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Monthly Archives: November 2019
Monday marks the fourth anniversary of the December 2, 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino. On that day, 14 people, including 13 members of our County family, were taken from us. Many more were wounded, physically and emotionally.
We will always remember these 14 souls, and we will continue to support those who are still healing.
The County Government Family invites you to join us wherever you may be in observing a moment of remembrance at 10:55 a.m. on Monday, December 2.
At that time, the County will pay tribute on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram platforms. I have directed flags at all County facilities to be flown at half-mast on Monday. If you fly an American flag at home or at your place of work, we ask that you lower your flags to half-staff on Monday in honor of those who were taken from us on that tragic day four years ago.
If you are experiencing trauma stemming from the events of December 2, 2015, resources are available to help you. Please click here for more information.
Please continue to support those who are still hurting and healing and continue to care for each other.
Chairman, Board of Supervisors
Assistant County Fire Chief Dan Munsey will serve as the new Fire Chief for the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District effective immediately following his appointment by County Chief Executive Officer Gary McBride, with concurrence from the Board of Supervisors.
Munsey, who has served with County Fire since 1995, succeeds Mark Hartwig, who left the department in February to accept a job as fire chief for Santa Barbara County. Deputy Fire Chief Don Trapp has served as interim chief since Hartwig’s departure.
Munsey’s appointment concluded a nationwide recruiting effort that began shortly after Hartwig’s departure and yielded a broad field of applicants.
“There were several outstanding candidates,” McBride said. “But the Board and I concluded that Assistant Chief Munsey offered the best combination of the traits we were seeking: the leadership skills and commitment to operate County Fire effectively and professionally, and the ability and desire to work productively with public safety agencies throughout the county.”
“Being chosen to serve as fire chief for this organization is a tremendous honor,” Munsey said. “This is a team of highly skilled, dedicated professionals who serve a great community. I am excited about this opportunity to lead them and provide them with the tools and the environment they need to help County Fire fully achieve its great potential.”
In his most recent assignment as Assistant Chief, Division 11, Munsey was responsible for rescue operations, fire, and emergency medical response in the High Desert region, which is the largest of the five regions served by San Bernardino County Fire.
Munsey began his career in the fire service in 1995 as a paid-call firefighter. He became a full-time firefighter in 1998, where he was assigned to Lake Arrowhead. He has worked in every division of County Fire, promoting to captain in 2004, battalion chief in 2008, and assistant chief in March 2014.
Munsey holds a master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis on business and government and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Grand Canyon University. Munsey is the current president of the Operations Section of the California Fire Chiefs Association and president of the Hi-Desert Water District Board of Directors. He has been active for a decade in the Rotary Club of San Bernardino, Victorville, and Yucca Valley.
In 2013, Munsey graduated from the San Bernardino County Management & Leadership Academy, a program that provides comprehensive management and leadership training to county employees. Participants gain theoretical and practical knowledge of public service management and leadership practices, with specific emphasis on understanding their application within San Bernardino County government.
The San Bernardino County Fire Protection District has about 1,000 employees, covers approximately 19,000 of the county’s 20,105 square miles, and serves more than 60 incorporated municipalities and unincorporated communities within four Regional Service Zones – Mountain, North Desert, South Desert and Valley – including the City of Grand Terrace, City of Hesperia, City of Needles, City of San Bernardino, City of Twentynine Palms, City of Upland, Town of Yucca Valley, and unincorporated areas. Additionally, County Fire provides contractual fire protection services to two cities: Adelanto and Fontana, via its independent fire protection district.
County Fire is a community-based, all-hazard emergency services organization providing emergency mitigation and management for fire suppression, emergency medical services, ambulance services, hazardous materials response, arson investigation, hazard and terrorism/weapons of mass destruction abatement, and technical rescue, including water-borne, flooding and mudslide, and winter rescue operations.
San Bernardino County Museum is pleased to present a show of works by artist Bernard Hoyes. “Spirit of the Land Through Climate Change,” an exhibition of large scale watercolors, speaks to the artist’s experience with the ecological life of the desert. The show opens Sunday, Nov. 17 and runs through March 8, 2020. The exhibit opens with a reception on Nov. 17, from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Hoyes, an artist working in multiple disciplines including performance, painting, watercolor and murals, is a Coachella Valley resident, Jamaican born, African-American, and is primarily recognized as a contemporary painter. His work evolves from a highly intuitive space, capturing spiritual realms on canvas in radiant and brilliant essence. He inspires the viewer to transcend into new dimensions, and regardless of the genre, all of his work has an undercurrent of spirituality. The works in this show reveal a controlled recession of details, plane after plane, allowing the observer to wander into the picture space for a vicarious experience of nature.
Raised into a family rooted in Jamaica’s revivalist church, Hoyes memories of religion and rituals have influenced his artistic productivity throughout his life. His celebration of traditional African religion and spirituality continues to find universal appeal. His work has exhibited at the Museum of African American Art in Los Angeles, Riverside Art Museum, Mission Inn Museum, Palm Springs Art Museum, and others. His mural projects include a large-scale work on the exterior wall Church of St. Paul’s in downtown Palm Springs, and most recently a mural in Kingston, Jamaica as part of the Kingston Creative’s #PaintTheCity project, to revitalize the downtown. His works are in the private collections of Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Cole, Steve Harvey, Helene Galen, Keenan Ivory Wayans and the National Urban League, amongst others.
The San Bernardino County Museum’s exhibits of regional cultural and natural history and the Museum’s other exciting events and programs reflect the effort by the Board of Supervisors to achieve the Countywide Vision by celebrating arts, culture, and education in the county, creating quality of life for residents and visitors.
The San Bernardino County Museum is at 2024 Orange Tree Lane, at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. The exhibit and the exhibit opening reception are included with general admission. 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, visit www.sbcounty.gov/museum. The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.
Ventura County Judge Nancy Ayers ruled today against the release of Sexually Violent Predator Ross Wollschlager into the unincorporated community of Joshua Tree. Last month, Judge Ayers proposed releasing Ventura County resident Wollschlager into San Bernardino County, sparking massive opposition from the community and elected officials. San Bernardino County Third District Supervisor Dawn Rowe attended the hearing and spoke in opposition to Wollschlager’s proposed placement.
“I must commend Judge Ayers for listening to my concerns and those of the local residents who would’ve been impacted by this predator’s release,” said Rowe. “Because of the efforts of Sheriff John McMahon, District Attorney Jason Anderson, and the hundreds of residents who attended the community meeting last month, we were able to stand against this injustice. I’m proud of what we accomplished here today,” added Rowe.
The Board of Supervisors on Oct. 22 unanimously adopted a resolution opposing Wollschlager’s release into San Bernardino County.
Wollschlager, a convicted rapist and child molester, was scheduled to be released from the custody of the State Department of Hospitals under a program known as Conditional Release. Unable to find a landlord willing to house him in Ventura County, Judge Ayers ordered the state to look at other housing options, which included San Bernardino County.
However, following public comment at the hearing on Thursday, Judge Ayers reversed her decision citing concerns with the threat Wollschlager would pose to Joshua Tree National Park’s three million annual visitors, the number of vulnerable residents living in close proximity, and the long response times for law enforcement calls for service in the Morongo Basin.
“The judge’s ruling demonstrates that when a community bands together over a common cause, we can make a difference. Because we had so many community members and elected leaders who were willing to stand up and fight for what is right, Joshua Tree residents won’t have to live in fear for their safety. I’d also like to highlight the efforts of Deputy District Attorneys Maureen O’Connell and Dan Ross, and the deputies from the Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Station for their work to make the public aware of Wollschlager’s proposed placement,” state Rowe.
Darrell Steinberg, Sacramento’s mayor, co-chair of Governor Gavin Newsom’s Homeless and Supportive Housing Advisory Task Force, and co-author of the seminal Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), visited San Bernardino County this week to hear from residents and experience first-hand how San Bernardino County Behavioral Health’s (DBH) MHSA-funded programs and services have lifted people out of homelessness, poverty and addiction.
Steinberg’s visit was part of his plan to tour different counties around the state to observe best practices and strategies relating to homelessness and behavioral health prevention, diversion, and intervention. Steinberg will use the information, coupled with input received from local governments and constituents, to inform the state’s work on homelessness and its mental health system. Just hours prior to Steinberg’s visit to the county, the Department of Health Care Services announced a new framework for Medi-Cal reform through CalAIM (CA Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal), a program seeking to leverage Medicaid to help address the challenges facing California’s most vulnerable residents, such as homelessness and behavioral health care access.
While here, Steinberg toured an MHSA-funded recreational vehicle transformed into a mobile health clinic providing physical and behavioral health care, often to those experiencing homelessness, and visited a Transitional Age Youth Center to speak with formerly homeless youth who, through support from MHSA-funded programs, accessed behavioral health treatment and supportive housing and are now thriving. His tour also included a visit to a crisis residential and stabilization treatment center, a supportive housing project, and a roundtable discussion with County leaders and community partners.
“As the author of the Mental Health Services Act, it was incredibly rewarding to see how successfully San Bernardino County is deploying these critical resources,” said Steinberg. Addressing unsheltered homelessness must be a top priority for local governments across our state, and San Bernardino programs are a model for other jurisdictions to utilize MHSA to address the crisis.”
“San Bernardino County was honored to welcome Mayor Steinberg to our community,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “We work hard as a county to improve the quality of life of our residents and were pleased to have the opportunity to showcase these efforts and engage in discussion about the success stories as a result of MHSA funding.”
“I was proud to demonstrate to Mayor Steinberg the great programs and projects our county is implementing thanks to the MHSA funding we receive,” said Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales, who chairs the San Bernardino County Interagency Council on Homelessness. “I am hopeful that the Task Force will continue working with local jurisdictions to ensure they have the flexibility to continue to delivery vital services specific to needs of our chronically homeless population.”
“MHSA disrupted the status quo surrounding behavioral health care in our state and allowed behavioral health providers like DBH to expand our service delivery model to include preventive and supportive services to address homelessness in persons living with a debilitating mental illness, which has significantly changed the trajectory of this disease,” said DBH Director Veronica Kelley. “DBH is thankful for leaders like Mayor Steinberg who are passionate about the needs of some of the most vulnerable people in our community and willing to speak on and work towards creating a world where everyone is able to achieve optimum wellness.”
Since its inception in 2005, MHSA funding has allowed DBH to house over 600 people and expand preventative services to over 150,000 additional people annually.
Steinberg is the founder of Steinberg Institute and is the original co-author of Proposition 63 (also known as the MHSA), a voter-approved proposition intended to reduce the long-term adverse impact on individuals, families and state and local budgets resulting from untreated serious mental illness. Governor Newsom announced Steinberg’s role as co-chair of the Homeless and Supportive Housing Advisory Task Force on May 21, 2019 and named him a ‘statewide expert’ on homelessness July 16, 2019.
In July, Dr. Thomas lnsel, the internationally-renowned neuroscientist and psychiatrist appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to be his special advisor on mental health also visited San Bernardino County.