Que Pasa In Baja?

August 8, 2016 Edition
BY: OLIVER QUINTERO

City working nights. Finally! Someone in city hall in Ensenada had the brilliant idea of having workers from the public services department work nights. This has been something that most Americans living here don’t understand since in the U.S. most of the city works are done at nights in an effort to avoid making traffic worse.

Jose de La Luz, head of public services, said that for now only four teams will start working at 3 am in an effort to work faster and not disturb drivers.

We can do better but it’s a good start, let’s hope the city sets the example and that other public works are done at night too, or at least day and night so they are finished and out of our hair quicker.

Good guys get guns. Let’s just hope they really are the good guys. Marco Antonio Sotomayor, subhead of public security for Baja, announced that more than 240 new weapons were being delivered state wide to the different police departments along with almost a million bullets. The total cost of the new weaponry was about half a million dollars.

Rosarito Mayor Silvano Abarca, said that this will reinforce their fight against crime and their capacity to protect the citizens. And maybe scare the bejesus out of the bad guys.

Baja farmers go to Israel. Leaders in the farming industry visited Israel in what was called an agro-technological mission. The objective was to find out how Israeli agriculture thrives in their harsh land and climate.

Avshalom Avu Vilan, president of the farmers’ association in Israel, said they have focused their efforts in seed development and water conservation.

He explained they have developed seeds for plants that thrive with very little water splashed on them and that water is high salinity, just like here in Baja. The crops are resistant to bugs and have a longer than average shelf life. He also acknowledged that modified seeds have been controversial but he went on to say that the world is about to face food security problems in 2050 if we don’t find better ways to grow food.

Most importantly, Av Abu said that they recycle about 80% of the water used in the cities and that they use it to water all their crops after processing it to make it almost drinkable again. Oh boy, I want to drink city slickers’ piss water, yup, you bet.

He said they spent a lot of their money on water recycling but it’s worth it for the 8 billion dollars’ worth of crops they export to Europe, just about 20% of their production.

We could be huge if we followed their footsteps, after all, Mexico is about 100 times bigger in land than Israel! And even better, we don’t pay our Mexican farm hands a decent living wage! Sigh.

Huge fire in the Sierra. The “Sierra de Juarez” in Ensenada lost about 4,400 acres of forest land due to a huge fire that lasted almost a week. Authorities said that only about 25 acres were actually trees and that the rest were bushes. Well, we don’t sweat the bushes, they grow back fast.

Forest, (bush), fire fighters arrived from five surrounding states to help put down the fire.

Authorities said that just extinguishing the fire cost about $800,000 USD in addition to all the ecological impact it had. Authorities are blaming the high temperatures we have had for the recent fires.

If that wasn't enough. The wine valley also caught fire this past week, although it was controlled faster, it did affect the Sordo Mudo Ranch, a not for profit school and home for deaf and mute kids founded over 45 years ago by Ed and Margarett Everett. Some of their structures were lost due to the fire and they are in need of resources and volunteers to rebuild ASAP, if you want to help go to www.ranchosordomudo.org.

More transportation options. Cabify, an Uber like transportation platform, is already operating in Tijuana and has stated its interest in operating in Ensenada in the short term.

The company is saying they are a private transportation service and that because of that, they don’t have to meet the requirements of public transportation, so there!  That’s the same thing Uber has been saying all over the world.

Cabify says the proof that they are not public is that the customer has to agree to some terms and conditions before they can use the service and that public transportation doesn’t require users to agree to anything. So there!

Meanwhile taxi drivers in Mexicali have stated they will no longer pay for their permits or fines until authorities make Uber pay for the same kind of permits as they have to pay. So there!!

Consul visits breweries. Tijuana is the number one producer of craft beer in all of Latin America, bragged Joel Lopez from Azteca Craft Brewing, last week during the visit of Bill Ostick, consul general of the USA in Tijuana.

The consul visited the brewery along with Tijuana mayor Jorge Astiazaran and his wife, and Xavier Peniche, head of the economic development office for Tijuana.

“It’s great to know craft breweries of the area and to see the improvements that they are making”, said the U.S. big shot during the visit.

Tijuana is the first city in Mexico that has state and city permits to brew craft beer, which has allowed for the growth of the industry in a regulated manner. As opposed to a willy nilly manner.

No Zika here in Baja yet. Nestor Hernandez, the chief of epidemiology for Northern Baja, stated last week that Baja has not had a single case of Zika that was contracted here. However, there was a case last December of a guy who was treated for Zika in Tijuana but he contracted the virus while visiting the state of Chiapas so that case was counted towards Chiapas stats not ours. So there.

Dr. Hernandez said that we all have to pitch in to keep our state Zika free by being careful not to leave any standing water uncovered because this is like crack for the mosquito.

If you feel headaches, fever, muscle ache, shivers, sensitivity to light, cough or other symptoms, go to your doctor fast, you might be the first one. Or, you might have a real bad hangover. Try a bloody Mary first, if you don’t feel better, get to a zika doc.

New palapas in La Mision beach. Ensenada authorities have installed several palapas on the beach by the toll road in La Mision. Authorities pointed out the spiffy new palapas are public and can be used by anyone that visits the beach.

Gilberto Hirata, mayor of Ensenada, said these palapas are an effort to dignify local beaches and to give shadow and some comfort to local and foreign visitors. He also encouraged users to take good care of them. Yup. If it’s one thing we don’t like, it’s undignified beaches.

Rosarito’s off road race. From September 14 to 18, Rosarito will have its own Score International Rosarito Beach Desert Challenge. The race is on a 32.7 mile circuit that has to be run four  times for a total of 130.8 miles.

This is the first time this event will be run in Rosarit.  The hotel association, through the special lodging tax they charge, pitched in with about $45,000 in dinero and the state tourism office coughed up another $5,500 to bring the race to Rosarito.

For more information about the race visit www.score-international.com.