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SCE Offers Holiday Lighting Safety and Energy Efficiency Tips

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The holidays are here and with them come celebrations and festivities.

Southern California Edison (SCE) is reminding its customers to safely decorate their homes, work places and Christmas trees with energy-efficient lighting.

SCE also wants the public to keep the holidays merry by remembering the importance of electrical safety when stringing indoor and outdoor lighting, and using electrical fixtures and electrically powered animated or inflatable decorations.

“The holiday season is an exciting time of year. But we want all of our customers to keep safety foremost in their minds as they enjoy their decorating experience. Some people may be inadvertently exposed to a greater safety risk and could become victims of fire or electrical accidents, such as shock or electrocution,” said Rick Greenwood, SCE’s director, Corporate Environment, Health and Safety.

Holiday Lighting Safety Tips

· Keep electrical connections off the ground and away from moisture. Water and electricity are a deadly combination.

· When hanging lights, make sure staples, tacks and nails do not pierce or pinch wires. Use plastic zip cords instead.

· Never get closer than 10 feet to power lines. Remember, trees may have power lines running above, near or through them. Do not throw light strands or electrical cords into trees.

· Do not use lighted candles on trees or decorations. During power outages use flashlights instead of candles.

· Beware of counterfeit or poor quality electrical products. Use only lighting and cords approved by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an independent, nonprofit organization that tests electrical components and equipment for potential hazards.

· Check all indoor and outdoor decorative lighting for frayed cords, broken wires and loose connections. If you find a problem, throw the strand away.

· Change bulbs only when the lights are unplugged.

· Use lights and extension cords designed for outdoor use if placing them outside.

· Unplug lights when you leave home or go to bed. Save energy by using a timer so the lights are on only during the hours you select.

· Use only three strands of light per electrical cord or outlet. An overload could cause a short circuit and a fire.

· Keep indoor trees well watered so that they will not dry out and become fire hazards.

· Keep lights away from carpeting, furniture, drapes and other combustible materials.

 

Holiday Lighting and SCE Street Lighting

SCE reminds customers that holiday lighting, decorations and displays are not allowed to be attached or hung from SCE streetlights or facilities. The holiday lights can create a safety or fire risk for residents and SCE employees. The utility’s policy requires that permission must be given to hang any objects or materials from company facilities.

SCE also encourages its customers to use light emitting diode (LED) lights to decorate their homes and trees. LEDS offer many benefits:

· Energy Efficiency: LEDs use up to 90 percent less of the electricity that is needed to power conventional incandescent, painted or ceramic-coated bulbs.

· Environmentally friendly: the lower electricity usage of LEDs means less carbon emissions.

· Safety: LEDs generate much less heat when they operate so they are cool to the touch and are less likely to overload a circuit.

· Longevity: LEDS can last up to 10 times longer than traditional incandescent strands.

Highland Conference Trains The Next Generation Of Environmental Leaders

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About 65 area students participated in the California Regional Environmental Education Community Environmental Youth Leadership Conference on Saturday, Dec. 4. The all-day event at the Highland Sam Racadio Library and Environmental Learning Center featured keynote speaker Ed Begley, Jr. (front right), an actor, environmental activist and star of a reality TV show about green living.

Also speaking was District 62 Assemblymember Wilmer Amina Carter (front left), a member of the state Assembly Select Committee on Renewable Energy, which is charged with developing legislation to meet the goal of 33 percent renewal energy by 2020.

The conference offered students learning opportunities to develop skills as leaders who will influence environmental policies in schools and communities. Middle row, from left, is Chloe Salladay, Ed Zebrenske, Jonathan Reya, Jasmine Astor, and Bridget Kyeremateng, Backrow, from left, Daniel Hoon, Devin Wright, Kevin Dumler and environmental educators Debbie Christopher and Melissa McCoy.

Community Briefs

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Officers Fired Upon During Vehicle Pursuit

On Sunday, November 29, 2009, at approximately 0430 hours, officers from the Riverside Police Department attempted to stop a vehicle in the downtown area, believed to have been occupied by a wanted felon. The suspect vehicle failed to yield to the police units and a pursuit was initiated. During the pursuit, an occupant inside the suspect vehicle fired a weapon several times at the pursuing police units. Riverside Police Officers returned fire during the incident, which led them into Rubidoux, the unincorporated area of Riverside. The suspect vehicle came to rest on Twining St. and at least two adult subjects fled from the car.

During a search of the immediate area, information was developed that led to residences on Twining St. and Fort Dr. Members of the Riverside County Sherriff’s SWAT Team responded to both locations and after negotiations with the occupants at both locations, numerous subjects exited the residence and were detained.

Mark Wallace (30) and Lisa Marlene Mitchell (43), both of Riverside, were taken into custody and later booked into Robert Presley Detention Center on multiple counts of attempt murder on a police officer, weapons charges, felony reckless driving, and parole violation.

The names of the involved officers are not being released at this time. No one was injured from the exchange of gunfire between the officers and the suspect. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Detective Dave Smith at (951) 353 - 7103 or Detective Greg Rowe at (951) 373 - 7136.

CA Cars At Glen Avon Library – Kevin Nelson And Wheels Of Change

Glen Avon Library invites carlovers, friends, and families to meet author KEVIN NELSON and hear about his new book on Friday evening, December 4th (9244 Galena St. , Riverside, 92509).

Wheels of Change: From Zero to 600 m.p.h., the Amazing Story of California and the Automobile, has just been released by Heyday Books. Bring your vintage car and park it in a special reserved area for display before the program.

Show-up time for parking is 4:00 – 4:30 p.m.; program time is 5:30 p.m.

Glen Avon Regional Library manager Tracie Carignan says, “We are really happy to have Kevin Nelson coming to talk on this topic that interests so many people. A lot of people are just passionate about cars.”

Wheels of Change tells the extraordinary story of cars in California from the late 1890s to the mid-1960s, with fascinating text and over 100 vintage photographs.

Celebrating Southern California as the birthplace and center for car trends in the whole country, it traces the development of a dynamic car culture never seen before.

The book includes vignettes about Craig Breedlove, the first to break the 600 m.p.h. speed barrier in his Spirit of America jet car; Steve McQueen, sports car racer and professional actor who drove the greatest car-chase in movie history in the film, “Bullitt”; George Barris, King of the Kustomizers, a custom hot-rod

designer who influenced the look of cars across America; Barney Oldfield, glamorous race driver who first broke 60 m.p.h. on a racetrack in the early 1900s, and many more.

Nelson devoted three years to researching and writing Wheels of Change, driving thousands of miles around California on road trips to car shows, car museums, car clubs, racetracks, the El Mirage dry lakes area, and other significant spots in the state’s automotive history.

Books will be available for purchase at the event, and the author will be happy to sign them.

Clean House Host, Niecy Nash Visits with Foster Youth

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Six girls from David & Margaret Home for Girls, a residential treatment facility recently visited the set of awarding winning and #1 rated television show for Style Network “Clean House”. The popular one-hour program was taping its yard sale episode in Hesperia to raise money to assist the Hesperia householder, featured in the show scheduled to air in a few weeks. Hundreds of people arrived for the yard sale, which was held in a vacant Block Buster storefront on Main Street.

 

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Niecy Nash received thank you plaque from Lea Cash, Founder, Executive director of The Brightest Star, Inc.

The “Clean House” host Niecy Nash took a break from her taping schedule to empower the girls with words of wisdom and advice about dreaming big and the power of having a dream. Ms. Nash is a celebrity supporter of “The Brightest Star, Inc., which seeks to build dreams and self esteem in children living in foster care.

 

“When I received the call, that Niecy was coming to the High Desert,” said Lea Cash, executive director of The Brightest Star, Inc. “And she could talk to some kids. I quickly called the staff at David & Margaret, because this would be a wonderful experience for the girls—one they are not likely to ever forget.”

Although, people from all walks of life were trying to get a glimpse or perhaps an autograph from Niecy, the girls who attended ranging in age from 14-16 years-old were her invited guests.

They experienced feeling special having the opportunity to meet and greet Ms. Nash all to themselves up close, intimate and personal. “That the Brightest Star way,” said Cash. “It makes an impact on the self-worth message the celebrity is trying to instill and deliver.”

The girls, though shy at first, asked Ms. Nash questions about her youth, children, and career. They asked questions about Ms. Nash on Comedy Central hit “Reno 911”. Ms. Nash shared information about herself—her dreams, and how she desired to become a movie star, when she was a young girl. She told them of the many obstacles, and challenges in her life that she overcame.

Nash says, “I never gave up. Never give up on your dreams.” One youth started to cry, Nash moves her closer to her, and they held hands.

The youth explains to Nash, how she felt about being there with her, seeing her on television, and wishing someday that she wanted to meet her.

“You are really so down to earth and I love you,” said the youth. She continued, “Thank you for taking the time to talk with us. It really means a lot.”

In Riverside and San Bernardino Counties there are over 10,000 children living in foster care. Children in need of hope and empowerment to never give up on their dreams, to set attainable goals that they can reach without feeling defeated towards the mountain like obstacles and challenges they face as youth in the foster care system.

2009 Stimulus: Changing the landscape of the Inland Empire

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Half or more of Native Americans, Latinos and whites surveyed think the U.S. economy is on the “wrong track,” while African Americans and Asian Americans were more confident in the government’s handling of the economy.

Despite the gloomy perspectives, the poll found a sunnier outlook for the near future, with 66 percent of all those surveyed rating themselves as “optimistic” about their own finances in 2010.

The poll tried to gauge Americans’ first-hand experience with stimulus-funded programs at the state and local level. Little more than a third of Latino, Asian-American and white respondents were aware stimulus funds helped save the jobs of teachers, police and firefighters in their communities. Fifty-two percent of black and 41 percent of Native American respondents were aware as well.

More than half of Blacks and Native Americans were also aware of stimulus-funded projects in their communities, such as construction of roads, ports, bridges and tunnels. More than 40 percent of Asian Americans and whites surveyed and just 30 percent of Latinos knew of such improvements.

On the other hand, just a quarter of all those polled knew about “green jobs” having been created in their communities even though the stimulus includes a large investment in creation of such environmentally related jobs.

Perhaps the biggest problem revealed by the survey was in what it showed about the stimulus’s impact on small businesses, which are a traditional source of employment and neighborhood stability. Although the Small Business Administration has stimulus funding to bolster debt-ridden enterprises, roughly three-quarters or more of those surveyed from all ethnic and racial groups said they were unaware of any small business in their communities benefiting from a SBA loan.

“Our poll shows the Obama administration has not done a good job of informing Americans about the economic opportunities that currently exist because of the stimulus package,” said NAM Executive Director Sandy Close. “The Recovery Act has made billions of dollars available for extended unemployment benefits and health insurance for laid off workers. It has appropriated money for small businesses and arts organizations. It has prevented thousands of teachers from being laid off and kept firehouses from closing. Our poll shows that across the racial and ethnic spectrum most Americans remain unaware of the actual impact on their communities.”

The survey was conducted by Bendixen & Associates and was based on telephone interviews with 1,000 individuals comprising a representative sample of U.S. residents.

Over the next few months follow Linnie Frank Bailey’s stimulus news stories in The Black Voice News.

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