City Administrators Weekly Report

September 29, 2009

CITY ADMINISTRATOR

Centennial Beach Party October 3

The City’s Centennial Celebration continues with the Centennial Beach Party on October 3. The Beach party will take place between Junior Lifeguard Headquarters and the Hyatt Bridge from 10 am to 4 pm.  Free firewood will be available to residents who want to enjoy an evening on the beach around a fire ring.  (Fire rings and wood are available on a first-come first-served basis.) The Beach Party will feature a variety of food and merchandise booths, non-profit organizations (as well as City Departments) providing information, and live music during the day  provided by The Surfaris, Sportin’ Woodies, the Chantays.  Dean Torrence and his band will close the show.  The stage will be set up in the sand so everyone can have a great view. Parking will be at the regular cost of $12 for the whole day.

CITY TREASURER

FDIC Launches Foreclosure Prevention Initiative

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has released a free tool kit of information that will help borrowers, community stakeholders and the banking industry avoid unnecessary foreclosures and stop foreclosure “rescue” scams that promise false hope to consumers at risk of losing their homes.  The website also includes a referral service to help consumers identify sources of legitimate help and report fraud to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.  The public can access the website at http://www.FDIC.gov/foreclosureprevention or under the City Treasurer’s Department website under Tax Receipts Charts.

Customer Service Tip of the Week – Common Courtesy

Always thank the customer for calling, especially if it’s a complaint call. If they hadn’t called you would never have the opportunity to turn them into a productive interaction.

COMMUNITY SERVICES DEPARTMENT

Mother/Son Date Night

Mothers, invite your sons, ages 5 – 12 to a fun evening featuring dinner, sports carnival, contests, games, and a night of dancing to a DJ.  All guests will receive a keepsake photo to remember your special date night.  The cost if $35 per couple plus $15 for each additional son.  This fun event is scheduled for Saturday, October 10, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Edison Community Center. 

Huntington Beach Senior Services

Mass Transit’s Top 40 under Forty – Huntington Beach Senior Services congratulates, Brandi Kelly-Contreras, Transportation Coordinator, for receiving Mass Transit’s Top 40 under Forty award.  Transportation is the number one need for seniors across the nation.  Brandi has run the Seniors on the Go Transportation program for the last five years.  During that time, the program has experienced a 400 percent growth in rides.  When Brandi started with the city, only medical transportation and bi-weekly grocery shopping trips were offered.  Now in addition to the non-emergency medical transportation, Huntington Beach Seniors are transported for any reason within Huntington Beach.  Brandi also helped institute a “volunteer escort service” that has enabled seniors with special needs to use the transportation service and maintain their independence.  Brandi utilizes 50 volunteers and 10 part-time staff drivers to provide this service.  This is the premier senior transportation service in Orange County providing mobility for more than 2,600 older adults.

Senior Olympic Surf Competition

The 2009 Southland Senior Olympics are returning to Huntington Beach!  In these Olympic Games, the City of Huntington Beach partners with the cities of Anaheim, Bellflower, Long Beach, and Orange to present an exciting array of events for older adults 50+ to compete, representing their city for bronze, silver, or gold!  The City of Huntington Beach and the Huntington Beach Council on Aging will host the surfing competition on Saturday, October 31, 2009, on the south side of the Pier at PCH & Main. The first heat starts at 7:30 a.m. Athletes are invited to compete within a 5-year age group 44-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74 and 75+. Judges look for wave selection, maneuvers, fluidity, and style. “A surfer must execute the most radical controlled maneuvers in the critical section of a wave with speed and power throughout. The surfer who executes such maneuvers on the biggest and/or best waves for the longest functional distance shall be given higher scores.” The registration fee of $25.00 includes a T-shirt, goody bag, and Olympic medals for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.  Advance registration is required.  For more information and/or to receive an application, please contact event coordinator, Chris Cole at 714-374-1710, or via email at ccole@surfcity-hb.org

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Green Expo a Success!

The Second Annual Green Expo, sponsored by the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce and the City of Huntington Beach Economic Development Department, was an outstanding example of the community’s commitment to becoming more eco-friendly.  The Huntington Beach Central Library parking lot played host to the free event on Saturday, September 26, and was lined with over 80 booths showcasing an exciting and interactive variety of “green” merchants, products, and environmental information. In addition to demonstrations of plug-in and solar vehicles, visitors were able to test drive Segway vehicles and electric bicycles and even take home a tree seedling.  A series of interesting sessions and speakers were conducted throughout the day, focusing on water use, solar energy, composting, and even social networking.  Aaron Klemm, the City’s Energy Project Manager, also provided an update on the City’s continuing efforts to improving the quality of our environment. 

New Kohl’s to Open September 30

The second Huntington Beach Kohl’s location will open to the public on September 30 at Towne House Plaza, located at 9811 Adams Avenue.  The shopping center, previously home to Mervyn’s, has been remodeled.  Additional improvements and upgrades to the remainder of the building are continuing in preparation of the opening of Sprouts Farmer’s Market, scheduled to open in early 2010. 

FIRE

Firefighters Assist with Brush Fires

The fire department deployed one engine with four personnel on September 22 to the Fillmore Fire, also known as the Guiberson Fire. While there, they were involved in structure protection and overhaul work. The unit returned on September 25.

Hazardous Materials Fire

On Monday, September 21 at 1:30pm, a fire was reported by a passerby at a City Public Works chlorine injection site located at 16192 Sher Lane.  The fire department responded including two haz-mat teams. Nearby residents were evacuated from their apartments.  Haz-mat teams worked with suppression personnel to safely extinguish the fire and mitigate the emergency. The fire was quickly extinguished.  Fortunately, there was no hazardous runoff and no injuries reported. Residents were cleared by Orange County Health to return to their homes by late afternoon. The shelter-in-place order at the nearby school was also lifted. ~M.W.

INFORMATION SERVICES

Make Payments On-Line

Did you know that you can pay your utility bill and parking citations through the Surf City Pipeline?   It is part of the City's no-cost “E-Payment Program” on-line.   You can pay with a credit card (Visa/MasterCard) by going to Surf City Pipeline at: http://user.govoutreach.com/surfcity/faq.php?group=Payments

LIBRARY SERVICES DEPARTMENT

Grandparents and Books Reading Program

The Huntington Beach Public Library is recruiting volunteer grandparents for its reading program.  Established in 1994 by a grant from the State of California, the program provides trained grandparents to read books to children and their parents.  It enables children who do not get a chance to see their grandparents very often to listen to books and interact across generations.  Likewise, grandparents who live far away from their own grandchildren have a chance to read and share their life experiences with young readers.  The program is offered at the Central, Banning, and Oak View Libraries.

The next quarterly meeting of the Grandparents and Books Program will be Wednesday, September 30, 2009, 3:00 p.m., at the Central Library.  Please join us for a lively discussion of children’s books and techniques for reading to children.  Telephone number is (714) 375-5107.

Coffee with the Library Director

The library’s strategic plan relies on direct community input for defining its mission, offering the most needed services, and planning for the future.  Library users had the opportunity to talk about their likes, dislikes, and ideas for the future of the library at “Coffee with the Library Director,” a series of informal conversations with Director of Library Services, Stephanie Beverage.  Two sessions were held at the Central Library; topics included how important computer and internet access are to the community.  Others spoke about the beauty of Central Library and the depth of its collections.

The second discussion at the Main Street Branch Library generated comments about having more popular titles at Main Street, more computers, more space (and more flexible space).   Staff shared information about many of the new online services now available and how these can be accessed from home.  The group also discussed volunteers and connecting with people in the community who are interested in working with the library.  It was a lively discussion with lots of good ideas and energy.

All of the information gathered from these conversations will help the Library develop a strategic plan for the next few years and will help to ensure that the library remains an essential service for the residents of Huntington Beach.

PLANNING

Final EIR for Downtown Specific Plan Released

The Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Downtown Specific Plan Update is now available.  The Final EIR lists text changes to the Draft EIR, public comments and responses to comments.  Copies are available at City Hall, the Main Street Library, the Rodgers Senior Center and on the Planning Department website at:
 http://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/government/departments/planning/major/DTSP.cfm

Additionally, the Planning Commission will be holding a special meeting on the Downtown Specific Plan on Tuesday, October 6 at 6:00 p.m. (one hour earlier than normal meetings) in the City Council Chambers at City Hall.

Beach/Edinger Specific Plan EIR Meeting on Wednesday

The Departments of Planning and Economic Development will be holding a public meeting on the Environmental Impact Report for the Beach Boulevard and Edinger Avenue Corridors Specific Plan on Wednesday, September 30 at 6:00 p.m. in rooms C/D at Central Library, 7111 Talbert Street.  The meeting will give interested parties an opportunity to ask questions of the consultant and staff on the environmental analysis. 

POLICE DEPARTMENT

Police End Armed Standoff

On the morning of September 28, 2009, at about 6:06 a.m., a female called the Huntington Beach Police Department stating her boyfriend had pointed a shotgun at her.  While she was running from the apartment, he started firing the shotgun.  Numerous police officers responded to protect the female and surrounding neighbors, and to contain and capture the suspect.

The suspect remained inside his apartment armed with the shotgun.  Several members of the Huntington Beach Police Department Crisis Negotiation Team responded and started a dialog with the suspect over the telephone.  After about two hours, the Crisis Negotiation Team was able to convince the suspect to give up and come out peacefully.  He was arrested without any further incident.

The Crisis Negotiation Team was able to successfully end the ordeal and prevented the need for further violence or officers having to engage the armed suspect.

PUBLIC WORKS

Newland Widening Update

Public Works Department staff continues to work with the contractor to complete this project.  Last week the contractor agreed to accelerate the schedule to accommodate pedestrian and vehicular access along this stretch of roadway. Specifically, Newland Street between Hamilton Avenue and Edison Avenue will be opened to traffic Monday October 19, 2009.  Major road and utility construction continues south of Edison for approximately two more months.   It is anticipated that the road between Pacific Coast Highway and Hamilton Avenue will be opened to at least one lane in each direction for vehicular traffic and to pedestrians on the east side of the street by Thanksgiving Day, weather permitting.  Updated information for this project is available on the Surfcity Pipeline and through the Public Works Construction in Progress.

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