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Posted: Wednesday, March 4, 2009 10:00 pm

Three of the recipients of the San Joaquin County Classified Employee of the Year awards work for Lodi Unified School District.

They include Tina Mercer, who works in the area of child nutrition, Jeffery Culbertson, maintenance and operations, and Sandra Cunningham, office and technical.

Superintendent Cathy Nichols-Washer made the announcement at Tuesday's regular school board meeting.

"It's great that one district has three being recognized," she said.

Tokay High participates in national test

Some 50 Tokay High School students Wednesday participated in the National Assessment of Educational Progress examination, which periodically surveys general subject matter knowledge.

The campus and test-takers were randomly chosen, according to Principal Erik Sandstrom.

The examination and its results are separate from others like the annual STAR test or SAT because these results represent all high school students across the country.

They will be released in the annual "Nations Report Card" and will help educators and legislators make decisions on how to improve the school system, according to a press release issued by NAEP.

For more information and past test results, visit www.nces.org/nationsreportcard.

Tokay is among five participating high schools, according to Sandstrom. "They are setting the bar for the nation," he said.

Wolk to head committee on Delta stewardship

State Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, whose district includes parts of Stockton and the Delta, has been selected to chair a new committee on Delta stewardship and sustainability.

Wolk was appointed Wednesday by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento.

"California's water supply challenges are real and interconnected to the crisis in the Delta," Wolk said in a prepared statement. "They both demand action and results. My goal, as chair, is to see that the Delta is given a place at the table in decisions that will impact its future."

Last month, Wolk introduced a package of legislation to protect the Delta. The proposal includes:

  • Establishing a Delta Stewardship Council to balance the Delta's ecosystem and water supply reliability, and establish the Delta as a place.
  • Creating a Delta conservancy to promote projects that further Delta-based tourism, agriculture, fishing, hunting and other economic activities.
  • Encouraging statewide water conservation to fulfill Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's goal of reducing the state's water usage by 20 percent by the end of 2020.
  • Authorizing $9.8 billion to safeguard clean, safe drinking water to California's homes, businesses and farms while funding Delta restoration and sustainability. The allocation will be subject to voter approval in 2010.

Cogdill to investigate state surplus property

State Sen. Dave Cogdill, R-Modesto, has been named chairman of a new select committee to review the state's surplus properties and see if the state can save money.

Cogdill, who represents the Lodi area, was appointed chairman by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento.

"With my background in the real estate appraisal business, combined with my knowledge of resource conservation issues, I am honored to serve as chairman of this important committee," Cogdill said in a prepared statement.

The committee will examine the current operational and deferred maintenance costs of surplus state properties, review how the state appraises property and provide oversight over the sale or lease of surplus property.

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