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ST3448 - May 3_Layout 1 5/2/13 3:31 PM Page 1 Watercolor painting by Moira Hahn T See page 10 VoL. 34 No. 48 Signal R I B U N SERVING BIXBY KNOLLS, CALIFORNIA HEIGHTS, LOS CERRITOS, WRIGLEY AND THE CITY OF SIGNAL HILL In a changing climate for grocery retailers, Bixby Knolls’ Ralphs may shut its doors Your Weekly Community Newspaper CJ Dablo Staff Writer The Bixby Knolls Ralphs grocery store on Long Beach Boulevard and San Antonio Drive is scheduled to shut down in June, according to 8th District Long Beach Councilmember Al Austin. According to a May 1 emailed statement by the councilmember, who said he has spoken with Ralphs corporate representatives, the site will not be converted into a Food 4 Less store and they are planning to sell the property. The announcement CJ Dablo/Signal Tribune surprised and disapEighth District Councilmember Al Austin recently announced that this Ralphs store at 4250 Long pointed a number of area residents who were fin- Beach Blvd. will shut its doors in June. The company’s corporate office did not return media ishing their shopping at inquiries by press time to confirm that the Bixby Knolls location will be permanently closing. Ralphs on Sunday afterthere was also a Trader Joe’s in the area. for a family of six. noon, April 28. Long Beach resident Robert Coca Bixby Knolls resident Steve Bamas They preferred Ralphs over Vons and was helping his elderly mother Francis praised the Ralphs store’s cleanliness had just one item in his bag as he was leaving the store– beef patties. The 26Bamas load a number of grocery bags and organization. Blanca Perez, 56, is another resident year-old said his girlfriend had bought into their car when they heard the news. “It’s going to make it really incon- from Bixby Knolls who was caught off already-cooked patties, but he had run into the store to get patties for the grill. venient,â€? Bamas said. “This is the guard by the news. “I like everything in here,â€? Perez Coca said that this store was always his largest, closest store, and my mother’s 91, and traveling is not a good option.â€? said. She also was packing her car full of first choice. The potential store closure will affect He did acknowledge that there was a bagged groceries that day. Perez says it’s Vons grocery store close by and that the only place she shops. She buys food see GROCERY STORES page 4 Local real-estate market shows signs of improving Leonardo Paoreo Editorial Intern E It’s difficult to imagine that Jerry Bowley could have sold his home and bought another one so easily in 2009– but in 2013? No problem. Earlier this year, Bowley and his wife were able to sell their house in Long Beach, which they purchased in 1997, and purchase a condominium in Signal Hill without any of the problems associated with the past few years in the real-estate market. “It really wasn’t much of a challenge at all. We had one open house, and we didn’t even need to. I think there were multiple offers before we even had the open house,â€? Bowley said. “It took no time to sell.â€? With home prices rising and a low supply of homes, the real-estate market in Long Beach and Signal Hill is showing signs of improvement, according to experts. The Standard and Poor’s CaseShiller Home Price Indices, which gauge the U.S. housing market, reported this week that home prices in February rose compared to both the same month last year and earlier in the year. Also, the California Association of Realtors recently reported that the median home price in the state rose “to its highest level in March since May 2008, while inventory shortages continued to stifle home sales.â€? While prices are up and supply is down, prices still aren’t as high as they were five years ago, said Heather Stephens, associate professor of economics and director of the Office of Economic Research at California State University, Long Beach. The same goes for sales. “We see that house sales are still at a lower level than they were in the past. There’s a slow recovery,â€? Weekly Weather Forecast Friday see REAL ESTATE page 5 Saturday 75° Sunday Monday Conference touches on punk, skateboarding, architecture and food culture in Long Beach Sean Belk/ Signal Tribune From left: Chhom Nimol and Zac Holtzman, members of Dengue Fever, a newly formed band that blends Cambodian vocals with psychedelic rock, perform during the“Long Beach: Work in Progressâ€? conference at Edison Theatre in downtown Long Beach on April 26. Sean Belk Staff Writer In the days of the early punk-rock scene in Long Beach, youth who identified with the rebellious movement of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s were often “hatedâ€? by police, city officials and the mainstream public but respected by their peers. It was an era when it was cool to defy the government, authority figures and popular culture while being tolerant of different “subcultures,â€? explained Jack Grisham, frontman for the Orange County punk band True Sounds of Liberty (T.S.O.L.), who today is a self-proclaimed author, psychologist and family man. “Being hated means you can move around, basically, in any subculture with no problem,â€? said the Long Beach native who in 2011 released his book An American Demon: A Memoir. “There was a lot of cross-culture stuff back then ‌ everybody was really like, ‘Well, you’re all messed up, and we’re all messed up, so we’re all messed up together.’ It was actually really cool.â€? Grisham shared those thoughts during one of four panel discussions at a daylong conference titled “Long Beach: Work in Progressâ€? at Edison Theatre in downtown Long Beach last Friday, April 26. Topics for other panels included architecture, food and skateboarding. The event was organized by May 3 through May 7, 2013 Tuesday 71° 70° 68° This week’s Weekly Weather Forecast sponsored by: 90° Very warm and sunny #RRREAEEATIV # ATIVE ATI IVEVE 5NIQUE 5NI 5N NIQIQU QUEUE  E E DE AD A M DM D N A (AN Stephens said. “As long as inflation continues to stay low‌then interest rates are going to stay low, and that will help drive the housing recovery.â€? “But I think that a true housingmarket recovery depends on what happens with the economy as a whole,â€? Stephens added. Rental prices are also up in Long Beach as well as in Los Angeles County, Stephens said. However, the increase in prices isn’t necessarily a good thing. If prices rise sharply due to investor sales but the economy’s unchanged, then it might not improve the ability of Long Beach residents to buy homes, Stephens said. “You have a few people who are retiring and leaving the area who might be able to benefit if prices go up, but if you’re going to continue to live in the area, if prices go up and Lo 57° Cooler Lo 57° May 3, 2013 Low clouds, then sunshine Chance of a shower Mostly cloudy with a shower Lo 56° Lo 57° Lo 55° 2637 St. Louis Ave. (562) 595-6370 !!!"#$%&'(&)*+,-."/01 Imprint Culture Lab, formed in 2004 to “investigate and curate global creative culture,â€? while bringing together business and creative entities. Long Beach city officials also took part in the event, with Amy Bodek, director of Long Beach Development Services Department, speaking on the architecture panel and 2nd District Long Beach City Councilmember Suja Lowenthal giving closing remarks. For the music panel, Grisham sat down with moderator Joe Escalante, bassist for the punk band The Vandals, who are both known for pioneering the post early-punk scene in Southern California and are now entering their 50s. Though early punk was brought into existence by such bands as The Ramones in New York and The Sex Pistols and The Clash in London, an emerging hardcore contingent held its own in the Los Angeles area with bands such as The Germs and Black Flag. T.S.O.L. and The Vandals, which were both featured in the ‘80s cultclassic Suburbia, a film about a gang of teenage punk rockers who squat in abandoned houses in a suburban community in the L.A. area, soon followed along with other bands such as Bad Religion and The Adolescents. Grisham described alcoholsee CULTURE page 14


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