Letters to the Editor

New Police Chief

Brilliant conceptual and practical ideas [Seeding the Thistle Patch at City Hall, Page 1]. Mr. Modica will be judged by the citizens of Long Beach as to whether he sees the common sense and community responsibility of such a process. His lack thereof, similar to his overriding of the Citizen’s Police Complaint Commission findings by such an astounding percentage will be his lasting legacy.

If we are to guide our city from the utter abyss of corruption, mismanagement, unethical and illegal behavior, not only regarding our Police Department but in all areas of the city management and representation, only a decisive break with the past will serve. Only then will we be able to restore faith and respect in the eyes of our people.

Robert Fox


Succinct and insightful, as usual, Stephen. You shine brightly. as you see in life nowadays, people are often immobilized until it’s too late. But I hope your efforts reap a reward – a chief we can all come to respect.

New CC legislation undoing the present procedure comes next.

Jeff Abrams


Thanks for your recommendation on the importance of being heard. I advocate law and order, I support the police and I also believe there is a need for reform to enable our police officers to fulfill the duties of their profession with the full support of our community.

To align interests, we first need to define expectations and priorities, communicate those to our local leadership and most importantly, leadership must listen and act with deliberation and urgency. I don’t believe that our voices are being heard, I don’t believe that our elected officials demand performance of federal, state and city agencies, which further burdens our police and I don’t believe that it is fair to ask our police to be the first line in dealing with our social ills.

Further, police efforts are marginalized by our DA. So, you are correct that it is important to be heard as a first step. Otherwise our community’s safety will be defined by knee-jerk reactions and failed experiments. I’d love to know anyone’s ideas on where robust and constructive reform dialog is occurring in LB so that my and others’ voices can be heard.

Bryan Boghosian


If the chief of police is a thistle, then City Manager Tom Modica is a GMO seed whose spineless genetic material has been politically manipulated to do whatever the mayor demands. I’ve watched City Manager Modica’s career rise over the years, from his botched SEADIP presentation at the Yacht Club to his overzealous destruction of marijuana businesses.

Like most at City Hall, Mr. Modica has always done exactly what he was told to do, no matter how political, no matter how unethical. That’s exactly why Modica was put in the city manager position and will hire whomever Mayor Garcia tells him to hire. It is naïve to think he will change at this point. That’s why the focus should be on Mayor Garcia and not City Manager Modica. However, that is beside the point.

I agree with all of Downing’s recommendations to plant the seed and also believe a hire from outside the department is indeed needed to lead LBPD in a new, community service-oriented direction. That is the only way to make lasting change. In-house commanders, despite what they claim, lack the perspective to change LBPD’s culture, to lead their peers in a direction they have yet to experience themselves. I’ve been advocating for an outside hire since LBPD was lethally poisoned years ago by Chief Batts.

However, I even go a step further. I call it the Roundup thistle treatment. Rather than hire a new police chief, I recommend City Hall consider following what other cities have done and eliminate the entire department and replace it with the LA County Sheriff’s Department (LASD), a department led by someone elected by the public rather than appointed by a politically corrupt mayor. That is something City Hall can do now without a Charter change.

Over time, LBPD evolved into a political organization that prostitutes its much-desired endorsement to mayor and councilmember candidates who support the largest pay raises and perks for the police union. LBPD’s Union agrees to go door-to-door in uniform supporting their endorsement espousing the qualities of a certain candidate without ever mentioning that candidate will also seek to give them the fattest union contract paid for by taxpayer’s money. Replacing LBPD with LACSD eliminates much of the local politics.

If eliminating LBPD is too draconian for you, consider changing Long Beach’s Charter to make the chief of Long Beach police an elected position similar to the city prosecutor, city attorney or city auditor, all of which are elected positions ratified by Long Beach citizens, not corrupt elected officials.

Michael Ruehle


COVID-19 Process

Thanks for your informative article [COVID-19 Process, 9/10/21] on vaccination status of first responders. I have always had the utmost respect for police and firefighters, so it is especially disturbing to hear that almost 50% decline the vaccine. I had assumed a high level of “health knowledge” among these workers. And their jobs put them at extreme risk of COVID.

I’m a retired LBUSD school nurse and public health nurse. Decades of education and experience tell me that getting the vaccine is a “no brainer.” It has proven to be safe and effective over nine months and now is FDA approved. The risk to benefit ratio is good.

Don’t make this political; it’s a public health issue! Those who are vaccinated are losing patience with those who are not. So just “man up” and get the shot. This could have been over by now if everyone got the vax when able (by June/July). Instead, I am looking at probably two years of my life lost.

The fire captain who continues to work here while living in Texas – and refuses vax – should just get a job in Texas and stay out of California.

Janet Starkey


Tight Rental Market

I was on the Nextdoor website and someone was saying they had been evicted for no reason other than the building was being sold. Then they said it was very difficult to find somewhere else because of the tight rental market. They wondered why this was the case so here is how I answered:

The rental market is getting tight. With the threat of rent control and the politicians making it harder and harder to get rid of a bad tenant, landlords want to be absolutely sure of a prospective tenant before renting to them. Many landlords just can’t take it anymore and are getting out of the business. There will be fewer and fewer rentals available.

I have been a landlord for about 50 years, but I have just turned my properties over to a property management company because I can no longer keep up with all of the new laws and regulations. Each new law required more of my time and I was never compensated for my time. Now the management company will take care of all that stuff and just pass that expense on to the tenants.

Shortly after I posted this, I had one “like,” but when I checked back to the Nextdoor site about an hour or so later I found my post had been removed. I guess they don’t like hearing about something that is contrary to their way of thinking.

John Sparrevohn


Add new comment


Copyright 2022 Beeler & Associates.

All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced or transmitted – by any means – without publisher's written permission.