Q: Bonfire on the beach, Party on the Boardwalk, Plus some major grease stain damage

A reader sent a few questions in regarding two yearly events that occur off Franklin Blvd:

Dear Seabythecity,

Two events boggle my mind every year.

The first event is the yearly bonfire on Franklin Blvd. Its usually early spring, sunday night.  It starts pretty early, they bbq on the street and have a band usually on the beach.  Its young kids (late teens), but it usually goes until 11or sometimes later.  Who are they?  Why are they allowed to do a bonfire? What do I have to do to be allowed to have an event with a bonfire on the beach as well?

Second event is happening now. Tables are set up in the boardwalk and a whole crew sets up and serves a pretty fancy dinner to a bunch of people.  Who are these people?Why are they allowed to shut down the Franklin Blvd. portion if the boardwalk for their event?  More important, what do I have to do to be allowed to host a fabulous dinner party on the boardwalk?

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It does appear that both events are put on by the same organization: Bach Jewish Center [LINK].  I have never seen the bonfire, but the idea of taking over a whole boardwalk block is a little puzzling to me. Can anybody  have a bonfire or boardwalk party in Long Beach with proper permits? Ok, well here is the real troubling part. The reader adds:

“What really bothers me now, is that [presumably] the catering company [allegedly] really struggled with the wind and a lot if food items and stemware were knocked over.  When I looked out on Saturday morning there were all sorts of grease and red wine stains all over our beautiful new boardwalk and the ramp.  It’s really irresponsible to have held this event on the boardwalk without taking precautions to protect it. 

I know for a fact those stains were definitely not there prior to this weekend. This just outright sucks, if true.

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102 thoughts on “Q: Bonfire on the beach, Party on the Boardwalk, Plus some major grease stain damage”

  1. Let’s not silly up a really good post with complaints about ketchup stains on a public boardwalk.

    Surly this apparently non-profit special interest group is obtaining permission from the City for their bonfire and catered feast. No big deal. I’m sure if a church or veterans’ group wanted to do the same, the City would permit it. It’s probably simply a courtesy.

    As always, the devil is in the details. Open burning of wood is illegal. Who is paying for rubbish removal? Who is paying for police protection?

    Leave out the nonsense about red wine (the consumption of which on the boardwalk is also illegal by statute) and its stains on the wood and lets get the answers to the hard questions.

  2. Evidence of the fire (burnt embers) could be seen all over the Franklin beach the next day and are still there if you take a walk on the beach. How about we talk about all the damn glass in the sand? Mostly broken brown and green glass so you know what that is.

  3. And how come these signs, banners , and posters that the stores , and restaurants, have been hanging on the boardwalk is allowed? It’s becoming to get a bit ugly up there . Where is the sanitation police? Sleeping, or is someone getting paid for this ugly mess ?

  4. I was shocked to see that a public boardwalk was closed off due to religious reasons. Once, ok…the whole summer? Hopefully not because if I as a pretty laid back person feels disturbed by this, i can only imagine how many others feel. I came off the beach to walk on the boardwalk back to my home and I was not able to. I had also planned to do my daily bike ride of the length of the boardwalk and was not able to. Are there not any other areas in this large city to have a dinner?! Ridiculous

  5. Eddie….the grease stains are really bad from the fair on the boardwalk. How could they not be when you have vendors using fry oil? I can absolutely live with the occasional food stain, spilled drink, etc. but knowingly allowing vendors with greasy carts up there was foolish. And yes, I also complained about the scratches in the boardwalk from the snow plowing. The reason I’m annoyed now is the same reason that I was annoyed then…it cost $44 million of taxpayer money (federal, state, local, who cares) to rebuild the boardwalk and to not use common sense in maintaining it is ridiculous. Eventually we, as taxpayers, will get hit with a bill for maintenance and repairs and it won’t be pretty.

  6. A. Both of these events have been granted permission via permits from the city.
    B. This is a reputable organization that services the local community all the while taking responsible for its activities and events to ensure safety and proper cleanup etc.
    C. This event is only done once a year ( there was a comment saying, “the whole summers?” get your facts straight please).
    D. Bonfire in springtime is for local teens and is supervised by responsible adults and NO alcohol is even brought to that event. Green glass alcohol bottles are from guests who take advantage and trash our beach and boardwalk. Things go on under the boardwalk. This is nothing new.
    E. This week’s Boardwalk Dinner had a cleanup crew as well as sanitation involved and everything was cleaned and all garbage was removed from site promptly. A stain on the boardwalk is something that is sometimes inevitable just like if a child would spill his ice pop or someone would vomit – would be a stain. ) That being said, the organization is aware that there may have been a stain as it has been brought to their attention and they are looking to see if this can be rectified.
    F. Please don’t say things if you don’t know the actual facts.

    Thank you.

  7. All very sensible points of fact and reasoning that you bring into this discussion Anon. However, where are the harder facts (not from you, but from our local officials) with respect to actual costs and the taxpayer funded services provided for such events? Fees? Required insurance? Criteria for approval? There are many reputable organizations or groups that may want a section of boardwalk or beach for running an event- hard to find a much nicer venue. In fact it could be a big money maker for the City coffers if appropriate fees were charged and the City marketed it. Years ago, when surf schools first took over sections of beach, I wondered: “What if me and my neighbors ponyed up double or triple the amount the surf school was paying to achieve exclusivity for ourselves on a section of beach”? The fee seemed pretty low, the value quite high. Where does it end? Would some groups be deemed “unreputable” because of their positions on controversial issues? I agree with Eddie that this is no big deal. But the devil is in the details, and someone ought to share those details.

  8. Anonomyous, I am assuming you are involved with the organization who runs the events. If you are, I thank you for your info and comment.

    I am not speaking for the person who sent me the original questions in this post, but that person seemed baffled how one organization is able to pull off two specific events which nobody else seems to do 1) A bonfire on the beach 2) closing off a public boardwalk for a dinner. Generally speaking, one would think: Since those two events were allowed by the city, why don’t you see them happen often by many, rather just once a year by one?

    We are assuming you got proper permits, but please keep in mind that the boardwalk is public and is paid by tax payers. it is not a private area. So for police to tell folks not to walk through gets many ticked off. Honestly, if I had to walk through and I was told not to, I would have made a scene.

    As far as the stains, I posted that info as ALLEGEDLY. I am not saying it was done by the caterers, but I do ASSUME it was. I live in that general area and know for a fact those stains were not there prior to the dinner. You even admit in your comment that the stains were indeed done by the organization (assuming you are involved with the organization). Yes, it’s silly to complain about a stain or two, but those are kinda major – especially the long streak. Many taxpayers, including myself, are very protective of the boardwalk because of that price tag of 42mill, not to mention the beauty of the wood and destruction of the old one. We want to make sure it is being taken care of.

    So I appreciate your comments and do hope the stains are going to be rectified.

  9. What is the name of this reputable organization ? Why the mystery ? How much was the fee charged by the City ? This information should all be public !

  10. If this organization gets a deal anything close to the surf schools, our beach/boardwalk is being given away. The surf schools only pay $3000/beach for the entire season… Skudin w/ 2 beaches pays $6000 and Surf for All $3000 for 1 beach.

  11. The surf schools are considered by many and by the City Council as “doing a service to the community”. I suppose it can be argued that they are doing a service to themselves too in making a living. They teach water safety, bring lots of goodwill into Long Beach and offer a great amount of charity work to Long Beach residents.

    A good argument can be made pro or against the City’s (the Taxpayers’) “subsidy” of these surf schools through low rent.

    The same applies to religious groups. The City Council has always afforded them courtesies. Some of them cost the taxpayers money and I suspect some of the taxpayers would object.

    All these “courtesies” and “subsidies” are handled in a rather ad hock manner:

    “Hey Curley, what do you think of us plowing the temple’s parking lot?”

    “Sounds good to me. Don’t we do the church lots?”

    “Yea, but we do them cause Joe the plow driver works there on Sundays”…

    The City of New York does the same thing. But they have policies, standards, requirement, and hoops through which “applicants” must jump to limit the City liability and assure that nobody’s getting unjustly enriched off the taxpayer.

    Do you think the temple’s bonfire carried liability insurance, or were we insuring that no kid got burned? Who knows? It’s a mystery. A secret. Hushhhhhhh…..

  12. I want to be clear that my issue is with the stains on the boardwalk from the fair a few weeks ago (the vendors using fry oil in their carts) and not from the event in the photos above. I think that we all understand that normal wear and tear will happen…it’s a public space used by a lot of people. But to me it was poor planning on the City’s part to allow the food carts on the boardwalk in the first place.

  13. Since you asked, BACH Jewish Center is this reputable org that offers many services for all ages to local residents within our beachside community.
    Every event including the beach bonfire requires liability insurance and yes was provided by BACH. Also as mentioned, responsible adults were on site the entire time “manning” the fire and putting it out on time.

    Proper care has been taken each time to ensure safety and that the beach/boardwalk is treated with respect.

  14. I believe “The whole summer?” Comment was a question, not a statement. Hense the question mark. And there was no “s” at the end of “summer.” Please spell correctly when you decide to quote. Glad to hear it’s only a one time thing!

  15. I guess the argument should be pointed towards the people who allowed this to happen and not the organization that was given permission. Maybe someone in BACH has an in w LB police and thats how they allowed this to happen. The Allegria doesnt even have that type of pull and many people know that theyve been doing whatever they want once they built that place. Maybe its the same inside connection that allows people who belong to the long beach temple, to park all along the street causing traffic to go down to one lane and drive along the yellow dotted line. If everyone was able to do this constantly, long beach would be gridlocked. Special treatment causes problems and unhappy communities. Ill be sure to bring this up at the next board meeting.

  16. Fairness and transparency… preemptive transparency to quell concerns stated here. I voted for that. And yes, I agree that the surf schools and this organization do good work and are worthy, but equal opportunity and access come from having clear policy and documented statements of fees and costs. And what I think about the organizations does not matter much. What does is equal protection for all organizations to know what public resources are available, at what cost, given what conditions. As stated by Eddie, not ad hoc. I trust that this concern will be addressed to the benefit of all due to this blog’s sunlight on the issue. It’s win-win to do so.

  17. Perfectly stated, Trying to Make Sense! Fairness, transparency and community engagement.

    And I really want to know how I go about getting a permit for a bonfire (I’d like to have a kid/family friendly like the one held recently)! 🙂

  18. I was told, by one of our darling city council members, that the section of the board walk that is used for the craft fairs and other events of this nature was purposely built with concrete shoulders so the vendors would not be set up on the wood, thereby damaging it and making clean up (I.e. stain removal) easy. Guess that was a load of crap.

    As for bond fires, they do it on the beach in El Segundo CA but I can tell you (having lived there) that they had aggressive crews that would keep the areas clean and police patroled to make sure things did not ge t out of hand. We have neither that type of motivated police force or the funding to handle that here in LB. So while I would love nothing more than to have a family bond fire on the beach, our town (cause we really are more of a town than a city) cannot handle it.

  19. When I was growing up, we built fires on the beach all the time. No supervision, no complaints from the police. It was an age of individual responsibility. We got burned, got splinters and it was our problem.

    Times change; government and regulation grow as do the costs and taxes.

    I’m happy that BACH jumps through the hoops to make these fun activities available for the neighborhood kids. I’m also happy that the surf schools are encouraged.

    And I’m glad we live in a town that still offers some parking courtesies to church (and temple) patrons.

    Contrary to what some believe, our City is a very welcoming place. I often criticize the Council and the Democrats, but they have always treated me well, respectfully and I have respect for most of the individuals running the place. I believe they would afford the same courtesy to any valid community group with the proper pitch and credentials.

    There’s some crabs here. These activities are all good. They help us all and make Long Beach a better place. They improve our quality of life.

    Want to complain? Complain about Section 8 dumping, North Park crime or taxes. BACH’s community activities for neighborhood kids aren’t the problem.

  20. Isn’t tax-free because they are religious organizations enough of a courtesy? As for the boardwalk dinner, this was a community event? I’m part of the community and I wasn’t invited! I see advertisements for weekly community events and neither of these events were advertised. Also, at a minimum, the attendees at this event paid $65 per person, with a maximum of a table worth $5,000 for “the captains table” for ten people, including wine! Those numbers sound pretty profitable, and considering the damage that was caused, for example the stainS are not just silly ketchup stains but actual GREASE stains that are not going to be washed away anytime soon, i think the organization should be held responsible. This isn’t a kid dropping an ice pop, or a guest throwing up. This was deliberate and irresponsible on the part of a few on a piece of public property. You know what happens to most people when they want to enjoy a glass of wine on the boardwalk or the beach? I can tell you, you get a ticket. And I think that’s the right thing. So to say, that it’s ok to let this kind of event happen and then to say that the event only caused “a” (singular) stain is either indicative of this organizations’ lack of control over their events or just plain disregard for anything outside “their” community. And to the poster that said churches get parking courtesies, show me! I’d like to see what other organization gets a pass on parking. I can tell you if I parked in an area that has a “no parking” sign, I would get a ticket. And I get NO tax breaks.

  21. I think I’ll go to city hall tomorrow and see if I can shut down part of the public boardwalk for a private event, then I’m going to have a bonfire, safely of course. Watch me get taken off the beach in cuffs.. Maybe if I ponied up some cash to the politicians I would be allowed also… Hmmmm….

  22. Someone here made a very good point. WHY do they allow these restaurants to hag their signs on the Boardwalk railing? This really makes our new Boardwalk in to a discussing display of advertising. And should not be allowed. It’s an eye-sore..

  23. It seems I can’t post a picture – but when I woke up this morning I saw a truck on the boardwalk power washing it by Franklin. It seems that the city and the organization who ran the event listened and took action, so we should all respect that. Maybe the city would grant more people and organizations the right to do these types of events if they pay the required fees and provide the proper insurance, but maybe nobody thinks to ask?!

  24. ok thanks no need to post it really, it’s just a photo of the boardwalk by Franklin being cleaned this morning . What matters most is that it was done.

  25. I’d like to see a picture. I was just on Franklin and I still see the stains. They are grease stains, so doubtful that power washing with water will make any difference anyway, although I’m frustrated because It’s just the sense of entitlement that comes from some of our community that bothers me. Some of the posts that keep deflecting from the real issue of this specific post here remind me that the attitude of many of our residents here in LB is that “if it benefits me and mine, then it’s ok, but when it’s someone else, I am completely intolerant of it”. See to me, this is just as bad as the section 8 problem and the north park crime. Definitely worse than the advertisements, doesn’t even compare.

    And for the post about special parking privileges, take a drive down to the end of Long Beach Blvd. at Broadway. Cars are parked all along the middle island in an area where it is clearly marked “no parking this side of street”. Not sure what the times and days of the week it happens, but it’s a few nights per week. This situation makes the traffic in the area pretty bad in the summer.

    When the church on Monroe does their fair, everyone is invited and it serves the community, all of it.

  26. No group should have the right to shut down a portion of the boardwalk for a private event – permits or otherwise. If I lived on this portion of the boardwalk and had to walk to the next ramp when leaving the beach with my family and beach gear, so as not to disturb the guests of this private dinner on a public boardwalk – built with public funds – I would be QUITE upset. As to Anon’s defense that this was a “reputable org that offers many services for all ages to local residents within our beachside community,” I think the operative word here is “our”. I question the scope of the community cited. As a previous commenter has mentioned, there are numerous forums though which community groups advertise their events to the public – forums from which these events were conspicuously absent, and I think that was by design.

  27. Now if only the City would respond to a week’s worth of notice about the turquiose blue spray painted grafitti on the new shower at the base of the Lincoln ramp and various other spots on the vinyl sea wall ajacent on Franklin Beach. A number of people have called or e-mailed City Hall about it. A personal visit to Public Works this morning had an employee tell me that this is the first they’d heard of it. The tag is MTZ and then a scralled number. One tag is pretty large. NO, I AM NOT SUGGESTING THIS HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE EVENTS BEING DISCUSSED HERE. But let’s employ “broken windows” response to show vandals that this city won’t tolerate such wanton nonsense and destruction. Yes, I’m complaining because this has been called and not responded to. Sorry if some of you are bothered that I’m off topic… but at least I’m on location.

  28. Please believe me people have been asking, but the storyline out of city hall is that no bonfires are allowed. I think a process that is open to anyone interested in renting the boards or having a bonfire is crucial to counteracting the special people get special privileges assumption. So where is a clear presentation of the process from our transparent city government?

  29. Piping – it’s interesting to find out that Skudin only pays $3000 per beach for the summer. I wonder what their income is (I heard in excess of $300K), and if so, don’t you feel they are a bit “undercharged?” Skudin should pay its fair share, as do residents and homeowners.

  30. St Mary’s cannot get Monroe between Park and Walnut repaved, go take a look at the condition of that street, been like that for years – what “courtesies” are you referring to for religious institutions?

  31. In my opinion, if the city is going to permit part of the boardwalk to be for a group like this it should be in the area with the concrete and that should be the only place food prep and service is done. I also think it is absurd to close off an entire block of the boardwalk during the height of a summer weekend. Confine it to one side and allow the other side be open to the public.

    If you have an issue that needs to be addressed, such as the graffiti and tagging or missing/damaged signs. Go to the city website http://www.longbeachny.gov/ and right under the Swift 911 box there is one for Long Beach Response. Register, fill in the form stating your request and submit. I have used it twice and both times my request was fulfilled within 2 days.

  32. Spoke with those in charge in the City yesterday and was told that the boardwalk was at no time closed to the public; that anyone could walk through the event. They also said beach fires are never permitted and none occurred.

    I try to keep an open mind with these people, but they resort to blatant lies whenever it suits them. It’s not the way to run a city.

    Guess the voters are fine with this.

  33. The overwhelming support of this administration was surprising in the last election. I’m not writing in support or against this admin., nor am I writing as democrat or republican, but the landslide victory was a surprise to me.

  34. Someone stated on the City FB page that they called Bach and they confirmed they have been having bonfires for 6 years, and that they do in fact have a permit. The fact that Bach also has a flyer and pictures of the bonfire on the beach, leads me to believe they are telling the truth here.

  35. Tom, local elections are very poorly attended and the voters tend to be quite partisan, casting their vote right down their registered party lines. Long Beach voters are mostly registered Democrats.

    In their defense, the current group did a wonderful job negotiating aid from their party after Sandy, and that hugely benefited us.

    But their lack of experience shows in our huge new debts, and mismanagement of seemingly simple things like this issue at hand.

    It would serve them well to lighten up on the friends, family and hack appointments and hire at least a few key experienced people for jobs like accounting and engineering. This would assure that day to day operations aren’t riddled with such foolishness.

  36. While they may have done a “wonderful job” negotiating the boardwalk, it really was a crap shoot. As far as we can tell, no one knew how that was getting paid for until the final hour.

    But saying they raised taxes to pay off debts while accumulating new debt, it’s hard to believe you couldn’t get your more partisan and run of the mill voters out. Maybe LB is mostly registered democrats. Maybe the LB republicans don’t know how to run a campaign.

    Or, maybe there are so many renters here, no one cares. Probably a combination.

  37. Actually, maybe it isn’t that surprising.

    If it wasn’t for this blog, I don’t think I would ever have had any idea about what was going on in LB when I lived there year round.

  38. I reluctantly voted for them, and my sense was that the perception of extremely weak opponents at a time the city was in the midst of sandy recovery drove the results as opposed to huge amounts of partisan driven voting

  39. I believe it would be very useful to have a City Council that is not dominated by one party. I would like this administration to stay in place for another term. I believe Mr. Schnirmann and his team have done a pretty good job. But two non Dem City Council members, on the inside, with the ability to critique and advocate alternative policy or support majority driven policy would provide a check/balance to clubhouse power. I think our “at large” voting for the City Council generates voting for the slate. Perhaps Councilmatic districts pitting individual candidates against each other would lead to more votes based on the skills and merit . I think that the concern that it would create neighborhood devisiveness is overstated. Most LBers have genuine concern for all of LB and would not use district representation as a mechanism for getting more than their fair share for their own district at the expense of their cross town neighbors. Just my two cents. And thank you Anthony for giving us a forum.

  40. There was a time when Councilmen were elected by district. This offered a greater chance of voters knowing the individual they were electing. That was changed to give the Democratic-run system more of an edge.

    The Council did have a lone Republican, but he was alienated and forced to file Freedom of Information Requests for information as simple as proposed budgets and tax rates.

    The partisan way of doing business in this City is a disgrace knows across the State. Even Newsday runs an article highlighting Long Beach corruption virtually monthly.

    The 50+% of voters living in apartments would be well served to learn about local matters and stop giving their local vote to Huffington Post, Newsday and Herald party choices.

  41. They didn’t negotiate. Just Democrats scratching Democrats’ backs so they could get reelected. Come on.. a week before elections the Governor comes to LB to announce that we wouldn’t have to pay a penny for the boardwalk. That grand opening was disgusting.

  42. Residents who do not receive a property tax bill from the City and are therefore unaware that press releases announcing tax cuts (etc.) are huge lies.

  43. Well, as a 5/6 year renter here, I consider myself pretty informed on the local LB politics. Meanwhile, in another post by Anthony, a call for comments from home owners, couldn’t seem to tell you if taxes were up or down, sideways, whatever. What else you got professor?

  44. If you don’t know if taxes are up or down, you confirm my point about renters.

    A homeowner would have received the same tax bills I received, known he was lied to and would more likely voted accordingly.

  45. Eddie — there have been plenty of “lies” by various administrations. Surely you remember the glossy mailer sent by the prior administration a month before they lost the election crowing about how great the City’s finances were? (I still have my copy.) It turned out they were not being very truthful. In fact, they had to borrow money to pay for a couple of retirements just a month or two later. This admin is financing deficits — created by prior admin — and from their own spending or failing to get better control of the city labor cost beast (despite pledging to do so). And they are hiding the true tax bill (as many municipalities do) by “feeing” residents to death. So, if you want to complain, complain fairly.

  46. Yes Eddie, you would know better who you were voting for in head to head competition. Each district would showcase the specific choice the voters have before them and decrease slate voting.
    The graffiti is gone. Thank you public works for dealing with this just one day after I visited your office. It took a week, the ball was dropped, but stuff like that happens and I over reacted.. Studies show it is really important to remove graffiti immediately to negate the motivation for more. I hope the many workers who clean and patrol our beach park have been instructed to report it when they see it to facilitate this strategy.

  47. maybe you should publish the name of the person “in charge” that you spoke with so we can publicly call him out on it at the next meeting. This is a serious issue. I’d be pissed to the point of calling media attention (beyond here) if my part of the boardwalk were closed

  48. If the city closes down streets for activities and allows running races to start and finish on the boardwalk I don’t think that it is really a big deal to allow a properly permitted group to use the boardwalk for an event. I don’t think that it should happen every day of the summer and I also think that they can do a better job of allowing continued access for pedestrians so that people aren’t that inconvenienced. I would consider the boardwalk a non-standard place for an event but I was at a corporate dinner in the Dallas Book Depository and it turned out to be one of the more interesting things that I have ever attended.

  49. Trying – The more complaints about every day things, the more likely action will be taken. I ask all of you to contact city about lack of police presence on boardwalk at night. I ride our with my kids a few times a week and never, ever see a p.o. or even auxiliary, except right by a concert or movie, and even that appears limited. A p.o. or aux walking, biking or carting it from 8-12 would send a message to would be troublemakers.

  50. If you really want to go back a little further, what about the fleecing of the “rainy day” fund that put us in just a little bit of a hole

  51. LBTaxed has the right idea: having a large number of people (over 100) collectively voice their opinion to City officials could have an impact. (FYI, I find the City responsive to well-defined requests.)

    Looking at recent comments in this blog, I see several issues that seem to garner agreement and could generate a sufficiently loud collective voice.
    – IStar ruling allowing more than 10 stories should not be allowed for future development.
    – Police presence should be expanded on Boardwalk and downtown areas, including West End
    – A policy that limits advertising, or explains the current policy’s benefits, would be appreciated.

    (If this list is off target, create your own topic requiring action.)

    But the real question is whether a substantial number of people (preferably a bi-partisan group) will get together to voice their unified opinion or, if we’re only a city of bloggers with no ability to develop real coordinated action.

    By the way, I don’t want to lead this action, but will help someone who would want to lead it.

  52. If it matters enough, people will form a group to coalesce political power around an issue. That a few bloggers have commented on some issues does not mean a large group of like minded people are ready to do anything. Perhaps a group will take up the hi rise issue next time one is proposed to go en masse to the Zoning Board. Maybe a local political party will make that a key plank of their platform in coming elections. Ultimately, the Zoning Board is obligated to be fair based on code criteria for variances. Maybe some people will form a group to demand more police on the boardwalk, most people I talk to have never voiced such concern, and incident stats may not support their perception of the need. You never mention the issue that this discussion was based on, but my sense is that no group will form because most people don’t see what the big deal is about occasional special use of the beach park and will wait to see if the City responds to the core concern, that a procedure to assure future equal access for clearly defined functions is developed. In my backyard issues facilitate the organization of groups, you’ve got your WENCA. These blogs are read by City officials. When complaints make sense, there has been response. Your city of bloggers comment is a tad insulting. Your “real coordinated action” is something that is rare for many good reasons. Real coordinated actions often come face to face with real world legalities, real and powerful counter arguments, and real disagreements within the group on scope and details.

  53. Eddie read my comment. I did know, and I think your disdain towards renters is ironic consider you make it a point of telling us you make money off of them regularly.

    Although, not as ironic how you blame them for everything, yet usher them in to your own neighborhood. Hopefully the Trojan Horse won’t come a knockin’ while you’re on watch.

    My comment said homeowners here argue about whether or not they’re up and by how much.

  54. I’m always surprised at how little political action there is in public around LB when people seem so passionate on message boards and have legitimate gripes.

  55. I agree with Trying to Make Sense. Currently, the best way for non-partisan resident-centric suggestions to get heard is by joining and being active in your local civic association.

  56. Ed, no insult taken. And above all, I laud your good work. I just wanted to point out that commenting on a blog is an act of good citizenship when the motivation is to further the public good. Individual comments can make so much sense that they effect change immediately. Most important is that each and everyone of us who engages is willing to be open minded and ready to alter our positions on an issues in the face of new information and rational argument. Unfortunately, I see too much evidence of rigid doctrinaire presentation of unalterable beliefs. Sad. Anthony gives us a valuable playground for growth that some choose to squander with ego. As a teacher, students were often surprised that I valued their criticism and it sometimes changed my way of doing work with them. My response to their surprise: “Well thank you for showing me what I couldn’t get. Do you think I want to be an idiot for the rest of my life”?

  57. Dear Tryng, I agree that blog exchanges can be good citizenship, can often inspire good discussion, and can result in new ideas and facts (and some crazy stuff).

    And Civic Associations can be an excellent way to get information and disseminate it.

    My concern is that the actions taken are too late and too little. As an example, why wait until the next 17 story building is about to be approved before we act? Why wait for someone to get injured on the boardwalk at night before we ask for added police protection? How many more advertising bins/banners/bikes with messages before we say enough is enough?

    The horse is already out of the barn on these three issues. Shall we wait for more horses to leave the barn before we act to close the door?

  58. Ed, you love “metrics” more than I do. I’d love to know exactly what you base your concerns are. You have a voice before the zoning board, those seeking variances have “legal rights”, and I Star is but one development on a unique property. I’ve been to the boardwalk at night for 30 years, and unless you can produce data to support your concern, have not seen it evolve into some kind of “wild south”, though I realize that perhaps my impressions are not necessarily the absolute reality. Some have suggested that there is too much advertising, I agree, but I’m not certain what the majority think about this, nor do I know all of the rationale for their proliferation. We are all entitled to our feelings and opinions about these things. You have presented no compelling data for horses leaving barns, just your sensibilities, and some other’s being offended. Maybe a cup of coffee some day for further discussion.

  59. The last thing this town needs is more cops or more cops on the boardwalk. I can hardly walk on the beach anymore without getting yelled at by some cop like he’s my mother.

    If you are afraid to walk on the boardwalk at night, take responsibility for your own safety by getting a pistol permit. Then you’ll never fear a dark street again. Thousands of Long Beach residents have them.

    Grow up and stop looking for a mommy to protect you.

  60. Trying, you’re right, I like data.

    Regarding Policing, the data are clear…there has been a reported 15% decrease in crimes and a 23% decrease in auto accidents, due to a 9% increase in arrests and 19% increase in moving violations.

    This improvement is laudable, but there are still over 2600 crimes and 200 auto accidents a year. We can do better.

    I am reminded of a quote I once read: “Every society gets the criminals it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on.”

    I commend the Police Department for it’s work. And I hope each member of the Department would agree that they’d appreciate community input and support in further quelling crime and accidents. We should play a role in defining what we want.

    McKevin: I doubt you’re correct when you say “thousands of Long Beach residents have” pistol permits. But more importantly, I know you’re not correct in suggesting that everyone can get a permit or that everyone wants a gun.

    Are you really suggesting that an 20 year old girl in a bikini on the boardwalk should be packing? Or, that a 70 year old grandmother, out for a evening boardwalk stroll with her 75-year old husband, should have a 44 in her pocket? And what about a slightly inebriated reveler, should they be armed on the boardwalk?

    Feel free to call me irresponsible because I support reliance on the police rather than wanting to take crime prevention in my own hands.

  61. Yes, you are the typical irresponsible liberal. You want to be protected and taken care of by others. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just very expensive to those you must mommy you.

    But you don’t know about taxes, right?

    How about the LBPD assign an officer (with a gun of course) just to accompany you on the boardwalk to make sure nobody assaults you?

    Or you can just passively submit if some goon bothers you. Both options would be better than protecting yourself.

    Your logic is sickening. The last thing Long Beach needs is more cops, especially when the dangers out there and the chance of their being around to do anything about them is moot.

  62. Hi McKevin, a few clarifications
    – I am not calling for more Police, just better use of the existing Police force. This is consistent with the Police Commissioner’s goals.
    – I was a Karate instructor for several years. But now I’m 66 years old. Any good Karate instructor would tell you that sometimes you don’t fight, just leave that to the Police.

    And you say there are too many Police. How many do you suggest we terminate? They made 700 arrests last year, so I think they do have a positive role in crime prevention.

  63. Hello Ed – This is a little off topic, but I am compelled to comment. At an $8MM budget, that is $11K per arrest. The cost per arrest is much higher if the union back pay of $4MM is added in. It’s way too high. If we had more police at half the salary ($250K is way too much), we would have the extra patrols we need. We often utilize the services of Nassau County. It seems that it is time to revamp our police dept., or have Long Beach become part of Nassau County to reduce costs overall. Regards, Lori

  64. That is not any sort of solution!

    There ARE certain sections of the boardwalk that need more of a police presence. The area around Monroe Beach draws a young, loud group of skateboarders who either can’t read or think the rules don’t apply to them. No one is permitted on the beach between 11 PM and 5 am, yet almost every night a group congregates. Unless they get too unruly and someone calls the police, it is unusual to see them in that area.

    If you are getting yelled at, ask yourself which rule you have broken.

  65. Lori, your calculation of cost-per-arrest is an approach that some people use to evaluate Police performance. However, that approach doesn’t consider a key idea: that the measure of Police Department efficiency needs to recognize the benefits of crimes prevented because the Police are present and effective.

    Regarding the salary cost: I’m sure there are many who would agree with you. And that brings us back to the earlier discussion: how and when does our Community try to influence the way our City operates; whether it’s the next IStar, excessive advertising or Police activity?

  66. Ed, the metrics you cite don’t support your argument that their is a greater need for police presence period. However CPeck’s participant observation of a situation at Monroe suggest a need to get other observers to demand action at that location and I would support him and his neighbors if they didn’t get a good response from LBPD. But usually LBPD is quite responsive. Ed, I belief your call for citizen advocacy in areas that require professional expertise or to attack issues without clarifying the authoritative parameters or conditions (ex. zoning “future I Stars’) is somewhat specious. We influence the way our City operates in elections and involvement in well recognized civic organization participation and advocacy. Maybe you need to run for the City Council. Despite my read on your comments on this thread, you’d be someone I would give strong consideration to.

  67. PS Lori, you are not off topic. Adding police has financial consequences. But wishing that we had lower police salaries is just a pipe dream as the police salaries are pegged to the region and not going down. Whether disbanding LBPD in favor of a NCPD precinct saves money or improves service delivery requires complex analyses that none of us are capable of.

  68. Hi Trying, thanks for endorsing me to run for City Council. I, however, have zero desire to run for any political position. I do have a desire to be part of a Community-City effort to improve Long Beach.

    Regarding your comment that my call for citizen advocacy is somewhat “specious”, let me remind you that I selected these issues based on the frequency of blog input. In essence your calling the other bloggers “specious”. I think they are accurate observers.

    And we disagree on when people should be involved. You suggest waiting for elections. I’m more impatient. I agree that Community organizations can be effective. For some reason those organizations haven’t succeeded with I Star, excessive Advertising and the Police complaints. I’m asking them, or some other coordinated effort, to be successful.

  69. Sorry Ed, no. I am clearly saying your call to action based on an extremely limited sample of blogger opinions somewhat specious. Specifically the I Star property is very unique (history of ownership and the serious legal financial ramifications for the City caused by past deals), no one is supporting similar development, and the zoning board is technically required to apply specific criteria for variance. I respect your decision to not run, but I think you could make a difference.

  70. Lori and Trying, thanks for your kind comments. But my future will focus on my wife, kids, grandkids and doing volunteer work.

    Let’s face it…why would anyone want to run for office when there would be some people who would call you corrupt, an irresponsible liberal, a “hack” and a person who has their head in the sand…all without a shred of evidence.

    But I would enjoy working with you both of you on issues that you believe in. Hope that happens. It could be fun and result in positive change.

  71. not sure I agree with the metric, but thought you should have the right number. The police line of the adopted budget is just over $13 million.

  72. Hello Trying,
    A few months ago there was graffiti on the wall of the foundation block. I uploaded a picture with a short letter to Scott Mandel, and was pleasantly surprised by the quick reaction and response. Scott, in turn, forwarded the e-mail to Mike Tangney and someone from another department. Scott copied me on the responses. I can go through my e-mail, and would be happy to share the name of the city manager who Scott contacted. My e-mail to Scott explained how graffiti is negatively perceived by tourists and potential future residents (potential I-Star renters, i.e.) – basically how it hurts LB economically. I will look for the e-mails and print them out for you, or ask Anthony to forward to your e-mail address, if you are ok with that. I share your opinion and frustration on this topic.
    A response on the cost of police – I understand your point. Not to mention the millions of dollars that would be spent to retain consultants on an indefinite cost study! Enjoy your day, Lori

  73. Hi Trying, I don’t find the situation serious enough to call the police unless they get unruly. That being said, more frequent patrols might just prevent them from being unruly. But it needs to be coordinated, both on the boardwalk and on the beach. Perhaps the PD needs to make more use of the Auxiliaries to supplement, or reevaluate how they staff each shift.

    Mt personal opinion is if the boardwalk is open, it should be expected it will be used. As long as no one is being disturbed by that use why not let it continue.

  74. Thank you Lori. I’ll ask Anthony to forward my e-mail address to you. I’m glad you got action. As noted, I did too after showing up at Public Works to find previous phone calls and texts had not been forwarded to their office from the City Manager’s. I’m sure you agree that the crews that pass this graffiti ought to be instructed to report it immediately in order to accomplish fast removal. I know everyone is trying, it was not my intent to be critical without valued intent. Have a great day!

  75. John McNally – I’m not sure if my metrics are the best method of calculation either; as some of the cost is preventive as Ed mentioned.. My metrics experience is from the manufacturing industry. Some percentage of the costs could be regarded as fixed (preventive) – arrests are variable. I’m not sure how metrics are used in government. To be fair, I used $8MM and left out the one time union pay out. However, I have no idea if fringe benefits are part of that cost, or are in a different part of the budget. If fringe benefits are not part of the $13MM, don’t tell me – For sure, it will rattle my cage. Enjoy your day, Lori

  76. Lori, the FBI recommends against comparing arrest rates since they believe there are many impacting variables, including socio-economic differences.

    Based on your comments I think your main concern is less with cost per arrest and more with cost per Police Officer.

    You may want to go to the web site www1.salary.com which looks at Police Patrol Officer salary (with and without benefits and overtime). The site shows the U.S median salary and let’s you see the info for the 11561 zip. This site estimates that our officers get more than the national median. But, the data can be sliced and diced different ways based on city size etc. which can affect the comparison.

    I’ve been on both sides of the salary negotiating table, as a Union President and as the Director Admin for a large company. Both sides bring their data to paint a picture to their advantage.

    That’s why my goal is to get more efficient use of our resources, similar to what C Peck suggested. The salary discussion might need to be deferred to the next contract and next election.

  77. We note today’s announcement by LawStreet.com that Long Beach ranks in the TOP 40 most DANGEROUS CITIES IN NY. From Patch, Newsday and Lawstreet.com

    It is #4 on Long Island, along with Hempstead, Freeport, Riverhead, and Southampton ranked among the top in New York for violent crimes.

    Five shootings so far this year in Long Beach.

    Any coincidence that EVERY ONE of the TOP 40 are run by Democrats?

  78. The story was updated to note that no towns under the jurisdiction of the Suffolk or Nassau police departments were included in the data. So given that the report is effectively useless. Long Beach crime rate is less than half the average for all communities our size across the country. I think we had an over zealous author in that article.

  79. McKevin, thanks for your analysis…it shows how smart you are.

    A slight problem with your conclusion. On a national level, the worst 25 states for violent crime in the report you cite had 17 Republican Governors and 8 Democrat Governors. And, by the way, the 10 best states had 6 Democrat Governors and 4 Republican Governors.

    And since you advocated more frequent possession of guns as a solution to crime reduction, the 5 states where you are most likely to die from a gun (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alaska, Wyoming, Montana) are those with some of the highest rates of gun ownership, and 4 of the 5 have Republican Governors. And, of the 10 states where you are least likely to die from a gun 7 of the 10 have Democrat Governors.

    But all these stats do not explain differences in crime rates, as the FBI will tell you.

    And before you try to claim I’m just another irresponsible Liberal, I’m a registered Republican. Have a good day!

  80. This year was different, yesterday they Did Not completely close down the boardwalk at Franklin Blvd.

    I guess they heard all the complaints.

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