From the daily archives: Thursday, September 1, 2011

Calexico, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico downtown port of entry seized 36 pounds of cocaine Tuesday from a vehicle driven by a 38-year-old male Mexican citizen from Mexicali, Baja California.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico downtown port of entry seized 36 pounds of cocaine Tuesday from a vehicle driven by a 38-year-old male Mexican citizen from Mexicali, Baja California.

The seizure occurred at about 8:30 a.m. on August 30, when officers with the port’s Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team (A-TCET) were conducting inspections of vehicles and travelers and targeted a white Ford F-250 pick-up truck. Officers utilizing a density measuring device detected anomalies to the undercarriage of the bed area and referred both driver and vehicle for further examination.

An intensive inspection that included a canine screening led officers to the discovery of 16 wrapped packages of cocaine concealed inside two non-factory wooden beams located in the undercarriage area of the pickup bed frame. The street value of the cocaine is worth approximately $324,000.

CBP officers arrested the driver and turned him over to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for further processing.

CBP placed an immigration hold on the Mexican citizen to initiate removal from the United States at the conclusion of his criminal proceedings.

CBP seized the cocaine and vehicle.


Last night marked an exciting milestone in our efforts to put local residents to work in good middle-class jobs in Imperial County’s green economy.

Local 569 proudly swore in our largest class of new Imperial County apprentices to date at our Imperial Electrical Training Center, 15 total. Not only will these young men and women learn the skills to construct renewable energy projects like solar, wind and geothermal plants, they will receive good wages, family healthcare, pension retirement contribution and college credits in the process – a true pathway into a sustainable green career in the electrical industry!

To see a video of this historic evening, please click HERE.

And, as more renewable energy developers commit to employing a local workforce, IBEW Local 569 can continue actively recruiting Imperial County apprentices to build a pipeline of skilled, local electricians in the community.

While our region works to address the dual challenges of economic recession and climate change, IBEW Local 569 is proud to do our part to create green pathways into the middle-class so our local economy is generating jobs that are truly environmentally and economically sustainable.

In Unity,

Johnny Simpson

Business Manager

P.S. To see a video of the largest class of new IBEW 569 Imperial County apprentices to date, please click HERE or visit the “Member Shout Out” video page at!


Britain’s Prince Harry will be coming to America in October to train on Apache helicopter gunships in his role as a serving army officer, U.S. and British military officials reported Wednesday.

News of Harry’s U.S.-based training was reported last week, and specifics of his activities were announced Wednesday.

The prince — Capt. Harry Wales, to his comrades — will be training at the Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field in southern Arizona and at the Navy’s airfield in El Centro, California, starting the first week of October. It’s part of a two-month series of maneuvers dubbed “Exercise Crimson Eagle,” in which British fliers will practice with the Apaches in terrain similar to southern Afghanistan, where British troops are currently based.

“We look to all media outlets to treat Captain Wales as a serviceman and allow him to conduct his training,” Britain’s Defense Ministry said in a statement issued Wednesday.

Harry is the younger son of Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, and the late Princess Diana. He served on the front line in Afghanistan as a forward air controller and saw combat, but was withdrawn in February 2008 after news of his deployment broke.

His brother, Prince William, is also an army officer. But as second in line for the throne, he is specifically barred from combat.


by Nick Thomas

Fans of old movies will probably be familiar with the films of Glenn Ford, including such classics as Gilda, Blackboard Jungle, Courtship of Eddie’s Father, Teahouse of the August Moon, and Fastest Gun Alive. Oddly enough, though he appeared in around 100 feature films, there has never been a biography on Ford … until now.

Ford’s son, Peter, recently authored “Glenn Ford: A Life” published by the University of Wisconsin Press. Peter talked with me about his dad and the book, which is an insightful Hollywood bio filled with stories about one of film’s most underappreciated actors.

Throughout his life, Ford had a number of interests in addition to acting. He apparently had a great fondness for women, a subject Peter approaches with objective candor without ever turning into a trashy memoir.

“He’s perceived by the public as a ‘Jimmy Stewart’ – a wholesome, all-American guy,” Peter told me. “He was that, but he also had a lot of ‘Errol Flynn’ in him. His libido was engaged until the day he passed! In reviewing all my sources, I counted 146 women he had a dalliance with, including Marilyn Monroe.”

Those sources included Ford’s own writings.

“My father kept a diary every day of his life since 1933 and I have every one of them. So there was an enormous amount of material there,” explained Peter. “If you picked any day since then, I could tell you what he had for breakfast, where he went, what he did, what he thought, who he talked to, etc.”

Ford was also a packrat of monumental proportions. When Ford died in 2006, Peter says he donated many of his father’s personal items to charities. Other items he sold, including a piano given to Ford by Judy Garland, a slot machine from Frank Sinatra, and a couch on which he “entertained” Ms. Monroe.

In fact, an auction house hauled off two 26-ft long trucks filled with “stuff” – and that still barely touched the surface of the contents of Ford’s 9,000 square foot home in Beverly Hills.

“He saved everything,” said Peter. “I have every letter he ever received and copies of letters he wrote. I have his baby teeth, the lock of hair from his first haircut, the dish he used as a baby, and every report card from school. There [were] also 1000’s of photographs, and 1000’s of books. Wherever he went, he would take scraps of paper and write his thoughts. Often, he would stick these randomly in books, along with letters, Christmas cards and even money.”

Peter donated hundreds of those books to libraries, but had to check each one in case his father had left some forgotten treasure within its pages. In one, he found many letters from singer Sophie Tucker.

Glenn Ford was also quite an autograph collector. During a 2004 interview, Ford was asked which autograph of a historical figure would he love to have in his collection, and what would he have asked that person to write in an accompanying inscription.

“I would have to say Jesus of Nazareth,” Ford answered. “Although I am not sure I would feel too comfortable asking for his autograph, let alone an inscription – I’d be afraid of what he might say to me!”

More than likely, the good Lord may have frowned on one of Ford’s other “hobbies” – namely, secretly recording numerous telephone conversations. In late 1950s Ford, unknowingly to his family and friends, installed a phone tap on the family’s phone. After his father died, Peter discovered hundreds of old reel-to-reel and cassette recordings of celebrities and politicians.

“He has some of President Richard Nixon,” said Peter with a chuckle. “Isn’t that ironic? The most infamous taper himself getting taped!”

Maybe we now know where Tricky Dick got the idea!

Peter’s book also recalls childhood Sunday morning walks with his dad along Santa Monica Boulevard. The two would often stop under a leafy ficus tree and Ford would ask his son if he wanted some chewing gum. Adept at slight of hand tricks, Ford would appear to pull some chewing gum from the tree, leading young Peter to believe there really was such a thing as a “gum tree!”

In another story, Peter remembers flying in a private plane with his dad to Cody, Wyoming, for the dedication of the Buffalo Bill Museum. The ceremony culminated with a live buffalo dangling in a harness from a helicopter, flying over the crowd. But as the pilot hovered above the assembled dignitaries, the terrified animal’s bladder and bowels let loose. When combined with the downward force of the chopper’s rotor blades, Peter says it proved to be a most memorable event.

Of course, not all the tales in Peter’s book are humorous. Ford was a complex man, which led to difficulties and intricacies in his professional and personal life, but these are honestly described by his son.

Film fans will not be disappointed in this book and the stories by his only child, Peter Ford, and the revelations about his dad – as well as his mom, who was the great dancer, Eleanor Powell!

More information about “Glen Ford: A Life” can also be found at the website.

%d bloggers like this: