From the daily archives: Wednesday, January 26, 2011

People often ask me “Chris, you intellectual paragon, what did you think of the Business Showcase this year?”
Far be it from me to lodge complaints against an event…  I know, I know…
It was a good event this year, and there seemed to be a feeling of high hopes around the building  and the people both in front of and walking around the booths.
I was also able to get a few embarassing photos that I’m saving for a special moment!
<insert sinister laughter here>
Firstly, setting up during this year’s event was smoother than ever before, with a 15-minute time limit to unload near the Preble Building.
Allowing vendors to unload near the venue and getting them out of the way so others can do the same was really awesome.
Still, it would be nice to have some more organization towards the end of the event than the usual rush of people trying to get out once the final raffle ticket is announced.
There was a traffic jam of cars attempting to pack up and leave early, which I guess couldn’t be avoided given the impatience of some in the Valley.
Still, if there was a similar setup for leaving as there was for entering, that would have been awesome.
Maybe a priority for those who arrive early could be enforced for 2012?
Also, while I am friends with Gary Redfern, could we get someone else to do the announcing next year?
Just saying, a change of pace would be welcome.

The Grandstand schedule for the 2011 California Mid-Winter Fair & Fiesta was released at the Showcase and we were first in reporting, once again!
In addition to the usual traditions, like High School Madness and the Guns & Hoses competition, we have four new tribute bands.
This year’s tribute bands are from a wide range of genres, including heavy metal, country, and southern rock.  (I have no idea how to describe Chicago’s music.)
I’ve said that the Fair has one final year they can get away with these tribute acts.  Not a personal feeling, mind you, since tribute bands can be just as good as the real thing.
There are those, however, who will reminisce about bands like “The Guess Who,” “The Village People,” and “Creedence Clearwater Revisited,” that appeared at the Fair in the past.
And there are others who will remember when a young Garth Brooks arrived at the Fair, just before “Friends In Low Places” became a big hit.
Still, the tribute bands are pretty awesome and it would be nice to see the Fair keep them around, even if it’s just to have something cool for the weekends.
Now, if the walkways and midway areas could be addressed in the coming few weeks…
Just saying!

There is a difference between skepticism and stubborness, one that is rarely noted in this day and age.
Recently, Brandon Webb received permission from the County Board of Supervisors to begin his multi-million dollar Wind Zero project near Ocotillo.
Complaints ranging from the gun noise to lead in the land and water use were used to prevent the project from moving forward.
The County held two days worth of meetings to discuss the proposal.
In the end, the only dissenting vote was Jack Terrazas.
Of course, citizens of all sorts took every opportunity to raise any point they could, including some very shady or dishonest ones.
One of the more ridiculous ones said that Webb was a frontman for Blackwater, the mercenary organization used during the recent Iraq War.
There were even several YouTube channels dedicated to exposing “lies” or any sort of inconsistency they could find in anything Webb said or did.
From an outsider’s perspective, it was pretty funny.
The bottom line is this, folks: If there wasn’t a reason for it, there wouldn’t be a project.
The Valley needs something like this project and the discomfort of a few loud citizens should not be the catalyst for denying something that the area needs.
The Imperial Valley should be able to train their own officers without having to rely on out of county facilities.  You know, hire locally?
I’m more than sympathetic to the woes of those in Ocotillo, but as someone who lives less than half a mile from the National Beef Plant in Brawley, it should be noted that an inconvenience should never be an excuse to prevent progress.

Having recently joined the Facebook social network (one of us, one of us!), it’s nice to see that it’s more than just a bunch of games and random pictures.
Not that games and random pictures are a bad thing, though!
While most use it to keep in touch with long lost friends, social networks like Facebook and MySpace were also targets for potential stalkers and identity thieves.
Still, when one is careful with the information they share, it can be a fun thing, so long as you don’t take too much too seriously.
If you wish to add me as a facebook friend, just search for my name.
Make sure you spell it properly, though!

Finally, just a reminder that while plenty of money was raised for Anthony Garcia, he’s far from fully recovered and his family should be in your thoughts from time to time.
With luck, treatment, and Anthony’s time as an athlete, hopefully his story will be a triumphant one.
Having a beloved family member go through chemotherapy and cancer treatments, it’s as tough on the family as it is on the patient.
And it should all serve as a reminder that cancer knows no age, creed, race or gender and can affect anyone at any time.
Take the time to have yourselves checked every so often and try to catch potential problems before they become life threatening.

Until Next Time…


A photo of Anthony Garcia, taken just after helping his team win the Bell Game and signed by his teammates and friends, hung in the Hidalgo Hall Sunday during a fundraiser in his honor. Garcia was diagnosed with cancer and is currently beginning chemotherapy treatments in San Diego. The BBQ fundraiser generated over $16,000 for Anthony’s treatments and hospital bills. Chris Furguson Photos.

By Chris Furguson
On Sunday, January 23, 2011, a fundraiser was held at the Brawley Hidalgo Hall in order to raise money for Anthony Garcia, a BUHS senior who was diagnosed with cancer earlier in the year.
According to Miguel Miranda, one of the organizers of the event, over $16,000 was raised by the end of the evening, through BBQ plates, T-shirt sales and direct donations.
The diagnosis came when Anthony was taken to the emergency room and his parents, Rusty and Lupe Garcia, were told that he had cancer.  Anthony was later diagnosed with cancer in the liver/pancreas, spine, lymph nodes and stomach.
The fundraiser was organized in part by Miguel Miranda, Brawley City council member and a friend of Rusty’s through the Hidalgo Society.
Five local bands, Recuerdos, Los Continentales, Turie and the Crew, Latin Connection, Black Jack and Mojo Jive, contributed their music to the fundraiser.
“I’m so grateful for the outpouring of support,” said Rusty during the BBQ as he was joined by his younger son Rusty Jr. and daughter Amanda.  Anthony’s mother, Lupe, was still with her son at Children’s Hospital in San Diego.  “Anthony’s a fighter and he’s going to beat this.”
Rusty Garcia is a member of the BUHS Board of Trustees.
Anthony Garcia was part of the 2010 Brawley Wildcats football team that made it to the second round of the CIF playoffs.  The team also won the Bell from Central and had a share of the IVL title with Southwest.
A photo of Anthony hung in the Hall.  The photo was signed by Anthony’s teammates and friends.
T-shirts were also available at the fundraiser.
Anyone interested in donating to the “Friends of Rusty & Lupe Garcia” committee can contact Miguel Miranda at (760) 344-3235.

Photos on page 10


By Mario Conde

Pictured are from Left to Right: Norma Aguilar, Gloria Romo, Joong Kim, and Ruth Duarte.

The Calexico School board failed to choose a new member of the board since there was no majority vote to elect one of the two applicants interviewed Tuesday.

The board held its regular meeting this past Tuesday and had the interviews for the applicants that wanted to fill the vacancy left by Ruben De La Rosa last year. Five applicants applied but three withdrew their application. Guillermo Hermosillo, Edward Higuera, Lorenzo Calderon, Rudy Maldonado, and Antonio Valenzuela were the five the applied.

Maldonado and Valenzuela were the only two candidates that were interviewed by the board. The interview process consisted in asking questions from the audience and one question from each of the board members. The questions ranged from how many board meetings they have attended and their plan to improve student academic performance.

Valenzuela stated that he knows the issues that affect the school district and said that the district should look at their finances and not overspend money were it affects students. Valenzuela emphasize that the board should forget their differences and work united with the union, administration, and board for the good of the students. Valenzuela got fourth place in the last voting election where Aguilar, Kim, and Duarte were elected.

Maldonado highlighted his experience at IID and his knowledge in governance at the State and local level. He said that having the board and unions working together in common, the district would accomplish more things. Maldonado ran for Imperial Irrigation District but lost to Matt Dessert last November.

After the interviews were over, Trustee Ruth Duarte made a motion to appoint Tony Valenzuela to the board and was second by Chairwoman Gloria Romo. The vote ended 2-2.

Then, Trustee Joong Kim made a motion to appoint Rudy Maldonado and was second by Trustee Norma Aguilar. The vote ended tied 2-2.

Legal Counsel said that if there is not replacement by Feb. 7th then there the Imperial County Office of Education will call for a special election. The board agreed to continue with the application process and have a special meeting to appoint a new board members and interview those candidates.


CALEXICO, Calif.– U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico downtown port Friday seized almost half of a pound of methamphetamines from a 63-year-old U.S. citizen.
The seizure occurred at about 10:00 p.m. when a CBP officer working the pedestrian processing area noticed the man wearing a large jacket and exhibiting signs of nervousness as he approached the officer.  During the interview, the officer observed a package concealed inside an inner pocket of the man’s jacket. The officer then escorted the man to the secondary examination area for further inspection.
During the inspection, officers removed the wrapped package concealed inside the pocket, and field tested the contents of the package.  The package tested positive for methamphetamines.  The narcotic had a weight of .40 pounds, and a street value of approximately $4,200.
The traveler, a resident of Mexicali, Baja California, was arrested for the narcotic smuggling attempt and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for further processing.
“This type of seizure demonstrates the effectiveness of our officer’s enforcement actions stopping the flow of contraband whether large or small from entering the U.S.,” stated Billy Whitford, Port Director for the Calexico ports of entry.
CBP seized the narcotic.

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