Beach Weekly S10E1: Long Beach park updates, LA City Council expands tenant protections, drought conditions & more


ISABEL SILAGY, INTRO: This is Beach Weekly.


KAITLYN ROWELL: Hello everyone, and welcome to season 10, episode one of Beach Weekly, a podcast created and produced by Long Beach State’s student run newspaper, The Daily Forty-Niner. Happy 2023, happy Lunar New Year for all at celebrate, and happy spring semester, everybody. My name is Kaitlyn Rowell and I’m so excited to be your host today and to bring you yet another new season of Beach Weekly. It’s my first time around, so nice to meet you guys.

We have a lot of news to cover today, so let’s just jump right in.

Four parks in Long Beach are set to receive updates and renovations courtesy of California’s year end budget surplus for 2022. After the state ended the year with a surplus of nearly $100 million, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Assembly member Patrick O’Donnell requested and secured $15.5 million of the surplus for improvement projects at Long Beaches parks. The parks included in the project are Houghton Park, El Dorado West Park, El Dorado East Regional Park, and Sterns Park. The projects are set to be completed by December 2025.

Do you ever just read a headline or hear about a crime and just wonder, why would you do that? Well, that’s probably what you’re going to think with this next story. The Long Beach Police Department announced last Thursday that it arrested five people suspected of stealing fire hydrants throughout the city. Yes, fire hydrants.

The arrests came after months of investigation during which detectives traced multiple unrelated suspects for stealing the hydrants, ultimately leading to the arrest of the five suspects. The investigation is ongoing and no motive was given for the hydrant thefts.

In LA City Council News, last Friday the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to expand protections for renters in the face of widespread fears over evictions in the city. The Council voted to enact the protections as the city’s COVID-19 anti-eviction policy was just eleven days away from expiring. According to the LA Times, amongst many other protections, the new policy will establish a minimum threshold for evictions of tenants who are behind on rent, require landlords to pay relocation fees in some situations, and prevent tenants from being evicted without there being unpaid rent or documented lease violations.

While some small landlords are claiming that the new policy is too burdensome, the new policy is intended to prevent more people from becoming unhoused and is seen as a win for the progressive block of the City Council.

Last Friday, Vice President Kamala Harris visited a water recovery and replenishment project in the San Fernando Valley. The project was one of several funded by the federal government throughout the west to reduce flooding and increase water supplies amidst the ongoing drought. Vice President Harris’s visit comes after weeks of stormy conditions throughout California that brought at least short term relief in drought conditions.

Thanks to the recent rain and snow, California saw a major improvement in its reservoir levels and has fully eliminated extreme drought conditions throughout the entire state. While the recent storms have proved to be crucial for California’s water supply, it does not mean we are out of the woods just yet.

Though short term drought improvement is expected to continue in the coming weeks, the improvement will be uneven in the state and long term drought conditions will persist. Additionally, the storm weather has come with flash floods, landslides and other extreme weather events, which has certainly put a downer on the whole drought relief thing.

And to wrap up today’s episode, we are going to run through some of the biggest headlines from around the country and the world.

The United States and its NATO partner countries have announced that they will send a massive new weapons package to Ukraine in their ongoing war against Russia. The U.S. and its allies have announced their package after weeks of speculation that Russia plans to escalate the warrant in coming weeks or months. The new weapons package will include advanced air defenses, tanks, armored vehicles and much more.

This new package also demonstrates the West’s continued commitment to support Ukraine as the war closes in on its one year marker.

The three former police officers and two paramedics from Aurora, Colorado have all pleaded not guilty in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain. McClain, an unarmed black man, was forcibly arrested and put in a chokehold by officers before being given a large dose of ketamine by paramedics before they even checked his physical condition.

He was not suspected of a crime and later died at the hospital. The district court judge overseeing the case has ruled that the cases will be split into three separate trials, which are expected to begin later this year.

The US. Supreme Court announced last Thursday that after a lengthy investigation, it has failed to identify the person responsible for leaking the draft opinion that overturned Roe v. Wade.

The opinion was leaked last May, and after eight months of investigating, the court was unable to find any sufficient evidence or really any evidence that could merit an accusation.

In lighter news, a nearly six pound toad dubbed Toadzilla, was found in northern Australia last week.

Toads usually weigh about 1 pound, but Toadzilla weighs, a get this, whopping 5.95 pounds. Toadzilla is thought to be a female and has now officially broken the record for the world’s largest toads. Congratulations, Toadzilla.

Thank you so much for joining us this week for season 10, episode one of Beach Weekly. We’d like to send our thank yous to our editor, Andy Nguyen and our producers, Leila Nunez and Isabel Silagy. As always, if you want to read up on some of our stories we covered today and much more, you can head on over to our website daily49er.com

And to make sure you’re up to date on everything that happens on the Long Beach campus and the surrounding areas, be sure to give us a follow on our socials at Daily49er. We have a lot more in store for you this semester for Beach Weekly and our other podcast series, so be sure to check those out. Thank you again for listening today and I’ll meet you back here next Monday.


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