CITY HALL — Whatever happened to that “Chain Reaction” sculpture that everyone was so worked up about earlier this year?
In February, City Council voted to pick up the tab on the repairs to the piece of public art, which was donated to the city by Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Paul Conrad.
“Chain Reaction” supporters, who raised more than $100,000 for repairs, were thrilled by council’s decision, but it’s still unclear how much it will actually cost taxpayers.
Estimates, at the time, ranged from $255,000 to $455,000.
First the Landmarks Commission will have to grant permission for city officials to further test the protected sculpture, said Building Officer Ron Takiguchi.
“The next steps would involve further investigation and testing once we secure the contracts with the preservationist consultant, the structural engineering consultant and the testing lab,” he said.
Tongva Park repairs
Maybe you noticed some construction going on over at City Hall’s new Tongva Park.
City officials found that the storm drain line was clogged by the Ocean Avenue water feature.
It caused planters in the area to settle and the sidewalk to separate.
W.E. O’Neil, the contractor, spent roughly the first two weeks of the month fixing the area. They replaced the sidewalk and repaired the wall. Plants and irrigation in the area were removed and re-installed.
“Because the project is still under warranty, financial impacts from this work are likely to be minimal and limited to the cost of the third party soils consultant of $5,600,” city officials said in a release. “All repairs will be undertaken by (W.E. O’Neil)”
Art studio audit delayed
Last year, city officials acknowledged that they had not been monitoring the Santa Monica Art Studio lease, which required the studio to provide affordable art studios to sub-tenants.
City Hall provided the public space on the Santa Monica Airport land at an extremely subsidized rate and required, in return, that artists be provided studio space at an average of $1.50 per square foot.
Santa Monica Art Studio officials refused to speak with the Daily Press about the matter.
City Hall, in reviewing the issue, planned to audit all of the airport properties by May.
In late April, city officials selected an auditor. Things are going slower than anticipated, said Public Works Director Martin Pastucha, and they now expect the results by July.
Former Congressional candidate Marcy Winograd is plugging along on her campaign to get City Hall to ban pony rides from the Farmers’ Market.
She’s closing in on 600 signatures to her electronic petition — not all that many in comparison to other notable city e-petitions. But she’s scoring big names.
The name of Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education member and State Senate candidate Ben Allen appears on the list, as does that of Residocracy founder Armen Melkonians. School board member and Pico Neighborhood Association co-Chair Oscar de la Torre is signed on as well. Two Planning Commissioners, Sue Himmelrich and Richard McKinnon, added their names to the list.
Winograd recently uncovered the fact that the pony ride operator did not have a valid business license, which the operator subsequently procured, and is now applying pressure for her to obtain workers compensation for her employees.
Winograd feels the petting zoo and pony rides are inhumane and send the wrong messages to children.