Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
March 25, 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 11

Keeping Sex Offenders Out of County Parks

The Board is considering additions to the codified Ordinances of the County of Orange that would prohibit registered sex offenders from entering County regional recreational facilities where children regularly gather.

Currently, California law requires individuals convicted of certain crimes to register as sex offenders. Under the proposed ordinance, any person who is required to register, upon entering any County regional and wilderness parks, nature preserves, recreational trails, historic sites, harbors and beaches where children regularly gather, will be guilty of a misdemeanor. The proposed ordinance also imposes various levels of punishment for violating access restrictions, including monetary fines and the possibility of jail time.

To that end, the Board directed the District Attorney to return with modifications to the proposed ordinance that will clarify and strengthen the ordinance and establish a proper enforcement mechanism to ensure the safety of our residents. The second reading of the ordinance is expected to be heard by the Board at our April 5 meeting.

For more information, please click here.

Public Administrator / Public Guardian Restructure

As recommended by the CEO, the Board is returning the Public Guardian (PG) position to an appointed office, separating it from the Public Administrator (PA) position.

The PA is an elected position in Orange County, charged with protecting the assets and managing the affairs of deceased residents of Orange County that, at the time of their death, left no known heirs or a will, nor a named or eligible executor.

The PG responds to referrals from the courts, law enforcement, behavioral health officials and others to assist those unable to properly provide or care for themselves.

While the separation of the PA/PG office will not affect the elected PA position, the PG position will be provided with increased administrative support and oversight. I believe restoring a direct reporting relationship between the PG and CEO will help rebuild public confidence and enhance accountability of the department to its clients.

For more information, please click here.

Orange County Vote-by-Mail Program Report Update

In March 2009, the Orange County Registrar of Voters (ROV) released the “Orange County Vote-by-Mail Program Report” in response to a Board directive. The report provided an extensive review of the implementation of vote-by-mail elections in other states, as well as a detailed assessment of what it would take to conduct all vote-by-mail elections in Orange County.

On Tuesday, the ROV provided the Board with an update to the original report. Revisiting the report after two years, the Registrar found that among states implementing all vote-by-mail elections, there is still no evidence voter turnout has increased as a result. However, the report highlights that more states are looking into all vote-by-mail elections, possibly due to the nominal cost savings associated with it.

In Orange County, the vote-by-mail option continues to grow in popularity. In 2010, for the first time in Orange County history, general election vote-by-mail ballots represented a higher percentage of ballots cast than at polling places. In response, the ROV has continued to automate vote-by-mail ballot preparation for mailing and tabulation.

The Board is not supportive of implementing all vote-by-mail in Orange County at this time. However, as the trend in voting moves more toward vote-by-mail, the Board will continue to ensure the Registrar’s office is equipped to accommodate the increased demand while still maintaining the option for voting at the polls.

To view the Registrar’s original report, please click here. To view the updated report presented to the Board this week, please click here. For more information, please click here.

Antonio Parkway Widening Project

The Board awarded a contract to Beador Construction Company for construction of the Antonio Parkway Widening Project.

This project includes expansion and widening of the portion of Antonio Parkway within the unincorporated area extending southerly from the Ladera Ranch Planned Community to approximately 900 feet south of the Ortega Highway/La Pata Avenue intersection, as well as improvements at the Antonio Parkway/Ortega Highway and Antonio Parkway/Cow Camp Road intersections.

As part of the contract, the firm will also perform and pay for work on behalf of various utilities that own facilities within the road right-of-way. These utilities include Cox Communications, San Diego Gas and Electric, Santa Margarita Water District, and DMB Ladera, LLC.

For more information, please click here.

Approval of Lease with Pacific Asian Enterprises

The Board approved a 10-year lease with Pacific Asian Enterprises (PAE), a manufacturer of Nordhavn Yachts, for a parcel on the island in Dana Point Harbor. PAE will use the parcel as their primary headquarters for all company operations. With PAE consolidating its existing offices in Dana Point Harbor, the County will now be able to lease PAE’s current office buildings in the Harbor to new tenants.

As such, PAE will invest approximately $750,000 for renovations, updating the old outdated building into a new state-of-the-art facility. In addition, PAE’s proposed renovations will add public areas and at least 40 new public parking spaces, providing a significant public benefit that will increase access to the waterfront.

For more information, please click here.

Emerald Bay Main Gate Improvement Project

The Board approved a project in Emerald Bay that will allow construction of improvements to the Emerald Bay Community main entrance on the north-east side of Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). The proposed project is located at the unsignalized intersection of PCH and Shamrock Road, the location of numerous fatal accidents. The goal of the project is to improve the operation and safety of the Shamrock Road / PCH intersection without increasing traffic congestion in the area.

Traffic studies found the current design of the intersection inadequate, warranting the installation of a traffic signal in the interest of public safety. As such, lane modifications and the addition of a traffic signal at the location will significantly improve safety for those entering and exiting the Emerald Bay Community and also address other traffic concerns on PCH.

For more information, please click here.

Cooperative Law Enforcement Agreement

The Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Department is responsible for law enforcement in areas of Cleveland National Forest within the boundaries of Orange County, much of which includes the 5th District.

As the U.S. Forest Service is responsible for managing Cleveland National Forest, it contracts with the Sheriff’s Department for certain services beyond the standard level of law enforcement. As such, the Board renewed an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service to provide law enforcement in Cleveland National Forest within Orange County.

For more information, please click here.

End of Declaration of Local Emergency

In late December, the Board issued a Declaration of Local Emergency in response to the severe winter storms that hit Orange County shortly before Christmas. The Declaration was necessary in our efforts to obtain additional aid from the State and Federal government, as damage was estimated at over $36 million in Orange County.

This week, the Board voted to end the Declaration of Local Emergency. For more information, please click here.

2011 Orange County Community Indicators Report

The Children and Families Commission recently released its Community Indicators Report for Orange County. I’m pleased to share the report reaffirms Orange County as a leader in the state and nation in many important areas.

In December 2010, unemployment in Orange County was 8.9%, compared to 9.1% nationwide and 12.5% statewide. The student dropout rate in our County is also much lower than state and national averages. Orange County residents also live very healthy lifestyles, with a much higher percentage of residents maintaining a healthy weight than state and national averages.

However, the report also identified several problematic areas. For example, though Orange County remains very business friendly, the overall regulatory and business climate of California continues to act as a challenge that hampers the ability of our County to attract more jobs and businesses.

In addition, the County of Orange General Fund continues to receive the lowest share of property tax dollars compared to all counties in the state, which clearly demonstrates the state does not treat our county fairly when allocating funding, forcing the County of Orange to subsidize residents in other counties.

Overall, the Community Indicators report shows the County of Orange is moving in a positive direction. To see the 2011 Orange County Community Indicators Report, please click here. To view the PowerPoint presentation the Board received Tuesday, please click here.


Freeway HOV Lane Construction Options

San Clemente officials made a presentation to their City Council last week, outlining alternatives for the San Diego Freeway (I-5) HOV Extension Project. The alternatives analysis included two options for the Avenida Pico interchange.

Last month, the planning commission selected an alternative that included continuous access for the HOV lanes. However, the commission’s opinion differed on two Avenida Pico intersection configuration options.

City staff and Council members also had considerable discussion regarding the criteria and placement of soundwalls. The environmental process is expected to conclude this summer and move forward to final design, with construction expected to begin in 2015.

For more information, please click here.

Lower Tolls on 91 Express Lanes

A toll adjustment is being made to help manage congestion and optimize the number of vehicles traveling on the 91 Express Lanes. Beginning April 1, tolls will be lowered for eleven one-hour slots during the week in the eastbound direction.

Toll rates vary, depending on the hour, day and direction, and will range from $1.30 to $10.25. To view a chart of the toll schedule with the latest adjustments, please click here.

Metrolink to Temporarily Suspend Service this Sunday

Metrolink will temporarily suspend service on the Orange County Line this Sunday, March 27, as maintenance crews will conduct crucial signal tests along the route. During this time, no alternative transportation will be provided.

The one-day suspension of service is being implemented to test all rail crossing signals along the rail corridor in anticipation of the Metrolink Service Expansion Program later this year.

As a result, Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train service may experience some delays and cancellations; and Train 796 will not operate Saturday evening out of Los Angeles Union Station. The Metrolink Inland Empire/Orange County Line’s Sunday service will not be affected and will operate as scheduled.


Are You Ready?

The recent disaster in Japan underscores the need to examine how prepared we are for a major emergency. Do you have a disaster supplies kit – flash light, batteries, water, food, radio, etc.?

Advanced planning and preparedness can help alleviate some of the fear, anxiety and stress that go along with a disaster. Don’t wait for the next disaster to strike, get ready now! For more information, please visit:


Tuberculosis: A Sleeping Giant

What do humans have in common with lions and elephants? The answer may surprise you! We share a deadly infectious disease, a worldwide disease that is also in California – Tuberculosis (TB).

Yesterday, March 24, was World Tuberculosis Day; however, many people think tuberculosis is a disease of the past and no longer threatens us. The fact is, among infectious diseases worldwide, TB is the leading killer of adults, as 1/3 of the world is infected and 20% of TB cases in the U.S. are in California.

TB is treatable and preventable and you can help eliminate it! For more information, please click here, here and here.


Children and Families Commission of Orange County

The Children and Families Commission is responsible for the allocation of Orange County’s share of Proposition 10 tobacco tax funds and supports organizations providing services to children under age 6 and their families.

A countywide recruitment is being initiated to solicit applications for appointment to fill future vacancies on the Commission and current vacancies on the new Community Advisory Committee, which will be comprised of community experts and leaders in emerging research and issues related to the health and development of young children.

The primary areas of interest for the Community Advisory Committee are health, education, and evaluation/research. Committee members will be appointed at a public meeting of the Commission. Applications will be accepted through April 21.

For more information, please click here. To download the application, please click here.


Community Open House

As reported in my newsletter last week, 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.


Pet First Aid and CPR Training

Friends of Lake Forest Animals (FOLFA) invites you join them for a FREE class in pet first aid and CPR training with certified instructors on Tuesday, March 29 at El Toro Library from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM. Seating is limited. Please RSVP to melora@folfa.org.


ADA Trails Accessibility

In September 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) revised rules to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), revisions that became effective earlier this month. These rules allow a mobility device, defined by the DOJ as a wheelchair, to be permitted in any areas open to pedestrian use. The DOJ also recognized “Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices” that may be used by “individuals with mobility disabilities.”

OC Parks is committed to enabling the use and enjoyment of the recreational assets it manages, as the changes to ADA law offer those who require mobility devices greater access to the County’s recreation facilities, amenities and trails. For more information, please click here.


San Juan Capistrano Library Closed this Saturday

San Juan Capistrano Library will be closed Saturday, March 26 for the City’s annual Swallow’s Day Parade and festivities. Please visit Dana Point Library or check the library locator for your nearest branch of OC Public Libraries.

Laguna Hills Library: Lawyers in the Library

Need legal information? Don't know where to begin? Get a 15 minute consultation with an attorney at the Laguna Hills Technology Branch Public Library on Wednesday, April 6 from 6:00 PM to - 8:00 PM.

Consultations are held the first Wednesday of each month. Pre-registration is required by calling (949) 707-2699 or coming in prior to the day of your consultation. For more information, please click here.


Mission Viejo Resident Wins $1,000 in Free Tolls!

Curt Faust of Mission Viejo won The Toll Roads’ most recent monthly drawing for $1,000 in FREE tolls. Curt is an airline pilot who commutes from his home in Mission Viejo to fly out of John Wayne and Ontario International Airports; and his son, who is also registered to use his FasTrak account, uses The Toll Roads almost daily to drive to and from school.

The Toll Roads began hosting monthly drawings for $1,000 in FREE tolls last November, with one winner randomly selected each month until the promotion ends June 30. For more information, please click here.


San Juan Capistrano:

Swallows Day Parade

The 2011 Swallows Day Parade will be held 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, which takes place annually in historic downtown San Juan Capistrano.

Please arrive early as most street closures will occur by 10:00 AM, with the parade beginning promptly at 11:00 AM. For more information, please click here, here and here.

First Friday Film

Come to the San Juan Capistrano Branch Library on Friday, April 1 at 7:00 PM and enjoy the film “Get Low,” a movie spun out of equal parts folktale, fable and real-life legend about a mysterious 1930s Tennessee hermit. For more information, please click here.

Family Film Feature

On Saturday, April 2, bring the whole family to San Juan Capistrano Library at 11:00 AM to see the funny and heartwarming film “Tangled.” Enjoy FREE admission and popcorn at this fun family film feature! For more information, please click here.

Mission Viejo: Up in the Air

Residents are gearing up for "Up in the Air – Mission Viejo," a special event taking flight Saturday, April 2 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at Oso Viejo Community Park on the Village Green near the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center, 24932 Veterans Way, in Mission Viejo.

This FREE event will showcase everything that goes "up in the air" or uses air to operate, such as remote-control planes, kites, bubbles, balloons, rocket crafts and more. Visitors will enjoy professional kite flyers, disc-dog shows, flying contests, non-profit food booths, children’s crafts, carnival games, flight simulators, exhibitors and entertainment.

For more information, please click here.


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

  • Delivered the keynote address at a meeting of the Coto de Caza / Rancho Santa Margarita Rotary del Sol.
  • Met with the County’s Finance Director and Sheriff’s Department representatives to discuss County Harbor Patrol funding issues.
  • Chaired the Orange County Coastal Coalition meeting. More on this next week.
  • Participated in the South Orange County Transportation Workshop at Saddleback College.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Jordan R. Stanton of Rancho Santa Margarita; Jeanne “Jackie” Whittle of Laguna Niguel; and Mehri Nazami of Lake Forest.
My office also:
  • Provided certificates of recognition in honor of Detective Larry Brammer upon being named 2010 Laguna Beach Police Officer of the Year; and Parking Services Officer Mary Spease upon being named 2010 Laguna Beach Civilian Employee of the Year.
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.

For an ADA version of our newsletter, click here.

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