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Probe: January 11, 2001

January 11, 2001

QUESTION: I have lived in Poe Colonia in Brawley for 22 years. The county bought the house I live in last year. Last summer VIDA and the city of Brawley had a meeting with the residents.

They told us they were going to bring water to the colonia. They said the houses owned by the county would be torn down to make way for new houses.

The tenants would get first chance to buy the new homes replacing the old houses. No dates were given for when this would take place.

Last week I got a 30-day eviction notice. The letter says, "You will be given immediate attention" by the Imperial Valley Housing Authority.

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I called the Housing Authority and was told it makes no guarantees. I have tried to talk to Tony Sanchez, who signed the letter. He was not available.

Most people in Poe Colonia are low-income people. Thirty days is not enough time to find adequate and affordable housing. What other options do we have? — Facing Eviction, Brawley

Bernice Villalobos, a Housing Authority intake specialist, said she talked to only two of four county tenants from Poe Colonia, a father and his married daughter. They rent two different houses.

She said the daughter wanted to know if she could bring her two dogs. She can't if she rents a Housing Authority unit. Those units are seldom available.

There is another option. The tenant could get herself qualified for a Section 8 subsidy. She didn't apply for that.

Once you get your Section 8 certificate, you can find your own house and a landlord who will let you have a pet. The Housing Authority will subsidize the rent. You won't have to pay more than 30 percent of your income in rent, according to Villalobos.

If you can work this out, you will be living in a much nicer house for about what you're paying now.

Call Tony Sanchez. He said he has not talked to you nor received any messages that you tried to reach him.

The county has "set aside" $300 per tenant to help you move. This may not be enough. Ken Hollis, Housing Authority executive director, said relocation costs may be negotiated.

We agree a 30-day notice is not enough time to find a house after 22 years.

But County Administrative Officer Ann Capela assured us no county tenants at Poe Colonia will be tossed out on the street with no place to go.

PULLED OUT A RAISIN — Here's more information to help you in your disbelief that there are no plums in plum pudding.

Remember, many words have other meanings than the ones we are accustomed to using.

I copied this page from the Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary. Note the dictionary's definition of a plum: 1a: Any of numerous trees bearing globular or oval fruits with oblong seeds. 1b: The edible fruit of a plum.

Pay close attention to the third definition, 3 a: A raisin when used in desserts (as in puddings or cake). — Reader, Imperial

You're telling us that when Little Jack Horner stuck a thumb in his Christmas pie, he pulled out a raisin!

Well, our New Webster's Collegiate Dictionary says: "plum pudding (originally made with plums)"

What happened to the plums?

A GREEN LIGHT — I have seen the "glow" at the Imperial cemetery. It comes from a black tombstone that reflects a green light. — Saw-the- light, Imperial

With the current interest in the paranormal, the county may have a tourist attraction with that old cemetery that glows in the dark.

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