One City's Ship Is Sinking

One man is using Long Beach's most famous landmark, the Queen Mary, as leverage for his personal financial transactions.
February 4, 2004, 2pm PST | David Gest
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"The Queen Mary has become Long Beach’s preeminent icon. No question." So how is Joseph F. Prevratil using it for his personal advatage? "He leases the Queen Mary from the city of Long Beach and for the past 10 years has manipulated affection for the publicly owned ship to build a personal financial empire." It's a complex story, resulting in a city administration fearful of making any changes to the deal. "Whatever mayor, city council or city manager is in office at the time, they are frightened that the Queen Mary will somehow turn into a rotting hulk on their watch. As long as they can avoid that, they will do anything" "Long Beach could lose its landmark...if Prevratil defaults on his payments."

Thanks to David Gest

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Published on Friday, January 30, 2004 in Orange County Weekly
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