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.

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!

Save Station 18

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