Que Pasa In Baja?

September 6, 2016 Edition
BY: OLIVER QUINTERO

Ensenada visits Riverside. Ensenada authorities went to Riverside for an official visit in order to establish better business relations between the two cities. Efrain Kantel, head of international relations for Ensenada, said the main objective of the visit was to build strong business ties, especially for the local fishing industry.

They discussed a plan to transport locally produced seafood to Riverside in order to fly it from there to Oriental markets, instead of having to take it all the way to Los Angeles. Riverside airport officials said that they have lower traffic and more space in their airport compared the LAX.

The project would be a win/win for both cities, lowering transportation costs for local producers and bringing more business to the Riverside airport. Sanchez also said the option to sell the products right there in SoCal for local markets was put on the table also.

Desal plant coming together.  70% of the new desal plant in Ensenada is completed, it was announced.  The plant will bring the city a much needed boost of 130 gallons per second. Actually in the first stage the plant will only produce half of that, but it will be capable of doubling its capacity as soon as it’s needed. The project is due to be completed before the year end. But you know how these things go, don’t hold your breath.

Bigger might be better. Rosarito doesn’t want to be left out of off desal bandwagon, they are also working on their own desal project to be open for business in late 2017. This plant would be built with the same business model as the one in Ensenada, a public-private consortium, meaning that a private party will cough up the money to build and operate the plant in exchange for a contract from the city to buy the water they produce for a certain number of years. After that the city gets to snatch the plant back and sell the water to us themselves. This has been done with Mexican highways for decades, with various degrees of success.

Consolidated Water from the Cayman Islands is investing about $490 million USD.

With a proposed flow of 580 gallons per second, this plant is going to be a lot bigger than the one in Ensenada but it’s going to be used to supply water to Tijuana also, and probably Ensenada and southern California, if they have enough water to sell. This will be the biggest desal plant built in all of north America. Right now most of the water for Tijuana comes from the Colorado river which doesn’t have even enough water for the southern California cities.

Youngsters tired of corruption.  Every year a political exercise called “Juvenile Congress” is held, where several young people, (from 17 to 29 years old), chosen by a jury, get together as if they were the real congress and do congress-like work for a couple of days. Of course this doesn’t go very far, but it’s good for youth who are interested in politics.

This year our seven young representatives from Baja proposed to remove prosecutorial immunity from congressmen so they can be charged if they are caught doing illegal stuff, like they seem to always be doing. The measure was widely supported by the other youngsters from the country.

Leonel Castro, one of the representatives from Baja, said a couple years ago immunity was necessary for congress because the majority was held by the PRI and it was needed to protect minorities from politically motivated prosecution but now that congress is well mixed, it only encourages corruption.

New cruise ships. Our state tourism honcho, Oscar Escobedo, just stated that thanks to the superb work he and our governor Kiko Vega did in Florida, Disney Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International have decided to stop in Ensenada again.

Royal Caribbean’s Monarch of the Sea docked in Ensenada for more than 20 years but stopped coming in 2008 due to a lower demand for the destination and allegedly a $5 dollar fee that was being charged by the port for every person that got off the ship. The ship was relocated to the Caribbean.

Vega and Escobedo travelled to Florida in order to meet with high ranking executives of the company to talk about how sorry Ensenada is, how far we’ve come, and how nice we will be if they will only come back. They explained how we’ve grown into a gastronomic and wine destination with international acclaim. It looks like the executives liked what they heard because they have committed to start visiting us again 2017. Let’s not screw it up this time. For starters, rein in the aggressive shop owners on the main tourist shopping street in Ensenada. They are so aggressive, so annoying, people run off that street.

Royal Caribbean is the second largest cruise line operator after Carnival, with a fleet of 49 cruise ships that host more than 5.4 million people every year. It sure is good to have a piece of that pie!

Porpoise discovered in San Antonio. A Dall’s porpoise washed up on shore in San Antonio del Mar and although neighbors and authorities tried to push him back to sea, it was already curtains for him. Ecology authorities from TJ said this was an uncommon visit because this particular porpoise lives in the Bering, Japanese and Ojotsk seas in colder water. The porpoise didn’t have any wounds in plain sight but it was taken to the local marine sciences school in the university in order to determine the cause of death.

The Dall’s porpoise is protected in most of the countries but is heavily hunted by the Japanese people. we didn’t see any Japs around the corpse so we ruled that out as a motive for this caper.

Industry growing on shore. With the construction of the new thermoelectric plant named La Jovita in the Bajamar area, next to Sempra Energy and Zeta Gas, the whole area could become a very productive industrial corridor, said local businessman Capt. Ricardo Thompson, owner of the El Sauzal port.

He said that having all that energy so close could result in several benefits that would result in lower costs for the manufacturing industry. He acknowledged there is some opposition for industrializing beachfront areas but he said it’s necessary for Ensenada to diversify and not depend on one main activity only. That would be you, Bunkie. Foreigners. Pasty whities. We love you, but we know you’re fickle, and will stop coming again if we allow our cops to start abusing you again. Or what if your economy takes a dump again? Or what if Donald Trump becomes president and blows your country all the way to kingdom come? Yup, we need to diversify our industry. Never can tell about the fragility of the United States, no offense.

Bigger bridge for Rosarito. The Machado traffic bridge that connects Benny Juarez boulevard to inland Rosarito, (right by McDonalds), is being expanded. If you use this bridge you will definitely appreciate that this is one of the worsts bottleneck in the city. The bridge was originally built as one of the first works in Rosarito as a municipality but the town quickly outgrew it. Be patient if you find yourself jammed in the toll road because of this construction or the one by the Pabellon mall, they are both really necessary for our future.

Businesses get recognized in Rosarito. The state tourism office recognized some local restaurants in Rosarito with the so called Outstanding Host awards last week. There were two categories for the awards, in the Outstanding Host category the ones recognized were Ochuna’s Restaurant and the Pancake Republic. In the new Urban Outstanding Host category, the awarded were the new food court in the festival plaza hotel and Tacos el Yaqui, which are very famous in town. Every year more restaurants are recognized with the award. For more information go to www.outstandinghostbaja.com. Yes, I know it’s crazy, the award has an English language name and the site is only in Spanish. Deal with it.