July 2, 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. SOUTH COUNTY NEWS
5. COUNTY CONNECTIONS
6. ENVIRONMENTAL MEMOS
7. NOTES FROM THE FIELD
8. HARBOR HAPPENINGS
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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Happy Birthday U.S.A.
On Saturday, we will gather with our families, friends, and neighbors to celebrate our nation’s birthday and the Declaration of Independence. This very special day of the year is when Americans take time to remember that day in 1776 when 56 men pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to establish a country based on the ideals of equality and universal freedom.
Some of those who signed that Declaration have become household names, like Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, and the names of others have faded over time. However, the ideals contained within that document have remained boldly inscribed on the minds and hearts of Americans throughout our history. They have endured the test of time because Americans recognize universal freedom and equality are rights to which every person is entitled. They remain because in every generation men and women have been willing to stand up and fight when those ideals have been threatened.
Though we are a nation currently at war and beset by economic troubles, we must not forget that we still enjoy an abundance of blessings and great fortune. As Ronald Reagan often said, “America’s best days still lie ahead of us.” As long as we continue to revere and hold tight to the ideals of our forefathers, I know we will carry on as a country that grows, prospers, and serves as a beacon of freedom throughout the world.
In celebration of our nation’s independence, I encourage each of you to take a moment to reflect on the words of our founders contained in our Declaration of Independence. This July Fourth, join me in being extremely proud to be an American. I’m wishing you and your family a safe and happy Independence Day!
Click here to read the Declaration of Independence.
|BOARD BULLETIN BOARD
No Board Meeting this Week
There was no regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Supervisors this week.
Our next Board meeting will be held Tuesday, July 14. For Agenda & Meeting Information, please click here.
Live Internet broadcasts of Board of Supervisors meetings are available and archived as video-on-demand. To view live and/or past Board meetings, please click here.
Meeting on Homelessness in Laguna Beach
On Tuesday, my office hosted a workshop with various stakeholders from the County and the City of Laguna Beach to discuss solutions to the City’s homeless problem. One of the reasons the meeting was called was to address specific complaints from Fifth District residents about disturbances caused by homeless individuals in front of the Laguna Beach Library, a county facility. I am pleased to report that County and City staff made great progress in collaboratively identifying potential short-term, interim, and long-term solutions to this issue.
As you may know, under the leadership of Laguna Beach Mayor Kelly Boyd and the City Council, the City of Laguna Beach has made significant progress in addressing the problem of chronic homelessness in a compassionate manner. During the meeting, participants were able to build on the work done by the City’s Homeless Task Force by exploring County resources that may be available to help support in the City’s work.
In the coming months, the County will assist the City and a local shelter in applying for federal Homeless Prevention/Rapid Re-Housing grant funding and work case-by-case to identify specific needs and develop individualized plans for those within the chronic homeless population. The idea of establishing a Homeless Court was also discussed.
Homelessness is an extremely complex problem with no easy answer. It cannot be tackled with a one-size-fits-all approach. Left unaddressed, a growing homeless population can severely impact the quality of life for a community. Moving forward, the County will continue to work with the City of Laguna Beach on this issue. Our ultimate objective is to provide supportive services to those who are able to help themselves; and for those who are unable to help themselves work to get them off the streets and into a stable environment so they are no longer a threat to themselves and other citizens.
The Board of Supervisors is committed to finding solutions to this problem countywide. We have been working for several months and will soon be considering the implementation of a strategic plan called the 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness in Orange County. As always, I am interested in hearing your thoughts as we consider these matters.
OC Parks Marketing Contract
The Board of Supervisors approved a contract last week with the Truth Agency for marketing and design services for our OC Parks facilities. Over the past week, I have received emails from constituents concerned over the contract. Specifically, they wanted justification for funding marketing services for OC Parks instead of utilizing that money for other County departments that are experiencing reductions in their budgets, such as the Sheriff’s Department. The issue deserves clarification as this is a question the County and other public agencies are often presented during the budget approval process.
There are several departments within the County, including OC Parks, John Wayne Airport and OC Waste and Recycling, which are funded by what are called “enterprise funds”. This means that funds generated by customers through fees and additionally by statutorily established property tax allocations are legally restricted to be dedicated back to the operations and maintenance of those departments. Therefore, the County cannot use those funds to subsidize the General Fund, which includes the Sheriff’s Department budget.
Specifically, the contract approved on June 23 was for consultant services to assist with updating park brochures, developing a public awareness program for OC Parks and their use, improving the OC Parks’ website and designing additional public information materials. Nothing in the contract was related to paid advertising, such as advertisements in newspapers, magazines or television commercials.
The need for public information and education was identified in the 2007 OC Parks Strategic Plan as an important element of the OC Parks program. The Strategic Plan was developed through an extensive public participation process in the form of community forums and Stakeholder Advisory Committee meetings. The process engaged the public, staff and the Board of Supervisors in sharing ideas, obtaining input and reaching a collective understanding of the opportunities and constraints facing OC Parks now and in the future.
While I would completely support using the $250,000 appropriated for this contract for other budgetary needs, such as the Sheriff’s department budget shortfall, it is something that that cannot legally be done. Furthermore, this funding went toward something the public identified as important to the long-term vitality of our OC Parks system.
As always, I appreciate the comments and concerns of my constituents. I am grateful for the opportunity to address those concerns and to assure the public that I am committed to maintaining sound fiscal responsibility when it comes to all County contracts.
For more information about the OC Parks Strategic Plan, you may access it online at http://www.ocparks.com/strategicplan/.
New OCTA Chief Executive Officer
Will Kempton, head of the California Department of Transportation for the past five years, was hired last week to become the new chief executive officer of the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA).
Mr. Kempton is expected to begin his new post August 3. He brings to OCTA a broad understanding of transportation programs and policies that span the ranks of government from the local to the federal level. His expertise will ensure Orange County remains a leader in providing transportation solutions for the residents of Orange County. I would like to extend my sincerest congratulations to Mr. Kempton and wish him much success at OCTA.
John Wayne Airport Plans for Busy Fourth of July Weekend
John Wayne Airport anticipates a busier-than-normal travel period from Thursday, July 2 through Monday, July 6 during the Fourth of July holiday. Visitors to John Wayne Airport during this time should be aware of ongoing construction just south of Terminal B. 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. Don’t forget, fireworks are prohibited and should be left at home. For the latest travel tips and security requirements, log on to http://www.ocair.com for more information or call (949) 252-5200.
|SOUTH COUNTY NEWS
Laguna Niguel Cracking Down on “Amtrak Mooners”
The Orange County Sherriff’s Department has begun taking steps to discourage attendance at the annual “Mooning of the Amtrak” event in Laguna Niguel expected to occur Saturday, July 11. In recent years, crowds of up to 10,000 people have gathered for this unsponsored and unauthorized event, requiring the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, with assistance from law enforcement officers from neighboring cities, to disperse the crowd after receiving complaints of public nudity, intoxication and general unruliness. According to Andy Ferguson, Chief of Police Services for the City of Laguna Niguel, the City is taking a zero-tolerance approach this year to any violation of city codes, particularly public drinking or intoxication and public nudity.
In April, the Laguna Niguel City Council unanimously approved stricter ordinances to curb some of the more egregious behaviors and also placed prohibitions on street vendors, tents, and loitering which will be in place on Camino Capistrano from Thursday, July 9 through Sunday, July 12. Violators will be towed and unlicensed vendors and solicitors will not be allowed. Additionally, increased police coverage will be coordinated including patrol cars, mounted patrols, bicycle and foot patrols. A Sheriff’s command post and booking station will also be established to facilitate and arrests needing to be made.
For more information, please click here.
Orange County Great Park 4th Anniversary Celebration
Come celebrate the fourth anniversary of the Orange County Great Park at “Growing the Park”, a day-long family fun festival taking place Saturday, July 11 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The event will mark the past, present and future of the Great Park at three themed areas: the Back Forty, the Runway and Sky's the Limit. The event will include a special "fly-in" by two rare and historically significant aircraft that will become part of the Great Park Aviation Heritage Museum. Additionally, wing walkers will perform daring acrobatic feat, modern military equipment and vintage artifacts will be on display and the Anaheim Ducks and the LA Galaxy will host interactive sporting activities. The Discovery Science Center will also feature hands-on children's science activities and challenges. Families can also enjoy a petting zoo, music, kite flying and balloon rides. Admission and parking are free. For more information and directions, please go to www.ocgp.org.
2008 Annual Ocean and Bay Water Quality Report
The 2008 Annual Ocean and Bay Water Quality Report was recently released and is now available online. The report provides an updated analysis of bacteriological water quality data for Orange County’s recreational waters. It includes data on sewage spills and related ocean, bay and harbor water closures. This eighth annual report describes year-to-year trends for bacteriological water quality from 2000 – 2008. In addition, this annual report incorporates sewage spill and associated ocean, bay and harbor water closure data from 1987 – 2008.
A major finding of the report is that the total number of sewage spills reported to the Ocean Water Protection Program in 2008 was the lowest number reported since 2000 and represents the sixth consecutive year a decrease in the total number of sewage spills has been reported. Additionally, the total number of Beach Mile Days posted due to bacteriological standards violations in 2008 was the lowest on record and has also steadily declined for six consecutive years.
To view the report, please click here.
|NOTES FROM THE FIELD
Interpretive Mountain Bike Ride
Enjoy ocean and canyon views and learn about our majestic coastal canyons on a slow-paced bike ride with a Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer mountain bike trail assistant and naturalist on Sunday, July 5 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Reservations and helmets required and parking is $3. Location: Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Big Bend Staging Area (ask for directions when making reservations). For reservations or more information, please call (949) 923-2235.
Reading the Landscape
Learn to "read the land" and discover the mosaic of vegetation types in our diverse coastal canyons with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalist Len Gardner on a moderate but steep and rocky, 3.5-mile hike on Saturday, July 11 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Location: 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 reservations or more information, please call (949) 923-2235.
Dana Point Harbor Fourth of July Traffic Control
Dana Point Harbor is a popular destination for thousands of local residents and visitors alike during the Fourth of July festivities. The popularity of the harbor area during this time, however, brings with it a number of parking and traffic management challenges.
Historically, traffic on Dana Drive and Island Way can become severely congested as a result of vehicles waiting for available parking. As such, Police Services will be strictly monitoring parking lot capacities and will close the bridge and restrict access to the island should all parking lots become filled. This could happen any time between 12:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. but typically happens later in the afternoon as the fireworks show nears. Additionally, from around 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., all entrances to the Harbor along Del Prado and Pacific Coast Highway will be closed in order to accommodate vehicles exiting the Harbor after the fireworks show. Every effort will be made to minimize inconveniences. The best way to avoid them, however, is to plan to arrive early and allow for extra time. For more information, please call (949) 248-3517.
Keep Your Pets Safe this Fourth of July
More pets are lost around the Fourth of July than during any other time of year. The following are important tips that will help make the holiday a pleasant one for you and your pets:
- Don't leave pets outside, even in a fenced yard, anytime when fireworks are being set off in the neighborhood.
- If your holiday plans take you away from home, it is still best to leave your pet inside the house as frightened animals may try to seek refuge from noise and confusion by chewing through ropes, jumping fences or running away.
- It is a good idea to leave a radio or TV set on to drown out the noise of fireworks.
- If you have an animal that is nervous or predisposed to stress, you may wish to consult with your veterinarian about having tranquilizers on hand during the July Fourth holiday.
- Make sure your pets are wearing proper ID tags with at least two phone numbers listed on them.
- If your pet gets lost, begin a search immediately.
|SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
I encourage you to celebrate the two hundred and thirty-third anniversary of American independence by attending one of the many spectacular public fireworks displays staged by professionals within the Fabulous Fifth District. For a full list of South County community events and fireworks displays scheduled for the Fourth of July, please click here.
|FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
My office also:
- Chaired the Renewed Measure M Environmental Oversight Committee Meeting
- Attended the Toll Roads Agency Legislative Ad Hoc Committee Meeting
- Conducted meetings to discuss Coto de Caza/Rancho Santa Margarita LAFCO Sphere of Influence issues
My staff and I look forward to continually providing you updated information in our Fifth District Newsletter and website.
- Toured the Friendship Homeless Shelter in Laguna Beach
- Participated in a meeting on homelessness in Laguna Beach
- Attended a Grand Jury Press Conference
- Presented a Certificate of Recognition at the grand reopening of Kenny’s Music in Dana Point
- Presented a Certificate of Recognition at a ribbon cutting ceremony for SteerCrazy International BBQ & Grill in Capistrano Beach
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.