Category Archives: Environment

Mt. Vernon Median Make Over Phase 1

Love Riverside 2018 brings another instant green space in the neighborhood.

University Neighborhood gardeners are not deterred by a little rain. They’ve been know to exclaim, “hell yes, let’s plant something!”

So we did. Thanks to all the volunteers who proved once again, many hands make short work.

Here’s Before:

Here’s After. Check it out.

Love Riverside 2018 Project

Save the Date. Love Riverside Day of service will be Saturday, October 13, 2018.

This year’s project is greenscaping the Metrolink fence on Mt. Vernon Ave. We have some yucca, firesticks and agave to plant. Guerilla Gardeners welcome.

Bring a shovel, water, gloves and wear shoes.  Park on Linden St.

https://goo.gl/maps/t68MUKEBKbB2

You can register for this project here:  https://www.loveriverside.org/communityservice

Noise Technology Monitor For Local Ordinances

Noise Aware Monitoring System

Just when you’re  becoming resigned and cynical that nothing can be done to monitor and perhaps moderate neighborhood noise disturbances, NoiseAware may have a solution. Born from experience from both sides of noise complaints, this smart home app is ideal for property owners and managers to better monitor their assets.

It’s also a helpful tool for renters wary of violating local noise ordinances. You can now self-monitor to avoid those nasty and unnecessary fines.

Sounds like a useful tool to consider. For more information visit: https://noiseaware.io/buy/noise-monitoring-system

 

Earth Day 2018 Watkins Dr Trash Clean Up

Thanks to the army of UCR student volunteers and neighbors that made our Earth Day efforts a huge success.

The Interfraternity Council  (IFC) helped recruit and organize students with an appreciation for place and willingness to contribute some sweat equity to the neighborhood.

Early arrivals getting caffeinated.

 

Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful supplied the tools, bags, gloves and safety vests.

 

 

Thanks to Jimmy Rodriguez from Riverside Public Works who loaned us a “Road Work Ahead” sign to help slow traffic on Watkins.

Thanks to Jimmy Rodriguez from Riverside Public Works for the safety sign to slow Watkins Dr traffic.

 

And last but perhaps most important, thanks to Jamie from Starbucks at UCR’s Glenmoor Market for providing some highly caffeinated fuel to get us started for the day.

UCR sherpa going the distance to clean up the hillsides

 

We filled over 50 trash bags including 4 Brown cans we had to borrow from neighbors because we ran out of bags.

Trailer load of trash

We pulled out 7 tires, 3 mattress and box springs, a car bumper, one refrigerator and a small mountain of dumped construction demo wood and one needle.

Long shot of a long morning’s work. Plus 4 borrowed brown cans. We were short bags.

 

Hats off to the student sherpas who climbed the hills and navigated the arroyos to recover the  illegal dumping and massive amounts of trash tossed from car windows.

Illegal Dumping

 

7 tires, construction demo, refrigerator and more

 

Sometimes it takes more than a village.

We could name all the establishments who probably don’t realize their good name is being literally trashed, but that’s for another time.

A herculean effort by UCR students and neighbors.

Right now, we’re all beat, happy and proud of the community spirit behind making the University Neighborhood the neighborhood of our dreams.

UNA Parks Master Plan Survey

Drown Proofing ClinicHere’s access to the parks survey and some talking points for park enhancements for our neighborhood parks. Please add any other ideas you may have.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease. So let’s make our will known.

University Neighborhood Parks Master Plan Talking Points

Establish Islander Park as a Regional Park

Reconnect trail access from Islander Park to County Parklands

Build trailhead amenities at Islander Park – parking, trash etc.

Increase Islander Park Pool Operations Hours

Build Dog Park at Mt Vernon Park

Install parkour equipment at Highland Park

 Complete Survey

https://riversideca.gov/park_rec/planning-projects/parks-master-plan-vision-2030

Phone:
951-826-2000 Email address:parks@riversideca.gov

Love Riverside UNA Valencia Hills Dr Median Make Over

 We’re planning to add a few cactus and some drought tolerant plants to this forgotten focal point.

A morning make-over. Looking for a few volunteers.

We can use a few with shovels, and a pick up would make quick work of transporting  plant starts.

Start the day at Sherman Indian School, have some coffee and rolls.

Photos and off to an morning make-over.

Contact Gurumantra 951-640-3868

Here’s the project page link for more details:

https://loveriverside.vnexttech.com/communityservice/projectdetails/59d3fe8876a4a2a91cb5aa3a

 

Big Year For Center For Community Action and Environmental Justice

What a year! Just when you start to think you can’t make a difference . . .

CCAEJ Recognized for its 38-Year Legacy of Work
Group Travels to San Francisco for Awards Ceremony

Members of the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice traveled to San Francisco on Friday, November 11th to receive an award from the Planning and Conservation League (PCL).  CCAEJ was recognized for its 38-year legacy of work in environmental justice culminating this year with the passage of a CCAEJ sponsored bill, SB 1000, authored by Senator Connie Leyva.  SB 1000 mandates that all cities and counties include an Environmental Justice Element in their General Plans.

CCAEJ Recognized for its 38-Year Legacy of Work Group Travels to San Francisco for Awards Ceremony
CCAEJ Staff and Board: Front left: Gwen D’Archangelis, Brinda Sarathy, Graciela Larios, Maggie Hawkins. Back left: Liz Lopez, Bronwyn Leebaw, Penny Newman. Teresa Flores-Lopez, Cindy Newman, Hakan Jackson, Jean Kayano, Piya Chatterjee, Ericka Flores, Juliann Anderson, and Jade Sunara Sasser. Missing are Michele Hasson, Esther Portillo, Josephine Young, Wendy Eads, Heidi Millard, Nanette Pratin

“This bill provides an institutional mechanism for cities to identify the disadvantaged neighborhoods within their boundaries and develop a plan to reduce the heavy pollution burdens, and address the economic, social and services inequities that have long existed in these low income and communities of color”, said Penny Newman, founder and Executive Director of CCAEJ.  SB 1000 is seen as a major environmental justice bill that will institutionalize a process for addressing disadvantaged communities in California.

PCL celebrated its first 50 years as a force in achieving some of the most significant environmental successes in California – including the California Environmental Quality Act (1970), Coastal Act (1972), Wild Rivers (1973), Rail Bond Act (1990), and Tejon Ranch (2008).
The event was held at the City Club of San Francisco and be emceed by radio talk show host Bill Press, first full-time Executive Director of PCL.  The 50th Gala Celebration will honor environmental heroes of the last 50 years.
CCAEJ was joined in being honored with other “environmental heroes” such as,  Fran Pavley, Senator – 27th California State Senate District; Byron Sher, California State Senator – Retired; Mary Nichols, Chair of California Air Resources Board; and, our statewide alliance -California Environmental Justice Alliance.

 

SB 1000 wasn’t the only legislative success we saw this year.  In all we passed six bills into law.

  • SB 1000 (Levya) Planning for Healthy Communities Act
  • AB 2722 (Burke and Arambula) Transformative Climate Communities
  • SB 32 (Pavley) 2030 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets
  • AB 197 (E. Garcia) Equity & Transparency in Climate Act
  • AB 1550 (Gomez) Increased Climate Investments
  • AB 1937 (Gomez) EJ in Power Plant Siting

 

Passing bills is one thing – implementing them is another.  With the passage of AB 2722 $140 Million were allocated to go to disadvantaged communities around the state.  $70 Million off the top is allocated to the City of Fresno and $35 Million to the City of Los Angeles with another $35 Million to go to a third region.  CCAEJ has pulled together a coalition of organizations and agencies to advocate that the IE be that third region.  We traveled to Fresno for one of the first hearings and presented a sampling of projects that demonstrate a report outlining a comprehensive approach to transforming disadvantaged communities.

In our local communities we made significant progress as well.

 

We continue to stand with Moreno Valley residents to fight the world’s largest planned industrial warehouse complex – World Logistics Center.  This proposed project covering more than 700 football fields of warehousing, will be the largest single source of greenhouse gases in California and would add 14,000 additional trucks daily to local freeways already at a standstill.  While other agencies have backtracked and settled, CCAEJ continues to fight in court to stop this ill-conceived project.

 

We joined with local residents near the Ag Park contaminated site to force confirmation testing and a new cleanup at the site.  The Ag Park is 63 acres of land contaminated by PCB s upon which the City of Riverside and the developer planned to build homes.  Sitting on the edge of the Santa Ana River (the drinking water source for Orange County) the Department of Toxics Substances Control deemed the site “cleaned” under a voluntary cleanup plan.  The confirmation testing we forced found that the site still had high levels of PCBs throughout the site. Without CCAEJs stepping in, new residents would be living in homes built on contaminated land right now.  We are still fighting to get the site addressed properly and nearby homes testing for contaminates that might have blown into their yards and homes. CCAEJ has been working with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to investigate the health issues surrounding this site.

 

 

In finding that the Water Board was not enforcing storm water run-off violations, CCAEJ stepped forward to file citizen suits under the Clean Water Act.  We worked with the facilities to bring them into compliance through settlements.  To date we have brought more than 30 facilities into compliance and will be monitoring their compliance over the next 3-5 years. In addition we have brought settlement funds back to the local communities to address impacts to the Santa Ana Watershed.

 

CCAEJ has started a Boards and Commissions Training to provide information and develop skills for local residents to join local boards and commissions and bring the lived experience and perspective of our communities into decision making. Application are now being accepted for the January class.

 

CCAEJ joined with the People’s Senate – local communities living near contaminated sites – to address and reform the Department of Toxic Substances Control. On the heels of the Exide tragedy, and dozens of other sites where residents have faced inaction by DTSC placing their lives at risk, we joined with allies to legislatively create an Independent Review Panel to investigate and present recommendations to the legislature on how to restructure and reform the agency. CCAEJ and communities around the state have provided testimony and examples of failure by the department.  So far, the recommendations have been close to what the communities have suggested.

CCAEJ is working to bring State Funds to the Inland Valleys.  We traveled with representatives of the County of San Bernardino to a hearing before the Strategic Growth Council to advocate for funding from the Transformative Climate Communities program, created by our bill AB 2722, for the Inland Valleys. We presented a reportoutlining the needs of the region and three potential projects that could be funded.

We advanced our civic engagement work.  Working with Next Gen Climate, CCAEJ combined our voter registration efforts with allied groups to register more than 1 million new voters!  We also join with our partners in the Inland Empowerment collaborations to reach more than 26,000  voters in our combined Get Out the Vote effort.

We are proud of the work completed in 2016 and look forward to advancing our programs and successes in the new year.  From all of us at CCAEJ we wish you and your family a very Happy, and Healthy Holiday Season and a Sane, Safe and Peaceful New Year.

 

Penny Newman and CCAEJ

 

 

 

Penny Newman

Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice

Centro de Acción Comunitaria y Justicia Ambiental

PO Box 33124

Jurupa Valley, CA 92519

951-360-8451

www.ccaej.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

CCAEJ Staff and Board:

Front left: Gwen D’Archangelis, Brinda Sarathy, Graciela Larios, Maggie Hawkins.
Back left: Liz Lopez, Bronwyn Leebaw, Penny Newman. Teresa Flores-Lopez, Cindy Newman, Hakan Jackson, Jean Kayano, Piya Chatterjee, Ericka Flores, Juliann Anderson, and Jade Sunara Sasser. Missing are Michele Hasson, Esther Portillo, Josephine Young, Wendy Eads, Heidi Millard, Nanette Pratin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CCAEJ Recognized for its 38-Year Legacy of Work
Group Travels to San Francisco for Awards Ceremony

Members of the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice traveled to San Francisco on Friday, November 11th to receive an award from the Planning and Conservation League (PCL).  CCAEJ was recognized for its 38-year legacy of work in environmental justice culminating this year with the passage of a CCAEJ sponsored bill, SB 1000, authored by Senator Connie Leyva.  SB 1000 mandates that all cities and counties include an Environmental Justice Element in their General Plans.

“This bill provides an institutional mechanism for cities to identify the disadvantaged neighborhoods within their boundaries and develop a plan to reduce the heavy pollution burdens, and address the economic, social and services inequities that have long existed in these low income and communities of color”, said Penny Newman, founder and Executive Director of CCAEJ.  SB 1000 is seen as a major environmental justice bill that will institutionalize a process for addressing disadvantaged communities in California.

PCL celebrated its first 50 years as a force in achieving some of the most significant environmental successes in California – including the California Environmental Quality Act (1970), Coastal Act (1972), Wild Rivers (1973), Rail Bond Act (1990), and Tejon Ranch (2008).
The event was held at the City Club of San Francisco and be emceed by radio talk show host Bill Press, first full-time Executive Director of PCL.  The 50th Gala Celebration will honor environmental heroes of the last 50 years.
CCAEJ was joined in being honored with other “environmental heroes” such as,  Fran Pavley, Senator – 27th California State Senate District; Byron Sher, California State Senator – Retired; Mary Nichols, Chair of California Air Resources Board; and, our statewide alliance -California Environmental Justice Alliance.

 

SB 1000 wasn’t the only legislative success we saw this year.  In all we passed six bills into law.

  • SB 1000 (Levya) Planning for Healthy Communities Act
  • AB 2722 (Burke and Arambula) Transformative Climate Communities
  • SB 32 (Pavley) 2030 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets
  • AB 197 (E. Garcia) Equity & Transparency in Climate Act
  • AB 1550 (Gomez) Increased Climate Investments
  • AB 1937 (Gomez) EJ in Power Plant Siting

 

Passing bills is one thing – implementing them is another.  With the passage of AB 2722 $140 Million were allocated to go to disadvantaged communities around the state.  $70 Million off the top is allocated to the City of Fresno and $35 Million to the City of Los Angeles with another $35 Million to go to a third region.  CCAEJ has pulled together a coalition of organizations and agencies to advocate that the IE be that third region.  We traveled to Fresno for one of the first hearings and presented a sampling of projects that demonstrate a report outlining a comprehensive approach to transforming disadvantaged communities.

In our local communities we made significant progress as well.

 

We continue to stand with Moreno Valley residents to fight the world’s largest planned industrial warehouse complex – World Logistics Center.  This proposed project covering more than 700 football fields of warehousing, will be the largest single source of greenhouse gases in California and would add 14,000 additional trucks daily to local freeways already at a standstill.  While other agencies have backtracked and settled, CCAEJ continues to fight in court to stop this ill-conceived project.

 

We joined with local residents near the Ag Park contaminated site to force confirmation testing and a new cleanup at the site.  The Ag Park is 63 acres of land contaminated by PCB s upon which the City of Riverside and the developer planned to build homes.  Sitting on the edge of the Santa Ana River (the drinking water source for Orange County) the Department of Toxics Substances Control deemed the site “cleaned” under a voluntary cleanup plan.  The confirmation testing we forced found that the site still had high levels of PCBs throughout the site. Without CCAEJs stepping in, new residents would be living in homes built on contaminated land right now.  We are still fighting to get the site addressed properly and nearby homes testing for contaminates that might have blown into their yards and homes. CCAEJ has been working with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to investigate the health issues surrounding this site.

 

 

In finding that the Water Board was not enforcing storm water run-off violations, CCAEJ stepped forward to file citizen suits under the Clean Water Act.  We worked with the facilities to bring them into compliance through settlements.  To date we have brought more than 30 facilities into compliance and will be monitoring their compliance over the next 3-5 years. In addition we have brought settlement funds back to the local communities to address impacts to the Santa Ana Watershed.

 

CCAEJ has started a Boards and Commissions Training to provide information and develop skills for local residents to join local boards and commissions and bring the lived experience and perspective of our communities into decision making. Application are now being accepted for the January class.

 

CCAEJ joined with the People’s Senate – local communities living near contaminated sites – to address and reform the Department of Toxic Substances Control. On the heels of the Exide tragedy, and dozens of other sites where residents have faced inaction by DTSC placing their lives at risk, we joined with allies to legislatively create an Independent Review Panel to investigate and present recommendations to the legislature on how to restructure and reform the agency. CCAEJ and communities around the state have provided testimony and examples of failure by the department.  So far, the recommendations have been close to what the communities have suggested.

CCAEJ is working to bring State Funds to the Inland Valleys.  We traveled with representatives of the County of San Bernardino to a hearing before the Strategic Growth Council to advocate for funding from the Transformative Climate Communities program, created by our bill AB 2722, for the Inland Valleys. We presented a reportoutlining the needs of the region and three potential projects that could be funded.

We advanced our civic engagement work.  Working with Next Gen Climate, CCAEJ combined our voter registration efforts with allied groups to register more than 1 million new voters!  We also join with our partners in the Inland Empowerment collaborations to reach more than 26,000  voters in our combined Get Out the Vote effort.

We are proud of the work completed in 2016 and look forward to advancing our programs and successes in the new year.  From all of us at CCAEJ we wish you and your family a very Happy, and Healthy Holiday Season and a Sane, Safe and Peaceful New Year.

 

Penny Newman and CCAEJ