Category Archives: Education

Watkins Dr Trash No Match For UCR Students

In a massive show of force, UCR students scoured hillsides and arroyos to collect a trailer load of trash. Over seventy five participants from numerous fraternities.collaborated with the University Neighborhood and Friends Of Riverside’s Hills to reinvigorate Watkins Drive, Gateway to the University Neighborhood.

The morning’s haul included a well used triple recliner couch minus remote, nine tires, a bumper with plate plus thirty five bags of assorted trash. These guys climbed hills and scampered down into arroyos to retrieve the bounty.

In a straw poll at the end, students indicated an interest in a potential collaboration to help build the new C Trail in the Box Springs Mountains. It seems like a perfect legacy project for students, alumnae association and the UCR Foundation.

This batch of trash can be appreciated for a short time only. City crews will find this easily accessible at this location.

A second pile of bags of green waste and assorted construction debris is at the top of Watkins Drive at Gernert Rd. It’s up the hill.

Thanks to Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful for the tools, gloves and safety vests. There weren’t close to enough, but some of these guys worked bare handed.

Bags of green waste and assorted trash.
Bags of green waste and assorted trash.

Thanks again to Starbuck’s Canyon Crest, and Friends Of Riverside’s Hills.for the donuts.

The area is transformed because of your generosity and support.  

Watkins Dr Clean Up Nov 21 2015 (4)
Seventy five UCR Inter Fraternity Students Make A Big Trash Haul with Friends Of Riverside’s Hills and the University Neighborhood Assn.
UCR Students Picking Up Trash On Watkins Drive
UCR Students working the weeds along Watkins Drive, Gateway to the University Neighborhood
Trash Trailer
A Trailer of Trash for the Friends Of Riverside’s Hills Adopt A Street – Watkins Drive
Watkins Dr Clean Up Nov 21 2015 (2)
UCR Inter- Fraternity Council President Wade Harris and Treasurer Ben Davis and Friends Of Riverside’s Hills Kevin Dawson discussing what we can accomplish together next. Maybe a legacy project rebuilding the C Trail?

Watkins Drive November Clean Up

Watkins Dr Trash Pick Up Join us Saturday, November 21st at 10 a.m.  Meet up just South of the the corner of Piccacho and Watkins Dr. 

Coffee courtesy of Starbuck’s Canyon Crest, pastries courtesy of the Friends Of Riverside’s Hills.

Student volunteers courtesy of UCR’s fraternities and sororities.

Climbing hills and arroyos to scour trash is what makes this sherpa country so wear sturdy shoes..Gloves, safety vests, tools and waivers will be provided and required.

For questions or more information, call 951-640-3868.


Stem Academy Traffic Plan Update

Stem Academy MapThe Press Enterprise recently ran with the headline: Stem Academy Traffic Irks Neighbors. While quite true, University Neighborhood residents are well aware of the long history of impacts to the community from education.

While most of us relish the benefits from high quality educational resources, we are all too familiar with unintended consequences and negative impacts. Fortunately, having lots of practice working collaboratively, a small group of neighbors has been meeting with stakeholders to come up with a plan that brings some resolution and relief. Here’s a brief summary:

At Dr. Kirk Lewis’ request, a small group of local Mt. Vernon/Watkins residents met with the RUSD staff and Riverside Traffic engineers on Monday night, August 10th.  Our City Ward Representative Andy Melendrez was also at the meeting.  The STEM Academy PTSA president was present.

A recap of Monday’s agenda:

New Student Drop Off Pick Up Area Signs STEM Academy

  1. Activities to date: Parking lot done, lights going in, portables 1 is in place and waiting for a second one to arrive 3 weeks after school starts.
  1. Future of RSA, they are still talking about moving the 9-12 kids to another location. UCR is still being discussed. Interestingly though, when we asked again about the 5-8 grades increasing in size to fill in the loss of the HS students and accomplish a 700 student cap that Mr. Hansen had told us to expect, the Board member present knew nothing about a 700 student cap! This may be good news for us as we continue to pressure them to keep the student population down closer to the 350 the school was originally intended to house.
  1. Presentation of a DRAFT traffic mitigation plan: Traffic engineers presented three plans. (feel free to come see them or wait for the next meeting for a finalized map)  The City’s proposal was to have traffic from the West come to the school up Mt. Vernon from Big Springs Rd, Barret Rd., and Broadbend Dr.  The proposal also includes posting no Parking Signs and Directional signs.  There would be No Left Turn sign upon exit of the school from 7:30 am to 8:00 am and 2:30 to 3:00 pmMonday thru Friday, directing the traffic during school opening and dismissal back down Mt. Vernon to these same 3 access points.  There would be no left turns on to Mt. Vernon East bound on Watkins for traffic from 7:30 am to 8:30 am and 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm Monday thru Friday.

City Representative Melendrez suggested we watch the suggestions in action for a month, and then reconvene to discuss the results.

  1. Bussing: Two options were proposed. Cluster bussing from several riverside areas and shuttle bussing from either Goodwin’s or the Newman Center parking lots.

The earliest date of busing would be January, 2016.

  1. Potential staggered beginning and dismissal times

They took our input and suggestions back and will finalize a traffic plan soon. I believe Mr. Lewis wants to meet on a larger scale at the next neighborhood community meeting. That date is September 10th at the church.

William Woodring, Kevin Tippets, Suzette & Herb Chavers, Gurumantra Khalsa, and myself have actual printed documents and maps from this meeting.  William, Kevin, and myself would be happy to share with anyone who wishes to see them. Just let us know.

Notes Sent on Behalf of Mary Simons

FREE Arts & Sports Day Camp July 20-23

Elementary Day Camp FlyerIf you know some families who would enjoy a free Arts & Sports Day Camp, it’s happening  July 20-23 at Crest Community Church.
It’s a way to bless parents (free childcare), and give our youngest neighbors some fun activities to participate in.  Parents can drop their children off at 9am, and pick them back up at 11:30am here at Crest Community Church.
Would you mind passing this along to any families you know who could be interested?
For Questions or More Information, contact David McClannahan (the program coordinator) at (720) 318-1964,
or John Dixon .(303) 881-8910.

You can download the flyer or forward the link along as well.

Blessings to you,

John Dixon

Crest Community Church

Vote To Support Children’s Environmental Education

Your quick VOTE will help us acquire a possible $30,000 grant from
Harrah’s Resort Southern California  to support our children’s environmental education. .
We are one of only 20 non-profits selected by Harrah’s Corporate in the Southern California area to participate in their All-in 4 Change community grant program.
They are looking for community support and your votes will constitute 50% of the      deciding factor.  The decision deadline is July 13th.       

Look for the graphic pictured here and vote!

We ask you to please forward this email to as many people has you can asking them to vote.  We need leveraged and layers of emails to move us to the number one spot. (You’ll notice they listed Santa Rosa Conservancy….that’s us.)

 Thank you!

Harrah’s Resort Southern California is contributing to non-profit organizations in Southern California that make our community a vibrant area to live and work.  They will provide $5,000, $15,000, $30,000 grants, for a total of $50,000, to three lucky non-profits. 

Will you help us to the #1 spot with the most votes…. demonstrating to Harrah’s Corporate the importance of children’s environmmental education????

Robert Reich Coming To UCR This Week For Film and Dialogue

Robert Reich

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, who is widely regarded as a leading expert on inequality, work and the economy, will speak at UC Riverside on Tuesday, Feb. 10, as part of the School of Public Policy Seminar Series.

“An Evening with Robert Reich” will begin at 4:30 p.m. with refreshments on the University Theatre patio. The documentary film “Inequality for All,” which examines widening income inequality in the United States, will screen in the theater from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Reich, who narrates the film, will answer questions about themes addressed in the documentary from 7 to 7:30 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested as seating is limited. Free parking will be available in Lot 6. RSVP online or by contacting Mark Manalang at (951) 827-5656 or

Reich is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley and senior fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as labor secretary in the Clinton administration, and was named one of the 10 most effective Cabinet secretaries of the 20th century by Time Magazine.

He is the author of numerous books, including best sellers “Aftershock” and “The Work of Nations,” and “Beyond Outrage: What has gone wrong with our economy and our democracy and how to fix it.” He is a founding editor of American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, and a political commentator on programs such as “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” and “Marketplace.”

“Inequality for All” premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, where it won a U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Achievement in Filmmaking. Directed by Jacob Kornbluth, the film examines widening income inequality and the effect of the growing gap on the U.S. economy and American democracy.


Tel: (951) 827-7847
Twitter: bettyemiller


Mark Manalang
Tel: (951) 827-5656

Invitation To Upcoming UCR Future Campus Visioning Workshops

UCR Future Campus Visioning Workships

We are looking forward to your personal participation in one or both of the upcoming UCR Future Campus Visioning Workshops on February 24th. Many of you already have let us know you plan to attend, and we appreciate that early commitment and show of support.

The response already has been fantastic!!  To facilitate an accurate count and to gather additional information, such as each participant’s meal selection and affiliation, we ask that you use the centralized reservation system accessible through the RSVP links below, or on our newly-launched Study website.

Please RSVP as soon as possible, preferably by Wednesday, February 11th. We also encourage you to share the attached flyer with anyone you believe would be interested to participate, and ask them to RSVP as soon as possible.  Questions may be sent to our Study email address at planning@ucr.eduI look forward to seeing you on the 24th!

To help UCR fulfill its promise as a vibrant, diverse institution of great distinction, the Campus Physical Master Plan Team invites you to attend one of two UCR Future Campus Visioning Workshops.Join UCR students, colleagues, friends, and neighbors for a unique opportunity to shape the vision and future of our physical campus. Make your voice heard on a wide variety of issues, including architecture, design, open spaces, sustainability, traffic, transportation, parking, signage, amenities, landscaping, safety, way-finding, walkability and much more. Through this fun and interactive session, share your ideas, opinions, concerns and suggestions for making UCR an even friendlier, safer and more inspiring place to live, learn, work and play.TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2015


12:30–2:30 p.m.
(doors open at 12:15 p.m.)
Winston Chung Hall 205/206

Lunch and free 3-hour parking included for those who register

Check in at University Kiosk for parking permit (West Campus Drive, near Lot 1)

RSVP here and additional info:


5:30–7:30 p.m.
(doors open at 5:15 p.m.)
University Extension, Rooms A & B
1200 University Avenue, Riverside

Dinner and free 3-hour parking included for those who register

RSVP here and additional info: