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Open Letter from City Manager: Long Beach Suffered Major Damage

Charles Theofan cites city's extensive damage as reason to nix Quiksilver festival and push back competition.

To the Editor:

For anyone expressing disappointment regarding the cancellation of the Quiksilver Pro festival, as of this afternoon we still have . 

That means, no hot water and a refrigerator full of spoiled food, and for those homes with basements, most are flooded. We had 33 large trees come down and are having to make garbage pickups everyday to cart away what was thrown out from basements and garages.

Representatives from the Long Island Power Authority are telling us that we cannot reasonably expect the return of power until Sunday.  The Long Beach Branch of the Long Island Rail Road is not running, and will not be running for at least two to three days.

And that is by no means all of our problems, but hopefully enough to demonstrate that this City has suffered major damage and our residents are still suffering. 

Having thousands of people pouring into this city starting Friday, with music and assorted frivolity, is not possible or appropriate given the current conditions. Yet with all of that we are proceeding with the surfing competition which was and is the heart and soul of the entire event.

Responsible government sometime means having to make difficult decisions. I was also looking forward to the festival.  Hopefully this explanation will change your understanding of why things are what they are.

Charles T. Theofan
City Manager
City of Long Beach

InsideLongBeach.com September 01, 2011 at 03:52 AM
ingenue - I've been here for 17 years. Do I miss the days when I could go out on my beach at Arizona and it was just local people with good beach etiquette? Sure I do. The days when you'd go out and know everybody in town and there was a far greater sense of real-world community? Absolutely. Did I want the hotel in LB? Absolutely not. However, regardless of what we prefer or don't prefer, this is still a fine place to live, which is presumably why we still live here. We don't live in a private community, so everybody is welcome to come here and in as much as there are the few who may litter, have bad beach etiquette and such, they are indeed the few so it is not fair to anybody to generalize or stereotype. Do I think there are some old run down bungalows in the West End? It is irrelevant. Anywhere you go you will see stuff that you like and stuff that you don't like. What exactly is it that you'd have the City do? Go around and tell people that there house doesn't meet a new criteria of aesthetics so we're kicking them out? You want their homes to be as beautiful as the hotel (insert sarcasm here) ?? Think about what you are conveying. Again - you had some fine points, and needlessly judging how others choose to or can afford to live is just pointless and takes away from the matter at hand.
InsideLongBeach.com September 01, 2011 at 03:54 AM
There was a bungalow community out in Stony Brook that was a beautiful part of the landscape, and a very meaningful strip to those who had owned these bungalows since the early 1900s. One day a politician decided it was ugly and he didn't want it there. They litigated and lost and their entire bungalow community was dismantled and leveled. That's not far off from fascism. Certainly that can't be what you would want or are all about.
InsideLongBeach.com September 01, 2011 at 03:55 AM
let me guess - female traffic cop? there seems to be only one person in the city who would write those tickets.
ingenue September 01, 2011 at 04:43 AM
surfing is a DAY event isn't it? all the festivities were happening during DAYLIGHT hours. the festivities were ancillary to the Surfing Event. if someone doesn't want to watch the surfing then the event village is there. this was not a free STAND ALONE music festival/concert event. if you want to attend a music festival with numerous bands, then purchase a ticket to one of the festivals that come around each summer. i don't know what the anticipated attendance was for each day, but there is absolutely no way that LB could have accommodated a very large all-day crowd in that small area. what should have been arranged was some kind of a limited free ticketed event either for music entry or festival area entry... something. an alcohol free concert is not boring at all. you sound like a total loser to be honest. you want a free concert you cheap bastard and you want to stand there listening to free music holding a plastic cup and sip your beer while others do the same and spill it all over you and discard the cups all over the place. get a drink at any one of the multitude of bars in long beach. did you want to listen to music or just look like an a$$hole holding your red cup in the hot sun listening to music of indie bands you never heard of... pleeze... quit your bitchin' already, you sound like a little girl. it sounds like you know nothing about QS. they should have promoted the event better, in advance. parking in LB would have been a challenge but not impossible.
Charla September 01, 2011 at 04:51 AM
Thank you Meghan, how funny I was also thinking it is pretty much Theofan himself, or Sofield. It is funny how he demands answers from people, but never addresses the actual issue of credibility with future business deals with the city. I really do not know what he was trying to accomplish.
ingenue September 01, 2011 at 04:52 AM
what's the matter? can't have a good time without alcohol? need alcohol to feel entertained or to tell yourself you're having a good time. pleeze. you all look like a$$holes standing around holding your beer bottle and having one bottle after another standing around looking at each other and staring at the tv at minnesota's, the beach bar and sutton place. don't you have anything better to do? that makes YOU boring.
ingenue September 01, 2011 at 05:46 AM
i like LB, but it does have a dirty or rundown element in certain places. the stores along park are all a hodgepodge of looks. the sidewalks are dirty with chewing gum residue all over the place leaving black marks all over the pavement. beech street looks old and rundown too. the food at the area restaurants isn't really that good. the area attracts a mix of people making it look hodgepodge too. the entire place looks hodgepodge with all the different people -- blue-collar and professionals and people of all different ages and life stages.
ingenue September 01, 2011 at 02:22 PM
i don't think this temporary 2-week event was going to do much for real estate value. try and keep it in perspective. your neighbors on the west end keep LB down. notice how only LB residents are complaining about this. i don't read anyone for AB complaining. if people had to pay to see this event i wonder if they'd be as upset that it was cancelled. i think the word FREE makes the cheap, stingy and low lives come out in droves.
ingenue September 01, 2011 at 02:26 PM
exactly. what does fallen trees have to do with the beach and waves. excuses from an incapable local government.
paul.d.spellman September 01, 2011 at 02:30 PM
Meghan, Once again is that all you have? What is funny is when you have no rational response to your argument you resort to derision. I guess your emotions got the better of you and that is the way you feel is best to react. Rather than respond with facts you make up nonsensical response.
Eddie September 01, 2011 at 02:41 PM
The City has unlimited ability to print money -- they just raise taxes. Anyone remember the 7-11 vs. City of Long Beach lawsuit?
Kelley September 01, 2011 at 02:43 PM
Hey Truth! Great ideas! See you at the City Council meetings.
InsideLongBeach.com September 01, 2011 at 02:47 PM
That is simply not accurate information. Per square foot property value is actually higher in the West End, and the highest priced homes in Long Beach are located in the West End along with homes on Penn and Bay Ave. You can visit Trulia.com or Zillow.com to view this type of information in detail.
ingenue September 01, 2011 at 03:01 PM
@InsideLongBeach. all i'm trying to say is that LB doesn't always have a "nice crowd". there is a "low rent" element to it. and there's enough of that low rent element to notice.
ingenue September 01, 2011 at 03:11 PM
@InsideLongBeach. run down areas attract run down people. this is why people choose to live on the east end and not the west end of LB. people who live on the east end avoid the west end on purpose. do you understand now what i'm saying or do you want to continue arguing this point? there is a nice vibe in LB at times and at other times when the "element" shows up, it sucks.
ingenue September 01, 2011 at 03:18 PM
trulia and zillo. pleeze. obviously you live on the west end and your trying to make that run down area sound appealing. it is not appealing. okay? get over it. what is appealing about living a run down bungalow with no drive way, no garage (or maybe a garage) all street parking, which is crowded, narrow streets, bungalows are only a few feet apart from each other and their are about 15-18 bungalows on one street. c'mon. pleeze. let it go.
toolittle September 01, 2011 at 03:26 PM
Ingenue, I am very happy West End resident and while some streets could use some renovations, many are just as nice as the East End. I am not sure why anyone (and I have heard it before) would go out of their way to poke fun at a different of their own town. You have chosen the East End and that's fine, but I think you should leave your derogatory comments about the West End to yourself. Each area has its positive and negatives. I happen to like that our houses are so close to each other as all our neighbors are very close and supportive of each other. There are not many areas in the whole US that has the feel of my neighborhood. We also have the ability to walk to shop for just about anything we might need. Yes, a backyard might be more desirable to some but to call the whole area run down is just wrong.
E September 01, 2011 at 03:37 PM
I got a ticket the morning after the blizzard for parking my car back-in on Broadway to make it easier for my wife to use. They had wiped a foot of snow off of my windshield to place the ticket on it. I guess the law is the law.
E September 01, 2011 at 03:41 PM
Even if it doesn't trigger a lawsuit it will certainly affect future plans.
E September 01, 2011 at 03:46 PM
It's not about the surf contest. Turning away any event -- much less one with this much attention -- for such a lame reason says the people of Long Beach are incapable and weak in spirit. You can all have your opinions about that but I want my children to consider themselves part of a strong, resilient and capable community. It rubs off on them.
East End Family Guy September 01, 2011 at 04:16 PM
Storms don't cancel events, people do. Governments don't rebuild towns, people do. Canceling the event portion of the surf contest is a poor reflection on ALL of the people in Long Beach -- the politicians, the city council, the people who voted for them and the people who didn't. It's a huge shame. And the behind closed-doors politics of Long Beach are now on display for the entire international community to scrutinize. It's a real shame and a huge missed opportunity for this town. I hope the result of this is a town and a population that get engaged and make a difference. Vote and know your vote has consequences. I hope we can figure out what we want this place to be and go make it happen. I admire shop owners for wanting to do something to preserve this -- what's the plan? I admire the efforts of a few people to start a petition to voice a collective opinion -- but what's the plan after the petition is delivered? Can the Chamber of Commerce work directly with Quicksilver to make this happen? Can the local business bureau work with them to make this happen? Which group of people are going to make this happen if our manager and town council don't seem to care? I was looking forward to the contest and the festival. I know people who've changed plans to NOT spend their money in Long Beach because it was canceled. It's a shame.
E September 01, 2011 at 04:39 PM
I agree and will work on inventing the campaign promise shock collar. Just as soon as I can find some 'D' batteries @ CVS :)
ingenue September 01, 2011 at 08:33 PM
the bungalow area is run down. you've just been living there so long you've gotten used to it. visit some other neighborhoods and you'll notice the difference.
Brendan September 01, 2011 at 08:47 PM
Ingenue, I may sound like a total loser to you, but you sound like a total psycho to me. I didn't say that I can't have a good time without alcohol. But, like many adults, I find that it enhances my already good time. Don't agree? You don't have to. I'm just sick and tired of Long Beach acting like alcohol is this evil substance that should never see the light of day. No beer on the beach, no beer in the street on Irish Day in the West End, every bar in the world being treated like it's a den of iniquity and all of it's patrons drug addict zombies. But that really isn't the point, now is it? I pay for concerts. I've spent quite a bit of money in my life traveling to see bands that I like and seeing them quite a few times, at that. I like concerts, what's the harm in that? But I did think it was going to be fun to go to the festival area, see a concert, maybe eat some food, drink some beers, get a t-shirt. And the city didn't want that kind of good time and they want everyone in bed by 10PM. You, with your attitude concerning "run down" parts of town and certain "elements", I'm still not sure what your point is. You seem to be very angry, I just can't figure out exactly what or who you're angry with. Hopefully you will find a well-manicured and "element-free" zone to enjoy Labor Day in. Enjoy!
ingenue September 01, 2011 at 09:51 PM
@ brendan. the way you carry on and on about alcohol and drinking it sounds like alcohol is a very big part of your life. patrons are drug addict zombies? really, i didn't know it was that bad. you're the one who seems very angry, not me. you're carrying on and on about drinking beer and a free concert... get over it. yes, it would have been nice to see a free outdoor concert on the beach, but you sound sensible enough to agree that if the crowds were HUGE and things got rowdy and out of hand to say the least, then this free event open to the public would not have been such a great idea. every event needs to be orderly. many events get of hand and people get hurt. read about it... there's plenty of info regarding that. i know what i'm talking about. it sounds like you don't. ahhh, yes... "run down" and "elements"... stop acting like you don't know what i'm talking about. lb has a history of corruption, drug addicts, public housing and undesirable "elements"... why are you so thick? pleeze. enjoy your beer. have a nice time.
N September 02, 2011 at 03:00 PM
E I couldn't agree more. And by the way 99% restored!
Gary September 03, 2011 at 12:59 AM
I can't believe how many people are making comments about our city manager getting elected. Makes you wonder how in tune they are with what really goes in in the community until it's something that bothers them, personally. More people should attend city council meetings just to see what happens whether or not it directly affects them.
Gary September 03, 2011 at 01:12 AM
Maryl, Pay no attention to boorish comments from others. The west end has come a long way and there are many beautiful homes there now. It is a unique community with a lot of charm and character.
The truth hurts September 03, 2011 at 01:17 AM
Good one Long Beach have another beer and pass it to the left hand side.. Wait what was I talking about??
CSC September 04, 2011 at 04:02 AM
You are Correct. The petition will get signed & taken to the City Counsel. It may not change minds but, it will show them that they need to hear the people that hire them. As for the Chamber of Commerce they are all Nothing but a bunch of Politicos WANNA BE. Take their pictures & they will smile & go away!

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