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.

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.


Save Station 18

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