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Author Archives: WSS News

SEVENsCamp Host Successful Grand Opening of New Production Facility

sevenSAN BERNARDINO, CA- SEVENsCamp’s Grand Opening of the San Bernardino Production Facility was held  on Friday, October 7. The event was well attended. SEVENsCamp is now open to provide superior quality media and music production to its clients. SEVENsCamp’s services include: Aerial Imaging, Aerial Advertising, Music Video Production, Music Sync Licensing, branding jingles, Soundtracks, and all video media services from commercials to documentaries to television and motion picture.  SEVENsCamp also offers live event coverage and live event pay-per-view services.

SEVENsCamp studios are available for live and live to tape production events. SEVENsCamp is bringing a new light to the World. For access to SEVENsCamp and its many services give them a call at 844-577-CAMP (2267).

Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson Runs for Second Term

As Deborah Robertson moves from table to table greeting folks at Mary Stewart’s Southern Soul Food, the Mayor of Rialto looks as comfortable as if she was in her own kitchen.  

In a way, she is. Mayor Robertson has called Rialto home for nearly 30 years and has served in its local government for 16 years, including three terms as a councilwoman and one as Mayor.

As she campaigns for re-election – Election Day is Nov. 8 – Mayor Robertson’s reason for wanting a second term is simple. “I’m not done.”

“I feel the role of the Mayor is a calling, not just a title,” said Mayor Robertson, who is running against current councilmember Ed Palmer. “We keep it real in Rialto. Our foundation is in a common belief of community. We’re middle class, salt of the earth people.”

In her first term, Mayor Robertson accomplished much of what she wanted. Her focus was on keeping Rialto financially sound, moving forward on commercial and business development, generating jobs in Rialto and enhancing open space for healthy recreational usage.

“The community as a whole is concerned about safety and lowering crime in the city,” said Mayor Robertson. Cutting down on crime was also a major focus in her first term as Mayor. 

“I am very proud of the part the city’s police force played in response to the terrorist attack nine months ago in San Bernardino,” said Mayor Robertson.  Rialto’s SWAT Team was one of the first responders in support of San Bernardino’s units.

During her time as Mayor, Rialto was also one of the first cities to have its police force wear body cameras. “As the result of a research project, the Rialto police agreed to wear the cameras for one year,” said Mayor Robertson. The results were positive and Rialto decided to keep the cameras. Robertson said it gave citizens a new perspective into law enforcement.

“It gave us empirical data, not just anecdotal,” Mayor Robertson said. “The number of complaints from citizens went down drastically. It brought about a different level of respect for the police.”

Statistically, both violent crime and property crime have gone down in each year of Robertson’s first term as Mayor. 

In 2014, Rialto dropped below the national average in violent crime rate for the first time in 12 years, according to City-Data.com. Mayor Robertson is also one of four Mayors in San Bernardino County that have been very vocal about the illegal gun problem.

For more information about Mayor Deborah Robertson go to www.DeborahRobertson.org

About Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson

Deborah Robertson was elected Mayor of Rialto in November 2012 – the latest achievement in a distinguished public service career that has included 12 years on the Rialto City Council, leadership positions at the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG), and more than 20 years with the California Department of Transportation.

Under Mayor Robertson’s leadership, Rialto has gained regional and national recognition for innovation in the areas of public-private partnerships, business development and job creation. The City’s refinancing and restructuring of its water and wastewater operations has become a model for other communities in California, pumping millions of dollars into the local economy.

A leading voice on regional and national infrastructure issues, Mayor Robertson chairs the Public Health Subcommittee for SCAG’s 2016 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy, is a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Water Council and Metro Economies, and member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

She is a founding board member for the NFL/AFL Youth Life Skills Camp, has hosted the annual State of Women event in Rialto for the past seven years, and was recognized by Assembly Member Cheryl Brown as 47th District Woman of the Year.

Mayor Robertson retired from Caltrans in 2012, most recently serving as Deputy District Director of External Affairs. A native Californian, she holds an undergraduate degree in Urban Planning from the University of California, San Diego, a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the City University of New York Bernard Baruch College and is a National Urban Fellows recipient. She is also a scholarship recipient and past participant of the Southern California Leadership Network.

Mayor Robertson was instrumental in developing Rialto’s Transportation Commission and coordinated a transportation summit for the region.  Her wielding influence and determination have helped bring new businesses and housing to the City of Rialto.

With all that she has done Mayor Robertson still has the time for family, two children and six grandchildren, that are the joy of her life.

From Homelessness to Hairstylist — Early Struggles Spur Beautician to Success

img_45536By Avis Thomas-Lester, Urban News Service

Evalyn “Evie” Johnson has traveled the world to share the hair care techniques she’s honed over 20 years as a stylist. 

She’s taught natural hair styling in Los Angeles and hair-loss prevention in Australia. She’ll be featured in New Zealand next month at the International Association of Trichologists’ Hairdressing Conference. 

“I do a lot of speaking engagements, so I travel a lot,” said Johnson, 38, of Bowie, Maryland.

It is ironic that travel plays such a significant role in Johnson’s life now as a celebrated stylist and co-owner of the E&E Hair Studio in Mitchellville, Maryland. She and her family were once so poor that her parents, Julius and Elizabeth Peterson, couldn’t afford to send Johnson or her 11 siblings on field trips around Washington, D.C. 

“We were homeless,” Johnson said. “We slept in cars sometimes. We ate syrup sandwiches and mayonnaise sandwiches. We lived where there was no power…I knew there was so much money out there, but we couldn’t get any of it. I didn’t understand.”

Johnson attributes the family’s poverty largely to her father’s heroin abuse, which led to his incarceration at D.C.’s prison in Lorton, Virginia. In his absence, the Johnsons lived on public assistance, she said.

When she reached adolescence, little Evie rebelled. At 13, she got pregnant by her boyfriend, Antonio Reed, Jr., then 15. They both lived at the city’s homeless shelter at 14th and Park Street, NW.img_45516

Her mother dispatched her to Lorton to inform her father, the only time she visited him behind bars. Julius Peterson made her promise not to get pregnant again until marriage. In return, he promised to kick heroin.

When her son, Antonio Reed, III, was 2 months old, he became ill with Kawasaki disease, which causes inflammation of blood-vessel walls. He spent seven months at D.C. General Hospital.

Each day, Johnson attended school, then took Metro or two buses to the medical facility, where she studied and nurtured her baby.

“It was important for me to do well for him,” Johnson said. “I didn’t want him to think that his mother wasn’t smart.”

The Washington Post highlighted Johnson in 1994 for graduating with a 4.0 GPA from then-Kelly Miller Junior High School. She was 15. 

“I was on Cloud Nine,” Johnson said. “I was accomplishing things…It was a matter of proving – against the odds and what people said – that I could accomplish everything that I was supposed to accomplish.”

Johnson had dreamed of becoming a stylist since she was very young. She braided her sisters’ hair, kept her brothers shaped up, and styled her mother, relatives and friends.

After beauty school, Johnson worked at area salons before she and Earlisa Larry, who met as stylists at a J.C. Penney salon, opened E&E Hair Solutions in Largo in 2006. They moved a few blocks to the current salon earlier this year.

Johnson specializes in natural styles, hair bleaching and hair loss reversal.  She co-founded Stuart Edmondson Hair Loss and Restoration, which makes products to improve thinning hair.

Johnson also is a master stylist for Mizani, a L’Oréal hair products company, and works as a platform stylist at hair shows. She has coiffed such entertainment notables as Tasha Smith, Ari Nicole Parker, and Trey Songz. She has styled artists for the Grammy and BET awards.

Johnson was scheduled to be a featured stylist at the Washington/Baltimore Area Beauty Expo on Sept. 26 at the Martin’s Crosswinds banquet center in Greenbelt. The program was emceed by Johnny Wright, First Lady Michelle Obama’s hair stylist. 

“I love Evie!” said Wright, who toured several cities and educated stylists with Johnson as the “Dynamic Duo.” 

“She is a premiere educator and very talented at her craft,” Wright said.

Clients also sing Johnson’s praises.

“If I had enough time, I’d come twice a week,” said Shaina Taylor, 41, of Upper Marlboro, admiring her “wheat blonde” faux hawk moments after Johnson styled her hair recently. “I get tired of people stopping me talking about my hair.”

Johnson and her husband, Joe, a transportation project manager, have four children in their blended family: Taquan, 24, a writer and actor; Antonio, who recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania; Taleya, 17, a high school senior who answered phones at the salon one recent afternoon; and Jordan, 15, an accomplished basketball player. 

Johnson said memories of the hard times keep her moving forward.

“I’m excelling, but I’m still growing,” she said.