RLn NEWS Briefs: Feb. 12, 2015

  • 02/12/2015
  • Reporters Desk

PMA Decides to Lockout of ILWU Workers
SAN PEDRO — On Feb. 11, the Pacific Maritime Association cited alleged slowdowns by the ILWU as their rationale for locking down the port Feb. 12 and 14 through 16.
PMA spokesman Wade Gates claimed that the PMA made a comprehensive contract offer designed to bring these talks to conclusion and the union made a request they knew the PMA couldn’t meet.
The PMA attack on the union leadership’s integrity to the rank and file forced ILWU president Bob McEllrath to set the record straight in a letter released to the membership and pensioners, noting that a100 local resolutions were submitted to the contract caucus this past year and that those resolutions became the mandate for the current negotiating committee.
In a letter, McEllrath’s called the PMA’s assertion that the union is holding up negotiations on non-essential matters as false.
The issue that’s supposedly holding up negotiations was the union’s request to end the virtual life-time terms of the contract arbitrators–people that the PMA and the ILWU agree on to become referees in individual labor disputes between the union and the association. The union requested that the arbitrators change when the contract ends.
McEllrath noted that the request was made in light of cases where the impartiality of arbitrators was questioned.
The PMA in its announcement said the union simply wanted to fire arbitrators that disagree with the union.
An agreement is said to be near, but workers and containers ships continue to wait.
 
NWSPNC Takes Stance on Waterfront Projects
SAN PEDRO — On Feb. 9, the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council announced that it supported seven specific projects:
Wilmington Waterfront
o       Catalina Freight Site Re-Purpose
o       Wilmington Waterfront Promenade (Avalon Blvd. Corridor Phase IA South
o       Harry Bridges & Fries Ave. Park, Street Improvements, and Landscaping (Avalon Blvd. Corridor Phase I North)
o       Wilmington Waterfront Pedestrian Bridge
San Pedro Waterfront
o       Sampson Way & 7th Street Intersection Improvements
o       Town Square at 6th Street
o       Ports O’ Call Promenade
However, it reiterated its existing resolution, adopted Jan. 12, 2015, that the funding for these projects should be done without applying the limitations contained in the proposed policy, and with the understanding that any grant funds for the projects will be additive and not applied to the $50 million commitment in each community.
The neighborhood council requests that the Port of Los Angeles include funding to expedite completion of these seven projects in its 2015-2016 budget, have specific project schedules developed, and include them as part of the Capital Improvement Program project list.
The council also thanked the port for modifying its proposed policy by eliminating the deductions from capital funding for litigation and environmental expenses.
 
Garcia Appoints Members to Economic Development Commission
LONG BEACH — On Feb. 10, Mayor Robert Garcia announced the appointment of all 11 commissioners to serve on the Economic Development Commission.
The commission, charged with generating ideas and advising the council in support of economic growth and prosperity for Long Beach, had been inactive for several years.
The mayor will ask the commission to first take on the city’s permitting and business licensing process.  He will ask the commission to undertake an independent review of the permitting, licensing and planning process that businesses have to go through when opening a new business or expanding. The commission’s findings would then be presented to the Long Beach City Council for review.
In addition to reviewing the permitting and license process, the commission will also work towards presenting ideas and recommendations to spur economic growth in Long Beach.
The appointees bring a wide variety of professional and personal backgrounds and skillsets, creating a diverse slate of commissioners representing the business community, the arts, hospitality and tourism, education, real estate, the labor workforce, and small businesses.
The 11 appointees, who will be up for confirmation from the City Council on Feb.17, are:
Kristi Allen  
Allen is vice president of Hotel Operations at Ensemble Hotel Partners in Long Beach, Calif., overseeing two hotel properties including the Hotel Maya, a DoubleTree by Hilton in Long Beach where she is also acting General Manager.  Allen is a director and chair-elect of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, and a board member of the Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau. She is a former board member and served as chair of the Downtown Long Beach Associates and also served on the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Board.
Becky Blair  
Blair has been a commercial real estate broker in Long Beach for more than 30 years, representing hundreds of buyers and sellers in sales and leases. She is active in local and state commercial real estate groups. Blair has served on the board of directors for Los Angeles County Workforce Investment, the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Long Beach Associates and the Long Beach Symphony, and she has been a city planning commissioner for 6 years.
Blair Cohn  
Cohn is the executive director of the Bixby Knolls Business Association, which has helped to revitalize business corridors and neighborhoods.  Cohn also chairs the Council of Business Associations and is the event director for the annual Tour of Long Beach that benefits Miller Children’s Hospital. He serves on the advisory board for the ArtXchange, and will be the cycling competition manager for the Special Olympics World Games that will be in Long Beach July 2015.
Frank Colonna 
Colonna was the District 3 councilman for Long Beach for 8 years, including 2 years as vice mayor. As councilman he was chairman of the Federal Legislation Committee and served on the Alameda Corridor Board, where he was also chair for three terms. He is past president of the Belmont Shore Business Association and a gubernatorial appointee to the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy. He was president of the Gateway Cities Council of Governments from 1996 to1998. Colonna is a long time real estate broker and former National Guard officer.
Randal Hernandez  
Hernandez serves as managing director of government relations for Union Bank, where he is responsible for building relationships with civic and business leaders.  Hernandez served as chief-of-staff to former Long Beach Mayor Beverly O’Neill in her first term in office (1994 to 1999). On behalf of the mayor, Hernandez focused on economic development, international trade, city budget and intergovernmental relations activities.  Hernandez served on the California Community Colleges Board of Governors and served on the California Green Jobs Council.  He is a former member of the Long Beach Planning Commission.
Ralph Holguin 
Holguin is the chief executive officer of RMD Group, Inc., a North Long Beach small business with more than 150 employees, specializing in experiential marketing campaigns, data capture and analysis, display design and fabrication, social media and Web Integration, event and promotional staffing, and large format printing sublimation. He also sits on the board of directors for Westerly Schools in Long Beach.
Walter Larkins  
Larkins has founded a number of companies, including Endosurgical Development Corp., which developed devices and strategies for minimally invasive heart surgery, and CDR Financial Services, LLC.  He is president of CDR Benefits LLC, offering life and health insurance for businesses, non-profits and governmental agencies.  He serves as a commissioner on the Los Angeles County Workforce Investment Board, chairing the Business Services Committee, and participates on a number of nonprofit boards and organizations including Long Beach Rotary, California Council of Equality & Justice, Long Beach Community Foundation, LA Job Corps and the E=O2™ Foundation.
Michelle Molina  
Molina is managing partner of Millworks, which creates socially-responsible investment, development and property management, and is located in downtown Long Beach.  She serves on the Downtown Long Beach Associates, a nonprofit organization operating on behalf of the tenants and commercial and residential property owners of the Business Improvement District, as the chairwoman-elect. Molina is a founding member of the Historic Pine Association, and organizes and sponsors many North Pine charitable and arts projects.  In 2014, she helped create The Friends of Lincoln Park, a support and advocacy group for Downtown Long Beach’s largest public park.
Robert (Bobby) Olvera, Jr.  
Olvera is the president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 13 and represents more than 20,000 part-time and full-time longshore workers who discharge cargo at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. In his 25-year history with the ILWU, he has served on the executive board and as a caucus delegate on the local level. His career as an officer included terms as a chief dispatcher, business agent, and four years as vice-president, ultimately leading to his election as president in 2013. Bobby serves on the board of directors for the Miguel Contreras Advocacy Foundation, a nonprofit organization promoting social and labor justice, and on the Board of Directors for the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, Labor Community Services. 
Cyrus Parker-Jeannette 
Parker-Jeannette is dean of the College of the Arts at California State University Long Beach. In that capacity, she oversees the largest arts program on the West Coast. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Arts Council of Long Beach, and Wooden Floor, an arts and social services non-profit for youth. She was the recipient of the 2006 New Leaders in Arts award from the Los Angeles Music Center.
Paul Romero 
Romero is the senior national sales director with the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, which he joined in 2005. Romero is responsible for bringing conventions, meetings and special events to the City of Long Beach. His geographic sales territory is the association rich market of Washington, D.C., where many national organizations are based.  Prior to joining the convention and visitors bureau, Paul was with Hilton Hotels, bringing with him nine years of hotel sales experience working at properties in Anaheim and Long Beach.
 
Medical Marijuana Ordinance Discussed
LONG BEACH — On Feb. 10, the Long Beach City Council hosted a study session to discuss the history, current status and proposed draft ordinance related to medical marijuana.
On Oct. 16, 2014, the Planning Commission voted to forward its recommendations to the city council on adopting an ordinance to establish restrictions and prohibitions on the establishment and operation of medical marijuana businesses.
The recommendations include:
1) All locations would require a conditional use permit and development standards would be established for consideration of all CUP applications;
2) Performance standards, which include a security plan;
3) Location restrictions within certain zones;
4) A cap of two locations per council district and no more than 18 locations citywide; and
5) Consideration of “buffers” between dispensaries and schools.
A citywide ban on medical marijuana dispensaries has been in effect since 2012, after a state appeals court ruled that the City’s previous ordinance was preempted by federal law.
 
Buscaino Announces District 15 Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Closures
LOS ANGELES — On Feb. 6, Councilman Joe Buscaino announced that he has been working with the Los Angeles Police Department and the city attorney to close down illegal medical marijuana dispensaries in his district.
Under Measure D there are 134 legal dispensaries in Los Angeles. The City Attorney’s Office has closed down more than 400 illegal dispensaries citywide.
 
Garcetti’s Economic Development Agenda Moves Forward
LOS ANGELES – On Feb. 11, Mayor Eric Garcetti signed his business tax cut plan into law and received the endorsement of the Los Angeles Business Council for his plan to increase Los Angeles’ minimum wage.
Garcetti has made job creation and support for businesses a cornerstone of his back to basics agenda. Los Angeles’ business tax is the highest in the county, making the city more expensive and less attractive to do business in, while the current minimum wage leaves even full-time working people below the poverty line, which is a drag on the overall economic recovery.
The business tax cut represents a 16 percent overall reduction within three years, saving Los Angeles businesses a total of $90 million. The cut takes the top tax rate from $5.07 per $1,000 in gross receipts to $4.75 in Fiscal Year 2016, $4.50 in Fiscal Year 2017 and to $4.25 in Fiscal Year 2018.
Garcetti’s minimum wage plan would responsibly and gradually raise the wage to $13.25 through 2017. After that, the wage will rise responsibly and gradually each year, through 2017. After that, this common sense measure pegs the minimum wage to the

California Labor Federation Gets New President
SACRAMENTO – On Feb. 10, the Chief Officer of the California Labor Federation, Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski announced the election of American Federation of State County and Municipal Local 3299 leader Kathryn Lybarger to president of the California Labor Federation.
Lybarger succeeds Connie Leyva, who left her post with the Labor Federation following her election to the State Senate. Lybarger was elected by the Federation’s Executive Council this morning.
A Lead Gardener at UC Berkeley, Lybarger was elected President of AFSCME Local 3299 in 2011, and re-elected in 2014. As Local 3299’s President, she’s grown the union’s membership by 45 percent, secured historic new contracts for the University of California’s 22,000 Service and Patient Care workers and helped lead the effort to secure additional state funds for higher education through 2012’s Proposition 30. She also serves as an international vice president for the 1.6 million-member AFSCME, and was elected to the California Labor Federation’s Executive Council in 2012.
As president of the California Labor Federation, Lybarger will preside at meetings of the federation’s executive council and conventions and joins Pulaski on the leadership team. Lybarger will continue to serve as president of AFSCME 3299.
 
POLAHS Student Named #ShareAwesome Contest Grand Prize Winner
SAN PEDRO — Port of Los Angeles High School student Mika Verner, was awarded the grand prize for the #ShareAwesome contest.
The #ShareAwesome contest is a social media challenge that urged students ages 13 to 17 to capture and share photos of awesome people, moments and decisions. #ShareAwesome is designed to spotlight and address important issues of online safety and digital citizenship in a fun, positive way while helping families create an open,
The National Parents Teachers Association, a child advocacy association, awarded the prize. The contest was part of National PTA’s #ShareAwesome public awareness campaign, which launched in September 2014 and is supported by LifeLock, Inc. (NYSE: LOCK), the industry leader in proactive identity theft protection.
Verner was selected as the winner of the contest among hundreds of entrants from across the country for her photo captioned “My Sport is Sailing” and her finalist video. Verner was recognized, Feb. 10, at the Facebook headquarters during ConnectSafely’s Safer Internet Day celebration. He was honored with a $2,500 scholarship, Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and technology for her school.
Details: ShareAwesomeNow.org, PTA.org.

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