Jay Beeler

Here we go again. Another large institution in Long Beach – CSULB – is asking the public to pick its new mascot after deciding that Prospector Pete should be banned to the lower campus. The reason, according to CSULB President Jane Close Conoley, is that the 49er namesake of the 1849 Gold Rush “was a time in history when the indigenous peoples of California endured subjugation, violence and threats of genocide.”

Never mind the fact that, in 1949, Prospector Pete evolved from Founding President Pete Peterson’s common references to having struck the gold of education by establishing Long Beach State College. Those of us who attended the college in the 1960s were more attuned to Peterson’s interpretation than Jane’s, whose bungling of this issue is out of touch with reality.

But ignorance is bliss and now the public has been presented with the following choices for a new mascot: Kraken, Pelicans, Sharks, Stingrays, Giraffes and The Beach (what they are calling a “no mascot choice”).

The kraken is a legendary cephalopod-like sea monster in Scandinavian folklore of giant size. According to the Norse sagas, the kraken dwells off the coasts of Norway and Greenland and terrorizes nearby sailors. Obviously the communications geniuses at CSULB think a kraken is a more friendly mascot than Prospector Pete.

What we are observing is a university ill-prepared to pick a new mascot and ignorant of Peterson’s wise choice. When you want the public to pick “The Beach,” you stuff the ballot box with the first four (inept) choices. This is exactly what amateurs do.

What do you think? Take our website poll at and pick from the following: Kraken, Pelicans, Sharks, Stingrays, Giraffes, The Beach, Prospector Pete or None of the Above. Email your comments to We’ll announce the results in our next issue.

If CSULB’s communications incompetents get their way with “The Beach,” hopefully they will consider using a beach ball as a mascot. It works for Jack-in-the-Box and it can work for the college.


We saw the same disaster more than 15 years ago when the City of Long Beach invited local artists to design a new logo for the city. They picked one that I dubbed “poker chips and sperm whales” and started to plaster it on the cop cars and trash bins (where it belonged).

After I expressed my opinion on their poor choice, the “winner” died a fast death and city management wisely reverted to using its seal along with stylized typefaces.

Years earlier the Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau started using a “life raft” logo that would have made an excellent “bug” for the city. It demonstrated the stark difference between the CVB using professionals for graphic design projects versus those with no expertise whatsoever.


Recently Laguna Beach integrated the American flag inside the word “POLICE” on its patrol cars. Comments surfaced about the graphic being too aggressive or emphasizing the letters “ICE,” which might offend the numerous illegal aliens among us. That’s a good thing – keep them running southbound!

Laguna Beach City Councilman Peter Blake said “People are actually ridiculous enough to bring up comments about our cop cars having American flags on them.” Wisely, fellow council members agreed last week and voted for the colorful police cars to remain patriotic.

Stay tuned. Someone, somewhere in Long Beach will complain about our fire trucks flying the American flag. This will probably occur during a full moon, hence the word “lunatics.” These same bozos often frequent City Council meetings.


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