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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.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Are you ready not to rumble? New traffic calming measures placed on Wardlow

Funny Slow Down - You Can't Afford Sign
Funny Slow Down - You Can't Afford Sign (Photo credits:
After numerous meetings and emails about how to slow down speeders on Wardlow from Studebaker and Claremore a number of steps were taken -- including those wildly popular "rumble strips' that shook cars and nerves and kept firefighters at Station 5 wide awake at night -- and tested. Cars did slow down but not enough.
So our wonderful team of traffic experts worked on other solutions -- including narrowing the street and placing protected bike lanes and re-engineering the signal in front of the fire station to be triggered to go to red when cars speed over sensors placed a distance away.
Below is the press release explaining the efforts. Let me know what you think.
“Operation Rest in Red” Improves Safety for School Children

A speed detection system, dubbed “Operation Rest in Red” has been installed on the 7500 block of East Wardlow Road to calm traffic between Studebaker Road and Claremore Avenue West.  Drivers have been known to speed along this 6,000 foot stretch of roadway despite the City’s best efforts to compel compliance with the 45 mile per hour speed limit.

"The City of Long Beach looks at ways to improve all of our City streets," says Mayor Bob Foster.  "In this instance, traffic signal changes to improve safety for commuters, cyclists, and pedestrians along Wardlow Road made the most sense."

Traffic engineering changes were initiated earlier this year by the closure of Newcomb Elementary School.  This closure has impacted traffic patterns in the neighborhood.  Children who previously attended Newcomb Elementary must now travel 1.5 miles westbound towards Keller Elementary; Wardlow Road serves at the main connection between these two school locations.

To make roadway conditions safer for all commuters, the City has widened existing bicycle lanes and added roadway separations.  Long Beach also piloted the use of bots dots along the 6,000 foot section of Wardlow Road to slow vehicle traffic; but this traffic control mechanism produced only marginal results, and the bots dots were removed.

Seeing the need to use a different traffic engineering technique, the City recently installed a speed detection system along Wardlow Road.  Traffic results have been positive since the implementation of “Operation Rest in Red” at this location.  Drivers are slowing down as they approach the existing traffic signal in front of Fire Station 5, and maintaining slower speeds as they drive past Newcomb Elementary and approach the neighborhood intersection at Claremore Avenue West and Wardlow Road.

“These traffic changes improve safety in our community,” says 5th District Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske.  “It’s important for all of us to observe speed limits, and using the traffic signal at Fire Station 5 to slow drivers down has been a good change for our neighborhoods.”

“Operation Rest in Red” is an established traffic control mechanism.  It uses motion detection, in conjunction with traffic signal changes to influence the speed of traffic.  On Wardlow Road, the signal at Fire Station 5 “rests” in red, while a motion sensor detects approaching vehicles.  If the vehicle is speeding, the traffic signal will remain red and the vehicle must stop before the light turns green.  If the vehicle is not speeding, then the light will turn from red to green, and allow the vehicle to continue.

For more information on “Operation Rest in Red”, please contact the City’s Traffic Engineer at 562.570.6331.
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Take Your Unused Medicine to a Safe Place

My staff and I worked with Memorial Medical Center several years ago about providing a safe place to drop off your unused medications and your used sharps and syringes which you might use for your medications.

Take a moment to drive by Memorial Medical Center this coming Saturday and drop these items off safely. Please do not dispose of your medications in the toilet or down the sink as they wind up in our drinking water supply.

Take a look at the presentation on how to safely dispose of these meds if you are unable to make it to Memorial Medical Center on Saturday.

Safe Disposal of Meds
The Long Beach Police Department has joined forces with Long Beach Memorial, to participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) National Pharmaceutical Take-Back initiative along with several other law enforcement agencies around the nation.

This initiative seeks to prevent increased pill abuse and theft through the collection of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.  The last event held in April of 2012 yielded 518 pounds of pharmaceuticals and we are hoping that this event will be just as successful.

The event will offer a drive-thru service that is free and anonymous. Each car will receive a free giveaway (while supplies last), and the driver of the 25th, 50th and 75th participating vehicle will be awarded a pair of Aquarium of the Pacific tickets. The event will be held as follows:

Date:             Saturday, September 29, 2012
Time:            10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location:      Long Beach Memorial
                      2801 Atlantic Avenue, Long Beach, CA
                      (enter main campus entrance off of Atlantic Avenue, drive through campus on
                      Memorial Medical Center Drive and exit onto Long Beach Boulevard)

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medications that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Prescription drug abuse in the United States is increasing at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to their availability. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medications, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away … both potential safety and health hazards.

Once collected, the unwanted pharmaceuticals will be turned over to the DEA who will safely destroy the drugs. For more information regarding the National Take Back Initiative, visit or contact the Long Beach Police Department’s Drug Investigations Section at (562) 570-7221.

In addition, the City of Long Beach Department of Health & Human Services will also be on hand at this event to collect sharps (lancets, hypodermic needles, and syringes).  According to California state law, it is illegal to dispose of home-generated sharps waste in the trash or recycling containers.  This type of waste must be disposed of in approved and properly labeled containers at sharps collection points, household hazardous waste roundup events, hazardous waste sites or through an approved medical waste mail-back service.  For additional information on the disposal of home-generated sharps, contact Glenn Fong at (562) 570-4147 or visit

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Here Are Our 2012 Good Neighbors

Congratulations to our 5th District Good Neighbors!
The following people and organizations have been nominated to receive a "Good Neighbor Award" at our 6th Annual Good Neighbor Festival and Picnic. Come on by for hot dogs, Elm Street Band music, lots of exhibitors, watermelon eating contest and much more (including a chance to win tickets to for 2 on Jet Blue).
The following individuals and organizations will be acknowledged at the 6th Annual Good Neighbor Festival on Saturday, September 29th at Good Neighbor Park

Rodney Woods                             Rancho Los Alamitos Foundation
Bruce DeMille                               Gatsby Books
Peter Sovich                                 The Heart of Ida
Bianca Sovich                               Seaside Printing Company
Summer Wells                              Walmart
Lisa Stumm                                  CareMore
Ann Cantrell                                  St. Mary Medical Center
Stacy Mungo                                Long Beach Memorial Medical Center
Barbara Hubbs                              Long Beach FireFighters Local 372
Keith Kerr                                     Vitas
Joy Kerr                                        Long Beach Cares
Sarah Ireland                                 Baja Sonora
Sandy Patton                                Southern California Edison
Matt Patton                                   Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters
Marisol Zobler                                Aquarium of the Pacific
Jill Brennan                                   Heart 2 Heart Quilting Group Mary Parsell
Elizabeth Buffington                       Stitches From the Heart
Scott MacDonald                           Friends of the Long Beach FireFighters
Lee Seltzer                                   El Dorado Park South Neighborhood Assn.
Bruce MacRae                              Apostrophe Books
Erma Varnado                               Bodell's Shoes
Mike Farrar                                   Cirivello's Sports Bar
Dennis Rainey                               Curves - El Dorado
Betty Rainey                                 Joan Stiehl Farmers Insurance
Kym Cloughesy                             Fast Frame
Gary Field                                     Go Dogs Go
Bill Nash                                       Kidz Head 2 Toe
Tim Grobaty                                  Once Read Books
Ed Barwick                                   Poochie's Bath House
                                                                          Postal Annex
 So avoid the "Carmageddon 2" madness on the Southern California freeways this weekend and spend a day recognizing your neighbors, learning more about local organizations and listening to a performance by the Elm Street Band.
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Jet Blue Tickets for 2 -- Come to Good Neighbor Festival

Jet Blue
Jet Blue (Photo credit: Atomic Taco)

Jet Blue Tickets for Two - Grand Prize for
Good Neighbor Festival and Picnic

Those who attend the September 29th Good Neighbor Festival and Picnic have several opportunities to win two roundtrip Jet Blue airline tickets or a number of other prizes, today announced Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske.
Schipske, who is the sponsor of the annual community event that usually draws more than a thousand residents to Good Neighbor Park, explained that all participants need to do is visit the more than 40 community organization booths at the Festival and get a card stamped at each booth.

"Once you have visited at least 16 booths you are eligible for an opportunity ticket that will be dropped in a box. Participants who visit 20 booths get two tickets; visiting 24 booths gets three tickets. All completed Good Neighbor Cards must be turned in by 2 p.m. at the Festival. Winners must be present and will be announced at 3 pm," said Schipske.

Good Neighbor Festival participants can also receive an opportunity ticket for prizes by submitting a photograph on line to The photo must show "What I Like Best About My Neighborhood." Photographs will be displayed at the Festival and the contest is sponsored by Sam's Club.

"We started this event 6 years ago to celebrate the wonderful people and organizations that make the 5th Council District a 'Good Neighborhood,'" reminded Schipske. "This year is bigger and better with music, food, games, fire and police equipment, a refrigerator container from the Port of Long Beach, watermelon eating, more than 40 community organization exhibits, great prizes and of course, our Good Neighbor Awardees." The awardees are adults, youth and organizations nominated by the community and Councilwoman Schipske for being "a good neighbor."

The Good Neighbor Festival is open to the public and begins at 10 am at Good Neighbor Park, 2800 Studebaker Road (between Spring Street and Willow Street).

JetBlue opportunity drawing is open to attendees 18 years old and older. Must be present to win.

...and don't forget... The Elm Street Band takes the stage at noon!

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