From the daily archives: Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The 2010 Cattle Call Parade rolled down Main Street in Brawley Saturday and featured more than 100 entries including marching bands, classic cars, horse-mounted riding teams and elaborate floats.
Parade winners are as follows:

Sweepstakes – Brawley Christian Academy

Mayor’s Trophy – BJ Fencing

Queen’s Trophy – National Beef

Community Service Organization – Sonny Bono Wildlife Refuge

Commercial Organization – Law Enforcement Explorer Post 4108

Youth Organization – Imagine School

Religious  Organization – Sacred Heart School

Color Guard – US Border Patrol Honor Guard

Novelty Entry – Billy Loggins

Best Walking Entry – Pioneers Memorial Hospital

Drill Team – Westmorland Drill Team

Antique Autos – Joseph Callens Antique Autos

Car Club – Sunrunners Car Club

Sweepstakes for Band – Imperial High School

Elementary Band Winner – Seeley Elementary

Jr. High Band Winner – Wilson Jr. High School


The Internal Revenue Service is looking for 4,596 Southern California taxpayers who are due to receive a combined $5.6 million in undeliverable tax refunds. These are refund checks that were returned to the IRS by the U.S. Postal Service due to mailing address errors.   Nationally, IRS is looking for 111,893 taxpayers who are owed a combined $164.6 million. In addition, more than 15,700 California taxpayers are owed $23.4 million, more than 14% of the total.   All a taxpayer has to do is update his or her address once. Some taxpayers are due more than one check.   “We want to make sure taxpayers get the money owed to them,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “If you think you are missing a refund, the sooner you update your address information, the quicker you can get your money.”   Average undeliverable refunds rose by 28 percent this year to $1,471 from $1,148 from last year. Several tax law changes likely played a role in boosting refunds, including the First-Time Homebuyer’s Credit and various other tax provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 such as the Residential Energy Property Credit.   The vast majority of checks mailed out by the IRS each year reach their rightful owner. Only a very small percentage (.32% this year) is returned by the U.S. Postal Service as undeliverable.   E-file and Direct Deposit Taxpayers can avoid being on this list by filing electronically and choosing direct deposit for their refunds. Choosing direct deposit puts an end to lost, stolen or undeliverable checks. As of November 5, 2010, some 70% of all individual returns were e-filed and more than two-thirds (68%) chose to receive their refunds directly into personal savings or checking accounts. Treasury has issued 111 million total refunds thus far in 2010 and the average tax refund is just a shade under $3,000.   Taxpayers can update their addresses and check the status of a refund using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on One must submit his or her social security number, filing status and amount of refund shown on their 2009 return. “Where’s My Refund?” will provide the status of the refund and in some cases provide instructions on how to resolve delivery problems. Taxpayers can also access a telephone version of “Where’s My Refund?” by calling 1-800-829-1954.   E-file coupled with direct deposit is the best filing option; it’s easy, fast and secure. Visit for complete details.


Turkey fryer hazards

• Many units easily tip over, spilling the hot oil from the cooking pot.

• If the cooking pot is overfilled with oil, the oil may spill out of the unit when the turkey is placed into the cooking pot. Oil may hit the burner or flames, causing a fire to engulf the entire unit.

• Partially frozen turkeys placed into the fryer can cause a spillover effect. This too may result in an extensive fire.

• With no thermostat controls, the units also have the potential to overheat the oil to the point of combustion.

• The lid and handles on the sides of the cooking pot get dangerously hot, posing severe burn hazards.

Important safety information

• If you absolutely must use a turkey fryer, please use the following tips.

• Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable materials.

• Never use turkey fryers in a garage or on a wooden deck.

• Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.

• Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.

• Never let children or pets near the fryer even if it is not in use. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.

• To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.

• Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.

• Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water do not mix, and water causes oil to spill over causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.

• The National Turkey Federation (NTF) recommends thawing the turkey in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours for every five pounds in weight.

• Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. If the fire is manageable, use your all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call the fire department for help.


By Chris Furguson
On Veterans Day, more than a thousand veterans, residents and visitors alike gathered at the former “rose garden” area of Brawley’s North Plaza for the unveiling of a Wall of Honor for Brawley Vets.
The ceremony also included members of the Naval Air Facility-El Centro’s Color Guard, a ten-bell salute with a 21-gun salute and a fly-by featuring Royal Navy helicopters.
Brawley veterans from as far as South Carolina and beyond arrived in the north county city to take part in the festivities.
Alfred Campbell, a Pearl Harbor survivor currently living in Alpine and a Brawley graduate in 1938, said he was pleased to see the monument in the city.
“It’s wonderful to see the sacrifices of so many Brawley residents honored today,” said Campbell.
Other veterans from World War II included Donald A Woelke, an Army Air Corps member who graduated from BUHS in 1942 and traveled from South Carolina to be at the unveiling, and Orville Sullivan, another Air Corpsman.
Among those also in attendance included Mayor Ryan Kelley, who spoke to the assembled crowd, along with the rest of the Brawley City Council, and Assemblyman Manuel Perez, who is a member of the California Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs.
The ceremony began with a presentation by the NAF-El Centro’s color guard and the pledge of allegiance by Ray Downs singing of the national anthem by Sandra Taylor.
This was followed by an invocation by Efrain Bautista of St. Margaret Mary’s Church in Brawley.
Members of the Wall Committee were also given recognition.
Special flags were presented to local veterans as well, including one promised to be delivered once it had flown over the Capitol building in Washington D.C., courtesy of Congressman Bob Filner.
After a pair of songs by local singing group Noteworthy, a wreath was placed near the memorial.
At the eleventh hour, a ten bell salute was rung by Navy Chief Christopher Hisel and a twenty-one gun salute was fired by soldiers at the Naval Air Facility base in El Centro.
After the salutes, a pair of British Apache Helicopters flown by members of the Royal Navy stationed at NAF-El Centro soared overhead.
Appearances by the Brawley Cattle Call Queen’s Court along with a special performance by the BUHS Varsity Cheerleaders also added some local flair to the festivities.
Currently, there are 740 names registered for placement on the wall.  To qualify for placement on the wall, you must be a Brawley resident or have attended Brawley Union High School for at least one year.  There is a fee to have a name placed on the monument.
For more information about the Wall of Honor, including how to get a serviceman or woman’s name on the monument, contact Karin Morgan at the Brawley Parks and Recreation.  The number is (760) 344-5675.

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By Mario Conde

Parking citations in the City of Calexico will increase in the month of December for those that violate the parking code.

In an effort to balance the general fund of the State of California, the Governor signed into law a new law that requires that an additional $3.00 be assessed to parking violations that are collected by public agencies. This new fees will begin on December 7, 2010.

In the past the City of Calexico charged $20 and seven of those dollars went to the County. The County then gave $1.50 to the Criminal Justice Facilities fund, County General fund got $1.00, State Immediate and Critical Needs Account gets $3.00, and the State Court Facilities Funds received $1.50. The new Parking Citation Penalty will give $3.00 to the State from parking citations in California. Calexico used to pay seven dollars to the county and keep $13 dollars but with the new fee will be forced to pay $10.

With this decision, the City will now charge $23 for parking meter overtime, $38 for parking in the red zone, handicap parking $108, and $63 for trucks and buses parked in residential areas. If a citation is not paid 21 days after the citation there will be a $5 increase.

In other news, the council decided not to go forward with the recommendation to hire Oliver Alvarado as interim planning director now that Armando Villa is going to the County to work as  Planning Director. Alvardo retired as City employee early this year after thirty years of working as Senior Planner in Calexico. Alvarado’s contract called to have him work $75 an hour.

Villa’s last week as planning director will be next Wednesday and the City anticipates they will have its replacement in a three month period. Councilman Bill Hodge agreed that he has a lot of experience but asked as to way they cannot get the Associate planner to take the interim role and not bring someone from the outside. Councilmembers Hodge, Hurtado, and Castro voted againts the proposal while Romero and Moreno voted againts it.

Finally, the Council gave green light to have sidewalk sales for the period of November 19, 2010 to December 31, 2010 for the Christmans Season sale.

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