Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
May 2, 2014

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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

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 17

Revisiting Orange County Restaurant Food Safety

The Board discussed the Orange County Grand Jury report titled “Revisiting Orange County Restaurant Food Safety: Improving Placard Visibility for the Public’s Best Interest.” This report, issued in March, directed Findings and Recommendations to the Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) and the Board of Supervisors.

To insure the County is implementing the most transparent, safest, and easily visible system for the public as well as cost sensitivity for restaurants, my colleagues and I directed staff to return to the Board with further analysis on costs and the use of a color coded system. HCA will return to the Board no later than May 20.

For more information, please click here.

San Clemente Library Expansion

The Board awarded a contract to Sanders Construction Services for the Expansion Project at the San Clemente Branch Library and approved of the First Amendment to the Agreement for the Construction and Funding to support the expansion and remodel of the facility for the benefit of patrons of the San Clemente Library.

For more information, please click here.

Central/Coastal Sub-Region NCCP/HCP Reserve System

A few years ago, the County acquired four parcels of developer-owned land as an addition to Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. This acquisition was part of a Board-approved property exchange with the City of Lake Forest to enable the City to build Glass Creek Sports Park.

By their inclusion in the Wilderness Park as County-owned land, the four parcels were enrolled as protected habitat in the Central/Coastal Sub-Region Natural Community Conservation Plan/Habitat Conservation Plan Reserve System.

As such, the Board approved a Memorandum of Implementation Agreement to record against each parcel, indicating that they are subject to the terms of the program. For more information, please click here.

Caspers Wilderness Park Water Line Replacement

The Board approved a contract for the Caspers Wilderness Park Water Line Replacement project. Due to antiquated infrastructure, the water line system at Caspers was in desperate need of repair. Once completed, the new water lines will provide services to the Park’s campgrounds, ranger office and nature center. It will also provide more reliable access to water for emergency needs in cases of fire.

For more information, please click here.

Legislative Bulletin

The Board of Supervisors adopted a new Legislative Policy for Board members who would like to take a position on legislation that is not included in the County’s Legislative Platform. The Legislative Platform is a document created and passed by the Board at the end of every year to serve as a policy guide for the County in the following legislative session.

It helps the Board and County departments to know what issues should remain a priority for the County of Orange. Since we can’t always foresee what proposals will be brought forward in Sacramento, a new policy was needed to help decide whether or not the Board should take a position on these bills.

This new policy requests that members of the Board provide a letter explaining why they believe the legislation is important to the County of Orange. The letter will be included with the Legislative Bulletin on the Board Meeting Agenda.


2014 South Orange County Job Fair

The 2014 South Orange County Job Fair will be held Thursday, May 15 at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center, located at 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo.

This popular annual event is held in partnership with my office, the County of Orange, Orange County Workforce Investment Board, and the City of Mission Viejo.

The general public is invited to attend from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, with special early access from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM for Veterans and One-Stop registered job seekers. All jobseekers are encouraged to dress professionally and bring copies of their resume.

For more information, please call (949) 341-8000 or click here, here and here.


La Pata Extension Project Update

The contractor of La Pata Extension Project has begun construction of the La Pata Gap Connector Phase that will extend the existing La Pata Avenue just south of Vista Montana to Calle Saluda with four new travel lanes for approximately 2.27 miles. The phase is expected to be completed in fall 2016.

Beginning May 1 to May 16, weekdays from 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM, the contractor will begin a series of construction activities including, but not limited to, clearing and grubbing (removal of rubbish, shrubs, trees, etc. within the construction zone), refuse removal (excavation of refuse at the landfill), earthwork (excavation and relocation of existing soil), and utility relocation (relocation of SDG&E overhead power lines).

Construction activity schedules and closures are subject to change.

As a reminder, the Prima Deshecha and Forster Ridgeline Trails will be closed through fall 2016 at the locations shown here.

Other phases include the La Pata Widening (Subsequent Phase) will widen the existing La Pata Avenue with one additional travel lane in each direction between Ortega Highway and just south of Vista Montana. The Camino Del Rio Extension (Subsequent Phase) will extend the existing roadway from its current terminus to the newly extended La Pata Avenue.

For more project information, please click here.

I-5 South County Improvement Project Construction Alert

On Monday, April 28, crews began night work to demolish the outside shoulders of the I-5 freeway over PCH / Camino Las Ramblas. This work is necessary to accommodate additional lanes on each side of the I-5 freeway as part of the I-5 South County Improvement Project.

Nighttime demolition work will take place between 10:00 PM and 5:00 AM through Thursday, May 1 and will resume Sunday, May 4 to Wednesday, May 7. Please be advised, this work may be loud and disruptive.

During demolition activities, at least two lanes on the northbound and southbound I-5 will remain open at all times. The following will be closed between 10:00 PM and 5:00 AM on demolition nights in order for crews to safely demolish the bridge.
  • PCH / Camino Las Ramblas will be closed directly under the freeway
  • Northbound I-5 loop on-ramp from PCH / Camino Las Ramblas
  • Southbound I-5 loop on-ramp from PCH / Camino Las Ramblas
  • Northbound I-5 off ramp to PCH / Beach Cites will close during demolition on the northbound I-5 shoulder
Sign up today to receive text message alerts from the I-5 South County Improvement Project! Simply text SOUTHOC5INFO to 67076 to begin receiving weekly text message alerts with important closure and detour information. Please don’t text and drive.

For more information please click here.

The Toll Roads Removing Cash Collections May 14

As previously reported in my newsletter, The Toll Roads will be removing cash toll collection effective Wednesday, May 14. To that end, the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) recently introduced three new Express Account payment options that will give toll road drivers more options for paying tolls.

With the transponder-free ExpressAccounts, images of a vehicle’s license plate taken on The Toll Roads are linked to an account and the appropriate toll is collected. When customers sign up for an ExpressAccount, they may choose from one of three payment options:
  • Prepaid – Customers open an account with a prepaid balance and tolls are deducted from the amount whenever they use The Toll Roads.
  • Charge – At the end of each day, customers’ tolls are charged to the credit card on file for each trip on The Toll Roads.
  • Invoice – Customers are sent an invoice at the close of the month for tolls incurred that month; no need to use a credit card or link a bank account to your account. This account type includes an invoice fee.
In addition to the ExpressAccount option, toll road users can explore two more options:
  • FasTrak® - Customers with FasTrak, which uses transponder technology fixed to a vehicle’s windshield, will continue to pay the lowest toll and may be used on all toll roads, lanes, and bridges throughout California. FasTrak customers won’t have to make any changes to their accounts when cash collection ceases on the Toll Roads.
  • One-Time Toll – Great for visitors and infrequent users! Customers can pay their toll within 48-hours of a trip online without creating an account or purchasing a transponder. To pay, please click here or download The Toll Roads mobile app.
In anticipation of The Toll Roads removing cash toll collection, TCA is offering new FasTrak and ExpressAccount customers a FREE week of nonstop driving as soon as they establish an account (PROMO CODE: FREETOLL). The offer ends May 11.

For more information, please click here, here and here.


Preventing Wildland Fires

California is in a state of emergency with the recent drought, and Orange County’s long, hot and dry months with very little rain make our wildland areas vulnerable to severe wildfire conditions.

To that end, the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) in partnership with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD), OC Parks and neighboring fire and police agencies and community groups will hold a press conference in Peters Canyon Regional Park (South) on Wednesday, May 7 at 10:00 AM, in association with Wildfire Awareness Week.

OCFA, OCSD, and OC Parks officials will outline what their agencies are doing to prevent wildfires. They will discuss how to fire proof your home, what to look for in reference to suspicious behavior, and what to do in the case of evacuation. They are enlisting the community to be the “eyes and ears” in preventing wildfires.

Fire is a severe hazard for those communities that are built close to nature and residents need to be involved in order to prevent future blazes. Working together with partners and residents are among the best prevention tools. We want “would-be” arsonists to know that they will be seen!

For more information, please click here.


Water Awareness Day with SMWD

Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) is the second largest retail water agency in Orange County, providing water and wastewater treatment services to more than 155,000 customers in Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, Las Flores, Ladera Ranch, and Talega.

SMWD will celebrate Water Awareness Month on Saturday, May 3 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM by hosting its annual family-friendly Water Awareness Day event. This year, the agency is also celebrating its 50 year anniversary in South County. Enjoy a day filled with fun and learning at the District’s office at 26111 Antonio Parkway in Rancho Santa Margarita.

Given the severe drought conditions that exist, it is more important than ever to use water wisely and protect our water resources. In addition to learning about the District’s facilities and operations, residents will learn about the importance of water use efficiency through a variety of crafts, games and presentations.

Tours of the Upper Chiquita Reservoir will be offered during the event. Completed in October 2011, it is the largest domestic water reservoir built in South County in nearly 45 years. The reservoir is a part of the District’s ongoing commitment to enhance local water supply reliability. Tour seating is limited and community members are encouraged to arrive early. Tour participants must wear closed-toe shoes.

Children will enjoy a host of fun activities including a hands-on mobile tide pool exhibit, native flower pot planting, face painting and the always popular scavenger hunt with a chance to win a “Fun in the Sun” water conservation gift basket. FREE hot dogs, popcorn, soda and snow cones will be served throughout the event, so bring the family and make a day of it!

For more information, please click here, here and here.

Cox Conserves Heroes

Cox Communications is proud to present Orange County's third annual Cox Conserves Heroes program. Created in partnership with The Trust for Public Land, the program recognizes local environmental volunteers and donates $15,000 to local nonprofits on their behalf. envoy

Whether it's planting a community garden, organizing a beach cleanup, or educating the public on the importance of conservation, show your appreciation by submitting a Cox Conserves Heroes nomination.

2014 Timeline:
  • Nominations: Now through May 21 (5:00 PM)
  • Voting: Mid-July
  • Winner Announcement: Mid-August
For more information, please click here, here and here.


2014 Spring Native Habitat Tours

Join The Toll Roads for their highly-anticipated 14th Annual Spring Tours series. Experience the natural beauty of coastal Orange County on guided walks through land set aside and protected by the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) / The Toll Roads. The 2014 Spring Tours celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Coyote Canyon Landfill Mitigation Site.

Led by the restoration specialist and biologist who has spent the last two decades restoring TCA’s mitigation areas to their native habitat and contributing to The Toll Roads’ award-winning environmental programs, this year’s tours focus on S.T.E.A.M.: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math, and provide an exclusive glimpse into special areas that few have ever seen.

In addition to its guided nature walks, this year TCA is also hosting a special 20th Anniversary Celebration Expo to mark the successful restoration of the closed Coyote Canyon Landfill.

For more information, please click here.

Heritage Hill Historical Park: Rancho Fiesta Days

Orange County’s Heritage Hill Historical Park, located in the City of Lake Forest, consists of 4.1 acres and includes four fully restored and furnished historic buildings that span the early history of Saddleback Valley and the El Toro area from the Mexican Rancho era (Serrano Adobe, circa 1863), to the founding of the town of El Toro (El Toro Grammar School, 1890; St. George's Episcopal Mission, 1891), through the citrus farming days of the early twentieth century (Harvey Bennett Ranch House, 1908).

The public is invited to enjoy Rancho Fiesta Days at Heritage Hill Historical Park and explore the rich history of Orange County's past – from Native American tribes to the Rancho period – through hands-on activities, crafts, music and dance Sunday, May 4 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

For more information, please click here and here.


Boater Advisory: Dana Point Harbor Underwater Cleanup

OC Dana Point Harbor is planning the next underwater clean-up event with volunteer scuba divers Saturday, May 10 from 8:00 AM to 12:00 noon in the West Basin Marina cove side at B-Dock. Boaters are asked to exercise care and caution when operating vessels near the dive area.

OC Dana Point Harbor is requesting boaters located on West Basin B-Dock not operate their vessels during this four hour event due to diver safety. If you must move your vessel during this four hour period, please contact the Dana West Marina at (949) 493-6222 for assistance in advance of the event.

Floats with dive flags will be located at the inner-channel end of each of the affected fairways. County and Marina staff as well as U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and other volunteers will be present to assist and protect the divers as they conduct their underwater searches.

This Underwater Cleanup effort is part of OC Dana Point Harbor’s continuing water quality improvement program. The semi-annual event will continue to move throughout the East and West Marina basins on a multi-year cycle.

For more information or to volunteer to participate, please contact the Dana West Marina Company at (949) 493-6222 or click here and here.


TSA Pre✓™ Application Center Opens at John Wayne Airport

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) opened an application site for its TSA Pre™ Application Program in Terminal C at John Wayne Airport (SNA) this week.

This application process allows U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to directly enroll in TSA Pre™, an expedited screening program that allows travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels bag in a carry-on, in select screening lanes.

Travelers at SNA may pre-enroll online at www.TSA.gov, make an appointment and complete their enrollment at the airport application center. The on site application center is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

TSA is currently in the process of expanding to more than 300 application centers across the country. As application centers open across the country, this new process will allow all U.S. travelers and lawful permanent residents the ability to apply directly to TSA's popular expedited screening program.

The TSA Pre™ application process allows U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to go through a pre-enrollment process online at www.TSA.gov and visit an application center to provide biographic information (e.g. name, date of birth, address, etc.), fingerprints, payment and valid required identity and citizenship/immigration documentation. All TSA Pre™ program applicants must visit an application center in-person to verify their identity and provide documentation to confirm their citizenship/immigration status as well as to provide fingerprints.

The TSA Pre™ Application Program requires a background check, fingerprints, and an application fee of $85 for a five-year membership. Once approved, travelers will receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN) and will have the opportunity to utilize TSA Pre™ lanes at security checkpoints at more than 100 participating airports and on nine major U.S. airlines including: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America.

To date, passengers have only been eligible through existing programs such as U.S. Custom and Border Protection's Global Entry program and frequent flier programs with certain airlines, but this announcement will allow travelers to apply directly for the expedited screening program. Since its introduction, more than 30 million passengers have already used TSA Pre™ nationwide.

As always, TSA continues to incorporate random and unpredictable security measures throughout the airport and no individual will be guaranteed expedited screening. Additional program information and how to enroll can be found at www.TSA.gov.

For more information, please click here.


Orange County Veterans Survey

The public is invited to participate in a research study to further understand the local needs of veterans and military family members. The study includes a survey, which is part of a larger effort aimed to evaluate local needs and identify gaps in veteran services.

Information gathered from the survey will be used to better understand the Orange County veteran and military family population. The information will also help develop and share a “best practices” model regarding veteran services with other cities across the nation.

For more information, please click here.


Community Resource Fair

On Saturday, May 3 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, the Orange County Social Services Agency (SSA) will participate in the 6th Annual Community Resource Fair sponsored by Families Forward. The event will take place at Irvine Valley College and admission is FREE.

The SSA Mobile Response Vehicle and staff will be on hand to take Medi-Cal and CalFresh applications. For more information, please click here.


Pets and Human Medications

Many pets can’t seem to resist human medications that have been flavored to be more palatable. Medications like candy-coated pain relievers, chocolate-flavored vitamins or sweetened cough syrups can be irresistible to pets, so be sure to keep these kinds of drugs safely out of reach.

Never give your pet human pain relievers (brand name or generic forms) like acetaminophen (Tylenol® or Excedrin®), or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications like aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen (Advil® or Aleve®). Pets do not metabolize these drugs like humans do and liver and kidney failure can result, putting your pet’s life at risk.

Always read your pet’s medication bottle or label carefully. One of the most common accidental pet overdoses occurs when pet owners place their own medication on the counter with their pet’s medication; inadvertent administration of your human drugs to your pet can be easily avoided by dosing carefully. Take extra precautions to ensure that all medications stay out of your pet’s reach.

Make sure to store medication bottles in secure, raised bathroom cabinets. Unfortunately, even child-proof caps aren’t dog-proof, due to those sharp teeth. Finally, properly dispose of expired medications.

Animals for Armed Forces Memorial Day Weekend

To honor and thank our dedicated service men and women, OC Animal Care will host Animals for Armed Forces Memorial Day Weekend, May 24 & 25 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

The adoption discount applies to active duty, reserve and veterans of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and National Guard, and/or immediate family members. Please bring your photo ID and one of the following to receive the adoption discount:
  • A copy of your Military ID
  • A copy of your DD-214 and Driver’s License
  • A copy of your NGB Form 22
The FREE adoption does not include licensing or microchip. The discount applies to the first 50 animal adoptions. Limit one animal per household.

For more information, please click here.


Clerk-Recorder’s Special Saturday Hours Continue

The Old County Courthouse will again be open Saturday, May 17 and June 21 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM for marriage licenses, civil marriage ceremonies and passport applications. The Orange County Archives will be open as well.

The department’s branch offices in Fullerton and Laguna Hills will also be open for copies of property records, vital records, marriage licenses and civil marriage ceremonies. FREE parking will be available at all three locations. Appointments are recommended.

Passport services are only available at the Old County Courthouse in Santa Ana.

For more information, please click here.


26th Annual Medal of Valor Ceremony

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) recently honored 45 of their own at the 26th Annual Medal of Valor Luncheon and Ceremony. This signature event recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of the men and women of OCSD. The deputies and employees who were honored have demonstrated exceptional valor, courage, merit, and lifesaving.

South County was well represented at the event, as many of the 2014 Medal Recipients have resided and/or served in the Fifth District, including:

Medal for Life Saving
Anton Pereyra
Bill Simandl
Jeremiah Prescott
Sean Fowler
David Rapponotti
Travis Reeves
Theresa Bard
Jonathan Larson
Anson McGee

Medal of Merit
Michael Beekman
Charles Williams
Roberto Pequeno
Hector Huerta
John McCulloch
Ken Chism
Michael Pixomatis
Christian Hays
Kara Boyd
Jill Jackson
Robert Wren
Christina Byerley

Medal of Courage / Medal for Lifesaving
Kyle Robertson
Chistoffer Jensen
Gregory Jensen
Kent McBride

Distinguished Deputy Medal
James England

Medal of Valor / Medal for Lifesaving
Michael Higgins
For more information, please click here.


Lake Forest: USMC Battalion Adoption Ceremony

Guests will have a chance to meet over 150 Marines the community will “adopt” Saturday, May 3 at the USMC 1st Law Enforcement Battalion Adoption Ceremony. The event begins at 9:30 AM at El Toro High School and includes a parade, band, weapons displays, Humvees and tactical vehicles, and FREE food and refreshments. For more information, please click here.

Aliso Viejo: Aquatic Center Opening Day Celebration

The Aliso Viejo Aquatic Center is hosting an Opening Day celebration Saturday, May 3, featuring a fabulous day of swimming and fun from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. 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.

Laguna Niguel: Business Training Workshop

The City of Laguna Niguel will provide a FREE business training workshop on social media marketing to help local businesses be successful. The workshop will take place Wednesday, May 14 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the Laguna Niguel City Hall Community Room. A light dinner will be provided. For more information, please click here.

South County: Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half Marathon

Memorial Day, May 26, marks the 16th annual City of Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half Marathon, 5k, and 10K, honoring the U.S. Marine Corps Dark Horse Battalion. This favorite Memorial Day running event takes place in the beautiful South County cities of Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Woods and Laguna Niguel. For more information, please click here and here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Delivered a County Update for the San Clemente Rotary Club.

My office also:
  • Attended the South Orange County Economic Coalition meeting.
  • Attended the Dana Point State of the City event held at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort.

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.

For an ADA version of our newsletter, click here.

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