Friday, November 21, 2008

Save Pine!

save pine
(image by first people)

I've watched with a touch of hope but mostly sorrow as Downtown Long Beach has soared and soured over the last 5 years.  EJ's Banana Pudding Shop, {open}, Koo's, and the Broadlind Cafe began to generate vitality and community in Downtown Long Beach  and fingers were crossed that the good work would restore the downtown area, but to no avail. These great businesses folded or moved to more business-friendly terrain. When we attended the University by the Sea Festival last year, I was dumbfounded at all the vacant buildings in Pine Square - it would not be an exaggeration to label it a ghost town.  All the while, Long Beach developers reached hand-over-fist in 2006 and 2007 to build more and more high-rise lofts and condos, paying no attention to the empty streets below.

Recent articles in the District and the Press Telegram about the Z Gallerie closing, leaving an entire retail block nearly empty, sends a clear message that something is going wrong in Downtown Long Beach.  And the residents of Pine Avenue and Downtown Long Beach have had enough. 
We are residents, business owners and a property owners that love our town and the people in it. We live on, we eat on and we thrive on Pine Ave. and it's neighboring streets and communities. We've seen the DLBA and the CITY chop Pine down and we're furious. Only we (residents, business owners and property owners) can turn this around and we must demand it.

We have seen the same meetings held for 7 years with no answers and no accountability.

SAVE PINE consists of 12 contributors that have lived on Pine for an average of 10 years. We do not have individual profiles on this network. We've elected the BIG GRIZZLY BEAR as our cover because our Council Members, DLBA and the City have made an art form out of avoiding the tough questions from the most demanding people and finding creative ways to marginalize/punish and/or wear down those that speak out. We've agreed that it's best that we be able to move freely and motivate the residents and business owners' from within our community. If together we stand up for the good of the street, if together our voices ring in unity then the more they must act. Our goal is to push for positive changes on our street.

Since none of us have political aspirations or affiliations you can trust that our intentions are true and for the best of the street...We are every where and we are the growing voice of change for Downtown Long Beach.

Who are we? WE ARE PINE!
This is one of my favorite things: People of Long Beach, working together for change!  Hats off to YOU!

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