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Probe: Feb. 5, 2002

February 05, 2002

A HUGE LAGOON — There was a huge lagoon fed by the Alamo River on the east side of Heber Dunes. It ran all the way from the Alamo River to the dunes.

In the 1950s, Joe D. Maggio (the Carrot King) bought the property and my dad, Walter Kuhn, filled in the lagoon and leveled the land. He moved 1 million cubic yards of dirt to reclaim the land from the lagoon. It took many months in 1958 and 1959 to do it.

On the west side of the present dunes area, the whole 100- acre Jean Claverie ranch was nothing but sand hills and brush. It looked like the Heber Dunes.

The Walter Kuhn Land Leveling Co. knocked it all down in 1960. Now it is all beautiful, level alfalfa fields.

When I was a kid walking with my dad in the desert by Seeley, I can remember my dad looking across the desert, "One of these days there will be a freeway here." I thought he was crazy. — Sandman's Son, Seeley

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Your memories remind us how short is the history of Imperial County. When we started to work for this paper in 1965, the pioneers were still here. We interviewed Sam Webb, the first marshal of Holtville. Rollie Clark, the Central Union High School cheerleader, was still a lively man about El Centro. Clark Road was named for his family.

While we were in high school we went to a church picnic at the Aten Ranch in Imperial and met Ira Aten, the famous Texas ranger for whom Aten Road is named.

We had no idea what giants those men were. That was before the county named a road for Aten or Holtville named a school for Sam Webb and when Joe Maggio was still alive.

UESTION: After several years off welfare I had to reapply. They told me the Department of Social Services will soon initiate automatic deposit into our bank account — and we'll have an ATM card for our food stamps. Will it happen soon or is it 10 years down the road? — On the Dole Again, El Centro

DSS Director James Semmes said the switch to automatic deposit will be in place as soon as it can be cranked up, probably within a year. When that day comes, you will get a card to access your "benefits," cash and food stamps.

There are savings that may offset any extra costs for the new system. For instance, there will be fewer lost or stolen checks. There will be a savings on postage since benefits will be transferred electronically.

MAKING DMV APPOINTMENT — If you have access to Internet, making an appointment with the Department of Motor Vehicles is as easy one, two, three.

Tap in — Web Surfer, E-mail

OK, PROBE readers, we haven't tried this. If you do, let us know if it works. If you don't have access to the Internet, you can send a request for an appointment by mail. If you try this, let us know if it works!

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