Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
May 16, 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

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 19

Implementation of Laura’s Law

The Board voted unanimously to approve the implementation of Assembly Bill 1421 (AB 1421), also known as Laura’s Law.

The law creates an Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) program that provides court-ordered treatment for persons with severe mental illness who meet certain criteria, including, but not limited to:
  • A person must be 18 years of age or older
  • The person is suffering from a mental illness
  • The person is unlikely to survive safely in the community without supervision
  • The person has a history of lack of compliance with treatment
  • The person’s condition is substantially deteriorating
  • Participation in AOT would be the least restrictive placement
  • Participation in AOT does not allow for forced medication

Laura’s Law was approved by the California State Legislature in 2003. Since that time, funding the implementation of the program in Orange County has been a challenge. Historically, the County was not allowed to use funding from the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), or Proposition 63, to implement AOT services.

In 2013, the passage of Senate Bill 585 (SB 585) clarified that counties are permitted to use MHSA funds for the implementation of Laura’s Law, when it is included in the MHSA plan. Per SB 585 requirements, the Health Care Agency (HCA) revised Orange County’s Three Year MHSA Plan (2014-2017) to include funding ($4,436,820) for mental health services associated with the implementation of Laura’s Law.

I applaud my colleagues and HCA staff for their hard work and dedication in making Laura’s Law a reality. Orange County will be the first large County in the State to implement AOT services.

For more information, please click here.

2014 Fire Protection Agreement and Assignment

The Board approved an agreement with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE) for fire protection services, effective now through 2017. The agreement guarantees nearly $17 million in funding for fire prevention and suppression on all land within the unincorporated portions of Orange County.

As the County delegated its fire protection services to the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) in 1995, the agreement also assigns those services to OCFA. This agreement deals with the normal course of affairs for monitoring and initial response. Should there be a major fire event that requires more on-duty crews and an initial response, the cost is borne by the State, being billed directly by OCFA to the State.

For more information, please click here.


High Temperatures and Wildfire Smoke Pose Health Risk

Higher than normal temperatures are expected throughout the weekend in many inland Orange County cities, increasing the risk of heat related illnesses. In addition, smoke from the San Diego County wildfires may pose a health danger to some Orange County residents, especially those in certain high-risk groups. The South Coast Air Quality Management District has issued a Smoke Advisory for Orange County.

For information on heat related illness signs & symptoms, as well as precautions to prevent heat related illness and reduce the health effects of wildfire smoke, please click here.


Dana Point Harbor Revitalization Plan Advances

OC Dana Point Harbor has received approval for its years-in-the-making Revitalization Plan from the Dana Point Planning Commission.

The Commission’s approval of the Harbor’s Coastal Development Permit application culminates 15 years of planning, hundreds of public meetings and extensive community support, resulting in an approved design to rebuild the Harbor’s commercial core.

Additionally, the Coastal Development Permit was determined to have met all of the requirements of the Local Coastal Plan, as certified by the California Coastal Commission in 2011. Coastal Commission approval is required for projects within a specified coastal zone.

The action by the City of Dana Point’s Planning Commission brings the County closer to beginning work on the $150 million revitalization project. The permit allows for renovation of 13 of the harbor’s commercial and boater-support buildings, replacing them with seven larger structures that will add 30,000 square feet of retail, restaurant, commercial and office space. A two-level parking structure will add 545 parking spaces.

This is a huge step that will finally bring the Harbor Revitalization Project to reality. This could not have been accomplished without the tremendous support from our community members, local businesses and the visitors to the harbor. They should be proud of the work that they have done in bringing this much needed project to fruition.

Next steps include finalizing cost estimates and financing for the approved plan, completing design work and beginning preparation of bid requests for construction contracts. The current timeline anticipates construction to begin in the first quarter of 2015.

For more information, please click here and here.

Free Vessel Safety Exam

May 17 kicks off National Safe Boating Week and the beginning of the 2014 Boating Season.

To that end, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will be in Dana Point Harbor at the Embarcadero Launch Ramp and in the East Basin Marina on Saturday, May 17 from 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM, offering FREE vessel safety exams.

No appointment is necessary, but you can conveniently preschedule a safety exam for your powerboat, sailboat, or any personal watercraft wherever it is located within the Harbor by contacting Eric Gritzmacher at 949-632-2378.

This is a great opportunity to make sure your boat has all the safety equipment required by the U.S. Coast Guard. For more information, please click here.


‘Click It or Ticket’ Mobilization

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department wants to remind motorists to Click It or Ticket. Beginning Monday, May 19, deputies will be joining the 2014 National Seat Belt Enforcement Mobilization in cracking down on motorists who are not seat belted in.

Even with a seatbelt usage rate of 97.4 percent, California still has 800,000 or more motorists who fail to buckle up. In an on-going effort to reach those remaining safety hold-outs, police and sheriff departments across the state, as well as the California Highway Patrol, will be taking part in Click It or Ticket from May 19 through June 1.

For more information, please click here.

Life Jackets/Personal Flotation Devices

California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) encourages recreational boaters this year to wear life jackets and save water.

Recreational boating activity and boating accidents increase during the boating season, which runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day. It is critical for boaters to plan ahead, exercise precaution and encourage everyone in a boat to wear a life jacket in order to minimize the risk of being involved in a boating accident or reduce the severity of them.

In addition to DBW’s safety media campaign, the division will be carrying out several life jacket awareness campaigns during National Safe Boating Week (May 17-23) and throughout the summer. Programs encourage life jacket use through the distribution of free life jackets, loaner stations and a trade-in event (May 17). The division encourages water enthusiasts to partake in these programs.

Remember, never get too comfortable around water when recreating, no matter how low the levels are. For more information, please click here.


OCTA FY 2014-15 Budget Workshop

Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) staff provided a review the Fiscal Year 2014-15 Budget in a workshop setting. The Public Hearing on the Budget will be held June 9 at OCTA Headquarters. The final OCTA Fiscal Year 2014-15 Budget will be voted on by the OCTA Board of Directors at our June 23 meeting.

To view the Power Point Presentation from the workshop, please click here.

Ride FREE on Metrolink

This weekend, Metrolink is offering a free ride to the inaugural Eco Xpo Garden Show in San Juan Capistrano.

Join OCTA for a Kickoff Event on Saturday, May 17 at the Tustin Metrolink Station. The event starts at 8:30 AM and the train to San Juan Capistrano departs at 9:46 AM.

For more information, please click here and here.


Orange County Unveils FY 2014-15 Balanced Budget

Orange County's Fiscal Year 2014-15 Recommended Budget has been released for review. Public budget hearings will begin at 9:30 AM on Tuesday, June 10 and Wednesday, June 11 at the Hall of Administration Board Hearing Room, 333 W. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana.

A one-hour Public Budget Preview will begin at 8:00 AM on Tuesday, June 10 in the Hall of Administration Planning Commission Hearing Room.

For more information, please click 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.

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.


Coyote Canyon Restoration Tour and Expo

Experience the natural beauty of Coyote Canyon and coastal Orange County on a guided walk through land set aside and protected by the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA), as their 2014 Spring Tours celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Coyote Canyon Landfill Mitigation Site.

Led by the restoration specialist and biologist, who 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 STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) and provide an exclusive glimpse into special areas few have ever seen.

In addition to the guided nature walk Saturday, May 17 from 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM, TCA is also hosting a FREE 20th Anniversary Celebration Expo from 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM to mark the successful restoration of the closed Coyote Canyon Landfill.

For more information, please click here and here.

Aliso and Wood Canyons: Hawks, Owls and Falcons

Enjoy the shade of the sycamores and fluff your feathery imaginations Sunday, May 18 at Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, as you learn about hawks, owls and falcons while viewing them up close!

Fun activities and crafts for kids start at 1:00 PM, with a live raptor program at 2:00 PM presented by the Bird of Prey center, followed my more crafts at 3:00 PM at Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Ranger Headquarters, 28373 Alicia Parkway, Laguna Niguel (from southbound Aliso Creek Road, turn right on Alicia Parkway, then first right on Awma Road, left into parking lot).

Space is limited. Sign-up is required.


Voter Registration Deadline is Monday

The deadline to register to vote in the June 3, 2014 Statewide Primary Election is Monday, May 19 at 11:59 PM. Online voter registration is available, which allows new voters to complete the entire process online at ocvote.com/registration. Paper registration forms can be obtained at the Registrar of Voters, post offices, libraries and city halls.

Citizens that wish to register or vote at the Registrar of Voters (ROV) during normal business hours (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM) may do so in the ROV office, located at 1300 South Grand Avenue, Bldg. C, Santa Ana (corner of Grand Avenue and McFadden).

Any eligible citizen may register online at ocvote.com/registration. Online registration is open until 11:59 PM.

Vote-by-Mail Voting Underway

The Registrar of Voters mailed a record number of vote-by-mail ballots to voters last week. The number of voters receiving a permanent vote-by-mail ballot has more than doubled in the past six years.

Statewide data indicates over 8.4 million ballots will be mailed to voters throughout California, which represents 44% of the registered voters in the state. Voters throughout Orange County have been reporting they have received their vote-by-mail ballot.

The deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot for the June election is Tuesday, May 27. Voters can make a one-time request for a vote-by-mail ballot online by visiting ocvote.com/votebymail or by using the application found on the back of their sample ballot. Voters can also track the delivery and return of their vote-by-mail ballot online.

Orange County is the only election jurisdiction in the USA to offer extensive real-time data online, which allows users to track data on the mailing and returns of vote-by-mail ballots, from party breakdowns to daily returns. Users can visit the Data Central section of the Registrar of Voters' website by visiting ocvote.com/datacentral.

For more information, please click here and here.

Poll Workers Sought

The Orange County Registrar of Voters is seeking more than 6,500 volunteers for the upcoming June 3 Statewide Primary Election to help as poll workers.

If you’re interested in volunteering on Election Day, donating your business or home as a polling place, or helping on Election Night, please click here.


Supportive Services for Veteran Families – Orange County

The goal of Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) is to promote housing stability to veterans and their families by providing housing assistance and services if they are homeless or are at-risk of becoming homeless.

Services offered include:
  • Case Management
  • Financial Planning
  • Housing Location
  • Referral Services
  • Assistance in obtaining Veteran/Public Benefits
  • Possible short-term Rental Assistance
For eligibility information, please contact:

SSVF Orange County
2100 N. Broadway, Suite 300
Santa Ana 92706
855-266-9834 Toll Free
714-426-9834 Office
714-426-9835 Fax

For more information, please click here and here.


Enhancing Dementia Care: Safety is a Full-Time Job

Alzheimer's disease causes a number of changes in the brain and body that affect safety, including judgment, sense of time and place, behavior, physical abilities.

Please join the Alzheimer’s Association and other industry experts Saturday, May 17 from 9:00 AM to 1:30 PM at the Norman P. Murray Community Center in Mission Viejo for creative solutions to difficult safety problems, including personal, home, legal and financial safety.

For more information, please click here.


Property Tax Collection Rates Soar

The Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector this week announced that the collection rate for secured property taxes for FY 2013-14 is at 97.9%, marking the highest collection rate in the last 20 years.

The Treasurer-Tax Collector said their office has mailed more than 38,000 delinquent notices to taxpayers who did not pay their property taxes fully for the FY 2013-14 tax year, down almost 10% from the delinquent notices mailed in the prior year. Delinquent taxes from FY 2013-14 will be considered defaulted if full payment is not received or postmarked on or before Monday, June 30.

For taxpayers unable to pay their secured taxes in full, the Treasurer offers an installment payment plan for delinquent secured taxes, beginning Tuesday, July 1. The taxpayer must qualify to enter into an installment plan by meeting certain criteria.

For more information, please click here.


John Wayne Airport Presents 2013 Annual Report

John Wayne Airport (JWA), owned and operated by the County of Orange, has a service area that includes more than three million people within the 34 cities and unincorporated areas of Orange County.

John Wayne Airport's Vision is to be a world-class aviation gateway for business and leisure travel; and its Mission is to plan, direct and provide high quality aviation services and facilities for Orange County in a safe, secure and efficient manner.

To that end, JWA is pleased to present its 2013 Annual Report. To view the Report, please click here. For more information, please click here.


Hot Weather Tip: Don't leave your pet in the car

With hot temperatures scorching the southland, pet owners are reminded to never leave their animals alone in vehicles for any length of time. On a warm, sunny day, windows collect light and trap heat inside the vehicle, pushing the temperature inside to dangerous levels.

For example, on an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car with windows slightly open can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature creeps up to 120 degrees. At 110 degrees, pets are in danger of heatstroke. On hot days, the temperature in a car parked in direct sunlight can rise more than 30 degrees per minute and quickly become fatal.

Even on a moderately warm day, a car can heat up to dangerous temperatures in a matter of minutes. This goes for cars in the sun and shade, even with windows open. Animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes. Beating the heat is extra tough for dogs because they can only cool themselves by panting and sweating through their paw pads.

Aside from it being dangerous to leave pets in cars, it is also in violation of California Penal Code 597.7 Animal Unattended in Motor Vehicle, which states:

(a) No person shall leave or confine an animal in any unattended motor vehicle under conditions that endanger the health or well-being of an animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability or death to the animal.

Remember, it is better to leave your pets at home, where they will be safe and cool. For more information, please click here and here.

18 Orange County Dogs Flown to Idaho for Adoption

OC Animal Care recently participated in a large transport of animals to the Idaho Humane Society. Staff arrived at the shelter early to meet the transport van that was driving the dogs to the airport for their three hour flight. As a result, 18 of our adorable small dogs were sent on their way to find their new forever home at an upcoming adoption event in Idaho.

We thank Wings of Rescue, Idaho Humane Society, Shelter Me, Bark Avenue Foundation, and Operation Blankets of Love for making this possible for our shelter pets!

To view the Idaho media coverage of the transport, please click here.

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 on 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.


South County School Wins State Bodyboarding Title

Niguel Hills Middle School is No. 1 in California for bodyboarding after capturing the Scholastic Surf Series’ state title recently at Oceanside’s Harbor Beach.

Individually, Tommy Rinaldini won the bodyboard division at the two-day tournament; and his Niguel Hills teammate, Nathan Elsner, placed fourth. There were six finalists and 21 bodyboard teams in the event.

A year ago, Niguel Hills’ Ashley Beeson won the SSS state middle-school title for girls’ shortboarding. She now surfs for Tesoro High.

For more information, please click here.


Rancho Santa Margarita: Water Safety Day

Learn how to keep your family safe in the water this summer at a FREE Water Safety Day event Saturday, May 17 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the Lago Santa Margarita Beach Club, located at 21472 Avenida de los Fundadores in RSM. For more information, please click here.

San Juan Capistrano: Historical Fiesta Day

Piñatas, toy making, live interactive events, Native American crafts, traditional tortilla-making, and more will be part of Historical Fiesta Day in San Juan Capistrano’s Los Rios District on Saturday, May 17. The FREE event runs from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and is just steps away from the Capistrano Metrolink station. 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.

Lake Forest: Baker Ranch Community Park Grand Opening

Join the City of Lake Forest for the grand opening of the Baker Ranch Community Park on Wednesday, May 28 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM at 26380 Rancho Parkway South. There will be free BBQ, face painting, and a balloon artist. For more information, please click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Attended the Lincoln Club of Orange County’s 52nd Annual Dinner.
  • Chaired the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) meeting.
  • Met with the LAFCO Executive Officer to discuss South County issues.
  • Hosted the 2014 South County Job Fair held in Mission Viejo.
  • Served as the panel moderator for the Coast Chambers Legislative Coalition program titled "Pillars of Quality of Life", held in Dana Point.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Robert Wright of San Clemente.

My office also:
  • Presented a proclamation to Soka Gakkai International in honor of the grand opening of their new Orange County Buddhist Center in the City of Laguna Hills.

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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