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Honor a veteran – reserve a plaque on Veterans Wall of Freedom

Thank a veteran for their service, thank a veteran for your freedom by honoring them with a plaque on the Veterans Wall of Freedom. All veterans of the United States military are eligible for a plaque. Currently, approximately half of the plaques have been reserved. Plaque reservation forms are available on the website veteranswalloffreedom.org. Each plaque is available for $100 donation. In order to have your veterans plaque engraved on the Veterans Wall of Freedom by Veterans Day, the form with donation must be received no later than October 11, 2019. The Veterans Wall of Freedom was dedicated on Veterans Day 2016. This unique monument is designed to be an enduring reminder of the freedoms we enjoy daily because of the service and sacrifice of those that served in the United States military. The monument spells out the word FREEDOM in six-foot block letters with over 1600 granite plaque spaces for veterans covering the front of the letters.  Thirteen stripes, seven in subdued red and six in white, lead to the monument. The Veterans Wall of Freedom is a committee of the Foundation of Grand…

Aguilar announces $500,000 to fight human trafficking in San Bernardino

Rep. Pete Aguilar announced last week that the Family Assistance Program, a non-profit based in San Bernardino County, has been awarded a grant of $500,000 from the US Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime. The grant funding will allow the Family Assistance Program to hire two case managers for Open Door, their program to identify and assist victims of human trafficking in the city of San Bernardino. The program serves 200 victims each year, with nearly half being under the age of 18. “Local organizations like the Family Assistance Program are making a real difference in the lives of young people in our community, and I’m proud to support their mission. I’ll continue working with my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to secure funding for programs that make our communities safer,” said Aguilar. “Sometimes helping a victim may be as simple as buying them a new pair of shoes, taking them to lunch, or providing transportation to get from point A to point B, other times they may require shelter, medical care, legal assistance, and specialized therapy. This grant will cover all of…

Crisis Stabilization Units provide effective treatment option

A guest op-ed by San Bernardino City Councilman Juan Figueroa in response to Assemblymember James Ramos op-ed on July 9, “Crisis Stabilization Units Promote Recovery/Treatment.” Our local hospital emergency rooms are experiencing a significant increase in congestion from a new type of patient.  Many social workers at our regional trauma centers are reporting that individuals are taken to or proceeding to the emergency room and requesting services that are not related to physical injuries or illnesses.  Instead, they are arriving in the emergency department seeking assistance for psychiatric crises that may or may not rise to the level which requires acute psychiatric hospitalization. Assemblymember James Ramos has taken the lead in responding to this crisis, and I am relieved to learn that mental health and hospital congestion is an issue that is now receiving greater attention from our state policy makers. As one part of the behavioral health continuum of care, Assemblymember Ramos highlighted his interest in combating the stigma of mental health by raising awareness of this issue and connecting people with the mental health services and help they need through the appropriate use…

Tuesday evening programs at San Bernardino’s Feldheym Library

The Feldheym Library (555 W. 6th St.) will be open for all library services on Tuesdays from 12 noon to 8 pm, allowing patrons to utilize our services later in the evening. The library is planning a variety of programs and events during our Tuesday evening hours to make it possible for people who work during the day to attend library programs. The Tuesday evening programs for October are: the Manhattan Short Film Festival on Tuesday, October 1 from 5 – 7:30 pm; Family Book Bingo on October 1 at 6 pm; Virtual Reality Night on October 8 at 6 pm; Scrabble Club on October 15 at 6 pm; Adult/teen Coloring Club on October 15 at 6 pm; Newbery Award-winning author Kwame Alexander on October 22 at 6 pm; Crochet Club on October 22 at 6 pm; History of Blues in America concert on October 29 at 6 pm. For more information and a full list of days and times of all library events visit our website at www.sbpl.org. Feldheym library’s service hours for the rest of the week will not change. Hours are Monday,…

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…

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…

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…

Recognizing California Native American Day

A guest Op-Ed by Assemblymember James C. Ramos People often me say there are three things, that once attained, can never be taken from you: your culture, spirituality, and education. It is the pride that I have in my Native American heritage that compels me to celebrate my culture, as well as the diverse cultures of tribes throughout California. Earlier in August, my Assembly colleagues joined me to commemorate the fourth Friday of September as California Native American Day, to celebrate California’s First People. For more than two decades the California Indian Cultural Awareness Conference has occurred during the fourth week of September, with a special evening event on Friday to celebrate California Native American Day. I founded the conference with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians to bring together Native American Tribes all throughout California with the goal of educating elementary students on the culture and history of Native Americans. It’s held at the Santos Manuel Student Union on the campus of California State University San Bernardino to accommodate for the many students that attend each day. We teach the students Native American…

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…

Cal State Professor Verissimo recognized for continued service to community

Angie Denisse Otiniano Verissimo, an associate professor in the Department of Health Science and Human Ecology at Cal State San Bernardino, was selected for the Wilmer Amina Carter Award from Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes’ (D-San Bernardino) office for her continued service to the Inland Empire community. She received the award during Reyes’ 30 Under 30 Award Ceremony and Art Showcase on Aug. 17 in downtown San Bernardino. Photo CSUSB: Angie Verissimo with Wilmer Amina Carter. The 30 Under 30 program was established by former Assemblymember Wilmer Amina Carter, a CSUSB alumna and retired CSUSB staff member. The event honors 30 individuals under the age of 30 who exemplify dedication, innovation and service in the community, and live, volunteer or work in in the 47th district, which includes all or portions of Colton, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Rialto and San Bernardino, as well as the unincorporated communities of Bloomington and Muscoy. This year, nine of the 30 awardees are CSUSB alumni. Verissimo, who grew up in Muscoy and Rialto, was a recipient of a 30 Under 30 award in 2008, when Carter represented the district. Verissimo said…

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