February 27, 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. CRITTER CHRONICLES
5. HEALTH HERALD
6. 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
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, March 3, 2009. 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.
Ortega Highway Widening Project
Construction on the Ortega Highway Widening Project, from San Juan Capistrano city limits to east of La Pata Avenue/Antonio Parkway, began this week. When the Board of Supervisors approved this project, I expressed the importance of providing traffic control measures to ensure construction would create minimal impacts to traffic flow which is already congested at times on Ortega Highway.
The extreme traffic delays that were experienced by drivers this week due to the construction is unacceptable. I directed the project engineer to review the traffic plan and make modifications in the coming days that will improve traffic flow. CHP is assisting in traffic control during peak hours and Caltrans has activated the electronic notification system on the approaching I-5/Ortega Freeway signs to warn of the delays and offer alternate routes. If no reasonable solution can be implemented in the coming days, I will direct staff to explore the possibility of deferring all construction to off-peak hours.
In the interim if you have additional questions or concerns, please report them to the South County Roadway Improvement Plan (SCRIP) Community Phone Line at (888) 235-0888 or Orange County Public Works at (714) 834-2694. For details regarding SCRIP, please visit www.Scrip-OC.com.
Renewed Measure M Progress Report
On February 23, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors received the Renewed Measure M (M2) Quarterly Progress Report for the months of October though December 2008. Voter safeguards are a critical factor for public acceptance of M2 and the Quarterly report is an opportunity to show progress in implementing the M2 Transportation Investment Plan. The report reflects progress being made on the Board-approved Early Action Plan (EAP) projects and programs. Each item in the report features a brief paragraph that provides an overview of significant progress for the time period, with a web link to more information including staff reports and project descriptions. In order to be cost-effective, all M2 progress reports are web-based. To view the M2 Fourth Quarter Progress Report for 2008, please click here.
Orange and Los Angeles Intercounty Transportation Study Update
OCTA, in cooperation with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, has completed the Orange and Los Angeles Intercounty Transportation Study. The study assessed transportation issues and opportunities between Orange and Los Angeles counties and developed a range of options for further study. The findings from the conceptual alternatives report as well as a summary of the Pacific Electric Railway right-of-way assessment were provided to the OCTA Board for review during Monday’s meeting.
To view the Conceptual Alternatives Report, click here.
To view the complete Pacific Electric Railway right-of-way Assessment, click here.
OCTA Ethics Hotline
The OCTA Board is moving forward with the implementation of an ethics hotline for the confidential reporting of fraud, waste, abuse, or misconduct. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants encourages all organizations, as part of their anti-fraud program, to establish an anonymous hotline. The 2008 Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Report to the Nation noted that for government agencies, just over 50 percent of frauds are detected through tips. The report also indicates that the median loss at organizations equipped with a fraud hotline was $100,000, compared to a median loss of $250,000 at organizations without a fraud hotline, a 60 percent reduction. The OCTA Internal Audit Department is currently developing a scope of work for outsourcing the hotline as using a third party is an effective and efficient means of administering the program.
Draft 2009 OCTA Commuter Bikeways Strategic Plan
OCTA is pleased to announce that the draft 2009 OCTA Commuter Bikeways Strategic Plan (CBSP) has been prepared, and is available for review. The draft 2009 CBSP was developed with input from Orange County's local jurisdictions, the general public, and OCTA committees and advisory groups. The plan will serve as a roadmap and resource to Orange County's 34 cities and the County of Orange for coordinating bikeway development efforts. OCTA appreciates the participation of all who have been involved in the CBSP development process, and looks forward to receiving your comments on the draft plan.
To download the plan, click here.
We welcome your suggestions regarding ways to improve this map or the bikeway system. You may contact OCTA by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (714) 636-RIDE.
The Great Park
On February 19, the Great Park Board approved the Comprehensive Park Design that was presented by Master Designer Ken Smith and the Great Park Design Studio. Approval of the Comprehensive Park Design now moves the Great Park from the planning and design phase to the production phase. CEO Mike Ellzey provided an update and conceptual phasing plan to the Board that gave them a look at potential early phases of the development.
Design and engineering of Park's elements and infrastructure are contained in the Comprehensive Park Design. Design elements include a Sports Park, Wildlife Corridor, Agua Chinon, upper and lower canyon, the Lake, the Bosque, agriculture elements, and many other features identified by a variety of stakeholders throughout the planning and design process.
The Comprehensive Park Design features sustainable infrastructure, including renewable energy generation, non-polluting Park shuttles, connections to mass transit, water reclamation and natural water treatment systems and recycling of runways to build a variety of Park features.
For more information, please go to www.ocgp.org.
Auditor-Controller Released OC Citizens’ Report
Financial highlights for Orange County have been released by the Auditor-Controller’s office in its sixth installment of the OC Citizens’ Report. This report summarizes the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for fiscal year 2007-08 in an easy-to-understand format.
The report details trends in the local economy and provides an economic comparison with surrounding counties, the state and the nation as a whole. This year’s OC Citizens’ Report is different from years past because it reflects the recent economic downturn that is affecting us all. The report reveals how the County is working together to ensure that baseline services are provided and that the County continues to experience financial stability.
The OC Citizens’ Report continues to receive the Government Finance Officers Association’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Financial Reporting. The honor recognizes the County of Orange for producing financial reports containing information that is easily accessed and understood by a broad audience and that demonstrates creativity in presentation.
The OC Citizen’s report is available on the Auditor-Controller’s website at http://www.ac.ocgov.com/finrpt.asp.
OC Animal Care Community Outreach Report
OC Animal Care recently released its Community Outreach Committee quarterly report. The report summarizes the fourth quarter activities for OC Animal Care’s Public Education Program and includes: Public Education Outreach, Public Awareness, Mobile Adoptions, and Shelter events. It also provides an update on the outcome of 2008 goals for the Community Outreach program. To view the report, please click here.
Low-cost Vaccination, Microchip Clinic March 1
The Mission Viejo Animal Services Center on March 11 will host a low-cost vaccination and microchip clinic for dogs and cats from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the animal services center at 28095 Hillcrest.
Vaccinating pets helps to ward off disease and illness, veterinarians say. Though they are not required by law, except for the dog rabies vaccination, immunizing pets is recommended for the well being of animals.
Dog vaccines for dogs 4 weeks and older include the six-in-one vaccine for $14 and the Bordetella vaccine for $11. Cat vaccines for cats 8 weeks and older include the four-in-one vaccine (FVRCPP) for $14. Dog and cat rabies vaccines are $6 each for pets 4 months and older.
Pet owners can have their pets microchipped for only $20, and Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and Laguna Niguel residents can license their dogs after the pets receive a rabies vaccine.
For more information, call 949-470-3045 or visit the City’s Web site at www.cityofmissionviejo.org.
GAT Family Foundation Donation
Recently, OC Community Resources / OC Animal Care received a monetary donation of $5000 from the GAT Family Foundation to be designated for the care of homeless animals. The donation, as well as other donations from the public, will be used to help animals adjust to their stay in the shelter by providing much needed “creature comfort” items such as beds, blankets, kennel-sturdy toys, enhanced animal sheltering, and other related supplies, in addition to expanding adoption efforts. These comforts help the animals settle in more easily, thereby allowing them to present their friendly and outgoing personalities to potential adopters. For more information about pet adoption, please click here.
The Orange County Health Care Agency’s Environmental Health staff advises beach-goers that levels of bacteria can rise significantly in ocean and bay waters adjacent to storm drains, creeks and rivers after rainstorms. The elevated levels of bacteria can continue for a period of at least three days depending on the intensity of the rain and the volume of the runoff. Swimmers should avoid coastal waters impacted by discharging storm drains, creeks and rivers. As always, beach-goers should avoid contact with any runoff on the beach during dry or wet weather conditions. If you have any questions, please call (714) 433-6280 or visit www.ocbeachinfo.com for more information.
|SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
Ladera Ranch Stranger Danger
The Ladera Ranch Civic Council is presenting a Stranger Danger Forum on Thursday, March 5 for parents and children to address the recent incidents of attempted kidnappings in Ladera Ranch. This educational forum is a perfect venue for children to hear first hand from Sheriff Sandra Hutchens about how to practice public safety. This event, which I will be attending, will take place at Ladera Ranch Elementary School from 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm. For the event flyer, please click here.
Foreclosure Prevention Workshop
The Orange County Homeownership Preservation Collaborative, in partnership with a coalition of nonprofit organizations, lenders, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, local cities and housing agencies in Orange County, invite you to a FREE Foreclosure Prevention Workshop on Thursday, March 5 from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm at the Garden Grove Community Meeting Center. Housing counselors will be available to confidentially meet one on one to offer free advice and answer questions. A short presentation on how to negotiate with lenders and/or loan servicers to prevent and avoid foreclosure will also be provided. Bring your loan documents and meet with lenders who will be doing loan workouts on site. For more information, click here or register online at www.ochopc.org.
Dana Point Festival of Whales
The 38th Annual Dana Point Festival of Whales is taking place March 7, 8 and 14, 15 at the Dana Point Wharf. The Festival of Whales is one of Southern California’s largest seafaring celebrations and reaches out to whale admirers around the world drawing more than 100,000 visitors each year.
Festival highlights include an opening day parade, street faire and farmers market, art exhibits, classic car exhibits, concerts on land and water, environmental activities, educational opportunities, interpretive crafts, kids activities and of course, whale watching excursions that will allure even the most steadfast landlubber out to sea. For more information, please click here.
OC Marathon Kick-Off Event
The OC Marathon invites you to its Kick-Off event. Come and meet sponsors, the OC Marathon Board, city officials, charity partners, and the race staff. The Kick-Off event is Saturday, March 7 at 11:00 am at the Orange County Fair and Events Center. The Avia OC Marathon Race weekend will be held May 1-3, 2009. For more information, please click here.
2008 Laguna Niguel Citizen of the Year Nominations
In 1990, the Laguna Niguel Citizen of the Year Award was established to recognize community members who, through giving of their time and talents, have greatly contributed towards making Laguna Niguel a better place to live and work. The Laguna Niguel Citizen of the Year Committee would like to encourage the community and local organizations to nominate someone for 2008 Laguna Niguel Citizen of the Year. Please take a moment to reflect on friends, neighbors, fellow members of local organizations etc. and help honor those who “Make a Difference”.
Nomination forms are available in the Laguna Niguel Chamber office, in the March newsletter or at the Laguna Niguel City Hall. All forms need to be returned to the committee by 5:00 pm on April 30, 2009. If you have any questions, please contact Solveig Darner at (949) 362-4375.
Laguna Hills’ 2009 Mayor's Breakfast
The Laguna Hills Chamber of Commerce invites you to the 2009 Mayor's Breakfast with Mayor Joel Lautenschleger on Friday, March 13 from 7:15 am to 9:00 at the Laguna Hills Community Center. The event will feature a panel discussion and updates with special guests: Senator Mimi Walters, Lucy Dunn, President and CEO of the OC Business Council, and Linda Cohen, Professor of Economics and Law at UCI. For more information about the event or purchasing tickets, please click here.
Celebrate Opera at SOCSA's Gala
Enjoy amazing vocal, string and piano performances, a student art exhibit, an elegant gourmet dinner and more as The SOCSA Foundation proudly presents its 6th annual All-Orange County Opera Celebration! Gala on Sunday, March 29th at 6:00 pm in the ballroom of the beautiful Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort in Dana Point.
South Orange County School of the Arts, or SOCSA, is a visual and performing arts academy within Dana Hills High School. It provides students with intensive training in the arts through a diverse curriculum that includes visual arts, dance, musical theatre, acting, vocal and instrumental music while requiring each student to maintain a strong emphasis on their academic curriculum at Dana Hills High School. Tickets for the Black Tie-optional Gala fundraising event are $150 per person or $1,500 for a table of ten.
A preview night will be held at the new performing arts center at San Juan Hills High School in San Juan Capistrano on Saturday, March 28th at 7pm. Tickets are $15 (Orchestra) and $12 (Balcony). All proceeds from both events go directly to SOCSA in support of arts education in our schools.
For details or tickets, please visit www.SOCSArts.org or call SOCSA Foundation President, Alan Wickstrom, at 949.842.0594 or Opera Night Chair, Rola Jneid, at 949.842.8432.
|FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
My office also:
- Gave the opening remarks at the Orange County United Way Awards Ceremony. Click here to view a photo of the event.
- Chaired the San Juan Capistrano Chamber Government Affairs Committee meeting
- Attended the Laguna Niguel State of the City Breakfast
- Attended the Community Foundation of Orange County’s 4th Annual Foundation Gala Honoring Supervisor Bill Campbell
- Met with Laguna Beach city officials regarding the Aliso Creek SUPER Project
My staff and I look forward to continually providing you updated information in our Fifth District Newsletter and website.
- Presented certificates at the Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County- 2009 Leaders in Oral Health Awards
- Attended the San Clemente Chamber Legislative and Transportation Committee
- Toured the Laguna Hills Community Center
- Attended the Orange County Taxpayers Association Meeting
- Presented an update at the South Orange County Regional Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs Committee meeting
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.