• TOO MANY NAMES

    Editors Note: the following artist’s statement was disallowed by Long Beach Museum of Art :

    In 2015 there have been 534 people killed by police in America and the year is not over. This is not a fully compiled list. These numbers are not unusual as every year hundreds of people’s lives are senselessly cut short due to the violent tactics implemented by these officers. Hundreds of millions of dollars are paid out to the victims’ families in civil suits at the expense of the taxpayers.

    To be fair, police have a difficult job. Most of the time their good deeds go unnoticed. This is a thankless job. In some cases the killing of another person is justified if it means another life is saved.

    Of course, it is easy to blame the bad apples within the police force but unfortunately the statistics speak for themselves. These numbers are so consistently overwhelming that the conclusion leads this discussion away from the individual officers to the bigger problems within the system and structure in which they are trained.

    If the tools given to these officers were more focused on de-escalation as opposed to “shoot first and ask questions later,” then thousands of lives could be saved as well as millions of taxpayer dollars.

    New body camera legislation is being put forth, which could help lead to more transparency, saving lives in the end as well as millions in taxpayer dollars. Billions of dollars worth of military equipment, as well as the failed “War On Drugs” campaign, has led to the police acting as an occupying force within our communities.

    The relationship between the police and the communities they serve are strained to a breaking point. Long Beach is no exception to this strain on the community. In the last couple of months, two young people have been tragically killed in violent circumstances due to these police tactics. Both of these kids were unarmed and posed no threat to the officers. If only restraint and tactics of de-escalation were implemented then maybe these young lives could have been saved.

    The mantra “To Protect and Serve” gives us the feeling that we could trust these officers in these difficult circumstances. But until the system is overhauled, this vicious cycle will continue and the body count will only grow.

    — Saber

    #JusticeForHector

    #HectorMorejon

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  • Arrest Made In Murder Case: RL NEWS Briefs Aug. 18, 2015

    Arrest Made In Murder Case

    LONG BEACH — On Aug. 17, the Long Beach Police Department arrested 25-year-old Patrick Fereti Mose of Long Beach was arrested in connection with the Aug. 2 murder of Vaiola Vaipulu.

    LBPD officers were dispatched at about 7 p.m. Aug. 2, to a residence in the 6700 block of Olive Avenue regarding a natural death of a female adult. The woman was later identified as 60-year-old Vaiola Vaipulu of Long Beach.
    The Los Angeles County Coroner investigator responded and detected suspicious circumstances. Long Beach Homicide detectives also responded to initiate an investigation. Through their investigation, detectives discovered surveillance video linking a possible suspect vehicle to the case and, subsequently, to the identification of a suspect.
    Mose is being held in Long Beach City Jail on $1 million bail. He is scheduled to appear in Long Beach Superior Court for arraignment on Aug. 20.

    Hotel Workers File Class Action Lawsuit Against Long Beach Hotel for Wage Theft

    LONG BEACH —Workers employed by the Long Beach Westin Hotel have filed a class action lawsuit alleging that the hotel has subjected them to numerous wage and hour violations, including off-the-clock work, the denial of meal and rest breaks, and failure to reimburse them for work supplies.

    The hotel is operated by Noble-Interstate Management Group California and Interstate Hotels & Resorts, both named defendants, and is 95 percent owned by Utah Retirement Systems.

    The lawsuit, brought by the law firm of Alexander Krakow + Glick and the Law Offices of Kyle Todd, claims that the hotel’s housekeepers are not paid for work they perform off-the-clock.

    The lawsuit is the latest step taken by Long Beach hotel workers, the majority of whom are women, in a campaign to put an end to workplace abuse in the Long Beach hotel industry. In July, workers and community members held a march to Long Beach City Hall to call attention to housekeepers’ experiences of inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature by hotel customers, as well as other workplace concerns.

    The workers’ campaign is supported by Stand With Women Against Abuse, a coalition of women’s organizations, health professionals, clergy, and community leaders.

    The investigation remains ongoing. Anyone with information regarding the murder is urged to call (562) 570-7244 or visit www.LACrimeStoppers.org.

    Transportation Technology Strategist Fellow Appointed

    LOS ANGELES — On Aug. 18, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the appointment of Ashley Z. Hand as the transportation technology strategist fellow at the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.

    The fellowship is funded through a grant from the Goldhirsh Foundation.
    Most recently, Hand served as chief innovation officer in Kansas City, Mo. — the first woman in the nation’s history to serve as a municipal chief innovation officer. In that post, she developed Kansas City’s first-ever digital roadmap; established a public-private partnership to build a smart city network along a new streetcar starter line; and utilized data to deliver city services more efficiently. She previously served as an architectural designer and planner for the global firm AECOM, where she worked collaboratively across the public and private sectors to encourage clients to use sustainable best practices.
    As an architect, Hand’s commitment to green, durable, and environmentally-sound buildings has earned her the designation as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional, with a specialty in Building Design and Construction. In 2014, she was recognized by the Central Exchange as a Rising Star in Technology, and by Next City Vanguard for urban leadership. Hand was selected in 2013 as the Kansas City Business Journal’s inaugural NextGen leader and was recognized in the previous year as Emerging Professional of the Year by American Institute of Architects-Kansas City.
    As the transportation technology strategist fellow, Hand will work closely with DOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds and Chief Technology Officer Peter Marx to position Los Angeles as a national model in sustainable, tech-enabled transportation and as a test bed for technologies that will change the future of transportation.
    In her new role, Hand will create a citywide transportation technology strategy to plan for the future of road safety, road use efficiency, traffic regulation, and traffic enforcement, and will be responsible for a policy plan to ensure a safe, mobile, sustainable future for Los Angeles. This strategy will also help LADOT meet the transportation goals outlined in the Mayor’s Sustainable City Plan.
    The fellowship is funded by a grant from the Goldhirsh Foundation and serves as part of Garcetti’s effort to build a tech-savvy transportation system that helps Angelenos navigate the city — including wi-fi equipped smart bus stops, ridesharing at LAX and creating a data-sharing partnership with the Waze app to help cut commute times.

     

    Career Drug Trafficker Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison

    LOS ANGELES – On Aug. 17, one of the principal cocaine traffickers associated with an international narcotics ring was sentenced this morning to 20 years in federal prison after law enforcement seized more than 170 pounds of cocaine and $1.5 million in drug-tainted cash linked to his narcotics-trafficking activities.

    Zaid Wakil, 43, of Winston Salem, N.C., was sentenced for his drug trafficking activities in which he acquired cocaine from Los Angeles-area traffickers with the intent to distribute the narcotics on the East Coast.

    In a sentencing memorandum filed with the court, federal prosecutors said that Wakil “participated in an extensive scheme to traffic in extraordinary quantities of cocaine.” They argued that Wakil “willfully pursued a criminal lifestyle” as reflected in his 20 prior criminal convictions over the course of more than two decades on charges that included drug trafficking, forgery and burglary.

    Following a jury trial in February at which Wakil represented himself, he was found guilty of participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy and three counts of possessing cocaine with intent to distribute. The three narcotics-possession counts were the result of three seizures between May and July of 2011 in which more than 170 pounds of cocaine was seized. Authorities in Arizona and seized nearly 70 pounds during two traffic stops, and investigators were able to intercept a 105-pound shipment that Wakil attempted to send to the East Coast via FedEx.

    The first cocaine seizure in this case came during a May 2011 traffic stop of Wakil’s car in Flagstaff, Ariz. by officers with the Arizona Department of Public Safety. After he was released from custody less than two months later, Wakil contacted his Los Angeles-based supplier and stated that he was “still moving,” despite the law enforcement seizures of his drugs and money. According to wiretapped phone calls played at his trial, Wakil told his supplier at that time: “Let’s make the profits bigger.”

    Wakil engaged in “sophisticated means to conceal his activities,” according to prosecutors, who noted that he operated a “shell business” in Santa Clarita – a purported trucking company that he used to conceal his cocaine shipments and to make his drug proceeds appear to be legitimate.

    In 2010 and 2011, law enforcement in the San Fernando Valley, Ohio and Maryland made three seizures of cash totaling more than $1.5 million from vehicles that Wakil was driving. “[O]n each occasion, a trained narcotics detection canine gave a positive alert on the seized money,” according to the government’s sentencing brief.

    Wakil was one of 22 defendants charged in June 2012 in two grand jury indictments with participating in a large-scale conspiracy to traffic cocaine. The conspiracy involved a drug-trafficking partnership between operatives in Mexico, Canada and the United States. Fourteen of the 22 defendants named in those indictments now have been convicted.

    Both of the Los Angeles-based leaders of the conspiracy – Ichiro Tomatani-Guzman and Eduardo Olivares – pleaded guilty and each received 10-year prison terms. The leader of the Canadian nexus of the conspiracy – John Darrell Krokos – pleaded guilty and received a 138-month prison sentence.

    Eight of the defendants charged in this case remain fugitives. They are:

    • Jesus Esteban Felix Leon, 43, of Culiacan, Mexico;
    • Jesus Felix Alvarez, 23, of Culiacan, Mexico;
    • a man known only as “96”;
    • Inocencio Aispuro-Lizarraga, 66, of Mexico;
    • Rigoberto Ortega-Guzman, 60, of Downey;
    • Fausto Medina, 42, of Lynwood;
    • Mauricio Leon-Torres, 41, of Los Angeles; and
    • Luis Cazarez-Beltran, 51, of Downey.

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  • Coyote Ugly: Don’t Kill the ‘Problem’ that We Created

    By Diana Lejins, Contributing Columnist

    Social media outlets roared with outrage, after an American dentist killed Cecil, an iconic lion in Zimbabwe.

    Walter Palmer paid $55,000 to guides, who lured Cecil out of his protective environment. This allowed the hunter to unlawfully trophy hunt and destroy this magnificent creature. On the whole, Americans understood the travesty of this egregious event.

    Ironically, thousands of miles away from Africa, in Long Beach, citizens have lured coyotes to their residential areas with food, water, unsupervised pets and the promise of more to come.  

    Now, because of a few isolated incidents, several groups of residents are up in arms and want to kill all of the coyotes. Extremely troublesome and alarming remarks have been made on Facebook and Nextdoor websites about people wanting to take matters into their own hands with crossbows, spear guns and electrical devices.

    To further put things into perspective, an estimated 4.7 million dog bites occur in the United States each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 5,700 letter carriers were victims of dog attacks in 2014 across the United States. According to Long Beach Animal Care Services, about 500 dog bites were reported in 2014 citywide.  Nationwide, 42 fatalities were reported in 2014.

    And, according to USA Today, outdoor cats kill as many as 3.7 billion birds per year in the continental United States. Should people fearful of dog bites or those who are avian devotees have a right to demand that dogs and cats be “mitigated?”

    While there have been a few coyote snipes on pets (mostly unsupervised and outside), there have been zero attacks on humans and none on leashed pets in Long Beach. Experts in the field have explained that it is usually the scavenger coyotes, who are less canny and aggressive, that are trapped and killed. This leaves the more clever ones to propagate. Coyotes also provide invaluable services to the environment such as cleaning up “road kill,” preying on the over 1,500 species of harmful rodents (including gophers), and keeping other “pesky” wildlife and vermin in balance.

    District 5 Councilwoman Stacy Mungo originally catered to the trap-and-kill groups with a proposal to create a “mitigation committee” that would have led to trapping and euthanizing the coyotes. However, at the Aug. 11 Long Beach City Council meeting, she did a 180-degree turn and agendized a proposal allowing the city staff to follow-up with an organized, more humane management plan. Dozens of citizens lined up to speak to the issue, and about two-thirds were pro coyote. The council passed the item unanimously.

    Long Beach staff favors a more educational approach. The current plan includes educating the public about coexisting with coyotes, enforcing laws prohibiting feeding of wildlife and addressing public safety. This will be reviewed and adjusted to keep pace with any changing circumstances.

    Residents need to stop their “bad behaviors,” and adhere to measures recommended by California Department of Fish and Wildlife authorities. These include not making food and water available, keeping pets protected and out of harm’s way, and taking other measures that can be found on the Animal Care Services and the Department of Fish and Wildlife Department websites. It is important to note that hunting is illegal within Long Beach city limits.

    Mahatma Ghandi once said, “The greatness of a nation… can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

    We must heed these prophetic words. Otherwise, what makes us any different than the likes of Walter Palmer?

    Diana Lejins is a journalist and photographer focusing on civil rights, animal welfare, environmental and disability issues.  

     

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  • Wrong Way Driver Charged with Murder: RL NEWS Aug. 17, 2015

    Wrong Way Driver Charged with Murder

    LONG BEACH — On Aug. 13, Alvin Ray Shaw Jr. was charged with charged with murder, driving under the influence of alcohol within 10 years of another DUI offense, driving with more than .08 percent blood alcohol and causing injury within 10 years of another DUI offense and driving with a suspended or revoked license.
    The 28-year-old’s blood concentration level was at least .15 percent.
    The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office stated Shaw, of Hawthorne, is suspected of driving 2012 Mercedes-Benz eastbound against traffic on the Gerald Desmond Bridge on Aug. 1. His actions are suspected of causing the death of one man and injuring another. Shaw collided with a 2014 Ford Fusion, driven by a 21-year-old San Pedro man, and a 2010 Nissan pickup truck driven by 30-year-old San Pedro resident Miguel Gonzalez. The Mercedes Benz and the Nissan truck caught on fire. Gonzalez was pronounced dead at the scene.
    Shaw remains hospitalized. An arraignment is pending his release. He faces a maximum of 18 years to life in state prison.

    LB North Patrol Cracks Down on Street Gang

    LONG BEACH — On Aug. 12, the Long Beach Police Department North Patrol Division Directed Enforcement Team served six search warrants at the residences of North Side Longo Gang members who were wanted on various felony charges.
    These search warrants resulted in three (3) felony arrests:
    Name, Age, City of Residency, Charges
    Steve Orozco, 23, Long Beach, Parole Violation
    Gaviel Mayorga, 33, Long Beach, Possession of Stolen Property
    Clark Cooper, 31, Long Beach, Possession of Stolen Property
    About $35,000 worth of stolen property, believed to be associated with cargo truck thefts that have occurred within and outside of the City, and $4,300 in cash, believed to be related to a north Long Beach burglary, were recovered related to the search warrants and arrests of Mayorga and Cooper. Detectives are still investigating these cases and the origin of these recovered items.
    If anyone has information regarding the crimes listed above or about the North Side Longo Street Criminal Gang they are urged to call (562) 570-7370 or visit www.lacrimestoppers.org
     

    POLA Containers Decrease in July

    SAN PEDRO — July 2015 containerized cargo volumes at the Port of Los Angeles decreased 2.5 percent compared to the same period this past year. The POLA handled a total of 699,127 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in July 2015. Current and historical data is available here.
    Imports decreased 3.5 percent, from 363,393 TEUs in July 2014 to 350,627 TEUs in July 2015. Exports declined 16.4 percent, from 163,294 TEUs in July 2014 to 136,402 TEUs in July 2015. Combined, total loaded imports and exports decreased 7.5 percent, from 526,688 TEUs in July 2014 to 487,029 TEUs in July 2015. Factoring in empties, which increased 11.2 percent, overall July 2015 volumes (699,127 TEUs) decreased 2.5 percent.
    For the first seven months of 2015, overall volumes (4,602,648 TEUs) are down 3.5 percent compared to the same period in 2014.
    Current and past data container counts for the Port of Los Angeles may be found at:www.portoflosangeles.org/maritime/stats.asp

     

    Long Beach Sets Cargo Record

    LONG BEACH — Cargo container volumes surged through the Port of Long Beach in July, with an 18.4 percent increase over the same month in 2014, making July a record month in the port’s 104-year history.
    Previously, POLA’s best year was 2007, just before the Great Recession of 2008. Now, after a slow start at the beginning of 2015, the gains in July mark the fourth time in the last five months that cargo totals have climbed significantly higher.
    The port’s terminals moved 690,244 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) in July, an increase of 18.4 percent compared to July 2014. Imports jumped to 345,912 TEUs, a 16.2 percent increase from last July. Exports increased an impressive 15.9 percent to 143,875 TEUs despite the stronger U.S. dollar, which has made U.S. exports relatively expensive overseas.
    July makes the fourth time in five months that the port has seen import gains – July (18.4 percent), May (4.8 percent), April (7.3 percent), and March (42.1 percent) – an indication that the U.S. economy is growing, and the stronger dollar is giving retailers the confidence to order more products from overseas to stock their shelves for consumers. The National Retail Federation foresees at least 3 to 5 percent gains for the back-to-school and early holiday shopping seasons.
    Through the first seven months of 2015, Long Beach cargo numbers are edging higher, with total cargo up 2.8 percent compared to the same period last year, imports up 1.4 percent and exports down 10.9 percent.
    For all the latest monthly cargo numbers, click here.
    For more details on the cargo numbers, please visit www.polb.com/stats.

    Center Long Beach Announces Free STI Testing, Treatment Program

    LONG BEACH — The Center Long Beach announced that starting Aug. 18, the organization will expand services to include comprehensive testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections. This pilot project will start by offering the free service two days a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays and will include screenings for syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and hepatitis B and C.

    The STI testing program will enhance the current rapid HIV testing program that has been extremely successful, conducting more than 7,000 tests since 2010.

    The Center Long Beach will be collaborating with St. Mary’s Medical Center to provide a mobile testing clinic and medical staff during the pilot period that will last through the end of the year. During the pilot period, The Center staff will collect data and feedback from the community to develop a program that meets the needs of the LGBTQ community in Long Beach. Additionally, The Center Long Beach will be remodeling its health services space to accommodate additional STI testing services including an exam room, additional lab space and office space for new and current health services staff.

    Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting Aug. 18
    Cost: Free
    Details: (562) 434-4455; www.centerlb.org
    Venue: The Center Long Beach, 2017 E. 4th St., Long Beach
     

    MADE in Long Beach Seeks Crowdfunding for Food Market Expansion


    LONG BEACH — In celebration of seven successful months in business downtown on Pine Avenue, the 12,500 sq. ft. “MADE in Long Beach” retail destination is preparing to launch the second phase of their local business incubator: Market at MADE.

    Having established relationships with local farmers, food makers, bread bakers, beekeepers, and Long Beach Creamery to name a few, MADE will invest in an expansion to help native culinary businesses and brands thrive and mitigate the usual risk associated with small businesses who open storefronts. Among the requisite facilities and amenities are refrigeration units and display installations to provide for the marketing and distribution of local fare. Market at MADE will also create a location for meeting, mingling and experiencing the unique flavors of the city.
    Crowdfunding launched will run until Sept. 6, with a primary goal of raising $75,000.

    At every level of support, starting at $5, MADE will reward its contributors. There will also be opportunities for donors to “put their stamp” on the Market by personalizing seasonal menu items, events, and fixtures within the store. MADE will have limited opportunities for these high-profile opportunities and encourages First to Market contributors to get in early before those rewards sell out.
    Rewards for contributors come from some of the 100+ makers and merchants whose products are currently stocked at MADE, as well as partners such as Our Town Trolley and Renaissance Long Beach Hotel.

    Details: MadeLB.com

     

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  • Adventurous Sports with Less Risks

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  • Turf Removal Programs Collapses

    By Arlo Tinsman-Kongshaug, Editorial Intern

    With the severe drought acting as a wakeup call to conserve water, more and more people have been searching for solutions.

    The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, backed by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power dug up a wellspring of incentives. Chief among them was the popular Turf Rebate program, which allows residents to get rebates for replacing their water-consuming turf with more drought-friendly plants. So popular was this program, that its allotted funding quickly dried up, parching the plans of many well-meaning future water savers. At least for the moment.

    Many people wonder whether or not the water district will ever reopen its rebate program to new applications. Bob Muir, a spokesman for the water district, said the agency may reopen it sometime in the future, but for now, they are just working on taking care of existing rebate requests that have not yet been fulfilled, with their remaining funds.

    “Right now we’re making a waiting list of those who have not yet received their rebates,”  Muir said. “We are trying to transfer those who did not qualify for the rebate (for example, those who did not finish their project within the 120-day period).”

    So now what? Well, we don’t exactly know. Obviously things have changed in terms of rebates. Before the water district’s rebate program collapsed, people would have been able to get a $3.75 rebate for every square foot of turf removed, by combining the district’s $2 rebate with LADWP’s $1.75 rebate. While the water district will no longer be offering its rebates to new applicants, LADWP will still be offering its rebate of $1.75 for up to 1,500 feet. They also offer a separate rebate for commercial, industrial, public agency and municipal customers of $1 for the first 10,000 square feet, and 50 cents for every foot thereafter, up to 43,560 square feet. Those wishing to apply for either of these rebates should go to the water district’s website atwww.socalwatersmart.com.

    “We see in many programs that about 30 percent of reserved projects are not completed,” said Muir, on the subject of unfinished projects. “We only see about 10 percent are left unfinished.”

    Muir said the district knew the money would run out, but not so soon.  

    “The board hoped we would have money all the way into the fall, like September or October,” said Muir. “Instead of six months, it lasted six weeks”.

    There have been an overwhelming number of people who have flocked to the program. However, the program’s collapse reminds us that we need more than surface solutions, which risk being underfunded by water authorities, and perhaps speaks to a far deeper disconnection between the interests of governments, water agencies and individual water users that continues to cloud our practical policy judgments.

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  • Signal Hill Mother, Boyfriend Charged in 2014 Death of 2-Year Old Son: RL NEWS Aug. 13, 2015

    Signal Hill Mother, Boyfriend Charged in 2014 Death of 2-Year Old Son

    SIGNAL HILL — The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau filed felony charges against 25-year-old Jessica Cereceres and her 23-year-old boyfriend Samuel Aguilar in connection to the death of Cerecere’s 2-year old son Josue Maldonado.

    The alleged incident took place on Aug. 10, 2014. A report was issued to Signal Hill police officers of the baby not breathing. Though several life-saving measures were attempted they were unsuccessful and Josue was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. A death investigation was preformed soon after by the Los Angeles County Sheriff. Aguilar was arrested in December on account of witness intimidation and dissuasion and was later charged with murder, felony child abuse and spousal assault.

    His bail has been set at $1.3 million. Cereceres cooperated with the investigators and appeared before the Long Beach Superior Court for a hearing, where she was convicted of felony child endangerment and arrested. She is being held at a $200,000 bail.

    Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call (323) 890-5500 or visit http://lacrimestoppers.org.

     

    Former SPHS Substitute Charged for Having Sex with Students

    Michelle Yeh

    Michelle Yeh

    SAN PEDRO — On Aug. 11, Michelle Yeh, a former San Pedro High School substitute teacher was charged on with was charged with four counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor under 16, two counts of oral copulation of a minor under 16, and two counts of lewd acts on a child 15 years of age. Both students were boys.

    Prosecutors say the 29-year-old Michelle Yeh pursued relationships with many students.

    She was charged with four counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor under 16, two counts of oral copulation of a minor under 16, and two counts of lewd acts on a child 15 years of age, according to a press release.

    Yeh was arraigned, on Aug. 12, at the Long Beach Superior Courthouse. Prosecutors asked for $250,000 bail. The woman faces up to nine years and eight months in state prison.

     

    Long Beach City Council Votes on Motion to Study Minimum Wage Increase

    LONG BEACH– On Aug. 11, the Long Beach City Council unanimously voted to initiate a study by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation to examine the potential impacts of raising the minimum wage in Long Beach.

    Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal authored the motion, which requested that a study be made about the effects on the city and business, as well as exploring possible incentives for businesses to comply.

    More than 100 low-wage workers and community members spoke in support of raising the minimum wage at both a press event and a hearing at Long Beach City Hall.

    The Long Beach City Council took steps later that evening to kick-start the process of raising the minimum wage by commissioning the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation to study the economic impacts. The city council also moved the issue of wage enforcement through the city manager, who will report back. The council is expected to review the study in the coming months. Mayor Robert Garcia expressed support for the proposed study earlier this month.

    “I commend the Council for its decision to move forward with this important study on the impacts of a minimum wage for Long Beach, as well as possible incentives for businesses and nonprofits,” Garcia said in a statement. “I am committed to ensuring an objective and thorough examination of this issue that includes all voices and perspectives, and I want to encourage residents, workers, employers and everyone in the community to participate in that process.”

    The study is expected to take approximately three months to complete.

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  • Proposition 47 Reclassification Clinics: RLn ANNOUNCEMENTS Aug. 13, 2015

    Aug. 15

    Proposition 47 Reclassification Clinics

    Get free help filling out the reclassification application. Thanks to new law called Proposition 47, you may be able to get non-violent felonies reclassified to misdemeanors. Qualifying felonies are:

    • Simple drug possessions
    • Shoplifting under $950
    • Petty theft under $950
    • Forgery or insufficient funds under $950
    • Receiving stolen property under $950

    Bring a Copy of Your Criminal Record, (Docket or Rap Sheet)
    To obtain your record: Visit any criminal court in every county where you have a conviction. Ask the clerk’s office for the complete print-out of your criminal docket. (Free in Long Beach, while you wait) or visit any local live scan office to RAP sheet; the cost is $35 to $60 (2 to 4 weeks).
    Time: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Aug. 15
    Cost: Free
    Venue: Centro C.H.A. Inc.,1900 Atlantic Ave., 2nd Floor, Long Beach
     

    Aug. 26

    West Division Forum

    Join Cmdr. Smith at the West Division Leadership Forum. A Long Beach Police Department, gangs detective will give an overview on gangs. Spanish translation will be available.
    Time: 6 p.m. Aug. 26
    Cost: Free
    Details: (562) 570-3461; Jose.Vazquez@longbeach.gov
    Venue: Long Beach Police Department, West Division,1900 Atlantic Ave. 2nd floor
     

    Sept. 13

    Nutcracker Auditions

    The Peninsula School of Performing Arts will be hosting auditions for The Nutcracker to be performed at the Norris Theatre on Nov. 20, 21, 28 and 29.
    The performing arts school is looking for gingersnaps (children ages 5 to 7 years old) at 9 a.m., for mice soldiers and clowns (children 7 to 10 years old) at 10 a.m., party scene boys and girls, and angels (children 10 to 13 years old) at 11 a.m., and more advanced roles at 12 p.m.
    Time: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sept. 13
    Details: pspsdance@gmail.com, www.pspadance.com.
    Venue: 2325 Palos Verdes Drive West, Palos Verdes Estates

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  • Sanders Gets Huge Welcoming Support in LA

    Video by Adam Adame

    LOS ANGELES — More than 27,000 supporters eagerly attended presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ Wild West Tour, Aug. 10, at the Los Angles Memorial Sports Arena. The independent candidate, who caucuses with Democrats, gave his populist message calling for an end to big money in politics and yawning income inequality.

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  • Northbound Alameda Street Closure: RLn ANNOUNCMENTS Aug. 12, 2015

    Aug. 14

    Northbound Alameda Street Closure

    All northbound lanes on Alameda Street from O Street — just north of Pacific Coast Highway — to Sepulveda Boulevard will be closed to repair a damaged overhead bridge through Aug. 14. Take Pacific Coast Highway to State Route 103, turn left onto Sepulveda Blvd and right onto Alameda Street. Southbound lanes will not be affected.

    Aug. 18

    Long Beach City Council MeetingLong Beach City Hall

    The Long Beach City Council will consider declaring an ordinance related to expediting the permitting process and fees for small rooftop solar energy systems, during its 5 p.m. Aug. 18 meeting, at Long Beach City Hall.
    Time: 5 p.m. Aug. 18
    Details: http://longbeach.legistar.com/Calendar
    Venue: Long Beach City Hall, 333 W. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach

    Aug. 19

    PitchLabs

    In partnership with UNCODED, WE Labs will be hosting a Meet The Angels event with Pasadena Angels.
    If you’ve ever wanted to know how angel investing works or you’ve got some questions for living, breathing angel investors, then this is the event for you.

    Time: 6 p.m. Aug. 19
    Details: lincoln@welabs.us; RSVP REQUIRED
    Venue: WeLabs, 235 E. Broadway, Suite 800, Long Beach
     

    Aug. 21

    Cultural Grants Program

    The Department of Cultural Affairs is accepting proposals for its 2016-2017 Cultural Grants Program for nonprofit arts and cultural organizations (and for social service nonprofits partnering with arts organizations). The deadline for online submission is 11:59 p.m. Aug. 21. Hard copies should be postmarked by August 24.
    These cultural grants support public-benefit arts projects, arts education initiatives, or cultural programming to take place between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017.
    Guidelineshttp://dcaredesign.org/grants/

    Aug. 25

    Free PR Plan Developed For Your Business

    As a mid-term project, Cal State Long Beach students in an upper-grade public relations class named public relations campaigns, will be assigned to develop a comprehensive and customized public relations plan/proposal at no cost for owners of local small businesses. A customized public relations plan can be an essential part of a company’s overall marketing strategy — such a plan can accomplish many things, including raising awareness of, and generating demand for, the company’s products and/or services.
    If you are interested in having a free public relatiosn plan developed for your business please provide by Aug. 25 the following information:

    • Your name
    • Phone number
    • Company web site URL address (if you do not have a web site please provide a brief description of your business and, if and how you utilize social media; 1-3 sentences)

    Once again, the deadline for submitting this information is August 25th. Students will consider all submissions and they will select the businesses they want to develop PR plans for.  If your business is selected, you will be contacted in September to set up fact-gathering meeting(s) at your office with the student. Final plans will be presented and submitted to you in late October.
    Details: (562) 243-2615; lissette@estrellapr.com
     

    Aug. 27

    Emergency Preparedness

    You are invited to participate in a training program designed for Long Beach Community Partners and Neighborhood Organizations to learn how to develop emergency response plans.  This informative training will discuss:
     Personal preparedness, and the four steps to getting ready for a disaster.
     Organizing your community with the American Red Cross.
     Preparedness training with Long Beach Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members.
    Time: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 27
    Details: (562) 570-1010; http://goo.gl/forms/JsZUXkqxJV.
    Venue: Emergency Communication and Emergency Center, 2990 Redondo Ave., Long Beach
     

    Sept. 13

    Nutcracker Auditions

    Nutcracker

    Nutcracker

    The Peninsula School of Performing Arts will be hosting auditions for The Nutcracker to be performed at the Norris Theatre on Nov. 20, 21, 28 and 29.
    The performing arts school is looking for gingersnaps (children ages 5 to 7 years old) at 9 a.m., for mice soldiers and clowns (children 7 to 10 years old) at 10 a.m., party scene boys and girls, and angels (children 10 to 13 years old) at 11 a.m., and more advanced roles at 12 p.m.
    Time: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sept. 13
    Details: pspsdance@gmail.com, www.pspadance.com.
    Venue: 2325 Palos Verdes Drive West, Palos Verdes Estates

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