Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
February 22, 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. Important Health Tips

5. County Connections

6. Critter Chronicles

7. South County Calendar

8. Fifth District Wrap-Up   


Justin McCusker:
Chief of Staff

Sergio Prince:
Executive Director of Public Affairs

Jeff Corless:
Executive Policy Advisor

Elise Lampe:
Executive Policy Advisor

Chip Monaco:
Executive Policy Advisor

Ruth Strachan:
Executive Secretary II

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Volume 2 Issue 6

No Board Meeting This Week

There was no regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Supervisors this week.

Our next Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 26. For Agenda & Meeting Information, please click here

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


Ladera Hope/South Coast Air Quality Management District Town Hall Meeting

Thursday, March 6
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Ladera Ranch Elementary School
29551 Sienna Parkway
Ladera Ranch, CA 92694

For more information about this meeting, please click here.

For more information about Ladera Hope, please click here.

For more information about South Coast Air Quality Management District, please click here.


OCBC Hosts US Secretary of Transportation

On Wednesday, I attended an Orange County Business Council (OCBC) luncheon featuring U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters.  Her remarks obviously focused on transportation and she even showed a strong knowledge of local Orange County projects such as the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC).  While not in the Fifth District, ARTIC deserves to be lauded for its innovative approach to delivering a project that brings congestion relief by attracting a significant amount of private sector investment rather than waiting for sufficient state or federal tax dollars to become available. 

I received her message loud and clear:  You cannot wait and see what the federal government will give you in the way of funding before you act.  Public safety, transportation, and congestion relief projects shouldn’t only be a good idea when funds are available quickly and bad ideas when they are scarce.  Thankfully, Orange County has understood this reality and has acted to move forward on projects of critical importance to the public, not with tax dollars but by encouraging private sector investment.  The best examples are the Foothill Eastern Corridor SR 241 and the San Joaquin Corridor SR 73.  It would be hard to imagine congestion being much worse than it already is, and these toll roads have provided many Orange County residents with critical time savings – time to spend with their family or at work, driving the fine tuned engine that is the Orange County economy. 

Orange County has an innovative citizenry and I can’t help but think of the old saying, “no good deed goes unpunished” as I relate the Secretary’s speech to the setback that Orange County and Southern California received with the “no” vote at the hands of the California Coastal Commission.  But, as we do in Orange County, we won’t wait for funding; we won’t wait for the problem to get worse. We will act and move forward with innovative transportation planning and the completion of the Foothill South Toll Road. 

I have never had faith in big government and big bureaucracies and, to that end, when I hear a message from the federal government stating we can’t rely on them to fix our local transportation problem, I don’t need to hear it a second time.

M2 Progress Report

On November 7, 2006, nearly 70 percent of Orange County voters renewed Measure M. OCTA’s Board of Directors approved an Early Action Plan to get more than $1.6 billion in freeway, streets and roads, and transit projects underway by 2012. To view a summary of the progress made on the Renewed Measure M (M2) Early Action Plan covering the period of August 2007 - December 2007, please click here.

To learn more about the projects in the Early Action Plan and Renewed Measure M, please click here.

OCTA Bus Service Changes – March 2008

As part of OCTA’s continuing effort to improve bus service, a few adjustments have been made to help make commutes easier and faster. To view new bus schedules that will take effect on March 9, please click here.


Emergency Rooms Feel Impact of Seasonal Illnesses

Hospital emergency rooms in Orange County are busy, due in part to influenza and other respiratory and viral illnesses that normally occur this time of year. We are asking for the public’s help in limiting emergency room visits to those that are medical emergencies, so that resources can be used to care for the most seriously ill patients. Limiting the spread of influenza and other viral illnesses is also important in keeping hospital emergency rooms open for emergencies. For more information as well as tips on how to prevent the spread of viruses when you are feeling ill, please click here.


Orange County School Financials

The County Superintendent, Bill Habermehl, has released the 2007 edition of the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) Financial Report. The report compares school districts by utilizing statistical data such as Expenditures per Pupil, Expenditures on Books & Supplies vs. Salaries, as well as extensive information on Revenue Sources. One highlight from the report was that during the 2006-2007 funding year, the State spent an additional $1.3 billion on school districts for special funding purposes including Arts, Music, Physical Education, Instructional Materials, and Preschool Facilities. To read the OCDE 2007 Financial Report, please click here.

To see the February, 2008, OCDE Community Report, please click here.

Most Popular Orange County Baby Names

The Clerk-Recorder recently released the top ten lists of the most popular boy and girl baby names in Orange County for the year 2007. In first place were: Daniel and Emily! For more information, or to view the Orange County 2007 Top 10 Baby Names, please click here.


14th Annual Spay Day USA – February 26

It's not just rabbits that multiply like rabbits! Thousands of kittens and puppies are born every hour in the U.S. While these baby animals are adorable, the fate of most of them is tragic. Spaying or neutering our pets and feral cats is the most effective way to ensure their offspring won't be born only to die prematurely and without a family who loves them. The 14th Annual Spay Day USA takes place on Tuesday, Feb. 26. For a listing of Spay Day USA 2008 events in your area, please click here.

If you have an animal that needs to be spayed or neutered and there are no spay/neuter Spay Day USA events near you, please contact a veterinarian in your area to schedule an appointment. Your local animal shelter may have recommendations of local veterinarians, or you can find a local vet through PETS911.

If the cost of spay/neuter surgery in your area is difficult for you to afford, the following programs may help:

2008 Critter Chronicles Newsletter

Published quarterly by Orange County Animal Care Services staff, the Critter Chronicles newsletter contains information about program services, employees, animal care tips, and events. To view the first edition of the County’s Critter Chronicles for 2008, please click here.

To view previous editions of Critter Chronicles, please click here.


37th Annual Dana Point Festival of Whales

A different type of tourist is traveling along the West Coast this winter and heading to Baja during its annual migration: the majestic California Gray Whale.  The whales began their migration in late November, but from March 1 through March 9, thousands of these 35-ton leviathans will splash through the Fifth District seaside community of Dana Point – the West Coast’s premier location to meet and greet these incredible creatures – during the 37th Annual Dana Point Festival of Whales.

The Dana Point Festival of Whales is one of Southern California’s largest seafaring celebrations and reaches out to whale admirers around the world.  Dana Point is teeming with festivities every winter during this special time of year, offering something for everyone.  Festival highlights include parades, street faires, art exhibits, concerts, environmental activities, educational opportunities, crafts, and of course, whale watching excursions that will allure even the most steadfast landlubber out to sea!  For more information, please click here.

Guided Hikes in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Explore the trails and learn more about the flora, fauna, geology and history of this 6,600-acre wilderness area with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists and Orange County Parks staff!  Below are a few of the guided hikes that are being offered. For more information, please click here.

  • Saturday, February 23
    Art in the Park Hike

    9 a.m.-noon
    Grab a journal and sketch book and open your mind to nature's inspiration. Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalist Karin Klein leads this easy, 2-mile stroll through Laurel Canyon's tree-filled riparian zone. Meet at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area (20101 Laguna Canyon Road, west side, just south of El Toro Road intersection). Reservations suggested. 949-923-2235. Free (parking $3).

  • Thursday, February 28
    Fitness Hike

    9-11:00 a.m.
    Come raise your heart rate and your spirits on this strenuous 3.5- to 5-mile hike with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalist Helen Flanagan. Meet at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area (20101 Laguna Canyon Road, west side, just south of El Toro Road intersection). Reservations suggested. 949-923-2235. Free (parking $3).
  • Saturday, March 1
    Photography Hike

    9-11 a.m.
    Enjoy this picture-perfect hike with Laguna Canyon Foundation naturalists Don Millar and Dave Louton. Bring your cameras and learn to capture some beautiful images. Meet at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area (west side of Laguna Canyon Road/SR-133, approximately 5 miles south of I-5/405). Reservations suggested. 949-923-2235. Parking: $3.
  • Saturday, March 1
    First Weekends at the Nix Nature Center – Awakening Snakessss

    1-4 p.m.
    As spring approaches, snakes emerge from their winter dens. Learn about, touch and observe live snakes with herpetologist Frank Wegscheider. Design your own snake to take home. Meet at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Nix Nature Center, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area (west side of Laguna Canyon Road/SR-133, approximately 5 miles south of I-5/405). Reservations suggested. 949-923-2235. Parking: $3.

Among my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:

  • Attended an Orange County Business Council reception featuring U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters
  • Met with the author of Jessica’s Law to discuss child safety issues in Orange County
  • Met with representatives of Coto de Caza to discuss traffic & law enforcement concerns
  • Was Master of Ceremonies at the Annual Regular Meeting of the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce
  • Attended a Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony to present a Certificate of Recognition in honor of the Grand Opening of Koala Juice Bar in Laguna Niguel

My office also:

  • Attended the monthly Treasurer's meeting to discuss the monthly investment report as well as current news concerning County SIV investments

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!