Breakfast Talk with City Manager Jack Schnirman

This morning I had some breakfast with Jack Schnirman, our City Manager. We talked all things Long Beach: Ways to make it better, safer and more resilient, house shopping, kale, plus dispelling rumors around town.

I asked Jack if I could post some topics we discussed on this blog. I didn’t take any notes, but here is what I remembered:

  • (A seabythecity exclusive!) Billy’s Way will now be called Crystal Way. It will be off Neptune Blvd, near where Billy Crystal grew up. The actual location of where it will be is still unclear (off the street as a boardwalk extension. Or just extended from the boardwalk towards the ocean).
  • We talked about other bump-outs for the boardwalk and the conversation as to what we want our boardwalk to be. Hence the PHASE II meetings. Bathrooms cannot be rebuilt on the beach, as per DEC. So you will see bathrooms, piers, bump-outs on the boardwalk. If you want to learn more or partake in the conversation, visit Long Beach Listens on how you can be involved (that totally sounds like a commercial).
  • Army Corps of Engineers project to build dunes, extend the beach and rebuild the jetties is still happening. No concrete time frame of when it will start.
  • I failed to ask Jack about bay protection, but he said he would love to see the bay better utilized with the rest of Long Beach. We talked about our love and dream for a marina, amphitheater and other fun stuff.  Jack talked about how it would need to be better connected to the main part of the city. Just stuff the city is thinking about. Nothing concrete at all, just fun talk.
  • The city would love to see our downtowns beautified:  repaved sidewalks, lighting, planters would be great. Grants would pay for improvements. They are working on this.
  • Other improvements to Park Avenue includes Complete Streets.
  • Jack doesn’t like to eat kale, but he will drink it when blended with berries and coffee. That’s what he ate for breakfast.
  • Residents vs. Visitors plus finding balance between the two is a big conversation. I will bring this topic up in a later blog post.
  • Said Greencorners are important for Long Beach since recycling saves the city money. This was a way for us to dive into city-wide recycling, paid by the advertisements on them. I told him how some of these containers are right next to regular garbage cans, which didn’t make sense to me.
  • iStar/superblock/wayfarer is not dead as far as he knows. Rumors were pointing that it was, or that they were selling assets. I keep hearing conflicting things on this..
  • Haberman building (Kitty Condo) we gently brushed on this. The city but doesn’t want to see 19 story buildings. We agreed that these empty lots are going to eventually be developed, but should be something that fits in with the community.
  • On driving around the city: LB is currently working on ways to sync the traffic lights. The hope is to get a perfect speed limit where you can drive Park Avenue without getting stuck at every light.  This will get cars off residential streets and more onto the main road. I have personally seen this work in other towns, the closest in Garden City. It works and Park Avenue needs major help on this front, so i am glad the city is looking into it.
  • Once these lights are in sync and the traffic flows better, other stuff will follow. Something that I love, but I don’t want to bring that conversation up yet.
  • I asked Jack how come Point Lookout has the mentality of driving slow, but here people are very aggressive. He agrees that it’s an issue that they are working on.
  • Downtown resilience, beautification and safety are main issues the city would love to tackle in the coming year. Beech Street and Park Avenue. Would love to see new sidewalks, benches, sidewalk bumpouts- the whole nine yards. Always looking for grants but it’s something they have been working on.
  • I told Jack to please consider beautification on every single purchase the city makes: including signs, traffic signs, poles, etc.
  • I told Jack that the city needs to buy new ICE ARENA and LONG BEACH REC signs that are displayed on Park Avenue. (I am obsessed with signs). I actually told him how I would buy the signs. I wonder if the city will hold me on that? I was half-serious.. lol.
  • On the issue of safety, sidewalk bump-outs are something the city would love to see in Long Beach. I wrote about these a long time ago, so I agree. They extend the sidewalks a little wider at the crosswalks, so crossing the street is a shorter distance.
  • Crossfit coming back to LB to Kings and Things Toys location (1079 W Beech St).
  • The City will look into ways to improve the Open Air Trolley service and maximize the way it’s used in Long Beach. I personally took this trolley for a spin the other day and loved it.
  • Billboards: Said the city is learning and will improve on what is displayed. I am also tired of this topic, so I’m glad to see some maps and business guides on them.
  • I ate a western omelet with a ton of bacon.
  • Other topics such as tree replacement and how I hope Quiksilver Pro comes back were brief, but after chatting for a few hours, we ran out of time.
  • Bungelow West is awesome, by the way. An excellent place for breakfast!

Nails, Tahoe, Boardwalk Phase II (updated)

I heard we are getting another nail salon in LB. I think we need more pizza and sports bars too (Long Beach really needs a vision).

I keep hearing about a really expensive ($36,369) 2015 Chevy Tahoe. Is that for everybody? I would love to rent it, cruise the beach, speed and zig zag around like those other city-owned vehicles that do it all the time (oh boy, do I have a ton of video of that topic).  TAHOE UPDATE: As a reader named Ed points out in the comments: 

Per the City Council agenda for last night this vehicle replaces a 2007 car that was lost in the storm. Also, 90% of cost being reimbursed by Feds, and LB is seeking the other 10% from State.

Long Beach Listens had a survey on Phase II of the boardwalk, but it has since been pulled. There were a few interesting tidbits on there, including how the new boardwalk wood cannot have painted lines. Also questions about retail on the boardwalk. No word on whether or not that survey will be back online.

There will be community meetings on all this. I actually cannot wait to hear about the progress with the pop-outs, Billy’s Way and all the other stuff.

Aug. 18th: LB Public Library  for Central City Residents
Aug. 20th: West End Rec Center for West End Residents
Aug. 21st: (To Be Determined) for East End Residents

(2015 Chevy Tahoe. Actual color may vary) chevrolet-tahoe-suburban-2015-p-6


Grubhub, Billy’s Way, Army Corp, Dealing with dog poop the way the Spaniards do, DecoBike, & too many C.A.V.E. people in LB [Reader Mailbag]

I recently asked you folks to send in maiIbag-type stuff (questions, photos, statements, etc.) to be posted in a Reader Mailbag article. Well, here  it is!

I tried my best to answer or find answers to all the questions that were thrown at me.  I just want to thank everybody who contacted me . Also, a big thanks those who helped me find some answers. Enjoy!

Continue reading “Grubhub, Billy’s Way, Army Corp, Dealing with dog poop the way the Spaniards do, DecoBike, & too many C.A.V.E. people in LB [Reader Mailbag]”

Billy’s Way Looks Marvelous!

FgiFHLfBelow is an artist’s rendition of a new section of the boardwalk that will be known as Billy’s Way. Named after celebrity & former LB resident Billy Crystal, this bump out will be an extension of the eastern portion over at Neptune Blvd where Billy grew up. I haven’t seen any confirmation, but I’m assuming it will be bathrooms & showers, since new/permanent ones won’t be allowed to be built on the beach. If I am wrong on that, please let me know. I do know that this rendering looks amazing; I am loving the circular pergola.

I have to say, I like how this building is named after a celebrity and is not just another memorial. This is no disrespect to those remembered, but there way too many memorials around here; it’s depressing and getting out of hand. Billy’s Way is a celebration of life, comedy and hope, for those who have dreams they want to follow. Thank you for naming this building after Billy Crystal. It will definitely make me smile every time I “use” it.

Note on memorials: I don’t have a problem if it’s a memorial for a person who made an impact in Long Beach. My issue is for the ones where people just buy plagues and take over public space, and it has nothing to do with Long Beach.