From the daily archives: Monday, March 29, 2010

By Mario Conde

Maritza Hurtado-Barron announced her candidacy for the Calexico City Council and aspires to win one of the two opens seats this June.

Hurtado-Barron is a director for the Calexico Chamber of Commerce and the present chairperson for the Downtown Calexico Business Improvement District. She is also a businesswoman in downtown Calexico as a consultant and tax preparer.

This experience, Hurtado-Barron said, has given here opportunities to become involved with other Calexico business people who have information to share.

“I believe that my experiences as a long time Calexico resident will help me handle the job as a council member. I understand what it is like to be a parent, a business owner and a volunteer. I believe that in order to be a better council person you must understand the issues that are important to the residents of this City.”She said.

One of Hurtado’s main issues to support downtown Calexico and said that she is working with the Downtown Merchants to keep downtown clean in order to bring new investors to the downtown area.

Hurtado said that she has been involved with children’s sports programs. She said to be disappointed that Calexico has fewer sports programs.

“The City has grown so much however parks have not been built to help and be there for those families that were brought in because of so much development. I have been actively working with the City to find solutions for that and discussions have taken place to find grants. I see stimulus money coming in for other cities for and I would love to see that stimulus money coming to Calexico.”Hurtado said.

Hurtado defines herself as a hardworking, focus committed person, with integrity. “In this day in age what Calexico needs to accomplish goals and try to improve is a person who has integrity and people who have already proven of themselves that they are committed their lives to serving others, and that is what I believe I am.”


By Mario Conde

The second candidate to be evaluated for SDSU Dean was Martha Crunkleton by staff, students, and community.

Crunkleton is a diplomat, U.S. Department of State, Kabul, Afghanistan, and Cd. Juarez where she worked at the American Consulate over there. She was born is the east Georgia Mountains and was the first in her family to go to college. Crunkelton said to be a great believer in education and said it’s crucial for society to fight ignorance.

The candidate for Dean said that she would like to see SDSU to have more collaboration between them and institutions in Mexicali and have a more coordinated approached to the regions problems. “I would hope to increase the resources to this campus by raising money and being a strong advocate for this institution.” She said.

When asked about the possible enrollment reduction by the California State University system this year, Crunkelton said that “when you have empty seats it doesn’t cost more to fill them and we should teach everybody who wants to come and learn.” The candidate said.

Some SDSU students have expressed concern that the main campus doesn’t support the IV campus in terms of funding and educational opportunities, Crunkleton said that she would be a forceful teacher to teach the leaders of San Diego State University about the needs and resources of this campus.

“I think if they better understood the role of this campus in this community they will be more supportive. Whoever is the Dean has to teach them and be a very forceful advocate for this community and this campus because it’s central for this community. It’s not a luxury, it’s a central thing” she said.

Crunklenton also plans, if elected dean, to persuade more faculty members to come here, set up more exchange programs, and explore the possibility to have a summer institute program that focus and the economy of the border in order to have students of all over the United States to come here to study and learn from experts.


By Mario Conde

Calexico young athletes will continue to have a place to play sports since the Calexico Parents Athletic League will work to provide programs for them.

The Calexico Police Athletic League folded last December since the Calexico Police Department would not be able to manage or run the program. Chief Jim Neujahr stated to the Police Advisory Board that the Calexico Police Department had always been supportive of the program, but it could no longer afford to have a fulltime employee overseeing it. The Community Service Officer in charge of the program was re-assigned to doing CSO duties now that patrol was so short on personnel.

Because of this situation, the Police Athletic League in Calexico, who in just a couple of years went from having 67 members to 2,700 athletes and won many valley and Statewide tournaments, folded but the parents decided to take matters into their own hands.  CPAL Athletic Director Carmen Estrada said Saturday at the opening ceremony of the soccer tournament that felt sad when the Calexico Police Athletic League and was depressed for a week but said that made her work even harder to continue the program.

A new board was created and created a new 501(c) 3 non-profit and were able to come to an agreement with the City of Calexico to rent the place where the Police Athletic League used to operate. CPAL vice-president Antonio Garcia said that the decision to end PAL was a financial one but said that without the determination of Carmen Estrada, the continuation of the program would be hard or would not be the same.

CPAL president Jesus Yniguez said that the program is will continue now that everything is now in order. Yniguez said that CPAL will start fundraising for different programs that are being planned and want to implement in the near future. Yniguez said CPAL plans to have a softball league, basketball, and Cheerleading soon. It is also planned to have mini-sports such as T-ball and activities for children who need to get started in sports at an early age.

The new board is made of President Jesus Yniguez, Vice-president Antonio Garcia, secretary Richard Espinoza, treasure Griselda Gonzalez, and athletic director Carmen Estrada.


Alpine, Calif. — Last night, a convicted sex offender, who was previously deported from the country, was arrested by a U.S. Border Patrol agent during a vehicle stop on westbound Interstate 8 in Alpine.

At about 8:15 p.m., agents encountered the man as he approached the U.S. Border Patrol Checkpoint near Pine Valley driving a semi truck. As an agent working the checkpoint directed the man to the secondary inspection area, the man failed to follow the agent’s command and continued driving the semi truck westbound on the interstate.

Another agent followed the man and stopped the semi near the Willows Road exit. Subsequent record checks on the man, a 53-year-old Mexican national, revealed that he was arrested and convicted in 1991 for child sex crimes in Riverside, Calif. He was later deported to Mexico.

The man is currently being held in federal custody and is facing charges for re-entering the U.S. after being previously deported as an aggravated felon.

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