From the daily archives: Wednesday, December 15, 2010

EL CENTRO, Calif. – December 15, 2010 – Kathleen (Kathy) Farmer, chief financial officer for ECRMC has announced her retirement effective December 16th.

Farmer has been with ECRMC for 24 years, having held the positions of accounting manager, controller and chief financial officer. She has also served as interim CEO on several occasions. The hospital will be holding a retirement party on Thursday, December 16, 2010 in the North Lobby from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm.

“I’m sad to see my time with ECRMC end,” said Farmer, “But I’m ready to move on to a new venture in my life. My husband and I are enjoying golf lessons right now and we look forward to spending much more time together.”
Born in Minnesota, Kathy grew up in Wyoming and Montana. She holds a BA from University of Montana – Missoula and an MBA from University of Dallas’ Braniff Graduate School. She and her husband Jerry, have recently purchased a home in Chandler, AZ and will now have much more time to enjoy their many hobbies including traveling, hiking, painting and golf.

“Kathy, has been an integral part of this hospital,” said David Green, CEO of ECRMC. “She leaves big shoes to fill, but we are all happy for her. Those of us who were lucky enough to work with her are truly going to miss her.”


El Centro Regional Medical Center (ECRMC) is a licensed 165-bed general acute care facility located in El Centro, Calif. ECRMC is committed to providing the community with high quality healthcare as reflected in its mission statement: “To Provide Healthcare Excellence For The Imperial Valley.”

ECRMC is moving forward with the planning and development of the hospital expansion project that will replace the older portion of the hospital. In addition, the hospital is developing a new facility to meet the needs of the Imperial Valley and provide an advanced healthcare facility and service.

ECRMC has recently announced a collaboration with the Oncology and Hematology Center of Imperial Valley to create the El Centro Regional Medical Center Oncology and Hematology Center. Maintaining its commitment to medical technology advancement, the hospital has invested in the da Vinci Si HD Surgical System. The surgery system allows for safe and less intrusive procedures in various surgical fields, including urology, cardiology, obstetrics/gynecology and more.

Effective August 2010, ECRMC partnered with TeamHealth, one of the nation’s leading healthcare staffing organizations, to provide high quality emergency department management and staffing, elevating the hospital’s ER department.


Earthquake Details

  • This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.
Magnitude 4.4
  • Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 19:16:47 UTC
  • Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 11:16:47 AM at epicenter
Location 33.035°N, 115.527°W
Depth 16.3 km (10.1 miles)
  • 7 km (4 miles) N (7°) from Brawley, CA
  • 9 km (6 miles) E (92°) from Westmorland, CA
  • 10 km (6 miles) S (188°) from Calipatria, CA
  • 28 km (17 miles) N (6°) from El Centro, CA
  • 150 km (94 miles) ENE (68°) from Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.5 km (0.3 miles); depth +/- 0.8 km (0.5 miles)
Parameters Nph= 74, Dmin=7 km, Rmss=0.44 sec, Gp= 83°,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=3

SAN DIEGO – Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced a $13 million settlement with DIRECTV plus restitution for customers who were subjected to the satellite TV company’s misleading sales and marketing practices.

“DIRECTV won customers by offering special deals with hidden costs, and also extended customers’ contracts without telling them,” Brown said. “With this settlement, DIRECTV will reimburse customers and change its sales and advertising practices to comply with the law.”

The settlement by Brown and 48 other state attorneys general was filed today in San Diego Superior Court. It requires DIRECTV to make full restitution to all victims. In addition, the company is required to pay $13.25 million to the 49 states and the District of Columbia in civil penalties and costs, and obey state laws.

DIRECTV, based in El Segundo, has more than 18 million subscribers nationwide with more than one million in California.

The multi-state investigation found the company engaged in practices that misled customers about how much they would be required to pay and what kind of programming they could expect. The investigation established that DIRECTV:

– Extended contracts without customers’ knowledge. When the company serviced faulty DIRECTV equipment, its representative asked customers to sign what appeared to be service documents. Customers later learned that their signatures had extended their contacts for another two years.

– Failed to deliver promised channels. In its promotions, the company promised potential subscribers access to sports channels and local stations, but subscribers discovered that some of the promised programming was not available.

– Change the terms of promotions. The company offered cash-back deals and free trials but did not disclose key details, and some customers ended up paying more than expected. For example, DIRECTV offered a two-year deal at $29.99 a month (compared to a typical charge of $53.99 or $63.99) but did not disclose that the second year was at the regular price.

As part of today’s settlement, DIRECTV agreed to clearly state all costs, services offered, length of contracts and terms of cancellations and refunds.

Brown’s office is reviewing the 1,136 complaints it has received about DIRECTV to determine which customers are entitled to restitution. Complaints about conduct that occurred after January 1, 2007 are eligible for restitution. Californians who believe they were misled by DIRECTV have until June 9 to file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office at


By Mario Conde

Calexico Pro Soccer player Issac Acuna now has a new team and will play for Queretaro this January.

Calexico PAL Athlete Issac Acuna realized the dream of many soccer fans in the Imperial Valley by debuting this past April with Club America, one of the biggest and most historical teams in Mexico and Latin America.

Acuna played the last 10 minutes on the victory of his team against Jagurares de Chiapas and has not been able to play since then. Coach Jesus Ramirez, who presented Issac in the first division circuit, was let go and the team brought Coach Manuel Lapuente who is a multi-time champion in Mexico. Also, new superstars came to the team and also made more difficult Acuna’s chance to play. However, Issac continued to play for the 1A team on regular basis.

PAL Athletic Director Carmen Estrada confirmed Issac’s transfer to Querataro were he will be a regular player at the beginning of the season in the middle of January. He is still with America and will return when Issac gains more experience, she said. Queretaro has been on the first division for almost a year but they still need to accumulate victories in order to remain in the first division.

“I think this is good for Issac because he needs to grow as a player and maybe one day he can be on the national soccer team.” Estrada said.

Issac’s brother is following his footsteps and now is playing with the third division team of Club America hoping that one day he can achieve what his brother accomplished.

Aside from Issac, the Calexico PAL also has another player playing soccer in Mexico. One of its athletes is playing with the Xolostzquincles of Tijuana who are very close to ascending to the first division circuit now that became champions this season. If Tijuana wins again the championship in June they will ascend to the first division and Calexico will have its second pro soccer player in Mexico


By Mario Conde

The County Board of Supervisors decided Monday to continue with the public hearing in regards of the Wind Zero project in Ocotillo.

The controversial project has been the subject of dispute by Ocotillo residents that have argued that the proposed law enforcement training center will disrupt and change negatively their way of life. The projects owns 944-acre site that will have a shooting range and track among other facilities that will support the training of law enforcement and military groups in the United States.

Wind Zero was founded in 2006 by former US Navy SEALs with a vision to build a comprehensive training facility to serve law enforcement, the military and public agencies. The proponents of this project say that with this facility it will allow valley residents to stay in the valley and receive their law enforcement academy training here in the valley.

The Board of Supervisors postponed the project back in March since the developer of this project changed the environmental impact report of the project and was changed from Wind Zero to Coyote Wells Specific Plan. The County Planning Department had to redo all the process of this project once again.  Last Monday, the Board was to hold a long public hearing and make the final decision after months of postponing but since the developer of this project presented new plans at the meeting, the board decided to continue this item until next week at their regular meeting.

The board, however, did take comments for or against the project having Ocotillo residents speaking against the project emphasizing the environmental impacts the project will have, the level of noise, among other issues. Supporters of this project were the developer of the project and some law enforcement agents of Imperial County. After some deliberation, the board decided to continue this meeting to Dec. 21 at 1:30 p.m. at the County Administration Building in El Centro.

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