Community Briefing

TOXIC ALGAE BLOOMS ARE HAZARD: Toxic algae in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is prompting warnings from health officials. Tests in the west delta in late August showed the presence of an algae that can cause rashes, gastrointestinal problems, potentially cancer (after long-term exposure), and the possible death of pets that drink the water, health officials said. The seasonal blooms became abundant in the delta in 1999 for reasons scientists don't yet know, said Peggy Lehman, with the state Department of Water Resources. She is studying the blooms and noticed the high concentrations of the algae, which prompted her to alert health officials. She said young children, senior citizens and those with pre-existing medical conditions are most at risk. The blooms appear in spring and fade in fall, so the algae should dissipate in the next month, she said. Donna Heran, director of the county's environmental health department, said people should be cautious anywhere they see algae.

MATH TUTORING SESSIONS: The Office of Mathematics Grants at California State University, Stanislaus, will offer the High School Mathematics Access Program tutoring sessions during the 2007-2008 school year. HiMAP is a math and science tutoring program for students in sixth through 12th grades from schools in the university service area. The sessions are on Wednesdays, beginning Sept. 26, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Stanislaus State's Demergasso Bava Hall, Room 166. The cost is $50 per semester and $10 for a HiMAP T-shirt. For a registration packet and more information, go to www.csustan.edu/math/MAP/HiMAP-Home.html, call 667-3780 or e-mail RGlynn@csustan.edu.

FAMILIAR FACE AT STANISLAUS: Fathy Shirvani, the wife of California State University, Stanislaus, President Hamid Shirvani, has started a part-time job on campus. Working 24 hours a week, Fathy Shirvani will earn $44,000 a year as the Turlock university's physical therapist in the athletic department. Despite rumors of favoritism, spokeswoman Kristin Olsen said, administrators posted the position on a national human resources Web site and e-mailed the campus community. Fathy Shirvani was the only person to apply, Olsen said. This is the first time the campus has had its own trainer. Officials used to contract out for the position but found it difficult to adequately serve athletes, Olsen said. The Shirvanis never have worked on the same campus. Fathy Shirvani's chain of command includes three administrators before her husband, so they would have little, if any, official contact, Olsen said.

OFFICE OF EDUCATION CONFERENCE: The Stanislaus County Office of Education, in conjunction with Central California Computer Using Educators, will host the second "Promising Curriculum and Technology Practices Conference" on Sept. 29 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Stanislaus County Office of Education, 1100 H St., Modesto. Geared toward teachers and administrators, the goal of the conference is to share examples of effective integration of technology in education. Sessions will demonstrate how technology can be integrated into English-language arts, history, social science, math, science, English-language development and special education classrooms. All presentations will include technology-enhanced lesson ideas, sample student work and free resources so participants can use the same technology in their classrooms. Registration, which includes breakfast and conference materials, is $30, or $25 for CC CUE members. Register at www.cccue.com by Sept. 21. For more information, call Burt Lo of CC CUE at 238-1454.