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Twelveth Edition June 2014

Remembering Dr. Maya Angelou

The passing of our beloved Maya Angelou has brought grief throughout the world. I’d like to reflect on what an inspiration she truly was and honor her generosity in sharing her life with us all. Dr. Maya Angelou was, among other things, a beautiful poet and author and a fierce champion for civil rights. Her strength and generosity have inspired millions world-wide. She has taught us not only to strive for greatness but to push others to strive as well. May we honor Dr. Maya Angelou by seeking our own greatness and by giving back to those in our communities who have given so much to us.

“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”
—Dr. Maya Angelou

Supervisor Ramos Around the District

The Behavioral Health Commissioners at the Annual Evening with the Stars dinner. From left to right: May Farr, Susan McGee-Stehsel, James Ramos, Monica Alonso, and Troy Mondrago


Supervisor Ramos meets with constituents in Grand Terrace. A special thank you to Jennifer Araiza, Founder of The REC Center, for hosting us!

251 Students Graduate from Barstow Community College

On May 23rd, Barstow Community College held its commencement ceremony during which 251 students graduated with a certificate, an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree from Park University, a satellite campus held at BCC.

Supervisor Ramos was honored to serve as the commencement speaker as he graduated from the community college system before going on to earn his bachelor’s and master’s


“Education equips us with a powerful tool to find a way around obstacles to a dream we

may not have imagined possible,” stated Supervisor Ramos. While he was honored to serve as a speaker,he was impressed by the valedictorian and salutatorian who delivered speeches of their own.

Jan Remo Palabrica Jancilan, the salutatorian who is in the process of joining the United States Navy, encouraged his fellow graduates to dream big. “This is the first step for your dreams. Dream big. Who knows, the future step might be the President of the United States or owning your own business. This is only the first step. Savor it. This is your moment.”

Kimberly Gnuschke, the valedictorian who is transferring to Azusa Pacific University to become a Registered Nurse Anesthetist, told her fellow classmates this was not a farewell. “I refuse to say goodbye. I know our paths will cross again on the road to success.”

Barstow Community College offers a variety of degree programs from technical trade certificates to master’s degrees through its partnership with Park University. To learn more visit,

Siblings Austin and Candace Rose graduate. Austin with his Associates in Social Science from BCC and Candace with her Bachelors in Social Psychology from Park University.

Young Visionaires Iron Sharpens Iron Gala raises $20,000

The gala seeks to not only raise funds for the various educational programs provided by the Young Visionaries but also to empower and inspire the youth to be all they can be. Supervisor Ramos, who served as the keynote speaker, spoke about the importance of giving back to one’s community and the power of leadership. The funds raised will benefit the Young Visionaries Youth Employment Development Program and the Visionary Homes Emergency Youth Shelter.

Progress in the Third District

Give BIG San Bernardino County Raises Half a Million for Nonprofits

The Give BIG San Bernardino County web-a-thon raised a total of $548,214 from 2,465 individuals making 3,533 donations to the participating 262 nonprofits throughout our county, exceeding the goal of raising $300,000. These nonprofits offer a variety of services from education to healthcare to recreational activities.

Give Big is a 24-hour online give day throughout San Bernardino County that raised funds for the local nonprofits that serve our communities. This was our county’s first ever dedicated day of giving and this effort was meant to build a culture of philanthropy in our community.

San Bernardino County nonprofits are significantly underfunded by foundations and state and federal departments. Recognizing a need to bolster the nonprofits we so heavily rely on, Supervisor Ramos spearheaded this important effort.

Supervisor James Ramos personally spent the day of giving traveling throughout the third district to highlight each community's effort in raising awareness for this day. He was proud and elevated with the results.

"Our county came together in a way it never has before. Raising this amount of money in just one day is an incredible task. I'm so proud of the 400 volunteers, the 262 nonprofits and the residents of San Bernardino County," said Supervisor Ramos when he learned of the final results. "We asked and you answered. We truly have amazing people who are doing remarkable things and when these people are called upon to deliver, they go above and beyond anyone's expectations. Our County gave big and in a big way."

-Part of the money raised came from companies throughout the county that gave a total of $34,000 in sponsorship dollars to help make this event possible. Supervisor Ramos had personally pledged an additional $1,500 to the third district nonprofit with the highest number of donors. This donation will go to the Lighthouse Project Inc. of Big Bear who received donations from 222 individuals. Supervisor Ramos will personally deliver the check.

With the success of this year's day of giving, Supervisor Ramos hopes this effort continues in the future, increasing the amount raised and the number of individuals who participate.

Information about the Give BIG campaign can be found at

Children’s Assessment Center Grand Opening

The grand opening for the Children’s Assessment Center was held on May 21st. The Center treats children ranging in age from 0-18 from throughout the County who are suspected victims of abuse and neglect. Nearly half of the children seen at the Assessment Center are under the age of 5, showing that the population served here are often unable to speak for themselves. Last year, the Center treated more than 1,300 children from our own communities.

Through the collaboration of many partners including government agencies and private investors, the new Children’s Assessment Center has become a safe haven for our children and youth. During the grand opening celebration, the A. Gary Anderson Family Foundation announced a gift of $1,000,000 to Children’s Fund for the continued support of the Center. This is the largest single donation in Children’s Fund history. We thank Erin Lastinger, daughter of A. Gary Anderson, for continuing the mission of her father’s legacy to support at-risk and abused children.

Third District Community Forum

A day in the life of CALFIRE Highland Unit 541

The City of Highland contracts with CALFIRE to provide fire and medical emergency support throughout the city. Unit 541 covers northwest Highland and also serves as the central command post for the other two stations located in the city.

My staffer went on a ride-along with Unit 541 to experience first-hand what a typical day is like for a firefighter. During the time of the ride-along, these firefighters responded to 7 calls. These men responded to each emergency in a calm and collected manner, knew exactly what to do and were on to the next call as soon as the prior emergency was handled.

Despite being under such pressure, these men make sure to have fun along the way. “We are on-call for at least three days straight, sometimes longer,” stated Fire Apparatus Engineer Patrick Aguada. “Having fun along the way helps to maintain good camaraderie with the crew.”

As Aguada mentioned, the crew is on-call at the station for at least three days. This means if they get a call at 2 p.m. or 2 a.m., they respond. There are no lunch or dinner breaks. They eat when they can which often leaves meals unfinished.

This unit works well with the local law enforcement and the AMR Ambulance staff they meet on a daily basis while serving the residents of the City of Highland.

We thank you for your service to our community!
From left to right; Battalion Chief Jesse Estrada, Fire Apparatus Engineer Patrick Aguada, Firefighter II Paramedic Fred Libby and Firefighter II Travis McKinley.

Accessing Your Government
Countywide Tourism Website launches

The Economic Development Department has announced the official launch of the countywide tourism website and social media pages. As part of the domestic tourism program to promote the mountain and desert communities, ED branded the tourism website as California’s Outdoor Playground. This new website plays a crucial role in the Countywide vision of capitalizing on the diversity of our geography to create a board range of choices for our residents in how they live, work and play. Recreational activities are just a click away, start exploring today!

Make sure to check out my newly redesigned website for more information on events throughout the County, latest news, and additional resources.