From the daily archives: Wednesday, May 5, 2010

By Bob Hurst
So why exactly were the San Diego Padres leading the National League West at the start of this week?
Pitching, for one thing. The Padres went into Monday’s series against Colorado with the third-best Earned Run Average of any pitching staff in the major league’s with a 2.76 mark. They shut out Milwaukee in three of four games, not bad given the fact that the Brewers led the NL in runs scored going into the series.
Those blanks gave the Padres six shutouts during a 13-3 spurt after starting the season 3-6.
Two of those shutouts were contributed to by starter Wade LeBlanc. LeBlanc was 2-0 with a 0.52 ERA going into Tuesday’s starting assignment. Kevin Correia was 4-1 with a 3.86 ERA and Jon Garland was 3-2 with a 2.06 ERA after Sunday’s game. Closer Heath Bell had seven saves in his first eight chances.
“Right now we’re just feeding off each other, and it’s fun,” Garland said. “We don’t talk about it, but we know it. As long as we can keep coming out and keep giving this team a chance, we’re going to get on base, we’re going to make things happen.”
The Padres success on the mound has been accomplished without big right-hander Chris Young, who is on a rehab assignment with Double-A San Antonio after recovering from shoulder surgery.

It’s still early, but the Padres are enjoying being contenders.
Ramos a hit in debut: Minnesota Twins rookie Wilson Ramos started off his major league career with a blazing bat. On Sunday, Ramos became the 21st player and the first catcher since baseball’s modern era began in 1900 to record four hits in his major league debut in an 8-3 win at Cleveland.
Ramos had three singles and a double and scored a run. The last player to get four hits in his debut was Colorado’s Derrick Gibson on Sept. 8, 1998 against Florida. The only other Twins player to do it was Kirby Puckett on May 8, 1984 against the Angels.
On Monday, Ramos added three more hits, becoming the first to get seven hits in his first two games to begin a career since Nanny Fernandez did it with the Boston Braves in 1942.
“I feel very comfortable at the plate,” Ramos said. “I try to hit the ball hard. That’s it.”
Ramos was filling in for 2009 batting champion Joe Mauer, who was out with a bruised heel. He went 7-for-9 (three doubles) in his first two games for a .777 average.
“He’s picked us up big time right now offensively,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “You lose the best hitter in the game and you’ve got a young man stepping up and driving the baseball.”
By the way, Gibson finished his career after two seasons with a .286 average. Fernandez ended his with a .248 average in four years in the big leagues.
To Taser or not? The Philadelphia police officer who Tasered 17-year-old fan Steve Consalvi at Citizen’s Bank Park on Monday probably could have kept his Taser in the holster. Consalvi posed no threat other than being a nuisance. If anything, it provided a little humor in the eighth inning of a game between the Phillies and St. Louis. Consalvi ran circles around and through a slew of security personnel, making them look like the bumbling Keystone Cops.

Quotable: “It’s pretty much baseball etiquette. You don’t run across the pitcher’s mound during a game. If he wants to run across the pitcher’s mound, tell him to go do laps in the bullpen.” — A’s pitcher Dallas Braden, after the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez ran across the mound returning to first base after a foul ball in a game at Oakland on April 22.
StatsWatch: Minnesota Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano is off to a strong start this season, three years after missing the 2007 season due to Tommy John surgery to repair an elbow ligament in his throwing arm. Here are his stats since his rookie year in 2006:
2006 – 12-3, 2.16 ERA
2007 – missed season
2008 – 6-4, 3.91 ERA
2009 – 5-13, 5.80 ERA
2010 – 4-0, 1.08 ERA
Fun Fact: Chicago White Sox General Manager Kenny Williams received a ticket for jaywalking in Seattle last August. About one week later, Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella was given a warning for the same offense in San Diego.
Diamond Notes: Pirates first baseman Garrett Jones was back in the lineup on Sunday one day after checking himself into a hospital due to a blockage of food in his esophagus. He said it was caused by a piece of beef served with a clubhouse meal after last Friday’s game…Indians closer Kerry Wood is on a rehab assignment with Double-A Akron…Dodgers left fielder Manny Ramirez was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Class A Inland Empire this week.

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

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at three ports of entry along the California/Mexico border stopped six fugitives with outstanding warrants Monday, one with a warrant from the Federal Bureau of Investigation for sex crimes involving the transportation of a minor.

In the first incident, at about 6 a.m., Bartolo Mauleon Monge, a 33-year-old male Mexican citizen, and resident of Zapopan, Mexico, walked up to the Otay Mesa port of entry. He presented an I-94 document that stated he was allowed to enter the United States. The officer suspected that the document was counterfeit, and escorted him aside for further inspection.

Officers used the man’s fingerprints to confirm his identity, and discovered an active, no bail felony warrant from the U.S. Marshals Service for producing marijuana. CBP turned Monge over to the U.S. Marshals Service.

In the second incident, at about 9 a.m., Raquel Interiano, a 34-year-old female U.S. citizen, and resident of Los Angeles, walked up to the San Ysidro port of entry. She presented a photocopy of her U.S. passport, stating that her original passport was lost.

When the officer ran her information through law enforcement databases, they received notice of an active, no bail felony warrant for larceny from the Los Angeles Police Department. She is currently being held at Las Colinas Detention Facility.

In the third incident, at about noon, Salomon Josef Quito, a 25-year-old male U.S. citizen, and resident of Benton City, Wash., also walked up to the San Ysidro port of entry.

After Quito presented his U.S. passport, officers queried law enforcement databases and discovered an active, no bail felony warrant for a sex offense from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Seattle, Wash. The warrant stated Quito is wanted for transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. He is currently being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center.

Ninety minutes later, Juan Ayala, a 39-year-old legal permanent resident of the United States arrived at the San Ysidro port of entry with his California Driver’s License to apply for a lost or stolen resident alien card. When the CBP officer queried law enforcement databases, he discovered an active no bail warrant for dangerous drugs, possession of a controlled substance, from the Los Angeles Police Department. He was booked into the San Diego County Jail.

In the fifth incident, at about 6 p.m., Sergio Adolfo Terrazas, an 18-year-old male U.S. citizen, and resident of El Centro, Calif., arrived at the Calexico East port of entry as a passenger in a 1996 Ford Ranger. Officers discovered an active warrant for a probation violation, issued by a federal judge in California’s Southern District Court. CBP officers turned custody over to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent.

In the final incident, at about 11:30 p.m., Mario Ramirez Sandoval, a 41-year-old male U.S. citizen, and resident of Yuma, Ariz., drove up to the Otay Mesa passenger port of entry. As the CBP officer ran queries through various law enforcement databases, he discovered a warrant from the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office, with $25,000 bail, related to a stolen vehicle. He is currently at the San Diego Central Jail.


May 4, 2010
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: Request for Assistance with State Agencies to expedite Assistance to Families left Homeless by the 7.2 Earthquake in Imperial County and Cutting through the RED TAPE
Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,
I’d like to request your immediate assistance. As you witnessed first-hand the damage to our community as a result of the 7.2 earthquake was substantial. The assistance that was given from Cal-EMA and Cookie in particular was tremendous. Bismarck Obando was also remarkable in getting assistance down here immediately after the quake. Your visit to Calexico was very much appreciated and I know served to inspire those of us that continued to work through the days and weeks that followed. Our briefing on the damage to you in person I hope will also help with my request.
Although the Emergency Response is commendable, I do want to bring to your attention though that there are still families that have no place to live, children with no homes, families living in their cars and some going without food but once a day. The stories that we are being exposed to from these affected families are truly heartbreaking.
Our County has and continues to do EVERYTHING in our power to be in the position to redirect, release and begin the actual physical rebuilding of our community. The majority of the displaced families are in this situation because their mobile homes fell off of the foundation and some lost connection to utilities. Others are displaced because their apartments are no longer safe to occupy. But the focus of this request is for families that are living in extreme inhumane conditions with family members and children.
As of last Friday, the Red Cross shut down their shelters in Imperial County. They have stated their reasons why, but our concern now is the immediate need to house these families. Below are a few of the steps that we have taken to expedite assistance:
1. Last Wednesday April 28, 2010 County officials met with the state office of Housing and Community Development requesting permission to redirect Funding sources we are currently allocated to helping these families make necessary repairs to their homes. (We were told they would have an answer by next Wednesday May 12, 2010)
2. A second component of our request to HCD was to allow Imperial County to use any remaining funds after assistance has been given in un-incorporated areas, to be used in the Cities of Calexico and El Centro.
(Unfortunately City of Calexico did not apply for CDBG funding this year)
3. To complement your executive order in waiving fees for Mobile Home processes. We have waived all Permitting and Application Fees for damage caused by the 7.2 Earthquake to mobile homes, residences and Commercial buildings from the date of the earthquake. We are still requiring permits and inspections but at NO COST.
4. We have joined with all of the service clubs in Imperial Valley (Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions, etc….) and are organizing the “Imperial Valley Earthquake Victims Relief Benefit Barbecue” with 15,000 tickets and approximately 5,000 lbs of meat. Granting Permits through our Public Health Department for this.
5. Our County Staff have giving their time and resources to help sell tickets to raise money for victims of the earthquake.
6. County Fire and Sheriff Employees have spent numerous hours raising money. Other County staff members are coordinating food drives for these families from the Mobile Home parks.
7. Other NGO and Community Service groups have come together to assist with their networks as well.
8. Today, our Board of Supervisors gave direction to our County CEO and Legal Counsel to find $100,000 in whatever program we manage and help these families and children that are living out of their car find shelter and food. While answers are given to our request.
9. We have directed all County Departments to assist and coordinate with each other on assistance to these families, but we only can do so much.
10. Next Tuesday May 10, 2010, the Board of Supervisors will be conducting a Public Hearing to allow the public the opportunity (and by law) to opine on redirecting CDBG as well as other “housing related” funding to assist mobile home park families displaced.
I would ask that you give orders to the various State Agencies that have any type of jurisdiction in getting assistance to this particular task, either grant waivers, allow redirection of funds from HCD to assist repair on mobile home structures and grant some flexibility while we are still in this State of Emergency in Imperial County. If you recall I shared with you 2 examples of beaurocratic obstacles that the Calexico Unified School District faced with testing immediately after the quake. You asked Cookie and I to get all the details to your Secretary of Education and a solution was provided. One other example is the requirement under a program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF, that in order to receive assistance from the Department of Social Services, a family cannot have worked more than 100 hours in a single month. This automatically disqualifies most, if not all of the families that have had damage to their homes. They are thankful to still be employed and not on unemployment, but this insignificant requirement is preventing them from obtaining assistance.
Other program guidelines only allow a family to pick up 1 box of food a month for subsistence. That would normally be acceptable but the mobile home park owners continue to require rent on their spaces and this being the first week of the month, money otherwise used for food is being used to help save their space and legal obligations to pay rent and protect their mobile home investment. The irony is this same mobile home is UNINHABITABLE!
I am prepared to put at your disposal all staff resources the County of Imperial has to assist your personnel in identifying the specific programs and funding sources in question within the State Agencies that I have mentioned above. Governor, let me make this real clear, my request is not for funding or additional resources, it is for your assistance in giving a clear order to FASTRACK and ALLOW State Agencies to be flexible and work to ASSIST Imperial County and the funding sources we are entrusted with to help families by expediting, waiving and allowing us to use existing programs to actually help these families. I implore your help and look forward to a response within the next couple of days.
Louis Fuentes

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By Mario Conde

The City Council of Calexico approved a resolution approving the final parcel map of Calexico 10 Theater Parcel Map.

The Redevelopment Agency of Calexico took over the Calexico 10 Theater property in 2006 to avoid the closing of the theaters. Shortly thereafter, the Council gave direction to RDA to separate the property into parcels.

The Planning Commission approved last year the subdivision of the Movie Theater area into three parcels. The commission adopted a resolution finding that the land transfer of parcel #1 between RDA and Pacific Media Properties was in conformity with the General Plan. Pacific Media Properties plans to create a medical building in that parcel that will provide laboratory, imaging, and other medical services.

Prior to the recordation of the final map parcel, a reciprocal access/parking agreement for parcel #1, parcel #2 and parcel #3 shall be provided to the city for approval and recordation. Said agreement shall provide for a minimum of three hundred eighty-five improvement off-street parking spaces for the sole use of the current theater operation.

The Calexico 10 Movie Theater parking lot is underutilized according to a survey done by the City. The survey revealed that at the busiest time (8:00PM), the most parking spaces used were 57 spaces which represents 15% of the parking facility. This is attributed to the fact that Theater attendance had declined due to the opening of Cinemark at Imperial Valley Mall. Parcel #1 currently contains 140 parking spaces which are part of the 396 spaces throughout the facility.

The new proposed building would displace approximately 68 parking spaces. This leaves approximately 72 parking spaces available for Parcel #1 use. The proposed two-story building is approximately 25,000 sf therefore requiring approximately 100 spaces. Parcel 1 development could be short approximately 28 parking spaces.

City finds that there will be no conflict peak demand times due to the fact that the operation of theater and medical office will be different

In other items, the council passed a resolution requesting Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to approve the Manzanita Casino in the City of Calexico. The Tribe has submitted an application to the bureau of Indian Affairs to take the tribe’s land in the City of Calexico into trust for gaming purposes. The City and the Manzanita tribe are awaiting the decision by Governor Schwarzenegger on the approval of the Manzanita Tribe’s BIA trust application.

Calexico says that due to the earthquake that caused damages in the economy of Calexico and increasing an already high unemployment, the council is submitting the resolution to the Governor in support of the Casino in order to assist in improving the existing and future economic growth.

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By Mario Conde

The Calexico City Council passed a resolution denouncing the anti-immigration bill SB1070 that was signed into law recently.

The law signed by Republican Governor Jan Brewer makes it a state misdemeanor crime for anyone to be in the United States unlawfully; requiring police to make an attempt, when practicable, to determine a person’s immigration status if there is reasonable suspicion that the person is an illegal alien; allow police, without warrant, to arrest a person if there is probable cause that the person is an illegal alien or is a legal alien not in possession of registration documents that the person is required to carry by federal law and imposes a fine of $2,500 and jail time when arrested.

Millions marched this past May 1st to protest the immigration bill and to demand an immediate immigration reform. The protest made some effect on the bill as Governor Brewer amended the bill and eliminated the portion that said that police officers could arrest a person based on their appearance.

The Mayor of Phoenix, Arizona, Phil Gordon, has publicly stated his opposition to this anti-immigration bill as well as several other Sheriffs in the state of Arizona. President Barack Obama stated that SB 1070 threatens to “undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.”

Mexican President Felipe Calderon met this week with President Obama and touched the subject of this immigration bill and stressed the importance for the Obama Administration to work on an immigration reform that has been put aside in favor of the Health Care Bill.

The City Council has given direction to the City Clerk to send a copy of this resolution to Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer, and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Calexico is the second city in California after San Francisco has or will consider a similar resolution.

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