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Witness For Justice #845 - 21st Century Race Matters

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Cycling for Social Equality

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) – It’s a 3,500-mile trip. It’ll take him about 55 days, as he’ll average about 60 miles per day – with rest days in between. But, the University of California, Riverside student doesn’t mind, because it’s all for a good reason. Christian Lugo will cycle from Los Angeles, California, to Washington D.C. – the nation’s capital – this summer to help promote social equality, diversity, and tolerance.

“I just thought to myself, there’s been so much hate the last few years, and you can’t expect people to just flip a switch and end hate, but at least I can do something to get some positive change going,” Lugo said.

Lugo is a second-year student, majoring in Spanish with a concentration in cultural studies. He was inspired to cycle across the country by a few recent experiences. He started cycling in March 2016, and said he immediately took to the sport. Not only did he start cycling as a form of exercise, but he started using it as his mode of transportation—to the grocery store, to school, even as a means of travel and experiencing new things.

In summer 2016, Lugo studied abroad in the Dominican Republic. Inspired by the professors and the people he met there, as well as the 2016 U.S. presidential election, he decided he would give cycle touring a shot. Though Lugo said his trip is not political in nature, he hopes to promote a positive message of cooperation and respect among all people.

“I will ride across the country encouraging people to sign a pledge for social equality, based on five principles,” he said.

For the full news release, please visit: https://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/47654

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Cool Center kickoff planned for June 2 in Banning

Who: Riverside University Health System-Public Health through County of Riverside Community Action Partnership.

What: Kickoff of Cool Center season in Riverside County.

Where: Banning Municipal Pool (749 N. San Gorgonio Ave., Banning, 92220)

When: June 2, 2017 starting at 9 a.m.

Why: Summer is almost here and temperatures are going to start rising throughout Riverside County. The Cool Center Program provides residents with a place to get out of the heat and cool off. There are about 50 locations throughout Riverside County, stretching from Temecula to Corona, and Hemet to the Coachella Valley, even as far away as Blythe. There is no better way to start the summer than with a free swim and some tasty food.

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Testing urged after active tuberculosis diagnosed at two hospitals in Riverside County

Riverside County health officials are working with administrators at Hemet Valley Medical Center and Parkview Community Hospital in Riverside to determine who may have been exposed to tuberculosis after some hospital employees were diagnosed with an active form of the respiratory illness.

There is no indication yet the cases are related and officials have not determined how the individuals contracted the illness. The three employees – two at Hemet Valley and one at Parkview -- are undergoing treatment and are expected to recover. The individuals are not being identified.

Riverside University Health System-Public Health and the hospitals are notifying more than 2,000 staff members and patients who may have been exposed to the disease. Those receiving the notification are being urged to be tested for TB, which can be done through their health care provider. Hemet Valley has made special arrangements for free TB testing of individuals seen at its hospital. The dates and times will be included in the notification letters. Those who do not receive a letter are not considered at-risk for TB exposure.

About 900 notifications are being sent from Hemet Valley and more than 1,200 from Parkview. Those who do not receive a letter are not considered at-risk for TB exposure. Those who test positive will be referred for an X-ray and evaluation for appropriate treatment.

“The risk of transmission is low, but TB can still be a serious illness,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, public health officer for the county. “If you receive notification you may have been exposed, getting tested promptly will ensure any risk you have is dealt with quickly.”

Tuberculosis is a disease spread through the air during prolonged, repeated and close contact with an individual who is infected with active tuberculosis. When left untreated, TB can result in serious complications. TB is not spread by shaking hands, sharing food or drink, or via bed linens or toilet seats.

Symptoms include a productive cough, unexplained weight loss, fever and fatigue. Not everyone infected with the TB bacteria becomes sick. A person with inactive (latent) TB cannot spread it to others.

Individuals concerned about TB can contact their health care provider or the Public Health Department Disease Control at 951.358.5107. For additional information about tuberculosis, visit www.rivco-diseasecontrol.org

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Riverside Community Health Foundation’s Southern California Women’s Cancer Conference Will Feature Keynote Speakers At June 17th Conference

(Riverside, CA) May 30, 2017- Riverside Community Health Foundation announces its celebrated lineup of speakers for the Southern California Women’s Cancer Conference. The event will take place on Saturday, June 17, 2017 at the Riverside Convention Center located at 3637 5th Street, Riverside, CA 92501. This year’s event keynotes will feature breast cancer pre-vivor Jessica Queller, TV/Executive Producer for Super Girl on WB, and women’s advocate Dr. Christine Horner, Plastic Surgeon.

Dr. Christine Horner, a nationally recognized surgeon, author and champion for women’s health, is scheduled to speak as the conference’s opening keynote. Horner’s keynote follows her incredible career as a plastic surgeon, her five-year crusade that sparked a federal legislation that now requires health insurances to cover patients who choose to have breast reconstruction after mastectomy, and finally to a nationally recognized women’s advocate with a focus on education about complimentary or alternative therapies, when used in conjunction with conventional medical treatments, help women lower the risk of breast cancer and its recurrence.

Jessica Queller, TV writer and Executive Producer of WB’s hit television show Super Girl will share an inspiring closing keynote address about how she reconfigured her life as a young, successful, modern career woman in Hollywood, to how she took charge of her diagnosis, made unapologetic life changing decisions, became a single mother by choice, while still balancing it all. Queller, also known as the “WB Darling,” has written for hit TV shows such as Gossip Girl, Gilmore Girls, Felicity, and One Tree Hill.

The SoCal Women’s Cancer Conference extensive program includes tracks geared towards women who are at-risk, newly diagnosed, currently undergoing, survivors or in advance stages of cancer in both English and Spanish. The speaker lineup and topics such as:

Evolution of Cancer Treatment: Molecular Diagnosis & Targeted Therapy – John Link, MD

a leading medical oncologist and the founder of Breastlink, a network of comprehensive breast health centers in Southern California dedicated to providing optimal care for women.

Dr. John Link, medical oncologist and founder of Breastlink.

Intimacy & Self-Image During and After Cancer – Monique Tiffany, RN, CBCN, CBPN-IC

The effects of cancer go far beyond medical recovery from surgery and harsh treatments. Monique Tiffany, RN, Oncology Regional Specialist at Myriad Genetics, addresses one of the most important aspects of the healing process for women after cancer treatment – intimacy and body image damage after cancer. This session will help women open their minds and tackle the hard to ask questions with themselves and their partners.

Owning Personal Power: Creating Balance and Healing Through Self-Care – Jeanett Castellanos, Ph.D.

Drawing on the idea of power, Jeanett Castellanos, Ph.D., Social Science Director at UCI, walks you through how the power of women, personal power, and effective self-care practices can help you heal. The session includes some imagery and meditative techniques that will help you become self-aware and find self-discovery practices for grounding, self-fulfillment, and wellness.

Navigating Employment After Cancer Diagnosis – Joanna Morales, Esq.

Cancer affects every aspect of our lives and trying to figure out how to navigate your career after a cancer diagnosis is one of them. Joanna Morales, Esq. Founder and CEO of the national non-profit Cancer Triage will walk you through the laws that protect you and practical tools on how to share the news of diagnosis, dealing with treatment side effects, and taking time off.

The highly anticipated Southern California Women’s Cancer Conference is expected to leave women with a new-found hope that they can make it through their cancer journey. With the top leaders in the cancer field and their innovative contributions to the cancer movement presenting at this year’s cancer conference, women will undoubtedly be impacted with knowledge and support in an insurmountable way. Attendees can expect a highly insightful, motivating and entertaining sessions as well as a free massage, make up, and hair sessions.

To learn more about the Southern California Women’s Cancer Conference, Saturday, June 17, 2017 and register for the event visit www.socalwcc.org. Free tickets are available for a limited time!

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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.

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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.

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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. (www.ucr.edu) — 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: https://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/46571

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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 https://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/46514.

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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 http://rivco5k.org, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 951-955-3568.

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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. (www.ucr.edu) — 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: https://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/44313

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