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I have lived on Obispo Avenue for 17 years. Our block is constantly abused by offsite rehab members abusing our neighborhood.

They are apparently instructed to use Redondo Avenue for all visits to the Seventh Street and Obispo Avenue location of the Substance Abuse Foundation of Long Beach during their member orientation. However, this during the 17 years has been ignored and passive aggressive use of Obispo Avenue has been tolerated, with officials looking the other way.

However, in this pandemic, the foot traffic issue has become a public health issue. Each and every member is issued a mask and face shield. However, 15-25% of them either have them in their hand, or hanging below their chin, or over their mouth and not their nose. Being 70 years old, this is an issue for me and or neighbors of age.

It is not acceptable that these transients are able to seize upon a conduct of ignoring the health and welfare of our neighborhood on a daily basis. Endangerment of the neighborhood tax-paying owners is unacceptable. Not having symptoms is no excuse. As you know asymptomatic and pre symptomatic individuals are just as, if not more so contagious.

When one in 145 individuals is contagious, the odds are quite alarming and definitely not in favor of healthy individuals. Since LBPD and LA County Sheriffs only enforce laws and not mandated codes, I am emailing the Public Health Services Office and writing the newspaper. I was assured by a staff supervisor that he would make sure that identification of the violators, and reprimands were in order and would be actively pursued. He is being proactive, which is appreciated.

I would like the Substance Abuse Foundation of Long Beach at Seventh and Obispo to be fully investigated for Public Heath endangerment and required to put in place protocols on their part to remedy the endangerment issues. I would appreciate any formalized governmental actions available to be activated and followed through on to remedy the issues mentioned above.

One other issue is the foundation members also use the sidewalks as bike paths/lanes. It is my understanding that this is a violation of a Long Beach city ordinance. The state and the city of Long Beach do not allow bicycles on the sidewalk if they are not walked in areas with a church, and or a business district. The foundation's transient treatment members ignored the ordinance.

Our block requires that bikes be walked per the ordinance since the state and city both consider riding a bike on the sidewalk as a vehicle on the sidewalk. Be advised that there are five to seven toddlers within a block of my address on Obispo. Plus there is a senior demographic. Riding a bike at 12-15 MPH on the sidewalk with an entitled attitude is dangerous. 

Kenneth Nakamura is a Long Beach resident.

Kathryn Romo, executive director of Safe Refuge, sent this in response.

It is in our rules that clients do not use Obispo Avenue and we have a “good neighbor” policy. When Mr. Nakamura first contacted us, we discovered they were using Obispo and we strongly reiterated the rules. 

We had asked Mr. Nakamura to let us know when he saw our clients walking by not using masks and using Obispo. He gave us one instance and we pulled our camera footage and it was not our client. Some of the neighbors assume people on Obispo are our clients when they are not.

We are willing to work with the neighbors at all times and we have a no tolerance policy on not wearing face masks or shields. We take Covid-19 very seriously. I would encourage him to let me know anytime he sees someone on Obispo he believes is our client or staff and what date and time he saw them so we can pull the camera footage.

I also want to apologize for any inconvenience or stress we may have caused him.

Also, we belong to the Rose Park Neighborhood Association and before Covid-19, one of our staff members sat on their board.

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