Communiqué from Rae

Rae GabelichFor those of you who missed the final Champ Car race here in Long Beach, it was a great send-off to an organization that worked hard to bring honor, respect and fans to the sport of open wheel racing.
Kevin Kalkhoven, the owner of Champ Car and the KV Racing teams (who, by the way came in first place with driver Will Power and yes, I was told that is his given name) is a gentleman beyond words. A savvy businessman who recognized that in order to save open wheel racing in our country a compromise would have to be reached with IRL (Indy Racing League). After lengthy negotiations, an agreement was reached and now our Long Beach Grand Prix fate rests in the hands of Tony George and the IRL organization. If Mr. George proves to be even half as dedicated to the sport, Long Beach should be in for another long run of successful street racing when we celebrate the 35th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in April 2009.
I have great admiration for Mr. Kalkhoven, who has proven to follow through on his commitments and is able to speak his truth, even when not politically correct. A man after my own heart! Thank you, Kevin!
Next in line for our community are the Earth Day celebrations. On Saturday, April 26, we begin with a Bixby Knolls tree-planting coordinated by the Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association with Leadership Long Beach and the Long Beach Department of Public Works. For those of you who want to participate so that you can one day point out to your children and grandchildren how you worked to improve your community, please join us at It’s A Grind at 4245 Atlantic Avenue for coffee and nourishment at 8:30 a.m. and begin the tree planting at 9:00 a.m.
Following the BIA event, we invite you to come over to 51st Street and DeForest Avenue, just behind Perry Lindsey Academy, (formerly known as Sutter Academy) and join us at the Harbor Arbor Day from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for more tree planting and the creation of a greenbelt and walking path for all to enjoy. There will be food and entertainment along with the planting event, so bring the whole family.
Our Port of Long Beach is reaching out to communities to find ways to improve our air quality and quality of life. It is a new day, to finally see not only our port neighbors, but our country, move towards the necessary changes that will begin to improve our environment. Recognizing that, without change, the negative impacts will fall upon our children and their children.
So, we can plainly see, whether it’s getting into the habit of bringing our own “in the now” shopping bags to the supermarket, redoubling our recycling efforts, conserving water, or planting a tree- we all have a part we can play in making our world, here in the City of Long Beach, a better-balanced place to be.
Every day, there is a way for each of us to make a difference. What will you do today?
Our very own North Long Beach Community Action Group, commonly known as CAG, has been nominated for Neighborhoods, USA’s “Neighborhood of The Year” Award. They are one of six nationwide finalists and are being considered within the Social Revitalization- Single Neighborhood Category for their North Long Beach History Project. I am very proud to add that Linda Ivers, your 8th District field representative and also an 8th district resident, worked on this project and will attend the finals in Hampton, Virginia on May 22.
Last year, the Neighbors of Rancho Los Cerritos was a Neighborhoods, USA finalist, so it is indeed an honor to have an 8th district organization recognized two years in a row.
Coming up in June, we are planning a “Shred Fest” to allow our 8th district residents an opportunity to clean out those no-longer-needed files, outdated tax papers and other miscellaneous documents that need to be shredded. Start your part today, and in next month’s column we will provide the details and location.

Stay Involved! – Rae

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