Baseball Report

By Bob Hurst

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly didn’t have anyone else to turn to in the ninth inning on Monday night in Houston.

With a slim choice of closers — regular closer Jonathan Broxton, along with potential closers Hong-Chih Kuo and Vicente Padilla, were on the disabled list — Mattingly turned to rookie Kenley Jansen to hold a two-run lead.

Original Baddest Battle Of The Badges Held In Brawley

Chris Furguson
On May 21, the Brawley Cattle Call Arena played host to the returning “Original & Baddest Battle of the Badges,” run by the La Gente Car Club.
This year, twenty-four fighters from all over the Imperial Valley, San Diego and Yuma, took part in the formerly annual boxing event.  They represented groups like the Calexico Parks & Recreation Department, San Diego County Fire and the San Luis County Sheriff’s department near Yuma.
Proceeds from the event will go to the club’s youth boxing program, the Brawley Parks & Recreation department and the Brawley Police Athletic League.
The Battle of the Badges shows were the main fundraiser for the Brawley PAL, but shrinking budgets and time constraints have limited how much the organization can do.  Brawley PAL, for example, sponsored traveling teams
In recent years, a group out of El Centro has run their own “Battle of the Badges” events.  The phrase “Battle of the Badges” is not trademarked and any organization that has public safety officers participate can use the name.
Every fight of the evening consisted of three, three minute rounds.
The evening’s event began with Marcos Contreras (IC Sheriffs) defeating Jesus  (Calipatria Fire).  The second bout saw George “Pollo” Herrera from the US Border Patrol defeating Manuel Zavala from Chakawalla State Prison after three rounds.
Bout three had Marco “El Diablo” Valenzuela (Calexico Rec) defeat Gerardo Jubera (San Luis Sheriffs) with a second round KO while Joseph “Jo Daddy” Perez (US Navy) knocked out Calipatria Fire’s Bobby Duenas in the first.
The fifth fight had Antonio Lucero earn a third round decision against Luis Aguilar Jr. of the Westmorland Fire Department.  This was followed by David Ramirez (Calipatria Fire) earning a decision over Jose “Nightmare” Rodriguez from Calipatria State Prison.
After a brief intermission, fight seven had US Marine Frankie Mejia lose to a first round knockout from Aaron Barrios (Calipatria State Prison).  Fight eight had Jake “The Snake” Denson from La Gente defeat Felipe Lopez after a third round decision.
Angel “Green Machine” Valenzuela (Calipatria State Prison) took a split decision victory over Jesus Gonzalez (El Centro Police Department) in fight nine, followed by a second round forfeit as Eric Cueto (IC Fire) refused to fight against Calexico Rec’s Guadalupe Valenzuela.
In the semi-main event of the evening, Ricky Garcia (IC Fire) took an unexpected victory over Michael “Paqueton” Duffy (U.S. Army).
The Main event saw Ralph “Valley Boy” Ezpinoza (IC Sheriffs) defeat David Payanes of the San Luis Sheriffs department.
Judges at ringside included Steve Stodelle, Lupe Navarro and Franco Figueroa Jr.  The referee was Franco Figueroa and the announcer was Antonio Camacho with ring girls “Yulianna” and “Taylor” on hand as well.

IV Food Bank Celebrates 20th Anniversary Next Week

IMPERIAL VALLEY FOOD Bank Executive Director Sara Griffen, left, receives a copy of a proclamation read by Holtville Mayor David Bradshaw, right, at a meeting of the Holtville City Council Monday. The city declared next week ‘I.V. Food Week’. Photo by Luke Phillips.

By Luke Phillips
On June 6 the Imperial Valley Food Bank will be celebrating it’s 20th Anniversary with a small presentation and a proclamation from Congressman Bob Filner.
The food bank was started in 1991 by a college professor at SDSU in Calexico who ran the operation out of garage, collecting canned food and handing it out. Today the food bank distributes millions of pounds of food every year to needy Imperial County families, says Executive Director Sara Griffen.
“We’re just going to talk a little about where we are right now,” Griffen said. “Very few people know about the food bank or what we do so we just need to re-introduce ourselves and show how incredibly important this organization is right now with the stress of the economy.”
A recent study completed by non-profit organization Feeding America showed that 31.4 percent of the population of the Imperial Valley, or 50,320 people, are suffering from ‘food insecurity,’ a term Griffen says covers everything from families that are skipping meals and watering down milk and soup,  to those who are in even worse shape.
The study marks Imperial County as the hungriest county in the state and one of the hungriest in the nation.
The study found that the equivalent of 8 million meals are missed in the county each year and $18 million dollars would be need to close that gap.
With the food bank filling such a huge need in the community, Griffen says they can use all of the help that they can get. Griffen says the organization is currently launching a new three-pronged marketing campaign that urges advocacy, donations and volunteering.
“We need help on all three fronts,” she said. “We need to mobilize people here in the valley.”
Griffen urges people to keep in contact with their elected officials and remind them of the need of Imperial Valley families. The food bank will be launching a new web site in the future that will keep residents aware of new legislation regarding feeding programs and will keep them in touch with their elected representatives.
“Advocating is so huge,” she said. “It’s important that we be very loud right now. A lot of these representatives think that poor people don’t vote. We have to change that perception. We need to be heard.”
Griffen says that donations have been down in recent months and the organization is in need of funds for food, infrastructure and staffing.
“Donations have been pretty dismal,” she said. “It seems that the valley isn’t paying attention to non-profits. Event-based fundraisers are good, but we need more steady donations.”
The agency is also suffering from a lack of volunteers. Griffen says the food bank a couple of people who volunteer through the Cal-Works program and are being paid by the state and a few college students who volunteer for the credits, but none that volunteer strictly out of a sense of duty or community.
“We need a core of people who enjoy being there,” Griffen said. “I think this is a really awesome county. There’s something special here. I do believe there’s a real genuine, authentic generosity. People want to take care of their own and we need them to step up.”
Griffen also wants to let people know about a new piece of state legislation that could make things easier for those that need food stamps, a program she supports because she says it provides long-term food security, something the food bank isn’t able to provide.
Assembly Bill 6 would remove a fingerprinting requirement from the state’s food stamp program and Griffen says she
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