Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
January 17, 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 2

South County Roadway Changes

The Board approved the following three Traffic Committee recommendations that affect roadways in South County:

  1. In honor of Cameron Cook, an influential Ladera Ranch teen who was tragically killed in 2011 by a drunk driver, the street Stonebrier Lane was changed to Camerons Way. The request for the street name change was initiated by Cameron’s parents, Doug Cook and Bohdanna Witiuk, with the support of my office, the Ladera Ranch Civic Council, and the Orange County Traffic Committee, as a way to honor Cameron’s legacy to the community (the name change does not affect any addresses, as there are no homes on the street).

  2. As roadway conditions recently changed on Antonio Parkway between Ortega Highway and O'Neill Drive (widened from four to six lanes), in accordance with California Vehicle Code, the County conducted an Engineering and Traffic Survey (E&TS). The E&TS determined that a 60 mph speed limit on Antonio Parkway is justified and enforceable. As such, the Board voted to reduce the current speed limit from 65 MPH to 60 MPH.

  3. At the request of OC Dana Point Harbor, a 4-hour time limit parking zone from 5:00 AM to 12:00 midnight on the south side of Dana Point Harbor Drive was established in response to concerns over oversized vehicles parking on Dana Point Harbor Drive for extended periods of time, causing public nuisance, public safety, and public health issues. County staff will monitor conditions over the next six months and return to the Board with a restrictive parking policy if conditions are not improved by the new policy.
For more information, please click here.


Eleven Bikeway Improvement Projects Awarded Funding

Eleven projects to improve bikeways in Orange County received funding from the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors as part of the 2014-15 Bicycle Corridor Improvement Program. A call for projects was released last year, and OCTA received eleven applications requesting $6.66 million that come from federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds.

The two Fifth District projects that were awarded funding are:
  • The San Juan Capistrano Bikeway Gap Closure in San Juan Capistrano
  • Coast Highway Class 1 Bikeway/Pedestrian Way Extension Project Phase 1 in Dana Point
OCTA and the eleven agencies will enter into cooperative agreements to ensure projects awarded funding meet all OCTA Board-approved guidelines.

OCTA Renews Lease on Current Headquarters

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors voted to renew the lease on OCTA's current headquarters after exploring options to move to a new location. The new 15-year lease is expected to save OCTA $39.4 million over the next 30 years.

The OCTA Board considered five options, which included:
  • Continuing the current lease while exploring other options
  • Obtaining a 10-year renewal of the current lease
  • Obtaining a 15-year renewal of the current lease
  • Purchasing the current building
  • Purchasing the State Fund Building in Santa Ana
Metrolink Ridership and Revenue Annual Report

The Southern California Regional Rail Authority is a five-member joint powers authority that operates the 400-mile commuter rail system known as Metrolink.

A report on Metrolink ridership, revenue, and on-time performance for service in Orange County covering fiscal year 2012-13 was provided for the Orange County Transportation Authority Board of Directors’ review.

To view the report, please click here.

The Toll Roads: 2013 Annual Report on Financials

The Toll Roads and Transportation Corridor Agencies have released the Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) Annual Report on financials.

At $260,223,000, revenues are up collectively and for each of the two agencies. The number of FasTrak® accounts increased, as did the number of transponders in California vehicles. During the year, 80 million tolls were paid, and 85 percent of those tolls were paid electronically. They ended the year with $523 million in reserve funds.

In FY13, they also welcomed a new chief executive officer, chief financial officer and 14 new Board Members, who are leading the agencies and The Toll Roads with a focus on customer service; building direct connections from The Toll Roads to local freeways to advance regional mobility; working diligently to find an alternative to Interstate 5; and offering Southern California drivers an express choice that is predictable, saves time and reduces stress.

To view the audited financial statements for each agency, please click here.

The Toll Roads Removing Cash Toll Collection in May

The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) this week introduced three new Express Account payment options that will give toll road drivers more options for paying tolls. With the new, 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 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.
TCA, which operates The Toll Roads (SRs 73, 133, 241 and 261) will remove all cash toll collection from the 51-mile toll road network in May 2014. The Express Accounts offer drivers who do not have a FasTrak transponder new ways to pay tolls without stopping.

Customers with FasTrak, which uses transponder technology affixed to a vehicle's windshield, will continue to pay the lowest tolls 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.

For more information, please click here.


DUI Saturation Patrols in South County

Deputies from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department “AVOID the 13” 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, January 17 at 7:00 PM until Saturday, January 18 at 3:00 AM in the cities of Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, and Laguna Woods. These patrols will be targeting areas with high frequencies of DUI collisions and/or arrests.

For more information, please click here.

New Public Service Announcements Available On AlertOC

As the Red Flag Warnings and the Colby Fire in Glendora this week remind us, disasters can happen anytime, anywhere. Where will you go to get important information during an emergency? The Orange County Sheriff’s Department Emergency Management Division is pleased to announce new Public Service Announcements are now available on www.AlertOC.com.

The Public Service Announcements are designed to encourage Orange County residents to register their contact information in order to receive important, time sensitive voice messages from the County or City in which they live or work. These important Public Service Announcements were made possible by a partnership between the County of Orange and Southern California Edison.

AlertOC is Orange County’s mass notification system. Messages may be sent to home, cell, or business phones. Visit the AlertOC website at www.AlertOC.com to view the Public Service Announcements, which can be found in the “Videos” section of the website. If you haven’t done so already, please register your contact information with AlertOC to ensure you receive important emergency information.


Committed to Preservation: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

In 2000, California voters passed Proposition 12 – the Safe Neighborhood Parks, Clean Water, and Coastal Protection Bond Act – which included $12.5 million to support the parks and preserves in the South Coast Wilderness in coastal Orange County and was allocated to the California Coastal Conservancy. These California Coastal Conservancy grants were given to help educate the public, acquire more parkland and provide coastal access.

To view the newly produced video “Committed to Preservation: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow” and for more information, please click here.


Community Wetland Restoration Grant Program

The Wetland Recovery Project (WRP) is distributing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the 2014-2015 Community Wetland Restoration Grant Program. The Program provides grants of $1,000 to $30,000 for community-based restoration projects in coastal wetlands and watersheds in the southern California region.

The purpose of the Program is to further the goals of the WRP Regional Strategy; build local capacity to plan and implement wetland restoration projects; promote community involvement in wetland restoration activities; and foster education about wetland ecosystems.

The Program information, application guidelines, and supporting materials are posted on the WRP's website, www.scwrp.org, under "What's New", with supporting materials under “Projects and Planning”, then “Community Wetland Restoration Grants Program”.

Supporting materials include program information, application guidelines, and a proposal template. Proposals should represent projects that are ready to implement. A proposed project should have clearly defined goals and outcomes that can be achieved on the order of a year. Contained in the application guidelines are the criteria that will be used to evaluate proposals, and the schedule for review and approval of potential projects.

Projects funded in past cycles of the Program can be found on the WRP website under the pull down menu “Projects and Planning”, then the sub-menu “Community Wetland Restoration Grants Program”.

Moreover, documentation from a number of highlighted Community Wetland Restoration Grant Program projects, including proposals, progress reports, photographs, and a short video about the Program, can be found on the Community Wetland Restoration Grant Program section of the WRP website. These materials may be helpful references for the applicant.

The proposal due date for the 2014 Community Wetland Restoration Grant Program is Tuesday, January 21. Please contact Shawn Kelly at 805-984-9531 or skelly@scwrp.org if you have any questions about the Program or application process.

Orange County Coastal Coalition

Please join me Thursday, January 23 for the Orange County Coastal Coalition meeting. The meeting will begin at 9:00 AM in the City of Newport Beach Public Library, 1000 Avocado Avenue, Newport Beach.

Presenting will be Karen McLaughlin, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, on “Ocean Acidification Changing the Ocean’s Chemistry”; and Amanda Bird, Orange County Coastkeeper, on “Restoration and Conservation of Green Abalone in Southern California”.

A Question and Answer session will follow each presentation. For more information, please click here.


Report on the Conditions of Children in Orange County

The Orange County Children’s Partnership published the 19th Annual Report on the Conditions of Children in Orange County late last year. As a way to spread the word and promote the Report’s findings, five forums were held throughout Orange County to discuss and analyze the report.

The Board of Supervisors has proudly supported the Annual Report since 1993 and sees this as a valuable tool for policy makers, service providers, and the community as a whole.

Last Friday, the 5th District Forum was held at Mission Hospital. The program was supported by the Orange County Social Services Agency, the Children and Families Commission of Orange County, United Way, the Orangewood Children’s Foundation, and California State University Fullerton’s Center for Community Collaboration.

During the presentation Good Health, Economic Well-Being, Education Achievement and Safe Homes and Community were discussed by the panelists in addition to the featured topic of Children’s Vision presented by keynote speaker Dr. Robert Lingua, Director of Pediatric Ophthalmology at the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute.

If you would like to learn more about the Conditions of Children in Orange County, please click here.


ALERT: OCPL Data Migration

OC Public Libraries (OCPL) will be migrating data to a new server January 19–21 in order to serve our community better. During this period, the public will have limited access to databases.

Public services will be limited to staff assistance and basic check-in and check-out capabilities on the integrated library system. These dates were selected due to the Martin Luther King Holiday, which will lessen the impact to approximately one and half days.


Clerk-Recorder Extends Hours for Valentine’s Day Marriages

The Orange County Clerk-Recorder will be offering extended hours and is now accepting reservations for couples who wish to be married on Valentine’s Day at the department’s three marriage offices.

Ceremony rooms and marriage services will be available at the Old County Courthouse in Santa Ana from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Ceremony rooms and marriage services will be available at the department’s branch offices in Laguna Hills and Fullerton from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. In addition, the branch office locations offer free parking.

Appointments are highly recommended for those wishing to have a ceremony on Valentine’s Day since this day continues to be one of the most popular days to “tie the knot.” You can make an appointment by visiting their website at www.ocrecorder.com and use the online application and appointment system. Walk-ins will be assisted based on availability of ceremony rooms.

Valentine’s Day has consistently been one of the busiest days for civil marriages at the Clerk-Recorder. Last year, the department married 170 couples. The all-time record for the department is 173 ceremonies performed on Valentine’s Day in 1997. The department also issued 224 marriage licenses last year on Valentine’s Day.

For more information, please click here.


Meet Clyde of the Mounted Enforcement Unit

Clyde, a Percheron Draft Horse, was born in Pennsylvania and was trained as a plow horse. After working hard for many years, he was abandoned from service, abused and almost died. Though destined to be destroyed, he was saved during the winter of 2012 and entered a horse rescue for a couple of months.

His now partner and trainer, Lieutenant Doug Williams of the Orange County Sheriff's Department, saw a video about Clyde, heard his story and decided to give him a forever home.

In April 2013, Clyde arrived by truck to his new home in California. Doug and Clyde have worked hard at training and learning the skills necessary to work mounted patrol with the Sheriff's Mounted Enforcement Unit. Due to lots of TLC, Clyde has gained back much of his lost weight and is a healthy, good-natured horse. Clyde loves children and attention, and is happy to be serving the citizens of Orange County.

Clyde's message to you: "No matter how bad things are, never give up! Tomorrow can be a better day!"

For more information, please click here.

Low-Cost Pet and Vet Clinic in South County

The Aliso Viejo Family Resource Center and Mission Viejo Animal Services Center are teaming up to host a low-cost Pet and Vet Clinic on Saturday, January 18 at the Iglesia Park Community Center in Aliso Viejo.

The cash-only clinic will offer vaccinations and micro-chipping at discounted rates along with dog licensing from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM. Vaccines for cats and dogs will range from $7 to $28. Dogs must be on leashes and cats in carriers. The Iglesia Park Community Center is located at 24671 Via Iglesia, near Moulton Parkway and Calle Cortez.

For more information, please click here.


South County Girl Wins Punt, Pass & Kick Championship

A Rancho Santa Margarita girl last Saturday became a national champion in the NFL Punt, Pass and Kick competition. Samantha Woods, a fourth-grader at Robinson Elementary, defeated two challengers to win the Girls 8-9 division of the Punt, Pass and Kick National Finals.

Sammi, as she is known to family and friends (and Sam Bam to teammates on her softball, soccer and basketball teams) was the only finalist from California. She won while representing the San Diego Chargers, who were in Denver last weekend to play a second round game of the AFC playoffs. Participants put on a pre-game exhibition before the game Sunday, and the winners were recognized in an award ceremony after the third quarter.

Sammi's first-place total was 232 feet 8 inches, as she won by nearly 30 feet and actually exceeded the fourth-place score in the Boys 8-9 competition!

For more information, please click here.


Lake Forest: SnowFest

Bring your family and friends to the City of Lake Forest’s annual SnowFest on Saturday, January 25 at Pittsford Park from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. For more information, please visit facebook.com/LakeForestEvents or call the SnowFest hotline at (949) 461-3459.

Laguna Niguel: FREE Business Training Workshop

The City of Laguna Niguel will provide FREE business training workshops on a variety of topics to help local businesses be successful. The next workshop will be Thursday, February 6 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Laguna Niguel City Hall. For more information, please click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Participated in a meeting of the Orange County Transportation Authority Board of Directors.
  • Represented the Orange County Transportation Authority at the LOSSAN (Los Angeles–San Diego–San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor) Board of Directors meeting.
  • Met with Michelle Patterson, Executive Director of the California Women’s Conference, scheduled for May 19 & 20, to discuss agenda topics.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Stuart Hilborn of Monarch Beach and William E. Callahan Jr. of Aliso Viejo.

My office also:
  • Attended the South Orange County Association of Mayors meeting held in Laguna Woods.

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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