Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
March 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 9

Daylight Saving Time Returns

Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 AM this Sunday, March 10, so don't forget to “spring forward” and set your clocks ahead one hour Saturday night!

When changing your clocks due to Daylight Saving Time, please use it as a reminder to check your preparedness kit to make sure your emergency stockpile isn’t missing any items and that the food hasn’t expired. For more information, please click here.

The Orange County Fire Authority also reminds us to check our smoke alarms when we change our clocks. A smoke alarm cannot alert you to the dangers of smoke and fire if its batteries are dead, disconnected, or missing. So, when you change your clocks forward this weekend, please check your smoke alarms and, if necessary, change the batteries.


Clerk-Recorder Selection Process

The Board completed the first phase of the Clerk-Recorder selection process. Over 800 individuals applied for the position, with numerous candidates determined to be non-qualified for a variety of reasons, such as not being a registered voter or County resident, etc.

At the Board hearing, each Supervisor submitted up to 20 names. Duplicates were cross referenced and the list was reduced to 25 individuals. Each Supervisor will be asked at the March 12 Board meeting to provide the names of up to 10 individuals, with each requiring a second in order to remain on the active list for consideration.

The slate of “seconded” candidates will be discussed until the Board decides on 12 or fewer candidates that will be invited to interview with the Board at a public meeting to be determined in the near future.

O’Neill Regional Park Easement Granted

The Board approved a Grant of Easement in the O’Neill Regional Park to the Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD). The property granted serves as an access road to the Upper Chiquita Reservoir.

In exchange for the easement, SMWD will restore and maintain any graded property from the construction phase of the project, as well as transfer $30,000 to the OC Parks fund for park maintenance.

For more information, please click here.

La Pata Avenue Project Design Agreement Amendment

The Board approved an amendment to the Architect-Engineer Agreement for the La Pata Avenue Gap Closure and Camino Del Rio Extension Project. The amendment authorizes additions to the Scope of Work and a cost increase of $450,000.

The Project design is being coordinated with several stakeholders, including San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE), both of which have prior rights across areas the project will traverse. In addition, the project will traverse the Prima Deshecha Landfill, areas in the City of San Clemente, and will impact the City of San Juan Capistrano. Coordination with these stakeholders has resulted in significant design changes not included in the original scope of work.

OC Public Works tasked the Architect-Engineer, Huitt-Zollars, Inc., to work with the various stakeholders to investigate innovative design features that can reduce the construction costs of the project and still maintain support from the stakeholders. The design team and the stakeholders identified several innovative design strategies that will help significantly reduce the construction cost of the project and meet stakeholders' interest.

Completion of the final design for the project is anticipated for June 2013. This amendment brings the total Architect-Engineer Agreement from 6,000,000 to $6,450,000. However, the innovative design strategies are expected to significantly reduce construction costs on the project.

For more information, please click here.

2013 Weed Abatement Program

The Board adopted a resolution to initiate the annual Weed Abatement Program. Pursuant to State and local law, the Board authorizes OC Public Works to send written notices in March each year to all affected owners of property in the unincorporated areas of the County, instructing them to remove weeds and combustible vegetation identified as a public nuisance.

Typically, 90% of the approximately 2,000 affected property owners voluntarily remove weeds and fire hazards from their properties, demonstrating a consistently high level of community involvement in the Weed Abatement Program.

If necessary, an owner can request a reasonable postponement to the April 16 deadline for their property. Owners are advised that if work is not accomplished by a specified date, the County or contracted crews will abate these properties and all costs will be added to the property owner's tax bill, as directed by the Board Resolution.

All affected property owners have the right to appeal decisions. Instructions on how to appeal are included in the written notice. For more information and to view a copy of the written notice that will be mailed to affected property owners, please click here.


Measure M2 Delivering Improvements to Water Quality

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors recently approved $12.7 million for eight projects that will improve water quality throughout the County, as part of the Measure M2 Environmental Cleanup Program. OCTA’s Environmental Cleanup Program provides funds from Measure M2 to improve water quality in Orange County from pollution caused by transportation.

The projects include:
  • The Tustin Legacy Detention Basin and Wetlands Project in Tustin – The project will treat storm water that flows into the Peters Canyon Channel and the Upper and Lower Newport Bays. The project also will aid the treatment of runoff from small storms and provide flood flow reduction.

  • The Oso Creek Multi-Use Trails in Laguna Niguel – Pavement will be designed and constructed to replace 2.8 acres of existing roadway along Forbes Road.

  • Carnation Avenue Litter Removal Project in Newport Beach – Three separation units will be installed within this watershed to remove oil, sediment and trash around Pacific Coast Highway.

  • Peters Canyon Wash Water Capture and Reuse Pipeline in Irvine – The project will be designed to capture groundwater discharges caused by regional transportation infrastructure.

  • Brookhurst Street “South” Widening and Storm Swale Project in Anaheim – 3.4 acres will be constructed of vegetated swales and pathways.

  • San Juan Creek Trash Removal and Dry-Weather Diversion in Dana Point – A diversion project will be implemented to eliminate dry weather pollution loads, remove litter from diverted flows and enhance the habitat in the watershed area.

  • Santa Ana Delhi Channel Diversion Project in Santa Ana – An urban discharge diversion facility will be installed to capture discharge into the sanitary sewer system in order to address surface water quality.

  • Industrial Way Water Quality and Storm Drain Improvement Project in Costa Mesa – An underground infiltration facility will be installed along with a newly constructed parallel storm drain facility.
More than $5.6 million has been awarded for water quality projects to date, and over the next 30 years, approximately $300 million will be provided to improve water quality and reduce pollutants in waterways.

For more information on OCTA’s environmental program, please click here.

OCTA Seeks Applicants for Taxpayers Oversight Committee

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is seeking qualified volunteers to serve on the Taxpayers Oversight Committee. The 11 member committee monitors OCTA’s use of Measure M funds and ensures that all revenue collected from Measure M is spent on voter-approved transportation projects. Your involvement will help keep an eye on your tax dollars.

Applications for the 2013-2016 term will be accepted through April 22 to fill four positions – one in the First, Third, Fourth and Fifth Supervisorial Districts. Orange County residents residing in the First, Third, Fourth or Fifth District are eligible to apply.

For more information or to request an application, please click here or contact Alice Rogan at (714) 560-5577.


Orange County Coastal Coalition

Please join me Thursday, March 28 for the Orange County Coastal Coalition. The meeting will begin at 9:00 AM at Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, 3535 Harbor Blvd., Suite 110, Costa Mesa.

Patrick Bauer from the City of Costa Mesa will be presenting about the Fairview Park Wetlands & Riparian Habitat Restoration Project; and Sandy DeSimone from Starr Ranch Sanctuary Audubon California will be presenting about the Riparian Invasive Control, Restoration, Monitoring, and Education at Audubon Starr Ranch Sanctuary.

Their presentations will be followed by a Question & Answer session. For more information, please click here.

El Toro Water District’s Recycled Water Expansion Project

El Toro Water District (ETWD) is undertaking a comprehensive, multi-phase Recycled Water Expansion Project that 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.

The Recycled Water Expansion Project includes two components:
  1. ETWD will expand its existing Water Recycling Plant to increase the treatment and delivery of recycled water for irrigation to approximately 1,400 acre feet per year. That’s the equivalent of covering the entire footprint of Laguna Woods Village with five inches of water or filling Angel Stadium nineteen times.
  2. Simultaneously, ETWD will build a new recycled water distribution system for irrigation. Approximately 100,000 feet or 19 miles of recycled water pipeline will be constructed beneath the roadways in Laguna Woods and the northwest portion of Laguna Hills. This new distribution system will be completely separate from the drinking water distribution system and used for irrigation only.
Like most water districts in South County, ETWD relies on imported water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta and the Colorado River to meet 95% of its customer demand. To meet the current need to irrigate golf courses, parks and greenbelts, ETWD uses both recycled water produced by the current Water Recycling Plant and imported drinking water (potable).

For more information, please click here.


JWA Construction Alert: Lane Closures on Lower Roadway

As part of an ongoing seismic retrofitting project, a portion of the Arrival (lower) Level roadway at John Wayne Airport (JWA) will be narrowed to allow for construction, effective through Thursday, March 21 between 5:00 AM and 3:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

To view a map of the affected area or for more information, please click here.


Animal Shelter Night at Honda Center

Please join OC Animal Care and the Anaheim Ducks for Animal Shelter Night at Honda Center on Sunday, March 24 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Hockey Spot!

For more information, please click here.

Low-Cost Vaccination, Microchip Clinic

The Mission Viejo Animal Services Center on Wednesday, March 13 will host a low-cost vaccination and microchip clinic for Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel and Aliso Viejo pet owners only. The clinic will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at 28095 Hillcrest in Mission Viejo.

For more information, please click here.


Video: Ecology of Little Sycamore Canyon

Watch a video and take a hike with local Professor of Ecology, Dr. Allan Schoenherr, up Little Sycamore Canyon (behind the Nix Nature Center) in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, as he explains the uniqueness of the South Coast Wilderness, the rich biodiversity present and the reasons why this ecosystem thrives here.

To view the video, please click here.

Caspers Wilderness Park 5K/10K & 1K Kids Run

The Caspers Wilderness Park 5K/10K & 1K Kids Run takes place Sunday, March 17 at Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park. Caspers Wilderness Park offers 8,000 acres of protected preserve nestled among the river terraces and sandstone canyons of the western coastal Sana Ana Mountains.

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 is posted on the TTC website.

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.


Ladera Ranch MS Earns Gold Medal in OC Register Rankings

Ladera Ranch Middle School (LRMS) is one of two middle schools in the county to earn a gold medal in the Orange County Register annual school rankings. LRMS, which serves about 1,300 students in grades 6-8, is a consistent presence in the newspaper's annual rankings. Since 2010, LRMS has been ranked in the top 10. "

Dana Hills HS Wins Grunion Bowl Science Competition

Dana Hills High School recently won the Grunion Bowl, a regional ocean science academic competition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB). The Grunion Bowl was held at Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla.

Eighteen teams with four or five students on each team participated in this year's Grunion Bowl, which consisted of buzzer-style, multiple-choice questions and open-ended, team-challenge questions.

For winning the regional competition, Dana Hills High School now moves on to face 24 other regional champions in the 16th Annual National Ocean Sciences Bowl at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on April 18-21 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The winning team from Dana Hills High School is coached by Randy Hudson with Assistant Coach Brittany Long. The team members are Bree Gibbs, Meriah Long, Lulu Erkeneff, Arvin Arce and Leila Haghi.

For more information, please click here.


Dana Point: Festival of Whales

On March 9 & 10, California Gray Whales on their annual migration to Mexico will splash by the seaside community of Dana Point during the final weekend of the 42nd annual Festival of Whales. For more information on the Festival of Whales, please click here and here.

Mission Viejo: Award-Winning Irish Dancers

Children ages 4 and older are invited to a riveting Riverdance-style performance of jigs, reels and hornpipes by award-winning Irish dancers at two free shows on Saturday, March 9 (2:00 PM and 3:30 PM) at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center, 24932 Veterans Way. For more information, please click here.

San Juan Capistrano: Swallows Day Parade

The 55th Annual Swallows Day Parade and Mercado Street Fair will take place in downtown San Juan Capistrano on Saturday, March 23, beginning at 11:00 AM. The Swallows Day Parade is the nation's largest non-motorized parade. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Hills: Spring Registration for Classes & Activities

The City of Laguna Hills Community Services Department offers a variety of classes for all ages and interests. For more information, please click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Presented a proclamation in honor of the grand opening of the New Gate House at Mission San Juan Capistrano.
  • Met with representatives of a security firm to learn about strategies for providing safer public facilities.
  • Met Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) Director Mark Refowitz to discuss the administration of healthcare related services to the community.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Robert Joseph McCormick Jr. of Laguna Beach, and Edward John Lesneski Jr. of San Clemente.
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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