Funding Secured For Project To Improve Cargo Flow And Reduce Emissions

Financing has been secured for a $130 million public-private partnership to develop a 5.5 million square foot container staging area on Terminal Island at the Port of Los Angeles. The Harbor Performance Enhancement Center will transform 110 acres at the port into an area where 3,500 truckloads per day will be diverted from container terminals to improve the flow of cargo. The facility will reduce emissions at the port by relying on solar power as well as by using clean trucks, according to a press release. The project is undergoing the environmental impact review process and will require approval by the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners.


Long Beach Water Department Approves Consolidation With City’s Gas Utility

The Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners voted today to approve a possible consolidation of the water and sewer utility operations with the city’s gas utility. If eventually approved by the city council, the utilities would be operated under the Long Beach Gas & Oil Department, to be renamed the Energy Resources Department. The gas and water utilities have many similar operations but are managed by different city departments. If the measure passes on the November 2018 ballot, an independent utilities commission will manage the new department.


Upcoming Meetings Regarding Community Hospital

The Long Beach City Council is holding a study session on the city’s efforts to preserve hospital services at MemorialCare Community Medical Center Long Beach before its regular meeting on April 3. MemorialCare Health System’s lease to operate the hospital terminates on July 3. The council meets at 3:30 p.m. at city hall. The following week, Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services is holding a public hearing on the hospital on April 11 at 6 p.m., The Grand, 4101 E. Willow St.


Facebook To Stop Third-Party Ad-Targeting Practice

Facebook announced yesterday that it is shutting down its Partner Categories program, which allows Facebook advertisers to target users based upon their offline behavior. Facebook partnered with a handful of third-party companies to collect users’ data from “a variety of sources like public records, loyalty card programs, surveys and independent data providers” to benefit Facebook advertisers. The social media company is currently under fire after a whistleblower revealed the private data of more than 50 million of its users had been obtained by a third-party research firm.


U.S. And South Korea Reach Trade Agreement

The United States and South Korea reached an agreement on amendments and modifications to the United States-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement this week. According to the California Chamber of Commerce, negotiations have not been finalized, but the agreed upon updates are related to investment, tariffs, trade in automobiles, trade remedies, pharmaceuticals, customs and textiles. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative noted that the nations agreed on exempting the Republic of Korea from new tariffs on steel imports effective May 1.


Su Casa – Ending Domestic Violence Receives Grant

The Josephine S. Gumbiner Foundation awarded a $15,000 grant to Su Casa – Ending Domestic Violence. The nonprofit community organization has served Long Beach and surrounding areas for 39 years and expects to receive 3,600 requests for service this year, including crisis hotline calls, emergency shelter residence and counseling for victims of domestic violence. Executive Director Anna Conti said the grant may be used for core operating services, including shelter staff training or capital improvement to shelters.