August 26, 2008

John Canalis: Group Explains Lack of Endorsement in 37th District

Elvira Jones of the Long Beach Lambda Democratic Club wrote in to explain why the gay and lesbian political group did not endorse in the 37th Congressional District race.

Apparently there were communications issues between Lambda and the Long Beach Democrat's office.

"We made every effort to make sure she received her questionnaire, and there were several phone calls between our committee and her staff," Jones wrote. "They promised that it was going to be sent to us, and that the congresswoman was checking her schedule, but the questionnaire was never returned, and she did not schedule an interview."

A spokesman for Richardson said his boss did not receive the questions and could not attend the interview because it would have meant missing votes on the House floor.

"She will respect any decision the club follows," said spokesman William Marshall. "Her focus has always been to focus and continue to meet the constituents."

Lambda endorsed Richardson in the primary, but could not reach consensus this time around, Jones said.

Also in the race are two write-in challengers, Democrats Peter Mathews and Lee Davis, and independent Nick Dibs.

Democrats back 'I'

Speaking of political clubs, the Long Beach Democratic Club has voted to back Measure I, the parcel tax on the Nov. 4 ballot aimed at funding $751 million in infrastructure improvements citywide, according to Mayor Bob Foster, who supports the measure, met with club members in Bixby Knolls last week and, as a club member, cast a vote in favor.

Biden's intensity

Long Beach superdelegate Ed Espinoza recently wrote a piece on the Democratic National Convention for the California Progress Report under the headline "Biden, you complete me."

"Biden isn't jovial - he's intense," Espinoza writes. "He's smart as a whip and can verbally spar with the best of them. He's accountable to details and zeroes in on a subject with laser-like focus."

But more important, he can hold his liquor.

"You don't have beers with Joe - you do shots with him," Espinoza writes.

The rest of his insights are at


Convention speakers

Speaking of area superdelegates visiting Denver, Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Norwalk, addressed the convention Monday afternoon. Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Lakewood, gets her turn at 3:30 p.m. today. Look for coverage on CSPAN.

Watch with Bonnie

Political junkies can tune into the DNC with Long Beach Councilwoman Bonnie Lowenthal from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Smooth's Sports Grille, 144 Pine Ave. The event is being paid for by the 1st District councilwoman's campaign for Assembly.

My colleague, Joe Segura, has more details on his blog at http://

Hello, Dolly

Not only is the Democratic ticket "complete," so is Dolly Varden Hotel, 355 Pacific Ave. The 138-room hotel has been transformed from rooming house to a European-style boutique hotel, says co-owner Larry Black.

The original sign, "A bath in every room," still adorns the top floor of what has now called "The Varden Hotel." The sign is an official city landmark; however, the rest of the 1929 hotel is not.

Images and information are at

Literary taggers

At least one tagger does not like plans to redevelop the property that includes soon-to-close Acres of Books, 240 Long Beach Blvd. Visible on a white exterior wall facing Third Street Monday morning was this spray-painted message: "Irvine by the Sea."

The act of vandalism is a play on the city's unofficial slogan, "Iowa by the Sea."

Atlantic lights

Upstate in Iowa, er Irvine, or whatever it is by the sea, Councilwoman Rae Gabelich plans to flip the switch on the first of two new traffic signals on Atlantic Avenue and Marshall Place at 10 a.m. today, says an e-mail from Blair Cohn of the Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association.

A second traffic signal, at Cartagena Street, will be turned on afterward.

New crosswalks are planned for both intersections.

Q Film Festival

The Gay and Lesbian Center of Greater Long Beach could use volunteers to help it plan the Oct. 10-12 Q Film Festival, which features short films and documentaries about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender experience. A bonus: The event will take place at the newly renovated Art Theatre, 2025 E. Fourth St. Information:

My bad

It's funny how one missing word can do a whole lot of damage to a sentence. In Monday's column, I wrote the following phrase about 37th Congressional District candidate Nick Dibs: "He is against offshore drilling and water conservation."

I omitted the word "for" in front of "water conservation." Dibs is a conservationist who worked as a water educator at the California Department of Water Resources for eight years following college.

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