Bits 'n' Pieces

Register Now for Youth Street Hockey Leagues

Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine (LBPRM) is offering an exciting new sport for kids this fall, Coed Street Hockey. In partnership with the Los Angeles Kings Hockey Team, free leagues for boys and girls born ages 9-14 (born between 2003 and 2008) will start the week of Oct. 2.

The games will be played outdoors on a concrete game court with sticks and whiffle balls, with the players wearing regular rubber-soled shoes. Like ice hockey, the object of the game is to score more goals than the opposing team by shooting the ball or puck into the opposing team’s net, and of course to have fun.

LBPRM youth sports leagues develop sports skills, teamwork, and sportsmanship, including the ability to learn how to win and lose graciously. All participants play regardless of skill or ability.

For more information, call (562) 570-1707 or visit teamsideline.com/longbeach.

$33 Million Spent for Long Beach Public Safety

Long Beach City Auditor Laura Doud released the City Auditor’s Proposition H Impact Report. In 2006, Doud found that Long Beach had a low oil production tax rate compared to surrounding cities and recommended that it be increased to bring in more revenue to support public safety operations. This led to Doud championing the ballot initiative known as Proposition H (Prop H) which passed with 70 percent of voters in favor.

Since its inception in 2007, Prop H has continued to raise an average of $3.3 million dollars of revenue every year for the Long Beach Police and Fire Departments. Over the last 10 years, Prop H has resulted in $33 million for public safety services, supporting the staffing of first responders, and a variety of related costs, including purchasing emergency equipment, construction of facilities, and training for public safety staff.

“I am very pleased that Long Beach community groups and voters joined together to pass a Measure that has provided critical dollars to fund additional first responders and public safety programs that have protected Long Beach citizens over the past 10 years at no cost to the taxpayers,” said Doud. “Over the past decade Long Beach has faced budget challenges and constraints, and I want to thank the public for their confidence in voting in favor of this measure as it has and will continue to be an on-going source of revenue for public safety.”

Doud found that 87 percent of Prop H funds have been used to staff police officer and firefighter positions. In 2008, the police department used Prop H funds to launch the Crime Impact Motor Team. The team uses motorcycle officers to provide more speed and mobility in responding to priority calls for service, reducing violent and gang related crime in high impact areas.

From 2012 through 2016, the Crime Impact Motor Team responded to over 47,500 community safety incidents, including 29,500 emergency calls and resulting in nearly 17,000 citations and more than 1,000 arrests.

Prop H also helped fund life-saving operational and personnel needs for Fire Station 17, Truck 17. Prop H funds the constant staffing of two daily Firefighters and one daily Fire Engineer at the station. Truck 17 responded to more than 14,000 incidents including over 11,000 emergency medical calls and 2,000 fires from 2012 through 2016.

In addition to first responder staffing, Prop H has been integral to funding resources that support police and fire operations. This includes funds for:

  • A new fire truck at Fire Station 14 which responded to over 4,200 emergency calls
  • Re-purposing the Police East Patrol Division substation which serves 46 percent of the city
  • Fire and Police Academy sessions graduating 33 new firefighters and 112 new police officers.

Prop H funds have also been used to support the City’s Homelessness Education and Response Team (H.E.A.R.T.) and Quality of Life Team in homelessness outreach, intervention and medical care.

Seek Medical Screening for Pets Adopted from Texas

Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS), the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control, Southern California Veterinary Medical Association (SCVMA), and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA), urge residents who recently adopted or rescued a dog or cat from Texas following Hurricane Harvey to have the animal seen by a veterinarian, screened for infectious diseases, and treated if necessary.

Recommendations for owners/guardians of pets rescued from Texas:

Take your pet to a veterinarian to be screened, and treated if necessary, for heartworm and possibly other infectious diseases.

Obtain medications to remove any fleas, ticks or internal parasites.

Ensure the new pet is up-to-date on its immunizations.

Contact your local animal control agency to license your pet.

Dogs from stressful environments may be incubating infections even if they are not showing clinical signs. Therefore, keep your newly rescued pet at home for 30 days to minimize stress and for monitoring and protection from possible infections.

Southern California typically has very low instances of heartworm disease. To prevent this parasite from spreading among local pet populations, please use caution when adopting or interacting with dogs transported from Texas, or other areas where the disease is prevalent. Heartworm disease is potentially fatal and spread by mosquitos. Heartworms infect the heart, lungs and other internal organs. If left untreated, it can be fatal. Even with treatment, the effects of heartworm can impact quality of life due to the resultant organ damage.

Canine Influenza Virus (CIV), or “dog flu,” is a relatively new, highly contagious viral infection affecting dogs. Affected dogs may develop coughing, nasal discharge, fever, lethargy, and loss of appetite. With proper care, most dogs will recover. However, in some cases, CIV can progress to a more severe or even life-threatening condition, such as pneumonia. CIV is spread through direct contact with respiratory secretions from infected dogs (coughing, barking, and sneezing) and by contact with contaminated objects (toys, water bowls, food dishes, leashes). Dogs may continue to spread CIV for weeks, even after symptoms are no longer present.

MemorialCare Names Chief Operating Officers

Ikenna (Ike) Mmeje, a dynamic executive with robust hospital experience and a proven track record of success, has been named chief operating officer (COO) at Long Beach Memorial, part of MemorialCare Health System. Mmeje replaces Tamra Kaplan, PharmD, who is the new COO at MemorialCare’s Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach.

Following his Administrative Residency at MemorialCare a decade ago, Mmeje served in leadership roles at Sutter Health and Tenet Health hospitals in California. Most recently CEO at Doctors Hospital of Manteca and COO of Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, he was previously Administrative Director of Clinical and Research Services at Oakland’s 819-bed Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.

A Los Angeles native, Mmeje earned his Bachelor’s in Public Health & Social Welfare from University of California, Berkeley and Master’s in Health Services Administration from University of Michigan. An American College of Healthcare Executives Fellow, he and his wife Renee have four children.

Kaplan joined MemorialCare in 1989 as a clinical pharmacy resident followed by successive leadership positions at MemorialCare hospitals and the health system, serving the last nine years as COO of Long Beach Memorial. Her collaborative leadership style has helped advance service excellence, exceptional patient care and positive patient outcomes. Kaplan received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from University of California, Irvine and Doctor of Pharmacy from University of the Pacific. She and her husband, Scott, have three children.

Long Beach Memorial and Miller Children’s – situated adjacent to each other on 56 acres—comprise the West’s second largest campus with 822 inpatient beds and are among a small number of facilities nationwide with children’s and adult teaching hospitals on the same campus – thus being in a unique position to provide a lifetime of care in one location.

Parkin Seeks Re-Election

City Attorney Charles Parkin has announced that he will run to retain the job during the city elections next April.

Parkin, a 22-year veteran with the city attorney’s office was elected for the top spot in June of 2014. He began his legal career in 1995 as a deputy city attorney. He worked his way up, first to principal deputy city attorney, and then assistant city attorney, before being elected city attorney.

Parkin, 59, is a native and lifelong resident of Long Beach. He attended St. Anthony’s High School, Long Beach City College, California State University, Long Beach, and Pacific Coast University, School of Law. He and his wife, Terese, have been married for over 40 years and have three adult children and two grandchildren.

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