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Back to work!

jobsSan Bernardino County’s steady march back to prosperity has reached a significant milestone. For the first time in years, the unemployment rate in San Bernardino County is lower than the rate in Los Angeles County. In December 2013, the unemployment rate in San Bernardino County was 8.7%, its lowest level in nearly six years. In contrast, unemployment reached a high of 14.8% in July 2010. The December 2013 rate for our neighbor to the west was 8.8%.

Live webinar scheduled to discuss the High Desert Corridor

highdesertcorridor

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and Caltrans are hosting a live webinar to discuss the High Desert Corridor’s potential rail component and connections to the Palmdale Transportation Center in Palmdale and Desert Xpress in Victorville.

The webcast will be streamed live on Feb. 26, 2014 at 7 p.m. on https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4621315897213406209. Webinar participants will be able to share comments and ask questions during the live webcast.

The High Desert Corridor Study is currently considering an approximately 63-mile long, east-west multipurpose transportation corridor, between State Route 14 in Los Angeles County and State Route 18 in San Bernardino County.   The HDC could include the following: freeway/expressway, toll lanes, and/or a high speed rail connection, green energy production and transmission, and a bikeway.  The proposed project aims to improve mobility and access for people and goods in the rapidly growing Antelope, Victor Valley areas of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.

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Weddings, weddings, and more weddings

Love was in the air in San Bernardino County on Valentine’s Day. The County Clerk’s office performed 118 civil marriage ceremonies on Friday, which was a significantwedding increase over the 68 ceremonies performed on Valentine’s Day 2103. The Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk’s office attributes the bump to this year’s Valentine’s Day falling on a Friday leading into a three-day holiday weekend for many people, and the spectacular spring-like weather. On a typical Friday, the County performs about 29 marriage ceremonies. Love is free, but weddings are not. They are, however, quite reasonable for something that lasts a lifetime, or at least should. The cost to obtain a marriage license is $89 and the cost for the marriage ceremony is $65.

 

Children’s Network Mentoring Task Force sponsors 3rd Annual Spring Jam

fun in the sunThe Children’s Network Mentoring Task Force of San Bernardino County is sponsoring “Spring Jam” at Fiesta Village Family Fun Park, 1405 E. Washington St. in Colton, Saturday, March 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The exclusive event is open to San Bernardino County’s at-risk, system-involved and homeless youth in 6th-9th grades. Pre-registration is recommended as space is limited.

Spring Jam attendees will connect with adult mentors to learn about the benefits and impact that establishing a mentor relationship can have, as well as address any issues, fears or concerns the system-involved youth may face.  Youth will have the opportunity to be matched with a mentor in their local area at the end of the event.

Activities will include a team-building scavenger hunt, games, music, an all-you-can-eat buffet and full access to the park’s various attractions like laser tag, go-cart racing, miniature golf and more.

Spring Jam, ‘A Day of Mentoring,’ at the Fiesta Village Family Fun Park, according to Associate Children’s Network Officer Kathy Turnbull, is designed to be a day of fun to introduce system-involved youth to the concept of mentoring.”  Many of this year’s participating mentors are formerly system-involved themselves, including youth from T.A.Y. (Transitional Age Youth) and I.Y.R.T. (Interagency Youth Resiliency Team) who can relate well to the youth and attest to the benefits of having a mentor.

“Last year’s Spring Jam was a big success with nearly 200 youth in attendance,” said Turnbull.  “Many mentoring matches were made as a result.  We are looking forward to the same wonderful experience and outcomes this year.”

Some of the participating agencies on the Mentoring Task-Force are Probation, Children and Family Services, EMQ, Valley Star, Public Defender’s Office, C.A.S.A. (Court Appointed Special Advocates), Department of Behavioral Health T.A.Y., the District Attorney’s Office and other community-based and county child-serving departments.  Task Force members will be on hand to facilitate mentoring partnerships.

Parents and caregivers seeking information on positive role models for their children will have an opportunity to talk with organizations that provide mentoring relationships. For more information on the Task Force or to register for Spring Jam, contact Brandy Nelson, Mentoring Resource Coordinator at (909) 383-9685.

The Children’s Network of San Bernardino County works to improve the quality of life for “children at risk” who because of behavior, abuse, neglect, medical needs, educational assessment, and/or detrimental daily living situations are eligible for services from one or more of the member agencies of the Children’s Policy Council.

Children’s Network is doing its part to help the community achieve the Countywide Vision by ensuring residents have the resources they need to provide the necessities of life for their families. Information on the Countywide Vision can be found at www.sbcounty.gov.

Guest lecture on prehistoric earthquakes

usgsDr. Kate Sharer will present a guest lecture at the San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. The program, entitled “Frequency of large earthquakes on the San Andreas Fault: evidence from the trenches,” is open to the public at no charge.

Scharer is a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. She specializes in the study of prehistoric earthquakes, and spends much of her time on the San Andreas Fault. She earned a B.S. from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. Before moving to southern California, she was a professor at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.

“Paleoseismology, the study of prehistoric earthquakes, uses the geologic record to understand the size and timing of large, ground rupturing earthquakes,” said Sharer. “In this talk I will present paleoseismic evidence that is used to understand the past history of the southern San Andreas Fault. With examples of data from sites from Parkfield to the Salton Sea, we will tour the differences in prehistoric activity along the fault, consider the statistics of earthquake recurrence, and evaluate future scenarios based on the past. New data from the junction of the San Andreas and San Jacinto faults will be highlighted.”

 

The DA and three governors

DA MIKE RAMOS AND THREE GOVERNORSSan Bernardino County District Attorney Michael A. Ramos joined three former California governors in Los Angeles Thursday to announce the start of a signature-gathering campaign aimed at getting a death penalty reform initiative on the November ballot. “I refuse to back down in this fight as we move to bring about common sense reforms to our state’s broken death penalty system,” Ramos said as former Governors George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson and Gray Davis looked on. “We must continue to fight for the families who lost their loved ones at the hands of California’s most violent criminals. For them, the pain never ends.”

Summit will focus on growing our local economy

Don’t miss the Inland Empire Manufacturers’ Council 3rd Annual Summit on February 21 in Ontario. The San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board has been a manufacturingproud partner of the council since it was founded in 2005. This partnership reflects the tenants of the County’s Vision by providing support to manufacturers and finding solutions for issues including: employment and training, research, regulatory compliance, import and export, and funding. The council provides a strong, unified voice when communicating with regional, state and national entities on issues impacting the region. The council seeks to improve the competitiveness of manufacturers by enhancing the knowledge and skills of the employees in their respective organizations, and improving the quality of the applicants in the community, through collaborative regional workforce development. Register for the summit here: http://mfgcouncilie.com/summit/

A must-read: The 2013 Human Services Annual Report

human servicesSan Bernardino County Human Services is made up of eight departments that serve the very old, the very young, the sick and needy, our families, and our deserving veterans. See how those departments helped you and your neighbors during the past year, and how they are moving us toward the realization of our Countywide Vision. The report includes testimonials from those served by County Human Services. Read the report online or via your mobile device at: http://hss.sbcounty.gov/HSS/HSAnnualReport/FLASH/index.html. For an iPhone/iPad friendly version, go here: http://hss.sbcounty.gov/HSS/HSAnnualReport/HTML5/index.html.

How to reduce water consumption by 20 percent

farm fieldAfter three consecutive years of below average rainfall and snowpack, 2014 is shaping up to be California’s driest year in recorded state history. On January 17, 2014, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. proclaimed a State of Emergency and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for these drought conditions in the upcoming months. To protect Californians’ health and safety from more severe water shortages in the months ahead, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has taken actions to conserve the state’s precious resources. As stated by the DWR, everyone – farmers, people in our cities and towns, as well as fish and other animals will get less water.

Several water systems throughout the state have already experienced water shortages. In preparation for the extended drought, Governor Brown has urged California residents and businesses to reduce water consumption by 20 percent immediately. In efforts to raise public awareness about water conservation, the Governor has initiated the Save Our Water campaign. Visit the Save Our Water website at www.saveourh2o.org to learn simple ways to reduce the amount of water used at home, both indoors and outdoors. The website includes the following tips:

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Nonprofits encouraged to apply for Give BIG web-a-thon

givebiglogoNonprofit organizations interested in participating in Give BIG San Bernardino County, a 24-hour fundraising web-a-thon on May 8, 2014 can apply now at the following link: https://www.thecommunityfoundation.net/programs-initiatives/programs/give-big-san-bernardino or by contacting a regional representative listed here: Regional representatives.

The County in partnership with the Community Foundation encourages businesses, community leaders and volunteers to help reach a goal of $300,000 in new donations for nonprofits on May 8.  The Give BIG campaign follows a growing trend of 24-hour online and technology-based fundraising efforts.

Give BIG San Bernardino County offers participating nonprofit organizations training on how to use social media, marketing, donor cultivation and more in the lead up to the web-a-thon. The hope is that the event will provide an opportunity for nonprofit organizations in the county to become self-sustaining entities through a stable donor base with less reliance on grant funding. Participants will learn to fine-tune their fundraising capabilities and benefit those they serve.

Give BIG San Bernardino County is the first countywide campaign supporting organizations that help those most in need. Successful Give BIG campaigns have occurred in Minnesota, Colorado, North Texas, Ohio, Pittsburg, Seattle, San Diego and the City of Riverside.

Follow Give BIG San Bernardino County on Twitter @givebigsbcounty or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/givebigsanbernardinocounty.

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