T R I B U N E For more information about this artist, see page 9. S erving B ixBy K nollS , C alifornia H eigHtS , l oS C erritoS , W rigley Vol. 33 No. 20 and tHe C ity of S ignal H ill Your Weekly Community Newspaper october 21, 2011 Protesters and community speak out at Three candidates enter arena Lincoln Park with ‘Occupy Long Beach’ for 8th District council seat Stephanie Raygoza Athena Mekis Staff Writer Staff Writer Long Beach residents and community organizers took to the streets and gathered at Lincoln Park in the city’s downtown district last weekend to protest in solidarity with the Occupy Together movement. The Occupy Long Beach events culminated on Sunday with two arrests and two other citations after a number of participants came to disagreements with the police officers who attempted to usher them out of the public park. The purpose of the non-violent, non-partisan movement, which continues to spread across the country, is to protest corporate greed. Following the Declaration of the Occupation of New York City document and intending to help represent the disadvantaged “99 percent” majority that is suffering from an unfair global economy, the hundreds of signwielding protestors chanted and expressed their concerns over the “one percent” of corporate America that they believe have come to run the government. In light of the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, more than 250 students, community advocates and educators occupied and rallied in With elections for the second, fourth, sixth and eighth district Long Beach Council seats approaching in spring of 2012, the race for eighth district is shaping up to be the most hotly contested. Three candidates have already filed their 8th district intent-to-run forms as the current councilmember, Rae Gabelich, is terming out after two fouryear terms. In a phone interview with Signal Tribune publisher Neena Strichart Thursday, Gabelich stated that she has not yet decided whether or not she would wage a write-in campaign. The three candidates include: Al Austin II, a political organizer and community leader; Lillian Kawasaki, a member of the board of directors for the Water Replenishment District (WRD) of Southern California; and Mike Kowal, an activist and state-certified real estate broker. Matt Sun/Signal Tribune Protesters march across 4th Street in downtown Long Beach as part of the Occupy Long Beach movement rallies that happened on Oct. 15 and Oct. 16. the city’s financial district Saturday morning. The crowd then marched to Lincoln Park for the general assembly that continued well into Sunday, as people began setting up temporary shelters at night. In a press release sent to the Signal Tribune by event coordinators, local organizer Tammara Phillips echoed the event’s purpose and said, “We are a grassroots, local movement in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street…we are the 99 percent.” Cal State Long Beach student and organizer Ben Fisher attended the protests and said he had worked closely with the City beforehand to ensure that participation in the movement was as transparent as possible. Still, Fisher said that he and the other organizers never received the proper cooperation and partnership from the City, and in an email sent to see OCCUPY LB page 4 Al Austin II Lillian Kawasaki Al Austin II Austin said in a telephone interview that he has lived in Bixby Knolls for 10 years and works in the political department for a national union called the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which is see 8th DIStRICt page 14 Mike Kowal SH City Council rebukes community organizations, offers key responsibilities to Signal Hill Community Foundation CJ Dablo Staff Writer During its meeting on Oct. 18, the Signal Hill City Council criticized two nonprofit organizations which had been in charge of a popular summer concert series and a specific library fundraising project. These projects had used City resources and property, raising thousands of dollars in donations every year. The Council determined to make a change last Tuesday. In a vote of 4-0, the Council authorized the city manager to enter into an agreement with the Signal Hill Community Foundation, which will assume the management of a summer concert series and another fundraiser which sold inscribed memorial bricks installed on City property. Members of the Council emphasized their gratitude to the volunteers who had worked hard for the library projects and had dedicated their time to produce the summer concerts. They did, however, underscore concerns over the administration of these projects and a significant delay in negotiating an agreement with these organizations. “I want to move beyond blame,” Councilmember Michael Noll said of the decision. “I want results. And I think this is real important. The perception and credibility of the organization is really important.” The move drew sharp comments from members of the two organizations at the heart of the controversy: Friends of Signal Hill Cultural Arts (FOSHCA) and Friends of the Signal Hill Library (FOSHL). For several years, they had been responsible for these key projects in addition to other projects and events that supported the arts and library needs. “People have seen how much money is involved. They want it for see COUNCIL page 13 CJ Dablo/Signal Tribune On behalf of the Greater Harbor Area Employer Advisory Council and Christian Outreach and Action, La Trice McBride (right) presents a veterans award to Signal Hill Mayor Larry Forester (left) at the Signal Hill City Council meeting on Oct. 18.