From the daily archives: Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Announces the Return of Seven Disney Favorites to the Disney Vault January 30, 2010




BURBANK, Calif., Jan. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (WDSHE) announces the return of seven movie favorites to the Disney vault on January 30, 2010.  Treasured by families, fans and coveted by collectors, the exciting, limited-time releases that return to the vault include multiple animated classics and live-action favorites.

  • Sleeping Beauty (animated) Blu-ray™ Hi-Def & DVD
  • The Jungle Book (animated) on DVD
  • The Jungle Book 2 (animated) on DVD
  • 101 Dalmatians DVD (animated) on DVD
  • 101 Dalmatians II (animated) on DVD
  • 101 Dalmatians (live-action) on DVD
  • 102 Dalmatians (live action) on DVD

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, a recognized leader in the home entertainment industry, is the marketing, sales and distribution company for Walt Disney, Touchstone, Hollywood Pictures, Miramax and Buena Vista product, which includes DVD, Blu-ray Disc™ and electronic distribution. Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment is a division of The Walt Disney Studios.

Movie Synopses and Complete Product Specifications are available for each title at

(C) Disney

SOURCE Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment


The following op-ed, published on January 11, 2010 in The New York Post, was written by former FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom. Kallstrom, who is currently a member of the FBI Director’s Advisory Group, was also director of the New York Homeland Security Agency.

Ever since 9/11, critics have suggested that the FBI isn’t up to its task as our nation’s lead counterterrorism agency.

Yet, as the nation focused on the failures of the intelligence community in the Christmas Day bombing attempt over Detroit, last Friday saw two more arrests in the ongoing FBI investigation of a plot to bomb New York City first exposed by the September arrest of Najibullah Zazi.

It’s easy to stand on the periphery, without the benefit of real-world experience, and render judgments with the benefit of hindsight. But counterterrorism cases are extremely complex and often require a relatively quick series of judgments, often with incomplete information. Counterterror investigations and intelligence gathering aren’t black and white, simple, or easy.

America went on a war footing against terrorism only after 9/11. Before then, our government viewed international terrorism strictly as a law-enforcement matter, giving the FBI the responsibility to address it. In that period, the FBI had significant accomplishments, including the apprehension of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers within six days; preventing attacks on New York’s most important landmarks with the arrest and conviction of the “Blind Sheik;” sending agents in 1998 to East Africa, where they quickly solved the two US embassy bombing cases without the assets normally available to investigators in America; and, in 2000, dispatching agents after the USS Cole bombing to Yemen, where they determined that al Qaeda terrorists had carried out the bombing. During this period, the Justice Department severely and unnecessarily restricted the FBI’s ability to share intelligence information, and Congress acted haltingly to properly resource, fund and provide the legal framework for the FBI’s counterterrorism program, including new technology required to defend the nation.

Post-9/11, as al Qaeda and other Muslim extremist groups have demonstrated their obsession with radicalizing U.S. Muslims, the FBI has disrupted a number of plots.

While some claim that collecting and analyzing intelligence is a new phenomenon in the FBI culture, in fact, the FBI’s intelligence and counterintelligence mission began before World War II and predates the creation of the fabled OSS and the CIA. Indeed, the FBI has long honed the skills and techniques necessary for success in protecting against international terrorism—using informants, undercover operations, and court-ordered electronic surveillance. Historically, the FBI has collected and analyzed information, whether the threat was the Soviet Union, domestic terrorist groups like the Klu Klux Klan, or organized crime.

Yet such critics as Gabriel Schoenfeld (in his Dec. 4 Post op-ed, “The FBI Bungles on Terror Again”) assert, “It’s high time to look at creating a new and separate domestic counterterrorism…agency along the lines of Great Britain’s MI5.”

In evaluating this naive and discredited suggestion, we need to consider the following:

  • Americans have rejected the notion of a national police force for over 200 years. The FBI was not established as a law-enforcement agency until 1933, precisely because the republic wanted to limit the authority of those whom protect our civil liberties.
  • The FBI is designed to be as transparent as possible for the purpose of protecting the nation, as well as the rights and liberties enshrined in the Constitution. The oversight provided by Congress, the courts, and others have ensured the FBI did not evolve into a secret police force operating in the “Perpetual Black.”
  • While England’s MI-5 might be viewed as a panacea, it needs to be examined in light of the long, painful history of its operations in Northern Ireland. Moreover, MI-5 didn’t protect England from the London Subway bombings and other acts of terrorism.
  • It would be difficult, if not impossible, for a myriad of state, local, and federal law-enforcement officials to have effective liaison with a secret domestic police operation.
  • A painful lesson learned from 9/11 is that the bifurcation of our intelligence and law-enforcement competencies leads to “stove piping” of information—a formula for disaster. Creating a separate secret-police organization would revive that failed model—weakening and balkanizing the law-enforcement and intelligence communities, rather than creating a united, seamless effort.
  • While many terrorism and legal experts have weighed in, the most qualified critics are the Brits themselves. If fact, many senior British law-enforcement officials criticize the MI-5 model and prefer the FBI’s dual criminal and intelligence/terrorism roles.

This isn’t to say the FBI can’t do a better job integrating these disciplines and more broadly coordinating within the larger intelligence and law enforcement communities. Yet the fact these structures don’t always perform seamlessly doesn’t suggest the current process is dysfunctional.

Having devoted a considerable amount of my life in the “arena,” I am confident the dedicated men and women of the FBI will continue to perform at a very high professional level to protect this great nation, while adhering to constitutional principles and the rule of law.


It’s Business Showcase Time: Valley Cities Could Use A little Facelift

HERE WE GO AGAIN WITH ANOTHER BUSINESS SHOWCASE. That’s today, if you haven’t heard about it.
It’s at the Fairgrounds in the Preble Building once again, but we’re not sure of the size of the turnout we will have for it.
There’s enough gloom and doom prognosticators around to keep some folks home. We hope instead they will get out and see what Imperial Valley has to offer, which is a considerable amount of goods and services.
Just take us. We’ll be showing off today everything new and modern about our newspapers. That includes our website that is getting more popular by the day. Just a couple of weeks ago we were averaging 1500 hits a day. Now we’re up to 2900.
If you’re an advertiser it’s a good way to get your message out to the public. If you’re a reader it’s a good way to keep up with breaking news.
You can also get that news in some cases in the pages of the newspaper too. We offer a variety of ways to keep you informed.
We’ll be passing out newspapers and other goodies at the Business Showcase once again to get the message out that you have an alternative to other print media right here in Imperial Valley.
Sorry Brian Williams, but we’re still in business and plan to stay that way.
Enjoy the show, pick up a lot of the goodies that will be available stop by our booth and remember to use the products and services right here in your hometown. The job you save, may be your own.
HOLTVILLE’S CARROT FESTIVAL IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER -or right next door to us, if you want information from the Chamber of Commerce. That’s because they always occupy the booth next to ours and are ready, willing and able to sell you the merits of this fine festival and our small town on the edge of the big city.
WE’VE BEEN LOOKING AT CALEXICO LATELY. Which which will be changing its main drag once the new Port Of Entry planned for the downtown area gets opened. You’ll be driving more Cesar Chavez Blvd. sometime during the next decade, with the current POE being used for trucks and buses only.
All you folk out there looking for an investment opportunity should look along Cesar Chavez Blvd., or so the powers that be tell me, because that’s where the traffic is going to be flowing – and the cash. But I wouldn’t hold your breathe. The government was talking about having this facility open by 2011 and they are still talking about it.
There are plenty of opportunities in this City by the Border, but like every place else you  have to look for them.
One thing we have noticed about Calexico and other cities is that landlords are reluctant lower their rent to fill up empty space, because they think they can get the same prices they were getting before the economy went bust. Sorry, but the demand just isn’t there. And if you want income instead of expense you have  to lower your prices somewhat.
We’ve seen buildings that have sat empty for years because of this. Most of them have ownership in places other than Imperial Valley. We’re not sure what their interest is, but I haven’t met a businessman yet who wouldn’t rather have money coming in than none at all.
Longstanding empty buildings only add to an eyesore that won’t go away. Calexico has one right in the middle of some popular discount houses on its north side. The old Peso Market is a disgrace to the city, not a showcase. The city needs to take some action on this place. It pollutes one of the most highly developed areas in Calexico and detracts from local investors’ businesses.
Clean i up and then maybe the city will have something better to showcase at the next event in a year. We’ll check on the progress for you.
The Carrot Capital is introduced its officers to the public at this week’s City Council meeting .
It’s a new concept in policing to this part of Valley, but not new to the state. Lots of other cities contract for police protection.
The proof of the pudding will be how good the service is . Holtville is gambling a lot. it will cost them almost $1 million a year to have the Sheriff in charge. And the city will be building a new public safety building sometime in the near future. That’s another $3 million or so.
What the city is supposed to get is increased police protection and more support services for evidence processing, supervision and  apprehension.
The city will also find out if Sheriff’s protection is enough to satisfy homebuilders who want to put developments here. Should Holtville ever get around to that, the Sheriff’s duties here will increase once again.
By the time the housing shows up, there’s supposed to be a new airport out here, new commercial businesses, plenty of free Bubble Up  and some clams to boot. this will undoubtedly be the promised land.
Enjoy the Business Showcase. The future is looking bright in the Valley and you can help it along with your local support.


CALEXICO, Calif. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working passenger operations at the Calexico ports over the weekend foiled three narcotic smuggling attempts worth over $200,000, officials announced today.
On Sunday, January 10, at about 10:30 a.m. at the Calexico east port of entry a detector dog alerted to a blue 1988 Volkswagen Jetta as it slowly drove past. The driver, a 41-year-old male Mexican citizen and vehicle were referred for a more in-depth inspection
The driver was escorted to a private room where a pat down was conducted for concealed weapons and contraband. The pat down resulted in the discovery of two small packages of heroin, concealed inside the driver’s shoes, weighing two pounds with a street value of $26,000.
The driver, a resident of Mexicali, was arrested for the smuggling attempt and turned over to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents for further disposition.
The second seizure occurred later in the day at about 2:00 p.m. when officers arrested a 21-year-old female U.S. citizen and a 22-year-old male U.S. citizen who allegedly attempted to smuggle 80 pounds of marijuana concealed in a grey 2004 Dodge Dakota pick-up Truck.
A canine officer and his detector dog were conducting an enforcement operation when the dog alerted to the Dakota pick-up Truck.  Officers subsequently discovered 37 wrapped packages of marijuana concealed inside the dashboard with a street value of $72,340.
The driver, a resident of El Monte, California, and the passenger, a resident of Los Angeles, California, were turned over to the custody of ICE agents for further investigation.
The largest seizure occurred on Saturday, January 9, at about 8:00 am at the Calexico downtown port when CBP officers arrested a 43-year-old male Mexican citizen who allegedly attempted to smuggle 138 pounds of marijuana concealed inside a green 1998 Ford Windstar van.
The driver had been referred to the secondary inspection area for further examination. Closer examination and canine screening of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of 80 wrapped packages of marijuana concealed in the vehicle’s dashboard and passenger door. The street value of the marijuana is $125,240.
The driver, a permanent resident of Calexico, was turned over to the custody of ICE agents for further disposition.
CBP placed an immigration hold on the Mexican citizens to initiate possible removal from the United States at the conclusion of their criminal proceedings.
In all three incidents, CBP seized the narcotics and vehicles.

Brawley’s Steve Vasquez Announces Run For Leimgruber’s Seat

Chris Furguson
Former Brawley Council member Steve Vasquez announced his intent to run for the District 5 Board of Supervisors seat currently held by Wally Leimgruber during the June 2010 elections.
Vasquez had run against Leimgruber eight years ago, but lost in a close election.  Now, after eight more years of experience, Vasquez feels he is more knowledgeable in the ways of the county.
In November, Vasquez said he was thinking about running for the county seat, but wasn’t fully ready to announce his intentions.  Vasquez had also claimed towards the end of his term on the Brawley City Council that his political career wasn’t over.
“Some might say that this is the end of my political career,” Vasquez said at his last meeting as a councilman.  “But this may be a beginning as well.”

Vasquez served on the Brawley council for 16 years, serving four terms as Mayor.  Prior to that, Vasquez was a member of the city’s Planning Commission.
Among Vasquez’s most recent accomplishments, he cites the coming of Wal-Mart, the building of a new water treatment plant, the coming of the SDSU-IV campus east of the city and having parts of the city declared an enterprize zone.
Leimgruber, who has served on the Board of Supervisors for the past 12 years, is the current president of the board.

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