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Government Works: Elections Office wins national award

Final Government Works StampThe San Bernardino County Elections Office won the 2015 Eagles Award for outstanding use of technology from the Election Center, National Association of Election Officials, for its development and implementation of the My Elections (M.E.) Gateway application, which delivers personalized election information to registered voters.

Every year the Election Center recognizes state and local elections offices across the nation for their professional practices programs. Winners were announced in seven categories, such as innovation, voting accessibility, and technology.

“We are proud to have the Elections Office recognized for its innovative use of technology,” said James Ramos, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “M.E. Gateway is a valuable tool for improving services to the voters of San Bernardino County.”

The M.E. Gateway application provides voters with their registration status, polling place location, voting districts, and other personalized election information that can easily be accessed from both mobile devices and desktop computers.

“We designed the M.E. Gateway to be easy to use and to provide registered voters with all their election information in one convenient location so that they don’t have to hunt for their information on our regular website,” said Michael Scarpello, Registrar of Voters.

The Elections Office’s internal IT staff documented the business requirements, designed the application, and completed the programming of the application in partnership with the County’s Information Services Department. To learn more about My Elections Gateway, visit the Elections Office website, www.sbcountyelections.com, or call (909) 387-8300.

This is an example of how Government Works.

First death from West Nile Virus confirmed

DPH_Version2_FullColorSan Bernardino County Department of Public Health has confirmed the first death from West Nile Virus (WNV) in 2015.  A total of five WNV cases have been confirmed within the County this year; the first death occurred in a previously reported case. San Bernardino County reported eight confirmed WNV cases at this time in 2014 with no deaths.  Throughout the state, there are 36 confirmed WNV cases so far this year. This amount exceeds the California five-year annual average of 23 cases.

“We are greatly saddened by this death that has occurred in San Bernardino County. We extend our deepest condolences to the family. We continue to see an increase of West Nile Virus activity throughout the county and therefore, we strongly encourage that the public takes appropriate precautionary measures to protect themselves against mosquito bites,” said Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare, Health Officer. “People over 50 years old should be especially cautious, as they are more likely to develop serious illness if they contract the virus.”

WNV is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Signs and symptoms of WNV may include fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting and headache. Most people infected with the virus have no symptoms. However, some people may develop severe symptoms which can lead to brain inflammation or paralysis. The most effective way to avoid WNV infection is to prevent mosquito bites.

Residents can protect themselves from mosquito bites by taking the following precautions:

  • DAWN and DUSK – Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are most active.
  • DRESS – Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts that are loose fitting and light colored.
  • DRAIN – Remove or drain all standing water around your property where mosquitoes lay eggs (birdbaths, ponds, old tires, buckets, clogged gutters or puddles from leaky sprinklers).
  • DEET – Apply insect repellent containing DEET.   When using DEET, be sure to read and follow the label instructions.
  • DOORS – Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens.  Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes to prevent mosquitoes from entering the home.
  • REPORT – Report green or neglected pools by calling 1 (800) 442-2283. Press 3 when prompted.

The public can participate in the WNV surveillance program by reporting dead birds to the state’s WNV toll-free hotline at (877) WNV-BIRD (968-2473) or at www.westnile.ca.gov.

For more information on WNV, visit the San Bernardino County Mosquito and Vector Control Program or call the Communicable Disease Section (CDS) at 1 (800) 722-4794.

WIB social media workshop brings $7 million boost

WIB logo goldPacific Mountain Logistics attributes $7 million in sales to a workshop on social media organized by the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board.

The CEO of the Ontario-based company, BJ Patterson, says his marketing strategy changed after attending the free seminar.

“Before attending the workshop, the only social networking tool I used was LinkedIn. I didn’t have a clue about how to use social media for promoting business,” Patterson said.

“Now, I can honestly say that at least $7 million of our sales have directly come from social media in the last three years. All it takes is an investment of my time,” he added.

BJ Patterson launched Pacific Mountain Logistics in 2009 and said building a brand from scratch seemed like a daunting task.

“We have taken our brand from nothing to being in the top three third party logistics companies in the Inland Empire,” he said. “This achievement comes as a result of our visibility in the market. Our company profile visibility has increased due to the publicity from social media. I’ve had so many new orders from people saying they’d reached out after reading one of our online posts.”

Pacific Mountain Logistics’ annual sales now reach $10 million and they employ 120 people.

The Social Media Marketing Workshop for Business that Patterson attended is just one of many monthly seminars organized by the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board (WIB). The free workshops aim to help local companies grow, or address employment issues such as changes in the law or policies for staff development.

“We receive tremendous feedback from business owners on the support provided by the free seminars, which help meet our Countywide Vision of fostering entrepreneurship and encouraging business development,” said James Ramos, Chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.

At the WIB social media workshop Patterson was shown how to set up his profile, and learned how all his social media accounts could be tied together, providing a wider reach. Most importantly, he says, he learned how to use Google alerts to create valuable and interesting industry content in his blogs.

Other recent workshops held by the Workforce Investment Board include the 2015 Labor Law Update, Top Ten Ways to Stay out of Court, Employee Handbooks, How to Conduct a Workplace Investigation, Don’t Fire Them, Inspire Them, and Managing Stress and Burnout in the Workplace.

“The workshops provide an ideal opportunity for local business owners to learn strategies for success and stay up-to-date on new laws coming into effect,” said Sandy Harmsen, Executive Director of the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board.

To learn more about free workshops or other business services please call (800) 451- JOBS; for a list of events, visit www.sbcountyadvantage.com.

Pet owners advised to take precautions during heatwave

yanni 1San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control would like to remind pet owners to be extra watchful of pets when temperatures rise this summer. Pets are vulnerable to high temperatures, especially during a heat wave, and are unable to cool down their bodies as humans can. Animals left outside in high heat temperatures can suffer from heat-related stress, burned paws, sunburn, and even death. Pet owners are advised to follow these simple hot weather tips to keep their pets healthy, safe and alive:

• Make sure pets have plenty of fresh, clean water every day and that the water container is stable to avoid tipping over and located in a shaded area.
• If traveling or leaving the home with a pet, always carry sufficient drinking water for it.
• Bring pets inside during the hot time of the day and let them rest in a cool part of the house.
• Make certain pets have plenty of shade if they are to be kept outside. Remember, the shade your pets have in the morning will either change or diminish as the sun moves throughout the day and may not protect them.
• Never leave pets in a parked vehicle– even in the shade with windows cracked, temperatures can reach a dangerous 120 degrees inside. The vehicle is quickly turned into a furnace and can kill any animal!
• Don’t force animals to exercise when it is hot and humid. Exercise pets early in the morning or late in the evening.
• In extremely hot weather, do not let pets stand on sidewalks or hot asphalt to avoid burning their paws.
• Pets can get sunburned too! Keep pets out of the sun during peak hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Put sunscreen on pet’s unprotected areas such as tips of noses and ear tips, especially on short haired fair-colored pets.
• Remember pets can suffer heat-related stress and danger just as humans can, so take extra precautions during this summer’s rising temperatures and protect them.

Health Officer issues heat advisory

Rising TemperatureWith above average temperatures expected, the County of San Bernardino Health Officer Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare has issued a heat advisory. Forecasted temperatures of 105 degrees to 110 degrees are expected for the inland valleys, mountains and desert regions. Residents are urged to take precautions that will help prevent heat-related illness.

High or unusually hot temperatures can affect your health. Most vulnerable are the elderly, those who work or exercise outdoors, infants and children, the homeless or poor, and people with chronic medical conditions.

Take the necessary precautions to prevent serious health effects such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke by following the tips below.

Stay cool

  • Stay in air-conditioned buildings.
  • Find an air-conditioned Cooling Center open to the public by dialing the United Way’s toll-free resource telephone line at 2-1-1, or online at www.coolingsb.org
  • Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device.
  • Limit outdoor activity, especially midday when it is the hottest part of the day, and avoid direct sunlight.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Take cool showers or baths to lower your body temperature.
  • Check on at-risk friends, family and neighbors at least twice a day.

Stay hydrated

  • Drink water more than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
  • Drink from two to four cups of water every hour while working
  • Avoid alcohol or liquids containing high amounts of sugar.
  • Make sure your family, friends and neighbors are drinking enough water.

For more information on the extreme heat visit the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health website.

Or visit the California Department of Public Health website.

Weekend pet adoption event to ‘Clear the Shelters’

CTS_Print_EnglishSan Bernardino County Animal Shelters in Devore and Big Bear will be a part of Clear the Shelters, a nationwide campaign to find loving homes for dogs and cats. Participating animal shelters across the country will have reduced adoption fees on August 15 in an effort to increase pet adoptions.

The San Bernardino County shelter in Devore at 19777 Shelter Way in San Bernardino and in Big Bear at the Northshore Road/Stanfield Cutoff will have $20 adoption fees for dogs and $10 adoption fees for cats. Animals aRe First Fund will cover remaining adoption cost, spay or neuter, microchip, and initial vaccinations for each dog or cat adopted.  Licensing fees will vary based on the adopter’s city of residence and each new adopter will be responsible for the licensing fees.

“The Clear the Shelters adoption event supports the Countywide Vision by building new and expanding existing partnerships among various agencies,” said Animal Care and Control Division Chief Brian Cronin. “We look forward to the dogs and cats finding loving homes through this nationwide effort.”

NBC4 Southern California and Telemundo 52 teamed up with nearly 50 animal shelters in more than 400 cities and regions throughout Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties on a first-of-its-kind pet adoption initiative.

The Clear the Shelters effort is part of a nationwide campaign with 11 NBC-owned stations, 17 Telemundo-owned stations, the NBCUniversal-owned regional news network and more than 300 local animal shelters across the country working to match up thousands of homeless pets with new homes. The initiative marks the first time that the NBCUniversal owned television stations have joined forces on an initiative like Clear the Shelters. For more information about Clear the Shelters and a list of participating shelters, visit www.NBCLA.com/cleartheshelters.

For more information, please call the San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control Program at 1-800-472-5609 or visit www.sbcounty.gov/acc.     Animal Care and Control is doing its part to help the community achieve the Countywide Vision by ensuring public safety, public health, and the happiness that comes with responsible pet ownership. Information on the Countywide Vision can be found at www.sbcounty.gov/vision.

Colton TAD office relocates, offers enhanced services

TAD logoThe site of a former car dealership is now a place where Colton residents can come for a variety of assistance, including job readiness and job search classes.

In July, the San Bernardino County Transitional Assistance Department relocated its Colton office to 1900 West Valley Boulevard, a site formerly occupied by a Ford dealership.

“The new location has a much larger lobby, space for classes, and the latest technology for an enhanced customer service experience,” said Transitional Assistance Department Director Nancy Swanson.  “All of these features allow us to work toward achieving the Countywide Vision by helping our customers attain self-sufficiency.”

The 4,000 square foot lobby will feature self-service lobby management technology, including a self- service kiosk and wireless bar code readers for customers to scan applications for assistance. The technology will mean that customers will have reduced wait times and will not have to wait in line at all for some services. A handful of offices are already using the lobby management technology.

Added classroom space will allow the office to offer classes that will prepare those receiving assistance to learn job preparation and job interview skills.

“This office represents a vibrant future for our residents in Colton,” said Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales. “Those needing assistance can come here to apply for much needed services for themselves and their families and then be equipped with skills that will allow them to find employment and achieve self-sufficiency.”

The Transitional Assistance Department is doing its part to help the community achieve the Countywide Vision by ensuring residents have the resources they need to provide the necessities of life to their families while setting a course for self-sufficiency. Information on the Countywide Vision can be found at www.sbcounty.gov/vision.

Board continues support for Give BIG campaign

givebiglogoThe Board of Supervisors today agreed to partner with The Community Foundation to support Give BIG, an online fundraising campaign intended to strengthen local nonprofits that serve the needs of San Bernardino County’s residents.

The Board authorized $100,000 toward this year’s effort to increase the ability and visibility of nonprofits serving San Bernardino County so agencies can attract and retain donors. This funding will go a long way to help Give BIG develop the donor base and infrastructure to maintain itself moving forward.

“This is a wise investment of tax dollars,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos. “If we can make our local nonprofits stronger by spending a little money up front, we can save millions of tax dollars that would otherwise be spent on public assistance.”

Last year’s Give BIG campaign, led by The Community Foundation, was a huge success, exceeding a goal of raising $300,000 for 150 participating nonprofits. On May 8, 2014, 262 participating nonprofits raised about $550,000 in donations with a single agency earning $250,000 in donations. The Board is proud to support The Community Foundation in this year’s effort.

“I’m confident that our county will come together again and surpass the goals we have set for this year’s campaign,” Chairman Ramos said. “Last year, Give BIG brought nonprofits, sponsors and community members together to raise money and the effort inspired a new culture of philanthropy.”

Give BIG utilized a growing trend of 24-hour online and social media-based fundraising efforts that are replacing traditional telethons. The campaign provides a cohesive and collective opportunity for participating nonprofits to raise funds to address needs in the local community. Give BIG also helps build the fundraising and social media skills of participating nonprofits and engages new and younger donors.

This year, Give BIG will be held on Dec. 1 with a goal of raising $300,000 for 175 participating nonprofits.

A successful non-profit sector is important to achieving the Countywide Vision. Non-profit organizations provide health and social services to the county’s most vulnerable residents and contribute to the economic health and social well-being of the county.

More information about how to get involved and donate to Give BIG San Bernardino County will be forthcoming.

Job fair will serve employers and job seekers

WIB logo goldThe San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board will host the High Desert Regional Job Fair on Aug. 20 at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville.  This event will offer businesses the chance to meet, interview and hire highly qualified and experienced staff to fill full and part-time positions.

Job seekers are encouraged to attend armed with resumes and ready to meet prospective employers. There is still time for employers to register to participate.

“It is our priority to connect employers and job seekers in San Bernardino County to create more opportunity for our residents and businesses to thrive,” said San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos. “Our vision for this county includes facilitating access to prosperity for all who choose to reside here and enjoy the county’s unique advantages.”

Last year’s job fair attracted 1,325 job seekers, ages 18 to over 65. More than 700 job openings were offered by companies specializing in a range of industries including warehousing, manufacturing, technology, healthcare, education, construction and hospitality.

“Our job fairs are effective in helping local business find great local candidates,” said Sandy Harmsen, Executive Director of the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board.  “It is a great opportunity for employers to enjoy a one-stop shop for their recruitment needs.”

The job fair, “Local Jobs for Local Residents,” will run from 9 a.m. to noon on Aug. 20 at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds at 14800 7th Street, Victorville.

To secure a free booth, please register at http://conta.cc/1K72LZc.  Employers must book their place by Aug. 18.

Priority entrance at 8 a.m. is available for job seekers through early registration. Please visit the America’s Job Center of California, located in Victorville at 17310 Bear Valley Road, Suite 109, Victorville, or call 1-800-451-5627.

Employers and job seekers who are interested in the Workforce Investment Board programs may call: (800) 451-JOBS or visit www.csb-win.org. Also follow us on: Facebook;Twitter @InlandEmpireJob; and YouTube http://www.youtube.com/SBCountyWIB.

 

Board applauds deal to bring ONT under local control

Ontario AirportThe Board of Supervisors celebrated the agreement announced today to return Ontario International Airport to local control.

Ontario International Airport is one of the most powerful components of the region’s economy and the deal reached between the City of Los Angeles and the Ontario International Airport Authority means the airport can be rehabilitated, marketed and managed to the advantage of San Bernardino County and all of Southern California.

“I am pleased that there will no longer be concern that the airport is being held back from realizing its full potential,” said Fourth District Supervisor Curt Hagman. “As the only airport in the Southern California region that is not legally constrained by a maximum number of passengers, Ontario Airport has tremendous potential for growth and becoming a major transportation hub. I look forward to being closely involved with the transition and future success of the airport.”

For years, the Board of Supervisors has supported the efforts to set Ontario International Airport free from the ownership of Los Angeles World Airports for the benefit of our residents, visitors and businesses. In August 2013, the Board of Supervisors convened a special study session to discuss the decline of the airport and how to bring it back to serve our growing population and bolster our continued economic recovery.

“Ontario Airport is a critical asset to the success of the Inland Empire. We have been working towards this goal for some time and I am pleased that the economic future of our region looks brighter,” said Hagman, whose district includes Ontario International Airport. “Regaining local control of the airport allows our region to control its own destiny and will no doubt be a major driver of the county’s economy and the region’s economy.”

Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos agreed.

“Regaining local control of the airport is excellent news for our county,” Ramos said.  “I applaud all efforts made by the parties involved in reaching this agreement.”

“Local ownership of ONT is a critical component in the Inland Empire’s effort to ensure continued economic recovery and continued growth,” said Robert A. Lovingood, Vice Chairman of the Board. “This will make our Inland Empire communities the desired areas within Southern California to live, work, and play.”

“Our challenge now is making the airport thrive to benefit our local economy,” said Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford. “The airline industry has changed dramatically since the Great Recession and we now have to find and market ONT’s competitive advantage in this new market.”

“The Ontario Airport represents new economic and job development opportunities for our residents,” said Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales. “Regaining local control of the airport ensures it will be used to the benefit of our region.”

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