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UCR Chamber Music Ensembles May 15th

The Department of Music at the University of California, Riverside, presents the UCR Chamber Music Ensembles in concert on May 15, Saturday, at 8:00 pm in the ARTS Building Performance Lab, ARTS 166. Featured works include the Mendelssohn Piano Trio in D minor and the Shostakovich Piano Trio in E minor performed by faculty members violinist Frances Moore, cellist Manon Robertshaw and pianist Kimberly Amin. The program also includes Three Shanties by Malcolm Arnold performed by the UCR Wind quintet. The UCR Chamber Music Ensembles are directed by Frances Moore.

CSUSB Hosts UPS VP, Noel Massie

California State University, San Bernardino and the College of Business and Public Administration presented Noel L. Massie, UPS VP the Arrowhead Distinguished Executive Officer award on Friday. If front of Family, Friends, Executives and Community Leaders, Mr. Massie was awarded these awards for all his great work over the past 5 years in as the Vice President of UPS developing relationships in the Inland Empire. Massie has been with UPS since 1977 and has served on many boards and most recently, awarded the Black Voice Foundation a grant for The Opportunity of a Lifetime program to develop students.

CHSB 100th Anniversary

Officials cut the cake at the 100th anniversary celebration of Community Hospital of San Bernardino on Saturday, May 8. Anyone who was born at the hospital was invited to the festivities, as well as the community at large. Attendees included Community Hospital of San Bernardino officials, Kimiko Ford, Vice President, Mission and Support Services, Diane E. Nitta, Administrator; John Nolan, Chairman, Board of Directors, and 62nd District Assemblymember Wilmer Amina Carter (D-Rialto),  Dennis Baxter, master of ceremonies, former San Bernardino City Councilman and radio broadcaster, Rev. Bronica Martindale (born at CHSB), Councilman Rikke Van Johnson, Dr. George Smalls (OB/GYN who delivered many babies at CHSB) and San Bernardino NAACP President and Black Voice News Co-Publisher, Cheryl Brown (who delivered at CHSB).

Save Money With This Year's Lawn Mower Exchange Program

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Due to popular demand, AQMD has nearly doubled the number of zero-emission lawn mowers available for its annual “Mow Down Air Pollution” program. For the eighth year, the exchange program will let Southern California residents save money and help reduce air pollution by exchanging a working gasoline-powered lawn mower for a new electric mower at a deeply discounted price. The popularity of the program has increased each year, with last year’s 4,800 registration spots selling out in a record five days. Because of the high demand and additional funding, this year’s program will have 9,380 electric mowers available for only $100 to $165, depending on which of the four models a consumer chooses.

“Individuals can make a healthy choice by trading in their gas-powered lawn mowers for zero-emission electric models,” said William A. Burke, Ed.D. , AQMD’s Governing Board Chairman. “This will help the user and their community. In one year, most conventional lawn mowers spew more pollution into our air than a car driven more than 20,000 miles. This exchange program offers a simple solution to improving air quality.”

When the program ends in July, AQMD will have scrapped more than 37,800 highly polluting gasoline mowers, removing about 80 tons of smog-forming volatile organic compound emissions from the Southland’s air.

This year, residents will have four models to choose from:

· Neuton CE 5.4 (24V, 14- inch cutting width) $100 (retail price: $399)

· Neuton CE 6.4 (36V, 19- inch cutting width) $165 (retail price: $499)

· Black & Decker CMM1200 (24V, 19-inch cutting width) $100 (retail price: $349)

· Black & Decker CM 1936 (36V, 19-inch cutting width) $165 (retail price: $449)

AQMD will host 11 events across the Southland on Saturdays between May 1 and July 24.

Residents living within AQMD’s four-county jurisdiction must show proof of residency and can register for any event regardless of where they reside in the region.

To participate, residents must pre-register for the mower of their choice at www.aqmd.gov or by calling (888) 425-6247.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. on April 21 and is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Telephone registration is also available in English and Spanish.

Residents must be at least 18 years old to participate in the program.

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.

Exchanging a mower is easy and convenient and participants never have to leave their car. Upon arrival, workers will remove the old gas mower from the vehicle and drain it of hazardous fluids prior to its destruction at a metal recycling facility. After payment is made, attendants will place the new, boxed mower in the customer’s vehicle. The entire process takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

This year’s program is sponsored by the AQMD and the California Air Resources Board (CARB), in cooperation with Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The program is funded through AQMD’s Air Quality Investment Program (AQIP), which is financed by Southland companies that pay a fee in lieu of offering rideshare incentives as required by AQMD’s Rule 2202.

The lawn mower exchange program will reduce more emissions than would be achieved by an employer rideshare program. Additional funding provided this year comes from CARB through AB 118, a measure to fund clean vehicle and equipment projects.

All events will take place on Saturdays starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 1 p.m. , except the Palm Desert event which will end at noon.

AQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

May 1 Palm Desert CSUSB Palm Desert Campus 37500 Cook St.

June 5 Riverside Bourns Inc. 1084 Columbia Ave.

June 12 Rcho. Cucamonga Epicenter Stadium 8408 Rochester Ave.

July 10 Pomona Fairplex 1101 W. McKinley Ave.

African American Children with Autism are more likely to be Misdiagnosed

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Currently, one in 110 children in the United States has autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Autism is a developmental disability that occurs when the brain has trouble functioning properly. It affects a child’s ability to speak, learn, and communicate with others. A study by Dr. David Mandell in October 2005 reported that, on average, the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) was delayed by almost 2 years among African American children (7.5 years old) as compared to their Caucasian counterparts (5.5 years old). At this time, there is no cure for autism, but kids who are screened and diagnosed at a young age and visit a doctor regularly for treatment show significant improvement in learning and communication skills.

In recognition of April being Autism Awareness Month, First 5 California wants parents and caregivers to be aware of the following early signs of autism to help families identify a need for early intervention and treatment.

Early Warning Signs
Not all children develop at the same rate, but some may need further evaluation and special services to help them grow up healthy. Autism, in particular, can be difficult to diagnose because it affects each child differently. A group study by the National Alliance of Autism Research revealed that each ethnic group has unique genes that can interact with autism-associated genes to slightly change the course of the disease. For example, certain symptoms associated with autism, such as delayed language development and problems handling daily life tasks, are more severe in African American individuals with autism than Caucasians. Pay attention to certain signs in your child’s behavior. See a health care provider for further screenings if you notice your child exhibits any of these indicators:

• Does not coo or smile by 6 months old
• Has trouble sitting, standing up, or reaching for objects by 1 year old
• Does not say simple words like “mama” or “dada” by 1 year old
• Does not turn his or her head to follow sounds or voices
• Does not react to loud noises
• Repeats certain behaviors, including some that are harmful like banging his or her head • Makes little or no eye contact and wants to be alone
• Does not play games like peek-a-boo or “pretend” (e.g., pretending to feed a doll) • Any loss of speech or social skills

Early Intervention and Treatment
By getting help at an early age when the brain is still developing – from birth to age 3 – parents can help children reduce the effects of autism by the time they start kindergarten. Some of the most common treatment options include speech therapy, diet, and therapies focused on improving relationships.

For more information, visit www.first5california.com/parents.

About First 5 California
First 5 California, also known as the California Children and Families Commission, was established after voters passed Proposition 10 in November 1998, adding a 50 cents-per-pack tax on cigarettes to fund education, health, child care and other programs for expectant parents and children up to age 5. For more information, please visit first5california.com/parents.

Article by Kris Perry, Executive Director, First 5 California

'Seniors Need Jobs Too'

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By Linnie Frank Bailey –

New America Media fellow Linnie Frank Bailey examines the plight of older ethnic workers looking for their share of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in this two-part series.

“I wish more of the stimulus funds had gone to the senior community,” says Anthony Bell, California Program Manager for the National Indian Coalition on Aging (NICOA). “Everyday we get heartbreaking calls from older workers who have lost jobs and are desperately looking for work to save their homes.”

Seniors are an often overlooked demographic when jobs and the economy are mentioned, even though they are staying in the workforce longer than in years past. Out of the $787 billion stimulus, just $120 million, or less than 0.01 percent went to senior employment, although older Americans are returning to work in greater numbers.

The Recovery Act did provide $100 million for nutritional programs for older Americans, and SSI recipients got an extra, one-time check for $250 as part of the stimulus. While that might have paid a few bills, Bell says, $250 is a “a mere pittance to seniors who are struggling with job and housing issues.”

Working Longer

There are a variety of reasons why American workers are remaining in the labor force past the standard retirement age of 65, however a struggling economy, and America’s 78 million baby boomers, the first of whom reached 65 in 2009, are credited with changing retirement patterns in America. The most recent figures from the Labor Department show the number of unemployed workers age 55 to 64 has nearly tripled since the recession began.

Officially, the unemployment rate for seniors is about half that for younger Americans. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

8.5% of African Americans and 8.0% of Latinos over 65 are unemployed, but that doesn’t count seniors who want to work, but don’t meet the government’s definition of actively looking for a job.

Bell, whose organization runs a senior employment program, believes ethnic elder unemployment is higher than the rates for non-ethnic seniors. “We know African- Americans and Hispanics face higher unemployment across the board,” he states.

“You have to remember,” he says, “ethnic elders are facing both race and age discrimination.”

Ethnic elders in the Inland Empire (western Riverside and San Bernardino Counties) are competing with younger workers for nonexistent jobs. The area has some of the highest unemployment rates in the country.

Of 49 metropolitan areas with a population of 1 million or more, the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., area came in second in unemployment with a rate of 15 percent. (The Detroit-Warren- Livonia, Mich., reported the highest unemployment rate at 15.6%)

From his Riverside office, NICOA director Bell sees seniors who are anxious to return to work. “Some have faced a life-time of under employment, but we are seeing an increasing number of seniors who have been employed all of their adult lives and lost their jobs. Some have Master’s and advanced degrees, but they are desperate for anything – even minimum wage -- to help them survive this recession.” Bell says that one of the few areas that shows promise for older workers is employment as security guards. “I can get them training and certification and find jobs in this field,” he says. “Otherwise they must compete with younger workers for minimum wage jobs, mostly in retail.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2015 one in five (or 20%) of America’s workers will be over the age of 55. The report also shows that the most significant employment growth will come from workers over 65. The numbers of workers between the ages of 65 and 74 and those aged 75 and up are projected to grow by more than 80 percent.

“It’s a shame the value of older workers isn’t always recognized,” he adds. “They bring maturity, stability, and loyalty to the workforce. We hear this again and again from those who employ them.”

The State of California received over two million dollars in stimulus funding for SCSEP, of which $173,940 was allocated to Riverside County and $91,106 was awarded to San Bernardino County. Bell reports that Inland funds have been exhausted, and that they were used to employ 35 people who are working 20 hours a week at $8 an hour.

“It’s not enough,” says Bell. “Each year the situation gets compounded as more and more people fall into the senior age group. We need another stimulus – we need to pump more money into work for this age group. There is a continuous decline in their standard of living.”

Senior Community Service Employment Program - (SCSEP)

The only national senior employment program to receive stimulus funds is the Senior Community Service Employment Program - (SCSEP), a program designed to offer employment options for low income seniors. To be eligible for SCSEP workers must:

Must be 55 years or older Must not exceed low-income guidelines (generally, income must be below 124% of federal poverty rate)
Must be a resident of the state
Must not have worked in the prior 7 days

In the Inland Empire and other locations across the country, SCSEP is operated by the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) – one of 18 program sponsors across the county.

In addition to California programs, NICOA runs SCSEP in Arizona, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

The organization stresses that although they are a Native American group, they offer SCSEP to seniors from all ethnic groups.

Senator Feinstein Introduces Legislation to Commemorate Buffalo Soldiers

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U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) recently introduced legislation to commemorate the Buffalo Soldiers, the Army's first all-African-American units, and the critical role they played in the early years of the National Parks.

"We must preserve the memory of our brave Buffalo Soldiers, who were in essence our nation's first park rangers and left a rich historical legacy in the state of California," Senator Feinstein said. "This bill is an important first step in memorializing the critical role the Buffalo Soldiers had in shaping the National Parks we so treasure. We must ensure their contributions will be remembered and shared by all."

Created by Congressional Order in 1869, the Buffalo Soldiers bravely served our country both at home and abroad in the face of segregation and intolerance. The Buffalo Soldiers also left behind a legacy enshrined in our National Parks.

Buffalo Soldiers stationed at San Francisco's Presidio patrolled Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks, where they protected our parks from poachers and loggers, built trails, and escorted visitors. The Buffalo Soldiers were, in essence, our nation's first park rangers.

This bill directs the Secretary of the Interior to commission a study to:

· Evaluate the feasibility of establishing a national historic trail commemorating the route the Buffalo Soldiers traveled between their post at San Francisco's Presidio and Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks.

· Identify properties to be considered for the National Register of Historic Places or National Historic Landmarks.

· Develop educational initiatives and a public awareness campaign about the contributions of the Buffalo Soldiers. The "Buffalo Soldiers in the National Parks Study Act" is a companion bill to H.R. 4491, introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) in January.

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BVN National News Wire