Que Pasa in Baja?

May 2, 2016 Edition
BY: OLIVER QUINTERO

Flower growing growing. The agriculture Department stated that Baja has been growing steadily in the flower industry. They say that in 2014 alone about 1,600 acres of land were cultivated with flowers. The activity is only practiced significantly in Ensenada and Rosarito, with Rosarito producing about 13% of the flowers and the remaining Ensenada.

Authorities said that about 95% of the flowers are exported to the US, to be sold in the state of California, bringing in about $3 million USD for local flower growers.

The Mediterranean weather of Rosarito and Ensenada allows flower growers to grow different species year-round, making this an attractive crop to grow.

Gas imports begin. 22 companies already have filed papers with the National Energy Office that would allow them, (if approved), to import gas and diesel from the U.S. Technically about half of the gas in Mexico is imported by PEMEX anyway, but since April private companies are allowed to import their own gas.

During 2015 PEMEX spent about $19 billion USD importing gas from the U.S. and Europe, that´s 25% less than  what it paid for gas during 2014 because lower gas prices. Even though they got the gas cheaper, they sold it to us for more money! Pendejos.

New law to allow choosing order of last name. A local congressman has been working on a law that would allow parents to choose the order of the last names for their kids. Remember that in Mexico people have two last names, one from dad and one from mom, in that order. The new law says: “The parents will decide, in mutual agreement the order of the last names that the child will have at the moment of birth, it will be registered in the birth certificate and signed by both”. Operative words here being mutual agreement.

The law is promoted by Armando Reyes, who says that this is a step to guarantee the gender equality for men and woman.

In order for it to be a law, it would have to be approved in congress and since it´s a state law it would only affect kids born here in Baja.

We at the GG only use one last name, the first last name, omitting the second last name. It’s taxing enough on our readers to get clear about the Spanish names without throwing in an extra name. For example, did you know my name is actually Oliver Quintero Rodríguez? You may call me Ollie. Santiago Verdugo, the cat who writes the state and national column, doesn’t have a daddy so he only has one last name.  That’s been a shameful load for him to carry.

Mayor wants tourists sent to islands. Ensenada mayor Gilberto Hirata has stated that he was bringing a proposal to congress that would promote tourism and commercial activities on our off shore islands. The mayor said that local islands are virgin places that could be very well exploited if they just had the needed infrastructure.

A conservation group that has operations on many of the local islands protested what they said is a lousy plan by the mayor, saying the islands are better left alone for conservation purposes. They went on to say that the key to improving tourism in Ensenada was to have a clean city, build parks, bike lanes and offer good experiences.

Newport Beach-Ensenada Regata. About 250 ships were seen in the Newport beach- Ensenada Regata this year. The event is an Ensenada classic that started in 1947, and now it has grown to be the largest regatta in the world. Participants set sail on Friday, and the fastest ones wash up on our shores by Friday night but most won´t get here until Saturday morning. A new record was set with a time of five hours and 17 minutes on the 125 nautical mile course. Wow, that’s hustling along at about 25 miles an hour. The Newport Ocean Sailing Associaion (NOSA) donated $5,490 dollars to a local autism charity.

Cruise news! We received some good news from the cruise ships. It turns out nowadays more of the people whot arrive to Ensenada aboard a cruise ship are actually getting off the ship and doing stuff in town. Stuff, as in spending money. This has been a major issue for a couple of years now, we had lots of cruise ships call in our port, but few people got off the ship.

Last year we started doing a little better with an average of 48% of the people deciding to visit us instead of remaining on the ship, but this year we did a lot better reaching 62% of people.

That’s not all, recent economic studies say that these cruisers are also spending more money here. They increased their average spend per person from $40 in 2014 to $71 last year.

Tourism authorities say this has a lot to do with what the city has to offer now, in 2014 there were only 11 tours offered to tourists and now we have about 23. People still don’t like walking around downtown due to the aggressive barkers in front of each store.

Jail for a dog abuser. The first person to commit cruelty against an animal under the new law has been jailed. The new law was approval in October 2014.

Unfortunately, it wasn´t for long since the perp easily bailed out because the crime isn´t considered serious.

The perp was jailed for leaving a dog inside a house for about 20 days without food or water until he died.

He could still spend more time in jail though, since the process is still ongoing and if he is declared guilty he can spend from 3 months to 2 years in prison for the crime and will have to pay a fine of about $450 USD.

Pet Friendly Baja. Baja wants to receive more pet visitors, and their owners too. This was stated by Ximena Pallares, one of the organizers of the Baja Grooming event.

The event was an international competition focused on the grooming of pets. It was held in the Baja California Center on the 10th and 11th of April. People from Panama, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Rusia and Japan participated in the competition.

Ximena said that Baja California was the first state in Mexico that was designated as “Pet Friendly”. She said this was uncommon here in Mexico but it became important because of the proximity to the US.

Drowning season begins. I´s that time of the year again, with the hot weather people seem to be more careless in the water. This time two girls 12 and 17, fell from a cliff to the water in Venustiano Carranza, Rosarito. Authorities sat the little one was trying to find the bathroom when she slipped and grabbed the other one.  Both fell girls into the sea and drowned. People, be safe out there! And if you’re going to take a header into trouble, leave your loved ones behind, don’t take them with you.