Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
June 15, 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 23

Flag Day

On Thursday this week we celebrated Flag Day. Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened by resolution of the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777.

Most of us know that the 50 stars on the flag represent the 50 states and the 13 stripes represent the original 13 colonies. Of course, the flag symbolizes much more than numbers of states or colonies. The flag is a symbol of our nations proud history and values. Around the world, our flag also represents hope and freedom.

I was honored to spend Flag Day welcoming home the brave marines who fight to ensure that our flag continues to represent freedom. The City of San Clemente held a “welcome home” parade for Camp Pendleton's 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, as the Battalion was returning from Afghanistan. This was the first parade of this kind held in San Clemente since 1991.


2012-2013 Budget Hearing

The Board held a public hearing Tuesday on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012-2013 County Budget. Preliminary straw votes were taken on the budgets for each County department. Based on these straw votes, the Board will adopt a formal budget at the June 26 Board of Supervisors meeting.

The proposed budget next year is $5.6 billion, approximately 100 million dollars more than the previous year. This will be the first year since the FY 09-10 Budget that County departments will not be asked to implement a 5% reduction to their Net County Cost. The incremental reductions over the last 4 years have allowed the County to keep a balanced budget while delivering core services.

As a result of this increase in the FY 12-13 budget and the continuation of cost cutting measures, the County will be able to replenish funding to its reserves.

While the budget presented is relatively positive compared to previous years, uncertainty in the state budget leaves the County at risk. In contrast to the County's responsible approach to budgeting, the state has failed year-after-year to address their structural deficit. As such, the poor fiscal policies of our state government may result in reductions to local government programs. In that event, County departments are prepared to implement reductions that may be necessary due to actions by the state legislature and the governor.

For more information on the County Budget hearings, please click here.


Alton Parkway Extension Ribbon Cutting

The County of Orange and the City of Lake Forest will host a ribbon cutting Wednesday, June 20 to announce the opening of the Alton Parkway Extension. The ribbon cutting will be held at the end of Commercentre Drive, west of Bake Parkway, from 10:00 AM to noon.

This highly-anticipated project closes the gap in Alton Parkway with the construction of a 2.1 mile, divided roadway from Irvine Boulevard in Irvine to Towne Centre Drive in the Foothill Ranch community of Lake Forest.

The County constructed a six-lane, divided highway from Irvine Boulevard in Irvine to Commercentre Drive in Lake Forest. The City of Lake Forest constructed a four-lane divided highway from Commercentre Drive to Towne Centre Drive with grading to accommodate a six-lane highway which will be developed later, in conjunction with future private development.

The completion of the extension creates a vital linkage in South County, connecting communities and improving overall regional mobility. I would like to thank all the stakeholders that have worked so very hard for so long to move this project forward.

For more information, please click here.

Ortega Highway Roadway Pavement Rehabilitation

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will begin a $4.9 million roadway pavement rehabilitation project on the eastbound and westbound lanes of SR-74 Ortega Highway from Interstate 5 on the west to just west of Reata Street and .37 miles east of La Pata to the San Juan Canyon Bridge.

This project is scheduled to begin Monday, June 18 from 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM for 90 working days. A minimum of one lane will be open during these hours with flagmen directing traffic. No full closures are expected.

For more information, please click here or call (949) 724-2000.

OCTA Approves Balanced Fiscal Year 2012-2013 Budget

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors on Monday approved the OCTA budget for next fiscal year (FY), which will run from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013. The budget is balanced, fiscally conservative and leverages Measure M dollars effectively to attract state and federal funds.

The $1.075-billion budget encompasses all services, project and programs administered by OCTA including countywide bus and rail service, transit capital improvements, operations of the 91 Express Lanes, ongoing freeway improvements, Orange County Taxi Administration Program and street and road enhancements.

Highlights of the budget include:
  • $267 million for bus operations
  • $580 million in Measure M funds, the half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements, for voter-approved projects such as the O.C. Bridges project and Riverside Freeway (SR-91) improvements
  • $20 million for rail service in Orange County
  • $16 million for construction of the Placentia Metrolink station
The budget includes adding 23,000 hours of additional bus service that will be targeted along routes with high ridership levels. Plans for increasing bus fares are also in the FY 2012-2013 budget; however, approval is subject to a public hearing process, preliminarily scheduled for late February 2013.

For more information, please click here.

Metrolink Board Approves Fare Hikes Effective July 1

The Metrolink Board of Directors recently approved a seven percent average systemwide fare increase to go into effect on or after July 1.

Funds generated from the increase will be used exclusively to help close a $13-million funding gap for the fiscal year 2012-13 budget. The fare increase is expected to generate $4.5 million. Increased subsidies from Metrolink's five member agencies, including OCTA, will cover the remainder of the funding gap.

The fare increases will coincide with more service rolling out on the Orange County and Inland Empire – Orange County lines, with new midday and afternoon service on weekdays and additional train service on weekends.

Contributing to the funding gap were specific cost increases, including:
  • $4.2 million increase in major contractor costs including but not limited to the rise in Amtrak's contract to reflect their nationwide labor settlement
  • $4 million increase in fuel costs
  • $1.3 million in connecting transit transfer costs for Metrolink riders
  • $2.5 million for post-employment benefits, costs previously not budgeted for
When combined with the seven percent increase, the Metrolink monthly pass will cost approximately $20 more, beginning on or after July 1. Prices for the $10 Weekend Pass and the $7 OCLINK pass will remain unchanged. The impact of the fare increase varies depending on the type of ticket, distance traveled and where the trip begins and ends.

For more information, please click here.

Residents Share Comments on I-405 Project

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) outreach team partnered with Caltrans to host three public hearings last week in Costa Mesa, Westminster and Rossmoor and one this week in Fountain Valley regarding proposed plans to widen the San Diego Freeway (I-405) as part of the I-405 Improvement Project.

More than 500 residents and stakeholders attended the meetings to share their concerns with OCTA and Caltrans officials about the potential project impacts and to ask questions regarding the proposed alternatives. Comments ranged from toll facility operational questions and policy decisions, construction impacts, noise levels near the freeway, sound walls and right-of-way issues.

The public hearings are tied to the draft environmental impact statement / draft environmental impact report for the project that was recently released, which outlines the three build options that are under consideration, including one option that would add a two lane toll facility in each direction from the SR-73 to the Orange County-LA County line. The public comment period began May 18 and ends July 2.

To learn more about the various alternatives under consideration for the I-405 Improvement Project and to submit your comments, please click here.


NRC to Host Public Meeting Regarding SONGS

An inspection team from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will host a public meeting Monday, June 18 regarding issues at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). The meeting is at 6:00 PM at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center, 25925 Camino del Avion. For more information, please click here.

The NRC Augmented Inspection Team investigated the SONGS steam generator U-tube wear issues and will discuss the results of their activities related to their investigation of the causes of the abnormal wear. For more information, please click here.

Future NRC meetings will be scheduled to discuss So Cal Edison's plan for restarting the SONGS units. The power plant announced Thursday that both nuclear reactors will likely remain offline until at least the end of August while officials probe the extent and cause of unusual wear on the tubes, which carry radioactive water in the newly replaced steam generators.

For information on future NRC meetings, please click here.

South County Students Create Safe Driving Video

A driving safety video created by students at Capistrano Valley High School was recently named a finalist in the AAA Safe Teen Driving Video Contest. The video shows a young child driving a toy car while being distracted by a toy cell phone. It was directed by students Spencer Ford, Harrison Hudson, and Lydia Janbay.

To watch the video, please click here.


Coastal Development Permit for Harbor Directional Signs

The City of Dana Point Planning Commission approved the Coastal Development Permit for the installation of the new Harbor directional signs this week. The signs will be located in the median along Harbor Drive and on the Island.

The Planning Commission spoke favorably of the project and asked that landscape be maintained so the signs would remain visible for drivers, a condition the County had already intended on implementing.

For more information, please click here.


MHSA Subcommittee Member Applications Available

The Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) provides funding for many services offered by the Health Care Agency (HCA), Behavioral Health Services and its contracted service providers. The planning process for use of MHSA-funded services is the responsibility of the MHSA Steering Committee in collaboration with HCA staff.

The MHSA Steering Committee has developed four Subcommittees. Subcommittees are organized by MHSA component and age-group.

The four subcommittees are:
  • Community Services and Supports Adults and Older Adults
  • Community Services and Supports Children and Transitional Age Youth
  • Prevention and Early Intervention
  • Workforce Education and Training and Innovative Programs
Interested members of the public may apply to become a member of a Subcommittee. No more than 20% of the membership of a Subcommittee may be made up of individuals who are not members or alternates of the MHSA Steering Committee.

Applications are available on the MHSA website or from Brad Hutchins at the Center of Excellence. The first round of applications is due to the Center of Excellence by July 9. Other opportunities to apply will be available in the future. Please send completed applications via email to MHSA@ochca.com or by mail to Center of Excellence, 600 W. Santa Ana Blvd. Suite 510, Santa Ana CA92701.

All Subcommittees meet at the Costa Mesa Neighborhood Community Center, 1945 Park Avenue, Costa Mesa, CA 92627. Meetings are held in the afternoon of the first Monday in even-numbered months (February, April, June, etc.).


Emergency Program against Asian Citrus Psyllid

In May, populations of the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP), a serious exotic pest, were detected in the Cities of Irvine and San Juan Capistrano. In order to determine the extent of the infestation and define an appropriate response area, additional surveys took place for several days over a nine-square mile area centered on the detection sites.

The results of the additional surveys indicate the infestations are sufficiently localized to be amenable for effective implementation of the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) current ACP emergency response strategies, which include treatment.

Emergency action is needed to protect California from the negative environmental and economic impact this pest will cause, should it be allowed to remain in this area and spread. This pest transmits to citrus trees, via feeding action, a devastating disease known as huanglongbing (HLB). HLB is considered one of the most deadly diseases of citrus in the world.

For more information, please click here and here.


Pet Fair 2012

Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 30, as OC Animal Care is kicking off summer with their biggest event of the year – Pet Fair 2012! Hundreds of animals will be available for adoption, along with pet-friendly vendors and rescue organizations, an adoptable dog parade, and lots of food and fun!

For more information, please click here.

18th Annual DAWG Walk & Pet Faire

Residents are invited to attend the 18th Annual DAWG Walk & Pet Faire on Saturday, June 23 in Mission Viejo. The fun-filled family event hosted by the Mission Viejo Animal Services Center and Dedicated Animal Welfare Group (DAWG) includes an impressive display of K9 Athletes in Action, pet contests, and pet and wildlife exhibits.

The fun takes place 8:00 AM to noon at the Norman P. Murray Community Center and Oso Viejo Park at 24932 Veterans Way. For more information, please click here or call (949) 470-3045.


South County Little League Team Coached by Kids Wins Title

If there's a Disney writer looking for a movie idea that'll make kids pump their fists with joy and leave parents teary-eyed, look no further than the real story of a San Clemente Little League team coached this year by kids.

The team that couldn't find a coach, finally getting permission from the league to bring in two San Clemente High School freshmen to lead it, concluded an improbable season Saturday, June 9 by winning the District 68 Tournament of Champions in improbable fashion.

Coaches Chris Puckett (15) and Cameron Shelley (14) guided their crew of 12- to 14-year-olds to three straight victories in the Tournament of Champions at Beebe Park in Mission Viejo, finishing with an exciting 10-9 victory.

On Wednesday this week, the young coaches and their players were featured on ABC-TV's "Good Morning America." The show called the team the "Good News Bears."

The families also had inquiries from ESPN about appearing on “Plays of the Week” as well as from film producer David Klawans about possibly turning their tale into a movie.

For more information, please click here and here.


South County: OCPL Summer Events

During the summer months, OC Public Libraries (OCPL) makes a special effort to offer fun, free programs for the whole family. To view a list of July library events in the Fifth District, please click here.

Dana Point: Ocean Institute Summer Adventures

Join the Ocean Institute in Dana Point Harbor for a summer to remember! Young scientists and buccaneers will love the fun, unique camps, as they are immersed in their educational and exciting programming. Summer Camp participant groups of 5 or more qualify for group rate pricing. For more information, please click here, email oi@ocean-institute.org or call (949) 496-2274.

Laguna Beach: Shakespeare in the Park

The Laguna Beach Arts Commission is presenting a new program, “Shakespeare in the Park.” Their final two performances will be held Friday, June 15 & 22 at 6:30 PM at the Heisler Park amphitheater. For more information, please click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Attended the City of San Clemente “Welcome Home” Parade and Awards Ceremony for the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines – the City’s adopted regiment.
  • Met with Dana Point Harbor staff for a briefing on harbor happenings.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Truman Benedict of San Clemente.
My office also:
  • Attended the City of Laguna Niguel Volunteer Appreciation Dinner to present a proclamation in honor of Laguna Niguel’s Citizen of the Year, Kathy Beaufort.
  • Presented a certificate of recognition in honor of the Lake Forest grand opening of Fujitsu Frontech North America.
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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