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Roundtable Meeting Led by Assemblymember Brown Discusses Vital Transportation Concerns

Assemblymember Brown and Colton Mayor Richard DeLaRosa

Assemblymember Brown and Colton Mayor Richard DeLaRosa

Arlan White shares his concerns about transportation issues facing the Inland Empire

Arlan White shares his concerns about transportation issues facing the Inland Empire

SAN BERNARDINO – Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown (D-San Bernardino) recently convened a roundtable meeting at the Gonzales Center in Colton to discuss transportation challenges facing transport, freight and logistics industry professionals in the 47th Assembly District.

Participating agencies included: C.R. England, Patriot Towing, the California Trucking Association, Union Pacific, A-2-Z Emissions Solutions, Colton Planning Dept., Center for Employment Training, Rail and Delivery Service, IE Corridor Transport Inc., The Complete Logistics Company, and Ashley Furniture.

The meeting began with a warm welcome by Mayor Richard DeLaRosa on behalf of the Colton City Council. Thereafter, Assemblymember Brown provided an introduction.

“Trucking and logistics is the most important component of our local economy,” said Assemblymember Brown. “According to recent news reports, the logistics sector, which is warehousing, distribution and trucking, produced one out of every five jobs last year in the Inland Empire. It’s really important that it remains robust because that’s where the majority of jobs are created.”

Following introductions, Assemblymember Brown presented a legislative update on various bills that she introduced to address transportation issues and promote job growth.

She mentioned AB 914, a bill that would allow Caltrans to construct a toll lane on the I-10 and I-15 freeways. “As you know, our roads need to be repaired. One of the ways that we can repair our roads is by considering High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes. The funds obtained by the tolls would go directly toward maintaining, repairing and creating new lanes in the Inland area on the I-10 and I-15 freeways in San Bernardino County,” she said.

Last week, AB 914 passed out of the Assembly Committee on Transportation and now moves to the Appropriations Committee.

Mayor Pro Tem Frank Navarro shares his concerns regarding transportation in the Inland Empire. He's seated next to Colton Planning Commissioner Rosa Granado-Dominguez and Terrill Grant, a

Mayor Pro Tem Frank Navarro shares his concerns regarding transportation in the Inland Empire. He’s seated next to Colton Planning Commissioner Rosa Granado-Dominguez and Terrill Grant, a

She also spoke about AB 1445 and AB 1302, which seek to improve economic opportunities for small businesses and disabled veteran-owned businesses relevant to contracting with the state.

Following her legislative address, various industry professionals spoke about the impact of AB 32 on their individual companies.

According to several participants, retrofitting the trucks to make them compliant with AB 32’s standards presents a great challenge.  “Having to put their money into their trucks to make them efficient for the emissions requirements is going to increase the price of goods and services, which is really going to hurt the Inland Empire,” said Colton Planning Commissioner Rosa Granado-Dominguez.

Arlan White, a member of the Towing Regulatory Oversight Council and past board member of the California Tow Truck Association explained that upgrading the trucks are extremely expensive. “The typical cost of a California Air Resources Board (CARB) compliant retrofit is $10,000 to $20,000 per truck. The purchase price of a new CARB compliant truck typically ranges between $100,000 up to half a million dollars,” he said.

Most trucking companies have to change their equipment every few years to stay compliant in California. On top of that, lack of personnel makes it very difficult to enforce the law, which creates unfair competition, according to a number of participants.

“Truckers are spending millions of dollars to keep up with CARB, but there’s minimal enforcement for those are who are not compliant with the law. They’re coming in and undercutting local businesses that have spent the money to retrofit their trucks,” said Tiffany Gallaway, a representative of the California Trucking Association.

“On average, drivers are on the road for 7-14 days. However, to make up for the cost of retrofitting their trucks, drivers are out there 20-25 days, which takes away time from their families. For a lot of people, trucking is their livelihood; it’s what puts dinner on the table. The cost of overreaching regulations is restricting the productivity and income that a single driver can make,” said

Glen Taylor, C.R. England Global Transportation; Melvin Maclin, C.R. England Global Transportation; Lupe Valdez, Union Pacific

Glen Taylor, C.R. England Global Transportation; Melvin Maclin, C.R. England Global Transportation; Lupe Valdez, Union Pacific

Arthur Jones, owner of IE Corridor Transport, Inc.

Also in attendance was Colton Mayor Pro Tem Frank Navarro, a board member of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). He said, “I think what we need to do is go back to Washington and Sacramento and look at this over-regulation. How can we soften these regulations to allow, not only the big corporations, but also the little guy to become compliant.”

“In partnership with the trucking community, Union Pacific sees the impact of AB 32’s regulations on our partners,” said Lupe Valdez, a representative of Union Pacific. “It’s important for trucking companies to be involved in the policy making process to avoid unintended consequences.”

Other topics raised during the discussion included freight movement at the LA and Long Beach Ports, adjusting to diesel fuel prices and increased taxes for truck drivers.

A follow up to this roundtable will be a Trucking Summit held by Assemblymember Brown in September 2015. The Summit will focus on solutions to the challenges outlined during the roundtable. Details are forthcoming.

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



Elementary and High School Students Will Rock the Stage at UCR

Changing Lives Showcase

Changing Lives Showcase

RIVERSIDE, CA – On Saturday, May 16, elementary and high school students will have an opportunity to rock the stage at University California of Riverside in the 4th annual Changing Lives Showcase.  The red carpet extravaganza is presented by Music Changing Lives, (MCL) a non-profit music and art after-school program for at-risk children and youth, which works to inspire kids through performing arts programs to keep them focused on their education and their futures.

This year the competition will be fierce. Students from four schools in the Moreno Valley Unified School District, where MCL offers its after-school programs will go toe-to-toe to see who has the most talent.  Teens from Vista Del Lago High and Moreno Valley High will battle it out, while younger students from Butterfield Elementary and Edgemont Elementary will compete against each other.

There are three categories students can enter in: lyrical, dance and visual arts. The winners will be selected by a panel of celebrity guest judges. As students prepared to compete in the showcase they also fought to increase their school performance and volunteered for a minimum of five hours in their community.  Participants are instilled with the message, “Together we can be the change we would like to see in our community.”

The Changing Lives Showcase is sponsored by Music Changing Lives, MVUSD, Wells Fargo Foundation, UC Riverside, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Target, Edison International, Goliath Graffix and Clothes the Deal.  Through their support, The Changing Lives Showcase helps spread a positive message about the benefits of expressing yourself through the arts while making school “cool.”

For more information about Music Changing Lives or to become a sponsor for the event, please contact Josiah Bruny at jbruny@musicchanginglives.com or visit them on the web at www.musicchanginglives.org.

Peace Officer Memorial video nominated for 2015 Regional Emmy Award



SAN BERNARDINO, CA.  – The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s video “Peace Officer Memorial Ceremony” has received a nomination for the 2015 Regional Emmy Awards.

The announcement was made Monday by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) Pacific Southwest Chapter at a nomination event held in Palm Springs. The film was nominated in the Special Events Coverage category for excellence in coverage of a one-time-only, anticipated community or entertainment event, live or edited.

“I am thankful to the Academy for our nomination and honored that the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and our other local law enforcement agencies allowed me the chance to go behind the scenes while they paid tribute to their fallen brothers and sisters,” said Public Affairs Officer Christopher Lee, who directed and edited the segment.

The video is a 4-minute segment covering the San Bernardino County Peace Officer Memorial Ceremony hosted by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department May 22, 2014, at the Rancho Cucamonga Superior Court. During the event law enforcement agencies from all throughout San Bernardino County were in attendance to pay tribute to their fellow officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

“Given the recent attacks on our peace officers nationwide, this nomination is especially timely,” District Attorney Mike Ramos said. “As we approach this year’s Peace Officers Memorial Day, let’s not forget our law enforcement officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving our communities in the line of duty. And let’s not forget about those still on the front lines, risking their lives every day to make sure that our families and communities are safe.”

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls is known as Police Week.

The 41st Annual NATAS-Pacific Southwest Emmy Awards will be presented Saturday June 20, 2014, in Palm Springs.