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City of Riverside Chosen to Participate In STAR Communities Pilot Program

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Riverside – The City of Riverside has been named as one of 25 participants in a new pilot program designed to evaluate, quantify, and improve the livability and sustainability of communities throughout the United States.

The Sustainability Tools for Assessing & Rating (STAR) Communities Program was created through a partnership of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the National League of Cities, the Center for American Progress, and the ICLEI Governments for Sustainability out of a growing interest from their member organizations and communities looking for a way to rank and evaluate their ongoing sustainability efforts.

As one of the pilot program participants, Riverside will be able to test out the STAR Communities rating system and have access to new technical guides, and online reporting tools when the program commences November 1.

“These will help us set baselines, adopt targets, and provide new ways to measure and validate our progress across a standard and comprehensive set of goals and objectives,” said Riverside’s Sustainability Officer Mike Bacich.  “Our data will then become part of the initial STAR Community Index which future participants will be able to rate themselves and their progress with.”

The STAR Communities program envisions a ranking system similar to the USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program that rates systems for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings, homes, and neighborhoods.  Future STAR Communities ratings could help cities and counties when applying for state and federal funding for green and sustainability projects.

For additional information about Riverside Public Utilities follow us on Facebook and on Twitter at #RPUNews.

Mark A. McKay Founder McKay’s Family Mortuary, LLC

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Mark McKay always had a vision, and that is to serve mankind with all of his heart. Prior to the mortuary business, McKay was employed as a surgical nurse for over 12 years at St. Francis Medical Center in Los Angeles. He obtained numerous achievements of recognition for the care that he gave to patients.

Always desiring to hone his entrepreneurial skills, Mark sought to explore the janitorial industry as an additional source of income during the recession period of the Reagan Administration. As his knowledge and experience increased, McKay was able to negotiate lucrative corporate, government and state funded accounts. The expanding success of the business allowed him to employ over 30 employees. He faithfully mentored his employees, showing extreme dedication and motivating many of them to start their own businesses.

Mark McKay later accepted a position with SCI, Service Corporation International, the largest end-of-life arrangements and services provider in the U.S. He provided compassion for families and assisted them as they struggled to obtain dignified and quality funeral services for their loved ones. Witnessing this task daily was an overwhelming feat for McKay. However, it was also a defining moment in his life, as he realized his true passion and calling. McKay comments, “There is no greater gift than to be of service to mankind”. In 2003, Mark McKay opened his first mortuary with monies saved from his janitorial business. He and his wife Robin, have since established over five successful locations serving families throughout Southern California. They are committed to providing quality services at affordable costs, having many of their competitors to follow suit. McKay Mortuary’s mantra is, “No family will ever be turned away due to a lack of funds.” Mark and Robin McKay have been happily married for over 29 years, and have raised five successful children.

McKays Mortuary, an outstanding institution as distinctive as its name. Operated with Christian ethics, McKays Mortuary maintains great value in serving others with dignity. 

Riverside Community Hospital appoints new Chief Financial Officer

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RIVERSIDE - Riverside Community Hospital is pleased to announce the appointment of Russ Young as Chief Financial Officer, effective October 1, 2012. Mr. Young brings extensive health care finance and administration background to his new role at Riverside Community Hospital.

"We are delighted that Russ is joining Riverside Community Hospital as Chief Financial Officer and as a part of our executive team,” says President and CEO Patrick Brilliant. “With more than 15 years of finance experience and a broad and deep knowledge of hospital accounting and administration, I’m confident that Russ is a perfect candidate for the position. We look forward to welcoming him to our team.”

Since 2008, Russ has served as the CFO for HCA Central Florida Regional Hospital.  Russ has been a part of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Riverside Community Hospital’s parent company, since 1998, starting as an Accountant with HCA Ocala Regional Medical Center.  From there, he transitioned to the HCA Corporate office serving as an Internal Audit Manager, then moved on to Controller for HCA Mountain Division, then CFO for HCA South Bay Hospital in the West Florida Division.

Russ played a significant role in the success of HCA Central Florida Regional Hospital. During his time there, he was instrumental in developing and implementing growth strategies that contributed in making Central Florida Regional an excellent performing hospital. “I am extremely excited to join the Riverside Community Hospital family!  My wife, Pam, and our children look forward to relocating to the Riverside area in October and engraining ourselves in this wonderful community. I know that RCH is an organization that really does care for the community and I am looking forward to being a part of the team.  Personally, I am eager to begin building friendships both inside and outside the walls of our Hospital.”

Russ received his Masters of Business Administration at Mercer University, Macon, Georgia.  Russ is married to his wife, Pamela, and they have three children:  Kelsey (12), Hailey (10), and Caleb (7).

Torlakson Appoints Inglewood High Alumnus as State Administrator for Inglewood Unified School District

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INGLEWOOD—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today appointed Kent Taylor—himself a graduate of Inglewood High School—as State Administrator over the financially troubled Inglewood Unified School District.           “My top priority is to keep Inglewood’s schools open and serving its students, while returning the district to fiscal solvency, and ultimately, local control,” Torlakson said. “Kent Taylor is the right choice for this tough, but critically important, job. He has deep roots in the Inglewood community, and a proven track record as a leader and sound fiscal manager.”           Taylor, who currently serves as Superintendent of the Southern Kern Unified School District, brings two decades of experience working in California’s public schools to his new assignment. He has worked as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and other administrative assignments in San Bernardino, Yucaipa, San Jacinto, and Rialto before being named superintendent in 2011.

“It’s an honor to come home to Inglewood and serve a community and a school system that have meant so much to me,” Taylor said. “I look forward to the opportunity to address the many challenges we face and working to give every Inglewood student the same opportunity to succeed that I enjoyed.”

Taylor earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Riverside; his teaching credential at the University of La Verne; and Masters of Education degree at California State University, San Bernardino. He served 12 years as a school board member at Colton Unified School District. Taylor has also been awarded for exemplary service as an educator and is a member of several professional education associations, including the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators, and the Association of California School Administrators.

The state took over the district last month, when, at the district’s request, Governor Brown approved legislation that would provide up to $55 million in emergency loans to help the district meet its financial obligations. The loan must be repaid within 20 years.

The legislation required the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to assume all the legal rights, duties, and powers of the governing board of the district and appoint a state administrator. By law, the school district's elected governing board serves only in an advisory capacity until a number of conditions are met.

The Superintendent’s authority continues until the district has adequate fiscal systems and controls in place, and the Superintendent has determined that the district's future compliance with the fiscal plan approved for the district is probable. The recovery plan also includes steps to improve the district's community relations and governance, pupil achievement, financial management, personnel management, and facilities management.

Inglewood Unified School District is the ninth school district in California to request an emergency loan, thus triggering the state takeover, since 1990. Since then, local governance has been returned to five districts. For more information, please visit the California Department of Education's HYPERLINK "http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/fi/ir/stateemergloans.asp" \t "_blank" State Emergency Loans Web page.

Riverside City College Announces 2012 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees

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Riverside City College recently announced its 2012 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees and award recipients. Among the honorees is former Major League Baseball player Bobby Kielty and state championship women’s basketball coach Michael Barnes.

The 2012 awards continue a rich sports tradition that includes former inductees Jerry Tarkanian, Frank Corral, Ben Blomdahl, and Terica Ned-Pelt. Joining this elite group this year along with Kielty and Barnes are RCC softball player and record-holder Rachael Bermudez, 1980-90’s era public announcer Richard Hubbard, RCC Marching Tigers’ longtime supporter and top booster William Locke, and business contributor Scott Hooks.

“This year’s inductees and award winners exemplify the outstanding athletic heritage enjoyed by Riverside City College,” said RCC President Cynthia Azari. “Athletics truly brings the College and community together as we cheer the RCC teams and celebrate the accomplishments of our outstanding student athletes.”

RCC’s new Athletic Director Derrick Johnson will serve as master of ceremony for the event, which takes place on November 1 at 5:30 p.m. “This is going to be a special year,” Johnson said. “We are very excited to be holding the event in the newly renovated Wheelock Gym. It will be the first night we publicly celebrate the opening, and I can’t wait to welcome the awardees and many friends and supporters to our ‘new house.’”

2012 Inductees and Award Recipients

Female Athlete – Rachael Bermudez played softball at RCC for the 2000 and 2001 seasons, achieving a record 322 strikeouts in her sophomore year. She was recognized as MVP of the Orange Empire Conference and named to the All State Team. She holds the RCC record for pitching complete games, as well as five other career pitching categories.

Male Athlete – Bobby Kielty played for the Tigers from 1996 through 1997 before heading to the University of Mississippi. He was named MVP of the Cape Cod League after leading the league in batting average and RBIs. In 1998, he was named Summer Player of the Year by Baseball America and signed with the Minnesota Twins in 1999. Kielty’s professional career lasted 13 years, the last 10 in the big leagues playing for the Twins, Oakland A’s, Redsox, and Indians. In his only at bat in the World Series, he hit a home run, the gaming winning RBI.

Coach – Michael Barnes served as Head Women’s Basketball Coach at RCC for nearly 20 years, building a 328-230 record en route to becoming the winningest coach in Tigers’ history. His record in conference play was 150-92 and 14 of his 20 teams went to the playoffs. Barnes-coached teams won three conference titles and one state championship. As an RCC basketball player in the 1960s, Barnes was named All Conference, All Tournament, and Most Valuable Player. His career assist record remains second on the list in RCC history.

Contributor – William Locke has been one of the Marching Tigers Band’s main boosters and volunteers since 1984 when his son, Gary Locke, started the college band. Through the years he has done everything—from helping his wife and sister sew uniforms and flags, bake, and run fundraisers to fixing instrument cases, building props, and supervising the loading and unloading of the equipment truck. His family and generations of Marching Tigers know him as “Grandpa” and consider him the chief honorary Marching Tiger.

Business Contributor – Scott Hooks, Westcoe Realty, Inc., has worked and lived in the community for decades. An RCC alumnus, he was one of the founding members of the RCC Tigerbackers, a major support organization for RCC Athletics and continues to be a strong advocate and fan of RCC athletics.

Event sponsors include Tilden-Coil Constructors, Inc.; Riverside Public Utilities; Gresham Savage; Riverside Medical Clinic; and Riverside County Supervisors Bob Buster - 1st District, John Tavaglione - 2nd District, and Marion Ashley - 5th District.

For event information and ticket availability, call 951-222-8958.

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