Que Pasa in Baja?

January 23, 2017
BY: OLIVER QUINTERO

New craft brewery in town. A business partnership between Americans and Mexicans brought to Ensenada, home to many of the most famous breweries in the state, a new craft beer project called “Transpeninsular Craft Brewery” that aims to be one of the big brands around here. The group invested about $600,000 USD in the business that is located just a few hundred feet south of the Marina Coral Hotel, right on the highway.

The new mayor of Ensenada, Marco Novelo, swung by on their opening day to congratulate Rich Henry, Colling Corrigan and the Estudillo company for trusting Ensenada with their new business.

Proposed corruption law backlashes. Our governor, Kiko Vega, was severely criticized by the local business council for his new proposed new law to fight corruption.

The new law proposes to instate a new state prosecutor with the permanent job of fighting corruption in all the state offices and a few officials that will respond to him.

The idea was received positively at the beginning but the controversy ensued when it was found that this new anti-corruption prosecutor and his officials were going to be designated by the governor. Since the governor has already been accused of a few cases of corruption himself, the business council says that the government shouldn’t be the one to choose these new officials, they propose instead that a citizen’s council should oversee the designations. They also want to extend the statute of limitations for all cases of corruption to 10 years.

They do have a point, leaving government officials in charge of designating the anti-corruption prosecutor is like letting a criminal put his friends in charge of judging him.

New garbage trucks! Ensenada finally got 8 brand new garbage trucks which were quickly added to the 16 that were already working the city.

The trash pickup service and the potholes in the city are the biggest complaints amongst citizens of Ensenada, some of which saw their trash piling up for more than a month before the truck came to pick it up. The new mayor promised to fix these problems on the first 100 days of his term and it looks like he really is delivering on that commitment.

Bus price war. The association of public transportation owners is asking the city for approval of a price increase, following the 20% hike in the cost of gasoline and diesel. But the city is trying to stall them, on the basis that they haven’t improved their service, nor the conditions of their vehicles, both large and small buses.

The cost of a ride is 10 pesos (about 50 US cents), minus 50% for students and the elderly.

Armando Gutierrez, leader of the bus owners in Ensenada, has threatened that they will not be able to stay in business if the price increase is not approved. He said that they haven’t increased prices since 2011 even though gas has gone up about 80% since then.

On the opposite side, residents are demanding the city not to approve the increase unless the busses are spiffed up and better service is offered.

Federal and state congressmen from the PRI party have acknowledged that there is a need to increase the price of public transportation but they have proposed that the government should pay for the increase by subsidizing transportation costs with the extra money generated from the tax on gas.

Hisense expands. One of the biggest manufacturing plants in Rosarito, the Chinese company Hisense, has announced an investment of 20 million USD for its Rosarito plant, generating 1,000 extra jobs for the area.

Huizhong Dai, vicepresident of the conglomerate, said that their Rosarito factory is the second most important for the company and the one with the most production outside of China while receiving the keys to the city from mayor Mirna Rincon.

With this investment, the company is aiming to double its production going from 1.6 million TVs produced per year to 3.22 million. Hisense is the third biggest manufacturer of TVs worldwide and the number one in China.

New ocean aquarium. In order to increase the experiences offered for tourists and locals in the Ensenada area, the tourist office is helping promote the brand new “Ocean aquarium”, in which you will be able to swim with blue fin tuna and other species of fish.

This aquarium is a 140-foot-diameter platform floating in the middle of the ocean inside a tuna pen, that has a 50-foot deep net around it. You swim inside of it where a guide tells you about the species and the aquaculture industry in the area. The tour lasts about 3 ½ hours and includes transportation to the platform, all the equipment needed and bait to feed the fishes.

The experience is listed at $90 USD for adults and $60 for kids but they offer several discounts when you talk to them, especially if you’re a local. Call them at 646 226 7564 to get more information, visit their website at www.acuariooceanico.mx or their facebook page: acuario oceanico.

Time to pay your taxes. Property taxes are due on the first three months of the year but you can always get better deals if you pay earlier. This year Rosarito is offering to drop any fines or late fees if you missed your payments before. Ensenada has stepped up and offered a 10% discount if you pay during January, 8% in February and 7% in March, they also offer raffle tickets for a brand-new car when you pay. Property taxes are very low in Mexico compared to the ones in the US.

We have a perception problem. The Rosarito image committee started a campaign in social media to improve the image of Rosarito because they were worried that the clash between picketers and the Mexican police, which got about 150 protesters arrested and 7 police officers ran over by an angry protestor, left a bad perception with tourists.

Ives Lelevier, second in command at the state tourism office, said that occupancy rates dropped about 10% from what was expected and they think it was because of the protest. No, really?

New gadget developed. Right here in our state three students from UNAM university and Cicese research institute were able to develop a watch that can measure your glucose levels but without having to actually draw blood from your hands.

The small device was named B-My Watch and it’s already on the testing stage and researchers say that they were already able to prove they get a reading with a 25% margin of error.

The creators of the device said that the watch is not ready to be sold because they want to achieve at least a 20% margin of error, which is the standard for the glucose tests but they are getting there soon.

You can find more information about the project in www.biosense.mx.