Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
November 21, 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.














Justin McCusker:
Chief of Staff

Sergio Prince:
Executive Director of Public Affairs

Jeff Corless:
Executive Policy Advisor

Kristen Thornton:
Executive Policy Advisor

Ray Grangoff:
Executive Policy Advisor

Chip Monaco:
Executive Policy Advisor

Ruth Strachan:
Office Manager

Patricia Wenkart:
Policy Assistant

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Volume 2 Issue 43

On Tuesday, I joined my Board colleagues in supporting a resolution clearly stating our position for the issuance of Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) permits in the County of Orange. I felt the resolution was necessary to ensure that both the Sheriff and the residents of Orange County have a clear understanding of the Board’s perspective on the Sheriff Department’s process for evaluation of requests for CCW permits.

I believe the most important priority of our government and its procedures is transparency and complete accountability. This does not appear to be the case with the implementation of the Sheriff’s new policy on CCW permits. After taking comments from the public for nearly 6 hours at Tuesday’s Board meeting, it is clear that law-abiding, community-minded citizens, many of whom are residents of the Fifth District, are confused and frustrated over the Sheriff’s finding of “good cause” for carrying weapons.

Several issues regarding the CCW policy that were brought to my attention at the Board meeting are of great concern to me. For example, among the permits that have been revoked without clear explanation, a number of them were approved by former Sheriff Gates and Interim Acting-Sheriff Anderson. However, the reason stated for implementing a change in the issuance policy, which also included a large-scale revocation action, related to the potential political favoritism alleged in the CCW issuance policy of the Carona Administration. Many of those testifying were adamant about having no connection to Sheriff Carona and believe these revocations created an unjustified negative perception of their own moral character.

During the hearing, it came to light that there is a professional stigma associated with having a CCW revocation on one’s record. This unintended consequence was clearly not vetted when the CCW issuance policy was revised. Also, some classes of permit holders that were allowed to keep their permits, however, with significant restrictions placed on them (including airline pilots, gun manufacturers and individuals with government contracts who hold several levels of clearance) may be at greater risk due to the imposed restrictions.

Given the very enlightening discussion at the November 18 Board meeting, I have asked to be placed on the next Board agenda a directive for staff to work with the Department of Justice. The goal of this directive would be to find a remedy that would clarify for the purpose of all inquires into the backgrounds of individuals whose permits may have been revoked that the revocation occurred due to a change in Orange County’s policies and not the actions of the individual.

As we proceed, I will continue to encourage the Sheriff’s collaboration with the Board and the public to implement a CCW policy that upholds the law, considers all implications associated with revocations and recognizes the unique circumstances of each applicant.

Click here to view the Board’s Resolution.


Freeway Complex Fire

On Tuesday, the Board declared a local state of emergency in response to the Freeway Complex Fire. The Freeway Complex Fire began on Saturday, November 15th and was 100 percent contained by Wednesday, November 19th. The areas most affected by the fires include Yorba Linda, Brea, Anaheim Hills, and Corona. Over 30,000 acres were burned, 187 homes were destroyed, and 130 homes were damaged. To view a map of the affected areas click here.

For a power point presentation on the County’s response to the Freeway Complex Fire, please click here.

Ortega Highway Fire

On Monday afternoon, a relatively small fire broke out in the Cleveland National Forest near Ortega Highway. This fire resulted in the closure of a 25 mile portion of Ortega Highway for several hours. Fortunately, prompt action by first responders resulted in quick containment of the fire and limited damage.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims of the fires. I commend the firefighters, sheriff deputies, and other first responders for their heroic efforts. The County will continue to work with the affected communities in the aftermath of the fires. My staff is available to provide any member of the community with direction on resources that are available to victims and their families.

Tax Burden Eased for those Impacted by Fires

Orange County residents who were directly or indirectly affected by the wild fires may be eligible to file a Penalty & Fee Waiver Form for their 2008-2009 property taxes. Residents seeking a waiver must provide documentary evidence showing that they were adversely impacted by the fires and, therefore, unable to pay their taxes on time. All requests will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

If you feel that you or someone you know may be eligible for the fee waivers, you may obtain the appropriate form by clicking here. For more information on the Penalty & Fee Waiver process, please contact the Treasurer-Tax Collector Customer Service Line at (714) 834-3411 or click here.


Improvement Projects at Public Libraries

On Tuesday, the Board approved funding for budgeted improvement projects at two Fifth District county libraries. Repairs will be made to correct structural damage of the clock tower and exterior walls at the San Clemente Public Library. At the Laguna Beach Public Library, a new ventilation system will be installed. With diligent maintenance of these facilities, we can prevent future costly repairs.


Airport Improvement Program Public Awareness

John Wayne Airport recently conducted a public information campaign entitled “We’re Making ‘a Lot’ of Changes” about the multi-year Airport Improvement Program currently underway. Specifically, the campaign was meant to inform passengers that a temporary Parking Lot C was opening August 1 to help accommodate parking through the duration of construction. The campaign was also used to notify people that Parking Structure B1 would be closing permanently on September 2 to make way for a new, third Terminal.

Whether you are familiar with this informational campaign or not, John Wayne Airport would appreciate your feedback by taking a short survey. Please click here to take the survey.

Thanksgiving Travel Tips: What to know if you’re flying

The busiest travel days of the year are expected Wednesday, November 26 and Sunday, November 30 with higher than normal volumes expected between Friday, November 21 and Tuesday, December 2 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The following tips will ensure easier travel for you and your family when you fly:

  • Plan Smart: The Airport has begun construction on its Improvement Program so use caution when traveling the Airport roadways. Plan to arrive two hours prior to your flight departure time to find parking, go through security screening and get to your gate on time. It’s always a good idea to check with your airline prior to arriving at the Airport to confirm your flight status.
  • Pack Smart: Know what items are accepted and prohibited through security and on the aircraft. This includes food and beverage items. Gifts should not be wrapped as they are subject to search, even if placed in checked baggage. Check here for more information.
  • Park Smart: The Airport’s Parking Structure B1 closed in September and Parking Lot C is now open. If you’re planning to park at the Airport, check the Airport’s Web site for parking options and construction updates by visiting www.ocair.com.


Holiday Hope

The Health Care Agency (HCA) is seeking your help in providing food for its neediest clients this holiday season. The 24th Annual Holiday Hope program will provide warm meals to those who are at risk of nutritional deficiency due to their low-income level. For more information about making a cash donation or donating a grocery gift certificate, please click here. For more information about Holiday Hope please contact Amber Alford with HCA Volunteer Services at (714) 834-4144.



I would like to commend OC Animal Care for its involvement in helping evacuated pets from residences in Anaheim Hills, Yorba Linda and Brea that were affected by the Freeway Complex Fire. With shelters set up in Brea, Anaheim, Placentia and Orange, OC Animal Care was able to provide care for more than 100 pets.

Pet Owners Receive Improved Invoices

In an effort to make the process of notifying pet owners of license renewals and processing payments more efficient and less confusing, OC Animal Care partnered with the Treasurer-Tax Collector's Office and CEO/IT to upgrade the existing pet management software. With the operation going entirely electronic, notices are now easier to track. Additionally, the newly designed invoices are much easier to understand, resulting in improved overall customer satisfaction.


Holiday Food Safety

As the Thanksgiving holiday draws near, consumers are encouraged to pay special attention to the handling and preparation of foods to help prevent foodborne illness from ruining your holiday.

To keep your holiday meals safe, follow these simple preparation guidelines:

  • Thaw frozen turkey inside the refrigerator on the bottom shelf in its original wrapping.
  • Wash your hands, utensils, cutting boards and other items that have been in contact with raw meat or poultry with soap and hot water to prevent contaminating other foods or re-contaminating the cooked turkey.
  • Set the oven temperature to 325°F or higher.
  • Use a meat thermometer to make sure that meat and poultry are cooked all the way through. Cook the whole turkey to an internal temperature of at least 165°F.
  • When serving food buffet style, try to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
  • Don’t let turkey, dressing or gravy sit at room temperature for more than two hours.
  • Use leftovers within 4 days, except stuffing and gravy which should be used within 2 days. Reheat leftovers to at least 165°F prior to serving


For many, the holidays offer a once-a-year time to visit with elderly relatives who live out of town. These holiday visits are a good time to assess what assistance parents or other elderly loved ones might need. To read an article from Mary Twomey, Co-Director of the Center of Excellence in Elder Abuse & Neglect, about what warning signs to look for if you suspect your loved one is being neglected or is in need extra assistance, please click here.


Puttin’ on the Glitz

Join the San Clemente Downtown Business Association on Saturday, November 29 from 5:00-9:00 PM for an evening of holiday cheer the whole family will enjoy. Puttin’ on the Glitz in Downtown San Clemente will feature live entertainment and late night shopping with stores staying open to help you get what’s on your wish list. For more information click here or call (949)218-5378

27th Annual Victorian Christmas

Journey back in time and see how Orange County traditionally celebrated the holiday season at Heritage Hill Historical Park in Lake Forest. The park's 27th Annual Victorian Christmas will be held Saturday, December 6 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Four historic buildings will be adorned in turn-of-the-century holiday finery and hosted by costumed docents. There will be live entertainment and children can participate in old-fashioned hands-on activities. Don’t miss out of the fun. Click here for more information.

34th Annual Dana Point Harbor Boat Parade of Lights

This year marks the Dana Point Harbor Association’s 34th Annual Boat Parade of Lights featuring this year’s theme “Santa’s Sealife Celebration.” Boaters from all around Orange County will decorate their boats and vie for awards and prizes. Be a part of the parade by entering your own boat! For more information about how to register, contact (949) 923-2255 or download an entry form at www.danawharf.com or www.danapointharbor.com

Holiday Goodies for Marines

Just in time for the holidays, the Dana Point 5th Marine Regiment Support Group will be sending goodies ranging from toothpaste to batteries to our Marines deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan and you can help! For more information about donating much needed items to show your support for our troops, click here.


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

  • Met with Sheriff Sandra Hutchens to discuss my priorities for the CCW policy.
  • Officiated over the Laguna Niguel Republican Women Federated Installation of Officers and presented a certificate to Lorriane Patton for her years of dedicated service to the organization.
  • Presented a certificate of recognition for McCool Flowers in Dana Point in honor of its Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
My office also:
  • Joined OC Parks and OC Animal Care for their Volunteer Recognition Ceremony at Irvine Regional Park.
  • Attended the Dana Point City Council meeting to present a proclamation to honor outgoing Councilwoman Diane Harkey who has been elected to serve the 73rd District of the State Assembly.
  • Attended the Moulton Niguel Water District Board of Directors meeting to present proclamations honoring outgoing Directors Betty Pequet, John Steward and Tony English.
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!