News

Livermore removes totem pole from Centennial Park for 'maintenance evaluation'

Officials say analysis is required due to pests, 'significant structural issues'

The city of Livermore shared a social media post Thursday informing the community that a maintenance evaluation required the removal of a well-known local art landmark.

The totem pole in Livermore's Centennial Park has been removed for a maintenance evaluation. (Image courtesy of city of Livermore via Facebook)

The Centennial Park totem pole is currently missing from its usual post located at the corner of Fourth and Holmes streets, city officials said.

"The totem pole has been removed so that it may undergo a maintenance evaluation. We’ll update the community upon completion of the evaluation," the city's Facebook post reads.

City officials told the Weekly that its Public Works Maintenance Division is conducting the evaluation and fumigation is required because "there are pests present." Additionally, officials said there are other "significant structural issues" that are being assessed. They did not elaborate on the expected length of the totem pole's absence.

The piece of historic public art was carved by artist Adam "Fortunate Eagle" Nordwall in 1969 and was installed at Centennial Park in celebration of Livermore’s 100th anniversary in 1974, according to the city's public art guide.

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support PleasantonWeekly.com for as little as $5/month.

Join

In December, the totem pole was brought up during a social media-fueled controversy over the city's Equity and Inclusion Subcommittee after an article circulated online by pro-police website Law Enforcement Today suggested that the city group was debating whether the Thin Blue Line flag -- which is used to express support for law enforcement, but is considered by others as a symbol of intimidation -- should be labeled as a symbol of hate.

At the time, one of the Equity & Inclusion subgroups that focused on community, culture and representations was considering conducting a community-wide assessment and action project, involving taking inventory of artwork, artifacts and other symbols throughout the city that represent and signify systemic racism as well as the symbols that signify equity and inclusion.

While the Thin Blue Line flag was at the center of the debate, concerns were raised by community members that public art displays -- like the totem pole and the "Circle of Peace" sculpture depicting three children holding hands in a circle located in Hansen Park -- were at risk of removal.

Then-Mayor John Marchand clarified that the city had not made any decisions to remove any of the city's artifacts.

"We are not considering removing the totem pole, we're not removing the statue of the three children and the city has not decided to do anything at this point," Marchand said during the Dec. 14 City Council meeting.

"This is merely an exercise to begin a community conversation. So, with that -- just to put everyone's minds at ease -- we're not taking out the totem pole, we're not removing the circle of children," he added.

The city's complete post about the totem pole's removal for maintenance evaluation can be found here.

Stay informed

Get the latest local news and information sent straight to your inbox.

Stay informed

Get the latest local news and information sent straight to your inbox.

Looking for more Livermore stories? The Livermore Vine will be your new source of vital news and information. Sign up to be among the first to get our daily local news headlines sent to your inbox for free.

Follow PleasantonWeekly.com and the Pleasanton Weekly on Twitter @pleasantonnews, Facebook and on Instagram @pleasantonweekly for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Your support is vital to us continuing to bring you city government news. Become a member today.

Livermore removes totem pole from Centennial Park for 'maintenance evaluation'

Officials say analysis is required due to pests, 'significant structural issues'

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Jul 23, 2021, 3:39 pm
Updated: Sun, Jul 25, 2021, 4:32 pm

The city of Livermore shared a social media post Thursday informing the community that a maintenance evaluation required the removal of a well-known local art landmark.

The Centennial Park totem pole is currently missing from its usual post located at the corner of Fourth and Holmes streets, city officials said.

"The totem pole has been removed so that it may undergo a maintenance evaluation. We’ll update the community upon completion of the evaluation," the city's Facebook post reads.

City officials told the Weekly that its Public Works Maintenance Division is conducting the evaluation and fumigation is required because "there are pests present." Additionally, officials said there are other "significant structural issues" that are being assessed. They did not elaborate on the expected length of the totem pole's absence.

The piece of historic public art was carved by artist Adam "Fortunate Eagle" Nordwall in 1969 and was installed at Centennial Park in celebration of Livermore’s 100th anniversary in 1974, according to the city's public art guide.

In December, the totem pole was brought up during a social media-fueled controversy over the city's Equity and Inclusion Subcommittee after an article circulated online by pro-police website Law Enforcement Today suggested that the city group was debating whether the Thin Blue Line flag -- which is used to express support for law enforcement, but is considered by others as a symbol of intimidation -- should be labeled as a symbol of hate.

At the time, one of the Equity & Inclusion subgroups that focused on community, culture and representations was considering conducting a community-wide assessment and action project, involving taking inventory of artwork, artifacts and other symbols throughout the city that represent and signify systemic racism as well as the symbols that signify equity and inclusion.

While the Thin Blue Line flag was at the center of the debate, concerns were raised by community members that public art displays -- like the totem pole and the "Circle of Peace" sculpture depicting three children holding hands in a circle located in Hansen Park -- were at risk of removal.

Then-Mayor John Marchand clarified that the city had not made any decisions to remove any of the city's artifacts.

"We are not considering removing the totem pole, we're not removing the statue of the three children and the city has not decided to do anything at this point," Marchand said during the Dec. 14 City Council meeting.

"This is merely an exercise to begin a community conversation. So, with that -- just to put everyone's minds at ease -- we're not taking out the totem pole, we're not removing the circle of children," he added.

The city's complete post about the totem pole's removal for maintenance evaluation can be found here.

Comments

Jake Waters
Registered user
Birdland
on Jul 23, 2021 at 5:03 pm
Jake Waters, Birdland
Registered user
on Jul 23, 2021 at 5:03 pm

Livermore is really working fast to become ‘THE’ wokest (Is that a word? Give it time.) city in the tri-valley area. So the ‘Thin Blue Line’ flag is a symbol of hate? How do these woke Livermore political elites explain the offensiveness of a ‘circle of children?’ They want a conversation, liberalese to mean: it will be removed until it isn’t missed by the public or remembered.

Next, Livermore will begin shutting down their wineries because it caters to ‘white privilege.’ You can’t make this stuff up..


VAB
Registered user
Downtown
on Jul 27, 2021 at 1:30 pm
VAB , Downtown
Registered user
on Jul 27, 2021 at 1:30 pm

Let me try to understand this. The Totem Pole has been standing for 40 + years, if it needs repair then it should be repaired and returned to its original spot where it stood proudly for many years. Anybody that can’t see through this wasteful time consuming movement by the the progressives to get the Pole removed permanently is very naive.
On another note,
It’s OK to desecrate the flag of our country but the thin blue line offends some folks ? Really. It’s time to wake-up and un-woke.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.