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LONG BEACH AREA : Naval Hospital Debate Rages as an Era Ends

March 24, 1994|JOHN POPE

A formal decommissioning ceremony, complete with brass bands and Navy dignitaries, was scheduled for 10 a.m. today to end the Long Beach Naval Hospital's nearly 30 years of service.

The hospital, which treated its last patient in December, is among the casualties of military cutbacks.

Officials from Long Beach and neighboring cities are waging a heated battle over how to use the site. Long Beach wants to build a shopping center there, but a coalition of six cities, led by Lakewood, has opposed the plan, saying it would destroy nearby businesses. The site at 7500 E. Carson St. is about three miles from the Lakewood Center Mall.

Under pressure from the coalition--which includes Lakewood, Buena Park, Cypress, Hawaiian Gardens, Artesia and Garden Grove--the Navy decided to reopen hearings on how to use the hospital site. The first hearing will be at 7 p.m. April 5 at Lakewood City Hall, and the second at 7 p.m. April 6 at Long Beach City Hall.

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