Holtville High School Graduate is a Finalists for the Amazon Break Through Novel Award for his Novel ‘Dove Season’.

By Luke Phillips

A former Holtville resident’s new novel is getting some attention on the national level.

Johnny Shaw, who graduated from Holtville High School in 1986, placed among three finalists for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for his novel ‘Dove Season’.

Shaw grew up in between Holtville and Calexico, but says he claims Holtville as his home town because that’s were he attended school and were his family bought groceries.

Protect Your Skin With Just Three Substances

You don’t need a chemistry degree to figure out what skin-care products are right for you.
“Between all the ads that claim the latest skin-care miracles, and the hundreds of products at the mall skin-care counter, people really need some guidance about what they need and what actually works,” says Angie Wick, aesthetician at UW Health Transformations.
Wick says research has shown that there are three substances that can actually protect against, or repair, signs of aging.
Retin A (Vitamin A) or Retinol (Vitamin A Derivative)
“Skin-cell turnover is an important process in skin care,” says Wick. “Vitamin A is a tried and true ingredient that exfoliates the skin.”
Wick recommends using a pea-sized amount because putting more than that on skin can cause redness and peeling.
Topical Vitamin C
Wick says vitamin C is an antioxidant that stimulates collagen production and minimizes fine lines and wrinkles when applied topically.
“Vitamin C can be unstable and lose its effectiveness quickly,” says Wick. She says to look for the stable form of vitamin C, L-ascorbic acid.
Growth Factor
Growth factor, a naturally occurring substance, can increase collagen production. It maintains the structure of connective tissue and plays a role in wound healing. Wick says there are very few commercially available skin-care products with growth factor, but there are products in development.
What claim is really bogus?  Wick says products touting collagen – a structural protein in the skin — to be applied topically are completely ineffective, for the simple reason that the collagen molecule is too large to penetrate human skin.
Typically, skin-care products sold at medical practices have more potent and effective ingredients compared to those sold in department stores.  Wick says the stronger products have slightly higher prices but the costs are competitive with what’s sold in department stores.

Valley’s Newest Charter School Offers Glimpse Of Start-Of-The-Art Facilities

Imagine School at Imperial Valley, a tuition-free K-8 charter school in El Centro, recently unveiled several features of their state-of-the-art 54,000 square foot facility. According to school officials, these feature, combined with the school’s bus transportation, Language Acquisition Program, and emphasis on individualized attention, are attracting enrollment from throughout the Valley.
“The only thing more impression than our brand new, state-of-the-art facility is the higher quality of education our students will experience at our tuition-free school,” states Principal Susan Castro. “Parents are excited about the resources we’re incorporating into the learning environment which is one of the reasons our enrollment has doubled in the past two weeks.”
She elaborates by listing a few of the items that will be seen when the school opens its doors to students this coming school year. “Our younger students sit four to a table to encourage collaborative learning,” Castro explains. “We have 72 tables en route for them as well as 186 desks for our older learners. In addition to a full computer lab, each classroom features technology resource stations. Our initial order of 95 brand new computers will arrive within the next few weeks. Personally, I’m looking forward to our shipment of Mobi Interwrite Pads. These serve as hand-held SmartBoards, allowing teachers to instantly access technology as they’re working one-on-one with students or in small groups. These tools help personalize the learning experience, making core academic concepts come alive for our students.
In offering families a glimpse of what students will experience when school begins this fall, Castro also mentions the school’s library/media room, an art/science room and an acre of outdoor space that includes a playground, basketball court, and athletic field.
As a charter school funded by the State of California, Imagine School at Imperial Valley is free to all K-8 students and is not limited by traditional district enrollment boundaries. According to Castro, the school is enrolling students from El Centro, Calexico, Brawley, and other parts of the Valley. One school bus is already designated to transport students from Calexico and Castro says it is likely another bus will be added to help with transportation from Brawley and other parts of the Valley.
To answer questions about the school and enroll students, the school is hosting weekly information sessions in both El Centro and Calexico. El Centro sessions are held Mondays from 6-8 PM at Brunswick Zone, 950 N. Imperial Ave., and Calexico sessions are Thursdays from 6-8 PM at Carnegie Tech Center, 420 Heber Ave. In addition, families are invited to stop by the school’s enrollment office located at 1150 N. Imperial Ave., in El Centro. For more information about enrolling K-8 students for Fall 2010, attending an information session, or to learn more about Imagine School at Imperial Valley, please contact Susan Castro at 760-335-3603.

State-of-the Art Dialysis Center Brings New Life to Patients In Imperial Valley

By Luke Phillips
Patients in the Imperial Valley who  rely on dialysis to sustain their lives can now receive care at a new state-of-the-art facility in El Centro.
Fresenius Medical Care, the Imperial Valley’s only dialysis provider, has expanded their capacity for treating dialysis patients with the new facility on Wake Ave.
Fresenius Director of Operations Rene Vallejos says the facility is able to utilize the newest and best technologies because of the way the company is organized. Fresenius Medical Care operates under a system called Vertical Integration which means that everything used at their facilities, from the dialysis machines to the medications, are developed and manufactured in-house.
Vallejos says that the company has research facilities in San Diego that research and develop better ways of caring for patients.
“The great thing is, as soon as they have it there, we have it here,” Vallejos said.
Vallejos outlined several of the new technologies available at the facility during an open house event last week, including a machine that can test blood without the use of a needle. Vallejos says the machine uses flashing lights to read levels of hemoglobin and other components in a patents’ blood.
“People always think that for the best care they have to go to the biggest town,” Vallejo said. “It’s great to be able to tell patients that they have that right here.”
Vallejos says that Fresenius Medical Care does sell equipment and technology to other dialysis companies, but the newest and best is never sold to competitors.
“We don’t give them all the bells and whistles,” he said.
One of the technologies that can only be found at Fresenius is a series of green, yellow and red lights that sit atop the dialysis machines and light up to confirm different stages of the blood-cleansing process.
“I used to work for the competition and I wanted the lights, but they wouldn’t give them to me,” Vallejos said. He says that the light system is important because without it, there is no way of completely confirming that the treatment has been completed.
The company does it’s part to help the environment too. By utilizing their Vertical Integration system, they are able to run the operation much more efficiently, saving energy in the process. New technologies also help the company to stay green.
“We don’t really use paper here,” Vallejos said, showing one of the touch-screen monitors that sit beside every dialysis station and call up patient records and other information with nothing more than a flick of the finger.
Vallejos says that the touch-screen monitors, or chair-side monitors as he calls them, will also soon be obsolete. He says the company is in the process of switching over to the Apple iPad, a new tablet computer that doctors will be able to carry with them wherever they go.
“If you come back in a couple years, you probably won’t see a computer in here,” he said.
The facility has it’s own reverse osmosis water filtration system to filter chlorine and other harmful chemicals from the water used in the dialysis process, and also a facility to manufacture medications used in the process, and the whole system is gravity-fed to save energy.

CBP Officers in California Stop Las Vegas Resident with Nearly 50 Pounds of Cocaine in Hidden Compartment

CALEXICO, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the border crossing in downtown Calexico, Calif. seized nearly 50 pounds of cocaine Wednesday from a hidden compartment built into a pickup truck trying to cross into the U.S.

At about 8:30 a.m., a CBP officer was roving through the lanes of traffic waiting at the border crossing with his narcotic detector dog when the canine alerted to a maroon 1993 Chevy pickup truck.