Inland Empire Weekly

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…

The Neighborhood: A show everyone should watch

During this quarantine, I’ve been bingeing a lot of shows. One show I recently watched for the first time was The Neighborhood on CBS starring Cedric the Entertainer, Max Greenfield, Beth Behrs, Tichina Arnold and more.  It is about a white family (Dave, Gemma and Grover Johnson) moving next door to the Butler family (Calvin, Tina, Malcolm and Marty) in a predominately black neighborhood. Among other things, we see how different the two cultures are, highlighting misunderstanding, prejudice and just regular neighbor issues. Asthe show goes on Dave, Gemma, and Grover are welcomed around the neighborhood and the two families become close friends.  Many jokes are thrown around about how different black and white cultures are. Like how Cedric the Entertainer’s character, Calvin, introduces Dave to the barber shop where Dave is confused how Calvin gets his hair cut once a week!  We also see Calvin’s wife, Tina, introduce Gemma to new vocabulary and fashion.  The show also often makes light of things that may be hard to talk about, like Tina being racially profiled and followed around the store by a security officer.  Or the time Dave gets his table first at a restaurant despite Calvin making his reservation before him. But it doesn’t just stop with the…

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…

The NBA is coming back

It’s been months since we saw the last NBA game. The league went on a “hiatus” mid March, and it was questioned whether the season would resume. But, it has seemed to have worked out! The NBA is coming back July 31st in Orlando, Florida. But don’t expect to see any fans in attendance just yet. Here are all the details you need to know about the league resuming play. The NBA is bringing 22 teams to Orlando. The 13 West teams still in playoff contention, and the 9 East teams still in playoff contention. Each team will play 8 games. If after the 8, the 9 seed and 8 seed are separated by 4 or less games, then there will be a play in tournament (like the wild card in baseball).  The season will start July 31st, with training camps beginning early July. The season will go on as late as October 12th. Teams will be able to eat at outdoor restaurants and even golf. Just as long as they follow social distancing guidelines. Eventually, a champion will be crowned.  However that’s not it! Next season will also be altered, and will be…

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…

Firefighters battle three-alarm blaze at distribution warehouse

Redlands Firefighters battled a three-alarm commercial structure fire at a 600,000-square-foot distribution warehouse in the 2200 block of West Lugonia Avenue early Friday morning. No injuries were reported. Firefighters received the call of a commercial structure fire at the building at 2255 W. Lugonia Ave. at about 5:30 a.m. Friday, June 5. Arriving crews found heavy flames and plumes of thick black smoke that, at one point, could be seen from nearby mountain communities rising above the cloud layer. About 100 employees of the distribution center were able to evacuate prior to the Fire Department’s arrival. No injuries were reported. Fire agencies from throughout San Bernardino County and other surrounding communities responded to fight the fire. Ladder trucks surrounded the massive structure pouring water on the flames for several hours. No other structures were damaged. Redlands Police responded to control traffic. Utility crews and ambulance units were also on hand. “We are extremely grateful to our allied agencies for their support,” said Redlands Fire Chief Jim Topoleski. The massive flames were clearly visible from the nearby Interstate 10. At one point, California Highway Patrol closed…

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.…

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…

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…

Fontana Unified TV Production student wins state film contest for mental health PSA

Summit High School senior Nicole Quinonez-Frias’ raw and emotional approach to highlighting cultural stigmas around depression and suicide, captured in a 60-second film, has earned statewide recognition as a category winner in the Directing Change Program and Film Contest.  Quinonez-Frias’ film captured first place in the Through the Lens of Culture – Suicide Prevention category. As a statewide winner, she will receive a $1,000 prize. She is the first Summit High TV Production student to win an event in the competition.  Her public service announcement (PSA) – titled “Our Story” – depicts Quinonez-Frias as a girl struggling with depression.  A Spanish voice-over, accompanied by English subtitles, expresses the girl’s fear of disappointing her family and highlights the stigma that can surround depression and suicide in the Latino culture. The film ends on a note of hope, with the girl realizing that her story does not end now and telling the audience theirs does not either.  The Directing Change program and film contest is part of Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement. The program offers students an opportunity to lend their perspective to the movement by creating…

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…

Amazon surprises local United Way organizations with $50,000 donation on Zoom call

Inland Empire United Way and United Way of the Inland Valleys have partnered to establish the Inland SoCal COVID-19 Fund to respond to the needs of Inland SoCal residents who will undoubtedly be affected by the pandemic. United Way serves as the point of contact for Southern California’s emergency response infrastructure for non-911 calls, connecting people to the resources they need. To recognize the organization’s efforts during this challenging time, five of Amazon’s Inland Empire General Managers joined their virtual meeting to deliver the news and thank the nonprofits for their work in the community were Amazon associates live and work.   Amazon General Manager Camdon Johnson kicked off the surprise donation announcement, expressing gratitude for United Way’s work in Southern California’s most vulnerable communities. “At Amazon, we are inspired by the work of Inland Empire United Way and United Way of the Inland Valleys, and greatly appreciate their tireless efforts in the communities where we live and work,” he said. Since COVID-19 took a toll on businesses and individuals throughout the state, United Way has experienced increases in phone calls and online inquiries from underserved families…

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