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©2010 Bob Foster
California’s Solar Initiatives Celebrated in North Long Beach
GRID Alternatives

 

Mayor Foster joined Governor Jerry Brown, Assemblymember Steve Bradford, Councilman Steve Neal and GRID Alternatives at a press conference to celebrate California’s solar power initiatives.  The event took place in Long Beach’s District 9 where the Mendoza home was outfitted with new solar panels as part of the Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) program.  GRID Alternatives is a nonprofit solar installer that gives underserved communities access to solar power and solar jobs.

Mayor Foster with Susie Chang, executive director of GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles.

Mayor Foster with Susie Chang, executive director of GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles.

Mayor Foster speaks with home owner Maribel Mendoza and her son before the press conference.

Mayor Foster speaks with home owner Maribel Mendoza and her son before the press conference.

Mayor and Councilman Neal speak to students from LA Trade Technical College.  These trainees installed the solar electrical system for the Mendoza family.

Mayor and Councilman Neal speak to students from LA Trade Technical College. These trainees installed the solar electrical system for the Mendoza family.

GRID Alternatives

 

GRID Alternatives

(Left to right) Assemblyman Steven Bradford, Governor Jerry Brown, Mayor Foster.

 

 

(Left to Right) Assemblyman Steven Bradford, Eric, Maribel Mendoza, Adolfo, Mayor Foster and Councilman Steve Neal.

(Left to Right) Assemblyman Steven Bradford, Eric, Maribel Mendoza, Adolfo, Mayor Foster and Councilman Steve Neal.

©2010 Bob Foster
Pilot Street Light Project Illuminates Partnership
LED Street Light

 

The City of Long Beach, Southern California Edison (SCE) and City Light & Power (CLP) are participating in a pilot project to help determine the feasibility of replacing High Pressure Sodium (HPS) street lights with energy efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) street lights.

 

“The City of Long Beach is pleased to partner with SCE in this pilot project, because we’re always looking for ways to be more financially and environmentally efficient, and use technology to improve services to the community,” Mayor Bob Foster said.

 

“Southern California Edison is pleased to provide the City of Long Beach with LED street lights as part of this demonstration project, thus allowing residents and city officials to evaluate this technology while enjoying enhanced energy efficiency,” said Ben Harvey, Southern California Edison’s Region Manager for Local Public Affairs.

 

“City Light & Power is excited about this project for several reasons. The project will allow City Light & Power and the City of Long Beach to receive feedback from the residents regarding LED street lights, observe the reduction in energy usage and cost savings associated with each of the converted street light circuits as well as the decrease of system maintenance,” said Brad Weber, Regional Manager for CLP.

 

SCE provided approximately two dozen LED street lights in each of the following four Long Beach neighborhoods:

 

· Alamitos Beach (near Florida Street and Walnut Avenue)

· Park Estates (west of the Veterans Administration’s Long Beach Healthcare System)

· Stratford Square (near Clark Avenue and Willow Street)

· West Long Beach (near Silverado Park)

 

Residents in the affected areas are being surveyed to help gauge the impact of the new street lights in the community. Light levels and the amount of energy savings are being analyzed.

 

The LED street lights placed in Long Beach have previously undergone an evaluation by SCE for energy savings potential, as well as overall performance. This effort is intended to help the City of Long Beach and other stakeholders in their decision making regarding energy efficiency measures to benefit the community.

 

City Light & Power operates and maintains the street lighting system in Long Beach and is installing the SCE-provided street lights on behalf of the City as part of their existing contract. CLP has previously installed LED street lights on Bellflower Boulevard and Palo Verde Avenue near California State University, Long Beach as well as on Ocean Boulevard in front of City Hall.

 

LED street lights last longer, consume approximately 40 percent less energy, and have lower maintenance costs and smaller environmental footprints than HPS street lights.

 

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(left to right): Ben Harvey (Southern California Edison’s Region Manager for Local Public Affairs), Mayor, Brad Weber (Regional Manager for CLP).

(left to right): Ben Harvey (Southern California Edison’s Region Manager for Local Public Affairs), Mayor, Brad Weber (Regional Manager for CLP).

©2010 Bob Foster
‘Green Port Gateway’ Rail Project Begins
Green Port Gateway

State, federal funding help fix rail bottleneck, improve operations

Officials on Tuesday formally launched an $84 million Port of Long Beach project to remove a railroad bottleneck and build additional on-dock rail capacity to move cargo more efficiently and sustainably.

 

The “Green Port Gateway” project, funded in part with state and federal transportation dollars, is realigning a critical rail pathway to the Port’s southeastern terminals and adding a rail support yard for the Port’s new Middle Harbor Terminal, already under construction.

 

The project will add a third rail line at Ocean Boulevard, helping to remove bottlenecks on the existing mainline track to allow Port terminals to shift cargo from trucks to trains, which decreases local traffic congestion and air pollution. Roadwork will also be needed to reconfigure one Port thoroughfare to make room for the additional rail line. Overall, about 29,000 feet of track is being added.

 

The Port is funding the project with the help of $27 million from the state’s Proposition 1B Trade Corridor Improvement Fund, and another $17 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER III program (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery). The construction work, awarded to Ames Construction of Corona, is generating about 340 jobs now through scheduled completion of the work in July 2014.

 

The Green Port Gateway — the first of four rail projects already started or expected to begin in the next year to promote more on-dock rail shipments — is also part of the larger San Pedro Bay Ports Rail Enhancement Program, which involves several projects by the Port of Long Beach, the Port of Los Angeles and the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority.

 

The project is part of about $4.5 billion in capital improvements in progress or planned this decade at the Port of Long Beach.

 

Green Port Gateway

Left to right: David Matsuda, administrator, U.S. Maritime Administration; Mayor Foster; Congressman Alan Lowenthal; Frank Inman, Commissioner, California Transportation Commission; Susan E. Wise, president, Harbor Commission; and Chris Lytle, executive director, Port of Long Beach.

 

©2010 Bob Foster
Senior Apartments Taking Shape in North Long Beach
Ramona Park Senior Apartments

A new development will take shape to help meet the demand for affordable housing options for seniors in the City of Long Beach. On Tuesday, March 12, Mayor Bob Foster, Councilmember Steven Neal, 9th District, Long Beach Housing Development Company (LBHDC), and Palm Communities celebrated the groundbreaking of Ramona Park Senior Apartments at 3290 East Artesia Boulevard in North Long Beach.

 

“With the dissolution of Redevelopment and reduction in housing funds, the City is proud to be able to move forward with projects like this that will provide safe and secure affordable housing for seniors in our City,” said Mayor Bob Foster.

 

Located next to Ramona Park, the 60-unit development will be made affordable to low- and very low-income seniors. The project consists of 48 one-bedroom units and 12 two-bedroom units and will be constructed to comply with City green building standards as well as meet a minimum certifications standard set by LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), an internationally recognized green building program.

 

“This is the first of many projects to break ground in 2013 as part of the ‘Uptown Renaissance.’ Investments like this bring vitality to the neighborhood, renew property, and support businesses,” said Councilmember Steven Neal, 9th District. “I am honored to take part in a project that will not only provide our seniors with a place they can afford to thrive and live comfortably, but will also contribute to the revitalization of the Artesia corridor.”

 

Ramona Park Senior Apartments is designed to complement Ramona Park. With a warm and contemporary exterior design, the two-story residential development will contribute to the neighborhood by offering an aesthetically pleasing design and landscaping. Recreation areas will include passive sitting/reading areas, a swimming pool, circuit training course around the site, and a clubhouse that encompasses a kitchen, library, fitness center, computer room, dining area, entertainment area and restrooms. Residents will be provided with services such as life-style counseling, social activities, and classes that include computer use and personal financial management.

 

“We are extremely happy to be able to serve our seniors with limited income, whose only hope for safe and affordable housing is through solutions like this,” said Stacy McDaniel, Vice-Chair of The LBHDC Board.

 

The $22.5 million development is funded through a $12.4 million loan from The LBHDC, low-income housing tax credits and tax exempt bonds, a loan from Farmers & Merchants Bank and a conventional permanent loan. Estimated completion of the project is April 2014.

 

“Palm Communities is proud to partner with the City of Long Beach to bring critically-needed affordable housing to seniors in Long Beach,” said Dan Horn, CEO of Palm Communities. “This development demonstrates our commitment to creating strong communities, promoting self-sufficiency and revitalizing neighborhoods by enhancing the physical, economic and social well-being of seniors in need.”

 

About The Long Beach Housing Development Company

The Long Beach Housing Development Company was established by the City of Long Beach in 1989 to assist in the creation and development of affordable housing. The LBHDC’s mission is to provide safe and livable neighborhoods in Long Beach by promoting, developing, and preserving decent, safe and affordable housing for the very low-, low- and moderate-income residents of Long Beach. The LBHDC offers a range of low cost financing, subsidies and other forms of financial assistance to encourage the development of affordable housing that improves the quality of life of the residents it serves. Visit www.lbhdc.org for more information.

About Palm Communities

Palm Communities is an integrated real estate development company that specializes in the creation and management of affordable housing for families, seniors and those with special needs. With a portfolio consisting of more than 1,600 affordable multi-family units in 16 communities throughout Southern California, we have earned a strong reputation for innovative design, commitment to lasting quality and delivery of projects on time and on budget. For over 30 years, Palm Communities has been committed to developing physically and economically sustainable residential developments that exceed the expectations of all our stakeholders: our public agency partners, business partners, lenders, investors, and most of all, our residents. Visit www.palmcommunities.com for more information.

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Ramona Park Senior Apartments

©2010 Bob Foster
City Officials, Community Volunteers Plant First of 6,000 trees to aid in mitigating Greenhouse Gas Emissions
I Dig Long Beach

 

LONG BEACH (Feb. 23, 2013) – An ambitious project to plant 6,000 new trees in seven years got under way today as community volunteers joined City officials in planting 50 new trees at Silverado Park and adjacent Muir Elementary School on the Westside.

“These 6,000 new trees will help beautify our city and clean our air by reducing air pollution and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions,” Mayor Bob Foster said. “The trees are definitely a welcome addition to our city.”

The project, called “I Dig Long Beach – 6,000 Trees by 2020,” is funded by a $671,000 grant awarded by the Port of Long Beach in August 2012. The grant is part of the $5.4 million awarded to various nonprofit organizations, agencies and port tenants to fund 28 projects that will reduce, avoid or capture emissions of greenhouse gases.

“The Port is pleased to award the City of Long Beach this grant to plant trees,” said Susan E. Anderson Wise, President of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners. “This is another example of how mitigation dollars from Port projects can improve our community, capture emissions and promote sustainability.”

The trees will be planted in an area roughly bordered by Walnut Avenue on the east, and Del Amo Boulevard on the north, Ocean Boulevard on the south and the City border on the west. The grant will fund tree plantings in Council Districts 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8. Tree planting locations were selected due to their proximity to the Port of Long Beach, where they would be most effective at capturing and storing Green House Gas emissions.

In addition to increasing the city’s urban forest, the project is adding much needed trees to underserved areas of the City, resulting in reduction of the urban heat island effect, and a reduction in air pollution, water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The project will create more inviting pedestrian friendly environments, encourage walking and bicycling, and help to improve watershed conditions by removing sidewalk and creating new tree wells in parkways.

The scope of the project also includes an educational and outreach component to develop public awareness for expanding and managing forest resources involving students and neighborhood residents in the planting of trees and proper methods of care and maintenance.

The award was from the third round from the Port’s Community Mitigation Grant Programs, which are designed to off-set environmental impacts from Port construction projects. For this round, $5 million came from the Middle Harbor redevelopment project and $400,000 from the Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement project. The projects themselves incorporate best available technologies to cut pollution, but there are residual impacts that the grant programs are designed to address.

For more information on the “I Dig Long Beach – 6,000 Trees by 2020” project, please contact Margaret Madden, Neighborhood Improvement Officer, at Margaret.madden@longbeach.gov or 562-570-6830.

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I Dig Long Beach

(left to right) Mayor Foster, Harbor Commissioner Nick Sramek, Councilmember James Johnson and Harbor Commissioner Susan Wise.

 

 

I Dig Long Beach

Harbor Commissioner Doug Drummond (far left) helps the Mayor, Commissioner Sramek and Councilmember Johnson with the planting.

 

I Dig Long Beach

Mayor Foster with members of Campfire Waku Koda and Campfire Flying Banana Bunnies.

©2010 Bob Foster
Mayor joins Boeing’s EnergyStar Challenge Celebration

Mayor Foster joined Boeing employees as their building received the EnergyStar Challenge for the third time. The Boeing building is the only one in the nation to receive this recognition.

Top photo: Mayor Foster (center) with LaWeeda Ward of the Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 (left) and Ralph Sobon of Boeing (right). 

 

The Mayor takes a quick tour of Boeing’s Building 800 – the three-time receipient of the EnergyStar Challenge.

 

©2010 Bob Foster
Long Beach Rewards Residents with Recyclebank

 

Residents who register for new program before October 15 entered for an Apple® iPad giveaway

Under a new incentive program announced today between the City of Long Beach and Recyclebank®, Long Beach becomes the largest city in California to reward residents for taking everyday green actions, such as recycling, with discounts and deals from local businesses and national brands. To kick off the program, Long Beach residents who register for a free Recyclebank account prior to October 15 will be entered to win an Apple® iPad. To enter the giveaway and automatically start earning points for recycling, residents should visit www.recyclebank.com.

“Recycling in Long Beach is now even more rewarding with Recyclebank,” said Mayor Bob Foster. “Our partnership with Recyclebank will boost recycling rates in the city and help keep our beautiful community green for generations to come, while at the same time stimulating the local economy and delivering real value to residents of Long Beach.”

Councilmember Suja Lowenthal, 2nd District, brought forth this item for City Council approval last year. To get rewarded for recycling, residents must sign up at www.Recyclebank.com/Recycle; registration is free. Each time a neighborhood’s recycling is collected; the weight of the collected material is converted to Recyclebank points. Recyclebank members will automatically receive points for their recycling efforts. Residents can also earn bonus points by reporting recycling efforts on the Recyclebank website or on the Recyclebank iPhone and Android mobile apps.

Points earned from recycling can be used to “shop” at Recyclebank.com for rewards like discounts and deals from local businesses and national brands. Local reward partners include the Aquarium of the Pacific and many others listed on the Recyclebank website. Additionally, Recyclebank has hundreds of national reward partners, including Ziploc®, Coca-Cola®, Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Olive Garden and many others.

“At Recyclebank, we’ve seen firsthand the incredible collective impact of individual actions and we are thrilled to partner with the City of Long Beach to reward its residents for making greener decisions every day,” said Lucie Poulicakos, regional vice president at Recyclebank. “By incentivizing green actions, we are hopeful that we can encourage more residents to be eco-conscious, while at the same time stimulating the local economy and delivering real value to families through rewards from Recyclebank.”

More than 300 communities across the United States and the United Kingdom have implemented Recyclebank. Over the course of a year, an average family can earn hundreds of points that can be redeemed for special rewards. Recyclebank members earn an average of $160 in rewards value each year.

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ABOUT RECYCLEBANK

Recyclebank helps create a more sustainable future by rewarding people for taking everyday green actions with discounts and deals from more than 4,000 local businesses and national brands. Through its online platform and partnerships with municipalities, haulers, small businesses and corporate brands, Recyclebank empowers individuals to make a collective impact on the environment by increasing household recycling and taking other environmentally-friendly actions. A Certified B Corporation, Recyclebank has been recognized as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, a Champion of the Earth by the United Nations Environment Programme and for Outstanding Excellence in Public/Private Partnerships from the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Recyclebank is headquartered in New York City. For more information, visit www.Recyclebank.com.

(From left to right) Stephone Paige II from Waste Management, Lucie Poulicakos from Recyclebank, Mayor Foster, Maria the Magellanic Penguin and Dr. Jerry Schubel of the Aquarium of the Pacific.

 

©2010 Bob Foster
Long Beach Re-Opens Colorado Lagoon after $8.5M Restoration Project

The City of Long Beach today re-opened Colorado Lagoon after an $8.5 million restoration project that is restoring the Lagoon’s ecosystem, improving water quality and enhancing its recreation facilities.

 

“Generations of families and visitors have enjoyed the Colorado Lagoon, its natural wildlife, its calm and soothing environment, and its recreational swimming,” Mayor Bob Foster said. “I’m delighted to announce that the Colorado Lagoon is now open for the public to enjoy again.”

 

Construction for this phase of improvements began in January 2012, and involved dredging approximately 63,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment from the lagoon, which is one of the area’s only coastal salt marsh lagoons. This project was funded by the State Water Board Clean Up and Abatement Account, the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Community-based Restoration Program, the State Coastal Conservancy, and the City of Long Beach.

 

“Water quality at the Colorado Lagoon has greatly improved in recent years,” said Councilmember Gary DeLong, who represents the 3rd District. ”This restoration shows what can happen when we all roll up our sleeves and work together.”

 

Colorado Lagoon is historically part of the greater Los Cerritos Wetlands, which once totaled approximately 2,400 acres in east Long Beach.

 

“Colorado Lagoon has been a historical environmental centerpiece in Long Beach that has suffered overuse and neglect – posing a health risk to area residents,” said Frances Spivy-Weber, Vice Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board. “I am glad funds directed by the State Water Board have assisted in the necessary rehabilitation of Colorado Lagoon so it may be safely enjoyed by Southern California for decades to come.”

Previous efforts to improve the water quality at Colorado Lagoon include:

  • $4.3 million in Federal Stimulus Funding to clean an underground culvert to improve water circulation with Alamitos Bay; install bioswales to naturally filter out stormwater contaminants; and install trash traps and a low-flow diversion system to divert some of the most heavily contaminated stormwater into the sewage system.
  •  The Los Angeles County Termino Avenue Storm Drain Project included a low-flow diversion system and other water quality improvements that benefit the Colorado Lagoon.

 

Planned improvements, subject to funding, include:

  • Building an open channel between Colorado Lagoon and Marine Stadium to further improve water quality as tidal flow increases.
  • Constructing a walking trail around the Lagoon and the open channel.

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(Left to right) Frank Colonna, chair of Rivers and Mountains Conservancy; Doug Drummond, Port of Long Beach Commissioner; Frances Spivy-Weber, State Water Resources Control Board; Dave Pirazzi, president of Friends of Colorado Lagoon; Councilmember Gary DeLong, 3rd District; Mayor Foster; Congressman Dana Rohrabacher; Colonel Mark Toy, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

©2010 Bob Foster
Mayor Joins Celebration to Welcome New Vertical Garden at Long Beach Civic Center

Mayor Foster joined Paul Polizzotto, President and Founder of CBS EcoMedia Inc. and Vickie Wippel of Waste Management at a community celebration to open the new vertical garden systems at the Long Beach Civic Center.

Vertical gardens offer healthy, edible food cultivated by using even less space, and are more efficient in terms of production and the amount of water needed.

The vertical edible garden demonstration project is funding by a grant from CBS EcoMedia Inc.’s EcoAd program, with support from Waste Management.

The Office of Sustainability staff manages a demonstration garden outside of City Hall. The purpose of the Civic Center Edible Garden is to educate the residents of Long Beach about growing their own food. The garden demonstrates that a big yard is not necessary since all of our vegetables are grown in containers called EarthBoxes. The excess harvest is donated to Food Not Bombs, a local organization that prepares and distributes the food to the local homeless community.

(left to right) Vickie Wippel, Community Programs Consultant for Waste Management; Mayor Foster; and Paul Polizzotto, president and founder of CBS EcoMedia Inc. plant seedlings in vertical planters to celebrate the new additon to the Civic Center’s Edible Garden.

 

Mayor Foster speaks during the community celebration to welcome the new vertical garden.

These Florafelt vertical planters are placed along the parameter of the Edible Garden. They are made from 100% recycled PET plastic and uses less water and fertilizer than traditional farming.

©2010 Bob Foster
Mayor Foster Announces Appointments to the Mitigation Grant Advisory Committee

Mayor Bob Foster announced today that he has appointed Raul A. Añorve and Lillian Kawasaki to the Mitigation Grant Advisory Committee.

 

Raul A. Anorve

“Raul and Lillian will both serve the Long Beach community well on the Mitigation Grant Advisory Committee,” said Mayor Foster.   “Lillian has more than 30 years of experience with port interests, environmental issues and grant management.  Raul has been working tirelessly in the Long Beach community.” 

 

Añorve is an active volunteer in Long Beach.  He currently serves on the Human Relations Commission and on the board of directors for the Long Beach Gay & Lesbian Center.  He is also a graduate of the Leadership Long Beach program.

 

Kawasaki has an extensive background in sustainability through her 12 years with the Port of Los Angeles, and her own consulting company specializing in environment, energy and green economic issues.  She was elected in 2006 as a board member of the Water Replenishment District of Southern California.  She is an eight-year Long Beach resident.

Lillian Kawasaki

 

The Mitigation Grant Advisory Committee helps select projects for funding under the Port Grant Program, made possible by the approval of the Middle Harbor redevelopment project.  The committee appointment is a two-year term and does not require City Council or Harbor Commission approval. 

 

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