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Environmental group meets on balancing preservation, growth

Environment EG mtg 140924Today, the Countywide Vision Environment Element Group consisting of experts in environmental protection, land use, infrastructure, utilities, business and regulatory agencies met to discuss draft principles for how to best balance habitat preservation and conservation with expected population and economic growth.

The draft principles were developed by Dudek, an environmental and engineering consulting firm hired earlier this year by San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) to complete a countywide habitat preservation and conservation study.

The study will help develop a recommended comprehensive structure and approach to the 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.

During the past several months, Dudek staff has collected information about existing conservation efforts throughout the county.

Dudek staff 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.

Dudek staff also presented 15 draft policy and biological principles for habitat conservation to the Environment Element Group for its feedback, including:

  • Increase certainty for both the preservation/conservation of habitat as well as for land development and infrastructure permitting.
  • Recognize that San Bernardino County needs to have a growing economy to be able to afford the acquisition and ongoing management of habitat. Conservation efforts should complement the managed growth, economic development and population growth anticipated by Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG).
  • Recognize that participating in a more comprehensive approach to conservation planning will be voluntary, but that participating in the more comprehensive approach will provide benefits for most of those participating.

Dudek staff will incorporate today’s input from the Environment Element Group into its analysis and its development of a recommended conservation framework and strategies.

The Environment Element Group will review Dudek’s recommendations later this year before a final report is provided to the SANBAG Board of Directors.

Anyone with valuable insights into conservation planning efforts anywhere in the county is encouraged to contact Stephanie Standerfer at Dudek – sstanderfer@dudek.com.

View the Countywide Habitat Preservation/Conservation Framework Presentation.

First 5 San Bernardino hosts Read for the Record on Oct. 21

First 5 color logoCelebrate reading by participating in the largest shared reading experience! Two reading sessions for Jumpstart’s Read for the Record will be hosted Tuesday, Oct. 21, at First 5 San Bernardino’s office, 735 E. Carnegie Drive, Suite 150, San Bernardino, CA 92408. The sessions are at 11 a.m. and 3p.m.

Readers will be joining the campaign to beat last year’s national record of more than two million readers in a shared reading experience by reading “Bunny Cakes” by Rosemary Wells. Activities include entertainment (11 a.m. session only) and crafts for participating readers.

To RSVP for Read for the Record at First 5 San Bernardino’s office, visit  http://bit.ly/f5sbrftr2014 or call (909) 386-7706.
For more information about the event, click here.

Wanted: Reading buddies to help children learn to read

readingbuddyThe Colton Joint Unified School District’s Community Cabinet is calling on volunteers who want to help children learn to read. Get involved and promote literacy by training to become a reading buddy for students in kindergarten through third grade.

A reading buddy is a parent, or a volunteer from a business or wider community who gives their time to help children develop their reading skills. Usually a reading buddy will be paired up with one child who will read to them for up to 20 minutes.

The session should ideally take place on the same day and at the same time each week. A reading buddy takes an interest in the child and works with them for a minimum of a semester so that they can develop a good relationship. Reading buddies are role models, their ultimate aim being to develop within the children a love of reading, increase the children’s confidence and self esteem and to leave the children with a real sense of achievement.

Reading buddies provide schools with an extremely important resource – their time – and as a result they are very much appreciated and valued in the schools they attend.

There are several reading buddy training options to choose from:

  • October 2, 2014 – 9 a.m. – REC center in Bloomington 18604 Jurupa Ave., Bloomington, CA 92316
  • October 3, 2014 – 1 p.m. – Colton Public Library 656 N. 9th St., Colton, CA 92324
  • October 9, 2014 – 6 p.m. – Azure Hills Seventh Day Adventist Church 22633 Barton Rd., Grand Terrace, CA 92313

(babysitting available)

Sign up online by clicking here.

For more information contact:
Sheila Brower: sheila_brower@cjusd.net or (909) 580-5033
Kathy Jackson: kathy_jackson@cjusd.net or (909) 580-5024

Community cabinet connects schools with community support

Colton CommunitycabinetOn Wednesday, the Colton Joint Unified School District’s Community Cabinet met for a brainstorming session between principals and assistant principals in the school district and leaders from business, government, faith-based organizations, parents and community outreach organizations.

The discussions were held in a World Café format and centered on the questions what resources and support the community could offer to Colton Joint Unified schools.

About 115 people attended the meeting and praised the format and content of the discussions. Some of the comments made were:

“I believe a collective vision was established, needs and resources were discussed, and unifying approach was created.  The community members were sincerely interested in what they could do to support.  I really liked the idea of calibration of the Kinder entry assessment with the preschool that feeds our elementary schools.  It was a very positive experience overall!

“I found it to be EXTREMELY beneficial to have a conversation with members of our community. With Common Core and Linked Learning being the focus for education as a whole, going forward, it is imperative that we build those connections within the community and actively close the gap between college and high school. By essentially opening up our doors to the community members and by asking them “how we can help them?” We are better preparing their potential workforce and clientele to better suit their needs once high school has been completed.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of yesterday’s event.  I felt it was useful and a productive way to connect the community to our schools.  I enjoyed the World Café format because it made it easy to have valuable conversations.  My only thought is that smaller groups would have been better only because it was hard to hear everyone at the group.  Thank you for allowing me to participate.”

“It gave me the time and opportunity to network with people/organizations that I would not normally interact with.  Listening to the community members and organizations made me feel that we are more in alignment  with our expectations for students and working together to problem solve and find solutions. The questions yesterday were a good starting point to begin conversations, develop ideas and start new relationships formed from a common purpose.”

Click here for more information about the Community Cabinet’s timeline for the school year. The Colton Joint Unified School District’s Community Cabinet was formed to seek input on proposed community priorities for supporting the success of every child from cradle to career, which is one of the Countywide Vision’s regional goals.



Task forces developing metrics for cradle to career success

Cradle2Career1 Cradle2Career2San Bernardino County Schools convened a meeting Tuesday to discuss how leaders of different school grade levels would develop strategies to help children and young adults achieve cradle to career success.

Task force leaders received an overview and training for their roles including identifying evidence-based strategies and resources to help students meet their academic and career goals.

A regional goal of the Countywide Vision is to support the success of every child from cradle-to-career which includes:

  • Educating the public on the broad impacts of students dropping out of school and the benefits of completing high school and advancing to post-secondary education
  • Engaging parents and the community as partners in efforts to improve students throughout their educational careers
  • Providing adult intervention, tutoring and mentorship to students
  • Addressing the social and economic needs of families that impact educational success
  • Setting higher goals for educational and career achievement in the community
  • Educating and training the workforce for existing local career opportunities and attract new high-demand jobs to the area
  • Fostering entrepreneurship and incorporate training that provides students with the skills to create their own jobs

The San Bernardino County Board of Education adopted a Cradle to Career Roadmap in February. The roadmap identifies key milestones in a child’s personal, social, academic and career readiness. 


Raven Casas, 8, raises $2,500 for Children’s Fund

children's fund

Eight-year-old Raven Casas woke up one morning and told her family she wanted to do something to help others.
In the last three months, Raven accomplished what she set out to do and collected $2,500 to donate to the Children’s Fund of San Bernardino County, according to the San Bernardino Sun.
The Children’s Fund’s mission is to prevent child abuse in our community; to ensure that at-risk children who are abused, neglected, impoverished, or abandoned receive adequate food, shelter, clothing, medical care and education; and to provide equal opportunity for social development for these children.

Raven collected donations at school, at her mother’s workplace, at the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians tribal headquarters and her karate studio.

This 8-year-old girl is just another example of how San Bernardino County residents are helping to achieve the Countywide Vision.

San Bernardino County Water Conference addresses the new norm of regional water resources


The 8th Annual San Bernardino County Water Conference was held today at Cal State San Bernardino where government officials, water experts, business leaders and the community discussed opportunities to overcome California’s water challenges.

The Countywide Vision’s Water Element Group is working on a comprehensive strategy for water management that encourages collaboration among business, residents, municipal governments, and water agencies to ensure adequate water supplies and quality to support future population and economic growth within the County. The water needs of county residents and businesses can be met through 2035, but only if water users step up conservation efforts and the whole community is willing to invest in projects that will store and protect additional water supplies.

At today’s conference, the Water Element Group facilitated a discussion about coordinating land use and water planning.

During the past year, the leaders of the Water Element Group have met with County and city managers and County and city planning directors to discuss how they can work together to ensure there is a sufficient, sustainable water supply to accommodate expected population and economic growth. They are improving their common understanding of current water resource realities, such as identifying gaps in infrastructure needed to move water to residents and businesses throughout the county. And, they are aiming to make the county more business friendly by preparing to collaborate regionally on the upcoming 2015 Urban Water Management Plans to ensure they are more closely linked to County and city general plans.

For the Water Conference, the Water Element Group and the city managers recruited a diverse set of professionals to talk about the benefits of collaboration among municipalities, water agencies and developers.

Coordinating Land Use and Water Panel:
Moderator: Paeter Garcia, Partner, Best Best & Kreiger
• Doug Headrick, General Manager, San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District
• Mike Podegracz, City Manager, City of Hesperia
• Ray Casey, City Manager, City of Yucaipa
• Joe Zoba, General Manager, Yucaipa Valley Water District
• Terry Kent, President, Building Industry Aassociation Baldy View Chapter and Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Crestwood Communities

The panelists provided many great examples of the benefits of collaboration, including the following:
• When the City of Yucaipa began to conceptually design the Oak Glen and Wildwood Creek detention basins to improve flood protection and address stormwater quality in the city, officials also saw an opportunity to improve the sustainability of the groundwater basin through active and passive recharge. The City sought input from the flood control district, water agencies and resource conservation district to complete balanced designs for the two projects that provide multiple benefits. Both basins were constructed with diversified funding from City accounts, federal and state grants and contributions from the flood control district, water agencies, resource conservation district and developers.

• San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District and the retail water agencies within its service area were able to successfully combine the efficiencies of a regional urban water management plan with the flexibility of an individualized plan. The first chapters of the 2010 San Bernardino Valley Regional Urban Water Management Plan are not unlike many other regional urban water management plans, providing an overview of regional water supplies and demands. What makes this plan unique, is that there is no “one size fits all” approach to achieving state mandated water use reductions for the region. Instead, each participating water agency was given the freedom, through its own chapter in the plan, to provide its personalized approach toward meeting its water conservation targets. This innovative approach to urban water management planning was praised by both the California Department of Water Resources and the participating water agencies.

Following the Water Conference, the Water Element Group and city managers plan to partner with the Building Industry Association to host a workshop about coordinating regional Urban Water Management Plans for representatives of municipalities, water agencies and developers. It is expected this workshop will be held next year once the State issues guidelines for the 2015 Urban Water Management Plans.

For more information about the work of the Water Element Group, visit www.sbcounty.gov/vision. To read the 2014 Water Element Group Executive Summary, click here.

Sponsors needed to help with free haircuts, school supplies for youth

youngvisionariesYoung Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy is holding their 8th Annual “Get Geared Up and Groomed Up” event offering free haircuts and school supplies to youth ages 17 and under in San Bernardino.

The event will be held on Friday, Aug. 1 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Marinello School of Beauty, 721 W. 2nd Street, Suite E, San Bernardino, CA 92410 .

The event is by appointment only.

Contact Lizette Lopez at Young Visionaries at (909) 881-3382 or at  llopez@yvyla-ie.org to make an appointment or to make donations for backpacks and school supplies.

Young Visionaries has already secured 200 backpacks from sponsors NBC4, NID Housing Counseling Agency and the Marinello School of Beauty, but is asking the community to help out with more supplies.

This event is another example of community-based organizations collaborating on the Countywide Vision’s regional goal of helping every child from cradle to career.



County to link health, education and housing with $32K grant

SBCDPH-logoWith a $32,000 grant from The California Endowment via the Riverside County Department of Public Health, San Bernardino County will conduct an education-based demonstration project that will help youth move up and out of affordable housing communities located throughout the county.

This project represents the Countywide Vision in action, with a particular focus on one of  the Vision’s regional goals of partnering with all sectors of the community to support the success of every child from cradle to career.

The Departments of Public Health, Community Development and Housing, and the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools are collaborating on a plan that will help residents attain appropriate reading levels by the third grade, learn how to improve nutrition and increase physical activity, and address bullying and school safety.

An affordable housing development will be identified to introduce a training module through its resident services program, which will help individuals attain core skills that will help them achieve wellness and confidence.

“This demonstration project seeks to address education, nutrition and school safety, which are three of the top community wellness priorities established through the Community Vital Signs initiative during 2013, and to promote the Countywide Vision’s Cradle to Career goal,” said Trudy Raymundo, director of the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health.

The purpose of the grant is to introduce the concept of “Health in All Policies.”  Success of the project will demonstrate the benefit of introducing policy that will enable similar training programs in affordable housing throughout San Bernardino and Riverside counties.  The California Endowment is a private, statewide health foundation with a mission to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians.

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