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Letters to the Editor

Saying "NO!" To The Tax Propositions

I say vote NO on Prop 38, Prop 30 or any other tax proposals. For those who donít remember the movie, The Blob, it was about an outer space creature that landed on Earth and grew larger and redder with every person it would consume. Our governments have become a massive Blob, gobbling up every available cent (as in taxpayer blood) in their path.

The politicians try to sugar-coat these tax measures by telling citizens that the money will only be spent on certain categories such as education. What they fail to disclose is that monies previously targeted for these categories will now revert to the general fund. In other words, itís a finely-tuned scheme to extract more money from cash-strapped taxpayers to sate their appetites for out-of-control spending.

It is the citizens who must take it upon themselves to curb the politiciansí irresponsible spending. A NO vote on any new taxes sends a strong message that the governments must learn to live within their budgets -- just like the rest of us.

s/ Diana Lejins
Long Beach

Disorder, Uncontrolled Crowd @ Cherry Beach July 4th Fireworks

I went to view the fireworks display on the bluffs of Cherry Beach last week, but I didnít get to see them.

Arriving just before the show began, I found that the crowds were already tightly packed up against some newly installed chain-link fencing. With me was my husband, nearly two-year old grandson and his mother.

To get close enough for the child, we moved to a spot near the fencing.

To the left of me, a group of people had cordoned off a large area using "caution" tape on one side and portable tables on another. There was a tent at one end, a large empty space in the middle for picnicking, I guess, and the little group was now huddled near the fence to watch the fireworks.

I was annoyed that someone had the audacity to think they had the right, in a public park, to tape off a section for their own use, but I did not feel like getting into a hassle.

Someone else obviously didn't mind.

Just as the show got underway, a violent fight broke out, with one man viciously pummeling another, pushing him away from the "compound." The whole crowd surged. It was so frightening because we had the toddle with us and I feared for his life in a stampede! My husband, with the stroller, got separated from us. In the surge, he fell over bicycles thrown down all over the site. He later told us he thought someone would pull a gun and start shooting.

My daughter-in-law, grandson and I ran, and ended up on the other side of the taped off "compound." As I watched, the main aggressor was being pushed back by a friend, who had intervened. The aggressor was massaging his knuckles because he hurt them with the punching, and his friend was telling him that he better stop because he did not want to go to jail that night, and they had been having a nice time.

No one called the police. The show went on, but with each of us taking turns trying to find my husband with the stroller, we did not really get to see them and we left quickly when they were over. My husband kept looking for us, and he did not get back home until much later. Our cell phones had lost their charge.

Itís one thing for people in a large park to claim an area with their stuff, but itís extremely dangerous in the much smaller bluff area where huge crowds will gather to watch fireworks.

I would hope that law enforcement keeps that in mind next July 4th, and that theyíll patrol the bluffs, stopping anyone from setting aside an area for themselves.

While all this was going on, there were many cops down in the beach parking lot, but none close enough to prevent what could have been a very tragic situation.

s/ Cathy Franklin
Long Beach

PBID benefits downtown residents

Three hundred eighty-three thousand, three hundred and seventy-five. Thatís the weight, in pounds, of the amount of trash the DLBA Clean Team removed from Downtown sidewalks last year. That total amounts to an average of more than 1,000 pounds, a half a ton, of trash per day that goes uncollected by regular city services, HOAs servicing their grounds, or good citizens simply picking up a discarded newspaper.

Our family often enjoys long walks around the Downtown, so we have the opportunity to experience the services provided by the PBID on a regular basis. As we push strollers through Downtownís neighborhoods, it is the things we donít have to worry about -- like clean sidewalks or feeling safe -- that make our many great outings possible.

That level of personal security is made possible through the PBID, and I believe that these services have become an expectation of those living in or even visiting Downtown. For the last 14 years, these services have been paid for by a few, but have been enjoyed by all. While some may claim that it is "someone elseís job," we believe that we all share a civic responsibility to maintain and improve our Downtown neighborhood.

Our proposed assessment is $34.54, per year. That pales in comparison to our HOA dues, and amounts to less than $3 per month to ensure that three hundred eighty-three thousand, three hundred and seventy-five pounds of trash donít impede the path of our childrenís strollers and litter the image of Downtown. Thatís a miniscule price to pay for peace of mind: Weíll be voting yes on our ballot.

Andy and Allison Kripp
Harbor Place Tower resident since 2004
June 26, 11:40 a.m.

It's Supernaw

In April, 66% of 4th District voters told the incumbent that they were tired of budget deficiting, over-spending, service cutting, special interest kow-towing, and business as usual at City Hall. In a nutshell, they validated term limits and 66% voted for the other candidates.

In June, the field has narrowed to two candidates, Daryl Supernaw and the incumbent. Supernaw is by far the superior contender and has the ability to bring a refreshing change to the Council and the City. And, in an election where every vote truly counts, the average citizen can make a difference.

s/ Diana Lejins
Long Beach, CA
May 27, 6:30 p.m.