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Drive Nightmare

Dear Editor,

The reduction of Marina Drive to one lane, parking that backs up into traffic, entrances to the 2ND & PCH center every 50 yards that back up traffic and pedestrian yield signs — all have proven to be an architectural nightmare.

I now circumvent Marina Drive and travel Pacific Coast Highway to access my favorite restaurants Schooner or Later, Boathouse etc.

I can’t wait to see the outcome when the other half of tenants move in!

Who is responsible for this infrastructure?

Jeff Severson

Long Beach

Real Tree Story

Dear Editor,

I just finished reading your story in the Grunion in regards to the Trees in Bay. I always enjoy this time of year as we get to read about the trees, and most importantly, they’re here!

I would like to clarify a few facts as it's important to me that credit is given where it deserves!

In the early 1980s, there were no trees on the Peninsula. They ran along Bay Shore Avenue and we Peninsula residents could only appreciate them if we walked towards Bay Shore and waited for them to turn on.

One Thanksgiving, my neighbor on 57th Place Brig Knauer and I were waiting for the official start to the holidays when the trees first come on. I said it would be a heck of a lot more fun if we had our own trees as we wouldn’t have to walk so far! The comment, I thought, was made in jest.

However, come Monday morning, Brig had already contacted the city to find out what it would take for the Peninsula to get our own trees. Money! And a committee to raise this money.

A small group was formed and the work began. The magic of the season soon took hold and we switched our initial campaign of collecting donations to selling individual trees in memoriam. We actually sold enough to place one tree at the end of every street, 16 in total.

Donations came in from $5 to as much as $1,600, the cost of a tree. And, the trees were built and placed in time for the following season, 12 months from when the idea was first hatched.

At the end of 62nd Place, on the bay side, a plaque was placed thanking each and every donation. Those with a star next to their name generously funded the entire cost of a tree. It was always about the Peninsula having our own trees.

I hope this helps the future reporting of the trees. You see, we Peninsula residents are quite proud of our contribution to the season and obviously, quite proud of our trees.

Bertie Riphagen

The Peninsula

Gift Suggestion

Dear Editor,

In response to your Nov. 14 “Pinch of Salt” column asking for information about worthy charities, I want to tell you about Charity Checks, a wonderful organization that simplifies the challenge of gift giving at the holidays. 
Charity Checks provides “Giving Certificates,” which allow consumers to shop from home, save on taxes and give a gift that is redeemable as a donation to any of the more than 1.5 million qualified charities across the country. I am on the board of Charity Checks and have seen first hand how these Giving Certificates can solve so many gift giving headaches while supporting so many deserving charities. We don’t need more stuff in our lives, but everyone appreciates the opportunity to support their favorite charity, especially at the holidays. 
For more information, your readers can go to

Margaret Smith

The Peninsula

Help This Cat

Dear Editor,

The shelter has a sweet cat with mammary tumors, which are almost always cancerous. She was a stray and needs a hospice home.

Maybe if you could help so she doesn’t die in the shelter. She’s at risk as she’s been waiting seven months for a home.

Thanks for reading this.

Susan Schulberg

Shelter Volunteer

Talking Schoolyard

Dear Editor,

Since I no longer have a student in the K-12 system, it has been difficult for me to learn about new policies within the district that I think affect the entire city.

In an effort to protect our students, LBUSD has fenced in the schools for safety concerns. While we all agree that our students safety needs are of the utmost concern, the conversation that is up for discussion is how we create a policy concerning the playgrounds that have been open to the public after school during the week and the weekends as well.

Many of us have fond memories of playing "horse" basketball with our kids and having the space to play in a variety of areas that are usually within walking distance from our various neighborhoods. There are very few areas that serve this need in many parts of the city. And I feel this is important for all of us and provides families time for bonding and teaching our kids important life skills.

The district is considering options about this issue. I think public input is important as this particular issue goes beyond our students but also to the families who are raising our kids. Literally acres of recreational land use is being affected.

Some agencies are being considered for using these areas and a permit process is being formed. How much will it cost? What does this process entail? These questions will affect us but we have very little voice.

Now is the time to let the elected LBUSD official representing you know your views. As a taxpayer who supports our schools, you deserve to be informed of these policies and participate in the process. Within the district, people are currently creating the policy. The people you can contact are from the Elementary Office, Ron Hoppe, in the area of purchasing permits, and Sara Pohl also in the purchasing department

Our schools are part of the heart of our city and the residents of the city should be considered in such a wide reaching decision.

Diane Paull

Long Beach

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