|City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week Ending May 21st, 2010
May 22, 2010
Mayor and Councilmembers:
This is the weekly report for the week ending May 21st, 2010.
The next City Council meeting will be on Tuesday, May 25th beginning with a Closed Session at 5:00 PM, followed by the regular meeting agenda (mostly presentations and study sessions) at 6:30 PM.
The next “One Block at a Time” (OBAT) event will occur tomorrow (Saturday) May 22nd, rain or shine, from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM. As you will recall, OBAT is a neighborhood focused code enforcement, neighborhood clean up, and infrastructure “refresh.” The OBAT target area is once again in the Iron Triangle, focusing on portions of 5th, 6th and 7th Streets. The staging area will be on Ripley Avenue between 6th Street and Mathews Court.
The OBAT planners are expecting a large turn out of volunteers and members of the community.
On Wednesday, May 19th, an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) exercise was conducted beginning at 7:30 AM (after the 12:30 AM conclusion of the City Council meeting on the previous evening!). A hazardous materials release scenario was utilized in measuring our preparedness for such an incident. First-in command and some second-in command EOC staff were notified through the Richmond Communication Center's “One Call Now” telephone notification system. They were told to respond to the EOC in the basement of City Hall for an incident briefing. This was one of three collaborative tabletop exercises being conducted simultaneously in the City of Richmond. The other locations were the State Department of Health and Kaiser Hospital.
Highlights from the exercise included meeting the following five objectives:
In the past nineteen years, the EOC has been activated forty-nine times, including drills and actual incidents. This was our first exercise in the new EOC since coming back to the renovated Civic Center complex.
Thanks go out to Emergency Services Manager Kathy Gerk, and members of the exercise design team, Ofelia Alvarez, Jerry Anderson, Michael Banks, Chris Castanchoa, Courtney Creswell, Greg Hardesty, Sue Hartman, Carroll Holthaus, Everett Jenkins, Robyn Kain, Edric Kwan, Cecily McMahan, Ed Medina and Jeff Simas for making this drill a success.
City of Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus and Neighborhood Safety Director DeVone Boggan joined mayors, police chiefs and other California city leaders in Sacramento for a meeting of the California Cities Gang Prevention Network.
The California Cities Gang Prevention Network seeks to reduce gang-related violence and victimization through cross-city peer learning, identifying and implementing best practices, and initiating state and federal policy changes to support local practice. Participating network cities include Richmond, Fresno, Los Angeles, Oakland, Oxnard, Sacramento, Salinas, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San José, Santa Rosa and Stockton.
Meeting participants learned how a balanced and collaborative approach utilizing prevention, intervention and enforcement can successfully reduce gang violence. They also explored the role of state and federal governments in supporting municipalities’ gang reduction efforts, including ways to make funding streams more flexible for local gang prevention efforts.
US Attorney General Eric Holder also addressed the group on emerging federal policies and intergovernmental partnerships for reducing gang violence in cities.
The 13-city Network is sponsored by the National League of Cities’ (NLC) Institute for Youth, Education and Families and the National Council on Crime and Delinquency and is supported by grants from the California Wellness Foundation and the California Endowment, with earlier support from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, the East Bay Community Foundation and the Richmond Children’s Fund. Kaiser Permanente provided additional support for this meeting.
For the past 4 years, Richmond Youth Media Productions has been training young people in West Contra Costa County to create their own polished and compelling television programs addressing topics of interest to them and their community. Several members of the Richmond Police Department have worked closely with Program Director Paul Shain and others to get this off the ground and the results are very exciting.
Richmond Youth Media have announced the premier screening of the first of a series of ½ hour television programs made entirely by young people for young people in greater Richmond and beyond. The series seeks to dispel the traditional negative views of Richmond youth by highlighting Richmond youth leaders across a wide community spectrum.
The season premier will be held at Richmond High School’s Little Theatre on Friday, June 4th from 10:15 AM to 10:45 AM. A reception for participants, supporters and press will be held on the stage after the screening.
Richmond Youth Media Productions is generously supported by Chevron, the City of Richmond Community Fund, the Richmond Police Department, the West Contra County Unified School District, Richmond YouthWORKS, the Zellerbach Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation and others.
On May 17th, the Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) in partnership with the IMPACT Program and Project Pride facilitated its first Life Skills Training graduation in the City of Richmond. Fifteen program graduates, family and friends attended the ceremony held in North Richmond at the Project Pride community facility where the 20 weeks of life skill training were held. ONS staff, IMPACT facilitators, Project Pride staff, IMPACT board member Lesa Macintosh, and City of Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin were in attendance.
Lifelines to Healing Initiative Conference
ONS participated in the Lifelines to Healing Initiative Conference held in Oakland where the focus was on the community impact of urban violence and the role of clergy and congregations to stem the tide of this violence.
Significant activities this past week related to effectuating the repair of the sinkhole on Via Verde were as follows:
During the last two weeks in April, the City and the Watershed Project conducted trash assessments in four locations in Richmond for compliance with the Water Board’s newly issued NPDES Permit. Community members, student groups and Baxter, Chevron, and JC Penny employees joined the clean-up efforts. Led by Lynn Scarpa, Stormwater Program Manager, one hundred and twenty (120) volunteers removed and categorized over a thousand pounds of trash from: 1) Baxter Creek by San Pablo Avenue, 2) Shimada Beach, 3) Garrity Creek upstream of Garrity Lake, and 4) Wildcat Creek in the East Bay Regional Park off the parkway.
Polystyrene was the largest percentage of the trash removed, followed by plastic bags and other plastic pieces. Baxter Creek and Shimada Beach are on the State’s impaired water body listing for trash. Each site clean-up removed all visual pieces of trash as required by the new NDPES permit. These trash tallies will be used for source identification, tracking trash load reductions and in preparing a long term trash load reduction plan to achieve a “no trash impairment goal” by 2022.
The “Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour” featured six Richmond gardens and two Richmond nurseries this year. City staff, in a coordinated effort with the Watershed Project, provided answers to participant’s questions about gardening without pesticides. The City of Richmond stormwater program supports the tour since these gardens are pesticide free. Pesticides applied around homes and in residential gardens create the largest source of pesticides in our waterways. Tour participants received a garden guide with information on gardening without pesticides. The six gardens received 1,360 visits. Tour registrants included 283 Richmond residents.
This past week, the fifth of seven scheduled community budget presentations was conducted at the Nevin Community Center. The two remaining meeting dates and locations are:
May 27th 7:15 p.m. Annex Senior Center
May 27th 8:00 p.m. Sojourner Truth Church
The following are highlights from the Recreation Department for the current week:
I’m sorry to report that Janet Schneider, one of the key staff members in the City Manager’s office, and in the City of Richmond organization, is taking an early retirement and will leave city employment this summer.
Janet has been in the City Manager’s office for 4½ years, and has made remarkable contributions in the area of sustainability programs, in managing critical interdepartmental projects, and in tackling some of the most difficult organizational challenges that I was able to hand off to her. The quality of her work has been nothing short of exemplary, and her positive impact on the organization will be felt for years to come. She will be missed.
The ABAG Urban Design Award Video has been placed on the City’s website. Hover over Government -> Awards to access the video.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments about these or any other items of interest to you.
Have a great week!
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