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Thursday, June 30, 2011

HEALTH - Vaccine able to reverse diabetes

BY THOMAS H. MAUGH II

LOS ANGELES – Preliminary experiments in a handful of people suggest that it might be possible to reverse Type 1 diabetes using an inexpensive vaccine to stop the immune system from attacking cells in the pancreas.

Research in mice had already shown that the tuberculosis vaccine called BCG prevents T cells from destroying insulin-secreting cells, allowing the pancreas to regenerate and begin producing insulin again, curing the disease.

Now tests with very low doses of the vaccine in humans show transient increases in insulin production, researchers will report Sunday at a San Diego meeting of the American Diabetes Association.

The Massachusetts General Hospital team is now gearing up to use higher doses of the vaccine in larger numbers of people in an effort to increase and prolong the response.

The findings contradict an essential paradigm of diabetes therapy _ that once the insulin-secreting beta cells of the pancreas have been destroyed, they are gone forever. Because of that belief, most research today focuses on using vaccines to prevent the cells’ destruction in the first place, or on using beta-cell transplants to replace the destroyed cells.

The new findings, however, hint that even in patients with long-standing diabetes, the body retains the potential to restore pancreas function if clinicians can only block the parts of the immune system that are killing the beta cells.

The results are “fascinating and very promising,” said immunology expert Dr. Eva Mezey, director of the adult stem cell unit at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. But Mezey noted that the results have been achieved in only a small number of patients and that they suggest that the vaccinations will have to be repeated regularly.

The key player in the diabetes study is a protein of the immune system called tumor necrosis factor, or TNF. Studies by others have shown that if you increase levels of TNF in the blood, it will block other parts of the immune system that attack the body, especially the pancreas.

To raise TNF levels, Dr. Denise Faustman of Massachusetts General Hospital and her colleagues have been working with the BCG vaccine, known formally as bacillus Calmette-Guerin. BCG has been used for more than 80 years in relatively low doses to stimulate immunity against tuberculosis. More recently, it has been used in much higher doses to treat bladder cancer.

Faustman first reported her findings in mice in 2001 in a paper in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, but scientists reviewing her findings for that journal were so skeptical that she was not allowed to say “regeneration” of the pancreas in the paper. Instead, she was told to say “restoration of insulin secretion by return of blood sugar to normal.”

In 2003, she published a report in the journal Science in which she was able to use the word “regeneration,” but that finding was met by an “explosion of skepticism,” she said. Nonetheless, by 2007, “six international labs had duplicated the mouse experiments,” she said. “We needed to move forward into humans.”

In the human trial, Faustman and her colleagues studied six patients who had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes for an average of 15 years. They were randomly selected to receive either two doses of BCG spaced four weeks apart or a placebo.

Careful examination of those receiving the vaccine showed a decline of T cells that normally attack the pancreas. It also revealed a temporary but statistically significant elevation of an insulin precursor called C-peptide, an indication that new insulin production was occurring.

“If this is reproducible and correct, it could be a phenomenal finding,” said Dr. Robert R. Henry of the University of California, San Diego, who chaired the scientific program at the meeting. It suggests that once the destructive immune response is controlled, the body has the capability to produce more insulin, he said.

One of the patients receiving a placebo also showed a similar elevation of C-peptide, but that patient coincidentally developed an infection by Epstein-Barr virus, which is known to induce production of TNF.

The concentrations of BCG that the team used were much lower than they would have liked, but were the highest the Food and Drug Administration would permit, Faustman said.

She said she is now negotiating with the agency to use higher levels, which should produce a more pronounced effect, and to enroll more people.

The research is funded by philanthropists, primarily by the Iacocca Family Foundation.
Source: The News

BAJA - The Baja Peninsular at Night

This is a recent night photo taken from the International Space Station that shows Southern California and the Baja peninsular. Even ten years ago, this view of Baja would have been almost completely dark, but now we see the lights of the growing cities as development and infrastructure arrives. North of San Felipe, almost half way to the blob of light that is the Mexicali/El Centro region, you can see a spot of light that is from the operating gold mine just north of the Ensenada road. This mine is now a significant employer of labor in the San Felipe region and has been a boom in filling vacant apartments and unused hotel rooms with engineers and administrators involved in the operations.

Source www.sanfelipe.com.mx

NEWS - Trade group is pushing increased rail commerce

Staff Writer Chelcey Adami
12:39 a.m. PDT, June 22, 2011

CALEXICO — A tri-national trade facilitation advocacy group brought the issue of rail service in northern Baja California to the table Tuesday during a meeting with area stakeholders here.

Border Trade Alliance President Nelson Balido spoke with a group of roughly 15 people including representatives from Union Pacific Corp., Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, Mexicali's port director, Toyota Mexico's president and Imperial County Intergovernmental Relations Director Bob Ham.

Balido described area rail service at this point as very weak and wanted to see how expansion could be possible as well as what obstacles exist to that.

Expansion of rail service could be more environmentally friendly, relieve congestion at the border and boost economic growth in both the United States and Mexico, he said.

Whether it would be preferable to build new rail or expand on what's already there remains unclear.

Balido said he fears that the area could lose key business if it doesn't look into increased use of rail. One company told him it spends between $600 and $800 more on each vehicle used to move cargo than what it would cost to send by rail.

"I think you have a tremendous opportunity in northern Baja California's and Southern California's border to expand on these types of infrastructure developments," he said. "We want to make sure that everyone benefits, not just Mexico, but our border and members and the overall quality of life for the Southwest border."

The Border Trade Alliance hopes to facilitate rail expansion conversation among local, state and federal governments while getting input from the private sector, he said.

The fact-finding stage of the long-term endeavor will likely end in the next three to four months, he said, before moving on to the lobbying or communication on exact issues.

Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or cadami@ivpressonline.com
Copyright © 2011, Imperial Valley Press

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

SAN FELIPE - La Galeria Opening!


It is with great pleasure that I invite artists and craftpersons to checkout and reserve your rental space at LA GALERIA, San Felipe's retail store for local artists and craftpersons. Opening is planned for September 1st. LA GALERIA is located at 1025 Mar de Cortez, next to the San Felipe Justice Center and before YET Mail.

Spaces are available starting at 29 USD per month. The largest space rents for 45 USD per month. I hope to hear from you soon. It has been a very enjoyable project to get LA GALERIA to open in San Felipe. I hope you will become a part of this exclusive retail artist's sales center.

To view available spaces, call me at 686-577-6253. If you are not in Mexico right now, send me an email at kcinsanfelipe@yahoo.com.

KC - Owner of Baja Ink Tattoo and Lillyana's Hair Salon

NEWS - Otay Mesa the Ready Lane

New Faster Border Crossing Lane Open in Otay Mesa - the Ready Lane
source - Baja Bound Mexican Auto Insurance

Border crossers now have a new faster border crossing option! A new northbound lane, called the Ready Lane, has been opened with the goal of reducing wait times returning to the U.S. from Mexico. Ready Lanes are already open in Arizona and Texas, but the first California Ready Lane officially opened on May 2nd, 2011 at the Otay Mesa border crossing. All border crossers who use the lane must have an RFID compliant card such as a passport card, SENTRI card, or other card with an RFID chip (Radio Frequency Identification). All passengers in the vehicle must have RFID compliant cards in order to use the lane except those under 16 years of age.

We tested this lane twice and found the Ready Lane to be much faster than the regular border lane. It took us about 25 minutes to cross on a Friday morning and 20 minutes on a Tuesday morning, both times during rush hour. The lane consistently moved faster than the regular lanes. When we crossed both times, the one dedicated Ready Lane opened up to 3 booths!

What cards can be used in the Ready Lane?
The following cards may be used in the lane as long as they are RFID compliant:

U.S. Passport card (NO passport books allowed)
SENTRI card, FAST and NEXUS
Enhanced drivers license (EDL) - States available: MI, NY, VT, WA
Enhanced Tribal Card (ETC)
Enhanced Permanent Resident card (EPR)
Border Crossing Card (BCC)
Important: RFID passports are NOT eligible in this lane unfortunately.

Why can't I use my RFID passport in the Ready Lane?
The card reader technology used at the border does not read passports.

What does RFID compliant mean?
RFID compliant means the card contains a wireless tag that allows the information to be picked up and sent to border officials.

Where is the Ready Lane located in Otay Mesa?
The Ready Lane is the far left lane of the border crossing. It becomes a dedicated lane further up, sectioned off with concrete dividers.

If you are familiar with the Otay border crossing you may enter by going up the bridge or the entrance below the bridge. It may be better to enter by taking the bridge and have easy access to the left hand lane. If the border is short enough and you enter from below the bridge, you may be able to get all the way across the lanes to get into the left hand lane.

Is there a Ready Lane at the San Ysidro border crossing?
No, at this time there is not a Ready Lane in San Ysidro.

What border crossings have the Ready Lane?
The Ready Lane is available at these border crossings:
Otay Mesa, CA
Nogales, AZ - DeConcini
Lukeville, AZ
Del Rio, TX
El Paso, TX -Ysleta-Zaragoza Bridge
Progreso, TX - Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge

What are the hours of operation of the Otay Mesa Ready Lane?
The Ready Lane is open Monday - Friday 4am - 8pm; Saturday and Sunday 8am - midnight.

I have an RFID compliant card, how do I use the Ready Lane?
The Getyouhome.gov website offers the simple steps below. more details and watch a video.

1. Stop at beginning of lane & wait for signal.
2. Hold card up & drive through to booth.
3. Stop at officer’s booth.

I have a SENTRI card, does it make sense to use this lane?
Most likely no unless you have other passengers in your vehicle who are not SENTRI compliant, but have a Passport Card or other compliant card. It has been reported that the SENTRI is faster. An officer at the Otay border told us the SENTRI is about a 5 minute wait in the morning.

If I do not have any of the RFID compliant cards, how can I get one?
The Passport Card is an affordable and convenient option if you do not have an RFID card at this time. Learn more about how to apply for the Passport Card. For previous passport holders, the fee is only $30. For new applicants, the fee is $55. The Passport Card is valid for 10 years.

How long does it take to get a Passport Card?
As of May 16th, the State Department website reports it is taking 4-6 weeks to receive a Passport Card using their 'routine' service. For expedited service the wait is 2-3 weeks door to door with overnight delivery.

Article sources:
CBP.gov - http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/news_releases/archives/April%202011/04252011_5.xml
Getyouhome.gov - http://www.getyouhome.gov/html/rfid/RFID_FAQ.html
Travel.state.gov - http://travel.state.gov/passport/ppt_card/ppt_card_3926.html

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

NEWS & POLITICS - Mexico in peace

President Felipe Calderón and writer Javier Sicilia met to discuss the security problem in Mexico
BY CARMEN MARTÍNEZ

President Felipe Calderón said that regarding the battle against insecurity, the “most irresponsible thing to do” would have been not to act in due time. “If one must ask for forgiveness, one must do so to the victims that we were not able to save, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t acted against those criminals that have caused the deaths,” the President said.

Last Thursday, during a meeting with members and representatives from society in insecurity matters, the President said that he does not regret having acted with federal forces against criminals that,in his words, nobody fought because of fear.

At Chapultepec Castle, after attentively listening to writer Javier Sicilia, President Calderón said that for the rest of his administration, he will be willing to change the security strategy and noted that his job is to ensure peace in Mexico with justice and dignity.

Accompanied by First Lady Margarita Zavala and the Secretary of the Interior, José Francisco Blake Mora, the Secretary of Public Security, Genaro García Luna, the Secretary of Education, Alonso Lujambio, the Secretary of Social Development, Heriberto Félix, and the head of the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), Marisela Morales, the President said that he is deeply concerned about the country and feels the pain of Mexico.

“People say that acting against this violence was irresponsible, but I tell you, the truly irresponsible thing to do would have been not acting when necessary,” he said. He admitted, though, that every single person that works for the government can be held accountable for not doing their jobs to protect the lives of the victims of the rampaging violence in the country.

“However, I tell you again: I do not regret this battle nor having sent our federal forces to combat crime. I had to do that because, out of fear, or corruption, people would not fight them,” he noted.

NOT A WARMONGERING PRESIDENT

Then, the President talked to Sicilia himself: “There is one thing I do regret, and that is not having sent forces to Cuernavaca to catch the people that killed your son.”

The President noted that removing the federal forces will not end the violence that has struck several areas in the country. He also noted that regarding the insecurity problem, he is open to input and even criticism. “Sometimes people criticize the job we’re doing … I want to make clear: I’m not a warmongering President,” he added.

President Calderón said that his government has made it its priority to end the violence at all costs through the creation of a three-point strategy: facing crime, strengthening and purging security agencies, and offering better opportunities to the youth. He recognized that although he has had differences with writer Javier Sicilia regarding the battle against insecurity, he said that he is saddened by the loss of human lives to criminal groups. “It burdens my heart. Every victim of this struggle saddens me equally,” he added.

He said that the deaths of Juan Francisco Sicilia, José Martí, and the daughter of the Nelson Vargas family, among many others, as well as the deaths of members of the federal forces that have fallen in the line of duty, trouble him every day, but force him not to falter in this battle.

He pointed out that the current strategy against insecurity, in which federal forces are directly involved, is the right method to combat crime and noted that in spite of criticism, he has a duty to fulfill.

“I do not act upon my own accord, but I do so because I have a duty to fulfill. … I’m willing to change this strategy once we have painstakingly analyzed what really needs to be changed,” he concluded.

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN

Writer Javier Sicilia said that the point of attending the meeting with President Calderón was to reach a consensus in creating a strategy that would ensure peace in the country. He also said that the government has a debt to the citizenry and the victims of crime.

He pointed out that the State is not doing enough to protect the people, and the actions that have been carried out have been incorrect. He took the opportunity to present several initiatives to protect the population at large and attend to the needs of victims. Sicilia noted that it is the President’s job to propose the creation of an autonomous citizen’s organization that would monitor the process of politics in the country and ensure the acknowledgment of crime victims.

The writer said that the problems President Calderón is facing regarding the battle against insecurity have to do with the past administration. “The man before you was supported by the population, but failed to create relevant constitutional reforms or the necessary policies to curb the violence problem,” said Sicilia. “The strategy that has been implemented in this administration has not helped the citizens at all and must be changed.”

“The government has an obligation to us. The current strategy just doesn’t work anymore. The cartels are growing stronger and the government agencies are deteriorating even further. It is time to change,” Sicilia added.
Source: The News

NEWS - New Ambassador to Mexico

On June 9th President Obama officially nominated Earl Anthony Wayne to be the new ambassador to Mexico. This appointment would be filling the vacancy left by former Ambassador Carlos Pascual.

The appointment of Mr. Wayne will require approval of selection by the Mexican government and confirmation from the U.S. Senate He has been a foreign service officer since 1975 and worked in a variety of locations, such as Argentina and currently serving as U.S. deputy ambassador to Afghanistan. President Obama is making a strategic call and not one to be taken lightly. But, how one views this appointment can be seen from different perspectives.

For example, some are viewing Mr. Wayne's nomination to this post due to his expertise in failed states, such as Afghanistan. This is being interpreted by some as the US essentially recognizing Mexico as a failed state due to its current situation with transnational organized crime.

Others see it as a step in the right direction and acknowledging Mr. Wayne’s expertise as strategic in another perspective. "While he lacks experience in Mexico, Ambassador Wayne has an impressive resume as a diplomat with invaluable experience in counterterrorism," U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin.

This perspective was echoed by elected officials in Mexico as well. Mexican Congressman, Rafael Von Raesfeld, who serves as the President of Comisión de Migración del Congreso Legislativo de Puebla, shared his thoughts this way,

"California native Anthony Wayne, new ambassador to Mexico, is a gentleman of great expertise in the U.S. Foreign Service. During his service in locations such as Rabat, Paris, Afghanistan or Argentina he proved a great ability and capacity for dialogue that I am sure will be fruitful and beneficial to the bilateral relationship between Mexico and the United States."

With the upcoming 2012 elections in Mexico and the U.S. it seems that now is the time to re-confirm a commitment to one another.A strong Mexico makes a strong U.S. and vice-versa. Although, there has been no official statements about the appointment of Wayne, because neither Mexico nor the US can make comments about the appointment until he is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, the sentiment to work together is shared, according to Patricia Espinosa, Secretary of Forgein Affairs, "But what I can ensure is that in spirit of collaboration and the pursuit of strengthening the bilateral relationship between Mexico and the United States, in which the presidents Calderon and Obama have given a very clear instruction to all teams working very hard to follow, very soon we will have a new diplomat in the United States Embassy in Mexico".

MATT sees this role as a significant step that will take the relationship to the next chapter as role players in the Western Hemisphere. This connection is forever tied to one another by culture, geography, policies and commerce.
MATT welcomes the new opportunity this appointment can bring in creating a bi-national awareness and bridging the gaps of understanding and quality of life some we may truly prosper together.

Thank you - Rebecca J. Viagran
VP of Community Affairs

Monday, June 27, 2011

SAN FELIPE - Best of 2010

Thank you all for making Rumors 1st Anniversary Party of business so successful in a very challenging year!
Thanks to you, we have been voted BEST OF BAJA by the readers of Baja Good Life 2010 in the following categories:
Best Bar, Best Bartender, Best Karoake-Mac & Nan, Best Entertainment-Denny Flannigan

On May 27, we celebrated with music, laughter good times and the spirit of Baja with Denny, Zac & Los Secretos, and the incomperable Javier Batiz who rocked the house. The dollar amount donated to CIDA # 4 was $700.00. The funds were placed, On Account, at Maderas San Felipe, at the request of the rehab center. So, we were effectively able to help Both the Rehab Center AND a local business!


Again, Muchas Gracias, and we look forward to even greater times and more partying in the fall of 2011!
Jeanne Pepler, Denny Flannigan and the entire staff of Rumors.

"Good Dog" requires a ride home to Rosarito from Guerro Negro, Baja


Posted by: "Richard" richardofbaja@yahoo.com richardofbaja

Hola, It is a long story on how our dog (Einstein, he was named that from the shelter/rescue group) is still in Guerro Negro after our car broke down 60 miles north of there almost four weeks ago. Actually, the story has a way in which the 'universe' can show a sense of humor on what one plans to do. LOL anyway - the car is still not fixed, however, it was towed to Rosarito and we are looking for the right and perfect motor (Subaru 2.5 liter engine) - if you know of one, please let me know.

The question is: do you know anyone going north (Rosarito) from Baja Sur that can stop in Guerro Negro and give our dog ' a ride home?' He's good natured, calm, and mostly obeys simple commands. He weighs about 65 pounds and will stay "in the back" when you tell him "stay" - If you can 'bring him home' - we would gladly help out on your gas expenses. All he needs is a couple of times to go for a short walk to do his normal body functions. He will have his food and water bowls along with his bed - and, he is an experienced traveler.

Please pass this email forward to anyone you think who can help give "him a ride home."

I look forward to hearing from you and wish you a wonderful day.

email: richardofbaja@yahoo.com

ENSENADA - Gila Bar 4th of July Party

Larry's Gila Bar is having a 4th of July Party !!

Sunday July 3rd at 1 p.m Ensenada BC Mexico

Hot dogs, Hamburgers , potato salad, baked beans !
Jam Session and Drink Specials !!

Please come join us !

Sunday, June 26, 2011

NEWS - New Highway and Road Improvements for our State

By John K, Glaab, CIPS

Our Governor was recently in Mexico City where he had a successful meeting with the head of SCT. (Mexican Department of Highways) and received
good news for our state.

Governor Covarrubias and the Secretary of Highways Dionisio Perez Jacome met in the federal highways office. It was confirmed that the four lane highway from La Paz to Cabo San Lucas will be finished this year. It was also confirmed the department’s budget includes funds for construction of the
libriameinto (Bypass) from the airport in San Jose to Cabo San Lucas.

Perez Jacome advised the Governor that other funds will be available to improve routes including Zaragoza-La Purisima, Cuidad Insurgentes- Lopez Mateos, El Sargento- La Ventana and La Paz- Los Planes,

About the author: John Glaab is a Certified International Property Specialist and
Vice President International Marketing, The Settlement Company®

ROSARITO BEACH - July BBQ Blash!


Join us (on July 3) for a great 4th of July BBQ Celebration.
At the Rosarito Beach Hotel 3pm - 10pm
Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, BBQ, Corn on the Cob, and of course Apple Pie available at Participatiing restaurants, Mongolian Grill; Lizard Lounge; ElPescador; Sussana's; Julio's; Tacos El Gerente; LaBamba; Rosarito Beach Hotel; Joel's Hot Dogs

Entertainment throughout the afternoon and evening.
Join in some Texas Line Dancing, awesome fireworks at dark

Gather your friends and reserve a VIP table for 10 ($100)
Individual reserved seating also available ($10 per person)
Reserved seating is limited, so reserve today! General admission $5
Contact: Susan Smith 661-100-6066 (MX) or 858-240-2360 (US)
susansmithz@hotmail.com
www.flysams4thjulybbq.com

Saturday, June 25, 2011

ENSENADA - La Bufadora Art Show

La Bufadora Art Show on July 2 & 3

LA BUFADORA, ENSENADA, BAJA CALIFORNIA – On Saturday and Sunday, July 2 & 3, 2011, Restaurant La Bufadora will host its third annual art show from noon-5 p.m. The event will be held on the ocean view patio and grounds of the restaurant, which is located near the famous blowhole near the tip of the Punta Banda peninsula, 21 miles south of Ensenada. Admission is free.

The La Bufadora Art Show will feature a wide variety of art forms including oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings, photography, sculptures, pottery, woven baskets, jewelry, fabric purses, ceramics, and more. It is an exceptional opportunity to meet and buy directly from a diversity of professional, up-and-coming, and student artists of Baja California.

Among the many participating artists and groups are:

-- CUNA Instituto de Culturas Nativas de Baja California (http://cuatroetnias.wordpress.com) with Kumiai, Paipai and Kiliwa native artisans presenting their woven baskets, pottery, jewelry and dolls.

-- Robert Pace Kidd (www.robertpacekidd.com), who specializes in bas-relief sculpture in leather with a western cowboy motif.

-- Enrique Avilez (http://bajaartists.com/ensenada-baja-artists/enrique-avilez), known for his paintings and adobe sculptures like the massive “Madre Baja California” on the plaza of Centro de las Artes de Ensenada (CEARTE).

-- Painter/muralist/maritime artist Scott Kennedy (www.scottkennedy.com) with original watercolors, oils, and signed prints.

-- Cecilia Bitterlin with one-of-a-kind ceramics.

-- Cristina Rendón de Avilez, owner of the new Café-Galería del Riviera, with her nature- inspired designer jewelry.

-- ProArte de Ensenada art instructors Karina Medina Díaz, Armando Franco Guevara, Lizette Grijalva and Pedro Moto García with paintings and original art.

-- Intuitive artist Laura Jean Thompson (www.artdesignzz.com) with unique ceramics and sculptures.

-- Marie-Pierre (http://sewandsowhat.blogspot.com) with one-of-a-kind fabric purses, hats, quilts and doggie suits, all handmade from (mostly) recycled materials.

-- Janika Scott (http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/janika-scott.html) with colorful paintings of women, the Baja desert, and abstracts.

-- Judith Jacobson, Carlos Cervantes, Candice Frost, and Ruben Gil Torres with original paintings.

-- Spiritual craftsman Rowan Randol with handmade sacred rattles for meditation and ceremony.

--Mark and Alejandra Lurie of Joy as Jewels with handcrafted jewelry and gemstones.

-- Students from the Casa de la Cultura in Maneadero with original art.

Restaurant La Bufadora is located on the Carretera a la Bufadora inside the hairpin curve before the entrance to the blowhole shopping mall. For additional information about the art show or vender booths, contact Jan Burg at cell tel. (646)160-5521 or e-mail: jan.burg@gmail.com

Friday, June 24, 2011

SAN QUINTIN - Don Eddie’s Memorial Fishing Tournament

Don Eddie’s Memorial Fishing Tournament to be held July 1-3

SAN QUINTIN, BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO – The Bay of San Quintín and Don Eddie’s Landing invite anglers to compete for trophies and cash prizes at Don Eddie’s Memorial Fishing Tournament to be held Fourth of July weekend from July 1-3, 2011. Hosted by Don Eddie’s Landing on San Quintín Bay, the event organizers and sponsors include the Association of Sportfishing Captains of San Quintín, the Baja California Secretary of Tourism, the Old Mill Hotel, the Old Mill Restaurant, Hotel Santa María and Restaurant/Hotel Jardines Baja, among others.

The excitement begins on Friday, July 1, with registration, welcome, and a review of tournament rules. On Saturday, July 2 and Sunday, July 3, the tournament starts at 6 a.m. daily, with weigh-in at 4 p.m. each day next at the Old Mill public boat ramp. Depending on water temperatures, seasonal catches usually include yellowtail in the 30 lb. range, ling cod from 20-30 lbs., and white sea bass from 40-60 lbs. The top three weights in any species (except shark and manta ray) receive awards to be presented at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Sunday evening. First place wins 50% of the purse and a trophy; second place takes 35% and a trophy; third place receives 15% and a trophy. Tournament entry fee is $100 dlls. per competitor. Anglers may bring their own boats, or arrange fishing charters in advance. In the afternoon visitors and participants can enjoy the festive, family-oriented atmosphere that includes entertainment provided by the local schools, along with food stands selling beer and seafood like fresh oysters and clams from San Quintín’s bays.

Located approximately 119 miles south of the city of Ensenada, or 187 miles south of the international border at San Ysidro, San Quintín is an agricultural center that offers excellent fishing, hiking, bird watching, and numerous other activities for eco-tourists and outdoor enthusiasts. There is a complete array of services, a variety of restaurants serving seafood and Mexican fare, and an affordable selection of hotels, RV parks and campgrounds. Discover more about San Quintín at the Baja California Secretary of Tourism web site, www.discoverbajacalifornia.com

Anglers are welcome to join the tournament caravan on the morning of July 1 from the San Ysidro border crossing to San Quintín, and/or the return trip caravan on the morning of July 4. The free caravan will be led by Mexico’s Angeles Verdes (Green Angels). To sign up or request further details about the caravan, e-mail: doneddie@hotmail.com, attn. Tony. For tournament rules, registration form, accommodations, fishing license, or boat charter information, e-mail: doneddie@hotmail.com or e-mail: turismosanquintin@hotmail.com

SAN FELIPE - Best of 2010

Thank you all for making Rumors 1st Anniversary Party a successful night in this very challenging year!
Thanks to you, we have been voted BEST OF BAJA by the readers of Baja Good Life 2010 in the following categories:
Best Bar, Best Bartender, Best Karoake-Mac & Nan, Best Entertainment-Denny Flannigan

On May 27, we celebrated with music, laughter good times and the spirit of Baja with Denny, Zac & Los Secretos, and the incomperable Javier Batiz who rocked the house. The dollar amount donated to CIDA # 4 was $700.00. The funds were placed, On Account, at Maderas San Felipe, at the request of the rehab center. So, we were effectively able to help Both the Rehab Center AND a local business!

Below is one of the jams that happened during the celebration with Javier Batiz & Denny.

Again, Muchas Gracias, and we look forward to even greater times and more partying in the fall of 2011!
Jeanne Pepler, Denny Flannigan and the entire staff of Rumors.

PUNTA BANDA - July-2 Art Show

Punta Banda BC Mexico
July 2, 2011, La Bufadora Restaurant will host their third annual Art Show on the beautiful grounds of the restaurant. This is an opportunity for artists to display/sell their work, both beginners and professionals. There is no commission, but we are asking for a $10. usd registration fee.
We will accept reservations until June 24, 2011.
Please contact jan.burg@gmail.com for more information.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

NEWS & POLITICS - Military cyber war detailed

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama has signed executive orders that lay out how far military commanders around the globe can go in using cyber attacks and other computer-based operations against enemies and as part of routine espionage in other countries.

The orders detail when the military must seek presidential approval for a specific cyber assault on an enemy and weave cyber capabilities into U.S. war fighting strategy, defense officials and cyber security experts told The Associated Press.

Signed more than a month ago, the orders cap a two-year Pentagon effort to draft U.S. rules of the road for cyber warfare, and come as the U.S. begins to work with allies on global ground rules.

The guidelines are much like those that govern the use of other weapons of war, from nuclear bombs to missiles to secret surveillance, the officials said.

In a broad new strategy document, the Pentagon lays out some of the cyber capabilities the military may use during peacetime and conflict. They range from planting a computer virus to using cyberattacks to bring down an enemy’s electrical grid or defense network.

“You don’t have to bomb them anymore. That’s the new world,” said James Lewis, cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The new Pentagon strategy, he said, lays out cyber as a new warfare domain and stresses the need to fortify network defenses, protect critical infrastructure and work with allies and corporate partners.

The entire strategy has not been released, but several U.S. officials described it on condition of anonymity. Many aspects of it have been made public by U.S. officials, including Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn, in speeches over the past several months.

The Pentagon is expected to announce the entire strategy soon.

As an example, the new White House guidelines would allow the military to transmit computer code to another country’s network to test the route and make sure connections work — much like using satellites to take pictures of a location to scout out missile sites or other military capabilities.

The digital code would be passive and could not include a virus or worm that could be triggered to do harm at a later date. But if the U.S. ever got involved in a conflict with that country, the code would have mapped out a path for any offensive cyberattack to take, if approved by the president.

The guidelines also make clear that when under attack, the U.S. can defend itself by blocking cyber intrusions and taking down servers in another country. And, as in cases of mortar or missile attacks, the U.S. has the right to pursue attackers across national boundaries — even if those are virtual network lines.

“We must be able to defend and operate freely in cyberspace,” Lynn said in a speech last week in Paris. The U.S., he said, must work with other countries to monitor networks and share threat information.

Lynn and others also say the Pentagon must more aggressively protect the networks of defense contractors that possess valuable information about military systems and weapons’ designs. In a new pilot program, the Defense Department has begun sharing classified threat intelligence with a handful of companies to help them identify and block malicious cyber activity on their networks.

Over time, Lynn said, the program could be a model for the Homeland Security Department as it works with companies that run critical infrastructure such as power plants, the electric grid and financial systems.

Members of Congress are working on a number of bills to address cybersecurity and have encouraged such public-private partnerships, particularly to secure critical infrastructure. But they also warn of privacy concerns.

Cyber security experts and defense officials have varying views of cyber war, but they agree that it will be a part of any future conflict.Pentagon chief Leon Panetta, the outgoing CIA director, said the U.S. must be aggressive in offensive and defensive countermeasures.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

SAN FELIPE - Cuba Gooding Sr. Performs to Sold Out Crowd.

On Saturday June 18th, the Baja Good Life Club hosted Cuba Gooding Sr. the lead singer of the soul group The Main Ingredient at La Ventana del Mar Resort Pavilion at El Dorado Ranch in San Felipe. Cuba performed his most notable hit, "Everybody Plays the Fool" (1972) as well as his forthcoming release "Begins with the Family" and many others to a sold-out crowd.

Cuba's performance was high-energy fun that not only brought the audience to their feet for the incredible music, and strong vocal performance, but also his message "that the children are the most important."

Cuba performed the entire event free; giving all the proceeds to over 50 children in Casa de Fe and El Oasis orphanages within the greater San Felipe area. The proceeds raised are going to San Felipe dentist Dr. Jason Corpus, so that he can examine, clean and fix the all children's teeth from Casa de Fe and El Oasis Orphanages.

Cuba a resident of Baja and wanted to let people know that Baja is a safe and welcoming place, and that in the fall he will be opening the Cuba Gooding Sr. Pyramid Amphitheater in Tijuana with the goal of bringing other artists, such as himself to Baja.

View Photos from the event - Cuba Gooding Sr. Benefit Concert

LOS BARRILES - Sand Castle Competition

June 26th is the annual Sand Castle Competition.

S
culptors from all over the world to sculpt on the Vinorama Beach in front of the restaurant. The project is headed up by Brett and Britta Stocker, World Class sand sculptors and winners of US open competitions and Peoples Choice. Brett will construct and exhibition piece on the beach at the end of May. More details write to crossroadscountryclub@yahoo.com or find us on Facebook.

NEWS - Pemex to buy 8 oil rigs

MEXICO CITY, – Mexico’s state oil monopoly Pemex said it will acquire eight new offshore oil drilling platforms and other equipment worth $1.2 billion to expand production in the Gulf of Mexico.

Pemex said in a statement seven of the platforms, which will be used in the Bay of Campeche, can operate at 344 feet (105 meters) in the water and can drill at depths of 25,000 feet (7,600 meters).

The company said it would lease the platforms for various periods. Pemex also said it would buy five land rigs for $200 million for drilling in the south of the country.

In related news, Pemex said the expansion of the Minatitlan refinery will now be ready by the end of August, providing the first firm target for the completion of the long-delayed project.

The project to increase capacity at the 185,000 barrel-per-day refinery in the Gulf of Mexico State of Veracruz was originally supposed to be finished in late March.

But a document obtained by Reuters on Monday said it will not start operations by the end of the summer, adding 47,300 barrels per day (bpd) of gasoline to production. Pemex had said in the past Minatitlan’s new facilities would increase gasoline output by 57,000 bpd.

Currently Mexico, a major oil producer, imports around 40 percent of its gasoline because of a lack of in-country refining capacity.

The expansion plan, which began back in 2003, aimed to bring the refinery up to 350,000 bpd capacity.

Parts of the renovated plant are already operating, producing an additional 34,000 barrels per day of diesel, the document said. In addition to the gas and diesel, Minatitlan will reduce fuel oil output from 65,000 to 27,700 bpd.

Pemex’s CEO said at a conference this month that Mexico aims to reduce gasoline imports by 8 percent between 2012 and 2016.

The company plans to build a new oil refinery in Tula, north of Mexico City but wants to avoid the setbacks seen at Minatitlan due to poor supervision by Pemex and the splitting of the expansion into multiple packages.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

SAN FELIPE - Dining with the Divas!

ZAPP is once again taking the DRAG out of Summer, and putting it on stage where it belongs! Monday, June 27th, 2PM at the Pavilion at El Dorado Ranch. Tickets are $15 and still available through Monday. Tickets will also be available at the door the day of the Show. You can also pick up tickets at RUMORS and at the counter of SUNRUNNER.

The Auction will be held between 11:00am - 1:30pm. We have so many amazing items for our Silent Auction to share with you. Donations have been arriving from donors and supporters both from San Felipe, the U.S., and from Mark's storage unit. All monies raised on Monday will go directly to Spaying & Neutering the Stray & Indigent Animals of San Felipe this Summer. Lunch begins at 1PM, and the Show will begin at 2PM. You'll be free to travel between both rooms at the Pavilion and bid on items you like.

Your Hostess for the Show will be CHER. Among the cast of Divas performing will be
LENA HORNE, DIANA ROSS, CHER, TINA TURNER, PATTI LaBELLE, AMY WINEHOUSE, DOLLY PARTON, PINK, JOAN JETT, DONNA SUMMER & GRACE JONES.
El Dorado Food & Beverage Director Cesar Quirarte told me he'll be serving his terrific $1 per item menu between 1-2pm before the show begins. That's Great News for all of us on a budget.

Thank you to Jeanne Pepler of RUMORS for hosting the after party and meet & greet with "TOOTIE and her Girls" between 7:00pm - 9:00pm. DJ Denny Flannigan will provide the tunes. Please come hang out, have a drink, and get a picture. There is NO entry Charge.

NEWS & POLITICS - Freed former Tijuana mayor says no hard feelings

TIJUANA, Mexico — The eccentric former mayor of Tijuana said Monday that he had no hard feelings for the Mexican officials who launched a pre-dawn raid on his home and imprisoned him for 10 days on charges that were eventually dismissed.

Jorge Hank Rhon was jovial and relaxed in his first public comments since he was released for lack of evidence, entertaining reporters' questions for an hour in the lobby of his flagship casino before shaking hands with supporters and driving off behind the wheel of his Maybach sedan.

"I think one who gets angry loses, so I don't get angry," said Hank Rhon, a gambling magnate from a politically powerful family. "What happened is in the past."

The administration of Mexican President Felipe Calderon has faced withering criticism since the army's June 4 raid on Hank Rhon's sprawling complex in central Tijuana, which includes a casino, soccer stadium, greyhound racetrack, large private zoo and his home.

Hank Rhon, 55, was released from custody twice in one day last week, first on weapons charges and then on suspicion of masterminding the murder of his son's former girlfriend. Skeptics said the raid was a strike against his Institutional Revolutionary Party ahead of next year's presidential election.

Hank Rhon denied the raid was a political ploy but refused to try to explain the government's actions.

"I'm very practical. When I have a stomach ache, I cure it. I don't walk around thinking about what I ate or why my stomach hurts," he said. "Fortunately, I have my freedom again."

Hank Rhon confirmed that the U.S. State Department revoked his visa but said he didn't know why.

"I didn't ask a lot of questions," he said.

U.S. authorities have long suspected Hank Rhon of links to laundering illegal drug proceeds, but no accusations have been documented.

Hank Rhon was unemotional when asked to recall his feelings when soldiers stormed his bedroom after a long night of entertaining guests. He said he felt embarrassed wearing shorts and that his first thought was to grab a pair of pants.

"I'm not like Adonnis," he said, wearing an open-collar suit and seated next to a person in a Xoloitzcuintles costume, the Mexican hairless dogs for which his soccer team is named.

When asked how the episode changed him, he deadpanned that he lost more than 17 pounds in captivity but has gained nearly half of that back since his release.

Hank Rhon, the father of 19 children with various women, was Tijuana's mayor from 2004 to 2007 after amassing a fortune from his Caliente gambling empire. He has fed his reputation of eccentricity by boasting of getting energy from drinking a tequila laced with bear bile, scorpions, and rattlesnakes and steeped with the penises of tigers, lions and dogs.

He said Monday that he would stay in politics and did nothing to quell speculation that he would run for governor of Baja California state 2013 after a failed bid in 2007.

"I don't know any politician who doesn't want to govern his state," he said.

Asked by another reporter about the governor's race, he said, "I like more the suggestion of the woman who was kind enough to say she wants me to be president of the world."

The Associated Press
Sign on SD

Monday, June 20, 2011

BAJA - Wine Festival Promotions

PROMOTED IN MEXICO CITY EVENTS CALENDAR
THE WINE ROUTE OF BAJA CALIFORNIA
MEXICO CITY .- Friday June 17, 2011 .- A delegation headed by Tourism Secretary of State, Juan Tintos Funcke, made a working tour of Mexico City in order to promote tourism calendar of events Wine Route and the cuisine of Baja California, and the destinations that make up this tourist attraction that distinguishes our state from the rest of the country.
As part of this agenda was held a press conference attended by more than two dozen media in the Federal District as well as national and specialty, to whom he was released in addition to the calendar of events related to wine and gastronomy, tourism destinations that have to make up the Ruta del Vino, Tijuana, Playas de Rosarito, Tecate and Ensenada.
The state official announced that one of the strategies to encourage the arrival of tourists to enjoy this attraction that distinguishes Baja California, as well as the destinations of our state, was to extend the calendar of events, so that supported by the different wineries, as well as local restaurateurs and developers, this year has a calendar with more than 80 events related to wine tourism and gastronomy, which began in April and ends in October.
"With support from the State Governor José Guadalupe Osuna Millán and support of the Secretariat of Tourism of the Federal Government and the Tourism Board of Mexico, we are intensifying our promotional activities and strengthening our tourism related to the Wine Route with the aim of increasing tourist flows and generate a profit to the destiny of the entity, "he said.
The owner of the SECTURE also highlighted one of the main advantages for domestic tourism that is related to connectivity through the airports of Tijuana and Mexicali, which in this case the terminal which has a greater number of frequencies and destinations into the country after the airport in Mexico City.
He added that the importance of this promotion at Mexico City, is that as stated by the Ministry of Tourism of the Federal Government (SECTUR), 70 percent of the economic income generated by tourism and 80 percent of the Hotel occupancy in our country is derived from domestic tourism.
As part of this delegation of Baja California with the participation of David Bibayoff Dalgoff, Chairman of Ensenada Provino, Carlos García Travesi Bosch, President of the Business Coordinating Council and Vice Ensenada National Chamber of Industry and Restaurants Spicy Food (CANIRAC) and the renowned Chef Javier Plascencia Baja California.
Also during the said press conference was attended by Javier Aranda Pedrero of Executive Director and Partner Relationship of CPTM destinations, as well as Ostos Hector de la Cruz, Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Quality SECTUR.
In turn, David Bibayoff an exhibition of the Harvest Festival, which will begin on August 5 with the traditional "Wine Show" and will run until August 21 with over 45 events. For his part, Chef Javier Plascencia presented the event, "Baja California Culinary Fest", it is held in Mexicali, Tijuana, Rosarito Beach and Ensenada from 5 to 9 October.
Among the media covering the press conference are Milenio Diario, Excelsior, Reforma, El Sol de Mexico, Radio Formula, TeleFórmula, TV Azteca and Millennium Television, among others, as well as travel-related magazines and gourmet tourism.
Continuing with the agenda in Mexico City, Secretary of State Tourism Friday attended interviews in major radio programs such as "Focus" with Leonardo Curzio, "Travel Conecction" Radio Formula, "Travelling with the Beaver" Grupo Radio Mil, as well as "Lamont says so" on ABC Radio, which continued with the promotion of Baja California.

LA PAZ - Declares Peace on the United States

source: BUSINESS WIRE

June 15, 2011 12:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Over $1 billion in balanced growth planned for next five years - in one of North America’s Safest Cities, La Paz.

La Paz, Mexico has established the La Paz Tourism Board and launched a comprehensive awareness campaign. The tourism board has released new data confirming that La Paz is one of the safest cities in all of North America. It offers details on approximately $1 billion in environmentally sensitive developments emerging over the next five years. Most importantly, the city near the southern tip of Baja California, is gradually revealing what a few travelers and second-home owners from the U.S., mainland Mexico, and around the world have discovered: That it is a place blessed with great natural, recreational and cultural abundance.
“Those who have had the good fortune of discovering La Paz on their own have found that it offers a rare combination of overwhelming beauty, sense of community and balanced infrastructure”

The awareness campaign has been named, La Paz: City of Peace and Abundance on the Sea of Cortez, and the launch event and campaign kick-off takes place Tuesday, June 14, from the Costa Baja Resort in La Paz, Mexico. The campaign continues to the US for a media and community relations event on June 28 in the city of Redondo Beach, California, to announce a declaration of peace amongst sister cities.

“Those who have had the good fortune of discovering La Paz on their own have found that it offers a rare combination of overwhelming beauty, sense of community and balanced infrastructure,” said Agustin Olachea, President of La Paz Tourism Board, and spokesperson for the La Paz Developers Tourism Council. “The awareness campaign ensures that La Paz – whose name is literally ‘Peace’ in Spanish – is recognized as one of the world’s most safe and secure cities.”

According to Irvine-based research group, Competitive Analytics, La Paz is one of the safest cities in the world. When La Paz (population, 220,000) is ranked among California (U.S.) cities between 100,000 and 500,000, it is the third-safest in murder and manslaughter in 2009, the latest year available for an accurately averaged comparison.

This peaceful environment has encouraged a select set of international developers to create new hospitality and residential destinations. These emerging resorts and master-planned developments serve travelers and second-home owners who prize both unending natural places to discover a healthy, cosmopolitan community life. Developments include Costa Baja Resort, Paraiso del Mar, Playa de la Paz, Azul de Cortez, Bahía de los Sueños and Maravia.

More info contact Paolucci Communication Arts - Public Relations
Lisa Layne, 310-791-2755 x337
llayne@paoluccicommarts.com

Sunday, June 19, 2011

SAN FELIPE - Volunteers Without Limits

Hello! We invite you to our great tamales sale for the benefit of Kevin. This Angel will be operated on the 29th in the city of Ensenada and the funds raised will be for the families travel expenses.

The mothers of the handicapped children will be selling fruit and meat tamales in front of the Volunteers Without Limits Thrift Store Saturday, June 25th (2011) starting at 8:00 a.m. Donations for the food bank and disabled children have been very low since the beginning of the summer months and Patty is hoping this will be a way the mothers can earn the money to get their children the care they need.
--
Susan Young Daily Goal: to live my life in balance and focus my energies to the work God has put before me.

BGLC DISCOUNT - Botica Sagrado Corazon

BGLC DISCOUNT - Botica Sagrado Corazon
San Felipe BC Mexico
BGLC MEMBER DISCOUNT: 15% Off all Medications

English spoken here

The drug store is family owned and operated by Tavo Garcia and has been in operation at this location since 1952. They offer a wide variety of items including perfume, gifts, make-up, baby clothes, turtle cream, baptism and first-communion accessories.

Contact Botica Sagrado Corazon - CLICK HERE

Join today and SAVE Big on Baja! BGLC Discount Mex Auto Insurance - Policies STARTING at $78.03.

BGLC DISCOUNT - Tankreto Precast Cistern Systems

BGLC DISCOUNT - Tankreto Precast Cistern Systems
Cabo San Lucas, BCS Mexico
BGLC MEMBER DISCOUNT: 10% discount

The TANKRETO precast cistern system is fabricated in a shop for the highest quality control. The process is monolithic, meaning all poured in one piece, which avoids cold joints that may cause leaks. After the pour, the unit is taken out of the mold and filled with water to insure there are no leaks and facilitate curing. The TANKRETO cistern has two parts, tank and top, which are sealed at the time of installation.

Contact Tankreto Precast Cistern Systems - CLICK HERE

Join today and SAVE Big on Baja! BGLC Discount Mex Auto Insurance - Policies STARTING at $78.03.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

BAJA - Wine Festival Promotions

PROMOTED IN MEXICO CITY EVENTS CALENDAR
THE WINE ROUTE OF BAJA CALIFORNIA

MEXICO CITY .- Friday June 17, 2011 .- A delegation headed by Tourism Secretary of State, Juan Tintos Funcke, made a working tour of Mexico City in order to promote tourism calendar of events Wine Route and the cuisine of Baja California, and the destinations that make up this tourist attraction that distinguishes our state from the rest of the country.

As part of this agenda was held a press conference attended by more than two dozen media in the Federal District as well as national and specialty, to whom he was released in addition to the calendar of events related to wine and gastronomy, tourism destinations that have to make up the Ruta del Vino, Tijuana, Playas de Rosarito, Tecate and Ensenada.

The state official announced that one of the strategies to encourage the arrival of tourists to enjoy this attraction that distinguishes Baja California, as well as the destinations of our state, was to extend the calendar of events, so that supported by the different wineries, as well as local restaurateurs and developers, this year has a calendar with more than 80 events related to wine tourism and gastronomy, which began in April and ends in October.

"With support from the State Governor José Guadalupe Osuna Millán and support of the Secretariat of Tourism of the Federal Government and the Tourism Board of Mexico, we are intensifying our promotional activities and strengthening our tourism related to the Wine Route with the aim of increasing tourist flows and generate a profit to the destiny of the entity, "he said.

The owner of the SECTURE also highlighted one of the main advantages for domestic tourism that is related to connectivity through the airports of Tijuana and Mexicali, which in this case the terminal which has a greater number of frequencies and destinations into the country after the airport in Mexico City.

He added that the importance of this promotion at Mexico City, is that as stated by the Ministry of Tourism of the Federal Government (SECTUR), 70 percent of the economic income generated by tourism and 80 percent of the Hotel occupancy in our country is derived from domestic tourism.

As part of this delegation of Baja California with the participation of David Bibayoff Dalgoff, Chairman of Ensenada Provino, Carlos García Travesi Bosch, President of the Business Coordinating Council and Vice Ensenada National Chamber of Industry and Restaurants Spicy Food (CANIRAC) and the renowned Chef Javier Plascencia Baja California.

Also during the said press conference was attended by Javier Aranda Pedrero of Executive Director and Partner Relationship of CPTM destinations, as well as Ostos Hector de la Cruz, Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Quality SECTUR.

In turn, David Bibayoff an exhibition of the Harvest Festival, which will begin on August 5 with the traditional "Wine Show" and will run until August 21 with over 45 events. For his part, Chef Javier Plascencia presented the event, "Baja California Culinary Fest", it is held in Mexicali, Tijuana, Rosarito Beach and Ensenada from 5 to 9 October.

Among the media covering the press conference are Milenio Diario, Excelsior, Reforma, El Sol de Mexico, Radio Formula, TeleFórmula, TV Azteca and Millennium Television, among others, as well as travel-related magazines and gourmet tourism.

Continuing with the agenda in Mexico City, Secretary of State Tourism Friday attended interviews in major radio programs such as "Focus" with Leonardo Curzio, "Travel Conecction" Radio Formula, "Travelling with the Beaver" Grupo Radio Mil, as well as "Lamont says so" on ABC Radio, which continued with the promotion of Baja California.

Friday, June 17, 2011

ROSARITO BEACH - Donation to RB Boys & Girls Club

Emerson College of Boston donated $1,000+ dlls to the Rosarito Beach Boys & Girls Club. The funds where raised by an event they did last month in BOSTON; especially for the Club de Ninos y Ninas de Rosarito! They made a little over $1,000dlls!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

NEWS - Border Fast Track Lane for Tourists

Border Fast Track Lane for Tourists - Cross into the U.S. Faster!
Courtesy of Baja Bound

Border Fast Track Pass - August 2010 Update
The Fast Track lane is still working great and that means considerably shorter wait times! We have heard that the wait is about 25-30 minutes - YAY!

Fast Track Pass Tips:
  • Be sure to double check before you go that the hotel or restaurant has the pass (currently in Rosarito, Ensenada and Tijuana)
  • Need help finding the lane? See Baja Bounds pictoral on finding the Fast Track Pass lane
  • Google Map to the Fast Track Lane from the Río Zone or along the road that borders the U.S. - La Internacional.
  • Remember that usually there are cones that block the lane as you approach the booth. If you pull off near the cones the officers will come out of the booth to take your ticket and graciously let you through.
Save Time Crossing Back into the U.S.
A new border lane has been officially opened at the Tijuana/San Ysidro border crossing and it isn't a SENTRI lane. The Baja California Secretary of Tourism together with the Tijuana Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Secretary of Economic Development in Tijuana have designated a lane for tourists (vacationers, business people and medical tourism) who have visited certain merchants in Baja. Until now, this lane had been dedicated to medical tourism and has now been expanded.

What is the Border Fast Pass?
The border fast pass program, called Fast Track, is a single-use coupon that gives you access to a special lane designated for tourists. You will still need to present the necessary documentation to U.S. border officials. As of June 1, 2009 you will need a passport.

How much time can I save by using Fast Track?
This lane will significantly reduce your wait time to get back into the U.S. Reports say the wait on average is 30 minutes or so, but officials say the goal is a 15 minute wait.

How do I get a Fast Track pass?
Certain merchants in the city of Rosarito, Ensenada and Tijuana carry the Border Fast Pass. As the program develops, more will be added.

If you are visiting Rosarito, you may obtain your Fast Track pass by visiting these establishments:
  • Rosarito Beach Hotel
  • Rosarito Inn
  • Bobby's by the Sea
  • Grand Baja Resort
  • Calafia Hotel
  • Festival Plaza
  • Brisas del Mar Hotel
  • Mongolian Grill
  • La Casa de la Langosta restaurant
  • Puerto Nuevo II restaurant
  • Fausto Polanco hacienda furniture
Check with the hotel for specific requirements. Some will offer the pass with a package and others for visiting the spa, restaurants, etc. at the hotel and spending about U.S. $70 ($1000 pesos).

You may obtain the Border Fast Pass by visiting the merchants who are participating in the Fast Track Pass program and spending about U.S. $70 ($1000 pesos). We advise to confirm with the hotel or venue first that they offer the Fast Track and how to get it once you are there.

Program participants:
  • Posada El Rey Sol
  • Estero Beach Hotel
  • Adobe Guadalupe Hotel
  • Desert Inn Hotel
  • Best Western El Cid
  • El Cortez Baja Inn
  • Hotel Santo Tomas Baja Inn
  • El Rey Sol restaurant
  • Sano's Steak House
  • Playitas Club del Mar
  • Establishments in Tijuana:
  • La Casa del Mole - Playas de Tijuana
  • Dali Suites - Playas de Tijuana
  • Hotel Real del Rio
  • Corona Plaza Hotel
  • La Carnicería
  • Vivamex Health Care
  • Caliente
  • Vita Spa
What border crossings have a Fast Track lane?
Only the San Ysidro border crossing has special Border Fast Pass lane at this time.

Where is the Fast Track lane located?
If you are heading to the border from the scenic toll road, once you are near the border line on Calle Segunda, you will take the far right lane that is sectioned off by concrete dividers and parallels the regular border line. Look for the blue signs that say "With Pass Only" and the blue signs that say "Medical Services." After going up the bridge, you will see a booth with an official who will take your Fast Track pass and give you access to the lane. What a breeze!

How much does it cost to get a Fast Track pass?
The pass is free once you have met the requirements mentioned above.

Will there be more Fast Track lanes in the future?
Currently the Border Fast Pass program is a pilot program. If the lane is a success, more lanes will be added.

Is the Fast Track lane like the SENTRI?
It is similar to the SENTRI in that you can cross the border faster, however there is no background check and the pass is only good for one crossing.

LOS BARRILES - Keep'n It Reel Fish'n Chips Tournament

Come join us on June 23-25 for the 2011 tournament full of exciting prizes, including a 4-wheel off-road utility vehicle grand prize, several cash side pots, and a big prize pool of fishin products for the winner of the fish and poker tournament. Additional prizes to be awarded for the biggest Tuna and Dorado catches, as well as for the players making it to the final table of the poker tournament.

CHARITY - Volunteers Without Limits

Hello! We invite you to our great tamales sale for the benefit of Kevin. This Angel will be operated on the 29th in the city of Ensenada and the funds raised will be for the families travel expenses.

The mothers of the handicapped children will be selling fruit and meat tamales in front of the Volunteers Without Limits Thrift Store next Saturday, June 25th (2011) starting at 8:00 a.m. Donations for the food bank and disabled children have been very low since the beginning of the summer months and Patty is hoping this will be a way the mothers can earn the money to get their children the care they need.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

NEWS - Promoting a Positive Image of Baja

Baja Image Committee - Holds 1st Expat Summit

Promoting An Accurate & Positive Image Is The Goal
By Ron Raposa

ROSARITO BEACH---About 70 community leaders in Baja’s expatriate community last week attended the first summit of the Baja Image Committee. It was organized for foreign residents who want to promote a positive and accurate portrait of the region.

The two-day summit entitled “Building Baja’s Tomorrow’s Today” was held June 8th and 9th at the Rosarito Beach Hotel, which provided free lodging and meals for those attending.

The event was a response to requests from many of the thousands of expats who live in the region. Many have expressed a desire to do more to help convey an accurate picture of life in Baja, especially to people living in the United States.

The summit featured testimonials from many of those residents, including some who said reports of scattered drug-related violence in recent years had made some friends and relatives reluctant to visit.

Those concerns are considered a large factor in the decline in tourism and visitors the past several years, although a strong rebound has been noted this Easter and Memorial Day weekend, the traditional beginning of the summer season.

The summit included a panel discussion as well as presentations on methods of gathering and distributing accurate and positive information, plus using social networks.

Hugo Torres, head of the Baja Image Committee and former Rosario mayor, said that “always telling the truth” is critical for such efforts to succeed. It is essential that government officials work hard to correct any problems that do exist, he added.

Baja State Tourism Secretary Juan Tintos and Arturo Martinez, director of visitor assistance, told of government efforts to make visitors more comfortable and welcome, including the 078 assistance number which is in operation 24 hours day and seven days a week.

Steven Kashkett, U.S. Consul General for Baja, also attended to give an off-the-record briefing.

Rosarito resident Ken Bell, who leads the expatriate committee of the Baja Image Committee, pointed out that much work remains after the summit to accomplish goals that have been established.

Bell, along with Rosarito’s tourism delegate Cesar River, were summit moderators.

Other speakers included Emerson College Professor Gregory Payne, who has established a Rediscover Rosarito project that he said can be applied to all of Baja.

“You’re all your own TV networks,” Payne said, referring to the access that everyone has to post videos on You Tube and similar sites.

Chris Hill, of the Live Mexico campaign, and representatives of Allison & Partners public relations also spoke.

Expatriate residents from Rosarito, Ensenada, San Felipe and Tijuana who attended the summit are expected to share information and strategies for promoting a full, accurate and positive regional image with others in coming months.

BORDER - San Ysidro border crossing construction is underway

There are presently 24 north bound lanes and 6 south bound lanes. When construction is completed there will be 35 north bound and 19 south bound lanes. In addition, the 35 north bound lanes will be double stacked that is they will have to inspection booths per lane so as to be able to process two autos at a time totaling 70 cars. The estimated time savings for crossings is a whopping 500% improvement. Presently the average waiting time is 90 minutes, which will be cut to 15 minutes. And the lines at peak times will go down from a high of 2.7 miles to under ¼ mile... There is also good news for SENTRI users - the construction program includes expanding to 14 lanes further cutting waiting times. OK, we know what is in your mind - when will this be a reality? The work is underway by phases, and it should all be done in a couple of years - OK, give or take a little. But we will keep you posted.

NEWS & POLITICS - Amid the Drug Wars, a Stunning Economic Boom

MERIDA, Mexico— At a time when the United States is confronting the possibility of a “double dip” recession, Mexico’s economy is expanding at the fastest pace in a decade.

For most of the 20th century, Mexicans lamented that when the U.S. economy slowed down, Mexico, ever so dependent on its neighbor to the north, suffered a recession. “When the U.S. gets a cold, Mexico gets pneumonia,” was a familiar saying among officials and executives on both sides of the border.

When the global recession hit in 2008, it seemed the same pattern would hold true again: In 2009, Mexico’s economy contracted 6.1 percent. Mexican officials feared that draconian immigration laws would result in the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Mexicans back to Mexico, where they would face certain unemployment. They also feared a collapse in demand for Mexican exports by recession-hit American consumers.

But the opposite has occurred. Mexico’s economy is enjoying a period of robust growth as a direct result of internal migrations away from the U.S.-Mexico border to mid-size Mexican cities, and the repatriation of investment capital from Mexicans living overseas, primarily in the U.S.

The Central Bank's Key Role

As the global recession unfolded, Mexican President Felipe Calderon relied on Agustin Carstens, director of the central bank, to steer a financial policy for the nation. The result has been stunning.

Mexico’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 5.5 percent in 2010, and it is on track to grow 4.5 percent this year. Carstens is now being mentioned as a leading candidate to take over the International Monetary Fund after Dominique Strauss Kahn’s abrupt resignation. Other equally competent Mexican officials have worked to spur internal economic development. Finance Minister Ernesto Cordero, for instance, has made a point of focusing on internal growth rather than exports.

“It’s much more balanced growth with a much more dynamic domestic sector,” Cordero told reporters in Mexico City recently, emphasizing the Calderon administration’s emphasis on fueling domestic demand.

Middle-Class Resilience

The result has been an invigoration of Mexico’s middle class. Given the sluggishness of the U.S. economy, Mexicans professionals—once lured to the U.S. by Fortune 500 companies— are seeking opportunities in mid-size Mexican cities. This, in turn, is fueling new economic activity and encouraging domestic demand.

In the decade since 9/11, when U.S. officials made it more difficult for Mexican citizens to secure tourist and work visas, Mexicans have opted for alternatives. A case in point is the rapid economic development taking place in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. Unable to send their kids to Orlando, Mexicans have sent them to Cancun. Unable to seek medical care in Miami, they have traveled to Merida. Prevented from purchasing vacation homes in Palm Springs, they have invested in Playa de Carmen.

Where Americans can't find the money to fill in potholes, Mexico is accepting bids for a new, world-class airport along the 65-mile Cancun-Tulum corridor that is expected to serve 700,000 passengers its first year. While the U.S. had to abandon plans for fast trains that would have linked Tampa-Orlando and New York-Washington, Mexico plans a bullet train that will link Merida’s one million residents to Cancun.

American homes languish unsold for years, while half-million dollar homes are going up in fancy Mexican communities such as the Yucatan Country Club, which boasts a Jack Nicklaus golf course and a Mark Spitz Swimming Academy. This economic vitality is seen in many areas of the country, far removed from the drug-related violence that plagues the border region.

The strength of Mexico’s middle class can also be measured by the maturity of its democratic institutions. In 2000, for instance, Mexico was governed by an authoritarian regime, a single-party state that controlled or co-opted the nation’s socioeconomic and political organizations. In less than a decade it has become a true democracy, one in which the president is from a conservative party (PAN), most of the governors are from a centrist party (PRI) and the country’s largest city—Mexico City—is run by a mayor from a leftist party (PRD). Had anyone predicted in 2000 that this would be political reality in Mexico by 2010, it would have seemed like a fantasy.

Internal Population Shifts

The sluggish U.S. economy and stricter immigration controls are two of the key factors driving the boom. The number of illegal immigrants to the U.S. fell from roughly 850,000 a year in the years before the recession to 300,000 a year from 2007 to 2009, according to a report from the Pew Hispanic Center.

True, many of Mexico’s poorest people still risk their lives to find menial labor in the U.S., but the semi-skilled are finding more opportunities at home. The result has been an internal migration to where the jobs are. Mexico’s Census Bureau, known as INEGI, for instance, reported a 16 percent increase in Yucatan State’s population—almost all of it from people moving in from other parts of Mexico, and not from higher birth rates.

Mexican sociologist M. Bianet Castellanos chronicles the vast influx of Maya migration to the resorts along the Maya Riviera—people who, a generation ago, would have made their way to the agricultural fields of California and the bodegas of New York. They are finding better jobs in Mexico than they would in the U.S.—and without risking their lives at the hands of human traffickers, U.S. law enforcement agents, drug warlords, or American racists who subject Mexicans in the U.S. to hate crimes.

At the same time, Mexico’s economy is being energized and diversified by the arrival of working-age Americans. A generation ago, it was not uncommon to see entire communities of American expatriates—senior citizens living on Social Security, enjoying retirements of leisure, spending the afternoons playing golf, beach-combing and sipping margaritas. Now, younger Americans are also coming to Mexico to start families and open businesses. American officials estimate that there are more Americans living in Mexico than in any other country and who are fiercely loyal to Mexico.

Drug Violence in Perspective

This economic growth, unprecedented in its strength in more than a generation, is taking place at a time when the country is facing a wave of drug war violence.

But one reason the violence is so shocking is that it is out of the norm. “In a country of more than 100 million people, the odds of being killed in a drug-related homicide in 2010 were one in 6,667, about the same as the odds of being killed in an automobile accident in the United States (about one in 6,500). The odds of being killed in Mexico’s drug violence decrease dramatically if a person is not a drug trafficker, mayor, or police officer in a disputed trafficking region,” Viridiana Rios and David Shirk write in “Drug-Related Killings in Mexico, 2008-2010,” published by the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego.

Fear-mongering by American writers is hardly new. “This is an attempt to understand Mexico's steep descent into turmoil,” wrote one alarmed reviewer of Andres Oppenheimer’s 1998 book, Bordering on Chaos, which lamented that Mexico was becoming a “failed state.”

Thirty years before that, Barry Goldwater was among those calling Mexico, then hosting the Summer Olympic Games, a “failed state.” Decades from now, Americans will no doubt still be uttering the same clichés. Fast forward a dozen years after Oppenheimer’s failed book, and Mexico, despite its “out of control” image, is flourishing.

Now when the U.S. catches a cold, Mexico can say, “Bless you,” and go about its business.
http://newamericamedia.org/2011/06/letter-from-mexico-amid-the-drug-wars-a-stunning-economic-boom.php