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Union Bank Donates Nearly Half A Ton In Clothing And Accessories To Women's Center

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Union Bank, N.A., donated nearly half a ton of gently-used business suits, shoes, purses, dresses, jewelry and other items to the Los Angeles Downtown Women’s Center (DWC) to celebrate the new year as part of an ongoing partnership with the organization that provides housing and other resources for homeless women needing transitional assistance.

“Giving back is part of our culture at Union Bank, and we were thrilled with the huge response we received from our bankers, especially our female executives,” said Ruth Edwards, Union Bank senior vice president.

“Almost every woman has either known a homeless person or has come perilously close herself, so we salute and support the work of the DWC.”

Community Briefs

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Cal State opens January 4

In observance of the holiday season and due to State Budget Closure Days, California State University, San Bernardino has been closed since Friday, Dec. 18. The university will reopen on Monday, Jan. 4, 2010. Winter quarter classes will begin Monday, Jan. 11.

The campus will observe State Budget Campus Closure Days on Monday, Dec. 21 through Thursday, Dec. 24. CSUSB employees are required to use these days as furlough days as part of the university’s response to a staggering $26 million state budget reduction – a 25 percent decrease from last year’s state budget allocation to the campus.

Year-round, full-time employees are being furloughed a total of 24 days over 11 months from Aug. 1, 2009, through June 30, 2010. Faculty who are contracted on a nine-month basis are being furloughed 18 days from Sept. 1-June 30.

Additional State Budget Campus Closure Days are scheduled for 2010 on Jan. 8, Feb. 12, March 2, April 2 and 27, May 28 and June 25 and 28. Faculty, management and staff will add additional furlough days on an individual basis to meet the furlough requirements, but the campus will remain open on those days.

The CSU negotiated furloughs with most of its various labor unions in response to the massive budget cuts to the university system. The combination of employee furloughs and layoffs is expected to generate approximately $275 million in salary and benefits savings throughout the CSU and more than $10 million at Cal State San Bernardino.

Approximately 85 percent of the university’s total annual expenses consist of salary and benefits payments.

For more information regarding the CSU budget, visit the California State University Budget Central Web site at http://blogs.calstate.edu/budgetcentral or contact the Cal State San Bernardino Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit http://news.csusb.edu.

City of Riverside Christmas Tree Collection

The holidays are a time of giving, so give something back to the environment by recycling your old Christmas tree.

For City of Riverside residents, Christmas tree collection will begin the day after Christmas and continue for 3 weeks.

· Collection will take place on the same day as your normal trash pick up.

· Remove the tree stand and all decorations.

· Cut your Christmas tree into 4 foot sections.

· Regular Christmas trees will be collected with your greenwaste. Please place it next to the greenwaste container.

· Flocked Christmas trees cannot be recycled. These trees will be collected with your regular trash. Place sections of a flocked Christmas tree inside your brown container.

For more information, please call (951) 826-5311.

LifeStream’s Flight for Life Promotion National Blood Donor Month

During the winter months – due to the holiday season, blood is traditionally in short supply – travel schedules, inclement weather and illness have a direct impact on blood donations. January, in particular, is a difficult month to collect blood donations.

January is also National Blood Donor Month and LifeStream wants to recognize all the contributions of its donors. Participants who donate between January 2 and February 15, 2010 will be automatically entered into a drawing for a pair of tickets on Southwest Airlines to a destination of their choice. (within the Southwest Airlines service area). Donors will also receive points as part of the “Gift of Life” Donor Loyalty Program that can be redeemed for items on the LifeStream’s online donor store.

For additional information, please contact LifeStream at 1.800.879.4484 or visit www.LStream.org.

 

Community Briefs

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4th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Candlelight Vigil & Tribute

The Distinguished Brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, Pi Epsilon chapter, will be holding an event to honor the life and contributions of the Civil Rights leader and beloved member Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 at 6:30PM at the University of California, Riverside Watkins 1000 in Riverside, California. Of the nine National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. stands as the first established intercollegiate fraternity.

Founded in 1906 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. promotes the principles of good character, uplifting humanity and scholarship. This event, to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is aimed at bringing the community together in celebration of his accomplishments and efforts in making racial equality a reality during the Civil Rights Era. With poetry, songs from the university choir, and local elementary students answering “What Dr. King Means to Me?,” this event will highlight the extraordinary individual Dr. King was to so many. A candlelight vigil and silent march will also be held, leading to the Carillon Belltower, located in the center of UC Riverside. The candlelight vigil will allow any attendees to reflect on Dr. King and his impact on the Civil Rights Movement, struggle for racial equality or improvement of society. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., was established to serve as a cornerstone to the community and continues to do so with its four community service programs: A Voteless People is a Hopeless People, Go to High School/Go to College, Project Alpha and our Annual MLK Silent March. The Fraternity has also played the leading role in establishing the Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington, D.C., a 100-million dollar project, making Dr. King the only non-president to be honored by a memorial in the Washington Mall.

The Pi Epsilon chapter, established in 2003, has grown steadily over a few short years to become an influential entity of our campus and community through our contributions including our annual Miss Black & Gold Scholarship Pageant, annual Thanksgiving/Christmas toy-drive donations, various youth initiatives, as well as other educational programs. For more information regarding our upcoming events or community service, please contact our chapter at piepsilon@ooglegroups.com.

 

Riverside International Film Festival sets 2010 Dates, Location

Experience the World in 10 Days! The Riverside International Film Festival (RIFF) has announced that it is bringing 10 days of films to the University Village in 2010.

This 8th annual event, which features more than 100 films from countries around the world, launches April 16 and continues through April 25, 2010. RIFF will not only show films, including submissions from Riverside’s own Sister Cities, but will also feature special educational panels on the film industry and film making.

The best of international and independent features, documentaries, and shorts will be shown at UltraStar Cinemas in the University Village at 1201 University Avenue, Riverside, CA, 92507. The entire University Village plaza is excited to participate in RIFF and plans are underway to highlight the “Experience the World in 10 Days” theme throughout the plaza.

The City of Riverside is eagerly anticipating the 2010 festival: “We couldn’t be happier that RIFF will be partnering with UltraStar Cinemas to showcase RIFF at University Village,” said Mayor Ron Loveridge. “The connection between UC Riverside, University Village and RIFF will be a great way to further involve Riverside’s nearly 50,000 students in this fine film event.” The City of Riverside is a Director’s Club sponsor of RIFF.

Further information, including an invitation to a special press reception in March, will be forthcoming.

Details are posted as they become available at www.riversidefilmfest.org.

 

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.

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