Envelope GovDelivery NoticesGet e-mail updates when this information changes.

County executive Keith Lee announces retirement

Keith LeeSan Bernardino County Deputy Executive Officer and Regional Parks Director Keith Lee, a longtime leader in County government and the community, is retiring after 29 years of service to the public.

“I appreciate the years of service I’ve been able to have in San Bernardino County,” Mr. Lee said as he was being honored during today’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

County Librarian Leonard Hernandez has been appointed to succeed Mr. Lee.

In addition to the County’s 10 regional parks and recreational facilities, Mr. Lee oversees the County Museum System, the County’s six airports, the County Library System, Registrar of Voters, and the Agriculture/Weights & Measures Department.

Prior to his appointment as Deputy Executive Officer, Mr. served as Director for the Jobs and Employment Services Department, where he was responsible for providing job training for economically disadvantaged adults and youth, welfare recipients, laid-off and older workers.

Mr. Lee began his service with the county as a field representative to the Board of Supervisors, serving as liaison to the local community, assisting in the drafting of legislation and ordinances, tracking and coordinating constituents’ concerns.

Mr. Lee holds an MBA and bachelor’s degrees in business administration and sociology.

In addition to his duties with the County, Mr. Lee has been active in the community, serving as past president of the Downtown YMCA and on the boards of directors of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, the San Bernardino Valley College Foundation, The Unforgettables Foundation, The Volunteer Center, and the Youth Action Project.

Get to StarLab at the Victor Valley Museum

starsThe San Bernardino County Museum’s portable planetarium, StarLab, returns to the Victor Valley Museum on Saturday, February 14. These family-friendly programs will begin at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and last about one-half hour. The programs are free with paid museum admission.

StarLab programs explore the stars through legends from various cultures. The programs are recommended for families with children over age 4.

The Victor Valley Museum is a branch of the San Bernardino County Museum at 11873 Apple Valley Road in Apple Valley. Admission is $5 (adult), $4 (senior or military), and $2.50 (student). Children under 5 and San Bernardino County Museum Association members are free. Parking is free. For more information, visit www.sbcountymuseum.org. The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.

County reschedules renewable energy listening session

sb_cologo-full_colorThe renewable energy policy initiative (SPARC) listening session originally scheduled for February 19, 2015 from 2-4 p.m. is being rescheduled to March 5, 2015 from 2-4 p.m., due to requests for additional time from community organizations.

Many community organizations are preparing comments for the State of California’s Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) which is currently under public review. DRECP comments are due by February 23,  2015.

Unlike the DRECP, the County General Plan Renewable Energy Element is a County government project that would balance desert conservation with renewable energy development within the unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County not owned by the state or federal government.

The listening session will focus on plans for the County General Plan renewable energy element and will be held in the Board of Supervisors Covington Chambers in San Bernardino, with opportunities for videoconference testimony from both the High Desert (Hesperia) and Joshua Tree county government centers. The session will begin with an overview of the County’s planning progress and priorities from County Planning Director Terri Rahhal, followed by public comments on the Element Framework and Outline.

The listening session will be the third round of public exchange on the County General Plan Renewable Energy Element process. Additional public workshops will follow in the spring.

The March 5th listening session will be conducted at:

Covington Chambers

County Government Center, First Floor

385 N. Arrowhead Ave., San Bernardino

During the meetings, the public can participate via videoconferencing at:

Jerry Lewis High Desert Government Center

15900 Smoke Tree Street, Hesperia

Bob Burke Joshua Tree Government Center

63665 Twentynine Palms Highway, Joshua Tree

HOPENOW offering mortgage help at March 16 event

saveyourhomesbSave your home! Are you unemployed or earning less than before? Are you behind on your mortgage payments? Having trouble refinancing?

Get the help you need at the upcoming HOPENOW event on Monday, March 16 from 2 to 8 p.m. at the Arrowhead Event Center, 180 S. Arrowhead Ave. in San Bernardino.

Meet face to face with your lender or a non-profit housing expert. You may qualify for a loan modification, short sale, forbearance and other non-foreclosure option. You may be able to significantly reduce your monthly mortgage payments. You will learn about the many government and private programs available to you.

Bring two current pay stubs, two current bank statements, mortgage statements, property tax and home insurance information, hardship letter, profit/loss statement if self-employed and documentation of all income.

For more information, visit www.hopenow.com.

Click here for more details.

 

 

First confirmed flu-related deaths in the County

DPH_Version2_FullColorThe Department of Public Health has confirmation of its first two flu-related deaths. Both adults had underlying medical conditions and were from the High Desert area. One had been vaccinated. As of January 24, 2015, California Department of Public Health has confirmed a total of nine flu related deaths statewide.

“The families have our sincerest condolences. This fatality is a reminder that flu can be a serious and often deadly disease,” said Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare, Health Officer.

Flu activity is beginning to increase statewide, including reports of hospitalizations and severe disease, according to Dr. Ohikhuare.

“We are early on in what could be a severe flu season, as it has yet to peak in California. You can help prevent further spread of the flu by getting a flu shot,” Ohikhuare said.

The flu shot remains the most effective protection from the flu. A seasonal flu shot is recommended every year to all persons age 6 months and older, to help protect you, your family and the community from the flu.

The flu is caused by the influenza viruses and is easily spread from one person to another. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue. Those at highest risk of severe flu (the elderly, pregnant women, infants, or people with other health conditions) who show flu symptoms should contact their medical provider immediately in order to get the most effective treatment for flu.

In addition to getting the flu vaccine, prevent the spread of illness by following these steps:
• Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue and properly dispose of used tissues
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after a cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers may be used if soap and water are not available
• Avoid close contact with sick people and stay home when you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others
• Contact your medical provider for treatment options

To find a flu shot clinic nearest you visit http://flushot.healthmap.org. For more information on flu activity please visit the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health website at sbcounty.gov/dph/publichealth, or contact the Communicable Disease Section at 1-800-722-4794, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Learn to navigate the State Budget process at Feb. 18 session

budgetphotoAre you interested in learning to navigate the State Budget process? Do you need to gain a better understanding of the State Budget and what it means to your job, organization and community?

If so, please join us for Dollars and Democracy: California’s Budget Process and the 2015-16 Budget Proposal. The presentation is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on February 18, 2015, in the Covington Chambers at the County Government Center, 385 N. Arrowhead Avenue in San Bernardino.

The presentation examines the roles of the Governor, the Legislature, and other key players, and highlights opportunities for the public and community leaders to be involved. The presentation will also examine the major issues in play as state leaders debate proposals for the 2015-16 fiscal year, including competing revenue projections and spending proposals on education, health, criminal justice, child care, economic development, and more.

Registration is required; please use the link below to register for your session of choice.

Register Here

 

Mountain Men focus of new County Museum exhibit

mountainmenexhibitA new exhibit will open in the San Bernardino County Museum’s Hall of History on Saturday, February 7. “Turn Left at the Rockies” will introduce visitors to “mountain men,” legendary fur traders of the Rocky Mountains who came to southern California between 1826 and 1850. The exhibit is included with regular paid museum admission. An invitation-only Museum Association members’ exhibit preview is Friday, February 6, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Beaver fur was a highly valued commodity in the 18th and 19th century. In North America, beaver was first acquired by trade with Native Americans, but in the early 1800s fur companies began organized trapping expeditions. These companies were so efficient that beaver quickly became scarce, and the search for new beaver streams began.

Mountain man Jedediah Smith set off in search of beaver streams in 1826, and his path south brought him to the Colorado River and across the Mojave Desert to Mission San Gabriel, the first American to enter California overland. His trailblazing path was followed by other trappers and traders, at first seeking fur, then California horses and mules, and finally gold.

“The period of time between 1826 and 1850 was selected as the focus of the exhibit because those few years were a time of amazing change in California,” said Jennifer Reynolds, museum media specialist. “Southern California transitioned from the Spanish Mission era to the Mexican Rancho era, and then, with the discovery of gold and the Gold Rush, plunged into statehood. Former mountain men like Kit Carson, Isaac Slover, John Brown Sr., James Waters, and others were right in the middle of these events, right here in our county.”

Mountain men, already skilled at exploration, found new niches in their rapidly changing world as guides, scouts, Indian agents, and businessmen. Several former mountain men were instrumental in the development of the state of California and the county of San Bernardino. Using artifacts, extracts from their own journals (no, they were not all illiterate!), and hands-on displays, “Turn Left at the Rockies” explores myths about mountain men, their ways of life, relationships with Native Americans, and their stories after they arrived in southern California.

“The consultation of historian Nick Cataldo was a great help in putting together this exhibit,” said Reynolds. “We also thank the San Bernardino County Museum Association for funding which helped make the exhibit possible.”

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 a.m. to 5.p.m. 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, call (909) 798-8608 or visit www.sbcountymuseum.org. The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.

County seeks public comment on renewable energy

logosmaller

Important dates are coming up for public participation in the development of two renewable energy policy initiatives.

The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, or DRECP, http://www.drecp.org, is a state and federal effort to balance desert conservation with renewable energy development in the desert regions of seven California counties, including San Bernardino County. San Bernardino County Government’s role in the DRECP is essentially the same as the public’s: The County can offer comments, but it has no direct authority over the content or outcome of the DRECP.

A draft of the DRECP can be viewed at http://www.drecp.org/draftdrecp/. The state and federal governments are accepting public comments on the draft DRECP through February 23, 2015. Comments can be made to docket@energy.ca.gov or by visiting http://www.drecp.org/about/contact.html#comments.

The County has drafted its proposed comments on the draft DRECP and on February 10, 2015, at 2 p.m., the Board of Supervisors will conduct a special meeting to consider staff’s recommendation for the County’s proposed response, which can be viewed at http://cob-sire.sbcounty.gov/sirepub/pubmtgframe.aspx?meetid=2535&doctype=AGENDA and clicking on Agenda Item 1.

The County cannot accept comments on the state/federal draft DRECP itself, only on the County’s proposed response.

This special meeting will take place in the Board of Supervisors Covington Chambers in San Bernardino, with opportunities for videoconference testimony from both the Hesperia and Joshua Tree county government centers. The meeting will also be webcast and can be viewed at http://www.sbcounty.gov/main/countydirect.asp.

The other renewable energy policy initiative with an important date looming is the County General Plan renewable energy element. Unlike the DRECP, the County General Plan renewable energy element is a County government project that would balance desert conservation with renewable energy development within the unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County not owned by the state or federal government.

County Land Use staff will soon announce a date for a listening session on plans for the County General Plan renewable energy element in the Board of Supervisors Covington Chambers in San Bernardino, with opportunities for videoconference testimony from both the Hesperia and Joshua Tree county government centers. This session will begin with an overview of the County’s planning progress and priorities from County Planning Director Terri Rahhal. The listening session will be the third round of public exchange on the County General Plan renewable energy element process. Additional public workshops will follow in the spring.

“The DRECP and County General Plan renewable energy element both involve renewable energy land use planning, but the similarities end there,” said County Land Use Services Director Tom Hudson. “The DRECP is a state and federal process over which the County has no jurisdiction. The County General Plan renewable energy element is the County’s effort to involve County residents and other stakeholders in creating responsible renewable energy land use policy for the unincorporated areas.”

Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos and Vice Chairman Robert A. Lovingood represent the County’s desert communities and have been very active in both processes on behalf of their constituents.

“With the public’s help, we can balance the need to preserve our desert environment with the need for renewable energy,” Chairman Ramos said. “The upcoming hearing on the County’s response to the DRECP and the County General Plan renewable energy element listening session are important opportunities for the public to become involved and have their voices heard.”

“The DRECP is a state and federal plan that will have a major impact on our desert, so I encourage local residents to share their thoughts and concerns,” Vice Chairman Lovingood said.

Both the February 10 special Board of Supervisors meeting and the future listening session will be conducted at:

• Covington Chambers

County Government Center, First Floor

385 N. Arrowhead Ave., San Bernardino

During the meetings, the public can participate via videoconferencing at:

• Jerry Lewis High Desert Government Center

15900 Smoke Tree Street, Hesperia

• Bob Burke Joshua Tree Government Center

63665 Twentynine Palms Highway, Joshua Tree

Homeless service providers awarded $6.9 million in grants

DBH_Version2_FullColorA combination of funding for new and renewed project grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will provide homeless service agencies, throughout San Bernardino County, with more than $6.9 million to provide transitional, permanent housing and rapid re-housing to countless numbers of homeless individuals and families who might otherwise be living on the streets.

On January 26, 2015, HUD announced the award of over $1.8 billion in grants to help nearly 8,400 local homeless housing and service programs across the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.   The Continuum of Care (CoC) grants support the Administration’s efforts to end homelessness by providing critically needed housing and support services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness across the country.

“This type of funding is what San Bernardino County needs. Turning a blind eye to homelessness hurts our communities and can be up to five times more costly than providing permanent supportive housing programs like those funded through this $6.9 million grant,”  Supervisor Josie Gonzales, Chair of the Interagency Council on Homelessness, said.

HUD’s decision to fund these new programs will bring over $6.9 million directly to all 24 cities and unincorporated areas within San Bernardino County to fund two new rapid re-housing projects, 18 existing projects, and a local planning grant. Agencies implementing these projects include Central City Lutheran Mission, San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health, Foothill Family Shelter, Frazee Community Center, Global One Development, House of Prayer-Gospel Outreach Ministries Inc., Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino, Inland Temporary Homes, Inland Valley Hope Partners, Knowledge Education and Your Success (KEYs), Life Community Development, New Hope Village, Salvation Army-San Bernardino, Time For Change Foundation, and U.S. Vets-United States Veterans Initiative.  In addition to housing services, CoC grants fund a wide range of activities including, street outreach, assessments, mental health counseling, employment counseling, substance abuse treatment and child care.

“The need in our county is great. We know it and the federal government knows it,” Chairman James Ramos said. “I am proud HUD shares our vision of ending homelessness in San Bernardino County and has awarded us funds that will help provide housing to many of our homeless residents. Together we can bring hope to those who are lost and help them find a place in this great county to call home.”

If you would like more information regarding Homeless Services offered in San Bernardino County please contact the Office of Homeless Services at (909) 386-8297 and/or visit our website at www.sbcounty.gov/SBCHP.

Potential public exposure to measles

DPH_Version2_FullColorThe Department of Public Health  has confirmed six cases of measles within the County as of February 2, 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:
Inland Center Auto Body, 181 S. Arrowhead Ave. San Bernardino, CA 92408
o Thursday, January 22, 2015 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
o Friday, January 23, 2015 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
o Saturday, January 24, 2015 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Elgin and Fagan Bar 336 W. Highland Ave. San Bernardino 92405
o Thursday, January 22, 2015 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM
o Saturday, January 24, 2015 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Game Stop, 1100 S Mount Vernon Ave. Colton, CA 92324
o Saturday, January 24, 2015 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM
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.

 

Twitter @CountyWireFollow @CountyWire on Twitter!