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Registration now open for Children’s Network Conference

Father Gregory Boyle

Father Gregory Boyle

A Jesuit priest who founded the world’s largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program will share his message of hope at the upcoming Children’s Network Conference. Father Gregory Boyle, an authority on gangs and intervention and the founder and CEO of Homeboy Industries, will be the keynote speaker on the first day of the September 23 and 24 conference at the Ontario Convention Center. Now in its 29th year, the event is one of the Inland Empire’s premier training events for professionals in the fields of social work, mental health, juvenile justice, child development, child welfare, medicine and nursing.  Sessions include:

  • The Status of Homeless Youth in San Bernardino County
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
  • Stress Reduction Practices for Children and Teens
  • Working with LGBTQ Youth
  • Supporting the Mental Health of Our Children
  • Early Childhood Development and the Screen-Time Dilemma
  • Helping Children and Teens Through Loss
  • Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking
  • Strengthening and Supporting Father Involvement in Our Communities
  • Self-Empowerment
  • And many more…

For more information and to register, visit  http://hs.sbcounty.gov/CN.

Water agencies invite customers to conservation fair on June 27

17862104102_69e37a083c_hUnder the current drought restrictions, Inland Empire water customers are being required to cut their water use by 24 to 36 percent or face fines of $500 a day or higher.  To help customers reach their reductions, water agencies are hosting the Inland Empire’s first Water Conservation Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 27 at the Stauffer Complex at the University of Redlands.

A kidzone with bounce houses, drawing contests and food trucks will be set up so that children can play, allowing parents to attend workshops and meet with landscapers, representatives from turf replacement companies as well as sprinkler manufacturers, such as Toro and Rain Bird.

Representatives from 10 different water agencies will also be on hand to provide detailed information on rebate programs that will save water customers money on everything from water efficient toilets and appliances to low-flow sprinkler and shower heads and turf replacement programs.

Water agencies will provide free water bottles and other promotional items as well as drawings for major prizes, including weather sensitive irrigation timers.

Agencies participating in the event include the cities of Colton, Loma Linda, Redlands and San Bernardino as well as East Valley Water District, San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, West Valley Water District and Yucaipa Valley Water District.

For more information on Water Saving Garden Friendly plants as well as water conservation tips, tools and rebates, please visit watersavinggardenfriendly.com and iEfficient.com.

County CEO receives regional leadership award

Devereaux portraitCounty Chief Executive Officer Greg Devereaux today received a regional honor for his work with the Board of Supervisors and other county leaders on the Countywide Vision, as well as his 19 years of service as an executive with the County and the cities of Ontario and Fontana.

Mr. Devereaux became the 59th recipient of the Clarence A. Dykstra Award for Excellence in Government from the Southern California Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration during ceremonies in Los Angeles.

“My fellow Board members and I are proud of the work Greg has done to develop and achieve the Countywide Vision, which will make our county community a better place for our residents and investors,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos. “Greg also deserves credit for working so closely and so well with the Board of Supervisors to get County Government back on the right track.”

Information on the Countywide Vision is available at www.sbcounty.gov/vision.

“It is very rewarding to work for a Board of Supervisors that is committed to good government and to achieving the vision the people of our county have for our community’s future,” Mr. Devereaux said.

“No one accomplishes anything alone in government,” Mr. Devereaux said. “In government, you always work as a team, and everything for which I have been given credit would not have been possible without the elected representatives, elected department heads, executive staff, line staff, and community members who have worked with me over the years.”

Mr. Devereaux has served as the County’s chief executive since early 2010. He served as city manager for Ontario from 1997 to 2010, and city manager for Fontana from 1993 to 1997.

The American Society for Public Administration, ASPA, is a 9,000-member organization of government and nonprofit administrators, scholars, educators, and students. ASPA advances the art, science, teaching and practice of public and non-profit administration through its programs and services and fosters core public service values, including accountability and performance, professionalism, social equity, and ethics at the local, national and international levels.

The Southern California Chapter of ASPA was founded in 1948, has approximately 400 members, and is the second-largest chapter of ASPA. The Southern California Chapter’s mission statement is, “To inspire and promote leadership in the Southern California region.”

The Clarence A. Dykstra Award for Excellence in Government was first awarded in 1956 and is named for the nation’s first city manager, having held that position in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mr. Dykstra also served as provost of UCLA from 1945 to 1950. Mr. Devereaux will join a long line of distinguished Southern California leaders who have received the award. Mr. Devereaux was nominated for the award by Phil Hawkey, executive vice president emeritus and assistant professor of Public Administration at the University of La Verne.

During the past four years, San Bernardino County has claimed nearly 150 national and state innovation awards for developing or improving services for county residents and investors. Earlier this month, the county led the nation in claiming 46 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties.

Community Transformation Plan to be launched

communityvitalsignsA plan to transform San Bernardino County into a healthier place to live, work, learn, and play will be formally unveiled during the National Innovative Communities Conference on June 23, 2015, at the Ontario Convention Center.  The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors received and  filed the plan during Tuesday’s meeting. The Community Transformation Plan is currently available on the Community Vital Signs website at www.communityvitalsigns.org and copies will also be available at all local San Bernardino County Public Library branches.

“Releasing a transformation plan alone is not enough to achieve transformation,” said San Bernardino County’s Public Health Officer, Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare. “It is a call for community action with an understanding that wellness extends beyond just physical health. On behalf of Community Vital Signs, I invite everyone to join us to create opportunities for health and wellness in all of our communities.”

The Community Transformation Plan, which will be presented during a conference breakout session entitled, Transforming Health in our Communities through Collective Impact, offers a common understanding of key issues facing County residents, and potential cross-cutting strategies and policy recommendations for addressing the priority areas of:  Education; Economy; Access to Health and Wellness; and Community and School Safety.  It is a culmination of over two years of data analysis, community engagement and feedback, and input from subject experts across a broad spectrum of sectors.  In addition to establishing collective goals and measures of success, the plan will be used for prioritizing existing activities, setting new priorities, aligning the use of resources, and mobilizing action among all sectors in a strategic manner.

The Community Vital Signs Initiative addresses the Wellness Element of the Countywide Vision.  Developed through collaborative efforts of residents, community organizations, and government agencies, it sets evidence-based goals and priorities that align and leverage resources to improve the overall health and well-being of the County’s residents.

Since 2013, the Community Vital Signs initiative has engaged more than 2,000 stakeholders from healthcare, education, public safety, business, government, transportation, faith-based and community-based organizations, and residents for developing a collective plan to create a healthy county through prioritized and strategic action.


Victor Valley College Foundation wins award for alumni program

LOGO VV - FINALIn a competition dominated by a who’s who of universities from around the globe, Victor Valley College was recognized for the most Innovative Alumni Program in 2014.  The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) selected the Victor Valley College Foundation’s Great Alumni Hunt as the 2015 Circle of Excellence Gold Award Winner.

CASE’s new Innovative Alumni Program category was one of most highly contested of the 100 categories in this year’s competition which drew in total more than 3200 entries worldwide.  In this category, judges emphasized that the “submission from Victor Valley quickly rose to the top.”  Silver in the same category was shared by Georgetown University (Washington, DC) and Technical University of Denmark (DTU); and Bronze was shared by the University of British Columbia (Canada) and the University of California, San Diego.

“The fact that the Victor Valley College Foundation placed first in its category, and amongst so many prestigious domestic and international institutions, demonstrates the caliber of its staff, board of directors and most importantly, its alumni,” said Mike Nutter of ISU Insurance / ARMAC Agency who led the winning Great Alumni Hunt team. “It was an honor and a privilege to participate in such a well-planned and valuable outreach – one that served to successfully unify those individuals, both past and present, who hold the college near and dear to their heart.”

The Great Alumni Hunt challenged 20 teams of college and community volunteers each supported by a Victor Valley College intern to locate and contact at least 500 former students within 30 days.  The teams surpassed the goal, more than twice over, to reach 1,157 Victor Valley College alumni and capture their stories. Periodic check in challenges, advertisements identifying “found” alumni and scholarships awarded to interns on winning teams, motivated participants and drove the campaign’s momentum.

Judges in the CASE Circle of Excellence competition noted that the Great Alumni Hunt represented “a highly replicable program for others in the community college world.”  Noting that its peer-to-peer identification of alumni was “interesting, fun and playful” and that it demonstrated clear success.

“We thought we’d won big when we learned how much our alumni valued their Victor Valley College experience. They told us about the key role the college played in their successes and reminisced fondly about their time here.” said Ginger Ontiveros, Executive Director of the Victor Valley College Foundation and creator of the Great Alumni Hunt. “This CASE Circle of Excellence award, however, took that win to a whole new level.  We owe our success and share this recognition with our volunteers, students and alumni who got excited about connecting with each other and their community college alma mater.”

The international Circle of Excellence awards program recognizes outstanding work in advancement services, alumni relations, communications, fundraising and marketing as judged by peer professionals at schools, colleges and universities as well as by professionals from outside education.  In 2015, CASE received more than 3,200 entries for consideration in nearly 100 categories by more than 720 member higher education institutions, independent schools and nonprofits from around the world. Judges gave 307 awards: 93 bronze; 106 silver, 91 gold and 17 grand gold.  Winners are selected based on a number of factors, including overall quality, innovation, use of resources and the impact on the institution or its external and internal communities, such as alumni, parents, students and faculty and staff. The Circle of Excellence awards program is open to professionals working at member colleges, universities, independent schools and nonprofits around the world.

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) is a professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and allied areas. CASE helps its members build stronger relationships with their alumni and donors, raise funds for campus projects, produce recruitment materials, market their institutions to prospective students, diversify the profession, and foster public support of education.  CASE members include more than 3,600 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and nonprofit organizations in 77 countries. The organization serves nearly 78,000 advancement professionals on the staffs of member institutions.

The Victor Valley College Foundation is an alumni relations, community outreach and resource development partner of Victor Valley College.  To learn more about the Foundation, its programs, including the Great Alumni Hunt, and how you can help change lives, visit them on the web at www.vvcfoundation.com or like them on Facebook.

Los Osos students turn group projects into real-world experience

los osos studentsApplying career-based learning in the classroom has peaked the imaginations of students at Los Osos High School in the Chaffey Joint Union High School District.

This spring, students from four of Jennifer Nicastro’s Expository Reading Writing courses have presented 30 group projects where they created mock non-profit organizations and pitched their ideas to a panel of “investors,” like the popular TV show, “Shark Tank.”

“I have two primary goals with this class,” Nicastro said. “I want students to have something to put on their resumes, and I want them to be prepared and confident in tough situations.”

The Expository Reading Writing course is directly tied to California’s new rigorous state standards and the Linked Learning approach, which expose students to college and career opportunities by integrating academics with career-based learning and real-world workplace experiences.

Nicastro’s innovative curriculum idea is the byproduct of requests by the California State University system to get high school students to read more non-fiction, and build experience writing for business and other professions. Even one of the projects, “The Ocassio Project,” tackled the concept of increasing college-readiness and college-going rates.

“The class is tough – tougher than others because it’s different,” Nicastro said. It has its rewards in the experience and project-learning foundation it provides to students.

Educational success conference on June 3

Alliance_for_EducationAbout 250 business, labor, education, government and community leaders are expected to attend the Moving Forward: Aligning Efforts To Achieve Educational Success conference on June 3 at the Ontario Convention Center.
The event will highlight the new Linked Learning Regional Hub of Excellence to support college- and career-readiness for students who attend public schools in San Bernardino County.
The event will be held from 7:30 a.m. to noon at the convention center, located at 2000 E. Convention Center Way in Ontario.
San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools’ Alliance for Education is organizing the conference. Topics of the event included the Countywide Vision and emerging collective impact efforts and partnerships that support education. Representatives from Alignment USA Network, Alignment Rockford and the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership will discuss opportunities for business to engage with current education work to build a strong future workforce for the region.
For more information, contact Debra Mustain of the Alliance for Education at 909.386-2636.

Environment Element Group takes step toward preservation

Joshua Tree WildflowersThe Countywide Vision Environment Element Group on Wednesday prioritized what additional research is needed to develop a comprehensive approach to the preservation and conservation of habitat for threatened and endangered species in San Bernardino County.

The Group selected as its next steps:

  • The creation of a countywide inventory of conservation lands in the county and establishment of a system for tracking new conservation land acquisitions
  • The completion of a detailed analysis of where threatened and endangered species live in comparison to known conservation lands to identify any gaps in protection of those focal species

This was the fourth time in the past year that the Group consisting of experts in environmental protection, land use, infrastructure, utilities, business and regulatory agencies has met to develop a plan for how to best balance habitat preservation and conservation with expected population and economic growth.

Dudek, an environmental and engineering consulting firm hired last year by San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG), has been assisting the Group with the creation of a framework and plan for developing a regional conservation approach.

The additional research tasks chosen by the Group were among the potential next steps suggested by Dudek. The Group decided it needed the information from the countywide conservation lands inventory and habitat gap analysis to better understand the benefits and limitations of possible conservation approaches.

The Group will request financial assistance from the County of San Bernardino and SANBAG to complete the research.

In December and January, the Group reached agreement on a set of policy and biological principles to guide future preservation and conservation of habitat for threatened and endangered species in a way that is beneficial for the health of the environment, the economy, and the citizens of San Bernardino County.

Last year, Dudek staff collected information about existing conservation efforts throughout the county. They provided the Environment Element Group with their insights from their interviews of officials with cities and towns, the County, regional planning and infrastructure entities, environmental protection groups, resource conservation districts, state and federal regulatory and resource agencies, including:

  • Some municipalities have addressed habitat conservation by designating lands as open space, adopting hillside protection ordinances, and preparation of individual habitat conservation plans.
  • State and federal wildlife agencies would like to see a connected and comprehensive approach to habitat conservation.

Anyone with valuable insights into conservation planning efforts anywhere in the county is encouraged to contact Josh Lee at SANBAG – jlee@sanbag.ca.gov.

Middle School Students To Attend STEM Day At Auto Club Speedway

Eleven middle schools in San Bernardino and Riverside counties will attend the sixth annual Auto Club Speedway STEM Day on March 20 as part of the Auto Club 400 Weekend. The STEM Day event will be held at the speedway beginning at 9 a.m.

More than 500 students are expected to participant in the event, which will feature special guest speakers Daniel Suarez, a NASCAR Xfinity Series Driver; Dakota Sun, National Hot Rod Association Sportsman Motorcycle National Event Champion; and Ivan “Iron Man” Stewart, an off-road racing legend.

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are a foundation to the motorsports industry. Students will spend the day participating in a series of hands-on activities demonstrating how concepts are used in the sport of racing.

Students attending will receive a pair of reserved grandstand tickets to the Auto Club 400 race on March 22, courtesy of sponsor King Taco.

Participating schools – and their districts — include:

Almeria Middle School, Fontana Unified School District; Alliance_for_Education

Big Bear Middle, Bear Valley Unified;

Cobalt Institute for Math and Science, Victor Valley Union High School District;

Grace Yokley Middle, Mountain View;

Kolb Middle, Rialto Unified;

Mesa View Middle, Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified;

Ranchero Middle, Hesperia Unified;

Upland Junior High, Upland Unified;

Vanguard Prep, Apple Valley Unified;

Vineyard Junior High, Ontario-Montclair;

Vista Verde Middle, Val Verde Unified.

STEM Day is made possible with the funding from Alcoa Foundation; San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; Toyota Financial Services; John Elway’s Crown Toyota; Toyota Motor Sales; King Taco; and the Inland Empire United Way.

Educational partners teaming up with Auto Club Speedway include San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools’ Alliance for Education; Chaffey College; Ontario-Montclair School District; San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools; San Bernardino Community College District; San Bernardino Valley College; MESA Program; and University of California, Riverside.

IEEP honors SBCounty red-tape cutters

The Inland Empire Economic Partnership recently recognized the leaders of more than two dozen Inland Empire governments and agencies at its Second Annual “Turning Red Tape to Red Carpet Awards” reception, 14 of them representing San Bernardino County and the Countywide Vision’s Regional Goal of  establishing the county as a model in the state where local government, regulatory agencies and communities are truly business-friendly.

ieeplogoThe IEEP, the region’s largest economic development organization, honored the cities, counties and agencies that came up with innovative ways to enhance job growth and the local economy despite an often-difficult regulatory environment. These are the San Bernardino County agencies, departments and people that have gone the extra yard to grow the economy.

Business Retention and Expansion

FINALISTS: The San Bernardino Community College District for far exceeding its goals of hiring local people to work on capital improvement projects; City of Redlands for an aggressive downtown improvement project that was accomplished without the use of the city’s general fund.

Sustainable and Green Development

WINNER: City of Rancho Cucamonga for an automation project for numerous city departments that puts vital services online for the first time, dramatically reducing the amount of paper and ink that must be used as well as the need to drive to city offices.

RUNNER UP: San Bernardino Associated Governments, for a regional plan to reduce greenhouse gases in compliance with state laws that brings simplicity and consistency for 21 cities in San Bernardino County.

OTHER FINALIST: San Bernardino Community College District, for alternative energy measures in construction, landscaping and energy consumption, along with other environmental strategies.

Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse

FINALISTS: City of Ontario, for a downtown office building project the will provide jobs while maintaining the character of the area; City of Rialto, for its repurposing a blighted area and helping create that land into the site of a 718,000-square-foot logistics center.

Public-Private Partnership

RUNNER-UP: San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, which rallied other agencies to work with the promoters of the San Manuel Pavilion and other venues, achieving the twin goals of smooth operations and public safety.

Response to Globalization

WINNER: San Bernardino County Land Use Services Department, for using GIS technology to develop a computerized system that lets would-be developers, even developers in other countries, to self-search vacant land in the county.

Tales of Two Cities: Stories of Interagency Cooperation

WINNER: City of Rancho Cucamonga Library, for developing a program, in partnership with Riverside, Ontario and others, to establish new training parameters for a next generation of librarians in the Inland Empire.

RUNNER-UP: City of Fontana, for bringing other cities and agencies on board to solve issues relating to Interstate 10 interchange development, which helped Fontana redevelop some blighted areas.

OTHER FINALISTS: San Bernardino and Riverside counties, along with UCR and Los Angeles, for implementing the state’s Innovation Hub economic development project; The cities of Yucaipa and Calimesa, which work together on numerous projects despite being in two different counties.

Leadership in Public Service

RUNNER-UP: Kristen Riegel, the Supervising Hazardous Materials Specialist for the San Bernardino County Fire Prevention District. She has worked hard to ensure that businesses can operate with a minimal amount of government-imposed fees and still not compromise the environment or the safety of workers. Under her guidance, fees have come down for 20 percent of the businesses that are covered.

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