Thursday, July 28, 2011

Navy Advises Crew Avoid San Pedro

Map advises crews visiting for Los Angeles Navy Week to avoid San Pedro downtown business area, while the city of Long  Beach's amenities praised.

“They've served in war-ravaged countries around the world, but Navy crews were warned this week to stay clear of downtown San Pedro while they were in port,” reports Donna Littlejohn, staff writer for the Long Beach Press-Telegram.   Maps issued by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service were handed to ship crew members after the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier arrived at the Port of Los Angeles on Monday warning them of areas that could be dangerous to visit. The Lincoln is one of four ships participating in the week-long Navy Week event, with public ship tours offered through the weekend.

USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) WesternPacificOcean

On the maps given to crew members at shoreside, several areas - including San Pedro's downtown shopping district - were outlined in red and identified as "high drug use/distribution area."  The back of the map, meanwhile, extols all the amenities that can be found in Downtown Long Beach.  This information was leaked when a sailor showed his map to the owner of the Whale & Ale which is a great restaurant in this very district.  This leaked map was then posted to the Rediscover San Pedro Facebook page which then outraged many.  Some merchants have since taken to personally distributing downtown San Pedro restaurant listings.

Why were the sailors advised to avoid San Pedro and go to Long Beach?  Is San Pedro really that unsafe?  Do they know something I don’t know,or is this something deeper and more insidious?  Should I as a resident be concerned about visiting Downtown San Pedro now?  I don’t think so.  Long Beach has scarier neighborhoods than San Pedro in my own (humble) proud, safe-feeling San Pedro resident's opinion, we join in welcoming the Navy and advise them to visit the downtown San Pedro area, it’s fantastic.  Navy personnel:  Ignore the advisory and visit San Pedro!

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