Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
December 12, 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. REMINDER: Holiday Celebration Invitation

2. Board Bulletin Board

3. County Connections

4. Notes From The Field

5. Environmental Memos

6. Critter Chronicles

7. ‘Tis The Season

8. Fifth District Holiday Festivities

9. South County Spotlight

10. Fifth District Wrap-Up


Justin McCusker:
Chief of Staff

Sergio Prince:
Executive Director of Public Affairs

Kristen Thornton:
Executive Policy Advisor

Ray Grangoff:
Executive Policy Advisor

Chip Monaco:
Executive Policy Advisor

Ruth Strachan:
Office Manager

Patricia Wenkart:
Policy Assistant

Click here to subscribe.

Click here to unsubscribe

Volume 2 Issue 46
REMINDER: Holiday Celebration Invitation

Fifth District Holiday Open House

Board Bulletin Board

Enhancing Pedestrian and Driver Safety Along Our Streets

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors approved two important safety enhancements for the Fifth District. First, the Board authorized the addition of two adult school crossing guards at the intersection of Oso Parkway at Coto de Caza Drive.

This 4-lane intersection handles high volumes of vehicular and pedestrian traffic and is less than 250 yards away from Wagon Wheel Elementary School. Due to the intersection’s location, unique configuration and high volumes of vehicular and pedestrian traffic, the Board approved the recommendation to add two crossing guards.

Additionally, the Board authorized the installation of an all-way stop sign at the intersection of Windmill Avenue at Corporate Drive and Terrace Road in Ladera Ranch. This intersection also experiences high volumes of vehicular traffic and met all required criteria for an all-way stop.

Santiago Equestrian Center Lease Extension

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the extension of a lease with the current operators of the Santiago Equestrian Center, which is located on 6 acres of land in the Limestone Canyon & Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. This action was necessary to ensure there was no disruption to the equestrian community that currently boards their horses at this facility.

This enhanced lease includes performance guarantees that will require the current operator to provide new and improved facilities within a 4-year period. Some of these improvements include the installation of new wash racks and tack sheds, replacement of 24 existing stalls, and adding 30 new stalls, for a new total of 114 stalls. I’d like to thank all of those in the equestrian community who shared their passion and love for equestrian activities.

Assisting Orange County’s Struggling Workforce

The sub-prime housing and financial crisis has had a negative impact on mortgage, financial services, and other supporting industries in Orange County. According to the Employment Development Department (EDD) Labor Market Information, 40 percent of jobs lost in the Credit Intermediation and Related Activities (the sector that includes mortgage and real estate companies) during 2007 in California were from Orange County. As a result, many mortgage and financial companies in the County have downsized or dissolved, with many more struggling to maintain their workforce and/or remain in business.

On Tuesday, the Board approved additional funding for Rapid Response, which will enable the Orange County Workforce Investment Board to assist more employers that are at risk of laying-off workers due to downsizing or closure. The Rapid Response program allows individuals to be informed of unemployment benefits, resources for employment available at One-Stop Centers in the County, and other information to help them with their transition.

The additional $250,000 of Rapid Response funding will be divided between existing Agreements with Propath, Inc., which serve the County’s north and south regions. The southern region will receive $165,000 of this funding and encompasses the Fifth District communities of Aliso Viejo, Capistrano Beach, Dana Point, Foothill Ranch, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Newport Coast, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, and Trabuco Canyon.

Mural to Honor County's Organ and Tissue Donation Efforts

On Tuesday, the Board accepted the donation of a mural from OneLegacy, a non-profit federally designated transplant donor network serving Southern California. OneLegacy is donating the mural to honor and recognize the County and the Sheriff-Coroner Department for the Coroner Division’s unparalleled achievements in facilitating organ donations. For over 15 years, the County’s Coroner Division has been facilitating organ and tissue donation.

Since 2007, OneLegacy has operated out of the Coroner’s facility to aide with the facilitation of organ and tissue donation. The mural will be painted on an interior wall of the Coroner facility. I appreciate this generous donation by OneLegacy and am proud of the County’s work to assist with organ and tissue donation. For more information about the mural, please click here.

Board Appointments

I’m pleased to announce that among the appointments approved by the Board on Tuesday were two Fifth District constituents: Raghu Mathur, who was reappointed to the Orange County Workforce Investment Board; and Kenneth Inouye, who was reappointed to the Orange County Human Relations Commission. I wish to thank and commend both these gentlemen for their outstanding and ongoing commitment to public service.

County Connections

OC Parks Marketing, Design Services Needed

OC Parks operates some of the best-kept secrets in Orange County. Yet many people don’t realize the resources currently available to them through America’s Best Regional Park System. To that end, OC Parks is seeking to improve its public communications through new brochures and collateral material.

A Request For Proposals (RFP) for marketing and design services seeks to reach out to those missing out on the joys of nature that exist in our County. Bids for the RFP close at 4:00 PM, January 20, 2009. For information about the RFP, how to bid, and minimum requirements, please click here. For more information, please click here.

Volunteer Community Fire Watch Network

Last month, the Freeway Complex Fire scorched over 30,000 acres in northern Orange County. At 30,305 acres it was the largest blaze in recent memory in the County – even larger than last year’s Santiago Fire and the 1993 Laguna Beach Fire.

The volunteer Community Fire Watch Network was fully deployed during the Freeway Complex Fire. For information about the Community Fire Watch Network, please click here. As fire season begins earlier and lasts longer each year, it is critical for land managers, homeowner's associations and people living near wildlands to work together to help prevent wildfires. If your HOA borders wildlands and would like to partner in this cause, 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! For more information, please click here.

Winter Solstice Hike
Sunday, December 21
2:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Celebrate the shortest day of the year on this slow-paced, 2.8 mile steep hike up Little Sycamore Canyon to Serrano Ridge with OC Parks Resource Specialist Laura Cohen and Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Rd/SR-133, approximately 3.5 miles south of I-5/405). Reservations required: 949-923-2235. Program: $5. Parking: $3.

December Events and Programs at OC Parks

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

Environmental Memos

Christmas Trees and the Environment

If you’re thinking of buying an artificial Christmas tree this year, OC Waste & Recycling encourages you to reconsider. County recycling specialists are asking residents to purchase real Christmas trees to help the environment.

According to the National Christmas Tree Association, real Christmas trees are better for the environment because they are a renewable resource; new trees are planted every year. Another “green” alternative, if there is land available to plant in when the holiday season is over, is a live Christmas tree with the roots intact. Most artificial trees are made from plastics and metals that consume natural resources and do not promote new growth.

In Orange County, trash haulers collect real trees from curbsides after the holidays and process the green waste into reusable materials. They have requested that all residents remove tinsel, ornaments and tree stands from the tree. Flocked trees cannot be recycled but will be picked up. For more information, please click here.

Critter Chronicles

Pet of the Week

This week’s featured Pet of the Week is “England”, a one year old, female, brown and white, short hair rabbit. England gets along well with other rabbits and would love to find a home with her sister "Goldy." Come visit her in person and she’ll hop right into your heart! For more information about England, please click here. For information about dogs, cats, and other animals available through the County’s Adopt-A-Pet program, please click here.

‘Tis The Season

Helping Individuals and Families Less Fortunate

Adding one more gift to your shopping list can make holiday dreams come true for a needy child or teen, an impoverished senior citizen, or a low-income family. For information on volunteer and donation opportunities this holiday season, please click here.

Fifth District Holiday Festivities

Dana Point Harbor’s 34th Annual Boat Parade of Lights

Experience the 34th Annual Boat Parade of Lights, “Santa’s Sealife Celebration”, on Friday and Saturday, December 12 and 13, beginning at 7:30 PM. View the parade for free from anywhere in the Harbor; or enjoy it from a warm, cozy spot by making a reservation at one of the Harbor’s restaurants. For information on “Holiday in the Harbor” events, please click here.

Laguna Niguel Holiday Parade

On Saturday, December 13 at 10:00 AM, families will gather along Crown Valley Parkway to watch the largest and most creative display of community in Laguna Niguel’s history. The Holiday Parade will feature beautiful equestrian units, inspirational military tributes, spirit-filled youth groups, classic car clubs, marching bands, and more! For information, please click here and here.

Mission Viejo’s “Celtic Christmas”

On Saturday, December 13, children 4 years of age and older are invited to experience a “Celtic Christmas” in Mission Viejo – an event that will feature holiday merriment, music and more. The program takes place at 11:00 AM in the City Hall Saddleback Room. For more information, please call the Mission Viejo Library Youth Services Desk at 949-830-7100, ext. 5107.

23rd Annual Candlelight Tour of Heritage Hill Historical Park

On Saturday and Sunday, December 13 and 14, from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM, four treasured buildings representing the early history of Saddleback Valley will be aglow with holiday lighting as 1,000 luminaries guide your way through Heritage Hill Historical Park in Lake Forest. For more information, please click here and here.

18th Annual Winter Fantasy in Laguna Beach

The magic continues at the 18th Annual Winter Fantasy, on Saturday & Sunday, December 13 & 14. The world-famous Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach has once again been transformed into an enchanting winter wonderland, including art projects for children and adults, live holiday entertainment, art displays and demonstrations, and visits with Santa! For more information, please click here.

Lighting of the Menorah in Laguna Niguel

Celebrate the first night of Chanukah with the lighting of the Menorah and a FREE concert at the Crown Valley Community Park Amphitheater in Laguna Niguel on Sunday, December 21 at 3:30 PM. For more information, please call 949-831-8475.

South County Spotlight

Governor Announces Special Appointments

Governor Schwarzenegger last week announced the following appointments:

  • Susan Caskey of Laguna Hills has been appointed to the Private Security Disciplinary Review Committee (South). She has served as a government relations representative at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center since 2004; and has served as manager of managed care at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center since 1994. Previously, Caskey served as director of community relations for Saddleback Memorial Foundation at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center from 1991 to 1994. She worked for the South Orange County Chamber of Commerce Foundation as the executive director in 1991 and building campaign coordinator in 1990. She is a member of the Orange County Chapter of the California Women's Leadership Association and member-at-large of the South Orange County Regional Chambers of Commerce Board of Directors.
  • Michelle Brough of Dana Point has been appointed to the Board of Accountancy. Since 2005, she has served as counsel to Brandes Investment Partners. Previously, Brough served as senior advisor to the assistant secretary of financial institutions for the U.S. Department of Treasury from 2003 to 2004; and served as counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs from 2001 to 2003. She has served as a Planning Commissioner for the City of Dana Point since 2007 and serves as Treasurer for the Orange County Chapter of the California Women’s Leadership Association.
  • Ruben Smith of Aliso Viejo has been appointed to the California Housing Finance Agency Board of Directors. From 1980 to 1981, he was staff assistant to the White House Office of Hispanic Affairs; and in 1979, Smith was a graduate analyst to the California State Department of Finance. He is a member of the City National Bank Hispanic Advisory Council, Merrill Lynch Hispanic Advisory Council, Orange County Bar Association, California Council of School Attorneys, Hispanic National Bar Association, and the Orange County Business Council. In addition, he is co-founder and former co-chair of the Hispanic Education Endowment Fund.
Congratulations to these Fifth District constituents on their recent prestigious appointments by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger!

Fifth District Wrap-Up

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

  • Hosted a meeting of officials representing the Orange County Superior Court, the City of Laguna Niguel, and the County of Orange to discuss the status of the South County Court project.
  • Attended a reception to present a Proclamation in honor of outgoing State Senator Dick Ackerman.
  • Attended the annual Sand Dollar Guild’s holiday fundraiser in support of the Ocean Institute in Dana Point Harbor.
My office also:
  • Participated in a ceremony to recognize the partnership between Rancho Mission Viejo and the Orange County Transportation Authority on the Ortega Widening Project.
  • Attended a meeting of the Laguna Woods City Council to present a Proclamation in honor of outgoing Councilmember Bob Bouer.
  • Attended a meeting of the Rancho Santa Margarita City Council to present a Proclamation in honor of Jesus Flores for twenty years of publishing the Trabuco Canyon News.
  • Attended a reception in Coto de Caza to present a Certificate of Recognition in honor of Sandy Hill, who retired after 13 years of service with the Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) of Orange County. For information about TIP, please click here.
  • Attended the Women in Transportation Seminar’s (WTS) Annual Scholarship and Awards Banquet to present Certificates of Recognition in honor of their Woman of the Year, Employer of the Year and Member of the Year for their outstanding support of WTS and contributions to transportation in Orange County. This year’s honorees were Art Leahy of OCTA, Lucy Dunn of OCBC, and J.L Patterson & Associates, Inc., respectively. For information about WTS, please click here.
  • Attended the Installation Ceremony of the California Women’s Leadership Association, (CWLA), Orange County Chapter, to present a Certificate of Recognition in honor of their outgoing President, Susie Caskey.
  • Attended a meeting of the South Coast Apartment Association.
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!