From the daily archives: Tuesday, June 22, 2010

By Mario Conde

The Battle came to Calexico this past Saturday as law enforcement agents from all across the Imperial Valley and Yuma showcased their boxing talents.

Sparta Boxing and the Calexico Police & Firefighter Association with the Active 20/30 club hosted the “Battle by the Border” event at Crummet Park in Calexico. The event drew an estimated 2,000 attendee’s from all over the Imperial Valley and drew very positive comments from the people that attended the event.. Money raised for this event will go to different athletic associations in Calexico. The theme of this year was U.S. vs. Mexico and fighters from Mexico participated in this event. The promoter for this event was Calexico Police officer Fernando “Crime Dog” Lara.

Eleven bouts highlighted the evening’s event featuring members of the U.S. Border Patrol, Calexico Fire, and Sheriffs. The event also had exhibition events from kids that practice this sport. In one bout, Clarissa Hernandez and Eduardo Lopez fought a non-scoring fight at the beginning of the event; Clarissa Hernandez took the victory on this bout. The exhibition fight between the two kids was welcomed by the crowd with satisfaction. Also, local champion Danika Lara had her exhibition fight that evening and she will participate soon in a tournament competing for a world championship. In other results, Nasario Hernandez def. Border Patrol Agent Jonathan Pacheco in the second round.

In the main event of the night, El Centro Police Officer Jesus “El Cubano” Gonzalez was defeated by Calexico’s favorite Esteban “Whopper” Zambrano who works for the Calexico Fire Department. Zambrano won in a clear victory against the El Centro officer in the Heavyweight division.

Ring Girls at Battle by the Border Event

Our National Anthem was played as the cadets showed the flags

Officer Fernando Lara welcomes everybody to the border boxing event

John Moreno was the ring annoucer for the event.

Clarissa Hernandez vs Eduardo Lopez






By Mario Conde

The Calexico City Council will hold a public hearing this Monday June, 28th to discuss the appeal of the De Las Flores apartment complex that is proposed to be located next to Willie Moreno Jr. High.

The Planning Commission of Calexico denied last week in a 3-2 vote a petition to approve a proposed project to have environmental clearance for construction of a two story, 80 unit apartment complex on 4.2 acres of land generally located west of Eady St. between HWY. 98 and De Las Flores Street. The proposed development consist of eighteen separate building including sixteen two bedroom units, fifty three bedroom units, fourteen four bedroom units, a recreation room, separate laundry facilities, an office and a large green central area with a tot lot.

The commission argued that the development will create a lot of traffic in the area without the long promised widening of Hwy 98 that Caltrans has in as a long term plan. Residents near the area opposed the project since they argued it will diminish their house value and will be a hazard for kids that go to schools near the development. Calexico Police Chief Jim Neujarh also expressed some concern on the traffic impacts for this project and stated his concerns to the planning commission last Monday.

Also, the Calexico Unified School District sent a letter saying the property will be analyzed in the next few months to see if they are going to use it or dispose of it after WLC Architects finishes the master plan. The district superintendent said

At last Tuesday’s City Council meeting Mayor David Ouzan asked for this item to be placed on the Council Agenda to have an appeal on this item and challenge the Planners decision to deny this permit.

“We need construction in the City of Calexico to increase or property taxes. For five years we haven’t had development when it comes to housing and this project will be beneficial for the City of Calexico in the years to come.”Ouzan said.

The City council will meet this Monday June 28, 2010 at 5:00pm to discuss the De Las Flores Apartment complex at the City Council chambers followed by a regular Planning Commission meeting at 6:30pm.


Piñatas designed to look like popular Disney characters were seized at the Douglas port of entry for intellectual property violations.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers stopped an illegal shipment of Disney-character piñatas from entering the commerce of the U.S. when a commercial load of piñatas emulating popular Disney characters was seized.

On June 18, at about 9 a.m., CBP officers were screening commercial entries coming from Mexico. The officers selected for secondary investigation a tractor-trailer, which was loaded with articles made of papier-mâché, including 108 piñatas emulating Disney characters.

Further investigation by the CBP officers revealed that the Disney character piñatas were indeed an intellectual property rights violation and that the shipment was bound for Thornton, Colo.

CBP officers seized the illegal shipment of piñatas. They constituted a violation of intellectual property rights, which protect the merchandise of legitimate businesses.

“The piñatas may have an appearance of innocence,” said Eli Villarreal, assistant port director and overseer of all commercial operations, “but the aggregate shipment of illegal merchandise on a national scale can undermine the stability of our nation’s economy, which is a vital element in national security. Customs and Border Protection remains committed in securing our nation’s borders.”


The next time you are sitting around the campfire for s’mores or flipping hamburgers at a family cookout, make sure the kids are kept out of harm’s way.
“Fire is a mysterious attraction for kids,” says Dr. Michael Kim, emergency-department physician at American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH).  He has treated dozens of young people with burns caused by this traditional summertime activity– and not always from the most obvious situations.
He remembers treating a toddler who walked onto the hot coals of a barbecue pit in the backyard shortly after a cookout.  The parents thought the coals had been put out, but the boy ended up with a second-degree burn on his foot.
“Kids younger than four years old are at higher risk for injuries caused by campfires and barbecue grills,” says Kim.  “Parents with children that age must supervise, supervise, supervise to make sure accidents don’t occur.”
Kim has seen other situations where older kids became burn victims – including, for example, a teenager who got too close to a barbecue grill while starting a fire with lighter fluid.
“The explosion caused by the accelerant gave him a second-degree facial burn and singed hair,” he says.  “He had to be treated in the burn unit.”
Kim says parents should educate their kids on the dangers of fire, and keep them away from materials used to make barbecue fires such as matches and lighter fluid.
Dr. Greg Rebella, also a pediatric emergency department physician at AFCH, says all burned materials should be doused with water, sand or dirt so they are cool to touch and will not burn skin.
“Never let your young child  play near a fire-pit, and do not assume that coals are no longer hot, even if you do not see a flame,” he says.
Kim says age-old remedies, such as applying butter, will not help a burn.
“Run cool water over the injured area and cover with a clean dry sheet,” he says. “Do not put anything else on the burn.  If the burn involves the face, head, hands, feet, or genitals and/or the child is in severe pain, call 9-1-1 .
When in doubt, call your doctor for advice or go to the hospital for an evaluation.”


Hazard Mitigation Grants available to public agencies to assist in preventing or minimizing damage losses in future disasters

Pasadena, CA- The California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) met with eight public agencies in Imperial County June 15 to announce the availability of an estimated $21 million in federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) money.
The funds are being offered on a competitive basis to state and local agencies in Imperial and other eligible California counties in the wake of the severe winter storms last January and February, and the April 4 earthquake.
As a state with an enhanced hazard mitigation plan, California is eligible for federal hazard mitigation grants totaling 20 percent of the disaster recovery funds obligated by FEMA. Under current law, successful applicants must agree to match FEMA’s 75-percent share with a 25-percent cash or in-kind contribution.
Information about eligibility criteria is being made available on the Cal EMA web site’s hazard mitigation web portal at
At the workshop, conducted at the Imperial County Office of Emergency Services in Heber, state and federal officials explained the application process, eligibility requirements and key dates for HMGP funding.
They also explained a key component of recovery from natural disasters like those that have struck Imperial County this year is immediate and thoughtful action to reduce risk of future losses from disasters.
“The availability of HMGP grants provides a perfect opportunity for applicants to convert goals and objectives from their Multihazard Mitigation Plan into actual projects,” FEMA Hazard Mitigation Officer Phillip Wang said.
Cal EMA’s Joe Petersen told prospective applicants: “Cal EMA and FEMA are here to work with you.”
Approximately $7.5 million of the $21 million will be available to eligible agencies statewide to pay for mitigation projects or for the development of local multi-hazard mitigation plans. This funding became available after the presidential disaster declaration on March 8 for severe winter storms, flooding, and debris and mud flows.
An estimated $13 million in HMGP funding in connection with the May 7 presidential disaster declaration for the April 4 earthquake will become available later.
Although the HMGP funds are made available through FEMA, Cal EMA administers the program and recommends projects to FEMA for funding.
The HMGP funds are offered to eligible local governments, state agencies, special districts, public colleges and universities, and certain private nonprofit organizations for projects that reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to human life and property from the effects of natural hazards.
Agencies and organizations wishing to seek HMGP funding in connection with the winter storms must submit a Notice of Interest to Cal EMA by July 19. The NOI is available on the Cal EMA hazard mitigation web portal. No late NOIs will be accepted. (Deadlines have not been established for applying for HMGP funds in connection with the earthquake.)
Once an agency or organization has submitted a notice, Cal EMA will review it to determine whether it meets requirements to continue with the application process.
In order to receive funding for an HMGP project, an agency or organization must have a current FEMA approved local Hazard Mitigation Plan that demonstrates a long-term strategy to reduce disaster losses.
If Cal EMA decides an agency or organization meets the requirements for HMGP funds, the agencies and organizations will be given confirmation via email to submit a formal application for their proposed projects.
Projects that may be eligible for funding include structural and non-structural earthquake- related retrofits, and flood mitigation projects that include flood barriers, culverts and basins.
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.

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