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ConnectOC Blog

Connect OC Blog

Orange County’s issues are connected—and so are you. We invite you to get in touch with critical information, promising approaches and a growing community of partners who share your passion for our county. Already, we are making strides toward the dream we share for Orange County.

Green O.C. includes ocean blue

Groups encourage responsibility in keeping the county's waters free of runoff. An ideal climate, 42 miles of coastline, hills, canyons, beaches -- these are just some of Orange County’s natural allure. But these characteristics aren’t just great real estate selling points; they are integral to the quality of life in our region, helping businesses and others draw top talent and keep the county prosperous. Being good stewards of our natural resources doesn’t just protect Orange ...
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Breaking the cycle

Family violence breaks the deepest bonds of children’s trust, but there is hope through healing. Family violence can happen to anyone. Relationship violence touches one out of every five people in California, and nationwide the figure for women is one in four, according to a 2012 study from Blue Shield of California Foundation/Tulchin Research. It's an issue with widespread reach and lifelong consequences. But often the people who suffer the most are children who are ...
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Welcome to Kindville

Anaheim's mayor thinks city's success lies in establishing key core values. In November 2010, when Tom Tait was elected mayor of Anaheim, his campaign focused on bringing "kindness and freedom" to one of California's largest cities. After 10 years on Anaheim City Council, Tait felt he knew what the city needed. Tait brought to the mayor’s office a strong career in business and a history of public service. He is chief executive of Tait & ...
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The new front is right here, at home

The heartbreak of deployment. The sacrifice of war. The joy of a long-awaited homecoming. We see the stories play out in emotional home videos and Hollywood productions. But what if returning from combat was nothing like the script we expect to see? The truth is that when Johnny comes marching home, the real battle has often just begun. The reality is this: • There are approximately 133,000 veterans in Orange County —the third- largest population ...
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Cultivating the complete mind

Arts education has been severely compromised to the detriment of creative thinking and the strength of our current and future workforce. It’s no secret that budget cuts have decimated arts education programs in public schools-- and in low-income schools in particular. But it turns out that arts education isn’t a luxury after all… it’s an absolute necessity for the success of our next generation. “Arts education is not about learning to play an instrument, it’s ...
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Peace of mind

Proactively addressing mental health issues for children can be the game-changer of a lifetime. Mental health. Just the words can strike apprehension and worry, especially for parents who fear their child may be suffering from a mental or emotional condition. But this shouldn't be the case. Why should recognizing, understanding and treating a phobia, anxiety or chemical imbalance be any different from treating a broken wrist or a cavity? “The most important mental health issue ...
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Giving smart

A new database of local nonprofits is aimed at helping donors find and research groups worth their support. The Orange County Community Foundation’s new Nonprofit Central database is an online “matchmaker” for philanthropy. “This is really the first resource of its kind in Orange County,” says Todd Hanson, vice president of Donor and Community Engagement for OCCF. “Donors can find nonprofits that address the issues they care about most.” Through Nonprofit Central, organizations can share ...
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Have a smart summer

No, really. Kids need to be challenged when school is out to prevent academic skills from sliding. The serene days of summer; when months of downtime blend together and school-weary students haven’t a care in the world. This storybook scenario is not the reality, however, for many students, particularly those at risk of dropping out. Low-income youth are extremely likely to experience a “summer slide,” in which critical learning gained during the academic year is ...
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Making the grade

Hand-picked successor as OC superintendent reflects on job's challenges. When the highly respected Bill Habermehl, superintendent of schools for Orange County, stepped down in May of 2012, he left with a purpose. He wanted to lay the foundation for his successor, one he had a hand in choosing, Al Mijares. Habermehl left with three years to go on his term because he “wanted his successor to gain some experience on the job before he or ...
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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: June 20, 2013

I was fortunate to find my passion for elders and victims of abuse early in my career. It happened when I met Lupe, a woman whose own son, his wife and child move into her home to assist her and then physically, financially, and emotionally abused her until another family member alerted authorities. Like domestic violence and child abuse, elder abuse is most often committed by family members and in the place we all should ...
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