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The Highlander speaks with Assemblyman Jose Medina

The Highlander spoke with Assemblyman Jose Medina this week about a variety of issues pertaining to the Inland Empire and university students in California. Medina, a Democrat, represents the 61st district which covers parts of Riverside, including UCR, and is serving his third term in the California State Legislature, having been elected to this post for the first time in 2012.

Napolitano would have ‘intervened’ if she had known about UC audit interference

“I want to say a word of caution, that as we move forward and we move forward in this legislative year, that we think and think deeply and long before we take action,” Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, said.

George Kieffer, chair of the UC Board of Regents, said the university took Moreno’s report seriously. In addition to policy changes to prevent interference in future audits, he said, the regents released a statement admonishing Napolitano’s actions and required her to apologize. Kieffer added that he did not feel any further discipline was necessary.

California Air Resources Board Breaks Ground on Research and Testing Facility at UCR

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.

Riverside declares war on smog while celebrating California Air Resources Board’s new headquarters

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.

UCR Summit to Support the Creation of LGBTQ Resources at California Community Colleges

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).

Gov. Brown vetoes bill that would have closed loophole in the California Environmental Quality Act

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.

Which California megaprojects get breaks from complying with environmental law?

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.

Jose Medina’s bill aims to close ‘loophole’ so certain projects can’t avoid environmental review

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.

Cheech Marin’s Riverside Chicano art center plans get $1 million boost

The stroke of Gov. Jerry Brown’s pen this week put a planned Chicano art museum in Riverside a third of the way toward a $3 million fundraising goal.

The state budget Brown signed on Tuesday, June 27, included $1 million for creating the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry. Supporters say the money will make it easier to raise the rest.