Saturday, April 19, 2014 5:02am

LBReport

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


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

THE SANCTITY OF THE VOTE TAKES A TURN TOWARD THE UNSANITARY


From LBReport.com: The completed voter-registration forms that were found in a Long Beach trash can on March 3 have been counted: there were 1,589 of them. Following up on news broken Thursday by Press-Telegram reporter Eric Bradley, LBReport.com learned from a spokesperson for the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk that officials were informed of the trashed voter registrations near Esperanza […]

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


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

WATCH VIDEO OF JANUARY 23 MAYORAL FORUM AT LBREPORT.COM


LBReport.com is streaming on-demand video of the Long Beach mayoral forum that it carried live Thursday evening (January 23) from The Grand events center, where about 450 people gathered to hear four of the field’s 10 candidates explain why they are best qualified to follow the two terms of Mayor Bob Foster. Long Beach City Council […]

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


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

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


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

BROWN VETOES BILL REQUIRING STUDY OF ECO-FRIENDLIER 710 FREEWAY


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

BOEING TO CLOSE LONG BEACH C17 PRODUCTION FACILITY IN 2015


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

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


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

DESPITE DENIAL, WEST PLANNING PAY RAISES FOR CITY MANAGEMENT


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

A SAME-SEX WEDDING TOAST AT THE GRAND


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

SUPREME COURT STRIKES DOWN DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT, LETS PROP 8′S INVALIDATION STAND


Same-sex marriage is legal in California today after a pair of 5-4 decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and let stand a lower court’s ruling that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. The Defense of Marriage Act was signed into law in 1996 by then-President Bill […]

LIVE COVERAGE OF SUPREME COURT DECISIONS ON PROP 8 AND DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT BEGINS ON LBREPORT.COM AT 7 A.M.


Beginning shortly before 7 o’clock this morning, LBREPORT.com will have live coverage as the U.S. Supreme Court releases its opinions on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 and Congress’ Defense of Marriage Act. LBREPORT.com’s coverage will include the Court’s verbatim opinions as well as team coverage of local reactions and life webcast coverage of a […]

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


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

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


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

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


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

O’DONNELL PLANS INFUSION OF INFRASTRUCTURE CASH


Long Beach City Councilmember Patrick O’Donnell met Saturday with supporters of the Long Beach Nature Center and indicated he plans to allocate a sizable amount of money for infrastructure projects at the venue, according to a story published this morning on LBReport.com. The story includes a summary of the meeting by Ann Cantrell, a veteran […]

FOSTER STILL MULLING THIRD TERM AS FIELD OF MAYORAL CANDIDATES GROWS


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

LBREPORT EDITORIAL: CRIME STATS, MAPS CITY HALL DIDN’T WANT YOU TO SEE


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 […]

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


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

THIS IS 40: REMEMBERING BIRTH OF CALIFORNIA COASTAL COMMISSION


It's been 40 years since California voters passed the proposition that created the Coastal Commission, establishing their right to regulate development, ensure public access and protect the state's coastline for future generations. Long Beach's Mel Nutter was there, and he remembers.

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


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

LBUSD, MAYOR FOSTER ISSUE STATEMENTS ABOUT NEWTOWN SCHOOL SHOOTING


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

‘KING TIDE’ CAUSES SEAWALL LEAKAGE ALONG NAPLES CANAL


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

IMPLICATIONS IN U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISION TO HEAR CALIFORNIA’S PROP 8


The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday decided it will determine the constitutionality of two cases on marriage rights: California’s Proposition 8 and the federal government’s Defense of Marriage Act. Their decision, due no later than June 2013, could decide the validity of gay marriages in California, and possibly nationwide. Proposition 8, passed in November 2008, […]

TENTATIVE AGREEMENT REACHED TO END PORT-IMPACTING STRIKE


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

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


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

LB COUNCIL DENIES TITLE LOAN OUTLET AT SOUTH WRIGLEY GATEWAY


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

TRAFFIC CIRCLE SIGNATURE LOAN OUTLET APPROVED, SHOTSPOTTER SHOT DOWN


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

LB COUNCIL TO DECIDE FUTURE OF TRAFFIC CIRCLE SIGNATURE LOAN OUTLET


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

LOWENTHAL OUT-POLLED DELONG IN NEARLY EVERY LB COUNCIL DISTRICT


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

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


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

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


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

LONG BEACH CITY HALL DRAGS ITS HEELS OVER BANCAP PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST


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 […]

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


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

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


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

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


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

CLINTON TO ENDORSE LOWENTHAL, CALIF. DEMOCRATS AT UCI RALLY


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

LBPD SERVES WARRANTS, SHUTS DOWN 7 LB MEDPOT OUTLETS


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

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


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

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: ACQUIRING SCHROEDER HALL


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

COUNCIL TAKES FIRST STEP TOWARD DELIVERING ON MAYOR FOSTER’S THREAT TO LONG BEACH CITY WORKERS


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 […]

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


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

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


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

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


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

BY THE NUMBERS: CUTTING LBPD’S GANG ENFORCEMENT UNIT


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

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


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

ONLINE PETITION DEMANDS LARGER POLICE FORCE IN LONG BEACH BUDGET


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

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


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

OVERFLOW CROWD AT BERTH 55 OVERWHELMINGLY OPPOSES PORT PLAN TO OUST LONGTIME BUSINESSES


More than 100 people overflowed a small restaurant in the Long Beach harbor Thursday evening for a community meeting in response—and apparently overwhelming opposition—to the Port of Long Beach’s plan to evict longtime businesses from Berth 55 to make way for a fire/police station. None of the community members who addressed an assortment of Long […]

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 […]

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


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

DIRECTOR TONY SCOTT DEAD AFTER LEAP FROM VINCENT THOMAS BRIDGE


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

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


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

YEA OR NAY: LONG BEACH PROPERTY BASED IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT VOTING


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

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


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

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


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

DA FILES MULTIPLE FELONY CHARGES AGAINST ALLEGED LB CODE ENFORCEMENT SHOOTER


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

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


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

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


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

LB LOBBYISTS AT CAPITOL HILL ADVICE ON STALLED FEMA BILL


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

AS CRIME RISES, LBPD MANAGEMENT CONSIDERS FEWER DIVISIONS, PATROLS


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

HAS AUSTIN’S FALL FROM THE MAYOR’S GRACE MADE HIM A CANDIDATE OF THE PEOPLE?


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 […]

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


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

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


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

ENVIRONMENTALIST DOUG KORTHOF DIES


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

DON’T EXPECT DRAMA IN SCHOOL BOARD SEARCH TO REPLACE BARTON


Dr. David Barton’s resignation Wednesday from the Board of Education of the Long Beach Unified School District puts an unexpected item on the agenda—and perhaps atop the list of priorities—at the Board’s next meeting on Feb. 7: finding a replacement. Although there is a Board of Education election scheduled for April, voters will not determine […]

WHAT SECRETS WAS LB COUNCIL KEEPING FROM PUBLIC IN CLOSED SESSION?


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?

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


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

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


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

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


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

STELLA URSUA TO CHALLENGE SUJA LOWENTHAL FOR 2ND DISTRICT SEAT


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

LBPD INVESTIGATING HALLOWEEN NIGHT ASSAULT AS POSSIBLE HATE CRIME


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

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


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

LB FIREFIGHTERS APPROVE CONCESSIONS TO CONTRACT CITY ALREADY SIGNED


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

SCHIPSKE JOINS LB COUNCIL MEMBERS’ STAMPEDE FOR HIGHER OFFICE


Fifth District City Council member Gerrie Schipske announced her candidacy for the newly drawn Long Beach seat in the California Assembly on Tuesday night, meaning that four of the 10 officials elected to steer the city’s course at council meetings are now running for higher office. In fact, Schipske’s entry into the race for the […]

DELONG CONGRESSIONAL CAMPAIGN HAS 100K, CITY AUDITOR ENDORSEMENT


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

RECALL JAMES JOHNSON GROUP GOES PUBLIC, IN A PRIVATE KIND OF WAY


Proponents of an effort to recall 7th district city council member James Johnson made their first public statement Wednesday during a press event outside Johnson’s field office at Admiral Kidd Park, but still kept their cards close to the vest. Mike Kowal, a longtime activist in the 8th district—in fact, the only announced candidate for […]

RECALL JAMES JOHNSON COMMITTEE TO PRESENT CHARGES THIS AFTERNOON


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 […]

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


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

PORKY’S REVENGE? COUNCIL’S SPENDING WISH-LIST WOULD BLOCK PROPOSED BUDGET ALTERNATIVE


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 […]

DID TELEPHONIC TOWN HALL ON BUDGET OUTDRAW IN-PERSON MEETINGS?


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 […]

CITY MANAGER’S OFFICE DESCRIBES ITS PENSION REFORM ACCOMPLISHMENTS


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

LB COUNCIL ALLOTS 90 MINUTES FOR 5 BUDGET ISSUES, BUT MAKES TIME TO KISS KNABE’S BUNDT


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 […]

AMNESIA FILE: DURING LBPD’S 2010 CUTS CHIEF STILL HAD HOPE FOR ACADEMY


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.

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


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

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


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

NO BUTTS ABOUT IT, CORDERO’S HARBOR COMMISSION CHAIR STILL EMPTY


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.

COURT SAYS 2009 PORT-TRUCKERS SETTLEMENT ON CLEAN TRUCKS PROGRAM VIOLATES ENVIRONMENTAL LAW


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 […]

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


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

LBREPORT.COM GETS ANSWERS FROM CITY STAFF … WITH PUSH FROM DELONG


[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 […]

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


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

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


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

OUTSIDE LB POLICE AWARDS, SMALL GROUP PROTESTS COP VIOLENCE


About a dozen people from the Long Beach Campaign to Stop Police Violence demonstrated Wednesday afternoon outside the 43rd annual Long Beach Police Awards ceremony at the Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts. The group is a subsidiary of the Los Angeles-based ANSWER Coalition. In a statement on its website and e-mailed to media outlets, […]

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

HAS JOHNSON CHANGED HIS CAMPAIGN POSITION ON PORT RAILYARD EXPANSION?


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 […]

LBUSD BOARD TO HEAR DETAILS OF BUFFUM/BURROUGHS CLOSURE PLAN


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

FOSTER THREATENS CITY UNIONS WITH BALLOT INITIATIVE TO CURB PENSIONS


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

WHERE CRIME OCCURS IS NEWSWORTHY—ESPECIALLY WHERE CRIME OCCURS


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

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


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

COUNCIL WRESTLES BEFORE ADDING RESTRICTIONS TO MEDPOT ORDINANCE


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

EDITORIAL: FOSTER’S SELF-SERVING MOVE SERVES LONG BEACH RESIDENTS, TOO


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 […]

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


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

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER ATTEMPT TO CENSOR CANDIDATES’ DEBATE


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

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


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

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


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

AFTER ALMOST 60 YEARS, ONLY 119 DAYS UNTIL FRED KOREMATSU DAY


January 30 will henceforth be known as Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution, which is a mouthful, but still doesn’t come close to describing the brave stand this American citizen of Japanese ancestry took during World War II in defense of the United States’ fundamental principles of freedom and fairness. Governor Arnold […]

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

MAYOR BOB FOSTER’S ‘GROUCHO STRATEGY’


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 […]

LBREPORT.COM EDITORIAL: FOSTER’S MAYORAL LEARNING CURVE LOOKS LIKE A DOWNWARD SPIRAL


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 […]

MAYOR FOSTER SAYS LONG BEACH CAN BE A SAFER CITY WITH FEWER COPS


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 […]

LOWENTHAL CONTEMPLATES LONG BEACH BUDGET FROM JAI MAHAL PALACE


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.

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


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

DEAN WANTS A TRUCK TRANSFER STATION ON TERMINAL ISLAND FREEWAY PROPERTY


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

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


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

PROPOSAL TO CUT LB CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS WILL AGGREGATE POWER, NOT SAVE MONEY


The proposal by Long Beach City Councilmembers Robert Garcia, Suja Lowenthal and Gary DeLong to cut the number of Council meetings that they and their colleagues would otherwise be expected to attend isn’t about saving taxpayers money. It’s about power. In the opinion of LBReport.com, their proposal is an abuse of power. We view it […]

CONGRESS CLEARS LAURA RICHARDSON OF ETHICAL ALLEGATIONS


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

A WAVE SO BIG NO BREAKWATER COULD STOP IT


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