Los Angeles Trash Hauling System Under Fire,
Similar System In The Works For Long Beach
The Business Journal reported last May that the Long Beach City Council voted unanimously to issue a five-year notification to city-permitted private waste haulers with the goal of exploring options to improve the private commercial waste hauling system by shifting to an exclusive franchise system. Councilmembers said it would be similar to a system approved in the City of Los Angeles. At that time, Business Journal Publisher George Economides called it “a ruse to eliminate non-union companies from competing for contracts,” and noted that Long Beach city staff said the current system was working fine. Over the past year, the L.A. system has been under constant criticism, culminating in a six-hour hearing earlier this week before the L.A. City Council. Yesterday, the L.A. Times, citing “a flawed monopoly system,” created by Mayor Eric Garcetti and councilmembers, called for a Plan B.
Single-Payer Health Care Discussion Revived
Earlier this week, the State Assembly Select Committee on Health Care heard testimony regarding the shelved Senate Bill 562, a proposal authored last year by State Senator Ricardo Lara. The bill would create a single-payer health care system in California. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon shelved the legislation last year because he found it financially unsound. According to KPCC, this week representatives from the California Nurses Association addressed the committee in support of a single-payer system, while an economist with the University of Massachusetts Amherst testified that the state would need to raise an additional $100 billion per year to pay for such a program. CalChamber released an article today presenting data that 97.6% of Californians are already covered by health insurance.
Second Airport Noise Ordinance Community Meeting Tomorrow
The second community outreach meeting to discuss proposed updates to Long Beach Airport’s noise ordinance is tomorrow (February 10) at 10 a.m. in the Expo Arts Center, 4321 Atlantic Ave. Originally enacted in 1981, the noise ordinance has not been updated since 1995. Proposed updates include restructuring curfew penalty fees and minimum slot utilization requirements.
Trump Signs Budget Bill, Reopens Government
This morning, President Trump signed a budget into law that increases spending by hundreds of billions of dollars, effectively reopening the federal government after a brief overnight shutdown. As reported by the New York Times, the deal includes $300 billion for military and nonmilitary programs, almost $90 billion in disaster relief for 2017 victims and a higher statutory debt ceiling. The Senate passed the bill 71 to 28, while the House of Representatives voted 240 to 186.
Musical Theatre West Welcomes Two New Additions
This week, Musical Theatre West announced the addition of Ted Watts, Jr. as education and outreach director and Matt Terzigini as production manager. Watts is responsible for overseeing the development of student performances, the student summer conservatory and the Footlighter scholarship awards. Terzigini is responsible for overseeing the organization’s productions, and has served as a stage manager and company manager on both coasts and abroad.
Cal State Long Beach Raises 1,310 Meals For Students In Need
California State University, Long Beach’s (CSULB) Feed A Need Spring Drive concluded last week and raised 1,005 donated meals for underserved students. About 40% of students living on campus contributed to the program to help out their peers. The on-campus Forty-Niner Shop donated an additional 305 meals on top of those raised by students. Recent research by California State University Professors found that 37.7% of CSULB students reported food insecurity.