2013 Headline News Archive

December 19, 2013 
Assistant Public Defender Appointed by Governor

Orange County Assistant Public Defender Tracy Lesage has been appointed to the State Bar of California's Attorney Diversion and Assistance Program Oversight Committee by Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr.


December 16, 2013 
Clerk-Recorder's Special Saturday Hours Continue in 2014

Due to high demand and increasing popularity, the OC Clerk-Recorder Department will continue its special Saturday office openings in 2014. Appointments are being taken now for marriage licenses and ceremonies, as well as passport services, for January 11th and February 8th from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.


December 12, 2013 
Get a Flu Vaccination for a Healthy Holiday Season

The Health Care Agency (HCA) reminds community members that the best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated. Peak flu season has not yet arrived, and it is not too late to vaccinate. For those without a medical provider or health insurance coverage, free flu shots are available at HCA's family health clinic.


November 21, 2013 
County Renewable Energy Project and Airport Director Honored

A renewable energy project powered by OC Waste & Recycling and John Wayne Airport Director Alan Murphy have won honors at the 2013 “Turning Red Tape Into Red Carpet” awards from the Orange County Business Council.


November 19, 2013 
Orange County Grand Jury Seeks Applicants

The Orange County Superior Court is actively seeking residents from throughout Orange County who want to make a difference in their community to apply for service on the next Grand Jury. The one-year term begins July 1, 2014. Applications are available on-line at www.ocgrandjury.org. Completed applications must be received by January 24, 2014.


November 19, 2013 
Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Reminders

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 22 and Monday, December 2 will experience higher-than-normal passenger traffic due to the Thanksgiving holiday.


November 19, 2013 
Crime Victims’ Memorial Design Finalists Chosen

Judges have selected five finalists from 59 entries in a competition to design a Crime Victims’ Memorial at William R. Mason Regional Park in Irvine. The five designs – from submitters in the US, Mexico and Yugoslavia – include features such as panels remembering victims by name, landscaped remembrance areas and reflecting pools. The finalists have been invited to submit more detailed designs by Jan. 30, 2014.


November 7, 2013 
OC Health Official Honored for Global Leadership

Dr. Samuel Stratton, Medical Director for the Health Care Agency's Emergency Medical Services division, has been honored with the 2013 Award for Global Leadership in Emergency Public Health from the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM).


November 5, 2013 
Dana Point Harbor Director Earns Third Statewide Honor

Brad Gross, OC Dana Point Harbor Director, has become the first person in the 65-year history of the California Association of Harbor Masters and Port Captains to earn his third title as State Harbor Master of the Year.


November 4, 2013 
John Wayne Airport Launches Redesigned Website

John Wayne Airport is pleased to announce the launch of its redesigned website, http://ocair.com/, offering essential information for travelers and visitors alike. The new website features a more intuitive navigation framework, real-time flight tracking, a "Visit Orange County" section, and much more.


October 28, 2013 
Clerk-Recorder Saturday Hours for November & December

Appointments are being taken now for marriage licenses and ceremonies, as well as passport services, for Saturday Nov. 16 and Dec. 14, when the offices of the Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department will open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


October 22, 2013 
County Prevails in Lawsuit

A Superior Court judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit by a former County employee who alleged she had been retaliated against and harassed while working for current County CEO Mike Giancola during his tenure as director of the County's Waste & Recycling Agency.


October 4, 2013 
OC Students Invited to Enter Aviation Art Contest

John Wayne Airport's 24th annual Student Art Contest is now underway. All OC public and private school students in grades K-12 are encouraged to submit artwork inspired by this year's theme: "Flying Saves Lives." Entries should be submitted no later than 4 p.m., Tuesday, November 5, 2013.


September 26, 2013 
New OC Public Works Director to Begin Duties on November 4

Following a nationwide recruitment, Shane L. Silsby, P.E., of Phoenix has been selected to become the new Director of OC Public Works, effective November 4.


September 24, 2013 
Property Tax Bills Mailed October 4th-18th

2013-14 Secured Property Tax Bills will be mailed to taxpayers October 4 – 18, 2013. All secured tax bills for the current year will be available to view/pay online once mailing begins.


September 12, 2013 
AB 701 Approved by California Legislature

Assembly Bill 701, which will end Orange County's Vehicle License Fee Adjustment Amount (VLFAA) dispute with the State, has been approved by both houses of the California Legislature and will now go to the Governor for signature.


September 4, 2013 
County of Orange Recognized Nationally with “Best of the Web” Award

The County of Orange has received the Center for Digital Government's 2013 Best of the Web Award for the innovation, functionality, productivity, and performance displayed by its recently re-launched website, www.ocgov.com.


September 4, 2013 
AB 701 to Resolve VLFAA Dispute

Assembly Bill 701 will be introduced in the California Legislature Thursday to help resolve Orange County's Vehicle License Fee Adjustment Amount (VLFAA) dispute. The bill, to be introduced by Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (65th District, Fullerton), would allow Orange County to be treated equally with California’s other 57 counties when it comes to the VLFAA funding formula.


August 29, 2013 
Clerk-Recorder Offers Special Saturday Hours of Operation

The Clerk-Recorder's North County Branch Office, Old Orange County Courthouse location, and South County Branch Office will all be open for special Saturday hours on September 21 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Reservations for civil wedding ceremonies and passports are recommended due to limited space.


August 28, 2013 
John Wayne Airport Posts July 2013 Statistics

Airline passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport increased in July 2013 as compared to July 2012. In July 2013, the Airport served 834,328 passengers, an increase of 2.2% when compared to the July 2012 passenger traffic count of 816,536.


August 22, 2013 
Unsecured Property Tax Payments Due September 3rd

Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector Shari Freidenrich reminds residents that the 2013-2014 unsecured property taxes for tax bills mailed in July must be paid by September 3, 2013 to avoid any late charges.


August 21, 2013 
New Director of OC Waste & Recycling Selected

The selection of Dylan G. Wright as Director of OC Waste & Recycling was announced today. Wright has served as Interim Director of OC Waste & Recycling since May 2013, and has 17 years of combined public and private sector solid waste industry experience.


August 7, 2013 
OC's First Human West Nile Virus Case of 2013 Reported

A Cypress female in her sixties has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) infection, becoming the Orange County's first human WNV infection in 2013. People over 50 years of age and those with certain medical conditions are at increased risk of serious complications from WNV infection.


July 18, 2013 
Online Appointments for Passports Now Available

The OC Clerk-Recorder Department is now accepting online applications from those seeking a passport. Applications can also be filled out online, allowing applicants to do most of the required work in advance of their visit to the Old County Courthouse in Santa Ana.


July 15, 2013 
Filing of Annual Assessment Appeals

The Clerk of the Board reminds residents that the Annual Filing Period for assessment appeals is July 2, 2013 through September 16, 2013. If you believe that the value of your property is less than the assessed value established by the Assessor for the January 1, 2013 lien date, you can challenge your assessment by filing an assessment appeal.


July 15, 2013 
Artist Nancy Goldman Featured at John Wayne Airport

A selection of paintings by OC artist Nancy Goldman are on exhibition through August 8, 2013 in the Thomas F. Riley Terminal as part of John Wayne Airport's Community Focus Space Program. Goldman works in various mediums but prefers watercolor due to its variability.


July 9, 2013 
Assessor Mails Annual Property Value Notices

The Office of the Assessor began mailing Annual Value Notices to Orange County property owners on July 5, 2013. The Taxable Value of property provided on this notice is used to calculate the annual property tax bill.


June 28, 2013 
OC Public Works Appoints New Deputy Director of Planning

OC Public Works has announced the appointment of Richard J. Sandzimier as Deputy Director, OC Planning. Sandzimier possesses 28+ years of experience in municipal operations, community development, public works, grants/funding and strategic planning.


June 28, 2013 
County Parks Director Named Chief Operating Officer

County Executive Officer Michael B. Giancola has selected Mark R. Denny, currently Director of OC Parks, to become the County's first Chief Operating Officer effective July 5, 2013.


June 25, 2013 
John Wayne Airport Posts May 2013 Statistics

Airline passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport increased in May 2013 as compared to May 2012. In May 2013, the Airport served 799,755 passengers, an increase of 7.8% when compared to the 742,204 passenger traffic count of May 2012.


June 21, 2013 
Summer Reading Program Begins

Children and teens are invited to visit their local OC Public Libraries branch to register for the free Summer Reading Program which runs from Monday, June 24 to August 3, 2013. Summer is a time for relaxation and fun, but it is also a time when many children, especially struggling readers, lose some of their reading skills. Families can help prevent this loss by keeping their children reading over the long summer break. One of the easiest ways to do this is to visit your local library!


June 20, 2013 
OC Animal Care Offers Free Pet Tags

Did you know that only 6% of the 29,000 animals impounded in 2012 at OC Animal Care had some form of identification? To help protect your furry friend, OC Animal Care is offering free identification tags every Saturday in July from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the shelter's entrance.


June 17, 2013 
Selection of Chief Real Estate Officer Announced

Following an open recruitment process, County Executive Officer Michael B. Giancola has announced the appointment of Scott D. Mayer to the position of Chief Real Estate Officer effective June 18, 2013. "Scott brings 25 years of real estate experience to his new role with the County of Orange and we look forward to utilizing his expertise in addressing the County's current and future real estate needs," Giancola said.


June 12, 2013 
Farmers Market Moves to Irvine Regional Park

The Tuesday morning farmers market that was previously at Irvine Ranch Historic Park has moved to Irvine Regional Park. Held every Tuesday from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., the event features vendors with organic produce, artisan bread, specialty nuts, Mediterranean and Hispanic food items and flowers.


June 5, 2013 
OC Animal Care Explorer Program is Now Recruiting

Are you between the ages of 14 and 21 and interested in an exciting career that involves the handling of animals? If so, then OC Animal Care's Explorer Post may be just the thing to get you started. Explorer Post 538 focuses on the fields of animal care and control, animal handling and training, and law enforcement.


June 4, 2013 
FAQs About a Multistate Outbreak of Hepatitis A Illnesses

The Orange County Health Care Agency has created a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about a multistate outbreak of Hepatitis A illnesses potentially associated with a frozen berry blend product.


June 3, 2013 
John Wayne Airport Posts April 2013 Statistics

Airline passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport increased in April 2013 as compared to April 2012. In April 2013, the Airport served 764,308 passengers, an increase of 5.1% when compared to the 727,523 passenger traffic count of April 2012.


May 24, 2013 
New Chief Financial Officer Appointed

County Executive Officer Michael B. Giancola has announced the selection of Frank Kim to serve as the County's Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Kim, who has been the County’s Budget Director for more than five years, will succeed Bob Franz as CFO.


May 23, 2013 
Adopt & Shop Mission Viejo Celebrates Grand Opening

OC Animal Care has partnered with the Found Animals Foundation to provide animals for Orange County's first Adopt & Shop store. Located on the lower level of The Shops at Mission Viejo, this unique pet store only adopts out animals from local shelters.


May 23, 2013 
Clerk-Recorder Plans Special Saturday Hours for June 22

The Orange County Clerk-Recorder will offer special Saturday hours on June 22nd from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Old County Courthouse in Santa Ana as well as the department's branch offices in Laguna Hills and Fullerton.


May 20, 2013 
OC Parks Presents 2013 Summer Concert Series

OC Parks welcomes back its annual outdoor summer concert series. Thirteen free concerts at Craig Regional Park, Mason Regional Park, Mile Square Regional Park, Irvine Regional Park and Bluff Park at Salt Creek Beach will present Southern California artists performing live under the summer sky on Thursday evenings June through August.


May 9, 2013 
County Hosts 2013-14 Budget Workshop

Community members are encouraged to attend the FY 2013-14 Budget Workshop on Friday, May 24th to learn about the County's budget process and anticipated issues.


May 7, 2013 
Global Entry Arrives at John Wayne Airport

John Wayne Airport and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have announced that a Global Entry kiosk is now in operation for travelers arriving from international destinations. Global Entry allows expedited CBP clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States.


May 7, 2013 
Supervisors Appoint County Executive Officer

The County of Orange Board of Supervisors today selected Michael B. Giancola to serve as County Executive Officer effective immediately.


April 24, 2013 
John Wayne Airport Posts March 2013 Statistics

Airline passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport increased in March 2013 as compared to March 2012. In March 2013, the Airport served 771,554 passengers, an increase of 6.0% when compared to the 727,841 passenger traffic count of March 2012.


April 16, 2013 
Supervisors Appoint Auditor-Controller

The Orange County Board of Supervisors today appointed Jan Grimes to serve as the County's Auditor-Controller. Ms. Grimes has been serving as the Chief Deputy Auditor-Controller and has more than 34 years of experience with the County of Orange. The appointment was made following the interview of four candidates for the position, which is one of the County's elected offices.


April 9, 2013 
OC Regional Computer Forensics Lab Receives Prestigious Accreditation

The FBI recently announced that the OC Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory has earned international accreditation from the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board. Currently, only 38 laboratories worldwide hold international accreditation in the digital and multimedia evidence-computer forensics discipline.


April 2, 2013 
Supervisors Appoint Clerk-Recorder

The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted April 2nd to appoint Hugh Nguyen to the office of County Clerk-Recorder. Mr. Nguyen has worked for the County of Orange since 1994, serving with the Clerk-Recorder's Office and the Office of the Clerk of the Board during his County career. The appointment followed the Board’s interviews with eleven candidates for Clerk-Recorder, which is one of the County’s elected offices.


April 1, 2013 
TTC Announces Top Ten Orange County Taxpayers

Treasurer-Tax Collector Shari Freidenrich has announced the County of Orange's top ten property tax payers for 2012 in the secured and unsecured categories.


March 26, 2013 
John Wayne Airport Posts February 2013 Statistics

Airline passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport increased in February 2013 as compared to February 2012. In February 2013, the Airport served 653,118 passengers, an increase of 6.5% when compared to the 613,201 passenger traffic count of February 2012.


March 13, 2013 
OC Food Establishments Receive Awards of Excellence

The Health Care Agency has issued 3,274 Award of Excellence certificates to local food facilities. From a qualifying group of 9,839 food facilities throughout OC, these establishments were recognized for their outstanding food safety and sanitation practices during 2012.


March 8, 2013 
DA Attorneys Honored for Drunk Driving Prosecutions

The Orange County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) recently honored 11 Orange County deputy district attorneys for their time and effort in prosecuting driving under the influence (DUI) cases in 2012.


March 7, 2013 
OC Parks Holds "Name the Gopher Snake" Contest

News ImageCommunity members are invited to stop by the Caspers Wilderness Park Nature Center any weekend in March (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and submit an entry to name the gopher snake. The winner will receive a 2013 OC Parks Annual Pass and backcountry tour with a Caspers Park Ranger.


March 4, 2013 
Clerk-Recorder Branch Office Celebrates Seven Years

More than 200,000 people have used the convenient South County branch office of the Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department since it opened seven years ago.


March 1, 2013 
County Launches Re-Designed Website

The County of Orange has officially launched its re-designed website, www.ocgov.com, which includes a fresh new look, enhanced features and streamlined navigation.


January 28, 2013 
Registration Now Open for Literary Orange 2013

Registration is now underway for Literary Orange 2013, a celebration of authors, readers and libraries taking place April 6th and featuring J.A. Jance and Tatjana Soli.


January 10, 2013 
County Saves on Pension Costs

The County of Orange has successfully borrowed $268 million through the sale of short-term Pension Obligation Bonds at interest rates of less than one percent, allowing the County to reduce pension costs by over $20 million.


January 9, 2013 
Auditor-Controller Releases OC Citizens' Report

The Auditor-Controller's office has released its annual OC Citizens' Report, which presents financial highlights for the County of Orange for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012 and provides a high-level summary of information contained in the County's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).


January 2, 2013 
Standard & Poor's Rates County Pension Obligation Bonds 'A+'

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has assigned its 'A+' rating to Orange County's taxable pension obligation bonds (POBs), series 2013A. At the same time, Standard & Poor's affirmed its 'AA-' issuer credit rating (ICR) on the county and its 'A+' long-term rating and underlying rating (SPUR) on the county's lease revenue bonds, recovery bonds, and POBs.