Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
August 2, 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 Camuglia:
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

Click here to subscribe.

Click here to unsubscribe

Volume 7 Issue 30

Re-establishing Vehicle License Fee Adjustment Amounts

At Tuesday’s meeting, I requested the Board take an official support position on California State Senate Bill 56 (SB 56), which passed unanimously. This legislation would re-establish the Vehicle License Fee (VLF) adjustment amounts for newly incorporated cities and annexations, giving them the same financial support cities created prior to 2004.

In 2004, the California Legislature enacted the VLF swap, which replaced lost vehicle license fee revenue with additional property tax for each city and county. However, the extra property tax revenue was not allocated to cities that did not exist before that year.

In 2006, the Legislature passed a bill that created a formula for these new cities. However, another law was created in 2011 during the State’s budget realignment efforts that eliminated the VLF allocation once again for any city or annexation formed after 2004.

If passed, SB 56 will again provide newly incorporated cities and annexations with this lost revenue and create a fiscal incentive for incorporation. It is important we help provide new communities with the local governance they desire and a stable revenue base to support the delivery of city services.

Lifeguard Services Contract with USOS, Inc.

The Board renewed a three-year contract with U.S. Ocean Safety, Inc., for lifeguard services provided at County of Orange beaches. OC Lifeguards patrol numerous South County beaches, such as Aliso (including South Laguna cove beaches), Salt Creek, Capistrano, Dana Point Harbor’s Baby Beach, and Poche Beach. OC Lifeguards provide an outstanding service to our beach-going communities.

For more information, please click here.

Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Grant

With the Board of Supervisors’ approval, the Sheriff’s Department accepted a $100,000 grant from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. This grant will be used to enable local law enforcement to expand their efforts in addressing alcohol-related problems, such as over-intoxication, underage drinking and DUI’s.

For more information, please click here.

Orange County Veterans Advisory Council Appointment

The Board approved my nomination of Peter McCormick of Laguna Niguel to serve as my appointee on the Orange County Veterans Advisory Council (OCVAC). OCVAC is comprised of members appointed by the Board of Supervisors. The Council is made up of nine members, who are residents of Orange County representing all areas of the County, and all are U.S. military veterans with Honorable Discharges.

The function and duties of this Council are to advise the Board of Supervisors on issues of importance to veterans and their dependents based on input from the veteran community, provide a source of liaison and communication with various groups relative to veterans’ issues, and promote involvement in veterans’ related events and functions within the County.

For more information, please click here.


Ortega Highway Nighttime Bridge Demolition

On August 2 & 3, crews will perform nighttime work to demolish the south half of the Ortega Highway bridge. The bridge and portions of the I-5 freeway will be closed during the demolition. The construction will occur during the hours of 11:00 PM to 7:00 PM nightly. While most of the work is expected to be completed during the two nights, demolition activities may carry over into the next weekend if needed.

Please be advised that dates and times are subject to change due to unforeseen operational factors and inclement weather. The bridge must be demolished in order to accommodate improvements on the I-5 / Ortega Highway interchange.

In order to complete the demolition and ensure public safety, the following nighttime closures will take place on Friday, August 2 between 11:00 PM and 7:00 AM; and Saturday, August 3 between 11:00 PM and 7:00 AM:
  • Ortega Highway bridge over the I-5 freeway
  • Northbound I-5 freeway at Ortega Highway
  • Southbound I-5 freeway at Ortega Highway
Other closures include the northbound and southbound I-5 freeway on-ramps, which will not be accessible to local traffic during the bridge demolition. Only traffic that is being detoured off the freeway will be directed to exit from the on-ramps. Motorists traveling on Ortega Highway wishing to access the freeway will be directed to use either Camino Capistrano or Junipero Serra Road.

During demolition activities while the Ortega Highway bridge is closed, the pedestrian walkway on the north half of the bridge will also be closed to the public.

Please click here for recommended detours. For more information, please click here and here.

I-405 Scheduled Bridge Demolition & Freeway Closure

After working around the clock for 55 hours last weekend, crews have successfully completed a major traffic switch to open the new southbound I-405 / eastbound SR-22 connector. The new connector opened to motorists at 4:47 a.m. July 29, marking a major milestone for the WCC project team.

Now that the new connector is open, the old southbound I-405 / eastbound SR-22 connector bridge will be demolished the weekend of August 17 to 18, requiring a 20-hour full closure of the I-405 freeway.

The southbound I-405 connector to the eastbound SR-22 freeway has been reconstructed in order to make room for the new carpool connector. Once construction on the new connector is complete, the old connector must be demolished.

In order to demolish the old structure, portions of the eastbound SR-22, northbound I-405 and southbound I-405 freeways will be closed for approximately 20 hours, from 9 p.m. on Saturday, August 17 to approximately 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 18.

For all the details about the specific closures and recommended detours, please click here.

OCTA: On The Move

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) has released its latest edition of “Orange County: On The Move.” To view the OCTA e-newsletter, please click here.


South County Celebrates National Night Out

Tuesday, August 6 is the 30th Annual National Night Out, an event organized by the nonprofit National Association of Town Watch (NATW). The night celebrates safety and crime prevention successes and works to expand and strengthen programs for the next 364 days.

Please join the Orange County Sheriff's Department and our contract city partners in San Juan Capistrano on August 5 and Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo and San Clemente on August 6 to celebrate National Night Out.

For more information, please click here and here.

County Agencies Partner to Strengthen School Safety

In response to the Sandy Hook tragedy and other incidents of violence in the nation, there has been a call to protect children and create safer school climates. Proposed solutions include hiring additional school resource officers, counselors and mental health professionals, and promoting collaboration between schools and law enforcement in developing comprehensive emergency plans, which includes hands-on training.

Orange County law enforcement agencies and educators have responded to this call to action. The Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center (OCIAC) and the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) have launched the School Assessment Project, a united effort to collect information from every school in Orange County to ensure the safety of all students. The data being collected includes school emergency plans, evacuation routes, maps, and other details that will be provided to first responders during school emergency situations.

OCIAC, which is led by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, is a collaborative effort of eleven public safety entities, including law enforcement, fire and healthcare services that provide resources, expertise and information to detect, prevent and respond to criminal and terrorist activity. OCIAC will work closely with local law enforcement partners and OCDE to collect data from schools, and feedback will be provided regarding their emergency plans. This collaboration between school officials and local law enforcement will strengthen protocols for school safety across the county.

I hope to have the information about this partnership presented at my 6th annual South County Disaster Preparedness Expo on October 19. For more information, please click here. To view video footage of a recent “Active Shooter” training exercise at Dana Hills High School, please click here and here.


Orange County Coastal Coalition

The Orange County Coastal Coalition, which I Chair, provides an opportunity to learn about and collaborate on current topics affecting not only our coastal cities, but those inland as well.

As such, our July 25 meeting provided a forum to hear from Mr. Robert Harding, Unit Manager, System Analysis Unit in the Water Resources Management Group with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California; and Ms. Dee Zinke, Manager, External Affairs with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Metropolitan).

Mr. Harding discussed the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and Southern California’s water supply and storage programs. Metropolitan’s mission is to provide its service area with adequate and reliable supplies of high-quality water to meet present and future needs in an environmentally and economically responsible way.

About half of Southern California’s supplies are local, and the other half is imported from either the Colorado River (via the Colorado River Aqueduct) or Northern California (via the State Water Project passing through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta).

The Delta's declining ecosystem, caused by a number of factors, has led to historic restrictions in water supply deliveries. The result is a pressing need to both improve the Delta environment and improve the water systems that help sustain the state economy.

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan is a long-term habitat restoration program. Water conveyance improvements will take ten to twelve years to construct. As a result, water districts are focused on alternative water supply strategies, including recycling, conservation and groundwater clean-up to make the best use of current supplies.

Water resource managers are also making interim habitat improvements to aid Delta species, with the aim of restoring pumping operations curtailed in recent years. These strategies will help sustain Southern California while the necessary long-term infrastructure improvements are completed. For more information, please email bharding@mwdh2o.com.

Ms. Zinke also discussed the challenges and successes to supply water to Southern California and the 50-year adaptive management Bay Delta Conservation Plan. It is a collaborative effort between state and federal resource and wildlife agencies, environmental organizations and water districts throughout California. The goal is to map out a comprehensive, science-based, long-term conservation and restoration plan for the Delta, including new conveyance alternatives.

The problem is in the hub of California’s outdated statewide water system, located in Northern California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a vital estuary for many species and the location of pumping facilities for the State Water Project and the Central Valley Project. These facilities provide vital water supplies for more than 25 million Californians, including 19 million in the Southland, and millions of acres of farmland.

As the Delta ecosystem has declined, new regulations have placed stringent restrictions on pumping water to protect certain fish species. This problem is, at times, compounded by years of low rainfall.

A great concern is the catastrophic consequences to homes, businesses, farms and habitat in the Delta from a 6.7 magnitude earthquake and how Southern California’s water supply could be cut off for up to two years. There are hundreds of miles of engineered levees that are susceptible to major failures due to flood and seismic risk.

Water districts like Metropolitan are prepared to make the investments necessary to improve the water conveyance system in the Delta; however, there currently is no funding to restore the Delta ecosystem.

Ms. Zinke informed Coastal Coalition members that an $11 billion bond measure will be placed on the November 2014 ballot that would allocate funds for Delta sustainability and water supply reliability, including statewide water system operational improvements, groundwater protection, water quality improvements, water recycling, conservation and watershed protection. For more information, please email dzinke@mwdh2o.com.

To view the Coastal Coalition meeting information and presentations, please click here. To be placed on the email distribution list for Orange County Coastal Coalition meetings, please send your email address to andrea.toscano@ocpw.ocgov.com.

South Orange County Water Education Special Event

Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC), Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), and the project partners of the Doheny Ocean Desalination Project invite you to a special South County water education event Friday, August 9.

Stop by the Doheny Ocean Desalination Pilot Plant, 25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, in Dana Point between 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM for a tour of the Doheny Desal Project, an award winning ocean desalination pilot project and groundbreaking water supply plan for Orange County’s future.

Tours will take approximately 30 minutes and will be conducted by project engineers who will guide participants through the ins and outs of the project. This team of leading experts will be available throughout the day to answer any questions.

For more information, please click here.

Eco Challenge Recycling Event Comes to Angel Stadium

OC Waste & Recycling has partnered with Goodwill of OC to host a special recycling event at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on Saturday, August 10 from 8:00 AM to noon.

The first 300 cars to drop off three bags of gently used clothing, working and non-working electronics, or documents to shred will receive two free tickets to an Angels Baseball game this year! In addition, all cars will receive a free child admission coupon to Discovery Science Center to check out the Eco Challenge exhibit.

For more information, please click 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 August newsletter, please click here.


Boater Notice: Whitey Harrison Classic Canoe Race

The Whitey Harrison Classic Canoe Race will be taking place in Dana Point Harbor on Saturday, August 10. The races begin at 6:00 AM and run through 4:00 PM. The start-finish line will be located outside the Harbor entrance and the Race will proceed to Laguna Beach then back towards Doheny State Beach. All boaters should exercise caution if operating near the race area.

For more information, please click here and here.


South County Low-Cost Pet and Vet Clinics

The City of Aliso Viejo’s Family Resource Center and Mission Viejo Animal Services Center are teaming up to host a low-cost Pet and Vet Clinic on Saturday, August 3 at the Iglesia Park Community Center in Aliso Viejo. The cash-only clinic will offer vaccinations and micro-chipping at discounted rates along with dog licensing from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM.

For more information, please click here.

San Juan Capistrano Dog Park Grand Opening

Dr. Joe Cortese Dog Park, named after a beloved local veterinarian, is a 2.5-acre site in the San Juan Capistrano’s Northwest Open Space, located at 30291 Camino Capistrano. The park is a result of the 1990 voter approved Open Space Bond effort.

The dog park welcomes small and large dogs and features picnic tables, benches, and an access ramp for people with disabilities. The area will include drinking fountains for both people and pooches.

The ribbon cutting will be Saturday, August 17 at 10:00 a.m. and the event runs until 1:00 p.m., which includes exhibit booths, demonstrations, goodie bags for dogs, dog photos for purchase, and hot dogs! All dogs must be on a leash for the ribbon cutting/event activities.

For more information, please click here and here.

Pilot Spay/Neuter Program for Feral Cats

OC Animal Care has begun a pilot spay/neuter program for feral cats, utilizing a $20,000 grant received from the ASPCA. The program, called Feral Free, focusses solely on feral cats entering OC Animal Care from citizens within its jurisdictions that have confined them on their property for various reasons, such as nuisance, property damage, etc.

OC Animal Care does not trap feral cats, nor do they work with individuals or organizations that trap feral cats for the purpose of having them spayed or neutered. The purpose of Feral Free is to focus efforts on existing populations of feral cats already coming into OC Animal Care to reduce overall intake of feral cats, the neonatal kittens they produce, and shelter euthanasia of cats.

The program is being coordinated in conjunction with a non-profit organization called Feral Alley Cats and Friends SPCA (FACFSPCA). Once the feral cats coming into OC Animal Care have been spayed/neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and flea treated, they are placed with FACFSPCA, which then has volunteers return the cats to their original origin. The volunteers also provide informational materials to any surrounding residents regarding the program, the desired outcome (lower populations of cats) and a hotline the public can call should they have questions about the program.

Since April 1, when the pilot program began, OC Animal Care has spayed/neutered over 450 feral cats as part of this program. These are cats that would have otherwise been euthanized at the shelter. It is unknown if the desired impact (lower intake of feral cats and neonatal kittens) will be realized.

In 2009, OC Animal Care piloted a similar program for feral cats, utilizing funds provided by the Board of Supervisors, and saw a significant decrease in cat intake the following year. OC Animal Care will be monitoring the program closely to determine if this program has similar affects.


Clerk Services Made Easier for Busy Workers and Families

Special weekend hours for the Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department will again be available Saturday, Aug. 24 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 August date will be the third monthly Saturday opening of all offices by Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen. Department employees issued a record 171 marriage licenses July 27 and performed 107 civil wedding ceremonies, compared to 144 licenses and just 53 ceremonies on June 22.

As the special Saturday openings have surged in popularity, especially with families and those who work during the week, additional Saturday hours are being planned once a month through the end of the year. Check www.ocrecorder.com for exact dates and times. FREE parking will be available at all three locations.

For more information, please click here.


Treasurer-Tax Collector Mails Unsecured Property Tax Bills

The Treasurer-Tax Collector's office this week began mailing approximately 125,000 Unsecured Property Tax Bills. The last day to make your payment on time will be September 3. Payments must be received or postmarked on or before this date to avoid a 10% late penalty plus a delinquent collection charge of $75.

For more information, please click here.


OC Leading the Pack on Administering Elections

You might not be taking notice of the quality of elections being held in your own backyard, but other counties are.

Administering elections (primary, general, and special) is an expensive and complex process that deals with a number of issues in any county, such as botching the mailings of election materials or providing timely, updated data to volunteers.

Simply put, it’s a grueling process that could easily be riddled with mistakes if elections are not well run. However, if you talk to virtually any elections official in the State of California, they say the Orange County Registrar of Voters is doing it right.

For more information, please click here.


South County Grad Wins Regional Boys & Girls Club Title

Yossymar Rojas, a 2013 Dana Hills High School graduate, was named Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Clubs' Pacific Region, making him one of six finalists competing for the National Youth of the Year title. He was previously selected as the State Youth of the Year for the organization.

The award recognizes Boys & Girls Club members who demonstrate a commitment to bettering their communities and overcoming personal obstacles. In addition to being active in the club, Yossymar has taken on a father-figure role in his home, with both parents working multiple jobs. He is the first of his family to receive a high school diploma and graduated with a 4.0 grade point average. He also received the Dolphin Achievement Award for Spanish Speakers.

His community involvement includes serving as president of the Keystone Club, the Boys & Girls Clubs' academic achievement and community service group, and volunteering at Serra's Pantry in San Juan Capistrano. Yossymar will attend UC Irvine in the fall and major in biomedical engineering.

JSerra’s Pre-Law Professional Magnet Program

I am pleased to have recently been invited to serve on JSerra’s prestigious Pre-Law Professional Magnet Program Advisory Board.

The Pre-Law Professional Magnet Program (PLPMP) at JSerra Catholic High School was founded in the fall of 2012. The purpose of the program is to introduce students to the field of law and help prepare them for the rigors of law school, with particular emphasis placed on the ethical role lawyers play in society to ensure the rule of law is maintained and justice is served.

JSerra’s PLPMP curriculum, texts, and instructional methods are similar to what the student will experience in law school. In short, students gain a solid understanding of what preparation for a legal career entails.

The PLPMP is a four-year program that focuses on developing the student’s written, verbal, and analytical skills. Students who are eligible for the program must demonstrate strong aptitude in these areas to be accepted into the program.

To that end, I am honored to serve on the PLPMP Advisory Board and look forward to my involvement with this outstanding program. For more information, please click here and here.


Aliso Viejo: Summer Concert

Join the Aliso Viejo Community Association Sunday, August 4 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM for a summer concert at the Grand Park/Town Center Amphitheater featuring Joshua Tree (U2 Tribute Band). For more information, please click here.

Dana Point: Summer Concerts in the Park

The City of Dana Point invites you to enjoy its Summer Concerts in the Park, featuring Jim Curry (John Denver tribute) with The Mighty Cash Cats on Sunday, August 4 at Heritage Park. The opening act kicks-off at 3:00 PM. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Niguel: Summer Concert Series

The City of Laguna Niguel invites you to enjoy its Summer Concerts in the Park, featuring contemporary Hawaiian band Hapa on Friday, August 9 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at the Crown Valley Community Park Amphitheater. FREE shuttle service available for every concert. For more information, please click here.

San Clemente: 60th Annual Fiesta Street Festival

The 60th Annual San Clemente Fiesta Street Festival is set for Sunday, August 11. The Fiesta Street Festival starts at 9:00 a.m. and concludes at 7:00 p.m. on Ave. Del Mar in beautiful San Clemente. For more information, please click here and here.

Laguna Beach: Art Festival Season

Laguna Beach’s world famous summer art festival season runs daily through September 1. For information on the Festival of Arts / Pageant of the Masters, please click here. For information on the Sawdust Art Festival, please click here. For information on Art-A-Fair, please click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Met with County staff and Laguna Beach officials to discuss City issues and concerns.
  • Met with County Budget staff and Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission staff to discuss South County governance and fiscal issues.
  • Presented a certificate of recognition in honor of the grand opening of the new Mission San Juan Capistrano Gift Store.
  • Attended a retirement reception to present a proclamation in honor of outgoing Aliso Viejo City Manager Mark Pulone.
  • Met with representatives of the issues regarding pinhole leaks in home water pipe systems in South County to discuss potential solutions to the problem.

My office also:
  • Attended a Legislative Briefing hosted by the Municipal Water District of Orange County regarding the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and regional water issues affecting Orange County. To view a very informative video on these important issues, please click here.

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.

For an ADA version of our newsletter, click here.

Follow me on Facebook!