Bits 'n' Pieces

St. Mary Medical Center Provides Vital Funding

Dignity Health – St. Mary Medical Center recently awarded two area non-profit organizations, Mental Health America of Los Angeles and Century Villages at Cabrillo (CVC), with essential funding to improve and expand their services to persons in need. 
“Reaching a decision on our community grant partners is difficult because the greater Long Beach area is full of many deserving organizations who truly make a difference. This year, we are pleased to support Mental Health America Los Angeles and Century Villages at Cabrillo with their respective initiatives for housing and social services,” shared Carolyn Caldwell, St. Mary hospital president. “Through our Community Health Grant Program, we are able to work collaboratively and improve the well-being of the communities we serve.”
Mental Health America’s Project Access provides comprehensive linkages to integrated mental health, housing and social services to frequent utilizers of emergency rooms. St. Mary has provided $86,000 in essential funds to support the continuation and expansion of this program. Century Villages at Cabrillo’s Pathways to Health program has received a $35,000 grant for its community-wide initiative that aims to improve the physical and mental health of residents living at CVC. 
Since 1991, Dignity Health has awarded nearly $80 million to more than 3,500 community-based health improvement projects through its Community Grants Program. For more information, visit

Stephen Scott Named as Interim Director of PRM

Long Beach Acting City Manager, Thomas B. Modica, named Stephen Scott as the interim director of Parks, Recreation and Marine (PRM), effective Feb. 1. The city will conduct a national recruitment for the next director of PRM.
“Stephen has a great attitude, is community-minded and has an expansive knowledge of all facets of our PRM department,” said Acting City Manager Tom Modica. “As we search for a new director, the city and the community are in good hands with Stephen.”
Scott is currently the deputy director for PRM and has previously served the city as the interim director. He previously was the customer services manager in the Department of Technology and Innovation; assistant to the city manager; and administrative analyst in the city’s Budget Office. Scott holds a master’s degree in public management from the University of Wisconsin, Madison’s LaFollette School of Public Affairs and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is a Long Beach resident. 

Business Students to Offer Free Tax Preparation

More than 90 English and Spanish speaking California State University, Long Beach accounting students, who are Internal Revenue Service certified, will provide free tax preparation assistance to families who make $54,000 or less, disabled people, the elderly, students, non-residents and individuals with limited English proficiency. 
The free service is part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance clinic (VITA), which is an IRS-sponsored program.
Last year, student-volunteers filed 1,809 state and federal tax returns, which, combined, totaled to more than $1 million in refunds. 
No appointments are required. Individuals will be served on a first come, first served basis at the CSULB College of Business Computer Lab, Mon-Thurs: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
Participants must bring the following original documents – no photocopies or pictures of these documents will be accepted:
  • Government issued photo ID or driver’s license.
  • Original Social Security card or documents of individual taxpayer identification number.
  • All W-2s and 1099s (if any)
  • Other income and expense information
  • Students or parents of students bring total tuition fees and expenses paid (form 1098-T)
  • Parents bring total expenses paid for child’s day care if any.
  • Day care or dependent care provider’s address, phone and SSN or EIN.
  • Bank account and routing number (voided check) for direct deposit of refund.
  • Last year’s tax return is helpful, but not required.
  • To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.

City Gets Drug-Impaired Driving Prevention Grant 

For the third year, the City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services’ drug-impaired driving prevention and cannabis education program, GreenlightLB, was awarded a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). The $205,300 grant will fund activities designed to reduce drug-impaired driving and traffic-related injuries and deaths.
Grant-funded activities will include: ongoing awareness promotion, education and intervention around bars, clubs and dispensaries; working with schools to educate high-school-age students on the consequences of driving while impaired; further promoting substance-impaired driving information and awareness through print and digital media; and coordination of a Long Beach Safe Driver Awareness Week.
“In addition to alcohol, there are a number of prescription, over-the-counter and recreational substances that have a negative impact on a person’s ability to drive,” said Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services Director Kelly Colopy. “The efforts funded by this grant are critical to educating the public on the consequences of driving while impaired and helping everyone make informed decisions that make roadways safer.”
According to the most recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use, the number of drivers testing positive for cannabis and/or other drugs increased compared to survey data from 2007. The survey concluded that “one in four drivers tested positive for at least one drug that could potentially affect safe driving skills.” Studies of California drivers have shown that, of the 30% of people involved in fatal crashes, 14% tested positive for drugs that may impair driving. The most prevalent drug was cannabis, at 7.4%, which was slightly more prevalent than alcohol (7.3%).
“Getting in a vehicle remains one of the most dangerous things we do,” said OTS director Barbara Rooney. “We must continue to work with our partners to shift that realization and make traveling on our roads safer.” 
GreenlightLB serves those who live, work and play in Long Beach as an unbiased and trusted resource for health and safety information related to cannabis and by ensuring that everyone can make informed decisions about cannabis use.

Towne Center to Welcome Dave & Buster’s

Long Beach Towne Center announced the addition of a 41,000-square-foot Dave & Buster’s to be located in the shopping center’s former Food Court space across from the Regal Edwards Cinema. The new Dave & Buster’s is expected to open in Q4 2020 as the kick-off to a hotly anticipated redevelopment at the shopping center. 
“We’re excited to welcome Dave & Buster’s to Long Beach Towne Center and thrilled that the addition of an entertainment venue of this caliber will mark the beginning of our redevelopment transformation,” says Chris Andrews, general manager for Long Beach Towne Center. “The way Americans are interacting with shopping centers today is changing and at Long Beach Towne Center, we are preparing to meet the future head on with new dining and entertainment options that will make Long Beach Towne Center the place to be both day and night.”
Dave & Buster’s combines a full-service restaurant with an extensive video arcade and multi-screen sports bar. With a wide array of exclusive new interactive and simulator video games, classic video games, an extensive food and drink menu and screening rooms for UFC and other sporting events, Dave & Buster’s is the perfect venue for everything from date night to parties, team-building and social events.


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