Skip to content

Purveyors of Plants Meet Drought Demands (and suggest you do the same)

Those who provide plants to landscapers and retailers are fighting the drought just like the rest of us. Take a look at one grower in Placer County who has been forced to meet the demands of a third straight dry summer, and his customers.


First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) in California Holds First Town Hall Meeting

On July 16, FirstNet in California held the first of several Town Hall meetings dedicated to the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN).  The Town Hall, held in Lakeport, was informative and well attended by nearly 100 first responders and public safety professionals.

Karen Wong, assistant director, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES), Public Safety Communications (PSC), organized the event to  engage California’s first responders in “What is FirstNet?”, the Local Prospective and the California State Consultation Process.    “It is crucial for local participation in the California planning efforts to ensure the network meets their unique public safety requirements,” Ms. Wong told attendees.

FirstNet Director of Outreach Amanda Hilliard (lectern) discusses how FirstNet will change future public safety operations during the Public Safety Broadband Network Town Hall Meeting in Lakeport on July 17.

FirstNet Director of Outreach Amanda Hilliard (lectern) discusses how FirstNet will change future public safety operations during the Public Safety Broadband Network Town Hall Meeting in Lakeport on July 17.

Amanda Hilliard, director of outreach for FirstNet, discussed how public safety will benefit from the NPSBN and how the network will change the way public safety operates in the future.  Ms. Hilliard also reviewed key steps in the State Consultation Process and reiterated the importance of participation by first responders, Tribes, state and local governments and industry partners in ensuring California’s unique requirements are addressed.

“To ensure each state’s unique requirements are met, FirstNet will find ways to plug gaps, by utilizing satellite technology, mobile repeaters to deploy or enhance and amplify signals to address various coverage challenges,” said Ms. Hilliard.

Michael Boyden, program director for Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), provided details on California’s outreach plan.  The outreach plan is multi-tiered, reaches out at all levels (first responders, tribes, industry partners, local and state resources) and includes scheduling more town halls and attending public safety conferences in California.

Bay Area Regional Interoperable Communications Systems Authority (BAY RICS) General Manager Barry Fraser provided a briefing from the local perspective.

Robert Wideman, a communications consultant to SAIC, discussed the Tribal perspective on outreach and planning.

PulsePoint Foundation President Richard Price provided information on how this application notifies CPR certified individuals of a nearby cardiac emergency.  He said the application currently covers more than 600 communities across 18 states with over 145,000 users.

The FirstNet in California team was excited to share this Town Hall with participation from first responders in Lakeport and other counties in attendance, including sheriff’s, police and fire department personnel.

“It’s great to see such a great turnout from our local responders in this planning effort,” said Cal OES Telecommunications Governance and Service Branch Manager Sue Plantz.

There are more than 200,000 first responders, 2,000 public safety agencies and 111Tribes in California, so outreach will be critical for the NPSBN.  California has additional town hall events planned for Santa Ana, Bakersfield and Vacaville.  For more information, please visit

# # #





Lady Gaga Joins Save Our Water Effort with Public Service Announcement

PSA Kicks Off Save Our Water Campaign Asking Californians to Take
Extraordinary Measures to Conserve  

Sacramento – In partnership with the State of California’s drought awareness program Save Our Water, international pop superstar and five-time Grammy winner Lady Gaga has released a Public Service Announcement (PSA) asking Californians to join the effort and take extraordinary measures to save water during the drought. The PSA is available on, a new site designed to help Californians find ways to conserve at home and at work every day.

The Lady Gaga PSA also marks the launch of a new public awareness campaign from Save Our Water urging Californians to join the effort to undertake extraordinary conservation efforts. The first creative from the campaign stresses that ‘Brown is the New Green’ and asks Californians to let their lawn go brown by cutting back watering to twice a month. Additional campaign materials will be released by Save Our Water through the end of the month, including digital and social media ads, lawn signs, billboards and radio ads.

“We’re thrilled Lady Gaga has joined the effort to Save Our Water,” said Mark Cowin, director of the California Department of Water Resources. “Conservation has always been a Californian value, but in this drought regular conservation isn’t enough — we must take extraordinary measures to save water.”

Save Our Water’s campaign comes as the State Water Resources Control Board voted to adopt mandatory water conservation measures for urban water users and suppliers, including prohibitions on outdoor irrigation more than two days per week, washing hardscapes, sidewalks and driveways with water and using hoses without shutoff nozzles to wash cars.

“This is no ordinary drought and Lady Gaga is no ordinary superstar,” said Tim Quinn, Executive Director of Association of California Water Agencies. “With our new campaign and spokespeople like Lady Gaga, we hope to reach every Californian with the important message of conservation.”

·  To view the Lady Gaga PSA, visit

·  To download a broadcast quality version, visit

The Lady Gaga PSA marks the launch of a new public awareness campaign from Save Our Water urging Californians to join the effort to undertake extraordinary conservation efforts.

The Lady Gaga PSA marks the launch of a new public awareness campaign from Save Our Water urging Californians to join the effort to undertake extraordinary conservation efforts.

Save Our Water connects Californians with daily drought tips and news via Save Our Water’s Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram are also great resources for Californians looking to join the effort to save water.

Governor Brown has called on all Californians to reduce their water use by 20 percent and prevent water waste. Save Our Water is a partnership between the Association of California Water Agencies and the California Department of Water Resources– for more ways to save and to learn more about the Save Our Water program, visit


Governor’s Drought Task Force Discusses Drought Impacts in Gold Country

photo 4

Drought Task Force Sonora001

FirstNet Town Hall Meeting Scheduled for Mid-July

caloes-horizontal-large-jpg.jpgLAKEPORT, CA – The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Public Safety Communications Office is hosting a FirstNet Town Hall on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, at the Lakeport Superior Courthouse, Board of Supervisors Chambers, 255 Forbes St., Lakeport, California from 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM.

In February 2012, Congress enacted The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act (the Act), containing provisions to advance public safety capabilities in the United States. The Act directs the establishment of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) and the creation of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). FirstNet’s vision is to provide emergency responders with the first nationwide, high-speed, wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety.

As California’s point of contact for FirstNet and in collaboration with Mark Ghilarducci, Director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, CalOES is committed to working with state and local emergency first responders to ensure that the NPSBN meets the needs of first responders and public safety workers across California.

At the Town Hall participants will be able to hear directly from a FirstNet representative regarding FirstNet’s national service vision, service offers and applications; learn about California’s developments and current initiatives; hear how FirstNet will impact public safety communications and other local perspectives.

Space is limited; please register by email or by phone 916-657-9172 if you plan to attend. If you are unable to attend in person, you are welcome to attend via WebEx, just click here.

Future town hall meetings are planned for:

• Santa Ana, California
• Bakersfield, California
• Vacaville, California

We hope that you can attend the Lakeport town hall. The meeting is open to the public, so please feel free to forward this information to other public safety constituents.

If you have any questions regarding the town hall event, please contact our team by email or by phone 916-657-9172.

For more information about FirstNet, click here.


Tech Trek is Beginning of Journey for Girls of Science

It’s been said – “it’s a man’s world.” That axiom is fading into oblivion and Tech Trek is helping send it packing in the world of science.  Tech Trek is a project of the Association of American University Women (AAUW) and is designed to give girls going into the 8th grade the opportunity to experience a variety of STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) related subjects.

All Photos By: Phillip Killion

Joni Hamblin Talks to Tech Trekkies

“What we’re here for is to actually influence these girls to be on the technology end of it,” says Joni Hamblin, ombudsman for Cal OES Public Safety Communications. “They can be the actual innovators of it who actually create these kinds of communications and life saving technologies.”

All Photos By: Phillip Killion

Tech Trek brought out the big guns, so to speak, to the Mondavi Center at UC Davis Thursday.  Officers with the California Highway Patrol, Cal Fire, and the UC Davis Fire Department gave dozens of participating girls a hands-on education about the technological tools of their respective trades.

All Photos By: Phillip Killion

“That technology isn’t just about your iPhone,” says Hamblin. “You can do things to help law enforcement, to protect them. Even in fire fighting you can design and implement things that can help them in their job to make it safer for them.”

Hamblin shares her own experiences using smart phone technology as a volunteer fire fighter.  The Active 911 app lets other volunteer responders know who’s en’ route to a medical or fire emergency.

This annual safety session excites the imagination and hopefully gets them thinking about high school and college courses that will help them succeed and go to the next level.

And as Hamblin sees it, the opportunities are getting better for young women with each generation.


“With these young girls their opportunities are going to be endless.” I actually see us getting away from gender roles.  Pretty soon we won’t be thinking about ‘jobs for women,’ but we just need to push that.”


SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans Available to Oregon Small Businesses

SBA LogoSACRAMENTO, Calif. – Small, nonfarm businesses in four Oregon counties and a neighboring county in California are now eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  “These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the drought that began on May 1, 2014 in the following primary counties,” announced Tanya N. Garfield, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West.

Primary Oregon counties: Coos and Curry;

Neighboring Oregon counties: Douglas and Josephine; 

Neighboring California county: 

 “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,” Garfield said.

Small, nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.

 “Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage.  These loans have an interest rate of 4% for businesses and 2.625 for private, nonprofit organizations, a maximum term of 30 years, and are available to small businesses and most private, nonprofits without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship,” Garfield said.

 By law, SBA makes EIDLs available when the U. S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster.  Secretary Tom Vilsack declared this disaster on July 2, 2014.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance.  Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency (FSA) about the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration.  However, in drought disasters nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure Web site at

Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955 or e-mailing  Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339.  For more information about SBA’s disaster assistance programs, visit

 The deadline to apply for these loans is March 2, 2015.

 SBA Field Operations Center – West, P.O. Box 419004, Sacramento, CA 95841



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 43 other followers

%d bloggers like this: