Doug Krikorian / Viewpoint

Krikorian Notes: From Which Long Beach Tourist Attraction, The Queen Mary Or The Aquarium Of The Pacific, Loses The Most Money Annually To Jim Michaelian Excitedly Waxing Poetic About The Return Of The Acura Grand Prix To LB On Sept 24-26 To The Torn Fence Not Being Repaired On The Belmont Shore Bridge To Jim McCormack Going On A 14-Day Golfing Marathon In Oregon With Grandson Garrett To Dede Rossi Attending Seth Greenberg's Daughter Paige's Wedding At the Famous Greenbriar That Cost Ol' Seth $300,000

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.
(May 26, 2021, 4:30 a.m.) -- During those long ago days when I was employed by the long defunct Los Angeles Herald Examiner, I came up with this creation in the fall of 1985 that inspired widespread interest among those who savored it and condemnation among those who despised it.

Actually, it wasn't so much a creation, as it was, in reality, nothing more than a good, old fashion poll to determine what at the time was a much-discussed subject among sporting aficionados around Southern California.

Who was the worst starting NFL quarterback in the area, the Rams' pint-sized 34-year-old rookie transplant from the Canadian Football League, Dieter Brock, or the Raiders' 6-foot-5 immobile, interception-prone statue, Marc Wilson?

Both, of course, were quite incompetent---Brock lasted only that one season with the Rams and Wilson, somehow, wasn't cashiered by the Raiders until 1987---and the poll that for two weeks was atop the front page of the Her-X's sports section inspired thousands of votes and widespread attention in those pre-internet days.

If memory serves me correctly, no longer, alas, a certainty, Mr. Brock wound up the unfortunate winner, but I remember the vote was quite close, an outcome befitting for two of the most forgettable jocks ever to display their modest skills in these parts.

Well, 36 years later, I've decided to come up with another poll, albeit this one isn't athletic oriented but long has been a lively topic among many Long Beach residents.

Which one of the city's most high-profile tourist attractions, the Queen Mary or the Aquarium of the Pacific, annually loses the most money?

Both without doubt hold the embarrassing distinction of never having turned a profit, which is an ignominious reflection of those bumbling LB City Hall politicians and administrators across the years---from mayors, city managers, council people, consultants, ad nauseam---who have been culpable for such a financial nightmare that has been subsidized by local taxpayers and Tideland funds.

Long Beach purchased the Queen Mary in 1967 for $3.4 million and it has hemorrhaged money ever since as too often those who have leased it---with the notable exception of Disney---have had this weird habit of winding up filing for bankruptcy with the latest being Urban Commons, which initially made the usual inflated promises but like so many of its predecessors failed to deliver on almost none of them.

Indeed, the Queen Mary, which has been closed during The Pandemic, is now in such desperate need of costly repairs---a recurring annual phenomena---that a recent inspection report revealed that it is in danger of capsizing. This certainly would be a fitting ending to the grand vessel's turbulent stay in LB.

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But, as badly as the Queen Mary has dripped in red ink across the decades, there are those knowledgeable folk around town who insist its annual losses don't match those of the Aquarium of the Pacific, which reportedly blows millions annually even though the non-profit operation somehow was able to pay its recently departed CEO/President Jerry Schubel in his final year a salary of $545,000 that included perks.

Everyone who was aware of the economic miseries that other aquariums around the country had endured knew from the beginning that the LB fish tank would face serious obstacles, but the then City Manager, Jim Hankla, unwisely went ahead with the project despite the ominous signs. The only people who have made money from it are the original bondholders whose risky investment reportedly was paid off by the proceeds of the hotel bed-tax later instituted by the LB politicians.

So who do I think blows the most money?

I'd give a slight edge to the Queen Mary but only because of its 54-year longevity record of ceaseless financial stress, but one certainly can't underestimate the massive annual fiscal drainage of the Aquarium of the Pacific.

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  • A wise old Las Vegas casino owner, the late Benny Binion of the Horseshoe Club fame, once told me, ``The smart gambler who's on a losing streak takes his losses and walks away from the tables.''

    For sure, Long Beach, finally, should walk away from the Queen Mary considering the millions it has squandered on it.

    It should sell it for scrap iron, or hire a company to tow it out to sea and sink the costly monstrosity. . .

  • As I drive into downtown Long Beach on the 710 the other day, I notice a lengthy homeless encampment on the right side of the freeway in what is an eyesore and where a lot of people are, obviously, in a desperate state.

    And then, moments later, I drive down Ocean Blvd., and look over at the Convention Center where 800 or so undocumented children are being well-fed, well-dressed and well-cared-for by federal agencies while dozens of struggling American citizens nearby are adorn in tattered garb and residing in tents and sleeping bags.

    Something painfully sad---wrong?----about this picture. . .

  • A guy in his cups at around 2 a.m. recently slammed into the steel fence of the Belmont Shore Bridge, ripping a sizable hole in it and leaving a portion of it dangling over the side.

    The esteemed Public Works Department stuck K-Rails in front of the opening on the southwest side of 2nd Street near Bay Shore Ave, which is fine and dandy.

    But that was at least a month ago.

    When will Long Beach’s Public Works Department repair gaping hole on the steel fence on the Belmont Shore Bridge?

    What's with the notoriously tardy infrastructure process in this town?

    Why would the Public Works Department wait so long to fix it?. . .

  • Spoke to Long Beach's very own Energizer Bunny, Mr. Jim Michaelian, Tuesday, and the CEO/President of Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach was his usual upbeat, optimistic self.

    ``Aren't you really excited because I certainly am!'' he shrieked, excitedly. ``We're just four months away from the return of Long Beach's biggest event---the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach after last year's was canceled because of the Pandemic. It's going to be better than ever. Be sure to mark the date---September 24th through the 26th. This is going to be the 46th running of the event going back to our first one on September 28, 1975 when we staged the Formula 5000. And then six months later we staged our first Formula 1 race on March 28,1976.''

    Well, for Jim Michaelian, history apparently will be repeating itself.

    ``We once again are going to have two races in Long Beach in a six-month span as we're going to hold another Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach race next April 8th through the 10th,'' he said. ``I'm just so excited that we're back in action.''

    Jim Michaelian also might be back in action later this year as a professional race driver, possibly in Europe. He already has participated in over 30 endurance races during his career from the 24 Hours of Daytona in Florida to the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi to the Porsche Carrera Cup Italia in Italy to the Le Mans Cup in France to the 24 Hours of Nurburgring in Germany to many other competitions. . .

  • The great journalist, retired Press Telegram sports editor Jim McCormack, and his dear wife Joan came out of their 16-month Pandemic hideaway recently when they drove to Grant's Pass, Ore., where for two weeks they visited their daughter, Stephanie Hammervold, her husband John and grandson Garrett.

    Famed retired sports editor Jim McCormack (right) taking a golfing break with his grandson Garrett at a course in Grant’s Pass, Ore.

    Mr. McCormack had quite a time with Garrett, as he played 14 rounds of golf with him in 14 days.

    ``Let's just say I wouldn't remind anyone of Phil Mickelson when I was on the links,'' he said with a laugh. . .

  • The recently retired executive president of the Belmont Shore Business Association, the stellar Dede Rossi, just returned from attending the marriage of Seth Greenberg's oldest of three daughters, Paige, at the ultra exclusive The Greenbrier, a resort located in the Allegheny Mountains near White Sulphur Springs, W.V.

    ``What a fabulous place The Greenbrier is,''' said Ms. Rossi,'' referring to the luxurious 750-room hotel and idyllic golf course designed by Sam Snead.

    She even ran into Jerry West, who has a home on the premises.

    Ol' Seth, now a bigshot ESPN basketball analyst who once didn't even have two nickels to rub together when he coached at Long Beach State before going on to far more lucrative paydays at South Florida and Virginia Tech, must be rolling in dough these days.

    It's estimated the wedding cost him more than $300,000. . .

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    Previously by Mr. Krikorian:

    From Expecting To Spend His Life Working In A Chemical Plant In England, The Boathouse's John Morris Has Come A Long Way From Peddling Women Dresses And Delivering Newspapers, As The Founder Of Legends And The Pioneer Of Pine Ave. Can't Wait For The July 3rd Resumption Of His Big Bang On The Bay Fireworks Show

    Sign Of The Times: To Donning A Mask At A Near Empty Blair Field To Keep A High School Baseball Game From Being Halted To The Zany LBUSD Superintendent Jill Baker Still Keeping Elementary Students From Engaging In Playground Activity
    The Beloved Sandra Headley, AKA Coachie, Climaxes Her Memorable 39-Year Tenure At Naples Elementary School With A Most Unusual Task
    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
    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
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