Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
April 26, 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 16

Landfill Habitat Maintenance Agreement

The Board approved an agreement with Habitat West, Inc. to provide landscaping services for native plant habitat management at the Prima Deschecha Landfill. The contract will entail weed control, pest control, management of irrigation systems, native plant establishment and protection, as well as vegetation management.

This contract is necessary to maintain mitigation sites at the landfill in order to meet regulatory performance standards for past and future biological impacts of construction.

For more information, please click here.

Proposal to Prohibit Open Burning at Beaches

The Board opposed an amendment being considered by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) that would prohibit beach fire rings in Orange County and Los Angeles County beaches effective January 1, 2015. The use of charcoal and liquid/gaseous fuels for cooking on beaches and other types of recreation burning, such as those at campgrounds or regional parks, would still be permitted.

The position taken by Board of Supervisors opposes a universal ban on beach fire rings, but supports allowing local jurisdictions to determine whether or not to allow fire rings based on what is best for that community.

There are over 700 fire rings located on Orange County beaches. The County of Orange (OC Parks) has two beaches with 11 fire rings in South County – seven at Aliso Beach and four Capistrano Beach.

Over the past ten years, the County has not received any complaints regarding the use of the fire rings from residents. In addition, eliminating the fire rings at the two beaches might result in a reduction in parking fees collected by the County. SCAQMD will consider this amendment at their June 7 meeting.

For more information, please click here.


OCTA Board Approves Pension Plan Revision

Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) employees will pay their full share of pension costs under a plan approved by the OCTA Board of Directors Monday, which will result in $85 million savings over the next 20 years.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, administrative employees will contribute an average of 2 percent of their salaries to their pensions. That contribution will increase each year until employees are paying 100 percent of their employee share by Jan. 1, 2017. This plan will result in an $8.2 million savings to taxpayers over the three-year period.

OCTA has been paying an average of 8 percent for each administrative employee's share of their pension costs. OCTA's 1,100 union-represented coach operators, maintenance workers, facilities technicians and parts clerks already contributed 100 percent of the employee share.

OCTA has a merit-based pay-for-performance model much like the private sector, where employees only receive raises if they achieve clearly defined goals and objectives. In response to the Great Recession, from mid-2009 through 2012, OCTA administrative employees received no merit-based pay raises.

Review Continues on I-405 Improvement Project

In October, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors selected Alternative 1 for the I-405 Improvement Project, which would add one general-purpose lane in each direction. Currently in the draft environmental stage, the OCTA Board voted to explore additional concepts to the project.

Approved for additional review were:
  • Concept A: Adding another general-purpose lane in each direction and converting the existing carpool lane to a single high-occupancy toll (HOT) lane.
  • Concept B: Continue building Alternative 2, which adds two general-purpose lanes in each direction, and shorten the second northbound general purpose lane to end at Valley View Street.
  • Concept C: Adding the single general-purpose lane and an additional carpool lane.
These concepts are expected to take three months to complete and will add $155,000 to projects costs. In September 2013, OCTA staff will return to the Board with additional information and seek direction on how to proceed.

OCTA Seeks Volunteers for Citizens Advisory Committee

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is recruiting community leaders to fill openings on the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC), a 34-member group that provides input on a broad spectrum of transportation projects, studies and outreach activities.

Appointed by OCTA’s Board of Directors, the CAC’s responsibilities include identifying opportunities for community input, serving as a liaison between the public and OCTA, and participating in roundtable discussions.

OCTA is seeking individuals with a demonstrated interest in community activities and transportation issues who are willing to dedicate at least 15 hours per year to meetings and activities. This is an unpaid volunteer position and CAC members are asked to commit to a two-year term. Candidates must be at least 18 and live in Orange County.

Applications for the 2013-2015 term must be received by May 12 and are available at www.octa.net/cac. For more information, please contact Ashley Graeber at (714) 560-5416 or agraeber@octa.net. The OCTA Board is expected to select the members by the end of June.

For more information, please click here.


DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint in Mission Viejo

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s DUI Task Force will be conducting a DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint on Friday, April 26 in the City of Mission Viejo from 6:00 PM to 2:00 AM.

Deputies will be stopping drivers passing through the checkpoint for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment. Deputies will also check drivers for proper licensing and will strive to delay motorists only momentarily.

When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving. Drivers caught driving impaired can expect jail, license suspension, and insurance increases, as well as fines, fees, DUI classes, other expenses that can exceed $10,000.

For more information, please click here.

Preventing Wildland Fires

The Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) in partnership with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) along with OC Parks will announce their joint efforts in preventing man-made, arson, or wildfires within Orange County on Wednesday, May 1 at 10:30 a.m. in Peters Canyon.

The agencies will discuss how to fire proof your home, what to look for in reference to suspicious behavior, and who to call for notification. They are also enlisting the community to be the “eyes and ears” in preventing wildland fires, as fire is a severe hazard for those communities that are built close to nature and residents need to be involved in order to prevent future blazes.

There will also be LIVE demonstrations of an OCFA Hand Crew performing progressive hose lays and cutting line; Agency helicopters conducting water drops as well as showing video downlink from their helicopter, which is a valuable resource on wildfires. OCFA and OCSD will display their new command/rehabilitation trailers along with OCFA’s urban interface engines.

For more information, please click here.

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

My staff attended events this week in honor of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

On Wednesday, a ceremony was held at Mason Regional Park to unveil the site for a crime victims’ memorial. Earlier this month, the Board unanimously approved the creation of the Orange County Crime Victims’ Memorial. Each Supervisor will appoint two people to a committee that will judge the design competition for the memorial.

For more information, please click here.

On Friday, my office participated in a Victims Rights March hosted by the Orange County District Attorney. At the event, the DA announced new efforts to fight human trafficking and exploitation. Human trafficking is a serious issue facing our nation and one that I am pleased to see the DA addressing.

For more information, please click here.


Caspers Wilderness Park

One of the best hikes at Caspers Wilderness Park is the Loskorn/West Ridge/Star Rise/Oak Trails Loop. You get plenty of shade underneath oak and sycamore canopies, and a great view after 300 feet of elevation gain on the west edge of the park. There are plenty of different plants and animals to see along the way across three different plant communities.

If you’re looking for a flatter, easier loop with small children, the Bell Canyon/Star Rise/Oak Trails Loop is a similar hike with very little elevation gain.

The largest camping area, Live Oak Campground, lies within a place called Bell Canyon. It gets its name from an old legend that says when Native Americans struck a large ceremonial rock, the sound would ring like a bell throughout the canyon. Sound still travels well within the canyon today. If you have horses, you can also camp in Bell Canyon at the Starr Mesa campground, one of the few equestrian only campgrounds in Orange County.

Caspers Wilderness Park is one of the best family camping destinations in Southern California. They offer campfire programs every Saturday night and ranger-led nature walks Sunday mornings. No pets or alcohol allowed.

For more information, please click here.

Whiting Ranch Wildlife Park

Bring your family and friends for a great morning hike through Whiting Ranch Wildlife Park on Saturday, April 27 from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM. Guided by Trabuco Hills High School Environmental Science students, you will observe and learn about the many different kinds of plants and animals that call Whiting Ranch their home.

For more information, please click here.


OC Waste & Recycling Holds Eco Challenge Poster Contest

Now through May 24, Orange County children can participate in a special Eco Challenge poster contest presented by OC Waste & Recycling, the Discovery Science Center, and Angels Baseball for the chance to be an Honorary Bat Kid at a 2013 Angels baseball game.

Just choose your favorite topic below and make a poster to showcase your ideas and creativity around that theme.
  • Recycling – Design a poster showing how you make an effort to recycle in your everyday life.
  • Reusing Materials – Design a poster showing how various household items can be re-used in new and different ways.
  • Reducing Waste – Design a poster showing how you can reduce waste; what kind of choices can you make in your daily life to ensure you are only using what you need?
  • A Greener Future – Design a poster around the idea of what Earth would look like if we were more environmentally conscious.
Bring or mail your entry to Discovery Science Center by May 24 and five lucky winners from each of Orange County’s five Supervisorial Districts will be awarded the status of Honorary Bat Kid during an Angels home game in 2013. For more information, please click here.


National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Saturday, April 27 is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. A National effort coordinated by the Drug Enforcement Agency and local partners, including the County of Orange’s RX Coalitions.

South County youth are being swept up in an epidemic of prescription drug abuse. Unfortunately the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. This event is one of the many ways families can protect themselves against this tragedy.

For a list of take back locations, please click here and enter your zip code. I strongly encourage all families to take advantage of this opportunity to remove unused medications from their home.


Dana Point Harbor: Community Advisory

On Saturday, April 27 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, the Pet Project Foundation will hold its 20th Annual Wag-A-Thon in the island area of Dana Point Harbor. During this time, there will be minor traffic congestion across the bridge and proximate to the intersection of Island Way and Dana Drive, near the Richard Henry Dana Statue.

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.


Passport Day

The Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department has scheduled a 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.


Orange County Public Works Celebrates Annual Open House

Orange County Public Works will host its Annual Open House on Friday, May 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at 2301 North Glassell Street, Orange. This year, the Open House will exhibit an overview of projects, community services, and displays that give residents a better understanding of what OC Public Works does for their community.

OC Public Works staff will be available to answer questions and provide information about the department’s projects and services. Public Works encourages all residents, students, and prospective engineers to join this informative event.

For more information, please click here and here.


Laguna Beach: Healthy Girl Festival

Join Soroptimist International of Laguna Beach in celebrating 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.

Aliso Viejo: Imagination Celebration

Join the Aliso Viejo Library to celebrate IMAGINATION through music, dance, and crafts! Sponsored by the Friends of the Aliso Viejo Library, this event will be held Saturday, April 27 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM in the Library Community Room, 1 Journey, Aliso Viejo.

For more information, please click here.

Rancho Santa Margarita: Water Awareness Day

Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) will celebrate Water Awareness Month with its annual family-friendly Water Awareness Day event at the SMWD offices at 26111 Antonio Parkway in Rancho Santa Margarita on Saturday, May 4 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. For more information, please click here and here.

San Clemente: Cinco de Mayo Celebration

The 23rd Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration is a cultural day presented by the City of San Clemente and the Cinco de Mayo Committee on Saturday, May 4 from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM at Max Berg Plaza Park, 1100 Calle Puente in San Clemente. For more information, please click here and here.

Mission Viejo: Arts Alive & Street Painting Festival

Creativity fills Miision Viejo’s Oso Viejo Park with hands-on activities, including ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, gardening tips, live entertainment and much more at the Arts Alive & Street Painting Festival on Saturday & Sunday, May 4 & 5. For more information, please click 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.

Dana Point: Grand Prix of Cycling

Join top professionals, amateurs and excited kids May 5 at the 7th Annual Dana Point Grand Prix of Cycling, as they race on the best course in America, overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean and spectacular Dana Point Harbor. For more information, please click here and here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Delivered a County Update to the Hilltoppers Chairman's Council Group in Laguna Niguel.
  • Attended the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce’s “State of the City” event in Dana Point.
  • Met with representatives of the Orange County Workforce Investment Board (OCWIB) to be briefed on current OCWIB initiatives and upcoming agenda items.
  • Delivered a County Update at a meeting of the Laguna Niguel Republican Women, Federated.
  • Joined the Orange County Office of Protocol in a meet & greet with Alejandra Garcia Williams, Consul de México, Consulate de México in Santa Ana.
  • Delivered a County Update at a meeting of the South Orange County Economic Coalition.
  • Attended the Laguna Niguel Mayor’s “State of the City” address hosted by the Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Catherine "Jan" Peverill of San Clemente.
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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