April 03, 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. BOARD BULLETIN BOARD
2. TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION
3. COUNTY CONNECTIONS
4. FIFTH DISTRICT SPOTLIGHT
5. HARBOR HAPPENINGS
6. CRITTER CHRONICLES
7. HEALTH HERALD
8. NOTES FROM THE FIELD
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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|BOARD BULLETIN BOARD
Pension Lawsuit Update
Last month, the County was unsuccessful with one of the pleadings before the Los Angeles Superior Court; however, the Court gave the County the option to amend the suit. On Monday, in a Special Closed Session meeting of the Board of Supervisors, the Board unanimously decided to amend the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of retroactive pension benefits for sheriff deputies. The amended lawsuit was filed with the court on March 30. Should the courts rule in the County’s favor, an independent analysis has projected an estimated savings to the taxpayers in excess of $100,000,000. For a copy of the amended lawsuit, click here.
Prima Deshecha ‘Green’ Building Groundbreaking
This week, I was pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the ceremonial Groundbreaking for the new ‘green’ building at the Prima Deshecha Landfill in San Juan Capistrano. The new building, which will serve as the new administration building and crew quarters for the Prima Deshecha Landfill, will be constructed with non-toxic, recycled-content materials and will feature native landscaping, sky lighting, and my personal favorite-- a roof consisting of native plants. It will also be highly energy efficient, with energy-efficient lighting, heating and air conditioning, fresh air ventilation, and power generated on-site from the landfill gas.
The Prima Deshecha green building exemplifies Board of Supervisors’ goal of enhancing resource conservation and environmental sensibility on the part of our County. It is also evidence of our desire to reach toward even higher standards of environmental and fiscal responsibility. You can view the architect renderings, green building features and photos of the event by clicking here.
At the Groundbreaking, I was very pleased to meet with Mr. Tom Ressler, Principal of San Juan Hills High School (SJHHS) and Ms. Christina Migge, SJHHS’s Science Department Chair, and discuss their school’s new partnership with the landfill planned to enhance the environmental science learning opportunities for their students.
Don’t forget that you can drop off your household hazardous waste at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center also located at the Prima Deshecha Landfill, or pick up some partially used materials in the Material Exchange Program area of the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center. You can find used paint and garden products among the free materials offered. More information about the Center can be found at the OC Waste & Recycling Web site: www.oclandfills.com.
Farewell Ben De Mayo
Longtime County Counsel, Ben De Mayo, who served the County for 27 years, retired this week. After conducting interviews, the Board appointed Nick Chrisos, who previously served as Senior Assistant County Counsel, to replace Mr. De Mayo. Congratulations to both Ben and Nick.
Farewell to OCTA’s CEO Art Leahy
Art Leahy, CEO of the Orange County Transportation Authority, has accepted the Chief Executive Officer position for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). I would like to thank Art for his years of dedicated service to improving transportation in Orange County and wish him the best of luck in his new role. With Art at the helm in Los Angeles, I’m confident our valuable partnership with our neighbors to the north will continue to flourish as we seek collaborative solutions to our mutual transportation challenges.
The OCTA Board of Directors has appointed Jim Kenan, OCTA’s Executive Director of Finance and Administration, as Interim CEO. Congratulations Jim.
OCTA Bus Service Reductions
Last week, the OCTA Board of Directors made a very difficult decision to approve a one-year bus service reduction program, reducing bus operations by 400,000 hours over the next year. The service reductions are necessary to deal with the significant shortfall created by the loss of state transit funding and the larger than expected decrease in sales tax revenues. Over the next five years, bus transit operating revenues are projected to be reduced by more than $270 million. This action, as difficult as it was, will ensure a balanced operating budget moving forward toward a sustainable level of service. To view a copy of the presentation given to the Board, please click here. For more information about the bus service reductions, please contact OCTA at (714) 560-OCTA (6282)
OCTA's South Orange County Major Investment Study Final Survey
The South Orange County Major Investment Study (SOCMIS) was completed in October 2008. To help us with future studies, OCTA is asking you to provide feedback on the outreach efforts conducted during the two-year study. The survey will only take a few minutes to complete and is available on-line until Sunday, April 12, 2009.
To take the survey, please click here.
Additionally, to help illustrate the Locally Preferred Strategy (LPS) adopted in the fall of 2008, please take a look at the interactive maps highlighting the transportation elements and projects. To view the SOCMIS interactive maps, click here.
For more information on the South Orange County Major Investment Study, please visit OCTA’s SOCMIS website at www.octa.net/socmis. If you have any additional questions or comments, please call (888) 647-4762.
County Launches New Online Bid System
On April 1, the Orange County launched a new Online Bid Management System capable of offering enhanced access to a broader range of registered vendors offering competitive prices.
Individuals and companies interested in doing business with the County of Orange may register to receive electronic notifications of all bid solicitation opportunities by visiting the County Executive Office/Procurement web site at http://egov.ocgov.com/ocgov/Procurement. Registration is free.
As a large purchaser of goods and services, Orange County government conducts business with a wide range of providers from independent contractors and small businesses to large enterprises. The improved functionality of the new online bid system provides greater ease of use and access to information. County vendors will also benefit from many system features, including the ability to view bid and proposal packages online.
Orange County Coastal Coalition
At the March 26 meeting of the Orange County Coastal Coalition a presentation was given on HR1 – American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) - the $787 billion Federal Economic Stimulus package. Information was provided to the Board on what is covered in the package and where the funds are to be applied. Although many of the guidelines and criteria are yet to be developed, there are several opportunities for funding that are currently being tracked that may benefit Orange County water quality and coastal projects. To view the power point presentation, please click here.
The meeting also entailed a presentation on the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative. The intent of the initiative is to protect sensitive fish habitat areas. A stakeholder group is currently in the process of designating these areas in a manner that also provides and protects recreation and commercial fishing interests and opportunities along our coast.
Calla Allison, a Marine Protection Officer for the City of Laguna Beach, who is involved in the designation process, provided an update on the status of the Initiative. To view the presentation, please click here. To learn more about the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative, click http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/
The Orange County Coastal Coalition provides an opportunity to learn about and collaborate on current topics affecting our coast. Please join me for our next Coastal Coalition meeting at 9:00 am on Thursday, April 23, at the Newport Beach Library. To be placed on the email distribution list for Coastal Coalition meetings, please send your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|FIFTH DISTRICT SPOTLIGHT
Seven Fifth District Schools Named State's Best
Of the 31 Orange County public middle schools and high schools to be recently named California Distinguished Schools, the State’s top honor, I am proud to report that seven are from the fabulous Fifth District.
The honor goes to just ten percent of schools statewide with selection being based primarily on test scores. Statewide, 261 schools were selected.
The award rotates annually among elementary campuses and middle schools and high schools. Last year, 49 elementary campuses in the county were chosen as distinguished schools, including 13 from the Fifth District.
Winners will be celebrated in May at Disneyland, where each school will receive a 2009 California Distinguished School plaque and flag.
Distinguished schools are among the first to be nominated for the national Blue Ribbon School awards, although they must meet additional demographic and test-score requirements. Blue Ribbon winners will be announced in the fall.
Fifth District ‘Distinguished’ schools for 2009 include:
- Aliso Viejo Middle School, Capistrano Unified
- Arroyo Vista Middle School, Capistrano Unified
- Bernice Ayer Middle School, Capistrano Unified
- Las Flores Middle School, Capistrano Unified
- Thurston Middle School, Laguna Beach Unified
- Mission Viejo High School, Saddleback Valley Unified
- Trabuco Hills High School, Saddleback Valley Unified
Dana Point Harbor Slip Fee Increase Postponed
During these difficult economic times, the County has decided to postpone any slip fee increases that were scheduled to go into effect in May 2009. No fee increases will be considered until after the summer season.
Cove Road Closure
Cove Road in Dana Point will be closed Wednesday, April 8 and Thursday, April 9 for construction while the road is slurry sealed and restriped. Motorists are encouraged to obey all posted traffic controls during this process. For any additional information or questions, please call OC Dana Point Harbor South Coast Operations at (949) 923-2281.
America's Family Pet Expo
America's Family Pet Expo, the world's largest pet and pet product expo and entertainment festival, is coming to the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa on Friday, Saturday & Sunday – April 17, 18 & 19. This fun-filled, family event presents over 1,000 animals in stage shows, competitions and demonstrations, pet adoptions, a giant sale on pet products at special show prices, and lots of interactive attractions for pet lovers. The Orange County Fairgrounds is located at 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. Event hours are: Friday – 10 PM to 6 PM; Saturday – 10 PM to 7 PM; and Sunday – 10 AM to 6 PM. Parking is free. General admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, children ages 6 through 12 are $6, and children under 12 are free. For more information, please click here.
National Public Health Week
In 1995, the first full week of April every year was officially designated as National Public Health Week (NPHW). Each year since then, the public health community has celebrated this observance by focusing on an issue that is important to improving the public's health.
This year’s theme, “Building the Foundation for a Healthy America,” calls upon the people of Orange County, and around the nation, to be a part of the solution for a healthy America by helping families, friends, neighbors, co-workers and leaders better understand the importance of public health.
On April 7, the Orange County Board of Supervisors will declare April 6 – 12, 2009 Public Health Week in Orange County. The Board highly commends Orange County’s public health professionals and staff throughout the public health system for their contributions in improving the general health of our community.
For more information about the 2009 National Public Health Week, please visit its website by clicking here.
|NOTES FROM THE FIELD
Junior Ranger Program Day
Second and third graders ages 7-9 years are invited to learn about wilderness plants and animals and how to take care of the land on their way to becoming junior rangers on Thursday, April 9 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. The event, which costs $10 per person, will take place at the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area (20101 Laguna Canyon Road, just south of El Toro Road intersection). Reservations are required. For more information and to make a reservation, please call (949) 923-2235.
|SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
Spring Skate Egg Hunt at the Park
It's springtime which means it’s time for the Etnies Skatepark in Lake Forest to host its annual holiday egg hunt! The star of the day will be the skateboarding bunny. The event, which takes place Sunday, April 5 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, is designed for families and children of all ages. The cost is $5 per person. For more information, please click here.
Mission Viejo Spring Arts & Music Camp
The Orange County Young Artists presents a music and art camp from April 6-10, offering children the opportunity to join workshops, detailed classes and gallery exhibitions in the visual and performing arts. Children will have the opportunity to create great music and engage in sports and other activities for cultural enrichment and artistic fun. The camp will be held at Mission Viejo City Hall in the Saddleback Room. For more information, please click here.
San Clemente Springtacular
Venture to San Gorgonio Park, Saturday, April 11 for the great big egg event that you just don't want to miss: Oddly shaped activities, enormous entertainers, and a gathering of things to do that will leave you speechless! Egghunts, unlimited action, plus Little Bo Peep and her herds of sheep, a wandering Path of Random Facts, and the usual indulgences - like pony rides, face painters, jugglers big and small and other astounding acts of fun! Pancake breakfast provided by San Clemente Kiwanis and Key Club will be available for purchase from 9:00 am-12:00 pm. Some activities require a nominal fee. For more information, call (949)361-8264 or click here.
Dana Point Egg Hunt
Enjoy a FREE egg hunt with your family at Pines Park in Dana Point on Saturday, April 11. Acitvites begin at 9:00 am and egg hunts begin promptly at 10:00am for children up to 10 years old. For more information, please click here.
Laguna Niguel Bunny Blast
Hop over to Chapparosa Park in Laguna Niguel for a morning that is sure to be a blast on Saturday, April 11 from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm. Fun activities include a petting zoo, pony rides, face painting, a bounce house and crafts and games. The cost is $7 for children ages 2-12 and $2 for ages 13+. Click here for more information.
2009 Imagination Celebration
Arts Orange County and the Orange County Department of Education will present the 2009 Imagination Celebration from April 18 to May 17, 2009. This county-wide arts festival for children and families will feature over 100 affordable or free events in 31 Orange County cities! You are invited to enjoy the power and colorful creativity of theatre, dance, music, film, literary and visual art brought to by an exciting collaboration of professional arts organizations, cities, schools, libraries, universities and community venues.
Helping build a creative community in Orange County, the Imagination Celebration enters its 24th year and has played a major role in sparking imagination and creativity in an entire generation of Orange County children.
For more information and a complete list of events, please click here.
|FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
My office also:
- Attended the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the ‘green’ building at the Prima Deshecha Landfill in San Juan Capistrano (Click here to view photos)
- Chaired the March Coastal Coalition Meeting
- Toured the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Correctional Medical Services facilities
- Participated in 73rd Assembly District’s 1st Local Elected Officials Meeting
My staff and I look forward to continually providing you updated information in our Fifth District Newsletter and website.
- Attended the Laguna Beach Chamber Legislative Committee meeting
- Attended the South Coast Apartment Association’s GEMM Awards
- Met with Laguna Niguel City Staff regarding land use issues
- Attended the Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce Legislative Committee meeting
- Presented a proclamation to departing principal Dr. Kevin Rafferty of Chaparral Elementary School in Ladera Ranch
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.