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SCE Offers Holiday Lighting Safety and Energy Efficiency Tips

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The holidays are here and with them come celebrations and festivities.

Southern California Edison (SCE) is reminding its customers to safely decorate their homes, work places and Christmas trees with energy-efficient lighting.

SCE also wants the public to keep the holidays merry by remembering the importance of electrical safety when stringing indoor and outdoor lighting, and using electrical fixtures and electrically powered animated or inflatable decorations.

“The holiday season is an exciting time of year. But we want all of our customers to keep safety foremost in their minds as they enjoy their decorating experience. Some people may be inadvertently exposed to a greater safety risk and could become victims of fire or electrical accidents, such as shock or electrocution,” said Rick Greenwood, SCE’s director, Corporate Environment, Health and Safety.

Holiday Lighting Safety Tips

· Keep electrical connections off the ground and away from moisture. Water and electricity are a deadly combination.

· When hanging lights, make sure staples, tacks and nails do not pierce or pinch wires. Use plastic zip cords instead.

· Never get closer than 10 feet to power lines. Remember, trees may have power lines running above, near or through them. Do not throw light strands or electrical cords into trees.

· Do not use lighted candles on trees or decorations. During power outages use flashlights instead of candles.

· Beware of counterfeit or poor quality electrical products. Use only lighting and cords approved by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an independent, nonprofit organization that tests electrical components and equipment for potential hazards.

· Check all indoor and outdoor decorative lighting for frayed cords, broken wires and loose connections. If you find a problem, throw the strand away.

· Change bulbs only when the lights are unplugged.

· Use lights and extension cords designed for outdoor use if placing them outside.

· Unplug lights when you leave home or go to bed. Save energy by using a timer so the lights are on only during the hours you select.

· Use only three strands of light per electrical cord or outlet. An overload could cause a short circuit and a fire.

· Keep indoor trees well watered so that they will not dry out and become fire hazards.

· Keep lights away from carpeting, furniture, drapes and other combustible materials.

 

Holiday Lighting and SCE Street Lighting

SCE reminds customers that holiday lighting, decorations and displays are not allowed to be attached or hung from SCE streetlights or facilities. The holiday lights can create a safety or fire risk for residents and SCE employees. The utility’s policy requires that permission must be given to hang any objects or materials from company facilities.

SCE also encourages its customers to use light emitting diode (LED) lights to decorate their homes and trees. LEDS offer many benefits:

· Energy Efficiency: LEDs use up to 90 percent less of the electricity that is needed to power conventional incandescent, painted or ceramic-coated bulbs.

· Environmentally friendly: the lower electricity usage of LEDs means less carbon emissions.

· Safety: LEDs generate much less heat when they operate so they are cool to the touch and are less likely to overload a circuit.

· Longevity: LEDS can last up to 10 times longer than traditional incandescent strands.

Community Briefs

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Officers Fired Upon During Vehicle Pursuit

On Sunday, November 29, 2009, at approximately 0430 hours, officers from the Riverside Police Department attempted to stop a vehicle in the downtown area, believed to have been occupied by a wanted felon. The suspect vehicle failed to yield to the police units and a pursuit was initiated. During the pursuit, an occupant inside the suspect vehicle fired a weapon several times at the pursuing police units. Riverside Police Officers returned fire during the incident, which led them into Rubidoux, the unincorporated area of Riverside. The suspect vehicle came to rest on Twining St. and at least two adult subjects fled from the car.

During a search of the immediate area, information was developed that led to residences on Twining St. and Fort Dr. Members of the Riverside County Sherriff’s SWAT Team responded to both locations and after negotiations with the occupants at both locations, numerous subjects exited the residence and were detained.

Mark Wallace (30) and Lisa Marlene Mitchell (43), both of Riverside, were taken into custody and later booked into Robert Presley Detention Center on multiple counts of attempt murder on a police officer, weapons charges, felony reckless driving, and parole violation.

The names of the involved officers are not being released at this time. No one was injured from the exchange of gunfire between the officers and the suspect. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Detective Dave Smith at (951) 353 - 7103 or Detective Greg Rowe at (951) 373 - 7136.

CA Cars At Glen Avon Library – Kevin Nelson And Wheels Of Change

Glen Avon Library invites carlovers, friends, and families to meet author KEVIN NELSON and hear about his new book on Friday evening, December 4th (9244 Galena St. , Riverside, 92509).

Wheels of Change: From Zero to 600 m.p.h., the Amazing Story of California and the Automobile, has just been released by Heyday Books. Bring your vintage car and park it in a special reserved area for display before the program.

Show-up time for parking is 4:00 – 4:30 p.m.; program time is 5:30 p.m.

Glen Avon Regional Library manager Tracie Carignan says, “We are really happy to have Kevin Nelson coming to talk on this topic that interests so many people. A lot of people are just passionate about cars.”

Wheels of Change tells the extraordinary story of cars in California from the late 1890s to the mid-1960s, with fascinating text and over 100 vintage photographs.

Celebrating Southern California as the birthplace and center for car trends in the whole country, it traces the development of a dynamic car culture never seen before.

The book includes vignettes about Craig Breedlove, the first to break the 600 m.p.h. speed barrier in his Spirit of America jet car; Steve McQueen, sports car racer and professional actor who drove the greatest car-chase in movie history in the film, “Bullitt”; George Barris, King of the Kustomizers, a custom hot-rod

designer who influenced the look of cars across America; Barney Oldfield, glamorous race driver who first broke 60 m.p.h. on a racetrack in the early 1900s, and many more.

Nelson devoted three years to researching and writing Wheels of Change, driving thousands of miles around California on road trips to car shows, car museums, car clubs, racetracks, the El Mirage dry lakes area, and other significant spots in the state’s automotive history.

Books will be available for purchase at the event, and the author will be happy to sign them.

2009 Stimulus: Changing the landscape of the Inland Empire

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Half or more of Native Americans, Latinos and whites surveyed think the U.S. economy is on the “wrong track,” while African Americans and Asian Americans were more confident in the government’s handling of the economy.

Despite the gloomy perspectives, the poll found a sunnier outlook for the near future, with 66 percent of all those surveyed rating themselves as “optimistic” about their own finances in 2010.

The poll tried to gauge Americans’ first-hand experience with stimulus-funded programs at the state and local level. Little more than a third of Latino, Asian-American and white respondents were aware stimulus funds helped save the jobs of teachers, police and firefighters in their communities. Fifty-two percent of black and 41 percent of Native American respondents were aware as well.

More than half of Blacks and Native Americans were also aware of stimulus-funded projects in their communities, such as construction of roads, ports, bridges and tunnels. More than 40 percent of Asian Americans and whites surveyed and just 30 percent of Latinos knew of such improvements.

On the other hand, just a quarter of all those polled knew about “green jobs” having been created in their communities even though the stimulus includes a large investment in creation of such environmentally related jobs.

Perhaps the biggest problem revealed by the survey was in what it showed about the stimulus’s impact on small businesses, which are a traditional source of employment and neighborhood stability. Although the Small Business Administration has stimulus funding to bolster debt-ridden enterprises, roughly three-quarters or more of those surveyed from all ethnic and racial groups said they were unaware of any small business in their communities benefiting from a SBA loan.

“Our poll shows the Obama administration has not done a good job of informing Americans about the economic opportunities that currently exist because of the stimulus package,” said NAM Executive Director Sandy Close. “The Recovery Act has made billions of dollars available for extended unemployment benefits and health insurance for laid off workers. It has appropriated money for small businesses and arts organizations. It has prevented thousands of teachers from being laid off and kept firehouses from closing. Our poll shows that across the racial and ethnic spectrum most Americans remain unaware of the actual impact on their communities.”

The survey was conducted by Bendixen & Associates and was based on telephone interviews with 1,000 individuals comprising a representative sample of U.S. residents.

Over the next few months follow Linnie Frank Bailey’s stimulus news stories in The Black Voice News.

Inland Empire'€™s Needy Families Come Together To Give Thanks

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This holiday season the San Bernardino and Riverside Salvation Army Corps both plan Thanksgiving dinners to help the needy families of the Inland Empire.

The San Bernardino Corps will serve dinner from 11 am to 2 pm on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 26, at its Corps headquarters building, 746 W. Fifth St.

“We’re serving a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, potatoes, gravy, stuffing, vegetables and pie,” said Capt. Nancy Ball, co-director of the San Bernardino Corps.

San Bernardino County Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales has donated 10 of the turkeys, although it could use more, as the crowd can typically go through 20 turkeys and 20 sliced hams. The Inland Empire Job Corps is donating 300 pies created by its culinary students – 100 pumpkin, 100 apple and 100 cherry.

The Riverside Thanksgiving dinner takes place Wednesday, Nov. 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Most of the food for this event will come through donations the Riverside Corps acquires via KOLA radio station’s “Fill the Van” event, which took place Friday, Nov. 20.

The annual Thanksgiving meals bring in hundreds of families and individuals who do not have the means to provide themselves a Thanksgiving dinner.

People come from all parts of the Inland Empire for the celebrations.

The San Bernardino event alone has served close to 900 people in one year.

At both Corps, the hungry families are joined by hundreds of volunteers for the day who help prepare the food and serve meals to the families. An estimated 125 volunteers helped the San Bernardino Corps in 2008.

“Thanksgiving should be a special day for everyone not just for those who can afford it,” says Capt. Ball.

To receive information about the dates and times for the dinners at other corps besides San Bernardino and Riverside, or to volunteer, give them a call at 1800-SAL-ARMY or 1-800-725-2769.

California Wellness Foundation Announces 2009 California Peace Prize Honorees

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Brian King, a former gang member and drug dealer, started a faith-based program in partnership with law enforcement, city leaders, and schools to provide services and support to at-risk youth in southwest Fresno. A refugee from Cambodia, Phalen Lim became an integral leader in an agency that combats gang violence and promotes cultural pride and understanding in Santa Ana. Olis Simmons applied her extensive experience in developing systems and programs that foster community wellness to create a youth leadership development center in East Oakland that prepares low-income youth of color for leadership and successful careers.

On October 28, The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF) will honor these three community leaders with its 17th annual California Peace Prize at a ceremony in San Francisco. In recognition of their efforts to prevent violence and promote peace, the honorees will each receive a cash award of $25,000.

“The honorees are representative of thousands of unsung heroes who work with youth to prevent violence in communities throughout California,” said Gary L. Yates, TCWF president and CEO. “This year’s honorees also show that perseverance through hardship can help build essential leadership that makes our state healthier and safer.”

Brian King - As co-founder and chief executive of Fresno Street Saints, Brian King has come a long way from his days as a gang member and drug dealer in Chicago. Fresno Street Saints, a faith-based organization that seeks to restore southwest Fresno as a safe and healthy community, provides services and support to at-risk youth and their families.

The organization’s services include gang prevention and intervention programs that offer educational enrichment, youth employment training, grief counseling and family leadership development.

“What we’re doing is taking back these streets and directing resources right to the people, especially to the youth,” said King. “The community leaders and resources must be as visible and as accessible as the gangs are, or the gangs will continue to win.”

Phalen Lim - Escaping genocide, disease and starvation in Cambodia, Phalen Lim made her new life in Santa Ana, California.

Lim and her family sought help from The Cambodian Family (TCF), an agency that provides health, employment and youth services to the refugee and immigrant community of Orange County. Originally a client — and then a volunteer — she is now a youth program director for TCF, working primarily with Cambodian and Latino youth.

“Youth can identify with people who have lived in the same neighborhood, gone through similar struggles and made it,” said Lim.

“I am a very strong believer in leading by example.”

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