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Assemblymember Brown Hosts Water Roundtable with Stakeholders Following Passage of $1 Billion Water Package

(L to R) General Manager Butch Araiza, West Valley Water District;  General Manager Stacey Aldstadt, San Bernardino City Municipal Water Depart.; Deputy General Manager Robin Ohama, San Bernardino City Municipal Water Dept.; Principal Management Analyst Bob Page, San Bernardino County Administrative Office; Government Relations Director Josh Candelaria, San Bernardino County Administrative Office; Assemblymember Brown; Amanda Saechao, staff to Assemblymember Brown; Division Chief Kenneth Eke, San Bernardino County Department of Public Works; Principal Management Analyst Eric Grubb, Cucamonga Valley Water District;  General Manager Robert Young, Fontana Water Company; and Asst. General Manager Josh Swift, Fontana Water Company.

(L to R) General Manager Butch Araiza, West Valley Water District; General Manager Stacey Aldstadt, San Bernardino City Municipal Water Depart.; Deputy General Manager Robin Ohama, San Bernardino City Municipal Water Dept.; Principal Management Analyst Bob Page, San Bernardino County Administrative Office; Government Relations Director Josh Candelaria, San Bernardino County Administrative Office; Assemblymember Brown; Amanda Saechao, staff to Assemblymember Brown; Division Chief Kenneth Eke, San Bernardino County Department of Public Works; Principal Management Analyst Eric Grubb, Cucamonga Valley Water District; General Manager Robert Young, Fontana Water Company; and Asst. General Manager Josh Swift, Fontana Water Company.

SAN BERNARDINO, CA – Key water district leaders assembled for a meeting hosted by Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown (D-San Bernardino) on Thursday, April 2, to discuss top priorities and funding opportunities following the passage of AB 91 and AB 92, the emergency drought relief package signed by Governor Brown on Friday, March 27.

These new laws were drafted and expedited because of the increasing severity of drought conditions.  The law will allocate over $1 billion, which will fund various water projects in the most impacted areas.

“As a region, we need to work together to secure the dedicated funding to protect our water supply,” said Assemblymember Brown. “If we don’t start looking at how we’re going to maximize that funding across the state, we’re going to be left behind.”

Currently, the legislation will add $72 million to the General Fund, $272 million to Prop 1, $660 million to Prop 1E, and $57 million to various other projects.

“Although this funding is just a fraction of what’s needed, it should help stabilize our existing supplies,” said Assemblymember Brown.

The meeting, attended by county administrative and district leaders from San Bernardino Water Dept., Fontana Water Company, West Valley Water District, Colton Public Utilities, San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, and San Bernardino County Public Works, also discussed water storage, groundwater replenishment, water efficiency campaigns, water quality for fish and wildlife, and the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.

“The water agencies have been meeting monthly to go over groundwater levels and talk about strategies for groundwater management,” said General Manager Stacey Aldstadt, San Bernardino City Municipal Water Dept. “We’re going to package together a regional request for phasing in a variety of different projects to supplement the water supply. For us in this region, the critical issue is getting water back into the ground and how we find that water to put in the ground. We’re moving forward with a grant proposal that we’re packaging as a regional approach.”

“Concerning the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, we’ve lost about 20 percent from the State Water Project because of the environmental restrictions in the Delta,” said Water Resources Manager Robert Tincher, San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District. “Basically, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan just finishes the State Project and moves the intake north.”

“The Bay Delta Conservation Plan is a local benefit to us,” said Aldstadt. “Groundwater has to be replenished, otherwise we have to start lowering groundwater levels. Normally we would get snow melt from Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead, but we’re not getting that. We’re all connected to the Delta so if we can’t get water supplies and we don’t have natural recharge, we have to rely on artificial recharge, which is recycled water or the State Project.”

Water conservation efforts continue to be a critical component of water management. On Tuesday, Governor Brown issued an Executive Order mandating restrictive water use. In his document, he directed the State Water Resources Control Board to impose a mandatory 25 percent reduction in state water resources.

“For the past several years, our region has been an innovator in water conservation, turf replacement programs, water efficient products, and the use of recycled water. We need to continue to conserve as much water as possible and address our water needs,” said Assemblymember Brown. “Our future depends on the decisions we make today.”

For more information, contact Ashley Jones at (909) 381-3238.

World Acclaimed Journalist Visits Westside Story News

wallace and Anas

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Last week, world acclaimed investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas met with publisher of the Westside Story Newspaper, Wallace Allen, during a brief visit to Southern California. You can view Anas’ extensive portfolio at anasaremeyawanas.org.

Inland Empire Youth Reap Knowledge and Electronic Rewards at SGR Youth Symposium

More than 30 Inland Empire youth attended the annual Youth Symposium

More than 30 Inland Empire youth attended the annual Youth Symposium

RIALTO, CA- More than 30 area youth ages 13 to 17 were treated to a wealth of information by local leaders and a youth panel and received more than $1,200 worth of electronic door prizes at the Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. Youth Symposium, hosted by the Theta Pi Sigma Inland Empire alumnae chapter.

Using the national theme “Building Partnerships to Support Our Youth,” the event, held at Rialto Middle School, included engaging community partnership speakers. Cynthia “The Tech Diva” Frazier led an interactive segment on proper Internet and social media use, as well as practical tips to avoid becoming a victim of Internet predators. 100 Black Men, Inland Empire president, and senior law enforcement official Damon Alexander’s timely session presented “real talk” on the proper way to interact with law enforcement officers.

Terrance Stone, founder of the Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy, gave the young attendees vivid examples of how to secure “mountain climbing” life success. Nutritionists Art and Ikssa Giovanni displayed examples of the amount of sugar, salt and fat found in common snacks, fast foods and drinks and the health pitfalls that result from it.

The event also included a youth panel discussion led by local high school and college students. Panelist Manny Gray, a full-time student at Cal State – San Bernardino who also grew up through the foster care system, asked the youth to consider his motto: “I don’t live life to merely exist; I live life to make a great impact.”

Other panelists included Kidisti Daniel, a senior majoring in psychology at the University of California at Riverside and member of Sigma Gamma Rho and Jaire Bowen, a high school senior, most notably known for his lead role in the February 2015 documentary Searching for Mentors.

Every youth attendee was asked to complete questionnaires before and after the event to gauge the level of learning and to secure input that will be used to further improve the event for next year. While several lessons and nuggets of wisdom were made available to all of the attendees, each had their own special takeaways. Door prizes included a flat screen TV, a variety of headphones, Bose speakers, an electronic tablet, a Kindle and other electronics for educational use and pleasure.

Generous donations in support of the youth were provided by the Riverside Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., Pi Rho Alumni Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., and the Riverside Kappa Alpha Psi Silhouettes.