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BizBrief: Today’s News To Know

Mayor And City Auditor Announce Nominees For New Ethics Commission

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and City Auditor Laura Doud have announced their nominations for the city’s new ethics commission. According to the city charter, the mayor and city auditor each appoint two members to the commission, who in turn appoint the remaining three members. Doud has appointed Susan Wise, an attorney and former harbor commissioner, as well as James Shotwell, Southern California Edison’s director of corporate compliance and information governance. Garcia’s appointees are Kimmy Maniquis, the former executive director of the California Conference for Equality and Justice, and Laura Som, who came to Long Beach as a refugee from Cambodia at the age of 10 and founded the MAYE Center, which focuses on overcoming trauma in the Cambodian community. After the nominations are heard by the Personnel and Civil Service Committee they will be forwarded to the city council for consideration at its next scheduled meeting. Appointees’ first terms will run through July 2023. Those interested in being considered for the remaining openings can submit their application here.

City Council To Consider 88-Unit Affordable Housing Project In Cambodia Town

The Long Beach City Council is considering the approval of zoning amendments and site plans for a five-story, 198,259-square-foot mixed-use development at 1500 E. Anaheim St. in Cambodia Town during its August 13 meeting. Proposed by BRIDGE Housing, project plans include 88 affordable apartments, 23,800 square feet of ground floor medical and professional office space, 2,264 square feet for indoor residential amenities and a three-level, 156-stall parking garage. The 1.54-acre property is currently a vacant lot.

Long Beach Medical Center Among Top Hospitals In ‘U.S. News & World Report’

In an assessment of more than 4,500 adult hospitals, U.S. News & World Report labeled MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center as a “high performing” facility in 14 clinical categories, according to an August 6 press release from MemorialCare Health System, the hospital’s operator. The categories included cardiology, cancer care, orthopedics, urology and others. The hospital rankings are designed to assist patients and their doctors to make decisions about where to receive care. Scores are based on several factors, including outcomes, patient safety and patient experience. Long Beach Medical Center ranked among the top six hospitals in Los Angeles County, the top 15 in California and is the highest ranking in the Greater Long Beach region, according to MemorialCare. “These achievements are a testament to the dedication and teamwork of our […] 15,000 employees, physicians and volunteers who continually strive to deliver advanced, high quality health services for Southern Californians,” Barry Arbuckle, president and CEO of MemorialCare Health System, stated.  

City Council Unanimously Approves Steve Neal’s Appointment To Harbor Commission

The Long Beach City Council has unanimously approved the appointment of former Councilmember Steve Neal to the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners. Neal was appointed by Mayor Robert Garcia and will be attending his first meeting as a member of the board on August 26. Neal is replacing Commissioner Lori Ann Guzmán, whose six-year term is coming to an end as she moves on to a new position as city manager of Costa Mesa. Previously, Neal has served on the Long Beach Transit Board of Directors and the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network board. He is a senior pastor at LIFE Gospel Ministries and a co-founder of the Economic Policy and Impact Center, a nonprofit agency focused on advancing economic opportunity for working families.

Governor Appoints CSU Chancellor To Council Position

California Gov. Gavin Newsom today announced the formation of the Governor’s Council for Post-Secondary Education. The council will serve as an independent consultative resource to the governor regarding higher education’s statewide economic and social impacts. Additionally, it will examine issues relating to future capacity, enrollment planning, community college transfers, general education and coordination at the state and regional levels. Members will also make recommendations for action to the governor. California State University (CSU) Chancellor Timothy White is one of Newsom’s 11 appointees. In a statement today, White said he was honored to represent the state in supporting academics. “Whether it is through ensuring authentic and affordable access to California’s institutions of higher learning, exploring innovative strategies for promoting degree attainment, facilitating students’ transition to postsecondary education or making sure that the knowledge and skills provided align with the state’s current and future workforce needs, I have every confidence that the council’s work will lead to a brighter future for the state – one that is available to all Californians.”

Councilmember Suzie Price Announces Traffic Relief For Peninsula

Third District Councilmember Suzie Price has announced a number of short-term and long-term changes to address concerns about traffic congestion at 54th Place on the Peninsula. In response to residents’ complaints about congestion following a “road diet” that was implemented to reduce traffic speeds in the area, Price said she reviewed possible solutions with the city’s public works department. As a result, the intersection will be staffed with a “better trained crossing guard” to manage pedestrian traffic, according to an e-mail sent out by Price’s office, and adjustments will be made to allow vehicles to use an existing bike lane for right turns. Additionally, a construction process scheduled to kick off in four weeks will add a westbound travel lane and extend the curb at 54th Street to shorten the time drivers spend waiting for pedestrians to cross the street. In her message, Price noted that the initial road diet was conceptualized in an effort to slow down traffic and received support from neighborhood leaders in a series of community meetings, but she also acknowledged that the redesign resulted in new concerns. “While many residents appreciate the lower traffic speeds throughout the corridor, no one likes the congestion that has occurred,” Price said. “I am listening and have expedited these solutions in light of resident concerns.”

Domestic Violence Organization Selects Housing Coordinator

Su Casa – Ending Domestic Violence, a Long Beach nonprofit, announced Vivian Jimenez as its new Domestic Violence Housing First Coordinator. She is responsible for assisting clients in locating permanent housing. Jimenez was previously director of the Community Legal Information Clinic’s Housing Law Project Department, where she coordinated community forums on housing rights. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and public administration. “Vivian will be able to help clients who have experienced domestic violence, and the trauma associated with it, and help them find a home,” said April Hunter, housing program manager with Su Casa. “She can simplify the process and take away so much of the stress that relocating presents – which is amplified with survivors of domestic violence.”

QFilm Festival’s 2019 Lineup Announced

The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach yesterday announced the 2019 lineup for the Long Beach QFilm Festival, which showcases narrative features, documentaries and short films about the experiences of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities. The festival takes place Thursday, September 5, through Sunday, September 8, at The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach, 2017 E. 4th St., and the adjacent Art Theatre at 2025 E. 4th St. The festival will open at the Art Theatre on September 5 with a preview of the documentary “Nelly Queen: The Life And Times Of Jose Sarria.” The piece details the life and accomplishments of the first openly gay candidate for United States public office. Premiering September 6 are two documentary films: “Dykes, Camera, Action!” and “Nice Chinese Girls Don’t!” The former documents the history of lesbian cinema, while the latter features Chinese American poet and activist Kitty Tsui. Screenings of multiple works are slated for September 7 and September 8. A full schedule is available at arttheatrelongbeach.com and qfilmslongbeach.com.

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