Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
November 19, 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 46

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 23. To view the Board meeting schedule for 2010, please click here. 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.


$38 Million Awarded To Implement Positive Train Control

Positive train control reduces the risk of train-to-train collisions by monitoring and controlling train movements remotely. To that end, more than $13 million was provided by the Federal Railroad Administration for the section between San Clemente in south Orange County and Moorpark in Ventura County, and an additional $25 million for the area between the Orange County line and downtown San Diego.

I am thankful to the federal government for funding a system that will enhance the safety of South County residents. Rail is a vital piece of the transportation network and I look forward to continuing our work with local cities and residents on ways to improve the system.

For more information, please click here.

New Board Members Elected to OCTA Board of Directors

The Orange County City Selection Committee, composed of Mayors from cities across the County, met last week to elect new members for the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors.

To that end, new members of the OCTA Board of Directors elected by the Committee include Lake Forest Mayor Peter Herzog, who was elected to serve in the 5th District seat currently held by outgoing Board Director and Lake Forest City Councilman Richard Dixon. All new board members will be sworn in at the end of the year.

Mission Viejo Intersection Improvement Project

Work continues at the intersection of Oso and Marguerite Parkways in Mission Viejo as part of a project designed to ease traffic at the busy intersection. The project, which is being done in phases to lessen impacts to motorists and maintain pedestrian access, calls for widening Oso Parkway and Marguerite Parkway near the intersection to provide additional lanes and improve traffic flow.

For more information, please click here.

The Toll Roads Hold Food Drive to Benefit Local Communities

As reported in my newsletter last week, 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 helps feed thousands of people across Orange 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.


Financial Early Warning System for Public Agencies

Last week, the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) approved development of a Financial Early Warning System for public agencies in Orange County. The early warning system will be a way to assess the financial condition of local governments through a web-based “financial dashboard”. As such, the Commission wants to use the financial dashboard to proactively help any agency in Orange County that might be experiencing fiscal stress.

Similar to a car’s dashboard, a financial dashboard provides a visual, graphic depiction of an agency’s current and past financial information. The private sector was the first to use web-based dashboards as management tools, and the Commission believes the dashboard approach can be adapted to public agencies.

However, financial indicators do not always provide a complete picture of a public agency. Non-quantifiable factors, such as community involvement and internal management practices, can also affect public agencies. Given this limitation, LAFCO’s final Financial Early Warning System will only focus on a few quantifiable factors of our local agencies, while recognizing the unique political and economic climate of all of Orange County’s 34 cities and 27 special districts.

For more information, please click here.


Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Tips

In anticipation of the nation's most heavily traveled holiday period, John Wayne Airport (JWA) is offering travel tips to help passengers prepare for a safe and enjoyable holiday air travel experience, as passengers traveling through JWA from November 19 to November 29 will experience higher than normal passenger traffic due to the Thanksgiving Holiday, with the busiest travel days expected Wednesday, November 24 and Sunday, November 28. For information, please click here and here.

Additionally, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) prepares its workforce of 50,000 Transportation Security Officers every holiday travel season to provide a smooth travel experience for travelers. As this is the busiest travel time of the year, TSA wants to remind passengers of airport security measures and help travelers prepare for security before they leave home. For more information, please click here.


Cooking Fires Are Preventable

Cooking fires are the leading cause of fires, fire injuries and fire deaths in Orange County. Given their frequency, the Orange County Fire Authority believes more occur than are actually reported. On average, cooking fires causing over $10,000 in damage occur more than once a month. During the upcoming holiday season, residents are advised to take extra precautions when cooking, particularly when using ovens. For more information, please click here.

In addition, a fire extinguisher can be a lifesaver. Placed near an exit or in an easy-to-grab spot, it can put out a small fire or at least contain it until firefighters arrive. However, fire extinguishers are just one element of a proper fire response plan. To that end, every household should also have an escape plan and working smoke alarms. For more information, please click here.


Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips

As you prepare for the first family feast of the holiday season, please keep your pet’s safety in mind, too! The following are a few Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips:

  • Avoid feeding your pet table scraps, as this can cause weight gain, and we all want to avoid that this season!
  • Keep turkey bones away from your pets, as these dangerous treats can splinter upon consumption and cause serious injury.
  • Make sure holiday guests understand your pet's "house rules" when it comes to playtime, treats, jumping, getting on counters, table scraps, etc.
  • Chocolate should be kept away from pets’ reach at all times, as it is toxic to animals, particularly dogs.
  • Be careful with candles and do not leave them unattended, as a wayward tail can cause a fire.
  • Secure trash cans so dogs cannot tip them over and get into items that could be harmful.
For more information, please click here and here.


Orange County Health Needs Assessment Newsletter

The Orange County Health Needs Assessment (OCHNA) has released the holiday issue of its newsletter, Stone Soup Gazette, which features numerous opportunities to give back to our community during this time of year.

To view the November/December edition of Stone Soup Gazette, please click here. For more information on OCHNA, please click here.


OC Public Libraries: Holiday Hours

In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, all OC Public Libraries will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 25 & 26.

Library Answer Line

Need a quick answer to questions concerning OC Public Libraries? Call the Library Answer Line at (714) 566-3096, Tuesday through Thursday from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. For more information, please click here.


Laguna Coast Wilderness Park: Wobble Walk

Walk off your Thanksgiving dinner on this slow-paced, 2-mile fitness hike with an OC Parks Resource Specialist on Friday, November 26 from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM.

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area / Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Road / SR 133, 3 miles south of I-405). Reservations required: (949) 923-2235. Parking: $3. Program: $2/person. For more information, please click here.


Bank of America Local Hero Award Winner

This week, Bank of America announced its Local Hero Award winners as part of the 2010 Neighborhood Excellence Initiative Awards. As such, Rose Velasquez of OC Human Relations was recognized for her outstanding efforts in organizing the Latino community in San Clemente.

Rose’s family was among the first to move to San Clemente from a small Mexican village. Today, she mobilizes local residents to take ownership of their community and become civically engaged. In addition, she motivates San Clemente youth to avoid gangs, stay in school and volunteer in their community.

In recognition of her dedication to community service, Rose was honored at Angel Stadium and given the opportunity to direct a $5,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to an eligible nonprofit organization of her choice. To that end, Rose donated her funds to Orange County Human Relations.

To view Rose Velasquez’ acceptance of the Bank of America Local Hero Award, please click here.


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 a “Play More. Eat Better.” event Saturday, 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 changes 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!

Laguna Beach: 20th Annual Winter Fantasy

With this year’s theme: A Palette of Holiday Treasures, the 2010 Winter Fantasy held at the world famous Sawdust Art Festival grounds in Laguna Beach will feature amazing art and crafts from over 170 exhibitors, as well as live entertainment, hands-on art projects and picture-perfect moments on four weekends from November 20 through December 12.

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, the 10K now has a very competitive Elite Division, with local and international athletes competing for prize money.

For more information please visit www.TurkeyTrot.com.


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

  • Attend a meeting of the Corrections Standards Authority in Sacramento.
My office also:
  • Presented a proclamation in recognition of retiring 32-year Moulton Niguel Water District Board Member Gerald E. Buck.
  • Provided a certificate of recognition in honor of a ribbon cutting ceremony for Big Lots in Rancho Santa Margarita.
  • Attended a meeting of the Orange County Fire Authority 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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