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….

For the rest of the 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.

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.

To read more, click here.

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.

To read more, click here.

Riverside Metropolitan Museum Celebrates Smithsonian Week

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Charlotte Bray, published in the Press-Enterprise on September 18, 2014.)

The Riverside Metropolitan Museum will host its annual Smithsonian Week to celebrate the opening of its newest exhibit, “Cahuilla Continuum.”

“Cahuilla Continuum” tells the story of Southern California’s native people, the Cahuilla. The tribe’s history is brought to life through artifacts, including baskets, ollas, regalia, paintings, photographs and more. The exhibit features more than 160 objects from the museum’s collection as well as from the National Museum of the American Indian, Cabazon Band of Mission Indians Cultural Museum and private collectors.

Cahuilla tribal member Sean Milanovich uses burning sage to bless a bow at the Riverside Metropolitan Museum.  Photo credit: Brenda Flowers

Cahuilla tribal member Sean Milanovich uses burning sage to bless a bow at the Riverside Metropolitan Museum. Photo credit: Brenda Flowers

Smithsonian Week is a great representation of Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar.  Riversiders come together to learn and pay tribute to one of the many cultures that surround us, because they all play a valuable role in making our country what it is today.  We are a caring community that has compassion for all, focusing on accelerating the common good for our City as a whole.

For Smithsonian Week, Sept. 23 to Sept. 27, the museum will feature two special Smithsonian guests, who will give presentations related to the “Cahuilla Continuum” exhibit. During the week, these special guests will be visiting local schools with their programs, but they will also give free presentations Sept. 27 at the local museum.

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Riverside Metropolitan Museum, 3580 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside, $3 suggested donation. For more information, visit riversideca.gov/museum.

To read the full article, click here.

Task Force To Enhance International Relations For Students

(This article contains information provided by the Office of the Mayor on September 10, 2014)

In spring 2014, Mayor Bailey convened a task force consisting of representatives from Riverside schools, colleges and universities, businesses (including realtors), transit agencies, and the IRC to develop a strategy for making Riverside a more international student friendly city.

IRC Logo

The determination to nurture and expand international relations for students across the globe exemplifies Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city and location of choice pillars.  Establishing relationships with sister cities and proactively engaging students of different cultures and backgrounds is what sets Riverside apart from just any other city.  Riversiders are working together everyday to not only address local issues, but to also have a positive impact on the region, nation and world.

 

According to the Office of the Mayor, “Riverside was voted 2012’s most intelligent community in the world by the prestigious Intelligent Community Forum. Our City of Arts & Innovation is a world class city, in part because of a sister city program that has been hailed by Sister Cities International as one of the best in the country.”

Mayor Bailey led a Riverside economic development/education delegation to China May 23-30, 2014.  The visit, which has significantly increased the inflow of Chinese students, especially to CBU and UCR, resulted in an MOU between the UCR School of Business and Jiangmen’s WuYi University, and a reciprocal visit by a WuYi University delegation to UCR in August 2014. A highlight was Mayor Bailey’s visit to Jiangmen’s No. 1 High School where he delivered a brief civics/government lecture.  Just this past August, a group of 45 students from sister city Jiangmen’s No. 1 High School visited sister high school John W. North.  The visiting students home stay and interact with students, faculty and administrators at North High.

One of the most significant sister city milestones was the 2007 4-Party agreement signed by Riverside, Sendai, UCR and Tohoku University on the 50th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Riverside and Sendai.  This agreement resulted in the creation of SC-RISE (Southern California Research Initiative for Solar Energy) at UCR. SC-RISE annually brings in solar energy researchers from Tohoku, and has expanded its base of support to corporations such as Riverside’s SolarMax Technology and entrepreneurs such as Shenzhen’s Winston Chung.

Maintaining the momentum of Riverside’s international presence, Mayor Bailey will be visiting Mexico sister city Cuautla in September 2014 to participate in the Mexico Independence Day celebration and explore cultural and business opportunities.

For more information, click here.