Bits 'n' Pieces

Port Spending Plan

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners approved a $634.5 million budget for the Long Beach Harbor Department, including a record-setting transfer to the city’s Tidelands Operating Fund, which supports projects along Long Beach’s coastline.

The budget, for the fiscal year which begins Oct. 1, is 7.4% lower than the budget adopted last year. Operating revenue is projected to be 5.7% higher than the previous year, while non-operating revenue is projected to be 22.2% lower, largely due to completion of the Long Beach International Gateway Bridge project.

The port’s fiscal year 2024 budget will be considered for approval by the Long Beach City Council later this year.

The port has budgeted an all-time high transfer of $24.1 million to the city’s Tidelands Operating Fund, which supports shoreline safety, cleanliness, water quality, facilities and other quality-of-life projects along Long Beach’s 7-mile coastline.

“As we continue to weather challenges in the trade industry, the Port of Long Beach is looking toward the future by investing in projects that will enhance marine terminal productivity, deliver greater efficiency to our customers and improve the sustainability of our operations,” said Port of Long Beach Chief Executive Officer Mario Cordero. “This budget demonstrates our ongoing financial strength and our position as a leading gateway for trans-Pacific trade.”

“This budget reflects the port’s ongoing investment toward improving the quality of life for our surrounding communities as we continue to grow business sustainably and responsibly,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Sharon L. Weissman. “Our fiscal health is vital in maintaining the confidence of our industry partners to continue doing business with the Port of Choice.”

The port plans to invest $250.1 million – nearly 40% of the budget – in an ongoing capital improvement program that will modernize terminals, rail, bridges, waterways, roads and other infrastructure to support the ongoing sustainable and responsible growth of operations.

Overall, the Port of Long Beach plans to invest more than $2.2 billion in infrastructure projects over the next 10 years, the most ambitious program for a U.S. seaport.

The Port of Long Beach – the Harbor Department of the City of Long Beach – does not use tax revenue to support operations.

LBPD Deputy Chief

Long Beach Police Chief Wally Hebeish announced his appointment of Commander Megan Zabel to the position of Deputy Chief. Deputy Chief Zabel will assume command of the Support Bureau effective July 1.

“I am proud to promote Commander Zabel to the position of Deputy Chief. She is an empathetic leader that has built important relationships with those we serve while supporting the growth and development of the employees under her command,” said Chief of Police Wally Hebeish. “Deputy Chief Zabel will assume a greater role in our department which will serve as an excellent addition to our leadership team.”

Zabel has been with the LBPD for 22 years. She began her career as a recruit in 2001 and promoted to sergeant in 2011, lieutenant in 2018 and commander in 2021. She has worked in a variety of assignments through her career including Patrol, Directed Enforcement Team, on investigative task forces, in Internal Affairs, Media Relations, Violent Crimes, and Homicide. She most recently oversaw the department’s North Patrol Division as patrol commander.

“I am honored and excited to be selected as the newest Deputy Chief,” said Zabel. “I love serving our Long Beach community. I look forward to helping lead our personnel as we continue to advance this profession, build trust within our community, and keep those we protect safe.”

Zabel is a graduate of the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute and Leadership Long Beach Executive Series. She is currently participating in the International City/County Management Association High Performance Leadership Academy. She has received a POST Management Certificate and has been presented with multiple commendations and awards.

Zaferia New President, New Director

The Zaferia Business Association (ZBA) Board of Directors elected Dylan Davis of Port City Tavern to serve as president for the 2023-2024 term, and Jennifer Little of The Park Hotel as Vice President. Lisa Lowe of Ore’ Originals will continue to serve as treasurer, and Dean Lockwood will continue to serve as secretary. Aimee Echo of Community Yoga Club, Erica Norton of Supply & Demand, and Neil Hirsch of On the Mark Indoor Digital Advertising will serve as directors.

Kristine Hammond stepped down as of June 16 from the role of executive director. Kristine has worked with the ZBA since December 2015 and oversaw the rebranding of the area and the organization from the East Anaheim Street Business Alliance to the Zaferia District.

Marissa Pfeifer, a longtime resident of the city, has accepted the position as the new executive director of the ZBA. For the past several years, she has been active in the arts and nonprofit sectors locally with organizations like the Art Theatre of Long Beach, where she manages their special events program. Marissa arrives to the position with over a decade of operational management experience.

To learn more about the Zaferia Business Association, go to

New Jr. Lifeguard Facility

The City of Long Beach opened a new Long Beach Junior Lifeguard facility on East Ocean Boulevard at Claremont Place adjacent to the Claremont Launch Ramp.

The popular Long Beach Junior Lifeguard program offers students ages nine to 17 instruction in lifeguard rescue techniques, first aid, ocean sports, physical conditioning and marine ecology. The new 973-square-foot modular building will serve as the Junior Lifeguard Headquarters and provide a year-round first aid stingray response area with a treatment room.

The modernized building features a new foundation, new utilities, new bicycle racks by the pedestrian trail and offices for the city’s lifeguards. The increase in space and improvements to this site will benefit the growing interest in the Junior Lifeguard program.

The $2.8 million Junior Lifeguard Facility was fully funded by the city’s Tidelands program.

The Long Beach Junior Lifeguard Program began in 1971 with 63 participating youth. From the 90s to the early 2010s, the program averaged 200 to 300 participants and operated largely on word of mouth. Since partnering with Long Beach Unified School District and the city’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine in 2014, the program has grown to average nearly one thousand participants annually with participating youth from all over Long Beach represented. The Junior Lifeguard program now serves as a city pathway program into careers in public safety.

The original facility was built in the 1930s and used as a lifeguard tower until the early 70s when the program began. The original building, measuring approximately 665 square feet, had no rest rooms, offices or other amenities for program staff or participants. With the continued growing interest of the program coupled with outdated features and elements that do not conform to current city and building safety standards or operational needs, it was apparent that a new headquarters facility was needed. The original building will be demolished after the summer season.

More information about the Long Beach Junior Lifeguard Program is available at More information about the Junior Lifeguard Facility Rebuild Project is available on its webpage.

Grill Em All Coming to Horny Corner

Grill Em All in Alhambra, home of the official Ozzy Osbourne burger, has announced plans for their second location. The metal thrashing mad burger joint will open a beach side version of their famous Valhalla in Long Beach on Alamitos Bay’s legendary “Horny Corner.”

“Our beloved Valhalla has given birth to our new burger child ‘Burgs on the Beach,’” says owner Matt Chernus. “Expect a mix of a John Candy beach movie and Slayer-invading MTV Spring Break.”

Chernus and chef Niki Grasso hope to have the burgs grilling by the end of summer but no date has been set in stone. Grasso, a ten year-veteran of Grill Em All, has added a few surprises to the menu which should see about 14 burgs, fries and wing selections.

It would not be a bad 80s beach movie without beer! Chernus and Grasso plan on having a beer program that rivals what they offer in Alhambra consisting of local brews, some cervezas and wine.

Grill Em All in Alhambra is open 11:30 to 9 p.m., Sunday – Thurs., 11:30-10 p.m. Fri. & Sat. Similar hours will be in effect in Long Beach starting this fall.


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