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American Cancer Society Encourages Californians to Help Finish the Fight

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During March's Colon Cancer Awareness Month Enroll in Historic Cancer Prevention Study to Make a Difference in the Fight

March is National Colon Cancer Awareness Month. As the American Cancer Society celebrates its 100th birthday this year, it is emphasizing the importance of age-appropriate colorectal cancer screenings and asking Californians to help defeat the disease by enrolling in a historic research study. An estimated 5,135 Californians will die from colorectal cancer (commonly called colon cancer) in 2013, accounting for nine percent of all cancer deaths.

The Society recommends Californians reduce their risk of developing the disease by maintaining a healthy weight, getting plenty of physical activity, and eating a diet high in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and low in red and processed meats. Limiting alcohol intake can also reduce colon cancer risk. For information about colon cancer screening and nutrition and physical activity recommendations visit cancer.org/coloncancer.

Colon cancer is highly treatable if found early. Half of all colon cancer deaths in the United States could be prevented if everyone followed recommended screening guidelines. Most people should begin screening at age 50, and those with a family history are at higher risk and may need to be screened earlier.

Colon cancer death rates have dropped by more than 30 percent over the past two decades thanks in part to progress made by the American Cancer Society. The Society works with community partners to provide education and access to colon cancer screening in areas hardest hit by the disease. Society-funded research has led to improved understanding about the link between diet and colorectal cancer, and the development of drugs to treat colorectal cancer.

This spring, the Society is offering an unprecedented opportunity for Californians to change the face of colon cancer and all cancers for future generations by participating in a historic long-term study. 300,000 diverse men and women ages 30 to 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer are needed to enroll in the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3).

“Many cancer patients struggle to answer the question, ‘What caused my cancer?’ In many cases, we don’t know the answer,” said Alpa V. Patel, Ph.D., principal investigator of CPS-3. “CPS-3 will help us better understand what factors cause cancer, and once we know that, we can be better equipped to prevent cancer.”

Dr. Patel added, “Our previous cancer prevention studies have been instrumental in helping us identify some of the major factors that can affect cancer risk. CPS-3 holds the best hope of identifying new and emerging cancer risks, and we can only do this if members of the community are willing to become involved.”

The opportunity for Californians to enroll in CPS-3 will take place at the below local sites:

• In Palm Springs and Palm Desert from May 7-16; visit www.cps3palmsprings.org to register.
• In San Diego County at ten locations from March 10-23; visit www.cps3sandiego.org to register.
• In Los Angeles County at dozens of locations from April 18-May 9; visit www.cps3la.org to register.

For more information about CPS-3 visit cancer.org/cps3 or call the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study-3 Information Line at (888) 604-5888; or (800) 227-2345.

Protecting All Women From Domestic Violence

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Guest Editorial
By Representative Mark Takano

If you were to guess that car accidents, muggings or rapes were the leading causes of injury to women, you’d be wrong. The sad reality is that domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women, more than the aforementioned causes combined. Every nine seconds, a woman is assaulted or beaten in the United States, and is most cases, the abuser is a member of her own family.

Even more disturbing, it has been estimated that more than 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence every year. These memories have lasting impacts on children that they often carry with them into adulthood. Not surprisingly, men who witness domestic violence as children are twice as likely to abuse their partners than sons of nonviolent parents, creating a legacy of abuse.

Since 1994, the Violence Against Women Act has helped ensure that no victim of domestic violence has to hide in the shadows. Pushed through by then-Senator Joe Biden, the Act provided $1.6 billion towards the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, including domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, and dating violence. The Act also established the Office on Violence Against Women in the Department of Justice.

When VAWA was reauthorized by Congress in 2000, and again in 2005, it was done so with bipartisan support. In 2012, when VAWA came up again for reauthorization, the Senate passed the reauthorization and included provisions that provided more comprehensive coverage for members of the LGBT community, and Native American and undocumented women.

When it was reintroduced in the Senate at the top of year, with the expanded coverage provisions included, the reauthorization passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, 78-22, with every single woman, Democrats and Republicans, voting in favor.

After numerous roadblocks, the Senate bill eventually came up for a vote in the House of Representatives. This version, that includes the comprehensive coverage, passed with a bipartisan vote.

The reauthorization of VAWA was critical as after almost two decades, it has proved time and time again its usefulness. Countless women and children are safer because of the increased funding and tools given to law enforcement officials.

It may not have been easy, but I’m proud of Congress for doing the right thing. Protecting families should be a priority for all elected officials. This truly was a victory for women everywhere.

If you have been a victim of domestic violence, please contact the Alternatives to Domestic Violence 24-hour Crisis Hotline at 951-683-0829.

CSUSB President to Speak at Fontana Church on Importance of College

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SAN BERNARDINO – Cal State San Bernardino president Tomás D. Morales, along with other members of the CSUSB family, will speak on the value of a college education and early college preparation as part of the annual CSU Super Sunday events at several area African American churches on Sunday, Feb. 24.

Morales will speak at the Principles of Faith Christian Center, 17977 Merrill Ave., in Fontana at 9:30 a.m.

The presentations focus on preparing elementary, middle and high school students for college and are part of Super Sunday, one of the California State University’s outreach efforts to promote higher education and the importance of early academic preparation.

On Sundays in February and March, California State University Chancellor Tim White, along with university presidents and other representatives from all 23 CSU campuses, will speak at nearly 100 predominately African American churches throughout the state about preparing for college, applying to a CSU campus and financial aid.

Morales stressed the importance of the event.

“This will be my first opportunity to be part of Super Sunday, but I have been a longtime advocate for early college preparation,” Morales said. “It’s critical that we partner with K-12 school systems throughout the region to increase the number of students who are ready to enroll in college-level courses after high school.”

In addition, Milton Clark, CSUSB associate vice president for undergraduate studies, and Jean Peacock, a CSUSB professor of psychology, will speak at separate services at the Ecclesia Christian Fellowship Church in San Bernardino. CSUSB Athletic Director Kevin Hatcher previously spoke at Temple Missionary Baptist Church in San Bernardino on Feb. 10.

Since 2006, the Super Sunday event has brought CSU leaders to churches throughout California to educate students and families about the requirements to successfully get into college and ultimately earn a degree. Participants at the services receive information about financial aid and the CSUMentor.edu website that provides the tools to plan and apply to CSU campuses.

“I have also spent my entire career as a strong proponent for increased diversity in higher education. For many Inland Empire students and families, the thought of going to college is only a dream,” Morales said. “That is changing, but we need to do more to encourage and motivate students of all backgrounds to prepare for college early, because education is the key to a better future.”

After the church service, parents and students will have the opportunity to talk to CSU representatives and receive a How To Get To College poster – a practical guide about how to prepare for college. The guide – available in several languages as both a printed and electronic document – provides the list of classes that students need to take in grades six through twelve to qualify for admission to the CSU. It also provides tips for parents and mentors to help students succeed.

More than 70 percent of CSUSB graduates come from families in which neither parent has a college degree, Morales added. Cal State San Bernardino is also the most diverse university in the region, and there is no majority ethnic group on campus. Further evidence shows the achievement gaps among the various ethnic CSUSB student groups are narrowing.

Cal State San Bernardino ranks first in the CSU system for first-to-second year retention for Hispanic students, with 90.5 percent of first-time Hispanic freshmen enrolled at CSUSB in fall 2010 returning in fall 2011. The first-to-second-year retention rate for African-American students on campus also ranks among the leaders in the CSU and is far above the system average.

The annual Super Sunday event is produced by the CSU African American Initiative – a partnership between CSU campuses and African American religious leaders with the goal of increasing college going rates among African American students. Chancellor Emeritus Charles B. Reed founded the initiative eight years ago with the support of CSU trustees, presidents, faculty, staff, students and alumni.

For more information about Super Sunday, visit http://www.calstate.edu/supersunday/

Attorney General Harris Announces Settlement to Protect Public Health in Jurupa Valley

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LOS ANGELES -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris recently announced a settlement in a lawsuit challenging the approval of an industrial project in Riverside County that would cause additional diesel truck traffic near a community already disproportionately affected by diesel exhaust and noise pollution.

As part of the agreement, the City of Jurupa Valley and other parties will take action to significantly reduce the project’s air quality impacts on Mira Loma Village, a primarily Hispanic residential community.

“It is a false choice to suggest that in order for California business to thrive, public health must suffer,” Attorney General Harris said. “It is my intention that this settlement will provide a model for local governments, developers and communities to work together to ensure responsible development benefiting all Californians.”

In September 2011, Attorney General Harris joined the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) action filed by the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice to set aside Riverside County’s approval for the Mira Loma Commerce Center, which would consist of a million square feet of warehouses and industrial buildings.

The suit outlined the county’s failure to adequately analyze and mitigate the project’s impacts on Mira Loma Village residents in light of the already serious health and environmental risks suffered by the community.

The City of Jurupa Valley, which was incorporated in 2011, now has jurisdiction over the project site. The city and the project developers agreed as part of the settlement to implement and fund the following:

- Proceedings for preparation of an Environmental Justice Element of the City’s General Plan;

- Installation of air filtration systems in the homes of Mira Loma residents;

- Air quality monitoring in Mira Loma Village;

- Landscaping in setback areas with plants with potential to remove or reduce exposure to diesel particulate emissions; and,

- A “green” project site, including a 100kW capacity solar photovoltaic system, LEED Silver certified project buildings, and electric vehicle charging stations.

“We are extremely impressed with the cooperative process that took place to arrive at this agreement,” said Penny Newman, Executive Director of the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice. “This settlement has created the ‘gold standard’ for settlements in addressing impacts through a model process of how diverse stakeholders can come together and cooperatively find comprehensive solutions.”

The settlement also requires the City of Jurupa Valley to conduct proceedings to adopt an ordinance to prohibit heavy trucks on the road adjacent to Mira Loma Village, to implement an anti-idling enforcement program and to consider environmental justice during CEQA review for future projects in the City.

Since the 1990s, Riverside County has approved a series of warehouse projects that are now under the City of Jurupa Valley’s jurisdiction. Thousands of trucks travel to and from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to distribution centers and warehouses in the City of Jurupa Valley and other areas of Riverside County each day. These trucks spew diesel exhaust causing harmful health impact to residents living near the freeways and roads on which the trucks travel. Diesel exhaust is listed as a known carcinogen under Proposition 65. The levels of particulate matter and ozone pollutants in the Jurupa Valley area are significantly higher than both California and federal air quality standards.

This settlement will help reduce the public health impacts caused by the project and existing warehouse facilities on the overburdened community of Mira Loma Village. This settlement serves as a model for how other local governments can encourage smart development while also addressing environmental public health in their communities.

Assemblymember Brown Introduces Bill to Assist Small Businesses

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SACRAMENTO - Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown (D-San Bernardino) introduced her first bill of the legislative session last week, AB 285, which will expand the definition of a microenterprise. This bill is necessary to enhance the technical services available to small businesses in California.

Microenterprises are business that are started for less than $35,000 and lack access to traditional loans and capital. California has three million microenterprises that employ over four million people. AB 285 will provide microenterprises with increased resources to help them grow.

“I’m pleased to introduce my first bill, AB 285, a bill to support small business growth and job creation in our state. AB 285 will improve the quality of life for residents in the 47th District by promoting small business growth, which will translate to job creation within some of our district’s highest unemployment areas,” said Assemblymember Brown, “Small businesses are so important because they provide a majority of jobs and it is vital for our economy that we continue to push policies that assist in their growth. Passing this legislation will be my top priority.”

Under current law, a microenterprise is classified as a business with four or fewer employees including the business owner. AB 285 will allow for a firm to employ five employees including the business owner. Additionally, this bill will allow local workforce investment boards to provide entrepreneurial training programs and specialized assistance to microenterprises.

The bill was introduced and has been moved to the Assembly Rules Committee for assignment to the appropriate policy committee.

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