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Lisa Bartlett - Supervisor, Fifth District
February 7, 2020 Volume 7 Issue 6
Board Approves Sober Living Home Ordinance

Last week, the Board of Supervisors took action to restrict the proliferation of group homes and sober living homes in the unincorporated areas of the County.

As a result, sober living homes in the South County communities of Ladera Ranch, Coto de Caza, Las Flores, Rancho Mission Viejo, Wagon Wheel, Stonecliffe, and Emerald Bay cannot be within 1,000 feet of any other sober living home or State-licensed alcohol or drug treatment facility.

The ordinance also requires sober living homes with six or fewer occupants to have a house manager onsite 24 hours. To report sober living homes or other group homes out of compliance with the ordinance, please call the Neighborhood Preservation number at 1-866-552-8120.

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2020 Primary Election Voting Underway in OC

Learn about the benefits of Orange County’s transition to Vote Centers, such as being able to register to vote, cast an in-person ballot, obtain replacement ballots and more. 

They key benefits of the transition to Vote Centers include:

  • There will now be 188 fully staffed Vote Centers. Voters can choose to vote in-person at any location starting February 22, 2020.
  • Election Day now lasts 11 days. Voters voting in the March Presidential Primary election will be able to vote at any Orange County Vote Center anytime between February 22 and March 3, 2020 
  • Every voter will now receive a vote-by-mail ballot. Voters will be able to save time and vote at home with multiple options for returning their ballot. Ballots began mailing on February 3.
  • There will be 110 secure ballot drop box locations throughout Orange County. Voters will be able to deposit their ballot into a secure drop box between February 3 and March 3, 2020.

Click here for more information. To view a recent TV interview with myself and Orange County Registrar of Voter Neal Kelly, discussing Orange County’s transition to Vote Centers on Village Television in Laguna Woods, click here or on the image below.

Click the image above to view the TV interview.
Click the image above to enlarge.
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Improvements Coming to I-5 in South County

Today, nearly 360,000 motorists travel I-5 daily between SR-73 and El Toro Road. Transportation planners expect traffic volumes to grow 25 percent by 2045. To address this travel demand, OCTA and Caltrans are working together to implement the I-5 Widening project from SR-73 to El Toro Road. Construction will be done in three segments. Crews began work on the first segment from Oso Parkway to Alicia Parkway in 2019.

In March, construction will begin on the second segment, a 2.1-mile stretch between SR-73 and Oso Parkway that borders Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, and Laguna Niguel.

Improvements include adding one general purpose lane to increase capacity and reconstructing Avery Parkway to expand it from four to six lanes, increase bike lane width, install sidewalks on both sides of the street, and construct monument walls under the bridge featuring a pastoral ranch theme.

Other project improvements include new and improved merging lanes and the conversion of carpool lanes to continuous access to make it easier to enter and exit. For more information about the I-5 Widening Project, please visit here.

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OC Flex Microtransit Pilot Extended

OC Flex, an on-demand curb-to-curb service, will continue providing rides through October as part of a pilot project.

OC Flex has been operating since October 2018 in two areas, one in portions of Huntington Beach and Westminster, and the other in portions of Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and Laguna Niguel. Passengers can request rides via the OC Flex Mobile App or by phone.

In its first year of operation, OC Flex has increased ridership month over month and recorded nearly 37,000 boardings. Customer satisfaction is high, with 91 percent of riders surveyed saying they would recommend the service.

Based on OC Flex customer feedback, OCTA has expanded service areas and updated service hours. For a limited time, the OC Bus regular 30-Day pass has been added to free transfer options. These improvements go into effect February 9. Also, the group ride discount (50% off) has been extended to all day, every day.

For more information on OC Flex, visit here.

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Oso / Antonio Parkway Intersection Update
Click the image above to enlarge and
scroll down for more info or click here.
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Antonio Parkway Bridge Rehabilitation Project
Click the image above to enlarge.
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Working Wardrobes: Please Help Us Rebuild!

One of Orange County’s most valued non-profits, Working Wardrobes, last weekend experienced a 4-alarm fire at their Irvine Headquarters. Working Wardrobes has helped countless people overcome difficult life challenges — such as alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence, incarceration and homelessness — as well as find jobs by providing job training and suitable attire for interviews and long-term success.

Over the past 30 years, Working Wardrobes has helped 105,000 men, women, young adults, and veterans overcome difficult challenges to enter the workforce. No one was hurt or in the building at the time of the blaze. Approximately 100 firefighters were at the scene to battle the flames but all the contents in the building were ultimately lost.

The fire at Working Wardrobes is a devastating loss to the County, as well as the many people they provide services for. I personally have donated to the organization for many years.

We are blessed to live in a county where we all do our part to take care of one another. Goodwill OC has graciously offered space for Working Wardrobes to continue to provide services at their Santa Ana location while they look to rebuild. To that end, Working Wardrobes is asking for donations to help rebuild their headquarters. Every little bit helps!

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Coronavirus Outbreak Update

The OC Health Care Agency (HCA) confirmed Orange County's first case of novel coronavirus January 25. The man, a traveler from Wuhan, China in his 50s, is currently in isolation at a local hospital and reported in good condition.

HCA has received many questions from concerned community members as to why they have not shared a precise timeline of his movements in OC in the days leading up to his hospitalization, as they normally would with infectious diseases like the measles.

With measles, HCA shares potential exposure sites with the public because they have a detailed understanding of how measles spreads, and how long the virus can live in the air and on surfaces. HCA also wants to promote the message of vaccination as a way to protect yourself. 

With novel coronavirus, a new and emerging virus, there is still a lot the public health community is learning.

Right now, novel coronavirus has not been found to be spreading from person to person in the United States, so there are no additional precautions recommended for the general public to take. Our residents should go about their daily lives with no changes to planned activities.

If that changes, you will be hearing from us.

Another reason HCA hasn’t shared more is because they are required to protect patient privacy under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). Because there is only one case in OC, any information HCA shares outside of his gender and general age range could reveal his identity (which we have a duty to protect).

So what can you do? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, which includes regular handwashing and covering coughs and sneezes. Click here for more detailed preventative actions.

Our Public Health Services and doctors from the CDC who are here assisting with our investigation continue to follow-up directly with all individuals who have had close contact with the case and are at risk of infection.

Yesterday, the California Department of Public Health issued a press release announcing that 16 laboratories in California will soon be able to provide novel coronavirus testing. The Orange County Public Health Laboratory is one of those laboratories and has ordered test kits from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Orange County Public Health Laboratory staff has been preparing to come online with this testing for the last few weeks and will be conducting validation testing (a federal licensing requirement before going live with testing) once test kits are received. 

The Orange County Public Health Laboratory should be able to initiate testing locally late next week. Once testing begins locally, Orange County will have the capability to have same day to next day test results, as opposed to the 2-7 day delay currently on samples sent to the CDC in Atlanta.

Orange County remains with one case reported and no evidence of local transmission.

Please be assured that we will continue to keep you posted and let you know when the laboratory is up and running with the testing. For more information, please see the press release below.

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California to Begin Novel Coronavirus Testing
Click the image above to read the full press release.
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Families & Communities Together Annual Report
Click the image above to enlarge.
Click the image above to read the FaCT Report.
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5th Annual South County Pet Expo Participation
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Find Some Bunny to Love at OC Animal Care
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Bunny Pet of the Week: Meet Violet!
Click the image above to enlarge.
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Mission Viejo: Congressional Candidate Forum
Click the image above to enlarge.
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RSM: Join OCTA for a Free Guided Hike

Put your best foot forward in 2020 with a free guided tour of one of OCTA's protected properties Saturday, February 15 from 9 AM to 10 AM, providing an up-close experience of Wren's View Preserve, a 116-acre parcel located northwest of the City of Rancho Santa Margarita in Trabuco Canyon, and immediately north of O’Neill Regional Park and Trabuco Creek. 

The acquisition of this preserve joins together adjacent open space areas in the foothills while also limiting urban encroachment. Major mammals expected to use these corridors include mule deer, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes and gray foxes. 

Several times a year, OCTA offers day hikes and equestrian excursions through some of the seven properties acquired as part of the Measure M Freeway Environmental Mitigation Program, a comprehensive plan that preserves and restores natural habitats and allows for expedited delivery of freeway projects. The properties are located in Trabuco Canyon, Brea, Silverado Canyon, and Laguna Beach. Together, they total more than 1,300 acres.

Space is limited. Participants must be 12 years and over and must sign a liability waiver. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more information and to register, click here.

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San Juan Capistrano: 5-Chamber Mega Mixer
Click the image above for more info.
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Aliso Viejo: "Always in Season" Free Cinema

Soka University in Aliso Viejo, along with Free Community Cinema and ITVS, is pleased to present "Always in Season" on Thursday, February 20 at 7 PM.

Always in Season, a documentary by Jacqueline Olive, features descendants of the victims and perpetrators of lynching, who are working together to heal a violent history. Blending observational footage with first-person testimonies and expert input, Always in Season examines the lingering impact of lynching and the link between this historic form of racial terrorism, as well as the racial violence that exists today. FREE admission. Panel discussion to follow. For more information, click here.

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Dana Point Harbor: February Coffee Chat

The Dana Point Civic Association is sponsoring the February Coffee Chat, featuring Jonny Westom of Visit Dana Point. The February Coffee Chat will be held on Friday, February 21 at 8:30 AM at The Coffee Importers in the Dana Point Harbor.  

Jonny will discuss the economic impact of tourism in Dana Point and all of Orange County. He will also talk about the re-branding strategy that has positioned Dana Point as a premier coastal destination for domestic and international travelers. Westom has over 14 years experience in destination marketing and management experience and serves on many travel industry-related boards and committees.  

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Mission Viejo: Tri-Chamber Mixer
Click the image above for more info.
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Dana Point: 49th Annual Festival of Whales
Click the image above for more info.
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Dana Point: Pet Project Foundation Event
Click the image above to enlarge.
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  • Participated in the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Governing Board  meeting, as Yorba Linda Councilman Carlos Rodriguez was sworn-in as a new member. I look forward to working with with Carlos as we represent Orange County in our efforts to clean the air and protect the health of all of our residents through practical and innovative strategies.
  • Participated in the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Regional Planning & Highways Committee meeting.
  • Was the keynote speaker at the Laguna Canyon Conservancy (LCC) meeting in Laguna Beach.
  • Participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the County Administration South Building (CAS) Fitness/Wellness Center.
Speaking at the Laguna Canyon Conservancy (LCC) meeting.

 At the Laguna Canyon Conservancy meeting.

Speaking at the ribbon cutting for the County Administration South Building (CAS) Fitness/Wellness Center.

With Chair Michelle Steel and Vice Chair Andrew Do at the ribbon cutting for the CAS Fitness/Wellness Center.

L-R: With Orange County Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen, CEO Frank Kim, Chair Michelle Steel, District Attorney Todd Spitzer, Vice Chair Andrew Do, and Treasurer Shari Friedenrich at the CAS Fitness/Wellness Center.

With County Elected Officials and Executive Staff at the ribbon cutting.

At the SCAQMD Governoring Board meeting, as Yorba Linda Councilman Carlos Rodriguez was sworn-in.
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  • Attended Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce Installation & Awards Dinner to present commendations to outgoing Board Chair Stephanie Winstead and outgoing Directors Malinda Goller, David Weiss and Bill Leber.
  • Presented commendations in honor of the Mission Viejo Chamber of Commerce's first home-based business ribbon cutting ceremony for Pillar to Post Home Inspectors, Bloomfield Group, Inc., Web Design Pilot, PayProTec West Coast, and Durston Builders.
  • Presented a certificate of recognition in honor of the ribbon cutting for Tamarindo in San Clemente.
My Executive Assistant, Pauline Colvin (right) presenting a proclamation to Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce 2019 Board Chair Stephanie Winstead.

Presenting commendations to 2019 Board Members Malinda Goller, David Weiss and Bill Leber.

At the ribbon cutting for Tamarindo in San Clemente.

At the Mission Viejo Chamber of Commerce's first home-based business ribbon cutting ceremony.
(Photo courtesy of Takata Photo & Design)
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Mission Viejo Councilman Greg Raths at the Chamber's home-based business ribbon cutting.
(Photo courtesy of Takata Photo & Design)
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For questions or comments regarding my E-Newsletter, please contact my office staff at (714) 834-3550 or email my Community Relations Advisor, Sergio Prince, at .
In This Issue
orange arrow THIS WEEK I
orange arrow MY STAFF
Doug Woodyard
Chief of Staff

James Dinwiddie
Senior Policy Advisor

Sara May
Senior Policy Advisor

Yasie Goebel
Policy Advisor

Sergio Prince
Community Relations Advisor

Megan Dutra
Communications Advisor

Pauline Colvin
Executive Assistant

Rosemary Conteras
Staff Aide

Stay Updated!
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