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Steel Cup Pours

Neighbors around Long Beach’s Traffic Circle are waking up to hot baked goods and fresh cups of coffee at the new Steel Cup Café.

Businessman Nicholas Stoks and Executive Chef Marc Chitwood recently opened what they’re calling a “sustainable artisan café” at 2201 Lakewood Blvd. Its “scratch kitchen” is open from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, serving up “classic café favorites with an artisan twist.”

The business sells pastries, sandwiches, salads, brunch plates and grab-and-go breakfasts. Coffee sold at Steel Cup is organic and fair trade, served up in biodegradable cups.

A grand opening is set for 4 p.m. Friday, June 21, continuing through the weekend with live music, raffles and vendor pop ups. Visit SteelCupCafe.com for details.

Propel Downtown

Propel Bikes, a leading e-bike retailer, is rolling into downtown Long Beach.

At Pacific Avenue and Broadway, Propel opened a few months ago and will host an official grand opening soon, according to owner and founder Chris Nolte, who opened the first store in Brooklyn as Long Island Electric Bikes.

Propel’s new Long Beach store is its second retail location. Nolte said of the expansion to California: “The decision … was a very natural move. It’s active, outdoor culture, combined with its alternative transportation leadership were big factors. Long Beach in particular has separated itself as a model city for cycling and mobility infrastructure. It is amazing what is happening here. Add the weather, the close proximity of the port, the fact that so much of the e-bike business and industry is here ... it became clear in a hurry that Long Beach is where we needed to be.”

Nolte, an Army combat veteran, grew up with a love of bicycles but was unable to ride a bike after he was injured in Iraq. Discovering electric bikes as an alternative changed his life, and he opened his own shop in 2011.

Propel Bikes sells pedal-assist e-bikes available from Benno, Bulls, Butchers & Bicycles, Cannondale, Gazelle, Haibike, Moustache, Raleigh, Riese & Muller, Specialized, Stromer, Tern, Urban Arrow, and Xtracycle branded e-bikes. All e-bikes are available at either Propel’s Brooklyn or Long Beach store locations or via propelbikes.com.

Cargo Dip

Container traffic at the Port of Long Beach fell in May, down 16.6% compared to the same month last year. And, this calendar year, the port has experienced a 6% drop compared to the same period in 2018.

POLB Executive Director Mario Cordero said a variety of factors are impacting international trade, including tariffs.

“One year into the trade war, escalating tariffs have pushed retailers to order goods early, warehouses are brimming with inventory as a result, and in response, ocean carriers are managing their vessels to deal with reduced demand,” Cordero said. “We are hopeful Washington and Beijing can resolve their differences before we see long-term changes to the supply chain that impact jobs in both nations.”

A total of 573,623 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) moved through the port in May: imports decreased 19.5% and exports declined 15.3%, while empty containers dipped 11.7%, compared to the same month in 2018.

Monthly cargo statistics are available at POLB.com/stats.

LBTV Win

Long Beach’s Video Communications Division, better known as LBTV, garnered nine government programming STAR awards at the California and Nevada National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors annual conference.

“Communicating with our residents is a top priority for the city of Long Beach and video is one of the most effective tools,” Mayor Robert Garcia said. “LBTV does a great job of keeping our residents informed, which is why they have won awards every year since 2001.”

Parks Honor

Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine (PRM) ranks 18th among the 100 largest U.S. cities in the Trust for Public Land’s 2019 Parkscore Index.

The ranking is based on access, investment, acreage and amenities, and Long Beach was previously in 21st place.

This year, Long Beach was credited for its walkable park access, with 81% of residents living within a 10-minute walk to a park. Also noted was investment in parks and recreation of $171 per resident, compared to the national median of $80 per resident. The city also stood out for the number of community centers, senior centers and off-leash dog areas.

“Our park system is part of what provides a great quality of life,” PRM Director Gerardo Mouet said. “In the last 18 months, we created new greenbelts with walking paths and bike trails, opened three artificial turf sports fields, five playgrounds, a new 12-acre wetlands at Willow Springs Park and the new 34-acre DeForest Wetlands project with restored habitats and flood control capabilities. We are also constructing a new 6,500-square-foot community center in north Long Beach.”

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