Opinion

Connect SoCal helps assure IE’s opportunities are well within our reach

Guest Op-Ed by Bill Jahn, City Councilmember from Big Bear Lake and President of the Southern California Association of Governments. As one of the fastest-growing population and economic centers in the United States, the Inland Empire is dependent on an efficient and effective transportation network. With it, the opportunity for sustainable prosperity and an even better quality of life for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren is well within our reach. Without it, congestion will worsen, the health and well-being of our communities will suffer, and our efforts to attract more businesses – and high-quality jobs – will fall short. Enter Connect SoCal, the 2020-2045 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy released in draft form by the Southern California Association of Governments. SCAG, the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization serving six counties, 191 cities and nearly 19 million people, has spent the past four years analyzing data and working with local communities to develop a regional strategy to improve mobility, meet air-quality goals, create economic opportunities and enhance quality of life. Connect SoCal provides a long-term vision for transportation investments throughout the six-county SCAG region –…

A city wrecked by those drunk with power

A Letter to the Editor by R.A. Contreras, longtime San Bernardino resident San Bernardino has been in the dumps for far too long. Homelessness is rampant. Crime is rife. Downtown is uninviting, if not downright dangerous. The quality of life here sucks. At many city establishments patrons cannot sit down outside at a table to enjoy a drink or eat a meal in peace without being pestered by vagrants. I refer not to those homeless who are simply down on their luck but the ones who don’t want help and are out to cause problems for folks — this is the vagrancy that brings its own set of pressing issues: trash, disease, and crime. The few restaurants and business located downtown are not immune to this problem. Travel the Baseline and Waterman corridors and you’ll easily see more of the same: encampments, trash, drug use, prostitution and the requisite police activity. These issues, of course, are not new but in recent years they’ve become magnified. Years ago, you wouldn’t see what you see now: panhandlers brazenly walking up to your car in heavy traffic demanding…

San Bernardino destined for greatness

A Letter to the Editor by Keith S. McCarter, B.S., J.D. San Bernardino will always be my home.  SB has seen some very low points but it has weathered the storm as best as it could.  Now we must start to look to the future.  I am absolutely convinced that SB is destined for greatness.  Each and every person who loves SB must now start to conduct themselves as if we come from greatness-residents, workers, professionals and politicians alike. Let us begin by creating a rubric to choosing our future politicians.  Politicians are very important because they make the decisions which dictate whether or not our city prospers.  In order for our city to be great we must start by having strong and competent leadership. From here on, this is how we need to choose the leadership associated with our great city.  The old guard has had ample opportunity to make San Bernardino what it is destined to be.  They have failed.  We must refrain from electing anyone who has held an elected office in or near San Bernardino within the last 15 years. When…

For 100 years, Inland Career Education Center has been helping improve lives through education, career development

By Corina Borsuk, public relations technician, Communications/Community Relations, San Bernardino City Unified School District and Leticia Villa, principal, Inland Career Education Center, SBCUSD Nationally, about 2.8 million adults enrolled in for-profit colleges and technical schools during the 2014–2015 academic year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. For some, the benefits outweigh the large sums of money they pay for just the opportunity to earn a degree or certificate. But for many of the low-income adults who flock to these for-profit schools, the costs continue to mount until they are even deeper in debt. Sadly, most never learn they have other options in the form of adult education. Several years ago, the San Bernardino Adult School embarked on a strategic planning process to raise awareness of adult education and its lifechanging opportunities. As part of that, we changed our name to the Inland Career Education Center (ICEC). Regardless of the name we’ve used, ICEC has been providing opportunities for career advancement and a better life for 100 years. We offer free and low-cost courses that lead to a high school diploma or GED. According…

Respect the I.E. or lose California

By Darrell Peeden, Vice President of the Moreno Valley Unified School District Board of Education and the Southern-Vice Chair of the Children’s Caucus of the California Democratic Party and a city of Rialto Commissioner. The democratic primary is at our doorstep, and only two Democratic presidential candidates recognize how important voters in the Inland Empire are to winning the democratic nomination and the presidency. There are well over 1 million eligible voters in the I.E., which is enough to make a considerable impact in this election  –  an election that will see record breaking voter turnout. It’s great to see presidential candidates come to the Inland Empire. However, it’s much better for the I.E. when these candidates actually take the time to sit down and have personal meetings with local leaders and community activists to discuss the issues that our workers and community are facing. On December 20th, I sat down with Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders right before his campaign rally in Moreno Valley. Sitting directly across from Bernie, we discussed the major issues impacting our community: poverty, worker’s rights, air quality, economic…

Leaders yet again rush to trade lives for dollars

By Anthony Victoria – Communications Director for the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice We’ve been promised by leaders that the logistics boom will help the Inland Empire recover from decades of economic downturn. But the lack of transparency and deprivation of community input provides a glaring depiction of how disinvested they really are. They are instead choosing to represent the shortsighted interest of companies like Amazon and Walmart. Take for example a recent development. The sudden decision by the San Bernardino Airport Authority to take up a vote on the Eastgate Air Cargo Logistics Center over the holiday break was negligent. It, like the dangerous environmental impacts to come, was hazardous to health. It deserved more than a quick skim through and baseless platitudes. Instead, resident worries and demands have been dismissed once more. Residents living in frontline communities–neighborhoods plagued by high unemployment rates, toxic pollution, and declining health rates–can attest to the lack of advancement they’ve experienced as a result of imprudent decisions made over the years. The growth of the logistics industry has coincided with worsening smog pollution, higher asthma and…

Emerging partnerships are key to the IE’s promising future

By Phil Cothran, Chairman, San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board Developing partnerships are helping to establish a new roadmap for the Inland Empire as we boldly embrace a future of economic opportunity and prosperity. Robust, cross-sector initiatives such as Inland Economic Growth & Opportunity (IEGO), Inland California Rising and Regions Rise Together are demonstrating the power of collaboration and shared visioning when it comes to promoting business growth and developing a next-generation workforce. More locally, efforts such as the Fontana Mayor’s Education Coalition are reinventing how schools, businesses and the public sector can work together to build stronger, more prosperous communities. Add it up, and the IE is clearly poised to fulfill its promise as one of the country’s fastest-growing population and economic centers. But it’s how we’re doing it that stands out – recognizing that our collective might is far greater than the sum of our parts. At the recent Regions Rise Together launch event at Cal State San Bernardino, members of our San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board (WDB) team worked side-by-side with stakeholders from throughout the IE and the governor’s office to…

New generation bringing change to San Bernardino

By John Valdivia, Mayor, City of San Bernardino One year ago, a new generation of leaders was sworn in to lead the City of San Bernardino.  The people of our city voted for change because they wanted to have hope for a brighter future. On the first anniversary of my first year as your Mayor, I’m pleased to report that hope is on the way for San Bernardino.  Working collaboratively with responsible members of the City Council, we have made great progress in building a foundation for our city’s future success. We restored public integrity at City Hall by replacing a corrupt city manager who had misled residents about San Bernardino’s true financial condition.  Today, our city is operating in an accountable and transparent manner with honest budgeting and accurate financial numbers. Working with our Police Department leadership, we passed a new Community Oriented Policing system which reorganizes our city policing into five local districts with future police substations located throughout our city.  Our first local substation, which is being paid for with private funds, will be located in the Inland Center Mall.  Future substations…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!