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SBCTA committee recommends formal opposition to proposed West County Rail Construction Authority

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SBCTA committee recommends formal opposition to proposed West County Rail Construction Authority

February 12, 2020 — The SBCTA Policy Committee is recommending that the voter-entrusted agency responsible for transportation planning in San Bernardino County oppose the creation of an entirely new construction authority specifically geared toward one project.

SBCTA (the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority) is mandated by law to handle and oversee cooperative regional planning and further an efficient multimodal transportation system countywide. On Wednesday, the agency’s General Policy Committee voted to recommend that SBCTA’s Board of Directors oppose a bill by Assemblymember Chris Holden to establish the West San Bernardino County Rail Construction Authority, whose sole purpose would be to build a six-mile extension of the Gold Line light rail system from the Los Angeles County line to Ontario International Airport.

The committee also recommended that the Board formally invite Holden to discuss his proposal at the March meeting of the full SBCTA Board.

“We appreciate the Assemblymember’s desire to bring the Gold Line to San Bernardino County, and would welcome connectivity from LA County as part of a comprehensive package of enhanced transit opportunities not just to and from Ontario Airport but our county as a whole. On the surface, however, this legislation raises many more concerns than it addresses – most notably, how would such a project be paid for, who would benefit from it and what other projects throughout the county would have to be eliminated to make way for it?” said Darcy McNaboe, SBCTA’s President.

San Bernardino County is the largest geographic county in the United States, and represents one of the most vibrant growth corridors in the United States. The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) projects that San Bernardino County will see its population surge by 32% in the next 25 years, versus 19% for SoCal as a whole.

The county’s growth is being fueled by a variety of factors, including growing job prospects and relative affordability. According to a new report from Zillow, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties rank fourth in the U.S. in terms of property searches from prospective homebuyers living outside the region.

Ontario Airport, meanwhile, was recently ranked the fastest-growing airport in the U.S. for the second straight year. Statistics show that nearly 70% of domestic passengers using Ontario Airport live in the Inland Empire and would not be served by a light rail system geared toward L.A. County users. Over the past two years, SBCTA has worked closely with ONT officials to form the Ontario Airport Roundtable, a network of stakeholders throughout the county focused on issues such as airport access.

“San Bernardino and the Inland Empire are fast becoming the population and employment hubs for Southern California. That’s great news, but requires an even more thoughtful and balanced approach to transportation planning. Creating a whole new agency with a single-minded focus doesn’t lend itself to the kind of shared visioning and broad collaboration we need to address our challenges,” said Paul Granillo, CEO of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership and an Ontario Airport Roundtable member. “The fact is, there is a limited amount of money available for transportation, and we need to work together – not in competition with one another – to address the growing needs we’ve got throughout our county.”

Assemblymember Holden’s plan does not directly address how an extension of the Gold Line to Ontario Airport would be funded. Typically, the cost for such a project is borne by local taxpayers – in this case, the taxpayers of San Bernardino County once the project crosses the LA County Line.

In recent months, SBCTA has been developing a plan that would enhance Metrolink’s existing San Bernardino Line with improved connectivity to ONT. The plan would leverage the Redlands Rail Project, currently under construction, and the zero-emission passenger trains that will be part of that project. The hydrogen-powered trains will be the first of their kind in North America.

“This is not an either-or – at least it shouldn’t be. We’re interested in discussing with Assemblymember Holden about how his plan benefits the majority of airport users who currently travel from San Bernardino and Riverside Counties,” McNaboe said.

 

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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Tyler Ankrum World Wide Technology Raceway Race Preview

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Tyler Ankrum, driver of the No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

Headed West … Tyler Ankrum rolls into the “Gateway to the West” as the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series invades the St. Louis area at World Wide Technology Raceway (WWTR). As five races remain before the playoffs begin, Saturday afternoon’s contest at WWTR marks a pivotal moment for the driver of the No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. Ankrum currently resides 15th in the championship standings and hopes WWTR is the gateway to his third-career playoff berth.

HRE at WWTR … The San Bernardino, Calif. driver has four appearances under his belt at the St. Louis-area 1.25-mile egg-shaped oval. Ankrum made his debut at WWTR in 2019 and scored a best finish of 12th in 2020. The No. 16 team has had a steady track record in the St. Louis region since debuting there in 2017 with Ryan Truex. The HRE squad has put up one top-five, two top-10’s, and led laps in three of the five events, which included a third-place result in 2020.

Season to Date … Through 11 of 16 regular season events, Ankrum and the No. 16 team occupy the 15th position in the championship standings, 63 markers behind the cut line. Ankrum’s season-best result came eight races ago at Circuit of the Americas and he has posted three finishes of tenth or better in the 2023 season.

Chassis Selection … Chassis No. 008 will make it’s third start of the season at World Wide Technology Raceway. This Toyota Tundra TRD Pro made its last start at Darlington Raceway, where Ankrum would run around the top-10 most of the day, settling for a 15th place finish at the track too tough to tame.

Tune In … Fox Sports 1 has complete coverage of the Toyota 200 at World Wide Technology Raceway, beginning with practice and qualifying on Friday at 6:00 pm ET (FS1), followed by the green flag on Saturday at 1:30 pm ET (FS1). Stay connected with the No. 16 LiUNA! team by following @Hattori_Racing on Twitter, @hattoriracing on Instagram, and Hattori Racing Enterprises on Facebook.

Tyler Ankrum Quote on World Wide Technology Raceway:
“Gateway is such a unique racetrack from where we’ve been racing the last month or so. It’s like a big short track with flat corners, a lot of braking, and we’ll for sure need our LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro to turn in the center of the corners. It races similar to Phoenix, but Turns one and two are really tight while (turns) three and four are kind of wide and sweeping. Pit road is extremely narrow and how you get in and out of your box could be critical. Hopefully we can start to regain some points as we get closer to the playoffs.”

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June 15th Foster Care & Adoption Virtual Online Orientation

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Children’s Bureau is seeking foster families and now offers two virtual ways for individuals and/or couples to learn how to help children in foster care while reunifying with birth families or how to provide legal permanency by adoption.

If you or someone you know may be interested in learning more about becoming a foster or foster-adopt parent, join us on June 15th from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. for an English online virtual orientation. To sign up, visit https://www.all4kids.org/foster-care-and-adoption-inquiry-form/ or call 661-289-4231 or 833-983-2837, or email Rfrecruitment@all4kids.org and a link to the meeting will be sent to you.

A Spanish Zoom Orientation is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on July 20th for those who prefer Spanish.

Children’s Bureau partners with over 200 foster-adoptive families annually to help at-risk youth by giving them a home that is nearby and inclusive to their foster siblings. Lisa and Michael began their foster-adoptive journey by providing a stable home to a sibling set of three, two girls and a boy. They worked to keep the family together and have experienced a bond like no other. “If adoption is in your future, there is no need to look any further than our surrounding county. So many local children need a family. If you are wanting to “make a difference” with your life, consider adopting from foster care. You could be saving generations,” said Lisa.

In the 1940’s, Children’s Bureau opened adoption services and found homes for refugee children orphans from World War II. The agency continues to meet the needs by offering a wide array of programs in areas related to adoption such as foster care, prevention, and mental health. Children’s Bureau has multiple locations operating throughout Southern California.

“Right now, children in San Bernardino County who have experienced trauma and have been separated from their birth family need our help,” says Leslie Oropeza, Children’s Bureau Director of Foster Care and Adoption. “We are looking for families who can open their homes and hearts to these children. Families who have extra space and the willingness to keep them together. Statistics show siblings kept together in foster care and adoption do better later in life.

They heal quicker from their trauma, have better attachments, and develop healthy self-images,” she adds.

Children’s Bureau welcomes all individuals regardless of race, age, religion, disability, marital status, ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression to become a resource for children. Qualifying families receive training and support throughout their journey. Foster Care and Adoption Programs are available in Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Ventura counties.

For information about Children’s Bureau and the other critical services the agency provides , visit all4kids.org. To stay connected with Family Foster Care and Adoption services, visit www.all4kids.org/foster.

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City of San Bernardino Receives SCAG Sustainability Award for Its Clean Fleet Policy

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The City of San Bernardino has received the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Sustainability Award for Alternative Fuels and Infrastructure for its Zero Emission First – Clean Fleet Policy. The City was recognized at SCAG’s regional conference, held in Palm Desert. Mayor Helen Tran and Council Member Damon Alexander were on hand to receive the award.

“We are pleased and honored to be recognized by SCAG for our Clean Fleet Policy,” said San Bernardino Council Member Damon Alexander, who also sits on the SCAG Regional Council. “It not only speaks to San Bernardino’s commitment to sustainability but is a roadmap to make a difference.”

The award was one of seven sustainability awards presented by SCAG recognizing excellence and innovation to improve mobility, livability, prosperity, and sustainability. SCAG is the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization, encompassing six counties (Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura), 191 cities, and 19 million people in an area covering more than 38,000 square miles.

San Bernardino’s Clean Fleet Policy was unanimously adopted by the City Council on December 7, 2022. It serves as the City’s first initiative to reduce emissions from its daily operations. The policy establishes a framework for transitioning the City’s fleet from gas powered vehicles to zero to low-emission vehicles. The policy represents San Bernardino’s commitment to environmental responsibility.

The core objectives of San Bernardino’s Clean Fleet Policy include:

  • Procure new and replace existing fleet vehicles with alternative fuel vehicles, with a focus on procuring all electric vehicles.
  • Optimize the fleet size by eliminating unused or underused vehicles through review and evaluation of vehicle utilization and redundancy reports.
  • Limit the procurement of gasoline and/or diesel-powered vehicles.
  • Execute a plan to expand the network of charging stations city-wide.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants through the elimination of fossil fuel combustion.
  • Decrease costs associated with fleet vehicle operations, which can be reinvested into the community.

The Clean Fleet Policy is the first of a series of strategies and initiatives the San Bernardino intends to pursue to support the City’s efforts to achieve net zero emissions in its operations.

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