Letters to the Editor

License Plate Readers

I got sick to my stomach as I read this article. I first heard about this when an article came out months ago that the LBPD was sharing license plate data with ICE, and as bad as that was, I thought that it might be limited to that. I commented about that back then and the typical right wingers came out and replied with comments such as “if you’re a law-abiding citizen you have nothing to worry about.”

But as I read this recent article I couldn’t help but recall Martin Niemöller’s poem (an early supporter of Germany’s Third Reich):

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out –  because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.

Buhl described the scope of LBPD ALPR data gathering, stating, “In 2019, the LBPD scanned 24,704,972 million plates – 67,684 per day or a plate every 1.27 seconds.”

The research attorney said that “the LBPD’s own data shows that 99.93 percent of the 25 million plates the LBPD scans yearly belongs to the law abiding – and that is even when you consider those with outstanding parking tickets on the wrong side of the law.”

Buhl said, “the LBPD then shares this data with practically any agency that asks...”

Carlos S. Ovalle

 

So utterly sad and depressing our LBPD is. After the verdict in the George Flloyd case, I think the nation is mandated to reform the police. If we do not do it locally it will be done for us.

If the Republican votes in the Senate will not pass REAL police reform (and I mean comprehensive) then that party will be unalterably weakened. (Sorry to my Republican friends, but I do not associate you with a party, I associate you with goodness and a desire for what is right)

But if Long Beach continues to cater to this unholy Police Officers Association, I suggest every single citizen of every color, orientation, sexual identity, creed, national background or race go to a gunstore somewhere and get armed. We will have to defend ourselves not only against robbers and thieves but against the police themselves when they try to pull people out of our homes and churches.

Robert Fox

 

Migrant Children

I have the following questions and concerns regarding housing 1,000 underage, at-risk female immigrants at the Long Beach Convention Center, which I have shared with city officials and unfortunately, they have chosen not to respond.

Have these young immigrants received all their childhood immunizations consistent with US Health Department standards? Have they had complete medical workups to insure they are not bringing anything into the US? These immigrants are practicing third world hygiene at best. Without a complete medical workup, we will be subjecting Long Beach residents to health risks we are not prepared for?

Have they been exposed to COVID?

If some of these children have families in the U.S., why are they not being sent directly to their families? Are commitments to sponsor the remaining children real or are they in a holding pattern hoping to be sponsored? Talk is cheap are we going to be stuck with them when sponsors back out of commitments?

It is my understanding they will be housed at the Long Beach Convention Center and will not be allowed to leave the venue. What security is in place to insure they cannot sneak out of the Convention Center and infect Long Beach residents. What security has been planned to protect the Long Beach Convention Center from protesters and others that might seek to harm these immigrants?

Last year the Long Beach decision makers put business owners and residents at grave risk when they underestimated the mob mentality of protesters. They failed to protect us at a time of crisis. Why should we trust them now? Will the appropriate safeguards be in place to protect the community?

I have learned that officials are planning to provide education for these immigrants. Are they going to be taught to read, write and speak English? Will they be taught the responsibilities of becoming a U.S. citizen and how to apply for citizenship status?

What is the end game to moving these immigrants out of our community quickly? What safeguards are in place so these 1,000 immigrants do not become permanent wards of Long Beach?

Are we opening Pandora’s box by accepting these Immigrants into our community? This is not 1930 and Long Beach is not Ellis Island.

Ken Weiss

 

Our Lives & COVID-19

In March 2020, the world temporarily closed. COVID-19 reshaped lives. The pandemic is not our only problem now.

We heard the doom-and-gloom stories of coronavirus for months. Massive job loss, civil unrest, and whether kids should attend school in person are constantly discussed.

Many people feel overwhelmed with the chaos. Californians are physically and emotionally worn out.

This ongoing stress is crisis fatigue. It takes a toll on the body and mind.

Crisis fatigue is not a formal medical diagnosis, but its effects are real. These are some ways to manage crisis fatigue:

  • Avoid negative coping skills. Overdrinking and drug use are some.
  • Make a daily routine. This is an essential cure, because it is done continuously. You have control over this.
  • Limit the news. Too much can increase your crisis fatigue. Disconnect from the news sometimes.
  • Believe in your own resilience.

Lori Martin

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