Friday, October 27, 2017

Assemblyman Jose Medina remembers not being able to see the bell tower on the UC Riverside campus and, as a teacher, having to keep his students indoors for recess on bad-air days.

Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey remembers getting out of swimming pools choking not from water, but from the thick smog.

Medina, D-Riverside, and Bailey shared their memories at a groundbreaking ceremony Friday, Oct. 27, for a facility dedicated to relegating smog-filled days to the past.

Besides housing advanced vehicle emissions testing and clean-air research, the $419 million California Air Resources Board Southern California Headquarters will employ more than 400 people – many of them engineers, technicians and scientists – in what local leaders hope becomes an economic engine and a defining facility for the Inland Empire.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Riverside, CA – City, county, state and federal officials gathered Friday near the UC Riverside campus to break ground for a new $419 million headquarters and testing laboratory for the California Air Resources Board (CARB), a project that is expected to bring as many as 460 high-paying jobs to the area.

The board voted last year to relocate its motor vehicle and engine emissions testing and research facility from El Monte to a 19-acre site at UCR on Iowa Avenue near Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Dozens of state, local and federal officials joined an audience of hundreds for the groundbreaking. In addition to Mayor Bailey, other speakers included CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols, UC Riverside Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox, Congressman Mark De Saulnier, Congressman Mark Takano, Congressman Ken Calvert, Sen. Richard D. Roth, Assemblymember Jose Medina, and John Tavaglione, Chairman of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.

Monday, October 23, 2017

An enthusiastic crowd kicked off public fundraising Monday, Oct. 23, for an Inland Empire civil rights institute in Riverside.

Some were men, some were women. Some were white, some were black, some were Latino and some were Asian-American. Some were straight and some were gay.

Many were old enough to remember when such a gathering wouldn’t have been possible — and that it’s only possible now because of hard work by people like those whom the Civil Rights Institute of Inland Southern California plans to honor, said Jack Clarke, Jr.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — A new summit hosted by the University of California, Riverside will connect representatives from more than 50 California Community Colleges (CCC) with members of the LGBTQ community in the hopes of expanding campus resources and boosting student engagement.

Organized by CCC faculty and staff in partnership with Nancy Jean Tubbs, director of UCR’s LGBT Resource Center, the first installment of the CCC + LGBTQ Summit will take place Nov. 11 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Highlander Union Building (HUB).

Monday, October 16, 2017

Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill from a Riverside assemblyman inspired by a massive warehouse complex planned for Moreno Valley.

Brown’s office announced the veto of AB 890 on Monday, Oct. 16. The bill by Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, would have closed a loophole in the California Environmental Quality Act, also known as CEQA, that allows projects approved by voters to bypass the act’s review process.

Medina on Monday said he was “definitely disappointed” by the veto.

“I think (the bill) would have been good for our area, good for our constituents,” Medina said, adding he regularly hears concerns about truck traffic and air quality.

“Trying to close that loophole, which developers have been able to use, would have been a good first step,” he said.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Year after year, owners of professional sports teams and developers of proposed skyscrapers have pleaded with California lawmakers to grant relief for their projects from the state’s environmental regulations. They’ve found a largely receptive audience.

“It’s a job creator,” Assemblyman Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) told his colleagues while successfully pressing earlier this month for approval of his bill that could speed up an expansion of Facebook’s headquarters and the construction of twin skyscrapers in Hollywood.

The passage of Santiago’s bill highlighted a continually messy debate at the state Capitol concerning which projects deserve breaks from strictly complying with the California Environmental Quality Act, the primary environmental law governing development. The law, known as CEQA, requires developers to disclose and reduce projects’ effects on the environment, often a time-consuming and costly process made longer by lawsuits that can last years.

Friday, September 15, 2017

When Moreno Valley approved the 40.6-million square-foot World Logistics Center project two years ago, Assemblyman Jose Medina watched from the sidelines.

But he grew concerned when — barely a month after a split city council approved the project — developer Highland Fairview bankrolled three ballot initiatives aimed at thwarting legal challenges to the project’s environmental review.

Through a loophole in state law, projects approved by initiative were able to circumvent the state law requiring environmental review of its impacts, Medina, D-Riverside, said. A bill he introduced in February that passed the state Legislature this week would no longer allow developers to bypass environmental review, he said.