Tuesday, 25 June 2024

Opinion

Dr. Shouan Pan. Courtesy photo.

With much pride and excitement, I assumed the role as the new chancellor of Yuba Community College District on June 15.

Knowing that my appointment by the Yuba College District Board of Trustees in April this year came after almost two years of search, I feel even more intensely the honor as well as the weight of the position.

I thank the members of the board and the broad communities for their trust and confidence in me to lead an expansive rural district that comes with a unique set of opportunities and challenges.

I was attracted to this leadership opportunity at YCCD because it has a long history of supporting and improving educational attainment and economic development of its diverse communities. I am inspired by the commitment to educational excellence, collaborative problem solving, and innovation from the faculty and staff.

Those are values that resonate deeply with those of mine, and I am inspired to lead, in the coming months and years, by inclusive and equitable leadership, intentional collaboration, and shared commitment to excellence in every aspect of YCCD’s operations.

In joining the YCCD and the north Central California communities, I bring a diverse set of administrative experiences, track records, and skills from having held leadership positions at six different community college districts, both rural and urban.

The common thread across all these institutions has been my deep and lasting passion for advocating and ensuring student success. In an era of accelerating changes, YCCD has an obligation to ensure that equitable access and affordability to quality higher education always remain front and center across our communities within the eight counties it serves.

Under the direction of our seven elected trustees, in partnership with our talented and dedicated faculty and staff, my leadership team and I will remain committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our work; we will seek opportunities to strengthen existing and foster new partnerships with business, educational, governmental, and civic organizations; we will develop niche educational and workforce training programs that are responsive and relevant to the needs of local economy.

YCCD is founded to serve the communities. The quality and reputation of its education and training is built not only by those who teach, learn, and contribute daily on our college campuses, but also by the support of friends, supporters, and community partners year after year. Together, we can and will make YCCD more student ready, community ready, and future ready. We all have a stake in its future.

I am thrilled to join YCCD and the communities it serves. In the coming weeks and months, I look forward to meeting and establishing meaningful connections with both faculty, staff, and students on college campuses but also with friends and stakeholders in the community. I look forward to launching YCCD to new heights with all of you.

Dr. Shouan Pan was hired as chancellor of Yuba Community College District in April 2023.

Dr. Becky Salato, superintendent of Konocti Unified School District. Courtesy photo.

It’s May, which means both students and teachers are getting excited about summer break! Before we start sipping lemonade by the pool, we have a few things to do first.

May is when we administer state testing, so it’s extra important for students to get plenty of sleep and eat a good breakfast so their brains are processing at full capacity.

May and June are also the time of year we celebrate student transitions, from kindergarteners who are completing their first year of school to graduating seniors who are contemplating their college and career choices.

Healthy end-of-year ceremonies

Regardless of a student’s age and stage, we like to celebrate the end of school, to look back on all we’ve accomplished and to look forward to the opportunities ahead.

Thanks to our partnership with Blue Zones Lake County, our end-of-year celebrations will be fun and healthy.

In fact, our Blue Zones partners will join us at some campuses to offer activities like the art bike (kids pedal on the stationary bicycle and their motion sprays paint onto a canvas to create beautiful images) and a fruit scavenger hunt.

We love partnering with Blue Zones because their approach is all about making healthy options easier and more attractive. When healthy food tastes good and healthy activities are fun, it’s not hard to get kids on board.

Graduation ceremonies

Mark your calendars now to support our graduates.

• Alternative Education (Carle, Lewis, and Blue Heron) — May 31 at 6 p.m. at the Lower Lake High School football field.
• Konocti Education Center (KEC) — June 1 at 6 p.m. at the Cornelison Education Center.
• Lower Lake High School — June 2 at 7 p.m. at the Lower Lake High School football field.

Summer facilities maintenance
While students are off enjoying summer vacation, we’ll give our campuses a little tender loving care, anything from new blacktops on the playground to new paint inside and out, depending on what’s needed.

Summer school for students

Some students use summer as a time to catch up or get ahead academically. We’re offering summer school from June 26 through July 21 (with no school on July 3-4 for Independence Day); Gregory Fister will be the administrator.

Our elementary summer school (transitional kindergarten through seventh grade) will be held at Burns Valley School. Our secondary summer school (eighth grade through twelfth grade) will be held at Lower Lake High school.

The elementary summer school is open on a first-come, first-serve basis. Visit konoctiusd.org or contact your student’s school for details. The secondary summer school is primarily for credit recovery to support students who have fallen behind. Other secondary offerings will include some special education classes and career and technical education classes.

Summer school for teachers

Students are not the only ones who will have opportunities to keep learning and growing this summer. Our teachers will dive into professional development. We are taking 80 educators to AVID training. AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination.

The program was originally developed in San Diego in 1980 by English teacher Mary Catherine Swanson, who challenged the belief that the low-income students being bussed to her school couldn’t achieve at similar levels to the other students. The simple philosophy of raising expectations and giving students the support they need has proven extremely effective.

Some educators will also deepen their knowledge via Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling, or LETRS.

This training is based on the science of reading research and provides information about what literacy skills need to be taught, why, and how to plan to teach them. The science of reading focuses on five big ideas: kids’ ability to identify sounds in spoken words, understanding how letters and groups of letters link to sounds, the ability to read words and phrases with speed and expression, knowing what words mean, and understanding what they are reading overall.

Preparing for fall: Transitional kindergarten

For the 2023-24 school year, we’ll offer a transitional kindergarten, or TK, class at each elementary school.

For TK in 2023-24, students must turn five years old between Sept. 2 and April 2. Registration is open now.

We are on the home stretch as we finish the school year. Please help your student finish strong and let us know how we can support you.

Dr. Becky Salato is superintendent of Konocti Unified School District.

Editor's note: The date for the Lower Lake High School graduation has been corrected.



The art bike. Courtesy photo.

Kelseyville Unified Superintendent Dave McQueen. Courtesy photo.

Here we are with just a couple of months to go before summer hits and I become a retired guy.

I have lots of fond memories from my long years in education and I am grateful that I got to work with so many people who care about the same things I do: helping others, being kind and treating everyone with respect. As far as I’m concerned, that’s what it’s all about.

I’ve had all kinds of experiences, and my way wasn’t always the right way. It’s clear to me that you can get to a particular goal using different routes. If I have any advice for students as they go through life, it’s don’t box yourself in. Consider all the options. Look at a situation from all the angles — and listen to what other people have to say. They might know something you don’t. That’s surely been the case for me.

I’m really glad I listened to great advice from my secretaries over the last 24 years, and from so many others, board members, administrators, teachers, classified staff, parents, and students — and my family.

I especially want to thank my wife and family for guiding me and being patient while I was doing my job many nights out of the week. It’s their love and trust in me as a husband and father that has been a true bedrock.

It’s amazing what you learn if you listen long enough. A few years back when I sat around a table asking high schoolers how we could make things better, I got a whole new perspective on what it was like to be a student nowadays.

Students shared interesting ideas — like how great it would be to have a place to raise animals for Future Farmers of America. With the help of our Agriculture Department, the community, students, and a generous donor, we were able to build a new barn to house animals and help that student and others achieve that goal.

I also listened to parents and community members back in 2015-16 when they said Kelseyville students needed a state-of-the-art shop building at the high school and a multiuse room shared by Mountain Vista Middle School and Kelseyville Elementary School where kids could get out of the rain during lunch and play sports after school. We all worked together to pass the Measure U bond and our schools got some much-needed upgrades.

My fondest memories by far are my interactions with students, especially yard duty. Sometimes, when I was principal at KES, we’d play three flies up with the kickball, where I’d kick the ball as high as I could in the air and the kids would try to catch it. It probably wasn’t the safest, but the kids and I loved it.

I also remember a time when, at the end of recess, this second-grade boy came running up to me and said, “Mr. McQueen, I love your daughter.” (She was also a second-grader at the time.) I told him, “I do too, now get to class.” My daughter is all grown up to today and blessed me with a granddaughter in December. Time sure flies.

It’s been great watching both students and staff grow into their potential. We’ve had so many incredible high schoolers join the workforce and give back to our community, to serve in our armed forces and protect our nation, and attend college so they can take on all sorts of important roles.

I remember one graduating high school senior who told me she was going to get her teaching credential and come back to teach at Kelseyville Unified School District because she had received such a great education here–and she was true to her word. She is now one of our teachers.

I also know of a staff member who started as an instructional aide, became a school secretary, and then got her teaching credential so she could become one of our teachers. She is teaching in our district today and is a shining example of grit and determination. Everyone at Kelseyville Unified School District is encouraged to grow and take on new challenges.

Even through a tremendously difficult pandemic, our staff and students rose to the occasion. It wasn’t always easy, and we didn’t do everything right, but we always did our best to help families when they needed it.

Now, I feel like I’m at the end of my leg in a relay race and I’m passing the baton to Dr. Nicki Thomas, who is ready to take Kelseyville Unified into the future. She has fantastic ideas and incredible academic prowess. She’s been with the District a long time, and she is really listening to the community.

I had a good run. Thanks to everyone for giving me the opportunity to serve this community I love. Kelseyville Unified is in good hands.

After June 30, I’m off to spend time with my family and be a grandpa. Thanks to every board member that I have worked with in the past, and the current board for their leadership and love for this school district.

I want to thank every Kelseyville Unified employee, parent, guardian, community member, and student for making my time at Kelseyville Unified enriching and enjoyable.

I wish the best for you all as you continue to make Kelseyville Unified the best it can be.

Dr. Dave McQueen is superintendent of Kelseyville Unified School District.

Spring is finally here! Everywhere we see growth, rebirth, vitality and renewal. Like the leaves bursting out of the trees, Spring energy encourages us to move ‘upwards and outwards’ and grow!

What's the best way to move forward? We can look to the Wood Element to guide us in our vision for this Spring.

The Wood element has two organs: the liver and the gallbladder.

The liver is called the Official of Strategic Planning, the grand architect for our vision of the future; this official sees the directions we must take to live our lives in harmony with nature.

The gallbladder is the Official of Decision Making, granting us the ability to make decisions and have wise judgment. It is associated with qualities of benevolence, generosity and idealism for the highest good. It is the leader within us that can take charge and determine a plan of action.
Making a decision is not always a matter of choosing between equal alternatives.

Through these officials we have perspective. We can see new possibilities along with the wisdom of the past, to see clearly and plan the most benevolent course to take.

Without wood's vision, a plan, decision and direction, no movement is possible — and there is often frustration.

The Wood Element governs our sense of vision, the emotion of anger, and the sound of shouting.

When our vision is stifled, we may feel anger: we've made our plan, decided to act, and suddenly our plans are thwarted. We may feel anger and frustration and want to shout. We may feel irritable, depressed, and lose focus or hope for the future.

Sometimes when we are out of balance, we identify with only one position and become attached to it. We may lose our wise judgment.

When our wood energy is healthy, we can take a step back, be flexible, adapt, change direction, stay hopeful, readjust our plans, find a new perspective, and begin again.

We are positive leaders, and give directions for the highest good. We can forgive ourselves and each other and not become too rigid or unyielding.

Like a tree that bends in the wind, a balanced wood energy is well rooted, flexible, can adapt to change, and find a path to express itself in a strong and healthy way.

Healthy wood energy acknowledges the inherent self-esteem in ourselves and each other. It honors the spirit of each person’s inherent need to be who they are.

The wood element grants us the space and the vision for each person to grow and become their unique self — to be the “tree” you are meant to be. We can see this wisdom in the harmony of all things within Nature, that includes the co-existence of every living unique being.

When wood is unbalanced, you may experience symptoms such as:

• Feeling irritable or angry.

• Headache, migraine or high blood pressure.

• Rib pain: The liver meridian runs along the rib area. A liver energy stagnation will be reflected in a distending discomfort around the ribs.

• Itchy, dry eyes: The liver rules the eyes. A deficiency in liver blood may lead to eye issues like floaters or myopia. If there is excess liver heat this can cause red, bloodshot or painful eyes.

• Spasms: The liver nourishes the tendons and ligaments and the smooth flow of energy to allow free movement. When the liver energy isn't moving, we can experience cramps, spasms, or numbness.

• Brittle nails: The quality of the liver energy is seen in the nails. If there is a deficiency, you may have dry brittle nails, with ridges or spots on the nails.

Here are some ways to move your wood energy and stay balanced in the spring.

Get moving: Moving helps to keep your energy flowing properly. It can be as simple as taking a few deep breaths, going for a walk, or stretching the muscles, tendons and ligaments. All of these will help to support your wood element in the springtime.

Get creative: Take time to really think and feel about what you want to be, and what direction you want your life to go.

Write down your vision, intention, and dreams for your future. Take time to make a plan so you can make the right decisions to realize your goals.

Maybe you need someone’s help to achieve your goals. Maybe you are the leader that wants to offer help for someone else to realize their dreams.

Try essential oils: Lavender, peppermint, chamomile, lemon and bergamot essential oils help to move the energy in the liver and gallbladder channels. Sandalwood oil is especially nourishing and grounding.

Focusing of food: Drinking herbal teas like lemon, peppermint or chamomile can help to support the liver and gallbladder channels.

The wood element likes sour food (like kimchi and yogurt), light meals with lots of greens (the color of the wood element). Bitter greens like dandelion, nettles, and arugula can be helpful to cleanse the liver and gallbladder and promote better digestion.

Avoid too many rich, heavy, greasy foods, or too much alcohol as that may congest the liver and gallbladder. This can also lead to inflammation and other diseases.

Spring is also a good time to try a liver or gallbladder cleanse, or adapt to a healthier diet.

Sleep is essential: Sleep is the time for replenishing the liver and gallbladder to recover from the stresses of the day. The spirit aspect of the liver is called the “Hun.”

The Hun grants us the capacity for dreams, imagination, inner vision for creativity, and clear direction for our goals. It maintains peaceful sleep so we can have clear dreams that are beneficial to our soul. Certain types of insomnia are signs of a liver imbalance.

These are all ways to support your wood energy and stay balanced and healthy in the spring.

This spring, support your Wood Element to nourish your vision and to continue to grow. Make plans and decisions that align with who you are. Stay flexible, creative, and hopeful so you can achieve your goals!

Wendy Weiss has been practicing acupuncture and Chinese medicine for 31 years. She is honored to be voted "Best Acupuncture in Lake and Mendocino” for 2022. She can be reached for more information on her website, www.wendyweissacupuncture.com, or call her at 707-277-0891.

First, I wish to extend my gratitude to Lake County News for its skilled investigative journalistic skills and interest in the workings of our local and state government. The other news outlet in our county seems to prefer to focus on high school sports activities and other non-controversial subject matters.

Last week, I became the 30th employee in the past 15 months to resign from the county of Lake Health Services Department, where I have served since 2014 as a Certified Public Health Nurse.

As Lake County News has reported in previous articles, in October of 2021, the Board of Supervisors set some disastrous wheels in motion that have essentially destroyed the Health Services Department.

The Board of Supervisors, in their dubious wisdom, forced the resignation of the Health Services director just two days before the death of her husband, for whom she was the primary caregiver.

She and her husband had effectively and professionally served the county for decades, so to be treated that way was abhorrent, to say the least.

Many employees and residents were utterly appalled at the callous actions of the Lake County Board of Supervisors. Indeed, they should be ashamed.

A month later, they appointed a replacement for the director they so callously fired, a fellow from Southern California with questionable experience and dubious credentials, who likes to go by his initials.

The past 15 months of his employment has resulted in the exodus of approximately 30 staff members, many of whom, including myself, resigned under duress, who duly mourn the loss of meaningful work. That’s an average of two resignations per month, or nearly half the staff of 60 filled positions.

Every other month, he is reviewed in closed session by the Board of Supervisors, yet he remains, as the county’s sexually transmitted disease rates soar to new heights, and longstanding liaisons with emergency responders and other partners fall to new depths, along with employee morale.

Meanwhile, the county still lacks a full-time Public Health officer. Instead, we have an eight hour per week Interim Public Health officer, who has set foot in Lake County once or twice.

Rather than focusing on relevant local public health concerns, such as reducing sexually transmitted diseases, suicides, alcoholism and cancer deaths, the current director prefers to focus on generic topics such as health equity, racism and disparities that don’t particularly pertain to Lake County, seemingly as a sort of protective shield.

While I could continue to cite the multiple failings and missteps of this inexperienced chap as he collects a six-figure salary paid by local taxpayers, the problem really lies at the feet of the Lake County Board of Supervisors, an inept and weak five-member team who pretend to know what they’re doing, but who obviously do not.

Their closed session activities and ad hoc committees do not serve transparency in government, and their collective inability to make correct choices, further demonstrates glaring weakness.

Recently having rewarded themselves with a 40% pay increase, like most politicians, they are lining their own pockets while lording over the taxpayers who pay their salaries as they refuse to make the necessary decisions on behalf of the citizenry they are supposed to be working for.

Recent lawsuits filed by former employees that have settled approach the seven-figures mark. Taxpayers are shouldering this hemorrhage.

I will exempt the newly appointed District 4 supervisor from the above critique, as he merely filled a seat vacated by an elected board member who decided more money could be made by teaching local youth how to decorate cakes.

Lake County deserves better on all fronts.

Eileen C. McSorley, RN PHN lives in Nice.

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — The Lake County Superior Court is seeking volunteers now to apply for service on the Lake County Civil Grand Jury for the 2023-24 session.

While the term “grand jury” brings to mind a “criminal” grand jury that indicts those charged with crimes, California is the last state that empanels a “civil” grand jury in every county, every year, for a one-year term.

The number of jurors seated varies by county population, and, here in Lake County, 19 persons are selected by the presiding judge of the Superior Court to serve a fiscal-year term — July through June — and the judge also selects the foreperson. The anticipated time commitment is approximately 20 hours per week for one year.

The results of most Lake County Grand Jury investigations are contained in reports that set forth findings concerning the problems investigated and make recommendations for solutions.

These documents are published either as interim reports during the year or in the grand jury’s final report at the expiration of its term of office. Once approved by the jurors, all reports are reviewed by the county counsel and the presiding judge for compliance with the law before being released to the public.

By law, the governing body of any agency that is the subject of a grand jury report must comment on the findings and recommendations of the report within 90 days of its publication date, except that every elected county officer or agency head must comment within 60 days.

The comments must be submitted to the presiding judge and must specify what action, if any, has been or will be taken by the department or agency in regard to the recommendations or explain why no action has been taken. This requirement gives the sitting grand jury or its successor the opportunity to track the results of investigations.

The responsibilities and authority of the civil grand jury are specified in the California Constitution, the Penal Code, the Government Code, case law, and Attorney General Opinions.

In general, the predominant functions include:

Civil watchdog responsibilities

a) Examine all aspects of Lake County and Lakeport and Clearlake governments and special districts to ensure that the best interests of County residents are being served and to determine whether the methods and procedures being utilized could be more efficient and cost-effective;

b) Inspect and audit books, records, and financial expenditures to ensure that public funds are properly accounted for and legally spent;

c) Inquire into the conditions of jails and detention centers within the County;

d) Probe allegations of willful misconduct in office by public officials or employees;

e) Investigate complaints from members of the public raising concerns about the function of local government or its officials; and

f) Account for and review for adequacy the Responses of investigated entities in the prior term’s Final Report.

Duties

a) Attend one Plenary session and two committee meetings per week.

b) Schedule and interview committee-specific persons.

c) Conduct research in preparation for the interviews.

d) Take and transcribe notes on the interviews.

e) Conduct inspections of the public prisons.

f) Assist with drafting individual final reports.

g) Assemble the individual final reports by topic into one cohesive Final Report.

h) Arrange for printing and distribution of the Final Report.

Remuneration

Jurors receive a per-diem meeting attendance fee of $15 and a mileage reimbursement of $.39 per mile, payable monthly.

Training

At the beginning of each term, two-day training is provided within Lake County by the California Grand Jurors Association, a statewide group of former grand jurors.

Legal qualifications

a) U.S. citizen, age 18 or older;

b) Resident of Lake County for one year prior to selection;

c) In possession of “natural faculties or ordinary intelligence, of sound mind, and of fair character”;

d) Able to speak and write English;

e) Not a current trial juror;

f) Not a former grand juror within one year;

g) No conviction of malfeasance, felony, or other “high crime”; and

h) Not a current elected official.

Desirable qualifications

a) Active listener;

b) Ability to maintain confidentiality regarding grand jury business;

c) Desire to respect others’ differing opinions and to cooperate to reach common goals;

d) Genuine interest in local community affairs;

e) Computer research and investigative skills; and

f) Facility in writing and editing final reports.

The Superior Court is currently accepting applications for jurors to be seated in July.

The application form can be accessed at https://lake.courts.ca.gov/system/files/grand-jury-application_1.pdf.

Please return the application to Yolanda Blum at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Personal comment

I have been honored to serve seven terms on the civil grand Jury over a period of 22 years, including three terms as foreman, and have found this service to be a privilege, a duty, and an opportunity — a privilege to be trusted with the authority accorded civil grand juries by California statute, a duty to investigate issues thoroughly and objectively, and an opportunity to be of service to the residents of Lake County, where I have chosen to live.

Should you be willing to commit to serving as a grand juror, you will come to both understand and appreciate persons with views not your own and recognize the quality of governance within the county and two cities.

As much as you give, you shall receive.

Beverly Hill is a member of the 2022-23 Lake County Grand Jury.

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06.25.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
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