Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
September 13, 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

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 36

Affordable Care Act Implementations

The Board approved 90 full-time additional positions and conversion of 54 existing extra help positions to regular status to enable the Social Services Agency (SSA) to address the increased Medi-Cal workload due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation and ensure compliance with Federal and State regulations.

As you may know, the ACA was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. Under the ACA, Medi-Cal coverage will expand to include all individuals with income under 138% of the federal poverty level, whereas the current eligibility requirements consider age, assets, and disability in addition to income.

The State of California estimates that an additional 2.4 million Californians may be newly eligible for Medi-Cal, including up to 160,000 in Orange County. The ACA will also create health care exchanges called Covered California, which will be offering insurance plans for purchase by the public and small businesses. Individuals may qualify for a tax subsidy to purchase those insurance plans, depending on their income status.

SSA is responsible for establishing and administering eligibility for Medi-Cal in Orange County, and State statute requires that eligibility be determined by staff or county welfare departments and may not be contracted out to the private sector.

The County anticipates a significant ACA impact beginning October 1, when the State health care exchange (Covered California) will begin pre-enrollment for their new health plans. At that time, SSA will begin accepting applications for expanded Medi-Cal, with a January 1, 2014 eligibility enrollment date.

The new Federal law and the State’s implementation process not only expands the number of individuals covered by Medi-Cal programs, but also adds operational changes, such as expansion of call center hours, including evening and Saturday hours.

If the Board did not approve these additional positions, the County would be in violation of implementing a federal entitlement service for those who are eligible. As a result, the County would be at risk of expensive sanctions and losing the funding for the positions that are a 100% federally funded.

In the coming weeks, the State will launch a robust public outreach campaign, informing the public of the enrollment that starts October 1. For more information, please click here and here.

IT Sourcing Contracts

The Board approved a five-year contract with Xerox State & Local Solutions. Under this agreement, Xerox will transform the County’s aging voice and data network infrastructure and implement Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP).

The contract is for $132 million and allows the County to refresh our critical IT infrastructure for an estimated $33 million less than other alternatives. This contract award is the culmination of many years of staff work and we are pleased to begin implementation.

For more information, please click here.

Proposed JWA Settlement Agreement Amendment EIR

The Board approved Architect-Engineer Agreements with five consulting firms that will prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for proposed amendments to the John Wayne Airport (JWA) Settlement Agreement.

The five firms selected through a competitive bid process are:
  • AECOM – Aviation Analysis
  • BonTerra Consulting – EIR Preparation
  • ENVIRON International Corporation – Air Quality Analysis
  • Fehr & Peers – Traffic Analysis
  • Landrum & Brown, Incorporated – Noise Analysis
The purpose of the EIR is to identify environmental impacts associated with a proposed 15-year extension of the John Wayne Airport Settlement Agreement.

The first step in the environmental review process will be the issuance of a Notice of Preparation (NOP) in October 2013. The NOP is intended to notify specific parties that an EIR is being prepared. It includes a description and the location of the project, as well as probable environmental effects.

A Draft EIR (DEIR) presenting the results of the environmental analysis is expected to be published in the first quarter of 2014 and will be available for public review and comment. Following the public comment period, the DEIR is scheduled to be presented to the Board for consideration in the summer of 2014.

The Settlement Agreement, created in 1985, formalized consensus between the County of Orange, the City of Newport Beach, the Airport Working Group (AWG) and Stop Polluting Our Newport (SPON) on a set of defined facility and operational improvements JWA and a related set of environmental protections. The Settlement Agreement was amended and extended in 2003 and is currently set to expire December 31, 2015.

To learn more about the Settlement Agreement and the proposed extension, please click here.

Disability and Healthcare Insurance Fraud Grant Award

Special recognition is due to the District Attorney’s office for receiving an increased grant from the California Department of Insurance. The grant of $2,019,745 allows the District Attorney (DA) to participate in the State Disability and Healthcare Insurance Fraud Program.

Medical and disability fraud are enormous problems nationwide. These instances of fraud cause higher insurance premiums and increased costs for medical services, both of which hurt the consumer (you). As a result of the DA’s previous successes, the State allocated nearly one-third of the program’s funding to Orange County.

For more information, please click here.

Response to Grand Jury Report: “To Protect and To Serve”

The Board reviewed, commented and forwarded the Orange County Grand Jury report titled “To Protect and to Serve: A Look at Tools to Assist Law Enforcement in Achieving Positive Outcomes with the Homeless Mentally Ill.”

A section of the County’s response reads: “…the County continues to offer community outreach and support, residential services, crisis stabilization programs, training, and other behavioral and mental health services that benefit the mentally ill in Orange County.”

For more information, please click here.


SB 298 and AB 701 Approved by California Legislature

For the past year, I have been working with Senator Wyland to pass legislation that will allow homeowner’s associations to contract with Orange County or cities within the County for supplemental Vehicle Code law enforcement services.

Particularly, Senate Bill (SB) 298 will have a positive impact on residents of Coto de Caza, who have been very vocal in supporting the legislation. Coto is currently contracting with the California Highway Patrol and will now be able to contract with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, a move that will be much more cost effective while providing even more coverage for road safety.

I am happy to say our efforts have paid off, as SB 298 has been approved by both houses in the Legislature and is currently heading to the Governor for his signature.

Additionally, Assembly Bill (AB) 701 has passed both houses in the State Legislature and is also heading to the Governor’s office for his signature. AB 701 is very important to the County of Orange, as it will end the Vehicle License Fee Adjustment Amount (VLFAA) dispute the County has had with the State.

For more information, please click here.

Winners in Eco Challenge Poster Contest

Five creative Orange County children have been awarded an Honorary Angels Bat Kid experience as winners in the Eco Challenge Poster Contest, presented by the County of Orange, Discovery Science Center (DSC) and Angels Baseball.

A total of 82 posters were submitted by boys and girls between the ages of eight and fourteen, who used their imagination and creativity in designing a unique, eco-themed poster. All contest entries were based on one of four themes provided in relation to the Eco Challenge exhibit at DSC.

  • Recycling – Show how you make an effort to recycle in your everyday life.
  • Reusing Materials – Show how household items can be reused in multiple ways.
  • Reducing Waste – Show how to reduce waste in your daily life.
  • A Greener Future – Show what an ecofriendly Earth would look like.
Five winners were selected by a panel of judges from the County of Orange, DSC, and Angels Baseball. Entries were judged based on originality, visual clarity, relevance to theme, artwork, and effectiveness of message.

The top scoring entry in each of Orange County’s five supervisorial districts will become an Honorary Angels Bat Kid for a home game in 2013. They will also receive four tickets to enjoy the predetermined game, complimentary parking, one bat kid uniform, one official baseball, one on-field credential for dugout access, and one professional field photo.

The Eco Challenge Poster Contest winners were:
  • Supervisorial District #1 – Jesse Magdalero, City of Garden Grove (age 11)
  • Supervisorial District #2 – Jackie Olivares, City of Costa Mesa (age 12)
  • Supervisorial District #3 – Mia Mongan, City of Orange (age 7)
  • Supervisorial District #4 – Jack Taylor, City of Brea (age 10)
  • Supervisorial District #5 – Cami Adams, Ladera Ranch (age 8)
All five posters will be on display for public viewing at the County of Orange Hall of Administration. For more information on the Eco Challenge poster contest and winners, please click here.

To view photos the Fifth District Eco Challenge Contest Winner, Cami Adams from Ladera Ranch, and my Fifth District Chief of Staff, Don Hughes, on the field at Anaheim Stadium, please click here.


I-5 Improvements to Commence in South County

Construction is expected to begin in late 2013 or early 2014 on the Interstate 5 (I-5) from Avenida Pico to San Juan Creek Road that will extend carpool lanes into San Clemente as well as improve the Avenida Pico interchange.

The $275 million project is funded by Measure M, the half-cent sales tax approved by Orange County voters for transportation projects. The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) are teaming up on the improvements.

One new soundwall is planned in the project, along Shorecliffs Golf Course on the west side of the freeway, north of Avenida Vaquero. The final phase of the project, rebuilding the interchange, is expected to begin in 2015 and finish in 2017. The bridge will remain open to traffic during construction.

When finished, Avenida Pico will expand to nine lanes beneath the freeway to include two westbound through lanes and three eastbound through lanes, as well as two left-turn lanes to enter the northbound freeway and two left turn lanes to enter the southbound freeway. New bicycle lanes will also be added to Avenida Pico in both directions beneath the freeway.

A retaining wall along Camino Capistrano south of Stonehill Drive will have a Mission-inspired theme, the product of meetings between OCTA and Caltrans officials and City of San Juan Capistrano stakeholders.

The OCTA outreach team has held dozens of meetings with city leaders and other community stakeholders to inform them about the project. For more information, please contact Julie Toledo at (714) 560-5573 or jtoledo@octa.net, or click here and here.

HOV Degradation Study Presented to TCA Boards

Staff from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) gave a presentation to both the San Joaquin Hills and the Foothill Eastern Transportation Corridor Agencies’ (TCA) Boards of Directors regarding 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 issue.

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

In July 2012, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century legislation was approved by Congress, requiring state departments of transportation to identify and remedy degraded HOV lanes. The study identifies the I-405, I-5, SR-55, SR-22 and SR-91 as having degraded HOV lanes. For example, State Route 91 Express Lanes carry 45% of peak hour vehicles.

TCA staff presented a follow-up presentation, outlining the roll of TCA as a stakeholder in this degradation study and in implementing proposed mitigation in the future.

For information on the series of options have been analyzed and presented to policymakers on how to remedy the degradation, please click here and here.

Please be assured that I will continue to carefully monitor this issue to ensure the public is provided opportunities for input on the policy decisions going forward. As always, I welcome and encourage your comments on this very important mobility issue for our region.

The Toll Roads: Albertsons Retail Marketing Agreement

The Boards of Directors for both the Foothill Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency and the San Joaquin Hill Transportation Corridor Agency approved an agreement that will allow FasTrak transponders to be distributed at 30 Albertsons grocery stores throughout Orange County.

Beginning October 1, customers may purchase transponders for $36 at participating Albertsons, after which they can activate their account on The Toll Roads website and $40 will automatically be credited to the new account. An additional $5 in FREE tolls is credited if you sign up to replenish your account with electronic payment.

For more information, please click here.


The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) has released its latest edition of The Toll Roads VIEWSLETTER. To view the TCA publication, please click here.


Wilderness Preserve Hike & Equestrian Ride

Join the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Saturday, Oct. 5 for a special hiking tour or horse ride on OCTA's wilderness preserve in Trabuco Canyon. During this interpretive excursion, learn how OCTA is contributing to wildlife and habitat preservation in Orange County.

The guided two-mile tour is taking place on the 399-acre Ferber Ranch property. OCTA's acquisition of this property protects several vital wildlife movement corridors, ensures the preservation of high quality habitat, and allows this core segment of Trabuco Canyon to be permanently protected.

For more information, please click here.

This tour is intended to be a show of goodwill by OCTA that the Ferber Ranch property will eventually be open to public access. The property has been closed to public access while OCTA works with various resource agencies in the development of a Natural Community Conservation Plan (NCCP) and a Resource Management Plan, which will ultimately include a plan for managed public access.

There has been increasing concern regarding unauthorized trespassing on this property. This trespassing (including the cutting of new trails) could jeopardize OCTA’s permits for upcoming freeway projects, as this property is part of OCTA’s Freeway Mitigation Program. As such, while the intent is to open the property for public access in the future, it is important in the interim that OCTA ensures the integrity of the habitat while the plans are being developed

California Coastal Cleanup Day September 21

Every year, on the third Saturday in September, people join together at sites all over California to take part in the State's largest volunteer event – California Coastal Cleanup Day.

This year represents the 29th Annual Coastal Cleanup Day. OC Parks, OC Public Works and the City of Laguna Niguel are cohosting an invasive special removal project and trash clean up at Narco Channel/Laguna Niguel Regional Park. For more information, please click here.

OC Dana Point Harbor is also seeking volunteers for California Coastal Clean-Up Day. A unique aspect of the clean-up effort at OC Dana Point Harbor is an Underwater Clean-Up, and open water-certified divers are invited to volunteer and participate. For more information, please click here and here.

Orange County Coastal Coalition

Please join me Thursday, September 26 for the Orange County Coastal Coalition meeting. The meeting will be held in the City of Newport Beach Community Room, 100 Civic Center Drive, Newport Beach.

The following presentations are scheduled:
  • Brian Lochrie, President of Communications, Poseidon Water, will be discussing the Huntington Beach Seawater Desalination Facility Project;
  • John Kennedy, Executive Director of Engineering and Local Resources, Orange County Water District, will provide information on “Water Reuse: The Groundwater Replenishment System;” and
  • Darcy Burke, Director of Public Affairs, Municipal Water District of Orange County, will discuss the Doheny Desalination Project.
The presentations will be followed by a Question & Answer session. For more information, please click here and here.


Register for 4th Annual Regional Test of AlertOC

New smartphone apps are now available for AlertOC – Orange County's regional mass notification system. Available for iPhone and Android smartphones, the apps will allow users to receive push notifications, review past messages, update contact information and set device and language preferences. Smartphone users can find the app by searching "Blackboard MyConnect" in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

On Tuesday, September 24, nearly two million Orange County residents registered with AlertOC will receive a call at 10:00 a.m. to test AlertOC. This is the fourth annual regional test of the system and will include 22 participating cities and the County's unincorporated areas, including the communities of Coto de Caza, Ladera Ranch, Las Flores, and Wagon Wheel.

Residents are encouraged to self-register their email addresses, cell phone numbers and other numbers to be a part of the regional test.

The key feature of AlertOC is the ability for residents to register more than one contact method at a specific address. Registrations of cell phone and alternate numbers increase the potential of reaching the greatest number of community members as rapidly as possible. This enables landlines, cell phones and email addresses to be incorporated into a single notification system.

The AlertOC drill September 24 will replicate a large scale, multi-jurisdictional emergency, requiring thousands of numbers to be called simultaneously across Orange County's entire region. The phone message will urge all residents to prepare for real-life emergencies by registering their cell numbers, text numbers and email addresses at AlertOC.com for the best chance to receive vital, timely information when away from home.

Emergencies can happen at any time. A wildfire could spread or a flood could close roads to a neighborhood while residents are away from home. In these instances, AlertOC is a critical link for residents to immediately learn of any required actions.

For more information, or to register alternate phone numbers or email addresses, please visit AlertOC.com. Commuters are reminded to be safe and use hands-free devices when talking on the phone and driving.

For more information, please click here.

Release of 2012 Orange County Coroner Report

The Orange County Coroner Division of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department has released the 2012 Coroner Report. The report is designed to provide an overview of victim characteristics, frequency, cause and location of deaths in Orange County.

Under California law, deaths of sudden and unexpected nature and those related to any type of injury or intoxication must be reported to the Coroner.

In 2012, there were 18,915 deaths in Orange County. Of those, the Coroner Division investigated 5,093 deaths and performed a total of 1,654 autopsies to assist in the determination of the cause and manner of death.

In cases investigated by the Coroner, the breakdown in manner of death is as follows: 84% natural; 10% accident (traffic, mechanical falls, drug overdoses, drowning, etc.); 4% suicide; 1% homicide; and 1% undetermined (i.e., the investigation could not determine cause and/or manner).

For more information, please click here. To view the full report, please click here and here.

City of Mission Viejo Offers 10-Week Parenting Program

Parents are invited to take part in Parent Project, a program designed to help children grow into safe and capable adults. The program takes place October 1 through December 10. The City of Mission Viejo offers the 10-week program, which was created for parents with difficult or out-of-control adolescent children.

Developed over a 20-year period, the curriculum helps parents learn and practice specific prevention and intervention strategies for defiant actions or destructive behaviors, such as truancy, alcohol and drug use, gangs, running away, violence and other issues. Parents will learn proven tools and tactics to deal with poor grades, teen social trends, and understand teen use of technology.

The first six classes of the 10-week program take place Tuesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., with the rest ending an hour earlier at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center, 24932 Veterans Way. Space is limited, so register today by calling (949) 470-8433.

For more information about this beneficial program, please click here.


Bat Found in Laguna Niguel Tests Positive for Rabies

A bat found on the ground September 7 in Laguna Niguel Regional Park has tested positive for rabies. Anyone who had recent contact with a bat in the vicinity of Laguna Niguel Regional Park is asked to call Orange County Health Care Agency Epidemiology at (714) 834-8180 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, or (714) 834-7792 after hours so a nurse can evaluate the risk for rabies.

For more information, please click here and here.


OC Animal Care: MVP Event

Join OC Animal Care in celebrating the many varieties of pets they have Saturday, September 21 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. You’ll have a chance to interact with some of their most popular breeds in the shelter courtyard. FREE spay/neuter!

For more information, please click here.


Saturday Clerk Services for Busy Workers and Families

Special weekend hours for the Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department will again be available Saturday, Sept. 21 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.

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. Please check www.ocrecorder.com for exact dates and times. FREE parking will be available at all three locations.

For more information, please click here and here.


Dana Point Town Center Project Groundbreaking

After years of planning and coordination between South Coast Water District (SCWD), the City of Dana Point and the community, a groundbreaking ceremony for the Town Center Water, Sewer and Storm Drain Improvement Project was held this week. The Project will bring added water, sewer and storm drain improvements to the Dana Point Town Center area and provide the infrastructure necessary to accommodate the anticipated number of people living and working in Town Center.

Construction is being approached in phases, with the water district starting and completing utility work before the City begins street-level changes. The water district will tackle Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) first and replace lines from Copper Lantern to Blue Lantern over the next three months.

Once finished, the City will come in to complete median, sidewalk and landscape work. Construction along PCH is expected to last through October 2014, at which time traffic will travel in two ways down the now one-way road. At the same time, SCWD can begin construction on Del Prado utilities.

Both City and SCWD officials have confirmed outreach will be done to address any issues that may arise, and work is being done to mitigate effects on residents and businesses.

SCWD has launched a construction hotline at (949) 499-4555, ext. 9.

For more information, please click here.


Laguna Beach: September Sunset Serenades

The City of Laguna Beach will be presenting FREE concerts every Friday evening in September at the amphitheater in Heisler Park starting at 5:30 PM. For more information, please click here.

Rancho Santa Margarita: Patriot Day Event

Join friends and neighbors at the City of Rancho Santa Margarita’s Patriot Day event Sunday, September 15 from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Civic Plaza at Central Park. With involvement from the City’s adopted 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines (2/5), this year’s event has been expanded into a FREE all day event. For more information, please click here and here.

Dana Point: Doheny Longboard Surf Contest & Luau

Saturday, September 21 starts with a great surf contest at Doheny State Beach between the Doheny Longboarders against another California longboard club. Viewing the contest is FREE. For more information, please click here and here.

San Clemente: 13th Annual Open Skate Contest

13th Annual San Clemente Open Skate Contest will be held Saturday, September 21 at Ralph’s Skate Court, 241 Avenida La Pata, and will include the “Best Trick” contest. For more information, please call (949) 429-8797 or click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Presented a certificate of recognition in honor of the San Juan Capistrano Branch Library’s 30th anniversary celebration and the Friends of the Library bookstore relocation groundbreaking ceremony. To view a photo, please click here. For more information, please click here.
  • Participated in the regular meeting of the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission./li>
  • Participated in the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Finance and Administration Committee meeting.
  • Participated in the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) Boards of Directors meeting.
  • Met with the Orange County Sheriff and Emergency Management staff to prepare for the County’s emergency preparedness practice drill.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Nick Pasquale 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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