Bits 'n' Pieces

Vital Records Expanded

The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has expanded its services to offer authorized copies of birth and death certificates for births and deaths that occurred in Long Beach within the past five years. Prior to 2024, the department was only able to provide records for events that occurred within the past year. The expanded services will help meet demand and provide better customer service for people seeking records in Long Beach.

Those who need copies of their certificates or family members’ certificates for births or deaths that occurred within the past five years can request them by completing an application and dropping it off at the Vital Records office, located at DHHS’s Main Health Facility, 2525 Grand Ave. The office is open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed from noon and from 1 p.m.). No appointments are required.

To obtain records for events that took place over five years ago, people can contact the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder at (800) 201-8999 or visit lavote.gov/home/recorder. For more information on obtaining copies of birth and/or death certificates, people may visit longbeach.gov/vitalrecords or call (562) 570-4305.

New Beach Sports Court

The Junipero Beach Sports Courts project will expand recreational opportunities at Junipero Beach, located off Ocean Boulevard and Junipero Avenue, and serve as a new coastal amenity for Long Beach residents and visitors alike. These amenities will include a roller skate area, full basketball court and integrated seating. Currently the space holds a half and full basketball court.

Construction began in late January with substantial completion of the sports courts and skating area by spring. The beach bike and pedestrian path will remain open during construction.

The project costs $1,050,000 and is funded by the Tidelands Capital Project program with a pending grant amount of $150,000 from the National Fish and Wildlife Fund South Coast Shoreline Parks and Outdoor Recreation Grants Program.

For the latest project information on the Junipero Sports Court Project, visit longbeach.gov/juniperosportsproject.

USCG Captain Named LB Port Security Director

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners approved the appointment of U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Ryan Manning to lead the Security Division at the nation’s second-busiest seaport.

Manning, currently captain of the Port of Los Angeles-Long Beach and commander of Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach, will join the Port of Long Beach following his retirement at the end of March.

In his present role, Manning leads a team of 550 active duty, reserve and civilian personnel and a 750-member volunteer auxiliary workforce. This team facilitates regional partnerships and conducts federal maritime safety, security, law enforcement and environmental protection operations along the coast from Orange to San Luis Obispo County and within the United States’ largest container port complex.

Prior to his current assignment, Manning most recently served as the commanding officer of Coast Guard Activities Europe, located in Brunssum, the Netherlands. In this position, he directed U.S. Coast Guard vessel inspection and port security assessments throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Manning received his commission from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 1994 and has served in a variety of port safety and security related positions throughout his career. He has earned master’s degrees in mechanical engineering, joint campaign planning and strategy. He is also a registered professional engineer in mechanical engineering.

The Port of Long Beach Security Division’s top priority is to provide safety and security all throughout the Port of Long Beach. The port takes a leadership role in the development of strategies to mitigate security risks in the port complex, working closely with multiple partner agencies to plan and coordinate security measures.

Eco-Friendly Playground Unveiled

Spin Master and TerraCycle unveiled a state-of-the-art playground made from recycled materials to the local Boys & Girls Club. Spin Master, a leading global children’s entertainment company best known for award-winning brands like PAW Patrol, Rubik’s Cube and Hatchimals, and TerraCycle, an international leader in innovative sustainability solutions, have proven sustainability can be child’s play with the donation of a recycled plastic playground to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Long Beach.

A surprise to local youth who attended the big reveal, the unique playground is constructed from recycled plastic collected through Spin Master and TerraCycle’s Free Recycling Program – an ongoing initiative that invites consumers to recycle their well-loved Spin Master toys.

Spin Master first launched its free recycling program with TerraCycle in 2021 to invite parents and kids-at-heart to recycle their well-loved Spin Master toys and games. Eligible toys collected through the program are recycled into new products, with some recycled for this special application – a full-size playground set.

From playrooms to this durable recycled plastic playground, the donation to Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach is part of Spin Master’s ongoing collaboration with the national non-profit. While the donation works to provide local youth with equal access to opportunities and experiences, it is also the hope that the partnership inspires the next generation to see the real potential of recycling items that would otherwise be discarded.

The Spin Master Free Recycling Program is ongoing, and participation is easy: sign up at www.terracycle.com/en-US/brigades/spin-master and mail in toys and discarded packaging using the prepaid shipping label provided. Once collected, the Spin Master toys and packaging are cleaned and melted into hard plastic that can be remolded to make new recycled products, such as park benches, picnic tables and playgrounds.

To learn more about TerraCycle, visit www.terracycle.com.

Clean Up Government Act

4th District Council candidate Gerrie Schipske announced that she will introduce “The Long Beach Clean Up Government Act” on her first day on the City Council. Schipske, who received national honors as one of only seven “White House Champions of Change for Open Government,” says many voters believe that Long Beach politics aren’t broken, “They believe that Long Beach politics are fixed.”

Schipske, who stood up and helped stop the illegal transfer of water rate increases, says that the root of the problem is the constant fund-raising that is now allowed by the City Council. She issued the following statement:

“The City Council destroyed ‘The Long Beach Campaign Finance Reform Act,’ which limited the amount of money that can be given to each candidate by contributors. The act only allowed fundraising the year prior to an election. The City Council made it easier for special interests to give them money: They increased the amounts that could be raised off election cycle for their officeholder accounts during their term in office to $120,000 for councilmembers and $300,000 for the mayor.

“They dealt the most serious blow to the LBCFRA when they removed the bar against using officeholder accounts for political campaigns, allowing political fundraising all the time, while their opponents can only begin fundraising one year before an election.

“Few cities allow officeholder accounts. No other city allows officeholder accounts to be used for political purposes.

“Because Long Beach allows contributions from lobbyists and their special interest clients, contractors, and developers, the constant stream of political fundraising sets up a serious conflict of interest between those who want something from City Hall and those who can give it.

“Another serious conflict of interest has surfaced over the past few years. The mayor and City Council have placed measures on the ballot to extend term limits and raise taxes and utility rates. These measures have been largely funded by the same special interests who make political contributions.”

Schipske is a Long Beach native. She is a nurse practitioner, attorney, former CSULB instructor, and author of several books on Long Beach history. She served on the Long Beach Community College Board of Trustees and the Long Beach City Council.

Public Library Foundation Announces New President

The Long Beach Public Library Foundation announced the appointment of Sean Reilly as the new president of the Long Beach Public Library Foundation Board of Directors. With extensive experience in finance, community development, and event production, Sean brings a wealth of knowledge and a passion for education, literacy and community advancement and a genuine passion for Long Beach libraries.

As president, Reilly will lead the Library Foundation in its mission to provide support to enhance the Long Beach Public Library and encourage literacy and education for all members of the community, while working collaboratively with the board of directors, Library Foundation staff, volunteers, and community partners to advance the Library Foundation’s impact.

“As we embark on this new chapter with Sean at the helm, we anticipate a continued momentum of our efforts to support and advocate for the Long Beach Public Libraries. His presidency marks an exciting phase for our organization as we embark on a brand new three-year strategic plan, focusing on the Family Learning Centers and Studios, and we are honored to have him lead us into the future,” said Veronica Garcia Dávalos, Long Beach Public Library Foundation’s executive director and CEO.

The Long Beach Public Library Foundation envisions a thriving Long Beach community full of lifelong learners, equitable access, inclusive spaces, and limitless possibilities. The foundation’s mission is to provide support to enhance the Long Beach Public Library and encourage literacy and education for all members of the community.

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