Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
October 17, 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. South County News

3. Transportation Information

4. Critter Chronicles

5. Presidential Election News 2008

6. Fifth District Spotlight

7. Notes From The Field

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

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 38
Board Bulletin Board

No Board Meeting Held This Week

In observance of Columbus Day, there was no regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Supervisors this week.

Our next Board meeting will be held Tuesday, October 21. For Agenda & Meeting Information, please click here.

Live Internet broadcasts of Board of Supervisors meetings are available and archived as video-on-demand. To view live and/or past Board meetings, please click here.

South County News

South County Disaster Preparedness Expo 2008

This week’s raging southland wildfires and the recent Chino Hills earthquake should serve as jolting reminders that disasters can strike quickly and without warning. Last year’s devastating Santiago Fire was painful evidence that such disasters can force many residents to evacuate their neighborhood or confine us to our homes.

The impacts of these major emergencies can stretch County resources to the limit and leave residents with many questions regarding a wide spectrum of disaster-related issues. Whether it be earthquakes, wildfires, floods, bioterrorism, or any other manmade or natural disaster, the best way to ensure your family and home are safe is to be prepared before disaster strikes. Do not wait until it’s too late. Get ready. Learn how!

As we approach the one year anniversary of the horrendous Santiago Fire that destroyed over 28,000 acres in our area of Orange County, I invite you and your family to attend the South County Disaster Preparedness Expo tomorrow, October 18 at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center in Mission Viejo, beginning at 9 AM, immediately following the City of Mission Viejo’s “Walk Against Drugs.” This important Expo will provide a wealth of safety and emergency information to prepare you and your family for disasters in terms of readiness, response, and recovery. For more information, please click here.

Transportation Information

South Orange County Major Investment Study Update

After nearly two years of planning and study, the Orange County Transportation Authority Board of Directors has formally adopted our recommended Locally Preferred Strategy (LPS) for the South Orange County Major Investment Study (SOCMIS). The SOCMIS reaffirmed the completion of the Foothill-South/241 Toll Road extension and the La Pata extension as a baseline for the expansion of arterials needed to relieve traffic congestion in the region. The SOCMIS LPS will serve as the master plan for transportation projects, meeting expected growth from 360,000 vehicles per day to 450,000 vehicles per day by 2030.

The OCTA Board’s unanimous support for SOCMIS completes the first major step in developing this long-range, balanced transportation plan that includes varied solutions such as improved streets, roads and freeways; transit, commuter rail and express bus service.

The result of this technical and stakeholder-driven process, the LPS, will serve as the master plan for programming transportation projects for further environmental and engineering studies. Preparing “shelf ready” projects from these studies is crucial to South County’s eligibility to receive transportation dollars from the state and federal governments. Three conceptual projects, which are focused on expanding East-West corridor capacity, are separate from the LPS and require further study.

It is important that we think regionally in terms of our transportation problems. We must work together in a collaborative approach and look at every possible alternative. Only through empirical studies and public discussion can we have proper evidence to move some alternatives forward and eliminate those that are not feasible. To view the SOCMIS LPS presentation, please click here. To view the report on our outreach efforts throughout the study, please click here.

Capacity to be Added to 73 and 241 Toll Roads

Progress continues on Orange County’s toll roads, as the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) recently celebrated two groundbreaking events to begin construction of additional lanes on the 73 and 241 Toll Roads. For more information, please click here.

73 Toll Road Improvement Project
TCA will add a fourth lane from Aliso Viejo Parkway to just north of the Laguna Canyon Road entrance ramp (about a 2.7 mile distance). An additional fourth lane will also be constructed from the Catalina View Toll Plaza to the MacArthur Blvd exit, a distance of 3.3 miles.

241 Toll Road Improvement Project
TCA will add a third FasTrak lane in each direction through the Windy Ridge Toll Plaza, running from the Southern California Edison wildlife crossing to the Windy Ridge Wildlife undercrossing, a distance of about 3 miles.

Commuters Find Relief In OCTA’s Transit Services

Metrolink commuter rail and bus ridership continued to soar in September over last year as more residents discover taking public transportation is an ideal way to save money during these tough economic times. The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) experienced a 12 percent increase in ridership on buses; and Metrolink service continued to see an increase in ridership with a 29 percent jump in September compared to last year.

These ridership counts represent a change in commuter habits. With gas prices well above the national average in Orange County and many people suffering from the troublesome economy, the savings from public transportation are greater than ever. For more information, please click here.

Critter Chronicles

Mission Viejo to Provide Animal Care Services for Aliso Viejo

The Mission Viejo City Council recently approved an agreement with the City of Aliso Viejo to provide animal care services to Aliso Viejo residents. The agreement includes Aliso Viejo transferring its animal care services from the County of Orange to the City of Mission Viejo. Aliso Viejo joins Laguna Niguel as a contract city with Mission Viejo for animal care services. For more information, please click here.

Presidential Election News 2008

Drive-Thru Voting & Registration Available Until October 20

The deadline to register to vote in the November 4, 2008 Presidential Election is Monday, October 20. In an effort to provide greater flexibility for citizens to participate in the election, the Orange County Registrar of Voters (ROV) will remain open until midnight on the 20th to provide drive-thru voting and registration.

The ROV is excited to be providing drive-thru voting and registration, a first in the State of California. Any eligible citizen may register to vote; and any registered voter in Orange County may vote at the Registrar’s office. For more information, please click here.

Early Voting Available at John Wayne Airport

John Wayne Airport (JWA), in cooperation with the Registrar of Voters, will offer travelers the opportunity to be among the first to cast their ballots in the November 2008 General Election. Between Sunday, October 19 and Tuesday, October 28, the Orange County Registrar of Voters will offer early voting at JWA, between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Sundays.

Please note that voters who would like to cast their ballot at JWA must be ticketed passengers or Airport employees or tenants with valid identification, as the voting booths are located on the Terminal Concourse, beyond the security screening checkpoints. For more information, please click here.

Fifth District Spotlight

Crystal Cove State Park

Crystal Cove State Park, located within the Fabulous Fifth District and historic Irvine Ranch, is a place unlike any other in Southern California. With beaches, bluffs, tide pools, and a backcountry full of extraordinary ocean and mountain views, the Park is truly a trip back in time. The masterpiece is completed by the recent restoration of quaint, ocean-front cottages available for public use, which will soon be complemented by a new overnight campground.

With nearly 4 miles of unspoiled beach and approximately 2,800 acres of wooded canyons, bluffs and trails, this spectacular treasure is a haven for rare species and protected habitats as well as recreational users, including mountain bikers, hikers, and equestrians. For more information, please click here.

Notes From The Field

Journeys to the Past at Caspers Wilderness Park

On Saturday, October 25, from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., Native American storyteller Jacque Nunez will share her Acjachemen ancestry with visitors at Caspers Wilderness Park with her “Journeys to the Past” presentation. Nunez shares stories and songs of her people's indigenous tools, instruments, games and clothing. The interactive program is appropriate for adults and children age 6 and older. 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! For more information, please click here.

Saturday, October 18
Keep It Wild Volunteer Day

8 AM -11 AM
Volunteers help Laguna Canyon Foundation and OC Parks staff with clean-up and restoration projects. Groups meet at two locations: Aliso and Wood Canyons Ranger Headquarters and Little Sycamore Staging Area. Information and reservations: 949-923-2235. Parking fee waived.

October Events and Programs at OC Parks

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

South County Calendar

Mission Viejo’s 20th Annual Walk Against Drugs

The public is invited on Saturday, October 18 to take part in Mission Viejo’s 20th Annual Walk Against Drugs – an event designed to discourage drug, alcohol and tobacco use. The walk, which kicks off at 8 a.m. at Mission Viejo High School, ends with a “Community Faire” that promises fun for folks of all ages.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s horse-mounted unit and a special Humvee will lead the Walk that will take participants from the high school football stadium to the Community Faire at Village on the Green at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center, located at 24932 Veterans Way. For more information, please click here.

Immediately following the Walk Against Drugs, please be sure to attend the South County Disaster Preparedness Expo, also being held at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center. The Expo will provide a wealth of information to prepare you, your family and home in the event a major disaster strikes. For more information, please click here.

Haunt at Heritage Hill in Lake Forest

Be a part of this historical first time event as Heritage Hill Historical Park in Lake Forest is transformed into a “Haunt” on Friday, October 17. This event will feature a Haunted House, Scare Zone, a Guitar Hero Contest and some SCARY surprises! You won’t want to miss the big screen showing of the horror classic “The Creature from the Black Lagoon.” For more information, please click here.

Autumn Harvest Festival: The Adventure Continues

The adventure continues in Lake Forest at the Autumn Harvest Festival held at Heritage Hill Historical Park on Saturday, October 18. Get spooked at the haunted house; be entertained by the country sounds of the Kahuna Cowboys; and be a part of the quest for fortune and glory as Indiana Jones fans put on the adventure of a lifetime. Bring your family to the OK Corral and join in the fun. Don’t miss the costume parade for kids up to 12 years of age! For more information, please click here.

Fifth District Wrap-Up

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

  • Attended the Orange County Transportation Authority’s Fifth District Leadership Forum in Aliso Viejo.
My office also:
  • Attended Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremonies to present certificates of recognition in honor of the grand openings of SEVEN4ONE and Peter Blake Gallery in Laguna Beach, respectively.
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!