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Torres Highlights Veterans Care, Infrastructure, Public Safety and Dreamers During Congressional Hispanic Caucus Budget Listening Tour

A couple of weeks ago, U.S. Representative Norma J. Torres traveled to several communities in and around the Inland Empire to ensure the needs of local residents are reflected in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) budget. As Chair of the CHC Budget Task Force, Torres has been instrumental in crafting a budget that offers an alternative to the harmful cuts in the Trump Administration’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget. On her tour, Torres highlighted advancements made in veterans’ care, the need for greater investment in infrastructure and public safety upgrades, and a permanent solution for the nation’s Dreamers—priorities that align with the CHC’s mission to advance the Hispanic community and improve the lives of all citizens.

U.S. Representative Norma J. Torres views a project underway at the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System.

U.S. Representative Norma J. Torres views a project underway at the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System.

In Redlands, Torres visited the new Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) within the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System. The ACC features equipment and technology that make healthcare more accessible and affordable for the area’s veterans. In addition to preventative care, the ACC also provides veterans with mental health care and resources to combat the opioid crisis.

“It’s our responsibility to make sure that our veterans have access to quality and timely healthcare when they return home,” Torres said. “It’s great to see the strides the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System has made in providing the innovative and cutting-edge care and services California veterans deserve.”

In Ontario, Torres met with representatives from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to discuss funding upgrades and relieving congestion along the 71 Freeway. She also held a public safety funding roundtable with fire and police chiefs in Chino to address concerns regarding the Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants program. The need to strengthen the capability of California’s 911 system to receive text messages and respond to cyberattacks was also discussed.

“Upgrades to our infrastructure should go hand in hand with meeting our public safety needs. Unfortunately, the President’s infrastructure proposal makes it harder for my district and our state to fund these much-needed upgrades,” Torres said. “It was important to hear firsthand from local transportation officials and emergency responders about the challenges they face. We need commonsense policies that move us in the right direction towards modernizing our infrastructure and 911 systems.”

At Cal Poly Pomona, Torres convened a meeting with more than 30 Dreamers representing area colleges, school administrators, and supporters to talk about the need for a permanent solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

“I am inspired by the bravery and perseverance of our Inland Empire Dreamers. The Trump Administration has unfairly thrown the futures of these bright young people into a state of uncertainty,” Torres said. “I will keep fighting for a permanent legislative solution that protects our Dreamers from deportation and extends benefits to all Dreamers.”

U.S. Representative Norma J. Torres speaks with fire and police chiefs in Chino.

U.S. Representative Norma J. Torres speaks with fire and police chiefs in Chino.

Dr. Terrence Roberts Speaks at the Annual NASW Inland Empire Awards

By John Coleman, Community Photographer

Over 90 National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Inland Empire members and guests listened intently as professor and author, Terrence Roberts, MSW, PhD, honored guest and keynote speaker at the Inland Empire Unit of the National Association of Social Workers held it’s Annual Social Work Month  Awards and Recognition Celebration on Monday, March 5 at Kaiser Palm Court in Fontana.

Dr Roberts, recipient of the U S Congressional Medal, bestowed in 1999 by then President Bill Clinton is honored as a member of the renowned “Little Rock Nine”  one of nine 15 year-old Black junior high school students who, in 1957,  volunteered to attend the rigidly segregated all and only white Little Rock Central High School.

Sounds simple, but in 1957 then President Dwight D. Eisenhower took control of the Arkansas National Guard to prevent its use by the Governor and sent in a unit of the U S Army to protect the safety of the Little Rock Nine for the full 1957-58 school year.

Governor Faubus closed all public schools statewide for the following year in his attempt to prevent desegregation.

Meet the PAL Charter Academy History Makers

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- March 9, 2018 marks a milestone in PAL Center history as Coach Domonique White and Coach Alex Avila lead the Bulls Boys Basketball team their first ever league Championship in PAL’s 34 year existence.

Under the leadership of Coach White, PAL introduced its Student Scholar Athletics program in the 2015 – 2016 school year. The success of the program developed discipline and academic accountability among PAL student athletes in sports offered: Softball, Volleyball, Basketball and Soccer.

As the underdog in the Inland Empire Alternative Schools League (IEASL) which provides competitive athletics for Inland Empire students at Charter and Continuation schools PAL Basketball program has fought for three seasons straight to earn the bragging rights of Champions. This year they absolutely earned the right as they finished the regular season in the fifth seat with no expectation of making it to the final dance.

The Bulls successfully fought through two rounds of playoffs to face Sierra High School of San Bernardino in the Championship game. An intense game resulted in PAL Charter Academy’s victory. Additionally, these scholar athletes maintained a cumulative 3.7 GPA throughout the season with no participant performing below a 2.7 GPA. The 2018 Bulls Basketball team has certainly made HISTORY as student SCHOLAR athletes!

PAL Charter Academy is a free public charter school which services students 6th to 12th grade. Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 -2019 school year. Please contact the main office located at 2450 Blake Street in San Bernardino or by phone at (909) 887-7002 for more information.