From the daily archives: Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 14, 2010
DR-1884-CA NR-11
FEMA/State News Desk:
(626) 431-3910

At the request of the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA), the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), along with county and local agencies, is carrying out
Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDAs) in the earthquake damaged areas of Imperial County.
A PDA is an extensive on-the-ground survey of damage to public facilities, and is used to determine
whether federal assistance from FEMA can be made available.
The PDA will be used by the Governor’s Office as a basis to request a major disaster declaration for
Public Assistance (PA) from the President if it shows the cost of response and recovery efforts is
beyond state and local capabilities to absorb.
The PA program helps fund the repair, restoration, reconstruction or replacement of public facilities
that were damaged or destroyed by a disaster. It also includes reimbursement for emergency
protective services and debris removal. Eligible applicants include state and local governments,
tribal nations and certain private nonprofit (PNP) organizations that provide an essential
governmental service.
If a Presidential disaster declaration for PA is issued, applicants will have 30 days to make a request
for PA funds. The requirements that agencies must meet for obtaining Federal Assistance are
detailed in an Applicants’ Briefing to be hosted by Cal EMA.
There are two types of work eligible for reimbursement through a Public Assistance Grant:
emergency work and permanent work. The categories of work are often identified by a single letter.
The categories are:
Emergency Work
A. Debris Removal
B. Emergency Protective Measures
Permanent Work
C. Road Systems and Bridges
D. Water Control Facilities
E. Buildings, Contents, and Equipment
F. Utilities
G. Parks, Recreational, and Other
A complete description of the work eligible for reimbursement through PA grants can be found at:
PA funds are made available on a cost sharing basis with FEMA paying 75 percent of eligible costs. The remaining 25 percent of costs are the responsibility of the state/local agency or eligible non-profit organization. Of the 25 percent, the State of California provides 18.75 percent of the nonfederal share to local agencies, with those agencies paying 6.25 percent.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
The California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) coordinates overall state agency preparedness for, response to and recovery from major disasters. Cal EMA also maintains the State Emergency Plan, which outlines the organizational structure for state management of the response to natural and manmade disasters.


Baseball Report

By Bob Hurst

They’re finally out of the Metrodome, but can the Minnesota Twins find the same success at new Target Field that they had in their old digs?

The Twins opened their new stadium in Minneapolis on Monday with a 5-2 win over the Boston Red Sox. Minnesota’s Jason Kubel hit the first home run in the new ballpark and Carl Pavano got the win before 39,715 fans.

“I’ve been waiting a long time,” said Twins catcher Joe Mauer, who grew up in neighboring St. Paul. “It’s definitely a special place, and I’m glad it’s here.”

Minnesota began play in 1961 at Metropolitan Stadium in suburban Bloomington after the franchise moved from Washington. The Twins relocated to downtown Minneapolis to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in 1982, where they shared the stadium with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings.

The new open-air stadium in Minneapolis will have its share of bad weather, something the Twins didn’t have to worry about in the old dome. And visiting teams won’t miss the roof or the bad hops. Now the Twins have to find new ways to frustrate their opponents.

13’s enough: Thirteen runs is sometimes a lot for two games, but the Arizona Diamondbacks achieved that in just one inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

The 13-run outburst in the fourth inning in Phoenix set a franchise-record, and was aided by three home runs from Edwin Jackson, Chris Young and Kelly Johnson. Jackson, a pitcher, had two of the Diamondbacks eight hits in the inning, and scored two runs.

Aurilia retires: Former San Francisco Giants infielder Rich Aurilia has announced his retirement. Aurilia had a career batting average of .275 with 186 home runs and 756 RBIs in a 15-year career that began and ended with the Giants.

Strasburg debut: Stephen Strasburg, the No. 1 pick in last June’s draft, won his minor league debut over the weekend. Pitching for Washington’s Class AA Harrisburg, Strasburg threw five innings, allowing one earned run and four hits with eight strikeouts. His fastball was timed at 97-98 mph. Harrisburg beat Altoona 6-4.

“There are things I need to work on. Hopefully my time will come soon,” Strasburg said.

Vintage Bradley: Milton Bradley is at it again. After yet another “fresh start,” with his new team, the Seattle Mariners, Bradley didn’t take long to lose control of his emotions. In the season opener at Oakland last week, Bradley broke his bat after smashing it to the ground in frustration following a strikeout. He was booed by his former fans the entire game.

Last Friday night at Texas, another one of Bradley’s former clubs, the outfielder flipped off heckling fans during the fourth inning.

Bradley, 31, is with his eighth team in 11 seasons. He had just one hit in his first 22 at-bats for an .045 average.

In spring training with the Mariners last month, Bradley talked about being the bad guy.

“If I was a musician, I’d be Kanye West,” Bradley said. “If I was in the NBA, I’d be Ron Artest. In baseball, they’ve got Milton Bradley. I’m that guy. You need people like me, so you can point your finger and go, ‘There goes the bad guy.'”

Not his specialty, but… Andruw Jones is used to pinch-hitting, and he hadn’t had much success at it, going 9-for-50 (.180) as a pinch-hitter before Sunday. But his entrance into the game at the plate for the Chicago White Sox in the eighth inning on Sunday resulted in the game game-winning hit in a 5-4 win over Minnesota.

And former White Sox slugger Jim Thome pinch-hit in the ninth for the Twins, driving a ball to deep left-center field. J.J. Hardy was thrown out by a mile at the plate on the play, ending the game.

StatsWatch: Home run leaders (through Monday’s games) —

Vernon Wells, Blue Jays, 5

Nelson Cruz, Rangers, 5

Albert Pujols, Cardinals, 5

Alex Gonzalez, Blue Jays, 4

Jose Guillen, Royals, 4

Quotable: “I have a really good friendship with Mark McGwire. I’m proud of him. I’m proud of what he did. I’m happy for him.” — Barry Bonds, when asked what he thought about McGwire’s admission to using performance-enhancing drugs.

Diamond Notes: The Houston Astros were the only winless team in the major leagues through Monday at 0-7…Former San Francisco player Marvin Benard has admitted that he used steroids in 2002 to deal with a left knee injury…Roy Halladay became the first pitcher to hurl a complete game in Philadelphia’s 2-1 win over the Astros on Sunday…Cincinnati Reds pitcher Mike Leake, starting Sunday’s game against the Chicago Cubs, became the 21st player since the draft began in 1965 to play in the major leagues without appearing in a minor league game…Barry Bonds said he coached the Phillies Ryan Howard over the winter in Florida at Howard’s request.

Copyright © 2010  Bob Hurst. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Hurst Sports Media.


By Luke Phillips

Silsbee. Paringa. Bradtmoore. Old Beach. Holton. Braly. These names probably don’t mean much to you, but if a few twists in history had gone differently, they would be as familiar to you as Seeley, Heber, Niland, Hotville and Brawley.

Many of the cities and towns in the Imperial Valley started off with different names than the ones they ended up with.

Right around the turn of the century, the only stopping place in the valley for travelers making their way to the coast was a small settlement on the banks of Blue Lake, later renamed Sunbeam Lake. Another rest stop was established when Imperial opened a tent hotel, but by then the settlement at Blue Lake had become a full-fledged town site. The community was named Silsbee after a San Diego cattleman who raised stock in the area.

The town site of Silsbee was going strong, having built their first school house in 1904, but flooding caused by a spill over on the Colorado River during the summers of 1905 and 1906 devastated the community and it was abandoned soon after.

In 1911 a group of developers saw the potential for a prosperous community at the old town site east of El Centro. They began rebuilding the community and dubbed it Seeley.

It is unclear where the name Seeley came from. Both Otis B. Tout and Tracey Henderson mention the renaming of the town site in their books ‘The First 30 Years’ and ‘Imperial Valley’ respectively, but neither mentions where the name came from.

W.F. Holt, a major pioneer in the Imperial Valley, wanted to name a town site in the valley after himself, and in 1903 began plans for a city to be named Holton. The city’s first post office was built shortly after and the first postmaster suggested changing the name of the city to Holtville to avoid confusion with another settlement called Holton in Los Angeles County. The city was incorporated as Holtville in 1908.

When the original town sites for the Imperial Valley were being planned, developers thought a settlement in between Imperial and Calexico would be natural. The town site of Paringa was planned several miles east of where Heber is currently situated. The name was suggested by valley pioneer George Chaffey as a homage to his home town in Australia. However, after rail road surveys of the area were completed, plans for the town were moved to the west. The U.S Postal Service dubbed the town Bradtmoore, but the town site company quickly decided to rename it Heber in honor of A.H. Heber, the president of the California Development Company.

Niland started it’s existence as a small whistle stop on the railroad line running between Los Angeles and Yuma. At the time it was known as Old Beach. When the Imperial Valley rail road tied into the line the site was renamed Imperial Junction.

In 1912 a group of men from Los Angeles formed the Imperial Valley Farm Lands Association and bought 47,000 acres of land for $35.51 per acre at the north end of the valley, including the settlement of Imperial Junction. Imperial Junction officially became a town in 1914 and was named Niland after the fertile soils of the Nile river. The company also started development on another town site which they called Calipatria, a combination of California and Patria, the Latin word for native land.

In 1902 a Los Angeles investor teamed with an Imperial Valley investor to buy 4,000 acres for a city to be named Braly, after himself. After reading a government report called Circular No. 9, which blasted soil quality in the valley, Braly decided to pull out of the project saying, “I don’t want my name connected with any big failure like the Imperial Valley is going to be. I want out.”

Local man George A. Carter heard Braly’s pleas and offered to buy out his part of the contract for $16.50 per acre. Shortly after, the Imperial Land Co. claimed that it had exclusive development rights in the area, and bought Carter out for $21 per acre, netting him a tidy profit after holding the land for only a few months.

Locals in the area had already become used to calling their community Braly, so at the suggestion of A.H. Heber, the town was renamed Brawley.

“I have a friend in Chicago named Brawley,” Heber was quoted as saying. “We’ll name it after him.”


By Luke Phillips

As aide pours into Calexico and Mexicali to help earthquake victims, some residents of El Centro say they’re feeling left out.

Antonio Esquivia and his wife Lucina have been staying at an emergency earthquake shelter set up by the American Red Cross at Desert Trails RV Park in El Centro since the quake happened April 4. The Esquivias had no where else to go after their mobile home at Gio’s Mobile Home Park in El Centro was red tagged by county inspectors. Residents are not allowed to occupy, or even enter, homes that have been flagged with a red tag.

“We need help to move our trailer back up,” Lucina said. “Our homes and families have been affected by the earthquake. We need help too. Don’t forget about us.”

When Senator Denise Ducheny announced that she would be in the Imperial Valley to tour the earthquake damage, the Esquivias say that they, along with several other El Centro residents who are feeling abandoned, decided to take their case to the Senator directly. They gathered at the Imperial Valley Emergency Operations Center in Heber, the first stop on Ducheny’s tour, and pleaded with her to send some help their way.

Lucina Esquivia says that Ducheny wasn’t even aware that there was any damage in El Centro.

“She was just focusing on the businesses and helping Mexicali,” Antonio said. “She didn’t know much about it. The people in El Centro were affected too, they just didn’t complain about it, so they aren’t getting the help. They’re forgetting about us.”

So far, the Esquivias say that the American Red Cross are the only ones helping them at all.

“The Red Cross has been helping us,” Lucina said. “They were there. They were the first ones we saw.”

The Red Cross made contact with the Esquivias while doing damage assessments in El Centro and let them know about the shelter at Desert Trails.

Red Cross Public Information Officer Amy Hegy says that all but one of the people who have been using the shelter have been displaced from mobile homes. County inspectors have red tagged more than 100 mobile homes across the Imperial Valley.

The shelter is averaging about 15 people staying overnight every day, but Hegy says they are seeing an increase in the amount of people coming for food or showers.

As of Friday, April 9, the shelter had 56 overnight stays, served 163 meals and 234 snacks.

While the Red Cross is accepting in-kind donations of things like water, Hegy says they still aren’t taking clothing and other items because they are not set up to handle those kind of donations.

“We have partners who are better able to handle things like cothing,” Hegy said. “So we let them do what they do best.”

Hegy says people who want to donate clothing or other items should look into other charity organizations such as the Salvation Army, however, the American Red Cross does accept cash donations.

Hegy says that they shelter will be open for any body in need for the foreseeable future.

“It (the shelter) will be here as long as it needs to be,” Hegy said.


Holtville Pop Warner will have FINAL sign-ups on Saturday May 15 from 10 am to 12 pm at Finley School Cafeteria. All kids ages 5 through 15 interested in playing football or cheerleading are encouraged to sign-up. Practice will begin on Monday August 2 from 6 to 8 pm. Payment plans are available upon request. Registration fees will increase if not paid by May 15! All participants must provide a certified birth certificate, original final report card, proof of residency, current wallet size photo and Pop Warner approved medical form signed by physician. For more information please call 760 556 2365 or email

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