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While fires raged in the San Bernardino mountains, Santa Ana winds sent a plume of particulates linked to respiratory ailments, heart disease and cancer over large parts of L.A. and Orange County, including Long Beach, CA's fifth largest city and L.A. County's second largest...
On March 22, after U.S. troops began military operations, the LB Area Peace Action Network and the L.A. based "ANSWER" coalition sponsored a "Mass March And Rally Against the War On Iraq."
At its height, an estimated 1,200 people marched down Ocean Blvd. from Lincoln Park to Bixby Park.
No government officials appeared or spoke at this rally.
And a number of residents supporting U.S. policy turned out...in small numbers, but visible and audible.
Some residents on Ocean Blvd. painted their windows with messages showing their support for U.S. policy.
Others made signs and came down to Ocean Boulevard to express their views. Some signs said, "Want Peace, Fight 4 It" and
A number of signs in the march hurled vituperation at President Bush.
Marchers chanted "No blood for oil," "Drop Bush not bombs," "Bring them home" and "Welfare not warfare."
(March 22, 2003) -- Shortly after President Bush ordered the start of military operations in Iraq, a row of homes in the 3400 block of Marber Ave. in ELB's South of Conant neighborhood spontaneously began displaying American flags.
(April 6, 2003) -- Amplified by supportive car horns and cheering drivers along busy Carson St. at Clark Ave., an enthusiastic group backing "our troops, country and president" rallied at the northwest corner of Heartwell Park.
The event, organized by Proudamericans.org (describing itself as "the silent majority"), drew roughly fifty people as of 2:00 p.m. and continued to build. Proudamericans.org's Robert Kadletz said after the rally that he estimated 160 people came by, based on selling 220 hotdogs. The crowd on site was augmented by openly supportive passing drivers.
With each traffic signal cycle, there was a new cacophony of car horns and cheering passengers. To hear it (22 secs., 479 kB wav. file), click Sound of supportive drivers passing April 6/03 Heartwell Park rally).
(April 7, 2003) -- An ELB neighborhood between Conant St. and Heartwell Park sprouted yellow ribbons.
(April 24, 2003) -- ELB residents turned a Heartwell Park baseball diamond at Woodruff Ave. and Carson St. into a field of dreams on April 24 and did so again on April 25 and 26.
three-dayfundraising tournament, filled with homebaked cookies and cakes, grilled burgers and hotdogs, a raffle and special T-shirts, is generating proceeds for the family of Coach Ron Percy in ELB's Pony League Mustang Division, recovering from a serious March 29 traffic accident.
(April 17, 2003) -- Residents of NLB's Coolidge Triangle got their first look at maps detailing the potential destruction of single family homes in their neighborhood at their monthly meeting on April 16.
The standing room only crowd of roughly 100-120 people jammed the community room at Coolidge Park.
Photo by Ray Pok, 7th dist. Council office
(April 24, 2003) -- A standing room only crowd of between 200-250 residents filled an April 24 "710 Freeway Expansion Forum" at Silverado Park.
(May 10, 2003) -- LB political consultant Mike Murchison shivers in a dunk tank at a carnival benefiting ELB's St. Joseph's Parish School.
Could this be a way to deal with City Hall's budget deficit?
(May 19, 2003) -- LB residents came to view, to experience, to touch and be touched by, a memorial convoy containing 16 tons of mangled metal from NYC's former World Trade Center and a damaged NYC
The ruins included the eerily recognizable window structure of a World Trade Center tower, melted and collapsed by jet fuel ignited in a terrorist attack less than two years ago.
The items made a four hour stop at LBCC's ELB parking lot on May 18 as part of a statewide tour by the Freedom's Flame Memorial Committee, assisted locally by LB Firefighters Local 372 and the Long Beach Fire Dept.
(June 14, 2003) -- Veteran LB civic activist and City Council communicator Colette Marie McLaughlin, awarded a PhD by UC Irvine, accepted a position with the Monterey Unified School district and exited LB.
A number of LB luminaries and friends gathered to wish her well. In photo, PT scribe Tom Hennessy with Dr. McLaughlin,
In 1996, Mayor O'Neill told the CA delegation at the 1996 Democrats' convention "Don't listen to the CAVE people, those are Citizens Against Virtually Everything." Dr. McLaughlin adopted the acronym as a badge of honor, forming a group she dubbed the "CAVE People."
Former Boeing plant, Carson St. west of Lakewood Blvd., June 29, 2003.
Boeing plans to transform the former factory site into PacifiCenter, a
mixed-usecommunity of offices, commercial development, neighborhood retail, a hotel and residential neighborhoods.
Northeast section of Scherer Park, now the North Division police facility construction site, as viewed looking northward paralleling Atlantic Ave. on July 13, 2003. Photo was shot through chain link fence near south pathway.
The City Council rezoned this portion of Scherer Park from park to institutional use to accommodate an enlarged, permanent north division police facility. City Hall has pledged to convert former industrial land on 55th Way to a park with roughly twice the lost park acreage.
City management initially said it could build the North Division police facility using budgeted general fund revenue or bonds, but then said there was no general fund money or bond money available and sought to take North Redevelopment Project Area money. The North Redevelopment Project Area Committee wasn't pleased...but didn't vote to oppose it.
Then city management announced it favors merging all LB Redevelopment Project Areas and expanding some of them. That was an eye-opening experience for a number of residents currently in Redevelopment areas and others who fear they could be next. The merger issue is expected to escalate in 2004
(July 19, 2003) -- It looked like a baseball game...but it was baseball styled wedding at LB's Blair Field on
Deborah and Michael love baseball...and each other. "Attending many games and two World Series while dating, we just couldn't help but feel there isn't anything more appropriate than stepping up to the plate literally," Deborah told us.
Wedding guests signed in on a giant baseball.
The stands filled with invited guests as traditional baseball tunes played on the stadium P.A. system.
"It's a beautiful day for a ballgame..."
"Umpire" Rev. Shurmard pulls out a hand whisk and cleans home plate.
You may kiss the bride.
The newlyweds exit, as bridesmaids and groomsmen exchange
(August 1, 2003) -- Over 250 Huntington Beach residents filled their city's main library conference room beyond overflowing and fired pointed and sometimes angry questions at representatives of LB Airport, the FAA and JetBlue during a July 31 public meeting.
HB residents' complained that incoming LB flights are too often too low, too loud and too numerous. The audience began with visible
head-shaking, then audible snickers, then blunt written questions...and finally blazing questions and comments flew from the floor.
(July 25, 2003) -- One of the two largest container ships in the world, named for the City of Long Beach, made its maiden call at the Port of Long Beach.
Accompanied by water-spraying fireboats and tugs, the "OOCL Long Beach" -- a
Hong Kong-registeredbehemoth nearly four football fields long and wider than the Panama Canal -- can carry 8,063 twenty-foot-long cargo containers, eclipsing 6,600 containers carried by what were previously by the largest vessels.
Photo source: Art Wong, Port of LB
On August 6, roughly 160 Lakewood Village (ELB) and Lakewood Country Club area residents filled a Lakewood Country Club meeting room to standing room only for a community meeting opposed to housing density proposed as part of Boeing Realty's PacifiCenter development.
(August 19, 2003) -- A family of three survived a horrendous truck wreck on the Gerald Desmond Bridge in near miraculous circumstances, leaving veteran firefighters stunned and remarking it was as if the family had been protected by a guardian angel.
Photo credit: Wayne Chaney, LBFD
Photo credit: Wayne Chaney, LBFD
A truck carrying a father, mother and their two year old son apparently lost control, struck a guard rail, hit a fire plug behind the guard rail and impacted a concrete column supporting an overpass for Pier T.
Firefighters found the father, mother and son sitting on floor board of the truck with entire truck ripped away from its frame around them.
(Sept. 1, 2003) -- Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante attended a Labor Day rally in Wilmington's Banning Park.
Among those assisting the Lieutenant Governor was 6th district LB Councilwoman Laura Richardson.
Councilwoman Richardson sported a blue
T-shirtreading, "Team Bustamante for a Better California." [emphasis in original]
(Sept. 3, 2003) -- Roughly 1,200 people filled the CSULB quad to hear gubernatorial recall candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger call incumbent Gray Davis and Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante the "twin terminators of Sacramento," preceded by someone hurling an egg at the candidate as he entered. The egg splattered on the left shoulder of Mr. Schwarzenegger's coat; without breaking stride, Schwarzenegger removed his coat, proceeded to the stage and delivered his remarks as if nothing happened.
About a half hour before Mr. Schwarzenegger's arrival, Vice Mayor Frank Colonna, a CSULB alumnus, greeted the crowd.
"We know why we're here today: to help Arnold become the next Governor of California," said Mr. Colonna, drawing applause.
(Sept. 13, 2003) -- In an upbeat LB appearance at a
pro-recallrally, state Senator Tom McClintock said his campaign had grown from "an asterisk" to 18% in the latest statewide survey "and if this momentum continues another week it will be a two person race."
Photo: Capt. Scott Clegg, LBFD
(Sept. 21, 2003) -- A man decided to enter a WLB donut shop in the 1500 block of West Willow St. by sliding down an exhaust duct for the fat frier...got stuck in the process.
A donut baker was at work when he heard a noise...and suddenly a pair of legs came crashing through the stove hood. In a Laurel and Hardy series of events, the intruder became entangled in the business' fire extinguishing system, setting it off and spraying a fine powder throughout the kitchen. The donut baker called LBFD, who extricated the intruder; LBPD promptly arrested him on commercial burglary charges.
(Sept. 22, 2003) -- A foundation created by L.A. businessman Eli Broad chose the Long Beach Unified School District as the best urban school district in the United States.
Within hours, workers hoisted a sign at LBUSD HQ proclaiming the fact. Message boards outside neighborhood schools also carried the news.
(Sept. 22, 2003) -- Dayglow orange lawn signs proclaiming "Say NO to Airport Expansion," produced by the independent grassroots Airport watchdog group LBHUSH2, began appearing in California Heights and Bixby Knolls, followed by Los Altos.
LBHUSH2 president and 8th district homeowner Rae Gabelich said her group was offering the eye catching lawn signs to LB homeowners to draw attention to the launch of City Hall's environmental review process being used to permit permanent expansion of LB Airport terminal facilities.
"Among several issues, we believe City Hall must address the health and pollution impacts of the permanent Airport facilities expansion they're proposing," she said, adding, "It's not just for people under the flight path. If you breathe in Long Beach, you have a right to be heard."
(October 1, 2003) -- KPCC radio's "Air Talk," the thoughtful
mid-morningtalk show hosted by Larry Mantle, devoted its full two hours to Long Beach on October 1 in a program taped Sept. 29 aboard the Queen Mary.
KPCC (89.3 FM), a
Pasadena-basedNPR affiliate with a signal blanketing much of southern California, invited listeners to attend the taping and over 100 people filled the QM's Windsor Salon. The program featured six panels of LB guests from both City Hall and the broader community.
On October 9, Anastasi Development Co. announced it is working on plans to downsize significantly the number of units at its contemplated townhome development in the 3800 block (east side) of Woodruff Ave. at Harco St.
Word of the pending downsizing was conveyed to neighborhood residents by leaders of the Carson Park Community Group at an Oct. 9 community meeting. The Carson Park group has pressed for reduction in the development's density from an originally proposed 88 units in 27 residential bldgs. (plus a recreation bldg.) on a 3.79 acre
L-shapedparcel along the south side and back of the existing medical building. In photo, Angela Kimball, the Carson Park group's director, and Robin Devitt, PR & organizing consultant.
(October 14, 2003) -- Cleaning got cleaner in LB when City Hall replaced eight garbage trucks and street sweepers with new
state-of-the-artmodels that run on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) instead of diesel.
Here's what the city's new LNG-powered Elgin Pelican street sweepers look like.
(Oct. 16, 2003) -- Over 200 people turned out on a weekday evening -- causing officials to scramble to provide additional chairs and move tables to handle the crowd -- for the second of two meetings to collect public input on the scope of an Environmental Impact Report accompanying a City Hall favored expansion of LB Airport's terminal facilities.
Unlike an Oct. 11 meeting at which officials first tried to channel public comment away from a microphone, speakers at this meeting were encouraged to be heard. A number of speakers, including the LB Council of the PTA, decried Airport related pollution and insisted its effects be included in the permanent terminal facilities enlargement Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
A crucial City Council vote on what issues to include in the scope of the EIR had been expected on or about Dec. 2...but within days of the meeting pictured here, 4th district Councilman Dennis Carroll agendized a Council item proposing to create a City Hall chosen "blue ribbon" committee to review the issue prior to a Council vote.
The Council didn't favor Carroll's precise "blue ribbon" proposal, but Councilmembers did effectively delay the hot button EIR vote for months -- quite possibly until after 2004 City Council elections -- by sending the Airport terminal issue to a Council-selected "Airport Advisory Commission"...which is expected to report back in about six months.
(October 20, 2003) -- LBReport.com reported that the CA Air Resources Board (ARB) had posted a map on its web site reflecting the agency's assessment of inhalation cancer risk for the 2000 calendar year, indicating the LB Airport vicinity has an elevated inhalation cancer risk...exceeding the rest of LB (including the Port) which is already at higher inhalation cancer risk than many L.A. & OC areas.
The finding is particularly significant since CA ARB's web site says aircraft emissions were not included in the agency's analysis.
(Oct. 11, 2003) -- The 200 block of East 56th Street has 21 new trees, thanks to a successful Neighborhood Partners grant application submitted by LaRose Hodges on behalf of the North Long Beach Community Action Group (CAG). CAG's motto -- "Together we can make a difference" -- was appropriate...since volunteers of all ages took part.
9th district Councilman Val Lerch, one of CAG's founding members, showed he could handle a shovel. (No wisecracks about City Hall politics, please.)
Photos are the handiwork of Jennifer Snelgrove and Christopher T. Hicks.
(Oct. 21, 2003) -- Bereaved familymembers came to the LB City Council meeting on Oct. 21 and asked city officials for help in finding the gunman who murdered their loved ones: U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Sok Khak Ung -- an Iraq combat veteran who shot to death while visiting his family in LB -- and
21-year oldVouthy Tho -- who was attending the gathering and died in the shooting.
The killings occurred in the 1200 block of E. 7th St -- roughly a mile and a half from the LB civic center -- on Oct. 19 shortly after 1:00 a.m.
Lance Cpl. Ung's sister, Davann, and her brother Vibol, brought a photograph of their brother, a decorated Iraq combat veteran.
Screen save courtesy HTTV Channel 21
Screen save courtesy HTTV Channel 21
Vouthy Tho's father, Anthony, spoke alongside his daughter Gloria
Barely a month earlier, LB's Chief of Police Anthony Batts had publicly informed the City Council that the city needed 130 more police officers. [For LBReport.com coverage, click here.]
"By our command staff estimates, we're down 90 officers in patrol calls for service, 10 detectives, and we need another thirty officers for new walking and bike beats in our most crime prone neighborhoods and in our growing downtown residential and entertainment center. That's a total of 130 officers, to date, this moment, right now," Chief Batts said at a Sept. 16 Council budget workshop. Acknowledging City Hall's budget woes, Chief Batts noted -- accurately -- that the policy decision on how many police officers to provide ultimately rests with the city's elected policymaking and budgeting body: the City Council.
Responding to Chief Batts' presentation, the president of the Long Beach Police Officers Association, Steve James, told Councilmembers, "Plain and simple, you have a Chief that finally came down here and finally told you the truth."
(October 26, 2003) -- Long Beach awoke to a smokey yellow dawn and a heavy ash fall overnight from massive fires burning in the San Bernardino mountains.
The first two pix were snapped at 7:00 a.m. in ELB
One ELB reader emailed to say his El Dorado Park area neighborhood looked like Pompeii.
Cheryl Gilliland-Timmons of ELB emailed this digital photo of the
smoke-cloudedELB sun viewed at 8:15 a.m.
The following ELB photo was taken in ELB at 3:15 p.m. Note the yellowish, obscured sunlight:
LBReport.com's live link to Doppler Radar from the National Weather Service showed "red" (heavy) particulate fallout in some parts of LB at 6:03 a.m...the type of readings previously experienced in fire adjacent areas:
(Oct. 28, 2003) -- LB firefighters provided mutual assistance in battling the massive mountain fires. Five LB fire units were deployed to Simi Valley...a total of 22 LB firefighters plus a battalion chief and his assistant. (A sixth unit had been in the San Bernardino mountains.)
LB firefighters were in the thick of the Simi Valley inferno.
Photo: Capt. Moe Sinsley, LBFDAt times, they were surrounded by fire:
Photo: Jim Rexwinkel, LBFD
in-depth follow-upto the mountain fires and their particulate fallout -- coverage of this issue we consider unsurpassed by any Long Beach or Los Angeles print or broadcast outlet -- LBReport.com reported on November 3:
Photo source: NASA
During crucial days when the fire fallout approached or exceeded unhealthy levels, and hundreds of thousands of people exposed to the pollutants might have taken steps to protect themselves and their families, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) used antiquated, bureaucratic media advisories and forecasts -- the equivalent of weather forecasts without current temperatures -- instead of providing accurate real time information.
During the worst of the fallout, AQMD's advisories and forecasts didn't mention PM10 levels in LB and other southeast L.A. County areas...only adding these areas days late.
This was despite the fact that the agency had access to PM10 particulate data -- including LB data -- indicating fallout approached or exceeded levels considered unhealthy. Some of the information was publicly available, although displayed in
AQMD has a LB monitor (LB Blvd. near 36th St.) that measures PM10 particulates (not all AQMD monitors do). It publicly displays
Shortly after dawn on Oct. 26, LBReport.com (which has maintained a live link to AQMD's LB monitor on our front page for over a year) put the monitor's data output on our front page with a red headline. By 11 a.m., the monitor's
LBReport.com has since learned that LB's PM10 readings in the early afternoon of Oct. 26 reached a peak of roughly double the level considered unhealthy under conventional standards if experienced for 24 hours.
We also simultaneously posted AQMD's LB monitor data live on our front page.
LBReport.com also included Doppler Radar images from the National Weather Service. At 6:03 a.m., it showed "red" and "orange" (heavy) particulate fallout...the type of readings seen much closer to the fire areas:
Shortly before noon, the AQMD monitor's average PM10 level -- which had been rising all morning, turned even more sharply upward. Since the monitor only displays a
LBReport.com has since learned from AQMD that LB's peak PM10 levels on early Sunday afternoon Oct. 26 were indeed much higher than the average displayed. AQMD says that on the early afternoon of Sunday Oct. 26, LB's peak hourly PM10 reading was 484 micrograms/cubic meter. There is no federal standard for this acute exposure. The federal government considers 150 micrograms/cubic meter of PM10 unhealthy over 24 hours; CA considers 50 micrograms/cubic meter of PM unhealthy if experienced over 24 hours.
[AQI and micrograms/cubic meter are different scales. AQI is a composite figure and the most common public air quality standard. 100 AQI equates to approximately 155 micrograms/meter PM10. 150 AQI equates to 254 micrograms/cubic meter PM10. The federal government considers 150 AQI unhealthy.]...
The Full story: Fire Fallout, Mass Health Impacts, Antiquated, Inaccurate, Incomplete Public Info: What AQMD Didn't Tell LB & Southeast L.A. & Orange County Areas Until Too Late
The press event, webcast by the House Committee, was attended by Mayor O'Neill in her capacity as chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Advisory Committee. A number of parade viewers could be heard cheering loudly as the Grand Marshals' classic Ford Fairlane passed by, perhaps impressed with its tail fins or other ornamentation displayed by Ms. Barberie.
(Nov. 6, 2003) -- In a Capitol Hill press event, LB Mayor Beverly O'Neill joined other leaders of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure to urge passage of a proposed $375 billion nationwide transportation bill.
Mayor O'Neill, seated lower right, awaits start of event. Screen capture from House Trans & Infr. Comm. webcast
Screen capture from House Trans & Infr. Comm. webcast
"As Mayors we're delighted to be here to emphasize the importance of what this transportation bill means. We are here to emphasize the fact that we cannot wait another year to have it postponed. We've already waited a year, and as each Mayor will tell you, what has happened each year is causing a crisis...We have had a population increase of 40% since the 60s, we have had 100% in transportation on our highways, and we have had a 6% increase in highway construction. This is an area that has caused decay. It has caused infrastructure needs. It's caused damage to all our highways. It's something that we need every day to pay attention to."
Photo courtesy Capt. Aaron Reyes, SEAACA
(November 7, 2003) -- "Drago," an LBPD K-9 who somehow got loose on Nov. 4 and turned up at South East Area Animal Control Authority facility in Downey within a day. He was then reunited with LBPD. Drago had an ID chip installed, got a mild lecture...and was welcomed back to the LBPD force.
Photo courtesy Capt. Aaron Reyes, SEAACA
(November 11, 2003) -- This year's Grand Marshals for the LB Veterans Day Parade were KTTV Fox11's "Good Day L.A." stars Steve Edwards, Dorothy Lucey and Jillian Barberie.
Full story: Fire Fallout, Mass Health Impacts, Antiquated, Inaccurate, Incomplete Public Info: What AQMD Didn't Tell LB & Southeast L.A. & Orange County Areas Until Too Late
The press event, webcast by the House Committee, was attended by Mayor O'Neill in her capacity as chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Advisory Committee.
A number of parade viewers could be heard cheering loudly as the Grand Marshals' classic Ford Fairlane passed by, perhaps impressed with its tail fins or other ornamentation displayed by Ms. Barberie.
In November, LB media got a tour of the sophisticated, high tech facility.
During emergencies, this room will become the ECOC's nerve center. Each desk has its own computer terminal and telephone. Instead of incessant ringing telephones, the phones use flashing lights. Noise and bedlam don't promote clear thinking. Instead of deafening emergency audio, the room is bathed in invisible infrared light carrying audio ranging from CNN to police and fire radio that personnel can select on wireless headphones.
The ECOC is earthquake ready (the
The ECOC was designed with several levels of redundancy and backups. This is one of two 600 kilowatt diesel generators. Yes, the generators meet AQMD standards. Yes, the ECOC has its own underground fuel tanks for the generators. The two generators can produce a total of 1.2 megawatts to run the ECOC for days.
An adjoining communications tower roughly 100 feet high is filled with antennas.
This is one corner of LBPD's 911 dispatch center. Call takers can view caller details, including a map of the caller location. With a mouse click, computers can zoom in on an area...and even display building footprints.
Councilwoman Kell looks on as the calls come in. The ECOC has a new 911 system with dual 911 switches with automatic call distribution to call takers. When cell phones permit, it has the capability of directly receiving some 911 calls from wireless phones...bypassing the need for CHP to transfer wireless calls to LB.
This is LBFD's fire dispatch center.
In April 2000, Officer Black was gunned down in the line of duty in the nearby 1900 block of Lime Ave.
An unofficial honor guard of uniformed LBPD officers, joined by Park Rangers and LB firefighters, filled the street and sidewalk.
Among those attending were LB Mayor Beverly O'Neill, 6th district Councilwoman Laura Richardson, 9th district Councilman Val Lerch...
Councilwoman Richardson told the crowd that the park fulfills a commitment she made to Officer Black's family at his funeral to do something special in the community, something permanent.
Officer Black's brother, Connell, told the gathering:
"Laura, I remember that day when you said that. I mean a lot of people said things back in those days, but...not everybody followed up. You were one of the few true lights of commitment through the whole thing."
The site will be landscaped and include lighting, a playground, picnic table, benches and a water fountain. A community member indicated that some of the amenities were recommended by neighborhood children who have already begun to use the lot for soccer and the like.
Incumbent Webb has previously indicated he will seek reelection. 8th district resident Terry Jensen has previously announced he plans to enter the race.
Stay with LBReport.com for in-depth coverage of these stories, and others we'll be breaking, in 2004.
Thank you for your readership...and do make a New Year's resolution to tell your friends and business associates about us so they can join the growing number of people who get their news from LBReport.com.
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