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by Joyia Emard

What better way to spend some time at a local park or pond than feeding the ducks some old bread, right? It’s a tradition that goes back generations.

Turns out it’s bad for the ducks. Experts say there are several reasons people should not feed bread to ducks or geese.

Chief among those reasons is that ducks are like us: They love to eat things that taste great but have no nutritional value. They will fill up on bread provided to them and not eat other, healthier things, which can lead to a multitude of health issues. Popular Science likened it to conditioning ducks to live on “a never-ending candy buffet.”

Other reasons not to feed bread to ducks and geese, according to National Geographic:

  • Reliance on human-supplied junk food keeps ducklings from learning how to forage healthy food for themselves.
  • A high-carbohydrate, high-protein diet is associated with a wing deformity known as “angel wing” or “airplane wing,” which causes the last joint on the wing to become deformed and usually prevents the bird from flying.
  • Rotting bread can grow mold that makes waterfowl sick, contribute to the growth of algae (which negatively affects natural food sources), and attract rats and other vermin that spread disease to birds and humans.
  • Where an easy food source is abundant, ducks and other waterfowl will lay more eggs and the pond or lake will quickly become overcrowded. This makes it more difficult for the ducks to find healthier food sources. Overcrowding also often allows predators to thrive, disrupting bird populations.
  • Diseases become more likely. A carb-rich diet leads to more defecation, and bird feces often harbors bacteria that’s responsible for numerous diseases, including avian botulism. Also, moldy bread can cause aspergillosis, a fatal lung infection that can ravage entire duck and waterfowl flocks.

So what should you feed ducks? They are omnivores, so ducks regularly consume a variety of foods, including plants, animals, algae, and fungi. Healthy alternatives to bread include lettuce and cabbage, grapes, corn kernels, peas, nuts, beans, dry pet food, and bananas, among many other things.

The vision of the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Veterinary Medical Board is an environment in which Californians have access to high-quality veterinary care for all animals. More information is available at www.vmb.ca.gov.

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A chiropractor does a spinal adjustment on a child.Nearly 100 years of professional care for Californians

For nearly a century, the Department of Consumer Affairs’ California Board of Chiropractic Examiners (BCE) has been making sure our state’s chiropractors are educated and licensed to provide safe, professional care. Find out more about these professionals, their licensure, and their licensing board.


More than 70,000 licensed U.S. chiropractors—sometimes called “doctors of chiropractic”—care for patients with health problems of the neuromusculoskeletal system, which includes nerves, bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. They use spinal adjustments and manipulation as well as other clinical interventions to manage patients’ health concerns, such as back and neck pain. But these tens of thousands of professionals can trace their health care practice back to just one man.

Daniel David “D.D.” Palmer is considered the founder and developer of chiropractic. Born in Canada in 1845, Palmer came to the United States as a young adult. He held various jobs, but always maintained a passionate interest and study of holistic and naturopathic health philosophies.

According to the American Chiropractic Association, Palmer discovered through his study that, although various forms of body and spinal manipulation had been used to improve health throughout the ages, no one had developed an actual system to outline and govern this particular health practice. Palmer named the system “chiropractic” (from the Greek words “cheir” [hand] and “praktos” [done], meaning “done by hand”) and performed the first spinal adjustment in 1895 on a janitor who had lost his hearing following a back injury. The individual reported improved hearing following Palmer’s spinal adjustment, and this success helped fuel public interest in chiropractic services.

Palmer continued to develop chiropractic practices and in 1897 established the first school—Iowa’s Palmer College of Chiropractic, which still is in operation today.


Kansas became the first state to license chiropractors in 1913, but California’s road to licensure took a bit longer, with a couple of twists and turns along the way.

In 1907, a California chiropractor named C.D. Greenall was arrested and fined for practicing medicine without a license. His arraignment and overall legal case was spearheaded by a young attorney named Philaletha S. Michelson, who took on Greenall’s cause in an effort to establish chiropractors’ right to treat patients through their holistic system. With Michelson at his side, Greenall and his case went all the way to the California Supreme Court, where they won in 1908, and Greenall’s citation and fine were invalidated.

Greenall and Michelson’s test case helped lay the groundwork for 1922’s statewide Proposition 16, which let Californians decide whether chiropractors should be licensed as their own practice and profession through a state oversight board. The initiative proposed:

  • The creation of the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners (BCE) with members appointed by the governor and paid for by licensure fees.
  • The prohibition of the practice of chiropractic without a degree from a Board-approved institution and a license issued by the Board.
  • Empowering the Board to approve chiropractic schools and colleges meeting specified minimum educational requirements.
  • The ability for the Board to revoke a chiropractic license.

The proposition passed by a resounding 59.5%.

Every state now licenses and recognizes chiropractic as a health care profession.


Today’s BCE oversees California’s approximately 14,000 licensees and 19 chiropractic schools and colleges throughout the United States. BCE’s major duties include:

  • Setting educational standards—The Board’s requirements, including its regulation of continuing education, prepare individuals to become licensed chiropractors.
  • Evaluating licensure applications—To be licensed, applicants must complete educational requirements, pass a national licensing examination as well as the California Law and Professional Practice Exam, and be cleared of any convictions through a background check.
  • Enforcing chiropractic standards—The Board is responsible for investigating complaints and taking any disciplinary actions.

The mission of the Board of Chiropractic Examiners is to protect the health, welfare, and safety of the public through licensure, education, and enforcement in chiropractic care. For more information on BCE and the chiropractic profession, please visit www.chiro.ca.gov; to check a chiropractor’s license, visit search.dca.ca.gov.


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The California Office of Emergency Services reports a prolonged period of hotter-than-normal temperatures expected for at least the next week in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys and neighboring foothills.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Heat Warning through June 27, with temperatures expected to be hottest in the northern Sacramento Valley, with highs to 110 and overnight lows staying warm in the 60s and 70s.

The NWS urges people to:

  • Stay hydrated, drinking extra water.
  • Avoid any strenuous outside activities, especially between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Limit outside activities whenever possible as temperatures are expected to be 10-15 degrees above normal, in the high 90s and triple-digits.
  • Help older people, children, and pets stay cool.
  • Plan to be in air-conditioned buildings.

More information is available at the NWS Sacramento Forecast Office website at https://www.weather.gov/sto/.

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On May 18, 2020, Todd Tilghman became the 18th winner of NBC’s The Voice. It also kept coach Blake Shelton firmly in the top spot as the coach with the most wins.

Did Todd pick the right coach—or did he get lucky?

If you’ve watched the show, you know that during the blind auditions, contestants perform to four judges whose chairs are facing away from them. If a coach turns around, the contestant advances to the next round. If more than one coach turns around, contestants in the spotlight are put on the spot to choose a coach right then and there. If they choose the right one, they could end up as the winner.

Meanwhile, the coaches—using flattery, making promises, flaunting team jackets, etc.—do everything short of shaming themselves to get the contestant to choose him or her.

Who are you going to pick? A contestant has to choose between all four judges during this blind audition.
Photo: The Song Duong/Vimeo

And usually—not always—the coach who shows the most enthusiasm gets chosen.

Good idea?

Maybe not so much. According to an article published in a recent issue of the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Experimental Psychology, the lesson is this: When picking a mentor, an advisor, or anyone who you trust to lead or help you succeed, use your head, not your gut.

Flattery might get them somewhere but may get you nowhere.

The trio of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Toronto, and New York University did some binge watching; they studied data from the shows that included interviews of contestants before and after competing and found a big difference. Contestants interviewed before auditioning said they would choose a coach based on their expertise and record of success. That all sounds great—except when those same contestants had to choose a coach amid all of that wooing and flattery, they chose the coach who showed the most excitement about them instead.

Why study contests on this particular reality show? Because, explains researcher Dr. Rachel Ruttan, an assistant professor of organizational management at the University of Toronto, The Voice is a “really extreme version of life.” The show places people in a high-stakes environment, making it the perfect place to study decision-making.

All of this information is great for a reality show, but how does it translate to real life? Ruttan says the findings are useful in the real world because quality mentorship has become “increasingly important in the pursuit of personal and professional goals.” She also explained that when choosing coaches, mentors, or advisors, it’s a good idea to make a checklist of your priorities before you pick someone for the long haul.

A separate in-lab study found that enthusiasm and excitement are nice, but they have nothing to do with the quality of the person’s final performance— but precise expertise does.

Final lesson: If you want a cheerleader, by all means, pick one. But if you want someone who will get you where you want to go, pick the one who has what you need, not the one who will make you feel good about yourself.

Need someone to give you the tools to stay focused when writing your list of priorities or choosing a mentor? You might try asking a mental health professional. Before making an appointment, check the license with either the Board of Behavioral Sciences or the California Board of Psychology!

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The current public health crisis due to the novel coronavirus has placed a spotlight on a healthcare specialty that has, until recently, suffered from a lack of awareness.

Respiratory therapists (RTs) are lung and breathing experts trained in critical care and cardiopulmonary medicine. They work with patients suffering from severe conditions including, cardiac and pulmonary disease.

RTs help patients of all ages who may need respiratory therapy to breathe better, whether they have illnesses like cystic fibrosis, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma or emphysema.

Photo credit: Mercy Medical Center

In the fight to combat COVID-19, demand for individuals trained in respiratory care therapy has increased because these breathing specialists are a vital part of the critical healthcare team.

RTs specialize in assessing patients’ lung and breathing capacity. Should a patient require breathing assistance and a ventilator is needed, the RT performs intubations (inserts the tube into the patient) and ventilator management to ensure the ventilator is administering the appropriate levels of oxygen, air, or pressure into the lungs.

Before the global pandemic, a shortage of respiratory therapy professionals existed. The contributing factor for the deficiency of this specialty – lack of awareness.

“In addition, therapists are not considered healthcare providers under the federal government, but rather hospital or laboratory personnel,” said Lori Tinkler, the chief executive officer of the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) in a March 2020, interview with MedPage Today.

To help meet the need for more respiratory therapists in the workforce during this public health crisis, the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Respiratory Care Board of California, in conjunction with the NBRC has temporarily adjusted guidelines to allow more RTs into the field.

Visit the website for the Respiratory Care Board of California to find more information about respiratory therapy and to check the license status of licensed professionals in the state. https://www.rcb.ca.gov/

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U.S. Olympian Michael Phelps

U.S. Olympian Michael Phelps signs the Pool Safely Pledge.

Superstar swimmer Michael Phelps—the most decorated U.S. Olympian of all time—and his champion swimming peers are calling on Americans to take the Pool Safely Pledge for children’s water safety.

Simply pledge to:

  • Designate a water watcher every single time children in your care are in or near the water.
  • Make sure your kids know how to swim.
  • As a parent or guardian, learn CPR.
  • Always remove portable pool ladders when not in use.
  • Ensure all permanent pools have a proper fence and gate, and safer drain covers.

Your commitment to children’s water safety can help turn the tide against drowning: the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 4 and under and the second leading cause of death in children 5 to 14 years old.

Remember: Drownings are 100% preventable. Find out more about what you can do to prevent these accidents and keep kids safe by visiting www.poolsafely.gov, sponsored by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, and get help with pool-safety updates and needs from California pool contractors licensed by the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Contractors State License Board: www.cslb.ca.gov.

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It’s fourth down with only two seconds on the clock. The score is tied. Having the home-field advantage, the quarterback gets motivated by a cheering crowd. After a 40-yard rush down the field, the quarterback makes a touchdown to clinch the championship game!

You could insert just about any athlete’s name to this type of scenario and demonstrate how moral support from an exhilarated crowd plays a role in successful sporting outcomes. It can also break a player if the jeering crowd adds to the pressure of the performance.

So, what happens when the crowd is gone? Most sporting events will now have empty bleachers, no hotdogs, no announcers, or no chanting to a favorite tune. During the COVID-19 pandemic, games will still be played, but without crowds. That creates a whole new ballgame, according to California sports psychologist Ethan Bregman, Ph.D. “This is a shift that is fairly unprecedented. Various sports and individual athletes have different relationships to fans and spectators so the impact may look different for each,” said Bregman.

For athletes, sports can be a mind game. Without all the cheering and jeering, their motivation to perform successfully could either be impaired or gratified. “Athletes may be used to having spectators so, the quiet during play can possibly have a disconcerting effect. Every athlete has different ways of tapping into their motivation. It will be interesting to see the impact on performance over time,” said Bregman.

With games broadcast from an empty stadium, sports fans might get a different perspective on what really happens on the field and the emotions involved. Without the crowd noise, spectators watching from home will be able to hear what players, coaches, and officials are saying. Yikes! Let’s hope the technical director has a finger ready to hit the mute button.

Speaking of flying emotions, parents are expressing anger that some sporting events for their kids are either closed to spectators or are getting canceled altogether. Some organizations have also banned parents from attending practices. This could have either a positive or negative effect, depending on the kid, according to Bregman. “Impact on kids will depend on how their parents support them as athletes. One kid may find relief in the absence of the crazy or overbearing parent; for another, parents are a big source of support and confidence,.”

There are benefits when children participate in sports, including decreasing the risk of obesity, increasing cardiovascular fitness, and boosting self-esteem. For high school athletes, Bregman says the presence of friends and spectators, along with celebratory games and traditions like homecoming, are factors that affect their motivation to play. Performing on an empty field is likely to dampen their spirits. Bregman also says parents stand to lose their sense of pride and joy without being able to watch and support their teens.

Because fandom and togetherness are a cultural staple in our communities, Bregman says sports, at least for the near future, will require an adjustment for everyone. “Sports brings people together with a common focus,” he said. “Fans fill stadiums and spend weekends together in front of the TV. How we relate to our sports will change to more electronic participation, so who knows how this will play out?” said Bregman.

If you wish to seek therapy from a licensed professional to address struggles on or off the field, you can check to see if they have a valid license by contacting the California Board of Behavioral Sciences at bbs.ca.gov or the California Board of Psychology at psychology.ca.gov.

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Ideas for all ages make your yard more family-friendly

Anytime’s an ideal time to get kids and teens outside, and the National Association of Landscape Professionals has ideas to engage all ages in backyard improvements your whole family will enjoy:

  • Littlest helpers—Small hands can help welcome wildlife to your yard by assisting with a birdbath installation. Encourage little ones to find a shallow dish or bowl with a slightly rough bottom so bathing birds have some traction, or even create your own. Once the dish is filled with clean water, scatter sunflower seeds on the ground nearby to encourage feathered visitors and perhaps the occasional squirrel, or even plant a few colorful flowers so butterflies can join in the fun.
  • Grade-school assistants—An old-fashioned tire swing is the perfect project for older kids. Have your child help you find the “perfect” (i.e., big and strong) tree, ideally a hardwood tree like a maple, oak, or walnut. Get a clean new or used tire and show your child how to drill a few holes in the bottom for rainy-day drainage. Select a sturdy rope that allows the swing to sit 12 to 18 inches off the ground and tie it so the tire swing will be at least three feet from the tree’s trunk. After the tire’s hung, a parent should give the tire swing a test drive to make sure it’s safe.
  • Teen trainees—A fire pit’s a great place for teens to share s’mores and stories. Young people can help with this project by finding and laying paving stones on a level spot in your yard away from low-hanging branches. Place stones in a circle pattern at least 3 feet in diameter and at least 15 inches tall. Fill the bottom with pebbles and several inches of sand. Add logs and voila!

For more family-friendly landscaping ideas, visit the association’s website at www.loveyourlandscape.org; for assistance from a licensed California landscape architect, visit the Landscape Architects Technical Committee at www.latc.ca.gov.

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fudiciary1Many people may not realize how important professional fiduciaries are until they need them. Professional fiduciaries are independent third parties who provide critical services to seniors, persons with disabilities, and children. They manage matters for clients that can include daily care, housing, and medical needs. They also offer financial management services. These services can range from basic bill paying, to estate and investment management.

Having to care for an incapacitated family member or close friend can be an emotional and daunting experience. However, hiring a professional fiduciary can help alleviate some of the distress. A professional fiduciary can be hired to handle a client’s estate and other affairs while the client is alive and can continue in this role after their client has lost decision-making capacity or passes away.

The Department of Consumer Affairs Professional Fiduciaries Bureau was established in 2006 to help protect and safeguard consumers through licensing, education and enforcement of the Professional Fiduciaries Act which ensures that ethical standards are maintained throughout the industry.

The Bureau’s online guide, “What You Should Know Before Hiring A Professional Fiduciary” provides consumers with a list of questions that will be helpful when choosing a professional fiduciary.  You can download it here: https://fiduciary.ca.gov/forms_pubs/hire_fiduciary.pdf

In addition, The Bureau recommends interviewing at least three licensed professional fiduciaries before making a final hiring decision.  The Bureau also suggests asking a potential professional fiduciary questions such as what services they provide, what credentials they hold, and what types of insurance they hold.

It is also a good idea to have an alternate fiduciary just in case your first choice changes their mind or is no longer available at the time services are needed.

When you’re ready to hire a professional fiduciary, be sure that they have a valid license to operate in California. You can check the status of their license at: https://fiduciary.ca.gov/consumers/index.shtml

For more information, visit PFB’s website at www.fiduciary.ca.gov Consumers can also reach the Bureau by phone at (916) 574-7340.

Please note: Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the PFB office building is closed to the public until further notice. The office is open for employees, but you may experience some delays in reaching staff.  In the meantime, consumers can e-mail any questions to: www.fiduciary.ca.gov.

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A diverse group of smiling board membersApply to become a volunteer board member

We see you out there: You want to give back to your community by volunteering, but also would like a unique, interesting, and engaging experience. The Department of Consumer Affairs’ (DCA) licensing entities offer board or advisory committee member opportunities where you can make a real difference for yourself and nearly 40 million other Californians.


Californians have a lot to offer as board members of DCA licensing entities, and these unique opportunities have a lot to offer you in return, like:

  • Increasing your knowledge—Are you interested in finding out more about popular professions and commonly used services? Do you want to better understand how state government protects the people it serves? DCA’s licensing entities administer more than 3.5 million licenses for more than 280 license types including certificates, registrations, and permits for professionals—from architects to accountants, dentists to veterinarians—the learning and serving opportunities are just about endless. And one more thing: Knowledge gained as a successful board or committee member is a stand-out way to enhance your resume.
  • Making an impact—Serving as a board or committee member lets you put your personal and professional perspectives to work for the people of California. Board members lead efforts to ensure:
    • Consumers are protected from unsafe or fraudulent individuals and businesses.
    • Professional educational programs prepare a first-class workforce.
    • Laws and regulations are up-to-date and carefully followed.
    • License examinations reflect quality and competency.
    • Consumer, licensee, and applicant board and bureau services are of the highest quality.
  • Meeting new people—Board and advisory committee members get to meet and know people and organizations from all across California. You work with a wide variety of Californians including peer board or advisory committee members and helpful support staff; professional, organizational, and educational representatives; licensees, businesses, and students; and many other interested parties. Meetings take place in-person in various parts of the state, frequently with students and professionals in the audience, or via video (for most appointments, travel expenses and per diem are covered and included).


Now that you’ve found out more about why you should consider a DCA board or committee member opportunity, you’re ready to start taking action:

  • Know the board or bureau—Do you have a license from one of the boards or bureaus, or have you used or depended upon the services of one of their regulated professionals or service providers? Find out more about the DCA licensing entities and which you would be interested in serving on as a board member.
  • Check out available opportunitiesBoard or committee member opportunities vary from entity to entity, but opportunities most frequently include:
    • Professional Member—As a licensee of a board or bureau, your first-hand experience is extremely valuable—and needed—in the regulatory process.
    • Public Member—Representing consumers of licensed services, public board members make their voices heard on behalf of Californians as a whole.
  • Apply according to directions—The application process varies between different licensing entities, and DCA has a special site—dcaboardmembers.ca.gov—to help current and prospective board and committee members. If you have any questions or just want more details and information, be sure to reach out to the board or bureau of your choice for guidance—they’re happy to help!

Make a difference for yourself and your state—apply for a board or committee member opportunity today!

Related reading: New Law Encourages More Californians to Serve on Public Boards, Bureaus, and Commissions

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