Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
November 21, 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.















Brian Probolsky:
Chief of Staff

Erik Weigand:
Deputy Chief of Staff

Veronica Carpenter:
Policy Advisor

James Dinwiddie:
Policy Advisor

Ruth Strachan:
Office Manager

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Volume 8 Issue 46

Approval of OCERS Waiver of Membership

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the Orange County Employees Retirement System (OCERS) Board of Retirement (Board)Waiver of Membership regulation to assist the County and plan sponsors in hiring an employee over the age of sixty who wanted to waive membership in OCERS.

The OCERS Board approved the waiver in 2006 and Government Code Section 31525 required the Board of Supervisors to approve any OCERS regulation before the regulation is effective. If the County permits newly hired County employees who have attained the age of sixty at the time of hire to waive OCERS’ membership it will not be required to enroll these employees in Social Security. State and local governmental entities are exempt from providing Social Security coverage if their employees are covered by a retirement system maintained by the state or local governmental entity that provides minimum benefits or contributions that are comparable to the benefits the participants would have received under Social Security. County employees who waive membership under the OCERS’ Waiver of Membership regulation may be permitted to enroll in similar defined contribution programs.

I brought this item to my colleagues for two reasons. Number one it will provide a potential employee (age 60 and above) who already receives a public employee pension the option to waive participation in the County pension plan thereby avoiding the “double dipper” issue. The second reason is it addresses the unfunded liability into the future by not adding new pensioners into our system.

Currently, of the twenty retirement systems in California operating under the 1937 County Employees’ Retirement Law, fourteen have adopted such waiver of membership regulations.

I thank my colleagues for supporting this item. To read the full report please click here.

North Irvine Ranch Land Donations

The Board of Supervisors also voted to accept 2,500 acres of open space, donated by the Irvine Company to the County for preservation and public recreation.

The donation provides additional connectivity to the 20,000 acres the Irvine Company donated to the County in 2010, which marked the largest single donation of land to the County in its history. The land accepted today was previously slated for construction of approximately 5,000 homes.

To read more please click here.


I-5 South County Improvement Project Construction Alert

In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, there will be no nighttime closures next week. Regularly scheduled closures will resume on Sunday, November 30. Our team is thankful for your patience and support during construction. For project information

Ortega Highway Interchange Improvement Project

Ortega Highway is closed between the southbound I-5 off-ramp and El Camino Real for approximately four and a half weeks.

The closure will allow crews to reconfigure the roadway as part of the $86 million I-5 / Ortega Highway Interchange Improvement Project.

Ortega Highway between I-5 and Del Obispo is expected to reopen on November 25. Traffic will also be shifted to the newly constructed portion of the southbound I-5 off-ramp and to the newly constructed bridge at this time.

Ortega Highway between Del Obispo and El Camino Real is expected to reopen on December 5.

See a map of the closures here and a map of detours here. For more information about the project, go to octa.net/Ortega.



In anticipation of one of the most heavily traveled holiday periods, John Wayne Airport (JWA) offers travel tips to help passengers prepare for a safe and enjoyable holiday. Passengers traveling through JWA between Friday, November 21 and Monday, December 1 will experience higher-than normal passenger traffic due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

This season, JWA is thankful for its partnership with KeepOCSafe. Together, we encourage travelers to be aware of their surroundings and report questionable objects or activities. A Giant Red Backpack will be on display in the Riley Terminal throughout the holidays to remind passengers and visitors, "If You See Something, Say Something™."

Tips for Passengers and Visitors:
  • All passengers flying out of JWA are encouraged to arrive 90 minutes to two-hours before the flight departure time to find parking, check luggage and go through the security checkpoint.
  • Passengers who are members of TSA Pre-Check can expedite the screening process in Terminals A, B and C.
  • Passengers are allowed one small carry-on bag plus one personal item as long as the carry-on bag fits airline dimensions. Check with individual airlines for specifics.
  • Drivers picking up passengers at the Airport are encouraged to utilize 2-hour parking spaces, located on the lower level of Parking Structures A1, B2 and C.

Tips for Parking at JWA:
  • Curbside Valet Parking for $30 per day is located on the Departure (upper) Level between Terminals A and B, or in front of Terminal C.
  • Parking Structures A1, A2, B2 and C are located adjacent to and across from the Riley Terminal at a rate of $20 per day and $2 per hour with the first 15 minutes being free for those dropping off and picking up passengers. Access to terminal parking structures is available from the Departure (upper) Level only.
  • Off-site Main Street Parking Lot located at 1512 Main St., Irvine for $14 per day with free shuttle service to and from the Terminal every 15 minutes.
  • For parking availability call 949.252.5200.

Tips from TSA and CBP:
  • Review Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Travel Tips for a list of prohibited items and the 3-1-1 rule for liquids in carry-ons.
  • International travelers should check the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website to ensure they have appropriate documentation for traveling to and from the United States. Note: Passengers who are members of the Global Entry Trusted Traveler Program can expedite their Customs clearance into the U.S. at John Wayne Airport. Those passengers traveling to and from Canada will clear Customs in Canada before returning to the United States.


County of Orange Launches Interactive Budget Tool

For members of the general public and County of Orange employees alike, a new, online financial data tool provides access to the County budget like never before. And it provides the ability to analyze and share financial data in a few clicks.

Launched today, the tool is called OpenGov. It is one element of the County’s effort to deliver financial transparency. The County is also refreshing its web pages to provide easier pathways to accessing financial and budget-related background information.

Through OpenGov, users can, for example, find budget reports and spending and revenue details displayed in highly readable graphs and charts. Users also can drill down into details of individual or multiple County departments and agencies, to compare, contrast and analyze current and historical data.

It offers County employees opportunities for analyzing and presenting budget data, using a dynamic, interactive tool that is updated monthly and features user-friendly graphical illustrations.

Click here to try it out: http://ocgov.com/about/openoc


Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment Works in Orange County

A new report from the Orange County Health Care Agency found that adult clients of the County’s drug and alcohol treatment programs experienced significant reduction in drug use, improved health, and social functioning; increased employment rates; and a reduction in arrest, incarceration and reliance on medical services. The report examines the treatment outcomes for over 11,000 clients of Behavioral Health – Substance Use Disorder services between 2011 and 2013.

The County’s Substance Use Disorder programs work to help improve the lives of individuals and families experiencing problems related to alcohol and substance use. Most clients were men (63%), non-Hispanic white (55%) or Hispanic (36%), and were between the ages of 18 and 45 years old (76%).

In addition to a 53% reduction in drug use, adult clients also showed marked improvements in health and social functioning:
  • 65% fewer arrested and 74% reduction in incarcerations
  • 107% increase in employment
  • 32% reduction in ER visits and 42% reduction in hospitalizations
  • 52% reduction in serious family conflicts
  • 59% fewer clients living with an alcohol or other drug user
  • 32% increase in use of social support recovery services
Teen clients also showed notable reductions in drug use, and improvements in health and social functioning. These client outcomes show that treatment not only results in decreases in drug use and criminal involvement, but also improvements in all life domains of those served by these programs.

The Health Care Agency offers several different public education, treatment and counseling services aimed at reducing the misuse and abuse of drugs and alcohol among Orange County residents. If you or someone you know needs help please call 855-OC-Links (855-625-4657) or visit: www.ochealthinfo.com/oclinks.

The report used data from the 2011-2013 California Outcomes Measurement System for county residents. A summary of the report and fact sheet are available online at: http://ochealthinfo.com/about/admin/pubs/caloms.

Flu Vaccine Now Available

Flu vaccine (flu shot or nasal spray) is now available from health care providers, clinics, and pharmacies throughout Orange County. Many community sites in Orange County will offer free flu vaccine this fall, and the Orange County Health Care Agency will offer free influenza vaccinations for people 6 months of age and older who do not have a medical provider or health care coverage.

For more information, please click here.


Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Pets

‘Tis the season for friends, family and holiday feasts, but also possible distress for our animal companions. Pets won’t be so thankful if they munch on undercooked turkey or a pet-unfriendly floral arrangement, or if they stumble upon an unattended alcoholic drink.

To view some safety tips for a fulfilling Thanksgiving our pets can enjoy, too, please click here.


Cooking Safety Tips

The holiday season is upon us, which means lots of cooking and baking. It also means that your risk of having a residential cooking fire increases tremendously! When you are preparing all of your holiday traditions, please use extra caution when using the appliances in your kitchen.

Check cords on appliances, especially ones you don't use very often, and pay attention to where you are putting them. Keep combustibles, such as towels, pot holders, cutting boards, etc., away from heat sources. If you are simmering sauces or keeping things warm on the stove, set a timer to remind you to check on them.

Whatever you do, PLEASE DO NOT USE WATER ON A GREASE FIRE! Water reacts with even the smallest amount of oil/grease. It only takes a split second for a fire to occur. Please make sure your family and friends know the escape plan and your designated meeting place in case there happens to be a fire in the home. Creating a plan can definitely save a life!

For more information, please click here.


Clerk-Recorder to Open on 12-13-14 - Last Chance this Century For Couples to Marry on Consecutive Date Sequence

If you are looking to get married before the end of 2014 and are looking for an easy yet special date to remember then 12-13-14 is your day to tie the knot. The Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department will open its offices in Fullerton, Laguna Hills and the Old County Courthouse on Saturday December 13, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This date also represents the last time this century in which the day, month and year are consecutive numbers.

The Old County Courthouse will be offering marriage licenses, civil marriage ceremonies and passport application services only. Copies of property records and birth, death and marriage certificates will be available at the Fullerton and Laguna Hills branch offices, as well as obtaining marriage licenses and civil marriage ceremonies. Please note that the Laguna Hills branch office will also be offering passport application services. Free parking will be available at all three locations.

Appointments for marriage ceremonies are recommended due to the demand for this service. To save time, marriage license, ceremony and passport applications can be completed in advance online at www.ocrecorder.com. As an added convenience, passport photos are available on the spot for $15.

For more detailed information or to learn about the services available at the Clerk-Recorder Department, please visit: www.ocrecorder.com.


Holiday Events in the Harbor

Please be advised that substantial traffic is expected in and around the Harbor for these events. Please plan accordingly and follow posted parking signs.
  • Turkey Trot Thanksgiving Day- November 27, 2014
    Registration opens at 6:00 am. For more information on this event to go to www.turkeytrot.com

  • IlluminOcean Wednesday, November 26 -Sunday, January 4
    Features 18 oversized lighting sculptures with over 225,000 LED lights. These sculptures will be on display nightly and sundown—come see the spectacular sculptures from Octopus and Sharks, to strarfish and surfers, to the gigantic sculptures that you can walk through. For more information on this event go to www.myDanaPoint.com

  • 40th Annual Boat Parkade of Lights - Fantasea Holiday Friday, December 5 and Saturday, December 6 at 7:30 pm Friday, December 12 and Saturday, December 13 at 7:30 pm
    Come out to see all of the boats showcasing the Harbor’s maritime history, magical ocean sealife and the beach lifestyle found in Dana Point. For more information on this event go to www.danapointharbor.com

  • Holiday in the Harbor Friday, December 5 from 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm
    Join us in Dana Wharf, Mariners Village and Mariner’s Alley for all the activities geared for families and children. Visit Santa, see the holiday crafts and listen to the carolers. For more information on this event go to www.danapointharbor.com

  • Boat Rides with Santa Saturday, December 6 and Sunday December 7 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
    Board the “Sum Fun” for a twenty-minute Harbor cruise with Santa and his helpers. For more information on this event go to www.danapointharbor.com

  • Santa Paws Saturday, December 13 from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
    Come and Support The Pet Project foundations 3rd Annual Santa Paws Event. Bring your pet for a picture with Santa for a small fee. For more information on this event go to www.petprojectfoundation.com


Aliso Viejo: Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Santa Claus will arrive in Grand Park on Sunday, December 2, during the Aliso Viejo’s Winter Holiday Event. The fun kicks off at 4:30 PM and includes live entertainment; complimentary cookies and hot chocolate; and tons of holiday cheer! For more information, please click here.

Mission Viejo: Visit Santa in his Workshop

Along with enjoying Santa’s grand arrival and celebration December 3 at the Mission Viejo Civic Center from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM, make plans to St. Nick in his workshop beginning December 4. With Mrs. Claus and some elves in tow, Santa will greet visitors, spread holiday cheer and pose for photos from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at 200 Civic Center. For dates and more information, please click here.

Laguna Niguel: Chanukah Wonderland & Menorah Lighting

Enjoy a blizzard of holiday fun for the whole family at Laguna Niguel’s Chanukah Wonderland & Menorah Lighting on December 6, 5-7PM at City Hall! For more information, please click here and here.

San Juan Capistrano: Tree Lighting Celebration

Please join the City of San Juan Capistrano for their annual Tree Lighting Celebration and many other wonderful holiday season festivities on Saturday, December 6 at Historic Town Center Park (31852 El Camino Real), beginning at 4:00 PM. For more information, please call (949) 493-5911 or click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Presented at the Laguna Niguel Republican Women Federation Luncheon.
  • Attended the Laguna Niguel Historical Society.
  • Participated in the Orange County Fire Authority Board of Directors Meeting.
  • Presented at the 5th District Community Forum on the Annual Report on the Condition of Children.

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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