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SIGNAL Pages 12 & 13 T R I B U N E “Bedroom” Pencil on paper by Nat Iosbaker See page 10 SERVING BIXBY KNOLLS, CALIFORNIA HEIGHTS, LOS CERRITOS, WRIGLEY AND THE CITY OF SIGNAL HILL Vol. 35 No. 36 Your Weekly Community Newspaper Long Beach mayoral candidates debate Civic Center proposal and discuss other topics at Northtown forum February 7, 2014 CJ Dablo / Signal Tribune Since January, tennis students from Jordan High School have been training at nearby Houghton Park while the school undergoes major construction. Sean Belk/Signal Tribune Mayoral candidate Damon Dunn (second from left) speaks to the audience during a forum moderated by Ken Osborn (far right) at the Houghton Park Community Center in north Long Beach on Tuesday, Jan. 28. Other mayoral candidates who participated included (from left) Bonnie Lowenthal, Doug Otto, Gerrie Schipske, Jana Shields and Robert Garcia. Sean Belk according to north Long Beach community activist Dan Pressburg, who during the forum introduced the candidates Staff Writer At the tail end of a two-hour forum last week, candi- and read a paraphrased version of their all the bios. Three candidates were allowed to respond to questions dates running for Long Beach mayor expressed concerns posed by moderator Ken Osborn and a member of the press, about a proposal to rebuild the downtown Civic Center, stating they either want the project delayed until a slew of new publisher Bill Pearl, while two candidates city officials take office this year or they are against it responded to questions posed by attendees. It was the last question of the evening, however, that entirely. raised the most eyebrows, as Wrigley resident Mauna EichThe project was one of several hot-button topics, including homelessness, economic development, environmental ner asked all candidates how they would proceed with the issues, library services and public safety, that were brought Civic Center proposal. The most outspoken opponent to the project was mayup at the mayoral forum that packed the Houghton Park oral candidate and 5th District Councilmember Gerrie Community Center in north Long Beach on Tuesday, Jan. 28. Various community groups from north and central Long Schipske, who cast the lone dissenting vote last October, Beach organized the forum, which included six out of the when the Council approved (8-1) moving forward with 10 mayoral candidates. The six candidates, who were cho- drafting a request-for-proposals (RFP). Schipske called the City’s plans, which have been sen by community involvement, name recognition and dollars raised, were seated in alphabetical order by first name, pushed by outgoing Mayor Bob Foster, a “farce” and a Awaiting new campus, Jordan High adapts to living so close to long-term construction CJ Dablo Staff Writer Student life at the David Starr Jordan High School continues as usual, now that the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) has begun the initial phase of its efforts to transform the aging complex into a modern, state-of the-art campus. By mid afternoon on a partly cloudy day on Tuesday, Feb. 4, thousands of students on their way off campus filed past tall chain-link fences that protected former athletic fields. That part of the school complex on the north end of the property used to host teens at bat on the baseball fields or saw varsity students practicing their backhand on the tennis courts. For now, the area is dust. A few construction machines are parked nearby, ready to do more work to prepare the ground to build temporary classrooms in time for fall. Bonds issued through Measure K, a ballot measure approved by voters several years ago, will be paying for the project that’s estimated to cost about $135.6 million. Vivien Hao, the project communications coordinator for Measure K, in a phone interview Monday explained why the project to build a new campus over the next eight to 10 years is an unusual one for the school district. “I don’t think Long Beach Unified has ever done this before, where we’ve attempted to completely rebuild the campus and keep 3,600 students on campus at that SH Council grants oil operator short-term permit extension as City conducts study on regulations see JORDAN page 6 see FORUM page 6 Sean Belk Staff Writer Sean Belk/Signal Tribune Signal Hill Petroleum has been granted a short-term permit extension to operate on the company’s seven consolidated oil-well drill sites through Dec. 31. City staff said the oil operator has completed a number of improvements to its sites, including trash removal, fencing and installing trees. Weekly Weather Forecast Friday Saturday 62° 63° A morning shower Lo 49° Sunday 64° February 7 through February 11, 2014 Monday Partly sunny Sun and clouds Clouds giving way to sun Lo 51° Lo 52° Lo 51° 70° Tuesday 72° Mostly sunny Lo 49° This week’s Weekly Weather Forecast sponsored by: NATIONAL CLEANERS & LAUNDRY See our ad on page 3! The largest oil operator and landowner in Signal Hill received unanimous approval from the City Council this week to continue operating on seven drill sites through the end of the year. However, a long-term permit won’t be considered until the City completes a major overhaul to its oil-code regulations, city officials said. Signal Hill Petroleum, Inc., which operates more than 80 percent of the oil wells in the Long Beach Oil Field and 15 percent of the wells in Signal Hill, originally requested a short-term, six-month conditional-use permit (CUP) extension during the Council meeting on Feb. 4. After a motion by Councilmember Lori Woods, the Council agreed to increase the permit extension through Dec. 31. City officials said the one-year extension gives a more “realistic” timeline for city staff to complete a comprehensive study on updating the City’s oil code, which regulates development on property with abandoned oil wells. Woods requested city staff to come back with an update on the study within six months. City Attorney David Aleshire said the oil-code study, which includes working with Signal Hill Petroleum to analyze decades of data on water quality, capping oil wells and preventing methane leakage, is expected to be the most comprehensive in the country and would have major impli- cations for future development in the city. “The idea has been to try and figure out what is a reasonable program to try and clean up abandoned wells and make property developable,” he said. “We’ve been asking for a lot of data to be produced so that there could be the most comprehensive study that’s ever been undertaken by any municipality in the United States of an oil field and what the impacts are on land-use development.” In Signal Hill, most new development requires costly environmental remediation, known as oil-well reabandonment, before projects can break ground, mainly because of the City’s long history of oil extraction Approved Watering Sched- see COUNCIL page 15 Watering is approved on the following days: Monday, Thursday, & Saturday before 9am and after 4pm For more information, call the Water Conservation Hotline: 562-989-7350


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