Health concerns raised over toxicity of gas used at 5 Southern California facilities

A Los Angeles County supervisor is calling for the temporary shuttering of a medical device sterilizing plant and the investigation of other similar facilities elsewhere in Southern California after the region’s air quality agency detected unsafe levels of a cancer-causing gas in Vernon. The South Coast Air Quality Management District began investigating Sterigenics in Vernon in March in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s changing views on the toxicity of ethylene oxide, a gas used by Sterigenics and others to sterilize medical equipment, according to an AQMD spokesperson. Unannounced inspections in April found ethylene oxide (EtO) concentrations were at such a high level near the company’s 50th Street location that nearby workers could have a risk of cancer that is four times higher than the average in the region. Ethylene oxide is an odorless and colorless gas. Short-term exposure can cause headaches, nausea and difficulty breathing, while long-term exposure can lead to lymphoid and breast cancers, according to the AQMD. ‘Cumulative impacts’ Since then, L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn has urged the agency to force Sterigenics to cease all ethylene oxide-emitting operations until the…

Coronavirus cases climb in Inland Empire, but ‘catastrophic wave’ not expected

After holding at low levels in late winter and early spring, the number of people getting infected by the coronavirus is rising steadily across the Inland Empire. The latest trend suggests it’s time to take extra precautions, experts say, but they don’t anticipate another frightening spike that sends hundreds to the hospital as the recent omicron surge did. “I don’t think this is the start of a major new wave,” epidemiologist Andrew Noymer, an associate professor of population health and disease prevention at UC Irvine, said Friday, May 20. “I’m not overly concerned. It’s clear we have seen a rebound. … It’s just not clear to me that it means we’re heading for another catastrophic wave.” At the same time, Noymer did not rule out the possibility that the current “uptick” could turn into a major surge. The Rev. Monrow Mabon and his wife, Cynthia Mabon, are seen Friday, May 20, 2022, in front of Allen Chapel Riverside. He contracted COVID-19 in March after two years of eluding the virus and taking a half dozen tests. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) The Rev. Monrow Mabon…

With 5 members again, Moreno Valley City Council is back on track

The Moreno Valley City Council had a rough 2021. Over the course of the year, two of its five members died. (That’s 40%. Is “elected office” MoVal’s most dangerous job?) An attempt to fill one vacancy by appointment had critics, including the District Attorney, crying foul over the likely Brown Act violation. The move was rescinded. Meetings were dominated by anger and name-calling. A political protest took place next to the city’s official Christmas tree, lights twinkling, as people chanted that two council members should resign. MoVal? More like MoDrama. After the November election, a new member, Ed Delgado, was sworn in to replace Carla Thornton, who had died that January. Delgado brought the council up to four members. That was progress, but it swiftly hit a pothole. The council, in two ideological camps, was divided on whom to give the ceremonial title of mayor pro tem. Ulises Cabrera promoted David Marquez. Mayor Yxstian Gutierrez backed Delgado. After a couple of 2-2 votes, the mayor gave up. “Both motions fail. So we’ll just not have a mayor pro tem until April,” Gutierrez said cheerfully. I…

Comic Con Revolution brings superhero fans back to Ontario

Superheroes, cosplayers and fan groups are assembling. Comic Con Revolution is back for its fifth-anniversary event at the Ontario Convention Center. Canceled in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the event almost didn’t happen in 2021. This year, it began Saturday, May 21, and concludes Sunday, May 22. Theo Solorio of Rancho Cucamonga is Marty McFly at Comic Con Revolution on Saturday, May 21, 2022 at the Ontario Convention Center. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Angela Schuster of Eastvale, as Wonder Woman, along with her three children, from left, Hunter Schuster as Spiderman, Skyler Schuster as Black Panther and Summer Schuster as Batgirl attend Comic Con Revolution on Saturday, May 21, 2022, at the Ontario Convention Center. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Content creator Lea Martinez shows a fan her lightsaber on Saturday, May 21, 2022, during Comic Con Revolution at Ontario Convention Center. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Chris Claremont, a writer for “Wolverine” comic book in 1982 shares a story with fans on Saturday, May 21, 2022, as he signs autographs during Comic Con Revolution at Ontario Convention Center. (Photo…

Eastvale International Food Festival offers cuisine from around the world

Diverse plates and culture were showcased Saturday, May 21, in Eastvale. Guests got to “taste the world in Eastvale” — as the event’s motto boasts — at the city’s first International Food Festival, a two-day event. Food vendors include Bella Mia Pasta, El Aji Peruano, Swad of India and Hawaiian Honey Cones. Tony Dang feeds his son Henry, 18 months, and daughter Lina, 3, Hawaiian shaved ice during Eastvale’s first international food festival on Saturday, May 21, 2022. (Photo by Milka Soko, Contributing Photographer) Harry Santos cooks chicken skewers at Modern Lao Mazing Eats during Eastvale’s first international food festival on Saturday, May 21, 2022. (Photo by Milka Soko, Contributing Photographer) Members of the Halau Na Pua Lehna I Ka Ua Noe perform during Eastvale’s first international food festival on Saturday, May 21, 2022. (Photo by Milka Soko, Contributing Photographer) Yoali Leon serves Peruvian ceviche at El Aji during Eastvale’s first international food festival on Saturday, May 21, 2022. (Photo by Milka Soko, Contributing Photographer) Leon Gao, 3, dances latin music during Eastvale’s first international food festival on Saturday, May 21, 2022. (Photo by Milka…

Inland Rep. Ken Calvert may face tough re-election bid after 30 years in Congress

Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” topped the charts when Rep. Ken Calvert was first elected to Congress. Thirty years later, Democrats hope this November marks the end of Calvert’s time on Capitol Hill. But while Democrats make up a plurality of the county’s registered voters and Democratic presidential candidates have carried Riverside County since 2008, Calvert, R-Corona, continues to be re-elected by comfortable margins. This year, Democrats hope a more competitive district hurts Calvert, the Inland Empire’s longest-serving congressman. He faces two Democrats — environmental engineer Shrina Kurani and former federal prosecutor Will Rollins — Republican John Michael Lucio and independent Anna Nevenic in the June 7 primary for California’s 41st Congressional District. Calvert almost had to contend with a challenge from his right. State Sen. Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, pulled papers to run in the 41st, but did not file by the deadline. The top two vote-getters in June, regardless of party, advance to the November general election. At stake is a seat representing Calimesa, Canyon Lake, Indian Wells, Lake Elsinore, La Quinta, Menifee, Norco, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage and…

Allegations paint picture of influential cabal in Anaheim politics

Sometime after Harry Sidhu was elected in 2018, local business leaders gathered for a meet-and-greet with the new mayor at the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce. Though then-chamber CEO Todd Ament didn’t work for City Hall, the message to the assembled crowd was: The path to get a project approved or do business with the city was through Ament, recalled Paul Kott, who’s had a real estate business in town for 40 years. “Todd was introduced by Harry as, if somebody wanted to bring a project before the city of Anaheim, they were to bring it before Todd Ament,” Kott said. Business leaders hobnobbing with elected officials is nothing new, but some Anaheim residents have long felt the city’s relationship with its Chamber of Commerce has been at times, as Kott put it, “too close for comfort.” Now federal investigators are alleging that a self-described “cabal” of business and political leaders held secret retreats and exerted “significant influence” over how the city is run, bypassing the public process. To secure search warrants for Sidhu’s email and cellphone, the FBI filed on May 12 an affidavit that…

Cal State San Bernardino honors 2,800 in first live commencement ceremony in 3 years

More than 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students in Cal State San Bernardino‘s Class of 2022 were awarded their college degrees this week at the Toyota Arena in Ontario. Natalie Perez reacts after graduating Saturday, May 21, 2022, from Cal State San Bernardino’s Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration at the Toyota Arena in Ontario. (Photo by Milka Soko, Contributing Photographer) Jose Padilla receives his master’s hood from Associate Professor Stella Qiu on Saturday, May 21, 2022, at Cal State San Bernardino’s Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration’s graduation at the Toyota Arena in Ontario. (Photo by Milka Soko, Contributing Photographer) Professor Javad Varzandeh speaks Saturday, May 21, 2022, at Cal State San Bernardino’s Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration’s graduation at the Toyota Arena in Ontario. (Photo by Milka Soko, Contributing Photographer) Stacey Allis reacts after receiving her diploma Saturday, May 21, 2022, at Cal State San Bernardino’s Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration’s graduation at Toyota Arena in Ontario. (Photo by Milka Soko, Contributing Photographer) Abdulazsiz Alamoudi, who graduated with honors in…

Will Inland Rep. Ken Calvert lose re-election in 2022?

Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” topped the charts when Rep. Ken Calvert was first elected to Congress. Thirty years later, Democrats hope this November marks the end of Calvert’s time on Capitol Hill. But while Democrats make up a plurality of the county’s registered voters and Democratic presidential candidates have carried Riverside County since 2008, Calvert, R-Corona, continues to be re-elected by comfortable margins. This year, Democrats hope a more competitive district hurts Calvert, the Inland Empire’s longest-serving congressman. He faces two Democrats — environmental engineer Shrina Kurani and former federal prosecutor Will Rollins — Republican John Michael Lucio and independent Anna Nevenic in the June 7 primary for California’s 41st Congressional District. Calvert almost had to contend with a challenge from his right. State Sen. Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, pulled papers to run in the 41st, but did not file by the deadline. The top two vote-getters in June, regardless of party, advance to the November general election. At stake is a seat representing Calimesa, Canyon Lake, Indian Wells, Lake Elsinore, La Quinta, Menifee, Norco, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage and…

Development near Big Bear eagle nest paused by judge

The 50-house Moon Camp development slated for the community of Fawnskin overlooking Big Bear Lake is on hold under a legal challenge as conservationists work to find a way to purchase the land from the developer. A San Bernardino County Superior Court judge who has ruled partly in favor of a lawsuit against the development near a bald eagle nest has prohibited work at the site and ordered portions of the project’s environmental document be voided and revised. In this still from Friends of Big Bear Valley’s nest cam juvenile bald eagle Spirit, left, and a parent perch less than a mile from a site where a developer is proposing to build 50 houses in the Fawnskin community. The property is a popular spot for bald eagles to perch and forage. Several groups are working to purchase the land from the developer after a judge ruled in 2022 that portions of the environmental document for the Moon Camp development needed to be voided and revised. (Courtesy of Friends of Big Bear Valley) In January, Judge David Cohn said the petition to block development by Friends…

Fire season: A preparation checklist and how to check the threat level of your home

Are you ready for fire season? This year’s has begun, with the Coastal fire destroying at least 20 homes this month in Laguna Niguel. Here’s a look at preparations you can take, the areas of greatest threat in Southern California and how often wildfires occur. During the Coastal fire, about 800 households were given roughly one hour to evacuate. Take precautions now. To better understand the needs of first responders and other emergency workers, the 2017 American Housing Survey asked residents how prepared they are for disasters. Check your danger level RiskFactor.com is a free online tool created by the nonprofit First Street Foundation that enables Americans to learn their property’s risk from environmental threats such as flooding and wildfires and understand how risks are shifting because of a changing environment. You can input your address or city to see the risk forecast for your property over the next 30 years. Fire threatens a home in three ways: Embers These bits of burning material can move up to a mile ahead of a wildfire in windy conditions. To resist them, a residence should have a…

Truck lanes open on 60 Freeway east of Moreno Valley

Driving through the Badlands should be better with the opening of two long-awaited truck lanes. Vehicles began using the lanes on the 60 Freeway, between Moreno Valley and Beaumont, Friday afternoon, May 20. The lanes go for nearly 5 miles in the steep and hilly area. The opening marked the culmination of a $138 million project that started in June 2019 with design work. The freeway through that spot had two lanes on each side, with narrow shoulders and sharp curves. As trucks slowed while climbing the hills east of Moreno Valley, cars would stack up behind them. Truck lanes that opened on the 60 Freeway in the Badlands are seen Friday, May 20, 2022, east of Moreno Valley. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) The 4.5-mile long truck lanes opened Friday, May 20, 2022, on the 60 Freeway in the Badlands area east of Moreno Valley. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) The 4.5-mile long truck lanes opened Friday, May 20, 2022, on the 60 Freeway in the Badlands area east of Moreno Valley. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Big rigs now have…

Youths rally in Corona for immigration reform

Immigrant youths and others are calling on President Joe Biden and Congress to shield undocumented immigrants from deportation and build more pathways to U.S. citizenship. In a small rally outside Corona City Hall on Friday evening, May 20, they demanded an end to the Title 42 public emergency health order, which expires Monday, May 23. Established in 2020 during the Trump Administration, the order allowed for migrants seeking asylum to be turned away from the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They also called for an end to the “Remain in Mexico” policy, a Trump-era protocol that requires some asylum seekers at the border to be sent back or wait in Mexico for immigration hearings. Angel Vargas, right, who is an undocumented immigrant, speaks at a rally at Corona City Hall on Friday, May 20, 2022, as supporters Dennis Brown, left, and Nicole Lopez, center, stand in support. The approximately two dozen protesters demanded an end to Trump-era immigration policies. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG) Pro-immigration advocates gather Friday, May 20, 2022, for a rally near Rep. Ken Calvert’s office at…

Cockroaches, sewage: Restaurant closures, inspections in San Bernardino County, May 12-19

Here are the restaurants and other food facilities that San Bernardino County health inspectors temporarily shut down because of imminent health hazards between May 12 and 19, 2022. If no reopening date is mentioned, the agency had not listed that facility as reopened as of this publication. Ro Chinatown Fast Food, 227 W. Foothill Blvd., Rialto Closed: May 17 Grade: 80/B Reason: Cockroach infestation. An inspector visited in response to a complaint that someone found a dead cockroach in their food. The inspector saw live and dead roaches under kitchen equipment, in the server area and by the mop sink. Among the nine other violations, the cook said that food-contact surfaces are washed but not sanitized, and that cooked ribs are left out at room temperature for several hours to cool down. The restaurant also needed cleaning. An inspector returned the next day but there were still roaches present so the permit suspension remained in place. This was the restaurant’s third consecutive B grade. KFC/Taco Bell, 9619 Sheepcreek Road, Phelan Closed: May 17 Grade: Not graded Reason: Sewage overflow. The inspector, visiting in response to…

COVID booster shots for Inland kids ages 5 to 11 likely available next week

Inland Empire children could be able to get a coronavirus vaccine booster shot as early as Monday. The Food and Drug Administration authorized a COVID-19 booster shot for healthy 5- to 11-year-olds on Tuesday. San Bernardino County officials announced Friday that the pediatric booster shots could become available to the public by Monday. Once they are available, residents can make a vaccination appointment by visiting SBCOVID19.com/vaccine, calling the county’s COVID Hotline at 909-387-3911 or contacting a pharmacy directly. Riverside County spokesperson Jose Arballo said Friday afternoon that the county “tentatively” expects to have the booster shot available Tuesday for children between ages 5 and 11. Once that happens, residents can make an appointment by visiting RivCoPH.org/COVID-19-Vaccine, calling 951-358-5000 or contacting a pharmacy directly. A third shot of the Pfizer vaccine — the only one available to children of any age in the U.S. — is approved for a one-third strength booster shot five months after a child has received their previous shot. Everyone over age 12 was already approved to get a booster dose to counteract the reduced protection of the vaccine over time, and those…

Parts of Riverside County’s Turpin report will be withheld from public

A public report detailing an independent investigation into Riverside County’s care of the 13 Turpin siblings, as well as the county’s safety net for at-risk children and adults, won’t include everything uncovered by investigators, a county spokesperson said Friday, May 20. Attorney Stephen Larson’s report, due to be released in early- to mid-June, will be “thorough and substantive … (but) the publicly available report will not include information that was determined to be confidential by the court,” Brooke Federico said. Superior Court Judge Kenneth Fernandez ordered Wednesday, May 18, that confidential records should be released and can be used “to make findings and prepare a report” for the Board of Supervisors, but that the information must be restricted to the Larson team, the board and its subordinates. In remarks to the board in December, Larson, a retired judge, promised his probe would be “thorough and transparent.” The county hired his firm after an ABC News “20/20” report on the Turpins, who were discovered in their Perris home in 2018 chained to their beds and abused by their parents. David and Louise Turpin pleaded guilty to…

Rodents, no hot water, no permit: Restaurant closures, inspections in Riverside County, May 13-19

Here are the restaurants and other food facilities that Riverside County Department of Environmental Health inspectors temporarily shut down because of imminent health hazards between May 13 and 19, 2022. If no reopening date is mentioned, the department had not listed that facility as reopened as of this publication. Taco Bell, 27010 Fir Ave., Moreno Valley Closed: May 19 Grade: 91/A, passing Reason: No hot water. Any food prepped that morning had to be discarded. Reopened: Later that day after hot water was restored New Bombay Store, 1385 W. Blaine St., Riverside (partial closure) Closed: May 13 Grade: 83/B, failing Reason: Fly and rodent infestation. During a routine inspection April 21 that the store failed, the inspector found excessive fly and gnat activity, four dead cockroaches and some rodent droppings. They were told then, at a hearing April 27 and in an attempted follow-up inspection May 5 to eliminate the vermin. When an inspector returned May 13, there was still excessive fly activity and “copious amounts of rodent droppings” in multiple areas of the store, and rodents had gnawed on several packages of food on…

Menifee’s new bike park will have 6 acres for extreme sports

Menifee is getting a new bike park that officials say will be the largest of its kind in Southern California. The new, 6-acre, park will be on the southeast corner of Evans Road and Craig Avenue, near Paloma Valley High School, a news release states. An artists’ rendering shows the future Gale Webb, Kids-R-#1, Action Sports Park in Menifee, which will include bike trails with more than 30 obstacles and a bicycle playground. The park is set to open in fall 2022. (Courtesy of city of Menifee) Expected to open in fall, the sports park will feature bike trails with more than 30 obstacles and a bicycle playground. It will also boast a 22,000-square-foot pump track, which is a looping circuit of rollers and turns that bicyclists can ride without pedaling or pushing. City officials broke ground on the project May 11. The Gale Webb, Kids-R-#1, Action Sports Park will be named after extreme sports athlete Gale Webb and her youth-focused non-profit group Kids-R-#1. Webb, a longtime Menifee resident and motivational speaker, made headlines in the 1980s as “America’s Motocross Mom.” She is known for motocross, skating…

Why there will be a wall between the public and Riverside County supervisors

Riverside County will be putting a wall between the public and the Board of Supervisors for reasons beyond public safety. Supervisor Kevin Jeffries asked during a Tuesday, May 17, budget workshop for money to install a wall or screen to shield the front row of seats inside the board chambers at the County Administrative Center in downtown Riverside. Jeffries said his staff told him that the wall-mounted camera behind the board dais, which is trained on the speaker’s podium during public meeting livestreams, can inadvertently show revealing footage of people in the front row who are wearing shorts or short dresses. The front row is behind the podium. Related Articles Local News | Why Temecula Valley Wine Country is getting sewer lines from COVID-19 relief money Local News | Carousel Mall will ‘continue putting people’s lives at risk,’ San Bernardino leader says Local News | San Bernardino County reports 6.6% increase in homeless population Local News | What Riverside County’s budget has in common with a Notorious B.I.G. song title Local News | Eastvale is finally getting a downtown “We (the board) generally do not…

Cal Poly Pomona celebrates Class of 2022 with in-person ceremonies

After a two-year break, Cal Poly Pomona hosted the first of 12 in-person commencement ceremonies on campus Friday, May 20. More than 7,200 members of the Class of 2022 will be joined by approximately 1,000 graduates from summer and fall 2021 in ceremonies throughout the weekend. Including family and friends, more than 64,600 people are expected to attend ceremonies at the university Friday through Sunday. Cal Poly Pomona graduates Bettina Mengoni, left, and Kendra Mitchell celebrate with friends after their commencement ceremony for the college of education and integrative studies at the Pomona campus on Friday, May 20, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Graduate Hailey Waite celebrates after receiving her diploma during a Cal Poly Pomona commencement ceremony for the college of education and integrative studies at the Pomona campus on Friday, May 20, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) “We did it mom” is displayed on the back of graduate Amanda Rose Weaver after receiving her diploma during the Cal Poly Pomona commencement ceremony for the college of education and integrative studies at the Pomona campus on Friday, May 20, 2022.…

Corona native serves as a member of the U.S. Navy’s submarine force

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Quentin Clark (Courtesy of the U.S. Navy) U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Quentin Clark, a Corona native, is serving aboard USS Michigan, a nuclear-powered submarine. Clark, who joined the Navy four years ago, serves as a fire control technician. He grew up in Corona and graduated from Centennial High School in 2017. “My grandparents and my mother inspired me to join the Navy,” Clark said in a news release. “They are very patriotic and they introduced me to Tiger Cruises, which showed me the military lifestyle and the different jobs available. Plus, I love being out on the water. The Navy provides a lot of opportunities.” Known as America’s “Apex Predators,” the Navy’s submarine force operates a large fleet of technically advanced vessels. These submarines are capable of conducting rapid defensive and offensive operations around the world, in furtherance of U.S. national security, according to the news release. “As a fire control technician, we deal with many combat operations and we play maybe the most prominent role with covert operations. I take pride in the reconnaissance role,” Clark said…