Coronavirus spread down in Long Beach, health officials report

Long Beach’s coronavirus transmission metrics have been steadily trending down since the holiday season, including over over the past two weeks, according to the city health department’s most-recent data. The health department reported 603 new coronavirus cases over the past week, according to data posted to the city’s COVID-19 dashboard on Friday, Jan. 27, bringing the total number of cases since the pandemic began to 160,814. The latest data is through Thursday, but the city posted that infor

Dana Neighborhood Library will reopen for in-person service one day a week

The Dana Neighborhood Library will reopen for in-person service on Saturdays next week — but will continue its “to-go” model of service from Monday to Friday as well, Long Beach has announced. The library, 3680 Atlantic Ave., is regularly closed every Sunday. The Long Beach Public Library system initially closed its Dana, Alamitos and Brewitt branches to the public last summer, offering the to-go-only model at those locations in order to ease staffing strains on the city’s library system as a

Long Beach Planning Commission OK’s 900-unit mixed-use housing development

A portion of downtown Long Beach’s vacant CityPlace Shopping Center will eventually be demolished and replaced with three eight-story residential buildings boasting 900 combined apartments, now that it has received Planning Commission approval. CityPlace’s storied history in Long Beach dates back to the early 1980s, when it was originally developed as the Long Beach Plaza Mall. That traditional indoor mall was home to three large anchor tenants and about 676,000 square feet of retail space. Bu

Hundreds take to Long Beach streets to tally those who are homeless

Hundreds of residents, city staff and elected officials gathered before sunrise on Thursday, Jan. 26, for Long Beach’s annual point-in-time homeless count, collecting vital data about those without permanent shelter. The yearly tally is a tool used by the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services to determine the scope of homelessness citywide, officials say. The data also helps Long Beach officials understand the needs of the unhoused population and more effectively allocate social se

Vice President Harris visits Monterey Park; meets with victims’ families

Vice President Kamala Harris, on Wednesday, Jan. 25, visited the scene of the worst mass shooting in Los Angeles County’s history to meet with the families of 11 people killed and another nine injured in Monterey Park. Harris placed flowers — a large bouquet made up of white roses, yellow lilies, and palm fronds wrapped in white — on a memorial at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, where the deadly attack took place late Saturday. Harris arrived in her motorcade at the Monterey Park memorial afte

Monterey Park looks for answers in aftermath of deadly mass shooting

The morning after a chaotic, heartbreaking Sunday spent responding to the shocking attack on a Monterey Park dance hall — the investigation ending with a suicide in a shopping center parking lot on the other side of the county — law enforcement and local leaders alike on Monday, Jan. 23, will strive to find the answers to the myriad questions left in the aftermath of the nation’s deadliest mass shooting since last year’s Uvalde, Texas, massacre. A gunman killed 10 and injured another 10, some c

Long Beach’s annual homeless count slated for Thursday, Jan. 26

Every winter, hundreds of volunteers fan out across Long Beach to tally those without permanent shelter — and they will do so again today, Thursday. The city’s annual point-in-time tally is a vital tool used to determine the scope of homelessness within Long Beach, officials say. The data also helps Long Beach officials understand the needs of the unhoused population and more effectively allocate social services and resources to support the community. This year, Long Beach’s Department of Heal

A WWII bride, now a Seal Beach resident, recalls Queen Mary trip, other adventures

Rita Slutzky’s Seal Beach home is cozy. She lives in peaceful retirement, surrounded by family photos and bygone trinkets. At 98, her life’s denouement is average, prosaic even. But her story — her journey to Seal Beach, to a quiet existence — was anything but. Born in 1924 in the English port town of Grimsby, Lincolnshire, Slutzky battled a six-month bout of rheumatic fever as a teenager, sacrificed a college education to work on Spitfire planes during the Second World War, married an Americ

72-year-old identified in Monterey Park mass shooting killed himself in Torrance, authorities say

• None A group of pastors and others join in a prayer circle at the intersection of Garvey Avenue and N. Garfield Avenue in Monterey Park on Sunday, January 22, 2023 to pray for the victims of the mass shooting at the Star Dance Studio. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG) • None Hannah Koester, 26, of Pasadena, left, embraces Lor-Shing Hsu, 29, of Alhambra during a prayer circle outside Monterey Park City Hall in Monterey Park on Sunday, January 22, 2023 to pray for the victim

2nd scene in Alhambra investigated for possible connection to Monterey Park mass shooting

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department is investigating an incident in Alhambra that could be related to the Saturday night Monterey Park shooting that left at least 10 people dead. Someone entered the Lai Lai Ballroom and Studio, 121 S Garfield Ave., with a firearm about 17 to 20 minutes after the Monterey Park crime, which occurred at 10:20 p.m., LA County Sheriff Robert Luna said at a news conference on Sunday morning, Jan. 22. People were able to wrestle the firearm away, Luna said. “San Ga

Man found dead in van in Torrance confirmed to be suspect in Monterey Park mass shooting

Law enforcement authorities surrounded a white van in Torrance on Sunday in a standoff with someone who turned out to be the suspect in the Monterey Park mass shooting that killed 10 people. That person was later found to be dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and was identified as Huu Can Tran, 72, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said during a Sunday evening news conference. Homicide investigators had been sent to the scene early Sunday afternoon. The person was seen slumped over

Southwest adds flights to Kansas City from the Long Beach Airport

Southwest Airlines will soon offer Long Beach travelers a daily route to Missouri’s Kansas City International Airport. The airline will launch daily nonstop flights from the Long Beach Airport to MCI in early March, according to a city news release this week, marking Southwest’s 18th nonstop service route at LGB. “Nonstop flights to and from Kansas City are a great addition to a growing list of destinations offered at our award-winning Long Beach Airport and through our partners at Southwest A

Long Beach loans 2 developers $6.1 million to build affordable housing

Two development firms will begin work on separate affordable housing projects in Long Beach next year after receiving a combined $6.1 million in loans from the city. Long Beach announced the loans this week, about a month after the city and its nonprofit housing affiliate, the Long Beach Community Investment Company, initially began accepting applications from developers looking to build affordable housing. The loan opportunity was among the first housing initiatives Mayor Rex Richardson announ

Long Beach offers landlords incentives to encourage housing voucher acceptance

Long Beach is now offering a series of financial incentives to local landlords — including direct payments to cover leasing bonuses and security deposits — in an effort to encourage them to accept vouchers from low-income residents facing housing instability. Mayor Rex Richardson announced the new program, which will be administered through the Long Beach Housing Authority, in a virtual briefing earlier this week. “One of our most important tools in meeting the city’s homeless need is housing

Long Beach council OKs changes to community input on permanent parklets

Long Beach community groups will no longer have final approval over proposed permanent parklets that allow restaurants to offer outdoor seating, with the City Council nixing that veto power this week. The council voted to amend a portion of its municipal code relating to the permanent parklet permitting process, meaning organizations opposed to the structures — typically placed on parking spots in front of restaurants — can no longer unilaterally block them from going up. Instead, Long Beach w

Roberto Uranga returns to Long Beach council chambers after nearly 4 months

Long Beach Councilmember Roberto Uranga returned to the Civic Chambers this week after a nearly four-month, health-related leave of absence. Uranga took leave in late September after having a stroke — one day before his youngest son, Roberto “Tito” Uranga, died. The councilmember’s son, 34, died from a rare form of cancer on Sept. 22. He was diagnosed with Stage IV urachal adenocarcinoma in October 2020, according to a GoFundMe organized by Herlinda Chico, a Board of Trustees member with the L

Long Beach gets more than $15 million for park improvements from state

Four Long Beach parks are set for upgrades later this year — thanks to $15.4 million from California’s 2022 year-end budget surplus. California’s budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year included a nearly $100 million surplus. Some of that money, as a result of the State Appropriations Limit, was required to be returned to the taxpayers through education spending and direct payments. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, who represents the state’s 62nd District — along with former District 70 Assemblymem

Q+A: New Long Beach Councilmember Kristina Duggan on her goals for 3rd District

Long Beach’s Third District has a new councilmember: Kristina Duggan. Duggan succeeded former Councilmember Suzie Price in December, after beating social services worker Kailee Caruso in the Nov. 8 general election runoff with 55% of the votes. Duggan had never held elected office before, but she has long been involved in the community, both as a former Price staffer and as the co-owner of a behavioral health clinic with her husband. She participated in her first council meeting last week. T

Q&A: New Long Beach Councilmember Megan Kerr on her goals for 5th District

Long Beach has a new Fifth District councilmember: Megan Kerr. Kerr recently succeeded former District 5 Councilmember Stacy Mungo. Kerr beat Long Beach Reform Coalition founder Ian Patton in the Nov. 8 general election runoff, receiving about 55% of the votes. While this is Kerr’s first time on the City Council, it isn’t her first time as an elected official: Before being sworn into the council in December, Kerr — who had her first council meeting last week — served two terms on the Long Beac

Q&A: New Long Beach Councilmember Joni Ricks-Oddie on her goals for 9th District

Ricks-Oddie, a UC Irvine statistician and epidemiologist, recently took over the position from now-Mayor Rex Richardson after receiving a commanding 67% of the votes against opponent Ginny Gonzales during the Nov. 8 general election runoff. The political newcomer was sworn into office in December — and participated in her first official council session last week. Though she’s never served as an elected official before, Ricks-Oddie had been involved with community organizations for nearly a dec
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