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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.

“Ride the Wave of Music” to Fontana’s Summer Poolside Concert!

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Fontana - The Mayor and City Council invite the public to attend Fontana’s Poolside Concert at Fontana Park Aquatic Center (15610 Summit Avenue) on Saturday, June 30th from 7-9 p.m. It’s hard not to have a tubular time at this event with FREE activities such as swimming, arts and crafts and games! Food will also be available to purchase at the event. And don’t miss your chance to watch an amazing chalk artist at work drawing pictures on the pool deck! While swimming, enjoy some gnarly music from the Nocturnes! The Nocturnes are known for their California inspired surf music and will perform some popular blues and oldies music too. “At the Poolside Concert, we’re promoting aquatic programs and arts programs, but most importantly, this event gives residents the opportunity to play and be active with their family, friends and neighbors,” said Nathan Hunt, Community Service Coordinator. The concert, pools, waterslide and water play area are all FREE during the concert and swimmers must wear appropriate swimwear. For more information regarding the Poolside Concert please call (909) 349-6979 or visit summer.fontana.org.


“Ride the Wave of Music” to Fontana’s Summer Poolside Concert!

Fontana - The Mayor and City Council invite the public to attend Fontana’s Poolside Concert at Fontana Park Aquatic Center (15610 Summit Avenue) on Saturday, June 30th from 7-9 p.m. The concert, pools, waterslide and water play area are all FREE during the concert and swimmers must wear appropriate swimwear. For more information regarding the Poolside Concert please call (909) 349-6979 or visit summer.fontana.org.

The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire Beamed its Futuristic Fashion Collection at “UTOPIA” Red Carpet Event

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By Natasha Simone Ferguson

The Art Institute of California - Inland Empire (AI) recently blasted off to another dimension with its futuristic fashion show put on by its fashion design students. Utopia – the look of tomorrow – made you feel like you were on another galaxy or on the set of a popular sci-fi movie. AI’s Creative Director and Executive Producer of Utopia 2012 fashion show Sherry West explained where the concept came from. Her son Rex Armstrong who is a huge sci-fi movie buff was the inspiration behind the theme for the show. “After going to see Disney’s animated sci-fi movie TRON with my son Rex, it sparked the idea for Utopia,” said West. She then went to AI’s graphic design department who immediately went to work on the futuristic-themed concept.

The creative graphic design team; known as the fantastic four led by Kim Schaffer, Stephen Cordoza, Karla Soza and Jennifer Pena helped to create the theme of the show. In addition, the AI Fashion Department faculty including Dawn Knapp as lead facilitator, Morrison Jackson, Ninz Sangha, JC Canedo, Ceclia Ng, and Phyllis Clark were instrumental in working behind the scenes to help Utopia come to life.

AI’s President Emam El Hout and his wife were among the special guests present at Utopia fashion event. The futuristic theme of the show was carried out throughout the program from the set design with its black backdrop and twinkle lights, along with elaborate special effect lighting, galactic sound effects and music.

The Master of Ceremony was KGGI radio personality KC Morris. The models took flight down the runway like galloping thoroughbred horses, strutting their stuff to the electrifying sounds of DJ Snipez and his sound crew. Models in Utopia’s opening segment, titled “Drama Queenz” were decked in metallic and aluminum-like fabrics and textures. The styles presented were flashy, innovative, chic and eccentric all rolled into one. Fashion show segments included evening wear (Galaxy Glam), swimwear (Techno Beach), Lunar Lingerie and more. The fashion show was interspersed with intermissions of entertainment from singing Pop duo ‘Perfect Harmony’, as well as ‘BJ Brasier and Serious Effect Dance Crew’.

Fashion Design Stylist of the stars John Arguelles, president of Lloyd Klein Couture was a special guest who helped present awards which were handed out at the end of the show in various categories. Arguelles told the audience he attends lots of professional and student shows worldwide and themed-shows are always a challenge. However, he noted that Utopia was an excellent show and very well put together.

“All of the student designers have a great future ahead of them,” said Arguelles as he introduced the fashion categories and winners. The first recipient was the Fantastic Four design team who won a $1,000 scholarship to the leader Schaffer, and $500 each to her crew. Other awards given out along with scholarships included: Roxanne Sias who won for ‘Most Futuristic Design’; Daniel Bolt for ‘Most Creative’; Nikki Patterson for ‘A Rising Star’; and Saleemah Lewis in two categories ‘Senior Collection’ for her lingerie, and ‘Director’s Critic Choice’.

This red carpet event was well attended and delicious hors d’ oeuvres flowed throughout the evening courtesy of AI’s International Culinary Department. The evening concluded with a reception and after party on the patio immediately following the show. Proceeds from the event will go towards The Education Foundation scholarships, for the Fashion Design and the Fashion & Retail Management programs at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire. For more information about AI call 909-915-2100 or 1-800-353-0812 or visit www.artinstitutes.edu/inland-empire.

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BVN National News Wire