April 30, 2010
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. HARBOR HAPPENINGS
6. SAFETY SENTINEL
7. CRITTER CHRONICLES
8. ENVIRONMENTAL MEMOS
9. NOTES FROM THE FIELD
10. SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
11. FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
Chief of Staff
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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, May 4. 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.
At Monday’s OCTA Board meeting, staff provided the Board with an update on the Metrolink Service Expansion and Rail-Highway Grade Crossing Safety Enhancement programs. These projects have been delayed due to attempts to accommodate the use of Proposition 116 funds and procurement delays in railroad signal material. The report provides a brief overview of both programs, explanations for the schedule slippage, and steps being taken to recover the schedule. To view the staff report, please click here.
Bike to Work Week 2010
The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is encouraging people around the County of Orange to participate in Bike to Work Week May 17-21. During this week-long campaign, residents are asked to pledge to do their part to enhance air quality, cut down on traffic congestion, and improve their health by changing the way they commute to work.
As part of Bike to Work Week 2010, the public is invited to join OCTA staff and CEO Will Kempton on a bike ride from the Orange Metrolink Station to OCTA Headquarters on May 21 at 8:00am. Following the Bike Rally, the OCTA will host a special event to announce funding availability for local bicycle and pedestrian projects.
To calculate the carbon cost of your current commute by car, find bus schedules and maps of bike lanes along your route to work, and to sign the Bike to Work Week pledge, please click here.
OC Planning Department Improvements
The County’s Public Works Department is improving the way that its OC Planning Division is doing business. Stemming from a Performance Audit initiated by Supervisor Campbell and myself, the new operational focus and goal of the division to “Serve First” will provide better customer service, shorter processing times, and, in many cases, save customers money.
On March 30, 2010, the County Board of Supervisors adopted the Building and Planning Fee Ordinance that establishes new fees, rates, and deposit schedules that include a hybrid of valuation-based fees, flat fees, and actual time and materials costs for building and planning services performed by OC Planning staff. The new method of calculating fees will go into effect May 1, 2010.
New benefits to customers include:
The reduced fees, combined with the additional customer services efforts, will change the way customers do business with OC Planning. To monitor the effectiveness of the new measures, customers are being surveyed and initial responses have reflected favorably on the service received. For questions or further information on OC Planning, please contact (714) 667-8888.
- Extended hours at the public counter from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. These hours are among the most extensive offered by planning departments in Orange County.
- Increased service hours without additional staffing due to the consolidation of services to one physical location.
- Cost savings to clients, as plan review times for zoning, building and grading are consistently being met (over 90%).
- Increased savings and shortened wait times resulting from more permits being checked over-the-counter to better serve customers.
- Better collaboration between County departments and more efficient service to customers with the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) having a representative at the public counter on a regular basis at no additional cost to applicants.
|SOUTH COUNTY NEWS
Free Vision Screening, CTAP Phone Equipment
The San Juan Capistrano Senior Center on May 4 will offer free vision screening and California Telephone Access Program (CTAP) telephone equipment for people who have trouble with vision, hearing, memory and mobility. The screening and distribution program will take place from 8:30am to 11:30am at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center, 25925 Camino del Avion.
In addition to a free vision screening by optometrists, qualified participants can receive telephone equipment from the CTAP. To qualify, a CTAP application that has been signed by a certifying agent is required. The specialized telephones and devices make dialing easier, allow for hands-free operation, and flash when you receive incoming calls. Reservations for this free program are required and are available by calling the San Juan Capistrano Community Services Department at (949) 493-5911.
Laguna Niguel Community Center Grand Re-Opening
On Saturday, May 8, the Laguna Niguel Sea Country Senior and Community Center invites you to a fun filled day in celebration of its grand re-opening! Come see all the newly constructed features of the Center including a new ballroom, fitness center, gift shop, library and much more! From 2:00pm – 8:00pm, you can enjoy food, give-aways, a candy bar, entertainment and more! For more information, please click here.
San Juan Creek Bike Detour
Stretches of the popular San Juan Creek bike trail have been closed while the Orange County Flood Control District conducts a project to build a protective levee along a portion of the creek that was damaged by torrential rains a few years ago. To allow the public to still enjoy the trail, a new detour has been completed to once again connect riders, runners and pedestrians to the trail which leads to the beach.
The bike trail extends south to Doheny State Beach and north to Avenida de la Vista. The detour goes through a residential area off of Camino Del Avion and is near ongoing construction. The trail detour map is available by clicking here.
Underwater Clean Up
You wouldn’t believe some of the things that are found on the bottom of Dana Point Harbor—cell phones, toilets, bicycles, skateboards—so it’s time to help clean these things up to keep our oceans and beaches free from debris! OC Dana Point Harbor is hosting its third Underwater Clean-Up on Saturday, May 1 from 8:30am-12pm. We need certified scuba divers, kayakers, and support volunteers to come out and help get this job done. This is a semi-annual event which is moving throughout the harbors in cycles. Saturday’s event will focus on the area between Gangway I and Gangway L. To register or obtain more information, please call the Dana Point Marina Company at (949) 496-6137.
OC Fire Watch Network Open House a Success
On April 27, the Orange County Fire Authority and I hosted an OC Fire Watch Network Open House to provide the public, volunteers and members of the various Fire Watch groups throughout the county an opportunity to network with one another and to learn about what the various Fire Watch groups offer. Well over 100 people attended the event. After viewing an awe inspiring video documentary of the Santiago Fire, OCFA Chief Keith Richter welcomed attendees and I presented a brief history of the OC Fire Watch program which began in partnership with our OC Parks’ Adopt-A-Park Program.
Communities near the urban/wildland interface live with the realization that fire season in Orange County is a year-round occurrence; and though we’re grateful for the abundant rainfall we’ve received this year, the rains are sure to produce vegetation growth in our wilderness areas that will eventually become heavy fuel for potentially catastrophic wildfires as the months grow hotter and drier.
As we prepare for the upcoming peak fire season, which officially begins in May, I want to commend everyone involved in Fire Watch activities for addressing what is clearly a tremendous need – prevention and early detection of wildfires. For more information about OC Fire Watch, as well as ways that local residents can get involved, please visit www.OCFireWatch.org.
Be Kind to Animals Week
The community is encouraged to celebrate "Be Kind to Animals Week" taking place May 2-8. The yearly observance was started by the American Humane Association in 1915 to celebrate the human-animal bond and encourage kindness toward pets and wild animals that enrich our world. In 1952, Be Kind to Animals Week received the official endorsement of the U.S. government. It is now one of the oldest week-long observances in the country. This year's theme is "So many animals, so many ways to be kind.” For more information, please click here.
Paws in the Garden
The Ark of San Juan is hosting its 2nd Annual Garden Tour on Saturday, May 15 from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Stroll through five beautiful local gardens throughout San Juan Capistrano on a self-guided tour while supporting The Ark’s mission of saving San Juan Capistrano’s lost and abandoned pets! Participates can compete in door prices and opportunity drawings. For a list of the gardens on the tour and for more information, please click here.
The Toll Roads’ Spring Native Habitat Tours Kicks-Off
The Toll Road’s 10th annual Native Habitat tour series begins this weekend with the sold out Upper Chiquita Canyon hike on Saturday. This 1,182-acre conservation area located near Coto de Caza was set aside with construction of the 241 Toll Road. A moderate four-mile hike will give participants a peek at an area rich with coastal sage scrub, oak woodland, grassland, and natural drainage habitats. Specific techniques that were used to restore the popular site, set aside for the conservation of the federally threatened California gnatcatcher, will be the focus of the hike.
Participants will also be able to view and hear about an extensive cactus salvage and transplantation that recently occurred within the west canyon of Upper Chiquita, part of the mitigation for the construction of the Santa Margarita Water District’s Upper Chiquita Reservoir. Large rooted cactus plants were removed from the reservoir area in early 2009 and transplanted into three sites in the adjacent valleys. The cactus sites are intended to increase suitable habitat for the cactus wren, a small bird whose population has been declining in the Central and Coastal Reserve of the Natural Community Conservation Plan of Orange County. By August 2009, six new cactus wren nests were found in two of the sites. TCA continues to monitor the cacti and wildlife use of the sites.
For more information about the special group tours offered, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, because of your continued interest in plans to complete the 241 Toll Road, The Toll Roads has launched a web page to provide updates on the project. For information regarding the 241 Completion project, please click here.
|NOTES FROM THE FIELD
Celebrate May at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
A day to celebrate springtime and honor the retiring Laguna Canyon Foundation President and co-founder, Michael Pinto, will be held Saturday, May 1 at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. The event will run from 1:00pm to 4:00 pm, and will feature free docent led nature tours every half hour and a proclamation presentation by the Fifth District to Michael Pinto for his dedication and commitment to the Park. Admission to Laguna Coast Wilderness Park is free, and parking is $3. Reservations are required by calling (949) 923-2235. For more information, please click here.
|SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
Soka University’s 9th Annual International Festival
This Saturday, as part of Imagination Celebration, Soka University in Aliso Viejo will celebrate its 9th Annual International Festival. The event will feature over 700 musicians and dancers on three different stages, along with international food, exhibitors, games and activities, an art exhibition, dance performances, and more. The festival will be held on May 1 from 10:30am to 5:30pm at the Soka University campus. Admission is free for everyone and parking on the campus is $10. For more information, please click here.
Taste of Ladera
This weekend, May 1-2, Founder’s Park in Ladera Ranch will host the annual “Taste of Ladera,” a music and food festival for the entire family. The two-day festival lineup is packed with a kitchen couture fashion show, pie eating contest, OC talent show, and musical headliners Lit and The English Beat. Don’t miss this amazing event! For more information and to purchase tickets, please click here.
San Clemente 20th Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration
The San Clemente Spanish Village by the Sea is holding its 20th Annual Cinco de Mayo celebration on Saturday, May 8 from noon to 6:00pm at Max Berg Plaza Park. Throughout the day, there will be authentic food and drinks for sale, a live mariachi band, a restaurant salsa showdown, student art displays, cultural dance performances, and more. For more information about the fiesta, please click here.
SOCSA’s Spring Musical “42nd Street”
It’s your last chance to see the South Orange County School of the Art’s spring musical with the final performance on Saturday, May 1 at 7:00pm in the Porthole Theater of Dana Hills High School. 42nd Street is the story of a small town girl’s rise from chorus girl to Broadway star. Tickets can be purchased online by clicking here. For more information about the performance, please click here.
Bestselling Author Henry Winkler to Visit Mission Viejo
On Monday, May 3 actor and author Henry Winkler will be part of a “Writer’s Present” program held at the Norman P. Murray Community Center in Mission Viejo. The author will be introducing his book “A Brand New Me,” the #17 and final book in his popular Hank Zipzer series. In the latest edition, Hank Zipzer is worried about not getting into the middle school of his dreams. The free program, which starts at 7:00pm in the Sycamore Room of the Community Center, will allow visitors the chance to meet the author and purchase signed copies of his book. For more information, please click here.
Lake Forrest Rancho Days Fiesta
Attend the Rancho Days Fiesta this Sunday, May 2 for some historic, family fun activities. The day will be filled with piñatas, craft making, ice cream and butter churning, candlestick making, and docent led tours that will teach visitors about the unique history of the Saddleback Valley. The event, lasting from 11:00am to 3:00pm, will be held at Heritage Hill Historic Park. For more information, please click here.
Aliso Viejo 'Shred Day'
In an effort to protect residents from identity theft and provide a free public service, the City of Aliso Viejo is hosting a free document shredding event on Saturday, May 8. Residents can have their sensitive records securely destroyed from 8:30am to 11:30am in the parking lot of the Aliso Viejo Conference Center, 31 Santa Barbara. People can bring up to 10 standard-file boxes of paper records to be shredded. Staff will also be on hand to answer questions and provide information about identity theft. For more information about the event, contact the City at (949) 425-2506, or click here.
|FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
My office also:
- Attended a meeting with representatives from the Orange County Community Resources Department to discuss the Orange County Public Library system
- Visited the San Juan Capistrano Library to accept a donation from the San Juan Capistrano Friends of the Library on behalf of the County. Click here to view a photo.
- Hosted the OC Fire Watch Network Open House in participation with the Orange County Fire Authority
- Met with the Grand Jury of Orange County
- Attended the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce State of the City Luncheon
My staff and I look forward to continually providing you updated information in our Fifth District Newsletter and website.
- Met with representatives of the Hospital Association of Southern California to receive an update on the state of Orange County hospitals
- Provided a ribbon cutting certificate to Waddell Wellness & Performance Center in Laguna Niguel
- Attended the Dedication Ceremony of the Saddleback College Veterans Memorial
- Attended OC Taxpayers Association Meeting
- Attended San Clemente Chamber of Commerce Legislative and Transportation 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.
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