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Signal “Love Letters” by Bonnie McCarthy T Vol. 35 No. 13 R I B U N See page 11 E August 30, 2013 SERVING BIXBY KNOLLS, CALIFORNIA HEIGHTS, LOS CERRITOS, WRIGLEY AND THE CITY OF SIGNAL HILL DIGGING IN FOR DOGS Your Weekly Community Newspaper Photo by Diana Lejins Mrs. Long Beach Kym Cloughesy (with Delaney); Parks, Recreation & Marine Director George Chapjian; Parks and Recreation Commission President Sarah Tong Sangmeister; 5th District Long Beach Councilmember Gerrie Schipske; Vice Mayor Robert Garcia; Parks and Recreation Commissioner Ron Antonette; and Maritime Enforcement Specialist Nick Antis (with his K9 partner Rider) break ground on a new dog park in El Dorado Park on Aug. 24. The offleash area will honor the work of service dogs. After several rounds of controversy over fiscal and environmental issues, 5th District Councilmember Gerrie Schipske hosted a ground- breaking for a new off-leash dog area within El Dorado Park on Aug. 24. The 1.5-acre dog park, which has yet to be named, will be located on the north side of Spring Street, across from the El Dorado Nature Center and Animal Care Services. Plans are for it to include double gate entry, separation between large and small dog areas, a drinking fountain and waste-bag dispensers. The new park will be dedicated to the contributions of service dogs. Representatives of the U.S. Coast Guard, one of several area agencies that use service dogs, were present at Saturday’s event, including Coast Guard Lt. Fredrick Pugh and Maritime Enforcement Specialist Nick Antis with his K9 partner Rider. The canine is one of several dogs used to sniff out drugs and bombs at the Port. The initial construction of the dog park is being funded with $65,000 in oil-surplus funds, and expansion and development of the dog park will see PARK page 6 Photos by CJ Dablo/Signal Tribune The Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse at 275 Magnolia Ave. in Long Beach will open on Sept. 9. Long-awaited new courthouse to open in Long Beach next month CJ Dablo I Staff Writer t’s been a long wait for courthouse staff to get their new building in downtown Long Beach. The glass building on Magnolia Avenue with the sleek, black fountain in the front, a spacious garden atrium in the back and 31 courtrooms is just about a block and a half away from the faded-blue courthouse that faithfully served Los Angeles County from its perch on Ocean Boulevard. Judges James Otto and Michael Vicencia, who serve as the supervising judge and the assistant-supervising judge of the LA County Superior Court, respectively, won’t have many regrets as they prepare for their courthouse to open on Sept. 9. Standing in a spa- The new courthouse includes courtrooms paneled in blonde wood with numerous technological advancements, Wi-Fi access, a large lobby area with electronic boards displaying the locations of cases daily, a spacious security area, escalators and elevators, flat-panel televisions and monitors, and glass doors and see COURTHOUSE page 4 windows allowing in natural light. Records show WRD director, lawyers, lobbyists funded campaign to unseat Signal Hill councilmembers Sean Belk Staff Writer An elected board director, lobbyists and attorneys for a regional water agency were behind a campaign that attempted to unseat three incumbent Signal Hill councilmembers in the last city election, according to public records obtained by the Signal Tribune. Recently released campaign-finance documents list Robert Katherman, board president and a director of the Water Replenishment District of Southern California (WRD), as the principal officer of Coalition for Clean Affordable Water, a political committee that funded campaign mailers to oppose longtime Signal Hill city officials. Reached by email, Katherman said the committee is not affiliated with WRD staff or other board directors, however, he did not respond by press time to several questions posed by the Signal Tribune, merely adding that he could not speak on behalf of the committee. WRD General Manager Robb Whitaker confirmed in a phone interview that WRD staff members were not involved with the committee or the mail- ers. “WRD staff have nothing to do with that [committee],” Whitaker said. “The District couldn’t be involved in it. That would be against the law… We didn’t work on it. I don’t know who’s contributed or how much. We’re not involved in it at all.” The committee paid for fliers that were sent to registered voters just days before the March 5 election, targeting Michael Noll, Ed Wilson and Ellen Ward, who at the time were running for re-election to the Signal Hill City Council. The mailers contained accusations of Weekly Weather Forecast Friday Saturday Sunday Monday corruption and compared Signal Hill to the City of Bell, claiming that the city manager and city attorney have wasted public funds while receiving exorbitant salaries. Signal Hill city officials have called the mailers “hit pieces” and “smear tactics” and claim the fliers were a blatant attempt to influence the local election with outside money, connecting the campaign to retaliation for an ongoing legal battle between the City and WRD. For more than three years, One of the mailers targeting see WRD page 6 Signal Hill incumbents August 30 through September 3, 2013 Tuesday 85° 83° 81° 80° 80° This week’s Weekly Weather Forecast sponsored by: Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington Collage by Alejandra Vernon Partly sunny Partly sunny Low clouds, then sunshine Low clouds, then sunshine Mostly sunny Lo 68° Lo 65° Lo 64° Lo 64° Lo 66° Long Beach locations: 250 W. Ocean Blvd. 401 W. Willow St. (562) 432-2211 (562) 595-6138

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