Bits 'n' Pieces

VA Long Beach Begins Vaccine Distribution

The VA Healthcare System in Long Beach has begun COVID-19 vaccination with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine starting Dec. 22, following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization.

“VA Long Beach is eager to aggressively begin vaccinating our in-patient veterans and staff using the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. With one of the largest Spinal Cord Injury Centers within the VA system and over 60-bed Community Living Center, it is critical to begin as soon as possible,” said Richard Beam, director of public and community services.

“Receiving the vaccine is like having hope delivered. As vaccine supplies increase, our ultimate goal is to offer COVID-19 vaccination to all veterans and employees who want to be vaccinated.”

VA Long Beach Healthcare System is one of 113 VA Medical Centers across the country to receive the first limited supply of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Sites were identified based on need for the vaccine according to CDC’s 1A prioritization and capacity to store the vaccine at -20◦C.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was 94 percent effective in clinical trials in preventing COVID-19 disease. The vaccine is administered in two doses, 28 days apart. The side effects appear similar to those of other vaccines and are short-lived.

Thirty-seven medical centers began offering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to health care personnel and veterans Dec. 14. Fifteen additional VA facilities will receive an allocation of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine the week of Dec. 21.

Even after receiving COVID-19 vaccination, employees and Veterans should continue wearing face coverings, practicing physical distancing and washing hands often. As vaccines become available for more groups of Veterans, VA care teams will reach out to eligible veterans to schedule vaccinations. There is no need to preregister or come to a facility to sign up.

Veterans can get up-to-date information on VA’s VA COVID-19 vaccine web page, which launched on Dec. 11, 2020 and sign up to receive regular updates on the vaccine on the VA’s Stay Informed page.

Treecycling Program

The Long Beach Public Works Department Holiday Tree Recycling Program, known as Treecycling, provides residents with convenient drop-off locations for disposal of live holiday trees, free of charge. A total of 12 drop-off locations will be available citywide from Dec. 26 through Jan. 8.

The Treecycling program collects holiday trees and sends them to a chipping facility where they are turned into landscaping mulch or to a biomass conversion facility for energy generation. Annually, the city collects approximately 200 tons of holiday trees, which is equal to 10,000 to 15,000 trees. Proper disposal of holiday trees through the Treecycling program prevents fire hazards and blight by reducing illegally dumped trees in alleys and public rights-of-way.

The following ELB drop-off locations will operate Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.:

  • Wardlow Park (Monlaco Road at Rutgers Avenue)
  • El Dorado Park (2760 N. Studebaker Rd.; South parking lot, behind Administration Building)
  • Long Beach Environmental Services Bureau Offices (2929 E. Willow St.)
  • Stearns Park (23rd Street at Roycroft Avenue)
  • Orizaba Park (Orizaba Avenue at 14th Street)
  • Bixby Park (1st Street at Cherry Avenue)
  • Fire Station 14 (5200 E. Eliot St.)

All tree decorations and stands must be removed and trees over 12 feet tall should be cut in half. No artificial trees or trees generated from businesses are allowed at Treecycling drop-off locations.

For residents with city refuse collection service unable to drop off their holiday tree, the citywide Treecycling pick-up day will occur on Saturday, Jan. 9. city refuse customers may place their tree where recycling is normally collected by 7 a.m.

For more information on the Treecycling program, visit longbeach.gov/lbrecycles.

LBPD Looting Task Force Nets More Arrests

The Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) created a Looting Task Force in response to civil unrest that took place in the City of Long Beach on May 31, 2020.

Thus far their efforts have resulted in the following:

  1. 58 arrests
  2. 78 arrest warrants obtained
  3. 79 additional cases submitted to the District Attorney or City Prosecutor
  4. 35 vehicles impounded
  5. 38 search warrants

Below is an updated summary of new arrests and charges:

  • Miya Chatman, 29, resident of the City of Carson, was arrested for looting and shoplifting on Oct. 20, 2020 and bail was set at $115,000
  • Poe Suaava, 19, resident of Long Beach, was arrested for looting on Oct. 20, 2020 and bail was set at $100,000
  • Anthony Espana, 20, resident of the City of Signal Hill, was arrested for looting on Oct. 21, 2020 and bail was set at $50,000
  • Demi Moore, 25, resident of the City of Rancho Dominguez, was arrested for looting on Oct. 23, 2020 and bail was set at $60,000
  • Daniel Rodriguez, 22, resident of Long Beach, was arrested for looting on Oct. 29, 2020 and bail was set at $125,000
  • Meredith Wilks, 44, resident of the City of Compton, was arrested for looting on Oct. 29, 2020 and bail was set at $100,000
  • Dammenal Brown, 39, resident of the City of Los Angeles, was arrested for looting on Oct. 29, 2020 and bail was set at $50,000
  • Jessica Reyes, 19, resident of the City of Los Angeles, was arrested for looting on Nov. 5, 2020 and bail was set at $50,000
  • Levar Pate, 24, resident of the City of Los Angeles, was arrested for looting on Nov. 19, 2020 and bail was set at $100,000
  • Andy Carrera, 20, resident of the City of Huntington Park, was arrested for looting and vandalism on Dec. 4, 2020 and bail was set at $100,000
  • Jaquan Feemster, 26, resident of the City of Los Angeles, was arrested for looting on Dec. 10, 2020 and bail was set at $20,000
  • Tahj Richardson, 18, resident of the City of Los Angeles, was arrested for looting on Dec. 13, 2020 and bail was set at $50,000
  • Geoffree Simmons, 32, resident of the City of Hawthorne, was arrested for looting on Dec. 17, 2020 and bail was set at $50,000

Anyone can submit tips or evidence through the LBPD online evidence portal. To report a crime, please call our non-emergency dispatch number at (562) 435-6711. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or text TIPLA plus your tip to 274637 (CRIMES) or visit www.lacrimestoppers.org.

Stay Home and Stay Safe Over New Year’s Weekend

The City of Long Beach, as part the Public Health Alliance of Southern California, which also includes Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County and six other health jurisdictions, is issuing an urgent holiday message for the public to stay home and stay safe over New Year’s weekend. While the distribution of the vaccine is a very positive development, the next few weeks and months are critical. With record-breaking numbers of cases, deaths and hospitalizations each day, health systems throughout the region are overwhelmed.

In order to slow the spread of COVID-19 during this extraordinary surge in cases, the community must follow effective, fact-based public health measures including: adhering to the Safer at Home Health Order, wearing face coverings, washing hands, practicing physical distancing and traveling only when essential. Many people are spreading the virus without knowing it – more than 50% of exposures come from people who do not have symptoms.

People should stay home except as necessary to conduct essential activities. Gatherings of individuals from different households pose a significant risk of virus transmission to the community. When out to conduct essential activities, people should maintain at least a six-foot distance from other individuals not in the same household; wear a face covering that covers both the nose and mouth; wash hands frequently; and sanitize high-touch surfaces.

While staying home is critical this holiday season to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives, the city encourages people to find alternative ways to engage with others and celebrate safely such as connecting with family and friends virtually; hosting a New Year’s Eve party over video; spending more time on phone calls this year; sharing photos and videos of your holiday on a group chat; and participating in a gratitude activity.

The virus is spreading throughout all regions of California and everybody has a personal and collective responsibility to slow the spread of the pandemic and eliminate the virus as quickly as possible so we can all have a brighter and healthier 2021.

LBCC Board Sworn-In

The Long Beach Community College District (LBCCD) Board of Trustees elected Uduak-Joe Ntuk as president of the LBCCD Board of Trustees and new Trustee Herlinda Chico was elected vice president on Dec. 21. Chico was sworn-in to represent Area 4 of the college district and Trustee Vivian Malauulu was sworn-in for her second term.

In this role, Ntuk will preside over the meetings of the board and act as chief spokesperson for the board, among other duties. The positions are elected annually among the five Board members, to a one-year term.

Ntuk was elected in 2018 and is the first African American male elected to serve on the board since Long Beach City College’s founding in 1927. He earned his Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts at LBCC, a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering at California State University, Long Beach, and his Master of Science in Engineering at the University of Southern California.

Chico is the first Latina elected to the board to represent Area 4, which is comprised of Santa Catalina Island, East Long Beach and Signal Hill. She has been politically active since the age of 19 and has volunteered on several campaigns and community organizations over the decades. For the past four years, she has been a field deputy for Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn.

Malauulu was first elected to the Board of Trustees in 2016 and was unopposed in 2020. She is the first the first Latina elected to the Long Beach Community College District Board of Trustees to represent Area 2 which covers West Long Beach and the south-central parts of the city.

Snell Back at Goodwill

Goodwill Serving the People of Southern Los Angeles County (SOLAC) announced the return of Donna Snell as the senior vice president of sales, operations and marketing. Snell provides over 20 years of nonprofit expertise and an even longer track record of success in retail management operations.

In returning to Goodwill SOLAC, Snell’s responsibilities will include oversight of the organization’s 19 retail locations, including Edgar & James stores, outlet locations, attended donation centers, online sales division, processing and transportation operations. Snell has stated “our organizational objectives include bringing stability in a time of uncertainty. There are many in need and we are here to serve.”

In addition to her previous tenure as Goodwill SOLAC’s retail division director and her duties as vice president of retail operations at Goodwill Southern California, Snell has spent the last two years serving as the director of resale operations at Angel View, a non-profit organization that assists children and adults with disabilities. She is a Southern California native, who holds a bachelor’s degrees in business administration from CSUSB with an emphasis in economics and finance.

Goodwill SOLAC serves the people of southern Los Angeles County including the city of Long Beach, its surrounding communities and the cities of the South Bay. Goodwill partners with the community, transforming donated goods into job training, education and placement services, for individuals with barriers to employment. To learn more about Goodwill SOLAC’s career-track training programs visit www.thinkgood.org.

New Skin Care Technology

Laser Skin Care Center is now offering the Stellar M22 Photorejuvenation treatment to patients, adding to the practice’s list of cosmetic and medical dermatology services. The treatment, which uses IPL (intense pulsed light) technology, works with your skin to gently and effectively eliminate spots, discoloration and broken capillaries to improve the skin’s overall appearance.

“We are committed to providing full-spectrum dermatologic care to our patients, which includes access to the latest skin technologies and treatments,” says LSCC co-founder Dr. Edward Glassberg. “This new offering reflects that commitment and will help patients who have specific skin concerns achieve their dermatologic goals.”

The IPL technology allows treatment of pigmentation, vascular imperfections and uneven skin texture, using filtered light to specifically target pigment, blood vessels and collagen below the skin’s surface. The Stellar M22 IPL with Optimal Pulse Technology (OPT) enables LSCC physicians to customize treatments according to a patient’s skin type and desired results, with maximum safety.

Light pulses penetrate the tissue and create heat, targeting skin imperfections in a controlled manner. The body’s natural process then removes the treated tissue, while collagen and elastic fiber stimulation occurs, resulting in a visible improvement in skin tone and overall appearance.

Uneven pigmentation is one of the most common skincare-related complaints and can affect several parts of the body including hands, arms and chest area, in addition to the face. “We see many patients who have cosmetic dermatology concerns surrounding hyperpigmentation and melasma,” notes Dr. Bryna Kane, co-founder of LSCC. “This machine serves to combat those issues in as little as just a few treatments, depending on the patient’s skin.”

Typically, two to four sessions done at two to four-week intervals are needed to achieve optimal results for most skin concerns, however, some cases with shallow pigmentation and/or mild dark spots can be cleared in as few as one or two treatments. The expected healing time after treatment is five to seven days.

For more information on the Stellar M22 treatment, or to speak with a member of the Laser Skin Care Center team to start your own before and after journey, visit https://www.lasercarespecialists.com/ or call (562) 724-1161.

Red Cross Responds to Long Beach Home Fire

The American Red Cross Los Angeles Region’s volunteers from the Greater Long Beach, South Bay, Metro and Southeast LA Chapter responded to a home fire impacting two adults in Long Beach.

On Monday afternoon, volunteers from the Red Cross Disaster Action Team responded to a home fire in the 5200 block of Cherry Avenue, impacting one family.

The Red Cross helped coordinate emergency aid for the two individuals impacted by providing direct client assistance and recovery planning to meet their disaster-caused needs.

Red Cross Volunteers have been re-trained to maintain social distancing and follow proper safety procedures to continue serving communities impacted by local disasters, during the coronavirus outbreak.

Families in our community, across the country and around the world turn to the Red Cross every day to help #EndHomeFires. Hospital patients still need lifesaving blood; neighbors still need food, shelter and care after disasters; and military families still need support.

Your help is needed to fulfill the urgent needs of our mission today at redcross.org/la.

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