From the daily archives: Monday, August 9, 2010

By Jim Predmore

This past week, my wife and I had the opportunity to get out of the Valley heat and went on a one week camping trip to central California. We loaded up the SUV with every thing we could think of, including 5 kids, and headed off to Chilkoot Campground about 4 miles north of Bass Lake and 23 miles from the entrance of Yosemite National Park.

We arrived at the campground on Saturday afternoon after a short delay caused by a brush fire along Route 41 coming out of Fresno. I will have to say the firefighters were right on top of getting this one knocked down. They had two aircraft flying overhead making sure that it didn’t spread and around 100 men on the ground. The traffic was stopped for about a half hour and by the time we went by the burned area, there were only a few smoldering ashes left.

The Campground has 14 campsites and was about half full when we arrived, but after Saturday night there were only a couple of other campers there.  This made it fairly quiet and comfortable with the outside temperature in the mid 70s and night time temperatures in the 60s.

The first day we spent exploring around  Bass Lake ans found a couple of coves that allowed a time for swimming for the kids. One of the coves had a tie line across the water which allowed for some fun and excitement as some youngsters went sliding across the line, dropping into the water from about 25 feet in the air.

The next day we were off to Yosemite. It cost $20.00 to enter the park but you get a week’s pass to come and go as you wish.  I had been to Yosemite when I was a kid around ten years old and remembered the water falls and Half Dome from down in Yosemite Valley. This time we went off to Glacier Point, which is at the top of the mountain and has an altitude of 7800 feet. It takes a 16 mile drive off the main road, and it was well worth the drive. Most of the drive is through heavy forest until you almost get to the top, where you come to a turn out and parking lot.  We parked and started out to take a look and I will have to say, taking a look at some of California’s beauty can be breath taking. The view from atop the Yosemite Valley, with the waterfalls and all of the rock formations, just makes you say WOW.

The first turn out is about a mile from Glacier Point and after taking around a 100 pictures we were off to the Point. As we arrived we decided to have a picnic lunch along one of the trails. As soon as we started to get the food out, we made a quick squirrel friend. After we ate we decided to go to Taft Point and I have to say that it’s the little differences that make life interesting. Take Taft Point, for instance: stand at the railing here, and the elevation is 7,800 feet. Take a step to the north, and you drop to 4,000 feet. That’s 3,800 feet straight down off a sure rock cliff. Just thinking about that step can do funny things to your stomach and make you kind of dizzy. You see a lot of people at Taft Point lying on their bellies and inching out towards, but never getting quite up to, the edge of the cliff. And you see a lot more people touching the iron railings, but never actually putting their weight against them. If you like your spectacular vistas mingled with a touch of fear, then the hikes along Glacier Point Road are for you.

There are plenty of things to see and trails to explore, from old historic buildings in Wawona to the towering Sequoias at Maraposa Grove. Yosemite was quite the experience that I highly recommend.

We spent the following day on the water of Bass Lake on a party boat, giving us the opportunity to do some sporting activities behind the boat on an inner tube that gave the kids a lot of fun. We took time to swim with the geese and the ducks and some time to just relax. Isn’t that what vacations are all about?   All in all, we had a great time and if you’re up for the adventure, I would highly recommend it. We didn’t see any bears but did see a deer with a nice set of antlers.  I would recommend that you take some OFF to ward off the mosquitoes, but other than that, it was perfect.


Congressman Bob Filner announced today that Imperial Valley College has been awarded $435,532.00.  The funding comes under the Student Support Services Program for low-income, first-generation or disabled college students.
“We have to make sure there is a support system for our students who come into college at comparative disadvantage,” said Congressman Filner.  “This funding will go to support these students so they are able to graduate from college and go on to start promising careers.”
The purpose of the Student Support Services Program is to provide academic and other support services to low-income, first-generation or disabled college students to increase students’ retention and graduation rates, facilitate their transfer from two-year to four-year colleges and foster an institutional climate supportive of the success of these students.

Imperial Valley College will be offering free of charge a NxLevel Entrepreneurial Training class that will focus on the creation of a business plan, business marketing, and how to launch a new business. This is a great opportunity for any business owner who needs to write a business plan, or for those wishing to know how to start a business. The five-week class starts August 17, will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 6pm to 9pm, at IVC in room 516, and will run through September 16. For more information call (760) 355-6156.


By Mario Conde

Election time is back again in the Imperial Valley and Calexico voters will have decide who will represent them at the Calexico Unified School District and Heffernan Memorial Hospital Board.

Citizens that have already registered for Calexico School Board are Norma Aguilar, Joo Kim, Antonio Valenzuela, Ruth Duarte, incumbent Sal Pacheco, Rashid Rashid, and Isabel “Pinky” Perrone. Three seats are up for grabs in this race for the Calexico Unified School District that has been gone through a lot of issues after the Easter Sunday Earthquake.

For the Heffernan Memorial Health District, six people have filed their candidacy papers and they are: Chairwoman Sylvia Bernal, Francisco Cardenas, Norma Apodaca, Eric Ortega, Karla Flores, and Lisa Tylenda.

The race for County Board of Supervisors District one will conclude this November as John Renison and County Board Chairman, Louis Fuentes, will battle to be Calexico’s representative at the County level. Renison defeated Fuentes in November with a strong vote leaving the chairman of the board in second place.

In District Five, Supervisor Wally Leimgruber will battle Ray Castillo for the District Five representation. Leimgruber defeated Castillo four years ago in a very close race and now he is coming back to challenge Leimgruber.

The final runoff race will between former IID Director, Rudy Maldonado, and Matt Dessert. Dessert received a lot of votes from Imperial Valley voters pulling him ahead of Maldonado and Ouzan. Rudy Maldonado wants to return to the IID board after a four year break as public official.


NILAND, Calif. – On August 5, Indio Station agents interdicted a cocaine smuggling attempt with an estimated value of nearly $1 million.

At approximately 4 p.m., a blue Dodge Dakota pick-up truck driven by a male U.S. citizen with a male U.S. citizen as the passenger approached the primary inspection area of the Highway 111 checkpoint.  A canine team performed a non-intrusive inspection and alerted to the vehicle.  The vehicle was then referred to the secondary inspection area.  During a subsequent search, agents discovered several packages containing cocaine wrapped in cellophane hidden within the center console.

The driver, passenger, vehicle, and cocaine were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Since Oct. 1, 2009, the El Centro Sector Border Patrol has seized more than 1,200 pounds of cocaine as compared to 170 pounds seized during Fiscal Year 2009.

See Attached Photos Below

NILAND, Calif. – Later that night, Indio Station agents rescued three illegal aliens that were located approximately 12 miles north of Niland.

At approximately 8:15 p.m., the Indio Station received a phone call from the California Highway Patrol that three subjects were lost in the desert near Gas Line Road north of the Billy Machen Bombing Range.

Indio Station agents responded to the area and at approximately 9:45 p.m. they located the three subjects and determined that all three were illegally present in the U.S.  Agents provided first aid to all three illegal aliens until a Gold Cross Ambulance arrived at the scene.  Two individuals were transported to Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley, Calif. where they were treated for dehydration.  One of the three illegal aliens declined further medical attention and was taken to the Highway 111 Checkpoint near Niland for further processing.

All three subjects will be returned to their country of origin.

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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