City Manager’s Update
May 25, 2012
• Kaiser Foundation Hospitals – Plans have submitted for a tenant improvement for "Occupational Health Services" located at 12001 Washington Boulevard.
• 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 located at 10202 Washington Boulevard.
• Clive Wilkinson Architects - is relocating from West Hollywood to a self-designed new headquarters at 6116 Washington Blvd. The new office is expected to be completed this month and a retail space will be taken by tenant Cognoscenti Coffee.
• Japanese art space and café Royal/T - will close this August after five years of business. Owner Susan Hancock said Royal/T will instead begin to host roaming special events, exhibits, shows and pop-up stores in LA and around the world.
• Fire Service Day - On Saturday, May 12 the Culver City Fire Department participated in the annual Fire Service Day celebration. Fire Station 1, in downtown Culver City, opened its doors to allow community members a chance to view the station, apparatus, and equipment on display. This annual event is an opportunity for grown-ups and kids to see the station, apparatus, and equipment up close. Firefighters were available to provide demonstrations, answer questions, and get to know the community members they serve in a pleasant fun-filled environment. Between the Firefighters’ Pancake Breakfast and the Car Show to draw in the crowd, this year’s event was another great success.
• Night Drills - The Fire Department conducts a minimum of four multi-company night drills, per shift, per year. Over the next couple of weeks fire crews will be conducting a variety of night drills with a focus on “high” water volume events known as Master Stream Operations. These Master Stream Operations are often used in defensive firefighting operations which can be a high risk/low frequency type of event. Often times these types of events occur late in the evening or early morning hours with limited visibility thus complicating the operation and making them more dangerous. These night time 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 which covers changes in assignments, emergency operations, and field communications. Crews will then 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 wild fire. This annual refresher training is designed to prepare our personnel with wildland fire inter-face fires here in Culver City and other areas we may be called upon during the California wildland fire season.
Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department
• Administration – Representatives from the City Manager’s office, Public Works and PRCS 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.
The PRCS Director attended the Location Manager’s Guild Association 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 individuals are responsible for selecting shooting locations for episodic, feature and commercial shoots for all major productions. The City Councilmembers and staff were allowed to market the advantages of shooting in Culver City.. Staff members provided contact information for those interested and have already received follow-up calls for future film shoots. PRCS has seen an increase in the last 6 months of filming on City property and 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 last week. The Parks Division is moving forward the final phases of the project by installing new concrete picnic tables this week and a new shade structure over some of the picnic areas in the coming weeks.
The Parks Division is already 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.
With the addition of the new power steam cleaning unit, the Picnic Pavilion Steam and Pressure Washing Program got underway at many of the City park sites last week. All of the parks are on a once monthly minimum power washing and steam cleaning schedule.
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.
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.
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 of our parks.
• National Prescription Drop Off - The Culver City Police Department in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Agency held the 3rd, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The purpose of this event is to provide a venue for persons who want to dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs. The Department collected over 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 School. The event is sponsored by the Culver City Bicycle Coalition. The event is to teach children and adults bicycle safety and the importance of following the rules of the road. The police department had several members participating in the event.
Public Works Department
• Ballona Creek Rain Garden - On April 2 the City Council awarded a construction contract to construct the Ballona Creek Rain Garden Project between Overland Avenue and 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 then 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 underway and anticipated to be completed in the middle of July, weather permitting.
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.
• Bike Friendly Community Honorable Mention – Culver City was awarded an Honorable Mention by the League of American Bicyclists as part of its Bicycle Friendly Community Program.
• 2012 Bike Counts – Bike counts were conducted on May 19 and May 23. These counts will help the City prioritize locations for bicycle improvements and track progress in making the City more bicycle-friendly. The Public Works Department would like to thank all the volunteers who generously donated their time to help make the counts possible.
• UPDATED Expo Phase 2: Venice Boulevard Underpass (VBU) - Balfour Beatty, the Expo contractor for the VBU segment of the Phase 2 Project, has revised its schedule for starting work in the Venice Boulevard right-of-way (R/W) between Culver Boulevard and Helms Avenue to on or around Monday, June 1. Traffic control measures will impact traffic movement on Washington, National, Robertson and Culver Boulevards and surrounding local streets. The initial stage of construction will be the relocation of an existing sewer main line in the Venice Boulevard R/W to allow the construction of the aerial structure columns. This work will last approximately four months and will be done primarily overnight from 9 pm to 5 am.
In addition to the above work, Balfour Beatty will also be conducting close-circuit television recording of the existing sewer line on Monday, June 4 and Tuesday, June 5, between the hours of 9 pm and 5 am. Minor lane closures will be required during this time.
• Sepulveda & Lindblade 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 some additional street furniture are expected to be installed along Sepulveda Boulevard in June 2012.
• The Corner Door Valet Parking - The Downtown Valet Parking Program has been successfully operating since June of 2009. During this time, the program has contributed 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. Some of the 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 in our Downtown. Over the years, businesses outside of Downtown have expressed a desire for the same benefits. To this end, in January 2012, the City Council adopted the Citywide Valet Parking Program, thereby making the program and its benefits available anywhere in Culver City. Immediately after adoption, a new restaurant, The Corner Door, located at 12477 West Washington Boulevard (at the northeast corner with Wasatch Avenue), submitted an application and was approved for valet parking. The restaurant will open for dinner and drinks in late May/early June, and will offer valet parking that will use a previously underutilized private parking lot in the immediate vicinity.