Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
October 29, 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 43

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, November 9. 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.


November 2 General Election

As we all know, Tuesday, November 2 is the Statewide General Election. To that end, the last day to request a vote-by-mail ballot was October 26. If voting by mail, it is important to remember your voted ballot must be received (not just postmarked) by the Orange County Registrar of Voters (ROV) no later than 8:00 PM Tuesday.

To allow greater flexibility in voting for the November 2 General Election, the ROV has extended its office hours for Saturday, October 30, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The Registrar will also accept completed vote-by-mail ballots for voters wishing to drop them off that day. The ROV is located at 1300 South Grand Avenue, Building C, in Santa Ana.

If registered voters are going to their polling place to vote on Election Day, the polls open November 2 at 7:00 AM and close at 8:00 PM. The best way to avoid long lines Tuesday is by voting during off-peak hours (9:00 AM to 4:00 PM).

For more information on planning ahead, please click here. For other important details regarding the November 2 General Election, please click here and here. To view the updated election results for Orange County, please click here.


OCTA Explores Enhancing Rail Safety in San Juan Capistrano

Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) staff members continue to work with officials from the City of San Juan Capistrano to explore opportunities to enhance rail safety and operational efficiencies. In response to recent concerns from residents about the City’s discussions on the potential for a side-tracking proposal, I directed OCTA staff to devote more time to educate the community about the ongoing discussions.

To clarify, any railroad side track proposal would entail side tracking for less than two miles from Trabuco Creek to the northern city limit, adjacent to the Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo Metrolink Station. As such, there will be no extension of the side track (which would provide a passing lane for trains) beyond the Trabuco Creek Bridge.

OCTA is in support the City Council’s position that opposes any extension beyond Trabuco Creek to ensure there will be no impact to the San Juan Capistrano historic district. The goal of this effort is to enhance efficiency and safety for improved train operations.

Traffic Light Synchronization Results

On Monday, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors received a report, summarizing results of the first phase implementation of the Proposition 1B / Measure M Traffic Light Synchronization Program (TLSP).

The first three corridors of the TLSP include Alicia Parkway, Chapman Avenue, and Beach Boulevard. As such, signal timing plans were optimized for morning, midday, and evening peak periods. Results show major improvement in overall efficiency of these corridors through reduced stops, increased number of green lights a vehicle passes before stopping at a red light, and increased average speed.

For the Alicia Parkway corridor specifically, OCTA teamed up with Caltrans and the Cities of Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita to implement the synchronization. Travel time improvements averaged 10 percent in the morning, 17 percent midday, and 6 percent in the evening, as average speeds increased two to four miles per hour during these periods.

Phase Two of the program is currently underway and includes traffic light synchronization on El Toro Road, Edinger Avenue, Brookhurst Street, and Orangethorpe Avenue. To view the report summarizing Phase 1 results, please click here.

OCTA Receives Transit Security Grant Award

The United States Department of Homeland Security has awarded the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) $2.46 million in grant funding to support a variety of security initiatives.

The funds will go toward installing on-board bus video surveillance equipment on 130 fixed-route buses, including forty articulated buses and ninety 40-foot buses. Once completed, video surveillance will be available on all fixed-route buses currently serving in the OCTA fleet.

The funds will also pay for three years of maintenance fees and extend the live feed video monitoring capability to three additional OCTA Transit Police Services (TPS) patrol vehicles, which will result in a total of 13 equipped patrol cars.

In addition, the grant funds will be used to develop a Continuity of Operations Plan and a Crisis Communications Plan for OCTA, as well as conduct staff training and exercises necessary to support the new plans. The planning, training, and exercise activities will improve the agency’s ability to effectively communicate internally and externally during a terrorist incident or other major emergency, while ensuring transit services are provided to the community as quickly as possible following a crisis situation.


Children’s Safety Comes First on Halloween!

Halloween can be a fun and spooky time of year, but it can also lead to tragedy. On average, twice as many kids are killed while walking on Halloween compared to other days of the year, according to Safe Kids USA.

The Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) wants to make Trick-or-Treating safe and enjoyable for all families. With Halloween falling on a Sunday this year, many kids will be out walking while it is dark, making it harder for drivers to see them.

Recommended safety precautions include carrying a flash light and walking door-to-door with your children. To further avoid the risk of misfortune, make sure you also stay in a neighborhood where you know the homeowners. For more Halloween safety tips, please click here and here.

Mission Viejo Residents Asked to Beware of Internet Scam

Mission Viejo Police Services is advising local residents to beware of a threatening e-mail scam that recently surfaced. The department has received calls from residents who were recipients of an e-mail named "Your Life in Danger," which basically threatens the receiver with bodily harm if he or she doesn't pay the sender.

The department advises recipients to delete these types of e-mails, but if there is a genuine safety concern, please contact police services for assistance. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's South Investigations Division at (949) 425-1900.

For more information, please click here.


Rabid Bat Found in San Juan Capistrano

A bat found on Village Road & Marina Road in San Juan Capistrano tested positive for rabies. Anyone who had contact with a bat on Wednesday, October 20 before 4:30 PM in the vicinity of Village and Marina Roads is asked to call Orange County Health Care Agency Epidemiology at (714) 834-8180 so a nurse can evaluate the risk for rabies.

To report a bat in your home, an animal bite, or a stray animal, please contact OC Animal Care at (714) 935-6848. For more information, please click here.


California Friendly Landscapes

Reservations are still available for a FREE one-day training class on "California Friendly Landscapes," designed to teach residents how to conserve water, save money and have a beautiful low-maintenance landscape.

The training class is from 8:00 AM to 12:00 noon on November 13 at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center, 25925 Camino del Avion. To reserve a spot in this FREE class, please contact Francie Kennedy at (949) 487-4304 or fkennedy@sanjuancapistrano.org.

For more information, please click here.


Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Halloween is a favorite for many children and adults, but it can also be frightening and even dangerous for animals. With a little caution and common sense, Halloween can be a fun time for kids and pets alike. For tips to help keep our furry friends safe and sound this Halloween season, please click here and here.


Inside the Outdoors: Astronomy & Stargazing Family Hike

Inside the Outdoors is a unique, hands-on environmental education program administered by the Orange County Department of Education, stimulating the boundless wonder children have for the natural world around them.

To that end, Inside the Outdoors invites you and your family to join them for an evening hike November 5 or 6 at Rancho Sońado to look through telescopes and learn about the night sky. For more information, please click here and here.


San Juan Capistrano Library Closed for Renovation

In order to serve you better, the San Juan Capistrano Library will close for refurbishment beginning November 1, with the library scheduled to open again December 1, 2010. As such, all holds and Interlibrary Loan materials may be picked up at the Dana Point Library. In the meantime, please feel free to visit the Dana Point Library or any branch of OC Public Libraries (OCPL).

To locate an OCPL branch library near you, please click here.

Teen Contest: Voices & Visions

Voices & Visions is a monthly contest for Orange County teens to showcase their creative talents in prose, poetry, art and film. A new theme will be announced the beginning of each month, with entries due by the last day of the month. The theme for the month of November is “The Environment.”

Winners will be notified by the end of the month following their entry and displayed on the OC Public Libraries website. For more information, please click here and here.


County of Orange Volunteer Service Valued at $23 Million

A report available online finds that volunteers, student interns and reserves last year contributed over 850,000 hours of service to the County of Orange, with a total estimated value of $23 million.

The Annual Report on Volunteer and Intern Utilization details the varied roles played by approximately 44,000 individuals throughout County of Orange agencies and Board offices during fiscal year 2009-10. The information contained in the report was gathered from 60 survey responses submitted by Orange County agencies and departments.

For more information about the report, please click here and here. For information on becoming a County of Orange volunteer, please click here.


Architectural Styles of Orange County Featured at JWA

A collection of photographs, showcasing classic architecture around Orange County, is on display at John Wayne Airport (JWA) in the Thomas F. Riley Terminal A Vi Smith Concourse Gallery, now through January 10, 2011. The photographs display historical homes and buildings throughout Orange County, from Mission San Juan Capistrano to the famed "Witches House" in Laguna Beach.

Ticketed passengers passing through security will be able to view the display, shown across from Gates 11 - 14 in the Thomas F. Riley Terminal. For more information, please click here.


San Juan Elementary Celebrates Landmark Anniversary

San Juan Elementary School, which sits across the street from Mission San Juan Capistrano, is hosting a series of events beginning in November to celebrate its 160th anniversary and honor the school’s historic past.

For many years, San Juan Elementary was the one and only school in the San Juan Capistrano School District, which was one of only five school districts in Los Angeles County in 1850. As such, San Juan Elementary was the only school in then southern Los Angeles County (present-day Orange County) until 1854, when a new district and school was established in Santa Ana.

In 1965, San Juan Capistrano School District became part of the Capistrano Unified School District. For more information, please click here.


Laguna Niguel: Haunted Trails at Niguel-O-Tropolis

The theme for the City of Laguna Niguel’s 10th annual Haunted Trails event is “Niguel-O-Tropolis,” featuring a New Orleans swamp graveyard, chilling creatures of San Francisco's China Town, and the dark alleys of New York City with a subway maze leading into Central Park.

Tickets can be purchased at the event, Friday and Saturday, October 29 & 30, from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM at Crown Valley Community Park. Not recommended for children under 8. For more information, please click here.

San Juan Capistrano: Spook-tacular Event

San Juan Capistrano’s Youth Advisory Board is teaming up with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley to host a "Spook-tacular" event on Friday, October 29 to benefit needy families during the holidays.

The fun-filled event is from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM at that the San Juan Capistrano Community Center, 25925 Camino del Avion, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley, located next door at 1 Via Positiva.

The event will feature games, prizes, face painting and crafts for children ages 2 to 11. The Boys & Girls Clubs will also sponsor a haunted house for a $1 donation and the Youth Advisory Board will sell hot dogs & chips for $2. For more information, please click here.

Aliso Viejo: Halloween Fair and Haunted House

A new Halloween Fair joins the traditional Haunted House at Aliso Viejo’s Soka University this year, as well as student club performances, games, food booths and activities for everyone to enjoy!

The Halloween Fair will run from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM on Friday and Saturday, October 29 & 30, with performances from 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM. The Haunted House will be open from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM. For more information, please click here and here.

Laguna Hills: A Ghostly Affair

The City of Laguna Hills invites you to a morning of hair-raising fun! The Ghostly Affair includes ghoulish snacks, exciting games, Halloween crafts, tons of prizes, and plenty of opportunities for great photos - so don't forget your camera!

Dress up in your favorite costume and join the fun Saturday, October 30, from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM at the Laguna Hills Community Center. For ages 6 and younger. For more information, please click here.

Mission Viejo: Hometown Halloween

The public is invited to attend Mission Viejo’s Hometown Halloween, a fun-filled community celebration for all ages. The colorful event, which includes game booths, crafts, and pony and hay rides, is from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Saturday, October 30 at the Norman Murray Community Center, 24932 Veterans Way.

Trick-or-Treating kicks off at 6:00 PM, as kids decked out in their favorite Halloween costume will enjoy walking the red carpet during the costume parade, hosted by Big Bird and Elmo!

Masks not allowed on anyone over age 12. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Beach: First Thursdays Art Walk

Join over 40 member galleries throughout Laguna Beach on Thursday, November 4 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM for First Thursdays Art Walk – a FREE festive, cultural evening held the first Thursday of each month, featuring artist demonstrations, exhibition openings, music, dance, and much more!

For more information, please click here.


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

  • Hosted the 3rd annual South County Disaster Preparedness Expo. For more information, please click here.
  • Participated in a ceremonial deed exchange between the County of Orange and the City of Lake Forest. For more information, please click here.
  • Delivered the keynote address at a meeting the Laguna Niguel Rotary Club.
  • Delivered the keynote address at the Women in Transportation Seminar’s (WTS/Orange County) Annual Appointments Workshop. For more information, please click here.
  • Met with industry leaders and transportation officials at the 2010 Mobility 21 Transportation Summit reception. For more information, please click here.
My office also:
  • Attended the San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee meeting.
  • Participated in a Board of Supervisors staff luncheon.
  • Toured Public Health facilities in South County.
  • Attended the CalOptima brown bag luncheon.
  • Presented a proclamation to Ingrid McGuire in honor of her 25 years of public service as a member of the South Coast Water District Board of Directors.
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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