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 [...]
Long Beach City Councilmember Al Austin has announced that a Gun Buyback Day will be held on Saturday, June 8 at the Long Beach Police Department’s North Division Substation from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., GreaterLongBeach.com has learned. Austin, who represents the 8th district, made the revelation Wednesday at a May Day press conference at [...]
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 [...]
In the wake of Long Beach's startling announcement that it is inviting anyone who says they can build a new Civic Center to prove it, GreaterLongBeach.com re-publishes this Sept. 12, 2012, story Theo Douglas, who saw it coming.
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 [...]
Particularly uneasy over liability claims against the Downey Police Department and their potential financial impact on the city, the Downey City Council may hire an Orange County law firm to help deal with civil litigation matters at its meeting this evening. Eric Pierce, editor of The Downey Patriot, spotted the item on the meeting agenda. [...]
[Note: This opinion piece originally appeared on the personal blog of Long Beach City Council member and mayoral candidate Gerrie Schipske] With Mayor Bob Foster’s behind-the-scenes urging, seven members of the Long Beach City Council killed any consideration of several political reforms I put on the April 16, 2013, agenda. The reforms—which are in place [...]
LA Controller Wendy Greuel---a candidate for mayor---responded to the Los Cerritos Community News' pursuit of a Jan 23 request for public records held by her office with a letter denying an intentional delay and threatening to countersue if the paper took legal action.
Downey officials seem to be tempering their enthusiasm---and the easy approval process---for hookah bars and cigar lounges in its downtown, which GreaterLongBeach.com totally predicted in February when one hookah club offered free admission to women wearing lingerie. Just sayin'.
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.
The cities of Signal Hill, Downey and Cerritos went to court Monday in an attempt to stop the Water Replenishment District of Southern California (WRD) from notifying the public about the rate-setting process and scheduled public hearing. The three cities asked the court to enjoin WRD from sending notices to approximately 800,000 property owners within [...]
BY TINA VASQUEZ / The Downey Patriot The photo of the City of Downey’s emotionally moving memorial to fallen police officers that DowneyBeat.com editor John Zander posted March 5 on the online newspaper’s Facebook page didn’t move everybody’s emotions equally. Zander’s heart swelled for the Downey police officers who risk their lives in the line of [...]
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.
Long Beach City Hall didn’t want you to see the maps showing the areas of the city where crimes are and where they are not. You weren’t supposed to know the different—sometimes very different—levels of violent crime from one Council district to another. You were supposed to accept what City Hall told news reporters—who then [...]
CERRITOS — A LCCN examination of 2009-2012 City Council travel documents shows Cerritos council-members Carol Chen and Bruce Barrows, along with Jim Edwards, reporting extremely questionable and expensive charges for travel, hotel fees, and dining costs. In an era of economic collapse and belt tightening where the council-members were asking the unions not to take [...]
Daniel Brezenoff, a member of Long Beach City Councilmember Robert Garcia’s 1st district staff since 2009, announced today via a 1:30 a.m. Facebook dispatch that he is resigning to become Director of Social Services at La Casa mental rehabilitation hospital in North Long Beach. Brezenoff, a licensed clinical social worker, worked as the Clinical Coordinator [...]
CERRITOS — Cerritos City Council candidates K.Y. Ma, James Kang, and current Cerritos City Councilman Joseph Cho attempted to craft a deal with rival candidate K.Y. Ma last December in an attempt to manipulate the Cerritos March 5th election, as well as the 2015 Cerritos city council elections. In the press conference, Cho said that [...]
NORWALK — The five candidates running for two Norwalk city council slots openly clashed on several issues on Monday during a lunch time debate sponsored by the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce. Challengers Enrique Aranda, Candy Martinez, and Darryl Adams aggressively challenged longtime incumbents Cheri Kelley and Mike Mendez over the issues ranging from nearly two [...]
Cerritos City Council candidate Frank Aurelio Yokoyama has been suspended by the California State Bar from practicing law after he was cited for several violations, Los Cerritos Community Newspaper has learned. Yokoyama, 44, was suspended from practicing law on January 7, 2012 by Judge Richard A. Platel of the California State Bar Court. Court documents [...]
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 [...]
Los Cerritos Community News publisher Brian Hews is escalating his paper's journalism into a high-profile crusade against government corruption. Hews has formed a Political Action Committee (PAC) called Citizens for a Clean and Honest Government.
Los Cerritos Community News has learned that three members of the Cerritos City Council travelled to Washington DC this week to attend the United States Conference of Mayor’s 81st Winter Meeting and that local tax payers are on the hook to pick up the bill of the three well-traveled elected officials. The US Mayor’s Conference [...]
DOWNEY — With the city’s full-size space shuttle mockup still sitting under a temporary tent on the Downey Studios parking lot, the City Council this week authorized a $3 million loan application with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to construct permanent housing for the shuttle. If the loan is approved, the [...]
Los Cerritos Community Newspaper this week published an investigative piece on Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel, accusing her of spending most of the last three years advancing her mayoral ambitions on taxpayer dime. Greuel’s campaign hit back by releasing the six-year arrest record of reporter Randy Economy, who broke the story. Economy responded today: [...]
Long Beach City Councilmember Patrick O’Donnell has formed the "O'Donnell for Assembly 2014," but says it "doesn’t mean I’m running for the state assembly ... and it doesn’t mean I’m not.”
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 [...]
LAKEWOOD– The Lakewood City Council voted unanimously to appoint Ron Piazza to fill the vacancy created by the death of longtime Council Member Larry Van Nostran on November 9. The council term runs through March 2015. The decision was made at a special meeting of the city council on Thursday night. Piazza grew up in [...]
LAKEWOOD — Twenty Lakewood residents have submitted applications to fill the vacancy on the city council after the recent death of longtime Councilman Larry Van Nostran. At a special meeting on Tuesday night, the Lakewood City Council voted to create an “Ad Hoc Committee” of two council members to “further review the applications” of the [...]
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 [...]
Three hotly contested city council elections officially got underway this week in Norwalk, Cerritos and La Mirada. Last Friday was the final day in which hopefuls for the March 5, 2013 Municipal Elections had to finalize their nomination papers with local city clerks. Here is a rundown of the candidates: NORWALK: FOUR CHALLENGERS HOPE TO [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
The California Supreme Court this week ruled that Los Angeles County improperly withheld more than $10 million in property tax administration fees. Monday’s decision comes from a lawsuit (City of Alhambra, et al. v. Los Angeles County) filed by 47 cities, including Long Beach, Lakewood and Signal Hill, challenging the fee on the grounds that [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Since it reported on an Oct. 23 consent calendar item that would give BANCAP Marina Center, Inc. up to $95,000 in rent credits, LBReport.com’s public records request for BANCAP’s current lease with the city has given way to another question — why isn’t it available? After all, the lease is public record. BANCAP is the [...]
Would your current run for Congress be an easier election---for example, Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster, a Democrat, has remained neutral---if you had voted differently on Redevelopment Agencies?
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 [...]
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 [...]
It wasn't fast or easy, but more than a year of relentless and painstaking investigative reporting by Los Cerritos Community News publisher Brian Hews and reporter Randy Economy finally resulted in last week's arrest of County Assessor John Noguez on charges of political corruption.
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.
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 [...]
Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez, the subject of a series of investigative stories by the Los Cerritos Community News that has spanned 2012, was arrested this morning (Oct. 17). following a corruption probe by the District Attorney.
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 [...]
CERRITOS — In one of the most heated meetings in recent memory, the Cerritos City Council voted down a plan that would have brought a second Goodwill Thrift Store to the east side neighborhood shopping complex which has been left half vacant for the past three years. Voting to shelve the plan was Cerritos Mayor [...]
DOWNEY – A former Downey city worker has filed preliminary paperwork for a ballot initiative that, if approved, would allow the City Council to contract police and fire services with L.A. County without voter approval. Sheila Pautsch, a former recreation manager now working for South Pasadena, filed the paperwork with the Downey city clerk and [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
DOWNEY — After a short debate, the City Council on Tuesday decided to name the city’s space shuttle mock-up ‘Inspiration.’ The name was the favorite of Mayor Roger Brossmer, the councilman who spends the most time working on the programing at the Columbia Memorial Space Center and who has been the council’s driving force on [...]
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
Following through on a threat delivered by Mayor Bob Foster when he unveiled his proposed 2013 budget, the Long Beach City Council on Tuesday ordered the preparation of a ballot measure that would cut and limit the pay and benefits of the City’s non-public safety and mainly lower-paid employees. The vote was 6-2. City Attorney [...]
In an event that was literally 40 years in the making, more than 100 paying ticketholders listened as a panel of local historians, architects, structural engineers and city officials praised Long Beach's futuristic, much-maligned Civic Center---not that it killed rumors that a public-private partnership is planning a replacement.
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.
DOWNEY — Salvador Franco knows politics are politics. It’s a lesson he learned when he served on the City Council in Bell Gardens, a city with notoriously rough politics known for its nearly constant recall campaigns. So he’s not surprised when he hears insults come his way from people in Downey who say he’s a [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
DOWNEY (Via Herald American)—Officers from the Downey Police Department are coordinating with law enforcement officials from several other cities to conduct a sweep of the city to verify the addresses of 69 parolees reported to live there. The sweep—similar to others that have already occurred in surrounding cities—is a ripple effect of the realignment of [...]
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 [...]
GARCIA WON’T JOIN HIS CONSTITUENTS AT BERTH 55 FORUM AFTER MEETING WITH PORT AND FIRE BRASS IN HIS OFFICE
Although some of Vice Mayor Robert Garcia’s 1st district constituents are among the organizers of Thursday evening’s Berth 55 Community Forum—intended to persuade Port of Long Beach officials not to demolish the longtime seafood-and-sportfishing gathering place—Garcia has indicated he does not plan to attend. Apparently, Garcia got all the meeting he needed on the subject on Aug. 14 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Los Cerritos Community Newspaper this week acquired Jay Gray’s full public statement to the Cerritos City Council regarding his June 4 altercation with Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Barrows. Barrows had admitted to pushing Gray on the shoulder after the two exchanged heated words following a budget study session. The Los Angeles County District Attorney decided [...]
A dead body was lying outside Long Beach City Hall as people arrived at the downtown civic center at a bit past 7 o’clock this morning. It went publicly unmentioned by the Long Beach Police Department for more than six hours
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 [...]
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 [...]
DOWNEY — Friends and family of Michael Nida, the unarmed man fatally shot last October after running from police, will march to City Hall on Saturday to protest police brutality. They are also asking that “justice be served” on Officer Steve Gilley, who shot Nida on Oct. 22. The rally starts at 10 a.m. at [...]
The Long Beach City Council voted 8-0 Tuesday evening to grant iconic Belmont Shore restaurant/bar Panama Joe’s an extension of its entertainment-with-dancing permit, but the unanimous decision by councilmembers did not signify consensus on the issue at City Hall. The Long Beach Police Department and the the city’s Department of Financial Management had recommended that the council deny the [...]
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 [...]
After losing a race in another district, then the support of Long Beach's power elite, Al Austin's 8th district neighbors elected him their councilmember.
BELLFLOWER – Cerritos Mayor Pro Tem Barrows and the resident he allegedly attacked after a heated city council budget session were in hearings Friday to determine if formal criminal charges are to be filed against the multiple-term city leader. Barrows and resident Jay Gray appeared before the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office in Bellflower [...]
Days before he joins the Long Beach City Council, Al Austin answers every question thrown at him by GreaterLongBeach.com publisher Dave Wielenga during a July 5 appearance on Greater Long Beach Radio. Listen!
Is Long Beach Councilwoman Rae Gabelich really done with the dais? Journalist Michelle Lecours in cooperation with PBS Southern California chats with the 8th District’s two-term representative about her accomplishments in office, the political frustrations fracturing City Hall, and the city’s upcoming mayoral race. Gabelich confirmed she won’t run for a third term as a [...]
BELL – The City of Bell remained unaudited for the past three years, including the critical period in which former indicted City Manager Robert Rizzo and seven other city officials were arrested on criminal charges for looting the city’s treasury for their own personal use. Los Cerritos Community Newspaper obtained this week obtained a series [...]
DOWNEY – The city’s fire union on Tuesday asked the City Council to consider disbanding the fire department and instead contract fire service to the county. Steve Davis, the president of the city’s firemen’s association, requested that Downey commission a feasibility study on going with county services. “We are asking for the City Council to [...]
What just shot to the top of Al Austin’s to-do list, only 11 days before he officially—and finally—sits down in the 8th district’s seat on the Long Beach City Council? An appearance on tonight’s edition of Greater Long Beach Radio with Dave Wielenga, which goes live at 6 o’clock on KBEACH.org, the on-line radio station [...]
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 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 [...]
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 [...]
Journalist Michelle Lecours in a two-part interview sat down with Signal Hill Councilman and three-time mayor Larry Forester to talk about redevelopment in Signal Hill and Long Beach. Forester knows more than a thing or two about it — he’s chaired his city’s redevelopment agency three times. In layman’s terms, he explains the economic role [...]
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 [...]
DOWNEY—After debates, meetings and public hearings, the city has decided to make Firestone Boulevard a six-lane road with no street parking throughout the entire length of the city. The project calls for bus stops, trees, medians, plants and new asphalt. The goals of the redesign are to make the street look better, increase traffic flow [...]
A Bellflower man and a Compton man, along with 10 others, are in Antelope Valley Court today for arraignment on felony dogfighting and felony aiding and abetting dog fighting charges. A tip led Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies on Saturday to a Littlerock home where a dog fight was believed to take place. Surveillance of [...]
CERRITOS—The Los Angeles County District Attorney has decided not to seek felony charges against Cerritos Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Barrows over a June 4 altercation with resident and city council critic Jay Gray after a budget study session. Barrows and Gray each filed police reports regarding the incident, during which the men exchanged heated words [...]
SURPRISE! SURPRISE! BOMGAARS RETIRES FROM BELLFLOWER CITY COUNCIL … BUT SUGGESTS A WAY HE COULD STAY
A year after voters elected him to a sixth term, Bellflower City Council member Randy Bomgaars concluded Tuesday night’s meeting by announcing that he will retire, effective June 20, so as to coincide with his June 21 retirement as a school teacher and maximize the benefits he receives from both pensions. But near the end [...]
Less than 10 months after City Councilmember Dee Andrews denounced a former liquor store as a community “cancer” during a public party to observe and celebrate its demolition, his staff has been advising two applicants who today will seek permission from the Planning Commission to sell beer and wine in small markets a block away. [...]
Detectives from the Forgery/Fraud Detail of the Long Beach Police Department have arrested a former city employee for misappropriation of $251,000 in public funds, according to information released to the media by the LBPD. Jongluck “Lucky” Mutrais, 59, was arrested Thursday (May 10) morning at her home in Orange, according to the release, which said [...]
Belle the Cow, the massive bronze mascot of the City of Bellflower, finally has a home—a spot near the trailhead of the city’s bike-and-pedestrian path, where Woodruff Ave., Flora Vista St. and Flower St. intersect—and tentative plans are to move her in within the next six months, according to a story by Arnold Adler in [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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Compton City officials aren't saying anything about the mysterious fire that ignited at the City's fire department and destroyed $1.1 million in police radios---except that it's still under investigation.
BY AMANDA BECKER / RollCall.com Kinde Durkee’s plea of guilty Friday to five counts of mail fraud against her clients—translation, to embezzling more than $7 million from the campaign bank accounts of California political candidates—did not answer the question that’s been asked most since since she was arrested in September: Where did the money go? [...]
[From Herald American reports] BELLFLOWER—Dan Koops, a longtime business owner who became a first-time city council member in 2009, was installed as the mayor of Bellflower this week after a unanimous vote by his council colleagues. Councilman Ray Dunton was unanimously selected to be mayor Pro tem. Koops, 59 years old and married to his wife, [...]
Mayor Roger Brossmer contends that the burned-out shell of the infamous Apollo 1 command module, created in Downey but stored in Virginia since shortly after a 1967 fire that killed three astronauts, ought to be returned to the city of its birth and exhibited near the Columbia Memorial Space Museum. “I get in trouble sometimes [...]
Ten years after consultants informed the Long Beach City Council that it was spending more than it was taking in, Kerrie Aley has one question for Councilmember Gary DeLong, chairman of the Budget Oversight Committee: Is Long Beach in better or worse financial shape now?
Al Austin’s candidacy for the 8th district seat on the Long Beach City Council continues to gather grass-roots support that tends to run counter to the endorsements of prominent elected officials in the area. The roughly 3-to-1 margin by which Austin was endorsed over Lillian Kawasaki at Tuesday evening’s meeting of the Los Angeles County [...]
WHO WAS IT WHO SAID, ‘MAKING IT MORE DIFFICULT FOR A POPULACE TO BE WELL-INFORMED IS VITAL FOR THE OPERATION OF THE OPERATORS?’
City Manager Pat West’s staff is making a budget presentation to the Long Beach City Council today, an agendized item about the “Fiscal Outlook for 2013 and Beyond.” Whoa! In the context of Long Beach’s current economic crisis—or perhaps even more importantly, its traditional inability to manage money, even when times are good—this seems like [...]
The cities of Bellflower and Norwalk have officially become successor agencies to their now-defunct redevelopment programs and are charged, under the law enacted through Assembly Bill X1 26,, with winding down redevelopment activities and paying off contractual and financial debt obligations of those projects. Both cities, as required, set up a payment plan to meet [...]
Long Beach city management—which in our view has become basically subordinate to a mayor without a vote—on Tuesday (Feb. 21) gave the city’s taxpayers a disturbing preview of its March 6 mid-year budget report. As previously reported on LBReport.com, the City Council majority that also seems to take orders from Mayor Bob Foster has previously [...]
Bellflower and Norwalk have scheduled State of the City addresses this week. The Bellflower City Council will present its annual State of the City luncheon around the theme, “Investing in Bellflower” on Thursday (Feb. 23) beginning at 11:30 a.m. at Simms Park, 16614 S. Clark Ave. The cost is $10 per person. Many of the [...]
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 [...]
ONE QUESTION FOR … LB CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE AND $181,000-A-YEAR LA CITY PENSION BENEFICIARY, LILLIAN KAWASAKI
[ The first installment in something like the fourth or fifth attempt to make this a weekly feature of GreaterLongBeach.com. Pray for us. ] The back story: Lillian Kawasaki is running to represent the 8th district seat on the Long Beach City Council at a time when the city is facing a budget deficit that [...]
DOWNEY—Taking a risk to rescue a medical facility with deep local roots, the City of Downey is putting up its stake in the Downey Regional Medical Center as collateral to help the bankrupt hospital get financing. Downey owns the hospital at 11500 Brookshire Ave. and leases it to an operating company. That company, Downey Regional [...]
DOWNEY (Via DowneyBeat.com)—While the City of Downey is laying off employees and trying to plug a multi-million budget hole, documents show it has also been writing checks for six-figure, lump-sum retirement payouts. More than $249,000 in unused vacation and sick time was recently paid to former Fire Chief and Emergency Services Coordinator Mark Sauter, who retired [...]
Since its incorporation in 1956, the City of Downey had never laid off a staff member for economic reasons ... until last week, when the California legislature's abolishment of redevelopment agencies cost two city employees their jobs.
Eighth District City Council candidate Al Austin, shown with his wife, Daysha, in a December 2011 photo, described his endorsement Tuesday by outgoing Councilmember Rae Gabelich as "an honor," but said this is a "pivotal time" for the 8th district and Long Beach as a whole.
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.
DOWNEY—Friends and family of Michael Nida, the unarmed and innocent man fatally shot last Oct. 22 by a Downey Police Department officer wielding an MP5 machine gun, are inviting people to march two miles with them Saturday—from the site of the shooting at Paramount Blvd. and Imperial Highway to to Downey City Hall—to protest racial profiling [...]
When the Long Beach City Council went into closed session on January 10, it cited "existing legislation" as its legally permitted reason. Problem is, the case it cited had already received a final judgment from the California State Supreme Court on Dec. 29. So ,,, what gives?
DOWNEY (Via DowneyBeat.com)—For the first time, the Downey City Council addressed the family and friends of Michael Nida, a 31-year-old South Gate resident who was unarmed and not involved in any crime when he was killed by a Downey Police officer Oct. 22 while out on a date with his wife. Mayor Roger Brossmer said [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Just in time to rescue the holiday spirit—but probably too late for justice—the Greed+WTF group has created a slim volume of holiday verse dedicated to the Long Beach City Council's vote tonight on the Second+PCH project. C'mon, everybody! Sing along!!
DOWNEY (Via DowneyBeat.com)—A collection of anti-police activists and reformers from outside of Downey are slowly coalescing around the family of Michael Nida, a married father of four who was unarmed and on a date with his wife when he was shot and killed by Downeypolice Oct. 22. Nida’s family members and closest friends began speaking [...]
SEAL BEACH (Via Seal Beach News)—As the Seal Beach City Council plans a public memorial for the people killed and traumatized by the Oct. 12 shooting spree at the Salon Meritage it is also codifying those plans into a citywide policy on public memorials. Two months to the date after the tragedy, the council used its Dec. [...]
Four seats on the Long Beach City Council will be assigned by voters who live in even-numbered districts in 2012—the ones currently being warmed by Suja Lowenthal (2nd), Patrick O’Donnell (4th), Dee Andrews (6th) and Rae Gabelich (8th)—and it’s just about time for would-be candidates to stop dropping hints and start throwing hats into rings … [...]
The 8,500-square-foot parking structure just built for judges at Norwalk Superior Court is beautiful—according to the Norwalk City Council/Redevelopment Agency, which has approved the finish project … and it has come in $51,000 under budget. That’s good news, although maybe not quite as indicative of financial frugality as it sounds. The new venue for the [...]
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.
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. [...]
The Bellflower City Council will meet Monday evening to rubber stamp the unanimous decision it has already made to appoint Jeffrey Stewart as city manager with a three-year contract—and options for two more years—that features an annual salary of $191,000, plus benefits. (For the time being, that salary is reduced to $171,000 by Bellflower’s ongoing [...]
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.
The same somebody who employed the message board of a political website Friday to announce a Sunday-night concert/demonstration/costume party to criticize and mock Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal deployed an e-mail this evening to call the whole thing off. “Event cancelled due to high chance of rain,” read the e-mail—from somebody who says his name is [...]
A free concert—dubbed “SujaPalooza” in reference to Long Beach Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal—is being planned for Sunday night from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Rose Circle Park (8th Street at Orizaba Ave), according to a notice posted by a group called Conscious Cinema on the politically progressive website Democracy For America/Orange County. “Conscious Cinema [...]
Citing public health concerns, the Downey City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday to restrict cigarette smoking at public parks and city-sponsored events. Smoking will still be allowed in park parking lots and sidewalks, and other designated areas within the parks. The controversial ordinance, first introduced two weeks ago, is expected to be ratified later this year. [...]
Participants in OccupyLongBeach cranked up the volume on their ongoing protest during Tuesday night’s meeting of the Long Beach City Council by calling upon city officials to permit camping in local parks and establish a so-called “free-speech zone.” When those demands were not immediately met, disrupting the meeting to the extent that it was temporarily [...]
In an interview with Logan Crow that will be featured tonight on 'Greater Long Beach Radio with Dave Wielenga,' the promoter of last Saturday's (Oct. 29) Zombie Walk charges that incessant demands and fees by the City of Long Beach diminished the event and left him $40,000 in debt. Listen tonight at 7 p.m. on KBEACH.org
On the chance that traffic cameras at the intersection of Imperial Highway and Paramount Boulevard might clarify how a Downey Police officer happened to fatally shoot Michael Lee Nida last Saturday, reporter Ben Baeder of the Downey Beat submitted a California Public Records Act request to view the videotape that was recording at the time [...]
The Long Beach Community Peace & Justice Summit convenes this morning in the Seaside Ballroom of the Convention & Entertainment Center, where challenges and opportunities presented by the early release of perhaps 30,000 prisoners in California will be identified, discussed and, perhaps, even solved. Admission is free, and not only open to the public, but [...]
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.
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 [...]
LA PALMA (Via Los Cerritos News)—The La Palma Police Association has filed two lawsuits against the city, registered an unfair labor practices complaint with the state and is gathering signatures for an election initiative that would earmark some of the city’s utility tax for public safety—money that currently goes to the general fund. The flurry of [...]
The only Downey Police Department officer to lose his life in the line of duty will be honored with a monument outside City Hall that will be unveiled during a ceremony on Sept. 22 at 10 a.m. The sculpture, called “The Grieving Officer,” will show a life-sized six-foot sculpture of an officer kneeling with his [...]
The Recall James Johnson Committee, which on Tuesday announced its intention to circulate recall petitions against the 7th district’s representative on the Long Beach City Council, says that it will present a list of charges this afternoon—among them “Neglected Duties; Incompetent Performance; and Misuse of his Office.” The group’s media advisory states that “community leaders [...]
NORWALK (Via Herald American)—Mike Egan was sworn in Tuesday night as the new city manager for the City of Norwalk, replacing Ernie Garcia, who retired June 1 after 31 years in the city’s government—the last 18 as city manager. “I have known Mike Egan since I was elected to the City Council,” said Norwalk Vice [...]
[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 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 [...]
LBReport.com has learned that a list of Councilmember-desired spending items is quietly circulating on City Hall’s 14th floor—a list that would deplete surplus upland oil revenue and effectively prevent its use to avert the police, fire, parks and library cuts proposed by Mayor Bob Foster and City Manager Pat. Councilmembers Rae Gabelich, Steve Neal and [...]
LONG BEACH (Via LBReport.com)—Participants in the Telephone Town Hall held Thursday evening on the alternative Long Beach budget plan proposed by three city council members appear to have outnumbered in-person attendees visible at budget meetings held in some council districts. The office of 9th district representative Steve Neal, who along with Rae Gabelich (8th) and [...]
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 [...]
In a letter to council member Gary DeLong and Suja Lowenthal, seven neighborhod associations say cuts in public safety measures at Bixby Park are contributing to increasingly flagrant illegal behavior at Bixby Park, including public drinking and drug use, drug dealing, overnight camping, littering and loitering, and a gang fight during a children’s theater festival.
LONG BEACH (via LBReport.com)—Someone inside City Hall has crammed five of the most-significant subjects in City of Long Beach budget debate—police, fire, code enforcement, libraries and parks—into a special Council meeting … that will last only 90 minutes … and begins at 3 in the afternoon. Yes, this afternoon. Such curious scheduling obviously raises some [...]
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 [...]
The City of Downey’s representatives in three government legislatures—United States Congressional Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, state Senator Alan Lowenthal and Assemblyman Ricardo Lara—have synchronized their calendars and will be at Downey City Hall on Thursday at 6 p.m. for a meet-and-greet with constituents. Admission is free. Downey Mayor Luis Marquez gets the credit for putting all [...]
Maybe you've forgotten, but while accepting budget cuts last year, Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell expressed strong hope for a Police Academy to replenish the thinning ranks of the LBPD this year. Anyway, forget it. Ain't gonna happen.
The objective of the joint project is to reduce both cities’ reliance on the faraway---and increasingly expensive---water sources tapped by the Metropolitan Water District (MWD), which transports water from Central California via the aqueduct and from the Colorado River.
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.
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 [...]
The California Medical Board today elected Long Beach City Council member Gerrie Schipske as Secretary of the Board, as well as a member of the executive committee, during its quarterly meeting in Sacramento. News of Schipske’s election was disseminated via a press release from her 5th district council office. Schipske has been a member of [...]
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.
Mayor Bob Foster ignored a public-access provision of state law when he appointed Doug Drummond to the Harbor Commission, and Councilmember Gerrie Schipske has postponed today's meeting of the Personnel & Civil Service Committee until he complies. Meanwhile, former Commissioner Mario Cordero's chair remains derriere-less.
BELLFLOWER (via Herald American)—Assistant City Manager Lee Mingle will serve as Bellflower’s interim city manager while a consulting firm searches for a replacement for Mike Egan, who has resigned effective Aug. 25 to become city manager in Norwalk. Mingle joined Bellflower in August,1995 as the city’s first public safety coordinator, heading up the city’s Public [...]
Mike Kowal, who was eliminated as a candidate for the 8th district seat on the Long Beach City Council when district boundaries were redrawn to exclude his longtime residence by a half-block, explains his reaction and his plans on the new episode of Greater Long Beach Radio with Dave Wielenga. The show is available 24/7 or as a downloadable podcast.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was written by Abby Sewell of the Los Angeles Times] COMPTON (via Los Angeles Times)—After a chaotic meeting full of reversals, the Compton City Council late Tuesday apparently moved to approve dozens of layoffs to avert a potential government shutdown. The council, acting as the redevelopment commission, voted 3 to 2 [...]
LOS ANGELES (via LBReport.com)–A federal district judge in Los Angeles has ruled that the settlement agreement between the Port of Long Beach and the American Trucking Associations (ATA) industry interest group—a deal in which the Port changed portions of its “clean trucks program” to settle a lawsuit by the ATA—violates the California Environmental Quality Act [...]
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 [...]
[Editor's note: Several hours after 3rd district Councilman Gary DeLong read LBReport.com’s editorial Monday morning---demanding that city staff answer the questions of two Long Beach residents---those answers arrived.] LONG BEACH (via LBReport.com)LBReport.com publishes in full below an emailed statement from Jacqueline Medina of the City of Long Beach’s Development Services Communications Division in response to [...]
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 [...]
Mayors from eight cities in the 27th State Senate District of Sen. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, are urging him to rescind his support of eliminating redevelopment agencies to help balance the state budget, saying that would cost millions to California cities. That legislation has been made part of the current budget signed by Gov. Jerry [...]
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 [...]
With police numbers falling, replacements deemed unaffordable and bullets flying in his district, Long Beach City Council member Robert Garcia—Mayor Bob Foster’s choice to chair the Public Safety Committee—has come up with a proposal for dealing with the city’s violence: make City Manager Pat West solve the problem … and fast. Garcia and three colleagues—Patrick [...]
The Downey City Council has moved closer to adopting new campaign reforms that would reduce the size of campaign spending by regulating contributions given to candidates. According to the ordinance, written by city attorney Yvette Abich Garcia, candidates in Districts 1 through 4 who accept the voluntary expenditure limit would have a $1,500 per person [...]
In the wake of the Governor Jerry Brown’s signing of budget bills that discontinued California redevelopment agencies, Long Beach City Manager Pat West sent this letter to elected officials, city management and staff, providing an early sense of what the change will mean. Despite its litany of challenges, the straightforwardness of West’s assessment is refreshing—as [...]
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 [...]
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.]
Taxpayers are funding a massive expansion of the 710 Freeway, but the consultants and public employees who are designing it (their salaries also paid by taxpayers) have announced that the public (that is, taxpayers) will not be allowed to see illustrations of the project until 2012.
After a public hearing on June 28, the Downey City Council is expected to approve a $143.6 million budget that will plug a $1.7-million deficit by using the city’s reserves, but will not reduce any city programs or services, although 34 budgeted and/or unoccupied jobs will be permanently eliminated. The city’s reserves are projected at [...]
Although it’s been less than two years since the Bellflower City Council voted to spend $95,000 on a slightly larger-than-life bronze sculpture of a dairy cow, now that the big ol’ bovine—nicknamed “Belle”—is about to come out of the foundry, nobody seems to remember where they intended to put her. City Manager Mike Egan has been doing [...]
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 [...]
The Downey City Council killed the city’s Art in Public Places Committee by a 5-0 vote Tuesday night, in effect establishing itself as the arbiter of form and content in publicly funded displays—and inheriting the $376,000 currently in the public arts fund. Council member Mario Guerra, who proposed dissolving the committee, insisted that the decision [...]
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. [...]
“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 [...]
If the Downey City Council takes too much longer arguing about the rules, structure and programs of a proposed Youth Advisory Commission the whole concept is going to have to be transformed into something for seniors. After sending the latest plan back to staff for a 30-day review, the city council will again next month—for [...]
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 [...]
Councilwoman Rae Gabelich did it during a public hearing into Panama Joe’s controversial request for City Council approval of an expanded entertainment permit, and it only took her a minute, which was pretty impressive. But the Press-Telegram and Gazette (and, in fact, GreaterLongBeach.com) never mentioned it.
The Long Beach Planning Commission denied by a 5-1 vote Thursday evening a request to subdivide a small slice of the MarketPlace shopping center, located on Pacifice Coast Highway between the proposed Second+PCH development and the Los Cerritos Wetlands. Alan Fox cast the dissenting vote against a majority that consisted of Melanie Smith, Charles Durnin, [...]
A request to subdivide a small slice of the Market Place shopping center is item No. 1 in your program—that is, the agenda—for this evening’s Long Beach Planning Commission meeting, but it’s also something like the ump-tillionth time that what appears to be a straightforward piece of land-use business is being blurred by the confusion [...]
A STAND AGAINST SILLINESS: O’DONNELL ONLY DISSENTER IN CITY COUNCIL VOTE FOR ‘LB HEALTHY FOOD POLICY’
Fourth District representative Patrick O’Donnell cast the only vote against a “Long Beach healthy food policy”—an item on Tuesday night’s Long Beach City Council agenda that was spotlighted by LBReport.com in the first installment of its new series on City Council silliness. Proposed by Councilmembers Steve Neal, Robert Garcia, Dee Andrews and Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal, the “Long [...]
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."
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 [...]
The Long Beach Cultural Heritage Commission has unanimously voted to place the Queen Mary under a Conservation Management Plan that will set the terms for restoration, preservation and rehabilitation of the historic ship---which arrived in Long Beach on Dec. 9, 1967.
A third lawsuit alleging sexual harassment by a Norwalk City Council member has been settled out of court. Melody Baca, a former senior service coordinator at the Norwalk Senior Center, will receive $100,000 in worker’s compensation, according to her attorney, William Crosby of Orange County, who also handled two other recent sexual harassment cases against [...]
Tomas Gonzales says he was fired as an investigator with the Citizens Police Complaint Commission for refusing to soften his investigations into citizen claims of misconduct by Long Beach police officers. He has filed a potentially expensive and embarrassing lawsuit against the City of Long Beach.
Although City Prosecutor Doug Haubert asserted Friday that sending a 20-year-old man to jail for six months on a misdemeanor vandalism conviction sends a “strong message” to gang members, he actually made his point by sending a strong message to the news media. A no-words-minced press release that was e-mailed by Haubert’s chief of staff [...]
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.”
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 [...]
The Downey City Council Tuesday night unanimously agreed to establish a Youth Advisory Committee, but could not make up its mind as to what the committee should do. Councilmen Mario Guerra and Fernando Vasquez, who have both called for a group to advise the council on the concerns of young people, were appointed to a [...]
The City of Long Beach acquired some 222 parcels of land worth approximately $180 million Tuesday night when the City Council voted 9-0 to accept all properties, assets and development agreements that were transferred to it in a unanimous Monday morning vote by the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency (RDA) Board. The actions by the two [...]
Happy Mardi Gras … and it is shaping up as very Fat Tuesday: there are elections in Bellflower, Cerritos, Lakewood and Norwalk, and the Long Beach City Council will convene in special session to consider it’s response to Monday’s vote by the Redevelopment Agency to transfer all its properties and assets to the City. In [...]
By unanimous vote, the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency has ordered that all the properties and assets it owns—as well as all agreements to develop them—be transferred to the City of Long Beach, which will put them under the control of the Long Beach City Council. The vote, held in City Council chambers this morning, comes [...]
Three incumbents, two who have served on the Bellflower City Council for more than 20 years, are seeking re-election March 8. If voters return them to office, the increasingly ethnically diverse city’s five-member council will continue to be entirely composed of white males over 50 years old. The incumbents are Councilman Randy Bomgaars, first elected [...]
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 [...]
It's as if Mayor Bob Foster and the Long Beach City Council don't remember how they went out of their way in 2007 and 2008 to approve the pensions that Foster is now demanding---under threat of a public referendum---that they voluntarily give back.
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 [...]
The job of city prosecutor is so complex that Doug Haubert can’t precisely explain how he---or Long Beach residents—ought to determine whether he’s doing a good one. "In my opinion," says Haubert, "the best way is whether people feel the neighborhoods are getting safer.”
Bicycle registration became voluntary in Long Beach on Tuesday night by a unanimous vote of the City Council. “We are now one step closer to becoming America’s most bike-friendly city,” said Council member Robert Garcia in a statement released by his office moments after the meeting ended. Garcia introduced legislation in December that directed the [...]
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 [...]
A smorgasbord of cuts, ranging from employee layoffs to closing the municipal swimming pool and selling Caruthers Park for a residential housing project, is under study by the City Council. Possible decisions on some are expected at the next regular meeting Feb. 14. As directed by council, City Manager Mike Egan laid out a list [...]
[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. [...]
When elected officials evade questions and fail to be held accountable for their actions, citizens have every reason to be suspicious. So it is that we are suspicious about the Downey City Council’s decision to fire city clerk Kathleen Midstokke at a hastily-called Thursday afternoon council meeting—after The Downey Patriot had gone to press. By [...]
What are the questions that citizens of Cerritos—at least, those who read the Los Cerritos Community News—want answered by the seven candidates for City Council? Here are four of the most-asked, as posted by editor Jerry Berstein: 1. Will you try and make it easier for the residents to get overnight parking passes? 2. Cerritos [...]
Eleven months after a campaign declaration that he did not support a proposal to expand the Union Pacific ICTS and BNSF railway yards, Seventh District City Council member James Johnson is now merely urging that a “zero emissions option” be included for consideration in an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the expansion proposal. LBReport.com notes [...]
Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget-cutting proposal to do away with redevelopment agencies has entrenched parties up in arms throughout California, but doesn’t scare Downey officials at all. Does it? Mayor Luis Marquez gave that brave impression to the Downey Patriot. He pointed out that Downey’s two project areas have a combined budget of $4.5 million and [...]
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. [...]
Nearly six weeks after Doug Zerby was gunned down in Belmont Shore by two Long Beach police officers as he fiddled with a water nozzle on a friend's porch, nearly all the facts related to the case have become the secrets of investigating public officials and law enforcement agencies. When will the blackout be lifted?
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.
Mayor Bob Foster will deliver his State of the City address in the Center Theater at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center this evening at 7 p.m., and those without tickets can watch the event live on LBReport.com. This will be the third time that Foster’s State of the City will be free and open [...]
When he was running for re-election, Robert Garcia said he would support “restrictions” on the private use of the Public Service Yard property for trucking. But no restrictions were included in the deed or covenant. Did Garcia keep his promise? "Absolutely!" he says.
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 [...]
The cities of Norwalk and Downey will be led by part-time city managers for the immediate future, saving both cities some money while still receiving experienced managerial talents. Downey City Manager Gerald Caton, who had planned to retire at the end of 2011, has advanced his full-time departure by 12 months, thus saving the city [...]
Now that the defeat of a proposed two-percent hike in the utility tax is official—it lost a recount of the Nov. 2 referendum by 13 votes—the Bellflower City Council begins the job of dismantling many of the city’s crucial public services. The five-man panel has unanimously instructed city staff to report back Jan. 13 with [...]
Mayor Bob Foster will deliver his fifth State of the City address—and the fourth in a row since Foster broke previous Mayor Beverly O’Neill’s dubious tradition of using the City Charter-mandated speech as a Chamber of Commerce fundraiser—on January 11 at 7 p.m.at The Center Theater in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. All Long [...]
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 [...]
As Gerald Caton prepares for retirement next December after 21 years as Downey’s city manager, he is asking the city council to take away his fringe benefits in 2011—a move that Caton estimates will save the city more than $100,000. “A great deal has already been accomplished…,” Caton wrote in an agenda memo to the [...]
Paperwork is coming due for candidates to appear on the ballot for March 8 city council elections in Norwalk and Paramount, but fields in the races have already begun to expand. According to state law, the regular filing deadline is Friday, unless an incumbent does not run, in which case the deadline is extended to [...]
Mayor Bob Foster has done Long Beach residents a service by thumbing his nose at a key portion of the city’s voter-enacted 1994 Campaign Reform Act. Foster was legally entitled to do what he did, thanks to the same First Amendment that gives us the right to sandpaper him and others on various fronts. In essence, Foster simply [...]
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. [...]
Despite years of debate over the Long Beach Breakwater, which culminated in a vote by the Long Beach City Council to fund a Breakwater reconnaissance study, the term “Breakwater” doesn’t appear in the text of an agreement between the City of Long Beach and the Army Corps of Engineers to share the costs of a [...]
After jetting to Sacramento for a press event supporting state legislation that would ban single-use plastic bags in California, Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal has joined with Long Beach City Council members Robert Garcia and Gary DeLong in proposing such a ban—along with a charge for recyclable paper bags—in Long Beach. The council members have placed their proposal, [...]
Operations of the publicly owned Downey Civic Theatre will be conducted by a private firm under a five-year contract approved Tuesday night by a 4-1 vote of the Downey City Council. Council member David Gafin dissented, calling for more time for public input. VenueTech currently operates six theaters in the cities of Campbell, Eureka, Vacaville, [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Trying to separate the glad from the mad, Downey city officials will set different dates for honoring the outgoing mayor and naming a new one. Councilman Roger Brossmer called for separating the days, noting that the outgoing mayor program is supposed to be a happy occasion with friends, family and guests on hand, as well [...]
IS COMPTON’S ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER QUALIFIED? WELL, SHE TEACHES SUNDAY SCHOOL AT THE MAYOR’S CHURCH
Compton’s new assistant city manager is Verna D. Porter, a 59-year-old woman of limited and checkered experience in city government and unknown education who lives next door to Mayor Eric J. Perrodin’s mother and teaches Sunday school at his church. City Manager Willie Norfleet appointed Porter on Oct. 19, despite the fact that the city [...]
It’s been 11 months since the Hawaiian Gardens City Council began speaking Spanish—or more accurately, translating its meetings for Spanish-speaking residents. Problem is, those residents haven’t said a thing about it, prompting some council members to wonder whether the service is worth the $590 per meeting—and $8,200 total, so far—that the city is spending. Councilmember [...]
The entrance to an executive parking lot behind Downey City Hall—which is also a route of much foot travel by students of Downey High School—has been named “Responsibility Row” by a 4-1 vote of the Downey City Council. That’s pretty heavy, man. But it gets even heavier. The idea behind calling the stretch of pavement [...]
The federal government released an audit report of the city’s Section 8 program last week that reveals improper accounting and a lack of proper procedures, which resulted in a multimillion-dollar shortfall that was absorbed by the city’s general fund. According to a copy of the official Department of Housing and Urban Development audit report dated [...]
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 [...]
Owners of commercial, office or industrial buildings in Norwalk have received a warning from the city council: don’t even think about painting your structures orange and black for Halloween or even red and green for Christmas. City staff has been ordered to come up with a proposed color ordinance that would regulate what colors are [...]
Three cities in the Greater Long Beach area—Downey, Signal Hill and Cerritos—have filed suit against the Water Replenishment District (WRD), claiming gross violations of its constitutional and regulatory mandates that have manifested in its “unfair and inequitable” handling of issues. The WRD is an agency created by law to manage the water used by residents [...]
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. [...]
The Norwalk City Council has received significant negative public feedback for a city-sponsored celebration of Mexico’s Independence Day. There were many objections, but the biggest was that the Independence Day, which is actually Sept. 16, was held on Sept. 11—the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, PA. During [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 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 [...]
Fernando Vasquez, a Downey planning commissioner and candidate for City Council, received a phone call from the Downey Police Department recently after he attempted to secure office space from a development firm with pending business in the city. Vasquez allegedly requested office space from Yanki Greenspan, vice president of leasing and development with Westland Industries, [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
At a time of ideological polarization, Wright is as moderate as they come. When you look at his district, which stretches in a crooked arc from the poor areas of Inglewood and Compton through Long Beach and San Pedro to the rich Republican Palos Verdes Estates, this isn’t too surprising.
The Compton City Council has voted, 3-1, to censor the public-access television broadcasts of its meetings, editing out public comments. Councilman Dr. Willie O. Jones was the lone dissenter. Councilwoman Yvonne Arceneaux was absent. The Sept. 7 agenda item was identified as a “minute motion” on the agenda, and there was no staff report or supporting documentation in the [...]
Groucho, Chico, Harpo, call your office. On Sept. 19, the very last day for him to act, Mayor Bob Foster vetoed part of the budget that he forwarded from city management to the City Council in July without offering a dissent on what he just vetoed. (LBReport.com coverage, click here). Wait, there’s more. The items [...]
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 [...]
In the Marx Brothers’ classic A Night At the Opera, Groucho is dining in an elegant restaurant at the height of the Depression with a lady friend. The waiter hands Groucho the check. “This is outrageous,” Groucho responds…as he hands the bill to his dinner guest and says, “I wouldn’t pay it if I were [...]
The Compton College board member asserts she did nothing wrong in soliciting a would-be arsonist to strike the Compton Bulletin again. “I’m tired of being lied on. Retards, even the retards know that it was an electrical fire. So we know that nobody set that fire,” Cervantes said. “That was just a figure of speech referring to what they (the paper) deserved.”
The Long Beach City Council voted 8-0 Tuesday night—Suja Lowenthal was absent, vacationing in India—to adopt a fiscal year 2011 budget that cuts 64 sworn budgeted police positions from Long Beach Police Department officers available for citywide deployment and cuts the Long Beach Fire Department budget to the point that its management says there will [...]
Mayor Bob Foster has learned a lot since taking office. He’s become so enlightened that he now dismisses years of testimony by Long Beach’s previous police chief, the professional judgment of Los Angeles’ current police chief and multiple research studies cited in a recent Rand corporation study—which L.A.’s current police chief publicly cited in testimony [...]
In a televised interview, Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster says that unless the Long Beach Police Officers Association agrees to a second consecutive modification of its contract with the City of Long Beach, layoffs are necessary because the City is paying nearly 70 percent of its budget for public safety and can’t go further without running [...]
It’s still possible to enter a vehicle in the Bellflower Boulevard Car Show, on the very day of the 12th annual version of the event is held … well … on Bellflower Boulevard. That didn’t look very likely a couple of years ago, when a budget crisis forced the City of Bellflower to cut back [...]
Greater Long Beach contributor Theo Douglas will be among the guests Saturday when the public radio program Off Ramp examines the death of Long Beach’s iconic Acres of Books—from how it happened to whether it had to happen to why the hell it took so excruciatingly damn long … I mean, is the place actually [...]
The City of Downey moved closer to prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries from operating in the city when the Planning Commission on Wednesday agreed with city administrators that the benefits of marijuana collectives to residents are “far outweighed” by the violent crime that oftentimes besiege the clinics. The Commission unanimously approved a resolution that formally recommends [...]
During its meeting this evening, the Downey planning commission will consider asking the City Council to revise the city charter to permanently bar medical marijuana dispensaries from operating in the city. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. Citing federal law that still makes it a crime to grow, use or possess marijuana, city [...]
Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal participated Tuesday in the proceedings of the City Council's Budget Oversight Committee from the Jai Mahal Palace luxury hotel in India, using the free consumer-level Skype Internet platform.
Drought or not, the City of Norwalk still does not permit the use of synthetic turf. The planning commission has postponed its debate on the use of phony grass to Sept. 22. Until at least then, all homes are required to have some type of natural landscaping—natural grass, shrubs and flowers, although definitely not rows of vegetables—in front yards and side yards abutting streets. [...]
The Press-Telegram’s so-called special report Sunday on street sweeping in Long Beach—which contrasted the miles of roadways the machines clean against the millions in revenue the parking tickets glean, just like the many not-special reports that have preceded it over the years—made me marvel again at the enduring attraction of this topic. I wrote pretty much [...]
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 [...]
College kids are stressed out and have so little time because of exams and college life that they should be allowed an extra five days to vote on campus, according to legislators in the Senate and Assembly. A Senate bill authored by Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, that would permit voting by mail drop off locations [...]
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 [...]
What happens when a major corporate entity stages a promotional event that’s free and fun along the LB shoreline on a warm summer day? About 100,000 people show up. That’s fine with us, as long as City Hall requires the corporate outfit staging the promotional event to pay its way. More than a few people [...]
The battle for control of Hawaiian Gardens broke into the open at the city council meeting this week when recall papers were served to Councilmember Barry Bruce—two weeks after recall papers were filed on Councilmember Mike Gomez. Gomez and Bruce are on opposite sides of a typically split city council. Gomez is usually part of [...]
Lorraine Cervantes of the Compton Community College District Board of Trustees has suggested that a Jan. 2 fire at the Compton Bulletin newspaper was arson—and that the arsonist should strike again. “And the newspaper, I don’t know who tried to burn it down,” said Cervantes, speaking during the public comment period of the July 27 [...]
Disgruntled residents have launched another recall effort in an attempt to oust nearly half of the city’s elected officials. Mayor Eric J. Perrodin, Councilwoman Lillie Dobson, City Attorney Craig Cornwell and City Clerk Alita Godwin were each properly served with notices of intent to circulate a recall petition by sheriff’s deputies on Wednesday, July 28, [...]
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 [...]
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.
Suja Lowenthal plans to participate in several upcoming Long Beach City Council meetings via teleconference from India, according to an e-mail her chief of staff, Broc Coward, sent this evening to Greater Long Beach columnist Steve Lowery and cc’d to LBreport.com. Lowery referenced an LBreport.com story in criticizing Lowenthal in Friday’s edition of his weekly [...]
A divided Downey City Council voted 3-2 Thursday to terminate its contract with the law firm Best Best & Krieger, which is representing the City of Bell through its current turmoil. Council members who voted for termination of the contract praised lead counsel Ed Lee but said they were concerned of “guilt by association. Lee, [...]
Robert Garcia (center, between brother and mother) was on the phone with a family member during the Long Beach City Council's vote for vice-mayor---the second time in three months he's been out of the council chamber during a controversial vote. He insists it's coincidence, not calculation.
Surprised and pleased Downey City Council members have accepted offers from Police Chief Rick Esteves and two police bargaining units to delay a 4.25-percent pay hike that they are contractually promised. “This is almost unheard of,” said City Manager Gerald Caton said, noting that the agreement was unanimous among some 70 members of the Police [...]
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 [...]
The council has had the charity car washes on its radar since last October, noting that water is often wasted as it is allowed to flow from hoses, carrying dirt from the vehicles into public drains.
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 [...]
In a tense, polarized atmosphere accompanying what has previously been a mainly placid ceremonial act, a newly sworn City Council first failed in a 4-4 tie to delay its choice of a new Vice Mayor until Aug. 3, then failed on another 4-4 tie (on a reversed vote) to name Patrick O’Donnell as Vice Mayor. [...]
Councilman Gary DeLong has opted not to interrupt his excellent Bahamian vacation to vote for Long Beach’s next vice mayor July 20, bending to the advice of the Long Beach City Attorney—but also to the excellent journalism of Bill Pearl at LBReport.com. Pearl phoned the Abaco Club—a timeshare at the Ritz Carlton in The Bahamas—to [...]
The City of Long Beach Human Dignity Program is now recruiting volunteers for the 2010-2011 Assistance Team. The program teaches volunteers how to assist victims of hate crime and bias incidents in the City of Long Beach. The effort is part of the City’s Human Dignity Program, founded in 1999 to ensure that all residents [...]
Although Bellflower has been hit hard financially by the recent loss of the Ford West car dealership, City Manager Mike Egan has appealed to the City Council a decision by the Planning Commission to allow a Long Beach electric vehicle company to move onto the empty three-acre lot on Artesia Blvd. Egan said he wants [...]
An upgrade to the upstart Columbia Memorial Space Center will be considered by the Downey City Council on Tuesday evening. According to documents provided to the council, a $700,000 federal grant to “expand and enhance the use of state-of-the-art multimedia technology” at the 10-month old attraction will be spent over several phases. The first phase [...]
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.
Former Compton detective Arnold Villaruel, who remained under investigation after an internal probe in 1999 revealed that drugs were missing from the former police department’s vault, was never charged with a crime. While much of the evidence, though circumstantial, detailed within the 95-page internal investigation points to Villarruel’s involvement, The Compton Bulletin has been unable to determine what, [...]
Declaring a fiscal emergency, the Bellflower City Council has voted 5-0 to place a five-year, 2-percent utility tax increase on the Nov. 2 ballot. If approved by voters, the 2-percent hike would bring an additional $1.6 million a year for the five years, allow the city to balance the 2010-11 budget and give the city [...]
A Compton Police Department internal affairs investigation report from 1999—just obtained by The Compton Bulletin—reveals that corruption within the department’s narcotics unit was identified in the months leading up to its eventual demise. The nearly 100-page report details an investigation that was launched shortly after Chief Hourie Taylor and Capt. Percy Perrodin were placed on [...]
Under orders from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the City of Bellflower reluctantly rejected all bids for landscaping of the 2.3-mile, $3 million Greenway Trail, recently opened along the abandoned right-of-way of the Pacific Union Red Car line. The MTA, which owns the property, was concerned about possible mistakes in the bidding process and a protest [...]
Former Compton Mayor Omar Bradley made his first public appearance in years last Saturday during a town hall meeting at the Compton Center hosted by opponents of a plan to re-establish the Compton Police Department. Bradley cast one of the deciding votes in 1999, when the city council shut down the department, which was mired [...]
Eight months after presiding over its grand opening, Jon Betthauser has been fired as executive director of the Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey, where city officials complained about poor fundraising and the fact that the center is not even fully operational yet. “The bottom line is the center is currently average and it should [...]
BY ALLISON JEAN EATON / COMPTON BULLETIN Aftershocks continue to ripple through Compton’s 10.5 square miles following the city council’s 3-2 vote last week to re-establish a local police department a plan that no longer has the backing of the consultant on whose study the plan is based. A majority of the community appears staunchly opposed [...]
EDITOR’S NOTE: The period for public comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the proposed multi-use (residential, retail, hotel) Second+PCH project closes today. Longtime resident and environmental activist Lisa Rinaldi has already submitted her comment, and has offered a copy to Redistricted! The DEIR can be read here and comments e-mailed to Long [...]
AGAINST OPINION OF VOTERS, DECLINING CRIME RATES AND EVEN ITS OWN CONSULTANT, COMPTON COUNCIL MOVES TO RE-ESTABLISH POLICE DEPARTMENT
Despite the Compton City Council’s 3-2 vote Tuesday re-establish its own police force---disbanded 10 years ago because of corruption---the city-hired consultant who’s supposed to shepherd the transition has serious misgivings about the mission.
Elon Musk is broke and has been living off personal loans since October 2009, this according to court filings reviewed by online magazine Venture Beat. “About four months ago, I ran out of cash,” Musk wrote in a court filing dated Feb. 23 and reviewed by the website. More from the story: According to the [...]
And just like that, Tesla Motors is gone. Downey fell for Tesla’s phony, flirtatious come-ons like a pudgy teenager speaking to the pretty cheerleader who needs homework help. We fell in love with the ambitious promises, the lofty technology and the national media attention. We fell for it all, hook, line and sinker. But don’t [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
DOWNEY CITY COUNCIL CONVENES SPECIAL MEETING TODAY TO ADOPT “URGENCY ORDINANCE” RELATED TO RECRUITING TESLA
The Downey City Council will convene a special meeting today at 4 p.m. to adopt an “urgency ordinance” to related to amend the ground lease between the city and Industrial Realty Group, operators of Downey Studios and potential home of Tesla Motors. Details of the meeting are vague; the agenda is short on details and [...]
Without so much as a word of public discussion, the Compton City Council has reversed its vote of a year ago and approved a $95,000 no-bid management and consulting contract with the brother of Mayor Eric J. Perrodin. The extension of the City’s existing contract with Percy Perrodin, Jr.’s, company—called Joseph and Paul, Inc.—was included [...]
O’DONNELL CHARACTERIZES LAND-SWAP DEAL FOR LOS CERRITOS WETLANDS AS A QUESTION OF LOVE-’EM-OR-LEAVE-’EM
Still got questions for Long Beach government officials about the city-land-for-wetlands swap they’ve crafted with local businessman Tom Dean as the long-debated deal travels toward its latest vote before the City Council tonight? Fourth District Councilmember Patrick O’Donnell suggests you ask yourself a question, instead: Are you for the wetlands—or against them? “Tuesday night you [...]
Credit card records obtained by The Compton Bulletin reveal that the superintendent of the Compton Unified School District appears to have been using taxpayer money for personal purchases. Records provided by the school district indicate that only some of the purchases made by Superintendent Dr. Kaye Burnside on a district-issued credit card have been repaid. [...]
Lily Tomlin: “Take me out of Downey.” Tom Waits: “I’m gonna get you out of Downey.” —Scene from Robert Altman’s 1993 film, “Short Cuts.” Downey Mayor Anne Bayer doesn’t like to travel, and apparently, she doesn’t like it when her colleagues on the City Council travel either. Bayer vented to the Herald-American last week that [...]
(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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Redistricted! has received lots of criticism in the last couple of days about its report of the election the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust (LCWLT) held Tuesday night to choose its Board of Directors. Thanks for reading—and writing! Because of the tone of most responses—disappointment, betrayal and anger; one person accused me of “using people and ruining reputations to get attention”—let’s [...]
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, [...]
Third District city council candidate Terry Jensen responded late Saturday night to a comment that a Redistricted! reader posted on March 25 regarding Jensen’s take on the proposed 2nd+pch mixed-used development—or at least the take Jensen expressed at last week’s candidates debate sponsored by the Long Beach Press Club. The reader, who self-identified only as “Laura,” charged that [...]
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 [...]
NORWALK — The City Council will consider a request from Councilman Rick Ramirez to dismiss his appointed Planning Commissioner Marcel Rodarte at the April 6 council meeting. “It’s absolutely a political move,” said Rodarte, who is expected to run for City Council in March 2011. Rodarte said he has contacted the city attorney and believes [...]
FIRST RESPONDER: TERRY JENSEN ANSWERS ‘UNPOSED QUESTIONS’ FROM 3RD DISTRICT DEBATE—AND WITHOUT A STUTTER!
[NOTE: A lot of questions from the audiences of Monday night's Third District debate sponsored by the Long Beach Press Club---people who gathered at the Gaslamp restaurant and those who watched the live Webcast on InstantPresenter---couldn't be asked before time ran out. After publishing those questions Tuesday, I e-mailed them to candidates Gary DeLong, Terry Jensen and Tom Marchese. Jensen is [...]
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 [...]