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New exhibit sheds some light at the County Museum

Shed Some Light exhibitA new interactive exhibit at the San Bernardino County Museum invites visitors to learn the science behind hydroelectric power with hands-on activities and informative text panels. The display, funded by a grant from the Edison Foundation, enhances the current exhibit of hydroelectric power in the museum’s Hall of History. The exhibit is included with paid museum admission and will continue indefinitely.

Inland southern California was a pioneer in hydroelectricity. Mill Creek No. 1, built by the Redlands Electric Light and Power Company, began operating on September 7, 1893. It was the first commercial use of 3-phase alternating current generators in the United States. The power was transmitted more than seven miles to the city of Redlands as well as to a nearby ice house. The demand for electricity was so great that an additional generator was added less than 3 years later.

Among the hands-on components in the display is a demonstration of how magnets work with motors; how direct current flows; and how falling water can turn a Pelton wheel to generate electricity. Text panels explain electricity vocabulary, offer hints on saving energy, and present a map showing the variety and distribution of various power sources throughout the state of California. There’s even a panel to introduce visitors to the “Current Wars”—Edison vs. Tesla!

“Very fun – kids loved it,” “The kids like making energy with water,” “Easy to understand and very informative,” and “It is a very interesting exhibit” were among the comments from museum visitors during the exhibit’s opening weekend.

The San Bernardino County Museum is at 2024 Orange Tree Lane, at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 am to 5pm. General admission is $10 (adult), $8 (military or senior), $7 (student), and $5 (child aged 5 to 12). Children under five and Museum Association members are admitted free. Parking is free. For more information, visit www.sbcountymuseum.org. The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.

Reminder: Volunteers needed for count of the homeless

Homeless PersonThe 2015 Point-In-Time Count of the Homeless will take place Thursday, Jan. 22, from 6 to 10 a.m. 

Volunteers will be grouped in teams of three and assigned to a deployment center in the city of their choice within San Bernardino County.

Team members will count homeless individuals and families in assigned areas throughout the county.

The purpose of a Point-in-Time count is to determine risk factors contributing to homelessness and understand the number and characteristics of people sleeping on the street, or in other places not meant for human habitation.

Please visit  www.sanbernardinocountyhomelesscounts.com for more information. Click here for more details.

Reserve now for Santa’s PJ Party at the Victor Valley Museum

C_SANTAFamilies can celebrate the holidays at the Victor Valley Museum in Apple Valley at Santa’s Pajama Party on Saturday, December 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. Reservations are required.

Families will play holiday games, hear holiday stories, make winter crafts, enjoy refreshments, and have a photo op with Santa. Kids can wear pajamas and bring their favorite teddy bear to keep them company. Guests should arrive by 6 p.m. to enjoy the whole party.

“Families love this program and return year after year,” said Jolene Redvale, curator of education at the San Bernardino County Museum. “Our relaxed, seasonal atmosphere gives everyone a chance to enjoy each other’s company while they take part in long-held holiday traditions including story time, snacking, craft-making and, best of all, the thrill of talking to Santa Claus himself.”

Cost is $10 per person. Under age 1 is free with paid adult. Each admission includes all holiday crafts and activities, a chat with Santa, and refreshments. Space is limited and fills quickly. The museum is unable to give refunds for this program. Call (760) 240-2111 for more information. Registration forms are available at the museum or online at www.sbcountymuseum.org.

The Victor Valley Museum is a branch of the San Bernardino County Museum located at 11873 Apple Valley Road in Apple Valley. Parking is free. For more information, visit www.sbcountymuseum.org. The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.

Law enforcement night coming to the Ontario Reign

ontario reignThe San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has partnered with the Ontario Reign for the first ever law enforcement night on February 22 benefiting the Southern California Concerns of Police Survivors.

There will be static display of various law enforcement vehicles around the arena as well as in game special intermission tributes.

To get tickets, visit the Ontario Reign website and under Promotions and look for law enforcement night on February 22. Use promo code ENFORCE to purchase tickets.

County’s crisis walk-in center in Victorville is moving

valley starValley Star High Desert Crisis Walk-In Center is moving to 12240 Hesperia Rd. (north of Bear Valley Road) in Victorville as of Dec. 8. The new center is just four miles away from the current location in a larger and newer building in a more central location. The Crisis Walk-in Center (CWIC) is for those needing immediate access to crisis mental health services, is open 24 hours, 7 days a week, and is available to those of all ages experiencing significant emotional or psychological stress. It is operated by Valley Star Community Services under a contract with the County of San Bernardino Department of Behavioral Health.

The CWIC (pronounced “The Quick”) provides important services to children, adolescents, adults, and older adults in need of immediate crisis intervention and stabilization. It is an alternative to psychiatric inpatient hospitalization, emergency rooms, and even jail. The center helps to stabilize the vast majority of individuals, preventing the need for hospitalization and/or involuntary treatment. It serves an estimated 4,000 individuals each year, and it can serve as many as 12 people at any given time.

The CWIC is voluntary and offered in an unlocked setting, with a stay of up to 23 hours. Individuals admitted into the crisis stabilization unit will be provided with services and supports to ensure their safe transition to the next level of care, or back to the community. Services include crisis stabilization and intervention, individual counseling, medication management, substance abuse treatment, family counseling, and education.

Those coming to the center may reside in the High Desert, but the center will not exclude any resident of the County of San Bernardino in need of immediate access to crisis mental health services. Services will be offered to people who walk in, call, who come in with emergency responders or law enforcement or who are brought in by friends or family.

For referrals, call (760) 245-8837 or for information, email HDCWIC@starsinc.com. TTY users please dial 7-1-1.

Property tax deadline approaching on Dec. 10

buisnessSan Bernardino County Tax Collector Larry Walker is encouraging property owners to pay the first installment of their property taxes by Wednesday, December 10 to avoid the 10 percent penalty.

Making a payment is simple for taxpayers who have the option of paying online, by mail, or in person. Payments can be made online at www.MyTaxCollector.com, 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, free of charge, using a checking or savings account. Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit card payments are also accepted, and include a convenience fee charged by the issuing bank.

If using online bill pay through a banking institution, taxpayers should contact their bank regarding procedures for ensuring timely payment of taxes and their bank’s use of USPS cancellation marks. These transactions often result in a mailed check, and payments received after December 10, 2014, without a USPS cancellation mark are considered late and incur a penalty.

Mailed payments should be sent to SBC Tax Collector, 172 West Third Street, First Floor, San Bernardino, California, 92415. Only payments with a USPS postmark cancellation on or before December 10, 2014 are considered timely. Payments in person can be made by cash, check, credit card, or money order at 172 West Third Street in San Bernardino, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Payments by check or credit card will also be accepted at the High Desert Government Center, 15900 Smoke Tree Street in Hesperia, from December 1 through December 10, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

“Property tax dollars are used to fund key public services that enhance the quality of life for our residents,” said Walker. “I want to encourage property owners to do what they can to pay their property taxes by the December 10 due date to prevent incurring costly penalties that come with late payments. Taxpayers can take advantage of our online payment option at www.MyTaxCollector.com – it’s easy, secure, and Simply A Better Way To Do Business®!”

Property tax revenues collected by the Tax Collector are distributed to local government entities, including school districts, cities, libraries, special districts, and the County. These tax dollars are used to fund key public services including education, police and fire protection, social and public health services.

Workforce Investment Board: Jobs available for healthcare grads

Nurse Behind Intravenous TubeThe County of San Bernardino Workforce Investment Board announced today that it still has paid internship vacancies available for recently qualified healthcare students.
This will allow medical graduates with no previous experience to gain the training and skills they need to be offered a permanent position and establish a career. The internships are On-the-Job Training positions designed to become full-time, regular positions after 90 days.
The Workforce Investment Board was awarded the Dislocated Worker Training National Emergency Grant from the California Workforce Investment Board in the amount of $266,150 to help place 40 individuals in professional level positions in a growing industry.
The grant is designed to assist dislocated workers who have lost a job due to a layoff or company closure. The goal is to provide paid work experience for those who have earned certification in the medical field but are finding it difficult to get back to work.
The key medical professions of focus include, but are not limited to, Registered Nurses, Sonographers, Licensed Vocational Nurses and X-Ray Technicians. Traditionally, these jobs would be offered to candidates with more work experience.
“This is an excellent opportunity for newly licensed candidates to get their foot in the door at a local medical facility,” Workforce Investment Board Executive Director Sandy Harmsen commented. “This grant funding provides a connection to employers that these candidates need.”
Tina Soto, 42, from Victorville, is a great example of the program benefits. She was unemployed for three months before the Workforce Investment Board placed her in an On-the-Job Training position with Bright Now! Dental Center in Barstow this summer.
Dr. Hector Magpayo was impressed with her skills and work ethic and offered Tina a permanent job after 90 days.
“I’m so happy to be working again,” said Tina. “Even though I am a qualified Registered Dental Assistant, it was difficult for me to find a job. I am so grateful for the assistance I received.”
Dr. Magpayo said the program works well, “Sometimes small offices like ours cannot take the risk of spending the time and money on training a new employee. Tina is an excellent fit for our practice and that was an important factor – the applicant was matched well with our business.”
San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chair Janice Rutherford added, “This healthcare grant is another example of how the Workforce Investment Board is placing residents in excellent jobs, while meeting the needs of demand industries.”
Licensed medical professionals hoping to take part in this opportunity should contact the County of San Bernardino Workforce Investment Board at 1(800) 451-JOBs or visit www.csb-win.org.

Union sinks to deceit in ploy for more taxpayer money

sb_cologo-full_colorThe California Nurses Association, the union that represents County nurses, is attempting to deceive the public in its effort to justify a planned two-day abandonment of patients and its demands for tens of millions of additional taxpayer dollars.

Negotiations between taxpayer representatives and the union have dragged on for more than a year because of the union’s insistence on receiving millions more in salaries and benefits than any of their peers and the union’s refusal to agree to the same reasonable terms already accepted by thousands of other County employees.

Publicly, the union claims its concerns center on patient care and working conditions for its members. However, at the bargaining table, the only thing the union talks about and really wants is more of the public’s tax dollars.

Despite the union’s claim that its primary mission is patient safety, the California Nurses Association is urging its members to walk off the job and leave patients in the lurch for two days on December 9 and 10 as a way to pressure taxpayers into giving the union millions in additional public dollars.

The walkout could cost taxpayers millions of dollars if the County is forced to hire temporary nurses to ensure patients receive the care they need. That’s why the County will seek injunctive relief to protect County patients and taxpayers from the union’s planned job action.

In making its case for relief, the County stated that trauma center nurses are necessary and should be exempted from the planned walkout. The County’s Arrowhead Regional Medical Center operates the state’s second-busiest trauma center and is the hospital of last resort for thousands of needy families. The California Nurses Association stated specifically that trauma center nurses are unnecessary.

Regardless of the outcome, the County is committed to ensuring that patient care would not be affected by a union walkout. The County has multiple strategies to ensure its healthcare mission would not be affected.

In its attempt to justify its unreasonable demands and its walkout plans, the California Nurses Association is making outrageous and false claims:

- County nurses are inexperienced – False. The average RN II at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center has more than 9 years of service. Corrections and Public Health nurses have even more experience, an average of about 12 years of service.

- County nurses are underpaid – False. Based on data provided by the Hospital Association of Southern California, RN’s at ARMC are slightly above the median salary of 21 Inland Empire hospitals surveyed, but the County provides far greater benefits than most of these other hospitals.

In fact, the County’s pension contribution for each nurse is approximately $12 per hour for a benefit that most other area hospitals do not even provide. The County’s proposal would result in the salaries of the average nurses at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, Department of Public Health, and in corrections being even higher than their peers in other Southern California counties.

A nurse who works 30 years with the County, retires at age 55, and lives to age 80 can expect to receive $1.86 million in retirement income from the County.

- The County is having trouble recruiting nurses – False.  Since July 1, the County has received 983 applications for nursing positions at ARMC.

- There is a high turnover rate among County nurses – False. According to the Hospital Association of Southern California, for 2013, the average turnover rate for nurses statewide has been 8.9 percent. The Southern California rate has been 9.5 percent. The turnover rate at ARMC has been only approximately 5.75 percent.

Ask the California Nurses Association for the data to back up its claims and to cite its sources.

County wins five Public Relations Society of America awards

C.L. Lopez, Summer Adams, Gloria Affatati and Cynthia Malvin accept awards for Human Services

C.L. Lopez, Summer Adams, Gloria Affatati and Cynthia Malvin accept awards for Human Services

San Bernardino County’s Human Services communications team, the Economic Development Agency and the San Bernardino County Employees’ Retirement Association (SBCERA) were recognized at the 2014 Polaris Awards by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)-Inland Empire Chapter on Nov. 19 at Center Stage Theater in Fontana.

PRSA’s Polaris Awards program recognizes the outstanding and creative public relations strategies used by professionals dedicated to the advancement of communications. Human Services’ communications team; Cindie Perry, deputy director of the Economic Development Agency; and SBCERA were recognized among communications professionals from the private and public sectors.

Human Services Communications Officer C.L. Lopez and Media Specialist Cindi Malvin accepted three Capella Awards for the HS Connection newsletter, the 2013 Human Services Annual Report and their photo gallery of the Dogs of Rainbow’s End. The photo gallery of dogs rescued during a 2013 hoarding case was featured in an Associated Press photo gallery and garnered international media coverage.

“We are very proud of the work of our Human Services Communications team,” said Chief Learning Officer Summer Adams. “These awards honor the work of the team’s first full-year working together and great things have already been accomplished in their telling of the stories of Human Services.”

The Economic Development Agency was given a Capella Award for the 2014 State of the County event held at Ontario Business Bank Arena in February.

SBCERA was recognized for their 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, “Mission Retirement.”

 

 

Supervisors Hagman and Rutherford take Oath of Office

Hagman swearing injanicerutherfordswearingin2014Supervisors Curt Hagman and Janice Rutherford spoke of teamwork as they began new four-year terms on the Board of Supervisors following Oath of Office ceremonies at the County Government Center today.

Supervisor Rutherford, who currently serves as Board of Supervisors Chair, will continue to represent the Second District, which includes the cities of Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, and Fontana, and the unincorporated communities of Lake Arrowhead, Crestline, and San Antonio Heights. Chair Rutherford has been on the board since 2010. She was re-elected in June.

“We are working toward a common goal and a common vision and that’s what we’ve been able to create in San Bernardino County over the past several years,” Chair Rutherford said today. “When I ran the first time, one of my big goals was to help restore public confidence in our County government system, and I feel like we’ve made progress toward that. … I have a great team of people up here to do that with.”

Supervisor Hagman represents the Fourth District, which includes the cities of Chino Hills, Chino, Ontario, Montclair, and Upland. He was elected to the Board of Supervisors in November to succeed Gary Ovitt, who retired after 10 years on the Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Hagman just completed six years of service to the county in the State Assembly and previously served as mayor of Chino Hills.

“This is an awesome county, I think the best in the state by far, and we have a lot of work to do with my colleagues to make it that way working together as a team,” Supervisor Hagman said today.

Supervisors Hagman and Rutherford join Supervisors Robert Lovingood, James Ramos, and Josie Gonzales in leading a dynamic public service organization of more than 22,000 employees working in dozens of agencies, departments, and divisions that provide a diverse array of vital public services. Those services include public safety, economic development, aid to the needy, infrastructure construction and maintenance, elections, parks, museums, libraries, airports, and a variety of healthcare services.

The Board of Supervisors works with the community to achieve the Countywide Vision, www.sbcounty.gov/vision, which was created by county residents and community stakeholders and calls for the establishment of a “complete county” that offers residents and investors a wide range of choices in how they live and prosper.

Key to the Vision is realizing that all elements of the community – education, wellness, jobs and the economy, public safety, housing, the environment, water, infrastructure, quality of life, and image – are interrelated and interdependent. Community experts in various element areas are working together to achieve the Vision and the Vision’s two regional goals:

• Establish San Bernardino County as a model in the state where local government, regulatory agencies and communities are truly business friendly

• Partner with all sectors of the community to support the success of every child from cradle to career

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