Bits 'n' Pieces

PRM Spring Class Registration Starts Feb. 4

Registration for new recreation classes offered by Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine (PRM) starts Feb. 4. More than 400 classes in art, music, nature, fitness, special interest subjects, and adult sports leagues and aquatics programs will be offered starting in March. These programs provide opportunities for social interaction and learning, exercise and recreation, and growth and relaxation for preschool-aged children to adults.

“Look for the publication in your mailbox, stop by your local library or park community center to pick one up, or find the digital version online,” said Parks, Recreation and Marine Director Gerardo Mouet. “This issue is full of information about upcoming indoor soccer leagues for youth, new classes, registration information for summer day camps, and information about the El Dorado Nature Center that will celebrate its 50th Anniversary this year.”

There are three easy ways to register beginning Monday, Feb. 4, including: 

  • Visiting www.lbparks.org and clicking on “Online Registration” under “LB RecConnect.”
  • Calling (562) 570-3111.
  • Visiting the Registration Reservations Office at 2760 Studebaker Rd., anytime from Monday thru Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Outpouring of Support for Federal Employees

There has been an outpouring of support from the local community for federal employees affected by the government shutdown at Long Beach Airport (LGB). Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Air Traffic Control staff, like others across the country, were furloughed but continued to report to work without pay due to the critical nature of their positions. LGB, area residents, organizations and businesses pitched in with donations to help alleviate some of the hardship.

In addition to airlines and businesses at the airport such as JetBlue, Southwest, Paradies Lagardère and Polly’s Coffee that have already made contributions, LGB in partnership with airport tenants Signature Flight Support and Aeroplex Aviation provided meal vouchers for affected federal employees to use at any restaurant in the concourse. The airport organized lunch courtesy of Little Brass Café, the newest eatery at the Airport, for TSA staff, which featured a free performance by award-winning musician Gregg Young, who wanted to show his support. LGB also provided lunch for the hardworking men and women in the Air Traffic Control Tower.

Donations were made by California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood), Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach), the Airport Advisory Commission, and numerous passengers traveling through the airport and wanting to show their gratitude. Food Finders has also helped establish a food pantry with non-perishable food items for local federal employees. FreeConferenceCall.com, a Long Beach based business, organized a gift card drive.

The government shutdown was terminated last Friday to provide three weeks for Congress and the president to address the illegal immigration problem.

Commission to Consider Pine Avenue Building

The California State Historical Resources Commission will consider 11 nominations for federal historic designation on Friday, Feb. 1. The commission meeting will be held at 9 a.m. in the auditorium of the Natural Resources Agency Building, located at 1416 Ninth Street, Sacramento (95814).

Some of the nominations being considered by the commission include Eichler, whose pioneering housing ideas were inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian homes, produced these 218 mid-century houses – popular in many California cities in the 1950s – in the Willow Glen neighborhood of San Jose. The San Diego Gas & Electric Capistrano Substation, a key element of Southern California Edison’s (SCE) electrical distribution system is also being considered.

In Long Beach, the Security Trust and Savings Bank Building on Pine Avenue is under consideration. A 13-story high-rise designed in the Italian Renaissance Revival style. When completed in 1925, the building featured a large banking hall on the ground floor with speculative office space on the upper floors. The property is a distinctive feature in the downtown Long Beach cityscape due to its exceptional attention to detail and use of material, and an outstanding local example of the work of architectural firm Curlett and Beelman.

All nominations and photographs of properties under consideration are available online.

LB City College Promotes Four from Within

Four current Long Beach City College employees were recently promoted:

Sonia De La Torre-Iniguez, who had been serving as LBCC’s director of student success since 2016, will become the associate dean of student support services. The Cypress resident holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from UC Davis, and a master’s degree in educational counseling and guidance from CSU San Bernardino.

Associate Professor of Mathematics Moises Gutierrez is the new associate dean of health, kinesiology, science and mathematics. The CSULB graduate earned his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in applied mathematics. He also attended Cerritos College. Gutierrez is a resident of Long Beach.

Kenna Hillman began her LBCC career as a senior clerk in 1990, and since 2001 has served as a counselor. Hillman is now the new associate dean of academic affairs. She attended LBCC as a student before receiving her bachelor in fine arts degree in drawing and painting from CSULB. Hillman also received her master of science in counseling from the University of La Verne.

Robert Rapoza, LBCC’s auditor since 2008, has been selected as the new director of business support services. Rapoza graduated from CSULB with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He is also an award-winning adventure author and a resident of Rancho Palos Verdes.

Safest Cities in the United States Announced

The National Council for Home Safety and Security has just released a study that reveals the safest cities in the United States. The study was completed primarily to highlight the cities that have had the least amount of violent and non-violent crimes per population, while also bringing awareness to the cities that are more likely to have crime per capita.

California, for example, has violent crime rates that are over the national average, but property crime rates that fall well below. However, as the data shows, there are often vast differences from one city (or state) to the next. In California, Long Beach comes in at 80 among the top 100, Palos Verdes Estates is ranked at two and Los Alamitos at 13. In California the average violent crime rate per 1,000 residents is 1.09, but in Long Beach it is 6.578.

See the study here: https://www.alarms.org/safest-cities-in-california.

Fruit Tree Program

The City of Long Beach has launched a fruit tree planting program as part of its sustainability efforts. Long Beach residents can now apply to have a fruit tree planted by city staff in their front yard for free. This Office of Sustainability program is made possible through grant funding from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in partnership with the Air Resources Board California Climate Investments.

Fruit tree applications are now open. Residents can apply online at http://www.longbeach.gov/sustainability/programs/tree-planting. An alternate format of the application can be requested by calling (562) 570-6396.

Residents can apply for one of five different fruit trees: lemon, lime, orange, pomegranate, peach, or avocado. One tree will be provided per eligible household while the program lasts.

All residents are encouraged to apply, those not located in a priority neighborhood will be placed on a wait list. Wait list requests will be fulfilled as space is available in the planting schedule each month.

LBFD Promotes First Female Battalion Chief

The Long Beach Fire Department has promoted the first female to the battalion chief position since the department’s establishment in 1897. Karen Rindone has been assigned to the operations bureau and will work as the District 1 Battalion Chief on the B-platoon.

Rindone was hired with the Long Beach Fire Department in September of 2004. During the course of her career, she spent six years as a firefighter where she worked at fire stations 11, 2 and 19.

In January of 2010, Chief Rindone became the first female promoted to the rank of engineer. In that position, she was responsible for the safe and efficient operation of the fire apparatus to which she was assigned, another first for the fire department. Her primary assignment as an engineer was at fire station 9 in Bixby Knolls.

In January of 2015, Chief Rindone attained the rank of fire captain, assigned to fire stations 7, 9 and 4.

Prior to becoming a firefighter, Chief Rindone worked in the automotive industry. She was the general manager of a Land Rover dealership and started to take additional classes and schooling in preparation of pursuing a career with the fire department in 2002.

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