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May/June 2014 Vol.3 Issue 3

County ROP
County ROP gives local student chance to succeed

For a high school student, learning practical work skills can become an afterthought when you’re juggling academics, social life, parents, and don’t forget prom! But for Yucca Valley High School (YVHS) senior Kendra Kuns, she made hands-on training part of her education before college thanks to her school’s Regional Occupational Program (ROP), provided through the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools.

“It’s fun, we learn so many things. We learn new recipes all the time and it’s helping me come closer to achieving my goals,” said Kuns.

Kendra is an aspiring culinary chef. She decided to enroll in the ROP restaurant course after her friends and family insisted how delectable her cooking was. Once completing school, she hopes to open her own restaurant that features tastes from around the world.

Outside of class, Kendra took her goals into her own hands. After learning some kitchen basics and practicing her skills at home, Kendra applied for and was granted participation in The Art Institute’s Culinary Scholarship Competition.

Kendra competed against two other young chefs in preparing and plating a chicken entrée with rice pilaf and sautéed broccoli, accompanied with a Vegas-style shrimp cocktail. Two days later, the panel of judges chose Kendra Kuns as the first place winner. As part of her prize, she was awarded a $4,000 scholarship in tuition to The Art Institute.

“I was surprised and humbled. When I found out that I won, it reassured me that this was the career I wanted to go into,” said Kuns. “I now know that I can do these things and I can go far with this career.”

YVHS is proud to see Kendra’s talents blossoming into the public arena.

County ROP “Kendra’s attentiveness to detail and her imagination relative to food preparation will afford her many opportunities for even greater success in pursuit of her future aspirations of opening her own restaurant. We are happy for her and extremely proud!” said Principal Carl Phillips.

The San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools provides ROP courses to 16 school districts throughout the county in an array of subjects, ranging from advanced game design and 3D animation to nursing and emergency medical responder training. The courses give students the hands-on experience and entry-level training needed to take the next step toward their career goals.

For more information on County ROP courses, including adult classes and schedules, visit

County hospital opens on-site farmers’ market

ARMC Farmers' Market

Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC) hosted its first weekly farmers’ market on May 21 as part of its ongoing commitment to health and wellness. Approximately 800 visitors, patients, and ARMC staff made healthy shopping decisions on its opening day, perusing over 14 vendors offering a variety of organic fruit, vegetables, baked goods and other market delicacies.

The weekly market, open every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., reinforces the healthy choices ARMC wants its patients to make. The market is directly outside the main entrance, providing an immediate opportunity for patients and others to purchase foods that are nutritious and can act as preventative medicine.

“The farmers’ market is another service that ARMC provides as part of its commitment to health and wellness and its adherence to the Countywide Vision of helping provide for the health need of county residents,” said ARMC Associate Administrator, Professional Services, Deborah Pease.

ARMC Farmers' Market “It is important to be healthy,” said William Rubio, an ARMC employee who stopped by the farmers’ market on his lunch break. “I picked up some fresh vegetables for my two children.”

The market comes to ARMC in a partnership with the Southland Farmers’ Market Association (SFMA). In April, the County of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors approved a one-year agreement with SFMA to establish the market.

“Partnering with ARMC provides an opportunity for us to introduce individuals to their local farmers and extend the benefits of health eating to our community,” said Howell Tumlin, SMFA executive director. “We have found that patients at the various medical centers we serve sometimes schedule their appointments to coincide with Farmers Market day.”

SFMA represents 22 farmers’ markets and over 400 growers in Southern California, making it the largest trade association of certified farmers’ markets in the state.

“The ARMC Farmers’ Market is an innovative and unique opportunity that increases the wellness of our residents while complimenting local farmers and businesses. This is the type of initiative that will move San Bernardino County forward in sustaining the healthy communities,” said Supervisor Josie Gonzales.

For more information on the ARMC Farmers’ Market, contact Staci McClane at 909.580.2198. Learn more about the Southland Farmers’ Market Association at

ARMC Farmers' Market Video ARMC Farmers' Market Video

Larry Walker

Larry Walker Auditor-Controller/
Treasurer/Tax Collector

Larry Walker is the county’s chief fiscal officer. Elected by residents, he is responsible for protecting county assets and promoting the sound financial management of the county, and performs budgetary control as required by law.

Q. Throughout your tenure as an elected official in San Bernardino County, what have you learned about our County that stands out most to you?

A. It starts with the people of the county. They want a government that provides services in a cost effective manner, and they want information that enables them to make good choices about county finances and decision making. In my experience, the vast majority of county employees are capable people who respond well to effective leadership, and work hard to provide those services. As a County Supervisor, I personally experienced the frustration of being given inaccurate financial data, so I make the extra effort to assure that my office generates accurate, open, and transparent financial information.

Q. You’ve been a County elected official for 28 years, how has the County held your professional interest?

A. With all the different systems and services in the county, there are always opportunities to improve service to our constituents, and I enjoy that challenge. As Auditor-Controller, I have pioneered electronic recording of documents in the Recorder’s office, and moved the entire county payroll to electronic payment. We now have electronic property tax payment and billing systems in place, and are currently in the process of building a new county enterprise financial system. In each of these systems, the challenge is to take advantage of the opportunity to increase the level of service we provide to our citizens, while reducing costs and also reducing the environmental impact of our systems.

Q. Describe yourself in five words.

A. Thoughtful, Faithful, Reserved, Thankful, Optimistic

Q. What motivates you?

A. I am motivated to serve, and I enjoy learning how things work, and how to make them better. When I can identify and accomplish improvements in how government serves its constituents, it gives me a sense of fulfillment.

Q. In your positional capacity, what ways do you look to improve how we do business at the County?

A. My office is in most cases not a direct provider of service to county residents. However, we carry out the financial processes that make the service possible. My job is to manage and improve those processes to be as helpful and efficient as possible, to enable our entire organization to maximize service to the community.

Q. You’re a local resident of Chino where you raise sheep. How did your sheepherding days begin?

A. Before I married my wife, Carri, in 1989, she had raised and shown sheep her entire life. Over time, we maintained and grew her flock, and our sons showed at 4H and FFA events. The flock is smaller now, but we still have a new lamb or two each year. However, our current passion is our urban forest. We have planted close to 200 trees on our small ranch in the past 15 years, and most of them are doing well. This fall we’ll plant acorns from the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest, England, and see how they do in Southern California.

Q. What specific moments stand out to you during your county career?

A. a. I’m proud of the work we did in fixing the Chino Hills Specific Plan – we built Grand Avenue and Chino Hills Parkway, installed 15 or 20 traffic signals in 5 years, built the first Chino Hills Community Park, and acquired the site for the first City Hall.

I led the formation of the Chino Valley Independent Fire District, and founded the Southern California Agricultural Land Foundation, which led the preservation of around 300 acres of open space in the county’s Dairy Preserve.

As Chair of the Metrolink Board during the 1994 Northridge earthquake, I had the opportunity to lead the doubling of Metrolink service, including extension to Lancaster/Palmdale and the addition of evening and weekend service.

And although it wasn’t county business, I’m proud of the time I spent in the US Naval Reserve, working in various Naval Legal Service Offices, and aboard the USS New Jersey.

As County Recorder, I was founding Chair of the California Electronic Recording Transaction Authority (CERTNA), a statewide agency that connects Title Companies and state agencies to County Recorders around the state.

As Auditor-Controller, I was involved in the initiation of lawsuits that led to major financial recoveries from many individuals and companies involved in the scandals of the late 90’s. We established the Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Hotline, and my office provided substantial financial information to the Administrative Office in the early years of the recent downturn (2007-09), helping the management of that financially challenging period.

In the Treasurer division, we assisted school districts facing non-payment of promised state funds by managing the County Treasury Pool to assure funds would be available according to schedule even if state payments were delayed. And at the County Retirement System, I have been involved in reforms that have improved the funded status of the plan, benefiting all county residents.

Q. What’s something unique about being the Auditor-Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector that most people don’t know?

A. a. As a result of my earlier service as County Clerk/Registrar of Marriages, I am legally authorized to perform marriage ceremonies in California.

For more information, visit

Josie's Journal

May 8, 2014 will go down as a big day in San Bernardino County history. In a span of just 24 hours, 2,465 people logged on to and made over 3,000 donations to more than 250 local nonprofit organizations, raising a total of $548,214!

Working together, we raised more than half a million dollars for organizations that serve our neighbors in their most critical time of need. Thank you to everyone who participated. Your efforts will help our nonprofits improve quality of life and strengthen our communities.

As part of the campaign, I made a promise to give $1 for every Facebook page Like received to the nonprofit with the most individual donors. By the end of the campaign, I had received 500 Likes, generating $500 for the winning nonprofit – Lighthouse Project, Inc. Thanks in large part to their hard work in spreading the message, Lighthouse ended up with over 200 individual donors. Because of their extra efforts and our enormous success in surpassing our overall fundraising goal of $300,000, I am going to double my pledged amount and donate $1,000. Supervisor James Ramos also pledged a donation to the nonprofit with the most individual donations. He and I will present our donations to Lighthouse Project, Inc. in June.
I want everyone to realize that when you make a donation to a nonprofit organization you’re not just giving money, you’re giving peace of mind to a mother in need, a helping hand to a brother or sister, a guiding light to a lost child, and quite possibly a glimmer of hope to a family in your own neighborhood.

Give BIG San Bernardino County was made by the people, for the people—it gave everyone an opportunity to give back to our hardworking residents in a way that’s never been available before. With the help of social media networks and collective support from everyone involved, the community came together for one cause and empowered the organizations that make lifesaving differences on a daily basis.

I need to give my heartfelt and sincere thanks to everyone involved, especially each of the donors that gave their little bit to make May 8 such a BIG day. The Board of Supervisors and I give our special thanks to The Community Foundation for their commitment to making Give BIG such a success; let’s continue it into Give BIG 2015!

Josie Gonzales
GiveBig logo

Nicholson Community Fruit Park
Things are a little greener on the Westside of San Bernardino since the newly planted Nicholson Community Fruit Park opened. The fruit park was planned and coordinated by the Incredible Edible Community Garden with help from San Bernardino City Parks, Recreation & Community Service Department, and direct input from the community.

The park’s inspiration came from Charle’ Jacobs, a local resident and co-founder of the Terrace West Neighborhood Council.

“I was trying to make this happen since I think 1997,” said Jacobs in a recent San Bernardino Sun article. “And now, with all this help, here we are.”

Nicholson Community Fruit Park The “help” she refers to is the overwhelming support from the community leading up to the fruit park’s opening. Dozens of volunteers, veterans, children, parents, students, city firefighters, and community leaders came together to support the Nicholson Community Fruit Park during its grand opening and preparation.

“This Community Fruit Park brought out so many from the community who didn’t know each other at first, and then formed their own community using the fruit park as a bond. We broke bread together with a community potluck. This project was a wonderful experience,” said Mary Petit, founder and president of the Incredible Edible Community Garden nonprofit.

“The trees, the remaining mulch, the geraniums by the concrete park sign remain untouched. There is something sacred about the fruit park.”

Around 30 different trees—plum, apple, citrus, cherry, fig, and avocado—are now growing at Nicholson Community Center, located at 2737 W. 2nd Street in the City of San Bernardino.

This park was built by the community, for the community—anyone is welcome to pick fruit from the park once they are ripe. It may take a few years to glean a full harvest, but some of the trees will bear fruit this season.

“This Community Fruit Park brought out so many from the community who didn’t know each other at first..."

The Incredible Edible Community Garden will maintain the fruit park for three years at no cost to the city, after which the park will be preserved and cared for by the community. Plans are also in place to adopt a youth work program that will provide a stipend and hands-on training in landscaping and cultivation.

This is the second fruit park planted by the Incredible Edible Community Garden in San Bernardino County, the first one is found in Montclair at Sunset Park. For more information on the Incredible Edible Community Garden and how you can help the Nicholson Community Fruit Park, visit or email

Nicholson Community Fruit Park Nicholson Community Fruit Park Video

San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors
County Government Center
385 N. Arrowhead Avenue, 5th Floor
San Bernardino, CA 92415