Liliana Mota

Bilingual Journalist

Norco Mayor: Kevin Bash

NORCO, CA – In 1995, Norco Mayor, Kevin Bash, left behind an acting career in Los Angeles to move back to his hometown, HorseTown USA.

Having an interest in acting since a young age, Bash pursued theater and earned a Bachelor of Arts from UC Riverside where he was very involved in the actor-training program. He then earned a Master of Arts from UC San Diego.

Photo Credit: City of Norco Website

Bash appeared in nearly 300 commercials for companies such as Coca Cola, Security Pacific Bank and Levi’s. He acted in various television programs, including General Hospital and Baywatch. Bash also performed in multiple plays such as Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and Dracula.


Bash became a national and international actor but in 1995 decided to leave the fame behind and move to Norco, Calif. with his wife, Brigitte and daughter, Angelique. He did not want to raise his daughter in the city commotion Los Angeles brings.

His daughter participated in sports and Bash became very involved in community activities and served on various committees, such as Norco Girls Softball Coach and Board of Directors. A incident with a neighbor sparked Bash’s interest in getting involved in the city. He served as Parks and Recreation Commissioner for ten years and helped form the Norco Historic Commission.

When the City of Norco became bankrupt, Bash decided it was time to run for Mayor. When he entered council six years ago, the city had $65,000 in their bank account. Today, Norco is on track to make 10 million.

“We are now doing very, very well as a city,” said Bash.

Bash has two businesses in Norco. The first is Town and Country Day School, which is the largest early childhood development center in Riverside County for kids ages two thru 13. The second is a large boarding training facility for horses.

Bash is proactive and loves to help residents.

“People like to see their city council members,” said Bash, “It is important that city council members are visible.”

According to Bash, the most important issue facing Norco today is physical solvency.

“We are the last city in the state of California where by law, you have to build on a half-acre parcel or bigger,” said Bash.

This means not enough property taxes are earned to run the city. Norco has a yearly budget of 17 million. Property taxes generate 1.4 million.

“Norco lives and dies on sales tax,” said Bash, who has been successful in helping diversify city income.

“We have been very successful in attracting different types of business,” said Bash, “There’s Hobby Lobby, Winco, the Auto Mall.”

The city also build the largest equestrian sports park, Silver Lakes, in the Northern Hemisphere.

Bash is focused on attracting more business and plans to rezone two large parcels and rezone old Hamner Avenue to slightly resemble Old Town Temecula. He wants to preserve the Norconian Hotel, finish George Ingalls Memorial Plaza, get into Norco College and put more police on the streets to ensure resident safety.

Bash also plans to find funding sources for infrastructure.

“We need to find a new funding source for streets, trails, paving,” said Bash, “Things like that.”

Bash wants to also strengthen the Norco Homeless Advocacy program, which utilizes resources from the Corona and Riverside Police Departments, as well as Norco Deputy Sheriff.

“We are very aggressive in trying to get these people off the streets,” said Bash.

According to Bash, the best part of being Mayor is being able to help a lot of people.

“It’s a very nice feeling knowing you can help people,” said Bash, “The good thing about a small town is you know everybody and they know you.”

Norco White Fence Project

New White Equestrian Fencing in Norco, Calif.

Photo: Liliana Mota


NORCO, CA – A project set into motion by the City Council last January will replace wooden trail fences in specific areas of Norco with two-rail, white vinyl fencing.

The project, which began Oct. 2015, is funded by an engineering grant given to the city. During a city council meeting held, Feb. 4, 2015, the Director of Public Works, Lori Askew presented a verbal update of suggestions of the Streets, Trails, and Utilities Commission (STUC).

These recommendations included the two-rail, white vinyl equestrian trail fencing due to its durability and safety features. The color white has a higher visibility. Vinyl fencing also requires very little maintenance.

The replacement started in isolated areas and is set to move on a block-by-block basis, in 1,000 foot increments. The project requires furnishing all materials, equipment, tools, labor and incidentals, as stated in the Plans, Specifications and Contract Documents, in an effort to complete the project in the set timeframe.

45 working days were given to complete the project, including design. Anything beyond the allotted time will cost 500 dollars per working day.

The project received an extension and is now set to end Jan. 11, 2016. The city is waiting for another grant in order to pursue more fence replacements in Norco.

Being Queer in Orange County: Joe Shaw

Photo source: LinkedIn

FULLERTON, CA – The LGBTQ Resource Center at California State University Fullerton, along with the Queer minor studies program, hosted the “Thinking Queer: Being Queer in Orange County” lecture Thursday, presented by an openly gay politician.

The presentation is part of the “Thinking Queer” speaker series aimed at shinning light on LGBT issues. Guest speaker, Joe Shaw, Orange County gay politician, spoke close to half an hour about the experiences and the challenges he has faced being homosexual public figure.

For Shaw, being gay has meant embracing the struggles of his time and working towards making a difference and bettering the community. Part of his experience involved “feeling a little bit different than everyone else.” Shaw recognized social injustices at a very young age and realized the world was not perfect. One of his biggest influences was and has been Martin Luther King Jr.

At age 8, he saw the Civil Rights Movement in full effect and knew he wanted to be part of the change. He relates the struggles of the 1980s to the battles the Ferguson protestors are facing today. Shaw witnessed racial hatred firsthand in his hometown of Tulsa, Okla. He grew up surrounded by alcoholism in one of the poorest cities of the state.

“I was born in the wrong place,” he said, “I thought there was something better for me.”

Shaw was an intelligent kid and used education as a tool to move out of Oklahoma. Although he was close to his church, during his teenage years he began to doubt some of the church teachings. Nonetheless, he cherishes the important values taught to him, which inspired him to thrive.

At age 20, he began working at a restaurant. He soon found out one of his coworkers was lesbian. They became friends and constantly hung out. The friendly bond was definitely there.

“She had a girlfriend,” he said, “We would go out to gay clubs.”

Their friendship lasted several months but one night Shaw ‘freaked out’ and immediately terminated their affiliation.

“One night I just freaked out,” said Shaw, “I had a huge anxiety attack and I shut that [friendship] down and out of my life.”

After ending the friendship, he called his best friend and asked her to move in. A year late they got married.

“Talk about being in the closet, talk about living in fear, talk about not being able to be free who you are,” he said.

He was deeply scared of who he was and felt the need to completely shut it down leaving him with the only option of presenting a united front with his wife proving he was heterosexual.

During his marriage, a gay friend of his wife’s brought to her attention Shaw might be gay. She confronted him and gave him words he had never heard before.

“And she said if you are, I want you to know that’s okay,” he said.

These words instantly changed Shaw’s life. Nobody had ever said that to him, nobody had ever given him that message. The words came as a realization that it was okay to be gay. They eventually divorced but she supported him throughout the entire ordeal.

Shaw compared being gay in Orange County to being gay in Oklahoma with regards to conservation. He said Oklahoma was the most conservative place on Earth with churches on every corner condemning gays.

But living in a conservative city got worse for Shaw and many others.

The 1980’s, also his 20’s, were a decade of aids and death for his men his age. In 1981, the first aids case was reported. There was tremendous oppression and negativity. In 1987 when President Reagan gave the first policy speech, 36-thousand Americans had been diagnosed with aids. It was a death sentence to have aids.

At age 29, he was living in West Hollywood searching for a roommate. His main goal was to attend school and find acceptance but that quickly changed.

He was working at a restaurant in Hollywood and his coworker, who had HIV needed a place to stay. Not only did Shaw become a new roommate to this man, he also became his caretaker. He began to take care of a man with a death sentence.

Holding back the tears an emotional Shaw explained how the aids epidemic soon began to affect home.

“Friends back home did start coming down with HIV,” he said, “The friends I began to make, they started to die too.”

To grieve with the hardship, many individuals began to march. Shaw became part of a group called Queer Nation and participated in weekly meetings, which were chaotic but rewarding.

He went continued his education by transferring to California State University, Los Angeles where he received a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. He then went on to do nonprofit public relations work at an aids service center in Pasadena.

In the early 2000’s, Shaw moved to Huntington Beach and opened an openly gay retail store called, California Greetings.

“We were embraced by the people in Huntington,” he said, “I become involved in downtown issues.”

In 2010, he ran for city council because he wanted to represent the people of Huntington Beach who did not have a voice. He began to do something about the issues and has spoken out about LGBT for the past four years. Since then, Huntington Beach ranked number one in Orange County for human rights municipal in 2013 and 2014.

Shaw has faced many challenges due to his homosexuality. Just this year the City of Orange sent out flyers classifying him as a liberal-democratic along with a photograph of him wearing a rainbow tie.

“Municipal elections are supposed to be non-partisan,” he said, “I find it offensive a major political party in 2014 has the cajones to do something like that.”

But being queer in Orange County has also lead to good news. The OC equality commission was established and in 2009 the Gay Pride Annual Festival turned up the visibility of LGBT in the county.

“We need more LGBT elected leaders on school boards,” he said, “We need people to be in physical roles, leaders who understand the importance of social justice.”

Shaw ended his speech by explaining how the most important thing to bring to any community is kindness, respect for others and the willingness to serve the people who need it most.

California Bans Plastic Bags Statewide.

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law, SB 270, Tuesday officially banning plastic bags statewide. According to CNNMoney, as of July 1st, 2015 major grocery chain stores and pharmacies will be required to charge for the bags or refrain from distributing them out at all. California is the first state to take charge and go green. Beginning July 1st, 2016, the new law will extend and apply to convenience and liquor stores.

Environmentalists, such as Rossana Rico, 16, president of green team Sustainable Duarte, are in pure bliss following the victory.

“I think it’s amazing,” said Rico, “It brings us closer to being a cleaner and greener world.”

CNNMoney reports an estimated 13-million plastic bags are used yearly just in the state of California usually ending up in landfills or in waterways where they remain for years. Recycled paper bags will replace the plastic bags and cost customers 10-cents per bag.

“It’s only plastic bags right now, but it’s a start,” said Rico, “It’s just California banning them but it sets a standard that the rest of the U.S. will have to follow and eventually the world.”

Governor Brown said the bill is a right direction in efforts to reduce pollution in beaches, parks and the ocean. California may be the first to ban the bags statewide but Hawaii, Text and Oregon are a few states that have banned plastic bags at the city-level. In 2007, San Francisco was one of the first cities to go green back in 2007 passing a city ordinance to prohibit the distribution and use of plastic bags.

Customers are encouraged to invest in reusable bags.

But not everyone is ecstatic about the change.

“I think that’s dumb,” said Gabriel Llamas, 21, “It’s creating more of a hassle for us.”

Critics opposing the law say the ban will have a negative effect on the economy eliminating thousands of jobs in the manufacturing industry.

Chairman of the American Progressive Bag Alliance, Mark Daniels, told CNBC about the possible consequences the ban might have on businesses and consumers.

An article released by CNBC Thursday explains Daniels primary concern.

“It’s a transfer of wealth of hundreds of millions of dollars from Californians to the pockets of grocers and their union bosses,” said Daniels in a phone interview with CNBC.

Daniels continues to say the law is essentially sending more job opportunities overseas to China since that’s where the reusable bags are manufactured.

But it seems the job loss is the last thing on consumers’ minds as they are more outraged about being charged 10-cents per bag.

“It’s frustrating, really,” said Llamas, “Now I have to remember to carry around my reusable bag or pay 10-cents every time for every bag I’ll need.”

United States plastic bag manufacturers are planning on a referendum in hopes of repealing the law. SB270 only applies to plastic bags at grocery stores but will not affect retail stores or the small bags in grocery stores customers use for fruits and vegetables.

“It’s about creating a habit,” said Rico, “Once you get into the habit of always having reusable bags, it won’t be a problem.”

However, anti-SB270 individuals argue the bags are insanitary and will essentially lead to health problems because they will collect bacteria due to not being constantly washed.

Brown stands strong behind his decision saying California may be the first to ban plastic bags but it won’t be the last. Major cities such as Chicago, Austin and Seattle had already banned plastic bags citywide. Hawaii doesn’t fall far behind from California with plan already in place to ban plastic bags at the state-level.

Obama has no plans of sending troops to ISIS

Isis fighters, pictured on a militant website verified by AP.

Isis fighters, pictured on a militant website verified by AP.


President Obama announced Thursday he does not intend to send American combat troops into Syria. Instead, he plans to prepare Syrian rebels to fight against ISIS, the Islamic State terror group. ISIS released its third beheading video Sunday, September 13th, of 44-year old British aid worker David Haines, in efforts of sending a message to British Prime Minister David Cameron. American Journalist, James Foley, was executed Tuesday, August 19th and Steven Sotloff was also beheaded Tuesday, September 2nd. The beheadings have infuriated Americans and the British leaving them to ask the question, what is going to happen next?

“Not only are Americans and Brits upset about the brutal slayings of journalists on video,” said Scott Spitzer, CSUF political science professor, “but many Arab nations are also increasingly concerned about ISIS.”

Does America need to take the fight to ISIS? The U.S. has already been in a never-ending war with Iraq and raging into a war with Syria would only put a strain on the American people and the economy.

According to The New York Times, Obama stands stern behind his effort of not allowing the United States to get dragged into ground war against ISIS.

“It’s always easy to argue that a military solution is imperfect, and that it may not accomplish its stated goals,” said Spitzer, “However, the president must respond to this very real threat to American allies in the region – Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates – and to Americans abroad.”

President Obama said over 40 countries have already offered aide in the fight against the terrorist group.

Professor Spitzer said Obama’s decision to join efforts with the United States allies in a “multi-lateral military response” is responsible since America is not in a position to get into another war.

A fourth video was released Thursday by ISIS shows British journalist, John Cantlie, who has been held hostage since 2012 explaining the purpose of ISIS.

He admits he’s being forced to say what he does since he does not have anything to lose given he’s a prisoner.

“I’m going to show you the truth behind these systems and motivations of the Islamic state,” said Cantlie, “And how the Western media, the very organization I used to work for can twist and manipulate the truth to the public back home.”

News outlets such as CNN have refrained from airing the video in hopes of stopping the Islamic state terror group propaganda. The American military has all the necessary weapons and procedures in place to attack Syria but will not of Obama’s strong stance against ground combat.

“There’s more to this,” said Salvador Guerra, 23, CSUF student, “When researching this horrific event, it seems more and more that a small contingency is seeking a retaliation from Western nations to taint Muslims and the broader Muslim community.”

According to CNN, the United States carried out an airstrike Thursday against an ISIS training camp in Mosul and depleted some of their ammunition. Airstrikes are part of an American military operation held in Iraq.

“This is only going to bring the U.S. into a conflict that will deplete our resources,” said Guerra, “And make us look bad in the eyes of the global community.”

As days pass, ISIS continues to expand and gain worldwide attention with their brutal slayings and propaganda videos. One of their main goals is to terrify Americans along with hoping to recruit individuals to join their group. Only time will tell if Obama’s plan will work.

President Obama weekly address

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama took to his weekly address to speak about issues, such as paid family leave, child-care and flexibility, which affect the working class.

One of Obama’s top priorities is to reshape the economy to the point where those who work have the opportunity to thrive. Obama will meet with business leaders and workers at the White House Summit on Working Families to discuss how to solve the challenges working individuals face on a daily basis.

Paid family leave was the first topic of discussion for Obama.

“Many jobs don’t offer adequate leave to care for a new baby or an ailing parent,” said Obama, “So workers can’t afford to be there when their family needs them the most.”

There are a reported three countries in the world which lack to offer paid maternity leave and the United States is one of them. Obama is pushing change and calls on business leaders to help change that.

“A few states have acted on their own to give workers paid family leave,” said Obama, “But this should be available to everyone, because all Americans should be able to afford to care for a family member in need.”

Child-care is a second obstacle to overcome. Majority of working families cannot afford to fork over thousands of dollar a year for child-care.

“That leaves parents scrambling just to make sure their kids are safe while they’re at work,” said Obama, “Forget about giving them the high-quality early childhood education that helps kids succeed in life.

The third issue he will focus on is flexibility which he defined as “the ability to take a few hours off for a parent-teacher conference or to work from home when your kid is sick.”

Obama proceeded to explain the difficulties individuals face who desire flexibility but do not have it. Flexibility makes workers happy and in turn can result in a more productive and positive environment, which is great for business.

“At a time when women make up about half of America’s workforce,” said Obama, “outdated workplace policies that make it harder for mothers to work hold our entire economy back.”

The problems aren’t just confined to women as men are also left faced with the challenges of who’s watching their kids or adjusting their work schedules to be able to attend sports games and school-related activities. A new study showed approximately half of all parents, women and men, have turned down a job because it would conflict with home-life and make it difficult.

“When that many talented, hard-working people are forced to choose between work and family, something’s wrong,” said Obama, “Family leave. Child-care. Flexibility. These aren’t frills – they’re basic needs. They shouldn’t be bonuses – they should be at the bottom line.”

However, he did say some businesses are taking up family-friendly policies since they know it’s vital to attract and keep good employees. Obama will continue to focus and boast the business that offer such benefits and he will continue fighting until the rest of the businesses do the same.

“We know from our history that our economy grows best from the middle-out; that our country does better when everybody participates; when everyone’s talents are put to use; when we all have a fair shot,” said Obama, “That’s the America I believe in.”

Iraq Crisis: ISIS unstoppable

Photo Courtesy: Associated Press/militant website

Mosul, Iraq – Perhaps one of the world’s most wicked and wealthiest terrorist groups, ISIS has been invading and taking over cities as well as confiscating all valuables.

Such invasions have generated the terrorist group massive amounts of money but that’s not their only source of income.

Their latest attack took place in Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, where they struck gold. ISIS fighters robbed the city’s central bank taking off with about $430 million dollars worth of gold. Experts say that might possibly have made them the richest terror organization in the world.

The Council on Foreign Relations reports ISIS is funded by money generated from smuggling, extortion and even oil. The Daily Beast Senior Correspondent, Josh Rogin, said ISIS fighters partake in many “traditional terrorist fundraising activities” which involve kidnapping, robberies, drug trade and money laundering schemes.

ISIS also sells crude back to the Syrian government obtained from oil fields they occupied in Northern Syria. Rogin reports ISIS has long been funded by rich U.S. ally private donors such as Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

“The governments could have had plausible deniability and say they weren’t funding them directly,” said Rogin, “…If you do the math, ISIS may be worth at least 500 millions dollars after its attack on Mosul’s main bank.”

According to the New York Times, ISIS also sells electricity from a captured power plant earning them big bucks allowing them to recruit more extremist fighters. Huge amounts of money aids ISIS in successfully operating prison raids freeing hundreds of new fighters who join the terrorist group.

“ISIS is a group that can’t be negotiated with the more resources they have, the more aggressive they’ll be,” said Rogin, “The more violent they’re going to be.”

With ISIS getting bigger by day, people are left vulnerable not only in the Middle East but around the globe.

Is Hillary Clinton better than President Obama?

Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Washington, DC – A new poll released by CNN shows HIllary Clinton has surpassed President Obama and now has a 55 percent approval rating. What do the numbers mean for Clinton if she chooses to run in the 2016 presidential election?

Despite all the criticism about how she handled the terror attack at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that left a U.S. Ambassador and three other individuals dead, Clinton has passed up Obama on major issues such as terrorism, the economy and immigration.

The CNN-ORC survey shows Clinton is crushing a big time democrat, President Obama. Clinton is left to decide whether or not she will attempt to convince voters to elect another democrat into presidency along with determining how much to distance herself from Obama. Leading the president 63 to 40 percent, Clinton always has the lead on foreign policy.

“I did feel quite strongly that we needed to see if it were possible to vet and train and equip moderate opposition figures,” said Clinton with regards to arming the rebels in Syria.

The survey finds Clinton being on top with regards to America’s health care issues. During the early 1990’s, her proposal for universal health care failed. Fast forward 16 years and Obama signed his own bill into law which drastically tainted Obama’s image as many Americans were not able to sign up for insurance.

“…We fumbled the rollout on this health care law,” said Clinton.

Although Clinton stands with a 55 percent approval rate, that number has slowly decreased from 67 percent since Americans scrutinize her through a political lens.

Cristiano Ronaldo means business

Photo Courtesy of The Inquisitr

NEW YORK, NY – Perhaps the most popular player participating in the 2014 World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo is not only known for his playing skills but also for his advertising abilities.

Making his name while at Manchester United, the Portuguese player has become one of the biggest soccer stars in the world. Reportedly making $238,000 dollars per week, Ronaldo became the highest-paid player in Manchester United history.

“I think I’m not bad,” said Ronaldo.

In 2009, he left Manchester United to sign with Real Madrid, a transfer worth $132 million dollars making him the most expensive soccer player in the world. His current five year contract is worth $206 million dollars. Not only is Ronaldo making big bucks, he also won the highest individual soccer award last year once again. When asked who’s arguably the best in the business, Ronaldo doesn’t hesitate to admit, it’s him.

“I thinking it’s me,” said Ronaldo.

He has deals worth millions with huge corporations such as Nike, Emirates, Armani, Toyota, Samsung and more bringing in $28 million dollars in endorsements this past year. Not only has Ronaldo become one of the most marketable soccer players in the world he is also the second highest paid athletes and raked in an estimated $80 million dollars last year. According to Sports Marketing Company Repucom, he is known by a remarkable 84% of the world’s populations.

“We are famous and we have to deal with that,” said Ronaldo.

Having almost 85 million thumbs up on Facebook and close to 27 million Twitter followers, he is one of the most ‘liked’ athletes in the world. He recently began his own line of underwear, magazine and opened his own museum.

“I live like a dream,” said Ronaldo.

Despite all of his major accomplishments, he has yet helped Portugal win a world cup. Could this be the year Portugal takes home the World Cup?

Sterling says no deal

Los Angeles, CA – Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will not become the new owner of the L.A. Clippers after current owner, Donald Sterling, changed his mind about the $2 billion dollar deal.

Sterling has decided to refrain from selling the team and follow through with a $1 billion dollar lawsuit against the NBA instead. Last week he was quoted saying he was ready to put the scandal behind him and “move on.”

“Well, I’m ok, I’m ok. Is the NBA ok? I’m not sure about them. Is Adam Silver ok? I’m sure he is ok,” said Sterling.

But things have changed and he is ready to put up a fight protecting his rights.

“From the onset, I did not want to sell the Los Angeles Clippers,” said Sterling, “I have worked for 33 years to build the team.”

Sterling released a statement to NBC News saying he is not selling the team anymore and mentioned the NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, “acted in haste by illegally ordering the forced sale of the clippers.”  According to Sterlings attorney, Bobby Samini, the NBA has singled Sterling out by asking questions about his mental competency.

“The NBA’s focus is the sale of the team. That’s all they’re talking about, is the sale of the team,” said Samini, “And I think what’s really important to see here is the bigger issue.”

Samini goes on to say the NBA has a history of discriminatory conduct and is being hypocritical against Sterling.