Jay Beeler

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Once again, Citizens Against Virtually Anything (CAVE People) are lobbying against an increase in water rates of 19.2 percent during the past two budget cycles.

The actual complainers are CARP (Citizens About Responsible Planning) and LBRC (Long Beach Reform Coalition). They both dislike the passage of Measure M, which allows for the transfer of 12 percent of water revenues to the city’s general fund. Proposition 218 prohibited such transfers and that legal battle continues.

But when you compare Long Beach’s rates versus other California cities, we are at the bottom of the scale at $46 monthly versus $71 for Oakland and $93 for San Francisco (using information from a May 2018 study). Stats for sewer rates are similar in this comparison.

Long Beach is doing the smart thing by replacing its water meters with smart meters that are read from network towers, meaning no more salaries wasted on meter readers. Our gas and electric meters have already been updated in this manner. (Too bad the Postal Service hasn’t figured out that centralized, neighborhood postal centers would save the billions lost each year for unnecessary salaries.)

Our 100-plus year-old water lines are being replaced at a rate of 20.26 miles per year, meaning an 88 percent drop in water main breaks in recent years. Compare that to the frequent breaks we see in Los Angeles streets via television.

The City Council will vote on this in September for implementation in October. Contact your councilmember if you oppose the rate increase.

Personally I would prefer that some of this money be used to fix Clark and Freeman Avenue surfaces, which are like washboards bent on destroying our cars following some underground utility work.


Our online poll  is asking readers if they like the new Broadway “road diet.” So far 86 percent are saying “no,” 12 percent are saying “yes” and 2 percent are “not sure.”

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A reader sent us the following “modified oldie but goodie” that supposedly was an obituary notice in the London Times:

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

  • Knowing when to come in out of the rain
  • Why the early bird gets the worm
  • Life isn’t always fair
  • And maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death

  • By his parents, Truth and Trust
  • By his wife, Discretion
  • By his daughter, Responsibility
  • And by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his five stepbrothers

  • I Know My Rights
  • I Want It Now
  • Someone Else Is to Blame
  • I’m A Victim
  • Pay me for Doing Nothing.

Not many attended his funeral because, so few realized he was gone.


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