From the daily archives: Thursday, December 3, 2009

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.

“Council Member Sanders exemplifies the high levels of dedication and innovation that many of us aspire to bring to our work in local government,” said Daisy W. Lynum, commissioner, Orlando, Fla., and incoming WIMG president.  “I salute her and our finalists for their leadership.”

Other finalists for the award included Alfred Mae Drakeford, councilmember, Camden, SC; Joycelyn Johnson, city council member, Winston-Salem, NC; Belinda LaForce, mayor, Searcy, Ark.; Kathy Turner, Puyallup, Wash.; and Charlina Watson, Councilwoman, Bladensburg, Md.

The WIMG Leadership Award recognizes a female municipal official for improving a city or town’s quality of life, particularly if her leadership serves as a specific mentoring model for future women leaders. The Award promotes increased representation of women in local government and is designed to encourage more women to run for elected office.

“As a part of WIMG, I am deeply proud to have the opportunity to highlight the stunning achievements of women in municipal office through our award program,” said Susan Burgess, mayor pro tem, Charlotte, NC and outgoing WIMG president.  “We are seeing how important it is for women to serve as role models and mentors in their communities.”

The award was presented today at the WIMG annual membership luncheon. Gail Perry-Mason, Senior Director of Investments at Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., gave the keynote address.

Sponsors of the 2009 WIMG Leadership Award include ICMA-RC, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and Comcast.

The WIMG Leadership Award Honorary Co-Chairs are M. Margaret Bates, vice mayor, Lauderhill, Fla., and WIMG past president and Jo Ann S. Thomas, WIMG past president.

Judges for the WIMG Leadership Award are John Arriaga, executive director, League of California Cities-Latino Caucus; Gloria Chavez, mayor, Tijeras, NM; Mildred Crump, council president, Newark, NJ; Laraine Davis, vice president, Government & Industry Relations, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage; Helen Kawagoe, city clerk, Carson, Calif.; and Preston Lee Jr., senior director, Corporate Relations and Housing Outreach, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation.

WIMG is a constituency group of the National League of Cities (NLC).  It was formed in 1974 to serve as a forum for communication and networking among women municipal officials and their colleagues interested in addressing women’s issues.  It strives to raise awareness about issues of concern to women and encourages women to seek public office in their communities.

The National League of Cities is the nation’s oldest and largest organization devoted to strengthening and promoting cities as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.

Kennadys 3c


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 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.


It was reported that the caller’s step dad and her neighbor have gotten into a small skirmish where one of them ended up pushing the other one into a pole hard, both subjects were under the influence and both subjects were alright.


It was reported that three dogs are running loose in the neighborhood, they do appear to be vicious as they walk as if they owned the place, the caller also noticed that they did not wear collars, the owners nor the dogs were found.


November 30


It was reported that the caller’s 17 year old son is making a mess around the house, the caller and his son have been arguing for a while now, when asked what the topic of their argument was, they did not state what it was about.


It was reported that a prowler was heard trying to enter the caller’s home thru the back door, the dogs were barking, but no one was found in the area, the caller who is concerned requested for extra patrol that of which was granted


It was reported that three holes were found on the north side window of the building, it is believed to have been BB gun shots, the caller also pointed out to some graffiti which seemed aged, the incident was written up.


December 1


It was reported that while the caller rode his bicycle thru the street, two subjects jumped out and tried to start a fight with him, the caller avoided the scene and fled, the two subjects were not found.


It was reported that the caller’s daughter and son-in-law have been arguing for some time, the caller is concerned, both were counseled, and asked to resolve their issues in private.


It was reported that a suspicious van was on the parking lot, running, waiting for something or someone, the subjects inside did seem a bit suspicious, the van was gone before an officer could check it out.


December 2


It was reported that a dark colored  Jeep was spotted driving recklessly, the jeep which was speeding and purposely swerving was not found, the caller was advised to call back should it return.


It was reported that the caller has struck a dog with his vehicle, the caller did not know the extent of the dog’s injuries, the neighbor and owner of the dog was contacted as well, the situation was handled.

City of El Centro


November  27


It was reported that a subject is throwing trash cans from around the back onto the streets, though no description of him was made the subject was not found around the place, the neighborhood will keep an eye out.


It was reported that the caller’s husband is under the influence of alcohol and is being aggressive towards her, the caller has locked herself in their bedroom, both her and her husband were counseled and advised to seek help.


It was reported that  a vehicle was racing a white pickup truck, the two vehicles were driving at a high rate of speed which was in turn, putting the other vehicles on the road in danger, the two vehicles were not located, the caller was advised to keep his eyes peeled.


November 28


It was reported that the caller’s vehicle has been vandalized, the caller had found that his four tires had been slashed with an unknown object sometime last night, the total value was estimated by $300 dollars, a report was made.


It was reported that a few teenage subjects are loitering in the area and smoking marijuana, the subjects were last seen in the alley, but were long gone before an officer could arrive, the caller was advised to call back, should they return


It was reported that a vicious k-9 had attempted to attack the caller, this has happened before and the caller is really starting to get worried that he may get mauled next time, the dog’s owner was contact and advised to keep the dog on a leash.


November 29


It was reported that the caller noticed missing property while he was checking up on his friends home, the house is vacant for the moment, the caller was advised to call the home owner as soon as possible, close patrol was established.


It was reported that two males were in the alley behind the callers home sitting down, the only problem is that they were smoking marijuana, the two subjects were gone before an officer arrived, the caller was advised on his options.


November 30


It was reported that a purple pickup truck was driving recklessly, the driver was cutting off vehicles and cutting corners, the caller stated that he was also cutting it close and that a crash seemed inevitable, the subject was not found.


It was reported that while the caller rode his bicycle thru the street, two subjects jumped out and tried to start a fight with him, the caller avoided the scene and fled, the two subjects were not found.


December 1


It was reported that the caller believes his neighbors whom are a group of three males  are possibly doing drugs, the home was found with no water, and no electricity, though there was no sign of drug use in the home, the caller was asked to call back should he see anything.


It was reported that a large loud dog is barking in the area, the caller is unable to catch any rest,  the caller stated that the dog is barking at someone in the alley, when contacted, there was no one in the alley, nor was the k-9 barking, the caller was advised to call back should anyone return.

City of Brawley


November  27


It was reported that the caller’s tool shed had been vandalized, the caller stated that someone spray painted his tool shed with an unknown name on it, the incident was documented, the caller was advised of his options.


It was reported that the caller believes his neighbors had pushed his car away from where it was parked, claiming that the cars were parked too close together, the caller and the neighbor were contacted and counseled.


It was reported that a city owned building has been spray-painted from within and from the outside, the paint was documented a report was taken, the caller was asked to call back should it happen again.


November 28


It was reported that a few subjects were sleeping in front of the apartment complex, though they have been asked to leave, they refused, the subjects were contacted while they dug thru trash, they finally complied to leaving the area


It was reported that the caller’s vehicles was vandalized, the caller noticed when he tried opening his driver side door that the lock had been tampered with, it is believed that this happened sometime last night, the situation was handled.


It was reported that the caller’s neighbor was causing a disturbance, the caller couldn’t pin point the noise that he was hearing, all he knew is that it came from his neighbor’s property, the neighbor was contacted everything seemed fine.


November 29


It was reported that a male and female couple were having an intense argument, which disrupted the peace in the neighborhood, both subjects were contacted and counseled, the male half complied to sleeping elsewhere for the night.


It was reported that the caller’s son and husband are having an argument, the caller did not know what they fought over but she does know that her husband is under the influence, all parties were contacted and counseled.


November 30


It was reported that the caller is having an intense argument with her ex-husband which seems to be making a lot of noise, the  ex-husband left the area before an officer  arrived.


It was reported that an unknown male subject was loitering by a few trash cans, the caller was afraid that it might have been an identity theft attempt, when inspected, it turned out to be the dumpster man.


It was reported that a the caller has lost a few boxes of clothing and shoes, the caller stated that he left the boxes on the front yard, a report was taken, the caller was advised to keep his belongings inside.


December 1


It was reported that a female subject is refusing to leave the caller’s home, it was unclear as to whether this female was an ex-girlfriend or any other relation, the female subject did in fact refuse to leave several times, she was finally sent on her way by an officer.


It was reported that an unknown subject is calling him, the subject tells him to stay away from his girlfriend, yet the caller is not seeing anyone, the caller was advised on his options.

City of Calexico


November  27


It was reported that a group in the neighborhood is having loud music playing while they drink and relax, when they turned down their music, the group then began to talk loudly, the subjects were asked to take it inside, they complied.


It was reported that a male and female  sibling couple were arguing in plain view of the public which quickly escalated into a pushing and shoving fight, both were counseled and asked to separate, from which they did.


November 28


It was reported that two females were seen having an intense argument, it turned out that the caller is being accused of damaging the subject’s vehicle when she opened her door, the situation was handled, both were referred to a civil court.


It was reported that the caller’s parents are shoving and pushing themselves around, the caller whom is a young kid is worried that they may actually get hurt,  the caller’s parents were under the influence, they were counseled


November 29


It was reported that the caller’s brother is causing some trouble at her place, her brother is on probation and shouldn’t be at her residence, an officer arrived and was able to handle the situation.


It was reported that the caller’s son is being very aggressive, though the caller does have a restraining order against him, he wishes to not enforce it, the caller just wants him gone, the young man was sent on his way.


It was reported  that a few kids on skates were bothering customers, skating on rails and jumping in and out of the streets, though they refused to leave when asked, they did leave as soon as an officer asked them too, the kids were asked not to come back.


November 30


It was reported that the caller is worried about a mom and son couple who seem to be arguing, though it isn’t known what the problem was, the only issue is that it was too loud, the couple were counseled.


It was reported that the bartender is arguing with two male subjects, the argument was getting out of hand, the two males refused to leave but were eventually asked to by an officer, they left with no incident


December 1


It was reported that the caller’s daughter is pushing, hitting and screaming at her, the caller is fed up, the reason for her daughter’s behavior is because the caller took away her daughter’s tv, phone and vehicle, the daughter was counseled.


It was reported that a couple who is in the middle of a loud argument are starting to throw items one of which was a remote control which hit the male half  and broke on him, the two were asked to separate for the night


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


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.

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