'Important Changes' Category


Califican autoridades locales un éxito con el primer Fly In en Puerto Peñasco

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Como un éxito un evento sin precedentes en Sonora y en nuestra ciudad, se calificó al Fly In de Puerto Peñasco llevado a cabo gracias a una inquietud de hace varios años del actual Administrador del aeropuerto Alonso Domínguez Ruiz.
Con una asistencia de cerca de 600 personas, el primer fly in de Puerto Peñasco logró concentrar cerca de 150 aeronaves procedentes en su mayoría de Estados Unidos, los aviones comenzaron a llegar desde el pasado viernes desde las 08:00 horas.
El administrador del aeropuerto Alonso Domínguez informó que al organizar el evento solo esperaban un máximo de 30 aeronaves, cifra que superaron en un 400%, lo cual puede ser calificado como un éxito, gracias al efecto multiplicador que, por obvias razones se da en este tipo de eventos.
“Vamos a institucionalizar este evento para ofrecerlo al menos una vez al año, quizás lo hagamos dos veces al año, el chiste de esto es tratarlos lo mejor que podamos para que si hoy vinieron cien, el próximo evento tenga 200 y el siguiente 300 y así se hará un evento tan clásico y visitado como el rally de motos”, afirmó.
En una agenda que les ofreció los mejores puntos de Peñasco, los cerca de 600 visitantes fueron bienvenidos por autoridades municipales en el malecón fundadores el pasado viernes a las 19:00 horas, en donde se ofreció una cena de degustación donde acudieron los patrocinadores del evento, con la intención de ser reconocidos por los aviadores.
Dentro de las actividades, el sábado se centró en organizar (con la ayuda de los asistentes) el evento del próximo año, lo cual le da la libertad a los visitantes de escoger las actividades a realizar, las cuales van a satisfacer sus inquietudes e ideas (ningún otro evento había hecho este tipo de consenso), teniendo todo el apoyo del presidente de Baja Bush Pilot, Jack McCormick y Claudia Cardoza como vice presidenta.
“Los vamos a consentir, los vamos a llevar a los puntos mas importantes de Peñasco como Sandy Beach, la Cholla, el Malecón, los curios, el Mirador y a que conozcan las paradisiacas playas de Peñasco”, comentó.
El evento estuvo mayormente atendido por un grupo de aviación denominado “Baja Bush Pilots”, quienes cuentan con mas de 4 mil miembros y que fueron los jueces a impresionar en este evento que, dejó con buen sabor de boca a los asistentes y a los organizadores.
El administrador del aeropuerto precisó que en este año no se pretendió tener una derrama económica importante, pues por ser la primera ocasión que se ofrece este evento, la intención era hacer volver a los asistentes, lo cual seguramente sucederá, por lo que se espera reunir el próximo año a no menos de 800 personas.

Por Víctor Salazar

Mayor confirms cut in scholarship program nothing affect of economic crisis

Friday, November 14th, 2008

Mayor confirms cut in scholarship program nothing affect of economic crisis
 

The municipal scholarship program is going to be cut as a result of the current economic crisis affecting Puerto Peñasco. the crisis has impacted the Municipal Government and has forced it to take a series of steps to cut down on plans and government actions, affirmed Mayor Heriberto Renteria Sanchez.
Renteria Sanchez indicated that city income has fallen by 50%, which has forced them to take drastic steps,such as this, reducing the amount of support for students at all levels by a similar proportion, or rather by about half.
He explained that compared to one thousand scholarships presented last school year, they are only able to grant 600 this year, which will surely not be pleasing to many.
The Mayor added that undoubtedly this is a painful and unpleasant measure, as his administration is committed to education. Nevertheless, he remarked, a cut in the number of scholarship was necessary because their availability depends directly on income taken in by the Municipal treasury and they don’t want to implement programs they will not be able o fulfill.
Furthermore, the scholarships they did grant reached the limit of support available from the local administration, based on municipal funds they are collecting.
Renteria Sanchez reiterated that the as Mayor, and as a community member, would like to grant scholarships to all the children and young students that need it. Unfortunately, he lamented, given the current economic situation, this is simply not possible.
He added, however, that if there is a change in the economic situation and municipal finances, they will make an effort so that in time they can renew the scholarship program within their means.

Restructuring of ICRESON office

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

Restructuring of ICRESON office
        Currently, a restructuring process in underway for the local office of the Sonora Real Estate and Registry Institute (ICRESON) to ease the work done there while improving customer services, informed Derek Winzer Gonzalez, head of the local office.
Winzer Gonzalez indicated that the satisfaction of users is the principal goal and therefore they are structuring things in order to operate better.
He detailed they are analyzing the pros and cons that currently exist, as well as human and material resources available, in order to properly fulfill the tasks of the office.
Winzer Gonzalez stated that according to what they have seen, despite the current financial crisis in the United States, which is spreading across the globe, the ICRESON offices have remained very active in real estates operations.
The ICRESON director noted that operations through this office continue to be stable and have not decreased at all.
He stressed the interest of working in a coordinated manner in order to further the work of ICRESON in this area in order to obtain the certainty and legal security that has concerned Governor Eduardo Bours Castelo.
 

Breathlizers to Transit Department

Thursday, October 30th, 2008
Ten breathlizers given
 to Transit department
Intent to reduce levels of drinking
and driving and accidents
/ By Jose Antonio perez


 

 

 

Reducing cases of drinking and driving, while lowering the rate of car accidents, is the objective of the distribution of 10 additional breathalizers recently acquired by the Municipal Government that have already been put to use, reports Abel Garcia Pacheco, Head of Municipal Transit.
 

  Garcia Pacheco stated that the Mayor recently presented his office with the breathalizers that measures blood alcohol levels. The tools are to be put to use with the objective of preventing instances of people driving under the influence, particularly minors.
 

  Without indicating the amount invested for the purchase of the breathalizers, he indicated that the intent is to reduce the risk of automobile accidents, as the majority of these are due to the consumption of alcohol.
 

  He clarified that the use of the alcohol measuring mechanism will be applied generally, throughout the entire week, using criteria and focusing attention on underage drivers.
 

  He further noted that each patrol unit of the Municipal Transit already has a breathalizer, that will be used when they consider that a person has been drinking and driving.
 

  Garcia Pacheco recognized that this ,easure may not be well accepted by maby drivers, but it has shown to be 100% effective and that it is a tremendous support in preventing caraccidents.
 

  The Head of Municipal Transit reiterated that the use of breathlizers will be permanent and put to use daily, not only at nigth but also during the day.
 

  He insisted on the understanding of the community as the intent is to bit-by-bit create a culture of not driving while under
 

 

 

 

the influence in an attempt to prevent accidents.
 

 
 

LABOR DAY TOURISM RATE DROPS 5%

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Confirmed decrease in tourism throughout the year
 

By Jose Antonio Perez
 

 The recent U.S.  Labor Day holiday weekend, from August 29th thru September 1st registered a 5% drop in tourism over last year in Puerto Peñasco.  This reports Oscar Palacio Soto, President of the local Convention and Visitors Bureau (OCV), is in line with general expectations.
 

 During a press conference, the OCV president stated that with this decrease, there has been a marked drop in the influx of visitors to the area during the firs 8 months of 2008.
 

He indicated that over the recent Labor day weekend it was possible to see visitors, principally Mexican- American, coming from Arizona, California and New Mexico.  He noted that hotel accommodation rates were at about 66% when compared to those of 2007.
 

Palacio Soto stated that taking into account forecast made at the beginning of 2008, the influx of tourism has been in line with expectations.  He remarked they has already believed this would be not as good as year as in the past and that the amount of visitors would drop.
 

He emphasized they expect the last three months of the year will show a continued decrease in tourism, impacting a variety of levels among the different sectors of the local economy.
 

Palacio Soto stated they believe they will wrap up the year with an overall reduction of 8% in the number of tourist, which would be right at expectations.  He noted that in some sectors, including restaurants and real estate, the decrease has been even more significant.
 

He explained that according to available information, there has been at least 15% drop in sales at restaurants, and within the real estate sector the situation is even more critical as there has been about an 80% drop in sales.
 

Palacio Soto commented that what remains of 2008 will be faced with dropping rates in tourism and foresees that the upcoming year will also be complicated, at least for the first quarter, according to parameters set up concerning the behavior of the global economy.
 

The OVC President stated that his organization is focusing on the present very real panorama and what they would like to happen, in order to see what needs to be done in the area of tourism to assure that the decrease in the numbers of visitors is limited over the coming months.
 

On these bases, he added, they wanted to create a gastronomic event similar to that in other tourist destination as an additional attraction.  They also want to assure the creation of a truly effective tourism police force that guarantees safety.  Furthermore, they will insist on a long term planning through the active participation of the public and private sectors.
 

In the area of public safety, Palacio Soto stated that Peñasco is a safe city but does not have the level of security that it should.  He noted this is an area where improvements can made and one on which they have already presented ideas to the municipal authorities.

Confidence that National DIF Hill support Puerto Peñasco

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Margarita Zavala de Calderón provides positive response
 

By José Antonio Pérez.
 

 

            There is a confidence that Puerto Peñasco Hill receive support from the National system for Integral Family Development (DIF), given the positive response of National DIF President Mrs. Margarita Zavala de Calderon, declared Minerva Ramirez de Renteria.
 

            Ramirez de Renteria, Municipal DIF President, stated she was able to explain to Zavala Calderon, wife of Mexican President Felipe Calderon, the need to speed up the opening of the Care Center for Addictions and support for equipping the Children’s Shelter currently under construction.
 

            “We met with National DIF President in San Luis Rio Colorado and she indicated that there would soon be answers to the issues we addressed and even offered to come to Rocky Point”, affirmed Ramirez de Renteria.
 

            Ramirez de Renteria pointed out that in the particular case of the Children’s Shelter, construction has already finished and it currently has about 30% of the equipment require, it is expected to open before the end of the year.
 

            That is why, she said, indepently of the support that the National DIF may be able contribute, they continue working on activities to raise funds needed to provide appropriate care to less fortunate children in this city.
 

            The Municipal DIF President confirmed that gradually they have taken necessary steps to achieve the level of care that the children of Peñasco who need it deserve.
 

             Ramirez de Renteria expressed that fortunately, they have the support of the municipal government, the state government, altruistic organizations and different sectors of the society in fulfilling the need to provide a new building abused or abandoned children.
 

            The Municipal DIF Children’s Shelter, construction of which began on October 2007, is located between Juan Aldama Ave. and Marcelo Pino St. on an area of 524 square meters.  The facility has an access area, main hall, waiting room, visitor’s room and two areas of doctor’s offices.
 

            The building also includes two dormitory areas and an area for cradles, boys and girls bathrooms, visitors’ restrooms, kitchen and pantry, dining room, ironing and laundry room, as well as a recreation area.  The facility is being made possible through an investment of over 4 million pesos.

Mayor announces – More creation of jobs as Bimbo and Wal-Mart to invest in area

Monday, September 8th, 2008

Although the economic situation is not currently the best, good news in the creation of jobs for Puerto Peñasco continues to arise. Proof of this is that both national and international companies are already investing to establish themselves in the area, reports Mayor Heriberto Renteria Sanchez.
 

Mayor Renteria affirmed that in addition to the 500 jobs to be created by the first subdivision of 2,000 social interest homes by the company VIDUSA, companies such Bimbo and Wal-Mart will soon be adding to the generation of more work for the people in the city.
 

He detailed that both renowned international chains have already acquired land for their facilities, although there is no information available as to when the new branches would be open.
 

The Mayor reported that in the case of Bimbo, the firm bought an area of 800 square meters for the construction of a distribution warehouse that will create 80 new jobs.
 

He noted that in the case of Wal-Mart, they have already acquired nearly five hectares of land to build a commercial center within the short term. The number of jobs this may represent has not been defined.
 

Renteria Sanchez explained that although there has been tremendous investments in condominiums and tourism infrastructure, there is a lack of businesses that provide services for these developments. He noted this is precisely what they expect to achieve with companies such as these and others that are sure to follow in the near future.
 

The Mayor highlighted that investments by renowned chains is a sign that investors continue to believe in Puerto Peñasco and there is reason to also believe that the current economic crisis will be favorably overcome. 

Article by Jose Antonio Perez from Join Us Magazine                                                                            

CONFIRMATION OF 40 MILLION DOLLAR – Invesment in housing

Saturday, September 6th, 2008

Details of 1st. social interest housing subdivision of 2,000 homes.
          The 1st social interest home subdivision to address the unmet housing needs in Puerto Peñasco was confirmed through a gradual investment topping 40 million dollars to go towards the construction of 2,000 homes.
          This step has been qualified as a great achievement by the  3 levels of government, and by the investors themselves, as this addresses only the priority needs of a city.  The project was recently detailed to representatives from different sectors of the Peñasco community. The complex, named Hacienda de Cortez Residence, will be built by the Mexican company out of Nuevo Leon, VIDUSAMEX, at kilometer 88 along the Peñasco-Sonoyta highway, seven kilometers from the urban area.  The comprehensive concept will consist of a new neighborhood fro the city providing all the basic services, a good urban image, green areas, a recreation area and a school. Marco Antonio Salazar Peñuñuri, general director for the builder, recently made a presentation of the project.
          He expressed that this is a new concept that will meet the housing needs of workers with an income above that of 4 minimum wages and with access to financing systems such as infonavit, fovisste and other credit systems.  Salazar Peñuñuri explained that this is a program that many people have worked on and, thanks to the determined vision and support of Mayor Heriberto Renteria Sanchez, negotiations have been successfully carried out.  Before the end of the year around the end of October, the company from Monterrey plans to deliver the first group of 479 homes.
          Epifanio Salido Pavlovich who also represents Governor Eduardo Bours in this region, indicated that water and housing have always been urgent needs in Peñasco.  They are in the process of finding a solution for water and now, with this project, working to satisfy the other priority through the construction of homes to meet the tremendous demand that exists.
          Mayor Renteria stressed that this is a commitment his administration is working  to fulfill. He noted that since he came into office they have worked with various offices in order to ground a project that addresses housing needs.
          Other attendees at the presentation of this important project included Tapia Abascal, state delegate from Infonavit, Marco Antonio Tapia Agraz, director for the Sonora Housing Institute, officials from the 3 levels of government, and local invited businesses that expressed their congratulations for this good news for Puerto Peñasco.

Article posted by Join Us Magazine

Arizona mulls new water source: Ocean

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

Mexican city considers desalination plant; U.S. partnership a possibility.The water for Arizona’s future needs may lie off the coast of a popular Mexican real estate resort, in the Gulf of California.

State officials are studying the idea of importing filtered ocean water from an as yet unbuilt desalination plant in Puerto Penasco, 60 miles south of the U.S. border. The water – potentially billions of gallons a year – would help sustain urban supplies in Arizona and could someday bring relief to rural residents, who have long sought a water source to replace rapidly depleting aquifers.

A Scottsdale company already is looking at possible designs for the plant in Puerto Peñasco, where overworked groundwater wells are on the verge of running dry. Arizona water managers see an opening for the state to team up with the seaside resort on a larger plant to serve both countries.

Such a project would raise a host of political, economic and environmental issues, and it’s not clear who would pay the construction costs, which could top $250 billion.

But if backers can clear those hurdles, Arizona and neighboring states could tap a plentiful supply of water largely immune to the effects of drought and climate change.

“Desalinated ocean water is the future sustainable source,” said Herb Guenther, director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources. “It’s only logical that eventually we’ll migrate toward it. We don’t need interim supplies now. We need a permanent supply.”

Oceans, which hold 97 percent of the Earth’s water, were long considered a source of last resort, mostly because of the high cost of removing enough salt to produce drinking water.

Big desalination plants operate widely in arid Middle Eastern nations, where water is pricey and energy is cheap, but only recently has the ocean emerged as a viable resource in the United States. At least two dozen plants are now on drawing boards in California, a state beset with water woes.

“People explored and utilized the most cost-effective sources of water as long as they could,” said Randy Truby, past president and a current director of the International Desalination Association, an industry group. “In California, they had the state water project, the Colorado River, sewage-water reclaim, conservation . . . but once you exhaust all of those things, seawater desalting is about the only place you can go.”

That’s where Puerto Peñasco finds itself. The city’s groundwater resources have dwindled after years of steady use. The wells produce poor-quality water, and many are nearly exhausted. With growing interest from American developers, the city decided to turn to the most obvious alternative: the ocean.

“The water needs are severe,” said Walt Bouchard, whose Scottsdale-based environmental consulting company was hired to study desalination options for Puerto Peñasco. “There are concerns that water may not be available for future development.”

 

A need for water

 

The city, also known as Rocky Point, has long drawn Arizonans looking for a quick trip to the coast, but in recent years it also has attracted American investors eager to build hotels and time-share condominiums. About 81 projects sit in the planning stages, Bouchard said, and “they are going to need water.”

Bouchard’s company was asked by city officials to determine the feasibility of a seawater desalination plant, settle on a technology, produce a blueprint and prepare a bid package for a company that would design, build and operate the plant.

The study is based on a desalter that would produce 11.4 million gallons a day at the start and up to 45.6 million gallons a day by 2020, when the final stage is completed. That is enough water to serve at least 250,000 people a year.

Construction costs will depend on the technology, the location, the workforce and other factors. Poseidon Resources, a private company, is working on a plant near Huntington Beach, Calif., that could produce up to 50 million gallons of drinking water a day. The company estimates it will cost $250 million to build.

Mayor Heriberto Rentería put the Puerto Peñasco project on a fast track, with a goal of firing up the first desalination module by 2010 or 2011. Bouchard said his team expects to deliver its findings by the end of the year.

So far, the plan calls for a plant that would produce water for the local and tourist demand, but Bouchard said the city is aware of Arizona’s interest and could consider a joint project once Puerto Peñasco’s needs are met.

“Could they supply water to Arizona? The answer to that is very likely yes,” Bouchard said. “We believe it is feasible. The question becomes what about the cost of conveyance? Could it work for Arizona? As part of the state’s overall water portfolio, it might have a place.”

 

A Mexican partnership

 

Arizona isn’t desperate for water yet, but the prospect of finding a Mexican partner in Puerto Peñasco persuaded state officials to start planning now. In June, the Arizona-Mexico Commission, a non-profit trade and business group that works with government officials, endorsed a plan to study the feasibility of a jointly operated U.S.-Mexico desalination plant on the Gulf of California.

That study will look at a range of issues, including cost, funding sources, energy needs and environmental effects on the gulf. Its findings could point toward a joint project with Mexico or to some other alternative. The major players so far are Puerto Peñasco; the states of Arizona and Sonora; and Arizona’s two largest water providers: Central Arizona Project and Salt River Project.

“CAP does not need the water today or for a good long while, not for 20 years, maybe 30,” said Tom McCann, CAP’s resource planning manager. “But the opportunity presented itself, and if we don’t do it now, it could slip away for another 40 years. Just because we don’t need it, others could.”

McCann said neighboring California and Nevada, which are desperate for water, could participate in the project and use their share of water early, before Arizona needs it. Other Arizona cities also could help build infrastructure that could allow water exchanges as far away as Flagstaff or Prescott.

Although water from a plant would probably be used mostly in southwestern Arizona to start, it would give the entire state added security. Water normally drawn down the lower Colorado could remain in Lake Mead, offsetting the risk of shortages. Water made available to rural areas could help protect rivers and riparian habitat.

“Water is limited in Arizona, and it’s a lot easier to help people find supplies than to fight over supplies,” said John Hetrick, water-rights analyst for SRP. “One of our tactics has been to augment Arizona’s water supplies. If we can help solve a community’s problems, we can avoid a conflict in the future.”

 

The price of water

 

Potential roadblocks exist. One of the biggest unanswered questions for this project and any new desalination plant is how it will be powered. Desalting ocean water requires significant amounts of energy, which is why many of the early plants were built alongside power plants.

The proposed Puerto Peñasco plant would likely be built in stages. The first stage could operate using power from the existing electrical grid, but at full operation it would need additional sources. Bouchard, the consultant on the project, said his team is exploring clean technologies, such as a solar-energy array that uses molten salt, a technology that allows a power plant to store electricity after the sun sets.

A higher-capacity U.S.-Mexico plant would require even more electricity, which is another issue under study by the Arizona consultants.

The environmental effects of a desalination plant also raise red flags. Seaside plants can disturb or damage ocean habitat and risk contaminating the water with chemicals used in the process. The waste product – a concentrated brine – threatens sea life and water quality.

A National Research Council study released earlier this year warned that significant uncertainties remain about the environmental effects of seaside desalination. The council said researchers need to more thoroughly explore what happens on both ends of the process.

Protecting the ocean will make the water more expensive, but “part of the real cost of desalination means spending the money to properly address the environmental impacts,” said Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute, a non-profit research center in Stanford, Calif., that monitors water and the environment.

“It’s a classic economic issue, making sure the full costs are addressed. We can’t ignore environmental costs.”

The institute studied California’s plans to expand desalination and concluded that cities in that state could find water more quickly and cheaply through conservation and better management of existing resources.

For an inland state like Arizona, desalinating mineral- laden groundwater might be cheaper and require less energy, Gleick said. Filtering seawater and moving it even a short distance could push prices so high that no one will buy it.

An acre-foot of desalinated seawater costs from $750 to more than $1,200, depending on the location and the technology used. CAP and SRP sell water to cities and agricultural customers for $30 to $110 per acre-foot, and farmers along the Colorado River rarely pay more than $50 an acre-foot. An acre-foot is 325,851 gallons, enough to serve one or two typical households for one year.

California’s higher water costs have made desalinated supplies more attractive. Municipal customers pay about $600 per acre-foot to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the region’s largest water provider.

The break-even point could take longer to reach in Arizona, especially if rising energy prices push the cost of desalination higher. The gap could close faster if the same high energy prices raise the cost of traditional water sources, such as the CAP Canal, which moves supplies 336 mostly uphill miles.

“We are spoiled by cheap water,” said Guenther, the state water chief. “Right now we’re fighting over the few remaining scraps of an inexpensive water supply. We’ll have to get used to the fact that these alternative or sustainable supplies are going to be considerably more expensive than we’re used to. We’re going to have to bite the bullet.”

Posted by http://www.azcentral.com

PUBLIC OFFICIALS CALLED TO CONDUCT THEMSELVES ETHICALLY – Coordination of comptroller efforts 72 municipalities

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

State general comptroller Gilberto inda duran called on representatives from 72 sonora municipalities, gathered in the city for the holding of the tenth meeting of the permanent commission of state-municipal comptrollers, to behave ethically and provide quality treatment towards people.

In launching this coordinated effort among offices of governmental control, inda duran stated that the principal intent is for people to change the perception they have of public servants.

He commented they were working on developing code of conduct at this gathering this is to be the fundamental principal for the improved function of comptrollers, therefore strengthening the controlled and transparent administration of public funds.

The intent, he expressed, is to prioritize ethics, but not solely chest pounding  ethics, rather ethics of conduct through a true commitment and responsibility to public office, hence the insistence on this code of conduct.

This code, remarked inda duran should be applied to the control offices of the 72 municipalities while at the same time permeate through all the offices of municipal government.

The secretary of the estate general comptrollers stressed that this tenth gathering is basically an exercise in exchanging experiences in order to improve public functions. He noted the various comptrollers have organized a working network that will allow them to implement mechanisms in order to improve the work across all the municipalities in Sonora.

He stressed the interest on working in a coordinate manner with the network of comptrollers in order to obtain better services and awareness for attention towards the community while simultaneously strengthening transparency of the public office. Mario Jorge terminel Siqueiros state coordinator of the permanent commission of the state-municipal comptrollers, stressed that the firs steps taken at this item aim to assure that all municipal comptrollers work as pioneers to improve through working under a manner of professional ethics outlined by a code of conduct.

On behalf of mayor heriberto renteria sanchez ,director of income for the city, victor perez Herrera, highlighted the importance of this meeting. He explained the body of governmental control is a very important part in any administration and mayors put their trust in this office in order to achieve transparency and equity  for the benefit of the community during the tenth gathering of days were held encompassing important topics such as the development of a code of conduct observations of municipal public accounts, emotional leadership, basic accounting and municipal public finance, among others.

Article from Join Us Magazine