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, August 10, 2012

LB Public Health Warns About Flea Borne Typhus

Scanning Electron Micrograph of a Flea. See be...Scanning Electron Micrograph of a Flea. See bellow for a colorized version of this image. Fleas are known to carry a number of diseases that are transferable to human beings through their bites. Included in this infections is the plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Long Beach Public Health Officials Issue
Recommendations to Prevent Flea-Borne Typhus

The City of Long Beach is alerting the public about flea-borne typhus, a disease transmitted to humans by fleas.  In 2012 to date, eleven cases of flea-borne typhus have been reported among Long Beach residents, as compared to nine reported for all of 2011.  Officials conducted a detailed investigation into the cases that have been reported, and believe that in all cases, exposure to fleas carried by opossums, cats, or rodents may have been the source of infection.  Prior to 2006, flea-borne typhus was not known to be present in the City of Long Beach.

Flea-borne typhus (murine typhus) is a disease spread by fleas living on rodents (rats, mice), opossums, cats, and raccoons.  People get the disease through the bites of infected fleas.  Flea-borne typhus is not spread from person to person.  The most common symptoms of flea-borne typhus are high fevers, severe headaches, body aches and a rash.  The disease is rarely fatal, but people can become sick enough to be hospitalized.  

Public Health Officials will continue to monitor and test for evidence of flea-borne typhus in areas throughout the City.  Informational materials will also be distributed to inform the public of this disease and how to avoid it.  The information can also be found on the City's Health Department’s website at  Area veterinarians will receive a letter requesting they educate pet owners on the importance of flea control in preventing flea-borne typhus.  Long Beach has also issued letters to area health care providers providing guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of this disease.  

The City's Health Department urges residents to protect themselves, their families, and their neighbors from flea-borne typhus by following a few simple guidelines:  

1. Consult your veterinarian regarding safe flea control medications for your pets;
2. Keep your home and yard in good repair by removing overgrown vegetation and debris where rodents, opossums, and feral (wild) cats may hide. Keep screens on crawl space covers and vents in good repair.
3. Avoid contact with animals that carry fleas. Do not attempt to capture and relocate these animals to other areas.
4. Eliminate all food and water sources around your home, including open trash cans, fallen fruit around the yard, pet food, and bird feeders;
5. When cleaning nesting areas of rats and opossums, spray area with disinfectant, and wear protective clothing and equipment (i.e., mask, goggles, gloves);
6. When treating your yard or animal harborage areas with insecticides, only use products labeled for flea control and follow all directions carefully;
7. Contact the City’s Animal Care Services by email at, if you have questions about managing opossums and stray or feral cats on your property. More information on urban wildlife is available online at:
8. Report dead opossums or cats to Animal Care Services for removal by calling (562) 570-PETS (7387).

For more information about fleaborne typhus, please contact the Health Department’s Epidemiology Program at (562) 570-4302.  Information is also available online at
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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Schipske Schedules Work Party for Pan Am Park

Schipske Continues To Shape Up the 5th District
Work Party At Pan American Park To Focus On Landscaping And Painting

(LONG BEACH, CA; August 8, 2012) – Fifth District Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske invites you to join her and other residents to “Shape Up The Fifth District” this Saturday at 8 am, August 11
th at Pan American Park, located at 5157 East Centralia Street, Long Beach, CA.  “Shaping Up the 5th” is a program designed by Councilwoman Schipske to engage residents in identifying things that need to be fixed or upgraded in the parks and neighborhoods of the Fifth District. The items are reported to the appropriate city departments and tracked by the 5th District staff.

The "Shaping Up The Fifth" Work Party at Pan American Park expands the program to include landscaping, clean up and painting.  

"My staff and I, along with the help of residents, will be painting benches and tables, spreading mulch on several areas, and planting new shrubbery around the park’s snack bar."  
“This park is very important for families in this neighborhood, and with budget cuts looming, it is important that we all participate in doing what we can to keep Pan Am Park looking good," adds Councilwoman Schipske.  

On June of 2011, Councilwoman Schipske launched “Shaping Up The Fifth” to keep account of a street-by-street inventory of infrastructure that needed repair. The program gives residents the opportunity to participate in identifying what is needed to keep the City of Long Beach clear of any safety hazards.  Residents are encouraged to notify Councilwoman Schipske on line at, and can fill out a simple form that lets her know about broken sidewalks, uprooted trees, standing water issues, faded street signs, and raised curbs, and gutters.

“I started walking the 5th district several years ago,” says Schipske. “But the district is 11.5 square miles.  I need help getting to every street in order to provide the city with a complete inventory of what needs to be repaired or replaced."  

For more information on Shaping Up The Fifth at Pan American Park, please contact the Office of Councilwoman Schipske at 562 570-6932, or by email:
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Long Beach Needs to Get Ready for Big One

The Long Beach earthquake, estimated magnitude...The Long Beach earthquake, estimated magnitude 6.25 Ms, occurred at 5:55 p.m., March 10, 1933. Brick buildings with unreinforced masonry walls, including many school buildings failed catastrophically. 120 people died in the quake largely from collapsed buildings or falling debris. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The City of Long Beach was devastated in 1933 when a major earthquake hit the city. 90% of the schools were destroyed due to faulty construction. Students had to attend classes for almost 2 years -- in tents and on the grass at local parks.

Back to the future. Right now small quakes have been hitting southern California. Last night and then this morning, several more.

Long Beach needs to get ready for the next big one that is coming. I have mandated my staff to complete CERT training (as I have done). Community Emergency Response Training is one of the best ways to get prepared. It is training provided by the LB Fire Department.

Here's what city government needs to do:

  • Fill the position of Disaster Preparedness Director. A few years ago, the Disaster Preparedness Director left the city. He has not been replaced.
  • Mandate that every senior city staff person completes NIMS -- National Incident Management System. Encourage the local school districts and hospitals to have their senior staff complete it as well.
  • Expand CERT training so that more and more residents can get trained on what to do if an earthquake hits.
  • Upgrade the city website on emergency preparedness so that is includes more information and looks like (I requested this several months ago.)
  • Communicate with residents about what to do and where to go if their homes are destroyed by an earthquake. 
  •  Make sure pet owners know what they need to do to prepare in the event of an earthquake. has information.

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    Tuesday, August 7, 2012

    City Council Adopts On Line Budget Information System

    Tonight the City Council reviewed the Long Beach Budget Challenge -- an online system that allows residents to review the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2013 to engage residents in making decisions on how to balance our city's budget.

    I recommended that the Council utilize the system developed by, a non profit organization which developed the California Budget Challenge.

    The online Long Beach Budget Challenge can be accessed at:

    Go online today and find out what the budget is and give us your input on what decisions need to be made to balance the city's budget. I will keep sending additional information on the budget -- when we will have meetings and how you can become engaged.

    Sunday, August 5, 2012

    It Isn't "Normal" But Certainly Is "New" to Cut Police and Fire Services When Crime and Calls For Services Are Up

    The Mayor has announced serious cuts to the Police Department and the Fire Department (see future blogs on that one) and declared that his budget is "The New Normal."

    He also stated that elected officials should not "get caught up in a panic or rush to judgment regarding crime increases..."

    Well, it isn't "normal" but it is certainly "new" that a Mayor or City Council would cut public safety services at a time when crime is up and increased crime is projected because of thousands being released from prison.

    But don't just take my word as someone in "a policy position" -- here is the latest from the Long Beach Police Department:

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    Save Station 18

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