Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
February 15, 2013

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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 6

RSVP NOW for the 6th Annual South County Senior Summit!

As only a few seats remain, older adults and their caretakers are urged to RSVP NOW 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, Orange County District Attorney
  • Dr. Michael Riley, Orange County Social Services Director
  • Dr. Bonnie Olsen, UC Irvine Clinical Psychologist
  • Julie Schoen, Orange County 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.

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

For more information, please click here.


No Board Meeting This Week

There was not a regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Supervisors this week. To view the Board meeting schedule for 2013, please click here.

Our next Board meeting will be held Tuesday, February 26. Regular Board meetings begin at 9:30 AM in the Hall of Administration. For Agenda & Meeting Information, please click here.

Live Internet broadcasts of Board of Supervisors meetings can be viewed online and are archived as video-on-demand. To view live and/or past Board meetings, please click here.


Transportation Projects Reach Major Milestones

Major transportation enhancement projects are set to break ground, as the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and Caltrans also commemorate the completion of a project milestone next week.

Caltrans will host a groundbreaking ceremony for the San Diego Freeway (I-5) / Ortega Highway Interchange Improvement Project on Wednesday, Feb. 20, marking the beginning of the $86-million, two-year project that will reconstruct Ortega Highway at the I-5 in San Juan Capistrano. Please join me and members of the San Juan Capistrano City Council for this important event.

The same day, the City of Costa Mesa is holding a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Fairview Park Wetlands and Riparian Habitat Project in Costa Mesa. OCTA has contributed $2 million of Measure M2 freeway environmental mitigation program funds for this project. I will join Supervisor John Moorlach for the presentation at this event.

In addition, OCTA and Caltrans will be hosting an event to celebrate the completion of the Riverside Freeway (SR-91) Westbound and Eastbound Lane Widening project on Thursday, Feb. 21. The completion of this project marks the addition of a six-mile lane in each direction of the SR-91 and is the second in a series of improvement projects on this freeway.


County Launches Re-Designed Website

The County of Orange officially launched its re-designed website, www.ocgov.com, on January 3, which includes a fresh new look, enhanced features, and streamlined navigation.

Last April, the Board approved a contract with Civica Software to replace the County’s existing web content management system after a competitive Request for Proposal process was completed.

Public Information and Information Technology staff from participating agencies and departments partnered with the vendor in the design process to consider important elements that would impact external users – the community members we serve.

Committees discussed branding and information categorization, site “look and feel” and navigation, as well business processing needs such as filing, registration, inquiry, search, payment, and subscription.

The resulting changes are already making the online experience more intuitive and visually pleasing for our employees and visitors alike. These include:
  • Interactive maps for County libraries, facilities and parks
  • Ability for rangers to update park status in real-time using their smartphones
  • Library catalog search
  • Foreign language translation
  • Google search
  • Simplified content organized into new top tabs: About the County, Agencies & Departments, Business, How Do I, Residents, Services and Visitors
  • Popular and Resources tabs that provide quick links to our most sought after information
  • Countywide and department-specific events calendars
  • MyOC application that enables visitors to register and customize a personalized version of the website
  • Searchable, sortable tables to make information more viewable
  • Disaster recovery to keep the website online during emergencie

DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint Planned in Lake Forest

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s “Avoid the 12” DUI Task Force will be conducting a DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint on Friday, February 15 in the City of Lake Forest from 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. Drivers caught driving impaired can expect jail, license suspension, and insurance increases, as well as fines, fees, DUI classes, other expenses that can exceed $10,000.

For more information, please click here.

OCFA’s Best and Bravest

On January 31, my staff attended the Orange County Fire Authority’s (OCFA) Best and Bravest Awards Dinner in Irvine. This annual celebration honors the heroes of OCFA and highlights OCFA’s mission to enhance public safety and meet the evolving needs of our communities through the use of teamwork and strong partnerships.

I extend my congratulations to Daniel Hansen (Career Firefighter of the Year), Kevin McArthur (Reserve Firefighter of the Year), Battalion Chief Mark Sanchez (Manager of the Year), Keri Rodriguez (Professional Staff Employee of the Year), and Rothchild Ong (Unsung Hero). These winners embody the OCFA’s continuous commitment to the safety of Orange County residents and deserve our special recognition and thanks.

For more information, please click here.


South Orange County Reliability Enhancement Project

On January 9, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) published and circulated a Notice of Preparation (NOP) of an Environmental Impact Report for the South Orange County Reliability Enhancement (SOCRE) Project, proposed by SDG&E, for public review and comment.

On February 6, the CPUC received a request to extend the NOP comment period beyond the original 30 days. In response, the CPUC has decided to extend the public comment period to February 22.

To learn about the project or environmental review process, or to find out how to submit comments, please access the CPUC’s project website. For more information, please click here and here.

Water Smart Public Spaces Coming Soon to South County

Water smart landscapes are finding their way to public spaces in South County through a $1.3 million grant awarded to the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) Proposition 84 Integrated Regional Watershed Management Program. Public spaces, including street medians and civic center landscapes, are great areas to lead the way in water efficiency in the community.

MWDOC’s Public Spaces Water Smart Landscape Program targets the implementation of comprehensive landscape improvements for publicly-owned and other commercial landscape properties located within the South Orange County Integrated Regional Watershed Management Plan area.

The grant funding allows MWDOC to provide a $2.00 per square foot rebate incentive (up to 35% of the total project cost), along with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s standard SoCal Water Smart rebates, to participating cities whose renovations meet the Program’s participation criteria.

The Public Spaces Water Smart Landscape Program encourages water efficient landscapes and irrigation practices, as well as demonstrating Low Impact Development (LID) principles in public settings. 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.


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 e-mail or call (714) 834-3411.


Registration Opens for Literary Orange 2013

Literary Orange, an annual event presented by OC Public Libraries, offers attendees the opportunity to engage with an exciting array of authors while learning all about the writing process.

This year’s daylong celebration will take place Saturday, April 6 at the Irvine Marriott and will feature keynote speakers J.A. Jance and Tatjana Soli, as well as the following panel discussion sessions:
  • Agents Panel: The Business of Writing
  • Children’s Panel: The Illustrated Story
  • Food Panel: Eat Your Words – Writers on Food and Culture
  • Horror Panel: Dead and Loving It
  • Inspirational Panel: Hope and Faith – Inspirational Fiction
  • Literary Fiction Panel: Southland Stories
  • Memoirs Panel: Triumph of the Human Spirit
  • Mystery Panel: Sweet and Sinister
  • Poetry Panel: A Visual Language
  • Romance Panel: Love Between the Pages
  • Young Adult Panel: The Awesome Age
For more information, please click here.


Routine Inspection in South County Not Routine

January 16 started out like most days for Vinson de Guzman, a field representative for the OC Housing Authority. On his schedule for that day was a housing quality inspection in Laguna Beach, which is an annual requirement for housing units that participate in the Section 8 rental assistance program. However, that routine inspection would turn out to be anything but routine for Vinson, who has been on the Housing Authority staff for seven years.

The territory covered by Vinson includes a large area of South County, from Irvine to San Clemente. On this day, he was accompanied by another Housing Authority staff member, who was being cross trained to conduct housing quality inspections.

When they first arrived at the unit scheduled for inspection, Vinson noticed the door was ajar. After knocking, Vinson heard a voice but could not tell what it had said. Following protocol, they continued to knock and call the unit but without response. Finally, Vinson pushed the door open a little more and saw a man down on the floor. Going inside to assist him, the man told Vinson he thought he had been on the floor for four or five days.

After briefly trying to communicate with the man, Vinson called 9-1-1 and paramedics soon arrived at the location to provide medical assistance and transport the man to a local hospital for treatment. According to Vinson, he’d never experienced anything quite like this while working in the field but he was happy to be able to provide assistance to someone in need.

OC Housing Authority Manager John Hambuch noted that Vinson’s actions were an extension of the organization’s mission. “While ‘Positively Transforming Lives’ is part of OC Community Resources and the Housing Authority’s Vision Statement, in this case we actually helped save a life,” Hambuch said. “Vinson is compassionate about people, as demonstrated through his work, and his actions in this case are another example of his caring for those we serve.”


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.

Rancho Santa Margarita: Spring Classes

Spring is almost here and an array of classes is being offered at the Bell Tower Regional Community Center for a great season of fun in Rancho Santa Margarita! Spring registration begins on Tuesday, February 19. For more information, 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! 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, California Gray Whales on their annual migration to Mexico will splash by the seaside community of Dana Point during the 42nd annual Festival of Whales. For more information on Festival of Whales, please click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Presented a certificate of recognition in honor of the grand reopening of the Friends of the Dana Point Library Bookstore.
  • Attended the Saddleback Kiwanis Club meeting in Laguna Woods to provide an update on Orange County Transportation Authority programs.
  • Participated in the monthly regular meeting of the Local Agency Formation Commission.
My office also:
  • Participated in a planning committee meeting for my 6th annual South County Senior Summit. For more information, please click here.
  • Attended a meeting of the Orange County Veterans Advisory Council
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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