Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
November 30, 2007

Pat Bates's Picture

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.



1. Board Bulletin Board

2. Transportation Update

3. Dana Point Harbor Revitalization

4. Environmental Notes

5. South County Spotlight

6. County Connections

7. Health Tips

8. 'Tis The Season

9. South County Calendar

10. Fifth District Wrap-Up


Justin McCusker:
Chief of Staff

Sergio Prince:
Executive Director of Public Affairs

Eileen Takata:
Executive Policy Advisor

Jeff Corless:
Executive Policy Advisor

Elise Lampe:
Executive Policy Advisor

Ruth Strachan:
Executive Secretary II

Click here to subscribe.

Click here to unsubscribe

Volume 1 Issue 23

Board Meetings Online

The Board of Supervisors regularly meets on Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. in the Hall of Administration. For a map and directions, please click here. However, due to the Thanksgiving Holiday, a Board meeting was not held this week.

For those unable to attend in person, Board meetings may be viewed live on the Internet. Past Internet broadcasts of Board meetings are also archived as video-on-demand. For more information, please click here.


Orange County Congestion Management Program

The 2007 Orange County Congestion Management Program (CMP) Report is a composite of traffic counts and improvement projects that was developed between OCTA and local governments after the passage of Proposition 111 in 1990 which required the establishment of a Congestion Management Agency (CMA).  The purpose of the CMP is to consistently track trends during peak traffic hours at major intersections in the county and indentify areas in great need of improvements where congestion is worsening.  The CMA receives a specified amount of gas tax funds for the identified improvement projects.  This ensures more local control over transportation dollars. 

In this year’s report all intersections but three have improved.  Unfortunately, the three intersections that have worsened are in the 5th District and like all of the CMP monitored intersections, they are controlled by Caltrans.  The alternatives for improving these intersections are limited to widening and right-of-way designation unlike many other intersections that may be relieved by adding nearby arterials.  I am continuing to work with Caltrans to ensure that the three intersections with worse congestion are prioritized for improvement projects and funding.  We assured early funding on the lower Ortega widening project which will contribute to improved traffic flow in the coming years at the I-5/SR-74 interchange.  Please contact my office with any further questions regarding this report.  To view the report, please click here.


SEIR Scoping Meeting

The Dana Point Harbor Department has prepared an Initial Study for the proposed waterside Marina Improvement Project in the City of Dana Point and determined that a Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) is required.

A public SEIR scoping meeting will be held on Saturday, December 8, 2007, from 11am to 1pm at the Dana Point Youth and Group Facility, Dana Cove Room, 34451 Ensenada Place, Dana Point Harbor, Dana Point, California 92629. A complete copy of the Notice of Preparation (NOP) and Initial Study (IS) prepared for the proposed project may be reviewed at the Orange County Dana Point Harbor Department, 24650 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, California 92629, or online at www.dphplan.com. For more information, please click here.

Local Coastal Program Amendment

The California Coastal Commission has deemed the Local Coastal Program Amendment (LCPA) application complete. This application focuses on the landside/commercial core portion of the Harbor Revitalization Project. This is a great step in the right direction for the Harbor Revitalization Project. The County and the City of Dana Point have worked hard to get this application deemed complete, and I look forward to assisting this process as we enter the next phase of permitting for the landside project. For more information, please click here.


Park and Trail Closures

The first storm following the recent Santiago Fire has led to park closures due to concerns for public safety. Trails are closed to protect the rain soaked ground from active use to prevent erosion and at fire-scarred parks to allow the burned areas to recover. There may be a period of time following the rain that the parks and trails will remain closed. For more information, please click here.

Final Coastal Coalition Meeting of the Year

Our final Coastal Coalition meeting of 2007 was a big success, with Co-Chair Supervisor John Moorlach’s updates on Second District efforts and a Proclamation to the Bolsa Chica Conservancy. Our three speakers covered restoration and stewardship activities surrounding Bolsa Chica Wetlands. From Chris Webb of Moffatt Nichols, we learned that historically, Bolsa Chica was fully tidal until 1898 when a local gun club permanently blocked tidal flows. In an historic event last year, the sandbar was re-opened, returning tidal flows to the wetlands. The outcome is restoration of rare salt marsh habitat to southern California. To see his presentation on the restoration, please click here.

Dr. Doug Moore, Director of the Orange County Public Health Laboratory, conducted a study to determine whether this new outlet will negatively impact beach water quality. Every storm-water outlet has the potential to impact beach water quality with high bacteria counts. Because Bolsa Chica is not connected to any inland storm-drain, his conclusions show that the opening does not impact the beach water quality in dry weather. For details of his study, please click here.

Grace Adams of the Bolsa Chica Conservancy informed us that not only 200+ species of birds benefit from the salt marsh, but it’s also a nursery for 60% of commercially marketed fish species who begin their lives there. The Conservancy operates an interpretive center where scientists and students can participate in a ‘living laboratory.’ Future plans include a ‘Wetlands on Wheels’ mobile unit to reach more of the 3 million school children located within 60 miles of Bolsa Chica.

Before our regular roundtable of announcements and the “Year in Review”, I presented a Certificate of Recognition to the Newport Beach Library for graciously hosting our Coastal Coalition meetings over the last few years. To read our “Year in Review”, please click here.

Stay tuned for details on our first meeting of 2008 to be held on January 24, possibly at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point. To be placed on the distribution list for Coastal Coalition meetings and receive the agenda’s, please send your email address to Janet.Tott@rdmd.ocgov.com. I look forward to seeing you next year!


Ocean Institute

On November 1, I had the great pleasure of presenting a proclamation to Dan Stetson, President of the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, in honor of the Ocean Institute’s 30th Anniversary of providing outstanding ocean education to our community.

The Ocean Institute has become nationally known for its hands-on marine science, environmental education and maritime history programs. More than 78,000 K-12 students and 6,000 teachers annually participate in the Institute's 61 award-winning, immersion style programs.

To learn oceanography and science, students voyage onto the ocean to feel and taste the salty sea spray, sort through live specimens, observe migrating whales and collect scientific data. To learn maritime history and literature, students spend an entire night aboard the brig Pilgrim - each student hauling lines, hoisting sails, standing night watch and swabbing decks.

All Ocean Institute programs are designed to maximize immersion, inspire deep commitment to learning and spark curiosity, questions and future discovery.

To express their gratitude and to commemorate their 30th Anniversary, the Ocean Institute is inviting teachers into their prestigious new Teachers Club. For more information about the Ocean Institute, please click here.


Orange County Grand Jury

The Orange County Grand Jury is in need of applicants interested in serving on this body. The group is mandated to investigate and report on both criminal and civil matters within the County. Every effort is made to recruit both men and women from all socio-economic levels, ethnic and age groups. Applicants are judged on the knowledge, skills and abilities required for successful performance as a grand juror. The complex, diverse responsibilities of grand jurors make it necessary to give a serious commitment to the time requirements. Beyond the legal requirements, there are more specific qualifications which are desirable for a grand juror. For more information on becoming a grand juror, please click here.

Sample Ballot Changes

After years of printing multiple sample ballots for each individual party, the Orange County Registrar of Voters is improving the process for the February 2008 election. Voters will find it easy to navigate and locate their party's ballot in a single sample ballot. For voters who are Decline-to-State, there will be detailed instructions on the ballots they are allowed to vote on. For a preview of the new sample ballot pages, please click here.

Reach Out and Read

As a nationally renowned, award-winning early literacy program, Reach Out and Read (ROR) has had a significant impact on increasing early literacy among children and families. ROR promotes early literacy by bringing new books and advice about the importance of reading aloud into the pediatrician’s office. The program currently operates in 42 sites in Orange County. 

Results of national evaluations suggest that parents who have participated in the program are more likely to read to their children on a regular basis and to purchase children’s books.  Trained pediatric doctors advise parents on the importance of reading aloud to young children and prescribe a developmentally appropriate book at each well-child visit between six months and five years of age.  Volunteers read aloud to children in waiting rooms and model reading techniques for parents. 

The Early Literacy Program supports clinics through the application process to National ROR, provides paid and volunteer readers to clinics running the ROR program, fundraises for new books, collects gently used books for distribution in waiting rooms, and coordinates the storage and distribution of thousands of books across the 41 clinics currently running the program.

Reading Volunteers Wanted

Reading volunteers work in local doctor offices, community clinics or agencies to provide reading to children during designated hours in the waiting rooms. Readers are also trained to interact with and model techniques for parents.  Individuals who are interested in becoming readers complete a screening process through the Early Literacy Program’s umbrella agency Public Management Health Enterprises Inc. (PHFE). Screening for readers includes fingerprint clearance and other requirements to work with children.  Generally, participants who seek to be a reader commit to one day a week for a minimum of two hours.  All volunteers that work with children must complete the screening process before reading.

Readers may volunteer at special events or through the Reach Out and Read (ROR) program that provides opportunities to read in local clinics and doctor’s offices. For more information about volunteering, please contact Gloria Martinez, ELP Administrative Coordinator, at (714) 647-0900 x106 or via email at gmartinez.eln@phfe.org.


Influenza Case Confirmed

The Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) has confirmed its first influenza case of the season. This season’s first confirmed case was a juvenile from South County who tested positive in early November for influenza type B. Flu season in Orange County often peaks in December or later and can last until April. Now is the time to get a flu shot and benefit from the protection it provides, especially for those at higher risk of influenza complications. For more information, please click here.

Free Flu Shots

The Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) is offering free flu shots at numerous locations through the winter months for eligible individuals in high-risk groups. For information about locations, dates and times to receive a flu shot to increase your protection against influenza and its potential complications, please call the HCA Health Referral Line at (800) 564-8448 or click here.

Those not eligible for the County program can obtain flu shots from doctors’ offices, pharmacies, and health care clinics. For assistance in locating a Flu Clinic in your area, please visit the American Lung Association website at www.flucliniclocator.org.


Holiday Volunteer & Donation Opportunities

Adding one more gift to your shopping list can make holiday dreams come true for a needy child or teen, an impoverished senior citizen, or a low-income family. For a number of wonderful volunteer and donation opportunities available this holiday season, please click here.


26th Annual Victorian Christmas

Imagine you’ve been transported to the turn of the 20th Century, and you hear carolers singing as you stroll through a historic village decorated in holiday finery! Your kids are making hand-dipped candles, and the smell of vanilla cookies hangs in the air as Mrs. Claus answers questions about the North Pole. Are you dreaming? No! You’ve simply arrived at Heritage Hill’s Victorian Christmas! Costumed docents will be on hand to lead families through the old buildings of Orange County’s past, decorated to celebrate the holidays. This family oriented event enables young and old alike to learn how to churn butter, make historic crafts, and play games. Saturday, December 1, 11am – 3pm, at Heritage Hill Historical Park, 25151 Serrano Road, Lake Forest. For more information, please call Heritage Hill Historical Park at (949) 923-2230 or (949) 923-2232.

17th Annual Winter Fantasy

The magic continues at the 17th Annual Winter Fantasy, on Saturdays & Sundays thru December 9, at the world-famous Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach. Visitors can experience the artistic wonders of 170 Laguna Beach artists and craftspeople amidst towering eucalyptus trees and tranquil waterfalls within a three and half acre canyon setting. The Winter Fantasy includes art projects for children and adults, live holiday entertainment, artist demonstrations including glass blowing, a snow playfield, 3 outdoor cafés, and visits with Santa! For more information, please click here.

Candy Cane Carnival

Children will delight in an array of holiday activities on Saturday, December 1, in San Clemente. The program starts at 12pm and continues through 5:30pm at the Community Center with a Candy Cane Carnival, live reindeer, crafts corner, cookie decorating, a mini variety show, and a toddler’s snow hill! The count-down to light the Community Tree begins promptly at 5:15pm. Kids can visits with Santa during the entire event, so bring your cameras. For more information, please call the San Clemente Recreation Division at 949-361-8264, or click here.

Christmas at the Mission

On Saturday, December 1, the official ceremony and lighting of the San Juan Capistrano Christmas tree begins in Historic Towne Center Park with a visit from Santa, a Live Nativity Presentation, Merchant Open House, Music and Fun. From there, holiday guests are invited to attend the annual Christmas at the Mission Festival. Throughout the evening, musical performers from groups in and around San Juan Capistrano entertain guests as they visit the nativity scene, St. Nicholas, and enjoy the beauty of Mission San Juan Capistrano. Santa’s workshop is set up in the Barracks Gallery for kids to enjoy crafts from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. For more information, please call (949) 234-1300 or click here.

Santa's Arrival & Aliso Viejo Tree Lighting Ceremony

Santa and Mrs. Claus are making the trip down from the North Pole to bring in the season by lighting the traditional holiday tree at Grand Park in the Aliso Viejo Town Center. Please come sing-a-long to traditional carols on Sunday, December 2, 4:30 to 6pm, and enjoy holiday cookies along with hot cider and coffee that will be available to the public. Don't forget to dress warm! Patrons are encouraged to bring flashlights, folding chairs and warm blankets to the evening’s festivities. Following Santa and Mrs. Claus' arrival, all children are invited to attend Santa's workshops from 6 to 7:30pm on Monday, Dec. 3, and Tuesday, Dec. 4. Be sure to visit with Santa, make some holiday crafts and eat yummy treats at his workshops. For more information, please call the Aliso Viejo Community Association at 949-448-6263.

Santa's Workshop in RSM

Seasons Greetings from Rancho Santa Margarita! This year, two wonderful winter events, “Sing, Skate, & Celebrate” and “Santa's Arrival” will be rolled into one spectacular Santa's Workshop! Residents will be treated to a puppet show, crafts, cookie decorating, storytelling and more! Be sure to bring a camera so you can snap a picture with Santa. A palm tree lighting ceremony will top off the evening on Sunday, December 2, at 6:30pm. Activities will begin at 2pm and will run until 6pm to give attendees time to gather for the tree lighting. If you have any questions, please call Heather Phillips at 949-448-6144 or e-mail asksamlarc@meritpm.com. For more information, please click here www.samlarc.org  or call the recreation hotline at 949-448-6215.

First Thursday’s Art Walk

Join member galleries throughout Laguna Beach on the Thursday, December 4, from 6pm – 9pm, for a festive cultural evening. First Thursday’s Art Walk is funded by member galleries, the hotel and lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach. Free shuttles to participating gallery locations start at 6:15pm at the Laguna Art Museum (corner PCH and Cliff Dr.) and Bluebird Center (1590 S. Coast Highway). Shuttles run until 8:45pm. For more information, please click here.

Ladera Ranch Tree Lighting Ceremony

Join the Ladera holiday tradition as they light their new 60 foot tree in Town Green. Enjoy refreshments, live music and other shows while you await Santa’s arrival atop Engine 58, their local Fire Engine. Town Green, 28801 Sienna Parkway, Ladera Ranch. Friday, December 7, at 6pm. For more information, please click here.

33rd Annual Boat Parade of Lights

This year marks Dana Point’s 33rd Annual Boat Parade of Lights with this year’s theme: A MERRY MARDI GRAS. Boaters from all around Orange County decorate their boats and vie for the awards of Judges Choice, Best Theme, Best Use of Lights, Best Animation, Most Colorful, Most Original, Best Sailboat, Best Powerboat and the Perpetual Trophy for the Yacht Club with the Most Entries. Landlubbers can view the parade free from anywhere in the Harbor. Come on down and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season. Fridays, December 7 & 14; and Saturdays, December 8 & 15; at 7:30pm by the water’s edge. But wait, there’s more! Don't forget Holiday in the Harbor, November 30, from 4pm – 8pm. Boat Rides with Santa are December 1 & 2, from 10am - 2pm. Dana Point Harbor, 34555 Golden Lantern, Dana Point. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Hills Breakfast with Santa

HO-HO-HO! Santa will arrive at the Laguna Hills Community Center for a wonderful morning full of holiday fun. Be sure to join us for a scrumptious pancake breakfast, holiday crafts, photo with Santa, and a bag full of goodies for each child. Saturday, December 8, from 9 to 10:30am. Laguna Hills Community Center, 25555 Alicia Parkway, Laguna Hills. For more information, please click here.

2007 Laguna Niguel Holiday Parade

Generations of families will gather along Crown Valley Parkway on a peaceful and brilliant Saturday to watch the largest and most creative display of community in the City’s history! This year, the parade is filled with beautiful equestrian units, patriotic and inspirational military tributes, spirit filled youth groups, classic auto clubs, talented marching bands and some of the biggest attractions in the nation!  Also included in the mix of fun and eclectic entries are this year’s Celebrity Grand Marshals. Don’t miss out on this annual, hometown tradition. Saturday, December 8, beginning at 10:00am. For more information, please click here.

Heritage Hill’s 22nd Annual Candlelight Tour

The twinkle of candlelight dances in the moonlight as the sound of holiday carolers’ waft over the smell of fresh baked cookies and apple cider. Over 1000 luminaries are lit and placed along the walkways and doorways during this beautiful evening event. Children will delight as they tell Santa their last minute wishes. Parents and friends will enjoy the sights of antique holiday decorations as costumed docents lead them through the history of old Orange County. Soak up the warmth of the holidays as storytellers spin tales in the old school house and let Heritage Hill’s Candlelight Tour become one of your family’s holiday traditions. This year’s Candlelight Tour will take place on Saturday & Sunday, December 8 & 9, 5:30pm – 8:30 pm, at Heritage Hill Historical Park, 25151 Serrano Road, Lake Forest. For more information, please call Heritage Hill Historical Park at (949) 923-2230 or (949) 923-2232.

Menorah Lighting – Hanukkah at the Ranch

Join the Ladera Ranch community to celebrate Hanukkah! This event, sponsored by residents and several local Jewish organizations will feature music, a candle-making factory, food, children’s activities and lighting the Menorah. Sunday, December 9, 3 – 5pm. Town Green, 28801 Sienna Parkway, Ladera Ranch. For more information, please click here.


Among my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:

  • Attended a Cox Enterprises’ reception in Rancho Santa Margarita to present a proclamation in honor of the launching of their newest company-wide initiative, Cox Conserves. For more information, please click here.
  • Participated in an informational luncheon with the Board of Supervisors and County department heads
  • Met with the Chief Deputy Director of the Orange County Social Services Agency (SSA) to discuss foster children, legislation, and other SSA issues
  • Attended a meeting of the Capistrano Valley Republican Women Federated to provide a County Update and install officers for 2008
  • Toured the Greenspot property and Prado Dam
  • Attended the California Women's Leadership Association (CWLA) Annual Installation Dinner. For more information, please click here.

My office also:

  • Attended the MemorialCare Breast Center’s ribbon-cutting ceremony in San Clemente to present a Certificate of Recognition in honor of the occasion

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!