Teenagers need more sleep than adults, and early start times for school aren’t helping. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently began to advocate for starting high school at 8:30 a.m. in hopes of better meeting students’ sleep needs. This could also help combat depression, reduce car accidents and help with other health problems that can arise from insufficient sleep, the Academy said.
Author: Derek Walter
The Central Valley has long been plagued with some of the dirtiest air in the nation. It usually hits those with the most vulnerable lungs the hardest, including elementary school-age kids with asthma.
Bob Dittmar’s day begins on the roof at six in the morning. The late summer sun is punishing even at this early hour. This isn’t one of the new suburban houses that crop up quickly in the northern parts of Fresno. Dittmar is downtown, in a long-neglected area known as the Lowell neighborhood, which takes its name from the nearby elementary school, though its roots, and its struggle with poverty, go back generations.
Buying a more fuel-efficient cars, which tend to be more expensive than conventional cars, is a difficult decision for the everyday consumer. But the choices are even more complicated for business owners in the Central Valley. Adopting a more fuel-efficient model is better for the environment and air quality, making such a leap can be an economic challenge. In the Central Valley, home to many industrial and agriculture operations, some businesses must manage a fleet of vehicles that would be expensive to replace en masse.
For residents of the San Joaquin Valley, buying more fuel-efficient cars makes sense for many reasons. With 57 percent of the region’s pollution from vehicles, according to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, every purchase of a more fuel-efficient car can ease the burden.
California’s high-speed rail project has the potential to revolutionize the state’s railways. A promise of a two-and-a-half hour journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles should tempt those tired of fighting clogged freeways or flight delays. But for the city of Fresno, the stakes are even higher.
Larger class sizes. Salary cuts. Furlough days. Layoffs. These are the grim choices facing school board members throughout California after another year of crushing budget deficits. Yet more tough choices remain.
California cities face a daunting deadline. Within nine years they must make a significant reduction in the pollutants that create the state’s carbon footprint. The target of 2020 to make a 15 percent cut in greenhouse emissions may seem a long way off. Yet the Great Valley Center, a Modesto-based not-for-profit, wants to help cities take action now.
At Fresno’s Susan B. Anthony grade school, located in one of the most impoverished area of Fresno, 78 percent of fifth graders don’t meet the state’s requirements for healthy fitness. Fresno pastor Mike Slayden decided to tackle the problem by encouraging students to walk or bike to school. Through his not-for-profit, he offers them a shiny prize for their work: a brand new bike.