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Southeast / Long Beach : Survey Takes Lumps for Lumping Together 2 Cities

August 18, 1995

Long Beach ain't L.A., some residents of the smaller city would like you--and Money magazine--to know.

They take exception to the magazine's decision to lump the two towns together in its newly released annual ranking of the nation's 300 best places to live.

The Los Angeles/Long Beach area finished 94th--a fall from 66th place last year. And the numbers didn't sit well with officials and community leaders aiming to rebuild Long Beach's image after recent military cutbacks and job losses.

The total score garnered by the Los Angeles Basin, Long Beach Mayor Beverly O'Neill said, failed to reflect the 440,000-resident city's strong points, such as its sea-spray-kissed air and its three major hospitals.

"With all due respect to Los Angeles, whenever Long Beach is coupled with Los Angeles, there is a price that Long Beach pays for that," said Linda Howell, president of the Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Howell called the survey methods "very suspect" and said comparing a major metropolitan area such as Southern California to college town Gainesville, Fla., which ranked first, doesn't make sense. Sort of like comparing coyotes and palmetto bugs as house pets.

Once she was done with Gainesville and L.A., Howell took on Las Vegas' rating--ninth in the nation.

"Excuse me," she said, "were they selected for their high concentration of arts and culture?"

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