City Manager’s Bi-Weekly Report to the CommunityBy John Nachbar @ 8:00 AM April 30, 2012
City Manager’s Office
• Layoff Time – Triggered by the severe financial impact on the city from the state’s dissolution of redevelopment agencies, the layoff notices were issued to 14 fulltime employees last Wednesday. While Culver City has fared better than many cities, General Fund revenues have declined by nearly 10 percent from their highs in the 2007-2008 fiscal year. The 14, whose positions were supported by Redevelopment Agency revenues, were offered the choice of positions in other departments or severance payment of up to 12 weeks of paid leave based upon years of service.
• Expo Line Opening – Council members Jim Clarke, Mehaul O’Leary and Meghan Sahli-Wells last Friday came out to celebrate the opening of Metro’s Expo Light Rail project, from downtown Los Angeles to La Cienega, the last stop before Culver City. Mr. O’Leary represents City Hall on the Expo Construction Authority Board.
• AT & T U-verse Expands – Staff is working with AT & T to have Culver City TV channel 35 (the city’s government channel) added to the channel lineup for customers of AT & T’s U-verse Video services. The addition evidently would be at no cost or low cost to the city. Customers are expected to have access in four or five months.
Community Development Dept.
• Starbucks Coffee Co. – Starbucks has submitted plans for tenant improvement at 4114 Sepulveda Blvd., at Washington Boulevard.
• National Conference – Planning organized and hosted a mobile workshop on the Culver City Transit Oriented Development District associated with new Expo Light Rail line station. More than 50 planners attended the conference from across North America. They were given a tour of the developing TOD district and informed of future development projects that will bring new housing, retail, hotel, restaurant and office uses to the area.
• Washington/Centinela – Regency Centers conducted a neighborhood meeting on April 19 to present its modified plan for development of the site, including a 12,000-square feet Trader Joe’s or other gourmet grocery store in addition to the Market Hall uses.
• Speak Easy – The city will present Speak Easy, an evening of performance and poetry, on Friday, May 18, at 7 o’clock in Council Chambers. Featuring French and American slam poets who perform their own poems, this is a participating event of Vis-à-Vis: A Festival with French & American Writers, presented in association with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States; the UCLA Dept. of French and Francophone Studies; the UCLA Center for the Study of Global France; PEN Center USA; and the Institut Français in Paris. Reservations are required and may be made by calling the Cultural Affairs Hotline at 310.253.5716 or at www.culvercity.org. Sony Pictures Entertainment is an on-going sponsor of Speak Easy.
• Laundromatinee – Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre presents open rehearsals and free performances of Laundromatinee, featuring students from the Culver City High School’s Academy of Visual and Performing Arts, at the Washing Day Coin Laundry, on the west side of Culver City. The open rehearsals Tuesday, May 8, and Wednesday, May 9, from 3:30 to 5. Two free performances are planned for Thursday, May 10, at 5 and at 6.
• Musical Adventures – Definiens Project returns to the Julian Dixon Library in Saturday, May 12, with Musical Adventures, a free program for young audiences, at 2 o’clock.
• A Concert of Firsts – Culver City Symphony Orchestra presents its annual concert featuring younger winners of the orchestra-sponsored Parness Concerto Competition, Saturday evening, May 12, at 8 o’clock. A Concert of Firsts, under the direction of conductor Frank Fetta, will be at the4 Vets Auditorium. Fire Dept.
• Edison Training – Representatives from Southern California Edison spent three days, at the Culver City Fire Training Facility, instructing all department personnel on safe response and mitigation of incidents involving power supply equipment. The course addressed overhead transmission system, underground vaults and reduction facilities. Scenarios of past history involving first responders, who learned the unforgiving capabilities of 66,000 volts in some cases, were graphically presented. The training provided a good refresher to safely protecting the public.
• Air-bag Training – All fire personnel are training with our aerial ladder truck crews on a scenario simulating the need to manually lift a Light Rail Vehicle. In other jurisdictions serviced by a Light Rail Vehicle, first responders have experienced the difficulty faced when rescuing an injured pedestrian from underneath a Light Rail Vehicle. Culver City firefighters have been utilizing a loaded roll-off dumpster to gain the skills and coordination. While tilting up the objective with high pressure air-bags, cribbing platforms are built for a back-up safety system. Stabilizing struts are incorporated into the operation to ensure balance and to prevent tipping or sliding. This type of rescue operation is manpower intensive and requires all on-duty resources to perform.
Parks, Recreation and Community Services Dept.
• Administration – The Veterans Building was reopened to the public with a dedication ceremony of Friday, April 13, after a three-month closure for renovations to the auditorium, restrooms and meeting rooms. Among the improvements were fully remodeled main restrooms, refinishing of the auditorium floors, new lower level seating and other cosmetic improvements. Forty guests attended.
• Recreation – Global Youth Service Day was celebrated on Saturday, April 21, with 125 people turning out for the event. The Teen Center Youth Empowerment Group created a Western-themed carnival promoting disability awareness. The group’s inspiration was the Fall Festival of Fun event, held at the Senior Center in collaboration with the Disability Advisory Committee.
• New Deadline – The MLK Committee recruitment has been extended until May 4, 2012. There are currently four voting member spots available and four alternate voting member spots available. The MLK Committee assists the City in planning the annual event that celebrates the life and legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
• Signup Time – Teen Camp and Day Camp registration forms are available online and can be picked up at the Recreation Registration office. The summer Counselor-in-Training program applications are also available. Registration for all programs begins tomorrow for Culver City residents and on Tuesday, May 8, for non-residents.
• Parks – The Parks Division Capital Improvement Prop. A- funded project at Culver City Park playground is nearly complete. The new equipment is assembled and set in concrete. The new Sand/Water Play Area and accessible ramps are completely built. The California Conservation Corps is installing the new accessible surfacing next as part of the youth employment plan for the project. The project should open in early May.
• Flora and Fauna – In preparation for the reopening of the Vets Auditorium, Parks Grounds Maintenance staff re-landscaped surrounding areas. New plantings of shrubs and ground cover, detailing all the planters, weeding, pruning and painting were finished on time.
• Removal – Parks Grounds Maintenance staff was given the directive to remove over 200 native plants from the new Sepulveda medians. Staff has been busy replanting these plants at Vets Park, Fox Hills Park and various sites in an effort to spruce up areas in need and to save money by reusing the plants.
• Senior and Social Services – The County Community and Senior Services has awarded a grant to provide funding to the Culver City Elderly Nutrition Program for the fiscal years 2012 – 2016. Additional funding was granted for fiscal year 2011-2012.
Public Works Dept.
• Reconstruction Project – The Baldwin Avenue Reconstruction Project, between Braddock Drive and Farragut Drive, was just completed. New curb and gutter were installed, most of the drive approaches were reconstructed, and the street received a new asphalt surface. Four new rain gardens were built, too. The rain gardens are designed to collect irrigation and initial storm water runoff to minimize pollutant loads in Ballona Creek.
• Replacement of Stairs – The stairs at the rear of the main building at Fire Station No. 1 were recently replaced and other related improvements were completed.
• Parking Garage Lighting Project – The lighting at the City Hall and Cardiff parking garages have been upgraded to more energy efficient units. The high pressure sodium lights at City Hall were replaced with induction lights and the fluorescent lights were upgraded to more efficient units. The fluorescent lights at the Cardiff Parking Garage were upgraded to more efficient units, in addition to replacing the rooftop lights with induction units. A lighting control system was installed at the Cardiff Parking Garage that will keep certain lights off during the daytime hours. These upgrades are anticipated to save the city roughly 125,000 kwh/year and 90,000 kwh/year at the two parking garages. The project was funded through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant administered through the Dept. of Energy as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
• Bus Service to Expo – To meet possible public demand, Culver CityBus will add buses on a trial basis when possible to determine the most effective public transit service. Unfortunately, in the last three years we have experienced major transportation funding cuts on both the state and federal levels, affecting our ability to add larger service.
• Honors –The following annual awards recently were presented:
Equipment Maintenance and Fleet Services Division: Twenty One-Year Safety Awards, two Five-Year Safety Awards, one Ten-Year Safety Award. Employee of the Year Award was earned by Alex Gomez.
Transit Operations Division: Thirty-seven One-Year Safety Awards, four Five-Year Safety Awards, two Ten-Year Safety Awards and one Fifteen-Year Safety Award. Manuel Flores won the Earl Barr Operator of the Year Award for the Transit Operations Division.
Mr. Nachbar, the City Manager, may be contacted at email@example.com