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Draeger Named Assessor

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By BVN Staff --

Dennis Draeger is used to navigating political scandal and upheaval. The 34-year San Bernardino county employee has had a front row seat since former Assessor Bill Postmus resigned from the elective position in February amid allegations of drug abuse and corruption.

“I look forward to the challenge. We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Draeger told members of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors during his swearing in ceremony Tuesday.

He is to complete Postmus’ term which ends in December 2010. He says he plans to run in the June primary election.

“I’m supportive of Dennis Draeger for the position. I think he’s the right man for the job,” said Supervisor Gary Ovitt.

Coming to the job in the face of a county-commissioned investigation into Postmus’ office, Draeger faces what some describe as a public relations nightmare, budget cuts, low employee moral and layoffs.

Just months ago, former federal prosecutor John C. Hueston issued a scathing report on the office alleging wide spread corruption, and abuse of power by Postmus and several former employees. Draeger began his career at the Assessor’s Office in 1975.  He left in 1998 to work in the Treasurer/Tax Collector’s Office as assistant tax collector.

He returned to the Assessor’s Office in 2008 as assistant assessor succeeding Harlow Cameron, who retired.

City Offers Free Opera Concert

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The city invites everyone to a free concert celebrating opera, 2 p.m., Saturday, at the César Chávez Community Center, 2060 University Ave.

The concert is the culmination of a city-sponsored weeklong youth opera camp and an adult master class ending Friday.

The students of the youth opera camp are now involved in high-energy classes in vocal instruction, acting and movement.

The evening master classes provide teacher and peer input for soloists and small groups perfecting their operatic skills. There are about 30 participants in both the adult and youth classes.

Manual Aybar, artistic director for the Riverside Lyric Opera, is directing the camp.

Mezzo-soprano Suzanna Guzmán of the Los Angeles Opera is working with the youth and adults.

“Singing is our first instrument, and one that rewires the way we face the day,” said Guzmán. “When kids and adults reach inside and sing from the bottom of their hearts, they tap a well of emotions that is liberating and courageous.”

The youth and adults will be performing selections from “Hansel and Gretel” and “Barber of Seville” at the concert.

Proud family members will be filling the limited seating for the community center’s auditorium.

“Lizzie wants the opportunity to sing and improve her range,” said Gwen Schlumbohm about her daughter, a participant. “She’s wanted to be an opera singer since she was 3.”

For more information contact Margie Haupt, interim project manager for Arts & Cultural Affairs, at (951) 826-2391 or mhaupt@riversideca.gov.

ACS’s Sizzlin’ Summer Gala To Be Held

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The American Cancer Society’s first annual “Sizzlin’ Summer Gala— Turnin’ Up the Heat For a Cure” will be held Saturday, August 15 at Eagle Glen Golf Club in Corona. The event will include a delicious Mexican menu, and a spicy Latin Salsa theme.

“During the hottest part of summer we’ll be celebrating cancer survivorship and raising funds to fight cancer,” said Judy Carpenter, Chief Operating Officer and President of Riverside Medical Clinic, and volunteer event chair.

The American Cancer Society Celebration of Life Award from the American Cancer Society will be presented during the event to cancer survivor Jamil Dada of the Riverside County Workforce Development Board and VP of Investment Services at Provident Bank in the Inland Empire.

There’s a little something for everyone at this year’s gala. The live auction will include dinner for ten on a private yacht and a helicopter ride over the Inland Empire.

The event will kick off at 6 p.m. with a social hour and silent auction. First-class entertainment will be provided by the popular Latin Salsa Band, Opa Opa.

The event, with sponsorship co-chairs Lisa Reece and Cheryl Donahue, is sure to be an evening to remember.

“Our goal is to pay tribute to cancer patients and their families, as well as raise awareness of the American Cancer Society and the numerous services and programs it provides Inland Empire cancer patients,” Donahue said.

Tickets for the gala are $100 each, or a sponsored table of ten is $1,500. Other sponsorship opportunities are available. Local businesses and leaders are supporting the event: Silver Sponsors— Riverside Medical Clinic and Loma Linda University Cancer Center; Bronze Sponsor—Best Pharmacy Group, Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione, Riverside  Community Hospital ; Table Sponsors – Bechtel Corporation, Compassionate Cancer Center, HDR Engineering, Inc., Parsons Transportation Group, and Riverside Physician Network; Patron Sponsors – Provident Bank and Riverside County Supervisor Roy Wilson. For reservations or sponsorship information, call the American Cancer Society’s Inland Empire Executive Director Alyson Henson at (951) 300-1217, or Pat Rupert at (951) 300-1223.

Renown Psalmist/Preacher Kicks Off Pre-Koinonia Worship Service

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Nationally recognized preacher, teacher and psalmist Bishop Rudolph McKissick, Jr. of Jacksonville, Florida kicks off the Koinonia 2009 season with a pre-conference worship service on next Friday evening, July 17 at Life Church.

As Senior Pastor of Bethel Baptist Institutional Church in Jacksonville, Bishop McKissick oversees a congregation of more than 12,000 members. He shares the pulpit with his father, Dr. Rudolph W. McKissick, Sr., who serves as Senior Pastor as well.

The younger McKissick also is a gifted musician whose Word and Worship CDs, “The Right Place,” debut on the Billboard charts at No. 5. He is also an accomplish author whose second book, God’s Got My Back, is expected for release by the end of the year.

Koinonia is a Greek word for fellowship in the spirit. This year marks the 14thoccasion many of God’s most dynamic spiritual generals from across the world have delivered power-packed messages to Inland Empire attendees at the event hosted by Pastor Ron M. Gibson and First Lady LaVette.

Two international speakers are slated for Koinonia 2009, officially beginning July 29 through Aug. 2: Bishop Neil Ellis of Nassau, Bahamas and Bishop John Francis of London, England.

Rounding out the speaker lineup are conference hosts Dr. Ron and Evang. LaVette Gibson and Prophet Todd Hall of Orlando, Florida. Admission is free to all events. Doors open an hour prior to each service. Additional information is available at www.kc09.com

Going Green With EnviroBro

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Radio personality Leonard “EnviroBro” Robinson will be joined this week by Wen I. Chang, the founder and president of the Atman Hospitality Group. Their Gaia Napa Valley Hotel & Spa is the first green hotel in California and one of the greenest in the nation. Mr. Chang has innovated a message package aiming to transform people’s consciousness through hotel development and operation. When his hotel “leaves the light on for you” you’d better believe it is energy efficiency lighting!

The show will broadcast live Thursday, July 9th from 10:00am until 11:00am (pacific) on Sacramento Radio Station KDEE 97.7FM and stream world-wide on the internet at: www.kdeefm.org (click on listen live). Listeners are invited to join the dialogue by calling toll-free at (877) 631-8599 and emailing inquiries at: info@kdeefm.org.

The show will be re-broadcast on Saturday, July 11th from 2:00pm to 3:00pm (pacific) The “Going Green With EnviroBro Radio Show”, the first “green” radio show on an urban radio station in the nation, is dedicated to providing its listeners with the “green” information that will affect them; their families and their pocketbook.

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BVN National News Wire