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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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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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.”

TEDx SoCal To Focus On ‘Thriving,’ Sharing Creative Ideas

July 16 Event To Feature Local Luminaries As Mini-Version Of Exclusive TED Conference

by Sean Belk, Staff Writer

Long Beach is lucky enough to host the exclusive TED Conference each year that has drawn famous and inspirational speakers, such as Bill Gates and Al Gore, to converge on the ideas of “technology, entertainment and design.” But this year, the city is opening the doors for the general public to attend its own mini-version, with an interesting cadre of local luminaries.

The TEDx SoCal conference, x standing for independently organized, is expected to offer a day-long conference and interactive experience that features short talks and performances, spawned off the TED goal of “ideas worth spreading.” The event is held July 16 at the Center Theatre from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Local City Elections Show Strength Of Incumbency

by Tiffany Rider, Staff Writer

Incumbent elected officials in the cities of Signal Hill and Carson held onto their seats following elections March 1 and 8, respectively.

In Signal Hill, the election resulted in incumbents Larry Forester and Tina Hansen retaining their council seats. Hansen received 660 votes and Forrester had 569. Their only challenger, Matthew Simmons, finished with 429.

City Clerk Kathleen Pacheco ran unopposed as did City Treasurer Emerson Fersch.

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