(December 26, 2004) -- LB experienced a political earthquake when two high-propensity voter districts (i.e. pivotal in citywide races) ousted City Council incumbents backed by Mayor Beverly O'Neill. 4th district voters replaced 4th district Council incumbent Dennis Carroll with Los Altos homeowner Patrick O'Donnell and 8th district voters replaced incumbent Rob Webb with LBHUSH2 founder Rae Gabelich.
On election night, Los Altos' retired Councilman/Mayor (now LBCC trustee) Dr. Tom Clark was impressed as newcomer O'Donnell beat incumbent Carroll by a margin of roughly two to one.
After edging our businessman Terry Jensen in April, LBHUSH2 founder and grassroots activist Rae Gabelich defeated 8th district Council incumbent Rob Webb in a dramatic June runoff, 61% to 39%.
Within minutes of the polls closing, absentee ballots made it clear that Gabelich had beaten Webb...producing an electrifying moment.
Shortly after the absentee results, Mayor O'Neill arrived at the Gabelich campaign party and offered her congratulations.
2d District Councilman Dan Baker was re-elected, brushing by a write-in challenger. And 6th district Councilwoman Laura Richardson was re-elected in April without a run-off...despite a multi-candidate field. She drew 58% of the vote.
Photo credit: Democratic National Convention Committee
|Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald (D., LB-Carson), a vice chair of the 2004 Democrats' National Convention, addressed the final night of the event.
Her speech was one of several leading up to the prime-time acceptance speech of presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry.
James Ratkovich & Associates announced plans for a 22-story luxury condominium tower at the southeast corner of Ocean Blvd. at Pine Ave.
The Pasadena-based development firm said the high rise which will be called "Edgewater on Ocean." (Image source: James Ratkovich & Assoc., Inc.)
In October, a redesigned and upgraded Skylinks golf course -- now LB's premium public course and renamed "Skylinks @ Long Beach" -- reopened after a yearlong course makeover.
VIPs were invited to take a collective first putt.
In August, a truck flew off the northbound 405 offramp to northbound Bellflower Blvd., crashing into a home's backyard. (Photo credit: Doug Tirado)
An overflow crowd attended an April meeting on the scope of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a development that would replace a tank farm on Studebaker Rd. at Loynes Dr. with a Home Dept site plus a restaurant and other commercial uses.
City Manager Jerry Miller named LBFD Assistant Chief David Ellis to serve as LB's new Fire Chief.
NLB's Houghton Park (Atlantic/Harding Aves.) became home to a new, state of the art Skate and BMX (bicycle) facility.
City officialdom and community members celebrated the opening of a new Union Bank branch on Atlantic Ave. at 19th St. at Renaissance Square. The Bank is the ground floor of a new 12,000 square foot building with a neighborhood-serving non-profit and City services on the second floor.
On June 1, we snapped this photo of a movie theater -- apparently called "Theatre" -- at a signature LB venue -- the Pike @ Rainbow Harbor.
View looks southward, port cranes in distance.
In late February, several hundred young people and their parents, plus coaches, well-wishers and baseball fans gathered at Heartwell Park for an emotion-packed opening to the 2004 ELB Pony League baseball season.
The event featured the return of admired Mustang League Coach Ron Percy, making a courageous recovery from a terrible traffic accident last year.
Coach Percy strode onto the field on his own...with his two children walking alongside him.
America lost its 40th President (and former CA Governor) Ronald Reagan.
LB area Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R., HB-LB-PV) proposed putting the former President's likeness on $20 bills.
LB said farewell to LBPD Sgt. Tim O'Donnell, who died suddenly and unexpectedly at age 36. Brother Patrick O'Donnell, elected to the City Council four months later, was among those delivering touching eulogies.
In late November, a neighborhood shrine rose near the corner of Orange Ave. and 37th St. where a traffic accident took the life of 16 year-old Caitlin Finucane.. A week later, a memorial plaque -- "May Your Light Always Shine Upon Us" -- was formally placed on a nearby street light.
LB also lost Bixby Knolls icon Helen Kellogg -- the mother of sons Jeffrey (LBCC Trustee, former 8th district Councilman), Keith (Retired U.S. military Lt. General), Mike (Superior Court Judge) and daughter Kathie (PhD, Clinical Psychologist).
Also gone in 2004: long-time LB activist and City Council communicator Jim Sturm.
KKJZ jazz icon Chuck Niles passed away. So did "Waco Pat" Patryla, a former Signal Hill resident who provided the audio engineering flair heard on KABC Talkradio's "Ken & Bob Company."
On Sept. 11, 2004 -- the third anniversary of the infamous terrorist attacks on America, LB firefighter Gary Biggerstaff continued a tradition he created: building a homegrown memorial and conducting a moving, heartfelt ceremony on the front lawn of his home.
LBReport.com wishes all of our readers a safe and healthy 2005.