Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
April 4, 2008

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 Information

3. County Connections

4. Environmental Memos

5. Notes From The Field

6. Critter Chronicles

7. Fifth District Spotlight

8. South County Calendar

9. Fifth District Wrap-Up


Justin McCusker:
Chief of Staff

Sergio Prince:
Executive Director of Public Affairs

Jeff Corless:
Executive Policy Advisor

Elise Lampe:
Executive Policy Advisor

Chip Monaco:
Executive Policy Advisor

Ruth Strachan:
Executive Secretary II

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Volume 2 Issue 12
Board Bulletin Board

Police Community Reconciliation Program

The County CEO and the Human Relations Commission returned to the Board of Supervisors with a final policy draft of the Police Community Reconciliation Program (PCRP). The proposed policy is based on a directive I requested during approval of the Office of Independent Review (OIR) established in February, which is a professional oversight mechanism for reviewing law enforcement policies, procedures, and major incidents.

The PCRP will be a confidential tool for citizens to report serious complaints regarding law enforcement that do not rise to the level of review by the OIR. Further, the PCRP will allow citizens and peace officers to meet confidentially with a state certified mediator to resolve complaints. This comprehensive policy will create a transparent and civil exchange between peace officers and citizens, giving the public even greater confidence in our law enforcement professionals.

While we have already begun implementing the OIR, I asked that the PCRP be continued for 30 days. The additional time will allow the CEO to work with the Association of Orange County Sheriff’s Deputies to receiving input and ensure the program does not violate state law, including the Police Officer Bill Of Rights. Voluntary participation of our Sheriff’s Deputies is an essential component of the PCRP and I look forward to their input. In 30 days, the Board of Supervisors will review the final draft of this policy.

Moving Ahead on Alton Parkway

The Board moved one step closer in accomplishing what Lake Forest residents and businesses have long awaited – the Alton Parkway extension. After engaging in intensive meetings with the City of Lake Forest and other stakeholders, the Board approved a design contract to complete a stretch of Alton Parkway from Irvine Boulevard to Commercecentre Drive. County staff anticipates the design will be completed within a year and hopes to begin construction in the summer of 2009.

County Recycling Efforts Making a Difference

As 5th District Supervisor, I’m committed to finding cost-effective, meaningful opportunities to increase the public’s ability to recycle & divert materials from disposal at any of our three active landfills. On Tuesday, the Board received its quarterly report from the OC Waste & Recycling Department.

Staff highlighted ways they’ve helped increase recycling activities throughout Orange County. The County has established a local grants program for Orange County cities. This grant program is funded through revenues the County receives through self-hauled waste tipping fees. A portion of this revenue is returned to Orange County cities to implement local solutions for recycling challenges they face.

Another exciting opportunity coming to South County is a small recycling facility at the Prima Deshecha Landfill. This facility is an excellent example of a mutually beneficial public-private partnership. The facility will accept self-hauled waste already coming to the landfill and increase the County’s ability to divert recyclable goods from final disposal. This partnership will help the County meet state mandated recycling requirements, which will earn revenue for other recycling activities while allowing the private sector to profit from recycling the materials it collects. I remain committed to identifying innovative ways to cost-effectively meet our recycling requirements and am proud of the progress we continue to make.

The “411” on 3-1-1 County Service Call Center Project

The Board approved Phase I of the 3-1-1 County Service Call Center Project. 3-1-1, if implemented, will be a central information center for County and local government information. The greatest benefit of this service as proven in other regions such as San Francisco and Miami-Dade will be relief to our 9-1-1 Emergency Response System by re-direction of non-emergent calls.

Phase I consists of a thorough business case study to assess the needs of our entire region including an in-depth analysis of one large city (Irvine) and one small city (Laguna Woods) to establish the model for serving all 34 cities and determine if there will be a revenue base to support it. The County will work closely with the League of Cities and the City Managers Association to receive input for customizing this product appropriately throughout the entire process. I have asked staff to return regularly to the Board with concrete updates on the progress of the study to ensure it is comprehensive and cost effective.

Registrar Responds to Grand Jury Report

Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley has prepared a response to the Grand Jury report on Orange County’s Election Process. All of the Grand Jury recommendations have been implemented or are currently being implemented. Orange County remains the only urban county with electronic voting systems certified by the California Secretary of State. To read the Grand Jury report, please click here. To view the Registrar’s response, please click here.

Dana Point Library To Extend Hours of Operation

The Board approved an agreement between the City of Dana Point and the Orange County Public Library to extend hours of operation at the Dana Point Library to Sundays for an additional 5 hours from 12 noon to 5pm. This will take effect Sunday, April 6. For more information please visit the Orange County Public Libraries at www.ocpl.org.

Transportation Information

OCTA Annual Legislative Advocacy Trip

On Wednesday and Thursday last week, I joined several fellow Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Directors in Sacramento for our delegation legislative advocacy trip.

On Wednesday, we met with Senators Dick Ackerman (R-Irvine), Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach), Dennis Hollingsworth (R-Murrieta), and Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) regarding public private partnerships, goods movement, and OCTA sponsored legislation. We also had the opportunity to meet with key staff from the office of Senator Tom Torlakson (D-Antioch) and Denise Ducheny (D-San Diego).

An annual delegation dinner was hosted by the Orange County Business Council and included Senators Correa, Ackerman, Ducheny, Bob Margett (R-Glendora), Mark Wyland (R-Carlsbad), and Assembly Members Todd Spitzer (R-Orange) and Mimi Walters (R-Laguna Hills).

On Thursday, we participated in two panel discussions with members of the Governor’s Executive staff. The first panel focused on budget and legislative issues with Mike Genest, Director of the Department of Finance, Chris Kahn, Legislative Secretary for the Governor, and Dan Dunmoyer, Deputy Chief of Staff for the Governor. The second panel focused on transportation and goods movement issues with Dale Bonner, Secretary of the Business Transportation & Housing Agency, John Barna, Executive Director of the California Transportation Commission, and Will Kempton, Caltrans Director.

As Chair of the Legislative & Communications Committee, I will continue to work closely with members of the legislature as the legislative calendar moves forward to ensure our priorities receive appropriate attention and support.

South County Metrolink Service Alert

Beginning the weekend of April 12, Orange County trains will be replaced by bus service between the Oceanside and Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo train stations. Track maintenance will take place in several locations along this route over 4 consecutive weekends. Northbound buses will depart Oceanside, San Clemente and San Clemente Pier 20 minutes earlier than published times, except for the Inland Empire-Orange County Line Train 860, which will depart on time. Northbound passengers destined for San Juan Capistrano will first stop at the Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo Station before proceeding to San Juan Capistrano.

Southbound passengers traveling beyond San Juan Capistrano will be provided bus service from Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo with stops at San Clemente, San Clemente Pier and Oceanside. A bus will depart from San Juan Capistrano for southbound passengers originating at that station. Bus replacement service will operate for four consecutive weekends and is scheduled to end the weekend of May 3. For more information, please click here.

County Connections

National Public Health Week

The Orange County Health Care Agency will participate in several events during the upcoming observance of Public Health Week, April 7 thru 13. Public Health Week is a nationwide health observance, focusing on the many public health programs and services that protect community health, prevent the spread of disease, keep the environment safe, promote healthy behaviors, prevent injuries, assure quality health care, and respond to disasters. For more information, please click here.

60 Day Military Ballot Set to Mail Overseas

The Registrar of Voters has completed the 60 day ballot in time for delivery to our overseas voters. Many Orange County citizens live temporarily overseas (including those serving in the military) and these ballots are important lifelines to the community. The Registrar will mail thousands of these ballots out at the beginning of next week. For more information, please click here.

Orange County Foreclosure Prevention Counseling

In the summer of 2007, Neighborhood Housing Services of Orange County (NHSOC) witnessed the first increase in the need for foreclosure prevention for homeowners in Orange County. The demand for foreclosure prevention education and counseling has increased as mortgage default rates and foreclosures continue to rise in Orange County. In response to this market demand, NHSOC developed and implemented a comprehensive homeownership preservation strategy that assists families to preserve homeownership.

I’m pleased to report NHSOC has received $96,000 to support Orange County foreclosure prevention counseling efforts. The much needed boost will enable NHSOC to provide more foreclosure counseling than ever before to area homeowners in danger of foreclosure. For more information, please click here or visit www.nhsoc.org.

Environmental Memos

Ocean and Bay Water Quality Report

The seventh annual report provides an analysis of bacteriological water quality data for the 112 miles of Orange County’s ocean and bay waters for the years 2000-2007, and incorporates sewage spill and related ocean & bay water closure data from 1987-2007. To view the report, please click here.

Citizen Science on the Beach - Grunion Greeters Wanted!

Volunteer “Grunion Greeters” experience a grunion run and witness the remarkable behavior of the silvery little fish as they come completely ashore to spawn. Peak spawning season typically occurs from April through early June. Grunion runs occur late at night, twice a month, after the highest tides associated with a full or new moon.

Volunteers must attend a workshop prior to spawning season (advanced RSVP’s required). An Orange County workshop will be held on Wednesday, April 16, 6:30-8:00 PM, at the Muth Interpretive Center in Newport Beach. Space is limited. Please reserve your spot no later than April 9. For more information, please click here.

Notes From The Field

TCA Native Habitat Spring Tours

The public is invited to enjoy our spectacular wildflowers this spring as part of the Transportation Corridor Agencies’ (TCA) 2008 Native Habitat Tour Series. The tours are led by biologists and scientists through open space areas that were protected or restored during construction of the 73, 241, 261, and 133 Toll Roads. The first of four free tours offered by TCA is:

Siphon Reservoir
Burn Recovery Hike
April 12, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
This 214-acre site, developed in conjunction with the 241 Toll Road, includes preserved and restored coastal scrub habitat surrounding Siphon Reservoir. The restored area was formerly a citrus orchard. Nature enthusiasts will see the wildflowers that have bloomed following the Santiago Fire. A plant ecologist will discuss fire recovery and the resurgence of specific plants that follow fires in Southern California. This tour will also include information about the restoration techniques used to create sustainable habitat for the California gnatcatcher, a threatened songbird. To sign up for the tour, please call (949) 754-3405 or email Morgan@sjhtca.com. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Explore the trails and learn more about the flora, fauna, geology and history of Laguna Coast Wilderness Park with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists and OC Parks staff! Below are a few of the opportunities that are being offered. For more information, please click here.

  • Saturday, April 5
    Rocks, Ridgelines and Raptors

    9 a.m.-noon
    Enjoy unspoiled canyon views on this moderate, 7-mile hike along Serrano Ridge and down Laurel Canyon. Look for raptors soaring on thermal lifts while discussing the geology of the landscape. Led by Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers Norris Tomlinson and Bette Lee, this hike will involve carpooling from Willow Canyon to Little Sycamore Canyon to avoid backtracking. Meet at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area (20101 Laguna Canyon Road, west side, just south of El Toro Road intersection). Reservations suggested: 949-923-2235. Parking: $3.

  • Sunday, April 6
    First Weekends at the Nix Nature Center – Meet Your Wildlife
    1-4 p.m.
    Meet your wildlife neighbors! Join Mollie Hogan, from Nature of Wildworks from 1:30-2:30 p.m. for a presentation about local wildlife. See a live skunk, opossum, fox, and birds of prey. Make a promise necklace for Earth Day. Meet at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Nix Nature Center, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area (west side of Laguna Canyon Road/SR-133, approximately 5 miles south of I-5/405). Reservations required: 949-923-2235. Parking: $3.

  • Sunday, April 6
    Art in the Park

    9 a.m.-noon
    Grab a journal and sketchbook and open your mind to nature's inspiration. Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists Karin Klein and Gere Botehlo lead this easy, 2-mile stroll through Laurel Canyon's tree-filled riparian zone. Meet at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area (20101 Laguna Canyon Road, west side, just south of El Toro Road intersection). Reservations suggested: 949-923-2235. Parking: $3.

  • Thursday, April 10
    Fitness Hike

    9-11 a.m.
    Raise your heart rate and your spirits on this strenuous, fast-paced, 3.5- to 5-mile hike with Laguna Canyon Foundation naturalist Helen Flanagan. Meet at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area (20101 Laguna Canyon Road, west side, just south of El Toro Road intersection). Reservations suggested: 949-923-2235. Parking: $3.

  • Saturday, April 12
    Wildflower Hike

    9-11:30 a.m.
    Look for edible plants and learn to identify native bloomers on this 5-mile hike with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists Nadine Nordstrom and Len Gardner. Meet at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area (west side of Laguna Canyon Road/SR-133, approximately 5 miles south of I-5/405). Reservations suggested: 949-923-2235. Parking: $3.

  • Sunday, April 13
    Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride

    9 a.m.-noon
    Enjoy ocean and canyon views on this 8- to 15-mile ride led by Laguna Canyon Foundation mountain bike trail assistants. RESERVATIONS AND HELMETS REQUIRED, call 949-923-2235. Meet at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Big Bend Staging Area (ask for directions when making reservation). Parking: $3.

Saturday Morning Nature Walks at O'Neill Regional Park

Join Park Rangers or Naturalists for an easy 1.5 mile nature walk through various habitats to learn about the Park's diverse plant communities and local wildlife. Meet at the Nature Center Amphitheatre on Saturday mornings at 9:00am. The Nature Walk is canceled if the park receives significant rainfall within the previous 48 hours. Please call the park office at (949) 923-2260 for current conditions and program schedule. For more information about Saturday Morning Nature Walks, please click here. For information about O'Neill Regional Park, please click here.

Saturday Night Campfires at Caspers Wilderness Park

Bring family and friends to camp out and join park staff for the Saturday Night Campfire Program at Caspers Wilderness Park from 7:00pm to 8:00pm. This 1 hour program involves various activities such as slide shows, live animals, poetry, singing, theatrical skits, as well as many artifact and ‘eco-fact’ displays, including animal skulls and skins. This program is limited to overnight family campers. For more information, please call the park office at (949) 923-2210 or click here. For information about Caspers Wilderness Park, please click here.

Sunday Morning Nature Walks at Caspers Wilderness Park

Join Park Rangers for an easy 1-mile nature walk to learn about the park's diverse plant communities and local wildlife. Meet near the old windmill on Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m. The Nature Walk is canceled if the park receives significant rainfall within the previous 48 hours. For more information, please call the park office at (949) 923-2210 or click here. For information about Caspers Wilderness Park, please click here.

Habitat Restoration at Laguna Niguel Regional Park

Laguna Niguel Regional Park is looking for a maximum of 25 volunteers to assist with non- native plant removal at “Narco Channel” on site. Work with County staff and learn about non-native plants and their negative effect on our park land. This is a labor intensive volunteer opportunity and not appropriate for small children (volunteers 16 years and over only please). Dates available: April 5, April 12, April 19 and April 26, 8 a.m. to 12 noon. Volunteer Registration required prior to volunteering. Please RSVP to Angeline.santiago@RDMD.ocgov.com. For more information, please click here.

Critter Chronicles

America's Family Pet Expo Returns to Orange County

America's Family Pet Expo, the world's largest consumer pet show, returns to the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa on Friday, Saturday & Sunday (April 11, 12 & 13) from 10 AM to 6 PM. Dancing dogs, petting zoos, an exotic bird show, a parade of Adorable Adoptables, and Gibson "The World's Tallest Dog", are only the beginning. This fun-filled, family-friendly event features more than 1,000 animals from hundreds of species in stage shows, demos and competitions.

Every aspect of the companion animal world gathers at the Pet Expo to “tell their story.” Exhibitors include manufacturers, retailers, groomers, veterinarians, hobbyist groups, humane rescue organizations, humane societies, breeders, etc. Almost every kind of companion animal is on display and many are featured in educational demonstrations and seminars. Dogs, cats, birds, fish, llamas, reptiles, rabbits, miniature horses and MUCH more round out the weekend.

At America's Family Pet Expo, participants emphasize the importance of responsible pet care of a wide variety of pets, teach the principles of proper pet selection and training, offer a vast array of fine pet products, promote pet adoptions, and help people to better understand and appreciate the wonderful ways in which pets make our lives better. For more information, please click here.

Fifth District Spotlight

Lt. Stephen Bernardi – Mission Viejo Chief of Police Services

As do all Fifth District residents, I place a very high priority on personal safety and quality of life. To that end, I had the great pleasure of presenting a Board resolution at Tuesday’s meeting in recognition of Lieutenant Stephen Bernardi, Chief of Police Services for the City of Mission Viejo, for his outstanding leadership and managerial skills, resulting in Mission Viejo being named the Safest City in the Nation in 2006 among cities with a population of at least 75,000.

Joining me in honoring Lt. Bernardi were Acting-Sheriff Jack Anderson, Mission Viejo City Manager Dennis Wilberg, the Honorable Mayor of Mission Viejo Trish Kelly, and members of the Mission Viejo City Council – Frank Ury, John Paul Ledesma and Lance Maclean; as well as District Director Steven Thornton from Congressman Gary Miller’s Office.

Lt. Bernardi also received a proclamation from Congressman Gary Miller and two letters of recognition – one from Governor Schwarzenegger and the other from President Bush – as well as a trophy from the Sheriff’s Department declaring him “America’s Top Cop.”

I applaud Lieutenant Stephen Bernardi for providing the finest law enforcement services to the residents of Mission Viejo and congratulate him on this outstanding achievement. To see photos of Tuesday’s presentation, please click here.

South County Calendar

First Sunday Concert Series – Laguna Beach Live!

First Sundays, a collaboration of Laguna College of Art & Design and Laguna Beach Live!, is an afternoon of music and art at the Laguna College of Art & Design, 2222 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. The College Art Gallery opens at 2 PM on Sunday, April 6, with the Pacific Art Foundation’s “Best of the Best” – the Annual Juried Student Exhibition. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Beach Live! is also pleased to present the Triada Guitar Trio in a free chamber music concert on Sunday, April 6. Brothers Chekardzhikovi: Nikola, Vasil and Petar are from Bulgaria and have studied guitar since early childhood. They will perform spirited classical and contemporary guitar works in concert from 3 to 4:30 PM. For more information, please click here.

Living History Day – Second Saturdays at the Mission

On Saturday, April 12, come and enjoy Mission San Juan Capistrano's Living History Day. Also known as 'Second Saturdays', this event is held on the second Saturday of each month, 11 AM – 2 PM. The Living History Society helps history come alive for visitors of Mission San Juan Capistrano. This group of dedicated volunteers entertains adults and children of all ages, sharing their love of history through the characters they portray. The Society creates drama and intrigue while providing historical information through stories, demonstrations and crafts. For more information, please click here.

Fifth District Wrap-Up

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

  • Chaired the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Environmental Oversight Committee, which is responsible for developing recommendations for Measure M environmental mitigation projects.
  • Presented a Board resolution in honor of Lt. Stephen Bernardi, Chief of Police Services for the City of Mission Viejo
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Maurie Beaumont of Laguna Beach
  • Presented a grant award to the City of San Juan Capistrano on behalf of OCTA. To see a photo of the presentation, please click here.
  • Met with the new Performance Auditor to discuss possible audits for the coming year and share my views on areas needing priority
  • Met with the Orange County Chapter of the Building Industry Association to discuss the Orange County economy and tactics to encourage “green” building
  • Met with members of the Human Relations Commission to review their Annual Report. To view the Report, please click here.

My office also:

  • Attended a Mission Viejo Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony to present a Certificate of Recognition in honor of the grand opening of Massage Envy. For more information, please click here.
  • Attended the 2nd Annual Heritage Art Show at Irvine Ranch Historic Park
  • Attended the closing ceremony for the City of Mission Viejo’s 20th Anniversary Celebration
  • Attended an Eagle Court of Honor ceremony in Lake Forest to present a Certificate of Recognition in honor of a newly inducted Eagle Scout
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!