Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
May 23, 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 20

Civic Openness in Negotiations (COIN) Ordinance

The Board heard the first reading of the Civic Openness in Negotiations Ordinance. The Civic Openness in Negotiations Ordinance (COIN) aims to bring transparency and openness to labor negotiations within the County.

The proposed ordinance would establish procedures and practices that would allow the public to view employment contracts negotiated between the Board of Supervisors and the County’s labor unions. Currently, these negotiations are confidential until an agreement is reached, and then published on the public record.

After a thorough discussion of the item and numerous questions as to the impact this ordinance will have on the County’s labor negotiations, the Board moved to continue the item until the June 17 regular Board meeting. This will allow County staff to analyze and respond to legal issues and questions raised during the hearing.

I strongly support government transparency and accountability, which is the goal of COIN, as it will provide public review of labor negotiation discussions. However, it its important that the final language and procedures set forth in the ordinance does not conflict with existing state labor laws that dictate policies and procedures that must be adhered to in negotiating labor contracts.

First and foremost, the ordinance that is ultimately approved must be fair and beneficial to all parties, including the Orange County taxpayers.

For more information, please click here.

Proactive Methamphetamine Laboratory Investigation Team

The Sheriff’s Department received a donation from the LA Interagency Metro Police Apprehension Crime Task Force of a specialized Ford lab response truck to support the Sheriff’s Investigations Division’s Proactive Methamphetamine Laboratory Investigation Team (PROACT) unit.

PROACT targets and investigates those individuals and organizations involved in the illicit manufacturing and trafficking of methamphetamine. The estimated value of the truck is $20,000.

For more information, please click here.

Borrego Canyon Channel Improvements

The Board approved an agreement between the County and Shea/Baker Ranch Associates to restore Borrego Wash in the City of Lake Forest. Shea/Baker will construct channel improvements per approved plans, at no cost to the County.

These actions will enhance flood protection, reduce water quality impacts to the Upper Newport Bay, and provide recreational opportunities for the community. I would like to thank Shea/Baker and County staff working diligently throughout the years to accomplish this agreement.

For more information, please click here.


OC Beaches Get Clean Bill of Health for Summer

The environmental non-profit Heal the Bay has released its annual “Beach Bummer List”, ranking California’s most polluted shorelines, without a single Orange County beach listed! This year marks the first time in six years that stubborn list-dweller Poche Beach in South County hasn’t appeared on the list.

This year’s report card is welcome news. We have been very committed to discovering why certain beaches had poor water quality and took some very creative steps to fix the problems. Orange County’s beaches are a beacon for residents and tourists, and we want to keep them clean and inviting.

Poche Beach’s clean bill of health is thanks to the combined efforts of the County’s OC Watersheds agency, the City of San Clemente, OC Parks, OC Waste & Recycling, South Coast Water District, and the City of Dana Point. The beach is located where Dana Point and San Clemente meet, near a flood-control channel plagued by high bacteria levels.

The biggest part of that effort was building a $3 million urban-runoff treatment facility, which began construction in 2007 and went online in 2009. However, when water released from the facility pooled on the beach before entering the sea, it attracted seagulls and other birds. Their droppings reintroduced bacteria into the water.

Next, outdoor speakers broadcasting ultrasound were used to discourage the birds. When that didn’t work well enough, the County went Medieval on them, hiring a falconer to deploy hawks and falcons to scare away the gulls. More recently, two lifelike plastic coyotes were perched overlooking the pond to act as silent bird bouncers.

For more information, please click here. For information on Heal the Bay’s “Beach Report Card,” please click here.


The ABC’s of Pool Safety

The hot summer months are almost here and hanging out around the swimming pool or the local beach can be a great way to escape the heat. While most people are focused on having fun and cooling off, they don’t think too much about water safety – but they should!

Drowning is the nation’s number one killer of children under the age of 5 and the second leading cause of death from unintentional injuries for children ages 1 to 14. By following a few simple guidelines, water-related accidents can be avoided.

Learning how to swim is essential for anyone who plans to be on or near water. Swim lessons are offered year-round for people of all ages. If you have a swimming pool in your backyard, learn the ABC’s of Pool Safety:
  • A (Adult Supervision) – Maintain vigilant adult supervision of children near water and designate an adult who is capable of swimming and whose sole purpose is to supervise the children in and around water, especially during social gatherings. Make sure there is a phone nearby to call 9-1-1 in an emergency.
  • B (Barriers) – Barriers buy you time. Having multiple layers of protective barriers in place between the water and young children will help protect them should a lapse in supervision occur, especially if you have a pool in your backyard. Examples of these barriers include pool safety covers, door alarms, gate locks, and motion detectors.
  • C (Classes) – Learn CPR, first aid and rescue techniques so you can respond quickly if the need arises. Learning to swim is as critical for those in the water as it is for those supervising children in the water. Talk to your children about the dangers associated with swimming pools and of water safety rules.

Stay calm when calling 911 and make sure to clearly and calmly state the information and listen for instructions.

When at the beach, it's a good idea to swim only in places supervised by a lifeguard and swim within the designated area. If you find yourself caught in a rip current, remain calm. Try to swim parallel to the shore until you are able to get out of the current. If you're unable to swim away from the current, let the current carry you. Fighting against it will only tire you, and most rip currents weaken a short distance from the sandbar that creates them. Signal to someone on the beach that you need assistance.

For more information, please click here and here.

Memorial Day Weekend Holiday DUI Crackdown

Officers from the Laguna Beach Police Department 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 Saturday, May 24 between 7:00 PM and 3:00 AM in areas with high frequencies of DUI collisions and/or arrests. For more information, please click here.

Furthermore, the Orange County ‘Avoid the 38’ DUI Task Force is deploying deputies and officers this holiday weekend to DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoints and DUI Saturation Patrols countywide to stop and arrest drunk or drugged drivers and to heighten awareness of the deadly combination that alcohol, drugs and driving can have on this first holiday weekend of the summer season.

The County’s DUI Task Force begins Friday night. The California Highway Patrol is also deploying all available officers Memorial Day weekend onto freeways and county roads as part of their Maximum Enforcement Period. For more information, please click here.

Click It or Ticket

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department reminds motorists to Click It or Ticket, as deputies are 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, are taking part in Click It or Ticket through Sunday, June 1.

For more information, please click here.

Orange County Fire Authority Action Plan

In November 2013, the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) retained the consulting firm of Management Partners to review the current leadership structure and internal management systems. The idea was to identify opportunities to improve oversight, accountability, communication and performance.

Management Partners analyzed documents, conducted employee interviews at all levels, held focus groups and lead seven focus groups. After months of extensive research, Management Partners made 29 recommendations for improvement.

Some examples included improving communication between the varying levels of staff; readjustments to the organizational structure; internal training on the importance of performance measures; the cost effectiveness of several departments; and succession plans for upcoming employee retirements.

Actions like these are important to any organization, especially one that has a tremendous responsibility for our public’s safety. The OCFA Board of Directors took the appropriate steps by initiating this study to determine OCFA’s strengths and weaknesses.

An action plan set by OCFA and advised by Management Partners will begin immediately and will be essential to the organization’s existence.

South County Disaster Preparedness Exercise

The San Juan Capistrano Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will conduct its annual training exercise for members May 31 in an effort to hone disaster response skills.

San Juan CERT has invited CERT teams from Dana Point, San Clemente, and Laguna Beach, as well as the Tri-Cities RACES communications team, to join the exercise. In all, about 200 people are expected to participate.

Residents and visitors in San Juan Capistrano may see CERT members converging on the San Juan Capistrano City Hall in their signature green vests, hats and helmets, and bearing equipment and supplies required of those responding to emergencies. The exercise will run from 7:30 AM. to 1:30 PM. CERT members will practice their skills in medical/first aid, small fire suppression, light search and rescue, logistics, and communications.

For more information, please click here.


Memorial Day Weekend Parking Program

As a result of collaborative planning and the success of OC Dana Point Harbor’s parking programs over the last few years, they will be continuing with the program elements for the upcoming holidays.

For information on the parking program at Dana Point Harbor on Memorial Day weekend, please click here.

Dana Point Harbor Revitalization Plan Advances

OC Dana Point Harbor received approval recently 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 tremendous support from community members, local businesses and the visitors to the harbor, whose efforts over the past 15+ years are 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.


JWA Memorial Day Travel Tips

Memorial Day Weekend is traditionally one of the busiest travel periods of the year. John Wayne Airport (JWA) expects Airport traffic to be heaviest Thursday and Friday (May 22 - 23) and Tuesday (May 27).

For JWA Memorial Day Travel Tips, please click here.

JWA Settlement Agreement Amendment Project

The County of Orange, as owner and operator of John Wayne Airport, issued Draft Environmental Impact Report 617 (Draft EIR) today for the John Wayne Airport Settlement Agreement Amendment Project. The Draft EIR has been prepared in conformance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to address the potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed modification and extension of the Settlement Agreement.

The Settlement Agreement formalized consensus reached between the County of Orange, the City of Newport Beach, the Airport Working Group (AWG) and Stop Polluting Our Newport (SPON) on the nature and extent of facility and operational improvements that could be implemented at John Wayne Airport.

Two public meetings will be held May 28 & 29 to provide information about the structure and content of the Draft EIR and explain the process by which the public can access the document and provide input to the County. Members of the public may submit oral or written comments at these meetings.

The Draft EIR and technical appendices are also available for public review by clicking here, as well as at the John Wayne Airport Administrative Office, the City of Newport Beach Planning Department, and various public libraries.

Comments on the Draft EIR will be accepted until 5:00 PM, July 8 and may be submitted via email to DEIR617@ocair.com or by mail to:

Ms. Lea Choum
John Wayne Airport
3160 Airway Avenue
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

For more information, please click here and 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.


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.


Clerk-Recorder’s Special Saturday Hours Continue

The Old County Courthouse will again be open Saturday, 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.

Currently, passport services are only available at the Old County Courthouse in Santa Ana.

For more information, please click here.


Mango: Online Language-Learning System

OC Public Libraries (OCPL) is pleased to announce that it now offers the Mango Languages online language-learning system to its patrons.

Each lesson combines real life situations and audio from native speakers with simple, clear instructions. Users learn actual conversation, breaking down complex linguistic elements within an audio-visual framework that draws important connections and builds on information that they have already learned.

Mango is available in two versions. One is Mango Complete, a 100-lesson course that is designed to provide a deep understanding of the language and its culture. The second is Mango Basic, which teaches everyday greetings, goodbyes and helpful phrases in a short period of time and is designed to appeal to a beginner in a new language. There are more than 40 foreign language courses available and 16 English as a Second Language (ESL) courses.

In addition to Mango, OCPL is pleased to offer a wide range of electronic and digitized resources to library patrons. For more information, please click here and here.


Orange County Peace Officers’ Memorial Ceremony

Charged with protecting those they serve, police officers put themselves in harm’s way to enforce the law. Unfortunately, some officers pay the ultimate price, laying down their own life in the valiant service of others. In honor of these fallen heroes, the Orange County Sheriff’s Advisory Council and the Orange County Chiefs of Police and Sheriffs Association (OCCPSA) each year sponsor the Peace Officers’ Memorial Ceremony.

This year, the name of Laguna Beach Officer Jon Coutchie, who died in the line-of-duty September 2013, will be added to the wall. The memorial ceremony at the new Orange County Peace Officers’ Memorial Monument will take place Wednesday, May 28 at 11:00 AM at the Orange County Sheriff’s Regional Training Academy, 15991 Armstrong Avenue, Tustin.

For more information, please click here and 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.

San Juan Capistrano: Reata Park Grand Opening

A dedication ceremony and grand opening of the Reata Park & Event Center will take place Saturday, May 31, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The FREE event is open to the public. The Reata Park & Event Center is located at 28632 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano, near the corner of Ortega Highway and La Pata. For more information, please click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Participated in the “50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Vietnam War” event hosted by Dana Point Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 9934.
  • Participated in the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) Board of Directors meeting.
  • Participated in a community briefing on the Covered California health plan offerings.

My office also:
  • Participated in the Orange County Coastal Coalition meeting. More on this in next week’s newsletter.
  • Attended the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) Decommissioning Community Engagement Panel meeting in 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.

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