June 19, 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. ENVIRONMENTAL MEMOS
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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County Achieves Milestone in Pension Reform
During the past four months, the County has been in continuous discussions with employee unions over how to rein in pension expenses. I am pleased to report that this week the County has come to a tentative agreement with the Orange County Employees Association (OCEA) that will establish a new, lower retirement tier for new and existing employees. This agreement, once adopted by both the union membership and the Board of Supervisors, will represent significant savings to the County over the long-term.
In line with the Board’s commitment to rein in the cost of government, pension reform has been one of our key components in achieving that goal. This is an important step toward ensuring the solvency of the County’s retirement system for years to come so that today’s debts are not passed on to future generations. The Board is scheduled to vote on the agreement during the July 14 Board of Supervisors meeting. Once adopted, legislative changes at the State level will need to be enacted to allow current employees the option to be covered by the new plan.
|BOARD BULLETIN BOARD
Electronic Filing of Candidate Statements
The public will soon be able to search campaign disclosure statements almost immediately after they are submitted to the Registrar of Voters. In October 2008, the Board adopted an amendment to the Orange County Campaign Reform Ordinance requiring that all candidates for elected office electronically file their campaign disclosure statements. This Tuesday, the Board adopted a resolution setting the ordinance effective July 1, 2009. The Board also approved an agreement for the purchase of software that will make electronic filing possible. Beside promptness, the public will benefit by being able to electronically search and download the documents. The new rule applies to candidates for County Supervisor and for countywide offices including Sheriff, District Attorney, Treasurer-Tax Collector and Clerk-Recorder.
Expansion of Electronic Monitoring for Sex Offenders
On Tuesday, the Board approved the renewal of an agreement with Sentinel Offender Services, LLC for electronic monitoring equipment. The equipment is used to monitor high-risk sex offenders. The new agreement increases the amount of monitoring devices available from 40 to 65. The proper monitoring of high-risk sex offenders by the Probation Department will help ensure our communities are safe.
Probation Receives Technical Assistance Award
The Board was pleased to accept a technical assistance award that was granted to the Probation Department by the National Institute of Corrections and the Crime and Justice Institute. This award was granted to the Probation Department in order to help develop evidence-based correctional management polices that will be designed to reduce recidivism rates. I applaud the Probation Department for continuing to take a results-oriented approach in carrying out the Department’s mission.
Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO)
At the LAFCO meeting on Wednesday, the Commission was scheduled to consider a sphere of influence (SOI) update for the City of Rancho Santa Margarita. However, at my request, the Commission agreed to continue the Rancho Santa Margarita SOI until our September meeting to allow my office additional time to discuss the matter with interested parties.
In addition, the Commission interviewed candidates for the vacated seat of the alternate public member and I am pleased to announce the unanimous selection of Derek McGregor, a 5th District constituent and resident of Rancho Santa Margarita.
John Wayne Airport Bonds Approved
On Tuesday, the Board unanimously voted to approve the issuance of up to $250 million in revenue bonds to finance the John Wayne Airport Improvement Program. The bonds, which are scheduled to be issued on June 29 and June 30, will help pay for about $460 million in airport improvements, including construction of a new terminal and a parking structure which are needed to meet passenger demand.
The Improvement Program is being funded by Airport cash reserves, General Airport Revenue Bonds, Federal grants and a Passenger Facility Charge of $4.50 per passenger.
John Wayne Airport recently received ratings from Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investor Services and Fitch. S & P upgraded the Airport’s rating from an “A+” to an “AA-” with a stable outlook. Moody’s reaffirmed its rating of an “Aa3” with a stable outlook and Fitch reaffirmed its rating with an “AA-” and a stable outlook.
That the rating agencies have viewed our financial and market position so favorably in light of the economic challenges reflects the strength of the Orange County market due to the County’s conservative fiscal management. For more information, please visit www.ocair.com/improvements.
Orange County Receives Seven NACo Awards
In recognition of our innovative county programs, Orange County received seven 2009 Achievement Awards by the National Association of Counties (NACo). Even in difficult budget times, I’m proud that our County departments and agencies have continued to find new and creative ways to better serve our community. The seven Orange County programs that received the distinction are:
- Local History Traveling Exhibit and Curriculum Supplement (Clerk-Recorder) – Portable exhibitions that showcase Orange County’s history and travels from classroom to classroom.
- Child Support Gateway Program (Child Support Services) – A collection of innovative methods to improve the customer service experience and enable non-custodial parents to take an active role in their child support case.
- Southern California Fire Project (OC Community Resources) – A collaborative effort in response to the Southern California Fires of October 2007 to provide clean-up and restoration of the fire affected public areas.
- Lives Worth Saving: An Alliance to Reduce Gang Violence (Probation Department) – A partnership between government agencies and the faith community to develop effective solutions and outreach to at-risk youth.
- Mission Possible (Probation Department) - A program that assists females detained in Juvenile Hall in personal growth and promotes their successful transition into the community after release.
- Tracking Automated Graffiti Reporting System (Sheriff-Coroner) - A clearinghouse created by the Sheriff’s Department for law enforcement and public works officials that has resulted in increased graffiti related arrests, increased cost recovery and reduction of incidents.
- Electronic DNA Case Management and Evidence Batch Processing System (Sheriff-Coroner) – An electronic method to batch process DNA evidence, provide quality assurance, automate reports, and increase delivery of results to law enforcement.
OC Parks receives Award from Cal State Fullerton
OC Parks recently received the “Most Committed Partner Award” from Cal State Fullerton’s Center for Internships and Community Engagement for a student volunteer learning project that involved a partnership between the University’s marketing department and OC Parks. The award was presented during the University’s annual Community Engagement Awards ceremony which recognizes students, faculty and community partners who help strengthen the bonds of engagement that connect students with the community.
For the past three years, OC Parks has teamed up with Cal State Fullerton’s Marketing Department to bring students out of the classroom and into the community while applying the marketing techniques they’ve learned. This year, the service project focused on increasing park attendance at the OC Zoo by developing a comprehensive, strategic five-year marketing plan for the zoo. Many ideas from the proposals have since been implemented and visitation to the zoo has gone up 25% in recent months. Past projects have focused on the Nix Nature Center at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, the Muth Interpretive Center at Upper Newport Bay and Clark Regional Park in Buena Park.
For more information the award and the program, please click here.
|SOUTH COUNTY NEWS
Rancho Santa Margarita Launches e-newsletter
The City of Rancho Santa Margarita has introduced a new way for residents to receive City news by way of an e-newsletter, the Rancho Santa Margarita Messenger. Dedicated to city news and events, this monthly e-newsletter will provide up-to-date information on a variety of topics that are important to the City and the community. To sign up to receive the Rancho Santa Margarita Messenger, please visit the City’s Web site at www.cityofrsm.org and select e-Notify.
Del Obispo and Camino Capistrano Intersection Improvements
The City of San Juan Capistrano will begin working on improvements at the intersection of Del Obispo and Camino Capistrano in July. The project, which is designed to ease traffic, will widen Del Obispo Street, change and remove existing medians, add lanes, improve sidewalks and upgrade traffic signals for greater efficiency.
This is one of a number of improvement projects included in the City’s recently adopted Capital Improvement Project program, which is designed to benefit South County residents and contribute to the local economy. For more information, please click here.
|FIFTH DISTRICT SPOTLIGHT
High school students feted by Mission Viejo Activities Committee
The Mission Viejo Activities Committee last week presented five outstanding high school seniors with its annual MVAC Scholarship award. The $1,000 scholarship is based on superior academic achievement and countless hours of volunteerism within the community. The event was held during the committee’s monthly meeting at the City’s Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center. The following students received the awards:
Trevor Geller - Trabuco Hills High School
With a GPA of 4.8, Trevor’s volunteer efforts are vast and include representing 34,000 students as Student Board Member of the Saddleback Valley Unified School District Board of Education and the Saddleback Valley Intercouncil of Students. Trevor is founder of the Hermanos Y Hermanas program at Trabuco Hills and volunteered in the after-school Tutoring Program and book drive collection, which collected 11,000 books for underprivileged children.
Shannon Kiang - Capistrano Valley High School
With a GPA of 4.5, Shannon wants to practice medicine and will attend a 7-year pre-med program at Boston University. She has devoted years to community service and has volunteered for the TZU Shao Buddhist Youth Group, Operation Smile and Mission Viejo Hospital Volunteer Auxiliary.
Ekta Patel - Trabuco Hills High School
Ekta possesses a 4.9 GPA and will pursue a career in medicine. She plans to attend a 7-year pre-med program at Boston University. She has received numerous honors and awards for her scholastic achievements. She has dedicated her time to the Girl Scouts and received a Gold Star Award. She has been active with the Mission Viejo Hospital Auxiliary and has tutored students in the Math and More Tutoring Program.
Hayden Stephan - Tesoro High School
Hayden has a GPA of 4.5 and plans to study environmental chemistry at the University of California, Davis. A longtime volunteer, Hayden founded "Kids Against Trash," a program developed for cleaning up the environment. He received the 2009 Mission Viejo Character Award, has mentored in the Arroyo Vista Middle School Flute program and founded the Mistletoe Donation Collection for Saddleback Hospital.
Alexander Varasteh - Mission Viejo High School
Alexander earned a 4.5 GPA and plans to enroll in a baccalaureate program at the University of California, Irvine majoring in biology with a career in medicine as his goal. His numerous contributions to the community include volunteering in the La Paz Intermediate Summer School tutoring program; Mission Viejo High School Tutoring for incoming freshman; and the Mission Viejo Library’s summer reading program. He also devoted his time to the O’Neill Elementary Garden program.
Upper Chiquita Reservoir Groundbreaking
Last Friday, June 12, I joined officials at the Groundbreaking of the Upper Chiquita Reservoir in southern Rancho Santa Margarita. When completed, this new reservoir will have the capacity to provide 244 million gallons of drinking water during an emergency or if there is ever an interruption of water service. The reservoir, which will serve a number of south county communities including San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Coto de Caza, Rancho Santa Margarita and Mission Viejo, will be able to provide emergency supplies of water to approximately 168,000 families with 200 gallons of fresh water a day for one week.
Spearheaded by the Santa Margarita Water District, the project is located on the western slope of Chiquita Canyon, north of the Oso Parkway. The facility will include a pumping station, a water disinfection plant, a 35-foot wide access road, eight-foot high fencing and security lighting. The reservoir will be 145-feet deep with a surface area of 16 acres and will not be visible from neighboring homes, including Las Flores Wagon Wheel and Coto de Caza.
The project is collaboratively financed by the City of San Juan Capistrano, the City of San Clemente, the Santa Margarita Water District, the Moulton Niguel Water District and the South Coast Water District. It is expected to be completed in December 2010.
|NOTES FROM THE FIELD
OC Parks Offers Father’s Day Fun
OC Parks has numerous, low-cost activities for dads and their families to celebrate this Father’s Day, Sunday, June 21 right here in Orange County. With nearly 40,000 acres, 25 parks, 7 miles of beaches and hundreds of miles of trails operated by the County, your family has plenty of reasons to get out and enjoy the beautiful spring weather with dad. Here are just a few of the many options available:
Hiking: All OC Parks make great places to take a stroll. But nature-loving dads and their families looking for a good hike can hit the trails at wilderness parks like Riley in Coto de Caza and Caspers in San Juan Capistrano.
For more information, visit the OC Parks website at http://www.ocparks.com/.
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park will be hosting a 2-mile Father’s Day hike in Little Sycamore Canyon from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. The park staff-led hike costs $5 and parking is $3. Reservations are required; call (949) 923-2235. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park also has a new, ¼-mile interpretive nature trail that’s a perfect introductory hike for the littlest family members.
Biking: Nice, easy bike rides on pavement and bike rentals are available at Irvine, Mile Square and Yorba regional parks. Serious-cycling dads can choose from world-class mountain-biking trails at Limestone Canyon and Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park near Foothill Ranch, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park in Aliso Viejo or Peters Canyon and Santiago Oaks regional parks in Orange.
Camping: Families can take a weekend camping trip with dad without leaving Orange County. Dads, moms and kids can take a local camping trip amid the rustic live oak trees of Trabuco Canyon at O’Neill Regional Park or in the rolling hills of Caspers Wilderness Park in San Juan Capistrano. Both parks have tent and RV camping available.
Individual campsites start at $27 for the first night, $15 for additional nights. Reservations may be made online. Book sites soon, before they fill up.
Fishing: Recently stocked catfish await dads at Carbon Canyon, Clark, Craig, Irvine, Mile Square and Yorba regional parks. Laguna Niguel Regional Park stocked 1,000 lbs. of catfish in its lake June 15 and reports trout, bluegill, crappie and largemouth bass (catch-and-release) still showing, plus some Father’s Day specials.
Fishing licenses are required for everyone over 16.
Surfing and Sunning: Surfing and beach-loving dads can soak up the sun and enjoy a beach-blanket picnic at Aliso, Capistrano, Salt Creek or Sunset beaches. Or load up the bikes and take a ride along the beach bike paths.
Picnicking and Relaxing: All of OC Parks’ regional parks have plenty of grassy areas, playgrounds, barbecues and picnic tables to treat dad to a day of picnicking and playing with the children.
The County’s one-stop spot for a full day of family fun is Irvine Regional Park in Orange. With grassy expanses, playgrounds, paddleboat rentals, the OC Zoo, pony rides and a train ride, there are plenty of activities to keep everyone smiling.
Vehicle-entry fees for regional parks will be $5. Parking fees for wilderness parks are $3. Beach parking is $1 per hour. OC Parks annual parking passes are also available to purchase at most OC Parks facilities.
15th Annual DAWG Walk & Pet Faire
More than a dozen animal rescue groups will bring loving dogs seeking new homes to the 15th Annual DAWG Walk & Pet Faire on Saturday, June 27 at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center at the Village Green in Mission Viejo.
The Mission Viejo Animal Services Center is partnering with Dedicated Animal Welfare Group (DAWG) to host the fun-filled family event that includes an impressive display of K9 Athletes in Action, pet contests and pet and wildlife exhibits. The DAWG Walk includes a pristine walk along the Oso Creek Trail and the Pet Faire will feature local businesses, animal rescues, booths, entertainment, music, raffle prizes, refreshments and much more. There is no charge to visit the Pet Faire. For more information, please call (949) 470-3045 or visit www.DAWG.org.
|SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
Red Cross Blood Drive in San Juan Capistrano
Every minute of every day, someone needs blood. That blood can only come from volunteers like you. The City of San Juan Capistrano is hosting a blood drive on Tuesday, June 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Community Center located at 25925 Camino del Avion in San Juan Capistrano. For more information, please click here.
Everything You Wanted to Know About Snakes
Laguna Niguel Parks & Recreation invites you to learn everything you ever wanted to know about snakes in Orange County. Dr. Jeffrey Rey will speak about snake identification, habitat, safety, signs and symptoms of envenomation, first aid recommendations and definitive treatment. After the informational lecture, Animal Control Officer and Veterinarian Scott Weldy will spend time with live snake exhibits. The free event is for parents and children 5 years of age and older and will take place Thursday, June 25 at 7:00 p.m. at the Crown Valley Park View Room. For the event flyer, please click here.
Teen Battle of the Bands
The City of Lake Forest invites you to come out and see which band rocks the hardest in the city. The Teen Battle of the Bands will take place at the Etnies Skatepark of Lake Forest on Saturday, June 27 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The cost is $5 to attend. For more information, please call (949) 461-3450.
Dana Point Summer Concert in the Park
Come enjoy the enchanting Caribbean/Calypso music of Steel Parade in a concert that is part of Dana Point’s Summer Concerts in the Park series. The free concert will take place Sunday, June 28 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Heritage Park located at 34400 Old Golden Lantern in Dana Point. For a list of all the concerts in the park, please view the event flyer by clicking here. For more information, please call 949-248-3530.
Rancho Santa Margarita Summer Camps
There is still time to sign up for summer camps at the Bell Tower Regional Community Center! A new Star Wars Camp has been added to the line-up and will fill up quickly. Let your child explore their inner Jedi by signing them up today. Not a Star Wars fan? The RSM Community Services Division has over 20 other great summer camps that will let your child explore dance, sewing, claymation, sports, magic, science and survival challenges. For the camp registration website, please click here.
|FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
My office also:
- Presented a proclamation in honor of the 40th Anniversary of the Laguna Niguel Woman’s Club’s at the Laguna Niguel City Council meeting
- Presented a proclamation in honor of the 27th Anniversary Celebration of the San Clemente Seaside Senior Center
- Attended a South County Senior Services reception in which I received an award in recognition of my service to seniors in South Orange County
- Met with representatives from the Santa Margarita Water District to discuss South County water issues
My staff and I look forward to continually providing you updated information in our Fifth District Newsletter and website.
- Participated in an Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) tour of Orange County jails
- Attended the Laguna Beach Advisory Committee on Homelessness
- Attended the Measure M Growth Management Area 9 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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