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Riverside (24)

City council members will discuss the decline in female officeholders in Riverside County on May 31

Jennifer Merolla
RIVERSIDE, California – Where have all the women officeholders in Riverside County gone? A panel of women city council members will address that question on Wednesday, May 31, at the University of California, Riverside.

“Where Have All the Women Gone: Exploring the Causes for a Decline in Female City Council Members in Riverside County” begins at 5:30 p.m. and is part of the ongoing Randall Lewis Seminar Series presented by the Center for Sustainable Suburban Development. The seminar will be held at the College of Engineering-Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT), 1084 Columbia Ave., Riverside. It is free and open to the public. Reservations are requested as seating is limited and may be made online or by calling (951) 827-7830.

At one time there was a female majority on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors; the current board is all-male and has been since 1995. In the county’s 28 cities, individual women council members continue to serve, but over the past decade there has been a significant drop-off in the number of women seeking and winning city council seats in Riverside County.

Moderating the panel will be Jennifer Merolla, UCR professor of political science. Her research focuses on how the political environment shapes individual attitudes and behavior across many domains, such as candidate evaluations during elections and support for democratic values and institutions. She also examines the challenges and successes of being a female candidate running for office.

Panelists who will discuss the decline in women elected to office in Riverside County are:

Karen Spiegel, Corona City Council member. Spiegel was elected Corona city treasurer in 1996, then won a seat on the City Council in 2002. She has served several terms as mayor.

Jan Harnik, mayor of Palm Desert. A 17-year resident of Palm Desert, she was elected to the City Council in 2010. She also is a board member of Southern California Association of Governments.

Tonya Burke, Perris City Council member. Burke, who was elected to the City Council in 2014, is a vocational counselor by profession and is working on a Ph.D. in organizational psychology.

Bonnie Wright, Hemet City Council member. Wright, who is the grants and loans manager for Eastern Municipal Water District, was elected to the City Council in 2012 and served as mayor in 2016.


The 10th Annual “Keeping It Real” Young Men’s Conference To Be Held At The Riverside Convention Center

(Riverside, CA) May 9, 2017- Riverside Community Health Foundation (RCHF) and the City of Riverside Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Department will hold the 10th Annual “Keeping It Real” Young Men’s Conference Tuesday, May 16, from 8:00am – 2:00pm at the Riverside Convention Center, 3657 5th Street, Riverside, CA 92501.

The Young Men’s Conference will host over 200 young men for a day of learning, growing and “keeping it real”, with college and career centered workshops, financial planning opportunities, character development exercises and the testimony of actor and keynote speaker for the Young Men’s Conference, Noel Gugliemi (Noel G.).

Noel G., a native of Los Angeles, CA is known for his “gangster” roles in movies such as, The Fast and the Furious Parts 1 & 7, Training Day, The Purge: Anarchy, Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, and Bruce Almighty.

Noel G. is no stranger to overcoming obstacles. He’s experienced homelessness, incarceration, and the various ups and downs of life’s struggles. However, that did not stop him from turning his trials into triumphs. “You have to want it for yourself, no one can hold your hand through it, but they can guide you through it,” says Noel G. He believes determination is key, “If you want it bad enough, you can do it, but you will have to work for it. Never quit, push harder and harder every day, and put God first through it all.”

In addition, several influential leaders, mentors and peers from throughout Riverside will be participating in the Young Men’s Conference program. These individuals will provide additional support to the young men striving to achieve their goals. They include but are not limited to: Mayor Rusty Bailey from the City of Riverside, Stan Morrison retired Athletic Director for University of California Riverside, Joe Luna from Path of Life Ministries, Manuel Perez from Borrego Health, Wilson Lee from Lincoln Financial and many more!

The Young Men’s Conference will serve as a gateway for young men to realize their goals are achievable, and no matter their past, they too can have a future filled with success.

The Young Men’s Conference will celebrate 10 years of “keeping it real” on Tuesday, May 16, from 8:00am – 2:00pm at the Riverside Convention Center.


UCR Project to Install Solar Microgrid for San Bernardino County’s Chemehuevi Indian Tribe

Deployment and optimization of the system is supported by a grant from the California Energy Commission

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — Researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering, together with a team of industry partners, have begun work to install a power system that integrates solar panels, battery storage, advanced data analytics, and smart energy management controls on the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe reservation near Lake Havasu, CA.

The integrated system, known as a microgrid, is supported by a nearly $2.6 million grant from the California Energy Commission. It will be installed at the Chemehuevi Community Center, which is the tribe’s designated emergency response center, and will provide uninterrupted clean power to run the center as well as the adjacent tribal housing offices during a grid failure. The system will also lower energy costs and enable the tribe to implement year-round advanced energy management strategies. The system is scheduled to be deployed and commissioned by July 1.

“This project has the dual benefit of providing an environmentally friendly power system for the tribe while allowing researchers to study a system that could become a model for people in California and elsewhere,” said Alfredo Martinez-Morales, managing director of the Southern California Research Initiative for Solar Energy (SC-RISE) at the Bourns College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT).

Glenn H. Lodge, vice chairman of the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe, said the project will help alleviate problems caused by frequent energy blackouts, which are exacerbated by the hot desert climate, floods during times of rains, and the rural location of the reservation, which is served by a single transmission line connection to the grid.

“The Community Center serves low-income families, and during power outages people rely on the facility to provide electricity and a place to sleep, shower, cook, and care for community members with medical needs. The micro grid will enable us to provide emergency shelter for our community when they need it the most,” Lodge said.

Read the full release here:


Three UC Riverside Scholars Win Fulbright Grants

RIVERSIDE, California – Three humanities and social science scholars at the University of California, Riverside have been awarded prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar fellowships that will support research on the role of women in 19th century French architecture, the relationships between conservation, law and resource rights in South Africa, and whether increasing socioeconomic development is causing a decline in religiosity in India.

The scholars are Heidi Brevik Zender, associate professor of French and comparative literature; Derick Fay, associate professor of anthropology; and Ajay Verghese, assistant professor of political science.

The Fulbright Program is the leading international education exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of other countries, according to the program’s website. The program, which awards approximately 8,000 new grants annually, was established in 1946 under legislation by Arkansas Sen. J. William Fulbright and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It operates in more than 150 countries.

Heidi Brevik-Zender will hold the 2017-18 visiting professorship at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, where she will do research for a book project exposing the role of women in 19th century French architecture.

Anthropologist Derick Fay will return to South Africa, where he has conducted extensive field studies since 1998, to investigate the relationships between conservation, law, and resource rights represented in the 2012 trial of three fishermen arrested in Dwesa-Cwebe Nature Reserve.

Political scientist Ajay Verghese will spend a year in India to determine if increasing socioeconomic development is causing a decline in religious belief but an increase in religious practice, a form of secularization that is distinct from the Western world.

Read the entire press release online at


Fun run turns the mild-mannered into superheroes to help Riverside County communities

Have you ever wanted to don a superhero costume, leap tall buildings, help your community, and be idolized by throngs of admirers? Well, here’s your chance – sort of, without the tall buildings.

Riverside County’s Superhero 5k Run/Walk is set for April 29 in Jurupa Valley at Rancho Jurupa Park. The family friendly event is a way to get a little exercise, support non-profit organizations throughout Riverside County, and have a ton of fun all at the same time.

The run/walk is an annual fundraiser of the County of Riverside Employee Campaign, a 501(c) (3) organization, but the public is invited to attend and participate. Registration fees offset the cost of the event and the remaining proceeds are divided among local non-profits to support programs throughout Riverside County. Each year, county employees voluntarily contribute more than $700,000 dollars to their favorite non-profit organizations through payroll deductions and other coordinated fundraisers.

The event starts and finishes at Rancho Jurupa Park. Registration begins at 7 a.m., with staggered race times starting at 8 a.m., rain or shine. Early-bird pricing is $35 until April 1 and $40 through April 29, or until the maximum of 500 participants is reached. All race participants will receive a limited-edition medal, t-shirt, and bag. Awards will be given for best superhero costume, as well as for the overall male and female winners. Due to a limited number of parking spots inside the park, runners and walkers are encouraged to carpool. Parking will also be available along Crestmore Road.

For more information, visit, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 951-955-3568.


UC Riverside Gets $5.1 Million to Fight Citrus Killer

Research will focus on attacking Huanglongbing, a disease that is destroying Florida’s citrus industry and threatens California

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — A team of scientists, led by a group at the University of California, Riverside, has received a five-year, $5.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fight a disease that is devastating the citrus industry.

The team, led by Caroline Roper, an associate professor of plant pathology, will design and identify bactericides, which are chemicals that kill bacteria, to target Huanglongbing, a bacterial plant disease decimating citrus trees worldwide. They will also focus on better understanding the pathways those bactericides travel inside citrus trees.

Huanglongbing, which has devastated citrus trees in Asia and South America, was detected in Florida in 2005 and has since led to a 75 percent decline in the Florida’s $9 billion citrus industry. Fifteen U.S. States or territories are under full or partial quarantine due to the presence of the Asian citrus psyllid, an insect which feeds on citrus trees and – in doing so – transmits Huanglongbing.

Past research has identified the bacterium (Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus or CLas) associated with Huanglongbing that is killing citrus trees. But, it has proved difficult to deliver bactericides to the phloem, the part of the citrus tree where the harmful bacteria resides.

The UC Riverside team will analyze phloem transit routes that bactericides take when introduced through common application methods, such as trunk injection or leaf or root applications.

They will also continue to develop a new delivery system for use in field citrus trees. The delivery system targets the branches and petioles, which are the stalk that join a leaf to a stem. The idea is based on previous work that indicates that this is an effective and efficient way to tap into and introduce material into phloem tissue, a tissue that is hard to access.

They will also conduct fluorescent tracer experiments that map phloem transport pathways in citrus and harness that information to predict and test the routes that bactericides take when introduced. This will yield information about the routes bactericides travel when administered through delivery methods used by growers and the branch/petiole feeding technique.

The researchers will develop two classes of bactericides, the first based on mining anti-CLas compounds naturally produced by microbes that inhabit Huanglongbing survivor trees in Florida, and the second based on silver and sulfur nanoparticles.

Finally, the researchers will also undertake an extension and outreach program for citrus growers and non-commercial citrus growers (homeowners and hobbyists). They will also perform an economic cost-benefit analysis for adoption of these treatments in the commercial citrus industry.

In addition to Roper, the following UC Riverside scientists are involved: James Borneman, Philippe Rolshausen, David Jassby, Georgios Vidalakis, and Haizhou Liu. And, the following researchers from other institutions are involved: Robert Turgeon (Cornell University); Katherine Maloney (Point Loma Nazarene University); Pieter Dorrestein (UC San Diego); Greg McCollum (U.S. Department of Agriculture), and Jonathan Kaplan (CA State University, Sacramento).

The grant is one of four given by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food (NIFA) and Agriculture to combat Huanglongbing. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

To read press release visit:


UCR Conference on Big Data in Medicine in the Inland Empire Set for Jan. 14

The past, present and future uses of “big data” and how it can be used to improve health care in inland Southern California and other underserved communities is the theme of the second annual R-Health Conference, scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, at the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine Education Building.

The conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Free parking for attendees will be available in Lot 13.

Founded in 2015 by the UC Riverside School of Medicine Health Management Interest Group, the conference is an opportunity for clinicians, students and healthcare business leaders to network and overcome the challenges facing modern health care.

For more information, please visit:


Assemblymember Reyes Appointed to Select Committee on the Office of the Attorney General

Sacramento– Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-San Bernardino) was appointed to the Assembly Committee on the Office of the Attorney General. The committee was formed by Speaker Anthony Rendon as part of the confirmation process for Attorney General-designate Xavier Becerra.

“I am honored to be appointed to engage in this essential oversight responsibility in the confirmation process for the next Attorney General for the state of California,” said Assemblymember Reyes. “California is the last line of defense against the politics of division emanating from the national level, and the role of our Attorney General will be crucial in protecting the rights of our most vulnerable communities.”

On December 1st, 2016 Governor Jerry Brown announced the nomination of veteran lawmaker, Congressman Xavier Becerra to fill the post vacated by Senator-elect Kamala Harris. Becerra was a deputy attorney general from 1987 to 1990 and served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1992. He is chair of the House Democratic Caucus and member of the Committee on Ways and Means. The legislature is required to confirm Becerra for the post.


Riverside NAACP Hosts 46th Annual Vet Recognition Luncheon

William "Bill" Howe, Lt Col, USAF, (ret), Master of Ceremonies.

Pictured: Andy Melendrez, Member, Riverside City Council, presented a Certificate of Commendation to Riverside NAACP. President, Woodie Rucker-Hughes and Lt Col Howe .

Attorney William "Bill" Kennedy, Cpl, USArmy, introduced 'Special Guest Speaker-1', WWll Veteran, & POW, USArmy Cpl, James Gobel.

Lt Col Howe introduced 'Special Guest Speaker-2', WWII Veteran, & POW, USAAC, Tuskegee Airman, 1st Lt,Thurston Gaines.

Members, NAACP Veterans Affairs Committee: Franklin Benjamin, USMC, CWO4, (ret), Frances Lucas, USAF, Lt Col, (ret), Michael Seay, USArmy, Capt, (ret), Ellis Frank Lilly, USArmy, CSM, (ret), Bill Howe, USAF, Lt Col, (ret), William Farmer, USMC, Sgt, (ret). (et-al).

USMC Sgt, William Farmer plays the ceremonial/memorial 'call' TAPS , during which all service members (able), stand at 'attention'.

Photo credits: John Coleman

The Riverside Branch, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People(s) celebrated it's 46th Annual Anderson Copeland Memorial Veterans Recognition Luncheon, Veterans Day/Armistice Day, Friday November 11th.

To accommodate the increasing attendance, the event was relocated from the facilities of the Kansas Avenue Seventh Day Adventist Church to the auditorium, John W North High School, Riverside.

Waudieur "Woody" Rucker-Hughes, President, NAACP Riverside Branch offered the Welcome and introduced the Master of Ceremonies.


Riverside County reaches milestone in housing homeless veterans

Riverside County has become the nation’s first large county to meet “functional zero,” a federal benchmark for making permanent housing available for all homeless veterans who seek assistance from the county.

The Board of Supervisors established the Veteran Assistance Leadership of Riverside County (VALOR) initiative in June 2013 to find permanent housing for every homeless veteran in Riverside County. Together, the Housing Authority division of the county Economic Development Agency, the Department of Public Social Services, Riverside University Health System, Sheriff’s Department, Probation Department, and Veterans’ Services partnered with housing providers, cities, law enforcement agencies and community agencies toward the goal of helping all homeless veterans get off the streets.

Since VALOR’s inception, more than 1,100 homeless veterans have been placed into permanent housing, including 582 veterans housed since January 2015, when Riverside County launched the federal Zero 2016 initiative.

Air Force veteran Michelle Steckel, who once was homeless and struggled with alcohol addiction, now helps connect homeless veterans with services for housing support, behavioral health and substance abuse. Steckel said some veterans are unaware of the available services and that education is key.

“I am now giving back to Riverside what it has given to me,” Steckel said.

Reaching the federal benchmark of “functional zero” requires a well-coordinated and efficient system that ensures homelessness is rare, brief and non-recurring, and that all veterans have access to the resources they need to move quickly to permanent housing. Although some individual veterans and their families still will become homeless or return to homelessness, a housing-crisis response system is in place to quickly identify and link them immediately with resources to help them maintain permanent housing.

“‘Functional zero’ means the county has the resources and response systems in place to ensure any veteran who is homeless or is at risk of becoming homeless will get timely help and support,” said Lynne Brockmeier, manager of Riverside University Health System – Behavioral Health Housing Crisis Response Team. “We have achieved this milestone and we plan to file for that official federal recognition later this month.”

Damien O’Farrell, chief executive officer of Path of Life Ministries, said participants have focused on the “yes” of opening doors rather than concentrating on obstacles. The Riverside-based ministry operates housing programs that provided shelter beds, bridge housing, behavioral health support and outreach services to chronically homeless veterans.

“The outreach staff within our housing teams have been on the frontlines,” O’Farrell said “It’s been really rewarding and fun to see systems start to change.”

District 4 Supervisor John J. Benoit, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, said it is gratifying to help struggling veterans who are homeless. And while many still will need social services and behavioral-health support, the system to help is now in place.

“We are determined to be here for them as a safety net, just as they were there for our nation when they answered the call to serve in the Armed Forces,” Benoit said.

Veterans in need of housing assistance may call 1-877-424-3838 or 1-877-4AIDVET

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