Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
May 8, 2009

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.















Chip Monaco:
Chief of Staff

Sergio Prince:
Executive Director of Public Affairs

Don Hughes:
Executive Policy Advisor

Kristen Thornton:
Executive Policy Advisor

Ray Grangoff:
Executive Policy Advisor

Ruth Strachan:
Office Manager

Margaret Chang:
Policy Assistant

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Volume 3 Issue 18

3rd Quarter Budget Report

Since the second quarter, the economic condition at the local, state and national levels has continued to decline. Although there have been some recent, positive economic trends such as stabilizing of housing pricing, there is not an overall trend that indicates recovery in the near future. States and counties nationwide continue to experience declining cash flows.

The State Controller in March 2009 was able to resume payments for state and local operations which were delayed in February. However, the Summary Analysis of March 2009 State Finances indicates that the State’s revenue position continues to deteriorate, with total General Fund receipts $178 million (-5.2%) below estimates projected in the State’s recently passed FY 2009-10 Budget Act. In addition, those estimates were developed under the assumption that all of the May 2009 ballot measures will pass. Early polls indicate a lack of voter support for the measures.

Orange County, along with other California counties and municipalities, continues to experience lower than projected revenues and increased caseloads and demand for services. However, having taken early, proactive steps to address budget deficits, the County is still well-situated to minimize impact on direct services. Counties that are just now addressing fiscal impacts are finding that their late action is resulting in deeper and more extreme cuts to programs. As we move into the planning phase for the next Fiscal Year, the Board is closely monitoring the State budget and will recommend further appropriate budgetary actions when impacts from the Governor’s June Budget Revision are known.

To view the 3rd Quarter Budget Report for the County of Orange, please click here.

Oso Trail Improvements

The Board approved an agreement with the City of Laguna Hills to provide funding towards the installation and repair of fencing along the Oso Creek Regional Riding and Hiking Trail which runs along the south side of Oso Parkway. The City of Laguna Hills will be installing approximately 3,000 linear feet of new fencing and replacing approximately 2,200 feet of existing fencing at a cost of $89,000, of which the County will be contributing $30,000. The additional fence work will enhance safety by providing a continuous barrier between trail users and traffic along Oso Parkway.

Annual Action Plan for Housing and Community Development

On Tuesday, the Board authorized the County to submit the Fiscal Year 2009-10 Annual Action Plan to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) which outlines how the County will be spending nearly $10 million in federal funds for housing and community development needs. Some of the housing issues addressed in the plan include stabilizing neighborhoods with vacant or foreclosed homes, rental assistance programs for families at risk of homelessness, and re-housing programs for homeless families. Many of the programs funded by the federal monies are private sector not for profits. The funds go to programs that are effective, efficient, and show measurable results. The goal of these housing programs is not to provide a permanent taxpayer funded subsidy, but to assist families in achieving self-sustainability.


New Renewed Measure M Web Site

To allow the public to see exactly how their tax dollars are being used, Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) launched a new web site that offers the latest information on projects funded by Renewed Measure M, the half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements.

The web site categorizes the information into four sections – freeway, transit, streets and environmental initiatives – and is driven by a wide range of data including a section with multimedia downloads.

In addition, the site contains a tool box where the public can sign up to receive dynamic e-mail updates based solely on projects of their interest. The toolbox also features an interactive map, contracting opportunities and information on taxpayer safeguards.

I encourage you to visit the website at: www.octa.net/M2.

Voters approved Renewed Measure M in 2006 by nearly 70 percent and it will provide billions of dollars in improvements over the next 30 years. It is designed to reduce traffic congestion, strengthen the economy and improve quality of life by upgrading key freeways and major interchanges, maintaining streets and building a visionary rail-transit system, all while taking steps to protect the environment.


The Orange County Registrar of Voters would like to remind those of you who will vote-by-mail for the May 19 Special Election to apply the proper postage to your vote-by-mail ballots prior to mailing it. On May 11, 2009 the postage rate for First-Class mail will be raised 2-cents to 44-cents.

If returning your ballots prior to May 11, 2009, the day of the increase, ballots will only require 42-cents (all ballots for the May 19 election are under one ounce). After May 11, it will cost 44-cents to return a vote-by-mail ballot.

Making sure you apply proper postage is the best way to ensure your ballot will be received by the Registrar of Voters in a timely fashion. State and Federal law requires that the Registrar of Voters receive all ballots by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, May 19, 2009. Ballots received late will not be counted. Postmarks will not be taken into account to determine eligibility of the ballot.


OC Public Works Open House

Orange County Public Works Department will host its annual Open House on Saturday, May 16, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the “Glassell Yard,” located at 2301 Glassell Street in Orange. The Open House will provide Orange County residents the opportunity to see firsthand the broad spectrum of services and programs that Public Works has to offer. This year’s festivities will include complimentary hot dogs, soft drinks, opportunity drawings, games for the kids, live music by “The O.C. Band,” and exhibits hosted by Public Works Divisions, along with the City of Orange Fire Department and the Sheriff’s D.A.R.E. program. For more information about the Open House, please contact Public Works Operations and Maintenance Division at 714-955-0299.


The first months of 2009 have seen much hardship in Orange County and the rest of the nation. People have lost jobs, homes, and even the ability to buy food for themselves and their families. Reaching out to their community to see if any assistance was available, more than 21,000 people in Orange County called 2-1-1 for help.

When a father of two called in February because he had been laid off from his job and evicted from his apartment, a 2-1-1 operator connected him not only to unemployment benefits and shelters where they could stay for the night, but also linked him to more sustainable options such as agencies that could help him find a job and long-term shelters where they could stay for up to two years until he got back on his feet.

Serving as the information hub for all of Orange County’s health and human services, 2-1-1, a non-profit organization, exists because some of the greatest barriers to assistance that people face are that they don’t know what help is available, whether or not they’re eligible, or how to access them. For more information about the 2-1-1 service, please click here.

Trauma Intervention Programs, Inc. (TIP)

Trauma Intervention Programs, Inc. (TIP) is looking for caring people willing to be part of a team of citizen volunteers trained to provide emotional and practical support to the victims of traumatic events. These modern-day “Good Samaritans” are called to emergency scenes by emergency response personnel to: provide emotional and practical support to those who have been robbed, burglarized, or assaulted; comfort families after the death or sudden illness of a loved one; help disoriented older persons; support survivors of a suicide; help emotionally traumatized victims of accidents; and help those emotionally shaken by any crisis event.

TIP is currently in the process of recruiting volunteers willing to be trained as crisis responders in Orange County. No experience is necessary. For more information, please click here.


Public Hearings on Water Rate Increases

As reported in my newsletter last week, 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. As such, MNWD will host a public hearing on Thursday, May 21 regarding proposed water and sewer rate increases.

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. Along with other watering restrictions, residential and commercial customers will only be able to water lawns three days a week.

The public is urged to attend MNWD’s May 21 rate increase hearing. Residents will have the opportunity to speak about the proposed water and sewer rate increases before the board makes a final decision. The meeting will take place at 6:00 p.m. at the MNWD headquarters located at 27500 La Paz Road in Laguna Niguel.

For more information about the May 21 Moulton Niguel Water District public hearing and water conservation requirements, please visit http://www.mnwd.com/ or call 949-831-2500.

In other water-related news, El Toro Water District, which services Laguna Woods, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills, Lake Forest, and Mission Viejo, will consider proposed water rate increases at 7:30 a.m., Thursday, June 25 at 24251 Los Alisos in Lake Forest.

Also, this week officials from Santa Margarita Water District, which services Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, Las Flores, Ladera Ranch, and Talega, announced that a rate study is currently underway but a date for a public hearing has not yet been set.

Information about the El Toro Water District is available at http://www.etwd.com/ and information about the Santa Margarita Water District is available at http://www.smwd.com/.


Mission Hospital recognized with Employer of the Year Award

The California Department of Rehabilitation has named Mission Hospital a recipient of its 2009 Employer of the Year award. This prestigious award honors outstanding employers in South Orange County and San Diego County who have demonstrated a commitment to hiring people with special needs.

Mission Hospital’s partnership with Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) for Project SEARCH, a vocational training program for individuals with special needs, led to its recognition as one of six exemplary employers in the region. Through a two-semester internship period, students learn skills for employment by working at various jobs within the hospital, from clerical tasks to nutrition services. Along the way, they attain marketable skills for any industry through problem solving and communication. Staff members at the hospital volunteer to support and assist the students as they learn to transition from school to the workplace.

For more information about the award, please click here.

Ruta Quetzal-BBVA scholarship Award

I would like to congratulate Daisy Walker, a tenth grade student at Laguna Hills High School, for receiving a 2009 Ruta Quetzal-BBVA scholarship from the Ministry of Education of Spain for her winning writing submission in a language other than her native tongue -- Spanish.

Daisy, a resident of Mission Viejo, began learning Spanish when she started in Saddleback Valley Unified School District’s Two-Way Immersion Program when she was in the first grade. While in the United Kingdom last summer, Daisy had the opportunity to visit the beautiful mosaic inside St. Paul's Cathedral which served as the inspiration for her scholarship project. The Ruta Quetzal-BBVA scholarship is described as an academic and travel adventure in which winners receive six weeks of travel valued at $16,000 that includes study trips to Chile and Spain. Applicants had to write about certain historical events in Spanish and meet other rigorous academic standards. Each year, one or two California students win this prestigious scholarship. For more information about the contest, please click here.


Nation’s First Countywide Comprehensive Stroke-Neurology System

This week, the Orange County Health Care Agency announced the launch of a ground-breaking Stroke-Neurology Receiving Center program. The Health Care Agency worked with a coalition of stroke advocates to develop Stroke-Neurology Receiving Center criteria with an emphasis on quality of care, patient safety and 24-hour availability of Neurologists, Neurosurgeons, Radiologists, Nurses and Emergency Medicine physicians who are expert in managing stroke patients. These professionals will use specialized neurological techniques that have been shown to provide the best outcomes for stroke patients. The six hospitals in Orange County that have been designated as Stroke-Neurology Receiving Center facilities include:

  • Fountain Valley Regional Medical Center
  • Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian
  • Mission Hospital and Medical Center
  • St. Joseph Hospital of Orange
  • University of California, Irvine Medical Center
  • Western Medical Center – Santa Ana
For more information, please click here.


Great Park Conservancy Garden

The Great Park Conservancy has begun a feasibility study for the development of the Conservancy Garden at the Great Park, a smaller garden that will preview what is being planned within the larger Botanical Garden. The Conservancy is partnering with the Discovery Science Center to move the project from concept to reality.

The garden is planned to be a place where students of all ages can learn about science and nature in fun and entertaining ways. Sustainable and organic garden practices, stewardship of our natural resources, environmental awareness, and home gardening will all be themes within the Conservancy Garden. It promises to be world-class in design, feature beautiful horticulture, be changeable and renewable, and tell the story of the future Botanical Garden.

As part of the feasibility study, the Great Park Conservancy is conducting a survey that will assist in planning the best possible garden for the residents of Orange County. You are encouraged to voice your opinion on this valuable future community resource. To take the survey, please click here.


Butterfly Hike

Learn to identify host plants for butterflies with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalist Nadine Nordstrom on a moderate, but steep and rocky, 3.5-mile-hike on Saturday, May 9 from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. Meet at the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park James Dilley Preserve (east side of Laguna Canyon Road/SR-133, just north of 73 Toll Road). Reservations are required and parking is $3. For more information, call (949) 923-2235.

Tot Walk

Bring your wee ones to explore our wild backyard on an easy walk with Laguna Canyon Foundation's Education Director Kimberly Leeds and volunteer naturalists on Friday, May 15 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. Meet at the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Willow Canyon Staging Area (20101 Laguna Canyon Road, just south of El Toro Road intersection). Reservations are required and parking is $3. For more information, call (949) 923-2235.

Art in the Park Hike

Breathe deeply, decompress and enjoy nature's music while letting the outdoors influence your reflections through poetry and mandala making on Sunday, May 17, from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. The event will be led by Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists Bette Lee and Gigi Logan. Meet at the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park James Dilley Preserve. Reservations are required and parking is $3. For more information, call (949) 923-2235.


Jack Kemp

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors meeting was adjourned in memory of Jack Kemp, a Southern California native, one-time resident of the Fifth District, who passed away on May 2 in Bethesda, Maryland. He was 73. Click here for the memorial remarks that were presented chronicling his service to our nation.


San Juan Capistrano Second Saturday Art and Craft Fair

Stroll through history while enjoying high-end, juried fine art, jewelry and crafts on Saturday, May 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown San Juan Capistrano. With 50 artists displaying art, jewelry and crafts, live music and face painting, this fair is sure to have something for everyone. Make a day of it with lunch and shopping at the local businesses in San Juan Capistrano. Check out the website at www.sjcartfair.org.

Aliso Viejo Chamber of Commerce 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 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Admission is Free. For more information, call (949) 635-1634.

Children's Spring Concert

Come celebrate children and the Spring season on Friday, May 15t from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. at Stockport Park in Laguna Hills! Enjoy the wonderful sounds of the award-winning children’s band, “The Happy Crowd!" Pack your lawn chairs and join us for music and springtime fun! This event is free to the public and refreshments will be available for purchase. Please call (949) 707-2680 for more information.

Exploration Day in The Arbor

The City of Lake Forest invites you to “Exploration Day in The Arbor: Carnival of Discovery” on Sunday, May 17 from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. This fun-filled family event will take place at the Orchard and Prothero Retail Center located on El Toro Road between Rockfield Blvd and Raymond Way. Activities include carnival rides, games, music, family entertainment, give aways, and the “Passport to Discovery” for children as well as a free concert by the 80z Allstars at 5:00 p.m. For more information, please click here.

12th Annual Doheny Blues Festival

Enjoy a total of 26 performances, including B.B. King and Brian Setzer & The Nashvillains, at the 12th Annual Doheny Blues Festival on Saturday and Sunday, May 16 & 17. The scenic, beachfront venue at Doheny State Beach will feature three stages, each with its own vibe. While you're rockin' out, you can rest easy knowing that Doheny is reducing the impact on the environment by implementing the following GREEN ideas such as biodegradable beverage cups and bike valet. For more information, please click here.

“Writers Present” series features Cloris Leachman

Cloris Leachman is one of the most acclaimed and unpredictable actresses of our time. Join her as she discusses her new book, Cloris, the candid memoir that chronicles her acting career on Sunday, May 17 from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. The event will take place in Sycamore Room at the Norman P. Murray Community Center in Mission Viejo. With surprising candor, Cloris will talk about her experiences at the Actor’s Studio, on the Mary Tyler Moore show, with Mel Brooks and as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. Don’t miss this free event sponsored by the Friends of the Mission Viejo Library. A book signing will follow the discussion. Click here for more information.

First Thursdays Art Walk in Laguna Beach

Join member galleries throughout Laguna Beach on the first Thursday of every moth from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for a festive cultural evening. Free shuttles are available to participating galleries starting at 6:15 p.m. from the Laguna Art Museum and Bluebird Center.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:

  • Attended the Taste of Ladera food and music festival in Ladera Ranch where I hosted a booth
  • Presented a resolution to Laura’s House in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Click here to view a photo.
  • Gave the Welcoming Address at the Laguna Woods Village 6th Annual Senior Games
  • Attended an orientation meeting in Sacramento for the Corrections Standards Authority
My office also:
  • Presented a resolution at the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International Convention in recognition of the organization’s 80th Anniversary
  • Presented a certificate of recognition in honor of the ribbon cutting ceremony for Divel Insurance Agency in San Clemente
  • Provided a certificate of recognition in honor of the ribbon cutting ceremony for Nifty After Fifty in Laguna Woods
  • Presented an award at the Human Relations Commission Awards 38 Ceremony
  • Attended the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs Committee meeting
  • Attended a working group meeting regarding improving safety on Live Oak Canyon Road
  • Toured the site of the Aliso Creek SUPER Project with a representative from Senator Feinstein’s office
  • Presented awards to the 2009 Teachers of the Year for Saddleback Valley Unified School District and the annual awards ceremony
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.

For an ADA version of our newsletter, click here.