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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.

Friday, June 18, 2010

LA Moves to Deal with Marijuana Home Delivery

Long Beach just recently passed an ordinance to regulate medical marijuana collectives throughout the city. Los Angeles passed their ordinance first and it seems those in the marijuana business have found a way around the LA ordinance. Read below.

Click here:

Marijuana delivery services evade bans on dispensaries, spreading across California

Click here:

LA Councilman Targets Pot Delivery System

Cell phone towers in Long Beach

I have posted the map I requested from City staff showing where cell phone towers have been placed in Long Beach.

As you might recall, the City Council placed a 120-day moratorium on the installation of any new cell tower until we could update our ordinance which regulates placement and also take a look at where these are going. That is important since we get requests for placements on a piece meal basis and haven't really looked at if they are impacting one particular area over another.

I am strongly opposed to placing these towers in residential areas or institutional areas (churchs, etc) which are adjacent to residential areas.

We need to make certain this patch work placement is corrected.

And to the people who emailed me -- "Yes, I do have a cell phone and a Blackberry and rely upon both very much. But we need to make sure we balance technology with the quality of life issues in our neighborhoods."

Read the Fine Print Before We Spend the Money

Priceless. Need to do it now. It will bring great changes to Long Beach. You are either for the environment or you are against it.

Gosh, we're about to hear this litany on Tuesday as the Council Chambers are packed to persuade Council to find many millions to have the Army Corps of Engineers do a feasibility study on the breakwater. Funny thing. The Army Corps of Engineers is not willing to include in its study the very thing the City was interested in finding out about: "economic analysis and wave monitoring and water quality." (read the fine print in the management memo posted to the right)

So on top of the possibility that the study won't even look at wave monitoring (i.e. bringing back the waves) or water quality or an economic analysis about the impact of reconfiguration, we don't have the money to spend on a study. According to City Management unless the Port forks over the money for the study (or more precisely the City takes the Tidelands transfer) or the City takes excess oil profits for a one time expense it cannot be done. But folks, this is just the study. If any reconfiguration is proposed as a result of the study, the City has to come up with 35% of the costs.

Last week I voted to approve use of Tidelands funds to repair seawalls that are crumbling in Naples. I did so because if those seawalls fail, the properties could be flooded which would seriously damage the property value and the assessed values from which the city derives property taxes. I believe that is a prudent investment to protect the city from liability claims.

I am no longer convinced that spending money on a study (that now does not include water quality, economic analysis and wave monitoring) is prudent.

There are over $360 million dollars in projects that need funding through the Tidelands funds. Repairing infrastructure and preventing flooding should be top priorities.

I think the City Council should put the issue on the November ballot: should the City of Long Beach expend Tidelands funds in the amount of $4 million for a feasibility study to be conducted by the US Army Corps of Engineers regarding the breakwater.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Council agenda item dealt with improving permits for park use -- not creating new permits

In response to my constituents concerns about the process used to make certain groups wanting to use Long Beach parks and facilities have obtained a permit from the City's Parks, Recreation and Marine Department, I put an item on the agenda last Tuesday to help "beef" up the process and to recoup some fees for policing and cleaning up after these groups use the parks.

Apparently some in the news media and the public didn't know that permits have been a requirement for many, years..and view the council agenda item as adding new laws.

(Please spare me the grandstanding on the right to assembly -- this isn't about restricting assembly -- just letting the police and parks know what is going on especially since they have to do the clean up when things go wrong with group activities.)

Permits have been used for many years in order to control crowding and at one time were used to alert Park Rangers so they could police the parks.

Since we don't have Park Rangers any more, the LB Police need to be brought into the process and be made aware that large groups will be at the park at a certain time.

The other problem is that while every resident of Long Beach receives a bulletin from the Parks, Recreation and Marine Department that includes a notice about the need to obtain a permit, many people from out of area do not receive this information. So I suggested that we post signs -- not all over the parks -- but perhaps below the signage for Park Watch which is all over the parks.

I also suggested we look at some type of fee increase or security deposit because it is costing the city a fortune to continually clean up after these groups...and if the police are called because of noise or other problems (i.e. shootings) then the group should have to forfeit the deposit.

Hey, if y'all have a good idea on how we can make certain we know what is going on in our parks and that we recoup the costs for clean up and policing these parks, then send them in to me at:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Federal Loans Available for 1st Time Homebuyers in Long Beach -- Workshop June 19

The City of Long Beach is launching an innovative homebuyer financial assistance program.  The Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 (NSP2) First-Time Homebuyer Assistance Program will provide up to $200,000 in silent second mortgage loans to assist qualified first-time homebuyers in purchasing a home.  Participants may also qualify for up to $40,000 in grant funding to fix code-related violations, make energy-efficiency improvements and assist with closing costs.

"This is an incredible opportunity for first-time homebuyers to realize the dream of homeownership," said Dale Hutchinson, Housing Operations Officer for the City of Long Beach. "Participants in the Program not only get financial assistance, but also help with navigating the home buying process, finding reputable lenders and realtors, and locating homes for their families."

To introduce the NSP2 Program, the City of Long Beach is hosting a special kick-off event on Saturday June 19, 2010, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. The event will take place at The Grand Long Beach Event Center, 4101 E. Willow St., in Long Beach, and is open to all members of the community. Free onsite parking is available.

“This event is a great way to learn about the NSP2 Program first-hand, thus, attendance to the kick-off event is a requirement to be able to participate in the First-time Homebuyer Assistance Program,” said Hutchinson. “Attendees can find out information about the Program requirements and the homebuying process. They can ask questions and get answers on the spot. If you're looking for a home, this event is the best place to start.”

Residents interested in attending the NSP2 kick-off event are asked to RSVP at 562.570.6949.

Event Information:

NSP2 First-Time Homebuyers Assistance Program Kick-Off Event

June 19, 2010

10:00 am – 12:00 pm

The Grand Long Beach Event Center

4104 E. Willow St.

Long Beach, CA

Free Parking Available

RSVP at 562.570.6949 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Long Beach Magazine Features Schipske's Latest Book on Long Beach History

The June edition of Long Beach Magazine (on the shelves at Barnes and Nobles and Borders Bookstores) includes a very nice review of my latest book on the history of Long Beach: Early Aviation in Long Beach.

While I was researching my first book: Rosie the Riveter in Long Beach, I came across the wonderful aviation history of Long Beach.

Long Beach made aviation history a number of times including in 1911, when Cal Rodgers landed in the water off Pine Avenue Pier and completed the first transcontinental flight. His plane and the mail bag he carried are in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Because of the municipal airport being established in 1923, Army and Navy fliers frequented our area for many years prior to bases being established here. Thanks to pioneer aviators like Earl Daugherty, Frank Champion and John Montijo, Long Beach was well-known as a center of aviation.

Amelia Earhart came to Long Beach to watch an air circus and then received her first flight from Frank Hawks, a Poly High School graduate and military pilot. Earhart learned how to fly solo and perform aerobatics from Montijo -- who served as one of the first Aviation Commissioners for the City.Other aviators such as Charles Lindbergh and Douglas Corrigan also frequented Long Beach. And our own first woman flier, Gladys O'Donnell beat Ameila Earhart in the Women's Air Derby.

A number of groups have asked me to talk about this book and the Rosie the Riveter book. I have made a video presentation on both which I narrate during my presentation. Please contact my office at: 570 6932 if you would like me to talk to your organization about Long Beach history.

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