From the daily archives: Tuesday, September 27, 2011

IMPERIAL VALLEY – Mark your calendars! The 12th Annual Fire Ball to benefit the Burn Institute will be held on Friday, October 14, 2011.  Once again, this year’s Fire Ball will adopt a casual tone to match its venue – the Casa De Mañana Building at the Imperial Valley Expo (200 East 2nd St., Imperial, CA  92251). Western wear is encouraged!

The fun begins at 6:00 p.m. with a no-host reception and silent auction, followed by dinner at 6:45 p.m. This year’s Fire Ball will offer a full menu of barbecue favorites, line dancing with Country DJ and lots of casino action! Exciting live and silent auction items will also be featured.  Designed to honor members of the fire service, local firefighters from throughout Imperial County will be presented with Exceptional Service awards.

Founded in 1972 and celebrating nearly 40 years of service to the community, the Burn Institute is the local nonprofit agency dedicated to reducing the number of burn injuries and deaths in San Diego, Imperial, Riverside and San Bernardino counties through burn survivor support services burn care research and treatment, and fire and burn prevention education. To learn more about the Burn Institute, visit


All proceeds from Fire Ball 2011 will remain in the Imperial Valley

to support the vital work of the Burn Institute–Imperial Valley.


Tickets are $50 each or $400 for a table of eight; sponsorships are still available. To purchase tickets, inquire about a sponsorship or donate an auction item, contact Special Events Manager, Kelsey Warren at (858) 541-2277 x20 or e-mail  



Media Contact:  Joanie Ewing

858.541.2277 x 17


San Juan, Puerto Rico– Sunday morning, during a random inspection of passengers arriving from St. Christopher – Nevis, on board the cruise ship “Carnival Victory”, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers arrested a passenger who was attempting to transport cocaine into the United States inside his back pack.

His brother was also arrested on conspiracy charges.
CBP Officers arrested a 27-year-old U.S. citizen after finding approximately 1,694 grams of cocaine inside a back pack that he was carrying.

CBP Officers arrested Carl Peterkin, a 27-year-old U.S. citizen, after finding approximately 1,694 grams of cocaine inside a back pack that he was carrying. His brother, Mr. Steven Peterkin, 23, was also arrested on conspiracy charges.

The custody of both passengers was transferred to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation.

“CBP officers are always vigilant of criminals who try to engage in illicit activities and elude detection,” stated Marcelino Borges, Director of Field Operations for Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands.


EL CENTRO, California – In a major step in the development of the Imperial Solar Energy Center South, Tenaska Solar Ventures, the solar energy affiliate of Tenaska, has selected First Solar to be the technology provider and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the project near El Centro, Calif.

First Solar will be using advanced thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules for the solar generating plant to be located on approximately 950 acres in the southern part of Imperial County.  First Solar, formed in 1999 and headquartered in Tempe, Ariz., is a world leader and a premier provider of comprehensive PV solar systems.

“The selection of First Solar to design and build Imperial Solar Energy Center South is a significant milestone in the development of new renewable sources of energy for Southern California,” said Bart Ford, Tenaska vice president of Development. “Tenaska is committed to providing an energy source that is sensitive to water use and meets California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard goals.”

He noted that First Solar is among the most respected and experienced manufacturers and builders of solar energy systems in the United States.

“We are excited to work with Tenaska on this project, bringing our industry-leading engineering, construction and operations expertise in utility-scale solar projects to the Imperial Valley,” said Jim Lamon, First Solar senior vice president of EPC and Operations and Maintenance.

Construction of the Imperial Solar Energy Center South project, which is expected to create about 250 jobs at peak construction, is expected to begin in late 2011, with commercial operation in 2014.  Local businesses will benefit economically and the project will contribute to the Imperial County’s growing reputation as the nation’s clean energy capital.

“Where we build projects, we have a large impact on the local economy through contracts with local suppliers and providing jobs to qualified residents. On the last project we built, we were able to hire 85 percent of our workforce locally, and we hope to build on that strong record in Imperial County,” said Doug Biggers, First Solar construction manager for the project. “We pride ourselves on being a good community partner where we do business.”

The facility will be a ground-mounted PV solar power generating system with a capacity of approximately 130 megawatts (MW) AC of electricity. When operating at peak times, the project will produce enough electricity to meet the needs of at least 44,000 California homes. The electricity produced by the project will be sold under a 25-year power-purchase agreement to San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).

First Solar has not begun seeking applications for employment yet.  When information about job openings becomes available, it will be posted on the project Website,, and provided to local employment offices.

Tenaska Solar Ventures will manage the project for Tenaska. Tenaska is an energy company based in Omaha, Nebraska, with a proven track record of developing, constructing, owning, and operating state-of-the-art electric generation and cogeneration plants.

LightSource Renewables, LLC, of San Diego, California, provides ongoing development services to the project.


About Tenaska Solar Ventures

Tenaska Solar Ventures, dedicated to developing, owning and operating solar projects in North America, is an affiliate of Tenaska.


About Tenaska

Tenaska is an independent energy company headquartered in Omaha, Neb., that develops, constructs, owns, and operates non-utility generation and cogeneration plants. The company also markets natural gas, biofuels and electric power, and provides risk management services in addition to being involved in asset acquisition, fuel supply, natural gas exploration, production and transportation systems, and electric transmission development. Tenaska has developed approximately 9,000 megawatts (MW) of electric generating capacity across the United States.


Tenaska’s affiliates operate and manage eight power plants in six states totaling more than 6,700 MW of generating capacity owned in partnership with other companies. Tenaska Capital Management, an affiliate, is the manager of private equity funds with approximately $4.4 billion in assets, including eight power plants (with approximately 5,100 MW of capacity) and multiple natural gas midstream assets, including gas storage, gathering, and processing facilities. Tenaska is repeatedly listed in benchmarking studies by the Natural Resources Defense Council as having among the best fleet-wide records in the United States for controlling emissions. For more information about Tenaska, visit


By Mario Conde

The Calexico City Council gave their green light last week to an application for the operation of the Cardroom in Calexico.

Calexico Police Chief Jim Neujahr said in a report that the Calexico Police Department received a city application for a “Cardroom” license from the sole owner, Juan Cruz, last month to start operating a business called “Double Deuces Poker Room” to be located on Third Street in Calexico.  As mandated by the Calexico Municipal Code, an investigation was conducted into the background and proposed operation of the card room, chief said.

“Mr. Cruz has worked in the gaming industry for more than 15 years and holds the appropriate gaming credentials from the State of California. Mr. Cruz is currently employed as a card game dealer at the Quechan Casino in Winterheaven.”Chief Neujahr said in this report.

The Calexico Police Department recommended that the application be approved since there was nothing on the background investigation that excluded him to get a “card room permit” from the City of Calexico and since the location is consistent with zoning requirements.

The owner of the poker site said in a letter that he would like to take the advantage of the popularity of Poker in the United States by providing the residents of Calexico, “regulated, professional, and safe poker environment.” Cruz said that The City of Calexico is currently without any legal poker venues and residents are forced to travel to Yuma or San Diego to satisfy their poker entertainment needs. “That results in their hard earned dollars leaving the area and being spent and taxed elsewhere.” Cruz said.

In other news, the Council authorized a contract amendment with the Law Offices of John McCaull to complete a number of tasks, included but not limited to, legal research and writing for the development and completion of the New River Improvement Project strategic plan pursuant the Assembly Bill 1079 made by Assemblyman Manuel Perez. The plan is nearing completion, and should be ready for consideration and adoption by the California Mexico Border Relations Council before the end of the year. Due to additional workload and legal services required to complete the strategic plan, City staff and consultant have requested and received support from the agencies overseeing administration funds for the New River Improvement Project to increase the overall contract amount not to exceed $45,000. There will be no impact to the general fund since this money is covered under approval grant agreement with the State Water Resources Control Board.


Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District is pleased to announce that it has achieved national accreditation from DNV Healthcare, the newest and first Medicare-approved hospital accreditation program that integrates the ISO 9001 quality management system with the Medicare hospital standards and that requires the organization to evaluate the continuum of patient care throughout an entire healthcare system and take measured steps to improve when warranted..

CEO Richard Mendoza stated, “We are most proud to have been accredited by DNV on our first survey. The DNV program is more consistent with our long-term commitment to patient safety and total quality. There has not been a new hospital accreditation organization in over 40 years. The ability to integrate the ISO 9001 quality management system with our clinical and financial processes is a major step forward for us.”

DNV, which stands for Det Norske Veritas (the Nordic Truth), began offering accreditation in September 2008 after its accreditation program ( known as National Integrated Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations, or NIAHO®) was authorized by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It is the only program that integrates the ISO quality management system with Medicare’s Conditions of Participation, the core requirements for hospitals set by the federal government. A hospital has three years to comply with the ISO 9001:2008 standards in order to maintain its accreditation with DNV. Accreditation allows PMHD to be reimbursed for its patients covered by Medicare and Medicaid.

DNV hospital accreditation addresses the demands of quality-driven hospitals that are dedicated to patient-centered care. As part of the accreditation process, DNV surveyors track the care of patients across various departments and facilities of Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District.

PMHD has been accredited by the Joint Commission for years, and hospital personnel are familiar with its accreditation process, but the Joint Commission does not require ISO certification. The Joint Commission also prescribes solutions to quality improvement whereas DNV allows hospitals to be innovative and create their own solutions.


“A key thing about the DNV process is that it helps to break down silos within the organization and to promote the best ideas no matter where they come from,” said Mendoza. “There are a lot of people and processes at work behind the scene as well as on the frontlines whose ideas can now help to provide the best care for patients.”


“DNV accreditation is strategically aligned with our goals for patient safety and quality outcomes,” Gina Parker RN, BSN, PHN, Quality Director for PMHD. . “In addition to taking a ‘best practices’ approach to hospital surveys, DNV’s accreditation framework fits well with Pioneers’ culture of delivering safer and higher-quality healthcare to its patients.”


DNV’s accreditation standards offer a unique combination of CMS compliance requirements, known as Conditions of Participation, and quality-improvement techniques, such as Lean process improvement that together help ensure ongoing excellence within hospitals.


Unlike the Joint Commission program, which surveys every three years, DNV conducts annual on-site surveys that focus on cross-departmental collaboration and management innovation.

“The DNV accreditation program provides us the opportunity to simultaneously satisfy our Medicare accreditation requirements and to implement the ISO 9001 Quality Management System,” said Mendoza. “This is much more than an accreditation program; it’s a catalyst for our ongoing commitment to deliver higher levels of quality and service.”

DNV Healthcare Inc. is based in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Det Norske Veritas, a global independent foundation dedicated to safeguarding life, property, and the environment. For more information about DNV Healthcare and its NIAHO® accreditation program, visit


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