Deadline Extended For Statewide Redistricting Public Comment

The California Citizens Redistricting Committee has extended the deadline for written public comment on the first round of draft maps to June 28.

Long Beach was host to a business meeting and public hearing at City Hall on April 27 regarding the redrawing of state and federal political district boundaries. Those who were unable to attend that meeting may take advantage of this new deadline, extended from the original June 10 target. Per the committee Web site, the public is being asked to answer the following questions:

  • Do you think the Commission understood your testimony about your community of interest?
  • Do you think the Commission did not have enough testimony about your community of interest?
  • Do you have a suggestion that would make your district better reflect the interests of its residents, for example by moving the boundaries to include (or exclude) certain areas?

Written comments may be submitted via e-mail to votersfirstact@crc.ca.gov, faxed to 916/322-0904 or given over the phone by calling 866/356-5217. Meanwhile, the committee has pushed back the date for the release of the second draft maps to July 12. For more information, visit www.wedrawthelines.ca.gov.

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EarthTalk: How Safe Is Soy?

Dear EarthTalk: How healthy is soy? I heard that, despite its healthy image, most soy is grown using chemicals like other crops and is even being genetically modified.

– D. Frinka, Syracuse, N.Y.

Food products made with soy have enjoyed great popularity in the U.S. and elsewhere in recent years. Two decades ago, Americans spent $300 million a year on soy food products; today we spend over $4 billion. More and more adults are substituting soy – a great source of protein – for meat, while a quarter of all baby formula contains soy instead of milk. Many school lunch programs nationwide have added soy-based veggie burgers to their menus, as have countless restaurants, including diners and fast food chains.

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News In Brief

by Sean Belk, Staff Writer

• The Los Angeles Harbor Commission adopted its fiscal year 2011-2012 budget of approximately $967.6 million for the Port of Los Angeles, with a 7.4 percent or $67 million increase from the current fiscal year adopted budget effective from July 1. The increase was due to higher total receipts from both operations and grant activities, which allowed for a rise in appropriations of operations and capital projects.

• The deadline for submitting abstracts for the 4th METRANS National Urban Freight Conference (to be held October 12-14 at the Hyatt Regency) has been extended to June 14. Each abstract is limited to 500 words and must include: a statement of research; methodology and data; and a brief summary of results and conclusions. For more information, visit http://www.metrans.org or call 562/985-2876.

City Hall News

• Sixth District Councilman Dee Andrews and New Life Beginnings are holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m., June 18, for the Treasure Hunt Thriftque at 1178 E. Anaheim St. Among its many involvements, the New Life organization assists “crisis stricken pregnant or homeless women to get back on their feet.”

News In Brief

by Tiffany Rider, Staff Writer

• The Long Beach-based SCAN Foundation released a state budget fact sheet with information on how the May revision of the 2011-2012 California budget affects older adults and persons with disabilities. Items discussed include adult day healthcare, in-home support services, the multipurpose senior services program and MediCal. The document is available online at http://www.thescanfoundation.org.

• In an effort to raise funds for the Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC), the Hyatt Regency Long Beach has partnered with the Long Beach-based headquarters for SOSC to allow an expected 150 thrill-seekers the opportunity to rappel off of the 16-floor hotel on October 29. Each participant in the “Over the Edge” challenge must raise $1,000 to rappel. For more information, visit http://www.sosc.org/overtheedge.

People In The News

• California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) has named Raymond Torres-Santos as the new dean of the College of the Arts, effective August 1. He comes from William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey, where he has been dean of the College of the Arts and Communications. Torres-Santos replaces former dean Don Para, who now serves as CSULB’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

• Martin S. Chin and Brent N. Phillips have joined City National Bank to head up the bank’s capital finance unit. The unit provides asset-based loans to commercial borrowers. Chin is serving as senior vice president and capital finance unit team manager, and Phillips is to report to Chin as vice president and capital finance unit relationship manager. The two have combined experience of more than 30 years in syndicated transactions and secured financing.

• The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has elected Terrie S. Norris as president and chief elected officer. Norris is a risk control manager at Bickmore Risk Services in Long Beach and a recognized leader in risk management and loss control with 21 years of experience in the field. She is to be sworn in on June 12 at the ASSE House of Delegates meeting during the ASSE Professional Development Conference and Exposition in Chicago. She officially steps into her new role on July 1.

More Boeing Layoffs

Boeing has announced issuing layoff notices to approximately 510 employees in its space exploration division, due to the ending of the Space Shuttle program. The notices include 100 layoffs at the company’s Huntington Beach facility, 260 layoffs in Houston and 150 layoffs at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The last workday for affected employees is August 5, pending completion of the final space shuttle mission, STS-135.

Sip On This: The Health Benefits Of Wine

by Tiffany Rider, Staff Writer

Since the days of the early Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, wine has been used for medicinal purposes as a treatment for anything from headaches to heartburn to constipation. But does the theory that wine has health benefits hold in today’s society?

Business Journal Photograph by Carlos Delgado

Various research studies have shown that moderate intake of alcohol may actually improve cardiovascular health, and the more unique chemicals found in red wine is showing further benefits. Doctors agree that unless an individual has specific health issues or is taking certain medications, drinking red wine in moderation may provide some health benefits.

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Bike Long Beach Online Survey

Bike Long Beach is conducting an online survey of Long Beach residents on road traffic preferences, conditions and concerns. Anyone who rides a bike, drives a car, walks or uses public transportation in the city is encouraged to fill out the survey, which is the first phase of a motorist and bicycle safety campaign being launched this summer. The survey, funded by a grant from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, concludes July 15. To participate in the survey, visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/bikesafelb.

Inclusionary Zoning Bill Defeated

by George Economides, Publisher

The Apartment Association, Southern California Cities reported late Friday, June 3, that Senate Bill 184 that would have “allowed and encouraged cities and counties to set price controls on newly constructed rental and ownership housing” – also known as inclusionary zoning – was defeated. The bill need 21 votes in the senate to pass, but received only 17.

The association reported that two other bills it opposed were also defeated: Assembly Bill 934 would have “permitted cities and counties to adopt their own eviction controls, termination of tenancy laws and ordinances regulating rental contracts;” and Assembly Bill 265, which would have “permitted a non-paying tenant to pay rent three to four months late and then force the landlord to re-rent the unit to the former tenant.”

Planning Commission Approves Compliance Of Pine Square Theater Conversion Conditions

by Sean Belk, Staff Writer

A project to convert the AMC Pine Square 16 movie theater in Downtown Long Beach, which closed last year, into 69 loft-style apartments has taken a step forward after receiving approval of compliance with conditions set forth by the Long Beach Planning Commission.

During its June 2 meeting, the commission unanimously approved compliance  (6-0), while Commissioner Becky Blair recused herself due to conflict of interest, according to city staff.  The planning commission had approved the project’s site plan review and certified negative declaration in April, but had asked the applicant to return with revised plans to comply with a list of concerns.

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