From the daily archives: Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Is The Valley Re-Awakening?

IS THE VALLEY AWAKENING? It looks like some of it is.
That’s because more plans are coming up and more is being written about the approval of new centers of development  for commercial and industrial use.
Calexico once again is leading the way in speculation on property development and just got infrastructure approval from the  County Board on a large project on Hwy. 111.
It already voted to extend the land use for downtown which, if built, would double the size of downtown and fill full of new life.
Should the government ever get around to building a new west port of entry at the foot of Cesar Chavez Blvd. then this second development will be in the driver’s seat for retail business.
El Centro and the west valley are working on solar energy as a means of helping the country go green and to improve the economy in that part of the world.
With all this going on should we not think that recession is drawing to a close and we might actually see some productivity over the next few years.
We can only hope. One sign of that hope is a new try at a 24 hour urgent care center in Calexico. It would be located on Cole Road at Hwy. 111 in what is fast becoming the new center of the city. If all the developments that are planned get approved, you won’t be able to see because of all the work dust that is being kicked up.
Don’t hold your breath, but it could happen.
SPEAKING OF THE BORDER CITY we were recently elected to the Board of directors of the Chamber of Commerce in Calexico.
That’s quite an an honor considering the size of the city, the amount of development that is planned and the fact that we don’t live there.
It’s a tribute to the strength of the Calexico Chronicle which has weathered the storm of economic downturn and population shifts, as well as the changing the newspaper market.
We are as popular as ever and regularly sell-out our newspaper at the many drop points we have established.
We hope to increase our Calexico coverage as the city grows and our revenue grows along with it. “We’re in this together” is a popular phrase that applies to our relationship with all the cities we cover. We have work with them and they have to work with us to provide a good deal of news to the public.
Hildy Carrillo, the Calexico Chamber CEO, has been a longtime friend of the Chronicle. She even worked for the paper as its editor and wrote a column that had a following that stretched all over California.
She’s been a great friend to us, since she understands what it takes to keep a newspaper running these days. We hope we can be as supportive in our role on the Chamber Board.
I was on the Holtville Chamber of Commerce Board, the Brawley Chamber of Commerce Board and the Joint Chambers Board. Now its Calexico’s turn. they have a one year term for some of their members which should make it easier if they aren’t crazy about me, or vice versa.
But for the next 12 months I plan to help out anyway I can.
NOT LIKE US? heavens!
I got a certified letter chastising me for something that I was in conflict with involving some anonymous individuals.
That was a career first. I’ve been call names on the telephone, had letters to the editor written about me, even had people stop in the office to tell me what they thought of me and my column.
But up until a couple of weeks ago I had never received a certified letter. Now that does take the cake for over-reaction.I guess they wanted to make sure I got the message.
Well, they’re the ones who shelled out the extra dough to duly scourge me.
Next time, they can save themselves the cost and just call me or e-mail me. Or maybe stop by to see me. Oh, and they might try listening too.
SCHOOL IS OUT AT LAST and I’m so glad I passed, so the old song goes.
We wrapped up our school issue a week behind schedule this year due to illness on the part of some staff.
We’re glad we can enjoy the summer now and hope that all the graduates will have plenty of success in world.
High school graduation is like a loss of innocence because now you have to face the real world and get a job, or prepare for working through more formal education. Or you might get married.
I’m celebrating my 43rd wedding anniversary June 16, 2010. And Father’s Day too on the same weekend. It will be a fabulous time, I’m sure.
I hope you all enjoy your weekend.


Imperial County Cool Centers 2010
Members of the public can visit any of the following locations listed if in need of a cool place to stay during the hottest part of the day during the
summer months. Days and hours vary by location. For specific information about the cool centers on this list please call (760) 482-4968.
Cool Center Information (760) 482-4968 Updated 06.16.10
Imperial County Public Health Department 935 Broadway, El Centro, CA 92243
Pueblo, Niland Clinic 111 Closed Fri & Saturday
Calipatria County Library 105 S. Lake M,Tue,Wed 9am-1 / 2-
6pm; Th 10am-1/ 2-
7pm Fri 9am-1 & 2-5pm
Chairs, access to water and
Linda Hall 760-348-2630
Seeley Seeley Family Resource
1812 West Rio
M-F 8am -4pm Open to the public. Irma
West Shores Health and
Education Association
1289 S. Marina
West S22,
Salton City
M-F 8am-12pm Buddy system for seniors,
Arlene Ulibarri
Clinicas de Salud Del
Pueblo, West Shores
1289 S. Marina
Dr. Suite A,
Salton City
Tue & Thurs 8am-5pm
Closed Sat
Waiting room is available Michelle
Vander Linden
Salton Sea Salton Community
Services District
2098 Frontage
M-F 7am-4pm Waiting room and water is
Salton City Fire Dept/
Salton City
156 Riviera
M-F 7am-4pm Waiting room and water is
available Rosa Reagles 760-394-4438
Senior Citizen Building
Please call City Hall for
355 South
Center St.
M-F 8am-5pm The Senior Citizen Building
is available as needed
Sally Traylor,
City Clerk
San Pasqual Family
Resource Center
687 Baseline
Rd., Bldg 306,
M-F 8am-5pm aruvalcaba@sanpasqua
ext 2600
Clinicas De Salud Del
Pueblo, Winterhaven
M-F 8am-5pm Waiting room is available Elizabeth
Mecca Clinicas De Salud Del
Pueblo, Mecca Clinic
91275 66th Ave,
Suite 500 P.O.
Box 1378
M-Th 7am-6:30pm; Fri.
7am-6pm; Sat 7:30am-
Waiting room is available Evangelina
Blythe Clinicas de Salud Del
Pueblo, Blythe Clinic
321 Hobson
Way, Suite C.
M-F 8:00am-5pm
Sat 8am-12pm
Waiting room is available Irma Reyes 760-922-4981
Coachella Clinicas De Salud Del
Pueblo, Coachella Clinic
49-111 Hwy
111, Suite 4
M-Th 7:30am-6pm;
F 7:30am -5pm;
Sat 7:30am-12pm
Waiting room is available Gracie
Palo Verde Palo Verde
Association Building
1051 Desert
Will only open if
A cool place to stay Winnie

Centros Frescos del Condado Imperial 2010
Personas del público pueden visitar cualquiera de las siguientes ubicaciones si necesitan un lugar fresco donde pasar las horas más calientes del día durante
los meses de verano. Los días y horarios varían según la ubicación. Para mayores informes acerca de los Centros Frescos que se encuentran en esta
lista favor de comunicarse al (760) 482-4968.
Cool Center Information (760) 482-4968 Updated 06.16.10
Imperial County Public Health Department 935 Broadway, El Centro, CA 92243
Ciudad Lugar Domicilio Horario Servicios Correo Contacto Telefono
Calexico Clínicas de Salud del
Pueblo Calexico
223 West Cole
Lunes –Viernes 7:30 am –
5:30 pm Sab 8am-12pm
La sala de espera está
disponible Cynthia
Biblioteca Pública
850 Encinas
L-Jueves 10 am-
8pm;Viernes 10am-6pm;
Sab 10am-5pm
Cierra cada otro viernes
y sábado
Sandra Tauler 760-768-2170
El Centro Caridades Católicas 250 W. Orange
Fechas y horario serán
Servicios para personas
mayores de 62 anos
Transporte los Sabados Sharin Yetman
Sister RayMonda
ext 215
Clínicas de Salud del
Pueblo; El Centro
651 Wake Ave.,
Suite A
Lunes-Viernes 7am-6pm
Sab 8am-12pm
La sala de espera está
disponible Carmen
The Salvation Army
Thrift Store
1301 S. 4th St Lunes-Sabado
Servicios para los de
tercera edad, maquina
de soda/agua, tv, libros
Cap. Jerry
Ext 101
Centro Comunitario
de El Centro
375 S. First
Lunes-Viernes 8am-5pm Área de espera. Comida
personas mayores/ niños.
Brawley Clínicas de Salud Del
Pueblo, Brawley
900 Main St. Lunes-Viernes 7am-6pm
Sab 8am-12pm
La sala de espera está
disponible Yolanda Paz 760-344-6471
Brawley Senior Center
575 “J” St. Lunes-Viernes 9am-5pm Agua, mesas, sillas, tv,
Pat Dorsey 760-344-5675
Biblioteca Pública de
400 Main St. Martes-Jueves 10am-7pm;
Viernes-Sab 9am-5pm
Lectura gratuita para
todas las edades Marjo Mello 760-344-1891
Imperial The IV Expo [Se abrirá
cuando se reciba la
orden del gobernador]
200 East 2nd St.
Sperber Conf
L-Vier 10am-4:30pm y fin
de semana si es necesario
Sillas y mesas Sandy 760-355-1181
Biblioteca de la
Ciudad de Imperial
200 W. 9th St. Lunes-Jueves 10 am-8 pm;
Viernes 10am-5pm; Sab
Abierto al público en
Chris Carter 760-355-1332
Holtville Centro Comunitario
de Holtville
614 Holt Ave. Lunes-Viernes 12pm-5pm
De la tercera edad
solamente Lunes-Viernes
Comida 60+ $1.50,
menos de 60 $5. Arte y
actividades para los
niños Denise Garcia 760-356-2972
Ocotillo Recreation Hall,
Ocotillo Community
Park. Conforme se
266 W. Imperial
Lunes-Viernes 8am – 5pm Salón con aire
agua/soda, mesas, sillas
John/ Joyce


U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa ports of entry stopped eight persons over the weekend with active warrants for their arrest as the attempted to enter the United States.

Between 7 a.m. Friday and 12:30 a.m. Monday, officers apprehended:

Marlon Manuel Gonzalez-Lopez, a 26-year-old male Mexican citizen, and resident of Tijuana for a no bail felony warrant for marijuana smuggling, issued at the request of the U.S. Marshals Service headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. The subject turned himself in to CBP officers upon arriving at the border crossing.

Juan Manuel Ceballos-Ceballos, a 23-year-old male Mexican citizen from Jalisco, Mexico for a no bail felony warrant for a dangerous drugs offense, issued at the request of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office. The CBP officer identified the fugitive as an imposter to the U.S. passport he presented for entry into the U.S. Officers confirmed his actual identity and the warrant through fingerprint identification.

Alonso Montes, a 20-year-old male U.S. citizen, and resident of Tijuana, for a no bail felony warrant for a family offense, issued at the request of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. After the CBP officer received the fugitive’s U.S. passport, a query of law enforcement databases revealed the warrant.

John Paul Villamar, a 28-year-old male Philippines citizen, and resident of San Diego, for a no bail felony warrant for larceny, issued at the request of the Department of Public Safety Parole and Probation in Las Vegas, Nevada. After the CBP officer received the fugitive’s U.S. permanent resident card, a query of law enforcement databases revealed the warrant.

Audreyna Rodriguez, a 32-year-old female U.S. citizen, and resident of Oceanside, Calif., for a $40,000 bail felony warrant for burglary, issued at the request of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. The fugitive arrived at the port and orally claimed to be a U.S. citizen, providing the CBP officer with her California identification. A query of law enforcement databases revealed the warrant.

Raymundo Marquez Vela, a 23-year-old male U.S. citizen, and resident of Guadalajara, Mexico, for a no bail felony warrant for homicide from Portland, Oregon, issued at the request of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. The fugitive surrendered to CBP officers immediately upon arrival at the border crossing.

Jesus Alvarez, a 49-year-old male U.S. citizen, and resident of Alta Loma, Calif., for no bail felony warrant for parole violation, issued at the request of the California Department of Corrections. The fugitive arrived at the port and orally claimed to be a U.S. citizen, providing the CBP officer with his California identification. A query of law enforcement databases revealed the warrant.

Octavio Esparza Cholico, a 29-year-old male Mexican citizen and resident of Long Beach, Washington, for a $105,000 bail felony warrant for traffic offense, issued at the request of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office. The fugitive arrived at the border crossing as a passenger in a pickup truck and presented the CBP officer with his permanent resident card. A query of law enforcement databases revealed the warrant.

In each case, CBP officers took custody of the fugitive and booked them into a San Diego-area jail to await extradition to the proper law enforcement authority.

In fiscal year 2009, CBP officers at the ports of entry along the California/Mexico border apprehended 1,925 persons with active warrants for their arrest.


California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today released a detailed forensic analysis showing that DNA collected at arrests — even for non-violent offenses — is “cracking cold cases” by providing positive identification of suspects in violent crimes such as rape, murder and robbery.

Proposition 69, which voters passed in 2004, required law enforcement officials to take DNA samples from all adults arrested for felonies in the state. So far it is working: more than 800 crime-scene samples have been matched since the beginning of last year to DNA collected from suspects under arrest.

In its analysis, the Attorney General’s office surveyed 69 DNA matches made over 15 months. The study revealed that in 78 percent of the matches to an unsolved violent crime, DNA was collected from an adult arrested for a non-violent offense such as fraud, drug or property crimes.

“Collecting DNA at the time of arrest is cracking cold cases that might have gone unsolved forever,” Brown said. “It is particularly significant that individuals arrested for non-violent crimes have been linked to the commission of violent crimes such as murder and rape.”

Since the 1990s, California law enforcement officers have collected DNA samples from people convicted of serious felony offenses. In January 2009, as part of changes mandated by Proposition 69, officers began collecting DNA samples from adults arrested for felonies by swabbing the inside of the cheek.

The effort is already yielding results.

For example, DNA collected from Donald Carter, 56, arrested in Sacramento in 2009 on a felony drug charge, was linked to the unsolved 20-year-old murder of Sophie McAllister, 80, in the capital. Although Carter’s drug charge was dismissed, he was later charged with murder and his trial is pending. (There are other examples at the end of this press release.)

In October, the ACLU filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the DNA arrestees program. The Attorney General prevailed in U.S. District Court, and the ACLU has appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In support of the Attorney General, the California District Attorneys Association filed a brief in March arguing that “the collection of DNA samples from felony arrestees serves an overwhelming interest in the pursuit of justice.” Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for July 13.

In its analysis of 69 DNA matches linking felony arrestees to violent crimes between January 1, 2009, and March 19 of this year, investigators found that 32 percent of the DNA matches were from adults arrested for felony property crimes, 26 percent from adults arrested for drug-related felonies, 10 percent from adults arrested for fraud and 10 percent for other non-violent crimes. Only 22 percent were for violent crimes.

Cases were selected for the analysis from arrests of suspects from whom DNA had never been taken. Here are some of the other findings:

– In 16 percent of the DNA matches involving unsolved rape cases, the new DNA sample came from a person arrested for fraud.
– In 34 percent of the DNA matches involving an unsolved murder case, the new DNA sample came from a person arrested for a drug crime.
– In 36 percent of the DNA matches involving an unsolved robbery case, the new DNA sample came from a person arrested for felony DUI.

A summary of the analysis can be found at

Some cases that illustrate how collecting DNA at arrests helps to nab suspects in crimes that might otherwise remain unsolved:

– In May 2009, Anthony Vega was arrested in Los Angeles County on felony drug charges, which were later reduced to misdemeanors. However, his DNA, collected at the time of arrest, was linked to two separate crimes committed in Orange County, a burglary in 2007 and a 2008 armed home invasion robbery. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for next month.
– Earlier this year, Joshua Graham Packer, 20, was arrested in Santa Barbara on armed robbery charges. His DNA, collected at the arrest, was matched to a sample taken at the site of an unsolved 2009 triple murder in Ventura County. He was arrested for that crime in April and charged with murder.
– In April 2009, Christopher Rogers, 34, was arrested in Sacramento for assault with a deadly weapon, which was ultimately reduced to a misdemeanor. But his DNA, collected at the time of arrest, was matched to DNA taken at the scene of a 2004 murder in Sacramento. In October, Rogers was arrested and charged with murder. He awaits trial.

Overall, the state’s DNA Data Bank is the fourth largest such program in the world. It has aided more than 12,000 criminal investigations.

For more information about Prop. 69, see the California Department of Justice website:


Chris Furguson
Last week, around the Imperial Valley, more than 2000 students from the Class of 2010 left their high school years behind as they went through their various Graduation ceremonies.
Brawley Union High School’s Graduation took place on Thursday, June 10th and saw 291 students accept their diplomas and move onto new things.  The Valedictorian was Tyler Steimel and the Salutatorian was Samantha Miller
Miller, who earned a 4.53 GPA throughout her high school years and is headed to UCLA for a possible pre-med degree, said “I would like to challenge us all to be the best we can be, even when others say that we are nothing.”
Steimel, who leaves Brawley Union High School with a 4.73 GPA, told his fellow students to “live a balanced life,” adding that “Most people think of the Valedictorian as a nerd… someone who spends every waking moment with their nose in a book, foregoing all activities except academics.  But I’ve always valued balancing academics with extracurriculars.”
The Brawley Class of 2010 also gave thanks to Jason Contreras and counselors Bette Hardy and Rubin Felix.
This year, schools tried to keep their ceremonies separate with the exception of Holtville and Calipatria, who held their ceremonies on Wednesday.  During the previous week, Central Union and Southwest held their commencement ceremonies as they started their school year a week earlier than everyone else.
Central’s Valedictorian was Erica Leon.
Southwest’s valedictorian was Lakshmi Muralidharan and their salutatorian was Krupa Mukesh Bhatt.
Calexico graduated 511 kids during their exercises on Tuesday, June 8, which was the largest class that the Bulldogs ever passed.  Calexico’s students graduated despite school closing in April after the Easter earthquakes.  Their Valedictorian was Charles Kim and the Salutatorian was Carlos Sotelo.
Both Holtville and Calipatria held their ceremonies on Wednesday, June 9, and graduated 118 and 80 students respectively.
Holtville’s Valedictorian was Bethany Lehman and their Salutatorian was Eileen Battraw.  Calipatria’s Valedictorians are Chelsea Carambas, Geneva Guzman, Ariana Vasquez while their Salutatorian is Yadira Hernandez
High’s graduation was on Friday, June 11th and had 170 students receive their diplomas.  The Class of 2010’s Valedictorian is Nayeon Kim and the four salutatorians were Alyssa Ferral, Brianna Ramirez, Gabriel Delgado, Belen Fimbres.

Highlights from Brawley Union High School Graduation

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