From the daily archives: Monday, February 7, 2011

By Gene Carl

Hot Rods & Beer hosted Holtville’s 2nd Carrot Carnival Music Festival on Saturday night, February 5th. The premier attraction was Alan Iglesias and his backup band Crossfire, a tribute band to Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble. Tickets for the show were $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Mando Villasenor from Mando’s Stereo played for the after party. John Prock, the owner of Hot Rods & Beer said the Music Festival evolved because of the closure of the Barbara Worth Country Club which eliminated the annual Carrot Festival Golf Tournament. “We’re pleased to have a top tribute band such as Alan Iglesias and Crossfire here at Hot Rods & Beer. When Alan takes the stage it’s like Stevie is back. He’s the closest tribute band we’ve ever had on this stage. He uses the exact guitars, the exact amps and the exact strings as Stevie. Many people that you see here tonight are from Yuma and the surrounding area and have never been here before. It’s crucial that we serve them well and give them a good deal.” Some of the sponsors included Vessey & Company, Rabobank, Performance Mechanical Contractors, The Holt Group, Five Star Packing, CR&R, Pioneers Health Care, Baja Farms, AM Desert Storm, Sun Community Federal Credit Union, Rodahl Construction, Vacation Inn, Kevin Grizzle Farms LLC, Union Market, C. Clunn Consulting, Desert Commercial bank and Farmers Outlet.

Alan Iglesias has been playing guitar professionally since 1969. After high school, he toured New England with local blues-based rock bands. He said, “I consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to reproduce a Stevie Ray Vaughan concert as close as possible. We’ve done this for 11 years and we wanted it to be right. It’s just not the sound of the guitar or the way I sing. They want to feel it. People want to hear the soul from the man.

I’ve been lucky to be able to reproduce a certain amount of that.

Eric Januszko on drums, Alan Lglesias, lead singer and lead guitarist and John Simmons on Bass.

My backup group Crossfire (John Simons on bass and Eric Januszko on drums) all live in the San Diego area. Like many people in San Diego, we are all transplants. I’m from Rhode Island, Eric is from Michigan and John’s from Nebraska.”

Stevie Ray Vaughan was an American blues guitarist. He was born in Dallas, Texas, and moved to Austin, Texas, and signed with Epic Records in 1971 when he was 17. He fronted the band Double Trouble consisting of bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton. He sold over 11 ½ million records. His only number one song was Crossfire in 1989. Some of his hit songs include Texas Flood, Love Struck Baby, Pride and Joy, Cold Shot, Couldn’t Stand the Weather, Change It, Say What, Hard To Be and The Sky is Crying. Nominated for 13 Grammys, he won 4 during his lifetime and posthumously. He was inducted into the Blues hall of Fame in 2000. In 1990, Vaughan performed a concert at Alpine Valley Music Theater before an audience of approximately 25,000. He died suddenly in a helicopter accident afterward, when the pilot crashed into a nearby ski slope in foggy weather.

John Simmons on bass

Eric Januszko on drums

Alan Iglesias Photos By Gene Carl


The Carrot Festival has begun starting with the Annual Chamber banquet that was held on Friday night that saw the crowing of the Carrot Festival Queen , Princess and Junior Princess, along with the State of the City Address and the award of the Citizen of the Year. Saturday was the Music Festival held at Hot Rods and Beer. Sunday was the No Bones About It BBQ in the park provided by the Rotary Club. Here we are on Monday and already the transforming of the park has begun. Tonight at the Civic Center will be the start of the Soroptimist International of Holtville Carrot Festival Cooking Contest. Tonight will feature Little Chen and Junior Chen and will start at 6pm. The Cooking contest will continue every night  thru Thursday with the Sweepstakes on Friday. The Carnival starts on Thursday afternoon thru Sunday; The Carrot Festival Parade will be on Saturday. Hope to see you there.


By Mario Conde

District 80th Assemblyman Manuel Perez announced his legislative reform proposal last week aimed to improve the Enterprise Zone program.

Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed the elimination of Enterprise Zones and Redevelopment Agencies to save money and balance the huge budget deficit.  Perez has come out and opposed the Governor’s proposal to eliminate these two entities and said that there needs to be reform to the 42 Enterprise Zones rather than phasing out.

“California has to get serious about making this state a more business friendly place,” said Perez.  “Eliminating the Enterprise Zone program is not going to help the California economy or California communities.  Let’s seize this opportunity to improve the program so that it is more transparent and accountable to the public, and more closely linked to our community and workforce development objectives.”

Perez was critical of Governor’s proposed elimination of the zones: “Our current budget crisis wasn’t created in a day, and unless we address the root problems that drive the imbalance, California could end up in worse shape. Don’t we want to promote business growth and success, not discourage it?  Don’t we seek to reduce economic disparities in communities, not take actions that aggravate them?  Eliminating this program has significant consequences for our state. We need a better solution.”

IVEZ Manager Diane Cason said that enterprise zones are vital for rural communities and its economic development. “With unemployment hovering close to 30%, the creation of any new jobs and the retention of any existing jobs are a matter of utmost importance.”  Cason also described how one Imperial Valley employer had an option of either locating in neighboring Arizona or coming to Imperial County: “The designation of the IVEZ made the difference. That company now employs hundreds of local residents.”

Daniel Fitzgerald, manager of the Calexico-County Enterprise Zone, remarked, “The Enterprise Zone program is critical for economic development in Calexico and Imperial County.  It is an essential tool to be able to attract new investment to the area.  Being located next to the State of Arizona and Mexico, our competitiveness is constantly an issue in attracting business.  The Enterprise Zone tax credits provide an essential cost savings for a business to establish itself in Calexico or Imperial County.”

At the State of the State address last week, Governor Brown once again spoke and the elimination of the RDA’s and answered to the critics that oppose the elimination of the Redevelopment Agencies.

“They base their case on the claim that redevelopment funds leverage other funds and create jobs. I certainly understand this because I saw redevelopment first hand as mayor of Oakland. But I also understand that redevelopment funds come directly from local property taxes that would otherwise pay for schools and core city and county services such as police and fire protection and care for the most vulnerable people in our society.” Brown said and continued, “So it is a matter of hard choices and I come down on the side of those who believe that core functions of government must be funded first. But be clear, my plan protects current projects and supports all bonded indebtedness of the redevelopment agencies.

Assembly member Perez met with the Calexico Economic Development Commission last week along with Mayor John Moreno and spoke about the possible elimination of the RDA. Perez said he supports the Redevelopment Agency and said he will work with other legislators to keep them.


Holtville kicked off the Carrot Festival celebration with the annual Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet on Friday night.  This event was held at the I.V. Swiss Club and was well attended by the citizens and civic leaders of Holtville.

Mayor David Bradshaw gave his “State of the City” address in which he touched on many of the city’s efforts of 2010 and plans for 2011.  Mayor Bradshaw praised the City staff for their efforts during the Easter earthquake and spoke of council’s relief that the new water tank was still able to be certified following the earthquake.

Some of the highlights for 2010 that he mentioned included the Parks and Recreation grant that is being used for the Alamo  Park Project.  Another grant for 1.2 million dollars was received to work on roads in the city, a project that started in 2009 and was completed in 2010.  The city received $600,000 of Regional Transportation funds that were used to work on the 4th Street & Hwy 115 project.  The city also has funds in the amount of $50,000 each for business entities who would like to improve the physical appearance of their business or take out a business loan.

In 2011 the City hopes to be able to make improvements on the sewer plans and do work on the north side of the Orchard Road bridge.  They have property for sale or rent, and would like to work in conjunction with the Chamber to encourage new business growth.

Mayor Bradshaw also touched on the loss of RDA funding from the state, which will reduce the city budget by 13%, and made note of the fact that the city’s financial stability could be at risk due to the state cutbacks.  He also stated that the proposal of a reduction or removal of the city utility tax could reduce the city budget by approximately 20%, which would create a cut in city services such as police and fire.

According to Mayor Bradshaw, this year’s slogan is a very appropriate one…”We Can Do It!”  He simply added one final word…”Together!”

Following the “State of the City” address, the late Pastor Mike Johnson was remembered for his dedication to the city of Holtville by being named Holtville Citizen of the Year for 2010.  His award was accepted by his wife Rosie who stated that “although it was a great honor to accept the award on behalf of Mike, the greatest honor was to be his wife.”  Mike’s sister Nancy Turner also spoke on Mike’s behalf, and a standing ovation was given in Mike’s honor.

Another highlight of the evening was the coronation of this year’s Junior Princess, Princess, and Carrot Queen.  Holtville’s newest Junior Princess is Annie Britschgi.  She will serve alongside the new Princess, Autumn Bisi.  The city will be represented this year by Trudy Gaddis as the 2011 Carrot Queen.

This year’s banquet served as the “kick-off” for a great week events in our great city.

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