Harbor Currents: NEWS May 3, 2013

  • 05/03/2013
  • Terelle Jerricks

Long Beach City College Student Protest and Walkout
LONG BEACH – Students from Long Beach City College have organized a general protest and walkout, 9:30 a.m. May 1. All interested parties in the community are urged to begin assembling in the main quad of the Pacific Coast Campus, located on the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Orange at 9 a.m.
Several organizations will be marching in solidarity, in protest of the death of vocational education in Long Beach.
This procession is to raise awareness for a student led recall of LBCC trustees. The trustees have breached their constituent’s trust, and students are calling for their removal.
Location: 1305 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach

Six Security Cameras Installed to Support Public Safety in Long Beach
LONG BEACH – The City of Long Beach has increased its use of technology, late this past month, to support the public safety by installing six security cameras at Drake Park.
The high-definition cameras are programmed to cover the park and zoom in on designated areas.
The $27,000 cost of the installation was paid for by infrastructure funds allocated to each city district.
Details: (562) 570-5870; Eduardo.reyes@longbeach.gov

Gunshots Heard Lead to the Worst
LONG BEACH – A person was murdered in Long Beach, 3 a.m. April 28.
Officers were dispatched to the area of Spaulding Street and Junipero Avenue, after reports of a gunshot were made.
When officers arrived, they discovered a male victim, lying in the middle of the road. The victim had an apparent gunshot wound to his upper body and was dead before officers arrived to the scene. Anyone with information is urged to call the Long Beach Police Department, at (562) 570-7244.
Details: www.lacrimestoppers.org

LB Votes to Sell City Hall East
LONG BEACH — The Long Beach City Council voted 8-1, Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske opposed, to declare City Hall East at 100 Long Beach Blvd., a surplus and authorize the sale of the property for $2.1 million to 100 LBB Real Estate LLC.
The property was originally “sold” to the City of Long Beach for a value of $10 million from Southern California Edison when our Mayor Bob Foster, who negotiated the deal, was a senior vice president of Southern California Edison.
The building was given to the city in exchange for a promise that Long Beach would never leave SCE and go off and run its own electricity utility. SCE valued the building at $10 million and told the city if it ever broke its promise not to run an electricity utility, the city would have to pay SCE $10 million for the building.

For a brief time, the city used the building to house the police. When no longer needed, the city put the building out for sale and got an offer of $5 million. But the potential owner backed out when a plan to move the city’s Main Library to that building and for the city to lease the building from the new owner got squashed when a couple of council members community rose up against that plan.
A few years later, the building again sold for $4 million but that deal never went through.
So staff recommended another bidder and proposed to sell the property for $2.1 million.
The city’s insurance company valued replacement of the property at $35 million.
The performance requirement placed in the agreement gives the buyer $1 million dollars if somehow the city doesn’t close escrow.
The city was selling the property “as is” but was giving certain warranties on the property and was reimbursing the seller for vandalism done on the property before the sale was even negotiated.
The city never put the property out for the entire real estate community to bid because management claimed it gave the city better control over what it want done with the property.
The city was insisting a restrictive covenant that the property be used for residential apartments and some retail space for 10 years.
The council received several letters from attorneys representing another bidder alleging the city council violated the Brown Act and that the city should have set aside appropriate time for an administrative appeal from the other bidder.

LB Releases RFQ for Civic Center Project
LONG BEACH — The City of Long Beach released a request for qualifications, April 26, inviting interested parties to offer their qualifications in connection with development, construction and operation of a new civic center.
The goal of any partnership with a developer would be to limit the city’s annual costs to its current expenditures for City Hall, and provide enough space to accommodate employees who are working in leased facilities.
The City of Long Beach pays $12.57 million in annual costs for the Civic Center, including $7.84 million for operating costs; $2.6 million for debt service, and $2.13 million for off-site leases throughout the city to locate employees, who could be relocated back to the Civic Center, if additional space were provided.
The Long Beach City Council authorized the release of the RFQ on Feb. 12.
The city is soliciting qualifications from project teams capable of delivering a high-quality project in where the project team will design, build, finance, operate, and maintain a civic center throughout a minimum 30-year lifecycle. If approved, the project would comprise a new City Hall and Main Library, the revitalization of Lincoln Park into a destination park, and may further include a permanent headquarters building for the Port of Long Beach.
Constructed in the mid-1970s, the Civic Center was designed in the International style of architecture with an extensive use of board-formed concrete. In May 2007, engineering studies identified significant seismic deficiencies in the Long Beach City Hall building.
These studies also concluded that retrofitting City Hall to address the seismic deficiencies and building code upgrades would cost about $170 million. The Civic Closing date is July 26, 2013 at 4:00 pm Pacific Standard Time.  All submissions are to be delivered/addressed to:
City of Long Beach
Attn:  Michael P. Conway
Director of Business & Property Development
333 W. Ocean, 13th Floor
Long Beach, CA 90802
Details: (562) 570-5282; www.lbds.info

Senate’s Government-Policy Panel Oks Rescinding Tax
SACRAMENTO – A Senate panel charged with reviewing government and finance, May 1, approved a bipartisan plan to repeal a recent Franchise Tax Board decision imposing massive retroactive taxes on thousands of California taxpayers.
Senate Bill 209, authored jointly by Sen. Ted Lieu and Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, R-Camarillo, would bring relief to thousands of taxpayers who were recently notified that the Franchise Tax Board would retroactively assess those who claimed California’s Qualified Small Business Stock tax benefits.
The issue stems from a decision by the California Court of Appeal, in Cutler v. Franchise Tax Board, wherein the Court ruled that the California QSBS deferral and exclusion was unconstitutional and the Franchise Tax Board administratively implemented the Court’s decision.  The Qualified Small Business Stock tax credit law, passed in 1993, was intended to spur investment in California startups and small businesses.  The incentive allowed for the exclusion of 50 percent of capital gains earned from investments in businesses valued less than $50 million that have at least 80 percent of their staff and assets in California.
Faced with a court ruling that found several aspects of the tax provisions to be in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause, the Franchise Tax Board asserted that the only option was to enforce the Court of Appeals decision, ending the 20-year-old capital gains tax incentive. This resulted in the retroactive taxation of thousands of investors going back to 2008.
As a result, entrepreneurs throughout the state are now facing exceptionally large tax bills – as high as tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands each.  It is estimated that the Franchise Tax Board is looking to recoup as much as $120 million in retroactive taxes.
Supporting Lieu on SB 209 are numerous businesses, including representatives for California Business Defense, the California Chamber of Commerce, the Bay Area Council and the California Coalition of Qualified Small Business Investors.
SB 209 now faces fiscal review by the Senate Appropriations Committee; no date has yet been set but it will likely face a hearing within the next month.

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