It’s hard to believe that Spring is fast approaching. It seems like I started my Senate term just last week, but time seems to pass quicker than usual when there is a packed schedule of meetings and events each week.
A young boy recently wrote to me asking if I liked my job. The simple answer is yes, I really do. Being a legislator is intellectually challenging and provides me the opportunity to serve others and make our state a better place to live.
Over the past few weeks, I have worked on matters such as protecting emergency care services in San Clemente and preventing another fire tragedy similar to what recently happened in San Juan Capistrano, which claimed a mother and her two young children.
While issues like these may arouse passionate opinions in the community, I am committed to working with all to achieve responsible solutions. Bringing people together to tackle tough challenges is a major part of what public service is all about.
To contact me, you can send an electronic message on my website at senate.ca.gov/bates or mail a letter to:
Senator Patricia Bates
State Capitol, Room 4048
Sacramento, California 95814
Saddleback Memorial Medical Center is a critical asset to Southern Orange County, and I share the concern that many have expressed over a proposal that may affect emergency care services.
The bottom line is that we need to make sure that local residents have access to quality healthcare that includes emergency life-saving services. I am working with Assembly Member Bill Brough, local leaders, MemorialCare, and the Save San Clemente Hospital Foundation on a responsible solution.
We have held numerous discussions via phone and in person to address this issue, and we will continue to do so. I am committed to doing what I can to preserve the health services that Southern Orange County residents deserve.
Good news for CalOptima (Orange County’s health system for families and individuals with low incomes)!
Earlier this month, CalOptima’s OneCare program received news from the federal government that it can return to its normal operations, including enrolling new members. Previously under sanction from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) since January 24, 2014, CalOptima’s OneCare successfully completed a rigorous audit conducted by CMS last month. Since receiving the preliminary results on February 5, CMS identified major improvements in OneCare, including an enhanced “Model of Care” which vastly improves case management and care coordination for OneCare members.
CalOptima’s transformative work over the past 12 months is a step in the right direction, and just in time for their scheduled launch of a new program called Cal MediConnect on July 1, 2015. Cal MediConnect will help coordinate care for individuals eligible for Medicare and Medi-Cal, including nearly 75,000 Orange County residents.
For prospective and current college students, please note that the deadline to submit the FAFSA and Cal Grant GPA Verification Form is on March 2! More information about student aid deadlines can be found here.
The Barona Band of Mission Indians is now accepting applications for its $5,000 education grant, which can be used to buy much-needed school materials such as books and computers.
Applications for the grant may be submitted to my office on your behalf, or you may submit the application directly to the Barona Band of Mission Indians as long as it is accompanied by an endorsement letter from me. To learn more about the grant and the application process, please click here.
On Thursday, March 26, 2015, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., I will be co-hosting a seminar on online safety with Facebook and Carlsbad officials at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Spa (5480 Grand Pacific Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008).
This seminar came about due to an incident on January 5 when a threat was posted on social media that referenced Carlsbad High School. The school went into lockdown and students were dismissed early as the investigation ensued. Within 48 hours, the student who posted the threatening message was arrested.
Sadly, social media and electronic messaging have become the latest “vehicle of choice” to send school threats. That is why I have teamed up with Facebook, Carlsbad Unified School District, law enforcement, and other leaders to create the March 26 seminar.
Juan Salazar, the Associate Manager of State Policy at Facebook, will deliver a presentation of the tools available to members of the Facebook community to report inappropriate content, harassment, and other forms of cyber bullying.
We will also have a panel discussion with a question-and-answer session. I hope you will be able to attend!
I send my best wishes to everyone celebrating the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Goat.
Lunar New Year is a special time for our state’s Asian communities as it marks the traditional beginning of the year for their ancestral homelands. It is an exciting time of renewal, celebration, and reflection.
The ethnic communities that comprise the greater Asian Pacific Islander community are an essential part of the Golden State. I join them in celebrating this joyous occasion and wish them a most successful New Year.
Do you own a business in San Diego’s North County? The San Diego North Economic Development Council is transitioning its North County Business Journal to a digital magazine with a limited print run.
The magazine will be delivered to the e-mail inboxes of business and community leaders in North San Diego County. Please contact 760.510.3179 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Save the Date! Carlsbad: Facebook Online Safety Seminar (more information in this e-newsletter)
Date: Thursday, March 26
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Location: Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Spa, 5480 Grand Pacific Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008
San Clemente: Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast
Date: Tuesday, March 3
Time: 7 a.m. - 9 a.m.
Location: City of San Clemente Community Center, 100 N. Calle Seville, San Clemente, CA 92672
Come join the Mayor of San Clemente for a wonderful breakfast and enjoy an inspirational speech.
Carlsbad: 4th Annual Taste of Bressi Festival
Date: Saturday, March 7
Time: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Location: Boys & Girls Club Bressi Ranch Clubhouse, 2730 Bressi Ranch Way, Carlsbad, CA 92009
Local vendors will be providing tastings of signature dishes and beverages, while guests soak up the sounds of great tunes.
Dana Point: Festival of Whales
Date: March 7-8 and 14-15
Time: Visit website for event times
Location: Dana Point Harbor
The 44th annual Dana Point Festival of Whales celebrates the return of the once-endangered California Gray Whale. This annual celebration draws nearly 100,000 visitors from around the world to Dana Point each year during the height of whale watching season.
Carlsbad: Second Annual North County Economic Summit
Date: Tuesday, March 10
Time: 7 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Location: Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa, 5480 Grand Pacific Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008
The San Diego North Economic Development Council is hosting its annual North County Economic Summit at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa. The event is open to the public and will highlight the San Diego region’s vitality and growth.
In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other Senate activities, I also:
- Met with the California Medical Association and California Hospital Association regarding the San Clemente hospital situation
- Attended South Orange County Economic Coalition’s Legislative Meet and Greet
- Participated in the St. Anne School’s (Laguna Niguel) ribbon cutting of its new Legacy Dining and Multi-Purpose Building (pictured below)
On my behalf, my office staff also:
- Attended the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative and Transportation Committee meeting
- Toured the Goddard School in Ladera Ranch
- Attended the Municipal Water District of Orange County’s Water Policy Dinner
- Attended the Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs Committee meeting
- Participated in the Ribbon Cutting of SC Kona Ice in Dana Point
- Attended the Safer Internet Day presentation in Sacramento.