Category Archives: Health

Save California Solar

Save Solar California Logo

Hi Friends,

I signed this petition to Governor Newsom to keep rooftop solar growing in California. Will you consider signing it too?

https://www.savecaliforniasolar.org/sign-petition

Utilities are lobbying the state to make it harder and more expensive for people to get solar. They are trying to gut net metering, which lets solar users share their extra solar energy with the neighbors for a bill credit.

Even though we have Riverside Public Utilities, we can be doing so much more to lower our energy costs and raise our comfort level. Expanding city rooftop solar should maximize coverage to reduce our collective costs.

We need to make it easier for people to get rooftop solar so they can control over their energy bills and keep the power on. Will you consider signing and forwarding to others?

Wild Burros In The Neighborhood

DonkeyLand Smiling BurroSince no one seems to know who is accountable for the growing dangers to burro and driver alike, here’s a link to the State Wildlife Department.

WIR — Submit a Wildlife Incident Report

You can register yourself for an account and then you can report sightings.

Be warned, the drop down menu does not include “burros”. You will have to select “other” and write in the species.

Sort of an indication we’re going to need State or Federal help to solve this issue.

We’re working on a Wild Burro Workshop for next year. Surrounding cities, and State officials are being invited to attend.

Stay tuned.

UCR Homecoming

Make Some Noise Homecoming Sign Held by  UCR CheerleaderThis weekend is UCR’s Homecoming!

Community members are welcome to participate in the many activities during the weekend. Of particular note, the Associated Students Program Board (ASPB) will host a Homecoming Bonfire event on Friday, November 19, 2021. Below are some important details of the event.

Event Logistics: 

Homecoming Bonfire 2021 will be held in Lot 19/INTN Field from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. Estimated attendance is about 3,000. This event is open to the UCR community; food and promotional items are only for UCR undergraduates.

Performance Schedule:

6:00-6:30pm Start of Event (ASPB Playlist)

6:30-7:00pm Student DJ

7:00-7:30pm Student DJ

7:30-8:30pm Opening Act

8:30-9:00pm Homecoming Ceremony (in collaboration w/ Athletics)

  • Bonfire will be lit at 8:50pm with 5-minute firework show.

* The air quality and wind/weather conditions will determine if we can light the bonfire or set-off the fireworks. The Fire Marshall office will notify ASPB if they need to modify the event based on these conditions.

9:00-10:00pm Headlining Act

Attractions: 

Fiber Glass Slide

Large Chair Swings

Fortune Teller

Caricature Artist

Safety Measures: 

Each attendee that wishes to visit the fenced dance area or ride/participate in any of our attractions, must receive a wristband at any of our Waiver Stations throughout the venue. To receive a wristband, the UCR student or community member must show a Cleared Wellness Check and must be always wearing a mask in the designated areas regardless of vaccination status. The open nature of the event will allow for social distancing where permitted and clearance but PPE must be verified before entering more congested locations.

Riverside Fire Department will be on standby to assist UCR Fire Department with the Bonfire and the Fireworks show. Highlander emergency services will be on standby to assist with any minor first aid and will field any transports as deemed necessary.

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

Public Comments On UCR 2021 Long Range Development Plan

We Are Just Getting Started SignThe closing date for public comments on UCR’s LRDP was Friday, Sept. 3rd, 2021.

Here are three of the public comment letters submitted.

One is from the City of Riverside, one is from lawyers hired on behalf of the UNA, and one letter from UNA Co Chair Gurumantra Khalsa.

The City really stepped up their game compared to previous planning projects.  It’s almost a text book case study for public comments.

Thanks go out to Kevin Dawson for alerting the City of Riverside to Berkeley being awarded $84 million over 14 years for mitigation.

Here are links for your review of the comments.:

City of Riverside Comments

Delano & Delano Comments

UNA Co Chair Comments

This Week In The UNA

Meet Your Neighborhs SignREMINDER:  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

________________________________

Citizens University Committee Meeting:

Riverside Mayor Patricia Locke Dawson

Matt Barth Dir. CE CERT and Mayor Patricia Locke Dawson

Wednesday, April 28th  7:20 am (Program at 7:30)

There Will Be No Charge to Participate in This Meeting

Join Zoom Meeting (Preferred):

https://ucr.zoom.us/j/93264741413?pwd=UzJSdXZqbUxBSE1NelB6cEdRaUJyZz09

Meeting ID: 932 6474 1413
Passcode: CUC

Join Zoom Meeting (Preferred):

https://ucr.zoom.us/j/93264741413?pwd=UzJSdXZqbUxBSE1NelB6cEdRaUJyZz09

Meeting ID: 932 6474 1413
Passcode: CUC

 

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

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