Riverside Philharmonic’s concert to mark Cheech Marin museum’s anniversary

The Riverside Philharmonic will salute Latino heritage at its Saturday, June 10, performance. The show, dubbed “¡Adelante! ─ Forward!” will mark the upcoming one-year anniversary of the opening of the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art and Culture in downtown Riverside, a news release states. The concert will include music from “West Side Story” and from Latin Grammy Award-winning composer Gabriela Lena Frank. Guest singer-guitarist José García and his trio will join the orchestra for the show’s second half, playing music from Brazil, Portugal, Mexico and other Latin American countries. The 7:30 p.m. performance will be at the Riverside City College Henry W. Coil Sr. and Alice Edna Coil School for the Arts concert hall. Doors will open at 6 p.m. Ticket information: www.riversidephilharmonic.org

San Bernardino Councilman Contradicts Police Misconduct Statements: SBPOA Op-Ed

City of San Bernardino Councilman Ben Reynoso continues to speak out publicly against the police department; meanwhile, his actions contradict his sentiments and open the City up to further civil liability.  In a recent news article, the 5th Ward Council Member stated, “We’re tired of having to use taxpayer money for police misconduct. It feels like we’re just bleeding dry.” This comes as no surprise, seeing that Reynoso has a history of not supporting the police department, doesn’t prioritize public safety for community members, and did not garner any support from public safety organizations during his campaign. What comes across as questionable is that while he is quick to make statements against the police department, regardless of knowing the facts or allowing the investigation to take place, he has also been part of approving the very settlements he is complaining about and has done nothing to address the alleged misconduct and poor police-community relations he speaks of. Further, his public statements on social media and via news outlets put the City at risk of civil litigation, which could ultimately cost the City even more money.

Free summer lunches begin across the Inland Empire

When school lets out for the summer, kids can still eat free. After the last day of classes, school districts across the Inland Empire begin offering children 18 and younger free meals throughout the summer. For example, after graduations last week, the Corona-Norco School District started serving lunches Monday, June 5, that will be offered weekdays at parks, libraries, schools and other sites. Liam Ambriz, 5, enjoys a slice of pepperoni pizza during the free summer lunch program offered by the Corona-Norco Unified School District at the Corona del Rey Apartment Complex in Corona on Monday, June 5, 2023. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Heather Jensen, left, sits with her sons, from left, Noah Ambriz, 4; Hunter Blaha, 13; and Liam Ambriz, 5; as they enjoy meals as part of the free summer lunch program offered by the Corona-Norco Unified School District at the Corona del Rey Apartment Complex in Corona on Monday, June 5, 2023. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Samara Hernandez, 6, takes a bite of an apple during the free summer lunch program offered by the Corona-Norco Unified School District

A desperate Great Depression job launched Stater Bros. to success

By Joe Blackstock Horatio Alger was a late 19th century novelist who wrote inspiring novels about impoverished young men who by working hard and honestly could achieve success in America. It’s not much of a stretch to picture twins Cleo and Leo Stater as a couple of Alger’s characters who did turn hard work into their share of the American Dream. About 1931, Cleo Stater felt compelled to leave high school to help his family in danger of losing their Yucaipa farm, a desperate situation that faced millions during those bleak days of the Great Depression. But persistence paid off one day when he dropped into a Yucaipa grocery store owned by W.A. Davis who at that moment needed some help. Stater was hired for 10 cents an hour to handle chores for Davis at the market on West Yucaipa Boulevard. So began the company’s rags-to-riches story. For five years, Cleo Stater worked hard for Davis, learning everything about the grocery business so when opportunity suddenly appeared, he was ready to grab it. In 1936, Davis decided to move out of Yucaipa because of his

Pomona man faces 21 years for trying to smuggle in frozen, roasted eels

A Pomona man with a wholesale food business in Industry faces a possible 21 years in federal prison for trying to sneak in frozen roasted eels adulterated with unsafe animal drugs that were already rejected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Kevin Sheng Hsiang Fang, 41, and Yong Chang Trading Co., doing business as Heng Xing Foods, each pleaded guilty on May 31 to smuggling and introducing the food into interstate commerce, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Fang is scheduled for sentencing Aug. 14 at a Los Angeles federal courthouse. “This individual showed complete disregard for the health and safety of the U.S. consumer by knowingly bringing tainted products into the market,” Eddy Wang, acting special agent in charge at Homeland Security Investigations in Los Angeles, said in a statement. A shipment of Fang’s imported Chinese eels had been tested by the Food and Drug Administration, found to be unsafe for human consumption and rejected. Fang admitted to re-importing the rejected eels using new entry information and co-mingling them with other eels to evade detection, Mrozek said. He tried

Plans for new downtown Riverside hotel stalled

Plans for a downtown Riverside hotel down the street from the Mission Inn are stalled and will have to undergo an environmental review before construction can start, a judge has tentatively ruled. Originally, the city didn’t require such a review on the Marriott hotel proposed for Mission Inn Avenue, between Lemon and Lime streets. The hotel would rise at the site of a former fire station, which the original proposal reimagined as the hotel’s lobby and restaurant. The project is in the heart of downtown, on the same street as the Riverside Art Museum, the Riverside Municipal Auditorium, the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture and the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa. It’s also across the street from the historic First Congregational Church. In 2018, the project was described as a seven-story, 161-room hotel. By 2021, that had increased to eight stories and 226 rooms, and received mixed feedback from organizations and the community. In November 2021, the Riverside City Council voted to exempt the project from the California Environmental Quality Act, which would require an environmental review before work on the hotel

California is shutting down LA County’s juvenile halls, but this unit is exempt

Another of Los Angeles County’s juvenile facilities could soon end up in the cross hairs of state regulators if a legislative rider attached to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s revised state budget is approved by the Legislature. The legislation would grant the Board of State and Community Corrections the power to shut down juvenile camps and Secure Youth Treatment Facilities, a type of juvenile detention facility that holds more serious offenders returned from state to county custody since the realignment of California’s Division of Juvenile Justice in 2020. The BSCC’s limited authority over SYTFs has created an unprecedented situation in which the state board has ordered Los Angeles County to close its two main juvenile halls and remove 275 youths from the buildings by July 24 due to “unsuitable” conditions, but is unable to extend that order to cover roughly 80 youth housed in the SYTF unit inside Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall, one of the halls slated for closure. The SYTF and juvenile hall operate out of the same building in Sylmar, share staff and reportedly commingle populations, according to inspection reports. Last month, an 18-year-old

Aristrong Foundation’s Annual Memorial Event Unites the Community and Provides Space for Support

The Aristrong Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing solace and support to those coping with loss, held its second annual “Cherished Memorial” on Saturday, May 27th, at Fleming Park in the City of Colton. Family members gathered to remember their loved ones through a poignant candlelight vigil and a heartfelt slideshow. Under the bright evening sky, the event commenced with Chris Villalobos, President, and Founder of the Aristrong Foundation, introducing himself to the attendees. In his address, Villalobos empathetically acknowledged the deep void left by death and loss, emphasizing the Foundation’s mission to foster unity within the community and offer solace and compassion to one another. In addition, the name “Cherished” was chosen to encourage families to hold on to their treasured memories, symbolizing the enduring power of love. Vice President John Villalobos further elevated the atmosphere, leading the assembly in prayer as the memorial progressed. Families in attendance found solace in the words of Pastor Conrad Valdez from Echoes of Love Ministries in Colton. Pastor Conrad delivered a touching message of comfort to those present, many of whom still grappled with the emptiness that

Laura Simpson, Brandon Walters Honored as Top RUSD Employees for the 2022-2023 School Year

There is so much to celebrate with June 1 marking the last day of the school year for the Rialto Unified School District. Along with celebrating top scholars as the school year comes to a close, the District recently honored its Teacher and Classified Employee of the Year. Laura Diamond, a Simpson Elementary School fourth-grade teacher, and Brandon Walters, Sprinkler Systems Maintenance Worker in Maintenance and Operations, were honored at the RUSD Board of Education school meeting on May 24. The two educators were selected from 1,380 teachers and 1,200 classified employees, who are support staff, after an extensive, District-wide nomination and review process that involved Personnel, Education, Business, and Administrative Services working in congruence to finalize the top two selections. Diamond is a veteran teacher, who started working in the District in 1989, before landing at Simpson Elementary School as a teacher in 1995. She has taught first, second, third, and fourth grades during her tenure.   “Thank you for such an amazing honor,” Diamond stated upon receiving the honor at the podium, by RUSD Board Member Evelyn P. Dominguez. “Never in my wildest

See what Inland Empire’s congressional delegation got done last term

Quantifying what sort of job lawmakers do is tough. There are aspects of the job that can be quantified, including the number of bills lawmakers get passed and how much money they bring home to their districts in the form of earmarks. But not all bills are created equal — a bill to rename a post office is not the same as one that dramatically reshapes the nation’s economy, defense or culture. And some aspects, such as how much a legislator does on behalf of their constituents, are difficult or even impossible to quantify at all. So this report card is an imperfect one, presenting what information can be quantified, including scores assigned by the Center of Effective Lawmaking — a joint project of the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University — based on the quality of legislation members of the 117th Congress introduced and how close those bills made it to becoming a law. According to the center, House Republicans, who were in the minority in the previous session, had an average legislative effectiveness score of 0.58, while House Democrats had an average LES

Could Riverside County’s San Jacinto animal shelter reopen?

There aren’t a whole lot of animals at the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus these days. That’s because the Riverside County-owned shelter is closed to the public. Budget cuts forced the facility to shut its doors in 2020. With the county’s finances now in better shape, the shelter at 581 S. Grande Ave. could reopen later this year. County animal services officials are seeking that money in the county budget for the fiscal year starting July 1. “I look forward to the day it could be reopened,” said Supervisor Yxstian Gutierrez, whose district includes Hemet and San Jacinto. Gutierrez, who took office in January, said reopening the shelter was among the first requests he heard from constituents. He said it could take $4.9 million to reopen the facility, which cost roughly $14 million to build in 2010. “It is very expensive” to reopen, Gutierrez said, but he added that the cost to the county could drop if surrounding cities like Hemet, San Jacinto and Calimesa pitched in. Erin Gettis, county animal services director, confirmed that her department will seek money to reopen the shelter in

How much did your member of Congress get done last term?

How do you measure how good or bad of a job your Congressional representative did? It’s a surprisingly hard question to answer. Alan E. Wiseman, a Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University, and Craig Volden, a University of Virginia Professor of Public Policy and Politics, have spent more than a decade trying to figure it out. The co-directors of the Center of Effective Lawmaking, a joint project of the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University, Wiseman and Volden are also the authors of the 2014 book, Legislative Effectiveness in the US Congress. “We were trying to understand why some members of Congress are more successful of advancing their agenda or legislation in Congress,” Wiseman said. “In workshopping the book, people were presenting us with all sorts of interesting questions.” The Southern California News Group has been attempting to objectively measure how good of a job local legislators do, in both Washington and Sacramento, for almost a decade. But no single measure can tell the whole story. “There’s lots and lots of things that lawmakers do that they and their constituents value,” Wiseman said, including legislators’ work

Disappearance of wealthy Riverside County ranch owner still a mystery after 3 years

What happened to Dia Abrams? Bonita Vista Ranch owner Dia Abrams, right, and ranch hand Jodi Newkirk. (Illustration by Staff Artist Jeff Goertzen) The answer has eluded Riverside County sheriff’s investigators for three years and baffled residents of the San Jacinto Mountains where Abrams abruptly disappeared on June 6, 2020. It is a whodunit shrouded in a tale of wealth, family estrangement and heated litigation that continues to intrigue and attract attention from local and national media. “It’s like being in a ‘Dateline’ mystery,” said Peggy Kotner, Abrams’ sister. Asked what she thinks happened to her sister, Kotner said, “Your guess is as good as mine. I really want to know.” Abrams, who was 65 when she vanished, is presumed dead, though her body has never been found. Abrams’ disappearance Abrams had been estranged for years from her husband, a  wealthy La Jolla developer who died in 2018. She loved the outdoors and animals, so in about 2004 or 2005 she decided to trade the affluent seaside community in San Diego County for a tranquil 115-acre ranch in Mountain Center. Abrams “just wanted to get

Koroneburg Renaissance Festival in Eastvale takes guests back in time

The Koroneburg Renaissance Festival has returned to Eastvale, bringing jousting, music and comedy. Activities include games, demonstrations in blacksmithing and leatherworking and axe throwing. There will be food vendors as well as “shoppes” selling handmade pottery, jewelry, metalwork and apparel. Knights battle in the arena at the Koroneburg Renaissance Festival in Eastvale on Saturday, June 3, 2023. (Photo by Anjali Sharif-Paul, The Sun/SCNG) Those at the Koroneburg Renaissance Festival in Eastvale grill turkey legs on Saturday, June 3, 2023, as visitors wait in line for the famous snack. (Photo by Anjali Sharif-Paul, The Sun/SCNG) Vistors walk into the Koroneburg Renaissance Festival on Saturday, June 3, 2023, in Eastvale. (Photo by Anjali Sharif-Paul, The Sun/SCNG) Chuck Spitler, also known as Baron Henirich von Laufe, is seen at the Koroneburg Renaissance Festival as his niece, Francesca Murphy, who plays Gretel von Laufer, stands behind him in Eastvale on Saturday, June 3, 2023. (Photo by Anjali Sharif-Paul, The Sun/SCNG) John Barnet waits for customers to come into his store at the Koroneburg Renaissance Festival on Saturday, June 3, 2023, in Eastvale. (Photo by Anjali Sharif-Paul, The Sun/SCNG) Dressed-up

Carousel Mall Case Against the City of San Bernardino Dropped By State Agency

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has informed the City of San Bernardino that it has closed their case against the City involving alleged violations of the Surplus Land Act (SLA) related to the redevelopment of the Carousel Mall property. In a letter dated May 24, 2023, HCD stated that it has determined that the City is not in violation of the SLA following its termination of the exclusive negotiating agreement with the San Bernardino Development Company to redevelop the Carousel Mall. “HCD considers this matter closed,” said HCD Deputy Director David Zisser in the letter. San Bernardino Mayor Helen Tran, upon learning of the case being closed, responded, “This is excellent news. We can now move forward.” In March, San Bernardino received a notice from HCD, alleging several violations of the Surplus Land Act, a California law that requires public agencies to make property it intends to sell available for developers of affordable housing. HCD claimed the City of San Bernardino did not follow the proper steps, a claim the City disputed. The City Council voted on May 3 to terminate

Children remind adults of nature’s beauty — and importance

By Nicole Padron | Contributing Columnist The mysteries, wonder and simple joys of nature can be rediscovered through the eyes of children. Growing up, I was lucky to spend a great deal of time outdoors. My family often took us camping and encouraged us to connect with nature. Sure, Super Nintendo was a favorite pastime for my generation, but there were only two controllers, and I had two older brothers. You can guess how much I got to play. Fortunately, nature was always beckoning. On family camping trips while my brothers fished for trout, I plopped myself on the bank of the stream to dig my hands in with delight. I have a vivid memory as a barefoot preschooler, sifting the sun-warmed sand back and forth through my hands. It was a mystery to me how something could be so fine and smooth and in those moments I was fully present in the sensory experience. I loved my “soft sand.” When I took a soils class in college, I learned it wasn’t sand at all, but silt. Silt is finer, composed of much smaller rock

Longtime Redlands artist Janet Edwards will hold her final show

Janet Edwards, a longtime Redlands artist who is known for her depictions of the area’s tall palms, mountains and orange groves, celebrated her 90th birthday in January and will hold her final show June 10 through July 7 at the Redlands Art Association Gallery. Edwards, who graduated from the University of Redlands in 1955, taught public school art before raising a family. She worked out of her home studio in Redlands for many years and has been active with the Redlands Art Association since the early 1980s. In 2012, she and her husband, Fred, collaborated on “Palms to Peaks: The Art of Janet Edwards,” a book about her art, printed by the Esri Press. After her husband died in April 2022, she closed her studio and moved to an assisted living community in Highland. This show, following her 2022 retirement show at the Redlands Art Association Gallery, will feature Edwards’ remaining collection of artist’s proofs and other prints that she has retained over the years, according to a news release. Edwards will be at the gallery at the opening reception, 1-4 p.m. June 10, to

Students, parents rally for Temecula Valley High drama teacher

Students and parents rallied Friday afternoon, June 2, to support a Temecula drama teacher who was put on leave after being accused of asking student to read a sexually explicit play. Greg Bailey, who teaches at Temecula Valley High School, is the subject of a Temecula Valley Unified School District investigation after a mother and a pastor complained to the school board last month that he assigned “Angels in America.” RELATED: Rally set for embattled Temecula Valley High drama teacher Reached Tuesday, May 30, Bailey declined to comment. Philip Hite, right, the parent of a Temecula Valley High School drama student, rallies with students Friday, June 2, 2023, in support of drama teacher Greg Bailey at the corner of Rancho Vista and Margarita roads in Temecula. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Philip Hite, right, the parent of a Temecula Valley High School drama student, demonstrates Friday, June 2, 2023, to support drama teacher Greg Bailey, who was put on leave after being accused of assigning an explicit play. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Temecula Valley High School students and parents stage a Friday

California Press Foundation supports student journalists

The California Press Foundation has been supporting the future of journalism for more than 140 years. The organization provides professional support, education, coveted journalism awards and opportunities for future journalists. Through this work, Cal Press has a vision of assuring the future and integrity of journalism in California. In May, Cal Press launched its inaugural Tim Crews Fellowship, awarding the position to Danielle McKinney. McKinney, a 2021 Sacramento State University alum, will serve as an entrepreneurial ambassador to grow and energize the Cal Press mission. This includes expanding support and further engagement with high school, community college and university students. “The role of journalists is an essential part of democracy,” McKinney said. “We support the future of journalism in California through inclusivity, collaboration and the ongoing support of education.” Cal Press awards equipment grants to campus news programs annually. High schools, colleges and university journalism programs can apply for up to $1,500 to purchase hardware, ensuring students have the equipment they need to learn and develop their aspirations of becoming professional journalists. Cecilia Deck, a De Anza College faculty member and adviser to La Voz

Riverside County restaurants shut down by health inspectors, May 25-June 1

Restaurants and other food vendors ordered to close and allowed to reopen by Riverside County health inspectors from May 25 to June 1. Concessions at Big League Dreams, 33700 Date Palm Drive, Cathedral City Closed: May 25 Reason: No running water Reopened: May 26 Related Articles Local News | Riverside County restaurants reopen after closures by health inspectors, May 18-25 Local News | Riverside County restaurants reopen after closures by health inspectors, May 11-18 Local News | Riverside County restaurants shut by health inspectors, May 4-11 Local News | Riverside County restaurants shut by health inspectors, April 26-May 4 — Ian Wheeler This list is published weekly with closures since the previous week’s list. Status updates are published in the following week’s list. Source: Riverside County Department of Environmental Health

California drops case against San Bernardino over Carousel Mall redevelopment

The state has dropped its case against the city of San Bernardino over the redevelopment of the Carousel Mall, officials announced in a news release. Mayor Helen Tran was not immediately available for comment Friday, June 2. In the city’s statement sent late Thursday, however, she called the state’s decision excellent news. “We can now move forward,” she added. About three weeks after the City Council voted to cut ties with the firms it had tapped to redevelop Carousel Mall, the state Department of Housing and Community Development said the decision resolved its concerns about the project. In a letter dated May 24, David Zisser, the state agency’s deputy director, wrote “HCD considers this matter closed,” according to the city’s news release. The city has been working for years to overhaul the mall, a two-story building on a 43-acre site that’s been closed since 2017. The shuttered mall was a hotbed for break-ins and vandalism, leading the city to begin demolishing the structure in April. In the meantime, the state raised objections to the process the city used in 2021 to secure a redevelopment agreement for