Community News

Variety of Classes Offered

Registration for a variety of new and existing recreation classes offered by the City of Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine (PRM) began Monday, Feb. 5. More than 700 activities in art, music, nature, fitness, special interest subjects, adult sports leagues and aquatics will begin in March and continue through May 2024.

Residents can browse new and existing spring classes in the Recreation Connection, PRM’s programs catalog, available at LBParks.org or at Long Beach park community centers and Long Beach Public Library branches. In addition to fee-based classes, Recreation Connection also lists a variety of free and low-cost activities for families to enjoy, including youth sports leagues, teen centers, senior centers and much more.

More information about PRM programs and offerings are available at LBParks.org.

Mardi Gras Celebration at Shoreline Village

Mardi Gras returns to Shoreline Village in Long Beach on Saturday, Feb. 10, and the whole city is invited to celebrate free of charge. Visit Shoreline Village from 1 to 5 p.m. and feel like you’ve been transported to New Orleans with the sights and sounds of all things Fat Tuesday. Music, beads, food, entertainment, and nonstop dancing, the family-friendly event is suitable for children of all ages.

Joining this year as the Mardi Gras Queen to lead the parade is First District Councilwoman Mary Zendejas. Her council staff will act as her court. Masks and beads will be sold, with proceeds going to the YMCA of Greater Long Beach.

The Louisiana Zydeco music starts at 1 p.m., carnival costumes are encouraged to add to the celebration. Music will be provided by Zydeco Mudbugs, deejays, and a drum-core band from 1 to 5 p.m. Face-painting and balloon twists are free for children. More fun traditions of New Orleans will be featured throughout Shoreline Village, including hot, fresh beignets, and of course a full array of New Orleans Cajun cuisine at Louisiana Charlie’s restaurant.

The parade will begin at 2:30 at Famous Dave’s restaurant (near 300 Pine Ave.). The second liners in the parade are from the Charles Favors Louisiana Cultural Foundation of California, featuring the Louisiana Culture Street Steppers. If you choose to march along in the parade, please sign-up at https://shorelinevillage.com/long-beach-mardi-gras-registration/ (no sign-up necessary to observe).

RSVP https://www.facebook.com/events/700018442223259/?ref=newsfeed. All the fun is located at 401-435 Shoreline Drive. The Shoreline Village parking lot fills up fast, so please consider ride shares, the free Passport Bus, the Circuit shuttle and other parking options. For alternate parking, visit https://www.parkLB.com.

Shoreline Village, a premiere property of Pacific Ocean Management, offers year-round waterfront shopping and dining on Long Beach’s Rainbow Harbor. For more information about the center and its activities, visit www.ShorelineVillage.com.

Republicans Welcome Will Swaim

On Saturday, Feb. 10, Will Swaim, president of the California Policy Center, will discuss local, state, and national events during the Greater Long Beach Republican Women breakfast meeting. Held at The Grand, 4101 E. Willow St., registration starts at 9 a.m. followed by an all-you-can-eat breakfast served at 9:30 a.m. The cost is $30 for members and $35 for non-members and there is free covered parking.

A journalist for more than three decades, Swaim began covering international business in 1990. In 1995, the Village Voice and LA Weekly hired him to launch OC Weekly – the first and still only alternative weekly in Orange County. He was more recently editor of Watchdog.org, a national network of state-based investigative reporters, and vice president of journalism at Watchdog’s nonprofit parent, the Washington, D.C.-based Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity.

Swaim has written extensively about California business, media, politics, and religion; is the winner of several print journalism awards and a Southern California Broadcasters Golden Mike award for public affairs commentary. With CPC board member David Bahnsen, he hosts National Review’s weekly Radio Free California Podcast.

For information and reservations, email vonderhorstm@aol.com or phone (562) 760-1556.

Lifetime Learning Classes & Tours Offered

The Spring Semester at the Lifetime Learning Center Senior Studies Program at Long Beach City College Pacific Coast Campus starts Feb. 13 through May 22.

Classes offered are Broadway’s Landmark Musicals, Hollywood Classic Film Series, Plants and the World Around Us, Intermediate iPhone Workshop and Intermediate Computer Workshop. The Strength Training classes are offered via Zoom.

The day tours include a New Bakery Tour, That’s Amore and Let Us Taco ‘Bout it with Curt Tucker. Register on the new website www.lbccfoundation.org/lifetime-learning-center/ or for more information call Theresa Brunella at (562) 930-3047.

Scholarships, Internships Open to Local Students

Applications are now available for the Port of Long Beach’s Summer High School Internship Program and Scholarship Program for Long Beach-area high school students. Details for both programs, eligibility information and online applications can be found on the port’s website at www.polb.com/education.

The scholarships are open to high school seniors attending Long Beach Unified School District-area high schools and pursuing higher education or training in careers in international trade, logistics, engineering and other port-related industries.

In addition to students who will be attending college full-time, the 2024 scholarship program also includes students in trade programs and those enrolling part-time. The port will award a total of $300,000 for high school and college scholarships in 2024 and amounts will range from $500 to $6,000.

High school internships are available to current high school juniors and seniors who reside in Long Beach or attend a high school in the Long Beach Unified School District service area. Participating high school student interns will gain hands-on experience as they work alongside Harbor Department staff. The program lasts six weeks, from June 24 through Aug. 1.

Applications for port scholarships at Long Beach City College; California State University, Long Beach; and California State University Maritime Academy are handled in each school’s scholarship application office. Please contact them directly for more details.

Applications for the Port High School Scholarship Program and Summer High School Internship Program are due by Friday, March 15; no late applications will be accepted. Applicants are advised to read the instructions carefully.

AAUW LB Conducts STEM Career Conference

This will be the 20th year in which Long Beach Unified School District Title I middle school girls will be actively participating in an introduction to a variety of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) careers through the AAUW Long Beach STEM Career Conference.

In 2003, 40 LBUSD girls were driven by their parents to a Saturday conference held on the Orange Campus of Long Beach City College. Now, up to 250 7th and 8th grade girls are annually bussed on a Friday afternoon to the Sato Academy of Mathematics and Science. Over 20 years, more than 3300 girls will have been inspired to consider pursuing well-paying STEM career options.

This year’s conference will be conducted on Friday, Feb. 23. It features 11 female STEM professionals describing their career paths and then engaging students in hands-on career-related activities. Plus, Keynote Speaker, Alexxandra Hurtado, a CSULB graduate and intern for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine at City of Hope, will share the personal challenges she has faced pursuing her academic ambitions.

The participating LBUSD schools are Franklin Classical Middle School, Hamilton Middle School, Hughes Middle School, Jefferson Leadership Academies, Lindbergh STEM Academy, Muir Academy (K-8), Powell Academy for Success (K-8), Robinson Academy (K-8), Stephens Middle School, and Washington Middle School.

The 2024 event sponsors include Port of Long Beach, SCS Engineers, Society of American Military Engineers/OC Post, Aperture, Inc., DTS, Inc., Kirsten Larsen & Stephen Pruitt, MHP Structural Engineers, P2S Inc., TABC, Inc., Teachers Association of Long Beach, Technology Management Concepts, and Torrance Refining Company.

In 2021, AAUW LB completed a six-year study, in partnership with LBUSD, of the 2015 and 2016 conference participants’ post-conference STEM activity and aspirations. The report on the effectiveness of this event can be found at https://www.aauw-ca.org/energizing-potential/.

African American Festival

The Aquarium of the Pacific will host its 22nd annual African American Festival on the weekend of Feb. 24 and 25, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. The event features music, dance, historical displays, and the aquarium’s Heritage Award ceremony. Guests can experience presentations, including storytelling, hip hop and break dance, drum circles, and live bands. They can also visit participating booths with displays. During the festival, visitors can discover the wonders of the Pacific Ocean at the aquarium as they meet more than 12,000 animals.

Cost is included with general admission: $44.95 per adult (ages 12+), $29.95 per child (ages 3-11), $41.95 per senior (ages 62+), and free for aquarium members and children under age three / Reservations are required.

Info: (562) 590-3100 or visit aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/african_american_festival/

Avalon Packages, Discounts Available

Catalina Island has been named on “best of” lists from small towns, romantic and weekend getaways, scenic ferry rides, islands to visit, to wildlife experiences, trips that don’t require a passport, scuba diving, and outdoor adventure. It’s as famous for its Mediterranean vibe, outdoor activities and open spaces, as for its island-made products, great dining and boutique hotels.

Catalina Express and more than ten hotel partners are sharing its popular “Best of Winter” ferry and hotel packages, providing up to 50 percent off for visitors who enjoy more room to roam and cooler weather, now through March 15.

With activities galore to experience from the new Rancho Escondido excursion (available spring 2024), eco tours into Catalina’s interior, undersea adventures in a semi-submersible submarine, to kayaking, parasailing, hiking and enjoying the myriad shops and boutiques, many with locally made products, there’s no reason not to stay a night or two in Avalon.

With events such as the 40th Annual Avalon Harbor Underwater Cleanup on Feb. 24, to the California Trail Marathon Championship on March 9, there’s plenty of things to see and do.

From budget to luxury, newly renovated and historic hotels, there is a package to fit every pocketbook and taste. A full listing can be found here: Catalina Island Hotel Packages | Catalina Express. Each package includes round-trip boat transportation for two on Catalina Express. Even better, several Avalon hotels offer discounts on activities and tours, complimentary continental breakfast and/or wine and cheese hour.

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