Tag Archives: City of Riverside

Smiles For Seniors Program Going Strong After 16 Years

Smile Seekers

(This article contains excerpts from www.SmileSeekers.org and retrieved on November 14, 2014.)

Smile Seekers is a Riverside home-grown non-profit corporation whose goal is to unite the youth of this country with the forgotten elderly.  Started 16 years ago by Jim Baldwin, the organization has literally connected thousands of adult and youth volunteers with the elderly through their convalescent-visitation program.

Baldwin came from a life of addiction.  After becoming clean, he was approached by some friends who needed a ride to visit their dying father in a convalescent hospital.  “While waiting for them, I decided to walk around and say hello to some of the people in the care center.  Every room I walked into, people were dying of loneliness.”  When he returned to Riverside, he called a local convalescent hospital and asked if he could visit even though he had no relatives there.  The woman on the other end of the phone asked if “we could come right now”.

phoca_thumb_l_SS-Africa-002

While continuing his convalescent ministry today, Smile Seekers was also instrumental in creating Smile Seekers House in Nairobi, Kenya.  The 3-story stone building is a home for children made orphans due to Africa’s AIDS epidemic, and their “Goats for School” program provides the orphans with goats whose milk and offspring help offset the cost of their education.

Smile Seekers demonstrates Riverside as a Unified City – people coming together for common goals and interests for the betterment of all.

For more information on Smile Seekers, contact Jim Baldwin at (951) 452-9212 or visit their webpage.

 

Business Incubator Opened in Riverside

(This article contains excerpts from an article written by Sean Nealon and published in UCR Today on November 6, 2014.)

Aaron Seitz, a psychology professor at UC Riverside, is one of the founders of Fundamental Brain Games and Services, LLC, which plans to move into the incubator. Photo Credit: UCR Today
Aaron Seitz, a psychology professor at UC Riverside, is one of the founders of Fundamental Brain Games and Services, LLC, which plans to move into the incubator. Photo Credit: UCR Today

A business incubator in downtown Riverside created by officials from the University of California, Riverside, City of Riverside and Riverside County and business leader had it’s grand opening the past Wednesday, November 12.

Four companies, three started by UC Riverside professors and one by an alumnus, have been approved for the Riverside ExCITE Incubator, located at 3499 10th Street. One of the companies has moved in and others plan to move in in the near future.

There is space for up to six companies and several others have expressed interest in moving in. The space is available to any start-up companies in the community, not just those connected to UC Riverside.

“It has been hard to create new companies based on technology developed at the university out of the university,” said Michael Pazzani, the vice chancellor for research and economic development at UC Riverside and one of the directors of the incubator. “This will make it easier. It will also encourage faculty to start new companies and commercialize the technology they develop.”

Pazzani, along with Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey and John Tavaglione, who represents Riverside on the county of Board of Supervisors, spoke at the grand opening.

The incubator is designed to facilitate the successful incubation and acceleration of start-up companies engaged in entrepreneurial research and development of advanced technologies. Incubators such as ExCITE are great examples of the Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar.

The incubator aims to increase the number of successful start-up businesses in the region by providing a location for business synthesis, mentorship and management; access to financial resources and information; access to marketing and professional services; and technology transfer from domestic and foreign universities, organizations and governments.

For the full article, click here.

Volunteers Build Playground At Salvation Army

(This article contains excerpts from an article written by Staff Reporters at The Press Enterprise and published in The Press Enterprise on November 12, 2014.)

Volunteers from the Salvation Army Riverside Corps, Humana Inc., and the community helped build a playground in Riverside on Nov. 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Saramaya Weissman from Edelman
Volunteers from the Salvation Army Riverside Corps, Humana Inc., and the community helped build a playground in Riverside on Nov. 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Saramaya Weissman from Edelman

Volunteers from the Salvation Army Riverside Corps, Humana Inc., organizers from KaBOOM! and the community helped to build a playground in Riverside on Saturday. The playground went up in about five hours with the help of 200 volunteers. Efforts like this reflect the Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar by bringing the community together for a common interest of creating a safe place for kids to play.

The customized, multigenerational playground, funded primarily by Humana Inc. (a health and wellness company), was created with personal drawings and input from local community members – from children to seniors – during a special design event in September. It includes senior-focused and adult elements, including fitness stations and walking paths, to promote good posture, balance and flexibility – as well as more traditional, kid-friendly equipment to create a multigenerational space.

The 2,695 square-foot playground is at the Salvation Army Riverside Corps Community Center.

For 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.

Aleph Group Inc. Fights Against Food Insecurity in the Community

(This article contains excerpts from the press release published by Shane Hupp, Ticker Report on October 30,2014.)

Aleph Group Inc. serves, seeks and shares the positive impact in the fight against food insecurity in the community, United States and around the world; by manufacturing specialty vehicles and mobile solutions.

Photo Credit: Aleph Group, Inc.
Photo Credit: Aleph Group, Inc.

Aleph Group Inc. felt a driven purpose in the fight against food insecurity and wanted to impact people’s lives. AGI and Family Service Association of Redlands partnered together and created a fundraiser event “Feeding with a Purpose,” to benefit this cause. By generating this fundraiser Aleph Group Inc. wanted to build momentum into the Feeding Angles initiative. Feeding Angels is focused on extinguishing child food insecurity in America and around the globe. Through partnerships with businesses and community based organizations, for every specialty vehicle or mobile solution that AGI designs and manufactures Aleph Group Inc. will donate a portion of the proceeds to feed a food insecure child three meals a day for an entire year. AGI is another example of a Riverside company leading the way in philanthropy and demonstrating what makes Riverside such a unified city.

For the full press release, click here.

Sleep Researcher Awarded Federal Grants

(This article contains excerpts from an article written by Bettye Miller and published in UCR Today on October 31, 2014.)

UC Riverside psychologist Sara C. Mednick has been awarded nearly $2.7 million in federal grants to continue researching the neural mechanisms of learning and memory, which has implications for improving sleep and memory for aging adults and the health of college students who pop so-called “smart drugs.”

Sara C. Mednick has received nearly $2.7 million in grants for research that has implications for sleep and memory. Photo Credit: UCR Today
Sara C. Mednick has received nearly $2.7 million in grants for research that has implications for sleep and memory. Photo Credit: UCR Today

Mednick previously led a team whose groundbreaking research confirmed the mechanism that enables the brain to consolidate memory and found that Ambien, a commonly prescribed sleep aid, enhances the process.

The National Institute on Aging, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense-Office of Naval Research have awarded Mednick grants to support research into sleep processes that are important for learning and memory, and how those processes might be manipulated to improve both.

Supported by a five-year, $1.25 million grant from the National Institutes of Health-National Institute on Aging, Mednick is expanding on research published last year which demonstrated for the first time the critical role that sleep spindles play in consolidating memory in the hippocampus region of the brain. Her team also showed that pharmaceuticals could significantly improve that process, far more than sleep alone.  Research like this is an example of Catalyst for Innovation in Riverside and also has amazing health implications.

Sleep spindles are bursts of brain activity that last for a second or less during a specific stage of sleep. The hippocampus, part of the cerebral cortex, is important in the consolidation of information from short-term to long-term memory, and spatial navigation. The hippocampus is one of the first regions of the brain damaged by Alzheimer’s disease.

The new study, which began in fall 2013, will investigate doses of Ambien needed to boost sleep spindles and whether declarative memory – the ability to recall facts and knowledge – improves as well. The next study will test the same question in older adults.

For the full article, click here.

 

Riverside Ranks No. 6 Nationally in Job Growth

(This article contains excerpts from article written by Debra Gruszecki, published in The Press Enterprise on October 29, 2014)

mall at night

The Riverside metropolitan region has turned the corner when it comes to job growth, according to a report from Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business in Tempe.

The region ranked No. 6 in the nation for job recovery, ASU research professor Lee McPheters said. “We’re still slowly recovering from the staggering loss of jobs during the Great Recession,” McPheters said, as the metro region of Riverside, San Bernardino and Ontario once led the nation for foreclosure and bled thousands of jobs. The Riverside metro region of more than 1 million workers tied with Denver with 2.8 percent job growth over three quarters of 2014. The national economy is growing less than 2 percent, so any job growth that is better than 2 percent is above average, McPheters said.

“Eight of the top large cities for job creation are in the West,” McPheters said. “However, Florida also did well, with two cities on the list.” Orlando took the top spot with job growth of 3.7 percent, double the national pace. Houston ranked No. 2 with 3.5 percent job growth. Metro regions with stronger job growth than Riverside were Portland, Miami and Dallas. Other winners based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics were San Diego and San Francisco.

This ranking is yet another example of Riverside continuing to fuel the intelligent growth of the region.

For the complete article, click here.

Riverside Updates Internet Hotspots

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Alicia Robinson, published in The Press Enterprise on October 31,2014.)

Leo Guzman, Adrian Martin and Alfredo Guerrero, left to right, work outside Riverside's Ysmael Villegas Community Center on Oct. 20. The recently renovated center is one of two locations where the city will test wireless hotspots. Photo credit: Kurt Miller, The Press Enterprise
Leo Guzman, Adrian Martin and Alfredo Guerrero, left to right, work outside Riverside’s Ysmael Villegas Community Center on Oct. 20. The recently renovated center is one of two locations where the city will test wireless hotspots. Photo credit: Kurt Miller, The Press Enterprise.

Riverside’s old free wireless network has been dismantled, but new high-speed Internet hotspots will be tested at City Hall and the Ysmael Villegas Community Center.

In May, City Council members opted to scrap the seven-year-old network, which never reached its goal of citywide coverage and is now considered obsolete. On Tuesday, they voted to hire Rancho Cucamonga-based Vector USA for $95,434 to provide two hotspots as a pilot project. The decision to upgrade the hotspots within the City is a great example of the intelligent growth of Riverside.

The hotspots will provide free Internet access for people in and around City Hall and the Villegas Center. Using a management system called ClearPass, the city can track use of the hotspots and block inappropriate use.

For the complete article, click here.