Category Archives: Education

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

 

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

RUSD Measure O Citizen Oversight Committee Meets Wed May 29, 2019

What:   The Measure O Bond Oversight Committee Meeting

When:    Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at  4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

 Where:  Conference Room 3,
RUSD District Offices
2280 14th Street, Riverside,CA 92501

(corner of 14th Street and Lime, across from                    Jack in the Box, close to the 91 freeway).

 Why:   Because some members of the Oversight Committee think the proposed UCR STEM High School cannot be lawfully built using Measure O funds.
The whole Committee needs to hear the views of other concerned members of the public, and why they think the Measure O money needs to be used to improve existing schools city-wide. Thats us.
 
Come prepared to speak up and tell the Oversight Committee why you think use of Measure O money for a STEM high school on the UCR campus violates Measure O!
  Need some talking points?  Read on!
 Please let all your friends who care about education in Riverside know about this meeting and encourage them to try to attend.
Talking Points About Measure O
    Measure O does not allow the bond money to be used to build new schools.
According to the impartial analysis provided to voters by the County’s attorneys, bond money:
“may be used by the District to repair and upgrade  District schools by upgrading or replacing aging school infrastructure, classrooms and buildings, modernize school facilities with 21st century technology, improve access for students with disabilities, provide classroom and labs for career and technical education classes.”
“The Bonds may be used to improve school safety by modernizing security systems, retrofitting buildings to be earthquake proof, and upgrading emergency communications.”
“The Bonds may also be used to Districtwide technology improvements for updated instruction technology in classrooms and labs and upgraded computer systems.”  (See  Measure O | Voter’s Edge California)
     It is the Oversight Committee’s duty to make sure the Measure O money is properly spent.
Voters were told that an oversight committee would make sure that bond funds would be spent  “only on the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities, or the acquisition or lease of real property for school facilities, and for no other purposes.”  (See https://votersedge.org/en/ca/ballot/election/area/42/measures/measure/2779?election_authority_id=33)
   The purpose of Measure O was to make useful improvements to existing and aging infrastructure, to spend it on projects that would benefit all students district-wide, not to invest in new buildings for a few.
This article explains

Bill Latham

Microenvironment renovations offer schools a relatively inexpensive way to align facilities to teaching and lear…

Measure O | Voter’s Edge California

Maplight & LWVCEF, http://maplight.org & https://cavotes.org/

Guide to measures in the Riverside Unified School District on the November 8, 2016 ballot.

UCR Lot 13 Parking Structure Meeting Notice

New Parking Structure Coming to UCR's Lot 13UCR will be holding the first of two community meetings to discuss a proposed parking structure on Monday, April 22. 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.

Click Here for Map

UC Riverside is proposing to build a new multi-story Parking Structure facility on the east portion of the existing campus Parking Lot 13, located at the north-east edge of campus directly south of Big Springs Road. This Project will construct a parking facility which will accommodate 1200 parking spaces (800 net new). 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

Watkins Dr Neighborhood Gateway Clean Up Event April 13, 2019

Thanks to all our neighbors and students for the successful clean up. UCR Day of Service students plus high schoolers from Moreno Valley joined neighbors for a Spring clean up along the hillside and arroyo portion of  Watkins Dr.

We collected over 20 bags of trash, 3 tires, 5 gallons of used motor oil and a couple of auto body parts.

Watkins Dr. is the Gateway to the University Neighborhood and is our wilderness version of Victoria Avenue with amazing vistas.

Watkins Dr Gateway Clean Up April 13 2019

Riverside County Needs Assessment 2018-2019

Your input is needed. You are invited to participate in Riverside County’s 2018-2019 Needs Assessment.

The study is being conducted by Riverside County Community Action Partnership, and the UCR School of Public Policy’s  Blum Initiative on global and regional poverty.

The survey is anonymous and the more feedback they get from the resident level, the better they can target resources.

Please forward to your networks, share with your colleagues and groups. Might as well tell them what we can from our perspective. It’s a pretty long survey, 10-11 pages, but the more feedback the better.

That’s the theory. Here are the links:

English: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XSCX58D

Spanish: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XSTDRKS

Thanks for playing the “Is It Healthy?” game on a community level.

Save The Dates This Week

A full house attended RUSD UCR’s STEM High School Project meeting last Thursday.

The neighbors all agree STEM is great and everyone should have access to STEM classes.

Neighbors and students comprised most of the crowd. The  questions asked were articulate and from perspectives that clearly were never imagined by staff in the planning process for this educational collaboration.

None of the School Board Members were in attendance at this meeting. That’s why we need to show up again on Monday night.

If you think School Bond Money IS Being Misspent on STEM HS on UCR Campus,
Show Up For November 5, 2018 RUSD SCHOOL BOARD MEETING and COMMENT!

The RUSD School Board’s ONLY November meeting is Monday, November 5, 2018, beginning at 4:30 p.m. It begins with “Public Input on Closed Session Matters” followed by an Open Session at 6:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

Presumably 6:30 begins the Open Session at which public comments can be made. Come with 6 copies of any written comments for board members and staff, or just come with oral comments.

SHOW UP TO KEEP THE MOMENTUM ABOUT WATKINS DRIVE BEING THE WRONG LOCATION FOR A THREE-STORY STEM SCHOOL GOING! All meetings will take place at the Riverside Adult School, Board Room, 6735 Magnolia Avenue, Riverside, unless otherwise noted.

There’s no note the November meeting is somewhere else, so that’s the location.

Please, once more, tell them what we love about living in the neighborhood of our dreams.

Don’t forget, Thursday November 8 is the UNA monthly meeting. Watch for the agenda.

RUSD UCR Hold Meeting For New STEM High School Project

Save The Date! Tuesday September 25, 2018

It’s time to get informed and organized. It’s critical to show up and bring your questions.

This project will alter the fabric of the neighborhood. It will bring traffic that cannot be mitigated.
So it’s up to us to drive the conversation about mitigation.

Riverside Unified School District and UCR will be holding the first of two community meetings to discuss the proposed RUSD STEM High School on Tuesday, September 25.

 The meeting will be held at 6:00 pm in room J-102 of the Bannockburn Village, located at 3637 Canyon Crest Dr, Riverside, CA 92507

The Regents of the University of California, on behalf of UC Riverside are partnering with the Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) to propose a ground lease of University-owned Glen Mor Intramural Fields on East Campus for the purpose of constructing a new RUSD STEM High School serving grades 9 through 12.

UCR STEM High School Site Proposal

The RUSD STEM High School will be a magnet school for 800 students (half full-time and half part-time) who are pursuing their interests and aptitudes in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The High School would consist of classrooms, administrative office space, a multi-use discovery center, fabrication lab, food service, lecture facilities, a fitness center, outdoor learning areas and associated parking and circulation.

There will be a follow up meeting on November 1st.

For more information on the project, visit: http://ae.ucr.edu/rusd_stem_high_school_958802-community_meeting_flyer_9-7-18_b.pdf

For more information, please contact: Ana Gonzalez Director II, Planning Development Riverside Unified School District (951) 788‐7496 x84003

Raoul Amescua, ExecuƟve Director Real Estate Services University of California, Riverside (951) 827‐2433

Jerrod Walters, Senior Planner Auxiliary Services / Capital Asset Strategies University of California, Riverside (951) 827‐6955

or Jeff Kraus UCR Office of Government and Community Relations (951) 827-7073