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From Issue: Volume XXI - Number 16
8/9/2013


By Jay Beeler

Just as the City of Detroit filed for bankruptcy protection recently, City of Long Beach management and a few other employee classifications are attempting to put us closer to bankruptcy by planning a double-digit raise within coming weeks, even though City Manager Pat West told the council Tuesday that there will be no employee raises in the 2013-14 budget. Remember those words after the budget gets passed by Sept. 15.

Apparently the “Millionaires Club” nouveau riche need to get richer as the city faces a $2.5 million deficit in fiscal year 2015 and a $2.3 deficit in fiscal year 2016, plus over $1 billion in unfunded liabilities for healthcare and pension benefits as well as $814 million in infrastructure deferred maintenance.

According to recent writings by Long Beach Mayoral Candidate Damon Dunn, “It’s time the city shifts its attention from financial “crisis management” to real efforts to create jobs, expand businesses and create long-term sustainable revenue that we can invest in public safety and other essential services like street repairs, libraries, and the arts.”

So now the question to every mayoral candidate should be this: “Would you support double-digit pay raises for city management staff?” The answer to that question will tell you who is best prepared to lead this city. Watch which city council members who are candidates for mayor vote for those double-digit raises next month.

What do you think? Go to our website poll at www.longbeachcomber.com and vote. Comments should be sent to letters@longbeachcomber.com.


Beachcomber columnists such as Ben Miles, Taylor Ramsey and me will stick our necks out to comment about something occurring in the public forum. Routinely some of our readers will respond with Letters to the Editor on what we write about or some entirely different topic of concern or praise.

What you will not see on these pages are the silly, anonymous comments that typically follow online news stories. Often the online commentary, by pseudo named persons, contain false or misleading information that readers will accept as fact.

Of particular note is a “Los Altos Center Adjacent Neighborhoods” (LACAN) blog that provides both negative and positive commentary about happenings in the Los Altos area. What is disturbing about this blog is that the writer is living in the Land of Oz, playing the wizard behind the curtain. I have previously accused local real estate agent Joe Sopo of doing this sort of activity, but sources tell me the wizard in this case is Joe Mello, described by lbreport.com as a “community correspondent.”

“Yellow” Mello has continuously criticized the newly opened Taco Beach at Bellflower and Abbeyfield – calling it “Tacky Beach” – in his blog while remaining anonymous. That’s wrong. In February 2012 he criticized others for doing the same thing when a “negative” poll was being taken relative to the Fourth District Council race.

Mr. Mello needs to stop engaging in potentially libelous commentary and take responsibility for his actions – just like the rest of us. Asked to comment by one of our reporters, Mello predictably ran the opposite direction.

Witness his commentary for yourself at: http://losaltoscenterneighborhoods.blogspot.com/


The Trayvon Martin murder case in Florida has unsurprisingly drawn a comparison with O.J. Simpson’s acquittal in 1995. Once again a jury has come up with a verdict that defies common sense.
The fact is that O.J. Simpson murdered Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Only a brain-damaged baboon would conclude otherwise. Johnnie Cochran’s “if the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit” statement was outrageous in light of the fact that blood-soaked leather will shrink when it dries out.

George Zimmerman was found innocent by reason of self defense. He should have been found guilty of provoking the situation after a police dispatcher told him to not follow Martin. Like O.J. Simpson, Zimmerman will suffer the consequences for his actions for the rest of his life in a self-imposed purgatory.

Juries will continue to find innocent people guilty and guilty people innocent. It’s part of the system that doesn’t adequately pay jurors for their service and seats only those jurors not clever enough to “escape” from the many frivolous cases that clog the court system.
Beyond a shadow of doubt cops and other authorities will lie on the witness stand while taking an oath to be truthful. I speak from personal experience and we see examples routinely in the media about prosecutors gone amuck. Been there, done that.

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