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Community Briefs

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RPU Officials Refute Water Report Finding

Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) officials announced today that a recent Internet blog report placing Riverside’s drinking water among the worst in the nation is just plain wrong.

“Bottom line: Riverside’s water is safe to drink and meets or surpasses state and federal water quality requirements,” said Kevin Milligan, RPU assistant general manager/ water.

The Environmental Working Group, a watchdog nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. , released the report on Saturday. It placed Riverside as No. 2 on a list of cities with the worst water in the nation.

However, Milligan said, what the report does not indicate is that samples used in the survey were from groundwater sources taken before treatment as required by California Department of Public Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

RPU General Manager David Wright said the people of Riverside can see annual water testing statistics going back to 2001 at the RPU Web site: http://www.riversideca.gov/utilities/water-wqr.asp.

 

“Big View” Meeting On Developing Your Personal Financial Plan To Be Held In Moreno Valley Community Action Partnership of Riverside County (CAP Riverside) and United Way of the Inland Valleys are offering a free presentation on “The Power of your Paycheck” to be held on Saturday, January 9, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. This “Big View” meeting will be located at the Moreno Valley Community Education Center, 23910 Alessandro Boulevard in Moreno Valley. It is being sponsored by the Guiding Coalition, a community advisory committee that is a part of Project B.L.I.S.S. , a CAP Riverside initiative to help families move out of poverty.

Topics to be discussed include:

How to Develop a Financial Plan, Living Within Your Means and What You Don’t Know Could Hurt You.

The meeting is open to all, and reservations are requested. For reservations or information, contact Lanita Tademy at (951) 955-4900 or info@capriverside.org

 

Help A Neighbor – Volunteer To Ring A Silver Bell

The Salvation Army has started its Christmas tradition of ringing silver bells by shiny red kettles, so that passersby have a trustworthy opportunity to help those less fortunate.

“The Red Kettle fund raiser is our biggest fund raiser of the year,” said Capt. Nancy Ball, co-director of The Salvation Army San Bernardino Corps. “We use the funds received to support our programs year-round to provide food, shelter and youth programs to our community.

The Salvation Army will continue ringing bells, Monday through Saturday until Christmas Eve. It seeks volunteer bell-ringers so that it can staff even more locations, more of the time.

For the past several years, Salvation Army of San Bernardino board member, and Dameron Communications founder and creative director, Carl Dameron volunteered with his wife Malaika and two daughters, Shaila and Shiane. The entire Salvation Army of San Bernardino board also volunteered their time to ring silver bells and ask the community for help.

“We receive great satisfaction knowing we had made a difference in our community,” Carl Dameron said. “We also enjoyed spending the time together as a family and teaching our children about the responsibility we have to care for those in our community who are less fortunate.”

55 and Better Line Dance Class

The City of Riverside Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department will be hosting a Line Dancing class from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm each Wednesday beginning February 3, 2010. The class will be held at the new La Sierra Senior Center, located at 5215 La Sierra Avenue.

Come to the La Sierra Senior Center and learn the Cotton Eyed Joe, Olé and Slappin’ Leatherhearts. Line dancing can be doubly rewarding, offering a chance for social interaction and gentle exercise.

Come into the La Sierra Senior Center Monday through Friday to sign up for a fun and exciting lesson of Beginning Line Dance. The cost is $20.00 for residents and $32.00 for non-residents.

For additional information regarding Beginning Line Dancing class at the La Sierra Senior Center, please contact Michael Mitchell at 951-351-6435 or email mpmitchell@riversideca.gov.


Pechanga Hosts So Cal’s Largest New Year’s Eve Party

More than 75,000 people are expected to descend upon Pechanga Resort & Casino on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, possibly breaking last year’s record of the biggest NYE ever. Southern California’s greatest party will feature a cirque-themed gala in the Ballroom; American Idol winner, David Cook, in the Showroom; LMFAO in Silk; a flashback party in Eagle’s Nest; not to mention free live bands in The Cabaret.

Pechanga will be the place to celebrate the countdown to 2010 as thousands gather in the Round Bar to count off 2009’s final seconds.

Tickets available at the Pechanga Showroom Box Office, or call 877-711-2946, or visit www.pechanga.com.

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.

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