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Senator Negrete McLeod Honors Nurses at Kaiser

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By Annie Taylor

Special to the Black Voice News

State Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod spent a day at the hospital Friday, but not as a patient. Instead, the Senator was there to honor health professionals.

Negrete McLeod went to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fontana to celebrate National Nurses Day and National Hospital Week.

She wanted to honor nurses not only because they deserve it for their hard work and dedication, but also to focus attention on the need for nurses.

left to right, Fontana Medical Center Executive Nurse Kathy Christmas, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan/Hospitals Senior Vice President and Executive Director Barry Wolfman, Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod, and Fontana Medical Director Dr. David Quam
"Becoming a nurse is one of the most honorable professions in the world. In California alone we have more than 250,000 Registered Nurses and they are all heroes. Every day they save lives," Negrete McLeod said afterward.

Jennifer Cordova was honored for her work in Labor and Delivery. A Kaiser member had expressed gratitude for Cordova's sensitive handling of family and friends during a difficult labor. Berna Layvas and Lindsey Mabey, while on their way to their offices one day, stopped to deliver a baby who couldn't wait to be born and had to be delivered in the hospital's lobby.

Laura Ward, an Oncology nurse, was honored for her dedication to and work with cancer patients and has been instrumental in organizing the hospital's annual Breast Cancer Awareness Health Fair. Operating room nurse Bon Tark and  Oncology Case Manager Susan Woodrum were also recognized for their dedication and commitment to their patients.

Negrete McLeod said she has been a proud member of the Kaiser family for 35 years

Bon Tark and Susan Woodrum with State Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod
"Kaiser has been great for me personally and for its members in general. I have found out first hand how the care Kaiser provides impacts our lives, and how important nurses are to making people whole," Negrete McLeod said.

Local Churches Come Together To Support “Buck World One”

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By Naomi Bonman


Last weekend, local church youth groups and the "buck" dance community throughout the Inland Empire came out to support and experience "Buck World One" a theatrical performance directed by UCR Professor Rickerby Hinds and co-sponsored by San Bernardino Valley College Arts & Lectures Committee and The Black Voice News.

Buck World One features the dance style called "buck," a form of expression often related to dancing honoring a higher power or divine entity. The performers, local youth that "get buck" to stay away from street life as well as poets in the production include: Crystal Davis, Davion Clayton, Demetrius Welch, Evan Harris, Jarrett Lacey, Christopher Jackson, Joesanna Osborne, John Muldrew, Ralphy Burris, Timothy Dupree, Tyrone Sutton, Alexander Brown-Hinds, Tamara Florence, and Alex Avila.

Youth from Loveland Church came out both nights. Some became emotional and teary eyed during the production. Pastor Corey Singleton, known as Pastor Corey the youth and young adult pastor of Loveland, said that the youth were able to relate to the casts' personal stories and how they took negative experiences in their life and began "getting buck" to express themselves in positive ways. He said, "it was amazing... every young person should see Buck World One."

Riverside's Vine Life Christian Church brought a busload of youth, who were excited about the production and quality of the show. Other churches in attendance over the two-day run were: Cathedral of Praise, Quinn AME in Moreno Valley, The Way, St. Paul AME Church in San Bernardino, Victory Outreach, New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, The Rock, Rubidoux SDA Church, and Park Avenue Baptist Church.

Special guests included Mayor Pat Morris from the City of San Bernardino.

Click here to view pictures.

PhotoVision Foundation Awards interns

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left to right, Watchara Phomicinda, Stephanie Strickland, Joshua Ballard. Helena Mosley, David Perry Jr.
Saturday April 28, 2007, at the African American Museum in Exposition Park,  David Perry of Photovisions Inc, introduced the launching  of the Photovisions Youth Foundation.   The foundation's mission is to train and mentor young people in the arts: photography, videography, post production and graphic arts.  The event was sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales. Five interns were awarded McIntosh Powerbooks.

"I trust this will be the beginning of many great things ahead for the young people I get the pleasure to work with," said  Perry "By keeping these young folks involved will always make my business relevant."

Fact or fiction: Minor past criminal convictions will disqualify you from the RSD applicant pool?

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By John Gordon

Louquitda Brooks of San Bernardino watches as Corrie McCall explains the jobs openings available.
According to information obtained  during the first Cathedral of Praise Int. Ministries' Job Fair held this Wednesday in the city of Rialto a minor conviction will not disqualify a candidate from the applicant pool. Though this is the first of its kind for the church, the Human Resource and Investigation team from the sheriff's department has conducted several of it's kind throughout the Inland Empire.

Over the past three years, the recruitment team, consisting of Personnel Bureau Director, Lieutenant Shelly Kennedy-Smith, HR Investigator Roosevelt Logan, Community Service Officer Corrie McCall, and the newest addition to the team, Deputy Spencer. The team consisting of four of the most open and welcoming law enforcement officers, is completely African- American. The ethnic make up of this team is not an accident. As it is believed that African-Americans generally are hesitant to begin the initial process of law enforcement employment for a host of various reasons, it is the job of this bureau team, to offer helpful and welcoming information pertaining to all areas of employment available within the agency.

Aganda Gathright of Rancho Cucamonga a senior at Cal State of San Bernardino Francine Johnson of Moreno Valley and Arzanett Johnson of Rancho Cucamonga all listen about the opportunities with the Riverside Sheriff Department.
As the relationship between law enforcement and African-Americans has not always been very favorable, these four agents feel that they are helping to bridge the gap between qualified applicants and available law enforcement positions. Lt. Kennedy-Smith shared that many African-American applicants are either afraid to approach the agency for employment, or are disqualified at the initial step of employment for very minor, and sometimes correctable reasons.

"One of the biggest misconceptions I have seen in my position, is that people believe they will be disqualified as an applicant for run-ins with the law when they were minors, or from years ago. This is absolutely not the truth", says Investigator Roosevelt. Lt. Kennedy-Smith further states that the recruitment, investigation, and hiring process is done on an "individual and situation specific basis." She says that just because there are issues in the past related to credit issues, criminal activities, etc., she feels that if given the opportunity to look at the person and their background as a whole, some of these individuals may and often do still qualify for employment. The most interesting and probably the most valuable of the information shared, is that the only absolute disqualifications for employment are felony convictions, and a criminal history of domestic violence. Most misdemeanors and all infractions are negotiable offenses. Additionally, the agency's investigative team scores and judges applicants on their current lifestyle and period of time since the occurrence of the offense in question.

Deputy Jartino Spencer reviews opportunities with the Sheriff's Department with an attendee of of COPIM
Though both Inv. Roosevelt and Lt. Kennedy-Smith agree that their tracking process is not as accurate as it could be, they can name several applicants who have gained employment at the agency via their outreach program, whom may not have applied for the positions otherwise. Both officers are extremely  proud of their program and know they are doing something positive to promote diversity within their agency.

With several job options within the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, the deputy position is just one of many. The agency is in need of clerks, cooks, and an array of other positions you would not normally think of as law enforcement positions. The position of training deputy pays a starting salary of $3800.00 per month and Lt. Kennedy-Smith warns that trainees will earn every cent of that amount, and at some point it will seem like "peanuts" because of the rigorous physical agility programs that must be completed for hiring.

State Funding Will Be A Boon For San Bernardino Schools

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More than 10 schools in the San Bernardino City Unified School District are in line to receive millions in state funding meant to improve the quality of education for students.

The financial windfall, which was made available by the Quality Education Investment Act, could allow 13 District schools to reduce overcrowding, better train teachers, and hire more staff and counselors, all key components of a school's success. It would also allow for more training for principals at the selected schools.

Dr. Arturo Delgado
"We're very happy that the state is considering giving us this money," said Superintendent Dr. Arturo Delgado.  "This funding gives us an added degree of confidence that our existing programs and future plans can succeed."

To announce the projected funding, Dr. Delgado and top District officials held a press conference on Tuesday, May 1 from 11 a.m. to noon in Conference Rooms A and B of the Board of Education building, located at 777 North F Street in San Bernardino.

District officials are excited that San Bernardino Unified could receive one of the largest chunks of QEIA funding in California about $70 to $75 million over seven years.

Since there are more schools eligible for funding than can be supported with available funds, districts determined the order in which schools are selected for funding. San Bernardino City Unified applied for the funding on behalf of 40 schools. Of those, 13 are slated to receive QEIA funding.

The winning schools will annually receive $500 per pupil from kindergarten through grade 3, $900 from grades 4 through 8, and $1,000 for grades 9 through 12.  Under the rules, each school must develop a plan describing what school administrators will do with the money.

Statewide, the Quality Education Investment Act will provide nearly $3 billion over seven years to schools in decile ranks 1 and 2 on the 2005 Academic Performance Index.  In the initial funding year of 2007-08, the amount distributed to schools will be slightly lower.  Up to $2 million will be allocated to county offices of education to annually monitor the implementation of this reform program in funded schools.

After the first three years of full funding, schools in the program must exceed their Academic Performance Index (API) growth target averaged over the first three years of funding.  According to the law, a school funded by QEIA that continues to meet the program and achievement requirements shall be funded annually through the 2013-14 fiscal year.

The QEIA was approved in September by the state legislature. It was the result of a compromise to settle a lawsuit filed jointly by State Superintendent of Schools Jack O'Connell and the California Teachers Association against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the California Department of Finance for failing to fully fund Proposition 98 in the 2004-05 and 2005-06 budget years per an agreement made with educators the previous year.

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BVN National News Wire