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California

SCE Launches 2011 Solicitation for Renewable Power

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The nation’s leading utility for renewables is once again soliciting proposals to enhance its renewable energy portfolio. Southern California Edison (SCE) welcomes all eligible technologies, and is especially interested in generating facilities that can connect to existing or planned transmission lines.

This solicitation will be SCE’s ninth open, competitive call for additional renewable power contracts since 2002. Previous solicitations have secured more than 100 renewable energy contracts for billions of kilowatt-hours for SCE customers.

SCE has seen a steady increase in the number of power producers participating in the solicitations and anticipates a robust competitive process.

“Today, we see a vigorous market for renewable energy in California. This is a great benefit to our environment and our customers,” said Marc Ulrich, SCE vice president, Renewable and Alternative Power. “We look forward to working with established and emerging power producers to help move forward California’s clean and green energy future.”

Proposals are due on June 27, 2011, and SCE expects to submit completed contracts to the California Public Utilities Commission for approval by mid-2012. On May 26, SCE will host a Proposal Conference for interested parties.

For more on the Proposal Conference, and details about the request for proposals, please visit www.sce.com/renewrfp.

SCE’s longstanding commitment to renewable energy SCE has been procuring renewable energy for more than 20 years. In 2010, SCE delivered 14.5 billion kilowatt- hours of renewable energy to its customers – 19.4 percent of its total power deliveries under California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard guidelines. The portfolio of delivered renewable energy includes:

• 7.8 billion kilowatthours from geothermal sources.

• 4.2 billion kilowatthours from wind sources.

• 0.9 billion kilowatthours from biomass sources.

• 0.9 billion kilowatthours from solar sources.

• 0.7 billion kilowatthours from small hydro sources.

Community Briefs

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RIVERSIDE
Empowerment Temple International Church Celebrates its Church Anniversary

Celebrating its First Year Anniversary, Empowerment Temple International Church, a non-denomination ministry, has firmly established itself in the Riverside area as a church that serves its community and welcomes everyone. Pastor Victor Wayne Lewis and Empowerment Temple International Church are firmly committed to building a church that serves its diverse community through its goals and visions for today and the future.

The upcoming Church Anniversary will be held on Sunday May 15th and Sunday May 22nd with guest churches and Pastors throughout the Inland Empire attending. Special guests during the 9:30 a.m. worship experiences and a host of guest churches each Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Empowerment Temple International Church is located at 2025 Chicago Street, Suite A15, near the corner of Chicago and Spruce in Riverside.

For additional information on Empowerment Temple’s First Anniversary celebration and other activities call (951) 775-5006 or email at empowermenttempleic@gmail.com.

APPLE VALLEY
Golf Course to host flight in championship tournament

For the first time in history, a flight of the San Bernardino County Amateur Championship Golf Tournament will be played in the High Desert at the Apple Valley Country Club.

Located at 15200 Rancherias Road, the course will host the first flight of the tournament that is scheduled to take place on May 28. This is the 41st year of the tournament that features three flights played over three days. For additional tournament information, contact the San Bernardino Golf Club at (909) 885-2414.

For additional information about the Apple Valley Country Club call (760) 242-3653 or visit their website at www.applevalleycountryclub.com.

RIVERSIDE
Celebrate Wellness Meeting & Fellowship

Thursday, May 19 at 11:30am at the Healthy Heritage Cultural and Wellness Center, 3637 9th Street, Riverside. For more information call 951.288.4375.

TORRANCE
Verizon’s Launch of “It’s a Family Affair” Family Reunion Contest

Verizon Wireless will host the launch of its all-expense-paid family reunion contest, “It’s a Family Affair,” at an in-store event. The first 100 people to attend the event and donate no-longer used cell phones and accessories to Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine® phone recycling program will have an exclusive meet and greet with talk show host, author and entrepreneur Tavis Smiley. There will also be opportunities to win Verizon Wireless products, tickets to upcoming concerts and sporting events. Noon to 3 p.m., Sunday, May 15, 2011, Verizon Wireless, 21841 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance, California 90503. Admission is free. To learn more and to register for It’s A Family Affair all-expense paid family reunion contest, visit www.VerizonFamilyAffair.com.

FONTANA
Body & Cardio Sculpting

The Fontana Mayor and City Council invite the public to register for Body & Cardio Sculpting at the Heritage Neighborhood Center, located at 7350 W. Liberty Parkway.

Body & Cardio Sculpting, instructed by Lisa Davis, helps build muscle, strengthen bones, increase endurance and burn calories for safe, fast and joint friendly results. The class includes a cross training, body toning and fun workout geared to sculpt, tone and strengthen your body.

For more information and to register for classes, please visit www.fontanarecreation.org or call (909) 349-6968.

Community Briefs

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PALM DESERT
Electric Lawn Mower Exchange Kicks Off Saturday in Palm Desert

Coachella Valley residents can reduce air pollution and save money by exchanging a working gasoline-powered lawn mower for a new battery-electric model.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) will kick off its popular “Mow Down Air Pollution” program with a lawn mower exchange at 8 a.m. Saturday at California State University, San Bernardino Palm Desert campus.

Residents must pre-register to participate by visiting www.aqmd.gov or by calling 1-888-425-6247.

The program is available on a firstcome, first-serve basis to residents, 18 years and older, showing proof of residency within AQMD’s four-county jurisdiction (OrangeCounty and major portions of Riverside, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties). Gas-powered mowers must be in working order and only one mower per household can be exchanged. Cash, check or major credit cards are accepted for payment.

This year, consumers may choose among five electric mower models, available for $100 to $230: Neuton CE 5.4 (24V, 14-inch cutting width) $100 (retail price: $399); Neuton CE 6.4 (36V, 19-inch cutting width) $160 (retail price: $499); Black & Decker CMM1200 (24V, 19-inch cutting width) $100 (retail price: $349); Black & Decker CM 1936 (36V, 19-inch cutting width) $160 (retail price: $449); and Black & Decker SPCM 1936 (36V, 19-inch cutting width, self propelled) $230 (retail price: $699).

SAN BERNARDINO
State of the City Address

Mayor Patrick Morris will be giving his annual State of the City Address on Tuesday May 10, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the California Theater located at 562 W. 4th St. All members of the public are encouraged to attend.

The Mayor will speak about the many accomplishments and goals that have been reached by the city over the past year, while sharing his vision for the future of San Bernardino. “The State of the City gives me a unique opportunity to share my perspective of where the city has been, and where I perceive it is headed,” said Mayor Patrick Morris. “My goal is to speak directly to our constituents about a variety of issues.”

The public will have an opportunity to meet and speak with the mayor and city council members at the reception on the theater lawn immediately following the address.

For more information, contact the Mayor’s office at 909-384-5133.

RIVERSIDE
30th annual Medicine Ways Conference May 14

Two significant events that celebrate Native American culture will be held at the University of California, Riverside in May.

The 30th annual Medicine Ways Conference is scheduled for Saturday, May 14, and the 30th annual UCR Pow-Wow will be held Memorial Day weekend, May 27 and 28. Both events are free and open to the public.

Parking costs $5 per day.

The Medicine Ways Conference brings together contemporary traditional leaders from across the United States to discuss how Native American medicine and ways of life can help everyone.

The conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Highlander Union Building room 302. Continental breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided.

The annual UCR Pow-Wow – with the theme “Honoring Our Warriors” – opens on Friday, May 27, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and begins on Saturday, May 28, at 10 a.m., continuing until 10 p.m. at the UCR Sports Complex, 1000 Blaine St.

The event is an inter-tribal social gathering celebrating Native American culture and traditions through singing, drumming, and dancing. Traditional Native American dancers, drum groups, bird singers, and other artists will be present, and vendors will sell food, handmade Native American jewelry, arts and crafts, and other merchandise.

So. California Gas Has Programs For Customers

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Southern California Gas Company is working with the Department of Public Social Services to let you know about programs and services that may help you, or someone you know, save money and energy.

And, you may qualify if you participate in programs, like CalFresh (formerly known as Food Stamps) or Medi-Cal.

No-Cost Energy-Saving Home Improvements The Energy Savings

Assistance Program provides qualified renters and homeowners with easy, no-cost solutions to help reduce energy use and save money on their monthly gas bill. Improvements may include attic insulation, high-efficiency clothes washers, door weather stripping, caulking, water heater blankets, low-flow showerheads and minor home repairs. In addition, eligible homeowners may receive nocost limited furnace and water heater repair or replacement services.

20% Discount on Your Gas Bill

Eligible customers of SoCalGas may receive a 20 percent discount on their monthly gas through our California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program. Customers who are enrolled in a public assistance program such as Medi-Cal, or Cal Fresh or meet income guidelines may qualify for this program. New customers may also receive a $15 discount on their Service Establishment Charge.

Save More Money if You Have Certain Medical Conditions

If you or a full-time member of your household has a medical condition requiring a continuous level of heating, you may qualify for more gas at the lower baseline rate. The Medical Baseline Allowance program is not based on income; however, doctor certification is required.

Any qualified SoCalGas customer who participates in CalFresh, Medi-Cal or any other qualifying program may be eligible for one or more SoCalGas Customer Assistance programs. Proof of eligibility may be required.

Reaching SoCalGas

You can obtain information or apply for programs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by visiting socalgas.com/assistance or call 1-800-427-2200.

7 Things High School Grads Must Do This Summer

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By Shay Olivarria –

Check Your Credit Report It’s imperative that each graduate get a print out of their credit report from each of the “Big 3” credit reporting agencies. The government has passed a law that makes our credit reports available once a year for free from www.AnnualCreditReport.com.

This is the only site that will provide a copy of your credit report at no cost to you, from each of the “Big 3”, once a year.

You will not get your credit scores though; scores are computed through separate companies. Tip: Nothing in life is free. Any company offering you a free credit report and/or score is more than likely trying to sell you a monthly credit monitoring service. Read the fine print.

Figure Out How Much College Will Cost
Whatever college you choose, it’s important that you understand how much the total cost of your degree will be. Consider the costs of both tuition and books.

Once you see the costs in terms of tens of thousands of dollars it might make you a little more motivated to be responsible with your money. Apply for as many scholarships and grants as possible because you don’t have to pay those back. When you take out loans not only will you have to pay the money back, you’ll have to pay it back with interest.

Tip: Look for opportunities to make small financial changes that make a big difference. Buying used textbooks can save you hundreds over four years.

Consider the Return on Investment
You are going to make some decisions in the next year or two that will be the foundation for your life. Don’t make decisions based on your emotions or what your friends are doing; look at the return on investment. If you are spending money on something, it’s because you are expecting to get some kind of benefit. If you choose to attend an Ivy League university you expect to command top salary at a major fortune 500 company. If you choose to attend a community college it’s because you want to save a few dollars on your foundation classes. You must consider the return on investment with any purchase.

Tip: If you’re undecided about a purchase, sleep on it. Never make a decision in a hurry.

Create a Spending Plan
Writing things down is good. I’m sure you have a general idea of how much money you’re expecting from jobs, financial aid, etc., but unless you have a written plan to spend it the money will pass through your account and you’ll have no idea what happened to it. Have you ever taken $20 out of the ATM and the next day you have no idea how you spent it? That’s what will happen to your financial aid check unless you create a plan to spend it and cover all the things you need to spend money on.

Tip: making the plan before you actually have the money is the key to putting the spending plan into action.

Move Your Money
Visit www.CreditUnion.coop to find a credit union in your area. Credit unions are financial institutions that offer the same products and services as traditional banks, but they are not-for- profit. The only purpose of credit unions is to serve the community; each credit union member loans money to the other members. Pretty soon you’ll want to purchase a car and in the not-too-distant future, a home.

Credit unions tend to be smaller, offer more personalized service, and offer better rates on loans. Moving your checking and savings account to a credit union could potentially save you thousands of dollars over your lifetime.

Tip: Search for a financial institution that is a good fit for you, don’t just choose whatever your parents have.

Start an Emergency Fund
Ever heard of Murphy’s Law? It states, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”. It’s up to you to make sure that you have at least $500 in an Emergency Fund at your credit union or bank because there will always be something that you need money for unexpectedly.

Having at least $500 in an account that you can have access to when times are rough might be the difference between having to borrow from a family member or take out a cash advance loan or being able to borrow from your stash and go on about life without being a hindrance to anyone.

Start by opening a money market account at your credit union or bank and then add $20 a week to the account until you have at least $500.

Tip: Don’t touch it unless it really is an emergency.

Open a Retirement Account
Did you know that investing $5 a day will make you a millionaire by retirement? You read that correctly, investing just $5 a day in an average performing mutual fund account that returns 9% a year (industry average is 10%) will put $1.3 million in your pocket. The first step is to find a mutual fund company that will let you open a no-load Individual Retirement Account (IRA) with no money as long as you contribute at least $50 a month. Put your money in an account that’s not too risky and not too safe. You have a long time horizon so don’t be scared to invest more in stocks, but you have to be able to sleep at night. A fee-only advisor can help you determine how comfortable with risk you are and suggest some mutual funds to you. The process is as easy as filling out a one page application and sending in your credit union or bank checking account information.

The second step is to commit to adding at least $50 a month to the account. The third step is to watch your account become fatter every month.

Tip: Set up the account so that the money is added to the retirement account automatically every month from your checking account. Add at least $150 per month to reach that million with no sweat.

Shay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today, a foster care alumni, and the author of three books on personal finance including All My Mistakes: Money tips for kids in care, due out in June. She’s been quoted at Bankrate.com, The Credit Union Times, Redbook, and Essence, among others. Visit her at www.BiggerThanYourBlock.com.

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