June 5, 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. SOUTH COUNTY NEWS
5. FIFTH DISTRICT SPOTLIGHT
6. ENVIRONMENTAL MEMOS
7. HEALTH HERALD
8. NOTES FROM THE FIELD
9. CRITTER CHRONICLES
10. SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
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 BULLETIN BOARD
Environmental Health Division Fee Update
The Health Care Agency’s Environmental Health Division (HCA) presented a fee proposal update during a Public Hearing at the May 19 Board meeting. After the Public Hearing was closed, I requested the item be continued to June 2 and directed HCA to return with additional information to provide a better explanation and justification for requesting to increase certain fees. Additionally, I explained that during this down economy, it is not the time to be increasing fees unless absolutely necessary and I requested that HCA look for ways that the proposed rates could be reduced.
As a result, HCA reviewed the fee proposal update, and with my Board comments in mind, HCA returned with a revised one-year fee update that included no increases. The Board also authorized HCA to carry over any excess fee revenue to be used only to offset future HCA fee–related costs in the future. This is an example of your Board working diligently to ensure that ways to contain and reduce costs to our citizens are being implemented wherever possible.
Laguna Beach Library Refurbishment
My colleagues and I approved a contract with DPC Construction for refurbishment of the Laguna Beach Library. The project will improve the library’s interior and result in a cost savings for the taxpayers due to a new energy efficient lighting system.
Freeway Complex Fire After Action Report
Orange County Fire Authority Chief Chip Prather and Deputy Chief Patrick McIntosh presented the Board with an after action report on the November 2008 Freeway Complex Fire. To view the power point presentation received by the Board, please click here.
Response to Grand Jury Report, “Keep Our Children Out of Gangs”
On Tuesday, my Board colleagues and I issued our response to the Grand Jury report, “Keep Our Children Out of Gangs.” In its report, the Grand Jury examined successful programs being used to prevent children from joining gangs. The Grand Jury found that programs offered by the District Attorney and Probation Department are extremely cost-effective and serve the County well.
In its recommendations, the Grand Jury encourages the County to increase funding for these programs.
While the Board concurred with the Grand Jury’s findings, in our response we indicated that due to our budget constraints at this time, it is not possible to expand funding for these programs. However, despite the funding challenges, our Board is committed to using the resources we have available to provide quality programs and services. To read the Board’s full response, please click here.
Support for SCAAP Program
The Board took a position of support to restore federal funding for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Programs (SCAAP). SCAAP is a program that reimburses states and local governments for the costs of incarcerating undocumented criminal aliens for whom the federal government has legal responsibility over.
Language in the Fiscal Year 2010 Federal Budget, however, proposes to terminate SCAAP funding. In Orange County, SCAAP funding helps support the Sheriff’s Department with the undocumented criminal alien population in our jails as well as support services, supplies and staffing required to appropriately address costs associated with the presence of undocumented criminal aliens in our jails. The proposal to halt SCAAP funding would result in a loss of $6 million a year to the County. As such, the County will send letters to our federal delegation requesting the restoration of this funding within the 2010 Federal Budget.
Stimulus Dollars on the Way for the 91 Freeway
The federal government approved $67.8 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) last Friday for the construction of an additional eastbound lane on the Riverside Freeway (SR-91) from the Eastern Toll Road (SR-241) to the Corona Expressway (SR-71).
Caltrans, in partnership with the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), secured the money well ahead of the June 30 deadline to use the stimulus funds, as required by the federal government. With funding in place, Caltrans will begin soliciting bids for construction. The project is expected to break ground in September 2009, creating nearly 2,000 jobs.
In total, OCTA expects to receive $209 million for highway, transit and city specific improvements from the ARRA. In addition to the 91 Freeway project, funding will also include:
For the latest information on transportation projects in Orange County funded by the American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act, visit www.octa.net/recovery.
- $76 million for bus operations
- $1.2 million to install positive train control safety systems on Metrolink
- $26 million for the West County Connectors project, which will improve traffic flow by directly connecting carpool lanes on the San Diego Freeway (I-405), San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) and Garden Grove Freeway (SR-22).
Traffic Study for Live Oak Canyon Road/Trabuco Canyon Road Public Meeting
On Wednesday, June 3 the County hosted a public meeting at Trabuco Elementary School for members of the public to discuss their concerns regarding the increase in auto accidents along Live Oak Canyon Road that is located in the unincorporated County area of Trabuco Canyon. In recent years, there have been a number of accidents, including fatalities, on this winding, rural, two lane road with overhanging tree canopies. Officials representing the County’s Public Works and Sheriff’s department, along with the California Highway Patrol, took input from the public regarding traffic management, road conditions and driver behavior. These recommendations will be analyzed and included in the formal study conducted by the Orange County Traffic Committee.
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 NEWS
On May 7, 29-year-old Mathew Deason was sentenced to multiple counts of arson stemming from fires that he set on December 28, 2008. Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) firefighters responded to five separate fires in the cities of Mission Viejo and Laguna Hills last December. All five fires occurred within 90 minutes and burned in the vicinity of Alicia Parkway and the I-5 Freeway. The fires included a commercial dumpster, a vegetation fire, two commercial building fires, and a building fire within an apartment complex community center. Damages from those fires exceeded $800,000.
In the days following the fires, OCFA Investigators were able to identify several persons of interest. Ultimately, one of the suspects was detained, questioned, and admitted to his involvement in the fires. Deason was sentenced to 40 months in prison, lifetime Arson Registrant, restitution to the property owners, 3 felony “strikes,” and psychiatric counseling (to be determined at a later time).
The OCFA is committed to fire prevention in the jurisdictions that it serves and will thoroughly investigate all intentional and accidental fires and will aggressively arrest and prosecute suspected arsonists. If you witness a suspected arson or have information regarding a fire, you are urged to call our anonymous arson tip line at (800) 540-8282 or your local police agency. Fire prevention and safety information can be found at www.ocfa.org.
|FIFTH DISTRICT SPOTLIGHT
Aliso Viejo Girl Scout Cookie Champ
The Aliso Viejo City Council on Wednesday recognized a local student for her volunteerism and Girl Scout accomplishments. Alexis Moore has a penchant for community service - and selling cookies. For the fourth straight year, Alexis has led the way in cookie sales throughout Aliso Viejo. This year, the 15-year-old sold 1,300 boxes and raised about $1,000. The fruits of her labor will help send her troop to Europe next year to visit Girl Scout organizations in England and Switzerland.
Along with her accomplishments in Girl Scouts, the Aliso Niguel High School sophomore devotes her time to volunteering and giving back to the community. A dedicated City volunteer, Alexis has donated more than 40 hours of service in the past two years to events such as Founder's Day Fair, Snow Fest, Relay For Life and several others.
South County Supports Jazmin Sanchez Memorial Fund
On May 24, 8-year-old Jazmin Sanchez of Mission Viejo was killed in a car accident on El Toro Road. The Jazmin Sanchez Memorial Fund was established to raise the $11,000 needed for Jazmin’s mom, a single parent, to give her daughter a proper burial.
On Tuesday, June 2, Boneheads restaurant in Lake Forest raised nearly $10,000 for the Jazmin Sanchez Memorial Fund. Support came from residents across Saddleback Valley, including from those who did not know Jazmin personally. The amount raised far exceeded the expectations of Morgan Smith, owner of Boneheads, who has donated almost $20,000 to the local community since his restaurant’s opening two years ago. In these difficult economic times, it is so heartening to see that our community is still willing to unselfishly support those in need.
Environmental Education Partnership
On May 29, I witnessed the forging of a new partnership between a leader in gas to energy technology and a local high school with a growing environmental education program when Fortistar presented a $5,000 to San Juan Hills High School.
Fortistar, which operates a conversion technology facility at the County’s Prima Deschecha Landfill, approached OC Waste & Recycling’s staff for recommendations on where to donate $5,000 to the local community in the spirit of Earth Day. Since Prima’s habitat restoration area has recently begun serving as an outdoor laboratory for students from the adjacent San Juan Hills High School, the County initiated the contact between Fortistar and the High School. The funds will assist the environmental science program in purchasing tools and devices specific to investigating water, air, and soil to increase their natural resources knowledge and awareness of the environment around them, and to enhance their understanding of the advanced technologies at work at the landfill next door.
Anthony Falbo, Vice President, and David Comora, Senior Consultant, traveled from New York to present Principal Tom Ressler with the check. Students and teachers that will directly benefit from the gift were also present to witness the exchange.
The first graduating class from San Juan Hills High School will be in 2011. In this unique relationship that is being built between the County, the school, and Fortistar, it is hoped that many of the graduates will take with them an expanded vision of what the future might hold in terms of government working together with innovative industries to provide essential public services in an environmentally sound manner and remember the benefits of giving back to the community. Please click here to view photos from the event.
To help youth make informed decisions and to counter the influence that smoking in movies has on youth, the County of Orange Health Care Agency’s Tobacco Use Prevention Program (TUPP) has joined with community leaders, educators and students this week to unveil a series of youth-created “Tobacco and Hollywood” bus shelter posters throughout Santa Ana and La Habra.
The mission of TUPP is to reduce tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke in Orange County by collaborating with community organizations, public agencies and committed individuals. TUPP offers youth and adults tobacco education, as well as free smoking cessation and prevention programs. Information about cessation services for adults and teens is available by calling (866) NEW-LUNG or (866) 639-5864. More information about TUPP can be found online at www.ochealthinfo.com/tupp. Click here to view the winning bus shelter posters.
|NOTES FROM THE FIELD
Full Moon Hike
On Sunday, June 7 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., join O.C. Resource Specialist Laura Cohen and Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers at sunset for a moderate, 3.5 mile-hike through Laurel and Willow canyons and up to Bommer Ridge for spectacular views under a full moon. The group will meet at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area at 20101 Laguna Canyon Road. The cost is $5 per person and $3 for parking. Reservations are required. For more information, please call (949) 923-2235. Don’t forget your flashlight!
On Friday, June 12 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., enjoy the outdoors and learn about diverse plant life on a slow-paced, 2-mile hike with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists. The group will meet at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center. The cost is $3 for parking. Reservations are required. For more information, please call (949) 923-2235.
Volunteer Training & Orientation
On Saturday, June 13 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., learn about various volunteer opportunities with Laguna Canyon Foundation at the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. No experience is required. For information and reservations, call Laguna Canyon Foundation Volunteer Manager Bette Lee at (949) 637-2381 or e-mail email@example.com.
Summer Pet Tips
Summer is a time for both you and your pet to enjoy the sunshine and the outdoors, but along with the fun, the season also offers up situations that can endanger your pets. Here are some valuable tips to keep your pets healthy and happy this summer:
- Don't leave pets in parked cars for any period of time.
- Pets do not sweat; therefore, they can become over-heated very quickly. On very warm days watch for symptoms of heatstroke: rapid panting, hot skin, twitching muscles and a dazed look. If your dog shows signs of heatstroke, cool him/her immediately with cool or tepid water. Heatstroke must be treated immediately by a veterinarian or it could be fatal.
- Pets and pools can equal disaster. Prevent free access to pools and always supervise a pet in a pool.
- Another summertime threat is fleas and ticks. Use only flea and tick treatments recommended by your veterinarian.
- Pets can get sunburned too, and your pet may require sunscreen on his or her nose and ear tips.
- On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours. Keep in mind that asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet's paws.
- Many pets are lost during the long three day holidays (especially over the 4th of July weekend). Be sure your pets are wearing current ID with at least two phone numbers listed. Have your pet microchipped. A microchip will stay with your pet even if the collar falls off. Animal shelters will scan the pet for a microchip. Be sure that your microchip is registered.
- Many people move during the summer months. Many pets get lost during a move, so keep them safe and have current ID on them at all times. If you will be moving this summer, plan ahead.
|SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
Taste of Rancho
Rancho Santa Margarita’s annual premier food festival will take place Saturday, June 4 from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Civic Plaza. This outdoor event will showcase a variety of cuisines the city has to offer and allow local vendors the opportunity to market their products to South County residents. Help encourage economic development in the City by participating in this fun and tasty event. Click here for more information.
SOCSA Showcase 2009
As South Orange County School of the Arts celebrates its 14th year of arts education, this year's Showcase 2009 performance and art exhibition features the year-end work of over 400 SOCSA Academy students and will be held on June 6 for the first time at the new 475-seat San Juan Hills High School Performing Arts Center in San Juan Capistrano. More than 900 tickets are available for this year's two performances, which offer a sneak preview of tomorrow's stars in drama, dance, visual art, instrumental and voice from Dana Hills High School's SOCSA Academy. For performance and ticket information, please click here.
San Clemente Beach Concert
San Clemente’s 10th Annual Beach Concert Series, “Bringing the Bands to the Sand!” will take place Thursday, June 11 at 6:00 p.m. at the San Clemente Pier. The concert will present the community’s sensational student musicians featuring the San Clemente High School Jazz Band and Shorecliffs Jazz Band. Come enjoy the sunset as your backdrop and free seating in the sand. For more information, please click here.
San Juan Capistrano Second Saturday Art Fair
Don’t miss the next Second Saturday Art Fair taking place Saturday, June 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Historic Downtown San Juan Capistrano on the streets of Camino Capistrano, Yorba, Verdugo & Los Rios. The fair showcases 50 talented artists, craftspeople and musicians from across Southern California and is brought to you by the San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce. For more information, please click here.
|FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
- Participated in the Measure M Growth Management Area 11 meeting to discuss transportation priorities in Dana Point, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano
- Chaired the Measure M2 Environmental Oversight Committee
- Met with the Sheriff to discuss the Department’s budget
- Met with the City of Irvine to discuss Social Services reductions within the State budget proposal
- Met with OCTA staff regarding proposed bus service reductions and the potential impacts to South Orange County
- Met with the Director of the Office of Independent Review to provide an update on the activities of his office and his recent report of the Sheriff’s Department
- Participated in a Due Diligence meeting regarding the sale of Airport Revenue Bonds for the Airport Improvement Program at John Wayne Airport
- Participated in an interview on Laguna Woods TV to discuss Orange County’s budget and the South Orange County Senior Summit
- Met with residents of San Clemente to discuss priorities for arterial roads
- Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Julia Marguerite Lobo of San Juan Capistrano and Robert Charles Burgess of Laguna Beach
My office also:
My staff and I look forward to continually providing you updated information in our Fifth District Newsletter and website.
- Attended the Live Oak Canyon Road Community Meeting to discuss road safety issues
- Provided a Certificate of Recognition to Laura’s House for the grand opening of its Lake Forest Portobello Road recycled clothing shop
- Attended the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce Legislative Committee meeting
- Presented a proclamation at the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center in Mission Viejo
- Met with the OC Tourism Council to discuss budget issues
- Attended the Cisco Sustainability Workshop
- Presented an update at the Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce Legislative 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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