Local News
in Long Beach, CA


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(818) 863-7777

500 Circle Seven Dr
Glendale, CA 91201   Directions


FAA urges airport police to arrest more people who are unruly following Philly to Miami flight chaos
08/05/2021 10:06pm

Alcohol was reported to be a factor in one of the most recent unruly passenger incidents that occurred on a Frontier Airlines flight from Philadelphia to Miami on Saturday.

California to require health care workers to be vaccinated by Sept. 30 under new order
08/05/2021 9:59pm

California will require employees in health care settings to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of September, the Department of Public Health announced today.

SoCal weather: Sunshine, slight cooling expected Friday
08/05/2021 9:53pm

Southern California will see temperatures dip just a little on Thursday, with some clouds forming in the morning.

Los Angeles court employees will be required to get vaccinated
08/05/2021 9:43pm

All employees in the Los Angeles Superior Court system will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 once federal officials give full authorization to one of the vaccines in circulation.

Chase ends in crash as suspects' car flips over, knocks down live power lines in Silver Lake
08/05/2021 9:35pm

A wild chase came to a dramatic, violent end as a car flipped over and smashed into a power pole, knocking down live electricity lines onto a passing vehicle.


(818) 655-2000

4200 Radford Ave
Studio City, CA 91604   Directions


Five Arrested After Wild Pursuit Ends With Car Crashing Into Pole, Flipping Over
08/05/2021 8:22pm

Five people were taken into custody Thursday after a pursuit suspect struck a utility pole and flipped over on a street in Silver Lake.

Pasadena Unified School District Parents Voice Concerns About Return To Classrooms, Vaccines, Testing
08/05/2021 8:13pm

As Pasadena Unified School District schools prepare to get students back in the classroom, there is an ongoing debate about whether vaccinates should be mandatory for everyones return.

LA Community College District Board Mandates Vaccinations, Masks
08/05/2021 8:12pm

The Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees approved two new board policies Thursday requiring vaccinations and facial coverings at all district colleges and facilities.

Culver City Announces Plans To Mandate COVID Vaccines For Employees
08/05/2021 7:33pm

Following the lead of Los Angeles County, Culver City officials announced Thursday the city will require all of its municipal employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but a timeline has not yet been determined.

Avenue 26 Night Market In Lincoln Heights Shut Down
08/05/2021 7:30pm

The location of an unofficial and crowded night market in Lincoln Heights was closed to the public Thursday by Councilman Gil Cedillos office after neighborhood complaints about illegal activity, public defecation, noise and traffic.


(818) 684-4444

100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608   Directions



(310) 584-2000

1999 S Bundy Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90025   Directions


Press-Telegram (Long Beach)
Press-Telegram (Long Beach)

(562) 435-1161

727 Pine Ave
Long Beach, CA 90844   Directions


The Beachcomber
The Beachcomber

(562) 597-8000

5199 E Pacific Coast Hwy
Long Beach, CA 90804   Directions


Homeless Man Heals Through Swimming
07/29/2021 4:41pm

By:Kirt Ramirez Roberto Vazquez was never a great swimmer, but hes getting better.He never imagined swimming around Naples Island. But thats what hes done more than 30 times over the past year and he plans to reach his goal of 40 laps altogether by August 1, a distance of more than 100 miles.Not only is Vazquez conquering his fear of cold, deep water and related panic attacks he also is homeless.Vazquez, 53, was born in East Los Angeles and grew up in Long Beach since age six. As a double major, double minor student at Long Beach City College and Cal State Dominguez Hills, he earned two bachelor degrees in Communications and Labor Studies from the university and received a professional certificate in Post Graduate Studies.He taught as a substitute teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District for five years, but lost his on-call employment opportunities when classes were canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.With limited income, he was living in an apartment in Glendale with his then-girlfriend, who also lost her job. Eventually, they split up. Vazquez packed his things, put them in storage and moved into his car. He slept in his vehicle and couch surfed when he could.I left a toxic relationship, a job that was not going anywhere and a city that I didnt want to live in, he said. In the long run, it was good for me to leave all that behind.He ended up back in Long Beach and has reflected on his life ever since.I dont regret one bit of it, Vazquez said of his homelessness. I wouldnt change anything. Im probably happier than Ive been in many years.Vazquez chose to tackle his water-related anxieties, which stemmed from two childhood incidents.He said he believes he almost drowned at age 10 when everything turned red while boogie boarding. He got to safety and recovered.Then in his sophomore year at Wilson High School, he tried out for the celebrated water polo team but quit after the first day of tryouts. The coach at the time, Rick Jones, saw Vazquez struggling in the water and stopped the tryouts so he could recover, Vazquez said.I damn near drowned, recalled Vazquez. It was embarrassing and humiliating to experience that in front of my peers.He added, I never went back. I quit that day. Its haunted me all these decades.A friend, who works as a local lifeguard, provided Vazquez with an old pair of lifeguard trunks last July, now faded pink.I said What are these, girls trunks Vazquez asked of the once-red trunks.Challenged to swim out to a nearby buoy in the area of Division and Bayshore, Vazquez accepted the challenge, got in the water, and made it out to the buoy and back.Thats where it started, Vazquez said.It was then I realized I wanted to keep doing this. Ive been swimming every day since.One day he crossed paths with Shari Barth, the widow of legendary Ironman triathlete and Wilson High School swim coach Klaus Barth at a local AM/PM. The two exchanged kind words and Vazquez told her what a great man her husband was.Vazquez never had him as a coach but was his pupil in a remedial math class. Vazquez said he and the teacher never had a personal conversation, however.Having had a panic attack while swimming last summer, Vazquez said he asked God to make Barth his Guardian Spirit.Vazquez said he is not religious but that he believes in a Higher Power.One day he struggled in the water and had an emotional experience. He said the sound of Barths voice came from the shore, bellowing out to him: Roberto, the pain goes away. What you achieve lasts forever.I started bawling right there in the water, Vazquez said, as he broke down. And I cant tell that to anyone without crying.He said the voice was loud and clear.It was like he was standing there, arms crossed, with a German accent. I dont believe in ghosts. I knew he wasnt standing there, intellectually, but ever since then, I dont want to be a quitter. Klaus was tough, never a quitter.Vazquez added of his swimming accomplishments, I want to emphasize, I didnt do it all alone. I had help from my Higher Power and Klaus Barth.Vazquez said he thanks God and Barth. He also appreciates the people he has met along the way.When the water was much colder during the winter, Vazquez said strangers would offer him a wet suit, but that he declined.They said, Arent you cold and I said, You know what I dont want to think about it.Vazquez would rather deal with his fear of the cold water.I really want Klauss wife and kids to know, I talk to him every day. I want to say Thank you coach.It takes Vazquez 3 to 4 hours to swim around Naples Island. He swims slowly, using his own techniques.Thats how long it takes me because I dont have the technique or the experience, he said.An avid reader, Vazquez also believes in the love of fate philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche and the poetry of Charles Bukowski, who was quoted in part, If youre going to try, go all the way.Vazquez stated: If you want to change, if you want to heal, you have to be willing to do certain things or pay a certain price. This means being brutally honest admitting faults, recognizing failures, lost opportunities and wasted talents and you cant care anymore about what others see, say, think, or do. Its that simple and that difficult, all at once.It has been probably the most difficult, the most humiliating, the most loneliest year in my life, and I wouldnt change it not one bit, because it had to happen for me to feel, and be, as free as I feel today without the shame or fears or worries I had before this streak started.Ive spent hundreds of hours in the water. Thats a lot of time to think of all the things youve done wrong in life, your faults, what you could have been.Vazquez plans to find new work and housing after Aug. 1.Wes Edwards, who was a friend and colleague of Barth, met Vazquez last year and saw his ritual of writing Barths name in the sand before swimming.Edwards spoke highly of Barth.He was an incredibly motivating coach and I admire him, he said.Barth died of brain cancer in 2006 but fought until the end. His death made headlines.You can do it, was his whole message in life, including beating cancer, Edwards said. He lived six years longer than his prognosis.Edwards added, He kept swimming, kept training. Anyone in Long Beach during that era would know who Klaus was. You would see bumper stickers that said Live Like Klaus.Regarding Vazquezs efforts, Ive done that swim before myself and it takes a lot of will power to do it, Edwards said. People do that swim 2.8 miles, but to do it as much as Rob, hes devoted for doing it.Category: News

COVID-19 Mandate: City Manager Will Not Use Emergency Powers
07/29/2021 4:39pm

By:Stephen DowningOn July 27 Mayor Robert Garcia tweeted: We are announcing today that all Long Beach city employees will need a mandatory vaccination or be required to show a weekly negative COVID-19 test.The city reported that the overall vaccine rate among city employees is 72 with sworn firefighters at 58 and sworn police officers at 51.When asked about policy implementation, the city manager provided the Beachcomber a memo that stated The city will commence the required meet and confer process with city labor associations, which is not expected to be complete until mid-August.On July 27, the Beachcomber asked both the firefighter union and the police union via email if their organizations would waive the meet and confer process so the policy could be implemented immediately. Neither organization responded.On July 27, the Beachcomber asked via email if the City Manager, planned to declare an emergency suspension of the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act so that employee vaccination policy could be implemented immediately.The city managers JIC spokesperson responded: Attached is the citys memo, which describes the approach the city manager is taking on this issue.The memo attached was the same memo that reported the city would engage in the meet and confer process that would not be complete until mid-August.On July 28 the Sacramento Bee reported that Governor Gavin Newsoms vaccine order, which has the same elements as the Long Beach policy, was issued using emergency powers and that only one state employee union protested while other state worker unions, including the Correctional Peace Officers Association and the Statewide Law Enforcement Association, signaled that they would support the order.Category: News

The Oxymoron of Eddie’s Liquor
07/29/2021 4:25pm

By:By RJ Singh In partnership with Fourth Street creative hub Play Nice, Senay Kenfe uses the Eddies Liquor banner as a riff on a traveling show for his art while providing a platform for Long Beachs young creatives.Growing up in the 90s, Senay Kenfe, 30, couldnt have many clothes, but his mother always had a new book for him to slip under his arm.The Wrigley community and a clash of parental lifestyles led to Kenfe repurposing influences into Eddies Liquor on Fourth Street, a shared space with creative hub Play Nice.But you wont find a handle of Jack Daniels or sketchy erectile dysfunction pills in here.The real irony is I dont drink, Kenfe said. Ive never drank in my life.Liquor stores have overpopulated Kenfes community like an epidemic, but he wants to redefine the toxic narrative.There is no youth space whatsoever in the city of Long Beach, Kenfe said. Theres no space thats run by young people, thats for young people, that envelops with young people and thats a problem.The banner of Eddies Liquor goes back to the 70s when his father and uncles worked for Eddie Sr. at the real liquor store. Today, Kenfes trademarked storefront has been a way for him to centralize different artistic mediums, whether that be his own music, DJing his own records at gigs throughout the city or producing zines.Eddies Liquor also became a way to uplift other artists that may not have the opportunity to perform elsewhere. Kenfes community work exposed the citys young and aimless underbelly of creatives, many of whom dont know how to concentrate their power.Like a prophet is to an adrift community, leadership is a near religious notion for Kenfe. True leadership is inspiring others to be an inspiration, he says. I think that when you have access to some type of success and youre placed within a marginalized community, its imperative that you share love, Kenfe said.Eddies Liquor, however, has an emphasis on books.Reminiscent of his mothers library in his childhood apartment, overwhelming stacks of books surround this corner of Play Nice: Robert Mapplethorpes risqu photography book of the human body, studies on Picassos blue and rose periods and a documentation of Supremes reign in the 2010s.Yet there isnt a shortage of books on Black subjects on shelves: Jimi Hendrix blows smoke on the sleeve of one book, Louis Armstrongs trumpet face engrosses the surface of a jazz modernism essay, a chronology of Toni Morrisons life and work and countless other books can be seen.For Kenfe, selling books on prominent Black figures is a way for the public to define the concept of self by self rather than other communities and cultures. People dont really know their history or who they are and the only people telling them is the antiquated public school system, Kenfe says.Between emancipation and the present, the struggle and poignancy for true liberty in America was lost with the erasure of Black artistic and political figures in public school literature for Play Nice founder Ryan Hoyle, 29.With the advancement of technology, and the internet, we have the potential and the access to so much information and theres no reason to be ignorant anymore, Hoyle said. We have the tools to be able to self-educate and learn these things on our own and not wait for folks to teach us.While being exposed to politics at an early age because of his parents, Kenfe still read the eccentric childrens stories and poetry of Shel Silverstein.He describes his childhood as free public school lunches and going between his mothers home and his fathers home. Yet his appreciation for different art forms begins with his upbringing.Kenfe would go to his mothers home in central Long Beach to listen to Earth Wind and Fire and Gregory Isaacs records. But in the Springdale projects, he got to play customized mixtapes with DJ Quick and Tha Dogg Pound on them.Kenfes ear for music became so razor-sharp that when his mom would host rent parties, where partygoers helped pay the rent for admission, shed let 8-year-old Kenfe select the tunes.In Kenfes eyes, the commodification of art and the simultaneous demand for the vulnerability of artists at no cost demands an accessible conversation between artists and consumers.He looks through the European lens of art, a world within itself compared to the US and whose government and society invest in art for the wellbeing of society.Not to be a luddite, but one of the issues I have with technology is that its consume, consume and consume, Kenfe said. People expect instant gratification and art is a passing thing to them and there are no introspective moments coming about with that. I think for art to continue to exist, we have to have a fair cultural adherence to the idea that art is unique, its special, it has value, and not everyone can be an artist.Category: News

Recovery Plan – Authentic or Smoke & Mirrors?
07/24/2021 2:05pm

By:Stephen DowningOn July 20 the Long Beach City Council received a presentation on the city managers proposed Long Beach Safety Recovery Plan SRP and asked that the council provide input and policy direction, and approve the plan and Authorize the city manager to allocate $5 million in the General Fund group to implement the proposed plan. The plan included 14 programming categories with a short paragraph describing each plan category.Safety Programs One-Time InvestmentCoordinated Response Team CRT$ 1,750,000Calls for Service Base Staffing Levels$ 1,000,000Neighborhood Walks Program$ 400,000Neighborhood Safe Streets Bikes$ 400,000Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement Training$ 400,000Entertainment and Business Districts$ 300,000Community Youth Engagement $ 250,000Gun Buy Back Program $ 75,000Subtotal $4,575,000Violence Prevention Programs One-Time InvestmentBe SAFE Expansion$ 110,000Safe Passage Violence Interruption$ 100,000Office of Youth Development- Summer Neighborhood Engagement Program$ 60,000Increase Funding to Current Building Youth Social Capital Grantees$ 60,000Teen Program Enhancement$ 60,000Career Exploration Exploring Space Beach$ 35,000Subtotal$ 425,000Total Proposed Plan Funding$ 5,000,000With the exception of one, the recovery plan appeared to have more public relations value than long-term substance.The one plan with the potential for a positive long-term impact upon the organizational culture of the Long Beach Police Department LBPD is the $400,000 program identified as Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement Training ABLE. It has the ability to build community trust and a reservoir of good will that the department and city can depend upon when the occasional scandal erupts from controversial actions such as bad shootings, excessive force lawsuits, exposures of secret software and hardware programs that inflict injury upon constitutional guarantees and other substandard behaviors by department personnel that have become almost routine in Long BeachThe program description provided to the council by City Manager Tom Modica on the council agenda is as follows:The Active Bystander Law Enforcement ABLE Project, Georgetown University Law Centers national training and support initiative for U.S. law enforcement agencies, is committed to building a culture of peer intervention that prevents harm. The goals of the program include preventing misconduct, avoiding police mistakes, and promoting officer health and wellness. Participation in the program requires a dedicated program coordinator to oversee the program. The Police Department proposes to allocate $400,000 in one-time funding to match federal assistance expected to support this program.The ABLE ProjectThe ABLE project at Georgetown Law Center originated in New Orleans, where after the police murder of George Floyd, deputy chiefs went to roll calls to ensure police officers knew how to intervene not just on each others misconduct but on supervising officers.The New Orleans deputy chiefs recognized Floyds case as the most glaring example of where an intervention could have saved someones life, saying, He struggled, said hed comply, said he couldnt breathe, begged for his mother and died while officers watched or turned their backs on the officer on Floyds neck.In 2014 Dr. Ervin Staub, the founding director of a program on the psychology of peace and violence designed to help police officers stop unnecessary harmful behavior by fellow officers and the New Orleans Police Department developed the EPIC Ethical Policing Is Courageous Peer Intervention Program.According to information provided by the Georgetown Law Center, the ABLE Project builds upon EPIC and Dr. Staubs prior work and delivers practical, scenario-based training for police agencies in the strategies and tactics of police peer intervention.The law center states that, ABLE training will be provided at no cost to local law enforcement agencies but those agencies must commit to creating a culture of active bystandership and peer intervention through policy, training, support and accountability.Beachcomber QuestionsBeing familiar with the elements of the innovative policing program and the Georgetown Law Centers recommended conditions for participation that address the long term goals of the training it affords if police departments properly implement the program, the Beachcomber filed an eComment request associated with the agenda item and asked that the council, when asking the city manager or chief of police questions related to the $400,000 program, that the following questions be asked and answered:Since the program is offered for no cost how is the $400,000 allocation of funds intended to be usedIn selecting who will attend the ABLE training at Georgetown Law Center, what will be the rank of the LBPD officer selected to attend the training and how many personnel will be sent for trainingThe program requires that all commissioned personnel including recruits receive eight hours of initial, dedicated ABLE training, followed by at least two hours of annual refresher training. Is the cost of this on-going training provided for in the LBPD budget and if not, how will the requirement be accommodatedWill existing training hours for other subjects be impactedWill the city agree to make public all surveys and studies published by participation in the ABLE programWhat is the source of the federal assistance that the city expects to receive that will support the programIn that no member of the City Council or the mayor had the interest to ask the questions, the Beachcomber sent an email to LBPD media relations, with copies to Chief Luna, the city manager, Suzie Price, as vice chair of the Public Safety Committee, and Karen Owens, Chief Lunas community outreach head and asked for a response.On July 23 Chief Lunas spokesperson replied, At this time we defer to the information provided in the council item on July 20, 2021.On July 24 the Beachcomber filed a Public Records Act PRA request for all documents related to the LBPDs participation, budget and training plans related to its participation and implementation planning related to the $400,000 project.This request will help our readers better determine city governments authenticity in announcing the delivery of programs that contribute quality change to the culture and operations of the LBPD as opposed to the public relations value of an agenda item or press release that when examined and in my opinion has no substance.Stephen Downing is a resident of Long Beach and a retired LAPD deputy chief of police. stephen.beachcombergmail.comCategory: News

Luna Ignores Mask Mandate – Again
07/22/2021 8:57am

By:Stephen Downing On Saturday, July 17 at 11:59 p.m. the City of Long Beach and Los Angeles County Health Departments instituted a new indoor mask mandate for everyone, including those who are vaccinated, due to the rising infection rates of COVID-19.On Tuesday, July 20 Long Beach Chief of Police Robert Luna demonstrated once again that he is tone deaf to the necessity, legal requirements and leadership responsibilities surrounding mask mandates in a manner comparable to the sense of impunity he exhibited on Nov. 5, 2020 at the height of the COVID 19 pandemic when he ordered over 300 mask less police officers to gather for a photo op inside the Long Beach Convention Center.An Early WarningShortly after the council meeting began the chair of the City Americans with Disabilities Act ADA Committee testified without a mask. Immediately following her testimony, the city clerk announced that, I would like to gently remind everybody that masks are required at all times.Over the next 3-plus hours dozens of citizens, the mayor, members of the city council, the city manager and city staff spoke all wearing their masks.Then Luna was called to testify. He stood, removed his mask and took a seat at the desk behind his boss, City Manager Tom Modica.A review of the council meeting video tape documented that Luna testified without a mask in front of the Long Beach City Council, the vice-mayor, the city manager, city staff and members of the public all masked - for a full 20 minutes before he was reminded of the mandate and told to put on his mask.Following the meeting the Beachcomber emailed a picture of the maskless chief of police to the city manager and wrote: The Beachcomber would appreciate comment from the city manager as to the circumstances surrounding the violation and what, if any, action is contemplated in response to the chiefs apparent demonstration of impunity toward the mask mandate.Within hours the city manager responded: Chief Luna was not present in the chamber when the previous announcement by the clerk was made. However, Chief Luna wore a mask the entire time in the chambers except when taking it off to speak. He was informed during his testimony by the city clerk of the requirement to have it on even when testifying, and immediately put the mask back on for the remainder of his testimony.This was our first meeting back with the new masking rules in the chamber. I will be reminding all department directors today of the requirements going forward and my expectations that we wear masks the entire time even when testifying.Franklin Sims, a reporter for The Memo and Long Beach Local News who was present for the entire 4-plus hour council meeting told the Beachcomber that when Luna took off his mask and began his testimony that he Franklin approached the city clerk when he saw that no one else in the room took any action.Sims said, Out of concern for the reputation of the department given the recent controversies I discreetly let the city clerk know.Sims said a minute later he saw the city clerk get up from her desk and then observed Luna look at his cell phone. Sims said, Thats when he put his mask on.Sims told the Beachcomber that he was highly concerned that no one on the council dais, the vice-mayor or the city manager, chose to take responsibility and immediately remind the chief of his duty to wear a mask.The Beachcomber asked the LBPD for comment from Chief Luna writing: The Beachcomber would appreciate comment from the chief as to the circumstances surrounding the violation and what, if any, statement he would like to make to the rank and file and the public in response to the apparent demonstration of impunity toward the mask mandate. Neither Luna nor his spokesperson responded.Stephen Downing is a resident of Long Beach and a retired LAPD deputy chief of police. stephen.beachcombergmail.comCategory: News

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