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Barstow, California–No Reason for Second Guessing

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Barstow’s civic, business and government leaders want to know what kind of business amenities its residents want. They are sending out a survey with email blasts and social media posts they say will arm them with a forceful tool to boost local development.

The survey, developed by Barstow Community College, now widely distributed by school, government, civic, and business leaders, “will help get Barstow a second look” from crucial business decision-makers, said Mayor Paul Anthony Courtney.

The 22-question survey is an effort to determine what kinds of businesses residents want in the 112-acre, fully approved specific plan known as The Shops at Spanish Trail, located at the interchange of Avenue L and Interstate 15. The average daily traffic count adjacent to the 800,000-square-foot project is 86,000 vehicles.

“The survey will help create a better Barstow through an inclusive approach for shaping our future,” Courtney said.

“I really believe that all of the leadership within the Barstow region and the rest of the High Desert needs to know more about our citizens in Barstow, what they are looking for, what type of shopping experience they want and what activities are essential for them. I believe that working together, we can accomplish a lot in the Mojave River Valley,” said Joseph W. Brady, CCIM, SIOR, Managing Member of Barstow Spanish Trail LLC

Eva Bagg, Barstow Community College president-superintendent, said, “we see the development project as not only a brick in the developing foundation of economic development for Barstow, but also a part of a longer-term vision of creating spaces for residents that enhance the quality of living for people, so they don’t so often feel the need to travel outside of Barstow and ‘down the hill’ to find those experiences.”

Senior housing assisted living, and market-rate multi-family rentals as among the potential land uses.

Brady said he is pursuing both Hispanic and traditional grocery stores and has already completed a thorough grocery store study to help market the project.

“It shows the need for an additional grocery outlet to service Barstow,” Brady said.

Other retail uses could include health and fitness providers, auto services, furniture, household items, indoor recreational activities, and locally sourced goods. Among other questions, the survey asks which retailers, restaurants, hotels, and recreational outlets residents would like to see in the project.

“The project is located with great exposure to travelers and is revitalizing the West End of Barstow that has not been promoted well for decades,” said Ken Young, Barstow Community College interim director of maintenance and operations and a lifelong Barstow resident.

Barstow Area Chamber of Commerce and Barstow Community College is joining Brady’s Victorville-based, The Bradco Companies, in an informal partnership to develop and conduct the survey. The college will compile the survey results, officials said.

Said Eugene Butticci, Executive Director of the Barstow Area Chamber of Commerce: “Regardless of what gets built here, it needs to be geared to and supported by residents. We need to find out what they want and not second-guess.”

“The chamber posted the survey on its Facebook page, sent out an email blast to some 2,000 in addition to emailing the survey to its members”, Butticci said.

“Barstow Community College distributed the survey to staff and students via its internal email system and posted it on its social media accounts,” said Amanda Simpson, the spokeswoman.

Brady said his Victorville-based The Bradco Companies is sending out numerous email blasts and mailing the study’s announcement and QR Code to access it to 1,600 business owners in Barstow.

“We understand the challenges Barstow has had trying to attract development,” Brady said, adding that the survey could become an annual occurrence.

The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.

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Tickets on sale now for Southern California’s #1 Rated Oktoberfest

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Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest Welcomes the Return of a Band from Germany

Tickets to the 52nd Annual Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest are now on sale. Organizers of Southern California’s #1 Oktoberfest are ready to deliver another authentic Bavarian-style celebration for nine consecutive weekends from September 10 to November 5. Ticket options range from general admission, preferred seating options, Sunday Family-Fun Packages, and Über Bürgermeister Party Packs. Other big news for Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest is Frankenrebellen Express, a band direct from Bavaria, will perform two weekends in October. 

“This marks the first time since 2019 that we were actually able to get a band direct from Germany to travel to the United States,” said Monica Marini, director of Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest. “The Frankenrebellen Express will definitely bring the spirit of Munich’s Oktoberfest right here in Big Bear Lake.” 

Frankenrebellen Express derives from the Franconia region of Bavaria. They’re slated to perform in Big Bear October 1-2 and the following weekend, October 7-9. They sing with thick German accents and deliver exuberant party music that’s driven by a hearty, rhythmic oompah-pah sound. The other seven weekends are booked with Southern California’s top German-style bands, which includes Die Sauerkrauts, Hazelnuss Das Music, Da Stuben Buden, and Ladyhosen featuring international yodeling sensation Kathrin Jakob. These bands perform on the main stage inside the Big Bear Lake Convention Center. Each band is renowned to stir up good times with a mix of popular cover songs such as “Sweet Caroline,” and “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” original tunes, and of course traditional Bavarian sing-alongs like “Ein-Prosit,” “Hands to Heaven,” and “Das Esellied” that are certain to bring plenty of smiles and cheers. A second stage located outside, in the High-Altitude Beer Garden, features a variety of regional bands that perform rock ‘n’ roll and country music. For the full entertainment lineup visit BigBearEvents.com.   

“We have two stages of continuous live entertainment, which provides a lively atmosphere throughout the day,” added Marini. “We give our guests plenty of activities to partake in too, from ‘Ein Prosit’ toasts, kids’ games, a mechanical bull, log-sawing contests and various interactive group dances that everyone seems to enjoy such as the ‘Fliegerlied’ and ‘Chicken Dance.’”

Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest represents Southern California’s most authentic Oktoberfest, which is well-known as the closest thing to the original celebration in Munich, Germany. Just like the original, Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest starts its celebration in September and goes into October (due to popular demand, it now stretches into November). What really makes this Oktoberfest more special than others is Big Bear Lake is situated in an Alpine environment with evergreens trees, mountain vistas, and a town-square village. This environment naturally reflects the scenery and heritage of the Bavarian Alps of Germany. At 6,750’ altitude, it marks the highest altitude Oktoberfest in California, and second highest in the U.S. The food served at Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest respects German traditions to the tee, including grilled bratwursts and knockwurst sausages, fresh-made colossal pretzels, home-style sauerkraut, German potato salad served warm, Bavarian-style potato dumplings, and apple strudel served with a warm vanilla sauce.  

Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest even serves the very same beer poured at Munich’s Oktoberfest! There are two full-service bars located inside the Convention Center and three different beer gardens outside, including the Tiki Bar, which provides a variety of micro brews and craft beer, ideal for beer connoisseurs.

The true spirit of Bavaria comes to life in Big Bear Lake for nine consecutive weekends, which starts September 10 and ends November 5, 2022. The weekend festivities take place at Big Bear Lake Convention Center, located at 42900 Big Bear Blvd. Event times are Saturdays 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sundays 12 noon to 6 p.m. and Fridays (October only) 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. This year’s event has limited capacity, and some dates are anticipated to sell out. Saturdays in October have set arrival entry time blocks to ensure everyone with a pre-purchased tickets get a speedy entrance into the event. Tickets are on a first come, first served basis, and guests are strongly encouraged to pre-purchase tickets online. Ticket options range from general admission, preferred seating options, Sunday Family-Fun Packages, and Über Bürgermeister Party Packs. Ticket prices for Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest vary per ticket type and per date. For complete details regarding tickets, pricing, and general information, log on to BigBearEvents.com, or call 909-585-3000.

For all there is to see and in Big Bear visit BigBearGuide.com
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Members of Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson’s Bipartisan Forum urge support of SB 1338

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Bipartisan Group of Riversiders Give CARE Court Stamp of Approval

How much longer can we humanely avert our eyes, ignoring the mentally incapacitated people languishing on our streets?  In a recent poll conducted by Suffolk University, 90% of respondents believed that the U.S. is facing a “full-blown mental health crisis”, and in a California Health Policy Survey, Californians’ identified their top priority policy as ‘ensuring people with severe mental health disorders can get treatment” (2020).   

Californians have an opportunity to address this seemingly bottomless crisis. The Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment Act (CARE), also known as Senate Bill 1338, empowers family members, first responders, and behavioral health providers with an avenue to petition a civil court on behalf of a loved one or community member that is incapable of caring for themselves. This potentially allows families and local communities the ability to initiate a CARE plan to provide behavioral health care, including medication, housing, and other services, to adults with psychotic disorders and people who lack medical decision-making capacity. A critically important part of the plan is the appointment of both a public defender and a personal advocate to help guide participants and ensure individual rights are protected.  

Californians across the political spectrum agree that it is time to make a bold commitment to transforming our broken mental health system to help our state’s most vulnerable residents and we have an opportunity to do so now. Arguably, California has not seen meaningful mental health reforms since 1972, partially because we continue to allow a quest for perfection to negate a commitment to incremental progress.

As diverse members of Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson’s Bipartisan Forum, we urge you to join us in supporting this legislation.  Please contact your state representative this week (https://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov) to urge a yes vote on SB 1338.

In October 2021, Riverside’s Mayor, Patricia Lock Dawson, convened a group of 14 community members with differing political ideologies to help drive solutions for the crises amongst those in homeless situations with serious mental health conditions. The group felt passionate that state-level mental health reforms were needed, including tools that would allow families to compel their family members with psychotic and addiction disorders into treatment.  The CARE Court legislation (SB 1338) is a step forward in this direction. 

Members of Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson’s Bipartisan Forum are: Dr. Cheryl-Marie Osborne Hansberger, Chani Beeman, Steve Johnson, Ana Miramontes, Rico Alderette, Tisa Rodriguez, Chuck Avila, Sheila Kay Riley, Ruben Ayala, Janice Rooths, Keith Sklarsky, Ana Lee, Dr. Regina Patton-Stell

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Inland Empire Community Foundation Announces $589,500 to 40 Nonprofits from Community Impact Fund

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Grants will be used to strengthen work that prioritizes diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)

Inland Empire Community Foundation (IECF) announced that 40 nonprofits received $589,500 in grants through its Community Impact Fund, designed to support and expand the capacity and effectiveness of organizations working to advance racial, gender, and economic equity for residents in the Inland Empire.

In keeping with the Foundation’s focus on grantmaking through an equity lens, grants from the Community Impact Fund will be used to strengthen work that prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Unrestricted grants between $5,000 and $20,000 were given for general operating costs and to support efforts that enable an organization to carry out its mission effectively. To be eligible for a grant, each organization had to demonstrate a commitment to practicing and institutionalizing diversity, equity and inclusion in governance, staffing, organization practices, and collaborative relationships.

The 2021/2022 Community Impact Fund grantees are:

  • A Coming Of Age Foster Family Agency
  • Academy for Grassroots Organizations
  • Assistance League of San Bernardino
  • Bear Valley Community Healthcare District Foundation
  • Bezerk Productions
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Empire
  • Boys & Girls Club Of The Hi-Desert
  • Boys & Girls Club of the San Gorgonio Pass
  • Breast Cancer Solutions
  • Brightest Star Inc.
  • Camp of Champions A & M, Inc.
  • Caravanserai Project
  • Cathedral City Senior Center
  • Child Advocates Of San Bernardino County
  • Consortium for Early Learning Services
  • Cove Communities Senior Association
  • Desert Rose Trauma Recovery
  • Empower You Edutainment
  • Faith in Action of San Gorgonio Pass
  • Feed My Flock Ministries
  • First Christian Church of Ontario, CA
  • First Tee-Coachella Valley
  • Fox Riverside Theater Foundation
  • Friends of the Desert Mountains
  • Garner Holt Foundation
  • Giving 365 Inc.
  • Gracious Heart Resource Family Agency
  • Inland Empire Community Collaborative, Inc.
  • Inland Equity Community Land Trust
  • Janet Goeske Foundation
  • Making Hope Happen Foundation
  • Mountain Counseling & Training, Inc.
  • Operation New Hope
  • Ophelia’s Jump Productions
  • People’s Collective for Environmental Justice
  • Positive Young People Inc.
  • The Arts Area
  • The Empowerment Center
  • The Hole in the Wall Inc.
  • Voices for Children

“So many of our students are first generation college graduates and the majority are BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, and people of color], but I saw a disparity in where the money was going,” said John Machado, art history professor at Chaffey College and founder of The Arts Area, a CIF grantee. “What I was seeing was that a lot of these students were giving up on their dream.”

The CIF grant will support arts programs that encourage diverse, equitable and inclusive arts opportunities. This includes Curious Publishing’s BIPOC fund which will cover the costs of printing books for five artists.

Celia Cudiamat, Senior Vice President of Grants and Community Impact, said, “Practicing equity and inclusion requires commitment, diligence, intentionality, and patience over a sustained period of time. This is a joint, on-going journey for IECF as well and we look forward to learning from our grantees over the coming year.”

IECF accepts competitive grant proposals from nonprofit organizations who work to make a difference in the lives of Riverside and San Bernardino County residents throughout the year. Nonprofits interested in applying in 2023 can check the IECF website for guidelines and giving periods.

The 2023 grant schedule and instructions on how to apply will be available in February 2023.

The CIF is funded by generous donations to IECF in support of unrestricted giving. The CIF allows IECF to respond to emerging needs and build the capacity of nonprofits in the IE. Individuals who wish to invest in the Community Impact Fund, or to a community cause or issue that is particularly meaningful to them, can contact IECF to see how their donation might make the biggest impact. For assistance, contact Brie Griset Smith, Senior Vice President of Charitable Giving at 951-241-7777, ext. 111.

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