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Officer-Involved Shooting - District Attorney Finds Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting in Fontana Justified

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - The San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office has completed its review of the fatal officer-involved shooting of 58-year-old Bijan Fardnazari by San Bernardino County Sheriff's Deputy Daniel Armenta on May 20, 2016.

Under the facts, circumstances and the applicable law, Deputy Armenta's use of deadly force was a proper exercise of Deputy Armenta's right of self-defense and therefore his actions were legally justified.

The report of the written case evaluation is available at www.sbcountyda.org by selecting Press Releases under the Newsroom tab at the top of the home page.

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Town Hall Meeting to Connect Youth, Community and San Bernardino Police Department

Who: Police Training Institute in partnership with the San Bernardino Police Department, Young Visionaries Leadership Institute and the Youth Action Project

What: Town Hall Meeting - Connecting Youth & Communities with Law Enforcement (CYCLE)

Where: Boys and Girls Club of San Bernardino, 1180 W. 9th Street, San Bernardino, CA 92411

When: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at 5:30 PM

RSVP:

FightCrimePTI.eventbrite.com

Contact: Meghan Moroney, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 415-450-1913

The Police Training Institute (PTI), a program of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, is working with law enforcement agencies, community groups and community members to help "bridge the gap" between law enforcement and the communities they serve. PTI will host a Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, June 27, to hear from community leaders, young members of the community and law enforcement. The objective of the town hall is to provide a safe environment where community members can openly communicate on current issues and how to make the San Bernardino a better place to live.

The Town Hall event is part of PTI's new training program, "Connecting Youth & Communities with Law Enforcement" (CYCLE). The program is designed to provide tools for first responders that will allow law enforcement officers to resolve conflict effectively and have safe and positive interactions with young people. The training also provides the community participants and law enforcement with tools for successful communication and interactions. PTI programs are designed to improve public safety, reduce violence, and decrease negative experiences for community members and are led by current and former public safety trainers.

PTI has already presented the CYCLE curriculum in several communities throughout the U.S. in 2017, and will continue with an extensive evaluation process designed to measure both immediate and long-term outcomes of the program. For further information or questions about PTI in general, please contact John Shanks, Director of the Police Training Institute at (202) 253-4516. Questions about the Town Hall event can be directed to: Meghan Moroney at 415-450-1913.

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San Bernardino County Assessor-Recorder-Clerk Warns of Suspicious Activity

SAN BERNARDINO, CA (May 19, 2017) – The office of San Bernardino County Assessor-Recorder-Clerk Bob Dutton is alerting the public about recent multiple reports of suspicious activity in and around the City of San Bernardino and Highland.

According to complaints received from the public, individuals are knocking door-to-door claiming to be “Assessor Representatives” without providing proper identification. The District Attorney’s office and local law enforcement have been notified of these events.

Assessor staff will always produce proper identification. The public is advised that Assessor staff are in the field to conduct inspections solely for assessment purposes.

If you encounter a situation where someone represents themselves as an Assessor employee and you have any doubts, please call the San Bernardino County Assessor’s Office toll-free phone number: (877) 885-7654.

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WDB helps San Bernardino employers connect with skilled workforce

This past summer, Nick Fiello’s small business, Fastsigns on South E Street in San Bernardino, needed a skilled employee. Although Fiello advertised the job opening in a number of places, finding a qualified candidate proved difficult.

“Anything that has to do with signs, we’ll make it,” said Fiello, whose custom graphics and sign shop has grown in each of the 11 years it has been in business. “The wrong person could get eaten up quick. I needed someone with a specific set of abilities, training and experience.”

That’s where the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board (WDB) was able to help. Through its “On-the-Job Training” program, the WDB’s employment center in San Bernardino identified a candidate with the skills Fiello needed. By October, Jose Barriga was training with Fastsigns, and within a month had joined the company as a full-time sign maker.

Fastsigns and their newest employee join a growing list of businesses and individuals in San Bernardino that have found the help they have needed through the East Valley America’s Job Center of California – one of three such centers in San Bernardino County operated by the WDB. The East Valley center, at 658 E. Brier Drive, Suite 100, offers residents a wide variety of free employment services, including on-the-job and vocational training, career planning and counseling, personal coaching, resume assistance and workshops on interviewing and dressing for success.

It’s all part of the WDB’s mission to transform lives and strengthen business – in the City and throughout San Bernardino County. In addition to operating the job centers, the WDB works with partner organizations to provide a multitude of business solutions and career-development services. Leaders from business, labor, education and government comprise the agency’s 19-member board, which works closely with employers to ensure that the County has a well-trained workforce that meets the needs of all industry sectors.

San Bernardino County Supervisor Josie Gonzales, whose 5th District includes a large portion of the City, said the East Valley job center is critical to supporting a strong, vibrant economy.

“We are deeply committed to serving the City of San Bernardino, and through programs such as this, we’re able to create new opportunities for residents and business owners alike,” Gonzales said.

Reg Javier, the County’s Deputy Executive Officer for Workforce and Economic Development, said the WDB’s efforts in developing and promoting a skilled labor force will help ensure that the City and County take advantage of their tremendous growth potential. In the past five years, the Inland Empire has added 240,000 jobs, making it one of the fastest-growing regions in the state.

“Whether it’s a small business, such as Fastsigns, or a major employer, we’re here to provide the support, training and assistance needed to encourage business growth and drive our economy,” Javier said.

Fiello is a believer, and says he would recommend the WDB’s workforce pipeline to other San Bernardino business owners.

“I would tell them to call down there and see the candidates they have,” Fiello said. “And for anybody looking for a job, I’d say go down there and get the training you need and you will find the opportunity to succeed.”

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County wins 40 awards from National Association of Counties

San Bernardino County programs ending veteran homelessness, advancing literacy, and saving citrus trees are among 40 groundbreaking initiatives that won 2017 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo).

The Public Defender and the Department of Behavioral Health also won a Best in Category Achievement Award for the Everyone SWIMS program which addresses the continuing problem of unnecessary hospitalization and incarceration of individuals with psychological distress and mental disorders. Everyone SWIMS stands for Self-sufficient, Well-being, In-house, Mental health services and the program helps increase access to outpatient and crisis stabilization services to the indigent population facing criminal charges.

“The County continues to be a national leader because we are always thinking of new and different ways to improve lives and save taxpayer dollars,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Robert A. Lovingood. “I am proud of our employees for providing top-notch services and professionalism to our county residents.”

Since 2010, San Bernardino County has garnered 242 awards from NACo, an organization that honors innovative, effective county government programs that enhance services for residents.

Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more.

The Board of Supervisors will recognize and honor the people and departments responsible for the winning programs and services at an upcoming public meeting.Diversity Committee Program

To view specific information about each program, visit http://www.naco.org/blog/2017-achievement-award-winners-announced.

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Aguilar Hosts Spring Academy Day

San Bernardino, CA – On Saturday, Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-San Bernardino) hosted Spring Academy Day for Inland Empire students interested in attending U.S. Service Academies. The workshop and information session for students in California’s 31st Congressional district included presentations from Rep. Aguilar’s office and representatives from the United States Military Academy at West Point, United States Naval Academy, United States Coast Guard Academy, United States Air Force Academy and the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

“I’m always so impressed by the students we meet at Spring Academy day, who at such a young age already know the importance and honor in attending these prestigious academies and serving our nation,” said Rep. Aguilar. He added, “This fall we’ll be sending nine Inland Empire students to Service Academies across the nation, and we currently have over a dozen students already enrolled. It fills me with pride to see our students representing our region like this each and every day.”

Saturday’s information session was Rep. Aguilar’s third Academy Day event. Students applying to U.S. Service Academies require nominations from their federal representatives to be considered. For those interested in attending a U.S. Service Academy, please visit http://aguilar.house.gov/services/military-academy-nominations to fill out an application or call 909-890-4445 with any additional questions or concerns.

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A Stunning Portrait: Mother Nature Shares Her Beauty After a Long Sleep

California’s record setting rainy season has poured life into landscapes across Southern California. Beautiful wildflower blooms are beginning to show their spectacular array of color and grace after their long, six-year, slumber due to the historic drought. Certainly, one of the most breathtaking displays of the vibrant rolling hillsides is located at the Southwestern Riverside County Multi-Species Reserve at Diamond Valley Lake.

Butterfly enthusiasts, flower admirers, photographers, birders, hikers, and those who love the outdoors and the warm California sun are already flocking to the Diamond Valley Lake Wildflower Trail to enjoy the natural paradise. “This winter’s impressive rainfall has not only brought some much-needed relief to the state’s record drought, it has brought life back to the hills surrounding Diamond Valley Lake,” said Jeff Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District, which owns and operates the 4,500-surface-acre lake near Hemet in southwest Riverside County. “It has been too long since we have been treated to the natural brilliance of these hillsides ablaze with color,” Kightlinger added.

The Trail is located on the northern side of Diamond Valley Lake and is accessible via a 0.5 mile hike along the Lakeview Trail that connects to the 1.3 mile Wildflower Trail loop, for a total hiking distance of roughly 2.3 miles. The Wildflower Trail offers views of the North Hills, Diamond Valley Lake, and the marina.

The Reserve, which was created as part of the construction of MWD’s Diamond Valley Lake Reservoir, provides refuge for 31 sensitive species of plants and animals, with particular emphasis on species which are or may be listed as endangered or threatened under the state and federal Endangered Species Acts.

If you are lucky enough to encounter a local resident of the Reserve such as the San Diego horned lizard and black-tailed jackrabbit, burrowing owl, northern red diamond rattlesnake, the Orange-throated whiptail, Mountain lion, and California gnatcatcher, be sure to keep a safe distance and show respect since we are in their home.

“We’ve had a limited bloom the past few years scattered around the lake. This year is going to be spectacular, with broad fields of flowers covering the hillsides,” said wildlife biologist Bill Wagner. “Because the hillsides are so saturated due to the rain this year, I think the bloom could go well into late spring.”

Parking is $9 per vehicle and there is a $2 per person fee to access the trail. For more information on the lake and wildflower bloom, please visit www.dvlake.com.

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A Time for Courage and Truth

After the new administration’s first Black History Month event included a general reference to 19th century lion Frederick Douglass as “somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more,” Frederick Douglass’s descendants jumped in with their own clarification:

“The President’s comments from the Roosevelt Room of the White House, about Frederick Douglass, were noted and appreciated by us, the Douglass family. In fact, we believe, if he had more time to elaborate, the President would have mentioned the following:

‘Frederick Douglass has done an amazing job …

Enduring the inhumanity of slavery after being born heir to anguish and exploitation but still managing to become a force for solace and liberty when America needed it most,

Recognizing that knowledge was his pathway to freedom at such a tender age,

Teaching himself to read and write and becoming one of the country’s most eloquent spokespersons,

Standing up to his overseer to say that ‘I am a man!’

Risking life and limb by escaping the abhorrent institution,

Composing the Narrative of his life and helping to expose slavery for the crime against humankind that it is,

Persuading the American public and Abraham Lincoln that we are all equal and deserving of the right to live free,

Establishing the North Star newspaper when there was very little in the way of navigation or hope for the millions of enslaved persons,

Supporting the rights of women when few men of such importance endeavored to do so,

Arguing against unfair U.S. immigration restrictions,

Understanding that racism in America is part of our ‘diseased imagination,’

Recruiting his sons—who were born free—to fight in the war to end the enslavement of other African Americans,

Being appointed the first black U.S. Marshal by President Rutherford B. Hayes,

Being appointed U.S. Minister to Haiti by President Benjamin Harrison,

Serving as a compelling role model for all Americans for nearly two centuries.”

They concluded: “Like the President, we use the present tense when referencing Douglass’s accomplishments because his spirit and legacy are still very much alive, not just during Black History Month, but every month.”

A similar response could have been prepared just a few days later when the Department of Education shared a quote by Dr. W.E.B. DuBois that misspelled his name. We may not be able to react to every mistake or omission made about Black or Latino or Asian American or Native American or immigrant or women’s history. But we can certainly make sure our children know the correct and full truth. We can make sure they know W.E.B. DuBois was one of the first great Black Civil Rights and intellectual leaders. He was the first African American to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard University and a founding leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and founding editor of its journal The Crisis. He wrote many influential books and articles, including the classic The Souls of Black Folk, and remained a tireless crusader for the rights of Black people around the world until his death in Ghana at age 95 on August 28, 1963, the same day as the March on Washington. We can also make sure we know and teach our children not just who Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. DuBois are, but some of the lessons they taught us.

In a time when lies about non-existent widespread voter fraud threaten to reinforce and escalate a new era of targeted and pernicious voter suppression, we can reread this warning from The Souls of Black Folk: “Away with the black man’s ballot, by force or fraud, -- and behold the suicide of a race! . . . The power of the ballot we need in sheer self-defense, -- else what shall save us from a second slavery?”

In a time where fears about unprecedented abuses of power are being matched by record-setting mass displays of nonviolent resistance, we can remember what Frederick Douglass said in 1857: “The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims, have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them.”

This is a time for struggle for the soul and future of our nation. It is not a time to be silenced by fear or deadly apathy. It is a time for truth and courage. Only the truth will set us free.

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#SBCMentorChallenge to recruit mentors for county’s youth

San Bernardino County Children’s Network is hoping to begin 2017 with a few hundred new mentors for San Bernardino County youth.

In honor of National Mentoring Month, San Bernardino County Mentoring Task Force is seeking to recruit 200 mentors for San Bernardino County youth. Once one is approved to be a mentor, they will have a chance to be a consistent and positive adult presence in a young person’s life, provide advice, share life experiences, and help a young person face challenges.

Children’s Network is also launching the #SBCMentorChallenge social media campaign to recruit prospective mentors and create awareness about the need for mentors of San Bernardino County youth. Community members are encouraged to participate in the #SBCMentorChallenge campaign which will highlight the importance of mentors.

Community members are encouraged to record videos on their smartphones or tablets in which they share their own inspiring experiences as mentors or mentees. If one has not been a mentor or a mentee, one can make a video sharing why they hope to become a mentor to a San Bernardino County youth. At the end of each video, posters should then “tag” three friends, colleagues, or community partners on social media and challenge them or those in the agency to become youth mentors and record their own inspiring mentor/mentee videos. All videos should be posted on social media with the hashtag: #SBCMentorChallenge

“We are looking forward to what this campaign will bring for youth,” said Doreen Ivery, Children’s Network’s Mentoring Resource Coordinator. “We also look forward to community leaders being a part of this campaign and challenging others to participate in this challenge to recruit mentors.”

Those interested in becoming a mentor are encouraged to contact Ivery at 909 383-9677 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 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 to their families. Information on the Countywide Vision can be found at www.sbcounty.gov/vision.

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USFS and County of San Bernardino are Seeking Comment on the Mitsubishi Cement Corporation South Quarry Project

SAN BERNARDINO, California, December 16, 2016… The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service (Forest Service), together with the County of San Bernardino (County) have prepared a joint California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for the Mitsubishi Cement Corporation South Quarry Project. The public is invited to review the Draft EIR/EIS and provide comments.

Mitsubishi proposes to develop and reclaim a new limestone quarry to the south of its existing operating area in Lucerne Valley, west of Highway 18, on the north slope of the San Bernardino Mountains.. The Draft EIR/EIS and information regarding providing comments can be found http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=36511 . The public comment period for the Draft EIR/EIS ends February 1, 2017. Written comments submitted electronically are strongly encouraged

The South Quarry Project as proposed in the Plan of Operations would total approximately 153.6 acres consisting of a 128-acre quarry, a 2.7- acre landscape berm, a 22.2-acre haul road 1.8 miles in length, and a temporary construction road of 0.7 acre. The South Quarry and haul road would be located almost entirely (147 acres) on 440 acres of unpatented claims owned by MCC on public federal land in the San Bernardino National Forest (SBNF) with approximately 6.6 acres of the haul road located on MCC fee land where it enters the existing East Pit.

The purposes of the proposed South Quarry are:

· To mine high-grade limestone to blend with the existing East and approved West Pits’ limestone to supply the required feed specifications for the adjacent existing Cushenbury Cement Plant for 120 years;

To supply cement for construction and other uses in an efficient and environmentally sound manner;

To continue to realize the economic value of the investment made in the existing Cushenbury mine and cement plant and the limestone resource at the Project site;

To avoid logistical and environmental costs associated with non-contiguous operations;

To meet the Forest Service requirements for environmental protection;

To meet the State’s and County’s Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA) requirements;

To be consistent with the intent of the Carbonate Habitat Management Strategy by providing permanent protection for rare carbonate endemic plant species;

To minimize impacts to rare plants and wildlife, such as the Cushenbury herd of Nelson’s bighorn sheep through quarry design and offsite mitigation;

To reclaim the site for post-mining uses which will include open space and habitat;

To contour mining features and revegetate disturbed areas to minimize aesthetic and erosion impacts; and

To reclaim and maintain the site as necessary to eliminate hazards to public safety.

This project is subject to comment and predecisional administrative review pursuant to Forest Service Regulations at 36 CFR 218. Only those who submit timely project-specific written comments during a public comment period are eligible to file an objection during the objection filing period. Individuals or representatives of an entity submitting comments must sign the comments or verify identity upon request. Comments on this proposal will be accepted for 45 days following publication of the legal notice in the San Bernardino Sun, which is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period. It is the commenter’s responsibility to ensure timely receipt of comments.

The proposed action also includes a project-specific Forest Plan amendment to reduce the Scenic Integrity Objectives in the project area. The review process referenced above, not the review process for Forest Plans, applies to this amendment (36 CFR 219).

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