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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Spent two hours today walking neighborhood. Talking to residents. Inspecting sidewalk repair.

With good weather I am able to re-launch my Shaping Up the 5th District walk program. Today I walked for about two hours, going door to door and talking with residents. I also got an opportunity to inspect first hand the extensive sidewalk, driveway and curb repair going on in the 5th District.

Remember, I started a program to consolidate these repairs by neighborhood instead of by what I call "politics." What I mean by that is historically a resident called a council office and complained of a sidewalk needing repair. A crew was dispatched to that address and then on to the next complaint. It didn't matter that the sidewalk next to the first caller needed repair or the one across the street. Because those two others did not call and complain, their sidewalks were not on a list.

So in addition to walking the 5th Council district alone and with residents, we took our inventory of a neighborhood to Public Works and have been able to group them together and coordinate tree trimming and street repair so that there is some infrastructure repair going on in some part of the 5th all year long.

Today, I got to see first hand the workers remove concrete, cut very large tree, roots, lay down a root barrier to prevent more roots and pour concrete.

If you notice markings on your sidewalk, that probably means you are in line for a repair. If there is a little blue marking in the corner, that means the sidewalk doesn't need to be replaced but can be fixed with sawcutting -- a technique I brought to Long Beach several years ago. Saw cutting saves the city a tremendous amount of money and it means that we are able to fix many more sidewalks so that trip hazards can be removed.

The 5th District is receiving over $530,000 for sidewalk repairs which means we are able to complete several major sections of the council district. As soon as more funds are available, more sidewalks will be repaired. We have a list that goes beyond 2014 which is when I leave Council.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hundreds Attend Fourth Annual Solar Grand Prix Race Orientation

Long Beach, CA – February 9, 2013 – The annual Long Beach Solar Grand Prix competition which challenges students to work as a team, using their creative thinking and scientific knowledge to experiment, design, and build a high-performance model vehicle, kicked off on Saturday February 9th with an orientation in a packed Long Beach City College Liberal Arts Campus Auditorium.

Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske, Fifth District Sustainability Task Force and Solar Grand Prix organizer Jaime Guoz, and CSULA students competing in the EcoCar 2 challenge were featured speakers at the event attended by students and coaches representing a record 79 teams. Each team has 4-6 students headed by a teacher/coach.
To compete in the annual race, students must build a working model racing vehicle using a solar panel and gear kit. Every team receives a starting kit which includes a solar panel and electric motor. How they choose to construct a winning racer and what they will add to the basic kit will also be judged in separate categories for design, innovation, and speed.
“This year’s Solar Grand Prix will be bigger and better than ever. We have a record number of students and coaches who have signed up to compete in the race. Every year, I’m amazed at how innovative and technologically advanced our students are when I see the model cars they create each year,” Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske commented.
The Solar Grand Prix was launched by the Fifth District Sustainability Task Force as a way to introduce students to the possibilities of careers green technologies and to introduce them to practical applications of engineering, design, and creativity.
Seventy-nine teams, 66 middle school, and 13 high school teams have registered. Students grades 6-12 will design and build a solar-powered model car that will race, powered only by the sun.
The event, sponsored by American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, Ameco Solar, AES Alamitos, Long Beach Police Officers Association, Long Beach City College, Segue to Solar, Parnters of Parks, and the Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine is expected to attract over 1000 family members, friends, and fans who will gather to watch the cars race on a 20 meter (65 foot) track in a series of head to head elimination rounds.
The 4th Annual Solar Grand Prix will be held in El Dorado Park behind the Parks and Recreation Administration Building on Saturday, April 20th starting at 10 am. For more information about the Solar Grand Prix, contact Rachel Powers, Neighborhood Liaison in the Office of Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske, 562-570-6932 or Information about the race is also posted on the 5th District website and more information about the CSULA EcoCar 2 team can be found here.

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

ABC Announces “Splash” – “Diving with the Stars” Starting in March...Was Going to be at Long Beach Belmont Pool and then...

I met with the producers of this show who happen to be 5th district constituents several months ago and urged the City Manager to do whatever to get this "diving with the stars" show booked at Belmont Pool. 

There would not only be fees paid for its use, but the producers and I talked about how the City wanted to be the "Aquatics Capital of the World" and any publicity and donation of funds would be most appreciated. 

I even connected them with Pat McCormick because I encouraged a local connection. 

Then this month, whack. I get the news the City is closing down the pool. 

So we lost out on a fantastic opportunity. What bad timing.

Celebrities on 'Splash': ABC announces celebrity divers set to hit pool in 'Splash'
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