WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announcement of forthcoming positive train control (PTC) grants totaling $25 million in six states, including California, is welcome news. However, as U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (CA-10) points out, opportunity remains to further secure passenger rail transportation.
“While these grants are a good first step, there remains a huge unmet need in California for rail safety improvements. Rather than wasting money on a high-speed rail system that may never be completed, we should be focusing first on safety for existing lines,” said Rep. Denham.
In its press release yesterday, FRA outlined three California awards: $2.4 million for Metrolink, $3 million for Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) District, and $2.88 million for Caltrain.
In addition, as chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, Rep. Denham worked to include two grant programs for PTC implementation in the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act, ultimately signed in to law as part of the FAST Act in December 2015. One is a competitive grant program for commuter railroads with dedicated funding for this upcoming fiscal year of $199 million. The other is a larger safety grant program that goes toward several safety improvements, including PTC, and is authorized for 5 years and $873 million.
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MODESTO, Calif. — U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) will hold a United States Military Academy Information Night on Thursday, August 25, 2016. The event will take place from 6-8 p.m. at Gregori High School in Modesto, Calif. and will give an overview of the nomination process to students interested in applying to one of the United States military academies.
“Some of America’s most skilled armed forces members are products of our nation’s prestigious military academies, and I have the honor of nominating each year the Central Valley high school students who want to devote themselves to serving our country,” said Rep. Denham. “Military Academy Information Night gives students and parents interested in this process all of the information they need to apply.”
This annual Information Night is open to all parents and students in 8th through 12th grades from California’s 10th congressional district. Students interested in applying to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, or the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point will be able to meet with representatives from the academies and Rep. Denham’s office for details of each academy’s work educating, training and preparing students for military service.
Gregori High School is located at 3701 Pirrone Road, Modesto and will take place in the Multi-purpose room. For more information, contact Kassi Fortado at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 579-5458.Read More
It’s been a busy but fulfilling week traveling around the Central Valley visiting with my neighbors in CA10. Over the last few days, I’ve enjoyed touring the Sutter Gould Medical Foundation Briggsmore Surgery Center, participating in the launch of Church in the Park’s Cleansing Hope Shower Shuttle, and presenting the Modesto Fire Department with a well-deserved grant to help better serve the community. As always, please stop me and say hello if you see me out in the district.
Modesto Fire Department receives Dept. of Homeland Security grant
Today I was honored to present the Modesto Fire Department with the 2016 Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program award. This grant will help our Modesto firefighters and other first responders to get the equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards. Thanks to Chief Slamon and the entire department for the warm welcome!
Congressman Jeff Denham talking with Modesto Fire Chief Sean Slamon
Could you (or your student) create the next Pokemon Go?
To view Congressman Denham's personal message to students entering the competition, click here.
In the news
Aug. 4, 2016
By San Joaquin Partnership Good News Briefs
"This is wonderful news and shows that persistence in Washington pays off. I want to thank the Board members who took the time to help make this happen. I also want to thank Congressmen Jeff Denham and Jerry McNerney who strongly advocated for this funding." – Stockton Metropolitan Airport Board of Supervisors Chair Moses Zapien
Aug. 1, 2016
By Staff Reports, Tracy Press
Rep. Jeff Denham, whose 10th Congressional District includes most of Tracy, is sponsoring the contest, which highlights computer science skills and science, technology, engineering and math education.
July 29, 2016
By Vince Rembulat, The Turlock Journal
“We’re a nation of immigrants, a melting pot. Today marks an important day. What you do with your opportunity is your decision. That’s what makes this country great.” – Rep. Jeff Denham
Have a great weekend!
JEFF DENHAMRead More
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (CA-10) today issued the following statement in honor of former California Assemblyman George House, whose funeral services were held Friday, Aug. 5 in Hughson.
“Mr. House was a dedicated husband, loving father, and a well-respected public official who has left an indelible mark on everyone who has ever known him. My prayers go out to his wife, Edna, his children and his grandchildren as they move forward in this earthly life without their patriarch.
"It was clear to all who attended his celebration of life that he was a spiritual man of strong faith. Today, I reflect on the echo of a larger than life man who waltzed through my campaign office in Modesto. You could hear him coming, singing all the way. He gave that young candidate advice and prayer. He will be remembered and missed."Read More
This has been a busy week for me in the Central Valley!
By far, my greatest honor came on Tuesday when I spoke at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Naturalization Ceremony in Manteca, where 51 men, woman and children were proudly sworn in as American citizens.
We are a nation of immigrants and a melting pot of people who have come from across the globe in pursuit of the American dream. Years ago, I had the opportunity to help my father-in-law study for his citizenship test. Watching him pass was a proud moment for me, for my wife, and for all of our family. But for many good people, this dream has taken far too long. Our country needs real, effective immigration reform that will secure our border, stimulate economic growth, encourage everyone to follow the rule of law, add many of our currently undocumented immigrants to the tax rolls and fix this problem for generations to come. I know that together, we can achieve this, grow stronger as a nation and prosper.
Great turnout for the veterans benefits workshops in Turlock, Ripon
My Modesto staff and the San Joaquin and Stanislaus County Veterans Service Offices served nearly 60 veterans at our Veterans Benefits Workshops on Wednesday and Thursday this week. But did you know we’re available year-round? If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, please call us at (209) 579-5458 or visit http://denham.house.gov/resources/veterans-resources for more information.
New sleep disorder center now serving the 10th district
If you are among the one in three American adults not getting enough sleep, you might be interested to know that there is help now right in our back yard. Sutter Health Sleep Disorders Center celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cutting of its new Modesto location on Tuesday. Thanks to the staff who invited me to attend! I had a great time getting to know you.
Constituent sightings on Capitol Hill
The Chand Family of Modesto
The Flores Family of Tracy
The Quilici Family of Modesto
In the news
July 27, 2016
Proud to be Americans
By Vince Rembulat, Manteca Bulletin
“We’re a nation of immigrants, a melting pot. Today marks an important day. What you do with your opportunity is your decision. That’s what makes this country great.”
July 27, 2016
Application creation event offered to local students
The Oakdale Leader
“The spirit of innovation is the bedrock of American ingenuity, and this competition offers the next generation of pioneers a national stage to display their creativity and talents. I encourage the Valley’s bright, young minds to participate and look forward to seeing the final products of inventiveness in November.”
Learn more about the competition here: https://denham.house.gov/congressional-app-challenge
July 26, 2016
Ceremony gives 51 new citizens chance for good life
By Almendra Carpizo, The Stockton Record
“This is a choice people are making to become citizens, become patriots. To see people step up and spend the time to learn and go through the process of naturalization and ultimately becoming a citizen is a big honor and it’s a pretty patriotic thing to watch.”
Have a great weekend!
JEFF DENHAMRead More
Even though he was low-keyed about it, Chad Custodio was thrilled about his newly sworn-in citizenship Tuesday at the Manteca Transit Center.
The soft-spoken Stockton youngster, who is originally from The Philippines, was among the 51 recognized at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Naturalization and Citizenship Ceremony hosted by U.S. Congressman Jeff Denham (R-Turlock).
“This is an exciting day,” said Denham. “Often we do this (oath of allegiance ceremony) in big cities – without the support of your community.”
Custodio, who will be entering fifth grade at Stockton Unified’s Washington Elementary School, received a Certification of Naturalization. He qualified for citizenship in this manner by living with his parents after birth and before the age of 18.
Some – they came from seven different countries, including Afghanistan, Mexico, Peru, Uganda, Yemen and the Philippines – were listed as children even though they were adults. They went through the naturalization process based on living with a parent or parents, who, in turn, became U.S. citizens.
Fifty-one earned their certificate of citizenship. They not only had to read, write and speak English but also had to take and pass a test.
Ramon Castillo, who is the USCIS district adjudications officer based in Sacramento, noted that the applicants came from places such as Hong Kong, India, Laos, Mexico, Philippines and Vietnam. Now, they were people from one country.
“Many went through a lot of suffering in their homeland before coming to America,” he said.
Castillo added: “The young people are truly blessed – they can go to school, do what they want to do, and with the freedom to follow their faith.”
Those who took part in the USCIS festivities were from Denham’s 10th Congressional District consisting of Stanislaus County and portions of San Joaquin County.
“We’re a nation of immigrants, a melting pot,” Denham said. “Today marks an important day.”
He was especially thrilled with the hopes and dreams of the young people who became citizens.
“What you do with your opportunity is your decision. That’s what makes this country great,” said Denham.
Manteca police Chief Nick Obligacion indicated that his father, Benjamin Obligacion, who was born in The Philippines in 1919, went through the process of becoming citizen.
“Without that, I would not be standing here as chief (of police),” he said.
J. Lucas Guadarrama no longer had to worry about strings attached to his place of employment.
No sooner than the conclusion of the festivities filled with plenty of pomp and circumstance, the newly sworn citizen and his wife were off and running.
Guadarrama was off to work, where he’s a cellar foreman at a winery.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail email@example.com.Read More
MANTECA — Anwer Alrawni couldn’t hide his smile.
The proud Tracy man snapped photo after photo of his 10-year-old son, Sam, who patiently sat in his chair and held a small American flag in one hand.
It’s an important day, said Alrawni, who emigrated from Yemen.
Sam was among the 51 people who were sworn in as citizens by Ramon Castillo, chief of staff for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Sacramento field office, during a ceremony Tuesday at the Manteca Transit Center.
Alrawni, who himself earned citizenship in 2008, said he was overjoyed to see his son become a citizen.
“I want him to have a good life,” he said. “I want him to work here — have all the rights of a U.S. citizen.
“She’s next,” he added, pointing to Sam’s younger sister.
Thirty children from seven countries, including Afghanistan, Uganda, Mexico and Peru, were sworn in, as were 21 adults from countries such as the Philippines, Vietnam and India.
“Many of you suffered a lot in your home countries,” Castillo said during the ceremony. “(You) came to America and brought your customs and culture ... the very best part of you … Thank you.”
Representatives from Manteca City Council and Manteca Police Chief Nick Obligacion, who shared his father’s journey of emigrating from the Philippines to becoming an American citizen, were present during the ceremony.
Congressman Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, who served as the keynote speaker, told The Record it’s exciting to watch people, especially children, become citizens.
“This is a choice people are making to become citizens, become patriots,” he said. “To see people step up and spend the time to learn and go through the process of naturalization and ultimately becoming a citizen is a big honor and it’s a pretty patriotic thing to watch.”
For 13 years, Melinda Neal of Stockton contemplated the idea of becoming a naturalized citizen, so Tuesday was “a big day” for her.
It was especially meaningful to share the moment she became a citizen with her two daughters and husband, she said.
“I think it’s memorable for them — to value being an American,” she said.
After the ceremony, newly sworn-in citizens and family members posed for photos and shared hugs. Some took the time to register to vote.
Norma Angelica Aguirre, 48, a dental assistant from Manteca, said in Spanish that she’s most excited about now having the ability to help get the right candidates in office, she said.
Twenty-one years ago, Aguirre left Michoacán, Mexico, disillusioned with the idea of having to leave her home country and start with nothing, she said.
But on Tuesday there were no signs of that.
As she clenched two small American flags to her chest, a beaming Aguirre said she’s excited to be a citizen and to be casting her first vote this November.
— Contact reporter Almendra Carpizo at (209) 546-8264 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @AlmendraCarpizo.Read More
As we enter these final "dog days of summer” (which our dog, Lily, thinks are about her), my staff and I are not slowing down in CA-10. I’ll be home for the next several weeks talking to many of you about our district’s needs, so I hope you’ll stop me for a chat when you see me out and about!
Here is what’s coming up in the district as well as a few things I’ve been working on back in Washington, D.C.
Veterans Benefits Workshops in Turlock, Ripon Next Week
Providing the men and women who wore the cloth of this nation with the best possible care is one of my top priorities. To help ensure this happens, our Modesto office will host two Veterans Benefits Workshops next week in collaboration with the San Joaquin and Stanislaus County Veterans Service Offices (CVSOs).
San Joaquin Veterans Benefits Workshop
July 26, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
American Legion Post 190
206 S. Stockton Ave., Ripon
Stanislaus Veterans Benefit Workshop
July 27, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Turlock VFW Post 5059
1405 E. Linwood Ave., Turlock
Workshop attendees will be able to connect with Modesto staff members as well as staff from the local CVSO and ask questions, get help with individual cases and receive additional information about what kind of benefits they may be eligible for and how to secure them.
For more information, visit my website or call (209) 579-5458.
Pollinators Resolution Introduced in the House
On July 14, my Pollinator Caucus co-chair, Rep. Alcee Hastings, and I introduced a House resolution to recognize the important role that pollinators play in agriculture and maintaining our diverse ecosystem. Pollinators, such as birds, bees and butterflies are critical to our ag economy here in the Valley as we have one of the highest outputs of pollinator-dependent fruits and veggies in the entire country. We must continue to raise awareness about the role of the pollinator in our ecosystem and encourage their undisturbed habitation. The declining global populations of pollinators, which are responsible for an estimated $20 billion annually to the economy, would put our food security, economy and ecosystems at risk.
Food Security Bill Signed Into Law
Since 2010, several significant foreign food aid programs have been funded without authorization, but on Wednesday, July 20, the president signed into law the Global Food Security Act of 2016 (S. 1252) to strengthen congressional oversight by setting official funding levels. I supported the House companion bill (H.R. 1567), which was passed in April. In addition to restoring congressional oversite, the bill also improves transparency, efficiency, and reporting requirements within existing food aid programs to ensure that valuable taxpayer dollars are well-spent and that we can continue to focus on our food security needs at home…all with no budget increases.
Calling All Students: 10th District Congressional App Challenge Now Open
This week, I officially launched the 2016 10th District Congressional App Challenge inviting all middle and high school students to create and showcase their apps for mobile, tablet or desktop devices. This is a nationwide competition, with one winner from each congressional district to be showcased in the U.S. Capitol and featured on the U.S. House of Representatives’ website, www.house.gov, and I have no doubt that CA-10 will deliver the best and most innovative new product.
My office will accept submissions until midnight on Nov. 2, 2016, entries will be judged by a panel of local judges, and I will announce the winner the week of Dec. 5, 2016.
For more information, visit my website or call Kassi Fortado in my Modesto office at (209) 579-5458.
In the news
July 21, 2016: New Bill Aims To Increase The Delta's Salmon Population, Decrease Bass
By Ezra David Romero, KVPR - NPR for the Central Valley
“This nonnative fish is eating all of the fish we’re trying to save. This is a great way for republicans and democrats to address an issue of water and of saving our salmon.”
See you soon!
JEFF DENHAMRead More
WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) has announced the opening of California’s 10th District Congressional App Challenge. This challenge invites middle and high school students to compete with peers to create and showcase their software application, or “app,” for mobile, tablet or computer devices on a platform of their choice. The best app will be displayed in an exhibit in the U.S. Capitol. Submissions will be accepted until midnight on Nov. 2, 2016 and will be judged by a panel of local judges. The 10th District’s winner will be announced during the week of Dec. 5, 2016.
“The spirit of innovation is the bedrock of American ingenuity, and this competition offers the next generation of pioneers a national stage to display their creativity and talents,” said Congressman Denham. “I encourage the Valley’s bright, young minds to participate and look forward to seeing the final products of inventiveness in November."
Students may compete as individuals or in teams of up to four. Participants must submit their app’s source code and a demo video online by midnight on Nov. 2, 2016 EST. A panel of local judges who work in the software and entrepreneurial fields will judge the district’s submissions. In addition to being displayed in a U.S. Capitol exhibit, the winning submissions will also be featured on the U.S. House of Representatives’ website (www.house.gov).
Additional details are available at https://denham.house.gov/congressional-app-challenge. Questions should be directed to Kassi Fortado with Rep. Denham’s Modesto office at (209) 579-5458.
The effort to preserve a healthy population of salmon in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is a huge challenge. Those little salmon have a lot of factors working against them. Now a bill in the House of Representatives is trying to take on one of them, the striped bass.
The “Save Our Salmon Act” by Republican Jeff Denham of Turlock would update a 1992 environmental law that manages fish in the Delta. That law sought to increase the number of salmon, but it also set out to double the number of striped bass.
“This nonnative fish is eating all of the fish we’re trying to save,” Denham says. “This is a great way for republicans and democrats to address an issue of water and of saving our salmon.”
Denham’s bill would allow people to catch more bass with the hope that salmon would benefit.
“We are opening up the striped bass to we can allow for greater removal, allowing fishermen to fish higher limits, which will actually give our salmon a fighting chance to survive,” says Denham.
The bill successfully passed through the House in early July. Democratic Congressman Jim Costa of Fresno says the bill received bipartisan support. Costa says the drought helped give lawmakers a better understanding of the issue.
“More and more people have begun to learn the science, biology of the multiple factors that are causing the decline of fisheries that are native to California,” says Costa.
He says the bill is imperative to keep salmon alive, but also to preserve water for farmers looking at tiny allocations of water again this year.
“We also hope that as a result of this we can not only help the salmon but gain greater water supply reliability, which the San Joaquin Valley has been devastated by,” says Costa.
Striped bass aren’t native to California, but even still 24 years ago authors of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act set the goal to double their population. Advocates like Aubrey Bettencourt, the Executive Director of the California Water Alliance, applaud the “Save Our Salmon Act.”
“Implementing a predator management program like the save our salmon program is a practical step to addressing one of the many stressors in the Delta,” says Bettencourt.
She says by decreasing the amount of bass farmers could in the long run have more access to water.
“The health of the salmon and smelt is a critical factor in determining the operation of our water supply,” Bettencourt. “So there’s a domino effect into effect to how each of those elements relates to each other.”
Denham’s bill quotes a 2013 study along the Tuolumne River near Don Pedro Dam east of Modesto saying that 93 percent of juvenile salmon smolts ended up as dinner for striped bass. But not everyone is so sure that efforts to decrease the bass population will actually save salmon.
“They are not a cause of any of the declines,” says noted UC Davis Fish Biologist Peter Moyle who studies fish like the threatened Delta smelt.
“They’re just a symptom of the general decline of the system because striped bass are actually decreasing any way because their habitats have been declining in quality,” Moyle adds.
Moyle says the larger issue for salmon isn’t bass, but humans.
“We’re a predator not only by the direct harvest of fish but also by the fact that all of our stream diversions and various other things we do to the water also harvest fish,” says Moyle.
He says hatchery released salmon are especially vulnerable since they’re raised in giant tubs and fed by humans. When released they can die of exhaustion and are often eaten by scavengers like the white catfish because they lack the skills to avoid predators. Moyle says the best way to preserve the salmon population is to improve the ability of the ecosystem to support them because the early life stages set population size.
“It’s much easier to blame the predators for fish decline rather than the fact that whole ecosystems have changed because there’s insufficient water to make them work right,” says Moyle.
He says if the bill becomes law it should be instituted as an experiment with clear objectives to determine its success. But for it to get there a companion bill will have to go through the senate where a larger conversation about water legislation in California is taking place.
Additional Resources:Read More
1730 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Jeff Denham represents the 10th District of California in the U.S. House of Representatives. His district includes all of Stanislaus County and part of San Joaquin County. He was first elected to Congress in 2010, and is currently serving a third term in the 114th Congress.
Rep. Denham’s public service career began with the U.S. Air Force, where he served for 16 years between active duty and reserve status. He fought in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Restore Hope in Iraq and Somalia, respectively.
After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Rep. Denham worked in the agriculture industry as an almond rancher and entrepreneur. He understands the critical importance of agriculture business in cultivating California’s economy and maintaining employment.
In his work as a California State Senator from 2002-2010, Rep. Denham focused on balancing run-away spending in California and protecting taxpayer dollars from wasteful state projects. He was a proven and courageous leader in the California Senate, where he was the subject of an unsuccessful recall attempt for his refusal to vote on irresponsible budget proposals.
First and foremost, Rep. Denham is a family man. Jeff and Sonia Denham have been married for 21 years, and they have two children, Austin, 18, and Samantha, 16.
In his position as a U.S. Congressman, Rep. Denham remains focused on representing the long-term interests of California’s agricultural businesses, finding a solution to the long struggle over water storage and conveyance, transportation interests in California and fighting for the rights, protections and benefits America’s brave and heroic veterans deserve. He is also an advocate for a top-to-bottom approach to reform for our broken immigration system.
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Enjoyed speaking with this great group of leaders today at the Turlock Exchange Club. Thanks for having me. https://t.co/gABrkBUMjo
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Natl Parks will be FEE FREE Aug 25-28 in celebration of #NPS100! Take this opportunity to explore 100 years of US history & natural wonders!
Happy 100th, National Park Service - here's to 100 more! Reminder that parks will be FEE FREE today, August 25, through August 28, so take this
I'll be in Denair TOMORROW 10:30-11:30 A.M. to listen to your concerns - hope you can make it!
Happy #NationalHoneyBeeDay! Pollinators like bees play an important role in the food supply chain. Last month, my Congressional Pollinator Protection
Thanks to UCP of Stanislaus and Tuolumne Counties for inviting me to the Turlock Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting for your new community garden!
On Tuesday, the U.S. DOT Federal Railway Administration announced three grants for California to help address our state's rail safety needs.