From the daily archives: Tuesday, January 25, 2011

U.S. Border Patrol agents from Yuma Sector seized over 1,100 pounds of marijuana early Monday morning.

Agents assigned to Yuma Station were conducting line-watch patrol duties when they noticed a vehicle driving northbound away from the international boundary line. As the agents began to follow the vehicle, a burgundy 1999 Dodge Durango, the truck changed directions and drove southeast towards Mexico. Agents located the vehicle and, upon securing it, discovered 48 bundles of marijuana located inside. Both suspects returned to Mexico and evaded apprehension.

 bundles of marijuana seized near Yuma, Ariz.
Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of Yuma Sector Public Affairs Office

The half ton of marijuana, with an estimated street value of $885,840, was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The vehicle was seized by the Border Patrol.

In an unrelated incident, Monday, agents assigned to Yuma Station encountered six individuals near County 23rd Street and the Salinity Canal west of the San Luis, Ariz. Port of Entry. Five of the six individuals were carrying luggage bags which contained 90 small bricks of marijuana, weighing a total of 256 pounds.

The marijuana, with an estimated street value of $205,040, and the suspects, were turned over to the Yuma Narcotics Task Force.







CONTACT:  MONICA ROGERS, 760-355-6113,,

The IVC Alumni Association’s Hall of Fame Committee, in conjunction with the IVC Foundation, is glad to announce the IVC Hall of Fame Class for 2011.  These individuals are examples of the high expectations that the college has for IVC alumni, and the soon to be alumni currently enrolled as part of a nearly 9,000 member student body.

The annual Hall of Fame dinner and celebration will take place on Thursday, February 10th at the Old Eucalyptus School House in El Centro.  Friends, family and supporters of IVC are encouraged to attend as we celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of this year’s hall of fame class.  Additionally, a special introduction will be made of this year’s Hall of Fame class the following evening during the half-time of the Men’s Basketball game on February 11th.  This Hall of Fame Game will also be an annual event for the Hall of Fame Weekend here at Imperial Valley College.

2011 IVC Hall of Fame Class:

Raul Aragon – A 1957 IVC graduate Raul Aragon went onto graduate from SDSU in Calexico in 1972.  A Korean War Veteran, Raul was a beloved counselor at IVC for 33 years.   As the founding coach of the IVC soccer team, Aragon is remembered as a strong advocate of education throughout Imperial Valley, serving several terms as a school board member at the Central Union High School District.  Raul is survived by his wife Evelyn, and children Eric and Margo.

Robertta Burns – A 1971 graduate of IVC, Robertta Burns went on to obtain her Bachelor and Master’s degrees from SDSU’s Calexico campus – where she currently serves as an adjunct professor.  As the former Imperial County CEO, Robertta has remained engaged in the community as a member of many groups and associations, notably the Master Chorale, IVC Foundation Board, and Kiwanis club of El Centro, where she served as club president and recently assisted the IV Disaster Recovery Team after last year’s earthquake.

Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena – A true Imperial Valley hero, Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena graduated from IVC in 1972 with an Associate of Science degree in Criminal Justice.  His tragic murder at the hands of drug cartel leaders in 1985 as a DEA agent sparked national outrage and became the passion and symbol behind the anti-drug red-ribbon campaign.  Before becoming a DEA agent, Kiki served in the Marine Corps, and local law enforcement agencies, including the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office.  The Kiki Camarena Foundation has recently distributed over $10K in scholarships the past 3 years.

Senator Robert Huff – California’s 29th District (San Dimas) State Senator, Bob Huff began his career in Imperial Valley on the Huff Family farm and ranch.  A 1971 graduate of IVC, Senator Huff went on to graduate from Westmont College.  Prior to being elected as the 29th District’s Senator, Huff served as the Assemblyman from the 60th District.  A ranking Republican, Senator Huff is the Vice-Chair of the Education and Transportation and Housing Committees.

Sedalia Sanders – One of the first graduates of IVC in the early 1960’s, Sedalia Sanders was first elected to the El Centro City Council in 1984, where she went on to serve as Mayor and Council Member for many years.  In addition to having served on the El Centro Elementary School Board, Sedalia Sanders has served the greater community of Imperial Valley for years as a leader in healthcare and as an advocate for education and community development.


Hall-of-Fame Class of 1984

Oren Fox

Victor Calderon

Dr. Bertha Melgoza-Baker

Curtis Watson

William Thornburg

Hall-of-Fame Class of 2005

Howard Worthington

Milt Carr

Lloyd Allen

Hall-of-Fame Class of 2010

Dr. Stan Arterberry

Jim Duggins

Doug Harvey

Dr. Kenneth James

Ron Jessie

Randy Palomino


The makers of Chloraseptic® sore throat relief products, in conjunction with TABS Group, an independent consumer analytics company, today announced the findings of the 2011 Survey on Sore Throats. The study of nearly 1,000 people was commissioned to explore today’s wide-ranging causes of sore throat pain and the remedies people use to treat them. The study findings come at a critical time of year when people are at the highest risk for the flu and colds, which are known to often be accompanied by sore throats.

“Chloraseptic spray, to soothe throats raw from screaming”

Despite the seasonal effects that cause sore throat pain, the survey revealed information about other causes—non-medical and activity-based causes of sore throat pain. Whereas 72% of respondents listed cold and the flu as having caused sore throats, the prevalence of activity-based sore throats was not far behind.

The survey suggests that football fans, Oprah fans and screaming parents should be armed with sore throat remedies as well. Twenty-eight percent of respondents suffered from sore throat pain due to cheering and screaming. Perhaps that’s why Steve Johnson of the Chicago Tribune pointed out in a recent article that Oprah should have also given her audience a sample of “Chloraseptic spray, to soothe throats raw from screaming” on her famous “Favorite Things” episodes.

In addition to screaming, the survey showed that individuals associated with certain professions are susceptible to sore throats. The careers most commonly associated with sore throat pain, were singers (53%) and auctioneers (40%), perhaps because of the strain they often put on their voices. Healthcare workers (47%) and teachers (37%) are also perceived to be at risk possibly due to their constant exposure to airborne-illnesses.

The survey also found that 54% percent of respondents have sore throat pain caused by dry air. The winter season is a busy time for flights, ski trips and other outdoor and high-altitude activities. Those activities, combined with heated environments, heighten people’s exposure to dryness resulting in sore throats.

“The findings are a testament to the fact that during winter months, colds and the flu are not the only causes for sore throat pain; rather there are many other causes as well,” said Jean Boyko, PhD., Vice President Science & Technology for Prestige Brands, maker of Chloraseptic® products. “That is why it is important to always have OTC products like sore throat lozenges and sprays on hand.”

The 2011 Chloraseptic® Survey on Sore Throats polled a representative sample of 903 respondents. Here are other key findings:

  • People under 30 are over 80% more likely to have sore throat pain caused by excessive partying
  • Dry air was the most commonly-cited cause for sore throats outside of any cold or the flu, as listed by 65% of respondents
  • Dehydration was cited by 18% of respondents
  • 55% of respondents listed throat pain relief as the top reason for buying a particular sore throat remedy brand, followed by 38% saying they buy a particular brand because it works instantly

According to the makers of Chloraseptic® products, sore throats can be eased by a number of at-home and over-the-counter solutions. For treating sore throat pain:

  • Use Chloraseptic® Lozenges or Chloraseptic® Sore Throat Spray to relieve sore throat pain
  • Increase fluid intake to decrease throat irritation and stay hydrated
  • Gargle with warm salt water
  • Add honey to warm beverages or use OTC products that contain honey to soothe sore throat pain, especially for children ages 1 to 4, for whom medicines are contraindicated

About the Products

Chloraseptic®, the # 1 pharmacist-recommended brand of sore throat liquid and lozenges, has a line of easy-to-use over the counter (OTC) products. Chloraseptic® Sore Throat lozenges are available in four original-strength flavors, as well as a sugar-free formula and a maximum strength Wild Berries flavor. The Chloraseptic® sprays come in a 6.0 oz bottle in Cherry, Menthol and Soothing Citrus flavors as well as a grape-flavored kids’ strength formula. Also available is a smaller Maximum Strength spray that comes in a 1.0 oz bottle.


By Mario Conde

The Calexico City Council approved an agreement with various professionals in preparation for bond agreements that will be presented to the RDA Board for future development projects.

The City of Calexico and The Charles Company have been negotiating a $7 million dollar bond to assist with the development of the Grand Plaza Outlet Center that will be located on Second Street in Calexico. The Redevelopment Agency requested entering into agreements with Urban Features, Richards Watson & Gershon, and with Kinsell, Newcomb & De Dios to prepare bond issuance documents to be presented to the Agency Board within the next 30-60 days. Prior to the bond issuance the amount paid by the Agency for the professional services will be up to but shall not exceed $20,000. The balance of any professional fees for the bond issuance transaction will be paid out of the closing funds from the bonds.

The Grand Plaza project consists of a 487,600 square foot retail outlet center that would have brand names stores in what is to be the new downtown area next to the new port of entry that will open in 2013. Two years ago, the Redevelopment Agency approved the sales of the UFW Building and the Horacio Luna Gun club.

Councilman Bill Hodge agrees that projects like the Grand Plaza are good for Calexico but argued that RDA’s money has not been used to its maximum potential since its has been used more for developers than not use to fix blighted areas around the City and also have failed to support housing. “Our Movie Theater is owned by the Redevelopment Agency, yet we see that there is blight in the property. Before we go into the Grand Plaza or any other development project, we should look at our own facilities and use it to improve our parks and the quality of life of the City.” Hodge said and proposed to have a public forum and have input of the people.

Councilman Daniel Romero said the upcoming audit the State of California will do to the Calexico RDA will be to study those agencies that get benefits and see how they use their programs. “Calexico will come clean but those monies could not be here if Gov. Brown is successful in his proposal to eliminate all RDA.”

Mayor Pro Tem Luis Castro said that he is concern about this item and asked to table this for a later day since they need to analyze this even further.

Mayor John Moreno said that this is a good proposal presented by RDA and said that while he agrees with some of the points of Councilman Hodge, infrastructure is needed to bring back the quality of life in Calexico so it can help bring much needed jobs to the region and bring back sales tax that can fund parks and other city services in the future. “If we do nothing, we will get nothing in return.”

The council voted 3-2 for this agreement having Hodge and Castro casting the nay votes. In other items, the council made the evaluation of the City Manager and its performance as City Administrator. After an hour in closed session the Council took no action. No comments were made by the Council regarding the evaluation.


By Mario Conde

As Redevelopment agencies and Enterprise Zones future is in question, State lawmakers could reform the entities and not eliminate them.

This according to Assemblyman Manuel Perez (D-Coachella) who said he supports RDA and Enterprise zones and will work along other lawmakers to reform rather than to phase out. Perez said Friday during the re-opening of the Calexico Cultural Arts Center that he sent a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown letting him know his opposition to eliminate these two agencies. Perez, who chairs the committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy, has worked on a reform legislation to ensure enterprise zones and redevelopment agency funding for communities are protected. California will face a $25.4 billion deficit through the end of June 2012, including an $8.2 billion shortfall in the fiscal year that ends in July.

Perez said that he and other legislators have identified problems with the enterprise zones and are working on reforms to make it better. “When I approach the Governor’s proposal, first and foremost I want to ensure that proposed solutions do not trigger massive job losses.  At the same time, it’s important that essential state services are provided in the most efficient manner possible.  Next, we need to enact a budget that is not only balanced, but also puts us on a disciplined, multi-year program to eliminate the structural deficit.  And, last, of particular concern for me, is making sure that rural areas are not disproportionately harmed by budget decisions.”

Perez does not believe that RDA’s and Enterprise Zones will be eliminated but supports the efforts of the City of Calexico and El Centro to mobilize against the Governor’s proposal. “Gov. Brown has been very up front about addressing our deficit and its underlying causes, and I applaud that. Though we know this means leaner times for all, we also need to make sure that our final budget solution is crafted in a way that does not disproportionately harm rural and traditionally underserved areas.” Perez said.

“With regard to the proposed elimination of the state’s Enterprise Zone program, I am of course concerned. Job retention and creation is essential for our economic recovery, and eliminating the state’s last economic development tool has significant ramifications for the state.” Perez said and continued,  “Through hearings, round tables and working groups, the Jobs Committee has identified a number of proposals to refine and strengthen the program, to make it even more accountable and responsive to the communities it serves.  In the coming weeks, I intend to introduce reform legislation that incorporates these ideas.  In the meantime, I have reached out to the Governor to brief him on our work, and I look forward to a productive discussion.” the assemblyman said.

State Controller John Chiang today announced his auditors were beginning reviews of 18 redevelopment agencies (RDA) across the state in an effort to obtain facts on how RDA funds are used and the extent to which they comply with laws governing their activities.

“The heated debate over whether RDAs are the engines of local economic and job growth or are simply scams providing windfalls to political cronies at the expense of public services has largely been based on anecdotal evidence,” Chiang said. “As lawmakers deliberate the Governor’s proposal to close RDAs and divert those funds to local schools and public safety agencies, I believe it is important to provide factual, empirical information about how these agencies perform and what they bring to the communities they serve.”

The 18 RDAs selected for the reviews represent urban, suburban and rural communities. They are geographically diverse and represent a mix of varying populations. The reviews will look at, among other things, how the RDAs define a “blighted” area, whether they are appropriately paying for low- and moderate-income housing as required by law, whether they are accurately “passing through” payments to schools within their community, and how much RDA officials, board members and employees are being compensated for their services.

Governor Jerry Brown proposed to eliminate all redevelopment agencies and enterprise zones by next fiscal year in order to save up to $6 billion dollars to close down the budget deficit. If the Governor’s proposal is successful, these agencies could be gone the first day of next fiscal year in July.

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