Community Hospital Lease Negotiations Continue
After holding another closed session meeting on Tuesday to discuss a lease agreement with Molina, Wu, Network for the operation of Community Hospital, the Long Beach City Council has yet to announce a finalized agreement. In a newsletter e-mailed to constituents this morning, 3rd District Councilmember Suzie Price indicated the negotiating process is ongoing. “We continue to negotiate with Molina Wu [Network], the new hospital operators, on a financial arrangement that works for all parties,” she wrote. “We haven’t stopped working on it, I promise. We are just in active negotiations, which means we are ethically and legally prohibited from discussing the current status. . . . All I can tell you is that you have a council that is fully committed to the restoration of an acute care facility (an Emergency Room) on the east side of Long Beach.”

Planning Commission To Consider Drive-Through Lane Policy Changes 
The Long Beach Planning Commission is considering changes to the zoning regulations for drive-through lanes at businesses on March 21, 5 p.m., City Hall. The proposal includes: creating a definition of drive-through facilities in the municipal code; requiring conditional use permits for new fast-food drive-throughs and expansions; creating design guidelines for drive-throughs; and other requirements. The proposal comes on the heels of a recent announcement by Mayor Robert Garcia that he would support a moratorium on new drive-throughs in the city until new regulations are enacted.

Lack Of Financial Literacy Is Barring Qualified Renters From Homeownership
New research produced by the California Association of Realtors (CAR) found that 14% of California renters could afford to purchase a home in their county but are foregoing homeownership in part due to a lack of financial literacy. Of the nearly six million renters statewide, 826,000 could qualify for the necessary loans to purchase a median-priced home in their area, a press release from CAR stated. “While many renters earn the income and have the credit required to buy a home, they have misconceptions about what it takes to become a homeowner, which is holding them back from buying a home or causing them to give up on their American dream,” CAR President Jared Martin stated. A vast majority (73%) of renters surveyed by the association believe that a down payment of at least 20% is required to buy a home, and 72% are unaware of loan programs offering lower down payments.

Skylinks Named Golf Course Of The Year 
Industry-leading initiatives, golf programming and community involvement efforts have earned the Skylinks at Long Beach Golf Course the “Course of the Year” title from the California Golf Course Owner’s Association (CGCOA). The city-owned course is located across the street from Long Beach Airport, just off the 405 Freeway. It was designed by golf course architect Cal Olson and is operated by American Golf. In its recognition, the CGCOA highlighted the course’s overall quality, sustainable irrigation practices, the annual Long Beach Golf Festival and the Long Beach Golf Hall of Fame. “Skylinks is an amazing golf course and we are honored it is the host of the annual Mayor’s Golf Tournament in partnership with the Long Beach Century Club to support local high school athletes,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “I am proud that Long Beach is home to one of the best municipal golf courses in California.”