Notice: This is not a City of Long Beach site.

Dear Readers: Please note that this is not a City of Long Beach website and is not paid for nor maintained by taxpayer funds.

If you contact Gerrie Schipske through this site on any matter pertaining to the City of Long Beach, a copy of your contact will be forwarded to her official city email as an official public record.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Weather Alert -- December 29

Latest from City Manager:
Weather forecast indicates that another storm with wind advisory (20 -30 mph with gusts to 40 mph, noon till 9pm Wed)  is expected to arrive in the Long Beach area tonight and last until Wednesday evening.  Public Service crews have restocked sand bags and sand at required locations, checked storm drains and pump stations.  Two pump stations are down awaiting repairs:  Pump Station 18 in El Dorado Park and Pump Station 7, the pump at Willow and Terminal Island Freeway (both sites currently cleared of water).  As always, Public Service crews will monitor and stand by to respond as needed.  Tides are not expected to be an issue during this event.
With the storms last week and what we are facing in the coming days, it will impact our ability to fill potholes due to the wet conditions.  The storms also are taking a toll on much of our new construction (airport garage, Wardlow Street resurfacing, Long Beach Boulevard resurfacing, Rosa Parks Park, Seaside Park and others).  

Recycle Your Christmas Tree or Better Yet Have It Picked Up

Free Christmas Tree Pick-Up!
Saturday, January 8, 2011
If you have City refuse service, put your holiday tree out where your trash is normally collected by 7 a.m. on Saturday, January 8, and it will be recycled. 

All decorations and stands MUST be removed.  Trees over 12' tall should be cut in half.  Flocked trees will be accepted.

For more information on this call (562) 570-2876 or visit

xmas tree
December 26, 2010 - January 7, 2011

Free Drop-Off Locations:
  • Wardlow Park: Monlaco Road at Rutger Avenue
  • Environmental Services Bureau, 2929 E. Willow Street
  • El Dorado Park: 2760 N. Studebaker Road (South parking lot behind administration building)
Recycling your holiday tree is easy.  You can drop your tree off at one of these locations.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Notices Regarding Curb Number Painting Are Not Official

I came home the other day to see a yellow notice taped to my front doorknob. The notice was also visible up and down Studebaker. These are same notices I have seen in other parts of the 5th Council District as I walk the district.

Please note that these are NOT official notices from the City of Long Beach. They are being posted on resident's houses by a company that is illegally painting curb numbers on streets. City Code requires companies or non profit organizations wanting to do curb numbers to obtain permits from the Police Department -- so that the City can verify these are legitimate companies.

The California Vehicle Code specifies the size of the curb numbers and the background paint that can be used. Residents are not supposed to have anything painted on their curbs but house numbers -- no flags, surfing scenes or sunsets -- because fire and police need to be able to read the numbers so they can respond to the correct address. Some of these fly by night operations paint the wrong numbers on the curbs.

If you receive a notice like the one posted or are pressured by someone to paint curb numbers on your curb, call the police.

Update on Wardlow Street Construction

Many of you have asked why the City of Long Beach is fixing Wardlow (those of you who live on it know why). I asked Public Works to prepare a memo explaining the what and why of the project.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Updates on storm damage to City of Long Beach

Dear Readers -- see current report from City Manager Pat West about storm damage to the City of Long Beach. Please thank the Police, Fire and Public Works employees who have been out there helping to keep us safe and to clean up this mess.

Long Beach received more than 8 inches of rain over the past seven days, breaking previous rainfall records. Needless to say, City Crews and Public Safety Personnel were busy throughout this time. The following is a summary of storm related work activities and current conditions.

Responded to a total of 33 Trees and 43 Flooded calls.


1T - 7

2T - 1

3T - 5

4T - 1

6T - 3 (2 uprooting)


1T - 5 (1 vehicle)

2T - 2

3T - 2 (1 private, 1 vehicle)

5T - 3

6T - 4 (3 uprooting)


East - 10

West - 33

Current Road Closures

TI/Willow (Broken Pump Station) - Willow closed, Contractor to begin pumping at noon, could take 24 hours, enhancing traffic control

Del Mar south of San Antonio (Large area of standing water) - Del Mar closed, Contractor pumping, Engineering requested to review

14th/Gaviota (Sinking Area) - Intersection closed/extending on 14th and Gaviota, Engineering working on repair

Potholes City Wide - Repairs are taking place with cold mix (heavy traffic, water saturated asphalt and base are making these repairs difficult ), most have been repaired several times during the past 5 days. Efforts to repair with hot asphalt will be scheduled for next week. Some areas have traffic control.

Pump Stations - SD18 (Wardlow/El Dorado Park) & SD7 (TI/Willow) are off line with broken pumps - all other stations are operational, staff is inspecting systems.

Trees - We are working a few pending calls and have started the debris collection of downed/stacked debris from the event. Palm fronds locations are being addressed as resources allow.

Sand - Bin and sandbag locations are being visited and replenished as needed

It now appears that the storm front has past, however we will continue to monitor condition. I would like to acknowledge the outstanding work of all the City Crews and Public Safety Personnel during this week of storms. Despite long hours and adverse conditions, everyone did their part.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Sandbags and Sand Available at Fire Station 5

Alert: Sandbags and sand are now available at Fire Station 5 in the 5th District.

Storm Alerts -- December 20 at noon

Just received the following message from the City Manager:

Our biggest issue was loss of power at Pump Station 5, located at the on-ramp to the 710 North at Willow Street.  Power was lost at approximately 6pm on Sunday night. SCE was notified.  The freeway quickly flooded and was down to one lane in each direction by 8pm.  City staff and Cal Trans responded.  City staff secured a 1500 kW generator on site by 9pm.  The generator had to be manually wired into the pumps to ensure the proper phasing of the circuits.  City staff succeeded in starting the generator and activating the pumps just before 1am Monday morning.  By 4am, the freeway was cleared and open at full capacity.
The weather forecast is for additional rains throughout the week with the heaviest amounts expected Tuesday and Wednesday, as well as high tides around 8am Tuesday and Wednesday.  Staff is working to coordinate efforts to ensure a rapid response to call for service.  Further updates will be provided as warranted. 

Trying to get sand and bags for the 5th Council District:

Readers: See press release below for more information. Please note I am working on trying to get sand and bags over at one of our Fire Stations.

Press Release: With powerful storms bearing down on the region, residents and businesses are urged to prepare themselves for the possibility of significant rainfall. 

The City is providing sand and bags for residents to make their own sandbags. The public may pick up sand at four fire stations – Fire Station 7, Fire Station 12, Fire Station 13, and Fire Station 14.
Residents must bring a shovel and fill their own sand bags; however, residents with mobility impairments, or seniors who need assistance can obtain filled bags at the Senior Center at El Dorado Park West, 2800 Studebaker Road, and the Long Beach Senior Center, 1150 E. 4th Street

In addition, the City of Long Beach has prepared a list of important safety tips and emergency phone numbers for residents to access in the event of power outages, downed trees, flooding, etc. Emergency responders train and are prepared to respond to a disaster or other significant incident; however, residents are strongly urged to prepare themselves for a major emergency, with the goal of being able to be self-sustaining for at least 72-hours.
Preparation for the Storm
  • The City of Long Beach is providing free sand to residents at four Fire Stations.  Residents must bring and use their own shovel (self-service) to get the sand, which is available in large bins outside the following five fire stations:
    • #7              2295 Elm Ave
    • #12            6509 Gundry Ave
    • #13            2475 Atlantic Ave
    • #14            5200 Eliot St.
  • Sandbags will last as long as they don’t have a hole. If the bags are reusable, residents should keep them for the next major rainstorm. To discard, distribute sand in a flower bed or over a lawn, and then throw away the empty bags.
  • Do not take sand from the beach. It is illegal to dump sand at the beach, in the gutter or in the storm drain system.  Sand can be returned to the Public Works/San Francisco Yard, 1601 San Francisco Ave.
  • For information on how to fill sandbags, visit  

Important Phone Numbers

  • In the event of a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1.
  • To report flooding or a clogged or blocked storm drain, please call 562.570.2726. 
  • To report a fallen tree or limbs, call 562.570.2770. For trees or limbs in City parks, call 562.570.4895 during business hours, or 562.570.3101 after-hours or on weekends.
  • Fallen power lines are extremely dangerous. Report any downed lines to SCE immediately by calling 1.800.611.1911.  Do not touch a downed line or anyone in contact with the line.  Always assume a downed line is live.  For more information, visit and click on the "Safety" tab.
  • Long Beach Gas & Oil Department, 562.570.2140
  • Long Beach Water Department, 562.570.2390
  • City Street Lights/City Light & Power Co.888.544.4868
Safety Tips
  • Remember to slow down and drive carefully. Please exercise a great deal of caution and patience, and allow yourself plenty of time to get where you are going. Avoid large puddles and do not attempt to cross running water.
  • Beach-goers are advised to avoid local waters for at least 72 hours after the end of rainfall due to the high bacteria and pollution levels from urban runoff.
  • Individuals can monitor the weather on television news, including the Weather Channel 76 on Charter Cable; radio news stations such as KFI 640 AM or KFWB 980 AM; and websites such as In the left hand column, insert a Long Beach zip code, and a local map and report will appear.
Other Useful Information and Websites:  

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Long Beach Municipal Airport Terminal's History

Prior to the construction of a 150-acre airport in 1923, pilots could be seen taking off and landing on the long strand of beach or on a sand and dirt field near American Avenue (now Long Beach Boulevard) and Bixby Road -- Chateau Thierry Flying Field -- which was founded by Earl Daugherty. The first transcontinental flight landed in the water off Pine Avenue Pier on December 10, 1911.

Daugherty, a WWI flight instructor and stunt pilot expanded his airfield to Long Beach Boulevard and Willow Street by the late 1920's -- where he organized Air Tournaments and Air Circuses. A young Amelia Earhart (and 75,000 others) came to the December 1920 air tournament to watch Daugherty's stunt flying. She asked for a ride in a plane and was given one a few days later by Poly High School graduate, Frank Hawks. Later, Long Beach area pilot, John Montijo, taught Earhart how to solo and to perform aerobatics -- which she did numerous times in Long Beach Air Circuses.

Realizing that Long Beach could no longer accommodate aviation on its beach nor on Daugherty's small airfield inland, the city council in November 1923 dedicated 80 acres of water department land at Cherry Avenue and Spring Street making Long Beach the first city in California to establish a municipal airport.

In 1924, the City Council established an aviation commission and appointed Earl Daugherty, John Montijo and A.E. Ebrite as its first commissioners. The city council also decided who could fly in and out of the airfield.  WJ Putnam was named the first director of the Long Beach Municipal Airport, known then as the Superintendent of Airports. He served until 1940.

As aviation changed into a commercial enterprise, the City Council and Chamber of Commerce focused their energies on making the municipal airport a site for commercial aviation. Airport records indicated that Western Air Lines first carried passengers, mail and cargo from Long Beach Airport in September 1929.  More and more commercial aviation came to Long Beach bringing with it complaints about the lack of a terminal and modern services.

In response, the City Council approved in the late 1930's plans to purchase 255 acres adjoining the airport and to construct a three story administration building and tower at the east side of the field at a cost of $200,000. The city set about constructing the terminal while war raged in Europe.

 Designed by W. Horace Austin and Kenneth Wind in the streamline moderne style of later art deco architecture, the terminal building looks more like a ship than an airport terminal. Its distinguishing characteristics include: smooth walls, lack of ornamentation, flat roofs, railings and porthole windows. Planned for expansion, it is shaped as a segment of an arc with a radius of 285 feet and a length of 170 feet. The third floor is set back making the building 60 feet high.

Opening ceremonies for the terminal were canceled because of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Instead, military guns and soldiers were billeted around the terminal building and in the basement for the duration of the war. Showers and hot water tanks were installed for the soldiers. Barracks were build adjacent to the terminal. The building was repainted in camouflage until 1945, when its pastel colors were returned. It formally opened April 26, 1942.

Inside the terminal: first floor included airline offices where telephoned reservations were taken; a coffee shop, telephones and a waiting room. The second floor featured a large dining lounge and open deck to view the airfield. The third floor contained the control tower operated by the Civil Aeronautics Administration as well as the US Weather Bureau and a radio range station. Administration was on the 4th floor.

WPA -- Terminal and Airfield

The Works Project Administration provided several major enhancements to the terminal and airfield in the late 1930's: WPA constructed and repaired part of the airfield.
Grace Clements designed and placed murals and mosaics throughout the terminal. Using a communications theme, she designed floor mosaics and wall murals. The mosaics covered the 4300 square foot first floor. The murals were also painted on the first floor walls. On the second floor remains a zodiac mosaic done by Clements. All the murals were painted over in 2005.

1942: Long Beach Municipal Airport was "Number One in the Nation" because of its military and civilian aircraft activity. City officials recognized once the war was over that the airport could become the center of commercial aviation in Southern California. The airport needed to expand to the east but was blocked by Lakewood Boulevard. On the south, the military structures needed removal. Long Beach voters rejected a "Help Make Long Beach the Heart of Commerce" bond issue to fund airport repairs and purchase land for expansion. It took more than 10 years for the military to leave -- by that time Los Angeles  had moved forward on its terminal and airfield.

On July 3, 1946, United Air Lines made its first scheduled flight from the Long Beach airport. Today, passengers still walk out to the tarmac to board their flights as they did in the 1940's.

Fire Fighters Rescue Woman in LA River

At approximately 3:00 PM yesterday, Long Beach Fire units responded to reports of a female victim in the LA River. Fire units arrived on scene and confirmed that a female was floating down river and updated incoming Marine Safety Swift Water units of the victim's location. Swift Water units arrived and were able to conduct a contact rescue. The victim was immediately transferred to an awaiting Rescue Unit. The victim reported that she slipped and fell into the river.

Thank you Long Beach Firefighters!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Video report on Rosie the Riveter Park and Memorial Dedication

Thanks to for covering the recent dedication of the enhancements made at the Rosie the Riveter Park and Interpretive Center at Conant Street and Clark Avenue.

The following links to the video report done by Bill Pearl.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Making Long Beach Job Friendly

Unemployment news continues to be bad. Just click here to see the latest stats from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics which shows total unemployment (including under employment) in California is a whopping 22.1%.

That's why last Tuesday I asked the Council and City Manager to focus on creating jobs in the small business sector. Since coming to office I have met with many small business owners who voice concerns about the following:
  • City business license fees that are based upon the number of employees (which is counter productive in a time when we are trying to grow jobs).
  • High "false alarm" fees. Many retailers have alarm systems that if they sound and no crime in progress is apparent, they can be charged a false alarm fee.
  • High credit card transaction fees.
  • Lack of trained employees.
So what can Long Beach do to grow jobs? Click here and tell me.
Offering Reduced Credit Card Transaction Fees
Several months ago I contacted the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce and asked that they join me in urging the City to partner with financial institutions that are willing to offer our local business better credit card transaction fee rates and other banking services.

The City of Long Beach has begun talking with several banks who want the business of the City and are including in these discussions the issues of working with our local small businesses.
Please let me know how we can do things better in Long Beach to grow the jobs we need to get us out of the terrible unemployment we face.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Wreaths placed at military memorial in Rosie the Riveter Park and Interpretive Center

Yesterday, before 11 am, members of Millikan High School Army JROTC placed Christmas wreaths at the newly opened military memorial at Rosie the Riveter Park and Interpretive Center located at Conant Street and Clark Avenue. The photo shows how beautiful it is at night with lighting.

It was a truly touching ceremony.

The event was the dedication of the newly installed enhancements to the Rosie the Riveter Park and Interpretive Center and the placing of wreaths at the military memorial in coordination with the Wreaths Across America project. The project places wreaths on the second Saturday of December at Arlington National Cemetery and 450 other locations -- Rosie the Riveter Park is now added to that list each year.

Stop by the park and walk the path. Read the historic timeline in the pavers. Look at historic photographs of women who worked at Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach. Listen to a recorded tour of the park or just enjoy 1940s music as you stroll.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tickets -- Happen even to Councilmembers

So the story goes likes this: I had to travel out of state -- to Washington DC for a week of meetings -- and I asked someone to pick up my car and then park it in my driveway. Well, I didn't realize that I failed to move the other car in the driveway up enough so that when my car was parked it unfortunately hung over the driveway and the sidewalk.

I came home to a $46 ticket.

I often get emails asking me to waive a parking ticket to which I reply that Councilmembers cannot become involved in the disposition of tickets. Not even if it was the Councilmember who received the ticket.

PS It is illegal to park over a sidewalk because it blocks access to people using wheelchairs. However, in my case it is a moot point because my sidewalk is so damaged and raised because of a 60 foot sycamore tree in the parking strip that passage on the sidewalk is difficult even without a car hanging over the sidewalk. Guess I should complain to my City Councilmember...oh, wait...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Please come and help me honor the women and men who gave their lives in service to our country

Reader --

I write this having just visited Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. I hope you agree with me that Long Beach should honor the women and men who gave their lives in service to our country during this holiday season.

On December 11, 2010 thousands of Christmas wreaths will be placed on the graves of the women and men who gave their lives in service of our country at Arlington and at 450 other locations across the U.S. The wreath laying ceremony is a project of Wreaths Across America.

I am proud to tell you that for the very first time in Long Beach, we will be participating in those ceremonies by laying Christmas wreaths in honor of those women and men who gave their lives in service to our country at the Rosie the Riveter Park and Interpretive Center military memorial.

Do you have a family member or friend you want to have remembered during the ceremonies on December 11? I ask that you click here to let me know if you have someone you wish remembered during the ceremony. Also please let me know if you will attend the ceremonies.

Do me a favor. Please forward this blog posting to a friend who might want to know about this event.

The ceremonies will include a dedication of the wonderful enhancements to the Rosie the Riveter Park such as our walking path with etched history, compass rose and historical signs. Thanks to the Long Beach Naval Heritage Association, Supervisor Don Knabe, Wal-Mart and many others, Rosie the Riveter Park is the first of its kind in Long Beach and only the second of its kind in the United States.

I look forward to hearing from you and to seeing you at the ceremonies this coming Saturday, December 11 at 10 am.


Residents can get free mulch

Free Mulch                                                            

Friday, December 3, 2010

Plastic bag ban needs to be gradual and not punitive...and City Hall needs to lead the way

China has banned them. Ireland has banned them. So has the County of Los Angeles and the City and County of San Francisco. Washington, D.C. also. They all have joined the growing list of governments banning plastic bags because of the on going problems with the bags winding up all over the place as debris.

China actually banned plastic bags because their manufacture consumes too much petroleum.

They pollute our land fills and our waterways -- no doubt strong arguments to get rid of them. But a mandatory switch to paper bags as is being proposed in Long Beach makes little sense because wood -- which is what paper is made from -- means the loss of more trees. Also the imposition of 10 cents per bag is punitive instead of providing an incentive for the switch -- and in this economy where unemployment benefits have run out for many in California it doesn't seem prudent.

San Francisco actually has the best proposal -- a gradual phase in and allowing large markets and pharmacies to have the option of using compostable bags made of corn starch or bags made of recyclable paper.

So I will support a gradual phase in of moving away from plastic bags to compostable bags without any tax or fee passed along to the consumer for this switch.

I also think that if my colleagues really want to deal with the growing pollution from plastic then let's lead the way:
  • No bottled water in City Hall. These plastic bottles also wind up in dumps and in the ocean and do not decompose.
  • No plastic bags used in the hundreds of trash cans in City Hall offices. Use compostable bags.
  • No use of plastic cups, plates, forks or spoons at the Convention Center. These items are now available in compostable forms from corn starch.
The environment is important but we need to be reasonable especially in tough economic times.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Am in Washington, DC and it's 29 degrees...but beautiful

I am reporting from our nation's capitol -- Washington, DC where it is so cold but so beautiful. Especially when you look at the Capitol lit at night -- lit because the House is in session trying to deal with a number of legislative issues before they leave and the new Congress takes over in January.

It is sad and amazing to see homeless sleeping in this weather. But I see fewer of them since the last time I was here. I just cannot imagine how they survive.

Am here for a legislative conference and to visit the sculptor who is doing a bas relief for the Long Beach Rosie the Riveter Park. Ray Kaskey did all the art/bas relief and sculptures for the National World War II Memorial which is here and which I am visiting. He is graciously doing a copy of his bas relief that is at the memorial depicting riveters making planes during WWII. Long Beach will be the only location outside of Washington, DC to have this art work.  

Will visit the Smithsonian which houses the replica of the Vin Fiz - the plane flown by Cal Rodgers from New York to Long Beach in 1911 -- making it the first transcontinental flight in the US. This historical event will be celebrated next year in Long Beach and across the US. Have been working with a community taskforce to make this event spectacular.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What to do if you see coyotes in your neighborhood...


In case you missed it -- sidewalks we fixed in the 5th District in 2010

What We've Fixed

As I have reported on several occasions, the 5th Council District has the most sidewalks in the City and the most in need of repair. Historically, Long Beach required residents to fix the sidewalks (and many cities continue to do so because the sidewalks were installed by the developers) and then in the later 1970s began assuming the costs. Unfortunately, because city trees began maturing and raising more and more sidewalks, the costs to the City to repair the sidewalks increased dramatically.

Prior to my taking office, the City Council divided up sidewalk repair money evenly -- so the 5th received proportionately less than the other districts even though more was needed. Consequently, repairs in the 5th District lagged.

Last year, I worked with my colleagues and convinced them that the money needed to be divided based upon need. So for the first time, the 5th District received the most funds for sidewalk repair -- $600,000 and we were able to start putting a dent into the repair list.

I also added two programs that have helped with the repair of sidewalks not only in the 5th District but citywide: sawcutting -- which allows raised sidewalks to be fixed at a fraction of the cost of removal -- @ $25 per panel vs. $800 or so. The second program is a sidewalk cost share program that allows residents who cannot wait their turn on the long list -- to share in the cost of getting their sidewalk repaired as soon as possible. The resident contacts my office and then contacts a licensed contractor. The city waives the permit costs and  will share the cost of replacement up to $500.

So here is the list of sidewalks fixed this past year (I have several lists since I took office in 2006 that I share at the State of the 5th in January). As soon as I have the list finalized for the coming year I will post it.

  • 3400 block- Shipway
  • Los Altos Methodist Church --- Willow Street
  • Conant (north). Palo Verde (east), Wardlow (south) and Woodruff ( west)
  • East side of Studebaker Rd ( from Spring Street to Mezzanine Way)
  • North side of Spring St ( from Lees Ave to Stevely Way)
  • Lees Ave ( from Spring St to Mezzanine Way)
  • Kallin Ave ( from Spring St to Mezzanine Way)
  • Karen Ave. ( from Spring St to Mezzanine Way)
  • Volk Ave ( from Spring St to Rosebay St)
  • Shipway Ave ( from Spring St to Pattiz Ave.)
  • Pattiz Ave ( from Spring St to Shipway Ave)
  • Stevely Ave ( from Spring St to Mezzanine Way)
  • Rosebay St( from Karen Ave to Stevely Ave)
  • Mezzanine St ( from Studebaker Rd to Stevely Ave)
  • East side of Studebaker Rd ( from Mezzanine Way to Wardlow Rd)
  • Kallin Ave ( from Mezzanine Way to Wardlow Rd)
  • Stevely ave ( from Mezzanine Way to Wardlow Rd)
  • Metz St ( from Karen Ave to Stevely Ave)
  • Lanai St ( from Karen Ave to Stevely Ave)
  • Killdee St ( from Karen Ave to Stevely Ave)
  • Premium St( from Karen Ave to Stevely Ave)
  • Coralite St ( from Karen Ave to Stevely Ave)
  • South side of Wardlow Rd ( from Studebaker Rd to Stevely Ave)
  • Chatwin Ave ( from Spring St to Pageantry St)
  • Peabody St ( from Bellflower Blvd to san Anseline ave)
  • Marwick Ave( from Spring St to Pageantry St)
  • Pageantry St * from Bellflower Blvd to San Anseline Ave)
  • N/side Spring St ( Alley W of Chatwin Ave to San Anseline Ave)
  • E/side Bellflower Blvd ( South of Pageantry St)
  • Keynote St ( from Rutgers Ave to Bellflower Blvd)
  • Peabody St ( from Rutgers Ave to Bellflower Blvd)
  • Carita St ( from Rutgers Ave to Bellflower Blvd)
  • Conant St ( from Rutgers Ave to Bellflower Blvd)
  • Stearnlee Ave ( from Conant St to Peabody St)
  • Harco Street ( from Greenbrier Rd to W Charlemagne Ave)
  • Charlemagne ( from S Harco St to Brockwood St)
  • S/side Conant St ( Gondar Ave to Carfax Ave)
  • S/ side Conant St ( Carfax Ave to Palo Verde Ave)
  • Keynote Street ( from Rutgers Ave to Bellflower Blvd)
  • Peabody ( from Rutgers Ave to Stearnlee Ave)
  • Peabody (from Stearnlee Ave to Bellflower Blvd)
  • Carita Street ( Rutgers Ave to Stearnlee Ave)
  • Carita Street ( Stearnlee Ave to Bellflower Blvd)
  • S/side Conant St ( from Rutgers Ave t Stearnlee Ave)

How sidewalks are selected for repair

In order to get the most sidewalks fixed at the same time, we review our files that include: complaints from residents and inspection by my staff of areas in the 5th District. When we receive a complaint or we see a problem sidewalk, my staff goes out and photographs the sidewalk. A report and the photograph are logged in our data system, forwarded to Public Works and mapped/GPS so we can see location. We then work with Public Works to bunch sidewalk repairs together so an entire area can be repaired instead of a scattergun approach (used before I came to office).

As usual, you can call my office or email us, or go on my website at: and complete a service request form and we will respond with a staff inspection.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Update on DeMille site conversion

Residents have asked what is happening with the DeMille site at Los Coyotes and Parkcrest since we haven't heard anything in awhile from the Long Beach Unified School District. Apparently, it is still go forward with demolition and building of a high school. I am including a fact sheet I just obtained. Keep in mind that since the school district owns the land, the City of Long Beach has no jurisdiction over what they do.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Public records request on my contacts with constituents regarding medical marijuana

Several people have sent a public records request to the City Attorney demanding to see any contacts I, Gary DeLong and Patrick O'Donnell have made with our constituents concerning regulating medical marijuana collectives.

While folks I think we are spending far too much time on this issue -- especially since the City continues to struggle with a bad economy --- my office complied with the request as we always do.

What the requesting party is finding is that I personally answer my emails. Now this can be good or bad depending on whichever way you look at it. Unlike other council members who don't answer their emails personally, I have a written record of my opinion -- which I personally believe is good. But that also means everything I write can be taken out of context and pointed back at me.

For instance, the requesting party wanted to know what I meant in my email to a constituent who complained about having marijuana collectives in Long Beach that I don't want the collectives and I didn't think we could make any changes to the ordinance that we passed earlier this year.

I meant what I wrote. I don't want marijuana collectives in my predominantly residential council district. With the most schools, libraries and parks in the City, I don't want the collectives located near where children gather. That's why I have been consistent about advocating for the buffer zones around schools, parks, libraries, etc. I also don't want more liquor stores and bars in the district (stop right here -- I cannot do anything to remove the current ones) and my residents were very vocal when a bar attempted to reopen on Woodruff and Spring --- and it didn't.

That being said, instead of outright voting against them I felt it was important to help craft an ordinance that was reasonable and if other council members wanted the collectives in their districts then so be it.

At the time I received emails about changing the initial ordinance -- which by the way did not include a buffer zone for parks -- I was under the impression that we could not make changes. However, I consulted with the City Attorney who informed me that since no permit was issued there was no vested right for anyone to operating a collective and that if the council felt it needed to make revisions, it could do so. And so I advocated for several changes -- including putting the park buffer back where it should have been when it was first raised. Thankfully my colleagues agreed.

So there you have it. I will get blasted for saying what I believe by those who are looking for any reason to loosen up the ordinance.

But this may all become moot -- which is a legal expression for of little or no practical meaning -- because if the collectives who are suing us on the basis that federal law pre-empts state and local law get a ruling in their favor  -- it will mean that federal law becomes the controlling law in this matter. And if that is the case, federal law considers marijuana to be a controlled substance and thus illegal to possess or to "sell."

Friday, November 26, 2010

Medical Marijuana Survey Results -- Adjusted for different browsers

Some readers complained that their browser did not let them see all of the information on the survey results on the issue of medical marijuana. I hope the version below helps:


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Allegiant to Launch Flights between Long Beach and Las Vegas

On Friday, November 19, 2010, the Allegiant Travel Company (our newest airline) will formally announce a new service destination from the Long Beach Airport. In connection with the new service announcement, Allegiant is working with local establishments in Long Beach to promote the new destination.

An event is planned for Friday at Legends in the Belmont Shore neighborhood, which will include travel giveaways. Allegiant is a travel company specializing in full vacation packages to various destinations including the Southern California area. We believe Allegiant will start releasing some of the details of their travel promotion today.

Changes for Wireless Towers in Long Beach

 Several months ago I brought the issue of residents' concerns about the placement and proliferation of wireless towers in church parking lots and locations adjacent to homes. The city placed a moratorium on new placements until the City could modernize its ordinance. The following document outlines the direction we are heading:


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Old McDonald's Farmers' Market Opening a Great Success

If you missed the grand opening last Sunday, you can still come on down to the 5th District Farmers' Market at Spring and Clark each Sunday at 8 am until 2pm.
There's lots of good, fresh food. Community booths with information. Activities for kids. Music and lots more.

Here's a few pictures of the first day of the market. Thanks to our LB Junior Concert Band for coming out to help open the market.

Council Backs Adding 1,000 Foot Buffer Zone for Parks

I want to thank my colleagues that voted to support my proposal to include a 1,000 foot buffer zone for parks in the medical marijuana collective ordinance. This will make Long Beach's law consistent with other cities which allow these collectives. A number of other changes were approved with the same vote. Additionally, there will be a one year moratorium on additional collectives applying for permits in Long Beach.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What 1045 people had to say about tightening up the City of Long Beach ordinance to regulate medical marijuana collectives


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1045 responses on pending changes to medical marijuana ordinance -- Mixed by District

Pay no attention to the man behind the smoke screen because he's out there telling the world that the on line survey I put out asking people's opinion on pending changes to the medical marijuana ordinance indicates a city wide overwhelming opposition to these changes.


Unless you think getting 29 responses from the 1st District; 96 from the 2nd; 205 from 3rd; 72 from the 4th; 514 from the 5th; 17 from the 6th; 38th from the 7th; 41 from the 8th; and 13 from the 9th are a "citywide" response. Hardly overwhelming. You can click on the results below: - 9th - 8th - 7th - 6th - 5th - 4th - 3rd - 2nd - 1st

Overall responses: 1045.  Until the last hour the survey was posted and over 100 signed on -- most anonymous responses-- the 5th District continued to support a buffer from parks, libraries and day care centers. Then it tightened up to about even.

The 5th District also didn't support moving the retail growers to industrial, nor placing the issue on the ballot.

I will post the overall results and the comments (oooo, the comments) that people posted on a later blog entry.

Monday, November 15, 2010

978 Responses -- 471 from 5th District

978 people have responded to the survey on placement of medical marijuana collectives. Of these, 471 have indicated they are residents of the 5th District.

By no means a scientific poll -- because people self select themselves to respond instead of it being done randomly -- never the less, these are the people most interested in the topic on either side.

The results are running consistently since the start of the survey -- 5th District residents want the collectives out of a buffer zone from parks, libraries, schools and day care centers. They don't necessarily believe they should have to grow in industrial areas and they aren't in favor of a ballot measure to prohibit them as does Lakewood and Signal Hill.

I will close out the survey this evening and make the results available to anyone.

P.S. For those who criticize the survey as not including information on the various medical conditions "needing" medical marijuana -- that's not what it was about. It was to get a read on how residents feel about where the collectives should be located. -- not a debate on the merits of medical marijuana. At least someone bothered to ask your opinion.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

865 Responses to Marijuana Collective Survey -- Some Thoughts About Responses

The responses to my survey are coming in hourly.

The results are holding steady. 5th District residents don't want them around parks, libraries, schools and day care facilities. But they don't want to vote them out of Long Beach.

I find it interesting that if marijuana is supposed to mello people out -- some of those supporting these collectives are nasty and rude in their comments. Guess they don't like being asked for their opinion on proposed legislation.

And for the person who wrote on the survey that maybe Lesbians should be prohibited in Long Beach --- you seriously need to get a life and stop attacking personally. This is a survey about regulations. If you don't agree with the ideas -- say so. No need to personally attack -- I certainly haven't attacked you.

By the way, the City of Long Beach is not taxing medical marijuana collectives -- thanks to me. I would not approve the vote that would have placed a tax on the collectives because we don't tax other "medicines."

Regarding lawsuits -- we already have 5 of them on this issue. And while those applying to become permitted (not licensed) collectives think they have the corner on suing the city if they are further regulated -- get in line with the residents who most likely will sue if their property values go down because they are close to a collective and all the traffic it brings. Better that the City Council fix the flaws in the ordinance before these collectives open than to wait and then change the law. You think there's yelling now...try making changes once these places open for business.

If the operators really cared about Long Beach -- they would agree that collectives should not be operated near schools, parks, libraries and child care centers -- just as is the case in the other cities in which they are doing business.

835 Respond to Survey So Far on Marijuana Collectives

I will close the survey on Monday night but as of this moment 835 people have responded to the survey.
5th District residents want the buffer for parks and libraries but are not as in favor of moving growing shops to industrial. The majority are not in favor of placing the issue on a ballot to prohibit the marijuana collectives as do Lakewood and Signal Hill.

Putting a buffer for parks and libraries would be consistent with EVERY ordinance currently operating in cities in California which allow medical marijuana collectives to operate.

After I close the survey on Monday, I will share the results.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Link to survey on Marijuana Collectives in Long Beach

Some people are complaining that they cannot access the survey I just sent out. I won't go into the technical aspects but simply if you didn't get the email directly from me and it was forwarded by someone who already answered the survey you will get blocked.

To get around this I am putting a direct link to the survey that will fix this problem

Sorry for the inconvenience but the software that allows the surveys put this feature in.

Why Controlling Marijuana Collectives is Like Limiting Airplanes Over a Neighborhood

Despite the protestations from a colleague, three councilmembers, including me, are not trying to change the ordinance governing marijuana collectives in Long Beach at "midnight." Actually we dealt with the issue around 9 pm...but I digress.

Our City Attorney was consulted before this item was placed on the agenda. None of the "potential" marijuana outlets have been licensed or given permits by the City. The City Council has every right (and obligation) to make a bad law better BEFORE we allow any operation of these outlets. There has been no promise of the City that anyone will be allowed to operate until that permit is granted.

Simply put, Long Beach does not need to allow these collectives anywhere let alone across from parks, day care centers, libraries and other places young children congregate. Something I have tried to prevent from the beginning. Now two other council persons agree.

We also don't need to allow marijuana grown in retail centers. 

The voters of California overwhelmingly rejected legalizing marijuana just last week. The City Council has the obligation to protect its neighborhoods and that is what some of us are trying to do.

It's very similar to when residents rose up and protested the noise from airplanes flying over their neighborhoods. Some argued -- not fair to limit flights. It is bad for business and besides people want the convenience of flying out of a local airport. It isn't the City Council's business to limit how many planes can fly out of Long Beach. The other side countered: We must protect our neighborhoods and the quality of life. We need to HUSH these flights. Let the airlines go elsewhere -- but not over our houses.

Restricting or prohibiting where and how many marijuana collectives can be in Long Beach is just like limiting the number of airplanes. Both actions protect our neighborhoods.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Newcomb Academy Hosts 5k Walk on November 14th

Run Like It’s Recess – A Fun Family Event
The inaugural “Run Like It’s Recess” 5k run/walk and kids 1k fun run on November 14, 2010 is a exciting event with something for entire family. Activities include a competitive 5k race on a flat, fast course through scenic El Dorado Park and kids fun zone with crafts and games. Spend a leisurely Sunday morning strolling through El Dorado park or create your own personal record for best 5k time. All ages and fitness levels welcome!  

Newcomb Academy PTSA is proud to host this fun event that provides families with an opportunity to be fit together while raising funds to better the education of our local children. Due to the recent funding cuts to our public school system, community involvement has become critical to maintaining our education standards. The health of our children and general population is also under scrutiny in today’s fast-paced electronic environment.  

One of the most fun events to watch is the 50-yard toddler dash starting at 10:45.  The littlest ones will be racing across the finish line and all will receive a medal to commemorate their experience.  The 1k kids fun run begins at 10:15 – a great introduction to running for younger children.  All 1k participants will receive a finisher’s medal and tee-shirt!  The competitive 5k begins at 9:00 with prizes awarded to top finishers in each age group. The park is dog and stroller friendly and both will be allowed in the 5k. 

Weather you walk with your family or race your friends, the day promises to be a great experience. So Run Like Its Recess and have fun. Registration is available through by searching for Run Like It’s Recess. Forms are also available at Newcomb Academy 3351 Val Verde Ave, Long Beach CA 90808. For additional information or team discounts email

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