El Centro Council Member Honored

El Centro Council Member Honored with Women’s Municipal Leadership Award

Sedalia Sanders Recognized for Achievements in Local Government

courthouseSan Antonio, Texas – El Centro, Calif., Council Member, Sedalia Sanders, is the recipient of the 2009 Annual Leadership Award, presented by the National League of Cities’ (NLC) Women in Municipal Government (WIMG), during NLC’s Congress of Cities & Exposition.  Sanders was honored today for her outstanding achievements as a local elected official, including her support of women at the local government level.

Christmas Is In Fine Form This Weekend!

By Luke Phillips
DSC_0144The holiday season is kicking off with a bang this weekend as El Centro plays host to a slew of cheer-inducing events.
The fun starts off with the 64th Annual Los Vigilantes/El Centro Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Bureau Christmas Parade. This year’s parade will begin at 12 noon at the corner of 12th Street and Main Street in El Centro. The parade was moved back from it’s traditional start time of 10 a.m. in an effort to better coordinate with other events planned for the day.
“It’s kind of an experiment,” said El Centro Chamber of Commerce Program Manager Sara Griffen, “We’ll see how successful it is and then plan accordingly for next year.”
The theme for this year’s parade is ‘Home for the Holidays’ and as a special part of that theme the El Centro Chamber of Commerce is recruiting Active Duty soldiers who are home for the holidays to serve as honorary grand marshals. “We’re working with a recruiter in El Centro,” said Griffen, “We have two or three lined up to ride in cars.” She says there will also be two groups of veterans marching in the parade alongside a Humvee and possibly other military vehicles.
This year’s parade will also be held in conjunction with the Imperial Valley Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk ’09. The Memory Walk is part of a nation-wide event that raised $350,000 for alzheimer’s research last year. Local Memory Walkers will be marching as an entry in the parade.
This year’s parade will also be bigger. There are 105 entries registered, up from 91 entries last year.
Part of the downtown area along Main Street will be cordoned off for the event, but according to Griffen, there will be plenty of parking along Main from 8th Street to 4th Street and at Bucklin Park where the parade route ends.
In another effort to better coordinate events, this year’s 8th Annual Tamale Fiesta is being held at the El Centro Police Department instead of Bucklin Park. Griffen said this move was made in order to place the celebration closer to the city’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony which will take place at 5 p.m.
The Tamale Fiesta will include games and fun for kids as well as entertainment provided by Mariachi Mixpeca, the Jugless Jugband and others. And of course there will be lots and lots of tamales and other Mexican food.
Tamale judges for the event include El Centro Mayor Sheryl Walker, Imperial County Sheriff Raymond Loera, El Centro Police Chief Jim McGinley, El Centro Fire Chief Chris Petree and the Consulate General from the Mexican Consulate in Calexico.
Santa is expected to drop by the fiesta at 3:30 p.m. to visit with the children and hear Christmas wish lists in person.
For those looking for something to do later in the evening, you will have a couple of options.
Dancin’ Feet will be performing ‘The Nutcracker’ at Southwest Performing Arts Theatre Saturday at 7 p.m. The theater is located at 2001 Ocotillo Dr. in El Centro. Tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for children 12 and under and are available at Clark Baker Music in El Centro.
Also Saturday, Pioneers Museum & Cultural Center, located at 373 Aten Rd. across from Imperial Valley College, will be hosting it’s 18th Annual Holiday Tour Around the World at 6 p.m.
The museum’s galleries – each representing a different ethnic group – will share traditional holiday performances, attire and cuisine and will decorate their gallery to reflect the influence they’ve had in the Imperial Valley.
Museum Director of Operations Lynn Housouer says the event is about “acceptance and teaching.”
“This is education for the old and the young alike,” she said, “It helps teach the history of how different ethnic groups celebrate the holidays. After all, we’re not all just Christians here. The Imperial Valley is such a melting pot.”
Admission to the Holiday Tour Around the World is $7 for adults and $3 for children ages eight and under.

Police Brief

Police Briefs

policesiren21City of Holtville


November 29


It was reported that a subject is under the influence and is causing a disturbance in the area, the subject who was asked to keep it down only got louder and reacted rudely to them, the subject was asked to turn in, which he did.


Leimgruber Raises Casino Issue Again

Wally Leimgruber  Raises Casino Issue Again

To The Editor:
Let’s go Shopping
CasinoLoseThe Manzanita Band of Mission Indians is currently engaged in “reservation shopping” to develop a casino 50 miles from its historic reservation in rural San Diego County.  Their   preferred new urban location is in the City of Calexico here in Imperial County.  This proposal would require local, state and federal approvals.
Local elected officials have debated the pros and cons of the proposed casino and Imperial County’s focus has been on cumulative impacts that include increased traffic and the need for additional social services. These impacts could create a strain on resources in our area and hinder the future development of non-tribal businesses that will most assuredly bring long-term, sustainable revenue and jobs.
The proposed site is located in a market-area now shared by four existing tribal casinos. This raises significant economic feasibility concerns over the future success and the forecasted revenue to the City of Calexico and the County of Imperial.  Moreover, will the proposed development phases of the destination casino/resort ever come to fruition and deliver the promised economic growth?
We are no longer in the gambling boom years of 2006.  Many of the established tribal casinos have laid off workers, down-sized or stopped expansion altogether.
State and Federal decision-makers must consider different criteria in permitting off-reservation gambling casinos.
The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act requires a state’s governor to agree with the Secretary of Interior that the proposed off-reservation casino is not detrimental to the surrounding community. Criteria for consideration includes: removal of land from state regulatory oversight, loss of taxation for land and future developments on the land, the supervision of justice in the surrounding communities and impacts on affected local governments or state agencies.
Governor Schwarzenegger’s May 2005 Proclamation, identified criteria for his determination.  He made it clear that off-reservation gaming proposals must:
“… substantially serve a clear, independent public policy, separate and apart from any increased economic benefit or financial contribution to the State, community, or the Indian tribe that may arise from gaming”.
The Manzanita Band has not articulated an independent public policy.
The Secretary of the Interior requires a Tribe demonstrate that it “needs” the additional land.  Clearly, the “desire” for a multi-million dollar gambling facility in an urbanized area is obvious. But does it meet the core requirement of “need” in the Indian Reorganization Act for transferring state lands into trust for a tribe?
Does the “purpose and need” of a casino for economic sustainability justify the Manzanita establishing trust lands some 50 miles away, especially when neighboring Tribes such as Campo and La Posta have not moved from established lands to develop casinos?
All of us encourage tribes everywhere to pursue endeavors that improve their economic situation.  But neither the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act nor the Indian Reorganization Act guarantees each Tribe a casino in whatever location they might choose.
As an Imperial County Supervisor I am obligated to uphold the justifiable expectations of citizens.  To ensure that the permitting process and land use principles remain consistent and equitable for all proposed projects.  Moreover, to insist that developments such as tribal casinos do not become a detrimental factor to the health and safety of our residents.
Wally Leimgruber
Imperial County

In Other Words

Slow Times Reflected At The Auto Show

InOtherWords copyTHESE ARE HARD TIMES FOR AUTO MANUFACTURERS. And hard times for auto dealers too.
Thus, our annual visit to the Auto Show was less than it has been in recent years.
Gone were the concept cars that promised future automotive wonders. Also gone were new designs, with only a couple of exceptions. And worse still, gone were several lines of cars that used to dot the showroom floor.
As car shows go, this one came up a little weak.
Chrysler didn’t put in an appearance this year. Nor did Volkswagen or BMW. Pontiac has bitten the dust and Saturn is off the map. But there was still plenty to look at in the line of autos that were available for 2010 sampling.
Mostly, though, there weren’t many that were different than in the past. The body styles were the same, but the fuel efficiency has improved if the mileage ratings can be believed.
Getting the most attention at the session I went to was the 2010 Camaro.
Already available at the dealerships, the Camaro drew the most oohs and aahs from the audience with its sculpted styling and “chopped” roof line. It has a big body and a small roof. It also has a raised hood and enough different paint and trim packages to satisfy anyone’s tastes. It also has a variety of engines with horsepower ratings that stretch to the stratosphere. Detroit knows that muscle still sells when it comes to sporty cars.
With its big tires and small roof, it was easy to imagine idling impatiently at a stop sign then digging out on a green light  in a haze of burning rubber.
Prices for the Camaro  ranged from $30,000 to over $50,000, depending on the options you want.
If you were looking for another Chevy exotic, there was the ever-popular Corvette. The Z-1 version of this classic sports car will let you pass everything on the road except the Highway Patrol radar gun. It will also set you back a cool $122,000. Being the baddest cat on the block does get expensive.
If your budget is a little short of that price, try the Chevy Cobalt two door coupe for around $23,000. It has bucket seats, five speed manual transmission, dual overhead camshaft engine and styling lines that make it look exotic.
But it also gets 31 miles per gallon. You can see out the windshield without straining. one of the complaints overheard from showgoers was the narrow windshield on the Camaro and how it limits one’s view of the road. Definitely something the styling engineers will have to work on.
When you are after glory and nostalgia, practicality takes a back seat.
As you can see, Chevy was well-represented and causing the most stir among people at the show.
Also getting a few  nods of approval was the Chevy Malibu that is being touted on television with increased frequency.
Standing still on a showroom floor it looks to live up to its billing with a comfortable interior and high mileage. It also offers enough performance to keep the casual auto enthusiast happy. It has a price tag of $23,900 for the basic model.
There’s a hybrid version available for about $5,000 more that boosts the gas mileage about nine miles per gallon. And it makes you part of the “green” revolution. You decide if its worth it.
TOYOTA, AS USUAL, offered the most models for sale. You could go from very cheap and economical if you want to buy your kids a car to drive to college.
Or you could expensive and exotic with a vehicle such as the Toyota Land Cruiser for over $74,000.
With a full line of trucks, hybrid’s, SUVs and four wheel drive units, Toyota has become what Chevrolet and Ford used to be. A company that provides a vehicle for everyone’s tastes and needs.
Perhaps Detroit could take a few lessons from the Japanese these days. They certainly learned plenty from the Americans when the tables were reversed.
BUICK HAD A FEW CARS ON DISPLAY, but the number of models has dwindled as has the mid-priced line of cars. there used to be a class distinction between Ford and chevy as opposed to Buick and Oldsmobile, but those days are long gone with the cars that occupied that niche in the market.
Every car has power steering and brakes, electric windows and cruise control. The differences between models is largely that of price and how the brand is viewed by the public. We could easily see a few more models fall by the wayside over the next year.
Technology, fuel efficiency, electronics and economy are going to be the buzzwords that sell new cars for the next few years.
All in all, this year’s auto show was a look at what used to be instead of a look at what’s ahead. That future would appear cloudy indeed.