From the monthly archives: August 2012


Presented by Marv Wood with some revisions to an article by its author: “Luca”

(Previously the team physician for Loyola) a true high school football fan when he writes:

Technically, the New Year begins on January 1.  For High School Football fanatics it begins in August, during Hell Week and progressing through two-a-days and then that first Friday in September.

To everything there is a season.  The football season cycles around this time of year and those who await it live their own cycles.  You can see all the stages represented on any given Friday night.  There are the elementary school kids wearing their big brother’s varsity jersey or his Pop Warner/JAA uniform and staring wistfully at the field, dreaming of the day that it will be his turn to shine under the lights.  They’ll throw footballs around on the sidelines and on the field at halftime and after the game.  They studiously avoid the little girls who wear their cheerleader uniforms and never take their eyes off the dance team and varsity cheer, likewise dreaming of their turn. Someday!

Then there’s the players themselves.  Most of them, of course, are average athletes. Most of the teams will finish around .500. But nobody believes or even thinks about that the first week of September.  This is what they have been working for and dreaming about for up to half of their brief lives.  It’s September and hope springs eternal in the human breast. Maybe I’ll start, maybe I’ll make All-League, and maybe we’ll even be champions.  No matter how unlikely, everybody is a romantic in early September.  There is an innocence and purity and sense of hope that is both irresistible and inspiring when you watch these kids.  It’s like the triumphant look on a child’s face when he takes his first few steps.  Those of us who lived these days remember the emotions and see them resurrected every season.  And it keeps you coming back.  You wish that all of them could see their dreams fulfilled, could have that last glorious season before it all ends, as certainly it will…..not that you could ever convince them of that now.  You want to warn them that is some ways this is as good as it will ever get.  Embrace it, son, because few people in life get to go around twice.

And then you have the parents.  I don’t know why it is, but there is something awe-inspiring about watching your own son perform and succeed on a HSFB field. Parents suffer the same pregame anxieties, tension and anticipation.  They experience a type of pride and emotion they’ve never known before and could not possibly have anticipated. Everything else seems to fade into insignificance compared to next Friday night.  They live for the tailgate, the cheering section, the game itself and the post game activities.

You want to warn them that it’s going to be over so unbelievably soon.  They have no idea that winter follows hard upon the fall.  They will never again see four years pass so quickly. The party is over in a flash and the end may be devastating.  I don’t know if you have ever had as dramatic letdown as some do at their son’s season- ending, overtime playoff loss. All the practices, all the hours in the weight room, all the films, all the road trips and suddenly it’s 00.00. And you belatedly realize the golden moments have vanished and time has marched on, leaving you with a rolled up, obsolete game program and a set of memories that you will forever cherish: “Those were the days, my friend, We thought they’d never end”…..


And then you have the hangers on like me, with no kids involved , no athletic ability left, and no dreams of what might be. But you do have a perspective that the rest of them don’t have.  Those of us who have cycled through understand the value of this institution and in a way feel an obligation to maintain its integrity to the best of our limited abilities. We had our days on the field and we know what it did for us.  We know the values that it instilled and the priceless memories that it left us.  Without realizing it, HSFB molded us and imprinted a sense of loyalty, dedication and work ethic I’m not sure we could have realized otherwise.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. could have been talking about HSFB (rather than his Civil War memories) when he said: “Through our great good fortune, in our youth our hearts were touched with fire.”

No doubt it seems melodramatic-if not pretentious-to most, but as the seasons roll by and you see the kids in their big brothers’ varsity jersey turn into the overachieving defensive end, and then the hyperventilating euphoric parent and then, to your amazement, join you in your isolation on the hill from which you watch them all parade by, you understand that HSFB is timeless, inestimable value and purpose that most will never understand.  And it’s futile to try to explain because even if you make the attempt you will feel, as Winston observed, like history’s… “flickering lamp {which} stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echo’s, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days…”

No, you have to have cycled through and know the passion yourself to appreciate the value of this institution we call “high school football” – even if you now live far from home, find a local team you can support and go to their games.


By Mario Conde

The Imperial County Board of Supervisors approved a contract with IVROP for intense case management services to Cal works customers.

The Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program requested $458,815.00 to fund Project THRIVE. This project will provide mental health management, oversight of treatment plan components and intensive case management services to customers of the Imperial County Department of Social Services. The target population within CalWORKs will be those customers experiencing barriers in remaining complaint due to undiagnosed and untreated mental health symptoms.

James Semmes, Director of Public Health, said that for many years the department has contracted with Behavioral Health Services to provide Mental Health and Substance Abuse services to those CalWorks clients in need of such services. This year, however the contract is not being renewed.

“Because IVROP has been working with them for a long time, this partnership will enable IVROP to provide intense case management services to selected clients in need of such services as well as to provide direct referral to appropriate treatment components in the community.” Semmes said.

IVROP Superintendent, Mary Camacho, said that the goal of Project THRIVE is to serve CalWORKs Customers that are experiencing difficulty in achieving self-sufficiency due to undiagnosed or untreated mental health symptoms. These services will be provided on a referral basis to eligible CalWorks customers throughout the Imperial Valley. The proposed time frame for the delivery of these services is August 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013.

The County Board approved the contract with a vote of 5-0.


Alegria Farm in Laguna Canyon is Orange County’s First Hydroponic
Vertical Farm; employs Verti-Gro(R) Systems

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif., Aug. 20, 2012 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Local
entrepreneur Erik Cutter has bought the farm – literally.
EnviroIngenuity today announced the phase one completion of Alegria
Farm, Orange County’s first hydroponic vertical farm. Engaged in the
promotion of sustainable technologies, EnviroIngenuity has brought a
new farming system to the west coast.

It wasn’t enough for Cutter to develop and sell a successful
automotive design company, publish Baja Life Magazine for 15 years,
operate a marketing and web design firm, and sell high-end resort
properties. This Laguna Beach-based entrepreneur turned his latest
hobby – growing food – into his latest venture.

Alegria Farm is located on 1/4 acre in Laguna Canyon. Today, more than
7,000 plants are growing in 120 vertical towers producing an exotic
tasting variety of leafy greens, medicinal herbs and heirloom
vegetables. And the farm is still expanding.

Alegria Farm utilizes the Verti-Gro(R) hydroponic system, a futuristic
farming technique featured at the Epcot(R) theme park at Walt Disney
World Resort in Orlando, Florida for last 16 years. The commercial
system uses stacked pots with nutrients and water automatically
dripped through the plant’s root system. Plants grow using 90 percent
less water, 50 percent less fertilizer, 70 percent less land and zero
toxic pesticides – all while delivering 10 times the yield of
traditional organic farming.

Hydroponic farming is soilless and utilizes coconut fiber instead of
organic soil, which virtually eliminates pesticide usage to produce
stronger plants that are substantially more nutrient-rich.

“We have nicknamed Alegria Farm ‘the farmacy’ because – aside from
being delicious – the raw, natural food we are growing is super rich
in enzymes, nutrients and phytochemicals. Dense nutrients remain
intact in our food when it is consumed close to the time it is
harvested. The high-yield, non-toxic nature of the Verti-Gro’s(R)
system makes it easy to farm within the city limits so we can deliver
the freshest produce possible. Our short delivery time has resulted in
our new phrase, ‘Farm to Table in Minutes,'” said Cutter. With an
education in biochemistry and oncology and an avid researcher of
health and nutrition, Cutter hopes to alter the way food is perceived
and teach people how important it is to know where your food comes

“If you agree with Hippocrates, ‘Let thy food by thy medicine,’ then
let Alegria Farm be your Farmacy,” says Cutter.

In addition to creating access to locally-grown, highly nutritious,
pesticide-free greens and vegetables, Alegria Farm is creating jobs
for young people through its subscriber-based produce delivery
service, Alegria Fresh.

“Instead of a paper route, we will hire young people to handle our
produce route,” said Cutter. “Subscribers to our home delivery produce
route will receive a beautifully arranged bouquet of produce once,
twice or three times each week,” Cutter said. “Picked fresh the same
day, these bouquets provide nature’s most powerful bioavailable
vitamins, minerals, enzymes and disease-fighting phytonutrients.”

The company is currently seeking applicants for its produce route.

“Orange County has transformed from an agricultural to a dense urban
mecca, so far less space is available to farmers making vertical
farming a great solution to increase access to healthy food and reduce
impact on the environment,” Cutter added.

For more information on Alegria Farm or to schedule a private tour,
please visit
or follow on Facebook and Twitter.

About EnviroIngenuity:

EnviroIngenuity was founded in 2009 by Erik Cutter. The company is
comprised of forward-thinking professionals, whose goal is to take
advantage of the growing demand for more efficient, cost effective
sustainable energy solutions, employing solar PV, hi-efficiency LED
lighting, green building and hydroponic vertical food production
technologies, the latest venture being the development of the Alegria
Farm. EnviroIngenuity’s mission is “advancingreenergy” and reducing
waste, thus better utilizing limited natural resources. As we invest
in a lower carbon future, the EnviroIngenuity team is focused on
helping organizations move forward to deploy sustainable energy
solutions using disruptive technologies. Learn more at:

In an effort to generate water for the Quantification Settlement Agreement, environmental mitigation of the Salton Sea and to pay back previous overuse or inadvertent overruns of the Imperial Irrigation District’s annual Colorado River water entitlement, the district is seeking participants for two on-farm fallowing programs.
2012-2013 On-Farm Fallowing Program
This is the final call for the current 2012-2013 Fallowing Program with a delayed start of Oct. 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013. This nine-month program is offered at $125 per acre-foot. The deadline for submissions is Sept. 19.
2013 On-Farm Fallowing Program
This is the first call for the 2013 calendar year Fallowing Program running Jan. 1, 2013, through Dec. 31, 2013. With an early start option (up to six months), this 12- to 18-month program is offered at $125 per acre-foot. The deadline for submissions is Sept.19.
Applications for both programs are being accepted by the IID water manager’s office with priority given to those turned in on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is fully subscribed.
Fields selected to participate will be paid to lie fallow throughout the duration of the contract period. “The district will take steps to prevent any water from being delivered throughout the contract period,” said program manager David Bradshaw.
Information and applications have been mailed to all landowners and tenants and is available for download at For more information, please call the fallowing hotline at 1 (760) 339-9898.
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