Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
November 12, 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 45

OC Planning Performance Audit Progress Report

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors received the final progress report on the OC Planning Department performance audit issued in 2009. The performance audit identified numerous areas of improvement and contained over 40 recommendations which, as of this date, have all been successfully implemented. The most significant and noticeable change that resulted from this audit was an overhaul of the permitting process and fee schedule which was implemented earlier this year by the Board. Comments and input from the public regarding the service and fee changes have been very positive. For more information on this item, please click here.

Lobbyist Reporting

In my campaign for County Supervisor, I ran on a platform of improving government transparency. That’s because I believe true transparency is the cornerstone of any functioning government worthy of calling itself representative of the people.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors voted against a proposed ordinance that would require lobbyists to register in a public database. I was among the majority that voted against the ordinance as proposed, not because I’m not supportive of the concept and not because there is something hide, but rather because the language of the ordinance before us did not clearly define who must report. In fact, I proposed alternative language that would have clarified the reporting requirements to ensure all those who in fact “lobby” the Board for their interests, projects, programs, etc. be incorporated. This would include representatives from labor unions and government affairs representatives from businesses and non-profit groups who potentially would have been excluded under the original language.

Some of my other Board colleagues concurred and also raised issues with the definition of “lobbyist” being too narrow and further made suggestions for strengthening the ordinance. Unfortunately, the author of the ordinance was unwilling to accept any amendments to the language; therefore, the ordinance as proposed did not gain the majority support needed.

I am disappointed by the manner in which this vote has been reported in the press. Based on Tuesday’s discussion, it is evident the Board of Supervisors is supportive of continuing this discussion and exploring further options for implementing a meaningful policy as it relates to lobbying.

In a County that already has among the strictest campaign finance reporting requirements, has an ongoing and rigorous performance audit review process of departments and their operations and has established oversight of the Sherriff’s Department and jail operations through the Office of Independent Review and the Police and Community Reconciliation program, I’m confident this Board stands with me in my commitment to providing the transparency the public deserves. Please be assured that we do not turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to the people’s concerns. Over the four years this Board has been working together we have implemented many polices and programs to improve government transparency and accountability.

New OC Animal Shelter Admission Policy

OC Animal Care provides animal control services to 18 contract cities and the County’s unincorporated areas. However, OC Animal Care has had a long-standing admission policy of accepting animals from all over Orange County, regardless of place of residency. As a result, the OC Animal Shelter has continued to receive hundreds of animals each year from the non-contract cities, leaving the County and our contract cities responsible for 100% of unrecovered costs for the board and care of these animals.

In addition to the cost implications, the admission policy also served to artificially increase the euthanasia rates at the OC Animal Shelter. As such, the Board has approved a new OC Animal Shelter Admission Policy, limiting acceptance of owner-surrendered animals to residents of the unincorporated areas and the cities that contract with OC Animal Care.

While the OC Animal Shelter will continue to have countywide responsibilities, all Orange County cities need to do their fair share to help reduce pet over-population and promote responsible pet ownership. Adoption of the new admission policy change is a step in that direction.

For more information, please click here.

Review of Sheriff’s Harbor Patrol

The Office of the Performance Auditor presented the Board a review of the Sheriff’s Harbor Patrol. Earlier this year, the Board tasked the Performance Auditor with reviewing Harbor Patrol operations and making recommendations regarding funding sources and operations.

Upon receiving the report, the Board formed a working group in which I will work with Supervisor John Moorlach, Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, and CEO Tom Mauk to review the recommendations of the Performance Auditor and develop a plan to present to the Board for implementation of the proposed changes.

To view a copy of the report, please click here.

Orange County Cancer Detection Partnership

On Tuesday, the Board approved an agreement with the State Department of Health and 60 local healthcare providers for provision of cancer detection services and cancer treatment referral services for women in Orange County.

The Every Woman Counts program provides free clinical breast exams, mammograms, pelvic exams, and pap tests to eligible women residing in Orange County. Should tests indicate need for treatment, women are referred to the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program, where they can receive services for up to 24 months.

Last year, the program served nearly 500 women. For more information, please click here.

16th Annual Conditions of Children Report

The 16th Annual Conditions of Children Report, a collaboration of the Social Services Agency, Children and Families Commission of Orange County, Orangewood Children’s Foundation and Cal State Fullerton, was presented to the Board of Supervisors this week.

The annual report is a comprehensive look at the many factors affecting children in Orange County. For a PowerPoint presentation reviewing the highlights of the report, please click here. For more information about the Report or the Orange County Children’s Partnership, please click here.

Rapid Response Water Quality Testing

The Board received a presentation Tuesday on rapid testing of ocean water quality. Over the past summer, in coordination with multiple public and private agencies, the Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) Environmental Health Department was first in the nation to perform a new and innovative rapid response water quality test at local beaches and harbors.

While our current testing methodology allows for public notification within 24 hours, this new testing procedure offers results and public notification in just 2 to 4 hours. In addition to faster response times, HCA also utilized twitter, facebook, and various internet sources to notify the public quickly and effectively about beach and water closures.

With the success of this new program, HCA is working with the State Department of Public Health to include rapid water testing in approved water quality monitoring methodology. For more information, please click here.

New Concessionaires Coming to John Wayne Airport

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors selected Caterina's, Subway, and Vino Volo for new specialty concession leases at John Wayne Airport (JWA). These new concessionaires are part of an overall plan to bring new, high quality concessions to passengers traveling through the Thomas F. Riley Terminal. For more information, please click here.

Senior Citizens Advisory Council Appointment

The Board unanimously approved my nomination of John Pointer of Laguna Niguel to serve as my Fifth District representative on the Orange County Senior Citizens Advisory Council (SCAC). The purpose of SCAC is to advise the Office on Aging and the Board of Supervisors on issues impacting Orange County seniors.


La Pata Gap Closure / Camino del Rio Extension Project

A Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the proposed La Pata Gap Closure and Camino del Rio Extension was prepared by the County of Orange and released on November 3 for a 45-day public review period. As such, the County of Orange will host a public meeting Thursday, November 18 at 7:30 PM in the San Clemente Community Center Auditorium, located at 100 North Calle Seville, San Clemente, regarding the proposed La Pata Gap Closure and Camino del Rio Extension.

This meeting will provide residents and interested parties the opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns about potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed La Pata Gap Closure Project between Ortega Highway (just outside San Juan Capistrano) and Calle Saluda in San Clemente. The project also includes extending Camino del Rio to connect with the proposed La Pata extension.

The public has until December 17 to comment on the DEIR. For more information, please click here and here.

Regional Capacity Program Call for Projects

Measure M2, the County’s local transportation sales tax, includes competitive capital grant programs for local street and road projects, including the countywide Regional Capacity Program. This will be an important and integral funding source for our South County cities’ transportation congestion relief projects. The Regional Capacity Program provides for intersection and arterial improvements to enhance street operations and reduce congestion.

On March 22, 2010, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors approved Comprehensive Transportation Funding Program guidelines, which included the Measure M2 Regional Capacity Program. To that end, the OCTA Board of Directors this week approved updating the Comprehensive Transportation Funding Program to facilitate the issuance of the first Regional Capacity Program call for projects, valued at approximately $56.06 million over the next three years.

Letters of notification will now be sent out to all eligible local agencies. The submittal deadline for grant funding applications is January 28, 2011. Staff will return to the OCTA Board with programming recommendations for project funding approval in June 2011.

OCTA Long-Range Transportation Plan

The Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) is the Orange County Transportation Authority’s (OCTA) blueprint for a sustainable future transportation system consistent with the projects and programs outlined in the Measure M2 expenditure plan.

The LRTP is updated every four years to coincide with OCTA’s input for the Southern California Association of Governments’ (SCAG’s) Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). Regionally significant transportation projects cannot proceed without being included in the RTP.

The last OCTA plan was prepared in July 2006, and provided input for SCAG’s 2008 RTP. OCTA is now preparing a revised LRTP, known as Destination 2035, as input for SCAG’s 2012 RTP and the 2011 Orange County Sustainable Communities Strategy.

The draft plan was presented this week to the OCTA Board of Directors and has been released for public review and comment. To view the draft LRTP, please click here. The final plan will be presented to the OCTA Board for adoption in early 2011.

Fall Service Changes for Metrolink Orange County

Metrolink’s systemwide service changes for the fall season began November 8, with most lines seeing minor adjustments to its schedules. On the Inland Empire-Orange County (IEOC) and Orange County Lines, schedules on all 600 and 800 series trains have been adjusted slightly.

As a result, trains 609 and 808 between Oceanside and the Laguna Niguel / Mission Viejo stations will have slighter longer travel times to resolve ongoing conflicts on the single track portion of the system. For more information, please click here.

One-Day Suspension of Metrolink OC Line Service

As reported in my newsletter last week, Metrolink will temporarily suspend all service on the Orange County Line on Sunday, November 14 due to crucial maintenance and track work required in the segment between Anaheim and Fullerton stations. For more information, please click here.

The Toll Roads Hold Food Drive to Benefit Local Communities

The Toll Roads are collecting non-perishable food items through November 22 to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. The annual holiday season food drive will help feed thousands of people across the County, including the disabled, homeless and individuals experiencing medical emergencies or recent job layoffs.

Donations are being accepted in the cash-payment lanes of all mainline toll plazas and at The Toll Roads service centers in Irvine (125 Pacifica) and San Clemente (209 Avenida Del Mar). For more information, please click here.


County Launches First OC Fire Watch Test Deployment

As a result of the catastrophic Santiago Fire of 2007, followed by the devastating Freeway Complex Fire of 2008, my office established OC Fire Watch in collaboration with OC Parks and the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) in November 2009.

Through our OC Parks department, the County currently manages nearly 60,000 acres of parkland and open space. To that end, OC Fire Watch volunteers will now be deployed to monitor the wildlands within and around our County parks during Red Flag conditions, when strong winds are accompanied by low humidity levels and high temperatures. At such times, all County Wilderness and Regional Parks and OCFA Fire Stations will also raise Red Flags displaying the words “Fire Alert” to warn residents of the increased risk of wildfire.

To prepare for inevitable Red Flag conditions and the impending threat of wildfire, the OC Fire Watch Volunteer Program conducted its first test deployment on October 29 & 30 in coordination with OC Parks and OCFA. During this “dry run”, approximately 100 OC Fire Watch volunteers and over 20 OC Parks staff had the opportunity to participate in a simulated deployment.

The Saturday morning rain didn’t dampen enthusiasm for the OC Fire Watch exercise, as volunteers were deployed at OC Parks sites throughout Orange County, including Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Carbon Canyon Regional Park, Caspers Wilderness Park, Featherly Regional Park, Irvine Regional Park, Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Limestone Canyon & Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, O’Neill Regional Park, Peters Canyon Regional Park, Santiago Oaks Regional Park, and Thomas F. Riley Wilderness Park.

I would like to commend OC Parks and OCFA, and especially our fantastic OC Fire Watch volunteers, for their outstanding efforts in this important countywide effort! To register to become an OC Fire Watch volunteer, please contact Angeline Soto at (714) 566-3035 or OCFireWatch@occr.ocgov.com. For more information about OC Fire Watch, please click here and here.

Orange County Firefighters Receive Grant for Equipment

To better serve and protect the citizens of Orange County, the Orange County Fire Authority and the Laguna Beach Fire Department have received a grant from the Office of Traffic Safety.

Traffic collisions are responsible for many injuries and fatalities here in Orange County, accounting for approximately nine percent of annual call volumes. As such, the $156,257 grant will be used to purchase newly updated patient extrication equipment for use by both fire agencies to remove individuals trapped in their vehicles as a result of a traffic collision.

For more information, please click here.


Orange County to Implement Electronic Medical Records

Orange County Emergency Medical Services (OCEMS) is transitioning from paper patient care records to a comprehensive Web-based information management system designed to enhance quality of care.

When completed next year, the Orange County Medical Emergency Data System (OCMEDS) will allow near real-time data collection, provide a central location for all records, and automate licenses and certifications of medical personnel and specialty hospitals.

For more information, please click here.

Independent Education Plan Budget Update

When signing the 2010-11 State Budget, the Governor vetoed $132.9 million in funding for AB 3632 services, and suspended the mandate on counties to provide these services. Under Federal law the responsibility to provide these services now rests with school districts. As such, the County is committed to working with school districts and other local education entities to ensure a smooth transition of services for children and their families.

Parents of children in the AB 3632 program should talk to their service provider about whether they will be eligible to continue to receive services through another program (i.e. Medi-Cal EPSDT) or whether they will be transitioned to the school district’s care. For more information please contact the County of Orange Health Care Agency Behavioral Health Services / Children and Youth Services Division at (714) 834-5015.


Lake Forest: Family Pet Day Extravaganza

The Friends of Lake Forest Animals is partnering with the City of Lake Forest to host the third annual Family Pet Day Extravaganza on Saturday, November 13 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM at Pittsford Park in Lake Forest.

There will be plenty of information booths, vendors and entertainment for pets and people alike! The event will also offer low cost licensing, vaccination and pet adoptions. For more information, please click here.


Weekends at the Nix: American Indian Toys & Games

Join talented Acjachemen performer Jacque Nunez as she transports park visitors into the traditions of the Acjachemen people and the world of our shared past. Make your own Acjachemen toys and games to take home or give as gifts for the holidays!

Sunday, November 14, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park / Nix Nature Center. Reservations required: (949) 923-2235. Parking: $3. Donations appreciated. Call for directions. For more information, please click here.


Orange County FIRST LEGO League Robotics Competition

Laguna Beach students recently mixed robotics and LEGOs to bring home trophies from the Orange County FIRST LEGO League Robotics Competition in Irvine. Team LEGOna Beach enjoyed its second year of success in the competition with Thurston Middle School students Michael Beu, Jack Fast, and Michael Wogulis, and Top of the World Elementary School students Perry Cheves, JP Debarber, and Nils Nietsch.

Team LEGOna Beach is part of an international league that utilizes LEGOs and robotics to help solve a new challenge each year. This year’s challenge is “Body Forward” – exploring ways to repair injuries, overcome genetic predispositions, and improve the body’s potential.

Team LEGOna Beach won first place in the Robot Performance category and 2nd place overall. Their skills shined in Robot Design as well as the Project portion of the tournament, in which they played out a skit titled “Nanobots vs. Virus.” The team will now advance to the Championship Tournament held at LEGOland in December.

To see a photo of Team LEGOna Beach, please click here. For more information, please click here.

Capistrano Valley High School’s Black and Gold Brigade

Capistrano Valley High School’s Black and Gold Brigade – the 2009 State Champions - clinched another major tournament in its quest for a possible repeat state win. The 78-member marching band took the top spot November 6 at the Huntington Beach Surf City Open, beating out several schools from across Orange County to win the 3A Division.

The band also captured the top three sweepstakes award trophies. As a result, the school's marching band is now qualified to compete in the November 20 Southern California Judging Association (SCJA) State Championships in Huntington Beach. For more information, please click here.


Laguna Niguel: Festival of Trees

The Laguna Niguel Woman’s Club will host a “Festival of Trees” on Sunday, November 14 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Sea Country Senior and Community Center. This winter wonderland event will feature theme decorated trees, handcrafted table top décor and wreaths, as well as food and fun for the whole family. FREE admission!

San Clemente: Play More. Eat Better.

As part of an ongoing effort to combat childhood obesity, Mission Hospital and the City of San Clemente will host another “Play More. Eat Better.” event on November 20 at Max Berg Park Plaza, 1100 Calle Puente in San Clemente.

Play More. Eat Better.” events encourage children and families to make positive, incremental change toward more exercise and healthier diets. So bring the whole family for fitness activities, healthy cooking demonstrations, free body mass index screenings, and take home fun and useful health information!

The City of San Clemente’s mobile program, Fun On the Run, will also be there to show you fun ways to exercise! For more information, please call (949) 361-8264 or click here.

Laguna Beach: 20th Annual Winter Fantasy

With this year’s theme: A Palette of Holiday Treasures, the 2010 Winter Fantasy will feature fine art and craft from over 170 exhibitors for four weekends from November 20 through December 12 on the Sawdust Art Festival grounds in Laguna Beach.

With its amazing art and crafts, live entertainment, hands-on art projects and picture-perfect moments, the Sawdust Art Festival's Winter Fantasy is sure to become your family's holiday tradition! For more information, please click here.

Dana Point: 2010 Turkey Trot

On Thursday, November 25, over 10,000 participants will once again participate in California's Thanksgiving Day Run, the Dana Point Turkey Trot - one of America's most scenic coastal runs!

This annual event, hosted by the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce, includes a children's "Hot to Trot" race, entertainment, costume contest and much more! Additionally, Second Harvest is a benefactor, receiving proceeds to help feed those in need.

The 10K now has a very competitive Elite Division, with local and international athletes competing for the prize money. This event has international recognition and hosts participants from more than 40 states and elite runners from many foreign countries.

For the last two years, the 10K sold out days before the race. As such, there will be no onsite registration for 10K races. For more information please visit www.turkeytrot.com.


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

  • Attended a special meeting of the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) Board of Directors.
  • Participated in a tour of Fifth District roads projects conducted by Orange County Public Works staff.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Gertrude “Kit” Drollinger of Laguna Beach and nine members of Laguna Woods’ American Legion Post 257, including Henry Anderson, Marshall Austin, John Bogard, Ralph Farley, James Gallagher, Herman Huber, Kenneth Lightbody, William McCoy and Adam Scoccia.
My office also:
  • Presented a certificate of recognition in honor of the grand opening of Tommy Bahama Laguna Beach.
  • Presented a proclamation in recognition of the Honorable Jim Thor upon his term ending on the Rancho Santa Margarita City Council.
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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