Tag Archives: City of Riverside

Not-So-Big Cities: Where Americans Are Moving

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Yuqing Pan and published in realtor.com on August 26, 2015.)

Photo Credit: realtor.com
Photo Credit: realtor.com

Among today’s urban migrants, Austin, TX, and Riverside, CA, hold more appeal than New York City and Los Angeles. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 18% of people who moved last year—that’s 8.5 million people—traded one metropolitan area for another, and a big chunk of them traded down for a smaller city not far away.

Los Angeles is still the top destination, with almost 245,000 people relocating from other metro areas, followed by New York City and Washington, DC. However, these big cities are also losing residents—more then they’re gaining. Almost 400,000 people quit The Big Apple last year, and 340,000 fled Los Angeles. (Note that this Census report looked only at people moving between metropolitan areas, and so didn’t count people moving between cities and small towns.)

Smaller cities such as Austin and Riverside—and not-so-small Houston—are gaining prosperity, with more people moving in than out.

A separate Census Bureau study showed that 10% of U.S. residents are dissatisfied with their current housing, neighborhood, local safety, or public services to the point that they want to move.

Riverside has increasingly become the ‘location of choice‘ for people and organizations escaping the hectic lifestyle of big cities.

By the numbers: Top 10 urban migration paths

1. Los Angeles, CA → Riverside, CA: 90,494
2. Riverside, CA → Los Angeles, CA: 54,711
3. New York, NYPhiladelphia, PA: 26,957
4. San Jose, CA → San Francisco, CA: 24,536
5. Washington, DC → Baltimore, MD: 22,944
6. New York, NY → Miami, FL: 22,226
7. Baltimore, MD → Washington, DC: 21,457
8. San Diego, CA → Riverside, CA: 19,667
9. Philadelphia, PA → New York, NY: 19,336
10. San Francisco, CA → San Jose, CA: 18,680

For the complete article, click here.

Riverside Gets 3-STAR Rating For Sustainability

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Suzanne Hurt and published in the Press Enterprise on August 10, 2015.)

Photo Credit: STAR Communities
Photo Credit: STAR Communities

A nonprofit that measures U.S. city sustainability has recognized Riverside as a 3-STAR community, city officials have announced.

STAR (Sustainability Tools for Assessing and Rating Communities) Communities assesses environmental, economic and social sustainability as part of an effort to make cities more liveable. Riverside entered the rating system in November 2012, according to the nonprofit’s website.

The group rates a community’s built environment, climate and energy, natural systems, health and safety, equity and empowerment and other factors. The rating system uses data provided by cities and provides local officials with a way to set targets and appraise their own progress toward increased sustainability.

The STAR Community Rating System was created by ICLEI USA, the U.S. Green Building Council, National League of Cities and the Center for American Progress.

This rating is yet just another reason why Riverside is a location of choice for people seeking the most out of their city. Riverside provides welcoming neighborhoods, well-paying jobs, and a great education.

School Districts Aim To Better Identify Homeless Students

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Bo Kovitz and published in The Press Enterprise on Aug 10, 2015.)

Waudier "Woody" Rucker-Hughes
Waudier “Woody” Rucker-Hughes

Local school districts are on a mission to find homeless youths, described by many experts as hidden in plain sight.

The Riverside Unified School District and Moreno Valley Unified School District each plan to increase the number of counselors they send to individual schools to better identify homeless youths.

Waudieur "Woodie" Rucker-Hughes, a child welfare and attendance manager for the Riverside Unified School District, works in her office on Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. Woodie is also the president of the Riverside NAACP. Photo Credit: Stan Lim
Waudieur “Woodie” Rucker-Hughes, a child welfare and attendance manager for the Riverside Unified School District, works in her office on Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. Woodie is also the president of the Riverside NAACP. Photo Credit: Stan Lim

RUSD will hire 14 counselors to work with at-risk youth, which includes those who are homeless. They’ll be paid with state Local Control and Accountability Plan funding.

Both districts also received federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act funds for homeless youth services. RUSD plans to use that money to help pay for specific homeless-youth services such as bus passes and hosting outreach events. The funding also may help pay for more nutritional services, books and backpacks, tutoring, homework assistance at homeless shelters and access to field trips.

There are thousands of homeless youths throughout the Inland area.

In 2014, Riverside County identified and worked with 25,731 homeless public school students at some point in the year, and San Bernardino County identified as many as 36,866 homeless students, according to data from the California Department of Education.

In the city of Riverside, there were 3,826 homeless students identified, and 3,352 were identified in Moreno Valley, according to the state data.

Those numbers reflect only those students that school districts were able to identify as homeless. But many remain uncounted because they don’t share their housing situation with school officials.

Woodie Rucker-Hughes, homeless-student coordinator for RUSD said there are likely hundreds that may be uncounted — those still on the streets or sleeping in the living rooms of friends and relatives.

Rucker-Hughes, who works to find homeless youths and connects them to student services, now has $128,140 in McKinney-Vento funds to help homeless youth. Moreno Valley Unified School District received $157,979.

The San Bernardino County Office of Education was granted $225,684 in McKinney-Vento funds for the 2015-2016 school year. The Ontario-Montclair School District received $157,979 and San Bernardino City Unified School District got $142,462.

The Riverside and Moreno Valley districts both will use the funds to increase educational services for homeless youths, and Riverside will also use LCAP money to hire more counselors.

“Additional counselors are something sorely needed in the district,” Rucker-Hughes said. “These folks will come in and help lighten the load, and counselors will be given more meaningful time to be spent with the kids who need it.”

Currently RUSD uses two to three full-time counselors to work with homeless students. In the Moreno Valley school district, as many as 10 counselors are paired with homeless youth, but those counselors also have other duties.

To Rucker-Hughes, having more counselors will help schools find more of the hidden homeless.

Efforts like this truly show why Riverside is such a unified city. 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.

Athletes Get Warm Welcome And Hone Their Skills At Inland Venues

(This Article contains excerpts from the article written by Stephen Wall and published in the Press Enterprise on July 22, 2015.)

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

Dakota bucked a bit, but Milagro was smooth in the saddle.

Changing horses was no big deal to Special Olympian Robert Seignious, who was fine-tuning his equestrian skills Wednesday, July 22, in Norco.

“It’s fun and I like to win medals,” he said with a smile.

The South Carolina resident was among the 10-member Special Olympics USA Equestrian team practicing for the Special Olympics World Summer Games, which begin Saturday, July 25, in Los Angeles.

Nearly 350 athletes with intellectual disabilities from around the country are training for 16 sports at Inland venues through Friday and are staying at the UC Riverside dorms for four days before leaving for Los Angeles..

After the morning workouts, competitors headed to downtown Riverside for an afternoon “Parade of Champions.”

Enthusiastic crowds lined Main Street to cheer on athletes who wore red shirts, waved American flags and chanted “U.S.A,” “U.S.A.” as they walked toward City Hall. About 100 athletes, coaches and trainers from Team Sweden preceded the Americans. The parade included the Martin Luther King High School band and cheerleaders from Poly High School in Riverside.

Riverside residents Holly Fajardo and her daughter Emily, 17, slapped high-fives with athletes as they walked in front of the Mission Inn.

“It’s important that they see the community supports them just like professional athletes,” Holly Fajardo said. “They don’t get the same recognition and they should.“

The care and compassion that Riverside showed towards our guests, truly demonstrated what makes us 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.

Emily Fajardo, who graduated from King High in June, was part of a campus club that works to integrate special needs kids with the rest of the student population.

“You get to know how wonderful and unique they are,” she said. “You are drawn to them.”

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

Grand Marshal Lauren Potter, an actress featured in the TV show “Glee,” was part of the procession. Potter is a Poly High graduate and has Down syndrome.

“I’m so excited to be with all these amazing athletes,” Potter, 25, said before the parade started.

EQUESTRIAN TRAINING

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

Earlier in the day, Seignious, 21, talked about riding horses at the No Drama Ranch Therapeutic Equestrian Center in Norco, which is hosting one of the practices.

The horse named Dakota was challenging to ride because it was the first time the animal had a male rider, said Marissa Brzescinski, the equestrian team’s head coach.

“He was getting a little out of control, so I got a replacement,” explained Seignious.

He returned to the arena and hopped on Milagro, practicing proper form and posture with coach Tom Walmsley.

“I feel like I’m on a jet,” is how he later described the experience.

Horses at the ranch are trained for competitive events and are “as safe as can be,” said Walmsley, who lives in Illinois.

The athletes who were honing their equestrian skills hail from nine states — Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Missouri and Arizona.

Team captain Jeremiah Schedlock looked forward to showcasing his talents in front of big crowds in Los Angeles. He also wants to meet and socialize with people from other countries.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Schedlock, 24, who lives in Prescott, Arizona.

‘SUCH AN HONOR’

After Wednesday afternoon’s parade, athletes mingled in front of City Hall, dancing as they listened to recorded music blaring over loudspeakers.

Basketball players from Minnesota expressed gratitude for the support.

“It feels good to be recognized,” said Joseph Ajayi, 24. “It feels good to be part of something this big and this successful.”

Hearing the cheers was heartwarming, added Abel Mehari, 22.

“It’s a really rewarding experience that I’m going to cherish for the rest of my life,” he said.

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

As a gesture of friendship, Amy Norton, a triathlete from New Jersey, gave her American flag to a Swedish athlete and got a flag from that country in return.

Describing what it’s like to be in the world games, Norton, 27, said, “It’s just incredible.“

Her sentiment was shared by teammate Courtney Dreyfus.

“You‘re surrounded by so many new people,” said Dreyfus, 18, also of New Jersey. “You get to be in one of the biggest competitions in the world. It’s such an honor.”

Riverside Wants To House All Homeless Veterans

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Alicia Robinson and Published in The Press Enterprise on July 19, 2015.)

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

The Riverside apartment David Oakley shares with his girlfriend and their gray cat, Mittens, is a modest one-bedroom with a cramped kitchen, donated furniture and a few framed prints on its off-white walls.

But it’s home, and Oakley is grateful for it.

Before he moved into the apartment seven months ago, Oakley, a 51-year-old National Guard veteran, was homeless for about two years.

Having his own place is “like it used to be, it’s the way it should be,” he said, then added, “It’s kind of, to be honest, like a dream come true.”

Oakley is one of several military veterans helped by an ambitious Riverside program that aims to house all of the city’s homeless veterans by the end of this year.

So far, the program, backed by Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey, has found homes for 11 veterans. It has 21 more veterans linked with caseworkers to help them apply for benefits and find jobs and apartments.

“It’s inexcusable in my mind to have homeless veterans,” said Bailey, a West Point graduate and Army veteran. “(With) 200,000 veterans in the two-county (Inland) region, we need to lead by example and to take care of our troops.”

The Riverside apartment David Oakley shares with his girlfriend and their gray cat, Mittens, is a modest one-bedroom with a cramped kitchen, donated furniture and a few framed prints on its off-white walls.

But it’s home, and Oakley is grateful for it.

Before he moved into the apartment seven months ago, Oakley, a 51-year-old National Guard veteran, was homeless for about two years.

Having his own place is “like it used to be, it’s the way it should be,” he said, then added, “It’s kind of, to be honest, like a dream come true.”

Oakley is one of several military veterans helped by an ambitious Riverside program that aims to house all of the city’s homeless veterans by the end of this year.

So far, the program, backed by Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey, has found homes for 11 veterans. It has 21 more veterans linked with caseworkers to help them apply for benefits and find jobs and apartments.

“It’s inexcusable in my mind to have homeless veterans,” said Bailey, a West Point graduate and Army veteran. “(With) 200,000 veterans in the two-county (Inland) region, we need to lead by example and to take care of our troops.”

House Veterans
Riverside is taking part in a federal program that challenges cities to find housing for all homeless military veterans by the end of 2015.

Participants: A total of 709 city, county and state officials have accepted the challenge. Other California cities involved include San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento and Fresno.

Progress: In Riverside, housing has been found for 11 veterans, but 44 more still need homes.

Resources: Veterans and their advocates can call the Access Center, 951-715-3434, or visit endhomeless.info. Lighthouse, 951-571-3533, and the Department of Veterans Affairs in Loma Linda, 909-825-7084, also assist homeless veterans.

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.

Postcard Project Designed to Unite Residents With All Neighborhoods

Photo Credit: Riverside Neighborhood Partnership
Photo Credit: Riverside Neighborhood Partnership

“I love the Wood Streets because of the traditional design and landscape.”  These are the kinds of comments received on postcards written by City residents for the Neighborhood Postcard Project – a global participatory art project that fosters community connection through storytelling exchange.  Residents share personal positive stories about their neighborhood on a postcard and those postcards are delivered to random people in different neighborhoods within the same city.

The Unified City pillar group of Seizing Our Destiny has been collecting these postcards since the NeighborFest event held on May 16th.  The City of Riverside has 26 neighborhoods.  They are being collected two ways:  via a handwritten postcard with a blank space on the back for creativity and through the Seizing our Destiny website.  The ones collected on the website are being shared via social media.

Photo Credit: Riverside Neighborhood Partnership
Photo Credit: Riverside Neighborhood Partnership

The goal of the project is to build community connections, awareness and pride in our local treasures – our neighborhoods.

Postcards are available at various community events throughout the City and on-line at www.SeizingOurDestiny.com/postcard-project/.  For more information about the national project, go to www.neighborhoodpostcardproject.com.

Special Olympics USA Pre-Games Camp Coming to UC Riverside

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Mojgan Sherkat and published in UCR Today on July 8, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Special Olympics USA
Photo Credit: Special Olympics USA

Special Olympics USA will hold Pre-Games camp activities at the University of California, Riverside. The team will represent the United States at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles, California, Saturday, July 25 to Sunday Aug. 2.

Special Olympics USA consists of 344 athletes and 137 coaches and management staff. Athletes will compete in 17 sports at the World Games, in traditional and Unified Sports competition (where people with and without intellectual disabilities compete on the same team), including: aquatics, athletics, bocce, bowling, cycling, equestrian, golf, gymnastics, kayaking, powerlifting, sailing, tennis, triathlon, basketball, soccer, softball, volleyball.

“We are honored to host Special Olympics USA,” said Andy Plumley, UCR’s Assistant Vice Chancellor, Housing, Dining & Residential Services. “Along with the UCR Student Recreation Center, UCR Athletics and our City of Riverside partners, we will be hosting the team members as they make their final preparations for the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.”

Head of Delegation Chris Hahn said. “The athletes of Special Olympics USA have been training for years for this moment — for the opportunity to showcase their abilities on the biggest competitive stage they’ll ever experience,” said “We are very grateful to UCR for giving our athletes the training facilities they need to prepare, the hospitality to make them feel welcome and comfortable, and the community support that will give them the confidence to go for the gold!”

The delegation will arrive on campus on Tuesday, July 21 to participate in four days of training sessions and social activities in Southern California designed to allow athletes to further bond as a team. The public is invited to come cheer on the “home team” from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 22. The City of Riverside will host the Parade of Champions starting on Fifth Street near the Riverside Convention Center. The parade will end at Riverside City Hall, 3900 Main St.

On Friday, July 24, the team departs for UCLA and USC, where they will be housed during the World Games.

Riverside has increasingly become the ‘location of choice’ for people and organizations from all over the world. With our unmatched landscape, year-round outdoor activities, ample recreational options, and attention to healthy living make Riverside one of the most inspiring, livable, healthy and adventurous cities to live in or visit.

MEDIA:. Athletes, coaches and Special Olympics USA leadership are available for interviews. Please contact Leigh Cheatham, Special Olympics USA Communications, for assistance: (803) 414-3300 or lcheatham@so-sc.org.

About the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015 (LA2015)

With 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators, the 2015 Special Olympics World Games — being staged in Los Angeles July 25–August 2, 2015 — will be the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015, and the single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games. The 2015 Special Olympics World Games, with the unparalleled spirit, enthusiasm, teamwork, joy and displays of courage and skill that are hallmarks of all Special Olympics events, will feature 25 Olympic-style sports in venues throughout the Los Angeles region. The Opening Ceremony, to be held July 25, 2015 in the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games, is expected to attract 80,000 spectators. On April 30, 2014, LA2015 and ESPN announced a global programming deal that will see ESPN bring coverage of World Games to millions of fans around the world. Honorary Chairs of the Games are President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and California Governor Jerry Brown serving as Honorary Hosts. For more information on the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, including volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, visit LA2015.org and on social with #ReachUpLA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Riverside Box Art Project Uses Historical Art To Enhance A Sense Of Place

(This article contains information accessed from the leadershipriverside2015.com webpage on July 9, 2015.)

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Potential art sample from the Wallace J Miller Collection and Citrus Label Collection contained in the Riverside Public Library Local History Collection

Art and history come together as several utility boxes in the downtown area are “wrapped” with art reproductions from the early 1900s reflecting our singular history. Themes include our citrus heritage, social justice exemplified in the preserving of the Harada House, military history remembered by Camp Anza, the Gage Canal, and Riverside’s thriving business and educational interests. All art work is derived from the Library’s archives. Sponsored by a local business, each box displays a digital code referring the viewer back to our website detailing the background of the historical images represented on each box. Each box displays a small map showing the location of the other box’s in the area. An online map enables virtual and actual walking tours. The exhibit is planned to be unveiled in November 2015—just in time for the Festival of Lights. An inventive addition to this project is the creation of a “how-to manual” for others who may be interested in creating similar thematic box art in Riverside. This project will serve as a 3-year pilot to pave the way for beautiful public art throughout Riverside, enhancing a lasting and attractive sense of place.

Become a sponsor today! Learn How.

Follow the project on Facebook: facebook.com/RiversideBoxArt

Here are some box art samples from other cities:

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Who Says There’s No Such Thing As A FREE LUNCH?

(This information was pulled from the RUSD Nutrition Services webpage on June 25, 2015.)

FEEDS Flyer

 “RUSD F.E.E.D.S. (Food for Every child to Eat During Summer).” Beginning Monday, June 15th through Friday, August 21st lunch will be provided to any child, ages 2-18 for FREE.

This program, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Services, is vital for many low-income children especially in this difficult economy.  Free school meals provide children with up to 75% of the Recommended Dietary Allowances for key nutrients.  When school is not in session, these meals are lost and may not easily be replaced.   As children obviously do not stop growing physically or cognitively because they are not in school, this summer program fills a crucial gap, helping to ensure that students will return to school ready to learn.

The Nutrition Services Department also partners with the City of Riverside Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department to provide meals.

During the summer months it is important to encourage your child to eat healthy food and stay active.  Visit one of the eighteen (18) neighborhood parks or six (6) school sites this summer where a daily outdoor bar-b-cue will be provided at no charge. Parents do not have to complete any applications or provide any money for their children to eat.  Any child 2-18 will be eligible for a FREE meal.

Please bring your kids and their friends and join your neighbors for a hot BBQ lunch in the park.  See their flyer for a complete listing of locations and service times where children can receive free meals during the summer. If you need more information please call (951) 352-6740.  Si tiene alguna pregunta, llame al (951) 352-6740.

RUSD’s  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.