Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
December 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 49

La Pata Avenue Gap Closure Project

The Board selected Sukut Construction, Inc. of Santa Ana in the amount of $72.7 million to construct the La Pata Avenue Gap Closure Project, which is more than $5 million below the engineer’s estimate.

The Project consists of three components, identified in the Project Plans & Specifications as Schedule A, Schedule B and Schedule C.

Schedule A, also known as the “gap closure,” details the Project's construction of a new roadway consisting of four new travel lanes from the existing roadway terminus at the Landfill to the intersection of Calle Saluda in the City of San Clemente.

Schedule B will widen La Pata Avenue from three to five lanes, from approximately 750 feet south of Ortega Highway in the unincorporated County area to the existing road terminus at the County's Prima Deshecha Landfill.

Lastly, Schedule C is the construction of Camino Del Rio as a four-lane facility, from its current terminus in the City of San Clemente to its future terminus at La Pata Avenue.

Schedule A, which will occur first and is the County’s top priority, is estimated to take approximately two and a half years to complete and will result in a critical roadway connection from the City of San Clemente to Ortega Highway.

The County is expecting to break ground on the project in March 2014.

I would like to thanks OC Public Works staff for their diligent efforts over several years to move this project forward; and I would especially like to thank Harry Persaud for shepherding this project and working so closely with stakeholders to ensure its success.

For more information, please click here.

Orange County Legislative Platform for 2014

The Board passed the Orange County Legislative Platform for 2014. This document serves as a guide for our involvement at the State and Federal levels of government. Over the past few months, the Board of Supervisors and their staff met with our legislative advocates and representatives from every County department to create a document that would serve the County as a whole.

The four primary principles for the overall platform include:
  • Protecting Local Government Funding
  • Fiscal Parity
  • Cost Recovery
  • Operational Efficiency
The platform also includes proposals for County-sponsored State and Federal legislation.

The State proposals include:
  • Medi-Cal reimbursement for federally qualified health centers.
  • Alternates to the appointed Board Members of the Orange County Retirement System (OCERS); and
  • Recovering costs of County searches when a resident acts in violation of the law or with reckless misconduct and disregard for their safety.
Federal proposals include:
  • Eliminating the Medicaid inmate exception rule for pre-adjudicated inmates.
  • Discount drug pricing.
  • Flexible use of continuum of care homeless assistance funding; and
  • Housing Choice Voucher Moving to Work Program.
As stated, this document serves as a guideline for the County, but it can be amended if needed throughout the year. For more information on the platform, please click here.

Adult Reentry Demonstration Program Grant

The Board approved a $319,500 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice for the Second Chance Act Two-Phase Adult Reentry Demonstration Program. This grant will help the Sheriff and Probation Departments as well as the Health Care Agency fund extensive in-custody programs, such as substance abuse, GED, or anger management classes, to target the high-risk-to-reoffend population.

The funding will also assist with post-release services that will focus on residential treatment for drug and alcohol rehabilitation. These grant funds will increase jail programming for services targeting high-risk-to-offend inmates, increasing public safety, reducing recidivism rates and reuniting families.

For more information, please click here.


OCTA Board Selects One Lane in Each Direction for I-405

In the culmination of a nearly five-year discussion over which project alternative to choose from the I-405 Improvement Project, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors, following the direction of the Regional Highways Committee, voted Monday to add one general purpose lane in each direction between Costa Mesa and the County line in Seal Beach (14 miles from SR-73 to I-605).

Adding one general purpose lane (Alternative 1) fulfills the commitment made to voters when Measure M2 was passed in 2006. This $1.3 billion project is fully funded.

As part of the environmental phase, two other project alternatives were also studied and considered by the OCTA Board.

Alternative 2 would have added two general purpose lanes in each direction; however, there would have been an approximate $100 million funding gap. The Board was concerned that trying to find $100 million to add to this project could potentially jeopardize other scheduled M2 freeway projects, such as upcoming I-5 improvements.

Alternative 3 would have added one general purpose lane in each direction and one high-occupancy toll (HOT) lane in each direction. In addition, the current high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane would have been converted into an HOT lane to create a two-lane toll facility (“managed lanes”), similar to the 91 Express Lanes. Toll revenue bonds would have helped fund this $1.7 million project.

There was very strong opposition from the city councils in the project corridor to Alternative 3. In addition, residents and businesses throughout the County expressed concern over the imposition of toll lanes.

Ultimately, the Board decided there should be a broader region-wide policy discussion, including Caltrans and neighboring counties, over the use of toll lanes on our freeways as a congestion management strategy before any future decisions are made over toll lanes.

All three project alternatives would necessitate replacement of every freeway overpass from Bolsa Chica Road to Fairview Road to accommodate the wider freeway; hence, the very high cost. Throughout the project area, freeway interchanges will be improved and many bridges will be widened as part of the project. So, the Board’s decision to add one general purpose lane in each direction, with these major changes, will not preclude additional freeway capacity in the future.

This project is currently in the environmental phase, which is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2014. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2015 and last until 2020.


Orange County DUI Task Force Holiday Crackdown

This holiday season, state and local law enforcement will be out in force cracking down on drunk drivers throughout the region with aggressive “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement.

From December 13 to January 1, the Orange County ‘Avoid the 38’ DUI Task Force will be watching for drunk drivers to help keep roads safe for holiday travelers. Enforcement efforts will include:
  • 12 DUI/Driver’s license checkpoints
  • A multi-agency strike team
  • 14 local DUI saturation patrols
  • 2 DUI warrant/probation sweeps; and
  • A DUI court sting operation targeting suspended drivers who were ordered not to drive by a judge.
For more information, please click here.

Unfortunately, the excitement and celebrations of the holiday season can lead to terrible decisions and serious legal consequences. The holiday season is a particularly deadly time due to the increased number of drunk drivers on the roads, and every law enforcement agency in the County is prepared to stop and arrest any drunk driver they see to keep roads safe.

The DUI Task Force encourages the public to observe the following tips to keep the holidays safe and happy:
  • Plan ahead and designate a sober driver before the party begins. If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving. Even one drink can impair your judgment and increase the risk of getting arrested for driving drunk—or worse, the risk of having a crash while driving.
  • If you have been drinking, do not drive. Call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation. The Orange County Transit Authority (OCTA) will be offering free bus rides on all fixed-route buses on New Year’s Eve to promote safe travel. Free bus rides will be available from 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, December 31, until 2:30 a.m., Wednesday, January 1.
  • Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions may save someone’s life, and inaction could cost a life.
For more information, please click here.


Get a Flu Vaccination for a Healthy Holiday Season

The Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) reminds people that the best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated. Peak flu season has not yet arrived and it is not too late to vaccinate.

Flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months of age and older and is especially important for infants, young children, pregnant women, adults over 50, and for those with chronic medical conditions.

Flu vaccine is widely available from medical providers throughout Orange County or you can find a local flu vaccine provider at flushot.healthmap.org. Information about locations and dates of other community sites offering free flu vaccine is available at www.ochealthinfo.com/flu.

If you do not have a medical provider or health insurance coverage, free flu shots are available through the Health Care Agency’s Family Health Clinic located at 1725 W. 17th Street, Santa Ana.

For information about the County’s flu shot program, please call the HCA Health Referral Line at (800) 564-8448 or click here. For more information, please click 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 December 5 meeting provided a forum to hear from Mr. Scott Lynch, Senior Water Resources Engineer, serving as Secretary of the Orange County WateReuse Chapter; and Mr. Larry Honeybourne, Water Quality Program Manager for the County of Orange Health Care Agency.

Mr. Lynch shared about water recycling, also known as reclamation or reuse. Water recycling is a reliable, economically feasible and an environmentally sensitive means to maximize Orange County’s water resources, assist with drought prevention, and reduces the demand on freshwater systems.

Water recycling programs mimic the way nature purifies water and treats wastewater so it can be safely used to irrigate landscape, golf courses, crops, and freeway medians, as well as replenish groundwater basins, flush toilets, and act as a barrier to seawater intrusion. Recycled water is also increasingly being used by industry in cooling processes, new home construction and other purposes.

Technology available today allows municipal waste water treatment systems in some regions to consistently produce safe water supplies. The degree of treatment depends on the intended use; and public health protection is the paramount criterion for judging the level of treatment needed.

At a minimum, waste water is treated to a secondary level to remove dissolved organic materials. Secondary effluent can be treated to a tertiary level by additional filtering and disinfecting. Sometimes, reverse osmosis desalination may be required to reduce the salt content. In such cases, it is possible for the recycled water to be of higher quality than the original source. However, the added costs of desalination can make water recycling infeasible.

Today, more stringent treatment requirements for disposal of municipal and industrial waste water have reduced the incremental cost of obtaining the higher level of treatment required for use of recycled water. This higher level is needed so recycled water can be safely used for a wider variety of applications.

Looking forward, it is predicted that California will recycle even more wastewater to meet the anticipated needs of the 17 million additional residents expected by 2030.

For more information, please click here.

Mr. Honeybourne shared the County of Orange’s 2012 Annual Ocean, Harbor, and Bay water quality report. The County of Orange Health Care Agency, Environmental Health’s Ocean Water Protection Program, is responsible for protecting the public from exposure to ocean and bay waters that may be contaminated with sewage or may cause illness along Orange County’s 42 miles of open ocean coastline and 70 miles of harbor and bay frontage.

Ocean and bay waters used for body-contact recreational activities, such as swimming, surfing and diving, must meet specific bacteriological standards to be considered safe for such purposes.

The Ocean Water Protection Program, sanitation agencies, and OC Public Works participate in a year-round weekly collection of water samples at 124 ocean, harbor and bay monitoring locations throughout coastal Orange County.

Over 11,000 ocean, harbor, and bay water samples were collected and approximately 33,000 analyses were performed to determine the results for bacteria that indicated the possible presence of disease-causing organisms.

Ocean Water Protection Program staff daily reviews bacteriological sample results and issues ocean, harbor and bay water closures, postings and health advisories under the requirements stipulated by the California Health and Safety Code and Title17 of the California Code of Regulations.

When results of testing indicate one or more of the AB411 Ocean Water-Contact Sports Standards have been exceeded, the public is notified (i.e., signs are posted at the beach, hotline and web page are updated) and the monitoring frequency and locations may increase until the sample results meet established standards and/or the source of the problem is eliminated.

In addition, Ocean Water Protection Program staff responds on a 24-hour basis to investigate any reports of sewage or other potential contamination incidents that may affect public health at any of Orange County’s ocean, harbor and bay water areas.

The Ocean Water Protection Program maintains an Ocean, Harbor and Bay water posting and closure telephone hotline, web page and Twitter account, which provides current information regarding Orange County beach closures, posted warnings, and advisories. The telephone hotline and web page are immediately updated and a Twitter message is sent when a change of status occurs at any ocean, harbor or bay water area in Orange County.

For more information, please click here.

To view Orange County 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.


County of Orange Armory Emergency Shelters Need You

Every year, the County of Orange contracts with Mercy House Living Centers, Inc. to operate and provide services for the County’s Armory Emergency Shelter Program. To that end, the shelter at the Fullerton Armory and the Santa Ana Armory are now open.

The Armory Program provides a safe place to sleep and shelter from the winter weather, along with hot meals, showers, clothing, blankets, and other supportive services to approximately 400 homeless people per night.

The success of the Armory Program is largely due to the collaborative efforts of County agencies, the State of California’s Army National Guard, the participating cities of Fullerton, Santa Ana, and Anaheim, churches, nonprofit agencies, and dedicated individuals who generously volunteer their time.

Volunteer opportunities include: helping the homeless to sign-in, distributing blankets or clothing, serving food, as well as setting up and/or cleaning up. Individuals interested in volunteering can contact Irene Mendoza of Mercy House at IreneM@mercyhouse.net.

Donations of gently used and new items to the Armory Program can be dropped off Monday through Thursday from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM from December through March at the two armories:
  • Fullerton Armory, 400 S. Brookhurst Rd. (Corner of Brookhurst Rd. and Valencia Dr.)
  • Santa Ana Armory, 612 E. Warner Ave. (Between Main St. and Grand Ave.)
For more information on the Armory Emergency Shelter Program, please visit Mercy House’s website at www.mercyhouse.net. For any other questions about homeless issues, please contact OC Community Services Director Karen Roper at (714) 480-2805 or karen.roper@occr.ocgov.com.

Assisting the Needy this Holiday Season

Adding one more gift to your shopping list can make holiday dreams come true for a needy child or teen, an impoverished senior citizen or a low-income family.

For volunteer and donor opportunities available this holiday season, please click here.


Saturday Hours in December

The offices of the Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department will be open Saturday, Dec. 14 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM for marriage licenses and ceremonies, as well as passport services. 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 Dec. 14 for marriage licenses, civil wedding ceremonies and passport applications, as well as property research. Property and vital record copies and 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.


Photo with Santa

Bring your pet to OC Animal Care – December 14, 21 & 22 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM – for a photo with Santa! All participants will receive a festive holiday frame with their pet’s photo. We will also email you a digital copy to share with friends and family! All donations will benefit the animals of OC Animal Care!

For more information, please click here.


Dana Point Harbor: Holiday Happenings

Come down to Dana Point Harbor to enjoy the festive Holiday Happenings this weekend, including the 39th Annual Boat Parade of Lights (Dec. 13 & 14) and Santa Paws (Dec. 14). For more information, please click here.

Laguna Niguel: Holiday Parade

On Saturday, December 14, please attend the Laguna Niguel Holiday Parade, "Through the Eyes of a Child", beginning at 10:00 AM and featuring over 100 exciting entries, including marching bands, floats, local youth groups, equestrian units, exotic cars, military members, local heroes, fun attractions, and a dazzling entrance by Santa Claus! For more information, please click here and here.

San Juan Capistrano: Winter Wonderland

A Winter Wonderland event with real snow will be held Saturday, December 14 in San Juan Capistrano from 10:30 AM to 4:00 PM at Historic Town Center Park, 31852 El Camino Real. The event is part of the "Follow the Swallows, Shop Local" program and will coincide with the Second Saturday Art Fair. For more information, please click here.

Lake Forest: Candlelight Walk

Come walk through Heritage Hill Historical Park in Lake Forest, with more than 1,000 luminarias and holiday lights throughout the Park on Dec. 14 & 15 from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Beach: Winter Fantasy

The final weekend of the 2013 Winter Fantasy in Laguna Beach ends Sunday, Dec. 15 and will feature fine art and craft from over 170 exhibitors at the Sawdust Art Festival grounds. For more information, please click here.

Rancho Santa Margarita: New Year’s Eve Celebration

The City of Rancho Santa Margarita will host its 13th Annual Community New Year’s Eve celebration on Tuesday, December 31. The event will be held at the Rancho Santa Margarita Civic Plaza and Central Park from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM. For more information, please call Community Services at (949) 216-9700 or click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Hosted my 5th District Holiday Open House.
  • Attended the Camp Pendleton Annual Holiday Celebration, hosted by Brigadier General J.W. Bullard.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory Gerald Louis Reckinger of San Clemente.

My office also:
  • Attended the Riverside County Transportation Commission’s 91 Project Groundbreaking Ceremony.

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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