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Lisa Bartlett - Supervisor, Fifth District
November 5, 2021 Volume 8 Issue 47
Thanking Veterans for their Service to our Nation

On November 11, 1918, the Allied nations and Germany signed the armistice, formally ending the hostilities of World War I. Over one hundred years later, we rightly continue to recognize this day in tribute to all veterans who have served our great nation. 

This Thursday, November 11, as well as all other days, please join me in expressing our heartfelt thanks to veterans everywhere for their courageous service on behalf of our beloved country and in defense of the freedoms we hold so dear.

Please visit the Out & About Safely in South County section of my newsletter for opportunities to celebrate the holiday. Wishing you and yours a safe and happy Veterans Day!

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Daylight Saving Time 2021 Ends this Sunday!

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County of Orange Redistricting Public Hearing

Please be advised that on Tuesday, November 9 at 9:30 AM, the Orange County Board of Supervisors will have a Public Hearing regarding any possible map revisions for the 2021 Redistricting and will receive public comment.

A link to the Agenda may be found here. For information on how to address the Board of Supervisors, click here. This meeting will be streamed and may be found here. Closed captioning in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese will be available in the video stream

The maps that were revised by the Board of Supervisors may be found here. The full proposal packets will be posted no later than Monday, November 8. Please continue to monitor our redistricting website at for updated information.

Redistricting is the regular process of adjusting the lines of voting districts, including Orange County’s Supervisorial Districts, in accordance with population shifts.  The redistricting process is done every 10 years for local, state and federal governmental bodies by using updated Census data. The 2021 County of Orange redistricting process will use data from the 2020 Census.

Local jurisdictions, including the County of Orange, must complete the redistricting process by no later than December 15, 2021, to allow for the new supervisorial districts to be ready for use in the June 7, 2022 primary election. 

Information on upcoming redistricting activities will be updated on the County’s website. In addition, the County has created a dedicated email address and phone line for members of the public to submit questions or comments regarding the County’s redistricting process. Email or call (714) 834-6000.

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Preparation to Vaccinate Children Ages 5 to 11
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County Health Officer Update on Local Oil Spill

In response to the oil spill that occurred along the Orange County coastline the weekend of October 2, OC Health Care Agency (HCA) Director and County Health Officer Dr. Clayton Chau continues to advise the public to refrain from consuming contaminated fish or seafood from affected beaches until state officials lift the fisheries closure declaration and complete offshore sampling of seafood safety.

Currently, a fisheries closure remains in place, which prohibits the catch and consumption of any and all fish and shellfish within the area of the closure. For more information on fisheries closure and to view a closure map, visit

The first offshore sampling effort occurred October 28-30, in coordination with commercial fleet members. A third onshore sample collection of mussels will be completed this week and may be analyzed depending on results from the first two sampling efforts.

The California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) will analyze results from the sampling efforts, develop a risk assessment for seafood safety, and make a recommendation to the California Department of Wildlife to determine whether the fisheries closure could be lifted. Based on analysis timelines and subsequent testing (if necessary), the earliest OEHHA could potentially make a recommendation for re-opening would be the end of November.

Based on water and sediment data received from Orange County samples conducted last month, there continues to be no public health concern for short-term exposures from the use of beaches in the county. Please visit or your local city websites for the latest information regarding beach status in Orange County. If anyone encounters oiled wildlife, avoid contact and call the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at (877) 823-6926.

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Veterans & Military Family Career Fair - Nov. 17
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EMPLOYERS: OC Veterans / Military Career Fair!
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JOBSEEKERS: OC Veterans/Military Career Fair!
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OC Parks: Autumn / Winter Operating Schedule

Clocks fall back early November 7, marking the end of daylight saving time and the beginning of our OC Parks fall/winter operating schedule. Most regional parks close at 6 PM for the fall and winter, and wilderness parks close at sunset year-round.

The fishing lake at Laguna Niguel Regional Park.

Fall/Winter hours for the following regional parks are 7 AM to 6 PM:

  • Carbon Canyon Regional Park
  • Clark Regional Park
  • Craig Regional Park
  • Laguna Niguel Regional Park
  • Mason Regional Park
  • Mile Square Regional Park
  • Tri-City Regional Park
  • Yorba Regional Park
  • Irvine Regional Park (opens at 6 a.m.)
Red Rock at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park.

Wilderness parks and the following regional parks are open at 7 AM and close at sunset year-round:

Sunset at Salt Creek Beach Park.

Irvine Lake will continue to operate Friday though Sunday, 7 AM to 4 PM. Hours for OC Parks beaches vary but are generally between 6 AM and 10 PM. Salt Creek Beach opens at 5 AM and closes at 12 AM. 

OC Parks facilities will remain on these operating hours until daylight-saving time and spring/summer hours return March 13, 2022, running through Nov. 6, 2022.

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Hiking and Riding Events on OCTA Preserves

In addition to the Orange County Board of Supervisors, I'm also proud to serve you on the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors. As such, I'm pleased to report OCTA is hosting a series of hikes and equestrian rides on some of the County’s most pristine landscapes and will continue through the end of the year!

The free hikes and rides are intended to showcase the open-space lands purchased and preserved by OCTA as part of the Measure M Environmental Mitigation Program. So far, more than 1,300 acres on seven properties have been purchased from willing landowners for preservation to offset the environmental impacts of OC Go freeway projects.

The OCTA preserves are only open to the public during the docent-led hikes and equestrian rides so that the land’s wildlife and important plant life can be protected for generations to come. The hikes and rides were halted as a safety precaution at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

All participants must be 12 years or older and equestrian riders must bring their own horse. Adults must sign a liability waiver and minors need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The following hikes and rides are scheduled:


  • Hike at Wren’s View Preserve in Trabuco Canyon, Saturday, Nov. 6 at 9 AM.
  • Equestrian ride at Trabuco Rose Preserve in Trabuco Canyon Sunday, Nov. 20 at 10 AM.


  • Equestrian ride at Trabuco Rose Preserve in Trabuco Canyon, Sunday, Dec. 19 at 10 AM.

Equestrian rides are subject to cancelation due to bad weather conditions or changes in local health regulations. For more information and to register, click here.

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Transportation Cooperative Agreement Update

As previously reported in my newsletter, I'm pleased to announce great news regarding South County traffic relief, as I have convened a key stakeholder working group to create local transportation solutions and discuss congestion relief projects.

This collaborative effort resulted in a Cooperative Agreement, which was approved by County of Orange Board of Supervisors, Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors, and the San Clemente City Council to support the following projects as recommended by the South County Traffic Relief Effort study, which concluded in 2020:

  • Construction of the Los Patrones Parkway Extension as a non-tolled county arterial from its current terminus at Cow Camp Road to Avenida La Pata in San Clemente
  • OCTA and Caltrans efforts to complete high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane improvements on Interstate 5 between Avenida Pico and the San Diego County Line
  • The Ortega Highway (SR-74) Widening Project in San Juan Capistrano from two lanes to four lanes between Calle Entradero and the city/county border

These projects will address near-term congestion and safety concerns to identify a broad range of longer-term improvement recommendations for all modes of transportation, including streets, transit, freeways and bikeways, as OCTA is conducting the South Orange County Multimodal Transportation Study. This study is a collaborative and strategic transportation study which is currently underway and will address mobility needs beyond the year 2045.

Click here for additional facts about the Cooperative Agreement.

Click here for a status update on the three projects.

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Amtrak Pacific Surfliner Expands Service

I'm pleased to report Orange County residents can now enjoy more reliable and frequent trips on the Amtrak® Pacific Surfliner®.

In late October, the Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency, which manages the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner service, implemented one of the largest schedule adjustments for the Pacific Surfliner in years. It included further restoration of service across the corridor as well as sweeping adjustments to existing train schedules.

The improvements enhance the reliability and connectivity of trains that travel between San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

Pacific Surfliner trains have been operating on a reduced schedule since March 2020 due to a pandemic-related drop in travel demand. The schedule change builds on the partial service restoration that was implemented in June 2021, and also moves towards pulsed schedules, which evenly distribute trains to provide maximum service coverage.

Changes include:

  • One additional round-trip was added that travels the length of the corridor. 
  • Most train departure and arrival times were shifted to evenly space them out across the day for more consistent frequencies. Many train numbers changed.
  • The schedule is now consistent for both weekday and weekend travel.

Travelers now have predictable departure times between trains, and improved connections to other train services.

Passengers are encouraged to follow safety measures and any important public health orders in place during their trip and at their destination. Per federal law and Amtrak policy, face coverings must still be worn while onboard trains and in stations.

The Amtrak Pacific Surfliner passes through Orange County as part of its 351-mile coastal rail route from San Diego to San Luis Obispo. The LOSSAN Agency is managed by OCTA in an agreement with the state. For more information, click here

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Technology Solutions Now Available for Seniors!

Are you a senior age 60 or older, living in South County, and looking for ways to connect online but don’t have a device or the training necessary to do so? Then look no further, as the County’s Technology Solutions for Seniors program may be able to help!

The program offers qualifying seniors a free iPad with data plan and training included, as well as access to online virtual classes, activities and programs. If you’re homebound, living alone or in a care facility, have health issues, limited mobility, functional disability or limited English skills, then you might be a candidate for this program. Devices are limited, so don’t delay!

Call (800) 510-2020 or (714) 480-6450 to see if you qualify. If you already have a device and would like to sign up for free online classes, click here (Coupon Code: OC). For more information click on the image below.

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Online Classes and Groups for Older Adults
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Safety Standards for Public Holiday Decorations
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America Recycles Day: Reduce, Reuse & Recycle
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San Juan Transferring Water Utility to SMWD
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Please Support Our Troops This Veterans Day!
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Find the Right Medicare Plan Through Dec. 7
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Dr. Marilyn Ditty: A Legacy of Accomplishment
With my longtime friend, Dr. Marilyn Ditty.

I was deeply saddened this week to adjourn our Orange County Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of my dear and longtime friend, Dr. Marilyn Ditty, who passed away October 31 at the age of 81. For more information, click here.

Marilyn was an amazing woman who made an impact on countless lives. In the late '70s, Marilyn received her master’s degree from the University of San Diego, when the aging field was in its pioneering stage, and after she pursued post-graduate studies at the University of Southern California School of Gerontology. Marilyn then continued her journey of education by receiving her Doctorate in Public Administration from the University of La Verne and went on to serve on various advisory boards and as an associate professor.

Presenting a crystal award to Dr. Marilyn Ditty at the 10th annual South County Senior Summit.

Marilyn is extensively known for her distinguished work in the field of gerontology, as she dedicated her career to educate and advocate for older adults on the local, state, federal and international level. Most importantly, she was the founder emeritus of Age Well Senior Services, Inc., formerly South County Senior Services, and served as its CEO for over 40 years.

Her work paved the way for Senior Services in Orange County, as her devotion to improve the welfare of older adults established community-based care for the aging community. Among her many accolades, Marilyn received the coveted SAGE Award (Senior Achievement and General Excellence) from the Senior Housing Council and honored at a nationwide tribute to caregivers by Marriot Senior Living Services. However, Marilyn is best known for establishing an excellent model for community-based care for seniors, which has served over 85,000 older adults in Orange County.

With Age Well Senior Services founder emeritus Dr. Marilyn Ditty and current CEO Steve Moyer.

Marilyn was the most determined, passionate, generous and visionary woman many of us will ever know. She taught us respect, courage, commitment and perseverance. Each person she touched now carries her great influence and inspiration, and all that knew Dr. Ditty will miss her dearly. She will always be loved and appreciated by all. Our prayers and thoughts are with her family.

With Dr. Marilyn Ditty at the Age Well Senior Services Gala.

The Ditty family will be honoring Marilyn and holding a Celebration of Life in her memory during the 2022 year. I'd also like to acknowledge and give special thanks to Steve Moyer, CEO of Age Well Senior Services, for his kindness and support of Dr. Marilyn Ditty before and after her passing. Rest in Peace, Marilyn.

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Sheldon Pines: Adjournment in Memoriam
Sheldon Pines - Rest in Peace

I also adjourned our Board meeting in memory of Sheldon Pines of Dana Point, who passed away Oct. 6 at the age 0f 79. Sheldon was born Feb 18, 1942 in Chicago and graduated from Purdue University. After working for Bell and Howell in the eastern and mid-western markets, he moved to California in 1967. Sheldon founded and co-owned a video Electronics firm In Orange County in the late ‘70s and owned and operated a printing and graphic design business in Costa Mesa in the '90s.

In 2001, Sheldon began at The Toll Roads of Orange County as Director of Community Relations and retired from the agency in 2011. Sheldon was also Chairman of the Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in 2007 and moved to Dana Point in 2012. Sheldon was was kind, perceptive and well-rounded in business acumen. He also had a great sense of humor and kept people at ease when they were around him. He spent the last several years playing golf with friends and was also an avid reader and a fan of cinema. 

His passing was sudden, but memories of Sheldon Pines will last forever. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Helen, and daughter, Stephanie. As such, I adjourned our Board meeting in memory of Sheldon Pines and asked that we extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and loved ones for their loss. May he Rest in Peace.

Sheldon with his loving wife, Helen.
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Capistrano Greenery Grand Opening Ceremony

This week, I had the honor of participating in the grand opening ceremony for the Capistrano Greenery at the Prima Deshecha landfill in San Juan Capistrano. The Capistrano Greenery is truly a remarkable accomplishment.

Speaking at the Capistrano Greenery grand opening ceremony.

OC Waste and Recycling (OCWR) has made a significant contribution to our waste management infrastructure and provided a critical regional response to game-changing, industry-transforming statewide mandates.

L-R: With OCWR Director Tom Koutroulis, County CEO Frank Kim, and San Juan Capistrano John Taylor.

Meeting the mandates of legislation, like SB1383, SB1826 and SB1594 without an existing infrastructure, would be nearly impossible without facilities like this. OC Waste & Recycling is to be highly commended on an outstanding job!

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Don Hansen: Anthony Hsieh Conservation Award
L-R: Dana Point Mayor Jamey Federico, San Clemente Mayor Kathy Ward, State Senator Pat Bates, and my Community Relations Advisor, Sergio Prince, with the evening's honoree, Don Hansen.

Last week, my office had the great pleasure of joining other South County elected officials and dignitaries in presenting well-deserved commendations to Don Hansen, founder of Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching in Dana Point Harbor, who was named winner of the 2021 Anthony Hsieh Conservation Award by the Coastal Conservation Association of California. The event was held in the ballroom of the Costa Mesa County Club.

The Anthony Hsieh Conservation Award is bestowed each year by the Coastal Conservation Association of California (CCA-CAL) to an individual who has diligently supported sportfishing in California, in addition to having made meaningful contributions toward the protection, restoration, and enhancement of our marine resources.

To that end, Don Hansen’s decades of work to help improve California sportfishing and make it accessible to the general public has firmly established him as a legend within the sportfishing industry.

Upon turning 18, Don Hansen joined the United States Coast Guard, and after receiving an honorable discharge, ran vessels for San Clemente Sportfishing, which ultimately led him to purchasing the company in 1966, as he regularly took out over 10,000 fishermen every season from San Clemente Pier on four different fishing boats.

In 1971, Don Hansen moved into the newly built Dana Point Harbor with Dana Wharf Sportfishing as the initial tenant, and he is also attributed with jump-starting the local whale watching industry, as well as for producing the Dana Point Festival of Whales, which remains the longest running festival of its kind in the world.

Don Hansen - 2021 Anthony Hsieh Conservation Award Winner.

In addition to numerous marine education programs for youth, Don Hansen’s legacy includes being named San Clemente Citizen of the Year in 1970, receiving the San Clemente Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, serving as Chairman of the Pacific Fisheries Management Council, being appointed to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission and the National Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, and he currently serves as Vice President of the Sportfishing Association of California. For more information, click here.

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Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting Events

My office was pleased to present a certificate of recognition to Beauty Break in San Clemente, where the Chamber of Commerce conducted a ribbon cutting ceremony this week. Beauty Break is the one stop shop for everyone to get their beauty services, including nails, makeup, hair, lash extensions, facials, and more! Please join me in welcoming Beauty Break to the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce!

My Community Relations Advisor, Sergio Prince, at the ribbon cutting for Beauty Break in San Clemente, with owner Hamed Zadeh and business partner Mojan Shahsavar (center).
(Photo courtesy of Faro Photography)
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My office was also pleased to present a certificate of recognition to Brite & Beautiful OC in Mission Viejo, where the Chamber of Commerce conducted a ribbon cutting ceremony this week. From the moment you step inside Brite & Beautiful OC until the moment you leave, you will be treated with expert care and exquisite customer service. Please join me in welcoming Brite & Beautiful OC to the Mission Viejo the Chamber of Commerce!

My Field Representative, Dawn Kamber, at the ribbon cutting for Brite & Beautiful OC in Mission Viejo, with owner Tina Martin (center).
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My office was pleased to present a certificate of recognition to Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Laguna Hills, where the Chamber of Commerce conducted a ribbon cutting ceremony last week. At Fred Astaire Dance Studios, they help students enrich their lives, in ways such as physical conditioning, emotional satisfaction, mental growth, and improved social confidence, by utilizing the transformative and creative powers of dance. Please join me in welcoming Fred Astaire Dance Studio to the Laguna Hills Chamber of Commerce!

My Field Representative, Dawn Kamber, presents a commendation to Briana and Kris Suakjian, owners of Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Laguna Hills.
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COVID-19 Orange County Case Counts by Cities

The OC Health Care Agency continues to release daily COVID-19 case counts in Orange County. As of today, HCA is reporting 306,657 positive cumulative cases and 5,615 deaths to date, as well as 212 currently hospitalized with 54 in ICU.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Engagement Program!

My Board colleagues and I recently approved the launch of the OC Health Care Agency’s (HCA) Vaccine Equity Engagement Program in an effort to accelerate the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, with a continued focus on the most vulnerable high-risk populations in Orange County.

The program provides an opportunity for community members to nominate collaboratives, volunteers and other organizations (especially smaller groups in hard-to-reach communities) for an opportunity to earn a coordination fee of $20 for every individual who receives either their first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (with a preferred minimum of 50 individuals registered per event). The program’s $4.5 million in funding is made available from the State of California’s Government Operations Agency.

Through the Vaccine Equity Engagement Program, HCA will oversee the criteria for organizations to host clinics, provide them with public health messaging resources to help them promote their events and communicate the importance of the vaccine to their community members, and collaborate with them on innovative ideas to increase engagement with residents such as donation and gift matching opportunities.

Interested organizations will be able to sign up to participate in this program and host vaccine clinics in partnership with HCA through the Mobile Vaccine Service feature on the Othena platform. Additionally, the Othena platform now offers a new feature for any eligible individual who has scheduled a vaccination appointment to request free roundtrip rides to their appointment. They can now log in to or the smartphone app to request a ride to their appointment (residents are encouraged to request rides 3 to 5 days in advance and rides are subject to availability).

To sign up for the Vaccine Engagement Program and host a community clinic, interested organizations can click here.

Individuals looking to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment or complete their second dose can do so by visiting or calling the OC COVID-19 Hotline at (714) 834-2000. For additional information on free or discounted rides to vaccination appointments, please visit the Lyft or Uber websites. For more information and resources on the COVID-19 vaccine in Orange County, click here.

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County Offering Othena Mobile Vaccine Service

The Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) recently launched a new feature on the Othena platform, which streamlines the process for any interested individuals, groups, employers and businesses to request an onsite, mobile COVID-19 vaccination service.

To begin the application process, individuals can visit the Mobile Vaccine Service section of the Othena website or smartphone app and provide the following intake details:

  • Name of the organization or group 
  • Primary point of contact 
  • Estimated number of patients at event (at least 50 preferred)
  • Ability to register patients ahead of time
  • Ability to supply a climate-controlled location 
  • Preferred day(s) of the week

Once the application has been submitted, HCA will assign a dedicated Community Liaison to work directly with the primary point of contact to engage in a collaborative planning process. 

Additionally, the Mobile Vaccine Service feature enables community members who are homebound and meet specific criteria (or their caretakers) to schedule at-home vaccinations. To learn more, please visit, call the OC COVID-19 Hotline at (714) 834-2000, or see the flyer below.

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Do You Need a Ride to Get Your Vaccination?
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Pfizer Vaccine Eligibility Includes Ages 12-15

Orange County parents and legal guardians of minors ages 12 to 15 can now schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment or walk-in to County of Orange Point-of-Dispensing (POD) sites offering Pfizer. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration amended the Pfizer vaccine’s Emergency Use Authorization to allow administration for 12 to 15-year-olds, following clinical trials that proved it safe for this age group with only non-serious side effects like fatigue and headache.

Subsequently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine safety review panel and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup recommended that the vaccine is safe and highly effective in protecting this age group against COVID-19. 

Individuals who would like to receive the Pfizer vaccine for themselves or their children ages 12 and older can do so through:

  • A Primary Care provider or Pediatrician with whom your children or family is already familiar
  • Pharmacies
  • Visiting
  • Visiting - If further assistance is needed with selecting a site, scheduling, or arranging for transportation to and from the site, community members can call HCA’s OC COVID-19 Hotline at (714) 834-2000
  • Walking-in to a County POD site that is administering the Pfizer vaccine

For more information, click here.

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COVID-19 Vaccinations Available for Ages 16+

As previously reported, everyone ages 16 and over in Orange County is now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Parental consent is required for youth under 18; however, they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to receive the vaccine. If you have not already done so, be sure to get register with Othena ahead of time to ensure your place in the virtual waiting queue.  

People within the eligible groups are strongly encouraged to register now with Othena to receive a vaccination from the County. Once registered, they will be placed in the virtual waiting room with other individuals who are already eligible within the State’s guidelines. Appointments are dependent on vaccine supply. As the County receives more vaccines, more appointments will open in Othena

For more information on COVID-19 vaccine resources in Orange County, including this weekend's POD schedule, click here

Please be aware that there are more channels of distribution other than the County where people can get a vaccine. For more information on where you can find appointments through other medical providers and local pharmacies, visit   

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FREE COVID Testing Opportunities in The OC!

Testing continues to be a main priority of our COVID-19 efforts. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or if your employer is requiring testing as a part of their business reopening plan, the County offers FREE testing to all of our residents. 

There are many options for testing, including our County Super Sites, testing kiosks located at various locations throughout the County (including Laguna Woods, Laguna Niguel, and Mission Viejo in the 5th District), and even at home tests that can be delivered to you and mailed to the lab for processing.

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Get Your FREE At-Home COVID-19 Testing Now!
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While You're Home, Beware of COVID-19 Scams!

While many of you are at home working or self-isolating and spending more time on the internet, thieves are taking advantage of this situation and coming up with new and innovative ways to separate you from your money. Now is a good time to educate yourself on the various ploys used by scammers for COVID-19.

If you lost a loved one to COVID-19, you may be eligible for a government program that pays for funeral expenses. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will pay up to $9,000 for funeral expenses for loved ones who died of COVID-19. Survivors can apply for benefits by contacting FEMA, toll-free, at 844-684-6333. To find out if you qualify, read FEMA’s Funeral Assistance FAQs.

Unfortunately, FEMA reports that scammers are contacting people and pretending to offer to register them for assistance. To avoid those scams, here are some tips:

  • FEMA will not contact you until you call or apply for assistance.
  • The government won’t ask you to pay anything to get this benefit. 
  • Don’t give your own or your deceased loved one’s personal or financial information to anyone who contacts you out of the blue.

If you think you got a scam call, hang up and report it to the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 or the Federal Trade Commission at

A recorded webinar on financial protection of older adults during the COVID pandemic was recently held and is available for on-demand viewing. The webinar included a panel discussion of experts from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and Health and Human Services (HHS).

If you are behind on your mortgage, beware of mortgage relief scams. There is free foreclosure help. If anyone tries to charge you in advance for help or guarantees they can stop your foreclosure, they’re not legitimate. The CFPB has information on how you can avoid foreclosure and tips for working with your mortgage servicer. For more information on COVID housing protections and important deadlines, click here.

Challenges COVID-19 has brought include a higher risk of identity theft. In 2020, the FTC received about 1.4 million reports of identity theft, double the number from 2019. Repeatedly, identity thieves targeted government funds earmarked to help people hard hit financially by the pandemic. 

During the pandemic, we’re doing more online – working, connecting with family and friends, shopping, and banking. If something goes wrong with your device, you want to fix it right away. Scammers are preying on this, offering phony tech support services. Here’s what you should know about tech support scams.

Be on the lookout for fake calls, texts, and emails, as scammers are pretending to be Social Security Agency employees. They may threaten you and demand immediate payment to avoid arrest or other legal action. Do not be fooled!

Additionally, a large-scale coronavirus scam has erupted, as impostors are filing claims for unemployment benefits using names of people who have not filed claims. Victims learn about the fraud when they get a notice from their state unemployment benefits office or employer about their supposed application for benefits.

Sadly, people exploiting older adults are often family members or other trusted people who are handling the financial affairs of an incapacitated parent, relative or friend. As such, caregivers and assisted living and nursing facilities can also work together to help protect elderly residents from financial exploitation, both during the pandemic and after life returns to a new normal.

Lastly, if you’re having trouble paying your rent during the coronavirus pandemic, there are relief options and protections available for many renters. Additionally, through the California COVID-19 Rent Relief Program, both income-eligible renters who experienced pandemic related financial hardships, or landlords who experienced income loss due to unpaid rent, are eligible for financial assistance.

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County of Orange Mental Resiliency Resources

As the spread and far reaching impacts of COVID-19 continue to dominate the world news, we have all witnessed and experienced the parallel spread of worry, anxiety, and uncertainty. The way to overcome this natural tendency is to build our mental resilience, the ability to refocus, clear our minds, and discard negative thoughts.

Here's what you can do...

1) Remember that knowledge is power. Understanding the factors that affect a person’s immune response to COVID-19 will matter as much as, or more than, understanding the virus. There is great information available on the Orange County Health Care Agency's What You Feel is Real webpage.

2) Don’t accept everything you read or hear. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides information and frequent updates on the COVID-19’s spread, severity, risk assessment, etc., on the CDC's website.

3) Get your emotional support system in place:

  • Maintain familiar routines in daily life as much as possible; take care of your basic needs and employ helpful coping strategies; rest during work or between shifts, eat healthy food and engage in physical activity.
  • Stay connected with friends and family, even virtually connected, and maintain your social networks.
  • Have the emails and phone numbers of close friends and family handy.

4) Take control, incorporate preventative measures:

  • See the CDC’s list of preventative measures.
  • The constant stream of news reports can cause anyone to feel anxious or distressed. Instead, seek updates and practical guidelines at intervals during the day.
  • Be supportive to others. Assisting others in their time of need can benefit the person receiving support as well as the helper.

If you or a loved one are feeling anxiety, worry or fear related to the social disruption caused by COVID-19, you can also reach out to these resources for support:

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NAMI Orange County: FACE-TO-FACE
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OC Pet of the Week: Meet Georgette!
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Drive-Thru Pet Food Pantry at OC Animal Care
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Fall in Love Twice with Kitties in November!
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Lost and Found Community Pet Information
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Dana Point: Veterans Day Program 2021

On Veterans Day, Dana Point Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9934, the Ladies Auxiliary, and the City of Dana Point will recognize all veterans for their service and sacrifices for America. The ceremony starts at 10:00 AM at Strands Vista Park, located at 34201 Selva Road, Dana Point.  For more information, click here.

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Irvine: Veterans Day Ceremony 2021

On Thursday, November 11, The City of Irvine will hosts a special Veterans Day Ceremony from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM in the Formal Garden at Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park to pay tribute to our nation’s troops, both past and present. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, click here.

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Laguna Beach: VFW's 75th Anniversary

On Veterans Day, VFW Post 5868 will celebrate its 75th Anniversary at Monument Point in Laguna Beach’s Heisler Park at 11:00 AM. Music will begin at 10:45 AM with the First Marine Division Band, including a C-17 flyover for the ceremony.  

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Laguna Niguel: Veterans Day Ceremony
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Mission Viejo: Veterans Day Observance
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RSM Presents a Salute to Our Veterans
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San Clemente: Marine Corps Birthday - Nov. 14
Click the image above for more info.
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Laguna Beach: A Day of Kindness - Nov. 13
Click the image above for more info.
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Dana Point: 44th Annual Turkey Trot - Nov. 25
Click the image above for more into.
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OC Public Libraries: Services, Events & Activities
Click the image above for this week's Author Connection!
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South OC Cars and Coffee in San Clemente

South OC Cars and Coffee is the world’s largest weekly car show, held every Saturday from 9 AM to 11 AM at Outlets at San Clemente, 101 W Avenida Vista Hermosa, attracting a mix of 1500-3500 plus hyper-cars, supercars, exotics, vintage, classic, muscle and sports cars, hot rods, rat rods, pickups, 4x4s and motorcycles. No registration is required. Spectators are welcome and meet every Saturday, rain or shine! For more information, click here or on the image below.

Click the image above for more information.
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Ladera Ranch Farmers Market Every Sunday!
Click the image above for more info.
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Click the image above for information on their
Meals on Wheels and Congregate Lunches for Seniors.


Click the image above for information on their
Drive-Thru Food Distribution, weekdays in San Clemente.



Click the image above for information on their
 Drive Through Food Bank, Monday - Friday in Irvine.


Click the image above for information on their
 Food Pantry, Monday - Friday in Laguna Beach.



Click the image above for info on their Food Pantry
held on the first & third Wednesday of every month.



Click the image above for information on their
PEACE Community Resource Center Food Pantries.



Click the image above for information on their
Food Pantry Services weekdays in Irvine.
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Nutrition Gap Program Relaunched with 211 OC

I'm pleased to announce the relaunch of the Nutrition Gap Program. Food insecurity continues to be a major challenge for many residents, as people struggle to get back on their feet and keep food on the table. The goal is to satisfy the continued demand for nutritious food and bridge the gap between hunger and the next meal.

The $2 million dollar program is being funded by the America Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and is available to residents living in my district. Priority will be given to those experiencing food insecurity due to age/disability, economic status, lack of familial or community support, lack of access to available resources, and those who have military service.

Enrollment is now open and, to make it as easy as possible for people to enroll in the program, we have three options by which they can enroll.

Program Details:

  • Coordinated through the Office on Aging in partnership with 2-1-1 Orange County.
  • Provides twice-weekly deliveries, via DoorDash, of restaurant-quality meals directly to participant’s homes.
  • Each Monday, participants receive three fresh lunches and three fresh dinners.
  • Each Thursday, they receive three fresh lunches, three fresh dinners, one frozen lunch, and one frozen dinner.

Restaurants participating in the program include:

  • Ruby’s Diner
  • Bella Collina
  • Villa Roma
  • Bamboo Bistro
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Mission Viejo: Drive-Through Food Collections
Click the image above to enlarge.
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Check Out The Fifth District Dispatch Archives!

For those of you who may have missed any of my previous Fifth District Dispatch newsletters, featuring up-to-date COVID-19 facts and other information pertinent to South County, click here

Thank you so much for your outstanding and continuing efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Orange County, as we're all in this together!

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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 VETERANS DAY 2021
orange arrow 5th DISTRICT SPOTLIGHT
James Dinwiddie
Chief of Staff

Yasie Goebel
Deputy Chief of Staff

Sergio Prince
Community Relations Advisor

Pauline Colvin
Communications Director

Nicole Garcia
Policy Advisor

Rosemary Conteras
Office Manager

Stay Updated!
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