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.