Letters to the Editor

Changing History

Not only should Civil War memorial statues be kept in place [Beachcombing, Nov. 5], they provide a visual lesson that while we make mistakes, we can learn from them to make our culture better for all people.

Statues of Civil War heroes should be retained and alongside them should be statues of plantation workers toiling in cotton fields helping to build the southern economy to its present state. That would be a beautiful thing.

Removing statues recalling that sad chapter of southern history would be like sweeping dirt under the rug. Germany did not bulldoze the Auschwitz labor camp. Rather they kept it as a vivid reminder of a dark chapter of their history.

Let’s do something right for a change.

Tom Beeler, Anacortes, Wash.

 

Lenny Arkinstall

Lenny is a gift to Long Beach. He gives in so many ways to help our local environment, wildlife, at risk youth, students and homeless.

Thanks for writing this article and reminding us of good people like Lenny who help bind our community together.

Greg Shea

 

Great article.

Dotty Foster Ducret

 

I have known Lenny for nearly 20 years. All of the above is true and some! He’s truly genuine and one of the nicest people I know.

Tony Eigenmann

 

Wow! Good bio.

Mike Oconnor

 

A  hero!

Ann Cantrell

 

2nd Street Parklets

The state and county issued a ban on indoor dining, which the City of Long Beach had no choice but to follow while dealing with the pandemic crisis last year. As a lifeline to the restaurants on 2nd street the City Council approved the use of temporary parklets; little did they realize that this would result in deployment of 32 parklets in a condensed business corridor.

These temporary structures do not comply with safety and health department codes. All normal permitting requirements were exempted due to the pandemic and ban on indoor dining.

The ban on indoor dining was rescinded earlier this year by each of the above agencies making the need for emergency parklets unnecessary. Upon rescinding the indoor dining ban order the city should have terminated the temporary permits and removed all of them from the business corridor.

Individual restaurants who have found the parklets beneficial should have the opportunity to start the permitting process, paying all fees, pay for an environmental impact study for the parklet and be subjected to a public comment period as part of their permitting process. If their request is approved, they should have to comply with all safety and health department codes and undergo routine inspections.

Our city councilwoman has requested a study on the subject, thereby extending the parklets time on the street. There does not need to be a costly study on this issue. The parklets were permitted and deployed during a state of emergency that no longer exists and therefore should be removed. They have outlived their purpose and usefulness by their definition,

As a homeowner in Belmont Shore immediately impacted by these structures, it is fair to say that my fellow homeowners and residents have been gracious and patient during the emergency. It is time that these temporary structures to be removed and parking restored to 2nd Street.

Kate Young

 

Belmont Shore is quickly becoming Shanty Town USA with its streets lined with filthy, unsafe, empty temporary parklet’s brought to us by a City Council that refuses to understand that parklet’s are not appropriate for all neighborhood communities and business districts.

All the while, just a short 3/4 of a mile away 2nd & PCH has become the new destination for visitors to the 3rd District. Vibrant retail establishments, large selection of dining opportunities, clean/safe environment and most importantly accessible parking. The consumer has been given vast opportunity in how to spend their dollar.

The anomaly of restaurant’s marginally utilizing the 28 temporary parklets on an occasional holiday, weekend or special event do not justify their existence on 2nd Street. The numbers simply do not support the continued existence of the temporary parklet’s.

To the Long Beach City Council: Please remove the 28 temporary parklet’s and restore parking to 2nd Street and Belmont Shore. Until you do, Shanty Town USA will continue to erode the safety, health and quality of life residents living in Belmont Shore have enjoyed.

William Paxson

 

Taking the 5th

Say goodbye to the 5th Council District if you live north of Spring and east of Studebaker. The city Independent Redistricting Commission is about to publish a map that cuts up the 5th and combines the upper part with Bixby Knolls and Cal Heights and the other parts are put into the 4th Council District along with all of El Dorado Park.

How did this happen? In November 2018, Long Beach voters approved Measure DDD, which amended the City Charter to create a commission, comprised of residents, responsible for determining the boundaries of council districts every 10 years after the national Census. The commissioners were appointed by the mayor and City Council.

The mayor and City Council touted this proposal to establish a redistricting commission by telling voters that it would be “independent.” In the past, the City Council actually conducted the redistricting process and, on several occasions, drew council boundaries to fit the political needs of the incumbents or political opponents. The strangest of all drawings, pulled the Nature Center from the 5th District to give it to the 4th so that the 4th district incumbent had more park area.

The current process is far from independent. When a current incumbent packed a commission meeting to protest her residence being removed from her council district, the commission changed its proposed map and put her back in. The City Charter mandates: “The commission shall not consider place of residence of any individual, including any incumbent or political candidate, in the creation of a map.”

When several others argued that the Long Beach Airport needed to be divided among several districts, it was. Consequently, the commission released a map that divides the 5th District north of Spring and combines it with Bixby Knolls and Cal Heights. The remainder of the district: Ranchos, Plaza, El Dorado Park Estates, Imperial Estates and El Dorado Park South are placed in the 4th District along with all of El Dorado Park.

The map removes the incumbent Stacy Mungo and the two announced candidates for the 2022 election: Michelle Dobson and Gerrie Schipske.

This map likely violates the City Charter that mandates: “The commission shall number each council district such that, for as many residents as possible, the number of the council district they reside in remains the same.” The majority of the 5th District is being placed in the 4th District.

Redistricting is supposed to reflect the concept of “one person one vote” which requires council boundaries to adequately reflect the composition of an area so that residents who have a “community of interest” are kept in the same districts. The districts are to essentially contain the same number of residents in each.

Where do these commissioners get their “expertise” to draw council boundaries? From a paid consultant hired by the city manager. Who does the city manager report to? The mayor and City Council. Who “staffs” the commission meetings? A member of the city manager’s department. Who directs the city manager’s staff? The city manager. Who hires the city manager? The mayor and City Council.

The current redistricting process is hardly independent. The commission published its semi-final maps Nov. 10 and were scheduled to finalize one yesterday, Nov. 18.

Gerrie Schipske

Category:

Comments

Removing the 5th City Council District? Has anyone also noticed that the councilmember Stacy Mungo is the only Republican presently on the entire Long Beach City Council, as the other 9 members (mayor included) are all Democrats?

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