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County of San Bernardino

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Government Center campus street improvements, closures underway

On Monday, Oct. 23, the County will begin Phase 1(b) of a street improvement master plan project at the downtown San Bernardino campus and parking availability on several streets and parking lots in and around the Government Center will be impacted.

Specifically, street parking will be permanently eliminated along Mountain View Avenue between Fifth Street and Third Street, and Fourth Street from Mountain View Avenue to Sierra Way.

Portions of Mountain View Avenue from Fifth Street to Third Street, and Fourth Street from Mountain View Avenue to Sierra Way, will be closed to vehicle traffic throughout the duration of Phase 1 (b) which is expected to be completed in July 2018.

Public parking will still be available in the lot north of the Public Health building on Fourth Street and Mountain View Avenue and additional parking will be available on the northwest corner of Arrowhead Avenue and Court Street. Sidewalks, crosswalks and entrances to County buildings and parking lots along the streets will be open to traffic from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The project is part of the overall master plan for the downtown Government Center Complex to modernize the campus and improve accessibility with the current street design. The plan includes new drought-tolerant landscaping, two-way drive lanes on Mountain View, a roundabout on Mountain View and 4th Street, street lighting and improvement of the overall aesthetics of the campus. Phase 1 (b) has a total project budget of $3.7 million.

The Proposed Master Plan for the Government Center Complex Improvement Project is available here.

Come to the Wonderland Event at the Chino Hills Branch Library

The San Bernardino County Library invites residents to go a little mad at the Wonderland event at the Chino Hills James S. Thalman Branch Library. Visitors can enjoy an amazing experience as they get the chance to meet and greet Alice, the Mad Hatter, and the Queen of Hearts.  Don’t forget to take photos. Enjoy a variety of fun-filled crafts, face painting, a balloon artist, and more.

This event is another opportunity to celebrate and support the Countywide Vision’s literacy campaign, Vision2Read. The Wonderland event will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 24 from 4 to 7 p.m.  Visitors should bring a library card, as every 15 items checked out during the event earns participants an opportunity drawing ticket for a chance to win awesome prizes.  All activities are free and open to all ages.

Join the San Bernardino County Library System as we attempt to meet a year-long campaign goal of one million circulations at the Chino Hills branch.

The Chino Hills James S. Thalman Branch Library is at 14020 City Center Drive in Chino Hills.

The San Bernardino County Library System is a dynamic network of 32 branch libraries that serves a diverse population over a vast geographic area. The County library system strives to provide equal access to information, technology, programs, and services for all people who call San Bernardino County home.

The library plays a key role in the achievement of the Countywide Vision by contributing to educational, cultural, and historical development of our County community.

For more information on the San Bernardino County library system, please visit or call (909) 387-2220.

Board names Michelle Blakemore to top legal post

Michelle Blakemore, a trusted and respected attorney who has served the County for 28 years, was appointed County Counsel by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Blakemore joined the Office of County Counsel in 1989 as a Deputy County Counsel and was promoted to Principal Assistant County Counsel in January 2009. In December 2010, she was named to her current position as Chief Assistant County Counsel.

The Office of County Counsel provides civil legal services to the Board of Supervisors, the County Administrative Office, County departments, commissions, special districts and school districts. County Counsel also provides legal services to various joint powers authorities.

“Michelle has been very effective as Chief Assistant County Counsel,” said Robert A. Lovingood, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “Her appointment as County Counsel is well deserved and I know the public will be well served by her integrity, commitment and experience in the law.”

The County departments Blakemore has served over the years include Purchasing, Community Development and Housing, the Economic Development Agency, the Redevelopment Agency, Special Districts and the Administrative Office. Blakemore has a strong background in municipal finance, public law and real property transactions.

Curt Hagman, Vice Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, said Blakemore’s experience with the County has been marked by unquestioned integrity, hard work and legal brilliance.

“She is extremely knowledgeable and a skillful legal strategist,” Hagman said. “Michelle is an up-through-the-ranks success story, and I am proud to support her as our new County Counsel. My colleagues and I will be depending on her for guidance in navigating complex legal issues facing San Bernardino County and I know she will be a tremendous asset for us.”

“Michelle is a consummate legal professional, and her breadth of knowledge about the County will be extremely important as we work through complex legal challenges in the years to come,” said Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford.

Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales said Blakemore is the perfect choice to lead the Office of County Counsel.

“Her appointment is an excellent example of how succession planning should be exercised, leading to a smoother transition for the department and the legal advisement for our County,” Gonzales said.  “As a Board we came together on this selection to promote a dedicated, hard-working member of our County family. I am extremely pleased with the process and our choosing Michelle to lead our legal team.”

Blakemore graduated cum laude from the University of Southern California, majoring in public affairs with a concentration in public policy. She earned her juris doctorate at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law. Blakemore began her career in Los Angeles as a public finance attorney specializing in utility, airport and healthcare financing and then on to Philadelphia, where she specialized in hospital financing. Before joining the County, Blakemore spent three years working for an Orange County law firm representing schools.

“With over two decades of serving our county as a legal professional, Ms. Blakemore has my trust and respect to lead us as our new County Counsel,” said Third District Supervisor James Ramos. “We are privileged to have a team of a knowledgeable and experienced individuals providing us with sound legal advice.  I extend my congratulations to Ms. Blakemore and I look forward to working with her in the future.”

Blakemore will lead a staff of about 100 employees, including 53 attorneys. Blakemore begins the job on Nov. 25 following the retirement of County Counsel Jean-Rene Basle.

Residents urged to sign up for emergency alerts via text message and VoIP

Features of the County’s emergency notification system allows public safety personnel to reach more residents than ever before during disasters.

The Telephone Emergency Notification System (TENS) uses listed and unlisted numbers in the region’s 911 database to alert residents of life-threatening emergencies and San Bernardino County updates this database every six months. TENS is a proven success, and has placed hundreds of thousands of calls during wildfire and flood events since its creation in 2004. However, the 9-1-1 database only includes landline telephones, so other numbers must be registered. If a resident wishes to receive an emergency alert text message on their cell phone or an emergency call on their Voiceover Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone they must register the number in the system.

TENS is only used in potentially life-threatening incidents such as an evacuation during a wildfire or earthquake. When the County deems it necessary to activate TENS, it will call the numbers in the 9-1-1 landline database in the affected area, and another separate alert will also go out via text message to the cell phones of those residents who have signed up for these alerts. In addition, a call will also be placed to any VoIP numbers that have been registered. The TENS system is currently TTY and TDD capable, however, residents who use these devices are encouraged to enter their numbers using this new feature so that the County can ensure they receive a message appropriate for their device.

To sign up, please visit and click on the “Sign Up for Emergency Alerts” icon or from the home pages of the County Fire and Sheriff’s departments at  or Thanks to the partnership with San Bernardino County’s 2-1-1 Social Services Hotline, residents who do not have internet access may register by dialing 211 to sign up.

Since many households do not have landlines these days, we hope that this additional method will go further towards alerting residents and enhancing the overall safety of even more San Bernardino County citizens.

Be Prepared BEFORE disaster strikes. Learn more by visiting

The County of San Bernardino Fire Department and Sheriff’s Department utilizes multiple ways to notify residents of impending danger, but residents should not wait for or rely exclusively on any single notification system. If you are concerned about your safety and welfare, please evacuate.

County hosts High Desert meeting to help those impacted by the Las Vegas shooting

The Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) invites individuals and families impacted by the Las Vegas shooting to attend a supportive, no-cost mental health wellness meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Victor Valley Behavioral Health Clinic, 12625 Hesperia Road in Victorville.

The meeting will be facilitated by licensed clinical therapists trained in trauma counseling. The meeting will support attendees and allow them to listen to and share their experiences related to the shooting in a safe, comfortable group setting. One-on-one counseling services will also be available.

Attendees will also be provided with educational resources and will be aided in navigating one’s own health care services to promote a healthy adjustment to normalcy and wellness. All services will be offered free of charge and insurance is not needed.

For more information, please call the Victor Valley Behavioral Health Clinic at (760) 995-8300.

DBH, through this community resource, is helping to achieve the Countywide Vision by providing behavioral health services and ensuring residents have the resources they need to attain wellness, recovery and resilience in the community. Information on the Countywide Vision and on DBH can be found at


Go purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Month on Oct. 12

Children’s Network of San Bernardino County wants you to take a stand against domestic violence.  Participate in #SBCWEARSPURPLE social media campaign by taking a selfie wearing purple on Oct. 12, 2017, and posting it with the hash tag #SBCWEARSPURPLE.


Domestic Violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse.  One in three women and one in four men in the United States have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. Five million children witness domestic violence each year in the United States. On a typical day, there are over 20,000 calls received by domestic violence hotlines, and approximately 15 calls a minute. Every nine seconds in the United States a woman is assaulted or beaten.

Forty percent of California women experienced physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. In a single day, domestic violence shelters serve about 5,800 women and children.

Children from homes with violence are much more likely to experience significant psychological problems short- and long-term.  Those who grew up with domestic violence are six times more likely to commit suicide and 50 percent more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.

For a list of domestic violence shelters in San Bernardino County visit

Mental health drop-in clinic to offer support in response to Las Vegas shooting

The San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) will open a temporary, one-day no cost mental health wellness drop-in center to assist any San Bernardino County resident experiencing increased emotional and mental distress as result of the Las Vegas shooting.

The mental health drop-in center will be located at DBH’s Mariposa Clinic, 2940 Inland Empire Blvd., in Ontario and will be open on Saturday, Oct. 7 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Confidential services will be offered free of charge and insurance is not needed. Clinic phone lines will also be staffed with crisis counselors for individuals who prefer to call in for mental health support.

“DBH understands that individuals who receive immediate access to professional mental health services after a traumatic experience healthier mental adjustments post trauma,” said DBH Director Veronica Kelley. “DBH is offering this resource to our community to promote individual and collective healing and wellness for all affected by this tragic event.”

The temporary drop-in center will provide attendees and callers with services, tools and resources designed to support a healthy adjustment to normalcy and wellness. Services will include individual private trauma counseling with a mental health professional, case management services to aid in navigating one’s own health care services and educational information on how to cope with traumatic events.

For more information on the mental health wellness drop-in center, please call DBH’s Mariposa Clinic at (909) 458-1350.

DBH, through this community resource, is supporting the Countywide Vision by providing behavioral health services and ensuring residents have the resources they need to promote wellness, recovery and resilience in the community. Information on the Countywide Vision and on DBH can be found at

Get your family and friends signed up for the Great California ShakeOut

County residents are encouraged to join more than 600,000 people who live and work in San Bernardino County by practicing how to Drop, Cover, and Hold On at 10:19 a.m. on Thursday, October 19 during the Great California ShakeOut Earthquake Drill. Register your family and friends here as ShakeOut participants.

What can you do to get ready for the ShakeOut?
Click here for a flyer to familiarize yourself with what to do when the shaking starts. This year, the Great California ShakeOut has modified the Drop, Cover and Hold On message to emphasize dropping where you are to your hands and knees to avoid being knocked down as you find cover and hold on.

If you, or a member of your household, are a person with a disability or have access or functional needs, click here for other tips and things to consider during an earthquake.

Watch this video to learn how to respond appropriately during an earthquake.

This video gives great advice to businesses and employers about how to prepare for an earthquake.

And San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputy Tracy Klinkhart has more earthquake safety tips in this video.

Share your ShakeOut day photos and videos using the hashtag #ShakeOut and #SBCounty we’ll share them on the County’s social media accounts.

San Bernardino County Library hosts Baker’s Book Club

The San Bernardino County Library is once again partnering with Baker’s Drive Thru for the 4th Annual Baker’s Book Club, to help promote reading among children and teens this fall. This reading for rewards program will begin on Monday, Oct. 2 and will run through Saturday, Nov. 18. The Baker’s Book Club reading program will be offered exclusively at all of our San Bernardino County branch libraries. The Baker’s Book Club will encourage youths in all county communities to read and is perfectly timed to support students returning to school and help them get back into their school routines.

To participate in this program, visit any of the 32 San Bernardino County branch libraries to sign up. Participants must be between the ages of 4 and 17, and a parent or guardian will need to sign to acknowledge reading progress. Participants will be able to reach three levels of reading goals by reading and logging the number of pages read. Each reading goal met is paired with a reward provided by Baker’s Drive Thru. Rewards include certificates for free Hand Dipped Real Ice Cream Milkshakes, bean burritos, Single Baker Burgers, fries and more. Every child and teenager who reaches the level 3 reading goal will also be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a Samsung Galaxy Tab A, also provided by Baker’s Drive Thru.

In support and celebration of the Countywide Vision’s literacy campaign, Vision2Read, this program will strive to help improve literacy among children ages 4 to 17, with the help of incentives, by inspiring an excitement to read, providing achievable goals, and encouraging a reading routine at home.

The San Bernardino County Library system is a dynamic network of 32 branch libraries that serves a diverse population over a vast geographic area. The County Library system strives to provide equal access to information, technology, programs, and services for all the people who call San Bernardino County home.

The library plays a key role in the achievement of the Countywide Vision by contributing to educational, cultural, and historical development of our County community.

For more information on the San Bernardino County Library system, please visit or call (909) 387-2220.

County wins 4 awards from California State Association of Counties

Filling gaps in services for homeless people, addressing illegal dumping, creating a virtual receptionist program and managing mutual aid during the December 2, 2015 terrorist attack were four of the innovative programs and services recognized this month with Challenge and Merit Awards by the California State Association of Counties (CSAC).

“These awards demonstrate the county has great people who are doing a commendable job of addressing the community’s highest priorities,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Robert A. Lovingood.

Each year, CSAC honors best practices in county governments in California. This year, CSAC received a record number of entries – 288 from counties around the state.

Last year, the County of San Bernardino received four CSAC awards and won three in 2015 and 2014, five in 2013, three in 2012, two in 2011 and one in 2010.

In the Health and Human Services category, San Bernardino County received a prestigious Challenge Award for its Housing Support Program Collaborative, which fills in gaps in services available to homeless families who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The Transitional Assistance Department (TAD) along with the Department of Behavioral Health, Housing Authority and Knowledge and Education for Your Success (KEYS) joined together to help families overcome homelessness. Since the collaborative began in 2015, 644 families have been permanently housed.

In the Health And Human Services category, the Department of Public Health won a Merit Award for Mutual Aid for a Public Health Emergency, which helped to rebuild the Division of Environmental Health Services when resources were limited following the San Bernardino terrorist attack on Dec. 2, 2015. Expertise from environmental health departments throughout California contributed to rebuilding the division and training programs were built into the mutual aid response.

In the Government Finance, Administration and Technology category, the Division of Environmental Health Services (DEHS) won a Merit Award for the Virtual Receptionist program, which was implemented at the (DEHS) High Desert location in Hesperia to improve staff efficiency and lower wait times for customers.

In the Housing, Land Use and Infrastructure category, San Bernardino County Code Enforcement won a Merit Award for its Illegal Dumping program, which uses inmate crews to help abate illegal dumping to prevent blight and save taxpayer money.

San Bernardino County is consistently one of the nation’s most-honored counties in terms of state and national awards for innovative and cost-saving public service. During the past eight years the county has won more than 250 awards from CSAC and the National Association of Counties for ground-breaking programs and services.

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