March 18, 2021 – Meeting Minutes

DeForest Park Neighborhood Association

Meeting

Thursday, March 18, 2021 via Zoom Meeting (recorded)

Executive Board Present: Dan Pressburg (President); Ryan Blazer; Darlene Broom; Corazon Lomeli.

Executive Board Absent:  Joni Ricks-Oddie (Vice President); Keith Oddie (Treasurer).

Meeting was called to order by Dan Pressburg at 7:02 PM.           

Before beginning the meeting, Dan read the new photo / video disclaimer posted at the bottom of the slide presentation.

Dan then moved on to the Pledge of Allegiance.

Upon motion made, seconded, & approved, the minutes from the February 18, 2021 DeForest Park Neighborhood Association Meeting were adopted.

LBPD North updates: No officer showed up for this meeting.  A report was pulled from the Police Department website dating from February 15 – March 15, 2021 for Beat 22 and shown.

Jordan High School Update (Principal Keisha Irving): It is now safe to return to campus in a 3-tier timeline: teachers return on April 12; seniors return for a week starting on April 19; under classmen return on April 26.  LBUSD sent a return to school survey to all parents that lasted from March 1 until March 12, which gave the option of in-person hybrid learning or stay at home to do distance learning.  If students choose hybrid, the school is being cut in half – half come on one day and the other half come on the other – broken into two groups: A & B.  On Mondays, every period meets & alternates between Groups A & B depending on the week. On Tuesday, Group A meets for periods 1, 3, 5, & 7.  On Wednesday Group A meets for periods 2, 4, 6, & 8.  Group B comes every Thursday (periods 1, 3, 5, & 7) & Friday (2, 4, 6, & 8).  For instruction, direct instruction be given to those on campus while simultaneously given to those students who opted to remain in distance learning and the group not on campus for that day simultaneously.  Teachers will be wearing headsets & microphones to hear from students that are distance learning, while instruction is being given directly in class.  Sanitary procedures are being taken with wipes, hand sanitizers, etc.  Temperature kiosks at entrances (three of them) which takes temperature as students walk past (every 3 seconds) and will also notify the students to put on their masks if not wearing a mask.  Health screening questions will be asked each day as students arrive or via the app before they arrive.  Right now, they can only can serve lunch until May 3 & do no need to enter PIN number.  Lunch is going to be free and grab & go.  After May 3, there will be an additional grab & go at the end of the day to include, snack, dinner, & breakfast.  There will be markers placed to keep the social distancing in place.  A freshman orientation will happen on Saturday, April 24 before they return on the following Monday.  Sports have resumed ahead of time.  Football will be 5 weeks (4 out of 5 are home games). 

Council District 9 updates (Jonathan Solorzano for Councilmember Richardson): Jonathan updated on City wide updates first – vaccination process was started a few months ago.  Last week started for those with disabilities and city employees.  The wait at the Convention Center wait time is about 1.5-2 hours.  Walkups are much shorter if one can find parking in the area.  There is a statewide goal to vaccinate people over 18 by May 1.  The Long Beach Recovery Act is $222M (Federal Funding) was approved by City Council on Tuesday and will be distributed to various city services – (Press Release can be found here: http://www.longbeach.gov/press-releases/long-beach-city-council-adopts-long-beach-recovery-act/).  In the District, we now have 4th Starbuck on Downey / Artesia.  Another coffee shop is to be built on Long Beach Blvd. in Coolidge Triangle Neighborhood (drive through only).  Paramount & Artesia project is moving along.  There is no tenant yet, but they are working to get the structure built fast to encourage tenant rental.  On the local level, Jonathan has heard back from Parks & Recreation regarding the equestrian signs to be placed in the parks.  Jonahthan has been in discussion with Parking Enforcement & LBPD regarding the after-hours activities with cars parked in front of the park, when they are not supposed to be.  Patrols have increased along the park.

Old Business / New Business (Ryan Blazer):  Ryan reviewed old business from the last meeting (use of DPNA’s name, image, & likeness; use of closed session time during Board Meetings; & the policy that future guest speakers not affiliated with DPNA must present their presentation to the Board before being allowed to present at the following month’s meeting.  In addition, if a speaker is advocating for a particular position, DPNA will extend an invite to the opposing side to present at the same meeting).  The new business of the vacant lot next to the library was not discussed but lead to the guest speakers’ presentations.

Guest Speakers (Devon Reeves & Jeana de Arakal & Shaheen Sadeghi / Pasha Darvishian):  Devon introduced The Beat website (https://thebeatlb.com) and has been working with Jeana on developing the website.  This is the platform LAB Holdings will be using to connect with the public and receive feedback.  Jeana is the community & tenant relations manager (events & marketing manager) for The Beat.  Jeana is looking to do a neighborhood event once it is safe to do so to welcome the neighborhood into the new space.  On the website there is a Touch Base page to put in contact info to offer services such as local artists, musicians, or other ways to activate the space.  New ideas are very much welcomed and those should be entered in the Touch Base space.  Shaheen Sadeghi joined the meeting.  Shaheen wanted us to meet the community development team – Devon & Jeana.  On March 31, LAB Holdings is turning in the final plans to the City for approval, which is for the larger lot.  The website needs a few finishing touches.  Devon said that the site is already launched because the site just needs a few tiny touches on renderings.  Improvements will be made to the website as they come in as the base of the website is already established.  They plan to launch a blog, newsletter, and social media in the near future.  Shaheen needs help with getting tenants in place.   They have made great progress with residential tenants, but they need help with commercial tenants.  At the last meeting, Shaheen brought up Black Ring Coffee and they have some further discussions taking place.  There’s no intention to bring in national chains like Subway but want to keep it local.  A question was asked about who to contact for commercial rentals.  The answer is to email [email protected] for commercial rentals.  Shaheen was very appreciative for us to have them speak at our meeting.  Help is needed with leasing the space because COVID-19 has put in many challenges in place.  The past year has been challenging for restaurants and other businesses because of lack of cash flow.  There is a lot of empty space everywhere, even downtown.  Exceptional deals are being for rentals to which people would not have had access prior pandemic.  Downtown is seen safer, so people are opting to go there instead of moving into the North side of Long Beach.  Pasha Darvishian joined and said that Darvishian Group was hired to help lease out space at The Beat, which normally is done in house.  Pasha is part of the Uptown BID and also has property in North Long Beach and has a direct stake in seeing this project flourish.  Pasha shared his presentation (attached).    There is a lot of space for food-based businesses, but most of it is geared towards food.  Other types of retail, like local artisans, will also do well, but food is a primary motivator to bring in people.  LAB Holdings has not done any projects in Los Angeles or Long Beach, and this is one of the first in the area.  The talent comes from the community – artisan, craftsmen, and other local entrepreneurs.  Help is needed to identify other concepts to bring into the space.  Pasha can be reached at [email protected].

Public Comment Time: There was no public comment; however, questions were asked about trash collection because of a Code Enforcement violation, which Jonathan said he was happy to address.  Another question was asked if a trailer was needed for the upcoming clean up this weekend. 

Announcements (Dan Pressburg): Clean Up Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM Pressburg Parkway. Board Meeting Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 6:30 PM on Zoom.

Upon motion made, seconded, and unanimously carried, the February meeting was adjourned at 7:50 PM.

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