December 25, 2010
While finishing my last-minute Christmas shopping the other day, I looked at the many faces that passed and wondered if (and hoped) that they were having a wonderful holiday season. I wished their stress would disappear after buying gifts, I wished their loved ones would be nearby, I wished for smiles on every child’s face, and I especially wished for the sick to be pain-free and healthy very soon. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the fast-paced shopping season and forget what’s really important.
Trying to decide which store to walk into next, my eyes fell upon a young man in military fatigues walking by with his girlfriend. As he approached, I walked up to him, stared right in his eyes and said with conviction, “THANK YOU!” Without hesitation, he stretched out his arms and gave me the biggest heartfelt hug and said, “It’s Christmas time, I think a hug is appropriate.”
As I continued walking in the opposite direction from the soldier, my eyes teared up for quite a few reasons. I wondered just how many other strangers actually take the time to thank that young man or other members of our military. I wondered how long he would be able to spend time with his family before being deployed again. I wondered if he realized just how much I appreciated him.
The only good thing about waiting til the last minute to do my Christmas shopping was this most wonderful encounter! My wish for everyone this season is to find the love in your heart, the smile on your face, and the passion of life!
Merry Christmas this 25th day of December, 2010!
December 22, 2010
What if this holiday season you choose to help save a life? Every minute of every day, someone needs blood. That blood can only come from a volunteer donor – a person like you who makes the choice to donate. There is no substitute for your donation. The truth is that more than 500 donations of lifesaving blood are needed each day to meet emergency and ongoing patient needs in Southern California. In fact, every 3 to 4 seconds of every day, someone needs a blood transfusion.
If you are a healthy person (with no infections or illness and no history of Hepatitis from age 11 or older), at least 17 years of age (15 or 16 years with a signed LifeStream parental consent) and weigh at least 110 pounds, you are needed! LifeStream is a private, not-for-profit blood center, founded in 1951 that serves more than 50 hospitals throughout Southern California. They operate five donor centers (click here for locations) in San Bernardino, Riverside, Ontario, La Quinta and Hesperia along with mobile blood drives held daily at local businesses, churches, government agencies and schools. Their toll free number is 1-800-TRY GIVING (1-800-879-4484).
If you aren’t near a LifeStream location, please contact American Red Cross. To find out where you can donate, visit www.redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
When you make a blood donation, you join a very select group. Currently only 3 out of every 100 people in America donate blood. Call and make an appointment today.
Giving blood could very well be the best gift you could give this holiday season!
December 13, 2010
An all-day event: Mayor Loveridge’s “Home for the Holidays” PET ADOPTIONS at City Hall (3900 Main Street) on Tuesday, December 14th between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. All of the pets have been spayed/neutered and have all of their necessary shots, so they are ready to go “home for the holidays.” The cost of just $105 for dogs and $85 for cats includes a microchip.
Pet adoptions brought to you by the City of Riverside, Petco and Department of Animal Services.
December 7, 2010
Sixty-nine years ago today, December 7, 1941, the United States of America was attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, counted 2,390 Americans dead and 1,282 wounded. Eight battleships, three destroyers, three cruisers, and one minelayer were destroyed along with 188 aircraft.
The Los Angeles Times talked with two men who were there that day and didn’t know each other at the time — but 20 years later became neighbors in Monrovia, California. Neither wanted to dwell on December 7, 1941.
“I wasn’t impressed that George was at Pearl Harbor and George wasn’t impressed that I was,” one of the men, Paul Perrault, 90, told the Times about his friend Anthony “George” Mark, 87. As the Times writes:
“They speak of the war only when asked and are quick to quash any allusions to bravery or heroism. They are survivors, they say… nothing more. It was all a matter of chance — the same force that would lead them to modest homes that sit side by side on a quiet street.”
But in New Jersey, The Star-Ledger writes of a survivor who chose to devote much of his life “to preserving the day’s memory.” Tom Mahoney, 88, says “the day should be a remembrance of all the sacrifices. …We should always remember our country’s vigilance, no matter how many of us there are left.”
Meanwhile, the Honolulu Star Advertiser says the National Park Service is “about to finalize a $63.2 million plan to relate the history of the ‘Day of Infamy’ in greater detail and complexity — and with greater convenience for visitors — as the number of aged survivors who can tell it themselves dwindles. Today, the 69th anniversary of the attack, the second half of a new campuslike visitor center and a new museum dedicated to that mission will be opened.”
– adapted from NPR
Statement from President Barack Obama at 1:01 PM ET 12/7/2010:
In honor of all who have borne the cost of battle throughout America’s history, let us pledge to meet our debt of honor and uphold the ideals they fought to preserve. The Congress, by Public Law 103-308, as amended, has designated December 7 of each year as “National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.”
Let us never forget the innocent blood shed by those wonderful American citizens on December 7, 1941. –Tara and April
December 6, 2010
SANTA will be making a special appearance at 3943 Chapman Place (the house with the train) this Sunday, December 12th from 4:00to 6:00 p.m. Santa’s helpers will be serving hot chocolate and cookies. At our first annual “Cookies with Santa”, quite a few families took photos that they used for their family Christmas cards! If you forget your camera, we’ll take photos for you.
The train will be spouting off real smoke, and the wheels actually turn ’round and ’round, with real train sounds too! Kids, young and old, can sit inside the train for photo opportunities.
Don’t forget to mark your calendars!
November 26, 2010
Tonight, come join us for the 18th annual Festival of Lights experience in downtown Riverside. With more than three and a half million twinkling lights, the Riverside Festival of Lights presented by the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa is the most dazzling outdoor holiday light spectacle south of the North Pole. It all begins with the flip of a switch tonight, Friday November 26th, 2010, during the “Switch-On Ceremony” presented by Duane and Kelly Roberts, owners of the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa.
At 6:15 p.m., in one swift move, Riverside’s downtown is instantly illuminated with millions of lights and spectacular fireworks! After eating Thanksgiving leftovers, a large group of us will bundle up and walk about a mile from our houses to the Mission Inn, as we’ve done for many years. We’ll be contributing not only to pollution-free transportation, but we’ll be exercising off the pumpkin and apple pies! Hope to see you at the Festival of Lights!
November 25, 2010
I am thankful for so much. Most of all, my family. In particular, my sister. I would not be where I am in life without her. Sure, we fought when we were young, and we occasionally cross words as adults, but never would I have thought in my wildest dreams that I would have such a wonderful relationship with my sister as an adult. And to work side-by-side together? A true blessing! So many say to us “Ah, I don’t think I could work so closely with a relative”…..but I wouldn’t have it any other way!! I am blessed in so many ways!
My wish to everyone on this day of thanks is to hope that you all find the love and happiness that I have been so fortunate to find with my family, be it in the form of your family, a loved one, a pet, a friend, a co-worker, a neighbor, a checker at the grocery store, or even a stranger.
November 19, 2010
Tonight, Friday November 19, 2010, the Riverside Plaza’s annual Holiday Parade will feature the Poly High Marching Band, a contingent from the Riverside Community College Marching Band, local “GLEE” actress Lauren Potter, the lighting of the 50-foot Christmas tree, and of course, the big guy himself…. “SANTA”!!
The parade starts at 7:00 p.m. Enjoy a holiday dance performance by the members of Dancers Studio, music by the Riverside Swing and Riverside Concert Band, and have your picture taken with Santa! For more information, call the Riverside Plaza at 951-683-1066 ext. 113.
November 13, 2010
Please think about joining Wood Streets Green Team, which is a local group dedicated to providing resources for sustainable living in the Wood Streets neighborhood — or elsewhere. Wood Streets Green Team tracks workshops and other events, lists useful internet sites, and allows visitors to share tips and ideas!
For more information about Sunday’s FREE energy efficiency workshop or about the Wood Streets Green Team, please call (951) 276-1134 or visit woodstreetsgreenteam.ning.com.
November 11, 2010
The crowd was a compilation of family, fellow police officers, friends, neighbors and strangers who gathered to pay homage to slain Police Officer Ryan Bonaminio tonight, this Veterans Day 2010, in front of the Riverside Police Department. Ryan’s father spoke to the crowd and brought both tears and smiles to the sea of faces. It just doesn’t seem right that a father must say goodbye to his son in such a way.
We as a community are better for knowing Ryan, maybe not personally, but knowing that he protected us for four years as a Police Officer. Thank you, Ryan, for also serving two tours of Operation Iraqi Freedom while in the United States Army!