Long Beach Business Journal Launches New Web Site, Partners With The Lamont Group

In an effort to strengthen its support of the Long Beach area business community, the Long Beach Business Journal has partnered with local, one-stop-shop media firm The Lamont Group (TLG) to launch a new Web site. The site goes live later today, September 27, at LBBusinessJournal.com.

“As we near the 25th year of the founding of the Business Journal, we are significantly expanding the newspaper’s online presence through our new partnership with The Lamont Group, a local, family-owned business,” said George Economides, founder and publisher of the Long Beach Business Journal.

In addition to providing numerous stories, perspectives and photographs from each issue of the Business Journal and from weekly events, the site will serve as a resource guide for the business community with how-to articles, tips on a running a business, economic development information and much more. “In working with The Lamont Group, we have quite a few ideas that we plan to introduce in the coming months. We also want to gather input from our readers,” Economides said.

TLG is led by Evan Lamont, who comes from a public relations background and formerly worked for Frank Groff, Inc. Lamont wanted to start his own PR firm, and tapped into his entrepreneurial spirit to form TLG in 2006. Shawn Lamont, with 10 years of experience in the information technology industry, joined his brother in 2009 as a Web services specialist and developer.

The brothers work with their father, Ian Lamont, who serves as an advisor on business and client strategies. Ian Lamont is the former CEO of the Northern California division of Media News Group and served as publisher of the Oakland Tribune. Ian is also known for serving as publisher of the Long Beach Press-Telegram in the early 2000s.

The graphic design, online advertising, marketing and public and media relations agency has a variety of small- and medium-sized clients in Los Angeles and Orange counties, from businesses in the healthcare industry to restaurants to attorneys and many others. For more information about TLG, visit: www.TLGLB.com.

According to Evan Lamont, TLG hopes to address the changing media landscape and help transition the Long Beach Business Journal from a news group to a media group, “providing cutting edge social media and Web development.”

City Council To Form Joint Use Committee With LBUSD Board

by Tiffany Rider, Staff Writer

The Long Beach City Council voted recently to establish a joint use committee with the Long Beach Unified School District’s Board of Education members to pool resources and search for ways to save money.

“We’ve worked at having a formal relationship with members of the city council in the past, and we didn’t quite get there,” said Felton Williams, LBUSD board president, at the July 12 city council meeting. “But we can recognize the importance of having that kind of relationship, particularly in this day and time.”

The cash-strapped entities are to have representatives meet in a public forum, subject to the Brown Act, to review opportunities for joint use of land, environmental concerns, public safety concerns and other opportunities to accomplish their core missions with fewer funds. The item, presented to the council by 7th District Councilmember James Johnson, must be approved with a vote of the school board at a future meeting before the committee is formed.

“The reality is we all have less,” Johnson said. “The school district has less money to work on their mission. The city has less money to work toward our mission.”

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Long Beach Hosts Trial Of Method To Eradicate Moth ‘Pest’

by Tiffany Rider, Staff Writer

One-square mile area of Long Beach is being used as an evaluation area of the effectiveness of an eradication program to eliminate the infestation of the light brown apple moth. The evaluation area extends from Ocean Boulevard north to 8th Street and from Temple Avenue east to Ximeno Avenue.

With the support of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), California Department of Food and Agriculture (CFA) and the County of Los Angeles Agriculture Commissioner, an evaluation began on June 16 in which 100,000 to 500,000 sterilized moths are released weekly to disrupt the reproductive process of these pests. The process, called sterile insect technique, has been used to eradicate other invasive insects but is in the trial phases for eradicating the moth.

The light brown apple moth, a quarter-inch moth species, is a declared pest nationally and internationally. It was first discovered in California in 2007 and has threatened nurseries and agricultural crops in 20 counties. The moth, which is native to Australia, has been attacked over the years through quarantine measures such as aerial spraying of synthetic pheromones to disrupt mating and releasing wasps that kill the moth.

Long Beach was selected for an evaluation of the sterile insect technique because of the heavily concentrated infestation in the city, according to the supporting agencies.

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Port Staff Relocation May Be ‘Game Changer’ For Downtown Office Market

Harbor Department Negotiates New Headquarters, Buys World Trade Center Parking Lot

by Sean Belk, Staff Writer

Negotiations are ongoing for the Port of Long Beach to relocate its near 400-member staff from its current location at the port to a new headquarters possibly somewhere in Downtown Long Beach. The move could be a “game changer” for the downtown office market, said real estate agents.

After a plan to build a new $295 million energy efficient, “green,” nine-story complex on a 17-acre site near the current headquarters was scrapped by Mayor Bob Foster last year, vetoing the line item from the budget, port executive staff floated several different proposals.

In closed session during the July 11 harbor commission meeting, Port Executive Director Dick Steinke discussed with commissioners and other negotiating parties the potential lease or purchase of space at One World Trade Center or Golden Shore property, or the possibility of space at the Union Bank Building or the City National Bank Building.

According to a staff report, the port has already approved the purchase of the 5.6-acre One World Trade Center parking lot, which has 659 parking spaces behind the building at the southeast corner of Golden Avenue and West Broadway. The $8 million sale and $200,000 deposit was negotiated by Cassidy Turley BRE Commercial.

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CSU Tuition Hike Vote Raises Rates By 12 Percent

by Tiffany Rider, Staff Writer

In response to the state budget cut of at least $650 million for the coming school year, the California State University system wasted no time to vote on a 12 percent tuition rate increase.

The tuition hike was approved at the July 12 meeting of the CSU Board of Trustees and takes effect this fall, bumping tuition costs at all 23 campuses to $5,472 for full-time undergraduate in-state tuition – an increase of $294 per semester on top of the added $222 per semester approved last November.

In addition, credential program participants will see an increase in tuition by $339 per semester, and graduate student tuition by $360 per semester, according to the CSU. One-third of the revenues generated from the 12 percent tuition increase are to be allocated for financial aid.

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Allegiant To Move Two Flights To LAX

by Sean Belk, Staff Writer

Allegiant announced that effective November 18, the low-cost carrier is moving two of its flights from Long Beach Airport (LGB) to Los Angeles International.

The airline is discontinuing nonstop flights from LGB to Bellingham, Washington, and Idaho Falls, according to an announcement released July 15. Allegiant continues with its flights to Las Vegas and Colorado Springs from Long Beach.

“Moving these flights from Long Beach to Los Angeles will give our customers additional options to fly to the heart of Los Angeles,” said Andrew Levy, president of Allegiant Travel Company, in a prepared statement. “They can continue to enjoy Allegiant’s popular, low-fare, nonstop flights and travel deals to and from Southern California.”

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Earth Talk: Could We Harness Energy From Earthquakes?

Dear EarthTalk: Can earthquake energy be harnessed for power, particularly in places like Japan? Also, how can Japan, so vulnerable to earthquakes, even have nuclear power?

– Sasha M., Australia

While it is no doubt theoretically possible to generate electricity by harnessing the kinetic energy of shifting tectonic plates below the Earth’s crust, pulling it off from a practical standpoint would be a real logistical challenge – not to mention prohibitively expensive compared to harnessing other forms of energy, renewable or otherwise.

Big earthquakes throw off vast amounts of energy. According to Beth Buczynski of the CrispGreen Web site, researchers have calculated that the January 2010 magnitude 7.0 earthquake that killed upwards of 220,000 people in Haiti released as much energy as 31 of the atomic bombs the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. And the magnitude 9.0 earthquake that struck northeast Japan in March 2011 unleashed the equivalent of more than 15,000 Hiroshima bombs. That’s a lot of energy indeed.

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City Staff Explores Opportunities In Modernizing Billboard Regulations

120 Billboards On List For Amortization

by Tiffany Rider, Staff Writer

In an effort to reduce the number of neighborhood billboards and reduce blight in Long Beach, city staff is working to modernize the city’s existing regulations of the outdoor advertisements.

After a moratorium on updating city billboard regulations was enacted in December 2009 and extended in 2010 through this year, the Long Beach City Council can no longer defer the item and must update the policy by December 14. The focus of the updates, according to City Planning Administrator Derek Burnham, is to consider that more heavily traveled corridors are more appropriate areas for billboards than residential zones.

Current regulations only allow billboards in commercial and industrial zones, with restrictions. Long Beach Development Services Department Director Amy Bodek told the city council at its June 21 meeting that, “There are about 350 billboards in the city, most of which could not be developed today under our current regulations . . . They were built and installed when our regulations were completely different.”

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San Pedro Bay Ports Cargo Movement Aims For ‘Zero Emissions’

Harbor Commissions Plan New Technologies For Trucks, Equipment And Railroads

by Sean Belk, Staff Writer

The Long Beach and Los Angeles harbor commissions held a joint meeting July 7 to discuss implementing, developing and building a “zero-emissions” container movement system at the San Pedro Bay Ports and surrounding areas.

Through new and innovative technologies that have been planned for the last five years, the ports presented a “roadmap” for implementing a system that moves cargo efficiently while burning virtually no fossil fuels and having no tailpipe emissions

The goal of zero emissions is to further reduce emissions and health risk in the air basin and nearby communities. The ports have so far pioneered a Green Port Policy and Clean Air Action Plan, which have helped reduced pollution dramatically over the past decade, according to port staff.

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