What the Frack Is Happening Under Long Beach?

Categories: H2no, Long Beach

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Chelsea Mosher
Like the sign says

By Joshua Frank

Perhaps you've driven past them at night: several towering panels lit up like a psychedelic art installation, with a 45-foot waterfall gushing down the side and onto the boulder-strewn, pedestal-shaped, very-much-manmade island. The brightly painted structures seem harmless enough--if a bit out of place several hundred feet offshore from Long Beach's affluent Bluff Park neighborhood--but what goes on behind the palm-lined façade is profoundly controversial and potentially very dangerous.

Built in 1965, the four THUMS islands--so named for the companies that first developed the sites: Texaco, Humble, Unocal, Mobil and Shell--were designed by esteemed landscape architect Joseph Linesch, who had a knack for turning blight into eye candy. While Long Beach's Gas & Oil Department (LBGO) operates the islands, a wholly owned subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum (known as Occidental Long Beach Inc.) is contracted to perform the work of extracting fossil fuels from beneath the ocean floor.

The THUMS islands include portions of Pier J in the Port of Long Beach, and were constructed from a goliath supply of stone from Catalina Island--640,000 tons of it--along with 3.2 million cubic yards of sand from Long Beach Harbor. The purpose was to exploit the vast reserves of the Wilmington Oil Field, which stretches 13 miles long and 3 miles wide, from onshore San Pedro to offshore Seal Beach. Since it was first discovered in 1932, 6,150 wells have been drilled in the oil field, with nearly 1,550 pumps still active.

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Lawrence Lee Casados of Los Alamitos is Shot Dead in Long Beach and Suspect is Sought

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Qwik Tape
Tale of the tape in LBC
A 47-year-old Los Alamitos man was shot dead in Long Beach late Saturday night, and police are hunting for the shooter.

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Weekender Updater: Guilty Gambler Murderer, Prison Guard Slaying Cases, Dalai Lama Tickets

This weekend you're updated on a woman's first-degree murder conviction in the death of a gambler, tickets going on sale for the Dalai Lama's three-day 80th birthday celebration in Orange County and two developments from the fatal ambush of a state correctional officer 17 years ago: a man pleading guilty to conspiracy to murder and an Anaheim police detective being cleared of coercing a false confession.

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Erin Gruwell Comes Back to UCI for Screening of Documentary on Her Freedom Writers

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Freedom Writers Foundation
Erin Gruwell and her kids
In April 2012, Erin Gruwell came back to a town she used to reside in for a Newport Beach Film Festival screening of Stories From an Undeclared War, Dennis Rice's documentary about Gruwell's experiences teaching at Long Beach's Woodrow Wilson High School and beginning her Freedom Writers Foundation.

On Wednesday, Gruwell comes back to her alma mater--UC Irvine--to do that same thing, although the picture now goes by Freedom Writers: Stories From an Undeclared War.

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Clyde Beasley of Westminster Charged with Fourth of July Gang Murder in Long Beach

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DMV
Kayon Dafney, R.I.P.
A 48-year-old from Westminster is among three men arrested for murder and six held in connection with the Fourth of July 2014 shooting death of a Long Beach man, according to authorities.

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Long Beach and Santa Ana Among Worst-Run Cities in Bang-for-Your-Buck Rankings

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Photo by Riley Kern/OC Weekly
A weekend stroll through ol' No. 57.
Rankings of America's 65 most-populated cities by how well they are run show Long Beach and Santa Ana near the bottom, at 64th and 57th respectively.

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Valentine's Day: Pink is the New Orange; Irvine Love; Plus, Geeks, Allergics, Harold and Maude

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Knott's Berry Farm
Pink is the new Orange County.
Paris, which is the City of Love, has the 986-foot-tall Eiffel Tower. Orange County, which is the County of Theme Parks, has the 312-foot-tall Supreme Scream coaster at Knott's Berry Farm. But nights during this season of love, Supreme Scream glows pink.

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Howard Dean and Rick Santorum Coming to Long Beach to Debate Politics and Stuff

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Photo by flickr users Aaron Brown (left) and Michael Vadon
Howard Dean and Rick Santorum are coming to Long Beach to debate politics and current events.
Rick Santorum, who is famous for saying, "Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that's okay, contraception is okay. It's not okay. It's a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be," is coming to Long Beach to debate politics with Howard Dean, who is famous for saying, "Not only are we going to New Hampshire, Tom Harkin, we're going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we're going to California and Texas and New York. ... And we're going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan, and then we're going to Washington, D.C., to take back the White House! YEEAAHHUHAHHH!!!"

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VIDEO: What Happens When Thomas Edison Crashes a Tesla-Loving Steampunk Convention

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Matt Kollar/OC Weekly
Edison, right, stealing his latest invention

What happens when Thomas Edison walks onto a ship full of Nikola Tesla lovers? No, this isn't the set-up to a bad joke, but rather the premise of our latest video. Her Royal Majesty's Steampunk Symposium came to the Queen Mary in Long Beach once again, and we sent our freelance reporter Thomas Edison to cover it.

The annual convention dedicated to the retro-futuristic branch of science fiction known as steampunk was filled with supporters for Nikola Tesla, the underdog genius inventor and bitter rival of Edison. How will a shipfull of Teslians greet the great theif Edison? Watch here to find out...

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Gregory Lynn Cross, Serial Bank Robbery Suspect Who Wore Angels Shirt, Still Out There

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FBI
Gregory Lynn Cross was No. 1 on our recent list of "6 Bandits Who Wore Anaheim Angels Gear While Robbing Banks."
Regional law enforcement agencies are still seeking 58-year-old Gregory Lynn Cross, who is now suspected in eight bank robberies or attempted bank robberies since Dec. 13, the FBI announced Tuesday.

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