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SCE Asks Customers to 'Round Up' Bill Payments to Help Less Fortunate

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Southern California Edison (SCE) is inviting customers to give a few pennies each month to the Energy Assistance Fund (EAF) to help their neighbors in need.

The EAF program grants up to $100 per year to help customers who cannot pay their electric bills. This program is funded by SCE employees and the utility’s parent company, Edison International, as well as through the voluntary donations of SCE customers. Although EAF recently received a $500,000 grant from Edison International shareholders, the program will run out of money in a few months.

“If 170,000 customers round up their bills to the nearest dollar amount, more than $1 million will be generated for the EAF program and can help keep the program running all year long,” said Lynda Ziegler, SCE senior vice president, Customer Service.

“Rounding up your bill each month only comes to about $6 per year but can make a huge difference in someone’s life.” To sign up for the “round up” program or to make a one-time donation, customers can call (800) 655-4555, visit www.sce.com/eaf, or choose the “round up” option on their monthly bill.

Since 1982, the Energy Assistance Fund has helped thousands of SCE low-income families.

In 2009, it served about 8,600 customers. United Way of Greater Los Angeles administers the funds for the company through 75 community-based organizations.

SCE customers donated $58,000 directly in 2009, and contributed another $53,500 by designating their rebates for recycling refrigerators go to the fund.

In addition to the Energy Assistance Fund, SCE also provides many other programs to help customers in need.

Customers can also receive bill assistance through the following programs, many of which have new income guidelines as of June 1:

• The California Alternate Rate for Energy (CARE) program provides a discount of 20 percent or more on income-qualifying customers’ monthly electric bills. There are 1.3 million SCE customers enrolled in CARE but an additional 126,000 customers are eligible, though they have not yet begun to take advantage of the discounted rate.

• FERA, the Family Electric Rate Assistance program, provides a discounted rate on the monthly bill for families of three or more who fall within the income guidelines and exceed their baseline electricity usage by 30 percent or more.

• EMA, the Energy Management Assistance program, helps income-qualified households conserve energy and reduce their electricity costs.

SCE supplies and installs energy- efficient appliances and equipment at no cost to eligible customers. EMA services are available to homeowners and renters.

• SCE can offer assistance to customers having difficulty paying their bills through payment plans or extensions. Reaching out to SCE as soon as customers recognize they may have problems paying their bills will help avoid disconnections and the fees and deposits that often are required to restore service.

• Customers who rely on electronic medical equipment may be eligible for the Medical Baseline discounted rate.

• Customers who need additional help should call 211 to connect with community service programs throughout California.

To learn more about these programs and other ways SCE helps customers keep current on their electric bills, please visit www.sce.com/assistance or call 1 (800) 369-3652.

Community Briefs

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The Provisional Accelerated Learning (PAL) Center and Charter Academy will hold Commencement Exercises

Thursday June 10, 6:00pm, on the beautiful grounds of the PAL Education and Employment Complex, 2450 Blake Street in Muscoy/San Bernardino. Seventy ((70) graduates of the Class of 2010 will receive high school diplomas, certificates, scholarships, and recognitions for their significant achievements.

Graduates will be saluted at a Senior Breakfast Wednesday June 2, at the Inghram Community Center in San Bernardino.

Keynote speaker for Commencement will be Dr. Albert Karnig, President of California State University at San Bernardino. Dr. Karnig’s illustrative service achievements includes books, 60 refereed articles, numerous monographs; consulting with the Brookings Institution, the U.S. Department of Labor, International City Managers’ Association, and other organizations.

Involvement includes External Advisory Board, Quality Education for Minorities /NASA Ames Research Consortium; International Initiatives Program of the American Council on Education (ACE); N.D.E.A. Fellow, and a Kendric C. Babcock Fellow at the University of Illinois, where he was awarded Master’s and Ph.D. Degrees in Political Science.

Dr. Karnig achievements at Cal State, too numerous to list in this article, include record enrollments and diversity of faculty and students; grant and contract funding; international program development; raising $40 million toward the fourbuilding Palm Desert campus; creation of the President’s Academic Excellence Scholarships, with more than 200 scholars who were in the top 1% of their high school classes; expansion of more than 1 million square feet in campus facilities; and the creation of 10 highly-active research and service centers. A well-known youth motivator, Dr. Karnig’s contributions include service on a multitude of international, national, state, county, local, and community boards, for which he has received numerous awards.

Commencement will begin promptly at 6:00pm, and will be immediately followed by a reception sponsored by Community Hospital of San Bernardino.

For additional information, please call the PAL Center and Charter Academy at 909/887- 7002.

Community Briefs

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Pals Hosts 9th Annual Golf Tournament

The PALS of PAL George Lee Jr. 9th Annual Golf Tournament will be held today May 27th at the Shandin Hills Golf Club in San Bernardino.

Proceeds support the 24 year old PAL Center & Charter Academy which provides high school diplomas, GEDs, youth employment, college-bound programs, and a host of other services. PAL specializes in "at risk" students. Eighty percent of enrollees are "youth of color", and the majority of those are males - the endangered species! Please help "keep their dream alive" Sixtyfive to seventy youth will graduate June 10th at the PAL Education and Employment Complex. Dr. Al Karnig, President of CSUSB, is commencement speaker.

The bargain basement prices for penthouse services are $400 for a foursome and $115 for a single player. COME and WIN A CAR, or A TRIP to anywhere in Continental USA, or $1,000 cash, or many, many other prizes!

Registration and Continental Breakfast at 6:30 am with Shotgun Start at 7:30 am. Please visit their website, www.palsofpalgolf.com for additional information and/or registration. Please call the PAL Center at 909-887-7002 for information and/or delivery of flyers or brochures.

Free Admission to the County Museum

Admission to the San Bernardino County Museum will be free of charge on Sunday, June 6 from 9am to 5pm. Free admission is sponsored by James Ramos, San Bernardino Community Colleges Trustee.

Visitors will enjoy a special exhibit, "Generations of Symbols: the Morongo Band of Mission Indians Basket Collection," in the Fisk and Schuiling galleries. More than 100 baskets will be on display, all from the collection of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. The baskets reflect several southern California basketry traditions, including Cahuilla, Cupeño, Serrano, Luiseño, and Diegueño. In addition, see exhibits of cultural and natural history relating to inland southern California and our southwest, including geology and paleontology, anthropology and archaeology, history, and the natural sciences. The Exploration Station live animal gallery will be open from 1 to 4 pm. Outdoor exhibits include native plant and cactus gardens, a steam locomotive and caboose, mining and lumbering equipment, heritage orange groves, and sculpture. The San Bernardino County Museum is at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. Everyone is admitted free on Sunday, June 6. Parking is free. For more information, visit www.sbcountymuseum.org.

The San Bernardino County Museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. If assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are needed in order to participate in museum exhibits or programs, requests should be made through Museum Visitor Services at least three business days prior to your visit. Visitor Services' telephone number is (909) 307-2669 ext. 229 or (TDD) 909-792-1462.

Higher Education Leaders Receive TCWF Champions Of Health Award

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Sandra Daley, Ronald Garcia and Jeffrey Oxendine awarded $25,000 each for leadership in increasing diversity in the health professions

Three extraordinary higher education leaders will be honored as the 2010 Champions of Health Professions Diversity by The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF).

University of California San Diego Associate Chancellor Sandra P. Daley has advocated for academic enrichment programs that reach disadvantaged students, as early as in middle school, who are interested in health and science careers.

Stanford University’s Ronald D. Garcia developed a nationally recognized admissions procedure that considers the whole path a student applicant has taken, leveling the playing field and increasing the diversity of the student population.

Jeffrey S. Oxendine, at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health, uses his background in business and public health to create programs that develop and increase diversity in the health workforce.

On June 14, 2010, TCWF will honor these three leaders at its eighth annual “Champions of Health Professions Diversity Award” ceremony in San Francisco. In recognition of their efforts to reach out, mentor and support disadvantaged students preparing for health careers, the honorees will each receive a cash award of $25,000.

Increasing California’s health workforce and its diversity is important for improving the health of Californians. Our state’s population continues to grow and, by 2020, it will be older and significantly more ethnically and racially diverse.

Already there are shortages of workers in nearly all sectors of the health workforce. A workforce that mirrors the racial and ethnic diversity of California will provide the cultural competence and language proficiency necessary to provide highquality health care for all Californians.

“Given the changing demographics of our state and the current shortage of health workers, we must encourage and support young people in California to consider pursuing jobs and careers in health fields,” said Gary L. Yates, TCWF president and CEO.

“These leaders have pioneered programs and policies that track, support and guide students on a path from underresourced schools to higher education and health professions.”

Remembering I.E.'s Tuskegee Airmen

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Although the airplanes of the 1920's and 1930's were not nearly as complicated as those we use today, they were still something which required skill to fly. Many people, including those in the United States Army Air Corps, felt African Americans were not capable of obtaining these skills. Bessie Coleman, and African American woman born in Texas in 1892, became interested in flying after reading about the air war in Europe during World War I. She could not find a flying school in the United States which would train an African American woman and earned her license from the Federation Aeronautique Internationale in France.

The military still did not want to train African Americans, but President Franklin D. Roosevelt became convinced that America needed an operational African American pilot training program at Tuskegee. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt traveled to Tuskegee in April 1941 and accepted an offer to fly with Charles A. “Chief” Anderson, an African American who later trained many of the pilots in the Tuskegee program. By the end of World War II, nearly 1000 pilots had trained at Tuskegee.

Basic flight training took place at Moton Field and advanced training at the newly constructed Tuskegee Army Air Field. In April, 2008, Moton Field was dedicated as a part of the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Alabama.

Bessie was the first woman to earn an International Aviation License and the world's first licensed black aviator.

After her death in an aviation accident, the Bessie Coleman Aero Club was established in Los Angeles, California in 1929 to teach African Americans to fly. Other private African American flying schools also started training pilots. Early in 1939 the US began the Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP) at facilities near colleges and universities.

Tuskegee Institute in Alabama became a part of this program.

President George W. Bush presented the Congressional Gold Medal to about 300 Tuskegee Airmen on March 29, 2007 at the US Capitol.

However, the Congressional Gold Medal should not be confused with the Medal of Honor (commonly called the Congressional Medal of Honor), which is also awarded by Congress, but only to military members as the highest military decoration of the United States. A Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award, which may be bestowed by the United States Congress, the legislative branch of the United States government.

The decoration is awarded to any individual who performs an outstanding deed or act of service to the security, prosperity, and national interest of the United States.

Significant Tuskegee Airmen, interred at the Riverside National Cemetery: Charles William Ledbetter (April 5, 1922–July 23, 2003) was one of the Tuskegee Airmen, retiring from the United States Air Force as a Master Sergeant after 30 years active service.

During his tenure, he participated in World War II, the Korean War (where he flew night missions on B-26 bombers as an engineer and gunner as part of the 3rd Bomb Wing), and in Vietnam. On June 9, 2007, Ledbetter was posthumously honored with the Congressional Gold Medal.

Ledbetter was a columnist for the Black Voice News when Moreno Valley was called Sunnymead. He is interred at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California. Charles F. Jamerson was born in Louisiana, but moved to California at an early age.

After completing high school, he entered San Jose State College and was an engineering student when the war began. He enlisted in the Air Force at March Field on April 1, 1941, and was sent to Tuskegee. On March 25,1943, he was commissioned and assigned to the 332nd.

Jamerson was sent overseas with the 332nd in January 1944, and was assigned to the 99th. He flew 78 missions with the 99th and was credited with damaging a jet plane in a running battle in which he chased the German aircraft within ten minutes of Berlin.

Dr. Hackley E. Woodford, M.D., a Tuskegee Airmen flight surgeon who served during World War II. Howard was appointed chief of staff at the Memorial Hospital, Benton Harbor, Michigan in 1940. After his internship at Provident Hospital Chicago, Dr. Woodford had several years of postgraduate education and served in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army in World War II. He was a general practitioner and a member of the National Medical Association, the Berrien County Medical Society and the American Academy of General Practice.

Pilot Perry Willis Lindsey, who served during World War II and the Korean War. From 1942 through 1946, 994 Black fighter and bomber pilots were trained at the segregated Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama. More than 400 served in combat overseas, flying patrol and staffing missions and serving as bomber escorts from bases in North Africa, Sicily and Italy. Ground and support crews were trained at Tuskegee and elsewhere, and all were assigned to exclusively Black aviation units that went overseas.

Once in combat, they excelled. However, they were not officially recognized until over sixty years later.

John Allen Pulliams Jr. , served during World War II and went on to serve 30 years in the U.S. Air Force. He retired as a Chief Warrant Officer.

This article was written with help from the Journal of the National Medical Association and UCR The Western Region Tuskegee Airmen Archive, (http://library.ucr.edu/?view=t uskegee/). For more information on the Riverside National Cemetery look for The Riverside National Cemetery Story: A Field of Warriors by Marlowe J. Churchill.

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