El Chicano

Inland Empire Future Leaders Program holds virtual conference to empower youth

The year 2020 marks the start of a new decade and it signals change. More and more parents of Latinx high school students want their children to succeed and they seek the help of role models in their communities to aid their children to go to college. Inland Empire Future Leaders Program (IEFLP) offers leadership development, cultural pride, and educational awareness to Latinx eighth- and ninth-grade students from schools representing San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, and Los Angeles counties. Photo Karino Camacho: Guest speaker Rep. Pete Aguilar shares his story and successes after attending IEFL in 1993. This past week, IEFLP held its 36th Annual conference via an online program. Over 100 Latinx eighth- and ninth-grade students and 60 volunteer staff participated in the online conference. The traditional conference was transformed into a three-day online experience to prioritize student and staff public health safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. R.C. Heredia, an alumnus of Colton High School, UCLA, and Pepperdine Univ. and chair of the IEFLP Board of Directors shares, “The IEFLP Board of Directors made the wise decision that, while it would have been justified…

First female K-9 joins San Bernardino Police Department

A three-year-old Belgian Malinois named Bella was welcomed into the San Bernardino Police Department on June 1. “Bella began a 3-week training program on June 1 and on June 19 she graduated and immediately went into the field,” said Sergeant John Echevarria, San Bernardino Police Department. Bella’s first evening on the job was met with much excitement as she assisted in a stop where she immediately located cocaine and recovered funds. “In the three-week training program K-9 Bella and her handler completed the state-required 120 hours narcotic detection training course, participated in exercises where she was introduced to scents and odors such as cocaine, meth, heroine, and marijuana. In the exercises, we will hide the scents in a building or a vehicle, she’ll then run the entire obstacle, she alerts her handler when she locates the drugs and then she’s rewarded,” continued Echevarria. Bella is the first female K-9 the department has ever purchased and Echevarria shared that agencies tend to purchase males due to cost. “The primary reason why agencies do not purchase female K-9’s as often as male K-9’s is due to cost.…

American Red Cross recognizes local volunteers

On Tuesday, June 23, the American Red Cross San Bernardino Chapter recognized several volunteers throughout the county.  Traditionally, the Red Cross honors volunteers during a recognition ceremony banquet.  However, this year in keeping with the COVID-19 safety guidelines and social distancing, San Bernardino County Red Cross Executive, staff members, and volunteers formed a parade of vehicles that drove right up to each recipient’s home. Recipients were instructed to meet the parade of cars at their front yard with family and friends.  All participants were instructed to keep a social distance and use face coverings at all times.  As the procession of cars approached the residences, drivers and passengers would approach on foot, staying a safe distance from the home.  At most residences, volunteers would cheer and carry signs, and many would dance to music provided from a loudspeaker.  John Caviness received the “Volunteer of the Year” award for his service as a Logistics Lead for the San Bernardino County Chapter of the Red Cross. San Bernardino Red Cross Chapter’s Executive Director Yevette Baysinger presented each of the recipients a glass award trophy in recognition and…

CSUSB receives 3 Department of Defense cybersecurity scholarships

Three students in the Cal State San Bernardino cybersecurity program will receive full scholarships in the fall from the Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship Program (DoD CySp), which seeks to recruit the nation’s top cyber talent to help protect the nation against threats on information systems and networks. “These scholarships are a tribute to the accomplishments and great work of our students. The DoD CySp program is one of the most competitive and prestigious in the nation, with anywhere between 50-100 yearly participants,” said Tony Coulson, director of the CSUSB Cybersecurity Center and a professor of information and decision sciences in the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration. “The three CSUSB students receiving the scholarships were chosen from a national pool similar to a National Football League draft and were among the top picks for their agencies.”  Nationally, the DoD CySp program received 571 student applications this year and made 115 new scholarship offers of which 108 students accepted, Coulson said. There were 78 returning students for a total of 186 students this year, he said.  Congressman Pete Aguilar, (D-CA) long a supporter and proponent of the CSUSB Cybersecurity program, said, “I…

Arrowhead United Way included in $15 million anonymous gift for COVID-19 efforts

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Arrowhead United Way has been active in collecting funds to support community members in the regions that need dire assistance. The San Bernardino United COVID-19 Relief Fund was established and began accepting donations, as well as applications for individual assistance on March 19, 2020. The San Bernardino United COVID-19 Relief Fund was heartily supported by community partners including, SBCUSD Making Hope Happen Foundation. “Our community leaders have really stepped up to support our efforts to assist those who are facing the biggest hardships from the pandemic. Our partners are aware of the great need in our region and the California-wide donation of $15 million from an anonymous donor is going to make a huge impact on the lives in our regions,” said Gwendolyn Rodgers, Interim President & CEO of Arrowhead United Way. The anonymous donor made an impressive $15 million gift to fund a total of 30 local United Ways. All United Ways that are benefiting from the donation will be using it to help in the relief efforts for those most in need. The San Bernardino United…

San Bernardino native, Colton High graduate, returns home after 7-month deployment aboard Floating City at Sea

A 1996 Colton High School graduate, University of Incardinate Word studentand San Bernardino, California, native returned home June 16, marking the end of a seven-month deployment aboard USS Harry S. Truman. Since departing its homeport of Norfolk, Virginia in November 2019, the aircraft carrier sailed in the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Chief Petty Officer Mario Gonzales is a hospital corpsman aboard the carrier. As a hospital corpsman, Gonzales is responsible for being a clinic manager. “I am responsible for daily operations of the clinic to include the personal and professional development of the sailors in the department,” said Gonzales. “My favorite part of the job is leading and mentoring sailors and junior officers. They are the future of the Navy. Developing them both personally and professionally, there is no greater feeling than watching the success of the sailors I work for. Seeing them get promoted, completing a warfare qualification or watch standing qualification ensures that Harry S. Truman is ready to always answer the nation’s call.” Following a scheduled return from deployment in March, after operating in the U.S. 5th…

Now more than ever, an accurate Census count is needed to uplift working families

By Italia Garcia, Interim Executive Director for the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ).  The coronavirus pandemic is demonstrating how crucial food and medical resources are to working class communities. Providing children with hot lunches and rendering medical attention is getting families through these difficult times, especially in communities like San Bernardino, where 28 percent of the population is struggling to make ends meet.  Census data collected every ten years influences how much funding summer lunch programs, hospitals, and emergency services receive from the federal government. It is extremely important now more than ever to have every home, every person, and every family is accurately counted in the 2020 Census. So far there are promising signs. Riverside County’s Census self-response rate is at 60 percent and San Bernardino County’s is at 59 percent. While both fall just slightly under the state’s average rate of 62 percent, the current figures indicate that coordinators and stakeholders are making inroads to ensure a complete and accurate count.  Nonetheless, there are still some factors we must continue to consider if we are to make the Census accurately…

CSUSB fraternity raises money to donate meals to hospital workers

Members of the Delta Sigma Phi Eta Beta chapter at Cal State San Bernardino raised more than $1,000 through a virtual fundraiser to buy meals for hospital workers at Dignity Health Community Hospital in San Bernardino. “We as a fraternity wanted to do something special for the hard-working frontline workers who are currently fighting COVID-19 every day,” said chapter president Adrian Valdivia.  The fraternity used the money to purchase meals from Alanbertos Mexican Food, a family-owned business in San Bernardino, said Valdivia, who graduated this month with a degree in communication studies with a concentration in public relations. The chapter arranged to buy 160 burritos as well as chips and water, Valdivia said. On June 12, at about noon, Valdivia and fellow chapter member Juan Saucedo, a senior majoring in liberal studies with a concentration in psychology who will graduate in the fall, donated the meals to the healthcare workers.  “The members of Delta Sigma Phi are very thankful to everyone who donated for this amazing cause, and we want to acknowledge all the heroes who are currently fighting this disease,” Valdivia said. “Stay strong!”…

Legislation to provide second chances passes State Assembly

AB 2147, legislation by Assemblymember Eloise Reyes (D-San Bernardino) which would provide an expedited expungement process for inmates that have successfully participated as inmate hand crews (actively assisting with fire suppression activities), passed the State Assembly with bipartisan support. Under existing law, once released from custody a former inmate must finish the terms of their parole before applying for expungement of their criminal record.  Even once those records are expunged, the person must disclose their criminal history on applications for state licenses. With nearly 200 occupations that require licensing from one of 42 California government departments and agencies these former inmates are almost entirely denied access to these jobs, as an estimated 2.5 million California workers (approximately 17% of the state’s workforce) need a professional license to work.  Under, AB 2147 a person that participates as part of a state or county fire camp would be eligible to apply for expungement upon release from custody, and if the expungement is approved, could seek various career pathways including those that require a state license. “These individuals are vetted by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation,…

Feeding America Riverside | San Bernardino Launches Summer of a Million Meals

Feeding America Riverside | San Bernardino (FARSB), the regional food bank of the Inland Empire, has launched the first Summer of a Million Meals campaign following the COVID-19 outbreak, to ensure children and families across the Inland Empire can access nutritious food through the summer months. Through the Summer of a Million Meals campaign, FARSB is asking the community to help raise critically needed funds to ensure children can receive food through summer meal programs provided by FARSB and partner charity sites. “For far too many children, the start of summer marks the start of a long, hot, and hungry break. In fact, it’s what we refer to as the hungriest time of the year,” said Stephanie Otero, CEO at Feeding America Riverside | San Bernardino. “With so much uncertainty impacting our community, one thing should never be uncertain, and that’s access to a meal,” said Otero. FARSB has set an ambitious $125,000 goal—enough to provide up to one million meals to children, families, seniors, and Veterans in the Inland Empire.  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, FARSB has aided nearly 100,000 Inland Empire individuals…

Latino participation in the Census is crucial for 2020

By Silvia Paz, Alianza Coachella Valley As we face this unprecedented public health crisis together, many community organizations remain steadfast in our resolve to ensure local minorities are counted during the 2020 Census. Emergencies like the coronavirus pandemic shine a spotlight on the importance of accurate census data, which determine funding for schools, hospitals, housing, nutrition and health programs in our communities.  As of right now, the Latino communities of the Coachella Valley are seeing lower rates of census participation than those across the county, state and nation. This is not surprising considering the concerns many minorities have about giving personal information to the government, fears of an immigration crackdown, and the unsuccessful attempt to add a citizenship question to the census form. The truth is that the census is nothing to fear. By law, your information must be kept confidential and cannot be shared with other government agencies. And to be clear: The census will not ask about your or family member’s citizenship status. The ten minutes it takes most people to complete their census form will have a meaningful impact on the Coachella…

San Manuel Casino reopens with safety protocols in place

San Manuel Casino reopened its doors to the public on Monday, June 15, 2020 with safety measures in place after a 3-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. The casino was the first tribal casino in California to suspend operations, on March 15, to ensure the health and safety of tribal members, employees, guests and the community. In partnership with Loma Linda University Health, a framework of standards was developed that includes frequent sanitation, health screenings and protocols in identifying those exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, in the effort to help prevent and control potential outbreaks of the disease. Photo MJ Duncan: Touch-free temperature scanners at the entrance – guests with 100.4°F and above will not be allowed to enter. “Re-opening our doors safely and responsibly is our first priority,” said San Manuel Chairman Ken Ramirez. “We have taken our commitment to health and safety one step further by working with Loma Linda University Health’s San Manuel Gateway College on our health screening curriculum and organization-wide training.” According to San Manuel Public Relations Manager Jenna Brady, the tribe had to make the difficult decision to lay…

Tony and Gloria Bocanegra celebrate 65th wedding anniversary

Tony and Gloria Bocanegra are happy to announce their 65th wedding anniversary on June 11, 2020.  Pastor Monsignor Gomez performed the marriage celebration at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Redlands on June 11, 1955, where Gloria had received all her sacraments.  Gloria is a native of Redlands, and Tony was born and raised in the Westside Mt. Vernon neighborhood of San Bernardino. They believe their marriage was blessed, and their strong faith has strengthened them during good and hard times. Their four children – Lisa Marie Fabian, Martin Kerry, Anthony Jude and Maria Renee Gianni have blessed them with 5 grandsons and 1 great-granddaughter. Tony was employed at the San Bernardino Sun Newspaper for 37 years, Mt. View Cemetery and Mortuary in family Service for ten years, and Sinfonia Mexicana for over 22 years. Gloria provided a warm and loving home while employed at San Bernardino County Public Works Agency for 30 years from where she retired. Tony and Gloria were active in the communities of San Bernardino and Redlands for many years.  At Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in San Bernardino, they were honored…

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and Loma Linda University Health partner to develop health screening curriculum prior to re-opening

Continuing the decades-long partnership between Loma Linda University Health and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, a new curriculum is being built at the Loma Linda University’s San Manuel Gateway College that is specifically designed to help protect the community, guests, and employees of San Manuel. San Manuel was the first Tribal casino to announce a closure, citing the safety of our tribal citizens, guests and employees. The safety of all who live and visit the San Manuel Reservation is also why San Manuel was not the first to open. More than simply sanitizing and taking temperatures, the new San Manuel Health and Safety Plan establishes organization-wide training, expanded cleaning schedules, and, among many other new policies and procedures, several new roles dedicated to preventing further spread of COVID-19. “Re-opening our doors safely and responsibly is our first priority,” said San Manuel Chairman Ken Ramirez. “We have taken our commitment to health and safety one step further by working with Loma Linda University Health’s San Manuel Gateway College on our health screening curriculum and organization-wide training.” A new curriculum is being developed with the San Manuel…

Legacy of Diana Harrison Martinez lives on through family, IECN, scholarship fund

This is an extraordinarily sad and happy time of year for the Harrison family. While we celebrate the birthday of our matriarch, Gloria Macias Harrison in early June, we also remember our dear daughter and sister, Diana Harrison Martinez, who left us so suddenly and unexpectedly in June 2017. Diana’s legacy lives on through the family of Inland Empire Community Newspapers (El Chicano, which began 51 years ago; the Colton Courier and the Rialto Record; and our online presence through IECN.com) and through scholarship and donation programs at Crafton Hills College and San Bernardino Valley College to deserving community college students who represent the ideals that Diana lived by — honesty, integrity, ethical leadership, and community involvement and support. Here are four students that have been assisted by the Diana Harrison Martinez Fund over the last two years: Scholarship recipients, from left: Riane Ferras, Sarah-Beth Roach, Dallas Platter, and Laura Acosta. 2018 Recipient, Crafton Hills CollegeRiane Ferras, Major: Music“My greatest accomplishments are about the willpower and determination I had to overcome obstacles.”Riane has a passion for music and has recently started tutoring others in piano.…

San Bernardino City Unified takes first place in countywide video contest

San Bernardino City Unified School District took first place in the inaugural Countywide Vision Video Challenge. School districts throughout the County of San Bernardino submitted one-minute videos that highlighted schools or programs that align with one of the Countywide Vision campaigns. SBCUSD’s video tied into Vision2Succeed. According to the County of San Bernardino, the Countywide Vision provides a roadmap for future success as it relates to a vibrant and thriving county. The District’s Linked-Learning/Career Pathway programs provide students with hands-on, real-world experience that ties classroom learning to a variety of career possibilities. High school students may participate in job shadowing, apprenticeships, or paid internships with local partners. “Medical careers don’t begin after college,” was the tagline for the SBCUSD video, which highlighted the hands-on lessons in health science and medical technology that the District has made available to some students starting in elementary school. Other career pathways will provide students with a Vision2Succeed in school and in work. The video was produced by the SBCUSD Communications/Community Relations Department featuring a script from Pacific High School students and on-screen talent from Barton Elementary School and Bing…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!