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February 13, 2014

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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











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




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Volume 8 Issue 2
Janet's Journal

The past couple of weeks have seen a flurry of activity around the First District with the arrival of the 2014 Lunar New Year, known in the Vietnamese community as Tet. I was proud to take part in the Lunar New Year festivities that took place throughout the County especially in the First District.

On Saturday, February 15th, I will co-host the Grand Reopening of the Haster Basin Pump Station and Recreational Park along with OC Parks and Public Works. The event will highlight the completion of the redesigned Haster Basin, Recreation Park and Pump Station, a hybrid of flood protection, parks and recreational space. Festivities will start at 10:00 a.m. and include a ribbon cutting, photo exhibit, and youth soccer on the new recreation field.

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


First District Hosts Flu Vaccine Clinic

On Friday, February 7th, I co-hosted, along with the OC Healthcare Agency, our seasonal Flu Vaccination Clinic at the County Community Services Center in Westminster. By the day’s end, almost 300 residents had received their free flu shots.

This was our third Flu Clinic of the 2013-2014 flu season, which has been particularly severe with eight reported flu deaths in Orange County. 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.


Orange County to Celebrate 125th Anniversary

On August 1, 2014, the County of Orange will celebrate its 125th Anniversary. To help commemorate OC 125, the County is asking all Orange County Cities, non-profits, and other organizations to send us all of your key events throughout 2014 so we can include them in our master calendar for OC 125. For more information you can contact Jean Pasco at (714) 834-7218 or Rob Richardson at (714) 834-3481.

Orange County is a special place and we hope you will be able to join us in our celebration of OC 125.


OC Registrar of Voters Recognized as National Leader in Election Administration

The Orange County Registrar of Voters has been recognized by the bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration for best practices, innovation, and elections operations in a report recently presented to the White House.

The 122-page report examined election operations across the County in 2012 for possible improvements in election administration. The OC Registrar of Voters operation was among a handful of jurisdictions singled out for praise. The commission highlighted the County’s work on web applications to manage voting lines based on historical turnouts, registration and other factors. Most of the recommendations detailed in the commission’s report are already in use by the County.


Commission Seeks Applicants for Vacant Positions

The Orange County Board of Supervisors is seeking candidates to serve on the Children and Families Commission of Orange County. The recruitment is open to new applicants and current members to fill three Commission member positions for the 2014-2016 terms, including two in the category of Health and one in the category of Education. The Commission members meet the first Wednesday of each month and may also serve on ad-hoc committees to review programs and services, participate in program site visits, or represent the Commission at community events.

Applications for these positions will be accepted by 3:00 p.m. on February 21, 2014. For more information on the vacant positions and the application process, please click here.


Orange County Water and Sanitation Districts Awarded 2014 U.S. Water Prize

The U.S. Water Alliance recently awarded the Orange County Water and Sanitation Districts with their annual U.S. Water Prize. The U.S. Water Prize began four years ago to acknowledge the organizations that are leaders in innovative water sustainable technologies. The U.S. Water Alliance cited the OC Water District and Sanitation District’s Ground Water Replenishment System as a global leader in water reclamation and reuse, reducing regional water insecurity.


OCTA’s Website Is 'Mobilized' for Those on the Go

In order to better serve the increasing number of OCTA customers and others who use mobile devices, the OCTA website has been optimized for smartphone viewing. Nearly 40 percent of all visits to the website, octa.net, are made from mobile devices.

Now, when a customer on the go wants to check the train schedule, the information will load smoothly thanks to something called “responsive web design” that prompts content - both text and graphics - to respond to the size of the screen. No matter how they access the site, OCTA customers and other stakeholders will get the same content and the same reliable viewing experience. The only difference is that for mobile users, the content will be enhanced for readability and navigation on a smaller screen.

Annual Measure M Public Hearing Set Feb. 11 for Taxpayers Oversight Committee

The Measure M Taxpayers Oversight Committee is conducting its 23rd annual public hearing on Measure M, Orange County’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements.

Measure M, administered by the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), was approved by voters in 1990 and renewed by a vote of nearly 70 percent in 2006. Each year, the committee seeks public input on how funds are being spent.

The public hearing is set for 6 p.m. on Tuesday Feb. 11 at OCTA headquarters, 550 S. Main St. in Orange. During the hearing, members of the public will be able to provide comments about Measure M projects.

The independent, 11-member oversight committee was formed to monitor OCTA’s use of Measure M funding, approve changes to the Measure M plan and hold an annual public hearing on how Measure M dollars are spent.

For more than 20 years, Measure M has been the major force behind traffic congestion relief in Orange County. The original Measure M made possible more than $4 billion worth of transportation improvements and through 2041, M is expected to generate $14.5 billon to keep Orange County moving.

Hundreds of local projects that impact residents on a daily basis have been completed. These include improvements to every freeway, widened streets, synchronized traffic signals and improved intersections. Measure M also made possible Metrolink commuter-rail service in Orange County.

For those interested in serving on the oversight committee, recruitment efforts for openings will begin in April. Orange County residents over age 18 living in the Second and Third Supervisorial Districts are eligible to apply for a three-year term. Potential committee members should demonstrate a history of participating in community activities, ideally with an emphasis on transportation. The Grand Jurors Association of Orange County conducts the recruitment program and recommends qualified candidates for membership.

For more information about Measure M or the Taxpayers Oversight Committee, visit www.octa.net/toc.

To provide comments about Measure M, go to www.octa.net/toc_mpublichearing.


Call for Entries: Aging as Art Exhibit

The Orange County Council on Aging will be holding a photography show at the Bowers Museum on March 25th-27th. The exhibit is being described as a photographic journey celebrating the diversity, dignity and beauty of the aging experience.

The OC Council on Aging is extending a “call for entries” for residents to contribute their work to this exhibit. The deadline for all entries is February 15th. For more information about this contest, you can visit the Council on Aging’s website here or call (714) 479-0107.


Supervisor Nguyen gives a traditional red envelope to a child in celebration of the Lunar New Year.

Supervisor Nguyen greets spectators at the Westminster Tet Parade.

Supervisor Nguyen, pictured with OC Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen, presents a Resolution to the Abbot of the Bảo Quang Temple in Santa Ana in celebration of Tet.

Supervisor Nguyen fires up the crowd at the Lunar New Year celebration at Temple Dieu Ngu in Westminster.

Supervisor Nguyen presents a Certificate to the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Ana, on the occasion of the organization’s groundbreaking of their new Teen Center and Main Club.

Supervisor Nguyen takes part in Discovery Science Center’s explosive groundbreaking ceremony in Santa Ana. The expansion of the Discovery Science Center will more than double the size of their current facility.

Op-Eds written by me and published in the Orange County Register: As seen in the Orange County Register

State Creates ‘Heavy’ Burden for OCTA

Holiday partygoers aren’t the only ones with a New Year’s resolution to lose weight. According to state law, the Orange County Transportation Authority’s buses are over the allowable weight limit and need to shed some pounds. However, decreasing weight will directly conflict with other state and federal statutes that require heavy equipment to make buses environmentally friendly and American with Disabilities Act compliant.

In short, the state has set a mandate that is impossible to adhere to because of other mandates that are already in place. The state’s inability to keep up to speed with its own regulations has once again led local agencies down a dead end road.

When the weight limit of buses was set in 1976 at 20,500 pounds, it was designed to protect streets and road infrastructure. However, since then, ADA, safety and clean air requirements have been implemented resulting in buses having to pack on thousands of pounds through the addition of wheelchair lifts, mobility devices and compressed natural gas tanks. Unfortunately, none of these factors, which cause modern buses to weigh close to 30,000 pounds, have been incorporated into the State’s bus weight calculation.

The consequences of the state’s failure to update its laws came to light in 2011 when buses in Santa Monica and Culver City were cited for exceeding the bus weight limit. This prompted the passing of Assembly Bill 1706, which exempts buses purchased prior to 2013 from the weight restrictions. However, AB1706 is a short-term solution and will expire in 2015, unless new legislation is enacted. If this legislation expires and no new solution is implemented, all of OCTA’s current buses will be out of compliance.

To make matters worse, there isn’t a known manufacturer who produces a bus that contains all of the mandated safety and environmental features while also remaining below the 20,500-pound limit. Current state law will force bus manufacturers to embark on a costly and potentially fruitless research and development process, which may compromise the integrity of buses and jeopardize the safety of riders.

I understand the need to operate buses that meet all state requirements. However, in my capacity as a member of the OCTA Board of Directors and as Chair of OCTA’s Transit Committee, I am frustrated by the fact that the state has handed down conflicting mandates that are impossible to comply with.

We need a solution to this problem and we need it fast. The uncertainty of whether or not this legislation will expire puts OCTA in limbo regarding future bus purchases and could ultimately cost millions of dollars to taxpayers. If we can’t get the state to realize the impacts of these inconsistencies, we’re left with only one variable that we can control: the weight of passengers. So does the State expect us to start regulating each rider’s weight to meet the limit? I sure hope not, but I wouldn’t be surprised.


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


Local Events

Santa Ana Zoo – Free Day for Santa Ana Residents
On Resident Free Day, the third Sunday of each month, residents of Santa Ana may visit the Santa Ana Zoo for free. Proof of residency (driver's license, utility bill) will be required upon arrival. Not valid to schools or business addresses.

For more information about the Santa Ana Zoo and their ongoing programs, please visit their website here.

Santa Ana to Host Bicycle Safety Forum
The public is invited to a Bicycle Safety Forum at the City of Santa Ana’s Main Library on Saturday, February 22, 2014 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The purpose of this forum is to provide the community with the opportunity to focus on the safety challenges that exist when you bike in Santa Ana. Participants of all ages are welcome, and are not limited to only bicyclists.

The community will have the opportunity to participate in a survey, and join different feedback focus stations to provide ideas and suggestions that will be used to help in the development of a bicycle safety program for the community.

The event will take place at the Santa Ana Main Library, 26 Civic Center Plaza. It is on the corner of Civic Center Drive and Ross Street. This forum will be in Room A, on the Second Floor. The Bicycle Safety forum will be free and open to the public. For more information, contact Michelle Yonemoto at (714) 647-5265.


Local Events

City of Fountain Valley and Fountain Valley Chamber of Commerce to Host Free Business Workshop
The City of Fountain Valley in cooperation with the Fountain Valley Chamber of Commerce will co-host a Doing Business in Fountain Valley workshop on Wednesday, February 26, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Fountain Valley Recreation Center, located at 16400 Brookhurst Street. The concentrated workshop is designed to provide any new or existing business with a one stop resource for all the information that a new or existing business needs to open and grow in the City of Fountain Valley. The event will not only feature local elected officials, representatives from all City departments, and Chamber of Commerce representatives, but will also feature members of the Small Business Administration, Small Business Development Coalition, and SCORE.

You can RSVP to Matt Mogensen by e-mail at matt.mogensen@fountainvalley.org or you can call (714) 593-4410. Reservations are encouraged, but not required.

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