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Kenyan Adventist Chief Justice Advocates Christian Values for Legal Profession — and More News Shorts


In this week’s news round-up, Adventist Chief Justice David Maraga says he wishes every Kenyan practicing law was a true Christian, Nevada and Utah churches receive active assailant response training, Pacific Union College establishes $7.1 million conservation easement and creates native plant garden, a La Sierra University student’s film will air on PBS, and Loma Linda Academy students participate in “Trout in the Classroom” program.

Kenyan Adventist Chief Justice Advocates Christian Values and Principles for the Legal Profession. Chief Justice David Maraga, speaking during Daystar University's 41st graduation where he was conferred an honorary doctorate, said he wishes every Kenyan practicing law was a true Christian. He said Christian values and principles were fundamental in ensuring the legal profession was hinged on integrity and trust. Maraga is a Seventh-day Adventist who told Judicial Service Commission he would not preside over any case on Saturday. Maraga said judicial processes would flow smoothly if all lawyers applied Christian doctrines. He attributed his smooth transition from being an advocate to becoming the Judiciary's president to his application of Christian values. "When I was told I would receive this honor today, I thought a lot about what could have spurred me to deserve this recognition. I established it was all about walking like Christ walked. He was just because he applied his faith's principles, and that’s what we need in the profession," he said. From Tuko, “Chief Justice David Maraga wishes all Kenyan lawyers were Christians.”

Nevada and Utah Churches Receive Active Assailant Response Training. Seventh-day Adventist churches across Nevada and Utah joined other local congregations for a different kind of service, one to learn life-saving techniques from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police. Mountain View SDA Church senior pastor Doctor BJ Boles said in light of recent active shooter incidents across the country, he felt it was the right time for this kind of training to take place for the hundreds of people who attend his church. “We need to be proactive in ensuring these things don’t happen here in Las Vegas. We want to work under the umbrella of all the organizations to come together that we’re all pulling the same direction and not doing something inadvertently against what would be helpful.” Officers were leading the discussion, telling folks about MACTAC Active Assailant Response. Firearms and dummies were included in the presentation to get folks to become more aware. “Once we arrive on scene, it ensures that the people that are here and monitoring the services here are trained and know what to do with their congregation,” said Peter Boffelli, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Spring Valley Area Command Captain. Leon Brown, Sr., President of the Nevada-Utah Conference of Seventh Day Adventists, said, “We don’t want it [this kind of training] to be a scary thing; we want to do it the same way that children do their drills in schools so they’re not scared but at the same time we need to be prepared.” From KTNV, “Local churches partner with law enforcement for safety training.”

Pacific Union College Establishes $7.1 Million Forest Conservation Easement. Pacific Union College worked with the Land Trust of Napa County and state of California to establish a $7.1 million conservation easement. PUC will continue to own the 864-acre forest containing redwoods and a reservoir-feeding creek near its Angwin campus in the mountains northeast of St. Helena. But the development rights are retired, meaning the land will never be built upon, with the easement held by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The forest abuts Las Posadas State Forest and a Land Trust preserve. Wildlife such as black bears and mountain lions use it to travel the mountains. Rare species such as the purple-flowering Napa false indigo are found there. PUC itself uses the forest but has long allowed the public to hike in the forest. The college’s forest manager, Peter Lecourt, said last summer that this practice will continue, adding such features as a kiosk. “The PUC demonstration and experimental forest is an integral part of the educational and student life experiences at Pacific Union College,” college President Bob Cushman said in a press release. “I am very pleased to see this forest preserved and managed in perpetuity.” PUC had considered selling its forest to generate money for its primary mission of education, a college press release said. It changed course after learning it could work with the Land Trust, the Wildlife Conservation Board, and Cal Fire on an easement. Money for the $7.1 million easement came from a $3.5 million state Wildlife Conservation Board grant, a $2.85 million Cal Fire state forestry legacy grant and a $750,000 Land Trust contribution. From Napa Valley Register, “Pacific Union College preserves Napa County forest.”

Pacific Union College Students Propagate Native Plant Garden. In fall 2017 at Pacific Union College, work began on a native plant garden. Aimee Wyrick, chair of the biology department, guided her Propagating Native Plants class on planning the garden. They studied conditions needed for various native plants, learned to propagate many of them in the department’s greenhouse, observed sun and shade patterns in the garden plot, studied potential effects on surrounding nature, and spent hours digging out the previous invasive vines and plants in the public area near the Angwin Post Office. “Most people aren’t the most aware of the immense diversity of flora our region has. Native plants should be used much more in landscaping, and this garden plot shows people what those plants are, what they look like, how they grow, and how they can be used to landscape a yard. It’s a living and growing demonstration,” said Kari Stickle, a senior health sciences and Italian double major, who is a passionate, self-proclaimed plant-lover. She not only produced many illustrations of the garden’s design but also spent several hours outside of class weeding the plot on her own. The idea for the garden was sparked by a phone call to Wyrick from Nancy Lecourt, academic dean and vice president for academic administration. “I was looking for ways to educate more people about the importance of native plants to insects and birds — the whole ecosystem,” said Lecourt. Plants in the final layout included California fuschia, California lilac, lupine, mallow, manzanita, milkweed, penstemon, pipevine, sage, toyon, western redbud, yarrow, poppies, flax, owl clover, and several species of native grass and succulents. “Projects like this provide an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge to the real world,” Wyrick said. “Our modern world tends to overlook plants and may not understand the importance they serve to wildlife and humans alike. I appreciate the genuine interest the PUC students have in learning more about native species and their commitment to a long-term project of this sort.” From Napa Valley Register, “Pacific Union College students install native plant garden in Angwin.”

La Sierra University Student’s Film Chosen for PBS Film School Shorts Series. La Sierra University film student Michelle Noland, a senior Film and Television Production major, created a film that will be part of the PBS national series Film School Shorts. She signed a deal with PBS affiliate KQED to include her award-winning film She Isn’t Here in the series. The film, set to be released in April, explores the anxiety disorder agoraphobia. Nolan also picked up another opportunity in the world of film. The North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists in Columbia, Maryland, hired Noland as a cinematographer and editor on a web series titled I Am a Steward. The 24-episode video series is a promotional campaign to increase awareness of the Adventist Giving mobile app. The first episode will appear in January on the app, the Adventist Giving website, and on the Hope Channel Christian lifestyle television network. The project took Noland to 12 states and to Calgary, Alberta, Canada. “Before making this series, I had a very narrow view of what it was like to live in other states besides California, but these trips have definitely broadened my mind.” From The Press-Enterprise, “Film student at Riverside’s La Sierra University sees big year in 2019.”

Loma Linda Academy Fourth Graders Participate in “Trout in the Classroom” Program. Fabiola Guzman and her Loma Linda Academy fourth graders participated in the Classroom Aquarium Education Program, known regionally as Trout in the Classroom, regulated by California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). CDFW supplies the trout eggs to the classrooms and partners with sponsors to provide the necessary equipment and support for teachers. Inland Empire Resource Conservation District (IERCD) sponsors teachers from within its District boundaries to participate in this program. The goals of the “Trout in the Classroom” program are to introduce students to aquatic environments and to instill a sense of responsibility for natural habitats. Guzman received training from CDFW and supplies and classroom presentations from IERCD. During the release event on December 19, 2018 staff members from IERCD, California State University of San Bernardino, and CDFW led stations to educate the students on healthy habitats. The stations featured water quality (Dr. Jennifer Alford from California State University of San Bernardino), wildlife (IERCD), plants (IERCD), aquatic entomology (IERCD), casting (CDFW), and trout release (CDFW). From InlandEmpire.US, “Plants and Insects and Trout, Oh My!


Pam Dietrich taught English at Loma Linda Academy for 26 years and served there eight more years as the 7-12 librarian. She lives in Yucaipa, California.

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