Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
September 3, 2010

Pat Bates's Picture

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.
















Don Hughes:
Chief of Staff

Kristen Thornton:
Deputy Chief of Staff

Ray Grangoff:
Deputy Chief of Staff

Sergio Prince:
Policy Advisor

Sabrina Ross:
Policy Advisor

Brian Probolsky:
Policy Advisor

Ruth Strachan:
Office Manager

Click here to subscribe.

Click here to unsubscribe

Volume 4 Issue 35

Creation of an Independent Medical Examiner

The Board on Tuesday received and filed a report from the CEO on the creation of an Independent Medical Examiner. The CEO was asked to review the pros and cons of an organizational structure, whereby the OC Crime Lab would report under an independent Medical Examiner. Currently, the crime lab is overseen by the Sheriff, DA and CEO. The proposal also includes placing the Coroner’s office under the purview of the new medical examiner’s office.

However, based on initial review, the CEO is recommending an independent medical examiner not be established at this time. The CEO’s recommendation is due to potential cost increases of a new agency, possible legal conflicts, and POST certification related issues. To that end, the Board directed the CEO to conduct a more in depth study of costs associated with creating a new independent office.

Changes to County PPO Health Plans

On March 23, 2010, the President signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Based on the legislation and regulations issued by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor, the County is required to make revisions to its PPO Health Plans to bring them into compliance with Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

To that end, the Board approved changes to the County’s employee and retiree PPO Health Care Plans. The changes include extending the dependent eligibility age to 26, the elimination of lifetime maximums for claims up to $3 million, elimination of the annual limit for preventive care up to $750, and elimination of the maximum payment of $50 for Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

The cost impact on the County’s PPO Health Plans for implementing these provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requirements is estimated to be $560,000 and will go into effect January 1, 2011. For more information, please click here.

New Computer System for Passenger Processing at JWA

The Board voted Tuesday to award a Design-Build contract to Irvine-based Snyder Langston to install a Common Use Passenger Processing System (CUPPS) in Terminals A, B and C at John Wayne Airport (JWA). The CUPPS project provides for design and construction of a turnkey system that utilizes the industry’s latest technology and is a key component of the Airport Improvement Program.

There was a protest regarding the award of this contract, but it was determined that the protesting firm, SITA Information Networking Computing, USA, Inc., did not have the appropriate contractors license and, therefore, did not meet the bid requirements, thus making it a non-responsive bid.

The CUPPS project will replace existing passenger processing systems currently used by airlines and will result in better utilization of JWA’s gates, ticket counters and baggage claim, as CUPPS eliminates duplicative equipment at gates and provides a sleeker, more modern and streamlined appearance.

Once installed, CUPPS will centralize airline operations and provide backup capability in the event of system failure. The project also calls for new millwork (cabinetry) to be installed at Terminals A and B ticket counters and gates. Terminal C millwork will be completed as part of the contract for construction of Terminal C.

CUPPS is funded through JWA revenues and a portion of a $4.50 Passenger Facility Charge. All construction on the CUPPS project will be completed alongside existing operating equipment in order to maintain regular airline operations and minimize impacts to passengers. Terminal A and B gates are slated to be the first portion of the project to get underway.

The CUPPS project also includes replacement of the Flight Information Display Boards throughout the Terminals, showing arrivals and departures, as well as the Baggage Information Displays (at the baggage carousels.)

South Coast Air Quality Management District Grant

On Tuesday, the Board accepted $248,296 from the South Coast Air Quality Management District to purchase a new diesel-electric dozer and to replace the original engines of a scraper with low emission engines. The award winning diesel-electric dozer will be the first of its kind in California, utilizing an electric transmission while reducing fuel consumption and diesel emissions.

Together, the eco-friendly dozer and scraper will improve air quality and the environment by reducing nitrogen oxides emissions by 5,000 pounds per year and cutting soot emissions in half, as compared to the previous generation of engines. The dozer and scraper will be operated by OC Waste & Recycling, further enhancing facility operations at the County’s regional landfills.

Lake Maintenance Contract

The Board approved a contract for a new lake management program for OC Parks lakes. The selected firm, AquaTechnex, was chosen due to their understanding of complete lake and water quality care, including water testing, vegetation control, dredging, water clarity improvement, and water fowl and habitat improvement.

As a result, nine OC Parks lakes will be part of this program, including Laguna Niguel Regional Park in the 5th District. OC Parks is excited about the new lake management program, which will provide County park users improved and sustainable lake water quality and an enjoyable recreational experience for years to come.

Puppies and Ward (PAW) Program

The Board approved an MOU with the non-profit Pathways to Hope to work with the Probation Department and OC Animal Care in operating the Puppies and Ward (PAW) Program. The goal of the PAW Program is to teach vocational and life skills to juvenile probationers 14 to 18 years of age and simultaneously improve the lives of the at-risk youth and shelter dogs.

The wards live together with the animals and are tasked with performing potty, leash and crate training while helping the canines learn basic obedience commands. In return, the dogs teach their human companions responsibility, respect, and the rewards of unconditional love.

In addition to contributing to the successful transition of juvenile probationers from incarceration to community reentry, the PAW Program also has the benefit of training and socializing the shelter dogs, making them more attractive for adoption.

Assessment Appeals Board Appointment

The Assessment Appeals Board (AAB) conducts hearings to consider taxpayer disputes of Assessor established property values for secured and unsecured property in Orange County. Members of the AAB must have professional experience as an appraiser, real estate broker, CPA or attorney.

This week, with the support of my fellow Supervisors, I had the pleasure of reappointing Paula Cosenza of Laguna Niguel to serve an additional term as a 5th District representative on the Assessment Appeals Board.


JWA Tips for Labor Day Holiday Travel

John Wayne Airport (JWA) anticipates a busier-than-normal travel period during this Labor Day holiday weekend through Tuesday, September 7. As such, passengers and visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and give themselves at least 90 minutes to find parking, check their luggage and go through the security checkpoint to ensure they are at their gate in time for their flight.

Additionally, as part of JWA's Improvement Program, construction is underway on a new Terminal C, Parking Structure C and Central Utility Plant. A map of the impacted area can be found here. For more JWA information and travel tips, please click here.


Helping our Veterans, Homeless, and Families with Children

OC Community Services recently announced excellent news regarding three separate housing voucher grants the Orange County Housing Authority (OCHA) received during the month of July. The additional housing vouchers will provide housing and support services to eligible homeless veterans, special needs and disabled homeless, and families.

To that end, two grants totaling $3.7 million will provide supportive housing for homeless veterans, as well as disabled and special needs homeless populations. OCHA will also receive a grant of $406,846 to expand its Family Unification Program, which reunites children with their parents.

These grant awards are a direct result of unique partnerships between the Orange County Housing Authority, Health Care Agency, Social Services Agency, and Long Beach VA. For more information, please click here.


Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Vaccination Opportunities

Disease reporting continues to be consistently high relative to prior years. As of August 28, there were 232 cases of pertussis reported in Orange County with no deaths, and 3,311 cases in California with 8 deaths.

To control and mitigate the impacts of the disease, individuals having contact with newborns are encouraged to seek pertussis vaccination from their healthcare provider. For those who do not have insurance, the vaccine continues to be available at the Public Health clinic at 1725 W. 17th Street in Santa Ana.

Partnering with the California Department of Public Health and in recognition of the ongoing need, Public Health has arranged for the following additional clinics in the community:

  • Public Health sponsored clinic at 1725 W. 17th Street, Santa Ana from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM on September 11 and September 25.
  • Northgate Markets at ten locations throughout the County from September 3 through September 26, in collaboration with Maxim Healthcare Services.
For more information on pertussis and vaccination opportunities, please click here and here or call the Health Referral Line at 800-564-8448.


OC Parks Ranger Helps Minimize Wildfire Damage

An OC Parks Ranger at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park was first to arrive at the scene of a wildfire August 23 and helped stop its spread. Park Ranger Molly Stallcup spotted two small brush fires shortly after 8:00 AM and immediately used her two-way radio to report the fire to the Laguna Beach Fire Department and the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA).

Stallcup extinguished one of the two ignition points, evacuated the affected area of the park, and closed the Stagecoach North Trail. OC Parks Rangers from Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park also responded to provide support.

Firefighters from Laguna Beach and OCFA were able to quickly contain the fire, keeping it to less than an acre. Fire authorities believe a catalytic converter from a passing vehicle may have sparked the blaze. For more information, please click here.

Due to thick brush and high temperatures, fire danger is high in many wilderness areas of Orange County. For more information about fire safety and preventing wildfires, including ways the public can get involved, please visit www.OCFireWatch.org.


Take Action Now to be Disaster Prepared!

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger this week proclaimed September 2010 as Disaster Preparedness Month in California and urged all Californians to take action now to prepare their families and communities for disasters, as fewer than 20 percent have participated in neighborhood disaster planning or have received specific disaster training and fewer than 50 percent have participated in disaster training at work.

Promise to Prepare! For more information, including useful disaster preparedness tips and resources, please click here and here.


Laguna Coast Wilderness Park: Fitness Hike

Raise your heart rate and your spirits on a strenuous, fast-paced, 4.8-mile hike over steep and uneven terrain (400-ft. elevation gain) with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers. Thursday, September 9, 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve (east side of Laguna Canyon Rd/SR-133, just north of the 73 Toll Road). Reservations required: 949-923-2235. Parking: $3.00. Donation: $2.00 per person. For more information, please click here.

Enjoy End-of-Summer Events at OC Parks

To see a list of events and programs being offered in the month of September at OC Parks throughout the 5th District and Orange County, please click here.

Doheny State Beach Update

The Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association (DSBIA) has released its DOHENY UPDATE to better inform the public about events in the State Park. To view the DSBIA September newsletter, please click here.


OC Public Libraries End-of-Summer Programs

Visiting your local library is an excellent way to stay cool during the remaining hot days this summer. OC Public Libraries (OCPL) provides a wonderful array of FREE fun-filled educational events and programs for the whole family – from toddlers to teens to parents and seniors. To see a listing of OCPL events taking place in September at a branch library near you, please click here. For more information about OC Public Libraries, please click here.

Note: OC Public Libraries will be closed Monday, Sept. 6 in observance of Labor Day.


South County Cat Adoption Event Extended

The Mission Viejo Animal Services Center and the Dedicated Animal Welfare Group (DAWG) have extended the Center’s ongoing Cat Adoption Promotion through September 17, giving cat lovers more time to adopt a sweet, furry feline for only $35.

During this extended period, DAWG will cover the regular $100 adoption fee for an adult cat; and the Center will pay for the adoption fee for cats 7 years or older. The $35 fee will cover the cat's vaccine and microchip.

Providing proper identification for pets, including a microchip, is critically important, as it greatly improves their chances of being reunited with their owner in the unfortunate event they become lost and are brought to the shelter.

The Mission Viejo Animal Services Center at 28095 Hillcrest in Mission Viejo has plenty of cats seeking loving homes; so residents are encouraged to stop by to meet their next feline family member. For more information, please click here.


Coastal Cleanup Day: September 25, 2010

OC Dana Point Harbor will join over 800 other locations throughout the State in the 26th annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. The State’s largest volunteer event will be held Saturday, September 25, from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Those interested in volunteering can obtain more information by contacting OC Dana Point Harbor at (949) 923-2236. For more information, please click here.


ACCESS Customer Honored for Community Service

Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) CEO Will Kempton and OCTA ACCESS staff honored Jackie Smith, a resident of Laguna Hills, at the Special Needs in Transit Advisory Committee meeting at OCTA headquarters last week. ACCESS is OCTA’s shared-ride service for people who are unable to use the regular, fixed-route bus service because of functional limitations caused by disability.

A longtime ACCESS rider, Jackie was born with Cerebral Palsy, a condition that can impair brain and nervous system functions, such as movement, learning, hearing, seeing and thinking. Despite the lifelong challenges, she continues to endure. People who know her say Jackie is a positive, inspirational woman who has beaten the odds by giving back to others.

Jackie gives back to the community by volunteering at Dana Hills High School, having assisted at the school for the past 22 years as a tutor for students, helping them with reading, math, computers and art. For more information about Jackie, please click here. For more information about OCTA’s ACCESS service, please click here.


Rancho Santa Margarita: 9/11 Patriot Day Commemoration

The designation of Patriot Day occurred October 25, 2001 in memory of the 2,993 who were killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks. Initially, the day was called “Prayer and Remembrance for the Victims of the Terrorist Attack on September 11, 2001.”

To that end, the City of Rancho Santa Margarita welcomes the Second Battalion, Fifth Marines to City Hall on September 11, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM, to commemorate Patriot Day. For more information on this FREE family event, please click here and here.

Laguna Niguel: September 11 Remembrance Event

Please join the City of Laguna Niguel for a candlelight vigil to pay tribute to those who lost their lives, were injured or suffered loss of family and friends in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Please bring a blanket or low chair to sit on a grassy hill Saturday, September 11 from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM at the Crown Valley Community Park Amphitheater. For more information, please click here.

26th Annual Tall Ships Festival in Dana Point

The Ocean Institute, located in beautiful Dana Point Harbor, is celebrating its 26th year hosting the Toshiba Tall Ships Festival. Come and explore the majesty and wonder of tall ships through the smells, sounds and sights of real working tall ships. Interactive living-history encampments, including blacksmiths, scrimshaw artists, and the infamous Port Royal Privateers are sure to entertain and amaze guests of all ages.

Inside the Ocean Institute, explore the work to protect our local watersheds through hands-on labs and art activities; and visit with some of the ocean’s most amazing sea creatures, too! New this year, your child can participate in the Friendly Pirate School. Watch as your child learns to talk like a pirate, walk like a pirate, and sing like a pirate!

These are just some of the fun and exciting activities that will be a part of this year’s spectacular Tall Ships Festival, September 10 – 12. For more information, please click here.


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

  • Chaired OCTA’s M2 Environmental Oversight Committee.
  • Met with CalOptima CEO Richard Chambers to receive an update on CalOptima’s programs for seniors and persons with disabilities.
  • Met with OC Community Resources officials to discuss OC Animal Care programs and activities.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Claes Andersen of Laguna Beach.
My office also:
  • Participated in a planning meeting for the 3rd annual South County Disaster Preparedness Expo. Stay tuned for more information.
  • Provided certificates of recognition in honor of the ribbon cutting ceremonies for Londance Studio in Laguna Niguel; Zuri Pet Spa in San Juan Capistrano; and Patriots’ Motel in San Clemente, respectively.
  • Accompanied the Health Care Agency in an inspection tour of three Orange County restaurants.
  • Met with HCA staff regarding the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) steering committee.
  • Attended the monthly meeting of the Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee.
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.

For an ADA version of our newsletter, click here.

Follow me on Facebook!