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Food trucks return to downtown San Bernardino

Poster 11.19.15 PRINTThe lunchtime weather in San Bernardino is expected to be perfect this Thursday, November 19, which makes it the perfect day to visit the food trucks on their monthly visit to downtown.

This month’s Third Thursday food truck event will feature nine trucks serving up lobster, sliders, hot dogs, burgers, crepes, grilled cheese, cupcakes. Click here for more details.

Skilled, experienced executive tapped to lead County Museum

An exciting and positive new era for the San Bernardino County Museum will begin on Oct. 19 when Melissa A. Russo takes the helm as museum director.

Russo, who will become the County Museum’s first female director, has spent the past six years as Director of Institutional Advancement at the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland and previously served for 10 years as executive director of the Western Museums Association. She brings to San Bernardino County 23 years of experience as a high-achieving museum executive.Melissa Russo2

“Bringing Melissa Russo to San Bernardino County is a major step toward fulfilling the commitment made by the Board of Supervisors to put our museum system back on the right track,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos.

“This is one of many steps the Board of Supervisors has taken to provide our county community with a modern, fiscally healthy, and respected educational and cultural institution that will attract and engage visitors in record numbers, compete with all other Southern California museums, and responsibly preserve our county’s heritage,” Chairman Ramos said.
Russo, a Certified Fund Raising Executive, has a strong record of fiscal management, strategic planning, program planning and execution, fundraising, board development, and building good relationships with the public. She has a master’s degree in art history from the University of Illinois and a bachelor’s degree in economics from UCLA.

“I am thrilled and honored to have been chosen to lead the San Bernardino County Museum,” Russo said. “I look forward to working with the Board of Supervisors, the staff and the Museum Association. Together, I am confident we will reinvigorate the museum and, through vibrant community engagement, keep this extraordinary institution a truly vital resource in the life of this region.”

The San Bernardino County Museum includes a main facility in Redlands, the Victor Valley Museum in Apple Valley, and historic sites in Chino, Colton, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, and Yucaipa.

The museum has struggled in recent years with drops in attendance, revenue, and association membership, as well as economy-driven budget cuts and staff reductions. A 2014 county-commissioned study by San Francisco-based Museum Management Consultants concluded the museum has tremendous potential and could benefit greatly from business-minded management and a greater focus on fundraising by the independent nonprofit San Bernardino County Museum Association.

The study pointed out that the nation’s best museums survive not primarily on government support, as has been the case with the San Bernardino County Museum, but rather on robust and consistent fundraising by non-profit associations. The consultant advised the museum association to partner with a fundraising consultant, increase the size and scope of its board, and consider assisting the county in funding key staff positions.

In January, the Board of Supervisors directed staff to begin implementing a series of the consultant’s recommendations, including filling the vacant director position with someone adept at business and management, and forging a more productive relationship with the museum association.

In May, the board adopted a short-term action plan to set the museum on a positive track until a long-range strategic plan could be developed under the leadership of a new director.

Museum attendance has increased during the past year.

First death from West Nile Virus confirmed

DPH_Version2_FullColorSan Bernardino County Department of Public Health has confirmed the first death from West Nile Virus (WNV) in 2015.  A total of five WNV cases have been confirmed within the County this year; the first death occurred in a previously reported case. San Bernardino County reported eight confirmed WNV cases at this time in 2014 with no deaths.  Throughout the state, there are 36 confirmed WNV cases so far this year. This amount exceeds the California five-year annual average of 23 cases.

“We are greatly saddened by this death that has occurred in San Bernardino County. We extend our deepest condolences to the family. We continue to see an increase of West Nile Virus activity throughout the county and therefore, we strongly encourage that the public takes appropriate precautionary measures to protect themselves against mosquito bites,” said Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare, Health Officer. “People over 50 years old should be especially cautious, as they are more likely to develop serious illness if they contract the virus.”

WNV is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Signs and symptoms of WNV may include fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting and headache. Most people infected with the virus have no symptoms. However, some people may develop severe symptoms which can lead to brain inflammation or paralysis. The most effective way to avoid WNV infection is to prevent mosquito bites.

Residents can protect themselves from mosquito bites by taking the following precautions:

  • DAWN and DUSK – Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are most active.
  • DRESS – Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts that are loose fitting and light colored.
  • DRAIN – Remove or drain all standing water around your property where mosquitoes lay eggs (birdbaths, ponds, old tires, buckets, clogged gutters or puddles from leaky sprinklers).
  • DEET – Apply insect repellent containing DEET.   When using DEET, be sure to read and follow the label instructions.
  • DOORS – Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens.  Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes to prevent mosquitoes from entering the home.
  • REPORT – Report green or neglected pools by calling 1 (800) 442-2283. Press 3 when prompted.

The public can participate in the WNV surveillance program by reporting dead birds to the state’s WNV toll-free hotline at (877) WNV-BIRD (968-2473) or at

For more information on WNV, visit the San Bernardino County Mosquito and Vector Control Program or call the Communicable Disease Section (CDS) at 1 (800) 722-4794.

Join the Friends of the PE Trail at the Cucamonga Challenge

Hundreds of runners, walkers, and cyclists are expected for the 10th Annual Cucamonga Challenge starting at 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 16, 2015, at Central Park in Rancho Cucamonga. The Cucamonga Challenge, presented by the Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail, was created as a lifelong initiative to challenge individuals with their own fitness goals, from couch to trail to intermediate and expert fitness levels.

run1The annual Cucamonga Challenge is a family event, which is held to encourage health and wellness goals while connecting with the community. The Countywide Vision recognizes that wellness is a key element in our community, and is essential toward attaining educational goals and a robust economy. The realization of the Countywide Vision depends on support, participation, and leadership from all community stakeholders, including non-profit organizations.

Join us to support the Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail in its efforts to promote the use of the 21-mile Pacific Electric Trail in the Inland Empire and contribute to the achievement of the Countywide Vision by fostering wellness.

The event is open to all levels. The Cucamonga Challenge will consist of five events:

* 5K

* 10K

* 35-mile Bike Ride

* 8-mile Pacific Electric Trail Ride

* 1-mile Family and Pet-Friendly Fun Runrun2

For route maps, registration and other information, visit: Costs vary depending on the event. The event location is: Central Park, 11200 Baseline Road, in Rancho Cucamonga.

Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail, a 501 c(3) organization, promotes the use of the 21-mile Pacific Electric Trail to encourage a healthy lifestyle. The PE Trail is a rail-trail that connects five cities: Rialto, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, and Montclair. All funds raised from the Cucamonga Challenge will support trail amenities such as benches, rest stops, bike racks, pet stations, and drought-tolerant landscaping.

County and National Weather Service honor local weather watcher

The National Weather Service in San Diego recently presented Hesperia resident Phillip Dupree with an award for his 15 years of service to the Cooperative Observing Program.

Noel Isla, Observing Program Leader, Mike Watkins, Hydrometeorological Technician, and Tina Stall, Meteorologist Intern, traveled to the High Desert Emergency Operations Center in Hesperia to make the presentation.current-newsletter

Mr. Dupree is a dedicated Sky-warn coordinator for San Bernardino County and has been reporting the daily temperatures and precipitation from his home in Hesperia for the past 15 years. He also provides vital reports to the Weather Forecast Office during storms, fires, plane crashes, and more.

Mr. Dupree is proud of his many years of service in weather support, and looks forward to contributing further in the future. Members of the High Desert EOC and San Bernardino County Fire Department were also in attendance, and presented Mr. Dupree with their own award for his dedicated weather support services.

Golf tournament to benefit Big Bear Alpine Zoo

big bear alpine zoo friendsOn Sunday, April 19, the Friends of the Big Bear Alpine Zoo will host its second annual fundraising golf tournament at the renowned Indian Wells Golf Resort that is both breathtaking in beauty and a challenge for all skills. The Friends of the Big Bear Alpine Zoo are very excited to have this opportunity to provide an outstanding day of golf for our supporters.

  • Registration – 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Putting Contest – 11 a.m.
  • Lunch – 12 p.m.
  • Tee-Off – 12:30 p.m.
  • Awards Banquet – 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

The funds raised at the tournament will be used to build an amazing “Raccoon Saloon” for the raccoons that live at the zoo.  Our raccoons are very much in need of a larger exhibit that will provide stimulation and enrichment.

Cost is $150.00 per player or $600 per foursome and openings are still available.

If you are not a golfer, but would still like to contribute, we have several tee sponsorships available for $500.

The Big Bear Alpine Zoo is a place for rescue, rehabilitation and release.  It offers injured, orphaned and imprinted wild animals a safe haven, temporarily, while they heal, or permanently, if they are unable to survive on their own.  In fact, 90% of the animals that are brought in are released back into the wild; the remaining 10% are given a home for life.

Information: Lorie Judd 909-866-9700 or Gale Nichols 909-878-4200 or

The Big Bear Alpine Zoo is part of the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District, County of San Bernardino, Special Districts Department.

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