From the daily archives: Monday, November 16, 2009

By Mario Conde
November 16, 2009
Calexico California ― As proud Korean War Veteran and long time member of the American Legion Post #90, Joe Vindiola continues to work in favor of the community and for the well being of fellow soldiers that have served our country.
Vindiola was born and raised in Calexico and has lived all of his life in the City. His Parents were originally from Arizona but moved to Nogales, Sonora Mexico during the great depression. After the end of the great depression they moved back to the United States to settle in Calexico in 1912; four years after the City of Calexico was officially incorporated as a City thus becoming pioneers of the border town.
Vindiola was born in Calexico in 1935 and was raised here all his life. He was part of the first class that graduated from the current Calexico High School in 1955 after moving from what is known today as the San Diego State Calexico Campus. He also served as the first ever Student Body President of Calexico High School.
Two weeks after graduating from High School, he joined the Air Force where he served ten years and was discharged in 1965. He came back to create a family and had three children. He then decided to continue with this service to the country by joining the California National Guard where he served sixteen years and worked at the Post Office. During that time, he was sent to Korea for thirty days in order to complete a military training program.
“When the war ended, North Korea was still communist and every year since then every branch of the military conducted war games in case war broke down again.” Vindiola remembered adding that South Korea depended on the military power of the U.S. in case North Korea tried to invade them. Asked if he agreed that decades after the end of the Korean War U.S. Troops are still in Korean he said that the same thing might happened to Iraq were the troops are going to stay there for years.
Vindiola has been part of the American Legion Post of Calexico for the last twenty years where he currently is the commander of the group. His duties as member of the Legion are to support youth programs and other altruist services. But the most important duty of the Legion is to teach kids about Americanism and the Value of Freedom of Speech, freedom of religion, and the freedoms that people have fought for and die to protect them.
‘The most satisfying thing about the American Legion is to continue to see the friends that I grew up with and serve in the armed forces and take care of them.” However, Vindiola, said the membership of the American Legion Post is getting older and most of them don’t have the drive to attend the meetings.
“We don’t have new blood on the American Legion.”Vindiola said. “We don’t have young people that have served on the military joining the Legion.”
Vindiola said that a couple of years ago there was an open house inviting veterans to come and share their stories. There was a very low turnout for that event.
“The military is not for everybody, it’s a hard institution to be in and many kids today give up after they join. But it can also be a great experience to be there because it helps you for higher education, travel, and can benefit your family” He said.
Nonetheless, Vindiola hopes and prays to see the local American Legion continue to grow and expand with a new generation of members. This past Veterans Day, Vindiola was given a well deserved recognition for his service to the American Legion for the last twenty years. He said to be honored to receive the award but gave all the credit to his fellow members who deserve the credit.
“For the youth I tell them to love and take care of the troops. For teachers, I asked them to tell your children about the values of this country. On Flag Day, respect the flag because it has covered the coffins of those who have died for the county. Be proud to be an American.”
The American Legion meets the last Friday of every month at the ElKS Lodge in Calexico.


Friday, November 6

KIDS WILL BE KIDS: It was reported that the caller has heard what he thinks are children screaming around the neighborhood, the caller didn’t see the kids nor did he know if they were just playing around, the area was checked, the children were not found in the area, the caller was advised to call back should they return.

RECKLESS DRIVING: It was reported that a blue vehicle had almost rear ended the caller’s vehicle twice, the caller also stated that the orange vehicle was also running stop signs, the vehicle was not found, the caller was advised of her options.

COUPLE BLUES: It was reported that a couple was having an argument, the caller believes this domestic issue will only escalate into something stronger, both subjects were contacted, the male half will leave for the night.

Saturday, November 7

REFUSING TO KEEP IT DOWN: It was reported that the caller is being kept awake by a group of people whom are hanging out late by their porch, though he has asked to keep it down, they refused to, an officer was able to make contact with the group, they quieted down and complied to call it a night.

STRONG ARM: It was reported that a subject was throwing rocks around the area, the subject then threw a rock at the caller’s residence, though the residence was not damaged, the caller still wanted him to be counseled, the unknown subject was not found in the area, the caller was advised of his options.

FEMALE DISPUTE: It was reported that a group of females were out in the locale, when they suddenly turned on each other and started having a physical fight, the caller stated that none of them seemed to be seriously injured, the caller was advised to call back should they return.

Sunday, November 8

LOOKING FOR TROUBLE: It was reported that a black fourdoor is circling the area as if searching for someone or something the subjects inside the vehicle kept inspecting things the vehicle was not found the caller was advised to call back should he return.

HUSBAND AND WIFE: It was reported that the caller has noticed a husband and wife couple having an intense argument, the caller did not state what the argument was about, the subjects were contacted, the situation was handled.

NOT COOL: It was reported that the caller’s husband took her vehicle without any permission, the caller stated that her husband does not have a California Driver’s License, the caller was advised of her options.

Monday, November 9

RECKLESS DRIVING: It was reported that a dark SUV is driving recklessly, passing stop signs and burning rubber, the caller tried to get him to stop but he ignored him, the caller is also worried about the kids nearby, the subject was not caught.

QUIET PARTY: It was reported that the caller’s next-door neighbors are playing their music very loudly, after a few demands from the caller they finally complied when an officer asked them to keep it down or shut it down, the neighbors will be keeping it quiet.

Tuesday, November 10

DOG ON THE LOOSE: It was reported that a small dog was spotted on school grounds, though it didn’t appear to have an interest in the children, the dog was still removed from school grounds, the dog owner was advised to keep it secure.

CURFEW: It was reported that the caller’s son is being aggressive and irate, after having an intense argument over him violating his curfew, the young man was contacted and counseled, the caller was advised of her options and to call again should it happen again.


Playing the game well in Calexico; Another El Centro first?; Skateboards and Councils

WE HAVE TO HAND IT TO LOUIS FUENTES for his knowledge of how to get ahead in political circles and his use of

that knowledge when the opportunity came up.

As Calexico Mayor he attended several conferences where he was able to get close enough to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for him to remember his name.

At the time I thought it was brazen egotism, but he proved

that in politics its who you know that counts. Schwarzenegger appointed Fuentes as the new County Supervisor of the district which takes in Calexico.

That’s a plumb that’s worth over $48,000 in salary alone and could open up other possibilities for the “kid from Calexico.” After all, he’s only 34 years old. He could go a lot further, depending on what his ambitions are. Meanwhile, we hope he loosens up on his conservative approach to politics. This is a time for creative thinking.

The county Board already has too many people protecting

the status quo. We need somebody interested in moving

forward with a lot more flare than has been shown by the board as a group in the past.

Victor Carrillo provided a voice for progress. We hope Fuentes will at least do some of that. We wish him the best of luck in his new position now and in the


EL CENTRO GOT THE DUBIOUS DISTINCTION of being placed on a another top ten list. This time for having more ozone in its atmosphere than most of the cities in the country.

Unfortunately, there is no bubble over the city to keep the fumes in place and it spreads throughout Imperial County. Have a headache after going to El Centro? It may not be caused by the traffic or the incredibly deteriorated roads.

This is a city that put a lot of effort into commercial development, but needs to do something about quality of life issues. Being able to breathe normally would be high on the quality of life list.

so would driving down a road without losing the springs on

your car. The city has started fixing up some of its roads. Perhaps it can start looking into air pollution

control. We’ll all breathe a lot easier if they do.

SKATEBOARDS AND A PARK TO DO TRICKS IN HAS caused a good deal of concern for at least two members of the Holtville City Council.

They were opposed to building a skateboard park with jumps and ramps on Samaha Field where the tennis courts are currently located, even though the rest of the council voted to get some proposals together. Apparently Colleen Ludwig and Jerry Brittsan think it will be too noisy for the people living in the area. They live across from a park that has softball, baseball and football facilities. It also has a swimming pool that is in use all summer. I would think the residents would be used to noise from children in the area by now.

The skateboarders want a park. The city wants to build one. There is money available. It’s time to move forward. This issue has been around Holtville since the early nineties. It’s time to bring this to closure. They

should get it built now.

Even ex-officio council member Pete Mellinger likes the idea and said so at the last meeting. The council will be looking for more input from residents of the area and anyone else who wishes to express himself at the next meeting.

That’s scheduled for November 23rd. See you there?

THE BRAWLEY CATTLE CALL IS WELL UNDER WAY and headed to the big parade and rodeo weekend.

Get out your hats and boots and head over for one of the biggest spectacles of the year – the Cattle Call Parade. It will give you a lot of relief from whatever troubles

you have these days and its free.

Two hours of solid entertainment on what should be a warm, sunny day. Who could ask for anything better? Then, of course, there is the rodeo which attracts riders from

all over north America competing for top honors in all the most popular rodeo events.

If you want to have a great time in a family atmosphere that provides excitement, thrills, spills and hoof pounding action, this is the place to be.

There will be three sessions once again – two on Saturday and one on Sunday. Afterward you can read all about

the results in our Cattle Call Souvenir Issue that we have been publishing since 1993. We’ll capture as much of the Cattle Call magic as we can in one issue.

See you


CALEXICO HIGH HOMECOMING QUEEN Amy Wong was crowned Friday night in Calexico, in an elaborate ceremony that feature floats for each class and the Honoree Alumnus Award went to John Moreno. Sonia Torres photo.


By Steve Larson

There will be bands, floats, horses,queens, clowns and more in Brawley this weekend.

The Brawley Cattle Call and Rodeo heads into its Saturday and Sunday finale after a week of activity that started last Saturday.

This year’s parade will feature over 115 entries and is considered the largest production of its kind in Southeast California. Horse groups from the Valley, from law enforcement and from other parts of California will ride the parade route which begins at Western Avenue and Main Street, nwest of Hwy. 86 and continues through downtown to Palm Avenue.

There will be 119 entries scheduled for this year’s affair and its all free to the public. Some people stake out their seats early, roping together chairs along the parade route the night before and lining up pickup trucks in parking lots where they can.

The rest join in along the curbs and at the main grandstand in front of city hall, where a $5.00 charge gets you a better seat for all the entries. Announcers are stationed along the whole parade route to give everyone a running account of the nentries and who makes them up.

The parade begins at 9:30 a.m.with motorcycles and color

guards leading off the pageantry. the Blue Knights Motorcycle Club is first down the parade route to clear the way for all the entries. It’s made up of members

of law enforcement and provides a powerful, growling start to the parade.

Grand Marshall for this year’s parade is well known western actor Andrew Prine.

Prine was born on February 14, 1936 in Jennings, Florida. He is a Western movie actor and experienced his first role as James Keller in the Academy Award-Winner, The Miracle Worker. Since that role, he has been on

numerous movies and tv shows. Some of the more popular appearances were on Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Doctor Queen,

Medicine Woman, Wagon Train and many more.

Cattle Call Queen Kaylynn Sampson will head up the royalty

from the area who will be part of the parade.

If you want to enjoy some good food, then get up early and attend the Lions Club Pancake Breakfast which takes place in South Plaza Park beginning at 7 a.m. There’s pancakes, eggs, ham, coffee and juice waiting for you. It’s the prefect way to kick off your day.

The first session of the rodeo begins at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Cattle Call arena. You’ll get riding, roping, bulldogging, bronco busting and bull stomping all for one low price. If you love rodeo, this is the place to be in southern California. It’s the last rodeo before the National Finals in Las Vegas and attracts some of the better riders and performers who are looking to pile up points.

There is a second session under nthe lights beginning at 7p.m. Saturday too. And the whole thing wraps up

Sunday afternoon with the rodeo’s final session and the

announcement of the winners in each event.

If you’re hanging around Friday, stop by North Plaza Park for the Music Festival that will get you in the mood for the weekend. There will be music of all kinds as local bands entertain. Bring your lawn chair and your blanket,

partake in some of the food available in the park and have a kickin’ good time in the park.

Due to his involvement in the Western themed genre of films, Prine has had the advantage to work with some well known actors including but not limited to John Wayne, Dean Martin, Henry Fonda and Glen Ford.

His more recent appearances were as a guest star on “Saving Grace”, “CSI”, “Boston Legal” and also “Six Feet Under”.

He has also written two screenplays, which have been optioned by film companies for upcoming productions. Prine is currently married to Heather Lowe and

they reside in California.

Earlier this week the Cattle Call took on a Latin look with the Fiesta De Familia on Sunday and the Mariachi Night in Plaza park. You got all the fiery Latin sounds associated with these two great events.

In addition, you could hear some Cowboy Poetry at the Stockemen’s club. Variations on cowboy philosophy were spouted by several people during the evening and there were even some impromptu renditions. the event is hosted annually by Leonard vasquez, an expert in the art form who keeps alive a local tradition.

Thursday night is the annual Cowbelles’ Dinner at the the

Lions Center before Friday’s Music Festival and the rest of the festivities for the big weekend.

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