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California Transportation Commission Awards Grant to City of Lancaster for Pedestrian Safety Improvements Near Schools

Lancaster City officials were pleased to announce that Lancaster has been awarded a $5,272,000 Active Transportation Program (ATP) Cycle 3 grant from the California Transportation Commission to improve pedestrian safety near five local elementary schools; via the City’s 2020 Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Pedestrian Improvements project. The 2020 Safe Routes to School Pedestrian Improvements (SRTSPI) project is the first phase of Lancaster’s city-wide SRTS program and includes improvements around Desert View Elementary, Mariposa Elementary, Monte Vista Elementary, Sierra Elementary, and Sunnydale Elementary. The SRTSPI project will include: extending sidewalks, installation of ADA curb ramps and curb extensions at intersections; as well as the addition of bike lanes, new lane striping, and signage – resulting in safer streets for not only pedestrians, but cyclists and motorists as well.

“The City of Lancaster continually works to improve the health and wellness, public safety, and infrastructure throughout our community, via a number of significant programs such as Safe Routes to School,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris, “We are grateful to have received the CTC funding for this important project and look forward to the many ways in which the SRTS program will continue to benefit our community.” Construction for the 2020 Safe Routes to School Pedestrian Improvements project is expected to commence in 2020.








City of Palmdale Summer Job Recruitment

The City of Palmdale’s recreation and culture department is now accepting applications for Program Leaders for its summer activities. Candidates must be 17 years old by July 1 to be considered for employment.   Qualified applicants will be well organized and demonstrate the ability to exercise good judgment, problem solve, listen and follow direction, and demonstrate initiative. 

“Program Leader positions are ideal for those who are seeing entry-level work to develop their professional career skills,” said Director of Recreation and Culture Keri Smith.  “You will have the opportunity to be part of a team of positive, motivated and community minded people that will be part of Palmdale’s busy summer of fun programs.” 

“If you are new to the work force, keep in mind that we look for candidates who are involved in extra-curricular activities, regular or on-going volunteer service, or who have participated in school or league athletics/theatrical or performance arts,” Smith said.

Applications and job descriptions are available online at:
For more information, please call 661/267-5611 Monday through Thursday from 7:30 am to 6 pm. 

Communications Department • 38300 Sierra Highway • Palmdale, CA  93550 









Worrying Yourself Sick? Here's the Cure

No doubt you've felt butterflies before a job interview or knots in your stomach in moments of conflict. These are momentary events that should subside once the situation is over or resolved.  But, what happens when you ruminate on what has happened or dwell on bad things that might happen in the future?  Did you know you can actually worry yourself sick?  Recent research reveals that the stress of chronic worry, fear, anxiety, and pessimism can increase your risk for heart disease by 70 percent, double your risk for Alzheimer's, and increase your risk of death by any disease by 220 percent!  How can your mind and emotions so dramatically affect your health?

It appears that, when you are caught up in worry, fear, anxiety, and pessimism, stress hormones signal your body to divert energy away from digestion, repair, and immune responses toward hyper-vigilance to the outer environment and mobilization for action.  If you have a stress-oriented mindset fed by worry about the past, fear of what might happen, and expectations of the worst, you will chronically dampen your immune response and set yourself up for illness.

While the mechanisms are not fully-known, new research shows that the majority of immune response takes place in your gut-and that worry, fear, anxiety, and pessimism increase stress hormones and inflammation that negatively affect gut health and set you up to get sick.  So, reducing your stress just might be the most important step you can take to prevent disease and set yourself up for optimal health!  Fortunately, there's a simple action you can take to calm the stress you feel in the moment, increase stress resilience, and shift how you react to stress in the future. That simple action is meditation. 

Here's how meditation helps:
First, meditation initiates your body's natural relaxation response. By consciously relaxing your muscles, re-aligning your posture, slowing and deepening your breathing, and focusing into the present moment, you signal your body that everything is O.K. right now. This releases you from worry, fear, anxiety, and pessimism into a state of relaxed inner calm.  In this way, meditation lowers your stress several notches and shifts your body into a natural repair and recovery mode in which you can heal. Your body knows how to heal itself. You just need to give it a chance by taking a break and chilling out.

Second, once you have calmed yourself, you are more able to observe the situation you are in from a relaxed perspective. In a state of worry, fear, anxiety, and pessimism you will tend to amplify perceived dangers and blow them out of proportion.  By contrast, in meditation, you consciously adopt a curious observer's point of view that helps you more objectively see what is really going on, so you can make a realistic assessment of positive actions you can take. This lowers your stress even more.

Third, meditation increases your ability to consciously choose what you focus on, which helps you to stay focused on what you can do, rather than being distracted by worries about things that are outside your control. This strong positive focus completes the shift from a state of stress to a state of empowerment.  Finally, meditation familiarizes you with what it's like to be in a relaxed, calm, clear, positive state, so you are able to more quickly recognize moments when slip into worry, fear, anxiety, and pessimism. It gives you the inner skills to step back in those moments, recognize the thoughts that are stressing you out, let those thoughts go, and choose to focus on what you can do to move things forward in a healthy direction.

If it's your health you're worried about, meditation will help you to steer clear of fear and take the actions you know are best to care for yourself well.  So, if you haven't yet taken to the meditation habit, I encourage you to work on an easy, effective way to get started.  Are you ready to be free from negative thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that keep you stuck repeating the same old results? Then meditation is a simple technique that can change your whole life.  Do it now!










Hearty Crockpot Recipes for the Healthy Eater

The joy of slow cooking your food is that you only have to throw in the ingredients in a crockpot, leave it for a few hours then you'll be able to enjoy a fulfilling meal. A slow cooker brings out the flavor of food. It also tenderizes less expensive meat, so you don't have to a great deal to enjoy a five-star dish!  Here’s a great and hearty recipe for Chicken Chili:
Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• 1 onion, chopped
• 2 cups diced tomatoes with green chile peppers
• 2 cups salsa verde
• 2 cups white beans
• 1 3/4 cups corn kernels
• 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
• Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Mix together onion, diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, salsa verde, white beans, corn, chicken broth, oregano and cumin in a crockpot. Stir until ingredients are well-combined. Place chicken breasts on top of the mixture. Cover and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 6-8 hours. When ready, remove chicken from the crockpot. Shred, return to crockpot and stir.










Injuries That Can Cause Limping in Dogs

Canine limping is a common thing and not always due to old age. Even a slight leg limp can be signs of a trauma, subtle chronic condition or even a life threatening condition. Here are some of the injuries that can cause limping in dogs:

Soft Tissue - Muscle pull, trauma or sprain which can be treated with adequate rest for a couple of days and analgesics.
Arthritis - Finds it difficult to get up after lying or trouble climbing stairs. Large breed dog, could also have hip dysplasia.
Paw Injuries – Broken claws, objects embedded in footpads/toes, or cuts on the footpads due to weather conditions.
Closed Fracture - Bone fractures where skin is unbroken and no sign of deformity of the leg and cannot be detected.
Compound Fractures - Critical broken bone that punctures the skin. Can cause life-threatening infections to the bones.
Ligament Injuries - Ligament unites bones and joints.  Joint stability gets compromised and will get worse over time.
Tumors - In or on bones or in the brain or central nervous system. Symptoms accompanied by limping that can be due to tumor:  Dizziness, Disorientation, Odd lumps or masses. Tumors can be life-threatening so seek immediate treatment.
Kneecap Dislocation - Can suddenly move dangerously side-to-side and slip out of alignment for different reasons like trauma and infection and pop back into alignment very swiftly, yet be a reoccurring problem, especially in small dogs.
Always seek immediate medical attention from your veterinarian when your pet is limping.