From the daily archives: Wednesday, August 31, 2011

By Luke Phillips
   A team of developers that has been in negotiations to buy the Barbara Worth Resort for the past year announced this week that the deal has been finalized.
Imperial Palms, Inc., a company run by developers Daryl Readshaw and Kevin Smith, had filed a lawsuit against the owner of the property in July, but have apparently dropped the suit. The resort was owned by NWK2 Inc., a subsidiary of Rabobank.
Details of the purchase are being kept secret as part of the deal.
Now that the purchase of the resort is a done deal, Readshaw and Smith will be able to move forward with their plans for the property which include extensive renovations and many possible upgrades.
The partners are set to begin remodeling rooms at the resorts hotel immediately and are hoping to re-open the hotel by the end of the year.
The property’s golf course, which has been in operation since the 1930s, will be getting a new fleet of golf carts by the end of next month and will be open to tournaments as well as regular golfers. The course has remained open through the reost’s difficulties and sale.
In an interview earlier this year Smith told the Holtville Tribune that plans for the resort include full renovations of the hotel, bar, restaurant and lobby over the course of two to three years.
Other possibilities mentioned for the property include a spa, a water park and an RV park.
According to Smith, after the first wave of renovations are complete, a second,  more-extensive renovation will begin.
A third developer, Atul Kumar, had also been attached to the project, but dropped out after the company experienced difficulties with the escrow agreement and expressed doubt that Imperial Palms had the capitol to successfully complete the project.
Readshaw and Smith introduced themselves to the Holtville city council late last year to  fill them in on the specifics of the project and ask about the possibility of the city annexing the resort.
“Hopefully it will increase your tax base and make lots of new, fun things here in the city,” Smith told the council. “We’re really looking forward to it.”

 

By Jim Predmore

High School Volleyball swung into action on Tuesday at Southwest High School with their annual Volleyball Carnival. High Schools from all around the valley including, Brawley, Caliapatria, Calexico, Central, Holtville, Imperial, Palo Verde and Southwest were there to participate.

The Carnival gives the Girls a chance to see their opponents as they played 15 minute games and then rotated. Looks likes it will be an interesting season as there were impressive plays made by all teams. Stay tuned for more coverage of the volleyball season as Schools are back in action.

 

By Mario Conde

Border crossers will now have a new way to enter faster into the United States thanks to the Ready Lane.

As of this Monday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will open a new Ready Lane at the Calexico East port of entry for travelers who have a travel document enabled with Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, technology.

Travelers would be able to cross to the U.S. in less than two minutes.

The CBP said in a press release that The Ready Lane is a lane for vehicle traffic that only accepts RFID-enabled cards. The new Ready Lane at the Calexico East border crossing will be open Monday through Friday to include weekends from 6 a.m. till Midnight. In order to use this dedicated lane, all adult passengers in the vehicle over the age of 16 must present an approved travel card. The U.S. Passport Card, SENTRI card, the new Legal Permanent Resident “green card” and the new Border Crossing Card are all RFID-enabled documents. Travelers do not have to be pre-approved to use this lane.

“RFID-enabled cards allow our officers to screen travelers faster,” said Chris Maston, Director of Field Operations for CBP in San Diego. “By having a lane designated just for travelers with these cards, we can reduce the time everyone spends waiting to enter the country, and encourages legitimate business and tourism for our communities on both sides of the border.”

CBP recently opened Ready Lanes in Otay Mesa, California, Blaine, Wash., Nogales, Ariz. and Progreso, Texas and has plans to implement additional Ready Lanes at the Lukeville, Douglas, and San Luis ports of entry over the next few months.

In related news, the government of Mexico has approved funding in the amount of $100 million pesos, a package of 300 million pesos, to start bidding in two weeks in Mexicali for the vaulting of the New River for the new port of entry on the Mexican side. Carlos Flores Vázquez, Secretary of infrastructure and Urban Development said that the approval has already been delivered by the Ministry of Finance which also includes the widening of the bridge on Reforma Street.

 

By Mario Conde

After more than a year after the 7.2 earthquake, downtown Calexico is still in the process of rebuilding itself from the damages from last year.

The earthquake caused a lot of damages in Downtown Calexico forcing buildings to be demolished and some were later on reconstructed such as the building on Second Street that had the Oasis Hot Dog stand. Most recently a building on the corner of Second and Heffernan was fixed thanks to a storefront rebate program form the Redevelopment Agency.

Many of the businesses in downtown, however, had to relocate to other places to continue their business. A year after the powerful earthquake that impacted our region, there are still buildings in downtown Calexico that need to be repaired.

“Like everything in these hard economic times there was trouble by property owners to find money to do their renovations and that what it taken so long to complete the work.” Building Manager Ralph Morales said.

The building next were the T.C. Worthy on second street used to be is currently being reconstructed after its roof collapsed during the earthquake. Construction of this building started weeks after the earthquake but it stalled for many months due to financial reason. Morales said that during the next 30-60 days the construction of the arcade of the building will be finished the walk way will be open to pedestrians. The renovation is being partly supported by the City’s storefront rebate program to improve the façade of the building.

The Melrose building will also see improvement this month also since the entire frontage of the building will have to be tarred down. The building was closed for a long period of time after earthquake but opened again after it was shored up. The property owners submitted plans to the City and it was decided that in order to fully fix the Melrose store building they would have to destroy the entire frontage and make a new one. Morales said that the renovation will start shortly.

 

 

The Imperial Valley Youth Singers (Junior Master Chorale, JMC, the youth branch of the Imperal Valley Choral Society) is inviting ALL youth aged 8 – 18 years old, to join this very talented ensemble.  Youth who enjoy singing, acting and dancing (choreography) will truly LOVE this group.  We learn and perform a wide variety of choral repertoire; perform musicals, and do choreography (dances). 

 

   Our Fall season 2011 has already begun, but, we are short-casted.  The JMC rehearses every Thursday afternoon from 5:00 – 6:15pm in the Pre-School complex, Room #2, of First United Methodist Church (El Centro; 312 S. 8th Street).  This fabulous ensemble has 3 major performances this Fall 2011 semester…a hilarious musical, “Mother Goose, inc.” on Saturday October 29th, 2011; and we will participate with the I.V. Master Chorale in 2 Christmas Concerts on December 10th and 11th, 2011.  We especially wish to strongly encourage teen-aged boys, and younger boys to join us; along with girls.

 

    Registration of new participants is always on-going just prior to each rehearsal, on Thursdays.  So, just come on by.  Finally, we ask families to please consider making a kind, fully tax deductible donation to our choral organization, if they are able, upon registering their youth in JMC.  If donating, please make checks payable to the Imperial Valley Choral Society (which sponsors the JMC, and 2 other I.V. Community choirs).  Contact:- Hope at   hopealda@gmail.com   760-337-8785.

 

 
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