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County portion of Santa Ana River Trail receives $3.4 million in funding

SANTA ANA RIVER TRAILThe California Coastal Conservancy Board on Thursday approved $3.4 million for construction of a portion of the Santa Ana River Trail in San Bernardino County.

Once completed, the Santa Ana River Trail will be about 100 miles long and will connect the Inland Empire from the crest of the San Bernardino Mountains to the Pacific Ocean near Huntington Beach. Once complete, it will be one of the longest urban recreation river parkways in the United States.

The $3.4 million will be used for the construction of Phase 3 of the trail from Waterman Avenue in San Bernardino to California Street in Redlands. This trail segment consists of a paved bikeway – a shared use path that is physically separated from any street or highway and may be used by pedestrians, skaters, wheelchair users, and other non-motorized users.

The funding is part of the Proposition 84 bond that allotted $45 million to the Santa Ana River Trail, giving each county $10 million towards their segment of the trail. The California Coastal Conservancy Board is the administrator of these grant funds.

Once accepted by the Board of Supervisors, the County can begin working on construction documents, permits and then construction of the next 3.8 miles of the trail. After completion of Phase 3, there will still be 11 miles of the trail to compete which could take approximately four more years.

To view a map of the Phase 3 segment, click here.

Portion of National Trails Highway reopens following floods

Public traveling on NTH againThe San Bernardino County Department of Public Works reopened National Trails Highway from Crucero Road to Amboy Road in Ludlow today at 2 p.m.
Severe thunderstorms blasted the Mojave Desert September 7 and 8 triggering flash floods throughout the desert regions. Closure of I-95, I-40, National Trails Highway (Route 66), Needles Highway, and various other desert roads occurred due to washouts and bridge damage.
The most extensive damage was along National Trails Highway where approximately 40 bridges were damaged along with major portions of the roadway.
Public Works crews have been working diligently to make these repairs. For the most up to date information on road closures we have a web page located here.

Bugles, cannons and musket fire at Calico Civil War Days

CalicoLogoCalico Ghost Town will come alive with the sounds of bugles, and the thunder of cannon and musket fire. Come experience the history of the Civil War at Calico Ghost Town from February 14-16, 2015.

Calico Ghost Town, in partnership with the American Civil War Society, invites you to come and witness the Civil War come alive with historic presentations, troop inspections, artillery demonstrations, military battles, and much more! Battles will take place daily at 11:45 am and 2:30 pm. There will also be live music from Occasional Strings and other performers. Civil War themed crafts are also available for kids to enjoy. On Saturday only, there will be a Ladies Tea during the afternoon and Blue & Gray Cotillion in the evening, all are welcome to join.

Calico Ghost Town shops and attractions will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.  Admission to the event is $10 for adults, $6 for youth (6-15), and free for children 5 and under. For more information on the event or for camping reservations, please call 800-TO-CALICO or visit www.sbcountyparks.com.

For more information on the American Civil War Society visit www.acws.net.

For more detailed information, click here for Saturday and Sunday’s events and click here for Monday’s events and more information about the Saturday dinner menu and all the weekend’s activities.

Interested in mental health services? Attend a public meeting.

prop63All residents who live in San Bernardino County interested in the public mental health system and learning about the Mental Health Services Act are invited to a series of public meetings.

The meetings are designed to promote community conversation and participation to discuss topics for the future of mental health policy and program planning including the Department of Behavioral Health’s Annual Update for fiscal year 2015-16.

The Mental Health Services Act, Proposition 63, was passed by California voters in November 2004 to expand mental health services for children and adults. The Act is funded by a 1 percent tax surcharge on personal income over $1 million per year. Learn how the Act will impact residents of San Bernardino County.

Interested residents are encouraged to join the Department of Behavioral Health at the upcoming Community Policy Advisory Committee (CPAC) meeting, the Cultural Competency Advisory Committee and Sub-Committee meetings (CCAC), or one of the local District Advisory Committee (DAC) meetings. A special presentation will also be held at the Consulate of Mexico in San Bernardino (in Spanish) in addition to an online after-hours event.

Please click here to view the list of meetings and contact information for each meeting. For all numbers, TTY users please dial 711.

 

County ATC receives multiple awards for financial reporting

sb_cologo-full_colorSan Bernardino County Auditor-Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector Larry Walker received two awards from the Government Finance Officers’ Association (GFOA) – a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting (CAFR) and an Award of Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting (PAFR).  Walker was also presented with the State Controller’s Award for Counties Financial Transactions Reporting for achieving the highest quality in California governmental accounting and financial reporting.  All three awards were presented to Walker at today’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting.

The GFOA established the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program in 1945.  The Auditor-Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector’s Office has received this award for the 26th consecutive year.  The GFOA established the CAFR Program to encourage state and local governments to prepare their comprehensive annual financial reports in a manner that exceeds the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), while maintaining the spirit of transparency and full disclosure of content within the report.  Reports are reviewed by members of the GFOA staff and the GFOA’s Special Review Committee.  The Committee is comprised of individuals with expertise in public-sector financial reporting.

The Popular Annual Financial Reporting Awards Program was established in 1991 by GFOA.  The Auditor-Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector’s Office has received this award for the 8th consecutive year, recognizing its efforts to develop accounting transparency for average citizens by producing the County’s financial report in an easy-to-understand format.  Popular annual financial reports are reviewed by selected members of the GFOA professional staff and by outside reviewers with experience in governmental accounting and financial reporting.

“I am honored to receive these awards, and extremely proud of my staff for their continued hard work and dedication,” Walker said. “This affirms my commitment to develop the County’s financial information in a manner that our citizens’ understand, while in a transparent, easily accessible, and understandable format.”

For additional information, or to view the County’s financial reports, please visit www.sbcounty.gov/atc.

 

Potential public exposure to measles

DPH_Version2_FullColorThe Department of Public Health  has confirmed four cases of measles within the County as of January 23, 2015. These cases are either initial exposures or linked as secondary cases in conjunction with the recent outbreak associated with California Disneyland theme parks. It is possible that San Bernardino County residents may have been exposed to measles since one of the confirmed cases visited public places while infectious.

Potential exposure locations and times:

• Montclair Plaza, 5060 E Montclair Plaza Lane Montclair, CA 91763
o Friday, January 16, 2015 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.

• Harkins Theater, 3070 Chino Avenue Chino Hills, CA 91709
o Saturday, January 17, 2015 10:30 p.m. – Sunday, January 18, 2015 1:30 a.m.

Measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that causes fever, rash, cough, and red, watery eyes. Measles spreads very easily by air and by direct contact with an infected person. Measles is contagious from approximately four days before the rash appears through four days after the rash appears.

The Department of Public Health has been working with the places listed above to contact people who may have been exposed to these cases. As a precaution, people who were in the locations above around the same time as the individual with measles should:

• Monitor themselves for illness with fever and/or an unexplained rash from 7 days to 21 days after their exposure (the time period when symptoms may develop); if symptoms develop, stay at home and call a health care provider immediately or the DPH at 1-800-722-4794.

• Do not visit a health care provider without first notifying them of your potential exposure.

Measles is a rare disease in the United States and in regions of the world where vaccination coverage is high. Maintaining high vaccination rates is vital to prevent outbreaks of disease in our community. Given the recent cases identified here and in other jurisdictions in Southern California, additional cases are expected and vaccination is key in preventing infection from future exposures.

For more information about measles, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/faqs.html, California Department of Public Health at http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Pages/Measles.aspx or call the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health Communicable Disease Section at 1-800-722-4794, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Forest Falls grateful for Public Works support

 

Dozens of Forest Falls residents took the time to thank County Public Works road crews in writing for cleaning up their community following a powerful storm that sent a river of mud and boulders through the heart of their mountain village.

Forest Falls letter

On Sunday, August 3, a thunderstorm parked itself just upstream of Forest Falls and dumped almost five inches of rain in less than an hour. A terrifying torrent of water, mud, boulders, and uprooted trees came roaring down into the community, closing Valley of the Falls Drive, Prospect Drive, and other roads, stranding many residents. The incident prompted an emergency proclamation by the Board of Supervisors.

20140804_092940Within a day, County Public Works had cleared roadways enough for residents to gain access to a shelter that had been established at the community center. Within two days, Valley of the Falls Drive and Prospect Drive were re-opened to the public. Unfortunately, Forest Falls is no stranger to these types of disasters.

The community’s unique canyon geography and the tendency of summer thunderstorms to stall upstream make sudden debris flows an all-to-common occurrence. Undeterred, residents have come to take these incidents in stride, and are grateful for the quick and consistent support they receive from numerous County agencies, including the Department of Public Works.

Wanted: Citizens to represent the region on state boards and commissions

MonaPasquil

Appointments Secretary Mona Pasquil recently visited the San Bernardino County Government Center in San Bernardino to help recruit citizens to serve on state boards and commissions.

The State of California’s Boards and Commissions are a litany of vast and varied topics: the Boating and Waterways Commission, the state boards of Barbering and Cosmetology, Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Gambling Control Commission.

Mona Pasquil knows all the vacancies by heart and tours the state of California looking for hundreds of citizens willing to serve and represent their communities on the state’s Boards and Commissions.

In January 2011, Pasquil was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown  to serve as his Appointments Secretary which she calls “the best job I ever had.”

That’s a bold statement considering Pasquil is a seasoned political adviser and strategist who also served as acting Lieutenant Governor after former Lieutenant Governor John Garamedi was elected to Congress. It marked the first time a woman, Asian Pacific Islander or Filipino-American, has served as Lieutenant Governor of California.

In her latest role, it’s especially important for Pasquil – the granddaughter of immigrants – to find people from a wide variety of backgrounds to serve, who are “not in the paper all the time, but working in the community all the time.”

“The Governor has asked the appointments team to find citizen public servants,” she said. “We’ve come to San Bernardino County to demystify the process and encourage people to participate.”

Time commitments vary depending on the board or commission. Some people serve statutory terms of two or four years, some people serve at the pleasure of the governor which means they can be replaced at any time, others need Senate confirmation to be appointed. Some boards meet four times a year, others meet once a month.

“Some are paid, but most are volunteer,” Pasquil said.

There are a variety of positions available, especially for non-experts. For instance, the Medical Board of California has vacancies for licensees and part-time faculty, but there is also a vacancy for a member of the public who does not have any affiliation with doctors or the medical field.

“We need the perspective from the outside,” Pasquil said of public members. “They ask the best questions. Sometimes the public members hear discipline cases and they tell us, ‘Do we have the right regulations to protect members of the public? Is this necessary? Is this outdated?’”

For example, Pasquil has spoken to a group of teachers about serving on Boards and Commissions who would likely fit in just fine on boards pertaining to education, but she needs them in a different role.

Pasquil got one teacher who was interested in guide dogs to serve on the state board for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

“It was totally not in her lane, but people have those passions,” she said.

Pasquil is looking for people who are comfortable asking questions of experts and who have a willingness to serve.

There have been challenges recruiting people from the Inland Empire as well as other areas of the state. For instance, a cancer research board had a member from the Central Valley retire and all the new applicants for the vacancy were from the San Francisco area. But the Central Valley has a number of health issues and needs that are different from those in northern California, Pasquil said.

The same goes for the Inland Empire, where issues on a variety of matters are different from those in other areas of the state.

“To not have a voice, to not have the Inland Empire represented is a loss for the region,” she said. “They would represent this part of the state.”

Anyone interested in applying for Boards and Commissions should visit http://gov.ca.gov/m_appointments.php. A list of current vacancies is available here.

Sheriff’s group lowers registration fee for Cars and Stars Car Show

CASCarShowFlyer update 2015The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is having its first Cars and Stars Car Show to benefit the Sheriff’s Employee Assistance Team and the Debbie Chisholm Memorial Foundation, which grants wishes to catastrophically ill children in the Inland Empire.

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 4 at the Auto Club Speedway, 9300 Cherry Avenue, Fontana.

There will be prizes, food trucks, a 50/50 drawing, a kids zone, trophies and a silent auction for a chance to win two tickets to tour Jay Leno’s garage.

The entry fee is now only $25 for those who pre-register their vehicles before March 20. Registration on the day of the show will increase to $35. Registration includes a T-shirt and goodie bag. Admission is free for spectators!

For questions about registration, contact cascsinfo@gmail.com or Heidi Payne at hpayne@sbcsd.org.

For more information or sponsor and vendor opportunities, contact Marc Summers at msummers@sbcsd.org or Mike Jones at mjones@sbcsd.org.

Click here for more details.

Workforce Investment Board trains drivers for hauling company

Final Government Works StampAn increase in business for freight trucking company Valley Bulk, Inc. has meant the need to recruit more drivers.

The 2008 recession hit the company hard – reducing the number of trucks in operation from 65 to just 40. However, with business booming again the firm has now returned to running a full capacity fleet.

In the last six months, Valley Bulk, Inc. has hired five new drivers through the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board’s On-the-Job Training program.

The program reimburses employers who hire workers with a skills gap, those who may not have the level of experience the company initially asks for – paying up to 50 percent of the new employee’s salary while they learn the new position.

“I wouldn’t normally take on drivers without experience but I found this program to be a win-win situation for both the employee and our company,” said Lloyd McCoy of Valley Bulk, Inc.

McCoy learned about the On-the-Job Training program from a newly qualified driver who came into their Victorville offices to apply for a job.

“I explained that employing a driver without experience would mean another driver having to spend several weeks with him to train him, which would be at a cost to the company.  However, when he told me he was eligible for the WIB program, and how it works, I was happy to give him a job.”

McCoy has since employed four more drivers through On-the-Job Training and believes the program is extremely beneficial to small companies like Valley Bulk, Inc.

“I feel it’s important to help newly qualified workers because it’s often difficult to get a job with no experience. Without the Workforce Investment Board I would not be able to offer this opportunity. I will continue to use the service as long as it’s available.”

Sandy Harmsen, Executive Director of the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board said, “Small companies like Valley Bulk, Inc. benefit immensely from the On-the-Job Training program which is why they use the service over and over again.”

Valley Bulk, Inc. now employs a total of 100 staff and delivers across California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah.

“The On-the-Job Training program provides opportunities for businesses to grow and for residents to learn new skills and earn a paycheck at the same time,” said James Ramos, Chair of San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. “It’s yet another example of how the WIB is working to support businesses and job seekers.”

To learn more about how On-the-Job Training can help your business, please call (800) 451-JOBS or visit www.csb-win.org.

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