Bits 'n' Pieces

Blood Donors Needed

The American Red Cross urges people of all races and ethnicities to give blood or platelets to help increase the diversity of the blood supply.

The vast majority of blood types fall into one of the major blood groups. However, for patients with rare blood types or those who receive regular blood transfusions, blood must be matched closely – beyond the primary A, B, O and AB blood types – to reduce the risk of developing complications from transfusion therapy. The best match may be someone of the same racial or ethnic group.

Eight-year-old AJ Torres requires blood transfusions to treat complications from sickle cell disease, the most common genetic disease in the U.S. The disease is most common among people of African descent or Latino descent, like AJ, and can sometimes cause small blood vessels to become blocked. Diverse donors are important to ensuring AJ has the blood products he needs to regain his health.

“Within minutes of receiving a blood transfusion, I watch his strength be restored, pain vanish and energy return. Soon he transforms back to himself – a rambunctious little boy,” said his mom, Caira Torres. “If an 8-year-old can withstand a needle, so can you.”

Donors of all blood types, as well as all races and ethnicities, are needed to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse patient population. Appointments can be made by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

As a thank-you, those who come to give blood or platelets during the month of October will automatically be entered for a chance to win one of five $500 gift cards redeemable at hundreds of merchants, courtesy of Tango Card. Terms apply; see rcblood.org/game.

Residents Advised to Take Vaping Precautions

Long Beach Public Health Officials are warning residents of the dangers of vaping and e-cigarette devices, which pose a potential risk to the health of the lungs, including severe lung injury that may lead to death. This warning comes after 530 cases, in 38 states, of Vaping Associated Pulmonary Injury (VAPI) have been reported, including seven deaths. California has reported 81 cases since late June, including two deaths.

In Long Beach, two cases of VAPI were reported in August, both of whom have since recovered. Long Beach City Health Officer, Anissa Davis is warning residents to stay alert. “Anyone presently vaping or considering vaping should be aware of the serious potential health risks associated with this practice.”

Long Beach Health Officials continue to work closely with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), local health care providers and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor and evaluate VAPI cases. There have been hundreds of cases across the nation presenting in emergency departments with symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing, fever and some with vomiting and diarrhea.

Cases are associated with vaping a variety of substances, including nicotine, CBD, marijuana and synthetic marijuana. Two thirds of cases are 18 to 34-years old and 16 percent are under 18-years old. All cases have reported using an e-cigarette product or vaping. Many have reported using e-cigarette products containing THC, while others have reported using both THC and nicotine, and some have reported using products containing only nicotine.

Long Beach Public Health Officials are advising residents to consider refraining from using e-cigarette or vaping products. In addition, youth, young adults, pregnant women and adults who do not currently use tobacco products should not use e-cigarette or vaping products. If you have recently used an e-cigarette or vaping product and you develop gastrointestinal or respiratory symptoms, see a healthcare provider immediately.

The CDC and FDA encourage the public to submit detailed reports of any unexpected health or product issues related to tobacco or e-cigarette products to the FDA via their online Safety Reporting Portal.

Public Records Portal

In compliance with Senate Bill 1421 (SB 1421) and Assembly Bill 748 (AB 748), which mandates the public disclosure of records and information related to officer-involved shootings, certain uses of force, sustained findings of sexual assault and officer dishonesty and the production of video and audio of critical incidents, the Long Beach Police Department will be releasing documents through the Public Records Act request portal and publishing them on a dedicated webpage as they become available.

In Long Beach, within the Police Department alone, records date back to the 1960s and in some cases, the technology needed to digitally convert these documents is not accessible to us for redaction. The department immediately began to identify how many records meet the legal mandate for release, however, without a budget or dedicated staffing, the department has been using temporary staff to accomplish this goal and ensure victim privacy is preserved.

The webpage will contain voluminous responsive records, use of force levels and definitions, and use of force statistics. The department will continue to add additional staffing to our Public Records Act team and they are actively working through a page-by-page, file-by-file, process of review and redaction of all documents, audio and video files associated with these incidents to begin the release process. To view the webpage go to: www.longbeach.gov/police/about-the-lbpd/lbpd-1421748.

Long Beach’s Largest Networking Mixer

Mark your calendar for “Long Beach’s Largest Networking Mixer” on Thursday, Oct. 24, 5:30 to 8 p.m. at The Grand, 4101 E. Willow Street in Long Beach. Admission is $10 (includes a drink ticket) and open to business networking organizations, chamber of commerce members, service club members and others wanting to promote their goods and services to other businesses in Long Beach.

Organized by the Executives Association of Long Beach (EALB), the oldest, local networking organization – founded in 1922 – there will be complimentary hors d’oeuvres provided by TGIS Catering.

The 7:30 p.m. speaker will address “Save Your Business $80,000 Through Cyber Security” featuring Nathan Whittacre of Stimulus Technologies.

Local businesses wanting a table at the mixer to display their wares may do so for a $50 fee, provided there’s no classification conflict with an existing EALB member participating in the event. For an added $75 you can have hors d’oeuvres next to your table. Call or email Eric Speier at (310) 600-9668 or eric@5edev.com if interested in exhibiting at this function. Sign-up deadline is October 17.

This event is sponsored by Don Temple Storage (major contributor), The Grand, TGIS Catering, Keen Home Care, F&M Bank, Beachcomber, Stimulus Technologies and Long Beach Home Loan Corp.

For additional details, contact EALB Executive Director Steven Caudillo at (562) 663-6416 or email longbeachexecs@gmail.com. Visit www.longbeachexecs.com to learn more about the organization or see a list of open membership classifications.

Local Senior Dog Rescue Receives Grant

Live Love Animal Rescue has received a $958 Senior Pet Adoption Assistance Grant from the Petfinder Foundation. The program is used to help facilitate the adoption of senior pets who often face more challenges than puppies and adult dogs in finding forever families. The grant money will cover the costs of equipment and a one-year supply of medication for one special senior dog, Stevie Wonder, so that a family can adopt him without worrying about financial costs of adding him to their household.

Stevie Wonder embodies the challenges that senior dogs face in finding an adoptive family. He also exemplifies the simple joy and pure love that is unique to senior dogs. Stevie is a 13-year-old Manchester Terrier that was surrendered to the local shelter, Long Beach Animal Care Services, due to his age. He was adopted out but then quickly returned due to his separation anxiety. This anxiety is completely understandable as Stevie is blind. The fear and anxiety he must feel for losing the only home he has ever known must be intense.

Since he was rescued by Live Love Animal Rescue, Stevie has received top notch vet care to address his dental issues and is receiving reiki and medical therapy in his foster home to help him be more confident and outgoing. He is now ready to live the rest of his life with a loving adoptive family.

The Long Beach community is invited to learn more about Stevie Wonder, share his story and sign up to adopt him at www.petfinder.com/dog/stevie-wonder-44788321/ca/long-beach/live-love-ani....

Sunset Sip Raises $170,000

More than 180 people attended the 9th Annual Sunset Sip on Sept. 14 at the Hotel Maya in Long Beach to foster mental health awareness and raise funds for The Guidance Center, a nonprofit child and family mental health service provider headquartered in Long Beach with clinics in San Pedro and Compton.

The annual event raised more than $170,000, exceeding funds raised in previous years. Funds were raised from ticket sales, generous donations, a wine pull, and silent and live auctions items donated by local businesses, The Guidance Center’s board of directors and mental health advocates.

The theme of this year’s event was “Hope Takes Flight.” Throughout the night guests heard uplifting stories about how hope has helped former clients of The Guidance Center.

During the dinner program, the true star of the evening was a 17-year-old former client of The Guidance Center, Rafael. Rafael inspired guests with his story of overcoming challenges and gaining the skills to maintain positive mental health with help from The Guidance Center.

For more information on The Guidance Center, visit www.tgclb.org.

Top 100 US Cities to Retire

ChamberofCommerce.org published the top 100 cities to retire in 2019, a ranking of the optimal cities for retirees based on variables that cover aspects such as cost of living, crime levels and quality of life.

Top 10 Best Cities to Retire

1. New Bedford, Mass.

2. Quincy, Massachusetts

3. Warwick, Rhode Island

4. New York, New York

5. Fall River, Massachusetts

6. Troy, Michigan

7. Cambridge, Massachusetts

8. Livonia, Michigan

9. Cranston, Rhode Island

10. Largo, Florida

See the full list and report here: https://www.chamberofcommerce.org/best-cities-to-retire-in-the-us

Although freedom increases with retirement, income tends to do the opposite. This report aims to address something that most retirees take into consideration: finding the perfect location to maximize happiness and funds. Retirement is all about planning: how and where does one want to spend their golden years?

Data sources for this report include statistics from the U.S. Census, FBI crime databases and the American Association of Medical Colleges report. ChamberofCommerce.org excluded cities with populations under 10,000 and considered a total of 435 cities.

Variables include the population percentage over the age of 65 (as well as how many of those are retirees), overall poverty rates, median housing costs, percentage of graduates with bachelor’s degree or higher and crime-related statistics per city (violent and non-violent crime rates and available officers per capita).

LA County Reaches Record High Employment Level

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Los Angeles County decreased over the month to 4.4 percent in August 2019 from a revised 4.5 percent in July 2019 and was below the rate of 4.6 percent one year ago.

Civilian employment increased by 2,000 to 4,874,000 in August 2019, while unemployment declined by 3,000 to 225,000 over the month. The civilian labor force remained unchanged over the month at 5,099,000 in August 2019. (All of the above figures are seasonally adjusted.) The unadjusted unemployment rate for the county was 4.7 percent in August 2019.

The California seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in August 2019, 4.1 percent in July 2019 and 4.1 percent a year ago in August 2018. The comparable estimates for the nation were 3.7 percent in August 2019, 3.7 percent in July 2019 and 3.8 percent a year ago.

Online Tax Guide

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) has created a new online tax guide, Local and District Tax Guide for Retailers: www.cdtfa.ca.gov/industry/localanddistricttaxes.htm. The guide helps to assure you collect, report and pay the correct tax rate for each transaction.

The CDTFA understands that allocating local tax and determining whether district tax applies to your sales or use tax transactions can be complicated. This new online guide is intended to help you properly allocate local tax and determine how district taxes apply to your business transactions.

The guide contains helpful examples and important local tax and district tax information for retailers such as lessors, construction contractors, those with multiple locations, those making sales over the Internet, those making sales into California from out of state and more.

California: Worst Roads

California has the nation’s 7th-worst road infrastructure, according to QuoteWizard’s latest report. We analyzed Federal Highway Administration data and ranked states based on the percentage of poor condition roads, the annual cost per motorist from roads in need of repair and the percentage of structurally deficient bridges. Associated with the ranking factors is the percentage of state highway spending on road repairs. 

Key Findings:

45 percent of California roads are in poor condition.

It cost $862 per driver in California due to poor roads, the 2nd-highest in the nation.

6 percent of the bridges in California are structurally deficient, the 18th-lowest percentage.

35 percent of the allocated highway budget is spent on road repairs, which is the lowest rate.

All of these factors influence California’s road infrastructure ranking. You can find the full report here: https://quotewizard.com/news/posts/states-with-worst-infrastructure.

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