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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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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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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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.

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.”