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Monthly Archives: October 2016

Early voting expands for the 2016 Presidential General Election

Go-Vote-500x500Beginning Monday, Oct. 31, voters in San Bernardino County will have four additional locations where they can cast their ballot prior to the Nov. 8 Presidential General Election. Early voting sites will open at the Ontario Conference Center, Rim of the World High School, Victorville City Hall, and Yucca Valley Town Hall. Earlier this month, early voting began at the San Bernardino County Elections Office.

“Opening these additional early voting sites is just another way that my office is making voting more convenient for San Bernardino County voters,” said Registrar of Voters Michael J. Scarpello. A second early voting site opened in the high desert in 2012 and a third was opened in the west valley in 2014. This election, with the addition of a mountain area location and a location in Yucca Valley, people wanting to vote early will now have more options than ever before.

All five early voting sites will also collect voted mail ballots from voters. At the Elections Office and the Ontario Conference Center locations, voters can even drop off their mail ballots during the week without getting out of their cars by using the drive-thru drop-off service at those locations. On Election Day, a drive-thru drop-off will also open at the Victorville City Hall.

At each early voting site and every polling place, voters can also take a ballot selfie with their unmarked ballots and their ‘I Voted’ stickers in front of a ballot selfie poster and share their experience with friends and family through social media.

Early voting takes place Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, November 5, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For more information about this election or early voting sites, visit the Elections Office website,, or call (909) 387-8300.

Recently burned areas at higher flood risk

Falling RainAs the seasons change, preparations and adjustments must be made to anticipate the onset of rainfall, especially in areas that have experienced a wildfire. Although the weather forecast for this week will eventually rise in temperatures, residents that live in areas that have recently burned are presented with unique challenges when rain is forecast.

Normally, vegetation absorbs rain, but after a wildfire, the charred ground where that vegetation has been burned away creates a loss of soil strength and can no longer easily absorb rainwater, increasing the risk of flooding and mudflows for several years. Properties directly affected by fires, and those located downstream of burn areas, are most at risk.

Post-fire landslide hazards include fast-moving and highly destructive debris flows. Post-fire debris flows are particularly hazardous because they can occur with little warning, can exert great impulsive loads on objects in their paths, can strip vegetation, block drainage ways, damage structures, and endanger human life. Wildfires could potentially result in the destabilization of pre-existing deep-seated landslides over long time periods.

The best preparation for possible flooding is to plan ahead. The Ready!Set!Go! Flood Preparation brochure will show you some of the things you can do to protect your home, property and family. You’ll find information about how to prepare for wet weather, things like cleaning out rain gutters and storm drains, where you can sign up for emergency alerts, fire stations that have sandbags available, and what you should have in an emergency kit. There is also specific information for areas that have recently been burned by wildfire.

Sandbags can best be used to help protect doorways if a waterproof layer like heavy plastic or waterproof canvas is placed behind them. If possible, secure it to the door frame. Stack the sandbags in a pyramid formation and wrap the plastic up and over the top. Keep in mind, sandbags DO NOT guarantee a water-tight seal, but properly placed sandbags can help redirect water, mud and debris away from your home.

The new San Bernardino County Office of Emergency Services app, Ready SB, provides residents with multiple resources that will assist them in preparing for a disaster such as flooding. Ready SB is now available as a free download from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store and can immediately help residents prepare themselves for emergencies.

Some other helpful resources:

  • To find your closest sandbag location and other information on storm preparation check SBCoFire’s website at
  • Check the National Weather Service at to see current and upcoming weather events.

Open house for Blue Cut Fire victims on Nov. 5

blue-cut-fire-flyer-pictureSupervisor Robert Lovingood invites residents affected by the Blue Cut Fire to attend an open house to learn about assistance for removing asbestos and debris from their property.

“Helping people who continue to struggle is one of my highest priorities,” said Supervisor Lovingood. “The Board of Supervisors has made special funding available to help people recover and prepare to rebuild, otherwise victims in this situation might find themselves on their own.”

The open house will be held on Saturday, Nov. 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Phelan Elementary School, 4167 Phelan Road in Phelan.

Residents will be able to access information about Community Development Block Grants and zero-to-low-interest loans that may be available to them to remove asbestos and prepare to rebuild. They can also get information about building and fire permits, water wells, and debris removal.

Representatives from County agencies including Community Development and Housing, Code Enforcement, Solid Waste, Building and Safety, Fire Marshal, Environmental Health and Behavioral Health will be available. Nonprofit groups such as the United Way will also be present to help victims with any other fire-related needs.

For more information about Blue Cut Fire resources, please visit

Voter registration deadline for the 2016 Presidential General Election


Monday, Oct. 24, is the deadline for unregistered California citizens to register to vote for the 2016 Presidential General Election. Voters who are already registered should re-register to vote if they have changed their name, address, or party affiliation.

Citizens may register to vote online at Voter registration applications are also available at the San Bernardino County Elections Office and throughout San Bernardino County at post offices, city clerks’ offices, county libraries, and the Department of Motor Vehicles. A map of these locations is available on the Elections Office website.

The San Bernardino County Elections Office will be open until midnight on Monday, Oct. 24, to accept in-person voter registration applications. Mailed voter registration applications must be postmarked no later than October 24, 2016. The office is located at 777 E. Rialto Avenue, San Bernardino, CA 92415.

Registered voters can check their registration status by visiting and logging into the My Elections (M.E.) Gateway application. Registered voters can also use M.E. Gateway to find their polling place, voting districts, and other personalized election information.

For more information about registering to vote, please visit the Elections Office website at or call (909) 387-8300.

Black Infant Health holding open house on Oct. 28

bih-open-house-2Black Infant Health has a new facility!

Join us at our Open House on October 28, 2016 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and see our new facility and receive a tour.

The program aims to improve health and to reduce disparities among African-American mothers, babies and pregnant women, and to empower women to make healthy choices for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Call 1-844-352-3985 for more information.

County helping Blue Cut victims with asbestos testing and removal

The County is continuing its ongoing effort to reach out and provide assistance to victims of the recent Blue Cut Fire. The county’s latest effort is focused on helping property owners deal with asbestos testing and removal.asbestos-removal-services

Many if not most of the homes and other buildings destroyed or damaged in the fire were built when asbestos was commonly used in many aspects of construction. Asbestos has since been deemed a highly hazardous material, and state law requires that it be collected and disposed of in accordance with specific protocols. Asbestos cannot be dumped in regular trash bins or taken to county landfills.

Testing debris for asbestos and removing it are both costly, and ordinarily these costs would be the sole responsibility of the property owner. There are no standing government programs to assist property owners with the costs of asbestos testing and removal. However, as a special service to victims of the Blue Cut Fire, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors has set aside funding to cover the cost of asbestos testing and to assist with the asbestos remediation and demolition process. The county is distributing this informational flyer in both English and Korean to property owners affected by the Blue Cut Fire through the Internet and social media, at the front counters of county and other public agency offices, direct mail, and in-person.

Mail ballots delivered for the 2016 Presidential General Election

rov-logoThe San Bernardino County Elections Office will begin delivering mail ballots to the U.S. Post Office on Saturday, October 15, for voters on the permanent mail ballot list. These ballots will start arriving in mail boxes on Monday, October 17.

Voters can still sign up to receive a mail ballot by submitting an online application at, by filling out the Mail Ballot Application found on the back cover of their Voter Information Guide, or by calling the Elections Office. The deadline to request a mail ballot is Tuesday, November 1.

New this election, the Elections Office is including an ‘I Voted By Mail’ sticker along with every mail ballot. Mail ballot voters are encouraged to take a ballot selfie with their unmarked ballot and their ‘I Voted By Mail’ sticker to share with friends and family on social media.

Voted mail ballots may be returned by mail, but must be postmarked on or before Elections Day, November 8, 2016, and received no later than three business days after the election. Additionally, voted mail ballots may be returned in person to any polling place on Election Day, or to one of the 57 mail ballot drop-off locations prior to Election Day. To find a mail ballot drop-off location, voters can use the Mail Ballot Drop-Off Map located on the Elections Office website at

Also on the website, voters can access personalized election information, including their Voter Information Guide, their assigned polling place, and their mail ballot status by using the award winning My Elections (M.E.) Gateway application.

For more information about this election, voters can call (909) 387-8300.

Get registered for the Great California ShakeOut

shakeout-2016Join more than 500,000 people who live and work in San Bernardino County by practicing how to Drop, Cover, and Hold On at 10:20 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20 during the Great California ShakeOut Earthquake Drill.

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.

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.

Register your family here as ShakeOut participants.

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.

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

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

Landscaping project will look great and save water, too.

If you’ve seen the temporary fencing and heard the sound of heavy equipment around the County Government Center in downtown San Bernardino in recent weeks, you’ve witnessed County Government’s latest effort to spruce up its portion of the city and use natural resources more wisely in the years ahead.

20161003_142917The water-guzzling lawns, shrubs and distressed trees on the west, north and east sides of the County Government Center will be replaced with drought-tolerant plants, walking paths, and seating areas. Healthy trees, including the signature Canary Island date palms, will be preserved, as will the water-wise recirculating fountain in front of the Government Center. Work began in August and is scheduled to continue through December.

“This is an exciting and very important project,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos. “Everyone has a responsibility to use our natural resources wisely, and County Government is taking the lead by creating what will be a beautiful drought-resistant landscaping project in the heart of downtown San Bernardino.”

The landscaping around the County Government Center hasn’t been updated since the building was designed and constructed in the mid-1980s, a time when lush green lawns were still the norm despite the tremendous amount of water needed to maintain them.pages-from-iom-resd-pmd-campus-landscape-improvements-2016-08-02

Decades of trying to survive in San Bernardino’s summer climate eventually took their toll on some of the tall, non-native trees surrounding the County Government Center and rendered them ill. Their removal as part of the landscaping project has already opened up views of the property. A long-needed trimming of the remaining healthy trees has also improved the look of the Government Center early in the project.

County hires new Human Resources director

cindi-peterson-tompkinsA human resources leader with a depth of experience managing large and complex organizations has been selected as San Bernardino County’s new director of Human Resources.

Cindi Peterson Tompkins begins leading Human Resources on Oct. 31. She will be in charge of providing services to the County’s 22,000 employees and managing a staff of 143 and a budget of $18 million.

“We are proud to have someone of Cindi’s background join the County,” said James Ramos, chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “I believe she will bring a wealth of experience and ideas to benefit our employees.”

Tompkins comes to the County following 13 years at Esri in Redlands, which has more than 3,000 employees globally. Tompkins’ career with Esri includes multiple director roles and includes leadership of several functions including operations, human resources, global benefits, compliance, privacy, ethics, purchasing and safety functions for the $900 million high-tech software and services organization.

Prior to Esri, Tompkins was vice president of human resources, facilities, and corporate strategic staffing at Avery Dennison Corporation in Brea from 1992 to 2003, where she was a corporation staff officer. Tompkins also has government-sector experience from her time as Human Resources Director at the City of West Covina in 2002. She began her career in human resources at General Dynamics Air Defense Systems Division in Rancho Cucamonga in 1987.

Tompkins has a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and finance from California State University, San Bernardino. She completed the Human Resources Executive Program at Stanford University and has a certificate in employee benefits from the International Federation of Employee Benefits and was awarded the compliance and ethics professional certification from the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics.

Tompkins served as a past board member of the Prudential Advisory Board for the Prudential Corporation and was an instructor at the University of California, Riverside Extension where she taught employee and labor relations and human resources strategy. She also was a human relations commissioner, a charitable coalition board member, and served on the public space and facility naming committee – all for the City of Redlands.

Tompkins, a long-term resident of the County of San Bernardino, currently resides in Redlands.  She and her husband of 26 years have two sons, both attending local colleges. Tompkins said she is excited and honored to be serving both the employees and people of San Bernardino County.

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