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2008 Taste of the Towns Fundraising Gala Brings out the Stars

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Mablean Ephriam
The stars don't only come out at night... but they will be out for an unforgettable afternoon at The Arthritis Foundation-Inland Empire's annual fundraising gala. "The 2008 Taste of the Towns" takes place Sunday, October 5th from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Riverside Convention Center. This star-studded event takes place on the outside plaza area at 3443 Orange St. in historic downtown Riverside, Calif. This year's event promises to be a very memorable celebration, honoring the profession of Rheumatology and paying tribute to a Motown legend. An elite guest list will walk the red carpet including medical professionals, executive board members, sponsors and surprise celebrity guests.

Melvin Franklin
This year, the Arthritis Foundation-Inland Empire, under the direction of Executive Director Catherine Grinnan, will be paying tribute to the late Melvin Franklin of the Grammy-award winning legendary Temptations (Godfather of Arthritis Foundation Committee member Natasha Ferguson). Franklin died in 1995 as a result of complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis. Franklin's widow, Kim English, will be in attendance for the honoring of her late husband.

The emcee of this gala affair will be none other than the Honorable Judge Mablean Ephriam, known for her stint as the judge on Twentieth Century Fox's "Divorce Court" show.

Judge Ephriam has been practicing law for over 20 years and has received numerous awards. Aside from law, she is a sought after public speaker, entrepreneur, mother and grandmother.

The incredible sounds of Temptations tribute band, The Five Tempting Men, will be performing hit songs from the Motown era. In addition, attendees will have a rare opportunity to witness local Riverside artist Greg Adamson paint live to music. The finished art piece will be auctioned to benefit the foundation.

An estimated 1.3 million Americans suffer from this debilitating disease, which is a chronic inflammatory disease of the joints (it affects adults and children). The 2008 Taste of the Towns is the Inland Empire's premier food and wine tasting event to help raise money for continued research and to assist patients who suffer from this disease. For more information call (951) 320-1540.

The Arthritis Foundation is the leading health organization addressing the needs of some 46 million Americans living with arthritis, one of the nation's leading causes of disability.

Founded in 1948 and headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., the Arthritis Foundation has multiple service points located throughout the country. The mission of the Foundation is to improve lives through leadership in the prevention, control and cure of arthritis and related diseases.

  • They are the largest private, not-for-profit contributor to arthritis research in the world, funding more than $380 million in research grants since 1948. Together, volunteers and staff have helped individuals take control of arthritis by: providing public health education pursuing public policy and legislation and conducting evidence-based programs to improve the quality of life for those living with arthritis.

Information about arthritis and the Arthritis Foundation is available 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week at 1-800- 283-7800 or on the Web at www.arthritis.org.

Museum Offers Glimpse At WWII Army Camp

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A free exhibit featuring photos, artifacts and information about Riverside's Camp Anza will be on display for four months at the City's Metropolitan Museum, 3580 Mission Inn Ave., starting tomorrow.

The exhibit commemorates an exciting era in Riverside history when the camp was a World War II staging area for soldiers before boarding transport ships to the Pacific Theater.  Holding 20,000 soldiers at a time, it was the final glimpse of America many soldiers saw before shipping out.  It was also a "welcome home" point for as many as 500,000 returning soldiers.

Remnants of the camp, which existed from 1942-1946, can still be seen in the Arlanza neighborhood of Riverside. 

The exhibit continues until Jan. 31, 2009.

Exhibition Focuses On Art Influences

A free exhibit about modern influences on local artists opens Thursday at the Riverside Metropolitan Museum, 3580 Mission Inn Ave.

The show, "Artists Declare," offers samples of art's external influences - family, traditions, current events, political issues and technology - as well as comments from the artists themselves.   Works by Charles Bibbs, Justin Huffman, Beatriz Krumbein and Douglas Miles will be exhibited.

There is an opening reception at the museum from 6 to 9 p.m., Thursday, during Arts Walk, the monthly open house for Riverside galleries and museums.

The exhibit continues until March 15, 2009.

For more information, call (951) 826-5273 or go online at www.riversideca.gov/museum.

Record Attendance Expected At Annual California Native American Day Celebration

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James Ramos
Traditional brush dancers, Southern California bird singers, food and arts will highlight the tenth annual celebration of Native American Day on Friday, September 26 at 6 p.m. The activities will be held in the Lower Commons area at California State University San Bernardino (CSUSB). The event, which is free and open to the public, marks the culmination of the weeklong California Indian Cultural Awareness Conference (CICAC) held each year at California State University, San Bernardino.

"We invite the public to join us and learn more about the history of California and its Native peoples, "said James Ramos, California Native American Day Project Director and San Manuel Band of Mission Indians tribal member. "This is a rare opportunity to share in songs and dances that are rarely seen outside of California's native communities and reservations.

Since 1999, nearly 30,000 students and teachers have participated in the CICAC, a weeklong forum offering a variety of educational activities about Native Americans indigenous to California, through workshops, educational resources and informative discussions by tribal members and academics.

Over five days of this year's conference, nearly 1,500 students are scheduled to participate in events such as basketry, bird singing and pottery classes. All student and teacher events are held in the Santos Manuel Student Union.

Former Governor Ronald Reagan officially acknowledged the contributions of California's Native Americans in 1968 when he signed a resolution proclaiming the fourth Friday of September as American Indian Day. Eventually, in 1998, the California Legislature passed Assembly Bill No. 1953 (Baca), establishing Native American Day as an official state holiday. Today, people of all ages celebrate California Native American Day by learning more about the culture, heritage and traditions of California's Indians.

UCR Hosts 23rd California Indian Conference Oct. 3-4

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American Indian health issues, language preservation and improving archaeology practices in California will highlight the 23rd annual California Indian Conference on Friday, Oct. 3, and Saturday, Oct. 4, at the UC Riverside Palm Desert Graduate Center.

The conference theme is "Good Medicine and Healthy Nations." Conference sessions will cover a variety of subjects from preserving the language, music and cultural traditions of California's Native Americans to access to medical care and programs that address major health issues of American Indians such as obesity and diabetes.

The event is sponsored by UCR's California Center for Native Nations, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the Rupert Costo Chair in American Indian Affairs, UCR's Center for Ideas and Society and California State University, San Bernardino.

For 23 years California Indians, scholars and Native Americans from many parts of North America have met at the California Indian Conference to learn about the culture, language, history, literature and lives of California Indians, said Cliff Trafzer, professor of history and Costo Professor of American Indian Affairs at UC Riverside.

Multiple conference sessions on Oct. 4 - titled "Finding Common Ground" - will provide an opportunity to share concerns about archaeology practices in California with the Archaeological Resources Committee of the State Historic Preservation Office. Committee member Donn Grenda will be present to take comments.

"There are a lot of hard feelings in California about the way developers build with respect to protecting sites that are important to American Indians," Trafzer said. "These sessions will give American Indian people a chance to talk directly with the commission about their concerns, such as desecration of graves."

Also featured during the conference will be art shows by Billy Soza War Soldier, a Luiseño Indian from the Soboba Indian Reservation near San Jacinto; George Blake, a Hupa Indian from the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation; and James Luna, a Luiseño performance artist from the La Jolla Indian Reservation.

The Palm Desert Graduate Center is located at 75080 Frank Sinatra Drive, Palm Desert.

For information go to http://ccnn.ucr.edu/cic2008/ , or contact Cliff Trafzer at CETrafzer@aol.com  or (951) 827-1974. No registration is required. Events are free and open to the public.

City Prepares for Riverside Freeway Construction

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The high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane on the Riverside Freeway (State Route 91), between Tyler Street and Magnolia Avenue will be closed for three weekends, starting this weekend, Sept. 26-28, and continuing Oct. 3-5 and 17-19.

Construction of the La Sierra Avenue overpass requires the closure of the freeway's eastbound and westbound HOV lanes from 8 p.m., Friday, until 5 a.m., Sunday, on all three weekends.  

Additionally, both eastbound and westbound No. 1 and 2 lanes will close from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights on all three weekends.

La Sierra Avenue over the freeway will remain open during construction, although delays are expected.  All businesses will remain open and accessible.  Drivers should use alternate routes, such as Pierce, Magnolia or Tyler Streets, during the closures.

The project is expected to be completed by the summer of 2009.

For more information, call the City of Riverside Public Works Department at (951) 826-5760.

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BVN National News Wire