Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
September 9, 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 35

Remembering 9/11

This Sunday marks the ten-year anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on our nation. On that infamous day, President Bush said, “our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts.”

In the coming days, we will honor the people who died as a result of those acts of terrorism, as well as those who have died since – the men and women working to prevent future attacks on our homeland.

On 9/11, we were attacked by followers of an ideology that despises freedom, is threatened by individuality, and seeks to enslave mankind under a harsh and brutal way of life. The evil doers know that their success lies in our demise, as we live in a land that has been called the birthplace freedom. Ours is a way of life that values each individual and satisfies the universal craving to live free.

Throughout human history, there have always been those who seek to deny the freedom of their fellow man. September 11 was a painful reminder that our freedoms can be fleeting if we are not resolute in their defense. While the cost of protecting our liberties can be high, the benefits are indeed plentiful.

This weekend, as we remember the victims of 9/11, let us rededicate ourselves to be resolute in the defense of our freedoms. So long as we stand guard in protection of such values, we will enjoy the fruits of liberty and can be confident that future generations will know what it means to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

God bless the 9/11 victims, and may God continue to bless America!


County Responds to Power Outage Affecting South County

As many Fifth District residents and businesses are well aware, San Diego Gas and Electric customers in South County experienced a massive power outage on September 8 that affected a total of 1.4 million customers, covering an area spanning from the Laguna Niguel and Mission Viejo areas to as far south as northern Mexico and east to Yuma, Arizona.

According to SDG&E, this was the most widespread outage in the company’s history and lasted approximately 12 hours before the power was finally restored to their service area.

In response to this incident, the County of Orange activated our Emergency Operations Center in order to monitor the blackout event and respond to any public safety needs.

This incident serves as a reminder of the importance to register all of your phone numbers and mobile devices with AlertOC, the County’s emergency mass notification system. AlertOC is designed to keep Orange County residents and businesses informed of emergencies and certain community events.

By registering at www.alertoc.com, time-sensitive voice messages from the County of Orange or the city in which you live or work may be sent to your home, cell or business phone. Text messages may also be sent to cell phones, email accounts and hearing impaired receiving devices.

To view the press release issued by San Diego Gas & Electric regarding the blackout event, please click here.


Redistricting Update

This week, the Board took a final vote on new supervisorial district boundaries. The majority of my colleagues and I reaffirmed our vote of support for Map 21C, which was introduced by Chairman Campbell. You can see a copy of the final map by clicking here.

As I reported to you in a previous newsletter, there are two slight changes to the boundaries of the Fifth District: Newport Coast will now be in the Second District, and a small portion of the City of Irvine has been placed in the Fifth District. The new boundaries will go into effect in 30 days.

First and foremost, it is the responsibility of the Board of Supervisors to approve a map that meets the requirements outlined by the law. The map selected best complies with the spirit of the Voting Rights Act, as it keeps communities of interest whole, has a minimal population spread between the districts, and respects the rights of all voters.

The Board also must listen to the public, and has done so throughout the redistricting process. Map 21 C reflects the main themes of the public comment received. To that end, I supported Map 21 C, as it serves ALL the people of Orange County, with each citizen represented on the Board of Supervisors and every citizen being able to have the confidence that their Supervisor will be an advocate for their community.

Strategic Real Estate / Facilities Working Session

During our September 6 Special Meeting, the Board conducted a lengthy study session on the County’s Real Estate and Facilities. The session included information detailing the current status of the County’s real estate, a review of the County’s Facilities Master Plan, and an overview of the County’s priority projects currently underway and future planned projects.

For more information, please click here.


1st Annual Orange County Stand Down

Veterans First is proud to announce the 1st annual Orange County Stand Down for homeless and at-risk Veterans and their families. The Stand Down will take place September 17 & 18 on the grounds of Santa Ana College in the City of Santa Ana.

The Orange County Stand Down will provide one-stop shopping for homeless and at-risk Veterans to get matched with essential services such as medical, dental and vision exams; employment and housing assistance; as well as Veterans benefit identification and assistance.

The Stand Down will also provide these Veterans a place to enjoy a hot meal, showers and grooming, as well as the opportunity to spend time with fellow Veterans and feel a sense of camaraderie that many may not have felt since their time in service to our country. For more information, please click here.


New TCA Website Unveiled

At this month’s Transportation Corridor Agencies’ (TCA) Board of Directors meeting, a new TCA website was unveiled. The new TCA website features more interactive features, which allows users to view traffic, calculate tolls, and manage their FasTrak accounts. Please take a moment to visit the new site by clicking here.

OC Jobs Summit

Approximately 250 people came together last week in a first-of-its-kind OC Jobs Now Summit held in the City of Orange to discuss investments that create jobs and offer solutions to expediting transportation projects for America’s future.

The summit, co-hosted by the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), the Orange County Business Council and Caltrans brought together transportation officials, business leaders, economists, labor representatives and workers throughout the nation. The event provided an opportunity for open dialogue to highlight the importance of infrastructure investment as a way to create desperately needed jobs in an industry still reeling from the recession.

In Orange County, the Measure M2 half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements, along with other federal and state funds, is advancing more than $256 million in projects into construction in the next 12 months, which is estimated will create or sustain 4,600 jobs. This total does not include another $48 million allocated for project support, such as preliminary engineering, environmental reviews, as well as project design and construction management.

For a list of transportation projects fueling the economy, please click here.

New Counter Terrorism Team Ensures Safer Transit

The Orange County Transportation Authority and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department officials have joined forces to launch a Counter Terrorism Team, dedicated to protecting transit passengers and the public.

The Transit Police Services Counter Terrorism Team will be highly visible and easily recognizable for rail and bus passengers. The Team will also serve as a deterrent to those who have intentions to harm the public.

The Team is being launched through a $122,000 federal grant and will further Homeland Security’s mission of ensuring safer streets and transit services in Orange County.

The Counter Terrorism Team will employ proactive enforcement actions in a random and unpredictable pattern. The Team will also be deployed at special events, events of national significance, and during times of elevated threat levels.

Among others, the Team’s tactics will include:
  • Random visual searches of public areas at train stations and transit centers
  • Highly visible foot patrols on train platforms and at transit centers
  • Boarding of both buses and trains
  • Foot patrol of railroad rights of way
  • Operations in conjunction with covert team activities
Millions of trips are taken aboard public transit each year in Orange County and we have the responsibility to ensure the safety of our passengers and prevent threats to our security. The support of the federal government is vital to our counter terrorism operations and we thank Orange County’s Congressional delegation for their efforts in bringing this much-needed funding to our region.


A Time for Reflection and a Time for Action

As September is National Preparedness Month and Thursday, October 20 at 10:20 AM is the California Great Shakeout, one of the ways we can honor and remember victims of disasters is to be prepared ourselves. Both of these events are geared toward getting individuals and businesses better prepared for a disaster by identifying potential threats, making a family communications plan, having an emergency kit at home and in your vehicle, as well as other activities.

If you haven’t taken some of these important steps, please visit www.ReadyOC.org and get started! Make sure you “Get a Kit, Make a Plan, and Be Informed.” In addition, don’t forget to update phone numbers and cycle out food that may have expired. Once you’re prepared, encourage your work or school to participate in the Great Shakeout (www.shakeout.org) by holding a “Drop, Cover and Hold” drill or by testing your plans with a disaster exercise.

For more information from the Water Emergency Response Organization of Orange County (WEROC), please click here.

Stay tuned for information on the 4th Annual South County Disaster Preparedness Expo to be held October 22 at the Norman Murray Community Center in Mission Viejo.


Health Care Agency Radiological Emergency Response

The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) generates almost 2.5 Megawatts of electricity daily, providing power to thousands of Orange County residents. The generation of this power occurs in two reactor vessels known as units 2 & 3, which are contained in the big white domes near the San Diego/Orange County line, easily seen while driving along the I-5 Freeway.

Safety at the plant and of the surrounding communities is a top priority for nuclear power generators in the United States, and SONGS employs the most cutting edge safety systems in the world to prevent a nuclear emergency. However, as events around the world have taught us, there is still a need for a high level of preparedness. Therefore, SONGS, Orange County, and the surrounding communities have worked together to develop a radiological emergency response system to ensure the highest level of protection to the population surrounding the plant.

Within this system, the Orange County Health Care Agency plays a crucial role, and the County Health Officer is a central part of the protective action decision making process. Orange County Environmental Health (EH) assists the Health Officer by deploying personnel to staff the Offsite Dose Assessment Center (ODAC).

The ODAC team mission is to assess the emergency, determine the best protective action for the public, and relay a protective action recommendation to the County Health Officer and the Operational Area Emergency Operations Center. The ODAC team undergoes extensive training and works with local, state and federal organizations throughout the year to evaluate procedures, test equipment, aid in planning, and conduct drills. They participate in regular biennial radiological release and evacuation exercises that are evaluated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Passing the exercise is critical to maintaining the operational status of the plant.

In addition to the biennial exercises, once every twelve years the team is tested in a 3-day, FEMA graded Ingestion Pathway exercise that evaluates the response to not only a release, but to the long-term contamination and agricultural implications. This exercise took place in March and April this year and became extremely significant when, between the March dress rehearsal and the April graded exercise, the world was rocked by the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant. SONGS was the very first utility in the United States to be evaluated in the wake of the disaster and the normally intense scrutiny for the exercise multiplied a hundred fold. Under the additional pressure, the Environmental Health SONGS team performed with dedication and competence. The exercise was a success and no major issues were found by FEMA.

An emergency at SONGS would cause the deployment of numerous state and federal resources, but any emergency must be dealt with first by local responders. The efficacy of the initial response determines how the event will ultimately be resolved and its total impact to the public. The County of Orange Environmental Health SONGS team is a proud and integral part of a much larger process that insures that the people of Orange County remain safe and protected.


California Coastal Cleanup Day

As reported in my newsletter last week, OC Dana Point Harbor will be joining more than 800 other locations throughout the State in the 27th annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. The State’s largest volunteer event will be held Saturday, September 17 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

Those interested in volunteering can obtain more information by contacting OC Dana Point Harbor at (949) 923-2236, or simply check-in during the event next to Jolly Roger restaurant on the Wharf.

In addition, OC Dana Point Harbor is also organizing the 6th annual Underwater Cleanup Event the same day from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM. This is part of OC Dana Point Harbor’s continuing efforts to improve water quality in the Harbor.

For more information, please click here and here. For Coastal Cleanup Day activities taking place at OC Parks facilities throughout Orange County, please click here.

Orange County Coastal Coalition

Please join me at the Newport Beach Library on Thursday, September 22 at 9:00 AM for the next regular meeting of the Orange County Coastal Coalition, where I have the pleasure of serving as Chair.

Presenting will be Larry Honeybourne of the County of Orange Health Care Agency, Ted von Bitner of OC Watersheds, and Donna Ferguson of Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. The presentations will be followed by a question and answer session.

For more information, please click here.


Summertime Safety for Dogs: Heat Stroke

When a dog is exposed to high temperatures, heat stroke or heat exhaustion can occur. It’s important for pet owners to understand that dogs are more susceptible to heat stroke than humans. Dogs do not sweat through their skin like humans, as they release heat primarily by panting.

If a dog cannot effectively expel heat, their internal body temperature begins to rise, and the damage to their cellular system and organs may become irreversible. Once signs of heat stroke are detected, there is precious little time before serious damage (or even death) occurs.

Additionally, some breeds are more susceptible than others, such as short-nosed breeds (pugs, pekingese, boxers, bulldogs, etc.). Unfortunately, too many dogs become victims of heat stroke, when it could have been avoided by their owners.

Major causes of heat stroke in dogs include:
  • Leaving your dog in a parked car. It only takes a few minutes for the temperature inside to reach 160 degrees. Parking in shade or even with the windows cracked offers little to no protection.
  • Exercising in hot weather. This is especially true with older dogs, dogs that are overweight, or dogs with medical conditions.
  • Dogs left outside without shade or proper access to water.
Also, please don’t ever leave your pet standing on hot pavement, concrete or metal, as this can burn their paws, causing extreme pain; and keep your walks to a minimum, as your pet is much closer to the hot surface area.

For more information, please click here and here.


Library Fines Amnesty Week

OC Public Libraries (OCPL) is encouraging its borrowers to participate in OCPL’s Overdue Fines Amnesty Program, which was approved by the Board of Supervisors at our July 26 meeting. The program gives borrowers the opportunity to return overdue library materials and clear their accounts during OCPL’s Amnesty Week, scheduled September 12 through 18.

For more information, please click here.


South County’s CUSD Top Achieving Large School District

The Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) in South County remains the state’s highest achieving large school district, as Academic Performance Index (API) scores released by the California Department of Education indicate.

Of the District’s 54 traditional schools, 24 scored better than 900, which is considered to be an elite score. A total of 51 CUSD schools scored above the state goal of 800, and every school in the District scored above 775.

When compared to other school districts in the state, CUSD fared quite well. Among large districts (those with more than 35,000 students), CUSD has the top API score! For more information, please click here.


Dana Point Harbor: Tall Ships Festival

The 27th annual Toshiba Tall Ships Festival, the largest annual gathering of tall ships on the West Coast, will take place September 9–11 in Dana Point Harbor. Enjoy the smells, sounds and sights of real working ships, and visit interactive living-history encampments, including blacksmiths, scrimshaw artists, knot tiers, and the infamous Port Royal Privateers. For more information, please click here.


Rancho Santa Margarita: Patriot Day Commemoration

The City of Rancho Santa Margarita will welcome the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines to City Hall on Saturday, September 10 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM to commemorate Patriot Day and the 10th Anniversary of the terrorist attacks that took place September 11, 2001. The City will also honor the memory of Cpl. Jordan Stanton, a Rancho Santa Margarita hometown Patriot, who was killed during combat operations on March 4, 2011. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Niguel: September 11 Remembrance Event

The City of Laguna Niguel will host a September 11 Remembrance Event at Crown Valley Community Park from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM, giving residents the opportunity to show their patriotism and pay tribute to those who lost their lives, were injured or suffered loss of family members and friends. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Woods: September 11 Memorial Parade

On Sunday, September 11, the City of Laguna Woods and American Legion Post 257 will hold a 15 minute memorial sidewalk parade to mark Patriot Day. The parade will take place on the east side of El Toro Road from Gate 1 to City Hall. At 9:00 AM, Legionnaires and Villagers will assemble at Clubhouse 1 and will walk through Gate 1 at 9:30 AM. For more information, please click here.

Mission Viejo: Patriot Day Ceremony

To commemorate Patriot Day and the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on our nation, the City of Mission Viejo will host a reverent Day of Remembrance beginning at 8:00 AM Sunday, September 11 at the Mission Viejo Civic Center, 200 Civic Center. For more information, please click here.

San Juan Capistrano: Day of Remembrance

The City of San Juan Capistrano will pay tribute to those who lost their lives and the heroes that responded to the catastrophic events of 9/11 with a memorial event. The 9/11 Day of Remembrance will be held at 8:00 AM Saturday, September 11 at Historic Town Center Park, 31806 El Camino Real. For more information, please click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Participated in the Orange County Transportation Authority’s (OCTA) Environmental Oversight Committee meeting.
  • Participated in the Orange County Human Resources Department Ad-Hoc Subcommittee meeting.
  • Participated in a meet & greet with the FY 2011-2012 Orange County Grand Jury.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Reverend Allen Richard Beyersdorf of Lake Forest.
My office also:
  • Provided a certificate of recognition in honor of the ribbon cutting ceremony for Lorinda Sloss/State Farm Insurance in San Juan Capistrano.
This Sunday and always, please remember the victims and heroes of September 11, 2001, and please pray for our armed forces and foreign services personnel.

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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