Category Archives: Social Capital

Riverside improperly held electricity tax election, judge rules

It looks like the old ways of doing business in Riverside are beginning to erode. Read about it here from the PE:

Referee Issuing Red Card Penalty

This decision came about because residents were forced to take legal action against some very unwise legal advice given to the City Council which makes them look complicit in trying to defraud the ratepayers.

If ever we needed an elected Inspector General, this sort of waste of public funds should be reason enough. What else is being hidden from view?

After long years of suffering under the economic development vision of “cheap dirt”, and a series of deplorable leadership decisions, feckless city managers and past councils with questionable ethics and certainly with no love of place, residents are finally demanding answers and showing a willingness to apply constant pressure on the issues that matter to all of us.

Increasing demands for closer scrutiny over decisions on how our public funds are being disbursed is beginning to pay and special interests don’t like this trend. We’re seeing a reassertion of parents and taxpayer rights to effective school bond oversight.

We can complain all we want about the fraud, waste and abuse that occurs in government, but if we don’t step in to express our thoughts, keep demanding answers, or counter the latest special interest vision with our own, residents will always get far less than we deserve from our tax dollars.  Where do you want to make the next difference in Riverside?

 

 

Save the Date. Watkins Dr Included In Great American Clean Up

Save the date!  Saturday May 7, 2022.

After way too many months of neglect, Watkins Dr., gateway to the University Neighborhood is about to get some TLC.
Along with Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful, the Friends of Riverside’s Hills, UNA neighbors and UCR students, we’re converging as part of a Citywide clean up event. Sign up here

Don’t forget to select your T-shirt size. Click Ward 2 and mention Watkins Dr in a box near the end of the form. Spread the word. It’s a big job. See you there.

EVENT DETAILS

MAY 7, 2022

9 – 11:30AM: Preassigned Citywide Cleanups

Prior to the event, all volunteers will receive site locations and instructions from KRCB.

11:30AM – 1PM: Report Form/Tool Return & Volunteer Lunch

Riverside City Hall – 3900 Main St. – Cross street: 9th St.

BECOME A TEAM LEADER!

Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful is recruiting individuals

to lead volunteers for the GREAT AMERICAN CLEANUP!

Team Leader Duties:

Organize a team! Ask family, friends, and co-workers to volunteer with you

Register your group by

Wednesday, April 27th

Attend a Team Leader Meeting for

instructions, event t-shirts, and supplies

 

Team Leader Meetings:

Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce

3985 University Ave., Riverside, CA 92501

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022

11:30AM – 1PM (lunch included)

or

Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

11:30AM – 1PM (lunch included)

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

PHOTOGRAPHERS WANTED

Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful is recruiting individuals

to photograph the GREAT AMERICAN CLEANUP event!

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

Questions? Contact Christina: 951.683.7100 Ext. 212 or celias@riverside-chamber.com

Keep Riverside Clean & Beautiful ● 3985 University Ave. ● Riverside, CA 92501

Riverside Gateway Parks- Virtual Workshop #3

Here’s the latest development in our Santa Ana Riverside Gateway Parks Project.  It’s easy to review and catch up , and to add your ideas and comments.  Just follow the links. Here’s the invitation from Devan Gelle, one of the planners:

Good Afternoon,

Thank you to everyone who attended our third virtual workshop! If you were unable to attend, the workshop recording is now posted to our website, riversidegatewayparks.com. We invite everyone to review the recording and to provide your feedback on our 3 Jamboards for the Tequesquite North Extension, the Tequesquite South Extension, and the Santa Ana Greenway.

In addition to the Jamboard, you can provide your feedback by leaving us a voicemail at (951) 228-0022, replying to this email, commenting on our interactive map, or taking our survey. Please note the last day to provide comments on the interactive map and on the survey is May 5.

We look forward to reading your comments!

DEVAN GELLE
Pronouns: she/her
Planner II |  Alta Planning + Design, Inc.Los Angeles, CA  |  altago.com

Here’s a look at conditions on the ground existing as we design and plan for new recreational options. There is a certain shock value in watching this. It occurs on many levels.

UNA News Updates

There’s always a lot of things going on and it’s sometimes difficult to keep up. Here are some things you might have missed.

Redistricting – Our neighborhood is no longer in the same Assembly District as the rest of the City. Find out more here: https://www.wedrawthelinesca.org/

Make Some Noise Homecoming Sign Held by UCR CheerleaderNeighborhood Resource Numbers

Who To Call List Updated Oct 2021

Reporting Issues with Violations of UCR’s Good Neighbor Guidelines –  Information about the guidelines, as well as a link to the reporting form, are all available at https://conduct.ucr.edu/policies/good-neighbor-guidelines.

Mt Vernon Median Makeover Complete

Mt Vernon Ave Median Makeover Small Sparks Completion Vidieo

 

 

 

 

Click here to view

What Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) Look Like in the UNA

Accessory Dwelling Units in the UNA

 

 

 

A picture is worth a 1000 words. Not always the words fit for polite company though.

Safety Tips Worth Knowing -courtesy of Dick MacPhearson

 

UNA March Meeting Agenda

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

1. Welcome – Introductions                                              5 min.

2. UCR  Update                                                                     10 min.

Beth Claassen Thrush

3. RPD Update                                                                       20  min.

Neighborhood Resource Numbers

Who To Call List Updated Oct 2021

4. Council Update                                                                20  min

5. Redistricting – For more information on the redistricting process for the CA State Assembly and Senate, see https://www.wedrawthelinesca.org/

6. Reporting Issues with Violations of UCR’s Good Neighbor Guidelines –  Information about the guidelines, as well as a link to the reporting form, are all available at https://conduct.ucr.edu/policies/good-neighbor-guidelines.

7. Burro Update – Response From County Animal Control https://universityneighborhood.net/burros-update/

8. Old Business

9. New Business

UNA February Meeting Agenda

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

1. Welcome – Introductions                                              5 min.

2. UCR  Update                                                                     15 min.

Beth Claassen Thrush

3. RPD Update                                                                       20  min.

Neighborhood Rescource Numbers

Who To Call List Updated Oct 2021

4. Council Update                                                                20  min

Announcements

5. Mt.Vernon Median Makeover

6. Burro Update

7. UCR LRDP  Update

7. Future Agenda Items

UNA November Meeting Agenda

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

1. Welcome – Introductions                                               5 min.

2. Parking Permit Renewals                                             20 min.

City of Riverside Parking Portal

3. RPD Update                                                                          20  min.

Neighborhood Rescource Numbers

Who To Call List Updated Oct 2021

4. Council Update                                                                    20  min

5. Measure C  Update                                                            20 min.

6.  UCR  Update                                                                         20 min.

Beth Claassen Thrush

7. Future Agenda Items

UNA October Meeting Agenda

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

1. Welcome – Introductions                                               5 min.

2. Mt. Vernon Median Makeover                                   10 min

3. RPD Update                                                                           20  min.

4. Council Update                                                                     20  min

4.  UCR  Update                                                                         30 min.

Beth Claassen Thrush, Dr. Denise Woods

5. Measure C                                                                               20 min.

6.  Parking Permit Renewals                                              10 min.

 

RUSD-STEM-Measure O And A Growing Backlash From Neighborhood Groups and Parents

Attention Please Sign 

We all know there is a lot at stake in how our school bonds are spent.

There is a breakdown in trust between taxpayers and school boards across the
State.  This is evident in the almost complete rejection of all school bond issues in our last election.

As taxpayers it’s our responsibility to become more aware of the behind-the-scenes practices that result in decades of disinvestment in certain neighborhood schools.

We can change that now for all. It starts by asking your questions in all our public comment forums.

As voters, we will once again be asked to approve bond measures or policies. If you’ve never considered the importance of this topic, this is the best time to start.

Read and share this with your neighbors, post everywhere and most importantly, start talking about what our dreams for everyone’s child’s educational opportunities look like.

The more vocal and public we have this conversation, the sooner our school board will understand what we are holding them accountable for. If not, they won’t keep their seat.

Luckily, we have neighbors in the UNA and all across the city who are following along  and asking public questions pointing out the systemic disenfranchisement of certain neighborhoods.

 

If it happens to one of us, it happens to all of us. Your zip code shouldn’t determine your lifespan or equal opportunities to quality educational facilities and curriculum .

They say if you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together. That’s what’s finally happening as parents across the city unite in solidarity for educational equity.

Here are some recent updates and comments to help catch us up. Circulate freely.

Reported on August 27, 2021 From the Press Enterprise

It may take a village, but sometimes it takes a backlash. This is what it looks like when we’re winning.

This from Rich Davis, our eyes, ears and the interpreter who gives context for school board actions and alerts us to the costs and impacts.

Hi All. Hope this email finds everyone doing well.

At the last school board meeting, an updated lease agreement with RUSD and UCR was presented to the board for their approval.  The lease agreement can be found on the district’s website under board agenda, consent #10.

VOTING YES:Trustees- Hunt (stated he also has concerns with the lease but voted YES), Lee, Allavie and Farooq.   VOTING NO: KINNEAR

In short,

1.  Because the high school will be built on UCR property, UCR is the sole owner of the building with a lease agreement for 50 yrs with the option of two 10 year extensions, if agreed upon.

At a community meeting, a district manager stated that in 50 years the STEM building will be obsolete and will probably be demolished. Many of our schools in the district are over 50 yrs old-Highgrove is over 130 years old. Fremont over 100 years old,  Ramona nearly 65 years old, Poly and North High School are over 50 years old, schools that are fully operational todayWhen the lease ends, the building belongs to UCR.

2.  RUSD is solely responsible for all expenses, including:

  • design and construction.
  • purchasing of land rights owned by the city of Riverside
  • relocating all cell towers on the property.
  • paying for the fiber cables for UCR baseball field
  • environmental impact study ($300,000).
  • costs of resolving all issues found in the environmental impact study.
  • daily maintenance and upkeep.

3.  RUSD has racked up more than $1M dollars of billable hrs from UCR thus far.  This amount will continue to grow as UCR bills RUSD for any time spent by UCR employees working on this project.

4.  UCR assumes no liability in any future lawsuits.

5.  UCR to have access to the building with no charge for classrooms and labs.

6.  40 slots are guaranteed for UCR professors at this high school (total of 80 students including students at the STEM Academy).  These students are not required to live in the district, thus parents will not pay property tax, along with the other 300 students the district is allowing in who reside outside the district paying no property tax.

The Measure O property tax we voted for was to help remodel and renovate our needy schools, which is now going towards building UCR a new building at no cost to UCR,  RUSD allocates $32M of Measure O  funds and continues to rack up millions of dollars of additional fees.  RUSD will spend millions of dollars for yearly routine operational costs when the district’s student enrollment continues to decrease, costing RUSD millions of dollars in lost revenue each year.

Measure O Sign

It is truly disappointing that Trustees Allavie, Farooq and Lee with their strong ties to UCR continue to push this project to promote their own personal and political interests with our money.

This new STEM High School at UCR is not a comprehensive high school where students attend based on their address.  A comprehensive high school must accept any student who walks in to register.

This STEM High School is a specialized school where only students who meet certain high academic standards will be allowed in.

Instead of investing in our current high schools as a priority, the school board has made it clear in several board meetings that the STEM High School at UCR is their #1 priority.  The board sees no problem spending millions and millions of dollars to build a state of the art school in technology and innovation and infuse it with only the brightest students.

None of our high schools can compete with that. The board has turned its back on the thousands of students in the district who must sit everyday in deplorable classrooms and portables.

Case in point.    STEM High School at UCR will be less than a mile from North High School.  Why didn’t the board consider North High School as a STEM school?  Because the school board knows North High is not marketable in bringing students in from outside the district.

As we know, North High is in an industrial area on the Eastside, not surrounded by beautiful homes and landscaped yards, thus certainly not appealing when you drive around the school.  And when you walk the campus and see how deplorable the conditions are and how unappealing it looks, the board knows newcomers will go elsewhere.

We cannot change the location of North High nor should North High have to look like the depressed areas that surrounds it. The school board has the power to transform North’s campus appeal that can be stunning in its beauty.  Perhaps this is just reminiscent of a school board member back during Measure B when discussing North’s stadium referenced that poor kids don’t know how to take care of good things.

Instead of investing all of Measure O to renovate and beautify our schools of 40,000 students, this board’s #1 priority is to spend millions and millions of our dollars to cater to a select group of privileged students who many will not pay property tax.

The school board will once again be asking us to vote to increase our property tax to “supposedly” renovate and modernize our schools.  We need to remind the board that siphoning off millions of dollars to fund UCR a new building was not appreciated and will vote NO on any local school bond or state school bond measure as long as they continue to pursue this project.

It is time to elect new board members that have our 40,000 students as their 1st priority, not for a selected few.

Will keep you posted.

 

This From Yolanda Esquivel who is voicing the concerns of parents in the Eastside
Hello LULAC Members/Friends,
Hope everyone is doing well.  Below is a message from our good friend, Rich Davis, giving us the notice that the RUSD Board meeting that was to take place September 16, 2021, has been moved to October 7, 2021.  It will begin at the same time of 5:30 p.m.  We will let you know of the location later.

Eastside Alleyway

Again, we would like to sincerely thank all of you who helped organize or attended this past meeting in August 19th.  Your support for our Eastside Elementary and North High School is crucial, nothing can be accomplished without the help of each one of you.

There is still much work ahead for all of us.  Though the results from the previous meeting were hopeful, we cannot be confident our Eastside students will actually benefit or receive educational equity.  Therefore, we are going to continue this very worthwhile struggle for justice in our Communities.
The fact that so many organizations have come together to plead for the same goal of educational equity in our Eastside and North High communities demonstrate an awakening of a reality which had been ignored for generations.
We Are Just Getting Started Signit is imperative that all of us continue to plan, organize and be ready for the October 7th RUSD Board Meeting. I will continue to send you information provided to us by LULAC members Rich Davis and Mary Figueroa.
In Unity,
Yolanda Esquivel
 Past President
LULAC OF RIVERSIDE
COUNCIL 3190
From Mary Figueroa

Good Morning my Team and Task Force members:

Below please find an informative piece by none other than our community friend Rich Davis.

We need to realize how important it is that we pay attention to what is happening quietly behind the activity of the RUSD Board and how it impacts our community.

Once again, we are facing decisions made on behalf of and for the benefit of other communities, to the detriment of our children.

Please read the following, although lengthy it provides all you need to know about why you should be involved in being the voice for the Eastside.

We will talk later.

Mary