From the daily archives: Wednesday, May 11, 2011

By Mario Conde
In hard economic times where there are limited funds, there are groups in Calexico that are working to create new recreation spaces for the youth\ of the city.
For 25 years, Jesus “Chuy” Iniguez has been active in Calexico youth sports, organizing and coaching baseball and softball. Iniguez has been with the Calexico Little League and, more recently, served as  Calexico Parents Athletic League President. This year, he started the Desert Sun Girls Softball League which right now has 280 girls and 23 teams.
The organization has girls that play from T-ball all the way to Softball. Thanks to the hard work of Iniguez and the Desert Sun Girls Softball, they were able to raise $13,000 to install backstops at Joel Reisin Field. Girls Softball games have been played on the field for the last year with huge success and now the next goal for the organization is to build a second backstop right next to it on Reisin Field.  The goal is to raise enough money to install the second backstop and a batting cage in the near future.
The Calexico Police Officers Association will be selling fireworks at Reisin Field this year now that Calexico will join Calipatria as the only two cities that will allow the sale of fireworks. Monies raised from that sale will go to the Desert Sun Girls. Council member Bill Hodge commended the leadership of Iniguez saying that the City needs to step up to the plate and improve parks and recreation.
“Yes, there are priorities in the budget and in our city, but I think parks and recreation needs to be a high priority since having the youth involved will have positive ramifications for the community. It will increase their self esteem and will help the youth stay out  of trouble.” Hodge said.
Councilman Hodge said he will request at the next council meeting an action to improve Reisin Park and also to work with the other league organizations in Calexico to see how the city’s recreation department can work together.
“Sports bring families together and improve our community. That’s why I love doing it  and why it is  the most gratifying part of my job. To see a smile on a little girl’s face is all that matters.” Iniguez said.
The Desert Sun Girls Softball will host its first annual “Oldies but Goodies” event fundraiser at the Calexico Community Center this Friday May 13, 2011. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. There will be live music by Tony Obeso & Frank Paleo.
For more information about this event call Jesus Iniguez at 760-427-5879.


Mariachi Music and Park Use; Brawley Studies the Police Situation

(Steve Larson is under the weather this week. His column will return when he is feeling better. This column was written for the May 8, 2008 edition of the Weekly-Chronicle).
THIS YEAR’S MARIACHI FESTIVAL, the 17th Annual version, starts Monday with some fun in the sun.
A full schedule of events appears in this issue. It’s a good example of how the organizations of any particular city can work together to create a pageant that fits right in with the local flavor of an area.
W e hope you get a chance to take in the Festival or some of its preliminary events. They’re always festive, as they should be. This year they are working with the State of Jalisco from Mexico to bring you even mor e culture.
That includes the works of artisans at the Calexico Art sand Cultural Center located at the De Anza Hotel. the city has been making good us e of this facility. this tie-in with the Mariachi Festival is an ideal use. You can even buy some of the works on display.
ONE THING THAT DOESN’T GET enough use in Calexico, however, is the stage at Crummett Park. it was constructed to allow for a venue to have live concerts and bring entertainment to the city on a regular basis.
Every year about this time, someone brings up the subject, but every year the idea dies as quickly as the Mariachi concert ends.
Maybe one of these days it will be put to mor e use. It has a lot of potential that shouldn’t go unwasted except for one performance a year.
A good music promoter could make some money and bring more activities to the city with just a little effort. Maybe the city could fund such an endeavor and pocket any profit. It’s worth looking into. Or perhaps they could locate a promoter who would work with them.
With all the musical groups that pass through here, it doesn’t appear on the surface to be a hard job to get some of them to stop.
BRAWLEY HAS MADE GOOD USE of its Cattle Call Arena in recent years. It uses it for more than just a rodeo two days a year and it is paying off with a venue for more city activities.
Calexico could do the same.
SPEAKING OF BRAWLEY, it now has a Police Commission. This body is to look into police matters and we hope it will do that. The commission toured the facilities to note some of the deterioration  that has taken place with age. We think they will make some good recommendations to the City Council.
We’re in favor of more cops and more public safety. We hope this will be the case. Too often these committees get bogged down in bureaucracy to be effective. If the city council uses them properly, they can be a tool for effective change. if not, well, they will provide a scapegoat if anything goes wrong.
CALEXICO’S CANDIDATE’S FORUM was lightly attended once again, proving that people think candidates should talk about the issues, but they don’t necessarily want to show up and listen.
For a city council election, that means that popularity is the key to winning. Get you name out in front of the public as often as possible in as many places as possible and you might have a shot at unseating an incumbent.
People who go into politics at this level are making a first time attempt at public office so the workings of getting elected are probably new to them. We know the essential ingredient is still money. If you are running for president or running for city council, the amount of money you expend is directly related to the likelihood of you being elected.
In a popularity contest, name recognition is the major key to victory. So, candidates, get that name out there!


May 25 B The Colorado River Citizens Forum of the U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission will have a public meeting at 4:00 p.m. PDT/MST at the Imperial Irrigation District, 1285 Broadway in El Centro, California. U.S.-Mexico cooperation on the Colorado River and efforts to improve environmental conditions along the New River will be discussed.  For more information, contact or 928-782-1598.





Efforts to improve environmental conditions along the New River and U.S.-Mexico cooperation on Colorado River issues will be discussed at the May 25 public meeting of the Colorado River Citizens Forum (CRCF). The CRCF was established by the United States Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) to facilitate the exchange of information between the community and the Commission about USIBWC activities and related projects in the region. The meeting will take place Wednesday, May 25, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. PDT/MST at the Imperial Irrigation District Board Room, 1285 Broadway in El Centro, California.

Al Kalin, a local farmer and volunteer with the Advisory Committee of the Citizens Congressional Task Force on the New River will give a presentation entitled, “New River Wetlands Project – Improving the Quality of Water.” To help assess the potential of improving water quality in the New River using treatment wetlands, two pilot wetlands were constructed in 2000 and their performance monitored for several years. The project was funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Bureau of Reclamation and was built under the direction of the Citizens Congressional Task Force on the New River.

Colorado River issues on the U.S.-Mexico agenda will be discussed by Sally Spener, USIBWC Public Affairs Officer. The United States and Mexico, through the International Boundary and Water Commission, are exploring ways to improve Colorado River cooperation to benefit both countries. Last year, the Commission concluded three international agreements related to the Colorado River. These agreements, known as Minutes, addressed the Yuma Desalting Plant pilot run and the Santa Clara Wetland in Mexico, establishment of binational work groups to study Colorado River issues, and allowing for adjustments to the schedule of Colorado River deliveries to Mexico until repairs are completed on irrigation canals damaged during last year’s earthquake in the Mexicali Valley. This year, the Commission is continuing this joint cooperative process, studying ways the United States and Mexico could work together to develop a binational desalination plant, restore habitat along the Colorado River, and better plan for drought, among other activities.

A complete meeting agenda follows. Members of the public who would like more information about the meeting may contact the USIBWC’s Yuma Office at 928-782-1598 or Public Affairs Officer Sally Spener at 915-832-4175 or

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