El Chicano

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…

Historic tribal presence in California to be acknowledged under Ramos legislation

Public schools, parks, libraries and museums may begin recognizing past tribal guardianship of lands where their facilities are located under a measure approved recently by the Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment Sports, Tourism, & Internet Media.  Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland) said the voluntary proposal – AB 1968—is a way to educate Californians and others about Native Americans’ current and ancestral stewardship. “Land acknowledgment also serves to remind us of Native history and treatment of the state’s original people.” Ramos said. “We cannot begin to remedy past injustices without acknowledging and educating ourselves about the forced removal of people from the lands where they lived and worked,” Ramos said. AB 1968, the Tribal Land Acknowledgement Act of 2021, encourages public educational, cultural and recreational institutions to adopt land acknowledgement processes through such means as printed statements, plaques, websites and social media. Ramos introduced the measure in January.  Dr. Joely Proudfit, director of the California Indian Culture & Sovereignty Center, observed that land acknowledgments recognize the traditional land of the Native American people in the state who called, and still call, the land home. She added, “It…

San Bernardino protesters are not rioters, differentiating the groups

On the evening of Sunday, May 31, hundreds took to downtown San Bernardino to peacefully protest the black lives lost at the hands of white supremacy. In less than a 24-hour time span, the city experienced a peaceful protest led by one group, which was followed by rioting and looting by another group, and finally a citywide cleanup on the morning of Monday, June 1. Photo Maha Rizvi: Protesters made stops at the San Bernardino Justice Center, police department and city hall for the abolishment of racism and police brutality. “As emotional, and at times disturbing as this weekend’s events have been, I choose to see this as an opportunity for us to come together to truly address the systemic racism that has disadvantaged a specific segment of our American family. On June 2, leaders of our community (came) to the County’s Government Center to ask us to listen, to begin the dialogue, and to initiate change right here in San Bernardino County,” said Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Josie Gonzales. Back at the peaceful protest, which began at city hall, protesters also made stops…

Juan Pollo donates meals to health care workers during pandemic crisis

For hospital week during the month of May, Juan Pollo partnered with local hospitals and healthcare organizations to donate meals to the noble and honorable staff working the frontlines. We want the heroes who continue to work tirelessly inside hospitals and healthcare facilities to know that the Juan Pollo family is here for them. In just one week, Juan Pollo donated 300+ meals and helped serve the community with this act of kindness. Juan Pollo was able to feed nine hospitals and health care organizations across the Inland Empire. In total, 344 meals were donated from nine Juan Pollo restaurants. Many of these Juan Pollo restaurants, Anaheim, Covina, Chino, Highland, San Bernardino, North Pomona, South Pomona, Upland, and North Ontario, delivered their donations to their local communities, with many locations having hospitals as their neighbors. Chloe Okura, HR Manager at Juan Pollo, was inspired by a local restaurant who was sponsoring an ​Adopt a Doctor/Nurse program. Seeing this act inspired her to organize something similar for Juan Pollo. Chloe says, “​We realized Hospital Week was right around the corner and lots of our owners stepped…

CSUSB receives NIH grant to increase diversity of faculty and students doing research

The National Institutes of Health has awarded an $871,000 grant to Cal State San Bernardino to help reorganize and streamline the university’s grant functions and support and increase the diversity of faculty and students engaged in biomedical and biobehavioral research, and research overall. The three-year grant will fund CSUSB ASPIRE (Advancing Sponsored Program Infrastructure for Research Excellence), said Dorota Huizinga, the associate provost for academic research and dean of graduate studies. Huizinga will serve as the grant’s principal investigator with Diane Trujillo, the director of Sponsored Programs Administration, as the co-PI, and Cynthia Crawford, the director of the Office of Research Development and a professor of psychology, as the grant senior personnel. “One goal is to reorganize and enhance our services in sponsored programs,” said Huizinga. “In 2018 we brought in an excellent consultant who reviewed our services and assessed them, and the conclusion was the services are fragmented and we should try to centralize and streamline them.”  Currently the university’s Office of Sponsored Programs Administration manages about $30 million of external grants, and those grants are brought in mostly by faculty from the federal government and…

San Bernardino City Unified School District valedictorians and twins make Class of 2020 history

The Class of 2020 will go down in history for several reasons, but in the San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD), there are a few top students who deserve an extra spotlight. The SBCUSD Class of 2020 proudly boasts three African-American valedictorians from three different high schools. All three will receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Delta Rho Chapter of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. Kyla Duhart is not only Indian Springs High School’s first African-American valedictorian, she is also a student Board of Education member and a future SBCUSD math teacher. It’s no surprise that several colleges and universities were eager to welcome Duhart, including Grand Canyon University and the University of California, Santa Barbara, but she is planning to attend Azusa Pacific University and earn her teaching credential. Matthew Jackson is one of three San Gorgonio High School valedictorians. Prior to attending San G, Jackson was a student at Rodriguez PREP Academy. In the future, Jackson will be attending the prestigious Stanford University where he will study electrical engineering to prepare for a career in the renewable energy industry.…

Barbershops, hair salons can reopen with modifications, nail salons remain closed

San Bernardino County hair salons and barber shops join other counties in the state allowed to reopen for business, Governor Gavin Newsom announced today. Modifications such as mandatory face coverings for both barbers or stylists and clients must be strictly adhered to. State public health leaders noted that Californians staying at home and exercising caution when out helped flatten the COVID-19 curve. Public health leaders acknowledge that today’s announcement is also possible based on statewide indicators such as PPE, testing capacity, hospital surge capacity and hospitalizations. Permitted activities include services that can be provided with both the worker and customer wearing face coverings throughout the service. These include haircuts, hair coloring, blowouts, weaves and extensions, braiding, lock maintenance, wig maintenance and hair relaxing treatments. Salon activities that cannot be done with face coverings on both the worker and client – or that require touching the client’s face – such as shaving, facial waxing, threading, eyelash services and facials – remain prohibited at this time in all counties. Likewise, nail salons remain closed. “San Bernardino County businesses and residents worked very hard and made tremendous sacrifices…

San Bernardino County cleared to reopen restaurants, stores and malls

Because San Bernardino County has flattened the COVID-19 curve and secured the resources needed to continue keeping the novel coronavirus under control, dine-in restaurants, stores and malls can now reopen with safety measures throughout the county after a state-ordered shutdown that lasted more than two months.“San Bernardino County businesses and residents worked very hard and made tremendous sacrifices to make this moment possible,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “Your efforts to keep our community safe and healthy have paid off. We can now proceed significantly further toward resuming our normal lives.”“This virus is still very present throughout our county, state and nation, so we must remain vigilant by physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and washing our hands often. But our goal of minimizing illness and building the capacity to protect the vulnerable, serve the sick, and track the virus in our communities has been achieved,” Hagman said. “We owe a debt of gratitude to our public health and healthcare professionals, who are putting in long hours on the front lines of this battle, and to our County Government team for working around the clock in…

New guidelines allow places of worship to resume services

The County announced yesterday the reopening of places of worship with new State-specified guidelines. Under the new State guidance, issued Monday morning, places of worship can hold religious services, including funerals, if attendance is limited to 25 percent of a building’s capacity, but no more than 100 attendees. “This is a great first step for our residents of faith who have refrained from gathering for more than two months,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “The COVID-19 virus is still very present throughout our county. With places of worship, dine-in restaurants, stores, and malls now suddenly open, it is more important than ever that we practice physical distancing, wear face coverings in public, and frequently wash our hands to protect ourselves and those around us.” The State Monday morning issued new guidance for religious services and cultural ceremonies, https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-places-of-worship.pdf, that encourage organizations to continue online services and activities, especially for the protection of those who are most at risk from COVID-19, including older adults and people with specific medical conditions. To reopen for religious services and funerals, places of worship must: Establish and implement a COVID-19…

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