Monthly Archives: April 2011

In Other Words

Some Things Stay the Same

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME DEPARTMENT.
In our fair city of Holtville there is a tradition of asking for too much, which usually leads to the people getting nothing.
Huh?
Well, it seems the folks who want to redo Mack Park want to do the whole thing over again at an outrageously high cost to the city.
The soccer coach and the baseball coach only asked the city recently for another baseball diamond and another soccer field to accommodate all the kids who want to play their games on them.
Ask for a Volkswagen and the planners give you a Rolls Royce.
Plans that were presented at a town meeting this week called not only for a baseball diamond and two soccer fields. They also called for a T-ball area, new playground equipment walking paths, picnic tables and landscaping.
All that would drive the cost up to five times higher than was originally planned.
All that was asked for was the ball field and the soccer field.
It’s been my experience that when the city asks for elaborate plans such as this, they wind up doing nothing at all.
We had a beautiful public safety and civic center building designed about five years ago  with a $5 million cost that never got built.
We had a skateboard park, hiking trails and soccer field complex that never got built either.
C’mon, the kids just want to play ball, whether they throw it or kick it. Give them what they want with the current economic climate kept firmly in mind and everyone will be happy.
If the city wants to add all that other stuff over time, then that would be fine. But, remember what you started out to do. Baseball and soccer. Focus on those two things and put the rest on hold.
Maybe the city council and city staff will actually get them done as promised.
A STATE AUDIT OF CDBG funds points out  more than a few discrepancies in how the city has been run over the last few years. It may be that the state is just looking for more funds of its own and is taking a harsher look at city funding. They’re probably hoping to get a little more loot out of the cities that they haven’t already taken away.
But the discrepancies are still there and need to be dealt with. One is an arrangement which I always thought was a little suspect.
The Holt Group was processing CDBG loans while at the same time acting as the city’s engineer. Which means they were contracting with themselves to provide city services. Or that’s what the state is trying to claim.
The government should have more openness and a lot more citizen involvement in anything that is using public funds.
Right now you have an employee of the Holt Group acting as the City Planner and the Holt Group acting as the City Engineer.
The State is saying that’s not a good situation if you want to keep a watch on  funds and where they are going.
Other cities have planners who are employees of the city and city engineers who are also employees.
Somebody needs to take a look at the large amount of money that is being laid out for all these plans and designs and what is happening to it.
In the case of Mack Park, nothing was presented to the Planning Commission and the body has only had two meetings since the first of the year. That makes it look as though one individual is doing all the planning.
It’s time to get back to some small town basics. In the good old days several volunteers would get together and help construct the fields, or clean up the property and lay out the necessary markings to provide the extra fields that were the only thing asked for.
What would be wrong with several volunteers doing the same thing now? Forget the big city plans. Get some people who are interested in Little league and Youth Soccer and have them come up with what’s necessary to make improvements to the field.
I think they might find lots of volunteers if they looked.
Meanwhile, the city needs to get more people involved in the planning stages. That’s what you have a Planning Commission for. But it doesn’t get consulted until the final plans are laid out and they are told what to do.
It’s definitely time for some changes in policies and procedures at City Hall. Maybe the CDBG audit will be  the catalyst to do that.
I hope you’re having a great Spring. I know I am.
Peace.

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Meth Smuggler Nabbed by U.S. Border Patrol at Highway 86 Checkpoint

WESTMORLAND, Calif. – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio station arrested a man Wednesday afternoon attempting to smuggle more than $100,000 worth of methamphetamine.

 

The incident occurred around 12 p.m., when a Border Patrol canine team alerted to a tan colored Pontiac Grand Prix while performing a cursory search at primary inspection of the Highway 86 Checkpoint near Westmorland, Calif.  The sedan was being driven by a 37-year-old United States citizen.  During secondary inspection, a thorough search of the vehicle was conducted and Border Patrol agents discovered approximately 3.5 pounds of methamphetamine hidden inside a non-factory compartment.

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RED FLAG WARNING URGENT – FIRE WEATHER

IMPERIAL COUNTY AND EASTERN RIVERSIDE COUNTY- 456 AM MST THU APR 28 2011 /456 AM PDT THU APR 28 2011/ …RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM MST /11 AM PDT/ TO 8 PM MST /8 PM PDT/ FRIDAY DUE TO STRONG WINDS…LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY AND HIGH FIRE DANGER FOR FIRE ZONES 131…132…231 AND 232… …FIRE WEATHER WATCH IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY MORNING THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING DUE TO STRONG WINDS…LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY AND HIGH FIRE DANGER FOR FIRE ZONES 131…132…231 AND 232… THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PHOENIX HAS ISSUED A RED FLAG WARNING…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM MST /11 AM PDT/ TO 8 PM MST /8 PM PDT/ FRIDAY. A FIRE WEATHER WATCH HAS ALSO BEEN ISSUED. THIS FIRE WEATHER WATCH IS IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY MORNING THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING. THE FIRE WEATHER WATCH FOR FRIDAY IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT. * AFFECTED AREA: IN ARIZONA… FIRE WEATHER ZONE 131 YUMA/MARTINEZ LAKE AND VICINITY/LOWER COLORADO RIVER VALLEY AZ…ARIZONA FIRE WEATHER ZONE 132 SOUTH-CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST DESERTS. IN CALIFORNIA… FIRE WEATHER ZONE 231 LOWER COLORADO RIVER VALLEY CA…CALIFORNIA FIRE WEATHER ZONE 232 IMPERIAL COUNTY AND EASTERN RIVERSIDE COUNTY. * WIND: FROM THE SOUTHWEST SUSTAINED AT 20 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS TO NEAR 40 MPH. * HUMIDITY: 5 TO 15 PERCENT. * IMPACTS: THE COMBINATION OF STRONG WINDS…VERY LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY AND HIGH FIRE DANGER WILL CREATE HAZARDOUS FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… PLEASE ADVISE THE APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS AND FIRE CREWS IN THE FIELD OF THIS RED FLAG WARNING.

Posted in Brawley News, Calexico News, El Centro News, Health and Fitness, Holtville News, Imperial News, Imperial Valley News | Comments Off

Real Heroes Nominations Now Being Accepted

Heroes may not have a big red “S” on their chest but you know a hero when you see one. A hero can be someone who bravely acts in a time of immediate need and whose actions demonstrate the potential that is in all of us.  A hero may be a family member, friend, coworker or perhaps a stranger whose good deeds you read about in the newspaper or heard about on the evening news.

Posted in Brawley News, Calexico News, El Centro News, Holtville News, Imperial News, Imperial Valley News | 1 Comment

Renovation of the Calexico Swimming Pool Could Happen

By Mario Conde

The Calexico School Board approved the issuance of bonds in which the renovation of the Calexico Swimming pool could happen.

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