Bits N Pieces

Average Home Worth 8.6 Times Median Income

What does it mean for a home to be affordable? It largely depends on your income and many experts recommend buying a home worth no more than 2.5 times your annual earnings. Yet, in many of the largest cities across the country the average homes have values which exceed seven times the average household’s income.

In a new study, SmartAsset analyzed data on median home values and median household incomes in the 100 largest cities to uncover the places requiring the most years’ worth of income to buy the average home, and Long Beach ranks in the sixth spot.

Living in Long Beach is a slightly better deal when it comes to home affordability than L.A., the top-ranking city in our study. The average house is valued at 8.6 years’ worth of the average income in Long Beach. Obviously, no one saves 100 percent of their income each year. Nor do most people buy homes in cash, but this shows the overall lack of home affordability of the area.

Details on the study, including full methodology and rankings, can be found here: https://smartasset.com/mortgage/buy-a-home-for-2-5x-your-salary.

Volunteers Needed for Annual Bike Count

The City of Long Beach is looking for volunteers to help conduct its Tenth Annual Bike Count, on Thursday, Oct. 19, 7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m., as well as on Sunday, Oct. 22, noon to 2 p.m. Participants can choose a convenient site from among 25 locations throughout the city.

The bike counts play an important role in helping to improve the safety and livability of the city by evaluating the effectiveness of projects and providing supporting data for grant applications. With consistent data from year to year, the counts provide key metrics to the city regarding safety, capacity, ridership trends and the value of the city’s investments.

“Having measurable data for people who bicycle and walk allows us to find opportunities to improve safety for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians throughout the city,” said City Traffic Engineer Eric Widstrand. “This data informs our work and allows us to build more innovative projects.”

The city has experienced dramatic increases in bicycle ridership alongside its investment in an expanding bikeways network. The 25 sites for the 2017 count are along upcoming project routes such as: Bellflower Boulevard, 15th Street, Daisy Avenue, areas identified for safety improvement and sites that the city has consistently counted in the past.

Volunteers can register by visiting www.bikelongbeach.org/bikecount or by calling the Public Works Traffic Engineering Division at (562) 570-6331.

Airport Commercial Flight Statistics Released

Airline passenger traffic at the Long Beach Airport (LGB) increased 23 percent in July 2017 and 16 percent in August compared with the same periods in 2016. Total passenger traffic includes the number of airline passengers both enplaned and deplaned.

In July 2017, LGB served 325,820 passengers compared to 264,162 in July 2016. Total air cargo carried by aircraft, both inbound and outbound, decreased 13 percent in July 2017 compared to the same time last year. In July 2017, 1,795 tons passed through LGB compared to 2,064 tons during the same period in 2016. 

In August 2017, LGB served 316,291 passengers compared to 271,509 in August 2016. Total air cargo carried by aircraft, both inbound and outbound, decreased 5.5 percent in August 2017 compared to the same time last year.  In August 2017, 2,142 tons passed through LGB compared to 2,266 tons during the same period in 2016.

Additional details related to Long Beach Airport commercial flight activity is available online at http://www.lgb.org/information/statistics/default.asp.

MemorialCare Health System Unveils New Brand

MemorialCare unveiled its new brand this week, representing its identity and evolution as a top Southern California based, fully integrated healthcare system.

In 1997, a group of physicians helped launch a new, unified brand name for five Southern California hospitals. It was then, that the MemorialCare Health System name was born.  Their goal was to make clinical care across Orange County and Los Angeles County significantly better – by working together as a system. They created best practices and committed to using evidence-based medicine throughout the new system, called MemorialCare.

Since then, MemorialCare has grown from five to more than 200 locations from the South Bay to South Orange County. Through two medical groups, MemorialCare Medical Group and Greater Newport Physicians, MemorialCare sees more than 600,000 patients each year in primary care settings alone.

Today, the health system also includes numerous free-standing imaging centers, breast centers, surgical centers and dialysis centers, over 2,500 affiliated primary care and specialty physicians, and its own health plan, Seaside Health Plan.

“MemorialCare’s new look is more than a change of symbol, it’s a symbol of how much we’ve changed,” says Barry Arbuckle, PhD, CEO, MemorialCare. “In 20 short years, we’ve grown from a system of five hospitals into a fully integrated health system, delivering care to our entire community – from the 25-year-old who needs his yearly physical for preventive care to a grandmother battling breast cancer. We are here for every person, at every age, at every stage of life.”

MemorialCare’s new visual identity includes a tree element, representing working together as a coordinated health delivery system. The accessibility offered to millions of patients at over 200 locations is shown with overlapping, connected windows of care. One of the most important elements of the new look is a continued focus on delivering a simply better, patient-centered experience across all of our locations, which is embodied in an up-reaching figure.

Healthcare consumer research shows that communities want doctors, hospitals, pediatric care and health centers to be connected and provide integrated healthcare.  By showing the name ‘MemorialCare’ first and foremost in all of its entity names, the system is helping patients connect the dots across all its integrated acute care, ambulatory, pediatric specialty and primary care services.

This new look not only connects the dots among all MemorialCare entities, but goes a step further, asking the more than 11,000 MemorialCare employees to continue to deliver on our promise to the community of always delivering simply better care.

Public Invited to Veterans Day Celebration

Vice Mayor Rex Richardson invites you to the Veterans Day Celebration on Saturday, Nov. 11, on Atlantic Avenue from the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library (South St.) to Houghton Park (Harding Ave.).

The Veterans Day Celebration will kick off into an open street fair, commencing with the 21st Annual Veterans Day Parade.  Atlantic Avenue will be closed down and filled with a live tribute concert, a “ninja- style” obstacle course, great food, a beer garden, vendor booths, a Kid’s Zone with a Touch-A-Truck experience and more. Additionally, this year’s Vets Fest will feature a ribbon cutting of the new Veterans Valor Plaza at Houghton Park, and will include services for veterans with various resources and a Career Expo.

The Veterans Day Parade will step off at 10 a.m. along with the opening of the street fair and Vets Fest which will continue until 3 p.m. Visit the 2017 Veterans Day Celebration Facebook event page to keep up with all the details for the day.

The 2017 Veterans Day Celebration is currently sponsored by Vice Mayor Richardson, the City of Long Beach, the Veterans Day Parade Committee, the Uptown Business District and Westland Real Estate Group.

Mini Golf Fundraising Tournament

Power4Youth hosted their seventh-annual fundraising mini-golf tournament at Boomers. Attendees played 17 holes plus a hole-in-one challenge to win a prize. Attendees also had the chance to purchase raffle tickets for prizes as well as participate in a silent auction of various prizes.

Power4Youth is a non-profit organization that serves at-risk youth in the community and pairs them with mentors. The annual tournament was started by the board of directors as a signature event in recognition of the youth they serve. “We are very excited about our sponsors for this year. Some of which are Keesal, Young & Logan as well as Warren Lortie Associates,” said Val Parker, Power4Youth executive director.

This year featured an increase in support and was advertised as an event run like a real golf tournament and to attract people that don’t play golf as well as real golfers to practice their putting. “At first people were skeptical, but we have groups return year after year and even some small companies use it as a team building event,” Parker said. Dinner followed after the tournament where raffle and silent auction winners were announced.

There is hope that next year’s event features beer and wine on the course. Power4Youth’s next mini golf event will be held on the last Monday of September next year.

LB City Auditor Doud Seeks Re-Election in 2018

Long Beach City Auditor Laura Doud announced that she will seek-re-election for a fourth term as City Auditor of Long Beach. Doud visited the Long Beach City Clerk’s office to file paperwork for the 2018 election.

Since taking office in 2006, City Auditor Doud revitalized the City Auditor’s Fraud Hotline, so that employees, vendors and citizens can easily and anonymously report suspected fraud, waste and abuse against the city. The City Auditor’s Fraud Hotline has received, investigated and taken action on more than 560 cases. Certain tips that deal with issues beyond an individual occurrence have led to significant audits.

Doud’s office enhanced transparency through new communication modes allowing for two-way dialogue with the public. The office launched new social media channels, Twitter at @LBCityAuditor and Facebook at facebook.com/LongBeachCityAuditor, which the public can follow to stay informed on the office’s work and to share their comments. The office introduced the new MyAuditor App which provides quick access to office updates and allows users to easily report suspected fraud, waste and abuse against the city.

“We have had a lot of exciting accomplishments during this past term, from bringing in a significant amount of revenue that annually funds public safety, to identifying ways to better maintain our city parks and making recommendations for improved city contract oversight,” said Doud. “There is still the need to actively monitor areas of high risk. I will also continue to focus on audits that benefit the public, as well as work to prevent and detect city fraud, waste and abuse.”

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