April 25, 2008
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 Information
3. County Connections
4. Fifth District Spotlight
5. Critter Chronicles
6. Environmental Memos
7. Notes From The Field
8. South County Calendar
9. 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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|Board Bulletin Board
Adding Open Space and Enhancing our Quality of Life
In my continuing efforts to find additional ways to protect open space and enhance our quality of life, the Board of Supervisors added over 21 acres of open space to Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park. The 21 acres is located at the south end of the park, adjacent to the City of Aliso Viejo. Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park boasts approximately 4,000 acres of wilderness and natural open space land. Within this jewel of our parks system are mature oaks, sycamores and elderberry trees, two year round streams, and more than 30 miles of trails. Many rare and endangered plants and animals make this park their home, which serves as a wildlife sanctuary. This serene setting is one I encourage all Orange County residents to find time to enjoy. For more information, please click here.
Paving the Way for a Smooth Drive in your City
To assist our partner cities in improving our local roads, the Board of Supervisors created a City Aid Program, which provides funding to improve roadways within each city. The County has elected to distribute $10 million of its $19 million state-funded Proposition 42 allocations to assist cities in improving our local roads. County staff has ensured me that the remaining $9 million dollars will adequately fund roadway improvements within unincorporated portions of the County. To that end, I am pleased to report that $1,865,139 will be going directly to Fifth District cities. Below are the City allocations:
|Rancho Santa Margarita
|San Juan Capistrano
Enhancing Baggage Handling Systems at John Wayne Airport
This week, the Board of Supervisors approved the use of design-build procurement for the Terminal A and Terminal B Baggage Handling System Enhancements Project at John Wayne Airport. This project will improve movement of passengers and baggage as well as reduce turnaround times. The scope of the Project includes modifying the existing Terminal A and Terminal B Explosive Detection System baggage security screening loops to achieve increased capacity and improved explosive detection system bag tracking accuracy; and modifying the ticket counter and curbside transport lines to eliminate the use of baggage tubs and reduce baggage system backups.
The use of design-build procurement will allow the County to contract with a single entity for design and construction. This method provides significant time and cost savings, eliminating the need for coordination with multiple contractors, which can often become convoluted and inefficient. With appropriate performance measures, the effectiveness of using design-build procurement for our Airport Improvement Program is a key element for on-time project delivery.
English Language & Civics Education Grant
The California Department of Education, under the provisions of the Federal Workforce Investment Act, provides grant funds to support English language and civics education for adults. The Board approved an application for $15,000 which will fund these services provided by READ/Orange County, a division of OC Public Libraries. Specifically, READ/Orange County offers adult literacy services to help advance reading, writing, and speaking skills of citizens seeking to improve their eligibility for higher education and employment. For more information on this program, please click here.
South County Transportation Projects Update
I’m pleased to report that the southbound I-5/Crown Valley Parkway off-ramp widening project is presently in the construction contract award phase as a result of the California Transportation Commission (CTC) $2 million allocation in December.
I’m also happy to report that the southbound I-5/Oso Parkway exit lane and interchange improvements project will be advertising for bid proposals beginning next week with construction commencing in the fall upon funding being approved by the CTC in June. The project will widen the exit lane from 1 to 2 lanes and add an exit/storage lane plus sight distance improvements to the northbound off ramp.
These projects have been expedited through the collaborative efforts of our stakeholder meetings with local and state government agencies. We have compiled a tracking index to ensure priority traffic safety and congestion relief projects are not tied up in bureaucracy. I want to thank participating agencies for working hard with my office to cut red tape and move projects forward.
I will continue to keep you updated on the progress we are making with other South County transportation projects.
OCTA 2007 Annual Report
I am pleased to share with you the Orange County Transportation Authority’s (OCTA) annual report, which features significant accomplishments of fiscal year 2006-2007. One of the most important achievements was the development of an Early Action Plan for Renewed Measure M. The five-year plan serves as a blueprint for accelerating delivery of major freeways and transit improvements promised to voters by Renewed Measure M.
These accomplishments would not have been possible without the support of forward-thinking Orange County voters. Thank you for your continued support. The OCTA Board and I look forward to working together with you to deliver safer, faster, and more efficient transportation solutions in the years ahead. To view the OCTA 2007 Annual Report, please click here.
TCA asks Army Corps of Engineers to Correct Letter
The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) asked the Army Corps of Engineers to correct an April 7 letter regarding the federal environmental process for the completion of the 241 Toll Road. TCA’s communication corrects the record regarding several statements in the April 7 letter signed by Col. Magness and provides citations to support each statement. For more information, please click here.
Candidates for Sheriff-Coroner
As reported in my newsletter last week, the filing period to apply for the appointment of Sheriff-Coroner closed on Friday, April 18. I continue to receive letters, emails and phone calls from the public, providing input on issues of importance related to the appointment, which I will raise with each candidate during the interview process.
Public input for the Sheriff-Coroner position will be heard at the May 6 meeting of the Board of Supervisors. To view the candidate names and resumes submitted for consideration to fill the vacant Sheriff-Coroner position, please click here.
OCSD Women’s Team Victorious
In a stunning upset, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) Women’s running team took first place in the Women’s category at the 2008 Baker to Vegas 120 mile relay race held last weekend. In dramatic fashion, the OCSD Women caught and passed the perennial favorite L.A. Sheriff’s Women’s Team at leg 19 and held on through leg 20 to claim the victory. The OCSD Women also held off a strong challenge by the FBI Los Angeles team late in the race. Congratulations to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Women on their sweet victory!
|Fifth District Spotlight
Commander in Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence
Last week, the Commanding Officer of MCB Camp Pendleton received notice that the installation had been selected as the winner of the prestigious Commander in Chief's Installation Excellence Award. Only one military installation within each of the service branches is selected for this honor. This marks only the second time that Camp Pendleton has received this award since its establishment 22 years ago. The Base's first selection was in 2001. The award was presented for Camp Pendleton's overall mission performance as well as the Base's efforts in improving the quality of life for our service members and their families, environmental and conservation programs, and community relations. We are very proud of this accomplishment by our military neighbors to the south and wanted to share the news with you! For more information, please click here.
Pet Project Foundation's 15th Annual Wag-A-Thon
As reported in my newsletter last week, the Pet Project Foundation, which raises funds for animals at the San Clemente/Dana Point Animal Shelter, will present their 15th Annual Wag-A-Thon on Saturday, April 26. The acclaimed “walk with the animals” will be held in the beautiful Dana Point Harbor from 8:30 AM to 1 PM. This fun-filled, family event will feature Pet Contests, Disc Dog demonstrations, a Bowser Bazaar, refreshments, live music, and Nicodemus – the celebrity dog – and more. Over 2000 dog lovers and 1000 dogs are expected to come from far and wide to join the festivities and support the shelter animals. For more information, please click here.
Wildflowers Fading on the Landscape
The spectacular wildflower shows at many Orange County Parks are now going to seed, getting ready for another show next year. While some wildflowers are still visible at Caspers and Laguna Coast Wilderness Parks in the Fifth District, the display is now less dramatic. 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 second of four free tours offered by TCA is:
Upper Chiquita CanyonThis conservation area located near Coto de Caza was preserved as part of construction of the 241 Toll Road. This hike gives participants a peek at a 1,182-acre area, rich with coastal sage scrub, oak woodland, perennial grassland, and natural drainage habitats. The natural history of the site, including geology, soils, plants, insects, birds and reptiles, will be the focus of this hike. The tour, which includes some hills, will be led by a plant ecologist and an ornithologist. For more information, please click here.
Wildflower & Bird Watching Tour
April 26, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
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 26
Make a Day of It Hike
9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Enjoy panoramic ocean views and blooming wildflowers on this approximately 10-mile hike with Laguna Canyon Foundation naturalist Brad Larkins. Bring plenty of water and a lunch. 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, May 1
Raise your heart rate and your spirits on this strenuous, fast-paced, 3.5- to 5-mile hike with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer 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, May 3
Canyon to Canyon Hike
Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalist Kathleen Farinacci leads this 7-mile, strenuous, interpretive hike from Little Sycamore Canyon to Willow Canyon via Laurel Canyon. Meet at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area (20101 Laguna Canyon Road, west side, just south of El Toro Road intersection) to carpool to Little Sycamore Canyon. Reservations suggested: 949-923-2235. Parking: $3.
- Saturday, May 3
First Weekends at the Nix Nature Center:
Dr. Sue's Insect and Arthropod Zoo
See Sue Van Vorhis Key's "zoo" full of live insects and arthropods, from walking sticks to scorpions. Then learn about arthropods by making your own. Meet at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Nix Nature Center, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area (west side of Laguna Canyon Road/SR-133, approximately 3.5 miles south of I-5/405). Reservations required: 949-923-2235. Parking: $3.
- Sunday, May 4
Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride
9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Enjoy ocean and canyon views on this 8- to 15-mile ride led by Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists and 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.
|South County Calendar
First Thursday’s Art Walk in Laguna Beach
Join member galleries throughout Laguna Beach on Thursday, May 1, from 6pm – 9pm for a festive, cultural evening. Free shuttles to participating galleries start at 6:15 PM at the Laguna Art Museum (corner of PCH & Cliff Dr.) and Bluebird Center (1590 S. Coast Highway) and run until 8:45 PM. For more information, please click here.
4th Annual Taste of Ladera
On Saturday, May 3, Founder's Park in Ladera Ranch will transform itself into the 4th Annual Taste of Ladera as restaurants share a variety of spectacular cuisine. The band Berlin will perform along with other well known artists as you sample foods and join in the activities. With 15,000 expected to attend and 22 charities being supported, the Taste of Ladera has become a signature event that gets better each year! For more information, please click here.
International Festival at Soka University in Aliso Viejo
On Saturday, May 3, enjoy over 600 international musicians and dancers performing on three stages, storytelling, street painting, children's ‘Adventureland’ and more. Soka University's International Festival is part of the Imagination Celebration held in cooperation with Arts Orange County and the OC Department of Education. For more information, please click here.
San Clemente’s 18th Annual Cinco De Mayo Fiesta
Celebrate traditional Mexican festivities on Saturday, May 3, at the 18th Annual Cinco De Mayo Fiesta! The program boasts a whole day of live entertainment featuring Mariachis, Aztec Dancers, Ballet Folkloric, ballad singers, and many live bands. Other activities include children’s games, contests, and crafts, authentic food and drink, annual art contest, and a great car display. For more information, please click here.
"Battle of the Mariachis" in San Juan Capistrano
Mission San Juan Capistrano presents their Fourth Annual Mariachi Festival, part of Orange County’s Imagination Celebration. Imagination Celebration is presented by Arts Orange County and the Orange County Department of Education. Mission San Juan Capistrano invites you to the Fourth Annual Mariachi Festival, which will be held on Saturday, May 3, 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., in the beautiful Mission Courtyard. For more information, please click here.
|Fifth District Wrap-Up
Among my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
My office also:
- Attended the Lincoln Club of Orange County 46th Annual Dinner
- Attended the Orange County Tourism Council 10th Annual Service Excellence Awards Ceremony
- Met with the founder of The Ray of Life Foundation to discuss Automated External Defibrillators to protect vicitims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest. For more information, please click here.
- Spoke at a public ceremony to celebrate the recent acquisition of parkland, linking Laguna Coast Wilderness Park and Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park
- Co-Chaired the monthly meeting of the Orange County Coastal Coalition (more on this in my next newsletter)
- Attended the South Coast Medical Center Foundation Women's Advisory Council 13th Annual Fashion Show
My staff and I look forward to continually providing you updated information in our Fifth District Newsletter and website.
- Attended a Lake Forest Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony to present a Certificate of Recognition in honor of the grand opening of KinetiCore Pilates Therapy
- Attended a Laguna Hills Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony to present a Certificate of Recognition in honor of the grand opening of Fountains Unique
- Attended the City of Dana Point’s ‘State of the City’ Luncheon
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!