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John and Willa Woods Celebrate 50 Years

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John and Willa Woods
Long time San Bernardino residents Dr. John Woods, Pastor of Praise Christian Center in Montclair, California and wife, Willa Woods celebrated 50 years of marriage on June 24. It all began many years ago in Nashville, Tennessee while both attended Tennessee State University. John and Willa Woods have four children - son Dr. Reginald L. Woods, Senior Pastor of Life Changing Ministries in San Bernardino and his wife Nicole, and their children - Brandon, Jason, and Leilani, son Dexter Woods, daughter Regina Prater, her husband Steve Sr. (passed away recently) and her children, Steve Jr. and Raquel, and son Dominic Woods and his wife Jennifer, and four sons, Dominic, Joshua, Jayden, and Jordan.

To celebrate their 50 Year Anniversary, the entire family, accompanied by a few friends took a Western Caribbean Cruise out of Florida and visited the Cayman Islands and Cancun, Mexico. During that time Dr. Jerry Seville and wife Carolyn from Crowley, Texas performed a Wedding Renewal Service.

The celebration is not over. There will be a Wedding Anniversary Reception on Sunday, September 30 at 6:00 pm at the Civic Center Community Building in the City of Chino Hills, 2001 Grand Avenue. The event is open to the public (friends and associates). For more information, call (909) 590-3717.

Read for the Record Events to be Held Throughout the City

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Dorothy Inghram
The City of San Bernardino will host San Bernardino Story Time on Thursday, September 20th.

"We estimate over 800 children will participate in San Bernardino Story Time events being held around the city," said Mayor Patrick J. Morris.  "The more people who participate by attending a Read for the Record event, the more awareness we bring to the importance of literacy and early childhood education."

In addition to the public sites, all early childhood education sites throughout the San Bernardino City Unified School District will be participating in this world-record breaking event to promote literacy and the importance of early childhood education. Over 50 SBCUSD classrooms will be reading the Story of Ferdinand.

You can find all sites in the City of San Bernardino hosting Read for the Record events at www.readfortherecord.org.

Event Planning with Wendy Gladney Brooks

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Wendy Gladney Brooks
Almost anything can be an event these days.  There are events given to raise money, events that raise awareness, and events that are meant specifically to just have a good time.  Community events tend to bend more towards raising funds for their operation while bringing awareness to their cause. 

I wanted to bring attention to the aspect of "fundraising" because as an Event Manager many of our clients often ask us to help them with Sponsorships.  Event Planners are not fundraisers, however, when you've been in this field as long as we have, you tend to know some of the steps and details necessary to assist in this area.

  • First, make a list of the companies you wish to target.
  • Second, make sure you do some research to find out what type of projects or programs the company supports. You may come to find out they only process requests that deal with education and your program deals with health issues. Don't waste your time or theirs.
  • Third, find out the name and title of the person you wish to address the letter. Don't send it to just "Dear Sir or Madame."
  • Fourth, see if anyone within your organization or board has a personal contact with the company or individual you wish to send the letter and add their name to the letter as a reference.
  • Fifth, after you've mailed out the request letter, follow up with a personal phone call to make sure they received it and see if they have any questions.
  • Sixth, if you are trying to build a lasting relationship with the company, see if you can set up an appointment for them to visit your location. If they're not able to come to you, see if you can meet with them at their office. This will allow you to give them more details on your organization's history and programs.
  • Finally, if you receive funding, don't forget a follow up thank you letter. Also add them to your general mailing list and make sure they receive copies of your newsletters, etc. It's always good to keep in touch when you're not asking for money too!

Most companies tend to do their budgets for the coming year in September and October.  So if you are planning an event in 2008, now's the time to get that request in!

Give your all in all that you do. Then the PLUS won't just be more, it will be the difference!

Wendy is the founder and president of Personal Services Plus, Inc., an Event Management Company.  Visit  www.personalservicesplus.com  or email her at wendy@personalservicesplus.com.

Ken Calvert to Seek Re-Election to Congress

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Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Corona)
Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Corona)  announced his intention to seek re-election to California's 44th Congressional District.

"Our great republic empowers the people to directly elect their Members of the US House, and I humbly ask the people of the 44th Congressional District to send me to Washington to fight for them for another two years."

"As someone who was born and raised in Corona, I have seen the tremendous changes that have improved and challenged our quality of life in southern California.  Whether as a small businessman or public servant, I try to bring about the best results for our community by pursuing solutions with any and all parties willing to work in good faith."

Citing the issues of Illegal Immigration, National Security, the Fight against Terrorism, Lowering Taxes and Spending, Health Care, Education, Energy, and Transportation as his "Eight Issues for 2008" Calvert said:

"At home and abroad our American civilization faces critical challenges that demand that we send proven, principled and proactive leaders to Congress.  My record of working on forward-thinking solutions based on sensible, conservative, commonsense principles is my personal platform for re-election.

"As a leader in the fight against illegal immigration for over a decade, I stand with the full force of the citizens of the 44th when I say "NO‚ to amnesty for illegal aliens.  We have faced down the danger of the recent Senate Amnesty bill, but we must remain vigilant against every attempt by the Nancy Pelosi liberals in the House to pass an amnesty bill."

In 1996 Calvert created the Basic Pilot Program -- the only employment verification system available nationwide for employers to electronically check the legal status of their employees to work in the US.  His current legislation, HR 19, would make employment verification mandatory across the nation.  He has consistently voted for building and funding the Border Fence, dispatching the National Guard to our southern border and for hiring more Border Patrol agents.

"Security also means we must have the tools to fight the global terrorists who wish to do us harm at home and abroad.  Throughout my career and in my seven years on the Armed Services Committee I have voted to give our Armed Forces, Intelligence Agents and Law Enforcement officers the tools and support they need to keep us safe.  Only last week did we have to fight and defeat an attempt by the Nancy Pelosi liberals to hamstring our intelligence agents in their ability to capture terrorist communications from overseas.

"While our efforts in Iraq should have been more robust and flexible earlier, we now have the team in charge, the boots on the ground and the strategy in place to secure our goals in that part of the world.  Unlike the Pelosi liberals running the House who seem eager to score a loss for America and close the books, I am eager to hear the Crocker-Petraeus progress report in September, so that when we bring our troops home it is with victory and honor for them, and peace and security for our nation.  The one thing that I have learned from my four trips to Iraq is that our troops are the most optimistic about their efforts and consistently ask for one thing from us at home -- Support.

Domestically, Calvert believes that we must keep our economy strong by lowering taxes, restraining spending, increasing transparency in government and improving health care and education.

"The Pelosi House wants to raise your taxes and tragically overspend.  At a time when our economy is growing, but threatened by energy costs and housing problems, the House majority is heading towards bigger deficits and bigger tax bills for all Americans.  I have and will vote against all such misguided efforts to take more money from hardworking taxpayers.  In order to increase transparency and accountability in government, I have voted for full disclosure of all Congressional earmarks.

"Transportation is another critical element of our economy and, as I did for water supply issues with my CAL-FED legislation, I am working on long-term solutions for transportation including: A new route between Orange and Riverside counties; Extending the 241 Toll Road; and a goods movement bill I will be introducing  in September to fund critical road and grade separation improvements to mitigate for the impact of increased international trade on southern California's roads and cities."

"This is a crucial period for our nation.  I ask for the voters‚ support so I can continue to represent your interests and values for another two years in the United States Congress."

Voters Cheer, Registrars Jeer, L.A.’s Powerful McCormack to Retire

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By Chris Levister

When California Secretary of State Debra Bowen moved last month to pull the plug on touch screen voting machines used in San Bernardino and Riverside counties and most of the state because of serious security concerns, she was aptly prepared for a fire storm.

After all when her predecessor, Kevin Shelly, tried to get tough on the e-voting companies in the run-up to the 2004 election - first by insisting on a voter verifiable paper trail and then decertifying an entire class of Diebold machines following what he called ‘a litany of company lies and incompetence' - he quickly found himself surrounded by flame throwers, accused of everything from fits of temper to campaign irregularities. Shelly was forced to resign, his reputation burned beyond recognition. 

Undaunted Bowen campaigned and was elected on a promise to return integrity to California's electoral process. Now with the venerable Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/ County Clerk Conny McCormack claiming her decision to retire after 12 years was influenced by the touch screen voting debate and county after county crying foul that they have lost millions and can't use their not-too-old touch screens, the e-voting debate is  intensifying amid growing criticism of the machines.

"Bowen claims it is possible to hack into the voting machines, but that is fear-mongering without a factual basis and it is extremely disruptive on the voting process," fumed McCormack, who has held the job since 1995.

Sounding less than happy, San Bernardino Registrar Kari Verjil says the county is scrambling to make changes before the presidential primary in February. She says Bowen's decision to decertify the county's $16 million voting system will cost taxpayers an additional $1.5 million to switch back to paper ballots. 

The county will still put one electronic voting unit at each polling place for disabled voters. That means only 500 of the county's 4,000 units will actually be used.

Supervisor Josie Gonzales offered her sympathy to Verjil's office, saying anyone frustrated with slow results on Election Night should aim their annoyance at the state.

Gonzales joined other critics of Bowen's decision because it was made after a study her office commissioned, in which access codes were provided to University of California students who are computer experts.  The codes enabled the students to hack into the systems, which critics have said invalidates the study.

California counties are scrambling to replace touch screen voting machines with paper ballots in time for the February 5 presidential primary elections.

"The test was not conducted under real-life voting conditions," said Verjil in agreement.

The blogosphere is buzzing with opinions. One testy online blogger awarded Riverside County leaders ‘top prize for head in the sand obtuseness'.  The county board of supervisors recently commissioned a blue-ribbon panel to look at the county's $25 million voting systems and the - panel - independent of Bowen's office reported back that e-voting was a liability the county should move away from as fast as possible.

But that didn't stop county registrar Barbara Dunmore, from continuing to support her Sequoia machines and insisting that they have been problem free for 39 elections.

Riverside County voters are virtually certain to encounter paper ballots at the polls in February, but the exact system they'll use is an open question as representatives of the county and a manufacturer haggle over replacement equipment costs. 

County Supervisor Jeff Stone, an outspoken defender of Sequoia's touch screens, had harsh words for a Sequoia executive who refused to agree to a rebate or short term lease of the machines.

"As a county that took a financial risk, on your machines, I would hope there would be a little more goodwill between the county and Sequoia," said Stone.

"Bowen's decision has jolted Sequoia just as heavily as it has the local governments it does business with," responded Sequoia Vice President of Sales Howard Cramer.

Dunmore warned, "I think it's going to be a tumultuous process at the polls."

Meanwhile a group of California voters who filed suit challenging former Secretary of State Bruce McPherson's 2006 certification of Diebold touch screen machines for use in the state have withdrawn their court case saying Bowen's historic action constituted vindication of the voting security concerns raised in their lawsuit.

"Secretary Bowen should be commended for moving the state and the nation in the right direction on the critical questions facing our elections today," said Charles Fox, a voter plaintiff in the case.

California is not alone in rejecting e-voting: New Mexico and intriguingly, Florida have reverted to paper ballots, as have dozens of individual counties across the country.  The importance of California in the national debate remains considerable because of its size and concentration of computer science experts.

Paper ballot proponents say Bowen's ruling sends a strong message - ‘money and influence do not votes buy' and while the e-voting debate promises to rage on - a growing number of researchers are betting California will led the way by accelerating the nationwide trend away from electronic voting to something more transparent and verifiable.

In other words, said an advocate, "Bowen has notched an unambiguous victory for the cause of voter rights."

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BVN National News Wire