School starts in Rialto with new superintendent Cuauhtémoc Avila at the helm

Can one person really make a difference? Well, I guess it all depends on the person’s position and the scale of the change. In Rialto they made a change to the top level official in Rialto Unified School District, but what Rialto parents and community members are looking for may not happen right away if at all.

Credit RUSD twitter account

Credit RUSD twitter account

Rialto Unified has been full of scandals and challenges over the years. Some of them you can read about in the article Beau Yarbrough from The Sun Newspaper wrote about the Superintendent’s first day of school tour (a tour only some news media was informed about apparently) read his article here. What Beau’s article misses to point out is the rampant culture of abusive staff, the constant struggle between parents and local administrators, loss of thousands of dollars in local control funding to RUSD elementary sites and the issues that come with having schools that are policed by over taxed and dangerous cities like Colton and San Bernardino.

We were not able to be a part of this First Day of School tour with new Superintendent Cuauhtémoc Avila but at National Night Out we were able to speak with Scott Sparks, Principal of Eisenhower High School and some of the many staff from around the district. All  were ready to meet their students Wednesday morning. We asked Mr. Sparks if he was ready for the first day, he said with much enthusiasm that we’re ready and excited for the students. Eisenhower has been a shinning jewel for the RUSD. Mr. Sparks in his third year as Principal of Eisenhower High has been reaching out to the community to seek out the best learning experience for the students in his care. He is also lucky to have stories of concerned staff helping children outside of work hours. Like when Mark Steeter, a teacher at Eisenhower High School ended up saving a toddler’s life on his 30th wedding anniversary trip over  Memorial Day weekend.

One statement Beau got from new Superintendent Cuauhtémoc Avila was that he had changes but he wanted to move slowly. This isn’t sitting well with parents who are struggling. Many parents of special education students were looking for new Superintendent Cuauhtémoc Avila to make quick changes and help them get a proper education for their children.

It looks like we are in a wait and see pattern with new Superintendent Cuauhtémoc Avila. Only time will tell in we see positive changes and results for our students in Rialto Unified School District.

 

What Does Assembly Member Brown Have To Hide?

cheryl brown rec

Saturday July 11th at 10pm Coffee Nutzz on Foothill Blvd was full to the brim. Were they having an awesome sale? Releasing a new coffee flavor? No they were hosting Assembly Member Cheryl Brown’s Coffee with the Constituents. That’s awesome right? Well it was great for Andy the owner of Coffee Nutzz to open his business for this event what wasn’t so awesome were the shady ground rules Assembly Member Brown laid out for the community.

Here is the video of the shutting down of the media by a staff member:

On July 2nd Congresswoman Norma Torres held a event where people could get to speak with the congresswoman and speak to the congresswoman about issues important to them. We attended this event and it was odd everyone was pushed off into a large room and were taken into the Congresswoman one at a time. As I stood there in the room of people I knew and didn’t know I spoke to two of Cheryl Browns Representatives and asked them if the coffee event on July 11th will be this way and they said no. Well that turned out to not be true………. When I spoke to Congress Woman Torres I explained that I didn’t agree that one on one events like this were always the best course of action. Having an open discussion gives everyone and opportunity to hear and learn from each question and hear the given answer. She agreed that would be a good way to address people but she was holding this type of an event for people that wanted to speak to her about personal issues that were sensitive in nature. We both left the conversation happy and exchanged ideas and wisdom I left the experience with a new found respect for Congress Woman Torres.

So I arrived at Coffee Nutzz and saw a mixture of well known Rialto residents as well as a collection of people I have never met before. Cheryl Brown was working the room saying hello to people in attendance and it looked like the open forum that was promised. So as Cheryl Brown began to address the crowd I began recording the Assembly Members opening remarks to later post here and I got shut down by Daniel Garcia on of the Assembly Members legislative aides. According to this aide there was no recording allowed, so wait how were all the sleeping mothers and people who work nights and weekends supposed to be able to hear the words of the Assembly Member if nobody could make a recording of them? Then what happened next was an additional slap in the face she said she would be pulling people into special side meetings, wait what????????

When I spoke to Assembly Woman Brown I explained that I didn’t agree that one on one events like this were always the best course of action. Having an open discussion gives everyone and opportunity to hear and learn from each question and hear the given answer. Mrs. Brown was very rigged in her position and would not even entertain the option that an open forum would benefit anyone else. Of course it didn’t help that I had issues with Mrs. Browns Local Staff and their lack of ability to help bring resolution to a range of given situations. I decided well into the conversation that my time and Mrs. Brown’s time was being wasted so I posed for a photo that a staff member took and exited stage left.

After to talking to others about the event they too were wondering why it wasn’t a more open forum type of event.

Video

9th Annual Rialto Community Garden Open House Is This Saturday

The 9th Annual Rialto Community Garden Open House, June 6th. Free Popcorn & Drinks and Free Mulch Donated by Burrtec Waste.

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What’s on tap in Rialto this week

Being plugged in is very important to a healthy thriving community. Here at Rialto Now we are here to fill the gap that the print media leaves by not adequetly covering Rialto and to act as a education tool for the community.

This week is a busy week here in the city of Rialto. There are opportunities to get information from regular meetings and then we have some special meetings and events coming up this week. Here is a list of what’s going on this week:

Monday – Area Command Meeting Area’s 3 & 4: January 26, 2015 – St. Catherine of Siena Church, 339 N. Sycamore Avenue, 7:00 – 8:30 pm. For additional information please contact Lieutenant Bill Wilson at 909-421-7276 or email to wwilson@rialtopd.com / Lieutenant Jim Kurkoske at 909-820-2568 or email to jkurkoske@rialtopd.com.

Tuesday – Rialto City Council Meeting

Wednesday – Rialto’s Certified Farmers’ Market is held every Wednesday, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Farmers’ Market is located at City Hall where vendors sell a variety of fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts at a reasonable cost to consumers. Come out and see what our local growers have to offer.

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Thursday – Mayor Deborah Robertson and City Council invite Rialto residents to attend the first community forum of 2015 on Thursday, January 29, 2015, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. The meeting will be held in the City Hall Council Chambers located at 150 South Palm Ave. City Department Heads will be available to receive comments and answer questions from the residents. Mayor Robertson and City Council are looking forward to candid dialog with community members to help understand and take into consideration perspectives from residents as the City Council prepares for the 2015/2016 Fiscal Year. Mayor Robertson and the City Council understand the success of the City of Rialto is directly related to meeting the needs of our community. Come share your thoughts on issues that matter to you and our community. For additional information, contact Angela Perry or Pam Kennedy at (909) 421-4991, or visit our website at http://www.rialtoca.gov.

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Saturday – On January 31, 2015, the City is hosting it’s first annual Rialto Police Officer Memorial 5K Run/Walk. This event takes place at the Rialto Police Department, 128 N. Willow Avenue, Rialto, CA on the south lawn. Sign ups begin at 7:00 am and the Race starts at 8:00 am. An awards ceremony and festivities will take place after the race. Please click here to register.

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Follow all that is going on with rialto on our Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/rialtonow

Rialto Residents Weigh In On Broken Promises Tuesday

Airport

At this weeks City Council Meeting Rialto Residents will be able to voice their thoughts on a variety of issues that require a public hearing. Tab 1 is the Lytle Creek Project that destroyed the beauty of the Country Club Area, Ruined Property Values and Removed the only golf course rialto had. Tab 2 & 3 are approvals to give away vital retail land to massive warehouses. The current landscape of warehouses brings rude truck drivers that refuse to obey simple traffic laws, higher crime and increased vandalism.

 

 

When the 210 Freeway was under construction the Rialto City Council placed a moratorium on building along the freeway and other cities built and now are reaping the benefits of a increased tax base. Rialto shuts down an airport to bring in more warehouses? How does that give the Rialto resident the ability to spend their money here versus taking it elsewhere.

People in the community please come out and demand that this city council finally keep its word to the residents of Rialto.

January Coffee With The Chief Re-Cap

Coffee With Cheif 2015

Hello Rialto Now readers!!!!! An awesome time was had by all at the first Coffee With The Chief in Rialto for 2015. Why was it awesome you ask? Well first off its kinda nice to have a strong yet open Chief of Police. So many people hold Police Chiefs and their command staff on such a high pedestal that they become “LIKE” gods. When they are simply men and women that will risk their lives for complete strangers. Now that fact isn’t something to be taken lightly but it also isn’t a reason you can’t stop and ask them a question.

Today’s Coffee With The Chief covered a lot of areas today. It was held at the Coco’s restaurant on Valley and Riverside Ave’s and the waitress was super nice as she took care of each persons order and kept the coffee flowing. Chief Farrar was in attendance along with Cpl. Marquez, two Detectives, three Lieutenants and Captain Deanda. Chief Farrar began by welcoming everyone and went over these topics:

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  • Crime Reduction – Overall Crime was down by 20% in 2014. Chief Farrar said that crime had been dropping for a while now and does expect crime rate to level off.
  • Women’s Law Enforcement Fitness Challenge – On March 21st Rialto Police Department will be taking any females interested to the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department physical agility course and going over the physical agility course portion of the tests and training to become a Sworn Police Officer. Chief Farrar said its his goal to attract more females into Police Work and hoped that this event would be the catalyst to attract them. The most difficult portion Chief Farrar said was scaling the 6ft wall and that they would help the women learn a technique that would lend them success on this obstacle.
  • How does Rialto Compare in Crime Stats to other cities? – Chief Farrar said that he has been asked this multiple times and has been reluctant to venture down this road because of the differences each local city faces. He decided to look into it finally and the results were promising. Chief Farrar compared Rialto to three other cities that touch rialto, have police departments (not sheriff) and are of comparable size. Cities he used where Fontana, Redlands, Rialto & San Bernardino. Rialto had a lower overall crime rate than all cites that were used. Redlands had a lower violent crime rate than Rialto. Even though Rialto has more residents than Redlands.
  • Promotions – Chief Farrar said that the Department is looking to do some more promotions in the next 4-5 months these promotions will add two more captains.
  • Work Load Study – Rialto Police Department will be doing a Workload Study to better evaluate if the work load is being evenly distributed.  Rialto Police is now at 103 Sworn Police Officers and is only down 3 budgeted Sworn Positions. Chief Farrar hoped that the workload study would give them a clear idea of where to look to add more resources and or staff.
  • Rialto Police Appreciation Awards – On February 20th Rialto Police will be recognizing staff and community members.
  • 20/20 Interview – Captain Randy Deanda was interviewed by ABC News 20/20 show about the Judith Oakes case. Judith Oakes is the former Rialto Unified School District employee that was caught and convicted of stealing school lunch money down her bra to the tune of over 1 million dollars.
  • Request a Training – Rialto Police Detectives went over the police program that offers training to local businesses on how to best protect themselves from becoming a crime victim.
  • Cold Cases – Rialto Detectives also let us know that they are waiting on the DA’s office to approve the case files they have on two cold cases in Rialto. Since 2013 the Detectives Office has closed 8 cold cases.
  • Use of Force & Police – I asked a question about training for local community groups especially the Flores Park Neighborhood Watch in better equipping our residents on how to properly handle a situation with a officer and avoid the horrible situation on both ends. Chief Farrar said that the key is to follow the instructions to allow for a more positive outcome more often and avoid tense standoffs that should have never happened.

Below are a series of You Tube videos that show a reporter and a civil rights activist undergoing a use of force training with Maricopa County Sheriff. Chief Farrar said this is a great way to see how a situation where someone isn’t following instructions can lead to horrible consequences.

http://youtu.be/b5PuLeR7Wt8 Video 1

http://youtu.be/uVOQs8yb9P4 Video 2

http://youtu.be/tk-bXyNbsCE Video 3

http://youtu.be/yfi3Ndh3n-g Total Interview

http://youtu.be/pAJXP0okzwk Post Interview

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What is on tap for this week in Rialto

Whats going on this week in Rialto? Well its pretty busy because its back to business here in the city and its also the begining of some great things. Read on below and see what is on tap.

Pride Platoon

Tonight is the Pride Platoon documentary Rialto Rising will be playing on KVCR at 6:30pm

Pride Platoon

Coffee With The Cheif

Coffee with the Cheif returns for its first meeting this Tuesday January 13th at Coco’s in Rialto.

Come out to hear what is new for the city of rialto in regards to our public safety and come with your questions for Rialto’s Top Cop and his admin staff.

Rialto is lucky to have a Cheif like Tony Farrar that finds connecting with the community of Rialto a priority for him and his top staff. Lets show Cheif Farrar that we appreciate his dedication by coming out Tuesday Morning and having Coffee with him.

Rialto City Council Meeting

Yes its the first city council meeting of 2015 and its going to be a roller coaster ride. Newly elected councilmember Ed Scott appears to have drawn a line in the sand with the Security Guard Company the city uses becuase he asked to remove their contract extension from the December meeting agenda and it has been continued to this meeting. This is Tab 10.

Also in the Misc section of the Agenda were sending all but one eleceted offical to Las Vegas for a ICSC Convention to the tune of 5,221.25. We need to ask ourselves why are we sending everyone and if were sending everyone why isnt the money watch dog isn’t going? Do we really need to spend over five thousand Dollars to have Rialto represented at the conference? Also the spending requests leave room for increasing the total purchase order becuase of unseen costs.

In addition to all that they will be electing a new Mayor Pro Tem and rumors are that Joe Baca Jr. will be seeking the spot to prepare for a run for Mayor in 2016. New board and commision seats will also be assigned. This will be a close one to watch because this will effect how much gets hidden in the special commision meetings and this is also where Community Development Block Grant Funds are allocated.

New Stores Opening Up

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On Wednesday January 14th Jersey Mikes will be opening up in spot where the old Fire Station used to be. Jersey Mikes marketing manager Reef Colman is keep the grand opening details inside a secret circle but we do know that they are opening Wednesday and they choose only four Rialto Unified Schools to participate in a fundraising opportunity. We will keep you posted if any info comes up.

Honorable Mention

As I was doing my research on the Jersey Mikes information it was odd to see Sgt Lindsay giving Dine 909 blogger Jon Plessel a heads up on new stores coming to Rialto.

http://www.insidesocal.com/dine909/2014/12/19/chipotle-jersey-mikes-subs-wing-stop-and-major-brain-freeze-yogurt-coming-to-north-rialto/

Wonder what you have to do to get a little love and the 411? Its ok we don’t hate Jon were just jealous.

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