From the daily archives: Monday, December 6, 2010

Planning Ahead, Making Lists Ensure a Positive Gift-Buying Experience
[EL CENTRO, CA] – Since Thanksgiving falls on November 25, there are only 29 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. While many people may have already started picking out gifts, others are still compiling shopping lists and figuring out what “perfect gift” to get each person. It’s a busy time of year, and Imperial Valley Mall has some suggestions to make your shopping experience more enjoyable. Here are some easy-to-follow directions to avoid the holiday shopping rush:
  • Shop early. Why wait until the holiday season to start your buying? A gift purchase can be made at anytime. Many stores start Holiday discounts as early as November 1. Watch for store specials and take advantage of pre-holiday values or discounts. For instance, if you’re on vacation or shopping for a birthday in the coming weeks and see something that makes you think of a particular person, make the purchase and put it aside for the holiday.
  • Have a shopping list. Taking a few moments to actually write out what you need and who you’re shopping for can save both stress and over-spending. It will also save you time, especially if you’ve written down information such as sizes and color preferences.
  • Shop during the week rather than on the weekend. Generally, fewer people shop during the week as compared to the weekend. Also, malls are places where people socialize as well as shop. With school in session during the week, you’ll find fewer families in the mall at that time.
  • Shop early in the day rather than later in the day or evening. Remember the saying, “The early bird catches the worm.” The same applies to shopping. In the mornings there are generally fewer people out. That means fewer crowds, faster service and time to browse a bit more when making gift selections.
  • Shop with somebody. This is a good idea unless the person you’re shopping with is the person you’re shopping for! Nevertheless, time goes by faster when you’re shopping with someone. Plus, you have somebody to talk to, to share gift ideas with and to help make color and size decisions.
  • Make multiple shopping trips rather than an all day shopping marathon. This will require a bit more planning, but can help preserve your strength, stamina and sanity in the long run. There are numerous methods to use in following this suggestion such as shopping for all the members of a particular family or purchasing children’s presents on one trip and adult’s presents on another trip.
  • Map out your shopping trip. When planning a trip, you wouldn’t dream of driving off without first having looked at an atlas, roadmap or consulting the internet. Why should shopping be any different? If you know what you want to purchase and where you can find it, half your battle is won. Check the mall web page ImperialValleyMall.com to see where the store is located within the mall. If you’re in the mall, check the backlit directory. This will enable you to determine where you need to go and in what order to shop as you check off items from your shopping list.
  • Don’t forget the gift receipt and gift wrapping. In order to ensure that the recipient can return or exchange an item, make sure the sales associate includes a gift receipt with your purchase.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance or directions. In order to make room for holiday and seasonal merchandise, stores sometimes have to reconfigure departments or sections. This can be confusing to a customer who regularly shops that store. As a result, a great deal of time can be spent “searching” for merchandise and the searching can lead to frustration. Why not simply ask a sales associate for assistance?
  • Looking for another alternative? Buy a gift card. Take the guess work out of your gift buying with a CBL Select Gift Card. Imperial Valley Mall offers the CBL Select card, which is also accepted at all participating CBL malls. Visit CBLproperties.com for a complete list of malls or to purchase a gift card.
One final suggestion regarding shopping – at anytime – but particularly during the holidays: keep safety in mind at all times. Know where you place your credit card or checkbook after a purchase. Don’t keep large amounts of cash in your wallet or purse. Take in just what you need to spend and come back later. When getting money from an automatic teller machine, don’t let people crowd you too closely. When taking purchases to your car, lock them out of sight in the trunk rather than exposed in the back seat. Finally, let somebody at home know you’re going to be shopping, your destination, route and estimated time of return.
Another bonus that Imperial Valley Mall offers during the holiday season is extended mall hours. For your convenience Imperial Valley Mall offers extended shopping hours beginning November 26 through December 23.
About Imperial Valley Mall:
Imperial Valley Mall is managed by CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. of Chattanooga, Tennessee, (NYSE:CBL). Imperial Valley Mall is a 762,637 square-foot regional mall with an outstanding anchor line-up including Dillard’s, JCPenney, Macy’s, Sears and Cinemark, plus over 100 specialty shops, one-of-a-kind food court, restaurants and entertainment. Imperial Valley Mall is conveniently located just off I-8 at Dogwood. More information can be found at ImperialValleyMall.com.

 

The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking public comment on a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) that assesses the potential human health and environmental impacts of a 1,800 acre proposed project area that includes a 1,200 acre riparian and marsh restoration/enhancement project at the Laguna Division Conservation Area located in the Laguna Division Conservation Area between Imperial Dam and Laguna Dam near Yuma, Arizona.

The draft EA, prepared by the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), evaluates a proposed action and a “no action” alternative and addresses the potential effects to various critical resources.

The proposed action alternative incorporates the removal of non-native species, such as salt cedar, and replacing it with water channels, native trees (cottonwood and willow), and marsh habitat.  This would include constructing a gravity water delivery system from the Gila desilting basin to the proposed project site and a water control structure that would send water to the proposed wetland restoration area.

Comments about the draft EA from the public are appreciated and will be considered in the final EA.  If Reclamation determines that there would be no significant impacts as a result if implementation of the project, a Finding of No Significant Impact determination may be executed.

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The review period extends through December 31, 2010.  Please send comments or concerns in writing to the Bureau of Reclamation, P. O. Box 61470, Boulder City, NV 89006, ATTN: Ms. Dana Anat (LC-2625).  All comments must be postmarked by December 31, 2010.  An electronic copy of the Draft EA can be found at http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g2000/envdocs.html or a paper copy is available upon e-mail request to Ms. Anat at danat@usbr.gov.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at http://www.usbr.gov.

 

Otay Mesa, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa port of entry caught a 15-year-old U.S. teenager attempting to cross the border Monday with packages of methamphetamine taped to his legs.

At about 10:45 a.m., the teen, a resident of San Diego, approached the border crossing on foot with a valid passport card.

The CBP officer noticed bulges along the teen’s upper thighs, and sent him aside for further inspection.

CBP officers found methamphetamine wrapped in cellophane and taped to both of the teen’s thighs underneath his clothing. Officers seized almost three pounds of methamphetamine, worth an estimated $57,000.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents took custody of the teen, who will face criminal prosecution. He is currently being held at a local juvenile detention facility.

 

By Mario Conde

The United States Congress approved a resolution approving the expansion of the Calexico land Port of Entry and also to reconfigure the port of entry.

Rep. Bob Filner (D-Chula Vista) stated in a press release last week that as per his request, the primary POV inspection facilities will include 16 northbound inspection lanes and 5 southbound inspection lanes, instead of GSA’s original proposal of 3 southbound lanes.

“This project will greatly improve the flow of traffic and pedestrians though the downtown Calexico LPOE.” Filner said.

The project comes roughly two years before the opening of the new port of entry that will have its ground breaking the middle of 2011 and could see its opening when the first face is completed in 2013. As reported before by the Calexico Chronicle, the downtown port of entry will now be a pedestrian only entry to downtown Calexico and the new port of entry will have 16 sentri lanes for vehicular traffic that will enter Calexico through Cesar Chavez Blvd.  The City of Calexico has received federal and State funding for Cesar Chavez Blvd/Calexico West Port of Entry Congestion Improvements.

The approved land port of entry expansion project includes new pedestrian processing and privately-owned vehicle inspection facilities, a new head house to provide supervision and services to the non-commercial vehicle inspection area, new administration offices and a parking structure. The expanded facilities will occupy both the existing inspection compound and the site of the former commercial inspection facility, decommissioned in 1996 when commercial traffic was redirected to the newly completed land port of entry six miles east of downtown Calexico.

The project will be constructed in two phases.  Phase I will consist of 10 northbound private own vehicle inspection lanes, a head house and site work necessary to accommodate those facilities on the sloping site.  Phase II will consist of the balance of the project including additional site work, a pedestrian processing facility, administrative offices, five southbound POV inspection lanes, six additional northbound POV inspection lanes and the parking structure.

The total estimated project cost is $298,250,000.  A total of $23,787,000 has already been spent on planning and design.  Congress must now appropriate the remaining funding for the project to begin construction.  GSA has requested $84,359,000 for construction in FY2011.

 
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