August 22, 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. Health Herald
5. Notes From The Field
6. South County Calendar
7. Fifth District Wrap-Up
Chief of Staff
Executive Director of Public Affairs
Executive Policy Advisor
Executive Policy Advisor
Executive Policy Advisor
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|Board Bulletin Board
Preserving Open Space and Enhancing Land Stewardship
The Board unanimously voted to assign the conservation easement for The Donna O’Neill Land Conservancy to The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo and submit the land management to the Rancho Mission Viejo Land Trust for monitoring, stewardship and public access opportunities. This action protects more than 33,000 acres of contiguous open space and habitat and is the first of two important steps to complete the transition.
I am also pleased to report that the legacy and inspiration of renowned open space advocate and environmental steward, Donna O’Neill, will be preserved in perpetuity under this new management structure. Additionally, it will guarantee a consistent land management approach, sound governance structure, and enhanced financial resources for stewardship, public access and educational programs. This land is truly a jewel of the Fifth District, and I am delighted it will be preserved and protected.
Protecting Salt Creek Beach for Generations to Come
Salt Creek Beach in South County is one of the most breathtaking beaches we have along Orange County’s coast. For years, Orange County families and tourists have visited this precious natural resource. On any given weekend, you may see happy beachgoers in tuxedos and bridal gowns.
On Tuesday, the Board took an important first step to repair the severely deteriorated revetment, which will increase public access and enhance the ability to take in the amazing seaside views. While improvements could take as many as five years due to strict regulatory permitting and high-level coastal engineering, this effort will result in protecting Salt Creek Beach for many generations to come.
Is Orange County Going to the Dogs?
In June, the Grand Jury released a report titled "Is Orange County Going to the Dogs?" In the report, the Grand Jury made three recommendations to the County:
The Board approved the response to the report at our August 19 meeting. Based upon the recommendations of the Grand Jury, the County will further analyze the reimbursement matter and address the issue of Orange County’s cities that do not contract with the County’s Animal Care Center.
- Seek reimbursement from “closed-shelter” cities for costs associated with receiving animals that are turned away.
- OC Animal Care present a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance to the Board
- The Board consider supporting AB 1634 (Levine-Mandatory Spay/Neuter).
The other two recommendations by the Grand Jury will not be implemented by the County as they are not believed necessary. The County already has in place a licensing fee system to persuade pet owners to sterilize their animals. The Board will not be supporting AB 1634, as the details of the bill are ever-changing and it is not known at this time what the unintended consequences of this bill might be. To view the Grand Jury Report, please click here. To view the County’s Response to the Report, please click here.
After the Big One, Will Critical County Services Survive?
In May, the Grand Jury released a report titled “After the Big One, Will Critical County Services Survive?" This report is very timely considering the large earthquake that struck the region last month. The Grand Jury’s report highlighted topics such as the County’s safety officers, nonstructural earthquake hazard mitigation, and fire suppression devices.
The Board approved the response to the Grand Jury at Tuesday’s meeting. As highlighted in the County’s response, the County has published a Structural Seismic Hazard Reduction Policy that provides guidelines to prepare for and mitigate damage during an earthquake.
The County will also continue to replace all water based fire suppression devices with those that use inert gas. Many County departments already use an inert gas system; however, those that do not use it have indicated they are either in the process of upgrading their systems, or will do so in the near future. To view the Grand Jury Report, please click here. To view the County’s Response to the Report, please click here.
Medical Services Initiative Program
The Board approved the Health Care Agency’s Medical Services Initiative (MSI) Program contracts with private and nonprofit healthcare providers of medical care for indigent patients in Orange County. The program reimburses community providers for services provided to indigent patients and is divided into five separate categories for reimbursement: hospital services, physician services, clinics, outpatient services, and dental care.
The County does not directly reimburse these costs to the providers; rather, the County has contracted those services to Advanced Medical Management, Inc. When services are provided for indigent patients, providers are reimbursed through Advanced Medical Management, Inc.
The Federal and State governments provide 75% of funding for these programs, with the County providing the remainder. The total cost of the MSI program for three years is approximately $69 million.
Emergency Medical Care Committee
The Board approved several reappointments to the Emergency Medical Care Committee for the term ending June 30, 2010. These included Peter Bastone (Mission Viejo); Douglas Reilly (Laguna Beach); and Michael Ritter, MD (Mission Viejo). Their commitment to public service is of great benefit to the citizens of Orange County and very much appreciated by my office.
Riders Board OCTA Buses in Record Numbers
Nearly 6.2 million riders boarded Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) buses in July, breaking the record for the highest number of riders in the agency’s history!
The ridership counts represent a significant change in commuter habits. With gas prices in Orange County well above the national average, savings from public transportation are greater than ever. According to an analysis from the American Public Transportation Association, commuters in Orange County can save an average of $700 a month by using the OCTA bus system, which equates to more than $8,000 a year!
OCTA is continuing to encourage public transportation use in the community by offering residents free all-day bus passes this summer. OCTA distributed special introductory passes to 80,000 households in north Orange County in July; and 200,000 residents in west and south Orange County will receive them this month. For more information, please click here.
Response to Mailer Shows Strong Support for 241 Toll Road
A strong majority of South County residents who received a recent Transportation Corridor Agencies mailer about the final segment of the 241 Toll Road favor the roadway project. The mailers were sent to residents in South County communities impacted by growing congestion on Interstate 5, including San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel and Lake Forest.
New 657 Area Code and Dialing Procedure for Calls
The California Public Utilities Commission approved an overlay for the 714 area code to accommodate the need for more telephone numbers in Orange County. The new 657 area code will serve customers in the same geographic region as the current 714 area code.
Beginning August 23, people with a 714 or the new 657 area code must dial 1 + area code + seven-digit number when making calls to all locations. New telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers with the 657 area code starting September 23. For more information, please click here.
Parking Structure B1 to Close Permanently at JWA
John Wayne Airport (JWA) will permanently close Parking Structure B1 on Tuesday, September 2, 2008. Vehicles remaining in the garage after September 15 will be towed. Visitors to the Airport are advised to utilize other parking areas within the Airport.
Available parking options include Parking Structures A1, A2, B2, Main Street Lot, Valet, and the new Parking Lot C, which opened August 1. Both Main Street and Lot C offer free shuttle service to the terminal. For parking status, please call (949) 252-5200 to speak with a JWA operator. For more information, please click here.
As part of the Airport Improvement Program, Parking Structure B1 will be deconstructed in order to make room for a new 250,000+ square-foot third terminal building. The new Terminal C will feature six new bridged aircraft gates, more security checkpoints and additional customer amenities. In addition, a new replacement parking structure with 2,000+ spaces will be constructed and opened in conjunction with the new Terminal in 2011.
New Requirements for Home-Generated Sharps Waste
Beginning September 1, 2008, State law (Section 118286 of the California Health and Safety Code) makes it illegal to dispose of sharps waste in the trash or recycling containers, and requires that all sharps waste be transported to a collection center in an approved sharps container.
Section 117671 of the California Health and Safety Code defines "home-generated sharps waste" as hypodermic needles, pen needles, intravenous needles, lancets, and other devices that are used to penetrate the skin for the delivery of medications derived from a household, including a multifamily residence or household. To learn more about your options for disposal of sharps waste, please click here.
|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!
Saturday, August 23
8:00 AM -11:00 AM
Enjoy discovering the diverse life forms of our coastal hills with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists Penny Lewis and Annie Stoeckmann. The steep and uneven, 2-mile route runs through majestic stands of sycamore, oak and prickly pear. Meet at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve (east side of Laguna Canyon Road/SR-133, just north of 73 Toll Road). Reservations required: 949-923-2235. Parking: $3.
For more information, please click here.
|South County Calendar
Dana Point: Summer Concerts in the Park
The community is invited to attend a fun-filled summer concert in the park on Sunday, August 24 from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM at Heritage Park, 34400 Old Golden Lantern, in Dana Point. For more information, please click here.
Laguna Beach: World Famous Summer Art Festivals
Only one more week remains for you to attend any of the world famous annual art festivals in Laguna Beach this summer:
Festival of Arts / Pageant of the Masters
Famous for its tableaux vivant or "living pictures”, the Pageant of the Masters is an annual event held by the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach. The Festival takes place in a six-acre canyon park near the ocean and is open daily thru August 30. For more information, please click here.
Sawdust Art Festival
Come to the Sawdust Art Festival and experience the creative wonders of nearly 200 Laguna Beach artists in an enchanting outdoor canyon paradise adorned with waterfalls and eucalyptus trees. Open daily thru August 31. For more information, please click here.
Nestled in a colorful garden setting in romantic Laguna Canyon, the Art-A-Fair Festival is a wonderful place to spend a summer day in the historic art community of Laguna Beach. Open daily thru August 31. For more information, please click here.
|Fifth District Wrap-Up
In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
My staff and I look forward to continually providing you updated information in our Fifth District Newsletter and website.
- Attended a Mission Viejo City Council meeting to present a check for $500,000 of Prop 1B state transportation funds to the City for local street and road improvements.
- Attended a Laguna Niguel City Council meeting to present a check for $500,000 of Prop 1B state transportation funds to the City for local street and road improvements. To see a photo of the check presentation, please click here.
- Attended a meeting of the South Coast Medical Center Foundation to discuss issues of mutual interest.
- Hosted a meeting of my Fifth District appointees presently serving on various County boards, commissions and committees to discuss the County’s reorganization and how we can enhance our service to the citizens of Orange County.
- Delivered the keynote address at meeting of the Lake Forest Republican Women, Federated.
- Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Charles McLaughlin of Laguna Woods.
- Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Marc Russell of San Clamente.
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!