Bits 'n' Pieces

Richardson Victorious

Long Beach Mayor-Elect Rex Richardson declared victory in the race for Long Beach Mayor on Tuesday. He released the following statement upon receiving Councilmember Suzie Price’s concession call:

“Long Beach voters had a choice between two public servants who have worked every day to make our communities a better place to work, live and raise a family,” Richardson stated. “I want to commend Councilmember Suzie Price for sharing her ideas for the future of our city. She and I share a love for Long Beach and want to ensure every resident is safe and thriving. I look forward to collaborating with her and her supporters to unify our city and move us forward. As Long Beach’s next mayor, I will focus on tackling our city’s biggest challenges and working daily to make City Hall more responsive to residents’ needs. I look forward to getting started with our transition.”

Vice Mayor Richardson holds a lead of 55.29% over Councilmember Suzie Price’s 44.71% in the semi-final results reported by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk on Monday.

Richardson will become Long Beach’s first African-American mayor in city history at his swearing in on Dec. 20, 2022. He will be announcing his transition team tomorrow.

Carter Appointed Commissioner for Pacific Gateway Workforce

Dignity Health – St. Mary Medical Center announced the appointment of Gloria Carter, chief nursing executive, as commissioner for the Pacific Gateway Workforce Innovation Network (PGWIN). Mayor Robert Garcia appointed Carter during a recent council meeting. This is the mayor’s final appointment for his term.

Pacific Gateway Workforce is a development agency that provides service solutions for Long Beach, Signal Hill and the Los Angeles Harbor communities. The scope of Carter’s role includes directing and leading investments made by the PGWIN Board.

“I have lived and worked in Long Beach most of my adult life and I am proud of this great city,” Carter stated. “I am humbled and honored to serve this community by way of an organization that helps thousands of people to build their skills and find good jobs. It also connects businesses to the resources they need to find and retain qualified employees.”

For the first time in the history of Long Beach, more women than men serve on city leadership commissions and boards. It is important that appointed leaders in the city of Long Beach continue to reflect the diversity of its community members.

Rocket Lab’s CAPSTONE Enters Lunar Orbit

Rocket Lab USA, a leading launch and space systems company based in Long Beach, is celebrating the successful arrival of the Electron-launched, Photon-deployed CAPSTONE spacecraft to lunar orbit. Following an initial orbit insertion maneuver on Sunday, CAPSTONE will perform clean-up maneuvers over the next several days to complete insertion into its target orbit.

CAPSTONE (Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment) has been travelling in space for almost five months following a successful launch by Rocket Lab on June 28, 2022.

CAPSTONE was launched to low Earth orbit from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 on June 28 on the Electron launch vehicle. From there, Rocket Lab’s Lunar Photon spacecraft carried out a series of orbit raising maneuvers over six days, pushing CAPSTONE deeper into space before conducting a final maneuver to place CAPSTONE on a ballistic lunar transfer. This maneuver saw CAPSTONE travel more than 1.5 million kilometers from Earth before looping back to be captured by the Moon’s gravity and reaching its final planned destination in near rectilinear halo orbit.

Rocket Lab’s role in the mission was successfully completed on July 4th with the injection of the spacecraft onto the ballistic lunar transfer designed by Advanced Space. Advanced Space and Terran Orbital managed operations of CAPSTONE for the remainder of the spacecraft’s solo journey to lunar orbit.

“Congratulations to the many teams behind mission success for CAPSTONE. This is a monumental day for small spacecraft science and exploration,” said Rocket Lab Founder and CEO Peter Beck. “After delivering a successful launch and deployment for CAPSTONE almost five months ago, we’ve watched with bated breath as CAPSTONE drew closer to lunar orbit. Throughout that time the teams at Advanced Space and Terran Orbital have shown relentless dedication, culminating in mission success today. We’re cheering CAPSTONE on as it now transitions into the next phase of operations in lunar orbit.”

To learn more about Rocket Lab’s role in the CAPSTONE mission, visit: www.rocketlabusa.com/missions/lunar/

LBYC Now Officially a Non-Profit Organization

The Long Beach Youth Chorus was founded in 2017 with the mission to become the most significant, diverse choral organization for young singers serving every child in the region by helping them develop the meaningful skills and confidence to perform, while providing life-changing experiences as part of our ensembles.

The organization’s goal was to establish the LBYC as its own 501(c)(3) within five years. The pandemic added a year, but last week, they realized that goal. The Long Beach Youth Chorus is now officially a non-profit organization, which means they are better equipped to fulfill their mission.

For the singers, it means more programming, more focus, more singers. Singer Malaya R. recently wrote this about the LBYC:

“Being in the LBYC is something I will never forget since it is an environment where people who live music can come together, create and share. I have made so many new friends and connections, because it’s always nice to be around people who share your interests, but also learn about others. Chorus is almost like a breath of fresh air for me because I would say along with my inner motivation, I’ve learned to be more confident with myself but also open. I love the fact that we explore all different kinds of music which elevates my respect for multiple cultures.”

For Long Beach, it means the city will have its first significant civic children’s/youth chorus with significant artistic vision. The chorus has several opportunities coming up to support them and hear them perform. All are invited:

Nov. 19 – Long Beach Creamery fundraiser, buy your Thanksgiving ice cream at either location, a portion of all sales for the day goes to the LBYC.

Dec. 4, 2:30 p.m. – Concert with Arts Alive LA, Grace First Presbyterian Church, 3955 Studebaker Rd., Long Beach, $5.

Dec. 16, 7 p.m. – LBYC Winter Concert, Grace First Presbyterian Church, 3955 Studebaker Rd., free-will donation.

Dec. 17, 7:00 p.m. – Caroling to guests before the Long Beach Symphony Pops concert, Long Beach Arena.

Operation Christmas Child

As the Thanksgiving season approaches, many families and children are giving thanks and giving back to children in need around the world through Operation Christmas Child.

Shoebox gifts prepared by generous donors and filled with toys, hygiene items and school supplies may be dropped off now during National Collection Week, thru Nov. 21. More than 4,500 drop-off sites are now open. The Samaritan’s Purse project will collect its 200-millionth shoebox this year!

Operation Christmas Child has been collecting and delivering shoebox gifts to children worldwide for nearly three decades. In 2022, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoeboxes to reach another 11 million children. This season, there’s still time for individuals, families and groups to transform empty shoeboxes into fun gifts. The project of Samaritan’s Purse partners with local churches across the globe to deliver these tangible expressions of God’s love to children in need. Find a step-by-step guide on the How to Pack a Shoebox web page.

“This season, children around the world need a tangible reminder that there is hope and that God loves them,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “Through these shoebox gifts packed with special items, children also receive the opportunity to hear about the eternal hope found in Jesus Christ.”

Participants can find the nearest drop-off location and hours of operation as they make plans to drop off their shoebox gifts. The online lookup tool is searchable by city or ZIP code. Signs at each location will identify the drop off.

Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, seeks to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world and, together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 198 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 170 countries and territories. This year, Operation Christmas Child will collect its 200-millionth shoebox!

$308,094 Grant for Bicycle, Pedestrian Safety

The City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has been awarded a $308,094 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The one-year grant will continue and expand DHHS’ Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Division’s Walk and Roll Long Beach Program. The program focuses on improving and promoting safety for all pedestrians and bicyclists with the goal of reducing preventable injuries and deaths from crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists.

Grant funding will be used to support a variety of comprehensive strategies and activities that promote bicycle and pedestrian safety between Oct. 1, 2022 and Sept. 30, 2023, including:

Hosting bicycle and pedestrian safety pop-up events, where staff will distribute safety information and reflective gear at intersections frequently traveled by pedestrians and bicyclists.

Facilitating workshops for older adults to provide strategies to walk safely in their neighborhoods and safely interact with pedestrian street infrastructure.

Conducting interactive community skill-building activities on how to use bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure properly and safely.

Hosting a Youth Ambassador Program to encourage and promote safe cycling and pedestrian behavior.

Providing training and safety kits to school crossing guards to promote safe routes to school at sites throughout Long Beach.

In partnership with other city departments and community-based organizations, funding will also be used to support the DHHS’ participation in national, state and local bike and pedestrian safety awareness campaigns including Long Beach Walk to School Week, which takes place in March, and National Bike Safety Month in May.

Long Beach Fire Chief Announces Retirement

Long Beach Fire Chief Xavier Espino announced his retirement from the Fire Department after nearly 37 years of service. Espino began his career with Long Beach Fire in 1986 has served as fire chief since 2018. His last day as chief will be Dec. 30, 2022.

“In this, our 125th Anniversary, we have proven our resilience. Though the past four years have been fraught with extremely trying issues, we have responded with dedication and resolve and find ourselves stronger for the struggle. I am personally indebted to the men and women of the Long Beach Fire Department for their selfless service and dedication to the mission,” he said.

Chief Espino is a recognized fire service leader. He currently serves as the president of the Los Angeles Area Fire Chiefs Association, Regional US&R Task Force Sponsoring Agency Chief Representative and is a member of the California Metro Chiefs and International Metro Chiefs Association.

Leveque Named LBSC Artistic Director

The Long Beach Shakespeare Company is pleased to introduce the Company’s new Artistic Director, Holly Leveque. She brings with her both enthusiasm and experience.

Leveque trained at the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts at Culver City High School (including two years with the Actors’ Gang) and attended Loyola Marymount University, where she earned a BA in Theatre Arts and an MFA in feature screenwriting. She served on the board of directors of Loyola’s Del Rey Theater, studied abroad with the Moscow Art Theater and has worked in comedies, dramas and theaters across the Southland.

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