Notice: This is not a City of Long Beach site.

Dear Readers: Please note that this is not a City of Long Beach website and is not paid for nor maintained by taxpayer funds.

If you contact Gerrie Schipske through this site on any matter pertaining to the City of Long Beach, a copy of your contact will be forwarded to her official city email as an official public record.

Friday, January 15, 2010

260 Students Sign Up for First Annual Solar Grand Prix -- Will Attend Jan. 23 Orientation

For Immediate Release
Contact: Josh Butler: 562.570.6932

Media Advisory: 260 Students to Attend Solar Grand Prix Orientation –
Teams To Receive Information and Solar Car Kit

Date: Saturday, January 23, 2010
Time: 10 am until 12 noon
Location: El Dorado Community Center, 2800 N. Studebaker, Long Beach, CA

More than 260 students and their coaches are expected to attend the orientation workshop on how to participate in the first annual Long Beach Solar Grand Prix today announced Fifth District Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske.

Schipske and her 5th District Solar and Sustainability Task Force are sponsoring the Solar Grand Prix on April 10, 2010 which provides students, grades 6-12, a chance to design and build a solar-powered model car and then complete a race in the shortest possible time using the available solar power. The Long Beach Solar Grand Prix will be held at Good Neighbor Park, 2800 N. Studebaker Road, Long Beach.

Schipske is requiring registered participants to attend a brief orientation (January 23, 2010) to hear information on the basics of solar cells and car design. Teams had to pre-register with her office in December. Teams will receive a solar car kit, which includes a solar panel and an electric motor. Competitors will design and build a model solar-powered vehicle that will race on a 65-foot race course. The winner of the competition will be the team whose vehicle is the top finisher in a series of head to head elimination rounds.

The Solar Grand Prix challenges students to use scientific know-how, creative thinking, experimentation, and teamwork to design and build high-performance model solar vehicles. To assist students and teachers, Councilwoman Schipske has provided links to educational and curriculum materials that can be used by teachers at:

Orientation Details – January 23, 2010 – 10:00 am – 11:30 am

  • Opening remarks from Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske and Patrick Vogel. Councilwoman Schipske represents the Fifth Council District. She started a local Solar and Sustainability Taskforce to focus on alternative energy issues.
  • Pat Vogel completed the mechanical engineering program at California State University, Long Beach and designed and built the first solar car on the campus. Currently, he is creating lasting public art in the City of Long Beach. His most notable work in Long Beach is the Penny Farthing bicycle sculpture seen around the city.
  • Patrick Redgate will provide the basic information on solar cells and how they store and provide power. Redgate is the founder of Ameco Solar and a licensed solar energy contractor operating principally in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Ameco designs, installs and repairs solar energy systems for homes and businesses in Southern California.
  • Matthew McHale will give an overview of the Long Beach Solar Grand Prix and show a video showing a solar car race held in Colorado. Mr. McHale is a Neighbor Liaison in the Office of Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske and also serves as the staff representative for the Solar and Sustainability Taskforce.
  • CSULB Mechanical Engineering students, Adam Rowe and Ryan Gardner, will explain to students about vehicle construction and design. After he graduates, Mr. Rowe hopes to work with and design electric vehicles. Mr. Rowe and Mr. Gardner will also be working with students who request assistance and serving as race day inspectors.

Solar Grand Prix Competition Details – April 10, 2010 – 9:30 am – 3:00 pm
  • Each team will receive a Solar car kit on January 23, 2010.
  • The motor and solar panel contained in the kit must be used without modification. The remainder of the vehicle must be the students' own design and can be made from any other materials.
  • Sunlight will be the only power source for the vehicle. No batteries or energy storage devices are permitted.
  • The vehicle must fit within the following dimensions: 1 foot (ft) x 2 ft x 1 ft.
  • The car must have a chassis that is three-dimensional. Teams will NOT be allowed to bolt the axles and wheels of the car directly to the solar module. The solar module cannot be used as the chassis of the car.
  • Teams are comprised of 2 – 4 members.
  • Each team will have a coach (teacher, parent, or other volunteer) who can assist the students.
  • Race participants must be in 6 – 12 grades, and must be a resident of Long Beach, or attend an LBUSD school or a Long Beach private school.
  • Awards will be given to the middle school team and high school team with the fastest vehicle, and for creative design.
  • Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske: 562.570.6932
  • 5th Council District Solar and Sustainability Task Force members contacts: Michelle Bills: 562.400.3594; Jaime Guoz: 562.773-8158

Thursday, January 14, 2010

How Should City Manager Select New Police Chief

The City Charter of Long Beach (our constitution) gives full authority to the City Manager (not the Mayor and not the City Council) to select all department heads, including the Chief of Police and the Fire Chief.

City Manager Pat West is in the middle of a process to select a new Police Chief to replace Anthony Batts who is now the Police Chief in Oakland.

You can weigh in on a city survey and tell the City Manager what you want as qualities in the next Chief of Police for Long Beach.

Click here and answer the survey.

City to pay penalites for leaky underground tanks while oil companies get bail out

In response to the last Council meeting, the headlines on proclaim: Previous City Hall Non-Responsive Response To State Agency On Underground Storage Tanks = $1.7 Million Fine (And More) For City Taxpayers...So What Happened?

Publisher Bill Pearl goes on in the article to state:This isn't about storage tanks. It's about a lack of Council oversight and managerial accountability with public money.

Well folks, the council had nothing to do with the leaky tanks. I first learned of them when I came into council and was told in a closed session that we had a problem and were facing millions of dollars in fines. I dare say most councilmembers were shocked to learn that we had the tanks. From what management told us -- the persons who should have been responsible for monitoring and repairing the tanks are no longer with the city.

Was this a lack of Council oversight? I don't think so. We are part-time and short of us and our staff going out to each department of the city and checking what they do or don't do, there are some things we aren't going to know until it becomes a problem. I can just hear the screaming about micro-managing if we did that.

But the bigger story out there that hasn't been covered is the fact the city of Long Beach has to pay to clean up those leaky tanks (in which they stored fuel for City vehicles) and the oil companies who own gas stations receive a bail out from the taxes we pay when we buy gasoline to clean up when their underground leak.

Here's how it works -- you and I pay 14 cents at the pump for each 10 gallons we pump -- which goes into a fund to be used to clean up leaky underground storage tanks. The oil companies have collected $490 million from the fund to clean up their leaky storage tanks.

Senator Alan Lowenthal carried legislation last year that Gov. Schwarzenegger signed that extended this largess to the oil companies. (The fund was originally set up to help small mom and pop gas stations, especially in rural areas.)

Meanwhile, back in Long Beach, we have to pay a fine for not having cleaned the tanks up sooner.

The oil companies contributed millions in campaign contributions to get this special treatment by Sacramento. Hard to compete with that, taxpayers.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Do You See What I See?

I thought I would share with readers some of the memos I receive on a weekly basis on pending city issues.

The memos are posted to the right through a great free service Scribd which takes pdf documents and uploads them into code that can then be placed on a website or blog.

The first item for your reading pleasure:
  • Why the City of Long Beach is not applying for federal money to hire firefighters
Also posted:
  • Responses to Questions from the Tidelands Charter Reform Study Session
  • Reasons Why City Council Calendars Should Not be posted on the web
  • Updates on Phased Repair of the Main Library roof
Read on. Gives you some insight to what council receives.

Save Station 18

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