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Fight Rate Hike

Dear Editor,

Are the taxpayers of Long Beach like sheep being led to the slaughter?

The officials at City Hall cleverly duped the taxpayers into passing Measure M using their time-honored threats of depriving citizens of their police, fire, libraries, parks, senior services ... and let's not forget the children.

Most taxpayers/water-rate payers received a flawed Proposition 218 notice in the mail announcing that they could protest the proposed hefty 12% increase in water rates. This follows last year's raise of 7.2 %. What they failed to tell you is that a substantial amount of that will not be going to water services but to the general fund to spend as they please.

Let me give you a good idea of what that spending has been and might be: Three-quarters of a million dollars for lavish furniture expenditures, the $500 million + City Taj MaHall, commissioner stipends $$$, overseas junkets, extravagant $1 million media wall, $200-400,000 club salaries and generous perks, $100 million pool at the beach, extraordinary stipends for housing authority meetings, dangerous road diets and unsightly bicycle bollards.

The mayor/council's insatiable appetite for revenue includes airport, tourist and port revenues, Tidelands and Upland Oil income, federal and state grants, property and exorbitant sales taxes. There will never be enough for this spendthrift crew.

Are you, the taxpayer/water-rate payer, sheep or will you stand up to the corruption and protest this egregious rate increase?

If you're not a sheep, you can email or send a letter to: Long Beach Water Dept, 1800 E Wardlow Road, Long Beach CA 90807. (Prior to Aug. 27) or show up in person at the Aug. 29 Prop 218 meeting at 2950 Redondo Ave.

Remember: Tax tax tax; spend spend spend..your hard-earned $$$$!

Diana Lejins

Long Beach

NOTE: Diana Lejins is a lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the city challenging the constitutionality of Measure M, the initiative passed last year allowing the transfer.

Broadway Planning

Dear Editor,

The arguments pro con on the Broadway street changes need to shift from yes-no to a fact-based review.

Local conditions need to be looked at including line of sight, intersection mixing of pedestrians, bicycles, service vehicles, and cars and yes, the accident rate.

Eliminating a lane in each direction has now doubled the traffic on the lane most homeowners/businesses use to back out of their driveway onto Broadway. And in some cases the line of sight of oncoming traffic for now bicycles and cars has been severely impacted.

No wonder they are upset. My experience has shown that in an older city where building codes and roads are nearly 100 years old, the standard application of traffic calming may create unexpected safety and other problems. A review of local conditions should be made section by section talking to homeowners and business owners.

I would suggest that the city's traffic engineers walk each section with citizens and discuss issues. The city first stated that since they made the traffic speed slower that this would result in a safer street. The number of reported accidents doubled.

When I tried to fix problems on my residential street, the head of Transportation (position no longer exists) was so clueless that he told me my driveway was a code violation (built in 1927).

Broadway is more complicated — a mixed-use street with both commercial and residential buildings.

One thing that has not been brought up is the loss of visibility of business signs and activity, which is crucial for the success of small businesses.

Unfortunately, the protected bike lane and parking and disruption in the visual view from a patchwork of new street lines and breaks disrupt the cohesiveness of the neighborhood. Perhaps the business owners can work with the design community and creative new signs on the buildings can kick-start business activity in this great neighborhood.

Kerrie Aley

Long Beach

Homeless Priority

Dear Editor,

Your headline: Pot Grow Operation Vs. Homeless Shelter was quite disturbing, suggesting there is an equal choice between the options!

The ready availability of pot everywhere versus the desperate need for available sites in our city for homeless facilities is a no-brainer.

I hope everyone will remind the City Council and city manager that this is an ideal and excellent chance to acquire a site to help our homeless citizens.

Carol Collins

Long Beach

Homeless Children

Dear Editor,

Through this letter I hope to raise awareness of a serious issue affecting Long Beach that is often overlooked: child homelessness and the lifelong repercussions it has on said children. In January 2017, Long Beach's Homeless Services Division conducted a Point-In-Time count of the homeless population and it found that 11% of those experiencing homelessness were children.

The impact of homelessness on a child is often marked by developmental obstacles, such as physical, emotional and mental stuntedness due to lack of resources, stability, and education. It's easy to see how such obstacles could translate into lifelong disadvantages, thus increasing the likelihood of cyclical homelessness.

It is for that reason that School on Wheels — a nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the educational gaps caused by homelessness — assists children directly through weekly tutoring sessions. However, while proudly having over 2,000 volunteers across six counties in Southern California, the Long Beach area is in desperate need of volunteers in order to create educational opportunities for these deserving children.

Volunteers are paired with a student and simply dedicate an hour of their week to tutoring that child. Over time, the impact of having a person consistently there has a remarkably positive mental and emotional effect on a child.

For more information on child homelessness or on how you can help your community, please visit

Victor Maldonado


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