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Candidate Filing Deadline

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Persons interested in running for office in the November 4, 2008 Presidential Election may file papers for candidacy until 5:00 pm on Friday, August 8, 2008. If an incumbent fails to file, this deadline is extended for that office, non-incumbents only, to 5:00 pm on Wednesday, August 13, 2008.

Further information about this election may be obtained from the Registrar of Voters at (909) 387-8300 or (800) 881-8683.

Teens From Library Program Show Work At Artswalk Venue

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Several Riverside teens involved in a summer library project to create views of their hometown through a lens will see their works exhibited at the University of California Riverside's California Museum of Photography, 3824 Main Street, from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday.

The exhibit will be held during First Thursday ArtsWalk, in which downtown art venues, such as galleries and museums, are open later to encourage more visitors.

The teens' works will be part of a showcase celebrating the stories, images and graphic design work of teens in the Inland Empire. 

The summer course at the library, "How I See It," is a joint project of the Riverside Public Library's Teen Space Program, the UCR California Museum of Photography and the Inlandia Institute.  The project involved photo excursions throughout downtown and digital graphic manipulation. 

"How I see It" is a program of the California Council for the Humanities' California Stories: How I See It campaign conducted in partnership with Califa.  It is supported in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.  For more information on the Council and the California Stories Initiative, visit www.californiastories.org.

Art Institute Readies Habitat For Humanity Home

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"Ours isn't a typical college class," said Marie Feuer, an instructor of the Human Factors interior design class at The Art Institute of California - Inland Empire. "There's no read-this-chapter-and-take-a-test here. Ours is a hands-on effort, taking the design students from the abstract and theoretical, to the concrete and the real world."

After five weeks of intense planning, researching and designing, a dozen of the institute's students are ready to actually install what they've created in a new 1,800 square foot house built by Habitat for Humanity in Riverside for Stephanie and Ron Suarez and their six children.

On Thursday, July 24 at 7 a.m. students arrived, along with Feuer, at the Riverside location ready to go. Their designs for cabinetry, shelving, storage units, kitchen and bathroom fixtures will become a reality when they execute the installation themselves. 

Interior design students of the Art Institute of the Inland Empire taking a glance at the materials they have to work with. (l-r): Johnell Stephenson and Lauren Silva
Feuer notes, "The students had to submit proposals to the Habitat for Humanity staff which agreed on one without any changes at all. The plans had to be budgeted out, a list of tools assembled, building codes had to be assessed and a timeline established. The students used CAD software along with PowerPoint and InDesign programs, and even submitted materials samples. And they needed to determine what impact their choices of lighting and color would have on the family."

"There were a thousand details to be dealt with," she continues, "way beyond what designers normally have to handle. The students learned to get their hands dirty in the real world, understanding what a pain it can be to actually build their brilliant designs."

The interior design students were split into two teams, and part of the learning was to learn how to get along in order to come up with so much and do it all on time and on budget.

Feuer explained how the students met with the Suarez family over dinner one night and set about interviewing the soon-to-be new homeowners. "The students asked question after question," Feuer says. "Like, what were the children's needs - for instance, our class created closets that will expand as the children's lives evolve and they begin growing up." And what did Mrs. Suarez like in a kitchen, how much storage space does the family need now and will require in the future? This was a wonderful evening."

Interior design students watch a fellow student install a wall mount in the closet. (l-r): Melicent James, Jamie Mitchell and Lauren Silva.

The students' research included a trip to the Pitzer College, Claremont campus. "It's prized as a ‘green' school," Feuer explains, "and we wanted to learn all we could in order to incorporate as many of the environmentally sensitive solutions as possible. We and Habitat wanted the house to be ecologically sound, not just looking good."

At the heart of the entire project at The Art Institute of California - Inland Empire was the Academic Director for Interior Design, Sara Sandoval, "a queen at finding the best, unique projects for her students," Feuer says. "It was Sara who contacted Habitat for Humanity in the first place. She gave me enormous freedom, just asking me to keep her informed of what we were planning and how we'd pull it off. To have an academic director who allows you that freedom, and who shows that she respects me and what I do, made the entire effort a total joy."

The Suarez/Habitat for Humanity home is at 2929 11th Street in Riverside. 

It's not too late to start classes. Courses begin Aug. 21, offering day, evening and weekend classes for new and reentry students. For details or a tour of the campus call (909) 915-2100, or go on line to artinstitutes.edu/inlandempire.

The Art Institute of California - Inland Empire offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Game Art & Design, Culinary Management, Graphic Design, Web Design & Interactive Media, Interior Design, Fashion Design and Retail Management, and Media Arts & Animation. There are also Associate of Science degrees in Graphic Design and Culinary Arts. Each program is offered on a year-round basis, allowing students to work uninterrupted toward their degrees.

The Art Institute of California-Inland Empire is one of The Art Institutes (www.artinstitutes.edu), a system of over 40 education institutions located throughout North America, providing an important source of design, media arts, fashion and culinary arts professionals.

American Dream Delayed

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By Chris Levister

Crisis Puts Brakes on Years of Black Home Buying Progress

By every measure the Campbell's are the prefect home buying couple: educated, good incomes, conservative spenders, money in a saving account and two children in private school.

Sign of the Times: This is one of more than a dozen foreclosure signs dotting Jonathan and Laura Campbell’s quiet Rialto neighborhood.
Not so. Laura and Jonathan Campbell have been turned down for a home loan more times than they are willing to admit.

"We're just trying to stay positive. Standing in the yard of their rented Rialto home Laura a music teacher holds up a hair brush. "It's my therapeutic microphone." These days her favorite catharsis is performing a line from singer Richard Harris' 1968 epic ‘Mac Arthur Park'.

"It goes like this says Laura pointing to one of nearly a dozen foreclosure signs dotting their quiet neighborhood.

 "...Some one left the cake out in the rain and I don't think that I can take it ‘cause it took too long to bake it, and I'll never have that recipe again - oh no!..."   

Since 2006 the Campbell's have been nesting away a chunk of their monthly income to fulfill a family tradition of owning a piece of the American Dream.

"We're working on the third generation of homeowners in this family. It's a right of passage," laments Jonathan.

"This whole homeowner dream is a great idea if you can afford it, if you've got a down payment, if you've got the income or assets to make the monthly payments, particularly when those payments are going to go up."

That was Attorney General Jerry Brown's harsh reminder earlier this month after he filed an expanded lawsuit against Countrywide Financial. He says the nation's largest mortgage lender systemically made loans to people it knew couldn't really pay the money back.

After years of Black homeowner growth the Campbell's both African-Americans find themselves caught in a catch 22.

"We're doomed by the bad PR. There's an unfair assumption that all minorities have or will default.  If you're a person of color looking for a home loan now, there's a bulls eye on you by every lender," says Laura.

According to consumer buying statistics, Black homeownership soared 40 percent during the 90s as more Blacks moved into the nation's middle and upper class.

Brown's suit against Countrywide cited not only sub-prime loans to the riskiest borrowers, but also loans made to borrowers with good credit, including complex adjustable-rate mortgages known as ARMs as well as home equity lines of credit.

Angelo Mozilo, (the lender's founder, chairman and chief executive and his associates) "crafted mortgage instruments that did great harm to individuals and the communities, and they persisted in expanding these damaging mortgages over a number of years," Brown claimed.        

Study after study show that minorities are more likely than whites to get sub-prime mortgages, which are high cost loans made to people with poor credit. In its heyday earlier this decade, the sub-prime market was cheered as an avenue through which historically shut-out borrowers could get loans. That frequently meant minorities.

So long as home prices rose, the sub-prime market seemed a positive example of how to increase home ownership, but as the housing market weakened, many began to question whether the loans were fairly priced.

In 2007, the Federal Reserve released a study that found 52.8 percent of African-Americans got a high-cost home loan when they refinanced in 2006, compared to 37.7 percent of Latinos and just 25.7 percent of whites in the same year.

A similar study by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, known by its acronym ACORN, found the same pattern even when the income was equal.

According to ACORN, upper income Blacks were 3.3 times and Latinos 3 times, more likely than upper-income whites to have a high-cost loan when purchasing a home.

I keep hoping one day I'll do a study where race doesn't play a part," said Liz Wolff, author of the study.

"But clearly, there is a race bias," she said.

Critics dispute such studies saying that if researchers could account for all the factors that go into pricing a mortgage, they would find that the pricing is based on risk, not race.

Still couples like the Campbell's are feeling squeezed by the fallout. They say even with the latest homeowner rescue bill signed by President Bush this week the housing correction will take precious time.

"We're throwing money away on rent. Home prices are falling, people are walking away, somebody has to fill those abandoned properties," insists Jonathan. On the brighter side he said, it just means "people like us will be in a better position financially when the clouds clear." He warns as financial desperation grows many lenders will fall to the temptation to cut corners by over promising. "You got to do your homework"

Laura Campbell picks up the ‘hairbrush microphone', "Do you remember the classic Smokey Robinson song, where the Mother cautions her son on the best way to find a girl that won't break his heart?" She takes a deep breath and breaks into song, "You Better Shop Around... ..yea, yea! You better..."

Comedy Show To Honor Community Leader Dr. Jerry Louder

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SoulShine Entertainment is partnering with Eternal Praise Productions, to host a comedy show that will benefit Reverend Dr. Jerry Louder,  pastor of  New Jerusalem Church in Riverside, who has recently been diagnosed with cancer and has exhausted his insurance benefits, while ongoing medical bills continue to mount with his cancer treatment and rehabilitation. The show will be held at the Grove Community Church in Riverside, CA.

Please come out and support this cause and enjoy a night full of clean family laughter and entertainment provided to you by  Rev. Monty Sharpton and the Anointed Oreos, renowned comedians J Lamont and Gilbert Esquivel, saxophonist J. Boykin, singer Garet Cunningham and others who are guaranteed to make you laugh, dance, and have a fantastic time.

Proceeds from this event will help to cover Dr. Louder's medical insurance costs.

This is an event not to be missed. The show is for persons of all ages. Come out and enjoy good-old fashioned fun with a twist! Tickets are on sale now. 

Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door; senior, children and group discounts available. Tickets are available at: The Grove Bookstore & Café, Berean Christian Bookstore, New Jerusalem Christian Center, Photos on Sight.

For more information contact: Joseph Boykin, Jboykinsax.com, Ph: (951) 275-3091

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BVN National News Wire