New lights switched on in Las Casitas park

August 30, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — High overhead a faint crackle of electricity warmed a filament.

A sherbet orange glow grew stronger.

As city officials and honored guests milled about in groups of three, a 9-year-old boy made his way through the early-evening shadows cast by the playground equipment and walked toward the light.

His destination was a streetlight erected by the city in a corner of Las Casitas park near the picnic table.

When the Sam Ellis Street resident, Brian Dickinson, got there he stood near his mother, bathed in the warm — now full-strength — orange glow. He looked up and offered his opinion of the new lights at the park.

"They're cool," he said.

On Wednesday, the first two lights in the park between Sam Ellis and J.M. Ostrey streets in northwest Calexico warmed to life for the first time.


Mayor Pro Tem John Renison and city councilmen Javier Alatorre and Frank Montoya conducted a short ceremony to mark the first lighting.

Their audience was made up of soccer players in bright-colored jerseys who had just finished an early-evening game, city staffers, including City Manager Richard Inman, police commissioners and area residents.

Daniel Gutierrez, a police commissioner, said the two lights are just the beginning because he wants to see the whole park lighted.

In his remarks, Renison said he wants to see the whole park illuminated for security and aesthetic reasons … and for nighttime soccer matches.

The guys in the jerseys applauded with gusto.

Renison said the lights are just one example of how the council is working to provide recreation opportunities and enhance the quality of life in the community.

Alatorre followed Renison and thanked the audience for participating in the ceremony.

He said residents and city officials working together is important for Calexico.

He thanked the police commission for its work in the community and said the council would work with the commission to make the park even safer.

Montoya, a former police commissioner, said the commission is not just an agency monitoring the Police Department.

He said the commission works with the department and the community: "That's what this (the lights) is all about — the safety of our community."

Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or

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