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Top Long Beach News Stories Of 2013 (In No Particular Order)

December 26, 2013 – The Business Journal reviews top newsmakers, news stories and photos of 2013, plus a look ahead to what local issues we’ll be watching closely in 2014.

•For the first time, a member of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners was ousted when the city council removed Thomas Fields, then commission president, at the mayor’s request.

•After the Los Angeles City Council approved Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co.’s Southern California International Gateway rail yard project, the City of Long Beach and other entities filed a lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles. The suit is awaiting trial.

•Two Port of Long Beach development projects are millions of dollars over-budget, largely due to complex oilfield relocation work. The Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project is $114.5 million over-budget, and the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project is $163.2 million over-budget.

•In November, the Long Beach Arena at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center debuted new renovations. The interior is now equipped with a system of rigging, lights and curtains that enables the arena to transform from the size of a ballroom to a concert venue.

•Mercedes-Benz USA leased a one million square foot property adjacent to Douglas Park, a deal secured by CB Richard Ellis, in July. The lease was lauded as the biggest industrial real estate lease in L.A. County in 25 years.

•The Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County Gov. George Deukmejian Courthouse was completed in Downtown Long Beach in September, with a grand opening event in November.

•Problems continue to plague Long Beach Transit’s order of 10 zero-emission buses from Chinese-based manufacturer BYD.

•In September, The Boeing Co. announced it would phase out Long Beach production of its C-17 Globemaster III by 2015.

•The city achieved full pension reform after agreements with the final four city employee bargaining groups were reached in October.

•Long Beach gained a new daily newspaper with the launch of the Long Beach Register.