Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
February 4, 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 4

Small Business Administration Offers Disaster Assistance

Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to Orange County residents, business owners and others affected by the severe winter storms, flooding, debris and mud flows that occurred December 17 through January 4, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced this week.

Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations whose property was damaged or destroyed by the disaster.

Beginning Tuesday, February 8, customer service representatives will be on hand at SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Centers to issue loan applications, answer questions about SBA's disaster loan program, explain the application process, and help individuals complete their application. No appointment is necessary.

Centers will be open at the following locations, days and times:

Disaster Loan Outreach Center
Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce
357 Glenneyre Street
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Thursdays and Fridays
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Opens: Thursday, Feb. 10

Disaster Loan Outreach Center
Orange County Fire Authority
1 Fire Authority Road
Irvine, CA 92602

Mondays through Wednesdays
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Opens: Tuesday, Feb. 8

Disaster loan information and application forms are also available by contacting SBA's Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visiting SBA's website. Hearing impaired individuals can call (800) 877-8339.

Applicants can also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA's secure website by clicking here.

The filing deadline to return applications for property damage is April 4. The deadline to return economic injury applications is November 2. For more information, please click here.


Ronald Reagan Day

Besides being Super Bowl Sunday, this Sunday marks the centennial of Ronald Reagan’s birth. To that end, I introduced a Board Resolution this week declaring February 6, 2011, “Ronald Reagan Day” in the County of Orange, which was unanimously approved by the Board.

In passing this resolution, Orange County will be joining states, counties and cities across the nation to commemorate Ronald Reagan’s Centennial and celebrate his legacy, which includes healing a broken economy, helping to end the Cold War, and restoring a sense of national pride.

While remembering Ronald Reagan and his accomplishments is fitting and proper, perhaps the best way to honor him is to renew our individual efforts to promote American history. In his farewell address to the nation, President Reagan warned of an “eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit.” He said, “If we forget what we did, we won't know who we are.”

To that end, the President urged each citizen, particularly parents, to pay more attention to American history and place greater emphasis on civic ritual. As parents and grandparents, we must teach the next generation what it means to be American, what makes our country unique in human history, and why our freedoms our so precious.

If we make and keep our commitment to do this, we will ensure that, as Ronald Reagan said, “America’s best days are yet to come. Our proudest moments are yet to be. Our most glorious achievements are just ahead.” To read a copy of the Board Resolution, please click here.

Redistricting Law Firm

The Board selected the law firm Woodruff, Spradlin & Smart, to provide special advisory and legal services related to the County’s 2011 redistricting process. Changes to redistricting law over the years and the complexity of the Voting Rights Act require us to obtain Counsel with specific expertise in this area of law. Having proper counsel will help ensure our legislative districts are redrawn in accordance with the letter and spirit of the law, as the ultimate goal is a redistricting process that is open, fair and transparent.

Lobbying Ordinance

The Board unanimously approved the first reading of a County Lobbying Ordinance. The ordinance requires registration and reporting by lobbyists, government affairs directors of for-profit companies, and union leaders that meet with any of the five Supervisors regarding matters before the Board.

Registration and reporting is required by those who are paid more than $500 in a calendar month for lobbying activities. Anyone paid less than $500 or those representing themselves or their own businesses are not required to register or report. Registration and subsequent reporting will provide the public with information regarding the name of the lobbyist, their contact information, and a list of their employer(s).

The purpose of this ordinance is to provide additional information and transparency to citizens regarding County government. A second reading and final adoption will take place at the February 8 Board of Supervisors meeting. With adoption of the Lobbying Ordinance, the County of Orange will continue to remain at the forefront of open, responsible and responsive government.

While several jurisdictions may have a lobbying ordinance already in place, few have the additional safeguards of the gift ban ordinance and the TINCUP campaign contribution limits. The gift ban policies and TINCUP have been in place for several years in Orange County. To that end, the new lobbying ordinance will help provide additional information to the public regarding their County government.

Voluntary Contract Cost Reduction Program

The County of Orange continues to strive to leverage the free market and competitive biding to reach the most advantageous pricing. To that end, the Board voted to begin an innovative pilot program to reduce costs below current contracted rates.

Through the Voluntary Contract Cost Reduction Program, the Board authorized the CEO to negotiate a one-time 12 month contract extension in exchange for a current 10% vendor discount. Should the initial 200+ vendor test prove successful, the Board may extend the program throughout the County.

For more information, please click here.


Annual Measure M Public Hearing

The Measure M Taxpayers Oversight Committee will conduct its 20th annual public hearing on the countywide sales tax measure that funds transportation services and projects throughout Orange County. The hearing will take place at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, February 8 at the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) headquarters in Orange.

Committee members will report their recent activities and take public comments on the implementation of Measure M in the last year. The independent, 11-member oversight committee was formed as a voter safeguard to monitor OCTA’s use of Measure M funding, approve all changes to the Measure M plan, and hold annual public hearings on the expenditure of funds generated by Measure M.

By March 2011, Measure M will have generated more than $4 billion in transportation improvements. Hundreds of local projects that impact residents every day have already been completed, including improvements to nearly every freeway in the county, widening streets, signal coordination and intersection improvements. Measure M funding also made possible the Metrolink commuter-rail service in Orange County.

Ride Metrolink FREE to LA for 112th Golden Dragon Parade

As reported in my newsletter last week, taking the train to the Golden Dragon Parade in downtown Los Angeles 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.

The Golden Dragon Parade attracts more than 100,000 visitors yearly to Chinatown in LA. This year, you can get there by train and avoid the traffic and crowded parking lots at no cost!

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, too! For more information, please click here and here.


South County Cities Among Safest in America

The City of Lake Forest has the distinction of having the 6th lowest crime rate ranking in America for cities with a population between 75,000 and 99,999, and the 7th lowest crime rate ranking overall, according to the recent CQ Press City Crime Rankings.

Not to be out done, the City of Mission Viejo enjoys the 4th lowest crime rate ranking overall! The rankings include all cities of at least 75,000 residents that reported crime data to the FBI in various categories for 2009.

To view the entire City Rankings list and for more information, please click here.


Orange County Coastal Coalition

The Orange County Coastal Coalition, which I am pleased to Chair, provides an opportunity to learn about and collaborate on current topics affecting not only our coastal cities, but those inland as well. As such, our January 27 meeting provided a forum to learn about Southern California’s coastal wetlands future survival, coastal marine spatial planning, and the future of the seafood industry.

Dr. Jerry Schubel, President of Aquarium of the Pacific, gave a presentation titled “Living with an Urban Ocean.” He stated Southern California coastal water gets renewed in a matter of days, which benefits the environment, and for the wetlands future survival, it is beneficial in creating corridors or sediment. Additionally, coastal marine spatial planning also benefits the environment and humans.

Marine Biologist Dave Anderson and Program Manager Andrew Gruel gave a presentation titled “Seafood for the Future.” They spoke about the benefits of seafood, as it is not only delicious but healthy, too, and how the seafood industry also increases and strengthens economies and communities. According to the speakers, the future of seafood depends on three variables:

1.) Marketing - a variety for menu diversity, which should prevent over-fishing of a popular species; 2.) Management - by regulating the industry, either by setting times or quantities; and 3.) Aquaculture - playing an important part of the future of the fish industry by farming.

Additionally, the speakers emphasized that over-fishing is a serious concern for our future. With seventy-eight percent of seafood consumption taking place in restaurants, they called upon distributors to promote diversity to help prevent species extinction.

To view the two PowerPoint presentations from the meeting, please click here.

I invite you to join us at our next Orange County Coastal Coalition meeting at 9:00 AM on Thursday, March 24 at the Newport Beach Library. To be placed on the email distribution list for future Coastal Coalition meetings, please send your email address to betty.ruano@ocpw.ocgov.com.


Island Way Drainage Repair Project

OC Dana Point Harbor is currently managing a maintenance and repair project for slope drains along Island Way, including repairs to the sidewalk and curb. The project, which began this week, will last approximately 1½ months with construction activities limited to Monday through Friday.

During construction, there will be some pedestrian detours and temporary traffic controls along Island Way. For more information, please call OC Dana Point Harbor at (949) 923-3786 or click here.


Whiting Ranch, Laguna Coast and O’Neill Parks Now Open

O’Neill Regional Park, Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, and Whiting Ranch have now all reopened. These parks suffered severe damage, including landslides and trail failures, and had been closed since heavy rain and flooding hit December 21.

However, some trail restrictions remain at these and other parks while trail work continues. Please respect trail closures for your own safety and the sustainability of park trails. For more information, please click here and here.

Doheny State Beach Update

The Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association (DSBIA) has released its monthly DOHENY UPDATE to better inform the public about current events and conditions at the State Park. To view the DSBIA February newsletter, please click here.


Adopt Your True Love

The Coastal Animal Services Authority (CASA) is hosting an adoption event at the San Clemente / Dana Point Animal Shelter throughout the month of February. The shelter is celebrating the spirit of Valentine’s Day with an event called “Adopt Your True Love”.

CASA’s adoption fees will be reduced the entire month to $65.00 for dogs, $50.00 for cats, and rabbits will be $20.00. The animal shelter is located at 221 Avenida Fabricante in San Clemente. For more information, please click here.

Wine, Roses and Wet Noses

The ARC of San Juan, a companion animal rescue, is hosting a Wine, Roses and Wet Noses event on Thursday, February 10. For more information, please call (949) 388-0034.

Valentine's Day Pet Dangers

Valentine's Day is a wonderful time to celebrate the ones we love, but it can also be a dangerous holiday for our pets. Please take extra steps to make sure your dog or cat is safe.

Valentine's Day pet dangers include:

  • Roses have thorns that could get caught in a paw or swallowed. Keep roses out of reach of your pet. Keep plenty of fresh water available to your dog or cat so the water that roses are kept in won't tempt them.
  • Lilies can be poisonous to your pet. Some lilies have a toxic chemical and can cause harm.
  • Chocolates can be very tempting to your pet but should be considered poisonous.
  • Gift-wrap may smell of sweets, candy and chocolate. The sweet smell might be inviting to your pet and cause them to eat the gift-wrap. Ribbon may also be ingested and cause big trouble for your dog or cat.
  • Candy Wrappers are another danger, as they may have the scent of sweet chocolate and smell like a treat to your dog or cat. Many wrappers have sharp edges (such as foil) and may also have chocolate left on the wrapper.
For more information, please click here.


Struggling With Chronic Disease?

FREE workshops are offered throughout Orange County to help seniors learn to manage a chronic condition and improve their health. The Healthier Living workshop is a 6-week series for those with an ongoing health problem, family members with a chronic condition, or who want to be more physically and socially active.

If you are interested in attending a Healthier Living workshop, please call the Orange County Office on Aging at (800) 510-2020 for the schedule and location of upcoming classes. For more information, please click here.



Did you know there is a Smokers' Helpline to help people quit smoking? Helpline services are FREE, funded by the California Department of Health. Every month, thousands call and receive help.

When you call 1-800-NO-BUTTS, a friendly staff person will offer a choice of services, including self-help materials, a referral list of other programs, and one-on-one counseling over the phone. For more information, please click here.


WestJet to Start New International Service

WestJet has announced it will begin daily non-stop service from Vancouver and Calgary to John Wayne Airport (JWA) beginning May 2 and June 13, 2011, respectively. This service inaugurates two new non-stop international routes for JWA.

Although JWA does not have a U.S. Customs and Immigration office, passengers traveling between the U.S. and Canada are expected to be able to take advantage of the preclearance system set up at most Canadian airports, where they will clear customs in Canada on arrival and departure.

For more information, please click here.


Top Orange County New Baby Names in 2010

The most popular names for babies born in Orange County last year were Jacob, moving up from 5th place in 2009, and Sophia, which overtook Isabella for the top spot.

The baby names list was compiled by the Orange County Clerk-Recorder from about 42,000 births recorded in Orange County in 2010, of which 51% were boys and 49% were girls. For more information, please click here.


February Teen Contest: Voices & Visions

Sponsored by OC Public Libraries (OCPL), Voices & Visions is a monthly contest for Orange County teens to showcase their creative talents in prose, poetry, art and film. A new theme is announced the beginning of each month, with entries due by the last day of the month.

The theme for the month of February is “The Fantastic.” Winners will be notified by the end of the month that follows their entry and later displayed on the OCPL website. For more information, please click here and here. To view winning entries from previous months, please click here.


Aliso Niguel High School Student Honored for Charity Work

Megan Mahdi, a sophomore at Aliso Niguel High School, was recently honored for her outstanding charity work during National Philanthropy Day. Megan started her charitable group, Project Joy, in the sixth grade. The charity holds an annual skate-a-thon, where she and fellow figure-skating friends skate laps around the ice rink.

To date, Project Joy has raised more than $106,000. Megan hopes to build on her success and is looking forward to holding many more skate-a-thons. For more information, please click here and here.


Laguna Beach: First Fridays Flicks at the Forum

Enjoy a FREE arts-related film in Laguna Beach 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 Janeirom – 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.

Dana Point: After Hours at the Library

The Friends of Dana Point Library invite you to enjoy a FREE concert, Swingin’ with Dean, on Friday, February 4 from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM, featuring Hits of the Great American Artists: 1940s-1970s. For more information, please call (949) 496-5517 or click here.

San Juan Capistrano: Movies at the Library

First Friday Film

Come to the San Juan Capistrano Branch Library on Friday, February 4 at 7:00 PM to see the movie “The Ghost Writer,” as a ghost writer hired to complete the memoirs of a former British prime minister uncovers secrets that put his own life in jeopardy. A $2 donation supports the library. For more information, please click here.

Family Film Feature

Bring the whole family to the San Juan Capistrano Branch Library on Saturday, February 5 at 11:00 AM to enjoy the funny and heartwarming film “Despicable Me.” FREE admission and popcorn for this fun family film feature! For more information, please click here.

Mission Viejo: Special Live Performance, Radio Show

Renowned guitarist and composer David Becker will perform and discuss his music February 5 during a radio show broadcast from Mission Viejo City Hall, 200 Civic Center. Becker, dubbed as one of the best jazz guitarists of all time, will appear on the “Breakfast with Gary and Kelly” show, part of KSBR Radio’s “Radio on TV” monthly special.

The public is invited to witness the fun while Gary Bergeson and Kelly Bennett conduct their entire radio broadcast from the City Council Chamber starting at 9:00 AM. The studio audience will join the fun at 10:00 AM (doors will open at 9:45 AM with seating on a first-come, first-served basis), and Becker will take the stage for the final hour of the broadcast, beginning at 11:00 AM.

That final hour will also be videotaped for broadcast on MVTV. For more information, please click here.

OC Can You Play?

Orange County Pacific Symphony recently 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 Sunday, 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 San Juan Capistrano near the historic Mission. For other piano locations and more information, please click here. To view an impromptu lunchtime concert held at the ‘OC Can You Play?’ piano at UC Irvine, 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:

  • Attended the swearing-in ceremony for District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.
  • Met with Sheriff Sandra Hutchens to discuss Sheriff’s Department budget issues.
  • Met with San Juan Capistrano city officials to discuss regional transportation issues.
  • Attended the Orange County Business Council installation ceremony.
  • Attended a Cox Communications Orange County event to present a proclamation declaring February 4, 2011 as Cox Conserves Day in the Fifth District in honor of their Fuel Cell Initiative.
My office also:
  • Attended the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee meeting.
  • Presented a certificate of recognition in honor of the grand opening of Pure Light in Laguna Beach.
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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