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Southern California Edison Program Offers Free Appliances, Services

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Outreach Targets San Bernardino Customers

ROSEMEAD, Calif., Aug. 24, 2009 – More Southern California Edison (SCE) customers than ever may be eligible for free appliances and energy efficiency services from the utility’s Energy Management Assistance (EMA) program. To make sure customers know about the program, SCE will be hosting information sessions at “Cool Centers” in San Bernardino and other parts of its service territory.

The first sessions will be held at the Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino, located at 696 S. Tippecanoe Ave., San Bernardino, August 25, 26 and 27 from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. The location houses a Cool Center, which is a place where low-income residents and people with medical conditions that make them sensitive to extreme temperatures can go to cool off. SCE offers many Cool Centers throughout its territory during the hot months.

The EMA program provides free energy-efficient appliances, pool pumps, weatherization services, lighting, air conditioners and other efficiency measures for income-qualified renters and homeowners. Energy efficiency is essential to keeping electricity bills low and for helping grid reliability, especially during the hot summer days when air conditioners are running.

“We know it’s especially difficult for those who have had a drop in income. Buying a new refrigerator or appliance may be last on their list of priorities,” said Linda Yamauchi, SCE’s Consumer Affairs manager. “We want people to know that we’re here for them and that we have programs and services that can help.”

The San Bernardino outreach effort will include mailings from SCE with instructions to visit the Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino. There, program assessors will share information about the EMA program, potential bill savings, eligibility and enrollment.

The program is available year-round to all SCE customers. They can learn more about it and enroll by calling (800) 736-4777 or by visiting HYPERLINK "http://www.sce.com/ema" www.sce.com/ema. More information on Cool Centers is at HYPERLINK "http://www.sce.com/coolcenters" www.sce.com/coolcenters.

Five Reasons To Fill Out Your Census Questionnaire

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1. Helps Build Prosperity in Your Community.

Does your neighborhood have traffic jams, elderly folks who live alone or overcrowded schools? Census data can help define strategies to make necessary public improvements in your community.

2. Help in a Time of Need

Many emergency services linked to 911 are structured based on maps developed with the data from the previous census.

Census information helps health providers predict how a disease is spread through communities between members of the population.

When natural tragedies like tornados and earthquakes occur, the census indicates to the rescue teams how many people may need aid.

3. Puts Government to Work for You

It’s a great way to let our leaders know who we are and what we need. The numbers are used to help determine the distribution of more than $400 billion in federal and state funds. The money will help to finance educational and school lunch programs, medical centers, emergency services, transportation and other needs in our community.

4. Reduces Risk for Businesses

Since census numbers help reduce the financial risk and allow the identification of potential markets, businesses can produce the products that you want and need.

5. It Will Help You and Your Family

The individual data stay confidential for 72 years, but you can request a certificate of past censuses to use it as verification of your age, residence, or kinship. This information can help you apply for a pension, establish citizenship or to obtain an inheritance.

In 2082 your great-grandchildren will be able to use census information to learn about the history of your family.

Today your children can use the information to assist them with homework assignments.

Thanks to the fact that we have had a census every 10 years since 1790, we know how far we have come, and how much we have changed as a nation.

Be counted in the 2010 Census.

The future is in our hands!

UCR Business Students Among Top Teams in Boston Competition

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Students studying business at the University of California, Riverside finished finished in the top eight of 28 teams the 10th annual KPMG - Association of Latino Professionals in Finance & Accounting (ALPFA) Case Study Competition.

“In the first rounds of competition in Boston, we bested regional teams including UC Berkeley, University of Washington, University of Arizona and USC,” said David Stewart, dean of the Anderson

Graduate School of Management at UC Riverside.

“Getting to the finals of this national competition is an especially notable achievement and has enhanced the reputation of UCR, AGSM, and our accounting program.”

The UCR team consisted of five undergraduate students majoring in business administration including, Jose Hernandez, George Moreno, Ismaele Perez, Jacqueline Ugalde, and Lawrence Zhang, and one MBA student, Erin Peach, all from the A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management.

Professors Michael Moore and Ted Mock served as faculty advisors for the team.

Additional important coaching was provided by UCR professors Berry Mishra and Erik Rolland, KPMG’s Marco Aguirre and Dawna Mason, a former judge at the case study competition.

In the contest, the UCR students were asked to role-play an external audit team providing risk assessments for the audit committee of the pharmaceutical firm Merck & Co., Inc. and judged on their ability to provide critical risk assessments including finding relevant accounting issues.

“These are incredibly bright students and they have put UCR on the map with their performance,” said Stewart.

“This is a great example of how we prepare our students for the real world.”

The dean said the competition has already resulted in job opportunities to members of the team. ALPFA is the leading professional association dedicated to enhancing opportunities for Latinos in the accounting and finance-related professions.

The KPMG/ALPFA competition has become a popular event that presents accounting, auditing and finance students with the challenge of resolving real-world business issues in a collegial and competitive environment.

The event was held August 9 and 10 in Boston. The team’s expenses were covered by KPMG, an international network of professional who provide audit, tax and advisory services.

Housing Opportunities Collaborative Expands to the Inland Empire

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Local housing advocacy organizations together with community groups, employers and area financial institutions working across the Inland Empire have partnered to establish the Housing Opportunities Collaborative of the Inland Empire (HOC-IE). Members of the HOC-IE have come together to bring focused attention to the prolonged foreclosure crisis affecting the Inland Empire. In addition to preserving homeownership, the HOC-IE will provide education and assistance to first-time homebuyers with interactive workshops to educate individuals and families on how to attain and preserve homeownership.

The HOC-IE will hold a press conference on Wednesday, August 26 at 10:00 a.m. at the Inland Empire Economic Partnership located at 1201 Research Park Drive in Riverside, announcing its mission to the Inland Empire regional community.

“We’re pleased to come together as a collective group to assist struggling homeowners and to help stabilize our community,” said Rose Mayes, chairperson of HOC-IE and also executive director of the Fair Housing Council of Riverside County.

“Our goal is to positively impact the Inland Empire and it’s struggling economy by providing education and hope to distressed homeowners to find the best solutions and to deter predators who are targeting consumers desperate to save their home,” said Mayes.
“The collaborative is designed to increase the capacity of our region’s HUD-approved counseling and homebuyer training agencies and bring better public awareness of these available services,” Mayes added.

The day-to-day activities of the HOC-IE will be managed by Thomas Coates, who has been selected as the program manager. Coates will be responsible for executing the organization’s mission of working together sharing best practices and resources to deliver comprehensive support to individuals and families in their quest for sustainable homeownership.

“The faces change, but many of the stories of foreclosure hardship are the same,” added Jed Davis treasurer and also executive director of Neighborhood Partnership Housing Services.

“We’re aware of instances on a daily basis where distressed homeowners have been taken advantage of by paying upfront fees to companies promising success for loan modifications and other workouts only to learn later that no work was performed and much damage has been done,” said Davis.

“We are pleased to host the HOC-IE’s kick off event”, said Larry Sharp, board chairman of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, and Chairman/CEO of Arrowhead Credit Union.

“We all recognize the urgent need to increase counseling and homebuyer training capacity as we continue to experience residential foreclosures, and also home buying opportunities across our region.”

The HOC-IE is comprised of a number of HUD-approved housing counseling agencies, which do not charge consumers a fee for housing counseling, which also includes foreclosure prevention counseling as well as first-time homebuyer education.

In addition to Mayes, the organization’s directors and officers include, Helen Moore (secretary) and also executive director of Neighborhood Housing Services of the Inland Empire; Jed Davis (treasurer) and also executive director of Neighborhood Partnership Housing Services; Melinda Opperman (director) and also vice president of community outreach for Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management; and Al Argüello, (director) and also market manager of the California suburban/community/rural markets and Inland Empire market president for Bank of America.

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BVN National News Wire