Letters to the Editor

Charter Amendment

The CPCC was a farce from birth [Page 1 story]. It was a farce when the late Tomas Gonzalez blew the whistle on them nearly 20 years ago. It was a farce when former CPCC Commissioner Gilbert Porter declared so during the George Floyd protests two years ago.

It was a farce when the city’s consultant Polis Solutions interviewed a few of us stakeholders in preparation of their recommendation to council. It was a farce when the ONLY in-person hearing was held in a majority white and wealthy are of the city far from access by Black and Brown residents of Long Beach who are most likely to need intervention by the CPCC.

It will always be a farce as long as the city is controlled by corrupt politicians beholden to the LBPOA and other corporate interests.

Carlos Ovalle

As [recent] Supreme Court rulings have taught us, often oversight and actions by the citizenry are all we have to protect our rights.

The complete gutting of the CPCC’s ability to monitor the government’s actions is an act of surrender of a basic protection. We have become comfortable in allowing these transgressions to occur, while ignoring the outrage and warnings of professionals like Mr. Downing to go unheeded the result is no voice or oversight of government!

That is what silence and timidity brings us. Ask any Russian friends you may have…

Joe Viola

Suely Saro was also a chair for the CPCC. Be it known that she didn’t finish her one year, which began in June and she left in December, so she could begin her campaign for council, which started a year and a half later, with CPCC on her resume.

Richard Lindemann

 

Big Bang on Bay

For 10 years, John Morris, owner of Boathouse on the Bay, has sponsored the Big Bang on the Bay. In 2015, CERF/Coast Law brought a lawsuit against Morris because of water pollution caused by plastic, cardboard and toxic chemicals in the fireworks. A settlement required before and after water quality testing, which was not done.

On June 12, 2022, the CA Water Boards sent Morris an order with a number of requirements for the upcoming July 3 fireworks show. Morris’ attorneys have indicated he is unwilling to comply with some of the order.

Sierra Club Los Cerritos Wetlands Task Force has urged the Calif. Coastal Commission and LB Special Events not to permit these fireworks. In addition to water and air pollution, terrifying vets and pets, there is a rookery containing herons, egrets and gulls nesting a few hundred yards from the barge where the fireworks are launched.

Last year, every bird that could fly left the trees with the first ear-splitting explosions, which went on for 30 minutes. Several of our members stood under the main nesting tree, holding a blanket in hopes of catching any falling babies. It is unknown how many nests were abandoned, but three dead baby birds were found the next morning.

We have suggested drone light shows would be a less polluting and less traumatic way of celebrating, but Morris refuses to consider this substitute. Please contact your councilmember and ask that no permit be issued for this July 3.

Ann Cantrell, Co-chair, Sierra Club Los Cerritos Wetlands Task Force

Follow the Money

In 2006 I was the owner of a 9-unit building in North Long Beach which provided low-income housing to nine families at 5705 Lime Ave. At the time the Redevelopment Agency (RDA) was planning a development to complete with the Town Center on Carson and 605 freeway. I believe it was called the Uptown Center.

They approached me about buying my building to turn it into a parking lot for the development. I objected because my building provided needed housing. However, under imminent domain they threatened to take my building anyway. So, I sold my building to the RDA. They paid the tenants relocation fees and leveled the building to the ground.

In 2012 the state of California was close to bankruptcy; the governor closed the RDA and took all the monies they had acquired during the 25 years of redevelopment with no plan but with a promise that the RDA could finish their current projects and sell the rest of the properties.

I did not think anything of the situation until 2022 when I saw a presentation by the city of Garden Grove. The title of the presentation was “The Housing Element.” It actually mapped the RDA properties of Garden Grove. I then looked at my old property on Lime Avenue. My property and five other lots to the north were still vacant. I also noticed a large area on Atlantic Avenue and Long Beach Boulevard was also still vacant.

After doing some research I found that there were approximately 435 redevelopment agencies; the legislature agreed to use that number because the accounting was so lax.

That’s when I knew I must come forward to expose the lack of planning, execution and transparency of this massive debacle. My old Lime Avenue property has been vacant for 16 years. As soon as the RDA took the property, they paid no property taxes. The local community could not develop the property because it was not clear who owned it, whether it was the RDA, the state or the city. So, it has just languished in limbo. This causes the area to look blighted and decreases the value of all the properties in the area. This is even more disturbing when you realize that North Long Beach comprises almost 20% of the city.

To this day I cannot find a plan to fix this problem or any transparency on how the situation has become this massive disaster. The mind-blowing discovery is there are 435 of these communities that are suffering the same fate.

This was a prediction of the situation that we now face in our California cities.

Victor Peterson

 

Election Results

Alex Villanueva versus Robert Luna in a runoff for sheriff. I wonder when the two will both eventually share a prison cell in shame after they are finally prosecuted for their misconduct and illegal acts.

Mike Ruehle

 

Worst Run Cities

Congratulations to Mayor Robert Garcia and the City Council on Long Beach’s impressive #4 ranking on WalletHub’s 2022 list of the worst-run cities in California. Hey Bobby, looks like yet another feather in your mayoral dunce cap!

Merry Colvin

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