Saturday, May 31, 2008

FOREST THEATER PREDESIGN STUDY: SECTION 3: THEATER/MAINSTAGE/SEATING/SCHOOL

FOREST THEATRE
CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA
FOREST THEATER FOUNDATION
PRE-DESIGN STUDY

MAY 7, 2007


R. F. McCANN & COMPANY ARCHITECTS
DESIGNING FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY SINCE 1976


WWW.RFMCO.NET

40 E. MONTECITO AVENUE
SIERRA MADRE / CA / 91024
626/836/1060 * F626/836/1090

SECTION 3: THEATER/MAINSTAGE/SEATING/SCHOOL

THEATER AUDIENCE & PRODUCTION ADAPTATIONS

Two prime considerations affect show quality and enjoyment at the Forest Theater, 1) audience comfort and 2) stage production capability.

o Audience Provisions
Audience accommodations that rank high even in the rustic setting of the out-of-doors are seating comfort (for 550 patrons, allowed at 21” spacings) and the ability to see and hear actors on the stage. Bench style seating must remain as part of the Forest Theater experience. Contours can be designed into bench seats and backs to ensure patron comfort. Row spacing of 3’-6” or greater is needed to safely enter and exit the bench rows in the absence of traditional self-rising seat cushions.

Further addressing seating, the decomposed granite surface currently used under the seats brings safety and maintenance concerns. Ultimately the solution will be to choose between one of the hard textured surfacing effects to “build” textured rocks or thin coat granular material impregnated into bitumen products laid over compacted earth. The hard surfaces can look like sand but in reality is a layer of course sand in fiberglass applied over concrete. The latter approach comes from street paving technology and uses light colored granular surfacing to give a “natural” effect.

To provide for safety, stepped aisles are proposed in place of continuous slope vertical aisles (refer to slope comparison on seating section). Stepped aisles require handhold rails down the center aisle. Additional rows are shown between the immediate crossover and the stage increasing the orchestra from the current 10-rows to 12-rows. The additional rows of seats are proposed toward the stage, increasing intimacy by allowing more patrons to sit close to the stage. Fire pits at the ante-proscenium corners of the seating form are to be maintained.

Rear-approach wheel chair seating (6-positions) is provided off the widened cross aisle to meet ratio of wheel chairs to overall capacity. It should be noted also while considering wheel chair seating that new pathways lead to the cross aisle and to the first orchestra row by winding through the trees at a gradient equal to or less than 1 in 12.

Due to the importance of sightlines for both seeing and hearing at the Forest Theater, the current incremental rise between the rows of bench seating should be maintained. Currently, the distance each row rises above the row immediately in front provides sightline clearances (over the heads of patrons in the row ahead) that exceed most theater venues of similar capacity and seating form. To connect the successive platforms based on the repeating platform widths, the slope ratio exceeds State of California as well as other code standards used in the USA. For accessibility (ADA regulations) as well as patron safety and owner liability, stepped aisles are being recommended on vertical aisles through the Forest Theater seating form.

Consideration of sightlines has further lead to recommending elimination of the single center aisle in favor of two vertical aisles (with steps) spaced symmetrically each side of the center at a distance that allows approximately 14 patrons to be seated on continuous benches between each new vertical aisle.

o Stage Production Provisions
Stage production is the counterpart to audience comfort and generally begins with the stage proper and then involves backstage accommodations for performers plus the delivery systems quality creative lighting effects and reinforcement and enhancement of music and speech.

Expanded “stage-level” and “below-stage” accommodations are indicated on drawings which follow this text. Note that by infilling around existing infrastructure and trees, over 20 dressing stations for chorus and principals are possible plus 2-private (star) dressing suites. Toilet and shower provisions have not been a tradition at the Forest Theater, but contract riders have become increasingly more demanding and facilities that generally follow Actors Equity regulations are recommended.

Along with dressing stations, limited crew facilities are being addressed as well. The most important single issue in planning back-stage space at the Forest Theater is the challenge of physical expansion in subtle ways that create least impact. Accordingly, it is significant that existing structure (below mainstage right) uses grade level space that is not occupied. Note that the recapture of space that currently reads as volume and mass resting on the site can, with structural upgrading, become beneficial to the small studio theater under the mainstage.

Adaptations are to include new roof enclosures over side-stage spaces at stage right and left. The roof forms are intended to recall the slope, rise and material used on new roofs over the buildings that comprise the audience center. At each side of the stage the new roof structures are intended to visually consolidate the complex of spaces of different sizes, shapes and degrees of openness into the stage. The new side-stage roofs are to further lend structural stiffness and support for each of four masts located on each side to the stage, rising a total 24-feet in height over the stage floor. Between the masts cables are intended to be suspended as needed by each show for support of scenery and lighting instruments. During periods in which the stage is not in use cables and upper portions of the masts are able to be removed and stored.

From the audience view, new sliding panels approximately 20-feet in height are to be added on stage right and left. Ability to slide the panels allows adjustment of the front portal opening thereby framing the viewing widths into the stage playing area to fit the size of each stage set. The panels are to align across the up-stage (rear) edge of the existing fire wood storage areas where wood is stock piled for use in the existing fire pits.

A modified thrust stage addition is also indicated. As part of the thrust stage concept, an orchestra pit space is intended based on additional excavation and depth in the currently unused open space fronting onto the existing stage playing area. Covering the pit is intended to acoustically contain and balance ensemble sounds for microphone pickup and electronic broadcast of vocal accompaniment via the new sound system.

o Stage Lighting
A lighting approach for the Forest Theater has been conceptualized. The approach is to provide minimal resident dimming, but to include 800amps, 3-phrase power configured into 2-company connection terminals for connecting dimmer paks or traveling company dimmers. To reduce labor and costs in setting up each show, the concept encourages using rental equipment for lighting on stage and hard wiring dimmers per circuit to lighting over the seating. A single rack of 48, 2-channel modules is completely adequate for front of house lighting positions. In addition, frontal lighting positions can also become “house-lighting” positions as needed. Dimming and transformers, plus panels and conduit matching this lighting concept require a new electrical room of approximately 500 square feet.

Lighting and electrical equipment are recommended in space shown south of the booth position on the site plan.

o Sound
Sound emanating from the shows at the Forest Theater has been a source of complaint by nearby residents. Several methods may be advocated to control sound from penetrating the boundaries of the theatre. Potential controls include the use of sound barriers and the use of special sound system components.

Barriers in the form of fence construction can be used to obstruct sound energy. The selection of materials coupled with height, mass and geometry are significant factors related barrier design effectiveness. Height will mainly respond to the geography of the neighborhood around the Theatre. Since residential sites exist above, below and at levels equal to the height of sound speakers that suspend about 15-feet above the mid-rows of the audience, the highest sound barriers should theoretically rise as much as 2-stories above the last row of theatre seats. Protection of sites equal to or below speaker suspension height must at least equal the height of the suspended speakers to effectively obstruct sound energy.

Sound barriers viewed in architectural context and comparable height compared to the height of various buildings on the Forest Theatre site, as well as the height of residential structures within the neighborhoods around the Theatre, may be overwhelming in scale and proportion. Compromising sound barrier height for architectural purposes substantially reduces the benefit of walls for sites above and equal in height to the speakers over the audience.

As mentioned above, sound system technology is another resource for limiting uncontrolled sound propagation beyond the boundaries of the Theatre. Principally, sound technology includes the use of multiple highly directional speakers suspended over the audience at heights lower than the norm for a single channel system. The use of multiple distributed speakers allows sound energy to be reduced at each speaker far below that used with traditional systems based on the proximity of speakers to seating.

A further benefit of multiple distributed speaker system design is concentrated and directed sound that is focused into the audience where it becomes absorbed instead of reflected or openly broadcast over areas outside the theatre. A final item to be recognized however, is that multiple speakers running reduced output in directional orientation causes sound quality to shift to the high side. This effect maintains intelligibility, and creates brilliance in the sound at the expense of low and mid-frequency sounds which include the base and harmonic instruments on the musical scale.

Numerous configurations of distributed directional speaker systems have been developed for outside applications and venues. The industry packages operational features that enable sophisticated speaker and processing equipment selections according to design criteria such as the need for balancing frequency loss as described above.

Mitigations recommended and briefly summarized here will achieve a level of control over unwanted sound propagation and a level of maximized sound coverage providing neighborhood residents and Forest Theatre audiences with a structured compromise with significant improvements over longstanding sound issues and problems.

PROPOSED MASSING OF MAINSTAGE ADDITIONS

UNDER-SEATING PRODUCTION SUPPORT SPACE

STAGE-LEVEL ADAPTIVE REUSE

Friday, May 30, 2008

FOREST THEATER PREDESIGN STUDY: SECTION 2: AUDIENCE/VISITOR CENTER

FOREST THEATRE
CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA
FOREST THEATER FOUNDATION
PRE-DESIGN STUDY

MAY 7, 2007


R. F. McCANN & COMPANY ARCHITECTS
DESIGNING FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY SINCE 1976

WWW.RFMCO.NET

40 E. MONTECITO AVENUE
SIERRA MADRE / CA / 91024
626/836/1060 * F626/836/1090

SECTION 2: AUDIENCE/VISITOR CENTER

AUDIENCE & VISITOR CENTER

This study proposes the Audience and Visitor Center to accommodate theater patrons during attendance at events as well as to host visitors to the Park on non-performance occasions.

Audience support accommodations are proposed using three or four small scale, detached structures, pedestrian in size and proportion and featuring multiple and varied small scale roof forms. As space moves between and around the complex of small structures, impact on the site adjacent buildings and neighborhood is significantly reduced and landscape opportunities arise to soften contrast between the natural and built environment.

The multi-structure approach to providing audience services allows grade adjustments through use of individual path approaches to each area of the Audience Center within ADA slope limits. Each small pavilion in the group setting will be sited at average elevations that follow the existing site contours by stepping down as the sites progress westward down the existing slope.

The multi-pavilion design also allows use of a planning strategy involving the nuance of curvature created by a gradual shifting of the alignments of the facades of the pavilions. Walls of the facades create visual continuity beyond the audience area thereby drawing patrons up the grade toward the south and east onto paths that access theatre seating.

A possibility beyond providing only services within the pavilion complex is to create additional multi-pavilion schemes, i.e. pavilions to serve as flex space for public use. Three pavilions aligned together forming the south edge of the audience center in the multi-pavilion configuration would permit a middle pavilion for public uses such as gatherings or exhibits. Elimination of the middle pavilion is possible as an alternate form of the multi-pavilion complex in favor of increasing open space landscape.

Pathway access past the toilet pavilions would be separated with low and mid-height landscaping to buffer wait-lines leading to the toilets from the main pedestrian area and ticket and concession sales areas. Also, separate cueing space is provided leading to the ticket sales window and concession counter on opposite sides of the sales pavilion.
VIEW OF AUDIENCE CENTER-MULTI-PAVILION COMPLEX

PROPOSED AUDIENCE CENTER

Thursday, May 29, 2008

FOREST THEATER PREDESIGN STUDY: SECTION 1: MEADOW LAND CONCEPT & PERIMETER PARKING

FOREST THEATRE
CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA
FOREST THEATER FOUNDATION
PRE-DESIGN STUDY

MAY 7, 2007


R. F. McCANN & COMPANY ARCHITECTS
DESIGNING FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY SINCE 1976

WWW.RFMCO.NET

40 E. MONTECITO AVENUE
SIERRA MADRE / CA / 91024
626/836/1060 * F626/836/1090

SECTION 1: MEADOW LAND CONCEPT & PERIMETER PARKING

FOREST THEATER AS OPEN SPACE PARK
Continuing and preserving the identity of Forest Theater as a park is a key component of Pre-Design. Sloping terrain toward the west creates a vista when the theater and park are approached from Mountain View Avenue or the lower end of Guadalupe Street.

It is proposed to create a landscape interest on the site with revitalization of the ground form, emphasizing notable trees that stand apart from smaller scale vegetation. The open space of the park is proposed to remain accessible to all. And therefore design is proposed that favors inviting the city into the landscape by routing pedestrian circulation both through the park as well as around it. As new pathways are planned and provided, original landform should be left intact.

Of significance is that composing infrastructure elements that define space within the site date from the 1930’s Works Progress Administration program (WPA), a federal program which put unemployed depression era workers back to work. East-West orientation of the mainstage structure and audience seating is the main character-defining feature for audience patrons. Views from all seats within the bench style seating form encounter the ocean beyond the stage (with minimal or no scenery on stage).

Walking up the proposed pedestrian paths approaching the theater, it has been considered important to intentionally reduce the scale of proposed walls and roofs in comparison with the stage structure, existing trees and perceived incline to destination points such as the proposed Visitor and Audience Center and the Workshop Theater under the mainstage.

Recommended criteria for design of open space within natural areas surrounding both existing and new structures on the site include:

a. Treating all structures as man-made works of art,

b. Detailing materials and construction based on the Arts and Craft Movement,

c. Creating balance between spatial use of turf, trees and water,

d. Maintain the use of vistas as the primary aesthetic organizing element,

e. Allow for planned sequential experiences along pedestrian circulation paths,

f. Separate traffic from the natural setting,

g. Provide inviting visitor accommodations and access for individuals with disabilities,

h. Plan new artistically composed low level and small scale plantings.

Briefly reviewing the rendered west half of proposed site development note that parking (35 stalls) in accordance with concepts noted above is provided along the south and west (lower edge) of the site at street level. Pedestrian paths are located about 2-feet above street level and lead toward the studio theater and Visitor and Audience Center. Along the perimeter pathway two main types of natural settings are proposed:

o Meadowland
o Woodland

Contrasting plant colors and textures are envisioned in each area.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

FOREST THEATER PREDESIGN STUDY by Theatre Architect R. F. McCANN: OUR VISION & STUDY OVERVIEW

ABSTRACT: Over the next six days, The Carmel-by-the-Sea WATCHDOG! will post the contents of the FOREST THEATER PREDESIGN STUDY by Theatre Architect R. F. McCANN for the FOREST THEATER FOUNDATION, dated May 7, 2007. Today, OUR VISION for an Improved Community Theater and STUDY OVERVIEW is presented. SECTION 1: MEADOW LAND CONCEPT & PERIMETER PARKING to be posted on Thursday, SECTION 2: AUDIENCE/VISITOR CENTER to be posted on Friday, SECTION 3: THEATER/MAINSTAGE SEATING/SCHOOL to be posted on Saturday, SECTION 4: PHASING/COSTS/VISION to be posted on Sunday and SECTION 5: FIRM QUALIFICATIONS to be posted on Monday.
FOREST THEATRE
CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA

FOREST THEATER FOUNDATION
PRE-DESIGN STUDY

MAY 7, 2007


R. F. McCANN & COMPANY ARCHITECTS
DESIGNING FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY SINCE 1976

WWW.RFMCO.NET

40 E. MONTECITO AVENUE
SIERRA MADRE / CA / 91024
626/836/1060 * F626/836/1090



TABLE OF CONTENTS

SECTION 1: MEADOW LAND CONCEPT & PERIMETER PARKING

SECTION 2: AUDIENCE/VISITOR CENTER

SECTION 3: THEATER/MAINSTAGE/SEATING/SCHOOL

SECTION 4: PHASING/COSTS/VISION

SECTION 5: FIRM QUALIFICATIONS


OUR VISION for an Improved Community Theater
A collaborated effort...
Forest Theater Foundation
R.F. McCann & Company Architects

 DEVELOPMENT OF ACCOMODATIONS on site
- Audience Centered-Multi-Pavilion Complex

 SOUND PROPAGATION beyond surrounding edges of the Forest Theater Park

 PATRON COMFORT
Including Seating, Sightlines & Paths-of-Travel

 ACTOR ACCOMODATIONS on the Mainstage

 ACCOMODATIONS UNDER the MAINSTAGE for the Childrens’ Experimental Theater (CET)

 ORCHESTRA PIT & PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT
Accommodations

STUDY OVERVIEW

The pages following this overview are an “accumulation” of criteria to be used as the basis for rehabilitation design of the Forest Theater in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.

Pre-design for the Forest Theater considers information and operating requirements along with planning and visual imagery. Meetings and discussions with the Forest Theater Foundation have been an opportunity to focus on the role of the Forest Theater as a modern venue for entertainment and performance. Equally importance to performance has been consideration of the future of the Forest Theater as open space and as a natural habitat within the City.

The Pre-Design effort takes into account that audiences and performers have achieved and matured during the past century, far out-distancing the original audiences and users of the theater at the time of its beginning. And so, demands of performing arts redefine the size and scope of necessary adaptive rehabilitation.

R.F. McCann & Company Architects wishes to steward the process of defining a combination of facilities and identities for the Forest Theater - not dictating, but rather from listening and filtering information. The resulting model serves as a basis for adaptive rehabilitation and necessary additions and alterations.

A set of elements has been identified for continuing on to the next phase. Schematic design that is based on Pre-Design, but with specific emphasis on visual impacts of materials, scale and size of new components when added into the existing setting. Further attention is needed to botanical and biological health of plantings, trees and all features of the natural setting.

Four components make up the Sections of the Pre-Design that follow.

 The Forest Theater Site as a Natural Habitat,

 Parking Accommodations for Visitors and Attendees of Events,

 Rest-Room Accommodations and Event Related Ticket and Concession Sales,

 Theater Production Capabilities and Features.

Costs per square foot from completed projects by RFM have been adjusted for location and escalation based on cost indices of Engineering News Record to provide preliminary cost information for implementing Pre-Design concepts. A summary of costs is shown in Section-5.

When reviewing space, systems and equipment recommendations it should be kept in mind that verification of proposed building square footage requirements, soil and footing conditions of the site, and desired design composition all significantly impact cost.

FOREST THEATER & GROUNDS
MASTER PLAN PROGRAM ELEMENTS

FOREST THEATER SITE PLAN

IMMEDIATE AISLE SEATING FORM

Sunday, May 25, 2008

HIGHLIGHTS of $14,353,434 Draft 2008/09 Budget

ABSTRACT: HIGHLIGHTS of the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea’s $14,353,434 Draft 2008/09 Budget, as part of the City's 2008-2011 Triennial Budget, are presented. COMMENTS are made regarding the proposed Draft 2008/09 Budget. NOTES inform of the first Special City Council meeting on the proposed 2008-2011 Triennial Budget on Tuesday, June 10, 2008 @ 4:30 P.M.; members of the public can submit written questions about the Budget to the City until Tuesday, May 27, 2008. Contact information is provided, including emails.

On the Draft 2008/2009 Budget of $ 14,354,434:
New Positions Result of "Organizational Changes:"
Forest, Beach and Public Services Director position will be created to oversee the Public Works, Forest Parks & Beach, and Building Maintenance divisions.

Administrative Manager/Deputy City Clerk

Outsourced to Contractors:
Events coordination responsibilities of the former Community Services Director
Human Resources functions outsourced to Moreland and Associates
Computer Network outsourced to Interactive Computer Solutions

For FY 2008/09, of a total of $515,000 for street projects, Prop 1B funds projects totaling $215,000 and $300,000 from Capital Improvement Reserve Fund, not FY 2008/09 General Fund. As Nichols Consulting Engineers recommended an annual expenditure for road maintenance of $660,000, the actual amount of $515,000 is $145,000 less than the recommended annual amount of $660,000.

Reference:
PUBLIC WORKS DEPT
Scenic Avenue Slurry Seal (PROP 1B $) $77,000
Ocean Avenue N/S Crosswalks (Junipero to M. Verde) (PROP 1B $) $55,000
Parking lot-Sunset Ctr, South Lot (PROP 1B $) $55,000
Carpenter to Junipero Slurry Seal (PROP 1B $) $28,600
Street and Road Projects based on Nichols Engineering Rpt $300,000

The 2008/09 Budget Summary indicates Total Expenditures of $2,980,425 for Police and $1,741,807 for Fire. Note: The Expenditure for the Fire Department does not include Salary/Benefits for an additional Firefighter, as recommended by the Citygate Associates Fire Department Consolidation Feasibility Analysis for the Cities of Monterey, Pacific Grove and Carmel.

Reference:
Department/Division Salary/Benefits Materials/Services Total
Fire $1,079,398 $662,409 $1,741,807
Police $2,670,144 $310,281 $2,980,425

The proposed FY 2008/09 Budget for FOREST, PARKS AND BEACH is $479,778 or $676.00 less than FY 2007/08 Budget.

Reference:
FOREST, PARKS AND BEACH
Revised FY 2007/08: $480,454
Revised FY 2008/09: $ 479,778

Of the total $909,900 for Capital Improvements in FY 2008/09, $65,000 is allocated for the schematic phrase of the Forest Theater Master Plan-Design Work by theatre architect Richard McCann.

The City Subsidy for the management of Sunset Center to Sunset Cultural Center, Inc. (SCC) is $713,000 for FY 208/09, $680,000 for FY 2009/10 and FY 2010/11. And Debt Service for the Sunset Theater for FT 2008/09 is $566,715.

For Marketing & Economic Revitalization, the expenditure for FY 2008/09 is $325,030; never in the history of the City has that much been spent on "marketing and ecomomic revitalization."

Since Grant Funds are not budgeted until received, only actual past amounts are shown. Actual Grant Funds for FY 2006/07 $110,767 and $0 for FY 2007/08.

Source: CITY OF CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA
CALIFORNIA
DRAFT BUDGET
FISCAL YEARS
2008/09 THROUGH 2010/11


COMMENTS:
Overall, two themes emerge from a review of the City’s Budget:
1. More Centralized Power with the Mayor
More outsourcing to consultants and contractors means Mayor Sue McCloud, through the City Administrator, delegates less responsibilities to permanent city employees who have more allegiance and loyalty to the City and its residents than temporary, transient consultants and contractors. Unfortunately for residents, in the last eight years, outsourcing has occurred with the City failing to follow proper procedures (i.e. contracting with and issuing checks to consultants prior to contracts being approved at a City Council meeting), under the radar screen (contracts not bid and not placed on City Council agendas for public comments) and on a piecemeal basis (a study done here, another study done there, recommendations rarely implemented).

An important advantage of having permanent city employees vs. outsourced consultants and contractors is that permanent city employees accrue an institutional memory over time which allows then to see the big picture, prioritize and proactively address city issues earlier and more comprehensively.

Lastly, the City has failed to demonstrate and articulate to residents a consistent and comprehensive strategy involving the reasons for outsourcing, documented cost savings and outcomes measured qualitatively and quantitatively. Question: If outsourcing is such a good strategy for the City, then why doesn’t the City outsource the position of City Administrator?

2. Resident-Unfriendly Priorities
As examples, the underfunding of the Carmel Fire Department by an estimated $400,000 and Forest, Parks & Beach Department and overfunding “Marketing & Economic Revitalization,” another function outsourced to consultants.

And while the Capital Improvement Budget for FY 2008/09 represents “the most aggressive capital improvement plan since I arrived,” according to City Administrator Rich Guillen, the Capital Improvement Budget for street projects is $145,000 less than recommended by Nichols Consulting Engineers and highlights the lack of political and administrative leadership and will to budget for necessary street projects during the last eight years when monies where available.

A Police Department Budget of $2,980,425 (plus Capital Outlays of $154,788) compared to a total Fire Department Budget of $1,741,807 (plus Capital Outlays $62,000), a difference of $1,331,406, at a time when the Fire Department is underfunded by approximately $400,000. Note: The Capital Outlay for a Fire Engine Type 1/3 lease obligation is not until FY 2009/10 at a proposed cost of $78,000.

Many City projects “carried forward from Fiscal Year 2007/08,” including:
1. Fourth Avenue Riparian Habitat Project, which is anticipated to be completed by fall 2008.
2. General Plan Update, after the community survey has been circulated and evaluated. Projected completion date is December 2009.
3. Rewritten Historic Context Statement, which is expected to be reviewed in June and July 2008 by the appropriate Boards and the City Council.
4. Mission Trails Pedestrian Bridge, to be funded by a park district grant.
5. Forest Study implementation previously approved by the City Council.

NOTES:
The first Special City Council meeting on the proposed 2008-2011 Triennial Budget is scheduled for Tuesday, June 10, 2008 @ 4:30 P.M. The Budget must be approved by July 1, 2008.

Members of the public are encouraged to submit written questions about the Budget to the City; written questions will be accepted until Tuesday, May 27, 2008. Responses to questions are to be prepared by Friday, June 6, 2008, according to The Carmel Pine Cone.

City Contacts:
Joyce Giuffre
Carmel-by-the-Sea Administrative Services Director

P.O.Box CC
Carmel-by-the-Sea,CA 93921
Tel:(831)620-2000
Fax:(831)620-2004
E-Mail: jgiuffre@ci.carmel.ca.us

Rich Guillen
Carmel-by-the-Sea City Administrator

P.O. Box CC
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921
Tel: (831) 620-2000
Fax: (831) 620-2004
E-Mail: rguillen@ci.carmel.ca.us

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Random Quotations & Reportings

ABSTRACT: Random Quotations & Reportings on the Carmel Fire Department, Water Main Replacement Work, Villas de Carmelo Project, FY 2008/09 Budget with respect to a tree care worker and Forest Theatre Master Plan-Design Work and fundraising for the implementation of the Forest Theatre Plan are presented.

According to the article, “Leadership void looms for CFD” in The Carmel Pine Cone, Monterey Fire Chief Sam Mazza believes “a single fire agency over the whole Monterey Peninsula makes sense.” In that context, Monterey Fire Chief Mazza would prefer the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea fully merge with Monterey and Pacific Grove Fire Departments to form a single Monterey Peninsula Fire Department. Moreover, once the Pacific Grove Fire Department signs a contract with the Monterey Fire Department, which is anticipated to go into effect October 1, 2008, Carmel-by-the-Sea will lose services formerly provided by Pacific Grove and Monterey, services Monterey Fire Chief Mazza stated they are probably not interested in providing long-term to Carmel.

Progress Report on Cal-Am/Monterey Peninsula Engineering Water Main Replacement Work:
PROJECT SITE PHASE 2 @ Ocean Av & Del Mar Av. COMPLETED
PROJECT SITE PHASE 6 @ Scenic Rd. between 8th Av. & 9th Av. COMPLETED
PROJECT SITE PHASE 3 @Torres St. & Ocean Av. COMPLETED

And according to Carmel Fire Engineer August Beacham, the remaining water main replacement work will be completed within the next few weeks.

As proposed by Carmel Hospital Development, LLC, the Villas de Carmelo Project on the former Carmel Convalescent Hospital property consists of 46 units; a mix of affordable moderate income, workforce and market rate, as follows:

9 Units: Affordable moderate income, 2 bedroom units (1,100-1,350 SF)
4 Units: Workforce, 2 bedroom units (1,350-1,650 SF)
13 Units: 1,300-1,650 SF, market rate residences, 2 bedroom units
5 Units: 1,700-1,950 SF, market rate residences, 2-3 bedroom units
15 Units: 2,000-2,450 SF, market rate residences, 2-3 bedroom units

According to Monterey County’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, the Ordinance requires that 8% be affordable to Moderate-income households, 6% to Low-income households and 6% to Very Low-income households, “unless a modification to those requirements is determined to be appropriate for the specific project and approved as part of the project.” The project, as proposed, not does include units for Low-income and Very Low-income households. The Housing Advisory Committee will make a formal recommendation on the affordable housing program to the Planning Commission at a later meeting after environmental review is completed.

According to the article “Spending plan giveth, taketh away” in The Carmel Pine Cone, City Administrator Rich Guillen “did not recommend converting a part-time position watering trees to full time, as had been requested by the forest and beach commission” for fiscal year 2008/09. Ergo, despite a recommendation from the Forest and Beach Commission, a proposed donation of $5,000 towards a full-time position from the Friends of Carmel Forest, the official liaison organization to the City, and pleadings from Carmelites at a City Council budget meeting, the City Administrator did not budget for a full-time tree care worker. Given Mayor Sue McCloud’s incessant touting of grants as funding mechanisms for projects, such as Sunset Center landscaping, the 4th Avenue Riparian Habitat Project and most recently, the Forest Theatre, it is telling that the City refused a grant from Friends of Carmel Forest towards the funding of a full-time tree care worker, an essential “urbanized” forest position.

Of the total $909,900 for Capital Improvements in FY 2008/09, $65,000 is allocated for the schematic phrase of the Forest Theater Master Plan-Design Work by theatre architect Richard McCann.
Background: The Forest Theater Foundation funded the Forest Theater Pre-Design by theatre architect Richard McCann at a cost of $30,000. Apparently, as it was first announced by City Administrator Rich Guillen at the Special City Council Meeting on May 20, 2008, “The Forest Theater, Carmel-by-the-Sea Pre-Design Study” was completed by Richard McCann and dated May 7, 2007. Needless to say, the May 2007 Study was not provided, not even mentioned, at the so called Neighborhood Meeting on the Forest Theater Pre-Design in October 2007. Only now has the City made available a copy of the Study for interested individuals and parties to review at Harrison Memorial Library.

On the Forest Theatre: Apparently, McCann’s Forest Theater Pre-Design Study includes a cost estimate of approximately $4,000,000 for the implementation of the design. As the City has communicated it cannot fund the entire cost of the project, contributions from private donors will be required. However, the pool of potential private donors, many of whom previously donated to the multi-million dollar renovation of the Sunset Center and have since witnessed the effects of SCC management, may be reluctant to donate to the renovation of the Forest Theatre for fears a similar scenario could occur with the Forest Theatre; that is, historic users leaving for less expensive venues and increased ticket prices for patrons, et cetera.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Paramedic as Third Person on Carmel Fire Engine CRITICAL to Health, Safety & Welfare of Carmelites

ABSTRACT: A Scenario is presented to illuminate the Carmel Professional Firefighters’ position that a paramedic as the third person on the Carmel Fire Engine is critical and essential to the health, safety and welfare of all Carmelites. COMMENTS are made with regard to the current untenable situation involving the City Administrator, City Council and the Carmel Professional Firefighters and a Solution is presented.

par•a•med•ic
n.
A person who is trained to give emergency medical treatment or assist medical professionals.

Scenario: A 911 call from a Carmel-by-the-Sea resident at the scene of a residential structural fire. The Carmel Fire Engine with two Firefighters, a Captain and Fire Engineer, departs the Carmel Fire Station enroute to the scene of the emergency; the Carmel Regional Fire Ambulance (CRFA) is on another call away from Carmel-by-the-Sea. Within 2-3 minutes, the Carmel Fire Engine arrives at the scene of the residential structural fire. Two residents, a husband and wife, are trapped in the burning residence. Still without four additional Firefighters from Cypress who are automatically enroute to the scene, the two Carmel Firefighters enter the residence. The Firefighters rescue the husband and wife from the burning residence, but both are unconscious and require medical assistance. Minutes pass, and the automatic aid CFRA from Mid-Valley arrives up to ten to twelve minutes later, too late to administer lifesaving medical care to the Carmelites who are dead at the scene.

COMMENTS:
In 2003, a Public Safety Team, including City Administrator Rich Guillen, Public Safety Director/Police Chief George Rawson, Ian Watts and Bill Scott, two Carmel Fire Engineers, issued a Report. With respect to the 2-in, 2-out OSHA requirement with CRFA, the Report stated, as follows:

"It should be noted that the current arrangement in operations is a short-term 'step' to try and meet the 2 in/2 out requirement. In order to fully meet this requirement, 4 Carmel personnel would be needed at the scene of these emergencies."

Ergo, the City Council is currently rejecting the conclusion of the City’s Public Safety Team. Why?

While Carmel does use the JPA Ambulance personnel as two other ‘on-duty’ firefighters, this is not a complete solution as the ambulance covers a much larger area than the community of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Given this, the ambulance crew is not always available for structure fire staffing. Of the departments reviewed in this study, Carmel has the most ‘fragile’ line firefighter staffing situation and, regardless of consolidation, should strive to add a 3rd full-time firefighter to the engine every day to staff this unit more effectively and at a level comparable to its neighboring fire departments,” according to the Citygate Associates Fire Department Consolidation Feasibility Analysis for the Cities of Monterey, Pacific Grove and Carmel.
Note: Of all the medical calls, 25% are calls which take CRFA away from Carmel-by-the-Sea, according to the Carmel Professional Firefighters.

Minutes Matter! The Carmel Professional Firefighters know that minutes can mean the difference between life and death; that is, the difference between having a paramedic on board the Fire Engine to immediately administer critical emergency medical aid and emergency personnel arriving too late several minutes later. Even City Council Member Gerard Rose recognized that the difference between 3 minutes and 8 minutes can mean the difference between life and death. With a paramedic as the third person on the Carmel Fire Engine, critical emergency medical aid can be administrated within 3 minutes. Whereas, without a paramedic on board, once emergency medical aid arrives at the scene in 10 to 12 minutes, the victims of a structural fire may be deceased.

In advocating for a paramedic as the third person on the Carmel Fire Engine, the Carmel Professional Firefighters are concerned about the health, safety and welfare of Carmelites. Contrary to the Carmel Professional Firefighters however, the City Council, in their rejection of the recommendation of the Citygate Report, their rejection of the professional judgment of the Carmel Firefighters and their failure to budget for the paramedic position, is unnecessarily jeopardizing and compromising the lives of every single Carmelite.

A city administrator worthy of his position does not tell the Carmel Professional Firefighters he is for consolidation and then sign his name to a taxpayer funded advertisement undermining the Carmel Professional Firefighters. To wit, a city administrator having a private opinion in sync with the Carmel Professional Firefighters, yet a public opinion out of sync with the Carmel Professional Firefighters and a City Council of an opinion contrary to the privately held opinion of the city administrator and the Carmel Professional Firefighters position, is another example of poor, dysfunction government in the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

The Solution: Since the principle duty and responsibility of the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea is the health, safety and welfare of Carmelites, it is incumbent on the City Council to budget taxpayer dollars towards the funding of CRFA and a paramedic as a third person on the Carmel Fire Engine, at a minimum. Only then will citizens have confidence that the City Council, City Administrator, CRFA personnel and Carmel Professional Firefighters are all acting together in the best interests of all Carmelites!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Alice Englander: "What happened to the rules and guidelines...Maybe it's a lost cause at this point...The system is not working."

ABSTRACT: During Appearances at the Special City Council Meeting on April 3, 2008, Carmel resident Alice Englander spoke about “living in construction hell for over a year” and her concerns about the City’s design “rules and guidelines.” Englander’s comments are transcribed; a hyperlink to a video and audio presentation is referenced. COMMENTS are made.

Special City Council Meeting
Thursday, April 3, 2008


VI. Appearances
Anyone wishing to address the City Council on matters within the jurisdiction of the City and are not on the agenda may do so now. Matters not appearing on the City Council’s agenda, per the Brown Act (Open Meeting Law), will not receive action by the Council at this meeting but may be referred to staff for a future meeting. Presentations will be limited to three (3) minutes, or as otherwise established by the City Council. Persons are not required to give their names, but it is helpful for speakers to state their names in order that the City Clerk may identify them in the minutes of the meeting. Always speak into the microphone, as the meeting is recorded on tape.

“Hi. My name is Alice Englander and I’m here on a very personal issue today. My husband and I have been living in construction hell for over a year. It has been so disturbing on so many levels that we have seriously begun talking about moving away from Carmel. I’m here today because we believe our situation is not unique and is instead an indication that the system for remodeling and construction in Carmel is broken. We are not opposed to change. Many of the houses around us have undergone major and minor reconstruction in the past ten years and mostly with positive results. We know that good change is possible."

"Then there’s a project in our neighborhood that makes us realize things are just not right. It started over a year ago. There’s no end in sight. In addition to the normal inconveniences and disruptions of having construction nearby, these people have done things that have stunned us. They have cut down trees, they have torn down fences along neighboring property lines without talking to the neighbors and have replaced the original ivy-covered grapestake fences with maximum height solid wood fences that seriously cut down on light and diminish views. They have removed dirt and have tiled, bricked and paved practically everything in sight. They have done electrical work, but there’s no evidence they’re going to do undergrounding. They seem to have tried to use every conceivable building material and every known architectural style on this one relatively small Carmel charmer. Lest you wonder why we haven’t said anything, well we have. We’ve left notes for the absentee owners to no avail. And as a bonus, when they do stop into to visit their project their dog barks. I have talked to the current and prior building inspectors and to two different planners this year. They were polite and informative, but it didn’t seem to make any difference. I’m not here today to complain about this specific project. I’m not asking anyone to do anything about it. It may even be completely legal and that is what’s really making us crazy. Everywhere we walk in our neighborhoods, we see similar projects; oversized, overwrought, over paved, over lighted, over decorated houses with little integrity or charm and if we’re lucky, we get a cherry on top in the form of a dish antennae."

"What happened to the rules and guidelines that we were working on we thought were being improved and strengthened over the past few years? Maybe it’s a lost cause at this point, but I urge you to review the building process. The system is not working. At a minimum, consistently enforce the rules that already exist. And please for the sake of those of us who live here, please set and enforce a limit on how long these projects can drag on. Maybe it is a lost cause at this point and that makes me very sad. Thank you."

REFERENCE:
Archived Videos
Special City Council Meeting
April 3, 2008
(Beginning Time 16:30 – 19:25 Ending Time)

COMMENTS:
The City of Carmel-by-the-Sea’s inconsistent, arbitrary and overall lax enforcement of the city’s design guidelines, the Municipal Code and the Local Coastal Program has only been exacerbated by the absence of a Planning Director since 2003.

In the Spring 2008 issue of The Coastal Traveler, Carmel is advertised as “See the classic cottages by the sea before they are Disneyfied by the tasteless.”

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Monterey County Housing Advisory Committee Meeting on Leidig’s Carmel Hospital Redevelopment Project

ABSTRACT: On Wednesday, May 14, 2008, the Monterey County Housing Advisory Committee received a presentation from the applicant (Rigoulette/Leidig/Widewaters) on the proposed Villas de Carmelo Project, a redevelopment project on the site of the former Carmel Convalescent Hospital. The agenda item was “informational only, no action required.” Selected, relevant excerpts from the Staff Report and letter from former City Council Member Barbara Livingston are presented. HIGHLIGHTS of the public hearing are presented. And concluding COMMENTS are made.

View of Staking & Flagging with Multi-Colored Triangular Flags from Hwy 1

View towards former Carmel Convalescent Hospital building

View towards the North, along Hwy 1
Proposed Site of Affordable Housing Units

Staking And Flagging
In accordance with the Monterey County Code, specifically “County-wide Staking and Flagging Criteria” “at least two feet wide of woven plastic snow fencing, or another equally suited material (in "international orange,” yellow, red or other contrasting color) must be assembled to represent the proposed structure” in a visually sensitive area.

MONTEREY COUNTY
HOUSING ADVISORY COMMITTEE
AGENDA

May 14, 2008
Monterey County Administration Building, Monterey Room, 2nd Floor
168 West Alisal Street, Salinas, CA
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

1) Call to order, roll call.
Members Present: Linda English (Chair), Wayne Ross (Vice Chair), Sabino Lopez, Denika Dallimore, Sarah Hardgrave, Mog Cabatu and Margaret Robbins
Member Absent: Maria Orozco

4) New Business:
b. Receive a presentation from applicant on the proposed Villas de Carmelo Project near Carmel (Rigoulette PLN070497)
Informational only, no action required.

HIGHTLIGHTS:
Assistant Director Marti Noel’s Staff Report included a SUMMARY and a DISCUSSION; selected excerpts, as follows:
SUMMARY:
“Carmel Hospital Development, LLC is proposing to develop a 46-unit housing project on the old Carmel Hospital property located between State Highway 1 and Valley Way near Carmel…the HAC is being asked to provide early input to the project applicant on the proposed Affordable Housing Program.”

DISCUSSION:
“The project application is subject to the County’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance which requires that 20% of the total number of units proposed be Inclusionary units. Of the 20% required, the Ordinance further requires that 8% be affordable to Moderate-income households, 6% to Low-income households, and 6% to Very Low-income households, unless a modification to those requirements is determined to be appropriate for the specific project and approved as part of the project. This proposed project would be required to supply 9.2 Inclusionary units, with 9 units constructed on the site and the .2 remaining requirement being in the form of an in-lieu fee. The project is proposing 9 moderate-income units and is requesting approval of a modification to the affordability levels required by the Inclusionary Ordinance. The applicant will present their justification for not including very low and low-income Inclusionary units in the project at the meeting.”

“Once environmental review is completed for the project, the HAC will be asked to make a formal recommendation on the affordable housing program to the Planning Commission.”

Former City Council Member Barbara Livingston submitted a letter to the Monterey County Housing Advisory Committee in opposition to the Vilas de Carmelo project. Specifically, she wrote, as follows:

“I am writing in opposition to the Villas de Carmelo project proposed for development immediately adjacent to the tranquil city lands of Carmel-by-the-Sea. The community character of the neighborhood surrounding the proposed development would be jeopardized by heavily increased traffic, buildings of excessive bulk, height and scale and loss of forested ambiance. This proposal is totally incompatible with the residential character of existing county and city lands. I ask that in formatting your advisory comments that you be guided by the existing local and coastal plans, the existing zoning and the concerns of neighbors. The current zoning requirement of low density residential development for the CCH property is totally appropriate and desirable.”

Derinda Messenger, attorney for Robert Leidig, mentioned representation of Widewaters and Leidig. Her introductory comments focused on Carmel-by-the-Sea, the process, mayor and city supportive, then public hearings, whereupon they soon became aware the project was “hopeless.” She mischaracterized the opposition as against any development of the property. Then on to the County. She stressed affordable housing was always a component of the project and that, according to the Monterey County Code, the project was exempt from affordable housing requirements. Later, during Committee discussion, Assistant Director Marti Noel stated that the County Counsel did not agree with the applicant’s interpretation and the County therefore is proceeding as outlined in her Staff Report. Attorney Messenger also stated they requested an EIR “because of the controversy.” Another representative of the applicant presented a slide show of Villas de Carmelo project regarding affordable housing.

REFERENCES:
WIDEWATERS

Monterey County Code
Title 18 BUILDINGS AND CONSTRUCTION
Chapter 18.40 INCLUSIONARY HOUSING
18.40.050 Development requiring inclusionary contribution.
A. The requirements of this Chapter are minimum requirements and shall not preclude a residential development from providing additional affordable units and/or affordable units with lower rents or sales prices. Except as expressly provided in Paragraphs B and C of this Subsection, all residential developments shall contribute to the provision of housing for very low, low, and moderate income households in the County of Monterey as provided in this Chapter. “Residential development,” as that term is defined by this Chapter, means any project requiring any subdivision of land, use permit, discretionary permit or building permit, or combination thereof, for which an application or applications are submitted to the County and which would by construction or alteration of structures create three or more new or additional dwelling units and/or lots.

B. Residential developments which meet one of the following criteria shall not be required to comply with this Chapter:
1. Residential developments which form part of a larger residential development as to which the requirements of this Chapter have previously been fully satisfied and as to which there is no default in continuing obligations under this Chapter, where the new residential development results in no increase in the number of previously approved lots or units;
2. Development as to which the applicant demonstrates during consideration of a first approval that there is no reasonable relationship between the development and the requirements imposed by this Chapter, that the requirements of this Chapter would take property in violation of the federal or California Constitution, or that as a result of unusual or unforeseen circumstances, it would not be appropriate to apply, or would be appropriate to modify, the requirements of this Chapter, provided that the Appropriate Authority who makes the determination to approve or disapprove an exemption or modification makes written findings, based on substantial evidence, supporting that determination;

During PUBLIC COMMENT, a member of the public asked the applicant’s representative to expand on the reasons the project does not include Low or Very Low-income housing; the applicant’s representatives stated that including Low and Very Low income housing would make the project economically infeasible, in part because of the multi-million dollar cost of renovating the historic hospital building. Note: The project as submitted is 28% total affordable housing, including 20% affordable (Moderate) and 8% workforce.

During COMMITTEE DELIBERATION, one Committee Member, Mog Cabatu, said that the applicant would need to present more convincing arguments for not including Low and Very Low income housing. Additionally, Committee Member Margaret Robbins asked about facilities for children. The applicant’s representatives stated there were no facilities for children in the project, as submitted, but they would be amenable if the County required equipment, et cetera, expressly for children.

COMMENTS:
The agenda item, “Receive a presentation from applicant on the proposed Villas de Carmelo Project near Carmel,” was “informational only, no action required,” nor taken. The HAC is expected to make a formal recommendation on the affordable housing program to the Planning Commission after environmental review is completed for the project.

The proposed site for the Affordable Housing Units is along Hwy 1. The two-story units, garage on ground level and living space on second floor, will have the same physicial appearance as the Market Rate Units.

The applicant’s representatives basically presented economic infeasibility as the reason for not including Low and Very Low income units. The Committee Members appeared concerned about the lack of Low and Very Low income units.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Carmel-by-the-Sea Garden Club Presents ON LOCATION: A GARDEN CLUB OF AMERICA FLOWER SHOW

ABSTRACT: “ON LOCATION,” a Garden Club of America Flower Show, is presented by the Carmel-by-the-Sea Garden Club. The Show is inspired by 200 movies filmed on the Monterey Peninsula since 1912. Photos of three of the exhibits are shown. DATES & TIMES, LOCATION and EXHIBITS with the Classes in each of the four THEATERS are presented.

THEATER 2: Horticulture Classes
Cut Specimens: “The Samurai
Columbine

THEATER 1: Flower Arrangement Classes
Class 2: “Poco Loco
A miniature arrangement not more than 5” in height, width and depth.

THEATER 1: Flower Arrangement Classes
Class 1: “Fast and Furious

Carmel-by-the-Sea Garden Club:
“To fulfill our commitment to education, conservation and civic improvement, the Carmel-by-the-Sea Garden Club, presents 'ON LOCATION,' a flower show with all exhibits open to the public at no charge. The show is inspired by 200 movies filmed on the Monterey Peninsula since 1912.”

DATES & TIMES:
Friday, May 16 & Saturday, May 17, 2008, 10:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.

LOCATION:
Sunset Center
E/s San Carlos St. @ 9th Av.

EXHIBITS:
THEATER 1: Flower Arrangement Classes
Class 1: “Fast and Furious” (Release Year 1954)

Class 2: “Poco Loco” (Release Year 1994)

Class 3: “Basic Instinct” (Release Year 1992)

Class 4: “The Divine Lady” (Release Year 1929)

Class 5: “The Sandpiper” (Release Year 1965)

Conservation Exhibit
“Desire Me” (Release Year 1947)

THEATER 2: Horticulture Classes
Cut Specimens:
Classes 1-7: “The Samurai” (Release Year 1944)

Class 8: “The Graduate” (Release Year 1967)

THEATER 3: Photography Classes
Class 1: “Breakthrough” (Release Year 1950)

Class 2: “Poetic Justice” (Release Year 1993)

Class 3: “Shadows” (Release Year 1922)

Class 4: “Tess of the Storm Country” (Release Year 1922 & 1932)

THEATER 4: Horticulture Classes
Class 9: “The Parent Trap” (Release Year 1961)

Class 10: “Famous Places” (Release Year 1937)

Class 11: “The Wrong Mr. Wright” (Release Year 1927)

Classes 12 & 13: Par Classes: “Seems like Old Times” (Release Year 1980)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

PROGRESS REPORT: Water Main Replacement Project Site Phases

ABSTRACT: Beginning Tuesday, May 13, 2008, Monterey Peninsula Engineering, under contract with Cal-Am, began water main replacement work in the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Presently, new PVC 8” diameter pipes are being installed along Scenic Rd (PROJECT SITE PHASE 6) and along Ocean Av. & Del Mar Av. (PROJECT SITE PHASE 2). Work will continue throughout the city until all nine Project Site Phases are completed. It is expected all work will be completed by the end of 2008. Photos associated with recent work are shown. COMMMENTS are made regarding Monterey Peninsula Engineering’s water main replacement work, Fire Department consolidation and the City's new color coded fire hydrants.

Monterey Peninsula Engineering Employees and Equipment @ Scenic Rd. & 8th Av.

Open Trench @ Scenic Rd. & 8th Av.

View of Completed Water Main Replacement Work on Scenic Rd. from 8th Av. to 9th Av.

Close-Up of Replacement (New) PVC 8" diameter Pipe.

View of "OUT OF SERVICE" Fire Hydrant @ Scenic Rd. & 9th Av.

View of New Scenic Rd. & 9th Av. Fire Hydrant

View of Completed Water Main Replacement Work on Scenic Rd. from 9th Av. to 8th Av.

Equipment @ Ocean Av. & San Antonio Av.

View of Completed Water Main Replacement Work on Ocean Av. from San Antonio Av. to Del Mar Av.

Monterey Peninsula Engineering Employees, Equipment & Open Trench on Del Mar Av.

View of New Color Coded Fire Hydrant
Lincoln St. & 7th Av., S.W. Corner

COMMENTS:
Cal-Am, owner of the water main infrastructure, has contracted with Monterey Peninsula Engineering to replace the old and corroded water mains at nine PROJECT SITE PHASE locations throughout the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Beginning last Tuesday, May 13, 2008, Monterey Peninsula Engineering employees began water main replacement work on PROJECT SITE PHASE 6 (Scenic Rd. between 9th Av. & 8th Av) and PROJECT SITE PHASE 2 (Ocean Av. @ San Antonio Av. & Del Mar Av.). The duration of work for each Phase is about one week. As work is completed, Monterey Peninsula Engineering employees will move to other PROJECT SITE PHASES until all of the nine project Site Phases are completed. All of the water main replacement work is expected to be completed by the end of 2008.

Other pending PROJECT SITE PHASES, as follows:
PROJECT SITE PHASE 1: 3rd Av. between Carpenter St. & Hatton Rd.
PROJECT SITE PHASE 3: Torres St. between 6th Av. & Ocean Av. & Ocean Av. between Torres St. to Santa Rita St.
PROJECT SITE PHASE 4:
Carpenter St. –Forest Rd. between 6th Av. & 8th Av.
7th Av. between east of Forest Rd. & Hatton Rd.
PROJECT SITE PHASE 5: Junipero Av. @ Rio Rd &Ridgewood Rd.
PROJECT SITE PHASE 7: Hatton Rd. between Mountain View Av. and Martin Rd.
PROJECT SITE PHASE 8: Mission St. between 8th Av. & 10th Av.
PROJECT SITE PHASE 9: 12th Av. between Lincoln St. & Mission St.

On Consolidation: The cities of Monterey and Pacific Grove, specifically the Executive Committee of City Managers and Fire Chiefs, et cetera, are meeting every other Friday to develop a contract which will have Pacific Grove contracting with Monterey for fire services. Negotiations and finalization of the contract is expected by October 1, 2008. Apparently, Carmel-by-the-Sea City Administrator Rich Guillen, Assistant City Administrator Heidi Burch and Public Safety Director/Police Chief George Rawson have attended some of these meetings, according to Fire Chief Andrew Miller.

From the perspective of a Monterey Firefighter, the use of ambulance personnel for the OSHA 2-in, 2-out requirement is not an appropriate remedy. Why? Because, a structural fire requires manpower. One advantage of merging with Monterey and Pacific Grove is that Carmel-by-the-Sea would get additional fire engines and additional firefighters to extinguish structural fires.

Once the cities of Monterey and Pacific Grove finalize their contract, the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea is then welcome to enter negotiations with them for our fire services, according to a Monterey Firefighter.

The new City of Carmel-by-the-Sea fire hydrant look is yellow with color coded caps i.e. blue, green, orange and red. An updated map of the fire hydrants, including new, relocated and redundant fire hydrants will be available by the end of next week, according to Fire Chief Andrew Miller. Additionally, updated fire hydrants maps will be posted at the Post Office, available at the Carmel Fire Station and City Hall and published as a public announcement in The Carmel Pine Cone.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

15th Annual Carmel Art Festival

The Carmel Art Festival, a non-profit organization, supports local youth art programs.

The 15th Annual Carmel Art Festival is “a public benefit event held to educate and inspire people of all ages about the visual arts.” Events during the four days, between Thursday, May 15 and Sunday, May 18, 2008, include the Plein Air Event, Sculpture-in-the-Park, Carmel Youth Art Show, Quick Draw and Kids Art Day.

Juried Artists for the Plein Art Event, include, as follows:
Annie Allemann
Michael Allison
Michael Bagdonas
Tomiko Bailey
Brian Blood
Maria Boisvert
Jason Bowen
Cathy Bower
Delia Bradford
John Burton
Larry Cannon
Elaine Carpenter
Ray Carpenter
Judy Christen
Robin Rogers Cloud
Bethanne Cople
Vivian Cornwall
Kevin Courter
Valerie Craig
Cynthia DeBenedetti
Cornelia Emery
Mark Farina
Alan Fetterman
Terri Ford
Erin Gafill
Debra Groesser
Rioanne Hart
Maggie Renner Hellmann
Dali Higa
Doane Hoag
Sterling Hoffmann
Norma Holmes
Carol Johnson
Sally Jordan
Steve Kell
Laurie Kersey
Paul Kratter
David Lazarony
Robert Lewis
Po Pin Lin
Rolf Lygren
Gerard Martin
Alicia Meheen
Terry Miura
Larry Moore
Donald Neff
Alan Nowell
Michael Obermeyer
Juan Pena
Stephan Pratt
Sara Linda Poly
Robin Purcell
Stephen Sanfilippo
Lee Sautereau
Julia Seelos
Michael Situ
Donald Sondag
Linda Sutton
Timothy Tien
Taki Tu
Paul Youngman
NOTE: Click on artist's name for artist's website or information about artist.

Plein Air Event Schedule:
Thursday & Friday, May 15 & 16: Plein Art Juried Artists paint throughout the Monterey Peninsula.

Saturday, May 17, 8:00 A.M. – 10:00 A.M.: Judges will view paintings on Mission St. between Ocean Av. & 6th Av., west of Devendorf Park, and select winners. Ribbons will be placed on winning paintings.

Saturday, May 17 @ 10:00 A.M.: The festival opens to the public for viewing and bidding via silent auction. Immediately following the close of the silent auction, after 6 pm, there will be a live auction for all paintings that received 10 bids or more.

Saturday, May 17 @ 5:00 P.M.: The Award Ceremony will be Saturday promptly at 5 pm on the stage located across from the tents on Mission Street.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Carmel Gallery Alliance
P.O. Box 7191
Carmel, CA 93921
Tel.(Voice Mail only): (831) 642-2503
Quick Response Email:2008@carmelartfestival.org
Website: http://www.carmelartfestival.org/

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Carmel Beach “Ghost Trees:” Photographic Record of Soon to be Removed “Ghost Trees

ABSTRACT: At the Forest and Beach Commission Meeting on Thursday, April 3, 2008, Commissioners approved the removal of 13 dead Monterey Cypress trees at Carmel Beach, north of Ocean Av. Relevant sections of the FOREST AND BEACH COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING AGENDA and abbreviated draft MINUTES are presented. Photos of the Carmel Beach “Ghost Trees” are depicted as a record of their existence on Carmel Beach.





CITY OF CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA
FOREST AND BEACH COMMISSION
REGULAR MEETING AGENDA

Thursday, April 3, 2008
Tour of Inspection – 1:30 p.m.
Regular Meeting – 2:00 p.m.

City Hall, Council Chambers
E/side Monte Verde between Ocean & 7th Avenues
Carmel, California

I. CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL
COMMISSION MEMBERS:
KATHLEEN COSS
JOE FORD
NANCY JOHN, CHAIRPERSON
TAD PRITCHETT

VI. APPLICATIONS/PUBLIC HEARINGS
IF YOU CHALLENGE THE NATURE OF THE PROPOSED ACTION IN COURT, YOU MAY BE LIMITED TO RAISING ONLY THOSE ISSUES YOU OR SOMEONE ELSE RAISED AT THE PUBLIC HEARING DESCRIBED IN THIS NOTICE, OR IN WRITTEN CORRESPONDENCE DELIVERED TO THE FOREST AND BEACH COMMISSION, OR PRIOR TO DELIBERATION OF THE ITEMS ON THE TOUR OF INSPECTION/PUBLIC HEARING.

3. Consideration of a request to remove 13 dead Monterey cypress tree adjacent to Carmel Beach.

A Commissioner moved to approve the removal of 13 dead Monterey cypress trees adjacent to Carmel Beach, seconded by another Commissioner, and carried by the following roll call vote:

AYES: COSS, FORD, PRITCHETT, JOHN
NOES: NONE
ABSTAINED: NONE
ABSENT: NONE

Monday, May 12, 2008

Random Thoughts & Observations

Commenting on the Monterey County Democrats decision not to file a lawsuit against the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea for a language error on the April 2008 ballot, Mayor Sue McCloud stated that “the ballot’s incorrect wording was provided by the County Department of Elections,” according to an article in The Monterey County Herald on May 9, 2008. The City of Carmel-by-the-Sea was in charge of the election, whereas the County was not in charge. Therefore, responsibility for the language error on the ballot is the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea’s alone. Moreover, isn’t it the responsibility of the City Attorney to review the City’s ballot for accuracy and completeness prior to the printing of ballots?

The Pine Inn’s plan for a subterranean parking garage for approximately 100 vehicles along Sixth Avenue between Monte Verde St. and Lincoln St., presented at the City Council Meeting on May 6, 2008, should remind Carmelites of the original plans for the renovation of Sunset Center, which including a parking garage located at the site of the existing north parking lot along Eighth Av. between San Carlos St. and Mission St. If the City Council at that time had approved and funded the parking structure, it would have ameliorated Carmel’s parking situation then and now.

According to SCC Executive Director Peter Lesnik, the Annual Meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 18 “at a time to be determined.” He further stated it should be “lot of fun as well as informative.”

In the last 4 years, the City Council has budgeted approximately $1.6 million annually for the maintenance and management of the Sunset Center and comparatively nothing on the City’s other historic, cultural and environments assets, namely the Scout House, the Forest Theatre, Flanders Mansion, Lester Rowntree Native Plant Garden and Mission Trail Nature Preserve. With annual budgets of $11 million - $13 million and nearly $10 million in reserve funds, it is unconscionable for the City Council to lavish financial resources on one entertainment venue and fail to annually budget for maintenance and improvements to all the other historic, cultural and environmental public assets.

FOREST THEATER severed and damaged beam: No attempt has been made by the City to repair the damaged and bisected FOREST THEATER wooden carved beam, which was once across the Forest Theatre Guadalupe St. gate. It lies abandoned in the now dried grass next to the gate.

Carmel Beach Access: A Goal of the City’s General Plan/Coastal Land Use Plan is to “provide for maximum public assess to, and recreational use of, the shoreline…” Yet, the southernmost stairway access to Carmel Beach adjacent to Martin Way still remains closed since the Winter Storms of January 2008. Like State Laws and the Municipal Code, it appears that the City only complies with provisions of the General Plan/Coastal Land Use Plan that the City wants to comply with and ignores provisions the City does not want to comply with.

On the Carmel Fire Department Consolidation with Monterey and Pacific Grove Fire Departments and Staffing Issues: Five City Council Members and the City Administrator, all non-professionals and non-experts on fire issues, have not only failed to place the issues on an open hearing agenda, but they have seen fit to reject the professional judgments of the Carmel Professional Firefighters. The next time City Council Members and the City Administrator give specious reasons as justification for their rejection of the judgments of our Carmel Professional Firefighters, Carmelites should ask ourselves who will respond at 2 A.M. to extinguish a structural fire and rescue fire victims, City Council Members/City Administrator or the Carmel Professional Firefighters? And whose background, experience and judgment on fire safety issues do Carmelites have reason to trust?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Carmel Art Association Presents GROUP SHOW FEATURING 12 SCULPTORS AND GALLERY SHOWCASE FEATURING HART, MEHEEN & NORTHROP

Carmel Art Association
“Celebrating 80 years of local art”
Voted “Art Gallery of the Year” by the Carmel Business Association three consecutive years.
W/s Dolores St. between 5th Av. & 6th Av.
10:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M., Daily, except major Holidays.
Open to the Public at No Charge

“Founded in 1927, Carmel's oldest gallery features the work of more than 120 professional local artists, and is dedicated to presenting only the finest work for sale by artists living on the Monterey Peninsula.”

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Carmel Art Association Presents GROUP SHOW FEATURING 12 SCULPTORS AND GALLERY SHOWCASE FEATURING ROIANNE HART, ALICIA MEHEEN & WILDA NORTHROP
Thursday, May 8 – Tuesday, June 3, 2008

GROUP SHOW:
DIVERSE VIEWS OF SCULPTURE: A GROUP OF 12

(Beardsley Room)
Twelve Sculptors, including Eleen Auvil, Blaine Black, Kathleen Crocetti, Micah Curtis, Doug Downs, Dennis Handy, Peter Hiers, Eric Hitchcock, Randy Puckett, Michael St. Mary, William Schnute and Gustavo Torres, exhibit works in bronze, steel, marble and wood.

GALLERY SHOWCASE: ROIANNE HART, ALICIA MEHEEN & WILDA NORTHROP
(Segal Room)
Watercolorist Roianne Hart exhibits summer-themed figurative works of children. View one watercolor painting.

Painter Alicia Meheen exhibits plein-air landscapes and seascapes in watercolor. View artist’s statement, brief biography and three watercolors, including "Coast View," "Carmel Mission,” and "Self Portrait - Plein Air Energies."

Painter Wilda Northrop exhibits still life subjects and garden floral paintings in watercolor. View artist’s brief biography, et cetera and three watercolors, including "Roses and Persimmons," "Upstaging the Salt and Pepper” and "Koi and Confetti #1.”

Opening reception Saturday, May 10, 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Worst Case Invalidates Councilman Rose’s Premise that “there is really no legitimate concern when it (ambulance) does go to other jurisdictions"

ABSTRACT: At the City Council Budget Meeting on April 17, 2008, City Council Member & CRFA (Carmel Regional Fire Ambulance) Board President Gerard Rose responded to a question about CRFA “picking up people all over” by stating that “there is really no legitimate concern when it does go to other jurisdictions.” A transcription of his pertinent remarks are reproduced. COMMENTS & QUESTIONS are presented, particularly COMMENTS rebutting City Council Member Gerard Rose’s assertions about CRFA and the Carmel Fire Department.

At the City Council Budget Meeting on April 17, 2008, City Council Member & CRFA Board President Gerard Rose responded to a question about CRFA “picking up people all over,” as follows:

“CRFA has contracts, whenever the Carmel dedicated wagon leaves the jurisdiction immediately we are on mutual aid with our neighbors. So there can be a couple minute delay, but never more than a couple of minutes. That’s why there is really no legitimate concern when it does go to other jurisdictions. As recently as Wednesday of this week, yesterday, we addressed, at a Board meeting, we addressed the issue of how far away can they go, because sometimes we get calls that are considerably further than Pebble Beach, and the Board made it clear yesterday, and I made it clear as the Board’s President yesterday, that we won’t tolerate that. Carmel is where these people belong, it’s where we want to be and it many cost us a little bit but I’m willing to pay more to keep our citizens safe...the worst case, if you want to have a CRFA back-up, we’re at Mid-Valley, which means that instead of getting a 3-minute response time, you’re getting an 8-minute response time, which is still better than 9 or 10, but and they have all that specialized medical equipment on board and they have the specially trained paramedics. But normally, what happens is the extra 2 people for the 2 men in, 2 men out, come from our neighbor, and Cypress is almost always that neighbor.”

REFERENCE:
Archived Video:
City Council Budget Meeting April 17, 2008
(Beginning 44:00-46:00 Ending)

COMMENTS & QUESTIONS:
The "worst case" scenario invalidates City Councilman Gerard Rose’s premise that “there is really no legitimate concern when it (ambulance) does go to other jurisdictions.” That is, if the Carmel ambulance is dispatched to another jurisdiction away from Carmel-by-the-Sea, and the Carmel Fire Department receives a 911 call, then two Carmel Fire Fighters leave the Carmel Fire Station on an Engine to go to the scene. If our mutual aid neighbor is on a call, then they are not immediately available to fulfill the “two-in/two-outOSHA requirement. In that situation, with two Carmel Firefighters at the scene of a structural fire and without back-up, the two Carmel Firefighters would go it alone, risking their own lives.

The Citygate Associates Report on Carmel, Monterey and Pacific Grove Fire Departments Consolidation stated that JPA Ambulance personnel as the two other “on-duty” fire fighters are not a complete solution as the ambulance covers a larger area than Carmel-by-the-Sea.

The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) standard is for Fire Fighters to respond to the scene of an emergency with a “minimum of 4 personnel on each apparatus.” Moreover, jurisdictions assume “additional legal risk by failing to abide by NFPA 1710” standards. Carmel currently has only two Fire Fighters per engine per day.

Contrary to City Council Member Gerald Rose’s implication that the CRFA Board dictates where the ambulance goes, the ambulance goes to the scene of emergencies, sometimes as far away as Salinas.

City Council Member Gerard Rose stated that he is proud of the service CRFA provides Carmelites, including an average 3 minutes emergency response time and specialized equipment for real time monitoring transmitted to CHOMP for professional care during transport to the hospital. And he stated that CRFA service is worth the “several hundreds of thousands of dollars” that Carmel pays to belong to CRFA. Moreover, Rose stated he is willing to pay more for those services to “keep our citizens safe.” To “keep our citizens safe,” however, also requires that the City adequately staff the Carmel Fire Department with at least one additional Fire Fighter, and arguably two additional Fire Fighters, to meet NFPA Standards to enhance public safety, save lives and protect the community against liability.

City Council Member Gerard Rose stated that the "worst case" scenario is an 8-9 minutes emergency response time, but earlier he stated that his physician friends tell him that the difference between a 3 minutes response time and an 9-10 minutes response time can mean the difference between life and death.

Conclusion: While City Council Member Gerard Rose stated that he is willing to pay more for CFRA services to “keep our citizens safe,” he should realize that keeping citizens safe also means adequately funding and staffing our Carmel Fire Department to NFPA Standards.

Questions: Why are City Council Member Gerard Rose and the other City Council Members jeopardizing the lives of Carmelites by not adequately funding and staffing the Carmel Fire Department? Why are City Council Members willing to gamble with the lives of Carmelites by knowingly allowing for the "worst case" scenario to occur to a Carmelite?