Bits 'n' Pieces

Community Input Sought

The City of Long Beach is evaluating its shared mobility programs to better understand how customers are using Bike Share and E-scooter share programs in Long Beach. As a part of the evaluation, the city invites program users to complete a short 10-minute online survey now available until Aug. 28.

The Long Beach Bike Share program launched in 2017 and interest in the program has grown over the years. Bike Share bikes are ideal for short distance trips providing riders the ability to pick up a bicycle at any self-serve bike share hub and return it to any hub or public bike rack located within the system’s service area.

After receiving feedback from the community, the program expanded citywide in January 2023, including throughout West Long Beach, and now currently offers the public over 800 bicycles and over 100 hubs. Riders can select from various pricing options including prepaid, pay-as-you-go, or monthly and annual memberships.

Most recently the city expanded its access to the Bike Share Program by launching the Bike Share For All (BSFA) program, which provides eligible residents, college or university students, and workers in Long Beach with a $5 annual rate for Long Beach Bike Share. In 2018, the city launched the E-scooter Share pilot program and in August 2020, institutionalized three permanent e-scooter operators in the city: Bird, Lime and VeoRide.

A status report developed by the city’s Department of Public Works was provided to the Long Beach City Council in September 2022 outlining E-scooter Share program operations, concerns and permit violations with recommendations for further program enhancements. The survey responses will inform the city on how to better improve its operations, education and user experience for both Bike Share and E-Scooter share programs.

The online survey is available in English and Spanish and can be accessed by visiting Those with limited access to a computer or smart phone may visit one of the many public computer labs available at an open Long Beach Public Library location to access the survey.

MemorialCare New COO

MemorialCare announced that Todd Blake has been named the company’s new Chief Operating Officer for Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach.

As the new chief operating officer, Blake will be responsible for the planning, development, implementation and continuous improvement of the programs and services while creating a synergistic and collaborative culture with the staff, management team and medical staff.

Blake brings over 15 years of extensive hospital leadership experience to MemorialCare. Before joining MemorialCare, he was the operations officer for Intermountain Medical Center, the flagship hospital for Intermountain Health, a level 1 trauma center with 510 licensed beds, 25,000 in patient discharges and 85,000 emergency department (ED) visits annually.

“We are thrilled to have Todd join the executive leadership team at Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s. Not only does Todd have extensive experience in hospital operations, but he has an exceptional talent for building relationships across the teams he works with and a keen sense of leadership that will continue to drive the momentum and growth of MemorialCare in Southern California,” said Blair Kent, chief executive officer.

Blake graduated with his master’s in business administration and master’s in health care administration from the University of Utah – David Eccles School of Business. He is also Board Certified in HealthCare Management as a Fellow in American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

School Supplies for Children Overseas

As the school year approaches, shoebox packers are making use of back-to-school prices to purchase gifts and essential items for children in need around the world. Residents in Long Beach are collecting school supplies, along with personal care items and fun toys, to pack in shoeboxes. Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, will deliver these gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 100 countries.

For many children, access to these simple items is essential to an education. This was the case for Justin Thomas, a shoebox recipient in Southeast Asia whose parents could not afford the supplies needed for school. Thomas remembers the specific day he received a gift-filled shoebox from Operation Christmas Child and found it filled with toys and most exciting to him – school supplies!

Growing up with hand-me-down clothes and used items, Thomas used to write with a pencil so short that he held it using a pen cap. Having an entire packet of new pencils and a pencil sharpener all his own was a treasure to him. This simple gift made a life-changing impact for Thomas because it opened the doors for him to receive an education.

For more information, visit

Port Awarded Grant

The Department of Homeland Security has awarded a $2.72 million grant aimed at enhancing security at the Port of Long Beach (POLB) to ensure the safe and efficient movement of cargo in the wake of an emergency.

As a recipient of the agency’s Port Security Grant Program, POLB will use the funding to modernize its core security network, strengthen existing security systems and enhance resiliency and business continuity in the event of a disaster.

Officials welcomed the grant announcement as an opportunity to improve the port’s ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from large-scale emergencies.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Port Security Grant Program awards funding to state, local and private-sector agencies for security projects that protect port infrastructure from terrorism, improve maritime security risk management and strengthen security mitigation protocols.

Specifically, the $2.72 million grant awarded to the POLB will be divided across four projects:

Maintenance for closed-circuit television and wireless security systems, including more than 750 cameras keeping watch across the Port.

Support for existing security access control systems and information-sharing platforms connecting commercial agencies and law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, and local levels.

Expansion of a cloud-based resiliency network in the event of terrorism, a cybersecurity attack, a natural disaster or other emergency outages.

Modernization of the Port’s core security network to protect the integrity of the systems monitored by its security headquarters, the Joint Command and Control Center.

Children’s Music Academy Expands

The Camerata Children’s Music Academy (CCMA) will present its pre-K music education program at three YMCA Early Childhood schools beginning this fall. The thirty-minute classes will be held three days a week at First Friendships Preschool, Mayne Street Preschool and 70th Street Preschool. This is the second year of the LBCS-YMCA relationship with the program expanding from one location in 2022-23 to three locations for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Classes are taught by a team of music education professionals. During the classes, students learn the fundamentals of tempo, rhythm, melody and harmony by participating in a variety of creative musical exercises. According to YMCA Executive Director Andrea Solsona, early childhood music education is essential to children’s brain development, assists in reading and math learning capabilities, teaches teamwork, and helps to build self-confidence.

Led by Camerata’s Pre-K Education Director, Andria Cabrera, and a staff of music education professionals, the Camerata Children’s Music Academy is committed to eradicating music education inequities that start as early as age 2. Music education has been identified by the Camerata president, Jan B. Hower, as one of the primary areas for growth within the organization.

Camerata’s music education programs began in 2015, with the Camerata Kinder Konzerts, which presented interactive plays to elementary school age children teaching fundamental concepts using choral music. “Meet Mr. Bach,” “Miss Carla’s Dream,” “Meet Mr. Brahms,” and “Christmas at the Rancho” were presented for several years. In 2019 LBCS brought the program to Young Horizons Child Development Centers and reworked it for pre-K learning needs.

 Long Beach Camerata Singers is very grateful to a number of foundations that have generously funded this program. These include the Colburn Foundation, the California Arts Council, the John Porter Trust, Boeing Community Foundation and the Bess Hodges Foundation.

 For more information about the Camerata Children’s Music Academy contact Amy Luskey-Barth,

Presenting Sponsor for Marathon

The Long Beach Marathon (LBM) announced that Philips Sonicare, the #1 dental professional recommended sonic toothbrush brand worldwide, has been named as the presenting sponsor for the 2023 Long Beach Marathon and Half Marathon, which will take place the weekend of Oct. 14-15.

Emphasizing the importance of both oral health and physical well-being, the partnership between Philips Sonicare and the LBM brings together two champions of health and wellness. As runners power their strides, Philips Sonicare powers their smiles, fostering a positive and health-conscious community where everyone is encouraged and provided with tools to achieve their goals.

As part of the partnership, Philips Sonicare will be present throughout the marathon weekend. Runners and attendees can expect interactive and eye-catching activations at the marathon’s pre-race Health and Wellness Expo, along the race route and at the finishing line focused on providing extra encouragement and celebrating smiles.

The LBM, established in 1984, has grown to become the premier fall marathon in Southern California, showcasing the city’s miles of sandy beaches and eclectic neighborhoods. Most importantly, the event annually provides a platform for dozens of local charities and non-profit organizations to raise money for their respective causes.

Race weekend kicks off on Friday, October 13 with a two-day Health and Wellness Expo along the waterfront at Long Beach’s Marina Green. The free expo is open to the public and features dozens of products for sample and sale as all race participants pick up their bib number, T-shirt, and swag bag.

Event weekend features two days of running with the Aquarium of the Pacific 5K on Saturday and the 26.2-mile marathon, half-marathon and the popular Bike Tour on Sunday. The bike tour, which provides avid and leisure cyclists the opportunity to ride on the marathon’s closed roads, features all the marathon fun without the run, including a commemorative event shirt, finishers medal, complimentary beer and more.

Marathon weekend concludes with a finish line festival celebration on Marina Green featuring a beer garden and live music. For more information on the LBM or to register for the event, visit

Olvera Announces Goals for Port of LB

Bobby Olvera Jr. began his term as Harbor Commission President by accepting the gavel and announcing his goals to increase community engagement and connect industry partners with local schools for the year ahead at the Port of Long Beach (POLB).

 Olvera, a fifth-generation longshore worker currently serving as International Vice President (Mainland) of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, said he intends to strengthen the Port’s ties to nearby neighborhoods most impacted by port operations, particularly those in West Long Beach and in North Long Beach. He succeeds Harbor Commissioner Sharon L. Weissman, who served as the Board’s president for the past 12 months.

 “Some of the most important work we do involves community engagement and encouraging students to participate in our education and workforce programs,” said Olvera, who was appointed to the board in 2020. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Harbor Commission and port staff to build the workforce of tomorrow and secure our role as the premier gateway for trans-Pacific trade.”

 “I would like to congratulate President Olvera for being selected by colleagues to navigate the Harbor Commission through the year ahead,” said POLB CEO Mario Cordero. “We look forward to working with him to improve the lives of people living near the Port and bolstering our education partnerships.”

As head of the board that sets policy for the port, Olvera said he also wants to increase the board’s support of the port’s education outreach programs such as the Academy of Global Logistics at Cabrillo High School in West Long Beach and the ACE Academy at Jordan High School in North Long Beach.

Additionally, Olvera said he plans to work with industry partners to donate new tools and equipment for shop classes at local high schools.

2023 International Young Eco-Hero Award Winner

Genesis Butler, a 16-year-old from Long Beach, is one of 17 young environmental activists from across the globe to receive a 2023 International Young Eco-Hero Award, announced Action For Nature.

This award honors eco-conscious youth ages 8 to 16 who are taking crucial steps to solve tough environmental problems. Genesis won an Honorable Mention in this year’s competition.

Winners of the International Young Eco-Hero Award are selected by a panel of independent judges, including experts in environmental science, biology, and education. For the past 20 years, Action For Nature has recognized 339 Eco-Heroes from 27 countries and 32 U.S. states.

During the COVID-19 pandemic when attending protests wasn’t an option, Genesis founded Youth Climate Save – an online youth organizing space – in order to stay engaged in activism and to address the impact of animal agriculture on climate change. With 73 chapters in 22 countries, the youth-led movement promotes plant-based diets to save animals and create a healthier environment.

“Genesis and all of this year’s young climate champions are proving one thing loud and clear: the next generation of leaders has arrived, and they’re unleashing their power on a global scale to tackle the climate crisis head-on,” said Beryl Kay, president of Action for Nature. “The incredible accomplishments of Genesis and our other winners are more than just isolated projects – they’re changing lives and transforming communities for the better.”


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