From the daily archives: Tuesday, July 6, 2010

By Mario Conde

The people of Mexicali have spoken and chose Francisco Perez-Tejada as their new Mexicali Mayor.

With all the precincts counted, the candidate of PRI-Green Party won the election with a strong lead becoming the new mayor of Mexicali that will take oath this upcoming December. Perez-Tejada is the son of former Mexicali Mayor, Francisco Perez-Tejada, who served as Mayor from, 1992-1995 and ran for governor of Baja California. This is the first time in the political history of Mexicali that the son of a former mayor is elected t office. The Perez-Tejada family has been involved in politics for many years and is a pioneer family in Mexicali.

Prior to running for Mayor, Perez-Tejada was the president of CANACINTRA Mexicali which is the Chamber of Industry in Mexicali for five years and resigned early this year to seek the nomination of this party for Mayor.

Sunday was a great night for the PRI Party since they won all of the five municipalities of Baja California and won the majority of the state congressional districts creating a majority in the Baja California State Assembly. The results show the single biggest power shift in the state since 1989 when the ruling party, PAN, took the governorship in 1989. Now Governor Jose Guadalupe Osuna Millan will have the State Assembly with the opposite party for the next three years.

The leadership of PAN projected a five point lead ahead of Perez-Tejada at 6pm based on a polling firm hired by the party on Sunday and declared a strong advantage for them in Baja California declaring and absolute victory in every level. But hour and a half later PRI gave their projection based on ballot counting from the precinct and declared its victory. The initial results showed that PRI was right and gave the victory to Perez-Tejada.

Perez-Tejada is taking oath of office on December 1st.


By Mario Conde

Twenty Minutes.

That’s all it took the Calexico City Council to approve the 2010-11 budget last Friday at noon in a special meeting continuing what they could not approve at their regular meeting last week. This budget calls for the layoff of part-time employees that work in the City of Calexico.

This time there were no public comments from union representatives, employees, or elected Council members as the Council was presented by City Staff giving them four options that would balance the budget in the beginning of this new fiscal year. The original proposal called for the layoff of all temporary, permanent part time, limited term, and probationary employees that would save the city $709,076 and also contemplated the layoff of some permanent employees that would save the city $688,597. The layoffs would be subject to “meet and confer” with the unions. This action would have the general fund balance to $0.

Last Friday the council approved option #4 that does not layoff permanent employees but does it for temporary, limited term, and probationary employees. In this option, the City will use Allied Waste Franchise Fee & Indirect Cost Re-allocation in the amount of $230,000, Waste water indirect cost allocation increase $325,256. There will also be a reduction in the City Attorney Budget in the amount of $120,000.

The City will use Proposition 172 (Public Safety Augmentation Funds) $135,000 and Gas Tax Street Expenditures with would mean $300,000 for the City.  The City will use local transportation street expenditures and Department Supplies & Services cuts. All this will have a final General Fund Balance surplus of $145,450.

It was also approved that all employees and department heads will have a 10% salary reduction. Former Council member Guillermo Hermosillo made a motion exempt Redevelopment and General Services from layoffs since they are not part of the General Fund. Finance Director Judy Hashem responded to Hermosillo that the Redevelopment Agency will have financial problem next year and they need to take action across the board to plan ahead for next year.

The Council voted unanimously for option four and to adopt a fiscal emergency resolution that included the new budget for the fiscal year.


U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa, Calif. cargo export facility seized almost 6,000 counterfeit handheld “Tetris” video games last week.

On Thursday, June 24, CBP officers processing trucks exporting goods out of the United States into Mexico pulled aside two shipments labeled as “hand-held brick games.” Officers offloaded the cargo and presented a sample of the toys to a CBP import specialist for examination.

CBP officers in Southern California were able to prevent 6,000 fake video games from entering the U.S.

The import specialist quickly determined that the games violated the Tetris copyright. The games were of generally poor quality and lacked any licensing information, despite using the same individual brick shapes and the same rotating lateral and downward movements of the playing pieces as the copyrighted Tetris game.

CBP seized all of the games: two shipments each with 81 boxes containing 2,916 games. The total domestic value for all 5,832 games is $17,496, and the manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $69,925.

An important part of the CBP mission remains the facilitation of legitimate trade. In addition to its own regulations, CBP enforces more than 400 laws on behalf of more than 40 other U.S. government agencies. A large number of these import restrictions and requirements are designed to protect the American people from dangerous and illegal goods, and protect the U.S. economy, which is based on the premises of fair trade.

CBP has designated intellectual property rights enforcement as a priority trade issue. The strategic approach to intellectual property rights enforcement is multi-layered and includes seizing fake goods at our borders, pushing the border outward through audits of infringing importers and cooperation with our international trading partners, and partnering with industry and other government agencies to enhance these efforts.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.


U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Laredo, Texas port of entry intercepted more than $5 million in marijuana Wednesday at the World Trade International Bridge.

The seizure occurred when a CBP officer referred a 1998 International tractor pulling a 2000 Stick chassis with a container being driven by a 44-year-old Mexican citizen from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas. Officers conducted an intensive examination that resulted in the discovery of 164 bundles of marijuana commingled within the merchandise and weighing 5,283 pounds.

CBP officers at the cargo facility seized the tractor, chassis, trailer and the marijuana, which has an estimated street value of $5.2 million.

CBP officers arrested the driver and referred the case to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for further investigation.

“Our officers are committed to the CBP mission of securing the nation’s borders while facilitating legitimate trade,” said Gene Garza, port director, Laredo, Texas. “Subsequently, their hard work and dedication results in the seizure of significant bulk loads of drugs such as this one.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

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