Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
April 11, 2014

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 8 Issue 14

Ambulance RFP Update

Board discussed and finalized comments for the Request for Proposals (RFP) for ambulance services. The Orange County Emergency Medical Services (OCEMS), a division of the Orange County Health Care Agency, has been mandated by the state’s Emergency Medical Services to conduct this process.

The County learned of this mandate in February and has since undergone a process to seek input from the 19 cities whose current ambulance contracts are set expire in August, the public, major stakeholders, service providers, and the Board of Supervisors.

In March, the Board directed OCEMS to publish a draft RFP for public review, comment, and discussion at the following Board meetings. OCEMS provided an online forum for the public to provide comments on the published RFP.

Tuesday was the final opportunity for the Board to weigh in on the content of the RFP and voice our concerns about this process that the County is required to conduct in an unprecedented short period of time.

One of the most significant changes is the draft RFP has reduced the previous 19 ambulance operating areas into five exclusive operating areas (EOAS) and the manner in which prospective bidders will be chosen.

Along with my Board colleagues, I supported asking the State to ensure this new approach so as not to impact public safety and to provide a transparent and fair competitive process for our ambulance service providers.

The County developing the RFP in a transparent manner, where public input is actively sought, is consistent with ensuring a fair competitive process. So is, I believe, taking the time necessary to complete a thorough procurement process under a fully considered RFP that will directly impact the public safety of this County.

I will continue to provide updates on this ongoing issue.

To review the draft RFP, please click here.

Poche Clean Beach Project

The Board renewed a one-year contract with South Coast Water District for continued operations and maintenance of the Poche Clean Beach Project. This project captures urban runoff from the Prima Deshecha Canada Channel before it reaches the ocean and subsequently cleans the water. Left unattended, the urban runoff would contribute to a significant source of bacteria at Poche Beach.

The City of San Clemente is a great partner in this project and assists by contributing 60% of associated costs. I’m pleased to report that the water and beach quality at Poche Beach has improved greatly over the past eight months as a result of this and several other projects. For more information, please click here.

Legislative Report

The Board voted to take a ‘Support With Amendments’ position on AB 2647, a bill the County is working on with the City of Lake Forest regarding former redevelopment funds. Since redevelopment agencies dissolved in 2012, there has been some confusion between the City and the County with regards to a Transfer Agreement that was approved years ago during the City’s annexation.

As amendments were agreed upon but still not in print on the bill, I recommended we take a ‘Support With Amendments’ position, rather than ‘Support If Amended’, to show good faith that we would support the bill once finalized.

The Board also voted to take a ‘Support If Amended’ position on Assembly Bill 2764. The County is requesting amendments be added to the bill that would adopt specific language allowing the Tidelands Grant, which funds Dana Point Harbor, to be used on resources outside of the Harbor boundary if the expenditure directly benefits Dana Point Harbor. Currently, the Grant only allows for funding within the Harbor boundaries.


Rescinding Federal NOI for SR-241 Completion

The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA), in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), took an administrative action to rescind the 2001 Federal Notices of Intent (NOI) for preparation of a Federal environmental document for the State Route 241 (SR-241) Completion Project.

The rescission informs the public that FHWA and TCA are no longer preparing the Federal Environmental Impact Statement under National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the project.

The extension of the SR-241 to Interstate 5 (I-5) remains a project outlined in programmatic and planning documents, such as the Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), the Federal Transportation Improvement Plan (FTIP) and the County’s master plan of arterial highways (MPAH) because these documents do not require a proposed project to have a specific alignment determined.

What the rescission of the Federal NOI does speak to is that the SR-241 project alignment south of Cow Camp Road to I-5 is undetermined at this time and a potential new alignment must be reviewed and evaluated.

Meanwhile, TCA and FHWA are continuing their work to advance the Tesoro Extension Project, the 6-mile extension of SR-241 from Oso Parkway to Cow Camp Road. The Tesoro Extension will provide important traffic relief independent of any future extension of SR-241.

To read more about the rescinding of the Federal NOI, please click here.

I-5 South County Improvement Project

Crews have been hard at work under the I-5 freeway on PCH and Camino Las Ramblas preparing the bridge for future widening.

Drivers will start to see a lot of activity taking place behind k-rail in coming weeks! Crews will begin saw cutting activities on the northbound and southbound I-5 freeway between Camino Estrella and San Juan Creek Road to prepare the roadway for the additional lane being added as part of the project.

Nightly closures and detours are plotted on a Google Map and include specific closure times as well as recommended detours. Closures are updated in real time and can be accessed by clicking here. The interactive map is easily accessible on your smart phone or you can bookmark the page on your computer, as iit allows you to see other local detour routes that may be convenient for your commute.

With construction underway, be sure to share project information with your friends so they are always in the know! You can also stay informed about our project on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! You can also visit the project website.


County Organizations E-ducate About a New “E-diction”

Youths tend to embrace new technologies quicker than parents, and electronic cigarettes have been no exception. The OC Sheriff’s Department recently partnered with the OC Department of Education, OC Health Care Agency (HCA) and other organizations to present a series of talks around the County titled “Electronic Cigarettes, the New ‘E-diction’.”

E-cigs, also called vapes, range from the size and shape of a cigarette to larger, hookah-like devices. All use a heating element to turn a liquid into an inhalable vapor. They are most typically used as a nicotine delivery system, providing a chemical rush without combustion smoke, leading some to claim it is a safer alternative.

Other e-cigs uses range from the seemingly innocuous practice of vaporizing liquid flavor mixtures – such as “bubble gum” or “lemon meringue pie” – to using the devices with hash oil or other drugs. Since the vapor doesn’t carry the way smoke does, their use can be hard to detect. Some are even shaped like asthma inhalers to further disguise their use.

For more information, please click here.

Mercury Poisoning Linked to Use of Face Cream

The Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) warns against the use of face creams that appear to be homemade or imported from Mexico due to potentially high levels of mercury. One case of mercury poisoning associated with use of these products has recently been identified in Orange County, and several others are under investigation.

The face cream claims to lighten skin, fade freckles and age spots, and treat wrinkles and acne. Air samples taken from the cream had more than 50,000 times the safe limit. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not allow mercury in drugs or cosmetics expect under very specific conditions, which these products do not meet.

The signs and symptoms of mercury poisoning may include muscle pain and cramps, nervousness and irritability, difficulty with concentration, headache, tremors, memory loss, depression, insomnia, weight loss, and fatigue. Other symptoms may include numbness or tingling in hands, feet, or around the lips.

Creams that contain mercury can be dangerous for anyone living in the home where they are used. The mercury spreads from the hands of anyone using the cream to other things they touch. Mercury then gets into the air and anyone in the home can breathe it in.

Unborn babies, infants, and children are especially sensitive to the effects of mercury. It can damage the kidneys and the nervous system, and interfere with the development of the brain in unborn children and very young children.

Any face cream product that is suspected to contain mercury must be disposed of as a household hazardous waste. People are urged to call Orange County Environmental Health at (714) 433-6000 for proper disposal of the product.

HCA is working with the California Department of Public Health, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to investigate the cases and availability in the community.

For more information, including tips on how to protect yourself, please click here.


DUI Saturation Patrols in South County

Deputies from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department DUI Task Force will be deploying this weekend to stop and arrest alcohol and drug-impaired drivers in the Department’s ongoing traffic safety campaign.

DUI Saturation Patrols will deploy Friday, April 11 at 7:00 PM until Saturday, April 12 at 3:00 AM in the cities of San Clemente, Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano. These patrols will be targeting areas with high frequencies of DUI collisions and/or arrests.

For more information, please click here.


Crime Victims Monument Design to Be Unveiled

The public is invited to attend a program commemorating National Crime Victims' Rights Week on Saturday, April 12, when the winner of the Orange County Crime Victims’ Monument Design Contest will be announced.

The design competition was sponsored by the Orange County Board of Supervisors and OC Parks. The program begins at 10:00 AM at Mason Regional Park in Irvine.

For more information, please click here.


Spring Cleaning Eco Challenge Donation Event

Win great prizes, like Anaheim Ducks tickets, Ducks autographed pucks, and Discovery Science Center tickets, by donating household reusable items or by recycling paper for FREE with Goodwill’s onsite certified shredding services Saturday, April 12 from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM in the Anaheim Honda Center parking lot.

For more information, please click here.

Overwatering is Out

It’s time for Orange County residents to take back their sidewalks. Broken, misdirected or “overenthusiastic” sprinklers sometimes spray sidewalks or the street instead of lawns and gardens. Not only does overspray waste water, it also carries litter and pollutants into our waterways.

H2OC from the Orange County Stormwater Program has developed a new program called “Overwatering Is Out” to help residents curb runoff, reduce water use and maintain beautiful gardens of climate appropriate plants. Please visit www.OverwateringIsOut.org, where you can get tips with easy-to-follow steps from Gnorman the spokesgnome and sign up to receive a monthly email.

OC residents are also looking for ways to combat the historic drought. That’s why H2OC is partnering with the Municipal Water District of Orange County, Irvine Ranch Water District and the UC Cooperative Extension to launch Orange County Garden Friendly, a program to encourage residents to install climate-appropriate and low-water-use plants in outdoor spaces and gardens.

H2OC is holding weekend OC Garden Friendly festivals throughout the County in home improvement store parking lots to encourage customers to buy California Friendly plants. To view a short video of a recent OC Garden Friendly event, please click here.

Low-water-use plants save water and reduce runoff at the same time. For a short two-minute video gardening tip to test your soil for overwatering, please click here.

For more information, please click here.


Doheny Update: Special Edition

The Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association (DSBIA) has issued a Special Edition of DOHENY UPDATE to better inform the public about events and conditions in the State Park, including the Visitor Center opening Saturday, April 12.

To view the DSBIA e-newsletter, please click here.


OC Animal Care: Spring Adoption Event

This spring, grow your family! Please join OC Animal Care as they host their Spring Adoption event. They will be offering Free Spay/Neuter & Microchips for all adoptions made Saturday, April 26 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

For more information, please click here.


Special Saturday Hours April 12

Take advantage of the special Saturday hours available at the Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department on Saturday, April 12 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the Old County Courthouse in Santa Ana and the department’s branch offices in Laguna Hills and Fullerton.

For more information, please click here and here.


Laguna Beach Girl Named Water Polo Player of the Year

Makenzie Fischer, a junior at Laguna Beach High School, this season delivered the type of dominance that placed her on the U.S. national team in December. Her play and growing leadership skills powered Laguna Beach to new heights, and for her efforts, she is the Orange County Register’s Player of the Year.

As the unanimous pick by coaches for Division 1 player of the year, Makenzie pushed Laguna Beach (30-1) to its first CIF-SS Division 1 title by leading the team in goals (130 in 27 games) and steals (75). The attacker/defender finished third on the team with 46 assists, showing the Laguna Beach High School Breakers had embraced the team concept.

When the Breakers needed Makenzie to take control, she delivered. She scored five goals in each of Laguna Beach’s four championship matches. The stretch included the Holiday Cup, Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions, Irvine Southern California Championships, and the Division 1 final.

Makenzie is training with other high school players under U.S. national coach Adam Krikorian, who has called her a candidate to make the United States 2016 Olympic team. In May, she will train with the senior team.

For more information, please click here.

JSerra Gets Its First Fulbright Scholar

When alumna Norah Arafeh, class of 2010, touches down on Jordanian soil later this year, she will be the first JSerra Catholic High School graduate to represent the United States as a Fulbright U.S. Student Award winner.

The Fulbright Program, a flagship international exchange program of the United States, chooses only the best and the brightest in a highly-competitive selection process. The program operates in more than 140 countries worldwide.

Throughout her four years at JSerra, Norah was a member of the cross country team, president of the National Honor Society and enrolled in AP classes. She also studied Arabic in Syria for two summers after her sophomore and junior years. She will be graduating this May from the University of California, Berkeley.

Her project for the one-year assignment in Jordan is to analyze how Jordanian institutions are helping accommodate Syrian university student refugees in Amman, Jordan.

Fulbright U.S. Student Award winners meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country by sharing daily experiences, helping them gain an appreciation of other viewpoints and beliefs.

Through engagement in the community, Norah will interact on a one-to-one basis with Jordanians in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity and intellectual freedom, thereby promoting mutual understanding.

For more information, please click here.


Lake Forest: I-5 Improvement Project

The Orange County Transportation Authority is hosting series of outreach events this month to communicate with Lake Forest residents living adjacent to the I-5 about the upcoming I-5 Improvement Project and discuss any concerns or questions. Handout materials and display boards will be available. For more information, please click here.

Irvine: Orange County Bike Safety Workshop

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is hosting a bike safety workshop Monday, April 14 at Irvine City Hall. Informational tables will be on display from 5:00 PM to 5:30 PM, and a speaking program will begin at 5:30 PM.

For more information, please click here.

San Clemente: Animal Adoption Promotion

The San Clemente-Dana Point Animal Shelter is currently hosting a Spring Egg-Stravaganza animal adoption promotion through Saturday, April 19. Pick an egg and receive a discount on your pet adoption! For more information, please click here.

Rancho Santa Margarita: Is Your Teen at Risk?

Parents and their teens are encouraged to attend a forum titled “Is Your Teen at Risk?” featuring a panel of expert speakers Thursday, May 8 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Bell Tower Regional Community Center in Rancho Santa Margarita. This class is FREE but pre-registration is required. For more information, please click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Participated in the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Regional Planning and Highways Committee meeting.
  • Participated in the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) meeting.
  • Administered the Oath of Office at the Board of Directors Installation for the Association of California Cities OC.
  • Attended the San Clemente “State of the City” event.
  • Participated in a Special Board of Supervisors Closed Session meeting.
  • Adjourned the regular meeting of the Board of supervisors in memory of The Honorable Bill Craycraft of Mission Viejo and Hobie Alter of Laguna Beach.

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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