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News Highlights for the Week: Jan. 8 – 14

News Highlights for the Week: Jan. 8 – 14

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Bringing you the latest local news highlights to kick off the week of Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.


Long Beach Unveils Details for 2024 Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade 
Photo via Instagram: @longbeachcity

The city of Long Beach has announced the schedule and participants for its 2024 Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade and Celebration set to take place on Jan. 13th. This annual event, aimed at honoring Dr. King’s values, will feature a parade and a park celebration at Martin Luther King Jr. Park on Lemon Avenue. The parade will commence at 10 a.m., led by distinguished Grand Marshals including Councilmember Al Austin II, Chan and Mark Hopson of the Khmer Parent Association, Tonya Martin from Long Beach Pride, and Griselda Suarez of the Long Beach Arts Council. The route will begin at Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue and Anaheim Street.

Following the parade, the park celebration from noon to 5 p.m. will offer a spectrum of entertainment and activities, including live performances by local talents such as Gravity Dance Company, The Block PARTY Band, DW3, and Virgil Gibson. The festivities will also feature a presentation of the 2024 Peace Maker Awards honoring community figures like Keith Lilly, Karen Reside, Tito Rodriguez, and Susana Sngiem for their significant contributions. Learn more here.


Long Beach Rescue Mission Appeals for Donations After Shelter Fire
Lydia House, the Long Beach Rescue Mission’s homeless shelter for women and children, caught fire last month and is seeking donations to replace items damaged in the fire. Photo via Instagram: @lbrescuemission

The Long Beach Rescue Mission has issued an urgent appeal for donations following a devastating fire that ravaged the Lydia House, a shelter for homeless women and children. The fire, which occurred on Dec. 22, caused substantial damage to the shelter’s first floor and compromised essential supplies, leading to a critical shortage of blankets, women’s and children’s clothing, and hygiene kits. Jeff Levine, the Executive Director of Long Beach Rescue Mission, emphasized the immediate need for these items due to the smoke damage that forced the disposal of all blankets. He urges the community to contribute new warm blankets, clothing, hygiene kits, canned food, and other essential items at the mission’s location on 1335 Pacific Ave.

Initially, the fire was attributed to an artificial Christmas tree, but it is now under investigation as a possible case of arson. A former shelter resident has been arrested on suspicion of starting the blaze. While details from the Long Beach Fire Department were not available, most of the 47 women and children housed at the shelter were relocated to a nearby site on the night of the fire. Presently, these residents are temporarily using classrooms within the Lydia House as sleeping quarters while the first floor undergoes extensive remodeling. Monetary donations are encouraged and can be made through the Long Beach Rescue Mission’s website, lbrm.org, as the organization continues its tireless efforts to support those experiencing homelessness in the community. Learn more here.


Port of Long Beach Proposes Groundbreaking Offshore Wind Turbine Project
Photo via Instagram: @portoflongbeach

The Port of Long Beach is initiating an innovative venture known as Pier Wind, a colossal $4.7 billion undertaking geared toward creating a 400-acre terminal to house offshore wind turbines within the harbor. These turbines are designed to be the largest floating offshore units globally, standing at towering heights of 1,100 feet, equivalent to the size of the Eiffel Tower. Suzanne Plezia, the Port’s senior director and chief harbor engineer, highlighted the efficiency of these massive turbines, emphasizing their stability even amidst challenging oceanic conditions. The project aims to generate 20 megawatts of renewable energy, a significant stride toward California’s clean energy aspirations, potentially powering 1.5 million homes once 4.5 gigawatts are in place.

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Moreover, this ambitious project holds the promise of bringing employment opportunities to the community, offering well-paying jobs in the assembly of these turbines and contributing to a cleaner energy sector. However, the Port emphasized that the project is in its nascent stages, awaiting funding from both the state and private sectors to move forward. Learn more here.


Long Beach City Seeks Public Input for Fiscal Year 2025 Budget
Photo via Instagram: @longbeachcity

The city of Long Beach is encouraging public participation in shaping the fiscal year 2025 budget by offering multiple avenues for community engagement. Residents can contribute by attending in-person community budget meetings at various locations or by participating in a virtual session. Advance registration for virtual meetings and dates and locations for the in-person meetings can be found at longbeach.gov/fy25. The city emphasizes the significance of public input in formulating budget priorities, stating that feedback gathered from these meetings and the survey will be crucial in shaping the Proposed FY 25 Budget presented to the Long Beach City Council. Learn more here.


Long Beach Expands Mobile Access Centers to Aid Homeless Services
Photo via Instagram: @lbhealthdept

Long Beach is extending its Mobile Access Centers program throughout January, introducing new service points in the Downtown area. The initiative aims to facilitate homeless services by deploying MAC vehicles and providing critical case management and resources directly to individuals experiencing homelessness on the streets. The MAC vehicles will be stationed at various locations throughout the week from 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 4 p.m. The full list of hours and locations can be viewed here. Additionally, Health Department staff will administer flu vaccines for MAC patrons at NAACP Freedom Park on Jan. 11 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. To learn more about Long Beach’s homelessness reduction efforts, residents can visit longbeach.gov/homelessness.

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