Wednesday, April 23, 2014 10:28pm

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NOCAL BIZMAN DONATES $25,000 TO MAKE GARCIA MAYOR BECAUSE HE WANTS FOUR MORE YEARS OF BOB FOSTER


From LBReport.com: A Northern California businessman, whose firm contributed $25,000 to the independent expenditure committee “Friends of Long Beach, A Committee Supporting Vice Mayor Robert Garcia for Mayor” has told LBReport.com he did so because he respects the accomplishments of Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster and wants to see those policies continue. John Vidovich, President […]

LONG BEACH’S EVER-CLOSER-TO-FAMOUS MYSTERY STINK: IT’S BAAAAACK!


From LBReport.com: Long Beach residents reported an intense odor across a fairly wide area Sunday afternoon, mainly from downtown Long Beach to Cherry Avenue, but in some cases beyond. During a 10 o’clock-hour interview with LBReport.com, Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) Capt. Jim Arvizu reported that dispatch had received less than half a dozen call. […]

1ST DISTRICT’S LIST OF REGISTERED VOTERS HAS CLIMBED BY 60 PERCENT SINCE APRIL 2010


From LBReport.com: An analysis of Long Beach voter registration figures by LBREPORT.com shows that the number of registered voters in Long Beach’s 1st council district jumped by 60 percent between the last citywide election in April 2010  and the most-recent reported figure on March 6, 2014. Translated, 8,515 new names have been added to the list of the […]

LB’S HEART WOULD MARCH TO BEAT OF DEVELOPER’S DRUM FOR 45 YEARS


Long Beach's Civic Center would be run for the profit of a private developer for a half-century under the parameters of the Request For Proposals (RFP) released Friday by City Management to three pre-selected companies, according to LBReport.com.

OPINION: “ADVISORY” VOTES ON FIREWORKS & MEDPOT PLAY POLITICS WITH BALLOT


From LBReport.com: Money appears to be no object after some Long Beach City Councilmembers voted to spend several million dollars just to start pursuing a Taj Mahal Civic Cente (without seeking any “advisory” public vote) and to give city management raises of 15 percent (with no “advisory” public vote) on the same night Councilmembers refused […]

COUNCIL BOWS TO MAYOR, REMOVING HARBOR COMMISSIONER WHO DIDN’T


Taking their cue from an agenda item by Mayor Bob Foster---who said he had "lost confidence" in Long Beach Harbor Commission president Thomas Fields---six City Council members dutifully provided the two-thirds majority necessary to remove Fields from his position

LBREPORT.COM: READ EX-MAYOR O’NEILL’S LETTER TO FOSTER, COUNCIL REGARDING PORT CONTROVERSY


FROM LBREPORT.COM: Retired three-time Mayor of Long Beach Beverly O’Neill on Friday (November 15)  below to all Mayor Rob Foster, all nine member of the Long Beach City Council and the persons indicated as cc’d.members, Mayor Foster and the persons indicated as cc’d. O’Neill’s dispatch comes in the aftermath of an item that Foster  placed on […]

BROWN VETOES BILL REQUIRING STUDY OF ECO-FRIENDLIER 710 FREEWAY


Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed SB 811, authored by state Senator Ricardo Lara (D., Long Beach-Huntington Park), which would have required CalTrans to study—not necessarily adopt—a grassroots-proposed “Community Alternative 7″ as part of the environmental review for the I-710 freeway expansion (whose current alternatives include up to 14 lanes (10 mixed flow plus four truck lanes.) […]

BOEING TO CLOSE LONG BEACH C17 PRODUCTION FACILITY IN 2015


From LBReport.com: In an action ultimately stemming from Defense Department decisionmakers under the Bush and Obama administrations and budget directives from Congress, Boeing announced this afternoon (Sept. 18) that it will “complete production of the C-17 Globemaster III and close the C-17 final assembly facility in Long Beach, Calif. in 2015.”   READ BOEING’S RELEASE […]

FEW CHANGES TO FOSTER/WEST BUDGET RUBBER-STAMPED BY CITY COUNCIL


The Long Beach City Council adopted a budget for fiscal year 2014 budget tonight (Tuesday, September 3) that is essentially the same as proposed by Mayor Bob Foster and City Manager Pat West, although with several alterations: • Funding for graffiti and code enforcement is restored. • Additional money is set aside for for soccer […]

DESPITE DENIAL, WEST PLANNING PAY RAISES FOR CITY MANAGEMENT


Although City Manager Pat West and Mayor Bob Foster denied on August 1 that their proposed budget would include raises, a memo from West intercepted by LBReport.com indicates management-level personnel will have fatter paychecks in 214.

REVELATION: LBPD GANG STAFFING HAS BEEN LESS THAN PROMISED, AND FOSTER BUDGET PROPOSES TO CONTINUE IT


From LBReport.com: Testimony by Long Beach Police Department management during Tuesday’s (Aug. 20) meeting of the City Council’s Budget Oversight Committee revealed that the deployment of LBPD gang field officers has been even less than the half-strength levels promised by the Council, and also that the budget proposed by Mayor Bob Foster and City Manager […]

COUNCIL’S “MAYORAL MAJORITY” HITS A MORAL LOW BY CANCELING AUG. 20 BUDGET-REVIEW MEETING


This is an editorial  from LBReport.com: Seven members of the Long Beach City Council—including two who are running for mayor (Robert Garcia and Suja Lowenthal) and two who are running for the state assembly (Patrick O’Donnell and Steve Neal)—voted Tuesday to shirk one of their most important public duties: decide how the public’s money is […]

GARCIA CALLS FOSTER’S BUDGET ‘RESPONSIBLE;’ SCHIPSKE CALLS LACK OF PERFORMANCE MEASURES ‘IRRESPONSIBLE’


From LBReport.com: Long Beach City Council members Robert Garcia and Gerrie Schipske, who are also declared candidates for Mayor, have expressed sharply contrasting opinions regarding the budget that exiting Mayor Bob Foster and City Manager Pat West have proposed for the City of Long Beach in fiscal year 2014. Garcia says the budget is “responsible, […]

WHITE HOUSE HONORS SCHIPSKE AMONG SEVEN AMERICAN ‘CHAMPIONS OF CHANGE’ FOR HER WORK PROMOTING OPEN GOVERNMENT


The White House announced today that Long Beach Councilwoman—and mayoral candidate—Gerrie Schipske will be among seven Americans honored Tuesday (July 23) as “Champions of Change” for her work in promoting open government, according to a story on LBReport.com. A White House release states: “The Champions being honored tomorrow have made a tremendous positive impact by […]

KIDS’ DISCOVERY OF DEAD WOMAN IN 1ST DISTRICT’S SEASIDE PARK LATEST EXAMPLE OF AREA’S DETERIORATION


Saturday’s discovery by children at play of a dead woman in Seaside Park—the area of 14th Street and Chestnut Avenue represented by First District City Councilmember Robert Garcia—is apparently only the latest and most grisly example of what many nearby residents describe as the deterioration of their neighborhoods. LBPD Public Information Sgt. Dave Marander says […]

A SAME-SEX WEDDING TOAST AT THE GRAND


More than 500 people converged on The Grand Event Center on Wednesday night for a free public event organized by Long Beach's LGBTQ Center to celebrate U.S. Supreme Court rulings earlier in day permitting same-sex marriage. LBReport.com has video coverage.

“O’DONNELL FOR ASSEMBLY” CAMPAIGN SETS FUNDRAISER—IS IT FINALLY OK TO SAY HE’S RUNNING?


It’s definite: Long Beach Councilman Patrick O’Donnell is actively seeking election to the state Assembly in 2014. LBREPORT.com has obtained a copy of an invitation to a mid-June fundraiser for O’Donnell’s campaign at the downtown Long Beach office of the law firm Keesal, Young & Logan. It was sent by the “Patrick O’Donnell for Assembly 2014″ committee […]

COUNCIL’S COWARDICE ALLOWS MAYOR’S OPINION TO SUB FOR CITY POLICY


Editorial by LBReport points out that BNSF wants a massive rail yard amid the homes and schools of Long Beach neighborhoods that already have the city's worst air, and the Long Beach City Council doesn't have enough courage to publicly support or oppose it.

FOSTER STILL MULLING THIRD TERM AS FIELD OF MAYORAL CANDIDATES GROWS


As the field of candidates for next year’s Long Beach mayoral race grows—attorney Doug Otto brought the number to four this week when he officially formed a committee—current Mayor Bob Foster has told LBREPORT.com that he is still thinking about whether or not to seek a third term via a write-in campaign. Foster made his comment during […]

STATE OF BOB FOSTER: SEE WHO GAVE MONEY FOR OFFICE HE’S NOT SEEKING


Campaign disclosure forms filed with the California Secretary of State’s office indicate that the “Foster for Treasurer 2014″ political committee (launched by Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster shortly after his reelection in 2010) collected $9,100 between July 1, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2012 for a total collected in 2012 of $60,000. After expenses, the committee […]

PUBLIC EXCLUDED FROM COUNCIL DISCUSSION OF CIVIC CENTER SALE


Tonight's Long Beach City Council meeting includes a closed-session discussion---meaning no public and no press---about the sale of the Civic Center.

AQMD BOARD DECLARES PORTS INDIRECT POLLUTION SOURCE, WILL ADOPT CLEAN AIR ACTION PLANS


Over objections by the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s governing board voted on Friday to declare the Ports “indirect sources” of air pollution under the federal Clean Air Act and move forward to prepare a “Backstop Rule” that will require the Ports to reduce emissions, no […]

CA DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE DENIES LB $10M REIMBURSEMENT IN REDEVELOPMENT FUNDS


LONG BEACH — The California Department of Finance notified Long Beach city management in writing over a month ago that it is denying roughly $10 million claimed as reimbursable costs by the City of Long Beach in the wake of Sacramento’s legislative dissolution of local redevelopment agencies. The action comes after city halll disputed a […]

SHOULD FORMER CHURCH BE TURNED INTO LOW-INCOME SENIOR HOUSING?


LONG BEACH — A number of 2nd Council district residents are up in arms, and an appeal has been filed that will reach the City Council on Jan. 22, on a developer’s proposal to turn the now-vacant Immanuel Community Church into 24 residential units for low- and very low-income seniors, plus a manager’s unit. The […]

DESPITE LBUSD OPPOSITION, LOWENTHAL AND NEAL WANT LB COUNCIL TO SUPPORT ‘CLEAN WATER’ TAX


LONG BEACH — Councilmembers Suja Lowenthal and Steve Neal have agendized an item for the Jan. 8 City Council meeting that would support a controversial proposed Los Angeles County property parcel tax. Their item, agendized on the letterhead of Councilwoman Lowenthal cites multiple grounds for supporting the Clean Water, Clean Beaches Measure while not disclosing […]

PORTIONS OF LB WON’T HAVE A STATE SENATOR UNTIL DECEMBER 2014


LONG BEACH — Quick quiz: if you live in Belmont Shore or Los Altos east of Bellflower Blvd. — and maybe east of Clark Avenue — who’s your new state Senator? Answer: you don’t have a state Senator…and you won’t have one for the next two years. And a very small chunk of western West […]

LB MAYOR FOSTER TO DECIDE BY YEAR’S END TO PURSUE 3RD COUNCIL TERM


Interviewed on Art Levine’s Straight Talk TV, Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster says he won’t be seeking statewide office and will decide whether to seek a third term as Mayor (via write-in) by the end of this year. “I love being Mayor. I think I’ve done a very good job for this city. I do […]

PROPOSED LACO ‘PARCEL TAX’ COULD COST LBUSD ESTIMATED $715K EACH YEAR


LONG BEACH — At its meeting tonight, the Long Beach Unified School District Board of Education will vote on an LBUSD management-recommended item that would oppose the proposed “parcel tax” on all L.A. County property owners, sought by L.A. County management to pay for stormwater clean-up and anti-pollution measures. In its agenda item, LBUSD management […]

LBUSD, MAYOR FOSTER ISSUE STATEMENTS ABOUT NEWTOWN SCHOOL SHOOTING


LONG BEACH — At midafternoon, Long Beach Unified School District and Mayor Bob Foster issued statements expressing condolences to the community of Newtown, Conn., which earlier today suffered one of the nation’s most violent school shootings. According to law enforcement, 20-year-old Adam Lanza — armed with four guns and wearing a bullet-proof vest — killed […]

‘KING TIDE’ CAUSES SEAWALL LEAKAGE ALONG NAPLES CANAL


Long Beach had its highest tide of the season today — roughly 7.3 feet — with a “king tide” at about 8:17 a.m. The periodic natural phenomenon — caused by the Earth, moon and sun lining up to create a strong gravitational tide force — as expected caused seawater to cover most of the beach […]

TENTATIVE AGREEMENT REACHED TO END PORT-IMPACTING STRIKE


The ILWU-represented clerical workers union and the Harbor Employers Association have reached a tentative agreement subject to rank and file union agreement, ending a strike that had halted operations at 10 of 14 terminals at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles when ILWU-represented dockworkers honored the clerical workers’ picket line. An announcement says […]

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD: IS LONG BEACH READY FOR BACKYARD URBAN FARMING?


Should Long Beach City Hall loosen its rules on allowing residents to keep chickens, goats and bees? Polarized public testimony on the hot-button issue is expected later today as the City Council’s Environmental committee — for a fourth time — confronts the subject of urban farming. Today’s item is agendized as “to receive and file […]

LB COUNCIL DENIES TITLE LOAN OUTLET AT SOUTH WRIGLEY GATEWAY


Following a hard-fought, nearly 90 minute hearing, the City Council voted 9-0 to deny applicant Pennbrooke Financial Services, LLC’s request for a Conditional Use Permit to operate a Title Loan outlet at the South Wrigley gateway of PCH/Pacific. The hearing pitted grassroots neighborhood advocates/appellants — including Mike Fukui, Mauna Eichner, Jack Smith, Colleen McDonald and […]

TRAFFIC CIRCLE SIGNATURE LOAN OUTLET APPROVED, SHOTSPOTTER SHOT DOWN


LONG BEACH — City leaders on Tuesday night approved a conditional use permit allowing a signature loan company to operate in East Long Beach. Nevada-based Dollar Loan Center was one of the three high-interest lending applicants exempted from a one-year moratorium on new signature loan, payday loan, vehicle title loan and checking cashing businesses. City […]

LB COUNCIL TO DECIDE FUTURE OF TRAFFIC CIRCLE SIGNATURE LOAN OUTLET


In a hot-button hearing tonight on an issue that has spawned an unusual crosstown alliance, the City Council will decide whether to grant a Conditional Use Permit letting a firm offering “signature loans” open in the Traffic Circle area. Nevada-based Dollar Loan Center is seeking to operate in the Traffic Circle area at 2004 Ximeno […]

LOWENTHAL OUT-POLLED DELONG IN NEARLY EVERY LB COUNCIL DISTRICT


Data released by the Los Angeles County Registrar/Recorder — all precincts reporting but unofficial, not yet final figures — indicate that in the Long Beach-west Orange County 47th Congressional district race, State Sen. Alan Lowenthal won, and Councilman Gary DeLong lost, in every Long Beach City Council district in which they were on the ballot […]

RICHARDSON LOSES THE 44TH: ‘WE RAN A CAMPAIGN WE CAN ALL BE PROUD OF’


Congresswoman Laura Richardson lost her bid to represent the newly redrawn 44th Congressional District when opponent Congresswoman Janice Hahn won 60% of the vote. The 44th serves Compton, Carson, Lynwood, San Pedro, South Gate, and a portion of North Long Beach. Richardson issued the following statement on Wednesday: First, I offer my congratulations to Janice […]

HARBOR COMMISSION TO VOTE ON $23M TEMPORARY HQ IN EAST LONG BEACH


This afternoon, LBReport.com will stream the Long Beach Harbor Commission meeting, where commissioners will discuss and vote on spending $23 million to buy an East Long Beach-area building to serve as a temporary headquarters. If approved, the Port’s offices would be nearly 10 miles driving distance from the Port, about 20-30 minutes driving time each […]

ABOUT THAT $350K CRIME-FIGHTING TECH LB COUNCIL SAID DOESN’T EXIST…APPARENTLY, IT DOES


A little over a year ago, the Long Beach City Council voted 6-3 to budget $350,000 from oil revenue for the Shotspotter System, “a gunshot detection system would be a valuable tool to assist the Police Department in responding to gun incidents and other types of crime.” LBReport.com continued to follow-up on the budgeted item […]

CLINTON PRAISES LOWENTHAL, JABS DELONG FOR QUESTIONING ‘SCIENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE’


IRVINE — Former President Bill Clinton urged voters at a rally at UCI Tuesday night to elect five Southern California Democrats to Congress, among them state Sen. Alan Lowenthal, whom the former president praised for his work on clean air at the Ports. Lowenthal was on stage throughout the former President’s speech, and at several […]

BANCAP COULD GET UP TO $95K IN RENT CREDITS (UNLESS YOU OR LB COUNCIL HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT IT)


LONG BEACH — On the final scheduled City Council meeting before an election that could send 3rd District Councilman Gary DeLong to Congress, city management has agendized for “consent calendar” approval — without Council discussion unless requested by a Councilmember or the public — that would give BANCAP Marina Center, Inc. up to $95,000 in […]

CLINTON TO ENDORSE LOWENTHAL, CALIF. DEMOCRATS AT UCI RALLY


Former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to endorse congressional candidate Alan Lowenthal along with a number of other California congressional candidates. A rally with the former President is scheduled tomorrow at 5 p.m. at UC Irvine’s Bren Events Center for Democratic Congressional candidates Alan Lowenthal (LB-west OC), Julia Brownley (Ventura), Gary Peters (San Diego), Raul […]

FROM THE AMNESIA FILES: ACCUSED ASSESSOR NOGUEZ NAMED ‘MAN OF THE YEAR’ BY LB LAMBDA DEMOCRATIC CLUB


Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez, arrested Oct. 17 and chagred by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office with allegedly having committed 24 felonies — including accepting bribes, perjury and misappropriation — was named “Man of the Year” almost exactly one year ago by the Long Beach Lambda Democratic Club and was an honored […]

CITY AUDITOR REPORT ADVISES BETTER PLANNING FOR LB WATER DEPARTMENT


LONG BEACH — An eight-page report by the City Auditor’s office says Long Beach’s Water Department has collected rate increases from consumers for planned capital improvement projects that have been delayed for which the department currently has a large unspent surplus. Explicitly noting that its audit doesn’t address whether the Water Department’s reserve balances are […]

U.S. ARMY RANGER FROM LONG BEACH SLAIN IN AFGHANISTAN FIREFIGHT


U.S. Army Ranger Sgt. Thomas R. MacPherson, of Long Beach, was killed in a heavy firefight with enemy soldiers, according to U.S. Army’s Special Operations Command. On Oct. 12, 26-year-old MacPherson was leading an assault against an enemy position in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. He previously served one deployment in Iraq, and was on his fourth […]

LBPD CHIEF: OFFICER CUTS IN CITY BUDGET COULD HAVE REVERSED UPWARD CRIME TRENDS


LONG BEACH — During a televised interview, Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell has said that if the city had the police officers eliminated in budget cuts over the past three years, the current upward crime trend could be reversed. The Chief’s matter-of-fact statement came in an interview with Art Levine’s Straight Talk TV. His […]

LBPD SERVES WARRANTS, SHUTS DOWN 7 LB MEDPOT OUTLETS


LONG BEACH — The Long Beach Police Department, assisted by the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, the state Franchise Tax Board, the Long Beach Fire Department and the County District Attorney’s Office served search warrants and conducted an enforcement operation that shut down seven LB marijuana dispensaries on Wednesday. Police said the outlets targeted allegedly received […]

DELONG VS. LOWENTHAL DIGITAL DUEL IN THE LB-OC CONGRESSIONAL RACE


LONG BEACH– Councilman Gary DeLong’s Congressional campaign on Monday issued a release blasting Sen. Alan Lowenthal campaign’s in connection with actions by a “tracker” following the Oct. 5 League of Women Voters candidate forum at CSULB. A few hours later at mid-afternoon, the California Democratic Party released on YouTube.com video and audio of the encounter. […]

GOV. BROWN PUSHES FOR EARLY SWITCH TO ‘WINTER BLEND’ GAS TO EASE PUMP PRICES


In an unusual Sunday action, Governor Jerry Brown today (Oct. 7) directed the California Air Resources Board (CARB) “to immediately take whatever steps are necessary” to make an early switch to “winter-blend” gasoline (which usually isn’t sold until after Oct. 31) in an effort to increase the state’s gasoline supply and lower guel prices. “Gas […]

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: ACQUIRING SCHROEDER HALL


LONG BEACH — In an unusual development, the City Attorney’s office has given permission to Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske to release information on certain actions that occurred during an Oct. 2 closed City Council session concerning the City’s acquisition of the U.S. Army surplus Schroeder Hall (Willow/Grand) for an East Division police station. The acquisition became […]

LB COUNCIL EXEMPTS 3 LENDERS IN 1-YEAR MORATORIUM ON HIGH-INTEREST LOANS


LONG BEACH — The City Council on Tuesday night approved a substitute motion by Councilman Patrick O’Donnell to exempt three applications “in the pipeline” — applicants have paid their fees — from a one-year moratorium on payday lending, car title loan lending and short term consumer finance lending land uses. The 8-1 vote (Schipske dissenting) […]

AN “AMERICANA ENTHUSIAST” COMES BACK TO WHERE IT ALL STARTED


"We live in a theme park world," says Charles Phoenix, who presents his 'Big Retro Slide Show' at the Art Theatre on Saturday. "I grew up in a theme park environment, in Southern California, and wherever you go, everyone is trying to be a little bit theme park."

RETIRED ADMIRAL OF SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND IN BIN LADEN RAID TO SPEAK AT CSULB


LONG BEACH — Retired U.S. Navy Admiral Eric Olson, the first Navy SEAL to be named a 3-Star and 4-Star Admiral and whose Special Operations Command of Navy SEALS killed Osama bin Laden, will be the featured speaker at the 6th annual Cal State Long Beach Distinguished Speaker Series on Thurs. Oct. 18. Scheduled for […]

FROM THE AMNESIA FILES: ROBERT GARCIA’S CITY COUNCIL VOTING RECORD AND 2008 PROMISES


LONG BEACH — On December 14, 2008, Robert Garcia held a press event to announce his candidacy for a no-runoff special election to fill the 1st district Council vacancy created after Bonnie Lowenthal was elected to the state Assembly. Candidate Garcia told supporters and multiple media outlets: “What do I see as a vision for […]

AUSTIN, NEAL PROPOSE INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION OF ALLEGED ILLEGAL ACTS AT LB HARBOR COMMISSION


LONG BEACH — Councilmembers Al Austin and Steven Neal (8th and 9th districts) have agendized an item for the Oct. 2 City Council meeting that seeks an independent investigation into the recent accusations made by Commissioner Doug Drummond against fellow commissioners and current and former city employees with a report back to the City Council. […]

LACO AUDITOR-CONTROLLER REJECTS LB PURSUIT OF $100M IN HUD ‘LOANS’ FROM DISSOLVED RDA


The L.A. County Auditor-Controller’s office has disallowed payment of tens of millions of dollars in items that Long Beach City Hall sought to have recognized as enforceable obligations to be paid by the assets of LB’s now-dissolved Redevelopment Agency. Among the disallowed sums is repayment of roughly $96 million in “loans” — called dubious for […]

LB HARBOR COMMISSION APPROVES $3M TO COVER ALAMEDA CORRIDOR SHORTFALL


LONG BEACH — Long Beach’s Board of Harbor Commissioners voted 4-0 to approve nearly $3 million “cash advance” to meet an Oct. 1 debt payment. Reduced to the status of a debtor unable to pay back a loan on terms it previously accepted, the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority demanded $2.95 million from the Port of […]

PORT DIRECTOR LYTLE HAS BEEN PLAYING HARDBALL WITH TENANTS AT BERTH 55


Letters and email obtained by LBReport.com show that the staff of the Long Beach Harbor Department delivered an ultimatum to its tenant on Berth 55—seeking to oust the last publically accessible commercial businesses in the Port of Long Beach—before the matter was discussed in an agendized closed session this year by the Long Beach Harbor […]

BY THE NUMBERS: CUTTING LBPD’S GANG ENFORCEMENT UNIT


LONG BEACH — On September 4, the City Council’s Budget Oversight Committee (DeLong, O’Donnell, Lowenthal) proposed, and the full Council approved, a sum roughly a half million dollars less than LBPD used for overtime for the past two budget years that is supposed to cover both FY13 overtime (a non-discretionary item) and allow “discretion” for […]

LB BUDGET SPARES MOST CUTS TO PARKS AND RECS, SLASHES TO POLICE AND NATURE CENTER


LONG BEACH — City leaders approved on Tuesday an amended version of the 2013 General Fund Budget, averting some — but not all — cuts to services originally on the chopping block last month. Details of funding for police, fire and park services include: LBPD: $1 million in funding beyond the Budget Oversight Committee proposed […]

ONLINE PETITION DEMANDS LARGER POLICE FORCE IN LONG BEACH BUDGET


With the Long Beach City Council poised to vote—either September 4 or September 11—on a budget for fiscal year 2013, a grassroots petition drive has been launched online telling the city’s elected officials: “We want a larger police force—NOT a shrinking one.” The petition, authored by Jennifer Gomez, is accessible at this link — and […]

PILOT ERROR PROBABLE CAUSE OF CRASH THAT KILLED 5 AT LB AIRPORT


Pilot error was the probable cause of the fiery plane crash that killed five men—Mark Bixby, Tom Dean, Jeff Berger, Bruce Krall and pilot Kenneth Earl Cruz—and seriously injured Mike Jensen on March 16, 2011, during an attempted takeoff at Long Beach Airport. The determination was reached after a long investigation by the National Transportation […]

HIGHER OIL PRICE, $1M FROM SIDEWALK FUNDS PROPOSED TO STAVE OFF CUTS TO PARKS, NATURE CENTER


LONG BEACH — City management responded on Tuesday to public resistance to the city’s proposed budget cuts by offering councilmembers a list of programs that could be restored, averting cuts to Nature Center program, after-school parks/recreation programs, adaptative recreation, senior center and some library services. However, the offered budget restorations, described at special Council budget […]

FORMER LBPD CHIEF BATTS EXPECTED TO BE BALTIMORE’S NEW POLICE COMMISSIONER


BALTIMORE, MD — Former Long Beach Police Chief Anthony Batts is expected to be named Baltimore’s new Police Commissioner, after being selected by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Batts devoted 27 years to Long Beach, rising through the ranks in LBPD to be named police chief in 2002. After seven years as LBPD chief, Batts’ career took […]

DIRECTOR TONY SCOTT DEAD AFTER LEAP FROM VINCENT THOMAS BRIDGE


The man who jumped to his death Sunday from the Vincent Thomas Bridge was Anthony David Scott, 68, of Beverly Hills—better known as Tony Scott, the British-born director of such films as Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop II and Days of Thunder, according to a story by LBReport.com that cites the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office as its […]

$1M IN START-UP COSTS FOR LB PRISONER TRANSFER TUNNEL TO…NOWHERE?


The City of Long Beach spent nearly $1 million in oil revenue on a recommended jail-to-new-courthouse prisoner transfer tunnel the Council budgeted in October 2011, but based on an $80,000 feasibility study now recommends against pursuing. LBReport.com discovered that the expenditure appears on the final page of items listed as funded by uplands oil revenue […]

YEA OR NAY: LONG BEACH PROPERTY BASED IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT VOTING


The City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to impose a special assessment on property owners for the next 10 years within a downtown area called the Property Based Improvement District (PBID). For the first time, the assessment will include residential property owners, not just businesses, although the revenue from the assessment will continue to be […]

CITY MANAGER SEEKS AUTHORITY TO SIGN $250,000 CONTRACTS WITHOUT APPROVAL


The budget proposed by City Manager Pat West for fiscal year 2013 includes a line item that would give West—or any succeeding Long Beach city manager—the authority to enter spending agreements of up to $250,000 without the approval of the City Council. The current limit is $100,000. The implications of the proposed change go beyond money and […]

RICHARDSON RESPONDS TO ETHICS COMMITTEE REPORT


Long Beach Congresswoman Laura Richardson this morning spoke on the House floor to criticize the House Ethics Committee report about her ethical violations in office. The House formally adopted the bipartisan report and reprimanded Richardson for breaking seven laws, rules or standards of conduct for her improper use of House resources for campaign and personal […]

IS THE MUSIC OVER FOR PANAMA JOE’S? COUNCIL TO VOTE ON LIVE ENTERTAINMENT PERMIT


LONG BEACH — City leaders are expected tonight to formally vote on a permit renewal allowing dancing and live music at Panama Joe’s, a popular 2nd Street restaurant at Belmont Shore. The city’s Department of Financial Management and Long Beach Police Department both recommended denial of the permit renewal. LBPD in a 31-page report detailed […]

CSU MONEY MATTERS: PAY RAISES FOR TOP ADMINISTRATORS, 5% TUITION HIKE FOR STUDENTS


LONG BEACH — It’s going to be a busy Tuesday for trustees of the California State University system: in the same session, they will discuss raising tuition fees and hear out Chancellor Charles Reed’s request for the approval of pay raises for high-level administrators. Reed’s push for pay raises for more high level CSU administrators, […]

THE SNAKE, MONGOOSE AND LIONS: BIXBY KNOLLS GIVES THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES


Forty years after Don "The Snake" Prudomme and Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen closed Lions Drag Strip forever, they will be at the Bixby Knolls Dragster Expo and Car Show on Saturday to share the memories of a lost-forever era.

DA FILES MULTIPLE FELONY CHARGES AGAINST ALLEGED LB CODE ENFORCEMENT SHOOTER


The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed 15 felony counts against Anthony Glen Gorospe, 51, who allegedly shot a Long Beach city code enforcement inspector in the face, then engaged in day-long standoff with LBPD. The charges are: one count of attempted willful, deliberate and premeditated murder; three counts of attempted murder of a […]

MEDPOT OUTLETS ON THE SCALES: COURT STRIKES DOWN COUNTY BLANKET BAN, COUNCIL TO WEIGH IN ON LB DISPENSARIES


A three-judge panel of the 2nd district Court of Appeal — whose rulings are controling authority in Los Angeles County — has struck down L.A. County’s blanket ban in non-incorporated parts of the County on medical marijuana outlets, reasoning that it conflicts with and is preempted by the Compassionate Use Act (Prop 215, enacted by […]

MIKE DUREE PROMOTED FROM WITHIN TO BECOME LB’S NEW FIRE CHIEF


Mike DuRee was appointed Long Beach’s new fire chief on Monday by City Manager Pat West, a move that has been expected since March, when Chief Alan Patalano retired after publicly differing with Mayor Bob Foster about the staffing of the department. A City Hall release says DuRee began his LBFD career in 1994, and has […]

BALLOT MEASURE PUSHES FOR OIL PRODUCTION TAX REVENUE TO FUND LONG BEACH PUBLIC SERVICES


LONG BEACH — With City Hall’s General Fund straining to provide core services amid the prospect of further cuts, Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske, joined by Councilmembers Steven Neal and Rae Gabelich, propose using an already-required November 2012 city election to update and adjust LB’s oil production taxes — paid by oil producers — to more closely […]

LB LOBBYISTS AT CAPITOL HILL ADVICE ON STALLED FEMA BILL


The City of Long Beach’s federal legislative advocacy/lobbying firm in Washington, D.C. advised city management as part of a routine legislative update on June 5 that a previously stalled flood insurance bill — which includes a section that could require thousands of homeowners and commercial property owners in low-flood risk parts of Long Beach and […]

POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEES SPENT $41,000-PLUS ON O’DONNELL IN MAY


LONG BEACH (Via LBReport.com)—During the month of May alone, Patrick O’Donnell’s campaign for a third term as representative of the 4th district on the Long Beach City Council was supported by more than $41,000 in expenditures by Political Action Committees (PACs) of the Long Beach Police Officers Association, the Los Angeles County Labor Federation and […]

LOWENTHALS’ TAX-BREAK-FOR-SHIPPERS BILL SWEEPS THROUGH SENATE, 37-0


The state Senate voted, 37-0, this morning to approve a measure authored by Alan and Bonnie Lowenthal that would continue permitting shippers to avoid paying California’s sales/use tax on a portion of the fuel they buy. SB 1243, sponsored by Senator Alan Lowenthal in the Senate, thus moves on to the Assembly, where the sponsor […]

DOWNTOWN HOMEOWNERS GROUP: LET PRIVATE PROPERTY OWNERS DETERMINE FATE OF DLBA ASSESSMENT


Downtown Homeowners Unite, the grassroots homeowner group which opposes expansion of a city-collected, privately administered downtown “benefit assessment district” to include residential property owners, has sent a mass emailing urging the City Council not to include city-owned properties in the petition vote. At this evening’s meeting, the City Council will decide whether to have the […]

AS CRIME RISES, LBPD MANAGEMENT CONSIDERS FEWER DIVISIONS, PATROLS


Another day, another breaking story from LBReport.com, which this morning reveals that Long Beach Police Department management is considering a restructuring plan that would reduce both the number of department divisions and the number of police patrol beats—the latter accomplished by increasing the area size of each beat, thus giving beat officers more ground to […]

VIOLENT AND PROPERTY CRIME IN LONG BEACH UP 15 PERCENT IN 2012


Crimes of violence and against property during the first three months of 2012 have risen by double-digit amounts in Long Beach compared to the same period last year, according to statistics compiled and presented by the Long Beach Police Department. Specifically, violent crimes in Long Beach increased 13 percent during January, February and March compared […]

DELONG MAKES NO SECRET OF HIS PRIORITIES IN DITCHING COUNCIL MEETING FOR CONGRESSIONAL CAMPAIGN FORUM


Tuesday night’s meeting of the Long Beach City Council got off to a late start, and 3rd district representative Gary DeLong took off early to attend a forum related to his campaign for Congress, according to a story at LBReport.com. DeLong didn’t keep it a  secret; in fact, LBReport.com acknowledges learning about his whereabouts from a […]

MONEY IN LB POLITICS: HEY, BIG SPENDER! SPEND A POLITICAL TERM WITH ME


Election night in Long Beach won’t only be a matter of tallying the top vote-getters in today’s competition for four seats on the City Council and two on the Board of Education, but also comparing the number of votes collected by the candidates with the number of dollars spent on their campaigns. Since a 2009 […]

LOWENTHALS SEEK TO EXTEND SHIPPERS’ TAX BREAK AS CONSUMERS ASKED TO VOTE THEMSELVES AN INCREASE


State Senator Alan Lowenthal, finishing up his final term in Sacramento while campaigning for Congress in the newly drawn 47th district, has introduced a bill that would indefinitely extend a tax break he helped secure for the maritime industry in 2003—even as Governor Jerry Brown is asking Californians to vote themselves a sales tax increase […]

GIRL, 11, WHO DIED FRIDAY NIGHT SEEMED FINE AFTER OFF-CAMPUS FIGHT


Further details on the 11-year-old schoolgirl who died a few hours after an off-campus fight Friday were released at a press conference called Saturday night by Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster, Long Beach Police Department Deputy Chief Robert Luna and Long Beach Unified School Distric Superintendent Chris Steinhauser, but each official stressed that the investigation is continuing. LBPD […]

WHO IS PAYING FOR NEGATIVE POLL ABOUT 4TH DISTRICT COUNCIL RACE?


Who is paying for a telephone survey that appears to be testing negative perceptions and statements about candidates in the 4th district Long Beach City Council race? At least two 4th district residents—one of whom happened to be an LBReport.com correspondent—received such telephone calls on Saturday (Feb. 18). LBReport.com correspondent Joe Mello says he received […]

ENVIRONMENTALIST DOUG KORTHOF DIES


Doug Korthof, an iconic environmentalist based in Seal Beach with a reputation stretching from San Diego to Sacramento and beyond, has died. Word of his death came from longtime friend Joey Racano, who said  Korthof passed away on Feb. 5 at  9 a.m.  with his family at his side. “My heart is at half mast today. Arguably the […]

FOSTER’S STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS: WE HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR BUT FACTS


It’s apparent to us, and we believe it’s quietly apparent to more than a few others, that Mayor Bob Foster fears certain facts about the current state of the City of Long Beach. Now in his second half decade in office, Mayor Foster’s 2012 State of the City message [text as prepared for delivery, click […]

THAT THING YOU DON’T HEAR IS THE SOUND OF RECALLING JAMES JOHNSON


In a Dec. 23 press release that left major questions unanswered, the Committee to Recall James Johnson announced it has “suspended” its current effort to recall 7th dist. Councilman James Johnson because unnamed “financial backers”  did not keep their word to fund the effort. The announcement isn’t a surprise; the group’s website hasn’t been updated since Sept. 29 […]

CITY ATTORNEY GATHERING INFO ON LUMACHI’S FATAL TRIP TO FLORIDA


LBReport.com has learned that the City Attorney’s office is in the very preliminary stages of gathering information about the trip to Florida in which Shaun Lumachi, publisher of LBPost.com, was part of a three-person group on official business for the City of Long Beach when he was killed in a Dec. 3 car crash near Key West. […]

WOULD YOU FEEL SAFE WHERE MAYOR BUILT ‘HABITAT FOR HUMANITY’ HOUSE?


An LBReport.com editorial points out that Mayor Bob Foster, who with the help of 1st district Councilman Robert Garcia pushed through a budget that cut officers from the Long Beach Police Department, oversaw the construction of a Habitat For Humanity house in one of the 1st district's most-dangerous neighborhoods.

STELLA URSUA TO CHALLENGE SUJA LOWENTHAL FOR 2ND DISTRICT SEAT


LBReport.com has learned that Stella Ursua is preparing to announce her candidacy for the 2nd district seat on the Long Beach City Council that is currently occupied by Suja Lowenthal. A press conference has been scheduled for Monday, when Ursua is expected to announce her “platform” along with a “list of endorsements from community leaders […]

WHERE IN THE WORLD WAS THE MAYOR? IN ITALY, ALL EXPENSES PAID


LBReport.com reports that Mayor Bob Foster, who is paid a six-figure salary, missed the last two City Council meetings because he was on a trip to three Italian cities that was paid for by a private not-for-profit entity based in San Francisco, which is mostly composed of corporate-energy interests and related labor unions.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY: LBPD COPS WHO KILLED DOUG ZERBY ‘ACTED LAWFULLY’


VIA LBREPORT.COM: Concluding its investigation of the evidence, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office announced today that the two Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) officers who shot and killed Doug Zerby on Dec. 12, 2010, while he played with a water nozzle on the porch of a house in Belmont Shore actually and reasonably believed […]

LBPD INVESTIGATING HALLOWEEN NIGHT ASSAULT AS POSSIBLE HATE CRIME


LBReport.com has learned that a Halloween-night assault (Oct. 31) in the area of 4th Street and Cherry Ave. is being actively investigated by Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) violent crimes detectives as a possible hate crime. LBPD Public Information Officer Nancy Pratt tells LBReport.com that on Oct. 31 at roughly 8:10 p.m., LBPD responded to […]

POLLING FIRM HIRED BY ALAN LOWENTHAL REPORTS THAT HE IS DOING GREAT


A memo addressed to unnamed “interested parties” from Goodwin Simon Strategic Research—a firm working with the Alan Lowenthal Congressional campaign—says its voter telephone survey indicates state Senator Lowenthal “has a wide lead over possible Democratic challenger [former state Senator] Joe Dunn among both Democratis and DTS [decline to state] voters” and “Lowenthal does far better […]

COUNCIL VOTES TO SEND CITY’S MEDICAL MARIJUANA ORDINANCE UP IN SMOKE


LBReport.com has learned that in an Oct. 11 closed session, the City Council voted 8-1 (Rae Gabelich dissenting) to direct the City Attorney to prepare an ordinance that, if enacted, will repeal the city’s current medical marijuana ordinance — and ban medical marijuana collectives/dispensaries in Long Beach — with the understanding that the issue may […]

LB FIREFIGHTERS APPROVE CONCESSIONS TO CONTRACT CITY ALREADY SIGNED


Rank and file members of the Long Beach Firefighters Association (LBFFA) have voted to approve changes to their City Hall contract, which were sought by city management and pressed by Mayor Bob Foster, although the existing contract had already been negotiated and signed by City Hall. According to the LBFFA president Capt. Rich Brandt, roughly […]

DELONG CONGRESSIONAL CAMPAIGN HAS 100K, CITY AUDITOR ENDORSEMENT


Councilman Gary DeLong, an announced candidate for the newly drawn congressional district  of LB and western Orange County,  has announced that his campaign has raised more than $100,000. In a release, Congressional-candidate DeLong calls it a “significant milestone” and states, “I am truly grateful for all the support I have received, and I am encouraged […]

JURY: VINSON GUILTY OF 1ST-DEGREE MURDER IN MELODY ROSS SHOOTING


A jury today today found Tom Love Vinson, now 18, guilty of first-degree murder in a gang shooting that killed 16-year-old Melody Ross in October 2009 outside  the Wilson High School homecoming football game. An Long Beach Police Department release says the jury deliberated three days before also finding Vinson guilty of two counts of […]

LBREPORT.COM EDITORIAL: LONG BEACH STEAMROLLED BY MAYOR’S MACHINE SIX


[EDITOR'S NOTE: With clear and cogent analysis---and not a punch pulled---LBReport.com lays out how the City of Long Beach was laid flat by six Long Beach City Council members who continued their robotic obedience to Mayor Bob Foster by approving a fiscal year 2012 budget that it balanced by stripping the skin from public safety […]

AT 11TH HOUR, WHEN PEOPLE HAVE GONE HOME, COUNCIL PASSES BUDGET THEY OPPOSED


At 11:11 p.m. Tuesday, after the large crowd that testified hours earlier had gone home, the Long Beach City Council passed the fiscal year 2012 budget in an empty chamber—enacting with a minor change the cuts to police, fire, parks and libraries proposed by Mayor Bob Foster and City Manager Pat West. The vote was […]

CITY MANAGER’S OFFICE DESCRIBES ITS PENSION REFORM ACCOMPLISHMENTS


After publishing in full the Long Beach Taxpayers Association’s announcement that it will submit information and seek a Grand Jury investigation alleging “years of corruptive practices that have resulted in the lack of fiscal discipline in managing the City’s finances,” LBReport.com asked City of Long Beach Public Information Officer Ed Kamlan if the city had any […]

FOSTER’S FIRST-TERM ACTIONS CREATED MILLIONS OF LB’S CURRENT DEFICIT


Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster's push for new, longer and richer contracts for the city's firefighters and police officers created an economic situation he now calls unsustainable---and for which he now seeks to cut funding to police, firefighting and library services.

A NEW CONTRACT WITH COPS? LOTS OF Q’S, NOT MANY A’S, WITH STEVE JAMES


LONG BEACH—Less than 24 hours before releasing Long Beach city management’s proposed fiscal-year 2012 budget, Mayor Bob Foster’s office released a “joint statement” with Long Beach Police Officers Association President Lt. Steve James on “an agreement in principle on a new contact.” The full text—both paragraphs—is available at LBReport.com. The current City Hall-LBPOA contract is […]

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: O’DONNELL JOINS FOSTER AND DELONG ON LIST OF LB OFFICIALS THINKING HIGHER OFFICE


LONG BEACH (via LBReport.com)—City Councilmember Patrick O’Donnell of the 4th district revealed to LBReport.com Saturday that that he is considering a run for the 54th Assembly District seat in 2012, becoming the third member of the city’s current governing body to cue the drumroll for an eventual, official announcement of candidacy for higher office. “I […]

WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR RECALLING AN LB CITY COUNCIL MEMBER?


LONG BEACH (via LBReport.com)—In 2003, California voters who were angry over a number of issues did what political “experts” considered impossible: they recalled the state’s recently elected governor. Gray Davis. During the past few weeks in Long Beach, some voters angry over the tactics of 7th district City Council member James Johnson in the redrawing […]

OPINION FROM LBREPORT.COM: SELECTIVE CITY HALL SECRECY ON SECOND+PCH PROJECT


LONG BEACH (Via LBReport.com)—On July 7, the Long Beach Planning Commission shrugged when two taxpayers indicated that City Hall appears to have shared information with the developer of the Second+PCH project that is being kept secret from the public. On Tuesday (July 12), at least one City Council member needs to insist on openness and […]

JOHNSON USES TACTICS OF A TRIAL LAWYER, NOT A PUBLIC OFFICIAL, TO WIN RESTRICTING BATTLE VS. CITIZENS


[ OPINION FROM LBREPORT.COM] Like an unwelcome but necessary medical diagnosis, the people of Long Beach got a clear view of the unhealthy political machine that’s taken root in their City Hall. Former Sacramento lobbyist Mayor Bob Foster and his primary allies—former Sacramento aide James Johnson, former Republican-now-reinvented-Democrat Robert Garcia, developer-friendly-Democrat Suja Lowenthal and no-wasted-words […]

BROWN SIGNS BILLS ENDING REDEVELOPMENT AGENCIES DESPITE THREATENED LAWSUITS


Governor Jerry Brown today (June 28) signed multiple budget-related bills sent to him by Democrats holding majorities in the state Senate and Assembly that among other things eliminate local redevelopment agencies and direct resolution of their activities and create an alternative “voluntary” redevelopment program. Gov. Brown proposed phasing out local redevelopment agencies shortly after taking […]

PORT OF LB AT 100: A COMPARISON OF ITS COFFERS AND OUR COUGHERS


Part of the reason the Port of Long Beach/Los Angeles are here is you subsidize them. They are tremendous polluters and the region has about $2.5 billion annually in externalized health care costs---about $7,000 per job. That kind of subsidy is enough to attract nearly any industry.

ST. ANTHONY’S GETS ITS 800-YEAR-OLD RELIC BACK, POLICE HAVE A SUSPECT


A nearly 800-year-old religious relic stolen earlier this week from St. Anthony’s Church in downtown Long Beach has been recovered by Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) detectives in the home of a woman who lives about a mile from the church. LBPD Deputy Police Chief Robert Luna announced the recovery at an 8:30 p.m. Thursday […]

PLASTIC OH-NO BAND: COUNCIL QUINTET’S ENVIRO-ODE TO BE HEARD IN COURT


In the first fallout from the Long Beach City Council’s just-approved ordinance that beginning Aug. 1 will prohibit most of the city’s grocery stores from from offering free plastic bags to customers—instead charging 10 cents each—the “Save the Plastic Bag Coalition” has informed City Hall that it will file a legal challenge to the ban. San […]

SEN. LOWENTHAL COAXES STYROFOAM BAN THROUGH STATE SENATE


State Senator Alan Lowenthal’s bill to ban styrofoam food containers in California—except in areas where at least 60 percent of them are recycled—has been approved by the state Senate and sent to the Assembly. Lowenthal’s legislation, SB 568, was stalled two votes short of passage Thursday morning after a pair of 19-14 roll call votes. […]

LBPD OFFICER WHO STOLE GUNS GETS A JAIL SENTENCE HE’S ALREADY SERVED


Former Long Beach Police Department officer Damian Ramos was sentenced Wednesday to one year in Los Angeles County jail and three years of probation for August 2010 embezzlement charges—which is what it’s called when you are accused of  taking four guns that were supposed to be booked as property. Ramos, 33, pleaded guilty in February 2011 to the single felony count of embezzlement by […]

WILL COUNCIL BACK LOWENTHAL BILL TO BAN POLYSTYRENE FOAM CONTAINERS?


Greater Long Beach-area state Senator Alan Lowenthal’s bill to ban polystyrene foam containers throughout California could reach the state Senate floor as early as today—but certainly before June 3—and the Long Beach City Council’s State Legislation Committee is scheduled to meet today to discuss whether to recommend full Council support of the measure. Fourth District […]

STATE’S HIGHEST PCB LEVELS HELP WHITE CROAKER LIVE UP TO ITS NAME


White croaker has always seemed like a funny name for a fish, and after the release of the State Water Resources Control Board’s largest-ever statewide survey on sportfish from California coastal waters, it seems even funnier … in a very-last-laugh kind of way. White croaker in the Long Beach area have the highest concentrations of […]

GARCIA’S ARMORY PARK POSTERS DON’T MATCH CITY’S APPLICATION FOR GRANT


The poster-sized diagrams that Council member Robert Garcia displayed Monday at the press conference where he guaranteed the transformation of a troubled traffic intersection into green space called Armory Park are inconsistent with the application that the City of Long Beach filed for nearly $1 million in state highway funds to pay for the project. […]

STRAIGHT FROM THE BRAINS OF SUJA AND ROBERT, VIA LBREPORT.COM


Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal of the 2nd district and Council member Robert Garcia of the 1st district sit side-by-side behind the rail at Council meetings and often seem like mirror images---especially their blank poker faces. Fortunately, LBReport.com has secured a hard line to their brains and today begins a series of transcriptions

OPINION FROM LBREPORT.COM: IS ARMORY PARK DISTRACTING PEOPLE FROM THE HI-RISING OF DOWNTOWN?


“Armory Park’ is a proposal to provide a patch of green space to a densely populated, park-scarce part of downtown Long Beach by closing about a block of Martin Luther King, Jr., Ave. between 6th and 7th streets. That part of the proposal may or may not make sense. But the real point—which went unmentioned […]

WIND-WHIPPED FIRE ON WETLANDS—NEAR OIL TANKS—KNOCKED DOWN BY LBFD


It took more than an hour for the Long Beach Fire Department to quell two blazes that originated this morning on wetlands property near the intersection of 2nd Street and Pacific Coast High—and near oil storage tanks that presented the potential for disaster. LBFD Public Information Officer/Firefighter Matt Dobberpuhl says multiple calls came in at […]

BOUNDARIES OF LB COUNCIL DISTRICTS GOING BACK TO REDRAWING BOARD


A year away from elections in the Long Beach City Council’s four even-numbered districts, the process of redrawing—or “redistricting”—the boundaries of all nine council districts is about to begin. Redistricting occurs every 10 years to equalize populations among council districts based on data from the most-recent census—in this case, the 2010 census. The district-line-drawing decision […]

ATTENTION SPRING BREAK KIDS: CURFEW MEANS NO EASTER PARADING AFTER 10


The Long Beach Police Department says it will enforce the city’s curfew law—and the city prosecutor’s New Parent Accountability Program Too (PACT)—during the upcoming Spring Break, which will close Long Beach Unified School District campuses April 25-29. LB Muni Code section 9.58.010 states: “It is unlawful for any minor under the age of eighteen (18) years to remain […]

NOT DOING THEIR JOBS: LBREPORT.COM’S NEW SERIES ON COUNCIL SILLINESS


LBReport.com begins an editorial series titled, "Not Doing Their Jobs," pointing out City Council agenda items that go far beyond the scope of what this council should be doing. Today's nonsense: Councilmembers Steve Neal, Robert Garcia, Dee Andrews and Suja Lowenthal seek to create a "Long Beach healthy food policy."

EDITORIAL: YES, REMOVE NEIGHBORHOOD NUISANCES; NO ON NANNY NONSENSE


A proposal advanced by four Councilmembers (Neal, Garcia, Andrews and Vice Mayor Lowenthal) to handle liquor-store related nuisances is basically a copycat of the Conditional Use “deemed approved” process already used in Oakland, Pasadena, San Francisco and other cities…which is just fine with us. Better late than never for Long Beach. In our opinion, no […]

LBPD OFFICER SHOOTS, KILLS WOMAN WHO ALLEGEDGLY WAS SLASHING A MAN


A woman who was allegedly attacking a man with a sharp object was shot and killed by a Long Beach Police Department officer Thursday after a Taser strike and verbal warnings failed to stop her violence. The dramatic confrontation occurred around midday on the 3100 block of Pine Ave., where the officer responding to a call arrived […]

CHERIN CO-HOSTING BAY AREA RECEPTION FOR FOSTER, BUT INSISTS IT’S NOT A POLITICAL FUNDRAISER


Mayor Bob Foster, who has formed a political committee allowing him to raise money for a 2014 run for state treasurer, is scheduled to appear at an invitation-only reception next week at the San Francisco law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, LBReport.com has learned. Alex Cherin, a former Long Beach government official whose […]

SCHOOL BOARD KEEPS ON CUTTIN’: THREE GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS SCRAPPED


The elimination of three graduation high school graduation requirements for Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) students—computer literacy, health and service learning—has been unanimously approved by the school board in the latest of a series of drastic budget cuts. During public testimony, a number of teachers and parents pleaded with the board not to cut […]

ALAN LOWENTHAL REVEALS SUPPORT FOR GOVERNOR’S PHASEOUT OF RDA’S


State Senator Alan Lowenthal told a combined meeting of the Senate and Assembly budget committees that he supports Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to phase out local Redevelopment agencies (RDA). Brown had presented his budget proposal to the committee and was still seated at the witness table when Lowenthal revealed his position. “I support your initiative […]

WITH BUDGET HEADED FOR $7 MILLION DEFICIT, COUNCIL CALLS STUDY SESSION


With the so-called balanced budget it passed last September now apparently headed toward a $7 million deficit, the Long Beach City Council has scheduled a special meeting and study session—that is, no action will be taken—this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. “to receive a presentation on: The General Fund Operating Deficit.” Today’s study session is a […]

LBUSD SEEKS APPROVAL TO LAY OFF 772 TEACHERS, MAKE BIG CUTS IN PROGRAMS


Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) management will ask the school board today for authority to send layoff notices to 772 employees holding teaching certificates (mainly classroom teachers but also including librarians, counselors and the like). Board approval would effectively let management implement the layoffs in June if Gov. Brown’s state budget proposals [or some […]

A VALENTINE’S DAY PROTEST THAT ALL IN LOVE IS STILL NOT FAIR


The Center, Long Beach’s gay and lesbian community center, is joining with 10 other Los Angeles County gay and lesbian and equality groups on Valentine’s Day to hold what’s being called a Peaceful Protest for Marriage Equality at the East Los Angeles County Clerks office. The Feb. 14 event is part of a nationwide day […]

POLICE UNION PREZ: DELONG BLAMING PENSIONS FOR COUNCIL’S DECISIONS


Long Beach Police Officers Association president Steve James is challenging an article written by City Council member Gary DeLong about city employee pensions, challenging portions as inaccurate, problematic and in some cases misleading. James tells LBReport.com he believes some at City Hall are trying to blame pensions for reduced police department staffing levels when those […]

DELONG TELLS CITY UNION WORKERS TO ACCEPT FINAL OFFER OR HAVE IT IMPOSED


[From LBReport.com] In a mass e-mailing to Long Beach residents from his personal—not government—address and published on PublicCEO.com, Councilmember Gary DeLong writes that unions representing Long Beach’s police, fire and non-public safety employees should expect city management to declare an impasse in now-ongoing negotiations on pension changes and impose its “last, best and final” offer. […]

LBUSD BOARD BALANCES BUDGET BY CLOSING SCHOOLS, CUTTING TEACHERS


The Long Beach Unified School District Board of Education voted Tuesday (Feb.1) to balance its next budget by closing two elementary schools, increasing class sizes and eliminating 429 teachers—a savings of $53 million that will be imposed regardless of whether voters approve tax-extension ballot measures. Oh, and it signaled that even bigger cuts may be […]

POLL FINDS 66 PERCENT OF CALIFORNIANS SUPPORT BROWN’S RDA PHASEOUT


Nearly two-thirds of Californians—66 percent of adults, 63 percent of likely voters—favor Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to phase out local redevelopment agencies and enterprise zones so that state money can be freed up to maintain school funding, according to a poll by the Public Policy Institute of California. Released Jan. 26, the poll surveyed Californians’ […]

DOES COUNCIL JUNKET DUPLICATE THE JOB (AND EXPENSE) OF CITY LOBBYIST?


Although Long Beach already has a six-figure deal with professional legislative advocate (read: lobbyist) Michael Arnold to represent City Hall’s interests in Sacramento, taxpayers will spend again for much the same thing when three city councilmembers take a trip to the state capital to push for a slate of issues just approved by the council. […]

LBUSD BOARD TO HEAR DETAILS OF BUFFUM/BURROUGHS CLOSURE PLAN


The Long Beach Unified School District Board of Education will hear a budget-cutting proposal to close Buffum and Burroughs Elementary Schools at the end of this (2010-2011) school year when it convenes Tuesday. According LBUSD spokesman Chris Eftychiou, the proposal by district management staff is in response to the state’s repeated and massive reduction in […]

FOSTER THREATENS CITY UNIONS WITH BALLOT INITIATIVE TO CURB PENSIONS


In his State of the City address Tuesday night, Mayor Bob Foster said if the city's three largest public employee unions---police, fire, non-public safety/machinists---do not accept his pension curbing proposal he will support a ballot initiative that would do it.

WHERE CRIME OCCURS IS NEWSWORTHY—ESPECIALLY WHERE CRIME OCCURS


In our opinion, two things shouldn’t go unnoticed concerning the Long Beach Police Department’s Jan. 4 news conference, where it released citywide 2010 crime data that showed significant drops in categories including murder (lowest number since 1971), gang-related murders and gang-related shootings. The first thing to notice is Police Chief Jim McDonnell’s intellectually honest response to […]

DID GARCIA KEEP PROMISE TO PROTECT RESIDENTS NEAR PUBLIC SERVICE YARD?


Did 1st District City Council member Robert Garcia live up to his re-election campaign promise to protect residents living near the City of Long Beach’s now-former Public Service Yard from potential negative impacts from a transfer into private ownership? We may soon find out, now that businessman Tom Dean—who acquired the property little more than […]

COUNCIL WRESTLES BEFORE ADDING RESTRICTIONS TO MEDPOT ORDINANCE


In a lengthy item marked by multiple motions and divided (and in one case reconsidered) votes, the Long Beach City Council on Tuesday night voted 6-3 (Andrews, Johnson, Gabelich dissenting) to approve amendments to its medical marijuana ordinance. If approved on a second council vote, the amendments will expand allowed hours of operation, require surveillance […]

GAME CHANGER: FOSTER CHALLENGE INVALIDATES LB CAMPAIGN REFORM ACT


Mayor Bob Foster can use money he raised for his 2010 mayoral run—against 21-year-old Cerritos College student Stevie Merino—to fund his committee seeking statewide office in 2014 despite prohibitions in Long Beach’s Campaign Reform Act enacted by voters in 1994. The revelation came during Monday’s  (Nov. 30) meeting of the city council’s Elections Oversight Committee. […]

SUJA LOWENTHAL IN SACRAMENTO BAGGING ON PLASTIC BAGS


Long Beach Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal is among state and local elected officials and interest groups who took part in a midmorning press event today on the west steps of the California State Capitol building to, according to a press advisory, “highlight fast-moving local and statewide efforts to restrict the use of single-use bags.” The […]

FURUTANI OPTS OUT OF RACE TO REPLACE OROPEZA IN 28TH SENATE DISTRICT


Assemblyman Warren Furutani (D—Carson, LB) says he will not enter the special election to fill the seat of the late Senator Jenny Oropeza, who was reelected to represent the 28th district three weeks after her death. Below is a “Dear Friend” letter provided to LBReport.com this morning (Nov. 15) in response to our inquiry: Dear […]

FROM SACBEE.COM: DEMOCRATIC PARTY URGES VOTERS TO ELECT SEN. JENNY OROPEZA, WHO DIED OCT. 20


The California Democratic Party is urging South Bay residents to vote for Sen. Jenny Oropeza, who died Oct. 20. SacBee.com, the online edition of the Sacramento Bee newspaper, reports that the party made the recommendation in a letter mailed to Democrats and decline-to-state voters. The letter includes the typed name of Secretary of State Debra […]

JENNY OROPEZA’S LIFE REMEMBERED, CELEBRATED AT PUBLIC FUNERAL


Family members were joined Monday afternoon by current and former state lawmakers, local officials, political allies and neighborhood advocates at a public funeral, recalling and celebrating the 53-year life of Jenny Oropeza. Oropeza, most widely known for a long political career that began with two terms as student body president at Long Beach State and […]

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER ATTEMPT TO CENSOR CANDIDATES’ DEBATE


For the second time in two days, a group conducting a debate among Congresswoman Laura Richardson (D—LB, Carson) and challengers Star Parker (R) and Nick Dibs (Ind) tried to ban photographs and recording at the event. Saturday’s debate was organized and conducted by the Long Beach branch of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) […]

A WEEK LATER, IT DAWNS ON COUNCILMEMBER JOHNSON THAT, YES, HE DID NOT MEAN TO VOTE NO


A week after casting the only dissenting vote, the Long Beach City Council’s seventh-district representative, James Johnson, says he meant to vote “yes” instead of “no” on a measure to explore ways to connect downtown with the Queen Mary area. Johnson voted no on Sept. 21 during a 7-1 council vote—Council member Rae Gabelich was […]

WHY DOES THE PHONE KEEP RINGING, AND WHO’S ASKING ALL THOSE QUESTIONS?


A Long Beach resident---and LBReport.com reader---reports receiving a telephone call Wednesday from a person indicating they were calling from "Western Wats." The Western Wats rep wouldn't say who's taking the poll. We don't know who's taking it or for what purpose.

DID LB COUNCIL TAKE A STAND ON PENSION REFORM OR JUST PASS THE BUCK TO THE LEGISLATURE?


The Long Beach City Council has voted 7-1 to put the city on record against retroactive increases in pension benefits. The action Tuesday night revised City Hall’s legislative agenda—that is, its lobbying positions at the state capitol in Sacramento—to reflect this position and should apply pressure upon Long Beach’s representatives in the legislature to implement it. […]

FOSTER’S BUDGET VETO KILLS DEAL WITH FIREFIGHTERS TO FORFEIT RAISES AND PREVENT STATION CLOSURES


Long Beach Firefighters Association president Rich Brandt and members of the group’s leadership on Tuesday night told the Long Beach City Council that Mayor Bob Foster’s veto of roughly $330,000 in Fire Department spending killed a deal in which firefighters had narrowly voted to give up roughly $2.4 million in raises to prevent rotating fire […]

LB FIREFIGHTERS NARROWLY VOTE TO SURRENDER RAISES, BUT MAYOR FOSTER’S VETO RAISES A NEW WRINKLE


LBReport.com has learned that members of the Long Beach Firefighters Association (LBFA) have narrowly voted to give up this year’s negotiated pay raises—contingent on avoiding management imposition of “Plan B” cuts this year including fire station “rolling brownouts.” LBFA president Capt. Rich Brandt tells LBReport.com that it was the most contentious vote he can recall […]

FOUR LB COUNCIL MEMBERS WANT TO TALK ABOUT MAYOR FOSTER’S SURPRISE VETO OF HIS OWN BUDGET


Four members of the Long Beach City Council — Patrick O’Donnell, Gerrie Schipske, Rae Gabelich and Steve Neal — have placed an item on the September 28 meeting agenda to “consider and discuss” and potentially attempt to override Mayor Bob Foster’s veto of one percent of the general fund spending in the city manager’s proposed […]

FOURTH CAT BURGLARY IN BELMONT SHORE/HEIGHTS PROMPTS ANOTHER LBPD WARNING


A fourth “cat burglary” (in which a male suspect entered a residence while a woman was home alone) has taken place in the Belmont Shore/Heights area, prompting the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) to issue a second warning: “Keep doors and windows secured at all time.” In a release, LBPD says that on Wednesday, September […]

HEAR HOW COUNCIL VOTED TO SELL CITY-OWNED OFFICE BUILDING TO WELL-CONNECTED DEVELOPER FOR $4 MILLION


The Long Beach City Council voted 6-2 (Gerrie Schipske and James Johnson dissenting, Rae Gabelich absent for entire meeting) Tuesday to approve sale of City Hall East at 100 Long Beach Blvd. for $4 million to Lyon Capital Ventures, LLC. The Council action approved the sale (approximately 36,725 square feet of land area plus a […]

CLOSURE OF SMOOTH’S SPORTS GRILLE IS THE END OF AN ERA ON PINE AVE.


Smooth’s Sports Grille, the restaurant at 144 Pine Avenue that under a couple of names has been a crossroads of politics and culture in downtown Long Beach for a quarter century, was closed Sunday by owner John Morris, LBReport.com reported early today. “Smooth’s is closed and a new chapter begins,” Morris told LBReport.com. Morris made […]

MARIO CORDERO NOMINATED BY OBAMA TO FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION


Mario Cordero, Long Beach Harbor Commissioner and Long Beach City College political science professor, will be nominated by President Barack Obama to a position on the Federal Maritime Commission, it was announced late Friday by the White House. Cordero was appointed to the Harbor Commission in 2003 by then-Mayor Beverly O’Neill and was reappointed in 2009 […]

L.A.’S CLEAN TRUCKS PROGRAM—THE ONE L.B. BAILED ON—UPHELD BY JUDGE


A Los Angeles federal court trial judge has upheld the City/Port of Los Angeles “Clean Trucks Program” against a challenge by the American Trucking Associations (ATA). The trucking industry interest group had contended that the Long Beach/Los Angeles programs violated federal supremacy in maritime matters and interstate commerce regulation. To view the ruling by Federal […]

DEAN WANTS A TRUCK TRANSFER STATION ON TERMINAL ISLAND FREEWAY PROPERTY


LBReport.com has learned that Wilmington Lomita, LLC, a Tom Dean-related entity, has applied for a Conditional Use Permit “to allow construction and operation of a 50 space truck transfer station on a vacant 3.4 acre site adjacent to the Terminal Island Freeway in the IL (Light Industrial) zone.” The item is scheduled to come to […]

710 FREEWAY EXPANSION MAY BE DELAYED BY RIGHT-OF-WAY, DESIGN ISSUES


LBReport.com has learned that a massive expansion plan for the Long Beach (710) Freeway—14-lanes total, with a four-lane truck “freightway” elevated through parts of Long Beach above 10 ground-level “mixed flow” lanes — has now raised right-of-way issues. Along with other redesign items, these could delay the project by up to 11 months … and if freightway right-of-way issues can’t be […]

AMY BODEK PROMOTED TO LB’S NEW DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT SERVICES


Long Beach City Manager Pat West has promoted Amy Bodek to Director of Development Services, effective the first week in September. Bodek is currently Acting Executive Director of the Redevelopment Agency and Manager of the Redevelopment Bureau---most recently appearing publicly on Thursday (Aug. 5) at an RDA event opening the new Marshall's store in Bixby Knolls.

FOSTER CALLS SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETING TO PICK LONG BEACH VICE MAYOR


Mayor Bob has called a special meeting of the Long Beach City Council for Tuesday, July 27, at 4:45 p.m. at which the only agenda item will be the selection of the Vice Mayor. Mayor Foster has scheduled the Vice Mayor-selection special meeting in the middle of two other council sessions: a 3 p.m. meeting of […]

GARCIA JOINED LOWENTHAL’S VICE-MAYOR PUSH TWO MONTHS AGO


LBReport.com has learned that Councilman Robert Garcia gave a commitment to Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal “a couple of months ago” to support her for Vice Mayor. Garcia stated this in at least three separate e-mails replying to community members who’d expressed opposition to naming Lowenthal as the Council’s next Vice Mayor. Garcia’s e-mailed replies include the […]

CONGRESS CLEARS LAURA RICHARDSON OF ETHICAL ALLEGATIONS


The House of Representatives Committee on Standards and Office Conduct has cleared Congresswoman Laura Richardson (D., Carson-LB) of allegations referred to the Committee by the Office of Congressional Ethics, dismissing its review of those allegations. Following a seven-month probe, the Committee’s investigative subcommittee voted unanimously to adopt a finding “that Congresswoman Richardson did not knowingly […]

A WAVE SO BIG NO BREAKWATER COULD STOP IT


It was a wave so big no breakwater could stop it. It had been building for nearly 10 years, and when that wave crashed through the City Council Chamber on Tuesday night, it swept aside years of stale excuses as Long Beach's elected representatives finally faced up to how much those excuses had cost this City.