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High School Students Compete in NAACP Competition

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Four high school students recently placed first place in the local NAACP’s Academic, Cultural, Technological, Scientific Olympics and headed for New York City to compete in the national competitions.

Marquise Cox : A graduating senior from North High School competed in Oratory (original); Jade Hooper: A sophmore from North High School competed in Dance; Anthony Anderson a freshman from Poly High School competed in Poetry (original); Carol Cox: A senior from Santiago High School in Corona

competed in Dramatics. All students will be showcased at a Fish Fry Fund Raiser Saturday June 27, at The Community Settlement House, 14th and Burmuda in Riverside.

Donations are needed to help defray the cost of the travel and six nights housing fees. For more information please call 951-683-6225 or send checks to Riverside NAACP Branch/ACT-SO. Your Support will help to encourage “Todays Youth Tomorrows Leaders.”

Robert Byrd Launches US Census Efforts

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Riverside Auditor Controller Robert Byrd encouraged United States Census workers and elected officials to help count all of Riverside County’s residents during the county’s census kickoff at the Doral Desert Princess Resort in Cathedral City.

During the last census, in 2000, Riverside County and the Coachella Valley had some of the lowest responses in the state, said Martha A. Rivas, a U.S. Census partnership specialist for the Coachella Valley.

Palm Springs’ 49 percent response rate was the lowest in the valley. Byrd said it’s important to obtain as accurate and complete population counts as possible to help determine how the government will distribute money to the county.

The valley received less financial aid 10 years ago than it could have obtained because of the low response.

The Census also determines the number of congress members, state assembly members and state senators California and the county will receive.

Obtaining a correct count in this area has specific challenges, said Rivas. These include accessing gated communities and reaching seasonal residents, such as snowbirds and migrant workers.

Byrd heard about the issues firsthand as his son served as an enumerator during the address canvassing for Census 2010.

“My son shared with me the challenges that census workers face from locked gates to dogs to suspicious residents wary of strangers,” said Byrd.

“He also told me once people understood he worked for the U.S. Census they were usually happy to help him.”

Census questionnaires will be sent out in March 2010 and must be completed by April 1, 2010.

Coachella Mayor Eduardo Garcia attended Thursday’s kickoff on behalf of Assemblyman Manuel Perez, D-Coachella.

“In terms of the census … (Perez) believes that it is critically important that we use innovation and creativity to get into every corner of the valley,” Garcia said.

In 2002, Robert Byrd became the county’s elected Auditor-Controller with more votes cast than in the entire history of the office. He was subsequently re-elected to a second four-year term in June of 2006.

The function of the Auditor-Controller’s office is to verify, process and create more than 1,000 warrants to vendors each day and process and draft more than 40,000 paychecks for county employees each month. It oversees the disbursement of more than $3 billion in tax money each year, and reports and audits all of Riverside County’s expenses. Byrd has been chair of the Riverside County Employee Campaign and the Legislative Chair for the State Association of County Auditors. Additionally, Byrd is a commissioner on the California Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Commission, and a member of the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers, the Government Finance Officer’s Association and the State Association of County Auditors.

Committed to his community, he’s a member of Riverside Rotary, board member of the Next of Kin Registry, is on the International Relations Council for Riverside and performs as Finance Chairperson for La Sierra Academy’s Board of Trustees.

For details on the Riverside County Auditor-Controller’s office call (951) 955-3800.

Robert E. Byrd, CGFM, who is elected by the voters of Riverside County, heads the Office of the Auditor-Controller. The Auditor-Controller staff and management teams are dedicated to providing sound financial accounting, auditing and reporting in order to serve the citizens of Riverside County.

More information is available on the Web at http://www.auditorcontroller.org

Local Cancer Advocate Travels to Washington, D.C.

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Volunteer advocates from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) will join cancer advocates from 18 different health care organizations in Washington, DC, this week to urge lawmakers to increase funding for critical cancer research and prevention programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute (NCI), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal agencies. The nearly 200 advocates from the different organizations are uniting as part of the One Voice Against Cancer (OVAC) lobby day.

John Coleman, a resident of Riverside, CA, will be attending on behalf of ACS CAN, the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society.

“Research is a critical component of a broader comprehensive approach to fight a disease that will kill an estimated 560,000 people in America this year,” said Coleman.

“Millions of Americans touched by cancer are counting on legislators to ensure there is adequate funding to fight cancer in this country.

We look forward to a day when cancer will no longer be a death sentence, and a sustained federal investment is key to reaching that goal.”

Now in its 10th year, the O VA C Lobby Day will take place over two days culminating on June 9 with more than 178 scheduled meetings with Members of Congress and their staff.

Advocates will be talking with their elected officials about OVAC’s specific funding requests, as follows:

Support an increase of 10 percent (or $3 billion) for NIH; an increase of 20 percent (or $1 billion) for NCI;

and an increase of 10 percent  (or $221 million) for the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) in the FY 2010 Labor Health and Human Services (LHHS) appropriations bill. (This would be the start of a multi-year effort to double funding for cancer research.)

Support an increase of $471 million in the fiscal year 2010 LHHS appropriations bill for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cancer programs.

Support full funding of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Patient Navigator Program in the fiscal year 2010 LHHS appropriations bill, providing HRSA with $18.6 million to help low-income cancer patients navigate the health care system and overcome barriers to health care.

Support an increase of $374 million (18 percent) for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the fiscal year 2010 Agriculture-FDA appropriations bill. The increase would provide the FDA with the resources it requires to further integrate cutting-edge science will streamline the translation of cancer research from early stage discovery to clinical application.

“I plan to remind my Members of Congress that the war against cancer will not be won in the research labs alone,” said Coleman, ACS CAN Volunteer, who also serves on the Society’s Inland Empire African American Community Outreach Committee. “Our government is an essential partner in this

fight, perhaps the most crucial ally we have. It is imperative that lawmakers guarantee funding for research to develop tests and treatments  for those deadly cancers for which we still lack answers.”

According to the Society, more than 1.4 million people in America will be diagnosed with cancer and another 562,340 will die from the disease in 2009. Cancer remains the leading cause of death for all Americans under the age of 85, claiming the lives of 1,500 people each day.

ACS CAN joins the following health care groups participating in this year’s lobby day: American Association for Cancer Research, American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Surgeons, American Society for Radiation Oncology, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, C3: Colorectal Cancer Coalition, ICCCaucus, International Myeloma Foundation, Lance

Armstrong Foundation, Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Men’s Health Network, National Alliance for Hispanic Health, National Cervical Cancer Coalition/HPV Cancer Coalition, Nevada Cancer Institute, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network – PanCAN, Susan G Komen for the Cure, Us Too and Women Against Prostate Cancer.

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative  solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority.

ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.acscan.org.

One Voice Against Cancer (OVAC), a coalition of more than 40 national and community-based  organizations, collectively represents millions of Americans since it was founded in 2000. OVAC represents researchers, physicians, patients and families and many others – people working together to make funding for cancer research and prevention programs a national priority. For more information visit: www.ovaconline.org.

Youth Development Focus in Moreno Valley

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With a rich history in developing and encouraging youth, in Moreno Valley, the Youth Direction Program was formed as a nonprofit community outreach organization.

The mission is to empower the youth to achieve competency in life skills, develop social responsibility, and prepare them for a trade and profession by providing education and apprenticeship to Moreno Valley and its adjacent communities with an understanding that youth are the greatest asset to the future.

YDP is targeting the Moreno Valley community and surrounding cities with a focus on youth  development which will produce Young Dependable People with positive attitudes and competitive spirits to positively impact our community. YDP focuses on training youth ages 7-22 to become productive participants in the community in which they live by providing avenues to social and economic success through intensive educational preparation and career development. For the past 8 years, the Youth Direction Program has been providing services to the youth and their families in: computer literacy, college counseling, job seeking instruction, life skills classes, apprenticeship training, S.A.T. preparation, workshops on video, photography, printing, and graphics, giving instructions on how to create and give presentations, typing instruction, research practices, tutoring, and outreach for families and much more.

For more information on YDP contact 951.485.4774 or email ydpyouth@live.com.

$40 Million Shortfall Will Mean Furloughs and Layoffs at UC Riverside

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The state’s growing budget shortfall will mean budget cuts at the University of California, Riverside that likely will include furloughs, layoffs and pay cuts to achieve up to $40 million in annual savings during the fiscal year that starts July 1.

“It’s draconian,” said UCR Chancellor Timothy P. White, noting that faculty and staff both must shrink by about 15 percent, mostly through attrition.

“Unfortunately, there are more questions than answers  at this time about how all this will work,” but he promised to share answers as soon as they are determined.

The latest information, including a video message from Chancellor White, are posted at a Budget News Web site at http://budget.ucr.edu

“Let me be very clear. I am deeply concerned by these cuts,” said White. “We are being forced into misguided and short-sighted actions that are an ‘anti-stimulus package.”

Developing human capital and knowledge is the only way to recover and strengthen the economy. We are necessarily taking actions in the opposite direction.”

White said that UC throughout the system may implement furloughs on the order of 16 days, of which 13 will be taken on holidays that are now paid. White noted that 16 furlough  days would save UCR $10 million a year.

If they are implemented, lowest paid employees may be exempt from the furloughs, but the cutoff salary had not been determined.

In addition, Chancellor White’s pay and that of the executive vice chancellor and provost, the UC president and vice presidents will be cut by 5 percent starting July 1.

Salary reductions for additional senior leaders may be forthcoming.

White said there will be more cuts in the 2010-11 fiscal year.

“We can’t just raise student fees or furlough faculty and staff” to close the budget gap, he said.

He asked campus leadership to consider the possibility of consolidating and/or eliminating programs. “Some of these are likely to be very fine programs that, in normal budget times, we would continue to support,” he said.

He said cuts will be made so that the delivery of core academic services will not be affected. Ladder faculty will teach more since there will be fewer lecturers and teaching assistants.

“We need to get smaller so we can maintain quality … we cannot abrogate world-class quality.”

At his May 21 Town Hall meeting the chancellor said that while he thought cuts of $19 million to UCR’s 2010-11 budget would be sufficient, the worst case reduction was estimated at $26 million.

He explained that the dramatic difference now in UCR’s budget gap was caused by the release of a new budget by the governor who interpreted the failure of budget-related ballot measures as a voter mandate to slash programs instead of increasing taxes.

The Governor’s proposal to phase out Cal Grants would have “a devastating impact on many students and their families,” White said.

The proposal would impact more than 2,100 of UCR’s students.

With a smaller pool of needbased financial aid, efforts to balance out aid awards would harm other UCR students as well. “Our enrollment could be seriously affected,” White said.

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BVN National News Wire