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U.S. Marines to invade Long Beach

by Peace on the Beach Wednesday, Sep. 17, 2003 at 6:42 AM

"Shorefest." According to the organizer's news release, the scheduled events include "a spine-tingling military 'invasion;' hundreds of U.S. Marines will swarm the beach in amphibious assault vehicles, as Hovercraft provide water cover while planes and helicopters provide air cover.'

The mind boggles, but apparently the U.S. Marine Corps is planning an

"amphibious military assault display on the beach" in Long Beach. This

is to be part of ShoreFest, a sea and air show which promoters hope

will draw 500,000 people to Long Beach.

According to a recent article in the Press Telegram, "the scheduled

events include 'a spine-tingling military 'invasion;' hundreds of U.S.

Marines will swarm the beach in amphibious assault vehicles, as

Hovercraft provide water cover while planes and helicopters provide air

cover.'"

This adds insult to injury for our troops in Iraq. While they're

getting their balls blasted off in Baghdad, some sleazy promoters hope

to make big bucks out of this Mickey Mouse shit in Long Beach.

Here's the article. After you read it, you will know as much as I do

about this entire affair.



********************

Article Published: Thursday, September 11, 2003

http://www.presstelegram.com/Stories/

0,1413,204%257E21474%257E1626139,00.html



ShoreFest planning worries residents

By Jason Gewirtz

Staff writer

LONG BEACH City officials and organizers of a massive air show and sea

festival from Oct. 3 to 5 continued to finalize logistics for the event

Thursday, as neighborhood groups express frustration over the event's

parking and traffic plans.

The city has given the promoters of ShoreFest until Monday to establish

final details of the event, including the location and costs of remote

parking lots where organizers hope most attendees will park.

Meanwhile, police officials are warning residents to prepare for

ShoreFest as if it were the Grand Prix, or any of the city's larger

events.

"We do expect traffic delays, parking congestion and noise,' said Karen

Owens, Police Department spokeswoman. "There will be military jets and

a large number of people coming in.'

Large is right.

Promoters of the air show hope to attract 500,000 people to Long Beach,

including spots downtown, at Long Beach Airport and along the beaches

in Bluff Park and Belmont Shore.

The main event will feature displays from the Blue Angels, Canadian

Snowbirds and other air acts to take place over the skies of the

coastline. Organizers are also planning five "fests' scheduled to

include an amphibious military assault display on the beach, a concert

with "one of the world's great entertainers,' boat regattas, amusements

for children and a display of a NASA Mars rover, among others.

The event was designed to coincide with the opening of the downtown

Pike at Rainbow Harbor complex, whose opening has since been pushed

back to mid-November.

While planning for ShoreFest has been in place for more than two years,

officials and promoters were still meeting this week to finalize the

details, including parking and event locations.

"It's not ideal that we're coming to decisions at this late of a date,

but it's also not alarming,' said David Jacobson, ShoreFest spokesman.

Officials also have yet to secure approval for the event from the

California Coastal Commission, though David Ashman, the city's special

events manager, said the city hopes to have that approval once

logistics are final.

Late changes, particularly in parking arrangements, are coming as

homeowners groups along the ocean continue to voice concerns about the

show's impact on their neighborhoods.

"Few people understand what a half- million (people) means,' said Isaac

Waksul, a board member of the Bluff Park Neighborhood Association.

"It's hard to comprehend.'

In Belmont Shore, Homeowners' Association president Jeanette Gavin said

residents are concerned about the parking plan for the event.

"What we feel is they're doing a very inadequate job preparing people

for the parking situation,' she said.

Bluff Park neighborhood leaders presented promoters with a list of

their concerns late Wednesday, and Waksul said he was hopeful that some

of the impact could be lessened by providing incentives for people to

park elsewhere.

Logistics USA, the Arlington, Va.- based parking consultant for

ShoreFest, said promoters intend to have festival attendees park using

outlying lots and be shuttled to beach viewing locations and to

downtown events.

But the plans have changed "180 degrees' in the last week, said the

company's Joe Ratti. While it's not ideal to have changes three weeks

before the event, Ratti said, there is still time to communicate the

parking plans to residents and festival attendees.

Organizers had planned to charge to park in the remote lots, whose

locations have still not been determined, Jacobson said. But those

plans are in flux, including decisions on whether to charge attendees

for the parking or for the shuttles.

Other changes include moving a "headliner' concert from Long Beach

Airport to a spot near the Pike project. Promoters have yet to announce

the headlining act.

"It's a question of lining it up still,' Jacobson said.

As for the Pike, developers predict that the first phase of the

dining/retail/entertainment complex will open sometime in November. Ann

Forella, the marketing director for Developers Diversified Realty

Corp., said the company was disappointed that the opening wouldn't

match the air show as originally planned.

"Ideally, we wanted it to coincide with the opening of the Pike

project,' she said.

Jacobson stressed that planning has been a challenge because this is

the first time the event, designed to be annual, has taken place. Few

air shows have the collection of military and civilian aircraft and

watercraft displays that ShoreFest plans, as well as a concert, he said.

According to a news release, the scheduled events include "a

spine-tingling military 'invasion;' hundreds of U.S. Marines will swarm

the beach in amphibious assault vehicles, as Hovercraft provide water

cover while planes and helicopters provide air cover.'

Owens, the Police Department spokeswoman, said residents should begin

preparing for the noise, traffic and parking impacts of those events so

they are not caught by surprise on Oct. 3. The event, she said, could

be comparable to the opening ceremonies of the 1984 Olympics with

different activities at multiple venues.

"We want to make sure that people are aware of the scope of this

event,' she said. "It's a great opportunity for people, but they need

to plan ahead.'

City officials are waiving the first 0,000 in city costs for

ShoreFest, though City Manager Jerry Miller said the costs will likely

top that figure. The promoters will be responsible for reimbursing the

city for any costs above that amount, Miller said.

While organizers work out the last- minute logistics, they are also

contending with a lawsuit filed by one of the event's first promoters.

Ted Plana has sued ShoreSales, the official promoter, and DDR, saying

the companies failed to pay him for work he performed lining up the

Blue Angels and Snowbirds. The case was filed in California but has

since been moved to Maryland.

Jacobson said the promoters deny the charges.

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