Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
February 22, 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 7

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.


Dana Point Gets Relief with Railroad Quiet Zone

Residents in Dana Point get much anticipated relief from train horns, as the City joined six other quiet zone communities in Orange County last Thursday.

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) partnered with eight cities to implement an $85-million rail safety enhancement program at 52 railroad crossings throughout Orange County, paving the way for seven cities that successfully applied for quiet zone designation.

By law, engineers must sound their horns up to four times when they approach a crossing. If a quiet zone is established, trains will only sound their horns if the engineer believes it necessary for safety reasons or if the train is traveling through a construction zone.

The new railroad crossing safety enhancements at the Palisades Drive / Beach Road railroad crossing in Dana Point (completed late 2011) have allowed the City to officially apply for quiet zone status with the Federal Railroad Administration.

Improvements included upgraded and updated warning devices, additional gate arms, extended and raised medians, improved signage and coordinated traffic signals.

As part of the project, 38 crossings have been designated quiet zones throughout the County in the cities of Anaheim, Dana Point, Irvine, Orange, Santa Ana, San Clemente and Tustin.

Construction on all the crossings was completed in January 2012.

To learn more about the railroad safety enhancement program, please click here.

I-5 South Project Team Keeping Schools Safe

Freeway improvements can affect residents, businesses and even schools due to road closures, detours and closed sidewalks. That’s why the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Outreach representative spoke before the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees last week to share information about the San Diego Freeway (I-5) South Orange County Improvement Projects.

Major improvements involving the Avenida Pico overpass may interrupt families commuting to school in the area, especially San Clemente High School, which is a half-mile from the project site.

The OCTA representative outlined OCTA’s outreach efforts with city and school leaders, especially with the San Clemente High School principal to ensure the continuation of safe walking routes. The trustees asked questions about detour routes and road closures, and they were told OCTA is collaboratively working on safe and logical detour routes.

In addition to the school board, the OCTA outreach team has met with homeowners groups and churches to share information and acquire feedback for South County projects.

Measure M2 Quarterly Progress Report

Last week, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors received an update on the progress of the M2 Transportation Investment Plan for the period between October and December. The report includes budget and schedule information found in the Capital Action Plan, Local Fair Share and Senior Mobility Program quarterly payments made to cities and total payments from M2 inception to December 2012.

Highlights from the quarter include:
  • The selection of Alternative 1 as the locally preferred alternative for the Interstate 405 Improvement Project.
  • The first Community-Based Transit/Circulators 2013 call for projects issued on Dec. 4, for a total of $28 million.
  • The progress of the fixed-guideway projects including the Anaheim Rapid Connection Project.
To view the report, please click here.

Update on OCTA Capital Action Plan Milestone

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors was presented information regarding the progress of the Capital Action Plan for the 2012-13 second quarter. The update entailed that project delivery is making headway and 13 of the 25 planned projects have been completed.

The OCTA Capital Programs Division oversees project development and delivery of highway, rail, grade separations and facility projects. The milestones achieved for freeway, grade separation and rail projects include:
  • Freeway Projects: The contract for construction of the M2 State Route 91 westbound widening from State Route 57 to Interstate 5 was advertised by Caltrans.
  • Grade Separation Projects: Final design was completed on the Raymond Avenue railroad grade separation project, led by the city of Fullerton.
  • Rail and Station Projects: The contract for construction for the San Clemente beach trail railroad crossing safety enhancement project was advertised.
OCTA staff will continue to monitor projects to make sure they are completed on time and within budget. To view the report, click here.


Kindness Counts in San Clemente

A pilot program this year at Clarence Lobo Elementary School in San Clemente is teaching students four ways to promote kindness and tolerance on campus: Don't tolerate bullying!

Tips to help stop bullying include:
  • Parents need to talk to their kids about school violence and bullying and encourage positive behavior.
  • Parents of troubled adolescents should sign up for the 10-week Parent Project. Call 949-361-8386.
  • Bullying isn't just physical or verbal – it's spread via texting, social media and other digital formats.
  • Need to know? Monitor the texts on your kids' cell phones.
  • Revenge – largely in answer to bullying – is a prime motivator in school shootings. It's cumulative. "They snap."
  • If you witness bullying, don't remain silent. Defend the victim.
  • If you observe a kid who doesn't get picked for teams or activities, invite him or her in. Build self-confidence.
  • If you know of a bully or if you see bullying, tell an adult.
Once a week, Lobo Elementary classrooms take time to chat about bullying and kindness. Kids will sit in a circle. When a scenario is presented, they are asked, what would you do?

For more information, please click here.

OCFA: On The Front Line

The Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) has released its latest issue of “On The Front Line.” To view the February edition of OCFA’s online newsletter, please click here.


ALERT Weather Telemetry Provides Early Warning Systems

OC Public Works’ OC Watersheds Division maintains and monitors the County’s early warning system as a flooding prevention and emergency response tool. The ALERT System – so called for Automated Local Evaluation in Real Time – first implemented in 1983, has helped the County predict future rainfall totals, track storm watches and warnings, and monitor weather radar through the internet, intranet and email.

The County began installation of the ALERT weather telemetry system to support storm operations 30 years ago. Initially consisting of only rain gauges, the system now comprises 130 sensors at over 80 sites that measure precipitation, water level in flood channels, temperature, barometric pressure, wind velocity and direction, relative humidity, and snow.

County of Orange personnel and the public can depend on the ALERT system for real-time weather data and, with this information, the County can take appropriate actions, including evacuations, road closures, and flood channel maintenance.

This system received an award of recognition by the National Association of Counties’ “County Achievement Award” in the past for its “Flash Flood Program, Early Warning System.” Not many Counties provide this service and the award was received for Orange County’s innovation.

The ALERT System enables the OC Watersheds Division to provide 24-hour weather forecast information and weather condition interpretation to OC Public Works management, staff, and the public through Internet links.

Data is displayed in tabular and map form updated every eight minutes during rain storms. For more information, please contact Environmental Resource Specialist, Bryan Pastor of OC Watersheds at 714-955-0662 or Bryan.Pastor@ocpw.ocgov.com


Near-Record Number of Couples Marry on Valentine’s Day

A near-record number of couples (170) married on Valentine’s Day in civil ceremonies performed by the Clerk-Recorder Department, just three couples shy of the previous record of 173 couples who wed on the holiday in 1997.

Happy couples exchanged vows throughout the day at the department’s three wedding offices in Orange County. The offices also issued a total of 224 marriage licenses on the most romantic day of the year.

For more information, please click here.

Special Saturday “Passport Day” Planned March 9

The Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department will join passport offices across the country to present a special Saturday “Passport Day in the USA” on March 9. The passport application office will be open at the Old County Courthouse in Santa Ana from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

To save time, passport applications can be completed in advance online. 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.

OC Animal Care Statistics Posted Online

OC Animal Care is an "open admission" shelter for 18 cities and the unincorporated areas of Orange County. "Open admission" means they receive all animals from the cities they serve, whether they are aggressive, feral, sick, under age, or injured.

OC Animal Care reports its statistics online. The data is listed both comprehensively, as well as by the individual cities they serve. For more information, please click here and here.


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.


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.


South County Marching Band Claims State Title

The Capistrano Valley High School (CVHS) Black and Gold Brigade recently captured its fourth consecutive Southern California Judges Association, State of California Championship. The Brigade was also awarded first place for their performance in Percussion and Auxiliary Group.

This marks the end of an undefeated season for the CVHS marching band, which also captured their first Black Opal Class Title at the Winter Guard Association of Southern California's Marching Band Open Series (MBOS) Title. The Black and Gold Brigade won awards for high music and high visual in the Black Opal Class at the MBOS Championships.

South County School Wins Internet Safety Award

Vista del Mar Middle School grabbed the top score in the nation in the FBI Safe Online Surfing quiz. The Vista del Mar students had an overall score of 92.75 percent, the best result in the Sharks Category (schools with more than 100 participants).

About 150 students participated in a two-week cyber awareness course in December. FBI community relations specialist Diana Gonzalez presented the award.


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. 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. 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:
  • Hosted my 6th annual South County Senior Summit. More on this in next week’s newsletter.
  • Attended the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, Acjachemen Nation Inauguration to present certificates of recognition to their historic and first all-woman Tribal Council.
  • Participated in the OCTA/I-5 Ortega Project Groundbreaking Ceremony.
  • Participated in a ribbon cutting and dedication for the Fairview Park Wetlands Project the City of Costa Mesa.
  • Served as Master of Ceremonies for the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting & Installation of Officers and Directors.
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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