Long Beach Container Terminal To Be Sold
The Wall Street Journal and Journal of Commerce are both reporting that COSCO Shipping Holdings plans to put Long Beach Container Terminal up for sale next month. Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero could not confirm reports of the sale, noting that the port is not privy to the negotiations, which involve the federal Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. COSCO was required to divest the asset by the U.S. government in exchange for its approval of COSCO’s takeover of Orient Overseas International Limited (OOIL), a deal struck earlier this year. The terminal was previously owned by an OOIL subsidiary, Orient Overseas Carrier Line. The Port of Long Beach is in the midst of a more than $1 billion capital improvement project to transform the terminal into a largely zero-emission, automated, streamlined facility. Cordero noted that the current lease agreement for the terminal would apply to any future owner.

Updated Election Results
After the fourth ballot counting update by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell trails challenger Alex Villanueva by nearly 87,000 votes, with approximately 261,000 ballots remaining to be counted. Another count is set for this Friday.

State Sen. Ricardo Lara, who represents most of Long Beach and all of Signal Hil, has pulled away in his race to become the state’s next insurance commissioner, leading opponent Steve Poizner by 487,000 votes. Two or three current Long Beach councilmembers are expected to seek his senate seat.

In the race for California’s 34th State Senate District, incumbent Janet Nguyen trails Tom Umberg by 1,419 votes. Interestingly, Nguyen is nearly 3,000 votes behind in the Long Beach portion of her district (east and southeast areas of the city). There are approximately 77,000 ballots remaining to be counted in all of Orange County, but how many of these are from the 34th senate district is unknown. There are also a handful of ballots from L.A. County.

In other election news, Jim Dear, former Carson mayor, councilmember and city clerk (who had been recalled by voters in 2016) was elected to the Carson City Council. Carson residents also approved becoming a charter city.

Business Advocacy Organization Kicks Off Annual Survey
Small Business California is launching its annual survey to determine how small businesses are doing across the state, just as shoppers get ready for a weekend full of last-minute grocery runs and Black Friday bargain hunting. Last year’s study revealed that 46% of small business executives believe California to be “on the wrong track,” according to Small Business California. This year, small businesses are encouraged to make their voices heard by filling out an online questionnaire. The results will be used to inform legislators and policymakers about the issues that are most important to California’s small business community, which makes up 98% of the state’s overall businesses and employs nearly half of its workforce.