Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
February 14, 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 6

No Board Meeting This Week

There was not a regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Supervisors this week. To view the 2014 Board meeting schedule, please click here.

Our next Board meeting will be held Tuesday, February 25. Regular Board meetings begin at 9:30 AM in the Hall of Administration. For Agenda & Meeting Information, please click here.

Live Internet broadcasts of Board of Supervisors meetings can be viewed online and are archived as video-on-demand. To view live and/or past Board meetings, please click here.


91 Express Lanes 2013 Annual Report

The 91 Express Lanes Annual Report for fiscal year 2012-2013 is now available. In addition to highlighting milestones achieved during the past fiscal year, the report celebrates the rich history of the express lanes that transformed travel between Orange and Riverside counties.

Ten years ago, OCTA purchased the 91 Express Lanes on behalf of those who use the State Route 91 Corridor. To commemorate that anniversary, this year the theme of the report is “An Illustrated Look Back.” It tracks the progressive increases in efficiency and value that continue to make the 91 Express Lanes the route of choice for millions each year.

During the 2012-2013 fiscal year, OCTA finalized a third-party agreement that will streamline inter-county travel as the express lanes extend into Riverside County and installed violation enforcement lights to deter unlawful motorists from entering the 91 Express Lanes. The 91 Express Lanes is financially stable and continues to maintain an “A” bond rating.

To view the 91 Express Lanes 2013 Annual Report, please click here. To enjoy the complementary video “An Illustrated Look Back” and watch as the history of the 91 Express Lanes takes shape through the pen strokes of a talented sketch artist, please click here.

Measure M on Track, Independent Review Finds

The Measure M Taxpayer Oversight Committee has determined Measure M is being delivered as promised to Orange County voters for the 23rd consecutive year. The committee held its annual Measure M public hearing this week and unanimously found that the Orange County Transportation Authority is proceeding in accordance with the ordinances that were approved by voters first in 1990 and renewed in 2006.

The independent, 11-member oversight committee was formed to monitor OCTA’s use of Measure M funding, approve all changes to the Measure M plan and hold annual public hearings on the expenditure of funds generated by Measure M.

The original Measure M half-cent sales tax made possible more than $4 billion worth of transportation improvements. Since 1990, hundreds of local projects have been completed that help residents travel throughout the county every day. This includes improvements to every freeway, widened streets, synchronized signals and improved intersections. Measure M also made possible Metrolink commuter-rail service in Orange County.

Measure M funding included:
  • $1.75 billion to upgrade to every Orange County freeway
  • $1.3 billion for city street and road projects
  • $1 billion for Metrolink service and senior and disabled bus fare stabilization
The renewed Measure M is expected to generate more than $15 billion to fund transportation improvements through 2041. Freeways will receive 43 percent of the funding, streets and roads receive 32 percent, and transit receives 25 percent of M dollars.

For more information about Measure M or the Taxpayer Oversight Committee, 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, February 14 at 7:00 PM until Saturday, February 15 at 3:00 AM in the cities of San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point and San Clemente. These patrols will be targeting areas with high frequencies of DUI collisions and/or arrests.

For more information, please click here.

Aliso Viejo Substation Medication Drop-Off

The overwhelming majority of households today have unused medications that are either being stored in medicine cabinets or disposed of improperly. The proper disposal of unused, expired, or unwanted pharmaceuticals is a growing public health concern. This excess of medications in our homes creates significant opportunities for unintentional poisonings, illegal distribution, substance misuse or abuse, and environmental contamination.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has created an opportunity in South County to dispose of medications in a safe and secure way. The drop-off location is at the Aliso Viejo Sub Station (11 Journey, Aliso Viejo, 92656) and accepts disposal of medication Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

They accept all kinds of pill form medication but unfortunately will not accept liquids, needles or syringes. Please help keep your home and community safe by disposing pharmaceuticals in a designated drop-off location.

For more information, please click here.

Join the Orange County Sheriff Reserves

If you are looking for an exciting opportunity to make a difference in your community and are committed to making Orange County a better place for us all to live and work, the Sheriff’s Reserves might be for you.

The Reserve Division includes both sworn and non-sworn members. Sworn Reserve Deputies are professionally trained and duly sworn law enforcement personnel, volunteering their time to work alongside career law enforcement personnel.

Professional Services Responders (PSRs) are non-sworn volunteers who have no arrest powers but support the Sheriff’s Department by donating their time and private-sector expertise in a wide range of fields.

Reserve Deputy testing includes a general aptitude written exam, physical agility test, and a pre-screen background check. Reserve Deputy Testing is scheduled Saturday, February 22 at 5:00 a.m., and the PSRs pre-screening is at 9:00 a.m., at the Regional Training Academy located at 15991 Armstong Avenue in Tustin.

For more information, please click here and here.


South County Schools Aim to Fend Off E-Cigarette Trend

South County’s Saddleback Valley Unified School District has banned of e-cigarettes from school campuses.

To view a Channel 4 NBC Special Report, featuring Orange County Sheriff’s Department School Resource Officer Brian Gunsolley in Laguna Hills High School, discussing the growing trend of e-cigarettes in local schools, please click here.

PBS Features Waste Not OC Coalition

Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) recently visited Orange County to produce a segment on the Waste Not OC Coalition.

The coalition includes a group of representatives from food banks, restaurants, grocers, theme parks, sports venues, manufacturers and educational institutions that is focusing efforts on redirecting potentially usable prepared food from markets, restaurants and other sources to community food pantries rather than local landfills.

County Health Officer Dr. Eric Handler has been instrumental in creating the coalition to address hunger in Orange County. PBS profiled the coalition’s efforts to help reduce the number of local residents without adequate food and highlighted the current pilot project in the City of Anaheim. The Coalition’s website features information about the Anaheim project and an interactive map that identifies local food pantries acting as a resource for families needing food assistance.

According to the Orange County Food Bank, there are nearly 456,000 people at risk for hunger every month in Orange County, and 1 in 5 Orange County children face food insecurity. Requests for emergency assistance have skyrocketed during the economic downturn and product donations to local food banks have decreased during the same period. Simultaneously, Americans discard 40% of their food, valued at $165 billion annually.

The full PBS segment can be viewed here. PBS additionally featured a segment on “Why Stress and Money Woes May Lead to Weight Gain,” which provides additional information on addressing hunger in Orange County.

For more information, please visit the Orange County Food Bank website or the OC Food Access Coalition website.

Immunization Information: Adolescents

Vaccines aren’t just for infants and children. As kids get older, protection from some childhood vaccines begins to wear off. They are also more at risk for catching serious diseases, like meningococcal meningitis, so they need protection that vaccines provide.

Health check-ups and sports or camp physicals can be a good opportunity for your preteens and teens to get the recommended vaccines. Preteens and teens may also need catch-up vaccines (if they were not immunized or fully immunized) or vaccines for international travel.

Help protect your teen’s health by getting them vaccinated according to the recommended immunization schedule.

For more information, please click here.


Mountain Lion Sightings in South County

Recent mountain lion sightings at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park in Foothill Ranch have prompted OC Parks to step up trail monitoring and post notification signs, alerting park patrons to the activity.

Wardens from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife were called-in to assist in an investigation after the sightings were reported and are monitoring the park with OC Parks personnel. Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park remains open to public use.

A photo of a mountain lion in a tree taken at the park has circulated on social media. Warning signs have been posted nearby and additional trail cameras installed in the area.

Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park is characterized by natural terrain and certain inherent dangerous conditions, including mountain lions, rattlesnakes and poison oak. Minors should be accompanied by adults at all times.

Mountain lions are known to roam the area and are unpredictable. Patrons are asked to stay alert, stay on park trails and follow all park rules. Additional mountain lion sightings should be reported in detail to park staff as soon as possible. Sightings at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park can be reported at (949) 923-2245.

For more information, please click here.


Valentine's Day Pet Dangers

Valentine's Day is a wonderful time to celebrate the ones we love, but it can also be a dangerous holiday for our pets. Please take extra steps to be sure your dog or cat is safe.

Valentine's Day dangers include:
  • Roses have thorns with could get caught in a paw or swallowed. Keep roses out of reach of your pet. Keep plenty of fresh water available to your dog or cat so the water the roses are kept in won't tempt him.
  • Lilies can be poisonous to your pet. Some lilies have a toxic chemical and can cause harm.
  • Chocolates can be very tempting to your pet but should be considered poisonous.
  • Gift-Wrap may smell of sweets, candy, and chocolate. The sweet smell might be inviting to your pet and cause him to eat the gift-wrap. Ribbon, etc. may be ingested and cause big trouble for your dog or cat.
  • Candy Wrappers are another danger. The wrappers have the scent of sweet chocolate and smell like a treat to your dog or cat. Many wrappers have sharp edges (such as foil) and may have some chocolate left on the wrapper.
For more information, please click here.

Spay Day USA

Please join OC Animal Care in celebrating Spay Day USA on Saturday, February 22 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Come down to the shelter to see all of the wonderful animals available for adoption and receive FREE spay/neuter for all adopted dogs, cats & bunnies!

For more information, please click here.


Crown Valley Parkway Improvement Project Recognized

The City of Laguna Niguel’s Interstate 5 / Crown Valley Parkway Corridor Improvement Project was named Transportation Project of the Year by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Orange County Branch after competing against four other projects for the award.

The project, which was led by the City of Laguna Niguel and sponsored by the City of Mission Viejo, widened eastbound Crown Valley Parkway from the intersection of Cabot Road in the City of Laguna Niguel to the northbound I-5 on-ramp in the City of Mission Viejo. The project included widening three bridges over Camino Capistrano – the SCRRA railroad tracks, Oso Creek Channel and the I-5 freeway.

The improvements were undertaken to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion at one of the busiest arterial interchange locations in Orange County and cost approximately $10 million. Funding was provided in part by OCTA Measure M grant funds, the City of Laguna Niguel and the City of Mission Viejo.

The award will be presented to the City of Laguna Niguel on Wednesday, February 19 at the ASCE Annual Awards Banquet.

For more information, please click here.

Name Sought for Rancho Mission Viejo School

The Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) Board of Trustees is soliciting community input for the name of the next school to be built in the District. The K-8 school being planned for the Rancho Mission Viejo development is slated to open in 2016 and has the capacity to serve up to 1,600 students.

According to CUSD Board Policy, school names may include, but are not limited to, geographical locations within the District or other potential names significant to the District or community. Trustees encourage additional suggestions from the community. Recommendations are being accepted via email.

To email your recommendation, please click here.


Are You Ready to Vote?

The upcoming Statewide Direct Primary Election, Tuesday, June 3 and the General Municipal Election, Tuesday, November 4 provide an opportunity to review your voter registration requirements and upcoming dates.

If you have moved since the last election, changed your name or political party affiliation, you will be required to re-register in order to be eligible to participate in the upcoming elections. If you are turning 18 on or before Election Day, you are eligible to vote.

Important upcoming dates:

June 3 Statewide Direct Primary Election
  • May 19 – Last Day to Register to Vote
  • May 27 – Last Day to Apply for a Vote-by-Mail Ballot
November 4 General Municipal and Statewide Election
  • October 20 – Last Day to Register to Vote
  • October 28 – Last Day to Apply for a Vote-by-Mail Ballot
To check your voter registration status, please click here.


OC Public Libraries: Holiday Closure

All OC Public Libraries locations will be closed Monday, February, 17 in observance of Presidents Day. To view a list of dates of all observed holidays that OC Public Libraries facilities will be closed, please click here.


Juvenile Justice Commissioner Appointment

As a result of months of interviews and years of dedication to the youth in our communities, I am pleased to report that the Superior Court Presiding Judge and the Juvenile Court Presiding Judge have appointed Connor Traut of Ladera Ranch to serve a four-year term as Juvenile Justice Commissioner for the County of Orange.

Connor was officially sworn-in February 3 by the Juvenile Court Presiding Judge. Connor looks forward to working with juvenile court law administration to create programs that focus on gang prevention within our schools; put an end to juvenile sex trafficking; and monitor important legislation affecting every child who enters the juvenile justice system, whether through delinquency or dependency.

For more information, please click here.


Mission Viejo: The Wildlife Company

Get up close and personal with live African and other exotic animals during a special FREE presentation Saturday, February 22. Presented by The Wildlife Company, the show takes place twice at 2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. in the Saddleback Room at the Mission Viejo City Hall, 200 Civic Center. For more information, please click here.

Aliso Viejo: Behind the Orange Curtain

Parents and teens are invited to a FREE screening and discussion of the award-winning movie "Behind the Orange Curtain" on Sunday, February 23. The film, which is a "Family Exploration of Prescription Drug Abuse in Orange County," is from 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Temple Beth El, 2A Liberty, Aliso Viejo. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Niguel: The Emerald Forest

Tame your family's curiosity about wildlife with an interactive show Friday, February 28 at 7:00 PM, with Wild Wonders, Inc., as they take you on an adventure without ever leaving your seat. Don't miss this fun night of The Emerald Forest. Seats are first come, first serve. For more information, please click here.

Dana Point: Festival of Whales

The Dana Point Festival of Whales is celebrating its 43rd anniversary on March 1, 2, 8 & 9. Their Calendar of Events provides a daily listing of all that's going on, including location, time and a short description of the event. For more information, please click here and 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.
  • Participated in the OCTA Finance and Regional Highways Planning Committee meetings.
  • Participated in the TCA Strategic Planning Committee and Board of Directors meetings.
  • Met with the OC Waste Not Coalition.
  • Met with the OC Parks Director to be briefed on OC Parks activities and the recent mountain lion sightings in South County.

My office also:
  • Toured the South County Homeless Outreach Program.

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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