August 24, 2007
Welcome to this edition of the Fifth District Report, an electronic newsletter keeping you updated about the events taking place in Orange County and in the Fifth District. It is my hope that you find this distribution informative and I would encourage you to contact me regarding any thoughts, comments, or concerns you may have.
IN THIS ISSUE...
1. Board Bulletin Board
2. Transportation Update
3. South County News
4. Environmental Notes
5. Public Health Info
7. Fifth District Wrap-Up
Chief of Staff
Executive Director of Public Affairs
Executive Policy Advisor
Executive Policy Advisor
Executive Policy Advisor
Executive Secretary II
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|| Volume 1
|Board Bulletin Board
Strategic Focus Summit
The Board of Supervisors meeting and Strategic Focus Summit on Wednesday, August 7, at the Santa Ana Police Community Center had a few items of regular business, but the main purpose was to select County-wide Strategic Initiatives.
The Strategic Initiatives identify what is important to measure building the mission, vision and values for our County.
During the day, the Board of Supervisors, department heads, graduates of the Leadership Academy, and others went through several exercises to identify what is important to us and our customers.
The recommended Strategic Initiatives developed at the Summit are:
- Promoting a Healthy Community (Health & Social Services)
- Building for the Future of Our Community (Vibrancy & Sustainability)
- Protecting Our Community (Safety & Security)
The next steps will include developing action plans to accomplish the goals implicit in these alternatives.
DNA Analysis for Crime Solving
At our August 21 Board meeting, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and Sheriff Michael Carona gave presentations providing the County with an update on their respective DNA Analysis programs for crime solving.
Of the 17 cases the District Attorney submitted to CODIS (Combined Offender DNA Index System), 13 positive hits were returned allowing their respective cases to be quickly solved. The Board of Supervisors approved the renewal of the District Attorney’s $500,000 contract with Serological to continue providing the County with DNA analysis for cases handled by his office.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department Forensic Science Services Laboratories were among the first five cities in the United States selected by the National Justice Institute (NIJ) to pilot DNA analysis for criminal cases. The Sheriff noted that 1 year ago, the Sheriff’s Department had reviewed 325 positive DNA matches, and as of today has reached the 1000th positive match for solving cases its Investigators are handling. Further, the County should expect a minimum of 1000 hits per year going forward.
I commend the District Attorney and Sheriff for pioneering advanced technology that is putting criminals behind bars sooner to keep our streets safe. To view the District Attorney’s presentation, please click here. To view the Sheriff’s presentation, please click here.
Improving South County Traffic Flow
As a resident of South County for more than 20 years and Supervisor of Orange County’s Fifth District, I represent our community’s voice on a daily basis on all County matters. One of my top priorities when I was elected to this position was to protect our region’s quality of life, and I believe that key to this is improving both our current and future mobility.
Whether driving on our local streets and roads, or braving the 5 & 405 Freeways, we can all see that as our county grows, our transportation system is becoming more congested. Now is the time to plan for the future!
As County Supervisor, I also represent South County on the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors. OCTA is the County’s primary transportation agency and is charged with studying, planning and implementing projects and services to meet our transportation needs. OCTA has initiated the South Orange County Major Investment Study (SOCMIS) to develop transportation solutions for improving mobility in South County, and I am Chair of that committee.
As we move through the study process, various alternatives for improving travel in South County will be considered. The study will define short and long term transportation needs as well as examine a wide range of options for improving traffic flow in South County. This is not limited to the study of Interstate 5. The goal is to come up with a long-range, balanced transportation plan that is expected to include varied solutions such as improved streets and roads, transit, commuter rail and express bus service additions & improvements. The expected result of this technical and stakeholder-driven process will be a series of recommended transportation improvement strategies.
As we progress through the study, we understand that there may be ideas included that may raise community support as well as concern. In an effort to develop regional transportation solutions, we will gather the benefits of doing the various improvements along with feedback received from local stakeholders before determining which ideas merit further study and which ones should be removed from consideration. I also understand that transportation needs must be balanced with community standards and impacts. As such, you have my commitment to work diligently to ensure this balance takes place.
We anticipate reaching the final stage of the South Orange County Major Investment Study early next year. If all goes as planned, a program of projects and a “locally preferred strategy” is expected to be brought to the OCTA Board in early 2008 for consideration. If adopted, these will move forward to further environmental and engineering studies.
I assure my South County neighbors that the goals of this study will be sensitive to local concerns, be objective in developing options, and provide a framework for decision-makers on the direction of future steps through intensive stakeholder and public involvement efforts.
I hope South County citizens will consider becoming involved in this important study that will shape the way we travel over the next 25 years. Please visit our study website at www.octa.net/socmis to complete our survey, see when upcoming meetings are scheduled, or sign up for e-mail updates. For more information on how you can participate, please contact OCTA’s project outreach manager Tamara Warren at (714) 560-5590.
Transportation Corridor System
The Transportation Corridor System (TCS) Board of Directors, a joint powers authority created to undertake the possible purchase of the San Joaquin Hills and Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agencies, met on August 9 to discuss the governance and fiscal issues that must be addressed before moving forward on an acquisition proposal. The Board also elected officers and I was chosen to serve as Vice Chair. Tustin Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Amante was elected Chairman, and Aliso Viejo Mayor Carmen Cave was elected Secretary.
The TCS Board of Directors appointed a finance team to develop a potential acquisition transaction. The purchase would effectively merge operations for Orange County’s toll road system. Before final votes on whether or not to execute the acquisition can occur, the Agencies must receive updated Traffic and Revenue studies, Development Impact Fee projections, obtain an appraisal and bond ratings, and evaluate whether market conditions are favorable for such a transaction.
The final decision is expected to occur in late 2007 or early 2008 and will involve votes by the San Joaquin Hills and Foothill/Eastern Agencies to sell and a vote by the TCS to acquire and issue more than $4 billion in toll revenue bonds to fund the transaction. For more information, please click here.
Where Were You in ’72?
The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is looking for customers who have been riding Orange County buses since 1972. Was it you? If so, OCTA has something special for you, so please call 714.349.3846 and boogie on down to the 35th birthday bash.
In ’72, man walked on the moon, disco was born, and OCTA launched new bus service in Orange County! To commemorate 35 years and thank loyal bus customers and coach operators, OCTA is hosting a birthday celebration on Friday, August 31, at the Fullerton Transportation Center, 120 E. Santa Fe Ave – site of the debut of the bus system. Back then, 16 buses served 38,000 customers in the first month. Today, the bus system has about 900 buses that provide more than 220,000 customer trips every day!
If you know a customer who has been riding our buses since ’72, please call Sarah Swensson at 714.560.5376 before Monday, August 27.
|South County News
New Director for Dana Point Harbor Department
County Executive Officer Thomas G. Mauk has appointed Brad Gross as Director for the Dana Point Harbor Department. Mr. Gross will assume his new position on September 28, 2007. He has been with the City and County of San Francisco for six years where he served as Manager of Marina Operations and successfully spearheaded a $40 million complete renovation of the San Francisco Marina Small Craft Harbor and shore-side facilities. I heartily welcome Brad to the County of Orange and look forward to working with him. For more information, please click here.
Laguna Beach Festival of Arts
On August 13, I presented a Proclamation in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts. The Festival of Arts has long played a starring role in distinguishing Laguna from other beach communities in Southern California as well as bringing this extraordinary town worldwide recognition. As California’s premier fine art exhibition, the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters has clearly established Laguna Beach as the “Arts Capital” of Southern California. At the event, Mayor Toni Iseman read a letter from Governor Schwarzenegger which eloquently articulated the sentiments we all undoubtedly share about the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts. To view the letter from the Governor, please click here. For more information about the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters, please click here.
Back Bay Science Center
On August 10, I joined staff from the Health Care Agency and Dave Kiff, Assistant City Manager of Newport Beach, on a tour of the new Back Bay Science Center. This Center, located on Shellmaker Island in Newport Beach, is an exciting collaboration between the County of Orange, the City of Newport Beach, and the California Department of Fish & Game.
Once completed, the Back Bay Science Center will provide the County of Orange Health Care Agency a new workspace in which to conduct water quality testing and research water issues. The Department of Fish and Game will use space as a teaching laboratory, complete with touch tanks, for Orange County students. Visitors will also experience outdoor learning stations and be able to walk through a demonstration marsh. I look forward to the completion of this facility, and will keep you updated on its progress.
Harbors, Beaches & Parks
The County’s Harbors, Beaches & Parks (HBP) Department is holding their next Stakeholder Advisory Committee meeting on Tuesday, August 28, beginning at 6:00 PM. It will be held at the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center at the Upper Newport Bay Preserve. The public is invited to attend. In addition to an overview of strategic issues identified by the Board Ad Hoc Committee, HBP will unveil Phase 3 of the Strategic Plan which includes the performance measures and balanced scorecard.
For information about the HBP Strategic Plan, please click here. For information about the Stakeholder Advisory Committee meeting on August 28, please click here. For information about the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center, please click here.
Water Quality Survey
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has released its 17th annual survey of water quality and public notification at U.S. beaches. To see their report entitled "Testing the Waters 2007 – A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches", please click here.
Congratulations to the city of Laguna Beach which was named a "Beach Buddy" in this year's survey! According to the report, nine percent or fewer of Laguna Beach’s water samples exceeded national bacteria standards in 2006. To see NRDC’s list of "Beach Buddies" and "Beach Bums", please click here.
Coastal Cleanup Day
In 2006 over 6500 volunteers in the County of Orange participated in Coastal Cleanup Day, collecting a record breaking 91,000 pounds of trash and recyclables. 2007 will mark the 23rd anniversary of California’s participation in this world wide event. Orange County has added new participating sites in an effort to include all residents of coastal and inner coastal areas to become part of the solution.
On September 15, 9 a.m. – noon, the County of Orange and the California Coastal Commission invite you to choose your favorite beach, park or waterway, and join us for Coastal and Inner Coastal Cleanup Day. Supplies will be available at each cleanup site along with a friendly face to answer questions. To view the 23rd Annual Coastal Cleanup Site Captains List, please click here. You can also learn more about Coastal Cleanup Day and locate participating sites by clicking here or here.
|Public Health Info
Donate Blood – Save Lives
The Orange County Health Care Agency and American Red Cross invite you to save lives this summer by giving blood.
The next blood drive is scheduled for August 29 at the Social Services Agency facility located at 115 Columbia, Aliso Viejo.
To schedule an appointment, visit www.givelife.org and enter Sponsor Code: OC1. To set up a blood drive at your work site, call 714.697.5491. Donors will have their names placed in a drawing for the chance to win a $500 gas gift card!
West Nile Virus
Two Orange County residents have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) infection, becoming the County’s first confirmed symptomatic human WNV cases in 2007. Last year, 7 confirmed human cases of West Nile Virus infection were reported in Orange County while statewide, 278 human WNV cases were reported with 7 WNV-related deaths.
It is important to recognize that West Nile Virus is endemic in Orange County, recurring every year during the summer months and continuing into the fall. People over 50 years of age and those with certain medical conditions are at increased risk of serious complications from WNV infection. The best way to avoid West Nile Virus infection is to take precautionary measures to avoid mosquito bites.
Recommended WNV precautions include:
- Emptying all standing water on your property to reduce areas in which mosquitoes may breed
- Making sure your window and door screens are in good condition
- Using insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus, always following label directions
- Limiting outdoor activity at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active
- Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors
For more information, please click here.
Raw Oyster Warning
Orange County health officials are warning consumers not to eat raw or undercooked oysters harvested from the southern part of the Hood Canal in Washington State after a number of human illnesses caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a harmful bacterium, occurred in people who ate the oysters.
At least fourteen confirmed or suspected Vibrio parahaemolyticus cases have been reported in California involving people who ate oysters, including three cases in Orange County. The Orange County cases were all adults who have recovered from their illnesses and did not require hospitalization. For more information, please click here.
Beach Closure Information
South County is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Unfortunately, bacteria levels can sometimes cause temporary beach closures. The Health Care Agency collects and tests water samples on a daily basis and recommends beach closures whenever necessary. For a current list of beach closures, advisories or warnings, please click here or call (714) 433-6400.
Rebates for Older Adult Homeowners and Renters
The Homeowner and Renter Assistance Rebate for 2006 is now available. Eligible older adult homeowners and renters can receive a once-per-year rebate.
The deadline to complete and return the application is October 15, 2007. For eligibility requirements and other information, please click here.
Honoring El Toro’s Heritage
Decades of service to the nation by the Marine Corps will be honored at the Great Park. Visitors will relive history by walking among actual components of the El Toro airbase, which stand as tributes to its military history. A central section and the two end points of the great two-mile-long concrete runway will remain, and the footprint of the entire runways will remain distinct, an open space at the Park’s core that will preserve a sense of the former base’s vast scale. For more information, please click here.
|Fifth District Wrap-Up
Among my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
- Attended a meeting of the South Coast Medical Center Foundation Board of Directors.
- Toured the Back Bay Science Center & Water Laboratory at Shellmaker Island in Newport Beach.
- Presented a proclamation to the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts in honor of its 75th Anniversary
- Attended an Orange County Business Council reception honoring U.S. Representative Joe Knollenberg (R-MI).
- Met with representatives of Mission Viejo’s Mission Hospital to discuss the hospital’s current construction schedule and other issues.
- Attended a South County Senior Services reception to present Certificates of Recognition to two retiring Board members.
- Attended the Aliso Viejo “State of the City” Breakfast and presented Certificates of Recognition to the City’s inaugural Senior, Youth, and Citizen of the Year.
- Chaired a meeting of the Orange County Coastal Coalition (more on this in my next newsletter)
In addition, my office also:
- Met with Congressman John Campbell's Legislative Director regarding U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects including the Aliso Creek “SUPER” Project.
- Attended a meeting of the Orange County Child Welfare Services Redesign Council addressing pool safety, sleeping issues, car safety, shaken baby syndrome, choking and foreign body ingestion.
- Met with South County Senior Services to discuss senior transportation issues.
- Met with Laguna Beach Mayor Toni Iseman regarding a South Coast Water District water quality project.
- Attended an Orange County Planning Commission hearing for an update on the Alton Parkway Extension Draft EIR.
My staff and I look forward to continually providing you updated information in our Fifth District Newsletter and website.
Please feel free to contact my office with your concerns, comments or questions at (714) 834-3550.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your Supervisor for Orange County's Fabulous Fifth District.
Thank you so much for your support!