500 coronavirus vaccine doses given at new Rancho Cucamonga supersite

Inland Empire Health Plan vaccinated 500 people against the coronavirus Tuesday, Feb. 23, at a supersite that plans to eventually vaccinate 1,000 people per day, six days a week. Sant Anoop Singh, of Diamond Bar, receives the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from nurse Wesdieunide Jean-Louis at a new San Bernardino County vaccination supersite at the Inland Empire Health Plan headquarters in Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Christian Adson, 29, receives a shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from nurse D’Andre Charles at a new San Bernardino County vaccination supersite at the Inland Empire Health Plan headquarters in Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Chloe Wenger, 21, receives a shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a new San Bernardino County vaccination supersite at the Inland Empire Health Plan headquarters in Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) People wait after receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine at a new San Bernardino County vaccination supersite at the Inland Empire Health Plan headquarters in Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday, Feb.…

Coronavirus: L.A. County surpasses 20,000 deaths with 2,091 new cases and 157 new deaths as of Feb. 23

Los Angeles public health officials reported 157 new deaths, bringing the total number of deaths to 20,057 as of Tuesday, Feb. 23. Officials said there were 2,091 new cases linked to the coronavirus, for a total 1,183,378 cases since tracking began. There were 67 fewer patients hospitalized in local hospitals, lowering the number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations to 2,146 as of Tuesday. That’s a 73.5% decrease from the Jan. 7 high of 8,098 people hospitalized. A total of 1,854,920 vaccinations have been administered in the county as of Tuesday. Data posted each day is preliminary and subject to change, officials emphasize. More information may become available as individual case investigations are completed.

Upland hires new city attorney, a resident with 40 years in municipal law

After 16 months of receiving legal opinions from a lawyer serving in an interim capacity, the city of Upland hired a permanent city attorney on Monday, Feb. 22. Stephen Deitsch, a lawyer with Best Best & Krieger, a large Los Angeles-based law firm with an office in Ontario, was named city attorney and signed a contract with the city. He replaces Steven Flower, interim city attorney, of the firm Richards Watson & Gershon. The city of Upland named Stephen Deitsch city attorney on Feb. 22, 2021. (Courtesy photo) “I am delighted to serve as city attorney and gratified the City Council has selected Best Best and Krieger,” Deitsch said the next day, Feb. 23. “I appreciate the confidence shown by the City Council.” Deitsch has practiced municipal law for 40 years and currently serves as city attorney for the cities of Arcadia, in the San Gabriel Valley, and Big Bear Lake in San Bernardino County. The Upland resident also is past president of the Chaffey Community College Foundation. The agreement with Best Best & Krieger will cost the city $20,000 for a monthly retainer, plus hourly…

Teachers, support staff, child care providers can now get vaccine through San Bernardino County

All teachers, school support staff and licensed child care providers living or working in San Bernardino County are eligible to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus as of Tuesday, Feb. 23. They can also now use the county’s clinics and appointment system — https://sbcovid19.com/vaccine — to get those vaccinations, although county officials say it might still be easier to go through their school district. “Combined with the fact that (elementary schools) are now eligible to go back into the classroom if they want to, offering a vaccine to all teachers might help us get back to normal a little faster,” county spokesman David Wert said Tuesday. San Bernardino County on Feb. 3 extended vaccine eligibility to teachers in the classroom — but not other school employees or those who weren’t yet teaching face-to-face. Wert said teachers were asked to get shots through their respective school districts and not at public clinics focused on vaccinating senior citizens. “Every sector that the county has opened has been based on vaccine availability and not wanting to interfere with an existing sector by adding another group,” he said. “We…

$75,000 in grants to three Southern California NAACP branches will fund scholarship awards

Southern California Gas Co. recently announced the company has awarded $75,000 to three local branches of the NAACP for their college scholarship programs. The grants will support 15 college students, supplying them each with $5,000 scholarships for tuition, books,housing and other expenses. The grants will be awarded to students selected by the NAACP’s Pomona Valley, Riverside County and San Fernando Valley branches. The Southern California Gas Co. has been a community partner of the NAACP for more than 20 years. “SoCalGas is proud to partner with the NAACP to support students within the communities we serve,” Eugene “Mitch” Mitchell, vice president for state government affairs and external affairs at SoCalGas, said in a news release. “Paying for tuition and other school-related necessities can be intimidating for many young people, so we are pleased to provide some financial relief for these deserving students, especially during a time when so many families are struggling,” Mitchell said. “As the state senator representing the 20th State Senate District, I appreciate SoCalGas providing this funding to three NAACP branches in Southern California — including Pomona Valley in my district —…

Bob Dylan performed at UC Riverside 57 years ago. Here’s what we know

One thing you should know about me is that Bob Dylan is my favorite musician. Many of the facts of his life and career are embarrassingly familiar to me, as if we were related. I am not in the upper tiers of Dylan obsessives, but unless they have tinnitus, we’re within shouting distance. Imagine my surprise to learn that on Feb. 25, 1964, Dylan made a concert appearance at UC Riverside. That the so-called voice of his generation had performed in the Inland Empire during his folk period was new to me. I don’t believe he returned to the IE until a 1993 show at Glen Helen Amphitheater almost three decades later. Dylan’s public life is so well-documented that the second surprise was that only the date and venue of the UCR show were known. It wasn’t until he became a major star in 1965 that virtually every concert was recorded by somebody and set lists of the songs he played were compiled. So, combining my interest in Dylan with my job chronicling the Inland Empire, I set about finding out whatever I could about the…

Riverside County on pace to reopen more indoor businesses next month

Riverside County could reopen more indoor businesses next month should coronavirus numbers used to determine when such operations can resume continue to fall as they have the past few weeks, state data released Tuesday, Feb. 23, show. For the week ending Feb. 13, the county had an adjusted case rate of 16.6, a positivity rate of 7.6% and a health equity metric, or positivity rate in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities, of 8.3%. While each figure is an improvement over last week, Riverside County’s positivity rate is the only one within the boundaries for easing restrictions on indoor businesses. To advance on the state’s color-coded tier system, a county needs two consecutive weeks of a seven-day adjusted case rate between four and seven daily new cases per 100,000 residents, a positivity rate between 5% and 8% and a health equity rate between 5.3% and 8%. Meeting these benchmarks moves the county from the most-restrictive purple tier, meaning there is widespread risk of transmission, to the red, or substantial risk, tier. Counties in the red tier can reopen more indoor businesses. Hospitalization numbers also continue to improve in…

Riverside County elementary schools cleared to reopen

Riverside County now meets a state standard that allows elementary schools with approved coronavirus-prevention plans to return to in-person instruction, officials announced Tuesday, Feb. 23. Four districts, including the Corona-Norco and Murrieta Valley unified school districts, have won approval for their plans. Whether and when to reopen in-person will be up to individual school districts. “This is an important day for our students and entire education community,” Supervisor Karen Spiegel, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors chairwoman, said in a news release. Tuesday marked the first day the county’s adjusted case rate — the number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, adjusted for how many people are being tested for the virus — fell below 25, officials said in the release. Related Articles Riverside County on pace to reopen more indoor businesses next month Coronavirus: California vaccination totals and each county tier level as of Feb. 23 San Bernardino County could reopen more indoor businesses in two weeks Disneyland once again sets a reopening date for Disney Vacation Club villas COVID: Vaccine makers say the supply surge is coming Because of that, and because…

USA Water Polo confirms U.S. Center for SafeSport is investigating CEO Chris Ramsey

A top USA Water Polo official publicly confirmed for the first time last month that embattled CEO Chris Ramsey and the organization’s top athlete safety official are under investigation by the U.S. Center for SafeSport for failing to report allegations of sexual abuse, according to a video obtained by the Southern California News Group. USA Water Polo board director Mike Graff’s acknowledgement in a video conference during the organization’s annual national assembly came three months after the U.S. Center for SafeSport launched an investigation into the failure of Ramsey and Christy Sicard, the national governing body’s senior director for Safe Sport, to report 2017 sexual abuse allegations to law enforcement or Child Protective Services as required by California law and the U.S. Center for SafeSport code. “Yes, SafeSport is investigating Chris Ramsey and another staff member,” Graff said in the video conference. “Interestingly the complaint was filed by the plaintiffs’ attorneys who clearly have ulterior motives. “We believe the complaint is without merit and it has to be dealt with by SafeSport. When there is a result we’ll take whatever action is required.” Graff did…

Coronavirus: California vaccination totals and each county tier level as of Feb. 23

As of Tuesday, Feb. 23, the California Department of Public Health’s Vaccine Dashboard shows about 10.3 million doses have been shipped throughout the state (1.6 million more than last week) and of those, 7.5 million have been administered (up 1.1 million from last week). According to Bloomberg’s COVID vaccine dashboard, 13.9% of California’s population has received at least one shot and 5.2% are fully vaccinated. California has the highest daily rate of doses administered in the country at 207,374. The second-highest rate belongs to Florida with 128,568. Los Angeles (1.85 million), San Diego (724,683) and Orange (635,285) counties have administered the most doses to date in California. About 99% of the data is recorded by the patient’s county of residence. Here are the California county vaccination totals as of Feb. 22: Here are the California county vaccination totals as of Feb. 16: Here are the totals from Feb. 9: Here are the totals from Feb. 2: California vaccination phases, each county may not have progressed as far in eligibility: Current tier assignments In California, 47 of its 58 counties are in the purple tier (considered…

San Bernardino County could reopen more indoor businesses in two weeks

San Bernardino County could reopen more indoor businesses in two weeks should it continue to see week-over-week improvement in coronavirus numbers state officials use to determine when a county qualifies for fewer restrictions on such operations, data released Tuesday, Feb, 23, show. With a 15.2 adjusted case rate, a 6.1% positivity rate and a 7.1% health equity metric, or positivity rate in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities, for the week ending Feb. 13, San Bernardino County could soon move from the purple, or widespread risk, tier to the red, or substantial risk, tier. To advance on the state’s color-coded tier system, a county needs two consecutive weeks of a seven-day adjusted case rate between four and seven daily new cases per 100,000 residents, a positivity rate between 5% and 8% and a health equity rate, or positivity rate in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities, between 5.3% and 8%. Meeting these benchmarks graduates a county from one tier to the next. More businesses could reopen indoors as a result. San Bernardino County’s latest figures are as low as they were ahead of the winter surge. Numbers everywhere have been plummeting…

Another 32,000 coronavirus vaccine appointments open in Riverside County

Riverside County has opened another 32,000 appointments for the coronavirus vaccine at its public health clinics, a county spokeswoman said Tuesday, Feb. 23. The appointments for clinics starting Wednesday, Feb. 24, and ending March 2 are available to anyone in Phase 1A and the first tier of Phase 1B, Brooke Federico said. This group includes those 65 and older and those employed in education, food and agriculture, emergency services and health care. About 16,000 of the appointments are reserved for first doses, while the other half are reserved for second doses, Federico said. Related links Details of Riverside County’s Blue Shield vaccination partnership being worked out New coronavirus vaccine super site opens in San Bernardino County ‘Partial herd immunity’ emerging, but some challenge the value of that status New vaccine delivery system launches in parts of California, including Riverside County When will there be enough vaccine? Appointments are available at www.rivcoph.org/COVID-19-Vaccine. Seniors and those needing help making an appointment can call 211 or 951-329-4703. Seniors will need to bring photo ID to their appointment. Those getting the vaccine because of their employment will have to…

This middle school teacher leads Moreno Valley students to choir, drama competitions

The first theatrical role Autumn Earle-Rodriguez was supposed to play was a lady in waiting in her high school’s production of “Once upon a Mattress.” Just a freshman, she found herself being moved into the lead role of Princess Winnifred when the student playing the part dropped out. “I think I was chosen as her backup as I was gung-ho to try anything and was not easily embarrassed, but I cringe when I watch it now,” said Earle-Rodriguez. Born and raised in Moreno Valley, Earle-Rodriguez went on to graduate from the University of Redlands with a bachelor’s degree in musical theater. She was working as a performer at Disneyland’s “Innoventions” when she developed vocal nodes and was unable to continue in the job. “I ran into my old high school counselor, Lori Holland, from Moreno Valley Unified and she told me that my old district was hiring,” she said. “I applied and that is how I ended up at Vista Heights Middle School where I have been for my entire career of 22 years.” Earle-Rodriguez, who also has a master’s in education, curriculum and instruction,…

Mark Rubin, prominent builder of Riverside projects, dies at 84

Mark Rubin, Holocaust survivor, builder of Riverside office towers, townhouses and shopping centers in Riverside, and advocate for a UC Riverside medical school, has died. He was 84. Rubin, a Beverly Hills resident, never lived in Riverside or the surrounding area, but considered it to be a prime location for future Southern California growth, said daughter Michelle Rubin of Los Angeles, who is president of Regional Properties. “My dad just said, ‘I love building in Riverside. I love the people,’” she said. “It was all about the people.” Developer Mark Rubin stands on a tower atop the southwest corner of his Raincross Promenade condominium project when it was under construction in downtown Riverside in December 2009. Seen at lower left is the Fox Performing Arts Center. (File photo by David Bauman, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Developer Mark Rubin stands inside a unit of his Raincross Promenade condominium project when it was under construction in downtown Riverside in December 2009. Rubin, who died recently, has been praised for the many projects he built in Riverside. (File photo by David Bauman, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Sound The gallery will resume inseconds…

Inland Empire housing market looks promising for 2021

By Robert A. Kleinhenz and Manfred W. Keil | Inland Empire Economic Partnership March typically signals the start of the busy season for the housing market. Existing home sales generally jump each year as the market ramps up from the weakest months of the year (January and February) to the market’s peak months in late spring and summer. Home prices also see an uptick during this time. The housing market was one of the bright spots of the Inland Empire economy last year as the region struggled with unprecedented disruptions to households and industries caused by the coronavirus pandemic. As the market gears up for the 2021 peak season, this is a good time to recap 2020 and to look ahead to the coming year. Last year, in the early stages of the pandemic, the Federal Reserve Bank slashed the federal funds rate, its most visible policy tool, while also buying long-term Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities. Mortgage rates followed suit, with the rate on a 30-year mortgage falling nearly a full percentage point from 3.6% in February 2020 to 2.7% in December. For would-be buyers,…

Poll: 4 in 5 Inland voters favor requiring masks to fight coronavirus

Four in five Inland voters support requiring face coverings inside public spaces, according to a new poll that finds widespread support for coronavirus restrictions in a region where anti-mask sentiments and elected officials’ objections to state COVID-19 orders have been well-publicized. The late January poll from UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies and Othering & Belonging Institute also found strong support for temporarily limiting restaurants to offering take-out and delivery orders only and restricting places of worship to outdoor-only services. The institute’s stated goal is identifying and eliminating “barriers to an inclusive, just, and sustainable society in order to create transformative change.” Michael Gomez Daily, director of IE United, an Ontario-based civic group that’s in a research partnership with the Othering institute, said in a news release that the poll “validates what we have seen in the community.” “Now that we have evidence of this, we hope our county elected officials change their rhetoric, and focus on doing what is right for the community: listening to science and approaching recovery and reopening in a responsible manner.” The poll’s results, released Monday, Feb. 22, come as…

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