May 28, 2017
Meet the Staff
Jim Ness, News Director/General Manager

Jim founded Inland Empire News Radio in 1992 and is the guiding force for our website. He's been a fixture on Inland Empire radio since following Route 66 from the Midwest to San Bernardino in 1964.

Jim's journalism career began at the tender age of 16 at a small Iowa radio station. Since then, he has directed news operations at several radio and TV stations and covered the Inland Empire for the Los Angeles Times for 8 years.

Along the way, Jim has collected 13 "Golden Mikes" and dozens of awards from the Associated Press, UPI and the Society of Professional Journalists, and is fully licensed by the Federal Communications Commission

Jim says his passion for journalism is rooted in learning from those he interviews and a desire to serve and inform. That's what gets him up at 3:30 every morning for a day that frequently covers more than 12 hours. That still leaves enough time for workouts at the gym, parking lot basketball, occasional body boarding at the "Silver Strand" and quality time with his family.

Myriam Grajales-Hall, Vice President

Myriam brings a wealth of journalistic experience and business knowledge to our operation.

She came aboard in 1993 in an advisory capacity and is instrumental in the day-to-day decision-making. Myriam is a graduate of Cal State San Bernardino. She has been honored by the society of Professional Journalists, Agricultural Communicators in Education (ACE) and the University of California.

Her broadcast career included production of the long running "Impacto" on Spanish-language radio KCAL.

When not on business trips and being her son's mom, Myriam enjoys bicycling, translating, cross-cultural sensitivity training and working with foreign students.

Julie Estrada, Anchor/Reporter

Julie Estrada started with a background in theater, and later realized an interest in television production. This led her to begin delivering broadcast news to the Inland Empire in 2002.

After joining Riverside Community College's "Inland Valley News", she discovered her passion in stories.

Enjoying the public service that comes with journalism, Julie took to the airwaves at Riverside Channel 25.

She has been recognized by the California Chicano News Media Association and the Journalism Association of Community Colleges.

Julie is grateful for learning about the world with insight to different people and cultures. She is fluent in Spanish and English and eventually wants to travel.

Born in Gardena, California, Julie grew up in the Inland Empire.

Among other interests, she enjoys spending time with her family, the arts, history, and reading.

Julie is adapting her television expertise on Inland Empire News Radio as an anchor-reporter.

Vanessa Finney, Anchor/Reporter

Vanessa is a freelance writer and radio producer living in Big Bear Lake, where she's promoting local culture as an Arts Council board member and a committee member with the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival. Besides anchoring newscasts for Inland Empire News Radio, she produces a weekly arts profile for KBHR 93.3FM.

A native Californian, she earned degrees in literature and writing at UCLA and Antioch University, taking music classes along the way. She paid homage to jazz standards while working as a vocalist and hopes to contribute to the genre with her February 2008 album of originals.

Bob Sokolsky, Entertainment

Bob Sokolsky is a veteran journalist who has been covering the entertainment media for more than 40 years.

The Boston native began his career as a news, feature and sports writer with the Springfield (Mass.) Morning Union. He served two years as an Army information specialist during the Korean War before becoming entertainment editor of the Syracuse (N.Y.) Herald-Journal. He held similar positions with the Buffalo Courier-Express and Philadelphia Bulletin before becoming TV columnist and principal entertainment reporter-reviewer for the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

He holds writing awards bestowed by the Society of Professional Journalists, as well as Lifetime Achievement awards from Brith Sholom and the Inland Theater League.

Dan Bernstein, Commentary

Dan Bernstein has been writing for the Riverside Press-Enterprise since 1982. He brought his commentaries to Inland Empire News Radio in 2000.

Dan was handed the newspaper job when someone quit, but very quickly discovered how rewarding it can be to experiment with various writing styles and comment on just about anything under the smog.

Bernstein has won writing awards from the Associated Press, California Newspaper Publishers Association, National Society of Newspaper Columnists and Best in the West.

He and his wife are raising (and vacuuming up after) Seymour, their third old English sheepdog. Bernstein also whistles, plays the trombone in a jazz band and in a brass quintet, and writes children's stories, including "Emily and the Ostriches", published in 1995.

Dan can be reached at (951) 368-9439 or e-mail dbernstein@pe.com.

John Artal, Engineering

John Artal makes sure our radio broadcast equipment is in tiptop shape.

He's a 1975 graduate of San Bernardino Valley College and has achieved his full FCC licensing qualifications. John's career began as a 2-way radio technician that eventually took him into the broadcasting industry in 1980. His self-taught abilities put him in charge of engineering at six local radio stations.

When not plying his trade, John can be heard hamming it up as WB6MRS on the amateur radio airwaves.

Douglas Oliver, Computer Repair and Consulting

Douglas Oliver is a 4th generation Californian, hailing originally from West LA. Douglas received his BA in Religious Studies from CSU Long Beach. He performed professionally with the Aman International Folk Ensemble as a singer-dancer-musician, at one point touring the north slope of Alaska as well as much of the “Lower 48.”

An interest in Chinese language took him first to the Monterey Institute of International Studies and then to Taiwan, where he met his wife. Her academic career took them to Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New York before landing them (and their NY-born daughter) in Riverside in 1991.

Douglas also has an MA in TESL from UCLA and an MA in Linguistic Anthropology from UCR. He now owns his own business, D.S. Oliver Computer Services, offering PC and Macintosh computer repair, virus removal, data recovery, and training in Microsoft and Linux platforms. Douglas makes house calls and is particularly concerned that people with low or fixed incomes, people with disabilities, and retired or elderly people have access to affordable technology.

He enjoys playing music, traveling, learning Esperanto, playing with the family’s dogs, tinkering with old computers, and keeping up with free and open source technologies.

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