Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
February 29, 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. Environmental Notes

4. County Connections

5. South County Calendar

6. 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 7

Supervisor Bates goes to Washington

I was unable to attend the February 26 Board of Supervisors meeting as I was in Washington D.C., convening with federal officials to advocate for Orange County transportation & watershed funding. A report of my advocacy efforts while in our nation’s capitol will be posted in my next newsletter.

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park to Grow

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Board accepted over 250 acres from the Irvine Company for the expansion of the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. This deeded land adds to this important and beautiful South County park. For information about Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, please click here.


South County Transportation Open Houses

The South Orange County Major Investment Study (SOCMIS) is a study effort lead by the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), examining the transportation needs of south Orange County as part of OCTA’s strategic effort to keep Orange County moving over the next 25 years.

As your Fifth District representative on the OCTA Board of Directors and Chair of the SOCMIS Committee, I encourage you to attend one of three Public Open Houses indentified below. OCTA is currently evaluating the Reduced Set of Six Alternatives and we need your help. Your feedback combined with the technical analysis will help us determine which transportation solutions will move forward for further study and be included in the Locally Preferred Strategy.

Meeting dates and locations for the Open Houses are:

  • Laguna Hills
    Wednesday – March 5
    Laguna Hills Community Center
    Heritage Room
    25555 Alicia Pkwy.
    Laguna Hills, CA 92653
  • Lake Forest
    Thursday – March 6
    Lake Forest City Hall
    Community Room A+B
    25550 Commercentre Dr.
    Lake Forest, CA 92630
  • Dana Point
    Tuesday – March 11
    R.H. Dana Elementary School
    Multi-Purpose Room
    24242 La Cresta Dr.
    Dana Point, CA 92629

Please arrive anytime between 5:30- 7:30 p.m. No formal presentations are planned. For more information, please click here.

Dana Point Harbor Department Project Update


  • View displays of the Marina Layout Alternatives
  • Project update
  • Review current status of the Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (SEIR)
  • Future goals


  • Wednesday, March 12


  • 7:00pm to 9:00pm (please arrive on time to view Marina Layout Alternatives)


  • OC Sailing and Events Center (formerly the Youth & Group Facility)

Dana Cove Room
34451 Ensenada Place
Dana Point, CA 92629

For more information, please contact Dana Point Harbor Department (949) 923-2236 or visit www.dphplan.com. Please provide your email address for future communications.

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.


State Watershed Program Forum

The California Department of Conservation (DOC) and the Watershed & Coastal Resources Division, County of Orange, are hosting a public forum to discuss the needs, opportunities and structure for a new California Watershed Program. You are invited to attend this important meeting to discuss Orange County's needs priorities and to help create an effective & sustainable watershed program for California.  Preliminary documents are posted at: http://www.conservation.ca.gov/dlrp/wp/Pages/Index.aspx.

March 12, 2008 
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
San Joaquin Marsh - Duck Club
5 Riparian View, Irvine 92616

For directions, please click here. If you are not able to attend and would like to provide written comments, please click here.

Wild Flowers are in Bloom in Orange County

There is an extraordinary bloom of wildflowers occurring in several wilderness parks in Orange County this year. The abundance and variety of wildflowers are due to the recent rains, creating an excellent opportunity for hiking and nature viewing. For information about County, State or National Parks in the Fifth District, 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 and other opportunities being offered. For more information, please click here.

  • 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.
  • Thursday, March 6
    Fitness Hike
    9-11 a.m.
    Raise your heart rate and your spirits on this strenuous, fast-paced, 3.5-to-5-mile hike with Laguna Canyon Foundation naturalist Helen Flanagan. Meet at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve (east side of Laguna Canyon Road/SR-133, just north of 73 Tollroad). Reservations suggested. 949-923-2235. Parking: $3.
  • Friday, March 7
    Elder Trek
    9:30 a.m.-noon
    Enjoy the beauty of nature on this leisurely, 2-mile hike with Laguna Canyon Foundation naturalists Annie Stoeckmann and Penny Lewis. Meet at 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 8
    Go Native Plant Hike
    9-11 a.m.
    Look for edible plants and learn to identify native bloomers on this 3-to-5-mile hike with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalist Nadine Nordstrom.  Meet at James Dilley Preserve (east side of Laguna Canyon Road/SR-133, just north of 73 Tollroad). Reservations suggested. 949-923-2235. Parking $3.
  • Saturday, March 8
    Volunteer Orientation & Training
    9 a.m.-1 p.m.
    Learn about various volunteer opportunities with Laguna Canyon Foundation, from greeting park visitors to helping with wilderness restoration projects, leading hikes and other activities, working in the office and staffing the Nix Nature Center desk. No experience required. For information and reservations, call Laguna Canyon Foundation at 949-497-8324 or e-mail education@lagunacanyon.org. 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). Free (parking fee waived).

New County Website Launched

I’m pleased to announce that the County has launched a newly organized website to help better serve our community. To achieve this goal, the new site is focused on life events that cause residents to look for information or request County services. By grouping information according to significant life events (such as starting a business or having a baby), residents are quickly connected with the valuable services the County provides.

The new site is sorted into ten categories: Services, Government, Residents, Business, Visitor, Health, Law, Emergency, Info OC, and Departments & Agencies. This is the first phase of a website re-design project aimed at answering common community questions by providing effective and immediate information online. The next phase of the project will include the re-design of participating department and agency websites. I encourage you to check out our new site at www.ocgov.com. For more information, please click here.

Clerk-Recorder/South County Branch 2-Year Anniversary

The South County Branch Office of the Clerk-Recorder is celebrating its 2-year anniversary! Instead of driving into Santa Ana or mailing in a request for documents, Fifth District residents can visit 24031 El Toro Road (Laguna Hills Civic Center area) to request birth certificates, obtain marriage licenses, recording & issuing copies of real property documents, filing environmental impact reports and fictitious business name statements. For more information about services, please click here.

OC Citizens Report Released

The financial highlights for the County during fiscal year 2006-07 have been released by the Auditor-Controller’s Office in the fifth installment of the OC Citizens’ Report. The report summarizes the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report in an easy to understand manner, details trends on our local economy, and illustrates an economic comparison with surrounding counties, the state and the nation.

To read the OC Citizens’ Report, please click here.

To view the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, please click here.

If you have any questions about these reports, please contact david.sundstrom@ocgov.com.

Food Establishments Receive Awards of Excellence

From a qualifying group of 9,642 food facilities throughout the County, the Health Care Agency’s Environmental Health Division has issued 2,241 Award of Excellence certificates to local Orange County food facilities this month. Environmental Health’s Food Protection Program recognizes these facilities for their outstanding food safety and sanitation practices during 2007. The certificate acknowledges the dedication of each recipient and highlights their diligent efforts in preventing health code violations.

Included in the Award of Excellence Program are food facilities such as restaurants, catering establishments, retail bakeries, supermarkets, supermarket/bakery combinations and public and private schools with food preparation services. To see the award winning restaurants & food establishments in your city, please click here.

For more information, please click here.

“Meet the Prison Pups”

Orange County Animal Care Services (OCACS) will host its first “Meet the Prison Pups” event on Saturday, March 1, from 10 am to 2 pm, at the Animal Care Center, 561 The City Drive South, in the city of Orange.

Four special dogs were selected from OCACS in October of 2007 to participate in the Canine Support Team’s Prison Pups Program at the Youth Correctional Facility in Chino, California.  The dogs have been fully obedience trained, crate trained, and housebroken by a select group of inmates.  In return, the dogs taught the inmates unconditional love, responsibility, and respect.  All of the dogs are available for adoption and have been vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and micro-chipped. For more information, 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 bustling 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.

Kid's Pet Parade in San Juan Capistrano

On Sunday, March 2, at 1:00 p.m., kids between the ages of 5 to 12 can show off their favorite animals in a contest for:

  • The Cutest
  • Most Unusual
  • Best Team Costume (owner and pet)
  • Funniest
  • Most Obedient (pet, not child)

A special "Judges Choice" prize will also be awarded and the winner will be given the opportunity to be in the upcoming Swallows Day Parade! Past winners have included potato bugs, dogs, ducks and ponies. For more information, please click here.

First Thursday’s Art Walk in Laguna Beach

Join member galleries throughout Laguna Beach on the Thursday, March 6, from 6pm – 9pm, for a festive cultural evening. Free shuttles to participating galleries start at 6:15 PM at the Laguna Art Museum (corner PCH and Cliff Dr.) and Bluebird Center (1590 S. Coast Highway), and run until 8:45 PM. For more information, please click here.

Living History Day / Second Saturdays at the Mission

On March 8, come and visit Mission San Juan Capistrano's Living History Day. Also known as 'Second Saturdays', this event is held on the second Saturday of each month, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
The Living History Society helps history come alive for visitors to Mission San Juan Capistrano. This group of dedicated volunteers entertains adults and children of all ages, while sharing their love of history through the characters they portray. The Society creates drama and intrigue while sharing historical information through stories, demonstrations and crafts. For more information, please click here.


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

  • Traveled to Washington D.C. to advocate for Orange County transportation & watershed funding and specifically for projects of importance to 5th District residents (more on this in my next newsletter)

My office also:

  • Attended a San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee meeting to receive an update on local issues
  • Attended a Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony to present a Certificate of Recognition in honor of the Grand Opening of DNA Couture in Laguna Niguel
  • Attended a meeting of the Orange County Coastal Coalition (more on this in my next newsletter)
  • Attended an Audit Oversight Committee meeting to receive updates regarding ongoing and proposed audits

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!