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    City Management Tells Council "ShoreFest" (Oct 3-5) Is Being Downsized, Revised, But Will Proceed

    (Sept. 17, 2003) -- In an unscheduled presentation at the Sept. 16 City Council meeting, LB city management -- including City Manager Jerry Miller. Dir. of the Parks, Recreation and Marine Phil Hester and Manager of Public & Gov't Affairs Carl Kemp -- delivered an extemporaneous report on the status of the Council-approved Oct 3-5 "ShoreFest" indicating the event is being downsized and changed in a number of ways.

    We post extended transcript excerpts below. We also post a response from a spokesman for Shoresales, LLC, organizer of the event.

    Council meeting discussion

    The Council discussion ensued after two members of the public used the period for public comment on non-agendized matters to criticize elements of the event approved by the Council in July 2002.

    Cecelia Lynch of LB told the Council:

    "As citizens, we are constantly subjected to color coded security alerts. My children are already frightened enough. Why should any of our children be made any more frightened by large numbers of military fighter aircraft screeching over our neighborhoods and schools for several days?...To proceed with such a carnivalesque, privately sponsored, militaristic extravaganza, supported by a huge city funding subsidy during a budget crisis, in this context is both insensitive and irresponsible..."

    [Mayor O'Neill responded, "Thank you, that was very well done."]

    Kathy Pliska of LB then spoke, stating in part:

    "...There will be noise, a lot of noise, air pollution and nightmare traffic. Then there is the matter of the $250,000 subsidy from our cash-strapped subsidy in the form of cost waivers..."

    After an intervening speaker, City Manager Jerry Miller said:

    "...I really do think we've gotten the promoters' attention with regard to a variety of planning issues. And I appreciate the comments that were made, but we've been putting enormous resources, police and fire, into this first time event, and I think we can expect some, frankly, inconvenience, but we've really tried to reduce the extent to which it's going to affect the neighborhoods and so forth.

    We have attempted to reduce the scale of the event and if you'd like to hear more specifics from [Parks, Rec & Marine Dir.] Phil [Hester], he's happy to do it for you.

    Mayor O'Neill: Not at this moment. I think perhaps it could later, or it could be on [Sept. 23] when we can agendize it..."

    After another intervening speaker, Richard Madeira of LB offered to give up his public speaking time if Mr. Hester would speak about ShoreFest. The Mayor agreed to permit this at the conclusion of public speakers. posts below extended transcript excerpts (unofficial, prepared by us) of management's Council remarks. Bracketed material is by us for clarity; not all speakers or their statements are transcribed; ellipses indicate deletions..

    [begin text]

    Phil Hester, Dir. Parks, Rec & Marine:: ...The ShoreFest event as it was originally presented to us is changing very, very quickly. The city has been extremely active, especially through our Police Dept, Fire Dept. and a number of other city departments, in working with the promoter to address a lot of the issues...really focusing on a number of community issues and concerns.

    We've had a group of community people who potentially are affected, especially along the ocean front where all this event will be taking place, who've been working with us very closely to try to address some of the concerns again of the traffic, the parking, the noise and those type things.

    As the City Manager says, the event has now been scaled back tremendously to basically being a water show which incorporates the tall ships, speedboats, some of the large racing type vessels etc. A lot of the military piece that was a part of that particular program has been eliminated.

    Some of the issues with some of the military components related to the Navy SEALS and some of those groups will not be participating as a part of this program.

    The static display program that was going to be at the Airport has been eliminated, so that piece will not be a part of the program.

    There was an event that was set for the Queen Mary that was being called "Storm the Queen" has been eliminated, will not be taking place and it will basically just be a VIP event on the Queen Mary on Friday night.

    The fireworks show which was to be part of this has also been eliminated because of the potential impact to the surrounding neighborhood of people on the beach. The desire is to try to get the people off the beach so that they don't affect the neighborhoods.

    The police have been very active and have developed a very detailed transportation plan and enforcement plan again to try to protect the neighborhoods and parking issues that we have had from time to time as a part of some other events within the city.

    There is the issue of parking, there was a fee referenced, and early o, and still some discussion about this parking fee of $18 which we have now told the promoter that they should not be doing. They now will be providing free offsite parking and providing transportation from a number of sites like Veterans Stadium, Boeing sites, Long Beach State [CSULB] so that we won't have that particular issue of parking...

    The event is a free event of course and the military has been very careful in making sure that from the standpoint that they do not participate in private type operations, and so no part of their particular involvement in this particular event will fees be charged.

    There is a KidsFest that is still a big part of this, where NASA will come in and show the Landrovers and moonrocks and those type things, and there's face painting and those type things and there's face painting and some of those type things that's taking place.

    There was a big concert that was being planned as a part of the event at the Airport, and that's now been changed and will be actually over at the Queen Mary events park, so that eliminates some of the issues around the Airport with some of the concerns about traffic and stuff in that particular area.

    So there's a number of things that have taken place. Again, the city has been very active in trying to get the attention of the promoter from the standpoint of understanding Long Beach, and I think we are at that particular point, and we are continuing to meet on a regular basis daily with all of the internal staff and putting a lot of pressure on the promoter to address a lot of the community concerns of which we're very much aware of.


    Carl Kemp, LB Mgr. of Public & Gov't Affairs: ...We are doing several things to mitigate some of the impacts in the community and to expand outreach from a host perspective for this event that's hosted by, or actually sponsored by, DDR and Shoresales.

    We are developing a telephone number [not working as of our post so not included; we'll post number when it's up] whereby residents will be able to call in and find out about parking, traffic, road closures, what to do if their vehicle has been towed, what to do if they'd like to have a vehicle that's blocking or illegally parked in their neighborhoods to get that vehicle towed, and also other police and non-emergency concerns.

    There will also be a function on there that will allow residents to give us their comments and we will be doing a full analysis of their comments on that line.

    Additionally, the city will be bearing the expense of sending a citywide letter out to every household in the city which will explain that there will be an event, it will be a positive event, but we will also let them know what to do with respect to parking, traffic, noise concerns and we'll give them a full list of telephone numbers to use should they have any questions, concerns or comments relative to the event.

    Finally, one of the last major things that we're doing along with DDR and Shoresales is requiring that they include information in all their future advertisements and editorials that advises our visitors and residents to follow certain safety procedures and to adhere to the parking and traffic plan that the Police Dept. has developed.

    They are also voluntarily giving us a quarter page of their pre-paid for Press-Telegram advertisements to publish our letter, and that letter -- the same letter that goes out to all of our households -- will be in the newspaper and will reach to visitors that will be coming into our city that receive the Press-Telegram too.

    That in a nutshell is the gist of our city public outreach effort...


    City Manager Jerry Miller:...Let me also just say that we met as a management team with the Police and Fire departments, Public Works two weeks ago and did more or less a table top exercise built around the ShoreFest event.

    That generated basically a very strongly worded letter from me sent ten days ago to the promoters that transmitted our clear, firm direction that they supply us with information that would help us to close out items out items that hadn't been discussed or fully agreed to, and I think that they've been working through those items, we had eight pages of open questions that we have been able to get closure to most of those questions and we have I think good progress under our bill.

    Nonetheless as I said before, it's a very large event, it's a first time event. There is going to be some disruption...I do feel like progress is being made however.

    Response by ShoreFest spokesman

    After being played a tape of the Council proceedings commencing with City Manager Miller's opening remarks, ShoreFest media relations director David Jacobson emailed with the following response:

    Since ShoreFest's inception, ShoreFest management has strived to make ShoreFest a world-class event which benefits all event participants, including the City of Long Beach and its residents.

    While we are disappointed that Long Beach Airport activities will not occur, we are working with the City to conduct all six "Fest"ivals as part of a spectacular ShoreFest that is "FREE For All, Fun For All."

    Previous related coverage:

  • Sept. 2003: Pike @ Rainbow Harbor Initial Retail Operations Expected In Or About Mid-Nov. 2003

  • May 2003: ShoreFest Organizers Schedule May 21 & 22 Community Briefings (Public Invited) Re Plans For October 3-5 Air Show & Citywide Festivals

  • July, 2002: Council OK's 3-Day Corporate Backed Oct. '03 "ShoreFest" To Celebrate "Pike at Rainbow Harbor" After Supportive City Staff Memo Says Police, Fire, Public Works And Other City Services Will Cost Up To $250,000 But Resulting Sales Taxes Are "Anticipated" To Equal or Exceed This; Our Math Says That Would Require $25 Million In Taxable Sales; City Hall Gets Roughly $40 Million in Sales Tax Revenue For Entire Year

  • July, 2002: City Mgt. Says Promoters Of 3-Day Oct. '03 "ShoreFest" To Celebrate "Pike at Rainbow Harbor" Want City Hall To Donate Various City Services; Event Would Require Up To $250,000 in Police, Fire, Public Works & Other Services...And It's "Anticipated" Sales Taxes Will Equal or Exceed Costs

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