|October 1, 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. Headline News
2. Board Bulletin Board
3. Transportation Update
4. Environmental Notes
5. South County News
6. County Connection
8. 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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You are cordially invited to attend my OPEN HOUSE!
Friday, October 5
1:00 – 3:00 pm
Office of Pat Bates
Supervisor, 5th District
333 W. Santa Ana Blvd., 5th Floor
Hall of Administration, Building #10
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Directions from South County:
Take the I-5 North; Pass the 55 Freeway;
Exit at Grand Ave and turn Left;
Turn Right on Santa Ana Blvd (first signal);
Pass Main; Pass Broadway;
Turn Right on Ross; Immediate Right into Public Parking.
The Hall of Administration, Bldg 10, is located on the northwest corner of Santa Ana Blvd and Broadway. Take the Elevator in the Lobby (street level) to the Fifth Floor; Exit the Elevator; Turn Right; Proceed to the Reception Desk.
Enjoy light refreshments with me and my staff!
Please RSVP to Ruth Strachan at (714)834-3550 or Ruth.Strachan@ocgov.com. If you have already RSVP’d, please disregard.
My staff and I look forward to seeing you this Friday!
New Fifth District Website
We have just launched our new and improved Fifth District website! Please be among the first to visit our new website by clicking here.
|Board Bulletin Board
Alton Parkway Extension
On Tuesday, September 18, my Board colleagues and I approved the Alton Parkway Extension Environmental Impact Report (EIR). At long last, we can see light at the end of the tunnel as this critical gap between SR-241 and the I-5 will finally be built. Construction is anticipated to begin in early 2009, and you can rest assured I will work to ensure it stays on track. Development of this successful EIR was made possible through the outstanding efforts of County staff and our partners including Shea-Baker Ranch and the City of Lake Forest.
Keeping Our Beaches Clean
At our September 25 meeting, the Board accepted a Beach Environmental Assessment & Coastal Health (BEACH) Act Grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for water quality monitoring programs aimed at reducing the risk of exposure to disease-causing micro-organisms in the water at our beaches. This grant supports the County’s Ocean Water Protection Program which samples water at 126 beach and bay locations. To learn more about our program, click here.
South County Community Improvements
I’m please to report that Fifth District communities continue to progress as a result of four agenda items that came before the Board at our September 25 meeting. My fellow Supervisors and I authorized the release of security bonds for four tracts certified as complete in the Fifth District. Three areas in Ladera Ranch and one in Newport Coast recently completed construction of street, lighting, sewer, water, and monumentation improvements. Communities will continue to grow and solidify as these neighborhoods develop. I look forward to the continued maturation of South County communities and extend a warm welcome to our new residents of the Fifth District!
Coastal Chamber Legislative Coalition
On September 21, I moderated a panel of experts in transportation and project management for the Coastal Chamber Legislative Coalition. The discussion among chief executives of local transportation agencies, the county, the state and private sector highlighted how we are collaboratively working to deliver transportation projects on time and on budget. I cannot stress enough the importance of members of the community engaging in conversations with their legislators and local elected officials on the subject of accelerating project delivery timelines to relieve the growing congestion on our roads & freeways in the near term.
I want to thank California Transportation Commissioner Marian Bergeson, Orange County Transportation Authority Deputy CEO Paul Taylor, Transportation Corridor Agencies CEO Thomas Margro, Caltrans Director Cindy Quon, Orange County Business Council CEO Lucy Dunn and Orange County Public Works Director Ignacio Ochoa for joining the collaborative discussion panel. These professionals are working hard to play their roles as partners in delivering the much needed projects. To see photos of the event, please click here.
Crown Valley Traffic Relief Project
In July, I reported to you about a meeting I had previously convened with the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), CalTrans and public works directors from various South Orange County cities to discuss solutions for the State, County, OCTA and Cities to take traffic congestion relief projects off the drawing boards and onto our streets. Of concurrence between the County and cities alike was the need to find a more collaborative approach to project delivery when working with utility companies. For many South County residents, the utility company that services their community is San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E).
Based on these preliminary talks, I arranged a meeting with officials from SDG&E and focused the discussion on strategies to expedite the delivery of local traffic congestion improvements such as the Crown Valley Traffic Relief Project. I’m now pleased to report that after a delay of several months, SDG&E has made significant progress recently in relocating its facilities; and as SDG&E relocations near completion, construction to widen the road has resumed.
For a status update on the Crown Valley Traffic Relief Project and the SDG&E relocations, please click here.
Ortega Highway Safety Improvements
The Ortega Highway (SR-74) Safety Improvement Project is now six-months into the project schedule. I’m pleased to report that major progress has been made including a newly widened one-mile stretch at the east end of the project nearest the Riverside County line.
Throughout the work zone, a number of rock cliffs will be sheared to allow the road lanes to be widened from 10 feet to 12 feet, and much needed shoulders will be added on both sides to provide motorists with a recovery area. Lastly, an improved drainage system is nearly complete that will help channel water runoff away from the highway, thereby improving road conditions and providing a safer drive.
Overall project benefits will include:
- Widening of lanes to 12 feet
- Adding 4-foot shoulders
- Placing rumble noise strips in the median
- Improved drainage
- Cutting back rock walls to improve sight distance
- Adding netting to reduce rockslides
- Adding turnouts for slow vehicles
The nighttime road closures will continue as they have been for the past six months unless further noticed. The road is closed nightly, 8:30 p.m. – 4:30 a.m., seven days a week.
To receive traffic advisories and the SR-74 Safety Improvement Project E-newsletter, please send your contact information to SR-74SafetyProject @westboundcommunications.com. In the meantime, if you would like more information on this project, please call the project’s community liaison, Julie Toledo, at (714) 223-1665 or visit www.dot.ca.gov/dist12. To view photos of the Project work, please click here.
TCA CEO Tom Margro
Tom Margro recently joined TCA as CEO and announced that completing the final segment of the 241 Toll Road is his top priority. To read an interview with TCA CEO Tom Margro during his first week on the job as head of the 85-person public agency follows, please click here.
Coastal Cleanup Day
September 15 marked the 23rd Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. Hailed by the Guinness Book of World Records as "the largest garbage collection", this event focuses on improving coastal water quality and the marine environment. I’m pleased to report that volunteers at South County’s beaches and inland sites were out in droves to improve our coastal watersheds. Based on preliminary numbers for Orange County, with half of the sites still pending, over 1,800 volunteers in South County picked up over 8,000 pounds of trash and 3,000 pounds of recyclables at 20+ sites. Countywide, volunteers picked up over 50,000 cigarette butts, and this is only at 10 sites out of 60! Some curious items found included a garden gnome, a fake leg, a message in a bottle, a dead deer, a shopping cart, and marijuana plants.
Thank you to all the volunteers who took time out to make a difference for our coast and ocean! For more information, please see the Coastal Conservancy’s website at http://www.coastal.ca.gov/
|South County News
Upper Chiquita Reservoir Project
I recently visited the Santa Margarita Water District to participate in a briefing on the proposed Upper Chiquita Reservoir Project. Details of the Santa Margarita Water District reservoir, to be built between Coto de Caza and Rancho Santa Margarita, were presented and I was informed about the upcoming environmental and public review process involved with the project.
In light of the recent statewide attention to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, from looming reductions of water supplies available to Southern California to the condition of the Delta itself, I remain focused on South County water issues.
Construction of the Upper Chiquita Reservoir will provide South County with substantial new water reserves to meet customer demand during disruptions of water deliveries to the Fifth District. These interruptions can be unanticipated, such as a primary pipeline break, or scheduled, such as the recent shutdown of the Diemer Filtration Plant in Yorba Linda. The new reservoir, planned as an emergency supply storage facility, will be the largest domestic water storage site in South County – capable of providing upwards of 168,000 families with approximately 200 gallons of fresh water a day for a week.
The proposed reservoir is to be located on the western slope of Chiquita Canyon, north of Oso Parkway, on approximately 24 acres of land within the City of Rancho Santa Margarita. The draft environmental impact report will be submitted for public review at a meeting in October and public hearings will be held in January 2008. Construction is planned for spring 2008 with the anticipated operation of the reservoir sometime in spring 2010. For more information, please click here.
Fire Engine for Dana Point
In addition to serving as your Fifth District Supervisor, I also represent the community as a Board appointee on the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA). As such, I’m pleased to announce that Dana Point has a new fire engine courtesy of OCFA.
New OCFA fire engines are designed to last at least 15 years on the frontline and another five years as a relief engine. As Dana Point was due for a replacement engine, Engine 30 began servicing the city on Sept. 10. Designed to handle almost any kind of emergency including structure fires, high-rise fires and rescues, automobile accidents and paramedic calls, Engine 30 is staffed with a three person crew and cost $334,514. For more information, please click here.
Sheriff's Academy Graduation
On September 17, I had the privilege of delivering the keynote address to graduates of Orange County Sheriff's Training Academy Class #180. This graduating class of Deputy Sheriffs and Police Officers successfully completed the toughest peace officer training program in the country – a rigorous 26-week course of intense physical and educational training. Their class motto, “One Heart, One Fight, One Team”, best characterizes the united spirit shared among these new leaders joining the law enforcement community. As these men and women begin a career of risking their lives to keep our streets safe, please keep them in your prayers. To view photos of the ceremony, please click here.
New Leash On Life
Among the many Boards, Committees and Commissions on which I serve, I have also been elected to serve on the Executive Board of the California State Association of Counties (CSAC).
Recently, a panel of judges sifted through 260 submissions for CSAC’s highly-regarded Challenge Award. Counties throughout the state sent in nominations for their most innovative, cost-effective or easily replicated programs. After careful reflection, the County of Orange Probation Department’s “New Leash on Life” program was one of those distinguished with the honor.
The New Leash on Life program is a partnership between the Probation Department and the Animal Care Services division of the Health Care Agency. Teenage girls in the 60-bed female detention unit at Juvenile Hall provide foster care to puppies that are too young to stay at the shelter. The puppies are underweight and often must be bottle fed to reach a weight suitable for adoption.
The benefits are several-fold. As the puppies provide unconditional love to the girls – who may have attachment or abandonment issues of their own – the girls gain a valuable experience that aids in their growth and development. Meeting the needs of the vulnerable puppies teaches the girls responsibility as they provide baths, clean cages, housebreak the puppies, and train them to walk on leashes. In turn, the care and socialization the puppies receive make them more likely to be adopted through Animal Care Services than without the attention provided from a foster caretaker.
Although the program concept is simple, the program results are profound and deeply important to the lives of the girls. At the same time, the program is a humane way for puppies to get one more chance at life. The award will be presented to the County at CSAC’s 113th Annual Meeting in Oakland this November.
OCTA Environmental Committees
The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is currently seeking applicants for two committees as part of the Renewed Measure M (M2) program: the Environmental Cleanup Allocation Committee (Allocation Committee) and the Mitigation and Resource Protection Oversight Committee (Environmental Oversight Committee). The Allocation Committee will make recommendations to OCTA’s Board of Directors on the allocation of funds for water quality improvements while the Environmental Oversight Committee will help shape how OCTA mitigates freeway improvement projects.
Applications are due no later than October 5, 2007. For more information on both committees as well as instructions on how to apply, please click here.
You can leave a legacy by teaching an adult to read. READ/OC is presenting two informational meetings in October to help potential volunteers learn more about the program. For more information, please click here.
|Fifth District Wrap-Up
Among my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
- Delivered the keynote address to the graduates of Orange County Sheriff's Training Academy Class #180.
- Visited the Santa Margarita Water District to be briefed on the proposed Upper Chiquita Reservoir Project. For more information, please click here.
- Met with representatives of Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) to discuss proposed OCFA Joint Powers Agreement renewal terms.
- Attended a meeting of the Orange County Airport Commission to present a resolution in honor of former Airport Commission Chair David Markley.
- Delivered the keynote speech at a reception of the Atlas PAC. For more information, please click here.
- Met with representatives of the San Juan Basin Authority to discuss their project, ground water replenishment and steelhead recovery in the San Juan Creek Watershed.
- Met with representatives of Caltrans to be briefed on Ortega Highway issues.
- Met with officials of the City of San Juan Capistrano to discuss a new location for the Materials Recovery Facility at the La Pata Dump Site.
- Chaired a meeting of the Orange County Coastal Coalition (more on this in my next newsletter).
- Met with new Dana Point Harbor Director Brad Gross.
My office also:
- Attended a South Orange County Association of Mayors meeting in Lake Forest.
- Met with Resources and Development Management Department officials to discuss Harbors, Beaches and Parks.
- Attended a meeting of the Orange County Child Care and Development Planning Council.
- Met with constituents to discuss their proposal of a South County Animal Shelter.
- Attended a meeting of the Orange County Human Relations Commission.
- Presented a Certificate of Recognition to Kohl’s of Laguna Niguel in honor of being the first of 60 Kohl’s department stores in California to go solar.
- Attended a Laguna Woods Veterans Awareness Day event sponsored by the Community Civic Association.
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!