Bits 'N' Pieces

Impact Award Winners Announced

The Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Office announced the winners of the Sixth Annual IMPACT Awards, and that one IMPACT award will be named in honor of Police Detective Kim Maddox, who passed away in September 2016 after fighting cancer.

IMPACT awards are bestowed each year on individuals and groups who, working with the city prosecutor’s office, have made “a positive, significant impact in the City of Long Beach in the past year.”

“We have never named an award in honor of an individual, but my office wanted to do this to keep Kim’s memory alive,” said City Prosecutor Doug Haubert. The Kim Maddox IMPACT Award will be given to the law enforcement officer who best exemplifies professional excellence.

Those chosen to receive city prosecutor IMPACT awards on Feb. 2 this year included:

Long Beach Mentoring Connection (Power 4 Youth, Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters, LB BLAST, Operation Jumpstart), for partnering with the city prosecutor’s office to provide mentors for at-risk youth in the community.

Mary White, GEMS Uncovered, for partnering with the city prosecutor’s office to provide counseling and other services to victims of human trafficking.

Detective Ben Vargas, Long Beach Police Department, Robbery Detail, for his exemplary investigation of a serial thief, who was convicted and sentenced to eight years in county jail.

Dr. Dennis Clark and Lisa Waide, R.N. of Laser M.D., for providing free/low-cost tattoo removal services for human trafficking victims and former gang members.

Long Beach Human Trafficking Task Force and State Assembly Member Patrick O’Donnell, for fighting for legislation to combat sex trafficking in California.

Pacific Gateway, for partnering with the city prosecutor’s office to develop the PATH program, a nationally-recognized effort to divert nonviolent, youthful offenders into employment and job training opportunities.

Long Beach Police Detective Rudy Romero, Domestic Violence Detail, was the recipient of the inaugural Kim Maddox IMPACT Award. Detective Romero is a skilled, thorough, and responsive detective and trains other officers as well. Due to his investigation and assistance, the city prosecutor’s office was recently able to convict and obtain a six and one half year jail sentence for a man who systematically and continually harassed and terrorized women he met online.

“The IMPACT awards are our way to acknowledge those doing great work. We are trying to create community-based solutions to public safety problems, and our community partners deserve all the recognition we can give them,” said City Prosecutor Doug Haubert. “There are also those in law enforcement who shine like stars, and we want to acknowledge their efforts to make Long Beach safer.”

Best Of Houzz 2017

Sunset Designers & Builders of Los Alamitos has won “Best Of Customer Service” on Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The 69-year-old elevated swimming pool design and build company was chosen by more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: design, customer service and photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 40 million monthly users on Houzz.

Customer service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2016. A “Best Of Houzz 2017” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

Follow Sunset Designers & Builders on Houzz at

Judgment in Favor of City

Long Beach City Attorney Charles Parkin announced that on Feb. 1 a Long Beach superior court judge entered judgment in favor of the City of Long Beach in a case involving allegations that a dangerous condition of a public street caused a motor vehicle accident that resulted in serious bodily injury to the operator of a motorcycle.

On the evening of Sept. 26, 2013, Karl Kuhn was driving a motorcycle westbound on Spring Street. As he approached San Anseline Avenue, Michael Schaffel, driving a sport utility vehicle, turned directly in front of Kuhn. To avoid Schaffel, Kuhn was forced to lay his motorcycle down and, in the process, sustained serious injuries, including paraplegia.

Kuhn sued Schaffel and the City of Long Beach. Kuhn’s attorneys contended that the accident was caused because a “No U-Turn” sign posted on a median along Spring Street had blocked Schaffel’s view of Kuhn’s motorcycle.

The city argued that the “No-U Turn” sign was not in a dangerous location, and that the sign would have only momentarily obscured Schaffel’s vision. The city maintained that a driver who stopped at the limit line and used reasonable care would have had ample opportunity to see the approaching motorcycle, especially since the motorcycle had illuminated headlights.

The city made a pretrial summary judgment motion asking the court to order judgment in the city’s favor. The city argued that the placement of the “No U-Turn” sign was a part of the planned design for the intersection, was approved by a licensed city traffic engineer, and that the design of the intersection and placement of the traffic control sign were reasonable in every respect. The superior court judge agreed.

Preservation Awards

Long Beach Heritage announces its annual preservation awards and gala fundraiser on Feb. 23 aboard the Queen Mary. Cost is $125 per person. Call (562) 493-7019 or visit

Winners Include

Preservationist of the Year: Marshall Pumphrey – This top award honors an individual who has demonstrated sustained commitment to the preservation movement and to Long Beach’s cultural heritage. Marshall Pumphrey sets a tremendous example as a resident investing in Long Beach’s past and future.

Restoration Awards

Mid-Century Modern Restoration on Harvey Way, Greg & Anna Karin Kight – This Lakewood Village custom home represents a stunning purist restoration of the mid-century modern home built for Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Barton by J. Alvin Howell in 1957.

Craftsman Bungalow Restoration on Lewis Avenue, Mark & Todd Tokunaga-Wiesenhutter – Built in 1923 on Signal Hill, this charming craftsman bungalow has the distinction of being one of the homes that was simply relocated in 1932, probably to make more room for oil derricks.

Rancho Los Alamitos Restoration of the Kitchen Areas and the Cook’s Bedroom – Pam Young Lee – Curator Pam Young Lee guided detailed historical examination before returning the kitchen and cook’s bedroom to their conditions in the late 1920s and 30s.

Hot Cha Café – Winkler Properties LP & Long Beach Development LLC. – A great collaboration arose to allow the rehabilitation of this charming exemplar of programmatic architecture erected in 1932.

Edison LoftsRadkovich Properties, The Kor Group and Waterton Property Management – Conversion of this 1959 midcentury modern architectural gem from office space to residential and retail units has been accomplished while respecting Kenneth Wing’s original architectural vision but also bringing the building into compliance with current seismic building code.

Modern Sculpture Symposium at CSULB Art Museum – Kimberli Meyer, Director – The Monumental Sculpture Collection at the California State University, Long Beach campus had its beginning in 1965 when sculpture artists from around the world convened in Long Beach and collaborated with industrial sponsors who provided technological assistance and access to facilities, equipment and materials.

Cultural Resource Awards

Collaborative Parks Survey – Wilson High School Architectural Club led by Ryan Dowgiewicz – Students from the Wilson High School Architecture Club partnered with the City of Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine and Department of Development Services in documenting noteworthy elements of structures throughout our Long Beach Park System.

Miner Smith Project, Steffie Hands & Norbert Schurer – A 150-page book, Boom and Bust: Miner Smith and his 1920s California Bungalow Mansions and a three-month-long photographic exhibit at the Historical Society of Long Beach were made possible through a project led by Steffie Hands, a Long Beach realtor, and Norbert Schürer, a Cal State Long Beach English professor.

Financial Incentives for Historic Preservation

The City of Long Beach is now accepting applications for the third year of its reinstated Mills Act Property Tax Abatement Program (Mills Act), an economic incentive program for historic properties. The public is invited to attend two important events to learn about how to qualify and apply for tax benefits, while also preserving the city’s designated landmarks.

Pre-Application Workshop, Saturday, February 25, 2017, 10:30 am, Jenny Oropeza Community Center at Cesar Chavez Park, 401 Golden Avenue.

Application Workshop, Saturday, March 4, 2017, 10:30 am, Dana Neighborhood Library Meeting Room, 3680 Atlantic Avenue.

 The Mills Act is a state program that is administered and implemented by local governments, and offers economic incentives to qualifying owners of historic or designated landmark sites upon agreement to rehabilitate, restore and protect their property.

Under the Mills Act contracts, private owners receive tax benefits in exchange for proper maintenance and preservation of the historical and architectural character of the property for an initial 10-year term. The Mills Act is especially beneficial for recent buyers of historic sites, or owners who may have recently had a property transfer or tax re-assessment.

The pre-application workshop will provide an overview of the Mills Act and eligibility requirements. The event will also include a review of the process for preparing an application and calculating individual property tax savings. The application workshop will provide more specific information geared toward those interested in proceeding with the application process.

All potential applicants or their representative must attend the pre-application workshop. Mills Act applications are processed once a year, during the application period. The deadline to submit an application is Friday, March 17.

For questions regarding the Mills Act, call (562) 570.6437 or e-mail

Heart Health Month

Do you know someone who has heart disease? Chances are you do. Heart disease is the #1 killer of adults in America, but 80 percent of cardiovascular diseases may be prevented. If you don’t want to join them, you should start taking steps today to reduce your personal risk. Here are a few tips: eat healthy, exercise regularly, don’t smoke and maintain a healthy weight.

Los Alamitos Medical Center is recognizing American Heart Month by participating in Go Red for Women day, sponsoring the Orange County Go Red for Women luncheon, and by participating in the Heart Walk on March 4th. The hospital has many teams all rallying towards walk day! Join us at Angel Stadium and be a part of this great cause.

For more information about heart health, talk with your doctor or call (800) 548-5559 for a free referral to a cardiologist near you or visit our web site to take a free heart health risk assessment.

Residents Encouraged to Report Storm Damages

Recent storm systems brought record amounts of rain to Long Beach and the region, and more rain is forecast.

To help determine the impacts of the storms, Los Angeles County has established a website to gather basic damage information from residents and businesses. Long Beach residents and businesses that experienced damage are encouraged to complete the damage assessment survey, available at by clicking on the Damage Assessment Survey banner.

Depending on the total losses in the region, residents and businesses may be eligible for low-interest, long-term disaster assistance loans. Even if damages are manageable or are covered by insurance, completing the survey will help other residents in the region.

The survey only collects basic damage information, and is not an application for assistance.

Information is available at

Global Youth Summit

Every two years, plastic production equals the weight of every man, woman and child on earth. In the US only 5 to 10 percent of this plastic gets recycled, leaving a huge percentage to end up in landfills, oceans and waterways. As plastic manufacturing continues to grow and man-made debris continues to invade the ocean, the plastic pollution crisis is quickly becoming one of the top threats to the planet. Luckily, now more than ever, the youth of the world have recognized the problem and are joining the fight for a cleaner environment.

On Feb. 10, 24 teams made up of 90 students from around the world met at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point for the Sixth Annual Plastic Ocean Pollution Solutions International Youth Summit. This three-day educational program aims to inspire and engage youth leaders from all over the globe to help lead the charge to launch and implement action-oriented solutions to reduce waste in their communities.

Each team earned a spot in the summit by submitting their original ideas to reduce plastic pollution. Throughout the weekend, these teams, made up of students ranging from 10 to 18 years old, had the opportunity to share their ideas with their peers, to listen to inspiring speakers, and to attend workshops covering topics such as action planning, scientific research, film-making, public speaking, as well as pitching projects and ideas.

Since its inception in 2011, the POPS International Youth Summit has provided a platform for over 400 students from 20 different countries to participate in 121 plastic pollution awareness, prevention and reduction campaigns. The continuation of these innovative projects not only empowers these future environmental leaders to make forward progress in their own communities, but also inspire the others in their lives to do the same.

For information about attending the summit next year, contact Katie Allen, (562) 598-4889 or email



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