Briefly Speaking… May 29, 2008

A bird’s eye view of this week’s local news

Joan Van Hooten, executive director of the Arts Council for Long Beach, has announced that she will retire from her position effective August 1, 2008. “After nearly eight years with the organization, I look forward to exploring life as an enthusiastic retiree and committed arts supporter,” she said. Justin Hectus, president of the Arts Council’s board of directors, cited Van Hooten’s years of service during a period of dwindling city funding for the organization. “Joan worked tirelessly to support the Arts Council’s nationally recognized programming and the arts community in general at a time when city support dropped from $1.75 million to $600,000,” Hectus said. “Most rewarding to me is that the Arts Council remains a robust organization despite severe reductions in city funding,” said Van Hooten. “As local funding declined, we’ve found ways to support the arts through private philanthropy and other government sources.” The Arts Council for Long Beach will conduct a comprehensive search to find a qualified candidate to take a leadership role for the organization.

briefly-speaking-emblem-clb.jpgMembers of Long Beach Emblem Club 106 celebrated their club’s 62nd birthday on May 17 at the Bellflower Long Beach Elks Lodge in Bellflower. Five past presidents–Maggie Berck, Lynette Nixon, Mary Lou Clinton, Sharon Eidinger and Glenda Walls–were in attendance, and each told about their year as president. While the club during some of its past years had memberships in the hundreds, today it has only 98 members. They are, however, a dedicated group of ladies who contribute to more than 30 worthwhile projects in the community.

It’s A Grind has announced the launch of its “One Harvest Coffee” Program, a humanitarian business relationship between It’s A Grind coffeehouses, their roasters and independent coffee estates from around the world. Coffees included in The One Harvest Program are of exceptional quality and produced by families with amazing stories of success and hardship. The goal of One Harvest is to create a long-term, plentiful supply chain for these excellent coffees, while improving the quality of the workers’ lives by paying a fair market price. Moreover, growers benefit in other ways, such as receiving medical grants and loans to plant more crops. These programs are supported through the purchase of One Harvest coffee, at It’s A Grind locations nationwide. For more information about the company, visit

Newsweek’s newly released annual rankings of America’s top high schools include six schools in the Long Beach Unified School District, a record high for the district. The annual list represents only the top 5 percent of all public high schools in the United States. Joining the list of elite schools for the first time are Long Beach’s Millikan High School and Catalina Island’s Avalon High School. Returning to the list this year were Poly High School, Wilson Classical High School, Renaissance High School for the Arts, and the California Academy of Mathematics and Science (CAMS).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *