From the daily archives: Wednesday, February 9, 2011

(Information Courtesy of The History Channel Website)

Did you know that nearly 150 million cards are exchanged each Valentine’s Day? Or that more than 40,000 American are employed at chocolate companies? Explore these and dozens more Valentine’s Day facts about cards, chocolate, flowers and candy, the hallmarks of St. Valentine’s Day.

Did You Know?
In addition to the U.S., Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Denmark, Italy and Japan.

Looking for Love
141 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine’s Day the second-most popular greeting-card-giving occasion. (This total excludes packaged kids valentines for classroom exchanges.) (Source: Hallmark research)
Over 50 percent of all Valentine’s Day cards are purchased in the six days prior to the observance, making Valentine’s Day a procrastinator’s delight. (Source: Hallmark research)
Research reveals that more than half of the U.S. population celebrates Valentine’s Day by purchasing a greeting card. (Source: Hallmark research)
There are 119 single men (i.e., never married, widowed or divorced) who are in their 20s for every 100 single women of the same ages. Corresponding numbers for the following race and ethnic groups are:
•    Hispanics: 153 men per 100 women
•    Asians (single race): 132 men per 100 women (This ratio is not significantly different from that for Hispanics or non-Hispanic whites.)
•    Non-Hispanic whites (single race): 120 men per 100 women
•    Blacks (single race): 92 men per 100 women (The numbers of black men and women in this age group are not significantly different from one another.
There are 34 single men (i.e., never married, widowed or divorced) age 65 or older for every 100 single women of the same ages. Corresponding numbers for the following race and ethnic groups are:
•    Hispanics: 38 men per 100 women
•    Non-Hispanic whites (single race): 33 men per 100 women
•    Blacks (single race): 33 men per 100 women
•    Asians (single race): 28 men per 100 women
(Note: None of the ratios for the individual groups differ significantly from one another nor from the ratio for all people age 65 or older.)
904: The number of dating service establishments nationwide as of 2002. These establishments, which include Internet dating services, employed nearly 4,300 people and pulled in $489 million in revenues.

Be Mine
2.2 million marriages take place in the United States annually. That breaks down to more than 6,000 a day.
112,185 marriages were performed in Nevada during 2008. So many couples “tie the knot” in the Silver State that it ranked fourth nationally in marriages, even though it’s total population that year among states was 35th.
The estimated U.S. median ages at first marriage for women and men are 25.9 and 27.6 respectively, in 2008. The age for women rose 4.2 years in the last three decades. The age for men at first marriage is up 3.6 years.
Men and women in northeastern states generally have a higher median age at first marriage than the national average. In Massachusetts, for example, women were a median of 27.4 years old and men 29.1 years of age at first marriage. States where people typically marry young include Utah, where women were a median of 21.9 years and men, 23.9 years.
57% and 60% of American women and men, respectively, are 15 or older and currently married (includes those who are separated).
70%: The percentage of men and women ages 30 to 34 in 2008 who had been married at some point in their lives – either currently or formerly.
4.9 million opposite-sex cohabitating couples maintained households in 2005. These couples comprised 4.3 percent of all households.

Candy is Dandy
1,241: The number of locations producing chocolate and cocoa products in 2004. These establishments employed 43,322 people. California led the nation in the number of such establishments with 136, followed by Pennsylvania with 122. (Source:
515 locations produced nonchocolate confectionary products in 2004. These establishments employed 22,234 people.
The total value of shipments in 2004 for firms producing chocolate and cocoa products was $13.9 billion. Nonchocolate confectionery product manufacturing, meanwhile, was a $5.7 billion industry.
3,467 Number of confectionery and nut stores in the United States in 2004. Often referred to as candy stores, they are among the best sources of sweets for Valentine’s Day.
The per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2005 was 25.7 pounds. Candy consumption has actually declined over the last few years; in 1997, each American gobbled or savored more than 27 pounds of candy a year.

The combined wholesale value of domestically produced cut flowers in 2005 for all flower-producing operations with $100,000 or more in sales was $397 million. Among states, California was the leading producer, alone accounting for nearly three-quarters of this amount ($289 million).
The combined wholesale value of domestically produced cut roses in 2005 for all operations with $100,000 or more in sales was $39 million. Among all types of cut flowers, roses were third in receipts ($39 million)to lilies ($76.9 million) and tulips ($39.1 million).
There were 21,667 florists nationwide in 2004. These businesses employed 109,915 people.

There were 28,772 jewelry stores in the United States in 2004. Jewelry stores offer engagement, wedding and other rings to lovers of all ages. In February 2006, these stores sold $2.6 billion worth of merchandise. (This figure has not been adjusted for seasonal variation, holiday or trading day differences or price changes). The merchandise at these locations could well have been produced at one of the nation’s 1,864 jewelry manufacturing establishments. The manufacture of jewelry was an $9 billion industry in 2004.
Data courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau.


By: Jorge Villalobos

Marta Arroyo, 44, not only had a way with people, but also with animals. As Juan Arroyo, 45, explained how this unruly lion cub became amicable when Marta picked him up and posed with him.

EL CENTRO – On the evening of Saturday, January 22nd Holtville lost an influential community member when a 2010 Chevy truck struck the passenger side of a 2000 Hyundai on Highway 7 at the Heber Intersection. That evening three people would be involved in the collision but only two would survive. Juan Arroyo, 45, the driver of the  Hyundai vehicle which was travelling Northbound on Hwy 7 and Dustin Nelson, 28, who drove the Chevy Westbound on Heber road. Marta Arroyo, 44, was the passenger in the Hyundai, was killed on impact from blunt-force trauma to the body.

Juan Arroyo recalls the moment’s right after the impact “I looked over and she was leaning on me, I called her name and she wouldn’t answer.” Arroyo then got out of his vehicle and went around to the passenger door yanking it open. After calling her name a few times he would come to the realization that Marta was gone. “So I pulled away from the car and I just started to ask god not to take her,” struggled Arroyo as he tries to reconcile with her death. “He knows why and I don’t understand it but I will understand one day why he took her.”

Juan and Marta met when they were in Middle School; Juan was in eighth grade while Marta was in seventh grade. “We were just friends, but I always liked her ever since I saw her,” Juan reminisces. There was a year of separation when Juan moved up to the ninth grade and started to attend the Holtville High School, they still managed to talk on the bus to and from school since they lived in the same general area. “When I was in the tenth grade and she was in the ninth grade, she was my girlfriend,” smiles Juan. Juan and Marta got married in November 17, 1989 in Holtville.

Marta was a very outgoing teenager, when she was a student at the Holtville High School she became the Captain of the Shield Pageantry for the Viking “Band of Pride.”

Holtville has become not only the home of Juan and Marta, but the home of their kids: Juan Arroyo, Jose Arroyo, Cesar Arroyo and Yessenia Arroyo. They were all raised in Holtville; they even bought a house next to their parents to be close to them. It would be within their kids where a tradition would be born amongst the Arroyos, the tradition of soccer.

Soccer has always played a big role in Juan’s life, this is something he taught his own kids when they were young. “I coached for most of their lives, when they were six or seven years old,” explained Juan. Up until High School, when his eldest was in the tenth grade there was a vacancy for a boy’s varsity coach. “I applied and got the coaching job,” smiles Juan proudly. It wouldn’t be long before Marta would follow suit.

One day while Juan was coaching a game, Marta could be heard from the stands “Juan move your defense up! Juan you gotta do this!” This caught the attention of Superintendent Vega who was next to Juan at the game. “Who’s that lady?” Vega asked Juan. “It’s my wife,” replied Juan with a chuckle. Vega told Juan that they were starting the girl’s soccer program at the High School and that he’d love for her to be a part of it. The program as Juan states was started by the works of Mr. Avila and Marta, though she was new to the High School level of soccer. Marta had been the president for the Holtville Youth League which ran for about ten years.

. Marta Arroyo is seen here in one of her first Varsity Soccer group pictures as Head Coach back in 2002. She was joined by the Head Coach of the Junior Varsity girls, Chad Van Acker.

Marta coached the Girl’s Varsity soccer team for ten years, forming a loving and caring relationship with her girls. Always giving any girl who showed up a chance to learn and play. Under her wings, her girls would become CIF contenders, year and year. “She read a lot of books and videos, she took everything so serious,” explained Juan about Marta when she began. During her time at the High School level, Marta also coached at the Middle School. She coached the Middle School team to two championships. “Being a woman where men are supposed to dominate the coaching, she was something else,” smiled Juan.

During a faithful game at Southwest, Chad Van Acker who was still new to Holtville High School had decided to attend. In his sleeping bag and beanie he watched on from the stands, despite the freezing weather. But he sat and looked on as the only supporter that evening, he would receive a very warm gesture from Marta and her girls. “Marta had the entire team say thank you to me, from the field,” explained Van Acker from his first experience with Marta.

When Mr. Avila stepped down from his Varsity coaching position to pursue a science teaching position at the Middle School, Marta would take his place. This left a vacant coaching job for the Junior Varsity girls team. “The girls that I had gone to go watch, the previous year came up to me at school one day as a group and one of them had to have the courage to talk to me,” explained Van Acker. The group of girls walked up to Van Acker, with their heads down and unsure about what they were about to ask. It was either Melissa Martinez or Yahaira Estrada that explained the situation to Van Acker. Despite having no intentions of coaching soccer, Van Acker told them that he needed the weekend to think about it. Having his coaching aspirations focused on Track and Field, Van Acker agreed to coach junior varsity soccer.

He would be taken in by not only the girls but by Juan and Marta who included him in Head Coaches meetings. Marta would work with Van Acker as he stepped into the unfamiliar, he would learn commands in Spanish so that his girls would better understand him. “It just felt like basically, I was becoming a part of the team.” Over the years, they would become good friends, bouncing soccer drill and strategies off of one another.

On Saturday, January 22nd Van Acker received a phone call from Alma Godwin. “Have you heard?” she asked. Van Acker had no idea of what had happened, though after being told he went on facebook to talk to some of the Arroyo’s family members to confirm it. Mr. Pechtel contacted Van Acker 20 minutes after to further confirm Marta’s fate.

“I spent most of the weekend communicating with past soccer players who were calling me to confirm whether or not it had actually happened,” explained Van Acker. “Because of those conversations I was able to somewhat react too and begin grieving her death. So I thought that when I was coming into school on Monday that I was going to be alright,” stated Van Acker. “As I turned the corner on to Melon and caught my first glimpse of the soccer field, I just lost it, it hit me.” Van Acker saw Marta not only as a friend but a mentor during the soccer season. “Soccer is not going to be the same.”

“It’s incredible how many people went out to her funeral,” said Juan. “I was told from Sadie Rubin, a Pioneer from Holtville that in her life, in Holtville she’s never been to a funeral with so much people.” Members from the California Highway Patrol came on Juan Arroyo jr’s behalf as the and the Border Patrol came on behalf of Cesar Arroyo.

Juan admits that his kids are the pillar of strength for him, as much as he wants to be strong, he relies on his children who are also hurting. “I haven’t been there for them,” Juan tears up. “I need to get stronger I need to be there for them now.” “I really want to thank the people from the whole Valley, people from the whole Valley came and supported us,” Juan struggled to say as his daughter, Yessenia held his arm.

“When something like this happens and I didn’t expect so much support from so many people, that’s why I love Holtville,” struggled Juan.  “I didn’t expect something like this to happen to me and it did. Holtville was there for me, as a town as a community.” “She was an angel, a really special woman, I’m going to miss her but I know she’s here.”


The Holtville Carrot Festival Carnival opens on Thursday at 3:00pm

The rides are ready and the game booths are being filled with stuffed animals

Hope to see you all out here in Holtville for the 64th annual Carrot Festival.


Mario Conde
A council member from Ensenada was shot and killed early Sunday morning as he left a downtown bar.
Arturo Castellanos Ruiz was  sworn in as Ensenada Councilman last December and was affiliated to the Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI).  Castellanos Ruiz was shot shortly after he was leaving Los Mostachones, a bar and Table Dance establishment in downtown Ensenada. He and another person were on its way to the council member’s pick-up truck when someone shot about a dozen bullets.
The victim received 7 shots and died instantly. An abandoned Ford 250 pickup believed to be the escape vehicle was discovered two blocks away.
It was confirmed that Castellanos Ruiz was threatened twice by a group of people, this according to Raul Carrillo, Transportation Director of Ensenada who also received death threats. Carrillo said that the deceased councilman wanted to make some changes to the local transportation and received a called to drop his plans to change the transportation system or there would be consequences.
Municipal authorities said that the crime does not appear to be linked to organized crime and are following various lines of investigation.
Ensenada Mayor Enrique Pelayo said after the wake of Councilman Castellanos Ruiz that he and other members of the City have received death threats.
The Business Council of Ensenada condemned the assassination of their colleague this past week and asked authorities to get to the bottom of this case. The Council wrote in a press release that situations like these is what makes Ensenada less competitive and creates a negative environment to its residents.

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