Councilwoman Gabelich Column
Making a list, checking it twice…the last minute shopping, the wrapping, the menus and, oh yes, the time to reflect on what the season means to me.
Thought I would take a break from all of that to wish each and every one of you a very blessed holiday season. This gives me the time to reflect, so I thank you.
2008 has been an interesting, promising, exciting and challenging year. I think most would agree.
From a city perspective we have experienced numerous changes and challenges since the beginning of 2008. Locally we have witnessed many as well:
We have said good-bye to some of our favorite neighborhood businesses and hello to some new establishments in town. We miss Four Olives, but have you seen the incredible artistic side of Doug Orr at the recent First Friday’s event? We welcome our own Little Italy with the lovely La Vineria Italiana and the romantic ambiance of II Poggio– oh yes, the food is great too! I must also mention Trattoria Limon located on Orange and Wardlow as well. They each represent a different area of Italy in their style and fare.
We have witnessed the physical improvements along our Atlantic Avenue corridor, with newly painted lampposts– thank you Redevelopment Board, the City of Long Beach and City Light & Power. Also, the two new crosslights that improve safe crossing in our community and encourage more pedestrian activity, which in turn supports our local businesses.
Our own Boy Scouts project led by Eagle Scout Tyler Anderson has improved our Carson Avenue corridor by creating a passive parkway next to the Panda Garden restaurant. This project took many man-hours from conception to creation and we thank all of the scouts and their leaders who took part in providing us with this Bixby Knolls addition.
Blair Cohn, executive director of our Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association, has brought many of us out into the night (and the early morning, if you happen to be a Stroller) for Community Happy Hours and special events held at the Petroleum Club and the Literary Society Book Club. All with great success! We had out 1st Annual Tree and Menorah Lighting evening that tied in with another successful First Friday’s event.
We do have much to be grateful for in this wonderful community. Of course, there is always more to do. And we will face those opportunities when we enter 2009.
Our city will continue to tighten its financial belt. We have no choice. The downturn our country is experiencing, is having a serious impact on Long Beach as well.
There will be program cuts that will affect each one of us– from streets and sidewalks to recreational opportunities. What I will commit to you, as your representative, is my strong support for adequate public safety needs. We will cross that bridge in the very near future as we begin to identify how to balance the city’s budget. Please let your voice be heard. What is important to you as a resident of Long Beach?
In the closing of 2008, I want to thank you again for allowing me the opportunity to serve as your representative for the next four years. We may not always share the same vision, speak the same language or function at the same speed, but good things will continue to emerge here in Long Beach when we all come together.
If your New Year’s resolutions include volunteering in your community, please contact me at (562) 570-6685 to get ideas on how you can be involved. If you have a son or daughter who would like to join our 8th district youth group and earn community service hours, please have them contact Veronica Servin at (562) 570-1326.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah and a blessed 2009! Stay involved!