Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
September 23, 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 37

La Pata Avenue NEPA Documentation

On Tuesday, the Board approved a contract with LSA & Associates for preparation of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environment documentation for the La Pata Avenue Extension Project. Completion of NEPA documentation is necessary to make the project eligible for federal funding.

Currently, a significant funding shortfall exists for the project. As such, I plan to travel to Washington D.C. next month with representatives from the City of San Clemente to explore the potential for federal funding to expedite this project.

La Pata is an important component in Orange County’s Master Plan of Arterial Highway’s and, when completed, will help relieve traffic congestion and improve mobility in South County communities.

For more information, please click here.

Bikeway Agreement with City of San Juan Capistrano

The Board approved an agreement with the City of San Juan Capistrano that will allow the City to construct and maintain all bike and pedestrian trail improvements along portions of San Juan Creek Channel, Trabuco Creek Channel and Oso Creek Channel that are located within the City's boundaries.

The planned trail improvements will merge seamlessly into the City’s system, with consistencies in materials used, aesthetics throughout the trail reach, and convenient access points for residents to utilize the trail system.

For more information, please click here.

Pension Reform Legislation

Last week, HR 2943, a bipartisan bill to assist in the County of Orange’s pension reform efforts, was introduced in Congress.

You may recall from previous newsletters that in July 2009, the County of Orange and its public employees union (OCEA) reached agreement on a new employee pension plan. This plan offered new employees the choice between a high-cost defined benefit plan, a lower-cost combined defined benefit, and a defined contribution plan (a “hybrid” plan). It also provided the opportunity for existing employees to voluntarily change to the lower-cost program.

However, there was an implementation problem. The County’s Tax Counsel determined IRS Ruling 2006-43 was an impediment to implementing the voluntary choice option for existing employees. As a result, County and Union representatives have met with the IRS and Department of the Treasury staff for the past two years regarding this issue.

Treasury staff has not provided a timeframe for issuing guidance, which would resolve the issue. Due to the lack of action by the Treasury Department, it became necessary to seek legislation. HR 2943, authored by Congresswoman Sanchez and co-authored by Congressmen Royce and Campbell, will allow existing employees to choose the new pension tier.


2011 Children and Youth Summit

I cordially invite parents and the community to the 2011 Children and Youth Summit from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM on Friday, September 30, to be held at the Bell Tower Community Center in Rancho Santa Margarita.

The theme of our Summit is “Healthy Families, Healthy Futures,” as strong families and informed, engaged parents are essential to a child’s future success. This first-of-its-kind event in South County will feature a Resource Fair, talks by child health experts, and panel discussions, where parents will hear from experts about topics critical to raising healthy and happy children, including practical tips and guidelines.

I’m very pleased the Children and Families Commission of Orange County is partnering with us on this first annual event. The Commission has an impressive track record of sponsoring comprehensive educational and health care services to Orange County families and helping prepare students for school.

I look forward to seeing you at the 2011 Children and Youth Summit! For more information, please click here.


Keep Your Home California

If you are struggling to pay your mortgage, Keep Your Home California may be able to help. The program is a federally funded effort to help California families who are unemployed, are facing other financial hardships, or have fallen behind on their mortgages and owe significantly more than the value of their homes.

For more information, please click here.


Implications of Japan Nuclear Disaster for SONGS

A San Clemente City Council meeting regarding the implications of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster for the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) is scheduled for Tuesday, September 27 at 6:30 PM at the Community Center Auditorium at 100 Calle Seville in San Clemente.

The meeting will consist of presentations by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Inter-jurisdictional Planning Committee (IPC), and SONGS. The public will have an opportunity to speak at the meeting and each of the three presentations will be followed by a question and answer session.

For more information, please click here.


Attention All Interested Parties

The Notice of Availability / Notice of Intent to adopt a Subsequent Environmental Impact Report for the Dana Point Harbor Marina Improvement Project was issued this week.

To see the official notice, please click here. For more information, please click here.


From The Sand to The Slopes

John Wayne Airport this week announced a new seasonal service from Orange County to Mammoth Yosemite Airport beginning December 16, 2011 and extending through April 15, 2012. United Airlines will offer direct, non-stop flights to Mammoth during the ski season, making it easier than ever for Orange County skiers and snowboarders to reach one of their favorite resorts.

For more information, please click here.


Orange County Health Needs Assessment Newsletter

The Orange County Health Needs Assessment (OCHNA) has released its most recent newsletter, Stone Soup Gazette, which provides the public an opportunity to learn about current health events in Orange County.

To view the September/October edition of Stone Soup Gazette, please click here. For information about OCHNA, please click here.


South County Pet and Vet Clinic

The Aliso Viejo Family Resource Center and Mission Viejo Animal Services Center are teaming up to host a low-cost Pet and Vet Clinic on Saturday, September 24 at Iglesia Park Community Center, 24671 Via Iglesia, in Aliso Viejo.

The cash-only clinic will offer vaccinations and micro-chipping at discounted rates along with dog licensing from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM. Vaccines for cats and dogs will range from $7 to $28. Dogs must be on leashes and cats in carriers.

For more information, please email gduran@cityofalisoviejo.com or call (949) 425-2519. Detailed vaccination information is also available by clicking here.

OC Animal Care: World Rabies Day Event

On Wednesday, September 28, OC Animal Care will join other agencies in recognizing World Rabies Day. To promote rabies prevention awareness and education, OC Animal Care will provide the first 50 adopters a free Rabies vaccination when they find their forever friend at the event!

For more information, please click here.


Kindle eBooks

OC Public Libraries (OCPL) now offers Library eBooks for the Kindle®. For more information, please click here.


Laguna Niguel Public Pool Best in South County

Crown Valley Community Pool in the City of Laguna Niguel received the 2011 Readers’ Choice Award for the Best Public Pool in South County from readers of ParentingOC.

According to the magazine, the pool was rated the best among readers for many reasons, including the fact that it is always well maintained and constantly heated at a very comfortable 81 degrees. Consisting of a main pool, in addition to a ‘Fitness, Instructional, Training’ (FIT) Pool and a 10-person spa, there is an option for every type of swimmer.


Dana Point: World Class BBQ Championship

The City of Dana Point is partnering with the Kansas City Barbeque Society to bring a world class barbeque championship to Dana Point. The two-day event will be held in beautiful Sea Terrace Park on Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Beach: "Taste of Laguna Beach" & Community Expo

Indulge in culinary delights and festivities at the annual "Taste of Laguna" & EXPO, as the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce hosts an evening of food, music and entertainment on Thursday, September 29 from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM atop the Glenneyre Parking Structure. For more information, please click here and here.

San Juan Capistrano: Open Space Ridge Events

Registration is available for the San Juan Capistrano Rotary Club's 5K & 10K Trail Run and Mountain Bike Poker Ride on Saturday, October 1. The day kicks off at 7:30 AM with the 5K & 10K Trail Run and continues at 9:30 AM with the 2nd Annual Mountain Bike Poker event. For more information, please click here and here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Met with the Director of the County of Orange Social Services Agency (SSA) to discuss the need for provision of services and assistance for the homeless at the Alternative Sleeping Location (ASL) in Laguna Beach.
  • Chaired the Orange County Coastal Coalition meeting. More about this in next week’s newsletter.
  • Presented a certificate of recognition to the former Editor in Chief of the Trabuco Canyon News, Jesus Flores, who received the Ethics in Business Award from Rotary del Sol.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Jacqueline Schaar of Laguna Niguel.
My office also:
  • Attended the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Special Highways Committee Meeting.
  • Received a briefing from the Chief Strategy Officer for the Ending Homelessness 2020 Board.
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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