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Senior Transportation Engineer Sam Tzou with his daughter, Chloe -- and her  colorful and imaginative drawing which was chosen as the July drawing for the 2007 Caltrans Kids Safety Calendar.

CALTRANS KIDS SAFETY CALENDAR
by  Jeanne Bonfilio
Issue Date: 02/2007

A Work of Art is Created by the Caltrans Kids!

Hot off the presses is the beautiful, educational, safety-oriented and colorful 2007 Caltrans Kids Safety Calendar.  This work of art was created by the artistic minds and creative hands of none other than the Caltrans kids themselves! 

Caltrans believes children play an important role as messengers and introducing them at an early age to safe driving practices will instill a life-long awareness of work zone hazards and foster safe driving behavior in the future.  To help educate them and others to the importance of driving safely in work zones, Caltrans kids were invited to share their thoughts about work zone safety and submit entries for the calendar contest.  Their thoughts are conveyed through the creativity of their drawings and the life-saving message, “Slow for the Cone Zone.”

Each District across the state submitted entries.  Twelve were chosen for the calendar, but each and every entry was well thought out, beautifully created and most appreciated.  Involving and educating Caltrans children about highway safety exposes them to the important work Caltrans does -- with safety always the number one priority! 

Caroline Moreno, State Events Coordinator said what a great opportunity it is for children and relatives of Caltrans employees to help educate the public about the importance of driving safely in work zones.  “It allows them,” she added, “to educate others and instills good driving behavior at an early age.  With their help, we will make work zones safer for worker and motorists.  Remember, ‘Slow for the Cone Zone’".

District 7 received 10 original drawings for this year’s contest.  They were submitted by: Reion Richard Domingo, age 7, son of Wilfred Domingo, Transportation Engineer; Leylia Hong, age 6, daughter of Tiffany Hong, Senior Transportation Engineer; Janelle Lingasin, age 9, daughter of Alan Lingasin, Transportation Engineering Technician; Rukti Islam, age 8, daughter of Mohammed Islam, Transportation Engineering Technician; Derick Tseng, age 5, son of Ken Tseng, Transportation Engineer; Joseph Canalita, age 6, and Kassadra Canalita, age 8, son and daughter, respectively, of James Canalita, Transportation Engineer; Sharon Liu, age 11, daughter of Shen Ge, Right of Way Agent; Chloe Tzou, age 6, daughter of  Sam Tzou, Senior Transportation Engineer and Chun-Mei Chang, Associate Information Systems Analyst; and Ruth Hailu, age 8, daughter of Mesfin Hailu, Transportation Engineer. 

“It’s nice to see the involvement of our co-workers' children or relatives and their perspectives on what Caltrans does and the importance of safe highway work,” said Dave White, Media Relations and Public Affairs and the District’s calendar contest coordinator.  “We appreciate all their efforts and look forward to a greater participation in the years to come.”

It was six-year-old Chloe Tzou’s colorful submittal which was selected to represent District 7 and is displayed as the calendar’s July drawing.  (Unfortunately, an error occurred and a picture of Derick Tseng and his father, Ken, appear in the calendar’s July entry, instead of Chloe Tzou and her father, Sam.  Caltrans apologizes to both Chloe and Derick for this error.) 

Chloe and her father Sam’s photo appears with this article.  Additional drawings and family photos can be viewed by clicking on the Photo Gallery (on page 1 of this newsletter).

Chloe’s parents discovered her artistic talents at a very young age and enrolled her in  drawing lessons at the age of four.  She recently placed third in an art contest with the Chinese Daily News, and her drawing from that contest will be displayed on February 3 at an exhibition at the Bowers Kidseum, a children’s museum in Orange County.  And when she isn’t busy drawing or doing homework, Chloe says she also enjoys swimming, writing, reading, singing, Tao-Kwon-Do classes and piano lessons.   

The 2007 calendar cover artist is Christine Alvarez, the eleven-year-old granddaughter of District 12 employee Dennis Costa, Equipment Operator for the Maintenance Sign Crew.  She is a 6th-grade student at Keystone Academy in Paramount.  Kristina enjoys that her grandfather works for Caltrans because when she is with her family on the freeways, she always looks to see if she can find grandpa out there working.  Each year when the Slow for the Cone Zone Calendar Contest comes around, Kristina is always excited to enter the contest and draw a picture of her grandpa’s work.  She said she is honored to be this year’s featured cover artist.

Caltrans is very proud of all of its talented Caltrans kids – and thanks those who used their time and talents for the safety calendar.  All entries will be enlarged, mounted and placed into glass display cases on the exterior of the District 7 Office Building for viewing.  District 7 is proud to showcase the Caltrans Kids’ artwork and share it with the public!

What’s most evident by the safety-oriented calendar, is that Caltrans – and the Caltrans’ kids, want everyone to return home safely to their families.  Remembering these work zone safety tips below will help keep everyone safe while traveling through maintenance and construction work zones:

Do not speed in work zones; obey the posted speed limits.
Stay alert!  Expect the unexpected.
Watch for workers; drive with caution.
Do not change lanes unnecessarily.
Avoid using cell phones while driving in work zones.
Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you.
Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones.
Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.
Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you.
Anticipate lane shifts and merge when directed to do so.
Be patient!

Caltrans encourages employees to involve their families and submit entries for the calendar contest each year.  Watch for details on e-mail this fall.  For additional information, please contact Dave White, Media Relations and Public Affairs at (213) 897-3693.       

Transportation Engineer Mesfin Hailu with his daughter, Ruth -- and her very creative calendar composition representing hardworking Caltrans men and women. Transportation Engineer James Canalita with his daughter, Kassandra -- and her terrific illustration portraying Caltrans men and women safely making freeway repairs. Senior Transportation Engineer Tiffany Hong with her daughter, Leylia -- and her charming depiction of safe freeway construction using orange Caltrans safety cones. Transportation Engineering Technican, Mohammed Islam and his daughter Rukti, at left as a youngster -- and right at eight years old -- and her great drawing with the important SLOW FOR THE CONE ZONE message.