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  • May 12, 2020 12:25 PM | Todd Stearns (Administrator)



    Join The Great American Takeout and Pepsi in supporting local restaurants with dinner and a movie!

    This Friday at 8 pm ET, order takeout from your favorite restaurant (bonus points if it’s owned by a woman) and stream a free showing of A Fine Line—a powerful new documentary exploring why fewer than 7% of head chefs and restaurant owners are women. Pepsi is making the award-winning film available for free on YouTube, followed by a Q&A with the director and some of the world’s most renowned female chefs. Join us for an inspiring celebration of perseverance, family and food!

    Set a reminder to watch the virtual screening here: https://youtu.be/a5vKEc9tkLo

  • May 08, 2020 11:57 AM | Todd Stearns (Administrator)

    Californians have been staying home and saving lives since the start of our statewide stay-at-home order issued on March 19, 2020. These efforts have allowed the state to move forward on our roadmap for modifying the statewide order. 

    We are now moving into Stage 2, where some lower-risk workplaces can gradually open with adaptations. The state is issuing guidance to help these workplaces reopen safely.

    STAGE 1:
    Safety and preparedness

    Make workplaces safe for our essential workers. 

    STAGE 2:
    Lower-risk workplaces

    Gradually reopen retail (curbside only), manufacturing & logistics. Later, relax retail restrictions, adapt & reopen schools, child care, offices & limited hospitality, personal services.

    STAGE 3: 
    Higher-risk workplaces

    Adapt and reopen movie theaters, religious services, & more personal & hospitality services.

    STAGE 4: 
    End of Stay Home Order

    Reopen areas of highest risk: e.g. Concerts, conventions, sports arenas.

    When modifications are advanced and the state’s six indicators show we’ve made enough progress, we can move to the next stage of the roadmap. 

    Stage 2 expansion will be phased in gradually. Some communities may move through Stage 2 faster if they are able to show greater progress. Counties that have met the readiness criteria and worked with the California Department of Public Health can open more workplaces as outlined on the County Variance page.

    Industry guidance to reduce the risk

    California will move into Stage 2 of modifying the state’s Stay-at-Home order on May 8, 2020. Our progress in achieving key public health metrics will allow a gradual re-opening of California’s economy.

    We recognize the impact of economic hardship. We must get our economy roaring once again and put paychecks in people’s pockets. But the risk of COVID-19 infection is still real for all Californians and continues to be fatal.

    That is why every business should take every step humanly possible to reduce the risk of infection:

    • Plan and prepare for re-opening
    • Make radical changes within the workplace
    • Adjust practices by employees and help educate customers

    Below are guidance for each early Stage 2 business to follow. The goal is a safe, clean environment for workers and customers. Businesses may use effective alternative or innovative methods to build upon the guidance.

    Review the guidance that is relevant to your workplace, prepare a plan based on the guidance for your industry, and put it into action. 

    When complete, you can post the industry-specific checklist (below) in your workplace to show your customers and your employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

    Before reopening, all facilities must:

    1. Perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan
    2. Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them
    3. Implement individual control measures and screenings
    4. Implement disinfecting protocols
    5. Implement physical distancing guidelines

    To provide your input on future industry guidance, fill out the California Recovery Roadmap survey.

    It is critical that employees needing to self-isolate because of COVID-19 are encouraged to stay at home, with sick leave policies to support that, to prevent further infection in your workplace. See additional information on government programs supporting sick leave and worker’s compensation for COVID-19.

    Click the link for more info! https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap/

  • April 13, 2020 3:21 PM | Todd Stearns (Administrator)
    While having to Shelter in Place certainly has its downsides, there are a few upsides too. Namely, you should be at home and that gives you the opportunity to take some of the great FREE Score Webinars available!

    Take advantage of some really great, truly relevant topics!

    • April 14 - Behaviors That Put Entrepreneurs at Risk
    • April 16: National Resources and Policy Updates for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
    • April 21 - How Volunteering Can Help Your Business
    • April 28 - Marketing Advice to Combat an Economic Downturn
    • May 7 - Navigating Long-Term Uncertainty After Disruption
    • May 14 - Essential PR Tools and Tactics While Sheltering in Place
    • May 21: Don't Let Fear Steal Your Dream of Business Ownership

    https://www.score.org/content/take-workshop

  • April 02, 2020 2:02 PM | Todd Stearns (Administrator)


  • November 25, 2019 1:51 PM | Todd Stearns (Administrator)


  • November 24, 2019 6:17 AM | Todd Stearns (Administrator)


    The Ladera Rancho Chamber of Commerce had the pleasure of following the marvelous journey water takes en route to Orange County – and what an amazing journey it is! The trip was hosted by the Metropolitan Water District of Orange County and Director Larry McKenney over the course of three days from November 15th – 17th. (Did you know you may be drinking water from Wyoming when you open your tap?).

    We had the opportunity to view many of the infrastructure elements that have essentially enabled humans to settle, populate and grow the economic powerhouses of Las Vegas, San Diego, the IE and Orange County. None would be possible without the ability to store water and then to distribute that water in very complicated ways.

    We picked up the journey at the Hoover Dam (did you know its name was changed?), a true engineering marvel, particularly when you consider it was built almost 100 years ago during the depression. But that’s only part of the story because water then travels through several other dams, including Parker Dam that provides half of the hydroelectricity necessary to lift the water to the aqueduct. From there, water snakes through another 242 miles and terminates at Lake Mathews, where it is purified and sent to our houses!

    Places viewed: Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, Gene Camp, Copper Basin, Parker Dam, Whitsett Pumping Plant, Lake Havasu, Palo Verde Irrigation District, HayDay Farms, Patton Museum

    Thirty representatives from organizations all over the state participated, coming from as far away as Westlands Water District in Fresno – it was a great group and everyone was eager to learn and collaborate!

    Some of our take-aways from the trip:

    1. The storage of water is THE element that enables us all to live where we do.
    2. Most people have no idea of the Herculean effort it takes to bring high quality drinking water to their taps - but it is important to have some understanding.
    3. Population growth and climate change pose significant challenges to the continued sustainability of the system.
    4. The way water is distributed to stake holders throughout the system is complex and requires more legalese than we have (did you know that the doctrine of Prior Appropriation regulates water rights in the West?).
    5. Adding to water supplies in the future will be different than in the past and will have to include more conservation efforts, storage and greater water reclamation. 
    6. The availability of water is directly tied to Economic Growth.
    7. We only drink 1% of the water that is delivered to our homes. (did you know that tap water is higher regulated than bottled water and usually better quality?).


  • November 13, 2019 9:21 AM | Todd Stearns (Administrator)


    Caltrans Begins Environmental Review Phase of the South County Traffic Relief Effort

    Caltrans, in coordination with the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA), is initiating the formal environmental review phase for the South County Traffic Relief Effort (SCTRE).

    The state transportation agency is seeking public engagement and input on developing mobility solutions in South Orange County by holding two public scoping meetings along with a 30-day public comment period beginning November 8 and concluding December 9 at 5:00 p.m.

    “Public feedback will be an important element in the decision-making process as the alternatives are studied in more detail,” said Caltrans District 12 Director Ryan Chamberlain.

    The public scoping meetings will be held Open House format with no formal presentation and attendees may arrive at any time during the event hours. Public comments will be accepted either verbally through a court-reporter or in writing.

    The scoping meetings will be held as follows:

    November 20, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center located at 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo, CA 92692.

    December 4, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Ocean Institute located at 24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr, Dana Point, CA 92629.

    Public comments will be accepted at both meetings as well as online at: www.sctre.org and via email at scoping@sctre.org

    Comments can also be mailed to the following address: Caltrans District 12, 1750 East 4th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92705, Attn: Env/SCTRE Scoping. Click here to read Caltrans’ official Public Notice. Questions about the process can also be sent to Jeff Bott at TCA – jbott@thetollroads.com or 949-754-3458

  • October 21, 2019 2:48 PM | Todd Stearns (Administrator)

    Friday is Trick or Treat in Mercantile West! This is always a fun dress rehearsal event if your kids can't wait until the 31st to wear their costumes :-)

    There will be a photo booth, a DJ to entertain families, live music, costumed Toy Story characters, a bounce house, face painters, balloon artists, special giveaways and more!

    The event will offer a wide variety of awesome candy including chocolate candy bars and other sweet treats, as well as a plethora of non-candy items including toys and fun knick-knacks for kids of all ages in support of the Teal Pumpkin Project.

  • September 12, 2019 11:33 AM | Todd Stearns (Administrator)

    Sept 12, 2019 - In order to kick-off the Dana Point Harbor Revitalization Project, 5th District Supervisor Lisa Bartlett and the Dana Point Harbor Historical Society plan to bury a time capsule on Monday, October 28th in the staging area next to El Torito in the Harbor. 

    As a sponsor, your business has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of history! 

    For more information, contact Community Relations Advisor, Sergio Prince, at (714) 834-3550 or sergio.prince@ocgov.com.

    Celebrate the the rich history of the Harbor and the surrounding areas!


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