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T R I B U N E See page 8 for details on this artist and her work. S erving B ixBy K nollS , C alifornia H eigHtS , l oS C erritoS , W rigley VoL. 33 No. 10 and tHe C ity of S ignal H ill Your Weekly Community Newspaper Wrigley residents re-imagine Pacific Avenue business district with new banners, other improvements August 12, 2011 Motorcycle shop debuts custom builds at open house Stephanie Raygoza Staff Writer As a KROQ radio deejay played alternative-rock favorites, and gourmet food trucks Don Chow Tacos and BOO-Yah!! fueled the hungry motorcycle enthusiasts, Lossa Engineering’s first open house provided visitors with a glimpse into the world of café racer-style motorcycles, as well as an opportunity to get to know the shop’s famed owner, Jay LaRossa. Clothing vendors, motorcycle owners and neighboring Signal Hill residents intermingled at the Aug. 7 event, which included a showcase of a new, limited-edition bike and brief tour of the work that goes on at the shop. Lossa Engineering’s recent move to Signal Hill has proven to Courtesy LB Redevelopment Agency New banners for the Wrigley Village Business District, featuring artwork by Ioana Urmais, are scheduled to be hung on Pacific Avenue in time for a “Streetscape Celebration” on Thursday, Aug. 18 that will recognize a number of improvements to the area. CJ Dablo Staff Writer Pacific Avenue in Long Beach’s Wrigley neighborhood has seen a few recent efforts to revitalize the business district and neighborhoods, according to a few community leaders from the Wrigley Association and South Wrigley Neighborhood Advisory Group. Their list: vintage-styled lampposts now line a stretch of Pacific; brightly colored banners will soon be hung to permanently decorate the street; and a community garden now grows where there used to be a building that had been destroyed after the Los Angeles riots. But community leaders and residents at a meeting last week are hoping to ignite excitement in Wrigley. They’ve imagined that a stretch of Pacific Avenue, just north of Pacific Coast Highway up to Hill Street, can be transformed into more than the string of commercial buildings that line the street right now. Community leaders are also hoping that business leaders from Pacific Avenue will join their efforts. “We want it to look like a place that people are going to want to come to, stop and shop and stay,” said Sam Portillo, a Wrigley resident who also serves on the Wrigley Association’s board of directors. Portillo was among the group of 20-plus people who gathered Aug. 4 at the Wrigley Community Police Center to hear how business leaders from Bixby Knolls revitalized their own business district nearly two decades ago. Blair Cohn, who serves as the executive director of the Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association (BKBIA), shared at the Wrigley Village’s Thursday night’s meeting how Bixby Knolls started to improve their neighborhood. “We’re not the Promised Land yet,” Cohn said, as he described how Bixby Knolls is still trying to attract both professional and retail businesses to Bixby Knolls. “But,” he added, “we try every trick we can think of to activate it, to get on the radar, to...make it attractive to new business.” Cohn said in last week’s meeting that their association began with their efforts to physically clean up their streets. “One of the key things that I learned was don’t wait and don’t expect the city to do everything for you.It won’t happen. If you wait, you’re going to spend a lot of time waiting. It’s very important as business owners and residents, you have to take ownership of your area yourself,” Cohn said, detailing how the association hired contractors to pull weeds, cut trees, and pick up trash. Others would look after graffiti and clean up what taggers left behind. Cohn described how the efforts to create a neighborhood community in Bixby Knolls directly tied to increasing business for the local establishments. He recounted the clubs that were formed to create social networks among the Bixby Knolls residents and business leaders. They gathered in the local establishments to dine together. They heard an author speak at a literary society meeting. They organized walking tours where residents would drop in at the local coffee shop and other businesses along the way. Soon, First see WRIGLEY page 15 see LOSSA page 14 Matt Sun/Signal Tribune Lossa Engineering owner Jay LaRossa with his business's new limited-edition custom-built bike 9th District Councilmember Neal uses website to open dialogue with constituents Athena Mekis Staff Writer Ninth District Councilmember Steven Neal unveiled his district's community website,, in late April, just before his first, full year taking office. The website has allowed Neal to reach more of the North Long Beach community without adding any further expense to taxpayers. “About 4,500 residents receive [Neal’s printed] newsletter every Monday. That number is increasing with the new website,” 9th District Chief of Staff Rex Richardson said. The community website allows the ninth district’s 55,000 residents to follow policy meetings, learn about programs and keep up with community events. The website’s main purpose is for residents to be able to submit Houghton Park will host the first LB Skate and BMX Jam on Aug. 20. casework requests for the Sidewalks, Trees, Alleys and Roads Taskforce and for residents to submit letters to the City Council, according to Richardson. For instance, residents made their voices heard by sending in letters through the website during the redistricting process. Several big events are being held see 9TH DISTRICT page 15

Signal Tribune Issue 3310

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