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Dirty Politics Within The City, Again!

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On  Monday, October 13 at 9:30 a.m., community activists and concerned residences, led by Kim Carter, of Time for Change Foundation, will be holding a Press Conference on the steps of City Hall, to bring national attention to the back door politics of our new city leaders.  This comes on the heels of yet another scandal like the City’s bankruptcy.  Recently, during an open competitive process, a bid competition set up by the City for the purpose of community development, after receiving the highest score in that competition, the City Council final approval was placed on the agenda only to be pulled off, not once but twice!  One would think that with a “Review Committee” and the published results of that competition showing the winner (pgs. 14-16) (pgs. 370-372) that the City would honor their commitment!  But, NO!  If you don’t like the winner, you can change the rules?  The message this sends is “San Bernardino is not open for business!”  Or is it only for a chosen few?  Don’t enter the competition because it won’t work, a handshake won’t work, only back door politics work.  Are we there again?  Did we not just vote in a new regime to move our City in a new direction?

We are in a period of rebuilding our city.  No entity will be willing to come to San Bernardino to invest if the City does not hold to the competition process.  As all citizens are aware, we are supposed to be living in a free market society without the back door politics that plagued the City for the last 15 years and led to bankruptcy. This is not good for the citizens of our City or the future of our children, and we won’t stand for it.  This is the scandalous politics that we said would be long gone.  We voted in new people for an open, transparent and accountable City Council.  We stood for change and the voters’ voices were heard; we have new leadership and a new Council, yet the same only dirty politics. They are letting all businesses know that we don’t have a new regime; we are reminded of the old antics.  Has the new City Council been infiltrated or did we vote in new people who write rules and then change the game when they don’t like the result?  We live in a democratic society, a free market society with open competition.  When someone wins fair and square, there should be no rebuttals.

How can you ask people to vote for you during reelection time when you are sitting in the seat and not living up to the promises of openness, transparency and accountability?  How can you ask the citizens to trust the City to vote yes on Q when we can’t trust the results of Q; when the City takes money from agreements and then reneges?  If the City was truly moving forward, the transparency and accountability would be obvious.  Instead, what we have here smells like a rat!  According to Kim Carter: “I’m not a sore loser, because I was the winner.  This is not about me, this is about the process which is supposed to be open and transparent…a healthy competition.  Is any business safe to come here and enter a competition only to be awarded but not rewarded?”   It’s obvious the game is rigged when the rules change once the winner has been declared.  We are also seeing that the City is attempting to reward contracts following secretive RFPs which only has one person in the race.  There is a motion on the City Council agenda for October 20th to award an out of town agency … a $200,000 contract … in which there was only one agency in the race.  Hear me clearly … no competition = agency gets awarded contract … However, a healthy competition = winner gets shafted.

It is a rigged game when the rules change if the winner isn’t what … liked?  the right color? the right gender?
the right political party?  in the right family?   As an African American entrepreneur, I have to wonder, is this discrimination or just the City changing the game when they don’t like the winner?  The government is supposed to be open, transparent and accountable.  Has there been some Brown Act violations?  To not honor the process which is clearly laid out sends the wrong signal to people outside and inside San Bernardino.  Where is the accountability?  Where is the transparency?  Where is this new leadership?

 

Friends ride free Fridays on sbX rapid transit line

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SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Omnitrans is offering two-for-one fares once a week on its new sbX bus rapid transit line during October and November with a “Friends Ride Free Fridays” promotion, beginning October 3.

“We know that current sbX customers are our best promoters, so we invite them to bring along a friend for free on Fridays this fall,” explained Omnitrans spokesperson Wendy Williams. “For new riders, it’s always reassuring to travel with an experienced rider.”

sbX service launched on April 28, 2014 with a free week that attracted over 3,000 riders per day on average. Since fare collection began on May 5th, average daily ridership has grown steadily from about 1,300 to over 2,300, an increase of 77 percent. “Our goal is to get back to the ridership activity experienced in that first free week by the time we celebrate our 1-year anniversary,” said Williams.

The one-way fare on sbX, and all Omnitrans bus routes, is $1.75; a 1-day pass is $5. 7-day and 31-day passes offer savings for frequent riders. Persons with disabilities, seniors age 62 and up, and youth age 18 and under, qualify for discounts. Through Omnitrans’ “GoSmart” program, local college students can ride free with their student ID if enrolled at California State University, San Bernardino, San Bernardino Valley College, Crafton Hills College, Chaffey College or the Art Institute of California—Inland Empire.

The sbX green line runs every 10 to 15 minutes on weekdays in San Bernardino and Loma Linda on a 16-mile route, including over 5 miles of dedicated bus lanes. Riders can enjoy free Wi-Fi and 110-outlet power outlets on board. Stations feature real-time arrival signs, ticket vending machines, emergency telephones, and public art. Traffic signal prioritization technology helps vehicles get ahead of other traffic. To enhance security, a security service patrols the corridor and video cameras at stations are monitored 24/7.

Complete sbX route and schedule information is available here, or by calling  the customer information center at (800) 966-6428.

Hip–Hop Icon Charli Baltimore Speaks on Motherhood, New Label and New Projects

From left to right: India, Charli Baltimore, and Siaani. Photo credit: Sheron Barber/Synergy 7

From left to right: India, Charli Baltimore, and Siaani. Photo credit: Sheron Barber/Synergy 7

Interview by Naomi K. Bonman

Let’s take a trip down memory lane. Who remembers the record label Murder Inc.? If that rings a bell to you then the song “Down A** Chick” featuring Ja Rule and Charli Baltimore should sound familiar. Besides the two mentioned artists above, Murder Inc. also consisted of Ashanti, Irv Gotti (manager), and Vita. The label was established in 1990 and due to certain circumstances; the label fell under in 2007. However, since then each member from the crew have went their separate ways and succeeded as individuals.

Philadelphia native Charli Baltimore has made quite a few accomplishments since her Murder Inc. days. She is now one of the executives of B.M.B. Entertainment (Breaking Major Barriers) where she released her mixtape Hard 2 Kill and brought in several artists who are on the brink of their careers. They consist of Cash Paid, Midwest Rico, and Lody Lucci.

One of the major current projects that BMB Entertainment’s artists will be embarking on is a unique branding tour with the goal of raising the label’s and each individual artist’s profile by gaining 30 million impressions in 30 days. The 2014 Impressions Tour kicked off at the House of Blues in Los Angeles on Wednesday, September 24 and is set to enter 13 to 15 major markets. Baltimore will bless the tour in a few select cities over the next four weeks. To learn more visit www.impressiontour.com or visit @impressiontour on Instagram and Twitter. Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite.

Being an artist on a major record label (Murder Inc.) has helped shape Baltimore’s management position with her current music family.

 “As an artist you understand other artists [much] better,” Baltimore say’s. “When you’re on a major record deal, [normally] the people that are running it haven’t been an artist, so it’s hard for them to understand music in that perspective. I now have a better insight of how to handle BMB.”

In addition to her implementation with B.M.B., the Philly rapper has had an astonishing year with her nomination for a 2014 BET Award for Best Female Hip Hop Artist. She was also an honoree at the 3rd Annual Female Hip Hop Awards. These two major award nominations and honors, after being away from the spotlight for awhile, is a major accomplishment for Miss Baltimore. It goes to show how hard work, dedication, and perseverance pay off.

With her recent achievements, Charli is in the works of a new album entitled, ETHOS. She explained how the creation process is different from what she is used to with past projects. Usually she is accustomed to sitting down for a few months and fully dedicating her time to writing and recording a record. This time around she has been able to find a new way of becoming inspired to write—being on the road.

Speaking of projects, Baltimore recently wrapped up a photo shoot with her daughter India and Siaani in downtown Los Angeles. The shoot was produced by Trea Davenport and photographed by Sheron Barber of Synergy 7. One of the reasons why she was out of the spotlight for awhile was to focus on them to ensure the success of their futures. Her oldest daughter, India, started modeling as a minor and needed a parent on-site until the age of 18. Now that both of her daughters are very successful in their careers, they applaud their mother for being an inspiration and for paving the way for them.

 “Perseverance for sure, [My mom] has taught me to never give up,” India states.

Siaani adds, “[She has] taught me to focus on myself, and not to rely on anybody to take care of everything for me, and to just go and do it myself which motivates me to do better.”

Not only has Miss Baltimore been an inspiration to her girls, but she also inspires other artists to strive in their careers. Yes this music industry business can get rough, but Charli advises you to, “Stay true to yourself and your music because you’re always going to have somebody that believes in the truth and that can relate to what you’re saying.”

In the coming months there is definitely much more in store for both Charli and her daughters. To keep up with Charli please follow her on Instagram and Twitter @CharliBaltimore. India can be followed on Instagram at @IndiaChristin and Siaani can be followed on Instagram as well at @SiaaniLove. To book Charli, please contact Trea Davenport at treadaypr@gmail.com.