Department of Housing and Community Development Part of the Team

In an unprecedented collaboration to construct the country’s first service enriched Habitat for Heroes veteran village, the California Department of Veteran Affairs (CalVet) announced it has set aside more than $21 million for Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valley (Habitat SF/SCV) to build homes for California veterans and their families living in the Santa Clarita and Sylmar areas of Los Angeles County.

Veterans will now have a great opportunity to own a home thanks to this public-private collaboration between CalVet, the Habitat for Humanity affiliate serving San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys, and that affiliate’s special program, Habitat for Heroes, sponsored by Southern California Gas Company in partnership with KHTS AM 1220 Radio, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and local nonprofit organizations.

Through this collaboration, low-income veterans will qualify for beautiful three-and-four-bedroom homes, which veterans can purchase using a CalVet Home Loan, a Habitat SF/SCV second loan, and in the case of the Sylmar project, a deferred silent third loan from HCD. The veteran will provide sweat equity to reduce the costs and help build these green energy-efficient affordable homes.

“We are very excited CONTINUED »

 

Click here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H9SHK55 to get your free eBook today.


 

The November 6 General Election is just around the corner! The California Department of Veterans Affairs is coordinating with the California Secretary of State to encourage veterans, active duty military, employees and their families to vote!

“Veterans have protected our right to vote from the time this country was formed,” said CalVet Secretary Peter J. Gravett. “Men and women are standing the line to defend that right today, and we should all honor their sacrifice and service by voting on November 6.”

The last day to register to vote in the General Election is October 22, 2012. Registration is easy. If you have a California Driver License, you can register online at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_vr.htm. Active military personnel who are California residents serving out of state or deployed overseas are encouraged to participate. You may also register to vote at your County Elections Office. To find an office near you, visit www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_d.htm.

Polls will be open on Election Day, November 6, 2012, from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Registered voters who cannot make it to the polls on Election Day, can vote by mail. To do so, complete and print an application found at www.sos.ca.gov/elections_m.htm. Mail your application in time to arrive at your County Elections Office no later than October 30, 2012. Deployed military personnel should do so immediately so that their ballots can reach them and be returned in time to be counted.

For more information call, the Secretary of State’s voter hotline at (800) 345-VOTE or visit www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voting-in-california.

 


 

The California Department of Veterans Affairs advises that the grant application deadline for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) Program is September 28, 2012. The SSVF Program's purpose is to provide supportive services grants to private nonprofit organizations and consumer cooperatives who will coordinate or provide supportive services to very low-income veteran families who are residing in permanent housing, are homeless and scheduled to become residents of permanent housing within a specified time period, or after exiting permanent housing, are seeking other housing that is responsive to such very low-income veteran family's needs and preferences.

The USDVA published a notice in the August 23 Federal Register requesting that eligible entities interested in applying for funding under the SSVF Program submit a letter of intent. The SSVF Program expects to publish a notice of funding availability (NOFA) in fiscal year 2013. The NOFA will contain information concerning the SSVF Program, initial and renewal supportive services grant application processes, and amount of funding available.

Interested organizations are encouraged to submit a non-binding letter of intent to apply for initial

and renewal supportive services grants under the SSVF Program by 1:00 p.m. PST on

September 28, 2012. A copy of the Letter of Intent format may be downloaded at www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp. Questions should be referred to the SSVF Program Office via phone at (877) 737-0111 (this is a toll-free number) or via email at SSVF@va.gov.

To view the full notice from the August 23 Federal Register with complete instructions on how to

submit your letter of intent, go to www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/08/23/2012-20761/letter-of-intent-....

 


 

The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) mobile app was given an Honorable Mention in the Driving Digital Government State Government Category of the 2012 Digital Government Achievement Awards presented by the Center for Digital Government. The Digital Government Achievement Awards highlight outstanding agency and department websites and applications. Fifty-six awards in eight categories were given this year.

The CalVet mobile app, available for both Apple and Android devices, gives users 24/7 access to information about employment, education, housing, health and other benefits and services available to California veterans. The app provides details of specific veteran benefits, including eligibility, providers, hours of operation, and contact information. Using GPS technology, the app also provides maps and driving directions to nearby County Veterans Service Offices, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health facilities and clinics, and organizations that offer services to veterans. The mobile app can be downloaded for free from Google Play and from the iTunes Store.

“Digital technology has fundamentally changed the way people interact with their government and we are seeing it demonstrated through everything from full service portals to special purpose mobile apps,” said Todd Sander, executive director of the Center for Digital Government. “We’re excited about the opportunities governments are creating to make new things possible and to do the old things faster and more efficiently.”

“As CalVet Chief Information Officer, it is truly an honor that our mobile app continues to be recognized at the national level,” said Christie Borchin.

The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government. Through its diverse and dynamic programs and services, the Center provides public and private sector leaders with decision support, knowledge, and opportunities to help them effectively incorporate new technologies in the 21st century.

 


 

NAVAL BASE VENTURA COUNTY, Point Mugu, CA - Good waves and sunny weather kept smiles on the faces of 142 competitors and 7,500 spectators at the Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) Point Mugu Surf Contest Presented by Navy Recycling Aug 18-19, 2012.

NBVC Commanding Officer Captain Larry Vasquez opened the gates to the public, allowing rare access to one of Southern California’s best waves. The event benefits the NBVC Morale, Welfare and Recreation department, a Quality of Life program for military and their families.

Matt Merel won the Military Men’s division for the fourth straight year, edging out Kuilee Murphy, Chris Stacy and Simon Blanco. It was a tough challenge with Murphy scoring a perfect 10 score earlier in the competition and ending with the best average heat points at 18, compared to Merel’s 15.90. Justin Hawkins, serving with VR-55 at NBVC Point Mugu, was the hometown favorite that went furthest in the competition, making it to the semi-finals. The military division featured competitors from the U.S, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy.

In the Women’s division, Angelita Noche was the first military woman to make the finals in the 5-year history of the event. She finished 2nd in challenging conditions with Demi Boelsterli in 1st, and Kloee Openshaw in 3rd; the Women surf in one combined division that included professional, amateur, junior, and military women.

Jake Kelley defended his title in the Junior’s division (17 and under), winning for the third consecutive year. Jake will have to leave the Hat Trick behind, as the age requirements will move him into the open for next year’s event.

Dane Reynolds scored a couple of perfect 10 scores on his way to winning the Men’s Open division. Ventura local Reynolds was inducted into the Surfing Hall of Fame earlier this month in Huntington Beach, CA. Cory Arrambide, Jeremy Ryan, and Mike McCabe also made the finals as they progressed through a stacked field of over 80 professionals and amateurs. Past World Champion Tom Curren surfed along with son Pat, aerial innovator Christian Fletcher, Surfing Magazine Shaper of the Year Robert Weiner, and local pros Arrambide, Sean Hayes, and Adam Virs; they were the crowd favorites, drawing big cheers during their heats. Even announcer Todd Kline joined the fun, advancing to the Quarterfinals

Live music both days featured Bret Jensen, Banned from the Beach, Groove Persona, and Big Junior Little on Saturday; Sunday was reggae day with local bands Jah Mon Soul, Rising Son, The Divine Crime, and Reggae Hall of Fame artist Pato Banton.

The event was presented by Navy Region Southwest Sustainable Solid Waste Program, who filled the beach with a message to “reduce, reuse, recycle” on everything from competitor jerseys to the main stage featuring live music. Thank you to all the Sponsors: Revolution Surf Co., Domino’s Pizza, Chiquita, Channel Islands Logistics, PODS, SCOSHE, Matuna’s, Red Bull, Lincoln Military Housing, USAA Insurance, VC Star.

August 19, 2012 NBVC Point Mugu Surf Contest Presented by Navy Recycling

Final Results

Women’s
1 Demi Boelsterli
2 Angelita Noche
3 Kloee Openshaw

Junior’s
1 Jake Kelley
2 Micky Clarke
3 Eric Ronning
4 Charlie Fawcett

Military Men’s
1 Matt Merel USCG
2 Kuilee Murphy USCG
3 Chris Stacy USAF
4 Simon Blanco USCG

Men’s Open
1 Dane Reynolds
2 Cory Arrambide
3 Jeremy Ryan
4 Mike McCabe

 

US AIR FORCE
Airman Kailey Andrews
Airman First Class Bryana Casas
Senior Airman Michael Chavez
Airman First Class Jacob Collins
Staff Sergeant Justin Collins
First Lieutenant Chris Gurrola
Airman First Class Ryan Hackney
Senior Master Sergeant Michelle Hart
Staff Sergeant Pedro Rivera-Aparicio
US MARINE CORPS
Colonel James Griffin
Private Andrew Lochelt
Corporal Jose A. Patino
Captain Marcos A. Ruvalcaba
Corporal Steven Zanotti
Private Tabetha Solorio
Corporal Ray Alvarado-Ponce
US NAVY
MA3 Matthew R. Cobos
IT2 Phillip Diaz
EM1 William Foster
Petty Officer Second Class Branden D. Hadley
Chief Petty Officer Garrett Kendrick
Petty Officer First Class Joshua A. Mendez
STG2 Richard Schnitz
LCDR Frank Solorzano
Yeoman Petty Officer 2nd Class Claudia Toledo, USN Active Reserves
US ARMY - RESERVE
Staff Sergeant Rudy Alcantar, US Army Active Reserve
PFC Juanita Altamirano, US Army Reserve
Sergeant Christopher Telli, US Army Active Reserve
US ARMY
Private First Class Rudy Alcantar
Private First Class Josh Campos
Sergeant Nick Casas
Lt. Col. William R. Edmonds
Private First Class Anthony Edwards
Sergeant Kevin Edwards
Specialist Michael Edwards
Private Kenneth Fanning
Private Joanathan “Jon” Gerlach
Staff Sgt. Alfredo Hurtado Jr.
Corporal Jesus T. Lomeli
Private First Class Eleazar Lopez
(WO1) David Warnock-Ortiz
Captain Jason Pace
Private First Class George T. Poppic
Private First Class Joseph Ponce
Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Richardson
Private Ray Solorio, Army Scout
Sergeant JT Stone
Private Jeremy Taylor
Specialist Mark Thompson
Staff Sergeant Kevin Vest
Sergeant First Class Gilbert Zavala
Sergeant Christopher Telli, US Army Active Reserve

 

 

Ventura, CA – The beautiful Veterans Home of California in Ventura will hold their Third Annual COMMUNITY GARAGE SALE on Saturday, August 18 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at 10900 Telephone Road (at Wells Road), Ventura.

Come on over and pick up a fantastic bargain! Clothing, small furniture items, craft supplies, knickknacks and other fun and useful items will be available.

“I would like to thank the local communities and Veteran Service Organizations for their support of our Community Garage Sale over the past two years,” said Brenda Manke, Ventura Veterans Home Director. “We look forward to a great turnout this year as well and I encourage everyone to come out and support our wonderful Veterans!”

Manke explained that all proceeds from the Community Garage Sale will go the Veterans Home residents’ Morale, Welfare and Recreation Fund and be used for such things as special trips, recreational equipment or supplies, movie and theater tickets, and much more. For additional information on the Community Garage Sale, please call (805) 659-7506 or (805) 659-7526.

For information about the Veterans Home of California – Ventura please call (805) 659-7502. For information on all Veterans Homes of California, Veterans benefits and services, please log on to the CalVet website at www.calvet.ca.gov.

 

SACRAMENTO, CA – Todd Irby was sworn in today as Chief Counsel for the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) by Secretary Peter J. Gravett. Also present at the ceremony was Irby’s wife Tina and son Christian.

“Today I swore in Todd and welcomed him to the CalVet family,” said Gravett. “Todd’s vast expertise and background will serve him well as CalVet’s Chief Counsel. I am confident that Todd will be an asset to CalVet and to the veterans of our Golden State.”

“I am honored and privileged to be able to work on behalf of our state’s veterans,” said Irby. “I will use every resource at my disposal to ensure that CalVet and our veterans receive the best legal counsel available.”

Irby, of Sacramento, has served as deputy attorney general at the California Department of Justice since 2007. He was a private practice attorney from 2006 to 2007 and an associate attorney at The Duffy Law Firm from 2004 to 2006. Irby was an associate attorney and partner at Hess Verdon and Irby from 1995 to 2004 and an associate attorney at Martin Wilson Fingal and MacDowell from 1994 to 1995. He was an associate attorney at Garrett and Jensen from 1991 to 1994.

Irby is a member of the Anthony M. Kennedy Inn of Court. He earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Pepperdine University School of Law and is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

Visit our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/mycalvet and follow us on twitter/mycalvet.

 

RIVERSIDE, CA - Attorney General Kamala D. Harris yesterday filed a civil lawsuit seeking the removal of officers and directors of Help Hospitalized Veterans, a California charity. The complaint alleges that those running the organization engaged in self-dealing, paid excessive executive compensation and engaged in fraudulent fundraising and other unlawful activities.

The lawsuit also seeks to recover more than $4.3 million in funds improperly diverted from Help Hospitalized Veterans. Those funds were meant to support several programs serving veterans and active-duty military, including providing arts and craft kits to hospitalized veterans. Instead, they were used to enrich the organization’s officers and fundraisers.

“The officers of Help Hospitalized Veterans improperly diverted money that hard-working and patriotic Americans donated to support injured vets,” said Attorney General Kamala D. Harris. “We must protect veterans, active-duty military and donors from scam artists who see them as little more than prey for their financial frauds.”

The lawsuit alleges CONTINUED »

 

The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) has increased its support for California Small Business/Microbusiness (SB/MB) over the last three years, awarding more than $9.5 million in SB/MB contracts in FY 2011-12. That represents more than 28% of CalVet’s total contract dollars.

In addition, CalVet awarded more than $2 million in Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) contracts, which accounts for more than 6% of the Department’s total SB/MB contract dollars.

CalVet’s contracting performance has exceeded the State’s 25% SB/MB goal and more than doubled the State’s 3% DVBE goal. CalVet’s contracting efforts also exceeded its own more stringent 5% DVBE goal.

“These numbers directly reflect CalVet’s strategic goals because support of small business and Disabled Veterans Business Enterprises means jobs for veterans,” said CalVet Secretary Peter J. Gravett. “It took a lot of work on the part of everyone involved in the procurement process for CalVet to make this happen, and I’m enormously proud of my staff.”

CalVet credits its success to a DVBE/SB first policy which requires buyers to first seek out certified DVBE and SB vendors for any purchases and contracts. This policy requires an approved waiver prior to contracting with other vendors. Management support of this policy, and the DVBE and SB programs in general, is also critical to exceeding these performance goals.

 
All proceeds will go to the Veterans’ Morale, Welfare and Recreation Fund!

Ventura – The beautiful Veterans Home of California in Ventura will hold their Third Annual COMMUNITY GARAGE SALE on Saturday, August 18 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at 10900 Telephone Road (at Wells Road), Ventura.

There are two great ways to participate! Purchase a selling space, approximately
8’ x 10’ as space allows, for a $20 donation to the Veterans Home of California–Ventura and sell your own items! Reserve your spot by August 10! Or just come on over and pick up a fantastic bargain! Clothing, small furniture items, craft supplies, knickknacks and other fun and useful items will be available.

“I would like to thank the local communities and Veteran Service Organizations for their support of our Community Garage Sale over the past two years,” said Brenda Manke, Ventura Veterans Home Director. “We look forward to a great turnout this year as well and I encourage everyone to come out and support our wonderful Veterans!”

Manke explained that all proceeds from the Community Garage Sale will go the Veterans Home residents’ Morale, Welfare and Recreation Fund and be used for such things as special trips, recreational equipment or supplies, movie and theater tickets, and much more. For additional information on the Community Garage Sale, please call (805) 659-7506 or (805) 659-7526.

For information about the Veterans Home of California – Ventura please call (805) 659-7502. For information on all Veterans Homes of California, Veterans benefits and services, please log on to the CalVet website at www.calvet.ca.gov.

 

The biggest conventional bomb ever developed is ready to wreak destruction upon the enemies of the US. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said its record-breaking bunker-buster has become operational after years of testing.

­“If it needed to go today, we would be ready to do that,” told Donley Air Force Times. “We continue to do testing on the bomb to refine its capabilities, and that is ongoing. We also have the capability to go with existing configuration today.”

The Pentagon has spent $330 million to develop and deliver more than 20 of the precision-guided Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) bunker-busters, which are designed to blast through up to 200 feet of concrete.

Although there has... http://www.rt.com/news/massive-ordnance-penetrator-bomb-bunker-buster-14...

 

The California Department of Veterans Affairs announced today that it will award a total of $270,000 to County Veteran Service Offices in six counties. The Proposition 63 money will be awarded to the counties of: Fresno, $20,079; Lassen, $60,000; Los Angeles, $55,000, San Diego, $31,257, San Luis Obispo, $58,664, and Solano, $45,000 to help provide mental health education and outreach to local veterans. See the attached document for brief summaries of the specific projects each county will undertake.

“We’re very excited about being able to make these awards to our County Veteran Service Offices, which are on the front lines of local veteran service,” said CalVet Secretary Peter J. Gravett. “With so many vets struggling with post traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, and military sexual trauma, these funds are extremely important to the veterans in those counties,” he said.

In May of 2012, CalVet released the 2012-2013 Proposition 63 Funding Request for Applications which outlined the purpose of the funding, funding restrictions, application process, evaluation criteria, review process and application scoring. This process was designed to allow counties to address unique local factors in connecting veterans to mental health services. Six applications were received in July and today’s awards reflect the degree to which each applicant met strict funding criteria including their ability to achieve performance metric targets.

Proposition 63, known as the Mental Health Services Act, allows the California Department of Mental Health to provide increased funding, personnel, and other resources to support county mental health programs. Passed in November 2004, the Act addresses a broad continuum of prevention, early intervention and service needs and the necessary infrastructure, technology and training elements that will effectively support this system.

 
News Grants will help 500 More Veteran Households Find Housing

California will receive nearly $15.7 million to help veterans find and secure housing according to an announcement by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs earlier this week. This is part of the USDVA’s nearly $100 million in grants that will help approximately 42,000 homeless and at-risk veterans and their families. These grants are being distributed to 151 community agencies in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. California will receive $2,975,174 in new grants and $12,686,712 in renewal grants for a total of $15,661,886.

“We are very happy that California will receive almost $3 million additional funding to help veterans break the cycle of homelessness,” said Peter J. Gravett, Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet). “These new funds will help more than 500 veteran households secure housing. In addition, the Golden State will receive more than $12.7 million in renewed awards to community-based organizations already working toward helping veterans find and secure housing.” (See attachment for breakdown of awards throughout California.)

“We are committed CONTINUED »

 

SACRAMENTO, CA – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has appointed Todd Irby as Chief Counsel at the California Department of Veterans Affairs.

“I welcome Todd to the CalVet family and look forward to working with him as our Chief Counsel,” said Peter J. Gravett, CalVet Secretary. “I am confident that Todd’s vast expertise and background will be an asset to the department and to our state’s veterans.”

Irby, of Sacramento, has served as deputy attorney general at the California Department of Justice since 2007. He was a private practice attorney from 2006 to 2007 and an associate attorney at The Duffy Law Firm from 2004 to 2006. Irby was an associate attorney and partner at Hess Verdon and Irby from 1995 to 2004 and an associate attorney at Martin Wilson Fingal and MacDowell from 1994 to 1995. He was an associate attorney at Garrett and Jensen from 1991 to 1994.

Irby is a member of the Anthony M. Kennedy Inn of Court. He earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Pepperdine University School of Law and is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

Visit our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/mycalvet and follow us on twitter/mycalvet.

 

The Brain Injury Center of Ventura County is one of four national organizations still in the running for a $ 150,000 national grant to assist families of U.S. military personnel who sustained traumatic brain injuries in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

An estimated 130,000 Americans in military service have sustained brain injuries in these two wars, chiefly by being too close to the repercussive impact of an IED or other explosion. Traumatic brain injury is considered to be the signature injury of the wars.

The grant is being offered by the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving and BIC was one of 20 organizations around the country to apply. The program that will be implemented is titled the “Wounded Warrior Family Caregiver Program” and it will provide evidence-based problem solving training for family caregivers of recent veterans who are living with PTSD (post- traumatic stress disorder) and/or TBI (traumatic brain injury).

The local non-profit’s CONTINUED »

 

SACRAMENTO, CA – On behalf of all Californians, Governor Brown and First Lady Anne Gust Brown honor Lance Cpl. Niall W. Cotisears, who bravely gave his life in service to our state and nation. The Governor and First Lady extend their deepest condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.

In memorial, Governor Brown ordered that flags be flown at half-staff over the State Capitol today. Lance Cpl. Cotisears’ family will receive a letter of condolence from the Governor.

Lance Cpl. Niall W. Cotisears, 23, of Arlington, VA, died June 23, while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, CA. Cotisears was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

 
Saturday, August 18

All proceeds will go to the Veterans’ Morale, Welfare and Recreation Fund!

Ventura, CA. – The beautiful Veterans Home of California in Ventura will hold their Third Annual COMMUNITY GARAGE SALE on Saturday, August 18 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at 10900 Telephone Road (at Wells Road), Ventura.

There are two great ways to participate! Purchase a selling space, approximately

8’ x 10’ as space allows, for a $20 donation to the Veterans Home of California–Ventura and sell your own items! Reserve your spot by August 10! Or just come on over and pick up a fantastic bargain! Clothing, small furniture items, craft supplies, knickknacks and other fun and useful items will be available.

“I would like CONTINUED »

 
Bureau of Security and Investigative Services launches Veterans Come First Program to guide vets through licensing process

SACRAMENTO, CA – Veterans returning to the civilian workforce may be eligible for some specialized assistance through the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (Bureau).

The Bureau has developed the Veterans Come First program for veterans who want to leverage their military training to become licensed as security guards, private patrol operators, firearms instructors, or other licensee of the Bureau. Veterans will receive priority services including priority in the licensure process, direct line telephone numbers and email contact information, and email or phone notification as soon as their licenses are approved. They will also be assigned their own personal Bureau staff person to support them through the licensing process.

“Supporting veterans in their transition from military service to civilian employment is a win-win for California,” said Department of Consumer Affairs Director Denise Brown. “They get back into the civilian workforce quickly, and California reaps the benefit of their contribution to the state’s economy.”

“We are grateful CONTINUED »