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5199 E. Pacific Coast Hwy. #608
Post Office Box 15679
Long Beach California, 90815-0679
Phone: (562) 597-8000
Fax: (562) 597-9410
Letters to Editor
Hard Work

Saturday July 4


Columnist Al Jacobs is right. Success is directly tied to individual motivation and hard work. Just ask actor Ashton Kutcher who never quit a job until he had another waiting. My wife is the only one with a college degree in my family. Our son makes in excess of $100,000 a year, no degree. Our daughter and son-in-law make in excess of $150,000 a year, no degrees. I am a small business owner with a solid income and client base. In my past I was a successful mortgage banker, owner and investor for 14 years, no degree.

My parents were role models for hard working, honest business owners. We immigrated to America in 1960. My dad barely spoke English. I watched them lose everything in 1962. My dad got a job pumping gas and doing oil changes at the age of 52, was never bitter and had a great attitude. They never gave up and sacrificed to succeed. In their retirement years, they did whatever they wanted since they were very successful. No degrees.

You need a college degree to participate in certain occupations like medicine, law and other assorted career choices. Going to college just to go is nonsense. Degrees are a dime a dozen. Talent is more in demand. Its more important to learn the disciplines of being a productive worker and how to make money.

When I took a college class in my adult years, I could tell that about half the class didn't belong there and were simply kids fulfilling parents wishes. For many it probably beat having to go to work. I read a story recently about LB City College stats that indicated only 5% actually graduated in 2 years. Even local high schools have wised up and started offering programs in blue collar trades.

Robert Van der Upwich


Thanks so much for passing on to me Mr. Van der Upwich’s comments. It’s a pleasure hearing from someone who, without a prestigious education, nonetheless succeeds by personal effort. And it appears he has helped to instill these virtues in his son and daughter.

There’s certainly a moral here: Deserved success is not something that comes without active input from the recipient. It’s summed up by an old adage: And so it only goes to serve, that people get what they deserve.

Al Jacobs

Park Boulders

Friday June 26

Thank you so much for pointing out the lunacy of placing the boulders in Heartwell Park to prevent ad hoc soccer games in the area west of Bellflower Blvd. near the duck pond.

I live very close to this park and ride through it on a daily basis. I knew nothing about soccer, but enjoyed watching the amazing players and learning a bit about the game in the process. I would stop along with several other park visitors whenever there were games, and was dismayed when these ugly, weird boulders and dinky little tree appeared in their play zone. Now, no one, except a few birds and escaped children, wander through the area, and I see far less people (non-players) in this area of the park now. So, just what is the purpose of a “public” park, if the public can’t enjoy it?
Really, who cares if the park lawn turned a bit brown? The surrounding neighborhood is turning brown, and why should the park be any greener or even care about a limited brown patch? If this is a “public” park, why should a non-ordained, ad-hoc sport group be banned from one of the few flat zones in the park where they can practice their skills?

The “official” soccer fields are usually totally booked by league players, leaving little to no play zones for the public, and the 30-odd homes that are affected by the short-term, couple of hours parking problems complain about it, seeing as they chose to live next door to the public park. So, what did they expect – no parking zones in front of their personal park and private homes?

Get real and let the public park and play in their own public park areas without having to join a league or leap over boulders. Since many schools and businesses take their classes into this park too, should we put boulders everywhere they practice/teach? If not, why not? What does the park have against those who like soccer?

This is insane.

Even though I’m a 65-year-old lady neighborhood resident who recently had a hip replaced, I’ll gladly help move these stupid rocks off the place that was once an active, vibrant part of the park, and is now a repository for bird-droppings, ugly boulders and weeds, to a more suitable place like Mayor Robert Garcia’s office or Maintenance Supervisor Ed Gahafer’s office!

Jeanne Smart

International Flights

Friday June 26

I would like to comment on your most recent article and column on the community meeting held at Minnie Gant School for residents of Long Beach.

The attendance was light that evening, 65 residents signed in. We certainly had competition from the NBA playoffs and other city meetings that were taking place on the same day. In spite of that, we were able to share “factual” information with residents who wanted to learn more about this current Jet Blue request to build a customs facility at LGB.

The intention was to educate the new area residents and review for others the litigation history of LGB. Both our city attorney and our assistant city prosecutor offered to attend, but the decision was made to not go through the lengthy educational materials that were provided at the first LBHUSH2 meeting held in Bixby Knolls in April. Both offices have agreed to speak before the public again, should this item move forward.

The “Did You Know” stats that were available for all attendees were factual points to consider. This and other documents can be reviewed by the public at

One fact that you misunderstood needs to be highlighted. The minimum number of flights per court order is 41-25. There is not a maximum number allowed. As long as we are protected by our noise ordinance of 1995 and if there is a year that the noise budgets are not filled the city can approve additional flights. In one LGB study it displayed that if there were zero noise violations LGB could serve up to an additional 11 commercial flights. In reality, with weather and mechanical delays that opportunity will not come anytime soon.

Other comments that deserve correction are:

The Quieter Homes program that we, the city council, initiated in 2006 has been fully implemented for the homes that qualified under FAA requirements of experiencing 65CNEL or greater. I also stated that I did not believe that the schools were eligible to inform the gentleman that suggested that be done.

As for a customs facility bringing financial benefits to our city, it was our own CSULB Professor Emeritus, Joe Magaddino who shared that the economic benefits would be minimal and stated his reasoning.

Long Beach is a great city! A City of Neighborhoods! The first responsibility of all the decision makers should be to consider and respect quality of life issues related to the residents of Long Beach, for both today and tomorrow, to recognize the significance of building and maintaining successful residential neighborhoods. And then certainly, to support, within those boundaries, the corporations who successfully serve our city.

Thanks to Steve Goodling and the CVB, our city is a destination for many wonderful mid-size conventions. For those visitors we provide an array of interesting activities, but in my humble opinion, we are not a national vacation destination.

I encourage everyone to review our noise ordinance that is 16.43 in our Long Beach municipal code. Also, to call in any noise violations so public complaints are on the record (562 570-2665)
To share your thoughts and opinions, please visit

Rae Gabelich

Either you or your representative was apparently at the airport meeting at Minnie Gant Elementary on June 4. You do not seem to be aware that it was not represented as a debate, but as an anti-international-expansion meeting.

You bemoan the lack of a pro-expansion representative. If you or your representative were there, why were you not a “pro” representative during the open question and answer interaction with the audience. It would have been a perfect time to score the pro points that must be so clear to you. (It cannot be that you wish to appear journalistically objective. That plane has already flown.)

If you want to live under a flight path and experience the endless big-city thrill of being part of international transportation, it would be simple to move to Los Angeles where they already have exactly what you want.

Joyce A. Stacy

[Editor’s Note: (1) The stated meeting objective in the HUSH2 news release was to “educate residents,” not an “anti-international-expansion meeting” as you falsely claim. (2) Reporters state the facts of what was seen and heard at the meeting. (3) Columnists and publishers express their opinions, based on those facts, as well as other pertinent knowledge. (4) Unprofessional journalists participate in the discussion and therefore lose all objectivity.]

Zero Tolerance

Friday June 26

Zero Tolerance is a kitschy catch phrase that many law enforcement and other government agencies use these days. But, what does that mean for the whole of society?

It may mean that children who want to have a lemonade stand in their local neighborhoods will not be allowed that golden opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship. The possibility is real that a boy or girl scout who innocently brings a pocket knife to school in their back pack will be severely punished or worse, charged with a crime. Zero tolerance becomes real when a 70-year-old veteran with numerous physical and mental concerns could spend time in prison for helping himself and others with natural herbal medicine. It may also mean that an unarmed mentally-impaired person might be killed for not following verbal instructions.

These are only a few of the egregious situations happening in this day and age because of zero tolerance. For young people, it has become a pipeline to prison and a reason to hate authority.

Families have been torn apart and destroyed for the most minute of sins. With only five percent of the world’s population, we now have 25 percent of the world’s prison population. And, do we really feel any safer?

Isn’t it time that we all take a look at the monster we have created and put some compassion and forethought into how we handle situations in our everyday lives? I often ask myself the question, “What would Jesus do?” (WWJD) and maybe we all should do the same.

As the great and wise former LAPD Deputy Chief Steve Downing said, “A red flag should go up for you anytime a person in a position of responsibility utters the words ‘zero tolerance,’ because that means they do not have the confidence to make a decision in their discipline, they do not have the compassion to see differences between situations and they do not have the administrative or managerial skills to make the kind of decisions that create a thriving institution.”

Diana Lejins

Hypocrisy Column

Friday June 26

I must take issue with most of the points Mr. Ramsey made in his column of June 12th.

He takes a Facebook post from one person and runs with it as if all non-believing folks behave in that manner. Then he makes assumptions from that and moves ahead as if it was fact. He states that we (yes, I am an atheist) find joy in the Duggar and other affairs. Perhaps some do but it is the hypocrisy that upsets most people.

Another assumption is that we are angry with religious people probably because we do not like being preached at. Then recommends we turn off the TV and not attend worship. Of course, we are not stupid. “Live and let live” is how most of us conduct our lives. I have good friends from avid church goers to atheists who respect each other and get along just fine. It is the pseudo war on Christians from right media and passing church marquees that state this is a Christian nation that does not sit well.

Moral compass? Overused. He says that it is arrogant to think morality comes from “just” an opinion? Religion is an opinion, thousands of them. Prisons have about a one percent non-believer population. Likely slightly higher because parole boards take religious involvement as a good thing. Still very few. Ancient and recent cultures that never heard of Moses or Jesus have or had prohibitions against murder, stealing and the like.

All I want is the freedom to live my life without a knock on the door from people with beatific smiles wanting to show me Jesus.

Jerry Locke