san bernardino news

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

SB Food Fest celebrates Mexican Independence Day

On Saturday night September 14, the San Bernardino We Are the Change organization had their weekly Food Fest event at Court Street Square.  This week the group celebrated Mexican Independence Day (which fell on September 16th); this week’s entertainment included a visit and message by Luis Medina from the Mexican Consulate, music, folklorico dancers, singers, Aztec dance demonstrations, and more.  Photo Ricardo Tomboc: Dannyrey Benavente is the owner / operator of the Gourmet French Fry booth which has been in business for about 6 months. Dannyrey’s specialty is “Friteriles”, which translates to Fry Shop. There were about 20 vendors including those selling various food items, nonprofits providing information, and others selling their merchandise.  At one point during the event, several hundred people came all at once to partake of the event’s activities. said that “The weekly Food Fest events have been going on for over two months and are picking up more vendors and visitors each week.  Many of the vendors are from San Bernardino and are they’re participating because they are more committed to the cause (to revive the downtown area), and not so…

Cal State San Bernardino student diagnosed with tuberculosis

A Cal State San Bernardino student has been diagnosed with active tuberculosis and in response, San Bernardino County Department of Public Health officials, in collaboration with the university, will be sending out notifications to students, faculty and staff who may have been exposed to the illness. The student, who lives off campus and attended classes at the San Bernardino campus, is receiving treatment and is expected to recover, but will not return to school until medical clearance is issued by the health department. The student is not being identified due to confidentiality requirements. San Bernardino County Department of Public Health’s Communicable Disease Section (CDS) officials, working with the university, are in the process of notifying about 400 individuals who may have been exposed during the months of April through August. Individuals contacted by DPH need to be screened for TB infection. Those who do not receive notifications are not considered to be at risk of exposure. “If you are identified by our county, it’s very important to get tested. Testing helps catch TB infections early and treatments are available,” said Dr. Richelle Marracino, CSUSB Student…

San Bernardino’s Neighborhood Leadership Academy to begin in October

The Neighborhood Association Council of San Bernardino is partnering with the City of San Bernardino to provide a Neighborhood Leadership Academy for city residents who want to make a difference in their communities.  The Leadership Academy is a free six weeks course focusing on grass-roots practical guides to community organizing and finding simple solutions to address neighborhood/community concerns.  Participants must be residents of San Bernardino, be 18 years of age or above, and have a desire to work as a team to complete a community project in one of the city’s diverse neighborhoods.  Instruction is provided by individuals with expertise in community engagement and organizing, healthy communities, media, and grant writing.  Attendees will also participate in a Neighborhood Discovery Tour to learn about the neighborhoods where they will work with residents to complete a community project.  “Many city residents want to give back to their community, but often don’t know how to get started”, stated Amelia Lopez, President of the Neighborhood Association Council. “The Leadership Academy gives them the opportunity to increase their knowledge and skills and to work side by side with their neighbors…

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