Around Town

Family Outreach Counseling Services is offering affordable seminars as an outreach to the community on Thursdays from 7pm to 8:30pm at the Bixby Business Center 4401 Atlantic Ave, Ste 200. The cost is $20 per person and the seminars are all taught by professional people. Visit for more info or RSVP at Tonight’s topic will be Healthy Food Strategies for the New Year. Jerrod Libonadi is a registered dietitian, a credentialed food and nutrition professional who earned his masters of nutrition science from Florida State Univesity.
St. Anthony High School, 620 Olive Avenue, will host a dedication of its new gym floor on Friday, Jan. 30, beginning at 5pm. $10 for adults; $5 for children under 12. The floor is being dedicated in honor of Darrick Martin, Class of 1988, who went on to play with UCLA and the NBA, most recently with the Toronto Raptors. Call (562) 435-4496.
The League of Women Voters, Long Beach Area will be examining two ideas which would change the way we vote or the way our votes are counted: Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) and the National Popular Vote Compact (NPVC). IRV is a system which would avoid runoff elections when no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote. Long Beach City Clerk Larry Herrera will discuss the possibility of IRV for Long Beach. The National Popular Vote (NPV) Compact involves a critical number of states passing identical legislation which would enter them into an interstate agreement to award their electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote nationally. This event will take place Saturday, Jan. 31, from 10am to 11am, at the Los Altos Library (5614 E. Britton Dr.). The meeting is open to the public at no charge, questions are encouraged, and reservations are not required. For more information, call Phyllis O’Connor at (562) 438-5478 or email the League at
The public is welcome to join the Signal Hill Library’s new adult reading club session, which begins Friday, February 6 at 11:30am in the library meeting room, 1770 E Hill Street. The group will discuss the nonfiction book Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson. To obtain a copy of the book, call the library at (562) 989-7324.
In honor of February’s being National Heart Awareness Month, Long Beach Memorial is hosting a Women’s Heart and Stroke Seminar, where experts will discuss recognition and treatment of heart attack and stroke in women, and participants will learn strategies in management of risk factors such as high cholesterol and glucose, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking and life-style. The Women’s Heart and Stroke Seminar is Saturday, Feb. 7 with registration and screenings beginning at 7:30am and the seminar beginning at 9am. Screenings will include blood pressure, carotid artery ultrasound, cholesterol and blood glucose (non-fasting). The $20 per person fee includes continental breakfast and lunch. Call (888) 794-9466.
In the movie School of Rock, Dewey Finn is described as a “hell-raising guitarist with delusions of grandeur.” The wannabe rock star transforms a group of school kids into a rock ’n’ roll band– a concept that will soon become reality thanks to local entrepreneur and musician Frank McIlquham, along with his wife Katherine. Instead of transforming the students though, the transformation focuses on the teachers themselves, and 30 of them will perform live to an audience at Wilson High School on the Saturday, Feb. 7 from noon to 5pm. Support the local community by indulging in food, raffles, silent auction and some retail therapy, courtesy of a range of Long Beach retailers, and meet a celebrity at Wilson High School, 4400 E. 10th Street. Tickets are $10 per person, and kids under 10 are free with a paying adult.Call (866) 597-1116 or visit
Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine and Fourth District Long Beach City Councilman Patrick O’Donnell invite the community to an open house on Saturday, Feb. 7 from noon to 3pm at the Freeman PAL Center, 1205 Freeman Avenue, to celebrate the start of regularly scheduled youth recreation programs for ages 5 to 14. The Department of Community Development supports this program with Community Development Block Grant Funds. The Center will be open Monday through Friday from 3pm to 6pm and on Saturday from noon to 4pm. For info about recreation programs at the Freeman Pal Center and other Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine programs, call (562) 570-3100 or visit

2 thoughts on “Around Town

  1. The major shortcoming of the current system of electing the President is that presidential candidates concentrate their attention on a handful of closely divided “battleground” states. 98% of the 2008 campaign events involving a presidential or vice-presidential candidate occurred in just 15 closely divided “battleground” states. Over half (57%) of the events were in just four states (Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia). Similarly, 98% of ad spending took place in these 15 “battleground” states. Similarly, in 2004, candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their money and campaign visits in five states and over 99% of their money in 16 states. Two-thirds of the states and people have been merely spectators to the presidential elections. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or worry about the voter concerns in states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. The reason for this is the winner-take-all rule enacted by 48 states, under which all of a state’s electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state.

    Another shortcoming of the current system is that a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This has occurred in one of every 14 presidential elections.

    In the past six decades, there have been six presidential elections in which a shift of a relatively small number of votes in one or two states would have elected (and, of course, in 2000, did elect) a presidential candidate who lost the popular vote nationwide.

  2. The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections.

    The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The bill is currently endorsed by 1,246 state legislators — 460 sponsors (in 48 states) and an additional 786 legislators who have cast recorded votes in favor of the bill.

    The National Popular Vote bill has been endorsed by the New York Times, Chicago Sun-Times, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Hartford Courant, Miami Herald, Sarasota Herald Tribune, Sacramento Bee, The Tennessean, Fayetteville Observer, Anderson Herald Bulletin, Wichita Falls Times, The Columbian, and other newspapers. The bill has been endorsed by Common Cause, Fair Vote, and numerous other organizations.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). The recent Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University poll shows 72% support for direct nationwide election of the President. This national result is similar to recent polls in Arkansas (80%), California (70%), Colorado (68%), Connecticut (73%), Delaware (75%), Kentucky (80%), Maine (71%), Massachusetts (73%), Michigan (73%), Mississippi (77%), Missouri (70%), New Hampshire (69%), Nebraska (74%), Nevada (72%), New Mexico (76%), New York (79%), North Carolina (74%), Ohio (70%), Pennsylvania (78%), Rhode Island (74%), Vermont (75%), Virginia (74%), Washington (77%), and Wisconsin (71%).

    The National Popular Vote bill has passed 22 state legislative chambers, including one house in Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, and Washington, and both houses in California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These four states possess 50 electoral votes — 19% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.


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