Guest Speaker: Karen Speigel | Corona, CA

On May 22, Riverside County Supervisor, the Honorable Karen Spiegel, was our guest speaker today. This is the first time in 22 years that a woman has been elected to the board. There is a lot of diversity on this board, and it is comprised of five districts. Supervisor Spiegel’s District 2, covers 5 municipalities. They are Corona, Norco, Jurupa Valley, Eastvale and a portion of the city of Riverside. This is a non-partisan seat. She has retained some of past Supervisor John Taglione’s staff. She is allowing her chief of staff to select her staffers. She personally knows a lot of the people who have applied for various positions and prefers to not appear to be picking favorites. As soon as she was sworn in, her staff took away her paper calendar and now she strictly uses her phone’s calendar. She has about a  $2 million dollar budget. Karen has chosen not to open an office in Corona, because she rather give that money away to be used within the community.

There are four unincorporated areas in Riverside County. There are 22,000 Riverside county employees. Currently the county is in $22 million dollars of debt. County health care centers have contributed to this deficit and the county jails are another factor. Karen is working her best along with her fellow board members to mitigate some of these issues. She would also like to secure more funding for completing the 91 freeway expansion. The county also needs new voting machines and the state will help to defray some of the costs. It was a very informative talk and we thank Supervisor Spiegel for her service.

To find out more about our guest speakers, please visit our website at www.circlecitycorona.org.

Guest Speaker: Don Williamson | Corona, CA

Today, May 15th, our speaker was Don Williamson. Don is the founder of the non-profit Corona History Association. Don came to speak to  us very passionately about the first cemetery in Corona called Corona Sunnyslope Cemetery and about the Potter’s Field that is also there.

The city of Corona was established in 1886. The founding fathers realized the town needed a cemetery and Sunny Slopes was established on Rimpau. A lot of prominent Coronans are buried there. The Potter’s Field was used for indigent families, for persons with unknown identities and for some of the Chinese who lived on the outskirts of town. The last people to be buried in Potter’s Field was in 1940. There are no records of the people who are buried there. For many years the upkeep of Potter’s Field was done by volunteers. When the cemetery was sold to new owners, all of the volunteer upkeep was curtailed. Don is very upset that the new owners have razed all but two of the crosses that were in Potter’s Field and have sold the land to another organization for their burial needs. It is illegal to bury people where there is already an existing grave site. Don has talked to numerous government entities and multiple lawsuits have ensued against the current owners.

There are still living relatives of the people that are buried in Potter’s Field. Don is trying to undue this injustice that has been done to them and the city at large. Thank you Don, for caring and for your very passionate mission in trying to correct this travesty.

To find out more about our guest speakers, please visit our website at www.circlecitycorona.org.

Guest Speakers: Katie Moore & Kevin Royse | Corona, CA

On Wed. May 8th, our guest speakers were Katie Moore and Kevin Royse from the ABC Hopes Foundation.  The foundation is a nonprofit 501c (3) organization that was started in 2013.  Katie’s brother, Christopher, was born with Down’s Syndrome.  His family began the foundation all because of Christopher.  What the ABC stands for in their name.  Their mission is to empower individuals with intellectual disabilities to contribute to society in a positive manner by giving them job opportunities that develop their social, physical, and educational skills.  They accomplish this mission by having participants of their program operate a produce stand at local farmer’s markets, the one here in Corona and Anaheim, and by participating in their fitness program that they partner with the local cross-fit gym. And by members going to various community events and fundraisers. ABC Hopes host fundraisers throughout various times of the year.  In their fitness program, they like the whole family to participate if possible.  Christopher was also present at the talk where he very happily passed out brochures and a bottle of hand sanitizers.  What a great foundation this family has started that will help so many individuals all because of their love for Christopher. Thank you so much for sharing with us about your wonderful organization.

To find out more about our guest speakers, please visit our website at www.circlecitycorona.org.

Guest Speakers: Lieutenant Mercado & Sargent Morris | Corona, CA

Speakers for  Wed. May 1st. were none other than Corona’s finest, Lieutenant Mercado and Sargent Morris from Corona Police Department.  These two gentleman are part of  the department’s  UAS team.  This stands for unmanned aerial systems, also known as drones.  This enhancement for the department started this past Feb. 2019.  Sargent Morris is a drone pilot.   The UAS pilot’s were chosen from patrol and are highly trained in UAS technology.  It requires 56 hours of highly specialized pilot training.  The team is called in to assist with special ops missions, and emergencies.  They also assist in searching for suspects, missing persons and help with the mapping of accident scenes.  Drones are also used in search and rescue missions.  They will be partnering with the Corona Fire Department in the future.  It is more cost effective to use drones rather than a helicopter. The drones use battery packs for fuel.  The length of the battery packs vary, some are 10 min only while others can operate for 38 min.  These packs, while being less expensive than fuel, can add up. The drones can be flown at night, but they require a light kit per FAA rules. They can also be flown in inclement weather.  Drones help in real time intelligence gathering which helps the officers on the ground with their planning.  This was a very exciting talk and the officers brought in a number of different drones that they use in the UAS team.  At the end of the talk Sargent Morris took one of the drones outside and flew it a bit for us and showed us thermal imaging of our little group. Thank you both, this was a very informative talk.  Good to know our CPD is advancing with new and exciting technologies to keep our community safe.

To find out more about our guest speakers, please visit our website at www.circlecitycorona.org.

Guest Speaker: Sue Nichols | Corona, CA

Wed. April 24th our speaker was Sue Nichols from Rosa Parks Elementary School in Eastvale. This is the school where we donate all our signed books each week. Sue is the school’s librarian.

She truly appreciates all of our book donations because she says she has zero budget to purchase new books. Rosa Parks Elementary School is the largest school in the CNUSD. The library contains 52% books that are fiction and 48% that are nonfiction. It is a very large library. Sue has great support from her family. Her late brother built her a castle in a corner of the library for story time and the students can actually sit up in the turrets. Sue also keeps live creatures in her library. She currently has tiger salamanders and crawdads. She shares a lot of her interesting personal collections in the library. Her school is very culturally diverse, so Sue likes to do different themes and talks a lot about the multiple cultures. We could tell that Sue loves her job because of the enthusiasm she shared with us in speaking about her library. We thought her library was extremely cool. It also seems like a mini hands-on museum as well. What lucky children who attend that school and get to enjoy Sue and that very awesome library! Thank you Sue, so happy our donated books are being loved and used at your school.

To find out more about our guest speakers, please visit our website at www.circlecitycorona.org.