Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
October 25, 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 42

Island Way Roadway and Bridge Rehabilitation

The Board authorized release of a Request for Proposals for a project to rehabilitate the Island Way roadway and bridge in Dana Point Harbor.

The project will remove and replace the existing pavement to enhance traffic movement, resurface the bridge deck to repair concrete, construct new curb ramps at existing crosswalks to improve pedestrian access and comply with ADA standards, repair cracks and spalls, and install a protection mechanism on the bridge piers to suppress future corrosion caused from the marine environment.

Once bids are received and a contractor is selected, construction is anticipated to take place between March 12 and May 20, 2014. The contractor will work on one half of the bridge at any given time, keeping the other half open to traffic at all times to ensure there will be no full bridge closures.

OC Public Works staff will be monitoring the construction work closely throughout the project to minimize any inconvenience to the public.

For more information, please click here.

Sobriety Checkpoint Grant Program

The Board accepted funds from the Sobriety Checkpoint Grant Program in the amount of $32,900 from The Regents of the University of California School of Public Health, Berkeley. The funds are intended to reduce the number of victims killed and injured in alcohol-involved crashes by conducting sobriety checkpoints.

Cities benefiting from this grant which will conduct DUI checkpoints are: Lake Forest, San Clemente, Mission Viejo and Dana Point. Special emphasis will occur during the Christmas holiday season and the 2014 Labor Day weekend.

Please remember that drinking and driving is a formula for disaster. For more information, please click here.


DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint in Lake Forest

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department DUI Task Force will be conducting a DUI/Driver’s license checkpoint Friday, October 25 in the city of Lake Forest between the hours of 6:00 PM to 2:00 AM.

Deputies will be contacting 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.

For more information, please click here and here.



Laguna Niguel Councilmembers Linda Lindholm and Laura Davies, in partnership with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, initiated a prescription drug abuse summit last week at Laguna Niguel City Hall. The distinguished panel of speakers included:
  • Dr. Robert Winokur, Emergency Room Physician at Mission Hospital
  • Tim Chapman, Executive Director of Teen Savers
  • Randy Moraitis, Executive Pastor of the Ministry at the Lifeline Recovery Program
The panelists explained that drug abuse trends are changing in Orange County. Last year, 330 individuals died as a direct result of overdoses involving illicit drugs and/or prescription medication use.

Of significant note, prescription drug overdoses outnumber illicit drug overdoses by roughly a three to one margin. This is in stark contrast to overdose statistics from 1999. Over a 13-year period, the County saw a 50% decrease in deaths attributed to illicit drugs. In that same period, deaths attributed to prescription medication use, either in whole or in part, increased by 143%.

OCLinks, a County resource and information line that can assist Orange County residents with drug abuse challenges, was launched this week by the Orange County’s Health Care Agency (HCA).

OCLinks is designed to successfully link any person or loved one seeking County Behavioral Health Services, including drug abuse assistance. OCLinks will also be accessible through the Internet and will allow community members to connect to County Behavioral Health Services through a web-based service.

Over the last several years, there have been many new health programs implemented in HCA’s Behavioral Health Services. For this reason, it has been challenging for the community to stay informed of all the changes. OCLinks was created to simplify this process by having one number with trained Navigators familiar with all of the County Behavioral Health programs. In addition, Navigators will assess callers to ensure that they are being linked to programs that meet their needs.

OCLinks hours of operation are currently Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. To learn more about OCLinks, please call 855-OC-Links (855-625-4657) or click here and here.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) along with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department has scheduled another National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which will take place Saturday, October 26 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

This event will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. This service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Below is a list of collection sites in South County:

OCSD South Sub-Station 11 Journey, Aliso Viejo
Laguna Hills City Hall 24035 El Toro Road, Laguna Hills
Laguna Niguel City Hall 30111 Crown Valley Pkwy, Laguna Niguel
Lake Forest City Hall 25550 Commercentre, Lake Forest
Mission Viejo City Hall 200 Civic Center, Mission Viejo
San Clemente Police Services 100 Avenida Presidio, San Clemente
San Juan Capistrano City Hall 32400 Paseo Adelanto, SJC

According to the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), twice as many Americans regularly abused prescription drugs than the number of those who regularly used cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined.

The same study revealed more than 70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet.

This prescription drug epidemic is especially growing in Orange County, and takes an Orange County life every two days. Not only is the death count rising from drug overdose, but it has now exceeded deaths by car crashes, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control.

This is a great opportunity for those who missed the previous events, or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, to safely dispose of those medications.

For more information, please click here, here and here.


Parking at Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo Metrolink Station

Parking options at the Laguna Niguel / Mission Viejo Metrolink Station have increased substantially, thanks to a new 176-space lot. Located just south of the existing lot, it brings the number of existing parking spaces at this location to 460. The lot will open to the public Wednesday, Oct. 30.

Completed on schedule, the new lot was built on Orange County Transportation Authority-owned property. It will be maintained by the cities of Laguna Niguel and Mission Viejo.

Other improvements are also in the works. Design plans have begun for adding Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant ramps to replace the elevators at the existing pedestrian underpass.

The project may also include a restroom and a vending machine area that will occupy the existing elevator rooms. Construction on this phase of the project is expected to begin in early 2015 and be completed in fall of that year. The underpass will remain open during construction.

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.


Orange County Coastal Coalition

My office recently hosted the Orange County Coastal Coalition, where guest speakers highlighted three new initiatives on our supply of high quality water. All three initiatives rely on the same principle: increasing the locally produced supply of water to increase reliability of sufficient water into the future.

Currently, about 50 percent of the water we use here in Orange County is imported from northern California or the Colorado River. As we heard at our July Coastal Coalition meeting, serious problems plague California’s Delta, the origination point of water that’s exported to southern California.

First, the fragile state of the California Delta’s ecosystem has reduced the amount of water being exported to southern California over the past several years. Likewise, the fragile state of levies and infrastructure that move water from the Delta out to other areas could jeopardize exports even more drastically in future years. Drought and competition over water from other western states means uncertainty for water quantities from the Colorado River as well.

Our first presentation focused on a new local source of drinking water being developed in Huntington Beach by Poseidon Resources. Brian Lochrie from Communications Lab shared details of a new facility that will extract seawater and treat it using sophisticated technology.

The plant will increase the amount of water we currently have in Orange County to serve residents and businesses by 8%. It will be located adjacent to the electrical generating system at Pacific Coast Highway and Newland Streets. Seawater will be accessed through the same pipeline the generating system has used for many years. 56,000 acre-feet will be available for use once the plant is up and operational – the equivalent amount of water to 56,000 acres of land covered by water 12 inches deep.

The last remaining approval needed before construction can begin is anticipated to be issued in November by the California Coastal Commission.

Darcy Burke from the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) presented on a second desalination project proposed to be built at Doheny Beach in Dana Point.

MWDOC and its five project partners – Laguna Beach County Water District, Moulton Niguel Water District, City of San Clemente, City of San Juan Capistrano, and South Coast Water District – conducted a Water Reliability Study that recommended an ocean desalination project at this location due to the geology, availability of land, existing outfall for brine disposal, and proximity to existing water pipelines. These factors make it conducive to utilizing environmentally sensitive and sustainable desalination technology that utilizes a slant well intake.

With an estimated completion date of 2018, the Doheny Desalination facility could supply 15 million gallons a day of drought-proof local drinking water, which would be about 25% of the participating agencies’ potable water demand. Areas of South County range between 80% and 100% reliance on imported water supplies from northern California and the Colorado River, making new supplies even more important in South County than for Orange County as a whole.

Last but not least, John Kennedy from Orange County Water District provided an update on the Groundwater Replenishment System. Also known as GWRS, the system takes highly treated wastewater that would have previously been discharged into the Pacific Ocean and purifies it using a three-step advanced treatment process consisting of microfiltration, reverse osmosis, and ultraviolet light with hydrogen peroxide.

The process produces high-quality water that exceeds all state and federal drinking water standards. Operational since January 2008, this state-of-the-art water purification project can produce up to 70 million gallons of high quality water every day. This is enough water to meet the needs of nearly 600,000 residents in north and central Orange County.

The design and construction of the GWRS was a project jointly-funded by the Orange County Water District (OCWD) and the Orange County Sanitation District. These two public agencies have worked together for more than 30 years. They are leading the way in water recycling and providing a locally-controlled, drought-proof and reliable supply of high-quality water in an environmentally sensitive and economical manner.

Currently, OCWD is expanding the Groundwater Replenishment System. The $142.7 million project will create an additional 30 million gallons per day of new water supplies to serve north and central Orange County, bringing the total production of the GWRS to 103,000 acre feet per year (AFY), enough water for 850,000 people. Construction is estimated to be completed by 2015.

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


New Voting System Survey

The Orange County Registrar of Voters (ROV) would like to invite voters who cast a ballot in 2012 to participate in an online survey about our voting system (and voting in general). In planning for the modernization of the County’s voting system, the ROV is seeking your input to assess current and future needs of voters. Although it may be some time before a change is made, your feedback will ultimately assist in shaping the future of voting in Orange County.

Please take the time to complete the survey today. The survey contains seven questions and it should only take a few minutes to complete. Responses received after November 1 may not be included in the survey report, so please take the survey at your earliest convenience.

Thank you for your assistance and your dedication to Orange County elections! To take the survey, please click here.

"What it takes to Count: Inside an Orange County Election"

This emotionally charged documentary, set in Orange County, explores the hectic world of elections and how they are planned and carried out. The result is a startling look at how extreme scrutiny has changed the face of elections in the United States and how complex they have become.

The viewer is presented a wide array of facts and information in a thoughtful and compelling way. Often humorous, frequently emotional and always fascinating, this is the ultimate portrait of what it takes to count every vote.

The election staff in Orange County is both passionate and dedicated. This documentary is an account of their journey as they prepare for a major election. “What it takes to Count: Inside an Orange County Election” accomplishes what all great documentaries should, as it leaves the viewer surprised, involved and inspired.

For more information, please click here.


Orange County Workforce Indicators Report

The Orange County Workforce Investment Board is pleased to present the 2013-2014 Orange County Workforce Indicators Report. This report highlights the fundamental accomplishments achieved by Orange County’s employers and workers, the education and workforce training system, as well as the challenges California must address to develop a skilled workforce for the 21st century economy.

For more information, please click here.


Saturday Hours in November and December

Appointments are being taken now for marriage licenses and ceremonies, as well as passport services, for Saturday Nov. 16 and Dec. 14, when the offices of the Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department will open from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The Clerk-Recorder has opened office doors one Saturday each month since June to help customers who are unable to visit during regular weekday hours.

The Old County Courthouse will be open Nov. 16 and Dec. 14 for marriage licenses, civil wedding ceremonies and passport applications, as well as property research. Property and vital record copies, as well as marriage services, will be available at the Laguna Hills and Fullerton branch offices. FREE parking will be available at all three locations.

For more information, please click here.


OC Students Invited to Enter Aviation Art Contest

John Wayne Airport's 24th annual Student Art Contest is now underway. All OC public and private school students in grades K-12 are encouraged to submit artwork inspired by this year's theme: "Flying Saves Lives." Entries should be submitted no later than 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 5.

For more information, please click here, here, here and here.


Meet Your Mature Match

Come to the Meet Your Mature Match adoption event hosted by OC Animal Care on Saturday, October 26 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM for FREE adoptions on pets ages 4 and older! The free adoption does not include microchip and license.

For more information, please click here.

Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Halloween is a favorite for many children and adults, but it can also be frightening and even dangerous for animals. With a little caution and common sense, Halloween can be a fun time for kids and pets alike.

For tips to help keep our furry friends safe and sound this Halloween season, please click here.


South County Cities Among Safest in California

Four cities in the Fifth District, including San Clemente (20), Mission Viejo (7), Laguna Niguel (5) and Irvine (1), are among the 20 safest large cities in California, according to new FBI figures.

The ranking is based on violent crimes per 1,000 residents as reported by the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting program.

Violent crimes are defined as murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Irvine had a total of 110 violent crimes, Laguna Niguel 47, Mission Viejo 73, and San Clemente 75, according to the FBI report.

Aliso Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita were just as safe, but didn't make the list because they are less than 50,000 in population.

For more information, please click here.


Dana Point: Halloween Spooktacular & Moonlight Movie

All activities at this non-scary, family fun event Friday, October 25 from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM in Lantern Bay Park are FREE and geared for children. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Niguel: Haunted Trails

Watch for Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel & Gretel, Rapunzel and other characters that will haunt each and every visitor at Laguna Niguel’s Haunted Trails at Crown Valley Community Park from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM, October 25 & 26. This is a very scary event and not recommended for children under 8 years of age. For more information, please click here.

Rancho Santa Margarita: Artisan Guitar Ensemble

Classical music lovers and those who enjoy beautiful melodies and harmonies are invited to a FREE acoustic guitar concert Friday, October 25 at 7:00 PM at Rancho Santa Margarita Library. For more information, please click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Hosted my 6th Annual South County Disaster Preparedness Expo. For more information, please click here. To view photos, please click here.
  • Presented certificates of recognition at the four-city ribbon cutting ceremony held at the Aventura Sailing Association in Dana Point Harbor for American Legion Post 281 and its Auxiliary, serving the cities of Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Aliso Viejo and Laguna Hills. To view photos, please click here.
  • Participated in the Laguna Niguel Rotary Club’s presentation of the Laguna Niguel Historical Society’s education program.
  • Attended a dinner reception for John Chiang, California State Controller.
  • Participated in a Fifth District Mayors Roundtable meeting to discuss pressing transportation issues affecting our Fifth District cities.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Tom Goodall of Mission Viejo.

My office also:
  • Attended a Laguna Niguel Republican Women Federated meeting to provide an update on County issues of interest to Fifth District residents.
  • Attended the South Orange County Economic Coalition meeting.
  • Participated in the South County Senior Summit planning meeting.

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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