Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
May 02, 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. Fifth District Spotlight

5. Environmental Memos

6. Notes From The Field

7. South County Calendar

8. 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 16
Board Bulletin Board

New City Hall and Library Expansion for Laguna Niguel

Our parents taught us that patience is a virtue. That patience on behalf of the County of Orange and City of Laguna Niguel has paved the way for a new city hall and library expansion.

County and City staff worked collaboratively over the last few years to put together a proposal to sell County property to Laguna Niguel for a new city hall. The County was paid approximately $4 million for the property. In addition, the County committed $1.5 million toward a $5 million project to renovate and expand the County branch library in Laguna Niguel. As a commitment to the community, Laguna Niguel will provide the remaining $3.5 million to ensure the library project’s eventual completion.

My Board colleagues and I voted in full support of this collaboration project at Tuesday’s meeting. As a resident and former Mayor of Laguna Niguel, I’m very pleased to see these much needed service and facility upgrades coming to fruition.

Making the Best Use of the Dredge in Dana Point Harbor

I am pleased to report that efforts to dredge Dana Point Harbor took an important step forward this week. On Tuesday, the Board authorized staff to advertise for bids to dredge approximately 90,000 cubic yards of sediment for improved navigation within the harbor. To put it in perspective, that much sediment would fill three football fields, five yards deep!

The best part is that the County intends to use more than 50,000 cubic yards of the sediment to replenish our local beaches with sand. Both Baby Beach in the harbor as well as Capistrano Beach just up the coast will benefit greatly from this project. Staff estimates the dredging will begin this fall and should be completed by year’s end. This exciting project will provide the harbor and our local boaters with much needed improvements while enabling us to reuse an important natural resource to benefit our local beaches.

Continuing our Good Neighbor Policy at Prima Deshecha

In our ongoing efforts to provide proactive measures to monitor the effectiveness of the existing landfill gas collection system at Prima Deshecha Landfill, the Board approved a contract to install additional gas monitoring probes along the perimeter of the site. This ‘good neighbor’ approach has been in place since the inception of the landfill and remains a priority with me.

The additional probes expand the existing network of perimeter probes and serves as a redundant protection system to ensure our landfill gas collection system continues to function effectively. The multi-depth probes serve as an early detection system that will identify landfill gas emissions and should provide an added level of confidence to our friends and neighbors at San Juan Hills High School and our future neighbors in Whispering Hills. Public service that ensures the health and safety of our neighbors will always be a top priority.

Reducing Fees as a Result of Increased Efficiencies

As your advocate for finding ways to reduce bureaucratic obstacles and unnecessary fess for local businesses, I am pleased to report the Board reduced the state-required registration fee for structural pest control businesses. While other counties have set the fee as high as $35 to generate additional revenue, the County of Orange approved a 50% reduction to its existing fee. Under the leadership of this Board and the user-friendly, cost-effective technological solutions identified by staff, structural pest control businesses will now only be charged $5 for this service.

It is very gratifying when the Board and County staff can provide service enhancements at a significant cost reduction. I will continue to seek ways we can affect the same kind of success with similar fees.

Veterans Advisory Council

Last week, I was very pleased to nominate Larry Collins of Laguna Woods to serve as my 5th District appointee on the Orange County Veterans Advisory Council. His nomination received full support from my Board colleagues. Larry is a retired Lieutenant Colonel who proudly served at the former Marine Corps Air Station at El Toro and was recently named Veteran of the Year by Assemblywoman Mimi Walters.

This week, my office supported and the Board approved the ‘At Large’ appointments of Jack Issacson, also of Laguna Woods, and Michael Resk of Corona del Mar to the Veterans Advisory Council. I am delighted to have these distinguished veterans representing us on the Council.

Overhauling Orange County Jails

Last month, Acting Sheriff Anderson brought forth an emergency declaration for Board approval to cut through red tape and move forward with procuring and installing Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Digital Recording systems at both the Central Jail Complex and Theo Lacy Facility. The emergency declaration must be reviewed by the Board at every board meeting until the project is complete. According to plans, the CCTV systems should be up and running by July. I will continue to keep you informed on the progress of reforms the County is implementing as we overhaul our jail system.

Unincorporated Roads and Highways Maintenance Funding

A portion of the Highways Users Tax Fund is distributed to all counties for road maintenance. It is computed on the basis of the number of road miles maintained by each county. The County is required to report annually to the State Controller all roads and highways that are added or deleted from the list maintained by OC Public Works. To see a list of roads currently maintained in the unincorporated areas, please click here. For a list of roads in the unincorporated areas that are being added for maintenance, please click here.

Transportation Information

241 Toll Road: What’s Next?

On February 6, the California Coastal Commission considered TCA’s application for a Coastal Consistency Certification. The project triggered federal consistency review because it requires a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. However, the Coastal Commission voted against the 241 Toll Road project. TCA remains committed to completing this project and filed an appeal to the Secretary of Commerce, requesting the Coastal Commission vote be overturned. The appeal will likely be resolved in late 2008. For more information, please click here.

Orange County Bike to Work Week: May 12 – 16

Burn calories, not fossil fuel -- bike to work! When you leave your car at home and ride your bike, you’ll be burning calories instead of fossil fuel. It’s a great way to keep fit and help improve our air quality. You can even take your bike on the Metrolink train or OCTA bus. So strap on your helmet and ride. Let OCTA know that you’re going to ride your bike to work at least one day during Bike to Work Week and you’ll automatically be entered to win great prizes. For more information, please click here.

County Connections

Public Input Sought for Sheriff-Coroner Recruitment

Residents are asked to submit possible interview questions and evaluation criteria to be used during the interview process to fill the vacant Sheriff-Coroner position. The online public input form is available through the end of business on May 6. To access the online form, please click here.

During the Board meeting on May 6, community members may also appear in person to provide suggested interview questions and evaluation criteria. To view the candidate names and resumes submitted for consideration to fill the vacant Sheriff-Coroner position, please click here.

The Board will interview the candidates at a public meeting on May 27 and are expected to make a final decision at the June 3 Board meeting. The individual selected for Sheriff-Coroner will finish the remaining term of office left vacant when former Sheriff Michael Carona resigned. The current Sheriff-Coroner term will continue through January 2011. For more information, please click here.

Touring our Jails

On Thursday, I toured the Orange County Central Jail Complex with Sheriff’s Deputies to see firsthand how the jails are functioning with recent management changes. In addition, I was provided an update on the successes we’ve had with our Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) program, which screens inmates for immigration status. Of the 67,775 inmates screened since 2007, our ICE Deputies have identified 2,968 felons who will be processed for deportation after completing their sentences.

OCFA to Purchase Two Helicopters

In an effort to enhance Orange County Fire Authority’s (OCFA) wildland firefighting capabilities, the OCFA Board of Director’s Executive Committee took action on the recommendations of the Santiago Fire After-Action Report. OCFA awarded a $21,609,590 contract to Edwards & Associates for the purchase of two Bell 412EP helicopters.

The Executive Committee also voted to enhance OCFA’s relief engine fleet to accommodate increased flexibility for surge staffing during major incidents like the Santiago Fire. This action ensures there will be fifty additional engines available to be staffed in response to any large scale natural or man-made emergencies. For more information, please click here.

County Implements New Public Safety Technology Programs

High-quality and rapid emergency response are just two items sure to improve as Orange County implemented new public safety technology programs this week. The project is a cooperative effort involving all fire agencies within Orange County. Funding for each program was received through federal and state grants. The Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) has been designated as project administrator for both programs.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is the technology that runs vehicle navigation systems and automated maps. In the public safety environment, the data contained in GIS systems can be used to recommend the closest units to the scene of an emergency incident, plan for emergencies, map and evaluate incidents such as fires, floods, and other disasters, and define areas for mass notification systems for evacuations. Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) is a technology used to determine the geographic location of a vehicle.

Both systems will assist public safety agencies throughout Orange County to interface and work together to support local, regional and large scale emergencies by being able to view vehicle locations, direction of travel and availability of all apparatus. For more information, please click here.

Election Volunteers Needed

Running successful elections always requires the ongoing support of the greater Orange County community and its citizens. Registered voters are needed as volunteers for the June 3 Statewide Direct Primary Election. Help guarantee all polling sites are up and running on Election Day by supervising a poll site in your area. There are plenty of ways to get involved! For more information, please click here.

60,000 Ballots Prepared in Two Days

Last week, the Orange County Registrar of Voters began the process of inserting the nearly 600,000 vote-by-mail ballots needed for the June 3rd Statewide Primary. In less than two days, they processed 60,000 ballots as they move toward their May 5 drop date. You can now view this production activity live online as they operate two high speed inserters simultaneously. To view the live feed, please click here.

New Technology Connects Voters to Live Operators

Voters visiting the Registrar of Voters website will now be given the option to click and enter their phone number for an instant call back from a live operator. This technology will connect individuals interested in volunteering to work a poll site or voters looking for assistance. Operators are in place now to accept calls for volunteers and the public phone bank will be in operation beginning May 1st. For more information, please click here.

‘Stamp Out Hunger’ Food Drive

Be part of the largest one-day food drive in America! Food donations to local food banks have decreased by 2 million pounds during the last two years. To fight hunger, the National Association of Letter Carriers Annual Food Drive encourages you to set out a bag or box of non-perishable food on May 10, 2008. Your mail carrier will pick up the donated food and deliver it to a local food bank. For more information, please click here.

Fifth District Spotlight

Saddleback Area Historical Society: Bennet House Centennial

Last weekend, my office had the great pleasure of presenting a proclamation in honor of the Saddleback Area Historical Society on the occasion of the Bennet House Centennial Celebration held at Heritage Hill Historical Park in the City of Lake Forest. Receiving the proclamation was the Society’s President, Lee Hobbs.

Built in 1908, this marks the 100th year of existence of the Bennett House – the only remaining turn-of-the-century ranch home in the El Toro area. The Bennett House Centennial, hosted by the Saddleback Area Historical Society, may very well be the last centennial celebration seen at Heritage Hill Historical Park in our lifetime.

The Saddleback Area Historical Society, established in 1974, was originally the brain child of Jeanne Gagnebin, who persuaded others to join her in saving the old El Toro Grammer School House from destruction, which was moved to Heritage Hill Historical Park with help from the County.

In 1975, the Saddleback Area Historical Society supervised the transfer of Serrano Creek Community Park to the Orange County Harbors, Beaches and Parks department for development and maintenance. In 1976, Serrano Creek Community Park was renamed “Heritage Hill Historical Park”, an action approved by the Orange County Board of Supervisors. The Bennett House was donated by the Williams Lyons Company and moved to Heritage Hill Historical Park in 1978 for preservation.

Thanks to the dedication of its members, friends and the community, the Saddleback Area Historical Society has been, and will remain, the chief depository of the history of this area. I congratulate the Saddleback Area Historical Society for their outstanding efforts in preserving the history of the Saddleback Valley and establishing Heritage Hill Historical Park as one of Orange County’s premier historical parks. For more information, please click here.

Environmental Memos

Coastal Coalition Provides More Good Water News

On April 24, I co-chaired the monthly meeting of the Orange County Coastal Coalition at the Newport Beach Library, where guest speakers introduced how Low Impact Development (LID) concepts may improve water quality.

Matt Yeager, Stormwater Manager for the County of San Bernardino, explained how LID is a method to capture and filter runoff on-site rather than rushing it into the ocean. Because LID has been proven to improve water quality downstream, Regional Boards are integrating LID requirements into stormwater permit renewals. To better understand what proposed LID requirements mean to southern California Cities and Counties, stormwater managers are developing a LID Manual as well as training for local municipalities and developers. To view Mr. Yeager’s presentation, please click here.

Ray Hiemstra of Orange County Coastkeeper showed us what LID looks like. Stormwater capture and cleansing can be achieved with rain barrels, rain gardens, bio-swales, stormwater storage tanks, permeable pavers, and green walls and roofs. By filtering rain where it falls, we can reduce the amount of pollutants entering our creeks and ocean. Many of these LID techniques are low tech and highly adaptable to any property. For information on Coastkeeper’s demonstration project to retrofit ten residential properties, please visit www.coastkeeper.org. To view Mr. Hiemstra’s presentation, please click here.

More information can be found at www.lowimpactdevelopment.org. Please join me at our next Coastal Coalition meeting on Thursday, May 22, at the Newport Beach Library. To be placed on the email distribution list for Coastal Coalition meetings, please send your email address to betty.martinez@rdmd.ocgov.com.

Notes From The Field

TCA Native Habitat Spring Tours

These tours are led by biologists and scientists through open space areas protected or restored during construction of The Toll Roads. The third of four tours offered by TCA is:

Upper Laurel Canyon
Wildlife Undercrossing Hike
May 10, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
This moderate six-mile hike begins in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park and leads participants through an oak woodland canyon, toward the 73 Toll Road. The tour continues through a wildlife undercrossing where participants can look for tracks and identify wildlife using this access way. A plant ecologist will describe restoration techniques used to create sustainable habitat along the Toll Road’s slopes for the California gnatcatcher, a threatened songbird. For more information, please click here.

Guided Hikes in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Explore the trails and learn 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, May 3
    Canyon to Canyon Hike

    8-11:30 a.m.
    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

    1-4 p.m.
    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.

  • Thursday, May 8
    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 volunteer naturalist Helen Flanagan. Meet at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve (east side of Laguna Canyon Road/SR-133, just north of 73 Toll Road). Reservations suggested: 949-923-2235. Parking: $3.

  • Friday, May 9
    Elder Trek

    9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
    Enjoy a leisurely, 2-mile hike with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists Annie Stoeckmann and Penny Lewis. 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.

  • Saturday, May 10
    Native Plant Hike

    8-11:30 a.m.
    Look for edible plants and learn to identify native bloomers on this vigorous, 3.5-mile hike with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalist Nadine Nordstrom. 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, May 11
    Mother's Day Hike

    9:30-11:30 a.m.
    Bring Mom and the whole family on this 2-mile hike up and down Little Sycamore Canyon Trail with OC Parks Resource Specialist Laura Cohen. 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. Program: $4/person.

Thomas F. Riley Wilderness Park – Bugs and Butterflies

On Sunday, May 4, insect and native plant gardening specialists will have displays and demonstrations about local species and how they survive in our wilderness areas and our backyards. An Insect Zoo, planting demonstrations, butterfly information, nature walks and a hawk talk will be scheduled from 10 AM until 3 PM. Riley Wilderness Park is located at the end of Oso Parkway near the Coto de Caza gate. For more information, please click here.

South County Calendar

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 offer a variety of spectacular cuisine. The band Berlin will perform along with other well known artists as you sample sensational food 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 San Clemente’s 18th Annual Cinco De Mayo Fiesta! The program boasts a day of live entertainment, featuring Mariachis, Aztec Dancers, Ballet Folkloric, children’s games, contests, 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. This annual "Battle of the Mariachis" 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.

Aliso Viejo Street Fair

The Aliso Viejo Street Fair will be held on Saturday, May 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Aliso Viejo Town Center. This fun-filled day offers 50 exhibitors, live entertainment, and much more! There will even be Corvettes on display for auto enthusiasts. Admission is free and everyone is welcome to come out and join the fun! For more information, please click here.

Fifth District Wrap-Up

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

  • Toured the Orange County Central Jail Complex to see firsthand how the jails are functioning. After touring the facilities with Sheriff’s Deputies, I observed a cross designated Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) Deputy interview an illegal immigrant inmate being processed.
  • Served as Moderator at the OC Water Summit hosted by the Municipal Water District of Orange County to discuss the current water supply situation and solicit input for viable solutions
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Donald Jeisy of San Clemente
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Helen Aaron of Laguna Woods
My office also:

  • Attended a Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony to present a Certificate of Recognition in honor of the grand opening of CA Recyclers - a new facility providing an environmentally sound option for disposing of electronic hardware (e-waste)
  • Attended the Bennet House Centennial Celebration at Heritage Hill Historical Park in Lake Forest to present a Proclamation in honor of the Saddleback Area Historical Society. For more information, please click here.
  • Attended the Orange County Human Relations Awards 37 to present Certificates of Recognition honoring outstanding people for their exemplary contributions to human relations in our schools, community and police departments
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!