Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
October 14, 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 40

No Board Meeting This Week

There was not a regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Supervisors this week. To view the Board meeting schedule for 2011, please click here.

Our next Board meeting will be held Tuesday, October 18. For Agenda & Meeting Information, please click here.

Live Internet broadcasts of Board of Supervisors meetings can be viewed online and are archived as video-on-demand. To view live and/or past Board meetings, please click here.


Update on OCTA Chair’s 10 Strategic Initiatives for 2011

As the incoming Chair of the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), in January, I presented a report to the Board of Directors on my 10 Strategic Initiatives for 2011 to help deliver transportation solutions to improve the quality of life for Orange County residents.

At the OCTA Board meeting last Friday, I presented an update on the 10 Strategic Initiatives and highlighted some accomplishments to date, including:
  • Emphasizing Environmental Stewardship - Since May, OCTA has preserved approximately 945 acres through the Environmental Mitigation Program and provided $5 million for habitat restoration projects.
  • Improve Streets and Roads - OCTA awarded $56 million to local agencies to widen major streets, add turning lanes, improve intersections, enhance freeway on-ramps and off-ramps and increase bike lanes.
  • Envision Future Transit - The Transit System Study is under way to identify long-term ways of providing cost-effective transit service over the next decade.
  • Advocate for Process Improvements - The Breaking Down Barriers initiative is being championed by OCTA to speed up the delivery of transportation projects and put hundreds of thousands of Americans to work. Congressman Gary Miller released the Breaking Down Barriers Act of 2011 in August.
State to Maintain M2 Environmental Program Property

Working closely with the environmental community, OCTA is purchasing open space as part of the M2 Freeway Environmental Program. The program advances the environmental permitting process for 13 freeway improvement projects to save taxpayer dollars and speed up project delivery.

To that end, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) awarded a two-year contract to the California Department of Parks and Recreation for upkeep of the Hayashi property, purchased in May as part of the M2 Freeway Environmental Program.

The state agency will be responsible for maintaining the biological resources of the property, including the removal of trash, maintenance of trails and fences, adding and maintaining signage, and patrolling the area.

The Hayashi property is located in north Orange County and occupies 296 acres of land.

The state will manage the property for two years, with a third year option, until a permanent land manager is identified after completion of the Natural Community Conservation Plan / Habitat Conservation Plan.

241 Toll Road Completion Update

On Thursday, I joined with my fellow Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (F/E TCA) Board of Directors in taking an important step toward starting construction on completion of the 241 Toll Road.

In a near unanimous vote, the Board approved a recommendation to begin development of preliminary engineering plans, completion of environmental assessments, and development of a financing strategy to build an initial segment of the 241 Toll Road extension.

This work is estimated to take 12 months, at which time construction can begin. The initial segment is a four-mile stretch from Oso Parkway to the vicinity of Ortega Highway in San Juan Capistrano.

Completion of the 241 is necessary to meet the traffic needs of our region, as well as to comply with new air quality standards and preserve the quality of life we enjoy in South Orange County.

To see a map of the proposed initial segment, please click here.


Fourth Annual South County Disaster Preparedness Expo

As we’ve learned all too well, wildfires, earthquakes and floods are ever present threats in Southern California. As such, I’m hosting the 4th annual South County Disaster Preparedness Expo on Saturday, October 22 at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center, 24932 Veterans Way, in Mission Viejo.

The South County Disaster Preparedness Expo is again being held in conjunction with the City of Mission Viejo’s “Walk Against Drugs” and will take place from 8:30 AM to 12:00 noon.

We can’t predict when a disaster will strike, but we can certainly prepare for one. To that end, I urge you and your family to attend the 4th annual South County Disaster Preparedness Expo.

Get prepared! Learn how! For more information, click here.

Power Outage: After Action Review

As many of you know, on Thursday, September 8, south Orange County, San Diego, and western Arizona residents sustained a widespread power outage, leaving nearly 1.5 million residents without electricity. South County was directly impacted by this power outage.

On Wednesday, October 19, I will join OC Public Works at an After Action Review (AAR), which will focus on lessons learned – both what went well and areas for improvement. South County cities, water districts, transportation agencies, utilities, and other stakeholders will also be on hand to provide insight going forward.

OC Public Works held its first formal AAR after the holiday storms last December and found it a worthwhile effort to reflect on how the County of Orange can continue to improve delivery of services to our residents. Many of the ideas brought forth have already been implemented as we gear up for this year’s pending storm season.


Annual Test of Community Alert Siren System

The Cities of San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point and San Clemente will conduct the annual test of the community alert siren system Wednesday, October 19 from 10:00 AM to 12 noon. The sirens will be sounded several times for approximately three minutes each time.

This is only a test. If residents ever hear the sirens in the event of an actual emergency, they should turn on their radios or televisions for emergency information.

Great California ShakeOut

The public is encouraged to take part in the Great California ShakeOut at 10:20 AM on Thursday, October 20.

The goal of the ShakeOut is to get Californians prepared for major earthquakes by teaching them what to do before, during and after an earthquake. Earthquakes occur without any warning and can be so violent that you may only have seconds to protect yourself, as you never know if the initial jolt will turn out to be start of the “big one.”

Anyone can participate in the ShakeOut and the community is encouraged to remember the following advice:
  • DROP to the ground
  • Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table
  • HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops
For more information, please visit www.shakeout.org. For information on preparing your home, family or workplace for an earthquake, please visit ReadyOC or the Earthquake Country Alliance Dare to Prepare site.

AlertOC Regional Test

AlertOC is a mass notification system designed to keep residents and businesses informed of emergencies. By registering with AlertOC, time-sensitive voice messages from your city and the County of Orange can be sent to your home, cell or business phone. Text messages can also be sent to cell phones, email accounts, and hearing impaired receiving devices.

As reported in my newsletter last week, more than two million Orange County residents will receive a call Thursday, October 20 at 5:00 PM to test AlertOC. This is the second annual regional test of the system and will include 28 other participating cities and the County's unincorporated areas, including Coto de Caza, Ladera Ranch and Las Flores in the 5th District.

The key feature of AlertOC is the ability for residents to register more than one contact method at a specific address. Registrations of cell phone and alternate numbers increase the potential of reaching the greatest number of community members as rapidly as possible. This enables landlines, cell phones and e-mail addresses to be incorporated into a single notification system.

The regional test will be held in conjunction with the Great California ShakeOut earthquake drill. The AlertOC drill on October 20 will replicate a large scale, multi-jurisdictional emergency requiring thousands of numbers to be called simultaneously across Orange County's entire region.

The phone message will urge residents to prepare for real-life emergencies by registering their cell numbers, text numbers and e-mail addresses at www.AlertOC.com for the best chance to receive vital, timely information when away from home.

Emergencies can happen at any time. A wildfire could spread or a flood could close the roads to a neighborhood while residents are away from home. In these instances, AlertOC is a critical link for residents to immediately learn of any required actions.

Residents are encouraged to self-register their cell phone numbers and other contact information to be a part of the regional test. For more information and to register, please click here.


Cracking Down on Illegally Operating Marijuana Stores

Last Friday, the U.S. Justice Department announced renewed efforts to prosecute the commercial marijuana industry in California. While the non-profit distribution of marijuana for medicinal purposes is permissible, it is illegal to sell the drug for profit.

Several cities throughout California, including many in South County, have been working to close down illegally operating marijuana stores, as these stores, often supplied by drug traffickers, are magnets for criminal activity and a denigration of the quality of life of the community.

The Justice Department will be seeking civil forfeiture against stores involved in trafficking and pressing criminal charges against those stores that are operating for profit. The Justice Department has sent warning letters to owners of properties where these illegal sales are taking place. Property owners in the cities of Lake Forest, Rancho Santa Margarita, Dana Point, Laguna Hills and Laguna Niguel have all been sent letters.

This new involvement by the federal government will go a long way towards boosting local efforts to combat this criminal activity.


Reality of Today's Teens: What Every Parent Should Know

Parents of teenagers are invited to learn about adolescent subcultures and drug trends in a special presentation on Wednesday, October 19.

The program, "Reality of Today's Teens: What Every Parent Should Know", will take place from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the Aliso Niguel High School theater, located at 28000 Wolverwine Way in Aliso Viejo. A meet and greet with exhibits starts at 5:30 PM, with the theater opening at 6:30 PM.

The program, which is geared toward parents and guardians of adolescents, will focus on drug and social trends and recognizing signs and symptoms of drug use. Parents will also have the chance to ask questions after the presentation.

For more information, please click here.


OC Animal Care: “Choose a Chihuahua”

Fall in love with OC Animal Care’s tiniest residents at their 2nd annual “Choose a Chihuahua” event Saturday, October 15 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

Adopters will receive a free spay/neuter and flea treatment when they find their perfect pint-sized pet. Be sure to stay for the Chihuahua parade and watch these miniature models strut their stuff in the finest doggie couture!

For more information, please click here.

South County Pet Clinic and Adoption Event

The City of Laguna Hills will host a Low Cost Pet Clinic and Adoption Event on Saturday, October 22 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Laguna Hills Community Center, 2555 Alicia Parkway.

OC Animal Care will have pets available for adoption during the event. The Clinic will be held on a first-come, first-serve basis. All dogs must be on collars or harnesses and all cats must be in a carrier.

For more information, please click here.


South County Trail Opening: Mentally Sensitive Trail

Be among the first to navigate a new route through Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, as the new (Environ) Mentally Sensitive Trail opens Sunday, October 16 at 9:00 AM. This trail connects with Aswut Trail and Meadows Trail, and a portion runs alongside Aliso Creek.

For more information, please click here.


Aliso Viejo: Founders Day Fair

Celebrate the City of Aliso Viejo's 10th anniversary at its annual Founders Day Fair on Saturday, October 15. This spectacular "Day at the Ranch" is from noon to 6:00 PM at 100 Park Ave and will feature free rides and attractions and much more! For more information, please click here.

Laguna Niguel: City Hall Grand Opening

Please join the City of Laguna Niguel on Saturday, October 15, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM to celebrate the grand opening and dedication of their new City Hall at 30111 Crown Valley Parkway. Guests will be treated to music and entertainment, exhibits, desserts, giveaways, tours of City Hall and much more! For more information, please click here.

Lake Forest: Haunt at Heritage Hill

The City of Lake Forest, in partnership with OC Parks, invites you to the 4th annual Haunt at Heritage Hill Historical Park on Friday, October 21 from 5:30 PM - 10:00 PM. Haunt at Heritage Hill is for young adults ages 12 and up. For more information, please call (949) 461-3450 or visit www.facebook.com/LFhaunt.

Dana Point: Doheny State Beach Haunted Campground

Don't miss out on Doheny’s most festive event of the year as they transform a section of the campground into a spooky area, an array of educational booths, arts and crafts, a Fun Zone, and other fun activities. This FREE event Saturday, October 22 runs from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. For more information, please click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Met with OCTA, County staff and San Clemente city officials to discuss La Pata Avenue extension funding.
  • Attended the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) meeting.
  • Presented a certificate of recognition in honor of the kick-off event for the Mission Viejo Chamber of Commerce.
  • Attended the CARE Foundation "Taste for Education" event in San Juan Capistrano to present a proclamation in honor of Roger and Cathie Hogan for their generous support on behalf of the students of the Capistrano Unified School District.
  • Participated in a Santa Margarita Water District hosted dedication ceremony for the Upper Chiquita Reservoir.
My office also:
  • Presented certificates of recognition to Elizabeth Brown and Carolyn Wood, who were honored by Village Laguna as the 2011 Villagers of the Year for their tireless efforts to preserve open space in Laguna Beach and Orange County.
  • Presented a certificate of recognition in honor of the grand re-opening of Hotel Laguna 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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