Header Image of Supervisor Janet Nguyen
December 3, 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










8. IN CASE YOU MISSED IT – Op-Eds written by me and published in the Orange County Register






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Volume 7 Issue 6
Janet's Journal

With Thanksgiving behind us and the holiday season ahead of us, December is shaping up to be an exciting month. Neighborhood lights and decorations are on full display and cheer is in the air. To help get into the holiday spirit, there are many opportunities to give back to the community. Many local businesses, non-profits and charitable organizations sponsor food or toy drives for families in need. I encourage you to pass along holiday joy by getting involved in one of these great opportunities. You can also join me at the various Tree Lighting Ceremonies around the district.

And as always, I am proud to bring you the news from around the First District!


Residents Kick-Off Santa Ana’s Wellness Corridor

On November 16th, I had the opportunity to walk with residents, community leaders, and businesses to help celebrate the kick-off of Santa Ana’s new Wellness Corridor. Festivities began at Latino Health Access (LHA) with a 1.5 mile walk and a 9.2 mile bike ride followed by a resource fair, complete with community arts and 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. I am proud to not only be involved as a committee member but to also see the project come to fruition.

Archery Range has Grand Reopening at Mile Square Park

One of my commitments to the residents of the First District is to seek and find recreational and open park space opportunities. With this in mind, I was proud to join hundreds of residents on November 23rd for the Grand Reopening of Mile Square Park’s Archery Range in Fountain Valley. I was very excited to see this project open after over three years of planning with my office and OC Parks. On hand for the inaugural demonstration were 10 expert archers, including the 1984 Olympic gold medalist, Seo Hyang-Soon. After the demonstrations, youth groups and local archery clubs were given the opportunity to test their skills on the range.

The newly renovated 6.7-acre facility includes 24 shooting stations, a shaded awning and a 20-foot safety berm behind the targets. The range is now qualified to host national tournaments and Olympic qualifying competitions. The Archery range is free and open to the public. For more information please visit OC Parks website.

Affordable Care Act Workshop: Navigating the New Healthcare System

On Friday, December 6th, I will co-host an Affordable Care Act (ACA) Workshop with Latino Health Access (LHA), the Orange County Health Care Agency, the Social Services Agency, and CalOptima. Our panel will address how the new laws will impact MediCal and MSI, and how to navigate the new healthcare exchanges.

The workshop will be held in both English and Spanish at Latino Health Access, 450 West 4th Street, Santa Ana CA 92701, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. For more information please call (714) 834-3110.

Heating Bills Set to Increase this Winter

Residents in Garden Grove are receiving notifications from the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas®) that their heating bills this winter will be slightly higher than the year before. With this in mind it is important to find ways we can conserve energy at home and reduce our utility bills. Some useful tips include:
  • Lowering your thermostat and wearing socks and a sweater indoors. Lowering the thermostat by just one degree can reduce energy use by 3 percent.
  • Installing foam insulation gaskets behind electric outlets and switch plate covers.
  • Sealing exposed ductwork, this can help your heating system run more efficiently.
  • Replacing any broken window panes and repairing any large holes in the attic, crawlspaces or basements.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s website provides a more detailed list of methods residents can use to effectively conserve energy this winter and save on heating bills.


Orange County Superior Court Seeks Grand Jury Applicants

Orange County residents who want to make a difference in their community are encouraged to submit an application to serve on the 2014-2015 Orange County Grand Jury. The application deadline is January 24, 2014.

The 19 members of the Grand Jury are empowered to perform civil oversight of local government by reviewing and evaluating county and city agencies, schools, and special districts within Orange County. They attend tours and briefings to increase their knowledge of the workings of County agencies to help them assess potential problems. The Grand Jury also considers evidence for possible indictment of individuals.

For applications and more information, please call (714) 834-6747 or click here.


Request for Proposals: Community-Based Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Services

The Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) is seeking proposals from qualified organizations to provide Community-Based Alcohol Services and Other Drug Prevention Services in Orange County. The requested services are intended to assist HCA reduce prescription drug abuse, underage drinking and alcohol and drug impaired driving collisions.

In order to be considered, organizations must submit their proposals no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, December 13th. For more information on qualifications and for the location you can submit your bid, please click here.

OC Well Standards Advisory Board Seeks Candidate to Fill Vacancy on their Board

The Orange County Well Standards Advisory Board is looking for a candidate to fill a vacancy on their Board. The Board is technical in nature and convenes to hear and consider appeals from people subject to well permitting actions by HCA Environmental Health. Members of the board convene on an “as needed” basis, historically less than once per year.

To be eligible for the position, candidates must be qualified in the field of water quality. For more information please call (714) 433-6015.


OCTA Environmental Program Honored for Sustainability

The Orange County Transportation Authority was recently honored with an award for preserving the county’s natural resources during the 3rd annual Orange County Business Council Turning Red Tape Into Red Carpet Awards.

The awards program recognizes Orange County public agencies that are cutting through bureaucratic red tape and opening the door for businesses to grow and succeed. OCTA won the award for Sustainable and Green Development – an award that recognizes programs that simultaneously target and create relationships between economic development and sustainability.

Congratulations OCTA!

New Jingle Pass Promotion Offers Discounts on 30-Day Passes

This year, OCTA is offering riders the opportunity to buy a 30-day bus pass for less.

The Jingle Pass Sales Event runs from November 15 to November 30. Buyers have 15 days to save 15 percent on adult, youth, and senior passes. Sales require a coupon, which is readily available at octa.net and on flyers. The passes are available only at the OCTA store and by mail.

This season, OCTA is encouraging new and less frequent riders to buy 30-day passes year-round once they learn how easy and convenient it can be.

Click here to learn more.


Study Shows Mexico Air Has Positive Economic Impacts

John Wayne Airport announced the results of an economic impact study of air service from Mexico to Orange County. The study, conducted for JWA by InterVISTAS Consulting LLC, found that the total economic output in the region generated by JWA's Mexico air service is $131 million. This study shows the significant value air service from Mexico brings our economy.

The combined economic impact of the Mexico air service to Orange County and the region, including the total impact of airport related operations and the direct impact of visitor spending, is summarized below:
  • Employment (Full-Time Equivalents): 990.
  • Earnings: $39 million. This includes wages, salaries and benefits associated with employment tied to the Airport.
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP): $73 million. This is a measure of the dollar value of final goods and services produced as a result of economic activity.
  • Economic Output (Spending Impacts): $131 million. The dollar value of the industrial output produced; this reflects spending by firms, organizations and individuals.
In just one year, the AirTran and Interjet flights from Mexico have generated amazing results and underscored the critical role that John Wayne Airport plays in fueling Orange County's economic engine.


Holiday Hours

For the Holiday season, the OC Public Libraries will slightly modify the hours they are open to the public. Please take note of the changes below:
  • Tuesday, December 24th – Libraries will close at 5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 25th – Christmas – All Libraries Closed
  • Tuesday, December 31st – Libraries will close at 5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 1st – New Year – All Libraries Closed

Supervisor Janet Nguyen presents a resolution to the Military Order of the Purple Heart, designating Orange County a “Purple Heart County” and declaring November “Purple Heart Month.”

Supervisor Nguyen cuts the ribbon at the Grand Reopening of Mile Square Park’s newly renovated Archery Range in Fountain Valley.

Youth groups and archery clubs line up to test their skills at the Grand Reopening of Mile Square Park’s Archery Range.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT – Op-Eds written by me and published in the Orange County Register:
As seen in the Orange County Register

Making O.C. Bus Routes Faster, More Reliable

Bus riders often complain about bus-timeliness and efficiency, especially along heavily traveled bus routes. The solution to these problems may be simple: fewer stops

In June 2013, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) launched Bravo! a bus service pilot program that only stops at major transfer points and destinations. The pilot route, Bravo! Route 543, travels down Harbor Boulevard from the Fullerton Transportation Center to MacArthur Boulevard. This route is one of OCTA’s busiest, serving an average of 13,000 riders per day.

To minimize the delay caused by passengers hopping on and off the bus, Bravo! Route 543 only makes 16 stops, instead of the 52 stops made by the existing Route 43; both routes cover the same 12-mile distance. A ride on Route 543 from start to finish takes an average of 20% less time compared to Route 43. For passengers traveling longer distances, this alternative route gets them to their destination in a timelier manner.

Bravo!, which uses orange and blue buses branded with its name, only operates on weekdays and also encourages the use of prepaid bus passes instead of cash to further expedite the trip. Given the overall success of this program, OCTA is now seeking to add additional Bravo! routes.

With 40% of OCTA’s ridership residing in the First District, I understand the need for faster, more reliable public transportation that can be trusted. As a member of the OCTA Board of Directors and Chair of the Transit Committee, I am fully supportive of the Bravo! pilot program and am currently advocating for the inclusion of another route here in the First District, along Westminster Boulevard/17th Street.

Since Orange County’s unique landscape does not allow for a mass countywide transit system, we must use innovative solutions to address transportation challenges and to attract new riders. The Bravo Route is just one of the many solutions that we can utilize to enhance the quality of our bus system, especially in the First District which is home to some of the most overcrowded bus routes.

Long routes with fewer stops may be a key solution to solving reliability issues countywide and could attract a demographic of new riders that currently do not see buses as practical means of transportation.

As we work to further improve our transportation services, Bravo! routes should be replicated along other heavily traveled routes in Orange County.

O.C. Designated a Purple Heart County

This past Veterans Day, I was proud to announce the designation of the County of Orange as a “Purple Heart County.”

This designation, approved by a resolution of the Orange County Board of Supervisors at its Nov. 5 meeting, is intended to pay tribute to Orange County's Purple Heart Medal recipients and raises awareness of the heroic efforts of the unknown heroes living here in the county.

In 1782, future President George Washington established the Purple Heart Medal as a Badge of Military Merit to be awarded to any soldier who performed a singularly meritorious action.

Today, the Purple Heart recognizes American soldiers wounded or killed in the line of duty. Orange County is home to more than 400 living recipients of this honor.

The selfless display of bravery exhibited by Purple Heart recipients is deserving of the utmost admiration of our community and is the motivation behind this county designation.

With it, Orange County becomes the sixth county in California to be designated a Purple Heart County, following Shasta, Colusa, Kern, Riverside and Ventura counties.

As a member of a military family, whose father was a member of the Vietnamese military and whose brother is a former U.S. Marine, I am privileged to have worked alongside Chapter 252 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart to author the resolution that led to this designation.

I am also thankful to my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors for their support in honoring Orange County's rich military history.

Our county is full of admirable heroes both living and deceased, including more than 500 Civil War veterans buried in the Santa Ana and Fairhaven cemeteries.

As residents of this county, I invite all of you to join me in my effort to honor all veterans, the more than 400 Purple Heart recipients and the more than 120,000 veterans living in Orange County.

All veterans have made great sacrifices for us, having left jobs, educational opportunities and loved ones to risk injury or death to secure the freedom of our nation.

Veterans Day presents an opportunity for us to exemplify our designation as a Purple Heart County by thanking all heroes past, present and future, who have made the United States of America, California and the County of Orange a better and safer place for us to live and enjoy.

* The following articles are for informational purposes only and are not necessarily intended to imply endorsement or support.


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


Local News

Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony
On Saturday, December 7th from 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Fountain Valley will host its annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Fountain Valley Recreation Center and Sports Park, 16400 Brookhurst Street. The festivities will include pictures with Santa, games, crafts, and much more. Food will be available for purchase to support local youth organizations. Pictures with Santa will be from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

For addition information please visit Fountain Valley's website or call (714) 839-8611.

Holiday Canned Food Drive
The Fountain Valley Classic Car and Truck Show Committee, under the umbrella of the Fountain Valley Community Foundation, is hosting its annual food drive to help families in need for the holidays. The food drive will last through the entire month of December.

The committee is collecting non-perishable food items and school supplies that will be distributed to individuals and families who live or attend schools in the community. To find the locations you can make your donation, please visit the program’s flyer here.


Local News

Garden Grove to Hold Annual Winterfest Celebration
The Garden Grove Community Services Department will present its annual Winterfest celebration, which includes 50 tons of snow for sledding and play. The frost-filled event will take place at Atlantis Play Center on Saturday, December 7, 2013 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The Center is located at 13630 Atlantis Way, behind Garden Grove Park.

The holiday festivities will also include crafts, carnival games, a train ride, music and more. Pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available from 4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Guests who bring a new, unopened toy for the Garden Grove Fire Department Association’s Spark of Love Toy Drive will receive a free raffle ticket.

Admission to the family-friendly event is $10 per person while children ages two and under are free. Children must be accompanied by an adult to enter. Food will be available for purchase.

Pre-sale tickets will be available November 18 through December 6. To purchase tickets, visit the Recreation counter, located on the first floor of Garden Grove City Hall, at 11222 Acacia Parkway, or call (714) 741-5200.

Spark of Love Toy Drive
Garden Grove firefighters are again coming to the aid of disadvantaged children in the community through the annual Spark of Love Toy Drive. The campaign will run from Monday, December 2, 2013 through Tuesday, December 31, 2013.

The Spark of Love Toy Drive is sponsored by ABC7. Garden Grove firefighters are joining Southern California firefighters from Orange, Riverside, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Ventura Counties and asking local communities to help families in need during the holiday season by donating new, unwrapped toys or sports equipment.

For more information about the Spark of Love Toy Drive, please call the Garden Grove Fire Department at (714) 741-5600. You can also visit Garden Grove's website for the locations you can drop off your donations.


Local News

Santa Corner
Santa Claus will make a special appearance at Santa Ana Public Library on Saturday, December 14th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Children will have the opportunity to take a picture with Santa, make Christmas cards, listen to Christmas carols, and win a Gingerbread House.

The Santa Ana Public Library is located at 26 Civic Center Plaza, Santa Ana, CA 92701.


Local News

Write a Letter to Santa
Children are invited to write a letter to Santa, and receive a personally answered response. Each year, more than 500 letters are received and answered. Send your letter by December 16, 2013 to:

c/o Westminster Community Services & Recreation Department
8200 Westminster Blvd., Westminster, CA 92683

Be sure to include a return address!

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