We are now in the thick of the holiday season. Cheer is in the air. Lights and decorations are on full display.
As with the Thanksgiving holiday, there are many opportunities to get into the spirit of giving. In particular, many organizations host food or toy drives. I encourage you to consider donating canned goods or new toys for families that need our help during this holiday.
We have accomplished a lot in 2011 and as I look forward to 2012, I am hopeful for an even more productive year than this one.
| Board of Supervisors
Increased Funding for Employment and Training Services
The Board of Supervisors approved an amendment to an agreement, which will further increase the capacity for the Orange County One-Stop System to provide employment and training services to adults and dislocated workers. The additional funding is a result of carry-over funds from FY 2010-11. Subsequently, the total amount to be used during FY 2011-12 for employment and training services has increased by 31% to over $7.9 million. For more information on services, contact your local One-Stop Center in Westminster at (714) 241-4900.
|ORANGE COUNTY TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY (OCTA)
New Bike Cars on Metrolink Trains
Most Metrolink cars can hold up to three bicycles each, but now 12 Bike Cars have been specifically designed to hold up to 18 bikes on the lower level. The added cars will be on 12 trains in Orange County and on a total of 34 trains throughout the five-county system during the week.
The new Bike Cars are identified by a yellow decal on the side of the car or are wrapped entirely with a bike train logo. Visit www.metrolinktrains.com for information and to see a schedule for the Bike Cars.
|ORANGE COUNTY SANITATION DISTRICT (OCSD)
OCSD Wins "Excellence in Information Technology Practices" Award
The Municipal Information Systems Association of California (MISAC) awarded OCSD the "Excellence in Information Technology Practices" Award to honor their efficient use of resources. The award indicates that OCSD exceeded MISAC's standards in the areas of budget and strategic planning, purchasing, operations and staffing, customer satisfaction, project management, professional development and training, disaster preparation and recovery and security. Congratulations OCSD, keep up the great work!
|ORANGE COUNTY FIRE AUTHORITY (OCFA)
OCFA Hires 25 Recruits
The Orange County Fire Authority recently added 25 recruits to its ranks after their successful completion of the fire academy. Over two thousand applied for what became OCFA's first hiring in over two years. The new hires will help fill the more than 60 vacancies within OCFA, which have been covered through overtime. Congratulations to all the new recruits!
Pet Oxygen Masks Donated
The Orange County Fire Authority was donated 70 pet oxygen masks and kits by the Emma Zen Foundation. With this donation, all fire engines and trucks operated by OCFA will now carry pet oxygen masks. The masks allow pets to be treated quickly on the scene, because they are highly prone to smoke inhalation during a fire.
New CalOptima Board Member
I would like to congratulate Lee Penrose, President and CEO of St. Jude Medical Center for his appointment to the CalOptima Board of Directors. CalOptima is a county organized health system that provides publicly funded health coverage to over 421,000 residents. With healthcare reform right around the corner, I am confident that Mr. Penrose's extensive medical background will bring a unique perspective to the CalOptima family.
Paid Work Experience and Training for Out of School Youth in Santa Ana
The Orange County Children's Therapeutic Arts Center (OCCTAC) provides free programs for at-risk youth through funding by the Santa Ana Workforce Investment Board. The funding allows the agency to serve youth ages 17 to 21 who are out of school and/or are looking for employment. The paid work experience and training is in the arts, education, clerical, computer programs and technology areas.
There are only a few openings left for this year's program. Eligibility requirements include Santa Ana residence, citizenship or legal residence, and youth ages 17 to 21 who are out of school. For more information, please call OCCTAC at (714) 547-5468.
Employee Wellness Seminar
The Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (OCHCC) will be hosting a seminar on business wellness and employee health on Saturday, December 12, 2011 from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. The seminar will consist of tips and information about how to maintain the financial well-being of your business and the health of your employees. The event is free, however seating is limited so make sure to RSVP as soon as possible.
The location for the event is 505 East Central Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92707. To reserve your seat call the OCHCC at (714) 953-4289.
Multi-Chamber Holiday Mixer
On Tuesday, December 6, 2011 join the Santa Ana, Irvine, Stanton and Tustin Chambers of Commerce for a Holiday Mixer. The event will take place at the Tustin Banquet Center at 721 West First Street in Tustin from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for members and $15 for non-members and guests. For more information, please call Sherri Munsey (714) 544-5341 x104.
Santa Ana Chamber Holiday Open House
On Wednesday, December 14, 2011 the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a holiday open house at their office. Light refreshments will be served and the open house will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The office location is 2020 North Broadway, Ste. 2000, Santa Ana. For more information, please call (714) 541-5353.
Fountain Valley Chamber Holiday Luncheon
The Fountain Valley Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its annual Chamber Holiday Luncheon at the Mile Square Golf Course on Tuesday, December 13, 2011 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Reservations are required by December 12th. Tickets are $25 for members, $35 for non-members. The Mile Square Golf Course is located at 10401 Warner Ave. Fountain Valley. For more information, please call the Fountain Valley Chamber of Commerce at (714) 841-3822.
| JANET AROUND THE FIRST DISTRICT
Supervisor Janet Nguyen presents a certificate to the owners of Carolina's Restaurant in Garden Grove.
Supervisor Janet Nguyen presents a certificate to Ville Itala of Finland, Member of the European Parliament during his visit to Orange County.
At the Free Flu Vaccine Clinic sponsored by Supervisor Janet Nguyen and the Orange County Health Care Agency, nurses screen participants prior to receiving the flu shot.
| LOCAL ISSUES
* The following articles are for informational purposes only and are not necessarily intended to imply endorsement or support.
Traffic Ticket Amnesty
From January 1 to June 30, 2012, anyone with overdue traffic fines will be eligible to receive a fifty-percent discount from the Administrative Office of the Courts. The overdue traffic fines exclude DUI, reckless driving and parking violations, for tickets that were supposed to have been paid on or before January 1, 2009.
After January 1, 2012, contact the Superior Court in the county where the violation occurred. To find the appropriate court, visit www.courts.ca.gov/find-my-court.htm.
OC Parks Volunteer Opportunity
OC Parks welcomes individuals interested in the Adopt-A-Park Volunteer Program to sign up to help maintain and improve Orange County's Parks. Sign up as a one-time volunteer or general volunteer and get involved with a variety of events including planting, watering, and other restoration projects. To fill out a volunteer application go online to www.ocparks.com.
Water Pollution Prevention Hotline
Water pollution prevention is an important is, and it's the responsibility for us all to protect Orange County's water. To report a spill, call the Orange County 24-hour Water Pollution Prevention Hotline at 1-877-89-Spill.
Decreased Solar Panel Installation Fees
Photovoltaic solar permit fees for 131 kilowatt commercial rooftop systems have decreased in several cities within Orange County. Six Orange County cities currently have no fees for businesses wishing to install solar panels, including Santa Ana. The fees for businesses in Fountain Valley have decreased from $11,179 to $2,361, and in Garden Grove fees have decreased from $9,264 to $1,685. The City of Westminster is currently reviewing their fee amount, which sits at $6,735. For businesses in the unincorporated areas of Orange County, the permit fee is $16.
Disneyland Resort Scholarship Program
The Disneyland Resort Scholarship Program will award $50,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors in the Class of 2012. Students must meet several eligibility criteria, including residence in Orange County, completion of 100 hours of local community service between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011, a minimum 3.0 GPA between 9th grade and the first semester of 12th grade, and initiating a significant service project in their hometown or school community, among others.
The application deadline is January 31, 2012. For more comprehensive requirements and instructions, visit www.disnelyand.com/publicaffairs or call Disneyland Resort Community Relations at (714) 781-0856.
Fountain Pen Winter 2012 Recreation & Activity Guide Now Available
The City of Fountain Valley's Fountain Pen Winter 2012 Recreation Guide and Activity Guide is now available online on the City's website at www.fountainvalley.org. Activity, craft and sports league information is available for people of all ages. For more information, please call the Recreation Center and Sports Park at (714) 839-8611.
City Committee Applications Being Accepted
The City of Fountain Valley is currently accepting applications from individuals who are interested in serving on the Planning Commission, Community Foundation, Advisory Committee for the Disabled or the Housing and Community Development Advisory Board. Applications will be accepted until December 9, 2011 at 5 p.m. Interested candidates can either fill out an application at the City Clerk's Office at 10200 Slater Ave in Fountain Valley or complete an online application at www.fountainvalley.org. All of the boards and committees entail two year terms. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and residents of Fountain Valley.
Police Department Receives State Grant
The Fountain Valley Police Department recently received an $80,000 grant from the State Office of Traffic Safety. This grant will be used by the department to set up DUI/Driver's License checkpoints throughout the city. Additionally, two police officers will receive specialized training to help them better detect drivers who are operating vehicles under the influence of drugs. For more information about this grant and the allocation of funds, contact the Fountain Valley Police Department at (714) 593-4487.
Canned Food Drive
The Fountain Valley Community Foundation in conjunction with the Fountain Valley Classic Car & Truck Show Committee is holding a canned food drive to benefit Fountain Valley families this holiday season. The canned food drive is underway now and is going on through December 18, 2011.
Large, bright green donation boxes have been placed in many of the City's businesses. Residents can donate non-perishable food that will be distributed on December 18th to families who live within the Fountain Valley City limits. Boxes can be found at the following locations: Costco, Sam's Club, Grocery Outlet, Fountain Bowl, Albertson's, US Bank, Independence Bank, Stater Bros, Ralph's, David L. Baker Golf Course, Fountain Valley City Hall, Fountain Valley Senior Center, Fountain Valley Recreation Center, Fountain Valley Body Works and Body Works Express. For more information, call Pete Haak at (714) 943-4365.
Festival of the Arts Sponsorships
The Fountain Valley Educational Foundation is looking for sponsors for the upcoming Festival of the Arts. This month-long series of student vocal concerts, orchestral performances and art exhibits is scheduled for March 2012 and will raise funds for Fountain Valley School District's music and fine arts program. For more information, please call (714) 235-3523.
Umpires Needed for Little League Baseball
The Fountain Valley Little League is looking adults and youths, 13 and older, to umpire baseball games during the spring 2012 season. Baseball games are played on weekdays and Saturdays at Mile Square Park and can earn umpires $20 per game. For more information, email email@example.com.
Workshops for First-Time Homebuyers
The City of Garden Grove Community Development Department is offering free workshops for first-time homebuyers interested in purchasing a home in Garden Grove. These workshops introduce potential Garden Grove homeowners to qualifying for a mortgage, financial assistance programs and other basic steps to purchasing a home.
The next workshops are scheduled for December 10, 2011 and January 14, February 11, and March 10, 2012. Each workshop is divided into two sessions. Session A takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Session B is from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information and to sign up for a workshop, visit www.comehometogardengrove.org, or call the Community Development Department at (714) 741-5330.
Holiday Donation Drive
To get into the spirit of the Holiday Season, the Central Garden Grove Neighborhood Association is starting an Adopt-A-Family drive. Donated goods can be delivered to 12361 Meade Street, Garden Grove by December 15, 2011. For information, please call (714) 539-0791.
Spark of Love Toy Drive
Garden Grove firefighters join southland firefighters in asking local communities to help families in need during the holidays by donating new, unwrapped toys and sports equipment for the annual Spark of Love Toy Drive. This toy drive is sponsored by KABC-TV and other southland firefighters. Local donations will be distributed to underprivileged children in Garden Grove. The toy drive is currently underway and will be going on through December 24, 2011. Toys may be dropped off at all seven Garden Grove Fire Stations:
Station 1: 11301 Acacia Parkway
Station 2: 11805 Gilbert Street
Station 3: 12132 Trask Avenue
Station 4: 12191 Valley View Street
Station 5: 12751 Western Avenue
Station 6: 12111 Chapman Avenue
Station 7: 14162 Forsyth Lane
For more information, please call The Garden Grove Fire Department at (714) 741-5600.
The West Grove Girls Softball League is holding sing-ups for the spring season on Saturdays through January 4, 2012 for girls aged 5-14. The spring season runs from February through May. Participants may register in person or online at www.westgrovesoftball.com. Sign-ups will be held at Enders Elementary School at 12302 Springdale Street in Garden Grove. The last three registration sessions are on December 10th, December 17th and January 4th.
The cost for the season is $135 for the 6U division, and $175 for the 8U, 10U, 12U and 14U divisions, and includes a uniform, pictures and a trophy.
Former Orange County Judge Recognized as Local Hero
Retired Orange County Superior Court Judge Jack Mandel recently received one of Bank of America's "Local Hero" awards for 2011. Judge Mandel is one of the founders of the Nicholas Academic Center (NAC). The center was set up to provide after school tutoring and mentoring to Students in the Santa Ana Unified School District. He is one of 5 local heroes recognized in November. On top of this, Judge Mandel donated the $5,000 check he received to the NAC for students to buy clothes and furnish their dormitories.
Volunteers Sought for Old Orange County Courthouse Exhibit
The Museum of Teaching and Learning is currently looking for volunteers. Docents are needed to interact with visitors at the Old Orange County for the exhibit, "A Class Action: The Grassroots Struggle for School Desegregation in California." They are requesting a commitment of two to five hours for one day a week.
All volunteers will receive training on the history of the exhibit and successfully engage visitors. The exhibit will run through June 2012. For more information, please contact Carolina Zatary at (909) 287-9509 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Westminster Winter 2012 Newsletter & Recreation Guide Now Available
The City of Westminster's Winter 2012 Newsletter and Recreation Guide is now available online on the City's website at www.westminster-ca.gov. The brochure highlights information on youth sports, recreation classes, family resources center, special events and senior center programs. For more information, please call the Community Services Department at (714) 741-5200.
Do you have a spectacular holiday themed house? The City of Westminster is seeking submissions from residents of a photo and address of their decorated home fronts.
Robin Hood at the Rose Theatre
The Rose Center Theater Professional Series is proud to present the musical, Robin Hood and the White Arrow, which runs through December 11, 2011. Robin Hood and the White Arrow is an exciting musical drama based on the mythic Robin Hood legends. The energetic, humorous and romance render this a rousing musical adaptation of one of the greatest love stories of all time.
Location: The Rose Center Theater at the Westminster Rose Center, 14140 All American Way, Westminster.
For show times, ticket prices, and other information, visit www.rosecentertheater.com or call the Rose Center Box Office at (714) 793-1150 x 1. The Box Office is open Tuesday through Friday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and one hour prior to performance times.
Applications for the 2012 Tet Parade
The City of Westminster is now accepting applications from individuals and organizations who want to participate in the 2012 Tet Parade. The upcoming parade will take place on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. along Bolsa Avenue between Magnolia and Bushard streets in Little Saigon. For more information, please contact (714) 895-2860.
| REQUESTS FOR PROPOSALS
County of Orange
There are currently many new bids to contract with the County of Orange.
For more information, please click here.
| Community Events
City of Fountain Valley
January 7, 2012 - Zumba Classes
When you combine Latin and International music with high energy moves and dance, you get Zumba. These classes focus on maximizing fat burning and body toning. The age requirement for the class is 13+, have a $36 or $41 fee, and last 5 weeks. The first class in the season begins Saturday, January 7th and runs from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
For more information, please call the Recreation Center and Sports Park at (714) 839-8611.
January 13, 2012 - Get Ready for Preschool
Get your child ready for the classroom in one of two programs beginning Friday, January 13th. The five-week programs are designed to teach children to build self-confidence and work in a group setting. Creative arts, literature, math, science and language arts are all subjects that will be explored during your child's time in the program.
Both sessions meet every Friday between January 13, 2012 and February 10, 2012. The first session is for ages 2 ½ to 4 and runs from 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. The second session is for ages 2 to 3 and runs from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Fees are $49 for each session with a $20 material cost. Adult attendance is required. For more information, please contact Gina Latora at email@example.com.
January 21, 2012 - Free Electronic Recycling Event
On Saturday, January 21st from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Fountain Valley Recreation and Community Services Division will be hosting a free electronic recycling event. Bring your old and unused electronics for appropriate disposal to the sports park.
Location: Fountain Valley Sports Park, 16400 Brookhurst Street, Fountain Valley.
City of Garden Grove
December 6, 2011 - Tree Lighting
The City of Garden Grove will hold its 5th Annual tree lighting ceremony on Tuesday, December 6th at 6:30 p.m. under the clock tower in the Village Green. This year's event will feature live entertainment, holiday refreshments and Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Location: Clock Tower in the Village Green at the corners of Main and Euclid Streets, Garden Grove.
For more information, please call (714) 741-5280.
December 10, 2011 - Workshop for First-Time Homebuyers
On Saturday, December 10th, the City of Garden Grove Community Development Department is offering a free workshop for first-time homebuyers interested in purchasing a home in Garden Grove. These workshops introduce potential Garden Grove homeowners to basic steps in purchasing a home. The workshop is divided into two sessions. Session A takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Session B is from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Garden Grove Courtyard Center in the Village Green, 12732 Main Street, Garden Grove.
For more information and to sign up for a workshop, visit www.comehometogardengrove.org, or call the Community Development Department at (714) 741-5330.
December 17, 2011 - A Shakespearean Christmas
Shakespeare Orange County presents "A Midwinter Night's Dream" in a joyous, poetic, humorous and touching taste of Yuletide Cheer! This warm and evocative remembrance of years past will include songs and poetry, notions and stories of a simpler time. Enjoy such stuff as dreams are made on through the eyes of Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Clement C. Moore, Robert Frost, E.E. Cummings, Ogden Nash - along with traditional carols and personal remembrances. The performance begins at 8 p.m. Following the show join in for a variety of desserts and complimentary champagne, hot cider and other treats so that your family can toast the holiday together.
For more information and tickets, please call the box office at (714) 590-1575.
City of Santa Ana
December 7, 2011 - I Bike Santa Ana
Bring your bike and helmet and join the community of Santa Ana for a stress-free ride around downtown. Meet in front of Calacas at 6 p.m. and plan to depart for the ride at 6:30 p.m. I Bike Santa Ana meets the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month.
Location: 324 W. 4th Street at 4th and Birch, Santa Ana.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 10, 2011 - Noches de Posada
The 2nd Annual Noches de Posada in Santa Ana will take place in December on the 3rd and the 10th. This year's event boasts piñatas, papel picado, tamales, music and much more. On Saturday, December 10th, the procession will start at 4th and Spurgeon at 6 p.m.
For more information, please call (714) 547-6100.
December 16, 2011 - Christmas Show
An evening of children and adult choirs singing Christmas songs, piano performances, raffles and sing-a-longs will take place at the Ebell Club on Friday, December 16th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Location: Ebell Club, 625 French Street, Santa Ana.
For more information, please call (714) 800-9456.
City of Westminster
December 5, 2011 - Tree Lighting
The City of Westminster will hold its annual tree lighting ceremony on Monday, December 5th at 6 p.m. in the Civic Center Sunken Gardens. Bring your family to watch Westminster Mayor Margie Rice and Santa light the Christmas Tree, sing your favorite Christmas caroling and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies!
Location: Civic Center Sunken Gardens, 8200 Westminster Blvd., Westminster.
For more information, please call (714) 895-2860.
January 2, 2012 - Rose Parade Excursion
The 123rd Rose Parade is just around the corner, and the City of Westminster is organizing an excursion to Pasadena on Monday, January 2nd from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost of the event is $85 per person, and includes transportation and reserved grandstand seating. Space is limited, so call today for reservations.
For more information, please call the Community Services Department at (714) 895-2860.
January 9, 2012 - Basketball Skills Camp
The Basketball Skills Camp will introduce boys and girls to basketball and emphasize basic fundamentals. Children ages 8 to 12 of all skill levels and abilities are welcome. The camp runs Monday through Friday, January 9th through the 20th from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The fee is $25.
Location: Sigler Park, 7200 Plaza Street, Westminster.
For more information, please call the Community Services Department at (714) 741-5200.
To contact Supervisor Janet Nguyen, please call 714-834-3110 or email Janet.Nguyen@ocgov.com.