Check out the story: RUSD UCR STEM HS Not So Fast
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.
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.
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.
We filled over 50 trash bags including 4 Brown cans we had to borrow from neighbors because we ran out of bags.
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.
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.
We could name all the establishments who probably don’t realize their good name is being literally trashed, but that’s for another time.
Right now, we’re all beat, happy and proud of the community spirit behind making the University Neighborhood the neighborhood of our dreams.
UCR MEDLEY: Med School funding, crime & student louts
Strictly from a PR standpoint, last week started out just ducky for UCR.
At long last, the Legislature has (supposedly) located $15 million per year to make UCR Med an up-and-running concern. Next: Gov. Tightwad’s autograph? We’ll see. But what a relief for UCR and the med school grinders. Then came a Saturday letter to the editor and a Sunday opinion piece. We read that:
– Thoughtless UCR students alienate adult neighbors who have real jobs and need real sleep.
– Some UCR students don’t feel safe.
The letter, written “after midnight” on a weekday by Riverside resident Jill Johnson-Young, complained (putting it mildly) about loutish students who “think we’re a giant frat row.” They’re loud, they litter, they pee on other people’s yards. Pure Highlander class.
UCR has responded with good-neighbor policies, codes of conduct, etc. Do they work? To a point. Until the breaking point. One big problem: absentee landlords rent their homes to packs of unrelated students. “Dormitory row,” says one resident. A proposed city law would limit some rentals to two unrelated jerks in the same house. The city could take violating landlords to court.
The opinion piece, written by graduating senior Lindsay Cabreros, recounts a tense evening encounter with a “young, lanky man” who seemed to have designs on her iPhone. Lindsay stared him away, but uses the incident to discuss what she calls “increasingly rampant” crime at UCR and the surrounding area: “In January, February, and March, there were 225 reported crimes at the UCR campus.”
UCR’s latest figures: Jan.-April: 372 reported incidents: 106 “non-criminal” (i.e. traffic accidents); 266 criminal.
Spokeswoman Kris Lovekin: “… (O)ur police officers are being highly successful in making arrests… More security cameras are being installed… We have a campus safety escort program for people who are walking on and around campus in the evening.”
Lovekin links much crime to the ease with which phones and tablets can be converted to cash. She attached a photo of an “EcoATM” at the MoVal Mall that swallows the gadgets and coughs up money.
But these kiosks photograph the seller, scan his/her ID, require a thumb print and store the phone’s serial number. Step right up, stupid thieves!
Councilman Andy Melendrez, who represents the area, attributes some crime to students in crowded areas (Starbucks, U-Village) who leave their electronics within easy swiping distance.
Maybe they could be more careful, but let’s try not to blame the victims.
Melendrez also laments that crime reporting is not uniform among universities, making UCR seem more crime riddled than it is.
Upside? UCR and the city know what’s going on and are trying to tamp it down.
Downside? It’s not working well enough to satisfy furious neighbors and frightened students. It tarnishes UCR’s image just as its fortunes seem to be rising.
Councilman Melendrez: “When you emphasize safety, they say there must be a lot of crime.”
They sure do.
Reach Dan Bernstein at 951-368-9438 or dberntsein@PE.com