City Manager’s Update
By John Nachbar
City Manager’s Office
• AT & T U-verse to Carry CCTV 35 – Staff has begun the process of 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. Current indications are that the addition of CCTV 35 would be at no cost or low cost to the City. If all goes as planned, U-verse customers in Culver City and throughout the Los Angeles County metropolitan area would have access to CCTV 35 in about 120-150 days.
Community Development Department
• Starbucks Coffee Co. – Starbucks has submitted plans for a tenant improvement, located at 4114 Sepulveda Boulevard at Washington Boulevard.
• American Planning Association National Conference - The Planning Division organized and hosted a mobile workshop on the Culver City Transit Oriented Development District associated with new Expo Light Rail line station. The workshop was attended by over 50 planners attending the conference from across North America who were given a tour of the developing TOD district and provided with presentations on 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, which includes a 12,000 square feet Trader Joe’s or other gourmet grocery store in addition to the Market Hall uses. The meeting was well attended.
• Speak Easy - The City of Culver City will present Speak Easy, an evening of performance and poetry, on Friday, May 18 at 7 pm in the Mike Balkman Council Chambers at Culver City City Hall. This spring’s Speak Easy program, featuring French and American slam poets who perform their own poems, 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 Department of French and Francophone Studies; the UCLA Center for the Study of Global France; PEN Center USA; and the Institut Français in Paris. Speak Easy, which had been funded by the Culver City Redevelopment Agency, will receive alternative private funding this year and will not be supported by the City General Fund. Reservations for Speak Easy are required and may be made by calling the Cultural Affairs Hotline at (310) 253-5716. More information is available at http://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 Academy of Visual and Performing Arts, at the Washing Day Coin Laundry, on the west side of Culver City. The open rehearsals occur on May 8 and May 9 from 3:30 pm to 5 pm, and the free performances are on May 10 at 5 pm and 6 pm.
• Musical Adventures - Definiens Project returns to the Culver City Julian Dixon Library with Musical Adventures, a free program for young audiences, on May 12 at 2 pm.
• A Concert of Firsts - Culver City Symphony Orchestra presents its annual concert featuring younger winners of the orchestra-sponsored Parness Concerto Competition. A Concert of Firsts, under the direction of Conductor Frank Fetta, is on May 12 at 8 pm at Veterans Memorial Auditorium.
• Southern California Edison Training - Representative from Southern California Edison spent three days, at the Culver City Fire Training Facility, instructing all Fire 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. Fire personnel respond hundreds of times each year to pole fires, smoking vaults, and downed energized lines. This training provided a good refresher to add to our experience in order to safely protect the public.
• Light Rail Vehicle-Airbag Training - All fire personnel are currently 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 and challenges faced when tasked to rescue 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 needed to successfully perform this type of rescue. While tilting up the objective with high pressure air-bags, cribbing platforms are built for a back-up safety system.
Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department
• Administration – The Veterans Memorial 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. Over 40 guests attended the opening, including Mayor Andrew Weissman, Vice Mayor Jeff Cooper, Councilmembers Mehaul O’Leary, and, and Councilmember Jim Clarke. Special thanks to Project Manager Bellur Devaraj, Public Works Director Charles Herbertson, and PRCS staff members Armando Abrego and Diego Cevallos for their work on the renovation and to PRCS staff member Dan Jassim for his work on the rededication ceremony.
On April 19 a meeting was held with representatives of North East Trees to discuss the room layout for the upcoming public meeting, taking place on April 28 in the Rotunda Room of the Veterans Memorial Building.
• Recreation – Global Youth Service Day was celebrated on Saturday, April 21 with over 125 people turning out for the event. The Teen Center Youth Empowerment Group created a spring 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.
The MLK Committee recruitment was extended until May 4. 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.
Teen Camp and Day Camp registration forms are now 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 began on May 1 for Culver City residents and on May 8 for non-residents.
• Parks – The Parks Division Capital Improvement Proposition 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 now completely built.
In preparation for the reopening of the Veterans Memorial Building, Parks Grounds Maintenance staff completely re-landscaped areas surrounding the Vets Building. New plantings of shrubs and ground cover, detailing all the planters, weeding, pruning and painting occurred all around the building, including the islands in the rear parking lot.
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 around town in an effort to spruce up areas in need and to save money by reusing the plants.
• Senior and Social Services – The Los Angeles County Community and Senior Services has awarded a grant to provide funding to the City of Culver City Elderly Nutrition Program for the fiscal years 2012 – 2016. The Los Angeles County Community and Senior Services Department has also awarded additional funding to the City of Culver City Elderly Nutrition Program for fiscal year 2011-2012.
Public Works Department
• Baldwin Avenue Reconstruction Project - Baldwin Avenue Reconstruction Project between Braddock Drive and Farragut Drive is completed. New curb and gutter were installed, most of the drive approaches were reconstructed, and the street received a new asphalt surface. Also, four new rain gardens were constructed. .
• Fire Station Replacement of Stairs - The stairs located at the rear of the main building at Fire Station #1 were recently replaced and other related improvements were completed.
• Parking Garage Lighting Project - The lighting at the City Hall and Cardiff Parking Garages were recently 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.
• Culver CityBus Service to the EXPO Line - In an effort to meet the possible public demand Culver CityBus will add some buses on a trial basis when possible in an effort 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 level, which affects our ability to add a large amount of service. Therefore we will continue to monitor the service we provide and make changes when funding is available.
• Transportation Department Honors Employees - The Transportation Department recently presented the following Awards for the Calendar Year of 2011.
The Equipment Maintenance and Fleet Services Division presented the following awards: Twenty One-Year Safety Awards, two Five-Year Safety Awards, one Ten-Year Safety Award. The Division also presented its Employee of the Year Award to Alejandro “Alex” Gomez.
The Transit Operations Division presented the following awards: Thirty-seven One-Year Safety Awards, four Five-Year Safety Awards, two Ten-Year Safety Awards and one Fifteen-Year Safety Award.
The Transportation Department is proud to announce that Manuel Flores has been selected for the 2011 Earl Barr Operator of the Year Award for the Transit Operations Division.