1. Articles from Voice of OC

    voiceofoc.org

  2. 1-20 of 20
    1. Mission Viejo Planning Commission Rejects Controversial Whole Foods and Apartments Project

      Mission Viejo Planning Commission Rejects Controversial Whole Foods and Apartments Project

      The Mission Viejo Planning Commission rejected a zoning change that would pave the way for a highly contested development in Mission Viejo’s downtown area and potentially allow for more such developments that could change the town’s skyline. 

      The Garden Plaza Project, proposed to stand just north of city hall, would replace an aging commercial center in the city’s downtown area. The plans for the development feature 234 apartment units built above a Whole Foods store. 

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      Mentions: Local Business
    2. OC Judge Says Mission Viejo’s Secret Property Negotiations Don’t Violate Transparency Law

      OC Judge Says Mission Viejo’s Secret Property Negotiations Don’t Violate Transparency Law

      An OC Superior Court Judge determined that Mission Viejo City Council members didn’t violate transparency law when they negotiated Stein Mart redevelopment plans behind closed doors.

      OC Superior Court Judge James Crandall’s ruling denied a lawsuit against the Mission Viejo City Council Jan. 13 after a property owner challenged city hall secrecy surrounding a land deal purchase.

      It comes 11 months after Mission Viejo city officials began closed-session negotiations to purchase a Stein Mart building in the city’s downtown shopping center. 

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      Mentions: Local Business
    3. OC Residents Face Electricity Price Hike After Clean Power Agency Picks Preliminary Rates

      OC Residents Face Electricity Price Hike After Clean Power Agency Picks Preliminary Rates

      It looks like residents across Orange County will be paying $50 more a year for their electricity bills after board members of the county’s first community choice energy program finally picked preliminary rates.

      Despite multiple studies over the past three years pledging the new utility would be able to offer power at a premium price, the agency barely broke even with Edison’s offered rates for some of its new customers. 

      The Orange County Power Authority launched near the end of 2020, and spent the last year getting ready to launch a competitor to Southern California Edison with plans for cleaner power and more local control. 

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    4. Mask Mandate Returns to Orange County Wednesday

      Mask Mandate Returns to Orange County Wednesday

      Beginning Wednesday, all Orange County residents will again have to wear masks when going to indoor public places as the Omicron COVID-19 variant is raising concerns from public health experts, with some saying it will fuel a winter surge.

      “… the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is requiring masks to be worn in all indoor public settings, irrespective of vaccine status, for the next four weeks (December 15, 2021 through January 15, 2022),” reads updated health orders from the state health department.

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    5. Mission Viejo Moves Ahead With Stein Mart Purchase, Locking In Millions Of Bond Debt

      Mission Viejo Moves Ahead With Stein Mart Purchase, Locking In Millions Of Bond Debt

      Mission Viejo is moving ahead on a controversial real estate project in the city, using millions in taxpayer dollars for a project plagued with transparency concerns. 

      Since 2016, the city council has been trying to complete their new core vision plan for the city, with a new focus on the Oso Creek trails and revitalizing the shopping center across the street from city hall. 

      In February, the council started negotiations with the Kinstler Family Trust to purchase the vacant Stein Mart building in that shopping center,  

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    6. Fully Vaccinated Workers in OC Can Now Drop Their Masks While on the Job

      Fully Vaccinated Workers in OC Can Now Drop Their Masks While on the Job

      Fully vaccinated people can now ditch their masks at work in Orange County and throughout the Golden State following updates to jobsite pandemic policies by the state’s workplace regulatory board. 

      Unvaccinated workers will have to wear masks and employers must verify who’s vaccinated through a self-attestation process.

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    7. OC’s County Government is Flush with New Cash. Where Should It Go?

      OC’s County Government is Flush with New Cash. Where Should It Go?

      A year ago, Orange County officials were worried they might have to slash services and lay off staff to deal with an economic slowdown from the pandemic.

      Those fears didn’t come to fruition.

      In fact, the county is now eyeing a massive influx of cash – buoyed by skyrocketing housing prices and hundreds of millions in federal relief money.

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    8. Mission Viejo Offers Additional Financial Support For Local Businesses Impacted by The Pandemic

      Mission Viejo Offers Additional Financial Support For Local Businesses Impacted by The Pandemic

      Mission Viejo businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic are getting additional grants from the city in a continuation of relief efforts to help them through financially difficult times.

      The City Council last month unanimously authorized spending $350,000 to cover the businesses that applied for Mission Viejo’s Business Relief Grant Program late last year but were not chosen. In the first go around, the city handed out $500,000 in relief money to 27 businesses with each awarded between $5,000 and $25,000, according to Robert Schick, director of community relations. 

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    9. OC Could be Removed From State Coronavirus Watchlist, Potentially Allowing More ReopeningsVoice of OC

      OC Could be Removed From State Coronavirus Watchlist, Potentially Allowing More ReopeningsVoice of OC

      Orange County is slated to be removed from the state coronavirus watchlist if trends hold steady, which could potentially lead to more business and school classroom reopenings.

      “Late yesterday we received confirmation from the State that August 19 was the first day that Orange County is below all of the State’s data monitoring thresholds. As a reminder, we need to maintain this status for three consecutive days in order to be removed from the County Monitoring List,” county health officer Dr. Clayton Chau said in a Thursday email. 

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    10. Confusion Reigns Around Orange County’s Coronavirus Death Counts and Hospitalizations | Voice of OC

      Confusion Reigns Around Orange County’s Coronavirus Death Counts and Hospitalizations | Voice of OC

      This week, Orange County health officials acknowledged the county’s coronavirus death chart – which shows date of death – is missing some deaths in recent days because of an average week-long lag in reporting, creating an impression of a major drop that may not be accurate.

      The county Health Care Agency reports the deaths differently than the state Department of Public Health by using dates the deaths occur, while the state tallies them on the days the deaths are reported. 

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    11. How Are Orange County Restaurants Adapting To Their New COVID-19 Reality? – Voice of OC

      How Are Orange County Restaurants Adapting To Their New COVID-19 Reality? – Voice of OC

      It’s been over a month since most locals have been instructed to work from home. If you’re a part of the restaurant industry, however, food and beverage are considered an essential service.

      Due to the closure of all dining rooms, thousands of service staff have been forced to file for unemployment; if we factor in the rest of California, that count is above a million. Those that are still on the clock are utilizing gloves, masks, disinfectant, hand sanitizer, and other precautions to prevent catching and spreading COVID-19.

      While many establishments have temporarily closed their doors, others have chosen different paths.

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    12. Who’s Running For Public Office in Orange County’s March Election?

      Who’s Running For Public Office in Orange County’s March Election?

      A host of high-profile congressional seats in Orange County are up for grabs in the upcoming March primary, along with two key local races for county supervisor and a host of other local offices.

      This week, voters get to see the official run down of faces vying for those seats as the filing deadline for candidates running for public office is on Friday.

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    13. OC Sees Spike in Children Hospitalized for Mental Crises and Self-Harm | Voice of OC

      OC Sees Spike in Children Hospitalized for Mental Crises and Self-Harm | Voice of OC

      Orange County has experienced an alarming rise in children going to the emergency room for mental illness crises and suicide attempts, according to a new report from county officials, nonprofit groups and university researchers.

      The rate at which children were hospitalized for serious mental illnesses rose 87 percent from 2008 to 2017, the latest available year of data, according to the annual Conditions of Children in Orange County report.

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    14. Orange County Declares Housing Shortage a Threat to Residents and Businesses

      Orange County Declares Housing Shortage a Threat to Residents and Businesses

      Orange County’s top elected officials are warning the lack of affordable housing threatens the quality of life and upward mobility of residents, and puts the county’s economic future at risk.

      “Orange County is experiencing a substantial shortage of housing, which is creating a significant negative impact on household budgets and the quality of life of its residents, as well as diminishing our county's workforce,” states the county’s new Declaration on Housing, which was adopted March 13 by the Board of Supervisors.

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    15. Broad-Based Campaign Launched to Help and House Homeless People in Orange County | Voice of OC

      Broad-Based Campaign Launched to Help and House Homeless People in Orange County | Voice of OC

      A broad-based campaign was launched Wednesday to bring together Orange County’s leaders in business, philanthropy, faith, and government around ending homelessness, including providing housing with support services for homeless people who have been on the streets for years.

      The effort, led by Orange County United Way, piggybacks on a study it commissioned from UC Irvine that found it costs the public less to house long-term homeless people with wraparound health services than keep them on the streets where they often rotate in and out of expensive stays at emergency rooms and jails.

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    16. Orange County Board of Supervisors to Consider Final Program EIR for Proposed El Toro 100-Acre Parcel Development Plan | Voice of OC

      Orange County Board of Supervisors to Consider Final Program EIR for Proposed El Toro 100-Acre Parcel Development Plan | Voice of OC

      The proposed El Toro 100-Acre Parcel Development Plan, along with the Final Program Environmental Impact Report (FPEIR), will be presented to the Orange County Board of Supervisors on Nov. 14 for final approval. On Nov. 3, the County issued a Notice of Availability for the FPEIR, which addresses potential environment impacts and recommends the environmentally superior alternative – the Reduced Intensity and Reduced Density Alternative – as the preferred project.

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    1-20 of 20
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