- Reporters Desk
Garcia Seeks Update to Long Beach Plan for LA River
LONG BEACH — Mayor Robert Garcia has asked the Long Beach City Council to direct the city manager to update the Long Beach “River Link” plan. The mayor’s proposal will be in the Aug. 18 agenda.
For more than 50 years, the primary purpose of the Los Angeles River was flood control.
The plan was created to outline the city’s efforts to restore and enhance the Los Angeles River in Long Beach, as well as plans to revitalize the entire length of the river in a collaborative effort with the LA River Revitalization Corp.
The River Link was created in 2007, and more recent developments are not presently included in the plan – most prominently, to explore an integrated vision for the entire 51 miles of the Los Angeles River.
New Board President Emphasizes Fiscal and Social Responsibility
LONG BEACH — On Aug. 10, Newly elected Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President Lori Ann Guzmán outlined priorities for her one-year leadership term.
Guzmán seeks to set strategic goals to attract more cargo and to handle that business in an environmentally sustainable way. She also aims to broaden the Port of Long Beach’s social responsibility outreach and she said more people should be encouraged to lend their voices to the public dialogue on how the port is run.
Guzmán called on the port to rededicate itself to the landmark Green Port Policy, and look at operating in the local community as a privilege and responsibility.
She also stressed the importance of working with city leaders, including Mayor Robert Garcia and the Long BeachCity Council.
Also, Guzmán announced she will resume using her given name – Lori Ann Guzmán. When appointed to the Harbor Commission in 2013, Guzmán was known as Lori Ann Farrell. She married Long Beach Director of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Communications Reggie Harrison, becoming Lori Ann Farrell Harrison.
She shared that, following her recent marriage and family discussions, her role as a mentor and role model in the community can be strengthened even further by honoring her cultural heritage and the roots of her family.
Guzmán was elected president by her fellow commissioners on July 27. Commissioners also selected Lou Anne Bynum as vice president and Tracy Egoscue as secretary, giving the board an all-female officer slate for the first time in its history.
Guzmán, director of finance for the City of Huntington Beach, also thanked her colleagues there for their support in her new role.
Garcetti Announces Completion of Los Angeles Reservoir Cover Project
LOS ANGELES — On Aug. 10, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the release of 20,000 small plastic “shade balls” onto the surface of the Los Angeles Reservoir.
The plastic balls protect water quality by preventing sunlight-triggered chemical reactions, deterring birds and other wildlife, and protecting water from rain and wind-blown dust. The shade balls will also prevent the annual loss to evaporation of about 300 million gallons of water.
Dr. Brian White, a now-retired Los Angles Department of Water and Power biologist, was the mastermind behind the idea of using shade balls for water quality. The idea came to him when he learned about the application of “bird balls” in ponds along airfield runways. Holding enough water to supply the entire City of Los Angeles for up to three weeks, a total of about 3.3 billion gallons, the Los Angeles Reservoir is at the Van Norman Complex in Sylmar. The shade balls are in place at Upper Stone, Elysian and Ivanhoe reservoirs.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is the first utility company to use this technology for water quality protection. This deployment marked the final phase of an effort that involves the deployment of 96 million shade balls to the 175-acre reservoir owned and managed by LADWP. At 36 cents each, the balls require no construction, parts, labor or maintenance aside from occasional rotation. A second, $100 million ultraviolet treatment facility is due to break ground next — allowing LADWP to meet regulatory timelines, save more than $250 million in capital improvement costs and further reduce water losses.
Garcetti Announces $50 Million Fund for Affordable Housing
LOS ANGELES — On Aug. 10, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the expansion of the New Generation Fund, which will bring an additional $50 million to create, preserve and retrofit affordable housing in Los Angeles.
The fund offers pre-development and acquisition funding through a public-private partnership between Los Angeles and a group of banks, financial institutions and community development financial institutions. The renewed fund will continue to invest in developments that address the City’s goal of integrating affordable housing with neighborhood amenities, public transportation, social services and energy conservation.
In this latest round of funding, the city’s commitment of $10 million has been used to leverage the $50 million that will be made available on a revolving loan basis to affordable housing developers.
Since its 2008 inception, the New Generation Fund has provided more than $69 million for the construction and preservation of 1,355 affordable apartments including the historic rehab of the Rosslyn Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, construction of the Metro in Hollywood, a transit-oriented development and the construction of Riverwalk at Reseda