Saturday, July 26, 2014 12:02pm

Business

FROM THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH … TO JUSTIN RUDD’S CAREER SUMMIT!


From Turkey Trots to chalk art to photo contests to beauty pageants for women and children and dogs, Justin Rudd never seems to run out of ways to distract us from the gaping maw of financial and spiritual brokenness that is destined to become our grave. At their April 26 event, however, Rudd and his […]

EARTHTALK: IF CAP-AND-TRADE IS SO GREAT, WHY DON’T WE HAVE IT?


Excuse me,  EarthTalk–do you mind if I run something past you?: If “cap and trade” has worked so well in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Europe, why haven’t we tried something similar here in the United States?  Just wondering.  – Sue T. Ayer, Midwhere, VA  EarthTalk, sipping hot tea with lemon because of a sore throat, responds:  “Cap-and-trade,” […]

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.

TIMES HAVE CHANGED, BUT DEGROOT FAMILY BUSINESS HASN’T


The cows are all gone from Rockview Dairy, and so is most of the land. But business has never been better.

PORT OF LONG BEACH GIVES BERTH 55 A NEW LIFE ON ITS LEASE


The Port of Long Beach says it has found a new place to construct a fireboat station and security building, meaning the tenants of Berth 55 have a new lease on life.

INSTALLING “SMART THERMOSTAT” MAKES YOU LOOK PHI BETA KAPPA


Dear EarthTalk®: Will I really be able to save money and energy in the long run by shelling out hundreds of dollars now for a so-called “smart” thermostat?                        – Bill Clecktor, Aptos, CA EarthTalk® responds: Spending $200 or more to replace that older, still-functioning thermostat with a new whiz-bang “smart” variety might seem like a […]

POLITICAL TICKER: LINAREZ WALKING, NOT RUNNING, FOR LB COUNCIL


Watching Ricardo Linarez’s energetic campaign for the Long Beach City Council reminds you why they call it “running” for office.  But in a communique his staff released to the media today (January 9), Linarez reported something he accomplished with a slow-and-steady pace—personally canvasing every house in the 1st district. “I am so proud of this […]

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 […]

GUERRA NOT IN A RUSH TO CREATE JOBS OR HELP SMALL BUSINESSES IN DOWNEY


It took a couple of days longer than expected and included a little more drama than necessary, but the Downey City Council ultimately agreed to participate in a program intended to create jobs by helping small businesses. The program, offered by Gateway Cities Council of Governments and the Los Angeles Regional Small Business Development Center, […]

McKENNA’S ISN’T ON THE BAY, ANYMORE—BANCAP FORECLOSES


McKenna's restaurant, which may have had the best waterfront view in Long Beach, was repossessed today (January 2) by BANCAP Investment Group---two months after its majority owner, Nick Limer, died of pancreatic cancer.

FRESH LOOK: HOPA SPRINGS ETERNAL FOR PINE AVENUE REVIVAL


After many years of futility, legitimate hope for the revival of Pine Avenue above 3rd Street---an area now known as Historic Old Pine Avenue---was signaled by the success of the Long Beach Folk Revival Festival on November 16.

IN BELLFLOWER, RINGING IN NEW YEAR MEANS BRINGING IN NEW DEVELOPMENT


From the Herald American: Several development projects seem to be headed for final approval by the Bellflower City Council at its first meeting of 2014, reversing several years of stagnation because of the recession. Among the projects on the agenda for the Jan. 13, 2014, meeting are: • A zone change ordinance requested by Firas Jamal […]

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

LB FOLK REVIVAL FESTIVAL: IT’S ABOUT MUCH MORE THAN MUSIC


The music will be great, but the success of Saturday's first LB Folk Revival Festival will also be measured by it's long-term impact on the revitalization of the Historic Old Pine Avenue neighborhood above 3rd Street.

FORBES.COM: BOEING MAY BUILD ITS 777X AIRLINER IN LONG BEACH


Only weeks after Boeing announced that it would shut down most operations in Long Beach in 2015, Forbes.com reports the company may use this area's experienced workforce to build its 777x widebody commercial airliner.

F&M BANK’S EXPANSION INSPIRES HOMAGE, HAMBURGERS & HARD TRUTH


The extra-special effort and expense Farmers & Merchants Bank invested in its new Corona del Mar branch somehow makes us think about its old North Long Beach branch, a wonderful Midcentury Modern building that was demolished in 2010.

BELLFLOWER WOMAN SAYS HER FATHER’S FUNERAL WAS RUINED BY MORTUARY’S I.O.EULOGY


BY RANDY ECONOMY/Los Cerritos Community News:  For Evelyn Hileman of Bellflower, the Sept. 13 death of her father, Michael Henry Gregory, after a short bout with cancer was a shock that only became more shocking at his Sept. 20 memorial when the mortuary and cemetery harangued her about an outstanding bill during the ceremony, eventually […]

SHOULD BUSINESSES ALLOW CUSTOMERS TO USE E-CIGARETTES?


What besides water is in the vapor emitted by e-cigarettes? What are its health effects? With no state laws, individual businesses must determine whether "vapers" may "vape."

WILL OWNERSHIP RIFT BE THE RUIN OF LONG BEACH DERBY GALS?


Long Beach Roller Gals management has summoned players to a 10 a.m. meeting today amid rumors that disagreement between the roller derby team’s two owners has led one to dissolve their partnership.

EXCELSIOR HIGH IS NOT FOR SALE, DISTRICT OFFICIALS INSIST


Rumors that Excelsior High School will be closed and sold to developers are denied by Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District officials, but a petition demands the campus be declared a historical landmark.

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 […]

EARTHTALK: HOW DO YOU FIND ENVIRONMENTAL INTERNSHIPS?


Interested in serving an internship with an environmental organization?Wondering what types are available and how to find them? EarthTalk has some answers inside ...

SCHIPSKE INVITES LB RESIDENTS INTO CITY BUDGET DISCUSSION ON AUG. 14


With the rare appearance of a surplus at the bottom line of Mayor Bob Foster’s proposed budget for the City of Long Beach, the competition for spending rights has begun among various interests at City Hall. Where does that leave residents who want their voices heard on the matter? They could start at the Long […]

LIST O’ THE WEEK: SEVEN REASONS STOCK MARKET WILL KEEP BOOMING


This week our List o' the Week features seven reasons that the stock market will keep booming and you should invest your money again---that is, of course, if you had any money.

EARTHTALK: WHAT ARE GHOST FACTORIES? HOW DO THEY HAUNT US?


What are “ghost factories?” And how do they continue to haunt us? EarthTalk has the answer inside ...

AT LB POST, JOURNALISM IS A STAFF BYLINE ON AN ADVERTISERS’ PROMO


The Long Beach Post, has frequently published press releases---often from advertisers---as though they were news stories generated by Post staff, writes former Post staffer Greggory Moore in a story for Random Lengths. The Post is co-owned by LB Council member and mayoral candidate Robert Garcia.

STEVE LOWERY: AND THEN, THIS … WHITHER GOEST THE “DC JETS” SIGN?


Everyone is excited that Mercedes Benz -USA is moving into the long-vacant Douglas/Boeing factory---including Steve Lowery, who fears the worst for Long Beach's greatest icon: the "DC Jets" sign that hangs over the massive plant.

AND THEN, THIS …


The Long Beach City Council takes a unanimous stand against the ongoing terror that is (are?) ice cream trucks.

WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH FORMER RDA-OWNED PROPERTIES? CITY PRESENTING SOME ANSWERS


Mike Conway, recently appointed to the City of Long Beach’s newly created position of Business & Property Director, will be at St. Mary Medical Center on Thursday at 6 p.m. to present information about the disposition of properties owned by the former Long Beach Redevelopment Agency. He will answer questions after his presentation. Conway is […]

SOUL OF THE CITY: CAN THE ARTS RESTORE DOWNEY’S IDENTITY?


With Downey's art museum closed, its Civic Light Opera finished and its symphony struggling, The Downey Patriot's contributor Laurence Christon begins a series about whether a younger, energized arts community can turn the city around.

OC WEEKLY REPORTS: REGISTER MAY START A NEWSPAPER IN LONG BEACH


Sources tell OC Weekly Executive Editor Gustavo Arellano that Long Beach is on the radar of Orange County Register owner Aaron Kushner, who is reportedly considering starting a newspaper to compete with whatever the Press-Telegram has become.

EARTHTALK®: WHAT’S KEEPING ORGANIC AGRICULTURE SO SMALL?


Despite the popularity of organic foods, clothing and other products, organic agriculture is still only practiced on a tiny percentage of land worldwide. What’s getting in the way? EarthTalk® has the answer inside.

THE END OF A SWEET DREAM: SHORTNIN’ BREAD BAKERY HAS CLOSED


Shortnin’ Bread, the corner bakery which seemed foreshadow the coming true of downtown Long Beach's dreams when it opened in October 2011, has announced that it is no longer in business.

AFTER THREE WEEKS, IS IT TECHNICALLY CORRECT TO CALL ANNA RUBIN LBLGP’S “NEW” ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR?


Anna Rubin is the new Administrative Director for Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride, Inc., according to a press release distributed by the organization early Wednesday afternoon. But perhaps you already knew. The same release points out that Rubin’s appointment became effective more than three weeks ago—-on May 13. If only they’d waited just a […]

LA COUNCIL HEARING ON APPEAL OF PROPOSED RAILYARD’S EIR LIVE ON LBREPORT.COM AT 10 A.M.


LBReport.com will carry live video of today’s 10 a.m. Los Angeles City Council hearing regarding allegations by neighborhood, health, environment groups, as well as the City and Port of Long Beach that there are defects, errors and/or omissions in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the massive Southern California International Gateway (SCIG) rail yard. Another […]

IS FOSTER NEGOTIATING AND TAKING ACTION ON SCIG RAIL YARD WITHOUT AUTHORITY?


Los Angeles City Councilmember Joe Buscaino, scrambling to broker settlement between Long Beach and Los Angeles, their ports and BNSF railroad over the Southern California International Gateway (SCIG) railyard, indicates in an April 30 letter that several conversations with Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster lead him to “understand that the City of Long Beach has […]

A SAD STATE: DOWNEY MAYOR SLYLY PIMPS HIS PUBLIC OFFICE AT PRIVATE GROUP’S FUNDRAISER


Mario Guerra, a member of the Downey City Council doing a one-year stint as mayor, on Wednesday delivered a speech at a fundraising meeting of the Downey Chamber of Commerce that he called “The State of the City Address.” If the title of Guerra’s speech misled people into thinking this was an event that was open […]

THE ART OF HONESTY: THREE EVA ELECTION WINNERS DECLINE TO SERVE


Three women elected to the East Village Association board March 20 declined their offices, alleging the voting was fraudulent, and helped form another group---the Art District Neighborhood Association---to represent residents of the East Village Arts District.

“STATE OF BLACK LONG BEACH: A CALL TO ACTION”


The State of Black Long Beach report is not another improvement plan for the city's African American residents, but rather an unprecedented reality check---more than a century's worth of data that can serve as the foundation for constructing solutions. Download the document inside.

WILL MOLINA HEALTHCARE CURE WHAT AILS NORTH PINE AVENUE?


After waiting some 16 months for Molina Healthcare and Millworks real estate development to marry and makeover the historic Press-Telegram block, we find out today that those darn kids went off and eloped. The place is supposed to be ready for Molina to move in this summer.

UNPAID BUSINESS LICENSE FEES COST CITY $2.5 MILLION OVER TWO YEARS


City Auditor Laura Doud finds 87 percent of accounts are over six months old, "no consistency" in procedure, "few attempts at collection" and attributes the costly disarray to a lack of oversight by city management.

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 […]

POLICE INVESTIGATORS, SHOPPING FACILITATORS GET THE ONCE-OVER ON GREATER LONG BEACH RADIO, 11 AM


Citizens police investigators and holiday shopping facilitators are the topics of today’s edition of Greater Long Beach Radio with Dave Wielenga, which comes to live at 11 a.m. from the Cal State Long Beach studios of KBEACH.org—well, it will if you get on a computer or a smart phone. Attorney Kimberly Olson, who is representing […]

SUPERVISORS’ INVESTIGATION: ANOTHER ‘PRICE OF BEING A KNABE’


The Board of Supervisors is investigating LA County’s $2 million contract with a company represented by lobbyist Matt Knabe---and approved with the vote of his father, Supervisor Don Knabe.

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 […]

LAST TYPEWRITER MADE AT BRITISH FACTORY BECOMES INSTANT MUSEUM PIECE


From the Los Angeles Times: The last typewriter to be made in the United Kingdom—at the Brother factory in Wrexham, where 5.9 of the machines have been produced since 1985—has rolled off the production line and straight into London’s Science Museum, where it will join 200 other typewriters in the museum’s collection. “This object represents […]

A RARE (AND WELCOME) GLIMPSE OF JAMES JOHNSON’S SEETHING, SCATHING SIDE


LB Councilmember James Johnson attended last year's public hearing on impacts of proposed Port of LA railyard at Silverado Park (above, center), and when he learned no hearing will be held in Long Beach on the project's new EIR ... well, we all learned something about James Johnson.

BNSF RAILYARD HEARING: IS TALK OF CLEAN AIR A LOT OF HOT AIR?


A large crowd is anticipated this evening in Wilmington for a public hearing on the Southern California International Gateway, a mega-railyard proposed by BNSF. This was the scene last November when a hearing on the project was held at Silverado Park in Long Beach.

LOWENTHAL COUNTERS RICH TV AD BLITZ BY STAGING SIMPLE POLITICAL PLAY


Facing a multi-million-dollar blitz of campaign ads for Republican congressional candidates by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Democrat Alan Lowenthal has invited specific local business owners to a Retro Row eatery today to snack and chat---and show specifically invited local reporters that he's down with business, too.

LB COUNCIL TO CONSIDER 1-YEAR MORATORIUM ON CONTROVERSIAL LOANS


Three types of high-interest loans would temporarily be prohibited in Long Beach under a proposal scheduled to be considered by the Long Beach City Council on Oct. 2. The proposed one-year moratorium on Payday Lending, Car Title Loan Lending and Short-Term Consumer Finance Lending is intended to provide City staff and the Planning Commission with time to […]

NOW AVAILABLE: LEE ADAMS TELLS THE STORY OF ‘SAVE BERTH 55′ ON GREATER LONG BEACH RADIO


Greater Long Beach Radio’s Sept. 20 program about the Save Berth 55 campaign can now be heard anytime—in the show’s archives and as a podcast—by [FOLLOWING THIS LINK]. The program retraces and further explores the story of a small group of Westside Long Beach locals whose fast-and-loosely mustered crusade against the Port of Long Beach […]

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. […]

DAN PRESSBURG’S OPINION: COUNCIL SHOULD REJECT PREDATORY LENDERS


Title loan companies tend to locate in areas close to low-income families, people who may be in such desperate financial difficulty that they are willing to put their automobiles in jeopardy by using them as collateral for short-term, high-interest loans.

SOMEWHERE, A LITTLE FAT BOY WITH A LONG MEMORY IS SMILING


DOWNEY– The car dealer who illegally demolished much of the historic Johnie’s Broiler  in 2007, has lost his lawsuit against the city. An appeals court last week found  that a filing by auto dealer Ardas “Alex” Yanik had no merit and that Yanik failed to prove vague claims that the City of Downey was infected […]

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 […]

PORT OFFICIALS VOW TO TAKE A “FRESH LOOK” AT BERTH 55 PLANS


Port of Long Beach (PoLB) officials vowed Monday to revisit their plans to evict three businesses from Berth 55 after a members of a community group called Save Berth 55 addressed the Harbor Commission---its third public appeal in 11 days.

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 […]

“SAVE BERTH 55″ CAMPAIGN COMES TO CITY COUNCIL TO FIND IT MUST COME BACK


After citizens from Save Berth 55 waited long and patiently for the Long Beach City Council to reach item No. 22.1 on Tuesday night's agenda, Councilmember Gary DeLong immediately moved that the the issue be postponed until the same time next at the request of the Port of Long Beach.

BERTH 55: IT’S THE PEOPLE VS. THE PORT FOR THE HEART OF THE HARBOR


Whether by signing petitions or showing up for a community forum Thursday, residents of the harbor area and customers of businesses on Berth 55 hope to persuade Port of Long Beach officials to spare their historic hangout by finding another place to build a fireboat station.

PUBLIC HEARING WEDNESDAY ON PORT’S EIR FOR ROCK & GRAVEL IMPORT FACILITY


Anybody got anything to say about the draft Environmental Impact Report—prepared by the Port of Long Beach and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers—for a facility that would import construction-quality sand, gravel, granite and aggregate on a 8.3 acres of privately owned and currently vacant land on Pier D the Harbor District? If so, you can […]

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 […]

PRIMAL FLOWER POWERS A DOWNTOWN TREND—LINK TO GR8R LB RADIO SHOW


It's just a little eco-conscious flower shop, but Primal Flower's first anniversary is a celebration of authenticity in downtown Long Beeach. Read this story and listen to the interviews on Greater Long Beach Radio at KBEACH.org

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 […]

LOWENTHAL’S TAX-BREAK-FOR-SHIPPERS BILL ON TODAY’S STATE SENATE AGENDA


A bill by Long Beach state Senator Alan Lowenthal’s that would continue to free shippers from paying California’s sales/use tax on a portion of the fuel they buy for another 12 years—at an annual cost of between $92 million and $137.5 to the state—is on today’s agenda in Sacramento. LBReport.com will carry today’s state Senate floor session […]

ALAN & BONNIE’S SALES TAX BREAK ON SHIPPING FUEL COULD COST CALIFORNIA BETWEEN $92 MILLION AND $137.5 MILLION


LBReport.com reports that the Alan and Bonnie Lowenthal bill—SB 1243, allowing shippers to continue buying a category of fuel without paying state sales tax for 12 years—would cost California between $92 million and $137.5 million annually, according to an analysis by the State Board of Equalization. Alan Lowenthal, termed out as Long Beach’s state senator […]

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 […]

WAGES & BENEFITS: DO PUBLIC EMPLOYEES HAVE IT BETTER? IF SO, WHY?


A resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute believes public-sector employees have it better than those in the private sector. In this interview with RollCall.com, Andrew Biggs explores why and what might be done about it

AS TACO BELL TURNS 50, DOWNEY GROUP WANTS FIRST STORE SAVED


DOWNEY—The year was 1962, and a young man named Glen Bell was searching for the perfect location to launch his new taco restaurant. He’d already enjoyed moderate success with similar spots called Taco Tia’s and El Taco. Now Bell began to envision something different, a small village plaza with retail shops, mariachis, fire pits and […]

THE PAYWALL BLUES: I JUST HIT MY LIMIT OF FREE STORIES ON THE LA TIMES


I knew this day would come. I just didn’t think it would come so soon. I hit my article limit on LATimes.com, and I can’t read more without forking over some cash. What a weird feeling I have. On one hand, I’m glad the Times is putting some value on the hard work of its […]

DOWNTOWN LB BUSINESS GROUP APPROVES ITS OWN PLAN TO FINANCIALLY ASSESS DOWNTOWN RESIDENCES


The Property Based Improvement District (PBID) plan proposed by the Downtown Long Beach Associates has been unanimously approved by the Downtown Long Beach Associates’ Board of Directors, according to a media advisory released by the Downtown Long Beach Associates and received by everybody else with absolutely no surprise. The vote by the Board of Directors […]

EXCLUSIVE! LOWENTHAL EXPLAINS WHY HE SEEKS NO SALES TAX ON SHIP FUEL


At the request of GreaterLong Beach.com, state Senator---and Congressional candidate---Alan Lowenthal explains his thinking in introducing SB 1243, which would permanently exempt large ships from paying California sales tax on fuel at the same time that California residents are being asked to raise their own taxes

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 […]

SORT OF TYPICALLY, COUNCIL SORT OF DECIDES TO SORT OF BAN POT OUTLETS


LONG BEACH—Faced with proposal to ban medical marijuana outlets that—whatever else its pros and cons—would have finally established a clear City of Long Beach policy on the contentious issue, the  City Council talked for two hours Tuesday night and then voted 8-1 to ban some outlets, temporarily permit others and revisit the issue later. Some […]

OC WEEKLY STORY ON MEDPOT A DISTURBING LOOK AT LONG BEACH OFFICIALS


After approving medpot dispensaries in 2010 and conducting a fiasco of a lottery to determine their locations, the City Council is on the verge---twice delaying its vote--of outlawing them. Meanwhile, Long Beach collects millions in pot-related fees and fines, simultaneously permitting and prosecuting various dispensaries.

ADVERTISEMENT: OUR VALENTINE’S GUIDE—ONLY $100 FROM NOW TIL FEB 29


In honor and fear of the most unforgiving day of the year, GreaterLongBeach.com is compiling a Valentine’s Day Survival Guide, a strategy for assembling a February 14 that won’t end up feeling like a Friday the 13th or an April Fool’s Day. The Valentine’s Day Survival Guide will be a special section of GreaterLongBeach.com—a matchmaking […]

FREEDOM’S JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR A DOWNEY TRAVEL AGENCY CLOSING


DOWNEY (Via Downey Patriot)—Freedom Vacations travel agency will move out of the downtown Downey location it has occupied for more than 20 years to become a home-based business—but not for the reason you probably think. “We don’t want to commute anymore,” said owner Robert Zavala, a former president of the Downey Chamber of Commerce, who […]

HERE’S WISHING YOU HOT DOG OF A NEW YEAR—WRAPPED IN BACON, OF COURSE


DOWNEY (Via DowneyBeat.com)– There are fundamental questions one must ask oneself while trying to make sense of this mortal coil. What is the meaning of life? Do I matter? And, finally, “Got Bacon?” Papas and Dogs, a small, brightly decorated new gourmet hot dog joint at 8740Firestone Boulevard in Downey can now answer that third important query. […]

LB COUNCIL STANDS UP FOR ZONING LAWS, ENCOURAGES COLLABORATION, KILLS SECOND+PCH PROJECT


The Long Beach City Council killed the proposed Second+PCH development late Tuesday evening with a 5-3 vote that supported master planning over spot zoning, laid groundwork for long-polarized community factions to collaborate on revised development standards and bore no resemblance to the alliances that had come to characterize this panel of governing officials. After more […]

GREATER LONG BEACH GIFT GUIDE: IT’S WHAT WE GOT YOU THIS YEAR


Long Beach is crawling with interesting and unique places to pick up something for everyone on your list, and holiday shopping can actually be an interesting way to explore the city in all its quirky weirdness. To get started, check out this list of unique Long Beach shops.

FROM ROLLCALL: IT’S ‘DICKENS-MEETS-RED-CARPET’ AT CHAMBER HOLIDAY BASH


Instead of eggnog and good will, business giants arriving at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Holiday Party were greeted by protesters, who taunted them and formed a human red carpet designed to force the well-heeled to tread on the less fortunate. Later, there were holiday carols sung by the unemployed.

‘OCCUPY THE PORTS’ TARGETS SSA MARINE FOR MONDAY MORNING PROTEST


SSA Marine, the gigantic international shipping-industry company that is majority-owned by investment and banking firm Goldman Sachs, will be the target of protests on Monday (Dec.12) by Occupy the Ports, Protesters will convene at Harry Bridges Park (beside the Queen Mary) at 5 a.m.

SECOND+PCH WILL LIKELY HAVE TO RETURN ITS HOLIDAY GIFT FROM CITY


Second+PCH developer David Malmuth may have gotten a gift from Long Beach officials who scheduled a City Council hearing on the wildly out-of-code development for five days before Christmas. But Long Beach city code and California law prohibit the City Council and Coastal Commission from approving against-zoning-law plans. Eventually, he'll probably have to return it.

AD DEAL ON GREATERLONGBEACH.COM: $100 PUTS YOUR BUSINESS ON EVERY PAGE, EVERY DAY OF DECEMBER


Amid a holiday shopping season choreographed and code named things like Black Friday, Smallbiz Saturday and Cyber Monday, and complicated by time-warp store hours and window-of-opportunity specials, does anybody really know how far their advertising dollars really go? They do if they take advantage of the December Special at GreaterLongBeach.com, where $100 will get them from here to next year. Actually, that […]

NBA OWNERS AND PLAYERS REACH TENTATIVE DEAL, SHOOTING FOR SEASON TO BEGIN ON CHRISTMAS DAY


CNN reported at 2:24 (PST) that National Basketball Association players and owners have reached a tentative deal to end the league’s months-long lockout. Details of the agreement were not immediately released, but Commissioner David Stern indicated there are plans to begin the season on Christmas Day. “We’ve reached a tentative understanding that is subject to a variety of approvals … […]

FAMILY OF MAN KILLED BY DOWNEY COPS WANTS CITY BUSINESS BOYCOTT


Via DowneyBeat.com: Family members of Michael Nida, who was shot to death by Downey police on Oct. 22 after twice running from them, are calling for a boycott of Downey businesses. Police said that on the night of the shooting they were looking for suspects of an armed robbery at a nearby ATM when they stopped Nida as he […]

FACING DEEP DEBT, LB ROLLER DERBY BEGINS RAISING FUNDS TO SAVE ITS LIFE


At the height of its popularity, Long Beach Roller Derby finds itself in a deep financial hole that threatens to shut it down. But the women who compete in the hard-hitting roller skating bouts are battling back by establishing a fundraising campaign on kickstarter.com. The two-year-old league’s debt has mounted from expenses that include rent […]

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 […]

ON EVE OF 2ND+PCH DATE WITH PLANNING COMMISSION, PROBLEMS WITH EIR


A major obstacle for the 2nd+PCH project is the Final Environmental Impact Report’s (FEIR) compliance---or lack of it---with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The document includes 200 pages of “Final EIR Errata” (that is, corrections) and 1,345 pages of comments from government and the public, as well as the city staff’s responses.

TEACHING SMALL-BUSINESS OWNERS ABOUT THEIR BIG BIDDING ADVANTAGE


A new program that gives small businesses a big advantage on bids for Los Angeles County contracts attracted more than 250 people to a workshop offered Thursday by Supervisor Don Knabe. It was the area’s first county workshop since the Board of Supervisors  voted to increase the county’s small-business bid preference from 5 percent to 8 percent. […]

TODAY IS LAST SATURDAY ON 4TH STREET: FIGURE IT OUT AND GET THERE!


Hey, today is Last Saturday on 4th Street! Although that may seem intended to confuse you—as though maintaining that today is September 17, which was the date last Saturday—it’s actually intended to remind you that today is Last Saturday on 4th Street! Although that may seem intended to confuse you—as though suggesting that today may […]

PRIMAL FLOWER: THIS ISN’T YOUR HIPPIE-MAMA’S ORGANIC FLORIST


Shelley Anders created this new addition the East Village from college art classes in Texas, 25 years in the floral industry and collaboration with local artist Jeremy West, who says his dark and edgy work is inspired by Rob Zombie, Geiger, and R. Crumb.

AS GRANATA’S RESTAURANT IS SOLD, A FAMILY—AND DOWNEY—TRADITION ENDS


BY HENRY VENERACION DOWNEY (Via The Downey Patriot)—After 58 years of family ownership—from father, Ralph, to son, Paul—that made their last name one of the most familiar in Downey, Granata’s Italian Restaurant is in escrow, a few shuffles of paper from being sold. The buyer is Frank E. White, a resident of the city for […]

HARBOR COMMISSION’S UNANIMOUS VOTE TO BUY WORLD CENTER STILL ISN’T OVER


LONG BEACH (Via LBReport.com)—If you missed the big moment—couldn’t be there for the Long Beach Harbor Commission’s special meeting Tuesday or couldn’t stop texting while the panel rolled through the only item on the agenda—maybe the 4-0 vote authorizing the Port of Long Beach’s purchase of the Long Beach World Center office/retail property seems as though the […]

DOWNEY COUNCIL DELAYS SMOKING-BAN DISCUSSION, BUT MEMBERS TALKING


DOWNEY — The Downey City Council probably won’t discuss a possible citywide outdoor smoking ban until its meeting Aug. 23, but Councilman Mario Guerra has made sure his opposition is known. Guerra said it would be too costly to enforce the ban, but a full discussion was halted on a 2-1 vote with Mayor Luis […]

NBA’S FIRST LATINO TEAM OWNER IS DOWNEY RESIDENT AND LBSU GRAD


Multi-millionaire investor Alex Meruelo of Downey—at least, that’s his listed residence on the campaign finance reports he files when he expresses financial fondness for a particular political candidate—became the first Latino owner of a National Basketball Association team today when he reached agreement to purchase the Atlanta Hawks. Another local tie? Meruelo eaned a B.S. degree […]

HAND-WRITTEN SIGNS IN WINDOWS SAY SIPOLOGY IS GONE FROM EAST VILLAGE


A couple of simple handwritten signs attached with Scotch tape to the windows of Sipology Coffeehouse and Gallerie on the corner of Broadway and Linden Ave. made the announcement Wednesday night: “Closed Forever!” said one. Said the other: “Out of Bus. That’s all folks!”

TIMELINE FOR DOWNEY APARTMENTS INCLUDES ENTIRE YEAR OF DOWNTIME


They were wearing hard hats, but each of Downey's five city council members took only one swing of a sledgehamer at a publicity event that ceremonially initiated the demolition of the Verizon building to make way for downtown apartments. Actually, that's about the pace of the project, which will take a year off in September to raise more funds.

DOWNEY’S SECOND HOOKAH BAR IN THREE WEEKS OPENS TODAY


The Hookah Time Cafe, the second hookah bar to open in Downey within the last three weeks, will celebrate its grand opening Friday, according to its website. The latest hookah bar is at 8323 Firestone Blvd., next to Leeds mattress store. Its owners also appear to operate the Custom Cuts barbershop in South Gate. Mosaik […]

DESPITE DENIALS, DELONG PUSHING ABC TO RESTRICT 2ND STREET BARS


GreaterLongBeach.com has obtained a March 18 letter from Long Beach City Councilmember Gary DeLong to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) that runs contrary to his repeated assertions that he has not used his office to pressure the ABC to be tougher on Belmont Shore bars. [UPDATED WITH FULL TEXT OF DELONG'S LETTER AND REQUESTED CONDITIONS.]

THE CHERIN GROUP ACQUIRED BY ENGLANDER KNABE & ALLEN


The Cherin Group, a law firm founded in 2010 by former City Hall and Port of Long Beach official Alex Cherin, ostensibly to facilitate the attraction of green-technology firms to Long Beach, has been acquired by he public relations and lobbying firm of Englander Knabe & Allen. According to an announcement from Englander Knabe & Allen, […]

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 […]

POLITICIANS, PRESS IGNORE WORKERS FIRED AFTER HELPING STATE PROBE HILTON


The Long Beach Hilton is in Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal's district and across the street from the Press-Telegram, but Lowenthal and the P-T were no-shows at Wednesday's press conference for five housekeepers fired after cooperating with a state probe into the hotel's tax and employment practices.

THE BUTLER PLAN: SPIN QUEEN MARY’S MANAGERIAL MERRY-GO-ROUND INTO ONE OF THE SHIP’S “FUN” ATTRACTIONS


As the Queen Mary looks for another manager/operator—that will make four in the past four years—a contributor to an online discussion group devoted to the historic ship believes he has found a way to transform all this instability into an attraction. Chris Butler is the blogger’s name, and he calls his game “a concept that would put some fun […]

DOWNEY COUNCIL SELLS CITY LAND TO ATTRACT A NEW FIAT DEALERSHIP


DOWNEY—With gasoline prices ever increasing, the Downey City Council has agreed to sell four acres of city-owned property at 9715 Firestone Blvd., near the San Gabriel River to Paul Antepara, who plans to open a Fiat dealership by July. The selling price is $3.8 million for the property, once occupied by a Suzuki dealership and […]

MARKETPLACE SUBDIVISION WOULD ACCOMODATE UA THEATER OWNER


Suspicion was aroused this morning when a proposal to subdivide the MarketPlace shopping center suddenly popped up on the April 21 agenda of the Long Beach Planning Commission. That’s the go-to reaction to any perceived shift in the landscape of southeastern Long Beach, home to the Los Cerritos Wetlands and a constant procession of suggested […]

SUBDIVISION OF MARKETPLACE POPS UP ON PLANNING COMMISSION AGENDA


A proposal that would subdivide a portion of the MarketPlace shopping center will be  considered at the April 21 meeting of the Long Beach Planning Commission. The item was agendized by City of Long Beach staff, which recommends its approval. The proposed subdivision is almost surgical, snipping 1.2 acres from the MarketPlace, which currently covers 18.2 acres. […]

LOS CERRITOS WETLANDS LAND TRUST RAMPS UP OPPOSITION TO SECOND+PCH


After doing a low boil for a few years over the slick website that the 2nd+PCH development team has been using to promote its controversial multi-use proposal, environmentalists opposed to the project now have one of their own. The Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust (LCWLT) has launched the specialized site on a separate page of […]

7/ELEVEN ROLLS THE DICE AND CRAPS OUT TWICE IN BID FOR PARAMOUNT STORE


The Paramount City Council has upheld a decision by the Planning Commission to deny the request of a 7-Eleven convenience store to operate in a vacant 2,450-square-foot site at 14139 Downey Ave.—the northwest corner of Downey and Rosecrans avenues, across from Paramount High School. Council members agreed with a Planning Commission ruling of Jan. 11 […]

SECOND+PCH’S PLAN FOR THE ZONING LAWS IT VIOLATES: REWRITE ‘EM!


Second+PCH developer David Malmuth concedes that, in a perfect world, zoning laws would be rewritten first so as to permit a project that was in accordance with them. "Yeah," he says, "but it’s not gonna happen that way.”

DELONG’S CONSTITUENTS LUNCH WITH SECOND+PCH DEVELOPER SO COZY THAT SOME OF THEM FEEL CROWDED OUT


It’s no wonder all tickets for Thursday’s meeting of Councilmember Gary DeLong’s 3rd District Neighborhood Association were sold out more than a week ago. The guest speaker is David Malmuth, developer of Second+PCH, the hugely controversial proposal to construct a huge hotel/residential/retail consortium on the corner of Long Beach’s most congested intersection. Also? There were […]

BULLETIN: SECOND+PCH’S PROJECT’S (SECOND) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT TO BE RELEASED THURSDAY


The long-awaited environmental impact report (EIR) for the Second+PCH development—the second such document for this long-proposed hotel/retail/residential project—will be released Thursday, GreaterLongBeach.com has learned from lead developer David Malmuth. “My enthusiasm has been renewed,” Malmuth says. “I can finally see that we’ll formally start the comment period and hopefully be successful [in getting approval] through […]

RAYTHEON WILL LOCATE NEW FACILITY—AND 150 JOBS—IN DOWNEY


Raytheon Company, an aerospace and defense company with sales of $25 billion last year, will open a 27,000-square-foot research-and-training facility in Downey and hire 150 people to staff it, city officials announced Monday. The Public Safety Regional Technology Center, to be located at 11899 Woodruff Ave., just north of Stewart and Gray Road, will provide […]

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 […]

WHAT WOULD A STRONGER COASTAL COMMISSION BE LIKE? IN A WORD, “FINE”


What's chilling about the proposal are the priorities of the Legislative Analysts Office. Never mind the impact of fines on Coastal Act enforcement, never mind the issue of whether a state agency ought to have this power---to the LAO, administering fines is first and foremost a matter of raising revenue.

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 […]

SECOND+PCH SAYS HAPPY HOLIDAYS… OH, AND EIR WILL BE TWO MONTHS LATE


'Twas the night before Christmas, and the already paralyzed Second+PCH project took the opportunity to inform supporters that the pivotal rewrite of the Environmental Impact Report will miss its end-of-the-year deadline by two months. The bad news came in an e-mail titled "Happy Holidays."

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 […]

AFTER 25 YEARS, ALIN’S PARTY DEPOT PUSHED OUT OF DOWNEY BY WAL-MART


 Turns out, the reason Alin’s Party Depot couldn’t renew its lease after 25 successful years in Downey was that Wal-Mart, Inc., had quietly bought the Paramount Blvd. property. And while Alin’s continues to liquidate its inventory, the largest retailer in the world is preparing to open one of its new, smaller-format Wal-Mart stores in the […]

FORMER DISTRICT WEEKLY EMPLOYEES WIN $70,000 JUDGEMENT AGAINST SWAIMS’ PUBLISHING COMPANY


Six former employees of Long Beach’s former alternative newspaper, The District Weekly, have won their case before the California Labor Commission—and some $70,000 in unpaid wages, vacation interest and penalties—against  the publication’s parent company, Seven Days Publishing, LLC, which was founded by Will Swaim and was ultimately [begin edit] put out of business [end edit] by his […]

BEACH’S MARKET—ANOTHER DOWNEY BUSINESS ICON—ANNOUNCES ITS DEMISE


Citing a sluggish economy and a competitive business market, two more Downey businesses, Beach’s Market and Alin’s Party Depot, have collapsed, as an intransigent recession continues to cripple local restaurants, supermarkets and retail centers. Sambi of Tokyo, a fixture among Downey eateries since it opened on Firestone Boulevard nearly 40 years ago, closed on Oct. 24. […]

DOWNEY ‘GATEWAY’ DEVELOPMENT PLAN APPROVED BY PLANNING COMMISSION


The layout for the Downey Gateway Center, 1.5-acre restaurant and shopping area on the southwest corner of Firestone Boulevard and Downey Avenue, has been recommended for approval by the Planning Commission, paving the way for construction next year. Plans for the development were announced last April. Site plan approval clears the way for the developer […]

CERRITOS HONORED AS LA COUNTY’S MOST BUSINESS-FRIENDLY CITY


Cerritos was honored as Most Business-Friendly City in Los Angeles County for cities with populations under 60,000 people Wednesday night during a ceremony at the  Beverly Hilton Hotel, receiving an Eddy Award from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC). Alhambra won the Eddy among cities with populations over 60,000, a category in which […]

CERRITOS, DOWNEY & CARSON ARE FINALISTS FOR LA COUNTY’S MOST-BUSINESS-FRIENDLY CITY AWARDS


Three cities in the Greater Long Beach area—although not Long Beach, itself, this year—are among 12 finalists for Eddy Awards in the 2010 Most Business-Friendly City competition sponsored by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC). Representatives of Cerritos, Downey and Carson will be at the Beverly Hilton Hotel tonight to await the announcement […]

A LONG-AWAITED BUT GRAND OPENING FOR PORTO’S CUBAN BAKERY IN DOWNEY


A gaggle of Downey city officials, a couple of movie stars and a whole lot of Cuban pride greeted the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Porto’s Cuban Bakery and Café, which finally opened Tuesday nearly a year after breaking ground last Nov. 23. In some ways, the wait seemed even longer. Since the disappointing demise earlier this […]

MAYOR’S WIFE USES HER FACEBOOK PAGE TO PUSH LB CITY COUNCIL FOR TOUGHER MEDICAL MARIJUANA ORDINANCE


The Long Beach City Charter doesn’t give her an official voice and she isn’t registered with City Hall as a lobbyist, but Nancy Foster is the wife of Mayor Bob Foster—and on Monday night she leveraged whatever influence comes with that connection to support additional restrictions to Long Beach’s medical marijuana ordinance. Three city council […]

DOWNEY TO GIVE REBUILT BOB’S $100,000? BOY, THAT’S BIG!


Bob’s Big Boy, which successfully rebuilt the Johnie’s Broiler diner after it was illegally demolished in 2007, has met its requirement to maintain 30-40 full-time jobs and is expected to receive $100,000 as part of a package of economic incentives approved by the city of Downey last year. Jim Louder, owner of the local Bob’s […]

BURLINGTON COAT FACTORY GIVES COMPTON ECONOMIC KICK IN THE PANTS


The opening of a Burlington Coat Factory and a seasonal Toys R Us store in downtown Compton were promoted Monday by the city’s redevelopment agency (RDA), which is predicting a breath of new life into the local economy—just in time for the holiday shopping season. After roughly three years of various delays, Burlington Coat Factory […]

BEYOND GREATER: TODAY’S MUST-READ STORY THAT WE DIDN’T WRITE—THE TURKEY SANDWICH REPORT


FAST-FOOD UNION FAILS BY TWO VOTES: Writing on his foul-mouthed blog, The Turkey Sandwich Report: Eat it, Bitch!, Neal Stewart provided some vitriolic background and context for Friday's election in Minneapolis, where an attempt by workers to unionize 10 fast-food restaurantsfell short, 87-85.

DOWNEY COUNCIL OPTS FOR A MODERN THEME IN ITS DOWNTOWN MAKEOVER


The Downey City Council has dropped plans for an old-town central business district and instead approved plans for a modern, expanded downtown area. Its Tuesday night actions consisted of tentative approval of ordinances changing the zone classification, general plan designation, height and density restrictions and revoking an Oct. 24, 2000, ordinance calling for an historic downtown […]

TWO COMPTON METAL-FINISHING COMPANIES FINED BY EPA


The Environmental Protection Agency has cited and fined two Compton industrial companies for violating federally mandated hazardous waste restrictions. The EPA has been conducting surprise inspections of metal finishing companies over the past two years in various communities in Los Angeles and Santa Clara counties to ensure their compliance with the law. Bowman Plating Company, located […]

DOES BIG SHUFFLE OF SECOND+PCH TEAM SIGNAL A BIG CHANGE IN TACTICS?


Cliff Ratkovich and Carl Kemp are out, Stephen T. Conley and Alex Cherin are in, and there is speculation that the shuffle signals a change in strategy by Second+PCH lead lead developer David Malmuth---an attempt to pull political strings rather than push for community support.

DON JERGLER: UNEMPLOYED 18 MONTHS AND I DIDN’T EVEN GET A CRUMMY T-SHIRT


I might be a little more critical of the Hire Me Tee idea if more revolutionary products or services had emerged during our economic slump. All I can come up with is the iPad, and that’s just a gimmick to entice people who own iPhones, MacBooks and iPods to go out and purchase yet another pricey product.

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 […]

DON JERGLER: ANYBODY GOT A SPARE PAIR OF ROSE-COLORED GLASSES?


When you’re in the Long Beach area and the title of the latest UCLA Anderson Forecast Is "The Uncertain Economy" and you're already depressed about your economic future, well, maybe you ought to not bother even reading it. Then again, uncertainty is better than doomsday.

THE COMPTON BULLETIN LAUNCHES ITS FIRST-EVER SUBSCRIPTION DRIVE


The Compton Bulletin has become one of Southern California’s most dynamic community newspapers under the leadership of editor Allison Jean Eaton, but it isn’t immune to economic conditions that are threatening print journalism everywhere. So for the first time in its history The Bulletin is launching a subscription drive. Throughout the months of September and […]

DON JERGLER: LABOR DAY, FROM ONE BUSINESS REPORTER’S EXPERIENCE


At the Press-Telegram, I was a member of the bargaining team, which fought for two years to secure a successful union contract. It was a long and bitter fight that led me to seek employment elsewhere as soon as the contract was at a point of being achieved.

DON JERGLER: THIS JUST IN—WE’RE BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE


Californians don’t need a report to know they are stuck between an economic rock and a hard place—or is it a rock and an economic hard place---but we’re getting one, anyway. To coincide with Labor Day, the California Budget Project will release a report later this week on the state’s economy and its workers. It ain't pretty.

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 […]

A VISION FOR LONG BEACH THAT DOESN’T INVOLVE HALLUCINATIONS?


“I want Long Beach to become the green-technology capital of California,” says Alex Cherin of The Cherin Group. “It's perfectly positioned to attract the kind of venture capital to clean technology that Silicon Valley attracted to computer startups in the 1990s.”

CITY COUNCIL TO REFUND $50K FOR 2ND+PCH PROJECT’S ‘BABY HUEY’


Item 6 on the consent calendar at Tuesday evening’s meeting of the Long Beach City Council authorizes a refund of $50,592 to Pacific Castle Long Beach LLP, which is apparently withdrawing its plan for a massive redevelopment of the MarketPlace Shopping Center—a project we dubbed Baby Huey last April, when we discovered it buried in […]

UPSIDE TO UNEMPLOYMENT: FEWER PEOPLE ARE DYING AT WORK


If the recession has a silver lining, it may be the decline in workplace deaths: Fatal job injuries were down 17 percent last year, in large part because Americans worked fewer hours, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nationwide, 4,340 workers died on the job in 2009, compared to 5,214 in 2008. The preliminary count […]

THESE DAYS, A JOB IS A JOB IS A PART-TIME POSITION AT McDONALD’S


McDonald’s is hold a “Hiring Day” today to fill part-time positions for the company’s Downey-area restaurants. There are seven McDonald’s in Downey. A McDonald’s representative said the jobs can help employees “grow their skills with one of the world’s most successful companies.” “We provide every employee with valuable skills including time management, learning to take initiative and self-confidence […]

562CITYLIFE.COM HAS ITS NAME TO ITSELF AGAIN


Publisher Jeremy Zachary will still begin printing a monthly arts-and-entertainment magazine in Long Beach this fall, but it won’t be called Long Beach CityLife. Just after 6 o’clock Tuesday evening, Zachary e-mailed Matt Saunders of the local social networking website 562CityLife to say he would be calling it … well … that part he didn’t say. […]

562CITYLIFE.COM SAYS NEW MAGAZINE IS RIPPING OFF ITS NAME, AND LOTS MORE


Amid the still-settling fallout from The District Weekly’s demise in March, an updated, downscaled version of an oldtimey newspaper war may be breaking out in Long Beach—between a newsy/artsy social networking website and a monthly culture-and-entertainment magazine that hasn’t even published its first issue yet. The owners of 562CityLife.com, a three-year-old hub of information and […]

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 […]

CATCH & RELEASE: DON JERGLER READS THE FLAKS, SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO


Business reporters who ignore press releases deprive themselves of information. Read discerningly, press releases provide insight into trends, political and social issues, new technologies---and sometimes clues about what businesses may be trying to hide.

EAT, PRAY, LOVE: INSIDE THE OTHER PROTEST AT THE LONG BEACH HYATT


Being embedded among the radicals was not as exciting as I had thought it would be: management may threaten and humiliate workers, but actual labor protests are downright cordial these days. After five minutes of chanting a manager politely requested that the protest be moved outside. An organizer smiled and explained they would be leaving as soon as the minister had led a prayer.

MASSIVE FARMERS MARKET PROPOSAL CREATING QUITE A PICKLE


A proposal for a massive farmers’ market on the so-called Pumpkin Patch property appears headed for a second and indefinite postponement...and considering the people involved, perhaps more than a little intrigue.

FIRST CHANGE AT DOWNEY SPACE CENTER—LONGER HOURS


The new director of the Columbia Memorial Space Center has announced his first change—expanded hours of operation—since taking over for his fired predecessor. Beginning July 6 the glistening tribute to Downey’s space heritage will be open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission prices will remain the same at $5 per person, groups of 10 […]

CITY HALL HEARING THIS AFTERNOON TO CONSIDER HUGE FARMER’S MARKET AT PUMPKIN PATCH


Dave and Ted Thacker, the Cottage Grove, Oregon, guys behind the Thackerberry Farms strawberry stands that bring a touch of country comfort to street corners all over Long Beach, are the guys behind an application to hold a large Farmer’s Market every Saturday and Sunday on the so-called “Pumpkin Patch” property just south of the MarketPlace […]

BEER & POLITICS DEBATES SECOND+PCH PROJECT TUESDAY


The latest pivot point in the development of Long Beach—the proposed replacement of the tired, old SeaPort Marina Hotel with the high-rise Second+PCH hotel, residential and retail complex—will be the next topic of debate at Beer & Politics. Developers Cliff Ratkovich and David Malmuth, who are requesting a slew of exceptions to zoning law and traffic […]

ELON MUSK WRITES THAT ‘DOWNEY IS AWESOME’—AND, PRESUMABLY, HOPES IT HAS A BITCHEN SUMMER


Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has written a letter to City of Downey officials (title: “Downey Is Awesome”) that is apparently intended to soothe their feelings (typical reaction: we were “stabbed in the back”) after he stunned them with his May 20 announcement that his company would not be manufacturing cars in their town. The […]

TESLA CHOOSES FREMONT–AND, SAY ANGRY DOWNEY OFFICIALS, MILLIONS IN CASH


Instead of formally ratifying a lease amendment with IRG, one of the final steps before Tesla Motors could begin work on its Model S assembly plant at Downey Studios, the Downey City Council on Thursday instead took turns blasting the electric car company for what Mayor Pro Tem Luis Marquez termed “underhanded negotiation tactics.” Downey […]

TESLA WILL BUILD CARS IN DOWNEY, ACCORDING TO DEPT OF ENERGY DOCUMENTS


Documents filed with the federal Department of Energy—and obtained by the Downey Patriot—reveal that Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has every intention of building his company’s all-electric Model S in the city of Downey. “It hasn’t yet been finalized,” Musk, still playing coy, told Auto News in an interview that the LBReport.com linked to this […]

SECOND+PCH HAS A PLAN, E-I-R-I-O! AND IN THAT PLAN THERE’S A TALL HOTEL, E-I-R-I-O!


  (The Environmental Impact Report [EIR] for the proposed Second+PCH project was released this week, and local environmental activist Heather Altman—who also happens to read these types of documents for a living—is not impressed. “As I pick through it,” she says, “I am becoming increasingly aware that it isn’t very defensible—for a variety of reasons […]

GATEWAY TOWNE CENTER—COMPTON’S NEWEST—USES TAX-CREDIT MECHANISM TO NARROWLY AVOID FORECLOSURE


Compton’s new shopping center, the Gateway Towne Center, narrowly avoided forclosure after it was able to secure $29 million in permanent financing through a new tax-credit mechanism. Community Development Financial Institutions Clearinghouse officials said this recent loan saved the shopping center, which would have gone into foreclosure had the permanent financing not been secured. City […]

SURPRISE! SECOND+PCH EIR REVEALS PLANS FOR AN EVEN-BIGGER MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENT AT THE MARKET PLACE


The Second+PCH project may be an Odd Duck—the just-released Environmental Impact Report (EIR) reveals that its promoters have designed a residential/hotel/retail complex on the site of the Seaport Marina Hotel that is loaded with even more deleterious features than its rejected predecessor—but just wait until you get a load of its younger brother. Are you […]

BELLFLOWER TRYING TO REDEVELOP ITS ECONOMY WITHOUT RIPPING OUT ITS HEART


The City of Bellflower’s time capsule of a downtown is both heartwarmingly quaint and heartbreakingly … well without a heartbeat.  Bellflower Boulevard’s well-preserved architecture and its embalmed business district can probably both be traced to its citizens’ long opposition to creating a Redevelopment Agency, an orientation rooted in their suspicion that eminent domain might be used […]

WHY ARE LB TAXPAYERS BEING ASKED TO COVER THE RISK OF TWO WELL-CONNECTED MILLIONAIRES?


Why is the City Council being asked tonight to chop $3,000 a month off the rent it charges the mighty BANCAP Investment Group—headed by two of Long Beach’s most prominent and prosperous citizens, Stephen T. Conley and John W. Hancock—to lease a swath of Long Beach Marina-front property? According to city documents attached to the […]

TOM MARCHESE RESPONDS TO MARCH 30 REQUEST FOR HIS RESPONSE TO DON MAY’S ACCUSATIONS AT WETLANDS LAND TRUST ELECTION


Nearly three weeks after his lopsided loss in a bid for re-election to the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust board of directors, Tom Marchese has responded to a request for comment that I left on his home telephone on March 30. Marchese, who four days ago lopsidedly lost a bid to represent the Third District on the Long Beach City […]

DOWNEY’S BIG BOY, NEE HARVEY’S/JOHNIE’S BROILER, RECEIVES PRESIDENT’S AWARD FROM L.A. CONSERVANCY


The new Bob’s Big Boy in Downey has been honored with the President’s Award from the Los Angeles Conservancy, a prestigious recognition that confirms the restaurant’s triumphant comeback after it was decimated in an illegal demolition three years ago. [In the Nov. 18, 2009, issue of The District Weekly, Theo Douglas wrote about the special […]

KEMP INSISTS THAT THE APPEAL FOR PUBLIC SUPPORT OF SECOND+PCH PROJECT IS THE SAME AS IT EVER WAS


Carl Kemp is the man behind the impressive public-relations campaign for the proposed Second+PCH project, and he’s very up-front about his strategy—even the parts that strike some people as a little surreptitious. Consider, for example, the ready-made letter of support that Second+PCH is sending to people—and offering on its Web site—with a request that it be […]

COUNTY CLERK HAS NO RECORD THAT COMPTON RDA EVER FILED MANDATED STUDY OF $100 MILLION BOND ISSUE


The City of Compton Redevelopment Agency claims to have filed with the Los Angeles County clerk for public review of a study on the agency’s proposed issuance of $100 million in bonds, but The Bulletin has learned that county clerk’s office has no record of it. READ MORE

GO RIGHT AHEAD AND SUPPORT THE SECOND+PCH PROJECT—BUT HOW ABOUT WAITING UNTIL YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS?


As posted earlier, the Second + PCH development team has ramped up efforts to generate support in advance of the soon-to-be-released Environmental Impact Report (EIR). I believe that, in principle, the Second + PCH people have it exactly right: you need to make your voice heard. You need to speak out. I just find their […]

OWNER OF FORMER COMPTON POT SHOP GETS 6 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON


A man who ran half a dozen medical marijuana dispensaries in the greater Los Angeles area, including one in Compton, has been sentenced to six years in federal prison. In a March 22 sentencing, U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson said that Virgil Edward Grant III used his licensed clinics to earn a profit selling […]

MARCHESE ACCUSED OF TRYING TO GET NON-PROFIT WETLAND GROUP’S MAILING LIST FOR HIS CITY COUNCIL CAMPAIGN


TOM MARCHESE Tom Marchese not only lopsidedly lost his battle for re-election to the Board of Directors of the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust (LCWLT) Tuesday night, but questions raised about his ethics in a letter from the organization’s esteemed founder may have cost him any realistic chance to be elected to the Long Beach City Council on April 13. Don May, […]

ABOUT FACE: CITY OFFICIALS NOW SAY DOWNEY STUDIOS WON’T CLOSE FOR TESLA


BY ERIC PIERCE / DOWNEY PATRIOT After the Downey Patriot’s story last week that Tesla Motors is seeking to lease 51 acres on the former NASA site, likely spelling the end of Downey Studios, city officials are now saying the movie studios “will remain open even after the new tenant arrives.” The Planning Commission approved an IRG […]

COMPTON SPENDING $5 MILLION TO BUY BACK PARKS IT SOLD TO RDA


COMPTON—In what some consider a fishy move, the City of Compton is spending more than $5 million to supposedly buy back city parks from the redevelopment agency. The City Council acting as the Urban Community Redevelopment Agency last Tuesday, March 16, approved a $5.2 million payout from the city to the Community Redevelopment Agency to […]

TESLA’S EXTRA ACREAGE SIGNALS END OF DOWNEY STUDIOS


DOWNEY – If Tesla Motors can reach agreement on a lease deal, the electric vehicle manufacturer plans to lease 51 acres at the former NASA property, “more than likely” spelling the end of Downey Studios, according to a city of Downey staff report. The Planning Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved an application submitted by Industrial […]