Activists, LBPD plan “Take Back Locust” event

BY NICK DIAMANTIDES
Staff Writer

The neighborhoods in the vicinity of Locust Avenue, north of Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) are infested with gangs and have recurring graffiti and trash-dumping problems. All of that is moving toward a head-on collision with community activists partnering with the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD).
Community activists under the auspices of the Wrigley Neighborhood Advisory Group (NAG) and the LBPD have scheduled the “Wrigley Taking Back Locust” neighborhood cleanup for Saturday, May 31 from 9 a.m. to noon, after which, a block party will take place until 3 p.m.
Lunch will be provided for volunteers by several Wrigley restaurants and businesses. Those who attend the block party will be treated to free hot dogs grilled by police officers, chips and popcorn. Activities for the kids will include basketball, a bike and skate ramp, hula-hoops, a bounce house, games, arts & crafts, and face painting. The event will also include music, dancing and information tables from several city departments and local organizations.
The event is aimed at cleaning up the neighborhood, giving locals a chance to meet each other and talk to police officers, and providing fun and entertainment for all. It is also a continuation of the “Taking Back Pine” cleanup and block party that took place on February 23.
Community activist P.G. Herman is coordinating the event with LBPD lead person Lt. Josef Levy. Others working behind the scenes to make the event happen include Annie Greenfield-Wisner, Dan Pressburg, Andrew Scammon, Colleen McDonald, Coleen Vandepas, Lisa Wibroe, Mauna Eichner, Victoria Morris and Willa Hart.
“Many participants will be returning because the last event was so positive and festive,” Herman noted. “It’s a great way to meet your neighbors and make a difference in the community.”
Herman added that several well-known people are co-sponsoring the event. They include: First Lady Nancy Foster; Vice-Mayor Bonnie Lowenthal; and Councilmembers Dee Andrews, Tonia Reyes Uranga and Val Lerch.
Herman said that volunteers will be meeting on the north corner of Locust and PCH on the morning of the event. For more information, phone (562) 595-6560 or send an email to wrigleyvillage@att.net

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