From the daily archives: Monday, May 3, 2010

At its monthly meeting the State Allocation Board also approved the funding of a $4.5 million school modernization project at the Calexico High School as part of the state’s effort to help school districts impacted by the recent earthquake in Imperial County.

“There is nothing more important than the safety of our children, and this fast tracked funding for the Calexico area will help ensure our kids are able to learn in a safe environment,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “My Administration is committed to doing everything we can to help those affected by the recent earthquake get back to their normal lives as quickly as possible. And, this is exactly the type of action that will help this area rebuild and recover.”

The Calexico project was financed as a result of new funding now available to school districts statewide due to recent bond sales by the Treasurer’s Office. Given the emergency state of affairs in that area due to the recent earthquake, the Office of Public School Construction, the state agency that handles applications for state funding from school districts, expedited the fund release request for the Calexico High School project. The local district will receive the cash transaction in a few days rather than the more typical four week process.

“I’m extremely pleased that not only have we been able to help Imperial County schools quickly get to work modernizing their classrooms,” said Ron Diedrich. Acting Director of the Department of General Services, “but also that this new financing will get a number of classroom construction projects moving all over the state and put many Californians back to work.”

Funding the Calexico project, which had been previously approved but was on a list of projects awaiting funding, was part of a series of actions recommended by the State Allocation Board. At the same meeting, in addition to apportioning funds to many statewide projects, the Board agreed to consider neighboring San Pasqual Valley School District’s three approved projects for funding acceleration based on health & safety reasons, and offered relocatable (modular) classrooms and help in working with Federal Emergency Management Agency programs to local school districts in Imperial, Riverside, and San Diego counties that were affected by the recent Baja earthquake.

The Office of Public School Construction worked closely with the Division of the State Architect and the California Emergency Management Agency to quickly analyze the structural damage to schools in the region in the days following the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that was centered in Baja California on April 4, 2010. On April 5, 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a State of Emergency in Imperial County and signed Executive Order S-06-10 — a preliminary step in securing federal disaster funding.

The State Allocation Board (SAB) is responsible for determining the allocation of voter-approved school construction bonds, as well as the administration of the School Facility Program, the State Relocatable Classroom Program, and the Deferred Maintenance Program. The SAB is the policy level body for programs administered by the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC), which provides the staff and support for state financing of school facilities. Funds for these projects are provided by bonds authorized under Propositions 1D, 47 and 56. The Division of the State Architect (DSA) reviews all public school plans to ensure structural integrity, supervises onsite construction inspection to verify adherence to the seismic standards of the Field Act, and monitors fire, life and safety standards as well as disability access. Both the OPSC and DSA are part of the Department of General Services.

California Department of General Services
Jeffrey Young, 916-376-5037
Eric Lamoureux, 916-529-6082

For more reports on school safety funding, please visit School Safety Partners at http://www.schoolsafetypartners.org

 

El Centro, Calif. – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the El Centro Station arrested a convicted sex offender Friday night who was illegally present in the United States.

On April 23, at approximately 10:10 p.m., agents encountered Gerardo Jimenez while patrolling nine miles west of the Downtown Calexico port of entry. It was determined Jimenez was a citizen of Mexico without any legal immigration documents and he was subsequently arrested and transported to the El Centro Border Patrol Station for further processing.

While at the station, records checks revealed Jimenez was a convicted sex offender, previously convicted of Lewd and Lascivious Conduct with a child under age 14. He is being held pending prosecution for re-entry after deportation.

According to El Centro Sector Chief Patrol Agent Jeffrey Calhoon, prosecuting dangerous criminals who are illegally present in the United States is just one of the ways the Border Patrol is committed to keeping communities safer.

“Not only are we going to stem the flow of dangerous criminals from entering our country illegally,” he said. “When we arrest them we are going to pursue prosecution which will hopefully create a deterrent for others who may think about breaking our laws.”

 

Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced that agents from his office seized $1.5 million worth of drugs, including 79 pounds of methamphetamine and 11 pounds of cocaine, $30,000 in cash and eight firearms in another successful drug bust in Southern California Thursday night.

Ramon Salazar Camargo, 33, and his accomplice, Jesus Lopez, 21, were arrested Thursday night and are being held in Los Angeles County Jail on $3 million bail each.

“Little by little, bust by bust, we are sending the message to drug dealers that we are not going to allow them to operate in California,” Brown said. “We will track down, arrest and prosecute these criminals vigorously and relentlessly.”

Thursday’s arrests and seizures are the result of a successful “buy bust” operation conducted by agents from Brown’s Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (BNE). Camargo and Lopez were arrested after negotiating a drug deal and delivering 20 pounds of methamphetamine to undercover agents in a Bell Gardens strip mall. After the initial seizure, officers executed a search warrant on a Los Angeles residence kept as a “stash house” where they seized additional methamphetamine, cocaine, firearms and currency.

Agencies involved in Thursday’s operation included Brown’s BNE Major Narcotics and Violence Team, Imperial County Narcotic Task Force, and Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police and Crime Task Force.

 
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