Kaiser Reaches Tentative Agreement With Union Coalition
Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions (CKPU) have tentatively agreed on a four-year national bargaining agreement that would impact 85,000 Kaiser health care workers throughout 11 unions. The tentative agreement would provide Kaiser employees annual pay increases, create a program to address a national shortage of health care workers, create a $130 million workforce development fund, update pension plans, create restrictions on outsourcing jobs and more. CKPU members must ratify this week’s tentative agreement to make it official, according to Kaiser. If ratified, the contract will have an effective date of October 1. It would avert a nationwide strike the union members were planning for October 14, according to the CKPU. Negotiations between the health care entity and the coalition have been ongoing since April. “This agreement is a testament to the dedication, compassion and skill those employees bring to work every day and demonstrates that Kaiser Permanente and the coalition have a shared commitment to affordability for our members,” Arlene Peasnall, interim chief human resources officer with Kaiser Permanente, stated.

Long Beach Councilmember Proposes Vaping Ban
In an agenda item scheduled for the Long Beach City Council’s October 1 meeting, 3rd District Councilmember Suzie Price is proposing a temporary ban on the sale of flavored vaping products in the city. The proposal is co-sponsored by 5th District Councilmember Stacy Mungo and Vice Mayor Dee Andrews, who represents the 6th District. “Concern is growing nationwide for the dangers of vaping, and with the numbers of deaths and serious health concerns coming from their use it is important for us to further evaluate these concerns before continuing to allow for the sales of these products to Long Beach residents,” Price stated in an e-mailed newsletter. There have been eight deaths linked to vaping, one of which occurred in Los Angeles County, according to the e-mail. The announcement also cited 380 “probable cases of lung disease associated with e-cigarette products or vaping,” according to data collected by the Center for Disease Control.

2nd & PCH Grand Openings Announced
Whole Foods Market announced an October 23 grand opening for its newest location at CenterCal Properties’ and Taki Sun Inc.’s 2nd & PCH retail development at 6400 E. Pacific Coast Hwy. in Southeast Long Beach. The 45,000-square-foot store will open its doors at 9 a.m., offering the first 300 guests a custom, reusable canvas tote bag and a mystery gift card worth between $5 and $100. “We can’t wait for the Long Beach community to experience their new Whole Foods Market,” Matthew Spohn, store team leader, stated in a press release. “We’re excited to provide our customers with an even larger selection of high-quality food and grocery items, as well as new features including Nékter Juice Bar and an in-store bar and restaurant.” According to a CenterCal spokesperson, a grand opening event for the entire center is scheduled for the following day, with several businesses slated to open their doors. Previously announced tenants will open for business throughout 2019 and into 2020.

New Signal Hill City Manager Announced
Hannah Shin-Heydorn, former deputy city manager with the City of Signal Hill, is being appointed to the position of city manager, effective November 2. Current City Manager Charlie Honeycutt is retiring after a 32-year career with the City of Signal Hill. Shin-Heydorn holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in management from the Naval Postgraduate School. She has been with the city since 2016, serving as deputy city manager for the entirety of her three-year tenure. “I am so appreciative of this opportunity and the trust you’ve placed in me to serve as the next city manager,” Shin-Heydorn stated. “I am grateful for our amazing staff, and excited to continue to work alongside them in fulfilling the council’s vision. I love this community, the engaged residents and businesses, and I look forward to many fruitful years.” Honeycutt commented, “I’m very comforted by the fact that, as I become just a resident of Signal HiIl, that we have somebody like Hannah who will take over the leadership of this organization and continue moving the city forward.”

CSU Names New Chief Information Officer
Today, the California State University (CSU) Office of the Chancellor announced Michael Berman as CSU’s new chief information officer, effective October 14. Berman currently serves as CSU’s deputy chief information officer and chief innovation officer. He has more than 20 years of higher-education experience working in executive and senior leadership roles in the field of technology, according to the CSU. Steve Relyea, CSU executive vice chancellor and chief financial officer, said Berman’s appointment will continue the momentum of the system’s key technology initiatives. “Dr. Berman is well-respected by the national higher-education community for his leadership in using technology as an enabler for student success,” Relyea said.

Development Firm Appoints New Senior Associate
Dewberry, a professional services firm, announced today that Tanja Brix has joined the company as a senior associate at its Long Beach office. In her role, Brix will provide technical and operational leadership support to staff and clients.  Brix has more than 22 years of experience in project management, transportation engineering and land development. Recently, she handled design and permitting work as a roadway engineer lead for a project to improve track flow at a rail grade crossing in Santa Fe Springs, according to the firm. “Tanja brings with her a strong resume of not only technical expertise, but experience with regulatory and state agencies,” Rachel Vandenberg, Dewberry’s senior vice president, stated. “She has a deep understanding of our clients’ needs and parameters, and we’re excited to welcome her to the team to help those clients achieve their goals.”

First District Council Candidate Opens Campaign Headquarters
Joe Ganem, candidate for the Long Beach City Council’s 1st District seat, has officially opened his campaign headquarters on the corner of 4th Street and Long Beach Boulevard. Located at 295 E. 4th Street, the office opened its doors on Saturday, September 21, and will be open seven days a week. The campaign office offers registration and absentee ballot sign ups in English, Spanish and Khmer. Ganem will also be hosting “Cup of Joe with Joe” community events at the campaign headquarters every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.

Second District Candidate To Host Meet And Greet
Jeanette Barrera, a 2nd District Long Beach City Council candidate, is hosting a meet-and-greet event on Saturday, September 28, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Candy Sanders, a 2nd District resident, is hosting the event at 849 Ohio Ave. RSVP to info@barrera2020.com.