From the daily archives: Wednesday, February 10, 2010

OCOTILLO, Calif. — On Saturday night, at approximately 6:30 p.m., El Centro Station Border Patrol agents were patrolling the mountainous desert region in the vicinity of Ocotillo, Calif. when they encountered an abandoned maroon pick-up truck loaded with approximately 1,150 pounds of marijuana.

El Centro Station agents also found evidence for a group of individuals returning to Mexico from the abandoned vehicle.  The vehicle contained 99 individually packaged bundles of marijuana with an estimated value of more than $925,000.  The marijuana and the vehicle were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Chief Patrol Agent Jeffrey A. Calhoon stated that he believes that seizures such as this contribute to the safety of our country.

“The agents of the El Centro Sector take on the responsibility to secure our nation’s borders and we strive to provide that everyday”, he said.


By Mario Conde

The Imperial County Board of Supervisors gave their support to create a valley-wide County Enterprise Zone.

Supervisors heard Tuesday the option given to the JPA County Enterprise Zone about applying for a new valley-wide Enterprise Zone designation as recommended by the State Chairman of the Enterprise Zones in a recent visit to the County. If this plan moves forward, this new designation would cover the current Enterprise Zones in Calexico and Brawley and at the same time expand the zone to cover most, if not all cities including Heber and other unincorporated areas.

The Calexico and Brawley City Councils will discuss the Enterprise Zone issue at their respective meetings next week. The new EZ application will involved all cities that will combine to get the approval of the State. The County of Imperial and the City of Calexico started their Enterprise Zone partnership in 2006.

Jurg Heuberger spoke to the board and said that if a business wants to establish themselves in the Imperial Valley it should not be limited to two options. The County and IID both currently pay $60,000 per Zone for an aggregate of $120,000 per year.

The State will open its application period for EZ next week and will end in August. Supervisor Mike Kelley said the Valley is in need of good incentives to bring new investment. He suggested not taking action on this item until they get the input from the municipalities.

Chairman Louis Fuentes said that enterprise zones have become an excellent tool for business retention and said that he supports the expansion of the enterprise zone.

Imperial City Manager Marlene Best said that this issue in the interest of the City of Imperial since the City and the airport could benefit from the EZ incentives. She announced that the Imperial RDA is ready to do some funding on the airport and make some improvements.

Supervisor Gary Wyatt said that is something is good for the valley then is good for everyone.

The board made a motion to give direction to staff to move forward with this project and will be discussing it at their next meeting on Tuesday, February 23rd.


Historic firsts have taken place at San Diego State University-Imperial Valley Campus, in the streets of Calexico and Mexciali and at Terrace Park Cemetery in Holtville.  Sponsored by the Imperial Valley Campus Committee on Diversity and Equity, an emotion-filled cultural event coupled with a public forum on “Immigration Reform in 2010” took place in the campus art gallery on Thursday night.  The cultural event included performances by noted celebrities such as Chicana writer Josefina López, Mexican rock musician Iván González and Francisco Herrera, a native son of Calexico and a member of the San Francisco-based musical group Posadas sin Fronteras.  The public forum featured speakers from both sides of the US-Mexico border, including Enrique Morones, winner of Mexico’s 2009 national prize for human rights and organizer of Migrant March V, a movement advocating comprehensive immigration reform in 2010.  Thursday night’s event was followed this morning by a demonstration on both sides of the fence between Calexico and Mexicali.  More than 150 people physically divided yet spiritually united, sang and chanted their demand for a world without borders.  The day ended with a caravan to Terrace Park Cemetery in Holtville, where the unmarked graves of more than 600 migrant workers who have died attempting to cross the US-Mexico border were commemorated.  The caravan then departed for San Diego, where it will end tomorrow in that city’s Chicano Park with a final rally and demonstration.  For more information, contact event coordinators Rogelio Reyes (, tel. 760 768 5532), Benjamín Acevedo ( or Ricardo López (tel. 760 357 7266).


Actos públicos de la SDSU-Valle Imperial abordan el tema de reforma migratoria 2010

Calexico, Califas, EUA; 5 de febrero.  Anoche y hoy hemos presenciado acontecimientos sin precedente en la Universidad Estatal de San Diego (SDSU)-Unidad Valle Imperial, en las calles de Calexico y Mexicali  y en el cementerio Terrace Park de la ciudad de Holtville.  Patrocinado por el Comité sobre Diversidad y Equidad de la SDSU-Unidad Valle Imperial, ayer en la galería de arte de este plantel se llevó a cabo un emocionante acto cultural y un foro público enfocados en la “Reforma migratoria 2010”.  El acto cultural incluyó una exhibición de fotos del fotoperiodista David Bacon y actuaciones artísticas de eminentes celebridades tales como la escritora chicana  Josefina López, el rockero mexicano Iván González y Francisco Herrera, oriundo de Calexico y miembro del  conjunto Posadas sin Fronteras.  El foro público incluyó a ponentes de ambos lados de la frontera tales como Enrique Morones, ganador del premio nacional de derechos humanos de México en 2009 y organizador de la Marcha Migrante V, movimiento que aboga por la reforma migratoria extensa en 2010.  El evento de anoche fue seguido esta mañana por una manifestación pro reforma migratoria llevada acabo en ambos lados de la cerca que divide las ciudades fronterizas de Mexicali y Calexico.  Más de 150 manifestantes, divididos por la cerca pero unidas en su reivindicación de un mundo sin fronteras, cantaron sus canciones y consignas.  El día terminó con una caravana al cementerio Terrace Park de la ciudad de Holtville, donde se conmemoró a los más de 600 trabajadores indocumentados allí sepultados que han perdido la vida al tratar de cruzar la frontera México-EUA.  Para mayores informes sobre estos eventos, comunícate con los organizadores Rogelio Reyes (, tel. 760 768 5532), Benjamín Acevedo ( o Ricardo López (tel. 760 357 7226).


Assemblyman Manuel Perez , CPUC President Michael Peevey

and Mid-American’s Jonathan Weisgall are Confirmed

El Centro, CA – The Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation, host of the Imperial Valley Renewable Energy Summit, today announced the keynote speakers.  Now in its third year, the much-anticipated event will be held March 16-18, 2010, at the Quechan Casino & Resort in eastern Imperial Valley.

“The Imperial Valley has the attention and support of leaders in the industry at every level – business, regulatory and legislative,” stated Timothy Kelley, President/CEO of the IVEDC.  “With 40,000 megawatts of renewable energy potential, these leaders know the renewable energy resources, power producers and workforce that will advance California as a renewable energy leader and help rebuild its economy are all here.”

Featuring over 20 speakers from the green energy industry, utilities and government and regulatory agencies, the keynote speakers of the event will be:

  • Assemblyman V. Manuel Pérez: Elected in November 2008, Assemblyman Perez represents the 80th Assembly District on several committees including the Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy and authored several bills to promote the clean tech economy and green jobs and address global warming.
  • Michael Peevey, President of the California Public Utilities Commission: Originally appointed in March 2002 to the CPUC by Governor Gray Davis, Mr. Peevey later became President of the Commission and was reappointed in December 2008 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  A strong supporter of renewable energy and its procurement requirements for utilities, Mr. Peevey is a leader in implementing California’s Solar and Greenhouse Gas Initiatives.
  • Jonathan Weisgall:  Mr. Weisgall is the Vice President of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs for Mid-American Holdings Company where he represents Mid-American on regulatory matters.  He is also Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies and President of the Geothermal Energy Association.

In 2008, the Imperial Valley Renewable Energy Study reported the region was home to over 40,000 megawatts of renewable energy potential, quantifying the geothermal, wind, biomass and solar resources in the area.

Themed, “Growing California’s Green Economy,” this year’s summit will include discussions on the primary issues facing the renewable energy community in California and the West—the need for project investment and financing and the creation of a green collar workforce.

For more information, please visit or call (760) 353-8332.

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