Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
March 18, 2011

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 5 Issue 10

Orange County Deputy Sheriffs Memorial Highway

The Board voted unanimously to designate County Route S18 – in unincorporated areas at the intersection of Santiago Canyon Road and the Loma Ridge Emergency Operations Center access road to the end of El Toro Road at Laguna Canyon Road – as the Orange County Deputy Sheriffs Memorial Highway.

Additionally, the Board authorized the Sheriff to work with the cities of Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest and Mission Viejo to obtain official recognition of the portions of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs Memorial Highway that lie within their respective jurisdictions.

The purpose of the Memorial Highway designation is to honor Orange County Deputy Sheriffs who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Since 1912, the following Orange County Deputy Sheriffs have fallen in the line of duty:

  • Undersheriff Robert Squires – December 16, 1912
  • Deputy Ezra Stanley – November 19, 1940
  • Deputy Robert Schultz – April 21, 1958
  • Deputy Mark Tonkin – October 24, 1988
  • Deputy Darryn Robins – December 25, 1993
  • Deputy Brad Riches – June 12, 1999
  • Deputy Steven Parsons – June 24, 2000
  • Sergeant Matt Davis – September 20, 2002
  • Sergeant Ira Essoe – February 4, 2010
All costs associated with the Memorial Highway will be funded through private donations.

Supporting Affordable Housing

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Board approved a financing commitment for a 29-unit affordable rental housing development (known as Avenida Villas) located in an unincorporated area of Orange County adjacent to the City of Anaheim. The County's financing of $3,514,627 from Federal housing funds and local redevelopment money will assist in making these units affordable to individuals of very-low to extremely-low income.

Of the 29 units, 28 will be set aside for persons eligible for Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) services, with one unit designated as an unrestricted managers' unit. Residents will receive services from a full-service partnership in coordination with the County's Health Care Agency. Board approval for development of this type of affordable housing helps support the goals of the County's Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness.

Construction on the development is scheduled to begin at the end of 2011 upon receipt of all funding in addition to the County's financing commitment. Once constructed, the affordable housing development will be available to serve eligible clients from throughout Orange County. For more information, please click here and here.

Continuing Educationally-Related Mental Health Services

The Board approved an agreement Tuesday between Orange County school districts and the Health Care Agency (HCA), whereby the school districts agreed to reimburse HCA with Federal funds for mental health services, when such services are recommended as part of a student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

Under this agreement, HCA would continue to participate in the IEP process and provide mental health services to eligible children through June 30. In exchange, the school districts will reimburse HCA for provision of these services. For more information, please click here.

Orange County Workforce Investment Board Appointments

The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 mandated the formation of a local governing board, known as the Orange County Workforce Investment Board (OCWIB), for the purpose of setting policy to deliver services through an integrated workforce delivery system.

Workforce Investment Boards are comprised of a majority of private sector members who are appointed by local elected officials for each service delivery area. The OCWIB approves policy recommendations and performs fiduciary responsibilities for programs and activities.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors approved three recommended appointments to the OCWIB, including Sherrie Kline, a resident of Aliso Viejo. Ms. Kline is Vice President of Human Resources for Clarient Corporation, a leading provider in cancer diagnostic testing. I am pleased to welcome Sherrie to the OCWIB and appreciate her commitment to public service.


Japan Nuclear Crisis

With the ongoing nuclear power plant emergency in Japan, questions have come into the Orange County Health Care Agency regarding potential health impacts to California.

The situation is being monitored closely by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) in conjunction with State and Federal partners, including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), US Environmental Protection Agency and the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA). According to the NRC, given the thousands of miles between the two countries, Hawaii, Alaska, US Territories and the US West Coast are not expected to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity.

To that end, on Thursday, March 17, CDPH and Cal EMA issued a joint statement indicating there “is no risk expected to California or its residents as a result of the situation in Japan.” CDPH also has a public information line, operating Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, at (916) 341-3947. For more information, please click here.

To prepare for a potential nuclear emergency, the State stockpiles emergency supplies, including potassium iodide tablets, in the area around the San Onofre nuclear power plant, as potassium iodide is useful in blocking radiation in the thyroid. However, potassium iodide tablets are not recommended at this time and should only be taken if directed by authorities. For more information, please click here and here.

Additionally, Cal EMA urges Californians not take potassium iodide as a precautionary measure. According to Cal EMA, given the current circumstances in Japan, it is not necessary and can present a danger to people with allergies to iodine, shellfish, or who have thyroid problems. Taken inappropriately, it can also have serious side effects, including abnormal heart rhythms, nausea, vomiting, electrolyte abnormalities, and bleeding.


San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Emergency Planning

The Orange County Operational Area (OA) continues to monitor the nuclear situation in Japan as it unfolds. The OA continues to participate in local and state conference calls relating to this event and will continue to share pertinent information as it becomes available. The discussion by local and state officials indicates there is no threat to the United States at this time.

The nuclear power plant problems in Japan may cause us to question the risks we could face with our own San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). Responsibility for monitoring the safety level of SONGS falls to the Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. However, the County has responsibility for managing community response to any emergency that could take place at SONGS.

Every two years, the County conducts a full scale Federal Emergency Management Agency graded drill to demonstrate our preparedness to handle an emergency response. On March 8-10, the County had its dress rehearsal for the drill, with the actual drill taking place April 12-14. Having participated in such a drill in the past, it is reassuring to see how professional and prepared our County responders are in their ability to respond to such incidents.

To read a brief fact sheet about the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) Emergency Planning Zone and Potassium Iodide, please click here. To see the SONGS community website and EverReady brochure, please click here. For the latest information from the Nuclear Energy Institute, please click here.


2011 South County Senior Summit

As reported in my newsletter last week, I will be hosting our fourth annual South County Senior Summit on Friday, April 1 in Laguna Woods Village, Clubhouse 3. Joining me in presenting this enormously popular annual event is the Orange County Office on Aging, Laguna Woods Village, and Age Well Senior Services. The theme for the 2011 Senior Summit is “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Aging, But Were Afraid to Ask!

Back by popular demand is Dr. Laura Mosqueda, Director of Geriatrics, UC Irvine, who will speak about important health issues and other topics relevant to older adults. Additionally, Dr. Peter Donovan, Director of the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center at UC Irvine, will discuss the latest breakthroughs in stem cell research and how UCI scientists are using stem cell technology to develop new treatments and cures for various medical conditions. We are also pleased to welcome as speakers Dr. Kerry Burnight, Health Sciences Clinical Professor at UC Irvine, and Mr. Richard Chambers, CEO of CalOptima.

The event will begin at 8:00 AM with a complimentary continental breakfast for all attendees. While at the Summit, guests will be treated to an array of vendor booths, featuring important information and many free giveaways. In addition, audience members will have the opportunity to win a number of fabulous prizes during the program, as well as a complimentary lunch to be served at the conclusion of the event.

As always, the South County Senior Summit is an outstanding opportunity for older adults to become better acquainted with the many programs and services available to them through the County of Orange. To that end, I’d like to thank our generous title sponsor – CalOptima. For more information about CalOptima, please click here.

This year’s Senior Summit is sure to be the best yet and seats are going fast, so don’t delay, reserve your place today! For authorized entry into Laguna Woods Village, RSVPs must be received by March 23. For more information and to RSVP, please call the Office on Aging at (800) 510-2020.

To download the invitation, please click here.


Railroad Crossing Improvements Begin in Dana Point

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is partnering with local cities on the first countywide effort to enhance rail safety at 50 railroad crossings in Orange County. Once upgraded, these crossings will meet Federal Railroad Administration requirements for a quiet zone, an area along the train tracks where locomotive horns are not routinely sounded unless an emergency exists.

As part of the safety enhancement project, the Palisades Drive / Beach Road railroad crossing in Dana Point will be upgraded. Preliminary construction on the crossing began this week. There will be multiple phases of work, some during the day and some at night, with construction expected to continue through the end of the year. There may also be noise and light in the construction areas and partial road closures at the crossing during the construction period.

All construction is subject to schedule changes unexpectedly. If you have questions about work at a specific crossing, please call (888) 855-RAIL. To sign up for regular project updates, email railsafety@octa.net. For more information, please click here.


Registrar Releases Customer Service Survey Results

The Orange County Registrar of Voters has released results of several customer service surveys taken during last November’s Statewide General Election. During the Statewide General Election cycle, extensive surveys were used to gather data on eight levels of service provided by the Registrar.

Overall, the results reflected extremely well on the department, as the surveys included questions regarding poll worker training, poll worker experiences on Election Day, equipment delivery to poll sites, education programs, as well as public and Poll Worker Customer Service phone banks. For more information, please click here and here.


Community Open House

OC Dana Point Harbor Department will hold a Community Open House on Wednesday, March 30 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM at the OC Sailing and Events Center. Topics will include items of interest for boaters, merchants and the community, including updates on:

  • The Revitalization Plan
  • Capital Projects
  • Operational Improvements
  • Water Quality
For more information, please click here.


Art Exhibition: “Hobos to Street People”

OC Parks and OC Community Services cordially invite you to an art exhibition, titled “Hobos to Street People: Artists’ Responses to Homelessness from the New Deal to the Present,” at the Old County Courthouse in Santa Ana.

This timely exhibit, which runs March 21 through April 22, features the works of 30 artists, working over the last 75 years to document the tragedy of homelessness from the Great Depression to the present. The artists, through painting, printmaking, photography, and mixed media, offer glimpses of life on the street from an artist's perspective.

This exhibit will also include stories of homeless people in Orange County, their struggles and their journey to find homes through community resources and programs. Opportunities for the community to volunteer with non-profit agencies that provide assistance to the homeless will also be highlighted.

For more information, please click here.


County Park Hours Extended

Clocks sprung forward last weekend, marking the beginning of Daylight Saving Time and OC Parks’ spring/summer operating schedule.

As such, spring/summer hours for County regional parks are now 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM. However, in the South County, Laguna Niguel Regional Park will open at 6:00 AM, and O’Neill Regional Park will operate on wilderness park hours, which open at 7:00 AM and close at sunset year round. County wilderness parks in the 5th District include Aliso and Wood Canyons, Caspers, Laguna Coast, Whiting Ranch, and Riley Wilderness Parks.

Hours for County beaches vary, but are generally between 6:00 AM and 12:00 midnight. OC Parks will remain on these operating hours until fall. For more information, please click here.

The Toll Roads: 11th Annual Native Habitat Tours

You are invited to join The Toll Roads for the 11th Annual Native Habitat Tour Series. Don’t miss your chance to experience some of the 2,100 acres of open space that have been protected as a result of construction of Orange County’s public toll road system.

Hike through the oak wooded Upper Chiquita Canyon on Saturday, March 26 from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM to view the natural growth process and enjoy bird watching. These guided hikes offer a glimpse into Orange County’s habitat areas that few people ever see, so reserve your spot today! For more information, please click here.


Orange County’s Oldest Public School Celebrates 160th Year

San Juan Elementary School, the oldest public school in Orange County, will celebrate its 160th anniversary on Friday, March 25, with a ceremony and rededication of the bell that once signaled the start of class. Tours of the school property will begin at 1:00 PM, with the ceremony starting at 2:45 PM.

For many years, San Juan Elementary School was the only school in San Juan Capistrano School District, one of five school districts in Los Angeles County in 1850. The school was the only one in southern Los Angeles County (present-day Orange County) until a district and school was established in Santa Ana in 1854. In 1965, the San Juan Capistrano School District united with other south Orange County school districts to create the Capistrano Unified School District.

The school bell was originally donated in 1907 by William Strocheim. Since then, the school has gone through several renovations. The original bell is still on the grounds; however, its ringing no longer signals the start of the school day. The bell now sits on the front lawn and stands as a reminder that, even before its time, students have been coming to the same four acres of adobe land for quality public education.

For more information, please click here.


Rancho Santa Margarita Library: International Film Series

Come to Rancho Santa Margarita Library on Friday, March 18 at 7:00 PM to see the highly acclaimed Czech film “Kolya,” which is part of the library’s FREE International Film Series. For more information, please click here.

Dana Point Library: Foriegn Film Friday

Come to Dana Point Library the third Friday of every month at 7:00 PM for their FREE Foreign Film Friday! On Friday, March 18, Dana Point Library will feature the Israeli film “Jaffa.” Doors open at 6:45 PM. For more information, please click here.

Aliso Viejo Library: Third Sunday Movie Matinee

Come to Aliso Viejo Library the third Sunday of the month at 2:00 PM for their FREE Movie Matinee, featuring a series of award winning independent and foreign films. On Sunday, March 20, Aliso Viejo Library will feature the Canadian comedy “1981.” The library is proud to offer these showings for FREE, plus refreshments are provided! For more information, please click here.

Laguna Beach Library: Live Jazz

Come to Laguna Beach Library on Sunday, March 20 at 3:00 PM for some relaxation and FREE Live Jazz, featuring The Hollywood Combovers for your listening pleasure. For more information, please click here.

El Toro Library: Children’s Program

Kids ages 6-10 are invited to El Toro Library for FREE afterschool fun on Tuesday, March 22 from 4:00 PM to 4:45 PM. In "The Tale of Beatrix Potter, Peter Rabbit and Friends," actress Judith Helton portrays the beloved writer and artist, Beatrix Potter, relating the tales that made her famous. For more information, please click here.

Mission Viejo: Alex Rider Adventures

Anthony Horowitz, the award-winning author of “Alex Rider Adventures,” will travel to Mission Viejo from England on Tuesday, March 22 to discuss “Scorpia Rising,” his last book of the series. The 7:00 PM presentation is expected to draw hundreds to the Mission Viejo City Council Chamber at 200 Civic Center.

Fans of the popular author are eagerly awaiting the 9th and final book of the fast-paced Alex Rider Adventures series that was inspired by the author’s love of James Bond movies, as his books have a big following, particularly with male youngsters ages 9 to 18. Reservations for this FREE event are available by contacting stanton@cityofmissionviejo.org or calling (949) 830-7100, ext. 5105. For more information, please click here.

Homework: Balancing Life and Learning

The Capistrano Unified Council of PTSAs, in collaboration with Capistrano Unified School District, will host a communitywide panel discussion, “Homework: Balancing Life and Learning,” to help parents of students in grades K-12 understand the importance of finding balance for their families, as mastering homework will help prepare students for academic and future success.

The panel discussion will take place at 6:45 PM on Thursday, March 24 at the CUSD Education Center, 33122 Valle Rd., in San Juan Capistrano. For more information, please click here and here.

San Juan Capistrano: Swallows Day Parade

The 2011 Swallows Day Parade will be held on Saturday, March 26. This FREE fun, family event celebrates the return of the swallows to the San Juan Mission and is the nation's largest non-motorized parade, taking place in historic downtown San Juan Capistrano.

Please arrive early, as most street closures are by 10.00 AM, with the parade beginning promptly at 11:00 AM. For more information, please click here and here.


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

  • Chaired the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors meeting.
  • Met with residents of Emerald Bay to discuss community concerns.
  • Met with representatives of the City of San Clemente to discuss issues relating to Poche Beach.
  • Participated in a CEO Roundtable hosted by the Transportation Corridors Agencies.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Gerald “Jerry” Moon of Monarch Beach.
My office also:
  • Attended a meeting of the South Orange County Association of Mayors.
  • Presented a certificate of recognition in honor of the ribbon cutting ceremony for Maro Wood Grill in Laguna Beach.
  • Provided a certificate of recognition in honor of the ribbon cutting ceremony for ABC Embroidery, Graphics & Signs in San Clemente.
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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