Spiegel Spotlight – July 2021

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Dear Friends and Second District Residents, 

The summer months are now upon us and the month of July brings relaxation, vacations, school breaks and outdoor activities. While we are enjoying the warmer weather and time spent with loved ones, it’s important that we always remember to PAY ATTENTION - pay attention to the people we are with, those we are watching and our surroundings.


We are less than a month into the official summer season and Riverside County has already seen an increase in the number of drownings and near drownings over previous years.

Whether you’re a parent with a backyard pool or an adult who enjoys a day at the beach, drowning prevention and water safety education should always be a priority. Know the ABC’s of Pool/Water Safety:

A=Adult Supervision: assign a “water watcher” or lifeguard to supervise children in and around the pool/spa are, especially during social gatherings.

B = Barrier: make sure children cannot get near the water with proper fencing around the pool

C = Classes: learn CPR, first aid, and rescue techniques. Teach your children to swim.

(see flyer below)


As temperatures begin to climb, cool centers have begun opening their doors throughout Riverside County, offering residents a welcome retreat from the heat. There are 60 cool centers open to the public in partnership with local organizations such as libraries and community centers. The centers are available to residents at no cost and will be open through October, as temperatures warrant.

High temperatures can be hazardous for many people, especially for the elderly and those with medical conditions. Heat-related injuries such as heatstroke, an illness that occurs when the body can no longer regulate its temperature, can strike fast and pose life-threatening consequences.

The cool centers are coordinated by the Community Action Partnership of Riverside County, in conjunction with Riverside University Health System –Public Health. Light refreshments and water will be available at some locations.

For a list of cool center locations, visit


Another area of concern arose with the proliferation of the Internet and electronic devices, combined with the stay-at-home mandates of the COVID-19 pandemic. This resulted in our children spending inordinate amounts of time online. The District Attorney’s Office established the Riverside County Child Exploitation Team (RCCET) in mid-2020. The following year there was a 110% increase in cyber tips related to child pornography.  In that same period, there was been a 186% increase in the number of arrests for child exploitation by the RCCET team. These were unprecedented times where our children were more vulnerable than ever due to remote learning and the growth of on-line gaming. The end of April 2021, I believed the stakes are too high and worked with the District Attorney’s Office to expand the RCCET, which received unanimous support by the Board of Supervisors. 

For more information, visit


While on a family campout this past year, a friend came up to me and told me of a family who has been devastated with the loss of their son due to an overdose, specifically of fentanyl. He told me I had to do something to stop this from happening to other families. That brief conversation began my quest to find what can be done to bring awareness and resources to combatting this. 

The far-reaching devastation of fentanyl is measured in human lives and families ripped apart. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine and about 50 times more potent than heroin. It only takes about two milligrams of fentanyl to have potentially lethal consequences for most people. To put that amount in perspective, it takes 5,000 milligrams to make a teaspoon.

The opioid epidemic was center stage for years before the COVID-19 pandemic but in the past year we have seen an alarming trend of increasing overdoses and deaths throughout our communities. Since the beginning of 2021, there have been 43 overdose deaths involving fentanyl in Riverside County. Nationally, the number of overdose deaths has quadrupled since 1999.

The evolving epidemic is now being fueled largely by illicitly manufactured fentanyl. Its incredible lethality has become especially dangerous as more and more illicit manufacturers are lacing other street drugs with fentanyl, causing many people to unknowingly consume deadly doses.

In 2020, 279 of the 686 overdose deaths in Riverside County were fentanyl-related (41%). That is up from just 55 recorded fentanyl-related deaths in 2018. Naloxone is a medicine that temporarily blocks the toxic effects of opioids and can be used to rapidly “reverse” a fentanyl overdose. Because the potency of fentanyl is so extreme, more doses of naloxone are often needed to reverse fentanyl overdoses, compared to other opioid overdoses.

But, naloxone is not the only tool we have. Further lives will be saved with improved access to drug treatment and emphasis on harm-reduction education.

Riverside County has already taken several many steps to address the opioid epidemic and alarming increases in fentanyl related overdoses:

  • Riverside County became one of the first in the State to opt-in to the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System. This provides a continuum of care model for substance use disorder treatment services (including opioids) and improves care, through evidenced based practices, to help individuals achieve sustainable recovery.
  • In February 2021, the Riverside District Attorney’s Office became the first in the State to file a murder charge against a person suspected of selling fentanyl-laced drugs resulting in someone’s death. Second-degree murder charges against several suspects are pending. As of this time, there are five additional cases.
  • The Riverside County Probation Department is a partner on several local committees focused on raising awareness of the dangers of fentanyl and promoting overdose prevention efforts.
  • Riverside County Public Health became one of California’s first local health jurisdictions to establish an Overdose Fatality Review Team. This team reviews overdose related deaths to fill gaps in knowledge of local overdose trends and prevent new cases of drug addiction, overdose, and death.
  • Additionally, Public Health partners with Inland Empire Harm Reduction to provide bystander naloxone trainings which cover how to recognize an opioid (fentanyl) overdose and respond with naloxone.
  • The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has a Fentanyl Investigative Task Force, within the Major Crimes Bureau, which investigates overdose deaths and works closely with the District Attorney’s Office to determine if there is criminal culpability on the supplier of fentanyl.

To complement and build upon the county’s ongoing efforts, my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an initiative I co-sponsored establishing a countywide Fentanyl Abuse Awareness campaign. Through the development of this initiative, we are establishing a multidisciplinary committee to combat the rising cases of overdoses and deaths from this growing epidemic.

Focuses of the multidisciplinary committee will include:

  1. Development of a countywide education and information campaign on the dangers of fentanyl.
  2. Assessment of current and potential state and federal grant funding.
  3. Expansion of naloxone training and harm reduction efforts. To include outreach to parent/family groups with information on the warning signs of opioid use and overdose.
  4. Review of law enforcement policies and procedures involving training and the use of naloxone. The potency of fentanyl is so extreme that deputies and first responders must take unique precautions to prevent accidental deadly exposure.

Committee Members will include designees from the following county departments:  Behavioral Health, Child Protective Services, Department of Public Social Services, District Attorney, Emergency Management, Executive Office, Public Health, Probation, Riverside University Health System, and the Sheriff Department. 

For further information on these efforts, please do no hesitate to contact our office by calling (951) 955-1020 or by emailing and staff will assist you promptly. 

The Riverside County Second District Supervisor’s office Staff are available Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to assist you. 

I encourage you to stay connected by joining District 2 on Facebook @SupervisorKarenSpiegel  or Twitter @SupKarenSpiegel and Instagram @SupervisorKarenSpiegel   

I hope you enjoy this e-newsletter.  Please reach out to my office if we may be of assistance. 

Board Chair Karen Spiegel  
Second District Supervisor 




Daytime work and intermittent lane closures continue on Hamner Avenue, weather permitting. 
Please see the flyer for details or visit the project website at  


Project Graduate marks a decade helping foster youth turn diplomas to dreams


The program has helped 36 at-risk students achieve graduation and go to colleges and trade schools

Nevaeh Hall’s first 18 years haven’t been easy. She entered Riverside County foster care at age 6 and moved in and out of placements, including group homes. High school graduation seemed out of her reach.

This week, Hall was among five at-risk foster youth in Riverside County who celebrated their high school graduation, applauded by judges, social workers and the attorney-mentors who helped them achieve their goals.  Statewide, only about half of all foster youth graduate from high school, less often than any other student population.

Hall and the other four youth were supported by Project Graduate, a network of Riverside County judges, attorneys, social workers, and community advocates who help some of the highest-risk youth in foster care change the trajectory of their lives through advocacy and mentorship.

“We have learned from our students how hard it is for them to envision a path to graduating from high school,” said Brian Unitt, a Riverside attorney who has chaired the Project Graduate steering committee for the past ten years. Unitt is confident that incoming chair, deputy county counsel Alexandra Fong will guide the program toward expansion to better support students countywide.

Founded in 2011, Project Graduate helps foster youth in the courts decrease their risk of homelessness, incarceration, sexual exploitation, and unemployment. During its first decade, 36 youth in the program have completed high school and gone on to a community college, four-year university, or trade school. 

“Project Graduate helps change that perception about what is possible for themselves. They begin to believe in themselves and their futures,” Unitt said. “We help them see how they can turn their diplomas into a plan to achieve their dreams.”                                                         

Hall, the graduate, said her mentors encouraged her to stay the course and pursue her diploma. She is planning to attend cosmetology school. “I had to graduate and wanted to graduate,” said Hall.

Participating youth are sponsored by the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS), Superior Court, Juvenile Defense Panel, Office of County Counsel, and the Riverside County Bar Association. Each youth receives a court-appointed mentor that are often local attorneys.

At the luncheon, the graduates received commemorations and a laptop. Each received a cash gift totaling the number of incentive points earned throughout the program.

Sayori Baldwin, assistant county executive officer of Human Services and director of DPSS, applauded the graduates and agency partners that make Project Graduate possible.

“I am thrilled this is the tenth year in which Project Graduate has taken place,” said Baldwin. “We congratulate the graduates and those who have traveled with them throughout their journey. Mentorship matters.”

To find out more about Project Graduate, please visit or call (951) 682-1015

County of Riverside landlord incentive program





The Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP) offers education and training for high-demand jobs to Veterans who are unemployed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information or to find out on how to apply, please visit Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP) | Veterans Affairs ( 


Four Easy Ways for Veterans to get the vaccine: 

1. Just walk into a VA Medical Facility. Even if you are not a VA customer. No appointment is needed. Find one near you. 

2. Sign up to have your local VA contact you or send your care team a secure message on MyHealtheVet. 

3. Call 1-800-MyVA411 (800-698-2411) and press 8 for more information, or press 0 to speak to an agent. 

4. Search for other vaccine options at, text your zip code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 



Norco’s Mya Perez is the Inland softball player of the year

Congratulations to Mya Perez who had a breakout sophomore campaign leading the Norco Cougars in several offensive categories. She batted .543 with 11 home runs and 54 runs batted in and only struck out four times in 112 plate appearances. Perez also delivered some big hits in clutch situations during her campaign which including walk-off winners against Chino Hills (two-run home run) and Huntington Beach (RBI single).  Congratulations Mya!


Corona Centennial defeats Sierra Canyon to win CIF Open Division title

Corona Centennial 80, Sierra Canyon 72.  Congratulations to the Huskies who are Open Division champs, taking down two-time defending Open champs Sierra Canyon in Chatsworth, Ca. Kylan Boswell finished with 26 points with six (6) threes to lead the way for the Huskies.  


As the summer season heats up, so does the popularity of Farmers Markets. We are pleased to share the following information on Farmers Markets located throughout the Corona, Norco, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley and Riverside areas. Enjoy!





Looking for some Friday night fun? Come and hang out at the Eastvale Farmers Market, every Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the New Day Christian Church: 7155 Hamner Ave., Eastvale CA 92880.

Fresh produce, farm fresh eggs, freshly baked bread, microgreens, farm fresh honey and MUCH MORE!! For more information or on how to become a vendor, please email:















Are you interested in what’s going on in the community of Highgrove? If you live within the unincorporated community of Highgrove, be sure to apply for two (2) Alternate Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) positions .  Get to know your Sheriff Deputies, Code Enforcements Officers, School Board Members, Animal Control Specialists and more! Interested parties may apply online at under Boards-Committees & Commissions.


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