January 30, 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. BOARD BULLETIN BOARD
2. TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION
3. COUNTY CONNECTIONS
4. ENVIRONMENTAL MEMOS
5. CRITTER CHRONICLES
6. NOTES FROM THE FIELD
7. SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
7. 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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|BOARD BULLETIN BOARD
Update on Aliso Creek SUPER Project
During the January 13, 2009 Board meeting, my colleagues and I discussed making our top federally-funded local projects “shovel ready” in an effort to best position the County to capitalize on expected Federal Economic Stimulus funding. During that discussion, I asked staff to provide me an update on the Aliso Creek SUPER Project, which is third on the County’s list of top projects.
The Aliso Creek drains a seven-city watershed between the Saddleback Mountains and Aliso Beach located in Laguna Beach, the county's second most popular beach destination. The Aliso Creek SUPER Project, which is estimated to cost $45 million, includes stabilizing the creek channel, safeguarding water and sewer lines, restoring native habitat and improving water quality.
At this week’s Board meeting, the CEO of Legislative Affairs explained that of the County’s 25 percent required local match ($11.25 million) the County has secured $9.15 million and is continuing to work on securing the additional necessary resources.
Before construction can begin, the entire project will require the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report, as well as complex permitting that will take more than a year to complete. Assuming successful completion of these steps and the finalizing of Plans and Specifications, construction may begin by the end of 2011 and take approximately one and a half years to finish. Should criteria for stimulus funding require more immediate action, there is an option for the County to split off a portion of the project, construction and operation of a water treatment facility, and implement that in about one year.
The County’s Washington D.C. Advocate has met with both California Senators and believes they are active supporters of the project. The Advocate is also working with a member of the Orange County Congressional Delegation to gain support to lead our efforts.
Freeway Complex Fire After Action Report
At Tuesday’s Board meeting, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department presented its After Action Report on the Freeway Complex Fire. The Freeway Complex Fire, which ravaged through parts of Northeast Orange County (Anaheim, Brea and Yorba Linda) in November, 2008, burned 30,305 acres, damaged 161 structures, and destroyed 200 structures. The purpose of the report is to analyze the overall effectiveness of the County’s Emergency Operations Center. The report includes highlights of what worked well, identifies areas for improvement, and makes recommendations for the future. An area identified within the report as needing improvement is the ability of the Department to get timely and accurate information to the public during fast moving fire situations. To read the full After Action Report, please click here.
One way to help stay informed during emergencies is by registering for AlertOC, Orange County’s new mass notification system. To register for AlertOC, please click here.
Green Building Technologies at Prima Deshecha Landfill
The Board of Supervisors approved a contract for the construction of an administrative office at Prima Deshecha Landfill. This building will be constructed utilizing “green” building practices which will allow the County to not only reduce operational costs but also allows the facility to operate in a resource-efficient manner. In doing so, the County will protect employee health, improve employee productivity, make efficient use of energy, water and other resources while reducing the overall impact on the surrounding environment.
This new building will incorporate site-generated power, low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) paint materials, stained concrete flooring as well as energy efficient lighting, plumbing and heating and air conditioning systems. It will also utilize native plant landscaping, reclaimed water, sky lighting, fresh air ventilation and green roofing.
The total cost of this project will be approximately $3.6 million; $1.5 million dollars below the engineer's estimate. It is important to note that the funds used to finance this project are enterprise revenues generated within the landfill system. Enterprise funds are revenues that are legally restricted to be spent on operational and capital projects that directly benefit the system they are derived from. These funds cannot be used to offset the current staffing and service reductions.
John Wayne Airport Improvement Project Update
The John Wayne Airport Improvement Program saw some exciting milestones this week. On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors approved plans and specifications for the new Terminal C and the new Parking Structure C and authorized the Airport Director to solicit bids for the construction of these two projects. Terminal C will be a multi-level building comprising more than 250,000 square feet and will provide six new commercial passenger gates, three new baggage carousels, new ticketing and security screening facilities as well as new retail and dining concessions. The completion date for Terminal C will depend upon the bids received by the County, but is estimated to be late 2011 or early 2012. Parking Structure C will provide about 2,000 parking spaces for airport users and is slated to open in the Fall of 2010.
A number of other Airport Improvement Program elements are already complete or nearly so: temporary Parking Lot C, a new commercial South Remain Over Night Aircraft Parking Area, a new airfield guard gate and entrance at Dove Street, and a new aircraft hangar for general aviation aircraft. Parking Structure B1 was closed last Fall and is currently being “deconstructed” to make room for Terminal C.
It is important to note that no tax dollars, or County of Orange general fund revenues, are used to support the Airport Improvement Program. All funding will come from internal airport revenues, grants and revenue bonds to be issued in the Spring. The overall budget for all the improvements is $652 million. For more information about the John Wayne Airport Improvement Program, please visit www.ocair.com/improvements.
In other JWA news, Virgin America conducted its Noise Qualification Test on Wednesday – an important precursor to initiating service at the Airport. On Tuesday, Virgin America announced its intention to operate five daily flights to San Francisco, starting April 30th.
Orange County Transportation Authority Bus Rapid Transit
During the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board meeting this week, Directors received a presentation on the new bus service called Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Service, or Bravo!
OCTA’s Bravo! BRT service is a new approach to traditional bus service. This service is designed to decrease travel time for customers and improve travel speed within high ridership corridors. Bravo! buses will offer frequent service on weekdays from approximately 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and will have a distinct identity separate from standard OCTA buses. Traffic signal synchronization will increase traffic flow through the corridors and will allow Bravo! buses to better serve new bus shelters with enhanced identity. The new bus shelters will display real-time bus arrival information, a convenient tool to help riders determine when their next bus will arrive.
The first of three BRT projects to be implemented by OCTA within the next two years will be along the Harbor Boulevard Corridor, which is the busiest bus route in the county.
The Harbor Boulevard Bravo! Corridor will provide service from California State University, Fullerton to Newport Beach. Service is scheduled to begin in summer 2009, followed by full implementation including enhanced identity on new shelters and technology elements in late 2009.
Station stops along the route will provide easy access to these key destinations:
For more information about operations and funding on the Bravo! Harbor Boulevard Corridor, click here for a Fact Sheet.
- California State University, Fullerton
- Fullerton College
- Fullerton Transportation Center
- Anaheim Resort Area/Disneyland
- Orange Coast College
- Triangle Square
- Newport Beach Pier
Alton Parkway/Bake Parkway Arterial Road
The OCTA Board of Directors approved an amendment to the Master Plan of Arterial Highways (MPAH) Monday that will add a new roadway known as Marine Way between Alton Parkway and Bake Parkway. Marine Way was identified as a needed east-west primary arterial as part of the Great Park development plans and was originally planed to run from Sand Canyon Avenue and Bake Parkway. The proposed addition to Marine Way will also result in the realignment of the planned extension of Rockfield Boulevard which will extend Rockfield Boulevard from Bake Parkway to Alton Parkway.
Pet Project Foundation to Hold SNAP in Dana Point
The Pet Project Foundation is pleased to announce a special spay/neuter incentive for Dana Point residents. The Spay/Neuter Assistance Program to Dana Point, or SNAP to Dana Point, encourages pet owners to have their dog, cat, or rabbit spayed or neutered in the month of February by rebating $150 towards the cost of the surgery. A Charitable Grant Award from the City of Dana Point to the Pet Project Foundation has made this program possible.
Pet overpopulation is a serious problem, and this program seeks to ease the abandonment rate, thus reducing the number of animals in shelters. For more information on SNAP to Dana Point, please visit www.petprojectfoundation.org or call (949) 595-8899.
Emergency Management Intern Receives Excellence in Volunteerism Award
The Board of Supervisors recently honored Ethan Miller Brown, who interned for the Sheriff’s Emergency Management Bureau for eight months, with an Excellence in Volunteerism Award. A limited number of volunteers are selected each year to receive this award and are chosen from the more than 20,000 individuals who volunteer annually with County agencies and departments. During the past fiscal year, 28,462 individuals donated their time, energy and expertise to County of Orange volunteer programs and contributed more than 675,285 service hours. The value of volunteerism can be seen throughout our communities and is measured monetarily at an estimated $20 million annually in avoided costs for County government.
For information about County volunteer and intern opportunities, please click here or call Jane Dawson at (714) 834-7440.
Coastal Coalition Meeting Wrap-Up
Vulnerabilities to the coast such as erosion and sea level rise, addressing challenges through partnerships, and adaptation were the themes of the January 22 meeting of the Coastal Coalition. Chuck Mesa from the US Army Corps of Engineers-Los Angeles District, presented the San Gabriel River to Newport Bay Beach Nourishment Project. The project is the only federally sponsored recurring beach nourishment project on the west coast that was implemented to address shoreline erosion for periodic beach replenishment. Stage 12 of this project is currently under construction and will place approximately 1,250,000 cubic yards of sand on a feeder beach at Surfside Colony. To view Mr. Mesa’s presentation, click here. As part of the project, Newport Beach will be placing sand on a narrow section of West Newport Beach. Click here for more information on this project.
Adaptation has taken on an increasing focus as an option to address coastal threats including global warming and sea level rise and erosion and the concept of “coastal resilience” is a new way of thinking. Orange County coastal engineer, Susan Brodeur, provided information in The Resilient Coasts Initiative, a collaboration of public and private sector groups to find solutions to better protect coastal communities from rising sea level and other potentially damaging consequences of climate change. To view Ms. Brodeur’s presentation, please click here.
The next Coastal Coalition meeting will take place on Thursday, February 26, at the Newport Beach Public Library. All are welcome. To be placed on the email distribution list for Coastal Coalition meetings, please send your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
WANTED: New Director of OC Animal Care
With many constituents contacting me regarding the open position for Director of OC Animal Care, I am pleased to report that recruitment is now open.
The ideal candidate for this position will be an experienced animal care or public manager with a broad vision for the future of animal control/care services and have proven success in partnering with multiple government entities, community businesses, groups and citizens dedicated to quality animal control and care.
To view the job bulletin and/or to apply online, please click here.
If you have further questions or need additional information, please contact Steve Franks, Director of OC Community Resources at (714) 480-2788 or email Steve.Franks@hcs.ocgov.com.
|NOTES FROM THE FIELD
February 5, Thursday, 9:00-11:00 a.m., Fitness Hike: Raise your heart rate and your spirits on this strenuous, fast-paced, 3.5-mile hike with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists Helen Flanagan and David Marino. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area (20101 Laguna Canyon Rd, just south of El Toro Rd intersection). Reservations required: 949-923-2235. Parking: $3. Suggested donation: $5/person.
February 7, Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Reading the Landscape: Discover the mosaic of plant life in our diverse coastal canyons with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists Len Gardner and Lynne Jeffries on this moderate, but steep and rocky, 3.5-mile-hike. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area (20101 Laguna Canyon Rd, just south of El Toro Rd intersection). Reservations required: 949-923-2235. Parking: $3. Suggested donation: $5/person.
February 7, Saturday, 9:00-11:00 a.m., Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride: Enjoy ocean and canyon views on this 13-mile ride over steep terrain (2,200-ft gain) with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer mountain bike trail assistants. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Big Bend Staging Area (ask for directions when making reservations). Reservations and helmets required: 949-923-2235. Parking: $3. Suggested donation: $5/person.
|SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
Ladies of Lincoln's Era Exhibition at the Mission
Beginning February 2 you can enjoy the Ladies of Lincoln's Era Exhibition at Mission San Juan Capistrano. The exhibition highlights 12 of the most influential women of the 1860s, a period which forever changed American history. Included in the exhibition are quilts made by the women of this era, a Civil War field hospital display, a copy of the document signed by Abraham Lincoln giving control of the Missions back to the Catholic Church, and an interactive element which encourages young women of today to leave their mark. The exhibition will run until March 31, 2009. For more information, please click here.
El Toro Road Streetscape Project
The City of Lake Forest is offering a community workshop where residents can come and offer input on the El Toro Road Streetscape Project on Wednesday, February 4 from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the El Toro Library Community Room. For more information, please call Luis Estevez at (949) 461-3485.
Laguna Canyon Winery Monthly Tasting Party
Join the Laguna Canyon Winery on Friday, Feb 6 and every first Friday of the month from 6:00 p.m–9:00 p.m. for their Monthly Tasting Party. Enjoy live music, fine wine, hot food, snacks, breads and cheeses. No reservations are required and the cost is $25 per person for member and $35 per person for non-members. For more information, please click here.
“Leave Only Footprints” Environmental Awareness Festival
The City of Rancho Santa Margarita invites you to the third annual “Leave Only Footsteps” environmental festival featuring workshops, vendors and organizations all coming together with the purpose of increasing awareness about saving our environment. The festival will be held Sunday, February 8 from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Morasha Jewish Day School. For more information, please call Jodi Wertheimer at (949) 459-6330.
First Thursdays Art Walk in Laguna Beach
Join Galleries throughout Laguna Beach on the first Thursday of every month for a festive cultural evening from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Free shuttle service circles the city starting at 6:15 p.m. For more information, please call (949) 683-6871 or click here.
|FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
My office also:
- Presented a resolution to outgoing Chair of the Board of the Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce, Derek Quinn, at the Chamber’s Annual Instillation Ceremony
- Chaired the San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee meeting
- Attended the State of the Santa Ana River Watershed Conference
- Attended the Laguna Woods State of the City Breakfast
- Attended the Lake Forest City Council’s Leadership Luncheon
My staff and I look forward to continually providing you updated information in our Fifth District Newsletter and website.
- Presented an update at the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce Legislative & Transportation Committee
- Attended the Orange County Taxpayers Association Meeting
- Presented Certificates of Recognition at the Orange County Fire Authority Awards Ceremony and Banquet
- Presented a Certificate of Recognition at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Schlotzsky’s Deli in Lake Forest
- Attended the “California’s Economic Future, Moving Forward” Conference presented by the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce
- Attended the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce Installation & Spirit of Laguna Awards Ceremony and presented Certificates of Recognition to the Chamber’s honorees and outgoing Board Chairman
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.