City Manager's Update
City Clerk’s Office
• Want to receive information about the City’s 2014 Election? The City Clerk’s Office has established a webpage with important items related to the April 8, 2014 Election where the voters will select two members of the City Council. The webpage can be accessed at: https://www.culvercity.org/en/Government/CityClerk/ElectionInformation.aspx.
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Community Development Department
• 4043 Irving Place – Construction was completed for the project, and the Certificate of Occupancy was issued in December 2013.
• CDBG Advisory Committee – The CDBG Advisory Committee met on January 2 and will forward its recommendations for the City Council’s consideration to allocate available CDBG funding for FY14-15. The Committee’s recommendations will be presented at a Public Hearing scheduled for the City Council meeting on January 27.
• Councilmember Ride-A-Long – On December 20 Councilmember Jim Clarke spent the day riding out with members of the Culver City Fire Department. His day started out at 6:30 am at Fire Station #1 and ended at approximately 4 pm. During Councilmember Clarke’s time with the Fire Department, he rode out with the on-duty Battalion Chief in the morning and Engine Company #3 in the afternoon. Councilmember Clarke had the opportunity to observe the routine daily activities taking place in and around the station. He also got an up-close experience of the City’s recruit firefighters participating in live fire training at the City’s Drill Yard. After watching the live training exercise, he was escorted to a recent structure fire in Culver City to see first-hand the aftermath of a fire in a single family residence. Lastly, Councilmember Clarke responded with crew members to emergency calls. Based on the feedback received, it appears to have been a positive experience for everyone involved and a valuable learning experience.
Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department
• VMB Staff Training – Staff and event supervisors have reviewed the new VMB Emergency Plan and have received first aid and CPR training. Staff will work closely with the Culver City Fire Department to stage an evacuation drill in 2014.
• Culver City Chamber Orchestra – Culver City Chamber Orchestra will present A Night in Vienna, featuring the music of Johann Strauss and Franz Von Suppé, in the Veterans Memorial Auditorium on Saturday, January 4 at 8 pm. The concert, which is supported through the Culver City Performing Arts Grant Program, also includes performances by professional dancers. More information is available at http://www.ccchamberorchestra.com.
• Walk n’Rollers - The Police Department is very proud of the accomplishments of The Culver City Walk n’Rollers in 2013. The Police Department supports and works with this group to help ensure the safety of all bicyclists and pedestrians in the City.
The group’s 2013 accomplishments are listed below:
- Received a $25,000 dollar grant from the Coca Cola Foundation for program expansion. This grant helps conduct more outreach and education with schools and host up to three Walk 'n Roll Festivals in 2014.
- Teamed with Alta Planning on a two-year Safe Routes to School program in Pico Rivera. The group will be overseeing the education and encouragement components of this exciting project.
- Awarded the Culver City Safe Routes to School No-Infrastructure program grant. The group will be working with six schools throughout Culver City for four years, building a comprehensive city-wide education and encouragement program.
- Hosted nine Kids Bike Safety Festivals throughout Los Angeles County, including: Santa Monica, Downtown Los Angeles, Downey, East Los Angeles, Mar Vista, Venice, Mid-Wilshire and Santa Clarita.
• New Year’s Resolution: Smart Gardening – The Culver City Public Works Department encourages residents to attend a free Smart Gardening workshop in 2014. No reservation is needed to attend. The workshops are 1.5 hours long and will be held at the Veterans Memorial Building, located at 4117 Overland Avenue, in the Garden Room.
At the workshops, residents can purchase a backyard or worm composting bin at a discounted price with cash or check only—limited to two bins per household. Worm bins include African Red Worms (Eisenia fetida), aka Red Wigglers, which are the most common type of composting worm. These worms process large amounts of organic matter (up to half their body weight per day); reproduce rapidly; and are very tolerant of variations in soil conditions. As nature's soil aerators, worms improve and condition the soil, as they burrow in search of food. Composting worms excrete a valuable natural fertilizer (called worm castings), which contain 5x the nitrogen, 7x the phosphorus, 3x the magnesium, 11x the potash, and 1.5x the calcium as what are normally found in 6 inches of top soil. Other names for Red Wigglers include Tiger worms, Garlic worms, Manure worms, and Brandling worms.
Smart Gardening Workshops – Save the Dates
1. Saturdays, February 22 and July 26, 2014 - Beginning Workshops to provide hands-on instruction on composting, worm composting, grasscycling, and water-wise and fire-wise gardening.
2. Saturdays, April 19 and October 25, 2014 – Advanced Workshops to introduce organic gardening, landscaping with native friendly and drought tolerant plants, and integrated pest management (environmental ways to control pests).
• Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance Update – The City Council of the City of Culver City passed an ordinance that bans single-use plastic shopping bags and requires retailers to charge for recyclable paper bags. The ordinance became effective on June 27, 2013 and is being implemented in two different phases. Larger stores are now required to comply with the ordinance, which took effect on December 28, 2013. Smaller stores have until June 27, 2014 to comply with the Ordinance.
Important News for Customers
Compliant stores will no longer provide single-use plastic bags to shoppers. Paper bags will be provided at a cost to the consumer at a minimum of 10 cents per bag. Customers are encouraged to bring their own reusable bags, or may choose to pay for paper bags, or buy reusable bags that will be available for sale at the point of purchase in many stores.
Benefits of Plastic Bag Ban and Use of Reusable Bags
Plastic bags are used in extremely high numbers and only a small fraction of them are ever recycled. These bags can end up in landfills and often remain in the environment for decades or longer. Some plastic bags eventually find their way to the ocean where they can do significant damage to wildlife. Paper bags are more easily recycled and more compostable than single-use plastic bags. However, paper bags can still be damaging to the environment, and therefore consumers are highly encouraged to use reusable bags. Reusable bags can be used many times and thus create less landfill waste and fewer negative environmental impacts.
• Expo Line Update - As part of the construction of Phase 2 of the Expo Light Rail Line, work crews from the general contractor Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc. (BBII) and its subcontractor will begin the relocation of an existing waterline along Venice Boulevard.
The work began on Sunday, December 22, 2013 and will continue approximately through Friday, February 10, 2014.
Work times for this portion of the project will be:
Sunday – Thursday from 9 pm to 6 am and on Saturdays from Midnight to 8 am.
Work activities will include saw-cutting, asphalt and concrete removal, trench excavation, installation of a new utility line, backfilling and asphalt restoration. Heavy machinery will be used including excavators/backhoes, front-end loaders and trucks.
• Eastbound Venice Boulevard will be reduced to one lane of traffic between Culver Boulevard and Robertson Boulevard.
• Left turns onto Northbound Robertson Boulevard from Eastbound Venice Boulevard will be prohibited, and traffic will be detoured to National Boulevard.
• Traffic from the Eastbound I-10 Freeway Robertson Boulevard off-ramp will be detoured onto northbound Robertson Boulevard. Through traffic across the intersection will not be allowed and left and right turns onto Venice Boulevard will be prohibited.
• Northbound Robertson Boulevard traffic, coming from Washington Boulevard, will be detoured onto eastbound Venice Boulevard to National Boulevard. Through traffic to northbound Robertson Boulevard and left turns onto westbound Venice Boulevard will be prohibited.
• Traffic lanes on westbound Venice Boulevard may be intermittently impacted from Ellis Avenue to just west of Robertson Boulevard.
• California Transit Mutual Assistance Compact (TransMAC) - Culver CityBus provides public transit services to 5.6 million passengers annually. In order to better prepare to respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters, while fulfilling its obligation to provide essential services to the community, Culver CityBus has entered into a formal mutual assistance agreement for public transit agencies. The California Transit Mutual Assistance Compact (TransMAC) has been developed with wide participation from transit providers, emergency management agencies and legal counsels in California, including the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), over the past three years. This partnership is similar to those that have existed in other disciplines for many decades (e.g. law enforcement, fire service, public works and utilities). The agreement provides maximum flexibility to take advantage of the interconnected nature of transit agencies, while ensuring that each agency maintains control over its assets and is appropriately protected, enhancing our ability to provide service to the public and support public safety missions without interruption. Through the collaborative application of transit resources, local transit agencies can better serve their communities in times of crisis. TransMAC will also assist Culver CityBus in joining a community of its fellow transit providers that are creating and codifying a united and strong voice for transit among their public safety and emergency services counterparts.