Communiqué from Rae

Rae GabelichBy Rae Gabelich,
Long Beach 8th District Council Member

Well, spring is definitely in the air! The weather has been fantastic, the flowers around town are beautiful and people are out riding bikes and walking once again.
I personally have been making the attempt at “spring cleaning” before I allow myself to enter the garden. This is my favorite time of year and I do love the opportunity to be creative in my yard.
For those of you who are also nature lovers, tree huggers or our garden-variety volunteers, join us on Saturday, April 26 as we celebrate Arbor Day in two District 8 locations.
The Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association has orchestrated a partnership with Leadership Long Beach and the Long Beach Public Works Department to plant 49 trees along the Atlantic Avenue corridor between Carson Street and Burlinghall Drive.
My BIA connection, (a.k.a. Blair Cohn, executive director of the BIA) has shared with me that the trees are identified as Tabebuia, better known as Trumpet Trees. They have beautiful flowers from early spring through mid-summer.
So, throw on your favorite gardening clothes (gloves will be provided) and bring your family, friends and neighbors. Meet at It’s A Grind Coffee House at 4245 Atlantic Avenue for a continental breakfast provided by It’s A Grind and your 8th District council office. Coffee and pastries will be ready at 8:30 a.m. The planting is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon.
For those who ache to spend more time celebrating Arbor Day, please join us from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 51st Street and De Forest Avenue where the Port of Long Beach is sponsoring a fantastic greenbelt beautification project located just behind Perry Lindsey Academy (the former Sutter School on Del Amo Boulevard). There will be live entertainment, free food and plenty of activities for the children.
I want to publicly thank the Port of Long Beach for their commitment to work to improve the quality of life for our neighborhoods. Their leadership in reducing the carbon footprint associated with port business is spreading to several of their tenants and clients as well. These efforts, in time, will have a positive impact on our environment and the health of our families.
More good news!! Work should be starting soon on the installation of new traffic signals on Atlantic Avenue at both Marshall Place and Cartagena Street, with completion expected by early summer. This is part of the ongoing effort, with the help of city staff, residents and business owners, to calm the traffic on Atlantic and make our main retail corridor more pedestrian friendly. More opportunities to walk and shop in Bixby Knolls!
This will be followed with repaving of Atlantic between Bixby and San Antonio this year and hopefully Wardlow Road to Bixby in 2009. We all know that all it takes is money!
Speaking of money, the new branch of Washington Mutual is now open for business. It is located next door to KFC in the Bixby Knolls Shopping Center. You can use the front access door on Atlantic for the ATM and use the rear parking lot to enter the main bank offices. I was told that the interesting entry is a new concept, designed for a more customer-friendly environment once inside the bank.
We all know how dangerous the traffic back-ups can be at the Roosevelt location, so I encourage you to give this new branch a try and spread the word.
And in closing, I hope to see you all at First Fridays tomorrow night on Atlantic Avenue. It is a great opportunity to socialize, enjoy the arts and support our local businesses.
Denise Anya and her band will bring classic vocal jazz to Nino’s. The Long Beach Historical Society is still displaying the Smithsonian Institute’s exhibit entitled “The Way We Worked” and Four Olives will be serving great food and sharing mood-altering jazz and art for your enjoyment.
These and other First Friday event locations can be viewed at
So, lots to do here in Bixby Knolls. For those of us who are looking for the balance in life, our community is a good place to focus.
Stay Involved!

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