Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
August 15, 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. County Connections

3. Critter Chronicles

4. Notes From The Field

5. South County Calendar

6. Fifth District Wrap-Up


Justin McCusker:
Chief of Staff

Sergio Prince:
Executive Director of Public Affairs

Jeff Corless:
Executive Policy Advisor

Don Hughes:
Executive Policy Advisor

Chip Monaco:
Executive Policy Advisor

Ruth Strachan:
Office Manager

Patricia Wenkart:
Policy Assistant

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Volume 2 Issue 29
Board Bulletin Board

Promoting Alternative Methods of Generating Electricity

As your Fifth District Supervisor, I am always seeking to provide Orange County residents and businesses ways to save money. To that end, the Board on Tuesday took an important step by waiving all plan check, inspection and permit fees for solar energy projects. While the cost to acquire these exciting technologies continues to drop, making it more affordable for residents and business to purchase and install solar technologies for their homes and businesses, we want to offer further incentives for Orange County citizens to attain sustainable energy alternatives that could offer continued cost savings.

Several cities have also taken such action, and some even provide rebates for purchasing solar equipment. I encourage you to check with your local agency to see what other incentives may be available to you.

Cyber Crime Task Force

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the Office of the Orange County District Attorney and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to participate in the Orange County Cyber Crime Task Force. This is a joint operation consisting of local, State, and Federal law enforcement personnel for investigating computer and high technology related crimes. The overtime cost incurred by the investigative staff assigned to the Task Force will be fully reimbursed by the FBI as agreed upon in a Cost Reimbursement Agreement, which was also approved by the Board.

What is Orange County Doing About Teenage Pregnancies?

In May, the Grand Jury released a report titled “What is Orange County Doing About Teenage Pregnancies?” The Board approved the County’s response to the recommendations of the Grand Jury at our August 12 meeting.

In the report, the Grand Jury found that teenage pregnancy continues to be a major problem in Orange County. The study identified many programs through the Orange County Health Care Agency, school districts and several community-based organizations that offer support for pregnant teenagers, teenage parents, and those most at risk for becoming pregnant. The Grand Jury also found that there are a sufficient number of programs, but there is a lack of awareness by teenagers and their parents about programs being offered.

The Grand Jury recommended the Orange County Health Care Agency work with State and community groups to coordinate and publicize programs on teen pregnancy and parenting to high school students and their parents.

As a result of the Grand Jury recommendation, the Orange County Health Care Agency will be meeting with representatives of the Orange County Department of Education to develop a plan to more widely distribute information about existing programs serving pregnant or parenting teens. This may include the development of brochures and Internet-based resources. A plan for increasing awareness of existing programs will be developed by January 1, 2009. To read the Grand Jury report, please click here. To view the Response to Findings and Recommendations, please click here.

Fewer Beds for Involuntary Detention of Mentally Ill

On Tuesday, the Board accepted the withdrawal of the Huntington Beach Hospital and La Palma Intercommunity Hospital designation as providers of involuntary detention of mentally ill individuals. The Board action was strictly a formality as the designation of a privately owned hospital can be removed without the County’s approval. Prime Healthcare Services, Inc. decided to withdraw its designation at its Huntington Beach and La Palma sites due to staffing and financial issues.

The Huntington Beach Hospital and the La Palma Intercommunity Hospital had a total of 37 beds that were designated for involuntary detention. With the withdrawal of these two hospitals from the involuntary detention program, the County is left with 526 beds at 12 facilities designated for the program.

I supported sending a letter to the State, articulating our concern regarding potential impacts of the loss of psychiatric beds in Orange County and urging them to focus their efforts in assisting counties with this growing problem.

County Connections

Compressed Air Foam Systems on OCFA Patrols

In June, the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) Board of Directors approved a purchase order for seven Compressed Air Foam Systems (CAFS) to be installed on OCFA Patrols. The addition of the CAFS into OCFA’s brush fire response arsenal brings a significant defensive tool in support of structure protection and firefighter safety. The foam serves as a barrier to radiant heat and embers.

The first unit was installed on Patrol 40 in Coto de Caza last week. When all systems are in place, OCFA will have twelve units with this capability. For more information, please click here.

Surfing in Orange County on Display at John Wayne Airport

For the next three months, a new exhibit is being featured in John Wayne Airport’s (JWA) Vi Smith Concourse Gallery. Entitled “California’s Orange Coast: 42 Miles of Tradition and Lore” and sponsored by the Surfing Heritage Foundation, the exhibit will feature a visual history of the role surfing has played in Orange County, spanning nearly 100 years.

On display through October 27, the exhibit is open only to the traveling public and can be seen across gates 1-4 and 11-14 in the Thomas F. Riley Terminal. Illustrating the development and role of surfing in each beach town along the Orange County coast, the exhibit features aerial maps and photographs highlighting historical sketches, surfing landmarks, significant personalities and objects of interest. For more information about JWA’s Art Program, please click here.

Foreclosure Prevention Workshops and Counseling

If you or someone you know is having trouble making house payments, or if your home is in foreclosure and you need help, give Neighborhood Housing Services of Orange County (NHS OC) a call at 714-490-1250. NHS OC has developed and implemented a homeownership preservation program to assist families preserve homeownership.

The ultimate goal is to keep homeowners in their homes. NHS OC will work with lenders and the customer in finding a solution to avoid a foreclosure. To see a Foreclosure Education Workshop Calendar, please click here. For more information, please click here.

Critter Chronicles

Adopt a Pet during the Dog Days of Summer

Throughout the summer, more animals arrive at the OC Animal Care Center in need of loving homes than any other time of year.

To reach residents unable to visit the OC Animal Care Center in Orange, a Mobile Adoption Vehicle moves throughout Orange County, carrying up to nine animals available for on-the-spot adoption. Specialists with the Mobile Adoption Vehicle distribute information about the adoption process and responsible pet ownership.

OC Animal Care also produces an online database of adoptable dogs, cats, bunnies, and other critters available for residents to search from the comfort of home. To view the database, please click here.

There are many ways to help animals in need, including volunteer opportunities at the OC Animal Care Center. To learn about becoming a volunteer dog walker, cat companion, mobile adoption assistant, bather, groomer, or foster caretaker, please call (714) 935-6194.

Tips for Keeping Pets Safe

Children who are home more often and on vacation from school are increasingly prone to leave gates and doors open accidentally, giving family pets the opportunity to wander outside. Loud noises caused by seasonal celebrations like Independence Day can scare pets, causing them to sometimes run away out of fear. For these reasons, OC Animal Care strongly recommends pet owners ensure their pet is wearing some form of identification at all times.

Notes From The Field

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!

Sunday, August 17
Summer Stroll

5:30-8:00 PM

Look for bats at dusk and enjoy the changing light at sunset on this 2-mile stroll along Little Sycamore Canyon to Barbara's Lake with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists Lois Taylor and Patti Minassian. Meet at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Road/SR-133, approximately 3.5 miles south of I-5/405). Reservations required: 949-923-2235. Parking: $3.

For more information, please click here.

Events and Programs at OC Parks

To see a list of events and programs being offered in the month of August at OC Parks throughout the 5th District and Orange County, please click here.

South County Calendar

Laguna Beach Festival of Arts: Smooth Jazz Concert Series

The Festival of Arts presents an astounding line up of Jazz musicians this summer at the Summer Smooth Jazz Concert Series on select Saturdays from 1 PM – 3:30 PM. Admission is free to the Smooth Jazz Concert on August 16 with the purchase of The Festival of Arts ticket. For more information, please click here.

Dana Point: Summer Concerts in the Park

The community is invited to attend a fun-filled summer concert in the park on Sunday, August 17 from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM at Heritage Park, 34400 Old Golden Lantern, in Dana Point. For more information, please click here.

San Juan Summer Nites Concert Series

San Juan Summer Nites Concert #3 takes place Wednesday, August 20 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Historic Town Center Park, 31852 El Camino Real, in San Juan Capistrano. The concert features live music, a local business expo, and a youth area with free activities for kids, food booths, and a beer & wine booth. For more information, please click here.

San Clemente Beach Concert Series

Join the community to celebrate and support live music with the sunset as your backdrop and free seating in the sand. The concert on Thursday, August 21 is from 6:00 PM to sunset, on the beach north of the San Clemente Pier. For more information, please click here.

Fifth District Wrap-Up

In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:

  • Presented a Proclamation in honor of the 75th birthday of the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach. For more information, please click here.
My office also:
  • Attended a Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony to present a Certificate of Recognition in honor of the grand opening of Blue Laguna Restaurant & Lounge.
  • Attended an Aliso Viejo Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony to present a Certificate of Recognition in honor of the grand opening of Renaissance Club Sport in Aliso Viejo.
  • Met with the Mayor and other representatives of the City of Irvine to discuss the Musick Jail facility.
  • Provided a Certificate of Recognition in honor of the 110th birthday of O’Conner Mortuary in South County.
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!