Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
April 22, 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 15

Antonio Widening Architect-Engineer Contract Awarded

On Tuesday, the Board awarded a contract to Harris and Associates, Inc. not to exceed $2.6 million for Architect-Engineer Construction Support Services for the Antonio Parkway Widening Project.

The project will build out Antonio Parkway to its Master Plan of Arterial Highways designation by widening the road one lane in each direction, beginning south of the Ladera Ranch Planned Community to 900-feet south of the Ortega Highway / La Pata Avenue intersection. The project also includes widening the Antonio Parkway Bridge.

The agreement with Harris and Associates includes a number of sub-contractors for construction support and design clarification services who have previously performed specialized work on the design of Antonio Parkway. This will benefit the County in terms of design interpretation, schedule efficiency, and cost overrun avoidance.

In addition, the Board awarded a sole source agreement to DMB Ladera, LLC for specialized consultant services relating to regulatory permits, environmental compliance, and other ancillary project needs.

DMB Ladera, LLC is the permittee for all regulatory permits required for this project and is responsible for NEPA and CEQA mitigation requirements for The Ranch Plan, as well as the Antonio Parkway Widening Project. This agreement was necessary to ensure proper coordination between the County and The Ranch Plan development activities, as well as to prevent project delays and increased project costs.

Construction on this $32 million project is anticipated to begin next month and be complete by January 2013. This project is financed by the developer funded South County Roadway Improvement Program (SCRIP), Ladera Community Facilities District (CFD) and grant sources.

For a location map of the project, please click here.

Protecting our South County Park Natural Resources

The Board approved an agreement to enroll Caspers Wilderness Park, O'Neill Regional Park, and Thomas Riley Wilderness Park, all of which are in the 5th District, in the Habitat Reserve of the Habitat Conservation Plan for the Southern Sub-Region of Orange County, thereby strengthening the protection of these parks' natural resources.

The Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for the Southern Sub-Region of Orange County includes a Habitat Reserve to provide permanent protection and management of sensitive native plant and animal species and multiple natural habitats. The HCP Habitat Reserve incorporates property owned by two of the three participating landowners – the County of Orange and Rancho Mission Viejo.

For more information, please click here.

The Board also accepted 69 acres as part of the Caspers Wilderness Park corridor in unincorporated South County, which will help protect open space and preserve significant natural habitat in the area.

The corridor serves as a buffer between development in the communities of Coto de Caza, Dove Canyon and Rancho Santa Margarita and the natural areas of Caspers Wilderness Park, the Starr Ranch Audubon Sanctuary and Cleveland National Forest. Additionally, it links regional riding and hiking trails between Caspers Wilderness Park, O’Neill Regional Park and Cleveland National Forest.

For more information, please click here.

Follow-Up to Overtime Audit of Sheriff’s Department

The Board received a report from the Performance Auditor, detailing the progress made by the Sheriff’s Department in reducing overtime. The report was a follow-up to the Performance Auditor’s 2008 Overtime Audit of the Sheriff-Coroner Department.

In the past, overtime costs at the Sheriff’s Department were excessive and the system was rife with abuse. In 2008, the Board directed the Performance Auditor to review and make recommendations to reduce the amount of Sheriff’s Department overtime.

With the Sheriff’s cooperation, the recommendations were implemented. As a result, the amount of overtime used in FY 2009-2010 was over $25 million less than the previous year. I applaud the Sheriff’s Department for doing the necessary work to save taxpayer dollars.

This report also illustrates what an important instrument the Office of Performance Auditor is for the Board of Supervisors. Managing a County government of 17,000 people is a daunting task; and the Performance Auditor has provided the Board with an effective mechanism to root out government waste and inefficiency.

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

Harbor Patrol Funding

In November 2010, the Board established a subcommittee on which I served along with Supervisor Moorlach, the County CEO and the Sheriff to review recommendations made by the Performance Auditor and identify new strategies to fund the Harbor Patrol.

Currently, the Harbor Patrol is funded by OC Parks and the Dana Point and Newport Tidelands funds. In recent years, costs have been reduced by eliminating a Captain position, an office tech, and deferring maintenance. Going forward, the Sheriff and CEO are committed to looking for ways to reduce the costs of Harbor Patrol and the funding required from OC Parks.

One current change is the cost of homeland security activities will no longer be charged to OC Parks or the Tideland funds, as these charges will now be funded by grants (like Operation Stonegarden) or other funds from the Sheriff’s Department. With the cost of homeland security activities estimated at $104,926, this change will result in cost savings for Park and Tideland funds, ensuring these funds are only used for activities directly impacting the Harbor.

For more information, please click here.

Regional Catastrophic Preparedness

The Health Care Agency (HCA) works with cities throughout the County to plan and exercise rapid dispensing of pharmaceuticals and vaccines to a large population in the occurrence of a regional health disaster. The mechanism is known as a Point of Dispensing (POD) site.

Establishing PODs and conducting full-scale exercises helps to better prepare Orange County for the event of a large scale public health incident. To that end, the Board approved Master agreements for planning services, site equipment and exercise services, which will allow HCA to dispense funds to participating cities for their approved POD site plans.

For more information, please click here.


Urban Land Institute Technical Assistance Panel Presentation

The Urban Land Institute Orange County / Inland Empire (ULI) will present the results of its one-day Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) on Thursday, April 28 at 4:00 PM. The purpose of the TAP is to identify potential development opportunities for the South County Courthouse that will compliment the new Laguna Niguel City Hall and expanded Orange County Branch Library.

To that end, the public is invited to hear the ULI TAP present its recommendations at the Laguna Niguel City Council Chamber, 27841 La Paz Road, in Laguna Niguel. This event is co-sponsored by the County of Orange and the City of Laguna Niguel.

For more information, please click here.

South County Job Fair Coming in May!

As reported in my newsletter last week, South County employers and job seekers are encouraged to participate in the 2011 South County Job Fair on Wednesday, May 11 from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the Laguna Hills Mall.

This event, which is hosted by the Orange County Board of Supervisors and Orange County Workforce Investment Board, is FREE to all businesses and job seekers. For more information, please visit www.ocjobfair.org.

At the South County Job Fair, the Orange County Business Service Center will be available to provide assistance to employers with selection, screening, and training of new hires. Employers interested in participating in the South County Job Fair may register by clicking here.

In addition, job seekers are encouraged to bring their résumé to the South County Job Fair for a FREE review. For information on Job Seeker Workshops being held at the South County Job Fair, please click here.

After the Job Fair, attendees are encouraged to visit the South Orange County One Stop Center at 29222 Rancho Viejo Road, Suite 103, in San Juan Capistrano for additional services. For more information, please click here.


La Pata Gap Closure / Extension of Camino del Rio

On Wednesday, April 27, the Orange County Planning Commission will consider the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed La Pata Gap Closure and Camino del Rio Extension. This project will improve traffic congestion, minimize environmental impacts and maintain and improve South County's quality of life. The public meeting will be held at 1:30 PM in the Orange County Hall of Administration, 333 W. Santa Ana Blvd., in Santa Ana.

The Final EIR studies the proposed project, which would extend and widen the existing 1.8-mile portion of La Pata Avenue south of Ortega Highway, outside the City of San Juan Capistrano, roughly two miles to connect with La Pata Avenue in San Clemente at Calle Saluda.

The project also includes the Camino del Rio quarter-mile extension to the future La Pata Avenue from where it ends, just east of Camino de Los Mares. Both highways are proposed as four-lane roadways.

The Final EIR considers and addresses all written comments received on the project from public scoping sessions and meetings through the Draft EIR phases. For more information, please click here and here.

Rail Projects Update

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors received a quarterly update on Orange County’s rail program, including Metrolink operations, service expansion, station improvements, rail-crossing safety enhancements, positive train control, and the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC).

As part of increased Metrolink service, infrastructure required to start additional service on the Fullerton turnback facility is now complete. A new platform was also recently added to the Laguna Niguel turnback facility.

OCTA is enhancing safety at 50 railroad crossings in eight cities throughout the county, including improved signage and warning systems. Safety enhancements in the first 21 crossings have been completed. Railroad crossings in Anaheim and Orange recently achieved quiet zones status, prohibiting trains from sounding their horns unless an emergency arises.

In addition, construction of the Tustin Metrolink Parking Structure is progressing ahead of schedule; the Orange Parking Structure is in the planning stages; and OCTA continues to work with Laguna Niguel and Mission Viejo to determine a long-term parking plan.

Implementation of positive train control, which serves to prevent train-on-train collisions by having control systems to override operator error, is set to roll out December 31, 2012.

Environmental clearance on ARTIC, a planned transportation hub, is anticipated by the end of this month.

Lastly, Metrolink unveiled ten of its new fleet of Crash Energy Management (CEM) cars, designed to reduce collision impact.

Orange County Gears Up for Bike to Work Week

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is teaming up with cyclists to help kick-off our annual Bike to Work Week next month, encouraging people to ditch their cars and hop on a bike as part of their daily commute. This week-long campaign aims to promote bicycling as a viable transportation option for residents and workers in Orange County.

Employers from 41 Orange County companies, representing more than 33,000 employees, are partnering with OCTA to help promote this alternative form of commuting to their employees.

Bike to Work Week will run May 16–20 and is part of OCTA’s Share the Ride program, providing employers and employees with efficient and economical ways to get to work on time. Several Bike to Work Week activities are planned for this year. For more information, please click here.


Orange County Agencies and Departments Booklet

The 2011 Orange County Agencies and Departments booklet is now available for viewing online, providing a valuable overview of how the County of Orange operates. For more information, please click here.

Honor a Hero - Hire a Vet” Job and Resource Fair

The Orange County Veterans Employment Committee and the Employment Development Department’s (EDD) Veterans Service Program are proud to announce this years “Honor a Hero - Hire a Vet” Job and Resource Fair.

The Job and Resource Fair will be held Thursday, May 26 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Costa Mesa Hilton Hotel, 3050 Bristol Street, in Costa Mesa. This event is FREE and there is ample FREE parking for all attendees. For more information, please click here and here.

Essentials for Young Lives

HomeAid, in partnership with the Children and Families Commission of Orange County, will collect diapers, baby food and baby hygiene products, including baby wipes and lotion, the week of May 2–6, which will be distributed to 16 shelters in Orange County.

As families are the fastest growing segment of Orange County’s homeless population, receiving these “essential” items allows the shelters to expand the use of their already limited resources to help clients achieve self-sufficiency.

Businesses across Orange County will be participating in the 2011 Essentials for Young Lives Campaign, including drop off locations at select VONS grocery stores and YMCA facilities. Transporting of items received is being donated by United Parcel Service (UPS).

The Donation Drive will kick-off countywide with a family event at the Irvine Spectrum Center on Saturday, April 30 from 12 noon to 3:00 PM. All are invited. To find the donation site nearest you, please click here.


Influenza Activity Decreases in Orange County

The Health Care Agency’s (HCA) latest edition of Eye on Influenza reports influenza and influenza-like illness have decreased over the past several weeks, accounting for 1% of visits to sentinel providers. To see HCA’s most recent influenza update, please click here.


CalOptima: Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly

CalOptima is developing its first Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). This program will help frail seniors remain at home instead of being institutionalized. PACE serves those who are 55 years of age or older, residents of Orange County, certified as needing nursing-home level of care, and can live safely in the community at the time of enrollment.

To that end, CalOptima is also establishing a PACE Development Advisory Committee (PDAC) to assist in the development of PACE program. Applications to serve on CalOptima’s PDAC must be received by Friday, May 20. For more information, please click here and here.


Stormwater Best Management Practices Workshop

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Permit for South County requires that the County and Cities adopt a local Jurisdictional Runoff Management Program and Local Standard Stormwater Mitigation Plans (SSMP). The Local SSMP will be used as a guide for review and approval of Water Quality Management Plans for New Development and Significant Redevelopment projects.

To that end, a South County Workshop will be held Wednesday, May 4 from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM. This workshop is educational in nature and seeks to provide information on the applicability of Low Impact Development (LID) Best Management Practices (BMPs) in site design, the efficacy of onsite storm water capture and treatment, regulations triggering storm water BMP incorporation, systems in place in the watershed, lessons learned and appropriate selection of BMPs.

Much of the South Orange County Watershed Management Area is highly urbanized and can pose a challenge when requiring LID BMPs to achieve compliance with the new requirement. As such, the target audience for this workshop includes municipal engineers and planners, as well as owners and managers of properties with large hardscape areas, such as corporate headquarters, corporate distribution centers, shopping malls, apartment complexes, and institutions.

To RSVP, please contact Andrea.Toscano@ocpw.ocgov.com or (714) 955-0600 by Monday, April 25 to confirm your space in the workshop. For more information, please click here.


California Native Plants & Wildflower Hike

Learn how to identify native plants and wildflowers with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalist Nadine Nordstrom (author of the South Coast Wilderness Plant Identification Guide) on a moderate, fast-paced, steep and rocky, 3.5-mile hike in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park on Sunday, April 24 from 9:00 AM to 12 noon.

Special instructions: Meet at the James Dilley Preserve (east side of Laguna Canyon Road/SR-133, just north of 73 Toll Road). Reservations required: (949) 923-2235. Event Fee: $2 donation per person. Parking Fee: $3 per vehicle. For more information, please click here.


South County Dog License Amnesty Program

As previously reported in my newsletter, Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel and Aliso Viejo residents are encouraged to take advantage of the Mission Viejo Animal Services Center's Dog License Amnesty Program which runs through April 30. This program waives all late and penalty fees for dog owners who have not licensed their dog or have failed to renew their dog's license.

For more information, please click here.

Rattlesnakes in Orange County

OC Animal Care routinely receives an increase in calls from citizens regarding rattlesnakes in late spring and during the summer months. Speckled, Southern Pacific and Red Diamond Rattlesnakes are the most common species found in Orange County.

Citizens observing a rattlesnake on their property should keep a safe distance and immediately contact their local animal control agency for removal. OC Animal Care’s Animal Control Officers are experts in animal handling and have the most effective equipment for dealing with venomous snakes.

OC Animal Care’s website also contains handouts regarding indigenous snakes and other wildlife. For more information, please click here and here.


Calculate Your Library’s Value

A library card allows you to borrow material, download e-books and use the library’s computers. To that end, over 95,000 people received new library cards from OC Public Libraries (OCPL) in 2010. You can estimate the value of each library visit by using the Calculate My Library’s Value button on the OCPL website. You’d be amazed at how much money you’re saving!

For more information, please click here.

Laguna Beach Library: Poetry Contest

Through April 30, poets of all ages are invited to enter Laguna Beach Library's 13th Annual Poetry Contest. There are seven age categories from Pre-K to Adult, with the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each category awarded gift certificates up to $100 at an awards ceremony / poetry reading in June.

For more information, please click here.


South County Students named National Merit Scholars

Twenty-two Orange County high school students, including four from the 5th District who aced their Preliminary SAT exams have been named National Merit Scholars in the first phase of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation's elite recognition program. The honorees, who represent just 0.5 percent of test-takers nationwide, will receive college scholarships ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 annually.

The four students from South County are Edward A. Cleofe and Alan M. Hoang of Mission Viejo, Nathan Gabriel Huynh of Rancho Santa Margarita, and Arshia Singh of Lake Forest. Additional winners will be announced May 4, May 25 and July 11. For more information, please click here and here.


San Clemente: Springtacular

San Clemente’s sensational Springtacular is the great big FREE family event you’ve been waiting for and don’t want to miss on Saturday, April 23 from 7:30 AM to 11:00 AM at San Gorgonio Park. For the Springtacular activities schedule and more information, please click here.

Laguna Niguel: Bunny Blast

The City of Laguna Niguel invites families to enjoy games and crafts, face painting, a bounce house and petting zoo, pony rides and the Easter Bunny at its Bunny Blast on Saturday, April 23 from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM at Chapparosa Park. For more information, please click here.

Mission Viejo: Bunny Days

The City of Mission Viejo is gearing up for Bunny Days, a community event that attracts thousands to Oso Viejo Park and the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center for a fun-filled day of carnival game booths, spring crafts, face painting, pony rides and much more. The event takes place 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Saturday, April 23. For more information, please click here.

Dana Point: 5th Annual Grand Prix of Cycling

Join top professionals, amateurs and kids at the 5th annual Dana Point Grand Prix of Cycling, as they race through downtown Dana Point on the best race course in America overlooking beautiful Dana Point Harbor.

This event on Sunday, May 1 will be action-packed with amateur and professional races, a Fan Expo, celebrities, fantastic food, and an all new Kids Zone, featuring bike safety demonstrations, games, contests, and vendors for the future cyclists of America. For more information, please click here, here, and here.


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

  • Attended the South Orange County Regional Chamber of Commerce “SOCO Awards” ceremony to deliver the invocation and present the Business Innovation Award.
  • Received a briefing from Treasurer-Tax Collector Sheri Freidenrich.
  • Attended the San Juan City Council meeting to present a resolution on behalf of the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) in appreciation of their partnership on Measure M, as well as a proclamation from my office in recognition of the City’s 50th anniversary of incorporation.
  • Attended the Laguna Woods City Council meeting to present a resolution on behalf of OCTA in appreciation of their partnership on Measure M, as well as a gift from my office in appreciation of the City’s participation in my 4th annual South County Senior Summit.
  • Attended the Heart and Soul Awards ceremony hosted by O’Conner Mortuary in Laguna Hills to present certificates of recognition to their special honorees.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Leo Hazell of Mission Viejo.
My office also:
  • Attended the John Wayne Airport Central Utility Plant Dedication Ceremony.
  • Attended the Dana Point “State of the City” Luncheon.
I wish you and yours a happy Earth Day and blessed Easter holiday!

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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