May 22, 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. FIFTH DISTRICT SPOTLIGHT
7. HARBOR HAPPENINGS
8. ENVIRONMENTAL MEMOS
9. CRITTER CHRONICLES
10. MEMORIAL DAY OBSERVANCES - Monday, May 25, 2009
11. 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’s Response to the Grand Jury
Earlier this year, the Grand Jury released a report entitled, “Let the Sheriff Do Her Job,” in response to the Board hearings conducted on the Sheriff’s Conceal Carry Weapon (CCW) Policy. As legally required, a response to the report was drafted and on Tuesday, after some discussion, a final version of the response was approved by the Board of Supervisors with all but one of my colleagues voting in favor of it. To read the Grand Jury Report, click here. To read the Board’s response to the report, click here.
As you will recall, the Board conducted public hearings in November 2008 and again in January 2009 after receiving much outcry from constituents who believed Sheriff Hutchen’s new CCW policy was overly restrictive, inconsistent, and not transparent.
The uproar came after the Sheriff mailed letters to hundreds of current CCW permit holders informing them that their permits were at risk of being revoked or restricted - not because of any wrongdoing, but because of new policy changes.
In order to be responsive to our constituents, my Board colleagues and I felt it necessary to allow them to come and voice their concerns in a public forum and to allow the Sheriff the opportunity to more clearly explain her policy and answer questions from the Board and public about the new process. While state law grants a Sheriff broad authority to implement a CCW policy, it must be applied in a fair and consistent manner.
Indeed, the hearings proved useful as many of the concerns raised about inconsistencies were acknowledged and corrective measures were later implemented into the policy. In fact, the Sheriff’s own comments since those hearings indicate she believes the public testimony she received was helpful to improving her policy.
Therefore, when the Board received the Grand Jury’s report, we were surprised to find it was highly critical of the Board and the public for speaking out on this issue. The report recommends that the Board allow the Sheriff to carry out her policy without “unnecessary interference causing delays”.
There is no question that our Grand Jury carries out an extremely responsible and important role in the review and recommendations regarding government policies and actions. However, in this instance it was troubling that the report failed to acknowledge the value of the perspective offered by the public. The report states, “The fact that public clamor has reached the ears of politicians is irrelevant.” The day that an elected official stops being responsive to the people is the day we risk the demise of our democracy. Concerns of the public are never irrelevant.
In the Board’s response to the Grand Jury’s report we once again acknowledge the Sheriff’s statutory authority to issue and revoke CCW permits at her discretion so long as it is done in a consistent and fair manner. The point of the public hearings was to allow the Board and the public to weigh in on her policy and for her to gain insights on how the policy changes were affecting her constituents and the opportunity to make changes were warranted. I want the Sheriff to be able to do her job, but I also want the people of this county to know that this Board stands for their constitutional rights, including the freedom of speech and the right to dissent.
History has shown us in Orange County what can happen in a department when no questions are asked of its leadership. Therefore, while I appreciate the Grand Jury’s role and efforts, I will continue to encourage citizens to engage in public discourse and weigh in on these issues which are fundamental to the freedoms we all cherish.
|BOARD BULLETIN BOARD
Orange County Public Budget Workshop
All members of the public are invited to the 14th annual County of Orange Budget Workshop to learn about the County’s budget process on Friday, May 29 at 10:00 a.m. in the Hall of Administration, Board of Supervisors Hearing Room. The County’s Chief Financial Officer and County staff will offer an overview of the FY 2009-10 Budget proposal as well as discuss the potential State Budget impacts, property taxes and home values and federal stimulus grant projects. To RSVP for the event, please click here.
Federal Legislative Update
On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors received an oral report from James McConnell, Orange County’s Washington, D.C. Legislative Advocate, who gave an update on activities of the US Congress. To view a written version of his report, please click here.
Bus Service Reductions
The Orange County Transportation Authority’s (OCTA) Board of Directors held a public hearing today to receive input regarding potential service reductions required in fiscal year 2009-10 starting with the September 2009 service change program. The reductions are needed to respond to a projected $33 million shortfall in revenues supporting bus operations.
As the first step in addressing the shortfall, it is proposed that service be reduced by approximately 100,000 annual revenue vehicle hours as part of the September 2009 service change. This will be the first in a series of four reduction programs that collectively reduce service by up to 400,000 annual revenue vehicle hours.
The Board has directed staff to return on June 8, 2009 with results of the public hearing, which is when it may vote on proposed service changes. As the Board considers making modifications to bus service, including reducing frequency and span of bus service as well as potentially eliminating routes, I will continue to urge the Board to prioritize geographic equity with regards to the cuts so that South Orange County is not unfairly impacted. For more information about OCTA’s proposed service reductions, please click here and to offer your comments, please click here.
John Wayne Airport Construction Alert
Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of the summer travel season and is traditionally one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. In anticipation of the Memorial Day weekend, and the beginning of summer travel, John Wayne Airport is reminding passengers that construction is underway on the Improvement Program. The heaviest airport traffic this holiday is expected on Friday (May 22) and Monday (May 25). Passengers and visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and give themselves two-hours to find parking, check their luggage and go through the security checkpoint to ensure they are at their gate in time for their flight.
As part of JWA’s Improvement Program, Parking Structure B1 closed in September 2008 to make way for a new Terminal C, which is scheduled to open in late 2011. A map of the impacted area is attached and can be found by clicking here.
In the meantime, there are a number of parking options at the Airport. For parking availability call (949) 252-5200 or click here. For the latest travel tips and security requirements, please visit http://www.ocair.com.
Traffic Study for Live Oak Canyon Road/Trabuco Canyon Road
Responding to community calls for improved traffic safety on Live Oak Canyon Road/Trabuco Canyon Road, OC Public Works, in cooperation with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD), will conduct a formal Traffic Study to examine and identify improvements on the overall operational performance of this road. In recent years, there have been a number of accidents, including fatalities, on this windy, rural, two lane road with overhanging tree canopies located in the unincorporated County area of Trabuco Canyon.
The County will host a public meeting on Wednesday, June 3 at 7:00 p.m. at Trabuco Elementary School, 31052 Trabuco Canyon Road, for members of the public interested in getting more information and offering input on the proposed study.
Once the public has had the opportunity to comment, the Orange County Traffic Committee will meet to analyze the traffic study data and make recommendations for improvements. The Orange County Traffic Committee is comprised of representatives from Caltrans, CHP, OCSD, OC Department of Education, AAA and Orange County Public Works. More information about these meetings may be obtained from Rick Diaz at (714) 834-5069 or Ricardo.Diaz@ocpw.ocgov.com.
South County Branch Office for Orange County Clerk-Recorder
You may not know this but the Orange County Clerk-Recorder has an office located in Laguna Hills, making public service more accessible for South County residents. The South County Branch Office is located at the Laguna Hills Civic Center, 24031 El Toro Road, Suite 150 and is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Services that are available include recording real property transactions, obtaining copies of birth, death and marriages records, obtaining copies property records (1982-present), issuing marriage licenses, performing civil wedding ceremonies, filing fictitious business name statements and notary public registration. For more information, please call (714) 834-2500 or visit www.ocrecorder.com.
|SOUTH COUNTY NEWS
Fifth District Forest Fire
On Monday and Tuesday firefighters worked to put out a quarter-acre blaze in a remote area of the Cleveland National Forest. The fire was located approximately 1.5 miles from the northern edge of Rancho Santa Margarita, near Santiago Peak. US Forest Service firefighters worked to fight the blaze on the ground, while Orange County Fire Authority helicopters assisted from the air. The fire was put out within a day. Staying alert and catching these small fires early help prevent the devastating fires like we saw in Santa Barbara a few weeks ago.
H20 for HOAs Water Forum
The Cities of Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente are teaming up with the South Coast Water District to host a water efficiency and runoff reduction forum on May 27, in an effort to help improve the environment.
The water forum, dubbed "H2O for HOAs" is designed to educate and inform homeowner associations, property managers, and landscape contractors about the current drought and methods for watering including water rationing, water-runoff regulations and cost-effective water management strategies.
The forum will take place from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center, located at 25925 Camino del Avion in San Juan Capistrano. If you would like more information about this event, please contact Betsy Dubois at (949) 234-4414 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is limited, so reserve your place now.
|FIFTH DISTRICT SPOTLIGHT
Aliso Viejo Snowboarder Places 2nd Nationally
Aliso Viejo's Barry Robin, 50, finished second overall at the United States of America Snowboard Association National Championships last month at Copper Mountain in Colorado. Barry, competing in the Kahuna Men (50-59-year-olds) division, posted top-10 finishes in five different categories. His best finishes were in the Halfpipe and Slopestyle where he placed third. He also took fifth in boardercross, sixth in Giant Slalom and seventh in Slalom. Congratulations!
Dana Point Harbor Underwater Cleanup
The First Annual Underwater Cleanup Event at Dana Point Harbor held on Saturday, May 2 was a huge success! This first-ever volunteer effort was a preventative measure to address underwater pollution through the removal of possible navigational hazards and debris that is potentially harmful to water quality. Divers pulled up various items from the Harbor floor including a toilet, bicycles, chairs and cell phones. Click here to view photos from the event which were taken by Konrad Fry, Wendy Taylor, and Rick Valasek of the South Orange County Dive Club.
Dana Point Harbor Water Quality Receives Top Grades
The County has made a concerted effort to improve water quality throughout Dana Point Harbor and the hard work is paying off. In the 19th Annual Heal the Bay Beach Report Card released this week, Dana Point Harbor received all ‘A’ grades, indicating excellent water quality.
The Dana Point Harbor Guest Dock and Ocean Institute Beach were given Honor Roll distinction, earned by achieving a perfect record of zero bacterial standards exceedances. Additionally, all Baby Beach locations monitored received ‘A’ grades during the reporting period, highlighting the extensive County efforts to improve water quality in these areas.
Between April 2008 and March 2009, Dana Point Harbor beaches were tested weekly for the amount of indicator bacteria present in runoff. Heal the Bay then assigned A-F letter grades to beaches based on tests performed.
OC Animal Care Services and Events
Come to the OC Animal Care Facility to see the latest in pet care needs at the 2009 Pet Fair on June 27 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. For more info please visit www.ocpetinfo.com or call (714) 935- 6301. For the event flyer, click here.
“Log on and License” is a service now available through OC Animal Care in which you can register your pet online. Remember, a license is your pet's ticket home. Please visit www.ocpetinfo.com for more information.
Read about all the news and events in the latest issue of Critter Chronicles.
OC Animal Care can be reached at (714) 935-6427. For more information on pet licensing and adoption services, visit the OC Animal Care website at www.ocpetinfo.com.
|MEMORIAL DAY OBSERVANCES - Monday, May 25, 2009
Across Orange County and the nation, we will pause Monday, May 25 to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation. We will honor the soldiers, sailors, and airmen for their courage, heroism, and commitment to a cause greater than themselves. As important as remembering our fallen heroes, is remembering what they died for - the ideals that we, as Americans, all hold dear. That is truly the best way to honor their memory. I encourage you to attend one of the many Memorial Day Observances taking place within the Fifth District.
Dana Point Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #9934 and the City of Dana Point will hold their Annual Memorial Day Services at Pines Park in the beautiful Capistrano Beach neighborhood of Dana Point on Monday, May 25th, 2009, beginning at 10:00 a.m. For more information, click here.
Lake Forest’s 20th Annual Memorial Day Observance will be held at El Toro Memorial Park on Trabuco Road beginning at 11:00 a.m. For more information, please click here.
The Laguna Beach American Legion Post #222 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #5868 will host their Memorial Day Service at Heisler Park Memorial in Laguna Beach from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. I will be giving the keynote speech.
This year marks the 11th Annual City of Laguna Hills Memorial Half Marathon & 5K (previously known as the Saddleback Memorial Half Marathon & 5K). This favorite Memorial Day running event for runners and walkers of all experience levels will take place in the cities of Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Woods, and Laguna Niguel. For more information or to register, click here.
Mission Viejo's Annual Memorial Day Ceremony will be held at the Veterans Memorial; adjacent to the Norman P. Murray Center, from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Refreshments will be served. Click here for more information.
San Clemente will hold its Remembrance Program at the San Clemente Community Center from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and the Park Semper Fi Ceremony at the Marine Monument at the Pier Bowl from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information, please click here.
|FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
My office also:
- Spoke at the Hilltops Chairman Council in Laguna Niguel to offer a Fifth District Update
- Attended the Dana Point Yacht Club Opening Day Ceremony
- Met with Saddleback College’s President Ted Burnett to discuss the school’s Veteran’s Memorial Project
- Gave a speech at the Orange County Public Affairs Association luncheon on the topic of State Budget Impacts to Orange County
- Attended the Peace Officers Memorial reception
- Attended my first meeting as a member of the Corrections Standards Authority in Sacramento
- Presented a proclamation at the Ribbon Cutting ceremony for the Poche Clean Beach Project in San Clemente. For photos of the event, please click here.
- Attended the Dana Point Pedestrian Bridge Dedication Ceremony
My staff and I look forward to continually providing you updated information in our Fifth District Newsletter and website.
- Hosted a booth at the Aliso Viejo Street Fair to provide information about County services and resources
- Attended the Peace Officers Memorial Ceremony
- Attended the Library Advisory Board Meeting
- Attended the South Orange County Regional Chamber of Commerce Legislative Action Committee meeting
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.
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