Doug Krikorian / Viewpoint

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia Takes A Victory Lap For His City Hosting The Undocumented Migrants, But The Estimated $35 Million Cost To Taxpayers Has His Critics In An Uproar, Including One, The Famed Bodyguard Mike (The Hammer) DiMarzo, Who Calls Mr. Garcia The Teflon Don Of LB

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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No one in'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. 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. is reader and advertiser supported. Support 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.
(April 27, 2021, 6:55 p.m.) -- If that cunning Long Beach politician Robert Garcia---he's been the city's mayor since 2014---is able to sustain his magical maneuverings at the next governmental level of his ascendancy, this Machiavellian gentleman might well wind up one wonderful day being a United States Senator, or landing a cushy foreign ambassadorship.

Why not?

As I watched him take his latest joyful victory lap the other day leading a gaggle of hand-picked City Hall toadies---along with, of course, the trusted Democratic Congressman Alan Lowenthal---around the Long Beach Convention Center facilities that are now housing a few hundred undocumented migrant children, I watched with admiration how smoothly the well-manipulated scene unfolded.

Naturally, the media turnout was restricted to a mere two pool reporters and a photographer from the Southern California News Group (that includes the Press Telegram and the Gazette) and, shockingly, afterwards Mr. Garcia wasn't exactly under journalistic siege at his press conference that flowed, oh, so seamlessly.

He again reflected on Long Beach's cherished legacy of compassion in supporting migrants, pointing to the warm, welcoming reception this city gave to the thousands of Cambodian refugees who came here from fleeing the murderous Pol Pot regime in the 1970s.

I'm not sure there is a moral equivalence in Mr. Garcia's usual disingenuous rhetoric---yes, the kids being headquartered in Long Beach are innocent political pawns that now no doubt need assistance but they aren't exactly victims of pogroms---but I must admit he cut a kind-hearted, benign figure as he dispensed his usual array of well-rehearsed, vacuous cliches totally bereft of any deep meaning or thought.

You could tell Mr. Garcia was savoring the moment because he had total control, which, alas, has been the case throughout the seven years of his mayoral incumbency.

I've often said that despite my being seldom in agreement with Mr. Garcia on local issues---especially his ghastly decision to force Long Beach's top cop, Robert Luna, last Memorial Day to have his troops stand down that ultimately resulted in more than 210 Long Beach businesses being looted, including the $2 million destruction of the elegant L'Opera---I've also often have said that the man has a peerless knack for getting done what he desires in furthering his doctrinaire agenda.

Twice he has raised city taxes, despite a lengthy history in this town of vocal opposition to such moves that inevitably have negative effects on the middle class and disadvantaged.

The Long Beach City Council, known in this column as the Nine Unworthies, bows to his every budgetary whim, as does the City Manager, Tom Modica, a man of firm conviction determined to get that big, fat $300,000 or so pension that awaits him on the horizon without causing any disruptions that might endanger his job.

And, therefore, chillingly, the police department's budget has been slashed during Mr. Garcia's term to the point a department that once had nearly 1,000 officers now is down to around 750.

And, natch, crime is up all over town, which seems implausibly mystifying to Robert Luna---he actually pointed out it was higher in the early 1990s when questioned on it!---even even though he knows his department being gutted and his being advised to have his officers take a less aggressive approach in their daily endeavors are the major reasons for it.

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But there was Robert Garcia, seemingly without a worry in the world because no one in City Hall is courageous enough to oppose him on anything, up there confidently at the Convention Center press proceedings dispensing his usual Long Beach cheerleading spiel that isn't exactly a threat to be filed away in the National Archives.

``To me, Robert Garcia has become the Teflon Don of Long Beach,'' says the famous celebrity bodyguard, Mike (The Hammer DiMarzo), a cosmopolitan gentleman of rare wit and erudition who long has been an insightful observer of local goings-on. ``Obviously, he doesn't lead a crime family as John Gotti once did. But he does lead a bunch of yokels who dutifully follow his every step like remote-controlled robots.''

And, despite his notable misfires like the vital role he played in that Great Memorial Day Pillage & Plunder debacle that cost downtown Long Beach businesses millions in lost revenue and even caused many to shutter permanently, Robert Garcia at the moment is basking brightly in the political afterglow of his city having been targeted by the federal government to be a sanctuary for around 1,000 migrant children.

Of course, there are some narrow-minded critics---shhh, let's don't recite their apostasy too loudly so Mr. Garcia won't hear it---who actually have the nerve to wonder how these kiddies managed to cross into America in the first place without being turned back by U.S. officers at the border.

Mr. Garcia is thrilled they're here since it has certainly enhanced his national stature---he was one of four witnesses chosen to participate Tuesday (April 27) in a virtual US Congressional House Subcommittee Hearing on the undocumented children controversy---and it, apparently, has enhanced the coffers of Long Beach.

Indeed, the bespoke CEO and President of the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, Mr. Steve Goodling---he favors Armani suits, Gucci loafers and Italian Houndstooth silk ties---is overwhelmed that the feds are paying a daily rental fee of $197,356 and another $113,550 for meals and bottled water. For sure, these kids won't starve or be thirsty. One wonders if they will be stuffed with $70 Ribeyes from Mastro's or Fleming's.

Mr. Goodling won't have any conventions until after their August 2nd departure date, but he is thrilled that the downtown hotels and restaurants and other places figure to be doing booming business in the next few months with the feds importing a staff of 400 to oversee these young lodging guests.

The LB City Hall figures to scoop up around $1 million for various services and it's even speculated that Kelly Colopy's beloved Health Department---famed for harassing LB restaurants and fitness centers---might cut up a million bucks for itself for I guess keeping all the businesses in town on edge about not breaking one of the thousands of restrictive and daffy Covid-19 rules it has erected.

It's estimated the total cost of turning the LB Convention Center into a makeshift hotel will be around $35 million, which will be subsidized by the American taxpayers who once again are picking up a bloated governmental tab caused, of course, by cloyingly recurring governmental incompetence that I'm sure tugs at the tender heartstrings of Robert Garcia.

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Previously by Mr. Krikorian:

Tommy O'Toole's Magical 12-Hour Day That Might Well Land Him In The Guinness Book Of World Records And, Who Knows, The Zany LBUSD Superintendent Jill Baker Might Be Destined To Wind Up In It, Too

Why Don't Mayor Robert Garcia And His Marionette, City Manager Tom Modica, Come Out And Tell The Truth About How Long Beach Became A Lodging Sanctuary For More Than 1,000 Undocumented Kids?
Why Have ALL The Long Beach Leaders Been So Silent On The Feds Placing A Contingent Of Undocumented Kids In Downtown LB?
A Talk With Jerry West And An Emotional Remembrance For Me Of Still Another Friend, Elgin Baylor, Who Is Gone
Frankly, I'm Surprised Long Beach Chief Of Police Robert Luna Didn't Think A Contingent Of Extraterrestrials From Another Galaxy Was Responsible For The LB Crime Wave
The Creator Of Two Iconic Long Beach Dining Establishments, Schooner Or Later and Tantalum, LB Bachelor Denny Lund Also Has Been A Creator Of Glad Times
Krikorian Notes: From Cal Gov Gavin Newsom Keeping Long Beach Restaurant Diners Outdoors For No Plausible Reason To His Equally Despised Michigan Counterpart, Gretchen Whitmer, Actually Allowing Indoor Dining In Her State To Cock Of The Walk John Morris Speechless (!) To Dickie (Too Fast, Too Furious) Babian Turning Crow's Over To His Son To My New 7-1, 354 Bodyguard Aaron Gray Taking Over From The Undersized 6-0, 225 Mike (The Hammer) DiMarzo
Krikorian Notes: From Gavin Newsom Praising Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia As Though He's Destined For Mt. Rushmore To Newsom Hoping The Rest Of California Follows The Jill Baker LBUSD Path (???) To The Tiger Woods Car Accident To Bad Stu Ledsam's Son Kyle's Big Award To Vons Pavilion GM Steve Carr Performing Cashiering Duty To My Watching the Amazing Emerzian Twins Next Week In Michigan
Krikorian Notes: From A Most Surreal Development That Has Me In A State Of Giddiness---Our Beloved Long Beach Actually Now Serious About Building A New Swimming Pool After Coastal Commission Approval And Strong Endorsements From Such Local Leaders As Mayor Robert Garcia and City Manager Tom Modica and Their Political Accomplices To Mike O'Toole Doing a Solo, He-Man Rowing Act On A 32-Foot Gondola Carolina Filled With 14 People Around Naples Canals To Jill Baker’s Typical Back-to-School Delaying Tactics To My Receiving My Periodic SAG-AFTRA Residuals From My Once Flourishing Acting Career That, Sadly, Went The Way Of My Once Flourishing Radio Career
Long-Time Belmont Shore Resident Dorcas Baldwin, 85, Endures Frightening Experience Of Homeless Man Breaking Into Her Bay Shore Avenue Home And Taking A Shower Before Long Beach Cops Come To The Rescue
CIF Southern Section Commissioner Rob Wigod Hoping Gavin Newsom And His Health Department Toadies Come To Their Senses For Projected High School Sports Restart On March 19
Terry Antonelli Orchestrating Rise Of L’Opera After Its Tragic Fall In The Great Long Beach Memorial Day Pillage & Plunder Festival
Krikorian Notes: From Mayor Garcia's Spineless Speech To Jill Baker's Passing The Buck Alliance With Gavin Newsom To A Positive Long Beach Vaccination Experience To Welcoming New Neighbor George Gascon To Mike The Hammer Bludgeoning Me About Boxing To The Amazing Tom Brady
The Memorable Life Of Tommy Lasorda: From World Series Titles To Slim-Fast Diets To Obscenity-Laced Jim Healy Tapes To Pitching To Jack Clark To A Sacred Legacy Of Laughter And Success On The Ball Yards Of America
"A Lady Shrieking "Wear A Mask!" On Bay Shore Ave. Results In A Mask-Wearing Epiphany For Our Columnist
A Christmas Tale Of Reflections And Remembrances
A Christmas Tale Of Reflections And Remembrances" Krikorian Notes: From New LA County DA George Gascon Moving To Naples To LBUSD Superintendent Jill Baker Continuing To Stunt Growth Of 70,000 Students To Distress Of Locked Down LB Entrepreneurs Jeff Cozart, Mike Neufeld, John Sangmeister To LB’s Very Own Kato Kaelin, Steve Folger, Squiring Kelly Clarkson In Nashville
Krikorian Notes: From Joe Jost Owner Ken Buck Sounding Off On The Lockdowns To Big Ben Goldberg's Boat Parade Party In Huntington Harbor To Bob Ludlam Departing LB For Prescott -- The Leisure World of Arizona -- To LB State President Jane Close Conoley Not Faintly Resembling Her Esteemed Predecessors To Mike (The Hammer) DiMarzo Invading Miami For Nightclub Frolic To LB State Women's Soccer Coach Mauricio Ingrassia Suddenly Looking Like A Matinee Idol
When Is LBUSD Superintendent Jill Baker Going To End Her Calamitous Lockdown That Has Caused So Much Chaos And Heartache And Disruption Among 70,000 Students?
Krikorian Notes: From Councilman Rex Richardson Displaying Courage To Show Up At A Long Beach Restaurant Association Meeting To The Countless Millions Lost On Unoccupied LB Buses To LB Health Czar Kelly Colopy’s Latest Mean-Spirited Edict To the Irritating Silence Of LB City Manager Tom Modica To LB Mayor Robert Garcia Ignoring His Constituents For Political Reasons To Bob The Black Labrador Parading Down The Peninsula Boardwalk Holding A Large Palm Limb In His Mouth
How Many Long Beach Restaurants Will Be Forced to Close After Latest Lockdown Lunacy?
Where's Krikorian? Temporarily On "Injured Reserve List" Recovering From Shoulder Replacement Surgery
Krikorian Notes: From Nico's George Mlouk Praising LB Mayor Robert Garcia For Working To Help LB Restaurateurs To A Plea To LB Health Czar Kelly Colopy To Restrain Her Overzealous Sleuths To Lakers Deserving NBA Title To LeBron James Turning Anthony Davis Into Passionate Competitor To Vital Contributions Of Lakers Coach Frank Vogel And GM Rob Pelinka To Sadness Of Passing Of The Great Joe Morgan And Its Impact On Maury Wills' Hall Of Fame Chances
Famous Long Beach Restaurateur Phil Trani Days Of Joyful Memories And Pandemic Miseries
Krikorian Notes: From The Irritating Silence Of The Long Beach Politicians In Not Supporting Their Citizens To The Whereabouts Of LB Mayor Robert Garcia To The Whistles Favoring The Lakers Against The Nuggets To The Greatness of Patrick Mahomes To The End Of A European Vacation Streak That Started In 1989
LBUSD Superintendent Jill Baker’s 70,000 Student Online Virtual Teaching Miscalculation A Disaster!
Krikorian Notes: From The 9 Unworthies Of The LB City Council To The LB Upstick In Shootings And Speeding To Restauranteur John Morris Horseback Riding On A Wyoming Mountaintop To The Walking Adventures Of Earth Man
Jeff Cozart's Time Of Torment: Will His Belmont Athletic Club Survive Gavin Newsom’s Latest Lockdown?
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
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
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 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
Long Beach's Renaissance Man, Chuckie Miller, Reflects On His Entrepreneurial Life And On Racial Inequity
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
FDR's Grandson, Delano Roosevelt, Talks Democratic Party, JetBlue, Long Beach And His Life
LBPD Chief Robert Luna: Stand Up For Your Fifty Ousted Cops!
What Next From Long Beach Health Boss Kelly Colopy, Hazmat Suits For Our Restaurant Servers?
Sadly, Our National Pastime No Longer A Pastime For Me
Parklets! Three Cheers For Long Beach Politicians!
Memo To LBUSD Sup Jill Baker: Return The Kids To the Classroom!
A 2 1/2-Hour Commute To Work A Joy To This 86-Year Old Gentleman
Long Beach Politicians Once Again Fail Long Beach
Is Long Beach Destined to Become the City That Never Sleeps?
I Never Thought I'd Live To See These...
Ben Goldberg Exits Long Beach, Now Nearby Refugee In OC
Long Time Long Beach Resident Dave Lopez Climaxes Storied 48-Year TV Career
From Krikorian's Notebook: When Will LB Police Chief Luna Come Clean About May 31 Downtown Long Beach Looting Frenzy?
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...
Will LB's New School Sup't Allocate Untimely Pay Raise To Serve Students?
Awaiting Governor's Dictate To Decide Fate Of This Year's (July 3) "Big Bang On the Bay"
Mayor/Council Sounds Of Silence After LB Cops Let Some Pillage Our Village
Excuses By Long Beach Police & Politicians Dishearten Damaged LB Businesses
Hallelujah! LB Mayor Pleads For Sac'to Permission To Lift Closures That Needn't Have Occurred
Speak Up, Mr. Mayor, On Governor's Unwise Edicts. You Can Do That And You Should
My Beloved Long Beach: A Victim Of Irrational Government Overreach Beyond Reasoned Response To Virus
Support really independent news in Long Beach. No one in'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. 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. 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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