From the monthly archives: August 2013

Holtville Tribune- I.V. Weekly – Calexico Chronicle 08-29-2013

WEEKLY-CHRON SUN STD 01 Tribune-Weekly-Chronicle 08-29-13

 

By Chris Furguson

The Imperial Valley League gears up for another rough season starting tomorrow, August 30.  Here is your preview of the upcoming season.

Imperial Tigers –

The Imperial Tigers come into the 2013 season with the biggest possible expectations for their program.

Lead athlete Royce Freeman, the Tigers’ running back, safety and punter, will be joined by 21 returning starters on a team that nearly took down the perrenial Brawley Wildcats last year.

While Freeman will be the backbone of the Tigers team, the rest of team isn’t one to ignore, either.  Senior Chris Carter returns from a standout year at Quarterback and DaJon Stanton at Wide Receiver along with some of the largest linemen in the Valley.

Defensively, look for linebackers Mark Benedict and Luis Cruz to help keep scores low.

With all this going for the Tigers in 2013, if Kerry LeGarra can’t take the IVL Title for himself, he’ll have a long wait until the next opportunity comes along.

Imperial’s game will be tomorrow against the Cibola Raiders in Yuma.

Brawley Wildcats –

Someone at Brawley Union High School once said of the Wildcats, “No matter what, the ‘Cats come to play.”

This year, however, The Cats may have more of a fight than most realize.  This is, in part, due to a stable system thanks to Head Coach Jon Self (who has been on the Brawley sidelines for nearly 20 years).

Last year’s IVL defense MVP, Donavin Buck, returns with Issak Camparan, Bryce Alexander, Ross Rubio, Jordan Brewer and a number of others from last year’s championship team.  Unfortunately, Brawley lost a number of their key players due to graduation, including much of their offensive and defensive lines.

Another issue is that several of the starters play on both sides of the ball, which may cause problems as the season wears on.

Still, never fully count the Brawley Wildcats out of the IVL picture.

Brawley’s game will be tomorrow against the Hoover Cardinals of San Diego at Warne Field.

Calexico Bulldogs-

Calexico’s Allan Heck created a unique situation in the border city: a winning team.  In fact, the only losses the Bulldogs suffered last year were against the Wildcats and the Tigers.

Backed by the largest lineman in the Valley, Claudio Magana, quarterback Diego Moreno looks lead Calexico to grander heights than the best Valley team south of Aten Road.

The question is, can they break that barrier and spoil the destinies of the Tigers and the Wildcats?

Calexico’s first game will be at home against the Holtville Vikings.

Central Spartans-

The Spartans have been in a bit of a slump in recent years.  In fact, attendance from Central alumni at last year’s Bell Game was pretty sparse.

However, this year the Spartans and head coach Michael Hobbs look forward to a season with 29 seniors on the roster and only 6 starters lost to graduation.  With the extra bodies comes specialty positions.

Might this be the year the Spartans surprise everyone and take it all, including the elusive Bell Game at the end of the season?

The Central Spartan’s first game will be in Yuma against the Kofa Kings.

Southwest Eagles-

If anything could be considered a “problem” on the Eagles, it’s a lack of stable coaching. 

New head coach Joe Conner inherits an Eagles team that has a fair number of underclassmen and a solid team in the trenches, but this may be a rebuilding year for Southwest.

Southwest’s first game will be at home against CETYS of Tijuana, Mexico.

Palo Verde Yellowjackets-

Palo Verde coach George Dagnino’s team had a major meltdown last year, losing five IVL games in a row after a 3-2 start.  They also see five starters return for both offense and defense.

Yellowjacket senior Damien Ramirez returns after missing his Junior campaign due to injury and looks to have a big year, but a wait-and-see approach is expected from the Palo Verde faithful.

Palo Verde’s first game will be at home against the Calipatria  Hornets.

 

Tribune-Weekly-Chronicle 08-22-13 WEEKLY-CHRON SUN STD 01.qxdPDF

 

By Mario Conde

The Calexico City Council took the final step in moving forward with the construction of the Gran Plaza Outlet Center.

The project that has been ten years in the making established a Community Facilities District thanks to the approval of three resolutions. The cost associated with the formation of the District, including the cost of the CFD’s advisors, special tax consultant and legal assistance have all been paid by Corsair, LLC. When issued, the CFD bonds will be limited obligations of the District, payable solely from the special tax revenue collected by the District. The ultimate security for the Bonds is the Gran Plaza “real estate” as such neither the full faith or credit, nor the taxing power of the City, County or State, or any other political subdivision is pledged to the repayment of the Bonds.

The CFD’s was established as a petition from the developer to designate two improvement areas therein to be known as “Improvement Areas.”

The owner requested that the City Council authorize the issuance of bonds in Improvement Area 1 and Improvement Area 2 in the principal amount not to exceed $20,000,000 for each of the Improvement Areas. The owner also requested that the City Council authorize the levy of special taxes on each improvement area to pay for the cost of the facilities and for those associated with the formation of the district and for engineering, planning and other related costs. The Gran Plaza Developers will need CFD Bonds proceeds to complete certain public improvements in order to open their proposed phase one 250,000 square foot shopping center in the City. The public improvements, upon their completion, will not only benefit the shopping center, but also benefit the Calexico International Airport as well as improving the access to other properties west of the shopping center.

City Consultant Marshall Lynn told the council that in the “unlikely event” that insufficient funds are not available to pay for debt service, the trustee will have the right to foreclose upon the Corsair property. It is fully expected that there will be a lien to value ratio of over 4 to 1 which means that in “worst case” fire sale situation, that there will be sufficient value to pay off the Bonds if there is a default.

Lynn said that this project is a great opportunity for Calexico bring much needed revenue to the City. Lynn added that the projections estimate when Gran Plaza and the Power Center are completed it in 2016 it will bring $3 million annually to the City of Calexico.

Councilman Joong Kim said to be opposed to the bonds since its would be a subsidy for the developer while the City is neglecting the local business people since they will be affected by the opening of the outlet center. Kim mentioned that by approving this, it would be like a “gift of public funds” for the developer.

Mayor Pro Tem John Moreno answered to Kim that there was a vote years ago in Calexico where Calexico residents voted for Walmart to expand and have a grocery store. Moreno mentioned that there was a concern with some merchants saying that it would affect their business but that didn’t happen.

Councilman Luis Castro agreed with Kim saying that is not againts progress but does not agree with the bonds and the lack of support for local business.

In the end, the Council voted 3-2 to approve the CFD District and the drew the applause from the members for the public.

 

By Mario Conde

The Calexico City Council will look for grant funding to hire new dispatchers for the City of Calexico.

The City of Calexico is applying for grant monies thru the IID Local Entity to be able to partially fund two emergency service dispatcher positions. The application was prepared by Lt. Gonzalo Gerardo and Economic Development Director Juila Osuna and are hoping funding in the amount of $150,000. The City of Calexico has had an average of 35,000 calls during 2012.

In a memo July 12, 2012 to Measure H Committee from former Police Chief Jin Neujahr stated, “the dispatch center is severely understaffed and the potential for inadequate services was possible due to the lack of staffing. The Calexico Public Safety Communications Center provides emergency communications for the Calexico Police Department, Calexico Fire Department and Calexico 911 Emergency System. This is a 24/7 hours day a week/365 day per year operation. The communications center routinely handles emergency police, fire ambulance/medical aid calls and a mountain of information to requesting callers. The communication center averages between 30,000 to 35,000 calls for service annually.”

The item was discussed by the Measure H commission one year ago where former Chief Jim Neujahr and then Councilmember Bill Hodge requested funding but the discussion on that meeting and by the request of then Mayor Daniel Romero was to hold onto that issues and wait for a response from city administration.

The Public Safety Dispatcher additionally deals with unusual incidents that result from the close proximity to the US/Mexico Border which is unique. At any given time dispatch staff has reached as low as 6 staff members to a high of 11 staff members. Currently the dispatch center has a total of 6 dispatchers, 2 Community Service Officers and 1 Supervisor that serve as dispatchers to cover staffing needs. Our Border City continues to grow a rapid pace and these positions are greatly needed, said Lt. Gonzalo Gerardo.

The grant is due August 30, 2012 and award notification will be by January 1, 2014.  The City of Calexico is applying for this grant with the IID Local Entity to be able to hire two dispatchers and share 50% of the cost for two years. These positions will be provide job creation, workforce development, educational services and social welfare to the City. Calexico Police Chief Pompeyo Tabarez said that if they are able to secure the funding for the dispatchers they will hire them for two years and if the economy and revenues of the City they will hire him through the city. Tabarez added that if they are successful it will eliminate overtime issues with dispatchers since they are understaffed at the moment.

The Council also approved a request from Chief Tabarez in requesting bids to purchase three fully-equipped unmarked police cars. These cars will replace a 2007 seized vehicle with high mileage currently being used by the Chief. The other two vehicles will replace high mileage vehicles used in the investigative division.

“The vehicles currently being used are unreliable, and prone to break down, thus creating unwarranted expenses for repairs and maintenance.” Tabarez said. The vehicles will be paid Asset Forfeiture Funds.

Finally, the Calexico City Council approved a recommendation by Chief Tabarez to enter into an MOU agreement with Immigration Costumes Enforcement (ICE) for assisting them in drug trafficking, human trafficking, and organized crime at the border.

 
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