From the daily archives: Wednesday, December 8, 2010

SAN DIEGO, December 8, 2010 – The San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross will operate a shelter to accommodate residents in Escondido who are evacuated Wednesday evening due to a planned burn operation by law enforcement and emergency response personnel. On Thursday, December 9 at 9:30am, emergency responders will initiate a burn operation on Via Scott in Escondido; the purpose is to destroy the property as well as hazardous materials found in the residence a few weeks ago.

Door-to-door evacuations will commence on Wednesday at 7:00pm, and residents will not be allowed access to their homes after 3:00am.   The Red Cross evacuation center will be located at the M. Gordon Clarke Field House/University Student Union on the campus of California State University, San Marcos. (333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road, San Marcos, CA 92096)  Doors will open at 6:00pm on Wednesday, December 8th and the Red Cross will continue operation until residents are allowed back into their homes on Thursday.

The Red Cross will provide shelter, cots and blankets, meals, snacks and hydration, health and mental health services.  Restroom facilities, including showers, will be available for client use.  Remember to bring any necessary medication, important documents, cash and sentimental items as needed.  Please note that the evacuated area will be patrolled by law enforcement during the incident, so as to protect homes and property.

The Red Cross will provide a limited number of laptop computers with Internet access.  Wireless Internet will be accessible in the event that people would like to bring their own laptops.   Updates on the operation and evacuation will be posted at  Red Cross personnel will be in contact with appropriate agencies in order to disseminate information about when residents can return to their homes.

Pets will not be allowed in the shelter.  Pet owners should plan to make suitable arrangements for their animals prior to and during the operation; plan to find a pet-friendly hotel, leave pets with friends or family that are outside the evacuation area or place their pet in a boarding facility.  In the event that residents are unable to make appropriate arrangements, San Diego County Animal Services will provide a designated area for pets that will be co-located with the shelter.

Chris Marek, Chief Officer of Development and Communications, will be on-site and available for media interviews from 5:00pm until 7:00pm.  At that time, discussion about the shelter operation, filming of the shelter and interviews with willing shelter clients can be arranged.

The Red Cross has been providing lodging and services to two families who were displaced after the original discovery of hazardous materials on Via Scott on November 19th.  We will continue to provide support to those clients until they are permitted to return home.

Please contact the Red Cross with questions at 858-309-1200.  You may also visit for updates.


By Mario Conde

The Calexico City Council approved the Calendar Year 2011 Assessment for the Calexico Downtown Business Improvement District.

This past Tuesday, BID Chairman Eduardo Lopez made a presentation to the Council about the work and accomplishments of the BID these last two years. The BID represents the Downtown Area and Imperial Ave merchants. The BID’s goals and accomplishments were the creation of new traditions in Downtown Calexico such as the creation of events like the Halloween Carnival, Cars show, etc. The presentation also highlighted the installation and maintenance of portable restrooms at key locations in Downtown. Lopez also mentioned the role of the BID the weeks and days after the earthquake and the work that was done to return downtown to its normality.

A report prepared by the Calexico Redevelopment Agency on behalf of the BID Advisory Board on Calendar Year 2011 expenditures sets out the estimated expenditures for activities and improvements for the next calendar year to be $80,000.00. $40,000.00 is the estimated amount that will be carried over from 2010, which includes amounts from other sources such as fees paid for booth rental, promotional sponsorships and in-kind sponsorships.

The estimated amount to be collected in assessments is estimated to be $40,000.00. The assessment is calculated on 400 business licenses at $100.00 each. The total amount estimated to be available for BID activities is $80,000.00 for 2011. The fees assessed and collected will be used for the following activities: marketing and promotional activities, including but not limited to 6 major public events to include advertising, entertainment, and general promotion of the Business Improvement District; maintenance activities; traffic analysis; security including and not limited to code enforcement activities; decoration of any public place in the area.

The Council congratulated the BID for a job well done for the Downtown Merchants and for now supporting Imperial Ave. by having the parade go through Imperial.  The Council approved the budget calendar unanimously for 2011.


California Department of Veterans Affairs

SACRAMENTOAfter nearly two years of effort, the state will present the first Gold Star License Plates to three Gold Star families will be made on Thursday 9 December by California Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Roger Brautigan and California Department of Motor Vehicles Director George Valverde.

In case of rain the event will be moved into the State Capitol Council Room.

EVENT: Presentation of the First Gold Star License Plates to Gold Star families.

DATE: Thursday 9 December

TIME: 3 pm

PLACE: All Veterans Memorial

Capitol Park

Corner of 13th and N Street

Sacramento, CA

WHO: Gold Star Families, Secretary of California Department of Veterans Affairs Roger Brautigan, Director of the California Department of Motor Vehicles George Valverde, Rep Jeff Denham (principal co-author of the legislation that created the program) former State Senator Dave Cogdill (author of the legislation that created the program); representatives from Remembering the Brave Foundation; representatives from AmVets; and many more.

BACKGROUND: The Gold Star License Plate Program was created in 2008 by legislation (SB 1455 Cogdill) signed by the Governor Schwarzenegger.  The legislation created a specialized license plate with a distinctive Gold Star emblazoned on the left side which is the national symbol that has come to recognize families that have lost someone (son, daughter, husband, wife, mother father, grandchild, grandfather) who was serving in the military.  The bill specifically included a provision that required the Department of Veterans Affairs to raise the $300,000 through private donation to pay for the creation of the new license plate program.  The money has been raised and has been delivered to the Department of Motor Vehicle. In anticipation of the funds coming in the DMV began working on the programing in advance and as a result the DMV began accepting applications for these plates on Dec 1.


WHITTIER – Police said a former assembly candidate and a second man remained in critical condition Tuesday after being stabbed during a party early Sunday.

Steve Sanchez, 34, of Indio and his friend, Gabriel Davalos , 34, of Whittier, were attacked by two acquaintances who were asked to leave. Sanchez ran for the 80th Assembly District seat in November.

Lt. Carlos Solorza said the suspects haven’t been arrested.

Sanchez suffered a punctured ventricle while Davalos sustained a wound to the side of his chest cavity, police said in a written statement.

Both men are expected to survive. Police said Sanchez remains in a medically induced coma.

The incident happened about 1:15 a.m. in the 6200 block of Friends Avenue. The suspects arrived drunk, according to the statement. An argument broke out after the homeowners asked the men to leave.

The suspects stabbed Sanchez and Davalos whom police said was the homeowner. The culprits then fled.

The injured men were taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

The 80th Assembly District is currently represented by V. Manuel Perez. The district includes Blythe, Brawley, Calexico, Calipatria, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, El Centro, Holtville, Imperial, Indio, La Quinta, Palm Springs and Westmorland.

From staff reports

%d bloggers like this: