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San Bernardino Valley College Hosts Second Annual WinterFest

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- On Tuesday, December 5, the San Bernardino Valley College campus will once again transform into a holiday wonderland from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. for the college’s second annual “WinterFest.”

This campus-wide celebration of the coming of the holiday season is estimated to have attracted over 2,000 students, staff, and community members to campus last year. Visitors were especially drawn to the holiday light show, the free musical performances and theater productions, and the delicious treats offered by food trucks and the college’s culinary arts and food services programs.

The evening will be filled with fun events for all ages, including holiday film screenings, live music, theater performances, Santa pictures, and story time for children among the many activities. For those looking to pick up the perfect gift, a holiday sale with a wide range of items will run throughout WinterFest. College staff will also be on hand to provide information about enrollment and the many degree and certificate programs available at San Bernardino Valley College.

This exciting event is free to attend and open to the community. Valley College is located at 701 S. Mount Vernon Avenue in San Bernardino.

Photo Recap: Community Action Partnership and Young Visionaries Giveaway Over 1,000 Turkeys for Thanksgiving

RECAP Written by John Coleman, Community Photographer

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County (CAPSBC) and Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy provided 1,000 Turkeys and Food Boxes to needy families in San Bernardino County.  Approximately 2,000 people attended the Turkey Giveaway and Resource Fair which was held at CAPSBC on Saturday, November 18.

“The CAPSBC Food Bank has been serving San Bernardino County since 1984.  Every year we provide thousands of holiday food baskets, in addition to our regular food operations serving 40,000 households per month.  $19 million in food went out in 2016 and that number will be even higher this year.  San Bernardino County suffers some of the highest levels of poverty in the nation, and this food is greatly needed,” stated Patricia L. Nickols-Butler, CEO of CAPSBC.

Fifty-seven (57) community organizations, county agencies and nonprofits were on hand at the event Resource Fair providing information, goods and services to assist low-income families.  In addition, approximately 100 volunteers provided vitally important assistance.  All in all, hundreds of people who care about struggling San Bernardino County families, came together to make the holidays a little brighter for their neighbors in need.

The CAPSBC Food Bank continues its mission for the upcoming Christmas holidays providing thousands of additional holiday baskets for those needing food assistance.  If you are interested in supporting the CAPSBC Food Bank in its efforts to fight hunger and malnutrition in San Bernardino County, you may make a check payable to CAPSBC and mail to 696 S. Tippecanoe Ave., San Bernardino, CA 92408, or a secure donation can be made on our website at:  www.capsbc.org/donate   If you would like to volunteer, please e-mail:  msalcido@capsbc.org or fill out a volunteer form at www.capsbc.org/volunteer.

San Bernardino Public Library Board President Dr. Clark named Best California Library Trustee by the California Public Library Advocates

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- As a child growing up in San Bernardino, Dr. Milton Clark’s weekly Saturday visits to the central library on Arrowhead to read started him on a path of academic achievement that culminated in his earning a Ph.D. and a distinguished academic career as a faculty member for more than 30 years before retiring as the Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Studies at Cal State San Bernardino.

He has also returned his fondness for public libraries and their value in communities such as San Bernardino by serving on the San Bernardino Public Library Board of Trustees since 2005 and as its president since 2007. That time period marked a decade of the city’s economic challenges since the national economic crash of 2008 that culminated in San Bernardino filing for bankruptcy in 2012.

The economic challenges SBPL faced in that timespan resulted in several budget cuts which threatened the closure of the Howard Rowe, Dorothy Inghram and Paul Villaseñor Branch Libraries in 2009, 2012 and 2014.

Dr. Clark’s leadership and advocacy working with the other trustees has been instrumental in keeping those libraries open, according to San Bernardino Public Library Director Ed Erjavek. The members of the SBPL Board of Trustees are city residents who volunteer their time without compensation to administratively govern the library with the funding amount allocated by the Mayor and City Council.

His leadership and advocacy were honored earlier this month as he was named the Best California Library Trustee for outstanding service to a specific library system by the California Public Library Advocates (CPLA) during an awards dinner at the California Library Association’s annual conference in Riverside. CPLA seeks to strengthen California libraries through advocacy and education.

“Dr. Clark is most deserving of this honor since I doubt there’s a Library Board President in the country who has done as much in advocating for their library system in the last decade, “ said Erjavek, who nominated him for the award. “His leadership and passion for library service in San Bernardino have been instrumental in helping to preserve library service in this community. I tell people he is the finest Library Board President in America. He was the right man to lead the Library Board of Trustees during this last challenging decade in San Bernardino.”

“I’m not sure what motivates the other Board members, but my passion for this institution is deep rooted.  I grew up in San Bernardino, and as a young child, I used to walk to the library on Saturday morning and lose myself among the stacks of books.  Those visits to the library gave me a glimpse into a broader world than the one to which I was confined living in the de facto segregated city of San Bernardino,” Clark said, when reminiscing about his childhood in his acceptance speech. Among the dinner attendees were California State Librarian Greg Lucas, family and friends of Dr. Clark, and Board Vice President Carolyn Tillman and Secretary Val Lichtman. Dr. Tom Rennard is also a member of the Board.

“In part, because of the library, I went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in English at California State College, San Bernardino,” he continued.  “I subsequently went on to earn a Master’s degree and then a Ph. D at UC Riverside.  Because San Bernardino had a Public Library, the world of opportunity was opened up to me. It is my duty, my responsibility, and my honor to make that same amazing resource available to the citizens of my city, young and old.”

SBPL had an annual budget of almost $3 million and 31 full-time staff position in 2008 before the national economic crash but the budget had been reduced to a little over $1.7 million in 2014 when the library was facing a proposed cut of $1 million, which would have not only closed the branch libraries but even operations at the Feldheym Central Library might not have been possible with a budget cut of that size.

Thanks to the leadership and advocacy of Dr. Clark and the other library board members and an alternative budget proposal from Erjavek – the library was allocated almost $1.4 million of annual funding for FY 14-15 by the Mayor and Common Council which resulted in full-time staff being reduced to 10 and zero city dollars for books and library materials but at least the weekly 37 public service hours at Feldheym and the 20 weekly hours at each of the three branches were retained.

Erjavek wrote in his nomination: “He has volunteered his time waiting to speak (often for more hours sitting on hard plastic chairs than he would care to recall) to the city’s mayor and city council at many a budget meeting during the last 10 years to give a voice for the voiceless for the importance of library service in this community.  Dr. Clark is keenly sensitive to continuing library service to the underserved and underprivileged who are many in this city and those who may not have the means to go to another library if their neighborhood branch closed.”