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 21, 2012

Long Beach Unveils Plan to Make “Most Bike Friendly City” the Safest Too

Long Beach Unveils Plan to Make “Most Bike Friendly City” the Safest Too

Check out the programs Long Beach is launching to improve bike safety in the city.

I remember getting my first bike -- a blue one -- at age 6. Then I got a red one at age 9. I lived on my bike. Rode it everywhere -- as long as I was back home by the time the street lights came on.

LA Times article indicates rate of homelessness down in LA County -- LB Needs to Make Issue with HUD

Current Seal of the County of Los Angeles, Cal...
Current Seal of the County of Los Angeles, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A current article in the LA Times ( indicates that the number of homeless has decreased in Los Angeles County due in large part to aggressive programs that have helped them find permanent housing.

When Long Beach applied for the surplus Army property at Willow and Grand, HUD required that the City accommodate homeless services because of the number of homeless in our area and county. That was 6 years ago.

I have asked city management to call HUD and argue that since homelessness has decreased, so has the need for programs and therefore the City should be able to use Schroeder Army Hall for its east side police substation without having to accommodate a homeless program as a requirement.

Let's see what happens.
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Long Beach Residents Need to Know What Potential Liability Is on Telephone Tax Case

The Sacramento Bee has just disclosed that a case against the City of Long Beach could possibly cost millions if the Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiff. (see

I asked for this information several months ago when I discovered that the City of Los Angeles had publicly acknowledged in its budget statement that a similar suit had been filed against the City of Los Angeles and that the potential liability could be up to $750 million.

The suit is about the City collecting a telephone users tax despite a federal telephone excise tax being eliminated.

To put this in the proper perspective, $750 million equals 17% of the City of Los Angeles' year’s General Fund.

In both the LA and Long Beach cases, the plaintiffs are suing for refunds for residents claiming that the taxes were illegally collected by the City.

I asked for information on how much at risk the City of Long Beach is because of the suit against us by John McWilliams.

I still believe the residents of Long Beach need to know what potentially is coming our way. Last time I asked for the information it was put into a closed session. I think now that everyone who reads the Sacramento Bee knows about this case, it is time to let residents of Long Beach know what to expect.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Belmont Shore Fire Station 8 to Lose Engine

The Long Beach Fire Department today announced the closure of a fire engine at Belmont Shore Fire Station 8. The engine will be relocated to Station 14 near Marina Vista Park.

A paramedic unit will be sent to Fire Station 8.

Below is the memo sent to the City Council today by Fire Chief Duree:

We Need More Dog Parks...and Some Guidance

We Need More Dog Parks...and Some Guidance 

Tomorrow in City Council is an agenda item I placed to set up an advisory committee for the Parks and Recreation Commission that will help set up some guidelines regarding off leash areas for dogs and dog parks.

We certainly need more spaces but we also need some guidance as to the rules for establishing these areas. Right now it has been up to staff to decide.

I have received several requests from residents who want to use portions of parks in the 5th to run their dogs off leash. Right now it is illegal to do so. And the east side needs a regular dog park.

This agenda item would enhance the efforts of the current dog owners groups to provide meaningful input on this issue -- after all they have an important interest in this issue. It would not take away anything from their current work -- it would just provide a set of rules that everyone could abide by if they want to use our parks for dogs.

Here's the agenda item:

Subject:                Establish An Off Leash Dog Area (Dog Parks) Advisory Committee


The City of Long Beach has six off leash dog areas also known as dog parks. There is interest in opening more in other areas of the City and some residents want to be able to utilize portions of existing parks to let their dogs run off leash. Currently, the City lacks a policy regarding the opening and operating of a dog park and dog owners can be fined if they allow their dog to be off leash in a park.

Most cities allowing dog parks and off leash areas have in place a policy that outlines program structure, funding and project operating costs, basic facility elements or design standards, facility rules and regulations, and general dog owner group requirements to support this effort. These cities have required that all dog exercise areas have a "dog owner group" which is responsible for "policing and maintaining" the dog parks because of governmental funding and staff shortages.

An Off Leash Dog Area (Dog Parks) Advisory Committee would provide needed input to the Parks and Recreation Commission about the many issues facing existing and proposed dog parks in the City. Suggested membership would include:
  • Community members representing: veterinary science, dog owners groups, and each council district.
  • Ex officio members from the following departments: Animal Care Services, Parks/Recreation/Marine, Health and Human Services and Development Services.

This Advisory Committee would meet monthly, without compensation, and assist the City in drafting policies related to the establishment and operation of off leash dog areas in the City. These policies would be given to the Parks and Recreation Commission which would decide whether or not to approve these policies and recommend to the City Council for adoption.

Fiscal Impact:

Staffing would be required for the Advisory Committee. However, the involvement of the community in this effort would provide much needed clarification and consistency of the policies concerning establishing and maintaining dog parks in Long Beach.


By motion of the City Council, establish an "Off Leash Dog Area (Dog Parks) Advisory Committee" to advise the Parks and Recreation Commission on the needed policies related to the establishment and operation of off leash dog (dog parks) areas in the City.

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We Tried Once in Long Beach -- We Need to Try Again

Back in the 1990s I was fortunate to participate in an effort by the Carter Foundation -- founded by former President Jimmy Carter -- to deal with the problem of our children, our youth dying as a result of guns. The program was titled: Not Even One -- meaning not even one death of a child due to guns should be acceptable.

We tried to work on the issue -- identifying gun violence as a public health issue -- and as in public health cases -- we took the deaths of several young people in Long Beach and tried to do an examination of the events that led up to the killing. We tried to find the root causes of the violence and what could be done to prevent more violence.

Long Beach was one of only three national projects funded by the Carter Foundation. The other ones in Compton and New Mexico.

We tried to grapple with this problem locally. We need to try again..

See the following explanation from the Carter Foundation:

News & Publications
<SPAN class=genHeading>News & Publications</SPAN>

1 Dec 1997

'Not Even One' Program Seeks to Prevent Firearm Deaths Among Children In 1990 alone, nearly 4,500 children in the United States under age 19 died from gunshot wounds. In 1994, The Carter Center founded Not Even One (NEO), a program that calls on faith communities, schools, families, local governments, and public health and social agencies to reduce firearm violence against children. "The number of children injured or killed by guns every year is a national tragedy," said Wallace Woodard, newly appointed director of NEO. "Our program promotes the philosophy that 'not even one' death of a child by firearms is acceptable or inevitable." Dr. Woodard has spent his career working to improve the lives of children. Before joining NEO, he worked on public safety issues for The Carter Center's Atlanta Project. He has taught elementary and college students and led training sessions on runaway and homeless youth, gang violence, and drug prevention. "Protecting children must become the responsibility of every community," Dr. Woodard said. "In order for a program to work, people must be willing to listen. Citizen involvement must become the top priority in stopping this epidemic." Working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Task Force for Child Survival and Development, and the Emory University School of Public Health, NEO has developed the Community Action Team (CAT). CATs include community leaders and members of public health and police departments, schools, and social service agencies in high-risk areas. Teams have been trained at demonstration sites in Compton and Long Beach, Calif., and Albuquerque, N.M. A third pilot is planned for Atlanta in 1997. NEO will evaluate their efforts to develop a prevention model for use nationwide. "CAT members are being trained to gather and share information on possible causes of firearm violence that could lead to prevention strategies," Dr. Woodard explained. "They will use the same methods that public health professionals use to contain and prevent disease. Our hope is that those steps most likely to save our children will become habitual where they are most needed."

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