March 7, 2008
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.
IN THIS ISSUE...
1. Important Announcement
2. Board Bulletin Board
3. South County News
4. County Connections
5. Environmental Notes
6. Critter Chronicles
7. South County Calendar
8. Fifth District Spotlight
9. Fifth District Wrap-Up
Chief of Staff
Executive Director of Public Affairs
Executive Policy Advisor
Executive Policy Advisor
Executive Policy Advisor
Executive Secretary II
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Daylight-Saving Time Returns
Daylight-Saving Time begins at 2am this Sunday, March 9. Don't forget to “spring forward” and set your clocks ahead one hour to celebrate the forthcoming season!
|BOARD BULLETIN BOARD
Supervisor Bates Goes to Washington
Recently, I traveled to Washington D.C. on behalf of the County of Orange, Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), and Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA). This time of year, our U.S. Representatives and Senators are preparing to make recommendations for funding of important projects throughout the nation based upon requests they receive from local governments.
I met with key Members of Congress in the Orange County delegation to advocate for funding of a number of important water projects essential to our infrastructure for clean and safe water. These requests included $18 million for the Aliso Creek project, $12.3 million for the Upper Newport Bay Restoration project, and $108.3 million for the Santa Ana River project.
I also addressed the importance of distributing the Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI). These funds are essential for bio-terrorism preparedness and come in the form of a grant that should be allocated on a per capita basis. The County should receive these funds directly rather than through Los Angeles County as an intermediary. Los Angeles County has not provided funding on bio-terrorism preparedness in over three years for nine Orange County cities for which it receives federal allocations.
Additionally, I met with key leaders of transportation in Congress regarding our federal appropriations requests for OCTA. I highlighted the importance of funding for improving chokepoints and congestion along the I-5 from Avenida Pico to Pacific Coast Highway as well as other major interchanges along our freeway system. To see the full list of federal appropriations requests click here.
Lastly, I joined other members of the TCA Board of Directors in meetings with the office of Senator Feinstein and other federal officials to discuss alternative possibilities for moving forward with the completion of the Foothill-South / 241 Extension.
Members of Congress and federal representatives I met with on these core issues include the following:
- Congressman James Oberstar, Chairman
Transportations and Infrastructure Committee
- Congressman Joe Knollenberg, Ranking Member
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee
- Congressman John Duncan, Ranking Member
Highways and Transit Subcommittee
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
- Congressman Dana Rohrabacher
- Congressman John Campbell
- Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez
- Peter M. Cleveland, Chief of Staff
Senator Dianne Feinstein
- Ryan Hunt, Legislative Assistant for Appropriations
Senator Dianne Feinstein
- Brian McKeon, Legislative Assistant for Appropriations
Senator Barbara Boxer
- Steve Stockton, Deputy Director
Civil Works Directorate, US Army Corps of Engineers
- Roger Cockrell, Majority Professional Staff
U.S. Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee
- Wayne Arny, Deputy Assistant Secretary
Installations and Facilities
US Department of the Navy
- John Paul Woodley, Assistant Secretary
U.S. Department of the Army for Civil Works
- Ken Stansell, Deputy Director
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Department of Interior
- Bryan Arroyo
Assistant Director, Endangered Species
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Department of Interior
Selecting our next Sheriff-Coroner
On Tuesday, a timeline was presented to the Board of Supervisors, detailing upcoming steps in the selection process for Sheriff-Coroner, with anticipation of a Board appointment by June. I joined my colleagues in emphasizing the importance of including in the final interview process any candidates who have run in prior elections for the position of Sheriff-Coroner in light of their willingness to commit to serving the people. Public interviews will be held on May 27. The recruitment period will close on April 18 at which time the official list of applicants will become available to the public. To see the proposed schedule for the Sheriff selection process, please click here.
Funding for South County Streets and Roads
In 2006, voters in California approved the statewide Proposition 1B ballot initiative which provides funds for critical transportation needs throughout the State. Orange County’s allocation for Local Streets and Roads projects of the Proposition 1B Program is approximately $61.6 million over a period of 10 years. The county’s allocation for 2007-08 is $24,683,910.29.
In July, 2007, the Board of Supervisors agreed to divide the funds equally among the five Supervisorial Districts, giving each District $4,936,782.06. I worked with the Cities of the 5th District to receive requests for funding projects that met the criteria of improving public safety, traffic congestion relief, and providing significant benefit on a regional basis. I wish to thank the cities for submitting projects that provide transportation solutions for the South County region as a whole. To see a list of County & City projects in the Fifth District I made allocations to and were approved by the Board on Tuesday, please click here.
Reuse Opportunities for the County’s 100 acres at El Toro
As part of a final act that ended the long and divisive debate over a proposed airport at the former military base at El Toro, the County entered into an annexation agreement with the City of Irvine to transfer the land use planning authority to the City and secured 100 acres on the El Toro property for future use by the County.
On Tuesday, the Board received a presentation that highlighted interim and long-term land use opportunities to consider for the County’s 100 acre parcel. The reports detailed the many individual interviews conducted in our solicitation for ideas and concepts for the reuse. To view the El Toro Parcel Utilization Stakeholder Outreach Report, please click here. To read an addendum to the Outreach Report, please click here. To view the El Toro Parcel Revenue Generation Study, please click here.
I expressed my support for assuring the opportunity to site a new shelter for the County’s Animal Care Services center on a portion of the 100 acres. I believe needs expressed by our animal advocates demand our attention and have directed staff to explore the El Toro location in addition to the current plan to locate a new shelter on the closed Tustin base.
I am also supportive of a proposal that would provide Chapman University an opportunity to develop a University College Conference Center and Satellite Headquarters on the El Toro property. The County’s 100 acre parcel is located adjacent to the Metrolink rail line, which could provide convenient rail access to the education center and substantially reduce the number of vehicle trips that would otherwise be generated.
County Facilities Master Plan Annual Report
The Board of Supervisors received an update on staff’s efforts, initiated in 2007, and provided the Board with a snap shot as to what efforts will be undertaken in 2008 related to its Facilities Master Plan. The Facilities Master Plan provides the Board with an inventory of all County-owned public facilities and land and identifies the opportunities and constraints associated with each of them. I look forward to further exploring the opportunities to preserve and strategically acquire additional facilities and develop a strategic plan to enhance or determine an appropriate action plan for other facilities. To view a summary report of the County Facilities Master Plan Annual Report, please click here.
|SOUTH COUNTY NEWS
Rebuilding Proud Mary’s
I am pleased to report that the Board of Supervisors took an important step in expediting the rebuilding of Proud Mary’s in Dana Point Harbor. Proud Mary’s, the popular Dana Point Harbor restaurant, was destroyed by fire on December 29, 2007. This iconic restaurant has been in business for more than 30 years. The owners have expressed their desire to re-open as quickly as possible and indicated they intend to rebuild the restaurant with an upgraded patio and fire pit.
Firefighters to Canvass San Juan Capistrano Neighborhood
On January 25, Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) firefighters responded to a fire at a home in San Juan Capistrano that resulted in the death of a woman and her two dogs. During their investigation, it appeared the home’s hard-wired smoke alarm was not working properly.
This Saturday, March 8, local firefighters will be canvassing the area where the fire occurred, distributing information regarding hard-wired smoke alarms as well as how & when to change smoke alarm batteries. For more information, please click here.
South County Transportation Open House
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.
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. As your Fifth District representative on the OCTA Board of Directors and Chair of the SOCMIS Committee, I encourage you to attend the following Public Open House:
Tuesday, March 11
R.H. Dana Elementary School
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 Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (SEIR)
- Future goals
- 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.
Orange County Community Indicators Report
The Orange County Community Indicators Project annually measures the overall quality of life of the Orange County community by tracking key indicators of economic, social and environmental well being. Modeled after successful programs in the state and nation, the Community Indicators Project serves as an ongoing and dynamic measurement tool which can support a variety of local and regional initiatives concerned with the wellbeing of the County. Community input is very important to the success of this effort. You can contact project representatives by calling (714) 834-7257 or sending an email to email@example.com. For more information, please click here.
To view the 2008 Orange County Community Indicators Report, please click here.
Orange County Coastal Coalition
On February 28, the Orange County Coastal Coalition held its monthly meeting and received great information related to the County’s stormwater and pollution prevention programs. The County’s award-winning Stormwater Education Program continues to be a success story as demonstrated through its numerous awards as well as measurable changes in behavior. For more information about the Program, please click here.
Lisa Ball from Faubel Public Affairs summarized the Stormwater Public Education & Outreach Program which included OCTA bus backs and bus stop posters, media outreach, and educational materials. Key performance indicators showed significant reductions in restaurant violations, an increase in household hazardous waste collections, and significant increases in message “impressions” and website traffic. To view Ms. Ball’s presentation, please click here.
The next speaker, Richard Boon from the County’s Stormwater Program, gave the audience an update on the Municipal Stormwater Permit Reissuance. The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board denied the permit renewal on February 13, 2008, meaning negotiations will continue for up to another year. Key concerns included the need for measurable goals, more Low Impact Development requirements, and estimates on water quality effluent limits. To view Mr. Boon’s presentation, please click here.
Bacteria Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) were the topic of the final presentation by Amanda Carr from the County’s Environmental Resources group. TMDLs are numeric limits for water-borne pollutants. The presence of excess bacteria in our creeks and ocean outlets is one reason we see occasional beach postings or closures. Bacteria are difficult to measure and even more difficult to eliminate. It may occur naturally in undeveloped watersheds but is more prevalent where there is human activity. Solutions for long-term bacteria reduction include public education, creek restoration, localized treatment measures, diversion of polluted urban runoff, and sewage treatment plants. For Ms. Carr’s presentation, click here.
Please join us for our next meeting on March 20 at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point. To be placed on the distribution list for Coastal Coalition meetings and agendas, please email Norma.Nuno@rdmd.ocgov.com.
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.
Wednesday, March 12
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.
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 opportunities being offered. For more information, please click here.
- Saturday, March 8
Go Native Plant Hike
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 firstname.lastname@example.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).
- Thursday, March 13
Raise your heart rate and your spirits on this strenuous, fast-paced, 3.5-to-5-mile hike with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalist Helen Flanagan. 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 15
Keep It Wild Volunteer Day
Volunteers help Laguna Canyon Foundation and OC Parks staff with exotic plant removal and other restoration projects. 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. For more information, please call 949-923-2235. Free (parking fee waived).
- Saturday, March 15
Diverse Wildlife of Coastal Sage Scrub & Grassland
Join Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists Penny Lewis and Annie Stoeckmann on this moderate, 3.5-mile hike. Learn about the animals and plants of two of Orange County's most endangered plant communities. 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. Parking: $3.
- Sunday, March 16
Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride
Enjoy ocean and canyon views on this 8 to 15 mile ride led by Laguna Canyon Foundation Mountain Bike Trail Assistant Mark Warrick. Reservations and helmets required, call 949-923-2235. Meet at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Big Bend Staging Area (ask for directions when making reservation). Parking: $3.
Orange County Animal Care Services (ACS) is hosting its first semi-annual Community Service Day – a special day for youth to get involved with animals at ACS. March 15, 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM. Space is limited. For more information, please click here.
ACS Community Service Day
|SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
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. Through March 9, thousands of these 35-ton leviathans will splash through the 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.
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.
Aliso Viejo Community Spring Celebration
Celebrate spring with your family while enjoying crafts, games, egg toss, and a visit with Peter Rabbit! Grand Park at Town Center, March 15, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. For more information, please click here.
Ladera Ranch Spring Celebration
Join Mr. Peter Rabbit for a fun-filled day of egg hunts, carnival games, bounce houses, concessions, music and more. It will be an activity-packed day that your family will not want to miss! Founder’s Park, March 15, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. For more information, please click here.
Return of the Swallows Celebration
Mission San Juan Capistrano will present its annual Return of the Swallows Celebration on Saturday, March 15, 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. The Return of the Swallows Celebration, the Mission's biggest annual event, marks the coming of spring – a time of renewal and rebirth. Festivities during the Saturday feast day include the traditional bell ringing, pageantry, live entertainment, ethnic foods and cultural merchants, all to mark the return of the famous birds to Capistrano. For more information, please click here.
|FIFTH DISTRICT SPOTLIGHT
Mission Viejo’s Anna Boyce
On February 29, Mission Viejo’s Anna Boyce received the Professional Champions Award from the California Park & Recreation Society. The statewide award was presented by the Society’s Aging Services and Activities Division at a luncheon in Long Beach.
Anna is a registered nurse who has been an active citizen in many community activities. She is a Mission Viejo Community Services Commissioner, aids individuals and groups with her nursing experience, and serves as Senior Assemblywoman of the California Senior Legislature – an organization preserving and enhancing the quality of life for seniors and their families.
The California Park & Recreation Society was established to provide interested citizens with the knowledge and resources to enhance their leadership role in creating community through people, parks and local programs. The award is for outstanding public service. Recipients are chosen based upon their significant effort to influence and improve the quality of community services. Anna has been a tireless leader and volunteer, receiving numerous recognition awards and commendations for her selfless service. Thank you, Anna Boyce, for your outstanding community service!
|FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
Fifth District Wrap-Up
Among my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
- Met with Chancellor of Chapman University to discuss County land use opportunities at the Great Park in Irvine and the University's potential involvement
- Met with Presiding Judge Nancy Wiebenstock to discuss South Court issues
- Attended OC Forum featuring Board Chairman Moorlach delivering his “State of the County” address
- Participated in a Ladera Ranch Town Hall hosted by South Coast AQMD to discuss a proposed Peaker Plant in the community
- Met with the Commodore of the Dana Point Yacht Club to discuss Harbor issues
My office also:
- Participated in the Dana Point Festival of Whales Parade. For more information about the Festival of Whales, please click here.
- Received an update on how Orange County Health Benefits compare to benefit systems nationwide
- Attended a Senior Transportation Stakeholder’s Collaborative Meeting to discuss senior transportation issues
- Attended a Children and Families Commission to receive a presentation on a new Orange County YMCA facility.
- Attended a South Orange County MIS Open House in Laguna Hills
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!