Bits 'n' Pieces

Chamber Honorees

Ceremony Honors Fallen

City of Long Beach officials honored fallen Police and Fire Department employees at the annual Police and Fire Memorial Ceremony. The Tuesday morning event, a longstanding tradition, in the Civic Center Plaza downtown, paid tribute to the 29 police employees and 14 firefighters who have lost their lives in service to the Long Beach community.

The ceremony, attended by invited family and loved ones of the fallen, and livestreamed to the community, included remarks by Mayor Robert Garcia, Police Chief Wally Hebeish, Fire Chief Xavier Espino and was emceed by Police Deputy Chief Gerardo Prieto and Fire Deputy Chief Robbie Grego.

Elements included the posting of the colors, flag presentation and two time-honored traditions of the Police and Fire Departments – a 21-gun salute and “Last Alarm” tribute. The 21-gun salute, which consists of three ceremonial gunshot volleys conducted by the Long Beach City Honor Guards, is a tradition historically used by law enforcement, along with the playing of Taps, to honor, pay respect to and bid farewell to its fallen. The “Last Alarm” tribute, in the past, signified the beginning and end to a firefighter’s day of service, their summoning to the call of duty and the solemn announcement of a firefighter’s line of duty passing.

A memorial monument was installed in the Civic Center Plaza last spring and was a collaborative effort by the city and numerous business and community leaders.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

The vibrancy of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) cultures will take center stage as Long Beach Public Library (LBPL) celebrates AAPI Heritage Month in May. Various in-person events highlighting different aspects of AAPI culture, including history, food and craft traditions, will take place at different Library locations throughout the month. The Library will also host the inaugural Festival of AAPI Books Long Beach (FAB LB) on Saturday, May 21, featuring renowned AAPI authors, children’s activities and cultural performances.

Events celebrating AAPI Heritage Month will take place all month long, including event highlights. A complete list of events is available at longbeach.gov/library/events.

Angkor Civilization Archaeology Lecture – May 5 at 5:30 p.m., Mark Twain Library – Learn more about the Angkorian world and how people lived in this ancient kingdom. For teens and adults.

History of Cambodians in Long Beach Presentation – May 7 at 3 p.m., Billie Jean King Main Library (BJK) – Explore the history of Cambodians in Long Beach in this presentation by Dr. Susan Needham and Dr. Karen Quintiliani.

ArtLab with Disney Animator Benson Shum – May 13 at 4:30 p.m., Michelle Obama Library – Interactive art workshop with Benson Shum who has worked as an animator on Moana, Raya and the Last Dragon and Encanto. For kids 7+.

BTS Army Unite! The Ultimate K-Pop Fan Day for Teens – May 25 at 4 p.m., Mark Twain Library – BTS enthusiasts are invited to join us for some K-Pop-focused activities and crafts. For teens only!

The Art of Furoshiki (Japanese cloth wrapping) at various locations – At this hands-on workshop, participants will print their own fabric and learn wrapping techniques. Space is limited and registration is required.

In addition, the first ever FAB LB event will take place on May 21 from 1 to 4 p.m. at BJK. This inaugural event brings together renowned local AAPI adult, teen and children’s authors to celebrate their work through interactive discussions and author readings. The day also includes children’s activities and cultural performances, as well as onsite pop-up shops by local Long Beach small businesses Bel Canto Books, Romeo Chocolates and Gemmae Bakeshop.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit the library’s website, lbpl.org,

Senior Nutrition Program

The City of Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine (PRM) resumed its in-person Senior Nutrition Program this week at various sites throughout the city. Hot or cold nutritious meals that meet USDA standards will be served to residents age 50 and above.

Residents are required to make reservations ahead of time at El Dorado Park West, 2800 Studebaker Rd., (562) 570-3225 or Long Beach Senior Center, 1140 E. 4th St., (562) 570-3520.

More information about PRM programs for seniors is available on the Senior Citizen Program webpage on LBParks.org.

Entrepreneur of the Year Program Honorees

The Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce bestows its most prestigious awards of the year during the 24th annual “City National Bank Entrepreneur of the Year” program with more than 400 guests in attendance at the Hyatt Regency in Long Beach, Calif., on April 28. The Chamber recognizes leaders who have made an indelible impact in Long Beach’s business and philanthropic communities and this year’s honorees are, from left to right, John Morris, Boathouse on the Bay, Don Temple Storage Philanthropic Pioneer Award; Starr Bunch, Five Starr Pilates and Fitness, Long Beach City College Shaun R. Lumachi Rising Star Award; Julia Huang, Founder and CEO of Intertrend, City National Bank Entrepreneur of the Year; Richard A. Raffetto, president of City National Bank, Title Sponsor; Kam Babaoff, Chairman, Co-Founder of Ensemble Real Estate Services, Inc., HCVT Corporate Citizen of the Year; and Randy Gordon, Former President and CEO of The Chamber and Avid Community Supporter, Chick-fil-A Community Spirit Award.

The Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest membership chambers of commerce in Los Angeles County. The Chamber serves as the Catalyst for business growth, a Convener of leaders and influencers and a Champion for a stronger community.

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