From the daily archives: Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Luke Phillips
Holtville residents will soon be seeing long-needed improvements to Nolan E. McDougal (Mack) Park.
The Holtville City Council approved bids submitted for three improvement projects at the park at their last regular meeting on Monday, March 22.
A contract to replace a crumbling retention wall on the park’s south side was awarded to Valencia Brothers Concrete Construction in the amount of $43,125. Installation of new restrooms for the park, including a concrete pad and ADA compliant sidewalk, will be performed by Tim Gaddis Construction at a cost of $18,625, and electrical improvements, including the installation of a new light pole, will be completed by Supreme Electric for $6,595.
The improvements will be paid for with funds from the 2002 Resource Bond Act Per Capita Program of Proposition 40 funds, the same grant that funded improvements at Holt Park. The funds were frozen due to the states economic hardships, but in November of last year the city received word that the funds were again available for project implementation. Funds from the grant will cover $81,665 out of the $119,935 needed for the projects. The other $38,270 will come from the Redevelopment Agency’s Capitol Improvement Projects fund.
Changes to the planned improvements could still be coming though. Council member Jerry Brittsan indicated that he would like to see a second entrance to the park at the southeast corner installed as part of the retention wall project.

“I’ve tried to navigate that a couple of times since then and I just can’t do it,” Brittsan said. “I think if we have any intentions of putting an area down there where we are going to increase the size of the ball park, there ought to be at least one, or possibly two, steps, not ramps, but steps in there where people can get up and down.”   Holtville City Manager Laura Fischer defended the current plans, saying “we didn’t include it (an entrance) becauseit would be an additional expense to the project and we were trying to save as much as we could and get within budget from this grant. We didn’t do that. It’s still over $38,000 over the grant amount, so there is still a cost out there to us.”
Brittsan responded by saying that the costs would be worth it to avoid accidents at the park.
“I don’t think the expense would be that that you would have if you had somebody with a handicap who tries to step off that berm and breaks a leg, or both legs,” Brittsan said.
Fischer acknowledged that handicap parking is a problem at the park that will have to be addressed.
“We can check on it and see what it would add to the budget cost,” Fischer said. “Our parking lot needs some work done to it. It does need to have striping. There are issues with the parking lot.”
The council directed city staff to look into altering the contract with Valencia Brothers Concrete to see if it would be feasible to add accommodations for the disabled to the scope of the project.
The council will take the matter up again at their next regular meeting scheduled for April 5th


Left to right Ana Rosa Renison, Rosie Raya, Mary Medina, Carlos Herrera, Carlos Herrera Jr., and Annie Ybarra

The Calexico Historical Museum committee met on Tuesday, March 30th to finalize details on the upcoming “Inauguration of the Historical Museum” project. The unveiling will take place on Saturday, April 17th, doors opening at 2:00 pm and ceremony beginning at 3:00pm. The event will remain open to the public until 6:00 pm. The event will feature various displays of historic artifacts from Calexico history and a history book written by Carlos Herrera, Sr. The event will also feature historical family pictures and biographies from over 100 local families by Ana Rosa Renison.

If you would like to be a part of the event to provide historical items, contact Mr. Carlos Herrera, Sr. at 760-357-2929. To provide historical family photos contact Ana Rosa Renison at 760-357-4416 or by email: Committee members include Harry Orfanos, Carlos Herrera, Jr., Annie Ybarra, Rosie Raya, Mary Medina, Loli Torres, Ana Rosa Renison, John Renison and Historian Carlos Herrera, Sr., Carlos Escalante, Hildy Carrillo, and Lupita Rodriguez.

Pictured left to right are: Ana Rosa Renison, Rosie Raya, Mary Medina, Harry Orfanos, Carlos Herrera, Sr., Carlos Herrera, Jr., and Annie Ybarra.

Photo by John R. Renison

The event will take place at the Calexico Cultural Arts Center and will feature appetizers and refreshments. Invitations are being prepared and all elected officials and commission members are invited. The public is cordially invited. For more information contact Carlos Herrera, Sr., at 760-357-2929.


Indio, Calif. – Indio Station agents conducting checkpoint operations at the Highway 86 checkpoint seized three narcotics loads this past weekend.

During a vehicle search, a package containing methamphetamine was discovered hidden in the engine compartment of a black sport-utility vehicle.

The first seizure occurred on Friday at approximately 9 p.m. when a black sport-utility vehicle was sent to the secondary inspection area after a U.S. Border Patrol canine team alerted agents to the possible presence of contraband within the vehicle. During a subsequent search, agents discovered a package hidden within the vehicle’s engine compartment. The package contained methamphetamine with an estimated street value of more than $326,000

The second incident occurred on Saturday at approximately 6 p.m. when a canine team alerted agents to the potential presence of contraband within a red sedan. A subsequent non-intrusive scan of the vehicle using a large-scale imaging system revealed several anomalies in the rear seat area of the vehicle. Agents searched the area and found numerous bundles of marijuana concealed in a hidden compartment underneath the rear seat. The marijuana has an estimated street value of more than $39,000.

The final seizure occurred late Sunday evening after a canine team alerted agents to the possible presence of contraband within a blue SUV. An anomaly was detected underneath the rear passenger seat of the vehicle during a non-intrusive scan using a large-scale imaging system. Agents searched the area and discovered several cellophane-wrapped packages. The packages which contained cocaine have an estimated street value of more than $2.35 million.

The drivers from the Friday and Sunday seizures, the two SUV’s, the methamphetamine, and cocaine were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The driver, red sedan, and marijuana from Saturday’s seizure were turned over to the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.


The  City of El Centro will be holding the 3rd annual “El Centro Music Festival & Fireworks Show” at Stark Field in El Centro.

The Headliner is “The Chicano All Stars,”  a Santana tribute band.  There will also be other live bands, free drawings, high school competitions, food, 100 foot giant fun slide and Paintball, X-Ball Sup-Air field with a clinic and chrono section for continuous action.  This exciting event will conclude with a spectacular fireworks show! Admission is free with a nonperishable food item for IV Food Bank.

Date: April 10, 2010

Time: 5pm-10pm

Location: Field in El Centro

For more information call 760-337-4555 or log onto

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