Riverside Hosts National History Day California State Finals Competition

The National History Day – California State Finals competition took place at the Riverside Convention Center from April 27 to April 29 with approximately 1,000 students, parents, and teachers in attendance at the competition.

The local committee, comprised of representatives from the Visitors and Convention Bureau, the Convention Center, the Riverside Downtown Partnership, and the Riverside Unified School District scheduled activities for the students on April 28th with a number of the events open to the public.

In conjunction with the Riverside Metropolitan Museum’s “Force of Arms: Riverside’s Participation in American Wars from 1861-2011” exhibit, the National World War II Museum displayed actual World War II footlockers filled with artifacts from “the war that changed the world.”  In addition, Walter D. Ehlers, the only surviving recipient of the Medal of Honor to have stormed Omaha Beach on D-Day, shared some of his war-time experiences.

The Culver Center of the Arts screened a special video about the history of Camp Anza, Riverside’s World War II staging camp, and host Frank Teurlay, author of Riverside’s Camp Anza and Arlanza, shared his thoughts on Riverside’s World War II camp.

Along downtown Main Street, between 6th Street and University Avenue, several groups re-enacted history through performances. The Sons of the American Revolution set up a recruiting tent, marched in formation, fired muskets and cannons, and shared their knowledge of Revolutionary War clothing, weapons and life with the community. Members of Soldados y Californios de Southern California and Yester Year Dancers demonstrated clothing, weapons, dance and music typical of the California Mission period.

 George Washington re-enactor Roger Cooper will present a program entitled “1775, decisions need to be made,” addressing the Continental Congress for support for the new Continental Army. Characters from Riverside’s own Dickens Festival were also present on the Mall.

Saturday evening featured a public talk by Martin Dugard, co-author of Killing Lincoln, before the announcement of the weekend’s History Day finalists. Mr. Dugard attended Riverside’s Notre Dame High School while his father was stationed at March Air Force Base.  The discussion was jointly sponsored by the RCVB, City of Riverside, Riverside County Office of Education, and the Riverside Unified School District’s Teaching American History Project.

Finally, on Saturday evening there was a screening of the movie, ‘Captain America’ in the Convention Center plaza sponsored by the Riverside Downtown Partnership in conjunction with the City of Riverside’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Hosting the National History Day California State Finals gave Riverside a unique opportunity to show off  the many intelligent and talented students as well as the culture of lifelong learning that can be found in the City of Arts & Innovation.

To learn more about the NHD program, visit the National History Day California web site at www.historydaycalifornia.org.

Ramona High School Habitat For Humanity Club Officially a Campus Chapter

The Ramona High School Habitat Club has been approved to become a Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter. Through this partnership, the students will be able to use additional resources and materials to make a greater impact in their community.

For over a year, the Habitat Club at Ramona High School has been advocating on their campus for Habitat for Humanity’s mission of eliminating substandard housing and volunteering their time on Habitat projects. The students have shown a major commitment to Habitat’s cause especially when called upon to help thank one of Habitat’s biggest donor’s, Valspar. The students assembled on their campus football field to spell out Thank You on behalf of the homeowners who were helped by Valspar’s paint donation.

The club has also donated to Habitat Riverside, volunteered for several projects, and held a benefit concert on April 14, 2012 at Back to the Grind café to raise awareness and funds for affordable housing.

The City of Arts & Innovation thrives on local philanthropy and the students volunteering their time to Ramona High School’s Habitat Club are doing their part to come together and give back to their community. The club sets an example for Riverside youth of how rewarding it can be to get involved in the community. 

Urban Land Institute of Orange County/Inland Empire Honors Seizing Our Destiny with 2012 Award for Vision

The Urban Land Institute of Orange County/Inland Empire today presented the City of Riverside with the Award for Vision in their 2012 Best of Best Awards for its “Seizing Our Destiny” plan.

The ULI OC/IE Best of Best Awards recognize projects, programs, and policies which show an exemplary approach in regard to sustainability in community development within Orange County and the Inland Empire.

The Award for Vision recognizes community planning ideas and concepts that propose creative solutions to specific sustainable community issues; examine transformative approaches to land development and building scenarios; and promotes healthy communities through comprehensive community and/or building design and programming.

Developed with the local community in 2009, Riverside’s “Seizing Our Destiny” plan is serving as a comprehensive roadmap designed to guide the city toward a prosperous, healthy, and sustainable future.

The Award for Vision presented by the Urban Land Institute is an honor and holds testament to the quality of the Seizing Our Destiny campaign and the lasting impact it will continue to have on the community. Seizing Our Destiny is a reflection of the strives made by the City of Arts & Innovation to provide the highest quality of life for its residents. 

To view the full list of 2012 Best of the Best award winners, click here. 

La Sierra University Offers Summer Science Camp

Summer Science Camp @ La Sierra University is a phenomenal way for students entering grades 9-12 to gain a hands-on experience in the sciences, that may not otherwise be available during the academic year.  Two separate weeks of day camp, one in Biomedical Science (July 9-13) and the other in Physical Science (July 16-20), give students a choice to experience the week of science that interests them most, or experience them both!

At Summer Science Camp, the students will take part in various on-campus activities and experiments, as well as off-campus learning experiences.  Presenters will give students an idea of research opportunities and day-to-day work in the field and Practical Skills Training will provide students with proficient skills that they will be able to use in any academic setting.

This adventure of science will provide students with an unforgettable summer experience, motivating them to succeed in their future endeavors, and teaching them the skills to succeed.

The La Sierra Summer Science Camp provides an opportunity to engage students in science outside of the  regular school year and in a way that is fun and encourages them to learn about the field. The City of Arts & Innovation is a hub for the study of science, technology, engineering, and math and La Sierra’s Summer Science Camp is a prime example of this.

For more information about the Summer Science Camp, click here.

King HS Odyssey of the Mind Team Earns Top Honors

The Odyssey of the Mind team from Martin Luther King High School earned top honors at both the Regional and State tournaments held in March and now is headed to the World Finals next month and recently earned a $7,500 grant from the National Science Foundation to help cover the cost of their trip.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and World level. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and from about 25 other countries participate in the program.

The team, composed of 9th graders Hannah Larsen, Zachary Larsen, Hannah Johnson, Amber Rivas, Bailey Figurate, Kitt Roberts, and senior Christ’Ann McKinney, won first place in the Oooh-Motional Vehicle challenge at the regional competition, earning the highest style score from all of the state’s regional competitions. At the state competition, the team placed first in style, and second for their play, earning a trip to the World Finals. There they will join 800+ teams from 26 countries for the international competition. Coaches for the team are Dr. Lynn Larsen of Brandman University and Dr. Paul Larsen of UC Riverside.

The team wrote an original script and created their own sets, costumes, props, and a vehicle for their award-winning play. They also had to solve a challenge on the spot for judges at each tournament. Their sets included creative 3-D elements, and their team-created vehicle was required to travel forwards and backwards while displaying different emotions that tied into the play. They also learned acting techniques and gained skills with using many different tools and artistic elements during the creation of sets, props, and costumes. Team members were lauded by judges and audience members for their outstanding performance and sets.

The team is now busy fundraising for their trip and making improvements to their play, scenery, vehicle, and costumes based on judges’ feedback at the state tournament. They are proud to once again be representing RUSD at this prestigious competition and wish to express their appreciation to the Riverside Education Enrichment Foundation, King Principal Darel Hansen, King Assistant Principals Rebecca Brown and Michael Rhodes, and their parents for all of their support and enthusiasm.

The use of creativity and problem solving by King High School’s Odyssey of the Mind team and many others throughout Riverside schools reflects the qualities Riverside is most proud of as the City of Arts & Innovation. 

Article reproduced from Riverside Unified School District, click here to view.

UC Riverside Listed in “Guide to 322 Green Colleges”

Article reproduced from UCR Today:

As the nation gears up to celebrate Earth Day on April 22, The Princeton Review and the Center for Green Schools at theU.S. Green Building Council(USGBC) today released the third annual guidebook saluting the nation’s most environmentally responsible “green colleges.”

“We’re happy to see UC Riverside on the list, with a score of 95 out of 99 possible points,” said John Cook, UCR’s sustainability coordinator. “From research into battery technology to solar-power farms, to a student organization called Sustainable UCR. To LEED-certified buildings, we will be celebrating quite a bit this Earth Week.”

“The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2012 Edition”profiles 322 institutions of higher education in the United States and Canada that demonstrate notable commitments to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation. The list is part of the Center for Green Schools  intended to improve how campuses are designed, constructed and operated.

The guide includes:

  • School profiles with application, admission, financial aid and student enrollment information
  • “Green Highlights” write-ups detailing each school’s most impressive environmental and sustainability initiatives
  • “Green Facts” sidebars reporting statistics and facts on everything from the school’s use of renewable energy sources, recycling and conservation programs to the availability of environmental studies programs, and green jobs career guidance
  • A glossary of 40+ green terms and acronyms from AASHE to “zero waste”
  • Lists identifying schools in the book with various green distinctions – among them: those with LEED-certified buildings and those that are signatories of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment.

The Princeton Review chose the 322 schools based on a survey it conducted in 2011 of hundreds of colleges across the U.S. and in Canada to tally its annual “Green Rating” scores (scaled from 60 to 99) of colleges for its school profiles in its college guidebooks and website. The survey asks administrators more than 50 questions about their institution’s sustainability-related policies, practices and programs.  The Company tallied Green Ratings for 768 institutions in summer 2011.  The 322 schools in this guide received scores of 83 or above in that assessment. (Note: The Princeton Review does not rank the schools in this guide hierarchically (1 to 322) according to their Green Rating scores, nor does it include those scores in this book’s school profiles.)

This Green College ranking for UCR reflects the passion for sustainability found both in the University and in the community. The City of Arts & Innovation has always shown a commitment to limiting our impact on the environment and becoming a much more sustainable place

Click here to view the article from UCR Today.

Riverside Magazine Highlights How Riverside Breaks Through the Digital Divide

This month’s issue of Riverside Magazine covers several of Riverside’s wins including the combined efforts of the City, non-profit organizations, and technology corporations towards becoming an intelligent community. 

The following is an excerpt from the article discussing technology integration throughout the city and in the classroom. 

Smart, By Design

Written by Jesse B. Gill, Photos by Gabriel Luis Acosta

Riverside has many of the ingredients necessary to compete in a smarter, more advanced and connected 21st century economy: tech-savvy elementary and high school students, research-based centers of higher learning, forward-thinking business leaders, engaged city leadership … and now those elements are coming together to improve Riverside’s national — and even global — standing. We take a look at some of the highlights:

Digital education

Visit any campus in the Riverside Unified School District and you’ll likely see a familiar sight: students fiddling with smartphones, iPod Touches and laptops. But you’ll also discover an important difference: students are encouraged to use their electronic gadgets in class. Many of them are even given the gadgets by the district.

It’s part of an effort to make those devices an integral part of the education experience, according to Jay McPhail, RUSD’s director of instructional technology. “We’re trying to use current technology to extend learning in the way it’s extending communication and gaming in the non-educational world,” he said. The concept behind the district’s digital endeavor is that learning can occur 24 hours a day instead of only while school is in session. Since many students — especially the older ones — spend so much time on their smartphones anyway, district officials decided to try to inject education into those devices too. “Our students can learn 24/7 or they can play 24/7, but they shouldn’t need two different devices,” McPhail said.

From pre-kindergarten to 12th grade, the district is encouraging students to learn using different gadgets, including iPod Touches, iPads, Android tablets and laptops. Thanks to grants from Apple, Target and Verizon, plus state and federal governments, and partnerships with 20 companies, the district has been able to provide 12,500 electronic devices to students in all grades.

Teachers also invite students to bring their own devices to class. At Bryant and Pachappa elementary schools, kindergarteners are using iPod Touches and iPads to improve their English and math skills. And last fall, Ramona High School went digital — becoming the first comprehensive public high school in the state and the third in the nation to make the leap.

Students were issued Android tablet computers to access all of the learning materials they need for every class, making it unnecessary to carry a backpack stuffed with heavy textbooks. Even lessons that teachers present in class can be automatically uploaded to each tablet. “We encourage students to personalize the devices because they take better care of them if they do that,” said McPhail, adding that students are responsible for the tablets just like they used to be for the textbooks. There are plans for the district to fully integrate digital devices at each school site and make sure that every student has access to them. Said McPhail: “We’re trying to bridge the digital divide.”

(To view to the full article, click here)

Riverside strives to be a leader in access and integration of technology in the community. The efforts of SmartRiverside, Innovative Economy Corporation, and the School Districts to use of digital resources in the community is a reflection of the City of Arts and Innovation’s commitment to technological advancement.

Riverside Welcomes Surge of New Businesses

Business activity across the City of Riverside is helping boost an economic upswing for Inland Southern California.

Riverside celebrated more than 25 official “Grand Openings” in the past year alone and many other companies expanded operations or added additional locations in the community.

“This is a good thing for Riverside,” Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce Chairman Brian Hawley said, “We’re feeling the economy is slowly starting to turn around and businesses are beginning to invest more capital and employ more people.”

One notable opening celebration was at CarbonLITE, which is currently in the final stages of equipment and facility testing as they prepare to open as the largest recycling facility in the world and bring over 100 green jobs to the City of Riverside.  In addition, AMA Plastics and Crystal Pacific Window & Door Systems, two major manufacturers, recently added approximately 300 new jobs to the community.  Rounding out the list, companies such as Castle Cooke, Dr. Pepper/Snapple and Meridian Food Services Inc. brought over 600 jobs to the distribution sector this last year.

The City’s local universities and colleges have also been in growth mode.  In February, Riverside Community College introduced their new state-of-the-art School of Nursing, Math & Science complex, and La Sierra University broke ground on their School of Business.

Entertainment, hospitality and retail options are on the “rise” in Riverside as well.  The Downtown skyline now includes a new five-story Hyatt Place Hotel which will be accepting reservations for their 125 rooms starting in mid-April and Citrus Tower, a pristine Class-A office building boasting 160,000 square feet of professional office space. Throughout Riverside, foodies and visitors alike have several new eateries to choose from, including Burger Boss, Elephant Thai Cuisine, and Mazz Bar & Grill.

Across the economic spectrum, signs point to increasing consumer confidence in the local economy and the promise of continued job growth.  These businesses and others are examples of the City of Arts and Innovation’s resilience as an engine for prosperity in the Inland region.

RPD’s Outstanding Aviation Unit Featured in Vertical 911 Magazine

The Riverside Police Department Aviation Unit was featured in the magazine “Vertical 911” a helicopter industry magazine devoted to first responders. The article, written by Elan Head with excellent photographs by Skip Robinson describes RPD’s outstanding Airborne Law Enforcement (ALE) program with over 40 years of service in Riverside. The ALE program is an incredible asset to Riverside and the connection and support with the community is vital to its longevity. 

The article is reproduced below but the original including the photos can found here: Riverside Airborne Law Enforcement-Vertical 911 April 2012 

Inland Patrol: Through its broad range of missions and fleet of MD 500s, the Riverside Police Department Aviation Unit provides the Inland Empire with an extra layer of safety and security.

In the world of Southern California law enforcement aviation, Los Angeles and San Diego cast a long shadow. So much airborne law enforcement (ALE ) activity takes place in these coastal metropolitan areas that it’s easy to overlook Southern California’s numerous other ALE programs, many of which are outstanding in their own right.

One such program is the Riverside Police Department Aviation Unit, which serves the city of Riverside, Calif., 60 miles east of L.A., in the heart of the region known as the “Inland Empire.” With a fleet of four MD 500s, a 40-plus-year history, and an impressive range of missions and capabilities, Riverside PD is an excellent example of what a mid-sized ALE unit can achieve with dedication and community support. And, while the Riverside PD Aviation Unit may not be the first ALE unit you think of when you hear “Southern California,” the citizens of Riverside can’t imagine their city without it.

“The helicopter has really been a part of the community now for going on the second generation,” said Riverside PD instructor pilot Dave Mullins, emphasizing the importance of community relationships in the unit’s longevity and success. “It’s been part of the community for so long, it’s almost like the fire station on the corner.”

A Proud Tradition
While the Riverside PD Aviation Unit’s helicopters may play a prominent role in the community, its facility on the north side of Riverside Municipal Airport presents a nondescript appearance to passers-by. Walk indoors, however, and you immediately get a sense of how much the city values its police helicopters. With ample office space, a climate-controlled hangar and a 12,000-gallon fuel tank on site, it’s clear the Aviation Unit is no temporary operation.

Indeed, the Riverside PD Aviation Unit has been in business for more than four decades, having started operations in 1971 with a single Bell 47G-5 and three pilots who had previously flown for the Los Angeles and Long Beach police departments. In 1980 and 1981, the unit moved into turbine-engined Hughes (later MD) 500s, a type it has stuck with ever since. Today, it operates two MD 500E models and an MD 500D for patrol, training and other missions, plus another MD 500E dedicated to surveillance. It has seven full-time pilots, who came up through the Riverside PD, and who double as observers. Between them, according to need and budget constraints, they fly between 2,000 and 3,000 hours a year.

Like most municipal ALE units, the Riverside unit’s primary duty is patrol: providing support and cover to police officers on the ground. “Our No. 1 priority is to assist the patrol guys in what they need,” said Mullins. And, like other police departments, Riverside PD has reaped enormous benefits from having eyes in the sky: “Several times a week the helicopter is involved in a major incident with a positive outcome,” Mullins continued.

These benefits are particularly obvious during vehicle pursuits. New pilot Jeffrey Ratkovich, who worked as a relief observer for three years before being selected for pilot training, recalled one memorable nighttime motorcycle pursuit in which an Aviation Unit crew ended the dangerous chase using only their searchlight (a Spectrolab Nightsun). “They lit up the motorcycle with the Nightsun, and as soon as they lit him up, he pulled over and stopped. It’s things like that, that really prove the value of the helicopter.”

While the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department also operates an aviation unit, Riverside PD currently has the only municipal ALE unit in the densely populated northwest corner of Riverside County (which has a combined population of over two million). So, the Riverside PD Aviation Unit will provide mutual aid to other municipalities as required. A special case is the neighboring city of Corona: when that city’s police department dissolved its ALE unit in 2009, Riverside agreed to include Corona in its daily patrol flights in exchange for some of Corona’s mission equipment. However, calls in Riverside will always take priority over surrounding areas.

Beyond its bread-and-butter patrol flights, the Riverside PD Aviation Unit tackles an impressive range of law enforcement and public safety missions, further establishing its value to the department and the community. The unit works closely with SWAT (special weapons and tactics) teams on mission pre-planning, insertions and extractions. It conducts aerial photography missions and pipeline patrols. It also routinely assists the Riverside Fire Department and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection with fire spotting, surveying and even fire suppression, using its MD 500D for aerial application of water on brush and urban interface fires. The unit also assists in searches for missing persons, whether hikers lost in the surrounding parks and national forests, or children lost in city neighborhoods. (Of the latter missions, Ratkovich noted, “We’ve actually been quite successful. . . . I’ve been on at least two [cases] where we’ve located the child. Those are, for us, really satisfying.”)

The unit’s dedicated surveillance helicopter, meanwhile, works closely with the Inland CrackDown Allied Task Force (IN CA), an interagency taskforce organized under the California Department of Justice to combat cocaine cartels and money laundering within the Inland Empire region, with heroin and marijuana interdiction as a secondary mission. The unit joined the taskforce in 1993, and it has been a win-win partnership ever since: its resources have helped IN CA become enormously successful, which in turn has yielded seizure money to assist the Riverside PD with aircraft and equipment acquisitions. “They’ve provided us with a much-needed influx of cash,” said Mullins. “It’s been a really good relationship.”

Safety Through Training 

Not counting a helicopter that was shot down in 1994, the Riverside Police Aviation Unit has had only one major accident (a non-fatal one) in its 40-plus-year history — the accident happened during a swiftwater rescue in 1980. The unit has flown 75,000 hours since then, with no severe, or in the military terminology common to many of its pilots, “Class A,” mishaps.

Preserving that safety record is a priority for the unit, and consequently training is, too. “We really put an emphasis on training pilots,” said Mullins. “It’s a very high-trust, low-control environment we’re sending them into.” Most law enforcement aviation units want their pilots to have patrol officer experience, and Riverside is no exception: prospective pilots must have at least three years of patrol experience with the Riverside Police Department before being eligible for pilot training. Said Mullins, “We really look for guys that have a pilot mindset, but also have proven themselves as police [officers].”

To help identify promising candidates, the unit has a part-time relief observer program, which introduces patrol officers to the tactical flight officer side of its pilots’ duties (by using pilots as observers rather than dedicated TFOs, the unit can maintain a smaller, more versatile staff.) Thus, in addition to serving as a selection mechanism, the program gives future pilots valuable skills. “You learn that side of the cockpit, so when you’re selected as a pilot trainee you can focus on the flying,” said Ratkovich.

Riverside PD does its pilot training in-house. Uniquely for a law enforcement organization, it requires pilots to obtain an instrument rating in addition to a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration commercial pilot certificate. Said Mullins, “Very few police departments require the instrument rating. We don’t fly in IMC [instrument meteorological conditions] . . . it’s the skills that come with that rating that are important. All in all, I think it makes us much better pilots.” For example, the comfort level that an instrument-rated pilot has with air traffic control makes it easier to fly surveillance missions at 7,000 to 8,000 feet, an altitude where airplanes are more common than helicopters. “We can send our brand new pilots out there and they’re comfortable in that world,” said Mullins. This is in keeping with Riverside’s general approach to training: “The whole purpose of the program is giving the guys the confidence and skills to go out and do whatever mission is required of them at a relatively low level of experience.”

While pilot training is one part of Riverside’s safety focus, maintenance is another. “They really put maintenance at the center of things,” said director of maintenance Wayne Young, who has been with Riverside PD since 1995, and in law enforcement aviation since 1980. Young is one of two inspection authorization/airframe and powerplant mechanics at the unit; between them, they are able to handle most of the unit’s scheduled and unscheduled maintenance (although they outsource engine and component overhauls, and certain equipment installations).

Thanks to the Aviation Unit’s multiple aircraft and generous parts inventory, it is almost never completely grounded due to maintenance. “We have three patrol helicopters, and that gives us a lot of leeway in scheduling things,” said Young. “We’re very fortunate.”

The aircraft themselves are testament to the care and attention that they receive. None of the unit’s four helicopters are new (two date to the 1980s), but all have been refurbished and are in excellent condition. Credit for that goes to the entire unit. “We take care of the pilots, but they take care of, us as well,” noted mechanic Matt Pagano. “They make the job easy. They’re not out there beating up the helicopter.”

Planning Ahead

Of Riverside’s seven full-time pilots, five are currently eligible for retirement. Mindful of eventual turnover, the Aviation Unit has decided to train one pilot a year for the next four years to guarantee enough replacements. “We’ve started a process to get pilots trained up so we have a seamless transition,” said Mullins. Upon completion of the training program, new pilots will move into a full-time slot if one is available, or work as a relief pilot until one is.

While the unit is budgeted for 3,000 hours a year, during the current economic downturn the unit has voluntarily cut back on flight time out of respect for cash-strapped city budgets. Explained Mullins, “If we’re busy, we’ll fly more, but we decided as a unit that we would rather conserve flight time on our own.” Recently, the unit has logged around 2,200 hours a year, which has not limited its ability to provide day and night coverage, seven days a week.

That respect for the city’s taxpayers is mutual. In 1995, the unit was grounded for budget reasons, but public outcry restored operations in a matter of weeks. “We do a lot of stuff in the community, and we’re good about publicizing our successes,” said Mullins, also noting strong support for the unit within the department. “We’re very thankful for the support we currently have.”

Of course, the Aviation Unit wouldn’t mind upgrading to newer helicopters when the economy recovers — and possibly to a larger platform. Director of maintenance Young described the MD 500 as “a great law enforcement helicopter for what they need it to do,” but voiced the common complaint that, as ALE mission equipment has advanced, “They keep putting more stuff on the helicopters.” A larger helicopter type would allow the unit to stay on mission longer, while carrying additional equipment and passengers. But that possibility is still on the far horizon.

In the meantime, the unit is getting some items on its wish list for its surveillance helicopter: an L-3 Wescam MX-10 high-definition and infrared camera, plus a video downlink system and radio upgrade. The equipment has been funded in part through grant money, with the remainder of the funds coming through IN CA.

All in all, Riverside’s pilots don’t have much to complain about. Outstanding teamwork, diverse missions and strong community support make the Aviation Unit one of Southern California’s best places to work for a law enforcement pilot. As pilot Rich Estes summed up, “It’s a fun mission. It’s the best office in the world as far as I’m concerned.”

About Vertical 911: Launched in 2008, Vertical 911 is the industry’s first helicopter magazine devoted exclusively to first responders in the EMS, law enforcement, fire and search and rescue sectors in North America.

With its dedicated focus on the parapublic helicopter industry, Vertical 911, which is published four times per year, delivers the in-depth reporting this sector wants: from informative articles on broader trends and industry developments, to insight on tactical issues and operating procedures from industry experts. Each issue of the magazine is also jam-packed with parapublic news, product reports and accounts of the real-life rescues that make this sector standout.

Using Cell Phones to Detect Harmful Airborne Substances

Reproduced courtesy of UCR Today:

Nosang Myung holds the devices that he hopes will allow for the detection of harmful airborne substances in real-time

The lab of a University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering professor was named on Tuesday, April 3 after Innovation Economy Corporation, a Riverside company that plans to commercialize his research focused on using mobile devices, such as cell phones, to detect harmful airborne substances in real-time.

The technology being developed by Nosang Myung, professor and chair of the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, and Innovation Economy Corporation has the potential to be adapted in many industries. These include agriculture (detecting concentrations of pesticides), industry (monitoring evaporation and leaks when using or storing combustible gases), homeland security (warning systems for bio-terrorism) and the military (detecting chemical warfare agents).

“This collaborative relationship is key to ensuring research conducted in our laboratories can be commercialized.” Myung said.

Reza Abbaschian, dean of the Bourns College of Engineering, said he is appreciative of Innovation Economy Corporation’s support of the research.

“We are equally appreciative of the support they offer through their mission of connecting our faculty with government and industry and identifying ways to commercialize their discoveries for the benefit of society,” Abbaschian said.

Myung’s research is licensed by start-up company Nano Engineering Applications, Inc., which was created and funded by Innovation Economy Corporation.

Nano Engineering Applications focuses on commercializing patent pending, air-borne chemical detection technology. The company’s cost-effective and scalable fabrication techniques allow research to be transformed into portable devices that detect minute quantities of harmful air-borne substances.

“This is a truly a unique opportunity to collaborate with a world class research university to transform untapped innovative research into solutions for the global marketplace,” said Amro Albanna, Chairman and CEO of Innovation Economy Corporation.

The UC Riverside/Innovation Economy Corporation alliance moves the company closer to integrating toxin detection capabilities with mobile devices, including cell phones that can interface global positioning satellite systems.

The technology uses functionalized carbon nanotubes that are 100,000 times finer than human hair and when functionalized are able to detect a multitude of targeted air-borne substances.

UCR and Innovation Economy Corporation efforts are supported by the city and county of Riverside.

“This model is one of the crowning achievements in our quest to continue to be recognized as one of the most intelligent communities in the world,” Mayor Ron Loveridge said.

John Tavaglione, chairman of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, said: “This ceremony is yet another example of way Riverside County has become a global leader in innovative business growth.”

The partnership between UCR and Innovation Economy Corporation takes a unique approach to ensure that  innovative research, technology, products, and services with high-growth, global-market potential are commercialized and enter the marketplace

To view the article from UCR Today, click here.