Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
January 28, 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 3

Board of Supervisors Chairman's Goals for 2011

At Tuesday’s Board meeting, Chairman Bill Campbell set forth Countywide goals for the new year during his State of the County address, which also discussed the County's many accomplishments in 2010.

To read the Chairman's goals for 2011, please click here.

Continuation of Local Emergency

This week, the Board voted to extend a Declaration of Local Emergency until March 1, 2011. In late December 2010, the Board first made such a declaration in response to the severe winter storms that hit Orange County shortly before Christmas.

Declaring an emergency makes the County eligible for State assistance and potential Federal aid. Damage is estimated at over $36 million for Orange County and $75 million for California.

Board Chairman Campbell and I sent a joint letter to President Obama last week requesting Federal assistance. To that end, I’m pleased to report the President this week authorized the requested Federal Declaration of Emergency for Orange County and California.

For more information, please click here.

Contracts Awarded for Fast Food Operations at JWA

Over the past few weeks, the Board of Supervisors has voted on various food contracts to be awarded throughout John Wayne Airport (JWA). As a result of the Improvement Program underway, there will be additional restaurants and retail locations in both existing terminals A and B, as well as the new Terminal C.

On Tuesday, the Board voted on which fast-food providers will operate in the airport, as a ten-year lease was awarded to McDonalds to operate in Terminals A and B; and a seperate ten-year lease was awarded to Carl’s Jr./Green Burrito to operate in the new Terminal C.

Mc Donald’s has operated in John Wayne Airport for over 20 years. By keeping McDonald’s and adding Carl’s Jr./Green Burrito, this is a win-win for JWA air travelers, as it will provide a greater variety of fast food options.

For more information, please click here.


OCTA Chair’s Top Ten Strategic Initiatives

During my first meeting as Chair of the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors, I presented my 2011 Chairman’s Goals. This year, the OCTA Board will continue to collaborate with regional agencies to strengthen transit connections for seamless operations.

Some of my other top initiatives include supporting efforts to complete our arterial roads network, continuing OCTA’s environmental stewardship efforts, advocating for process improvements, and maintaining the mission and vision of OCTA.

For more information on my top ten initiatives as OCTA Chair, please click here.

State Awards $138.9 Million for OC Projects

The California Transportation Commission last week allocated $138.9 million for the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) to fund various public works projects in Orange County. State bonds sold in November guarantee OCTA will have the funds needed to proceed with several high-profile projects.

Projects that were funded include:

  • $22.6 million for the Kraemer Boulevard railroad grade separation project
  • $14.9 million for the Placentia Avenue railroad grade separation project
  • $1 million for traffic light signal synchronization program
  • $29.2 million for Anaheim Regional Intermodal Transportation Center (ARTIC)
  • $69 million for Riverside Freeway (SR-91) widening project between the Costa Mesa Freeway (SR-55) and Weir Canyon Road
  • $2.1 million for highway and railroad crossing projects in San Clemente and Dana Point
The funding awards are part of the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and voter-approved Proposition 1B, a bond program that funds transportation projects throughout the state. This funding provides much needed assistance in delivering transportation improvements and will allow these projects to move into the construction phase.

I-5 HOV Lane Extension Project

As reported in my newsletter last week, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) invites you to attend a public meeting on Monday, January 31 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, to be held at 910 Calle Negocio, 2nd Floor, in San Clemente.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the current status of the I-5 HOV Lane Extension Project and solicit feedback on project specifications.

Caltrans, in cooperation with the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and the cities of San Clemente, Dana Point, and San Juan Capistrano, is proposing the addition of one carpool lane in each direction on the I-5 freeway from Avenida Pico in San Clemente to San Juan Creek Road in San Juan Capistrano.

For more information, please call Caltrans at (949) 724-2705 or click here and here.

Rail Safety Enhancement in San Juan Capistrano

Work began this week to install new railroad crossing safety features in San Juan Capistrano that will enhance safety for drivers and pedestrians and provide necessary upgrades for a quiet zone.

Five crossings in San Juan Capistrano will be improved as part of the program, including the Avenida Aeropuerto, Del Obispo Street, La Zanja Street, Oso Road and Verdugo Street crossings.

Preliminary construction on the Avenida Aeropuerto and La Zanja Street crossings began Thursday, January 27, taking place from 8:00 PM to 6:00 AM and continuing through Sunday, January 30. For more information, please click here.

Ride Metrolink FREE to LA for 112th Golden Dragon Parade

The Golden Dragon Parade attracts more than 100,000 visitors to Downtown Los Angeles every year. This year, you can get there by train, avoiding traffic and crowded parking lots, at no cost!

Taking the train to the parade is a safe and hassle-free way for residents to enjoy the Lunar New Year festivities, and OCTA is pleased to participate once again in this community holiday.

Be at the Irvine Metrolink Station by 8:30 AM on Saturday, February 5, as the first 100 people will receive a FREE round-trip Metrolink ticket to LA Union Station. FREE parking! For more information, please click here and here.


Cox Forum: OC Storm Damage and Recovery Efforts

As reported in my newsletter last week, Cox Communications is airing a segment on its local public affairs program, Cox Forum, focusing on the recent storms that reeked havoc in many Orange County communities, including the City of Laguna Beach, which suffered more than $12 million in damage impacting over 180 properties.

The Cox Forum on local storm damage and recovery efforts will air on Cox Channel 3:

  • Friday, January 28 at 6:00 PM
  • Saturday, January 30 at 7:00 PM
  • Tuesday, February 1 at 7:00 PM
  • Wednesday, February 2 at 6:30 PM


OC Parks Report: Additional Trails and Parks Reopen

As a result of the exemplary efforts of our dedicated park staff and volunteers, OC Parks is succeeding in reopening more badly storm-damaged trails, this time at Caspers, Whiting Ranch, and Laguna Coast Wilderness Parks.

Last month’s severe storms and heavy rainfall led to flooding and landslides that left many trails covered in silt, mud and debris, deeply rutted or completely eroded away. In some cases, park staff could not even access portions of parks due to swollen, impassable creeks.

Trail and park closures are put in place for visitor safety and park protection. Please observe all closures. For more information, please click here and here.


Life Expectancy in Orange County Reaches New High

A new report from the Orange County Health Care Agency finds the average life expectancy in Orange County has increased by 4.6 years, from 76.9 years in 1990 to 81.5 years in 2008. As a result, Orange County residents live almost four years longer than the national average.

While life expectancy has improved in Orange County, notable demographic differences within specific populations persist. Marked geographic differences were also found, as cities with the highest average life expectancies (83 or more years) are all clustered in South County, which certainly bodes well for Fifth District residents!

For more information, please click here. To view the 2010 report, titled “Life Expectancy in Orange County,” please click here.

Influenza Activity Increases in Orange County

Ten severe cases (resulting in admission to intensive care) of influenza in persons under 65 years of age, including one death, have been reported in Orange County this season. Of the ten severe cases, five were children. It’s not too late to vaccinate! For vaccination locations, please visit: www.ochealthinfo.com/public/flu or www.flu.gov.

For more information, the Orange County Health Care Agency’s (HCA) latest edition of Eye on Influenza is now available for viewing. To see HCA’s most recent Influenza Update, please click here.


New Election Coming Soon to San Clemente

On March 8, the Orange County Registrar of Voters (ROV) will be conducting a municipal election for the City of San Clemente.

The voters of San Clemente will be deciding if a development project will be moving forward. Measure "A" addresses the Playa del Norte commercial development project. The question before the voters will be "Shall the Playa del Norte commercial development project in the City’s North Beach area be adopted?"

The ROV will begin mailing sample ballots January 27 and vote-by-mail ballots February 7. For more information, please click here.


CALGreen Forum on Green Building Code Compliance

On Wednesday, February 2, the County of Orange will host a FREE CALGreen Forum, featuring a panel discussion and practical demonstration on how to plan check and inspect projects to ensure Green Building Code compliance.

The Forum’s two guest speakers led the effort resulting in adoption of California's first mandated Green Building Code and will introduce attendees to the Code from multiple perspectives. Attendees will also be provided examples of practical applications for residential and non-residential projects and will receive an extensive list of available resources.

There is no cost to attend the Forum, but RSVP is required. Please RSVP by January 31 with your name, title, affiliation, email address, and phone number to ocgreenseminar@yahoo.com or Dr. Nour at (949) 852-8700.

A confirmation will be sent to your email address, along with program handouts. Please print the handouts and bring them with you, as this is a "green" event and handouts will not be available at the Forum.

The CALGreen Forum will be held Wednesday, February 2 from 8:00 AM 12:00 PM at the Orange County Hall of Administration, 333 W. Santa Ana Blvd., in Santa Ana. For more information, please click here.


ReadyOC’s ‘Promise to Prepare’ Drive Exceeds Goal

ReadyOC surpassed its 2010 Promise to Prepare goal to help Orange County achieve at least 32,000 promises to take the vital first steps to prepare for an emergency or disaster situation.

Representing about one percent of the County’s total population, the goal was established to jump-start preparedness action among the vast majority of people who are aware of the importance of emergency preparedness, but admit having done little, if anything, to prepare for disasters.

During a large-scale emergency or disaster situation, first responders and public safety teams will have the ability to address the most urgent life-threatening scenarios or needs first, thanks to the promises that thousands of people have now made to prepare.

The ReadyOC campaign will continue to increase promises in 2011 and strive to make Orange County a more prepared community. For more information, please visit www.ReadyOC.org.


Plan Ahead for Valentine’s Day Weddings

Couples planning to tie-the-knot on Valentine’s Day can choose among three venues offered by the Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department.

Appointments are now being taken for ceremonies at the main marriage office at the Old County Courthouse, 211 W. Santa Ana Blvd., in Santa Ana and at the department’s two branch offices at the Laguna Hills Civic Center, 24031 El Toro Road, Suite 150, in Laguna Hills and historic downtown Fullerton, 201 N. Harbor Blvd.

The Courthouse marriage office is open from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM; and the branch offices are open from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Valentine’s Day is typically the department’s busiest day of the year for ceremonies and issuing licenses. Couples must first obtain a marriage license and make an appointment for the ceremony. Applications are available online at www.ocrecorder.com. Appointments may be scheduled by calling (714) 834-2500.

For more information, please click here.


Be Prepared for Safe, Smooth Travel at John Wayne Airport

Although John Wayne Airport (JWA) is owned and operated by the County of Orange, it is important to remember the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has jurisdiction over screening passengers and baggage.

While TSA’s rules and regulations can sometimes make a trip through the airport challenging, being prepared and knowing what to expect can help make air travel safe and smooth.

What to know before you go:

  1. Check your airline’s website for up-to-date information about luggage limitations, including allowable number of carry-on items, weight restrictions, and fees.

  2. Review TSA’s website to learn what items are prohibited in carry-on luggage, checked luggage, and how to navigate the security screening checkpoint.
    • Liquids are limited to one, clear, quart-sized bag containing no more than 3.4 oz. of liquid per item. For more information, please click here.
    • Review the 1, 2, 3 “simple steps” about passenger screening, including the option to be screened privately.
    • Shoes must be removed (slip-ons make this easier).
    • A new “pat-down” procedure was implemented at airports across the country late last year to resolve alarms at the checkpoint, including those triggered by metal detectors. A very small percentage of US travelers (about 3%) undergo this procedure.
    • About 450 Advanced Imaging Technology machines (full-body scanners) have been installed at airports in the U.S. While they are not currently in use at JWA, they are slated for installation later this year.


Free Legal Advice at Laguna Hills Library

As reported in my newsletter last week, OC Public Libraries’ Laguna Hills Technology Branch will offer free legal consultations with attorneys once a month beginning in February as part of the "Lawyers in the Library" program.

Residents can meet with an attorney for 15 minutes of legal counseling the first Wednesday of each month from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. The library is partnering with attorneys from Orange County's Public Law Center to provide the service.

Sign-ups are now available for the program, which begins Tuesday, February 2. To sign up, please visit the Laguna Hills Technology Branch Library at 25555 Alicia Parkway or call (949) 707-2699.


Wild Bald Eagle Visits County Park

Since January 23, a wild Bald Eagle has been visiting the OC Zoo located inside Irvine Regional Park, spotted perched in trees above the zoo’s Bald and Golden Eagle exhibits.

Park staff is not sure why the Bald Eagle has been attracted to the area. With the recent rains and water flowing in the Santiago Creek, it has been speculated the bird may have been attracted to the area and noticed the Park’s resident Bald Eagle housed in the OC Zoo exhibit.

The wild eagle has been vocalizing back and forth with OC Zoo’s female bird, but it is unknown if the visiting bird is male. To view a video of OC Parks’ exciting new visitor, please click here.


Dana Hills Students Earn Spot at National Championships

A team of Dana Hills High School students will travel to Las Vegas on March 21-25 for the AEM Construction Challenge National Championships after finishing third in a regional qualifying rally in Seattle.

Dana Hills juniors Ryan Lindeborg and Gillian Slee and freshmen Boyce Anderson, Alyssa Huitema, Meg LaRocca and Andrew Lindeborg are the only California team going to the Nationals.

Regional rallies across the United States and Canada gave students of both nations the chance to demonstrate their creativity and imagination by building structures related to transportation and water.

At the National Championships, the top 24 teams advancing from nine regional competitions will vie for scholarships and other prizes and have the opportunity to meet and learn from leaders in the construction industry.

For more information, please click here.


OC Can You Play?

On January 16, Orange County Pacific Symphony launched a public pianos project – OC Can You Play? – with 20 colorfully painted pianos placed throughout Orange County for everyone to play and enjoy. Through February 6, Pacific Symphony invites you to stop by, play your favorite tune, or even create your own Piano Event at one of these pianos.

Piano locations in South County include the Norman Murray Community Center in Mission Viejo, Main Beach in Laguna Beach, and in San Juan Capistrano near the historic Mission. For other piano locations and more information, please click here.

“H2O for HOAs” Water Forum

Having difficulty navigating through:

  • Water Supply Reductions?
  • Increasing Costs for Landscape and Irrigation?
  • Water Runoff Regulations?
  • Rebate Programs?
Then sign up for the Roadmap to Water Efficiency workshop, and local agencies will steer you down the path of water efficiency!

Hosted by the Cities of Dana Point, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano and the South Coast Water District, this FREE workshop will take place Tuesday, February 1 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center, 25925 Camino Del Avion, in San Juan Capistrano.

For more information, please click here.

Chinese New Year Celebration

The Aliso Viejo Branch Library will celebrate the beginning of the Chinese New Year with a story, craft and more on Thursday, February 3. The celebration will take place from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM in the library's Aliso Viejo Community Room at 1 Journey.

As the Year of the Tiger gives way to the Year of the Rabbit, visitors are invited to enjoy a traditional Chinese story read in Mandarin and English. Kids will also have the opportunity to create beautiful Chinese paper lanterns, the traditional symbol of hope and light.

For more information, please call (949) 360-1730.

Laguna Beach Special Events:

First Thursdays Art Walk Anniversary Celebration

The biggest party in Laguna Beach will be First Thursdays Art Walk‘s 13th Anniversary Celebration on Thursday, February 3 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. In addition to the renowned self-guided tour of gallery openings around town, artist demonstrations and receptions, Art Walk patrons this month will also have an opportunity to win incredible prizes at this “ARTrageous” anniversary celebration.

The event is FREE, as are the trolley service, the entertainment, and the 13th Anniversary Prize Drawing. For more information, please click here.

First Fridays Flicks at the Forum

Enjoy a FREE arts-related film at First Fridays Flicks at the Forum! “Waste Land,” an Oscar-nominated documentary that follows artist Vik Muniz to his native Brazil and the world’s largest garbage dump on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, will be shown at 7:00 PM on Friday, February 4 at the Forum Theatre on the Festival of Arts grounds in Laguna Beach. This event is FREE to all!

For more information, please click here.

Health in Motion: Obesity Prevention Forum

Join the City of San Clemente for a FREE nutrition and obesity prevention forum and expo! Learn healthy ways to cook, smart ways to grocery shop (on a budget), and essential nutrients for family members of all ages. Hear from County nutritionists, members of San Clemente Collaborative, and members of the Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan.

The Forum will be held Thursday, February 10 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Community Center, 100 N. Calle Seville, in San Clemente. The first 100 guests will receive door prizes and much more! For more information, please click here.


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

  • Chaired the monthly meeting of the Orange County Coastal Coalition. More on this in next week’s newsletter.
  • Attended the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Employee of the Year Ceremony.
  • Delivered the keynote address at the “State of the County” breakfast hosted by the South Orange County Regional Chamber of Commerce.
  • Attended a meeting of the Republican Club of Laguna Woods to present proclamations in honor of outgoing President Shirley Morgan and outgoing Vice President Larry Collins.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Orange County Sheriff's Department Investigator Steve Swiderski, a resident of Laguna Niguel.
My office also:
  • Met with newly elected Treasurer-Tax Collector Shari Freidenrich.
  • Met with representatives of the Orange County Tourism Council to discuss the Council’s future initiatives and budget.
  • Attended a meeting of the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee.
  • Attended the Heart and Soul Awards Ceremony at O’Connor Mortuary to present certificates of recognition to the honorees. For more information, please click here.
  • Attended the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce Installation Dinner and Annual Meeting to present certificates of recognition to the Chamber honorees. For more information, please click here.
  • Attended the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce Installation & Spirit of Laguna Awards Ceremony to present certificates of recognition to the Chamber honorees. For more information, please click here.
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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