City Administrators Weekly Report

March 13, 2007

COMMUNITY SERVICES

Spring 2007 SANDS - Look in your mailbox for the spring 2007 SANDS Community Services Guide. It is chock full of city news, services, facilities, special events, day camps, workshops, and recreational classes for seniors, adults, teens, and tots. Mail-in registration begins March 20, and walk-in registration begins April 3. Most classes begin the week of April 9.

Project Self-Sufficiency - Robert Curtis of Salon Robert, Newport Beach, treated Project Self-Sufficiency participants to a free makeover, haircut, and style all day on Friday, March 9, in his new salon. Lunch was provided, and participants left feeling stylish, rejuvenated, and “very special.” National Charity League Jr’s of Los Alamitos had a big fundraiser, Margaritaville, at the Old Ranch Country Club in Seal Beach last Friday to benefit the PS-S Food Pantry program as well as educational scholarships for the single parents (given out at the annual June Recognition Program). The PS-S program appreciates the continued support of generous individuals and groups.

Friday Night Blues - The Huntington Beach Art Center presents Friday Night Blues featuring blues guitarist Teddy Lee Hooker. First influenced at the age of five, his brother, the great John Lee Hooker, gave him his first guitar. Awarded the “Best Blues Artist of the Year 2005” in the South Bay Music Awards, his intense guitar playing, combined with throaty vocals and an outrageous performance, make him an extraordinary entertainer. Join us March 16, 7:30 to 10:00 p.m., for a high energy evening of guitar-driven contemporary blues presented in an intimate cabaret style setting. Admission is $25 ($20 for HBAC Members).

Friday Afternoon at the Movies - Enjoy a free afternoon at the movies. Michael E. Rodgers Seniors’ Center, located at 1706 Orange Avenue, is showing CASINO Royale on Friday, March 16, at 12:30 p.m. In his first mission, James Bond must stop Le Chiffre, a banker to the world's terrorist organizations, from winning a high-stakes poker tournament at Casino Royale in Montenegro. MI6 assigns 007 to play against him, knowing that if Le Chiffre loses, it will destroy his organization. 'M' places Bond under the watchful eye of the beguiling Vesper Lynd. At first skeptical of what value Vesper can provide, Bond's interest in her deepens as they brave danger together and even torture at the hands of Le Chiffre. It stars Daniel Craig and Dame Judy Dench and is rated PG 13 for intense sequences of violent action, a scene of torture, sexual content, and nudity. It runs 144 minutes. With complimentary popcorn and drinks, this is a must-see.

Mobility Equipment Lending Service - Seniors’ Outreach maintains a supply of wheelchairs, walkers, and canes for loan to seniors in the community through donations. The equipment is loaned on a first-come, first-serve basis and may be retained for the duration of the need. In addition, the Care Management Team continues to link seniors in need with available items and services by collaborating with the community. Over the last few months, several generous donations of power wheelchairs and a power recliner with a lift were made by citizens in the community. Care Managers identified clients who were in need and, with the help of HB Senior Services Transportation, were able to deliver these items to the recipients.

American Youth Character Awards - The Huntington Beach Children’s Needs Task Force, together with the Community Services Department, is sponsoring the American Youth Character Awards program to honor young people who are the real and proper role models for their generation. Anyone can nominate a praiseworthy youth by completing a nomination form and attaching a brief statement describing the facts that support the nominee as an example of good character. Nominees must be in grades K-12 and reside in the city of Huntington Beach. Nomination forms are available on the city’s Web site, and the deadline for submission is Friday, April 13, by 4 p.m. All youth nominees will be invited to attend a recognition ceremony at the Huntington Beach Pier Plaza Amphitheater at Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway on May 19 at 11 a.m. Selected honorees will also be recognized at a City Council meeting on June 4. By actively participating in the American Youth Character Awards program, you are joining schools and youth service organizations throughout Huntington Beach in an important endeavor: strengthening our moral community by building and celebrating character in our youth.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

HUD Grant Allocation Announced - The Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced the 2007/08 allocations for the city of Huntington Beach in three of the HUD programs: $1,419,271 in the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), $772,388 in the HOME, and $14,083 in ADDI (American Dream Downpayment Initiative). These are slightly less than the 2006/07 level of funding. The Department of Economic Development has received 18 applications totaling $1,658,883, of which 10 are for public services totaling $273,897. The CDBG program only allows 15%, or $212,890, to fund public services. Other projects include eligible public improvement projects and housing-related programs. The HOME program only funds affordable housing projects. In areas across the nation where housing costs are high, cities have found it difficult to implement the ADDI program given its limitations. At this time, the Citizen Participation Advisory Board is reviewing the CDBG applications and will prepare their recommendations for City Council’s consideration at a public hearing to be scheduled this June.

Surfcity Nights logoSurf City Nights – March 13 - Join the fun on Downtown Main Street tonight, March 13, from 5 - 9 p.m. Catch the NEW train ride for little ones through the street fair! Friends and family can enjoy an evening stroll through the street fair that features a certified farmer’s market, live entertainment, bounce house, balloon artists, sidewalk sales, and outdoor grilling. The farmer’s market offers kettle corn, organic veggies/fruits, fresh-cut flowers, spices, organic olive oil, and more. Live entertainment varies weekly and includes twin tap dancing brothers, a magician, Frank Sinatra & Nat King Cole impressionists, and a rock flamenco guitarist duet. Make a night of it, grab dinner at a downtown eatery, and shop at our local stores. The city parking garage offers two hours of free parking for this event.

FINANCE

Fiscal Services - As of February 28, Business License revenue is up 11.2% over the same period in FY 05/06. The increase in revenue can be directly attributed to enhanced business license tax audits, which utilize the California’s Franchise Tax Board database. In an additional effort to enforce compliance with the Municipal Code, the Business License Field Inspector began issuing administrative citations to businesses operating in the city without a business license.

busines license Rev

FIRE DEPARTMENT

Garage Fire - A call was received at 5:33 p.m. on March 2 reporting a fire on Hawaii Lane. Upon arrival, firefighters found the garage fully involved with fire rolling out from under the garage door and over the roof from the back side. It had begun to ignite adjacent cypress bushes and trees. The owner told fire investigators he had just returned from the auto repair shop with a 1982 VW Rabbit. Shortly after, as he was preparing to go out again, a neighbor knocked on the door to alert him and his wife there was a fire inside the garage. Within minutes, the flames were too intense to leave by the front. The two residents, a husband and wife in their late 70s, escaped by the back door and were unharmed. Due to the damage to the garage and roof, the couple was unable to stay in the house; Red Cross arrived on scene to assist them in obtaining lodging for the evening. The fire damaged the entire garage and destroyed the two VW Rabbits parked inside. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

PLANNING

Newland Street Widening Permit Appealed - The Zoning Administrator’s approval of the Coastal Development Permit (No. 05-07) and Negative Declaration (No. 05-05) for the Newland Street Widening project was appealed by Planning Commissioner Flossie Horgan. The permit was appealed due to concerns regarding the wetlands impacts and water quality issues, according to the appeal letter. The proposed project widens and improves Newland Street from Pacific Coast Highway to Hamilton Avenue, including widening the reinforced concrete bridge at Huntington Channel, installation of storm drain improvements, raising the profile of Newland Street to improve traffic visibility, and providing a left turn lane at the intersection of Newland and Edison Way.

Grace Lutheran Church project appealed - In order to prevent the Planning Commission’s initial action for the Conditional Use Permit for the Grace Lutheran Church (CUP No. 06-26) from becoming final in advance of the requested reconsideration, Council Member Cathy Green appealed the Planning Commission’s approval of the permit. The appeal was filed for the purpose of clarifying a condition of approval requiring a 42-inch tall fence. The Planning Commission will determine at their March 13 meeting whether or not to reconsider the permit to clarify the outstanding issues. If the Planning Commission decides to reconsider the application, it will be heard at the March 27 regular meeting. Grace Lutheran Church is located at the closed Robinwood School site at 5172 Mc Fadden Avenue.

PUBLIC WORKS

Training for Public Works in Planning and Responding to Terrorism/WMD Incidents - Public Works Department staff will be attending a three-day course created as part of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium’s curricula to improve the abilities of jurisdictions to combat terrorism. With the threat of terrorism on the rise, critical public infrastructure is an obvious target. In the event of a terrorist incident, Public Works personnel will play a crucial role in the response by providing valuable resources and expertise. The Department of Homeland Security, Office of Grants and Training (DHS/G&T), sponsors and funds the delivery of this course to local jurisdictions. The Public Works: Planning for and Responding to a Terrorism/WMD Incident course trains first responder Public Works employees in their responsibilities and roles to protect, restore, and maintain critical infrastructure and public services. The program is part of community preparation and response to a terrorism/WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) incident or other catastrophic disasters. This course provides training that enables communities to develop a multi-discipline incident management team capable of responding to a terrorism incident. Training for approximately 40 Public Works employees is scheduled for May 15 through 17 at the Corporate Yard.

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