Letters to the Editor

Super-Spreader Event

Did they just get on a bull horn to gather all the officers for the picture and say “This is for the dumb ass people. Let’s tell them a lie in the form of a photo”?

[Downing story, page 1]

I’d feel a little better if they didn’t take the mask photo because then I’d just know they are dumb but not liars. Psychologists have been saying for years that people that are dumb and good at lying are very dangerous.

Lauren Boland

This will be an opportunity for the CPCC to shine after the events of earlier in the year when, through no fault of their own, the commission was called a farce. It’ll be a golden opportunity for the new members of the commission to effect justice and prove that the rule of law applies to everyone and that law enforcement, including the leadership, is not above the law.

“Leading by example” said Mayor Garcia a few months ago regarding the city’s efforts against the pandemic. Yet city leadership has consistently failed us. “Do as I say, not as I do” is criminal.

Carlos Ovalle

Independent oversight? Not.

It’s garbage in, garbage out. Executive director is a city employee who answers to the city manager, who answers to City Council, who answers to and is funded by police and fire unions. No, sadly nothing will change until you get the money out of politics.

Mike Kowal

I don’t care what you may think was the intention of the CPCC created by the voters. The simple reality is that it was neutered by it being appointed by the city to “self-govern” ourselves. That is the functional equivalent of the fox guarding the hen house.

Repeal the CPCC and establish a state-wide system of similar groups that all meet, but to consider cases outside their own jurisdictions and remove the city manager’s final approval. I understand the implications, but this person is in an untenable situation and should welcome being taken out of the process.

Joe Ganem III

Workers Comp claim coming. Get paid to stay home. It is again lobster season. Do the readers remember?

Gary Fultheim


RIP Tom Stout

This is a tribute to a man I knew who passed recently; someone who I respected wholeheartedly in life. He was someone who fought on behalf of the ordinary citizens of Long Beach. Many of those he fought for were not aware of who Tom Stout was or that he did fight an endless battle for them.

In the years that Tom and I ran Long Beach Taxpayers Association, I saw a man committed to what he was doing and doing it without any “thank you” or “compensation.” At the least, he deserves our appreciation.

Tom attended and spoke at numerous City Council meetings over the years in addition to covering election nominees and holding politician’s feet to the fire. A lot of what Tom did was hard work because of the political culture in Long Beach. The powerful won way too often, but not without answering tough questions from Tom. He was always prepared with facts, but facts do not affect the political elite. You can only hold politicians responsible if the electorate knows exactly what they are up against, but it takes a strong news media to help advocates like Tom inform the people. The political elite are extremely powerful in Long Beach and Tom knew that, but he always forged ahead knowing he was up against the odds of the influential who protected City Council members and mayors.

Tom had little admiration for politicians who peddled their influence to elect like kind … those who would sell their souls to stay in office. An honest person could never understand why someone in power did not want to do right by the people, but it became accepted in Long Beach to elect unqualified, biased individuals who were supported by the elite classes in Long Beach, something Tom loathed and fought against.

Long Beach does not have a 10.25% sales tax; a billion-dollar unfunded pension liability and a continuous general fund debt because it has honest and bright politicians running the city. It is because it has self-serving politicians whose only ambition is to ascend to the next political rung on the ladder. Tom was aware of this and he fought against this corruptive behavior because they and their practices went against his character.

In recent years, there was a constant stream of ballot initiatives to raise the taxes of Long Beach residents for one reason or another. The truth could never be told by the politicians that it was to ease the debt so they could increase the pay of their supporters at City Hall and beyond. Truth did not matter to the politicians, but it did to Tom, so he continued to fight hard to protect the people.

I compare Tom Stout to President Trump. You might not like the upfront and honest way Tom conveyed his message, but you always knew he was fighting for what is right for the people. Being a teacher was a part of Tom’s life that he was enormously proud of touting. His students were lucky to have had Tom as a teacher, as I am sure in an indirect way, Tom conveyed the importance of character to his students.

Hopefully, one of his students will carry on Tom’s aspirations and honor him by advocating for righteous causes, so someday we can live amongst honest politicians. A wish, I am sure Tom would love to see happen. In the future, we will remember most politicians by name only, but most of them we will forget. A man like Tom Stout will always be remembered and endured.

Kathy Ryan


Good People

With so much negativity going on now, I would like to share some good people doing wonderful things for the community. I was privileged to meet Tom West and Shannon Francis, owners of Long Beach Coffee and Tea this time last year after an article posted in the Grunion highlighted their Angel Tree.

I got to know Tom and Shannon through participating in picking ornaments with veterans’ names and branch of service in one side and their Christmas wishes on the other. Both of my veterans wanted gift cards and Shannon was helpful in identifying the most helpful and appropriate cards. While the cards are helpful and useful, they’re not as much fun as shopping to a confirmed shopaholic and Shannon was also helpful about what kinds of gifts would be best.

Following that introduction, Tom and Shannon welcomed me into their adopted family, even though I don’t drink coffee, and I learned of the many things that they do to help our veterans and homeless: coat and blanket drives; clothing, shoes, backpacks, toiletries distributed to the homeless and veterans; to go meals free of charge to the hungry; to go home cooked Thanksgiving dinner for over 100; care packages for our troops overseas; help for veterans in navigating the VA system, putting veterans in touch with resources and serving as veterans’ advocates and more.

With all of this, they are humble, saying that they just have the idea and others do a lot of the work, but without them it wouldn’t happen.

Their latest venture is their nonprofit, “Transition Outside the Wire,” which is working to provide services to veterans as they leave the service to transition them back to civilian life. They are working towards a ranch in Arizona which will provide lodging, work experience, counseling and other assistance to veterans and their families, working to end homelessness before it starts and to end the 22 veteran suicides per day in the US. This is being funded by their coffee subscriptions. Not only do they have great coffee, which is mailed to your home, but it is nontaxable and is teaching veterans job skills.

Stop by Long Beach Coffee and Tea, check out the Angel Tree and try their delicious coffee and food (to go) while wearing your mask and social distancing.

Patricia Jackson



Three ex-presidents say they’ll take the vaccine but how about the CEO of Pfizer?

Trump should stop trying to prove he didn’t lose but Hillary still calls Trump illegitimate and Al Gore hates hanging chads to this day. Good thing Al can fall back on his millions of dollars from his Green Energy schtick.

No one wants to even think about Hunter, Joe Biden and China but we listened to daily lies about Russia for four years and Adam Schiff still lies about Russia to this day. It seems if you’re a Democrat, governor or mayor you can tell people what to do to save everyone and not do any of what you say yourself.

Meanwhile at least two California committees are visiting Florida and Hawaii as we sit in our homes and order dinner out to pick up. Wonder what kind of cuisine the committees are having and where. The only science here is political science and I believe the free American people are starting to get tired of being lied to by their “leaders.” I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

Logic tells us that more thorough testing will bring data that shows more positives especially when the tests aren’t 100% accurate. Science says there will be three total surges of the virus. Science says children should be in school where it’s safer. Science says everyone but elderly and those susceptible to the virus should be working and making a living for their families and bringing our economy back to life as well.

Science says as a 71-year-old asthmatic disabled and retired studio carpenter I should and will stay close to the house, wear the mask and physically distance for my protection.

The rest of you try and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Vance Frederick



I am proud to have known Tom Stout well enough to say Kathy Ryan's depiction of his dedication to fighting the "wrongs" of Long Beach politics is absolutely accurate. A quiet man with a towering personality. Rest in peace Mr. Stout. You did more to improve residents lives than many people realize. But a few of us know and will always remember.

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