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Green Riverside Website Nominated for Web’s Top Honor

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New York – The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences recently announced that Riverside Public Utilities’ (RPU) informative website GreenRiverside.com was selected as a finalist in their 16th Annual Webby Awards.

Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by the New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet including websites, interactive advertising and media, online film and video, as well as mobile sites and apps.

GreenRiverside.com was nominated as one of five finalists in this year’s Government category alongside websites by NASA, the National Parks Service, Challenge.gov and Slavery Footprint.

RPU launched the website in January 2007 to help keep its customer-owners informed of the latest environmental “green” news and promote its many energy and water conservation rebate programs as well as sustainable living practices. The easy to remember site was upgraded in 2011 to provide Riverside residents with a central point of reference to find out more about the city’s and utility’s green efforts and includes various informative maps and publications as well as links to RPU’s award-winning Green Power Report radio show.

While Academy judges like Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, musician David Bowie, and Instagram founder Kevin Systrom will select the Webby winners, the public can help decide who takes home a Webby People’s Voice Award. The public can vote for GreenRiverside.com through April 26 at http://pv.webbyawards.com/#ballot/62 All winners will be announced May 1.

Acts of Kindness Becoming a Trend?

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By Tamara Florence

So many times as people, we forget that we’re occupying the world with others. We get caught up in our families, rush hour traffic and crowded grocery stores which allow us only to see only what’s in front of us. Seldom are we looking to see what’s going on in the lives of others and how we can help those surrounding our communities.

This year the youth of Cathedral of Praise International Ministries, Bishop Craig Johnson, were motivated to go a step further and partake in random acts of kindness including: visiting convalescent homes, helping the elderly with groceries, helping others with homework etc… Out of the Acts of Kindness (AOK), a ministry was formed. Over the last 6 months they were asked to perform over 1600 acts of kindness.

Saturday, April 14, 2012, the Orange Committee hosted their first Orange Extravaganza gala commemorating the youth of AOK. There were over 50 youth represented at the event. All were acknowledged for their efforts with a plaque. Awards were issued for the most hours dedicated to the helping in the community (1st through 4th place) and also for the AOK members that sold the most ads for the event. Also, the AOK members received an honorary certificate from Assembly member Wilmer Amina Carter. Guests included: Cheryl Brown (Field representative for Assembly member Wilmer Amina Carter’s office), Mayor Aquanetta Warren (Fontana) and Danielle Gates (Dance instructor of City Gym).

Hearing the AOK’s motivation will hopefully start a trend that will inspire others to do the same in their communities.

FREE CANCER OUTREACH CONFERENCE TARGETS AFRICAN AMERICANS

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Focus Is Prevention, Detection, Intervention

BVN Staff Report

Cancer and how the disease disproportionately affects the African American community is the focus of the American Cancer Society’s annual free conference entitled “Living Smart Cancer Awareness: Your Community Forum on Cancer Awareness,” set to take place Sat., April 21, 2012 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Parkview Community Hospital in the Founder’s Center Daily Room, located at 3865 Jackson Street in Riverside. Attendees will get a free lunch, a goody bag and access to dozens of health and wellness professionals.

Presented by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) the event will feature a distinguished panel of physicians and lifestyle experts on colon, prostate and blood cancer prevention and early detection; the role of nutrition and genetics in prevention of cancer and the importance of clinical trials.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death among African Americans. Data from the National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that incidence and mortality rates for all cancers combined have decreased over the last decade. Speaker Clifford Eke, M.D. president of the American Cancer Society, California Division, a surgeon at Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center says advances in early detection, screening, and treatment have reduced cancer incidence and mortality, improved life expectancy, and enhanced quality of life for many cancer patients, however, when cancer incidence and mortality rates of African Americans are compared with other ethnic groups, African Americans are significantly more likely to develop cancer and, subsequently, die from their disease. “This is a decades old problem among African Americans,” said Dr. Ekes. The reasons are many to include distrust of doctors, obesity, diabetes and smoking.

“The challenge is people may hear what they are supposed to do but they just don’t do it. Our mission is to change those attitudes through education, inspiration and motivation.” Dr. Ekes, who works with cancer patients daily, says African American men had lower 5-year survival rates for lung, colon, and pancreatic cancer, as compared to non-Hispanic white men and are five times as likely to die from prostate cancer, as compared to the same group. Colon cancer for example can be prevented through early detection and the removal of polyps Dr. Ekes said. “But people have to take the first step and talk to their doctors, family members and friends about getting tested.”

American Cancer Society Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, American Heart Association Livestrong Foundation/Lance Armstrong, American Lung Association Stand Up To Cancer and other organizations say Californians can do even more to reduce cancer deaths: Vote for Prop 29.

Prop 29 - The California Cancer Research Act - is a qualified ballot initiative that will be placed before voters in June 2012. Through a $1 per-pack tax on cigarettes, Prop 29 delivers over $700 million every year for cancer research and to keeps kids from smoking.

What A Difference A Gun Makes

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By Marian Wright Edelman

On April 16, 2007, our nation suffered its deadliest shooting incident ever by a single gunman when a student killed 32 people and wounded 25 others at Virginia Tech before committing suicide. Five years later, have we learned anything about controlling our national gun and gun violence epidemic? A look at just a few of the sad headlines across the country so far this year suggests we haven’t learned much or anything at all.

In February 2012, a 17-year-old high school senior, who other students described as an outcast who’d been bullied, shot and killed three fellow students and injured two more at Chardon High School in suburban Ohio. Would this have happened without a gun?

In Washington state, three children were victims of gun violence during a three-week period in February and March 2012. A three-year-old died after shooting himself in the head with a gun left under the front seat of the car while his family stopped for gas. The seven-year-old daughter of a police officer was shot and killed by her younger brother after he found one of their father’s guns in the glove compartment of the family van. And an eight-year-old girl was critically wounded at school when her nine-year-old classmate brought in a gun he found at home that accidentally went off in his backpack. Would this have happened without a gun?

In Chicago there already has been a rash of shootings this year including the especially violent weekend in mid-March when 49 people were shot and 10 were killed. One of the victims was a six-year-old girl who was sitting on her front porch with her mother getting her hair brushed before a birthday party when she was killed by shots fired from a passing pickup truck. Would this have happened without a gun?

And in Florida, unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin was shot and killed walking home from the store in February after being followed by self-appointed “neighborhood watch captain” George Zimmerman, who contrary to all generally accepted Neighborhood Watch rules was patrolling his gated community while armed with a gun. Would Trayvon’s death have happened without a gun? Now that George Zimmerman has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder, Trayvon Martin’s family is finally moving forward in their quest for justice.

As a nation we can’t afford to keep waiting for common-sense gun control laws that would protect our children and all of us from indefensible gun violence. It’s time to repeal senseless gun laws like the “Stand Your Ground” laws enacted by 21 states that have grabbed so much attention in Trayvon’s case and allow people in Florida to defend themselves with deadly force anytime and anywhere if they feel threatened. More than two million people have signed online petitions saying they want to repeal these laws. It’s time to require consumer safety standards and childproof safety features for all guns and strengthen child access prevention laws that ensure guns are stored safely and securely to prevent unnecessary tragedies like those in Washington state. And in a political environment where the too secretive and powerful advocacy group American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) pushed “Stand Your Ground” laws in other states along with other “model bills” that benefit some corporate bottom lines or special interests like the NRA, it’s time for all of ALEC’s corporate sponsors to walk away from enabling or acquiescing destructive laws that protect guns, not children.

It’s a tragedy that five years after Virginia Tech so little has changed. How many years must we wait until tragic headlines about school shootings, children dying, and people using the “shoot first and ask questions later” defense to take the law into their own hands go away? When will we finally get the courage to stand up as a nation and say enough to the deadly proliferation of guns and gun violence that endanger children’s and public safety?

Marian Wright Edelman is President of the Children's Defense Fund whose Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. For more information go to www.childrensdefense.org.

Letter To The Editor

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MAKING STRIDES AGAINST BREAST CANCER WALK

Dear Editor, When I heard the words “breast cancer” from my wife’s doctor in 2005, my world felt like it was about to come crashing down.

Jamie and I pressed through years of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. I felt helpless as a husband. But last year I decided to do something positive. I became the volunteer chair for the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer®, an inspirational two-mile walk in the Inland Empire to help raise awareness and funds to make strides and end breast cancer. Through my participation, I have met hundreds of other breast cancer survivors and their families and caregivers in all stages of their journey.

Through seven years, Jamie is still battling breast cancer today. I walk for her because I want to live in a world with less breast cancer and more birthdays. Already 2.5 million breast cancer survivors living in America today will celebrate another birthday this year. Imagine what we could do together to fight for even more.

On Saturday, April 28, I plan to walk beside my wife Jamie, friends, family, colleagues and breast cancer patients and survivors at the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk at The Shoppes at Chino Hills. Registration is at 7:30 a.m. and the walk starts at 8:30 a.m. Cancer does not go away in tough economic times, and the money raised will save lives by helping people stay well, get well, find cures and fight back against breast cancer. I urge everyone in the Inland Empire to join our community as we make strides toward a future where breast cancer never steals another year from anyone’s life. To get involved, or for more information, call Shannon Fowler at the American Cancer Society at (909) 203-2747, or visit http://makingstrides.acsevents.org/inlandempire.

Chris Bravata of Chino Hills
Volunteer Event Chair, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

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