|City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week Ending April 15th, 2011
April 16, 2011
Mayor and Councilmembers:
This is the weekly report for the week ending April 15th, 2011.
The next City Council meeting is scheduled for this Tuesday, April 19th, beginning with the regular agenda at 6:30 PM. Note that there is no closed session scheduled prior to Tuesday’s regular agenda.
On Tuesday April 12th, shortly after 7:00 AM, the County-operated community warning siren in the Marina Bay Neighborhood malfunctioned, setting off an alert for approximately 20-25 minutes. Unfortunately, the siren vendor, Alerting Solutions, was unable to remotely turn off the warning signal. The Richmond Fire Company from Station 67 was able to manually turn off the siren at approximately 7:30 AM.
One of the significant concerns raised by this false alarm incident, in addition to the needless, prolonged noise, was that neither the public at large nor City representatives (and specifically the emergency service dispatchers) were notified of the status in a timely manner.
Following this incident, the Fire Department and the Office of Emergency Services have taken the following steps to rectify any future problems:
Staff contacted the Community Warning System Division of the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office to be certain that they follow the proper protocols and notification procedures whenever a siren sounds in the City of Richmond.
Richmond Emergency Services Manager Kathy Gerk requested that this incident be placed on the CAER (Community Awareness and Emergency Response) Emergency Notification Committee meeting agenda for follow-up on April 26, 2011. This committee includes the refinery, industry, and government representatives.
The Richmond Police/Fire communications staff and the Office of Emergency Services Manager will meet on April 20, 2011 to discuss the proper notification protocol to follow when sirens sound in the City of Richmond.
Staff will continue to work with the Sheriff’s Office to ensure proper notification to the public via the Telephone Emergency Notification System (TENS) on any siren activation, malfunction or not.
All 83 new, energy saving street lights in the Park Plaza area were operational as of Thursday, April 14th. There will be 6 additional pathway lights operational by Tuesday April19th. This was all part of a joint effort among Engineering, Public Works, and PG&E. Old lights will remain operational for an additional 5 days to allow testing of the new lighting system.
The photos below show the area before the installation (top photo of old lights) and after the installation (bottom photo of LED lights). The images are of Wall Avenue looking westbound. While these pictures may not provide a complete picture of the change, it does convey the brighter, white light now in the area.
Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) staff and the ONS Operation Peacemaker Fellows were invited to present at the YouthBuild USA National Mentoring Alliance Training Institute in Washington, DC. The YouthBuild USA National Mentoring Alliance is a new effort to strengthen outcomes for YouthBuild participants. Although, the ONS Operation Peacemaker Fellows are not currently involved in YouthBuild programming, the ONS Fellowship is being recognized nationally as an innovative approach to effectively engage and create new opportunities for those most likely to be involved in and/or confronted by gun violence. The Alliance is being developed with funds from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) with the goals of supporting young people with like backgrounds and experiences as that of the ONS Fellows. ONS staff and Fellows were asked to provide information that would help improve the design and implementation of mentoring services at YouthBuild sites around the country (see the conference picture below).
While in Washington, staff and Fellows also met with Congressman Miller and his staff. By continually making himself available to the program Fellows, Congressman Miller provides a very important mentoring experience that enhances the Fellowship opportunity. Pictures of this visit are up on Congressman Miller’s blog (click here) and offer an interesting perspective.
The ONS Fellows also traveled to New York City for a meeting with Dr. Pedro Noguera, the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education and Executive Director of New York University (NYU) Metropolitan Center for Urban Education and the Department of Teaching and Learning. The meeting provided an opportunity for the Fellows to hear directly about the importance of their getting an education from one of the most prominent and distinguished educators in the world in the field of urban education.
Finally, ONS staff and Fellows visited the organization The Brotherhood/SisterSol in Harlem. Recognized as a best practice, The Brotherhood/SisterSol was created to address the dire need for supportive programs for Black and Latino youth who are surrounded by poverty, drugs, violence, racism and lack of education which plague America’s cities. Here, ONS staff and Fellows with Brotherhood/SisterSol staff discussed, shared and learned more about a “way of life” that provides young men and women with an opportunity to explore their ideas, identity and future with new information and knowledge, resources, the love necessary to overcome the negative pressures and influences and the skill sets to combat them.
The City of Richmond will host a compost giveaway on Saturday, April 23rd from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM in the parking lot at 27th Street and Macdonald Avenue. Compost is made from the City’s residential food scrap collection and composting program and is a rich soil amendment in home gardens.
Residents may pick up 2 cubic feet of free compost (about three 5-gallon buckets (unbagged) compost, take home a free plant, and receive an energy efficient light bulb in exchange for an old halogen floor lamp (300 watts or higher). They will also be able to find out about the benefits of composting and how to best apply it from experts from CURME (Communities United in Restoring Mother Earth) at the Compost Guru table.
Plants are provided by Sunnyside Organics and Richmond Rivets. CFL bulbs are provided by California Youth Energy Services, a program of Rising Sun Energy Center.
In collaboration with Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS), the Richmond Planning Division is preparing amendments to the City’s outdoor vendor ordinance. The revised ordinance will encourage vendors to increase healthy food choices, improve nutrition and increase entrepreneurial and job opportunities for residents. The City and CCHS will be hosting the first of four community meetings on April 20, 2011 at 6:00 PM at the Cesar Chavez Elementary School Cafeteria located at 960 17th Street. Spanish translation, light refreshments and snacks will be provided. Associate Planner Hector Rojas is the contact for this project (620-6662 or email@example.com.
Carlson Boulevard Improvements: Phase I (northbound) of the project is complete. Electronic information signs are currently posted at each end of the project advertising a Phase II start date of April 11th and an estimated project completion date of July 1st. Phase III will close access to most of Carlson Boulevard except at either end of the project and at Huntington Avenue.
The advertised April 11th date will slip a little bit due to recent soil testing that discovered a small amount of contaminated soil on site. Current further testing should isolate those areas so that planned excavation of Phase II (southbound) can begin during the week of April 18th. Upon the completion of Phase II, staff will update the current estimate of a July 1st final completion.
Roosevelt & McLaughlin Sewer Pipe Rehabilitation Project: The Caltrans Encroachment Permit was recently approved and overnight work at the intersection of San Pablo and Roosevelt will begin on Wednesday, April 13th. Installation of the final section of new 18” and 15” sewer main will take four nights (Wednesday to Wednesday, with no overnight work on Friday). Overnight work has been approved to ease traffic congestion. No detour is anticipated, as one through-lane on San Pablo Avenue and one turn lane onto Interstate 80 will be open at all times. The placement of a Caltrans required concrete cap over the new sewer main and final paving is scheduled for daytime work from April 25th to April 29th, due to temperature requirements (50° and rising). All traffic loops that were cut during the trenching operation will be replaced immediately after final paving, and traffic signals on San Pablo Avenue from Macdonald Avenue north to the Interstate 80 On-ramp will return to normal operation.
In an effort to better coordinate underground work, Engineering Services has implemented quarterly coordination meetings with all utility companies working in the City of Richmond. The first meeting will be held Wednesday, April 20th at 1:30 PM. We expect PG&E, East Bay MUD, Veolia, Comcast, and AT&T all to be in attendance, but the meeting is open to all public utility companies and interested parties. City staff is looking forward to building better good working relationships with the utility companies and opening lines of communication. Discussion topics include upcoming pavement projects, proposed utility improvement projects, encroachment permit process update, trench cut requirements, and the recently-adopted trench cut moratorium ordinance.
After the PG&E explosion in San Bruno, local municipalities were alerted to the dangers of gas and hazardous liquid pipelines, and of where they lie under our streets. The general locations of transmission lines, liquefied natural gas plants and breakout tanks are readily available to the public through the National Pipeline Mapping System’s website: http://www.npms.phmsa.dot.gov/. The locations of distribution lines are not available. The website has a public map viewer and there is no need to register or log in. You can zoom to any area and print your own map. Engineering Services staff has also received data from the NPMS so that the City will be able to show transmission lines in the City’s Geographic Information System.
The Recreation Department is hosting a Recreation Information Day, Spring Egg Hunt and Breakfast on Saturday, April 16th (tomorrow). Breakfast will be served from 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium and the Egg Hunt will be from 10:00 AM to 12:00 noon in the Civic Center Plaza. While enjoying the festivities of the Egg Hunt, the community can receive information on current Recreation programs and activities, including upcoming summer camps. The event is free and open to all ages.
Facilities: The existing Civic Center Marquee steel poles were painted in preparation for the construction of the new marquee foundation, which is scheduled to start next Tuesday. Installation of the new marquee tower should take place the following week.
The painters have also started painting the Disabled Peoples Recreation Center (DPRC).
Electrical: The electrical crews have all light fixtures working in the May Valley neighborhood, the west side of Park Plaza and most of Overend Avenue. Crews are continually working on other reported lighting outages in the order that they have been received.
Streets: The paving crew completed the paving of Phanor Drive from Payne Drive to Mcglothen Way in Parchester Village. Next week, they will perform dig outs on Phanor Drive from Mcglothen Way to Giant Highway; pothole repairs on 23rd Street from Ohio Avenue to Cutting Boulevard; and Hilltop Drive from Robert Miller Drive to east of the city limits.
Signs will be fabricated as quickly as possible for the change of Filbert Street to Fred Jackson Way, as approved by the City Council this past Tuesday.
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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