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4 SigNAL TRiBuNe

oPiNioN

NoVemBeR 8, 2013

houghts from the Publisher T by Neena Strichart

Our entire office staff takes pride in publishing what we consider to be our weekly miracle. Between deciding which stories to assign to our reporters, dealing with press releases and handling advertisers, our plates are always quite full and, in some cases, seem to be spinning. Nevertheless, if an extra-special project comes our way, we usually jump at the opportunity to add a few extra plates, albeit temporarily. Several months ago I spoke with Martha Thuente about helping to produce her committee’s Long Beach Veterans Day Parade program/booklet. The booklet is traditionally given to parade participants and attendees as a souvenir. After she agreed to run my offer past the rest of the committee members, I stood by waiting for her signal to move ahead with the project. Before long, Miss Martha let me know that they were happy to turn the production

of the publication over to us for this year’s parade. So wanting to impress her, I put together a team to assist with the program. Those involved have been Leighanna Nierle (our talented designer and graphics/layout artist), Cory Bilicko (our editor extraordinaire) and staff member Ashley Goodsell (who not only sells advertising in the paper but is quite a gifted writer as well). My main tasks for this undertaking were to come up with the basic layout design, choose the editorial content and sell all the ads. Although the venture may seem a bit daunting when added with the everyday tasks of running a newspaper, it was a labor of love. Martha was incredibly helpful with getting me the information I needed for the basic part of the booklets. She sent us the list of parade participants, the bios and photos of the grand marshals, and she made arrangements to get us camera-ready ads for the sponsors (with the

Removing the ‘ease’ from easement

help of her fellow committee member Val Lerch– yes, that Val Lerch). Also, always available by phone and email, Martha and her hubby Al met with me several times for a bi-weekly, in-person walk-through of the project. The program turned out just as beautiful as I had anticipated. Featuring not only details about the parade, information within the program also includes the history of each branch of the military and a beautiful centerfold depicting and telling the story of the veterans mural that is located in north Long Beach. I want to thank not only our staff, but the sponsors of the parade and program advertisers. That list includes: Bixby Knolls Car Wash & Detail Center, Southern California Edison, Congressmember Alan Lowenthal, Los Angeles County Supervisor Don see THOUGHTS page 18

The cover of the program for this year’s Veterans Day Parade

LETTERS AND EMAIL Airport insecurity?

In the 69 years I have lived in my house, I can honestly say the Long Beach Police Department has been my place of call when I am in any difficulty. I was completely taken aback, therefore, when I called them over a dispute I was having with a neighbor who hammered iron stakes along my court-awarded easement, awarded to me after the owners had erected a cinder block, six-feet-high wall along my driveway, making it almost impossible to exit or enter my driveway and completely impossible to see anyone walking along the sidewalk. They were instructed, by the court, to remove the wall and repair the cement they had removed that allowed anyone parked in my driveway, between our houses, room to exit the car, truck, van, etc. I was shocked, therefore, to have the policeman tell me that he couldn’t do anything because this was a “civil matter.” I had the court order and showed it to him, but he still insisted it was a civil matter. When, exactly, does a court order become a direct law? I had to go out to my driveway and hammer down the iron stakes that were along my driveway, in my easement, so I wouldn’t damage my car, and when my helper was here on Sunday last, he turned the sprinklers on her. The owner was also instructed to repair the cement they tore out between our houses and pay court costs, which they never did, and I, not wanting more trouble with them, just lived with it. I did notice, however, that they have added the same cement easement between their house and their neighbor to the south of them and, in addition, planted cement squares in their neighbor’s lawn to benefit themselves. This is a relatively new owner and may not be aware of his property rights. To lose the faith I had in my police department is a blow. At 91, I can’t fight the good fight like I did when I was 51 or 61, so it is difficult. My attorney is checking the archives to take care of this matter, but I am being harassed daily, so it isn't easy.

Last week, our feeling of security was once again shattered when a man with a gun shot his way into Terminal 3 at LAX, killing a TSA agent and wounding others. This was a senseless act of violence that, if not for the heroic actions of our first responders, could have been much worse. My heart goes out to the victims and their families as they begin to rebuild their lives. Tragedies like what happened at LAX on Friday often leave us shaken and asking the question, “Why?” When I was Mayor of Cerritos, our city experienced an air crash that killed people in the air as well as on the ground. I can still vividly remember the horrific things I witnessed that day. The crash impacted the lives of our residents, both physically and emotionally. Many still cope with that tragedy to this day. When unexpected tragedies occur, the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health is an incredible place to turn. Sudden events like the shooting at LAX or the Cerritos Air Crash make us question our sense of safety. Speaking to a professional can help restore your feeling of security. If you are coping with a recent tragedy, I encourage you to call the confidential, 24hour ACCESS helpline at 800-854-7771 to speak with someone who can provide you with ways to help yourself, your family and others.

Don Knabe Los Angeles County Supervisor Fourth District

Vivian Nelson Long Beach

Reaching new ‘Heights’

The 2013 Home & Garden Tour presented another successful look into the California Heights Historic District, the loving care many of our homes receive from their owners and the value that preserving our architecture and historic fabric holds for us all. We appreciate our homeowners' willingness to restore and preserve those qualities that make their homes so special and valuable, and, of course, their generous willingness to share them with hundreds of guests. It’s a lot to ask, and they come through with flying colors every tour. Nearly 750 tickets were sold, and more than 150 were given away in appreciation to our volunteers, advertisers and supporters. Needless to say, Oct. 20 was a very active day in California Heights! A first, we hosted over 100 cyclists, offering at least a hint of what a car-free tour might be like. We sold out Sweet Lucie’s Ice Cream and Treats twice, sold out Sweet & Saucy Shop’s pastries and must mention the popularity of the nostalgic ice-cream truck and Helms Bakery wagon they were sold from. Two of our local eateries, Blackbird Café and The Factory, reported record-setting Sunday business, and we had an overflow attendance for John Brinkmann’s presentation on small-home living! Very special thanks to our primary sponsor, realtor Lewis Ebersole, and guest speaker, John Brinkmann of American Bungalow Magazine. Thanks to Julie and Heather from The Vintage Emporium and It’s A Grind Bixby Knolls for providing our morning coffee and goodies and to Rick Lorentzen for trusting us to sell food from his impeccably restored 1938 Helms Bakery truck. We also thank Keven Vaughan for storing our Cal Heights Model T mascot and Orozco’s Auto Service for its brand-new Sunbrella top! We extend our appreciation to the City of Long Beach for the hassle-free permits and services provided. And, of course, thanks to all of our participants! Each part you played, whether you volunteered, purchased a ticket, featured a vintage car, advertised or opened your home, is vital to the Home & Garden Tour’s mission: to exemplify both the financial and intrinsic value of preserving this special place and to finance our community projects. Once we have our receipts and proceeds officially tallied, we’ll know just how well we did, but we are on track for one of our most successful tours to date. It is great news for our volunteer-led community projects and should help to secure the completion of our lamppost restoration program in 2014. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. We hope to see you again in 2015. John Royce California Heights Neighborhood Association Team PuBLiSHeR/eDiToR-iN-CHieF

Neena R. Strichart

ASSoCiATe PuBLiSHeR

Daniel Adams Vicki Paris Goodman Gregory Spooner

With much love, Parnia Ayari

DeSigN eDiToR/PRoDuCTioN mANAgeR

Leighanna Nierle

Cory Bilicko

ADVeRTiSiNg CoNSuLTANTS

STAFF WRiTeRS

CuLTuRe WRiTeRS

Hello, Cory [Bilicko]. A few years back, in 2009, I was honored to read a review you wrote for the Signal Tribune on a show I was in, Songs for a New World at the ICT in Long Beach [“Current ICT production’s performers overcome a few shortcomings in mostly great compositions,” Oct. 23, 2009]. Needless to say I’ll never forget what you wrote; it was truly touching. I decided to record it since you wrote, and I quote: “I found 18 different recordings of this song on iTunes and purchased the one that sounded the least theatrical; sorry to say Ayari’s version is not available there, since she sang it beautifully and straight-forwardly, letting the story take center stage.” I hope the recorded version does justice to how you experienced it live four years ago. And I would like to thank you for inspiring me to record it.

mANAgiNg eDiToR

Stephen M. Strichart

CJ Dablo Sean Belk

For the ‘record’

ADmiNiSTRATiVe ASSiSTANT/WeBSiTe mANAgeR

Tanya Paz

Jennifer E. Beaver

Barbie Ellisen Ashley Goodsell CoLumNiSTS

Kenneth McKenzie Shoshanah Siegel

Carol Berg Sloan, RD

The Signal Tribune welcomes letters to the editor, which should be signed, dated and include a phone number to verify authenticity. Letters are due by noon on the Tuesday before desired publication date. The Signal Tribune reserves the right to edit letters for grammar, language and space requirements. The Signal Tribune does not print letters that refer substantially to articles in other publications and might not print those that have recently been printed in other publications or otherwise presented in a public forum. Letters to the editor and commentaries are the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Signal Tribune or its staff. Although the editorial staff will attempt to verify and/or correct information when possible, letters to the editor and commentaries are opinions, and readers should not assume that they are statements of fact. Letter-writers will be identified by their professional titles or affiliations when, and only when, the editorial staff deems it relevant and/or to provide context to the letter. We do not run letters to the editor submitted by individuals who have declared their candidacies for public office in upcoming races. This policy was put in place because, to be fair, if we publish one, we would have to publish all letters submitted by all candidates. The volume would no doubt eliminate space for letters submitted by other readers. Instead, we agree to interview candidates and print stories about political races in an objective manner and offer very reasonable advertising rates for those candidates who wish to purchase ads. The Signal Tribune is published each Friday with a circulation of 25,000. Yearly subscriptions are available for $50.

939 e. 27th St., Signal Hill, CA 90755 (562) 595-7900

www.signaltribune.com newspaper@signaltribune.com

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