From the daily archives: Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Texting, dancing, guacamole making and good ol’ favorite cooking.
In keeping with its Green theme, this year’s California Mid-Winter Fair will offer some high-tech, environmentally friendly contests and also will be recycling some very popular activities from previous years.
“Fairgoers can start now, even before the fair opens–by texting the word “Green” to 88202,” said Fair CEO Theresa Garcia. “That will enable them to receive inside details, discounts and prize information only available to those on the California Mid-Winter Fair and Fiesta’s Text Messaging List.”
Participation in the Fair’s text campaign is free, but standard carrier messaging rates will apply.
Presale tickets are currently on sale until March 3 at various locations throughout the Valley: all Rabobank branches (including Walmart locations), Cardenas Market, El Centro; Sonic Burger, El Centro; Goyal’s Shell, Brawley and the Fair Box Office in Imperial. In addition, Family Value Pack are on sale at the Imperial Valley Mall Customer Service Counter as well as the Fair Box Office.
The 2011 California Mid-Winter Fair and Fiesta will celebrate Imperial County’s burgeoning alternative energy industry with a theme of “It’s a Green Thing, Celebrating Our Renewable Future.”
The texting contest will intensify Monday, March 7 during High School Madness. During that event, 12 text subscribers will be selected to receive a back stage meet and greet for them and a friend or parent–for a total of 24 people-Friday March 11 at the Swift Country Salute to Taylor Swift show in the grandstands. Another six will be selected to receive carnival ride POP wristbands.
And during the Swift Country Show, another six text subscribers (who must come to the concert wearing GREEN) will be selected to sing the last song of the show on stage.
Then there is the “Just Dance” Contest, which is replacing IV Idol. This new contest will begin with preliminary competition and the top three scorers will be finalists at the final competition 5 p.m. Saturday March 12 on the “Just Dance” Stage. The winner will receive a ribbon, and the title of Just Dance Champ through March 1, 2012. This competition is not affiliated in any way with any other “Just Dance” or talent competition.
Preliminary competition will be Saturday, March 5; Thursday, March 10 and Friday, March 11 on the Just Dance Stage, which is just north of the Hulsienda Building. Contestants must participate in one of the preliminary events, but have a choice of date. All will be from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Only solo dancers may enter; duets, trios, groups are not eligible
Contestants can pre-register to be guaranteed a space in the preliminary rounds and all pre-registered contestants who qualify will be accepted.
Contestants may also register on-site the day of each preliminary round, although only a maximum of 10 contestants (pre-registered and day-of sign-ups) per preliminary competition will be accepted
Contestants must perform at the preliminary contest in order to be eligible for the finals and the top three overall scorers from the preliminaries will be invited back for the finals
Recycling of previous successful events is also in favor this year.
“Once again we will be celebrating the numerous Public Service Agencies in the Imperial Valley by coming together for some friendly competition in our ‘Guns and Hoses’ competition on March 9,” Garcia said “Imperial County’s finest will be put to the test – Strength, Speed, Agility, and Teamwork!” said Garcia.
The California Mid-Winter Fair & Fiesta will donate $1,000 to Imperial Valley’s Fallen Officers’ Memorial Fund on behalf of the winning team.
Also in the recycling category this year is the return of the Guacamole Contest (March 8) after being absent last year.
Entry deadline is March 4 and entry forms are available on the IV Expo website at
The grounds will be open 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 8 , however contestants will be able to enter and set up their equipment and decorations at 2:30 p.m.
Entry instructions for contestants will be determined and communicated to the contestants by Saturday, March 6.
Each contestant must make a minimum of one (1) gallon of Guacamole. Each contestant must submit one (1) pint container for judging, which will be provided at check-in time.
Guacamole will be judged on appearance, aroma, taste, texture, originality and recipe. The recipe must be submitted with application.

First place winner will receive $500; Second Place, $250 and Third Place, $100. Trophies also will be given for the Peoples’ Choice Award as well as for the Best Booth.
Then there are the very popular One day cooking contests that have been a staple of the fair for years.
The color green will dominate both the daily adult One Day cooking contests that run daily throughout the fair as well as the special youth one days contests on Saturday March 5 and March 12 as well as Sunday March 13.
Entry into these events are a sure way to gain a free admission to the fair. All are centered on the theme of this year’s fair, “It’s A Green Thing.”
To enter the contests and to get the free admission, just show up to the front gate at the appointed time with your homemade exhibit. The contests, which will be in the Lifestyles building, are being sponsored by a number of Valley businesses.
While pre-registration using a form available on the fair’s website is requested, it is not required.
Adult contests this year include “It’s A green Thing Appetizers,” 6 p.m. March 4; Homemade Ice Cream, 6 p.m. March 5; Buffalo Wings, 2 p.m. March 6; Favorite Cookies, 6 p.m. March 7; Favorite Mexican Dish, 6 p.m. March 8; Favorite Slow Cooked Dish, 6 p.m. March 9; Any Chocolate Dessert,6 p.m. March 10; Favorite Asian Dish, 6 p.m. March 11; Favorite Italian Dish, 6 p.m. March 12 and Favorite Cupcakes, 2 p.m. March 13.
Youth (9-19 years old) Contests include Favorite Cookies, 1 p.m. March 5; Favorite “It’s a Green Thing” Dish, 1 p.m. March 12 and Favorite Cupcakes, 2 p.m. March 13.


SAN FRANCISCO – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today asked the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to dismiss its order prohibiting same-sex marriages in California until an appeal of Proposition 8 is resolved. 

“For 846 days, Proposition 8 has denied equality under the law to gay and lesbian couples,” Attorney General Harris said. “Each and every one of those days, same-sex couples have been denied their right to convene loved ones and friends to celebrate marriages sanctioned and protected by California law. Each one of those days, loved ones have been lost, moments have been missed, and justice has been denied.” 

In a statement filed with the Ninth Circuit, Attorney General Harris asked the appeals court to lift its stay of Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling declaring Proposition 8 — which prohibits same-sex couples from marrying in California — unconstitutional. 

The appeal of Judge Walker’s ruling is pending before the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. The Ninth Circuit has also asked the California Supreme Court to rule whether the proponents of Proposition 8 have standing to defend the initiative in court.

Last year, Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. also opposed the stay.

Attorney General Harris said it is unlikely that an appeal will succeed in overturning Judge Walker’s ruling that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. The appeal’s likelihood of success has been substantially diminished, Attorney General Harris said, “both by the United States Attorney General’s conclusion that sexual orientation classifications are unconstitutional because they cannot survive rational basis scrutiny, and by this Court’s certification order to the California Supreme Court, which seriously questions the Court’s jurisdiction to decide the merits of the case.”

In addition, Attorney General Harris said, “there is no injury that the proponents of Proposition 8 will suffer if same-sex couples are permitted to enter into civil marriages in California.” But as long as the stay on same-sex marriages remains in effect, Attorney General Harris said, the due process and equal protection rights of same-sex couples will continue to be violated, perpetuating unconstitutional discrimination and making a stay of Judge Walker’s ruling legally inappropriate. 

“The President and the United States Attorney General have determined that they will not continue to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (‘DOMA’),” Harris said, because sexual orientation classifications warrant heightened scrutiny and, under that demanding standard, the law is unconstitutional.”

The California Attorney General’s long-standing position, Harris told the Ninth Circuit, is that Proposition 8 “violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.”
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IMPERIAL VALLEY, March 1, 2011 – Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) announced today that it invested a record $56.7 million in 4,700 California nonprofits in 2010, up 5 percent over 2009.  In addition, California Wells Fargo team members contributed more than $10.2 million and 198,000 volunteer hours to 11,037 nonprofits and schools to help their neighborhoods and communities succeed.
Locally, Wells Fargo invested $4.4 million in 400 nonprofits in San Diego, Imperial, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, last year. In addition, Southern California team members dedicated a total of 19,000 hours volunteering in their local communities.
In San Diego and Imperial Counties, the community-minded bank donated an estimated $3 million to more than 200 local nonprofits last year. Local team members recorded more than 11,500 volunteer hours serving the San Diego and Imperial communities.
“Everyone has been touched in some way by the current economic challenges, so I couldn’t be more proud of our company and the generosity of our team members,” said Kim Young, Wells Fargo’s Southern California regional president. “Our company continues to be committed to using our financial resources and expertise, working closely with nonprofits and other stakeholders, to create long-term economic growth and quality of life for everyone in the communities we serve.”
As part of its giving in California, Wells Fargo invested $15.2 million in 2,762 educational programs and schools around the U.S.  Wells Fargo also provided $15.2 million in grants to nonprofits focused on community development in distressed communities, including affordable housing, homeownership counseling, financial education, workforce development and job creation. In addition, Wells Fargo contributed:

  • Arts and Culture:        $6.1 million
  • Civic:                  $4.0 million
  • Environment:             $600,890
  • Human Services:  $15.5 million
“I continue to be amazed each year at the growing response, participation, and compassion our team members show by generously investing their time, talent, and personal financial resources to support their communities, neighbors and even fellow team members,” said Jon Campbell, head of the Social Responsibility Group at Wells Fargo. “Our team members truly recognize the important role we play in helping advance social, economic, and environmental opportunities in the communities where we work, live, and do business.”
Corporate Social Responsibility Report
Wells Fargo also announced its latest Corporate Social Responsibility Report “Working Together for the Common Good” is now available at In this report, the company provides an update on its progress to integrate social and environmental responsibility into its business practices, operations and culture.
Team Member Giving and Volunteerism
In 2010, 6,715 team members in California recorded 198,700 volunteer hours with over 2,000 organizations statewide which is an increase of 34 percent from 2009. According to Independent Sector, a U.S. coalition of more than 550 philanthropic organizations, the value of one volunteer hour is $20.85, so our team members contributed $4.1 million in volunteer time in California.
Each fall, the annual Community Support and United Way Campaign encourages team members to donate to any nonprofit, school or religious institution of their choice.  One hundred percent of team member donations go to the organizations they choose. Wells Fargo pays all processing costs, and gifts to qualifying schools through the campaign – and year-around – are matched up to $5,000 per team member.
In 2010, Wells Fargo team members in California contributed more than$10.2 million to more than 9, 000 nonprofits and schools during the campaign. Combined with other year-round donations to nonprofits, California team member donations exceeded $16.2 million, a 20.9 percent increase over the $13.4 million contributed by California team members in 2009, and the eighth straight year of double-digit increases in pledge totals.


The Naval Air Facility El Centro annual Open House/Air Show will be held on March 12, 2011. Due to flight safety concerns during the Air Show, the Imperial County Air Pollution Control District is declaring Friday, March 11, and Saturday, March 12, 2011, to be a no burn day


Cesar Valencia, Silvia Montejano, Erik Valencia, Marilyn Buenrostro and Angelica Montejano

An enthusiastic crowd attended The Calexico Chamber of Commerce 11th Annual Mardi Gras and Beer Tasting Experience on Friday night at the Cultural Arts Center. Hildy Carrillo, the Executive Director of the Calexico Chamber of Commerce, explained that the event was started eleven years ago by Councilman Romero. It’s been a popular event in Calexico every year. It’s a Chamber fund raiser and all the money raised at the Mardi Gras is given back to the community in marketing and promotion for the city of Calexico. All of the vendors at the event were Chamber members. Sponsors of the event included The Calexico Chronicle, Cleartalk, Rabobank, UETA, Wells Fargo Bank, the IID, Don Pedro restaurant, Calexico Taxi and Mi Calexico. Some of the vendors included San Sebastian Rustic who sells Mexican arts and crafts, Ooh LALA Fashion who had custom jewelry and wallets, Chase Bank and Gold Canyon Candles. There were 24 different types of beer between Claypool Distributing and Alford Distributing. Many were new brands of beer that were not on the shelves of local stores. The Holiday Inn Express provided discount rooms for those who didn’t or couldn’t drive home. Three kings and queen were chosen for the event. Congressman Bob Filner, Mayor John Moreno and Eric Ortega were all chosen King and Monica Ketchum was chosen queen of the event. Some of the vendors included Carrizo Gorge Rocks and Gems from Jacumba. Bill and Karen Woodward displayed a variety of wind chimes that were imported from Brazil. Vanessa Vaca from San Sebastian Rustic had a booth displaying a variety of Mexican arts and crafts including Catrina dolls. She said, “These dolls are traditional to the Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday Nov. 1st and 2nd. They sell well all year long. They are a homage to your deceased loved ones. We have many arts and crafts which people like. It brings your culture to your home. Mexican art through the years has been strongly influenced by religious art. Many of our sun crafts reflect back to the Aztec heritage. We import from Mexico but many pieces of our arts and crafts are made by myself.” San Sebastian Rustic is located on Main Street in Brawley. San Diego State University, Imperial Valley campus, was represented by Aracely Bojorquez, Norma Aguylar and Monica Cortez. They were promoting SDSU’s 2011 Gala to be held on March 18th called “A Journey to China.” The entire event will have a Chinese theme including a fashion show, a Chinese opera singer and Chinese dragon dancers.

During the same week as the gala event from March 14th to 18th there will be an art festival at the SDSU campus. Artists from the campus and community will be exhibiting. A highlight of the event were five clowns who wore very colorful costumes and danced and did photo ops with the many people in attendance. They were an important added attraction to the event and attracted the media photographers like a magnet. They included Cesar Valencia, Silvia Montejano, Erik Valencia, Marilyn Buenrostro and Angelica Montejano. Music for Mardi Gras and beer tasting event was provided by the jazz band Standing Room Only which consisted of Clark Baker on trumpet, Mark Rasmussen on tenor sax, Carlos Valencia on bass, Marty Holbrook on drums, Dr. Van Decker on keyboards, Ralph Torres on congos and Majid Rahmen on guitar.






Bring in the clowns! Congressman Bob Filner has some fun with clowns who were at this year's Calexico Mardi Gras

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