In the News

March 25, 2016

PRESS-ENTERPRISE EDITORIAL

Talk about March Madness: Riverside was, by our estimation, a 17-to-1 longshot to be chosen over Pomona as home for the California Air Resource Board’s new offices and vehicle-testing lab. Yet board members on Thursday selected an 18-acre site owned by UC Riverside on Iowa Avenue north of Martin Luther King Boulevard.

We think that quite an upset given that a CARB staff report recommended a site on the Cal Poly Pomona campus – not the least because of a survey in which 85 percent of CARB employees expressed their preference for the Pomona site because it is 50 miles closer to CARB’s current digs in El Monte than is the Riverside site.

That Riverside overcame the odds to be selected the location of the regulatory agency’s new $366 million project – and the 400 or so jobs that come with it – was because of the coordinated efforts of Riverside’s presentation team.

It included state Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, who has made the case for years that Riverside would be an ideal location for CARB’s new facility.

March 24, 2016

Vote follows joint effort by City, County, UC Riverside and Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) – The California Air Resources Board voted 8-3 today to relocate its motor vehicle and engine emissions testing and research facility from El Monte to an 18-acre site at the University of California, Riverside, which represents a $366 million investment into the community and 400 knowledge-based jobs in the Inland Empire.

The board chose Riverside after deciding that land owned by the University of California on Iowa Avenue near Martin Luther King Boulevard would provide the best opportunity for growth in the coming decades and for collaboration with world-class air quality research already underway at UC Riverside.

“Today’s decision is great news for UC Riverside, the city and county, and it is great news for the people of California,” said UCR Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox, who attended the board meeting in Sacramento. “This facility will bring together two world-class institutions working in air quality and emissions science and promises to create a whole range of synergies that simply wouldn’t be possible otherwise. Building this new facility in Riverside now positions our region to become the global capital for air quality research. With construction slated to begin next year, planning has already begun to ensure a smooth transition and, most importantly, accommodate the needs of Air Resources Board employees.”

March 24, 2016

An Iowa Avenue site beat out one at Cal Poly Pomona for a $366 million lab, office project for 400 workers.

By ALICIA ROBINSON / STAFF WRITER

Riverside won out over Pomona as the location for a new vehicle emissions testing lab and offices for the state Air Resources Board that are expected to bring about 400 jobs.

Air board members on Thursday, March 24, picked an 18-acre site on Iowa Avenue, between University Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard, that’s owned by UC Riverside. The facility represents a $366 million project and would open by 2020.

The other choice – and the recommendation of air board officials – was on the Cal Poly Pomona campus. Both universities pledged to step up their collaboration with the air board on research.

Inland officials lobbied hard for the new offices, giving tours in Riverside and showing up at air board meetings in El Monte and Sacramento.

March 18, 2016

The National Resident Matching Program announced today that the 2016 Match Day for graduating medical students was the largest on record, with 42,370 registered applicants and 30,750 positions filled. The number of United States medical school seniors grew by 221 to 18,668, and the number of available first-year positions rose to 27,860, which is 567 more than last year. "Match Day," an annual rite of passage for future physicians, is the system through which medical school students and graduates obtain residency positions in U.S. accredited training programs.

Despite the high numbers of candidates matching with residency programs this year, hundreds of qualified California students must leave the state to study elsewhere due to a lack of funding for graduate medical training, highlighting the need to pass Senate Bill 22.

March 17, 2016

Indio is the third valley city to act on the shortage

In light of a judge shortage dubbed a "judicial crisis" in Riverside County, Indio City Council unanimously voted Wednesday to join three desert cities in strongly urging Gov. Jerry Brown and state legislators to take action.

Riverside County has one of the highest caseloads per judge in the state, second only to San Bernardino County, a substandard ratio that has led to significant delays in court proceedings in superior courts such as those in Indio's Larson Justice Center, according to the state Judicial Council.

In 2014, 423,340 filings were made in Riverside County Superior Court including 18,195 felonies and 41,731 misdemeanors — an increase of 18 percent since 1993, according to court data.

That adds up to a caseload of more than 5,570 filings that have to be handled by each of the county's 76 judges, including almost eight jury trials that must be presided over.

March 09, 2016

Lawmakers: Regulators should have caught Volkswagen's emissions cheating sooner

California lawmakers asked the state’s top air pollution officials Tuesday why it took them years to figure out that Volkswagen was cheating on emissions tests and putting pollution-spewing diesel cars on the road.

Annette Hebert, chief of the Emissions Compliance division at the California Air Resources Board, told legislators during a hearing that the measurement devices used to test the vehicles are fairly new.

But since that technology has been available for about four years, her answer did not satisfy some lawmakers.

“You would have detected it and we could have taken these vehicles off the road, four years or five years or maybe six, by the time we get around to it, off the road earlier," Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, said.

March 07, 2016

Carla J. Thornton, associate director of development for the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, wants to advocate for Inland veterans

Carla J. Thornton had always been involved in community work, but it took being part of a class on community organizing to change her life. The light bulb moment came while she was obtaining her master’s in social work at the University of Southern California. “I realized I could do social work at the macro level and directly impact individuals,” she said.

On Feb. 11, Thornton — who is the associate director of development for the UC Riverside College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences — was appointed to the California Veterans Board, which advocates for veterans affairs by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The position, which requires Senate confirmation, is open solely to veterans.

Joining the board is just an extension of Thornton’s community service. She currently serves in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and was on active duty from 1997 to 2008.

March 04, 2016

Riverside attorney Jane Carney has been appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to the California State University Board of Trustees.

Carney, 73, said being named to the board was an honor. She applied last year when she learned that board chairman Lou Monville, a Riverside businessman, would be leaving in June.

“When I learned that Lou Monville was terming out and that he was the only person from the Inland Empire to ever serve on that board, clearly something had to happen,” Carney said. “It’s important for the Inland Empire to have a member on the board so they don’t forget we exist.”

Carney was one of four new trustees appointed by Gov. Brown: Jean Picker Firstenberg and Thelma Melendez, both of Los Angeles, and Lateefah Simon of Oakland. Lillian Kimbell, of Woodland Hills, was reappointed to her position. All terms are for eight years and must be confirmed by the State Senate. The Board of Trustees next meets March 7-9 and the new trustees are expected to be in attendance.

January 20, 2016

The Golden State has another chance to rein in lawsuit abuse. On Tuesday, the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee approved Senate Bill 269, a substantive reform meant to encourage small business owners to bring their businesses into compliance with disability accessibility law while protecting those proactive about doing so from frivolous lawsuits.

Introduced by Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, the bill is virtually identical to last year’s Senate Bill 251, which overwhelmingly passed the Legislature before being inexplicably vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown, who objected to the inclusion of tax credits to help offset the cost of making properties more accessible.

California has unfortunately been a hotbed of lawsuit abuse, particularly with respect to the well-intended Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Meant to protect and enhance accessibility for those with disabilities, as implemented in California the law has been turned into a money-maker for serial plaintiffs.

January 20, 2016

Often criticized as “shakedown lawsuits,” disabled people sue a small business whether or not they patronize it.

By BEA KARNES (Patch Staff) January 20, 2016 6:15 pm ET

A Riverside County lawmaker’s bill aimed at deterring disability rights lawsuits against small businesses cleared a legislative hurdle Tuesday.

Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, called Senate Bill 269 a “balanced measure to protect the disabled community and small businesses.”

SB 269 was approved by the Assembly Judiciary Committee in a 9-0 vote and now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for consideration, according to the senator’s office.