I missed a topic yesterday. It was on the OC Register’s website for a couple of days, but appeared in print yesterday. Here is a shortened version of the piece.
Funding to test bacteria in ocean suspended in Seal Beach
County halts winter month testing in 97 beach locations, including Seal Beach and Sunset Beach.
By JAIMEE LYNN FLETCHER
The Orange County Register
SEAL BEACH–The Orange County Health Care Agency will suspend funding to test ocean water for bacteria in 97 locations in Orange County, including Seal Beach, officials said.
The HCA announced last week it will pull its funding to test ocean water during off-season months for potentially harmful and disease-causing bacteria as a cost-saving measure.
Areas in Sunset Beach and Seal Beach will no longer be tested from Nov. 1 to March 31, said Rick Francis, chief of staff for Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach.
The health agency for the last 40 years has partnered with the Orange County Sanitation District and South Orange County Wastewater Authority to test local waters. State funding picked up the tab for ocean water testing from April 1 to Oct. 31 and the county covered testing costs in the fall and winter months.
The county is not required by law to test in off-season months but the HCA will continue to test for bacteria in summer months, Francis reported.
Seal Beach City Manager Dave Carmany said he is exploring ways the city could foot the bill to continue ocean water testing during the off-season, including possibly using a private lab to test coastal waters.
“I think this cut-back is indicative of a soft collapse of government infrastructure that may portend changes to the way Seal Beach must conduct government business,” Carmany wrote in an e-mail. “That is, as other agencies cut back, our city will be forced to step up.”
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FIVE-YEAR LOOK BACKS
Martin Wisckol of the OC Register also did an article on the topic of “Bond issues rate well with O.C. treasurer—Finance: Moorlach gives passing grades to three school measures going before voters next month.”
Huntington Beach’s school bond proposal has received straight A’s from Orange County Treasurer John Moorlach, who called the $123 million repair-and-construction plan a “model for the future.”
Two other school bond proposals going before voters next month – in the Santa Ana and Capistrano unified school districts – also received passing grades from Moorlach, although he emphasized that they have fewer taxpayer safeguards.
“The Huntington Beach bond measure stacks up much better than the others,” said Moorlach, whose entry into the school bond debate is unusual.
Moorlach said he had been besieged by both advocates and opponents of the bond measures, asking him to take a side. He agreed instead to issue a “report card” on each of the three bonds, grading them on five criteria for fiscal responsibility.
The Santa Ana and Capistrano districts each received a B overall.
First on Moorlach’s report cards is the amount of money school districts will set aside each year t ensure that future bonds for repairs will not be needed. Santa Ana received a C and Capistrano received a C-minus in this category. Huntington Beach got an A.
Also setting those two districts apart from Huntington Beach, with its perfect score, were their grades for the oversight committees that will keep an eye on the use of bond money. Those committees were graded for their autonomy and authority, with Santa Ana receiving a C and Capistrano getting a B.
OCTOBER 29 — THURSDAY
Join us for a tour of the Tustin Blimp Hangars. OC Parks and the U.S. Navy will be escorting us for a tour at 1:30 p.m.
Many of you have driven past or flown over the two hangars all of your life. If you would like to go inside one of them, then this outing is for you.
To whet your appetite, please go to the City of Tustin’s website at http://www.tustinca.org/ and click on “The Tustin Hangars: Titans of History.” This documentary, written and directed by Costa Mesa’s Peter Buffa, is an outstanding program on local history. It premiered on September 21st, so it is hot off the press.
We will meet at Gate 14 which is at the end of Armstrong Avenue.
We have been requested to encourage everyone to enter at the same time because the gates will be closed once we enter, so it might be difficult for latecomers to enter the hangar. We are working on a solution for those that cannot arrive at or before 1:30 p.m.
Please RSVP by responding to this e-mail.