Letters to the Editor

Community Hospital

The meeting regarding the future of Long Beach Community hospital is over. You know the one (most of the community was not notified) and yes, they tried to put lipstick on a pig by playing nice with some of the issues.

The email sent out by our representative, Kristina Duggan, indicated there are going to be three phases of this conversion of the hospital. These phases were not clearly defined or explained at the meeting.

Phase I: Establish recuperative care, hospitalization, sobering center, workforce training-behavioral, community health work, engagement center, in-house pharmacy. (Why are we putting the established pharmacy across the street out of business?)

Phase 2: Establish urgent care, clinical lab, psychiatric tech training, medically tailored meals, community market, housing services.

Phase 3: Board and care for elderly. (Includes memory care?)

We now know what it means, it is going to be a facility for the homeless, despite the distortion of the presentation as to what certain people would like you to believe.

Per my discussion with Mr. Molina, patients will possibly come from other hospital ER departments, when patients have no place to go. Or maybe just off of the streets; apparently that has not been properly communicated to the community.

We need to know:

  • Reference vulnerable population to be helped, what is “vulnerable population”?
  • What criteria is used to service a patient?
  • Are patients screened for criminal acts?
  • Is there a triage procedure to admit patients?
  • Mental patients admitted under what conditions?
  • Licensing/screening for staff?
  • Back up police force at all times with this vulnerable population?
  • Structural integrity of this facility since requirements for earthquake renovation have been required?
  • What is the “village” for housing?

The degradation of a neighborhood, when these facilities are established, is very apparent in L.A., let’s demand certain procedures are firmly instituted to prevent this here in our neighborhood.

Judy Davidson

 

Herbicides Kill Trees

This announcement was in Councilmember Supernaw’s Jan. 19, newsletter:

“Tree removal at El Dorado Regional Park Area III, Golden Grove, has been scheduled to begin on Monday, Jan. 22. A banner has been posted at the entrance of the park to notify park patrons. Nesting season is over, but nesting surveys will continue prior to the work starting. For more detailed information on the tree removals, visit this link.”

The link is a power point which shows many dead trees in Area 3, which were to be cut down beginning on Monday. Why are there so many dead trees? In past years, this has been blamed on the drought and less watering; however, the lush green grass signifies this area is receiving plenty of water. If you check out the photos, you will notice that most of the tree trunks are surrounded by a circle of bare earth, signifying that herbicides are being sprayed around the trees. Herbicides kill plants, including trees.

The City Council voted to stop using Glyphosate/Roundup in the parks (except for the golf courses). However, it is clear that another type of herbicide is still being used that is not only killing grass, but trees. It will not be long before there are no mature trees suitable for nesting and shade are left in El Dorado Regional Park.

I urge Parks and Recreation and the council to use alternative methods to control unwanted grass around trees: mulching, hand pulling, vinegar, or why not just let the grass grow around the trunk? It does not harm the trees and provides habitat for wildlife.

What do you want to see when visiting a park? Trees with ugly bare circles or trees with grass as food and habitat for wildlife?

Please stop herbicide use in our parks. It is harmful to all living things, including us.

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

 

Hate and Antisemitism

To provide some background, on Dec. 19 the City Council took a bold step to pass a proclamation about the war in Gaza. The proclamation calls for negotiations that lead to “a lasting humanitarian ceasefire, the release of all hostages, the safe passage of food, water, medical supplies, other life-saving humanitarian aid into Gaza, and a peaceful resolution to the conflict.”

There was a large number of speakers on both sides of the issue. There were people speaking on behalf of Israel and in support of continuing the war. There were others calling for a ceasefire, and freedom for Palestinians.

We are a group of Jewish Americans living in Long Beach. Many of us have firsthand knowledge of antisemitism. We are concerned about the actions of Jewish Long Beach that are offensive to the mayor and the City Council. A memo dated December 26, 2023, Jewish Long Beach called out Mayor Richardson “… your opening comments fueled hate speech and your closing comments failed to condemn it.” This is so far from the truth.

Here is a quote from the mayor’s opening remarks: “Finally I think what’s most important here, to our city is that it, it really affirms our need and our interest in peace and our interest in condemning all forms of hate and all forms of violence in our communities, particularly in our communities as it relates to antisemitism, anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian, anti-Jewish, all the forms of hate that exist in our communities so that we can create a framework, of a future in our communities where people can lead healthy and safe lives.”

Is this hate speech? Jewish Long Beach does not represent all Jewish people in Long Beach. There is a strong movement for a different point of view from many Jews in our diverse city. We spoke and watched the City Council meeting on Dec. 19 when the council took public comment to pass a proclamation on the conflict impacting Gaza and Israel. We know from watching and attending the entire meeting that the accusations of hate and antisemitism by representatives of Jewish Long Beach are unfounded.

It was true that the pro-Israel participants organized by Jewish Long Beach were outnumbered by those with a different point of view. It is also true that some of the members of the pro-Palestinian expressed passion and anger but from our perspective there was no hate and certainly no antisemitism in any of the testimony. Given the gravity of the continuing war the stakes are high. The treatment of the Palestinians cut off from food, water, and shelter is inhuman. So far, the brutal actions by Hamas do not justify the deaths of 10,000 innocent children.

Because of our history of being the victims of genocide, it is easy for supporters of Israel to use this victimhood as a default position. Israel is a wealthy country with a huge military partially funded by our tax dollars. Diplomatically the US and Western Europe support Israel unconditionally. While the Hamas attack was vile and horrific, it is not a threat to the existence of the State of Israel. What is a threat to the safety of Israel is the history of displacement, discrimination, and oppression of Palestinians that has brought the region to this point.

Jewish Long Beach has added to the polarization that separates communities and is alienating a generation of younger Jewish Americans who want peace and justice. Jewish Long Beach is only dividing communities that have many common interests.

While the war in Gaza is causing a spike in hate crimes against Jews and Muslims, the real threat to Jewish people in the US comes not from supporters of the Palestinian people but from ultra-right organizations like the Proud Boys, the insurrectionists of January 6, and the murderer of the worshipers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Someday this war will end. But without a lasting peace between the people of Palestine and Israel, the cycle of violence will continue. What is happening in Israel and in Palestine is a human tragedy. It is a tragedy because the cycle of violence threatens the lives and wellbeing of both the people of Israel and the Palestinian people is at risk. This situation cannot continue without a ceasefire, return of the hostages, and a permanent negotiated peace. Palestinians have a right to a homeland equal those of the Jewish people. We applaud the mayor and the city council for supporting these rights.

In response to the war between Hamas and the state of Israel, a group of Jewish people founded Long Beach Jews for Peace and Justice. Given the horrendous nature of the conflict with the loss of life to both sides, Long Beach Jews for Peace and Justice seeks a permanent ceasefire, return of hostages and political prisoners, and a negotiated end to this war. It is our belief that there can be a just resolution of this conflict and Israelis and Palestinians can either live together or side by side in peace with equal rights for both peoples.

Naida Tushnet, Marshall Blesofsky, Adam Overton – Organizing Committee

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