Category Archives: Location of Choice

Electric Vehicles Touted As Way To Cut Inland Pollution

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Melanie C. Johnson and published in The Press Enterprise on November 16, 2014.)

Photo Credit: The Press Enterprise
Photo Credit: The Press Enterprise

Riverside resident Diana Howlett climbed into a Nissan Leaf and awaited the noise from the engine. She heard nothing like the usual roar that comes with turning the ignition. “It’s really smooth and quiet,” she said of her first experience driving an electric car. “I turned it on, and I didn’t even know it was turned on.”

She and husband Kyle Howlett came with friends to Riverside Electric Vehicle Day on Sunday. The event, which took place at UC Riverside’s Center of Environmental Research & Technology on Columbia Avenue, was co-hosted by the center, the Charge Ahead California campaign, and CALPIRG UCR student chapter. It featured several speakers, an array of electric cars from Fiats to BMWs to Smart cars the attendees could peruse and test drive, and information on rebates and financing options.

Riverside Councilman Mike Gardner said for more than seven years, his primary mode of transportation for getting to City Hall has been his Segway. Because of Southern California’s landscape, fine-particle air pollution from Los Angeles and Orange County is blown to the Inland Empire, making it tough to meet federal ozone standards, he said. Increasing the number of electric and other zero-emissions vehicles could provide much-needed relief, he said.

“That’s an immediate local benefit for us for our health,” Gardner said.

Events such as Riverside Electric Vehicle Day offer participants a chance to learn how beneficial these alternative modes of transportation are to the environment. Reducing pollution throughout Riverside will help us continue to be able to hold year-round outdoor activities and improve the quality of life of our city.  Riverside Electric Vehicle Day exemplifies Seizing Our Destiny’s location of choice pillar by encouraging our residents to do their part in creating a healthy and livable city.

To read the full article, click here.

UC Riverside Celebrates Three Megawatts of Solar Power

(This article contains excerpts from an article written by Kris Lovekin and published in UCR Today on November 5, 2014.)

UCR has a solar farm that provides more than three megawatts, or the equivalent of 960 houses. Photo Credit: Ross French, UCR Today
UCR has a solar farm that provides more than three megawatts, or the equivalent of 960 houses. Photo Credit: Ross French, UCR Today

UC Riverside has opened a brand new solar farm that will produce up to 6.6 million megawatt hours of electricity each year. That is the equivalent of powering 960 homes for a year.

The ribbon cutting, at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, will include Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox, local government officials, student leaders, and representatives of SunPower Corporation. It will be held on the solar farm site, which is next to UCR’s Community Garden. Parking will be available in Lot 30.

The project supports the system-wide University Policy on Sustainable Practices, which calls on each campus to contribute to the production of up to 10 megawatts of on-site renewable power by 2014.  Wendell Brase, UC Irvine’s vice chancellor for administrative and business services, will attend the ribbon cutting. He is co-chair of UC President Janet Napolitano’s Global Climate Leadership Council.

UCR’s solar array is currently the largest solar array in the University of California system. Other campuses are also quickly adding more solar technology. For instance, UC Irvine opens a large system next year:

UCR signed a 20-year power purchase agreement that allowed the SunPower Corporation to construct, operate and maintain the facility, with the university purchasing the power. UCR spent $350,000 on site clearing and preparation, as well as interconnections costs with the existing substation. The projected savings to the university is $4.3 million over the length of the contract. UCR will also receive carbon and LEED credits that provide additional financial and environmental savings.

The solar farm went online as scheduled on Friday, Sept. 19. It has 7,440 panels across the 11-acre site using GPS tracking to slowly follow the sun across the sky. The massive sea of shiny panels is visible from Highway 60 as thousands of cars pass the campus.

“This is a big step forward, and we plan to do more,” said John Cook, director of the UCR’s Office of Sustainability. “On a hot and sunny day we will be producing nearly a third of UCR’s total energy needs with this system. But over the course of the year, with variable weather, it will amount to 3 percent of our total energy needs.” He said Riverside’s typical sunny climate will make UCR an especially efficient place to invest in solar technology. With the growing concern of climate change and pollution from fossil fuels, UCR is taking steps to reduce their foot print on the environment and promote the quality of life for all through intelligent growth of their campus.

For the full article, click here.

CBU Honors President Ronald L. Ellis For 20 Years Of Leadership

(This article contains excerpts from an article featured on calbaptist.edu, published on November 7, 2014)

California Baptist University honored President Ronald L. Ellis for two decades of service in a series of events this week under the theme “Celebrating 20 Years of Great Commission Leadership.”  Receptions by faculty, staff and students expressed thanks to Ellis for his vision for turning a small Baptist college into a thriving university.  Dr. Dawn Ellen Jacobs, CBU vice provost and professor of English, recalled that Ellis brought a plan to transform the institution when he became the fifth president of California Baptist College on Nov. 1, 1994.

CBU Honors Presidents Ronald L. Ellis for 20 years of leadership.  Photo credit: Calbaptist.edu
CBU Honors Presidents Ronald L. Ellis for 20 years of leadership. Photo credit: Calbaptist.edu

“There were about 40 of us when he came in 1994,” Jacobs said. “We cared about our teaching and enjoyed relationships with our students, but President Ellis brought a sense of purpose and a vision for something more. Under his leadership, we matured as a faculty. We became a university.”

Dr. Mary Crist, professor of education in the Division of Online and Professional Studies, brought remarks as a faculty member who has served throughout the Ellis presidency.  “Dr. Ellis is a man of faith and vision, an inspirational leader, and a man with a good sense of humor,” she said. “He came here because he felt God’s call to lead a Baptist college, especially one that was struggling. God equipped him with a vision needed to be a phenomenal “turn around” present. The results are obvious today.”

Under Ellis’ leadership, California Baptist College officially became California Baptist University in 1998. New schools and colleges have been established, including the School of Music, School of Nursing, College of Engineering, the College of Allied Health and the College of Architecture, Visual Arts and Design. Today, the university comprises 10 colleges and professional schools, offering 158 undergraduate majors/concentrations and 41 master’s degree programs.

The strong leadership and dedication that Dr. Ellis possesses is a testament to what makes Riverside a location of choice.  Under his direction, California Baptist University has been transformed into a reputable university.  It is no surprise that CBU is experiencing record enrollment numbers, and shows no signs of slowing.  The quality of education and value driven campus will continue to attract creative, dynamic, and diverse students to Riverside.

Enrollment has grown from 808 in the fall of 1994 to 7,957 in the fall of 2014, more than a 900 percent increase. About 75 percent of CBC/CBU alumni graduated during the Ellis presidency.

To read the full article, click here.

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.

For the complete article, click here.

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

UCR Ranks 3rd in Nation for Hispanics

(This article includes excerpts from the study published in BestColleges.com on October 27, 2014.)

Photo Credit: UCR Today
Photo Credit: UCR Today

In a nationwide study, the University of California, Riverside made the Top 50 Colleges for Hispanic Students list, according to BestColleges.com.

The rankings, based on Hispanic enrollment and graduation rates, and were created to help students transition from high school to higher education, the site said.

“Many Hispanic students are the first in their families to attend college, so it is important for them to find a support system that will help them navigate degrees, financial aid and their school and social obligations,” the study’s reads.

All the schools on the list offer a cultural center, as well as degree programs and scholarships, for Hispanics.

According to the Pew Research Center, the percentage of Hispanic students that enrolled in higher education after graduating high school surpassed that percentage for white students last year, marking the first in history. Also, the dropout rate for Hispanics continues to decline, dropping from about 23 percent in 2008 to about 15 percent in 2012.

UCR is a testament to the diversity of our city which falls within the pillars Unified City and Location of Choice.  People have a desire to meet and communicate with others that are not like themselves, and there are many opportunities for that in Riverside.

For the complete story, click here.

“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.

UCR Earns Top-10 Ranking in New Social Mobility Index Survey

(This article includes excerpts from the article written by Ross French, published in UCR Today on October 17,2014.)

UC Riverside was ranked eighth in the new Social Mobility Index survey, which rates schools based upon their ability to help students improve their social and economic standing. Photo credit: Ross French
UC Riverside was ranked eighth in the new Social Mobility Index survey, which rates schools based upon their ability to help students improve their social and economic standing. Photo credit: UCR Today.

The University of California, Riverside has been included among the top-10 schools on the new Social Mobility Index (SMI) survey, co-sponsored by CollegeNet and PayScale. The SMI ranking emphasizes economic mobility and the extent that a college or university helps its students with family incomes below the national median improve their social and economic standing.

UCR placed eighth overall among the 539 schools with a SMI ranking of 43.79. UC Davis placed sixth overall with 49.58 points and UC Berkeley was ninth with 43.36 points. The top school in the survey was Montana Tech of the University of Montana. The full rankings can be found on their website.

The survey’s methodology incorporated five weighted variables: published tuition, percent of student body whose families are below the US median income, graduation rate, reported median salary 0-5 years after graduation, and endowment. The survey specifically did not incorporate reputations based upon the opinions of faculty or administrators regarding social or economic mobility, as it would “perpetuate the biases and stereotypes collected in such surveys.”

According to the survey 42.98% of UCR students are considered “low income.” The salary for UCR grads considered “early career employees,” defined as “full-time employees with five years of experience or less in their career or field working in the U.S. who hold a bachelor’s degree and no higher degrees,” is $45,600.

This is the second significant survey in which UCR has received high marks for social mobility, proving once again that Riverside is indeed a Location of Choice. For the last four years, the university has been ranked in the top-10 among national universities in Washington Monthly’s Annual College Ranking Survey, placing second overall in 2013 and 2014.  The Washington Monthly Survey considers civic engagement, research, and social mobility.

The article accompanying the Washington Monthly ranking read, in part:  “The UC campus in Riverside…. stands out as a model for other public universities to follow….. Riverside is unusually focused on social mobility. Since 2006, its enrollment has grown by 25 percent. Half of all freshmen are first-generation college students, and the campus is the most racially and ethnically diverse within the UC system. Riverside’s focus on public service exceeds that of almost every other national university.”

For the complete article, click here.

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.

For the full article, click here.

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.

To read more, click here.

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.

To read more, click here.