World renowned glassblowers and collaborating brothers, Einar and Jamex De La Torre perform exhibition at SBVC

San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) students were in for a treat on Wednesday, November 30th, as Einar and Jamex De La Torre performed a live exhibition at SBVC in front of a few dozen students.  The SBVC Art Department coordinated exhibition was held at the college’s glassblowing studio, where the Guadalajara natives created a three foot heart glass sculpture.  “Today we live and work on both sides of the border – The Guadalupe Valley in Baja California, México, and in San Diego. The complexities of our immigrant experience and contradicting bicultural identities, as well as our current life and practice on both sides of the border, inform our art’s narrative and aesthetics,” said the brothers.  The World Renowned Glassblowers, the De La Torre Brothers, have won The USA Artists Fellowship award, The Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, The Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, and The San Diego Art Prize. After the two and a half hour exhibition, the brothers had the students step out of the studio, which was loud due to the machinery and hot because of the burners, to host a live Q&A.  One student

Colton pride was front and center at the city’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

Colton’s Tree Lighting Ceremony was held on November 30th, in front of City Hall and dozens of prideful community members and dignitaries.  The Community Services Department coordinated event began with a live Christmas performance of Jingle Bells by students from various Colton elementary schools.  “Thank you to all of the departments who participated in coordinating this event. It’s now time to get this tree lit,” said Mayor Frank Navarro.  Before lighting the tree, Navarro, who also brought the council to the stage, got the crowd riled up by having them chant “Colton.” Navarro could be heard saying, “Who are we?” Before the crowd chanted, “Colton.” He then counted down from 10, and the lights beamed bright as soon as the crowd counted down to zero.  The tree will continue to be lit at sunset until the end of the year.  To view a livestream of the Tree Lighting Ceremony, follow @ColtonCSD on Facebook.

Riverside City Councilmember Ronaldo Fierro to seek Inland Assembly seat

Ronaldo Fierro, the Ward 3 representative on the Riverside City Council, has announced a bid for the state Assembly in 2024. (Courtesy of Ronaldo Fierro) Ronaldo Fierro hopes to go from Riverside City Hall to the state capitol. The Riverside city councilmember has announced plans to run as a Democrat for the 58th Assembly District in 2024. The district includes parts of Riverside, Corona and Eastvale along with all of Jurupa Valley and Grand Terrace. “On the City Council, I have championed initiatives to bring living-wage jobs to the region, led the fight to combat the climate crisis and have worked tirelessly to bring affordable housing to our region,” Fierro, who was first elected in 2019, said in a Friday, Dec. 2, news release. “In representing our communities at the state level, I will continue these efforts and work to renew the California Dream and build (an) Inland Empire that works for all residents.” The 58th is currently represented by Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes, D-Riverside. She won’t be term-limited out of Sacramento until 2028, but Fierro’s news release states that he’s running “in anticipation” that Cervantes

Murrieta Public Library to expand, thanks to more than $1.5 million in grants

The Murrieta Public Library has won four grants totaling more than $1.5 million that will help remodel and expand the facility and its offerings. California State Library dollars will pay for renovations and an expansion of the Children’s Library area, a city news release states. The expansion will take over a garden area and boost the library’s capacity by nearly 20%, the release states. The Murrieta Public Library Children’s Library section is seen. It will be expanded thanks to a grant. (Courtesy of the city of Murrieta) The entrance to the Murrieta Public Library is seen. The library is planning an expansion thanks to new grant money. (Courtesy of the city of Murrieta) The Murrieta Public Library will be expanding because of grant money it recently won. (Courtesy of the city of Murrieta) Show Caption of Expand “This expansion will widen the area and alleviate much of the library’s current space limitations and  programming restrictions,” Library Manager Melvin Racelis said in the release. The one-facility library, built in 2007, needs more room to keep up with the city’s rising population, according to the release. Adding

Mission Inn Hotel & Spa seeks new docents

Training for those wishing to become docents at the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa will begin in February. The Mission Inn Foundation is recruiting potential tour guides for classes that will run from February through June. Docents also may attend quarterly educational forums, take part in visits to historic sites in Southern California and stay at the inn at a discounted rate during the annual Docent Sleepover, a foundation news release states. Docents will learn about the history of the hotel, Riverside and early California. Applications will be accepted until Jan. 31, but the size of the class is limited. Applications may be downloaded online at, picked up at the Mission Inn Museum, or requested via mail from the Mission Inn Foundation, 3696 Main St., Riverside, CA  92501. Founded in 1976, the foundation interprets the history and significance of the Mission Inn in downtown Riverside, using daily tours, monthly programs and special events. Information: 951-781-8241

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, Dec. 7, tough memories for those who never forgot

They loved those white, sharp-looking Pearl Harbor Survivor caps they wore whenever they went out in public. Their badge of honor. They didn’t need to say a word as they walked down the street or sat in a restaurant together for their monthly meeting. “Thank you,” they heard over and over again. Thank you. People know freedom isn’t free. Someone’s got to pay for it. These are the guys who made a huge down payment 81 years ago today, on a date that President Franklin D. Roosevelt promised would live in infamy — and it has. We haven’t forgotten and hopefully never will. As another president named Roosevelt said, “walk softly and carry a big stick.” These guys carried the stick. Early on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, our nation was sucker-punched by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service at Pearl Harbor. More than 2,400 Americans were killed, and much of our naval fleet and the aircraft parked on them were either sunk or badly damaged. We were caught totally off guard. The enemy left Pearl Harbor for dead that morning. Big mistake. The

Westbound 91 Freeway to close in Corona this weekend

Drivers heading west through Corona, be warned. A full closure of the westbound 91 Freeway is scheduled for this weekend. All westbound lanes will be shut from Friday, Dec. 9, at 10 p.m. through Monday, Dec. 12, at 4 a.m., Riverside County Transportation Commission officials said Tuesday, Dec. 6. 🚧A full closure of westbound 91 from I-15 to Lincoln Ave in @cityofcorona is taking place this weekend: Friday, Dec. 9 at 10 p.m. – Monday, Dec. 12 at 4 a.m. Crews will be repaving lanes for the #91Refresh project. For more information, visit: — Riverside County Transportation Commission (@TheRCTC) December 6, 2022 The lanes will be closed between the 15 Freeway and Lincoln Avenue in Corona, as officials continue repaving lanes as part of the 91 Refresh Project. The westbound 91 Express Lanes, the westbound 91 Main Street on-ramp and off-ramp, and the westbound Lincoln Avenue off-ramp will be included in the closures. The 15 Freeway will stay open, but westbound 91 connectors from that freeway will be closed. The eastbound 91 Express Lanes also will be closed Friday, Dec. 9, at 11

Riverside family decorates with handmade figures, thousands of lights

The Kopatz family of Riverside has again turned their yard into a Christmas display, this year with 240 handmade figures and thousands of lights. The Kopatzes, who have been decorating their yard for Christmas for the past 30 years, will hold their annual Santa Night event in the yard of their Gracefield Way home 5-9 p.m. Dec. 10, according to an email from Alan Kopatz. At the event, members of six families will be dressed as Santa, Mrs. Claus and others, and there will be cookies and hot chocolate. Each child who visits will receive a small toy, and everyone receives a candy cane, according to Kopatz. This year’s display includes 128 scrolls with names of 1,534 children on them, plus 98 large snowflakes, according to Kopatz.. Children who visit on Santa Night or any other time during December are invited to write their names on pieces of paper and put them in Santa’s box. Those names will be added to scrolls that are part of next year’s decorations. For information, go to A&S Christmas House on Facebook.

State plans to close Riverside County prison, deactivate facilities at 6 others

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on Tuesday, Dec. 6, announced it will close two prisons —  one in Blythe and another in Kern County that is the state’s last privately run prison — and deactivate facilities at six other prisons due to budget cuts and an inmate population reduction plan. Affected prison staff will have the option of transferring to other prisons with vacancies within and outside of impacted counties, according to the CDCR. “CDCR and the administration are working to minimize impact to staff and the communities. CDCR will work to limit the impact to employees affected by these closures and deactivations,” the CDCR said in a press release Tuesday. In addition to closing Chuckawalla Valley State Prison in Blythe and the California City Correctional Facility in Kern County, the CDCR  will deactivate facilities at Chino Institution for Men, California Rehabilitation Center in Norco, California Correctional Institution in Tehachipi, Folsom Women’s Facility, Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City, and California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo. “Should a significant need for capacity arise in the future due to a natural disaster

County ordered to work with Gascón recall group reviewing invalid petition signatures

Los Angeles County election officials must grant an organization seeking to oust District Attorney George Gascon access to about 10,000 signatures rejected from recall petitions due to a mismatch with voter registration records, a judge ruled Tuesday. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant partially granted The Committee to Support the Recall of District Attorney George Gascón a partial injunction challenging the Los Angeles County registrar-recorder/county clerk’s rejection of petition signatures in October. “The registrar argues that government code … only requires disclosure of the current signatures,” Chalfant said in a written decision. “It acknowledged that prior signatures on file for voters whose signatures were denied because of a mismatch were reviewed by the registrar, but it cannot reveal them, separate from confidential information without pulling manually these records and redacting other information.” The process to separate prior signatures from confidential information would involve about 3,080 staff hours at $15 per hour, the registrar has estimated. State elections law provides that the signature of a voter may be inspected for the purpose of determining whether it matches the signature on the affidavit of

San Bernardino County supervisors appoint Christopher Wilhite assessor for next 2 years

San Bernardino County has a new assessor-recorder — again. At its meeting Tuesday, Dec. 6, the Board of Supervisors appointed Christopher Wilhite, assistant assessor for the county, to replace Assessor-Recorder Bob Dutton, who died July 23 at age 71 after a battle with cancer. Dutton, a former state legislator and Rancho Cucamonga City Council member, had represented the Inland Empire in elected office for 24 years. The appointment Tuesday was the second time supervisors have tapped Wilhite for the assessor’s role. On Sept. 13, the board appointed him to finish the remainder of Dutton’s current term, which ends Jan. 2. “It’s been an honor,” Wilhite said before the supervisors voted Tuesday. “I understand the responsibility (of the assessor’s role) and I’m still stepping up.” Tuesday’s appointment was to replace Dutton for the first two years of what would have been his next term, starting on Jan. 3. Dutton ran unopposed in the June primary before his death. In addition to Wilhite, the supervisors interviewed the following candidates for the position prior to making their decision: Josie Gonzales, former Fifth District supervisor Ryan Hutchison, Rancho Cucamonga council

RUSD’s STEM CARES program earns prestigious State Golden Bell Award!

For the second straight year, the Rialto Unified School District has earned the prestigious California School Boards Association (CSBA) Golden Bell Award. The District was honored in the Climate Change Innovation category for leadership in environmental education and stewardship. The RUSD was recognized for its innovative STEM CARES (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math, Cultivating Active Responsible Environmental Stewards) program at the annual Golden Bell Awards ceremony, held December 1, at the San Diego Marriott in the City of San Diego. Leaders from RUSD Education and Business Services accompanied Rialto Unified School District Board of Education Vice President Stephanie E. Lewis, Board Member Joseph W. Martinez, Board Member-elect Evelyn Dominguez, and RUSD Superintendent Dr. Cuauhtémoc Avila at the ceremony. Dominguez will take her seat as a board trustee at the next Board of Education Meeting on December 14.  “It is a great honor to once again receive the prestigious Golden Bell Award,” Dr. Avila stated. “This achievement highlights the tremendous work our staff has done with the STEM CARES program to create opportunities that provide students with exciting and meaningful learning experiences as they prepare for

Luminaria Nights return to California Botanic Garden

California Botanic Garden’s Luminaria Nights, with glowing lights and festive music for the holiday season, are scheduled 6-9 p.m. Dec. 9, 10, 16 and 17 at the gardens in Claremont. Candlelit luminarias and glowing string lights will guide visitors through California native plant gardens to decorated music venues, and hot cider, sweet treats, wine and beer will be available for purchase, according to a news release. Musical performers include Steve Rushingwind, Native American flutes, Dec. 9, 10, 16 and 17; JouyssanceEarly Music Ensemble, performing early choral music, Dec. 9; Phoebe Madison Schrafft, harp, Dec. 10 and 17; Windsor Canyon, performing  Renaissance music, Dec. 10; and The Jazz Doctors, Dec. 16 and 17. Tickets are $16 for adults; $12 for students, seniors and children ages 3 to 12; $12 for California Botanic Garden members; and $8 for California Botanic Garden member students, seniors and children. Tickets are available at and at the gate. California Botanic Garden, at 150 N. College Ave., Claremont, is a botanic garden dedicated to California native plants, promoting botany, conservation and horticulture. The garden has curated collections of more than 22,000

Perris Auto Speedway supporters rally at Riverside County headquarters

About 30 sign-waving supporters of Perris Auto Speedway picketed in front of Riverside County headquarters Tuesday, Dec. 6, to call attention to a proposed multi-year dam project that critics say could ruin the dirt track and other Perris fairgrounds businesses. The protesters shouted “Save our racetrack!” and “Save Perris Auto Speedway!” as they marched in a circle around the sign for the County Administrative Center on Lemon Street. Two race cars on trailers were parked in front of the building. Earlier, speedway owner Don Kazarian and Xavier Ortiz, owner of the Toro Wapo rodeo/music venue, spoke to the Board of Supervisors about their fight against the California Department of Water Resources. The state agency wants to build a 2-mile outlet channel from the Perris Dam to funnel water to Lake Perris in an emergency. The dam borders the Southern California Fair and Events Center. The speedway and Toro Wapo lease land from the fairgrounds. Kazarian and Ortiz have said they’ve been kept in the dark about the project, which they fear will disrupt their businesses with noise, road closures and construction, take away parking and

What are the workers’ compensation benefits? Ask the lawyer

Q: I was injured in an industrial accident, unable to work for a month and may have treatments for quite a while. Just what workers’ compensation benefits are available? S.J., Orange A: Work comp benefits include medical treatment for the work-related injury; wage loss, or temporary disability benefits, if you can not do your usual job while recovering; permanent loss of function or permanent disability benefits to the extent you do not recover completely; retraining or job displacement benefits; and payments to your spouse or other dependents if you die from job injury or illness. In California, workers’ compensation is one of the few legal disciplines in which an attorney can qualify as a “certified specialist.” I recommend you seek out such an attorney to assist you. Q: If I am working and get hurt “on the job,” it is covered by workers’ compensation, but what if I am attending a function (a dinner) with the company and get hurt there? L.H., Rancho Cucamonga A: If you get hurt in the course and scope of your employment, then it is likely you have a work

James Breitling defeats incumbent Janice Elliott in Upland District 2 council race

James Breitling has won the District 2 Upland City Council seat, defeating incumbent Janice Elliott. As of Dec. 5, Breitling led by 545 votes. Election results have yet to be finalized in San Bernardino County, where there are 2,000 mail-in ballots and 50 provisional ballots left to count. The registrar has until Dec. 8 to certify the vote tally. Breitling said the election came down to voters making their decisions based on messaging. He said he found one of the community’s biggest concerns was public safety and his procurement of the Upland Police Department endorsement helped out. “I am actually very excited that the voters elected me,” said Breitling. “There are so many things that I would love to start off with but I know you can’t come out of the gate.”  Breitling’s opponent, Elliott, was voted into an at-large seat on the Upland City Council in November 2016. She campaigned for a District 2 seat in the 2018 election after the city adopted by-district voting. Elliott said she was surprised by the turnout after she received what she described as positive feedback. “It is something that

Immaculate Conception renovation just about compete

After three months of re-construction, and hours of volunteer work, the Immaculate Conception Church of Colton is soon to open its doors once again to a newly remodeled Sanctuary. According to Father Max, parish priest, the church is making plans to re-open in the coming weeks, as soon as possible. “Our church renovation looks beautiful,” says parishioner Tish Baden, who along with dozens of church members are responding with enthusiasm to the recent renovation pictures that were posted on Facebook and other social media. Last week upon visiting the church, Dr G, Council Member and well-known community advocate, accepted an invitation from one of the church representatives Eloy Sanchez, to tour the project’s area while the workers were taking a much-deserved break. While talking with this dedicated group, Dr G learned that the renovation includes new flooring, new paint, new pews with hydraulic kneeling pads, new altar area, and new pedestals. After Dr. G entered the church he came upon Phillip Santa Rosa, a long-time church member and artist, who was diligently touching up one of several pieces of artwork that are displayed. “We have

Something special may be developing for the Lakers

It’s only been a couple more than 20 games, but this Lakers season has already been a rollercoaster. After one of the worst starts in franchise history at 3-10, it looked like another year of struggles and no playoffs for the purple and gold. But, things are beginning to change. The Lakers now at the time I’m writing this sit at 10-12, meaning they have won 7 of their last 9 since that nightmare start. Such a change so early into the season isn’t all that common, and multiple moving pieces are allowing this change to happen.  One of these pieces is PG Russell Westbrook. All summer long, rumors of trades for Westbrook reigned down upon the NBA world. After Westbrook’s brutal start to the season, it got even worse. However, head coach Darvin Ham’s decision to move the former MVP to the 6th man role off the bench may have not just saved Westbrook’s career in LA, but the Lakers season. Westbrook off the bench has provided a spark to what was previously a starch second unit. Westbrook’s fast pace of play contrasts with

Raises rejected for sheriff, DA, others in Riverside County

Riverside County supervisors on Tuesday, Dec. 6, rejected proposed raises for Sheriff Chad Bianco, District Attorney Mike Hestrin and three other elected officials. The 4-0 vote came after Supervisor Karen Spiegel suggested putting off a vote until a more formalized process was in place to determine pay bumps for the sheriff, DA, assessor/county clerk/recorder, auditor-controller and treasurer-tax collector, all of whom lead county departments. Spiegel abstained on the motion to deny the raises, which came from Supervisor Kevin Jeffries. Related links Riverside County sheriff, DA, others could get raises 5 things to know about Riverside County’s proposed budget Assemblymember Jose Medina announces bid for Riverside County supervisor State Sen. Richard Roth to run for Riverside County supervisor Yxstian Gutierrez declares victory over Jeff Hewitt in Riverside County supervisor election The county’s human resources department recommended the raises so that the elected leaders earned more than their subordinates. The plan called for boosting Bianco’s and Hestrin’s pay 12.7% from $273,463 to $308,197. Salaries for Assessor/County Clerk/Recorder Peter Aldana, Auditor-Controller-elect Ben Benoit and Treasurer-Tax Collector Jennings would have gone up 32%, from $195,192 to $256,814. This is

When will the Mt. Vernon Avenue Bridge in San Bernardino be completed?

Q: Martha Uribe of Fontana recently asked when the Mt. Vernon Avenue Bridge in San Bernardino would be rebuilt and completed. The bridge was closed a couple of years ago, she said, adding, “No efforts to rebuild it have been made.” A: Rebuilding efforts are indeed underway but the project has been delayed by numerous factors. Here is an update on the Mt. Vernon Avenue Bridge Project from Tim Watkins, the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority’s chief of Legislative and Public Affairs. First, a little background: The old Mt. Vernon Avenue Bridge opened in 1934. For safety reasons, San Bernardino, Caltrans and the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority partnered to tear it down and rebuild a new and improved bridge. They closed the old bridge in December 2020 and demolition was complete in April 2021. Reconstruction was supposed to start this year with an opening date in 2024. The new bridge will have wider lanes, a center median, wider sidewalks and new bike lanes, and serve pedestrians, bicyclists, cars and commercial vehicles. Here is the project website: Watkins noted that this project spans one

Community Ho Ho Parade kicks off 4 nights of Christmas cheer in San Bernardino

Deb Matley calls a San Bernardino gentleman every year around this time to confirm his spot in the annual Community Ho Ho Parade. “We have to do the parade,” Matley, one of two people who have organized the cavalcade each of the past 10 years, recalled the man telling her recently. “If we didn’t do all four nights,” Matley said the man continued, “my wife will kill me.” Such devotion to the yearly four-night extravaganza is not uncommon. The 10th annual Community Ho Ho Parade makes its way through San Bernardino neighborhoods on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022. The parade continues each night in different neighborhoods throughout the city. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Santa and Mrs. Claus cruise in a Mustang convertible adorned with bright lights on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022, during the 10th annual Community Ho Ho Parade in San Bernardino. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) The Ramos family enjoys the lights Monday night, Dec. 5, 2022, on the more than 25 cars that participated in the 10th annual Community Ho Ho Parade in San Bernardino. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)