Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
February 8, 2013

Pat Bates's Picture

Welcome to this edition of the Fifth District Report, an electronic newsletter keeping you updated about the events taking place in Orange County and in the Fifth District. It is my hope that you find this distribution informative and I would encourage you to contact me regarding any thoughts, comments, or concerns you may have.


















Don Hughes:
Chief of Staff

Kristen Thornton:
Deputy Chief of Staff

Ray Grangoff:
Deputy Chief of Staff

Sergio Prince:
Policy Advisor

Sabrina Ross:
Policy Advisor

Ruth Strachan:
Office Manager

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Volume 7 Issue 5

EcoChallenge Strategic Marketing Plan and Agreements

In compliance with state law (AB 939), the Board of Supervisors in 2006 approved a surcharge on all self-hauled waste disposed at Orange County landfills. The surcharge was a market-driven solution to increase the use of privately-owned recycling centers to reduce the amount of self-hauled waste disposed at Orange County landfills.

The AB 939 program has been a success since its implementation, as self-hauled waste at Orange County landfills has been reduced by 84% to date.

Successful partnerships are an essential part of any organizations’ community involvement. The County’s OC Waste & Recycling has taken a step forward with an uncommon approach for government – a marketing strategy based on partnerships, not simply buying advertising.

To that end, the Board approved an agreement with two iconic venues and organizations in Orange County: the Discovery Science Center and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In fact, if you would like to download a coupon for a free child admission to the Discovery Science Center, please click here.

The agreement with the Discovery Science Center provides “win-win” marketing approaches to promote a set of exhibits known as the EcoChallenge. OC Waste & Recycling is partnering with the Discovery Science Center to reach nearly 500,000 Orange County residents with waste reduction and increased recycling messages through the EcoChallenge exhibits.

The agreement with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim provides an opportunity for County staff to talk with large numbers of people at home games, informing them of the County’s free locations for properly disposing Household Hazardous Waste, such as paint, insecticide, prescription medicines and other materials, while handing out the free admission coupon.

This partnership includes access to all students who participate in the Angels Baseball Kids Club activities, hosting several e-waste collection events at Angel Stadium, and in-stadium tabling supplemented with a modest amount of traditional marketing elements.

OC Waste & Recycling will also be hosting a poster contest where winners will be able to serve as an Honorary Bat Kid (one from each Supervisorial District) during a regular season Angels home game. Additionally, the Angels have committed to at least two player appearances to enhance attendance at its e-waste collection events or at the EcoChallenge exhibits at the Discovery Science Center.

These activities, combined with the existing in-school educational program and local community events, provide a strategic approach to utilize these restricted landfill revenues. All of these activities will be carefully measured to determine their effectiveness and evaluated as to whether they should be continued in the future.

These successful partnerships are expanding OC Waste & Recycling’s marketing approach to send positive environmental messages from the EcoChallenge into the Orange County community. For more information, please click here.


RSVP Today for Sixth Annual South County Senior Summit!

Older adults and their caretakers are urged to RSVP today for my sixth annual South County Senior Summit, being held Friday, February 22 in Laguna Woods Village, Clubhouse 3. Once again joining me in presenting this enormously popular annual event is the Orange County Office on Aging, Laguna Woods Village, and Age Well Senior Services.

The theme of the 2013 Senior Summit is “Dignity, Safety, and Independence: Educating Older Adults and Honoring Veterans."

The event will begin at 8:00 AM with a complimentary continental breakfast for all attendees. While at the Summit, guests will be treated to an array of vendor booths, featuring a wealth of information and free giveaways. In addition, audience members will have a great chance to win fabulous prizes during the program, as well as a complimentary lunch to be served at the conclusion of the event.

The speaker presentations will begin at 9:00 AM with a special tribute to veterans of our armed forces, at which time it will be my honor to introduce several distinguished and highly decorated South County veterans. In addition, it will be my great pleasure to unveil the first-ever Orange County Veterans Resources Directory, featuring the many programs, services and resources provided by our County of Orange departments and agencies for veterans and their families.

The first half of the program will conclude with a presentation on “Seniors, Social Media and E-Reader Devices.”

The second half of the Senior Summit will focus on the important issue of Elder Abuse & Fraud Prevention, featuring a highly esteemed panel of speakers who will provide presentations from their varied and unique perspectives, followed by a Question & Answer session. Our special guest speakers include:

  • The Honorable Tony Rackauckas, OC District Attorney
  • Dr. Michael Riley, OC Social Services Agency Director
  • Dr. Bonnie Olsen, UC Irvine Clinical Psychologist
  • Julie Schoen, OC Council on Aging Legal Counsel

As always, the South County Senior Summit is an excellent opportunity for older adults to become better acquainted with the many programs and services available to them through the County of Orange. To that end, I’d like to thank our generous title sponsor – CalOptima.

The first half of the program will conclude with a presentation on “Seniors, Social Media and E-Reader Devices.”

This year’s Senior Summit is sure to be the best yet and seating is limited; so don’t delay, reserve your place today! To RSVP, please call the Orange County Office on Aging at (800) 510-2020. For more information, please click here.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission to Hold Public Meeting

The U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will hold a public meeting Tuesday, February 12 to discuss NRC’s current regulatory oversight status of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). The NRC staff will discuss the status of its inspection and technical evaluation of Southern California Edison’s October 3, 2012, NRC Confirmatory Action Letter.

The NRC will respond to questions about its current inspection and evaluation activities associated with the replacement steam generators at the SONGS facility. The meeting will be held at Capo Beach Church, 25975 Domingo Avenue, Capistrano Beach, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Self-parking is available and free of charge.

The public is encouraged to view the meeting via a webcast. The audio stream will be available once the meeting begins. The webcast and phone bridge will be one-way only. Questions or comments regarding San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station can be submitted at any time to OPA4@nrc.gov.

A “listen only” teleconference is also offered at (888) 790-2038, enter passcode 47018 to enter the meeting.

For more information, please click here and here.


Measure M Annual Public Hearing

The Measure M Taxpayers Oversight Committee is conducting the 22nd Annual Measure M Public Hearing on Tuesday, February 12 at 6:00 p.m. at the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) headquarters. Public comments will be taken about the implementation of Measure M. If you can't make it to the public hearing, you may submit comments regarding Measure M actions taken in 2012 via an online comment form.

In 1990, Orange County voters approved Measure M, a 20-year program for freeway, street, road and transit improvements funded by a half-cent sales tax. In 2006, voters approved the extension of Measure M for another 30 years.

The Measure M Taxpayers Oversight Committee (TOC) reviews OCTA’s administration of Measure M every year to make sure the spirit and the letter of Measure M are fulfilled.

New Bus Fares Effective Sunday

A bus fare increase approved by the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) in November is scheduled to go into effect Sunday. Cash fare for a bus ride will rise from $1.50 to $2, according to OCTA. A day pass will go from $4 to $5, and a monthly pass will increase from $55 to $69.

For seniors and people with disabilities, cash fare will increase from 60 cents to 75 cents. A day pass will be raised from $1.25 to $1.50, and a monthly pass will go from $18 to $22.25.

OCTA is mostly funded by the state and is required to collect 20 cents from passengers for every dollar spent on bus service. Without the fare increase, the agency would be at risk of losing state funds. The rate increase will also help offset rising bus operating costs. To help offset the effect on passengers, OCTA is offering a discounted five-ride pass for $9, a 10% discount that works out to $1.80 per ride. OCTA also will offer a 10% discount on prepaid day passes.

The agency has been doing extensive community outreach to alert riders of the upcoming fee increases. It has reached out to libraries, employers, senior centers and other entities, and it has had information about the rate increase on its buses.

OCTA last increased fares in January 2009. The agency predicts the fare increase will result in $6.4 million in additional revenue. I-5 South County Improvements Project Open Houses Mark your calendars for upcoming community meetings about planned improvements on Interstate 5 (I-5) between SR-73 to El Toro Road in South County. The purpose of the project is to enhance traffic flow, improve mobility and reduce congestion throughout the project area.

The project alternatives are still being studied, but highlights include additional general purpose lanes in both directions and reconstruction of Avery Parkway and La Paz Road interchanges. Construction is slated to begin in 2018.

The dates of the community open houses are as follows:

  • Wednesday, February 27, 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Mission Viejo City Hall
  • Thursday, February 28, 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Laguna Hills Community Center
Staff from the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will be on hand to inform residents and businesses about the project and provide updates, as the project is in the environmental process.

The project is proposed by OCTA and Caltrans. The project will be paid for by Measure M, the half-cent sales tax approved by Orange County voters for transportation improvements, as well as federal funds. The project is still in the early stages of planning; however, a draft environmental document will be released in mid-2013.

For more information, please click here or contact Julie Toledo at (714) 560-5573 or via e-mail jtoledo@octa.net or Facebook.

Lunar New Year Celebration

Join the Orange County Transportation Authority and the City of Irvine for a Special Lunar New Year Celebration at the Irvine Train Station on February 16 from 8:00 a.m. to 9 a.m.

There will be FREE refreshments, prizes and even a Lion Dance performance. Then take Metrolink to Los Angeles Union Station for the popular Golden Dragon Parade and Festival. Your Metrolink tickets are valid on L.A. Metro’s Gold Line to Chinatown for the parade and festival.

For more information, please click here.


Rancho Santa Margarita Principals Talk School Safety

In light of the December 2012 tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, school officials across the country are examining their safety plans and procedures.

Rancho Santa Margarita (RSM) Chief of Police Lt. Brian Schmutz recently provided an opportunity for RSM school principals to gather and learn more about the Newtown event and what resources the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) can offer to make an active shooter event less likely.

RSM Child Safety Deputy Clay Cranford also presented a detailed outline of the Newtown event, focusing on specific tactics that can be taken in schools to make such an event less likely.

For more information, please click here.


Life Expectancy in Orange County Reaches a New High

A new report from the Orange County Health Care Agency finds that over the last 20 years the average life expectancy in Orange County has increased by five years, from 76.9 in 1990 to 81.9 years in 2010. Orange County residents live almost four years longer than the national average.

While life expectancy has improved in Orange County, notable demographic differences in specific populations persist. Asians/Pacific Islanders have the highest average life expectancy of 85.0 years and Hispanics have the second highest at 83.1 years.

Marked geographic differences were also found. Cities with the highest average life expectancies, 82 or more years, are primarily clustered in South County.

The data used in this study were gathered from death certificate information reported to the Orange County Health Care Agency. For more information, please click here. To view the full report titled “Life Expectancy in Orange County,” please click here.

Health Care Agency e-Updates

The Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) has released its latest issue of e-Updates, featuring important articles on following topics:

  • New Law Impacts Homemade Food Makers
  • February is American Heart Month
  • Community Leaders Explore Ways to Combat Hunger in Orange County

To view HCA’s February edition of e-Updates, 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. To that end, our January 24 meeting provided a forum to hear from Matt Lentz, California Stormwater Quality Association, Industrial Committee Co-Chair; and David Cordero, Municipal Water District of Orange County, Government Affairs Manager.

Mr. Lentz shared about the potential impacts of environmental compliance with permit obligations that the cities of Orange County will be responsible to maintain as a result of recent court decisions. He is currently helping several Orange County cities comply with various aspects of their storm water permit obligations, including the cities of Anaheim, Santa Ana, and Costa Mesa.

As co-chair of the California Stormwater Quality Association’s (CASQA) Industrial subcommittee, Mr. Lentz is also involved in the reissuance of California’s Industrial General Permit, working with dischargers, State Water Resources Control Board staff, and other interested stakeholders.

For more information about CASQA programs to improve water quality in California through NPDES permits and related water quality standard attainment strategies, please click here. For more information on Mr. Lentz presentation to the Orange County Coastal Coalition, please click here.

In his presentation, David Cordero shared that this year is expected to be one of the most critical and historic in California water history. The state is moving toward completion and adoption of the “Delta Plan” and significant progress is expected in the development of the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan.

Together, these plans are expected to chart the legal and regulatory course for projects and actions that will improve long-term water reliability and ecosystem restoration in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

For more information on Mr. Cordero’s presentation to the Orange County Coastal Coalition, 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.

El Toro Water District: Recycled Water Expansion Project

I received a briefing this week from the El Toro Water District (ETWD) Board President and staff regarding their recycled water enhancement project.

The comprehensive and multi-phase project will increase the amount of recycled water produced for local irrigation. By producing more recycled water, ETWD will save precious imported drinking water (potable) for household consumption and sanitary uses.

This project will expand the District’s existing Water Recycling Plant and install a new recycled water distribution system to increase treatment and delivery of recycled water for irrigation in portions of Laguna Woods and Laguna Hills.

For more information, please click here. The District also has a Project Helpline (949-837-0880) for any questions about the project.

Help Prevent Ocean Pollution: Tips for Pet Care

A clean ocean and healthy beaches, creeks, rivers and bays are important to Orange County. However, many common activities can lead to water pollution if you’re not careful.

Pet waste and pet care products can be washed into the storm drains that flow to the ocean. Unlike water in sanitary sewers (from sinks and toilets), water in storm drains is not treated before entering our waterways. You would never put pet waste or pet care products into the ocean, so don’t let them enter the storm drains.

For easy tips to help prevent water pollution while caring for your pet, please click here. For more information, please click here.


Spay Day USA

Please join OC Animal Care on Saturday, Feb. 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. as they celebrate Spay Day USA! All adopted dogs, cats and bunnies will receive a free spay/neuter during the entire event. Stop by the bake sale, pet tag and information booths from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for goodies and information.

For more information, please click here.


Appointments Available for Valentine’s Day Nuptials

Reservations are filling up fast for couples wishing to be married on Valentine’s Day at the Clerk-Recorder Department’s three wedding offices in Orange County. Ceremony rooms will be available at the Old County Courthouse, 211 W. Santa Ana Blvd, in Santa Ana; as well as the branch offices at the Laguna Hills Civic Center, 24031 El Toro Road, Suite 150; and in historic downtown Fullerton at 201 N. Harbor Blvd. Branch offices offer FREE parking.

Valentine’s Day historically has been the most popular day of the year for civil wedding ceremonies, although all records were shattered Dec. 12, 2012 (12/12/12), when 283 couples took their vows. The lovers’ holiday typically sees five times the volume of marriage ceremonies compared to an average day (28).

Couples are advised to make an appointment for a civil wedding ceremony due to the day’s popularity. Please call for appointments at (714) 834-2588 or visit www.ocrecorder.com and use the online appointment system. Walk-ins will be accommodated based on availability of ceremony rooms.

For more information, please click here.


Customer Service Results for Presidential General Election

The Orange County Registrar of Voters has released results of nine customer service surveys taken during the Presidential General Election held November 6, 2012.

During the Presidential General Election cycle, extensive surveys were used to gather data on nine levels of service provided by the Registrar of Voters. The results reflected extremely well on the operations and service provided.

Highlights of the report include:

  • High scores from poll workers on the training they received.
  • Election supply distribution results continue to increase from previous elections.
  • High scores for customer service provided by voter and poll worker phone banks.
For more information, please click here.


Property Tax Auction

As previously reported in my newsletter, the Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s (TTC) property tax auction is scheduled for Thursday, March 14 at 10:00 AM in the Board of Supervisor’s Hearing Room at 333 W. Santa Ana Blvd. in Santa Ana, CA. The list of properties scheduled for auction will be posted on the TTC website one month before the auction.

The Tax Collector annually offers for sale real property located in the County of Orange. The properties offered for sale have become subject to the Tax Collector’s Power to Sell due to non-payment of property taxes for five or more years. The TTC is responsible for the administration of these sales pursuant to the provisions of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

Prospective purchasers for the live auction will be required to register. Registration will be held at the TTC offices Wednesday, March 13 between 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM at 625 N. Ross Street, Room G-58 Santa Ana, CA.

For more information, please email or call (714) 834-3411..


Literary Orange 2013

Registration is now underway for Literary Orange 2013, Orange County’s premiere literary event celebrating authors, readers and libraries. Literary Orange takes place April 6 from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Irvine Marriott and will feature J.A. Jance and Tatjana Soli.

For more information, please click here.


6 South County Students Named National Hispanic Scholars

Six South County seniors have been named Scholars in the National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP), which identifies about 5,000 academically outstanding Hispanic/Latino high school students in the country.

Samuel Fleitman, Andre Gray, Tahireh Hicks and Kamron Mahmoodzadeh from Capistrano Valley High School; Kelley Gomez from Dana Hills High School; and Galen Hanson from San Juan Hills High School were all named National Hispanic Scholars.

Each year, the NHRP honors about 5,000 (or 2 percent) of the highest-scoring students from 250,000 Hispanic/Latino juniors who take the PSAT/NMSQT®. For more information, please click here.


Rancho Santa Margarita: Tax Preparation Assistance

The City of Rancho Santa Margarita and the AARP Tax Aide group will be conducting the “Tax Preparation Assistance” program from February 6 through April 10 for eligible low- and moderate-income taxpayers residing in the city. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Niguel: Triathlon 5K/10K

The Laguna Niguel Triathlon 5K/10K will take place Sunday, February 17. All athletes will start and finish at Crown Valley Community Park and compete on the same course. For more information or to register online, please click here.

Lake Forest: Spring Leisure Times

The City of Lake Forest has released its Spring Leisure Times, featuring fun events and classes for residents, including “Bunny Blast: An Egg Wonderland,” Alice in Wonderland Tea Party, Spring Skate Egg Hunt, Spring Break Skate Camp, and much more! Registration for residents begins Tuesday, Feb. 12 (Feb. 19 for non-residents). For more information, please click here and here.

Mission Viejo: Spring Leisure Time

The City of Mission Viejo's Spring Leisure Time publication is now available online, offering detailed information about upcoming special events and exciting programs and classes that span the next few months. For more information, please click here and here.

Dana Point: 42nd Annual Festival of Whales

On the weekends of March 2-3 and 8-10, hundreds of California Gray Whales on their annual migration to Mexico will splash by the seaside community of Dana Point – the West Coast's premier location to meet and greet these incredible creatures during the 42nd annual Dana Point Festival of Whales. For more information, please click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Met with representatives of the El Toro Water District to be briefed on its recycled water expansion project in the City of Laguna Woods and the northern part of Laguna Hills.
  • Delivered a County Update at a meeting of the Exchange Club of San Clemente Meeting.
  • Participated in a meeting of the South Orange County Watershed Management Area Executive Committee.
  • Participated in the Conditions of Children in Orange County Community Engagement Forum in Mission Viejo.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Charlie Capozzoli of Dana Point, and Donald Bondi of Laguna Woods.
My office also:
  • Participated in planning committee meeting for my 6th annual South County Senior Summit. For more information, please click here.
  • Attended a meeting of the Senior Citizens Advisory Council in Laguna Niguel.
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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