T R I B U N E For information about this photo, see page 7. S erviNg B ixBy K NollS , C aliforNia H eigHTS , l oS C erriToS , W rigley Vol. 33 No. 34 aND THe Your Weekly Community Newspaper C iTy of S igNal H ill January 27, 2012 Annual brunch at historic dairy affords residents rare opportunity to meet candidates face-to-face Nick Diamantides Staff Writer CJ Dablo/Signal Tribune Architect Robert R. Coffee explains the new design at a special Parks and Recreation meeting on Jan. 25. Preliminary conceptual plans for Signal Hill library promise more space and modern design CJ Dablo Staff Writer Signal Hill has spent more than a decade of planning to replace its tiny 4,234-square-foot library. Now, with the rollout of a conceptual design presented at a meeting last Wednesday night, the public had a chance to see what architect Robert R. Coffee imagines for the city– a high-tech library with more than three times the space. Dozens of local residents packed into the City Council Chambers on Jan. 25 to see a conceptual design presented by Coffee during a special Parks and Recreation Commission meeting. The new building that will occupy over 15,000 square feet will replace the city’s current police station and library. The police station will be moving to a new building that is set to finish construction later this year. The current estimate to build the library totals over $7.6 million and assumes the year-long construction project will start January 2013, according to reports distributed at the meeting. The library design features an expanse of windows, a courtyard, space for a children’s area, a teen area, a learning center, a historical museum, and design elements to celebrate the city’s historical ties to the oil industry. The building is also expected to see SH LIBRARY page 15 It’s not often that citizens get to have one-on-one discussions with candidates hoping to represent them in the halls of government, but Long Beach residents get the chance to do so shortly before every general municipal election, as well as elections for Long Beach area state senators and assembly members. That opportunity comes at the candidate Brunch that takes place at the Historical Long Beach Dairy and Creamery in North Long Beach. The Dairy is a more-than-100year-old, restored farmhouse owned by Dan Pressburg and his wife Holly. It is also their home. Neena Strichart/Signal Tribune The latest brunch took place last Community activist Diana Lejins, 8th district candidate Lillian Kawasaki and Saturday, and about 70 people event host Dan Pressburg at the candidate brunch last Saturday passed through the front doorway Gibson, who is running for the 70th Watkins said. “I am really enjoying during the four-hour event. “We have State Assembly District seat. Incum- all of the friendly discussions.” been hosting the candidate brunches bent city councilmembers Suja Supernaw agreed. “This is a good for about 13 years,” Pressburg said. Lowenthal (2nd district), Patrick way for the candidates to get their “It’s an opportunity for candidates O’Donnell (4th), Dee Andrews (6th), message out and a good way for the and people to mix and mingle, and to and Rae Gablich (8th) did not attend voters to see the real differences discuss issues that are important to the brunch. Incumbent Assembly- between the candidates,” he added. them in a non-threatening manner.” woman Bonnie Lowenthal also did Austin was also glad to attend the The candidates who showed up at not attend. event. “I really commend Dan and Pressburg’s house on Saturday Ballantyne said it was the first Holly for their commitment to civic included: Janet Ballantyne, who is candidate brunch she had ever participation and for opening up their seeking the 2nd district Long Beach attended and she was fascinated to home to candidates and people who City Council seat; John Watkins and meet people with expertise in various are interested in the election Daryl Supernaw, who are running fields. “I am walking away with a process,” he said. for the 4th district council seat; Al wealth of knowledge that I did not Kawasaki noted that residents Austin, Lillian Kawasaki, and Gus- have before coming here,” she noted. from all over Long Beach had come tavo Rivera, who are vying for the “This is the most unique candi8th district seat; and Martha Flores- dates gathering in Long Beach,” see BRUNCH page 15 At WANA meeting, deputy development services director forecasts gloomy future after demise of RDA Nick Diamantides Staff Writer Unless the state legislature and governor do something drastic, all redevelopment agencies (RDAs) in California will cease to exist as of Feb. 1. Last Monday evening, Robert Zur Schmiede, Long Beach deputy development services director, told a small gathering of people that cities and many of the state’s poor will feel the pain of the RDAs’ demise for many years. Zur Schmiede was the featured speaker at the monthly Wrigley Area Neighborhood Alliance meeting, which took place in the Veterans Park Recreation Center. About 25 people attended the meeting. Zur Schmiede told the audience that Sacramento’s decision to pass legislation abolishing the RDAs was not carefully thought out and it would take months, perhaps years, to fully understand the ramifications of that decision. “I don’t think anyone knows how it’s all going to play out,” he said. “But we do know that a lot of good programs and planned projects are going to come to an end.” The deputy director reminded WANA members that redevelopment has been a very important program in Long Beach for 50 years and the RDA has been instrumental in removing blighted conditions, reinvigorating business districts, undertaking massive development projects (including the construction of affordable housing for low-income families), helping create new jobs, and bringing additional revenue into the city’s General Fund. Zur Schmiede noted that last year Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills see WANA page 10 Nick Diamantides/Signal Tribune Robert Zur Schmiede, Long Beach deputy development services director, says that cities and many of the state’s poor will feel the pain of the RDAs’ demise for many years.