Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
April 4, 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. Supervisor Janet Nguyen

2. Boards, Committees and Commissions

3. Ladera Ranch Improvements

4. Rancho Santa Margarita Improvements

5. Fighting Illegal Immigration

6. Orange County Contract Policy Manual

7. Orange County Legislative Bulletin

8. Water Treatment Plant Reopens

9. Orange County Coastal Coalition

10. Native Habitat Tour Series

11. Tick-Borne Disease Found In South County

12. E. Coli Source Identified

13. Freeway Service Patrol

14. Measure M Oversight Committee

15. Pandemic Influenza

16. County Expands Health Care Coverage

17. Community Services and Support

18. Aircraft Noise and AirportMonitor

19. Interpol Tools To Benefit Orange County

20. Fifth District Wrap-up


Patti Gorczyca:
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


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 Volume 1  
Issue 8
Supervisor Janet Nguyen

At the March 27 Board meeting, Janet Nguyen was sworn in as Orange County's new First District Supervisor. Supervisor Janet Nguyen, 30, now becomes the first Asian-American and the youngest ever to sit on the Orange County Board of Supervisors. In fact, with Janet and me now both members of the Board, it is the first time in Orange County's history that two women are serving simultaneously. Congratulations, Supervisor Nguyen! For more information regarding the historic nature of this event, please click here.

Boards, Committees and Commissions

At our March 27 meeting, with the support of my Board colleagues, I appointed the following individuals to represent the Fifth District on the respective designated boards, committees and commissions:

Craig Alexander - Assessment Appeals Board
Thomas T. Hammond - Public Financing Advisory Committee
Doris Walker-Smith - Orange County Historical Commission
J. Donald Tryon - Orange County Historical Commission

Ladera Ranch Improvements

At last week's meeting, the Board and I approved the certification of completion and release of security for public street improvements, street lights, storm drains, water, sewer, landscaping, and monumentation in the Ladera Ranch area.

Rancho Santa Margarita Improvements

At last week's meeting, the Board and I authorized release of security for private street improvements, street lights, sewer, water, landscaping, traffic signal modification, and monumentation in the Rancho Santa Margarita area, in conformance with County approved plans and specifications.

Fighting Illegal Immigration

In October, 2006, the Board of Supervisors voted to approve a Memorandum of Agreement between the Orange County Sheriff's Department and the United States Department of Homeland Security to provide training and certification of Orange County Deputies assigned to Jail Operations. This Agreement allows Deputies to conduct immigration interviews of criminal alien offenders on a full-time basis, replacing part-time Federal Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) officers.

Last week, Sheriff Carona presented a report to the Board on the results of the first five weeks of the program in which Jail Deputies booked 6,160 people from throughout the county, of which 639 were found to be in our country illegally. After going through the legal process and serving any assigned jail time, these individuals will be turned over to ICE. To view Sheriff Carona's presentation to the Board, please click here.

Orange County Contract Policy Manual

The Orange County Contract Policy Manual has been updated for the first time since 1998. An initial consultant's report recommending changes to the Contract Policy Manual led to the formation of an ad hoc Procurement Committee - consisting of Chairman Norby, Treasurer/Supervisor Moorlach, Auditor-Controller David Sundstrom, Chief Information Officer Satish Ajmani, Manager of Purchasing Ron Vienna, and staff. Over the subsequent months, the Procurement Committee evaluated the consultant's recommendations and suggested changes of their own. At last week's meeting, the Board approved the 2007 Contract Policy Manual.

Revisions were made regarding the circumstances under which Commodities, Fixed Assets, Services, and Public Works contracts had to be presented to the Board before approval. These changes make Orange County's procurement process more in line with neighboring counties and will reduce the number of contracts presented before the Board. For an outline of changes in the Orange County Procurement Process, please click here.

Orange County Legislative Bulletin

The Orange County Legislative Bulletin provides the Board of Supervisors with analyses of measures pending in Sacramento and Washington that are of interest to the County. To view the Orange County Legislative Bulletin as approved by the Board of Supervisors on March 27, 2007, please click here.

Water Treatment Plant Reopens

Days after the Orange County Metropolitan Water District asked residents and businesses to limit their water consumption while a key facility underwent a series of upgrades, consumers can now rest easy.

The district's Robert B. Diemer Water Treatment Plant serving Orange County opened early Saturday, nearly a day ahead of schedule, after improvements were made to ensure the future availability of drinking water.

The plant supplies 95% of the water used in south Orange County and half of the countywide total.

The Yorba Linda facility was shut down March 25, prompting a potential water crisis prominently announced on Orange County freeway signs.

Orange County Coastal Coalition

On March 22, I co-chaired the second Coastal Coalition meeting of the year held at the Newport Beach Public Library. The Orange County Coastal Coalition is an association of local, regional, state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, private industry and the public whose role is to advocate, educate and coordinate activities along the Orange County coast.

The focus of our meeting's presentations was on the source of bacteria at Poche Beach in San Clemente and what is being done to eliminate the postings for poor beach water quality. Poche Beach is one of Heal the Bay's Top 10 worst beaches in Southern California for state exceeding bacteria standards. The source-tracking study, conducted by microbiologist Larissa Aumand of Weston Solutions, indicated that urban runoff and over-irrigation from the upper portion of the Prima Deshecha watershed was the source of the bacteria. To view Ms. Aumand's presentation to the Coastal Coalition, please click here.

Joe Berg, representing the Municipal Water District of Orange County, discussed the district's SmarTimer Rebate Program which will help residential and commercial customers save water while protecting the environment. By using SmarTimers - which respond to weather and soil moisture - households could save over 40 gallons of water per day and reduce urban runoff by well over 50%! To view Mr. Berg's presentation to the Coastal Coalition, please click here. For more information about the benefits of SmarTimers, please visit http://www.mwdoc.com/SmarTimer/.

Lastly, Jim Volz, Senior Civil Engineer from the County of Orange, gave an overview of the cutting-edge UV Treatment Plant at Poche Beach that will be installed by the County. This highly effective treatment is expected to "zap" 99% of bacteria in the water before it reaches the beach. To view Mr. Volz's presentation to the Coastal Coalition, please click here.

We all have a responsibility to conserve water and improve water quality. To be a part of this ongoing discussion, I hope to see you at our next Coastal Coalition meeting:

Thursday, April 26, 2007
9:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Newport Beach Public Library
1000 Avocado Avenue
Newport Beach, California 92660

Native Habitat Tour Series

The Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA) is proud to present its annual Native Habitat Tour Series. Your are invited to join TCA this spring to see some of the more than 2,100 acres of open space that were protected with the construction of the 241 and 73 toll roads. Six unique hikes provide a glimpse into areas of south Orange County few people have seen. Due to the popularity of this program, this year's participants are asked to sign up for only one tour to allow more people to enjoy the series. Space is limited. Please call (949) 754-3405 to reserve your spot on a tour. For more information about the Native Habitat Tour Series, please click here.

Tick-Borne Disease Found In South County

A tick carrying Rocky Mountain spotted fever has been found in south Orange County, animal disease-trackers say and - while the illness is likely still rare in the county - they are urging caution for hikers and mountain bikers.

The Pacific Coast Tick - one of two common varieties that can carry the disease - was found January 29 in Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, said Mike Hearst, spokesman for the Orange County Vector Control District.

The disease, which causes rashes and flu-like symptoms and, in a small number of cases, can be fatal, is considered rare in the county; the last human case was 15 years ago, Hearst said.

Ticks must feed for four to six hours before they can pass on the disease. Still, he said people who hike or bike in county wilderness parks should check for ticks and, if they become ill after a tick bite, consult their doctors.

E. Coli Source Identified

The Orange County Health Care Agency's on-going investigation of an increase in reported E. coli 0157:H7 cases has identified a restaurant at which all currently known cases have reported eating.

Interviews with each of the seven currently known cases have determined they all ate at the Foothill Ranch Souplantation located at 26572 Towne Center Drive, Lake Forest, CA 92610. At least six of the seven are known to have eaten at that restaurant on March 23rd or 24th. The continuing investigation will attempt to identify food items that may be implicated. "Staff from the Souplantation restaurant and corporate office have been completely cooperative with our on-going investigation of this foodborne outbreak," said Eric G. Handler, M.D., County Health Officer.

Individuals who ate at this Souplantation restaurant and have developed symptoms that may include bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps are advised to contact their physician. General information about E. coli is available on the Health Care Agency website at www.ochealthinfo.com or by calling the Agency's Health Referral Line at 800-564-8448.

Health care providers should immediately report cases of suspect and confirmed E. coli O157:H7, hemolytic uremic syndrome or positive shiga toxin testing to Orange County Public Health Epidemiology at (714) 834-8180.

Freeway Service Patrol

The Orange County Freeway Service Patrol (FSP) provides peak, mid-day and weekend assistance to stranded motorists along the Orange County Freeways system.

The Orange County FSP operates 35 peak hour trucks from 5:30 AM to 9:30 AM and again from 3 PM to 7 PM; five mid-day trucks at the most congested interchanges as designated by the CHP from 10 AM until 2 PM; and a pilot program of two weekend trucks from Alicia Parkway south to the County line along San Diego Interstate Freeway (I-5).

The FSP is a traffic management and motorist aid program designed to mitigate traffic congestion by providing a timely response to accidents and other incidents leaving debris on the freeways, as well as providing rapid removal of disabled vehicles and other necessary services such as fixing a flat tire, providing a jump start, providing one gallon of gas and repairing cooling system hoses to stranded motorists.

If your vehicle is un-repairable or can not be made operable within 10 minutes the vehicle is towed to a drop zone which is a safe location with other services available. All these services are free to the motoring public and no phone number is required to be called for assistance, this program is designed as a continuous roving patrol.

The FSP program is a partnership between California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the California Highway Patrol (CHP), and the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA).

Measure M Oversight Committee

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) recently kicked off recruitment to fill four openings on the Measure M Oversight Committee.

Measure M is the revised Traffic Improvement and Growth Management Plan approved by Orange County voters in November 1990. The measure raises the sale tax in Orange County by one-half cent for a period of 20 years to alleviate traffic congestion. This money is administered by the OCTA and pays for specific voter-approved transportation projects for freeway improvements, local street and road improvements and rail and transit program specified in the plan.

Measure M requires that an independent Citizens Oversight Committee (COC) ensure the integrity if the measure by acting as watchdog over the expenditures specified in the revised Traffic Improvement and Growth Management Plan.

Residents from the First, Fourth and Fifth supervisorial districts are encouraged to submit an application by clicking here.

For more information, please click here.

Pandemic Influenza

As most of you are aware, health experts around the globe are concerned about the potential of avian influenza (bird flu) to infect humans and ultimately cause a very serious worldwide pandemic. Though we cannot predict with any certainty that this will occur, it is important that each one of us is prepared to take care of ourselves and our families, and be ready to serve as "disaster service workers" as needed to support our community if and when a pandemic occurs.

Preparing for pandemic influenza is not a job just for public health. Individual action and individual responsibility are necessary for the success of any measures. We all can take a few important steps right now to prepare our homes and families for a potential influenza pandemic.

To view a brochure provided to assist you in several ways, please click here.

County Expands Health Care Coverage

Orange County has been selected by State officials to receive more than $50 million over a three year period to expand health care coverage for low-income, uninsured adults.

Orange County will receive $16.9 million per year for a three year period that begins September 1, 2007. The additional Federal funding will be used to expand and improve the County's Medical Services for Indigents (MSI) program, which assists low-income adults 21 to 64 years of age who do not qualify for Medi-Cal or other programs.

For more information, please click here.

Community Services and Support

The Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63) became effective January 1, 2005, and is intended to reduce the adverse impact of untreated serious mental illness and serious emotional disturbance by developing new and expanded services at the county level. Orange County had previously been awarded $25.5 million per year to provide mental health Community Services and Support (CSS). We have recently been awarded supplemental funding in the amount of $9,030,400.

A 59-person steering committee developed a plan for the additional funding, incorporating input from several public meetings.

Four CSS Programs will be expanded:

  • Full Service/Wraparound Program for Children
  • Full Service/Wraparound Program for Transitional Age Youth
  • Older Adult Mental Health Services Recovery Program
  • Older Adult Supports and Intervention System (OASIS)

Four CSS Programs will be new:

  • Mentoring Program for Children
  • Mentoring Program for Transitional Age Youth
  • Program of Assertive Community Treatment for Adults
  • A client-run Wellness Center.
Aircraft Noise and AirportMonitor

John Wayne Airport has one of the most stringent aircraft access and noise monitoring programs in the United States and the world. Commercial Air Carrier operations at John Wayne Airport are regulated by the Phase 2 Commercial Airline Access Plan and Regulation (Access Plan). The Access Plan places restrictions on operational capacity, hours of operations, and noise levels. General Aviation operations are permitted 24 hours daily subject to compliance with the daytime noise limits and the more restrictive curfew noise limits, as documented in the General Aviation Noise Ordinance.

In order to monitor and enforce these restrictions, the Access and Noise Office utilizes a state-of the-art noise monitoring system that enables them to track each and every one of the approximate 350,000 air carrier and general aviation operations that occur each year at John Wayne Airport. The noise monitoring stations transmit noise events instantaneously to the Access and Noise Office, enabling the staff to have up-to-the-second data on aircraft operations.

The newest addition to their system is the AirportMonitor, which shows flights around John Wayne Airport within an up to 80 mile-radius and can easily be accessed from their website. AirportMonitor - John Wayne Airport's Internet flight tracking system - allows you to watch the movement of flights and air traffic patterns within the Orange County region. To learn how to use this feature, please click here.

Noise and Access staff responds to approximately 2,500 calls a year. The staff strives to provide outstanding customer service by listening and responding to noise complaints, concerns of the community, and requests for information. To register an aircraft noise complaint, please call the Noise Abatement Hotline at 949-252-5185.

If registering an aircraft noise complaint, please be ready to provide staff the following information:

  • Time of aircraft noise event
  • Direction aircraft is/was flying
  • Approximate altitude aircraft is/was flying
  • Type of aircraft (commercial or private)
Interpol Tools To Benefit Orange County

Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona recently met with Secretary General Ronald K. Noble at the Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France, to identify ways in which vital international police information could be accessed by officers on the street.

The world's largest police organization, each of Interpol's 186 member countries has an Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB) which is controlled and staffed by the national authorities of that country.

Located in Washington DC, the United States NCB includes police representatives from a number of federal and state law enforcement agencies, and has been working with the General Secretariat to extend Interpol services to officers in the field.

"If Orange County Sheriff's Deputies were given direct access to Interpol's tools such as the Stolen and Lost Travel Documents database, this would have a major impact on our ability to carry out our job of protecting all residents and visitors," said Sheriff Carona.

Since January, 2007, Orange County Sheriff's Department Jail Deputies have had official designation from the US's Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency to interview foreign nationals taken into custody. Enabling access to Interpol's international databases would further assist local law enforcement to identify international wanted persons arrested in Orange County.

For more information, please click here.

To view photos of Sheriff Carona meeting with Secretary General Ronald K. Noble at Interpol headquarters, please click here.

fifth District Wrap-up

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

  • Adjourned the March 27 Board meeting in memory of my friend and avid supporter, Nathan Shapell, whom recently passed away. To learn more about the life and times of acclaimed homebuilder and philanthropist Nathan Shapell, please click here.
  • Participated in the 2007 Swallows Day Parade, riding in a horse-drawn wagon carrying a host of local elected officials. The Parade was the main event for this year’s 49th Annual Fiesta de las Golondrinas. For more information about the Swallows Day Parade, please visit www.SwallowsParade.com.
  • Presented Board Resolutions to the Social Services Agency (SSA) and Health Care Agency (HCA) in honor of Orange County’s Social Workers and in recognition of National Social Workers Month (March). Thank you for enriching our community through your selfless acts of service! To view photos of the ceremony, please click here.
  • Attended the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) 2007 Legislative Conference to get the latest information on the health care reform and corrections reform proposals being considered; and to learn more about budget issues that could significantly impact Orange County. To view the CSAC 2007 Legislative Conference program agenda, please click here.
  • Wrote an article published in California Counties Magazine - the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) award-winning bi-monthly publication covering the topics that matter most to county officials. To read my article, “Make Your Voice Heard: Tips for Effective Advocacy”, please click here.
  • Visited the newly opened James & Rosemary Nix Nature Center and toured our beautiful Laguna Coast Wilderness Park with Laguna Canyon Foundation Executive Director Mary Fegraus and others. To view pictures of our tour, please click here. For more information about the Nix Nature Center and/or Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, please visit www.LagunaCanyon.org.

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 comments or questions at (714) 834-3550.

It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your Supervisor for Orange County's beautiful Fifth District. Thank you so much for your support!