Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
December 18, 2009

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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

Don Hughes:
Policy Advisor

Sergio Prince:
Policy Advisor

Kristen Thornton:
Policy Advisor

Ray Grangoff:
Policy Advisor

Sabrina Ross:
Policy Assistant

Katie Angotti:
Policy Assistant

Ruth Strachan:
Office Manager

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Volume 3 Issue 49

2010 Board Chair and Vice Chair

As 2009 comes to a close, I reflect on my many fond memories of the past year as Chair of the Board of Supervisors. Serving as Chair has been a great honor, but the time has come to pass the torch to one of my esteemed colleagues.

To that end, I am pleased to announce that at Tuesday’s Board meeting, Supervisor Janet Nguyen was elected to serve as Board Chair for 2010 and Supervisor Bill Campbell will serve as Vice Chair. I wish them both the best and am certain that, under their leadership, Orange County will weather our continuing financial challenges and prosper given their combined expertise and commitment to serve the citizens of Orange County.

2009 Strategic Financial Plan

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Board received the 2009 Strategic Financial Plan (SFP). Used in conjunction with the County’s Operational Strategic Plan, the SFP is a valuable tool available to the Board of Supervisors to evaluate the impact of today’s policy and funding decisions on future County services.

The SFP provides a five-year operating budget forecast and prepares for the development of the next fiscal year budget. The 2009 SFP continues to reflect a “Living within Our Limits” strategy, demonstrating the Board’s commitment to sound financial management principles and willingness to make difficult decisions to ensure the County’s long-term operational and financial success. To view the County’s 2009 Strategic Financial Plan, click here.

Salt Creek Corridor Trail

On Tuesday, the Board approved the filing of the FY 2008-09 Developer Fee Deposit Report. The County collects fees from Developers to pay for new facilities as a condition of approving development projects.

The County is currently holding $157,712 to be used toward improvement of the Salt Creek Corridor Trail in the City of Laguna Niguel. OC Parks is also currently working with the City to confirm plans for the trail improvement and prepare an agreement to specify how these funds are to be used. I’ll be sure to provide you regular updates on the progress of this project.


Interstate 5 Project Update

At Monday’s Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors meeting, I received an update on the status of freeway improvement projects currently being undertaken on Interstate 5.

In an effort to enhance traffic flow in San Juan Capistrano, OCTA will improve the southbound ramp interchange on the San Diego Freeway (I-5) at Camino Capistrano. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration, will implement the right-of-way (ROW) and construction phases of the off-ramp widening and related improvements to address traffic backing up on the freeway at the interchange. This southbound ramp interchange project is scheduled to start next year.


OCFA Holiday Safety Tips

A house fire occurred in San Clemente on December 10, causing $250,000 in damage. The fire was held in check by automatic residential fire sprinklers until Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) Firefighters arrived. The blaze was caused by an unattended candle left in the garage. Unfortunately, the holiday season is a time of year that candles and other decorative accessories are responsible for an increased number of residential fires.

Fires occurring around the holidays cause millions of dollars in damage nationwide. Many hazards associated with these fires can be easily prevented. Some of the hazards include Christmas trees, candles, electrical items and gas appliances. Also, remember that smoke alarms can save lives. The extra time a smoke alarm provides greatly increases your chance of survival in a house fire. So test your smoke alarm monthly and change the batteries when changing your clocks. For more important holiday safety information, please click here.

JWA Holiday Travel Tips

John Wayne Airport (JWA) anticipates a busier-than-normal travel period through January 4, 2010. During the month of December, passenger volumes at JWA tend to be higher than normal, with the busiest days being the Friday before through the Sunday following Christmas. However, passengers should be aware of an expanded travel window through Sunday, January 4, 2010.

To ensure a smooth visit to JWA, passengers are encouraged to plan ahead and arrive at the Airport two hours prior to their flight departure time. For more JWA Holiday Travel Tips, please click here.


H1N1 Vaccinations Available

The Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) is offering free H1N1 vaccinations to all residents who are unable to obtain the vaccination through their private health care providers. Vaccinations are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Health Care Agency, located at 1725 W. Seventeenth St., Santa Ana, CA 92706. Appointments can be made by calling (800) 564-8448.

HCA wishes to remind those with fever or flu like symptoms to stay home and rest until the symptoms have subsided. For more information, please click here, here, and here.

Feeling the Holiday Blues?

The approaching holidays, decreased home values, rising cost of living: These things alone could make anyone depressed. But if the holidays conjure up memories of happier times, if you experienced a loss during the holidays, or if you live alone and are without family nearby, this time of the year can be even more difficult, particularly for older adults.

Depression is a serious illness that, if not treated, can lead to physical health issues, decreased quality of life, and relationship losses. It is not a normal part of aging. However, some simple lifestyle changes may help improve your mood. For more information, please click here.


OC Fairgrounds Agreement Approved

The Orange County Board of Supervisors and the Costa Mesa City Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the proposed purchase, governance, and operation of the Orange County Fairgrounds. Through approval of the MOU, the County and City reaffirmed to the State their commitment to maintain the Orange County Fairgrounds in perpetuity as a public facility.

Central to the agreement is the belief that the cancellation of the sale of the Orange County Fairgrounds is in the best interest of the public. However, if the sale cannot be stopped, the County and City want to be prepared to submit a bid in the State’s Request for Proposals process and have a plan in place for joint governance of the Fairgrounds. For more information, please click here.

Cal State Fullerton to Manage County's Artifacts

Over the last 35 years, the County has collected hundreds of thousands of artifacts, specimens and objects associated with archaeological and paleontological investigations throughout the County. The County has the responsibility, under Federal and State law, as well as its own resolutions, to care for and preserve the Collection for current and future generations.

To that end, the Orange County Board of Supervisors on Dec. 15 approved an agreement with California State University Fullerton to preserve and curate some of the County’s oldest artifacts and resources. The Board’s action authorizes the University to assume day-to-day management of the County’s Archaeological/Paleontological Collection and provides funds to underwrite that work through 2013. For more information, please click here.


Laguna Beach Library Officially Re-Opens

Closed in September for the first time in 15 years, the Laguna Beach Library re-opened this week after nearly four months of extensive renovations. This project was a successful partnership between the County, City, and Friends of the Library. Grand opening events are currently being planned for January. Stay tuned for more details.

Rancho Santa Margarita Friends of the Library Donation

This week, the Board of Supervisors was notified of a special donation from the Rancho Santa Margarita Friends of the Library. Their generous contribution of $6,000 is greatly appreciated and will help maintain staff levels at the Rancho Santa Margarita Library.


Pet Photos with Santa!

Bring your pet to OC Animal Care on Saturday, December 19 between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. for a photo with Santa. Participants will receive a festive holiday frame with their pet’s photo. OC Animal Care will also email a digital copy to share with your friends and family. All donations will benefit the adoptable animals of OC Animal Care. For more information, please click here.

Pet Adoption during the Holiday Season

If you are able and willing to devote the time and energy and can make the necessary financial commitment to properly care for a pet and would like information about adopting a loving animal from the OC Animal Shelter, please click here.

Holiday Pet Safety Tips

There's no place like (a safe) home for the holidays. Below are some helpful tips to make sure your pets stay safe and healthy this holiday season:

  • Holiday lights also mean extra cords and plugs. Take an extra minute or two during decorating to tape down or cover cords. This will help prevent shocks, burns or more serious injuries to your pets.
  • Secure Christmas trees to keep them from crashing to the ground when a good game of doggie wrestling gets going. Keep tinsel decorations high on the tree.
  • During holiday parties, provide pets with a quiet place to retreat.
  • Chocolate contains the heart stimulant theobromine and in even small quantities, it can be toxic to dogs and cats.
  • Mistletoe, holly berries and poinsettia plants can be poisonous to pets.
  • As always, be sure to keep current identification on your pets at all times.


Events and Programs at OC Parks

Explore the trails and learn about the flora, fauna, geology and history of Laguna Coast Wilderness Park with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists and OC Parks staff! For more information, please click here.

To see a list of events and programs being offered in the month of December at OC Parks throughout Orange County, please click here. Please be aware that wilderness areas may be closed during high fire danger and for 48 hours after significant rainfall.

Inside the Outdoors

Inside the Outdoors is a unique, hands-on environmental education program administered by the Orange County Department of Education. Their mission is to empower students, teachers, parents and the community to explore natural areas and expand their knowledge.

The curriculum created for Inside the Outdoors programs is aligned with California Science and Social Science standards and allows students to interact with these concepts in a real world setting. For more information, please visit www.InsideTheOutdoors.org.


Major General William R. Quinn: 2009 Veteran of the Year

This week, I had the privilege of attending a Mission Viejo Elks Lodge event to present a Proclamation on behalf of the County of Orange in honor Major General William R. Quinn, who resides in Mission Viejo with his wife, Margo. The Proclamation commended the retired veteran for his meritorious service in defense of our nation and congratulated him on his recent recognition as 2009 Orange County Veteran of the Year, an honor bestowed upon him last month at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda.

Major General Quinn served honorably in the United States Marine Corps from 1942 until 1975, receiving the Legion of Merit Award, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Air Medal. The veteran is also a 30-year member of the Mission Viejo/Saddleback Valley Elks Lodge. Elks Lodge President Jim Humphrey joined me in praising General Quinn, expressing the Lodge’s pride in their esteemed member. To see photos of the occasion, please click here.


35th Annual Dana Point Harbor Boat Parade of Lights

The Dana Point Harbor Boat Parade of Lights is back for its 35th year! The theme this year is Santa’s Surfin’ Safari. This Friday and Saturday, Dec. 18 and 19, will be the last two parades. Boaters from all over Orange County have decorated their boats in holiday lights and attractions and are vying for awards. Enjoy the parade for FREE from any place in the harbor, or make a reservation at one of the excellent harbor restaurants and have a warm, cozy spot to watch from. The show starts at 7:30 PM. For more information, please click here.

“Winter Wonderettes” at the Laguna Playhouse

Set six months after the end of The Marvelous Wonderettes, this seasonal sequel finds the girls returning to their hometown for a holiday celebration with their family and friends, complete with great Wonderette renditions of 60's holiday tunes. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Ballet’s 24th Annual Production of “The Nutcracker”

Laguna Ballet, a non profit junior ballet company comprised of students ages 5 and up, is holding their 24th annual production of The Nutcracker. Over 90 children from Orange County participate in Laguna Ballet’s full length Nutcracker. Participants in the production are given the opportunity to dance with professional guest artists from companies such as San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Moscow Classical Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet. The 2009 performance will be held at the McKinney Theatre in Saddleback College. For more information, please click here.

Holidays from Around the World

The Saddleback Master Chorale’s holiday concert celebrates “Holidays from Around the World,” featuring songs from countries and cultures across the globe. This festive concert is sure to get your entire family in the spirit of the season. The concert will be held Sunday, December 20 at 3:00 PM at the Norman P. Murray Community Center in Mission Viejo. For more information, please call (949) 470-3062 or click here.

New Year's Eve Celebration in Rancho Santa Margarita

This ‘Family & Friends’ Celebration is a community festival featuring entertainers, visual arts, musical entertainment, and creative art booths. Dec. 31, 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM. For more information, please contact Community Services at 949-635-1800, Ext. 6401.


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

  • Visited the Mission Viejo Elk’s Club to present a proclamation recognizing Major General William R. Quinn as the 2009 Orange County Veteran of the Year.
  • Received a briefing on OCTA’s Freeway Environmental Mitigation Program.
  • Chaired OCTA’s Renewed Measure M Environmental Oversight Committee meeting.
  • Presented Certificates of Recognition at the Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Meeting & Awards Breakfast.
  • Attended a Holiday Party celebrating the 15th anniversary of the California Women’s Leadership Association (CWLA) Orange County Chapter and presided over the Installation of the 2010 Board of Directors.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Dr. Herbert DeVries of Laguna Beach.
  • Participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony at Prima Deshecha Landfill for the grand opening of Forster Trail, providing connectivity between San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente. To see photos, please click here.
My office also:
  • Presented a Certificate of Recognition at a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Ross Medical Associates in San Juan Capistrano.
  • Led a planning meeting for an OC Fire Watch Community Roundtable to take place early next year. For more information on OC Fire Watch, please click here.
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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Fifth District Holiday Greetings

On behalf of the Fifth District and my staff, I extend our heartfelt best wishes to you and yours for a safe and Happy Holiday Season and a New Year blessed with good health, good friends and success in all your endeavors!

Please look for the Fifth District Report to return in January.

Warmest Regards,

Pat Bates