News Archive
Vice Mayor Robert Garcia Invites You to Help Restore the LA River
The Los Angeles River has long been one our region's most significant environmental challenges. The LA River flows through Long Beach and empties into our harbor, often collecting waste from upstream cities.
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A World Class Library
The City Council moved forward with plans to build and design a new Civic Center that will include a new City Hall, a new Lincoln Park, and most importantly - a new Main Library that has the potential of leading the nation in library design, space, and services
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Pine Avenue Improvement Project Ready To Go
After years of planning, meeting, and raising the necessary funds, we will be breaking ground on the Pine Avenue Improvement Project.
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News Image First District Budget Community Meeting
Vice Mayor Robert Garcia will host a Budget Community Meeting.

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2013 State of the First District
Vice Mayor Robert Garcia will host the State of the First District tonight, July 31, 2013 at 6 PM at the Millworks, Inc. Courtyard located on the corner of Pine Avenue and 6th Street.  He will report on the following issues: 

( Infographics )
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Mercedes-Benz USA has selected Long Beach
Mercedes-Benz USA has signed an agreement to lease over 1 million square feet of the former Boeing 717 manufacturing plant in Long Beach.
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Shop Small Saturdays with Vice Mayor Robert Garcia
Long Beach small businesses are the backbone of our local economy. It's been noted that for every $100 spent at a local small business, $68 returns to the local community. That's why I am launching Shop Small Saturdays in Long Beach.
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METRO Blue Line Changes Already Starting
The Los Angeles County Metro Blue Line opened in 1990 and is the second busiest line in the Metro system with over 26 million boardings a year. The Blue Line runs north-south between Downtown Los Angeles and Long Beach and passes through the cities of Compton, Willowbrook and Watts. The City of Long Beach has 8 stops, each with pedestrian platform beds, public art, signage, and landscaping.
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An Online City Hall
As most of you know, I've been extremely focused on making sure that Long Beach transforms into a technology leader and hub for innovation. We have made an incredible amount of progress in the last few years. This includes launching the "Go Long Beach' Smartphone Application, increasing our social media presence, authoring an open government initiative, putting contracts online, launching free WiFi initiatives for our parks and libraries, and upgrading our technology throughout the city.
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WiFi for our Parks and Libraries
Last night the City Council voted to support our proposal to begin a process of installing free WiFi in our City Parks. The city is currently installing free WiFi in our all of our City Libraries by the end of 2013, and this will expand our WiFi service already at the Long Beach Airport and City Hall.
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Vice Mayor Garcia Appointed to Coastal Commission
Yesterday I was appointed by the State Senate to the California Coastal Commission, which has the duty of overseeing all coastal development in our state, and protecting and preserving public access to our beaches and waterways. I am extremely grateful to everyone who supported my nomination, including Mayor Bob Foster, State Senator Ricardo Lara, Heal the Bay Foundation, the Sierra Club, the Surfrider Foundation and the National Resources Defense Council. 
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HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM VICE MAYOR ROBERT GARCIA
 
Holiday Card From District 1

A Great Year for Long Beach
This year was a good year for our city, and I'm proud of our Mayor and City Council for guiding the city in a positive direction. Even in these tough economic times we were able to reduce our structural deficit, invest in infrastructure, and make important upgrades in technology. We built new developments, and have streamlined the way we do business.

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A Technology Leader - Year After Year
I am proud to report that for the second year in a row, Long Beach has been named a Top 10 Digital City by the Center for Digital Government and Government Technology. Long Beach was recognized for many successful innovations implemented over the past few years to reduce costs and improve efficiency, as well as increasing community involvement
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More and More Business Friendly

Long Beach has taken some great steps to help local businesses and encourage economic development, and I wanted to let you know about some great news. 

This week, Mayor Foster and our Development Services department announced a reorganization of the City's plan check, permitting and inspection processes to reduce fees, red tape, and waiting times. Many changes and enhancements have been made so that new business owners and entrepreneurs will enjoy improved convenience and simplicity in the permitting process. 


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Moving Forward on Economic Development
One of my priorities since taking office has been to encourage Economic Development and investment in our Downtown and throughout the City. That's why I've proposed an important step towards that goal: To create a New Economic Development Officer position focused on business recruitment and retention.


 
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Moving Forward on the Breakwater

Since joining the City Council, I have been strongly advocating for Long Beach to study Breakwater re-configuration. We made significant progress by funding the Breakwater Reconnaissance Study, and then we even set aside $4 million to complete the next phase of the study, which was expected to cost $8 million, with the Federal government responsible for funding the remaining $4 million. Well, we never got the funding support from Congress. 

However, there is now good news to report.


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Space Shuttle Fever, Dog Friendly Patios & 30 Women to Watch
I hope you had a chance earlier to experience the Space Shuttle Endeavor make it's final flight above Long Beach. The Shuttle was visible throughout the city including the Queen Mary, the Aquarium, City Hall, and the Airport. 

It was great to see the community come together for such a unifying event, and I want to tell  you about two other exicting things happening our City this week. 


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Celebrating our Long Beach Olympians, and 3 Other Great Events
There are four exciting events happening this weekend and next that are important to our community: The Olympian Parade; The 160th 30-minute Beach Clean-up; "8", a Play about Equality; and a fundraiser at the Silver Fox for a victim of assault.

Please read about these important events below:
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A New City Budget
Last night, the City Council passed a balanced FY13 City Budget. The adopted budget is the culmination of months of hard work from the city finance team, our city manger, Mayor Bob Foster, and the Council's Budget Oversight Committee, as well as important input from the community. While not perfect, the budget protects essential services, invests in infrastructure, and supports important programs for our youth and families.
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News Image We are Installing 2,500 Bikes to Share
Bike Nation will install 2500 bikes at 250 solar-powered kiosks throughout Long Beach. The program will allow residents and visitors to access state of the art bicycles for personal use - and at no cost at all to the City.
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City To Create First Anti-Bullying Policy
Last week, the City Council approved our legislation to create the city's first anti-bullying policy. Long Beach is the largest provider of youth services outside of the Long Beach Unified School District, and the legislation will be implemented in our youth, parks and recreation programs. 
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Vice Mayor and a New Councilman
Last night I was elected by my City Council Colleagues as the new Vice Mayor of Long Beach. I am very thankful to the Council for their support.  In addition, I want to congratulate and welcome our newest Councilmember, Al Austin. Al has been a long-time leader in our community and will be a great representative for North Long Beach, Bixby Knolls, and the surrounding communities.
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A More Business Friendly Long Beach

Over the last several years we have worked hard to build a more business friendly Long Beach. 

As part of the City's effort to improve and enhance its support for small businesses, business owners are being asked to complete a short, confidential survey about their experiences with city government. 

 
We have also implemented very successful programs, as listed below, that support local business and workers.

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Cleaner Water, Air, & More Parks
Heal the Bay has released its annual report card on California water quality at beaches and in waterways, and Long Beach has made huge improvements we can all be proud of.

Thanks to the hard work and collaboration of the City with the Port, upstream localities, and environmental advocates such as Heal the Bay and Surfrider, 93% of our City's beaches earned "A" and "B" grades, a huge improvement over last year, when just 75% of beaches received As and Bs.

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Harvey Milk Park Breaks Ground On Tuesday
On the eve of Long Beach Pride, I am proud to announce that we will soon break ground on the very first park in America to be named after civil rights and LGBT leader Harvey Milk, and the first park in the City of Long Beach to be named after an LGBT person.

Mayor Bob Foster, myself, Stuart Milk of the Harvey Milk Foundation, and the Harvey Milk Promenade Park Committee will join dozens of LGBT community members and leaders at the groundbreaking this Tuesday May 22 at 10:00 am. The new park site is located at 3rd Street and The Promenade, and you are invited to join us.

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Creating 15,000 New Jobs
Yesterday, Port of Long Beach and city officials gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking and lease-signing of the new Middle Harbor project. The $4.6 billion deal will create close to 15,000 new jobs and lower port pollution. The deal, with Orient Overseas Container will grow an important relationship with a global company, and transform our port into a port of the future.


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What do the City Auditor, City Prosecutor, 4 Councilmembers, and a Councilmember-Elect have in common?
On Saturday, May 5th, Long Beach will be hosting one of the premiere bicycle events in California: The annual Bike Fest and Tour of Long Beach.  We have formed an official "Let's Move Long Beach" Team for the 31 mile Bike Tour race, and invite you to join us.

All proceeds from the ride support the pediatric cancer research center at Miller Children's Hospital of Long Beach.


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Long Beach Awarded $5.3 Million for Armory Park & Drake Park Expansion
The State of California just announced that they have awarded the City of Long Beach a total of $5.3 million for the development of two parks in the First District. These funds will fund the creation of the long awaited Armory Park in the East Village and Phase 1 of the Drake Park Expansion project.

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News Image America's Most Bike Friendly City Moves Forward
Long Beach is making great progress in cementing its reputation as America's Most Bike Friendly City. We continue to build new bike infrastructure, we are investing in bike safety education in our schools, and planning for a city that prioritizes people and mobility, not just cars. I wanted to provide some bike updates:

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A Police Academy Plan & Doing the Right Thing on Medical Marijuana
Last night, the City Council took the responsible approach by directing the City Manager to return in March with a Multi-Year Police Academy recruitment plan. As chair of the Public Safety Committee, I believe that we need to increase our force, but also do so in a fiscally responsible way.  

In addition, I want to thank the Council for supporting our proposal to ban commercial medical marijuana operations - with a temporary exemption for those collectives that have been operating in good faith.

This means that starting today, our Long Beach Police Department, and our City Attorney and Prosecutor, can begin the process of shutting down the more than 35 illegal collectives operating in Long Beach.

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Crime is Down, But Major Challenges Ahead
As you have probably read in the last few weeks, Long Beach ended 2011 with the lowest murder rate in over 40 years. However, in the coming years we will be facing numerous public safety challenges
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A Multi-Year Police Academy Plan
Yesterday, as Chair of the Public Safety Committee, I brought forward a proposal supported by Councilman James Johnson, to begin a Multi-Year planning process for our Police Academy and Police recruitment. We need to begin long term planning to ensure that we increase our force, but also do so in a fiscally responsible way.


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Let's Move Long Beach!
Tonight, the City Council will consider two legislative items that offer an opportunity to improve the health and well-being of our City. Move Long Beach, a physical fitness initiative inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move Campaign, would organize the city's physical fitness and healthy activities into the city's mobility element of the general plan.


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Downtown News for 2012
We are working together on many projects and initiatives for our city in this new year. Here is some information about important items and developments affecting Downtown Long Beach, including the Downtown Community Plan, the Downtown Property Based Improvement District, the East Village Parklet, and tree trimming. Please share your feedback about these projects with my office.


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Major Tree Trimming Project
Making sure that we have clean and good looking streets has been a priority of mine since taking office. If you live in the First District or in a Downtown neighborhood, you may have noticed that we have begun a major tree trimming project. In fact, I am proud to report that by the end of January, 50% of all public trees in the First District will be trimmed.

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Shaun Lumachi Memorial Fund & Life Celebration Information
Dear Friend:

I can't thank you enough for your emails, text messages and phone calls over the last few days. Shaun clearly had an impact on so many of us. Shaun's wife, Dezire Lumachi, has been so strong, and she is thankful for your support. 

For information about Shaun's Life Celebration and Memorial Fund, please click below.
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News Image Shaun was awesome
As you may have heard, Long Beach lost one of its finest yesterday. Shaun Lumachi, publisher of the Long Beach Post, and President of Chamber Advocacy, passed away in a car crash while representing Long Beach at a conference in Miami, Florida. He was an innovator, a successful businessman, a community leader, a great son, and a wonderful husband to his wife Dezire. Shaun was in a car with two others attending the conference from Long Beach who fortunately survived the crash and have been released from the hospital.

Shaun was my best friend...

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I'm Thankful For...

Thanksgiving is a time for us to enjoy our families and friends. I am also thankful for the opportunity that all of you have given me to serve the city I love so much. Long Beach is a great city - and our best days are ahead.


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Proud of Our Vets, Proud of America
Every November 11, we honor all the brave men and women who have risked their lives to keep us safe and free. Our veterans have earned our admiration, respect, and gratitude.
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Hey Long Beach, "It Gets Better"

One of the reasons I love Long Beach so much is that we respect and support everyone, regardless of who they are, or where they come from. You may have heard of the national "It Gets Better" Project. The campaign is a series of videos aimed at supporting Gay and Lesbian youth who may be experiencing bullying or harassment because of their sexual orientation.

Today, I'm proud to release the Long Beach: "It Gets Better" video.
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News Image Leading in Technology

This morning, the City of Long Beach announced that it has been named a Top-10 Digital City, beating out hundreds of other cities in a survey that best demonstrate how information and communication technology are used to enhance public service.

In a statement, Mayor Bob Foster said that "The City of Long Beach takes great pride in our use of technology to be more efficient and make City Hall more accessible and responsive to the community." I could not agree with him more.


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Saving $100 Million
Mayor Bob Foster and the Long Beach Firefighters Association (FFA) have announced a historic tentative agreement to significantly reform firefighter public pensions. The Firefighters Association recently voted to support a proposal that not only reduces pension costs, but enacts pension reform and budget relief.  In addition, the agreement ensures adequate staffing on our fire engines and trucks. The deal is expected to save $35.9 million over ten years.

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Investing In The Future
After weeks of hard work on a proposal to invest $18.4 million of city oil revenue, the Council last night supported our plan to make historic investments in public safety, technology, infrastructure, parks, and libraries.

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Homelessness Down 12% In Downtown Long Beach
Thanks to the hard work of our city, social, and faith-based groups, homelessness is down 12% in Downtown Long Beach since 2009.  Long Beach Connections, an initiative led by People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), Mental Health America, and the city of Long Beach's Homeless Services Division, have been involved in a comprehensive count for the last few years.  The count found that in 2009, 345 people were experiencing homelessness, down to 303 this summer.


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News Image An East Village Make-Over
On Tuesday morning I joined neighbors and local East Village business owners in celebrating all new street banner art from Long Beach Blvd to Alamitos. These banners are just the latest improvements we have made to 4th Street in the last two years. This corridor has been a priority for me, and I am thankful to the Redevelopment Agency, the Downtown Long Beach Associates, and the East Village Association for all of their hard work and support.

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A Slam-Dunk at 14th Street
Last Saturday, I was proud to host the Grand Opening of the new Basketball Courts @ 14th Street. We held short ceremony and then opened our newest 1st District Park to an eager crowd of young people ready for a pick-up game.

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Great events in the First District!
I wanted to keep you up to date on a few events happening this week in Downtown Long Beach. We have a new Fresh and Easy opening, a free night at MOLAA, Twilight Walk, and Breakfast in the Park with 'We Love Long Beach'


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What Labor Day Means to Long Beach
Today we celebrate the contributions of workers who through collective bargaining and hard work gained basic workplace protections for women, created the minimum wage, the 5 day work week, and built the middle class. Our American workforce has built the best country in the world.


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Investing in Technology
As you may have heard, the City will be making some capital improvements due to some additional oil revenue the City is experiencing. There will be numerous ideas and proposals for these funds, which could be more than $10 million. Some of the ideas we will be discussing include infrastructure repairs, moving some of the funds into a reserve account, park improvements, and public safety support.

Here are two ideas for investing some part of this revenue that I am supporting:



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Mayor Foster & Police Association Announce Historic Pension Reform


On the nigh of August 24th, Mayor Bob Foster and the Long Beach Police Officers Association (POA) announced a historic tentative agreement to significantly reform police public pensions. The POA voted last night to support a proposal that not only reduces pension costs, but protects police officers from layoffs in the upcoming 2012 city budget.

I want to thank the men and women of the Long Beach Police Department. Additionally, I want to thank our Mayor.  This agreement will return to the City Council on September 6 for approval.


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Look What's Happening Downtown...

As summer winds down, I wanted to keep you in the loop about some great events coming up in Downtown Long Beach. Join us at any of these events and meet the neighbors and people that are transforming Downtown Long Beach into a safer and more exciting place to live.


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3,712 Reasons To "Go Long Beach"
I am proud to report that as of today, 3,712 people are active "Go Long Beach" users. They report graffiti, potholes, and other neighborhood issues via the GPS application to the City instantly. So far, they are responsible for reporting over 7,000 cases to the city, and of those 7,000 cases, the city has already fixed 6,500 of them.

 


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2012 Budget

Earlier this week, Mayor Foster and the City Manager released the 2012 budget and their recommendations. The budget presented includes reduced funding for all city departments to close a $20 million deficit. The City Council, after debate and deliberations, will approve a balanced budget within the next few weeks.


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News Image Improvements To Linden Historic District; Long Beach Named #1 Most Walkable City in Southern California
I want to share two pieces of great news:

First, this Saturday, at 10am, we will be celebrating numerous improvements to the Linden Historic District, including the beautiful new district signs you see pictured. I hope you can attend this event.

And: Long Beach was just named as one of the most walkable cities in California and in the Nation. More information is below.

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New CHASE Bank To Open Downtown
CHASE Bank will soon be opening a new Downtown Branch on the corner of Long Beach Boulevard and 10th, at the site of a former Blockbuster Video. The new bank will serve as an anchor for the community in the Northern area of Downtown. FRESH & EASY is opening in Downtown Long Beach in September.
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A Slam Dunk At 14th Street
Today we broke ground on yet another great park project in the First District: New Basketball Courts at 14th Street and Locust.

The new facility, the length of a full city block, will have a full sized court and three half courts, with all new surfacing and seating, lights for evening play, new paint, landscaping, and the quality equipment the community deserve.

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Banking Services Coming To West & North Long Beach
Yesterday night, the Long Beach City Council made significant progress in expanding banking opportunities to underserved communities. We approved a multi-year contract with Union Bank that will not only provide savings to the City, but create traditional banking services in West and North Long Beach, and retain a Community Bank in Central Long Beach.

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News Image A Parks & Open Space Update
One of the commitments I made when I ran for City Council was to create and expand parks and open space in the First District, as well as support new park projects Citywide.  In just two years, we have made incredible progress thanks to the support of community partners, the Parks & Recreation Commission, the Redevelopment Agency and the City Parks Department.  Here's an update:


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What Government Can't Do
Yesterday, in front of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, I joined 8 Downtown Pastors to announce an exciting new service partnership for our local youth. Pastors from eight downtown Churches have partnered together to offer free after-school programs to our local youth.
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A New Community Garden On The Westside
On Thursday June 9th we broke ground on the new "Mary Molina Community Garden" at 20th and Santa Fe. The new garden will be the first city community garden on the Westside and is being named for Mary Molina, of the Molina Family of Long Beach.


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News Image 90 Years of Excellence at St Anthony's
This Saturday, St. Anthony High School will graduate its 90th High School Senior Class. I am honored to have been asked to deliver the Commencement Address at a school that means so much to me and to the community.


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My Favorite Time Of The Year: Graduations
Starting this week, Long Beach will begin my favorite time of the year - graduation and commencement ceremonies at Cal State Long Beach, Long Beach City College, all of our local High Schools, and some our middle and elementary schools as well.
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Prepare For An Emergency, Sign Up For Reverse 911
Earlier this week, I called a special meeting of the City's Public Safety Committee to discuss Emergency Management and Disaster Preparedness. As Chair of the committee, I thought it was important to review our disaster management plan and to ensure that we are doing everything we can to keep our city safe.


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News Image Fixing Our Most Dangerous Intersection - By Building A Park
We made a big announcement yesterday. We've secured $900,000 from a state grant to fix the city's most dangerous intersection, and to jump-start the much talked about Armory Park project that has been discussed for years. The grant will allow us to reconfigure the corner of 7th and MLK, and begin to close down MLK from 7th to 6th to build a new park.
( View PDF )
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News Image New Courthouse Breaks Ground Today in Downtown
Today is a historic day for Long Beach and for our Downtown. We are breaking ground on the new George Deukmejian Courthouse. The $490 million State Courthouse, named after our former Governor and life-long Long Beach resident, will have over 31 courtrooms and takes up two entire city blocks in the First District in Downtown Long Beach.
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You Now Have A More Accessible & Open Government
Last night at the City Council meeting, with the support of Vice-Mayor Lowenthal and Councilmember DeLong, the Council unanimously supported the creation of "See Long Beach," a new app for iPhones, Android Phones, and Blackberry's that will allow you to look up art, murals, sculptures, and historic buildings in Long Beach via GPS in your smartphone.


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Honoring Mark Bixby & Downtown Bike Lanes
Long Beach is making great progress in becoming America's Most Bike Friendly City. We are building new bike infrastructure, encouraging more bike safety education in our schools, and planning for a city that focuses on people and mobility, not just cars.
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Corner Of Anaheim & LB Blvd Is Being Transformed
Earlier today, we broke ground on Long Beach's first Senior Arts Colony. The 200 unit innovative housing development is designed for residents 55 years and above and will include an arts education center, gallery and performance space, and will appeal to seniors who are looking to engage in the spirit and creativity of an active lifestyle.
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News Image Fighting For Long Beach In Washington D.C.
 As  members of the City's Federal Legislative Committee, we will be in Washington representing Long Beach and advocating for our priorities.

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Photo by Umberto Brayj Bikes and Lights
I have some great news to share with you, especially if you enjoy walking or biking in our neighborhoods. Last week, we moved from mandatory bike registration to a voluntary system, and we activated 52 new pedestrian lights in the East Village.


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News Image Seaside Park Now OPEN
On February 12th, we continued the amazing transformation of the Washington Middle School Neighborhood with the opening of the brand new Seaside Park at Chestnut and 14th Street.


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News Image Progress on Pension Reform
Last night, the City Council made important progress towards fair and meaningful pension reform. We approved pension agreements with the City's Management Association, Confidential Employees, Attorneys Association, and the Prosecutors Association that will result in new employees paying the full employee share of their pension costs, a lower benefit formula, and an increased retirement age.
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News Image Saving $1 Billion
On Tuesday, the City Council took action to preserve more than $1 Billion Dollars of Redevelopment money for vital community and economic development projects in Long Beach.

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News Image Free & Easy Parking, Now In Downtown Long Beach
I want to announce an exciting improvement to Downtown Parking.

Starting yesterday, all three City Parking Garages, located conveniently just East of Pine, on 3rd, 4th, and 5th streets, became fully automated and free for the first two hours. No validation required.


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Working Together for Pension Reform
The City of Long Beach’s pension cost obligations are quickly climbing and within 30 years will grow to more than $1.5 billion, a number that we simply can't pay for. Changes to our pension system need to be addressed not only through collective bargaining with our employee unions, but also with the support of Sacramento lawmakers.


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News Image Making Long Beach America's Most Bike Friendly City
Last night, the City Council supported my proposal to review our antiquated mandatory bike registration laws, and move towards a more accessible, fair and voluntary bike registration program.


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News Image Graffiti or Pothole? There's a LB App for that on Android and iPhone Phones...
Today, the City of Long Beach launched the Android version of our "GO LONG BEACH" smartphone application. Our iPhone version has been running for about 6 months with great success - over 800 requests have been submitted and completed.

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A More Open & Transparent Government
Since first coming into office nearly two years ago, I have made Open Government and Transparency one of my top priorities. That's why I've sponsored successful legislation to place elected officials' calendars on line, require lobbyists to register with the city, and allow residents to communicate with the city through smartphone applications.

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2010: Year In Review

I wanted to take a moment to wish you a Happy Holidays and a great New Year. I’m so thankful for all your support, and very proud to represent you. Thanks to you, our community partners, local business, and our city team, we have had a successful 2010.


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Thankful for Long Beach
Thanksgiving is a time for us to enjoy our families and friends.  I am also thankful for the opportunity that all of you have given me to serve the city I love so much.  Long Beach is a great city - and our best days are ahead.

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Crime Continues to Drop
  As the new Chair of the Public Safety Committee, I invited Police Chief Jim McDonnell to give a report on crime statistics and police staffing. Here's the big news: Crime is at a historic low citywide, and if our current trends continue, our crime statistics for 2010 will be the lowest they have been in over 30 years.



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Coming in 2011: Craftsman Park

The City of Long Beach has just secured a $722,000 state grant to build an all new park in the First District. The new park, located at 851 Orange, will be located in the Craftsman Village Historic Neighborhood. The park will be right off of 7th & Orange. Groundbreaking will take place in 2011.


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Helping Families, Helping Kids, and Healthy Neighborhoods
I want to share three exciting things happening in our community, which all demonstrate the incredible spirit of community and caring that the citizens of Long Beach have: Six new Habitat for Humanity homes, the Mary Molina Community Garden, and the Children Today Holiday Cheer Silent Auction.
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Big Changes Coming To 7th & Alamitos
One of my top priorities since taking office has been the revitalization of our business corridors. We have worked hard to revitalize Pacific Avenue from Broadway to Anaheim with great success, and are working on plans for North Pine, as well as Long Beach Blvd, in Downtown Long Beach.

Next up is 7th Street at Alamitos. We have some great projects that will all be completed in the next 6 months....

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Fingerprints and Portfolio Coming to the East Village and Downtown
In another extremely exciting development for Downtown Long Beach, two iconic and beloved Long Beach businesses will be joining forces to create a new venue for art, music, and great food in the heart of the East Village Arts District.

Click here to read the story in the Press-Telegram.



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Graffiti or Pothole? There's now a Long Beach App for that...
Reporting graffiti or a pothole just got much easier, with the launch of "GO LONG BEACH," our city's new iPhone application. The application allows users to upload a photo of graffiti, sidewalk damage, or potholes, and then uses GPS tracking technology to instantly report the location of the issue
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News Image Welcome to Willmore Signs Installed
Over the weekend, I joined the Willmore City Heritage Association to install the first of several historical markers in the Willmore City neighborhood. The first of seven signs was installed at Loma Vista Drive and Chestnut across from Drake Park. These signs serve as welcome designations to the birthplace of Long Beach, and our first historic district.


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Thank you, Jenny
Long Beach's State Senator Jenny Oropeza passed away last night. Jenny was a friend, a neighbor, and a mentor. She leaves a legacy of accomplishments and contributions that will continue to serve as an inspiration for all who knew her.


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Photo: Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram Pink Cabs: Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Yesterday, I joined Vice-Mayor Suja Lowenthal, executives from Long Beach Yellow Cab, and leaders from the American Cancer Society to announce the Long Beach 'Pink Ride' program to support the local fight against breast cancer.
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Pacific Island Museum Opens
This Friday, October 15 is the official grand opening celebration for the new Pacific Island Ethnic Museum at Alamitos and 7th. PIEAM, as it will be called, is our nation's ONLY museum dedicated to the Pacific Islands, made up of Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia.

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News Image A New Bridge & Icon For Long Beach
Last night, we took an important step towards replacing one of our most important transportation and infrastructure assets, the aging and outdated Gerald Desmond Bridge. I am proud to announce the new Bridge will include a Bike & Pedestrian Dedicated Lane, a Lighting Plan, and an Arcitectural Bridge Design Review

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Join Me TOMORROW For The 2nd Annual Latin American Festival & Parade
The 2nd Annual Latin-American Parade and Festival in Downtown Long Beach is tomorrow, Saturday September 25, starting at 1pm.

The parade will run down Pine Avenue starting at 6th & Pine. After the parade, the festival begins in the East Village for a celebration that includes delicious Latin food, fantastic musical performances and a diverse display of Latino art.


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400 New Parking Spaces

One of the toughest challenges we face in the First District and other parts of the city is parking. Poor planning decisions in the past have left many neighborhoods in Long Beach with inadequate parking. One of my top priorities since taking office last year was to try to address some of these concerns. 


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Port Approves $4.7 Million for Local Schools
 

Today, the Port of Long Beach Harbor Commissioners granted almost $5 million in grants to 73 local schools in an effort to improve air quality for our Long Beach children. The Port Mitigation Grant Program was created to offset the cumulative effects of air pollution from Port operations and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


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News Image 2nd Annual Latin American Festival & Parade: Kick-Off Reception, Grand Marshals & More
I am proud to announce that on September 25, we will celebrate our City's 2nd Annual Latin-American Parade and Festival in Downtown Long Beach. The parade and festival will draw thousands of people to Pine Avenue and the East Village.

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A New Regional Park for Long Beach
The Drake/Chavez Expansion will soon be underway, now that funding for the Environmental Impact Report has been securedby Councilmember Garcia's office.


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New Kress Market and Deli Opens on Pine
I would like to invite you to visit the new Kress Market at Pine and 5th. Kress carries organic groceries and has a full service deli counter, with an emphasis on health, service and quality.
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HIRELB.com Connects Local Job-seekers with Long Beach Employers
WWW.HIRELB.COm is now up and running. This website was developed after I introduced legislation asking the City Manager to find ways the City can assist unemployed or underemployed residents to find jobs locally.
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Fixing Downtown's Major Streets
We are in the process of making great improvements to our major streets in Downtown Long Beach. Over the course of the next few months, we will have repaved some of our major streets, with more scheduled in 2011. Click below for a list of what to expect:

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California Spay and Neuter License Plate Program!
The California Spay & Neuter license plate, sponsored by the California Veterinary Medical Board, provides a fun and easy way for pet lovers to help reduce pet overpopulation. Proceeds from the plate provide funding for free or low-cost spay & neuter surgeries across California, and also help to raise awareness about the importance of spaying and neutering.

By pre-ordering the California Spay & Neuter License Plate today, you can be among the first to display the new plate on your vehicle.
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West Coast Choppers Place
Yesterday was a great day for Long Beach, as we officially re-named a small portion of Oregon Avenue: “West Coast Choppers Place,” in honor of the iconic Long Beach shop and its owner, Jesse James.
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A New Lobbying Ordinance
Last night, the City Council unanimously approved a new Lobbying Ordinance for our city.  Long Beach has now joined every other big city in California with a lobbyist registration law
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Fast Internet For Long Beach
I want to let you know about an exciting possibility for Long Beach. Today I introduced a motion that could bring the world’s fastest Internet connection to Long Beach
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Fighting for Long Beach in Washington, D.C.
This week, Councilmember Gary DeLong and I will be in Washington, D.C. advocating on behalf of Long Beach for important programs like the Boeing C-17, Colorado Lagoon Restoration, the Breakwater Reconfiguration study and stormwater management.
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Arts Initiative Approved
Every great city has a thriving arts and cultural life. Museums, performances, galleries, special events, artist loft districts, and strong cultural institutions are in many ways what separate ordinary cities from world class urban centers. Long Beach has the makings of a world class arts and cultural center, but has struggled to reach its full potential. I want to help change that
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A Slam Dunk at 14th Street
I want to share some great news. We will soon be building a brand new, full size basketball court, with bleachers and new fencing, across from the new Michael K. Green Skatepark
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Public Calendars Approved by Council
Last night, Long Beach took another big step towards greater openness and accountability in government. On the same night it gave final approval to the lobbyist ordinance I sponsored, the City Council voted unanimously to approve the creation of a public calendar system for all elected officials.
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News Image Councilmember Garcia Proposes City Smart-Phone Application
As part of his continuing effort to make Long Beach a leader in the use of technology to support city services, Councilmember Robert Garcia has proposed the creation of "Long Beach City App," a smart-phone application that would enable residents to photograph and instantly report problems like graffiti, potholes, and other neighborhood blights to city staff.

"This is a simple and inexpensive way to help beautify the neighborhoods, increase efficiency in the city, and to involve more residents, especially young people, in the community," said Councilmember Garcia. 





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Councilmember Garcia Cosponsors Effort to Register and Regulate Lobbyists

Councilmembers Robert Garcia and Gerrie Schipske (cd5) have introduced a recommendation, which was adopted by the Council, to create a lobbyist registration and regulation ordinance.


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City Council Unanimously Passes Equal Benefits Ordinance

 The Equal Benefits Ordinance, first introduced by Councilmember Robert Garcia this summer, moved one step closer Tuesday to becoming law in Long Beach. The City Council unanimously agreed with the recommendations of city staff and the Economic Development and Finance Committee, and directed the City Attorney to draft an Equal Benefits Ordinance and return it to Council for final approval.


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Councilmember Garcia Seeks to Make Elected Officials’ Calendars Public and Available Online
Councilmember Robert Garcia has introduced legislation to begin the process of making Councilmembers’ public calendars available online, and inviting other elected officials – City Attorney, City Prosecutor, City Auditor, and the Mayor – to make their calendars available as well, as Garcia himself has done since his first day in office.
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News Image k-9 Corner Dog Park Now Open
K-9 Corner Dog Park, as Ninth and Pacific, is now open. The park is the City's first all-solar-powered park, and brings much needed green space to the neighborhood.
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First District Update: Housing, Dog Park, Skate Park & New Businesses
I want to keep you updated on some of the great things that we are working on for our community.
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News Image First Annual Latin-American Parade and festival a Huge Success
The first ever Latin American Parade and Festival drew thousands of celebrants to downtown, including residents and visitors, children and families, and Latinos and others to honor Latin-American culture.
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Council Unanimously Supports Equal Benefits Ordinance
This historic measure will go to Economic Development Committee and then return to full Council 
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Campaign Generates Hundreds of Letters in Support of a Fresh and Easy Downtown
Councilmember Garcia's outreach to constituents generated more than 150 letters in just 2 days in support of bringing a Fresh and Easy market to the City Place area.

Councilmember Garcia Defends Skatepark Stimulus Spending
       There is currently a very popular skate park at 14th Street Park, and this upgrade is part of an overall effort to improve the park in one of Long Beach’s poorest and most needy neighborhoods.

    First District Councilman Robert Garcia came out swinging to defend the plans.

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News Image Councilmember Garcia’s web campaign generates more than 100 letters about new courthouse
More than 100 residents responded to Councilman Robert Garcia’s call for public comments on the new Long Beach Courthouse project currently being planned by the State Administrative Office of the Courts. The number of letters represents more than five times the number of attendees at the only public meeting held by the State on this project, which occurred last Monday, at which fewer than 20 residents were present.
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News Image Council Approves Federal Stimulus Funding for 14th Street Skate Park
On Tuesday June 2, the City Council approved the new 14th Street Skate Park. This new First District park will be built using federal stimulus money that the Obama Administration approved for Long Beach.

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Renewal Planned for Pacific Avenue
Councilmember Garcia announced Thursday that he is creating a Pacific Avenue Revitalization Plan. Beginning this summer, he will work with city staff and community residents and stakeholders to revitalize the corridor from Broadway to Anaheim Street with facade improvements, tree plantings, and other measures.
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East Village Farmer's Market
This year-round certified farmer's market is located in the heart of the East Village Arts District on 1st Street between Elm and Linden, and is open every Saturday between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
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News Image Deadline for Registering to Vote Approaching

To be eligible to vote on November 4, 2008, eligible Long Beach residents must register to vote by no later than October 20th.
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News Image Food Banks in Need of Help
As we approach the season of Thanksgiving, First District residents are reminded that our tight economy has had a particularly devastating impact on our local food banks. 
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Opportunties for First District Residents to get Flu Vaccines
October marks the beginning of flu season, and local public health officials are urging residents at high risk for complications from the flue to get a flu shot.
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Main Library to Close on Mondays
The Main Library is scheduled to be closed on Mondays and reduce operating hours by two hours on Thursdays throughout the new Fiscal Year, which ends September 30, 2009.
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News Image Councilmember Bonnie Lowenthal featured at University by the Sea
The University of the Sea returns to downtown Long Beach on Sunday, October 5, with classes, bands and over 200 fun and exciting things to do.
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City Announces New Downtown Long Beach Courthouse to Move Forward
The City of Long Beach announced that the California Joint Legislative Budget Committee has approved the Administrative Office of the Court's (AOC) endeavor to enter into a public-private partnership for the development of a new courthouse in downtown.
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BONNIE LOWENTHAL SALUTES 100 ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDS FOR EARTH DAY AT LONG BEACH CITY COUNCIL MEETING
Long Beach --  Vice Mayor Bonnie Lowenthal tonight awarded 100 community activists, residents, businesses and city employees with "Environmental Steward" awards to highlight the diverse contributions made to support resource conservation and environmental efforts in the City of Long Beach during her annual First District presentation night at the City Council meeting.
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Celebrate the Season for Nonviolence by Participating in a Photo Exhibit Portraying the 64 Ways in 64 Days
Long Beach – Local photographers of all levels are encouraged to participate in a special photo exhibit in observance of the Season for Nonviolence sponsored by Vice Mayor Bonnie Lowenthal, the City of Long Beach Human Dignity Program, the East Village Association, East Village Arts District, and Zephyr Vegetarian Café. 
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City of Long Beach Awarded Grant to Plant 605 New Trees
The City of Long Beach Neighborhood Services Bureau has been awarded a $56,986 state grant to plant 605 new trees in one year, beginning in March. 
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New City Ordinance Seeks to Reduce Illegal Tobacco Sales to Minors

Long Beach – In an effort to encourage responsible tobacco retailing and discourage violations of youth-related tobacco laws, the Long Beach City Council approved a comprehensive and cost-effective Tobacco Retail Permit Program proposed by Vice Mayor Bonnie Lowenthal and Smoke-Free Long Beach during the February 12, 2008 Council meeting.


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Field Office Closure to Save City Funds
Due to the City of Long Beach budgetary cut-backs, I am closing my field office in an effort to save taxpayer funds and make funding available for other needed city services.
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City of Long Beach, Jesse James Unveil Plan Van
The City of Long Beach Planning & Building Department and Jesse James, host of the popular Monster Garage TV show, today unveiled the "Long Beach 2030 Plan Van" designed by West Coast Choppers.  The Long Beach 2030 Plan Van is an interactive mobile classroom that will be used for community outreach and public awareness about the City’s General Plan process throughout 2008.
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Leaf-It-To-Us Tree Grant Applications Due January 12
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is offering tree grants for tree plantings on and around school property in amounts between $500 - $7500.
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Vice Mayor Bonnie Lowenthal Urges CARB to Adopt Regulations to Control Emissions From Heavy Duty Drayage Trucks
December 5, 2007
Vice Mayor Bonnie Lowenthal submitted the following statement into the public record to support CARB's proposed regulation to control emissions from in-use on-road diesel fueled heavy-duty drayage trucks at ports and intermodal rail yard facilities:
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Vice Mayor Bonnie Lowenthal Supports Regulations to Reduce Emissions from Diesel Auxiliary Engines on Ocean-Going Vessels
December 5, 2007
Vice Mayor Bonnie Lowenthal urged the California Air Resources Board to adopt regulations to reduce emissions from diesel auxiliary engines on ocean-going vessels while at berth at a California port. 
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LOCAL STREET IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS IN THE FIRST DISTRICT
Long Beach –  The Long Beach Department of Public Works has contracted with Damon Construction to make sidewalk, driveway, curb and gutter improvements on a number of streets in the First District.   Construction began on November 7, 2007, and is part of the 2008 Fiscal Year contract.
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New Fire and Building Codes Go Into Effect January 1, 2008
The Long Beach City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the first reading of Building and Fire Codes that would go into effect for all projects submitted for approval starting on January 1, 2008. Both codes are based on new state codes, with local amendments added to improve safety. 
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News Image Westside Long Beach Water Tower Unveiled; 1921 Landmark Restored to New Condition
Vice Mayor Bonnie Lowenthal celebrated the restoration of the historic Snug Top water tower at 1711 Harbor Ave. on Thursday, October 25, at 3:00 pm. 
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Opportunity to Help Victims of the Southern California Wildfires
Goodwill, Serving The People of Southern Los Angeles County (GoodwillSolac) and the American Red Cross, Long Beach Chapter parter to help victims of the Southern California wildfires.
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News Image Coastal Cleanup Day!
Saturday, September 15, is a very important day for our environment. On this day, volunteers from over 90 international countries are expected to take part in Coastal Cleanup Day, picking up thousands of pounds of trash and recyclables from the world's beaches and waterways.
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Cesar E. Chavez Park Amphitheater Opening With Style, Entertainment
Residents are invited to celebrate the grand opening of the Cesar E. Chavez Park Amphitheater on Saturday, July 22, at 5 pm. The entertainment will include the Agua Luna Dance Company and the band Chile.
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NOTICE OF INTENT TO REPLACE GAS FACILITIES ON PINE AVENUE
The City of Long Beach Gas and Oil Department (LBGO) has an ongoing natural gas pipeline maintenance and replacement program to maintain safe natural gas service.  LBGO has contracted with ARB Inc. to replace portions of the underground natural gas pipeline system in the vicinity of Pine Avenue.
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Tribute to a Lifelong Educator - Donald Kroll
Long Beach lost a treasured friend recently with the passage of Donald Kroll on April 19, 2006.  Donald dedicated immeasurable time and energy to the education of our children...
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Miguel Contreras joins Councilmember Lowenthal for Cesar Chavez Luncheon

March 28, 2005 -- Miguel Contreras, Executive Secretary/Treasurer of the County Federation of Labor, spoke to an overflow crowd at today’s Fourth Annual Cesar Chavez Luncheon.  Contreras spoke with emotion as he reiterated how influential Chavez was in his own personal life as well as how much more is still to be done.
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Lincoln Park Community Survey
December 2004. Councilmember Bonnie Lowenthal encourages community members of the First District to share their opinions and comments about what park elements they would like to see in Lincoln Park.  For further information, please click on the link.
( View PDF )
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Councilmember Lowenthal Asks Govenor to Reduce Port Pollution
October 2004. Councilmember Lowenthal wrote the Governor in support of AB 2042, a bill written by Assemblymember Lowenthal.  AB 2042 places a cap on emissions from the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles as they grow.  The Council passed a resolution in support of this important bill which will protect our neighborhoods while allowing the port to grow