The High Desert Report » June 8, 2017

Daily Archives: June 8, 2017

General Transportation

The New San Bernardino County Transportation Authority Continues Its Decades-Long Commitment to Serving the High Desert

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By Tim Watkins, SBCTA, Chief of Legislative and Public Affairs

The San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) has been a steady influence on the develop­ment of transportation improvements for decades. However, the commut­ers, residents and business owners of the High Desert may not realize that projects like the I-15/I-215 Devore Interchange, the La Mesa/Nisqualli and Ranchero Road interchanges, the Yucca Loma Corridor, and the Len­wood Road Grade Separation would not be possible without the efforts of this county-wide agency that serves as the Transportation Commission, the Transportation Authority, the Conges­tion Management Agency, the Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies, and a Council of Governments.

On January 1, 2017, this agency, re­sponsible for the delivery of so many quality-of-life aspects for its residents, began operating under a new name: The San Bernardino County Transpor­tation Authority or SBCTA.… Read the full article

Economy General

Inland Empire Small Business Development Center Assist High Desert Business Start-Ups Evaluate the Local Business Environment

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By Louisa L. Miller, Business Consultant

The economic fate of the nation of­ten does not reflect the environment and activity in the High Desert. Small business growth has been slow since the Great Recession across the coun­try ,and the uncertainties caused by changes in national and local govern­ment, for better or for worse, make business and banking more cautious. Uncertainty is the hobgoblin of busi­ness growth. The interest folks in the High Desert have for starting and growing their small businesses is strong.

The Inland Empire Small Business Development Center notes that the top startup business categories in­clude food services/restaurants, retail, consulting and fitness-related busi­nesses. These categories look a lot like they did a decade ago. In some ways that is a concern because of rela­tively low pay, but the upside is that our region consumes a lot of retail of­ferings.… Read the full article

General Politics

We Have a Real Opportunity to Move a Pro-Growth Agenda Forward Under Trump and a Republican Congress

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Col. Paul Cook (Ret), U.S. Congressman, 8th Congressional District

A lot has changed in a year. Most people assumed we would continue to have divided government in Washington for the foreseeable future. However, the results of the November election left us with a unified Republican Congress and presidency.

Absent the partisan gridlock that characterizes a divided government, we have a real opportunity to move a pro-growth agenda forward. Repub­licans in Congress are committed to working with President Trump on economic issues.

President Trump set the tone in his initial days with his “two-for-one” executive order, which requires that federal agencies eliminate two regu­lations for every new one they at­tempt to implement. Americans, par­ticularly small business owners, are seeing the rising cost of regulations, and they aren’t happy.… Read the full article

General Politics

Focus Should Be on State’s Economy, Not Taxes

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By Senator Mike Morrell, 23rd State Senate District

While in recent years our state gov­ernment has seen record-setting bud­gets, the same cannot be said, unfor­tunately, for working Californians and small businesses. Their hard-earned money does not go as far as it should, meaning that families and entrepreneurs have less to invest in their futures.

High taxes and extensive regulations discourage businesses from opening or investing here. It is the reason that for 12 years straight, California has been named the worst state for busi­ness in CEO surveys taken by Chief Executive Magazine.

However, attempts to increase taxes are well underway. Despite the fact that California drivers already pay some of the highest gas taxes in the country for deteriorating roads, legislative Democrats have started pushing for additional gas taxes and vehicle fees.… Read the full article

Education General

Meeting the Demands of the 21st Century Workforce for all Students

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By Ted Alejandre, San Bernardino County Superintendent

At San Bernardino County Superinten­dent of Schools, we work collectively with our school districts, inter-agency partners and community to see that all students meet the demands of the 21st century workforce and become pro­ductive citizens who contribute to the quality of life in our communities. As educators we know that work extends far beyond the classroom, which is why we have committed the County­wide Vision goal of partnering with all sectors of the community to support the success of every child from cradle to career. That means reaching out to our business and labor leaders, to govern­ment, to faith-based organizations and community groups, to post-secondary institutions, and of course to our fami­lies to give the more than 408,000 stu­dents who attend public schools in our county the academic and social skills and tools they need to be able to com­pete in a global economy.… Read the full article

General

High Desert Opportunity Announces 2017 Event Plans

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By Cari Thomas

Continuing with their mission to pro­mote economic growth by presenting a conference that showcases business opportunities in High Desert, the HDO Board of Directors is pleased to announce this year’s High Desert Op­portunity (HDO) event will once again be held at the Victoria Gardens Cultural Center in Rancho Cucamonga on Thurs­day, November 2, 2017

“We are capitalizing on the momentum of the 2016 conference at Victoria Gar­dens, which proved to be an excellent site to reach our target audience of Or­ange, Los Angeles and San Diego Coun­ties, as well as the Inland Empire,” said HDO President Cari Thomas.

Although event details are pending, added this year are an exhibit hall, lunch and keynote speaker. Tickets are $60, with Early Bird pricing at $50.… Read the full article

General Politics

Update From Jay Obernolte’s First Term as State Assemblyman, 33rd District

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Assemblyman Jay Obernolte

During my first term representing you in the State Assembly, I have had the honor to serve my constituents not only through the advocacy of my dis­trict office, but also by authoring and passing legislation that benefits our district.

My first piece of legislation that im­pacts the district and our rural areas was AB 1034. AB 1034 amended the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA) of 1975 to allow the con­struction and operation of renewable energy projects on already-disturbed mining lands. Too often renewable energy projects that do not benefit our communities are sited in our neighbor­hoods, causing blight. This bill allows renewable energy projects to be sited away from our communities and pro­tects our environment by encouraging them to be located on previously dis­turbed lands and not our pristine des­ert.… Read the full article

General

Energy Disclosure in California has a Bumpy Road

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By Marika Erdely, Founder and CEO of Green EconoME

Energy Disclosure Laws – What are the most recent developments?

Energy and water disclosure laws con­tinue to make a presence nationally. During December 2016, the cities of Denver, CO; Orlando, FL; and Evan­ston, IL and finally, our own City of An­gels signed legislation requiring energy and water disclosure laws. Mayor Gar­cetti signed Ordinance #184674 called the Existing Building Energy and Wa­ter Efficiency Program, affectionately called “EBEWE.”

Mayor Garcetti has mandated there be a reduction of energy usage of 15% by 2020, which was adopted by LA Depart­ment of Water & Power Board. Cur­rently, approximately 50% of LA City’s electricity demand comes from 4% of the existing buildings.

The new ordinance is not tied to any financial transaction and will require annual reporting for all buildings over 20,000 sq.… Read the full article

General Water

Upper Narrows Emergency Pipeline Project was Unlike Any Other

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By Logan Olds General Manager, Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority

It’s safe to say that the Upper Narrows Emergency Pipeline project was unlike any other for the Vic­tor Valley Wastewa­ter Reclamation Authority.

When a series of powerful storms in late 2010 broke open a large sewer line, spilling 42 million gallons of sewage into the Mojave River, the stage was set for one of the largest and most important recent FEMA projects in California.

Over the next five years, planners, engineers and construction teams navigated complex technical and en­vironmental obstacles – first in lay­ing nearly 5,000 feet of temporary pipe, then designing and building a permanent solution that included tunneling under the streets of Old Town Victorville and under 270 feet of rock through an earthquake fault.… Read the full article

General Transportation

Victor Valley Transit Authority

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By Fidel Gonzales, Marketing & Civil Rights

Victor Valley Transit Author­ity (VVTA) con­tinues serving the growing High Desert transpor­tation needs. The agency has made great strides in its partnerships that support educa­tion, employment, veterans, and other life services opportunities.

Established as a Joint Powers Author­ity in 1991, VVTA offered Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratran­sit service and fixed-route bus service for Adelanto, Apple Valley, Hespe­ria, Victorville and county areas of Helendale, Lucerne Valley, Piñon Hills and Wrightwood. Since then, following its merger with Barstow Area Transit in 2015, VVTA service area grew from 425 square miles to nearly 1,000 square miles. VVTA’s operational area currently spans from the Los Angeles County, Kern Coun­ty, and Inyo County lines on the west and north to the Colorado River on the east.… Read the full article

General Politics

Easy to Lead, Hard to Govern

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By Paul C. Granillo, President and CEO, Inland Empire Economic Partnership

Part of the mission of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership is to ensure that the needs and reality of the economic situation of our region are represented in national and state­wide organizations whose decisions or influence might effect the Inland Empire.

One of those organizations that I am pleased to be associated with is California Forward, whose goal is to make the promise of the California Dream attainable for all. Its mission is to inspire better decision-making by governments at all levels in order to: Grow Middle-Class Jobs, Pro­mote Cost-effective Public Services, and Create Accountability for Re­sults. This year California Forward celebrates its 10-year Anniversary as an organization, and I was honored to attend their Gala celebration.… Read the full article

General Politics

A Libertarian Approach to Regulatory Reform in California

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By Brian W. Ryman, Co-Chair, Victor Valley Libertarian Alliance

The Libertarian Party of California af­firms in our platform that, “all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal rights of others to live in whatever manner they choose.” This is antithetical to the regulatory environment in California, which controls every aspect of our lives and our business dealings. It is the purpose of this portion of our program to show how we can reform the current system to rein in regulations and allow for greater individual freedom in the state.

The proposals here are not meant to be seen as the final goal of the Libertarian Party in regards to regulations in the state.… Read the full article

General Politics

Over-Regulation Slows Growth in High Desert

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By Bob Dutton, San Bernardino County Assessor-Recorder-Clerk

In the last few years, our county has seen an increase in population size as families from neighboring communi­ties seek the many attributes that make our county worth living in. Since 2000, San Bernardino County’s population has grown by approximately 22%. This is good news, as it is a sign that our local economy will continue to become more robust, affording more opportunities for people to become home-owners for and small business owners to invest in our communities.

The 2016 annual property assessment roll showcases that San Bernardino County is heading in the right direc­tion. However, it also highlights a need for community stakeholders to really dive into the issue of what’s hindering further growth in our communities, particularly, in the High Desert: over-regulation.… Read the full article

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