BY NICK DIAMANTIDES
Thanks to the efforts of a newly formed organization, now people all over the world can use the Internet to find out what is happening in North Long Beach.
The group formed a few months ago and, calling itself the North Long Beach Collaborative, launched its Web site NLBCentral.com on June 1.
“Basically, Martha Thuente, Dan Pressburg, and myself started the North Long Beach Collaborative and the Web site is a project of the collaborative,” said Linda Ivers. “We are trying to provide a means of easy communication and dissemination of information for residents of North Long Beach.”
“We are getting the word out to the community that there is a Web site available to announce community activities, meetings and events that happen in North Long Beach,” Thuente added.
She explained that the Web site does not cover all news events, but focuses on what different groups are doing to make North Long Beach a better place to live. It will let people know about vacation Bible schools, planned developments, and topics of discussion for upcoming public meetings.
“There are a lot of things that go on in North Long Beach, but the people who are associated with them and their circle of contacts are the only ones that know about them,” Thuente said. “What makes a strong community is people from throughout that community knowing what goes on and supporting each others’ events, banding together in times of crisis or just working together to bring positive change.”
A few years ago, Thuente, Ivers and Pressburg started a yahoo email group to see how many residents in the area would use it to communicate with each other about what was happening in North Long Beach.
“It was a good learning experience for us,” Ivers said. “But we did not open it to anybody who wanted to post something.”
The new Web site does allow anyone to post notices of meetings and events. It also has links enabling users to send emails to various organizations in North Long Beach.
Ivers explained that the North Long Beach collaborative exists to help other organizations in the area work together.
“We are trying to connect with all of the groups in North Long Beach whether they are a PTA, a youth organization, a church group, a neighborhood group,” she said. “The goal is to enable them to become part of the collaborative to whatever extent they wish.”
“One of the things we want to do is get all the schools involved so they can let everyone know about the events they are having,” Thuente added. “They can use the Web site to invite people to their sports games, plays, band concerts and fundraising events.”
“Anybody that has an organization that has information they would like to get out to the public, can come to the Web site and give us the basic information about their organization and we will create a page for them at no cost,” Ivers said. “Then, whenever they have an event or a story they want to tell, we will post it for them. We also provide a link directly to their organization.”
So far, NLBCentral.com has links now for the North PAC, the North Long Beach Community Action Group and for the Veterans Day Parade Committee.
“We have press releases for several activities that are coming soon as well,” Ivers said. “We will post notices of events that may not be in North Long Beach but might be of interest to North Long Beach residents.”
Information on the Web site includes a calendar of events for many activities taking place in the area.
“It is important that we support the community activities being sponsored by our many neighborhoods in North Long Beach,” Pressburg noted. “Through connecting one neighborhood to another, we can empower residents and help them build a better quality of life. To quote Sir Francis Bacon, ‘Knowledge is power.’”
The collaborative has a fourth member, Cindy Frye, who serves as editor of the Web site. All four members have been community activists for a long time.
Thuente is chair of the North Long Beach Project Area Committee, which serves as an advisory body to the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency. She also serves as coordinator for the Long Beach Veterans Day Parade.
Ivers is field representative for Eighth District Councilwoman Rae Gabelich, but her involvement in the collaborative is done on a volunteer basis. It’s not part of her official duties for Gabelich’s office.
“The Web site is a wonderful opportunity for local residents to find out what’s going on in their community so that they can attend events and work together to improve our quality of life,” Ivers said.
For more information, visit www.NLBCentral.com.