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T R I B U N E S erving B ixBy K nollS , C alifornia H eigHtS , l oS C erritoS , W rigley Vol. 33 No. 21 and tHe C ity of S ignal H ill Your Weekly Community Newspaper october 28, 2011 County health officials closely watching murine typhus Councilmembers open dialogue recognizable disease. Symptoms between residents and city employees A Long Beach map of reported murine typhus cases over the last five years, courtesy of Lamar Rush, Vector Control coordinator for the City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Environmental Health Vector Control Program. CJ Dablo Staff Writer Local health officials are closely tracking murine typhus after two counties noted a rise in the number of peo- ple who have been exposed to the disease in recent years. Even though both counties of Los Angeles and Orange have made efforts to alert the public about the increase in the number of murine typhus cases, it’s not an easily include fever that can last a few days, headaches and sometimes a rash. According to figures provided by its public health department, LA County saw 31 cases last year in which individuals had contracted murine typhus, a disease spread through infected fleas. That number was one of the biggest on record, according to Dr. Rachel Civen, an LA County public health official. In Southern California, the strain of bacteria that is infecting these fleas is called rickettsia typhi. With two months left in this year, LA County has so far confirmed 16 cases for 2011. Orange County reported 11 cases for the same time period, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency. Suburban neighborhoods like the ones in Signal Hill and Long Beach are special targets because of the kinds of animals that may be responsible for spreading the disease to people. In Southern California, health officials have named primarily possums and cats– both feral and domestic outdoor cats– as potential carriers of the fleas that cause murine typhus. Civen, a medical epidemiologist with the Acute Communicable Disease Control Program of the LA County Department of Public Health, emphasee TYPHUS page 11 LB Gas and Oil partners with SCE to offer rebates to homeowners for energy-conservation projects Stephanie Raygoza Staff Writer Long Beach residents will have the opportunity to receive up to $1,280 in energy rebates for performing whole-house energy-conservation projects under a new joint partnership between the Long Beach Gas and Oil Department (LBGO) and Southern California Edison (SCE) Company that was announced earlier this month. On Oct. 11, the Long Beach City Council authorized the city manager to allow the partnership with SCE in offering the rebates to their joint customers through the Energy Upgrade California Program. Qualifying projects under the Energy Upgrade California Program can also receive additional rebates offered by SCE and Los Angeles County under the same program. As additionally stated on the program website on Oct. 25, Signal Hill residents will also be able to take advantage of the same energy upgrade rebates and incentives. “We’re very supportive of the rebate program that has been established between Southern California Edison and the City of Long Beach,” said 5th District Councilmember Gerrie Schipske. “We encourage people to take advantage of that because that can be between $320 and $1,280.” The LBGO rebate program funds are limited, available on a first-come, first-served basis and are retroactive. Residents can review rebate information found on the program website and contact LBGO with any other specific rebate questions. The Energy Upgrade California Program is collaboration between the California Energy Commission, the California Public Utilities Commission, utilities, local governments, non-governmental organizations and the prisee ENERGY page 14 Athena Mekis/Signal Tribune Eighth District Councilmember Rae Gabelich (far left) thanks residents for attending the second North Long Beach Community Assembly. Several neighborhood groups were represented, giving residents a chance to get involved with the community. Athena Mekis Staff Writer A bottom-up approach was used at the second North Long Beach Community Assembly Oct. 22 as residents and city employees discussed recent accomplishments and possible solutions to city plights. Eighth District Councilmember Rae Gabelich and 9th District Councilmember Steven Neal hosted the assembly at Dooley Elementary School, presenting speakers from the Long Beach Police Department, the Redevelopment Agency, Animal Care Services and several neighborhood associations. North Long Beach Police Dept. North Patrol Commander Galen Carroll of the Long Beach Police Department informed residents of the fiscal resolutions the City has decided for the police department. He called the two main decisions to decrease officers and increase parolees a “perfect storm.” The City of Long Beach will not be hiring any new police officers for the next fiscal year. The employee reduction will occur through attrition, the natural occurrence of staff moving or retiring, to avoid layoffs. According to the State of California website, beginning Oct. 1, “non-violent, non-serious, non-sex offenders” whose sentences are less than three years will not be sent to state prisons. Instead, they will serve their sentences in county jails. As the Los Angeles County Jail cannot house this influx of inmates, many non-violent, non-serious, non-sex offenders will be placed on parole. “There are 15,000 parolees now,” Carroll said. “When the current county inmates are released, there will be an estimate 28,000 parolees.” In response to this information, Eileen Oien, president of the Saint Francis Neighborhood Association, gave her input about developing community groups and programs that would assist parolees from further partaking in criminal activity. On a positive note, gang enforcement officer Chris Zamora shared good news with the residents about the newly revamped injunction process, which is a system that allows police officers to keep track of individuals who have been charged with gang activity. Those served with an injunction are not allowed to drink alcohol in public or associate with other known gang members, Zamora said. He shared several success stories, including one in which a gang member thanked Zamora for the injunction see NLB page 15

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