City Manager’s Bi-Weekly Report to the CommunityBy John Nachbar @ 7:00 AM May 29, 2012
Community Development Dept.
• Kaiser Foundation Hospitals – Plans have submitted for a tenant improvement for "Occupational Health Services." 12001 Washington Blvd.
• Sony Pictures – Plans have been approved to fabricate and erect a 188-foot diameter Rainbow arch. The sculpture includes two concrete foundations, a structural steel arch, aluminum art panels, intermediate framing to support the aluminum art panels. 10202 Washington Blvd.
• Clive Wilkinson Architects – Relocating from West Hollywood to self-designed new headquarters, 6116 Washington Blvd. The new office is expected to be completed this week. A retail space will be taken by tenant Cognoscenti Coffee.
• The End – Japanese art space and café Royal/T will close in August after five years of business. Owner Susan Hancock said Royal/T will host roaming special events, exhibits, shows and pop-up stores in L.A. and around the world.
• Fire Service Day – On Saturday May 12, the department participated in the annual Fire Service Day celebration. Fire Station 1, Downtown, opened its doors to allow community members a chance to view the station, apparatus and equipment on display. This an opportunity for grown-ups and kids to see the station equipment up close. Firefighters provided demonstrations, answered questions, and got to know the community members in a pleasant environment. Between the Firefighters’ Pancake Breakfast and the Car Show to draw in the crowd, the event was successful.
• Night Drills – The department conducts a minimum of four multi-company night drills, per shift, per year. Over the next couple of weeks fire crews will hold a variety of night drills with a focus on high water volume events known as Master Stream Operations. These Operations often are used in defensive firefighting operations, which can be a high risk/low frequency event. Often these occur late in the evening or early morning hours with limited visibility, thus complicating the operation and making them more dangerous. These drills will provide our personnel the necessary training/experience required to ensure they are prepared when the need arises.
• Wildland Fire Training – All fire personnel are participating in the annual Wildland Fire refresher training to prepare for the upcoming wildland fire season. Participants will attend a number of classroom/DVD training sessions that cover changes in assignments, emergency operations and field communications. Crews will take turns on top of the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook State Park to practice progressive hose lays, the latest in structure protection techniques, and fire shelter deployment. Fire shelter deployment is the last means of survival firefighters implore if overrun by a wildfire. This annual refresher training is designed to prepare our personnel with wildland fire inter-face fires in Culver City and other areas we may be called upon during the California wildland fire season.
Parks, Recreation and Community Services Dept.
• Administration – Representatives from the City Manager’s office, Public Works, and Parks and Recreation met at Culver City Park to tour the snack bar and restroom building. Public Works will be doing a more detailed inspection and suggesting possible work on these buildings in next 30 to 60 days.
• Location, Location – The Parks and RecreationDirector attended the Location Managers Guild Assn. meeting on Saturday, May 19, at the Culver Hotel. Also in attendance were Vice Mayor Jeff Cooper, Councilmember Jim Clarke, and Todd Tipton from Community Development. These persons are responsible for selecting shooting locations for episodic, feature and commercial shoots for all major productions. City Council members and staff were allowed to market the advantages of shooting in Culver City. Staff members provided contact information for those interested and already have received follow-up calls for future film shoots. Parks and Recreation has seen an increase in the last six months of filming on city property. They anticipate increases for the next year.
• Parks – The new Culver City Park Playground has been a huge success with highly increased activity since the grand opening two weeks ago. The Parks Division is moving forward the final phases of the project, installing new concrete picnic tables last week and a new shade structure over some picnic areas in the coming weeks.
• Dead End – The Parks Division is working to preemptively stay ahead of the seasonal weeds problem with environmentally friendly chemical weed-abatement spraying in the parks, medians and common areas, in partnership with and under the guidance of David Talavera, Streets Division.
• Staying Clean – With the addition of the new power steam cleaning unit, the Picnic Pavilion Steam and Pressure Washing Program got underway at city park sites in mid-month. All parks are on a monthly minimum power washing and steam cleaning schedule.
• Safety – In an ongoing effort to keep the current playground equipment safe, Lindberg Park received an upgrade of new replacement parts and continues receiving maintenance and repairs of the existing play equipment.
• Vandalism – The Parks Division is working together with the Recreation staff on the fight against graffiti, eradicating it as it occurs to keep our parks graffiti-free.
• Table for Two? – With the assistance of our playground contractor, the Parks Division placed eight new concrete picnic tables at the Culver City Park Playground area, along with four benches and two tables and trash receptacles at the Sundial Overlook area adjacent to Botts Field. This is part of the ongoing Park Amenities Replacement Program of the outdated metal tables and benches at some parks.
• Challenge Cup – For the 12th year, the department sent a team of 20 runners to compete in the annual Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay. Each runner runs a relay leg of 4 to 10.7 miles, depending on the difficulty of the leg. The race started in Baker on Saturday, April 21, and finished in Las Vegas the next day. With teams from as far away as Europe, this 120-mile relay race is recognized as the largest law enforcement sporting event of its kind in the world. The race starts during the daytime desert heat and lasts through the night, where the temperatures may drop to freezing, as the runners reach the summit of the Mountain Springs Pass (5,600 feet). Two hundred and seventy-eight law enforcement teams participated. The cup is intended to promote camaraderie and discipline among law enforcement officers. The top three finishers in each division were awarded a coveted winner’s mug. By posting an outstanding time of 15 hours and 48 minutes, Culver City finished second in the 150-Team Division and 32nd overall, earning the elusive mug. This could not have been accomplished without the help of local donors, support personnel and the officers, including reserves who remained behind to keep our city safe.
• National Prescription Drop Off – In conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Agency, the department held the third National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The purpose: To provide a venue for persons who want to dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs. The department collected 230 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs with no questions asked.
• Bike Safety Festival – The Bike Festival event was held on Sunday, May 6, at El Marino Language Immersion School, sponsored by the Culver City Bicycle Coalition, to teach children and adults bicycle safety and the importance of following the rules of the road. Several department members participated.
Public Works Dept.
• Rain Garden – On April 2, the City Council awarded a construction contract to construct the Ballona Creek Rain Garden Project between Overland Avenue and the Pedestrian Bridge. The project consists of the following improvements:
Construction of two rain gardens within the existing landscaped slope. The construction will involve removing the existing landscaped slope and lowering the existing grade. The resulting depression will be re-landscaped with native plants that complement the existing landscaping to create rain gardens. These rain gardens will enable local run-off to naturally infiltrate into the ground, thereby improving water quality. The existing plants will be relocated within the project area; and
Installation of new curb and gutter along the fence line behind the School District parking area and playground to divert some of the storm water run-off from the School District property into four catch basins. The storm water will flow into catch basins with filtration devices that will be connected to engineered dispersal chamber systems. The systems are designed to uniformly spread the storm runoff at a reduced velocity onto the existing landscaped slope, thereby allowing the water to infiltrate the soil.
The project is scheduled to start Wednesday and be completed in the middle of July, weather permitting.
• Bike Path Closure – Due to the construction, the bike path between Overland Avenue and the Pedestrian Bridge (north of Ocean Drive and Westwood Boulevard) will be closed for pedestrian and bicycle traffic during the duration of the construction. Detours and construction signs will be posted.
• Honorable Mention – Culver City was awarded an Honorable Mention by the League of American Bicyclists as part of its Bicycle Friendly Community Program. This award recognizes the city’s efforts to improve conditions for cyclists through engineering (physical improvements), education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation/planning. For more information on some of the city’s recent bicycle and pedestrian-related accomplishments, please visit: http://www.culvercity.org/Government/PublicWorks/TrafficEngineering/BicyclePedestrian.aspx.
• By the Numbers – Bike counts were conducted on Saturday, May 19, and Wednesday, May 23. They will help the city prioritize locations for bicycle improvements and track progress in making the city more bicycle-friendly. Public Works thanks the volunteers who donated their time to help make the counts possible.
• Updated Expo Phase 2 – Balfour Beatty, the Expo contractor for the Venice Boulevard Underpass segment of the Phase 2 Project, has revised its schedule for starting work in the Venice Boulevard right-of-way between Culver Boulevard and Helms Avenue to on or around Monday, June 11. The project will include utility relocations, construction of the light rail aerial structure over Venice Boulevard, and the widening of Venice Boulevard to implement required mitigation measures. The project is expected to take 18 to 24 months. Due to the project’s complexities, it will be constructed in stages. Each will have different work hours, with some work being done during nighttime and early morning hours. Each stage may also require different traffic control measures, which will include lane closures, traffic diversions and detours. The traffic control measures will impact traffic movement on Washington, National, Robertson and Culver boulevards and surrounding streets. The initial stage of construction will be the relocation of an existing sewer main line in the Venice Boulevard right-of-way to allow the construction of the aerial structure columns. This will last approximately four months and will be done primarily overnight ,from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. During this stage the proposed nightly traffic control will be:
1. Westbound Venice Boulevard will be reduced to a single lane between Ivy Street (two blocks east of National Boulevard) and Culver Boulevard;
2. Eastbound Venice Boulevard will be narrowed to two through lanes between Durango Avenue (one block west of Culver Boulevard) and Robertson Boulevard, and eastbound left-turns to northbound Robertson Boulevard will be reduced to one shortened single lane;
3. Left-turns from northbound Robertson Boulevard to westbound Venice Boulevard will be prohibited; and
4. Washington Boulevard to Culver Boulevard and back to Venice Boulevard will be identified as an alternative route to westbound Venice Boulevard during the construction times.
In addition to the above work, Balfour Beatty will also be conducting closed-circuit television recording of the existing sewer line on Monday, June 4, and Tuesday, June 5, between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. Minor lane closures will be required during this time. Balfour Beatty will provide notice through Changeable Message Signs placed throughout the impacted area, hand-delivered written notices to the surrounding community, and email notices. City staff will also place the notices on the city website and provide email notices to the city’s notification list.
• Scoping Meeting – The County Dept. of Parks and Recreation and the Baldwin Hills Regional Conservation Authority are hosting a scoping meeting on Wednesday evening to get input on a proposed Nature Center at the former Ohr Eliyahu Academy site in Blair Hills. They will meet from 7 to 9 at the Kenneth Hahn Community Room, 4100 . La Cienega Blvd.. For information: Roy Williams, 626.333.7698.
• Crosswalk – As part of the Sepulveda Boulevard Area Improvement Project, an interlocking paver crosswalk treatment was installed at the intersection of Sepulveda Boulevard and Lindblade Street. Multi-space parking meters and additional street furniture are expected to be installed along Sepulveda Boulevard in June.
• Valet Parking – The Downtown Valet Parking Program has been successfully operating since June 2009, contributing significantly to decreasing demand on public parking resources by taking advantage of privately owned parking lots that were underutilized, and using these lots as valet parking lots. Benefits of the valet program include a reduction in cruising around the block until drivers find a parking space, decreased emissions, a reduction of parking intrusion into the residential neighborhood, convenience to the business patrons, and a more pleasant experience Downtown. Over the years, businesses outside of Downtown have expressed a desire for the same benefits. Last January, the City Council adopted the Citywide Valet Parking Program, making the program and its benefits available anywhere in Culver City. Immediately after adoption, a new restaurant, The Corner Door,12477 West Washington Blvd., at Wasatch Avenue, submitted an application and was approved for valet parking. The restaurant soon will open for dinner and drinks, and will offer valet parking that will use a previously underutilized private parking lot in the immediate vicinity.
Mr. Nachbar, the City Manager, may be contacted at email@example.com