Riverside Police Officers Help Students Gear Up

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Brian Rokos, published by the Riverside County Office of Education on August 13, 2014.)

Riverside police have provided about 500 schoolchildren with a little magic as they prepare to head back to class this month.

Riverside police Officers Mike Crawford, left, and Ryan Railsback hand out backpacks filled with school supplies to children at Casa Blanca Library.  Photo credit: Brian Rokos

Riverside police Officers Mike Crawford, left, and Ryan Railsback hand out backpacks filled with school supplies to children at Casa Blanca Library. Photo credit: Brian Rokos

Our community is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all of it’s inhabitants, regardless of background or socioeconomic status.  Another example of how Riverside exemplifies Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar, the Riverside Police Dept. values the potential of students from lower income families and focuses on facilitating their school supplies.  Everyone in our community deserves access to quality education, and the opportunity to engage with one another for a better life for all.

The Riverside Police Officers’ Association, A Foundation for Kids and the Riverside Police Foundation have handed out backpacks to children from low-income families in the past two weeks.  On Tuesday, Officers Ryan Railsback and Mike Crawford, Lt. Eric Charette and other Police Department employees lined up 75 grade-schoolers at Casa Blanca Library and gave them sturdy, black backpacks loaded with pens, pencils, paper, folders, rulers and crayons.

“If you give them a good foundation, they will go far in life,” said Rose Marie Lane, the community liaison for the Police Officers’ Association and unofficial Police Department mom. “You have to give them the tools to start with.”

One child put on a sad face after being handed a backpack. It seemed he already had one at home. Lane told the boy that there were magic pens inside that would help him get good grades. Lane suggested the boy share this duplicate backpack and gave him a big hug.

To read the full article, click here.

PICK Group’s Board Development Training Program Is Accepting Applications

(This article contains excerpts from PICK Group’s post on July 17, 2014.)

The Board Development Training Program (BDTP) is seeking engaged and civic-minded individuals between ages 21-40 who want to grow their personal potential and community value in Riverside.  Since 2009, BDTP has trained and placed more than 40 graduates onto local nonprofit boards of directors, including The Unforgettables, the Mission Inn Foundation, The Riverside Area Rape Crisis Center, Path of Life, and Community Connect.

The deadline has been extended until Monday, August 25, 2014 at 8 PM.

Photo Credit; The PICK Group

Photo Credit; PICK Group

Class participants learn numerous aspects of the nonprofit sector, including governance, legalities, financial management, strategic planning, fundraising, board recruitment, and marketing. Speakers on the various topics include experienced community leaders and experts in their field, such as Damien O’Farrell, Sue Mitchell, and Aaron Norris, among others.

PICK Group is a model of Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth and unified city pillars.  They value and embrace the growth of the nonprofit sector in our community, and are dedicated to further engaging Riversiders to get involved with local non profits.  Pick group motivates individuals to get involved and take leadership roles in civic duty.  Getting Riversiders to come together and engage in civic duty is an effective route to accelerate the common good for the community as a whole.

BDTP’s mission is to educate participants on the roles and responsibilities of nonprofit board directorship, to inspire participants to utilize their skills to address the community’s needs, and to hone effective board members that serve as a model for the future leaders and betterment of Riverside.

Please contact Kristii MacEwen at bdtp@pickriverside.org with any questions regarding the application or if you are interested in recruiting one of PICK Group’s BDTP Graduates for your board of directors.

For the full article, or to get more information and apply, click here.

 

UCR Earns Spot On Sierra Magazine “Cool Schools” List For Third Year

(This article contains excerpts from an article published in UCR Today on August 12, 2014.)

For the third consecutive year, Sierra Magazine has included the University of California, Riverside on its list of “America’s Coolest Schools”, which is a list of the nation’s greenest colleges and universities.  UCR finished with a score of 577.98 out of a possible 1,000 points, placing it 90th among the schools surveyed. UCR’s score improved about 12% compared to 2013.

Members of the sustainability community at UCR stand in front of a balloon representing the amount of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere during Earth Week 2014. Photo credit:  Uma Ramasubramanian

Members of the sustainability community at UCR stand in front of a          balloon representing the amount of carbon dioxide entering the                                          atmosphere during Earth Week 2014.                               Photo credit: Uma Ramasubramanian

The methodology as to how Sierra Magazine ranked all of the participating schools was extensive and thorough.  According to Sierraclub.org, “Participation in Sierra magazine’s Cool Schools ranking is open to all four-year, degree-granting undergraduate colleges and universities in the United States. Sierra received 173 complete responses from qualified colleges. Once schools submitted their data, our researchers scored each response and ranked all of the participating institutions.

There was no cost for participation, and no affiliation or relationship between a school and the Sierra Club or its employees, past or present, influenced the ranking. Evaluation was based primarily on schools’ responses to the survey but when appropriate, we made follow-up inquires by phone and email and used publicly available outside sources to verify and complement survey responses.”

The colleges at the top of our annual “Cool Schools” ranking are so dedicated to greening every level of their operation—from energy usage to recycling to food sourcing to curriculum.  Photo credit: sierraclub.org

The colleges at the top of our annual “Cool Schools” ranking are so dedicated to greening every level of their operation—from energy usage to recycling to food sourcing to curriculum. Photo credit: sierraclub.org

UC Riverside has made this list two other times, moving up the ranks with each appearance.  Officials at UCR expect to gain an even better position on next year’s list with 16 LEED buildings and a new Solar Farm in operation.

Through commitment and dedication, UCR is always improving and making strides in becoming a green machine.  Exemplifying Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst for innovation pillar, UCR values the cultivation and support of innovation within our community acting as a trendsetter for the region, California, and the world to follow.

To read more from UCR Today, click here.

 

 

Riverside Embraces Transparency And Open Data

(This article contains excerpts from an article on cafwd.org by Christopher Nelson, published on 7/30/14)

City of Riverside making headway with new open data portal

With its brand new citywide transparency portal launched earlier this month, Riverside joins Los Angeles, Palo Alto, and other California cities that are embracing transparency and open data without reservation.  The city claims that the newly launched site “EngageRiverside” gives unfettered access to 815,000 documents that contain 3.4 million pages worth of information on any facts or data sets that inquiring citizens or journalists would want to know.

Photo credit: cafwd.org

Photo credit: cafwd.org

The site has sections for city records, budget and finance, general open data, council and board meeting agendas and info, election results, maps as well as one for reporting fraud. What is perhaps most interesting, however, is the one labeled “Share Your Ideas,” which after clicking leads you to a tool called MindMixer. It offers the ability for direct, two way communication between residents and city officials.

Although social media already exists for exchanges like this, residents create an account with MindMixer and it’s specifically tailored for this type of interaction while offering community members a chance to engage and share ideas with each other as well.  “Collaboration and making use of collective knowledge is critical,” said Lea Dessing, Chief Innovation Officer for Riverside at an event earlier this year at which she previewed some of the thinking behind Engage Riverside. “It’s not about government being all knowing, it’s about public participation.”

As a unified city, Riverside invites the community to get involved and participate.  “EngageRiverside is neither the beginning nor the end of our ongoing effort to improve transparency, but it is an important step forward,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said in a release.  Riversiders care about each other and understand that involvement like this will benefit everyone.   

To read more, click here.

Researchers At UCR Find Key Component Of Autistic Behavior

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Mark Muckenfuss, published in the Press-Enterprise on July 26, 2014)

Through constant commitment and dedication, UC Riverside is consistently raising the bar with their research and technological advancements.  One recent advancement, in regards to autism research, is a model of Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst for innovation pillar.  Creativity and innovation permeate all that we do, which makes our community a trendsetter for the region, California, and the world to follow.

Iryna Ethell in her lab at UCR on Thursday, July 24, 2014. UCR researcher Iryna Ethell of Biomedical Sciences heads team that finds what may be a key to effective therapy for autism.  Photo credit: Kurt Miller

Iryna Ethell in her lab at UCR on Thursday, July 24, 2014. UCR researcher Iryna Ethell of Biomedical Sciences heads team that finds what may be a key to effective therapy for autism. Photo credit: Kurt Miller

A UC Riverside-led team of researchers says it has found conclusive evidence that a naturally produced enzyme in the body is responsible for autism and other neurological disorders in people with Fragile X syndrome.

Fragile X is a mutation of the X chromosome associated with obsessive-compulsive and repetitive behaviors as well as learning deficits. People affected by Fragile X have been shown to have structural differences in brain cells, such as underdeveloped neural receptors.

In 2007, Iryna Ethell, a UCR biochemist, found that overactivity of an enzyme called MMP-9 was connected with Fragile X. Her team recently identified MMP-9 as a major culprit in symptoms associated with Fragile X in mice.

Iryna Ethell holds a chart of her work in her office at UCR on Thursday, July 24, 2014. UCR researcher Iryna Ethell of Biomedical Sciences heads team that finds what may be a key to effective therapy for autism. Photo credit: Kurt Miller

Iryna Ethell holds a chart of her work in her office at UCR on Thursday, July 24, 2014. UCR researcher Iryna Ethell of Biomedical Sciences heads team that finds what may be a key to effective therapy for autism. Photo credit: Kurt Miller

By eliminating a gene that activates MMP-9, the researchers found that even with the presence of Fragile X syndrome, the mice showed no symptoms of autistic behavior. They measured sociability, anxiety and other behaviors, as well as examining individual brain cells.

Often, such discoveries are the first step in a long process. Just understanding a mechanism for a particular disease or disorder doesn’t  necessarily mean a treatment is imminent. Effective therapies or drugs can be many years away.

To read more, click here.

UC Riverside Hosts ‘Boot Camp’ To Ease Native Americans’ Entry

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Krysta Fauria, published in the Press-Enterprise on July 23, 2014.)

Young college bound Native Americans are being encouraed to attend the “Boot Camp” opportunities at UC Riverside.  These exercises are an outstanding model of Riverside growing as a unified city.  Riversiders care for one another and ensure that everyone has access to a great education and the resources necessary to succeed.  We are a caring community that engages with one another for a better life for all. 

Native Americans take part in a drum circle before workshop sessions at UCR. Only 12 percent of Native Americans between 25 and 34 have four-year degrees, compared to 37 percent of whites, according to a 2012 report.  Photo credit: Chris Carlson

Native Americans take part in a drum circle before workshop sessions at UCR. Only 12 percent of Native Americans between 25 and 34 have four-year degrees, compared to 37 percent of whites, according to a 2012 report. Photo credit: Chris Carlson

Throughout their week at UCR, students got a taste of the college experience by attending classroom lectures, eating in the cafeteria and sleeping in the dorms. The 30 students also participated in cultural activities like prayer circles and beading workshops.  Upon completion of UCR’s program, students are given access to the university’s resources and staff to assist with the application process.

Elijah Watson knows he wants to go to college. He also knows it will be difficult to leave home on the Navajo reservation if he does.  The 17-year-old was reminded of the tough decision he’ll face next year when he participated in a week long celebration in March of his cousin’s Kinaalda, a hallowed Navajo ceremony marking a girl’s transition into womanhood.

Native Americans gather for a drum circle before workshop sessions at UC Riverside on Thursday, June 26.  Photo Credit: Chris Carlson

Native Americans gather for a drum circle before workshop sessions at UC Riverside on Thursday, June 26. Photo Credit: Chris Carlson

To reach students like Watson with higher education aspirations, a growing number of universities are offering programs to recruit and prepare Native American students for a transition to college life that can bring on a wrenching emotional conflict as they straddle two worlds.

Many young Native Americans find themselves divided by their desire for a higher education and the drive to stay close to home to hold onto a critical part of their identity. Sometimes, families discourage children from pursuing college, fearing once they leave the reservation, they won’t come back.

To read the full article, click here.

Riverside Unified School District Teachers Go On Arctic Expedition

(This article contains excerpts from rusdlink.org and the Arctic’s Edge Facebook page.)

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After collecting samples from four ponds along Lindy Trail this morning, the team “chills” on the tundra. Photo credit: Arctic’s Edge

Eight Riverside Unified School District teachers went on an Arctic Expedition this summer. With an Earthwatch fellowship made possible through the Riverside Educational Enrichment Foundation (REEF).

The adventurers include: Stephanie  Niechayev from Arlington High School; JulieOlson from Chemawa Middle school; Melinda Lang from Madison Elementary School; Erin Garcia from University Heights Middle School; Suzanne Priebe from Earhart Middle School; Tammy Soper from Sierra Middle School; Carla Yawney from Kennedy Elementary School; and Kristin Kund from Poly High School.

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Photo credit: Arctic’s Edge

The expedition team from RUSD exemplifies Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar.  Not only were they able to gather valuable research and data, they are now able to share the findings with their students. This experience gives students the opportunity to take their eyes out of the books briefly and connect with teachers in a fun and interesting way.

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Photo credit: Arctic’s Edge

The teachers departed for their trip on July 9 and were gone through July 20. They travelled to Manitoba, Canada to measure evidence of global warming. The objective was to take water samples; assess the abundance of fish and frogs, and monitor the health of trees in the area. Teachers spent the mornings collecting data, worked in labs in the afternoons, and attended lectures in the evenings.

To read more, click here.

 

Riverside Teen Launches Fashion Collection

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Laurie Lucas, published in the Press-Enterprise on July 23, 2014.)

Kubrat Salaam, a 16- year old fashion designer, business owner, and entrepreneur from Riverside, is launching her new clothing line.  Called Kubitees, it combines African and American fashion styles to create unique pieces of apparel.

Help 16-year-old Riverside teen, Kubrat Salaam, launch her fashion line, a fusion of American and African styles. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Help 16-year-old Riverside teen, Kubrat Salaam, launch her fashion line, a fusion of American and African styles. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

To introduce her company she has designed a 15 -piece clothing collection called “The Bridge”.

Bursting with entrepreneurial spirit, Kubrat Salaam is a true testament to Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar. Her dedication, passion, and drive remind us all that creativity and talent can blossom at a young age. Our community values the talents and efforts of our next generation, as harnessing these individuals’ entrepreneurial spirit is one of the keys to a prosperous future in Riverside.

She has everything set, from designs to manufacturer.  Kubrat is using a  crowdfunding platform (Kickstarter) to raise this money.  The minimum pledge is one dollar, but there are rewards for pledges of $5 or  more and they increase to pledges of $500.

To read the full article, click here.

Business Workshops To Grow Your Business

(This article contains excerpts from iesmallbusiness.com)

The City of Riverside Office of Economic Development is hosting a Business Summer Series at City Hall in conjunction with the Inland Empire Small Business Small Business Development Center (IESBDC). The first workshop, Developing A Business Plan For Success, brought 35 attendees.

Business Workshop 2

Photo Credit: Paul Bush

Are you looking to increase your bottom line? Attend the upcoming workshop on Friday, July 25th and learn how an effective marketing plan can help you to increase your sales and profitability while efficiently managing your marketing dollar. This workshop will be presented by Vincent McCoy from IESBDC and will cover topics such as Marketing Research Basics, Defining Your Customer & Target Market, Analyzing Your Competition and Determining Market Mix. Be sure to go online to iesmallbusiness.com to pre-register, as seats are filling up!

The sponsored workshops hosted by the City of Riverside exemplify intelligent growth within our community.  Small business owners are given the opportunity to develop their business plans and become familiar with the different resources available to them.  All of the workshops will take place in the Mayor’s Ceremonial Room on the 7th floor at Riverside City Hall.  Be sure to pre-register at iesmallbusiness.com, as seats fill up quickly.

To sign up for the workshops, click here for details.

For the IESBDC calendar of events, click here.