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Author Archives: WSS News

San Bernardino Native Supports One of Navy’s Most Versatile Combat Ships

Petty Officer 1st Class Clarence Jones

Petty Officer 1st Class Clarence Jones

SAN DIEGO – A 1998 Pacific  High School graduate and San Bernardino, California native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of a team supporting one of the country’s most versatile combat ships.

Petty Officer 1st Class Clarence Jones is a gunner’s mate and a member of Commander, LCS Squadron One which supports both variants of littoral combat ships based in San Diego.

As a Navy gunner’s mate he is part of a training team for littoral combat squadron, specializing in training Navy boarding teams and weapons systems aboard ships.

“Even though I’m shore duty, it still gives me an opportunity to go out to the field and train crews of LCS ships,” said Jones. “I enjoy training others to do their job effectively for when they go out to the fleet.”

The LCS platform has a unique manning concept called “3-2-1,” where three crews serve aboard two different littoral combat ships, one of which is deployed.  This innovative manning concept allows the LCS to spend more time forward deployed without overtaxing the crew, according to Navy officials.

Designed to defeat threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft, littoral combat ships are a bold departure from traditional Navy shipbuilding programs. The LCS sustainment strategy was developed to take into account the unique design and manning of LCS and its associated mission modules.

“I have a pretty good chain of command, when stuff needs to get done it will get done,” said Jones. “Leadership looks out for their junior sailors, to where junior sailors look up to their chain of command.”

According to Navy officials, the path to becoming an LCS sailor is a long one.  Following an 18-month training pipeline, sailors have to qualify on a simulator that is nearly identical to the ship.  This intense and realistic training pipeline allows sailors to execute their roles and responsibilities immediately upon stepping on board.

“Sailors that work aboard this platform are expected to be capable of performing a variety of tasks to assist in the completion of the LCS mission,” said Capt. Warren R Buller, Commander, LCS Squadron One. “The training that is required of our sailors is rigorous and difficult. This ensures that they are mission ready to defend and protect America at all times.”

As a service member supporting the LCS mission, Jones explained they are building a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes. Sailors know how important it is for the Navy to develop new war fighting capabilities to continue their success on the world’s oceans.

“When I joined the Navy, I came in with the idea to serve my country the best that I can,” added Jones. “When I took the oath, I took every word seriously, and I plan on carrying out the oath until the day I retire.”

Through innovative planning, the design of systems, and crew requirements, the LCS platform allows the fleet to increase forward presence and optimize its personnel, improving the ability of the Navy to be where it matters, when it matters.

Inland Empire Community Adopts the “Village” Concept for Their High School Students

IEABSE college reveal

FONTANA, CA- A morning full of inspirational family support, community pride and student celebration. The Inland Empire Alliance of Black School Educators (IEABSE) presented “It Takes a Village” 2016 Scholarship Celebration on Saturday April 16 at the Jessie Turner Health and Fitness Center in Fontana. With the room filled to capacity, over forty scholarships were awarded to Inland Empire High School students for their academic achievements, community service, perseverance and leadership. This event was sponsored by Black Voice Foundation and New Life Christian Church. The scholarship donors were comprised of local organizations and businesses as well as individuals who desire to see Inland Empire students thrive in their educational aspirations. Long time scholarship donor Dina Walker, President of BLU Educational Foundation, stated “Saturday’s ceremony was philanthropy at its best! We see businesses, community, faith-based organizations and individuals contributing to secure the educational futures of our children”.

Mayor Acquanetta Warren of Fontana welcomed the audience to the growing city of Fontana and gave an encouraging message that focused on working together as a community to use education as a tool to attract resources to the Inland Empire region. The highlight of the morning was a series of what IEABSE has coined the “Reveals”. This is a similar process to when a student athlete selects their college choice on national signing day. IEABSE highlighted five stellar students from the entire group of scholarship awardees. Each student was joined on stage by family members and their most influential educators. On the table were their top four college considerations. Their parents began by talking about their children’s challenges, achievements and special qualities. In the short time the parents spoke the audience had an opportunity to peer into the lives of the students and identify with the awesome importance of their future educational decisions. As the anticipation rose to a height, the student was given the microphone and either unrolled a diploma or reported their choice to and audience of cheers.  Audience members were both impressed and inspired. “This was an epic and historic celebration of black youth achievement in the classroom, in life and at play. I found the entire experience moving, inclusive, & inspirational celebration of black youth achievement.” Rev Benita Ramsey, Jordan- Rustin Social Justice fund.

IEABSE board with checks

IEABSE board with checks

Inland Empire high school administrators, teachers, coaches and counselors were also on hand to encourage their students and celebrate in their triumphs. “The reveals were exceptional, allowing both parents and students to speak and key supporters to be acknowledged” Linda Wing, Ph.D. Chief of Information and Accountability. Rancho Cucamonga High School, Arlington High School and Summit High School seniors walked away with fifteen of the forty-three scholarship opportunities. The goal of the Scholarship Celebration was to offer family members, educators and community members an opportunity to celebrate and focus on the accomplishments of local African American students. The ceremony left students motivated, parents hopeful, and donors reassured.  Gwen Dowdy-Rodgers, Founder, Young Women’s Empowerment Foundation (YWE) and parent of a prior recipient declared “With so many of our students needing educational support Young Women’s Empowerment Foundation was happy to be able to provide a deserving student a scholarship thanks to IEABE’s community outreach”.

The Scholarship Celebration precedes the IEABSE annually hosted Inland Empire High School Black Graduation Recognition Ceremony (I.E. Black Grad). The I.E. Black Grad is the largest High School Black Graduation Recognition Ceremony in Southern CA and will be held May 14th, 2016, on campus at California State University, San Bernardino, where over two thousand individuals are expected to attend. For more information please contact IEABSE directly at ieabse@gmail.com.

What it do with LUE: Alive in the Lights

Alive in the Lights

Alive in the Lights

By Lue Dowdy

All Female Youth rock band “Alive in the Lights” is WHAT IT DO WITH THE LUE this week. OMG! OMG! When you talk about talented youth right here in the Inland Empire, Richardson Prep High is bringing up contenders in a real way. I had the opportunity to hear and watch this group rock out at several community events. From the first time I saw them I was hooked. Each one can sing and play. The girls show no fear when performing, they bring the HEAT.

Alive in the Lights is a five piece all girl rock band with members ages 16 to 19. The group was originally a three-member group formed as a small project at Richardson Prep High in San Bernardino. This group originally performed primarily acoustic rock and featured Madelyn Porras (age 17) as a vocalist, guitarist and pianist; Simmy Grewal (age 16) on bass and vocals; and Amanda Martinez (age 16) on keyboards and vocals. After an extensive search, Alive in the Lights really came together when joined by local rockers, drummer Elita Barus (age 18) from Citrus Valley High, and lead guitarist, Alex Padilla (age 19).

Since their formation in 2013, Alive in the Lights has written and produced several original songs and has played numerous high energy shows at venues such as Knott’s Berry Farm, Disney California Adventure, the House of Blues, the Glass House, Chain Reaction, Raging Waters, Cal State San Bernardino and the Lake Arrowhead Summer Concert series. In addition to these professional shows, Alive in the Lights plays at 10 to 15 charity events per year.

Their first EP, “Contradictions,” was released in October 2015 and their first professional music video, “Tongue Tied,” was released just months later. The girls have their sights set on even bigger shows this year and are currently working on their second EP and music video.  This young and extremely talented group is one to watch in 2016.

The group is available for booking. So please do ya girl a favor and check out their music. I predict that these ladies are going to go all the way to the TOP. Until next week L’z and San Bernardino Strong!