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Long Beach to dedicate replacement Pride lifeguard tower

Long Beach Pride Lifeguard Tower

Members of the Long Beach community attend a March 31 rally at the site where the city’s Pride lifeguard tower burned. Photo: Q Voice News.

A Pride lifeguard tower will be dedicated Thursday at the site of where a similar structure burned to the ground in March.

An installation and photo opportunity will take place Thursday at 5 p.m. on the beach at 12th Place.

The fire investigation is ongoing.

Shortly after the March 23 fire, numerous public officials, including Mayor Robert Garcia, publicly declared the fire was a hate crime, even though they didn’t have any information to confirm that belief.

Investigators with the Long Beach Fire Department have said the blaze was arson, but a motive is still under investigation.

On Monday, the department released an update saying the Pride lifeguard tower did not have any electrical or heart sources. It’s still unclear if the fire was set with the intention of destroying the structure.

2nd District candidate Cindy Allen runs away from the media

The replacement Pride lifeguard tower, like the one before it, will be painted by city lifeguards and is expected to be finished by Thursday.

A city press release about the tower said that a committee led by Councilwoman Cindy Allen “will develop ideas for enhancing the pride tower with additional ways of showing LGBTQ+ pride.”

However, no details about the committee have been released to the public.

Information about the committee also seems to be a mystery to the city.

Jennifer De Prez, a spokeswoman with the city’s Joint Information Center, said nobody in the city knows who will be on the committee, how many people will be selected, how they will be selected, or a deadline for when they will be selected and the committee will be announced publicly.

A message was left with Allen’s office, but it has not yet been returned.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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