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San Bernardino is a large city located in the Inland Empire Metropolitan Areamarker of Southern California. San Bernardino is also the county seat of San Bernardino County, Californiamarker, United Statesmarker. San Bernardino's estimated population, as of 2006, is 205,010. As of 2006, it was the 18th largest city in California, and the 101st largest city in the United States. San Bernardino is part of the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario Metropolitan Areamarker, which is the 14th largest in the nation and which is commonly referred to as the "Inland Empiremarker". Though much of the housing stock is, on average, older than that of the surrounding region, new homes continue to be built in different parts of the city, with the bulk rising in the Verdemont area on the north side of the city.


The City of San Bernardino, California, occupies much of the San Bernardino Valleymarker, which indigenous tribes people originally referred to as "The Valley of the Cupped Hand of God." Upon seeing the immense Arrowhead geological monument on the side of the San Bernardino Mountainsmarker, they found the life-giving waters of the hot and cold springs to which the rock formation pointed.

The City of San Bernardino is one of the oldest communities in the State of Californiamarker. Named for Bernardino of Siena on May 20, 1810, San Bernardino, in its present-day location, was not largely settled until 1851 when California entered the Union. The first Anglo-American colony was established by pioneers associated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who would later be recalled in 1857 by Brigham Young due to the Utah War. During the interim, the city was officially incorporated in the year 1857. Soon afterward, San Bernardino became an important trading hub in Southern California.

According to the Native American legend regarding the landmark Arrowhead, an arrow from heaven burned the formation onto the mountainside in order to show tribes where they could be healed. During the mid-19th Century, "Dr." David Noble Smith claimed that a saint-like being appeared before him and told of a far-off land with exceptional climate and curative waters, marked by a gigantic arrowhead. Smith's search for that unique arrowhead formation began in Texas, and eventually ended at Arrowhead Springs in California in 1857. By 1889, word of the springs, along with the hotel on the site (and a belief in the effect of the water from the springs on general health) had grown considerably. Hotel guests often raved about the crystal-clear water from the cold springs, which prompted Seth Marshall to set up a bottling operation in the hotel's basement. By 1905, water from the cold springs was being shipped to Los Angelesmarker under the newly-created "Arrowhead" trademark.

Indigenous people of the San Bernardino Valley and Mountains were collectively identified by Spanish explorers in the 19th Century as Serrano, a term meaning highlander. Serrano living near what is now Big Bear Lake were called Yuhaviatam, or "People of the Pines". In 1866, to clear the way for settlers and gold miners, state militia conducted a 32-day campaign slaughtering men, women, and children. Yuhaviatam leader Santos Manuel guided his people from their ancient homeland to a village site in the San Bernardino foothills. The United States government in 1891 established it as a tribal reservation and named it after Santos Manuel.

The California Southern Railroad established, through San Bernardino, a rail link between Los Angelesmarker and the rest of the nation in 1883. In 1905, the City of San Bernardino passed its first Charter. World War II brought what would become Norton Air Force Basemarker. The McDonald Brothers founded the McDonald's brand, along with its innovative restaurant concept, in 1948. In 1980, the Panorama Fire destroyed 284 homes. And, in 1994, Norton Air Force Base closed to become the San Bernardino International Airportmarker.


to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 153.5 km² (81.62 mi²), of which 152.3 km² (81.28 mi²) of it is land and 1.1 km² (0.4 mi²), or 0.74%, is water.

The city lies in the San Bernardino foothills and the eastern portion of the San Bernardino Valleymarker, roughly east of Los Angelesmarker. Some major geographical features of the city include the San Bernardino Mountainsmarker and the San Bernardino National Forestmarker which the cities northern most neighborhood, Arrowhead Springs, is located; the Cajon Passmarker adjacent to the northwest border; City Creek, Lytle Creek, San Timoteo Creek, Twin Creek, Warm Creek (as modified through flood control channels) feed the Santa Ana River, which forms part of the city's southern border south of San Bernardino International Airportmarker.

San Bernardino is unique among southern Californian cities because of its wealth of water, which is mostly contained in underground aquifers. A large part of the city is over the Bunker Hill Groundwater Basin, including downtownmarker. This fact accounts for an historically high water table in portions of the city, including at the former Urbita Springs, a lake which no longer exists (It is now the site of the Inland Centermarker Mall.). Seccombe Lake, named after a former mayor, is a man-made lake at Sierra Way and 5th Street. The San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District ("Muni") has plans to build two more large, multi-acre lakes North and South of the historic downtown in order to reduce groundwater, mitigate the risks of liquefaction in a future earthquake, and sell the valuable water to neighboring agencies.

The city has several notable hills and mountains; among them are: Perris Hill (named after Fred Perris, an early engineer, and the namesake of Perris, Californiamarker); Kendall Hill (which is near California State University); and, Little Mountain, which rises among Shandin Hills (generally bounded by Sierra Way, 30th Street, Kendall Drive, and Interstate 215).

Freeways act as significant geographical dividers for the City of San Bernardino. Interstate 215 is the major East-West divider, while State Route 210 is the major North-South divider. Interstate 10 is in the southern part of the city. Other major highways include State Route 206 (Kendall Drive and E Street); State Route 66 (which includes the former U.S. 66); State Route 18 (from State Route 210 north on Waterman Avenue to the northern City limits into the mountain communities), and State Route 259, the freeway connector between State Route 210 and I-215.

Neighborhoods and districts

The neighborhoods of San Bernardino are not commonly named. Some reflect geographical regions that existed before annexation, and others originated with specific housing developments. Arrowhead Springs extends from the historic Arrowhead Springs Hotel and Spa in the North to I-210 in the South and from Shandin Hills in the West to East Twin Creek in the East. Del Rosa is the area generally between the foothills and Highland, Mountain and Arden Avenues. Delmann Heights is the area North of Highland Avenue, West of I-215, and East of the unincorporated area of Muscoy, Californiamarker (which is within the city's sphere of influence for annexation as well as Devoremarker). Some portions of Highland are within the City of San Bernardino, generally consistent with the portions of historical "West Highlands" North of Highland Avenue. The city also contains the post office for Patton, California, the area coextensive with Patton Hospital. Mountain Shadows is the development name for the area between Palm Avenue and Highland Avenue to State Route 330. The "West Side" is used generically to refer to the areas West of I-215. North Loma Lindamarker is the area West of Mountain Viewmarker (the border with Redlands), South of the Santa Ana River, North of the Santa Monica Freeway (I-10), and East of Tippecanoe Avenue. The area north of Northpark Boulevard from University Parkway to Electric Avenue, and the area north of 40th Street from Electric Avenue to Harrison Street is called Newberry Farms. The area West of University Parkway, and North of Kendall Drive to the north city area is called Verdemont. The "Bench" or "Rialto Bench" refers to the area with Rialto mailing addresses between Foothill Boulevard and Base Line Street. Devoremarker and Muscoymarker are also neighborhoods in San Bernardino.

San Bernardino is divided into several districts. Many of the traditional businesses of the historic downtown have migrated to the Hospitality Lane District, which is generally bounded by the Santa Ana River to the North and I-10 to the South. Downtownmarker is its own district as well with shopping and government buildings. In the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains lies the University District, which is a commercial area designed to support the California State University with shopping, dining, and high density residential space. On the southern side of I-215 and the University District is the Cajon Pass light-industrial district where warehouses are situated to take advantage of this important connection between southern California and the rest of the United States. On the opposite side of the city is the San Bernardino International Gateway, which encompasses the San Bernardino International Airport (SBD) and the Alliance California logistics campus. Nearby is the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail hub. The combination of these assets (airport; rail hub; extensive freeway system; and, Cajon Pass) makes the city important in the movement of goods and people between southern California and the rest of the United States.

The City of San Bernardino is in the process of developing an historic district around the 1918 Santa Fe Depot, which recently underwent a $15.6 million restoration. When completed, this area will connect to the downtown District with period light standards and street furniture, historic homes and other structures, a new museum, coffee bars and, a mercado with an architectural style in keeping with the Mission Revival station.

Zip codes

San Bernardino has zip codes 92401 through 92427. Some parts of the San Bernardino include Loma Lindamarker, Rialtomarker and Highlandmarker zip codes.


January Snowfall in San Bernardino with Shandin Hills in the background.
San Bernardino has a Continental Mediterranean climate, which is characterized by wet, cool to chilly winters, frost is common during this time of the year, and with hot, dry summers. Relative to other areas in Southern California, winters are colder with frost and with chilly to cold morning temperatures common. Summer is also a lot warmer with the highest recorded summer temperature at 117 °F (47.2 °C) in 1971. In the winter, snow flurries occur upon occasion, San Bernardino gets an average of of rain, hail, or light snow showers each year. Arrowhead Springsmarker, San Bernardino's northern most neighborhood, gets snow, heavily at times due to its elevation of about 3,000 feet above sea level.

The seasonal Santa Ana winds are felt particularly strongly in the San Bernardino area as warm and dry air is channeled through nearby Cajon Passmarker at times during the autumn months. This phenomenon markedly increases the wildfire danger in the foothill, canyon, and mountain communities that the cycle of cold wet winters and dry summers helps create.

Monthly Normal and Record High and Low Temperatures
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Rec High °F 94 93 96 102 112 111 116 116 117 111 98 93 117
Avg high °F 62 66 68 71 77 91 102 103 89 80 71 64 75
Avg low °F 34 35 41 46 50 53 60 60 57 50 42 37 46
Rec Low °F 17 21 26 20 35 40 44 43 36 29 24 18 17
Precip (in) 3.5 3.7 3.28 0.93 0.41 0.09 0.04 0.22 0.41 0.71 1.20 1.94 16.43

Surrounding municipalities


As of the 2000 census, there are 185,401 people, 56,330 households, and 41,120 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,217.2/km² (3,152.4/mi²). The population today is higher (2006 estimate: 201,823) and the Census may not have counted correctly. Some areas, particularly north of downtown, have a density beyond design capacity. There are 63,535 housing units at an average density of 417.1/km² (1,080.3/mi²). 57.2% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race. 28.23% Non-Hispanic White, 18.41% African American, 1.40% Native American, 4.19% Asian, 0.37% Pacific Islander, 27.12% from other races, and 5.28% from two or more races. .

There are 56,330 households out of which 44.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.9% are married couples living together, 21.1% have a female householder with no husband present, and 27.0% are non-families. 21.1% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 3.19 and the average family size is 3.72. As of 2000, 52.4% of housing is owner-occupied, 47.6% is renter-occupied, while 11.6% of all other housing units were vacant.

In the city the population is spread out with 35.2% under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 16.0% from 45 to 64, and 8.2% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 28 years. For every 100 females there are 96.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 92.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $31,140, and the median income for a family is $33,357. Males have a median income of $30,847 versus $25,782 for females. The per capita income for the city is $12,925. 48.6% of the population and 23.5% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 36.2% of those under the age of 18 and 11.4% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Ethnic diversity

Western, central & parts of eastern San Bernardino are home to mixed ethnic populations of low-income, of which the Latino & African American population dominates. Historically, many Latinos, primarily Mexican-Americans and Mexicans lived on Mount Vernon Avenue on the West Side, while the Medical Center (formerly known as Muscott) & Base Line corridors was mostly black since the 1960s, in particular in the east side and west side areas centering around public housing projects Waterman Gardens and the public housing on Medical Center drive. The heart of the Mexican-American community is on the West and Southside of San Bernardino.


Government, retail, and service industries dominate the economy of the City of San Bernardino. From 1998 to 2004, San Bernardino's economy grew by 26,217 jobs, a 37% increase, to 97,139. Government was both the largest and the fastest-growing employment sector, reaching close to 20,000 jobs in 2004. Other significantsectors were retail (16,000 jobs) and education (13,200 jobs).
A Santa Fe engine sits at the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway yard.
The city's location close to the Cajonmarker and San Gorgoniomarker passes, and at the junctions of the I-10, I-215, and SR-210 freeways, positions it as an intermodal logistics hub. The city hosts the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway's Intermodal freight transport yard, the Yellow Freight Systems' cross-docking trucking center, and Pacific Motor Trucking. Large warehouses for Kohl's, Mattel, Pep Boys, and Stater Bros. have been developed near the San Bernardino International Airportmarker.

Over the last few decades, the city's riverfront district along Hospitality Lane has drawn much of the regional economic development away from the historic downtownmarker of the city so that the area now hosts a full complement of office buildings, big-box retailers, restaurants, and hotels situated around the Santa Ana River.

The closure of Norton Air Force Basemarker in 1994 caused the loss of 10,000 highly-skilled military and civilian jobs, emptied whole neighborhoods, and sent San Bernardino's economy into a significant downturn that has been offset by more recent growth in the intermodal logistics industry. The jobless rate in the region swelled to more than 12 percent during the years immediately after the base closure, and even today households within one mile (1.6 km) of the city core have a median income of $20,480, less than half that of the Inland regionmarker as a whole.

According to the City's 2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Cal State University, San Bernardino 1,000+
2 Caltrans District 8 1,000+
3 City of San Bernardino 1,000+
4 Community Hospital 1,000+
5 San Bernardino City Unified School District 1,000+
6 San Bernardino County Sheriff 1,000+
7 San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools 1,000+
8 San Manuel Band of Mission Indians 1,000+
9 Stater Brothers Markets 1,000+
10 St. Bernardine Medical Center 1,000+

Arts and culture

Annual events

San Bernardino hosts several major events annually, including: Route 66 Rendez-vous, a four-day celebration of America's "Mother Road" that is held in downtown San Bernardinomarker each September; the Berdoo Bikes & Blues Rendezvous, held in the Spring; the National Orange Show festival, a citrus exposition founded in 1911 and also held in the Spring; and, the Western Regional Little League Championships held each August, as well as the annual anniversary of the birth of the Mother Charter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, Berdoo California Charter.


The Robert V. Fullerton Museum of Art, located on the campus of California State University, San Bernardinomarker, contains the largest collection of Egyptian antiquities west of the Mississippi River. Other significant pieces in the permanent collection include ancient pottery from present-day Italy, as well as funerary art from ancient China. In addition to the extensive antiquities on display, the museum presents contemporary art and changing exhibitions.

The Heritage House holds the collection of the San Bernardino Historic and Pioneer Society, while the San Bernardino County Museum of regional history, in Redlandsmarker, has exhibits relating to the City of San Bernardino, as well.

The San Bernardino Railroad & History Museum is located inside the historic Santa Fe Depot. And, a Route 66 museum is located on the historic site of the original McDonald's restaurant.

Specialty museums include the Inland Empire Military Museum, the American Sports Museum, and the adjacent WBC Legends of Boxing Museum.

Performing arts

The historic California Theater.
The 1928 California Theater of the Performing Arts in downtown San Bernardino hosts an array of events, including concerts by the San Bernardino Symphony, as well as touring Broadway theater productions presented by Theatrical Arts International, the Inland Empire's largest theater company. The Glen Helen Pavilion at the Cajon Pass is the largest amphitheater in the United States. The National Orange Show Events Center contains: the Orange Pavilion; a stadium; two large clear-span exhibition halls; a clear-span geodesic dome; and several ballrooms. Coussoulis Arenamarker in the University District is the largest venue of its type in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. Sturges Center for the Fine Arts, including the 1924 Sturges Auditorium, hosts lectures and other theater. Roosevelt Bowl at Perris Hill presents outdoor theater by Junior University during the Summer months. The historic 1929 Fox Theater of San Bernardino, located in the Downtown District and next to American Sports University, has recently been restored for new use.

Resorts and tourism

Arrowhead Springs Hotel, circa 1907
San Bernardino is home to the historic Arrowhead Springs Hotel and Spa, located in the Arrowhead Springsmarker neighborhood, which encompasses directly beneath the Arrowhead geological monument that presides over the San Bernardino Valley. The resort contains the hottest hot springs in the world , in addition to mineral baths and the famous steam caves located deep underground. Long the headquarters for Campus Crusade for Christ, the site now remains largely vacant and unused since their operations moved to Florida.

The specific plan for the future of the site includes: a new 115-room annex to the existing 135-room hotel; a new 300-room lakefront hotel; new reservoirs and a reconfiguration of the Lake Vonette; new vineyards, along with the Windy Point restaurant and wine-tasting site; a new 18-hole golf course; 36 new custom estates on fairway-adjacent lots; of commercial space, 34 apartment suites built to condominium standards, and 266 condominiums, townhomes, and single-family attached homes in the new Village Walk mixed-use lifestyle center; 300 new condominiums, townhomes, and/or senior apartments in an upscale retirement village; a new spa resort; 429 condominiums, townhomes, and single-family detached homes located adjacent to the golf course; commercial stables at a new polo club and equestrian center; extensive multi-purpose trails and watercourses; a public botanical garden; of private parks; a new office complex; a new conference center; and, of commercial space and 285 condominiums, townhomes, and single-family attached homes in the Hilltown development. Existing facilities on the grounds include: a cinema; ten private bungalows previously-owned by such people as Eleanor Roosevelt, Lucille Ball, the Marx Brothers, Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor, and Humphrey Bogart; an outdoor amphitheater; a wedding chapel; the Esther Williams Pool and Cabanas; the Hill Auditorium; several ballrooms; a guard house; tennis courts; and, the Hacienda.

The $300 million Casino San Manuel, one of the few in southern California that does not operate as a resort hotel, is located approximately one mile from the Arrowhead Springs Hotel and Spa.

In downtown, Clarion, adjacent to the San Bernardino Convention Center, is the largest hotel while the Hilton is the largest in the Hospitality Lane District.


California State University, San Bernardinomarker Coyotes compete at the NCAA Division II level in a variety of sports. In 2007, the Coyotes' men's basketball team competed in the Division II Final Four in Springfield, Massachusettsmarker. However, only San Bernardino Valley College plays football at the collegiate level.

San Bernardino has had other professional and semi-pro teams over the years, including the San Bernardino Jazz professional women's volleyball team, the San Bernardino Pride Senior Baseball team, and the San Bernardino Spirit California League Single A baseball team.

San Bernardino also hosts the BSR West Super Late Model Series at Orange Show Speedway. The series fields many drivers, including NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular Ron Hornaday, who drove the #33 in a race on July 12, 2008.

Inland Empire 66ers

The city hosts the Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino baseball club of the California League, which as of 2007 is the Los Angeles Dodgers Single A Affiliate in 2007. The 66ers play at Arrowhead Credit Union Parkmarker in downtown San Bernardino.

Little League baseball

San Bernardino is the home of Al Houghton Stadium and the Western Regional Little League headquarters of Little League Inc. Each year in the first two weeks of August, San Bernardino hosts eleven western states in the West and Northwest regional tournaments. The winner of each tournament goes onto the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The championships games each year are televised by ESPN.

Parks and recreation

San Bernardino offers several parks and other recreation facilities. Perris Hill Park is the largest with: Roosevelt Bowl, Fiscalini Field, several tennis courts, a Y.M.C.A., a senior center, a shooting range, hiking trails, and a pool. Other notable parks include: the Glen Helen Regional Park, operated by the County of San Bernardino, is located in the northern-most part of the city. Blair Park is another midsized park near the University Districtmarker, it is home to a well known skate park and various hiking trails on Shandin Hills, also known as Little Mountain.


Local Government

According to the city’s most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city’s various funds had $313.6 million in Revenues, $298.5 million in expenditures, $1,113.3 million in total assets, $449.6 million in total liabilities, and $181.0 million in cash and investments.

The structure of the management and coordination of city services is:

City Department Director
City Manager Fred Wilson
Executive Director, Economic Development Agency Emil Marzullo
General Manager, San Bernardino Municipal Water Department Stacy Aldstadt
Director of Finance Barbara Pachon
Director of Development Services Valerie Ross
Police Chief Michael Billdt
Fire Chief Michael Conrad
Director of Parks and Recreation Kevin Hawkins
City Librarian Ophelia G. Roop
Executive Director of Federal Programs Ernest Dowdy
Director of Public Services Ken Fischer
Director of Human Resources Linn Livingstron

The City of San Bernardino is a charter city, a form of government under California that allows limited home-rule, in that it can pass its own laws not in conflict with state law, such as when state law is silent, or expressly allows municipal regulations of areas of local concern. San Bernardino became a charter city in 1905, the most current charter was passed in 2004.

The City of San Bernardino has a strong, full-time, elected mayor, a city manager, an elected City Attorney, City Clerk, and City Treasurer, and seven council positions elected in a ward system. The charter also created the San Bernardino City Unified School District, a legally separate agency, and the Board of Water Commissioners, a semi-autonomous, but legally indistinct commission, and a Board of Library Trustees.

The City Manager is responsible for all department heads, except for the fire and police chiefs. Previously, the San Bernardino Municipal Code recognized a City Administrator.

When the City originally adopted a ward system, there were five wards. In the 1960s, the Council was expanded to seven wards. The boundaries are adjusted with each federal census as required by federal constitutional law. The current council is:

First Ward: Esther Estrada;Second Ward: Dennis Baxter;Third Ward: Tobin Brinker;Fourth Ward: Fred ShorrettFifth Ward: Chas (not Charles) Kelley;Sixth Ward: Rikke Van Johnson;Seventh Ward: Wendy McCammack;

The Mayor is Patrick J. Morris;

The City Clerk is Rachel Clark;

The City Treasurer is David Kennedy;

The City Attorney is James "Jim" Frank Penman;

As per California law, all city positions are non-partisan.

San Bernardino's legal community has two centers: downtown and Hospitality Lane. Criminal, family, and government lawyers are centered downtown, while local civil firms and outposts of state and national firms, corporate, and insurance defense firms, are located along Hospitality Lane. The Government of Mexicomarker has a consulate in downtown San Bernardino on the southeast corner of Third Street and "D" Street. Citizens of Mexico can obtain a Matrícula Consular which many governments and businesses use in lieu of U.S. photo identification.

Municipal code

San Bernardino City Logo
As a charter city, San Bernardino may make and enforce its own laws not in conflict with the State's laws. These rules have been codified as the San Bernardino Municipal Code. Violations of the San Bernardino Municipal Code, punishable as a misdemeanor or infraction (or both) are prosecuted by the City Attorney's Office in the San Bernardino Superior Court. The City also has two administrative processes for violations of the San Bernardino Municipal Code, including adopted codes such as the California Building Code and the California Fire Code. One is an administrative citation system, similar to a parking ticket, with a pay or contest procedure. The other is an administrative hearing process, generally used for multiple code violations by the Code Enforcement Department.

Joint-power authorities

San Bernardino shares certain powers with other agencies to form legally separate entities known as joint-power authorities under California law. These include Omnitrans, which provides transportation throughout the east and west valleys of San Bernardino County; SANBAG, which coordinates transportation projects throughout the County, and the Inland Valley Development Agency, which is responsible for redevelopment of the areas around the San Bernardino International Airportmarker.

City of San Bernardino Economic Development Agency

The Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Bernardino, also known as the "Economic Development Agency of the City of San Bernardino," is a separate legal entity, though the City Council of the City of San Bernardino sits as the Agency Board, and the Mayor is its executive.

Downtown San Bernardino Revitalization Efforts

In June 2009, the City’s Economic Development Agency, presented the San Bernardino City Council with the Downtown Core Vision / Action Plan[16067]– a guide for revitalizing Downtown San Bernardino for the next 10 years. The plan, which the city council approved to support, is the culmination of a year of research, community participation, and planning led by the City’s EDA and the urban planning firm EDAW which has worked on master planning across the globe for downtown areas that include Milan, Italy; London, England; New York, New York; and Denver, Colorado, to name a few.

A driving force in the initial phase of the revitalization efforts is the development of an arts and culture district in the heart of Downtown San Bernardino. This effort is being anchored by the historic and iconic California Theatre[16068], which has been in continuous operation since first opening its doors in 1928. California-based Maya Cinemas, which is adjacent to California Theatre, is in the process of renovating the former CinemaStar movie theatre. These two entertainment facilities are the foundation of what will become a vibrant center for the arts and culture.

County seat

San Bernardino County Court House, built in 1926.
San Bernardino is the county seat of San Bernardino Countymarker the largest formal county in the United States by area, but smaller than the informally organized county equivalent Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, Alaskamarker. Various state courts, (for civil, criminal and juvenile trials) operate under the auspices of the Superior Court, San Bernardino District (formerly Central Division prior to the unification of the Superior and Municipal Courts in 1998). Currently, the Superior Court of California county courthouse is located at 351 North Arrowhead Avenue. It consists of a four-story building of steel and concrete construction built in 1927. A six-story addition was added in the 1950s. Currently, the 1926 structure is being retrofitted. Additional court rooms have been opened at 303 West Third Street, site of the former State Building.A new courthouse is tentatively planned to be built at the south east corner of Third and Arrowhead, across from the 303 West Third courtrooms, and the current court. Funding for the future court will likely be conditioned upon a statewide bond initiative.

Juvenile Court and Juvenile Hall are located in a county enclave adjacent to the city on Gilbert Street, near the site of the former County Hospital.

The County's District Attorney and the Public Defender both have their main offices on Mountain View Avenue, directly east of the Courthouse.

The California Court of Appeal Fourth District, Division Two used to be located in San Bernardino, but moved to Riverside in the 1990s. Federal cases (including Bankruptcy) are also heard in Riverside courthouses.

San Bernardino County Government Center, 385 North Arrowhead Avenue in downtown San Bernardino


The San Bernardino Police Department has a holding area, but pre-trial arrested suspects are transported to the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamongamarker. Sentenced criminals are held at the Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center, just outside the City's limits in the Verdemont area. While the Central Detention Center, located at 630 East Rialto Avenue in San Bernardino, served as the main jail from 1971–1992, today it mostly serves federal prisoners under contract.

Public safety

The 1905 Charter created the San Bernardino Police Department and Chief of Police; before 1905, there was a position of City Marshal. The current Charter places the Chief of Police under the direction of the Mayor.

The San Bernardino City Fire Department was founded in 1878. The Fire Chief is under the direction of the Mayor. There are thirteen stations.

Charter Section 186 requires that the monthly salaries of police and fire local safety members be the average of like positions at ten comparable cities in California. Thus, if the average goes up in other cities, the compensation of the local safety employees automatically rises.

Over 90 percent of local police officers do not live within the City limits.

Recent police efforts include joint patrols with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department and the California Highway Patrol. As of November 2006, Part 1 Crime (Murders, Rape, Robbery, Assault, Burglary and Theft) was down 14.07 percent from 2005. Stricter enforcement caused a rise in both juvenile and adult arrests.

San Bernardino has long battled high crime rates. According to statistics published by Morgan Quitno, San Bernardino was the 16th most dangerous US city in 2003, 18th in 2004 and 24th in 2005. San Bernardino's murder rate was 29 per 100,000 in 2005, the 13th highest murder rate in the country and the third highest in the state of California after Comptonmarker and Richmondmarker. Police efforts have significantly reduced crime in 2008 and a major drop collectively since 1993 when the city's murder rate placed ninth in the nation.

State and Federal

In the state legislature San Bernardino is located in the 31st and 32nd Senate Districts, represented by Republican Robert Dutton and Democrat Gloria Negrete McLeod respectively, and in the 59th, 62nd and 63rd Assembly Districts, represented by Republican Anthony Adams, Democrat Wilmer Carter, and Republican Bill Emmerson respectively. Federally, San Bernardino is located in California's 41st and 43rd congressional districts, which have Cook PVIs of R +9 and D +10 respectively and is represented by Republican Jerry Lewis and Democrat Joe Baca.


San Bernardino is primarily served by the San Bernardino City Unified School District, the 7th largest district in the state. All though it is also served by Rim of the World (far north, mountains), Redlands (far south east) and Rialto (far west) Unified School Districts.

Colleges and universities

High schools

The district, as signified by its name, has elementary, intermediate, and high schools. The comprehensive high schools are:


San Bernardino is part of the Los Angelesmarker Nielsen area. As such, most its residents receive the same local television and radio stations as residents of Los Angeles. KVCR-TVmarker, a PBS affiliate operated by the San Bernardino Community College District, is the only local San Bernardino television station. KPXNmarker, the Los Angeles "i" network affiliate, is licensed to San Bernardino, but contains no local content. Most of the northern section of San Bernardino cannot receive over-the-air television broadcasts from Los Angeles because Mount Baldymarker, and other San Gabriel Mountain peaks, block transmissions from Mount Wilsonmarker. Since the 1960s, most North San Bernardino residents have required cable television to obtain television. Today, the city has two main cable franchises: the northwest section of the city has Charter Communications, the rest of the city is served by Time Warner Cable. Mountain Shadow Cable is a small local company that provides services to the eponymous mobile home park. DBS satellite also has a presence. Local programming is handled by the city's Public, Education, and Government Channel KCSB-TV.

Historically, San Bernardino has had a number of newspapers. Today, the San Bernardino Sun, founded in 1894 (but was the continuation of an earlier paper) publishes in North San Bernardino, and has a circulation area roughly from Yucaipa to Fontana, including the mountain communities. Many older residents refer to the Sun as the Sun-Telegram, its name when it merged with the afternoon Telegram in the 1960s. There is also the Black Voice News that has been in the area over 30 years serving African Americans that live in the community. The Los Angeles Times is also widely circulated.

The Inland Empiremarker also has its own Arbitron area. Therefore, there are several radio stations that broadcast in San Bernardino or other Inland Empire cities. These include rock station KCXX, country music station KFRG and NPR member station KVCR . Other than government or media outlets, there is no major internet site made for the Inland Empire.


Roads and highways

San Bernardino has a system of mostly publicly maintained local streets, including major arterials, some private streets, state highways, and interstate highways.

The major streets are (north south streets, from the west): Meridian Avenue, Mount Vernon Avenue, E Street, Arrowhead Avenue, Sierra Way, Waterman Avenue, Tippecanoe Avenue, Del Rosa Avenue, Sterling Avenue, Arden Avenue, Victoria Avenue, Palm Avenue, and Boulder Street; east west streets, from the north): Northpark Boulevard, Kendall Avenue, 40th Street, Marshall Boulevard, 30th Street, Highland Avenue, Base Line (Street), 9th Street, 5th Street, 2nd Street, Rialto Avenue, Mill Street, Orange Show Road, and Hospitality Lane.

The state highways include:

Freeways include:

Public transportation

San Bernardino is served by the Metrolink regional rail service. Lines include: the Metrolink Inland Empire-Orange County Line and the Metrolink San Bernardino Line.

Plans are underway by SANBAG to create a light rail link to Redlands, Californiamarker, with potential station-stops at Mill Street and Hospitality Lane. It would also possibly connect with a planned extension of Metrolink service at the planned transit center.

Amtrak's Southwest Chief, operating from Los Angelesmarker to Chicagomarker has one daily train in each direction that stops at the San Bernardino stationmarker.

The City of San Bernardino is a member of the joint-powers authority Omnitrans and MARTA. A Bus Rapid Transit project, called SB-X, is planned from Cal State San Bernardino to Loma Linda. A bus transit center is planned in the vicinity of E Street and Rialto Avenue.


San Bernardino International Airportmarker is physically located within the City. Several warehouses have been, and continue to be, built in the vicinity. The facility, itself, is within the jurisdiction of the Inland Valley Development Agency, a joint powers authority, and the San Bernardino Airport Authority. Hillwood, a venture run by H. Ross Perot, Jr., is the master developer of the project, which it calls AllianceCalifornia. The airport does not currently offer commercial passenger service. However, the airport passenger terminal has been remodeled, and it will be taking international flights sometime in 2009.Southeastern Jet Corporation will begin a private charter service at the airport in the fall of 2009.The airport is served by three major freeways: I-10 (Tippecanoe Avenue); I-215 (Mill Street); and, SR 210 (Waterman Ave. - Hwy 18).

Notable natives and residents







Image:DSCF0677.jpg‎|San Bernardino skylineImage:Blizzard San Bernardino.jpg|Heavy San Bernardino snowfall.Image:SantaFeDepot,SanBdo.jpg|San Bernardino, Amtrak station, Santa Fe Depot


San Bernardino has received many informal nicknames in its history. Of these, San B., Dino, San Berdoo, and Berdoo are the most common but are sometimes considered derogatory or undignified. Other, more official nicknames include: Gate City (to reflect its proximity to Los Angelesmarker, and location at the southern and western end of the Cajon Passmarker, leading to the High Desert and Las Vegas, Nevadamarker); The Friendly City;City on the Move; and, most recently, The Heartbeat of U.S. Route 66, Heart of Southern California.

Sister cities

San Bernardino has eleven sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International and the Mayor's office. of the City of San Bernardino:

Tachikawa is the oldest and strongest of the relationships, and predates Sister Cities International, Inc. It was formed because both San Bernardino and Tachikawa had United States Air Force Bases.

See also

References and notes

Further reading

  • Edward Leo Lyman, San Bernardino: The Rise and Fall of a California Community, Signature Books, 1996.
  • Walter C. Schuiling, San Bernardino County: Land of Contrasts, Windsor Publications, 1984
  • Nick Cataldo, Images of America: San Bernardino, California, Arcadia Publishing, 2002

External links

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