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Ward 2 Candidate Forum

CANDIDATE FORUM

Riverside City Council Election June 8, 2020

Sponsored by:  League of Women Voters Riverside

Conducted via Zoom and free of charge. Registration is required. See below and join us. Riverside City Council Ward 2 Wednesday, April 28th 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Virtual Event Candidates: Aram Ayra, Clarissa Cervantes, Tony Huerta, Joe Paredes, Austin Skipper, Anthony Tyson

Register for the Webinar

Questions are being taken in advance

Submit questions at the LWV Riverside website

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

Watkins Dr Clean Up Event March 21, 2021

Save The Date: Sunday March 21, 2021

8:00 a.m. -11:00  Meet Watkins & Piccacho Dr.

Our first official, socially-distant, neighborhood event of the Covid era. Trash. The perfect activity for pandemic conditions.

We’ll be spread out and staggered. We’ll have gloves, safety vests, bags and trash tools. Plus a waiver for you.

Wear shoes and long pants. Sherpas required for some trash retrieval — hillside, arroyo. Nothing but fun for the housebound.

Join us but please RSVP on Nextdoor or Facebook. We need to reserve enough tools.

Watkins Dr  is the Gateway to the University Neighborhood. It’s looking for some love and attention. Join us, Sunday, March 21st.

UCR STEM Update

After last November’s resounding defeat of nearly all school bond measures, we have some firsthand account of board reactions because of committed community members willing to serve as watchdogs or oversight advocates.

Here’s what your should know according to Rich Davis:

Hope this email finds you well.  I apologize for this lengthy email.

As much as the public was lead to believe that the project of building a STEM High School at UCR on the corner of Baine and Canyon Crest was over, behind closed doors the RUSD and UCR have been moving forward with the project.

Board directive on May 5, 2020 stated…The STEM High School at UCR has had a few challenges that are delaying the design and approval process; therefore, the board of education has directed staff to move other prioritized projects from Measure O ahead of schedule in order to stay compliant with IRS regulations for the prompt expenditures of bond funds. We will resume the “planning “ for STEM High School project as state facility funds are received.

  1. Why the directive?  Elections.  Many community members now feel this directive was simply a political ploy.  In May, then Trustee Lock-Dawson was running for mayor and Trustees Hunt and Farooq’s were campaigning for reelection.  Because of the controversies over the STEM project and questioning the spending of Measure O, these politicians did not want these hot topics to be campaign issues for them.  As soon as the Nov elections were over, with trustees Hunt and Farooq reelections, RUSD and UCR met in January to strategize moving the project forward.  Evidence that the directive was a political ploy.
  2.  No state facility funds:  The directive states the project will resume as state funding is received. There hasn’t been state facility funding for some time.  In the Nov elections, the voters of CA defeated Prop 13 (school funding), so there will be no state facility funding until another proposition is placed on the ballot and passes perhaps in 2024.  If state funding has not been received, then the board is violating their own directive.  Evidence that the directive was a political ploy.
  3.  In a League of United Latino American Citizen (LULAC) zoom meeting  this summer, then Pres Kathy Allavie was questioned about the directive and rumors that RUSD and UCR was still moving forward with the project.  As president of RUSD board, Allavie strongly and loudly stated STEM project is dead.  However, after the election, during the January board operation subcommittee, Trustee Allavie reminded district managers that the STEM High School at UCR is still the district’s #1 priority.  Evidence that the directive was a political ploy.

Measure O Sign

  1. Measure O funding: The board approved spending $35 million dollars of Measure O for the $60 million dollar project in hopes that the remaining $25 million would come from state funding.  With no state funding, the board’s plan from the very start was to bank the $35 million Measure O funding until future funding was available.  The additional $25 million dollars needed will have to come from the board asking us to vote for another local bond measure being talked about in 2022 or the passing of a state proposition perhaps in 2024. In the meantime, because STEM High School at UCR continues to be the board’s #1 priority, the $35 million dollar banked from Measure O money will just sit there instead of helping our children who now must sit in deplorable classrooms.

Attention Please Sign

 

  1. Thursday, March 18 Board Meeting: The board will be discussing STEM High School at UCR and will then vote whether to move the project forward.  If the board approves the project, UCR, by court order, must hold its last community meeting perhaps sometime in April.  How UCR will conduct this community meeting due to COVID restrictions is unclear.  In the last three in-person community meetings held, hundreds of community members, including UCR students, attended voicing strong opposition.  Again, because of COVID restrictions, board meetings have been done through Zoom on the internet.  In the coming days, information will be sent with instructions on how to participate in the board meeting.

Please share this email to friends and neighbors.

In addition,

I was able to listen in on the STEM Academy PTA zoom meeting last night.  Take aways:
  • I thought  the zoom meeting for a STEM parents was well presented.  Starting March 5, they will begin their campaign by getting people to sign a petition, write letters and emails to the school board, speak either in person or on zoom.
  • Not only a high school but they are really pushing that it is a STEM Center where students from all over can come and explore.
  • Because RUSD has received a $1.5M career tech grant from the state for STEM, the school should be built.
  • Most important message when contacting the board is getting CEQA done and no more delays
  • Fields on Blaine/Canyon Crest aren’t used much
  • Stated that they are not against STEM for everyone, but feel there are specials kids that need a special place to learn.
  • Reported that at the last UCR community 66 people voiced in favor of the school, while 25 people spoke out against it.
  • The fields on Blaine and Canyon Crest are not used much, only a ten minute walk to labs, students are already walking that far.
  • 3 story school to built for 800 students
  • With decreasing enrollment, this project will bring needed students to RUSD
  • Only big opposition is the use of Measure O funds to build the school; stated two bond lawyers have given approval.
  • When a caller asked what other issues are used to oppose the school, the moderator couldn’t/wouldn’t respond, simply replied we have to stay positive.
  • Moderator shared how wonderful it will be for their students to be on the UCR campus and sit at the Cafe Bean
  • If board votes to move forward with the project, UCR has tentatively set April 21.
The March 18 board meeting is very critical as it will decide the fate of STEM, so we need to push people to contact the board..email, speaking on zoom or going in person; in person would be best.  I will be sending out an email to community members with instructions on how to proceed.
Allavie has stated once again the STEM school is #1 priority and the district has made it very clear publicly now they need to pass another bond measure or passing a state proposition to build the school.  Knowing now $ in the next bond measure will go to building the school, I will fight hard to defeat it.  That means depriving $ for needy schools, but the board made that decision on March 18 when it voted that a STEM school was more important than 40,000 students, parents and staff.
Rich

RTA Vine St Mobility Hub Survey

RTA Vine St Mobility Hub Survey

RTA is requesting community feedback on their conceptual mobility hub plan for Vine Street.

Mobility hubs consist of major transit stations and the surrounding area. They serve a critical function in the regional transportation system as the origin, destination, or transfer point for a significant portion of trips. They are places of connectivity where different modes of transportation – from walking to biking to riding transit – come together seamlessly and where there is an intensive concentration of working, living, shopping and/or playing.

A survey is being circulated about ideas around this new transit hub.
The survey is the latest community engagement process for this idea. Some years back there was a big concept charette requesting community participation.

One idea has been to link the hub and the Eastside Lincoln Park Neighborhood directly to downtown with a linear bike and pedestrian parkway over the 91 freeway. Not unlike the Highline in New York.

NYC Highline Walkway
Such a parkway would  open up access to some amazing Lincoln Park Neighborhood assets. I think this time around we should explore how we could use the mobility hub as a catalyst for connecting the EastSide directly to the Downtown without an added traffic burden.

As it stands right now, air quality impacts from the mobility hub traffic will affect their neighborhood the most. Any increase in density as a multi-use destination will also be felt. There must certainly be some creative ways we can use this new mobility hub as a catalyst to actually improve the neighborhood for the neighbors.

Eastside Alleyway

 

The Eastside Heal Zone Collaborative has been doing great work in the EastSide.  They have built a powerful, community based focus on health in their neighborhoods.

They hosting their 6th Annual Walk By Faith. There’s clearly some irony and disconnection here. Some unconventional mitigation to address the added air pollution burden that a successful mobility hub will necessarily bring, is certainly worth a look.

What would it be like if we planned for active transportation in a way that benefited the neighborhoods rather than accommodated more cars and traffic?

It’s the same for the desperately needed pedestrian/bike walkways from UCR along University Avenue under the freeway.

We should be looking at separating the pedestrians, bikes, boards, and scooters from the University Avenue traffic at the 215/60 ramps.  Long approach ramps emanating from the now stalled, on-campus mobility hub, made from structural steel would be a safe, inexpensive, immediate solution.


With some integrated lighting and artwork, it could become the start of a workable, alternative transportation corridor all the way to downtown.


Now that CARB is nearing completion and Iowa Ave is scheduled to become four lanes from University to Martin Luther King Drive, maybe it’s worth considering.  We’re sure  making it easier for cars to get around. How about everyone else?

Don’t get me started on the  negotiated  trail access along the entire Perris Valley MetroLink Line. Metrolink even has trail specs already on the books. Other communities have trails along Metrolink lines.

What would it be like if we could bike and/or hike along the entire route?

Sunset Box Springs Mountains
The Friends Of Riverside’s Hills has donated nearly 900 acres of open space to the Box Springs Mountain Preserve.

Most critically, it includes the parcels necessary to build a tunnel and a bridge for safe trail access.

That’s the only safe option that thousands of residents and students have to regain their access to our neighborhoods’ best natural resource:  Our trails.

The Friends commissioned a Master Trails Plan for the Box Springs Mountain Preserve, including a trail head at Islander Park.

The trail plan ringed the mountains at the base and at the top connecting dozens of Riverside and Moreno Valley neighborhoods with a variety of trail loop options.

The plan needs updating, but could be used to leverage transportation grant funding to develop alternative transportation networks. That’s taking mobility to a whole new level.

Northside Visioning Session

The Northside has been clear and vocal about preserving and restoring their Springbrook Wash trail.

That’s a key trail link to Fairmont Park and the Santa Ana River Trail.


What can we learn from a mega dense urban population like NYC?  What can we apply in Riverside?

Aren’t we already feeling the impacts of increasing density? More traffic, longer delays, degrading roadways, boring vistas are all part of the daily commute we’re being forced to live with.


We’ve sold our soul and best natural assets to warehousing and we didn’t even have a designated truck route planned for the city. Go figure.

What would it be like if getting around was fun, easy, exciting … and promoted good health?

SB 1000 requires the each legislative body – city or county, to have safety and an environmental justice element integrated into their general plans.

What would it be like if we had a coordinated transportation agency response that leveraged  resources for immediate community equity?

Just some thoughts…. Would love to hear about yours.

February 2020 Meeting Agenda

Map and Directions To Crest Community Church
3431 Mt Vernon Ave, Riverside, CA 92507

6:30 pm – 8:30 pm Every Second Thursday (Except August)

1. Welcome – Introductions                                               5 min.

2. UCR Update                                                                        20 min.

Jeff Kraus

4.  UCR Parking Garage                                                     15 min.

5.    Bank Account   Update                                              15 min.

6.  Watkins Trash Clean Up                                               5 min.

7.   Future Topics

Updated “Who Do I Call” List

City Master Meeting Calendar

UNA Demographics

Next Meeting: March 12, 2020

January 2020 Meeting Agenda

Map and Directions To Crest Community Church
3431 Mt Vernon Ave, Riverside, CA 92507

6:30 pm – 8:30 pm Every Second Thursday (Except August)

1. Welcome – Introductions                                               5 min.

2. School Bonds                                                                    40   min.

Jason Hunter

3. UCR Update                                                                        20 min.

Jeff Kraus

4.  UCR Parking Garage                                                     15 min.

5.    Bank Account                                                                  15 min.

6.   Small Sparks Mt Vernon Median Makeover    5 min.

7.   Future Topics

Updated “Who Do I Call” List

City Master Meeting Calendar

UNA Demographics

Next Meeting: February 13, 2020

October 2019 Meeting Agenda

Map and Directions To Crest Community Church
3431 Mt Vernon Ave, Riverside, CA 92507

6:30 pm – 8:30 pm Every Second Thursday (Except August)

1. Welcome – Introductions                                               5 min.

2. Love Riverside Oct 12, 2019                                   15 min.

Big Springs Medians TLC

3. Watkins Trash Clean Up Event                              15 min.

Sat Oct 26   8:30am

Meet at Piccacho and Watkins

4.  UNET Update                                                                  15 min.

5.  UCR Update                                                                     15 min.

Long Range Development Plan

6.  RUSD STEM                                                                    15 min.

7.  Neighborhood Snapshot

UNA Demographics

8 Upcoming ??

Updated “Who Do I Call” List

City Master Meeting Calendar

Next Meeting: November 14 , 2019

September 2019 Meeting Agenda

Map and Directions To Crest Community Church
3431 Mt Vernon Ave, Riverside, CA 92507

6:30 pm – 8:30 pm Every Second Thursday (Except August)

1. Welcome – Introductions                                               5 min.

2. Mosquitos and Vector Control                              15 min.

Eric

2.  UNET Update                                                                  15 min.

3.  UCR Update                                                                     15 min.

Long Range Development Plan

4.  Meet Your Neighbors Event                                  15 min.

5.  Neighborhood Snapshot

UNA Demographics

6. Love Riverside Oct 12, 2019

Project Ideas

7. Upcoming

Grow Riverside Conference

Green Summit

LoveRiverside Day 2019

Updated “Who Do I Call” List

City Master Meeting Calendar

Next Meeting: October 10, 2019

UCR Parking Garage Community Meeting July 10

UCR will be holding the second of two community meetings to discuss a proposed parking structure on Wednesday, July 10.

The meeting will be held from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm in Room J-102 of the Bannockburn Housing Complex, located at 3637 Canyon Crest Drive, Riverside, CA 92507 –

Note: Parking will be free, however please park in the North Bannockburn parking lot.

UC Riverside is proposing to build a new multi-story Parking Structure facility on the eastern portion of the existing campus Parking Lot 13, located at the north-east edge of campus directly south of Big Springs Road.

Site Map UCR Lot 13 Parking Garage Project

This Project will construct a parking facility which will accommodate 1200 parking spaces (800 net new spaces).

This Parking facility will enhance the community and campus by creating a safe vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle friendly environment by addressing circulation along Big Springs Road and adjacent roadway alignments while effectively integrating safety amenities.

For more information on the project, please see the attached flyer.

If you have any questions, please contact:
Dave Bomba, Project Manager
UCR Planning, Design & Construction
(951) 827-1412
email: dave.bomba@ucr.edu
or
Jeff Kraus
UCR Office of Government and Community Relations
(951) 827-7073