Car Giveaway Changes Lives

(This article contains excerpts from article by Kevin J Keckeisen, published in The Press Enterprise on October 26, 2014.)

Roshard and Michelle Fairman enjoy their restored 2010 Toyota Camry given to them by Ben Clymer's The Body Shop in Moreno Valley, which volunteered more than 200 hours to fix the vehicle and partnered with several organizations. The family also received one year of insurance, had the DMV fees paid, and received a trunk full of groceries. Photo Credit: The Press Enterprise, Kevin J. Keckeisen

Roshard and Michelle Fairman enjoy their restored 2010 Toyota Camry given to them by Ben Clymer’s The Body Shop in Moreno Valley, which volunteered more than 200 hours to fix the vehicle and partnered with several organizations. The family also received one year of insurance, had the DMV fees paid, and received a trunk full of groceries. Photo Credit: The Press Enterprise, Kevin J. Keckeisen

When Roshard and Michelle Fairman’s car broke down in 2011, they couldn’t afford to fix it.

Michelle, who is deaf and blind, walked their three children to school every day. Roshard bought a bike and drove seven miles to work at the Ross Stores Distribution Center in Moreno Valley. At the grocery store, they would load supplies into three backpacks and walk home.

Their lives changed Thursday, when Ben Clymer’s The Body Shop gave them a restored 2010 Toyota Camry with fewer than 60,000 miles, one year of insurance and a trunk full of groceries. The shop also covered the DMV fees.

“I’m not really used to receiving things,” Roshard Fairman said. “I don’t apply for contests or things like that.”

His wife said the car means the family can to go church again.

“We haven’t been to church for four years now,” she said. “It’d be nice to go again as a family.”

Michelle Fairman also is excited about going to family gatherings again, and visiting her 93-year-old grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s.

This is the 11th car in six years that Clymer’s shop has given away to a family in need through its five locations in Moreno Valley, Riverside, Yucaipa, Palm Desert and Pomona. The staff volunteered more than 200 hours to fix the vehicle. Ben Clymer’s shop will be holding another Benevolence Car event in Riverside on November 13th. The Benevolence Car event is an example of the compassionate community in Riverside that joins together as a Unified City to support each other in times of need.

The company partnered with Automobile Club of Southern California, Martin Auto Color, PPG Finishes, P&D Wholesale, Enterprise Rent A Car, Bud’s Tire & Wheel, Precision Auto Glass and Community Connect to make it happen.

Community Connect, a Riverside nonprofit, collected applications and whittled them to about 20, factoring in household income and need. Clymer’s office narrowed it down to five, and the whole crew voted on which family would benefit most from the car….

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Riverside Named “Coolest” City

(This article includes excerpts from the article written by David Danelski, published in The Press Enterprise on October 23, 2014.)

Riverside Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey, center, leads the pack at a “Bike with the Mayor” event held in March 2013. The city won a statewide contest that fostered bicycle riding and other measures to the reduce carbon emissions linked to climate change. Photo credit: Press Enterprise, David Bauman

Riverside Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey, center, leads the pack at a “Bike with the Mayor” event held in March 2013. The city won a statewide contest that fostered bicycle riding and other measures to the reduce carbon emissions linked to climate change. Photo credit: The Press Enterprise, David Bauman

To reduce his contribution to global warming, Taher Bhaigee started taking a bus from his home in Riverside’s Canyon Crest neighborhood to his job downtown. “I bought a monthly pass, and that really reduced my driving,” said Bhaigee, 23, a recent UC Riverside graduate who works as an intern in the mayor’s office. Bhaigee also replaced his incandescent lights with energy-efficient CFC bulbs. He was also more careful about turning off the air conditioner and lights when they weren’t needed.

Bhaigee was among more than 1,100 Riverside residents who tracked their energy savings online and helped the city win a contest sponsored by state air quality officials to encourage people to slash their energy use. The California Air Resources Board announced winners in the CoolCalifornia City Challenge on Thursday at a meeting in Diamond Bar. Riverside edged out runners-up Claremont and Rancho Cucamonga to be the “coolest city” in California.

Another Riverside resident, Ryan Bullard, worked on big-ticket items to reduce his carbon footprint. “I have all LED lighting, an efficient AC unit and all energy efficiency appliances from washer to fridge,” said Bullard, who works for Riverside’s electric utility. “In fact, I use about half of the energy a typical household in Riverside uses. “I also frequently walk to work, dinner and more since I live about a half mile from downtown,” Bullard said.

Bhaigee and Ryan are everyday examples of Riversiders working together to address local issues and building an even more Unified City.

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What have YOU done to slash energy use? Let us know and comment below.

“Ideas Worth Spreading”: TEDx Riverside Speakers United By Ideas

(This article contains excerpts from article by Kurt Miller, published in the Press-Enterprise on October 16,2014.)

TEDx Riverside brought together 20 speakers for an eight-hour marathon of inspiration on Thursday at the Fox Performing Arts Center.   TED conferences are brought to communities throughout the world to encourage a convergence of technology, design and entertainment.  To promote education, TEDx Riverside gave 500 tickets to local high schools and filled the balcony with teenagers. It provided buses and lunch for students of Riverside Unified School District.  

“Everybody in this room is a lifelong learner,” Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey declared in his opening remarks.

Nobel Prize winner and UC Riverside alumni Richard Schrock.  Photo credit: City of Riverside

Nobel Prize winner and UC Riverside alumni Richard Schrock. Photo credit: City of Riverside

Most of the speakers had Inland ties, but many have wide renown.  They included Nobel laureate Richard Schrock, who earned his bachelor’s degree from UC Riverside in 1967 and is now a chemistry professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Another UCR graduate was Steve Breen, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner for editorial cartooning and a children’s author.

Among the more unusual presentations was performance artist Gregory Adamson creating a 6-by-6-foot painting of John Lennon in 11 minutes, accompanied by a medley of Lennon and Beatles songs. Photo credit: Fielding Buck

Among the more unusual presentations was performance artist Gregory Adamson creating a 6-by-6-foot painting of John Lennon in 11 minutes, accompanied by a medley of Lennon and Beatles songs. Photo credit: Fielding Buck

The TEDx Riverside event was a model of all the Seizing Our Destiny pillars.  Riversiders from of all ages and backgrounds attended the event on Thursday October, 16 as a unified city with a common interest to be entertained and inspired.  Although each speaker was completely different, they all seem to be on the same wavelength of maximizing personal potential and advocating intelligent growth in our community.  Riverside is a city that honors and builds on its assets to become a location of choice that catalyzes innovation in all forms, while enhancing quality of life.

To read more about TEDx Riverside, click here.

Seminars To Explore Diversity At UC Riverside

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Bettye Miller, published in UCRToday on October 10, 2014.)

UC Riverside’s Center for Ideas and Society has been awarded a $208,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a two-year series of seminars exploring diversity at UCR and in Southern California.

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awards $208,000 grant to Center for Ideas and Society.  Photo credit: UCRToday

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awards $208,000 grant to Center for Ideas and Society. Photo credit: UCRToday

The seminar series – “Advancing Intercultural Studies” – will examine changing perceptions of ethnic, cultural and cosmopolitan identities, the practices of immigrant religions and developments in civic and political engagement, said Georgia Warnke, distinguished professor of political science and director of the center.

As one of the most diverse public research universities in the country, UCR is uniquely positioned to explore questions about the benefits and challenges of diversity, she said, among them, “how do we capture the contributions of a diverse student population, and how do we enhance learning from that?”

Because of UCR’s undergraduate demographics – 42 percent are under-represented minorities – the inclusion of undergraduate and graduate students in the seminars is important in its creation of a pipeline to increase the diversity of American university and college faculty, Warnke said.

The enrichment of diversity among students at UC Riverside is not only remarkable, it plays a key role in making Riverside such a unified city.  It is vital for college campus’ to analyze changes in ethnic and cultural perceptions and adapt to maintain a healthy atmosphere for students.  Riversiders respect and value the cultural heritage, distinct needs and varied input within our community, while proactively engaging across historical dividing lines.

Georgia Warnke

Georgia Warnke

The first of four quarterly seminars will begin meeting in January. Each seminar will be composed of four faculty members, and four graduate and four undergraduate students, each of whom will write a paper based on research produced during the quarter. The seminars are not open to the public, but a concluding conference in spring 2016 will be held at UCR’s Culver Center in downtown Riverside and will be a public event.

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Reductions in Toxic Emissions Reported by SCAQMD

(This article contains excerpts from an article posted by the South Coast Air Quality Management District on October 2, 2014.)

A major study by Southland air quality officials has found that reductions in toxic emissions have cut residents’ cancer risk from air pollution on average by more than 50 percent since 2005.

Photo Credit:  South Coast Air Quality Management District

Photo Credit: South Coast Air Quality Management District

“Air pollution controls on everything from cars to trucks to industrial plants have dramatically reduced toxic emissions in our region,” said Barry Wallerstein, executive officer of the South Coast Air Quality Management District.  “However, remaining risks are still unacceptably high in some areas,” Wallerstein said. “We need to maintain our commitment to reducing toxic emissions so that everyone can breathe healthful air.”

SCAQMD’s Multiple Air Toxics Study IV (MATES IV) found that the average cancer risk from air pollution across the region declined from 1,194 in 1 million during MATES III in 2005 to 418 in 1 million in 2012-13 using similar methods of analysis. The risk reduction follows a trend of declining toxic emissions in the region since the first MATES study was conducted in 1987.

MATES IV found that diesel particulate emitted from diesel trucks and other diesel-powered vehicles and equipment was responsible for 68 percent of the total cancer risk. Fully 90 percent of the risk is due to mobile sources, which includes everything from cars and trucks to ocean-going ships, locomotives, aircraft and construction equipment.

Information like this is important to quality of life issues in our area.  Seizing Our Destiny’s location of choice pillar deals with our unmatched landscape and ability to hold year-round outdoor activities.  Riverside must remain a livable and healthy community.

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Riverside Recognized For Encouraging Healthy Workplace

(This article contains excerpts from an article Suzanne Hurt, published in the Press-Enterprise on October 9, 2014.)

The American Heart Association has recognized the city of Riverside’s continued effort to improve employees’ health.  The association gave the city a 2014 Platinum Fit-Friendly Award and Work site Innovation Award at a City Council meeting Aug. 12, according to city spokesman Phil Pitchford.  The city was also recognized with the health award in 2013.

Photo credit: Press-Enterprise

Photo credit: Press-Enterprise

The award is given to companies and organizations that meet criteria such as offering healthy food at the workplace, supporting workers’ fitness activities and taking other steps to encourage a healthy work site, according to the association.

The City’s Human Resources Department began its wellness programs in 2009. Workers lost 7,400 pounds in four years through an annual “Get Fit Challenge” weight-loss program.

The City of Riverside being recognized by the American Heart Association for two consecutive years, makes our beloved city a location of choice for individuals seeking a healthy lifestyle.  What really makes Riverside so unique are the intangible benefits and values that enhance the quality of life in the city.  Riverside is becoming a location of choice for people and organizations all over the world.

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CBU Announces Record Fall Enrollment Of 7,957 Students

(This article contains excerpts from an article published in CBU’s News Articles on September 26, 2014.)

Enrollment at California Baptist University for the fall 2014 semester is a record-high 7,957 students—an 11 percent increase above the fall 2013 enrollment figure, President Ronald L. Ellis announced today.  This year’s enrollment number represents an increase of 813 students over the fall 2013 total of 7,144. All enrollment segments, including undergraduate, graduate and Online and Professional Studies, are included in this year’s figures.

CBU welcomed a record number of students for the fall 2014 semester.  Photo credit: Calbaptist.edu

CBU welcomed a record number of students for the fall 2014 semester. Photo credit: Calbaptist.edu

“This size of increase is extremely rare in institutions the size of CBU,” Ellis said. He noted that 2014 marks the fourth consecutive year of 600-plus enrollment growth compared to the previous year and a 94 percent increase in five years. Fall 2009 enrollment was 4,105.

California Baptist University is always expanding and improving in a remarkable fashion.  Representing Seizing Our Destiny’s location of choice pillar, CBU attracts students and professionals from across the country due to the great reputation and overall integrity that the campus stands by.

The current student body is 8.8 times larger than the 808 students enrolled when Ellis began his tenure as president in 1994. During the 64-year history of the institution, enrollment has jumped by triple digits 14 times – all of those since fall 1995.

California Baptist University offers 158 undergraduate majors and concentrations and 41 master’s degree programs. Founded in 1950, CBU is a private comprehensive institution located in Riverside, Calif. and affiliated with the California Southern Baptist Convention. CBU is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities and the Consortium for Global Education.

Riverside has increasingly become the location of choice for creative, entrepreneurial, dynamic and diverse people as residents, workers, business owners.

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Pathways To Higher Education Conference Set

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Dana Straehley, published in the Press-Enterprise on September 29, 2014.)

Riverside Unified School District high school students and their parents are invited to attend the Pathways to Higher Education Conference which takes place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at J.W. North High School, 1550 W. Third St., Riverside.  Parents and students will see what it takes to get into college and learn about financial aid.

Faculty and staff from Riverside Unified School District are devoted to their students and provide resources necessary for them to succeed, exemplifying Riverside as a unified city.  These types of seminars and conferences are designed specifically for students and their parents to ease the transition into college.  With a lot of students being the first in their families to move onto college, not every student is given equal or ample advice and instruction.  This conference will help bridge the gap of confusion between distraught students and resources to higher education.

he Pathways to Higher Education Conference will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at J.W. North High School, 1550 W. Third St., Riverside.  Photo credit: Press- Enterprise

The Pathways to Higher Education Conference will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at J.W. North High School, 1550 W. Third St., Riverside. Photo credit: Press- Enterprise

Admission is free to the conference presented by Riverside Unified School District and State Sen. Richard Roth (D-Riverside) with the UC Riverside, Cal State San Bernardino, Riverside City College, Pitzer College and Completion Counts, the citywide initiative to increase high school and college graduation rates.

The conference will cover what classes students need to take in high school to be eligible for university admissions, writing a successful college entrance essay, financial support, the California Dream Act and guarantee programs at RCC and Cal State San Bernardino. Workshop sessions are intended to answer questions.

Riversiders are brought together among mutual interests to enhance quality of life and accelerate the common good for all through education.

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UCR Earns ‘Military Friendly’ Recognition For 4th Year

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Ross French, published in UCRToday on September 23, 2014.)

In recognition of its efforts to dedicate resources that ensure the success of military personnel and veterans in the classroom, the University of California, Riverside has once again been named to the Military Friendly Schools list by Victory Media. It is the fourth time that UCR has appeared on the list.  UC Riverside is dedicated to making their campus and Riverside a location of choice for veterans to fulfill aspirations of attaining higher education.  Our community provides an abundance of opportunities to be amazed, inspired and entertained with welcoming neighborhoods, well-paying jobs in strong companies, and diverse educational opportunities.    

Students from UCR’s Operation VETS program visited Paramout Studios last winter. Operation VETS site visit to the Paramount studios facility last winter. From left Patrick Lee (BA, Political Science – 5th year); Sae Lee (program coordinator, UCR Career Center), Al Dupont (BA, Media & Cultural Students, ’14 alum), Frank Ramirez (staff advisor), and Charles Kim, BA, History Law & Society – 5th year.  Photo Credit: UCR Today

Students from UCR’s Operation VETS program visited Paramout Studios last winter. Operation VETS site visit to the Paramount studios facility last winter. From left Patrick Lee (BA, Political Science – 5th year); Sae Lee (program coordinator, UCR Career Center), Al Dupont (BA, Media & Cultural Students, ’14 alum), Frank Ramirez (staff advisor), and Charles Kim, BA, History Law & Society – 5th year. Photo Credit: UCR Today

“We are honored to once again be included on the Military Friendly Schools list,” said Chryssa Jones, veterans services coordinator in Student Special Services. “Many different people across this campus have gone above and beyond to assist our veterans and military personnel who are working to fulfill their dream of earning a college degree. This is a recognition that we can all take pride in.”

Photo credit: UCR Today

Photo credit: UCR Today

Jones cited the Veteran Employment Transition Success program, known by the acronym Operation VETS, as an example of how the campus works together to assist student vets. The program is a joint effort of the UCR Career Center and Veterans Services and focuses on the development and exploration of career skills and transferable life skills of student vets. For example, participants learn resume and cover letter writing skills, interview techniques and strategies for searching for jobs and internships. Students interested in continuing their educations learn about graduate school preparation.

According to Jones, “Operation VETS helps students take advantage of these existing skills by providing career development instruction, which helps them transfer these skills into tools that will help them as students and in the development of career and life skills.”

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