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PROBE: Aug. 6, 2001

August 06, 2001

QUESTION: I live in Calexico and work in El Centro. It's hard not to notice that El Centro parks all have night lighting. In Calexico, when the sun goes down, the ballgame is over and the kids have to go home.

The city had to stop work on Nosotros Park when it ran out of money. I couldn't believe it when I opened my newspaper Tuesday and our council members are daydreaming about building a sports complex with an indoor swimming pool and track like one they saw in Monterey. Wake up, guys, we can't install lights in the parks we have. — Angry Ballplayer, Calexico

Let the guys dream. If any city could use an air-conditioned running track and indoor pool, it would be Calexico.

Brawley has its magnificent Lions Center and El Centro has its Conrad Harrison Youth Center. Both were built with state or federal grants.

Carmen Maldonado, Calexico interim director of parks and recreation, says the majority of city parks have lighting. If you want to use the lights, you have to arrange to turn them on and pay a $25 fee.

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All big projects begin in the misty haze of a dream. In our opinion, almost the best community investment made in years in El Centro was the Southwest Performing Arts Theatre. It was money well spent.

There's a long way to go before they break ground on the sports complex in Calexico. First, Hizzoner Victor Carrillo and Hizzoner Pro Tem John Renison have to up line a third councilman to share their dream. You can't do anything on the City Council without three partners.

Even dreaming, Carrillo and Renison scaled back the project a little to fit into Calexico's pocketbook. A seminar at the state League of Cities meeting dealt with ways other cities have secured funding to build such projects, they say.

ADDRESSING THE GRAND JURY — If your reader writes to the grand jury, she should address it to grand jury foreman Frank Davidson. — Joint Court Coordinator, El Centro

Since some of today's readers may not have Friday's paper, let's repeat the address: Imperial County Courthouse, 939 Main St., El Centro, CA 92243.

QUESTION: My daughter, 18, has been looking for a job since she got out of school. She leaves four or five applications a day. She has had no response. Nobody has interviewed her for a job. What's here in El Centro for those kids who do not have jobs?

Some kids who live in two-parent homes may not need a job. But for those in single-parent households, its hard to keep on going. I hope she finds a job soon. — Worried Mom, El Centro

All kids need jobs when they turn 18. That's how they break into the world. Your daughter may have to take a hard look at herself and her job skills.

Perhaps she needs to take some classes at Imperial Valley College. Learn to write a résumé, learn how to present herself to a prospective employer. This is the real world. No employer hires a worker to "give the kid a break."

But maybe she just needs to go out and keep pounding the pavement until she finds someone who will give her a job. Check out some of the job-training programs. Good luck.

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