Friday, January 29, 2010

Bicentennial Begins With The Legend of the Arrowhead

San Bernardino’s Historic California Theater will host “The Legend of the Arrowhead” on Feb. 18. This performance tells the history of San Bernardino in a theatrical musical written by former resident Heather McCluskey, and produced by the San Bernardino Economic Development Authority.

The Pink Ladies will appear in “The Legend of the Arrowhead” a play being produced by the San Bernardino Economic Development Authority, originally written by former San Bernardino resident Heather McCluskey. The performance takes place Feb. 18 at the California Theater.

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) The city of San Bernardino’s Bicentennial kicks off Thursday, February 18 at The California Theatre of the Performing Arts at 8 p.m. in downtown San Bernardino with “The Legend of the Arrowhead,” an original musical written by Heather McCluskey.

“The historical musical tells the story of a stage production in progress, as the director and producer of the show explain San Bernardino’s origins. The show highlights the lusty caballeros, the pioneer settlers, and the Arrowhead Springs Hotel,” said Lori Tillery.

“Travel back in time to see familiar faces come to life, Wyatt Earp, Lillian Russell and Dr. Martin Luther King. This fast paced, musical satire comedy speaks to anyone looking for a fun and enjoyable night at the theatre,” said Colin Strange.

Colin Strange and Lori Tillery are the executive producers of the event. They work for the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency, which is sponsoring the production on behalf of the Bicentennial Committee.

“The musical satire focuses on the mysterious arrowhead in the San Bernardino Mountains,” said Strange.

The historic California Theatre is a 1,718-seat auditorium built in 1928 as a vaudeville movie palace. Currently the theatre hosts a wide range of performance types including musicals, plays, symphonies, celebrity headliners, concerts, children’s theatre, ballet, recitals, fashion shows, corporate seminars, graduation exercises and naturalization ceremonies.

Ticket prices for The Legend of the Arrowhead are $18 per ticket at the door the night of the event or they can be purchased on

For more information on The Legend of the Arrowhead contact Lori Tillery at (909) 663-1044 or at

For more information on The California Theatre of Performing Arts visit their website at or call (909) 663-2293.

The Bicentennial festivities continue in March and April of 2010, when the city will conduct several beautification events and spearhead the planting of 200 trees.

On March 17, California State University at San Bernardino hosts the 23rd Annual Morrow-McCombs Memorial Lecture, which will explore “Can’t We All Get Along?” Bicentennial Committee Chairman Rabbi Hillel Cohn’s reflections on 200 years of the city’s religious life.

April 12 will take a look at “Indigenous Pre-Hispanic People of San Bernardino: at the university’s Pfau Library.

The following month is slated to be a busy one. On May 1, the San Bernardino Symphony will perform a “Celebrate America” concert at the California Theater in honor of the city’s birthday as well as for the centennial of the Community Hospital of San Bernardino.

More music will highlight May 7 and 8 with an adaptation of Mozart’s opera “Cossi Fan Tutte” at the university’s P.A. Recital Hall.

May 8 and 9, the celebration debuts Railroad Days at the San Bernardino History and Railroad Museum. “We’ll be bringing in steam locomotive # 3150,” Cohn says, “which actually used to serve the city.”

May 15th will launch a “countdown” celebration with an elaborate gala at the National Orange Show Events Center, with the 16th capped by a Bicentennial Mayor’s Run downtown and a Festival of Faiths at the Western Region Little League Stadium.

May 16 will also include a Youth Safety Expo at Arrowhead Credit Union Park.

There will be a Centennial Monument rededication as well as a Bicentennial Monument dedication on May 20 at Inland Center Drive and I Street.

The Bicentennial Parade will start at 7th and E Street, ending at Meadowbrook Park, on May 22. The theme focuses on San Bernardino from its 1810 beginning and looks toward its future. Rabbi Cohn points out, “A unique part of the parade will be the Mormon church entry with relics and costumes of the city’s earliest pioneers.”

June 17-18 will see another unique event when the city introduces the “San Bernardino’s Got Talent” competition at a location to be determined.

The Bicentennial festivities continue on July 4th at the 66ers Stadium in the Arrowhead Credit Union Park, the 4th of July Extravaganza with a fireworks display unlike any the city has previously seen.

The Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous and other events taking place throughout 2010 will also feature a Bicentennial theme, keeping the celebration alive throughout the year.

Sponsors of the Bicentennial Celebration, in addtittion to the City of San Bernardino are: San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Stater Brothers Market, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, Southern California Edison, Community Hospital of San Bernardino, Vanir Development, Matich Corporation, Erin Brinker and; Associates, Dameron Communications, San Bernardino Sunset Rotary and San Bernardino Economic Development Agency.

Rabbi Hillel Cohn is the chairman of the Bicentennial Celebration Committee, and Erin Brinker is the chair of its Public Relations & Marketing and Independence Day Extravaganza committees. Other Bicentennial Celebration Committee members are Jim Smith (chair of the Community Engagement committee), Cheryl Brown (chair of the Youth Council, Intergovernmental and Arts committees), Beverly Bird (chair of the Legend of the Arrowhead committee), Steven Shaw (chair of the History committee), David Smith (chair of the Finance committee), Jane Sneddon (chair of the Parade committee) and Martha Pinkney (chair of the Gala committee.)

The mayor and members of the San Bernardino Common Council appointed these members. Additional community volunteers who have taken on leadership of other committees are: Trudy Freidel (Festival of Faiths), Dr. William Coleman (Leadership Cabinet), Peggi Hazlett (Mayor’s Run), Dr. Charles “Skip” Herbert (Coloring Books for Schools) and The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire (Design).

For additional details, contact Erin Brinker at (951) 323-9337 or go to


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Southern California Black Business Expo Coming to Moreno Valley

Black Business Expo producer Jerry L. Green with University of California at Riverside Gary Kuzas.

 (MORENO VALLEY, Calif.) Business owners and those who are thinking about starting a business have an opportunity to network when the Southern California Black Business Expo comes to Moreno Valley on Saturday, March 20.

The Black Business Expo takes place at the Holiday Inn Express, 24630 Sunnymead Blvd, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Expo is also an opportunity for business owners to tell potential customers about their goods and services.

“Business owners will meet with consumers and other business people to tell them what they have to offer,” said Producer Jerry L. Green.

Admission is $15. To purchase tickets, or find out more about being an exhibitor, visit or call Green at (951) 313-1919.

About 30 to 35 Black-owned businesses, some of them nationally recognized companies, will take part. Previously, these business owners have come from as far as Washington D.C.

The Black Business Expo is a great opportunity for southern California businesses, Green said.

“We hold these events four times each year,” he said. “By participating, businesses will have a new way to continuously market that isn’t available at a traditional business expo held only once a year.”

Green encourages individuals who are looking for new job to attend, so they can learn if starting a business is for them.

“In these tough economic times, many people need to either go back to school or start their own business,” he said. “ At the Black Business Expo they will learn about business opportunities and see if running their own business is something they would like to do.”

Future Black Business Expos are already scheduled for June 26, 2010; Sept. 11, 2010: Dec. 11, 2010 and March 19, 2011.

Sponsors are The Black Business Resource and Networking Directory, PQ Enterprises, Sales Training, Westside Story Newspaper, The Black Voice News, Inland Empire Community Calendar and Cultural Events, Urban Lyfestyles, Jazz N Tee Golf Classic, I On God,Photography, Energy Tour CafĂ©.com,  the Inland Empire African American Chamber of Commerce and Dameron Communications.



Finding The Right Job: Four D College Offers An Answer

Linda Smith, president of Four-D College

(COLTON, Calif.) In California the unemployment rate is expected to surge, according to the UCLA Anderson Forecast, a highly respected gauge of what is happening statewide. 

The Anderson Forecast states while California is at a record of 12.3-percent unemployment rate, (and the Inland Empire hovers at just over 14 percent according to the California Employment Development Department) the rate will surge higher in the future.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are a number of career fields that will be hiring new workers in the next seven to ten years and a good share of those jobs are in the health care profession.  The lion’s share of those jobs are expected to go to people who have certificates of training. 

Four –D College provides the needed training and has a job placement program with a good success rate for placing people after they have finished their training.

Jessica Hsu, Career Development Representative at the Colton campus explained that each student is provided lifetime job placement service. The Colton school has an 82 percent job placement success rate, she said, and there is a 75 percent placement success rate in Victorville.

One student who graduated from Four-D College and found a rewarding career as a Licensed Vocational Nurse is Juliet Bodden.  She explained that the placement department did a great job in helping her to obtain just the right job in the healthcare field as a licensed vocational nurse.

“Four-D College Career Placement Advisor Patricia Salgado helped me to put together a resume and then continued to submit my resume even after I was working until I found the job I have now,” Bodden said.

Four-D College worked quickly after Bodden graduated to get her into the right job, “I graduated in June then in July I got my license and within a week and a half I got the job I have now.”

Bodden explained Four-D College helped her to realize her dream as a health care professional.  “I was in a job working for a distribution center, I hated; it was misery.  After graduation from high school I thought about being a nurse and sort of threw it out the window My husband encouraged me to pursue it, and so I did.”

The experience Bodden had with Four-D College was so positive she has recommended the school to her friends.  “The job placement service is great; they offered everything I needed.  They are there to help and they mentored me through the whole process and made it so easy all I had to do was show up.”

Four-D College is dedicated to helping people enter a rewarding career, one that is recession proof because there is always a need for good health care professionals.  Four-D College offers training in the health care field, where people who enjoy working with others, possess a caring attitude and desire to be a healthcare professional can find a rewarding career.

Four-D has two campuses in the Inland Empire devoted to helping people obtain the training necessary.  There is a campus in Colton and one in Victorville. 

The college was started in 1992 as a place to prepare students to become highly marketable health care professionals.  The San Bernardino Employment and Training Agencies (SBETA) and the San Bernardino Private Industry Council have named the school the Outstanding School of the Year.

Providing assistance to find a job as a health care professional is something that Four-D College does with great success.

 “We help the student develop their resume and cover letter, and we assist with helping a proactive student to find a job,” Hsu said. Anytime a graduate wants to come back to Four-D College we will provide them job help.  We do a job search package with each student.”

President of the College Linda L. Smith explained that Four-D College is committed to preparing students to meet the challenges in the health care field through a program that is carefully designed around specific objectives that must be met to have a qualified graduate.  “The lesson plans the faculty use in the classroom consider the job market and what the needs are of the employer,” Smith said.

A specially designed advisory board consisting of employers in the field holds regular meetings with the faculty where a thorough review of the onsite curriculum is done.

  “Our goal is to determine whether the trends happening in an individual’s specific employment field is up to date, and whether the tools and equipment we are using is the latest technology to ensure that students are receiving the best training,” Smith said.

Students who attend Four-D College can choose several different health care professions.  Education programs are conducted in dental assistant, medical assistant, medical billing/coding, massage therapy, pharmacy technician and vocational nursing.

Flexibility is also part of the training as students can take morning, afternoon or evening classes and courses can be completed from between nine months and 18 months, depending on the area of study pursued. 

Smith said, “The education received is a holistic approach where the individual gets outside training in the community.  They receive hands on training in the field outside the classroom in their field of study.”

“Four-D is different as a private Christian school. We deal with the academic in a holistic sense the mind, body and spirit,” Smith said.  “We pray for the students to be successful and that they can overcome the challenges which interfere with their education.”  The college begins each day and ends each day with prayer.

Four-D College has a preschool program for 2 to 5 year olds, which is also open to the public. 

For students who qualify financial aid is available.  For those who did not complete high school a General Equivalency Diploma (GED) program approved by the state is also available. 

San Bernardino County Schools Superintendent Dr Gary Thomas acknowledged the GED program because of its interactive model for students.  “We put together a program that provides a mentor for students getting their GED, so they can be successful, and we have a 95-percent passing rate,” Smith said.

The only requirements students are asked to bring with them to Four-D College is a strong desire to achieve, a determination to follow through the process, a drive to an energy level needed to                                                             
maintain consistent efforts to accomplish the program, and the ability to deliver the desired goals for success.  President Smith explained that when a student brings those qualities to their training it’s a win-win for everybody.

Four-D College provides education in the growing health care field at locations in Colton and Victorville. It offers programs in medical assistant, medical billing and coding, dental assistant, massage therapy, pharmacy technician and vocational nursing.

New courses begin monthly at Four-D College and courses are offered in the morning, afternoon and evening. Call (909) 783-9331 or (760) 962-1325 for more information or go to


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Deborah Robertson Helps Rialto Get Discount Prescriptions

Riverside Mayor and National League of Cities Chairman Ron Loveridge and Rialto Council Member Deborah Robertson, with samples of the  prescription discount cards available to residents of both their cities and several others in southern California. The cities offer the discounts through a program of the National League of Cities. Photo by Carl Dameron

(RIALTO, Calif.)  The City of Rialto is offering its residents a free card that provides savings of up to 20 percent on prescription drugs purchased at CVS and other major pharmacies.

“One card serves an entire family,” said Council Member Deborah Robertson.  “They will save up to 20 percent on any medications any family member needs, some of which cost as much as $2000 a month.”

Robertson noted that sometimes, prescriptions help people prevent onset of a serious health problem. This card is part of a program the city has called “Healthy Rialto,” which is committed to giving city residents the tools they need to stay healthy.

“Prevention is so important to having a healthy city,” Robertson said. “It’s more than treating illness in the hospital; it’s also working to prevent illness from happening.”

Rialto offers this card through a program of the National League of Cities, which the league created with help from CVS Pharmacy. It is for families and individuals who do not have insurance providing prescription drug coverage.

In Rialto, the card is available at the Rialto Civic Center, 150 S. Palm Ave., and the Rialto Chamber of Commerce, 120 N. Riverside Ave.

Rialto residents may also call Rialto’s Human Resources Department at (909) 820-2540 and ask for Betty for more information.

Another Inland Empire city offering the program is Riverside, whose Mayor Ron Loveridge serves as the current chairman of the National League of Cities. Robertson worked with him to bring the program to Rialto.

“I really compliment Deborah Robertson for seeing and seizing this opportunity to serve the citizens of Rialto,” Loveridge said.

In Rialto, the card is accepted at CVS, Walgreen’s, Wal-Mart, Rite-Aid, Foothill Pharmacy, Rialto Vista Pharmacy, ABC Pharmacy and North Rialto Drugs.

Besides Riverside and Rialto, the National League of Cities website identifies other Inland Empire cities offering the program as Cathedral City and Murrieta in Riverside County and Fontana and Grand Terrace in San Bernardino County.

In Los Angeles County, it identifies the cities of Baldwin Park, Bellflower, Claremont, Culver City, Duarte, Lynwood, Rosemead, South El Monte and West Hollywood as offering the program.

Residents of these cities should contact their City Hall for more information.

“Prescription drugs cost a lot of money,” Robertson said. “If a family spends $100 on prescription drugs then they could save $20.  That could be spent on the electric bill, gas bill or other bills.”

“Across the country cities that have been involved with this program have seen the savings and they are very appreciative,” Mayor Loveridge said.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Rehabilitation Begins In February at 19th & Sunrise

The blue areas on this map show where rehabilitation work begins in February.

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.)  San Bernardino contactor Chris Marshall will begin rehabilitation in February on two 19th Street multi-family units recently acquired by the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency. 

The units, in what is known as the 19th and Sunrise area, are part of a larger project the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency has undertaken to reduce blight in the area.
"The 19th and Sunrise area has a history of police and code enforcement involvement and which has brought down the value of the surrounding community," said Emil Marzullo, interim executive director of the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency. “This project we are about to embark on will create attractive and affordable housing options, which will be a plus for all of San Bernardino.”
The two four-plexes soon to be rehabilitated will have newly remodeled kitchens and bathrooms, new carpeting and doors, new roofs, windows, decks and lawns. Walls, electrical fixtures, heating and air conditioning units and fireplaces will be repaired and brought up to current building codes.
On the outside, covered parking areas, laundry rooms, stucco, sidewalks and second floor walkways will be repaired.
The Economic Development Agency is in the process of buying 61 multi-family four-plexes at 19th and Sunrise, which currently contain 244 apartment units. Of these, 36 of the apartment buildings will be demolished, while 25 buildings containing 100 apartments will be rehabilitated.
When the agency’s project is complete, it will contain 100 newly refurbished apartments, which will be rented out by Mary Erickson Community Housing. On the land where the apartments targeted for demolition now stand, the Economic Development Agency plans to build single-family homes and new apartments designed for senior citizens.
Mary Erickson Community Housing is a non-profit agency specializing in housing, with greater capacity than the City of San Bernardino Economic Development Agency for acquiring, rehabilitating and professionally managing apartments for low to moderate-income families.

Agency staff has determined the best method for acquiring, rehabilitating and operating apartments for rent would be through a qualified non-profit housing developer that could perform all of these functions on the agency’s behalf. The agency selected Mary Erickson Community Housing through a competitive application process.

Mary Erickson Community Housing was founded in 1991. Its namesake was a retired schoolteacher who was devoted to the principals of community participation and well being. The company established its first affordable housing complex in San Clemente and has since grown to include multiple properties serving hundreds of diverse, hard working, low income families in Southern California including: Moreno Valley, Corona, Loma Linda, Riverside and now San Bernardino.

When complete the 19th Street and Sunrise area will have:
  • 100 units of rental apartments for families of four that make up to $53,300 a year.
  • 40 – 55 single family homes for sale to families of four who make up to $77,400 a year.
  • 65 units of senior apartments for rent to households that make up to $42,650 a year for a family of two.
Preventing future multiple owners
A major problem with the area is that it has changed owners several times over the years. When it was built there was one owner of the 61 multifamily four-plexes. “The owner had the resources to maintain the properties in good condition, rent to good people and evict those who were not," said Marzullo.
“About 20 years ago that company sold the multiplexes and now we have many different owners with many different standards for renting,” he added. “Some have no regard for their properties and have allowed them to decline into unlivable conditions. A number of the properties are rented to people who cannot rent anywhere else.  Some are forced to pay first class rents of $1,200 or more a month for very poor quality housing.
To make sure the rental apartments can never be sold to multiple owners and create unsafe and unregulated conditions again, when SBEDA completes its purchase of the area, it will change the deeds to convert them into two large individual parcels.
• 15 separate apartment complexes on the north side of 19th Street will become one complete parcel.
• 10 fourplexes on the south side of Sunrise Lane will become one complete parcel.

Current and Future Residents
Current residents will be asked to apply to live in the newly renovated apartments. Mary Erickson Community Housing will have active on-site management, new rental agreements and new rules designed to keep the neighborhood safe and attractive.

Mary Erickson Community Housing also provides life skills education to help all residents gain skills to better manage their families and finances.

For its investment with Mary Erickson Community Housing for the apartments, the agency will receive half (50 percent) of any “surplus cash flow” after all operating expenses and debt service payments have been made on each property acquired, rehabilitated and placed into service by Mary Erickson Community Housing.

For more information on this project call the City of San Bernardino Economic Development Agency at (909) 963-5020 and ask for Sam Hughes.