Letters to the Editor

Street Repair Nominee

Kudos to Carlos Crawford for being a man of action. On Ocean Blvd. and 54th right by the children’s play area, there was a large and dirty puddle from a leaking water pipe under the sidewalk. I had shown it to a few city workers and spoke with the Water Department, but to no avail.

Carlos is with the Long Beach Marine Bureau and was in the area so I showed it to him to see if he could contact the right people to get it fixed. Well, he jumped out of his car with his cell phone, took photos and voila, two days later it was fixed.

We need more Carlos Crawford’s working for the city and I’m thinking he would be great for being in charge of our Long Beach roads.

Dorothy Kistler

 

Homeless Problem

[Nextdoor posting sent to Councilwoman Suzie Price]

We have a very serious situation in Recreation Park. A growing group of homeless people have taken it upon themselves to claim the park as their own. An encampment of tents has now become established and is growing. This is not just a homeless problem. Suspicious activity, garbage (perhaps stolen goods) an aggressive dog, etc. all render the park unusable by the public because of potential criminal activity, unsanitary conditions and other dangers.

This is also a main route for children walking to school each morning and afternoon. I have called Long Beach PD over the last few years to report suspicious activity and even found a dead body to top it off. Despite my daily calls, it appears that their power is either limited or non-existent to remedy this situation. As a taxpayer, voter and father to an 11-year-old daughter who cannot enjoy the park, the situation is out of control.

This is your responsibility to fix. What are your plans? I’m sure I’m not the only Long Beach resident who is eagerly awaiting your reply.

Bradley Hebdon

[Following is one of a few dozen responses to Hebdon]

According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, the number of homeless people in Greater Los Angeles was 58,936 in 2019 and increased to 66,433 in 2020. But what is truly astonishing is that during that year, 22,769 people were placed into housing units, while another 52,689 people found other exits into housing.

Sadly, 82,955 people became newly homeless during the year, resulting in the 7,500-person increase. As you can see, it’s a challenging, virtually intractable problem. Long Beach is no different from many other SoCal communities. And while no one wants to see homeless people sleeping in their yards or parks or streets, or to have items stolen from their homes, we all have to recognize that they are not all thieves or drug addicts or alcoholics. Many are just working families that have fallen on one too many crises that they couldn’t handle.

Expecting any Long Beach politician to solve this problem is naive and disingenuous in the extreme. And forcing them to move from one location to another is just silly and cruel.

Don Mayor

 

2nd Street Parklets

[Editor’s Note: The same parklet jerk is authoring several mailed letters to the editor on this topic with the same points and misspellings, using different names without a return address. We are experts at spotting fraud, so save yourself the postage, stop wasting our time and seek professional help. This is a good time to remind all letter writers to provide your address and phone number – that will not be published – but will be used to verify that you are a real person and not the parklet jerk.]

 

Holiday Fire Tips

Residents of Stoneybrook Villas had a scare on Wednesday, Nov. 3, around 5 p.m. that likely they will never forget! This article will serve as a reminder to update and check your smoke detectors in your home, which may save your life.

Stoneybrook Villas is a 471-condominium property located at Bellflower Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway sitting on 13 acres of land with seven occupied structures. Our incident opens when an occupant in the 448 building put some food on the stove and proceeded to let it cook unattended while he left the premises to handle other business. No one else was home at this two-bedroom condominium at the time.

At about 5:10 p.m. I began to hear sirens approaching and glanced out my window to see dark brown smoke to the east billowing into the sky. I did not hear any fire alarms sounding at the time. Just the same, better check it out. I ran down the stairs from my condominium to street level below and was told by several onlookers that the back end of Stoneybrook Villas was on fire. I observed several fire engines and a ladder truck arrive and enter near the lower gate at Colorado Street and Bellflower Boulevard.

Fortunately, I had thought to bring my pocket scanner so I could listen to their radio traffic. I ran back inside the complex and along a paved path to the 448 garage entering proceeding through the subterranean parking to the other side. As I approached, I observed fire hoses crisscrossed over the driveway, firemen pulling more hoses and then I was back outside of the building. One condominium on the second floor had flames pouring out of it and licking the condo deck above on the third floor. As the fire hoses hit the flames, the smoke turned from thick brown to ashen white.

I cut up the stairs in the garage to the front entrance at 448 where I met residents as they were evacuating the building. It was a very moving scene. We see this kind of thing at fires on the television, but it comes a whole lot closer when those tears falling are from faces of friends and neighbors I know. I did my best assure each of them that all that could possibly be done was being done. The fire went to three alarms with the Long Beach Fire Department dispatching eight engine companies, two ladder truck companies, several rescue ambulances and chief personnel. There were three firemen who suffered smoke inhalation. Several residents were triaged by a nurse who lives in 448 Bellflower and sent to hospitals for treatment for minor wounds.

While the month draws to a close, there are 70 residents who remain displaced as the building has been shut down by the fire department until it is repaired, which could be several more months at least.

This exact type of disaster fire could happen to you as easily as it occurred here. Here are a few pointers for a safe holiday season in your home:

1. Make sure you have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors that are powered up and function as they are supposed to.

2. Design an exit drill in your home ahead of time for if a fire occurs you can get out quickly and safely.

3. Keep an A-B-C fire extinguisher fully charged and ready near any stove or heating element (i.e. fireplace) that is easily and readily accessible if need be.

4. Post the number 9-1-1 on your telephone to remind you who to call in an emergency.

5. If you have a fire alarm system in your home or location, make sure it is operable and have the option when it is activated that in addition to sounding off it will also notify the local fire department that there is a fire at your location.

These five steps may save not only your life, but the life of someone else you may love or care about. Learn not to burn. Never leave food on the stove unattended for any length of time. Keep these tips in mind for a happy, merry, and safe holiday and new year!

Ward Johnson

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