LBReport.com

Doug Krikorian's Viewpoint

Krikorian Notes: A Labor Day Elegy For Those In The Long Beach Business Community Who Were Violated In The Memorial Day Looting Frenzy To The Palm Tree Limbs Littering 2nd Street To The Scooters Littering The Belmont Shore Bridge To The Virtual On-Line Spectacle At Big Mike O'Toole's Household

by Doug Krikorian
Special to LBREPORT.com

Mr. Krikorian, an award winning journalist and author of two books, earned multiple awards in his 22 years of writing for the Long Beach Press-Telegram and 22 years for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. He is happily retired.



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(Sept. 6, 2020, 6:50 p.m.) -- There was always a poignancy in my younger years for Labor Day because it was a signal that the eternal frolic of summer would be ending and the institutional orderliness of school would be commencing.

It was like that for me for 17 years until, finally, happily, I completed my college regimen and went out into the work force where I somehow endured for more than 50 years of the joyful ups, anguished downs and routine in betweeens that are endemic to employment.

But this Labor Day feels different to me than all the others because I've never lived in the midst of a Pandemic and never lived in the midst of a California governor shutting down thousands and thousands of businesses and never lived in the midst of so many people being unemployed and never lived in the midst of so many companies, dining establishments, small firms, etc., permanently closing their doors and never lived in the midst of so much protesting, so much rioting, so much looting, so much divisiveness riveting our country.

Judging by how all the daily disruptions are being covered by so much of the American media, I'm frankly surprised those aggrieved personages involved in them aren't clamoring to depart this country for such beacons of justice and fair play as North Korea, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, Zimbabwe and other such enlightened garden spots.

Yet, it's an unalloyed fact that human beings throughout the planet still clamor daily to emigrate to this country, despite its lengthy list of sins committed across its existence according to those determined, angry folk now sowing a charnel house level of chaos and disorder and destruction in so many cities throughout America.

This Labor Day feels different to me because I know it's a federally-mandated day to celebrate and honor the accomplishments of American workers.

Yet, I'm enveloped in a sense of sadness because a lot of people who toiled tirelessly in their own enterprises in these parts saw their efforts horribly violated that awful, horrifying Memorial Day evening -- May 31st, 2020 -- of ignominy in downtown Long Beach when the city's illustrious mayor, the Honorable Robert Garcia, had his police department stand down until the damage had already been done to the 214 businesses that wound up being looted.

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There is so much lingering heartache in the wake of this tragedy that could have been avoided had only the Long Beach police chief, Mr. Robert Luna, been more alert, prepared and defiant and had only Mr. Garcia been more concerned about the welfare of his city than about his political career.

So, on this bittersweet Labor Day, I think of those unfortunate souls who suffered so badly for no plausible reason other than the sheer incompetence of top city officials who blithely march on with their pitiful leadership with proposed budget cuts that further will weaken the already undermanned LB police department by stripping it of 50 officers.

I think of Mr. Co Doung, a Vietnam immigrant who with his wife and family members built his Beach Jewelry Center into a thriving success, only for it to be totally destroyed by looters as, according to Mr. Doung, his pleas for help were ignored by nearby policemen watching the disaster unfold.

I think of Terry Antonelli, who had done so much for the LB cops at charitable functions across the years and yet his famous Italian eatery, the iconic L'Opera, was ransacked for more than a half hour as a group of LB gendarmes stood in a solemn trance less than 100 yards away at Pine and Broadway. Naturally, Mr. Antonelli has never heard from Mr. Garcia.

Mr. Antonelli is rebuilding at a cost approximating $1 million, but Taco Beach's Kevin Vance has had enough and won't be reopening, and I'm sure a lot of other beleaguered looting victims will understandably follow suit.

I mean, when so much of the American media chooses to ignore the rampant pillaging now convulsing our country and when Vicky Osterwell is treated with respect in several national interviews including one with NPR -- she's written a book titled In Defense of Looting: A Riotous History of Uncivil Action -- why would anyone want to invest his or her life savings into a business venture?

And, even if you're fortunate enough to have a place not looted, there's always a chance the governor of the state you live in -- well, like our very own caring, empathetic and politically neutral Gavin Newsom -- will decide to lock down your business even though it makes no Coronavirus sense, as is so often the case these weird days much to the disgust of every restaurant proprietor and saloonkeeper and gym owner in Long Beach. . .

  • It's nice to see the two front hoops are back up at the Bay Shore and Ocean basketball courts in the area known colloquially as Horny Corner, but it wasn't nice recently seeing nearby on the 2nd St. Belmont Shore bridge two of those disgusting, dirty, virus-carrying electric Razor scooters polluting the picturesque scene or further down the street the ugly sight of a bunch of palm tree limbs lying in front of the curb for, oh, at least three weeks...
    Photos by the author
  • Sign of the Times Dept.: During the past week in the household of the reigning mayor of Naples, Big Mike O'Toole, his wife, the feisty Long Beach City College law professor Sandra O'Toole is conducting virtual on-line classes in one room, his son, Tommy O'Toole, is taking virtual on-line Wilson High classes in another room, and his daughter, Catalina, in still another serving as a virtual on-line medical scribe for a doctor working at the Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Conn.
    Prof. Sandra O'Toole (left), Catalina O'Toole (right)
    No virtual on-line exertion for Big Mike, who spends his time these sweltering days overseeing his Naples Gondola Getaway when he isn't skippering guests on Jim Mintie's blazing fast, powerful Hunt-32 speed boat over to Catalina Island, which was the case Sunday.

    Incidentally, Tommy O'Toole, a senior at Wilson who plays basketball and baseball and should get into acting, has joined the O'Toole gondola legacy, as he's developed into a top-notch gondolier this summer to the enhancement of his bank account and pride of his father. . .


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    Previously by Mr. Krikorian:

  • My Beloved Long Beach: A Victim Of Irrational Government Overreach Beyond Reasoned Response To Virus
  • Speak Up, Mr. Mayor, On Governor's Unwise Edicts. You Can Do That And You Should
  • Hallelujah! LB Mayor Pleads For Sac'to Permission To Lift Closures That Needn't Have Occurred
  • Excuses By Long Beach Police & Poticians Dishearten Damaged LB Businesses
  • Mayor/Council Sounds Of Silence After LB Cops Let Some Pillage Our Village
  • Awaiting Governor's Dictate To Decide Fate Of This Year's (July 3) "Big Bang On the Bay"
  • Will LB's New School Sup't Allocate Untimely Pay Raise To Serve Students?
  • From Krikorian's Notebook: (1) LBUSD Mgm't Mulls Keeping K-5 Kids Indoors Without Normal Access To Playground, Cafeteria, Auditorium Activities; (2) And More...
  • From Krikorian's Notebook: When Will LB Police Chief Luna Come Clean About May 31 Downtown Long Beach Looting Frenzy?
  • Long Time Long Beach Resident Dave Lopez Climaxes Storied 48-Year TV Career
  • Ben Goldberg Exits Long Beach, Now Nearby Refugee In OC
  • I Never Thought I'd Live To See These...
  • Is Long Beach Destined to Become the City That Never Sleeps?
  • Long Beach Politicians Once Again Fail Long Beach
  • A 2 1/2-Hour Commute To Work A Joy To This 86-Year Old Gentleman
  • Memo To LBUSD Sup Jill Baker: Return The Kids To the Classroom!
  • Parklets! Three Cheers For Long Beach Politicians!
  • Sadly, Our National Pastime No Longer A Pastime For Me
  • What Next From Long Beach Health Boss Kelly Colopy, Hazmat Suits For Our Restaurant Servers?
  • LBPD Chief Robert Luna: Stand Up For Your Fifty Ousted Cops!
  • FDR's Grandson, Delano Roosevelt, Talks Democratic Party, JetBlue, Long Beach And His Life
  • Krikorian Notes: From LB's Elected Leadership's Reimagining Delusions To the Gaslamp's Outdoor Wall Video Band Show To The Ghastly USC Coach, Clay Helton
  • Long Beach's Renaissance Man, Chuckie Miller, Reflects On His Entrepreneurial Life And On Racial Inequity
  • Krikorian Notes: From Majority Of LB Teachers Skipping Classrooms For The Comforts Of Home To Dr. Jill Baker Becoming Another Maria Montessori To Terry Antonelli Discussing Resurrection of L'Opera To Mayor Robert Garcia Touted By MSNBC's Brian Williams As A Future U.S. Senator To Kershaw's Magical Transformation
  • Don Kramer Was A Character Like No Other With His Zaniness, Goofiness, Joyfulness, Kindliness Who Left All Who Knew Him With Lasting Memories Of Slapstick Antics And Mirthful Anecdotes
  • Krikorian Notes: From Long Beach Mayor's Ascent To Dem Stardom Because Of Lockstep Embrace Of The Party's Policies To The Enchanting Parklet Dining On 2nd Street To Tearing Down The Hoops in Belmont Shore To Greg Silver's LB Departure To Huntington Beach To Bob Rice Protecting Me From Isiah Robertson
    Support really independent news in Long Beach. No one in LBREPORT.com's ownership, reporting or editorial decision-making has ties to development interests, advocacy groups or other special interests; or is seeking or receiving benefits of City development-related decisions; or holds a City Hall appointive position; or has contributed sums to political campaigns for Long Beach incumbents or challengers. LBREPORT.com isn't part of an out of town corporate cluster and no one its ownership, editorial or publishing decisionmaking has been part of the governing board of any City government body or other entity on whose policies we report. LBREPORT.com is reader and advertiser supported. You can help keep really independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.



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