From the monthly archives: February 2012

WHEN:    Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012

11:30 a.m.


WHERE:   630 Nordahl Road near Montiel Road (behind the 4 Wheel Parts store)

City of San Marcos

(Directions: From SR 78 exit Nordahl Road and turn north. Make your first right at Montiel Road and follow event signs.)


WHAT:     Dignitaries will launch construction on a project to relieve traffic congestion on State Route 78 near Interstate 15 in inland North County. Estimated to cost a total of $40 million, the project involves widening both eastbound and westbound SR 78 and replacing the Nordahl Road Bridge. Caltrans, SANDAG, and the cities of Escondido and San Marcos are working together on the improvements. Dignitaries who are scheduled to attend the event include San Marcos Mayor Jim Desmond, Escondido Mayor Sam Abed, SANDAG Board Chairman and Encinitas Mayor Jerome Stocks, and Caltrans District 11 Acting Director Bill Figge.

VISUAL:   Displays of SR 78 improvements, including maps showing the widening of westbound and eastbound SR 78 and the replacement of Nordahl Road Bridge.


Long time El Centro attorney William Derek Quan has announced his candidacy for Superior Court Judge Seat #3.
Quan opened his law firm in El Centro in 1997 and has practiced locally and throughout Southern California for over 14 years. Quan also has served as an arbitrator for the Imperial County Superior Courts and as a Judge Pro Tem.
“With my legal experience in criminal law, family law, civil litigation, probate, personal injury and juvenile law, I am uniquely prepared to serve as an Imperial County Superior Court judge,” Quan said. “I have the legal background and understanding of the issues facing Imperial County residents to provide fair and balanced justice.”
Quan said he decided to run for Superior Court Judge Seat #3 at the urging of members of the bar, friends and family.
“It is time for the residents of Imperial County to decide on their own who should sit as judge in the Superior Court #3 seat,” he said.
El Centro native Quan graduated from Central Union High School in 1989. He earned a double major in political science and economics from the University of California, Riverside. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of San Diego Law School in May 1996, the same year he passed the California State Bar Exam.
Quan and his wife, Isela Orozco Casillas-Quan, have been married for 16 years and have three children. Quan has coached AYSO Youth Soccer for six years and also has coached Little League baseball.


Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District (PMHD) is pleased to announce the results of two of its “green” efforts. The first is a completed project with Imperial Irrigation District (IID), and the second is an ongoing program with Shred-It.
PMHD participated in IID’s Custom Energy Solutions Program. With the support of Johnson Control, PMHD’s facilities maintenance contractor, a customized energy solution unique to the hospital facility was developed and implemented. It included upgrades such as energy-efficient lighting, controls, motors, and refrigeration measures. These upgrades will result in an estimated annual energy savings of 927,331 kilowatt/hours (kWh), an annual demand reduction of 126 kW, and a reduction of 1,409,738 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to the emissions of 125 cars. Along with the annual energy savings, the hospital also received an incentive of $106,540.99. The actions by PMHD exemplify its commitment to reduce its carbon footprint and create a greener environment for those it serves.
“It was our pleasure working with Pioneer’s Memorial Healthcare District, one of the major healthcare providers in the Imperial County,” said Sabrina Barber, assistant energy manager. “We take pride in knowing that through Pioneers’ participation in our Custom Energy Solutions Program, we have helped them continue with their mission of providing our community with quality healthcare in a safe and efficient manner while promoting environmental stewardship.”
The second “green” effort by PMHD is an ongoing shredding and recycling program. Initiated to ensure the proper destruction of patient information, the program has garnered the additional benefit of saving 1293 trees from destruction in 2011. Shred-It officials congratulated PMHD for the positive impact this initiative has made toward saving the environment.
“We continue to seek creative methods to ensure a greener environment,” stated Art Mejia, Assistant Administrator. “We continue to be proud of the installation of a photovoltaic solar system in 2008 to help manage rising energy costs. PMHD became one of the first hospitals in the state of California to feature this breakthrough technology,” noted Mejia.


Presale tickets and family value packs are now on sale throughout the Valley for the 2012 California Mid-Winter Fair, which kicks off March 2 with a theme of “Tropical Nights and Carnival Delights.”
They are available at Sonic Burger in El Centro and Calexico; Goyal’s Shell, Brawley; the fair box office and all Rabobank locations in the Valley. Family Value Packs are available at the Mall and the fair box office.
There are several different ways to buy presale fair tickets. The $56 Family Value Packs, a package that consists of two adult and two children’s fair tickets as well as food coupons and 2 carnival WOW wristband coupons, are on sale at the Imperial Valley Mall and fair box office. The actual value of the package is more than $160.
Additionally, Individual presale tickets ($6 adult, $4 child 6-12 and $5 senior 60+) as well as $18 carnival WOW coupons redeemable for carnival wristbands are currently on sale.  All presales, which are savings of up to 25 percent off regular ticket purchase prices and up to 40 percent off carnival coupons, will end March 1.
In addition to the concerts, displays and competitive activities throughout the 10 day run, the year’s fair will feature an expanded carnival and a special “Tropical Wildlife Adventure” in the Preble Building.


With the Holtville Carrot Festival finished this year, our attention now focuses on the 2012 California Mid-Winter Fair & Fiesta, this year with the theme of “Tropical Nights & Carnival Lights.”
(I’m guessing the fair board is expecting hot, humid weather next month!)
With tribute acts like Journey, Carlos Santana, George Strait and Alabama, along with the mariachi acts on Dia De La Familia, the fair looks to, once again, have something for almost everyone.
Then again, many fair attendees have been complaining about the tribute acts, saying things like that “It’s not the same as the real thing.”
This, of course, is malarkey.
Paying for four or five acts  spread out over the Fair makes more sense than paying for one “big name” act that may not have been relevant in recent years.
More acts, spread over time, means something for everyone instead of banking on big night.
Additionally, a tribute act is much more willing to play a small outdoor arena than a big name act would.
To top it all off, the last “big name” act to show up at the fair, The Guess Who, featured one original member (the bassist).
Let’s not fault the Fair Board for using tribute bands.  We’ll probably have plenty of other reasons to gripe after the 10th, though (just kidding!)

With plenty of construction taking place or about to begin in Brawley, spirits within the community are up in the north county city.
Chandi Group USA will be putting an AM/PM gas station near the Wal-Mart area along with a Del Taco and an automated car wash.  This will be located near the corner of Legion St and Highway 86.
Slightly to the north of that will see construction on a new branch of the Sun Community Federal Credit Union and will have additional parking along with the larger facility.
Across the highway from these two projects, Florentine Collections is currently open for business and will have Panno Road finished sometime in the future, opening up the property for vast improvements.
Over on the west side of the city, the former Regan Community Center is undergoing extensive renovations to clean up overgrowth and to repair damage from vandals and taggers.
It’s good to see things happening in the city, but I’ll have to temper my enthusiasm until all areas of the city see some economic improvement.

The recent court decisions overturning California’s Proposition 8, the 2010 ballot measure banning same sex marriage in the state, have had me smiling.
After all, why shouldn’t everyone be allowed to be miserable with the person they love?
Still, there are plenty of people opposed to this, for various reasons, all of which can be dismissed with a few minutes of research or real logic.
Of course, these are the same people that often cry “government interference in private lives” is bad, yet welcome government intervention on this huge scale.
It’s as if they’re saying “No, you can’t be with the person you love because we find it icky.”
If the roles were reversed, they’d be singing a much different tune. Then again, what else is new…
On a related note, Imperial County has long been a laughing stock of the state, and the recent decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to deny Imperial County status as a defendant only adds to that ridicule.
In this instance, the fault isn’t entirely that of Chuck Storey, the county clerk.  Much of it falls on former Board of Supervisors member Wally Leimgruber.
Leimgruber continues to defend his role in allowing the anti-same sex marriage group Advocates for Faith and Freedom to use Imperial County as a potential defendant.
However, instead of being a beacon of faith in the state, Imperial County continues to get the points and laughs from the more progressive parts of our state.
This issue has gone far enough, too far for Imperial County’s involvement to continue.  The county needs to spend all their resources on the county and not on another appeal against a court that says we don’t have a horse in the race.
Finally, the nonsense of “the will of the people” needs to be abandoned.  This is just a tool for would be bullies to have their way over others.
We don’t live with mob rule in the United States.  We have laws that must be followed and some laws are more important than others.
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness should apply to all, not just to a heavy handed majority.

Until next time…

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