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Lesson: Earth Teachers trek the


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Made with pride, in Riverside New flavors at Mezcal Meet John Russo, city manager


| | april-may 2015


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FEATURES 10 The next movement … The Riverside Philharmonic’s struggles once were a reflection of a depressed Inland Empire economy: declining revenues, over-extended spending and loss of patronage. But with a stalwar t hear t and faith in tomorrow, the organization set out to cut its debt and renew its vigor. Today, the work is beginning to bear fruit. 12 Made with pride, in Riverside What makes a city tick? Sometimes, it’s what the city makes. Medical device components, popcorn, furniture and recreational vehicles. There’s a lot more to the city of Ar ts & Innovation than college students and oranges. Touring Riverside’s Gaslamp Popcorn factory 16

20 Catching up with John A. Russo Meet Riverside’s new city manager. Brooklyn-born John A. Russo comes to Riverside by way of Alameda. His public service, among other things, includes a stint in Oakland with then-Mayor Jerry Brown.



22 Beyond borders, education Riverside teachers have embraced an oppor tunity to team up with scientists across the globe to learn more about our planet, its animals and the environment. The program with Ear thwatch Institute is suppor ted by the Riverside Educational Enrichment Foundation and means new lessons teachers can share with students. 26 Mezcal turns the page Smiling skulls and agave décor are a suitable backdrop for simpler, more crowd-pleasing fare at Mezcal, where the new menu is more accessible but the food no less satisfying.

DEPARTMENTS From the Editor 6 Hot List and Calendar 8 Seens 29-33 Nonprofit Calendar 31 Final Frame 34 On the cover Facing an elephant head-on in Kenya. Photo cour tesy Gary Berz

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Recognizing sacrifice, in red, white and blue


or Memorial Day, there is perhaps no tribute more fitting than the annual Roll Call at Riverside National Cemetery. The project started in 2009, when hundreds of volunteers spent more than a week — day and night — reading the name, rank and service branch of every veteran buried at the cemetery. At the time, the figure was was 148,000. Subsequent roll calls have included only the names of those buried during the previous 12 months. Last year, it was 5,124. The roll call is one of several special events taking place during Memorial Day weekend, May 23-25, says Jim Ruester, cemetery spokesman. Hundreds of volunteers are expected to converge at RNC to place small American flags at each gravesite on Saturday morning, the roll call starts Sunday at 8 a.m.,

since 2010. He says he does it to honor the sacrifice of the men and women buried at Riverside National Cemetery. “At one time, they raised their right hand and wrote a blank check to the United States for any amount up to and including their life,” he said. Anyone interesting in volunteering to read Photo by Will Lester names can register, and the annual ceremony featuring starting May 1, by calling 951-992-8349 music by the Riverside Concert Band or email and traditional military honors begins Monday at 11 a.m. J.C. Strauss, a Vietnam veteran and a member of the Patriot Guard Riders, has helped organize the roll call every year 951-541-1825, @JerryRice_IE

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VINTAGE HOME TOUR MAY 16  –  Old Riverside Foundation’s 24th annual tour of beautiful homes, representing different architectural styles from Riverside’s past. Tickets available at A to Z Printing, Mission Galleria, Mrs. Tiggy Winkles and Riverside’s Courtyard Marriott. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; $18 in advance, $20 the day of the tour; 951-509-7682;

TAMALE FESTIVAL APRIL 18  –  Experience and celebrate the region’s rich Latino heritage through delicious food, lively music and fun entertainment during this third annual event. Beer garden features selections from Wicks Brewing Co. and Hangar 24. Assemblyman Eric Linder and former Mayor Ron Loveridge will be the honorary co-chairs of the event. White Park, 3936 Chestnut St., Riverside; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; 951-235-3586; SALUTE TO VETERANS PARADE APRIL 18  –  Tenth annual event honoring veterans of all ages and eras, with marching bands, equestrian units, color guards, bagpipes, antique cars, military vehicles and floats. Pancake breakfast is served for $5 at the Riverside City College staging area. Downtown Riverside; 10 a.m. to noon; free; 951-687-1175; FLOWER SHOW AND GARDEN TOUR APRIL 25-26  –  68th annual Riverside Community Flower Show and Garden Tour, with a tour of private gardens. “Ocean of Blooms” is the theme. Elks Lodge, 6166 Brockton Ave., Riverside; flower show 1-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, home garden tours 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days; 951-777-0746;

calendar FILM SCREENINGS THROUGH APRIL 18  –  Domestic and foreign films: “Life Itself,” April 10-11; “In Bloom,” April 17-18. Culver Center of the Arts, 3834 Main St., Riverside; 951-827-4787; ‘I SEE BEAUTY IN THIS LIFE’ THROUGH APRIL 30  –  Photographer looks at 100 years of rural California. Riverside Art Museum, 3425 Mission Inn Ave.; 951-684-7111; Also: “Visual Arts Across the Generations in the Riverside Unified School District,” through April 11. LAKE ALICE TRADING CO. THROUGH MAY 30  –  Skunkdub (reggae), April 9 and May 14; Band of Brothers (classic rock), April 11 and May 23; Monty Sommers 8 | | april-may 2015

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WEST COAST THUNDER XVI MAY 25  –  Memorial Day Bike Run through Riverside. Bikers will gather at Riverside Harley-Davidson, where there’s a ceremony shortly before 9 a.m., then leave at 9:11 a.m. for Riverside National Cemetery, then travel to Soboba Casino for an 11:30 a.m. concert by Big & Rich. Riverside Harley-Davidson, 7688 Indiana Ave.; Soboba Casino, 23333 Soboba Road, San Jacinto; 951-785-0100;,

(acoustic classic rock), April 15; Galvarino (original rock), April 16; All In (classic through today’s hits), April 17 and May 22; Gravity Guild (alternative rock), April 18 and May 30; Little George (acoustic classic rock), April 22; Gunner Gunner & Friends (original rock), April 23; Inside Riot (classic through today’s hits), April 24; Timebomb (1980s), April 25; Hart Bothwell (acoustic covers), April 29; Skatterbrain (classic through today’s hits), May 1; Pac Men (1980s), May 2; Gavin Davies Band, May 6; Shades of J (original rock), May 7; Eclipse (classic through today’s hits), May 8-9; Sangally & Hart Bothwell (original rock, acoustic covers), May 13; Driven (classic), May 15; Hunter & the Dirty Jacks (classic), May 16; Little George (acoustic covers), May 20; Something Like Seduction (original rock), May 21; Cloudship Music (original rock), May 27; David Paul Band (classic through today’s hits), May 29. Also: Dream Karaoke, Monday nights. 3616 University Ave., Riverside; 951-686-7343;

FOX THEATER THROUGH JUNE 20  –  Chris Botti, April 11; “The Sing-Off,” April 14; Brian Regan, April 25; Bill Maher, June 20. Fox Performing Arts Center, 3801 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside; 7:30 p.m.; 951-779-9800; ‘POSING JAPAN’ THROUGH JULY 3  –  Exhibition of handcolored photographs by Kusakabe Kimbei, highlighting the complexity of depicting 19th century Japanese culture. UCR/California Museum of Photography, 3824 Main St., Riverside; 951-827-4787; Also: “The Provoke Era,” through May 16. TOTAL DISTORTION APRIL 11  –  Social Distortion tribute artist. Romano’s Concert Lounge, 5225 Canyon Crest Drive, Riverside; 10:30 p.m.; 951-781-7662; Also: Green Today (Green Day tribute), April 17; Britain’s Finest (Beatles tribute), April 18; Wang Chung, May 9.

INTER-TRIBAL POW WOW APRIL 18  –  Highlights include grand entry, gourd dancing, arts, crafts and food. Sherman Indian High School and Museum, 9010 Magnolia Ave., Riverside; 951-276-6719, ext. 321; Also: Miss Sherman Pageant and Talent Show, 6-9 p.m. April 17 at Robert Levi Memorial Auditorium; Indian Flower Day, Sherman Indian School Cemetery, May 3. RIVERSIDE ART MARKET APRIL 25  –  Artist and craft booths, face-painting, children’s activities, demonstrations of glassblowing, print-making and painting, pop-up restaurants and food trucks highlight this second-annual event. Riverside Art Museum, 3425 Mission Inn Ave.; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; 951-684-7111; 951-201-8173; ‘MRS. PACKARD’ APRIL 30-MAY 9  –  Based on historical events from the early 1860s, Emily Mann’s play focuses on one woman, who was wrongly committed to an asylum and her struggle to right a system gone wrong. Studio Theatre, Arts 113, UC Riverside, 900 University Ave.; 8 p.m.; 951-827-3245; ‘H.M.S. PINAFORE’ MAY 2  –  Performance of the Gilbert & Sullivan classic by Riverside Lyric Opera. Corona Historic Theater, 815 W. Sixth St.; $35-$50, $25 seniors; 951-781-9561; ‘THE 52 PROJECT’ MAY 3  –  Kickoff event for the next phase of Sue Mitchell’s “52” journey and part of the RAM’s Art Make initiative. Includes a screening of the “52” documentary. Riverside Art Museum, 3425 Mission Inn Ave.; 1 p.m.; 951-684-7111;, ‘CLYBOURNE PARK’ MAY 6-9  –  Winner of the Pulitzer and Tony Award, the satiric comedy deals with race and class in response to Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun.” Landis Performing Arts Center, 4800 Magnolia Ave., Riverside; 951-222-8100; Also: “Orchestral and Choral Masterworks,” May 15-16. ARTS WALK MAY 7  –  Browse more than 20 art galleries, studios and museums with

INLAND KOI SOCIETY MAY 30  –  The koi auction and used equipment sale, presented by the Inland Koi Society, is a perfect opportunity to add to a koi collection or to pick up items such as pumps, filters, pipe and liner material at special prices. Preview and registration starts at 9 a.m.; equipment sale, 9:30 a.m. to noon; auction, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Milfelds’ Nursery, 2550 Adams St., Riverside; 951-780-7395; exhibits in various art mediums. Continues the first Thursday of every month. Downtown Riverside; 6-9 p.m.; 951-682-6737;





INDIGENOUS CHOREOGRAPHERS MAY 7  –  Works by Tanya Lukin Linklater and Emily Johnson. Presented by the UC Riverside Dance Department. Culver Center of the Arts, UCR ARTSblock, 3824 Main St., Riverside; 7 p.m.; 951-827-4787; RIVERSIDE MASTER CHORALE MAY 15-16  –  Spring concert, in partnership with Performance Riverside. Landis Auditorium, Riverside City College, 4800 Magnolia Ave., Riverside; 7 p.m.; $15;

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‘THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST’ MAY 15-31  –  Presentation of the Oscar Wilde classic. Riverside Community Players Theater, 4026 14th St., Riverside; 951-686-4030; ‘BEAUTY AND THE BEAST’ MAY 16  –  Performed by Inland Pacific Ballet. Fox Performing Arts Center, 3801 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside; 951-335-3469; ASTRONOMY EXPO MAY 21-25  –  Event geared toward astronomy enthusiasts, regardless of experience level, presented by the Riverside Telescope Makers Conference. Camp Oakes, Highway 38 at Lake Williams Road, southeast of Big Bear City;

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The Phil’s next


Hit by financial challenges, the symphony develops new strategies to ensure a bright future

Written by Amy Bentley


hen the bottom dropped out of the economy several years ago, the Riverside County Philharmonic faced major challenges — among the biggest in its history. The Inland Empire’s economy had been whacked by a jump in layoffs, business closures and a sharp decline in housing prices. It was widely considered one of the hardest-hit regions in the country. About the same time and within the span of a couple seasons, The Phil’s revenue declined by about a third as donations, sponsorships and ticket sales all went south. “When you looked around the country, there were, unfortunately, several orchestras that closed their doors,” recalled Barbara Lohman, The Phil’s executive director. “The fact that we’re still standing is a testament to what the board and the musicians said they wanted

to make happen, which was to keep the orchestra going. There was a mutual spirit of, ‘OK, how do we overcome this?’ ” Fast forward to today and The Phil appears to have turned a corner, as conductor Tomasz Golka and nearly 60 musicians prepare for the 55th season finale, May 9 at the Fox Performing Arts Center. Getting here hasn’t been easy. “We’re still struggling through it. We’re clawing our way out of our hole,” said Marcia McQuern, who in January started a two-year term as president of The Phil’s board of directors. New strategies are being developed — with many already in place — to help ensure greater financial stability in the face of declining revenues due to lower ticket sales, the deaths of several major benefactors and the national trend of a 35 to 40 percent drop in funding for the arts. For example, Golka’s title has been

changed from “music director” to “principal conductor,” and his responsibilities, which previously included attending fundraisers and bringing in guest artists, have been reduced. Now he’s only paid when he actually conducts, says Kris Mettala, a veteran of at least 20 years with The Phil and its principal timpanist. Golka’s other duties, including programming the concerts, were handed off to select musicians and board members with appropriate expertise. Savings are being realized in other ways, including less reliance on guest artists from places such as New York and Europe, reducing travel reimbursement costs. Another issue still being addressed is a six-figure debt. Much of it was accumulated after the 2008 death of Patrick Flynn, who had been the music director for 19 years. The Phil launched a two-year search for his replacement,

Photo by Ana Watts

bringing in a series of guest conductors. “I think that’s when our money problems started,” Mettala said. “All of our concerts were big because we wanted to give everybody a chance to really shine. It was probably more than we could afford, and that also was when the economic downturn came.” A year ago, orchestra leaders set a goal of eliminating The Phil’s debt within three years. Since then, it has been reduced by about one-third — to $150,000 — and if that trend continues the remainder should be paid off in two more years, McQuern says. “Fortunately, we’ve had a good board to do the kind of cutting and changing we’ve had to do,” she said, adding that the orchestra’s current budget is a little under $500,000, and it’s on track to take in enough revenue to meet its costs. With the number of season subscribers off 10-15 percent (although the sale of individual

Coming soon

concert tickets are up), several ideas are being considered to increase season commitments and generate more revenue. They include holding matinee performances, having college students promote concerts via social media, and playing more pop music given its mass appeal. “Lots of orchestras are programming more to the pop end of the spectrum,” Mettala said. Should The Phil incorporate more contemporary selections in future programs, there still will be plenty of room for Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. “We think there is a future for classical music in the region,” McQuern said. Sam Fischer, a violinist and concertmaster with The Phil, agrees. “It’s definitely a challenge, and people don’t just automatically choose to go to the orchestra like they might have two generations ago,” he said. “But there is still a passion for music. We’re cautiously optimistic.”

• Riverside County Philharmonic’s 55th anniversary season concludes with a “Stars of the Philharmonic” concer t at the Fox Performing Ar ts Center on May 9 at 7:30 p.m. The show will turn the spotlight on many of the orchestra’s musicians in a variety of pieces that showcase Eileen Holt their talents. The program includes Gioachino Rossini’s well-known and fast-paced “William Tell Over ture,” Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis” and “Capriccio Espagnol,” a Spanish-inspired orchestra favorite composed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Also planned: Carl Nielsen’s “Flute Concer to” featuring Eileen Holt, The Phil’s principal flute soloist. A pre-concer t talk by conductor Tomasz Golka begins at 6:40 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 951-787-0251 or at • In the days leading up to the concer t, look for the announcement of the 2015-16 season. • On July 2, The Phil will perform its annual Concer t for Heroes at Riverside National Cemetery. The free event takes place in the amphitheater and features a program of patriotic and popular classics and concludes with a fireworks display. It’s the only symphonic concer t held in a national cemetery.


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Built here, sold everywhere u. s . a .


A welder works on a travel-trailer component at the Eclipse RV facility in Riverside. Written by Jerry Rice


et’s be real. When it comes to making things, Riverside will never be mistaken for Chicago, Houston or Detroit. But the Inland Empire’s largest city

does have a long history of producing useful products. In the early 1900s, a facility at Sixth and Eucalyptus streets was home to the Magnolia Automobile Co., with workers building by hand what was considered to be a good-looking motor carriage for that period.

While that establishment was done in by competition and other factors, there’s a long list of manufacturers with a Riverside work address. Some were established in the city or moved here decades ago, others are recent start-ups. Whatever the case, many products are made here — from cosmetics to campers and filters to furniture. “Manufacturing is a target industry for us, and one of the reasons is because the companies have a tendency to create high-paying jobs vs. some other sectors,” said Gregory Lee, economic development coordinator with the city’s office of economic development. “Look at the career paths. You can start on the factory floor and move your way up. It offers opportunities for a wide range of skills. “We also like the fact that we can say, ‘Made in Riverside,’ ” he added. As of 2013, there were nearly 360 manufacturing companies in the city with a combined total of 9,500 workers, according to the state’s Employment Development Department. Granted, the employment total isn’t huge compared with, say, education — UC Riverside

alone has more than 5,300 employees — but the sector does have a habit of punching above its weight. Standouts include K&N Engineering, which was founded in Riverside in the early 1960s and is known for its washable performance air filters and air intake systems. It serves clients in more than 30 countries. The city is in the business of attracting even more manufacturers, especially those that can be lured from outside the Inland Empire, and also helping to establish new ones, Lee says. While travel budgets have been cut back in recent years, city representatives have attended various trade shows, including one for technology firms and another for medical device manufacturers. “It’s really about making those relationships, getting the word out about Riverside and telling our story,” he said, adding that aspects of the story include competitive rates and incentives offered by Riverside Public Utilities, plus easy access to transportation to move goods via highway, rail and air. Another chapter could be written about the city’s location in the I.E. That’s what attracted Dallen and Joanne Trealoff, who started Eclipse RV in San Bernardino in 2003 and moved it to Riverside two years later.

The company sells more than 50 types of travel trailers and toy haulers under several brands including Attitude, Evolution and Stellar, and every unit is produced at its 168,000-square-foot facility on Kansas Avenue. Joanne says it’s a geographically central location for employees who commute from Hemet and Fontana; many other workers live in Riverside. “The city is in a unique place because it’s so easy to get to the mountains, the beach and the desert,” she added. “People are taking our trailers to the desert all the time, so being a manufacturer here is a win-win.” Location also was important to Paul Murphy and David Hiebert, who opened Inland Empire Brewing Company on Palmyrita Avenue near the 215 freeway in 2007. Business has been booming for the microbrewery, known for its hand-crafted locally sourced beer. In 2015, Murphy expects to produce a little more than 600 barrels’ worth — three times what he made during the company’s first 12 months — to satisfy demand from more than 60 restaurants and retail outlets. There was another reason why they chose to locate here, Murphy says. “None of the other bordering cities have

Photos by Micah Escamilla

Paul Murphy, left, and Dave Hiebert own Inland Empire Brewing Company.

Growlers at Inland Empire Brewing Company.

a true downtown atmosphere, and Riverside does. I think that goes a long way in encouraging people to visit.” From the perspective of large manufacturers, Lee admits that one of the things working against the city is the limited availability of large parcels of vacant land. Looking to build a millionsquare-foot facility? Other communities have many more options, he says. Another concern was raised by Gene Sherman, owner of Vocademy, a membership-based business that teaches vocational skills and provides a space for students to invent and build new products. “Just Google ‘skills gap,’ ” he said, noting that it’s not just a Riverside problem, but an America problem. “Every manufacturer I talk to says the same thing: Their workforce is in their mid-50s and they can’t find enough qualified people to replace the ones who will be retiring.” His solution? Start by bringing back high school shop class. “I don’t care if you call it hands-on STEM, because STEM is very popular,” he said. “If a kid hasn’t played with an erector set, Legos or broken something, they don’t realize they need geometry to make it work correctly. “What we need are two- or threemonth programs where kids learn the vital workplace skills that not only will give them a path in life and a livable wage, but also a skill they can be proud of,” Sherman continued. “Not all of us are going to be physicists going to MIT. Some of us will be in those ‘blue-tech’ jobs — blue-collar, high-tech — and perfectly happy creating the things the rest of us need.” april-may 2015 | | 13

In production As the saying goes, “Make what the world needs and the world needs you.” Here’s a look at 10 Riverside companies making products that customers want. 220 Laboratories Founded in 1991, the company is an industry leader in the production of hair, skin and body products. More than 200 employees work at the Third Street facility, which includes a 60,000-square-foot factory and 135,000-square-foot warehouse. Advanced Aircraft Seal Manufacturer produces specialized seals and gaskets for Boeing, Lockeed and other aerospace companies. AMA Plastics The maker of consumer products, industrial hardware such as pump housings and filters, and noninvasive medical and pharmaceutical components was founded

in 1971 and operates out of a 150,000-square-foot building in Hunter Industrial Park. Owners moved the company to Riverside in 2011 after an 18-month search that took them to locations in the Inland Empire, Nevada and Mexico. Eclipse RV One of the largest manufacturers of travel trailers and fifth wheels in the United States, the company is perhaps best known for its flagship product, Attitude toy haulers. Flexsteel With corporate headquar ters in Dubuque, Iowa, the company designs and produces upholstered, wood and metal furniture for homes, offices, RVs, hotels and hospitals. Its first local facility opened in 1978 near Riverside Airpor t. GAR Laboratories Founded in 1984 by Tom Raffy,

who at the time was a struggling musician, the company has become a leading producer of skin and hair products for both people and pets. Inland Empire Brewing Company The producer of hand-crafted locally sourced brews will be celebrating its sixth anniversary with an Ale & Food Festival on April 11 from noon to 7 p.m. Festivities include live music, gourmet food trucks and the sale of limited-release ales. K&N Engineering Star ting with its invention of a reusable, high-flow cotton air filter in 1969, the company has grown to become a leading manufacturer of washable performance air filters and air intake systems. Based in Riverside, it sells more than 5,000 products designed for cars, trucks, motorcycles and industrial applications.

Luxfer The world’s largest maker of aluminum and composite high-pressure cylinders counts firefighters and medical professionals among those who use its products. While the company dates to 1897, it didn’t land in Riverside until 1972 when it opened a manufacturing plant and par tnered with explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau to produce the world’s first aluminum scuba tank. Today, more than 300 workers are employed locally. Western Case Inc. A leading custom blow molder of industrial par ts and blowmolded products, the company produces traffic cones and barricades, stadium seating and chairs, coolers, toys, watering cans and wheels for customers in Nor th America, Europe and Asia. Source: Company websites

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u. s . a .


Written by George A. Paul


aslamp Popcorn bags proclaim the products they contain are “all natural” and “authentic.” Other snack foods cite similar qualities, but for this Riverside company, they aren’t just hollow claims. Sweet and salty kettle corn — the most popular Gaslamp variety — is made using canola oil, sea salt and natural pure cane sugar as flavoring. It can even be considered a wise choice for health-minded consumers. “Our popcorn is packed with antioxidants and is a good source of fiber, which is contained in the hull,” explained Kathryn Amatriain, the marketing and innovation manager for Gaslamp’s Ohio-based parent

Up to 800 pounds of popcorn can be produced every hour at Gaslamp’s Riverside facility. Photos by James Carbone


Snack business is poppin’ at

| | april-may 2015

company, Rudolph Foods. She highlights other product qualities: it’s gluten free; the sea salt and olive oil flavor has 37 calories per cup; and two varieties are Non-GMO Project verified. Gaslamp also stands apart from other popcorn because it’s crafted by popcorn experts in small batches and is locally produced. All varieties are proudly labeled “made in California” on the bag fronts. “We pride ourselves on being Californiamade,” said Amatriain. “That’s what we own. Everything is mixed [together] here.” Indeed. Gaslamp Facility Manager Leslie Accuar confirmed all the popcorn ingredients are cooked, packaged and boxed in Riverside. The sea salt and olive oil flavor, which is new this year, utilizes olives, which are grown,

All-natural ingredients are used to make the sweet and salty kettle corn, says Kathryn Amatriain.

Company kernels Facts and figures about Gaslamp Popcorn and Rudolph Foods

• Riverside facility employees: 10 • San Bernardino facility employees: 80 • Rudolph Foods employees in the United States: 400 • Main popcorn flavors: Sweet and salty kettle corn (41 percent), Cinnamon caramel (30 percent), White cheddar (29 percent) • Bags sold annually: 50,000 (2014); 150,000 (2015, projected) • Speed of kettle corn line: 18 kettles pop 800 pounds of popcorn per hour

Workers on the “kettle line” at Gaslamp Popcorn Company

harvested and milled in the Golden State. The extra virgin olive oil is bottled within a few hours, to capture the best taste. “Californians love a local product that is made here,” added Amatriain, referring to customer feedback the company has received. Gaslamp originated 17 years ago as a (now closed) standalone retail location in San Diego’s historic district of the same name. Back then, “kettle corn was not as popular as it is today,” said Amatriain. “It was basically only offered at farmers markets.” The move from San Diego to Riverside in 2004, simply “made sense,” Accuar says, due to the proximity of major retail and grocery distribution centers around the Inland Empire. Inside the Riverside facility, employees cook popcorn on the line, operate two packing machines and pack contents into boxes. During a recent tour, a run on the kettle corn line was in progress (only one flavor is made at a time). We watched the fascinating process as popcorn came out of kettles, got doused in sticky sugar, moved along the conveyor belt and dropped down before a precise amount was mechanically placed in each bag. The popcorn would soon be bound for Stater Bros., Walmart, Vons and

Winco stores. The company also sells products online, by the case, at and None of the remnant kernels are wasted; they are donated to a local pig farm and turned into feed, Accuar says. There are 10 packing machines at another facility in San Bernardino, where workers handle other snack food products sold by Rudolph including OnYums (onion-flavored rings), Cinnamon Churros Twists, Chili & Lime Pork Rinds and Chicharinas (puffed wheat). Recently, Gaslamp announced that new single-serve (0.75 oz.) packages of sweet and salty kettle corn will be available in California schools as they meet the state’s stringent nutritional guidelines (11 grams of whole grains, 100 calories) and USDA’s Smart Snacks in Schools. Two new summer flavors — mango habanero salsa and sweet fiesta lime — are being rolled out for five months starting in April. These follow limitededition fall/winter varieties apple crumble pie, holiday cookie and pumpkin spice pie, which were available October through December. “The seasonal flavors serve as a good way for consumers to try us out,” said Martin Neumann, Western sales manager for Gaslamp.

• Temperature of oil when it’s sprayed onto cheese and savory flavor lines: 150 degrees • States where Riverside-produced popcorn is shipped to stores: California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho • Gaslamp’s main competitors: Indiana Popcorn, Smar t Food, Angie’s, Skinny Pop

april-may 2015 | | 17


New home, fresh opportunities for Riverside’s next city manager Written by Jerry Rice


fter a nationwide search, John A. Russo is set to become Riverside’s next city manager on May 4. A longtime public servant, Russo was a councilman in Oakland from 1995 to 2000 and then spent the next 11 years as city attorney. In both of those roles, he worked directly with Gov. Jerry Brown, who was Oakland’s mayor from 1999-2007. Most recently, Russo has been Alameda’s city manager for nearly four years. During that time, he planned and executed the entitlements for redevelopment of a former naval air station, now known as Alameda Point, balanced the

city’s general fund budget, and created a 22-year plan for repairing and replacing all city sewers and roads. Russo grew up in Brooklyn, but coming to Riverside will be a homecoming, of sorts, at least for his wife, Melissa, who spent some of her teenage years in the area. Riverside Magazine recently talked with Russo about several topics: The job, the city: “From both a professional and a personal standpoint, this is a great opportunity for me and my family. “The city did a fantastic job with the Riverside Renaissance. To execute more than $1.5 billion in infrastructure projects, and to bring it in on time and on budget is pretty amazing. It provides a platform

for Riverside’s future that can be built on and I want to be a part of that.” What’s first?: “When I start, the city and Council already will be in midstream on John A. Russo the budget deliberations. I’m going to have to really throw myself into the process as soon as I get there to make sure I not only understand it, but also that I can make positive contributions to whatever conflicts arise over what will, for our lifetimes at least, be the allocation of


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limited resources. … For the first couple months, I also want to listen and not talk — to meet with all of the different stakeholders in the city, the neighborhood groups, the business community. “I also need to meet with my department heads — there are 15 of them — and learn what is going right, where the obstacles are, and help implement plans. And I need to meet, obviously, with my bosses, the councilmembers and mayor. I have a lot of listening to do.” Downtown: “What you see in successful communities that have educational institutions like Riverside does, is when young people come to study, you want to make sure they’re having an experience that they’re enjoying so much they want to stay in that community. “Having a cool downtown is part of an economic development strategy that isn’t limited to the downtown, but it’s one that recognizes that people want to be in cool places or at least in close proximity


to cool places. You don’t look at a project for a downtown and ask, ‘How much is this going to cost and how much revenue will we garner from it?’ You have to look at it in a more holistic context. What works is arts, entertainment and restaurants.” City of arts: “There’s an arts bias in our family. My wife is a museum professional. We believe that the arts are really important — not only from an economic development perspective but also from a cultural perspective. They’re good for your soul. The cities that work best are the cities that provide a variety of cultural opportunities and are open to chaos in the cultural fields. “People generally don’t like chaos. We associate chaos with entropy. Generally, we think of entropy as a very bad thing, right? And when I say chaos, I mean it’s not for those of us who are in city government to try to direct everything that happens, but more to create an environment in which everything can happen. I want to make sure we’re

creating spaces and outreach that will draw artists to the community.” Improving government: “I believe that every five to seven years, every department should be reviewed by outside people. There are 15 departments in Riverside. Has the money been spent properly and, just as important, are the methods they’re using up to speed? What are they doing right and what are the things they could be doing even better? “I believe that approach, as much as anything, is why I was hired by the council. I did this when I took over the City Attorney’s Office in Oakland 15 years ago. The first day I was sworn in, I hired a performance auditor. Many of the changes the auditor recommended were promptly implemented and saved millions of dollars in the following years.” Editor’s note: John A. Russo’s answers were edited for space considerations. For more of the interview, click on the link at

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Eileen Holt Call the Philharmonic at 951-787-0251 for information and to subscribe. Dates, times, locations, artists and programs are subject to change april-may 2015 | | 21

cover story

in learning W

During an Earthwatch expedition to Kenya, Kelly Montegna is joined by local Samburu children, who were taking a break from tending their goats.

Written by Luanne J. Hunt

Local educators are traveling the globe and returning with inspiring, teachable moments for their students 22

hether its studying whales off the coast of British Columbia or caterpillars in South America, a unique partnership is opening a world of educational and cultural opportunities for a growing number of teachers and, ultimately, their students. Since 2007, 36 educators in the Riverside Unified School District have gone on scientific expeditions — both here in the United States and overseas — organized

| | april-may 2015

by the Earthwatch Institute. “The teachers become students again as they learn current research techniques and experience living in sometimes very rustic circumstances,” said Sandra Ramirez, president of the board of directors for the Riverside Educational Enrichment Foundation, which coordinates the trips with Earthwatch. “When they come back, they share their experiences with their students in order to give them a broader view of what’s going on in the world beyond the classroom.”

Through the program, Riverside teachers have traveled to every continent except Antarctica. They’ve studied the impact of climate change near the Arctic, the coastal ecology of the Bahamas, dolphins in the waters off Greece and songbirds in the Rocky Mountains. Gary Berz, a U.S. history teacher at Central Middle School, focused on the endangered black rhinoceros of East Africa during a 2007 assignment. “Before participating in this project, I had read about the plight of the black rhinos but never dreamed I’d be part of something like this,” he said, adding that his field research included studying everything from eating habits to migration patterns. “It definitely was one of those oncein-a-lifetime experiences that stays with you,” Berz said. “I’ve continued to share my research findings and the photos I took with students over the years, and the response has always been enthusiastic. A lot of my students have gone on to be teachers because they wanted to duplicate some of the experiences I’ve had.” Carolyn E. Linderman, a kindergarten teacher at Alcott Elementary, went to British Columbia in 2010 during an


Gary Berz has an up-close meeting with a tame rhino named Morani, which means “Little Warrior” in Maasai. Morani was the mascot of the research on black rhinos in Kenya.

expedition to study gray whales. Much of the research involved tracking migration patterns, as well as taking photos of whales in order to compare them to images shot in previous years to see which ones, if any, were regular visitors. “It was very fascinating because our research found that many of the whales continued to return to the same feeding spot time and time again,” she said. “Obviously they found a good food source. They’re very smart animals.” Since returning home, Linderman has

Carolyn E. Linderman studied gray whales during a 2010 expedition to British Columbia.

given numerous presentations about her adventure, adding that the talks never fail to delight students — especially the younger ones. “My kindergarten students get super excited when I talk about the whales and show them my photos,” she said. “It’s really amazing to see the impact my research and experiences have on the children.” Linderman will go on a second expedition in July, this time to Canada’s Hudson Bay. She is one of 11 RUSD teachers preparing for Earthwatch trips this summer. All go through an application process that includes screenings by Earthwatch officials and final selection by representatives of the REEF board of directors. “When the teachers go out into the field, they’re working side-by-side with scientists collecting data, learning about science and bringing it off that pedestal it sometimes gets put on — that seemingly unreachable white lab coat pedestal,” said Gitte Venicx, a program manager with Earthwatch. The Boston-based nonprofit annually sends more than 2,000 volunteers from all walks of life on about 50 projects to collect field data in a variety of areas including archeology, marine science, rainforest ecology and wildlife conservation. For each participant, their interests, physical ability, availability and april-may 2015 | | 23

Earthwatch perspectives

Julie Olson Band teacher, Central Middle School, in Churchill, Canada

Denise Hussey Sixth-grade teacher, Alcott Elementary, on the eastern slope of the Andes in the upper Amazon “I have an interest in sustainability and a passion for sharing knowledge about how we as humans can par ticipate in everyday changes in the way we live that can preserve our planet for future generations. I spent time on the eastern slope of the Andes in the upper Amazon to study caterpillars and their impact on a specific plant species that would eventually lead to using predatory insects in crop generation instead of pesticides. At Alcott, I now am running a sustainable vegetable garden and teaching sustainable gardening, harvesting for our very own cafeteria and composting. I also have initiated a Green Team in which we are teaching students the impor tance of recycling, reusing and reducing waste through the Clean-Up Crew and a plastic water bottle recycling program. ‘Grow a Garden, Grow a Community’ is my motto.”

other factors are taken into consideration. Generally, participants pay their own way, but grants frequently cover the costs for teachers through the Teach Earth program and even for some high school students, Venicx says. “We ask them to create a lesson plan or a community action plan that shows how they’re going to transfer their experience into the classroom or their community,” she added. That’s exactly what Kelly Montegna has been up to in the nearly five years since she returned from an expedition 24

| | april-may 2015

“Churchill (Canada) is a really special place. It’s right where the Churchill River empties into the Hudson Bay. The beluga whales and their newborn calves frolicking about captivated us. It’s also at the edge of a pristine boreal forest, full of trees sculpted by the harsh winter winds and snow. Summer time is brief, but everyone and everything makes the most of the shor t season. We were treated to fleeting appearances by arctic fox, arctic hare, bald eagles, caribou and polar bears. The whole point, of course, is to somehow capture this experience and share it with our students. We are currently working on music that depicts the beauty of nature, and we are exploring ways to creatively express that beauty. I also focus on ‘life skills’ in my classes, and my field research is proof to my students that what we do in music class matters beyond the walls of the classroom. Most impor tantly, my students exist in a very small world. By sharing my incredible experience, I hope to expand their boundaries and plant seeds of possibilities for their futures.”

to Kenya, where the sixth-grade teacher at Kennedy Elementary studied the use of medicinal plants by the Samburu people. “The most valuable lesson I learned was that climate change is having a huge affect on all parts of the planet,” she said. “Many of the plants that the Samburu depend on for survival are becoming more and more rare, affecting not only the people but also the animals such as the endangered Grevy’s zebra.” Montegna has shared her experiences, along with photos and artifacts, during school assemblies, and also launched

Kim Eaton Transitional kindergarten teacher, Monroe Elementary, in the Bahamas “In the Bahamas, we conducted research on the vulnerability of the island’s environment and then came up with sustainable ways to use the coastal zones. Our research included coastal surveying, algae diversity and identification, GIS mapping and resource management, fish assemblages and water quality assessment. After my trip, I wanted to share with my school the impor tance of treading lightly on the Ear th. We have put in 12 raised vegetable beds, 56 fruit trees, grape and berry vines and a wildlife habitat area. We also compost green waste from the cafeteria and have a recycling program at our school. My Ear thwatch trip has helped me show, through science, that our world is a small place and our actions affect everybody.”

a conservation club on campus. Participants recycle cans and bottles, and this year added paper to the mix, with an assist from the school custodians. Around the time of Earth Day, which is April 22, environmental awareness at Kennedy goes into high gear. “We plan a whole week’s worth of activities to help inspire students to love our planet and do what they can to recycle and save energy,” Montegna said. “I inspire students by setting an example, and helping them learn that they have a voice in this world.”

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Michele Hampton Science teacher, Riverside STEM Academy, with a graduate student in Brazil “I spent three weeks working with Leandro Silveiria of the Jaguar Conservation Fund in Emas National Park, Brazil. I worked closely with his research team, checking photo traps, jaguar location via radio collars, and baiting traps with live piglets. I used this trip to inspire my students to study Brazil’s loss of jaguar habitat with the rapid conversion of land to sugar cane farms.”

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TASTE Mezcal’s exterior has potted agave plants near the large carved wooden doors for the entrance, and there’s an Aztec stone water fountain on the patio.

Mezcal magnífico Housed in an old bank building, Mexican cantina is rich with flavorful delights Written by David Cohen


hen I first visited Mezcal Cantina y Cocina, which opened a little more than a year ago, the menu included four to five moles and a couple of dishes that incorporated huitlacoche (the naturally occurring corn fungus also known as the Mexican “truffle”). Alas, as much as I loved those items, 26

| | april-may 2015

they weren’t big sellers. Caesar Castillo, the talented chef who created them, has since moved on and his sous chef, Josh Juarez, now leads the kitchen. The menu no longer has as many exotic offerings, as it has been re-tooled to appeal more to the local crowd. That’s not to say the flavors are any less robust than in the past, and there still are a number of intriguing dishes from which to choose — many of them pairing quite

nicely with beer and tequila. Mezcal’s exterior has potted agave plants near the large carved wooden doors for the entrance, and there’s an Aztec stone water fountain on the patio. Inside, the ambience is very Dia de los Muertos-esque, celebrating the day when Mexican families light candles and leave offerings of food for their deceased relatives. Murals of skeletons playing banjos and dancers are prominent, while

Above, the Mezcal cantina’s décor celebrates Mexican heritage with nods to Dia de los Muertos traditions and lucha libre wrestlers. Above right, general manager Miguel Baeza

Ceviche, left, and Sandia Y Pepino cocktail Photos by Eric Reed

skulls line one wall and skull lamps hang above the booths. Situated on the pedestrian mall, the location has been home to a series of four restaurants, most recently Phood on Main. Given that it originally was a bank, there’s a vault that can hold 20-30 customers for private dining as well as act as a noise abatement area for large parties who may have imbibed too much tequila in the main dining room. The menu has been revised under

the steady hand of chef Juarez, and, during a recent visit, we sampled several items including those from the “express lunch” menu, which guarantees that the food will arrive tableside within 15 minutes of ordering. The Southwest Mango Chicken salad is a colorful and healthy entree with a generous portion of grilled chicken slices (eight pieces) along with diced mango, jicama strips, roasted corn, avocado and Cotija cheese tossed with romaine lettuce. The thinly sliced red onions were quite pungent, so I’d suggest that they be soaked in vinegar or lemon juice prior to use to minimize their strength. Street corn on the cob will soon be making an appearance as Elote Callejero. It is fire-roasted and topped with chili powder, chipotle aioli and grated Cotija cheese. My favorite item is the Borracho Fries — wedge-cut fried potatoes topped with caramelized onions, carnitas, chipotle aioli and a queso sauce. Forget nachos. This dish is beautifully conceived with bold, deeply delicious flavors and is great with beer or

tequila. You won’t be able to stop eating them. Another well-prepared dish is the MezBarbecue Steak Wrap. Chopped sirloin is blended with a three-cheese mixture, lettuce, roasted corn, grilled onions and pickled jalapeños in a spicy barbecue sauce. It’s an array of assertive flavors wrapped in a large flour tortilla cut on a bias into two pieces. The Pozole Verde is a great choice for a chilly day. It’s comprised of hominy and shredded chicken in a green chile-flecked

Southwest Mango Chicken

Photos by Eric Reed

Borracho Fries, left, and Elote Callejero corn roasting over an open flame.

tomatillo broth with cabbage, red onion and cilantro garnishes. Fairly spicy, it has a deep richly flavored broth that is a sinus-clearing experience. Cochinita Pibil, a classic Yucatan dish, is a holdover from the original menu, owing to its popularity. Slow-cooked pork cubes are marinated in achiote and citrus juice, then baked in a banana leaf, and ultimately bathed in a complex tomato sauce redolent with oregano, garlic, cumin and thyme. The pork is accompanied by two slices of sweet plantain, a garlicky orange rice and black

beans. Scoop up some of the pork and rice into a flour tortilla and add some guacamole for a first-class do-it-yourself burrito. Other items worth checking out include Grandma’s (Abuelita’s) Empanadas, which are a trio of small pastries that include black bean and spinach, buffalo chicken and potatoes with chorizo; and Habanero Shrimp Pasta, made with bow-tie pasta with poblano strips, charred corn, cilantro, manchego and Cotija cheeses and grilled shrimp.

Finally, for those who enjoy a wellstocked bar, the restaurant offers numerous mezcals and tequilas as well as signature cocktails. Mezcal Cantina y Cocina Where: 3737 Main St., Riverside (at University Avenue on the pedestrian mall) Hours: Kitchen is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily; music and taco bar open 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on select nights Prices: $6-$12 for appetizers, $10-$12 for express lunches (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.); $12-$18 for entrees. All major credit cards accepted. Information: 951-888-2240;


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seen One primary color dominated the others during the recent Red Dress Fashion Show Luncheon and Health Expo, presented at the Convention Center by Riverside Community Hospital. The sixth annual event — a benefit for the American Heart Association — focused on health, nutrition and fitness, and included a show by downtown fashion outlets and designers.

Red Dress Fashion Show 2













(1) Nancy Lane, left, Loucile Morgan, Dee Trotz, Sue Striplin and Roseann White (2) Christina Reid-Brown and Bryon Rogers (3) Famy Bialon, left, Dr. John L. Coon and Susan Page (4) Kenna Scheetz, left, Kate Baca and Melissa Rico (5) Si Nguyen with his daughters, Sage and Aubrey (6) Jessie Ballmer, left, Nancy Pierce, Evie Middleham, Cordialis Msora, Terry Hicks and Mary Billson (7) Winsome Reid, left, Merle Richier and Geraldine Bracy (8) Shirley Coates, left, and Trina Schneider (9) Rose Jennigan, left, Megan Reiter, Frances Wys and Jennifer Jernigan (10) Dr. Patrick P. Hu and Ceta Benvegnu (11) Dr. Niraj Parekh (12) Peter Westbrook puts the final touches on Lauren Scheller. (13) Cherie Russell and Edgar Santos Ph o t o s by Fr a n k Pe r e z a n d C h a s e Ph o t og r a p hy

april-may 2015 | | 29


Riverside Downtown Partnership 1

Champions of the city’s core were recognized recently by Riverside Downtown Partnership during the organization’s 28th annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony at the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa. Honorees included Old Riverside Foundation, Salute to Veterans Parade and restaurateurs Marco and Daniel McGuire. The late Ardie Bailor was named the Roy Hord “Volunteer of the Year.” 2




(1) Bill Gardner, left, Carol McDoniel, Nancy Parrish, David St. Pierre and Laura Densmore (2) Brian and Lee Anne Gridley, left, and Bryon and Alyson Cram (3) Dan Bowers, left, Patrick and Sylvia Brilliant and Prabha Dhalla (4) Randall and Jo Hord (5) Cindy Alden, left, Shelby Worthington, Brian Hopper and Tonya McDonald (6) Kathy and Dwight Tate


Ph o t o s by M i c h a e l J . E l d e r m a n

Riverside Aquatics Association The golden anniversary of the Riverside Aquatics Association was celebrated during a recent event at the Riverside Aquatics Complex. Over the years, RAA alumni have gone on to successfully compete and coach in state, national and international competitions, including the Olympics. The current team includes swimmers who have their sights set on the 2016 Olympic Trials. Information: 2




(1) Kevin Timko, left, Mark Magee, Mike Irvin and Charlie Stevens (2) RAA alumni swimmers from 1960s and ‘70s: Jay Hersey, left, Tony Turner, Kathleen Collinsworth Metsch, Stacy Joseph-Dobson, Lori Larsen-Beal, Molly Baross, Sue Baross-Nesbitt and Jim Baross (3) Stacey Douglas, left, Kilohi Chun and Ashtyn Douglas (4) Sam Knight, left, Rich Stalder, Nick Tavaglione, Suzanne Ashley, Sallie Tavaglione, Debbi Guthrie, Chuck Riggs, Tony Turner, Roger Folsom, Shari Chun and Dr. Wolde-Ab Isaac, interim president Riverside City College Ph o t o s c o u r t e s y R i ve r s i d e Aquatics Association


| | april-may 2015

sav e th e date CHARITABLE EVENTS April 23 – The Riverside Community College District’s Recognition Awards and Arts Gala will honor individuals who have made notable contributions in their professional fields and the community or in support of the Moreno Valley, Norco and Riverside City colleges. Riverside Convention Center, 3637 Fifth St.; for information contact Diana Meza at 951-222-8958 or April 25 – Keep our Gardens Clean & Beautiful, volunteer day sponsored by Friends of the UCR Botanic Gardens. Drinks, snacks and most project tools will be provided. Please bring rakes, shovels, hand spades and pruners. UC Riverside Botanic Gardens; 8:15 to 11:30 a.m.; 951-784-6962,


Thursday, May 7th, 2015 6 p.m. • Main Street

between University Ave. & Mission Inn Ave.

April 25 – Spring luncheon and boutique to benefit Teen Challenge. Benedict Castle, 5445 Chicago Ave., Riverside; 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; 951-202-3088, April 28 – Salute to Service Awards Ceremony, presented by Soroptimist International of Riverside. Riverside Convention Center, 3637 Fifth St.; 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; $40; May 2 – Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff will serve as master of ceremonies for the 34th annual Banquet and Auction Gala, a benefit for the Riverside Area Rape Crisis Center. Proceeds support programs that help sexual assault victims and also promote community education provided by the RARCC. Victoria Club, 2521 Arroyo Drive, Riverside; $125; 951-686-7273, May 9 – 25th annual Men Who Cook, a benefit for programs and services offered by the YWCA of Riverside County. Among them: the Brown Family Scholarships, which help graduating Riverside high school senior girls attend college. YWCA of Riverside County, 8172 Magnolia Ave., Riverside; 4:30-8 p.m.; $25; 951-687-9922; May 16 – Pink on Parade, annual breast cancer awareness walk to benefit The Pink Ribbon Place, a full-service breast cancer resource center. Fairmount Park, 2601 Fairmount Blvd., Riverside; 8 a.m. to noon; 951-823-0261; May 17 – Primavera in the Gardens, the 16th annual wine and food tasting event, will feature appetizers from local restaurants and caterers, and wines from regional vineyards and wineries. Proceeds benefit projects at the UC Riverside Botanic Gardens, including hosting thousands of local school children every year. 2-5 p.m.; 951-784-6962, June 8 – The 23rd annual A. Gary Anderson Memorial Golf Classic will benefit efforts by the Children’s Fund to help at-risk and abused children. Red Hill Country Club, 8358 Red Hill Country Club Drive, Rancho Cucamonga; 909-379-0000;

Don’t miss Riverside’s premier Spring fashion event featuring everything from vintage wear to tuxedos. Fashion District Downtown Riverside presents the latest spring and summer looks. Enjoy shopping specials at participating downtown retailers. Strut the red carpet at the photo opportunity at Mezcal Cantina Y Cocina.


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For more information:

3666 University Ave., Ste. 100 951.781.7335

Movies on Main July 9,16, & 23 Fall Fashion Show September 24 October 17 Zombie Crawl april-may 2015 | | 31


Soroptimist International

The 19th annual Valentine Dessert Auction and 13th annual Battle of the Bakers were the main ingredients that combined to make for a fun event, held recently at the Convention Center. The Soroptimist International of Riverside benefit raised funds to help high school seniors excelling in community service and also women who are heads of households and want to return to school.






(1) Battle of the Bakers judges Marla Cohen, left, David Cohen and Maria Sanjurjo-Casado, Dena Hackworth, Ellen Clizbe and Carolyn Kegarice (2) Soroptimist International of Riverside president Lynn Scecina (3) Jeanne Homes-Hatcher, left, Marta Navarro and Colleen Walker (4) Caroline Leech, Karin Roberts and Michelle Paradise (5) Beautifully decorated desserts Ph o t o s c o u r t e s y S o r o p t i m i s t I n t e r n a t i o n a l o f R i ve r s i d e


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BECOME A SEASON SUBSCRIBER TODAY! RESERVE YOUR SEATS NOW: (951) 335-3469 SEASON TICKET PACKAGES ON SALE NOW! For Season Tickets Call: 951-335-3469 | Visit: | Email: Fox Performing Arts Center | 3801 Mission Inn Avenue | Riverside, CA 92501


Dave Stockton Heroes Challenge

Stater Bros. Charities brought eight Medal of Honor recipients together recently for a banquet at the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa plus a round of golf at the Victoria Club for the eighth annual Dave Stockton Heroes Challenge. The event was a fundraiser for veterans programs and services. For more information, please see the story on Page 34.

















(1) Matt Gulczinski, left, Alex Xu, Jill O’Connor, Allison Monroe, Cassie Green and Paul Weimer (2) Heather Ford, left, and Phylis Morrow (3) Sally and Phil Smith (4) James Fox, left, Roger Conway, Shawn Lauderdale, Taylor Marcus and Todd Edwards (5) Anthony Mai, left, Mike Proietti, Ed Segura and Tyra Caballero, (6) Madelina McClellan, left, Lauren Perez, Thomas Swenke and Thomas Huls (7) Paul Stoffel, left, and Jennifer and Jim Ross (8) Dana Duncan and Jeff Miyaoka (9) Kevin and Jan Mooney, left, and Kathy and John Sawyer (10) Todd Kirk, left, and Art Shields (11) Rita Mora, left, and Johnna Van Herrde (12) Bruce and Nancy Varner (13) Salvatore Giunta, Medal of Honor recipient (14) Pete Van Helden, president and COO of Stater Bros. (15) Pro golfer Dave Stockton (16) Stater Bros. Chairman Jack Brown Ph o t o s by J a m e s C a r b o n e

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heroes Written by Jerry Rice


n a weekend for heroes, eight of the 79 living Medal of Honor recipients recently came to Riverside for dinner, a round of golf to raise funds to help fellow veterans. It was the eighth annual Dave Stockton Heroes Challenge, presented by Stater Bros. Charities, and opened with a reception and banquet at the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa on Sunday, March 15. The next morning, they gathered

under the sun at the Victoria Club golf course along with 18 golf pros, including Dan Boever, Donna Caponi-Byrnes and Joanna Klatten and World Golf Hall of Fame member Lee Trevino. Riverside has a long history of welcoming and honoring Medal of Honor recipients, says Michael Goldware, a local attorney who led the effort to establish a Medal of Honor Memorial at Riverside National Cemetery. Perhaps the earliest is Col. Cornelius Cole Smith, an Army officer who was

Medal of Honor recipients at the Victoria Club Photo by Fr ank Perez


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decorated for his actions while serving with the 6th U.S. Cavalry during the Sioux Wars of 1891. He died in 1936 and is buried in Evergreen Memorial Historic Cemetery. More recently, nearly two dozen Medal of Honor recipients helped dedicate Riverside National Cemetery on Nov. 11, 1978. In November 1999, 85 attended a Medal of Honor Society Convention and dedicated the cemetery’s Medal of Honor memorial. During the Heroes Challenge, the focus was on the special guests: from the Marines Corps, 1st Lt. Harvey C. “Barney” Barnum Jr., Capt. Robert J. Modrzejewski, Capt. Jay R. Vargas and, U.S. Army personnel, Maj. Patrick H. Brady, Staff Sgt. Salvatore A. Giunta, Spec. 4th Class Robert M. Patterson,

Staff Sgt. Clinton L. Romesha and1st Lt. James A. Taylor. Participants included 136 golfers, and the event was expected to raise $500,000 for veterans programs and services, including those at the VA Medical Center in Loma Linda, according to Susan Atkinson, president and CEO of Stater Bros. Charities. “It’s always an honor to have the Medal of Honor recipients, and the golf is the icing on the cake,” she said. “People who are sponsors or playing on a sponsor team feel it’s a real privilege to take part, to have access to the pros and get their guidance and to be in the presence of the Medal of Honor recipients.” Information:

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