Bits 'n' Pieces

New Naples Medical Group

On Friday, May 10, MemorialCare Medical Group hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of its new health center in Long Beach, Calif. Recognizing the increased demand for health care services in the area, MemorialCare Medical Group Long Beach (Naples) expands access to care for those in the Long Beach community, providing family medicine to residents of Naples.

This new primary care location will be a hub for comprehensive family medicine in the community and marks the fifth MemorialCare Medical Group location to open in Long Beach.

“Naples and Long Beach hold a special place in the hearts, with our tight-knit community, vibrant culture, and diverse neighborhoods,” says Annamarie Jones, chief operating officer, MemorialCare Medical Foundation. “MemorialCare Medical Group is honored to contribute to the well-being of our neighbors and play a part in enhancing access to health care in the Long Beach community.”

The newest facility in Long Beach officially opened its doors to patients on May 13. Boasting 11 exam rooms, a blood draw station, and a procedure room, this one-stop-shop health center offers comprehensive health care services. Led by Jeffrey Zeleznik, D.O., a seasoned family medicine practitioner and supported by a dedicated nurse practitioner, Pauline Sambeli, NP-C, the team is committed to providing personalized care for patients of all ages, from children to seniors. With plans to expand the team in the future, they are poised to meet the growing healthcare needs of the community and deliver quality medical services.

“Making medical care more accessible is important for the Naples community and with a legacy spanning over a century, MemorialCare has been dedicated to caring for Long Beach residents since the opening of its first hospital, Long Beach Medical Center, and also is home to one of only eight-free standing children’s hospitals in California, with Miller Children’s & Women’s,” says Councilmember Kristina Duggan, District 3. “As the delivery of health care evolved, MemorialCare has strategically collaborated with their physician partners to make sure patients receive timely health care services at the right site and right time – that means patients can go to a MemorialCare Medical Group health center in Long Beach, like the one opening here today, for routine medical services.”

After the ribbon-cutting, guests explored the facility through guided tours led by MemorialCare Long Beach (Naples) team members. The center will offer a range of family medicine services, including preventative care, routine check-ups, immunizations, chronic disease management, and minor procedures.

The MemorialCare Medical Group Long Beach (Naples) location is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Patients can make appointments by calling (855) 550-5178 or by visiting www.memorialcare.org/memorialcare-medical-group-long-beach-naples.

Spring-Cleaning Initiative

City of Long Beach officials announced Long Beach Citywide Spring Cleaning, a new, month-long initiative that will beautify beaches, parks and public spaces through a series of hosted community cleanup events. Long Beach Citywide Spring Cleaning will activate and uplift neighborhoods throughout the city by encouraging community members to participate in and/or host a cleanup.

A joint effort led by the mayor’s office and city manager’s office, with leading operational support from the Departments of Public Works, Parks, Recreation and Marine, and Community Development, the initiative will partner with City Council offices, neighborhood associations, community organizations and small businesses to host cleanup events throughout May as an enhanced effort to engage the community and improve neighborhoods throughout the city. Volunteers will assist in a variety of activities such as general cleanup and beautification in neighborhoods, parks and beaches, among other efforts. Additional volunteer recruitment and staffing support will be provided by the Conservation Corps of Long Beach.

“The Public Works Department, alongside our colleagues in Community Development, Parks, Recreation and Marine, and across city teams, looks forward to engaging with our community through this series of cleanup events,” said Public Works Department Director Eric Lopez. “The Conservation Corps of Long Beach is the city’s corps – working alongside staff of Public Works, Parks and Recreation, the Office of Climate Action and Sustainability, and other similar departments,” said Dan Knapp, executive director and CEO for Conservation Corps of Long Beach. “The work our young adults do every single day in Long Beach helps to ensure that, long-term, our communities are healthier and sustainable for years to come.”

Groups interested in cohosting a cleanup event with the city can register at longbeach.gov/springcleaning. The comprehensive calendar of cleanup events is available on the Spring Cleaning Calendar where community members can sign up to volunteer.

In addition to the above Spring Cleaning community engagement opportunities, the city also announced enhanced operations within the Public Works Department. Throughout May, the Clean Team will perform major corridor cleanups every Thursday, starting with the Santa Fe Corridor on May 2 with more corridors forthcoming. During the corridor cleanups, the Clean Team will work in partnership with other city crews, including street sweeping, landscape maintenance and graffiti abatement crews, to perform a deep clean of specific areas throughout Long Beach.

The Public Works Department is also kicking off a campaign with the goal to fill approximately 5,000 potholes a month through the end of 2024 in an effort to reduce the backlog that has been created as a result of the record-breaking rainfall Long Beach has experienced over the past year. Six crews will fill potholes citywide six days a week, doubling its standard operations.

Round the World in 21 Days, 30 Years Later

One of the more interesting pilots of the World Flight Across Russia, July 1992, was Long Beach, businessman, pilot and philanthropist Don Temple. His aircraft, a Cessna 421 Golden Eagle aptly named The Ultimate Trip, graces the front of the new book, “Round the World & Across Russia in 21 Days, 30 Years Later,” by air rally documentarian and author Michael B. Butler.

Temple, who passed away in 2013 at 85, was accompanied by fellow local aviators Sully Sullens and Bob Leavelle, the later whose detailed flight journal is a major part of the story.

This second book about the World Flight is more extensive, containing two additional major pilot journals and key historical aviation and world historical context. Additionally, history left out of the first book has been reinserted and added to by the author. 30 years of tumultuous Russian history have made the flight of 12 small planes flying 18,000 miles around the world in three weeks, while crossing all of Siberia, truly unique. Don Temple and his crew, and all the participants, truly slipped through a wormhole in time not likely to come around ever again – that honeymoon summer right after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Well known in Long Beach for generous philanthropic work through the Temple Family Charitable Foundation, his work has continued through his widow, Marlene, who was pleased to see an updated publication about an event Don was proud to have participated in and been part of.

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, the author constructed the book using seven major pilot journals, five ancillary journals, 25 hours of video tape, interviews and what he recalled. Details and color slide shows can be found at www.MichaelButlerBooks.com.

A part of Bob Leavelle’s journal landing at Southend Airport in UK:

On July 9, 1992 the Beechcraft Super King Air 200 progressed towards Southend Airport over the clouds to land second to last; Norm and Mario, after false problems in Iceland, arrived much later. Bob Leavelle brings in the twin Cessna 421 Ultimate to Southend, “We’re up at 5:30 a.m… short night… we depart into a low overcast sky… rain during the night… low clouds… about 40 degrees F… six hours plus seven minutes we land at London’s Southend Airport… didn’t expect this… lot of people waiting happily greet us… news people with camera crews ask why we were doing this… no good reason I say… no justification whatsoever… just for the heck of it… we learn London TV carried us on the evening news… the newspaper carried a nice write-up with pictures.”

A part of Bob Leavelle’s journal covering the flight from Novosibirsk to Bratsk in Siberia:

 Bob Leavelle, in Don Temple’s twin Cessna 421 Ultimate Trip with Sully Sullens, relates their morning routine, “Breakfast at 7:20 a.m… porridge… a pancake… greasy hot dog look-a-like… can’t understand why the meat has so much fat… 80% or so… the bread is heavy but good… one of our people reached to next table and took a piece of bread… waitress came over upset and admonished him severely… in Russian… seems a specific ration is allocated for each breakfast… hotels pack us a lunch for travel days… bread or greasy meat sandwich, cheese, small apple or tomato, but always whole cucumber… Mario gave us a supply of Nestlé mini chocolate bars, good thing, thanks Mario & Nestlé for fallback rations…

 “We are off the ground at 9:50 am and bound northwest for Bratsk… a fuel stop… our destination is Yakutsk well to the northeast 1,200+ miles away… see lots of green fields, large rivers and streams… flying up the Angara River to the northwest… slightly more than a one hour flight… we are first to land at Bratsk… when we stop eight to ten Russians rushed up… they are looking and feeling the plane as if they never saw one with paint before… talks rapidly in Russian to no avail, nobody speaks English, we don’t speak any Russian… you would think we landed from Mars… a supervisor comes by in an official car, I can’t understand a word, all of his front teeth are gold… friendly chap but wasn’t making his point… so he jumped in his car, soon to return!”

North Long Beach Higher Education Center Opens

The City of Long Beach, in partnership with Long Beach City College (LBCC), celebrated the grand opening of the North Long Beach Higher Education Center with a ceremonial ribbon cutting, open house and mural dedication. The center will serve to increase access to higher education, job training, and technology and business resources for the North Long Beach community.

“Today’s festivities are a celebration of equity and providing access to LBCC’s many educational services and resources closer to North Long Beach residents,” said Dr. Mike Muñoz, Long Beach City College superintendent-president. “LBCC hopes that the new North Long Beach Higher Education Center will become an important asset for this community through our offerings of tuition-free non-credit courses, small business support services, and workforce training opportunities. Together with our City of Long Beach partners, we are committed to empowering and uplifting our community members through education.”

The center, located at 635 E. South St., is another collaborative effort between the city and LBCC. The shared community space serves as a physical location in North Long Beach where all residents can access education and career resources, tuition-free non-credit courses, small business support services, and workforce training opportunities that cater to diverse needs and aspirations. The Center also includes a cutting-edge computer lab for residents to use for classes or enrollment.

The city’s Department of Economic Development, and its workforce bureau, Pacific Gateway Workforce Innovation Network and LBCC staff will oversee center operations and work alongside community partners to conduct programming. The center will operate Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. More information about available services and programs is available at LBCC.edu/northlb.

“After years of effort, the establishment of the North Long Beach Higher Education Center marks a significant milestone for our community,” affirmed Ninth District Councilwoman Dr. Joni Ricks-Oddie. “This center will serve as a pivotal hub for educational and workforce enhancement, empowering individuals through access to essential training and resources vital for success in the job market.”

Last year the 3,200 square-foot building underwent extensive refurbishments including a new storefront with upgraded flooring and electrical systems, a conference room, computer room and onsite manager’s office, as well as exterior improvements such as new painting, roofing, lighting and landscaping. The enhanced facade now also includes a vibrant mural, initiated by the Puente Latino Association, that adorns the entire west wall exterior.

The original concept to develop a center for higher education came from then-Vice Mayor Rex Richardson and was approved by the full City Council in November 2018 to initiate a feasibility study to create a Higher Education Center in Long Beach. After receiving strong support for the concept from LBCCD Board of Trustee Member Uduak-Joe Ntuk and LBCC, the city located and secured a property and in August 2022 entered into a lease agreement with Long Beach Arts District to renovate and utilize the building as an education center, which LBCC will program along with Pacific Gateway.

While the project was temporarily halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, over the past few years the city’s Department of Economic Development has collaborated with LBCC and North Long Beach higher education experts and advocates to advance the North Long Beach Higher Education Center project to completion.

Port of Long Beach Cargo Volumes Climb in April

Trade moving through the Port of Long Beach gained momentum in April, marking the eighth consecutive month of year-over-year cargo growth at the nation’s second-busiest seaport.

Dockworkers and terminal operators moved 750,424 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) last month, up 14.4% from April 2023. Imports rose 16.3% to 364,665 TEUs and exports declined 19.9% to 98,266 TEUs. Empty containers moving through the port increased 30.7% to 287,493 TEUs.

“Imports are steadily climbing as we continue to work with industry partners to rebuild our market share,” said Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero. “We are strengthening our competitiveness with our brand of operational excellence, customer service and ongoing infrastructure investments that will keep cargo moving efficiently well into the future.”

“Our highly skilled workforce and terminal operators continue to raise the bar on growing cargo volumes safely and sustainably,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bobby Olvera Jr. “Our collaboration with labor and industry makes us the Port of Choice.”

The port has moved 2,753,244 TEUs through the first four months of 2024, up 15.8% from the same period in 2023.

For complete cargo numbers, visit polb.com/statistics.

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