From the daily archives: Monday, September 13, 2010



Below is a statement from Congressman Bob Filner on his participation in a demonstration on Tuesday, September 14 at 5:30 a.m. at the expected eviction of a Bonita family:

“One of the most important issues facing us today is protecting those who have become victims of this economy.

“But instead of helping those who needed it most, Washington chose to bail out the big banks with hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money.  And now it is those same banks that are turning around and being unreasonable when it comes to working with homeowners to help them stay in their homes.

“During the civil rights era we used community demonstrations to bring attention to a fundamental injustice being perpetrated by the government, private companies and individuals.  In 1961, as a Freedom Rider, I spent two months in a Mississippi jail to fight racial segregation.  It was a last resort, but because we came together to challenge the status quo, we played a crucial role in ending segregation in the South.

“So what do we do when we see an injustice today?  When we see a mother of a son with cancer being evicted from her home, what do we do?

“The answer is the same now as it was then. We must stand by her and stand up for her.

“Luz Maria is the mother of a son who has been battling cancer and has been told that she and her family will be evicted from their home.  I have been working with her and her bank to come to a reasonable solution — but to no avail. At minimum she has requested to stay in her home until her son can complete his chemotherapy, but even that request was denied.

“The community and I stand with Luz Maria and her family.  People will circle Luz’s house in solidarity. Some of us will sit in at the front door to confront the authorities – which may result in arrest.

“Foreclosures must stop!”

Demonstration Information:

5:30 a.m.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

4714 Butternut Hollow Lane

Bonita, CA 91902

(Directions: From the 54 E, Take exit 5 for Briarwood Rd and turn right at Briarwood Rd. Turn right at Sweetwater Rd and then take the 2nd right onto Winnetka Dr. Turn right at Butternut Hollow Ln. and park on the street at 4714 Butternut Hollow Ln.)


Yuma, Ariz. – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Yuma Sector seized more than $1 million of marijuana and cocaine, and arrested three drug smugglers in two separate incidents this week.

Blythe Station Border Patrol agents seized 27 pounds of cocaine in a wheel well at the Highway 95 checkpoint south of Quartzsite, Ariz. on Sept. 10, 2010.
Blythe Station Border Patrol agents seized 27 pounds of cocaine in a wheel well at the Highway 95 checkpoint south of Quartzsite, Ariz. on Tuesday.

The first incident occurred on Tuesday morning at the Highway 95 checkpoint south of Quartzsite, Ariz. Border Patrol agents from the Blythe Station referred a 1991 Lexus 400 for secondary inspection. With the help of a Border Patrol canine team, agents discovered 12 bundles of cocaine hidden behind the vehicle’s firewall and wheel well. The cocaine weighs 27 pounds and has an estimated street valued of $889,000. Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) took custody of the cocaine and driver, and the Border Patrol seized the Lexus.

On Wednesday, Yuma Sector Enforcement Specialists operating remote video surveillance cameras located along the Colorado River spotted 13 individuals crossing the river from Mexico into Arizona near County 10th Street. The camera operators notified agents in the field that the subjects dropped several large backpacks near the Arizona banks and then fled back into Mexico. Yuma Station Border Patrol agents responded and seized 12 makeshift backpacks full of marijuana and arrested two male subjects hiding nearby. The 12 bundles, which weigh 580 pounds and have an estimated street value of $464,000, were turned over to the DEA along with the two subjects.

The Yuma Sector Border Patrol continues to utilize a multi-tiered law enforcement approach to protect our borders from all threats and keep our country and local communities safe.

To report suspicious activity, contact the Yuma Sector Border Patrol’s toll free telephone number at 1-866-999-8727.


The Public Health Department will start offering flu shots to individuals three years and older on Tuesday, September 21st at 8 a.m. A Drive-Thru Flu Clinic is scheduled for October 16th at the IV Expo.
IMPERIAL COUNTY – The Imperial County Public Health Department announced today that it would start administering flu shots on Tuesday September 21st to individuals three years of age and older. Vaccine for children 6 months to 3 years and pregnant women has not yet arrived but should be available by the end of this month. The Department will host three separate flu clinics during the months of September and October including a Drive-Thru Flu Clinic at the Imperial Valley Expo on Saturday October 16th. Flu shots for seniors will begin on Wednesday September 22nd at regularly
scheduled Senior Clinics throughout Imperial County. This year’s flu vaccine will protect against both seasonal flu and H1N1. The Public Health Department will be offering the whooping cough and pneumonia vaccines at its scheduled flu clinics (except for the drive-thru).
Dr. Stephen Munday, Public Health Officer stated, “Since the flu vaccine takes about two weeks to become effective, we strongly advise all individuals to get their flu shots early to lessen their risk of contracting the flu this flu season. The Department is extremely excited about partnering with the Imperial Valley Expo and other local providers to host the Drive-Thru Flu Clinic once again this year.” Flu activity in the United States generally peaks between late December and early March.

The Public Health Department-sponsored flu clinics will be held on the following dates: Tuesday, September 21st from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm (Public Health Dept.) Thursday, September 23rd from 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm (Public Health Dept.) Saturday, October 16th from 7:30 am – 11 am (I.V. Expo in Imperial)
The Public Health Department clinics will take place at the Imperial County Public Health Department’s Training Center located at 935 Broadway in El Centro. There is no appointment necessary to get a flu shot at any of the scheduled clinics. The clinics will also offer whooping cough and state-purchased pneumococcal vaccine. The cost for the flu shot, whooping cough and state-purchased pneumonia shots will be $2.00 each (payments in cash or check only). Those interested in receiving a combination of flu, whooping cough and pneumonia vaccine will be able to get the three for $5.00 at the Public Health Department clinics.
The Public Health Department will be hosting its fourth Drive-Thru Flu Vaccination Clinic on Saturday, October 16th from 7:30 am to 11:00 am at the IV Expo (fairgrounds) in Imperial. This is a flu shot-only clinic event. This will be a collaborative effort between the Public Health Department, the Imperial Valley Expo, local healthcare providers and other partner agencies. Individuals attending this clinic should arrive in a vehicle and expect to stay with their vehicle while at the clinic. It is recommended that those who attend for a flu shot wear short sleeve shirts.
Flu shots will be available at the Public Health Department on a walk-in
basis during regular work hours (Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm
and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm) starting Monday, September 27th. The whooping cough and pneumonia vaccines will also be available on a walk-in basis. Flu Clinics for seniors are being held in various areas of the County. In addition, flu vaccine is available with local physicians and community clinics. Individuals who wish to receive the flu shot from their doctor will need to contact their healthcare provider directly about the availability of flu vaccine.
According to the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year in the United States, an average 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu; more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and about 36,000 people die from the flu each year. Some people, such as older adults, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at higher risk for suffering serious complications from the flu. Influenza is an acute respiratory illness that is spread from infected persons to the throat or nose of others. Signs and symptoms of the flu include fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle aches. For more information regarding the flu clinics or the flu vaccine please contact the Imperial County Public Health Department’s Immunization Program at (760) 482-4762 or send an email to


By Mario Conde


The Micro Business and Expo Contest was a huge success last Saturday when micro business leaders showcased their talents.

Business leaders were encouraged the Calexico Neighborhood House to display their ideas and concepts. Judges reviewed the entries and based their criteria on the best business concept, best presentation and prototype, and feasibility or practicality. Small Businesses from Spa treatment, catering, nutrition, music, and marketing were some of the displayed work that took place last Saturday at Cesar Chavez Elementary School.

There winners of the contest were: First place, L & L Sweet Drizzle that belongs to Laura Beltran and Luz Vallejo who make and distribute custom made Cakes and Cupcakes for every occasion. Second place went to Natural Soy, a healthy food store for vegetarians who sell fat free and 100% vegetal food. Third Place went to Mi Calexico, a website created by Angel Esparza who promotes the best of Calexico on his website and Facebook page and also supports local businesses by helping them on their marketing. Esparza said that he will use the money and will re-invest it to purchase more equipment.

At the expo there were also seminars from the Small Business Development Center and speakers that gave suggestion on how to invest and market their products.


By Mario Conde

The proposed Casino in Calexico still has a long way to go before its approval and steps are currently being taken to have this project approved.

The City and Calexico and the Manzanita Tribe have been working to have a casino in Calexico that will host a resort hotel and convention center. The City and the Manzanita Tribe entered into a “fee-to-trust” request for 60 acres of land to develop an off-reservation casino in Calexico. The proposal was initially a joint effort between the Manzanita and Viejas Bands of Kumeyaay Indians.

The City of Calexico and the developer, Hallwood Calexico Investments LLC, came to an agreement  in November 2008 for the development of  a Commercial Highway land uses, including a Class III Tribal Gaming Casino Facility and Hotel Facility within an approximately 232 acre project site in the City of Calexico.

The plan of this project is to develop 459,261 square foot Class III gaming casino facility, including a 93, 880 square foot casino gaming area, 400 hotel rooms, 411,000 square feet of retail space, 110,000 square feet of restaurant space, 395,000 square feet of office space, 340,000 square feet of tech space, and a 20,800 square foot police/fire station in five phases of development over a period of eleven years.

The City and the tribe entered into and MOU that would make the Manzanita give the City annual revenue-sharing payment to the city’s General Fund in the amount of $2,000,000 as compensations for impacts such as to Imperial County or the school districts; hire Calexico residents as casino employees to the greatest extent possible; and establish a community based foundation to underwrite projects, programs and activities that benefit residents among other agreements.

City Manager Victor Carrillo gave a written report to the Calexico City Council last Tuesday about the status of the casino. The City Manager informed that continued meetings and phone conversations with the tribe to discuss the status of the Casino application with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the U.S. Department of the Interior. Carrillo said that the main discussion points of the project have been on the timeline for reports and studies to be completed; resolution of the Environmental Impact Report; and the consultation letter approved and signed with the Governor of California’s concurrence.

The tribe received notice by the BIA that the public comment period and will be 75 days long for the Environmental Impact Statement. Carrillo informed that Calexico finalized a lot line adjustment to record a 60 acre parcel that Hallwood development will sell the Manzanita Tribe.

Once recorded via the tax certificate, Carrillo said, there will be a new property description for the Manzanita Tribe to describe to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. When this is done, the Manzanita tribe as per application, will have this parcel placed in record of the BIA application and if approved will become Indian Reservation or Federal and as if follows the Environmental process and flows from Washington D.C., to Sacramento, to Manzanita, and back to the BIA process in Sacramento, getting a Final National Publishing in the Federal Register, a process that should take three to six months, Carrillo said.

The City of Calexico also had to deal with a lawsuit that delayed the project for two years. A settlement was made on January of 2010 but the dismissal of the lawsuit would not occur until a General Plan Amendment and zoning change are approved by the planning commission and confirmed by the City Council. When the lawsuit is dismissed it will allow the Bureau of Indian Affairs to hold hearings regarding the Environmental Impact Statement which will result of transferring City land to Federal land designation for purposes of establishing an Indian Reservation/Casino.

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