City Council Voting On Controversial And Long-Awaited Items Tonight

The Long Beach City Council is considering numerous controversial and long-awaited items during its meeting tonight, held 5 p.m. at City Hall. The agenda includes two appeals by long-time Westside businesses against the Port of Long Beach’s Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility Project; a request to report back on questions from councilmembers about a proposed rent control ordinance that may appear on the November ballot; the approval of the development of three light industrial buildings at 2300 Redondo Ave., a former United States Postal Service location; and a request to reduce city and staff fees associated with the Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride Festival and Parade. Click here to view full agenda.


Federal Court Overturns Fiduciary Rule

The United States 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last Thursday that the Department of Labor’s (DOL) fiduciary rule was unreasonable, overturning a lower court’s decision in favor of the regulation. The Obama-era policy required all financial advisors providing retirement savings advice to hold the status of a fiduciary, a professional who is legally bound to certain standards to ensure that clients’ interests are put first. A representative from the DOL told CNBC that the department would no longer enforce the rule “pending further review.”


KPMG Report Finds Flaws With SBA Reporting

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issued a memo today outlining the results of a report by the auditing firm KPMG that found flaws with the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) data reporting. KPMG found that the SBA’s fiscal year 2017 second quarter submission of data, as required by a 2014 regulation, had a 32% error rate. “Specifically, in a sample of 375 transactions, KPMG identified 121 samples related to procurement, grants, and Disaster Business Loans, where at least one data element of the sampled transaction did not accurately reflect the supporting documentation or authoritative source,” according to the OIG’s statement. The memo includes a list of recommended steps to take to resolve the issue.


Councilmember Backing State Ballot Initiative To Address Crime

Third District Councilmember Suzie Price is supporting the “Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2018,” which “seeks to address shortcomings of recently enacted Prop 47 (2014) and Prop 57 (2016)” by hosting signature gathering drives. These two propositions allowed for the early release of criminals, and, according to a newsletter from Price, “redefined crimes such as child sex trafficking, rape of an unconscious person” and other crimes as nonviolent offenses. Price is a deputy district attorney for Orange County. She is holding two signature gathering events for the initiative: the first at a community concert on March 25, 4:30-7:30 p.m., 5355 E. Eliot St.; the second on April 11, 5-7 p.m., the Marine Stadium farmers market, 5255 E. Paoli Way.


Long Beach Playhouse To Showcase Work Of Budding Playwrights

The Long Beach Playhouse is hosting its 28th Annual New Works Festival, the culmination of a national competition for plays that have never been produced, on March 23 and 24 at 8 p.m., 5021 E. Anaheim St. This year’s winning selections are “Happy Thanksgiving,” a play about differing political views among family during the holiday, and “Men Overboard,” the story of a family preparing for a boy’s bar mitzvah. An audience discussion will take place after the readings. Tickets are $10.