May 1, 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. PAT’S PERSPECTIVE
2. BOARD BULLETIN BOARD
3. TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION
4. COUNTY CONNECTIONS
5. SOUTH COUNTY NEWS
6. HARBOR HAPPENINGS
7. CRITTER CHRONICLES
8. SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
9. 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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Measure H Funding Policy
Orange County receives monies from the State’s Tobacco Settlement Revenue. Orange County voters determined through Measure H to allocate funding from TSR for primary health care services through community clinics and hospitals as well as tobacco use prevention and public safety programs. As such, the County has contracted with the Coalition of Community Clinics to provide some of these services. Last month, it was brought to the Board's attention that the Planned Parenthood clinic was providing reproductive health education services with the Measure H funding, which something not specifically prescribed within the Measure’s intended use. Consequently, on March 10th, the Board of Supervisors took action to suspend funding pending a review of compliance with the intent of Measure H.
A review by the Health Care Agency and County Counsel determined that other members of the Coalition of Community Clinics under the same contract were also providing similar education services. Therefore, on April 28th, the Board reinstated funding to Planned Parenthood having been determined to be in compliance as other clinics were but approved a policy going forward that clearly enumerates the Board's priority for allocation of this funding. At this time, the Board’s feels the money should go to ensure our citizens’ primary health care needs are being met first in line with the intent of Measure H. The Board has discretion with regard to the allocation of this funding. Therefore, in the future should the Board choose to fund a broader health education policy with TSR funds, it will only do so after we have the opportunity to review and approve a curriculum that is both age appropriate and targets the County's greatest heath needs in the area of health education.
|BOARD BULLETIN BOARD
Child Care Connections Award
The Board of Supervisors was presented with the 2009 Excellence in Child Care Planning Award from Child Care Connections at this week’s Board meeting. The award recognizes the County’s work in establishing zoning policies favorable to developing additional child care facilities within our jurisdiction. The County of Orange has played an important role in facilitating provisions for child care by working to amend zoning ordinances to accommodate quality child care capacity and accessibility in Orange County.
This award would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work from Ruby Maldonado, Chief of the Special Projects Section in the OC Planning Department. Ms. Maldonado’s tireless effort and collaboration with both the Child Care Connections and the County’s Child Care Coordinator were instrumental in ensuring more opportunities for child care programs to flourish throughout the County. I would also like to congratulate Anne Broussard with the Orange County Social Services Agency, who was chosen as the “Advocate of the Year” for her support of “Children and Quality Child Care” by Child Care Connections.
Click here to view a photo of the Supervisors accepting the County’s award.
Workforce Investment Board
Tuesday, the Board approved allocating $1.1 million dollars of federal stimulus money to the Orange County Workforce Investment Board for a summer youth job training program. The program provides high school student with summer jobs so they may learn workforce skills and be better prepared for the career world once they graduate. Additionally, staff for the program will include some of the recently laid-off county social workers. This certainly is one of the better expenditures of stimulus funding packages because it helps to ensure there will be jobs in our community.
Proposition 84 Funding Agreement
The Board approved an agreement to establish the allocation of Proposition 84 (the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Act) grant funding through the South Orange County Integrated Regional Water Management Plan. These management plans identify regional objectives to improve water quality, supply and reliability and list potential projects to address these objectives. Proposition 84 authorizes funding for these plans by geographic area. South Orange County is included in the San Diego Funding Area along with most of San Diego County and a portion of Riverside County. The San Diego area has been allocated $91 million of which $11.7 million will be applicable for use in South Orange County.
Discovery Science Center
The Board also executed an agreement that brings together OC Waste & Recycling, a regional leader in recycling and waste reduction programs, and the Discovery Science Center, a regional leader in science education, to create a hands-on, interactive exhibit that reinforces the County’s regional message about waste reduction, reuse and recycling. The shared goal among the partners is to affect positive change in the community’s perceptions and behaviors, leading to sustainable practices that help extend the life of the landfills.
The environmental education exhibit is aligned with the roll-out of the County’s regional public education and outreach campaign. Funding for the public outreach and environmental exhibit is possible through surcharge funds that by law must be used for programs that promote solid waste diversion through reduction, reuse, recycling. The exhibit is long-term (will operate up to 10 years). Phase I will see the unveiling of the “Eco-Shopping Store,” where points are earned for making green choices for recyclable products that result in reduced waste. Phase II will expand on the theme with a “Waste Identification Game” that matches teams in their knowledge of how to sort and properly dispose of waste materials.
Centrally located in Santa Ana, the Discovery Science Center is open to all Orange County residents. The center hosts an excess of 400,000 visitors per year – an ideal partner for a regional project. Click here to view a Power Point of the new exhibit.
Bus Service Reductions
The recently approved state budget resulted in devastating impacts for Orange County bus riders. The Legislature reduced the State Transit Assistance program, the only ongoing source of state funding for day-to-day transit operations, representing a loss of more than?$17 million for Orange County through June. Next year these funds will be eliminated completely -- resulting in a loss of approximately $100 million over the next five years.
The continuing economic crisis and declining sales tax revenue also have reduced available funding for transit services. Even with the extensive cost-cutting measures already taken by the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), these significant funding reductions mean that the current level of bus service can no longer be sustained. OCTA is planning a large service reduction program that includes potential service changes effective September 2009 through June 2010. Click here to view the routes that will be potentially affected.
Local Transportation Funds Approved for Laguna Beach Transit
With my urging, the OCTA Board of Directors approved allocating Local Transportation Funds to the Laguna Beach Municipal Transit Lines which provides Laguna Beach with very necessary funding to accommodate the transit needs of visitors and residents alike. Transportation funding is important to Laguna Beach as it supports tourism which is a vital aspect of the local economy.
Virgin America Launches Service at John Wayne Airport
Virgin America launched its inaugural flight Wednesday to John Wayne Airport. The luxury airline now provides 5 non-stop daily flights from John Wayne Airport to San Francisco. Click here to view Virgin America’s flight schedules.
Orange County Projects Receive Stimulus Funds
A number of significant environmental enhancement and flood management projects in Orange County will receive vital support from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, better known as the Federal stimulus program.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced more than $50 million will be spent in Orange County on projects selected based on their anticipated economic and environmental return. The projects selected for funding include:
The approval of funding for these projects is great news for Orange County. Orange County residents will directly benefit from these improvements and the Federal support is greatly appreciated. Our success is the result of great teamwork involving our County staff, our representatives in Washington and many city and community leaders.
- $26,550,000 to complete channel improvements on the lower Santa Ana River within Orange County
- $1,000,000 for mitigation related to the Seven Oaks Dam, which provides flood protection to Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties
- $17,363,000 to complete plans and specifications and award a construction contract for the environmental restoration of Upper Newport Bay
- $5,265,000 for needed maintenance for the Santa Ana River, Carbon Canyon Dam, Prado Dam and Fullerton Dam
- $500,000 for a Dana Point Harbor breakwater study to identify and recommend any repairs to the breakwater/jetties and improve water quality.
Mandatory Level 2 “Water Alert” in South County
Moulton Niguel Water District (MNWD), a water supplier for Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel and Mission Viejo, implemented a mandatory Level 2 “Water Alert” condition that goes into effect June 1.
MNWD’s Board of Directors adopted a resolution last month declaring a Water Supply Response Level 2 condition, which applies when consumers need to reduce their water usage by up to 20 percent in order to have sufficient supplies to meet anticipated demands. The Level 2 condition, which is mandatory, is in response to regional wholesaler, Municipal Water District of Orange County, reducing the amount of water the district will receive without being charged significant penalties.
The public should comply with “Water Watch” conservation practices during a Level 2 “Water Alert” and must adhere to mandatory conservation measures such as irrigating residential properties on certain days of the week. For more information about mandatory conservation measures, general water conservation tips and available rebates, please visit http://www.mnwd.com.
Great Park Receives Prestigious Award
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) selected the Orange County Great Park Design Team to receive the 2009 Institute Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design. This award is the AIA's highest recognition for work that exemplifies excellence in architecture and urban design. The Great Park was selected from more than 700 submissions and is one of six recipients to be honored for regional and urban design. For more information about the Great Park, click here.
|SOUTH COUNTY NEWS
Aliso Creek Ecosystem Restoration Study
The County of Orange’s OC Watersheds, in conjunction with the Army Corps of Engineers, will host a public meeting at the Mission Viejo City Council Chambers, 200 Civic Center, Mission Viejo, on Thursday, May 7, 2009 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. to discuss the Aliso Creek Ecosystem Restoration Study. Public comments are sought on the proposal to evaluate an approximately 7-mile reach of the Aliso Creek and 1,000 feet of the Wood Canyon tributary to Aliso Creek. These areas are within the Cities of Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo and Unincorporated Orange County.
The Aliso Creek project area is within an Orange County wilderness park and within the Natural Communities Conservation Plan/Habitat Conservation Plan Nature Reserve of Orange County. The creek is in a highly urbanized area with a concentrated population. Aliso Creek has numerous water resources issues related to both human actions and natural processes which have raised concerns about the long-term survival of the watershed ecosystem. Problems that have been identified include channel instability, degraded water quality, loss of fish and wildlife habitat and flood damage.
Since 1997, there have been multi-jurisdictional efforts to address issues relating to the Aliso Creek watershed. A wide range of technical studies indicate that re-establishment of a healthy and sustainable watershed environment would serve to improve the conditions of the creek. The focus of the project will be watershed improvements to restore the creek’s function and native habitat for multiple species by developing alternatives for ecosystem restoration for impacted reaches of the creek.
Members of the public interesting in submitting comments should attend this meeting. Information on these meetings may be obtained from Zoila Verdaguer-Finch at 714-955-0618 or Zoila.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rancho Santa Margarita Historical Society
For nearly three years, a group of enthusiastic Rancho Santa Margarita residents have been researching and developing plans to form an historical society for the City of Rancho Santa Margarita. All their hard work came to fruition recently when the group’s application as a 501 (c)(3) was approved by the State of California. Given the City of Rancho Santa Margarita’s thirty years of planning and development and nearly ten year life as an incorporated city, it’s important to record, preserve and make available, the history of this unique community.
The Historical Society plans to preserve the community’s history in a variety of ways, including documenting and perpetuating the original “enhanced lifestyle opportunity” vision, collecting photographs, and recording key events and elements of daily life in the maturing community. If you’d like to learn more and participate in the Historical Society, please send an email to email@example.com.
Taste of Ladera
Spring is upon us, which means there is a certain magic in the air. Flowers are abloom, sunshine abounds, and Ladera Ranch residents are abuzz with excitement in anticipation of the biggest community party of the year. Like you, I have been looking forward to this year’s 5th Annual Taste of Ladera “Rock the Park”, taking place at Founders Park on May 2 & 3, which promises to be a weekend of non-stop fun for the whole family.
As the community’s signature fundraising event to support local schools, youth programs and other local nonprofits, Taste of Ladera has become a crown jewel event of the Fabulous Fifth District. Not only does it celebrate the finest in local cuisine and music, but this is among my favourite festivals of the year because it is a testament to the rock-solid sense of community that Ladera Ranch has come to be known by. To that end, I am pleased to be presenting at this year’s event a resolution in special recognition of Taste of Ladera.
I also have the distinguished privilege to participate in another special way. During a ceremony on Saturday, May 2, I will officially proclaim May as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the County of Orange on behalf of the Board of Supervisors. Representatives from Laura’s House, a shelter that provides support services to more than 3,000 battered women and children and counseling, life skills education and legal aid to more than 20,000 victims throughout Orange County, will be on hand to receive the proclamation on behalf of all domestic violence shelters on the West Coast.
Lastly, I’m excited to host a booth at the festival to provide information about County services that are available to you and how my office may assist in helping you gain access to them. So while, please be sure to stop by and say “hi”!
Dana Point Harbor Receives Stimulus Funds
This week, OC Dana Point Harbor announced it will receive $500,000 in federal stimulus funds for the Comprehensive Condition Survey of the Dana Point Harbor federal breakwater and jetties. This survey is necessary in order to identify and recommend any repairs needed and will also allow for improved water quality in the Harbor.
The harbor jetties were last repaired in 1984 and repeated storm and ocean waves may have caused damage to the jetty rocks. Additionally, it is suspected that the west jetty may be passing through too much sand from ocean currents, causing sand to build up rapidly in the main channel. As such, the Comprehensive Condition Survey will investigate whether the west jetty is too permeable and will identify repairs that could save money by preventing or forestalling the need for dredging the federal channel in the future.
The project will benefit both residents in the community and tourist from outside California. The Harbor is one of a series of harbors that, together, make up a network of Harbors of Safe Refuge during rough weather conditions. For more information, please click here.
Interim Director of OC Animal Care Director Appointed
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Ryan Drabek as Interim Director of OC Animal Care. Mr. Drabek began his career as an Animal Control Officer and has been with OC Animal Care for 8 years. Most recently, he has been the manager of OC Animal Care’s Community Outreach Team, where he also is the Public Information Officer.
We are continuing the process of recruiting for a permanent Director of OC Animal Care in an open competitive process. Information pertaining to the recruitment can be seen online at http://agency.governmentjobs.com/oc.
Mr. Drabek will serve as the Interim Director while we move forward with this effort. He will manage the day-to-day operations of OC Animal Care, including both Shelter and Animal Control operations. His office will be at the OC Animal Shelter, 561 City Drive South, Orange and he can be reached at (714) 935-7107.
I am confident Mr. Drabek will bring tremendous professionalism and dedication while he serves in this capacity, and I look forward to working with him.
|SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
FunWithChalk Street Painting Festival
FunWithChalk marks 11 years of success and support of local art programs for public school children with its annual street painting and fine arts festival on Saturday and Sunday, May 2-3. The two-day festival features re-creations of the Old Masters and original works, all by noted artists and all created on asphalt. The popular event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center in Mission Viejo. The festival offers something for everyone - featuring live street painting, day-long entertainment, art workshops and food. Admission and parking are free. For more information, visit www.funwithchalk.org.
Special Olympics Orange County
Special Olympics Orange County is gearing up for its Spring Regional Games on May 9 at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo. More than 500 athletes from across the state will compete in the sports of aquatics, athletics, bocce, gymnastics and tennis. Opening ceremonies kick off at 9 a.m. at the college stadium, 28000 Marguerite Parkway, Mission Viejo.
Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of skills and friendship with their families, other athletes and the community. For more information about the games or volunteer opportunities, please call the Special Olympics Orange County office at 714-564-8374 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laguna Beach Live!
Laguna Beach Live’s Inside World Music & Wine series is set to debut on Thursday, May 14 at the Laguna Beach Woman’s Club with Cuban Sonero sensation Adonis Puentes and his Afro Cuban Band. Wines from South America will be presented by California Taste owner Ken Spears. This first Music and Wine Tasting is sponsored by Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach, the Festival of Arts Foundation and City of Laguna Beach. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. to begin wine tasting and the concert is 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door and may be purchased online at www.lagunabeachlive.org or by phone at 800-595-4849.
Aliso Viejo Street Fair 2009
The Aliso Viejo Chamber of Commerce, along with its Community Partner, the City of Aliso Viejo, will host a Street Fair in the Aliso Viejo Town Center along the main thoroughfare on Saturday, May 16 from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm. The event will include: Chamber business booths, live entertainment, classic car show, a bounce house, Ccotton candy, and much more. Admission is free. Click here for more details.
|FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
My office also:
- Attended the Laguna Niguel Community & Business Expo and hosted a booth. Click here to view a photo.
- Attended the First Annual Orange County Victims’ Rights March and presented a resolution in recognition of the National Crime Victims’ Rights Awareness Week. Click here to view a photo.
- Attended the Annual Orange County Tourism Council Conference
- Met with the Coto de Caza Master Association Governance Committee
- Attended the Virgin America Launch of Service to Orange County evening celebration
- Presented the keynote speech at the Independent Special Districts of Orange County (ISDOC) Quarterly Meeting
- Proclaimed a Local Emergency in Orange County due to the Swine Influenza outbreak. Click here to view a photo of the press conference.
- Presented a welcoming address at the OC Leadership Academy’s Annual Meeting
- Met with San Juan Capistrano Mayor Mark Nielson to discuss transportation issues
- Attended the Orange County Lincoln Club Annual Dinner
- Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memoriam of Ruth Payne, Dr. Thomas A. Tony O’Sullivan, and Lynn M. Sims
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 Committee meeting
- Participated in the Transportation Corridor Agency’s Budget Workshop
- Attended the monthly OCTax meeting
- Attended the South Orange County Regional Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs Committee meeting
- Presented a certificate of recognition in honor of the ribbon cutting ceremony for South Authentic Southern Kitchen, a restaurant in San Juan Capistrano
- Presented a certificate of recognition to Sandella’s Flatbread Cafe in honor of their grand opening celebration in Aliso Viejo
- Presented a certificate of recognition to UNITS Mobile Storage in honor of their grand opening celebration in Lake Forest
- Presented a certificate of recognition to Fred’s Mexican Cafe in honor of their 4th anniversary celebration in Laguna Niguel
- Attended a meeting of American Legion Post 257 in Laguna Woods
- Attended a meeting of the Taste of Ladera planning committee
- Provided certificates for Crime Survivors’ Annual Awards Banquet
- Ribbon cutting for 210 Dance Restaurant and Bar in San Juan Capistrano
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.
For an ADA version of our newsletter, click here.