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Probe: August 24, 2001

August 24, 2001

QUESTION: I was a member of the Central class of 1964. When Southwest, the new high school in El Centro, got an events sign, I thought Central should have one, too.

When a neighbor asked if I had seen Central's sign on Imperial Avenue, I rushed over to look at it.

I was appalled. The sign sits on a long crooked pipe with the rectangular sign hanging at a different (crooked) angle.

Doesn't the Central maintenance crew know how to use a simple building tool, the level, or was it a matter of too much liquid while the maintenance workers set the pipe in concrete?

I can already see the outcome of the next Bell Game. Brawley High won't have to beat us. It will call for a forfeit because our maintenance crew cannot paint the field striping in straight lines. Their handiwork resulted in our symbol of school pride parked atop a skinny toothpick that's not remotely straight.

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Come on, CUHS maintenance, get it square, get it straight, DO IT before the first football home game! PROBE, do something! — CUHS Enthusiast, El Centro

After we called Richard Fragale, superintendent of the Central Union High School District, he went to take a look at the sign.

Calling us from the site, he said, "It doesn't look crooked to me," but conceded, "It could be off one or two degrees but not much. They may have set the sign that way so it would be easier to see from the street."

Nevertheless, Fragale promised that next week the maintenance crew will be checking the sign.

"And they will have a level with them," he said.

He said he would let us know what the maintenance crew decides on the sign.

QUESTION: I drive on Evan Hewes Highway, as I know you do. Have you noticed the cameras out there? What are they for, to keep an eye on the construction crews or the traffic? — Observed, Holtville

We took our granddaughter Lindsay with us to take a look and you may be right. Those looked like cameras to us.

California Department of Transportation spokesman Joe Manning would not confirm there are surveillance cameras at the intersection. He said he would find out and let us know.

"If the cameras are out there, they probably will be used to detect traffic patterns," he said.

We hope they are not there to take pictures of suspected traffic violations. Sometimes you can't get across the intersection before the yellow light turns red.

You could if the signal gave the east-west (Holtville-El Centro) traffic a little more crossing time.

We're not worrying. A San Diego judge is throwing out tickets mailed to drivers after cameras nailed them going through red lights in that city. But the judge agreed to hold another hearing before deciding if the cameras have to go as well.

QUESTION: What is nanotechnology? And what are a nanosecond, a nanogram and a nanometer? — Budding Scientist, Holtville

Pay attention because you're going to be hearing a lot about nano this and nano that in the future. Nanotechnology is a hypothetical method of creating microminiature equipment by manipulating atoms and molecules as if they were parts of a machine. In mathematical terms, a nano is one billionth of something. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter, a nanosecond is a billionth of a second and a nanogram is a billionth of a gram.

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