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October 2005

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.

US To Close Three Lanes at the Calexico Border Crossing 24 October until approximately 24 November.

(thanks to Chris Smith for spotting this)
Translation: J.C. Tapia

Starting Monday 24 October the US will install devices to detect any radioactive and nuclear materials, and to register the plates and history of all vehicles heading north. The closure will last several weeks. Homeland security will increase measures against any possible infiltration of terrorists, or anything that could be a threat to the security of our neighbor to the north. Work on this project will force the closing of the three lanes at the international crossing, forcing longer delays to cross from Mexicali to Calexico. A press communique from the US authorities reads:

A project to install detection devices for radiation (RPM) and vehicle license plates (LPR) as well as for maintenance and repair, will temporarily increase times of wait to enter into the US through the downtown checkpoint, according to officials from the Calexico port of entry.
Starting October Monday 24, northbound lanes 1, 2 and 3 will be closed temporarily. Work will be done from 4:00 AM through 8:00 PM from Monday to Friday. It is expected to be completed in a few weeks.

(Note: work may not be in progress on the weekends, but it is not clear that the authorities will have all the equipment, materials and barriers out of the way for normal traffic operations in all lanes! This could significantly impact the Shrimp Festival, the Baja 1000 weekend and the Snowbird Welcome traffic.!) ej

Construction work will alter but will not delay normal traffic of buses. All buses and tourist vehicles (campers, RV'S, etc.) will be re-routed to the left lane, parallel to the railroad tracks. Buses will be required to leave their passengers at the Chinese Pagoda (near the crossing) in Mexicali, from there, they will have to carry all of their belongings and walk to the border gate. The Calexico Police has set up an area in front of their sub-station on First St. and Paulin Ave. for buses to park and pick up their passengers.
Officers recommend that automobiles use the eastern border crossing while this work is being completed.
"The installation of this high tech equipment will help Customs and Border Protection in their mission to combat terrorism." said Bonnie Lemert, director of the border crossings in Calexico. "We sincerely regret the inconvenience this very important project may cause and we will do everything possible to speed it up and facilitate traffic in the best manner. We appreciate your understanding."
RPM provides a passive method to look for radioactive and nuclear materials. RPM detects radiation, but does not emit radiation in any way.
LPR (license plates reader) registers license plates of incoming vehicles and compares them to lists of stolen and vehicles that have been used to commit crimes.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the unified agency in charge of handling, control and protection of the borders of the nation and all along the official ports of entry, and is responsible to maintain terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while hundreds of laws are being re-enforced in the United States.

Agreement signed for San Felipe To Have a Civic Center on the El Dorado property. An agreement was signed October 17th 2005, between the state and municipal government and the head of the tourism developers in San Felipe,.....read more

El Dorado Ranch presented a check for $10,000.00 to the St. James Infirmary at the awards ceremony on Saturday evening, held at the Pavillion on the Caras de Mexico golf course. Although neither Duke nor Caroline Somers were present at the event, I'm sure they and the town are very grateful for this donation. For photos of the event, click here.

October 16-18 Winter weather is gripping the southern California-northern Baja region with rainstorms. The Mexicali region was also hit and here is a report in Spanish from La Voz:

Por Jesús JIMÉNEZ VEGA y Guillermo SAYAGO. - La Voz de la Frontera Oct. 17/05

Así se observaron las inundaciones por las diversas vialidades de Mexicali, especialmente las del Río Nuevo, por los tremendos chubascos que cayeron por cerca de 4 horas, causando interminables molestias en la ciudad y el campo.

Ante el mal tiempo que prevalece y las lluvias que iniciaron ayer a medio día en el municipio, quedó activado el Consejo Municipal de Protección Civil, en el puerto de San Felipe.

Lo anterior, se dio a conocer ayer ante las condiciones climáticas de tormenta y lluvias pronosticadas que se presentarán para los próximos días.

Por instrucciones de la Dirección de Protección Civil Municipal, se activó dicho consejo, el cual trabaja ya en el puerto, en coordinación con la Armada de México y la delegación de San Felipe.

 René Rosado, titular de dicho organismo perteneciente al XVIII Ayuntamiento de Mexicali, informó que dicho operativo, se activó de manera preventiva y no por existir un grave riesgo de que ocurra algo de gran magnitud.

"La experiencia de lo que ha estado sucediendo con el mal tiempo, nos ha obligado a prever este tipo de acciones" e incluso el Centro de Desarrollo Humano de San Felipe, se encuentra habilitado, para atender cualquier contingencia que pudiera originarse por las lluvias durante el resto de la semana.

 Indicó que funcionarios de Obras y Servicios Públicos del municipio destacados en San Felipe, se mantendrán en estado de prealerta en algunas zonas bajas del puerto como Santa Catarinita que se encuentran cerca del mar y divide al poblado en tres partes.

Otros de los lugares que estarán al pendiente de esta zona, son donde habitan muchos estadunidenses, en su mayoría de la tercera edad y tienen su trailer park, ubicados muy cerca del mar.

"Nos mantendremos al pendiente", señaló René Rosado.


October 13 We have heard rumors that Bancomer is opening branches in the United States and other rumors that we can bank from here, etc. We have checked with the California Dept of Financial Institutions, Bancomer/Valley Bank in Moreno Valley, Union Bank, Bank of America and Wells Fargo. Please click here for the authoritative information.

October 12 The 'Suns of the Beaches'. . . . Baja's Party Band Returns! Denny Flannigan's 'Suns of the Beaches' are gearing up for another great season of entertainment at the Beach Bar at Playa de Oro.  You can catch them Friday, and Saturday 6 to 10 PM. For more information, check here.

October 11 The Snowbird Season is getting underway and I am reminded by this news forwarded by a correspondent:

"I've sure gotten old.! I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees. Fought prostate cancer and diabetes. I'm half blind, can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. Have bouts with dementia. Have poor circulation; hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can't remember if I'm 85 or 92. Have lost all my friends. But, thank God, I still have my driver's license." - ej

October 2 This Sunday's San Diego Union-Tribune carried a series of articles on the boom in real estate in Baja California - primarily in the Tijuana to Ensenada tourism corridor. As always, the "caveat emptor" caution on dealing with Mexican real estate was mentioned, coupled with the growing concern that agents do not have to disclose problems with the property or its title to prospective buyers. A brief mention was made of the 1200 units being built in San Felipe. You can see the articles by clicking on the following links.

Mexican coastal area experiencing a surge in housing construction, but observers advise American buyers to do their homework
By Sandra Dibble and Lori Weisberg

Title insurance can provide peace of mind for those wary of Baja California real-estate investments
By Lori Weisberg

Rapid development along coast has raised environmental concerns. Many fear that problems with traffic, sewage and water supplies will arise
By Sandra Dibble

October 1, 2005. Regarding our article in September about Bancomer, we apologize for the mistatement which read "They encourage you to sign up for automatic utility bill paying and then charge you $207.00 pesos per month to do so." Bancomer does not charge for automatic utility bill paying. The charge was for commercial on-line banking. We regret the error. I would also like to add that when a transaction was processed backwards by the client and the bank, Bancomer reversed the charge in favor of the client. It is appreciated.

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