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Barstow, California–No Reason for Second Guessing



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



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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James Tate, Corona, reaches 100 gallons in blood donations



James Alan Tate, 58, of Corona, first donated blood over 30 years ago with LifeStream.

On Friday, Dec. 17, Tate reached his lifetime blood donation milestone, becoming a 100-gallon donor at LifeStream Blood Bank’s Riverside Donor Center, 4006 Van Buren Boulevard.

Tate shared that when he first started donating blood, he would do so intermittently until he realized how important blood donations were for the community.

“From that point forward, I decided to donate as much whole blood, plasma and platelets as I could each year,” he said. “Donating has turned into my life’s passion. Over the years, LifeStream has become my second family.”

Tate and his wife Nancy have lived in Corona for 33 years, where he worked in the aerospace industry. They have one son, Austin. Tate said that through the years he has made many incredible friends through blood donation.

“As long as there are people in need, God willing, I will donate as many life-saving donations as I can.”

LifeStream is a local, nonprofit blood bank that provides blood products and services to more than 80 Southern California hospitals.

For more information, call 800-879-4484 or visit

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The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Spread Holiday Cheer to Students of Rialto Unified and Think Together



Students at Werner Elementary School in Rialto were gifted Los Angeles Dodgers swag, books and a special visit from Dino Ebel, Third Base Coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers

 Today Werner Elementary School students in Rialto were greeted with a holiday surprise from someone they’d never expect, Los Angeles Dodger Third Base Coach, Dino Ebel. Nearly 50 students gathered to hear Ebel read, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” written by Larry Harper as part of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation LA Reads program.

Ebel delivered Los Angeles Dodgers branded gifts and books alongside volunteers and staff of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Rialto Unified School District and Think Together. Ebel, who as roots in the Inland Empire, said he was excited for a chance to give back.

“It’s very special to me to come out to my community and be able to speak to the youth about the importance of doing well in school and achieving your dreams,” said Ebel. “I know the importance of coming from a small town and showing kids that they can be anything if they put their mind to it.”

Think Together serves up to 11,000 students with afterschool and expanded learning programs in San Bernardino County, including 1,677 students across 25 schools in Rialto. Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and San Manuel Band of Mission Indians have both supported students in Rialto with reading and literacy programs as well as STEM and coding programs through the collaborative Coding for All initiative.

“We are so grateful to partner with such generous organizations like the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and San Manuel Band of Mission Indians,” said Think Together Founder and CEO Randy Barth. “When organizations can come together like this for the kids, it really shows them they have people in their lives that care about them.”

Think Together has been a partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation since 2015. The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation supports Think Together’s college readiness programs with college field trips for middle school students in Los Angeles County and social emotional learning programs for middle school students in San Bernardino and Los Angeles.

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has supported Think Together students in Rialto since 2011, supporting reading and literacy. Starting in 2021, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians helped launch coding curriculum and instruction across 19 elementary schools.

To learn more about Think Together, visit

To learn more about the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, visit:

To learn more about San Manuel Band of Mission Indians philanthropic activities, visit:

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