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Vonetta Green-Mixson

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ImageBorn and raised in Rubidoux, this musical diva calls the Inland Empire home.  Now an entrepreneur and college professor, she is slated as one of the Westcoast's premier musical talents, commanding roles in productions such as Dreamgirls, Smokey Joe's Café and Ain't Misbehavin'.  As a voice teacher she takes joy in watching young artists discover and develop a passion for music.  Vonetta, along with her husband John and their teenage daughter Jocline minister the word of God as the Spirit leads.  "Music is my offering, glorifying the name of the Lord is my calling, worship is my privilege."-1Chronicles 16:29

Music is Me...

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By Jarrett "Juice" Lacey

My government name is Jarrett Lacey but my name on the tracks is Ju!c3 from the Formerz.

I was born January 12th, 1989. I have 2 other siblings, one older brother who plays drums, and a younger brother who sings. When I was 6 years old I started playing percussion behind my older brother on drums at church. He had this Roland drum machine he practiced with and he showed me how to create patterns on it and my first beats were on and are still on that drum machine today. Later I think when I was about 11-12 my pops old Frank, who does tech work, introduced me to computer technology. Still, today he'll shoot knowledge about computers but he started me out on the computer and from there I've been producing music and graphics for numerous events and people. I lived in Sacramento Ca. for a year with my aunt who I love and my uncle Russ who plays electric guitar and played bass on the Faith Evans album showed me peace and freedom in the music. When chillin with my uncle I got to go to a real studio for the first time I was hooked. I did my very first complete song in my uncle's studio. I wasn't the greatest at first but my uncle was always supportive no matter how crazy the music sounded. I thank him for that. I moved back to San Bernardino and this new style of dance was out called Krump and all my boys were doin it. The problem was that the music they had with that street dancing feel had a lot of cursing and bad language in it and krump was making a turn for Christ so me and my close friend Traveil Williams who passed summer 2006 decided we can make our own music. We started doing Buck tracks my 10th grade year for our dance group who were called K.O.C at the time. Now we are The Buck Boiz and that was my start on Krump and Buck tracks. I'm from the TRACKFORMERz and for those who don't know what the Formerz are I'll explain. TRACKFORMERz is a production team and we make music of all types but we specialize in Krump and Buck music and we have been on the tracks as a team for over a year now. Recently I scored the Buck World 1 play written by Rickerby Hinds. I dance in it also. I'm currently working on a 2nd BUCK TRACK album with my group Safari Boiz . But being successful in this music is not my dream, its what I'm working to achieve. The way I see it is if I sit sleep dreaming about this when will I wake up and accomplish it. Music is me and success in the music is what I'm working to achieve. Shout out to my mother who I love very much. She made all of this possible.

‘07 Redlands’ Graduates

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Graduating class of Redlands East Valley High School was held at the Redlands Bowl.



The Rowell Foster Children’s Positive Plan High Tea at Noon

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By Lea Michelle Cash

According to the statistics reported by the National Foster Parent Association there are 513,000 American children in foster care.  To raise money every year for the Rowell Foster Children's Positive Plan (RFCPP), the organization that she founded, Victoria Rowell, a versatile actress and best selling author, child advocate and spokesperson for foster care, holds a very special afternoon event.  

Victoria Rowell with Congresswoman Maxine Waters and fans.
This event reflects Hollywood and all of its glitter with some of Hollywood's hottest film and television stars stepping out wearing fashionable hats to celebrate motherhood and to support the efforts of RFCPP.  This year the special event was held at the world renown Beverly Hills Hotel and the ballroom was filled to capacity with celebrities such as Anthony Anderson, Taraji Henson, Holly Robinson-Peete, and Dennis Haysbert. Cookie Johnson, wife of Magic Johnson and Pauletta Washington, wife of Denzel Washington, were also present along with a host of politicians.  

NBC4 co-anchor and general assignment reporter, Chris Schauble was Master of Ceremonies.  Oscar nominated actress, Angela Basset received the 1st annual Agatha Award (named after Rowell's foster mother).  A live action featuring a painting by famed-collagist, Phoebe Beasley and a pearl necklace by Tiffany were a few of the items that raised thousands of dollars.  

Angela Bassett is very happy holding her Agatha Award for her support of children in Foster Care system
Entertainment was provided by Comedian Jonathan Slocumb and the awarding winning singer, Patti Austin.   Entertainment also featured that afternoon was by Johnell Holbert, an African American musical genius who RFCPP helped develop his talents.  He recently graduated from Dominican University in San Rafael, California with a Bachelor's in Music with an emphasis in Classical music.  He is planning to pursue a master's degree in the near future.  Tap dancing talent was provided by Ar Vejon Jones, Dar Vejon Jones and Jakita Robertson who are currently members of the Kennedy Tap Company.  All three have been assisted by Rowell's program since its inception in 1990 and have benefited tremendously towards increased self-esteem, increased school participation, increased interest in the arts, and having a better outlook on life as children in the foster care system.  All three African American teens are exceptional high school students and active members of Fox Studios Journey to Excellence Program.  Dar Vejon Jones is scheduled to attend San Francisco State University and he excels in Japanese, Environmental Science and Pre-Calculus.  He said, "I am very thankful for the RFCPP organization because of the things they have allowed me to do."             

May is National Foster Care Month, a time to raise the public's awareness of the need for more people to make a difference in the lives of children and youth living in foster care in the United States.  Rowell was a child who grew up in the foster care system, from the time she was born until the age of 18.  She has written a book titled, "The Women Who Raised Me" in honor of her foster mothers and it has become a national best seller.  The RFCPP is an organization that provides structure, support and encouragement for foster youth through a variety of enrichment programs.

Operation Phoenix Making Good Neighbors

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Crime Fighting Effort Gets Thumbs Up From Waterman Businesses

By Chris Levister

Waterman Avenue is one of San Bernardino's busiest and most important arteries -  one of the city's oldest most established economic powerhouses - gateway to the San Bernardino mountains, a confluence of freeways, dozens of multi-single family residential units, three nursing and assisted living facilities and home to hundreds of medical, legal, insurance, retail, restaurant, government and commercial establishments including the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Black Voice News, San Bernardino Medical Group and St. Bernardine Medical Center.   

The thriving artery also has a dark side - neighbor to San Bernardino's most notorious crime fighting war zone. A 20-block area northeast of downtown, known as the Operation Phoenix corridor, an area bounded by Waterman Avenue to the east, 16th Street to the north, Baseline Road to the south and Sierra Way to the west.

It's Saturday morning and Charles "Skip" Herbert is doing something he's become accustomed to - removing graffiti from the faces of his 15-year-old Bright Ideas Bookstore and CHECpoint Systems his language testing business next door.

"I've got better things to do, but you just get used to it," says Herbert. So why aren't Herbert and his business counterparts packing up and leaving their dangerous neighborhood behind?

San Bernardino Mayor Patrick J. Morris ( c ) joins members of the business and residential community for the 2006 grand opening of the city’s crime fighting Operation Phoenix headquarters and community center located at 1450 Waterman Avenue.
"Operation Phoenix is a ‘Bright Idea', it's a good neighbor," says Herbert with a big grin. "Crime is abating, there's a whole new spirit of cooperation and revitalization in the air." He says after years of decline and urban blight people in the area are working together, criminals are moving out and new businesses are moving in. That's a public relations message you can't buy considering Herbert's businesses sit just doors from the Operation Phoenix Headquarters and new community center located at 1450 Waterman Avenue.         

Just blocks away and months ago gunshots rang out nightly, helicopters buzzed the skies above and the streets morphed into a battlefield between warring gangs - where mostly Black and Hispanic renters and small businesses wallowed in a dangerous soup of abandoned boarded up buildings, absentee landlords, trash littered streets, prostitution and what law enforcement and many in the area described as a throbbing network for Mexican drug dealing.    

Originally a house, Herbert's Bright Ideas bookstore is a crush of some 10,000 educational items, from award winning children's books to textbooks, from games to classroom materials. He sells directly to schools and districts as well as walk-in customers. He says at one time, he considered leaving the area for a safer location - a mall or other high traffic area, but decided his customers appreciated having a positive resource in their own community.

Herbert is not alone in his glowing assessment. More than 100 business and professional establishments along the corridor when surveyed gave the crime fighting program a thumbs up. Most see Operation Phoenix as a model for safer streets and want to see the operation expanded citywide.

Security personnel at San Bernardino Medical Group, the DMV and St. Bernardine Medical Center credit a near 60 percent reduction in crime to a significant boost in law enforcement patrolling the area, regular community block parties, neighborhood watch groups and aggressive code enforcement.

Many business owners say the difference is what they don't hear: gunshots, helicopters and screaming.

In 2006 Mayor Patrick Morris declared Operation Phoenix's mix of suppression, intervention and prevention would become the pillars upon which "we are rebuilding our City out of the ashes of crime and violence into a shining example of peace and renewal." 

June Durr, Marketing and Public Relations Manager for the city's Economic Development Agency hails the renewal and crime fighting strategy. She points to the Walgreens under construction at the corner of Waterman and Baseline in what was just months ago an abandoned gas station and thruway for transients, drug dealers and prostitutes.

"The Walgreens project is evidence of a citywide revitalization. Their presence  in the neighborhood means other businesses will follow," says Durr. She says the agency routinely visits Waterman businesses providing services and a sense of safety. "We want to let business know that we are raising the standard."

Durr says economic development provides a variety of public and private programs and services to attract new development to the area while retaining existing businesses with the ultimate goal of maximizing employment opportunities and increasing capital investment in the area.

Since the Operation Phoenix launch, Mayor Morris said he hears daily from thankful residents and businesses along the Waterman corridor.

"It's a great place to be," he said "Businesses can flourish and families can go out at night and walk with their children." 

Still, Morris and others like "Skip" Herbert acknowledge the streets are far from pristine there is much to be done.

"Sure the graffiti is a real nuisance," says Herbert "But when you see parents bring their kids into the bookstore and you see those kid's eyes light up - its worth staying around. When I see kids from the Operation Phoenix community center playfully tip toeing through my ivy plants on the way home, I smile, scratch my head and say kids will be kids."

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BVN National News Wire