Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
September 17, 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

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Volume 4 Issue 37

San Juan Creek Watershed Funding Agreement

The San Juan Creek Watershed encompasses 160 square miles and includes portions of unincorporated Orange County, as well as the Fifth District cities of Dana Point, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, and San Juan Capistrano.

On February 10, the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted a regulatory program to correct water quality impairments in San Juan Creek, including elevated bacteria levels and DDE contamination (a breakdown product from historic pesticides). Additional impairments for phosphorus, nitrogen, selenium, and toxicity are expected to be included on the list in the coming year, pending approval by the State Water Resources Control Board.

To address these impairments, the Board of Supervisors this week approved a cooperative funding agreement between the County, the Orange County Flood Control District, and the six cities in the watershed to conduct water quality monitoring, reporting, research, planning, and other compliance activities, as required by the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Niguel Library Expansion

The Board awarded a construction contract Tuesday to SMC Construction Company, Inc. for the expansion of the Laguna Niguel Branch Library. The long awaited Laguna Niguel Library expansion and remodel will add over 3,800 square feet, refurbish the interior, and update the exterior of the building to match the new Laguna Niguel City Hall, currently under construction.

To view the staff report on this project, please click here.

Is the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Working?

The Board this week approved a response to the recent Grand Jury Report titled, “Is the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Working?”

The Grand Jury report was an evaluation of the Probation Department’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative. The report found the initiative has strong potential. However, as it is currently in the beginning stages, it is too early to determine the Initiative’s full impact on our juvenile justice system.

The Grand Jury also made findings on improving communication and awareness of this program throughout the law enforcement community. The Board agreed with the findings of the grand jury, and the recommendations have been implemented.

To view the Grand Jury Report, please click here. To read the Board’s response, please click here.


Alton Parkway Extension Groundbreaking Ceremony

The City of Lake Forest and the County of Orange are pleased to host a groundbreaking celebration September 22 to announce the beginning of construction work on the Alton Parkway Extension Project. The groundbreaking festivities will take place at the end of Commercentre Drive, west of Bake Parkway, from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM.

The event will include a ceremonial groundbreaking and refreshments, and I will join Lake Forest Mayor Peter Herzog in welcoming attendees and County and City dignitaries.

The groundbreaking will be an exciting occasion, as this has been a much anticipated project. Completing Alton Parkway to close the existing gap will create a vital linkage in South County, connecting communities and improving overall regional mobility.

The 2.1 mile segment of roadway is a component of the 1988 Foothill Circulation Phase Plan (FCPP). The FCPP was developed by the County in partnership with major landowners in southeastern Orange County to ensure the timely completion of regional transportation improvements.

As stated by Lake Forest Mayor Peter Herzog, "The project is the result of an extremely collaborative process, which has brought federal, state, County and City interests together.

In addition to the City of Lake Forest and the County of Orange, other agencies involved in the project include: the City of Irvine, Shea Baker Ranch Associates, the United States Navy, the Orange County Sheriffs Department, and Irvine Ranch Water District.

When completed, the roadway will serve as an alternate connection between the 241 toll road and the I-5 freeway, improving traffic conditions in these well-traveled areas. Construction is expected to begin late September 2010 and end in fall 2011. For more information, please click here.


League of Cities Honors South County Elected Official

The Orange County Division of the League of California Cities hosted a ceremony last week, recognizing Lake Forest Councilman Richard Dixon, who serves as the Division’s State League Director. The League of Cities commended Dixon for his distinguished service and dedication to the League.

In addition to his duties as State League Director for the League of Cities, Lake Forest Councilman Richard Dixon also serves the public in a number of other capacities, including as a Board Director for the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA). For more information, please click here.

Two South County Schools Named as Nation’s Best

The U.S. Department of Education last week awarded two South County public and private schools National Blue Ribbons, the nation's top honor for individual campuses. The South County recipients of the prestigious prize are Capistrano Valley Christian School in San Juan Capistrano and Richard Henry Dana Elementary in Dana Point.

Only 320 campuses in the nation received Blue Ribbons, including four in all of Orange County. This year, the award honors elementary schools. Next year, it will honor middle and high schools.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private K-12 schools that are academically superior in their respective states or demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement. The Blue Ribbon award offers no monetary prize, but the honor carries with it other benefits in addition to prestige and bragging rights, as receiving the National Blue Ribbon is often described as winning the Super Bowl of education.

At Dana Elementary, the school erupted into cheers, with students and teachers hugging each other in excitement, when the principal announced over the loudspeaker that their school had won the award. In November, the principals from each of the Blue Ribbon schools will be flown to a reception in Washington, D.C., where they will receive a plaque and banner to permanently display on their campuses.

For more information, please click here.


Metrolink Accident in Mission Viejo

Metrolink and the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) responded to a tragic incident last week in Mission Viejo, when a Metrolink train bound for Los Angeles from Oceanside fatally struck two people and injured another after the trio fell asleep on the tracks, according to police and news reports.

The incident caused massive delays along the rail corridor, affecting Metrolink and Amtrak Pacific Surfliner service for several hours. In response, OCTA provided “bus bridges” to shuttle 175 passengers between the Irvine and Laguna Niguel / Mission Viejo Metrolink stations.

California High Speed Rail Authority Update

At Monday’s Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors meeting, the OCTA Board received a presentation from a representative of the California High Speed Rail Authority on the proposed Anaheim to Los Angeles Segment of the High Speed Rail Project. To view the PowerPoint presentation, please click here.

State Budget Impasse May Impact Highway Construction

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board was recently notified by Caltrans Director Cindy McKim that the state budget delay has stopped new freeway construction projects from being advertised and awarded to contractors. As a result, Caltrans is unable to award over $900 million in new contracts to construction firms statewide.

In the Fifth District, this has delayed two important projects along the I-5 freeway: the construction of a soundwall at Avenida Vaquero and another at El Camino Real, both in San Clemente. These projects, which were scheduled to have contracts awarded in the past month, have been put on hold until there is an approved state budget.


20th Anniversary of JWA’s Thomas F. Riley Terminal

As reported in my newsletter last week, September 16 marked the 20th anniversary of the opening of John Wayne Airport’s (JWA) Thomas F. Riley Terminal. The terminal building opened in 1990 and was named after former Fifth District Supervisor Thomas F. Riley, who was instrumental in negotiating a Settlement Agreement, which allowed for additional facilities and operational capacity while establishing landmark environmental protections for the local community.

The airport began in 1923, when aviation pioneer Eddie Martin opened a flying school on land he leased from The Irvine Company. The County of Orange acquired the land in 1939 and the airfield became a public airport. In 1942, the federal government leased the Airport from the County for use during WWII. Regular airline service began with Bonanza Airlines in 1952; and in 1967, a new Terminal building was constructed and dedicated by then Governor Ronald Reagan. By the 1980s, the rise in commercial airline service moved the County to begin planning for additional commercial passenger facilities, resulting in construction of the Thomas F. Riley Terminal.

For more information, please click here. To view a historical photo gallery of JWA, please click here.


ROV Wins Democracy Award for Best Practices of 2010

The Orange County Registrar of Voters (ROV) was recognized by the Board of Supervisors this week for winning the National Association of Election Officials' "Democracy Award for Best Practices of 2010" for its Poll Workers PASS program.

The Poll Worker PASS, launched prior to the June 2010 Statewide Direct Primary Election, was created to provide election volunteers immediate access to election information, day or night, from the comfort of their home or office. With automatic online updates when changes occur, volunteers are kept constantly updated – right up to Election Day.

The awards to state and local governments for outstanding professional practices in election administration were recently announced by the National Association of Election Officials – The Election Center of Houston, Texas. The awards were presented August 19 in Orlando, Florida at the national conference of The Election Center.

For more information, please click here.


Orange County Reaches Electronic Recording Milestone

Through the Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department, more than 5.5 million property documents have been recorded electronically in Orange County since 1997, when the County launched its groundbreaking electronic recording system. While electronic transactions may seem passé now, the change from paper to electronic in 1997 was revolutionary!

Orange County is now a recognized national leader in electronic recording. Each year, nearly two-thirds of all property documents in Orange County are transmitted electronically by 198 authorized users, without a single known security breach. For more information, please click here.


Ladera Ranch: MUTT MINGLE

Calling all puppies, pooches, and pet loving people! Come check out newly renovated Wagsdale Park in Ladera Ranch on Saturday, September 18 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

Meet with local pet vendors and experts, such as pet sitters, vets, groomers, doggie dental care, pet insurance, training and more! Enjoy interactive booths and plenty of FREE giveaways, as well as fun activities for dogs, including contests, games and demos. For more information, please click here.

World Rabies Day: September 25

In honor of World Rabies Day, please join OC Animal Care on Saturday, September 25, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, in promoting rabies prevention awareness and education. FREE goodie bags will be provided, including rabies educational materials and fun activities for children. For more information, please click here.


Active Aging Week: September 20 – 26

Monday, September 20 through Sunday, September 26 is Active Aging Week, an annual health promotion event organized by the International Council on Active Aging. Active aging means living life as fully as possible. Participating in an Active Aging Week activity is a perfect way to get out of the house, learn new things and meet others.

How well we age has much more to do with how well we function, and a lot less to do with the years. During Active Aging Week, find an activity that's right for you! For more information, please click here.


Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park: Baby and Me Hike

Explore Mother Nature on your way to fitness Monday, September 20, from 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM. This brisk, 2-mile hike (400-ft. elevation gain) is for expectant women and mothers with babies in arms, packs or slings. No toddlers please, as trails are not accessible for strollers.

Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Canyon View Staging Area, Gate 7. Directions: From southbound Aliso Creek Rd., turn right on Glenwood (turns into Pacific Park) and right on Canyon Vistas to Canyon View Park. Reservations required: 949-923-2235. Donation: $2 per person. For more information, please click here.

OC Parks Recognizes Employee Excellence

OC Parks celebrated the Department’s recent national recognitions and most dedicated employees at its quarterly Employee Recognition Ceremony held at O’Neill Regional Park.

OC Parks Director Mark Denny presented the Director’s Awards for Innovation, Excellence and Customer Service. Denny also formally presented four national awards OC Parks received in 2010 from the National Association of Counties (NACO) and the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO).

A NACO Achievement Award recognized OC Parks for its Habitat Improvement Program at Limestone Canyon and Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. OC Parks also won three NACPRO Awards, including NACPRO’s first-ever Marketing Award, which went to OC Parks in recognition of Caspers Wilderness Park’s Adventure Day – the largest event ever held at Caspers Wilderness Park.

OC Parks recognizes employee excellence with quarterly ceremonies. As such, Director’s Award recipients demonstrate OC Parks’ core values of stewardship, integrity, quality, cooperation, community service, pride of ownership, teamwork and education. For more information, please click here.


Coastal Cleanup Day is Coming Soon!

As previously reported in my newsletter, next Saturday, September 25 is Coastal Cleanup Day, the nation’s premier volunteer event focused on the marine environment. Coastal Cleanup Day is a great way for families, students, service groups, and neighbors to join together to take care of our fragile marine environment and have lots of fun!

Be part of the solution to marine pollution! Please join us Saturday, September 25 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM for the 26th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. Sign up today! For more information, please click here and here. To see photos of last year’s event, please click here.


San Clemente Open: Skateboard & Surfing Championships

The San Clemente Open Skate/Surf contest promotes the city while raising funds for the Beaches, Parks and Recreation Foundation. On Saturday and Sunday, September 18 & 19, skateboarders and shortboard surfers will have the opportunity to showcase their talents and win fabulous prizes!

Onsite registration and preregistration check-in begins 7:00 AM each day of the event. For more information, please click here and here.

Laguna Niguel: NFL Pepsi Punt, Pass & Kick Competition

HEY KIDS! Come show off your football skills Sunday, September 19 at the NFL Pepsi Punt, Pass & Kick competition, beginning 12:00 noon at Marina Hills Park in Laguna Niguel.

Boys and girls will compete separately, with the top finishers from four age groups in each of the boys and girls divisions advancing to the Sectional Competition. This event is FREE! For more information, please click here.

Aliso Viejo Founders Day Fair: A Day at the Ranch

The City of Aliso Viejo invites you to enjoy the 5th annual Founder's Day Fair on Saturday, September 25, from noon to 6:00 PM, at Aliso Viejo Ranch, 100 Park Avenue.

The City's annual fair transforms the 7-acre Aliso Viejo Ranch back to its California ranching roots, with an old barn, bunkhouse and lots of history. Visitors to the Fair will enjoy a day at the Ranch, including live entertainment, a water balloon launch and dunk tank, giant slide, climbing wall, games, demonstrations, gold panning, pony rides, delectable food and drinks available for purchase, and much more!

The Founder's Day Fair is open to the public and admission is FREE. Whether you’re an adult, teen, child, or simply a kid-at-heart, there's plenty to do at the Founder's Day Fair! For more information, please click here.


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

  • Attended the Dana Point Yacht Club Charity Regatta in support of Orange County Ocean Institute’s education programs.
  • Attended the monthly meeting of the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO).
  • Participated in a taped interviewed for Laguna Woods’ TV6 governmental affairs program, “Legislative Connection.”
  • Received the honor of a reappointment by the Governor to the California State Correctional Standards Authority (CSA) Board of Directors.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Bonna Jean Haven of Capistrano Beach.
My office also:
  • Attended the monthly meeting of the South Orange County Regional Chambers of Commerce Government Affairs Committee.
  • Participated in a Board of Supervisors staff luncheon, featuring special guest speaker County Executive Officer (CEO) Tom Mauk.
  • Provided certificates of recognition in honor of the ribbon cutting ceremonies for Enne Cucina Italiana and O2 Wellness, both businesses located in San Clemente; and Solatube, located in Lake Forest.
  • Provided a certificate of recognition for former Lake Forest Councilwoman Helen Wilson in honor of her retirement as Community Services Director for the City of Aliso Viejo.
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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