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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
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From Issue: Volume XXI - Number 7

By Jay Beeler

Thank you to our readers for voting in our 12th annual Best of Long Beach Contest for service-related professions. Another set of ballots will be printed in our July issues for dining, entertainment, arts and retail businesses.

This first set of ballots garnered more than 4,000 votes, so we anticipate a new record of more than 8,000 votes by the time the second set of ballots are tallied. An added incentive this year is that we have more than $10,000 in prizes to work with, which are mostly $25 gift certificates donated by the sponsors listed with the prizes.

We are getting much closer to conducting a 100 percent honest contest by weeding out the cheaters. A few businesses still haven’t gotten the message and around 300 ballots were tossed out because people are under the mistaken belief that they can provide us with 300 different names and addresses, vote only for themselves and give us a stack of ballots in the same envelope. All were voided.

In July – just to make it even harder to cheat – we will require that each and every ballot is an originally printed form from this newspaper and each one is mailed in a separate envelope. The U.S. Postal Service should like that requirement.

NEWS FLASH: The secret to winning in the various categories, based on reviewing thousands of ballots over the years: (1) offer first-rate services or products, (2) become a contest sponsor or regular Beachcomber advertiser so that voters are aware of your business, (3) join a business networking group (chamber of commerce, Long Beach Execs, etc.) and encourage your fellow members to vote for you and (4) ask your customers, clients and friends to participate in the voting.

Any two or more of these business marketing techniques will greatly enhance your chances of winning. Call me at (562) 597-8000 if you are interested in sponsorship, advertising or want a referral to a networking group.

You may notice that winners were not announced in several ballot categories. This is because there were too few votes overall in that category or the votes were spread over numerous businesses. Winners must secure a sizable number of votes in their category.

Voters who did not receive one of the gift certificate prizes this year may not have followed the contest rules. Ballots were voided that: (1) used an initial instead of a first name, (2) did not provide a phone number, (3) did not vote in at least 15 categories, (4) submitted more than one ballot from the same household, (5) submitted more than one ballot in the same envelope with the same votes in each category, (6) submitted more than one ballot in the same envelope with the same handwriting and (7) failed to print legible answers or name/address information.

This year, we have divided the prizes into three groups. Two groups of prizes will be distributed to our Best of Long Beach Contest participants in random drawings. The third group of prizes will be distributed to participants in our Long Beach Treasures Contest throughout the year in random drawings. This means we only have to ask for sponsorships once per year and sponsors get the added value of front page recognition through involvement with the Long Beach Treasures Contest.

This semester, we are pleased to have the services of two new interns: Jeremy Matusow from Cal State Dominguez Hills and Carin Merritt, who attends Orange Coast College. Carin has some experience in the food and beverage industry, meaning we will have several restaurant reviews this semester.

Last week I joined Carin in tasting some of the house specialties at diPiazza’s right next door to our offices at Pacific Coast Highway and Los Altos Plaza. Now open for lunch, I was pleasantly surprised at the various unique appetizers, menu items and desserts being offered for lunch and dinner at reasonable prices.

Like so many other Park Estates residents I was under the wrong impression that this business was primarily oriented to young adults because of the late night bands that perform there. Much like the “good old days” of when it was called The Captain’s Quarters, diPiazza’s is an excellent choice for lunch or early dinner, with Maralyn diPiazza in charge of the kitchen and husband Mark greeting diners.

In upcoming weeks we plan to ask Carin to review other restaurants that are regular Beachcomber advertisers. But how can I possibly lose weight working under these tempting work conditions?

Finally we received word this week that Chuck Roath of Postal Annex Plus passed away. Chuck, Temple and their son, Greg, have been long-time supporters of the Beachcomber and our condolences are extended to their friends and family. Postal Annex again won in our Best of Long Beach Contest in the “Best Shipping Store” category.

Tomorrow we’ll also participate in a Celebration of Life for our good friend Don Temple who passed away March 15. It is being held at the building he owned, The Grand, from 2-4 p.m.