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SCE Prepares for a Sizzling Summer

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Southern California Edison (SCE) recently shared ways with its customers to save energy, money and the environment - and stay safe.

Representatives from SCE were at an event at the James L Brulte Senior Center to provide information and answer questions from customers.

Seniors are briefed during the SCE event on money saving tips.
"Conservation is always in season and is especially important during the summer months," said Gene Rodrigues, SCE's director of energy efficiency.  "We're offering more incentives than ever for people to save money this season, including our air conditioner tune-up program and our Summer Discount Plan."
Tuning up an air conditioner can save up to 30 percent on cooling costs and extend a unit's life as much as eight years. SCE's A/C Tune-Up Program offers up to $150 back to customers for each unit serviced, depending on the level of tune-up they purchase from a licensed contractor. The tune-up must occur between April 14 and July 31 for customers to be eligible for a rebate. A tune-up includes condenser and evaporator coil cleaning, duct testing and sealing and refrigerant charge adjustments. Customers can expect to pay between $75 and $150 for a basic tune-up; an advanced tune-up costs $400 to $600.

The company's Summer Discount Plan allows SCE to remotely turn off willing customers' central air conditioner compressors during a summer power emergency. In exchange, the customers get a credit of up to $200; customers can choose one of two options, depending on how many times they allow SCE to cycle off their air conditioners. Participating customers lower their energy costs and help to ensure a reliable electricity supply.

Pictured L to R: Christian Nelson, SCE Local Public Affairs; Dennis Michael, Mayor Pro Tem of Rancho Cucamonga; Gene Rodrigues, Director of Energy Efficiency, SCE.
Air conditioning alternatives earn rebates. Customers can pocket $50 when they purchase an ENERGY STAR-labeled room air conditioner or a whole-house fan and $300-$600 back on an evaporative cooling unit. "Cool-roof" materials will also earn 10-20 cents back per square foot.

In addition, SCE's Refrigerator Recycling Program will pay customers $50 to discard their old, inefficient refrigerator or freezer, which can cost up to $290 per year to operate. The utility will pick up old models and recycle them in an environmentally responsible manner. Customers also are eligible for $50 rebates for buying new ENERGY STAR-labeled refrigerators.

For tips on saving energy, visit www.sce.com/safety . For more about SCE's energy efficiency and safety advice, see www.sce.com.

Fifth District PTA To Honor Herbert, Cheryl Fischer

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County Superintendent Herbert Fischer and his wife, Cheryl, will be recipients of Honorary Service Awards by the Fifth District PTA at a dinner at the Arrowhead Country Club this evening.

The Fischers will be two of four recipients of the Honorary Service Award. Pastor Willie Ulibarri Jr. and Cliff Cummings also will receive the honors.

Jack O'Connell, the state superintendent of Public Instruction, is scheduled to attend the awards ceremony. Pam Brady, the California PTA president, will be the keynote speaker at the event.

Herbert Fischer is in his third term as San Bernardino County superintendent. His four decades in public education span work in the classroom, administrator, principal and district superintendent prior to coming to County Schools.

His wife, Cheryl, also has had a distinguished career in education. She retired from her position in education leadership and curriculum from Cal State San Bernardino in 2006.

Pastor Ulibarri is president and chief executive officer of Project Life Impact, Inc. For two decades, he has provided counseling services for at-risk students in the Rialto and San Bernardino City unified school districts.

As owner of Toyota of San Bernardino, Cummings' philanthropic involvement in a variety of support programs has benefited students all around the San Bernardino area.

California’s Subcommittee on Education Deletes Nearly $20 million in UCR Construction Projects

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The Senate Subcommittee on Education deleted nearly $20 million in funding for three building projects at UC Riverside, threatening campus development at a critical time.

The cuts are not final until the state budget is signed, typically after July 1, but the potential loss of the new Environmental Health and Safety building, seismic improvements at Batchelor Hall and a new Engineering building to house bioengineering programs would be a significant blow to expected progress.

"These buildings are necessary for the teaching and research missions of the campus," said Al Diaz, vice chancellor for administration. "If they are deferred it will undoubtedly lead to higher costs."

The current Environmental Health and Safety facility has been in use since 1989, when UCR's enrollment was less than 8,200 students. This is a campuswide resource that handles the storage and safe removal of toxic chemicals. A delay in completion will constrain UCR's research enterprise. The campus had requested $16.6 million in funding. Plans have been completed for a building that would provide 19,500 assignable square feet of office and laboratory space.

Batchelor Hall, built in 1965, is in need of upgrades to keep up with modern research needs. The funding request was $716,000 for working drawings.

Engineering III, slated to house UCR's growing bioengineering program, had a funding request of $2.2 million for preliminary building plans. Faculty recruiting on campus is often connected to the quality and features of buildings and equipment, and it will be more difficult to recruit faculty and students if this building is delayed.

 Two other UCR requests, for more than $5 million in equipment for two nearly completed buildings, Student Academic Support and Materials Science, have so far been allowed to continue forward.

Car Crashes Into Side Of Train; One Dead

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The lone occupant of a rented car sustained fatal injuries when the vehicle slammed into the side of a moving freight train at a crossing Monday morning in northeast Riverside.

The 2007 Nissan Sentra was traveling eastbound on Spruce Street at a speed of about 50 miles per hour, according to witnesses. The vehicle failed to stop for a stop sign at Watkins Drive and collided with the eastbound Burlington Northern-Santa Fe freight train at 9:34 a.m. The train was traveling in a northerly direction at the time and was well underway through the intersection. Witnesses estimated the locomotive to be a half-mile down the track at the time the motorist struck the left side of the train. The lone female adult occupant was killed on impact.

Anyone with information helpful to this investigation is asked to call Riverside Police Traffic Detective Joe Avila at (951) 353-7985. 

One Stop Admission Day at UCR Makes Applying Risk-Free

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The University of California, Riverside has announced a special event for transfer-ready students who have not yet applied for admission to UC Riverside for fall 2008. "It's our One Stop Admission Day," says Merlyn Campos, UC Riverside's Interim Director of Admissions. "It gives transfer-ready students the opportunity to apply and receive their admission notification all in one day."

The event will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 7 at UC Riverside. Students who attend will receive information on housing, financial aid, and other student programs. Students who are admitted to UC Riverside can also submit their Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) that day.

"It's a quick and easy way to apply to one of the most prestigious universities on the West Coast," said Campos. "And if for some reason, a student is not yet transfer-ready, the application fee is completely refunded. So there's no risk at all."

One Stop Admission Day is designed specifically for community college students with at least 52 UC transferable semester units who haven't yet secured their university transfer for fall 2008. Students should bring a completed UC application as well as copies of their community college transcripts. Students should also bring two checks or money orders, one for the application fee and one for their Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) fee. The university cannot accept credit cards or cash during this event.

For more information about One Stop Admission Day, contact the Office of Admissions at (951) 827-3411 or visit www.my.ucr.edu.

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BVN National News Wire