In Our Mailbox - Letters to the Editor Graphic

Trucks Run Wild

Dear Editor,

Did some law pass that I’m not aware of, that allows pickup truck drivers to go as fast as they please?  

I know that since our wise, ‘woke’ Long Beach politicians have defunded the police, our neighborhoods are now the wild west, where anything goes. (I don’t blame the police one bit: I would never work for a company that was not supportive, or tried to undercut my work, particularly something as dangerous as police work.) 

Despite the fact that pickup trucks create the most carbon pollution, and present the most hazard on the road by endless speeding and tailgating, apparently, nothing can be done to help safeguard the rest of us, and our consequent deterioration of quality of life. I guess this explains the huge popularity of them — drive one, and you’re basically above the law.

Tom Gallo

Long Beach

Editor's Note: Long Beach's Police Department was not "defunded." Budgets were cut in all departments in the Fiscal 2021 budget.

Whose Tree?

Dear Editor,

A couple of weeks ago, there was a full page ad in the Grunion; I’m unsure about the title, but it was for a Christmas Tree lighting.

Did and will Mayor Garcia pay for the Christmas Tree and cover the expense of placement, decoration, electricity,

removal, etc. or is the tree being paid for by the citizens of Long Beach?

Then rightly it should be the “Lighting of the Long Beach Annual Christmas Tree.”

A little clarification would be helpful to this taxpayer.

Mike Hite

Savonna Walk

Senior Meals

Dear Editor,

The seniors here at City View (formerly Brethren Manor) who requested the Thanksgiving "care packages" were unable to receive them because a building staff member tested positive for Covid and they are all staying home for a few weeks. Hence, no one to deliver the packages.

Fortunately, some of us are relatively mobile and were able to travel to the Long Beach Senior Center on Fourth Street, where we received a meal with all the trimmings "to go" on the day before Thanksgiving. Thank you Senior Center for saving our bacon (er, I mean turkey.)

(At the beginning of the pandemic, we received one meal, six days weekly, from World Central Kitchen, for a couple of months. That was a huge help to many of us because grocery shopping was impacted and difficult.)

Corey Bennett

Long Beach

Expensive Pool

Dear Editor,

I’m quite disappointed that this project (the Belmont Beach and Aquatic Center) is going ahead as the most expensive possible implementation that can be found!

First, the design and engineering firm hasn’t ever built a pool.

Secondly, the current “temporary” pool represents an example of how for $2 million a pool we could simply replicate this pool two or three more times then build offices, a changing room, a gym and a restaurant, and better still in the same 90 days it took to deliver the current in-use pool!

This fantastic sum that is being proposed could afford us several “like“ Myrtha community Pools around the city, all installed by next summer.

Long Beach isn’t an underdeveloped country where “stomach infrastructure” is built for the benefit of the rich, why are we acting like it?

Reggie Akpata

Belmont Heights

Gift Of Safety

Dear Editor,

During this season of giving and kindness, please offer all of us these most important gifts: wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, stay at home and stay away from others.

Tragically, our mayor has lost both his mother (age 61) and his stepfather (age 58) to COVID-19. Robert Garcia is not alone. Uncounted thousands are without friends and loved ones, and this deadly pandemic is far from over.

We can — and will — beat this thing by working together, following the direction of experts and making personal sacrifices.

In just a few days we’ll be celebrating the birthday of someone who made quite a sacrifice for the rest of us. We should all remember that as it will help us make the right choices regarding both ourselves and the well being of others.

Richard Connelly

Long Beach

Business Efforts

Dear Editor,

The phrase the struggle is real, has never been more true. Since early spring, the words pandemic, PPP, and pivot have blasted us on every screen we've looked at.

So how do we get through this? And even more, how do we get through this when one is running a business, trying to keep that business, and figuring out how to reinvent the business?

If you are still reading this, then you might be interested to know how my business partner/husband and I are dealing, coping, and fighting for our business. First of all, to be a startup entrepreneur doesn't require seven outstanding skills — it requires 777 relentless skills!  That means giving up or giving in to COVID-19 was never a thought that crossed our minds. Business owners out there know what I mean!  

We have transformed our little cafe into a "grocerant service" where we send out a list of our raw goods and other supplies and sell them as groceries for curbside pick-up or delivery.  (Free delivery for the Fifth District or 62+ Seniors.)

We have also launched a new discounted food program for Seniors, called "High 5 Seniors."  This idea was inspired by our work with the city-funded senior program from this summer — Great Plates for Seniors.  Since the program has since ended, we thought it would be a great idea to modify the program so that it benefits us and our senior community.  Visit our website to place an order! We are still fixing some design features and could really use your help!

Lastly, we have replaced our dining tables with a retail island display that holds the products of other independent small businesses. We hope that you can find some great Christmas treats at our cafe which will help not just our cafe, but other small businesses we are supporting.

The struggle is real. But we are hopeful and treading together. We look forward to a brighter future!

Samantha Argosino

Little Brass Café

Parklet Input

Dear Editor,

Unfortunately, I am not able to attend the Parklet zoom meeting scheduled for today, Dec 10 because I have a conflict. I'm zooming in to the Annual Holiday Fundraiser sponsored by Women In International (WIT) LA at the same hour.

I have been following the articles issued in the LB Chamber Journal; Grunion Gazette and Councilwoman Suzie Price's recent newsletter on the subject of parklets. 

I only fully support temporary  parklets to allow for outdoor seating, but cannot support  a permanent parklet program. The Covid 19 pandemic has hit many businesses and not all are restaurants/bars. 

With the pandemic, that will hopefully end within months, business will fully return to the charm of Belmont Shore and Naples, in time. The businesses, in particular restaurants, bars along with retail shops and others will again blossom and slowly become vibrant in the months to come.

Living in Long Beach since 1985 and being a resident in Belmont Shore since 1993, we know several parking studies have been conducted in an attempt to improve available parking for the business and residents of the area. Clearly, we remain a designated parking impacted area. Currently, while we have some parking relief because of the reduction in business caused by the mandated government shutdowns, it is merely a temporary situation. Parking problems will resume once business returns and, should parklets continue to exist, parking will be worse than before the pandemic.

I continue to support our local businesses to include retail shops as not all are restaurants/bars. Many are currently visually impacted by the parklets. Customers looking for those shops can't find them, as well, many current parklets are blocking their storefronts. Those shop owners have shared their concern of having their businesses blocked  by the current parklets. It appears, not everyone on Second Street like the parklets.

Hopefully, my comments are considered constructive by Team Third District.

Aileen Colón

Belmont Shore

Stop Parklet Hurry

Dear Editor,

Home owners and residents have come under siege by the Belmont Shore Business Association, which believes the only solution to keeping the bars and restaurants in business is to make the temporary parklets permanent structures in Belmont Shore.

Second Street is one of several major traffic corridors connecting west to east Long Beach, with daily averages in excess of 35,000 vehicles providing potential serious safety issues to the pedestrians attempting to navigate gridlock at certain hours of the day and evening. In the short time that the parklets have been on Second Street we have had a late-night driver destroy a parklet. Fortunately, no one was seated in the parklet at the time.

In addition to the impact created by the parklets to traffic, there are many increased safety issues on the public sidewalks of Belmont Shore for pedestrians navigating the sidewalks. Bars and restaurants use the sidewalks as holding areas for patrons waiting to be seated in the parklets, much of the time without wearing masks nor observing the six-foot social distancing guidelines.

There are parking allotment issues as well as code enforcement in making these temporary parklets permanent.

The City Council has ignored the safety issues created by skateboards and bike riders on the sidewalks of Second Street. Recently, they approved rental bike stands and scooter stations on the crowded sidewalks. During the spring and summer months, riders of these vehicles impede  pedestrians navigating the sidewalks. Imagine what these pedestrian sidewalks are going to be like with crowds waiting for seats

In the parklets.

Certainly these issues need to be addressed in public meetings and study groups before the City Council rushes to make these parklets permanent. Possibly, there could be a test period extended through to September 2021 to test the feasibility of the concept with the opportunity for public comment and recommendations logged during the test period similar to the comment call-in line used with the scooter study last year. 

The Councilwoman should conduct a series of town hall meetings during the test period for public comment. The results of the feasibility study should be transparent to the homeowners and residents of the Third District. 

Permitting for temporary parklets is in place and certainly can be extended through the test and feasibility period. There is no reason for the City Council to rush ill-conceived and poorly implemented policy that will change the culture of Belmont Shore forever.

Ken Weiss

Belmont Shore

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