March 27, 2009
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. BREAKING NEWS
2. BOARD BULLETIN BOARD
3. TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION
4. COUNTY CONNECTIONS
5. SOUTH COUNTY NEWS
6. FIFTH DISTRICT SPOTLIGHT
7. CRITTER CHRONICLES
8. HEALTH HERALD
9. SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
10. FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
Chief of Staff
Executive Director of Public Affairs
Executive Policy Advisor
Executive Policy Advisor
Executive Policy Advisor
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US Department of Homeland Security Announces Major Southwest Border Security Initiative
I often hear from many of my constituents expressing concerns about the security of our nation’s border. Recently, there have been several stories in the news about the severe violence and danger along the US-Mexico border, which is especially troubling to Orange County residents because of our relatively close proximity to the border.
This week, US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced a new Southwest Boarder Security Initiative designed to crack down on Mexican drug cartels. Components of the plan include providing for additional personnel, increased intelligence capability and better coordination with state, local and Mexican law enforcement authorities. 360 additional federal agents and officers will be placed at the border, doubling the assignment of Immigration Custom Enforcement agents assigned to the Southwest located Criminal Alien Program Violent Criminal Alien Section of the Homeland Security Department. Under the plan, new technology will be sent to the border that will improve communication and screening efforts and enhance resources at ports of entry. You can read more about the new program by clicking here.
As this new program is implemented, I will work with our federal representatives to determine how this initiative will best serve Orange County. I will also continue to bring forward the concerns of my constituents regarding the negative impacts of illegal immigration. To that end, I recently sent a letter to the Immigration Customs Enforcement Office asking that it monitor and enforce immigration laws being violated at a day labor site in Lake Forest. I strongly support and recognize the great value that legal immigrants bring to our communities, but we must continue to take a strong stand against those individuals who violate the law.
|BOARD BULLETIN BOARD
Law Enforcement Managers’ Health Plan Approval
On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors authorized the transition of law enforcement managers from County health plans to Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs (AOCDS) health plans. Law enforcement managers consist of the management positions in the Sheriff-Coroner Department and the District Attorney including the positions of Captains, Lieutenants, Investigative Commanders and Assistant Chief Investigators. Currently, upon promotion into management, these employees are required to change health plans from AOCDS sponsored medical plans to County health plans. The action taken by the Board will now allow law enforcement managers to stay with their AOCDS plans as well as establish Defined Contribution Plans which will decrease and eventually eliminate the County’s retiree medical unfunded liability for this group of employees. Not only does this reduce the cost of health care for these employees, but more importantly, it reduces the cost to the taxpayers of Orange County as well.
Aliso Beach Concessions
From 1979 through 2006, the County had a private concessionaire operate a restaurant and beach equipment rental business out of the concession building at Aliso Beach, a County Park within the City of Laguna Beach. The building was located at the foot of the Aliso Beach pier, near the shoreline. After incurring severe damage during the 1997 El Nino storm season, the pier was demolished in 1999 and the concession building was subsequently demolished in 2006 and replaced with a new building located away from the shoreline.
On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors approved the selection of Aliso Beach Cafe to negotiate an agreement to provide concession services at the facility. The new operation will consist of providing sit-down and take-away food and beverage service, beach equipment rentals and merchandise sales in an environmentally friendly and educational atmosphere. Service is expected to begin on June 1, 2009.
Preserving Landfill Capacity and Enhancing our Environmental Stewardship through Innovative Partnerships
On Tuesday, the Board took an important first step in paving the way for stable waste disposal rates for Orange County residents by securing negotiated agreements with our local Cities. This innovative approach delivers a guaranteed waste stream to the County landfill system which translates into a reliable way of providing accurate forecasts that enable the County to strategically plan for the future.
This action is just one more step in our ongoing effort to stabilize rates for our residents and businesses, while preserving landfill capacity and enhancing our environmental stewardship through habitat preservation. Already, 200 acres have been dedicated at the Prima Deshecha Landfill in South County for habitat restoration as a result of this environmentally responsible landfill development. For a tour of the Prima Deshecha Landfill you may call Julie Chay of OC Waste & Recycling at (714) 834-4059.
Orange County Transportation Authority Bus Service Changes
The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) has launched a new website with an interactive map designed to offer bus riders a comprehensive overview of the service adjustments recently made to the OCTA bus system, which became effective March 8, 2009.
Bus service is usually adjusted four times a year; in March, June, September and December. This month’s service changes include many trip reductions due to OCTA’s efforts to balance operating costs with its reduced budget.
To view the interactive map, please click here.
For specific route and schedule information, please click here.
The website also features the “JustClick”
online trip planner, and the customizable eBusbook along with all schedules and timetable information.
To view the March 2009 Bus Service Change Highlights brochure, please click here.
West County Connectors Open Houses
The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), in partnership with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), has begun the final design phase of the West County Connectors project. The project, which will receive approximately $26 million in federal stimulus funding, traverses the cities of Garden Grove, Westminster, Seal Beach, Los Alamitos and the community of Rossmoor. It was initiated to link High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV), or “carpool,” lanes on the San Diego Freeway (I-405) with those on the Garden Grove Freeway (SR-22) and San Gabriel Freeway (I-605) to create a seamless HOV interconnection among the freeways.
Details of the project include:
The $400 million dollar project is scheduled to begin construction in Early 2010. For more information about the West County Connectors project, including maps, fact sheets and environmental information, please click here.
- constructing direct HOV bridge connectors
- adding a second HOV lane in each direction on I-405 between the SR-22 and the I-605
- reconstructing on-ramps and off-ramps
- constructing soundwalls and retaining walls at various locations
- and adding landscaping and enhance aesthetic elements
27th Annual Congressional Art Competition
Congressman Ken Calvert is accepting entries for the 27th Annual Congressional Art Competition. The contest is for high school students residing in the 44th Congressional District. Students are asked to submit paintings, drawings, collages, prints, mixed media, computer generated art, or photography. The winning student will be invited to Washington, DC for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and will also have his or her artwork displayed in the US Capitol. I know there are many wonderful artists in our high schools and I encourage all to submit entries. For more details on the contest please contact Congressman Ken Calvert's office at (949) 888-8498.
Hang Gliders Displayed at John Wayne Airport
A new exhibit entitled “Orange County: The Birthplace of Modern Hang Gliding” is now on display in John Wayne Airport’s Thomas F. Riley Terminal. The exhibit, which is part of the Airport’s current Vi Smith Concourse Gallery exhibition, features four hang gliders that were designed between 1972 and 2005 as well as photography and video celebrating this graceful sport. Hang gliding originated in Orange County and has since earned a reputation as another form of aviation. The exhibition is guest curated by Owen Morse, an avid hang glider, and will be on display through May 15th. Fore more information, please click here.
Web Wise Kids
Web Wise Kids, an Orange County-based non-profit organization is doing its part to help prevent online child victimization by providing innovative and effective tools to assist youth in keeping safe while searching the net. This unique organization offers fun, challenging and interactive simulations based on real-life criminal cases. By addressing issues like “sexting”, online romances, bullying, social networking, blogging, cyber stalking, online predators, piracy, fraud, identity theft and more, its programs help prepare young people to be their own first line of defense so they can safely explore the best that the Internet has to offer.
Web Wise Kids also has a special learning program, sponsored in part by the United States Department of Justice, which is designed just for parents. This easy-to-navigate program benefits adults who are looking to enhance their knowledge of online safety issues. Thanks to the help of a vast team of community partners, including teachers, law enforcement officers and community youth leaders, millions of children have benefited from the programs offered by this organization. For more information about Web Wise Kids, please click here.
|SOUTH COUNTY NEWS
Dana Point City Council Town Center Study Session
The Dana Point City Council is holding a Study Session to review progress on the Dana Point Town Center and to obtain public comments on the preliminary design of the proposed PCH/Del Prado Street Improvements. Members of the community are invited to attend this open meeting on Tuesday, March 31, at 6:00 pm. The meeting will be held at the Dana Point Community Center at 34052 Del Obispo Street in Dana Point.
The Town Center Plan was adopted by the City Council in November 2006 to encourage the revitalization of the Dana Point Town Center. The plan establishes a framework of public improvements and new development standards to support private reinvestment, while rebalancing activities to encourage a pedestrian friendly environment for shopping, dining, and entertainment.
For more information on the Dana Point Town Center, please visit the City's website at www.danapoint.org/towncenter. For more information on the City Council Study Session, please contact Public Works at (949) 248-3554.
Orange County Fire Authority to Host Mock DUI Crash Events
On Wednesday, the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA), in partnership with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol, Mission Hospital and other private and non-profit organizations, hosted a Mock DUI Crash at San Clemente High School. The event, which was sponsored by Friends Against Drinking and Driving (FADD), is designed to teach students the dangers of drinking and driving by allowing them to witness first-hand through simulation what can happen when one drinks and drives. The event included acted out scenes of a student’s decision to drink and drive, a simulated car crash with real vehicles, on scene treatment of victims including two fatalities, arrest of the drunk driver, family notification of a death, and subsequent legal proceedings.
Both Mission Viejo High School and Santa Margarita Catholic High School will also be hosting similar events on April 21 and May 19 respectively. For more information about these Mock DUI Crash events, please contact OCFA at (714) 573-6201.
Railroad work to close San Juan Capistrano streets in April
Metrolink will perform maintenance work at three railroad crossings in April, forcing the closure of Oso Road, La Zanja and Avenida Aeropuerto intersections and requiring motorists to take alternate routes.
Avenida Aeropuerto, which is a single-access street, will be closed from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. on Friday, April 3. It will reopen through a temporary construction lane from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 4, before closing that night from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. The street reopens at 7 a.m. on Sunday, April 5. Oso Road will be closed from 7 p.m. Saturday, April 18 through 9 p.m. Sunday, April 19. La Zanja Street will close at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 25 and reopen at 9 p.m. Sunday, April 26.
Businesses and residents on the west side of the railroad tracks should expect traffic delays. Metrolink officials will take measures to ensure emergency access is available during construction. All detours will be posted. For information about the closures, contact Metrolink at 213-452-0288 or email@example.com. A map of the closures is available by clicking here.
|FIFTH DISTRICT SPOTLIGHT
Resolution Presented to Christopher Koerner
At Tuesday’s Board meeting, I was pleased to recognize Mr. Christopher Koerner, a constituent of the Fifth District from Capistrano Beach, with a Board Resolution honoring him for his heroic efforts to save the life of Mr. Russell Abellera.
On October 5, 2008, while Mr. Koerner was kayaking with his family in Dana Point Harbor, he witnessed Mr. Abellera, who was standing atop some nearby rocks, become enveloped by a massive wave and be thrown into the ocean. Mr. Abellera suffered a head injury and was very much at risk of drowning. Using his prior lifeguard training, Mr. Koerner was able to retrieve the victim from the water and pull him to safety.
Sheriff Deputies have commented that because Mr. Abellera had suffered a head injury during the fall, it is likely he could have drowned if not for Mr. Koerner’s quick thinking. The selflessness and bravery demonstrated my Mr. Koerner is truly deserving of commendation. At this time of economic distress and uncertainty, Mr. Koerner’s actions remind us that the real strength of our community is the willingness of our fellow neighbors to help those in need. I thank Mr. Koerner for exemplifying that value and inspiring us all.
Pet of the Week
This week’s featured Pet of the Week is “Ambassador” – an eight year old, male, tricolor, Basset Hound. Ambassador is an older dog that still has a lot of love to share. He is very sweet and gentle and would make a wonderful companion to any loving family. His big brown eyes and adorable face make him hard to resist. Come visit Ambassador today and give him the second chance he deserves! To view a picture of Ambassador, please click here.
This month’s issue of the Community Health Council, Inc.’s Health Matters newsletter offers a valuable overview of the Federal economic stimulus package as it pertains to healthcare and public health provisions and how California stands to be benefit from it. To view a copy of the newsletter, please click here.
|SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
2nd Annual Donate Life Day
Salt Creek Grille in Dana Point will celebrate its Second Annual Donate Life Day on Sunday, March 29 with a portion of proceeds that day donated to help increase lifesaving organ and tissue donation. This year, Salt Creek Grille kicks off the state’s inaugural Donor Drive event for Donate Life Month and will provide an opportunity for people to sign up on the California Donate Life Registry.
Mission Viejo Library Free Astronomy Event
As part of the 2009 International Year of Astronomy, the Mission Viejo Library and Scopes-4-Schools, Inc., will host live webcast interviews with astronomers from leading observatories around the globe on April 3 and 4. This event is geared toward people of all ages and is designed to be fun and educational for the entire family. The two-day event will take place from 12:00 p.m. to 9 p.m. on April 3 and from 12:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on April 4, ending with a special star-gazing party. For more information, visit the library’s Web site at www.cmvl.org, or visit www.socalastronomy.com.
Aliso Viejo Community Associations’ Spring Celebration
Join in welcoming spring at the Aliso Viejo Community Associations’ Spring Celebration and Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, April 4th from 9:00 am - 11:30 am at Grand Park in Aliso Viejo. There will be egg hunts, face painting, bounce houses, music, arts and crafts and a special visit from Peter Rabbit. The cost is $5 for adults and $4 for children under 10. All proceeds benefit the South County Teen Center. For more information, please click here.
Spring Celebration in Ladera Ranch
Join Mr. Peter Rabbit for a fun-filled day of egg hunts, carnival games, a Spring garden, bounce houses, face painting, concessions, music and more on Saturday, April 4 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm at Founder’s Park in Ladera Ranch. The egg hunt will last all day as the bunnies "drop" eggs every thirty minutes. There will even be special egg hunting areas for little ones two years and younger. This free event will be one you and your family won’t want to miss! For more information, please click here.
Laguna Niguel Spring Break Squirrels Day Camp
Laguna Niguel Parks & Recreation is offering a fun and exciting day camp for spring breakers in first through third grades on April, 7, 8 and 9 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at Crown Valley Pak. Activities include games, crafts, and swimming. The cost is $85 for the three days. For more information, please click here or call (949) 425-5100.
|FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
My office also:
- Participated in the Swallows Day Parade in San Juan Capistrano
- Presented a proclamation at the Laguna Woods 10th Year Celebration
- Chaired the San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs Committee meeting
- Presented a certificate in honor of the Aliso Viejo Republican Women’s “Teacher We Love” Elaine Dueker
- Attended the LAFCO Best Practices Summit
- Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Jean Paul Maillard of Laguna Woods and Cynthia Colello of Laguna Niguel
My staff and I look forward to continually providing you updated information in our Fifth District Newsletter and website.
- Attended the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce Legislative and Transportation Committee meeting
- Presented a certificate at the Eagle Scout Court of Honor for Elliot Henry Metz Rouff of Boy Scout Troop 628 in Lake Forest
- Attended the Orange County Taxpayer Association Meeting
- Attended the South Orange County Regional Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs Committee meeting
- Met with Senator Barbara Boxer’s staff to discuss important South Orange County watershed projects
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.