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BizBrief: Today’s News To Know

Measure M, Mungo And Uranga Winners In Yesterday’s Election

The hotly debated Long Beach Measure M, a charter amendment allowing the city’s water and gas departments to transfer up to 12% of gross utility revenues to the General Fund to maintain general city services, garnered more than 53% of the nearly 39,000 votes counted during yesterday’s election. While a few thousand Long Beach ballots may still need to be counted (the Long Beach City Clerk’s office is waiting for an official estimate from the L.A. County Registrar’s office), the percentage of victory is not expected to change much.

Voters in the 5th and 7th City Council Districts decided to re-elect incumbents Stacy Mungo and Roberto Uranga for a second term. The councilmembers beat back strong opposition as each received nearly 54% of the votes cast yesterday. With an unknown number of ballots still to be counted, Mungo received 4,551 votes to challenger Rich Dines’ 3,881 votes. That is nearly 3,000 fewer votes than were cast in the 2014 runoff when Mungo won with 6,221 votes to her opponents’ 5,184 votes. Turnout also fell this year in the 7th District, where Uranga received 2,512 votes to challenger Jared Milrad’s 2,147 votes. Again, there are an unknown number of ballots to be counted. When Uranga won the seat during the April 2014 primary, total votes cast were 5,796.

Also on the yesterday’s ballot was the runoff for the 3rd District seat (downtown and part of central city area) on the five-member Long Beach Board of Education. In that race, Juan Benitez, an associate professor of history at Cal State Long Beach, easily beat high school teacher Cesar Armendariz, grabbing more than 60% of the votes cast.

California Gasoline Most Expensive In The Country

California ranked as the most expensive state in the country for gasoline in May, according to data released by GasBuddy.com and cited by California Business Roundtable. The state’s gas prices increased 13 cents from April to $3.71 per gallon, which was more than 79 cents above the national average. California diesel prices increased 15 cents from April to $3.94, which was nearly 77 cents above the national average. Residential electricity prices in California are 46.3% higher than the national average, while commercial electricity prices are 56.3% above the national average, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency.

The LGBTQ Center Long Beach Honored As Non-Profit Of The Year

In honor of California Nonprofits Day, Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell named The LGBTQ Center Long Beach as “Non-Profit of the Year.” Incorporated in Long Beach in 1980, The Center aims to improve the quality of life for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community. “The Center has been an invaluable part of Long Beach for decades, providing safe spaces, support services and critical resources to our LBGTQ community,” O’Donnell stated. “I am proud to have the opportunity to recognize and celebrate The Center’s remarkable leadership, advocacy and service.”

Long Beach Parks System Rises In National Ranking From Previous Year

The Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine Department ranked 21st among the 100 largest U.S. cities in the Trust for Public Land’s 2018 ParkScore Index survey. Last year, the city came in at 24th. Determining factors in the ranking include park accessibility, the percentage of residents who have a park within half a mile of their homes, a city’s median park size, the percentage of total city area dedicated to parks, and the amount of municipal spending on parks per resident. Long Beach received special mention for accessibility, as 81% of residents live within a 10-minute walk to a park. And at $208 per resident, the amount of park spending per resident is higher than the national median of $105.

Main Library Launching Veterans Resource Center

The Veterans Resource Center is opening to the public at the Main Library, 101 Pacific Ave., Saturday at 10:30 a.m. The resource center includes a computer dedicated to veteran resources, private study rooms and materials to assist veterans and their families. A library card is required to check out books but not to utilize the space or materials in the library. Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony, free workshops, discussions and performances will take place for the public. Click here for more information.

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