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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.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Storm Update for Thrs. Jan 21

The following was just sent by City Manager Pat West:
Overall the City of Long Beach fared considerably well during the last two days of intense rainfall, and we’re preparing for more rain today. The Emergency Communications and Operations Center (ECOC) was again activated this morning at 8:00 am to manage the City’s response.

We experienced over 5 inches of rain in the last three days. Yesterday over 1.5 inches fell within a one-hour period, and on Tuesday, nearly one inch in a half-hour period. Our systems are designed to handle one inch of rain an hour. Any more than one inch in an hour overwhelms the flow of runoff from the streets into the LA River and San Gabriel River.

We expect today’s rainfall to be constant for several hours this afternoon, but not as intense as the powerful rainfall on Tuesday and Wednesday that caused much of our problems. Yesterday, the City of Long Beach appeared to bear the brunt of the storm, receiving more rainfall than most other areas in the region.

Here’s a brief rundown of the City’s activities:
  • Handed out more than 500 tons of sand, and expect to have given out more than 80,000 sandbags in a 3-4 day period.
  • Public Works crews responded to 240 flooded location on Wednesday.
  • Fire crews responded to 36 water-related calls between 3:00 and 5:00 pm on Wednesday, including six submerged vehicles and one vessel assist.
  • Beach Maintenance crews have removed 5,000 tons of debris.
  • Beach Maintenance crews attending to berms at Juniper and the Peninsula.
  • The City of Long Beach provided sand and bags to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Air Operations at Long Beach Airport.

Sand and Sandbags continue to be available to the public at five fire stations, and residents are encouraged to call 562.570.2726 to report weather-related issues such as flooded streets, clogged storm drains, downed trees, etc.

Here’s a brief status update:

The Main Library is closed today, due to flooding from the storm. Staff will be given the choice to take vacation, personal leave or be redeployed. Library staff will post signs, update the library's website and notify branch libraries.

The Nature Center is closed today, due to the poor condition of the trails, which are extremely muddy with a lot of standing water. School tours have been cancelled for the remainder of the week.

3 rd District – 8 th and Bennet and the Roswell area are fine. Three Dumpsters have been provided to each of these areas.
University Park Estates (back of 6 th St.) Opened flap gate. Waters flowed better.

4 th District - Termino (10th to Anaheim) Remains closed.

5 th District - Spring Street Tunnel (Lakewood to Kilroy) has been reopened.
Lakewood @ 405 has been reopened.
          Investigating report of a downed electrical wire at E Monlaco Rd & N Charlemagne Ave. SCE notified.

6 th District – 25 th and Pine is closed, but we are reviewing the need to keep closed.

7th District - WB Willow @ TI Freeway, Intersection closed but stormdrain clear.
      Arlington Ave. area is doing fine.
      Santa Fe and the 405 is open.

Campaign Spending on Steroids

Well, they went and did it. The US Supreme Court today ruled that corporations have first amendment rights (even though they really aren't people) and therefore their spending on political campaigns cannot be prohibited: corporations may spend as freely as they like to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress.

The Court in a 5-4 ruling overturned a 20 year law that restricted corporations from spending monies to support or oppose federal candidates. Several states have the same restrictions on spending in state campaigns.

As part of the 5-4 minority: Justice Stevens, who read part of his harsh dissent from the bench, said, "The court's opinion is thus a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self-government since the founding."

This will in the opinion of a political insider in Washington, DC, put "campaign spending on steroids."

Finding a New Purpose Over Age 60

For those of you who subscribe to the theory that today's age 60 is actually how we use to refer to those at age 40, you might be encouraged to know that there is a non-profit that awards "purpose prizes" to people 60 and over who have embarked on "encore" careers helping others.

You can see their link at: and see what these energetic folks are doing now that they have hit that magic mark of age 60.

Obviously to some, the 60's is not a time to retire.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Flooding and Street Closure Report -- 5:45 pm 1/20/10

The following was sent to all City Council members just minutes ago from City Manager Pat West:

Multiple streets and intersections are flooded and/or are being closed.

Closures include:
    • Spring St. Tunnel between Kilroy and Lakewood (5 th District)
    • Terminal Island Freeway at Willow (7 th District)
    • WB Willow onramp to Terminal Island Freeway at Willow (7 th District)
    • San Diego (405) Freeway at Santa Fe (7 th /8 th Districts)
    • Temple Bridge over the 405 Freeway
    • Redondo between Anaheim and 11th (4th District)
    • Junipero between 14 th and 17 th
    • Southbound 405 exit at Lakewood closed by CHP
    • The entrance to Long Beach Airport was closed, but quickly reopened when the flooding subsided

Flooded intersections include:
    • Atherton and Park (4 th District)
    • Long Beach Blvd. and Willow (6 th District)
    • Arlington Ave. – water up to hubcaps
    • 1900 block of Atlantic – Street flooded up to front of store
    • University Park Estates – back of 6 th Street
    • Ocean Blvd. and 7 th Place – mud flow
    • Spring St. west of Studebaker
    • 3600 block of Ocean Blvd.
    • Pasadena and 23 rd – manhole covers popping up
    • 600 block of East PCH – manhole covers popping up (1 st /6 th Districts)
    • 7 th and Pacific

Trees down
Palos Verde and Willow

Main Library
  • Flooding and leaking ceiling in several areas
  • Drainage on the Plaza has improved significantly today. Sandbags have been placed at the Library front doors and no rain incursion has occurred into the Library lobby so far. Buckets have been deployed throughout the building

Alamitos : No new problems with leaking
Bach : Sandbags used for water incursion from the Carson/Bellflower intersection
Bay Shore : 3 small leaks in Meeting room from vents (usual leaks)
Brewitt : Sandbags used for water incursion from Anaheim street. Carpets wet from yesterday
Burnett : Hill Street was flooded over the sidewalk in front of the library; the water was up to the beginning of the steps.
Dana : No leaks in public area
El Dorado : Small leak in community room, same as yesterday
Bret Harte : Several significant leaks in public area
Los Altos : Leak in Magazine corner, and new carpet tiles are wet
Mark Twain : Water coming into community room through outside patio door
North : Leak along the south facing interior wall. Ceiling tiles are soaked as well

Crews today are bringing in an additional 400 tons of sand for residents, who picked up 150 tons of sand yesterday at Fire Stations. We are closing in on 50,000 sandbags distributed by now.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Why I Voted Against the Marijuana Ordinance

Tonight I cast the lone vote against a proposal to allow marijuana collectives to operate in the City of Long Beach.

I was the lone vote against the proposal because my colleagues diluted the request of the Long Beach Unified School District that a 1,500 foot buffer be required between schools and these marijuana collectives. Instead of heeding the request, my colleagues voted to reduce the buffer to 1,500 for only high schools and 500 feet for other schools. They also deleted any buffer for child care, libraries and parks.

First of all, our schools have in place a Drug Free Zone of 1,000 feet which prohibits the possession and use of drugs within 1,000 feet of schools. Despite whatever argument raised -- marijuana is still a drug -- so hopefully the City Attorney will come back and tell the rest of the council that they need to at least use that buffer. I still prefer a 1,500 foot buffer.

Someone overhearing my discussion with other colleagues about my concern that the buffer zone should not be reduced yelled out "you don't care about the patients." Of course I do. But I am also concerned about what gets placed near our schools. Marijuana collectives do not belong there.

Public Meeting On Installing Lights for Soccer Field at Willow

Date: January 19, 2010

“Creating Community Through People, Places, Programs and Partnerships”

Public Meeting Scheduled to Gain Input
for El Dorado Park West Field Lights Proposal

Event date: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 – 6 p.m.
The American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) 177 has made a proposal to the Parks, Recreation and Marine Department to purchase and install lights at the El Dorado Park West soccer field #2, located south of Willow Street on Studebaker Road.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 27 at 6 p.m. in the El Dorado Community Center Bridge Room, 2800 Studebaker Road.

The Parks and Recreation Commission is holding this meeting to hear information about the proposal and gather feedback to make a decision.

For more information about the meeting, please call Robin Black at (562) 570-3170.
For information on other Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine programs, call (562) 570-3100 or visit, sign up for E-notify and we’ll e-mail you the latest information!

# # #

Contact: Tina Burton at

Trying to get sand for sandbags

The 5th district is experiencing flooding and I am trying to get sand for the sandbags that can be picked up at Fire Stations 18 and 19. I will keep you alerted about the storm and city resources.

Please do not drive through water in the street because you don't know how deep it is or what is underneath.

Our Public Works crews are hard at work and so are the firefighters and police.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Birthdays Past

Thanks to all who have sent their greetings (electronic and otherwise). 60 is a big number no matter how you look at it. But I am so grateful for my life and my family and can hardly wait for my granddaughter to be born. Life is good.

Storm(s) Advisory from USGS

The following was sent to me by a constituent, Ron Beeler that outlines what it expected in the next two weeks concerning storms...

Currently, a strong El Nino is reaching its peak in the Eastern Pacific, and now finally appears to be exerting an influence on our weather. The strong jet has been apparent for quite some time out over the open water, but the persistent block had prevented it from reaching the coast. Now that the block has dissolved completely, a 200+ kt jet is barreling towards us. Multiple large and powerful storm systems are expected to slam into CA from the west and northwest over the coming two weeks, all riding this extremely powerful jet stream directly into the state. The jet will itself provide tremendous dynamic lift, in addition to directing numerous disturbances right at the state and supplying them with an ample oceanic moisture source. The jet will be at quite a low latitude over much of the Pacific, so these storms will be quite cold, at least initially. Very heavy rainfall and strong to potentially very strong winds will impact the lower elevations beginning late Sunday and continuing through at least the following Sunday. This will be the case for the entire state, from (and south of) the Mexican border all the way up to Oregon . Above 3000-4000 feet, precipitation will be all snow, and since temperatures will be unusually cold for a precipitation event of this magnitude, a truly prodigious amount of snowfall is likely to occur in the mountains, possibly measured in the tens of feet in the Sierra after it's all said and done. But there's a big and rather threatening caveat to that (discussed below). Individual storm events are going to be hard to time for at least few more days, since this jet is just about as powerful as they come (on this planet, anyway). Between this Sunday and the following Sunday, expect categorical statewide rainfall totals in excess of 3-4 inches. That is likely to be a huge underestimate for most areas. Much of NorCal is likely to see 5-10 inches in the lowlands, with 10-20 inches in orographically-favored areas. Most of SoCal will see 3-6 inches at lower elevations, with perhaps triple that amount in favored areas.

This is where things get even more interesting, though. The models are virtually unanimous in "reloading" the powerful jet stream and forming an additional persistent kink 2000-3000 miles to our southwest after next Sunday. This is a truly ominous pattern, because it implies the potential for a strong Pineapple-type connection to develop. Indeed, the 12z GFS now shows copious warm rains falling between days 12 and 16 across the entire state. Normally, such as scenario out beyond day seven would be dubious at best. Since the models are in such truly remarkable agreement, however, and because of the extremely high potential impact of such an event, it's worth mentioning now. Since there will be a massive volume of freshly-fallen snow (even at relatively low elevations between 3000-5000 feet), even a moderately warm storm event would cause very serious flooding. This situation will have to be monitored closely. Even if the tropical connection does not develop, expected rains in the coming 7-10 days will likely be sufficient to cause flooding in and of themselves (even in spite of dry antecedent conditions).

In addition to very heavy precipitation, powerful winds may result from very steep pressure gradients associated with the large and deep low pressure centers expected to begin approaching the coast by early next week. Though it's not clear at the moment just how powerful these winds may be, there is certainly the potential for a widespread damaging wind event at some point, and the high Sierra peaks are likely to see gusts in the 100-200 mph range (since the 200kt jet at 200-300 mb will essentially run directly into the mountains at some point). The details of this will have to be hashed out as the event(s) draw closer.

Western Coastal and Marine Geology
U.S. Geological Survey
Pacific Science Center

Save Station 18

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