Issue: #  95
April 7, 2017
From the Desk of Councilmember Al Austin II 

Dear Eighth District Residents and Friends,

We had a great turnout for our Celebrate the Eighth event last week.  Everyone enjoyed some great food from local restaurants and shared in the successes of the past year and the opportunities of the year ahead.  

We also recognized some noteworthy individuals, businesses and organizations, who are highlighted in this week's Eighth District Spotlight below.  Stay tuned for our annual Year in Review, that will be featured in the next newsletter.

As we approach Earth Day later this month, I would like to congratulate the students and staff of Lindbergh STEM Academy, who reduced their lunchtime waste by an incredible 92 percent this year, to win the grand prize in the Grades of Green Trash Free Lunch Challenge.  They certainly inspire all of us to do more to help create a sustainable community.

I would also like to invite you to help with our Earth Day Tree Planting on April 22, when we will be planting nearly 80 trees in the neighborhood around Dooley Elementary School.  The details are in this week's newsletter below.  This will be a great opportunity to further green our neighborhoods.
Still working for a better Long Beach! 

Upcoming Events

April First Fridays - Long Beach County Fair

Friday, April 7
6:30 - 9:30 p.m. 

Atlantic Avenue b/w Bixby Rd. & San Antonio Dr.

The Long Beach County Fair is a free showcase for local food producers and organizations from all over Long Beach and the region. Enjoy educational displays and demonstrations while you interact with the passionate people behind the good food movement in Long Beach including its "Seeders," "Feeders" and "Eaters."  

There will also be plenty of local art, music, games, fair food, and even animals along Atlantic Avenue!

For more information, visit
I-710 Corridor Bike Path Project Community Meeting
Tuesday, April 11
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Bret Harte Neighborhood Library
1595 W. Willow St.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) wants your input on three proposed Class 1 bike paths that will serve bicyclists, pedestrians and transit users traveling within the I-710 corridor.

This project aims to increase connectivity to the LA River, Rio Hondo Bike Trail, and Metro's Blue and Green Line, as well as provide improved access for bicyclists and pedestrians to surrounding neighborhoods.

Learn more and share input about the proposed paths.

( Flyer)
Celebrate Earth Day Neighborhood Tree Planting
Saturday, April 22
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Meeting Location:
Dooley Elementary School
5075 Long Beach Blvd.
Meet on 51st Street (west of Long Beach Blvd.)

Join Councilmember Austin, the City's Housing and Neighborhood Services Bureau, and more than 20 community organizations for a neighborhood tree planting to celebrate Earth Day.

Help plant trees with a team of neighbors, City staff, and volunteers in the neighborhood around Dooley Elementary and Lindsey Middle School. Trees reduce greenhouse gases, provide habitat, reduce cooling costs, and increase property values. You can help make a difference. All tools and supplies will be provided. 

For more information, view the event flyer, or call the Housing & Neighborhood Services Bureau at (562) 570-6866.
April Monthly Monday Meet-up
Monday, April 24
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

The Mirage Cafe
539 E. Bixby Road
(just west of Atlantic Ave.)

Councilmember Austin invites you to the April Monday Meet-up  .  These community meetings are scheduled for the fourth Monday of each month, and will provide an opportunity for residents to hear about the latest updates in the Eighth District and the City, as well as to ask questions and share comments. 

This month's guest speaker is City Auditor Laura Doud. 
LBPD North Division Commander's Community Meeting
Wednesday, April 26
6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

North Division Police Sub-station
4891 Atlantic Avenue

North Division Police Commander Rudy Komisza will be holding a community meeting to discuss public safety trends and crime prevention strategies.  

The guest speaker will be Detective Claudia Lopez of the Financial Crimes Investigations Bureau.

( Flyer)
In the News

Lindbergh Middle School Wins Trash Free Lunch Challenge

Lindbergh STEM Academy participated in Grades of Green's 6th annual Trash Free Lunch Challenge program, and has just been named the grand prize winner!
Hosted by the environmental education nonprofit Grades of Green , the Trash Free Lunch Challenge is a year-long competition between schools in the Los Angeles area to see who can reduce lunchtime trash the most. 

Participating schools are mentored by Grades of Green staff to implement a customized lunchtime waste reduction program, which includes recycling, composting of fruit and vegetable scraps, stacking trays to be recycled, and more. Students are also encouraged to bring trash free lunches when possible.

Since beginning the challenge in September, Lindbergh has diverted 92% of its lunchtime waste, which means the school will divert 39 tons of waste this school year alone.

The students, teachers and staff of Lindbergh will be recognized at a school ceremony next week.  Congratulations!
Port of Long Beach Schedules Workshops for Community Grants
The Port of Long Beach plans to release applications in May for health programs under the Community Health Program and air filtration under the Facility Improvements Program.

The solicitations are part of the first round of the Port Community Grants Program. The Board of Harbor Commissioners approved guidelines last week for the $46 million plan, which aims to help those in the community who are most vulnerable to port-related pollution. 

The funding will be distributed over the next 12 to 15 years and adds to the $18.2 million awarded under a previous grant program, making the total commitment to the community almost $65 million.

This year, the Port plans on allocating $3.4 million from the program. The bulk of the funding, $3 million, is set aside for health programs lasting three years. Projects include health services such as screening and diagnosis, outreach, case management, education or health worker training for those affected by asthma and other respiratory and cardiopulmonary illnesses.

The remaining $400,000 is intended to replace air filters in facilities that serve sensitive populations: children, pregnant women, the elderly, the chronically ill and individuals with respiratory and cardiopulmonary illnesses. The two solicitation priorities were selected based upon feedback from the community at public workshops.

Two geographic zones will help determine the most eligible grant recipients. While groups based anywhere in the city of Long Beach are eligible for grant funding, there is a priority zone covering downtown and extending north along the Interstate 710 corridor. 

The Port will host two workshops on this year's solicitations, both on
W e dne sday, April 1 9 at the Port of Long Beach Interim Administrative Offices, 4801 Airport Plaza Drive:
  • Air filters from 2-3 p.m.
  • Health programs from 3:30-4:30 p.m.
The workshops will describe how to build a strong proposal, key evaluation criteria to be used by staff and the Community Grant Advisory Committee during review, and other helpful tips.

Please RSVP to the workshops by calling (562) 283-7100 or e-mailing

To learn more about the grant program, visit 
Eighth District Spotlight

Celebrate the Eighth Honorees

This week we spotlight some of the outstanding residents, organizations and businesses that were recongized for their contributions to the community at last week's Celebrate the Eighth event.

The  YMCA's Youth and Government program
is based at the Fairfield Family YMCA at Del Amo and Atlantic.  Drawing high school students from throughout the Greater Long Beach area, this bright and engaged group of students spend the better part of a year studying about government, debating ideas for legislation, and preparing to represent Long Beach at the state program in Sacramento.  

Women Shelter of Long Beach is a great organization that assists survivors of domestic violence and their children by providing safe shelter and supportive services. Since their recent move to the Eighth District, it has truly been a pleasure partnering with them on different community events.  

Saint Athanasius Catholic Church located at 5390 
Linden Avenue is the hub for community activities in North Long Beach. Citizenship classes that are run by our very own Citizen's Police Complaint Commission Commissioner Josie Castellanos take place at the church. 

South Coast Shingle Company has built a strong reputation within the roofing and masonry community for being the "go to" company in the region.  Located at 2220 E. South Street, this family-run business has built a loyal customer base over three generations and nearly 70 years.

Lola's Mexican Cuisine opened its new location in 
Bixby Knolls in 2016.  Owner Luis Navarro immediately took an active role in the community, working with other business owners to foster success along the commercial corridor.  Lola's quickly became a destination for local residents and 'foodies' from throughout the region.

Servando Orozco is the President of the  Board of Directors for the Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association. He is also the proud owner of Orozco's Auto Service that has four locations. Servando supports many organizations in the area such as the Kiwanis Club, Long Beach Rescue Mission, Long Beach Unified School District, the YMCA and many more. 

Lindbergh's Robotic Team is an elective available  to all students during the early morning zero period at this STEM Academy. Learning fundamental engineering concepts and other science and technology skills, the Robotics Team has developed successful collaboration skills.  Under the direction of Mr. Dizon and Mr. Martens, Lindbergh has won first place for the past four years against all middle schools in Long Beach.

Aguas Way is a new business that opened in the Virginia Village corridor on Long Beach Blvd at the start of this year.  Owner Leoh Sandoval has truly made the restaurant a family affair, from his mother's recipes, to family members helping with cooking, running the business and even overseeing the construction. Leoh has transformed the space into a welcoming place to get aguas frescas and specialty foods.  


Long Beach  Creamery  located at 4141 Long Beach Blvd. has changed the ice cream game in Long Beach. Long Beach Creamery uses ingredients that are grown in Long Beach, such as Farm Lot 59 and the Growing Experience in the Carmelitos to create unique flavors that have their customers coming back for more. 

The  Bixby Knolls Farmers  Market is truly a gem in our  community. Every Thursday  from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Atlantic and 46th Street, dozens of vendors with local produce and cuisine line up to sell their goods. This Farmers Market provides affordable, fresh produce to our community and promotes a healthy lifestyle. 

John De la Torre  is a longtime resident of Bixby Knolls.  He was one of the leading neighborhood organizers in the effort to oppose a proposal for international flights at the Long Beach Airport.  John has been involved for more than a decade in making sure responsible decisions are made about the Airport and that the impacted neighborhoods have a voice in policy making.

The  Bixby Knolls/ North Long Beach Kiwanis Club is changing the lives of youth. They host an annual middle school awards ceremony that celebrates students who don't always receive recognition. Last year, the Bixby Knolls/North Long Beach Kiwanis Club hosted Kiwanis One Day: Kids and Cops. It was an event that allowed the youth to play games with police officers and to bridge the understanding between both parties.   


Long Beach Swamp BBQ , located at 5204 Orange Avenue, has activated the shopping center at Orange and 52nd. Owner Jason Hunter is a former Long Beach City Employee who gives back to the community. He hosted Christmas Eve food giveaways where he fed the community barbeque ribs at no cost. He has also partnered with our office for events such as this year's Black History Month's celebration at City Hall.   

Just over five years ago,  Family of Faith Christian Center moved to its new home at 345 E. Carson Street.  Pastor Sherman Gordon and the entire congregation immediately became a part of the community.  They have organized health fairs to serve residents in the community and they offer college scholarships to students.  Pastor Gordon and the congregation continue to raise their profile as not only a house of worship, but a home for family and kinship.

For  the past three years, Erik Miller has coordinated the PEACE Basketball League. PEACE stands for "Positive Energy Activates Constant Elevation." The PEACE League is a group mentoring program that teaches young adults ages 18-25 the standard concepts of adulthood in an educational and athletic setting. By attending weekly life skills workshops, each participant has the opportunity to play in the basketball league for free. The objective of the program is to provide young people with a safe environment to mature socially, educationally and athletically. 

Bernice Dena  is the owner of About U Boutique located at 4340 Atlantic Avenue. About U Boutique has been in the community for almost seven years and is a valuable business in Bixby Knolls. Bernice is the host of Bixby Knolls Sunday Funday, which is an event that takes place the last Sunday of every month on the Atlantic Avenue Corridor that features local musicians, artists, dancers and vendors to showcase their talents. Bernice has worked hard to bring the community together and promote local businesses. 


The  Seniors Group at Carmelitos is an active group of residents who build a sense of community and have also been active in seeking improvements in the neighborhood.  Shortly after he was first elected to office,  the Carmelitos Seniors spoke with Councilmember Austin about how dangerous it was to cross Atlantic Avenue to get to the bus stop at 51st Street.  Last year, the group was on hand to help celebrate a new traffic signal at 51st and Atlantic and helped make the first ceremonial crossing.

The  Bixby Knolls Broker Tour is a networking meeting for real estate agents in the local community. They meet weekly to receive updates and tour local homes on the market.  The realtors are selling the neighborhoods of the Eighth District to potential new homeowners, and they work to make sure the agents are up to speed on what's going on in the City and throughout the District.


Brett Walker  purchased the former Redevelopment properties at 5365 and 5371 Long Beach Boulevard in 2015. These properties had been vacant and boarded up for many years.  For the past two years, he has been renovating the location, and has already transformed the neighborhood with the new building facade.  Among the new tenants that will be opening soon is local roaster Black Ring Coffee. 

The Eastman/Fairfield Center of the
Long Beach Boys and Girls Club is located at the intersection of Del Amo and Atlantic Avenue. In addition to the after-school services they provide, they host community events that benefit at risk youth in Long Beach. Our office is grateful for the partnership we have established to host our PEACE League in their gymnasium.  

Armando Duenas is the principal at Jane Addams Elementary School. He opens the library for the Jane Addams Neighborhood Association and attends the meeting. Armando worked with the City of Long Beach to put on the Harvest Festival last year that promoted safety in the neighborhood. He has been a wonderful partner in providing shoes to children in need and implemented a parenting class to encourage parents to be more involved with their children's school life. 

The Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association has been a supportive partner with the Eighth District Office. The BKBIA, through a self-assessment of their business members, provides cleaner streets and sidewalks, enhanced security, enhanced marketing and special events. Some of those events include First Fridays Long Beach, Strollers, Literary Society, Supper Club, Kidical Mass, and a variety of others. A special thanks to Blair, Cait, Tokotah, Alissa & Marley for what you have done to help cultivate community in Bixby Knolls. 

The Eighth District Senior Advisory Committee is a special group of Eighth District seniors who have dedicated their time to provide activities for seniors in the community. Our office hosts Eighth District Activities every Tuesday and Thursday at the Expo Arts Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Activities include exercise, guest speakers on a variety of topics, arts and crafts, knitting, lunch, games and field trips. The advisory committee has done a phenomenal job to activate and engage our local seniors. 

Contact Your 8th District Council Office
City Of Long Beach
Councilmember AL AUSTIN II

  Jonathan Kraus - Chief of Staff
Melody Ngaue-Tu'uholoaki - Field Deputy
Monique Kosal  - Legislative Aide / Scheduler
Yuritzi Galarza - Legislative Assistant

City Hall:
333 West Ocean Blvd, 14th Floor- 8th District
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 570-6685

District Office: 
4321 Atlantic Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90807
(562) 570-1326
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