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Free Backyard Composting Workshop Offered

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July 10 at 6:00 p.m., Victorville City Hall, Conference Room D

VICTORVILLE - A free workshop on backyard composting is being offered to area residents on Tuesday, July 10th at 6:00 p.m. at Victorville City Hall in Conference Room D. The one hour workshop will provide information on how residents can easily turn leaves, grass clippings, and fruit and vegetable trimmings into a useful soil conditioner for the garden. An “Earth Machine” backyard composting bin will be given away as a door prize at the end of the workshop. Informational fliers and brochures about backyard composting will be provided. Additional information on grass mulching and desert adaptive landscaping will also be available. The workshop is being co-sponsored by the City of Victorville Recycling Program and the Mojave Desert & Mountain Recycling Authority.

Victorville City Hall is located at 14343 Civic Drive in Victorville. The workshop is free of charge and open to all area residents. Those interested in attending should call the Mojave Desert & Mountain Master Composter Program at 951-265-8699 or the City of Victorville Recycling Program at 760-955-8615 to RSVP and reserve a spot.

Abdul-Jabbar honored by Ford Freedom Awards

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By Leland Stein III

DETROIT - I have known Kareem Abdul-Jabbar since the glory days when the Los Angeles Lakers were breaking off Showtime in the NBA. He has always been a reflective and introverted spirit, but most of the media took that fact and labeled him a malcontent. How wrong! Abdul-Jabbar has always valued scholarship and his interaction with most reporters never moved to bring out that zeal in him. They only cared about pre- or post-game quotes, while Abdul-Jabbar was always thinking about history and enlightening others - for example he and Muhammad Ali were the first superstar athletes to change their names.

After his retirement he has showed all where his real interested always lied and that his intrinsic calling has always been focused on looking at life beyond sports. Reaffirming this about Abdul-Jabbar, the valued Ford Freedom Awards recently named him as its Freedom Scholar for 2012.

“I always planned to graduate from college,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “That experience from college prepared me for life after college. Unfortunately there is so much money in the NBA that too many do not look at the value of a degree and the learning process. I get it the goal is to make money . . . right? So the environment that too many of the young men come out of they need to help their families and improve their lives and money helps in the short run to make that happen.” As usual a Detroit - and national – jewel was the host of this noteworthy gathering in Mid-Town. The Magnificent Detroit Charles Wright Museum of African-American History hosted the Ford Freedom event, and, the involved turned out.

Talent, Tenacity, Teamwork: Africans American in Sports was the 2012 theme. “The history of African Americans in sports is a storied one,” said Charles Wright Museum of History CEO, Juanita Moore. “But it is easy to forget the talent, tenacity and teamwork it took for those early pioneers to demonstrate not only physical prowess, but also the courage and fortitude necessary to overcome prejudice and roadblocks to their ability to even compete. “Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has earned his place as a basketball legend, but continues to build on that legacy with his place as a basketball legend, but he continues to build on that legacy with his achievements as a writer, filmmaker and USA Global Cultural Ambassador.” Honored as the Ford Freedom Awards Scholar, Abdul-Jabbar is stretching his reach as a defining American documentarian.

Hall of Famer Abdul-Jabbar, 65, is the NBA's All-Time leading scorer, having amassed 38,387 points over a 20-year career with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers. He won six NBA championships and was league MVP a record six times, while also being selected to a record setting 19 NBA All-Star teams as well as to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. He has been named one of the 50 greatest players in the NBA.

While ate UCLA Abdul-Jabbar won three straight national championships and is the only scholar/athlete in history to be voted the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament three times. He received the very first Naismith College Player of the Year Award in 1969 and has been dubbed by ESPN as "The Best Collegiate Player of the 20th Century" and "History's Greatest Player" by Time Magazine.

Since retiring from the game, the man who perfected the "skyhook" has become a speaker, author, filmmaker, and educator, and on January 18th, 2012 U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton appointed Abdul-Jabbar as a Global Cultural Ambassador.

“I am very humbled to have received this honor from Ms. Clinton and President Obama,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “I see my purpose as going all over the world and sharing the history of America, African-American and everyone. I focus on education and life in the United States.” As a U.S. Global Cultural Ambassador Abdul-Jabbar's mission is to travel the world and engage underserved youth through special programs and open a dialogue which promotes American history and culture. Through his work with the Skyhook Foundation he engages filmmakers, writers and athletes to develop books and films that teach children about important figures in U.S. history. Abdul-Jabbar is a 7-time New York Times best-selling author with books such as Giant Steps, published in 1983 and followed by Kareem, Black Profiles in Courage, A Season on the Reservation, Brothers in Arms: the epic story of the 761st all black tank battalion, and On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance. His latest book, What Color is My World-The Lost History of African American Inventors is being used to teach children about STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) in elementary schools all over the United States. "If America is to maintain our high standard of living, we must continue to innovate," said Abdul-Jabbar.

"We are competing with nations many times our size and STEM learning represents the engines of innovation. With these engines we can lead the world, because knowledge is real power." Also the New York Renaissance was the Ford Freedom Honoree. Ex-player Frank Washington and son of star Clarence Bell, Richard, were on hand and enlightened all about the trials and tribulation endured toward inclusion. Leland Stein can be reached at lelstein3@aol.com or at Twitter @lelandsteinIII

SoCalGas Co Awards $4,500 In Scholarships To Local Students

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By Rory O’Sullivan

Southern California Gas Company Riverside (SoCalGas Co) recently awarded five high school graduates scholarships to further their education. Eva Larios, Eduardo Sandoval, Concepcion Domingo-Gonzalez, and Dawn McNulty received a $1,000 scholarship because they were accepted to a university. Emmanuel Munoz who will be attending Riverside Community College was awarded $500. “This scholarship for me is a big help to my higher education,” said McNulty. “It is going to help me in my major of history and cultures around the world.” She will be using her scholarship to study abroad in Europe. Larios said she will use her scholarship to “buy a laptop computer,” which is important to her success in college.

“We want to encourage students to take the next step in their lives,” said SoCalGas Public Affairs Manager, Lea Petersen. Riverside SoCalGas Co has been awarding the scholarships for more than 10 years. The scholarships are need based and have helped many students become the first college graduates in their families. “These scholarships have a direct impact on the local community,” said Petersen.

Psychiatric Technician Program Ranked #1 in California for Passing Licensing Examination

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SAN BERNARDINO - The Psychiatric Technician Program at San Bernardino Valley College was recently recognized by the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians as the top-ranked school in percentage of students passing their licensing exams after completing their college coursework.

Sixteen San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) students who graduated in December 2011 from the SBVC Psychiatric Technician Program recently sat for the California Psychiatric Technician Licensing Examination and all 16 passed. According to the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians, The 100% pass rate represents the highest success rate of any school in California for the first reporting period of 2012. SBVC graduates also achieved a 100% pass rate during the 3rd quarter of 2011, followed by a 93% passage rate in the 4th quarter of 2011.

The SBVC Psychiatric Technology (Psych Tech) program is a one-year certificate program that prepares students to monitor, provide care, and participate in the treatment of mentally and developmentally disabled clients. Graduates from psychiatric technician programs who pass the state exam are highly sought-after by mental health facilities, the Department of Corrections, and other state agencies. Annual salaries (not including benefits) for entry-level psychiatric technicians usually start around $60,000 according to SBVC Psychiatric Technician Program Coordinator Dennis Jackson.

The year-long program requires 46 units (not counting prerequisites) and approximately 30 hours of classes (not including study sessions, homework, and travel to/from clinical assignments at local facilities).

“We tell students when they come in that they are ‘ours’ and that they’ll see their friends and family in a year,” said Jackson. “Students have to be committed and we’ve found that once they pass the prerequisites, they very rarely quit before completing the program.” Upon receiving news about the 100% completion from the state licensure exam board, Jackson quickly spread the good news amongst the program’s current students, staff, and faculty.

“I was thrilled and wanted everybody to know that we are all a part of this success. Everybody has been knuckling down to make it happen,” Jackson shared. “The faculty members are extremely proud because it is like a parent seeing their kids succeed and a confirmation that you are doing the right thing in your teaching since the whole point of the program is to get them prepared to pass the exam and into a job.”

For more information about enrolling in the SBVC Psychiatric Technician Program, contact Dennis Jackson at 909.384.8934 or at djackson@valleycollege.edu. Read more about the SBVC Psychiatric Technician Program at www.valleycollege.edu/psychtech.

EPA, SCE Mark Recycling of 1 Million Refrigerators

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$1 Billion in Energy Costs, 3.9 Million Tons of Carbon Dioxide Emissions Offset So Far

COMPTON – Southern California Edison (SCE), one of the founding partners of U.S. EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) Program and a 2012 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence award winner, reached a national conservation milestone by crushing its 1 millionth refrigerator. SCE is the first utility to achieve the 1 million mark. The event was held at an Appliance Recycling Centers of America facility in Compton that recycles household refrigerators and freezers, using best available environmental practices.

As one of EPA’s 47 RAD partners, SCE’s recycling efforts have avoided emissions of more than 177,000 pounds of substances that harm the ozone layer, and about 3.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of removing 760,000 cars from the road. “We congratulate SoCal Edison and its customers for their efforts to protect our atmosphere and conserve energy,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “The recycling of a million appliances makes a difference to the environment by safely disposing ozone-destroying refrigerants, mercury and toxic PCBs.”

Since 1994, SCE customers have recycled a million appliances, preserving 7.9 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity – or $1 billion in energy savings for SCE customers. Emissions avoided by taking those inefficient refrigerators and freezers off the grid equal: • Planting 140 million trees. • Powering 1.1 million California homes for a year. • Removing 760,000 cars from the road. "The credit for this milestone goes to our customers for their enthusiastic participation,” said Gene Rodrigues, SCE director of Energy Efficiency and Customer Solar. “SCE's energy efficiency programs are crucial to the success of California’s ambitious environmental goals.” Without programs such as this one, old refrigerators and freezers may be disposed in unsafe, environmentally unfriendly ways, or sold secondhand (in Southern California, for example, an old inefficient refrigerator can waste up to $180 a year in electricity costs). These efforts work to recover and reclaim or destroy ozone-depleting substances from old household appliances, minimizing harmful emissions and keeping recyclables out of landfills. It is illegal to dump a refrigerator in a California landfill.

SCE’s Appliance Recycling Program offers customers $35 for their old, working refrigerators or freezers, and free pickup. Those who want to learn more about SCE’s refrigerator recycling may visit www.sce.com/pickup, or call 800-324-9722.

To thank its customers for reaching this conservation milestone, SCE is giving away an ENERGY STAR-qualified refrigerator. Customers can enter through July 31 at www.facebook.com/socaledison, and talk about appliance recycling on Twitter with the hashtag #SCEfridge. SCE also has a short movie about the recycling process on its YouTube channel.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s RAD Program has 47 partners, including utilities, manufacturers and retailers, as well as state affiliates. Utility partners encourage the removal of inefficient refrigerators and freezers, typically by offering appliance owners a financial incentive for the collection of their old units, and/or by providing rebates toward the purchase of new ENERGY STAR qualified units. This helps utilities meet energy efficiency goals by reducing customer power needs, lowering customers’ bills and avoiding the environmental and financial costs of building another power plant. Southern California Edison has been an ENERGY STAR partner since 1997; this year marks the 20th anniversary of ENERGY STAR.

An Edison International company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of nearly 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.

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