From the monthly archives: August 2011

OCOTILLO, Calif. – Last Friday, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Border Patrol and Air Interdiction Agents assisted Mexican officials in the rescue of two distressed men south of the U.S.-Mexico Border.

 

The incident occurred around 8:25 a.m., after California Highway Patrol dispatchers received a 911 distress call regarding two individuals that were lost in the desert near the border in Ocotillo.  Border Patrol agents operating a remote video surveillance system spotted one of the individuals near the border.

 

Agents made contact with the man and gave him bottled water by passing it through the border fence.  After drinking water he began to walk back into the Mexican desert in an attempt to guide CBP air units to his partner’s location.

 

At approximately 8:52 a.m., Air Interdiction agents hovering over the border located the man and his severely dehydrated partner.  Mexican officials searching for the two men were directed to their location by using the air unit as a reference point.  Once on scene, emergency medical care was provided.

 

Teacher’s Luncheon, Monday Aug. 29, 2011, Swiss Club Holtville, CA

Welcome and Good Afternoon. It is an honor and privilege to be here this afternoon.

I love this time of year. There is excitement in the air. (When the west winds blow even more excitement!)

Don’t our schools look great?  Quote: “Teaching is the highest form of understanding.”  Aristotle

As we begin the new school year, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you back to Holtville.

Holtville’s teachers are a dedicated group of professionals who provide a world-class education to the children of our community. Our district has a rich history of ensuring that each child is given every opportunity to experience academic, social and emotional growth that will help them to become productive, positive contributors to society. My daughter graduated last year now going to college and have a son in high school and proud to be a Holtville School Parent!

As a community we are fortunate to have such dedicated teaching professionals.

The City and School District have a long history of working together for the benefit of the community. The City of Holtville actively supported the school districts last bond initiative. Through our partnership the City provides and maintains park facilities used by the High School’s Football, Baseball, and Softball teams.

But there is more we can do…

I don’t need to tell you that the City of Holtville is 100% committed to teaching and education.

The City’s General Plan, which was adopted in 2003, states that the City is committed: “to work with Holtville Unified School District to ensure that a level of education is provided that meets community education needs.”

Therefore, on behalf of the Holtville City Council, I would like to personally extend an offer to the Holtville Unified School District, to work directly with the City of Holtville, for the betterment of the community.

I suggest we conduct a series of joint City Council School Board meetings starting this fall in order to discover new areas of mutual interest which are ripe for cooperation and collaboration.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak at this great Holtville Chamber event!

 

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PHOENIX HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR… EAST CENTRAL IMPERIAL COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST CALIFORNIA… THIS INCLUDES WINTERHAVEN AND MARTINEZ LAKE… WEST CENTRAL YUMA COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST ARIZONA… THIS INCLUDES YUMA… SOMERTON… GADSDEN… FORTUNA FOOTHILLS…

* UNTIL 1100 PM MST/1100 PM PDT/

* AT 958 PM MST… NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH… VERY HEAVY RAIN… AND SMALL HAIL. IN ADDITION… DENSE BLOWING DUST WILL ACCOMPANY THIS SEVERE STORM. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR LIGURTA… OR 11 MILES EAST OF FORTUNA FOOTHILLS… AND MOVING SOUTHWEST AT 10 MPH.

* OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO KINTER… BLAISDELL… ARABY… ANDRADE… SAN LUIS

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

THIS IS A DANGEROUS STORM. IF YOU ARE IN ITS PATH… PREPARE IMMEDIATELY FOR DAMAGING WINDS AND DEADLY CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING. MOVE TO SHELTER INSIDE A STRONG BUILDING. STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

 

Senator Praises Administration for Looking at Further Steps to Ease Housing Crisis and Calls on the Federal Housing Finance Agency to Immediately Implement S.170

 

Fresno, CA – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today reacted favorably to press reports that the Obama Administration is considering new measures to slow down foreclosures and boost the economy by taking steps similar to S.170, the Helping Responsible Homeowners Act. This bipartisan bill will help up to two million Americans to refinance their mortgages at historically low interest rates, keeping them in their homes and boosting economic growth.

 

Senator Boxer said, “I am extremely pleased that the Boxer-Isakson legislation is gaining support in Washington as it has throughout the country with endorsements from Mark Zandi, the National Association of Realtors, the National Consumers Law Center, the National Association of Mortgage Brokers and many others.”

 

Boxer also sent a letter this afternoon to Acting Director Edward DeMarco of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to follow-up on their meeting earlier this year and to urge him to immediately implement S.170.

 

In the letter, Senator Boxer noted that she was pleased to read DeMarco’s comments indicating he was “open to all ideas that provide needed assistance to borrowers.”  She wrote: “S.170 has the dual benefit of saving Fannie and Freddie money and boosting the economy by giving responsible homeowners who deserve a break but are stuck with high interest rates more money to spend in their communities.”  The full text of the letter is available here.

 

Boxer has called her legislation a “no brainer” and a “win-win” because experts have stated that it will help homeowners who deserve a break but are stuck with high interest rates to refinance and spend extra money to help boost the economy.  Additionally, it will save Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac money as a result of lowering the foreclosure rate.

 

Senator Boxer’s legislation is cosponsored by Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and would:

 

•           Eliminate risk-based fees on loans for which Fannie and Freddie already bear the risk;

•           Remove refinancing limits on underwater properties;

•           Make it easier for borrowers with second mortgages to participate in refinancing programs; and

•           Require that borrowers are able to receive a fair interest rate, comparable to that received by any other borrowers in good standing who have not suffered a drop in home value and have stayed current with their mortgage payments.

 

Interest rates for 30-year home mortgages are at historically low levels. Yet of the 27.5 million mortgages guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, more than 8 million still carry an interest rate at or above 6 percent. For the average homeowner – with a $150,000 loan – lowering the interest rate by 1 percent would save $1,100 a year. With up to two million additional borrowers refinancing, this would pump up to $2.2 billion annually into the economy. The legislation is also expected to lead to up to 54,000 fewer defaults by homeowners and produce a net savings of up to $100 million for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

 

It has been endorsed by Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, along with the National Consumer Law Center, the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, the California Association of Realtors, the California Association of Mortgage Professionals, William Gross, managing director and co-CIO of PIMCO, and housing economist Thomas Lawler.

 

To The Editor:
I would like to thank Mr. Luke Phillips for his editorial on the City’s Animal Care Program (Holtville Tribune, Aug. 19, 2011). This editorial provides an opportunity to increase public awareness by reviewing the history, fiscal limitations and key provisions of Holtville’s animal care program.
Holtville’s animal care program dates back nearly a century. City of Holtville Ordinance No.58 was enacted on January 3, 1913. Drafted in direct response to public health concerns about rabies, the Ordinance ordained the “Muzzling of Dogs Within the City of Holtville and Providing for the Disposal of all Dogs Not so Muzzled.” The law stated that “the Marshall of the City of Holtville was hereby authorized to kill and dispose of all dogs running at large without muzzles, where in his judgment the same would appear to be for the immediate safety of the public…”. While this may seem harsh given today’s standards, this Ordinance indicates that dogs have been a public health issue in the city since the city was incorporated.
Animal control regulations were last updated by Ordinance No. 267, which was enacted on November 13, 1961. Provisions of this ordinance which remain in effect today required the annual vaccination, and annual licensing, and strictly limited the maximum number of animals per household. The ordinance also provided for the impounding of loose dogs (those found running at large) and their destruction, after a period of 72 hours, if not redeemed by their owner.
Ordinance No. 267 included an annual quarantine of dogs and cats, between January 16 and March 1 of each year, for the express purpose of containing rabies. Strict penalties for violating this ordinance included a $500 fine or imprisonment in the City Jail for a period not to exceed six (6) months, or by both such fine and imprisonment. The Ordinance also referenced an agreement between the City and the County of Imperial under which the County of Imperial Animal Control Office enforced the animal code.
So where does that leave Holtville today? Contrary to popular opinion, the City does not have a full time employee devoted animal care.  The City has historically been reactive with regards to animal care. One staff member from the City’s streets and water division performs animal care on a part-time, on-call basis, in addition to their regular assigned duties.
Fiscal Impacts
For Fiscal Year 2011-12, the City has allocated $7,800 for its animal care program. The salary is paid equally from water and sewer revenues. Of this $7,800, a total of $4,800 is allocated to the Humane Society for long term care, adoption and disposal of unclaimed animals. The City further allocated $6,000 in Fiscal Year 2011-12 to participate in a study of regional animal care needs.
As of August 2011, seventy (70) dog licenses have been issued to date. Licenses are issued for $5 per dog generating $350 in annual revenue.
Therefore, in the area of Animal Care, expenditures exceed revenue. While it would be desirable to have a full time City employee devoted solely to animal care, the City lacks the financial resources to do so at this time.
So what are Holtville’s animal care laws and how do they affect me? Many Holtville residents are unaware of the laws pertaining to animal care.
1.    There is a strict limitation on the number of dogs and cats allowed per household.  A maximum of three (3) dogs over age of four months of age are permitted in any one residence. Similarly, a maximum of three (3) cats over the age of four months of age are allowed in any one residence.
2.    Licenses are required for all dogs. It is against the law for any person to have a dog without first having obtained a license.
3.    Rabies vaccinations are required. Before obtaining a dog license, a certificate of rabies vaccination is required.
4.    Loose dogs are prohibited. Dogs found running at large may be impounded.
5.    Noisy animals are a public nuisance. Habitually Barking dogs are prohibited.
6.    Dogs must be kept on leash and under control.
7.    Additional regulations pertain to the keeping of animals, rabbits, hamsters and fowl.
To report a loose, abandoned or dangerous animal, noisy animals or habitual barking dog, or any other potential animal nuisance issues please call 760-356-2991. Your confidentiality will be respected.
To learn more about the City’s regulations governing animal care, please consult the Holtville Municipal Code online at http://www.codepublishing.com/ca/holtville/
If you would like to speak to me directly regarding this or any issue, please feel free to contact me directly at 760.356.4574.
Alex Meyerhoff, City Manager
ameyerhoff@holtville.ca.gov

 
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