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Community News

City Council Snippets

From Issue: Volume XXI - Number 21
10/18/2013


by Steve Propes

October 1 Meeting

A motion to study the return of a Cyclone Racer.

Fifth District Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske said: “We have an exciting opportunity to bring a bit of nostalgia back to Long Beach. More importantly, something that will bring to us tourists and the revenue that comes with those tourists. I would ask us to think out of the box and we give this gentleman due consideration. We need to be encouraging people who want to step up and give us bold ideas.”

Larry Osterhoudt, the Cyclone Racer project designer said: “The Cyclone Racer ranks right up there with other grand projects of the ‘30s like Hoover Dam and the majestic Golden Gate Bridge.
The Cyclone Racer’s impressive superstructure and profile is a thing of beauty and synonymous with Long Beach. The estimate to build to original specifications is $30 million, which will be funded by private investors. The Cyclone Racer has the potential to generate over $40 million a year just in ticket sales. This attraction will bring needed tourism to Long Beach.”

Schipske stated: “In 1902, the city of Long Beach set about becoming a major tourist destination in Southern California and it opened up the Pine Avenue Pier. In 1907, Long Beach got its first roller coaster. We were ahead of the time. I’d like to see Long Beach get back in that groove: ahead of the times in many things. Followed in 1915, Mr. Andrews, with the opening of the Jack Rabbit Racer, which is apparently where Poly got their name, apparently from the roller coaster. Always competitive with Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York, they introduced the Cyclone Racer in 1927 Long Beach soon had its own in 1930. It was considered the largest and fastest in the U.S., the ride was called the racer because there were two separate cars on two tracks. By the time it was closed in 1968 – it sounds like most of the people in this room rode it – more than 30 million had taken rides on it.”

Sixth District Councilman Dee Andrews said, “I was going to be against this until she mentioned the Jack Rabbit.”
Motion passed 7 to 1, Johnson opposed.

A motion to create an aviation museum on the Boeing site.

Schipske said, “Sadly, we have just learned Boeing is going to end its C-17 production in Long Beach in 2015. Few cities can boast the aviation history the city of Long Beach has. During its 73-year history in Long Beach, the facility produced more than 15,000 airplanes. This has been a substantial history that few cities can duplicate. The silly U.S. government right now is shut down because they can’t figure out it is their job to govern and not to politic. They’re going to cease military production. It will end this era of history. I spent months in the archives of Boeing. The city should negotiate with the Boeing Corporation for a donation of the building on their current site that could house a Long Beach aviation museum.”
Motion passed 7 to zero.

In Public Comment

Hilary Henson said: “Cannabis was called marijuana 50 years ago to demonize it. I want my store back at Broadway and Temple, where I was able to walk to and get a little bit of relief from thinking about ‘when’s the cancer coming or when am I going to drop dead.’”

steve@longbeachcomber.com