Bits 'n' Pieces

Free and Low-Cost Recreation Programs

During the upcoming school breaks for fall and winter, the City of Long Beach will offer free ‘Fun Days’ youth programs and free teen recreation programs at parks throughout the city. Parents and guardians of younger children also can enroll their children in low-cost workshops at El Dorado Nature Center.

Free Recreation Programs for Children Ages 5 to 12

Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine will offer Fun Days, extended supervision (drop-in, non-custodial care) recreation programs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the following days: Nov. 25, 26, 27; Dec. 23, 24, 26, 27, 30, 31; and Jan. 2, 3. Park programs will not take place Christmas Day or New Year’s Day.

Children can enjoy free games, crafts, sports tournaments, field trips, and holiday celebrations at the following East Long Beach park locations:

  • Stearns Champions Park, 4520 E. 23rd St.
  • Wardlow Park, 3457 Stanbridge Ave.
  • Whaley Park, 5620 Atherton St.

The public can visit https://bit.ly/2NIyTsa for daily program schedules.

Free Teen Programs

Teens can participate in free fall and winter break activities from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the following days: Nov. 25, 26, 27; Dec. 23, 24, 26, 27, 30, 31; and Jan. 2, 3. Park programs will not take place Christmas Day or New Year’s Day. Activities will be offered at the Freeman Community Center, 1205 Freeman Ave.

El Dorado Nature Center Winter Break Workshops

Children ages five to eight can participate in nature-themed workshops during winter break at El Dorado Nature Center (7550 E. Spring St.). Each one-time session is from 9 a.m. to noon and costs $20. Those interested can register at www.lbparks.org. The schedule of workshops includes:

  • December 24, Creativity Abounds!
  • December 27, The Radical Relationship Between Rain and Roots.
  • December 31, We’ve Got You Covered!
  • January 2, Slip Slidin’ Away.
  • January 3, Whooo’s That?

Airport Complex Generates $8.6B in Economic Impact

A recent economic impact report shows that the Long Beach Airport Aviation Complex supports 46,000 jobs and generates $8.6 billion for the regional economy, confirming the importance of the airport as an economic engine and its positive financial impact on the community.

To recognize the important role the airport plays in attracting economic vitality, the report measures the total economic impact of both the airport and the broader complex, which includes all business entities within a defined area north of the 405 freeway and south of Carson Street, bordered by Clark Avenue and Cherry Avenue. Most, but not all, of the property is owned by the City of Long Beach.

The report describes the direct impact from the airport, its businesses and passengers’ spending, and subsequent multiplier effects on businesses that hire employees and purchase goods from other businesses and from employees who spend their earnings locally. Similarly, the entire complex was analyzed. The airport itself accounts for nearly $1.6 billion in economic impact and supports more than 10,000 jobs.

The complex houses 441 businesses, a number that has grown significantly due to the development of Douglas Park and the Long Beach Exchange. Further development is expected now that the former Boeing manufacturing plant, located within the complex, has sold for $200 million and is slated for development.

This is the first time the study measured the impact of visitor spending on the local economy. Based on extensive passenger surveys, the average commercial passenger traveling from out of town spent $546 off-airport on accommodations, ground transportation, food, shopping and entertainment, while general aviation passengers spent an average of $335. Based on these numbers, this combined visitor spending supports about 5,800 jobs.

Long Beach Airport is a self-supporting enterprise of the City of Long Beach and does not receive local tax dollars. The economic activities arising from the operation of the airport generate tax revenues that help fund local government services and public infrastructure. Estimates are based on the airport’s total value-added impact – a measure of the airport’s contribution to gross domestic product – and data on state and local government tax revenues.

The report estimates that the airport contributed $79 million from the provision and use of air transportation and a total of $615 million from the economic activity generated by the entire complex.

The study, based on 2018 data, was conducted by Unison Consulting, a leading aviation consultancy firm that specializes in airport finance and economics.

Coyote Encounters Prompt Safety Reminders

In response to recent coyote activity in and around Long Beach, residents are reminded to follow important safeguards to protect pets and property against these wild animals. Coyotes do not require open space to survive and have successfully adapted to living in urban and suburban neighborhoods. Coyotes can be seen at any time of day, although they are most active at dusk, dawn and at night.

The following techniques are recommended to compassionately co-exist with coyotes and to protect yourself and your pets:

  • Keep pets, especially cats and small dogs, inside.
  • Keep pet food indoors, and if feeding pets outdoors, supervise feeding and remove the food bowls within an hour.
  • Stay close to pets when they are outside and keep them on a leash, especially between dusk and dawn.
  • Remove fallen fruit from the ground.
  • Bag food waste and make sure trash containers are securely closed.
  • Use “hazing” techniques to shoo away coyotes, such as:
  • Standing tall, yelling and waving arms
  • Using a whistle, air horn, bell or other noisemaking device
  • Banging pots or pans together
  • Stomping your feet
  • Flashing bright lights at the coyote
  • Spraying the coyote with a water hose or pepper spray
  • Throwing tennis balls or sticks toward the coyote
  • Never run from a coyote. Running from a coyote can instigate the coyote’s prey instinct to chase.
  • Never feed coyotes or any other wildlife.

In 2015, after unanimous action from City Council and community engagement, Long Beach instituted a Coyote Management Plan to effectively respond to concerns about coyotes. Long Beach is committed to safety for people and animals and Animal Care Services is requesting the assistance of the community. Please email animalcare@longbeach.gov or call (562) 570-7387 to request informational flyers, to schedule a speaker for a neighborhood watch or community meeting or to determine whether an animal control officer is needed.

It is important to make reports about coyote activity and encounters to Long Beach Animal Care Services. To report coyote sightings and encounters, visit www.longbeach.gov/acs/wildlife.

An animal control officer will respond to coyote calls if the coyote is sick or injured, out in the daytime in areas around people, especially children at parks or schools or anytime there is an attack or threatening behavior toward a person or pet. If a coyote is posing an imminent threat to life, call 9-1-1.

Herman Named Hospital’s Chief Nursing Officer

MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach has named Susan Herman, as its new chief nursing officer. With more than 12 years of experience in a pediatric academic environment, Herman is a transformational leader who creates a patient-centered and collaborative work environment.

Herman will be responsible for overseeing all nursing clinical care and patient care standards for Miller Children’s & Women’s. Herman also will design and create a partnership model for team collaboration across all disciplines to ensure patients receive the highest quality care. In addition to her inpatient responsibilities, she will provide oversight for the Outpatient Specialty Centers, and the Cherese Mari Laulhere Children’s Village initiative.

Miller Children’s & Women’s employs nearly 1,000 registered nurses, and has achieved Magnet® designation, which recognizes organizations for excellence in nursing care.

Herman received her Bachelor of Science in nursing from Pennsylvania State University, her master’s from the University of California, San Francisco and her doctorate from a joint program from California State University, Fresno, and San Jose State University. She has served in a variety of leadership roles in both state and national nurse leadership organizations, including president of the Association of California Nurse Leaders in 2015, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital – Stanford University Medical Center and Adventist Health Bakersfield.

Herman’s goals for Miller Children’s & Women’s include fostering a collaborative work environment while continuing to improve nursing excellence. She understands that it takes an entire multi-disciplinary team to care for children and their families, and nurses are a crucial part of that team. She also hopes to increase nursing participation in local and national research projects

Grant for Bike, Pedestrian Safety Education

The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has been awarded a $275,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The one-year grant will continue and expand the health department’s chronic disease and injury prevention division’s walk and roll long beach program to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Grant funding will be used to conduct bike and pedestrian safety workshops and to educate the public on the importance of safety equipment like reflective armbands, bike lights, reflectors and helmets. In addition, the DHHS will:

Host bike and pedestrian safety pop-ups, where staff will distribute safety information, reflective gear and helmets on streets frequently traveled by walkers and bicyclists.

Facilitate walking workshops for older adults, providing participants with strategies to walk safely in their neighborhood.

Collaborate with the Long Beach Department of Public Works to create safety messages for e-scooter riders to keep pedestrians and bicyclists safe.

Continue to coordinate and promote Long Beach Walk and Bike to School Weeks and launch the first annual Long Beach Safe Driver Awareness Week, which will educate drivers on how to safely share the streets with bicyclists and pedestrians.

In partnership with other city departments and community organizations, funding will also be used to support the DHHS’s participation in Bicycle Safety month, in May, and Pedestrian Safety month in September.

This is the fourth year the DHHS has received an OTS grant to promote bike and pedestrian safety. Last year, the DHHS used funding to distribute safety information to approximately 3,000 community members, supported Long Beach’s annual Walk to School Week, reaching approximately 5,000 students, and distributed nearly 1,000 bike lights and 200 helmets.

Bicycle and pedestrian-related collisions have been on the rise the past five years. In 2016, 867 pedestrians were killed on California roads, a nearly 33 percent increase from 2012. In 2016, 147 bicyclists were killed in crashes on California roads, a 14 percent increase from 2012.

“No matter which way you get around, you play a part in roadway safety,” OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. “These grant programs are intended to educate residents on ways they can make themselves and those around them safe when they walk or bike.”

$4 Million Investment in Mental Health Training

Dignity Health is partnering with UniHealth Foundation and Southern California school districts to bring much-needed mental health awareness training to school staff and parents for the benefit of at-risk youth. The Cultural Trauma and Mental Health Resiliency Project is designed to support adults who regularly interact with young people, particularly youth of color, to identify mental distress, address the impacts of trauma, reduce stigma, and increase resiliency.

Together, Dignity Health and UniHealth are providing $4 million in community grants and mental health trainings over the course of three years to implement the Cultural Trauma and Mental Health Resiliency Project.

Year one community grant funding of $759,000 has been awarded to nine organizations that will train 80 staff, who will then train 7,200 individuals who regularly interact with youth throughout Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. Grantees were selected in part because of their longstanding partnerships with schools and students.

In addition to the community grants, Dignity Health staff from each of its six Southern California hospitals – including St. Mary Medical Center – will be taught how to deliver mental health awareness trainings as well as coached on how to use these skills in patient care settings and in communities served by the hospitals.

The project participants will use Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) curricula and question, persuade, refer (QPR) curricula, which are skills-based training courses that teach participants about mental health, substance use, and suicide prevention that have been proven to be effective.

Participants of MHFA are able to identify the signs and symptoms of mental illness, offer help and resources to people in distress, and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. The program will also use Youth Mental Health First Aid curricula created specifically for individuals who directly interact with youth. Participants of QPR learn to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help.

Nationwide Search for New Long Beach City Manager

Mayor Robert Garcia and the Long Beach City Council announced a nationwide search for a new city manager.

The City Council has retained the services of The Hawkins Company, a Los Angeles based executive search firm, to assist the city with the city manager search process. The mayor and council would like to thank the community for their active engagement throughout the process participating in public meetings and surveys and providing feedback on what they would like to see in Long Beach’s next city manager. The council anticipates an appointment during the first quarter of 2020.

The City of Long Beach is the seventh largest city in the state and the 39th most populous city in the United States, with a population of over 470,000 residents. Long Beach has an annual budget of approximately $2.8 billion and employs more than 6,000 full- and part-time employees.

Catalina Art Show

The 9th Annual Catalina: The Wild Side Art Show and Sale drew art lovers who admired and purchased scenes of Catalina Island at Newport Harbor Yacht Club on Sunday, Oct. 20. More than 100 paintings by 11 nationally-recognized plein air artists featured renditions of Catalina’s wildlands, as well as landmarks in Avalon, Two Harbors, Middle Ranch, and Airport in the Sky.

The artist roster featured a mix of long-time Catalina painters and newcomers. Cindy Baron, John Cosby, Don Demers, Aimee Erickson, Andy Evansen, Kris Lael Temple, Kim Lordier, Michael Obermeyer, Colin Page, Joe Paquet and Paul Kratter used their talents to bring attention to the thousands of acres of wildlands the conservancy stewards, as well as the local communities. Artists traveled to Catalina throughout the year to paint outdoors in the plein air style, a tradition that has flourished on the Island for more than 100 years.

Gross sales from this year’s event totaled more than $180,000. Proceeds from the art show help fund the conservancy’s conservation, education and recreation programs. As part of the conservancy’s educational exhibits, a rotating display of plein air paintings from the Catalina: The Wild Side art collection is featured at the Trailhead in Avalon. The collection captures the history of Catalina and nature as it is occurring, providing a unique view of the Island’s ever-changing ecology.

Remaining works are available for purchase through an online sale that will run through 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22.

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