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EASTVALE: Girl Scout Troop 152 Fights for Traffic Safety Changes


girk scout troop 152


 Eastvale – Four determined Rosa Parks Elementary School students are starting their political careers young, by advocating for a crossing guard at Rosa Parks Elementary School. The girls first noticed a problem after seeing cars flying through intersections, kids not paying attention and bicyclers zipping in and out of the street without looking. The concerned girls, part of Troop 152, talked to their troop leader Kenna Millspaugh, about finding a solution to the problem. They did research and talked to the school principal and then brought the matter to the city and worked with City Manager, Carol Jacobs to see what could be done. They even took it a step further and brought their poster board of ideas and visuals to the Eastvale City Council and to the Eastvale Public Safety Commission.

At the February 2014, Eastvale City Council meeting the four girls; Kailynn Salinas (fourth grade) and fifth-graders Hazel Lloyd, Brie Leber and Lindsey Salinas, Girl Scout Troop 152 expressed their concerns to the council about the safety of students and other pedestrians who are crossing Harrison Avenue and Whispering Hills Drive during school hours. The girls delivered a powerful and extremely eloquent speech that impressed the council and the entire audience. They requested that the City provide a crossing guard at Rosa Parks Elementary School to enforce traffic rules as well as improve the safety of pedestrians. After the meeting, Eastvale City Staff members met with Troop 152’s Leaders and provided an explanation of the process involved in obtaining a crossing guard.

According to the Carol Jacobs at the February 25, 2014 City Council meeting, the City’s Staff has established traffic migration measures that sometimes include talking with concerned parents, conducting a crossing guard study, two traffic counts, and traffic camera surveillance, to name a few. In addition, various actions like trimming trees to allow for improved sign visibility, the installation of “No Right Turn on Red” signs, and the adjustment of the timing on traffic signals have also been accomplished to address the Girl Scout’s concerns.

The requested crossing guard studies were conducted. The results stated that an additional crossing guard is not necessary, and there are not enough cars passing through the specified intersection to warrant additional crossing guards being stationed in the area. However, the city and the Council have agreed to conduct a third study in the next month to reach a final decision. Jacobs did mention at a recent council meeting that the city is looking into grants to purchase flashing speed signs to be placed near the intersection to alert drivers of their speed.

While the girls may not be able to get a crossing guard for the intersection, they are very happy with all the city has done to look into their concerns and their parents and this community couldn’t be prouder of how hard and diligent the girls have been in their efforts. As a result of this study and all their work, the girls will be receiving the Bronze Award, the highest award that a Girl Scout Junior can earn.

NORCO: Local War Hero’s Discuss Their Lives With JFK Students


On Feb. 28, eleven veterans from World War II and the Korean War sat around tables with students from John F. Kennedy Middle College High School conversing about their lives and experiences. The veterans came from all walks of life and all lines of service. One of the veterans served as a medic, another as a pilot of a B-17 bomber, and yet another as a machine gun operator in the South Pacific.

WII Veterans speak with students.

WII Veterans speak with students. (Photo Courtesy: Corona Norco Unified School District)

John Busma, 96, was very popular with the students, as he had been stationed aboard the U.S.S. Medusa the day Pearl Harbor was attacked. He was 24 at the time, and had been assigned to the Medusa to work as a Machinist 1st Class. Busma had just finished eating breakfast of what had been christened as S.O.S.—also known by the crew as “$#*! On a Slate”—when the first bombs were dropped. “I heard the distinctive boom of the explosions from below deck, and hurried topside to see what was happening. I looked up at the sky, saw the rising suns painted on the planes, and shouted, ‘Close the ports! The Japanese are here!’” He went on to say that throughout that day, he served as a medic and tried to help the wounded. “I would sometimes look up at the sky and see the bullets flying through the air as we returned fire on the Japanese planes. I never saw air warfare like that again.”

The students were able to learn about more than just the war from the stories being told. After running away from an Indian reservation in Arizona in 1946, Alberto Calderon joined the Marines. While still in service, he visited a restaurant in Texas where he was denied service. “There was a sign that said that there would be no service to Indians or Mexicans. It didn’t matter that I was fighting for our country.” Calderon felt that it was important to share that story with the students so that they could see how far the nation had come in the short time since the 1950’s. He, and many of the other veterans, thought that it was more important to paint a picture in the minds of the younger generation of how much our nation has grown, instead of how it reacted in a time of war.

The veterans enjoyed telling students about their time in the service, but what they seemed to enjoy most of all was talking about their personal lives, both before and after the war. One even brought pictures of himself when he first enlisted, and of his wife when they were first married. Busma talked about his love of photography, how he had taken many photographs throughout the duration of his service, and how he was unable to take a picture of the most beautiful sunset he had ever seen because his camera was locked up below decks while out at sea. Warren Vanderlinden, 86, talked about how much he enjoyed going to medical school, how he lived in Washington State for most of his life, and how he had moved to California to be with his children and grandchildren as they grew up.

While each veteran had their own unique experience and background, the majority had very similar views about the past and what the current generations can learn from it. They encouraged the students to remember and learn from the past, to live in the present, and strive to make the world a better place in the future. Warren Vanderlinden left his group of students with an inspirational thought. “I loved—and still love—my life. I experienced as much as I could, took nothing for granted, and tried to make a difference. I hope that each one of you has the chance to do the same.”

Eastvale: Jan. 28 Town Hall Meeting Recap


Eastvale – The Eastvale Town Hall Quarterly Meeting was held at Ramirez Junior High on Jan. 28. Various departments and organizations came to give updates and answer questions for the community. Here is a brief recap of what information was presented.

Riverside County Sheriff Report/CALFIRE Update: Asst. Police Chief Michael Yates updated the public on various crime statistics in Eastvale. He stressed the importance of Eastvale being named one of the safest cities in California (FBI Report October 2013), noting overall community involvement.

Yates says Part One crimes have declined. In the time period from Jan. 1, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2013, there were 28,982 calls, with 9,729 citations written, 43 DUI arrests, 128 injury auto accidents, 243 non-injury collisions, and zero fatal collisions. Police response time has been getting better, as well.

Many marijuana grow houses have been successfully shut down, said Yates. In 2013, 27 houses were shut down with a total of 46 houses in Eastvale overall. The Sheriff’s Department has been extremely successful with the help of the community in identifying and taking these houses down. At one point, they were seeing two houses per week, but they have seen a steady decrease over the past few weeks.

A new trend in crime in Eastvale is “fishing.” Yates says this typically involves young groups of kids out at night between midnight and 3 a.m., walking through neighborhoods checking to see if car doors are unlocked. They simply walk by and lift the handles. If cars are open, they quickly grab loose change, computers, phones, etc., and move on to the next vehicle. The money is often used to buy alcohol and drugs, as the amount of change adds up rather quickly, said Yates.

CAL/FIRE stressed the importance of fire safety, especially in the dry, drought conditions that we are currently facing. Of all the calls they have received in 2013, 72.3% were medical and 2.6% were fire related. The medic squad has taken 27 responses since it came into operation in the latter part of 2013. This has taken some of the load off of the fire engines. When the second fire station at Selby/Chandler opens, this will reduce the call volume even more, according to fire officials.

eastvale, jcsd

Ric Welch of JCSD addresses the community during the Jan. 28 town hall meeting in Eastvale. (Jennifer Madrigal)

Jurupa Community Services District (JCSD): Ric Welch of JCSD announced that Eastvale Community Park will be opening March 8. Welch also said the district has added more recreational classes for mature adults and is forming a citizen’s advisory board to receive input from residents.

Corona-Norco Unified School District (CNUSD): The state has changed how school districts get their funding and it is now connected to local control. Money must now be tied to a local plan with community engagement. A committee with 32 people has been formed to look at relevant data (student achievement, attendance, climate of school, etc.) to establish guidelines.

CNUSD is still considering the feasibility of the “Geo Bond.” A survey was done last year and the district is still looking at the details and what the plans will be for the communities. It is important to note that Yorba Elementary School in Eastvale will be completed with or without the bond. However, the district still needs more schools, because more growth is expected in Eastvale over the next seven to ten years. The “Geo Bond” for Eastvale would most likely be used for technology, infrastructure, and safety, as well as another elementary school and possibly an alternative high school. CNUSD will be doing another public survey and hopes to make a decision early to mid-summer on whether or not to proceed with bond. If they do proceed, this bond would be on the ballot for the November election season.

Senator Roth’s Office: Roth’s office says the senator is still fighting for our funds from Vehicle License Fees (VLF). Last week, Roth was able to gain the support of Assembly Speaker John Perez. Roth’s office has decided to change the bill by splitting it into two separate parts with hopes of making it easier and more cost effective. One part of the bill is now called SB69 and will deal with the recently incorporated cities like Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Menifee, and Wildomar. The other part of the bill will deal with annexations. The hope is that this new method will focus more on assisting new cities now. It also makes the bill more cost effective, which will make it more appealing to the governor. Roth’s office is optimistic that this is a step in the right direction.

Bill Newberry also shared that Roth has been nominated as “Legislator of the Year” for all the work he has done for Riverside County.

State Assembly Office: Assemblyman Eric Linder will be backing up Senator Roth on the Vehicle Licensing Fee issue. However, Linder’s office is focusing on AB 1438 – a bill concerning sex offenders. Currently, a sex offender can apply for a certificate of rehabilitation, and if they are successful, they do not need to register as a sex offender. AB 1438 seeks to remove this for offenders who violate children. The Assembly is also working on the surplus from Prop 30. They are hoping to have funds allocated more toward education and to put the rest away for a “rainy day” fund.

Leal Specific Plan: Asst. Planning Director Cathy Perring spoke to the public about the development of the Leal property. The property was originally part of a general plan for mixed-use, with retail, offices, etc. Although the land is not owned by the city, they are working with the Leal family to prepare a plan that will guide development. The city has asked for the public’s opinion and ideas for what the land could be used for. Please go to www.lealspecificplan.com to submit ideas and vote by February 7. The ideas will be presented to the City Council at the February 26 meeting, with action on a vision plan expected at the March 26 meeting.

Goodman Commerce Center: Goodman Birtcher is a real estate company that owns, develops and manages property. They will be investing $250 million in the City of Eastvale. The Goodman Commerce Center will be opening in Eastvale in conjunction with Lewis properties. Over the last two years, they have been meeting with constituents, planning staff, etc., on how to develop the 200 acres located in the “pan-handle” of Eastvale. The property is adjacent to the I-15 freeway off Cantu-Galleano and Bellegrave.

Some of the land will be used for industrial purposes with direct freeway access for trucks. This will limit trucks on our roads and prevent more traffic issues, according to Birtcher. The south 25 acres will be a business park and will have employee pathways and trails, which will be more visually pleasing and add to the landscape of the area. There is also a retail/commercial component of about 45 acres. It is currently zoned for a hospital, hotel, etc. Currently, this is in the conceptual stage, but it could be a draw for major retailers.

An Environmental Impact Report has been started and Goodman also plans to widen Hamner Avenue by three lanes, as well as build and maintain landscaping in that area. The commerce center has the ability to generate as many as 2,500 – 4,600 jobs to our area, according to Birtcher.

Chino Desalter Expansion Project: Joseph Blume and Cindy Miller of the Chino Desalter Authority/Butier Engineering Inc., spoke about the project, which will bring more drinking water to the cities of Eastvale, Ontario, Corona, and Norco. This part of the project, which involves placing a 30-inch diameter pipeline through Eastvale, is part of an overall expansion project of the CDA’s water treatment plant and delivery system. Once completed, expansion will provide 10 million gallons of drinking water per day to the communities. Construction is expected to start on Mississippi Drive in Eastvale and run north along Hamner Avenue to Riverside Drive. Hamner will stay open, although there will be some delays. However, no detours are expected. They also plan some night construction, using flag men, and will be working during the holiday season (Thanksgiving 2014 thru Jan. 1, 2015). There also may be some water shutdowns, but the plan is to use phasing limits in construction to keep inconveniences to a minimum. The project is expected to be completed by February 2015.

Riverside Animal Control: Mark Visyak, Animal Control Officer, spoke to the community about 2013’s statistics. In 2013, there were 1,463 calls overall. The breakdown of these calls consisted of: impounds (346), returned to owners (24), dead animal retrieval (167), citations (85), requests for patrol (329), assists to the fire department (2), assists to code enforcement (1), assists to the police (11), investigations for bites, barking, etc. (107), and lots of opossums.

Eastvale Community Foundation: The foundation announced it will start selling Eastvale decals for cars as a way to help raise money. It was announced that the Youth Scholarship Program is back. Applications will be available at Eastvale City Hall beginning Monday, Feb. 3 through May 1, 2014.

The next Eastvale Quarterly Town Hall Meeting will be held in March, with date and location to be announced.