From the daily archives: Tuesday, January 3, 2012
As we enter the new year, California motorists should be aware of some of the new laws going into effect January 1, 2012.  These new traffic laws were passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor earlier this year, and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is asking the motoring public to familiarize themselves with the changes before they take effect. 
“Our hope is by educating the public of these new traffic safety laws in advance, more lives will be saved in the new year,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow.
The following are highlights of a few of the significant changes for the upcoming year:
  • A change to California’s Child Passenger Safety Seat law will now require children to ride in either a car seat or booster seat until the age of eight, or until they reach a height of 4 feet 9 inches.  This law also requires children who do not meet the age or height requirement to ride in the rear seat of a vehicle unless the vehicle has no back seats, the restraint system cannot be properly installed or the rear seats are already occupied by children under age eight.  However, the law still maintains that a child may not ride in the front seat of a vehicle with an active passenger airbag if they are under one year of age, less than 20 pounds, or riding in a rear-facing child safety seat. (SB 929, Evans)
  • Drivers are required to stop and submit to a sobriety checkpoint.  However, peace officers will be prohibited from impounding a vehicle for 30 days out of a sobriety checkpoint if the only offense by the driver is failing to hold a valid driver license. The new law requires that the officer make a reasonable attempt to identify the registered owner in order to release the vehicle. (AB 353, Cedillo)
  • Anyone who is convicted of reckless driving under Section 23103.5 of the Vehicle Code can apply for a restricted driver license prior to the completion of their one-year suspension, provided they meet specified conditions, including the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device in their vehicle. (AB 520, Ammiano)
  • Vehicles will be prohibited from crossing double parallel solid white lines except where permitted. (AB 1105, Gordon)
  • A segment of Vasco Road between I-580 in Alameda County and Walnut Boulevard in Contra Costa County has been re-designated as a double fine zone until January 1, 2017.
(AB 348, Buchanan)
  • Electric Vehicles (EV) must now be plugged in for refueling when occupying an EV-designated parking space, otherwise they may be towed.  In addition, the law prohibits a person from obstructing, blocking, or otherwise barring access to an EV-designated parking space. (AB 475, Butler)
  • The County of Riverside, or any city within the county, has been permitted to develop a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle transportation plan.  (AB 61, Jeffries & SB 290, Correa)
  • Inyo County, using a pilot program, has been granted authority to explore options for developing a greater network of linked Off-Highway Vehicle trails; they will be allowed to designate combined use highways on unincorporated county roads for up to 10 miles, subject to CHP approval.   This program will remain in effect until January 1, 2017.
(AB 628, Conway)
  • The City of Santa Monica can now operate 25 city-owned buses with illuminated signs displaying advertising messages.  This pilot program is authorized through January 1, 2017. (AB 607, Brownley)
  • Local governments can now regulate advertising signs on any motor vehicle parked or left standing upon a public street, except for signs painted directly upon or permanently affixed to the vehicle for permanent decoration, identification, or display that do not extend beyond the overall length, width, or height of the vehicle. (AB 1298, Blumenfield)
  • Licensed livestock carriers can continue to travel on Highway 101 within the counties of Del Norte, Humboldt, and Mendocino from its junction with Highway 1 near Leggett, north to the Oregon border until January 1, 2015. (AB 349, Chesbro)
A law dealing with repeat driving under the influence (DUI) offenders that was passed in 2010 also goes into effect on January 1:
·      Section 23579 was added to the Vehicle Code, which authorizes courts to revoke a driver’s license for 10 years if a person is convicted of three or more DUIs. Under this law enacted in 2010, a motorist may be allowed to apply for reinstatement of his or her driver’s license with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) after five years, if the person installs an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in their vehicle. The law allows the DMV to terminate this restricted license if the IID requirements are not met. (AB 1601, Hill)
The points above are only a synopsis of the new laws listed here and only a partial list of California’s new laws adopted for 2012.  For complete information on chaptered bills enacted in 2011, please refer to the Legislative Counsel website at

The El Centro Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau will host the 27th

Annual Snowbird Breakfast on Saturday, January 14, 2012.  The annual event

welcomes and thanks our winter visitors for choosing the Imperial Valley as their

winter home.

Breakfast will be served from 8:00 am to 10:00 am at Stark Field, located at

4th Street & Lenrey Ave. in El Centro. The breakfast is free of charge to any visitor with an

out- of- county driver’s license.  Along with breakfast, visitors can enjoy information

booths, vendors, and entertainment.

This annual event provides local businesses the opportunity to introduce

themselves to winter visitors and promote their services.  Businesses are encouraged

to contact the Chamber if they wish to set up a booth or donate raffle prizes.

Contact Trish McNeece at (760) 352-3681 for more information.


Imperial Valley Economic Development Corp. has announced that the theme of its 2012 Imperial Valley Renewable Energy Summit and Expo is “The Power to Renew California.” The fifth annual event will be held March 13-15, 2012. Negotiations are underway to finalize a venue in the Imperial Valley.
“With commercial-scale solar plants now under construction, geothermal facilities already producing more than 500 megawatts of base load power and scores of additional renewable projects being built, permitted or well into the planning process, Imperial Valley is rapidly realizing the promise of renewable energy development that California needs to thrive,” said IVEDC President/CEO Timothy Kelley.
Additionally, Kelley named the committee chairmen and women planning the 2012 Imperial Valley Renewable Energy Summit that will feature industry expert speakers, a trade show, a networking reception, a banquet and tours of area renewable generators.
Rosa Maria Gonzales, who is with the Imperial Irrigation District, will chair the committee made up of industry insiders. She also will serve on the program subcommittee.
“The goal of the 2012 summit is to focus on both the achievements thus far and challenges of the maturing renewable energy industry in the Imperial Valley,” Gonzales said. “We want to make sure attendees get compelling information and insights along with a taste of Imperial Valley hospitality.”
Also chairing planning committee subcommittees are: Logistics Committee, Robert Brock, Imperial Valley Community Foundation, president and CEO; Education and Bus Tour Committee,Tom Topuzes, Topuzes & Associates, president and CEO; Marketing Committee, Susan Giller, Valley Solutions Group Inc., partner; Finance and Social Media Committee, Eusebio Arballo, SDG&E, public affairs specialist; Program Committee, Mark Gran, CalEnergy Operating Corporation, vice president, real estate assets and community relations; Attendee Relations Committee, Lori Ziebart, Solar
Gen2, consultant; and Golf Committee, Erik Freeman, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, financial representative.
More information about the Imperial Valley Renewable Energy Summit as well as registration forms, sponsorship information and advertising opportunities in the Renewable Energy Leader edition of the IVEDC magazine, Abundant Opportunities, is available at
IVEDC is a partnership of private enterprise and public agency investors dedicated to improving and diversifying the local economy. Renewable energy development was identified in IVEDC’s strategic plan as one of the region’s growth industry sectors.


By Jim Predmore

The Blue Angels arrived back to NAF El Centro on Tuesday for their winter training. The squadron left from Pensacola Florida at approximately 11:00 am (EST) and arrived just after 12:00 noon (PST) a 3 hour flight across the country. Leaving the cool Pensacola air of 35 degrees and arriving to the pleasant Southern California temperature of 80 degrees.

The Blue Angels will be training here in the Southern California desert over the next couple of months, leading up to their display at the Navel Air Show on March 10th 2012. The Blue Angles will also participate in a number of local events such as the Blue Angle Golf Tournament, Holtville’s Rib Cook Off, and a 10k race to mention a few.

The Blue Angels represent the finest from the Navy and Marine Corps. Each member, whether officer or enlisted, is hand-picked from the fleet to be part of the Blue Angels team. Every year, this select group begins a two or three-year rotation traveling across the country and around the world to perform for millions of spectators.

Every year, a total of 16 Officers and nearly 100 enlisted men and women volunteer for duty with the Blue Angels. Team members are well-rounded representatives of fleet counterparts and selection is extremely competitive. Each squadron member is individually selected. There are certain requirements that the squadron looks for in hiring a team member, and applicants must be career-oriented Sailors or Marines recommended for Blue Angels duty by their current Commanding Officer.

Competition during the application process ensures that the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron maintains its tradition of excellence and adequately reflects the professionalism of today’s Sailors and Marines.

We talked with Lieutenant David Tickle who is a native of Birmingham, Ala., and graduated from Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School in 1998. He attended the United States Naval Academy earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering in 2002, and was commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy.

David reported to Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Fla., for aviation indoctrination in July 2002. He completed primary flight training in the T-34C Turbo Mentor at NAS Whiting Field, Fla., and transferred to NAS Meridian, Miss., for intermediate and advanced flight training in the T-2C Buckeye and T-45C Goshawk. He earned his wings of gold in April 2005.

David then reported to Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106), the “Gladiators,” at NAS Oceana, Va., for initial training in the F/A-18C Hornet. In February 2006, he reported to Strike Fighter Squadron 136 (VFA-136), the “Knighthawks,” also at NAS Oceana where he served as the Squadron Mess Officer, Public Affairs Officer, Aircraft Division Officer, Naval Air Training and Operation Procedures Standardization (NATOPS) Officer, Assistant Schedules Officer, Air to Air Weapons and Tactics Officer, Quality Assurance Officer and Landing Signals Officer (LSO). While assigned to VFA-136, David completed deployments aboard USS Enterprise (CVN 65), and flew in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Upon completion of the second deployment, David transitioned along with VFA-136 to the F/A-18E Super Hornet.

In February 2009, David reported to the Training Squadron 9 (VT-9), the “Tigers,” at NAS Meridian, Miss. While serving as an instructor pilot with the “Tigers,” he served as the Instructor Under Training Standardization Officer and LSO.

David joined the Blue Angels in September 2010 and served as the Narrator and VIP pilot in 2011. He has accumulated more than 1,800 flight hours and 261 carrier arrested landings. His decorations include two Strike Flight Air Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and various personal and unit awards.

David has moved from No.7 to No. 6 in his second year with the Blue Angels and is looking forward to all of the activities and training that he will be participating in this year.


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