City Manager's Update
January 17, 2014
Community Development Department
• Building Safety Division – Revenues have exceeded $2.3 million during the first six months of the 2013/14 fiscal year with technology surcharge fees totaling nearly $120,000.
• East Borough – Next week, East Borough, a new Vietnamese-French restaurant, will open at 9810 Washington Boulevard. The menu will include flame-grilled Lemongrass Pork and Pork Belly, a Pho Baguette, pork and shrimp spring rolls, and Bánh Xèo (a crêpe with shrimp fried in a turmeric-coconut beer batter).
• 4043 Irving Place – This project has received its Certificate of Occupancy.
• Café Vida – A new restaurant in the downtown, Café Vida, opened last week. This eatery offers a healthy Latin-influenced menu of juice, smoothies, breakfast eggs, wholesome salads, sandwiches, and larger dishes for dinner and emphasizes organic ingredients, organic coffee drinks, and hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken and meats.
• Probationary Firefighters – On January 13 two new probationary firefighters began serving the Culver City community. Grant Harris and Stephen Lovas completed training at the Culver City Fire Department Training Tower and have been assigned to fire apparatus. Their initial training covered a wide variety of topics including: emergency medical services, wildland/vehicle/structural firefighting, hazardous materials responses, electrical emergencies, vehicle extrication, etc. The probationary firefighters will continue their intensive training at their assigned stations and participate in routine activities such as fire prevention, hydrant servicing, pre-fire planning, public education and emergency responses.
Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department
• Tournament of Champions - The Los Angeles School of Gymnastics, a USA National & Olympic Team Training Center, will have its LA Lights Tournament of Champions from January 24 to 26 with a free preview exhibition on January 23 from 3:30 pm to 4:30 in Veterans Memorial Auditorium. This free community event will feature a presentation by the top athletes from LA School of Gymnastics followed by a Q&A session led by LASG Executive Director Alla Svirsky, a four-time Olympic Coach, USA Olympic Judge and Inductee to the USA Sports Hall of Fame. No reservation is necessary and more information is available by visiting http://www.lagymnastics.com.
• Culver City Senior Center – The Senior Center will offer a seminar on reverse mortgages on Thursday, January 23 at 1 pm. Changes for 2014, reduced fee programs, standard fixed and adjustable rates and who is eligible will be discussed. All education programs are open to the public age 50-plus.
• Culver City Senior Center - The Senior Center will present a seminar on Long Term Care Policies on Thursday, January 30 at 1 pm. This seminar may be a valuable part of retirement planning and is free to the public ages 50 and older.
• Intergenerational Writing Program – The fifth Annual Intergenerational Writing Program with Turning Point School in Culver City has begun. Sixth grade students and seniors will convene discussion and writing groups for six weeks, and this year’s program includes a group creation of a Podcast.
• The Culver City Senior Citizens’ Association – The Culver City Senior Citizens Association 2014 – 2015 Board was elected on Monday, January 13. The Officers are President Sharon Hyland-Elstein, Vice-President Cliff Nelson, Secretary Olivia White, and Treasurer Judith “Marsha” Orth.
• Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health – Ask the Therapist and Ask the Nurse programs take place every Tuesday from 9 am to 11 at the Culver City Senior Center. The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health staff is available to discuss concerns or questions individuals may have regarding physical and mental well-being.
• Culver City Senior Center Volunteers – The City thanks Symantec’s dedicated volunteers in Culver City, who assist in the Senior Center’s quarterly “tech assistance” workshops. The partnership with Symantec employees is now entering its sixth year.
• Culver City Plunge – The Culver City Plunge will be temporarily closed on Wednesday, January 29 from noon to 5:30 pm. During this closure, the City will be overseeing the installation of a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) at the Plunge. A VFD is a type of adjustable-speed drive used to control motor speed and torque by varying motor input frequency and voltage as demand changes. The VFD will be used on the pool motor that circulates the pool water through the filtration system. This project moves the Plunge forward in meeting the goals of reducing operating costs and the facility’s carbon footprint. Staff understands the impact to Plunge programs and renters, and staff will be working diligently to complete the work in a timely manner.
• Parks – Through the coordinated and collaborative efforts of AYSO (the American Youth Soccer Organization), Culver City Little League youth baseball, and City staff, the Bill Botts Field is closed for renovation through April 1. The irrigation system repairs, ongoing gopher eradication, field leveling and detailing, and complete hydroseeding of the infield, outfields, and the upper multi-use infield are all successfully underway. Staff looks forward to a rejuvenated and more playable field for the opening of the upcoming baseball season.
• Lindberg Park Neighborhood Watch - On January 14 the Lindberg Park Neighborhood Watch group held its meeting. Lieutenant Allen Azran gave an update on recent crime trends and Sergeant Bill Browne gave a presentation on the Department’s photo enforcement program. Vice Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells also attended the meeting.
• Culver City Police Department’s Awards Ceremony - On January 15 the Police Department held its annual awards presentation in the Mike Balkman Council Chambers. Sergeant Mike VanHook and Officers Jason Davis, Brandon Vanscoy, Mike Dooley, Jason Martin, and Reserve Officer Chris Ng received the Special Recognition Award. Sergeant Eden Palacio, Officer Ed Baskeron, Secretary Jeannette Kirby, Parking Enforcement Officer Bradley Witt, and Communications Operator Colleen Muir received the Sustained Superiority Award. Management Analyst Carmen Zarate and Officer Chuck Dominquez received the Distinguished Service Medal Award. Officer Sue Sperling received the Officer of the Year Award, and Ernesto Pelayo received the Civilian Employee of the Year Award. Sergeant Manual Cid received the David M. Shaby Award.
• Community Meeting: Culver Boulevard Realignment Project – The community is invited to a meeting to discuss preliminary designs of the street improvement project along Culver Boulevard between Sepulveda Boulevard and Elenda Street.
This project is the continuation of the widening of Culver Boulevard that was started by CALTRANS as part of the 405 Freeway widening in 2002. This project is intended to resolve many traffic issues along this reach of Culver Boulevard; will incorporate an environmentally friendly component in the form of a green street design and bio swales in the bike path/landscape area; and provide for a safer and more aesthetically pleasing street. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 21 at 6 pm in the Rotunda Room of the Veterans Memorial Complex located at 4117 Overland Avenue.
If you have any questions, please contact Andy O’Connell, Senior Civil Engineer at (310) 253-5606 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Community Group Environmental Education Program - Public Works invites Culver City community groups and schools to join the Environmental Programs and Operations Community Group Environmental Education Program. The goal of this program is to increase the awareness in the community of a variety of environmental issues that cities are facing today, including sources of pollution, the use and beneficial reuse of natural resources, local recycling efforts, storm water pollution, and the potential impacts resulting from the improper disposal of common, household hazardous waste materials.
The State of California has long been a leader in environmental protection; however, an ever-increasing population and numerous environment-related health issues prove that there is still much to be done. By informing the Culver City community about these pressing environmental issues, individuals can help educate and encourage the implementation of environmentally sustainable practices and habits in the everyday lives of residents and businesses.
Presentations last approximately 30 minutes and can be focused on a particular environmental topic of interest to the group. All presentations are offered for free.
If you have any questions, or would like to schedule a presentation, please call the Public Works Environmental Programs and Operations Division (EPO) at (310) 253-6411.
• Pedestrian Improvements at Eight Intersections – The Pedestrian Improvement at Intersection with Bus Stops Project consists of constructing pedestrian safety improvements at the following eight intersections. The improvements include new ADA curb ramps with truncated domes, high visible crosswalk and pavement markings, accessible pedestrian push buttons, more versatile vehicle video detection and bicycle detection devices, and reconstruction of damaged concrete pavements at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Inglewood Boulevard.
The following intersections on major arterials were selected due to the high number of transit and pedestrian activities at these intersections:
1) Sepulveda Boulevard and Washington Boulevard
2) Sepulveda Boulevard and Sawtelle Boulevard
3) Washington Boulevard and Robertson Boulevard/Higuera Street
4) Washington Boulevard and Landmark Avenue
5) Washington Boulevard/Washington Place/Zanja Street
6) Washington Boulevard and Inglewood Boulevard
7) Washington Boulevard and Centinela Avenue
8) Washington Boulevard and National Boulevard
This project is anticipated to begin in early February and be completed in June.
• Police Department Boiler Replacement - The City Manager authorized the Public Works Department to enter into an agreement with ACCO Engineered Systems to replace the boiler that serves the main building at the Police Department. The unit has failed and cannot be repaired. The boiler failure has left the Police Department with no heat in the building. The 25 year-old boiler had been planned and budgeted for replacement during the current fiscal year.
The cost of the boiler replacement exceeds the $30,000 dollar limit for administrative approval that has been established in the Culver City Municipal Code. However, CCMC Section 3.07.070 provides that the City Manager (or a Department Head if the City Manager is unavailable) may give approval to authorize the work in excess of the $30,000 threshold for a situation where the general public health, safety and welfare are at risk. The lack of heat in the winter in the Police Department main building meets this criterion.
The replacement of the boiler will be completed today, and staff will present a report to the City Council at the January 27 City Council Meeting.
• Expo Line Construction and Road Closure Impacts - 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 December 22, 2013, and will continue approximately through Friday, February 10, 2014. Work times for this portion of the project will be:
9 pm to 6 am, Sunday through Thursday, and
midnight to 8 am, on Saturdays.
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.