Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
April 12, 2013

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 7 Issue 14

Cow Camp Road Construction Reimbursement Agreement

The Board approved a Construction Reimbursement Agreement with Rancho Mission Viejo (RMV) for the construction of Cow Camp Road.

The total estimated cost for Cow Camp Road Segment 1 is $30 million, with the design phase estimated at $2 million and the construction phase estimated at $28 million.

Per the Development Agreement (DA) with RMV for the Rancho Mission Viejo Planned Community, RMV is responsible for constructing Cow Camp Road and has a $20,100,000 funding obligation toward the project (67 percent), some of which will be provided through the establishment of CFDs in coordination with Santa Margarita Water District and the County.

In 2011, the County of Orange received a grant from the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) for $8.3 million in Measure M2 funding to go toward the construction phase of the project (33 percent). The Reimbursement Agreement approved Tuesday allows the County to pass through the OCTA Measure M2 funds to RMV for construction of the road.

For more information, please click here.

Contract Amendment for La Pata Avenue NEPA Document

The Board approved a contract amendment with LSA Associates, Inc. to increase funding to complete technical studies relating to National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation and regulatory permits for the La Pata Avenue Gap Closure Project.

Additional analysis is needed due to project refinements, including changes to the study area boundary, associated with developing the final Plans and Specifications for the project. The additional work includes updating several technical studies to ensure consistency between the NEPA documentation and the various regulatory permits.

The amendment increases the total agreement amount by $280,000 for a revised total amount of $920,000 and modifies the scope of work to add extra work. The County anticipates advertising this project for construction later this year.

For more information, please click here.

Crime Victims Memorial

The Board approved a process to create an Orange County Victims Memorial to be placed in Irvine’s Mason Park. It will be dedicated to the victims of crime in Orange County and funded through private donations. Each Supervisor will appoint two people to serve on committee, which will oversee the selection of a design for the memorial.

Additional details on the memorial will be in my newsletter as the process moves forward. For more information, please click here.

AB 109 Committee

The Board discussed adding a Supervisor to serve as a non-voting member on the committee charged with overseeing the realignment of criminal justice responsibilities from the state to the local level. The Board agreed to appoint a representative to serve on the committee.

Additionally, the Board will continue to receive regular updates from public safety agencies on the impacts of the realignment. For more information, please click here.

Development Processing Review Committee Appointment

The Board confirmed my appointment of Jeffrey T. Okamoto, resident of Rancho Santa Margarita, to serve in the open Fifth District seat on the Development Processing Review Committee (DPRC). The purpose of the DPRC is to work with County staff to review, improve, streamline, coordinate, and communicate the County’s development processes.

Mr. Okamoto has over 27 years of experience as a civil engineer and is currently the Vice President of Land Development for RBF Consulting.


Caltrans Presents Degradation Study to OCTA

Staff from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) gave a presentation to the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors on the Caltrans Statewide High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Degradation Study, which included information about HOV lanes that are degraded within Orange County and the options available to address the degradation.

An HOV lane is considered “degraded” when speeds fall below 45 mph for 10% or more of the morning or evening weekday peak hour periods over a consecutive 180-day period.

Contained within in the federal transportation reauthorization bill (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century), enacted July 6, 2012, are requirements for state departments of transportation to identify and remedy degraded HOV lanes.

The Caltrans study, which has not yet been released in its entirety, identifies portions of the I-405, I-5, SR-55, SR-22 and SR-91 as having degraded HOV lanes. Caltrans recommendations for remedying the degradation include raising the HOV occupancy requirement from 2+ to 3+, adding second HOV/HOT lanes, and converting existing HOV lanes to High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes, including any or all of these recommendations taken together.

Unfortunately, Caltrans’ presentation lacked adequate detail and did not include specific data by freeway segment. Caltrans is expected to provide this information within the next several weeks.

My colleagues and I continue to raise concerns about changing the HOV occupancy requirement from 2+ to 3+ and its potential impact to the general purpose lanes. In addition, I have raised concerns about converting existing HOV to High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes. From a policy perspective, I question whether that is fair to the taxpayers who funded the original HOV lanes and, with the HOT lanes concept, will have to pay a toll unless there are 3+ persons in the vehicle. In addition, there are questions about how these toll revenues from HOT lanes would be used.

Last year, the OCTA Board rejected a plan for the I-405 freeway to convert the existing HOV lane to a HOT lane and add a second HOT lane. With this new federal mandate, Caltrans may open up discussions on this proposal again, as well as expand the discussion to other Orange County freeways.

This issue of how to address degraded HOV lanes will continue to be a major policy discussion for transportation officials throughout the state. I am interested in hearing your feedback on the topic.

To view the Caltrans PowerPoint presentation, please click here.

$ Millions Headed to Streets and Signals through Measure M2

Orange County streets will see an influx of $49.6 million after the Orange County Transportation Authority Board of Directors approved funding for 24 improvement projects through voter-approved Measure M2.

More than $34 million will go toward street improvements in Anaheim, San Juan Capistrano, Fullerton, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, Buena Park, Orange, Irvine, Tustin, and unincorporated Orange County.

Approximately $15 million will be awarded for signal synchronization projects in Lake Forest, Placentia, Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Irvine, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, and unincorporated Orange County.

Applications were reviewed for eligibility, consistency and adherence to guidelines and program objectives including transportation benefits, cost effectiveness and project readiness. There were 50 applications received, totaling $83.7 million.


Community Indicators Report Published

Did you know that 30% of adults ages 18-24 in Orange County are uninsured? Or that deaths among young children have decreased 27% since 2001? These are just two of the facts included in the 2013 Orange County Community Indicators report, which tracks a number of key indicators of health and welfare for County residents.

Opening with a profile of the County that includes useful demographic information, the report features sections on the Economic and Business Climate, Community Health and Wellness, Public Safety and the Environment. The report has been released annually since 2000 and indicators are selected that reflect broad Countywide interests which impact a significant percentage of the population. The report also compares Orange County to the state, nation or peer regions.

This year's report found that Orange County voters participated in the 2012 Presidential election at a higher rate than the statewide average and all but one peer county; that waste generated in Orange County and disposed in County landfills reached its lowest level since 1996; and that only 3% of sewage spills in 2011 resulted in an ocean water closure, down from an average of 8% of spills in the previous 10 years.

The report is published annually, with the County of Orange serving as one of the co-sponsors of the project. To view the full report, along with an archive of past reports, please click here.


Sheriff’s Department Honors 2013 Medal Recipients

The Medal of Valor is awarded by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) for extraordinary bravery and heroism, above and beyond the normal demands of law enforcement services, in response to a criminal situation involving extreme danger.

This year, OCSD awarded the Medal of Valor to Retired Captain Andy Romero for an incident that occurred in 1973, sixteen years before the first Medal of Valor Ceremony was held. Romero, then a Deputy Sheriff, apprehended an armed gunman following a brief gun battle after the gunman had just shot and killed two detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. This was the only double murder of peace officers in the history of Orange County.

To view a list of the honorees the Orange County Sheriff’s Department commended for their tremendous acts of courage, merit and lifesaving at the 25th Medal of Valor Presentation Luncheon last month at the Hyatt Regency Irvine hotel, please click here. For more information, please click here.

Zero Tolerance Distracted Driving Enforcement Campaign

As part of April’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month campaign, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department will be actively ticketing drivers who are texting or operating hand-held cell phones during the month of April. Drivers who break the law and place themselves and others in danger will be cited with no warning.

For more information, please click here.

OCRCFL Receives Prestigious International Accreditation

The FBI announced that the Orange County Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory (OCRCFL) has earned international accreditation from the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB), the world’s largest forensic science accrediting body. Currently, only 38 laboratories worldwide hold international accreditation in the digital and multimedia evidence-computer forensics discipline.

The OCRCFL is part of the RCFL program, a national network of 16 FBI-sponsored digital forensic laboratories and training centers devoted entirely to the scientific examination of digital evidence. The national program represents one of law enforcement’s most successful partnership initiatives with representatives from 130 agencies working side-by-side to provide expert digital forensic services to any law enforcement agency in an RCF’s service area.

For more information, please click here.


John Wayne Airport: 2012 Interactive Annual Report

John Wayne Airport (JWA) is pleased to announce its 2012 Interactive Annual Report. Please click LAUNCH to experience JWA's 2012 Annual Report or click DOWNLOAD to view the Annual Report in PDF format. For more information, please click here.


Pet Fair 2013: Furry Friends Fiesta

Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 4, as OC Animal Care hosts its biggest event of the year – Pet Fair 2013! The event will take place from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, featuring pet-friendly vendors and offering hundreds of lovable animals available for adoption.

For more information, please click here.


Additional “Passport Day” Scheduled

The Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department processed a record number of passport applications on March 9, as part of a special “Passport Day in the USA” held nationally. By day’s end, 65 passports were processed with 55 photos sold, compared to 37 passports and 22 photos from last year’s Passport Day.

Since the event was so successful, the department has scheduled another Passport Day for Saturday, April 27, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Old County Courthouse in Santa Ana. To save time, passport applications can be filled out in advance online at www.ocrecorder.com. Walk-ins are welcome to complete the process but appointments are encouraged by calling (714) 834-2588.

For more information, please click here.


South County Wheelchair Tennis Coach Named Nation’s Best

Mission Viejo wheelchair tennis coach Jason Harnett has been named the “Paralympic National Coach of the Year for Tennis” by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the United States Tennis Association (USTA).

Harnett has been a tennis instructor at the City’s tennis centers since 1996 and leads the Junior Wheelchair Camp each summer. The camp is the only one of its kind on the North and South American continents. He also serves as the head coach for the Quadriplegic Team. His players achieved triple gold medals from the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Paralympics.

Last September, Harnett received the Order of Ikkos medal – the most prestigious award a coach can receive at the Olympic or Paralympic Games. The award came from two players who were named the “USA Paralympic Team of the Year.” The Order of Ikkos medal recognizes coaches for their integral part in the success of their Olympians.

Harnett will likely be instrumental in coaching players in the upcoming International Tennis Federation (ITF) Master Series – Wheelchair Doubles World Championships. Mission Viejo will be the first U.S. city to host the prestigious event, which takes place November 7-11 at the Marguerite Tennis Pavilion.

Harnett is also one of three finalists for the Paralympic National Coach of the Year award, which is presented exclusively by the USOC. Along with tennis, that specific award encompasses all Paralympic sports. The recipient will be announced at an awards dinner in Colorado Springs, Colorado on June 21.

For more information, please click here.

South County Dance Team Claims 14th National Trophy

The San Clemente High School dance team returned from the United Spirit Association National Competition with its 12th, 13th, and 14th National Championship trophies over the last 10 years and a second consecutive finish as the runner-up to the Grand Champion.

Former Tritons and current coaches Kaely McPhee and Hartley Klement combined to also receive the prestigious Choreographer's Award for best choreographed dance from all categories in the competition.


Laguna Niguel: Youth Employment Opportunity Program

The Youth Employment Opportunity Program will discuss various job-related topics April 18. This workshop in Laguna Niguel will demystify the job hunting process for your teen and help them on their pathway to success. For more information, please click here.

San Juan Capistrano: Earth Day Fair

Make plans to celebrate San Juan Capistrano's eleventh annual Earth Day Fair on Thursday, April 18, a daylong affair said to be the largest environmental-friendly event in South County. The Earth Day event will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the San Juan Capistrano Gymnasium at 25925 Camino del Avion. For more information, please click here.

Rancho Santa Margarita: Second Battalion, Fifth Marines

The City of Rancho Santa Margarita is offering residents a family educational opportunity by meeting representatives from the City’s adopted Second Battalion, Fifth Marines (2/5) on April 18 from 6:30 PM to 8:15 PM at the Bell Tower Regional Community Center. For more information, please click here.

Dana Point: Free Community Shred Day

Monarch Bay Plaza in Dana Point is sponsoring a FREE Community Shred Day to shred your sensitive documents Saturday, April 20 from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Beach: Healthy Girl Festival

Celebrate the value and potential of every girl at the Healthy Girl Festival – the mother/daughter event of the year in Laguna Beach – Saturday, April 27 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on the Festival of Arts grounds. For more information, please click here and here.

Lake Forest: Rancho Days Fiesta

Explore the rich history of Orange County's Mexican Ranchos and Native American tribes at the Rancho Days Fiesta taking place at Heritage Hill Historical Park in Lake Forest on Sunday, May 5 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. For more information, please click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Presented a proclamation at the retirement reception for outgoing San Clemente City Manager George Scarborough.
  • Participated in the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission meeting.
  • Provided a certificate of recognition in honor of the ribbon cutting event for the SDG&E South Orange County Reliability Enhancement Project Outreach Office.
  • Attended the OC Aging Services Collaborative (OCASC) Town Hall Event in Tustin.
  • Participated as a judge at St. Margaret's Episcopal School’s seventh grade class debate.
  • Attended the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce “State of the City” event.
  • Presented a proclamation at the retirement reception for outgoing Laguna Niguel City Manager Tim Casey.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisor meeting in memory of Helen Hannah Campbell of Lake Forest.
My office also:
  • Presented a certificate of recognition in honor of Kaiser Permanente’s VIP celebration and ribbon-cutting event for their new Foothill Ranch Medical Offices in Lake Forest.
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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