From the monthly archives: November 2009

Surviving “Black Friday” Need Not Be Stressful

Chris Furguson
With the day after Thanksgiving comes “Black Friday,” the day where stores traditionally start showing a profit for the entire year.  With Black Friday comes big sales and big crowds of rabid consumers willing to do just about anything to get the items they’re after.
That is why the Weekly-Chronicle presents this “Black Friday Survival Guide” for those considering joining the fracas of Black Friday.
One, know exactly what you want and where it is. Black Friday is not a day where you want to dawdle and “shop.”  In fact, while you’re looking for that special gift with a cart full of stuff, someone may wind up taking one of your better finds for themselves!  And that’s not mentioning all the pickpockets and more criminal elements that still thrive on Black Friday.
Bring a list of exactly what you want and, when you grab it, move on.
Also, most department stores have a similar layout to one another and the more you know about the store, the better you know how to navigate your way through it.
Two, realize that the item you want may not be available, even if you stood in line for hours.
Retailers, more often than not, have a nasty policy of having the bare minimum of a popular item in stock.  In other words, if the advertised minimum is five and you’re #6 in line for it, you’re out of luck.  It’s a practice not liked among critics of the retail industry, but it does exist and it does happen.
Three, ask the manager if there are any backup sales planned.  Sometimes, a store will allow other items to be sold at sales prices once the listed item is gone.
However, don’t just accept any item at the listed price.  Make sure the item being offered is similar to the sold out item.  Do not let your desire to get a gift cloud your overall judgment.
Four, find a smart shopping buddy. A recent online quote about Black Friday says it best.  “Taking a lover is like taking a walking argument – just don’t.”  Keep the kids at home as well.
Sometimes, you want an extra pair of hands for a big item or for another chance at a particular gift.  What you don’t want is the added stress of a potential argument or fight if you don’t get THAT item.  Leave the spouse at home when you shop or let them shop at other stores to spread your potential.
The stress of excited and disappointed kids who will become aware that Mommy or Daddy need help for their shopping addictions will also contribute to your overall discomfort, so leave them at home as well, especially if you plan a shopping spree of more than 3 hours.
If you must have a buddy, consider a like-minded friend who isn’t interested in any of the deals.  One who is strong or determined enough to pull you away from the fray if need be.
Five, bring a survival pack of advertisements, water and snacks.
It’s going to be cold while you wait.  Then, with the rush of shopping, you will be dehydrated from all the sweating you’ll be doing.  Bring some water or some other refreshing drink with you and keep yourself hydrated.  Also, if you know you’re going to get hungry, bring a snack instead of rushing to the food court/restaurant.  Those places will be packed.
Also, sometimes the computers aren’t programmed with every bargain in time for shopping, so bring any ads with you that you’re considering.
Six, consider shopping another day.  More often than not, the sales on “Black Friday” aren’t necessarily the best deals before Christmas.  Shopping another weekend before the holidays may result in a better gift for your loved ones.
There is a growing movement amongst shoppers where they exercise almost total restraint during the Black Friday weekend, just because of the almost rabid-like nature of their fellow consumers.  Consider the same thing for yourself and just wait for a less stressful time.
Seven – Consider shopping at home.
Online shopping can be a more pleasant experience than shopping in person, especially on Black Friday.  Trust reliable websites and be careful with your credit/debit cards and you can have a stress free holiday experience.
At least until the packages arrive, that is.


Turkey Ride Gathers Over 300 Turkeys For Needy Local Families

Turkey Ride #1

Volunteer Morgan Fowlkes helps load donated turkeys into a pickup truck at the 12th Annual Turkey Ride donation drive at Lucky’s Supermarket in El Centro Saturday.

By Luke Phillips
El Centro California – Shopping cart after shopping cart full of frozen turkeys came wheeling out of Lucky’s Supermarket in El Centro Saturday morning as generous residents donated to help feed hungry families this Thanksgiving.
The 38th Chapter of the Abate motorcycle club, Lucky’s Supermarket, and the local food bank organized and hosted the 12 Annual Turkey Ride and had no problem exceeding their goal of collecting 300 turkeys for needy families.
More than 100 motorcycle riders participated in the event including members of local clubs The Blue Knights, The Rolling Knights, and the Calexico Bikers. Others came from farther away to donate a turkey and pitch in at the event.
“We have people from all over here,” said Eddie Aranda, president of the local Abate chapter. “There’s people here from San Diego, Escondido, Yuma and all over.”
Aranda said that the club has been involved with the Turkey Ride for the past twelve years, but this is the biggest year so far. There were more participants than expected and the goal of collecting 300 turkeys was exceeding by 17.
After the 300 turkeys were collected they were rushed by pickup truck to 12 different local charities for disbursement to needy families.
The large turnout was a surprise to Lucky’s store manager Jose Vizcarra.
“I honestly didn’t expect this kind of turnout,” Vizcarra said, “but there’s people here from all over the valley. It’s going very well.”
Vizcarra said that Lucky’s was also hosting a separate event on the same day as part of the El Centro Food Bank’s ‘In Your Community’ campaign to raise money for the food bank’s holiday programs.
“It’s a good thing,” said Vizcarra, “we just want to help keep these events alive.”

Bikers from all over the Imperial Valley gathered at Lucky’s supermarket in El Centro Saturday to help needy families by donating a Thanksgiving turkey.

Bikers from all over the Imperial Valley gathered at Lucky’s supermarket in El Centro Saturday to help needy families by donating a Thanksgiving turkey.

Another Imperial Valley Charity is also helping out this Thanksgiving. Catholic Charities rounded up 50 turkeys during recent food drives and handed them out to those in need earlier this week, including all the trimmings.
Catholic Charities will also be hosting traditional Thanksgiving dinners at their Senior Nutrition Sites throughout the Imperial Valley. Seniors will be treated to dinner and fun activities, including Bingo and ‘Gobble Wobble’   a competition where they will be required to give their best turkey impersonation for a panel of judges.


Green and Gold Committee Hosts 4th Annual Hall of Fame Ball

By Betty Predmore
Green and Gold Banquet 067Holtville California – Viking Pride was alive and well as the Holtville Green & Gold Committee held its 4th Annual Hall of Fame Ball on Friday night at the Imperial Valley Swiss Club.  The celebration got underway with the Holtville High School Band of Pride performing the Viking Fight Song for the audience.  The Clark Baker Band also entertained throughout the evening to a crowd who enjoyed a delicious meal prepared by the Swiss Club and served by the Holtville FFA.  Those in attendance were able to stroll along the lighted pathway that displayed photos of all this year’s inductees.  There were also several photos on display that played tribute to the 100 years of Holtville High School in this, its Centennial year.
The first presentations of the evening were the Community Distinguished Service Awards which were presented by the H.U.S.D. Board of Directors to such service groups as the American Legion, Holtville Athletic Club, Holtville Rotary Club, Holtville Soroptimist Club, and the Holtville Women’s Club.  These clubs were recognized for their continued support and contributions to Holtville High School and its student body.
The 1996 C.I.F. Champion Cross-Country Team and the 1995 C.I.F. Champion Baseball Team members and coaches were presented with commemorative C.I.F. Championship Rings in honor of their achievements in athletics.  The coaches were able to share some special memories of the teams which evoked laughter from the audience.
Seven outstanding individuals were inducted into this year’s Hall of Fame.  Patricia Brown received an induction as a community member in recognition of her years of service to Holtville students, especially through her work with 4-H, FFA, and AFS.  She also served the community as a member of the school board from 1981-1989.
Jack Kelly was inducted in the Education category for his dedication to music and arts in the Holtville school system.  He served as band and chorus director at Holtville Middle School from 1965-1987, and also coached many operettas throughout those years, giving students an opportunity to learn more about music and stage presence.  Even after retiring in 1987, he would often stand in for the high school band instructor and has always been an avid supporter of the high school music program.
William Lehman was inducted as a Holtville High School Alumnus as a 1975 graduate of Holtville High School.  After earning a law degree in 1982, Mr. Lehman returned to the Imperial Valley and began to practice law.  He served for 21 years as Imperial County’s Assistant Public Defender before being elected to the position of Court Commissioner.  In 2006, he was appointed as a judge to the Imperial County Superior Court, and was re-elected to that position again in 2008.

Teresa Ibarra Perez was inducted to the Hall of Fame as a Student Athlete.  She is a 1990 graduate of HHS who graduated 2nd in her class.  Besides being busy in all types of HHS student activities, she also received the National Honor Society Medal for outstanding scholarship all four years.  She led the Vikings Varsity Girls Basketball team to three CIF/San Diego Championships and the team went all the way to the state regionals her senior year.  She participated in the Varsity volleyball team for three years, as well.  Teresa attended Cal State Long Beach, earning her degree in accounting.  She currently works as the Business Control Analyst for IID.

Javier Ramos, a 1995 graduate of Holtville High School honored as a Student Athlete/Alumnus.  Javier was a member of 1992 C.I.F. Champion football team and the 1993 and 1995 C.I.F. Champion baseball teams.  He was the 1995 Hoyle Priest Award winner and was named the Valley or Conference Player of the Year in football, basketball, and baseball during his senior year.  Javier was inducted into the San Diego Chapter of the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame for  Scholar-Leader-Athletes in 1995.  After attending San Diego State University on an athletic scholarship, Mr. Ramos returned to Holtville to work at the high school for seven years as school counselor, athletic director, and baseball coach.  He is currently employed at the Imperial County Office of Education as the Program Director of the P-16 Council, which helps students get to college.  He also continues to be involved in Holtville athletics through his coaching of youth sports.

Patricia Salcido was inducted as an Educator/Alumnus for her many years of dedicated service to the Holtville School District.  After graduating from HHS in 1960, she earned a teaching credential and returned to Holtville where she taught at Finley school for 13 years.  In 1987, she became Principal at Finley School after receiving her Administrative Credential from Point Loma Nazarene University.  She served as Principal for six years before becoming Principal at Holtville High School, where she served in that capacity for the next three years.  She then served as principal at Calipatria High School for several years before returning to Holtville in 2004 to become the School District Superintendent.  She led our school district until her retirement in 2008.   She is credited for supervising the modernization of the high school campus and for receiving a 6-year accreditation for the high school during her years of service.

The final inductee of the evening was Marv Wood, who was inducted as an Alumnus, Education, and Coach.  Mr. Wood graduated from HHS in 1958 where he was ASB President, active in football, basketball, and baseball, and was a two time All-Valley football selection.  He earned a B.S. degree in Kinesiology at Cal Poly in Pomona in 1962.  While there, he was an outstanding athlete in both football and baseball and was honored as a member of Cal Poly’s All-Time Bronco Eleven.  He was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1988.  After teaching and coaching at Bishop Montgomery and Ganesha High School, he went on to coach baseball at Loyola Marymount for 15 years.  He returned to Holtville in 1989 as a teacher and coach of football and baseball.  He led the Viking baseball team to 3 C.I.F. Championships in 1991, 1993, and 1995.  He also assisted with the 1989, 1990, 1991, and 1992 CIF Champion football teams.  He was inducted into the Imperial Valley Football Coaches & Players Hall of Fame in 2001.  He is the founder and chairman of the Holtville High School Green & Gold Hall of Fame.  Mr. Wood also served Holtville High School as the Athletic Director and Interim Vice Principal prior to his retirement in 1998.  He served on the HUSD school board from 1999-2007, and served as the president of that board for 5 years.


The Thanksgiving feast almost always includes some of the foods served at the first feast: roast turkey, cranberry sauce, corn, and pumpkin.

Pumpkin pieHere are some fun facts about Thanksgiving:

* The preliminary estimate of turkeys raised in the United States in 2009 is 250 million.
* The forecast for U.S. cranberry production in 2009 is 709 million pounds.
* Benjamin Franklin thought the wild turkey was so American it should have been chosen as our national symbol rather than the eagle.
* It is common for U.S. astronauts who spend Thanksgiving in space to celebrate with a rehydrated turkey dinner.
* There are three places in the United States named after the holiday’s traditional main course. Turkey, TX; Turkey Creek, LA; and Turkey, NC. There also are nine townships around the country named Turkey– three in Kansas alone.
* There are eight places and townships in the United States that are named Cranberry or some spelling variation of the red, acidic berry (e.g., Cranbury, NJ).
* The National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation is a ceremony that has taken place at the White House since 1947. Every year two turkeys are selected and given to the President for his Thanksgiving dinner. However, since 1989 the turkeys have received Presidential pardons, sparing their lives.


Westmorland Holds 5th Annual Honey Festival

By Chris Furguson
The City of WestmorlHoney Festival 2009 (7)and held their fifth annual Honey Festival on November 21, 2009 at the Westmorland City Park.
Sponsored by the Westmorland Chamber of Commerce, the Honey Festival seeks to raise awareness of the honey industry, which partly began in the 1920s
This year, the honoree of the Honey Festival’s Man of Honor was the late Jean Hamby, who owned a bee business in the city.
The Westmorland Lions Club, with help from other Imperial Valley Cities, held a pancake breakfast.  Informational and vendor booths were also on hand.
Contests included a Spelling Bee, a swimming relay and a cooking contest featuring honey.
Additionally, three groups of Police Athletic League boxers, from Westmorland, El Centro and Imperial County, fought in 15 bouts and a first ever swimming relay contest took place.
Honey is an important part of the economy of Westmorland.  Westmorland is, per capita, the Honey Capital of the World, according to the latest figures.
Local bees are also used in pollination of plants, as the insects are better at encouraging plant reproduction than other comparable methods.
Winners of the contests include:
Spelling Bee Elementary Division:
1st – Kyle Taitano (Brawley Christian Academy)
2nd – Jason Whitehead (Academy of Higher Education)
3rd – Reet Goyal (Magnolia)
Spelling Bee Junior High Division:
1st – Lindsay Jones (Magnolia)
2nd – Roxanna Olivas (Westmorland Jr. High)
3rd – Anthony   Meza (Westmorland Jr. High)
Swimming contest:
1st (girls) Patricia Villalobos
1st (boys) Alec Walker.

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