July 10, 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. FIFTH DISTRICT SPOTLIGHT
7. ENVIRONMENTAL MEMOS
8. NOTES FROM THE FIELD
9. CRITTER CHRONICLES
9. SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
10. 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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While families across Orange County last weekend joined in celebration of our nation’s freedom, one woman in Ladera Ranch suffered a brutal attack. Maria Guadarrama was working as a custodian in a gated community of Ladera Ranch when she was assaulted at knife point and robbed by two men who yelled hateful racial slurs during the attack.
On Wednesday, I joined the OC Human Relations Commission and Sheriff Hutchens in a press conference to speak out against the particularly heinous nature of this crime due to the fact that it was racially motivated.
South Orange County is not only blessed with remarkable landscapes and a rich natural history, but its abundance of cultural, racial and religious diversity is one of the things that make it so special. Even with this diversity, we’re nationally recognized as having several of the safest cities in the Country - in part because we recognize as a community that crime of any kind should not and will not be tolerated.
Hate crimes, in particular, send a message of intolerance and discrimination. This weekend we celebrated freedom and liberty. We also celebrated our inalienable right to personal dignity which is entitled to every man, woman and child regardless of race or creed.
Not only did the two perpetrators of this violent crime insult those ideals, they demonstrated a dark side of our society, however, we see the good in our society revealed in the response by the community. For example, one Ladera Ranch resident has offered to reimburse the victim for the amount of money that was stolen from her.
This incident highlights the importance and obligation of every citizen to take part in keeping our communities safe. I know Ladera Ranch citizens take this obligation very seriously. A few months ago, I participated with the Sheriff in a forum in Ladera Ranch on the topic of “stranger danger”. The forum was held in response to an attempted child abduction in a local neighborhood. It helped remind citizens of the importance of being alert and mindful of what is happening in their community and that is what is needed again.
The Sheriff’s Department is working diligently to catch these criminals and bring them to justice. The County, along with the OC Human Rights Commission, is also working to prevent future crimes like this. The OC Human Relations Commission was established by the Board of Supervisors to work to help eliminate prejudice, intolerance and discrimination in our communities by educating people about this type of crime through school and neighborhood programs that teach understanding and respect.
|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.
2009-2010 Property Value Notices
The Orange County Assessor Department mailed out Property Value Notices for 2009-2010 over the past week to inform property owners of the taxable value of their property. The notices were mailed in two different forms, beige notices and blue notices.
A beige notice indicates the property’s market value was higher than the Prop. 13 value on January 1 (lien date). For these properties, a 2% inflation adjustment has been added as required by California law. Related property taxes may also go up accordingly.
A Blue Notice indicates the property’s market value was lower than the Prop. 13 value on January 1 (lien date). For these properties, the taxable value has been temporarily reduced or kept at last year's value. Related property taxes for the tax year may also go down accordingly.
The notices also contain information on the market value decline and various subjects of taxpayer’s interest, including tips for homeowners and programs that may save taxpayers money. If you have any questions regarding your property value notice, please call the Assessor’s public service help line at (714) 834-2727.
Crown Valley Off-Ramp Widening Project
Caltrans’ Crown Valley Off-Ramp Widening Project is now complete. The off-ramp has been widened from 4 to 5 lanes at the intersection. Several safety features were also added including a new retaining wall and barrier rail. Additionally, new pavement was laid over the ramp. These improvements are intended to help relieve much of the backup experienced along this corridor during peak hours as well as improve safety along this historically accident-prone stretch of road.
Mission Viejo unveils Orange County’s first drivable art exhibit
Mission Viejo has installed the first changeable art exhibit along Crown Valley Parkway, as part of the final touches of the Crown Valley Parkway widening project. The “Parkway Gallery” is Orange County’s first art gallery the public can enjoy by car.
The drivable gallery will boast permanent exhibits and changeable art pieces featured in 16 art pilasters within the median islands. The Parkway Gallery also includes impressive sculptures including “Spirit” by artist James Hill that was installed roughly two years ago by Mission Hospital at the corner of Medical Center and Crown Valley Parkway.
The City has also worked with the community to develop a second sculpture, “Mission Viejo’s Iconic Leaves,” a series of three large leaves that were carefully created over the past two years by Mission Viejo families at several City special events under the direction of local artist Aileen May. The series includes an oak, sycamore and olive leaf, representing the iconic trees of Mission Viejo. The sculpture is expected to be installed this fall.
For detailed information about the images along Parkway Gallery and artists’ biographies, visit the City’s Web site at http://cityofmissionviejo.org/arts.
|SOUTH COUNTY NEWS
Orange County Fire Authority Rolls Out Ready! Set! Go!
Fire season is upon us and the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) is prepared to respond. Fire Season has not closed since May of 2006 and due to drought conditions, increased temperatures, and very dry vegetation, the OCFA is expecting a very dangerous 2009 peak fire season.
READY! SET! GO! is new program designed to help residents understand how their home’s location, surrounding vegetation, construction elements, and other factors place their property and them at risk during a wildfire. More importantly, it teaches them what they can do to reduce that risk – by getting READY! It also instructs them on the importance of having an evacuation and survival plan - getting SET! Finally, it emphasizes the need to GO! and go early, before the fire arrives to ensure the safety of themselves and their family. The goal of this program is to educate and engage residents in reducing the risk in their communities, which will help save lives and property.
As part of the program, OCFA Firefighters will be going door to door this summer throughout 14 communities that have been indentified as high risk, wildfire prone areas, where they will make personal contact with residents. Of the 14 communities, known as “urban interface areas,” 6 are within the Fifth District. Firefighters will offer to provide residents with a home wildfire consultation in an effort to help them make their home more fire safe. The 6 Fifth District communities that will directly benefit from the Ready! Set! Go! Wildfire Action Program are:
Additional information on READY! SET! GO! can be found at www.ocfa.org.
- Trabuco Canyon
- Ortega Hwy. (and vicinity)
- Pacific Island 1,2,3 (top of Pacific Island Drive, Laguna Niguel)
- The Forest (in Lake Forest)
- Coastal Canyons in San Clemente
- Emerald Bay
2009 OC Super Fair
The Orange County Fair is back!! What better way to celebrate summer than with exciting rides and games, good food, great music and lots of fun for the whole family?
It’s called the “OC Super Fair” this year because it’s been supersized to include an extra week, giving fair-goers five weeks to enjoy the fun! The Fair runs Friday, July 10, to Sunday, August 9.
Making its debut at the 2009 OC Super Fair will be “Al’s Brain – 3-D Journey Through The Human Brain” with “Weird Al” Yankovic. A peek into the crazy world of Al’s Brain, the exhibit features educational displays and an original, 10-minute 3-D film. The attraction will be free with admission to the Fair. This is the first time an attraction of this size and magnitude has been produced by a fair for a fair.
This year the OC Fair will also offer the “Super Pass.” For $25 (presale discount adult price), guests who can’t get enough of the Fair can visit every day. The Fair is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
The Action Sports Arena is back with Tribute Bands, the Maloof Money Cup, Demolition Derby, Bull-riding and more. All acts, excluding Maloof Money Cup, are free with Fair admission.
The Summer Concert Series at Pacific Amphitheatre at the OC Super Fair is geared to provide a premier concert experience at a fan-friendly ticket price and concert tickets include Fair admission. Headline acts include Kelly Clarkson, Heart, Rick Springfield, Duran Duran and many more.
As you know, it would not be the OC Fair without an abundance of food, contests, exhibits, and carnival rides. Approximately 80 vendors offer a variety of delectable food choices, including giant turkey legs, corn dogs, cinnamon rolls, lemonade, deep-fried Twinkies and much more.
The OC Fair & Event Center is located off the 405 and 55 freeways at 88 Fair Drive in the heart of Costa Mesa. For more information, please visit www.ocfair.com.
Weekend Sports Fun at the Orange County Great Park
The Anaheim Ducks, LA Galaxy and Futboleros Street Teams are calling all kids to join them for a fun day of interactive sports activities at the Orange County Great Park 4th Anniversary Celebration - "Growing the Park." This day-long family fun festival combines the fun of honing your hockey skills, being taught amazing soccer tricks plus meeting Wild Wing, the popular Anaheim Ducks mascot. "Growing the Park" will take place Saturday, July 11th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission and parking are free. For more information, please click here.
|FIFTH DISTRICT SPOTLIGHT
Firefighter Honored with Medal of Valor
Last week, firefighter Ryan Cummings of Laguna Hills Engine 22 was awarded the Orange County Fire Authority’s Medal of Valor, the department’s highest honor. He is only the fifth person to receive the honor since 1998.
On December 31, 2008, Cummings, who is originally from Lake Forest, entered a burning condo in Laguna Woods Village and rescued an 82-year-old woman trapped inside. Though Cummings was blinded by smoke when he entered the condo, he never gave up. He found the woman underneath the covers of her bed and carried her out to safety, saving her life.
I applaud Mr. Cummings for his heroism. He demonstrated true bravery by risking his own life to save another.
Orange County Coastal Coalition
During last week’s Orange County Coastal Coalition meeting, a presentation was given on a topic that affects everyone who enjoys the County’s coastline, the harmful effects of littered cigarette butts on our ocean wildlife.
Stephanie Barger of the Earth Resource Foundation, along with Stefanie Sekich of the Surfrider Foundation and Elli Slaughter from San Deigo State University, each gave very informative presentations on the toxicological effects of cigarettes butts that are found on our beaches. Scientific research has revealed that even one smoked cigarette butt per liter of water is toxic enough to be lethal to fish.
This alarming information underscores the importance of improving public awareness about just how harmful cigarette litter is to the environment. To view the Powerpoint presentations that were shown during the Orange County Coastal Coalition meeting, click here, here, and here.
|NOTES FROM THE FIELD
RSM Flowers Featured at John Wayne Airport
Inspired by her daily walks though Rancho Santa Margarita, artist Elyse Cohen has amassed an impressive collection of artwork featuring local wildflowers. The collection of beautiful artwork, comprised of oil paintings on canvas, has been chosen to be featured at John Wayne Airport as part of the Community Focus Program. The paintings will be on display in the departure and arrival areas through August 11. To learn more about Elyse Cohen, visit www.elyseartstudio.com. To learn more about JWA’s Community Focus Program, visit www.ocair.com.
Prison Pups Graduate from Training Program
Last month, the fourth class of canines graduated from OC Animal Care’s Prison Pups program thanks to young prison inmates.
This shelter dog training program is a cooperative partnership between OC Animal Care, area youth correctional facilities, and the non-profit organization called Another Chance for Love. Inmates are chosen through an application process to become full-time caregivers to dogs for 10 to 12 weeks. The dogs, which come from the County's animal shelter in Orange, are trained in obedience, are house broken, and share a cell with their caregivers. Inmates, on the other hand, learn love, responsibility, and respect from the dogs.
The most recent group of Prison Pups graduated from training on June 13. They were all spayed or neutered, vaccinated and micro-chipped prior to being adopted – the process of which was managed by Another Chance for Love. For more information about this program, please click here.
|SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
Laguna Beach Sawdust Art Festival
The world famous Sawdust Art Festival, showcasing art created only in Laguna Beach, is in full swing until August 30. Voted “Best Festival” by OC Weekly and named one of the country’s top five festivals by American Style Magazine, this is one festival you don’t want to miss. Located in a beautiful eucalyptus grove in Laguna Beach, visitors experience the creativity of over 200 local artisans while enjoying live entertainment, artist demonstrations, art workshops, and food from local eateries. For more information, please click here.
Rancho Santa Margarita Summer Concerts
In partnership with SAMLARC and the Bell Tower Foundation, the City of Rancho Santa Margarita will provide a variety of musical performances throughout the summer. The concert series begins on Sunday, July 12 at 6:00 p.m. in Central Park at Civic Plaza with Springsteen, a Bruce Springsteen tribute band. Bring blankets, chairs and a picnic basket with goodies or enjoy treats for sale by one of the many food vendors participating in the event. For more information about this and all other concerts in the series, please click here or visit the City’s Web site at www.cityofrsm.org.
Aliso Viejo Summer Concert in the Park Sunday
With summer in full swing, there's no better way to end the day than with a concert in the park. On Sunday, July 12 the Aliso Viejo Community Association will host a summer concert at Grand Park/Town Center Amphitheater featuring the reggae/rock band Common Sense. The concert will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 949-243-7411 or visit www.avca.net.
2009 San Clemente Ocean Festival
The 2009 San Clemente Ocean Festival is taking place July 18 and 19. The “Greatest Show On Surf” attracts world class athletes, local residents and visitors alike to participate in a family oriented, all encompassing beach experience. Events featured include surfing contests, fishing derbies, paddle surfing contests, art exhibits, a 5K run, sand sculpting competitions and much more. Don’t miss out on all the fun. For more information, click here.
|FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
My office also:
- Participated in the Lake Forest Fourth of July Parade. Click here to view photos.
- Participated in a Press Conference with the OC Human Relations Commission and the Sheriff’s Department on a recent Ladera Ranch hate crime
- Attended a LAFCO meeting and discussed Sphere of Influence issues for several Fifth District communities
- Was briefed by Chief Probation Officer Colleen Preciado on the implementation strategy for the Department’s budget reduction plan
- Presented a Certificate of Recognition to Habitat for Humanity of Orange County for the dedication of the new Habitat for Heroes and Foundations for Families’ homes
- Met with State Assemblyman Jeff Miller to discuss county legislative priorities
My staff and I look forward to continually providing you updated information in our Fifth District Newsletter and website.
- Toured Juvenile Hall
- Attended the Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs 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.
For an ADA version of our newsletter, click here.