May 22, 2014
This newsletter has lots of information about the many things happening in our City. I’m sure by now you have seen our Citywide E-Calendar emails and will be sending out an E-Flash email for time sensitive information. This is just another way to keep you connected to events, news and things to do or see in Riverside.
I will be hosting our first Ward 3 Community Meeting very soon. This meeting will be held on June 4, 2014 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Janet Goeske Senior Center, 5257 Sierra Avenue at Streeter Avenue. I plan on holding Ward 3 Community Meetings quarterly. I encourage you to come out, meet your neighbors and express your opinions. I want to hear from you!
The City of Riverside has been experiencing very good economic growth and employment gains during the past six months. I am very encouraged about the number of new businesses starting in our City and the number of local jobs this has created. Please do your part and shop Riverside. How about supporting a local business by trying a new restaurant – one you’ve never been to before?
As always, I work for you and I’m available 7 days a week by personal cell phone (951) 515-1663 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charter is making some exciting changes for our customers in the Riverside area. They are going “all-digital”. On or after May 20, 2014, Charter will begin removing the analog format of every channel from their lineup and deliver only high-quality digital signals to each television outlet in the home.
Charter expressed there is no additional fee for the new HD channels for customers already subscribing to Charter HD services. For customers without a Charter issued set top box or a CableCard device connected to their televisions, this change will require each TV to be installed with Charter Digital equipment to continue viewing favorite programming. To ensure a smooth transition for non-digital households, Charter is providing free digital equipment to customers for a specified period of time depending on eligibility. These offers will vary based on a customer’s current level of service. Applicable standard equipment rate card pricing will apply upon expiration of those offers.
In the coming weeks, Charter will actively communicate with customers about how to make the move to all digital. Customer notification efforts will include first class letters, phone calls, telemarketing efforts and an informational website (www.charter.com/digitalnow).
If you require assistance please call their customer care group at 1-888-GET CHARTER (1-888-438-2427).
Riverside Police Department wants to remind motorists to Click It or Ticket. In order to enforce this reminder, beginning Monday, May 19th, officers will be joining in the 2014 national seat belt enforcement mobilization and cracking down on motorists who are not belted.
Even with a seatbelt usage rate of 97.4 percent, California still has 800,000 or more who aren’t buckling up. In a crash, they stand a 50 percent greater chance of being killed than those who have taken the two seconds to buckle in. In an on-going effort to reach those remaining safety hold-outs, police, sheriff and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) departments across the state will be taking part in Click It or Ticket from May 19 through June 1.
“Memorial Day weekend kicks off summer vacation season, and we want to ensure that everyone arrives at their destination safe and sound,” said Sergeant Showalter. “If you are not wearing your seat belt, you will be ticketed.”
The cost for a seat belt violation in California for unbuckled vehicle occupants over age 16 is a minimum of $161 for a first offense. The penalty fees for failing to properly buckle up any child under the age of 16 is a minimum $490 per child for a first offense, plus a violation point will be added to the driver’s record. If the parent is not in the car, the driver gets the ticket.
For more traffic safety information, visit the California Office of Traffic Safety at www.ots.ca.gov or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Click It or Ticket mobilization, www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.
In working with local businesses 2076 jobs have been created and retained with over 3000 jobs in the pipeline that the City is competing to win. Job creation is a top priority and here are some quick facts:
On average, since 2012:
- 100 businesses have opened in Riverside every month.
- 200 new jobs have been created or retained every month.
- Our metro area grew faster than any metro over 1 million population during 2013 – 4% growth - Even faster than San Fran, Houston, and San Jose, CA
- We still have 16,000 residents who are looking for work, so there is still much work for us to do.
Retail and Restaurant growth is an indicator of our overall economic growth:
- Retail vacancy is nearing single digits city-wide. Many shopping centers are close to 100% occupied – downtown, Mission Grove, Canyon Crest, Tyler Galleria
- We are seeing an increase of national chain restaurants as prospects for new sites. These include, Five Guys, Jimmy John’s, Jersey Mikes, Café Rio, Chipotle, Corner Bakery
Riverside Public Utilities’ (RPU) water and electric customers should be aware of a telephone scam that has surfaced in the City of Riverside where customers are being told that RPU needs to change out their meters or their next month’s bill will be extremely high. The customer is then asked to pay the scammer several hundred dollars to enable the fictitious meter change out.
RPU has also learned that the caller ID shown on the customer’s phone is the utility’s 782-0330 Customer Service number, making it appear as though the calls are being generated from the utility directly. While 782-0330 is RPU’s main phone for customer accounts and billing questions, for security reasons it will never appear on a customer’s caller ID.
"Riverside Public Utilities customers should remember that the utility would never call and ask for personal payment information nor request it in person at a customer’s home or business,” said RPU General Manager Girish Balachandran. “If any of our customers receives a call like this, they are urged to please inform us immediately.”
Customers of RPU are contacted via paper billing statements, online billing emails, through late payment reminder mailings, or green 48-hour Notice notification tags placed at utility property sites only. Any RPU personnel out in the community drive clearly marked city vehicles, wear city uniforms, and display photo identification.
Scams like this have been going on in different parts of the country for several years. After recent reports of the scam occurring in Corona, the city’s Department of Water and Power alerted customers to be aware of phone calls from unauthorized individuals falsely representing the utility who demand credit card or Pay Pal account information.
Any additional late payment contact would only come from Riverside Public Utilities’ Credit and Collections Department. Customers who have any questions about a suspicious phone call demanding payments or who have questions regarding an overdue account can contact RPU at (951) 826-5311.
Toll lanes throughout Orange County are going cashless starting May 14, 2014, Cash toll booths will no longer be manned on Highways 241, 261, 73 and 133.
The Toll Roads switch to accepting only electronic payments encourages commuters to either open up a FasTrak account with a transponder or setup an “ExpressAccount” without a transponder. The ExpressAccount will charge the same rate as current cash paying customers, 20 percent higher than FasTrak rates. ExpressAccounts options include providing a pre-paid balance to your account, providing a credit card number for automatic deductions upon use, or for a $2 monthly fee commuters can opt for a monthly bill.
State Route 91 toll lanes will continue to only accept FasTrak; ExpressAccounts will not be accepted. For more information visit The Toll Roads online or call 949-727-4800.