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Vacant storefronts up and down Second Street in Belmont Shore have been a frequent topic of conversion over the last months. The opening last week of the 2ND & PCH shopping center has added urgency to those discussions.

So Friends of Belmont Shore, an organization of residents and business owners, will sponsor a panel discussion next Thursday, Nov. 7, to address the issue.

Belmont Shore Business Association executive director Dede Rossi will offer the BSBA's perspective, whole Lisa Ramelow, owner of La Strada, will talk about being a long-term operator on Second Street.

Businessman Tyler Leshney will talk about how to become more relevant in today's retail environment. And retail property owners Carmen Lorbeer and Kurt Schneiter will look forward by discussing how Second Street can become today's "Go To" destination in Long Beach.

The discussion will be part of the regular Friends of Belmont Shore meeting, which takes place the first Thursday of the month at Bay Shore Community Church's Fellowship Hall, on The Toledo at Grenada Avenue. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. and is open to the public. For more information, go to

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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