Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
April 20, 2012

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

Ruth Strachan:
Office Manager

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Volume 6 Issue 15

OCPL Internet Usage Policy: Protecting our Children

In recent months, there have been a growing number of complaints in response to several reported incidents involving adult patrons using computers for the purpose of viewing pornography on the Internet at Orange County Public Libraries (OCPL), including the Rancho Santa Margarita, Laguna Beach and Aliso Viejo branch libraries.

The outcry from residents has much to do with the ability for such material to be viewed at public libraries, designated as institutions for public edification through books and other informational material. Indeed, libraries are intended to be family-friendly places, where adults and children shouldn’t have to worry about being confronted with offensive material. Unfortunately, the issue is not so cut and dry.

Efforts to address these concerns have been met with legal questions related to constitutionally protected freedom of speech and the notion that prohibiting access to certain kinds of information amounts to censorship.

Accessing and possessing child pornography is unquestionably illegal. However, the right to access adult pornography on library computers has, in fact, been deliberated by the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled the right exists and is protected, finding that not all material labeled as pornography is obscene.

We are required to follow the law and the Supreme Court decision. That being said, while the County is prohibited from denying access to such material many of us may deem offensive, we can effectively restrict access in large part by installing filters on OCPL computers, requiring that adult patrons request to have the filters removed in order to access the material.

The interpretation adopted by the Supreme Court is that online filters do not violate the First Amendment, as long as they can be temporarily removed for adults who request access.

As such, I directed County staff to draft a policy that would install filters on all OCPL computers and bring it to the Board of Supervisors for approval, as we believe the installation of filters, even if removed, will greatly reduce the use of library computers to access illegal or offensive material as well as associated illicit or inappropriate behavior by certain adult patrons.

I’m pleased to report that on Tuesday, my Board colleagues joined me in unanimously approving the new OCPL Internet Usage Policy. To that end, using content-control filtering software, filtering will soon be applied to all OCPL computers to prevent visual depictions of pornographic material deemed harmful to children.

For more information, please click here.

Speed Limit & Parking Restrictions for Trabuco Creek Road

In March 2011, the County accepted Trabuco Creek Road, previously a private road, into the County Road System to perform needed road improvements in order to provide safe public access to the Cleveland National Forest. The County completed the road improvements in January 2012, which smoothed out and improved the existing dirt road by constructing an all-weather surface capable of supporting fire truck access.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors approved setting a posted speed limit of 25 miles per hour on this roadway, based on the results of an Engineering and Traffic Survey (E&TS), which was conducted in accordance with current California Vehicle Code (CVC) requirements to establish a radar enforceable speed limit.

In addition, the Board approved an “Emergency Stopping Only” regulation on Trabuco Creek Road to address problems with parking along the roadway which was obstructing traffic.

For more information, please click here.

Quitclaim of Unneeded Easements for Moulton Parkway

Construction of Segment 2 of the Moulton Parkway Smart Street Project is now complete.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors authorized OC Public Works to relinquish jurisdiction of unneeded street segments back to the City of Laguna Hills, which were acquired by the County during the preliminary design phase of the project. Executing this quitclaim deed is the last step in completing this portion of the Smart Street Project.

To view the location map of the quitclaim of parcels within the City of Laguna Hills, please click here.

Orange County Office on Aging 2012-2016 Area Plan

The California Department of Aging requires the designated Area Agency on Aging for each Planning & Service Area in the State to submit an Area Plan every four years. The Area Plan fulfills Federal and State mandates and informs the public and policy makers on how the Orange County Office on Aging, as our designated Area Agency on Aging (AAA), plans to address local needs and assess its effectiveness in accomplishing stated goals and objectives.

The 2012-2016 Area Plan has three broad System Building and Administration goals:
  1. Informed Communities – The Office on Aging staff will expand the scope of traditional community outreach efforts to include increased education and awareness of resources and services available to older adults, caregivers, and persons with disabilities through, among other things, partnering with the Board of Supervisors to co-host Senior Summits in their respective districts.
  2. Coordinated Service Delivery and Collaborative Partnerships – The Office on Aging will foster strategic partnerships addressing issues that relate to the health, well-being, independence, and dignity of older adults in Orange County, which will include, among other things, administering the Senior Non-Emergency Medical Transportation program for older adults who lack other transportation options.
  3. Satisfied Customers – The Office on Aging measures customer service through quality assurance protocols and customer satisfaction follow-up of clients who access the Information & Assistance call center and those who utilize the Senior Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Program. This performance measurement will also be captured in OC Community Services’ Balanced Scorecard to ensure the Office on Aging is meeting requirements of the County‘s strategic plan to provide outstanding public service.
On Tuesday, the Board approved the Orange County Office on Aging 2012-2016 Area Plan. For more information, please click here.

Prima Deshecha Landfill Expansion

The County of Orange has two landfill disposal zones at the Prima Deshecha Landfill, Zones 1 and 4. The active areas of the landfill are currently contained in Zone 1. The current area of disposal activities will reach its disposal capacity between May and November of 2013, based on current disposal tonnage.

To address this issue, the Board approved a contract with Sukut Construction, Inc. for construction of the protective landfill liners expansion necessary to accommodate continued disposal activities. Upon completion of the liner project, the landfill will increase its solid waste disposal capacity by approximately 13 acres, extending the life of this fill zone by 9 years.

For more information, please click here.

Legislative Bulletin

The Board voted to take positions on several pieces of legislation. Most notably, the Board will be seeking amendments to AB 1569, which is the renewal of Laura’s Law. Laura’s Law, enacted January 1, 2003, established a discretionary program for counties, allowing involuntary, court-imposed outpatient treatment for persons who are mentally ill and meet certain clinical criteria.

AB 1569 renews Laura’s Law for an additional six years. The amendments to the legislation we seek would provide counties with greater flexibility and funding to implement the goals of Laura’s Law.

To read the amendments in our Legislative Bulletin, please click here.

Crime Lab Grants

The Board approved applying for two National Institute of Justice grants to fund projects at the OC Crime Laboratory.

One grant, in the amount of $561,670, will cover equipment, supplies and personnel costs to develop enhanced drug screening, sample preparation and extraction technology for the Lab’s Toxicology Section.

The other grant, in the amount of $382,326, will be used for overtime to perform DNA analyses on cold cases and backlogged major crime and property crime cases.

Auditor-Controller Recruitment

The Board of Supervisors authorized the CEO to conduct a national recruitment to identify candidates for Board review and appointment to replace David Sundstrom, the County’s former elected Auditor-Controller, who resigned in January.

The Board also approved $35,000 to hire a recruiting firm to conduct the recruitment, determine candidate eligibility for the position per State requirements, and present a slate of potential replacements for the Board appointment. Currently, Ms. Jan Grimes is serving as acting Auditor-Controller until the recruitment is finished and a permanent Auditor-Controller is appointed.

Qualified candidates interested in applying for this position may contact my office and I will put you in touch with the recruiting firm.


Ortega Highway Interchange Project Update

Caltrans is on schedule to break ground on the Ortega Highway Interchange Project by the end of 2012. To view a PowerPoint presentation from Caltrans with an update on the $45 million project, please click here.

OCTA Seeks Applicants for Citizens Advisory Committee

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is seeking qualified volunteers to serve on the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC).

The 34-member committee meets throughout the year to review upcoming transportation projects, studies and outreach activities and offer input and advice to OCTA staff and the Board of Directors.

The Committee’s tasks include identifying opportunities for community input, recommending methods for obtaining public feedback on specific transportation issues, serving as a liaison between the public and OCTA and commenting on significant transportation issues. CAC members also may participate in ad hoc committees, roundtable discussions and special presentations on various transportation projects.

Applications are being accepted through Monday, April 30.

Candidates must be at least 18 years of age, live in Orange County and willing to participate for a two-year term. Potential committee members also should demonstrate a history of participating in community activities and transportation issues and be willing to dedicate at least 20 hours per year to OCTA meetings and activities.

The OCTA Board of Directors is expected to select the members by the end of June.

For additional information or to request an application, please click here or contact Alice Rogan at (714) 560-5577 or arogan@octa.net.


Vote for Mountain Lions’ Names

Members of the public submitted more than 100 entries in a contest to name a pair of orphaned mountain lion cubs now at the OC Zoo. The public may vote on name pairs through Sunday, April 22. Zoo staff will choose a winner from the ten with the highest number of votes. The winning names will be announced Thursday, April 26. The winner will get a 2012 OC Parks pass and behind-the-scenes tour of the zoo.

For more information, please click here. To vote, please click here.


Orange County Marine Protected Areas

Mark your calendars for Thursday, April 26 from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM, as the Orange County Marine Protected Area Council will be meeting at Newport Beach Public Library for a presentation on Baseline Monitoring of Orange County Marine Protected Areas.

For more information, please click here.


America’s Family Pet Expo

Please visit OC Animal Care at Booth 1572 at America’s Family Pet Expo on April 20–22, as they will be bringing lots of adorable animals for adoption. This event is a must for all animal lovers! For more information, please click here.

19th Annual Wag-A-Thon

The Pet Project Foundation is hosting the 19th annual Wag-A-Thon in Dana Point Harbor in support of the animals at the San Clemente/Dana Point Animal Shelter on Saturday, April 28 from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM. For more information, please click here.


Book Talk: A Little Something for Everyone

Book Talk is a readers’ advisory blog, which is written and maintained by OC Public Libraries staff. For more information, please click here.


Spirit of Democracy Art Competition

The Orange County Registrar of Voters has announced the Spirit of Democracy Art Competition for Orange County residents. The competition challenges artists to submit original artwork related to democracy, voting, civic engagement, and volunteerism. Winners will have their artwork displayed in an exhibit at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (OCCCA) in Santa Ana in August.

Participating artists should email an image of their artwork to the Registrar of Voters office no later than 5:00 PM, June 15. For more information, please click here and here.


Cities Recognized for Outstanding Planning Programs

The City of San Clemente’s Planning Division has received recognition in three categories from the Orange County Section of the California Chapter of the American Planning Association (OCAPA) as part of their annual awards program. For more information, please click here.

OCAPA is a non-profit organization devoted to advancing the science of physical, economic and social planning at the local, regional, state and national levels. OCAPA released award details in advance of their May 16 awards ceremony.

Not to be outdone, the City of Laguna Niguel’s Gateway Specific Plan received the Outstanding Comprehensive Planning Award for 2012 from OCAPA. For more information, please click here.


Mission Viejo: Summer Kick-Off Carnival & Healthy Kids Day

Summer is starting early at the Mission Viejo Family YMCA, which will host a Summer Kick-Off Carnival and Healthy Kids Day on Saturday, April 28. This FREE community event is from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM at 27341 Trabuco Circle. For more information, please click here and here.

Irvine: Family Autism Event

This special evening on Monday, April 30 at Pretend City in Irvine is a FREE event for children and their parents/siblings/caretakers to have fun with other families in an autism-friendly environment. RSVP required. For more information, please call (949) 428-3900 ext. 233 or click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Attended the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) San Joaquin Hills Board Member Budget Workshop.
  • Participated in the Public Safety Working Group meeting with Supervisor Bill Campbell and Sheriff Sandra Hutchens.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Meri Theresa Tokona, adopted daughter of Laguna Niguel Mayor Paul Glaab.
My office also:
  • Attended the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Regional Planning & Highways Committee meeting.
  • Provided a certificate of recognition in honor of a ribbon cutting ceremony for American Horse Products 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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