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Monthly Archives: June 2015

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.

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