Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Assemblyman Adams Appears on Voice of the Inland Empire

(San Bernardino, Calif.) Anthony Adams, State Assemblyman of the 59th District will be appearing on the longest running talk show in the Inland Empire, Ron Stark’s Voice of the Inland Empire.

Voice of the Inland Empire has recently expanded its program.

“We’re now on the radio, internet and cable TV,” Stark said. “I am excited about the opportunities to reach an increasing number of people in the Inland Empire with the lively and helpful information my guests provide.”

Voice of the Inland Empire is now filmed and recorded at the KCSB-TV studio in San Bernardino This is a full-fledged television production studio, with three cameras, digital recording equipment and more.

With access to this equipment, Voice of the Inland Empire has been able to add new aspects to its program, such as digital captions and better camera angles, Stark said.
Assemblyman Adams, Stark’s guest for the Sept. 6 edition of the show, was elected to the State Assembly in 2006. He represents the Apple Valley, Hesperia, Lake Arrowhead, Crestline, San Bernardino, Highland and Mentone communities of San Bernardino County. His district also covers the Los Angeles County communities of Claremont, La Verne, Glendora, San Dimas, Monrovia, Bradbury, Arcadia and La Crescenta.

The Assemblyman wears many official hats. He is the Republican Whip for the Republican Leadership team. He also serves on the Rules Committee, the Judiciary Committee and as Vice-Chair of the Elections and Redistricting Committee.

Prior to being elected Assemblyman, Adams served as Director of Legislative Affairs for San Bernardino County. In this position he was responsible for directing the county’s legislative affairs program, pertaining to every element of policy from Medi-Cal reform and increased Worker’s Compensation costs to public safety funding.

Adams started his career in politics in 1996 working to elect pro-business, anti-tax candidates to a variety of city, school and water board positions. As a member of the Hesperia Public Safety Commission, Adams played a key role in the reorganization of the City Fire Department, in order to provide additional and improved services at a lower cost to taxpayers.

Assemblyman Adams graduated from California State University, San Bernardino with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and went on to receive a law degree from Western State University College of Law in Fullerton. Adams resides in Hesperia with his wife of sixteen years, Deanna, where they are active in their community and are 17-year members of High Desert Church in Victorville.

The Dad who doesn’t have to be

Colton stay-at-home dad is ideal role model for troubled teen boys in foster care.

(COLTON, Calif.) Teenage boys can prove to be the most difficult to place in foster care. Unfortunately, they are the ones who often need the most help.

That’s where Ritchie Howard of Colton comes in. The 56-year-old grandfather is the uncommon stay-at-home dad for children in foster care in San Bernardino County. Often, he is called upon by the agency he works with – Knotts Family and Parenting Institute – to care for teenage boys who are temporarily removed from their home due to parental abuse or neglect. Though not always, some come with emotional and behavioral challenges that are compounded by having changed homes, schools, neighborhoods and routines numerous times.

The institute sees Howard as a role model for teens, many of whom come from households with absent fathers. The need for male foster parents is on the rise. The need is also urgent because males can serve as role models and mentors for teenage boys as they enter adolescence.

“One of the most critical roles a foster father can provide is assisting a teenage boy in role identity as well as being an inspiration for future endeavors,” said Dr. Lewis King, training and program director for Knotts Family and Parenting Institute in San Bernardino.

“That doesn’t mean a mother can’t be a role model for a teenage boy,” said Dr. King, who is also a psychiatry professor at UCLA. “But her challenges are more difficult. Situations in which there are two parents in a foster care home are ideal, since they can provide extra resources by assisting each other in parenting a teen.”

“You just have to have more resources in the household,” Dr. King said. “When we identify and train foster parents, our task is to lend complete support. Our social workers frequently check on the families and intervene if there are problems. Still, one parent can get overwhelmed by the responsibility.”

It was his wife’s idea for Howard to become a foster care parent in 2005. Howard, an adult and adolescent mental health worker with five biological children, went along with the plan.

He and Christina joined the cadre of specially trained foster parents at Knotts, and received three children through the agency right away. Christina is a licensed vocational nurse at Patton State Hospital and had complications in her hours for work.

This meant the primary parenting fell to Howard. He reduced his hours at Canyon Ridge Hospital in Chino to care for the children. So far, 14 children who have since come through their home, some for a few days, others for as long as 18 months. The family plans to adopt at least one of them.

Howard wants to make it clear the family task was sometimes tough, but extraordinarily rewarding. Teenage boys can be especially headstrong and disrespectful, he said.

One 14-year-old boy arrived at his house wearing gang colors. Howard immediately put a stop to that.

“The boy needed a man to care about him and guide him. He had no father that he knew. He was trying to fill this void with gangs and it’s impossible.” He also liked to fight and he picked on other boys in Howard’s house. “You have to have a lot of patience to deal with them. You’ve got to show them tough love. With love and support the turn around is marvelous.”

Knotts Family and Parenting Institute provides Howard with support and resources through weekly visits from a social worker and monthly meetings that involve the other parents. The institute provides counseling, referrals, tutoring and weekend activities for the children. “They do everything they can to enlighten you on foster care for teens and managing combative behavior,” Howard said.

The Knotts Family and Parenting Institute is all too aware of how critical it is to involve fathers such as Howard in foster parenting. He is one of 30 fathers who have worked with the Knotts Family and Parenting Institute over the past five years, compared to 400 mothers, many of whom run single parent households. The under-representation of dads in foster families mirrors American society, where fathers are absent in the lives of one in three children.

In keeping with this, the Institute has specific training programs geared toward fathers in two-parent homes. Very few foster parents are single dads. One of the programs assists fathers in developing skills for life and job opportunities.

Because of teen behavioral problems, “Foster parents tend to be more interested in opening their home to younger children,” said Gwen Knotts, CEO and president of the Knotts Family and Parenting Institute. “It takes a special parent to care for teens, made more difficult (as we insist) when siblings need to be kept together,” Knotts added.

Howard has taken in as many as three siblings at once and understands firsthand the importance of keeping brothers and sisters together. The oldest of nine children, Howard grew up helping his mother care for his younger siblings while she worked nights as a certified nursing assistant. His father was a foundry worker in Los Angeles who struggled with alcoholism and died of the disease at age 57.

Double pneumonia killed Howard’s 36-year-old mother when she was pregnant with her tenth child, who also died. Sixteen-year-old Howard urged his grieving father to keep the entire family together and let him take care of his siblings.

“My dad felt overwhelmed that he couldn’t take care of all his children.” An aunt and uncle in San Bernardino took in three of his brothers and sisters, said Howard, who stayed with his father. Four other siblings entered the foster care system.

Howard grew into adulthood in the 1970s and did what he could to help his fractured family. At one point, his 15-year-old brother needed his help.

“His foster parents hit him with sticks and garden hoses,” said Howard, then a 26-year-old post office worker. He drove his Dodge van to San Bernardino to pick up his brother. “ I took him back to LA to live with me.”

Some of Howard’s siblings failed to cross successfully into adulthood. One of his brothers went to prison, another had a mental breakdown, a third died in a shooting. Howard weathered family tragedy by pursuing a career in mental health.

When he became a foster dad, Howard brought a special love and understanding to boys from troubled homes. He recalled three brothers who came into his care, ages 11, 7 and 5. This was their third foster home.

The first words out of the 11-year-old’s mouth were: “I don’t talk to strangers.” Same for the middle child: “I don’t talk to strangers,” he repeated. But the little one warmed to Howard. “I’ll talk to you,” he said.

“Since then, they called me Daddy as long as they stayed with me,” Howard said. “Their dad was in prison. For a while, we were one family.”

Since 1982 the Knotts Family and Parenting Institute has provided foster family services for the children, parents and foster parents of Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

For more information or to become a foster parent call the Knotts Family and Parenting Institute at (909) 880-0600.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ellen Porter New Public Relations Executive

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) Ellen Porter back at Dameron Communications as public relations executive after taking a year off to teacher. Her love for writing far surpassed her love of teaching.

As the new public relations executive, Porter’s duties will entail handling publicity needs of Dameron Communications clients in media relations, copy writing and crisis communications.

Porter was formerly a journalist and consultant in the High Desert from 1989 to 2006. During this time, she worked as a reporter for the Daily Press in Victorville and was Editor in Chief for the Lucerne Valley Leader and the Hesperia Star.

In 2003, Porter started a freelance writing business. Her accomplishments include nationally published articles, however, she desired a collaborative environment that only a larger firm could offer.

“Rejoining Dameron Communications was a great opportunity for both me and Carl Dameron,” said Porter. “He already has an established clientele for which I can write, and my doing so frees Carl to be more creative in other areas of the company. This also allows him more time to market the firm and to gain more clients.”

Porter’s first assignment with the Daily Press entailed her covering the San Bernardino County government. Many county offices are within blocks of Dameron Communications and many of Dameron Communications’ clients are organizations and companies she once wrote about for the High Desert newspapers.

“Ellen’s knowledge, both of media and the area in general, will help our current and future clients meet their marketing needs,” said Dameron. “I am very pleased to have Ellen back on my staff,” he added.



(ONTARIO, Calif.) – LaSalle Medical Associates received recognition Aug. 1 from Hispanic Lifestyle magazine as one of the top 15 Latino-owned businesses in the Inland Empire.

“I am honored to receive this award on behalf of LaSalle Medical Associates,” said Dr. Albert Arteaga, founder and CEO. “But this award really recognizes that the LaSalle staff has delivered a great service, affordable and quality health care, to residents of the Inland Empire. Our success is because our customers keep coming back and recommend us to their friends and family.”

When Dr. Arteaga first opened LaSalle Medical Associates in 1984, he set out to not just aid those in need, but to change patients’ perception of “going to the doctor.” He explained, “I want everyone to feel that going to the doctor is no more intimidating than going to the grocery store.”

This has made LaSalle Medical Associates one of the top Latino-owned businesses in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Hispanic Lifestyle, as part of its 12th annual Lifestyle and Business Expo, recognized 40 Latino-owned businesses that earned at least $1 million in 2007.

Based on the magazine’s estimate that LaSalle Medical Associates had earned between $26 million and $32 million, it awarded the company the distinction of the 15th most successful Latino business in the Inland Empire. LaSalle Medical Associates was the only health care provider recognized at the event.

The top-performing business Hispanic Lifestyle magazine recognized was Mission Foods, a Rancho Cucamonga food manufacturer earning $1.3 billion in 2007. Grocery stores, auto dealers, general contractors, restaurant chains, commercial printers, manufacturers of various products and many other businesses also were honored.

“The overall earnings of the companies we recognized is more than $10 billion,” said Richard Sandoval, publisher of Hispanic Lifestyle magazine. “Still, here we are in 2008, and Latino companies are often not taken seriously. We wanted to bring them the recognition they deserve.”

LaSalle medical clinics are at 17577 Arrow Blvd. in Fontana, 1505 17th St. and 565 North Mount Vernon in San Bernardino and 16455 Main St. in Hesperia.

For an appointment or more information call LaSalle Medical Associates at (909) 890-0407.

Monday, August 4, 2008


(FRESNO, Calif.) Forty student delegates attended the Region Officer Training Conference of FHA-HERO at California State University Fresno July 28-31.

FHA-HERO is a career technical student organization for young men and women who are currently or have been enrolled in a Home Economics Careers and Technology program in middle school or high school. In California nearly three thousand students annually participate in region and state-level leadership and career development activities.

“The purpose of the conference is to assist FHA-HERO Region Officers from throughout the state develop leadership skills and gain knowledge about their organization,” said State President Emily Mastrolia, a student at Deer Valley High School in Antioch. “We participated in workshops that focus on topics such as speech writing, public relations, leadership development, parliamentary procedure and communication skills. In addition, the officers participated in team-building activities.”

The 40 student officers will provide leadership for the FHA-HERO members in their geographic area. Each of the students represents one of 10 areas in the state.

In addition to completing a variety of elected duties, the region officer team is also responsible for planning and conducting region-level activities for the coming school year. This includes competitions, planning community service projects and projects to increase membership at the chapter level.

The Home Economics Careers and Technology Education staff of the California Department of Education sponsors this training.

For more information, call Janice DeBenedetti at (916) 323-5025.

Participating students were from the following cities:

Altaville: Bridget Deaton

Angels Camp: Victoria Fout

Antioch: Emily Mastrolia, Kayla Douglas

Apple Valley: Trista Cowlishaw

Bay Point: Araceli Montoya

Bieber: Kristy Meade, Tierney Carmichael

Chino: Sarah Rosendahl

Chino Hills: Sonam Malhotra

Citrus Heights: Tabitha Kelly, Samantha Zechlin

Concord: Darryl Johnson, Vanessa Grado, Darlene Sanchez

Delano: Deana Alvarez, Mindy Morales, Irene Capiac, Miguel Rosales

Folsom: Christian Task

Kernville: Bethany Stanton

Lake Isabella: Kiki Frisch

Linden: Valerie Lee

Millbrae: Kimberly Hung, Amy Shinoki

North Hills: Milena Garrido

Oroville: Cody Nore, Avery Faulkner, Matthew Johnson

Palermo: Claudia Rodriguez

Rancho Cordova: Annamarie Hammerle

Rowland Heights: Josh Cruz

Turlock: Ariel Renteria, Mary Ortega, Betty Koltun, Karina Mendoza

Victorville: Candice Green, Aprille Garcia

Wilmington: Samantha Echeverria, Cindy Andrade, Paula Lim

Wofford Heights: Nicole Smith