November 06, 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. SOUTH COUNTY NEWS
5. HEALTH HERALD
6. FIFTH DISTRICT SPOTLIGHT
7. ENVIRONMENTAL MEMOS
8. CRITTER CHRONICLES
9. NOTES FROM THE FIELD
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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|BOARD BULLETIN BOARD
Sheriff’s Department Budget Plan Directive
At my request, the Board of Supervisors has been receiving weekly budget updates at each of our Board meetings. These updates have provided the Board and the public with a clear picture of the challenges we’re facing as we develop the 2010-2011 budget.
Paramount among the County’s 2010-2011 budget challenge is the estimated $60 million shortfall in our Sheriff’s Department budget. The provision of public safety services is the most important responsibility of government and a responsibility the Board shares with the Sheriff. Therefore, it is important for the Board to work alongside the Sheriff’s Department in exploring options and working toward solutions in making the needed cuts.
To that end, at Tuesday’s Board meeting I directed the County’s CEO budget staff to develop options for addressing the Department’s budget shortfall. I’ve asked that we examine how grant money is spent with the focus on finding the most cost-effective ways to maintain our core services. The CEO’s plan will be presented to the Board at the November 10 Board meeting, at which time we will discuss alternatives and additional resources that may be available as the Sheriff’s Department crafts its budget reduction plan for next fiscal year.
Presentation on SONGS
At Tuesday’s board meeting, County Emergency Manager Donna Boston gave a presentation on the recent San Onofre Nuclear Generating System (SONGS) federally graded exercise. Every two years the County is required to conduct an emergency exercise drill as preparation for any nuclear emergency that might occur at SONGS.
This drill is particularly important for the Fifth District as the cities of San Clemente, Dana Point, and San Juan Capistrano fall within the zone that may be impacted by such an event. While we await FEMA’s final grade, all indications point to a very successful drill. I was able to participate in the drill and am pleased to report that the County is well prepared in the event of a disaster. To view the power point presentation, please click here.
Project Labor Agreement Ordinance
At second reading, the Board voted unanimously this week to adopt an ordinance prohibiting the requirement of Project Labor Agreements (PLA) for County public works projects. PLAs require contractors bidding on public works contracts to enter into agreements that set forth the terms and conditions of working on a construction project to which the employer, construction unions, and contractor are signatories. In effect, PLAs require that all public works contracts utilize union labor.
While the County does not generally require PLAs for public works projects, with an ordinance in place it will be far more difficult for a future Board of Supervisors to require such a contract. This ordinance guarantees greater competition and opportunities among contractors bidding on public works contracts, which is ultimately better for taxpayers.
OCTA Kicks Off 91 Freeway Widening Project
On Tuesday, members of the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors, staff and the public gathered along the 91 Freeway to begin a project that will make commuters’ drive along the congested route a lot shorter.
The nearly 6-mile project will add an eastbound lane on SR-91 between the Foothill Toll Road (SR-241) and the Chino Valley Freeway (SR-71), which is estimated to shave about fifteen minutes off of drive times.
The 91 Freeway eastbound currently has five general-purpose lanes and two toll lanes. At Green River Road, however, the freeway narrows to four lanes causing major back-up during rush hour. The new lane addition, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2010, is intended to alleviate traffic.
Overall, the total project cost is $58 million, with $47.9 million being provided by federal stimulus funds and Orange County and Riverside County contributing the rest.
241 Widening at Windy Ridge
On Monday, the Transportation Corridor Agencies, which run The Toll Roads, celebrated the opening a third FasTrak lane in each direction through the Windy Ridge Toll Plaza on the 241. Currently, the 241 handles about 50 thousand motorists each weekday at Windy Ridge.
The addition of a third lane in each direction will improve traffic flow and ease the transition between the toll plazas and the 91 freeway connectors. This project, in conjunction with the new eastbound lane being added on the 91 freeway from the 241 to SR-71, is expected to greatly improve traffic flow in the region.
Orange County Registrar of Voters Seeks Volunteers
The Registrar of Voters recognizes that successful elections cannot be conducted in Orange County without the input and cooperation of the public. As such, the Orange County Registrar of Voters is inviting community members to apply as volunteers for the Community Election Working Group (CEW), a new committee established to contribute to the Registrar of Voters’ proactive outreach efforts. The working group will meet quarterly to discuss a variety of important election topics, including extending outreach in both the Asian and Latino communities. For more information and to sign up for the Community Election Working Group please visit www.ocvote.com/cew.
|SOUTH COUNTY NEWS
New South County National Historic Site
On October 14, 2009, the Carl Stroschein House in San Juan Capistrano was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1927, the home also served as the office of Carl Louis Stroschein during his tenure as the last elected Constable in the San Juan Township. As the last elected constable of San Juan Township, Stroschein represents the end of an era in Orange County’s law enforcement and judicial system. Placement on the National Register allows the property, which is located on Andres Pico Rd., to be eligible for funding for preservation.
The 3rd Annual 'Cruisin' for Coats to benefit Project One Warm Coat
Neighborhood Cup, a coffee shop in Aliso Viejo, is participating in the 3rd Annual Cruisin for Coats fundraiser to benefit Project One Warm Coat, a national clothing drive network. On Thanksgiving morning, volunteers will provide sack lunches and distribute sleeping bags, blankets, coats and other items to people in need. Residents are encouraged to help by donating these essential items. Drop all contributions off at the Neighborhood Cup located in the Aliso Viejo Library complex at 1 Journey through Wednesday, November 25.
For more information on what you can do to help or to sign up to volunteer from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call Shara at (949) 616-5973. Call the Neighborhood Cup at (949) 716-5100 for store hours.
H1N1 Vaccination Clinic
OC Health Care Agency is holding a H1N1 Vaccination Clinic this Saturday, November 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Cox Communications in Rancho Santa Margarita located at 29947 Avenida De Las Banderas. Children ages 2-18, health care workers, emergency service workers with direct patient contact (must show proof of employment), and caregivers of infants under 6 months will be eligible to receive the vaccination. Both the FluMist nasal spray and injectable vaccinations will be available. For more information about the clinic, please click here. To contact the Health Care Agency, please call 1(800) 564-8448 or visit http://ochealthinfo.com/h1n1/.
2009 H1N1 Flu: 10 Ways You Can Stay Healthy at Work
With limited initial supplies of H1N1 influenza vaccine and an increase in influenza activity being reported, protecting your health is more important than ever. The Federal Government’s www.flu.gov website offers these ten recommendations for steps to protect yourself and others from the flu.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Be sure to wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes. Germs spread this way.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or cough and sneeze into your elbow. Dispose of tissues in trash receptacles.
- Keep frequently touched common surfaces clean, such as telephones, computer keyboards, doorknobs, etc.
- Do not use other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment. If you need to use a coworker’s phone, desk, or other equipment, clean it first.
- Don’t spread the flu! If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home. Symptoms of flu can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, tiredness, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people with flu-like illness stay home for at least 24 hours after they are free of fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
- Get vaccinated against seasonal flu. It can protect you against seasonal influenza viruses, but not against 2009 H1N1. Check with your health care provider or visit www.ochealthinfo.com/public/flu for more information about the availability of seasonal flu shots.
- Ask your doctor if you should get the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine. The H1N1 flu vaccine is expected to become more widely available during November. Those who are in the priority groups for 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine include pregnant women, children 6 months to 18 years of age, young adults from 18 to 24 years of age, health care workers, and people with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes). People living with or caring for infants under 6 months old should also be vaccinated to protect these children who are too young to be vaccinated. If you are in one of the priority groups, check with your health care provider or visit www.ochealthinfo.com/h1n1 for information about the availability of H1N1 flu vaccine. Public health officials expect that in time there will be H1N1 flu vaccine available for anyone who would like to receive it, but until supplies increase, they are asking for the public’s patience to allow those in the high-risk groups to receive the vaccine initially available.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle through rest, diet, and exercise.
- Learn more. Visit websites such as www.flu.gov or www.ochealthinfo.com or call the CDC information line (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) at 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636).
|FIFTH DISTRICT SPOTLIGHT
Student Photography on Display
Amazing photos by Aliso Viejo children ages 8 to 11 are on display through November at Aliso Viejo City Hall. The children are members of the Photography Club of the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach. The club met weekly throughout the year, roaming local communities capturing unique and interesting scenes.
In April, club members entered their best photos in a local photo exhibit for a chance to win in this annual competition that allows club members to compete against more than 500 other Boys & Girls Clubs across the nation. The children with artwork on display at City Hall are:
- Alexa Yubeta: 9 years old, 4th grade
- Beth Molina: 9 years old, 5th grade
- Dhamar Molina: 9 years old, 5th grade
- Clarissa Rojas: 9 years old, 4th grade
- Katherine Outhwaite: 8 years old, 3rd Grade
- Natalie Schottmuller: 11 years old, 6th grade
- Jenna Recuparo: 10 years old, 5th grade
- Zachary Allyn: 10 years old, 5th grade
Public Works Staff Ready for Bad Weather
If you’ve lived in Southern California very long, you know that a few drops of rain are enough to motivate the media to go on “storm watch.” But the media aren’t the only ones closely watching the weather when a storm approaches. That’s when Operations and Maintenance employees from OC Public Works (OCPW) staff the posts in their Department Operations Center (DOC), formerly known as the County’s Storm Center.
Our recent October rains provided an excellent dress rehearsal for the upcoming rainy season, when the OC Public Works DOC will get a workout if predictions of an “El Nino” prove to be correct. Located at OCPW’s Glassell Yard, the center has all of the resources necessary for OC Public Works to monitor storm conditions, check the status of available resources and dispatch crews for emergency response tasks necessary to protect the public.
From answering calls from the public and other agencies to tracking storms on one of the four large video screens in the room, the center relies on a constant flow of information to do its job. OCPW inspectors carefully monitor known “hot spots” or locations that traditionally have flooding issues during major storms. However, every storm is unique and the impact may depend on where the heavy rains strike first. Even wind storms can wreak havoc by downing tree limbs that damage power lines and buildings.
Of special concern this year are the areas ravaged by the Freeway Complex Fire and the previous canyon fires, since a recovery period of three to five years is needed before the land returns to a more stable condition.
So the next time it rains, or the winds begin to howl, and your favorite weather person announces they are on storm watch, you’ll know that staff from OC Public Works are watching too, and are ready to respond as needed until blue skies make their return.
Family Pet Day Extravaganza
Friends of Lake Forest Animals and the City of Lake Forest are teaming up to host the second annual Family Pet Day Extravaganza. Enjoy a day full of animal vendors, rescues, entertainment, food and much more. This will be a day to remember for all your family members - 2 and 4 legged alike! Don’t miss out. The event will take place Saturday, November 7 at Pittford Park in Lake Forest from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. For more information about this event, please click here.
Meet Major Brian Dennis and his dog Nubs
On Thursday, November 10 Major Brian Dennis and his dog, Nubs, will discuss the book, "Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle" at the Mission Viejo Council Chamber at City Hall.
A story that has touched the hearts of people across the globe, Nubs is a picture book perfect for young readers. It tells the story of Nubs’ 70-mile journey through the desert to be reunited with Major Brian Dennis. Dennis is a Marine on his fourth tour of duty in Afghanistan. He and Nubs live in San Diego. Visitors to this free event, which starts at 7 p.m., will be able to purchase books and have them autographed. For reservations, call the Mission Viejo Library at (949) 830-7100 x5105.
|NOTES FROM THE FIELD
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Junior Ranger Program
On Thursday, November 12, second through fourth graders, ages 7-10, are invited to learn about wilderness plants and animals. Participants will also learn the skills needed to become OC Parks rangers. Resource Specialist Laura Cohen will lead the discussion from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area (20101 Laguna Canyon Road, just south of El Toro Road intersection). Reservations are required and can be made by calling (949) 923-2235. The cost of the program is $6 per person.
|SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
The Original Taste of San Clemente
The San Clemente Chamber of Commerce invites you to a very special evening under the stars at Courtside Restaurant on Friday, November 6 for the “Original Taste of San Clemente.” Culinary masterpieces will be served up from over twenty of the areas finest restaurants, as well as sixteen premium wineries from throughout California. For more information, please click here.
Pendleton to Malibu 234-mile Marine Corps Birthday Run
Marine distance runners from Camp Pendleton are encouraging the public to join in a 234-mile relay run from the military base to Malibu and back to celebrate the 234th birthday of the Marine Corps. The November 6-8 run will wind through several Orange County cities, from San Clemente to Seal Beach. Marines in three teams of two each will alternate running six-mile legs in about an hour a piece, with each team running 78 miles each in a 40-hour time frame. Participants can join to run any distance but are encouraged to meet the Marines at the start line, a relay check point, the 117-mile turn around point, and or prior to the finish line. The goal is to raise $10,000 for the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, a nonprofit that gives interest-free loans and grants to Marines and sailors in a financial bind. For more information and registration, please click here.
Rancho Santa Margarita Mayor's Breakfast
The South Orange County Regional Chambers of Commerce is preparing to host the ninth annual Mayor's Breakfast and Economic Update on November 13 at the Bell Tower Regional Community Center in Rancho Santa Margarita. More than 200 business leaders, elected officials and members of the community are expected to attend the event, which begins at 7:15 a.m. at 22232 El Paseo. Tickets are $35 per person. Click here to register. For more information, please call (949) 635-5800.
Aliso Viejo Snow fest
On November 21, the City of Aliso Viejo will transform Grand Park into a winter wonderland with snow-covered hills, music and other festivities. Registration is required for this event and is available through November 19 at City Hall. The event will take place in three sessions from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and the cost is $5 per person. For more information, please call (949) 425-2537 or click here.
|FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
My office also:
- Participated in an interview on KSBR Radio on the topic disaster preparedness
- Met with OCTA staff to discuss bus service reduction impacts to South County
- Presented a Certificate of Recognition at the Dedication Ceremony of the new Patient Care Tower at Mission Hospital
- Attended Libations with Legislators, a legislative meet and greet, hosted by the South Orange County Regional Chamber of Commerce
In closing, I wish to express that my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and affected families of yesterday’s unspeakable tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas. This incident is a reminder of the great risk our brave service men and women take to defend our country. We must always remember that these victims died while engaged in pursuit of the noblest of purposes—the defense of their fellow countrymen. The County will be flying flags at half mast until Veteran’s Day to honor the memory of the thirteen individuals who were killed at Fort Hood.
- Participated in the LAFCO Rancho Santa Margarita Sphere of Influence meeting
- Attended the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce Legislative Affairs Committee Meeting
- Attended the Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce Legislative Affairs Committee Meeting
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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