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November 2005


The Secretary of Tourism, Lic. Alejandro Moreno Medina was in town last week for an important meeting of Fideicomiso (not to be confused with the deed of trust) which is translated as "Public Trust for the Promotion of Tourism in San Felipe". This meeting was to go over the budget for 2006 for promoting tourism in San Felipe and Northern Baja. We also had a presentation for a new marketing plan to bring more tourism to San Felipe. Secretary Moreno did say that he had not received any documents regarding an airline coming to San Felipe and because the Tourism Department is the Administrator of the Airport, they would be the entity to know when San Felipe will have commercial flights. Dave La Barre, of Mi Casa del Mar and South Beach Development Group, spoke briefly regarding obtaining US Air as one of the commercial flights. We will meet again next week to finalize the budget.

From left to right: Lic. Alejandro Moreno Medina, Secretary of Tourism; C.P. Jesus Olmos Gonzalez, Executive Voice of this group; and Rolando Ortiz Gomez de Silva, Sub-Delegado for Tourism

Percebu Poker Run starts at 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning at Campo Percebu. The cost is $20.00 and the run is about 20 miles. We just got this information via Juanita at the laundry. If you go, please ask them to send us an email with the details for next years' run. Thanks.

Results of the Baja 1000

Sunday, November 20, 2005
38th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, Final round of the six-race 2005 SCORE Desert Series - by Dominic Clark

ENSENADA, México -- After four top ten finishes this season, Bob Shepard (No. 82) claimed his first ever SCORE Trophy-Truck race win. He finished in 15 hours, 48 minutes, 49 seconds, averaging 44.82 miles per hour. He entered the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 race leading the season point title by a slim two points over Tim and Ed Herbst. In fact, seven racers were all within 22 points coming into this final race, but Shepard’s win by a seven minute, 19 second margin locked up the season title. In the six races this season, there have been six different winners. More here.

Monday 21 November - Update: It has been reported that Jason Baldwin, not Josh Baldwin, was on the plane that crashed on Sunday near Dana Point.

Four believed dead in plane crash. From the Union Tribune, San Diego


Off-road racer believed to be in plane crash
November 21, 2005
Off-road racer Jason Baldwin is believed to be one of four people who died in a weekend plane crash off the coast of Orange County. Baldwin's family told authorities that the racer was on the plane that had been heading back from the Baja 1000 off-road race near Ensenada, Mexico, officials said.An underwater search and recovery team using sonar found the downed Cessna 210 about three miles from Dana Point on Saturday, said Sgt. Karl Von Voight of the Orange County sheriff's Harbor Patrol. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board will attempt to raise the plane today, Von Voight said.The plane had flown from San Felipe and stopped for a U.S. Customs check Saturday at Brown Field Municipal airport, leaving about 1:35 p.m. for John Wayne Airport when a boater reported he saw it plunge into the ocean off Dana Point about 2 p.m. None of the four on the plane have been identified. The family of Baldwin told authorities he had been on the plane. Baldwin, 35, was part of a renowned family racing team, pioneered by his father Jim Baldwin, who is also a prominent home builder based in San Diego County and developer of the 19,600-acre Otay Ranch. Baldwin and his brother, Josh, raced in the SCORE Desert Racing Series and the Championship Off-Road Racing short course series. Josh Baldwin finished in 11th place overall in the Baja 1000, ahead of Jason, who took 19th out of 342 starters. Jason Baldwin had driven 18 hours in his Ford F-150, said Dominic Clark, media relations director for SCORE Desert Racing. In 1999, Baldwin was driving in the Baja 500 race when his racing truck ran off course and into a crowd of spectators, killing one and injuring at least 12 others.

Friday 4 November

Samuel Ramos, Mayor of Mexicali, seeks Federal Support for improvement of the Mexicali-San Felipe highway.

From a note in La Voz de la Frontera http://www.lavozdelafrontera.com.mx/lavozdelafrontera/051104/LOCAL/2LOCAL.asp

Translation J.C. Tapia

The presidents of  the Public Budget, Communications and Transport commissions from the House of Representatives, offered their support to Samuel Ramos, mayor of Mexicali, to include in the federal budget for 2006, his request for funds for the construction of 30 Km. of highway to San Felipe.


México, D. F. (OEM).- Mayor of Mexicali, Baja California, Samuel Ramos Flores, met with Congress representatives Angel Aguirre and Alfredo Villegas yesterday in Mexico City, who seemed well disposed to support a special fund of 170 million pesos in the 2006 budget needed for completion of the project.

He raised the need to have the funds contemplated in next year's Communications and Transportation budget since the construction of the road will be an important detonator for the ambitious tourism development projects in process at this port city on the Sea of Cortez.

The presentation of the mayor was viewed with great interest by the federal legislators who will take it to the plenary session of the House of Representatives to be considered for discussion of the federal budget for the year 2006, which will take place the middle of this month. They expressed their deepest interest to amply endorse his petition in order to secure its approval.

Wednesday Nov 2

Travel times from San Felipe back to the USA - weekend visitors take note

Three out of ten lanes at the Calexico Border Crossing are closed for a month....... The construction work at the downtown border crossing continues. (See here for the full announcement on 24 October........see a map of Mexicali). We have now had a week of experience and find the following:

On weekdays, the delays at the downtown (old, west crossing) Mexicali-Calexico port of entry are typically 60 to 90 minutes from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. On the weekend, we have seen delays of over two hours at times at the downtown crossing, and 90 minutes at the new crossing. Through traffic from San Felipe headed to the USA will generally do MUCH better to go to the East (new) crossing where weekday delays are more typically 30 minutes (5 minutes in late afternoon but up to 50 minutes at the morning rush hour). After about 8 p.m the delays at either crossing are 5-10 minutes maximum. If you are headed to Arizona or points East, you will do much better by driving along Mexico highway 2 to the Andrade (Yuma) crossing. San Diego-bound traffic should consider going via Tecate. Remember that the Calexico East and the Andrade crossing are only open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. PST. Tecate is open 6 a.m to midnight PST.

The downtown crossing problems are being caused by a lot of local Mexicali traffic going to the new Imperial Valley Mall in El Centro, and by the El Centro/Calexico residents coming in to Mexicali to buy cheap gasoline. This should ease as gasoline prices in California are dropping to around $2.50 per gallon. There is now only around 25¢ difference between the two countries for regular unleaded gas compared to 75¢/gallon a couple of weeks ago. Now that the Christmas goods are in the Walmart and Costco stores in Imperial Valley and the new Mall is gearing up, we expect the northbound Mexicali taffic to be very heavy on Saturdays and Sundays.

We also have personal experience of the increase in vigilance at the military checkpoint at the Ensenada road junction north of San Felipe. Very thorough vehicle searches are being performed at random times, involving the engine compartment and all storage compartments, in addition to ice chests, luggage and towed toys. This can take 10 minutes per car and may cause significant traffic delays on upcoming busy weekends. Plan your trip home accordingly and allow an extra two hours to deal with checkpoint and border crossing bottlenecks.


Tuesday 1 November

Grave Crisis Looming From Fuel Shortage in Mexicali.
Pemex doesn't have enough units.
>From a note in La Voz de la Frontera
Translated by J.C. Tapia

A shortage of personnel and capacity to distribute gasoline at the PEMEX Distribution Center in Mexicali, has started to cause grave problems among the filling stations in the city where 20 of them had to shut down and the another 50 could only sell Premium or Magna and some could only offer diesel fuel.
If no quick solution is found, we could see a massive close down of all filling stations in one or two weeks in November, said José Elias Canchola, head of the Association of Gasoline Vendors from Mexicali.
Canchola said vendors have been loosing money and if demands for prompt and timely gasoline and diesel supply can not be met, then they will have to resort to harsh measures to force a solution from PEMEX.
The PEMEX distribution center in Mexicali has a capacity of 105 gasoline trips a day, when just for the urban zone, the requirement is of 120 trips a day for the 70 service stations located in the city.
He noted that the average gasoline consumption is about 400 thousand liters a month on average for each service station, but the high prices in the United States have increased demand and put a strain on availability here, causing many Mexicali residents to have to fill up in the US with the ensuing bite to the general economy.
Canchola went on to propose that private tankers should be allowed to distribute gasoline in the area, but there's no solutions and no response from PEMEX yet. If there's no agreement this week, the situation looks very critical.

Amenaza grave crisis por escasez de gasolina
No tiene Pemex unidades suficientes: Canchola
Por Carlos ÁLVAREZ.

La falta de personal y de capacidad en el reparto de gasolina del Centro de Distribución de PEMEX en Mexicali, ha comenzado a generar graves problemas entre las estaciones de servicios; 20 de ellas ayer cerraron sus puertas al no poder surtir la demanda de gasolina y las 50 restantes sólo podían vender Premium o Magna y otras sólo diesel.

Así lo dio a conocer el presidente de la Asociación de Gasolineros de Mexicali, José Elías Canchola Soto, al advertir que de continuar esta situación que se inició desde diciembre del 2004 y que se ha ido agravando hasta llegar a septiembre y octubre a una condición de crisis, podría reventar en el cierre masivo de las gasolinerías en una o dos semanas de este mes de noviembre si no hay un pronta solución.

Canchola Soto, de profesión contador público, hizo saber a La Voz de la Frontera, que los gasolineros, están dispuestos a llegar hasta las últimas consecuencias, si no son atendidas sus demandas de abasto oportuno y a tiempo de gasolina y diesel, problema que hasta el momento ya les ha estado pegando a sus costos de operación y generando pérdidas irrecuperables de ingresos.

Explicó que se han estado dirigiendo al centro regional de PEMEX de Zona Occidente ubicado en Guadalajara, Jalisco en busca de soluciones, pero hasta el momento y a pesar de su disponibilidad de ayudar, la situación se mantiene.

Al abundar sobre el tema, el contado público Canchola Soto, comentó que el centro de distribución de PEMEX en Mexicali tiene una capacidad de 105 viajes diarios, cuando, tan sólo para la zona urbana se requieren de 120 viajes por día para surtir a las 70 estaciones de servicio, ubicadas en la ciudad.

Luego de hacer notar que en promedio cada una de las gasolinerías expenden 400 mil litros mensuales de gasolina, externó que ante la alza en el precio del producto en los Estados Unidos, la demanda en el país ha crecido, pero al no tener disponibilidad, se ha generado también una fuga de divisas, pues los mexicalenses al no encontrar el producto en su ciudad se van al otro lado a conseguirlo.

Canchola Soto, hizo saber que ante el problema de falta de capacidad en el sistema de reparto de PEMEX, se les permita a "piperos" particulares, realizar los repartos tanto en el Valle como en San Luis Río Colorado para que de esta manera optimizar el parque vehicular con que cuenta la paraestatal al concentrarlo en el abasto de la zona urbana, pero hasta el momento, no han recibido respuesta.

Finalmente dio a conocer que hoy, tendrán una nueva reunión para concretar las medidas que habrán de seguir, si la paraestatal no da una solución en esta misma semana, porque en la próximo, la situación se tornará crítica.


Monday 31 October

Pavement Works in Progress.
Published today in La Voz de la Frontera
By Guillermo Sayago
Translation: J.C.Tapia

Mexicali's Urban Council (CUM) Director Ricardo Diaz Rubio is hard at work on all paving projects for the region in coordination with municipal, state and federal governments and with a credit from the Banco de America del Norte (Bank of North America).
The municipal official added that thanks to the interest demonstrated by all three government branches, the 62 million pesos needed to pave 190 thousand square meters of roadway is now authorized.
CUM is also responsible for the modernization of the road to San Felipe, from kilometer 160 to kilometer 190, with the support of the state's Secretary of Infrastructure and Urban Development (Sidue) and the Secretary of Communications and Transportation (SCT).
In the near future this tract of road will be under the administration of the municipality with contributions from local tourism developers.
Mayor of Maxicali, Samuel Ramos, together with his private secretary and the Delegado Joaquin Sahagun, witnessed the work being done in some of the streets of this promising port, considered to be the entrance door to the Sea of Cortés.





Las Amigas message: "Many of you know of Las Amigas and the events we do each year to raise monies for the education of San Felipe students. One of the things we do is to ask private donors to sponsor middle school students so we can enable more of the San Felipe students to get through middle school. Currently, we have 239 students in need of help. While many already have sponsors, we need more! Our Sister City, Hayward, was unable to keep their commitment to 20 students this year. In addition, for health or financial reasons, there are others unable to continue. If you are able to help us at a cost of $80 per year for a three year commitment, it would be much appreciated. You can meet your student each year at the Annual Ice Cream Social held for Sponsors and Students at El Dorado Ranch. This year’s social is November 20th at 2pm. If you have any questions, please contact Bobbie at 577-2807, or 1-800-334-3345. You can also email: bobbie@casalavida.com. We hope you will be able to help. Maybe we can even go beyond our 239 students! For more information, click here.






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