City Auditor’s Fraud Hotline Cases In 2017 Result In Corrective Action Taken
City Auditor Laura Doud released a report detailing her fraud hotline operations and corrective actions taken as a result of calls in 2017. The top three fraud, waste and abuse tip types included city payroll fraud, misuse of city property and information, and violations or abuses of city policy. Of the 87 hotline cases closed in 2017, 45% were related to fraud, waste or abuse, according to a statement from Doud’s office. There were 12 cases “with founded allegations and subsequent control weaknesses, which led to 13 corrective actions.” These actions pertained to” overtime work scheduling, approval and review; verification of vendor invoices and work; “security of sensitive information”; business regulation; and employee misconduct. Click hereto view the report.

Long Beach Exchange Announces New Eateries Coming In 2019
The Long Beach Exchange (LBX) announced four new eateries opening in 2019: Wahoo’s Fish Taco (a national franchise), Silverlake Ramen (a Los Angeles area business with multiple locations), and new eateries Plancha Latin Kitchen and Jay Bird’s Nashville Hot Chicken. Wahoo’s Fish Taco and Jay Bird’s will open in early 2019, while Plancha will open in spring. Silverlake Ramen’s open date is to be determined. LBX is located at the corner of Lakewood Boulevard and Carson Street at Douglas Park.

Canyon Partners Real Estate & CIT Acquire Fountain View Apartments
Canyon Partners Real Estate LLC announced its acquisition of Fountain View Apartments, a 153-unit  multi-family community located at 2301 E. Market St. in North Long Beach. The transaction was executed through a joint venture between Canyon Partners and CIT Bank. Canyon intends to enhance Fountain View’s fitness center and outdoor areas, and to renovate select units. “The acquisition of the Fountain View Apartments represents CIT’s commitment. . .  to creating quality workforce housing in Southern California located in close proximity to transportation, employment, education and healthcare,” Mike Pedone, a managing director in CIT’s Real Estate Finance group, stated.

City Council Approves Immigrant Defense Fund And Moves Ahead With Creating A Short-term Rental Regulation Ordinance
The Long Beach City Council last night voted to provide a legal defense fund for immigrants in Long Beach who are facing deportation. Following the 6-3 decision – with councilmembers Suzie Price, Daryl Supernaw and Stacy Mungo dissenting – the council decided to contract with the Vera Institute of Justice to oversee the $250,000 Long Beach Justice Fund. Council also unanimously approved a motion to create an ordinance regulating short-term rentals (STRs), with the amendment that the ordinance could be further revised once brought to council. Councilmember Stacy Mungo also recommended city staff track the implementation and impact of the STR ordinance for further review at a council meeting in October 2019.

Metro Releases Start Date of Blue Line Shutdown
The Blue Line, the Metro system’s oldest line, is undergoing a major overhaul in 2019. Renovations and upgrades will take place in two phases, starting with the line’s southern portion, and will include adding sidetracks for malfunctioning trains, new overhead power lines and interactive information screens at all stations. Rail service will be partially suspended during the renovations. The portion of the line from Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station to the Downtown Long Beach Station is shutting down on Saturday, January 26, for about eight months, according to Metro Community Relations Manager Ayda Safaei.

The Harbor Commission Appoints New Director Of Real Estate
The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners has promoted Eamonn Killeen to lead the real estate division at the Port of Long Beach. As the director of real estate, Killeen is responsible for generating revenue through leases of Port of Long Beach property and plays a role in implementing environmental policies. Killeen began his career at the port in 2002 as a leasing officer. He has served as the acting director of real estate since June, after the retirement of the previous director. Killeen’s appointment is effective December 8.

Current Main Library Closing January 19 For New Location
The current main library, located at 101 Pacific Ave., is closing on January 19. The closure will allow books, media and more to be transferred to the new main library at 200 W. Broadway Ave., according to an announcement from the city. Books may still be returned to the outdoor book drop during the closure. The new library will feature updated technology, an art studio and an expanded early literacy area.