City Manager's Bi-Weekly Report
August 15, 2014
• Passing of Parks, Recreation and Community Services (PRCS) Commission Chair Rick Hudson - On August 9, PRCS Commission Chair Rick Hudson passed away unexpectedly at the age of 61 while at his family’s ranch in New Mexico. In addition to being the successful owner of Culver Glass, Chair Hudson was a tireless advocate for the young people of Culver City. He was a volunteer high school athletics coach and an active member of the Culver City Exchange Club. He also served the Culver City Community as a member of the Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Commission and was serving as the Commission’s Chair at the time of his passing.
A celebration of Chair Hudson’s life was held on Saturday, August 16, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. at the lower Little League field at Culver City Park, Bill Botts Fields, located at Jefferson Boulevard and Duquesne Avenue. The celebration was followed directly by refreshments and further remembrances at the Garden Room at Culver City’s Veterans Auditorium located at the corner of Culver Boulevard and Overland Avenue.
• Panera Bread – Plans have been submitted for a 5,081 square foot tenant improvement for a new restaurant located at 10990 Jefferson Boulevard.
• Pieology – A permit has been issued to convert an existing 4,537 square foot retail space to three individual retail spaces, which will include one new restaurant located at 3850 Main Street.
• Parking Operations – To ensure the most efficient traffic flow, this past week “Keep Clear” pavement markings were installed on Washington Boulevard at the Ince Parking Structure’s entry/exit location.
• Sara Wine Bar Opens – Located at 3936 Sepulveda Boulevard, the Sara Wine Bar is the second location of the neighborhood wine bar.
• Westfield Culver City – City Chic's first brick and mortar store in the United States opened at Westfield Culver City. City Chic is a plus-size Australian fashion retailer of women’s apparel.
• Bucato Restaurant – Bucato is now open for lunch and has received noteworthy reviews. “There are few things more luxurious than Evan Funke’s cacio e pepe [cheese and pepper pasta recipe]. It’s the type of cooking you’ve come to expect…” (Los Angeles Magazine)
• Sepulveda Rock and Walk Event – The Culver Village Business District held its Rock and Walk event on Saturday, August 2nd, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m ., to encourage patrons to visit the Culver Village shops and restaurants along Sepulveda Boulevard. Rock and Walk featured live music, in-store special offers, sales, and raffle prizes. The event was well attended and went smoothly.
• Fiber Optics Survey – Information Technology, Economic Development and the Chamber of Commerce will be distributing a fiber optics survey to property owners and businesses within five potential service areas throughout the City. The survey is intended to evaluate the interest in developing a municipal fiber network to better serve the existing and future Internet connectivity needs of Culver City businesses.
• Electric Vehicle Charging Stations – Community Development Department and Public Works Department staff are working together to evaluate the feasibility of various parking facilities for the installation of Electric Vehicle Charging (EVC) stations for public use. Each EVC station will be equipped with all three types of physical connections to accommodate any type of plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle.
• Allstate Insurance – RSA Films has rented Parcel B on August 15th to use as a base camp for its production crew, which is shooting an Allstate Insurance television commercial nearby.
• Downtown Business Association (DBA) – The DBA held its monthly meeting to discuss a number of topics which included credit card processing at parking structures; the DBA’s new valet operator; establishment of 10-minute parking spaces for take-out orders; and the creation of EVCs.
• Interim Fire Chief David White Appointed Fire Chief - On August 11th, Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells announced that the City Council had appointed Interim Chief David White as Culver City’s newest Fire Chief.
• Culver City Fire Department Retains Accreditation - The Center for Public Safety Excellence, through its Commission on Fire Accreditation International, has announced that the Fire Department has retained its accredited status. Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells, Chief David White, and Management Analyst Cara Flores (pictured below) were on-hand for the final meetings with the CPSE evaluation team.
• National Night Out – On Tuesday, August 5th, the Culver City Fire Department participated in National Night Out. Staff distributed brochures on how to prepare family disaster plans and kits. Emphasis was placed on having an emergency water supply and the importance of storing at least one gallon of water per day per person and keeping at least a seven-day supply of water per person. The Department also teamed up to co-host an information table with Ready Culver City, a disaster resilience coalition consisting of City stakeholders. Staff and Ready Culver City members distributed first aid kits to start individuals on their way toward disaster resilience.
• Publication of City’s Storm Drain Map - The IT Department in coordination with the Public Works Department developed an online map that details all of the storm drain related infrastructure (including manholes, catch basins, and lateral lines) throughout the City. The Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) selected Culver City’s storm drain map for publication in its 2014 Annual Map Gallery Book. The Map Book has been published annually since 1984 and acknowledges the innovative accomplishments of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) users around the world. ESRI is an international supplier of GIS software and is a recognized industry leader in the field of geographical technology solutions.
Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department
• Veterans Memorial Building and Rental Operations – dee-Lightful Productions presents “Once on This Island” in Veterans Memorial Auditorium on August 14th, 15th and 16th. More information is available by visiting http://www.dee-Lightful.org. USA Dance of Los Angeles County presents a showcase of ballroom dancing in Veterans Memorial Auditorium on August 17th. More information is available by visiting http://www.usadancela.org.
• Fiesta La Ballona – Fiesta La Ballona returns to Veterans Park from August 22nd – 24th. Attendees can enjoy a variety of special activities including the Aquacade at the Culver City Municipal Plunge, Early Bird Senior Specials on August 22nd from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m ., the Opening Ceremony on Saturday at 11:45 a.m. in the Entertainment Tent, Culver City Police Department’s K9 Demonstration, Sustainability Booth events, Culver City Historical Society’s Archives & Resource Center, KidTribe’s Hoopapalooza, and appearances throughout the weekend by Jack FM, Radio Disney, The Los Angeles Galaxy Squad and the Los Angeles Kings Ice Crew. Fiesta La Ballona offers Bike Valet, provided by the Angel City Derby Girls, Pedicab service, and Dial-A-Ride Paratransit service. More information is available by visiting http://www.fiestalaballona.org.
• Performing Arts Grant Program – Rogue Artists Ensemble presents a free family performance of Hyperbole: Bard in Carlson Park on Saturday, August 23rd. More information is available at http://www.rogueartists.org/.
• Free Drop-in Counseling at the Senior Center – Free drop-in counseling is offered at the Culver City Senior Center on the first and third Saturdays of each month from Noon – 2 p.m. Participants may speak to someone about feelings of depression, relationship & family matters, grief or loss, sudden life changes or any problem affecting their lives. This program is open to members of the public and is offered through Antioch University’s Counseling Center.
• Alzheimer’s Support Group at the Senior Center – The Senior Center offers a support group for family caregivers of adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. This group meets on Wednesday mornings and is facilitated by Tanya Kaplan, Marriage and Family Therapist. To join the group or for more information, please contact Darren Uhl at (310) 253-6729.
• Volunteer Opportunities at the Senior Center – Volunteers are needed at the Senior Center to help serve breakfast and lunch. Snack & Chat is from 8:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. and the lunch program is from 10:15 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Volunteers should be reliable, friendly and able to be on their feet for the shift. If interested, please contact Jill Thomsen at (310) 253-6722 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Seniors and Public Transit - Seniors who would like to learn more about local public transit options and the Metro fare structure changes beginning on September 15th can meet with Senior Center transportation expert Bonnie Cherko on Thursday, August 28th at 1:00 p.m.
• Golden Future Senior Expo – Save the date! The Golden Future 50+ Senior Expo will take place at the Veterans Memorial Building on Saturday, September 13th from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Visit Golden Future’s website for more details: http://www.goldenfutureexpos.com/SeniorExpoHomepageLosAngeles.html.
• The Wednesday Work Project (WWP) at the Senior Center – the WWP volunteers at the Senior Center process thousands of pieces of mail for local non-profits to save on mailing costs. Long-time client HopeNet sent an email after volunteers processed more than 4,000 invitations for their annual festival: “Jill, I can’t thank you and the team enough for their great work. It is very much appreciated and needed. THANK YOU.” The group also assembled invitations for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s upcoming season fundraiser.
• Interim Police Chief Scott Bixby Appointed Police Chief - On August 11th, Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells announced that the City Council appointed Interim Chief Scott Bixby as Culver City’s 25th Police Chief. The men and women of the Police Department would like to congratulate Chief Bixby.
• National Night Out - On Tuesday, August 5th, the Police Department held its Second Annual National Night Out event at Lindberg Park. The event is designed to help the Police Department and the community work together to prevent crime and to build a strong partnership in order to make the community safe as possible. The event was sponsored by Westfield Culver City, Target, Costco, Burger King, ADT alarm systems, Culver City Chamber of Commerce, and all of the volunteers from the Lindberg Park Neighborhood Watch Group. The event was well attended and a huge success.
• Beverlywood West Neighborhood Watch - On Wednesday, August 6th, Lieutenant Jason Sims met with members of this Neighborhood Watch group to discuss current crime trends and ways to protect their homes.
• Share Your Ideas about the Urban Forest Management Plan on August 23 – Artecho, the firm selected by the City to prepare the Urban Forest Management Plan, will be at Fiesta La Ballona on Saturday August 23rd from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m ., to talk with residents about the upcoming Plan and to understand the community’s requests regarding the City’s urban forest. Artecho staff will conduct surveys, have maps and displays on hand, and test the community’s knowledge with games that match tree silhouettes and names. City staff will also hand out surveys and discuss the upcoming project with the community at all other times of the Fiesta.
• Tree Pruning Schedule Available on City Website – The tree pruning schedule for Fiscal Year 2014/2015 has been approved and is available on the Culver City website for viewing at http://www.culvercity.org. The schedule will address street trees that are due for trim cycle pruning and street trees that have exhibited accelerated growth patterns within the last year. The City Urban Forester will recommend the inclusion of additional streets to the schedule should the need for pruning arise.
• Ventilation Project at Culver City Police Station – The fresh air intake ventilation project at the Culver City Police Station has been completed. The project will bring fresh air into the basement of the station to improve air quality in the 911 Emergency call center. The work was performed by ACCO Engineered Systems under the direction of the Building Maintenance Engineer.
• Direct Install Program – The City of Culver City participated in the “Direct Install Program” offered by Southern California Edison and the California Public Utilities Commission. This is a no-cost program that provides energy efficiency upgrades at qualifying facilities. Nineteen City facilities received upgrades that included conversion to energy efficient lights, installation of room occupancy sensors, and window tint film where applicable. The annual savings from the direct installation program are estimated at 450,922 kWh.
• Tracking and Automated Graffiti Reporting System (TAGRS) Program – The City’s Graffiti removal crew has registered with the L.A. County Sheriff TAGRS program. The TAGRS program allows the graffiti crew to catalog photos of graffiti incidents and to download the information into a database that is shared by local cities and law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles County that are registered in the program. The information is used to track graffiti vandals and to enable the City to seek restitution when the vandals are apprehended