Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
April 8, 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 13

Antonio Parkway Landscape Improvements

The Board approved a Cooperative Agreement with the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) to receive $1 million in Transportation Enhancement federal grant funding for two Antonio Parkway landscaping projects (South Phase and North Phase).

These landscaping projects are planned in conjunction with the Antonio Parkway Widening Project, which will expand Antonio Parkway to its Master Plan of Arterial Highway designation as a Major Arterial and implement its Scenic Highway's Plan designation as a Landscape Corridor. The improvements are planned both north and south on Antonio Parkway, extending from 2,000 feet south of Covenant Hills Drive to 900 feet south of Ortega Highway.

The projects will provide extensive landscaping within the center median and along both sides of the widening project, enhancing the roadway’s aesthetics and blending into the adjacent planned community landscapes.

The landscaping will also continue the "green" sustainability theme of the surrounding community, with components to improve air quality and water conservation measures, such as weather-based irrigation controllers and use of reclaimed water.

Federal grant funding will account for 49% of the total project cost of $2,041,000. The remaining 51% will be privately funded by DMB LADERA, LLC. For more information, please click here.

Property Exchange Agreement with City of Lake Forest

The Board approved a property exchange with the City of Lake Forest, which transfers County easements surrounding the proposed Lake Forest sports park to the City in return for fee ownership of parcels directly adjacent to Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park.

The exchange will help expedite construction of the City’s sports park, providing an outstanding trail connection from Aliso Creek Trail to the sports park and creating a new access point into Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park at the City's "Concourse Park."

This is an excellent example of the County working with its city partners on projects providing a public benefit. For more information, please click here.

CalOptima Board Directive

With the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, agencies like CalOptima can apply to run health insurance exchanges. These exchanges will commence operation in each state, offering a marketplace where individuals and small businesses can compare policies and premiums and buy insurance with a government subsidy, if eligible.

As the Board believes the program exceeds CalOptima’s mission, we directed staff to bring this item back to the Board on April 19. As counties and states prepare to deal with the ramifications of the State and Federal Budget crisis, this is not the time to be expanding government nor is it the time to allow governments to compete against the private market.

I value the relationship the Board has with both our public and private health care partners, and I’m confident we can continue that relationship with our common goal of serving the people efficiently.

International Air Service to Canada from Orange County

The Board of Supervisors approved a Passenger Airline Lease with Canadian airline WestJet, enabling the airline to establish daily non-stop service from John Wayne Airport to Vancouver, British Columbia beginning May 2; and to Calgary, Alberta beginning June 13. With more than 15 years in business, WestJet offers award-winning customer service. For more information, please click here.

The Board also approved a Memorandum of Agreement with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). CBP is responsible for granting landing rights to WestJet at John Wayne Airport, a necessary step before the airline can begin service.

As part of the Airport Improvement Project, two gates in the existing Riley Terminal will be modified to accommodate CBP processing of international passengers. Additionally, one of the three baggage carousels to be built in Terminal C will serve domestic or international passenger service.


All Aboard The Angels Express!

Metrolink and the Orange County Transportation Authority are teaming up to offer special weeknight train service to and from Anaheim Angels games, beginning with their April 8 home opener.

Baseball fans this season can avoid the hassles of traffic and parking and instead enjoy an affordable round-trip train ride to the game, as Metrolink will run to and from all weeknight Angels games at Anaheim Stadium that start at 7:05 PM.

Best of all, the Angels Express, as it is called, offers a special price of only $7 round trip ($6 for senior/disabled). That’s cheaper than parking at the stadium – plus there’s no traffic to deal with!

A train from the Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo station and another from LA Union Station will each depart at 5:50 PM on home game days. With scheduled stops along the way, the trains will arrive at the Angels Stadium Parking Lot approximately 30 minutes before the game, allowing plenty of time for the short walk from the station to your seat.

For a limited time only, your $7 roundtrip Metrolink ticket will also be good for a free voucher to an upcoming Angels game! For more information, please click here and here.


Property Tax Payment Due

As reported in my newsletter last week, the due date for paying the Second Installment of your Secured Property Tax for 2010-11 was February 1. However, as a courtesy, the Orange County Treasure – Tax Collector (TTC) allows a grace period to make payment, as the last day to pay without incurring a 10% penalty is this Monday, April 11.

Please note that if making a payment by mail, the envelope must have a post office stamped date on or before April 11 to avoid late payment fees. Payments made to incorrect APNs may also be rejected and incur a 10% penalty.

The TTC also encourages you to “Go Green Electronically” and choose the convenience of paying your bill online using the FREE eCheck method, as there's no need to write a check or buy stamps. To review your property tax information and make an electronic payment using the FREE eCheck method or by credit card (2.5% convenience fee charge), please click here. For more information, please click here.


EPA Update on Emergency in Japan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing updated information about monitoring related to the emergency in Japan. At this time, there is no health risk expected for California or its residents as a result of the incident at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan. Active monitoring of the situation continues.

For more information, please click here.


2011 South County Senior Summit a Success!

Last week, I hosted my 4th annual South County Senior Summit with over 1,000 people attending. Joining me in presenting this enormously popular annual event was the Orange County Office on Aging, Laguna Woods Village, and Age Well Senior Services.

Back by popular demand was Dr. Laura Mosqueda, Director of Geriatrics, UC Irvine, who spoke 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, discussed 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 were also pleased to welcome as speakers Dr. Kerry Burnight, Health Sciences Clinical Professor at UC Irvine, and Mr. Richard Chambers, CEO of CalOptima. We’re grateful to CalOptima for once again serving as our Title Sponsor.

To view the 2011 South County Senior Summit agenda and event program, which includes upcoming air dates of the Summit on Cox Communications in South County and Laguna Woods TV-6 for those who were unable to join us, please click here.


Join OC Fire Watch!

Orange County residents who want to help prevent wildfires can volunteer for the OC Fire Watch program. OC Fire Watch deploys two-person volunteer teams to the County’s wilderness and regional parks during red-flag conditions to look for suspicious behavior and report fires immediately, decreasing emergency response time and the potential for large-scale wildfires.

Training for OC Fire Watch, which is part of the County’s Adopt-a-Park program, takes place Saturday, April 16 at Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange. Volunteers will attend one program orientation meeting and one OC Fire Watch training session, with FREE lunch provided. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Beach Disaster Preparedness Workshop

Laguna Beach Councilmembers Kelly Boyd and Elizabeth Pearson will co-chair a public workshop for the Laguna Beach community to “Pull Together and Map Out What All of Us Can Do” before for the next disaster occurs.

Many Laguna Beach residents have been victimized by wildfire, flood, mudslide or landslide since 1977. The workshop will introduce valuable input from these victims to integrate into the City’s Emergency Disaster Preparedness Planning Program to better prepare residents and businesses for the next disaster.

This FREE workshop will be held in the Laguna Beach City Council Chamber this Saturday, April 9 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM and is open to the public. For more information, please click here.


Caspers Wilderness Park: Adventure Day

Come to Caspers Wilderness Park for the return of Adventure Day, a fun-filled family event taking place Saturday, April 16 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, with a full schedule of natural history tours, arts and crafts, wildlife exhibits, games and refreshments.

OC Parks will also provide live musical entertainment and an Acjachemen Tribal Descendant will enact a journey through the past to Native American times through theatrical storytelling. Entry to Adventure Day is FREE and guests of all ages are encouraged to attend and participate in the fun!

For more information, please click here.


America's Family Pet Expo

America's Family Pet Expo, the world’s largest pet and pet product event, will return April 15-17 to the Orange County Fairgrounds. Thousands of animals, including dogs, cats, equine, birds, fish, reptiles, and all manner of domestic and exotic pets will be on display in stage shows, competitions and demonstrations, as well as plenty of animal experts, pet adoptions, hands-on petting and learning opportunities.

While attending America's Family Pet Expo, please be sure to visit OC Animal Care, as they’ll be bringing many adorable animals for adoption! For more information, please click here.


Environmental Education Competitive Grant Program

OC Waste & Recycling is pleased to announce a competitive grant opportunity for nonprofit organizations. Utilizing AB 939 surcharge funds, the grant program is designed to increase student counts and will encourage them to practice better environmental habits, such as recycling, reuse, and waste reduction.

The program also aims to increase environmental literacy by aligning state-standard, curriculum-based environmental education that engages students to make informed waste-prevention choices. Applications are due by Monday, May 16.

For more information, please click here.

Clean Water Pledge Drive: Get Water Wise!

During the month of April, Mayors across Southern California will square off to see which city is the most "water wise." The competition is designed to encourage residents to be come more proactive in reducing water waste and pollution.

The pledge drive takes place through April 30 and not only helps cities meet conservation goals, but also gives residents a chance to win more than $15,000 in prizes, including tickets to Disneyland Resort & Parks, Anaheim Angels baseball games, and Aquarium of the Pacific.

Residents are encouraged to pledge to reduce their impact on the environment, as these pledges can add up to big money savings and substantial reductions in water waste and pollution. To that end, the City with the highest percentage of residents and businesses making pledges wins!

For more information, please click here.

Cox Communications’ Conservation Champions

Cox Communications, South County’s cable TV service provider, is proud to honor everyday citizens who volunteer their efforts to preserve and protect our natural resources. To that end, Cox Communications has launched a contest seeking people who have made a difference in the environment.

You are invited to read about each finalist and vote for your favorite in both the “youth” and “adult” categories, as the first place winners will receive a $2,500 donation to their favorite local environmental organization; and the second and third place finalists will receive $1,000 and $500, respectively, to also donate to the non-profit organization of their choice.

Voting is open through April 15, with the winners expected to be announced on Earth Day, April 22. For more information, please click here.


OC Public Libraries Launches Three New Blogs

OC Public Libraries (OCPL) recently launched three new blogs, including Orange Zest, a fun weekly read with news about OCPL, highlights of its collections, and “how to” information to help library patrons get the most from their library experience. To visit Orange Zest, please click here.

OCPL also revamped its early literacy page for parents and caregivers, Grow a Reader, containing important information to help parents with the early language skills their child will need to learn to read well. To visit Grow a Reader, please click here.

Both these blogs are in addition to the new Voices & Visions blog, which provides a showcase for Orange County’s talented teens to look at and enter OCPL’s monthly teen art contest. To visit the Voices & Visions blog, please click here.


Laguna Beach Alliance Recognizes Art Stars

Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts recognized its stars and paid tribute to musician Lee Rocker at the 5th Annual Art Star Awards last week.

The “Visionary Arts” award was the evening’s first to be presented, going to Laguna Beach resident Lee Rocker, whose professional career has spanned more than three decades. In 1979, Lee and two high school friends exploded out of his family’s garage and the “Stray Cats” were born, reviving a quintessential American sound – Rockabilly.

Rocker shared about his artistic journey and connection with Laguna Beach. He also commented on the importance of the arts and growing up and raising children in an art-filled environment and community. Rocker later took to the stage with his son, Justin, for a surprise performance. After the performance, the 2011 Art Star Award winners were announced, including:

  • Best New Arts Program – No Square Theatre’s Musical Theatre University
  • Arts Patron of the Year – The James Irvine Foundation
  • Outstanding Arts Collaboration – Action Sports Track / Laguna College of Art & Design (LCAD) and Hurley
  • Innovation and Arts Leadership – Dennis Power, President of LCAD
  • Laguna Beach Artist of the Year – Scott Moore
Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts is a partnership of over 20 Laguna Beach organizations, including Art-A-Fair Festival, CaDance, Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce, City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission, Community Art Project, Festival of Arts, First Thursdays Art Walk, Gallimaufry Performing Arts, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach Chorale, Laguna Beach Craft Guild, Laguna Beach Film Society, Laguna Beach Live!, Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association, Laguna Beach Visitors and Conference Bureau, Laguna College of Art & Design, Laguna Community Concert Band, Laguna Outreach Community Arts, Laguna Playhouse, Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, Lagunatunes Community Chorus, No Square Theater, Sawdust Art Festival, and [seven-degrees].

For more information, please click here.


San Juan Capistrano: Celebrating 50 Years of Cityhood

The City of San Juan Capistrano will celebrate its 50th year of incorporation at a special party April 9 in Historic Town Center Park. The party, which takes place from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, will feature activities for the whole family, including a train ride, photo booth, face painting, bounce houses, merry-go-round, games, Sandy Candy art table, clowns, and a scavenger hunt.

All the rides and activities are FREE, with food and beverage available for purchase. For more information, please click here.

San Clemente: Hershey Track & Field Meet

This FREE event on Sunday, April 10 at Forster Ranch Park begins at 12:00 noon and encourages health and wellness in addition to providing a great day for the family to get together and cheer for the young athletes. For more information, please call (949) 276-8866 or click here and 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, April 15, Dana Point Library will feature the German film “Storm.” Doors open at 6:45 PM. For more information, please click here.

Lake Forest: Bunny Blast – An Egg Wonderland

The City of Lake Forest invites you to a hopping good time on Saturday, April 16 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Enjoy a fun-filled day for the whole family at El Toro Park, featuring game booths, crafts, face painting, a balloon artist, an egg scramble, as well as a strolling magician, DJ and music.

The Queen of Hearts will be holding court along with Alice and her Wonderland friends; so don't be late for this very important date! For more information, please call (949) 461-3450.

Laguna Niguel: MLB Baseball/Softball Skills Competition

The Aquafina Major League Baseball PITCH, HIT & RUN competition in Laguna Niguel on Sunday, April 17, provides boys and girls (ages 7 – 14) a chance to participate in an exciting baseball/softball skills competition.

This FREE event takes place from 12 noon to 2:00 PM and is intended to encourage youth participation and emphasize the fun of baseball! For more information, please click here.

Mission Viejo: Movie of Character

The public is invited to enjoy the inspiring film “Amazing Grace” as part of a FREE movie series on Sunday, April 17 at Mission Viejo City Hall. The PG-rated film, which airs at 2:00 PM, has received numerous awards, including the “Truly Moving Picture” award. For more information, please click here.

Aliso Viejo Library:

Tomas Edison Portrayal

Come to Aliso Viejo Library on Saturday, April 16 at 2:00 PM for a FREE interactive program, as an historical impressionist portrays Tomas Edison and talks about the famous inventor’s life and inventions, focusing on the light bulb, phonograph and motion pictures. For more information, please click here.

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, April 17, the library will feature the Canadian drama “Nurse Fighter Boy.”

The showing is FREE, plus refreshments are provided! For more information, please click here.


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

  • Attended the Aliso Viejo City Council meeting to present an Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) resolution in appreciation for the City’s partnership in the successful Measure M program.
  • Attended the annual Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s “Medal of Valor” Luncheon.
  • Participated in the inaugural South Watershed Management Area Committee meeting held at Laguna Niguel City Hall.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Madeleine “Maddie” James of Capistrano Beach.
My office also:
  • Attended the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce “State of the City” Luncheon.
  • Attended a public workshop held by the Orange County Council of Governments (OCCOG) to discuss the Preliminary Draft Orange County Sustainable Communities Strategy.
  • Presented a certificate of recognition in honor of the ribbon cutting ceremony for Laguna Beach Legal Document Services.
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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