October 09, 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. DISASTER READINESS, RESPONSE & RECOVERY
5. COUNTY CONNECTIONS
6. SOUTH COUNTY NEWS
7. FIFTH DISTRICT SPOTLIGHT
8. HARBOR HAPPENINGS
9. HEALTH HERALD
10. ENVIRONMENTAL MEMOS
11. SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
12. 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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Correctional Services Assistant
It has been an important goal of the Board of Supervisors and the Sheriff’s Department to reduce the costs associated with operating the County jail system. Throughout this year we have made great strides toward that goal by taking the necessary steps to introduce a new non-sworn job classification to staff the jails. On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors approved a staffing plan and designated a bargaining unit for the new correctional services assistant classification.
Once this new position is introduced in the jails there will be a sworn deputy to non-sworn correctional assistant staffing ratio of approximately 70:30. This new staffing ratio will result in substantial savings for the taxpayers. Replacing a portion of the sworn deputy staff with non-sworn correctional assistants is estimated to save the taxpayers up to $11.9 million annually.
From the outset, I have strongly supported the creation of this new position. However, on Tuesday I voted against the staff recommendation to place the correctional services assistants in a non-public safety bargaining unit. Questions have been raised regarding the assignment of these officers who will serve in the jails to a non public safety classification. I would have preferred that such liability issues be fully vetted before the Board was asked to make this assignment. Absent a full exploration of such issues, I could not support the staff recommendation. As the County implements this new classification, I will continue to be watchful of the potential of liabilities that would be borne by taxpayers.
|BOARD BULLETIN BOARD
Internal Borrowing Policy
As you know, the County has experienced a shortfall in revenues due to a downturn in the economy and delays in the receipt of property taxes and State revenues. There are several very important Information Technology projects currently underway in which the County has already made a significant investment. Among these are the Assessment Tax System and Property Tax Management System which must accurately record and process property tax bills and receipt of payments.
To that end, on Tuesday the Board authorized the borrowing of approximately $22 million from OC Waste and Recycling’s post-closure fund for costs associated with these systems which are vital to the County’s operations. This is a necessary step to bring these systems online. The plan includes a cost-effective repayment plan within 5 years. During the discussion of this proposal, I directed the CEO’s office to return to the Board with a policy that will provide strict parameters for utilizing OC Waste and Recycling post-closure funds and similar funds for internal borrowing purposes to ensure that all future internal borrowing occurs only to maintain the core functions of the County during these hard economic times.
H1N1 Vaccine Distribution to Start
The Board approved Health Care Agency’s (HCA) master agreement for emergency H1N1 vaccination services. HCA can now contract with community clinics and private health care providers to distribute the vaccine. HCA anticipates vaccines will start being administered in late October.
It is important to understand that at risk populations including pregnant women, people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age, healthcare and emergency medical services personnel, persons between the ages of 6 months and 24 years of age, and people from ages 25 through 64 years who have chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems will be given priority access to the vaccine.
For more information on the H1N1 Vaccine, please click here.
Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act Progress Report
The Board recently received a progress report on County programs that are funded by the Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act. To view a copy of the report, please click here.
OCTA Launches Redesigned Website
Finding the information you need on the Orange County Transportation Authority’s Web site has never been easier thanks to a redesigned layout and added features.
Since the bus section receives more than 80 percent of all hits to the site, OCTA refreshed the layout and added new tools that make planning trips and buying passes quick and easy. A new interactive map allows users to plan trips around specific cities, park and rides or Metrolink stations with a quick link to download specific routes and create a personalized eBusbook.
For Metrolink users, the train section includes a Things To Do calendar that lists special events taking place each month near different stations and a new Interactive Fun Guide that makes it convenient to find great dining, entertainment and shopping.
Finding new ways to save time and money for commuters is enhanced by the Share The Ride section. Users can select their commute distance to find out what options works best for them. This tool also provides helpful information about each solution, such as how many calories are burned by walking or the benefits of riding a bike.
Users also can calculate their savings with the new Carbon Cost Calculator and sign up to receive personalized updates, including an option to receive information via text messages.
To visit the new and improved Web site, visit www.octa.net.
|DISASTER READINESS, RESPONSE & RECOVERY
The Great California Shakeout
In Southern California earthquakes are inevitable. To help prepare, I encourage all Orange County residents to participate in the Great California Shakeout (www.shakeout.org), the “largest earthquake drill ever!” on October 15, 2009 at 10:15 a.m.
The purpose of the ShakeOut is to practice how to protect ourselves during earthquakes, and to get prepared at work, school, and home. During the drill schools, businesses and governmental agencies across Orange County will “duck, cover and hold on” at exactly the same time. Everyone can participate! For more information about the Great California Shakeout and to register for the drill, please visit www.shakeout.org.
For step-by-step advice and tools to be ready for earthquakes, wildfires, flooding, and other disaster situations visit: www.ReadyOC.org
Community Alert Siren System Test
On Wednesday, October 21 between 10:00 am and 12:00 pm, the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), will conduct an emergency test. Federal regulations require that this test be conducted each year.
Sirens will be heard in Dana Point, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, State Parks, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, and throughout the unincorporated areas of Orange County within 10 miles of the plant. Residents will hear a long, steady siren sound. The sirens will be sounded several times for approximately three minutes each time. In some areas, a separate test of the Public Address feature may be conducted. This feature may be used to alert local populations to other emergencies or to provide specific directions.
Remember - This is Only a Test. You do not need to take action and please do not call 911. For additional information on nuclear preparedness, click here.
Mortgage Credit Certificate Program
The County of Orange has reinstated its Re-Issued Mortgage Credit Certificate (RMCC) Program for existing Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) holders who have refinanced their principal residence since 2003. The MCC program works as a Federal tax credit and has issued hundreds of certificates since its inception in the early 1990s.
Urban Futures, Inc. will administer the MCC program to allow eligible participants to refinance their homes and transfer existing certificates to new loans. The refinance option will affect those certificate holders who are still in the owner-occupied units and meet other restrictions. To begin the application process, contact John McCarty, Urban Futures, Inc. at (714) 283-9334, Ext. 236 or by e-mailing JohnM@urbanfuturesinc.com
|SOUTH COUNTY NEWS
Mission Viejo Blood Drive
The public is invited to take part in a Red Cross Blood Drive on Wednesday, October 14. The blood drive, sponsored by Mission Viejo-based Associated Realtors, will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Mission Viejo City Hall Saddleback Room, located at 200 Civic Center.
According to the Orange County Chapter of the American Red Cross, available blood supplies are critically low and 40 percent of the county’s blood supply comes from out of state. Donating just one pint of blood can save three lives. Walk-in donors are welcome. To make an appointment or to get more information, please call (949) 581-1100.
|FIFTH DISTRICT SPOTLIGHT
Mission Viejo’s Relay For Life Receives Honors
Mission Viejo Relay For Life, an event designed to celebrate cancer survivorship and raise money for research and programs, was recently awarded the Veteran Event Excellence and Circle of Excellence awards at the California Relay For Life Summit in Los Angeles.
The Veteran Event Excellence Award is given to the Veteran event (15 years+) with the greatest percentage increase over last year in income, survivors and teams while the Circle of Excellence Award is given to Relays that have displayed growth in three essential areas: income, number of survivors and number of teams.
The 15th annual Relay For Life of Mission Viejo drew about 1,000 registered participants and 77 teams. Since its inception, the event has raised around $1.8 million for the American Cancer Society.
Coastal Commission Approves Dana Point Harbor Revitalization Plan
The County has long been preparing for its day in front of the California Coastal Commission to approve the Local Coastal Amendment which puts us much closer to the long awaited revitalization improvements in Dana Point Harbor. It is with great enthusiasm that I inform you that after years of persistence and hours of public testimony yesterday, the California Coastal Commission unanimously supported our plan for Dana Point Harbor.
Next steps for the Harbor Revitalization Plan involve various phases for projects on both the waterside and the landside. The County will prepare specific projects for Coastal Development Permits (CDP) within each specific planning area as appropriate. All of these projects will be based on the policies contained within the new Local Coastal Program approved last night. Phase one is anticipated to be the landside commercial core which includes new designs for increased public parking and launch ramp, shops, restaurants and the Festival Plaza - an open gathering area for the public. Several water quality improvements will be incorporated into the designs, as well as enhanced public access to this precious section of the coast. We should all congratulate our businesses, our boaters, and our county and city staff.
For more information please visit, www.DPHplan.com.
Dana Point Harbor Receives Top Grades
Dana Point Harbor received all ‘A’ grades, indicating excellent water quality, in the 2009 End of Summer Beach Report Card, released by the environmental group Heal the Bay.
The west end of the Harbor, which includes the guest docks and Baby Beach, received all ‘A+’ grades during the monitoring period, highlighting the extensive County efforts to improve water quality in this area.
Dana Point Harbor beaches were tested weekly for the amount of indicator bacteria present in runoff. Heal the Bay then assigned A-F letter grades to beaches based on tests performed between Memorial Day and Labor Day 2009 and resulting bacterial pollution reports.
The County has made a concerted effort to work with all user groups and focus on improving water quality throughout the Harbor and these test results are certainly good indicators that our hard work is paying off.
For more information, please visit http://www.healthebay.org/brcv2/.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the public is encouraged to take preventative measures against the disease. The need is evident; aside from non-melanoma skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women.
A woman’s most effective weapon against breast cancer is early detection, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). When breast cancer is detected early and treated promptly, suffering and ultimately the loss of life can be significantly reduced.
Breast self exams are encouraged for women in their early 20s; clinical breast exams should be done every three years for women in their 20s and 30s; and women 40 and older should have annual breast exams and mammograms.
Women who regularly perform self exams are more likely to notice changes in the breast, such as lumps or masses that could be early signs of cancer. Women are encouraged to ask their doctors and other health care providers about mammography screening.
While October is recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, both women and men should be aware of the disease and take steps to prevent it year-round. The ACS and other Web sites such as www.NBCAM.org serve as on-going resources for breast cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and the general public.
Prepare for Rainy Season with Free Sand Bags
With winter weather on the horizon, the City of Mission Viejo is busy preparing for the rainy season by offering free sand bags to residents seeking to protect their properties from flooding and emergency erosion.
Sand bags are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from October 15 through April 15 on a first-come-first-serve basis. Bags are pre-filled and are limited to 10 bags per resident. Residents can pick-up sand bags throughout the City at the following locations:
For more information, contact the Mission Viejo Public Services Department at (949) 470-3095 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Alicia Park, 23650 Via Linda
- Animal Services Center, 28095 Hillcrest
- Mission Viejo Civic Center, 200 Civic Center
- Florence Joyner Olympiad Park, 22760 Olympiad Road
- Gilleran Park, 24960 Felipe Road
- Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center, 24932 Veterans Way
- Youth Athletic Park, 22056 Olympiad Road
|SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
Ladera Ranch Oktoberfest
On Saturday, October 10 come on out to the Ladera Ranch Town Green for the Third Annual Oktoberfest! The fun will start at 11:00 am and go until 7:00 pm. Tustin Brewery, Infusion, Jerry’s Dog’s, Roma D’Italia, The Ranch Sports Grill and others will be setting up booths. Food and Beverage tickets are $2. Don’t miss out!
Whether you’re an environmentalist, a skater boarder, or a community member, come Saturday, October 10 at 10:00 am and help clean up the riverbed and trails that lead to the Etnies Skatepark of Lake Forest (20028 Lake Forest Drive). If a pristine riverbed and waste-free walking trails do not quite motivate you, then a free barbecue lunch and raffle tickets for great prizes are being offered for all participants. For more information, please visit www.etniesskatepark.com or call (949) 916-5870.
San Clemente Seafest
San Clemente Seafest is taking place Sunday, October 11 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at the San Clemente Pier. The fun-filled event will include an Arts & Crafts Show, Surf Contest, Business Expo, US Coast Guard Search and Rescue Demo Operation, face painting, Chowder Cook-off and much more! Parking is free at San Clemente High School and shuttle service is provided. For more information, please call (949) 492-1131 or visit www.scchamber.com.
Dana Point Arts Festival
The Dana Point Art Festival is taking place Sunday, October 11 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm at Lantern Bay Park. This is an annual cultural arts event geared for the whole family. Festivities include visual and performing arts from around the world, live music, dance performances, food, hands-on activities, art exhibition (Images of Dana Point) and more! For more information, please visit www.dpcoastalarts.org.
Haunt at Heritage Hill
Come to Lake Forests’ Haunt at Heritage Hill if you DARE! Ghost hunters 13 and up are welcome to scare themselves silly Friday, October 16 from 6:00 pm-10:00 pm at Lake Forest’s Heritage Hill Park, located at 25151 Serrano Road. There will be video game contests, a haunted house maze, an extreme DJ with a light show, and a showing of Plan 9 from Outer Space. Admittance is $5. Please no masks. For more information please call (949) 461-3450 or click here.
|FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
My office also:
- Met UCI Medical Center's new Chief Executive Officer and Associate Vice Chancellor for Medical Center Affairs, Mr. Terry Belmont
- Spoke at Laguna Niguel Elementary School’s International Walk to School Day
- Spoke during public comment at the California Coastal Commission hearing in favor of the Dana Point Harbor Revitalization Plan
- Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Gary DiSano, a resident of San Juan Capistrano, and Hayden Michael Meier, 14, a resident of Rancho Santa Margarita.
My staff and I look forward to continually providing you updated information in our Fifth District Newsletter and website.
- Participated in the Annual United Way Employees’ fundraising kick-off event. The Fifth District’s gift basket, which featured gift certificates from venues across South Orange County, generated $1,500 for United Way.
- Spoke to the COR Community Development Corporation’s Institute for Gang Prevention and Intervention
- Attended the Orange County Public Affairs seminar on Government Relations
- Toured the OC Crime Lab
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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