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They Cease To Amaze Me With Their Actions

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Some members of San Bernardino continue to amaze me with their logic and actions when it comes to voting on issues in the best interest of the city. At the last city council meeting, agenda item 9.a was a vote to receive about $900,000 from the federal government to acquire, rehabilitate and resell property which had been abandoned, condemned or foreclosed on in the city, otherwise know as blight.

The presentation had been made and recommended for approval by the staff and determined to be in the best interest of the city for some of these reasons; removable of property that is a health hazard and eyesore to its neighbors decreasing current property value; contracting with local contractors to demolish and rehabilitate the property while providing jobs to local citizens; reselling the property as a livable single living housing unit to local citizens as home owners who now rent somewhere in the city. Some on the council described it as getting a piece of the American dream, home ownership.

Those who opposed the agenda opposed it on the ground of those low-income people as though low-income people are not human or something is wrong with them based on their financial status. After some discussion the question was called for and the agenda item failed. Then may0r Morris, commented, for the life of me I do not understand why you would not want to give some family the opportunity to own a home in the city and he gave an example of one Hispanic family positive impact on this city after receiving a house from “sweat equate” of Habitat For Humanity Program.

Council member Virginia Marques offered another comment with disappointment in her voice of what just happened to her by her colleagues. “I was raised on the west side of town in the neighborhood where this project was supposed to take place in my ward. These are good people who want the opportunity to owned their on home just like every American citizen, too paraphrase her statement. I agree with her and at that moment one of the council members that voted against the motion changed his vote to a yes for approval of the project.

Why does these council member amaze me by voting against this project is earlier one of them spoke about the need to create jobs in the city to help increase tax revenue. We should make sure all bid be awarded to local vendors when possible, said Council member McCammack during the meeting. Other members have echoed similar statement from the dais in the past. I wholeheartly agree with that position and want the council to start acting as such on all decision.

If they believed what they are saying, ponder this. the public safety employees receive 75% of the city’s budget but just under 90% of them reside in the city to spend any of that money. Look at it this way for every dollar that we give the city 75 cents gets in a car after each shift, bought in another city, goes to a home in another city, buys grocery in another city, pay utilities in another city, buys clothes in another city, goes to the movies in another, walks the dog in another city, send children to school in another city, pays property tax in another city with out turning over one time in San Bernardino all at the expense of these low income people of San Bernardino that the council want to deny home ownership. Only 44% of the people living in San Bernardino own their home and 42% rent.

These low income family households median earning are less than $40,000 a year with 40% at and below the poverty level pay these public employees over $100,000 dollars a year to spend in other cities with council approval. Yet these same council members wanted to deny these low income citizens the opportunity to have a slice of the American dream of owning an affordable home, while watching their hard earned money get into a car at the end of each shift and leave town. According to one report this equates to $40 million being transferred out of town each and every year. One can only imagine what that could do for a city trying to stave off bankruptcy.

The public safety employees should be angry with those council members for voting against the program because they will get 75 cent of every dollar coming into the city under the current situation.

So the council should take a look at every dime that comes into the city and see where it can be turned over into the hands of some one else in the city before it crawls into some ones car and leave town without benefiting the citizens of the city.

Foster Resigns as President of The Community Foundation Serving the Counties of Riverside and San Bernardino

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Riverside - The Community Foundation Serving the Counties of Riverside and San Bernardino recently announced that Daniel Foster has resigned as President/CEO, and the Board has named Celia Cudiamat, previously VP of Grant Programs, Donor Services & Administration, as the foundation’s Interim President/CEO.

“Daniel has been an exceptional CEO and leader of The Community Foundation. During his tenure he has forged important initiatives and relationships with many nonprofits, business leaders and public officials  working towards our collective goals of improving the quality of life issues throughout our two county region,” said Grover Trask, Chair of the Board of Directors.

“Daniel has made countless contributions to The Community Foundation’s success and visibility, and has nearly doubled our professional and talented staff. During his four year tenure, we had record breaking fundraising and asset growth during difficult economic times. We are truly sad to see him go but know he is doing the right thing.”

Foster will be leaving The Community Foundation on September 18 and will be starting as Executive Director of Oceanside Museum of Art on October 1.

“My last four years with TCF have been some of the best years of my professional life, and I will certainly miss working with the talented and dedicated staff, Board, supporters, friends and partners associated with the Foundation,” says Foster. “I am very proud of the tremendous growth, accomplishments, and prominence that the foundation has achieved during the years of the Great Recession.”

Foster states, “Even though my life and career are changing directions, my commitment to the arts community and so many good people in the Inland Empire will passionately continue.”

Foster submitted his resignation to the Board of Directors last week and the Board selected eight year TCF executive staff member, Celia Cudiamat, as Interim President/CEO, while they conduct their nationwide search for a new President/CEO.

“I am deeply honored to be chosen to lead the foundation during this time of transition and change,” said Cudiamat. “While Daniel will be missed, we want to wish him all the best as he enters a new stage in his life and career.

“His vision helped bring the foundation to the threshold of a new era,” Cudiamat continues. “I am confident in our staff and board as we steadily move forward at this juncture of growth and opportunity.”

The Community Foundation is a nonprofit, public benefit corporation created by and for the residents of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. Established in 1941, The Community Foundation has $58 million in assets and provides college scholarships and grants to nonprofit organizations across the two-county area. It serves as a regional convener to address issues regarding their Community Initiatives, which include Arts & Culture, Capacity Building, Environmental, Youth Philanthropy, and Education.

Pechanga Orders Up Its First Ever Margarita and Tequila Festival

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100 types of Tequila will be available to sip or mix with margaritas and delicious Mexican tastes

Temecula – As a first in the region, Pechanga will hold a Margarita and Tequila Festival  on Mexican Independence Day, September 15,  from 1pm to 4pm in the Grand Ballroom. High-end tequila producers will make up the more than 100 different types of Tequila to be served, including HYPERLINK "http://www.azuniatequila.com/" \t "_blank" Azunia, HYPERLINK "http://www.claseazul.com/" \t "_blank" Clase Azul , HYPERLINK "http://www.tresagaves.com/" \t "_blank" Tres Agaves, HYPERLINK "http://www.partidatequila.com/" \t "_blank" Partida, HYPERLINK "http://www.tanteotequila.com/" \t "_blank" Tanteo, HYPERLINK "http://patrontequila.com/" \t "_blank" Patron and HYPERLINK "http://tequilaavion.com/" \t "_blank" Tequila Avion, which was featured very prominently in the HBO series “Entourage” .

“We are always looking to create unique events that people do not normally get a chance to attend,” said Pechanga VP of Food & Beverage Dennis Khanh. “I’m sure this will be the first opportunity a lot of the guests will have to taste many of these finer brands of Tequila. It will be both fun and educational to learn about Mexico’s national liquor.” For those used to shooting their tequila with lime and salt, a surprise may be in order as good Tequila is typically sipped straight, since higher-quality 100% agave tequilas do not cause alcohol burn, and salt and lime will remove much of their flavor. Drinking in this manner allows the taster to perceive the subtle flavors and fragrances that mark the finer brands. Nevertheless, tequila is widely known for the flavorful mixes it helps create and distillers will be making an incredible array of margaritas and other concoctions.

Other confirmed Tequila vendors include: HYPERLINK "http://www.tequilaespolon.com/" \t "_blank" Espolon; HYPERLINK "http://us.tequila1921.com/" \t "_blank" 1921 Tequila; HYPERLINK "http://www.hotelcaliforniatequilausa.com/" \t "_blank" Hotel California; HYPERLINK "http://www.elagaveartesanal.com/en/" \t "_blank" El Agave Artesanal; Sauza; and HYPERLINK "http://www.asombrosotequila.com/" \t "_blank" Asombroso. Tequila is distilled, many times, to compliment the spicy Mexican fare of the country. Pechanga’s  award-winning chefs will be manning eight food stations spread throughout the event, and whipping up rellanos, al pastor, tacos, tapas, burritos, ensalada, and, of course, postres to quench the sweet tooth.

Guests can also show off their moves on the dance floor to the Latin old school jams of HYPERLINK "http://www.suavetheband.com/" \t "_blank" Suavé, and Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley will once again host a silent auction to raise funds to provide low income families a chance at home ownership. At the last Pechanga Microbrew Festival in July, Habitat raised more than $12,000. Pechanga is recommending guests have either a designated driver or make a hotel reservation. Availability can be checked at HYPERLINK "http://www.pechanga.com/" \t "_blank" pechanga.com or by calling (888) 732-4264.

Guests must be 21 or older to attend. Tickets are $45 and include drink and food tastings, as well as a commemorative shot glass. A special ‘designated driver’ ticket is available for $22, and does not include any alcohol tasting.  Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Pechanga Box Office directly or by calling (877) 711-2946 from noon to 8pm daily, or anytime online at HYPERLINK "http://www.pechanga.com/" \t "_blank" pechanga.com.

City of Riverside’s Water Quality Control Plant Receives Peak Performance Award

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RIVERSIDE – The Riverside Water Quality Control Plant has been selected to receive a Gold Peak Performance Award.  The Peak Performance Awards program presented by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) recognizes public wastewater treatment facilities for their outstanding compliance records in the 2010 calendar year.  NACWA was proud to recognize over 400 Peak Performance Award facilities during the Association’s 2011 Summer Conference and 41st Annual Meeting, held July 19-22, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.

The Riverside Water Quality Control Plant provides treatment of all domestic and industrial wastewater generated within the City of Riverside and in the Rubidoux, Edgemont, and Jurupa Community Services Districts.  Treated water (effluent) from the Riverside Water Quality Control Plant flows into the Santa Ana River and downstream to the ocean.

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits set effluent limits to maintain environmental standards that ensure safe water for the enjoyment of all.  The Gold Peak Performance Award honors treatment works which have achieved 100 percent compliance with their NPDES permit for an entire calendar year.

“The Riverside Water Quality Control Plant is an outstanding example of environmental efforts.   NACWA is honored to showcase the achievements of the City of Riverside and our nation’s public wastewater utilities through the Peak Performance Awards Program.” Ken Kirk, NACWA’s Executive Director. For more information on The City of Riverside’s water quality efforts, contact Gary Valladao at 951-351-6140, or visit www.riversideca.gov/sewer.

District Attorney Releases Gang Stats

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SAN BERNARDINO – The latest gang statistics for the second quarter of 2012 have been compiled by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office. Statistics for the quarter of April 1, 2012, through June 30, 2012, show that 362 cases were filed from all divisions. There were 158 state prison commitments obtained with a total of 1,495 years of state prison. Ninety-four gang enhancements were found true and 9 were found guilty by jury trial.

Since the Gang Program’s inception in July 2005, 7,375 cases have been filed; 2 on death row; 4,419 state prison commitments; 30,717 + 144 life terms years in state prison; 1,623 gang enhancements have been found true and 42 were found guilty by jury trial.

“It continues to be critically important that we focus our efforts on fighting gangs in San Bernardino County,” said District Attorney Michael Ramos “Our partnership with the Board of Supervisors, the Sheriff’s Department and our local police agencies is paying off. Rest assured, we will continue to put these local terrorists in prison and seek the maximum sentencing allowed.”

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