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Don Jergler’s Appearance on “Mum’s the Word”

LONG BEACH, CA—Going on a local cable television show with Les Robbins is always a treat, and it’s usually because the former Long Beach city councilman and retired Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy turned talk show host has something funny or interesting to say about Long Beach politics.

While Long Beach’s almost-500,000 population makes it the nation’s 34th largest city—it’s also the fifth largest city in California and home to one of the largest ports in the US—it has all the he-said/she-said controversies and “Did ya hear?” flavor of a cozy little Mayberry.

The Charter Communications cable show on which I occasionally appear, “Mum’s the Word,” named after the Pine Avenue restaurant Mum’s credited with kickstarting the long, slow, and often painful revitalization of Downtown Long Beach, is sponsored by Mum’s founder John Morris. Morris, who once successfully took on City Hall—he sued and triumphed with a six-figure payout alleging his business was impacted by city managers when they secretly directed employees not to patronize his restaurant because he was an outspoken city critic—has since renamed and re-branded his establishment Smooth’s Sports Grille.

Robbins launched the show at the turn of the millennium with the help of cable show director/producer Ron Petke, who often dons a director-style beret and a loud Hawaiian shirt when behind the cameras, and over the years the pair have built the show into a popular feature watched by gadflies and people generally interested in the goings-on in their community.

A few years ago I became a semi-regular on the show—appearing in empty slots between educators, politicos, sharp-tongued lobbyists and local personalities—after Robbins and Petke realized there was growing interest in the ongoing and massive $1 billion-plus redevelopment efforts underway in Downtown and the boom in housing.

I usually go on a few times a year to talk about real estate or Downtown, and I usually stick to quoting home prices and stats from the California Associations of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors, discussing projects, feeding Robbins the occasional rumor and talking about redevelopment battles so as not to appear to viewers like I’m playing the role of an industry expert instead of a journalist.

Unfortunately, the show aired in late August only on local cable origination Channel 3 in the cities of Long Beach and Signal Hill. Therefore, I edited the 30-minute segment down to about seven minutes and have had it posted on GlobeSt.com for those who might be interested in the experience of going on a local cable program (think Wayne’s World without the schwing—a bit more professional as well).

Feel free to take a gander.

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