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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR : Now to Recap Some of the Good News in Long Beach, From Plaza to Prix

January 24, 1991

Two recent Times articles have focused on the negative in Long Beach.

In the first, a comparison of Southeast-area malls by Bettina Boxall and Michele Fuetsch, (Times, Dec. 27) the writers comment about Long Beach Plaza: "You can find hot dog stands but no designer pizza; Oshman's Sporting Goods but not Eddie Bauer."

According to the writers, Long Beach Plaza's most memorable feature is that its "fortress-like brick walls give the appearance of a prison."

It's a shame the writers didn't have Sbarro's Pizza for lunch or step up to Buffum's Terrace Room or try Dr. B's chicken or go around the corner to Mai, Mai, Mai, an excellent Chinese restaurant. All are Plaza tenants.

It also amazes me that they missed the bright new colorful signage on Long Beach Boulevard, overlooked the finest French bakery in the Southland, L' Ile de France, and didn't mention the Long Beach Children's Museum or the Long Beach Art Assn. Gallery on Long Beach Boulevard. In addition, Long Beach's mall has the most convenient parking of any shopping center anywhere (a parking structure escalating from three to four levels that puts shoppers near the door of every store). It is also Blue Line (light rail) accessible.

With Oshman's and Sports X-press in the same center and Big 5 Sporting Goods across the street, why would we need an Eddie Bauer? Who is Eddie Bauer?

Your New Year's wrap-up (Times, Dec. 30), in which Faye Fiore writes that "crime took a quantum leap in Long Beach" also neglects to mention that downtown Long Beach is virtually graffiti-free thanks to cooperative efforts of Downtown Long Beach Associates, the Redevelopment Agency, the city of Long Beach and the Conservation Corps of Long Beach. Our Downtown Beautiful program could be emulated nationwide. Our buses and trains are completely graffiti-free.

White lights sparkle on palm trees on Ocean Boulevard and on Pine Avenue.

The arts in Long Beach are thriving. The city boasts a Comedy Club, the finest jazz club in the Southland, and excellent restaurants. Our World Trade Center Phase I is complete. The Long Beach Bob Hope USO opened downtown in 1990. We established a successful Friday Farmer's Market that includes arts, crafts and entertainment. Shoreline Village would be a gem in any city's crown. Long Beach hosted four successful major events that drew nationwide attention in 1990--the Grand Prix, the Long Beach Marathon, Carnaval and the Long Beach Half-Marathon. No mention of these "triumphs" is included in the year-end wrap-up.

Objective reporting requires that all sides of a picture be presented. I used to, but no longer do, consider the Los Angeles Times the most objective newspaper in the area. The headline "The Year's Triumphs and Tragedies" should have read "The Year's Most Sensational Tragedies, to Hell with the Triumphs."


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