The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Makes A Splash At City Hall

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Dana Straehley, published in the Press-Enterprise on August 21, 2014.)

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is flooding the nation, with everyone from former President George W. Bush to celebrities such as Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Justin Bieber getting soaked for charity.  The Riverside area is all wet as well.

Riverside Mayor William "Rusty" Bailey takes the Ice Bucket Challenge Thursday at the fountain in front of City Hall.  Phot credit: Kurt Miller

Riverside Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey takes the Ice Bucket Challenge Thursday at the fountain in front of City Hall. Photo credit: Kurt Miller

Friends challenge each other to donate $100 for ALS or take a soaking and post photos or video to social media. 

Riverside Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey was among the latest Thursday to have ice water poured over his head in the fundraising stunt that has gone viral. Drenched while sitting in the fountain in front of City Hall, he challenged his City Council colleagues to do the same or donate $100.  According to The ALS Association, Ice Bucket Challenge donations have surpassed $79 million as of 8/25/14.  For more information about ALS research in Riverside County, click here to connect with The ALS Golden West Chapter Support Group located here in Riverside.    

ALS, or Lou Gehrigs Disease, is a progressive disease that causes motor nerves to degenerate in the brain and spinal cord so the nerves can’t control muscles, leading patients to lose their ability to walk and talk and leading to eventual paralysis and death, according to the ALS Association.

Riverside Mayor William "Rusty" Bailey gets a double-bucket dunking from his daughters Julia, 8, left, and Elizabeth, 11, on Thursday at the fountain in front of City Hall.  Photo credit: Kurt Miller

Riverside Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey gets a double-bucket dunking from his daughters Julia, 8, left, and Elizabeth, 11, on Thursday at the fountain in front of City Hall. Photo credit: Kurt Miller

The people of Riverside are brought together around common interest and concerns, to engage with one another and accelerate the common good for all.  The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is just one example of Riverside coming together as a unified city.  Research and awareness for ALS is an important cause whether you are a professional, college student, or the Mayor.  It is refreshing to see all types of individuals from different backgrounds in the community doing there part to try and make a real difference.

To read the full article, click here.

 

 

Five UC Riverside Scientists Among World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Iqbal Pittalwala, published in UCR Today on August 22, 2014.)

List of highly cited researchers, compiled by Thomson Reuters, analyzed data over 11 years

Clockwise from top left: UC Riverside’s Roya Bahreini, Julia Bailey-Serres, Yadong Yin, Wei Ren, and Robert Haddon are among individuals, identified by Thomson Reuters, to have published the greatest number of highly cited papers in 2002-2012.  Photo credit: Strategic Communications, UC Riverside.

Clockwise from top left: UC Riverside’s Roya Bahreini, Julia Bailey-Serres, Yadong Yin, Wei Ren, and Robert Haddon are among individuals, identified by Thomson Reuters, to have published the greatest number of highly cited papers in 2002-2012. Photo credit: Strategic Communications, UC Riverside.

Thomson Reuters, a leading source of information for businesses and professionals, has included five researchers at the University of California, Riverside in its 2014 list of “some of the best and brightest minds of our times.”  To generate the list, the company analyzed citation data over 11 years (2002-2012) to identify researchers whose published work has had enormous impact.

These influential professors are an outstanding representation of Seizing Our Destiny’s location of choice pillar.  Having five professors make the list and being considered “some of the best and brightest minds of our time” by Thomson Reuters is beyond impressive.  Riverside is increasingly becoming an attractive location of choice for intelligent, entrepreneurial, and inspired individuals with untapped potential.

Roya Bahreini, an assistant professor of atmospheric sciences, was included in the “Geosciences” field. Julia Bailey-Serres, a professor of genetics, was included in the “Plant & Animal Science” field.Robert Haddon, a distinguished professor of chemistry as well as chemical and environmental engineering, was included in the “Chemistry” field. Wei Ren, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, was included in the “Engineering” field. And Yadong Yin, a professor of chemistry, was included in two fields: “Chemistry” and “Materials Science.”

According to Thomson Reuters, the researchers who made the list are persons of “influence in the sciences and social sciences. They are the people who are on the cutting edge of their fields. They are performing and publishing work that their peers recognize as vital to the advancement of their science. These researchers are, undoubtedly, among the most influential scientific minds of our time.”

To read the full article, click here.

 

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.

Riversider Tyler Clary Is Swimming Into World Rankings

(This article contains excerpts from an article by John Lohn, published in swimvortex.com on August 8, 2014)

Who is missing from the following list of names: Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Conor Dwyer, Missy Franklin, Katie Ledecky, and Elizabeth Beisel?  The answer is Riversider Tyler Clary. While the first six names were probably the most discussed heading into the United States National Championships, Clary was largely overlooked.

Tyler Clary - a second national title and a world No 2 ranking in the bag.  Phot credit: Peter Bick

Tyler Clary – a second national title and a world No 2 ranking in the bag. Photo credit: Peter Bick

Tyler Clary is a shining example of Riverside being a location of choice.  There is a myriad of talent and potential blossoming in Riverside, and our community is proud of that fact. Through commitment and dedication, Riversiders such as Tyler are able to show the world what we are capable of.  Our community is a location of choice that attracts talented and diverse people, making it one of the most inspiring and adventurous places to live.

Photo credit: Peter Bick

Photo credit: Peter Bick

For the third consecutive day, Clary turned in an excellent performance, this time posting the second-fastest time in the world to take top honors in the 400 individual medley.  Clary is knocking down some big names on a regular basis. In the 200 back, he took down the likes of Ryan Lochteand Ryan Murphy.  “Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve been really competitive,” Clary said. “In the heat of the moment, I’m willing to throw up blood to get my hand on the wall first. It doesn’t always work out for me, but it sure is fun when it does.”

To read more, 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 Native Is Named Young Entrepreneur Of The Year

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Kyle Glaser, published in the Press-Enterprise on August 7, 2014.)

Steffen Sommers grew up in Riverside dreaming of opening a gourmet coffee shop in his hometown.  At 26, he has achieved that dream, and has earned high praise to boot.  Sommers recently received the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce’s first-ever Riverside Business Week Young Entrepreneur Award, a plaudit for helping create the specialty coffee shop Lift Coffee Roasters.

Lift Coffee Roasters owner Steffen Sommers, 26, of Riverside smiles as coffee beans fall beside him. He is proud to be named Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the Riverside Business Council.  Photo credit:  Terry Pierson

Lift Coffee Roasters owner Steffen Sommers, 26, of Riverside smiles as coffee beans fall beside him. He is proud to be named Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the Riverside Business Council. Photo credit: Terry Pierson

The cafe serves only about a dozen varieties of drinks at any given time, all coffees or teas, and each is taste-tested by the managerial staff to ensure it meets Lift’s standards.

“We have what we call a ‘seed to cup’ approach,” Sommers said. “What that means is we’re not just concerned about getting a 5-pound bag of beans and serving it. We’re concerned with who’s the farmer, how’s he growing the beans, when was that, a week ago or six months ago?”

Lift Coffee Roasters is a model of Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar.  Riverside promotes entrepreneurial spirit and embraces small business like Lift Coffee Roasters whenever it can.  Everyday Riverside cultivates intelligent growth by collaborating to build our community and supporting local business.

Photo credit: Terry Pierson

Photo credit: Terry Pierson

While Sommers has achieved his goal of opening a gourmet coffee shop in his hometown, he isn’t quite done. He and his partners have plans to open more Lift Coffee Roasters across Southern California and, if everything goes according to plan, become a regional coffee powerhouse.

To read more about Lift Coffee Roasters, click here.

Riverside Ranks #8 in Forbes’ Coolest Cities In America!

(This article contains excerpts from an article published on Forbes.com)

Forbes just released a list a of America’s “Coolest” Cities, and Riverside ranked #8.  How do you define “cool”?  According to Erin Carlyle, Forbes staff, “We sought to quantify it in terms of cities, partnering with Sperling’s BestPlaces to rank the 60 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Metropolitan Divisions (cities and their surrounding suburbs, as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget) based on six data points we weighted evenly.”  The six data points used to rank the cities include: arts and culture, reacreation, diversity, local eats, population age, and net migration.

Arts & Culture Index: 88, Recreation Index: 93, Diversity Index: 77.27, Local Eats: 72.2%, Population age 20-34: 29.7%, 2010 - 2013 Net Migration: 1.8%.  Photo credit: Forbes.com

Arts & Culture Index: 88, Recreation Index: 93, Diversity Index: 77.27, Local Eats: 72.2%, Population age 20-34: 29.7%, 2010 – 2013 Net Migration: 1.8%. Photo credit: Forbes.com

Although many might dispute that Riverside should be #1 on the list, being ranked one of the “coolest” cities in the country is an outstanding representation of our beloved city being a true location of choice.  Riverside has proven to be an attractive place for all types of residents, workers, professionals, entrepreneurs, and visitors.  Riversiders take pride in our beloved city with countless opportunities to be entertained, amazed, and inspired.     That is why the City of Riverside will continue to become a location of choice for people and organizations from allover the world.

To read the full article, 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.