Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
September 4, 2009

Pat Bates's Picture

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.














Chip Monaco:
Chief of Staff

Sergio Prince:
Executive Director of Public Affairs

Don Hughes:
Executive Policy Advisor

Kristen Thornton:
Executive Policy Advisor

Ray Grangoff:
Executive Policy Advisor

Ruth Strachan:
Office Manager

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Volume 3 Issue 34

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, September 15. 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.

Police Community Reconciliation Program Performance Report

The first annual performance report of the Orange County Police Community Reconciliation Program (PCRP) is now available online for the public to view.

The Police Community Reconciliation Program was created last year by the Board of Supervisors to assist community members in navigating and understanding the OC Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) complaint process and to provide an opportunity for police officials and community members to come together, with the guidance of a mediator, to resolve complaints. The PCRP, under the oversight of the Human Relations Commission, handles complaints that have been determined by the Office of Independent Review (OIR) or OCSD not to involve criminal misconduct, and are not so egregious as to warrant significant disciplinary action. Participation in the PCRP mediation is completely voluntary for both OCSD personnel and community members.

The report finds that PRCP was very successful in its first year, handling a total of 63 complaints. Collaborative efforts by the OCSD across all levels combined with the positive relationships that the Commission maintains with diverse communities, the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs, and the OC Employees Association contributed to the success of this program. The Commission is applying the lessons learned in the development of the reconciliation program to police/ community relations countywide and believes that this program may become a model for other communities across the state and country to copy.

To view the report, please click here.


Construction Alert: Ortega Hwy/ Antonio Pky

The start of school is just around the corner for many South County schools with classes beginning on September 8th. Please be aware of an increase in bicyclists, pedestrians and vehicle traffic near local schools during morning and afternoon hours.

For residents of Ladera Ranch, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente, please be advised that construction is currently underway on the South County Road Improvement Program, affecting traffic on Ortega Highway, Antonio Parkway and La Pata Avenue. While I have planned for extensive traffic mitigation measures through this corridor on September 8, please plan for delays. San Juan Hills High School students especially should plan for driving delays during the first week of school and throughout the new school year.

For an update on this construction program, which is administered by the Orange County Public Works Department, please click here or call 1-888-235-0888.

Plan Ahead for Labor Day Holiday Weekend Travel Plans

John Wayne Airport anticipates being busier-than-normal now through Tuesday, September 8 during the Labor Day holiday weekend. Visitors to the airport during this time should be aware of ongoing construction in and around the Terminal Complex. Passengers and visitors are encouraged to 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. For more information about the ongoing construction and a map of the impacted areas, please click here.

Metrolink Board Votes to Pursue Contract with Amtrak

The Metrolink Board of Directors voted last week to negotiate a proposed contract for train engineer and conductor services with Amtrak, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. Metrolink’s current contract with Connex Railroad, LLC concludes on June 30, 2010.

The Metrolink Board believes that continuing with the longstanding model of outsourcing train operations will allow the agency to further focus resources on its industry-leading safety measures including0implementing an accelerated deployment of Positive Train Control, installing inward facing video cameras in all locomotives and lead passenger cars, developing additional Sealed Corridor projects and anticipating the arrival of a new Crash Energy Management technology-enabled fleet of passenger cars

Amtrak, as the largest contract operator of commuter service in the Unites States, provides an excellent safety record, a depth of relevant operating experience and management support for Metrolink operations that is unique in the current passenger rail environment. Amtrak was Metrolink’s operator for commuter rail services when the service was initiated in 1992 through 2004, and the company continues to be the sole operator of intercity rail service in the country. Metrolink operates over seven routes through a six-county 512 route-mile network, serving more than 43,000 trips each weekday.

California Transportation Plan 2035

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is inviting public input on the next update of the California Transportation Plan “Moving into the Future...,” which will contain the state’s transportation policies through 2035. Caltrans will host six public workshops throughout the state over the next two months to provide an opportunity for the public to help create the vision for a future sustainable transportation system that enhances the quality of life for all of California and influence long-range transportation planning goals, policies, and strategies. By participating in the process, you can become part of the solution to our state’s transportation challenges. For workshop dates, times and locations, please click here.


Small Business Consulting at the Mission Viejo Library

The Mission Viejo Library is hosting free, weekly SCORE Counseling for local small businesses. Local small business owners and entrepreneurs can take advantage of the expertise offered by SCORE volunteers by calling (714) 550-7369 to schedule one-hour appointments from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Tuesdays. SCORE volunteers can assist with providing information on small business start-ups, marketing, budgeting, and customer service. SCORE counseling sessions will take place in the library's Study Room E. The Orange County SCORE program is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration. For more information, please visit www.SCORE114.org.

San Clemente City Trails Are Smoke-Free

The City of San Clemente would like to remind residents that all recreational trails within the city are smoke-free, including the popular and heavily used Coastal Trail.

In addition to the Coastal Trail, San Clemente also features beautiful inland trails that are adjacent to natural open space areas. These areas are inhabited by native plants and are susceptible to Southern California’s drought and potential fire hazard conditions. The smoking ban on trails aims to preserve and protect these natural resources. Many of the trails connect to adjacent California State Park trails along the City’s southern boundary, which have also been designated no smoking areas by the State Parks Department.

Input Sought on Mission Viejo City Park Name Change

On September 15, the residents of Mission Viejo are invited to attend a public workshop to provide input about naming one of Mission Viejo’s athletic park after a pioneer in the community.

Under consideration is the renaming of the Youth Athletic Park, also known as YAP, to the Marty Russo Youth Athletic Park at the request of some residents in honor of a man who contributed to the community as an advocate for youth sports and community activities. Russo, who died in February of this year, was also responsible for the creation of the Youth Athletic Coordinating Council. The park currently houses the North and South Mission Viejo Little Leagues and AYSO Soccer.

The workshop starts at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall. People who cannot attend the meeting are welcome to submit written comments to the City of Mission Viejo Recreation and Community Services Department at 200 Civic Center, Mission Viejo, 92691. Comments can also be e-mailed to recreation@cityofmissionviejo.org or faxed to 949-581-0795.


Lowest Unemployment Rate of Metropolitan Counties

The latest unemployment numbers were released by California's Employment Development Department (EDD) last week, showing California's unemployment rate hitting an all time high at 11.9 percent in July. That is up from 11.6 percent in May and a remarkable jump from last year's numbers at 7.3 percent during the same time.

The good news? Orange County claimed, once again, the lowest unemployment rate of any metropolitan county state wide and the sixth lowest of all 58 counties. Orange County’s numbers rose slightly, another .3 percent, bringing the total unemployment for the County to 9.5 percent. For more unemployment rate information from the Orange County Business Council, please click here.

Labor Day Concerts at the Great Park

Staying in town for Labor Day weekend? The Orange County Great Park has your entertainment needs covered with two energetic dance and music performances as part of the Flights and Sounds of Summer concert series - Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums and 17 Hippies. Performances will take place Friday, September 4 and Saturday, September 5 at 8:00 p.m. respectively. Come early on Friday for free jitterbug dance lessons starting at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, there will also be a pre-concert comedy performance starting at 7:00 p.m.

The Orange County Great Park is located off the 5 Freeway and Sand Canyon in Irvine. For more information, please visit to www.ocgp.org.

Old Courthouse Museum Opens Aurelius O. Carpenter Exhibition

The Old Orange County Courthouse is currently presenting the “Aurelius O. Carpenter: Photographer of the Mendocino Frontier” exhibition, which runs from August 31 to December 31, 2009.

The exhibition features photographs that vividly portray California in the late 19th century. As one of a number of traveling photographers who roamed California’s largely untamed countryside, Carpenter documented the tanning and logging industries, as well as the coming of the railroads and new settlements. Carpenter also photographed Pomo American Indian communities and individuals in a series of panoramic photographs.

The Old Orange County Courthouse exhibit gallery is located at 211 W. Santa Ana Blvd. in downtown Santa Ana. It is open Monday through Friday. Admission is free. More information about this exhibition and the Old Orange County Courthouse is available at (714) 973-6607 and www.ocparks.com.


Food Safety Program Enhancements

Orange County Environmental Health will be posting new seals in food establishments as part of its enhanced public notification system beginning October 1, 2009. These placards will assist patrons with making an informed decision regarding food safety prior to entering the food facility. The notification seal posting requirements apply to all Orange County retail food facilities, as well as those within unincorporated areas of the County.

The placards, which are designed to be easily identifiable, will read Pass, Reinspection Due-Pass or Closed. Pass means an acceptable level of compliance was achieved and that no reinspection is required. Reinspection Due-Pass means that violations that may cause foodborne illness were observed and corrected. A follow-up inspection will be conducted on the date posted on the seal to ensure continued compliance. Closed means that violation(s) were observed that posed an imminent danger to public health or safety, which could not be immediately corrected including but not limited to: vermin, sewage overflow, lack of potable or warm water, non-compliance with a Notice of Violation and operating without a valid health permit.

In an effort to help educate restaurant owners and food retail facility operators about the new system, I will be holding a South County Restaurant Town Hall on Thursday, September 17 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the OC Sailing and Events Center in Dana Point. For the event flyer, please click here.

For additional information about the Food Protection Program enhancements, please call (714) 433–6000 or click here.


Hiking with your Dog

Traversing the beautiful natural open space that South Orange County has to offer with your pet can be very enjoyable, for both you and your canine companions. Their energetic enthusiasm is motivational and their adventurous nature often helps you notice many things about the surroundings that might otherwise go overlooked, increasing your awareness and overall appreciation of nature. To ensure a great experience is had by all, here is a checklist to assist in preparing for hikes with your dog:

  • Be sure your pet has current identification on at all times with area code and two phone numbers.
  • Make sure your dog has updated vaccinations, trimmed nails and is in good health.
  • Make sure your dog has updated vaccinations, trimmed nails and is in good health.
  • It is important that your dog be properly trained. Not only for obedience but for fitness and endurance. Start out with small hikes and increase the distance as both you and your dog are conditioned.
  • Like us, proper nutrition is important for keeping up a dog's energy level when being active. To avoid sickness, do not feed your dog right before you exercise or hike. Wait until afterward when your dog is rested.
  • Verify that dogs are permitted on the trails you wish to hike. Many national and state parks do not allow dogs.
  • Always keep your dog on a leash. Closely supervise your dog around children, other hikers and other dogs.
  • Avoid hiking and other activities in the heat of the day. Hike in the early morning or evening to avoid overheating.
  • Bring plenty of water and a bowl for your dog. This helps maintain itsenergy level and also keeps it from becoming dehydrated.
  • Bring food/treats if staying out for an extended period of time.
  • Take along a first aid kit. Most injuries to dogs occur on the pads of their feet. Hiking can cause cut and scraps from rocks, sticks, thorns, ice etc. To avoid burning their feet, do not walk dogs on hot surfaces.
  • For your sake, keep your dog out of poison ivy etc.
  • Clean up after your dog. Ziplock bags are ideal for clean up and disposal.
  • Be aware that your dog may have increased exposure to ticks and fleas. Other diseases can also be obtained from wild animals and insects.
  • Most of all have fun!


Mandatory Water Conservation Measures

This summer, most of the water districts in South Orange County have declared some sort of water alert and issued water conservation prohibitions. It important to remember that approximately 70 percent of total water used by Southern California homeowners is used outside the home. Luckily, managing outdoor water use is one of the easiest places to practice conservation and save money.

El Toro Water District (ETWD) recently implemented mandatory water conservation measures and many of the measures pertain to landscape irrigation. Here are some suggestions for proper landscape irrigation:

  • Watering Hours: Adjust your sprinkler system to run sometime before 10:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m. The goal is to water landscape when the evaporation rate is low, so that your grass and plants are able to absorb the water and not be evaporated.
  • Water Runoff: Take a walk around your yard while the irrigation system is running and after it has finished a typical cycle, look for runoff that hits your sideways, driveway or street. Over time excessive runoff compromises hardscape surfaces. An adjustment of your sprinkler head will also reduce the possibility of urban runoff.
  • Watering in the Rain: Although not often an issue during the summer months, it is common to see irrigation systems running in the rain during the winter. Customers who adjust their irrigation systems to reflect the weather enjoy conservation benefits and save money.
  • Decorative Fountains: Use re-circulated water in all decorative fountains and water features. Enjoy the soothing sounds of running water without using precious drinking water.
  • Cleaning Paved Surfaces: Use a broom to clean your driveway, sidewalk and patio, instead of water. A running hose can waste 13 gallons per minute.
  • Irrigation Frequency: Limit watering lawns and gardens to three days per week. Improving water efficiency and reducing consumption is the primary goal of the water conservation prohibitions.
For additional information about the mandatory water conservation measures, please contact ETWD at 949.837.0660 or visit www.etwd.com.


Sunset Hike at Riley Wilderness Park

Experience the Thomas F. Riley Wilderness Park as the daytime temperatures cool and the setting sun turns the hills golden. This moderate 3 mile guided hike through rolling grasslands, oak woodlands and coastal sage communities will be led by a ranger and will take place Saturday, September 5 from 5:45 p.m. to 7:30 pm. Parking is $3. For more information, call (949)923-2265.

Laurel Canyon Family Hike

Take time out with your family on Saturday, September 12 for some fun with Laguna Canyon Foundation naturalist Estee Huff as you visit the Willow Canyon Resource Trailer and hike 1.5 miles into beautiful Laurel Canyon. This hike is appropriate for all ages but covers some steep and uneven terrain. The Willow Canyon Staging Area is located at 20101 Laguna Canyon Road, just south of El Toro Road intersection. Parking is $3. Please call (949) 923-2235 for reservations.


25th Annual Tall Ships Festival in Dana Point

The Ocean Institute in Dana Point Harbor is celebrating its 25th year hosting the Toshiba Tall Ships Festival, the largest annual gathering of tall ships on the West Coast. You are invited Friday, September 11 through Sunday, September 13 for a weekend of fun and adventure while celebrating our rich maritime history!

The festival will feature a spectacular array of family-fun activities, including live music, art & craft shows, exciting living-history demonstrations, and a variety of tasty food. Enjoy nautical displays and presentations, Polynesian dancers, sea-chantey concerts, an interactive pirate encampment and dramatic sunset cannon battles. You can also explore the historic tall ships and listen to the crew share tales of adventure and life at sea. Additionally, you’re invited to explore the Ocean Institute where you’ll learn about the local marine environment. For more information, please click here.

Movies at the Skatepark

The City of Lake Forest invites you to come enjoy a movie while you skate at Etnies Skatepark on Saturday, September 12 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The skatepark is located at 20028 Lake Forest Drive. Admission is $5. For more information, please call (949) 916-5870.

Boys & Girls Clubs Day for Kids

The City of Aliso Viejo and the Aliso Viejo branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley are teaming up to host a "Day for Kids" on Saturday, September 12. The event, which takes place from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., is designed to give youth and adults ideas for spending meaningful time together, which can help kids realize their dreams and reach their full potential. The event will take place at Iglesia Park in Aliso Viejo. For more information, call (949) 699-2552 or e-mail jrivera@bgccapo.com.

Second Saturday Art and Craft Fair

On Saturday, September 15, stroll through historic San Juan Capistrano to enjoy not only great weather, but also a beautiful art and craft fair. With 50 artists displaying art, jewelry and crafts as well as there being live music and face painting, this fair is sure to have something for everyone. Make a day of it with lunch and shopping at the local businesses in San Juan Capistrano. Artists will be set up in the City's downtown area (Camino Capistrano, Verdugo and Yorba Street) from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Visit the website at www.sjcartfair.org.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:

  • Delivered a County Update speech at the Laguna Niguel Rotary Club membership meeting
  • Chaired the Renewed Measure M Environmental Oversight Committee meeting
  • Attended the bi-monthly Audit Oversight Committee representing the Board of Supervisors


This Labor Day, join me in paying tribute to the contributions that hard-working Americans have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. I’m wishing you and your family a safe and happy holiday weekend.

My staff and I look forward to continually providing you updated information in our Fifth District Newsletter and website.

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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