Piru Canyon 4-H helping out the Piru Community with a Spring (May) clean up. They will be planning another clean up in the Fall.
Piru Canyon 4-H helping out the Piru Community with a Spring (May) clean up. They will be planning another clean up in the Fall.
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Agency establishes procedures to protect workers from extreme heat

In preparation for summer and higher temperatures, the Ventura County Public Works Agency issues guidelines to avoid heat-related illness for outdoor workers and others who have high exposure to heat and sun.

The Heat Illness Prevention Program complies with rules enacted by the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CalOSHA) in 2015. Key elements of this program that protect workers with risk of exposure are:

• Providing drinking water: if the Heat Index (a combination of heat and humidity) exceeds 80 degrees F, one quart of drinking water per person every hour is provided.
• Providing shade: Under the same heat index conditions, sufficient shade is provided near the work location to allow adequate cool-down periods
• New workers who are not accustomed to high heat conditions, are monitored for acclimatization for 14 days after employment.

In heat waves (temperatures above 80 and 10 degrees higher than normal) or high heat (more than 95 degrees F), VCPWA holds “tailgate” meetings to discuss the VCPWA heat illness prevention procedures, review weather forecasts, and emergency responses. All employees must be closely monitored during heat waves. In addition, VCPWA may cut or reschedule a work day.

VCPWA employees must follow the provided instructions on preventing heat illness including, staying hydrated before and during work, taking breaks in shaded areas and informing a co-worker or supervisor about symptoms of heat-related illness.

“In 2014, more than 2,600 people came down with heat related illnesses in the United States and 18 people died. These were all preventable,” said Phil Raba, Health and Safety Administrative Officer with the VCPWA. “Typically, August, September and October are our hottest months, though a severe heat wave can happen any time of year. Using Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines, VCPWA established this program for our employees in heat-exposed jobs to work safely in the heat and reduce the number of heat-related incidents.”

Exposure to direct sunlight can increase the “heat index” by 15 degrees F. In addition, the head index can rise dramatically with relatively small increases in heat and humidity. For example, an 80 degree day with 80 percent humidity produces a heat index of 84. But an increase in temperature to 85 degrees with the same humidity produces a heat index of 96.

 


 

A reader of our meditation column recently mentioned to me that she “loves reading the column but doesn’t understand all of it.” To overcome this minor obstacle I recommend to anyone having difficulty in comprehension not to hesitate in contacting me to clarify any ambiguities. I also suggest that the readers cut out and create a notebook of the columns so that you can refer back to certain issues to gain a better understanding as we progress in our exploration of the science of meditation. Access to previous weeks is also available online, but you can’t mark them up with notations.

Our column on The Science Of Meditation is much more than learning about the effects of meditation on the human being. You figured that out by now, right? For those who are practicing sincerely and have done so for at least a few months, it should be clear, (clear is the objective in practicing meditation), that the practitioner is not meditating for oneself but for others. Wow, what does that mean? Imagine that our differences between us could actually evaporate and disappear. In other words, that we create the world where nothing prevents us from loving each other as living creative creatures on our blessed planet where the term “them” becomes a pejorative. So, our column is really about learning creativity, sustainability and that for every action there is an action of equal content whether it is hate, judgment or love.

What does it mean to be “clear” and what is this business about “them?” Imagine that for millions of years we are moving along on the evolutionary conveyor belt - that’s the thing under your feet that you can’t see. Take a second to ponder what we just wrote. Yes, you wrote it too. We wrote it together as we explore consciousness! Ask yourself the question, “Did we always see other humans as a threat?” In the early days of emerging intelligence were we curious or fearful of other humans? Let’s explore this idea next week. For now take a few minutes and “clear” your path.

Set a timer for 10 minutes. Sit down on the edge of a firm chair. Don’t lean against the chair-back. Sit up vertical so that your torso is parallel to the force of gravity. Allow gravity to pierce straight through your verticality. Tuck your chin in a bit. As you are sitting with your hands on your thighs, close your eyes, relax, nasal breathe and as you gently inhale swell your belly bringing vital oxygen into the larger lower lungs. Gently nasal exhale. Continue with your breathing concentrating only on your belly-breathing mechanism. This is your sanctuary! Stay in it! When a thought intrudes your sanctuary, don’t judge it. Let the thought drift away like a cloud as you remain in your sanctuary, focusing on your breath. Be patient as you build your skill. It takes only a little effort and time to train yourself. Soon you will create new neural networks in your brain that will give you clarity in life. Thoughts are persistent but not welcome in your sanctuary. Let them be as clouds drifting away. Only the stillness of mind and body and the rhythm of your breathing are welcome. Stillness - breath - clarity.

Paul Benavidez, MFA

 


 

Community Memorial Health System’s Healthy Women’s Program is hosting a Community Outreach Day which offers free mammograms and healthcare education to the first 35 women who qualify. This event will take place at the Center for Family Health in Ventura on Saturday, Aug. 27.

The women will arrive early at the CFH office located at 120 N. Ashwood Avenue where they will be transported to The Breast Center at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, and then back to the Centers office.

This year, an estimated 232,340 new cases of breast cancer occurred in the United States, and early detection and awareness is the key to fighting this life-threatening disease. The Healthy Women’s Program provided through Community Memorial Health System benefits women in the community who are uninsured, under-insured or lack funds to pay for mammograms and follow-up treatment, if necessary.

“These women have nowhere else in the county to go to get these services; that’s why they come to us,” said Petra Luna, education manager for Centers for Family Health.

The Healthy Women’s Program is made possible through the support of Community Memorial Health System and fortunate support of funds raised by the Saticoy Regional Womens Club and Heels and Wheels, Community Memorial Health System is able to offer breast cancer screening and treatment and cervical cancer screening to women in our community who lack access to pay for these life-saving exams.

To find out if you qualify for this program, call 805/651-2661. For more information on the Healthy Women’s Program visit www.cmhshealth.org/healthywomen.

Community Memorial Health System is a not-for-profit health system, which is comprised of Community Memorial Hospital, Ojai Valley Community Hospital, along with the Centers for Family Health serving various communities within and located in Ventura County, California.

 


 

The County of Ventura Grand Jury is an all-volunteer group serving as an independent agent of the public to investigate complaints from the public pertaining to government agencies in our community. Is your organization interested in hearing about these investigative duties and procedures? The Grand Jury Speakers Bureau is available to educate the public in its endeavors as the “public watchdog” for Ventura County. To learn more or schedule a date for a presentation, please call the Grand Jury at 805-477-1600. For additional information, you may also refer to its website, http://www.ventura.org/grand-jury

 


 

Due to exceptional drought conditions, those who are looking forward to fall whitewater activities in the Lake Piru area will be disappointed again this year.

In normal years, the District releases water from Lake Piru for several weeks during the fall season in order to recharge downstream groundwater basins. These releases provide a rare opportunity for whitewater rafting and kayaking in Southern California. Exceptional drought conditions have resulted in another year of less than normal precipitation in the water shed providing runoff to Lake Piru and resulted in very low surface water storage levels in the reservoir. As result the District will not conduct a fall release for the fourth consecutive year.

For more information on future whitewater boating opportunities, please contact Lake Piru Recreation Area Senior Park Services Officer Clayton Strahan at 805-317-8990 or claytons@unitedwater.org.

 

Neck pain will be the focus of a free seminar Community Memorial Health System is holding on Tuesday, Aug. 30.

Michael Dorsi, who specializes in neurosurgery with expertise in brain, spine and peripheral surgery, will lead the seminar that will run from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Courtyard by Marriott Oxnard, 600 E. Esplanade Drive.

Neck pain can be debilitating and painful. Common symptoms include pain, numbness or weakness, tingling and difficulty with balance or even walking. Dr. Dorsi will discuss how neck pain is diagnosed, nonsurgical management and treatment and healthy lifestyle choices to help alleviate symptoms.

Dr. Dorsi received his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He trained in neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins and completed an advanced spinal care fellowship at UCLA. He is an active member of the Community Memorial Hospital medical staff and the clinical instructor for Western University School of Medicine.

Registration is free but reservations are required. Visit cmhshealth.org/rsvp or call Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800/838-3006.

Future Speaker Series events include: Ethics in Healthcare: Are You a Good Patient? on Sept. 14 at the Museum of Ventura County, Hyperbaric Medicine seminar on Sept. 27 at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura and Colon Cancer Symposium on Oct. 1 at the Ventura Beach Marriott.

Community Memorial Health System is a not-for-profit health system, which is comprised of Community Memorial Hospital, Ojai Valley Community Hospital, along with the Centers for Family Health serving various communities within and located in Ventura County, California.

 
Kendra Winwood, right, with humane officer Tracy Vail and Robert J. Hoffman, HSVC’s director of investigations. Photo credit: Greg Cooper, Brooks Institute.
Kendra Winwood, right, with humane officer Tracy Vail and Robert J. Hoffman, HSVC’s director of investigations. Photo credit: Greg Cooper, Brooks Institute.
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The Humane Society of Ventura County’s Kendra Winwood was sworn in by Ventura County Superior Court Judge Henry Walsh on July 28 as the HSVC’s newest humane officer.

Robert J. Hoffman, HSVC’s director of investigations, presented the badge to Winwood, who then had it pinned on her uniform by senior officer Tracy Vail. Winwood’s family and friends, along with several board members of the HSVC and staff, were present to celebrate her achievements.

Shelter Director Jolene Hoffman told the crowd how important it is to support humane officers who perform a difficult job every day, not only for rescuing abused and neglected animals but continuing the education their jobs require.

Kendra has worked for the HSVC for two years and has completed arrest, search and seizure education. She has also completed 80 hours of humane officer training academy. Winwood will be working with senior officer Vail for field training over the next six months before she will investigate cases of animal abuse on her own.

The Humane Society of Ventura County is a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1932. It does not receive federal, state or local tax dollars to operate and relies solely on private donations.

 
Marijuana – A Complete Ban

The City of Fillmore has a complete ban on medical marijuana including personal growth, delivery, dispensaries and cultivation. We had a great turnout at the City Council’s study session on Monday, July 25 to listen to experts discuss the pros and cons of medical marijuana and recreational use marijuana. The City Council chambers were overflowing with residents stretched out to the foyer and beyond. Although the meeting was originally scheduled to end at 9:00 p.m., the City Council stayed past 11:00 p.m. to allow everyone present who wanted to provide public comment an opportunity to speak.

I am going to take the opportunity to correct some misconceptions.

• No dispensaries have been approved to operate within Fillmore. The City Council has not requested a discussion of whether dispensaries should be allowed. The only City Council action on dispensaries has been to ban them.
• The City has not recruited any cultivation businesses to open in the Business Park. The City was approached by several potential businesses and those business have looked at the Business Park.
• The approval of the 19 building buildings has expired. Future development on the site will require City approval.

Monday’s study session was held as the City Council is preparing for the possible approval of Proposition 64 which would allow recreational use and personal growth of marijuana. The City Council is very concerned about the passage of Proposition 64 and the negative impacts that recreational marijuana use will bring.

The City Council is not rushing into any decisions, but it does want to stay ahead of these issues - the community’s input on these issues is invaluable. The turnout at Monday’s meeting was wonderful. This is another example why Fillmore is the “Best Last Small Town.”

 
The members of the Fillmore Women’s Service Club present Ramona Tovar their Adult Woman’s Scholarship at their meeting in June. Attending with her was her son Jamie Delgado who we helped get his GED and is now attending Adult Job training. We are very proud of both of them.
The members of the Fillmore Women’s Service Club present Ramona Tovar their Adult Woman’s Scholarship at their meeting in June. Attending with her was her son Jamie Delgado who we helped get his GED and is now attending Adult Job training. We are very proud of both of them.
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Mimi Burns and Susan Banks attended Moorpark High School Awards night to present Community Scholarships to Bailey and Sierra Huerta. Both girls reside in Fillmore and will be attending Universities in the fall. Sierra is an avid athlete and Bailey is a talented artist.
Mimi Burns and Susan Banks attended Moorpark High School Awards night to present Community Scholarships to Bailey and Sierra Huerta. Both girls reside in Fillmore and will be attending Universities in the fall. Sierra is an avid athlete and Bailey is a talented artist.
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The Fillmore Women's Service Club presented three Community Scholarships this June. At the Fillmore High School Awards night Mimi Burns presented Rafael Reglado a scholarship on behalf of the members. Rafael plans to get a degree in Business and eventually open his own business.
The Fillmore Women's Service Club presented three Community Scholarships this June. At the Fillmore High School Awards night Mimi Burns presented Rafael Reglado a scholarship on behalf of the members. Rafael plans to get a degree in Business and eventually open his own business.
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Kraft and Sons, a family-owned computer repair and website design company, is excited to announce our new location at 429 Central Ave. in Fillmore.  Phone number is 524-6440.  We are committed to provide personal, honest and professional services to Fillmore and the surrounding area. Our company logo is a lighthouse representing our desire to touch lives and help others.  “Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’”  John
Kraft and Sons, a family-owned computer repair and website design company, is excited to announce our new location at 429 Central Ave. in Fillmore. Phone number is 524-6440. We are committed to provide personal, honest and professional services to Fillmore and the surrounding area. Our company logo is a lighthouse representing our desire to touch lives and help others. “Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’” John
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Our last column compared our neural capacity to a computer’s central processing unit, CPU, and how computers or Artificial Intelligence (AI), will likely never possess empathy and other emotions. Would AI ever experience the emotion of love? What about other life forms? Emotions may or may not separate us from other life forms. As far as myself, when I look into the eyes of a horse or a cow, I sense a type of love in that four legged being. OK, it may be my empathy, but they sure love hanging out with me. I can't categorize a horse or a cow as less important than myself. In a greater context, I see all the life on planet Earth as part of the same family. Taking this concept further, arguably all of the life support systems of Earth, under the umbrella of the ‘carbon cycle,’ should also be included in the miraculous family of life. At the microcosm level, responsible and loving family members respect and care for each other throughout their lives. In a way, the family members are a ‘central processing cluster’ of their family's welfare, but also humanity’s. In a greater context, Earth’s life support systems should be included in the family unit. We can’t live and propagate without our CPU’s, better known as our gray matter. And we surely can’t live and propagate without Earth’s life support systems. Don’t even believe humans and the family of life could wholesomely and indefinitely survive in artificial environments because our emotions are stitched into the fabric of nature with one big emotion called love.

So what am I getting at here? Imagine that when you were born, you were given an empty suitcase. Of course, you were born naked with nothing but your human genome and the culturally constructed epigenome. You already have your genetic instincts. Right off the top, you begin to breathe and then begin to pucker your lips seeking your mother’s breast milk. And right off the starting line, your parents, open the suitcase and consciously and unconsciously, begin to add items to your suitcase. Remember that the epigenome carries the lived experiences of your family line - previous generations’ behaviors were shaped by their experiences and this mixture of characteristics are passed to you in the epigenome. So your suitcase, already getting filled up by our parents and culture, is also burgeoning with epigenetic characteristics. Some of them are good characteristics and others are really bad. If we examine the human species like a culture on a petri dish, we can clearly see that it isn’t flourishing and thriving. It’s carrying a lot of baggage and empathy seems to be missing.

Next week part 2.
Paul Benavidez, MFA

 

Sierra Bancorp (NASDAQ: BSRR), the holding company of Bank of the Sierra, announced today the completion of its acquisition of Coast Bancorp (OTC: CTBP) of San Luis Obispo County, California through the merger of Coast Bancorp with and into Sierra Bancorp. Pursuant to the terms of the acquisition agreement dated January 4, 2016, Coast Bancorp shareholders received aggregate merger consideration of approximately $13.5 million, payable $3.3 million in cash with the balance payable in shares of the common stock of Sierra Bancorp. Immediately following the acquisition, Coast Bancorp’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Coast National Bank, was merged into Sierra Bancorp’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Bank of the Sierra. Bank of the Sierra now has close to $2 billion in assets and operates 33 full-service branches, as well as a loan production office, an online branch, a real estate industries center, an agricultural credit center, and an SBA center.

Bank of the Sierra President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin McPhaill said, “We are pleased to see the successful completion of the acquisition. Thanks to the diligent work of both teams, the closing of the acquisition went smoothly, and we are excited to welcome the employees and customers of Coast to the Bank of the Sierra family and to offer our products and services to this robust market.”

Advisors
Sierra Bancorp was advised in the transaction by Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, a Stifel Company, as financial advisor and King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano, LLP as legal counsel. Coast Bancorp was advised in the transaction by FIG Partners, LLC, as financial advisor and Stuart | Moore as legal counsel. Coast Bancorp received a fairness opinion from the Vining Sparks Community Bank Advisory Group.

About Sierra Bancorp & Bank of the Sierra
Sierra Bancorp (NASDAQ: BSRR) is a publicly-traded company with approximately $2 billion in assets. Headquartered in Porterville, California, the company operates primarily through Bank of the Sierra (the Bank). The Bank is a multi-community financial institution that offers a full range of retail and commercial banking services, primarily in the central and southern sections of the San Joaquin Valley. The Bank specializes in agricultural lending and works with many of the businesses in that region. Since opening for business in January 1978, the Bank has grown to be the largest independent bank headquartered in the South San Joaquin Valley. More information about Sierra Bancorp and Bank of the Sierra can be found at the following websites:
www.sierrabancorp.com
www.bankofthesierra.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
Statements made in this release, other than those concerning historical financial information, may be considered forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release and are based on current expectations and involve a number of assumptions. These include statements as to the anticipated benefits of the merger, including future financial and operating results, cost savings and enhanced revenues that may be realized from the merger as well as other statements of expectations regarding the merger and any other statements regarding future results or expectations. Sierra Bancorp intends such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and is including this statement for purposes of these safe harbor provisions. The Company’s ability to predict results or the actual effect of future plans or strategies is inherently uncertain. Factors which could have a material effect on the operations and future prospects of Sierra Bancorp include but are not limited to: the businesses of Sierra Bancorp and/or Coast Bancorp may not be integrated successfully or such integration may be more difficult, time-consuming or costly than expected; expected revenue synergies and cost savings from the merger may not be fully realized or realized within the expected time frame; revenues following the merger may be lower than expected; customer and employee relationships and business operations may be disrupted by the merger; the ability to obtain required regulatory and shareholder approvals, and the ability to complete the merger on the expected timeframe may be more difficult, time-consuming or costly than expected; changes in interest rates, general economic conditions, legislative/regulatory changes, monetary and fiscal policies of the U.S. government, including policies of the U.S. Treasury and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve; the quality and composition of the loan and securities portfolios; demand for loan products; deposit flows; competition; demand for financial services in the companies’ respective market areas; their implementation of new technologies; their ability to develop and maintain secure and reliable electronic systems; and accounting principles, policies, and guidelines, and other risk factors detailed from time to time. Sierra Bancorp undertakes no obligation to update or clarify these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

 
Contestants in the 2016 Body Image Powerlifting competition. Photo by Bob Crum.
Contestants in the 2016 Body Image Powerlifting competition. Photo by Bob Crum.
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The Fillmore Photography Club inauguration is scheduled for Thursday, July 14, 2016.

The informal get together begins at 7 p.m. at the Active Adult and Community Center, 533 Santa Clara Street.

Long time photojournalist Bob Crum will lead the discussion on tentative activity plans. These include monthly assignments based on various themes. Photos by participants will be reviewed the following month.

This initial meeting is also for interested photographers and wannabe photographers to offer feedback about what they're most interested in and their preferences. What you expect and desire is important to know.

Everyone who shares an interest in photography... regardless of the gear at hand... whether point-and-shoot cameras, a dSLR camera or even a cell phone ... is encouraged to attend and participate in the discussions.

So you there!!!

 
Several months ago the Rotary Club challenged the Explorers of Post #2958 if they could raise $10,000, toward their new van, then the Club would match it. They reached their goal and the Club awarded them with $10,000. Kyle Wilson, Deputy Leo Vazquez, Explorers Danielle Ramirez, Matthew Hammond and Isaiah Galvez. The Rotary Club Fireworks Booth will be at the corner of Hwy 126 and E Street. It is the first booth as you enter Fillmore from West to East; on the right side.
Several months ago the Rotary Club challenged the Explorers of Post #2958 if they could raise $10,000, toward their new van, then the Club would match it. They reached their goal and the Club awarded them with $10,000. Kyle Wilson, Deputy Leo Vazquez, Explorers Danielle Ramirez, Matthew Hammond and Isaiah Galvez. The Rotary Club Fireworks Booth will be at the corner of Hwy 126 and E Street. It is the first booth as you enter Fillmore from West to East; on the right side.
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Kyle Wilson, President and Rotarian Jerry Peterson. Jerry presented a program on his experiences while volunteering in Yosemite this past May.
Kyle Wilson, President and Rotarian Jerry Peterson. Jerry presented a program on his experiences while volunteering in Yosemite this past May.
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Kyle Wilson steps down as President of the Rotary Club of Fillmore and Julie Latshaw begins the year ahead.
Kyle Wilson steps down as President of the Rotary Club of Fillmore and Julie Latshaw begins the year ahead.
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July 19, 2016

The effects of sleep apnea and temporomandibular joint disorder – TMJ – on chronic headaches will be focus of a free seminar Community Memorial Health System is holding on Tuesday, July 19.

Brigitte Lovell, D.M.D., who specializes in headache and orofacial pain, will lead the seminar that will run from 6 to 8 p.m. in the eighth-floor Nichols Auditorium at Community Memorial Hospital, 147 N. Brent St.

Dr. Lovell will discuss the warning signs, diagnosis and treatment of TMJ, which can cause pain to the head, jaw, neck and shoulders. She also will cover TMJ pain night guards, devices and injections, as well as sleep apnea/snoring custom-made alternative dental devices that are available.

Dr. Lovell received her medical degree from Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health and completed her residency training at UCLA. She is a member of the American Headache Society,
American Academy of Orofacial Pain and the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain.

Registration is free but reservations are required. Visit cmhshealth.org/rsvp or call Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800/838-3006.

Future Speaker Series events include: Stroke Recognition and Prevention on August 13 in Ojai; and New Cardiovascular Concerns for Breast Cancer Survivors on August 16 at CMH; and Neck Pain: A Real Pain in the Neck on August 30 in Oxnard.

Community Memorial Health System is a not-for-profit health system, which is comprised of Community Memorial Hospital, Ojai Valley Community Hospital, along with the Centers for Family Health serving various communities within and located in Ventura County, California.

 

I’m no expert on computer technology but I know a few scientists in the field. Just recently I ran into Jack LeTourneau at the Ojai Music Festival. Jack and I collaborated on a few art projects in the past. Jack is a Berkeley-trained computer scientist with multiple patents on computer technology. Our encounter refreshed my memory of “node label trees” and cloud computing. Jack introduced me to this technology. It was a fascinating experience for a computer science novice.

Our brain is a central processing unit, CPU. Consider your computer. Its CPU is the electronic circuitry that is mandatory for the computer to operate. The objective whether the CPU is in an iMac or your brain is essentially the same. It sends out all the information to your being’s architecture which is how you exist. Notice I didn’t include “why.” The largest mainframe computer in the world is dwarfed by the human brain’s design and processing ability. Mainframe technology is slowly being replaced by other technologies such as “cluster, grid and cloud computing.” These inventions are simply using massive arrays of smaller computers like linking up home computers around the world to process information. In a way, computer evolution is similar to our evolving brains. I might add that the technologies of the cluster, grid and cloud computing, remind us of our connectedness to each other and that together rather than apart, humanity is a far greater CPU than the individual person or mainframe-group.

The analogy of the computer CPU and our brain’s circuitry falls apart when we consider a meaningful, productive and creative life experience. The outdated computer is quickly discarded when it fails to perform. Humankind would never discard a mentally or physically challenged person. This is the characteristic of empathy and compassion that vastly separates humanity from computers and gives us our unique meaningful existence. Scientific research on how our biology responds to acts of empathy versus absence of empathy irrefutably show that empathy and compassion are essential to our health and well-being. It should be obvious that these human characteristics are deeply integral to our circuitry.

Meditation exercises your CPU. It grows new circuitry. The new wiring travels the evolutionary path of least resistance opening a workable future for the individual and humanity. It overrides epigenetic gene expression that passes on destructive types of behavior - similar to a computer virus. You don’t have to have a Ph.D. to enhance your CPU nor to discover "why" you exist. Exercise your kindness. Focus on your breathing. See yourself in others. See humanity as one CPU.

Paul Benavidez, MFA

 

Sierra Bancorp (NASDAQ: BSRR), the holding company of Bank of the Sierra, and Coast Bancorp (OTC: CTBP), the holding company of Coast National Bank, today announced that on June 20, 2016, at a special meeting, the shareholders of Coast Bancorp approved the Agreement and Plan of Reorganization and Merger, dated as of January 4, 2016 (the “Merger Agreement”), by and between Sierra Bancorp and Coast Bancorp, pursuant to which Coast Bancorp will be merged with and into Sierra Bancorp, and immediately thereafter Coast National Bank will be merged with and into Bank of the Sierra. All required regulatory approvals have also been received and the transaction is expected to close on or about July 8, 2016, pending satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

Sierra Bancorp also announced that Anita Robinson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Coast Bancorp and Coast National Bank, will become part of the Bank of the Sierra team as the Market President of the San Luis Obispo area upon completion of the acquisition.

Coast Bancorp further announced that, as required by the Merger Agreement, the rights issued under its Tax Benefits Preservation Plan issued to Coast Bancorp shareholders were redeemed effective June 20, 2016. The termination of the plan and the redemption of the related rights is a closing condition to the Merger. Coast Bancorp shareholders will receive formal notice of redemption shortly, including payment of the required redemption price.

About Coast Bancorp and Coast National Bank
Coast Bancorp is the holding company for Coast National Bank, which serves the communities of San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande, Paso Robles and Atascadero, California and had $144 million in assets as of March 31, 2016. Established in 1997, Coast National Bank is a local community bank serving the needs of consumers and businesses through three branch locations and one loan production office throughout San Luis Obispo County.

About Sierra Bancorp & Bank of the Sierra
Sierra Bancorp (NASDAQ: BSRR) is a publicly-traded company with approximately $1.8 billion in assets. Headquartered in Porterville, California, the company operates primarily through Bank of the Sierra (the Bank). The Bank is a multi-community financial institution that offers a full range of retail and commercial banking services, primarily in the central and southern sections of the San Joaquin Valley. The Bank specializes in agricultural lending and works with many of the businesses in that region. Since opening for business in January 1978, the Bank has grown to be the largest independent bank headquartered in the South San Joaquin Valley. More information about Sierra Bancorp and Bank of the Sierra can be found at the following websites:
www.sierrabancorp.com
www.bankofthesierra.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
Statements made in this release, other than those concerning historical financial information, may be considered forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release and are based on current expectations and involve a number of assumptions. These include statements as to the anticipated benefits of the merger, including future financial and operating results, cost savings and enhanced revenues that may be realized from the merger as well as other statements of expectations regarding the merger and any other statements regarding future results or expectations. Each of Sierra Bancorp and Coast Bancorp intends such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and is including this statement for purposes of these safe harbor provisions. The companies’ respective abilities to predict results or the actual effect of future plans or strategies is inherently uncertain. Factors which could have a material effect on the operations and future prospects of each of Sierra Bancorp and Coast Bancorp and the resulting company, include but are not limited to: the businesses of Sierra Bancorp and/or Coast Bancorp may not be integrated successfully or such integration may be more difficult, time-consuming or costly than expected; expected revenue synergies and cost savings from the merger may not be fully realized or realized within the expected time frame; revenues following the merger may be lower than expected; customer and employee relationships and business operations may be disrupted by the merger; the ability to obtain required regulatory and shareholder approvals, and the ability to complete the merger on the expected timeframe may be more difficult, time-consuming or costly than expected; changes in interest rates, general economic conditions, legislative/regulatory changes, monetary and fiscal policies of the U.S. government, including policies of the U.S. Treasury and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve; the quality and composition of the loan and securities portfolios; demand for loan products; deposit flows; competition; demand for financial services in the companies’ respective market areas; their implementation of new technologies; their ability to develop and maintain secure and reliable electronic systems; and accounting principles, policies, and guidelines, and other risk factors detailed in the SEC filings of Sierra Bancorp, including the “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” sections of Sierra Bancorp’s most recent Form 10-K and Form 10-Q. Sierra Bancorp and Coast Bancorp undertake no obligation to update or clarify these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Additional Information about the Proposed Transaction and Where to Find It
This communication does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or a solicitation of any vote or approval. In connection with the proposed transaction, Sierra Bancorp filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission a registration statement on Form S-4 containing, among other things, a proxy statement/prospectus and other documents with respect to the proposed Merger. INVESTORS ARE URGED TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS (INCLUDING ALL AMENDMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTS THERETO) AND OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS PROVIDED BY SIERRA BANCORP AND COAST BANCORP BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION.

Investors may obtain free copies of the proxy statement/prospectus and other relevant documents prepared by Sierra Bancorp and Coast Bancorp free of charge by contacting Sierra Bancorp or Coast Bancorp.