We know that many house break-ins and thefts all over the San Felipe area go un-reported because of the extreme fear and difficulties that residents have in dealing with the police. However, as more reports are filed, the authorities in San Felipe come under increasing pressure to take action to stop these property crimes and to provide better law enforcemet for the benefit of us all. It is becoming clear that now that San Felipe is growing so rapidly, there is a pressing need to double, or even triple, the size of the police force here to provide a meaningful level of service to the community. We note that the El Dorado area has its own private security force to patrol the developments there because of the lack of sufficient officers from the municipal force to cover the area. Indeed, each new fraccionamiento or development should really be pressing for three patrolmen per hundred dwellings to provide adequate cover day and night.
Charter Flights to San Felipe. (August 2006)
Back in 1998 we had the start of airline flights from Brown Field in San Diego to San Felipe International Airport on Blue Pacific Airways. Unfortunately that service was abandoned within a few months.
Now we have the announcement of charter flights by Grey Eagle Aviation of McLellan-Palomar field in Carlsbad, north of San Diego,the inaugural flight was September 1st and you can see some of the pictures of this historic occasion on Kats Korner (Katherine even got to take a spin in the plane and get some aerial pictures). We have talked with Grey Eagle and have the following salient nformation:
7 August 2006 - Update on the fire at La Roca: Concerning La Roca Fire... August 3rd. 2006
3 houses in the North LaRoca Arroyo burned to the ground. Loren, Ron and Barry's house. A faulty propane tank was being worked on and the top blew off, and the liquid spilled on a refrigerator flame that was operating in the room.
We just got this update (14 September) from Richard Parsons, a retired fire chief :"The fire at La Roca involved the three houses as described, but that a third one was saved, thanks to the presence of "the three fire trucks from El Vergel Volunteer Fire Dept, with 6 volunteers, and the people from the La Roca community who helped extinguish the fire and saved that home..." Lucky for the camp... No one was hurt badly... Just a few burns.
Lo Siento to the people whose homes burned... And Thanks to the guys that saved the camp... Thanks a million to the net for keeping up on all the news. The Americans are extremely grateful for the information we receive while we are away from our Baja Homes... Thanks again to the net.
5 August 2006 - Some users were experiencing rejection of sanfelipe.com.mx email from JUNO. One of our clients wrote to them and this was their response: "Mail from the IP [220.127.116.11] had triggered the limits imposed by Juno's spam-filters and was consequently blocked. In light of the information you've provided, the block has been lifted. You should not experience any further problem in receiving mail from this
domain." So, if you've been mailing to someone here in San Felipe with one of our user accounts to Juno or receiving returned emails, the problem has been solved.
3 August 2006 - There was a fire at Campo La Roca in the south beaches. Three homes burned to the ground and a fourth was saved. More information when we receive it.
25 July 2006 - We heard yesterday that St. James Hospital has sold again, this time to an American or Americans. I called St. James to confirm this and yes, although the same owners are still operating it, there will be a change of ownership. Rumor has it Karlos Kuttler of Remax is one of the principals. More later. Regarding the bank robbery last week, I've received info emails requesting more information. You know, trying to get information out of any official in San Felipe is like swimming against the tide. No one wants to make an official statement but yes, they caught 3 out of the 5. I just called the bank manager and he tells me they are not able to release any information, which includes how much was taken or recovered. However, he did say they caught 3, not 2 of the robbers. I plan on continuing CSI San Felipe and when I discover new facts, I will post them. khm
7/15/06 Juan Tapia provided this translation of the development of Puerto Penasco and its infrastructure problems. There is a corresponding situation in San Felipe and we will try to get the figures here on how much is spent on the water/electricity/sewage/road construction for you. The Spanish text is in plain characters and the English translation follows each paragraph in italics.
Olvidan planeación en Puerto Peñasco
Construye la iniciativa privada buena parte de la infraestructura
PUERTO PEÑASCO, Sonora (Agencia Reforma)
El crecimiento inmobiliario en Puerto Peñasco no ha sido proporcional al desarrollo urbano del Municipio, al grado que hoy es difícil garantizar el abasto de agua ó energía para los desarrollos futuros.
The development and growth of Puerto Peñasco has not been proportional to the urban development of the municipality, to the point that it is now increasingly difficult to guarantee the supply of water and electrical energy for future developments.
“Cuando se decide darle el giro turístico a Puerto Peñasco, no se pensó en la infraestructura, se hicieron planes parciales y se continuaron los trabajos previstos en el Plan de Desarrollo 2001”, reconoció Ramón Martínez, Presidente Municipal de este lugar.
When Puerto Peñasco decidedly turned around to become a tourist destination, there were no talks about infrastructure, partial plans were made and work continued on the previewed works for the Plan for Development 2001), acknowledged Ramón Martinez, Mayor of this city.
Fue en 2004 cuando diversas entidades gubernamentales como Fonatur, la Secretaría de Turismo, los gobiernos de Sonora y del propio Municipio, así como la iniciativa privada, delinearon el Plan de Desarrollo Urbano y Turístico de Puerto Peñasco, que se espera entre en vigor en septiembre próximo.
It was back in 2004 when several government entities, like Fonatur, Secretary of Tourism, the governments of Sonora State and the municipality, as well as the private sector, drew the plan for Urban and Tourism Development of Puerto Peñasco, expected to be in effect this coming month of September.
“Pero esto llegó tarde, la ciudad empezó a crecer desde hace mucho y uno observa que el puerto no tiene asegurado el abasto de agua, energía, vivienda, drenaje y obra pública”, dijo por su parte Eugene Towle, socio director de Softec.
"But this is late in coming, the city started to grow long ago and one can see that there is no sure supply of water, power, housing, sewer and public works" said Eugene Towle, partner director of Softec.
Hoy día, la imagen de Peñasco muestra a un puerto dividido en dos: Por un lado la franja de playa que alberga los grandes proyectos inmobiliarios, y por el otro un Municipio con vialidades delineadas con arena, sólo cuatro semáforos, desabasto de agua e infraestructura eléctrica deficiente.
Today the image of Puerto Peñasco is of a town divided: on one side, the stretch along the beach where the major Real Estate developers are, and on the other, the municipality with dirt roads, only four traffic lights, defective water supply and deficient electrical infrastructure.
Hasta ahora la infraestructura básica la han desarrollado las inmobiliarias; incluso Ricardo Bours, hermano del gobernador de Sonora, promueve entre los grupos inmobiliarios un fideicomiso para infraestructura denominado Impulsor, pero que no fue aprobado por el Poder Legislativo del Estado.
Up until now, the basic infrastructure has been developed by the realtors; even Ricardo Bours, brother to the governor of Sonora is promoting a "fideicomiso" (Bank trust) betwen the realtors for infrastructure named Impulsor, which has not been approved by the Legislative branch of the State's government.
En los 3 años que lleva, la actual administración municipal ha realizado inversiones por apenas 90 millones de pesos en drenaje, 40 millones de pesos para el programa de agua potable y 50 millones de pesos en pavimentación, pero en el mismo periodo el puerto recibió inversiones por 500 millones de dólares.
In it's three years in office, the actual municipal administration has invested only 90 million pesos in the sewer system, 40 million for the water program and 50 million in pavement, but in the same period the city received investments of 500 million dollars.
Ante esta situación, las implicaciones de la falta de planeación prometen ser caóticas.
In the face of this, the implications for the lack of planning, promises to be chaotic.
CEDO in Puerto Penasco has been attacked. Many of you will be familiar with the ecological institute CEDO which plays a large part in the management of the resources of the upper Gulf of California in collaboration with the University of Arizona. We quote their website: "Bulldozers belonging to a the development Fuentes del Mar from the company Clifton Meridian are illegally destroying established roads, demolishing parts of CEDO, and constructing new fences on CEDO property in Puerto Peñasco. " Visit their site and see what is happening. (7/12/06 ej)
Bancomer robbed. San Felipe had our own little drama Monday (7/10/06) morning when armed men entered the bank, ordered everyone on the floor and proceeded to rob the bank and the customers. It is not know at this time how much money was taken, but authorities are on their trail. They were seen leaving in a white Bronco heading towards Puertecitos. We'll report more when we have an official statement from the bank. Although some customers were apparently roughed up while being robbed, nobody was seriously injured.
Making a Movie. When you drive from Mexicali to San Felipe you will see that a team of movie makers has constructed a set at the south end of the Laguna Salada, around km 90, on the West side of the road. We have not heard what this movie is about but look for a shot of something like this in a future release.
Summer Heat and Humidity is now with us
Summer weather is here with a vengeance in San Felipe with daytime temperatures around 100F and very muggy conditions. You learn to slow down your pace of life very quickly. Mornings can be very still and incredibly hot so you sleep a little later. By afternoon, a gentle onshore breeze has started and this is the time to go to the beach. A stroll from town south to the El Cortez is a pleasant activity. There you can sit on the hotel patio and enjoy a cool drink and a light lunch. The Hobie cat man will take you for a sail around the bay from Machorro to the harbor. He can squeeze four passengers on the boat but it can be quite low in the water with some groups. Don't count on breaking any speed records.
A view from the patio of the El Cortez looking towards Punta Estrella
Up in Mexicali the heat is even worse. We had visitors that headed back home last Sunday and the late afternoon temperatures were over 120 F in parts of the city as you can see from the dashboard thermometer while driving on the periferico to the East border crossing.
Waiting in the one hour long border lines can be another trying experience, with several old cars overheating and stalling in the lines so that people behind try cutting in to adjacent lanes. It would be wonderful if the authorities could rig up some sort of water sprinklers over the border traffic lanes to evaporatvely cool the cars, and peoples' tempers, during the hottest parts of the day.
The San Felipe Tiburones American Football Team had their awards ceremony last night at the Escuela Secundaria General No. 8. This is the first year for the team and aside from two injuries, they came out very well. Our Mayor, Delegado Municipal Joaquin Sahagun and Ruben de la Peña, Manager of Cotuco, Doctor Oscar Zœiga, C.T.U.M., C.Q.B. Victor Morales, Sergio Leon-Cuevas, Marcos Gutierrez and Horacio Alcantara were on hand to give out trophies. The Delegado's grandson is on the team, as well as the son of George Limon of Club de Pesca (and many more, of course). Here is a link to the history of the San Felipe Tiburones. If you are interested in helping out the team with equipment, etc., please contact Profesora Ana Maria R.H. here. The team will take a few months off and resume practice in August. Congratulations to a fine group of kids.
Presidente Municipal Samuel Ramos Flores and his wife, Graciela Salas de Ramos (the head of DIF), were present at the Acto Civico for Dia del Marino 2006. They are pictured above at the dedication of the new library. Sr. Ramos and his wife, Graciela, have been very active in San Felipe and their presence is usually known.
9:00 a.m., Wednesday, June 1, 2006, at the harbor - the crowds will form and the fishermen will gather for the governmental civic act and the mass for the Mariner's Day at the San Felipe harbor. At 11:30 a.m., the same day, is the flower offering and boat tours. At 2:00 there will be food for everyone and at 3:00 p.m., a dance with the Band of Sinaloa. All at the harbor! Be there or be square.