From the daily archives: Thursday, November 3, 2011

Name:        JARED A, GAREWAL

Phone:    760-562-4254

Age: 33

Family:    Wife Mariana, and four children, Abby, J.R., Jasmine, and Andrew

Campaign email:

Facebook Fan Page Name:      Vote for Jared Garewal

Education:       Bachelors in History from University of California at Santa Barbara,  Graduate studies in Cross Cultural Education from National University, Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential, Preliminary Administrative Services Credential

Experience:    Teacher at Holtville High School (August 2000 – June 2006), School Support Coordinator at Imperial County Office of  Education  (August 2006 – June 2007), Agriculture Business Manager at R.S. Garewal and Sons, Inc., (July 2007 – present)

Candidate Statement:
I am a product of the Holtville school system and I was proud to come back to teach in Holtville for six years.  I will have four children graduate from the Holtville school system.  As a board member I will do my part in continuing to provide a meaningful education for all Holtville Unified School district students.  I feel that through a collaborative and proactive effort, I can help develop and implement policy that is all inclusive, balanced, and student driven.  In addition, I will hold myself accountable to ensuring a quality education for all Holtville students through fiscal accountability, safe and adequate facilities and resources, and quality curriculum and instruction.


Age:  46

Family: Wife Rosie, and three chldren, Erica, Emily, and Sadie.

Goals:  Continue to be proactive in the management of potential state budget cuts, curriculum improvement at all education levels, provide for a safe and effective learning environment, furnish staff with training, improve and maintain school facilities.

Statement:  As a board member I have been proactive in dealing with the difficult fiscal issues involving California’s budget. I am proud that our District is financially sound.  I will continue to work with administration, teachers, classified staff and my board colleagues in the fulfillment of my paramount objective which is to provide all students of Holtville schools a quality education in an effective and safe learning environment.  I have lived in Holtville all my life and attended Holtville schools.  My wife and I have 3 children, 2 who currently attend Holtville Schools and one who has graduated.  I pledge to be accessible to parents, staff, students and the community.  Please vote for Terry Allegranza on November 8, 2011.

Education:  Holtville High School diploma, Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration from San Diego State University.  Graduate course work in the Master of Public Administration program at San Diego State University.

Experience:  current Holtville Unified School District Board of Trustees member, Accounting Manager for Desert Sky Farms,  St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Holtville Treasurer and Elder,  Verde 4-H Treasurer Advisor,  current member of the Rotary Club of Holtville, Holtville Athletic Club and Holtville Chamber of Commerce,  2007-2010 member Parent of Finley Group,  2009-2010 Holtville Unified School District Career Tech Education Advisory Committee

Please vote for Terry Allegranza on November 8, 2011.


To The Editor:

The young man at the Citizenship Ceremony in Calexico a year or two back was
beaming all over his face as he enjoyed the accolades of his supportive family.
“My dad told me if I came to this country, I needed to work hard, get my Citizenship and pay my taxes,” he said.
“I’ve worked hard, paid my taxes, and now I’ve got my Citizenship.”
I found it instructive that this man’s father had emphasized paying taxes. He obviously knew from his experience in his home country, what rampant evasion and non-payment of taxes can do to a community.
That’s why I find it important as Election Day approaches, to invite my fellow citizens of Holtville to get out and vote “no” on all three User Utility Tax  (UUT) propositions.
A “yes” vote on any of these propositions cripples our City in its attempt to  maintain its current quality of life. The UUT provides almost 20% of the City’s  budget. Ask the City Treasurer. No way can the City handle law enforcement, fire  repression and paramedic response levels plus maintain our parks without it.
Plus, our parks acreage is expanding and will require more labor and utility expenses.
There was no “sunset” clause in the legislation as passed by the City Council and approved by voters in the 1990s because all knew the tax was essential to the maintenance and survival of the City.
Which school of economic theory can supporters of eliminating the UUT be following? Alice-in-Wonderland Economics 101? The tax is a fair tax, voter-approved and evenly applied. It is not burdensome. One who is against the tax figures it is costing a dollar a day for his family.
If I understand him correctly, another said his UUT tax, among others, had forced him to go from
full-service cable TV to basic! Small price to pay for the privilege of living in our Jewel City East of the Alamo!
Have the utilities tax “eliminators” looked around town lately? Have they seen   CalTrans making improvements at our City’s west entrance? Have they been down to   Ninth Street to see street improvements there? Have they looked on Fourth Street at the new City water tank, in place just-in-time to take over after the Easter   earthquake last year? Did they hear about the Federal grant we’re going to be getting to help with costs of replacing the old sewage line out to the sewage plant?
All these projects, and many others, are made possible by Federal and State tax dollars coming into our City from other taxpayers (including us). We are beneficiaries hundreds of thousand times over our own small tax contributions to our City.
What could possibly motivate anyone in the year 2011, with the City facing  enormous cutbacks in State funding for Redevelopment (RDA) to argue to cut  taxes?
Pete Mellinger, our City Treasurer is quaking in his boots, and so am I, over escalating and unforeseen legal costs of lawsuits against the City. He has  recently signed a check for $20,000 to attorneys helping the City fight a lawsuit from the Holtville Unified School District board for hundreds of  thousands of dollars of “incorrectly apportioned” RDA money. That check is in addition to others for $10,000 and $12,500 already signed and mailed. Will this lawsuit bankrupt the City? It quite easily could. What other lawsuits are  waiting in the wings?
Are we to ignore our role in providing services and planning for the  infrastructure need by future generations? Look at history’s record: our City was a scarce five years old in 1910 when residents bonded to the tune of $40,000 for a water plant, and a few years later others for sewers, a bridge and fire
One of the bond measures passed without a single negative vote.
Let us now take responsible action. On November 8 we need to vote “No” on all three propositions and continue to gladly pay our UUT to maintain our police,
fire and parks staffs.
Quentin Burke
817 East Eighth St., Holtville


By Luke Phillips

Next week Holtville residents will have their choice of three ballot measures that would directly affect the city’s tax on utilities, but unfortunately most residents seem to be confused about what the measures mean and how they would affect the tax and so far the city has done little to clear the confusion.
According to information from the Imperial County Elections Department, Measure ‘M’ would reduce the tax for a period of five years, Measure ‘N’ would reduce the tax for a period of three years and Measure ‘O’ would extend the tax for five years. The city would presumably have the option of installing a new tax at the end of the three or five year period if measures ‘M’ or ‘N’ pass.
The real question, which was first brought up by City Treasurer Pete Mellinger, is what happens if more than one of the ballot measures pass that are in direct conflict with one another, such as Measures ‘M’ and ‘O’ or Measures ‘N’ and ‘O’.
Why did the city make this whole process so confusing? Why haven’t they issued a press release or at least made a coherent statement explaining the measures?
The first time Mellinger asked City Attorney Steve Walker about what would happen if two conflicting measures were to pass, he couldn’t provide an answer and said he would find one before the city council’s next meeting. When Mellinger asked the same question at the next meeting Walker again dodged the question, saying that not all of the measures are mutually exclusive and that some combinations actually could be enacted at the same time. But he still failed to explain what would happen if conflicting measures were to pass.
I personally called City Manager Alex Meyerhoff and posed the same question and he told me he would have to defer to the City Attorney and that he would get back to me with an answer. That was two weeks ago and I still haven’t heard back from Meyerhoff or Walker.
So here we are less than a week before the election and the public is still as confused as ever about what to vote for. Some have accused the city of purposefully presenting the measures in a confusing manner so that none of them will pass and the city won’t lose out on the precious funds garnered from the tax, nearly 20 percent of the general fund budget.
I happen to agree that utility tax should stay. It seems like a small burden for each of our residents to bear compared to the good it does for the city, but perhaps some special dispensation should be given to low income residents that truly are struggling.
Whatever the case, the city should have cleared up the whole matter long ago so that the residents of Holtville are able to make a responsible, informed decision. This isn’t communist Russia and backroom schemes to confuse the public shouldn’t be tolerated.
And to make it a little more simple for the voting public:
If you want to keep the utility tax in place simply do nothing. If none of the ballot measures pass, the tax will not change and will remain in place as it has been for the past 17 years.
If you want to get rid of the tax Measure ‘N’ is probably your best bet. It establishes a sunset clause at the end of three years and if they don’t want to lose the funding the city council would have to vote to enact a new tax at that time.


To the Editor:
Did you sign the petition to end the Users Utility Tax?
Do you realize the services now provided by the Tax will be reduced or no longer provided?
Let’s look at the Parks budget: 5% of the Users Utility Tax assures you of lighting in Samaha Park for the tennis courts and skateboarders until 10:00 p.m.; and the facilities at Mack Park with lighting for Little League and soccer teams; as well as Holt Park with the abundance of playground equipment, picnic and barbecue amenities and the swimming pool for all events.
Also the Fire Department, who are first responders for fire suppression, bleeding, heart attacks, breathing irregularities, blood pressure issues, power outages, falling trees, flooding or any personal life-threatening concern that are the most widespread emergencies and would be subjected to cutbacks.
The Police Department, who roam your 17 miles of streets and alleys 24 hours a day and who are always on-call, as is the Fire Department, for any activity that may be frightening or suspicious (such as threats of violence driving under the influence, loud music, family disputes, neighbor problems, animal control, graffiti, unusual alley activity and more) would likewise be affected.
These three major services will be the most affected with the loss of the Users Utility Tax. They are the services the Users Utility Tax was implemented to cover.
The Redevelopment Agency (RDA) funds are frozen by the State and will cripple any proposed projects enhancing the City of Holtville for use by the residents.
I want to believe that the fiber of this Community will continue to support the needs of service as it has always done in the past, and will keep the Users Utility Tax intact to succeed in the progress of our unique Community, the City of Holtville.
Colleen Ludwig


The Darwin Awards – 2011

It’s that time again. The Darwin Awards are out. The annual honor is given to the persons who did the gene pool the biggest service by killing themselves in the most extraordinarily stupid way.
Last year’s winner was the fellow who was killed by a Coke machine which toppled over on top of him as he was attempting to tip a free soda out. This year’s winner was a real rocket scientist… HONESTLY! Read on…And remember that each and every one of these is a TRUE STORY!!!
And the nominees were:
Semifinalist #1
A young Canadian man, searching for a way of getting drunk cheaply, because he had no money with which to buy alcohol, mixed gasoline with milk. Not surprisingly, this concoction made him ill, and he vomited into the fireplace in his house. This resulting explosion and fire burned his house down, killing both him and his sister.
Semifinalist #2
Three Brazilian men were flying in a light aircraft at low altitude when another plane approached. It appears that they decided to moon the occupants of the other plane, but lost control of their own aircraft and crashed. They were all found dead in the wreckage with their pants around their ankles
Semifinalist #3
A 22-year-old Reston , VA , man was found dead after he tried to use octopus straps to bungee jump off a 70-foot rail road trestle. Fairfax County police said Eric Barcia, a fast-food worker, taped a bunch of these straps together, wrapped an end around one foot, anchored the other end to the trestle at Lake Accotink Park, jumped and hit the pavement. Warren Carmichael, a police spokesman, said investigators think Barcia was alone because his car was found nearby. ‘The length of the cord that he had assembled was greater than the distance between the trestle and the ground,’ Carmichael said. Police say the apparent cause of death was ‘Major trauma.’
Semifinalist #4
A man in Alabama died from rattlesnake bites. It seems that he and a friend were playing a game of catch, using the rattlesnake as a ball. The friend – no doubt a future Darwin Awards candidate – was hospitalized.
Semifinalist #5
Employees in a medium-sized warehouse in west Texas noticed the smell of a gas leak. Sensibly, management evacuated the building, extinguishing all potential sources of ignition; lights, power, etc..
After the building had been evacuated, two technicians from the gas company were dispatched. Upon entering the building, they found they had difficulty navigating in the dark. To their frustration, none of the lights worked. Witnesses later described the sight of one of the technicians reaching into his pocket and retrieving an object that resembled a cigarette lighter. Upon operation of the lighter-like object, the gas in the warehouse exploded, sending pieces of it up to three miles away. Nothing was found of the technicians, but the lighter was virtually untouched by the explosion. The technician suspected of causing the blast had never been thought of as ”bright” by his peers.
And Now, for the winner of this year’s Darwin Award -(As always, awarded posthumously):
The Arizona Highway Patrol came upon a pile of smoldering metal embedded in the side of a cliff rising above the road at the apex of a curve. The wreckage resembled the site of an airplane crash, but it was a car. The type of car was unidentifiable at the scene. Police investigators finally pieced together the mystery. An amateur rocket scientist had somehow gotten hold of a JATO unit (Jet Assisted Take Off, actually a solid-fuel rocket) that is used to give heavy military transport planes an extra ‘push’ for taking off from short airfields. He had driven his Chevy Impala out into the desert and found a long, straight stretch of road. He attached the JATO unit to the car, jumped in, got up some speed and fired off the JATO!
The facts as best could be determined are that the operator of the 1967 Impala hit the JATO ignition at a distance of approximately 3.0 miles from the crash site. This was established by the scorched and melted asphalt at that location.
The JATO, if operating properly, would have reached maximum thrust within 5 seconds, causing the Chevy to reach speeds well in excess of 350 mph and continuing at full power for an additional 20 -25 seconds. The driver, and soon-to-be pilot, would have experienced G-forces usually reserved for dog fighting F-14 jocks under full afterburners, causing him to become irrelevant for the remainder of the event.
However, the automobile remained on the straight highway for about 2.5 miles (15-20 seconds) before the driver applied and completely melted the brakes, blowing the tires and leaving thick rubber marks on the road surface, then becoming airborne for an additional 1.4 miles and impacting the cliff face at a height of 125 feet, leaving a blackened crater 3 feet deep in the rock.
Most of the driver’s remains were not recoverable.
Epilogue: It has been calculated that this moron attained a ground speed of approximately 420-mph, though much of his voyage was not actually on the ground.
You just couldn’t make this stuff up, could you?

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