UC Riverside students clean Cesar Chavez memorial

As the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa Festival of Lights has crowds descending upon downtown Riverside, a group of UC Riverside volunteers are maintaining the memorial to labor leader Cesar Chavez. Every two weeks, students from La Union Estudiantil de la Raza fraternity are cleaning the memorial as well as University Avenue, between Iowa and Chicago avenues, as a community-service project. Students from La Union Estudiantil de la Raza fraternity at UC Riverside work Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, to clean the memorial to Latino labor leader Cesar Chavez in downtown Riverside. (Courtesy of Ofelia Valdez-Yeager) La Union Estudiantil de la Raza fraternity members from UC Riverside work Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, to clean the memorial to Latino labor leader Cesar Chavez in downtown Riverside. (Courtesy of Ofelia Valdez-Yeager) Members of La Union Estudiantil de la Raza fraternity from UC Riverside are seen Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at the memorial to Latino labor leader Cesar Chavez in downtown Riverside. (Courtesy of Ofelia Valdez-Yeager) Students from La Union Estudiantil de la Raza fraternity at UC Riverside are seen on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, cleaning the memorial to

5 takeaways from Riverside County’s 2022 State of the County

There was no jackpot. But the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa’s ballroom was still a scene of celebration Thursday morning, Dec. 8. The casino near Cabazon hosted Riverside County’s first State of the County event in four years. Close to 520 people, including elected officials from across the Inland Empire, heard speeches and watched videos heralding the county’s accomplishments, praising its employees and resolving to tackle its challenges. Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Hewitt speaks Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022 at the State of the County event at the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa near Cabazon. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Hewitt speaks Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, at the 2022 State of the County event at the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa near Cabazon. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Riverside County Supervisor Karen Spiegel speaks Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, at the State of the County event at the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa near Cabazon. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Riverside County supervisor V. Manuel Perez speaks Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, at Riverside County’s State of the County event at

COVID strikes person who hadn’t had it yet: me

In the COVID-19 lottery, my number finally came up. I had escaped the virus for three years. But Wednesday night, after a few days of what I thought was a cold or mild flu, it belatedly occurred to me to take an at-home test — and it was positive. Apparently it wasn’t even close. Forget the 15-minute wait time. No sooner had the three drops of solution began creeping across the test strip than the T line flared into view. If the test had a noise function, it might have been deafening. A positive result was hard to accept. To be honest, a certain sense of invulnerability settled in after being COVID-free all this time. Even when I was exposed in October, my tests were negative. I knew I could get it, at times it had seemed inevitable, but it hadn’t happened yet. Also, six days before this positive test, I’d had my latest booster. Weird timing, eh? It was easy and painless, just like the previous four shots. The only discordant note this time was the wailing girl. At the clinic in Chino, she

San Bernardino Symphony’s holiday concert will feature Cirque de la Symphonie

The San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra will return to the historic California Theatre of the Performing Arts on Dec. 17, for “Cirque de la Noel,” a holiday concert featuring the performing group Cirque de la Symphonie. “We decided to bring Cirque de la Symphonie back this season due to extraordinary popular demand,” said Music Director and Conductor Anthony Parnther. Cirque de la Symphonie will add festive artistry with performances by aerialists, jugglers, and hula hoop experts and quick change artists choreographed to a variety of music, the relase says. The group was established by ballet and circus veteran Alexander Streltsov in 1998 for a PBS production with the Cincinnati Pops and troupe members are from all across the globe. “We are so pleased to once again collaborate with Cirque as they brought such joy to everyone in attendance when they last performed with us in February of 2020,” said Anne Viricel, Symphony executive director, said in the release. The performance is sponsored by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. Traditional holiday songs will be performed along with some songs from movies, including “Flight to Neverland”

Installing Christmas lights is good business in Inland Empire

It’s the season for giving, shopping — and grappling with outdoor holiday lights. Trevar Doss, of Frosty’s Holiday Lighting, hangs lights outside a Corona home Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Devin Williams, of Frosty’s Holiday Lighting, installs lights on a Corona home Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Devin Williams, of Frosty’s Holiday Lighting, puts lights on a palm tree at a home in Corona on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Trevar Doss, of Frosty’s Holiday Lighting, hangs lights outside a Corona home Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Devin Williams, of Frosty’s Holiday Lighting, installs holiday lights outside a home in Corona on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Devin Williams, of Frosty’s Holiday Lighting, installs lights on a Corona home Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Devin Williams, of Frosty’s Holiday Lighting, installs lights outside a Corona house Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Devin Williams, of Frosty’s Holiday Lighting, installs lights at

5 years after closing, Carousel Mall in San Bernardino to be demolished for $8 million

More than five years after the Carousel Mall in downtown San Bernardino closed for good, the City Council agreed to demolish the shuttered shopping center for $8 million. Councilmembers Theodore Sanchez, Sandra Ibarra, Juan Figueroa, Fred Shorett and Damon Alexander approved a contract with Cerritos-based Resource Environmental early Thursday morning, Dec. 8. Councilmember Kimberly Calvin opposed. Councilmember Ben Reynoso was absent from the meeting. The decision came after much debate over the near $10 million difference between Resource’s proposal and that of the next closest bidder. Richard Miller, Resource co-president and chief operating officer, explained Thursday how the firm’s work collecting at least 200 samples of the 50-year-old mall for asbestos and other contaminants narrowed the scope of the work, leading to a more accurate bid. “Other companies are making assumptions,” Miller said, “but there’s no assumptions here. We did our work. We know what’s hot. We have the information to do the job right.” The Cerritos firm will demolish everything above ground and crush all material on-site to be used for soil stabilization and drainage, Miller told the City Council. Such a process saves

Ex-Murrieta football player switching from gridiron to doctor’s office

Former Vista Murrieta High School and Arizona State University football star Kyle Williams is seen outside the Scottsdale, Arizona, campus of the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine. He’s left football behind to pursue a career as a doctor. (Courtesy of Kyle Williams) A football player and a doctor wouldn’t seem to have much in common. One is out to hit people, the other to heal them. Yet that’s what former Vista Murrieta High School and Arizona State University football star Kyle Williams is studying to become — a doctor. And it’s a football injury that led to the unusual change. Williams injured his shoulder in his freshman year in an Arizona State game and worked with Dr. Anikar Chhabra as he rehabilitated. In 2017, he was a research intern in orthopedic surgery. As he noted: “The rest was history.” “I started to shadow him and get experience with him in research,” Williams said. “Through these things, I fell in love with the medical profession.” He still loved football, too, and after college graduation, was invited in summer 2020 to the Tennessee Titans’ training camp

Help us support those in need in the Inland Empire

This holiday season, we’ve again partnered with Feeding America of Riverside | San Bernardino to help members of our community. Each year in December, The Press-Enterprise, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, The Sun and Redlands Daily Facts launch our food donation drive, and 2022 is no different. The aim is to help with Feeding America’s mission “to alleviate hunger in the Inland Empire.” Our food donation drive is virtual again this year, making it accessible from wherever there is access to the internet, and you get to select what food items to donate. Through Jan. 31, we invite you to help us support those in the communities in which we live, work and play. Our goal is to donate 1,000 pounds of food by the end of the drive. Donate at: bit.ly/FeedAmericaIE22 Donations are secure and tax-deductible.

Here’s who won the Nov. 8 election in San Bernardino County

The San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters has certified the county’s election results. The registrar’s office released the final results of the election at 9 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 8. That’s 30 days after the Nov. 8 election. Counties must submit their final official results to the California Secretary of State’s office by Friday, Dec. 9. California counties can take weeks to process all their ballots. That’s due in large part to how easy the state makes it to vote and to election security procedures. Mail-in ballots postmarked on or before Election Day were counted as long as they arrived by Nov. 15. And officials verify signatures on each ballot and check to make sure those who cast provisional ballots were eligible to vote. The registrar’s office gave voters until Tuesday, Dec. 6, to correct any issues with their ballot, according to spokeswoman Melissa Eickman. This year, 458,946 ballots were cast by San Bernardino County voters. That’s about 40% of the county’s 1.1 million registered voters. Here are election results in San Bernardino County. Results for districts covering more than one county are from the Secretary

How a radio host offended Hemet residents in 1930

On Tuesday, Dec. 9, 1930, residents of Hemet listening to the radio about 12:30 p.m. were surprised to hear a radio broadcaster by the name of Seymour Hastings mention their fine city — but not in a good way. His mention of a feud between Hemet and the neighboring city of San Jacinto, as well as suggesting the city should change its name, didn’t go over well with the man on the street. The Hemet Chamber of Commerce was dragged into the matter and decided to take up the cause of defending Hemet and its name. According to an article in the Dec. 19 edition of the Hemet News, Hastings said he had visited the San Jacinto Valley area and the residents of Hemet and San Jacinto were “making faces at each other.” In a letter to Hastings, the chamber admitted that his comment might have had a grain of truth to it. However, the chamber still didn’t think it was appropriate. “We question the propriety of making such a statement, even should it be a fact.” The chamber went on to say that the

Lawsuit alleging sexual harassment by Montclair councilmember nearing settlement

Montclair has reached the final stages of a settlement with two employees who brought suit against the city and Councilmember Ben Lopez for alleged sexual harassment. In December 2021, Edmund Garcia, a senior IT specialist for the city, and Michael Fuentes, Montclair’s director of economic development, filed lawsuits against the city and Lopez alleging unwanted sexual advances, sexual harassment and discrimination against them on the basis of their sexual orientation. The city and the plaintiffs have reached a tentative settlement and are waiting for the settlement to be finalized, according to the Garcia and Fuentes’s attorney, Kathleen Doherty at Doherty Law. “Our clients are really thankful to the city for taking a responsible position and resolving at least their portion of the case,” Doherty said. “Settlement of their case has occurred and we are waiting on completion of the process so we feel settling those cases right now is the best thing for the city.” Montclair City Council Member Ben Lopez is a defendant in two lawsuits filed by city employees against him and the city of Montclair. The suits allege sexual harassment and unwanted sexual

San Bernardino City Manager Rob Field resigns effective Jan. 16

San Bernardino City Manager Rob Field is leaving his post as the city’s top administrator Jan. 16, Mayor John Valdivia announced ahead of the City Council meeting Wednesday, Dec. 7. His resignation was accepted by council members during the evening’s closed session. Councilman Ben Reynoso was absent from the meeting. Valdivia’s announcement Wednesday came after the third of three consecutive closed sessions where Field’s performance was to be evaluated by the City Council. On behalf of himself and his colleagues, Valdivia wished Field well on his future endeavors and thanked him for his service to the community. Field, who was hired as city manager in September 2020, did not comment on his resignation before beginning the regularly scheduled council meeting. Prior to landing in San Bernardino, Field was a top official in Riverside County. His hiring two years ago marked the onboarding of the sixth top administrator in eight years. Field earned a $295,332 salary in 2021, according to Transparent California, a government pay watchdog. His total compensation amounted to $398,344. It was unclear when the city will launch a search for a replacement. Brian

Hemet’s Candyland Christmas Parade lights up Florida Avenue

This year’s Candyland Christmas Parade wowed Hemet residents with lights all aglow as high school bands, car clubs, floats and community groups took to Florida Avenue on Saturday evening, Dec. 3. RELATED: Holiday events in the Inland Empire The parade kicked off at Gilbert Street and made its way to Santa Fe Street on the city’s main drag. Hemet staged its Candyland Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. (Photo by Kimberly Guimarin, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Santa made his appearance Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, to wrap up Hemet’s Candyland Christmas Parade from atop a Hemet Fire Department truck. (Photo by Kimberly Guimarin, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Hemet’s Candyland Christmas Parade makes its way down Florida Avenue on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. Community groups, car clubs and high schools participated in the event. (Photo by Kimberly Guimarin, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Hemet residents line Florida Avenue on Saturday evening, Dec. 3, 2022, as they wait for the Candyland Christmas Parade to start. (Photo by Kimberly Guimarin, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Hemet’s Candyland Christmas Parade was staged Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, on Florida Avenue. (Photo by Kimberly Guimarin, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Hemet’s Candyland Christmas Parade

Many of Riverside’s new buildings must be all electric

The future of many new buildings in Riverside looks electric.  The Riverside City Council voted 4-3 Tuesday night, Dec. 6, to approve an ordinance requiring most newly-constructed buildings that are three stories or lower to be all-electric — using no natural gas — beginning Jan. 6. The city will also require all new buildings, including high-rises taller than three stories, to be all-electric as of 2026, a city report states. The vote was split, with Councilmembers Ronaldo Fierro, Erin Edwards, Clarissa Cervantes and Steve Hemenway voting yes. Councilmembers Chuck Conder, Gaby Plascencia and Jim Perry voted no. Caleb Ragan, an aide to Riverside City Councilmember Ronaldo Fierro, explains a proposal to make new buildings all-electric at the Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, council meeting. (Via Facebook / city of Riverside) A slide explains the technologies typically included in an all-electric home. (Via Facebook / city of Riverside) Riverside Ward 3 City Councilmember Ronaldo Fierro on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, proposes making new city buildings all-electric. (Via Facebook / city of Riverside) Show Caption of Expand While all new buildings will be required to be all-electric, effective in

Southland Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will present ‘Messiah’

The Southland Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will present their fifth performance of Handel’s “Messiah” 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11 at Bethel Congregational Church, 536 N. Euclid Ave., Ontario. Sylvia Lee Mann, the Southland Symphony’s music director and conductor, will direct the performance. Soloists are Patrick Blackwell, bass; Steve Grabe, tenor; Debbie Dey, alto; and Erin Wood, soprano. “Messiah” was presented at Bethel Congregational Church as an annual event by Earle Blakeslee and the Foothill Oratorio Society from 1945 to 1959, at which time it had become so popular that it was moved to the the Gardiner Spring Auditorium, according to a news release. The Foothill Oratorio Society’s last “Messiah” performance was in 1970. In December of 2017, the Southland Symphony Orchestra and Chorus brought “Messiah” back home to Bethel Congregational Church. That performance was the first with full orchestra, chorus and soloists in the area in decades, according to the news release. The 2017 concert was so well received that there was a demand for an annual performance, according to the news release. The Southland Symphony Orchestra and Chorus have presented “Messiah” every year since

Moreno Valley warehouse OK’d by council

Moreno Valley residents will see a 164,187-square-foot warehouse rise in the city’s Edgemont neighborhood. The Moreno Valley City Council voted 3-2 Tuesday night, Dec. 6, to move forward with the project. Councilmember Elena Baca Santa-Cruz, Mayor Pro Tem Ed Delgado and Mayor Yxstian Gutierrez voted in favor of the warehouse. Councilmembers David Marquez and Ulises Cabrera were against it.  The Moreno Valley Business Center was approved by the city’s planning commission in July, but two organizations appealed that approval, bringing a final decision to the city council. The Sierra Club, which has fought warehouses in the city, and the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, a social and environmental justice organization, appealed the project, citing concerns about the warehouse’s health and environmental impacts on the community. The project sits on approximately 8 acres at the northeast corner of Alessandro Boulevard and Day Street. To combat environmental effects and traffic, a 10-foot wall will be placed around the building and truck access will be limited to Alessandro Boulevard, according to the project plan. Still, some residents were not pleased. “The traffic on the 215, is

Home Instead in Temecula invites people to participate in Be a Santa to a Senior program

Home Instead invites residents of southwest Riverside County to share the holiday spirit with older adults who may not have family, through the Be a Santa to a Senior program. “A simple gift can bring such joy to older adults who may not have loved ones to celebrate with,” Paul Dziuban, owner of the Temecula Home Instead office, said in a news release. “Through Be a Santa to a Senior, we can help them feel the holiday spirit.” Last year, more than 250 older adults in southwest Riverside County received gifts thanks to the community’s support, and this year, program coordinators hope to collect gifts for 300 local older adults. To participate, shoppers can look for Be a Santa to a Senior trees or displays at locations around the area. Ornaments featuring the name and desired gift of an older adult will be on display, and shoppers can buy the requested gift and return the gift unwrapped or in a gift bag to the location with the ornament attached. Ornaments will be available through Dec. 12. The gifts will be delivered to local older adults

Moreno Valley Master Chorale will present Christmas concert

The Moreno Valley Master Chorale and Orchestra will present a concert of Christmas music 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 11650 Perris Blvd., Moreno Valley. The concert will feature music by J.S. Bach, Dietrich Buxtehude, William Crotch and others, plus a sing-along of familiar Christmas carols and solos by soprano Camelia Voin, according to a news release. Voin has performed throughout the United States and abroad as an operatic, oratorio and recital soloist. She has appeared at Carnegie Hall in New York, Teatro la Fenice in Venice, Teatro Gayarre in Pamplona, the West Palm Beach Opera in Florida and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, among others. She will sing “Laudate Pueri Dominum” by Antonio Vivaldi and “How Beautiful are the Feet of Them” from Handel’s “Messiah.” Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors, students and children older than 5, available at the door for cash only. The chorale will begin rehearsals Jan. 9 for its spring Music of the Masters concert. New singers are welcome to join the group, which rehearses 7-9 p.m. Mondays at

La Verne signs mutual-aid pact with LA County fire

After nearly a yearlong negotiation process, the La Verne and Los Angeles County fire departments have finalized a mutual-aid agreement to improve response times in the area. Under the new plan, the city’s Fire Department will now respond as first alarm units to all structure and wildland fires in certain parts of Claremont, Pomona and San Dimas, all of which are LA County Fire Department contract cities. La Verne’s department also will provide backup emergency medical services, which includes ambulances as needed, according to the city. Meanwhile, La Verne battalion chiefs will respond to fires and other complex incidents outside of the city with department units engaging as needed. Joint training will be conducted routinely to maintain efficient interdepartmental coordination and tactical functionality, under the agreement. The partnership was effective Dec. 1 and will remain in place until either the city or the county fire chief notifies the other of termination of the agreement, La Verne announced last week. “This updated mutual aid agreement with LA County fire is a big win for our community. Not only does it enhance our Fire Department’s capabilities, but

Pearl Harbor attack’s 81st anniversary recalled at Norco ceremony

A solemn ceremony Wednesday, Dec. 7, remembered the thousands of lives lost in the attack on Pearl Harbor on its 81st anniversary. Norco High School hosted the 16th annual event, attended by veterans, military dignitaries, Norco students and community members. The National Cemetery All Service Color Guard waits Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022, for the 16th annual Pearl Harbor Commemorative Ceremony presented by the Lake Norconian Club Foundation. The event was staged at Norco High School on the 81st anniversary of the surprise attack by the Japanese. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG) Mick Rose plays “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022, during the 16th annual Pearl Harbor Commemorative Ceremony presented by the Lake Norconian Club Foundation at Norco High School. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG) Norco High School students perform Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022, during the 16th annual Pearl Harbor Commemorative Ceremony on campus. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG) Vietnam veteran and Norco resident Ron Warren salutes Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022, as the national anthem is played at the 16th annual Pearl Harbor Commemorative

Sista’s Making a Difference will have donated 23,000 toys after this holiday season

Sista’s Making a Difference’s Winter Wonderland 5th Annual SB Community Christmas is set for December 17th, 11 AM to 4 PM, across the San Bernardino Valley College campus.  Come Saturday, the 501c3 is set to donate 10,000 new toys to children and families across the inland empire. “My Sister and Co-Founder Kiesha Miller and I have been coordinating this toy drive since 2018, and it has continued to grow. In 2018 we gave away 1,000 toys; in 2019, we gave away 2,000 toys. In 2020 we gave away 3,000 toys, and last year we gave away 7,000 toys. Our team is proud to see this event grow yearly,” said Ronnie Miller, Sista’s Making a Difference CEO/founder.  After this holiday season, the organization will have historically donated over 23,000 toys to Inland children.  This year’s toy drive theme is “winter wonderland,” and it’s said to be a complete experience for children, families, and sponsors.  “Each of our sponsors is creating their own village, which will be placed throughout the SBVC campus. Some villages include the North Pole (where the toys are located), Candy Cane Lane, and