July 27, 2008

Sunday Letters to the Editor

Free semester

The entire Long Beach City College family would like to thank the 400 community leaders, business partners, foundations and LBCC employees who contributed to our 16-month Gateway to Greatness Fundraising campaign.

We set a goal of raising $5 million to establish a student scholarship endowment. With your support, we exceeded expectations by raising a total of $6.17 million. This would not be possible without the leadership of the LBCC Foundation Board and staff.

This money will be used to launch the Long Beach College Promise, which will provide a tuition-free first semester for every Long Beach Unified School District graduate by the year 2011.

The Long Beach College Promise is a partnership with President F. King Alexander of Cal State Long Beach and Superintendent Chris Steinhauser of Long Beach Unified. I thank them for their support of our fundraising efforts and look forward to working with them to provide every student with the opportunity to attend college.

For 80 years, LBCC has met the needs of greater Long Beach. This new endowment will continue a proud tradition of transfer success and vocational and technical training.

For more information about the campaign, please visit donatetolbccstudents.org.

Eloy Ortiz Oakley

President, Long Beach City College

Taxpayer bailouts

Bonds are used when government agencies have not properly managed the generous tax receipts they receive from taxpayers. A top priority of government agencies should be to maintain infrastructure. Unfortunately, they would rather use our tax dollars to buy votes at the expense of infrastructure. The bond measure bails them out so they can continue to not budget for infrastructure.

I am concerned that Long Beach's $571 million measure was rushed through with no discussion. Less than half of it is going to repair streets, sidewalks and alleys. First, the mayor wanted the bond measure declared an emergency so a smaller majority was needed to pass the measure. When that did not work (thank you, Gerrie Schipske), he rushed it through the City Council with little discussion. What is he afraid that will be noticed? Why the panic? The city has been delaying the upkeep for years. There will be other elections; November is not the end of all elections. Why not take a measured, open and careful accounting of the projects and their costs before asking the taxpayer to take on an additional liability for 30 years?

Lana Wright

Long Beach

The mayor and City Council cannot handle the responsibility of properly managing taxpayer money, so they are now seeking a bond measure to clean up their mess. Most other cities don't require such a drastic measure, so why Long Beach?

The Long Beach Unified School District superintendent and school board were unable to manage taxpayer money and they too have a bond measure to cover their collective behinds. Most other school districts don't require such help, so why LBUSD?

Not only have the two entities handled their jobs in embarrassingly poor fashion, they also fight, bicker, file lawsuits against one other and seek recalls. Even divorces become public and involve the police.

Just when you thought Rep. Laura Richardson was the only inept Long Beach public servant, the rest have fallen in line with her to prove that none of them are worth a darn.

Ron Trimble


Dropout rate

If you want to know why kids drop out of school, ask the teachers. They know that in order to keep kids coming, there must be something there to attract them. Schools need to bring back electives so students can explore who and what they are and find their passions. Simply put, there must be something there of interest to them.

Doreen Lorand


Blame the cats' owners

Gregory Castle ("Feral cats aren't the real problems," Comment, July 20) is right that the cats aren't to blame. The ones who are the real problems are the pet owners who neglect their cats, refuse to sterilize them and simply abandon them when they are no longer cute and cuddly.

According to the Long Beach Animal Shelter, a paltry 2.5 percent of cats taken in by them are redeemed by their owners. This speaks volumes about the views about cat ownership in this city. Everyone wants to blame the city, the ASPCA, the CSULB administration, the cats, the coyotes or anything or anyone else. But the real blame and shame lies with the irresponsible people who create this problem in the first place.

The City of Long Beach must create a mandatory spay/neuter law for all dogs, cats and rabbits (excepting certified breeders) along with licensing/microchipping that can be used to support and enforce the program. Free or low-cost sterilization should be made available. And, public education and dissemination of information about the issues is imperative. Numerous other cities have successfully instituted such programs with positive results.

Diana Lejins

Long Beach

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