Category Archives: Community

Rivera Conference To Look At Health Issues

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Suzanne Hurt and published in The Press Enterprise on Feb 16, 2015.)

The 27th annual Tomás Rivera Conference at UC Riverside will explore healthcare for some of society’s most vexing concerns – mental health, addiction and aging – and Latino medical workers and artists who use film, theater, music and comedy to spotlight health challenges and promote healing.

The conference, whose theme is “Community and Wellness: Latinas/os, Medicine and the New Health Humanities,” will be on Friday, Feb. 20, from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in UC Riverside’s Highlander Union Building 302, according to a UCR news release.

The 27th annual Tomás Rivera Conference is set for Friday, Feb. 20, in honor of Rivera, who died in 1984, five years after becoming UC Riverside's chancellor. Photo Credit: UC Riverside
The 27th annual Tomás Rivera Conference is set for Friday, Feb. 20, in honor of Rivera, who died in 1984, five years after becoming UC Riverside’s chancellor. Photo Credit: UC Riverside

Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside; and conference Director Tiffany Ana López, a UCR theatre professor and the university’s Tomás Rivera endowed chair, will make opening remarks.

Playwright/actor Luis Alfaro will perform his solo play “St. Jude,” about his experience taking care of his father at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19, at the Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts, 3834 Main St. in Riverside.

The conference will include theater and music performances, a screening of the documentary “Code Black,” workshops, discussions and a roundtable. The workshops will be led by health professionals, artists, activists and scholars.

The conference is free, but reservations are required by the morning of the conference to reserve lunch and a place in an afternoon workshop, where space is limited. Parking costs $6 to $8.

As a community, we promote health and wellness in all forms. This attention to health and wellness makes Riverside a Location of Choice for people seeking a healthy lifestyle.

For the complete article, click here.

Health Foundation Announces Clinic Expansion

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in The Press Enterprise on February 11, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Riverside Community Health Foundation

The Riverside Community Health Foundation announced this week that it is planning a $3.5 million expansion of its Eastside Health Center that will nearly double the number of patients that can be seen, a news release said.

The clinic on University Avenue in Riverside sees about 6,500 patients per year and is at maximum capacity. The expansion will increase annual patient visits to over 12,000.

With a convenient location, dedicated medical and dental staff, and partnership with the community, Eastside Health Center has and continues to have a huge impact on the City of Riverside residents.

The Eastside Health Center  stands as a core anchor of quality and low cost medical and dental care for the underserved and uninsured throughout Riverside’s eastside neighborhoods. These eastside neighborhoods have in the past been plagued by high crime and poverty rates; however, they have been the focal point of the city’s recent efforts of improvement and renovation. The renovation is an example of Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar.

The nonprofit foundation has purchased land directly across from the health clinic and plans to break ground on an expansion in late 2015, the news release said.

The foundation also provided more than $3 million in programs and grants in 2014 to organizations providing services to residents living in Riverside and Jurupa Valley.

Organizations that received funding included Loma Linda Children’s Hospital Foundation, Parkview Community Hospital, Riverside Community College District and the Jurupa Area Recreation and Park District.

The $3.5 million expansion of the Eastside Health Center is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar. Riverside embraces economic growth and directs it so it maintains and improves our already outstanding quality of life. This includes growing the economy, raising the standard of living and managing a growing population.

For the complete article, click here.

UCR Launches Initiative To Deal With Inland Poverty

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Fielding Buck and published in The Press Enterprise on February 10, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Carrie Rosema
Photo Credit: Carrie Rosema

A strategy to study, teach about and deal with Inland poverty was announced Tuesday at UC Riverside.

The UCR School of Public Policy will launch the Blum Initiative on Global and Regional Poverty this fall.

The announcement was made during an appearance by former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich, who was on campus to talk to public policy students and attend the screening of a documentary about him.

Reich praised Riverside as a “roll-up-your-sleeves” kind of community and UCR as a school that provides opportunities for students with financial needs. Exemplifying Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar, Riverside and UCR both demonstrate that we’re a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all.

“There’s probably no place that I know of that better exemplifies what higher education ought to be doing,” Reich said.

Reich is a senior fellow of the Blum Center for Developing Economies at UC Berkeley, which is working with UCR on the intiative.

Richard Blum, Photo Credit: UCR Today
Richard Blum, Photo Credit: UCR Today

It was launched by a gift of $250,000 from the center’s founder, UC regent Richard C. Blum, who is married to Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

UCR chancellor Kim A. Wilcox and UC President Janet Napolitano both matched the gift out of their budgets, according to a UCR press release.

The initiative will be interdisciplinary and results oriented, according to Anil Deolalikar, founding dean of the school. It will include partnerships with local non-governmental organizations.

“Poverty is not unique, right?” he said in an interview before the announcement. “Every place in the work has poverty and there are many places in the world that have tackled the problem of poverty with good results. We will be trying to glean lessons from around the world so that we can use some of those lessons to solve poverty problems here in the Inland Empire.”

Plans include to establish an undergraduate minor in poverty and a focus area in public policy master degree program.

For the complete article, click here.

Kids With Special Needs Get Super Bowl Of Their Own

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in the RUSD News on January 29, 2015)

Photo Credit: RUSD
Photo Credit: RUSD

More than 200 special needs students from across the Riverside Unified School District celebrated Super Bowl Sunday at few days early on Wednesday, Jan. 28 as Poly High School hosted its second annual Super Bowl for Kids event.

This event gave students in kindergarten through sixth grades the opportunity experience the excitement of being part of a high school football team. As students arrived, they ran through a welcoming row of cheerleaders and through the Poly Bear tunnel. The Poly band played the fight song as each student got out on the field, grabbed a football and made a touchdown with help from members of the Poly football team.

And, just like a real game, colorful posters lined the fence near the stands, which were, of course, filled with crowds of cheering fans. Television news crews were on hand to capture all of the action.

Lisa Miller, Special Education Student Advisor at Poly, said the event benefits special needs students by letting them be part of an exciting school activity they might not otherwise be able to participate in. It also helps the high school students learn respect and acceptance of others.

“It puts a smile on my face. It’s just really heartwarming,” noted sophomore quarter back Alec Quintero. “Seeing these kids smile, it’s just a good feeling.”

“This speaks to the spirit of the Poly community and the RUSD community,” added Poly Principal, Dr. Michael Roe.

Miller said Poly is excited to keep the tradition of Super Bowl for Kids going and added that they likely will invite middle and high school students to participate next year.

Events like this truly demonstrates what makes Riverside such a unified city. We are a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all.

For the complete article, click here.

Riverside Ranks 5th For Cities To Live In For Empty Nesters

(The article contains excerpts from the article written by Ann Brenoff and published in The Huffington Post on January 8, 2015.)

mall at night

When the kids are gone and you no longer care about the quality of neighborhood schools, a new realm of possible places to live opens up. Rent.com compiled a list of the 10 top cities for empty nesters — their first — based on low crime, lower-than-average living costs, climate and convenient access to travel.

Rent.com’s Senior Brand Manager Niccole Schreck noted that there has been a cultural shift toward urban living among empty nesters. “For that reason,” she told The Huffington Post, “it is not surprising to see the cities that made our list are typically outside major urban markets with a plethora of activities, excitement and culture available to renters over 50.”

With the growing number of senior citizens in the U.S. it is important that cities

With the growing number of senior citizens in the U.S. it’s important that cities have great weather, apple recreational activities, and access to major highways. Being located in the heart of Southern California, Riverside provides all of those things at a reasonable price making it location of choice for not only senior citizens but for people of all ages.

5. Riverside, California
College towns make great retirement places because they come with a host of built-in cultural activities, not to mention pet sitters when you want to travel. UC Riverside is a great campus, and is also home to the Riverside Sports Complex. Riverside is also home to the parent Washington navel orange tree -– mother to millions of navel orange trees the world over and one of the two original navel orange trees in California.

To read the full article, click here.

 

What’s For Lunch? More Often, It’s Fresh And California-Grown

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Dayna Straehley and published in The Press Enterprise on January 2, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Stan Lim, The Press Enterprise
Photo Credit: Stan Lim, The Press Enterprise

On California Thursdays at Hillcrest High School, lunches made with fresh vegetables sell out first.

California Thursdays started Oct. 23, and is already a hit at schools such as Hillcrest. The center worked with school food service directors, farmers and produce distributors to develop recipes that students enjoy and can be made from scratch with fresh ingredients grown in-state.

They’re an alternative to frozen, processed, prepackaged meals shipped from out of state and reheated for schools, according to the center, a nonprofit dedicated to education for sustainable living and based in Berkley. Sometimes produce from California is shipped to Chicago and other distant locations for processing before it comes back to schools, the center said.

Photo Credit: Stan Lim, The Press Enterprise
Photo Credit: Stan Lim, The Press Enterprise

The California Thursdays entree features broccoli buds andcelery slices from Salinas, sliced red peppers from the Coachella Valley, sliced onions and matchstick carrots, rice grown in California and chicken. Food service workers put the vegetables on baking pans with a little water and into the oven. The cooked vegetables are then placed on top of the chicken and rice.

Although the full entree of only California-grown food is a weekly feature, Alvord Child Nutrition Services Director Eric Holliday said his department works with Sunrise Produce to include as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible to serve students every day.

The fruit also has fewer preservatives and the apples aren’t waxed like the ones in supermarkets, said Lisa Marquez, vice president of sales for Sunrise, which works with farmers and 75 to 80 school districts in Southern California.

Holliday said schools try to educate students about food and teach them where it comes from. Those education efforts encourage students to eat more fresh foods that may be unfamiliar initially.

Located in beautiful Southern California, Riverside has weather that is conducive to the production of year-round produce and excellent recreational opportunities.  Riverside is a location of choice for those that desire a healthy lifestyle.

To read the full article, click here.

Fighting A “Food Desert”

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Alicia Robinson and published in The Press Enterprise on December 31, 2014.)

Joey Romero, program director of Mobile Fresh, stands in the doorway of an old RTA bus that has been converted to a mini market with fresh vegetables and other healthy food. Photo Credit: David Bauman, The Press Enterprise
Joey Romero, program director of Mobile Fresh, stands in the doorway of an old RTA bus that has been converted to a mini market with fresh vegetables and other healthy food. Photo Credit: David Bauman, The Press Enterprise

More than a dozen communities around the state are part of Kaiser’s HEAL Zone effort. On the Eastside, an estimated 57.77 percent of adults are overweight or obese, and the area is considered a “food desert” – meaning it has plenty of fast food and convenience stores but few places offering fresh, healthy options.

Spearheaded by the nonprofit Riverside Community Health Foundation, those working on the HEAL Zone project are attacking the healthy eating component on several fronts.

Organizers are publicizing classes on eating right and diabetes education at community centers. The Riverside Spanish Seventh Day Adventist church is offering a monthly healthy cooking class. Riverside city staff want to create a community-supported agriculture program that would deliver Eastside residents monthly boxes of locally-grown produce.

To compete with the large number of unhealthy offerings – 36 fast food restaurants within a half-mile of North High School – officials are working with two neighborhood markets to get newer, more energy-efficient chilled cases to hold fresh produce and to create signs, murals and other advertising to let people know they sell fruit and vegetables.

Riverside County public health officials, who are coordinating the market project, also want to help the store owners buy produce at lower prices so they can charge customers less to compete with cheaper fast food, said Lorie Brendecke, a nutritionist with the county public health department.

Photo Credit: David Bauman, The Press Enterprise
Photo Credit: David Bauman, The Press Enterprise

Another choice for those who can’t get to a full-fledged grocery store is the Mobile Fresh bus. The produce-filled bus is a project of the nonprofit Family Service Association that linked up with the HEAL Zone because of their shared goals, said Joey Romero, an operations specialist with the association.

The bus, donated by the Riverside Transit Agency, regularly visits more than 40 spots around the county to offer low prices on bags of Brussels sprouts and green beans, bunches of asparagus, mangoes, apples and other fresh foods.

Riversiders commitment to making one-other’s life a little better is a great example of Riverside acting as a unified city. The actions of all the participating organizations demonstrates that Riverside is a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all.

To read the full article, click here.