From the daily archives: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Welcome to Holtville? Holtville Looks For New Businesses! Sweet Onions!

HOLTVILLE IS SHOWING SIGNS OF  activity these days when it comes to using federal funds to fix up old streets around town.
Even the hardest of the hardnose cynics would have to admit that the streets are looking better, as are the new curbs and median strips.
It is all a positive step going into spring that makes me want to smile a little. It’s amazing what some white curbs and new blacktop can do for you.
There’s even some new Welcome to Holtville signs under construction on the West and North sides of town.
One place that is sadly lacking is the East side, where motorists are greeted by a friendly ghost painted on an electrical box at the corner of Fifth Street and Figueroa Avenue.
Welcome to Holtville? I keep waiting for the city’s graffiti truck to pull up and paint it out, but apparently it has escaped the watchful eye of those charged with this task.
The city decided to take over this function itself and move it from the Turning Point, which has done it for the last several years. The city looked clean back then, with little or no graffiti in sight.
We hope we’re not going back to multi-tagged buildings and public eyesores. Like a lot of things, if ain’t broke don’t fix it.
Turning Point did the job well, but in the end got the boot. Now the graffiti sits around for a couple of months until someone notices. I wonder when someone is going to notice Caspar The Friendly Ghost.
If the city is going to spend several hundred thousand dollars on street repairs, perhaps it could spend a couple of hundred dollars on some paint and equipment and turn the removal  back to the Turning Point. At least it will look a lot cleaner around here.
That way “Caspar won’t continue to smile at tourists.
HOLTVILLE IS OUT LOOKING FOR SOME NEW BUSINESS AND TO HELP SOME OLD BUSINESSES. It even had two half page ads in this newspaper to point out what you could get from the city for your money.
You’d get a lot. Or a little, if that’s all you needed. And it wouldn’t cost that much. Call them up and find out the details. It could improve the outside and the inside of your business as well as help out your wallet.
Holtville is also a good place to start a new business, because of the low interest city loans that are available and the number of buildings and businesses that are for sale.
I’ve successfully used city loans to help our business on more than one occasion and it has paid off very well. We got the money we needed. The city got to keep a business here. A win-win situation.
There is a word of caution, though. Read your contract. The city has proved to be incredibly hardnosed when it comes to getting compliance with its contracts. So know what you are getting into before you find yourself in a bigger jam later on.
THE SWEET ONION FESTIVAL IS RETURNING TO BRAWLEY once again. this was one of the first events I covered during my first year in Imperial Valley nearly 20 years ago.
Only it took place at the Mid-Winter Fairgrounds and had such standards as an onion eating contest, onion golf and even some square dancing.
It was definitely a country event with an onion flavor. It even had onion ice cream for the folks with strong stomachs. After all, they are sweet onions, so I suppose you could make anything you want out of them.
There were prizes for the most onions grown and shipped and the biggest onion too.
You could buy bags of your favorite sweets, something my wife thought was outstanding because of their great taste.
Well, the onions are still around and now the contest is centered in Brawley. The emphasis is on a Hawaiian theme these days in deference to Maui onions, even though more Imperial Valley Sweets are grown these days.
But it’s an excuse for a party. Come out try some fresh made onion rings and listen to some of the music. You can even enjoy the hawaiian dancers who will be there. It’s a chance of you to pay tribute to a long standing major cash crop in the Valley. The event is scheduled for May 8th. So mark your calendars and be there.

 

Washington, DC – In response to Congressman Bob Filner’s request, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued a disaster declaration for Imperial County and is now in the process of offering low-interest Federal disaster loans to residents and business owners affected by the recent earthquake.

“I am grateful that SBA Administrator Karen Mills has acted in a timely manner to issue the disaster declaration,” said Filner.  “Through these disaster loans, we can begin to put our homes, businesses, and our lives back together.  I will continue to make sure our communities get all the assistance they need!”

Beginning April 22 at 10am, SBA customer service representatives will be on hand at the following Disaster Loan Outreach Center and Local Assistance Center:

Calexico                                                          El Centro

Disaster Loan Outreach Center             Local Assistance Center

Calexico City Hall                                             Central Baptist Church

608 Heber Avenue                                           1290 South Imperial Avenue

(Mondays through Fridays 8am-5pm)   (Mondays through Fridays 10am-7pm)

(Will be closed Friday, April 30 only)    (Saturdays, 9am-2pm)

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate.  Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Businesses of any size and private, non-profit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate and other business assets.

Disaster loan information and application forms are available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling SBA toll-free at (800) 659-2955, emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or visiting SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.

The filing deadline to return applications for property damage is June 21, 2010.  The deadline to return economic injury applications is January 21, 2011.

 

Sacramento, CA – Low-interest Federal disaster loans are available to California residents and business owners affected by the April 4 Sierra El Mayor Earthquake, U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Karen G. Mills said today.  SBA acted under its own authority to declare the disaster in response to a request received from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on April 16.

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in Imperial County, California, the neighboring California counties of Riverside and San Diego, and the neighboring Arizona counties of La Paz and Yuma.

“The U. S. Small Business Administration is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist those residents and businesses affected by the earthquake with Federal disaster loans,” said Mills.  “Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

“Low-interest Federal disaster loans are available to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, non-profit organizations whose property was damaged or destroyed by the disaster,” said Ruben R. Garcia, SBA’s San Diego District Director.  “Beginning Thursday, April 22 at 10 am, SBA customer service representatives will be on hand at the following Disaster Loan Outreach Center and Local Assistance Center to issue loan applications, answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each individual complete their application,” Garcia continued.  The centers will be open on the days and times indicated.  No appointment is necessary.

Calexico

Disaster Loan Outreach Center

Calexico City Hall

608 Heber Avenue

Opens Thursday, April 22 at 10 am

Mondays through Fridays, 8 am to 5 pm

(Will be closed Friday, April 30 only)

El Centro

Local Assistance Center

Central Baptist Church

1290 South Imperial Avenue

Opens Thursday, April 22 at 10 am

Mondays through Fridays, 10 am to 7 pm

Saturdays, 9 am to 2 pm

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate.  Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Businesses of any size and private, non-profit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.  SBA can also lend additional funds to homeowners and businesses to help with the cost of making improvements that protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

For small businesses and most private, non-profit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.  EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

Interest rates can be as low as 2.625 percent for homeowners and renters, 3 percent for private, non‑profit organizations, and 4 percent for businesses, with terms up to 30 years.  Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based upon each applicant’s financial condition.

Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling SBA toll-free at (800) 659‑2955, emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visiting SBA’s Web site at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.  Hearing impaired individuals may call (800) 877‑8339.  Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure Web site at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

The filing deadline to return applications for property damage is June 21, 2010.  The deadline to return economic injury applications is January 21, 2011.

For more information visit SBA’s Web site at www.sba.gov.

SBA Field Operations Center – West, P.O. Box 419004, Sacramento, CA 95841

 

Whether you care to bid on a baby goat, a gourmet dinner, or anything in between, the annual Turning Point Ministries dinner/silent auction is sure to have something for everyone.  The Woman’s Home residents have been busy getting auction item donations from throughout Imperial Valley, and many interesting items are up for bid.  Holtville residents have pitched in to donate some creative items.  George Morris has donated a baby goat to the auction.  Highest bidder gets to choose from three baby goats he has available at this time.  There are two good size goats along with an adorable little runt who would make a wonderful pet.  Mark Allegranza has offered up an Italian dinner for ten as an auction item.  The winner, and 9 lucky friends or family members, get to enjoy a delicious meal prepared by Mark, who will prepare the meal at the home of the winner.   Other auction items include 4 Angel game tickets, 4 passes to Disneyland, 2 tickets to the Long Beach Aquarium, and many other gift baskets including things such as children’s items, hair cuts, dinners, bath items, and much more.  One gift basket that is sure to be popular is the Science basket.  This basket will include passes for two children to the San Diego Zoo and the Museums of Balboa Park.  The lucky winners will also get to spend a day with the “Mad Scientist”.  With so many wonderful gifts, it is a great opportunity to have a wonderful dinner, bid on some terrific gifts, and help Turning Point Ministries raise funds for another year of operation.  Proceeds will go towards the running of both the men’s and woman’s homes.

Silent Auction is slated to begin at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will begin at 6:00 p.m.  The event will be held at the Old Eucalyptus Schoolhouse at 796 W. Evan Hewes Highway in El Centro.  The theme of the evening will be “Heavenly SONrise” and there will be wonderful music and powerful testimonies, along with a message from Pastor Richard Moore of Trinity Baptist Church.  Tickets are $35.00 per person and tickets can be purchased by calling the Men’s Home at (760) 356-4307. 

 

Imperial Valley men’s homes struggle not only in tough economic times. Being a non- profit organization has always been hard, and when the economy slows down, giving and donations seem to be one of the first cuts to be made on a struggling budget. Since the onslaught of the most recent economic crisis these much needed services in the Imperial Valley have been hit hard. Recently there has been an additional blow to two of these ministries of hope and help.

Christ Community’s New Creations Men’s home had to move to another location earlier this year. During the Easter earthquake, their church suffered a great amount of damage and has been red flagged and will have to be rebuilt.

Turning Point’s Men’s Home founder and director Mike Johnson has been diagnosed with stomach cancer and will begin chemotherapy this week in the hopes of reducing the size of the tumor.  Once the tumor shrinks, doctors are hopeful of being able to remove the tumor surgically. People throughout the valley have been lifting up Mike in prayer with the hopes that the cancer will be contained within the tumor and not spread throughout the stomach and other organs. Mike Johnson is very dedicated to this ministry of Turning Point and also to the church he pastors, Turning Point Lifecenter.  Mike was one of the founders of Turning Point Ministries which began with fundraiser barbeques in the park here in Holtville. Mike devoted himself to the creation of this ministry after overcoming his own addiction to drugs.  Through his efforts, along with those who have dedicated themselves to this cause, he has been able to help transform the lives of many who face life-controlling addictions.  Mike has overcome many obstacles over the past sixteen years and it is the hope of all who love and support him that he will be able to overcome this one as well.

 
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