Random Letters — 1-9-20

  • 01/15/2020
  • Reporters Desk

Jim Stanbery and the Campaign to Change District 15

I was out of state for the holidays and only just saw the latest edition of Random Lengths the other day.  I can’t begin to thank you for the overly generous article marking our linkage. So thorough and accurate—my daughter was so impressed when I showed it to her. If there’s any way I can ever repay it, just say the word.

Jim Stanbery, San Pedro


Campaign to Change District 15

Mr. Gibson did not win those elections and Mr. Stanbery did not lose those elections because of their respective ideologies. Mr. Gibson’s support was pragmatic, based mainly on his staff’s ability to find grants and other government funding for programs and development in the district. These were visible projects that he could point to as accomplishments, such as home weatherization and pocket parks. The transformation of Harbor Boulevard had begun in earnest by 1981 and there seemed to be progress on things like the Beacon Street redevelopment project.

So there appeared to be progress on a level that appealed to people’s sense of the practical needs. (The fact that Mr. Gibson was able to schedule repaving work in front of Mr. Stanbery’s campaign headquarters in the midst of the election season really had no effect, though.)

There is no question Mr. Stanbery should have won in 1981; Mr. Gibson no longer had the physical strength to fully serve. And there were times when his cognitive faculties seemed to suffer. And yet five minutes later, he would jump into the friendly politician role that he knew so well.

What the public saw and what was emphasized to them is what got him reelected those final times. And those were elections when voters were probably not thinking about their future and the city and district they would be leaving for their children and grandchildren.

Scott Gray, San Pedro


2019—A Great Year for Long Beach

2019 was a great year for Long Beach, with lots of growth and many accomplishments for the city, from more than $3.5 billion in private and public development and hundreds of new residential homes to new playgrounds, park improvements, and beach amenities. We kept our promise to continue the largest investment in our city’s infrastructure in more than 40 years.

As 2020 approaches, I’m reflecting on our achievements and challenges and looking forward to the opportunities presented in the decade ahead.

This past year, the city once again ends the year with a stellar AA- credit rating, we have balanced our budget responsibly, restored fire engine 17, signed contracts with our police and firefighters, got a huge upgrade to the Blue Line—now the A Line, and built our new sustainable LEED certified civic plaza, including City Hall, the Billie Jean King Main Library and Port Headquarters.

We were also named one of the top cities in the nation for LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law and policy for the eighth year in a row, received four regional urban planning awards, and were named one of the nation’s top ten digital cities in America for the ninth year in a row.

In 2019, we began building our first municipal year-round homeless shelter, which will open in June 2020, expanded the Mayor’s Fund to End Homelessness, and opened or broke ground on numerous affordable projects.

We also celebrated two big anniversaries: 50 years for the El Dorado Nature Center and 20 years for our Multi-Service Center.

Some of the highlights from 2019 are:

  • 22 miles of sidewalk replaced, 85 miles of streets resurfaced, 35,000 potholes filled
  • 630 ADA access ramps constructed
  • 1,716 outreach visits to people experiencing homelessness
  • 860,000 patrons served in libraries, with 1.1 million items checked out
  • 59,000 customers served at the Development Services Permit Center
  • 1.2 million square feet of graffiti removed
  • 22,055 trees trimmed
  • Three new playgrounds and more than 15 major parks and recreation improvement projects
  • 45,000 bicycle trips made through the City’s Bikeshare Program, traveling a total of more than 127,000 miles

2020 promises more progress and growth for Long Beach. I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together.

Mayor Robert Garcia, Long Beach

Dear Mayor Garcia,

Can you tell us how you’ve reduced the number of homeless people on your streets even with the huge increase in development we’ve all seen in Long Beach?

James Preston Allen, Publisher

Jerry Brown for President

The entire list of Democratic candidates for president is discouraging if not outright depressing. Joe Biden will always be Mr. Touchy Feely.

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren remind me of two ivory tower college professors way overdue for retirement. Pete Buttigieg is actually running for governor of Indiana. Amy Klobuchar needs to stay in the Senate since the legislative branch was her choice for representing Minnesota. As for the rest of the candidates in the private sector they need to run for city council first and then proceed from there.

On the other hand California recently lost the best four-term governor and one time Oakland mayor— the best two-term mayor in their entire history. I am referring of course to Jerry Brown. He is a man of utmost integrity with an honest zeal to promote excellent quality of life for all Americans not just those aligned with the Democratic party. And just as with former president Obama he can add a vice-presidential candidate who specialized in foreign affairs.

Jerry, it’s time to throw your hat into the ring and declare your candidacy for president of the United States. The world and the country desperately need you to put an end to Trumpism and lead us back to a time of peace and prosperity.

Joe Bialek, Cleveland, OH

Mr. Bialek,

Most Californians might agree, but Jerry had his shot way back when he was sabotaged by the med-fly CIA debacle and if I’m not wrong he’s about as old as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Donald Trump isn’t a spring chicken either. So the choice that’s beginning to appear is between a couple billionaires, some younger candidates with not that much experience and three front runners who are all over 70. This while the Republicans are attempting to bury the impeachment trial and Trump starts another illegal war to distract the electorate.

Nice thought though.

James Preston Allen, Publisher

Local Equestrian Defamed Online

On the 50th anniversary of the internet, its creator Tim Berners-Lee in October called for an overhaul of the web due to its power being subverted by people spreading hatred, stating that it must be protected as a force for good. And unfortunately, statistics support his comments with 41% of adults having experienced some form of online harassment, as measured in a Pew Research survey.

Sadly, in today’s online world, anyone and everyone are vulnerable to potentially defamatory online statements and attacks. Internet defamation can carry grave consequences for affected individuals and businesses. Victims of internet defamation may even suffer depression or other mental and emotional effects. Businesses also face the risk of decreased profits, negative publicity and impairment of reputation. One such victim is Erin Isom — a Palos Verdes native and reputable equestrian and businesswoman of 30 years.

Just last month, Erin’s experience being defamed online and via social media by others in her local community in Los Angeles— including the equestrian community, at large, in which she excels—was devastating to herself, her family, business and general well being. Despite her challenges, she has courageously decided to share her story with others about her struggle, so they understand that if it happened to her, it can happen to them.

Brenda Christensen,  Los Angeles

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