Talk Around Town

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With temperatures blistering in the triple digits, the community is cautioned to stay hydrated and chill out at local cooling centers if AC isn’t readily available. Anthony highlighted some of the centers in the area including the Grace Vargas Senior Center in Rialto, the Gonzales Community Center in Colton and the splash pad at Bryce Hanes Park in San Bernardino.

This week we launched our coverage of high school sports, beginning with Colton High. A video interview was posted to our Facebook page and on Wednesday morning it had garnered over 5,500 views with a reach of 13,400-plus.  This proves the widespread popularity of high school sports and we will be providing adequate coverage of our local high schools in Colton, Rialto and San Bernardino.

Speaking of schools, I had the pleasure of lunching with Rialto Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Cuauhtémoc Avila and RUSD Director of Media Services Syeda Jafri.

The first Latino superintendent in Rialto, Dr. Avila, in his three years, has led the district to over 20 regional, state and national titles, as well as accomplishments ranging from California Blue Ribbon Schools to PBIS State Coalition recognition for 21 district schools, including 5 Silver Awards.

Additionally, Rialto was the sole district in the county to receive the California Green School, Silver Award - Casey Elementary School.

Dr. Avila’s passion about delivering quality education to Rialto students and holding staff accountable to uphold that level of quality was palpable, and I truly believe his vision of education will further transform the district.  The accomplishments speak for themselves.

Switching over to San Bernardino, San Bernardino High School’s annual Miss Cardinal Pageant will be held Saturday, Sept. 23 at Sturges Center for Fine Arts. Volunteers teach the girls how to apply make-up properly, how to walk the catwalk and to interview well. But more importantly, the pageant is actually about teaching contestants about civic engagement and responsibility.

Pageant director and bilingual school outreach worker Jamie Rios emphasizes to participants the importance of being an engaged and active member of their community.

Jamie Rios is going to be honored with the Community Service Award next Friday at the Black Rose Awards Dinner. Other awardees are Gwendolyn Rodgers, Clarissa Howard and Lesford Duncan.

For the second year the LA County Fair will be honoring a “Community Hero” during San Bernardino Community Day next Friday, the 8th. This year Dr. Margaret Hill, San Bernardino City Unified School District Board President, will be recognized for her tireless contributions and commitment to the community.

Over the weekend The Way World Outreach hosted its second expungement fair with an added job fair aspect. Over 650 people attended the event, which speaks to the necessity of such a service.  People who made the effort to show up are serious about removing employment barriers to achieve self-sufficiency.

The Riverside and San Bernardino County Public Defender’s Offices sent representatives to facilitate expungement paperwork and the application process. The difference between the two counties is that San Bernardino County offers these services for free regardless of income – most of the time you won’t need to show up in court. Riverside County charges for attorney fees if your income exceeds a certain amount.

San Bernardino County Chief Deputy Public Defender Thomas Sone who attends all expungement events, urges eligible people to call (909) 387-8373 to get an application started over the phone. I was just as surprised when I learned that the entire process could be completed without ever having to physically sit down with anyone.

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