OVERFLOW CROWD AT BERTH 55 OVERWHELMINGLY OPPOSES PORT PLAN TO OUST LONGTIME BUSINESSESBy Greater Long Beach
More than 100 people overflowed a small restaurant in the Long Beach harbor Thursday evening for a community meeting in response—and apparently overwhelming opposition—to the Port of Long Beach’s plan to evict longtime businesses from Berth 55 to make way for a fire/police station.
None of the community members who addressed an assortment of Long Beach officials (including Port Executive Director Chris Lytle; Fire Chief Mike DuRee and former police West Division Commander Robert
VICE-MAYOR ROBERT GARCIA (CENTER) Luman) voiced support for their positions. Questions were pointed, comments were critical and reactions to official explanations were often loudly scornful.
Vice Mayor Robert Garcia, whose 1st district constituents were among the organizers of the forum, stood silently in the back of the room. Garcia had quietly indicated in e-mails that he would skip the meeting. However, after LBReport.com published excerpts from those e-mails—and other media outlets followed—Garcia apparently changed his mind to head off what threatened to become a public-relations disaster.