Berth 55's Rights

Can community activists save two beloved Long Beach businesses from the wrecking ball of port progress?

"I grew up and lived my whole life in Long Beach," said Paul Allen Collins, an architect on the Westside, into the microphone during the Q&A session. "What's wrong with what's going on right now is exactly what's wrong with the United States. Our government is making all these decisions and not listening to what the people want."

The meeting ended with no change to the port's current plans. Afterward, port managing director Douglas A. Thiessen struck a defiant tone. "Let me make it clear," he said. "This is a public-safety facility. There may be an opportunity for one or two of our contractors who work for us to also use that space. But there have been no guarantees given to anyone about who will use this facility."

But at least one politician offered a glimmer of hope for Berth 55 and Long Beach Sportfishing. Garcia—who represents District 1 on the City Council—stood on middle ground. "I would love to see some sort of compromise in which you could have both," he said after the meeting. "Port officials have said this is not possible. But I would love to see the businesses survive, as well as building the new stations."

Sailing away to uncertainty
Johannes Dewald
Sailing away to uncertainty

This article appeared in print as "Their Berth Rights: Can community activists save two beloved Long Beach businesses from the wrecking ball of port progress?"

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