Thursday, February 6, 2020

Trash tells the tale of dysfunction

John Kindred led a masterful conversation about trash and how it is growing in the City of Long Beach.
Tonnage that comes down the LA River was the starting point of trash creation, single use and disposal and non-recycle-ables AND how trash in the environment - read Pacific Ocean - effect our lives and our health. Thank you John!

And if you have 2 minutes check out the YouTube "The Majestic Plastic Bag" - share with others. And remember to "just say no" when someone asks if you'd like a bag!

The class' circle analytics describes faulty expectations coupled with misunderstood roles and responsibilities. The next step is participating in some way: attend a City Council Meeting or Sustainable City Commission meeting LINK, or from the comfort of your sofa (all recycle-able material!) watch a council meeting on LBTV. Or coming up SOON attend a People's State of the City - where the people create the agenda.
PSOTC 2020 Square English.jpeg

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Urban Fitness - Oxymoron?

In depth exchange of specialists and potential users of urban based fitness programming. Thank you Ayla! Ayla Donlin, Ed.D., Director of CSULB's living laboratory - LifeFit. It's more than one or two programs but a way of life. It will be a huge lift unless we are 'all in'.

And here is the recent presentation to North Pine Neighborhood Alliance on "Is Health in Cities Possible?" with focus of discussion as we prepared for Ayla's presentation to distinguish the vulnerability from the contribution model of health data and policy.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Focus on Anaheim - It's more than just a busy street

Steve Gerhardt led a brilliant discussion on the intersection of mobility and a thriving neighborhood. After a thoughtful overview, Steve oriented us to the evolving frame for Anaheim and all the moveable parts. Here is Steve's introductory presentation!


Friday, January 17, 2020

Session Two - The Walk!

Carole Sergy, President of North Pine Neighborhood Alliance was our informed and informing leader around North Pine neighborhood! We saw so much from a pedestrian perspective often missed when riding in a car. There were many elements that made the area walkable and interesting and a reason to come back.

When we return to class this coming Tuesday we'll have time to reflect on our experience. In the meantime, there are opportunities to further explore neighborhood planning. Here is one in North LB called UPLAN.  And check out Twitter @LongBeachBuilds.

And because we 'walked the walk' in the North Pine area, I'll be discussing the health of the neighborhood at their next neighborhood meeting!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Notes from Session One - #UrbanHealth: Consider how people both those in governments and those that vote for them make decisions

Notes from Session One
Fantastic opening discussion at our first class session about an Age Friendly City and what was and was not happening in the City of Long Beach. We 'opened the lid' to many important conversations. This week we'll walk a part of the downtown with North Pine neighborhood leader, Carole Sergy. We plan to ask many questions!

In the meantime, check out a recent City Council Meeting where a housing issue was discussed. Go to the housing item #22 in the agenda and select, wait a few moments for the discussion to cue up.
22. (20-0019) Recommendation to direct City Attorney to prepare a resolution, and any related documents, for the November 3, 2020 ballot for voters to consider a $298 million housing bond at $25 per $100,000 assessed valuation for the creation of affordable....

Consider these points while you listen to the public comments and the council members.  What becomes clear to you or what might you assume about the person speaking and their decision-making framework?
  • The person builds their decision based on relevant data
  • The person has stated and unstated biases
  • The person is looking for short term expediency or long term effect
  • The person seeks a 'soft' behavioral choice or a 'hard' limit of future risk
  • The person shaped the discussion, and possibly the outcome
  • How close to the decision outcome was the person
  • The person appears to offer a flawed idea or a wise trade-off
  • Did the person offer what should be done
 These 8 touch points provide a way to listen and consider the complexity of an issue that is receiving public participation. There are many other considerations. What are yours?

Saturday, January 4, 2020

#UrbanHealth - An 8-week class in Downtown Long Beach, CA

This class takes a healthy aging perspective to Long Beach’s urban core. Using international standards join in with your peers and experts to consider steps that would improve healthy aging in Long Beach. Find class material/links at

Want to Register!  Click here!
Not sure if you want to attend....come to the first class Jan 7th at 12:00-1:30pm! We are located at 737 Pine Ave, entrance is behind building off of Solana Court, Look for CSULB sign! 

From density to transit and cultural resources to air quality the members of the class will consider strategies that improve the health of the person, and those that advance the health of the community.   

 Tentative Discussion Schedule 
(topics and speakers may change based on real-time availability)

Jan 7th - What’s important and what can be changed. Introducing WHO’s Healthy Aging Framework along with HAPI, Harvard’s Universal Design Principles
Jan 14th - Week Two – with Carole Sergy, North Pine Neighborhood Alliance neighborhood leader. Experience a curated walk in the downtownLB. Check out downtown! 

Jan 21st Week Three – Urban Transit develop key questions for Steve Gerhardt WalkLB.  Focus will the the intersection of physical mobility and the local economy. Current case study of the Anaheim Corridor.
Jan 28th Week Four – Urban Fitness Ayla Donlin, CSULB LifeFit Center. Dr. Donlin will consider with your input: Is Aging in Place the goal? In a community? Or in a neighborhood? Novel approaches to community-based wellness for older adults will be entertained.

Feb 4th Week Five– Urban Housing Intersection of household income and mental health – Jordan Wynne, EveryoneIn and Cynthia Chavez, Safe Refuge. Household narratives: How a disruption in household income may lead to serious mental health issues.

Feb 11th Week Six – Urban Climate – John Kindred, Environmental Alliance and Elizabeth Lambe, Los Cerritos Wetland. John and Elizabeth work to encourage residents to appreciate the intersection of our energy habits and consumer demand. Bottom line: What does trash tell us about our city? Link interactive map

Feb 18th Week Seven – Healthy Neighborhood Initiative – Chris Robson with Dawn Mendelson, Rose Park Neighborhood Association – Is there an effective intersection of residents with municipal entities and non-profits to alter community health?
Map/link of the week:  "Zip vs. Genetic Code"

Feb 25th Re-frame their own neighborhood in terms of Healthy Aging criteria via what’s important and what can be changed (as per first session). Recommend areas to improve healthy aging in the City of Long Beach.
Map/link of the week: City’sNeighborhood Map

Gretchen Swanson DPT MPH Dr. Swanson has a doctorate in physical therapy from USC and a master’s degree in public health from UCLA. She is active in the Age Well movement in Los Angeles, as well as, neighborhood building in the city of Long Beach. She is trained in universal design, trauma-informed approaches and peer education strategies with older adults. Known for her out-of-the-box thinking she provides a supportive environment to explore each student’s point-of-view.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Let's Coach Others!

We can no longer wait for the system and services to meet us at our doorstep! In Long Beach, California we are offering training on being a Tai Chi Coach. It could be for anyone who would like to facilitate optimum movement with friends or in
their community. For those who've decided to take the are references/resources for the 2019 Class. Connect to for future opportunities.

Video References

A series funded through LB Community Action Partnership with Heart of Ida on basic movements with David Hennage, Certified Tai Chi Instructor in Tai Chi for Better Balance - a research based form.

A series created by Gretchen Swanson to focus on elements of a movement. On location in the City of Long Beach.

An online video that shows the movements of the 24-form 1) in slow motion and 2) from behind the instructor.

Research on Tai Chi and its Benefits

National Institutes of Health - Complementary and Integrative Medicine

A Comprehensive Review of Health Benefits (2010)

The Health Benefits of Tai Chi (lay terms)

Using Tai Chi to Build Strength (summary article in NY Times 2018)

And in the end its all in the doing.