Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
June 7, 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

Sabrina Ross:
Deputy Chief of Staff

Sergio Prince:
Policy Advisor

Erik Weigand:
Policy Advisor

Emily Osterberg:
Policy Advisor

Veronica Yniguez:
Policy Advisor

Ruth Strachan:
Office Manager

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Volume 7 Issue 22

No Board Meeting This Week

There was not a regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Supervisors this week in preparation for the upcoming Budget Hearings. To view the Board meeting schedule for 2013, please click here.

The Budget Hearings will be held Tuesday & Wednesday, June 11 & 12. Board meetings begin at 9:30 AM in the Hall of Administration. For Agenda & Meeting Information, please click here.

Live Internet broadcasts of Board of Supervisors meetings can be viewed online and are archived as video-on-demand. To view live and/or past Board meetings, please click here.


SCE to retire San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

Southern California Edison (SCE) has decided to permanently shut down the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).

SONGS units have been shut down safely since January 2012. After months of analysis and tests, SCE submitted a restart plan to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in October 2012.

A recent ruling by an adjudicatory arm of the NRC, the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, creates further uncertainty regarding when a final decision might be made. As such, SCE has concluded that efforts are better focused on planning for replacement generation and transmission resources which will be required for grid reliability.

"Looking ahead we think that our decision to retire the units will eliminate uncertainty and facilitate orderly planning for California's energy future," said Ron Litzinger, SCE's president.

Actual decommissioning may take many years until completion. Such activities will remain subject to continued oversight of the NRC.

For more information, please click here.


OCTA to Consider Balanced Budget

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors will consider adopting a $1.26 billion budget for the coming year during its meeting Monday, June 10.

The fiscal year 2013-14 proposed budget encompasses all services, project and programs administered by OCTA and includes a 4 percent increase in bus service.

Highlights of the proposed budget include:
  • $281 million for bus operations, an increase of $14 million over fiscal year 2012-13.
  • $153 million in Measure M funds, the half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements, for voter-approved freeway improvement projects along the SR-91, SR-57, I-5, I-405 and SR-55.
  • $322 million in Measure M funds for street and road improvements, including $150 million for the OC Bridges program, $140 million for city projects and $14 million for signal synchronization.
  • $200 million for rail improvements, including construction of the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center, Placentia Metrolink station and the State College Grade Separation project.
The budget also reflects a savings of $400,000 from a pension reform plan the OCTA Board approved earlier this year, in which administrative employees will begin paying a portion for their pension costs.

Beginning January 1, 2014, administrative employees will contribute an average of 25 percent of the employee share to their pensions. That contribution will increase 25 percent each year until employees are paying 100 percent of their employee share by January 1, 2017.

For more information, please click here.

511 Focus Group

511 is a FREE service that provides live traffic reports, transit planning and commuter service information to Orange County commuters via a toll-free phone number and website. Travelers who call 511 or visit Go511.com can check real time traffic speeds, find traffic alerts, view live traffic cameras, plan a trip on a bus or train, and even find a carpool or vanpool partner.

In order to better serve its customers, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is conducting four focus group discussions to collect feedback on the 511 trip planner. If you use public transportation in Orange County and are interested in participating in a focus group to share your experience with 511 or Go511.com, please click here.

If you are selected, a representative from an independent research firm will contact you to sign up for one of the focus group discussions. All selected individuals who participate will receive $100.

Ride All Summer Long with the Youth Summer Bus Pass

Hey kids! It's time to pick up a Youth Summer Bus Pass! For only $60, the Youth Summer Bus Pass provides unlimited rides on all OCTA fixed-route buses from June 1 to August 31 for riders 18 and younger.

Taking the bus can help youth become more independent, allowing them to get to a part-time job, the beach, summer school and many other destinations. Even better, they can upload a photo of their trip online for a chance to win prizes! Learn more on Facebook.

The OC Fair Express will return July 12 to provide direct bus service to the Orange County Fair every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until August 11. Kids and teens can use this special service for FREE with the summer pass. Even better, all riders will get a coupon for $3 fair admission!

For more information, please click here.


State of South County Event

The Coastal Chamber Legislative Coalition and I cordially invite you to attend the State of South County event on Friday, June 14 from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort in Dana Point, as the City Managers of Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano will be briefing us on their respective cities’ developments.

For more information, please click here.

Laguna Niguel History Lesson

The Laguna Niguel Historical Society recently provided all the third grade public school teachers in Laguna Niguel with a teaching unit on the history of Laguna Niguel.

The history unit is based on items found in the official city seal and includes teacher lesson plans and a student activity book. As such, the mini unit may also be taught as an introduction to their local history or used as a review and for culminating social studies activity.

The unit has been written using State Core Curriculum guidelines and approved by the Capistrano Unified School District.


Orange County Crime Victims Memorial

The Board of Supervisors recently approved the designation of the Orange County Crime Victims Memorial to be built within William R. Mason Park in Irvine. The memorial will pay tribute to victims of crime; promote hope, healing and remembrance; give voice to those who cannot speak for themselves; and provide an opportunity for individuals to contribute to the site with inscriptions of names, plaques or prayers.

The County is currently looking for members of the public who may be interested in sitting on a judging panel that will determine the winner of the design competition for the memorial. Appointees should have some connection to the memorial, either personally or professionally. Backgrounds in aesthetics, planning, design or architecture would also be very helpful.

Those interested should contact my office by June 21 at (714) 834-3550 or Pat.Bates@ocgov.com. Please include your biography and/or explain why you would be a great judge and include your contact information as well.

For more information, please click here.

SSA’s Task Management System Recognized

Last week, the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) recognized the Orange County Social Services Agency’s (SSA) Task Management System in their Spotlight on Best Practices.

The Task Management System (TMS), a custom .NET web application, was developed and implemented by the SSA's Information Technology group in collaboration with the Assistance Programs Division staff.

Both groups researched and evaluated similar systems throughout the State, enabling them to identify and address major missing functionalities and ensure these features were included as requirements when designing the new system.


Hepatitis ‘A’ Potentially Associated with Frozen Berry Blend

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local health officials and the US Food and Drug Administration are investigating a multistate outbreak of hepatitis A illnesses.

Preliminary investigation suggests that illnesses may be linked to eating of “Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend”, a frozen berry (cherry, red raspberry, strawberry, blueberry and pomegranate seed) mix sold at Costco markets. Investigations are ongoing to determine if this product was sold at other stores or venues.

The Orange County Health Care Agency has created a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the multistate outbreak of Hepatitis A illnesses potentially associated with the frozen berry blend product. For more information, please click here.


DUI Enforcement Operations in South County this Weekend

Deputies from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s DUI Task Force will deploy this weekend to stop and arrest alcohol and drug-impaired drivers as part of the Department’s ongoing traffic safety campaign.

DUI Saturation Patrols will deploy beginning Friday, June 7 at 8:00 PM through Saturday, June 8 at 4:00 AM in the cities of San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point and San Clemente.

In addition, officers from the Laguna Beach Police Department will be deploying this weekend to stop and arrest alcohol and drug-impaired drivers in Laguna Beach on Saturday, June 8 between 6:30 PM and 3:30 AM.

These patrols will be targeting areas with high frequencies of DUI collisions and/or arrests. For more information, please click here and here.

South County Fire Watch Volunteers Needed

South County Land Stewards is recruiting volunteers from communities adjacent to Audubon Starr Ranch Sanctuary, The Reserve at Ranch Mission Viejo, Cleveland National Forest, Riley Wilderness Park, Caspers Wilderness Park and O’Neill Regional Park for the South Orange County Fire Watch.

Volunteers will be trained one evening in July or early August by the Orange County Fire Authority to serve as deterrents and lookouts during Red Flag Alerts, extreme fire conditions that usually occur September through November but can occur any time of year. Lookout sites are limited to easily accessible locations that have good views of wild land preserves.

For more information, please click here.


Forever Friends for Free

OC Animal Care, the Angel's Baseball Foundation, and Paws for a Cause are teaming up again for their annual Forever Friends for Free adoption event. All dogs, cats and bunnies are FREE during this special event Saturday, June 15 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

Please note that the free adoption does not include the cost of the dog license or microchip. Limit two animals per household. For more information, please click here.

OC Animal Care Explorer Program Now Recruiting

Are you between the ages of 14 and 21 and interested in an exciting career that involves caring for animals? If so, then OC Animal Care’s Explorer Program may be just the thing to get you started. Explorer Post 538 focuses on the fields of animal care, control, handling, training, and law enforcement, just to name a few!

For more information, please click here and here.


Boater Notice: Annual Charity Regatta

Regatta events will be taking place in Dana Point Harbor this weekend, June 7–9. While the majority of races will be held outside the harbor, the Junior Sabot Races will be taking place inside the harbor Saturday, June 8 at 11:30 AM. The start/finish line will be located between Dana Point Yacht Club and The Pilgrim tall ship, with the sabots racing in the outer channel area. All boaters should exercise caution if operating near the sabots’ race area.

For more information, please click here and here.


Doheny Update

The Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association (DSBIA) has issued their latest edition of DOHENY UPDATE to better inform the public about events and conditions in the State Park.

To view the DSBIA June newsletter, please click here.


Clerk-Recorder Plans Special Saturday Hours June 22

Plan now to take advantage of special Saturday hours available at the Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department on Saturday, June 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Old County Courthouse in Santa Ana and the department’s branch offices in Laguna Hills and Fullerton.

The Old County Courthouse will be offering marriage licenses, civil wedding ceremonies and passport application services only. Copies of property records and birth, death and marriage certificates will be available at the Laguna Hills and Fullerton branch offices, as well as obtaining marriage licenses and performing civil wedding ceremonies.

The special Saturday hours will make it easier for families and those who work during the week to obtain services usually offered just on weekdays. FREE parking will be available at all three locations.

For more information, please click here.


World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) occurs every year around the world on Saturday, June 15. It is a day that we honor and remember the victims and survivors of elder abuse and pledge ourselves anew to the cause of elder justice in the U.S.

This year, the Ageless Alliance national theme for WEAAD is “Make a Difference with your Heart, Hands, Voice and Mind.” Each of us can make a difference for older adults this WEAAD by using our hearts, hands, voices and minds to get involved and take action.

There are also lots of simple things that individuals can do to commemorate the day and the cause. For a few ideas, please click here.


South County Students Wins DI Middle Level Global Title

The Niguel Hills Middle School DestiNation Imagination (DI) team recently won first place in the Global Finals. Nick Amoukhteh, Jazi Jon, Ryan McCormick, Jack Rager, and Jake Wallin, competed against 80 middle level teams to take the Overall First Place Win, and the top spot in the Da Vinci Category (Best Stagecraft and Energy), and the Instant Challenge.

Nearly 1,250 teams from 42 states and 14 countries competed in Knoxville, Tennessee for the largest Global Finals ever. The team had previously taken First Place wins in both the Regional and State qualifying competitions.

In all, over 30,000 middle school students began the competition in the fall. The qualifying competitions brought the Global Finals down to the best 80 middle school teams from around the world to compete in Knoxville. The team was coached by parent volunteers and was generously sponsored by the City of Laguna Niguel.

2013 Boys Swim Coach of the Year

The Capistrano Valley High School boys swim team entered the season with some of the highest standards in the Southern Section. The Cougars were not only defending champions in ultra-competitive Division 1, but also of the Millikan Southern Section relays and the South Coast League. They also were Orange County record-holders in the two freestyle relays.

Capistrano Valley recently moved into an elite group by claiming its fourth Division 1 title in five seasons, a feat that matches the last wave of Division 1 championships won by Mission Viejo from 2003-07. For leading the historic voyage, Capistrano Valley's Steve Yancey was named the OC Register's 2013 Boys Coach of the Year.

Capistrano Valley's haul also included a fifth consecutive Millikan title and sixth straight South Coast crown. In addition, the Cougars broke their own county records in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays at the Division 1 finals.

For more information, please click here.


Laguna Beach: 50th Brooks Street Surf Contest

The waiting period for the 50th Brooks Street Surf Contest has begun. The surf contest, touted as the oldest surfing classic in the world, is open to Laguna Beach residents only. For more information, please click here or call the Community Services Department at (949) 497-0716.

San Clemente: Car Show

Join the Downtown Business Association as they present the 16th annual car show Sunday, June 9 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM in San Clemente on Avenida Del Mar. For more information, please click here and here.

Rancho Santa Margarita: U.S. Flag Retirement Ceremony

In honor of Flag Day, Saddleback Valley American Legion Post 862 and Scout Troup 623 will be retiring worn and unserviceable U.S. flags during a Flag Retirement Ceremony on Friday, June 14. The ceremony will begin at sunset in the Rancho Santa Margarita City Hall parking lot. For more information, please click here.

Aliso Viejo: Library Summer Celebration

The Friends of the Aliso Viejo Library's FREE Summer Celebration will take place Saturday, June 22 from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the outdoor area of the library at 1 Journey Drive. For more information about this fun-filled family event, please click here.

Dana Point: Doheny Surf Festival

Head down to Doheny State Park on June 29 & 30 for the 2nd annual Doheny Surf Festival, featuring Surfer Village vendors and educational booths, water events and demonstrations, great food and drinks and plenty of music! For more information, please click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Met with Kenn McFarland, Mission Hospital CEO, to discuss issues affecting emergency and trauma care centers.
  • Participated with members of the Laguna Niguel Historical Society Executive Committee in presenting their new Laguna Niguel history book to third-graders at George White Elementary School.
  • Met with Joe Hughes, Director of Governmental Affairs for US Airways in the West.
  • Met with Carolyn Emery, Executive Director of the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission to discuss South County Governance issues.
  • Attended the wedding of my Deputy Chief of Staff, Kristen Thornton, now Mrs. Kristen Cumuglia.
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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