A Story by Michele Kreinheder | Updated 01/28/2016 10:42am
Fourth District Councilperson Supernaw usually holds two community meetings per month. One on the last Tuesday of the month at Los Altos Library at 6:30, and then a repeat of the meeting on the west side of the district, at Orizaba Park on Wednesday, also at 6:30. Because Mayor Garcia called for a special council meeting to discuss ways (taxes?) to raise funds for much needed infrastructureimprovements on Tuesday evening, there was only the one meeting at Orizaba.
Orizaba Park was totally redone and improved a few years ago. What a great place to hold a meeting! There is plenty of parking in front of the new, well-lite recreation building. Because this area was once a thoroughfare for the historic Red Car, the motif of a train station is found throughout the park. (Click here for blog on Zefaria District)
As usual Supernaw’s first invited guest to speak was a law enforcement officer. They speak first as duty may call at any moment. Officer Johnny Dodson, the City’s Homeless Outreach officer gave us a brief overview of the breaking down of the homeless encampment at Willow and the 405. Dodson was sympathetic to their plight and was happy to report delivering one homeless gentleman to a re-hab center and a second to a hospice for mentally ill. Officer Dodson took the most unusual step of providing his city issued cell phone number. He works 7 to 5 Tuesday to Friday and will take calls concerning homeless citizens and panhandling at 562-208-3879. It was pointed out that if you call the police department’s general number and ask for Officer Dodson, it is important you get the first name correct as Johnny because his father is a Long Beach Detective, his brother is an officer and his step-brother just graduated from the academy!
Next up to speak was Frank Ramirez, the Superintendent of Environmental Service Bureau on Long Beach. In a nutshell, Mr. Ramirez and the crews he supervises take care of our trash. Ramirez is one of the those speakers that makes you like him from the get-go. He said the department’s target is removal of items within 7 days from first report. He did ask for patience as some days are light with calls, 50 or so, and other are over 150! One woman raised her hand and said she wanted to commend Stanley for doing a great job picking up her garbage. Ramirez laughed and said he agreed. Turns out Stanley has great attention to detail and has been on the job for 28 years. She said she called the department to leave a complimentary message but she couldn’t find a person who knew what to do with her “request”. It seems they are only used to handling complaints! Someone asked about putting garbage cans by the schools to help elevate trash in the gutters. A note was made. Someone complained about trash by Post Office on Anaheim. A note was made by Supernaw to get the USPS on board with a clean up. And lastly Ramirez gave his direct phone number, because he wants to support Supernaw in his efforts. If you need his number, call me 562-243-2171. For some reason I think he would not have given it out if he knew it would be placed in this blog.
Next we had the very low voiced Eric Decker of the City’s Technology and Innovation Department to talk about the ‘Go-Long App’. He suggested you visit the online website at www.longbeach.gov/apps to take a tour of the app if you are uncomfortable downloading it. I have had this app and the ‘Vote Long Beach App’ for some time and I love both. If you see a problem you can quickly rely the information via the App. For example, if you see graffiti, you can open the App, click on New Issue, Click on graffiti, take a photo and input comments. There is a GPS but Eric said it could be within 30 to 60 meters of the spot. The more information you put in the notes the better. Currently not all issues can be reported on the App but they are working through each department software so they will be able to communicate. Also, Decker reminded me that the phone number tab is probably the most useful. Every phone number you may need is listed here. So remember, Go Long Beach!
From the audience Supernaw called up Terri Griffith of Rebuilding Together Long Beach . This non-profit group does the important work of keeping homeowners in their homes longer. Using money from corporate and government grants and private donations, and using volunteer labor, improvements are made for limited-income homeowners. If you are looking for a motivated Long Beach group to get involved with, click here for more information.
Bill Marshall, who has long been involved with Stearns Park Little League made an announcement that Open Day is scheduled for February 20, weather permitting. You may remember Marshall from the years 1992 and 1993 when Stearns Park won the Little League World Title.I just have to say it again, Go Long Beach!
Supernaw thanked the people that showed up for the WESCA - West East Side Community Association Cleanup last Saturday. It seems they had more volunteers than trucks for picking up trash, mattresses etc from the alleys. Perhaps on the next clean up we can round up more trucks!
Supernaw announced there are plans (and grant money of $1.3M) to improve the intersection at Redondo and Anaheim.
The question and answer period at the end was mostly focused on the International Airport. Yes the study costing over $300,000 was approved by the City Council, but please note that the vote was 6 to 3. Don’t tell me I have to tell you which way Supernaw voted for the 4th! There was much discussion and many points offered. One gentleman, who admitted he lives in the west side of the 4th District said that, “most of the noise, is about the noise.” Someone brought up the point that increased air pollution would not be just under the flight path. Also, if international flights are approved, the general aviation (private jets) and commercial flights are not constrained by the 7 am to 10 pm flight times. Private jets have a limited range so this would limit their country of origin to Mexico, Central American and Canada.Are you against the International Airport and would like a sign to display your displeasure? Click Here to Request a Sign.
Oh, and of course my freshly baked chocolate chip cookies made it to the community meeting too :)