Circle City Rotary – Service Project June 2019 | Corona, CA

On June 22nd 2019,  at least sixteen Circle City Rotarians and their friends and family helped to spruce up the gazebo area of Santana Park in preparation for the city’s annual 4th of July festivities.

We arrived at the park ready to work. We painted the grills, and also the picnic tables. The trash cans were also painted, and we removed any and all visible graffiti in and around the area. We were assisted by Mark, city staff personnel who brought us the supplies we needed to do the job. It took about 2 ½ hours of our time since we had so many helping hands. It was a productive morning and we left the area sparkling ready to be enjoyed by Corona residents. Great job everyone!!

 

To find out more about our monthly service projects, please visit our website at www.circlecitycorona.org.

Guest Speakers: Maykala Sullivan and Brian Young | Corona, CA

At our June 19th meeting, we had two speakers. First speaker was Maykala Sullivan, who is fellow Rotarian Don Garling’s granddaughter. Maykala attends Santiago High School and she wrote an award-winning 4 Way speech which she read to our club. Her speech was about bringing awareness to mental health issues in teens. Mental health is at an all-time high in the U.S. Anxiety, depression and stress are the three growing issues in our society. Maykala is advocating for a course in mindfulness to be taught in schools. Mindfulness can and does improve the lives of people who suffer from mental issues. Congratulations Maykala, for your very informative and award winning speech. And thank you for shedding some much needed light on this topic.

Our second speaker was fellow Rotarian Brian Young. Brian is the Corona City Fire Chief. Brian shared with us about a new initiative that Corona Fire is working on. It has to do with the Corona Fire Department working with other local agencies concerning the wildlife interface. The city of Corona abuts with 12 miles of the Cleveland National Forest. The new non-profit formed is The Fire Safe Council. Local Home Owners Associations are invited to join the council. There are currently 87 HOAs that share a border with the CNF. Brian also talked about steps we can take as homeowners to protect against wildlife fire. He also discussed the new fire department app called Pulse Point. This app lets you know where and when an emergency is unfolding in our city. Any time the Fire department is called out, it shows up on Pulse Point. Thank you Brian, for all you do in keeping residents safe. And for sharing this important information with our club.

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

Guest Speakers: Dr. Antonio Gonzalez, Patrick Chao, Eric Lee and Kristian Johnson | Corona, CA

Our June 12th speakers were the STEM(science, technology, engineering and math) teachers of Corona High School. Dr. Antonio Gonzalez is the principal of Corona High. He introduced the following teachers, Patrick Chao, Eric Lee, and Kristian Johnson. Patrick is STEM coordinator and the computer/science teacher for the program. This is the first year that Corona High School has a computer program. It’s being funded by Amazon. They had an executive from Amazon come to the school to talk to the students about coding. Eric is teaching engineering. This is the oldest program being offered in the STEM academy. They bought the rights to teach PLTW- Project Lead The Way, which teaches engineering students to become tomorrow’s problem solvers. They revamp the curriculum every 3 years so it’s always up to date. Kristian teaches math, aerospace engineering and robotics. They also teach biomedical science, all sorts of fields. The curriculum changes every year. Healthcare careers is another pathway they teach. Like nursing and how to be a first responder. There are also automotive careers. The auto shop has been completely updated so it will be a new shop for when the students return to school. There is an aviation program. Corona High has more FAA approved flight simulators than most schools and some colleges. A lot of these students receive scholarships upon graduation so they can continue in the field they wish to study. PLTW tracks the students to see where they go to college and into what field of study. This was very interesting to learn about all the exciting subjects being taught at Corona High School. You could see the passion these teachers, along with their principal, have about their profession.

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.

Guest Speakers: Michele Nissen and Mark Allert | Corona, CA

Former Acting Corona City Manager Michele Nissen and fellow Rotarian Mark Allert were our guest speakers today.  They came to speak about the workshops the city has been conducting with Mayor Jason Scott, councilmembers Yolanda Carillo and Jim Steiner about our city’s homelessness problem.  Mark pointed out that there is a temptation to turn to despair amongst the homeless. We have a team in Corona made up of two police officers and it’s called the HOPE team.  They work 4 days a week for 10 hour shifts.  They interact with our homeless population to try to steer them in the direction they need to go to receive services.  Homelessness is a problem that has been around for centuries.  The city of Corona has contracted out to an outreach service called City Net.  They are a nonprofit and they are getting a count of how many homeless residents live in our city.  A lot of Corona’s homeless population grew up in the city and still have family members that reside here.  About 75% of the homeless in Corona have drug and alcohol addictions.  About 20% have mental illness. There are a lot of organizations in Corona that want to help the homeless, but they lack a coordinated effort.  The homeless need a wraparound type of service.  Thank you Michele and Mark for this very informative talk today. We as Rotarians have a lot of compassion for our fellow man and would love to see this terrible issue resolved.

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

Guest speaker: Kimberly Davidson | Corona, CA

Last week’s speaker was Kimberly Davidson the City of Corona’s Economic Development Director.   Kimberly gave a very lively presentation.  We have a population of over 168,000 residents, and a very low unemployment rate.  While that’s generally a good thing, it’s tough for our local manufacturers to find employees. We have about 400 manufacturers in the city. It is a very tight labor market not only nationally but locally as well.  Kimberly also talked about the changing face of retail.  It’s become a national trend that most stores are either closing or going to on line sales.  But while this is occurring, this also allows for more mom and pop stores to develop.  Our Corona Mall will be getting a facelift soon.  The new destination will be called The Union.  It will be focused on restaurants and entertainment.  Bedford Canyon is being developed into new homes along with a commercial property.  The City of Corona also works closely with Norco College. The students learn the skills needed to compete with the available jobs in the area.  Kimberly says there is a plan called Corona 2020 and that is to create 7,000 new jobs within the city limits by 2020.  This would help to greatly  reduce commuter traffic.  Kimberly has developed weekly and monthly meetings and workshops based on various topics for employers as well as employees.  Thank you Kimberly for an enthusiastic talk. We were all interested in learning about the economic development of our city.

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

Guest Speaker: Gina Moran-McGough | Corona, CA

Our speaker this week was Gina Moran-McGough.  Gina is the Emergency Management Coordinator for the city of Corona.  She works through the Fire Department.  She is the one who interfaces with all the city departments in an emergency.  In an emergency three things may happen:  You may need to leave your home,  You may not be able to return to your home, or you may need to stay inside your home.  She talked about emergency preparedness.  The city must disseminate this information in order for it to receive Federal funds.  We got handouts about the type of items you need to have handy in case of an emergency.  We also received light sticks, and emergency blankets.  A couple of lucky Rotarians received a tool that is used to shut off gas and break windows, or used as a weapon.  It is in everyone’s best interest to be prepared in case  an emergency situation should arise.  We found the talk to be very informative indeed.  Thank you Gina!

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