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State of the County highlights collaboration and successes

2014_StateOfTheCounty_1Board of Supervisors Chair Janice Rutherford gave an inspiring and captivating speech during the State of the County on Wednesday night.

Rutherford emphasized that through collaboration, we can achieve the goals of the Countywide Vision. During her presentation, Rutherford gave a rundown of the unique and important role County government plays in our everyday lives with statistics that reveal the work County departments engaged in over the last year. More than 1,000 county residents, County employees, government leaders, business leaders, and community leaders attended.

Poet David Bowden gave a special performance tailored to the event in which he compared collaboration to how water, soil and seed are essential for growth.

Watch a snippet of Rutherford’s presentation here: http://youtu.be/sgkXJRedROg

Watch the full presentation here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GI3vK12Pbao

Visit www.sbcountyadvantage.com for more information about State of the County.

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County forecast: Heavy rains and forceful winds beginning Friday

Falling Rain

Rainfall and wind beginning early Friday may cause unsafe conditions throughout areas of San Bernardino County, according to the National Weather Service.

Wind gusts from 40 to 45 mph are expected in the valleys but mostly in the desert communities of Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms.

Rain began falling overnight Thursday but the storm is expected to pick up on Friday.

National Weather Service forecasters predict:

  • A foot of rainfall in Crestline and other south facing mountain areas where rainfall rates of one to two inches per hour can occur
  • A half foot to a foot in Lytle Creek
  • Four to five inches in Rancho Cucamonga and other foothill  communities
  • One to two inches in the High Desert
  • Ten inches in Yucaipa and Forest Falls

These rainfall amounts may lead to flash flooding.

The heavy rains on Friday will transition to showers through Friday night and Saturday, ending on Sunday.

Although the sun will peek out of the clouds on Saturday, rainfall is expected to continue throughout the day.

County crews and departments are mobilized to address storm-related issues.

Residents are advised to stay clear of flood control debris basins and channels. Persons can be swept away by a surge of water runoff, mudflow, or debris flow. Do not drive where water is over the road as flood waters can rise rapidly and sweep a car and its occupants away.

Sandbags are available at the following locations: County Sandbag List

For information about road closures and to report road and flood problems, visit the Department of Public Works website at www. sbcounty.gov/dpw/

In an emergency, call 9-1-1.

 

State of the County by the numbers

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San Bernardino County is the largest county in the world and one of the nation’s most populous. The diversity and volume of services County Government provides might still surprise you. During tonight’s State of the County speech, Chair Janice Rutherford cited a number of quirky and interesting facts about the County:

2,076,399 – County population (more than 14 states)
20,160 – Size of the county in square miles (larger than Switzerland)
5,981 – Tires purchased by County Government in 2013
200 – Mosquito Fish on-hand for county residents with fish ponds
676 – Copies of “Green Eggs and Ham” in County libraries
5,825 – Average daily jail population
64 – Species at the Big Bear Alpine Zoo at Moonridge
160 – Animals at the Big Bear Alpine Zoo at Moonridge
1,134,088 – Cookies baked by the County in 2013
22 – Rare-earth minerals and metals mined in the County
15,000 – Toothbrushes purchased by the County in 2013
10,000 – Tubes of toothpaste purchased by the County in 2013
65,464 – Environmental Health inspections during fiscal year 2012-13
258,148 – Outpatients seen at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in 2013
0 – Deficiencies found during a recent inspection of ARMC
115,000 – Arrowhead Regional Medical Center ER visits, 2013
278,560 – Latex gloves purchased by the County in 2013
19,953 – Gas pumps inspected by the County in 2013
$56 million – Saved by county consumers in 2013 thanks to scale/gas pump/scanner inspections
7,000 – Coloring books purchased by the County in 2013
6,500 - Crayon 4-packs purchased by the County in 2013
80 - Sentinel chickens to warn the County about impending disease
200,000 – Bird eggs at the County Museum
185,742 – Calls for Sheriff service in unincorporated County areas in 2013
1,403 – Square miles covered by the Victor Valley Sheriff’s station (just shy of Rhode Island)
8,000 - Disposable diapers purchased by the County in 2013
15,171 – Public Health immunizations during fiscal year 2012-13
102,450 – Apples purchased by the County in 2013
250 – Bridges maintained by County Public Works
1,805 – Number of Sheriff’s volunteers
3,800 – Poll workers who served during the 2012 presidential election
1,171 – People who received job training through the Workforce Investment Board in 2013
13 - Aircraft Owned & Operated by the County

County schools success highlighted at State of Education Address

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California’s educational system is undergoing tremendous change as it transitions to new state standards, as well as new ways public schools receive funding and have to account to their communities. Those were highlights of San Bernardino County Superintendent Gary Thomas’ annual State of Education Address on Tuesday.

Thomas delivered his address at the California Theatre for the Performing Arts before a crowd of hundreds of educators, as well as elected officials and dignitaries.

“We are not strangers to change in education,” Thomas said. “For years, even decades, we’ve responded to educational trends, special legislation and the latest in school reform.”

Among the big changes in California are adoption of the new Common Core State Standards that will be implemented statewide for the 2014-15 academic year, as well as a new funding model from the state called the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).

Along with the funding model, schools and districts have to be more accountable for how they are spending their money through the adoption of Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAP).

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State of the County 2014 to be held Wednesday

stateofthecountyHear how our County, residents, businesses and agencies are bringing innovation and resources together to further the Countywide Vision at the annual State of the County on Wednesday.

Network with business leaders and industry peers as well as hear directly from County leadership on how collaboration, transparency and a commitment to economic opportunity is creating a dynamic future for all invested in the county.

There is still time to register for the event, which is being held at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario.

For more information, visit http://sbcountyadvantage.com/

Follow the event on Twitter @CountyWire or by using #stateofthecounty.

Board approves grant to provide horse assisted therapy program to additional veterans

VADepartmentLogoLocal veterans will receive equine therapy provided by the San Bernardino County Department of Veterans Affairs after a Jan. 14 Board approval. A grant award by the California Department of Veterans Affairs will fund this non-traditional mental health service that has helped over 100 veterans and family members overcome mental health challenges.
The equine assisted therapy seven-week program is known to address mental health needs that include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and relationship issues.
Therapy sessions are conducted at Buffalo Meadows Ranch in Redlands and delivered by Equus Medendi, a 501(c)3 public charity whose mission is healing with horses. Here is a link to a story about Equus Medendi: http://www.pe.com/local-news/san-bernardino-county/san-bernardino-county-headlines-index/20140219-region-four-legged-therapists-help-struggling-veterans.ece

Bill Moseley, Director of San Bernardino County Department of Veterans Affairs, accredits the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) for these specialized services, “Without the MHSA funding we wouldn’t be able to conduct community outreach, education and provide support to veteran mental health projects around the County. Furthermore, this funding has resulted in new partnerships between the county, state, and federal VA from which our veterans and their families benefit,” said Moseley.

“This program is a testament to the all encompassing approach the County of San Bernardino takes to serving our residents. The key to providing these type of services is reaching out and getting everyone on board to look at a problem and find the right solution,” said Supervisor Josie
Gonzales.
As of 2011, there are approximately 114,482 veterans residing in the County of San Bernardino, comprising approximately 5.5 percent of the County’s population according to the 2012 San Bernardino County Community Indicators Report.
For more information on this program and others like it, call the San Bernardino County Department of Veterans Affairs at (909) 387-5516

Children learn resiliency and culture in San Bernardino County

smaartChildren at Emmerton Elementary School in San Bernardino were the first students to take part in a new County-funded resilience promotion program, Successfully Motivating African-Americans through Resiliency Training (SMAART). The 12-week, multi-year, K-8 educational program targets students in the San Bernardino Unified School District (SBUSD).

SMAART is provided by Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy,  a local nonprofit organization that has served over 10,000 community youth since 2001. CEO Terrance Stone told the Westside Story Newspaper that the goal is to help support students, parents, and local families toward a successful future. Children learn life skills to help them deal with adversity and challenges in positive ways and learn about other cultures.

In the video we catch up on Terrance Stone and Young Visionaries’ work with community youth, and get an inside look on Day 1 of the SMAART program as they present to students at Emmerton Elementary School.

Here’s a link to SMAART’s Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/NewR1N

Back to work!

jobsSan Bernardino County’s steady march back to prosperity has reached a significant milestone. For the first time in years, the unemployment rate in San Bernardino County is lower than the rate in Los Angeles County. In December 2013, the unemployment rate in San Bernardino County was 8.7%, its lowest level in nearly six years. In contrast, unemployment reached a high of 14.8% in July 2010. The December 2013 rate for our neighbor to the west was 8.8%.

Live webinar scheduled to discuss the High Desert Corridor

highdesertcorridor

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and Caltrans are hosting a live webinar to discuss the High Desert Corridor’s potential rail component and connections to the Palmdale Transportation Center in Palmdale and Desert Xpress in Victorville.

The webcast will be streamed live on Feb. 26, 2014 at 7 p.m. on https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4621315897213406209. Webinar participants will be able to share comments and ask questions during the live webcast.

The High Desert Corridor Study is currently considering an approximately 63-mile long, east-west multipurpose transportation corridor, between State Route 14 in Los Angeles County and State Route 18 in San Bernardino County.   The HDC could include the following: freeway/expressway, toll lanes, and/or a high speed rail connection, green energy production and transmission, and a bikeway.  The proposed project aims to improve mobility and access for people and goods in the rapidly growing Antelope, Victor Valley areas of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.

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Weddings, weddings, and more weddings

Love was in the air in San Bernardino County on Valentine’s Day. The County Clerk’s office performed 118 civil marriage ceremonies on Friday, which was a significantwedding increase over the 68 ceremonies performed on Valentine’s Day 2103. The Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk’s office attributes the bump to this year’s Valentine’s Day falling on a Friday leading into a three-day holiday weekend for many people, and the spectacular spring-like weather. On a typical Friday, the County performs about 29 marriage ceremonies. Love is free, but weddings are not. They are, however, quite reasonable for something that lasts a lifetime, or at least should. The cost to obtain a marriage license is $89 and the cost for the marriage ceremony is $65.

 

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