Que Pasa en Baja?

December 26, 2016 edition
BY: OLIVER QUINTERO

Baja’s olive oil production at risk. Although Baja has lead the way in olive oil production for quite a few years now the industry seems to be at risk now. Agustin Penagos, president of the olive products association, said that the number of olive producers in the area has decreased to just about 80 from 180 a few years ago.

Penagos said that Baja produces about 1,000 tons of olives every year that most of them go into the production of olive oil.

Local olive oil has been considered one of the key ingredients behind the exponential growth of Baja’s cuisine and it has seen international recognition for it’s great quality.

Stolen gas recovered. State police recovered more than 2,800 gallons of gasoline in Tecate while doing a surveillance flight over PEMEX pipes near the El Hongo federal prison.

Although the incident was reported immediately when the helicopter pilot saw it, by the time the state police trucks could get there they only found three abandoned trucks with the tanks with stolen gas still on them but no one to arrest. Two of the trucks had been reported stolen a couple years ago.

Ensenada carnival goes private. Due to the difficult financial situation that the city of Ensenada is going through, local authorities decided on handing the organization of the carnival to three private companies that will work together to bring us the famous party.

Last year the Ensenada carnival committee, which was an official government office, was constantly on the news because they couldn’t pay most of their suppliers after the celebration. The city was sued by different vendors which vowed not to work with them again. Another reason why it seems as a better idea to leave the festivities in the hands of professionals.

The new companies in charge said they were investing about $625K USD in the festivities plus they were paying the city about $40K upfront.

Entrance to the carnival is free, but the companies are going to make money renting out spaces for different sellers and of course by offering the exclusive of the event to one of the two major beer companies in Mexico: Corona or Tecate.

At least this way the city is guaranteed to make money!

Ensenada bypass continues 2017. Alfredo Padres, state chief of the Federal Transport and Communications office, announced that about 16 million USD will be invested in the new Ensenada bypass in the coming year although he said this will not be enough to finish the project and announced that because of the difficult financial situation that the country is going through the federal government will consider making an agreement with a private company to invest in the project in exchange for toll revenue of the road.

Citizens showed their discomfort almost immediately on social media since this project was never planned to be a toll road.

Hey, better to make it a usable toll road than having it there, unfinished for another 10 years!

Medical tourism rises. The state government says that it is expecting an increase on medical tourism because of the high purchasing power of the dollar and in an effort to be better prepared to receive these tourists, the Economic Development office has begun a campaign to supply local doctors with computers, English classes for them and the staff, improve their branding and with consulting on how to build their businesses. The aid to each office is topped at about $1,300 USD and each of the benefited parties are required to contribute at least 10% of the amount they need.

Carlo Bonfante, head of the state economic development office, said that the program objective is to leave a better impression to our precious tourists when they come in search of a surgical intervention, dental work or any other medical procedure. About 200 medical offices have already benefited from the program but the program is ongoing so feel free to sign in if you are in the business.

Don Hugo rewards kid’s honesty. Mr. Hugo Torres, owner of the Rosarito Beach Hotel, rewarded three high school kids and the mom of one of them after they found a wallet on the street with a considerable amount of cash and made the right choice to bring it to the reception of the RB Hotel when they found a keycard in the wallet for one of the rooms in there.

Mr. Torres congratulated the group personally and rewarded them with cash and a brunch package for the hotel restaurant. The kids just said “We did what we had to do, nobody owes us nothing”. Kudos to these kids and the lady, hopefully more will learn from this group.

Watch out for ticks! A total of 19 persons have died in this year due to Rickettsia, a disease spread by ticks. That makes us the fourth state nationally with the most Rickettsia fatalities.

Our health officials stated that they have visited 38,471 different houses in the state to ensure that they are tick free but they are asking for help from citizens to make sure their pets do not have them.

Dr. Guillermo Trejo, head of the state health department, said that they are working on educating doctors about Rickettsia, because most of the time it gets misdiagnosed and treatment starts when it’s already too late.

Police extortion on the rise. We’ve been hearing from our readers lately that police in Tijuana have stepped up their efforts to shake down foreigners. We’ll be printing our usual “What to do if you’re stopped by the police?” piece every issue for now, remember that knowing your rights can get you out of most of these situations. Let’s all help out by not feeding these crooks.