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Sonora Area Foundation Releases 2008 Tuolumne County Profile

Sonora, Ca — The 2008 Tuolumne County Profile was released by the Sonora Area Foundation Thursday afternoon at the Opera Hall.

“It´s a snapshot of the County,” says SAF Executive Director Mick Grimes. It examines what issues are of concern to local residents, and how the community is doing to address these issues. The first report was conducted in 2005, and the Foundation has made it a priority to release a new edition every three years.

“I think people will be interested to see the changes that show up from the first report,” says Project Planner Patricia Jones. “And people should know this isn´t a public relations piece. It defines what´s going on in our community, both the good and the bad.”

There were many findings in the 2008 edition, and some of the highlights include:

-Suicide remains a major community concern, but a strong coalition is addressing the issue.

-Injury and fatality rates on Hwy 108 are among the highest in the state, and the CHP has received a significant grant to address the issue.

-Healthcare access is a growing issue. Few physicians accept MediCal, and the county has limited primary care available.

-Based on current water quality tests from the two largest water suppliers, the county´s water is essentially safe and pollutant free, however, stream water quality diminishes significantly as the water flows downhill through populated areas.

-Rates of elder, dependent and child abuse are considerably higher than the state average.

-Childcare availability increased.

-Tuolumne County has three times more public land than private land.

-While travel spending increased in the county, its impacts are significantly less than shown in Calaveras and Amador Counties.

-Tuolumne County´s median age is significantly higher than California´s with 45% of residents being 50 years or older, and kindergarten enrollment dropping from 509 in 2005 to 402 in 2007.

-Tuolumne County ranks in the lower half of the state for median income.

More information can be found at www.tuolumnecountyprofile.org

Written by BJ Hansen