Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
March 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 8

Continuation of Local Emergency

In late December 2010, the Board made a Declaration of Local Emergency in response to the severe winter storms that hit Orange County shortly before Christmas.

This week, the Board voted to extend the Declaration until March 22. The ongoing Declaration of Emergency is necessary for our efforts to obtain further assistance and aid from the State and Federal government, as damage is estimated at over $36 million for Orange County and $75 million for California.

Legislative Action

The Board voted to take positions on several pieces of legislation being considered in the State Legislature. Of particular importance was approval of our policy statement on the realignment of State programs to local government, which I discussed in last week's newsletter and will continue to update you on as the issue progresses.

Another item of interest is AB 262, which was introduced by Assemblywoman Diane Harkey. State law divides California into nine regional water quality control boards that carry out responsibilities relating to water quality. The water boards have considerable power to regulate and manage water resources, supply and pollution related to water.

Orange County is currently divided into the jurisdiction of two boards: the Santa Ana Water Quality Board for north Orange County cities and the San Diego Water Quality Board for most South County cities. The division of Orange County into two Boards makes regulation, enforcement and rules of government water quality inconsistent for the County and, in some cases, inconsistent within cities.

To that end, AB 262 would put all of Orange County within the jurisdiction of the Santa Ana Water Quality Board. The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to support the legislation. To read the Legislative Bulletin, please click here.

Fifth District Appointment

The Mental Health Board is responsible for reviewing County performance contracts and the recommendations of the local Mental Health Director to the Board of Supervisors regarding community mental health needs, the provision of services, establishment of facilities, contracting for services or facilities, and other matters necessary in accomplishing the purposes of mental health services.

On Tuesday, the Board approved my reappointment of Carol Langone to serve as the Fifth District representative on the County’s Mental Health Board. A resident of Mission Viejo, Ms. Langone is a licensed clinical social worker with over 20 years of mental health experience. Ms. Langone has represented the Fifth District very well over the past four years and I am pleased she will continue serving another four years.


OCTA Delegation Advocacy Trips

As Chair of the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), last week I attended OCTA's annual delegation advocacy trip to Sacramento. The goal of the trip was to discuss the potential impacts of various State budget proposals on pending infrastructure projects.

In addition, we discussed Orange County’s leadership role in development of the State mandated “Sustainable Communities Strategies” (SB 375). Accompanied by other members of the OCTA Board and staff, I also met with key members the State Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown’s administration.

During this time of threatened state resources, it is critical we reach out to our delegation and other regional leaders to ensure Orange County's strong reputation for delivering transportation projects on time and on budget is communicated broadly.

Additionally, representatives from OCTA attended the Joint Senate-House field hearing in Los Angeles last Wednesday to provide testimony regarding the upcoming federal transportation reauthorization bill. The hearing was co-chaired by Congressman John Mica and Senator Barbara Boxer.

New Bus Shelters Unveiled in San Juan Capistrano

In 2008, the City of San Juan Capistrano received funding from the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) through the Transportation Development Act to add new bus shelters at the five most used stops in the city. Construction of these new shelters began last October and I am pleased to announce the new and improved shelters were recently completed.

Local San Juan Capistrano resident and renowned architect Roy Nunn designed the mission-style shelters to complement the character of the city. The shelters were built with fire-retardant materials and are powered by solar energy. More importantly, the new shelters will benefit downtown bus riders.

To a view a photo of one of the new shelters, please click here.

Measure M2 Quarterly Progress Report

As required by Measure M2, a quarterly report covering activities from October through December 2010 was presented to the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors to provide an update on the progress in implementing the M2 Transportation Investment Plan.

The report highlights progress being made on various freeway, road, transit, and environmental projects included in the M2 Capital Action Plan. The report also provides an update on the financial outlook for M2, which will begin collecting sales tax revenue next month.

All M2 progress reports are posted online for public. To view the report, please click here.

Taking a Trip Down Memory Lane

Do you remember where you on February 26, 2010? If you were trying to travel through South County, you were probably stuck going nowhere, as the I-5 Freeway was closed in both directions for four hours when a grenade was spotted on the side of the roadway. Stories filled the community of parents who couldn't get to their kids, businesspeople who missed important meetings, and people just stuck with no way out.

Had there been an alternative route, that day wouldn't be etched in our memories. Unfortunately, the I-5 remains the only major artery linking San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles Counties; and when the I-5 is shut down, we are all impacted.

The infamous grenade was found to be inactive; but we can't be. To watch a one minute video about the grenade closure on the I-5, please click here. For more information, please click here.


Orange County Redistricting Committee Meetings

The Board of Supervisors is required to adjust the boundaries of Supervisorial Districts following the decennial federal census, using that census as a basis. To that end, the County has established a Redistricting Committee to consider public input on proposed changes to the boundaries and make recommendations to the Board.

The Redistricting Committee has set meetings for 2:00 PM in the Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 333 W. Santa Ana Blvd., 10 Civic Center Plaza, Santa Ana, on the second Thursday of each month through July 14, 2011, if necessary.

The next public meeting of the Redistricting Committee will be Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 2:00 PM in the Board Hearing Room. If you would like further information on the Redistricting Committee, please contact Jamie Ross at (714) 834-2206 or jamie.ross@ocgov.com. You may also write to:

Clerk of the Board of Supervisors
Attention: Jamie Ross
333 W. Santa Ana Blvd., Room 465
Santa Ana, CA 92701,

For more information, please click here and here.

2011 TrashARTist Challenge

Hey kids! You and your classmates are invited to participate in the 2011 TrashARTist Challenge and celebrate “Earth Day” Orange County style! Students attending grades 3 through 12 can win up to $10,000 in prizes for their schools by creating a project that turns trash into art, then submitting a short video, PowerPoint or photos by April 1.

This special artist competition is made available to over 400,000 students throughout Orange County. Finalists will be judged on both the green/sustainability message in their presentation and the artwork produced, with at least one finalist from each city in Orange County recognized at a special exhibition and awards dinner.

For more information, please click here and here.


Influenza Activity Continues to Spread

The Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) reports that influenza activity has increased to “widespread” in California and is expected to continue for at least several more weeks. It’s not too late to vaccinate, as vaccine is recommended for all persons six months of age and older.

In Orange County, since HCA’s last update in early February, 20 new severe cases (resulting in admission to intensive care or death) of influenza in persons below 65 years of age were reported as of last week, for a total of 34 severe cases, including five deaths reported this season. The median age of the 34 cases was 21 years, and 17 were children. The majority of the severe cases were not vaccinated.

The Health Care Agency’s latest edition of Eye on Influenza is now available for viewing. To see HCA’s most recent influenza update, please click here. For more information, please click here.


Teens, Technology, and Dangerous Social Trends

Mission Viejo Police Services on March 10 will host a presentation for parents about teens, technology, and dangerous social trends to help keep their children safe. The program, which is geared towards parents of kids ages 10 and up, is at 7:00 PM in the Council Chamber at Mission Viejo City Hall, 200 Civic Center.

The program will focus on potentially dangerous teen technology trends school resource officers are seeing among students. The at-risk behavior includes social networking, texting, and Internet activity. The discussion will also cover what parents can do to help keep teens safe. For more information, please click here.


Dedication of 'The Sinks' Viewing Deck in Limestone Canyon

The public is invited to join Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Campbell, OC Parks, and Irvine Ranch Conservancy to dedicate a newly-built viewing deck, boasting stunning vistas of Orange County’s very own "mini Grand Canyon." The event is Friday, March 11 in Limestone Canyon Wilderness Park.

Participants will hike and ride bikes and horses to the destination, starting their trek at 8:30 AM and making their way to The Sinks, a striking geological formation where the new viewing deck is located. Chairman Campbell will conduct a short ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:00 AM.

Due to the size of the viewing deck, space is limited to the first 20 hikers, 20 bikers and 10 equestrians, so sign up today! For more information, please click here.

OC Parks Children’s Programs

OC Parks offers many programs for children. These ranger and staff led programs focus on teaching youth about the natural world around them in some of the most beautiful settings in Orange County. They are affordable and ideal for any number of participants, from families to large youth groups, as many programs are tailored for specific ages and grade levels. For more information, please click 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 March newsletter, please click here.


Spay Day USA

You are invited to join OC Animal Care in celebrating Spay Day USA on Saturday, March 12 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, as all adopters at the event will receive a free spay/neuter for their new pet, reducing the regular fee by $50 for dogs and $40 for cats. So come on down to see all of the wonderful animals available for adoption! For more information, please click here and here.


March 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 March is “Challenges.” 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.

I’m also pleased to report the December 2010 winner in the “Art” category was Taylor Palumbo, a student at Aliso Niguel High School, who submitted a piece titled “Nostalgia,” as December’s theme was “What Moves Me.” To see Taylor’s winning photo, please click here. To view other winning entries from past months, please click here.


Laguna Beach ‘Piano Man’ Can Play!

In January, 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, including one placed at Main Beach in Laguna.

While Laguna Beach resident Dan Scinto may not have used his Harvard MBA in the process, he learned last week that his video tied for first place in the recent OC Can You Play contest sponsored by Pacific Symphony, portraying himself as the Mad Hatter.

To see Dan’s self-produced, award-winning video. Please click here.


Dana Point: 40th Annual Festival of Whales

On the weekends of March 5-6 and 12-13, hundreds of California Gray Whales on their annual migration to Mexico will splash by the seaside community of Dana Point – the West Coast's premier location to meet and greet these incredible creatures during the 40th Annual Dana Point Festival of Whales.

Festival highlights include the opening day kick-off event, the 40 Years of Magical Migration Parade, as well as the Whale of a Block Party, art exhibits, classic car exhibits, paddling events, sand sculpting, concerts on land and water, environmental activities, educational opportunities, interpretive crafts, kids activities, a FREE family movie and, of course, whale watching on a variety of vessels or from Dana Point Headlands Conservation Park.

For more information, please click here, here and here. For information on OCTA bus and Metrolink transportation to the Festival, please click here.

In addition to the Dana Point Festival of Whales, Ocean Awareness Day will bring the City, County and State, as well as public and non-profit groups, to beautiful OC Dana Point Harbor to educate the community on many issues affecting our oceans. This 11th annual fun-filled, family event will take place Sunday, March 6, from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Ocean Awareness Day will also feature the dedication of the 2009 Community Art Project: Whale of a Tail. The Dana Point Harbor Association commissioned a 6' tall iconic sculpture of a whale tail, which has been beautifully adorned with mosaic tiles. I invite you to join me at the dedication of the Whale Tail at 1:00 PM, Sunday, March 6, at the OC Sailing & Events Center in Dana Point Harbor.

The Ocean Awareness Day event and parking are FREE. For more information, please click here and here.

Laguna Beach: 45th Annual Patriots Day Parade

The 45th annual Patriots Day Parade will be held Saturday, March 5 in Laguna Beach. 104 entries, including many local groups and organizations, will pass in review beginning at 11:00 AM at Park Ave. and Legion St., near Laguna Beach High School. The Parade route will follow Park Ave. to Glenneyre, then onto Forest Ave. and ending at City Hall. For more information, please click here.

San Juan Capistrano Library: Family Film Feature

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

Rancho Santa Margarita Library: Saddleback Master Chorale

On Tuesday, March 8 at 7:00 PM, Saddleback Master Chorale will present "Cupid's Arrow: A Celebration of Love in Words and Music” at Rancho Santa Margarita Library, as they perform Shakespeare's sonnets to the music of George Gershwin and Johnny Mercer. Refreshments will be served immediately following the FREE concert. For more information, please click here.

San Juan Capistrano: Second Saturday Art Fair

The San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce hosts its Second Saturday Art Fair on March 12 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The Art Fair showcases over 70 artists, craftspeople, musicians and performers, who exhibit their artistic prowess throughout historic downtown San Juan Capistrano the second Saturday of each month. For more information, please click here.


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

  • Met with Mortimer Downey, former United States Deputy Secretary of Transportation, to discuss transportation legislation in the 112th Congress.
  • Met with representatives of the Foothill Communities Association to discuss a zoning change proposal for North Tustin.
  • Attended a special reception to present a proclamation to the Dana Point Historical Society in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Dana Point Festival of Whales.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Ruby Mary Davis of Mission Viejo.
My office also:
  • Presented a certificate of recognition in honor of the grand opening of Rock’nFish in Laguna Beach.
  • Provided a certificate of recognition in honor of the grand opening of NewStart Nutrition in San Juan Capistrano.
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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