Header Image of Supervisor Janet Nguyen
November 8, 2013

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Welcome to this issue of Janet’s Journal, a First District Report designed to keep you updated on issues and events concerning our communities in Orange County especially in the First District.

I am proud and honored to represent over 600,000 people within the First District covering the Cities of Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Westminster, a portion of Fountain Valley and the unincorporated community of Midway City.

I hope you will find this journal informative. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Supervisor Janet Nguyen



















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Volume 7 Issue 5
Janet's Journal

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s that time of year for everyone to give thanks for the blessings in our lives. Please make the most of your Thanksgiving Holiday by reaching out to your family, friends, and neighbors. If you have the time and means, you can also help your community by volunteering at a soup kitchen or donating food and clothing to a local charity.

And as always, I am proud to present the latest news from around the First District.


Walk for a Healthy Santa Ana

Join me on Saturday, November 16th as I walk with community residents, leaders and businesses to celebrate and kick-off Santa Ana’s new Wellness Corridor. The festivities will begin at 9:00 a.m. at Latino Health Access (LHA) located at 450 W. 4th St., Santa Ana, CA 92701 with a 1.5 mile walk and a 9.2 mile bike ride followed by a resource fair, complete with community arts & craft vendors, as well as live entertainment for the entire family.

The Wellness Corridor is a three-year LHA initiative aimed at promoting an active and healthier lifestyle by making use of non-traditional open space to create urban fitness walking and biking routes with supporting amenities and exercise stations. As a member of the Wellness Corridor’s steering committee, I am excited to see the project come to fruition.

The Wellness Corridor kick-off event is free and open to the public. Our goal is to encourage 1000 people to join us in our walk and bike ride. Participants should pre-register on-line at www.wellness-corridor.eventbrite.com or in person at Latino Health Access.

Affordable Care Act Workshop: Navigating the New Healthcare System

Through the month of November, I hosted a series of workshops to help answer questions surrounding the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Representatives from the Orange County Health Care Agency, the Social Services Agency, CalOptima were present to help address many areas of interest, including: how the new laws will impact MediCal and MSI coverage, how to navigate the new healthcare exchanges, and answer any other questions the attendees had.

I want to thank the hundreds of residents who attended to learn about the ACA and all of the agencies that participated.

First District Hosts Flu Vaccine Clinic

On Friday, October 11th, I co-hosted, along with the OC Healthcare Agency, our annual Flu Vaccination Clinic at the County Community Services Center in Westminster. By the day’s end, over 1,000 residents had received their free flu shots.

During the six-hour long event, Public Health Nurses administered flu shots and flu nasal spray at no cost to attendees. Administering flu vaccines is critical in maintaining a healthier population and minimizing the number of avoidable flu-related hospitalizations, which in turn cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.

For more information on taking precautionary measures to avoid the flu this season you can visit the Center for Disease Control's website or Orange County's Public Health website.


State Child Support Services Releases New Mobile App

The California State Child Support Services Agency has just released a new mobile application (app) called CAChildSup for Apple and Android smartphones. The app provides a range of services for individuals who need to access their child support account on the go. The app is available for free through the Apple App StoreSM and the Google Play™ Store. For more information, please visit the Child Support Services website here.


Report Draws Attention to Issues Impacting Children in Orange County

In an ongoing effort to paint a comprehensive picture of the condition of children in Orange County, the Board of Supervisors has approved the release of the Orange County Children’s Partnership’s (OCCP) 19th Annual Report on the Conditions of Children. As the Chair of the OCCP, I am proud of the work being done by the committee. For 31 years, the OCCP has provided a unified voice that champions health, education, safety, and economic stability by advancing more responsive services for children and families in Orange County. This year, the special section of the report highlights the impact of military deployment on children and other key issues that military families experience.

In order to engage the community, on Wednesday, November 13th, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., I will co-host the first of five community forums to discuss the report’s findings. Joining the discussion will be the report’s co-sponsors: The Children and Families Commission of Orange County, Cal State Fullerton, Orangewood Children’s Foundation, and Orange County United Way.

Copies of the report will be available for free at the event, or you can download a digital copy at the Orange County Healthcare Agency's website. The Forum will be held at the Delhi Center, 505 East Central Avenue, Santa Ana 92707. Space is limited to the first 150 people, please register here to attend.


Airport Launches Redesigned Website

John Wayne Airport (JWA) is pleased to announce the launch of its redesigned website, www.ocair.com, offering essential information for travelers and visitors to the site.

The new website features a more intuitive navigation framework, real-time flight tracking, a new "Visit Orange County" section and improved graphics and maps. Also added is a new dropdown menu of the County's website (www.ocgov.com) and a link to the County's emergency preparedness site, "ReadyOC."

JWA's website receives an average of 100,000 visitors per month and is one of the most important tools JWA has to provide information to its customers and those interested in the Airport. The new website is designed to be more informative and user-friendly than ever before.


Request for Proposals for Perinatal Outreach and Education Services

The County of Orange Health Care Agency (HCA) is seeking proposals from qualified organizations to provide Perinatal Outreach and Education Services to low-income pregnant and postpartum women in Orange County.

If your organization is interested and capable of providing the requested services by contract with the County, please carefully review the Request for Proposals (RFP) and submit your proposal as directed in the "Proposal Preparation Instructions."

Bidders submitting a proposal must electronically upload their proposal in PDF format, via BidSync. The deadline for bids to be submitted is November 27, 2013. For more information please visit the County’s website here.


Coyote Safety

Many residents in the First District have expressed concerns about coyote sightings and the consequences of predator animals in their neighborhoods. Tragically, several residents have lost their pets to these skilled hunters because they were not aware of recent coyote activity in the area.

OC Animal Care has released the following tips to help educate residents on the threats posed by coyotes:
  • Fence off animal enclosures (fully enclose if possible).
  • Keep cats and small dogs indoors or in the close presence of an adult.
  • Feed pets indoors.
  • Store trash in covered heavy-duty containers.
  • Keep yards free from potential shelter such as thick brush and weeds.
  • Enclose the bottoms of porches and decks.
  • Eliminate potential food and water sources, such as fallen fruit and standing water.
Practicing these defensive measures will minimize the nuisance and losses caused by urban coyotes. For more information you can visit the OC Animal Care website or you can call (714) 935-6848.


County of Orange Receives $400,000 to Assist Veterans

The Board recently authorized OC Community Resources to receive funds up to $400,000 from the State of California Employment Development Department (EDD) for Veterans’ Employment-Related Assistance Program (VEAP). The three year grant will provide Veterans with employment tools to transition from military life into high-wage jobs and civilian careers.

Veterans will receive education and work readiness training, job placement assistance, mental health and behavioral services, and referrals for housing, transportation, medical care and substance abuse services. The programs will also prepare Veterans for careers in a variety of industries, including professional, scientific, and technical services.

Assistance is available through the County’s Workforce One-Stop system. For more information you can visit the Orange County Workforce Investment Board’s (OCWIB) website here.


Don’t Forget to Change Smoke Alarm Batteries

The Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) wants to remind residents to check your smoke alarms once every six months. Nationally, approximately 75% of failed smoke alarms are due to missing or dead batteries.

Please join the OCFA in efforts to reduce the risk! For more information on the OCFA’s “Install, Inspect, Protect” campaign please visit OCFA's website.


New OCTA Webpage Features Downloadable Transit Apps

When will the next bus arrive? How can I make my way across town? For those contemplating a ride on transit provided by the Orange County Transit Authority (OCTA), answers to questions like these and others are readily available thanks to a new feature on the OCTA website.

The OCTA App Center, an interactive webpage showcasing mobile and web apps packed with OCTA information, makes it easier than ever for new and existing customers to determine schedules and plan trips. Currently displaying 15 free and paid apps for both Android and Apple iPhone, the resource is an easy and convenient way to make OCTA transit a part of everyday life. For more information on OCTA’s App Center, please visit their website here.

Shape the Future of Transportation

OCTA is preparing for the future with its Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), a roadmap to transportation improvements between now and 2035.

Orange County faces some challenges in the coming years, such as increased traffic congestion, limited funding for improvements, and restricted rights of way to widen highways, streets and roads. By 2035, the population of Orange County is expected to grow by 13 percent while jobs are projected to increase by 19 percent. This growth could result in a substantial increase in traffic delays if improvements are not made to the transportation system.

To address these issues, OCTA is asking the public for their feedback on transportation improvements such as signal synchronization, active transportation, managed lanes, high capacity transit, express transit, technology, and other solutions.

Using the LRTP, OCTA is designing ways to deliver on voter-approved commitments, improve system performance and efficiency, expand transportation choices, and support fiscal and environmental sustainability initiatives.

Until December 15th, residents have the opportunity to provide input on the future of mobility for Orange County by watching a video and completing a brief survey on OCTA's website. The input will help shape the LRTP and the future of Orange County transportation.

With Metrolink, Ducks Fans Can Skate Past Traffic

Fall begins hockey season and Ducks fans are migrating to the Honda Center in Anaheim to watch their team battle it out. Many Ducks fans would like nothing better than to support their team at a weeknight home game, but the thought of traffic and parking hassles could be keeping them at home.

With Metrolink, fans can skate past traffic to all weekday home games that start at 7:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Hockey fans can take a convenient Metrolink train to the Anaheim Station. From there, the OCTA Ducks Express (Route 15) bus connection to the Honda Center is provided by Anaheim Resort Transportation (ART). For Metrolink riders, ART Route 15 offers a free and easy connection to Honda Center.

In order to view the Metrolink schedules, you can visit OCTA’s website here.


Supervisor Nguyen watches as residents receive information prior to receiving their flu shots at the Annual Flu Vaccination Clinic.

Supervisor Janet Nguyen answers questions from the public at the Westminster Affordable Care Act Town Hall on September 29, 2013.

With Commander Tom Osseck, Supervisor Nguyen congratulates cadets at Santa Ana High School’s annual NJROTC Annual Pass-In-Review Ceremony on September 24, 2013.

Supervisor Janet Nguyen meets with soccer players at the grand opening ceremony of the Santa Ana College Soccer Field on September 20, 2013.

Supervisor Janet Nguyen speaking at the groundbreaking of Fountain Valley School District and Chevron’s solar and energy program at Talbert Middle School. The program is expected to save the school district $6.8 million over the life of the project.


County of Orange
There are currently many new bids to contract with the County of Orange. For more information, please click here.


OneCare Receives High Marks

I am pleased to report CalOptima’s OneCare senior program performance in the Medicare Star Quality Rating System. The Medicare Star Quality Rating System rates all health and prescription drug plans each year, based on a plan's quality and performance, helping members compare individual plans.

For 2014 OneCare, CalOptima’s Healthy Advantage plan, earned 3.5 stars and OneCare’s pharmacy program garnered four stars out of five, making it one of the top health plans in the County. These ratings reflect OneCare’s commitment to its members and an adherence to a “Better. Together.” philosophy among CalOptima staff and outside health network partners in Orange County. Congratulations and keep up the great work!


Local News

Volunteers Needed for Senior Meals Program
Senior Meals and Services, Inc., providers of home-delivered meals to seniors in Garden Grove as well as surrounding communities, is in critical need of volunteer drivers and friendly visitors.

Volunteer drivers will deliver meals to homebound seniors Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Friendly visitors can donate as little as one hour a week to visit seniors in their home. Senior Meals and Services, Inc. has been providing meals and social support services to people age 60 and over since 1976. Both programs are nearly 90 percent staffed by volunteers.

To sign up as a driver or a friendly visitor, please call (714) 891-0804, or for more information, please click here.


Local News

Drop-In Family Art Inventions
Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10am-4pm, the culturally and artistically enriching Kidseum’s Art Lab provides a hands-on experience for children ages 4 and up by creating innovative and unique art projects. Discover arts and crafts from around the world, with new techniques and materials each weekend. Parents and/or grandparents welcome! Admission is free to museum members and $6 for children and adults. Children under the age of 2 are free.

This event is located at Bowers Kidseum, 1802 N. Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706. For more information you can call (714) 480-1520.

Heritage Museum of Orange County – Free Admission to Santa Ana Residents
The Heritage Museum of Orange County is proud to offer free admission to Santa Ana residents on the first Sunday of every month. The museum is a cultural and natural history center located on approximately 11 acres surrounding the beautiful Kellogg House, built in 1898. The grounds include a historic plaza complete with numerous structures from the 1890s. For more information you can visit the museum’s website here.


Local News

On Wednesday, November 20th, the City of Westminster will hold its Annual Thanksgiving Celebration. The celebration is part of the City’s ongoing Senior Spotlight. Festivities will kick off at 11:00 a.m., with entertainment provided by Tony Odell Rogers.

The event is located at the Westminster Senior Center, 8200 Westminster Blvd., Westminster, CA 92683. A $4 donation is requested. For more information you can call the Westminster Senior Center at (714) 895-2878.

As seen in the Orange County Register

Feds OK Making O.C. Collateral Damage

The federal Labor Department is withholding $114 million in grants designated for the Orange County Transportation Authority's capital programs, operations and purchasing. The delay stems from questions that have been raised by the federal government regarding Gov. Jerry Brown's pension-reform law, which they claim may violate collective bargaining rights of union workers.

This is not the first time the federal government has allowed union influence to stand in the way of attempts to reign in the huge pension obligations that government agencies have accrued.

Since 2010, my colleagues on the Orange County Board of Supervisors and I have worked tirelessly to make serious reforms to Orange County's pension problem. We've made notable headway but the federal government continues to stand in the way of the significant changes necessary for chipping away at our growing unfunded liability.

With the support of our local unions, we created a “hybrid” plan that allows new employees to voluntarily elect coverage under a lower cost plan which was passed by the state Legislature. While this hybrid plan has saved taxpayers approximately $1,045,800 since its implementation, we sought to go even further by allowing current employees to opt down into this lower cost plan. By allowing current employees to opt down, the county can save an additional $8,389,000 million per year according to our budget projections that assume 50 percent of the county's workforce opts down. Unfortunately, the federal government questioned the impact it would have on union workers despite the fact that our very own union supports it.

In the past three years, former Supervisor Bill Campbell and I have traveled to Washington, D.C., multiple times to lobby the federal government to issue an official guidance on the component of our hybrid plan that allows current employees to opt down. All efforts have thus far proven futile.

The questions surrounding Brown's pension-reform law have resulted in $114 million in federal withholdings to transportation, a collateral damage that OCTA can't afford to withstand.

Without these federal dollars, OCTA has already had to postpone the planned replacement of nearly 200 buses. If the freeze continues, OCTA will be forced to consider reductions in employee salaries and even layoffs, as well as cutting services to riders. Since 40 percent of OCTA's bus ridership comes from the First Supervisorial District that I represent, a reduction in services has the greatest impact on my constituents.

The federal government needs to be careful when choosing to put its unions above all else, because they may end up hurting the very people they're trying to protect in the first place.

To contact Supervisor Janet Nguyen, please call 714-834-3110 or email Janet.Nguyen@ocgov.com.