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A Visit to McDonalds in Colton

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By John Coleman

I'm NOT a fast food person. Instead of making a 'fast break' to a Mc'Burger restaurants whenever hunger pains begin, I prefer to cook for myself and eat at home... carrots, broccoli, fish, or chicken, while I sit at a table, read a magazine, listen to classical music on the radio, and usually take more than an hour to eat. When I do go out to eat, it's to celebrate the occasion with some special person. Even I recognize that my way is NOT the new normal way.

Under the principle that real journalists call: "Truth in Reporting", I felt it necessary to share the above bit of personal information, in order to inform anyone who reads this, that I neither have or pretend to have the ability to rate any fast food restaurants, whether by franchise chain (Wendy's) vs. (Jack in the Box), or by brand (McDonalds) vs. brand (Burger King).

Already aware that many national organizations authorize some local units to participate in community benefit events, I learned that the Boys & Girls Club of San Bernardino had been given the opportunity to hold a fund-raiser, Dec 17, 2012, at the McDonalds Restaurant & Drive-in at 225 W. Valley Blvd, Colton, CA. I decided to see what that involved. I previously had met Reginald Webb, President, Webb Enterprises, which includes the Colton McDonalds.

To prepare for my trip into unfamiliar territory I asked for help from a friend who used to frequent fast-foods outlets to feed herself and family. As we arrived, she noted that the place looked new and attractive (after having gone through a recent renovation) but on a stretch of road, in a commercial area, not near residential neighborhoods. However, it is between two off ramps on the Interstate 10 (9th St. & Rancho) for easy access. The entry was electric doors, frosted glass, recessed lighting, and live plants which added to the attractive design elements. My friend noted that this was different from the usual fast-food decor. Hours before the scheduled fund-raiser and as any walk-in customers, we were greeted at the door by a smiling staff member. My friend ordered a salad and showed me how to proceed. I ordered a McRib (Someone once said: "When in Rome, do as Romans do"!).

On this chilly, rainy early afternoon, parents sat in booths while kids ran, climbed and roamed about safely, inside the glassed-in area. In a quiet alcove of the dining room, two or three parties were working with their laptops. McDonalds provides electronic connectivity.

I returned for the fund-raising partnership scheduled to run from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Arrivers still were greeted by a smiling McD's staff member but a Boys & Girls Club staff member (with a McD's trainer/facilitator at his or her side) staffed the counter. The flow of service to customers was maintained. A sprinkling of B&G friends went through the line as regular customers, along with everybody else.

Mr. Webb was there. Answering my questions, he took me on a tour to point out indicators involved in meeting requirements of holding a McDonalds franchise. Requirements of Federal & State regs (Americans With Disabilities Act; health and safety laws...); personnel selection and training; use of technology for space and storage, efficiency and economy; within a competitive fast-foods low-profit environment, requiring high traffic volume and attention to customer satisfaction. He describes Webb Enterprises as a family legacy-business that grows his business as it involves his family.

As I said, I'm an outsider, looking in. I don't know how Colton McD's compares with its competition. Although the McRib tasted good, If you want a comparison, YOU check it out!

School Kids Learned About Electrical Safety in Interactive Play

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Edison International Sponsored National Theater for Children’s ‘A Bug’s Light!’

With the help of Sparky the Wonder Bug and Adam the Workaholic Ant, school kids learned about electrical safety in an interactive play.

The Nat ional Theater for Children, partnered with Edison International to present “A Bug’s Light!” play at Juanita Blakely Jones Elementary School.

“This hol iday season and throughout the rest of the year, Southern California Edison wants everyone to stay safe,” said Henry Martinez, SCE’s vice president of Safety, Security & Compliance.

“These school children learned about basic electrical safety, which they can take home and share with their families.”

Through this live performance by professional actors, school kids were educated on how to play it safe around electricity, specifically how electricity is made, the uses of electricity, identifying dangerous electrical si tuations and ways to stay safe around electricity, especially around downed power lines. The interactive play taught children about safety both inside and outside the home.

Following the play, the kids received a workbook reinforcing the key safety messages.

The “A Bug’s Light!” interactive play was partially funded by an Edison International grant of $5,000. Recognizing the importance of arts education, the company incorporated arts in its grant program focusing on science, technology, engineering and math.

SCE wants to remind children and their families to stay safe this holiday season with a few helpful safety tips:

• Water and electricity don’t mix. Keep electrical cords away from moisture, particularly tree stands filled with water.

• Change bulbs only when the lights are unplugged.

• Plug no more than three strands of lights into each electrical cord or outlet.

• Never use lighted candles on or near holiday trees or decorations.

Follow SCE on Twitter (www. twitter.com/SCE) and like SCE on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SCE).

RPU Crew That Helped Restore Power to Long Island After Hurricance Sandy to Be Honored

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Riverside – In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and the Nor’easter super storm that followed at the end of October, communities all along the eastern seaboard struggled to bring services back on line. In Long Island, New York, power poles and trees were toppled over adding to delays in getting safe power back to millions of customers.

In response to a request from the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) on November 2, Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) was able to send out a team of six linemen along with four vehicles full of equipment to aid in the restoration of energy utilities to the stricken community.

Quick coordination between RPU energy delivery personnel and the City of Riverside’s Emergency Operations department placed the RPU crew and their equipment on a cargo plane out of March Air Reserve Base on November 4. The Riverside team along with crews from Pasadena Water and Power, and the cities of Anaheim and Burbank were among the 10,000 restoration workers from across the country who responded to LIPA’s request.

After being deployed, RPU Electric Supervisor Rick Holmes, and Powerline Technicians Rick Austin, Ryan Eche, Frank Paz, Curtis Smith, and Robert Staples worked tirelessly for 15 days, including through an early snowstorm, to help return power services to the residents of Long Island. “Most of the work we did was overhead,” said Holmes, “as there were a lot of power poles down and trees that took out lines.”

“Once we did the temporary work to get power back to people, we focused on doing permanent repairs,” Holmes said. LIPA customers, many who went without services for 14 days or more, were very appreciative of the work, Holmes said. “They were overwhelmed that crews from California were there restoring their power, but they were happy with finally getting their services back.”

“We were proud that our crew stepped up and was able to provide some help to an area that was struggling to restore services to its customers,” said RPU Deputy General Manager for Energy Delivery Steve Badgett. “When problems like this strike such devastating blows to infrastructure, it is essential that public power utilities help each other out wherever and however they can.”

The City of Riverside will recognize the RPU crew during its afternoon session City Council Meeting on Tuesday, December 18, at 1 p.m. in the Art Pick Council Chambers, located at 3900 Main Street, Riverside.

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

Longtime UC Riverside Videographer James Brown Dies

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His nearly 30 years of telling the UCR story leave an indelible mark on the campus

By Kris Lovekin

RIVERSIDE – Historian, artist and longtime UC Riverside videographer James “Jim” Brown died Dec. 13. His entire career was spent helping to maximize UCR communications efforts through film, videography, and photography. His body of work is, literally, the history of the campus, as he often worked in archival video into new productions.

His deep and sonorous voice is the one narrating countless UCR videos. He has been an iconic figure at UC Riverside for nearly 30 years, with a backwards cap and a camera slung over one shoulder. He has produced many of the shows about UCR that appear on UCTV and on Charter Cable. During some parts of his career he made videos for organizations in the community, including documenting the history of immigrants to Riverside’s Chinatown. He liked to tell the story about suggesting “Diamond Valley Lake” as a name for Riverside County’s newest body of water. He was an artist and sculptor whose work had been exhibited at the UCR Alumni and Visitors Center. The exhibit was called “SEEBESEEN.”

Brown often wanted to be behind the camera, not in front of it. He had a gruff exterior but a tender heart, and a real love for UC Riverside and its history. He mentored many UCR students who interned with him to learn video production, lugging heavy equipment and spending hours editing. They may be the people who know his stories best.

“Jim’s passion for UCR will live on in his legacy of film,” said Chancellor Timothy P. White. “He knew how to use language and images to bring out emotions, from laughter to tears. And wherever Jim went, he brought one or two grateful students, learning the craft at his side.”

Because his father, John Brown, was teaching English at UC Riverside, Brown grew up in campus housing and earned his bachelor’s degree in history at UC Riverside in 1979. Later he edited a book on Riverside County history called “Harvest of the Sun: An Illustrated History of Riverside County.” He was hired as the campus videographer in August of 1983.

“Jim consistently mined his intimate knowledge of the campus, and his positive relationships with faculty and staff, to provide exceptional work,” said James Grant, assistant vice chancellor of strategic communications. “Jim also served the campus with distinction as unofficial historian, as a greeter of new hires at orientation, and as a trusted source for an honest critique of creative projects.”

Long-time UCR staff member and alumnus, Louis Van Den Berg, general manager of KUCR, said he felt a special kinship with Brown as a unique talent. “The university gave us a place to be ourselves,” said Van Den Berg. “He was fantastically original, principled and sensitive.” He remembers Brown as “a trenchant observer” of society.

“In many ways Jim Brown was the voice of UC Riverside,” said Pamela Clute, another alumna who has spent her career at UCR doing outreach in support of math and science. “With his deep, booming sound, he magically combined history and drama telling the highlights of our faculty, student and staff accomplishments.”

Highly respected for his creative talents, yet ever shy about receiving accolades, he told our stories in such a way, that all who witnessed a Jim Brown production became emotionally vested in the UCR community. He was a fan of the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, and designated his estate go to “that small jewel of a museum,” according to Mike Capriotti, a close friend.

Brown is survived by two sisters, Janet Brown of Los Angeles and Rebecca Turner of La Plata, MD; and two nephews, Gabriel Bartlett of Los Angeles and Max Perez of Boulder, CO. No memorial service is planned at this time.

Those desiring to send condolences are asked to address them to the UCR Office of Strategic Communications, 900 University Ave., Riverside, CA, 92521.

San Bernardino Community College District Installs New Board Members, Officers

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SAN BERNARDINO - - The San Bernardino Community College District (SBCCD) installed newly elected Board of Trustees members Gloria Macίas Harrison, Dr. Kathleen (Katy) Henry and Nickolas W. Zoumbos, and re-elected Trustee John Longville at their regularly scheduled meeting on December 13. They also installed the new San Bernardino Valley College student trustee Ferny Arana Garcia.

In addition, the Board elected Trustee Dr. Donald Singer to serve as Board President, Trustee John Longville as Vice President and Trustee Donna Ferracone as Clerk. The Trustees will serve in those offices for two years.

SBCCD Chancellor Bruce Baron said, “Our new and re-elected Trustees bring a range of professional accomplishments and commitment to education that will broaden and enhance our ability to serve our two colleges, KVCR, the Economic Development and Corporate Training Division and our community in general.”

The newly elected and re-elected trustees are:

Gloria Macias Harrison became President of Crafton Hills College on July 1, 2000 and served until her retirement from that position on July 2, 2012. Vice President of Instruction at Crafton Hills College for six years, and Dean of Humanities at San Bernardino Valley College for three years, she also has over 20 years of teaching experience.

Mrs. Harrison was a governor's appointee to the California Commission on the Status of Women and served on the California Council for Humanities and numerous state committees on education. Locally, she is a member of The Community Foundation, Kiwanis, the San Bernardino Symphony Association, and the Crafton Hills College Foundation. She belongs to many professional organizations and is the recipient of numerous awards.

Mrs. Harrison received an Associate of Arts degree from San Bernardino Valley College, a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts degree in Spanish Literature from the University of California, Riverside.

Dr. Kathleen (Katy) Henry is a university instructor and a dissertation mentor for doctoral learners. Dr. Henry first started her educational pursuits at the community college level. As a result, she is a strong advocate for meeting student needs and overcoming barriers to their success at this pivotal time in a student's educational life. She is highly supportive of programs that help veterans, students with special needs, as well as eLearning programs. She earned her B.S. at Southern Illinois University in Workforce Education and Development and recognizes the importance of vocational education programs. She earned her M.A. in Organizational Development and her Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems from the Fielding Institute.

Dr. Henry's community involvement includes: Member Steering Committee for the Women's Leadership Council of Arrowhead United Way, Chairperson for the Scholarship Committee of the Highland Woman's Club, member/past Chair of Youth Services and K-Kids at Kiwanis Club of Highland, and she serves as an Ambassador for the Highland Chamber of Commerce.

Nickolas W. Zoumbos spent 45 years in San Bernardino Valley College classrooms. In addition to teaching, he has also counseled hundreds of students, was department head for various business subjects, served as Chair of the Business and Economics Division, expanded the real estate program, organized weekend community seminars, and served on both the Academic Senate and the District Assembly. He was elected 'Professor of the Year' in 1997.

An Army veteran of the Korean War, Mr. Zoumbos did his undergraduate and post-graduate work at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois. After earning his degrees, he moved to California to pursue his teaching career and has now lived over 50 years in the community.

Mr. Zoumbos retired in 2009. A four-decade member of Rotary North, he and his wife Arlene, have been active in the community in a variety of volunteer activities benefiting children and veterans.

John Longville was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2008, at which time he retired from his adjunct faculty position at San Bernardino Valley College.

He also is a member of the Board of Directors of the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District (2007-present), and has previously served as a member of the California State Assembly (1998-2004), Mayor of Rialto (1987-1998), and member of the Rialto City Council (1978-1984 & 1986-1987). During his municipal government years, John was particularly active in regional government agencies, serving as President of both San Bernardino Associated Governments (1982-1983) and the Southern California Association of Governments (1992-1993) and as a founding board member of the Southern California Regional Rail Association (Metrolink).

He has been active in a wide array of local civic and charitable organizations since he first moved to San Bernardino County in 1972 to work as press secretary for the late Congressman George Brown.

The San Bernardino Community College District (SBCCD), formed in 1926, oversees San Bernardino Valley College, Crafton Hills College, the Economic Development and Corporate Training Division (EDCT), and its own public television and radio station (KVCR TV-FM).

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