local news

Doctor presents at local schools to warn students on dangers of vaping

Loma Linda University Health physician Laren Tan, MD, this week begins a regional tour to speak with junior high and high school students about the dangers of vaping. The issue has stepped into the national spotlight as nine deaths have been confirmed in connection with the use of electronic cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, more than 500 cases of a new vaping-related disease have been reported since April. Tan is one of many doctors concerned with the health risks of vaping. The founder and director of the Loma Linda University Health Comprehensive Program for Obstructive Airway Diseases treats the most severe pulmonary cases — everything from non-reversible asthma to dangerous high-blood pressure of the lungs to emphysema. Vaping, he says, has served as a gateway for teens to smoke rather than a tool for adults to quit. Starting with a school in Riverside, Tan spoke to students about the dangers of both the substance being vaped and the lesser-known hazards of the activity. Research has shown that the heated coils are releasing metal particles — such as lead…

San Bernardino Community College District hosts Prison-to-Employment Job Fair

Life is all about second chances. Fail. Learn. Take a new direction. That philosophy is at the heart of a Job & Community Resource Fair held Sept. 18 by the San Bernardino Community College District for people who were formerly incarcerated.  “You have decided to change, and all the people around you support you,” said Karen Thacker, a Southern California Regional Administrator for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, one of several co-sponsors of the event. “This can make an impact on many generations.” The room buzzed with questions as job seekers learned how to apply for full and part-time jobs in environmental conservation, machining, manufacturing, hospitality, retail, logistics, and other fields. Potential employers, including Goodwill, Stater Bros. Markets, FedEx, Ascena Retail Group, Geodis and the U.S. Census Bureau, offered free pens and reusable bags to draw in job seekers who are not necessarily used to having job fairs designed for them.  San Bernardino Community College District Chancellor Bruce Baron thanked the employers in the room. “The kindness you show to our reentry population will be rewarded with employees who are grateful and who…

Sycamore Elementary students enjoy fruits of their labor

Third-grade students in Jessica Betcher’s class at Sycamore Hills Elementary School spent last school year planning and planting a garden as part of a Project Based Learning endeavor. Now they are enjoying the fruits of their labors. Watermelon and pumpkin vines meander across a sunny courtyard, ripe red tomatoes peek out from under the leaves of a robust plant and a few strawberries, hydrangeas and other plants complete the scene. Tall stalks of corn tower above them all. Some of the produce already has been harvested and while more is still ripening. Ms. Betcher’s students – now fourth graders — have sampled tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables. They are excited for sweet watermelon and pumpkins still to come. “What I’d like to do with the pumpkins is make pumpkin pie,” said fourth grader Allison Godinez who worked on the project last year. Photo CJUSD: Student Chloe Vargas checks out a pumpkin. Student Chloe Vargas recently shared a carrot from the garden with her Guinea pig Oreo Sprinkles. “She ate the whole carrot!” Chloe said. Other students have enjoyed salsa and marinara sauce made with…

Cal State San Bernardino among top 25 colleges with master’s in security studies

Cal State San Bernardino has been listed among the top 25 colleges in the nation with master’s degree programs in security studies, according to Security Degree Hub. CSUSB, ranked at No. 14, offers a master of arts in national security studies through the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and is the only California State University to make the list. “We are delighted to be ranked among the nation’s top master’s programs in security studies. Dr. Mark Clark, Dr. Brian Janiskee, and the talented team of faculty they lead have worked tirelessly on building an outstanding and dynamic graduate program in National Security Studies here at CSUSB,” said Rafik Mohamed, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. “On several occasions, I have had the pleasure of visiting with our NSS program alumni who work in the top law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the country. To a person, they credit the high-quality education they received here at CSUSB for training them to think critically and responsively, and for ideally equipping them to capably address our most pressing contemporary national and international security concerns.”…

County Superintendent Alejandre delivers State of Education Address

Photo SBCSS: County Superintendent Ted Alejandre delivered his fifth State of Education Address on Sept. 19 at the California Theatre of the Perfoming Arts. Touting a theme of how innovation and engagement are shaping public education across the region, San Bernardino County Superintendent Ted Alejandre delivered his fifth annual State of Education Address on Sept. 19. The speech was held at the California Theatre of the Performing Arts before a large crowd of educators, elected officials, community stakeholders and students. Photo SBCSS: Anna Smith and Cassandra Davis of the Cajon High School county champion Mock Trial team recited the Pledge of Allegiance. “We aspire to transform lives through education by inspiring engagement, connection, collaboration and innovation,” Alejandre said. “Working in collaboration with school districts, other agencies, families and our community partners, we provide leadership, advocacy and services to ensure innovative and inspired educational practices.” Karen Scott, executive director of First 5 San Bernardino, introduced Alejandre and touted his background in being a champion for early literacy and learning programs across the region. Stephanie Houston, assistant superintendent of Innovation and Engagement for County Schools, made introductions…

Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series returns to Southern California for doubleheader action from San Bernardino’s Glen Helen Raceway

The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO, is ready to hit the homestretch of the 2019 season with its second visit to the off-road epicenter of Southern California. The most talented off-road racers on the planet highlight the return of the world’s premier short-course off-road championship to San Bernardino’s legendary Glen Helen Raceway for the Rockstar Energy Golden State Off Road Nationals, presented by General Tire, which will feature an action-packed doubleheader weekend on Saturday, October 5, and Sunday, October 6. As the most competitive championship in the sport, the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series pits these exceptional talents of all ages against one another across a growing collection of fan-friendly, pulse-pounding racetracks, which has helped the series emerge as the preeminent form of off-road racing. After a welcomed summer break, the world’s best short-course drivers come into Glen Helen feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. The grueling season has seen virtually every top contender endure through some sort of adversity, but the time away from the track has helped everyone move on from the past and set their sights on a strong…

El Chicano newspaper celebrates 50th anniversary

The El Chicano publication celebrated its 50th anniversary as an independent press on Thursday, Sept. 19 at the Garcia Center for the Arts in San Bernardino with state officials, local dignitaries, school officials and a community of supporters. It is one of the longest running minority-owned newspapers in the nation. The El Chicano was established in 1968 by a small group of concerned citizens in San Bernardino. It served as a vehicle to provide a voice to the underserved and underrepresented Mexican-American community. Initially funded by the Ford Foundation grant through the University of California at Riverside during its first year, the El Chicano lost funding due to a cartoon of an elected official at the time that was deemed inappropriate and offensive. It was then in 1969 that the publication began operation as an independent press run by married couples Gloria and Bill Harrison, and Marta Macias Brown and former husband Sam McQueen. In one of the earliest editions of the publication, the article “What is ‘El Chicano?’” read in part: “We have the lowest number of professional people. We are very poorly represented in any policy…

Homeless Awareness Night features “Marilyn’s Story” at CSUSB

The cast and crew of the new short film,”Marilyn’s Story,” has teamed up with Pauly’s Project and the Cal State San Bernardino Athletic Department for a one-night-only “Homeless Awareness Night” on Saturday, September 28th at 7pm-9pm. We will be previewing the movie, as well as raising awareness for the growing homelessness problem in the Inland Empire. Come early if you want to hear some songs from the staged production of LYMAN The Musical, and you don’t want to miss Paul Avila of Pauly’s Project, who will be discussing his ministry to the homeless of Skid Row and how we can make a difference in our own city. The doors open before 7 p.m.. There will be a volleyball tournament (CSUSB vs. UC San Diego), during which time the cast of “Marilyn’s Story” and Paul Avila will have several opportunities to speak to the crowd. If you have donations to bring for the homeless, Pauly’s Project will be accepting them in the lobby. Look for their booth and representatives. This is a very exciting event, one which we hope will change the lives of not only…

Cooley Drive receives green light on landscape rehabilitation

On Tuesday, September 17, in a 6-0 vote, Colton City Council approved the Cooley Drive Landscape Rehabilitation Project. At the meeting, Jessica Sutorus, City of Colton Electric Utility Environmental Conservation Supervisor, presented two landscape rehabilitation options to the council. “The project itself is 177,800 square feet and it’s for the modernization of the irrigation system and installation of plants, trees, shrubs and rock; and the construction of two monument signs,” said Sutorus. Sutorus noted that the cost for the project is roughly $24 per square foot. “This project begins at Mt. Vernon and goes all the way to Washington, it’s quite a large project,” continued Sutorus. “Option A…we’d able to finish both entryway monument signs coming in from Mt. Vernon and Washington and landscape the area right in front of Summit Career College and Ashlee Furniture. Option B’s estimated budget is 1.2 million, but only the entryway of both sections would get completed. Based on this budget, staff is recommending option A,” Sutorus said. At the meeting Councilmember Isaac Suchil asked, “On Option A, what type of ground cover are we going to look at…

Aguilar announces $1.5 million for San Bernardino jobs program

Representative Pete Aguilar announced Friday that Citadel Community Development Corporation, a San Bernardino-based nonprofit, received a grant of $1,500,000 from the United States Department of Labor. The grant funding will allow Citadel to carry out its mission of helping formerly-incarcerated Inland Empire residents re-enter the workforce by funding on-the-job training and support for new hires. “Whether it’s accessing education or enrolling in vocational training, we must work to remove the barriers that keep formerly-incarcerated members of our community from finding good jobs and taking control of their futures. Organizations like Citadel provide an invaluable service to our community, which is why I’m proud to support programs that help them continue their work,” said Rep. Aguilar. “Funding from this grant will enable us to hire additional staff to work specifically with this population. We will also be able to offer internships in conjunction with pre-apprenticeship training, and offer subsidized wages for on-the-job training. We’re proud of the work we do in our community, and grateful for this funding which will help us continue that work,” said Annette Punimata, Program Director at Citadel Community Development Corporation. The…

4th Annual CJUSD District College and Career Fair is Oct. 2

Students of all grade levels and their families are encouraged to attend the Fourth Annual CJUSD College and Career Fair, to be held from 5:30-7:30 PM Wednesday, Oct. 2 at the Gonzales Community Center, 670 Colton Avenue in Colton. Admission is free. This event is a collaborative effort of the Colton Joint Unified School District and City of Colton with sponsorship from the law firm of Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo, Omnitrans, Inland Empire Economic Partnership, Horace Mann Insurance (Marcos Mata Agency) and Dynasty V Graphic Design. The fair has become a popular tradition in Colton, with the district’s first three annual events each drawing more than 3,000 in attendance. The College and Career Fair features nearly100 booths representing colleges, universities, technical/trade schools and career pathways. In addition, this year’s fair will feature workshops on financial aid, and an opportunity for students and parents to begin their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Seniors who participate in a Cash for College Workshop and fill out a survey will be able to enter a $1,000 Scholarship Raffle! The popular STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art,…

San Bernardino youth join millions around the world in Global Climate Strike

Hundreds of San Bernardino youth and adults participated in the Global Climate Strike on Friday, September 20. The strike began at the Inland Regional Facility and ended at the Amazon Fulfillment center, located roughly 2.5 miles apart, both in San Bernardino. Photo Manny B. Sandoval: The Global Climate Strike in San Bernardino began at the Inland Regional Center and ended at the Amazon Fulfillment Center, both located in San Bernardino. “San Bernardino youth and residents are calling on Amazon and its developer Hillwood to agree to a Community Benefits Agreement that will prevent air pollution, guarantee safe family sustaining jobs and ensure the city’s infrastructure can handle the increased traffic flow,” said Anthony Victoria, Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice member. At the strike in San Bernardino, many youth shared testimony on the state of the climate. “The Inland Empire has the worst ozone pollution in the nation due to air pollutants from trucks and planes,” said Sierra Club Youth Leader Angela Cardenas. “This pollution directly contributes to the extreme weather patterns, such as wildfires, that are depleting our most precious ecosystems.”  “Pollution from…

Amazon hosts STEM event for childhood cancer patients, survivors, presents check to Childhood Cancer Foundation of Southern California

On Wednesday, Sept. 18, in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Amazon hosted 10 patients and their family members at Amazon’s San Bernardino Fulfillment Center for a day of surprises and educational activities. During the event, Amazon gave children the chance to participate in Camp Amazon: Gold Edition, a day camp packed with STEM activities that included a tour of their 1.2 million sq. ft. facility. Amazonians also dressed in pajamas to show their support for childhood cancer patients who oftentimes wear their pajamas while they receive treatment. Photo Kelly Koehler: Amazon associate helps Childhood Cancer Foundation of Southern California patient build a coding robot during Camp Amazon. In addition, Amazon leaders surprised patients and survivors with a $30,000 donation to the Childhood Cancer Foundation of Southern California. More than 300,000 children around the world are diagnosed with pediatric cancer each year and it is the number one non-communicable disease causing the death of children around the world. Amazon Spokesperson, Eileen Hards, shares “We’re excited to once again #GoGold for the month of September to help raise awareness for young innovators battling cancer. At Amazon, we…

Asm. Ramos and San Manuel hold 20th Annual California Indian Cultural Awareness Conference at Cal State San Bernardino

Over the course of this week over 1,500 elementary school children and teachers throughout the Inland Empire will visit California State University, San Bernardino to learn first-hand about California’s Native American culture, history and customs as part of the week-long California Indian Cultural Awareness Conference. The conference began Monday, September 23 and coincides with California Native American Day on Friday, September 27. “Every year San Manuel hosts conferences in honor of California Native American Day to invite schools to work alongside their local Tribes to undo decades of misinformation that has been told in textbooks,” said Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D – Highland), who is a former chairman of San Manuel. “These conferences are an important part of healing from these tragedies and retelling the history of California Native Americans for future generations to come.” Tribal members across California arrive on campus at CSUSB to lead presentations on culture, historical lessons that included the role of agriculture and ranching in the Native lifestyle, and hands-on activities such as basket weaving. Twenty years ago the conference was founded to provide local teachers with educational resources to…

Positive police approach is changing perceptions

An Op-Ed by John Valdivia – Mayor, City of San Bernardino Think about a situation where you might encounter a law enforcement officer. For most people, the situation they imagine is negative. In San Bernardino, local police are changing that perception while making our community a safer environment to live and do business. We’ve restructured the force, and these efforts are already paying positive dividends for San Bernardino. The City has partnered with the San Bernardino Police Officers Association to bring a new playground to Littlefield/Schultis Park, and we are encouraging members of the community to get involved to make this a reality, including taking part in the bbq fundraiser hosted by the SBPOA coming up September 26th to support the project. We want people in San Bernardino to have opportunities to interact with law enforcement in positive settings. SBPD pop up tents are appearing regularly at spots throughout San Bernardino and mounted patrols are distributing resources to our neighbors on horseback. Community members are invited to attend regular “Coffee with a Cop” meetings to share their concerns or just chat. This summer, San Bernardino…

Report determines 6-county region needs to produce over 1.3 million units of housing over next eight years

On Tuesday, September 10 Kome Ajise, Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Executive Director, visited Rialto City Council to discuss housing needs in the city. “I would like to say welcome and thank you for coming to our city. We had the benefit of giving him the opportunity to see what goes on in Rialto and some of our emerging technology. I would like to thank Sean Grayson and Tom Crowley for making this happen,” said Mayor Deborah Robertson. Ajise began his presentation by sharing that Mayor Robertson has done a great job at making sure SCAG does not forget about the city of Rialto. “We’re working on the regional housing assessment, we do this every eight years. We are charged by state law to do this and it’s intended to provide housing for our folks. Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) has found that we have not produced as much housing as we could,” said Ajise. “In the regional determination process HCD provides a regional determination in consultation with SCAG and the department of Finance. During 2006 to 2014 the fourth regional cycle determination was…

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