterey, and North Santa Barbara County.

The Red Cross presentation included important ways that families and neighborhoods can work together to prepare themselves in the event of a disaster. I would like to give special thanks to PG&E for their support, to the Red Cross program for helping our communities to stay informed, and I would also like to thank the community members who took the time out of their day to attend the training to help ensure that our neighborhoods are prepared in the case of an emergency.

The most important tool that we can have during a disaster is to be prepared. Tips for keeping your family prepared can be found here.

Community members learn about emergency preparedness at the Red Cross Ready Neighborhoods Disaster Preparedness presentation.


Women's Legacy Fund Celebrates 10th Anniversary

The Women's Legacy Fund recently celebrated their 10th anniversary of funding contributions to much needed services for women and girls in San Luis Obispo County. The endowment was created in 2003 as a way to pool funds from generous donors to establish grant funds that are made available to local non-profit organizations in five areas: Women and Economic Independence, Women and Education, Women and Health, Women's Role in Society, and Women in the Social Environment. In addition to funding various programs and services, the Legacy Fund also provides information to women on the services available and increases awareness of the needs of women in our community.

I would like to take a moment to recognize and thank all of the dedicated individuals who have donated both time and money to this wonderful cause over the past 10 years. Those who support the Women's Legacy Fund can be counted as those who help make ours a healthy and thriving community.

If you would like more information on the Women's Legacy Fund or to learn how to donate, please click here.

From left to right: Mary Verdin, Janice Fong Wolf, Barbara Bell and Sharon Beko accept a resolution from the State Assembly to honor the 10th anniversary of the Women's Legacy Fund.

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