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Signal Hill Long Beach T R I B U N E S erving B ixBy K nollS , C alifornia H eigHtS , l oS C erritoS , W rigley VoL. 32 No. 34 Coming February 4 and tHe C ity of S ignal H ill Your Weekly Community Newspaper January 28, 2011 Boeing’s aging workforce dreading inevitable layoffs Candidates for state senator debate economy at League forum CJ Dablo Staff Writer Seven out of the eight candidates seeking the open seat for state senate met for the first time in a candidate forum moderated by the League of Women Voters on Wednesday, Jan. 26 at California State University Long Beach. In anticipation of the special election to fill the seat formerly held by the late California Sen. Jenny Oropeza, two Democrats, see forum page 6 Courtesy Boeing Boeing announced last week that its Long Beach facility will be eliminating about 900 positions by 2012 since orders for the large military transport aircraft have been down. CJ Dablo Staff Writer “P. C. Bob” Loftin commutes an hour from his Riverside home to his job at the Boeing Long Beach facility for a shift that begins at 3pm and ends at 11:30pm. At 57, Loftin has spent nearly three decades working for the aerospace industry, but with Boeing’s recent announcement of job cuts, he’s worried. Boeing announced last week that the Long Beach facility will be eliminating 900 positions by 2012 since orders have been down. Loftin’s family depends on him. His son and daughter are both out of work and live at home. His wife Rhonda, also a Boeing employee, learned that she would likely be laid off from her job at the Carson facility in February. As workers who have dedicated their lives to the aerospace industry, Loftin and his wife are among Boeing’s workers in their 50s in Southern California who fear for their future and worry that time just isn’t on their side. “Morale is on the bottom,” Loftin said. “Morale is very low. You can’t have pride in your work if they’re going to snatch it out from under you. Your pride is gone.” Loftin and many of his co-workers have decades of experience in an industry for which there are few similar jobs in California. Union representatives are acknowledging that workers are distressed by the news. “ They’re anxious. . .every emotion you can think of, they’re going through right now because, as the company is trying to have them continue doing their work, they’re wondering how they’re going to pay for their health care,” said Stanley Klemchuk, president of the United Aerospace Workers Local 148 (UAW). UAW represents many of the workers associated with manufacturing the C-17 airplane in the Long Beach and Carson facilities. “They’re wondering where they’re going to find the next job and feed see Layoffs page 10 Longtime SH resident made his mark as superintendent of city’s military academy CJ Dablo/Signal Tribune Top: From left, Republican candidates James P. Thompson and Martha Flores-Gibson; Middle: Democrat Ted Lieu and non-partisan candidate Mark Lipman; Bottom: Democrat Kevin Thomas McGurk, Republican Jeffrey A. Fortini and Republican Bob Valentine George V. Hurte, a longtime resident of Signal Hill, passed away peacefully on Jan. 13, 2011, surrounded by loved ones. He was 83. A veteran of the US Navy, he was best known by generations of cadets at the Southern California Military Academy on Cherry Avenue in Signal Hill as “Major” Hurte. He served there as teacher, principal, superintendent and headmaster for the better part of four decades. “He will be remembered for the impact he had on many young lives, instilling ‘character before career,’” said Hurte’s son Brad, referring to the Academy’s motto. “He will be remembered as a generous man with a great sense of humor.” Brad remembers an incident at the Academy that illustrates his father’s ability to use humor to address issues. “One day, he was approached by one of the office staff who complained about confusion in the division of responsibilities in the office and requesting resolution,” said Brad. “He quietly listened, but gave no indication of action. The next day, he handed out a new operations manual for the office entitled, ‘Quit Your Bellyaching!’ That humor see hurte page 13 Courtesy Hurte Family George Hurte’s son Brad says his father “will be remembered as a generous man with a great sense of humor.”

Signal Tribune Issue 3234

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